Comments Made During the Contest
Ashley Gwen Patrick (Level 2)
The description of the environment and world in which the characters lived was very detailed, but I felt like there could have been more dialogue. The conflict was over and it was about survival or surrendering to the inability to survive. There was too much too read and more dialogue and maybe one more character would have solved that.
Bill Clar (Level 5)
There is a lot of mystery to this story in more ways than one. There are mysteries outside of the script such as a lack of background information or hints. What happened to Jack's arm? Who is Colonel Earthall? Is it necessary to the story that Jack lacks an arm? How does Bellon have the other walkie talkie? What is the relationship between Jack and Bellon? I need a few more hints to the puzzle in order for me to fully understand the scope of the story. If there are some cues or hints that I missed, please point them out to me. The slowly paced action sequences and minimal dialogue works well for this script. It makes it feel more like a mystery than science fiction. The descriptions are vivid and show restraint.
Brian Howell (Level 5)
My first reaction before even reading it was: "This is going to be long." Just by looking at the pages, I could tell the pacing wasn't going to keep with the standard one page equals one minute. After reading it, I can come up with two reasons this happened.1. Too much description. You're using too many words to paint the scene. Give us quick, broad strokes and paint an impression. The funny little thing about doing this is that it doesn't just speed the read, it also lets my imagination create the world. Sometimes as writers we forget that while we get credit for writing a script, everyone refers to it as the director or producer's movie. If you get them to imagine your world, they get sucked in and it becomes their story. They get the movie made, not you (usually).2. Writing a script to a short page limit can cause this next issue, to be honest, I felt myself doing it somewhat when I wrote my script. The issue is that many of your action lines should be broken up. Remember, you're telling a story. If Hailman (or any character for that matter) pauses, you pause. That means you start a new action line for whatever follows. If he sits down, then the action after that should be on a new line.Breaking-up your action lines does several things. For starters, it puts more white on your page. We like white on the page, much more than black ink.Breaking-up action lines is the only way to pace your script. It can slow the pace of your story: EXT. SCORCHED LANDSCAPE - DAY The hot earth is cracked and red, barren for miles. The sky is a foul yellow. JACK HAILMAN (50's) trudges on. Sweat pours down his rugged face. He wears a sleek silver spacesuit - a little out of place for this environment. His left arm ends in a bandaged stump; blood stains spot his sleeve. A name tag reads "Jack Hailman", and several medals decorate his breast pocket. The red dirt disintegrates with each step. He crests a small hill. A massive wrecked spaceship smolders and scars the valley below. I'm getting the feeling you're going for an introspective type pace. Hailman moves slowly - he's tired, he's hurt. The vacant world is causing him to reflect. It sounds counterintuitive, but by spacing your action lines out, you can achieve this pace. Breaking action lines can also speed the pace: EXT. SCHOOL PLAYGROUND - DAY JIMMY, a ten year-old, buck-toothed bully pushes KEVIN, a scrawny eight year old. Kevin swings a fist. Misses. Jimmy laughs. Kevin lunges - BAM! He connects his shoulder with Jimmy's gut. Jimmy doubles over, choking for air. Uppercut! Kevin clips Jimmy's jaw with his tiny fist.If you were to go back through your script and start breaking up your action lines, you would find this easily turns into 10-12 pages.Outside of this, I have one main issue: what's the point? It feels like the ending of a larger script to me. Too much of the dialogue is open and vague. You're assuming that I know how to fill in the blanks. There's something to be said for the simple script structure of beginning, middle and end. Some story tellers will play with time and chronology, but they will always have a beginning, middle and end to the story. It's more important in a short script to have these things. Your script feels like the end. No beginning. No middle. This is the end.I'm left thinking a few questions:What is this list? What's with the females being circled, then crossed out? What is Hailman's comment about a mate? What is his relationship with the alien? Are they enemies? Friends? Or it doesn't matter now because everyone's dead? It could be a good ending to a feature with some tight editing, but for a short, it's not working for me.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
I thought this was very well written and formatted. The story was pretty cool, but I felt like the dream scene at the end was unnecessary. My other recommendation would be to tighten this up a little bit. It's very visceral and paints a good mental image, but reads more like a novel than a screenplay due to having so much description.In all though, I thought the story was interesting. Nice job. I don't have much to comment on here. Thumbs up.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
It's means IT IS - you meant to say 'Its sides'While I like the descriptions they are verging on too long for such a short piece. There's a lot you could trim and still convey the same information. For example - billion dollar bridge - useless detail.Dialogue - Honey, I wish I had - makes no sense. Unless it was in VO with old Jack's voice.This is good but I feel there's too much story crammed into too small a space. In addition, the sceney is so mega it's as though it's for a blockbuster feature, not a short.It would be good to see this developed int a bigger piece where you could explore the characters in more depth.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
This was amazing.Futuristic SciFi is so hard to do in five pages and you manage to create this world, this war, and this sad future.Jack is a great character and the dialogue is perfect. Phenomenal visuals.I love it all. Simply excellent.
Christopher OConnor (Level 3)
Good, the only thing keeping this from a very good or an excellent for me is that I have too many questions that I feel are vital to the story. Who was on the other end of the walkie-talkie (if anyone)? And why was he looking for someone to mate with? Did he kill himself because there was no one left to mate with or other reasons? I feel this was more a bunch of really cool scenes strung together by a weak story.
David Birch (Level 5)
at first blush, there seems to be an abundance of description in the text...one of the things that any producer will tell you "not enough white on the page"...because they know when they see the page filled with description/action they know that the writer is either convinced that they are the "set designer" and/or the "director" because every detail of the scene is being cataloged by the writer...going through every step of the space ship amounts to overkill and irritates the reader...trust your reader's imagination...by giving more to your dialog, you'll be breathing more life into your story...getting your reader to identify with your protag is the primary goal for a writer...specifically, try to limit, if not eliminate, the "like a" in your story...nothing in the first two pages connects the reader to hailman...you need to have him do something that makes me want to follow him through the rest of the story...maybe try opening with the lovemaking scene...show the good in him first, then juxtapose it with the sterile landscape that you open your story with...
David D. DeBord (Level 5)
Another script that has a story. Beginning, middle and end.A setting sometime in the future. I always want to like space related films, they can be such great adventures.I really prefer active verbs, no “ing” verbs. I know that’s a little complaint, especially since I just said there is a story and story is the most important aspect of a screenplay. However, why add the distraction, and yes it is distracting to me, of less than the best words?Also, don’t be afraid to use less than complete sentences in your action lines. A few fewer words can really add snap to the read.An edit would help. You have the beginnings of a good story/screenplay so make sure your writing style reflects the quality of the story.
Elias Farnum (Level 5)
Wow, I really enjoyed this. Almost a monologue, and a very good one. The imagery was awesome. I did have a little trouble visualizing the hypno-squid martian, and I don't think hypno-squid is an extremely original name, what with Futurama's hypno-toad. I'm sure they're not related. But the squid's effect evident as is the story. With those minor marks aside, this is very, very good. I was engrossed.I love a good sci-fi. Some may feel this is the end to a bigger story, but I think it does okay by itself. It certainly would make a compelling feature though, has a vague Enemy Mine feel.
Elisabeth Dubois (Level 4)
I don't give many excellent, but your script IS exceptional.Wonderful story, had me intrigued all the way.Well done and you made great use of the words.*****
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
I think this story would play really well on the screen. Here are a few comments for the writer."Heat thickens the air”. Remember to only write what can be filmed. How can the cameraman possibly film this?“The former spacecruiser, shattered and beyond repair, sleeps like a fallen skyscraper.” I would suggest cutting “sleeps like a fallen skyscraper”. In my opinion, it is not needed.“Hailman doesn’t even acknowledge their existence.” Don’t tell us what he doesn’t do, tell us what he does do. Does he ignore them? Does he step over their still bodies? What does he do?If you can say the same thing with less words, then do so. Example 1: “Jack flips through the pages, the final page shows the names of high ranking officers.” Consider instead: “Jack flips through the pages, the final page lists high ranking officers.” Example 2: “Hailman turns around a few bodies to check their identity.” Consider instead: “Hailman checks the identity of a few bodies.”“The alien sinks in it like a bad cake.” Sorry but I don’t understand this description. Always proofread! “Places it next Bellon.” Should be: “Places it next to Bellon.”
Herman Chow (Level 5)
Like to see a solid sci-fi entry here.You have painted a very visual and haunting picture of the spaceship interior after the spaceship crashed. The story kept me interested to see what Hailman is trying to do inside. You created the dread and loneliness of the last man survived in the mission.Something that I wasn't too clear about is why did Hailman seem to cooperating with Bellon. I'm guessing Bellon has the ability to make Hailman dream what they wanted? And Hailman is just committing suicide?Writing is neat. Didn't detect any problems there.VERY GOOD.
James Pombrio (Level 2)
Hi,Your script had beautiful imagery. Writing visually is the most important thing, which was why I gave you a "good" score. It however had two problems. First of all, I couldn't really follow it. Everything was very interesting, but I didn't understand what happened at the end. It seemed like he was on Mars, then he gets shot up with this alien drug or something, then he dreams, then he's back to MARS but he's young again? I didn't get it.The other problem that I had was your verb tenses. When you write a script you should always use present active verbs. For example, "Jack walks" not "Jack is walking". There were many cases where you violated that rule. Other than that the descriptions were great.Good luck.
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)
Double check it's vs. its. Wrong usage on pg 1.I'm sorry to say that it did not hold my interest throughout. I found my mind wandering while reading and then I needed to backtrack and reread a few things. It might not be because this is not a genre I'm typically fond of.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)
You brought us into this alien world and did an excellent job at it. Some people might complain about your blocks of description, but for some reason I didn't mind. I thought everything you wrote was necessary. The alien completely threw me off. I really liked that you added it in. I wanted to know more about their relationship (in a good way) I didn't like the line "I just got really good at killing your species" I thought that was kind of cruel, especially when the alien helped him out at the end. I also didn't understand what happened to their world, and why it was happening on the other planet, and why humans were even on the planet to begin with. I didn't need to know all of them, but I wish I was told or understood one of them. This was amazing. I want to give it an excellent, but I didn't entirely get it. I'll definitely come back and give it another looker. But for now, I'll give this a VG.
Joel Davis (Level 5)
Nice, atmospheric Sci-Fi. I love the image of the broken ship, the destroyed world suffused with regret.You did a really good job measuring the script to the material -- it didn't feel crammed into the five pages, but it still felt like a complete story there. I think that's one of the most difficult things to do in this contest (especially with SF/F) and you did a excellent job here, hinting at the larger world and backstory without explaining it outright. bravo. Loved how a lot of the story was told with imagery and scene. Jack does a bit too much explaining for my taste but it fits in pretty well, and the description feels dense in places, but perhaps that's unavoidable given the genre.I really liked how the protag had a goal -- to mate -- albeit futile. That give the plot some real shape to it, but the story didn't have to revolve around it and it contrasted nicely with the flashback to the life he could have had.
Justin Ormsby (Level 3)
Great story! The detail painted the picture for me beautifully...no ambiguity, I could SEE this film happen. The story is interesting, the setting is interesting and visually appealing, the characters are interesting...and the way Bellon drinks...that was nearly brilliant. The end is almost a little trite, in that there are plenty of movies that end in peaceful flashbacks like that. I almost want more detail about why Jack suffers so much. Obviously there's been a horrendous event and a great war and many deaths, but is that all, or did he himself do something he was really ashamed of other than martian killing? It's really really good.
Katie Va (Level 3)
I love that you wrote a science fiction script! It's great! I thought I'd be trawling through a pile of film noir in smokey basements, this was wonderful.I love the set up.I love the balance between action and dialoge, showing and telling. It worked really well.I love the slow reveal of plot details. You didn't feel the need to tell the audience everything all at once. Suspense is a good thing.Thankyou for that script.
Kevin Carty (Level 4)
I'll give this a very good. I would have given this an excellent but I got confused toward the end and I have to question the whole predicament. Why would an alien help a guy that destroyed his planet? Why would an alien do that? What happened and why is the alien on his or the alien's ship? Are they on Mars? On page 4/5 with the flashback I don't know what's going on is he withered or is he fit, is he young or is he old? Decide. If you are building a world you have to be clear. Sometimes I felt there was some over description. Half man half octopus is more than enough. It was a good read though. Also there are some grammar mistakes in the dialogue but good job.Use a super. This is a snippet from a bigger script. Also some of dialogue is so cliche (We showed those hypno squids). Ace seems to be pushed in just to satisfy the contest. I wish it were either the dying girl that he loved or he was talking to his wife on com and they were being attacked by the aliens while he is on this planet. Is this Earth or Hypno Squid world. I think that you over describe sometimes and sometimes there are awkward sentences because of that. Shutters are shutting. I think it would be way more powerful if he was lying to her or if his wife were lying to him about them winning. I think the wife hallucination came too late and introduces a character that isn't great too late in the story. The radio wasn't used well to make a strong connection between him and his wife.In screenwriting you need to be clear with your story most of all.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
On page 3, I think, you need to have him call her "Rose" so that we know that it's Rose Earthhall - I mean, as a reader I know, but if I watched it I wouldn't unless she has a name tag on. I know Hailman got one but do they all?You show very little reaction from him. I guess it's intentional.The images are very powerful. I see where you going with it but have a question - he invited Bellon to kill him, didn't he? Why? I'd like the piece more if I understood why. What's the importance of Rose, how does that bit forward the story?Other than that I liked it. It was an interesting read.
Kirk White (Level 5)
I quite liked this. It's a little more black on the page than my personal preference...almost reads like a short story...but I was facinated and sucked in from the first sentence so I'm not complaining too much. Very cool story, nice visuals, love the "classic" feel of us against Martians! Obviously it'd be rather expensive to shoot this but I'd love to see it.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
An unique and visual science-fiction story. Some terrific description of Jack's appearance, the environment, and "The Spike Celestial." Particularly like the image of Jack as the "sole silhouette" trudging along with sweat pouring down his face, wearing a frown, and "a sleek military spacesuit."Clearly Jack was not the pilot of this "spacecruiser," but apparently a cohort of the people who were killed in it. Did wonder about Jack's involvement in the battle; how he surfaced over the hill in this inhospitable environment and how he sustained his extensive injuries. Also, the relevance of the female names that were "circled, then scratched out" on Jack's clipboard is confusing. Colonel Earthall, "circled but not yet checked off," infers that "checking-off" means the females are dead. If Jack is systematically killing all the women, why does the Colonel speak to him as if they were in battle together?A colorful saga with an interesting title.
Leonard Walker (Level 3)
Proficient narrative, embroidered with good visuals. Script structured is sound, develops nicely. Scenes are smoothly paced. The tone of desolation and remoteness feels real, fine details in the read. Characterization and dialogue are sufficient. Also, story offers a pleasing conclusion.Enjoyable work. Good job.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
I liked the first few pages of this story and I liked the end. You lost me a bit around page 4. Just wasn't feeling it when he was talking to that alien. Gave it a different vibe. Very good sci-fi writing. Great desriptions that flowed well and made it easy to visualize.In the end I just wasn't crazy about the story.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
"It's sides lined with...", "rips in it's side" and "next to it's broken door" should all be "its". "Wars over" should be "war's over".There's some repetition and unnecessary description. For example, I spotted at least three separate times where you said how big the spaceship was. This doesn't help build up suspense. Even if this is going to take a while to unfold on-screen, it still needs to be suitably lean on the page. I really like the science fiction setting, and how you chose it to take place after the war has ended, the perfect scope for an ambitious short. You set it up the reality really well, without any obvious exposition. Very good.
Matias Caruso (Level 5)
Who are you? Have I read anything from you before? Don't think I did.Excellent.I got most of it, but there was one thing that wasn't so clear (at least for me). Is Jack the planet's last survivor? His search for "potential mates" may suggest that the future of mankind depends on him finding an Eve. How can he be so sure that he's the only one?A joy to read anyways. Thanks.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5)
This was an interesting story. You used the elements well. The location and characters were unique.If I understand it right, the Spike Celestial destroyed the planet and then crashed into it. Jack has been out surveying the area arounf the wreck? I guess I'm not real clear on why he was outside the ship to start. If he was on the ship when it crashed, wouldn't he have checked all the bodies on the ship first? I get the sense that he wasn't on the ship, but then where was he?So he's looking for some way to mate and continue the human species, but fails. So the only option left is to continue the hallucinagenic interaction with the Martian.One line struck me as odd - "...sleeps like fallen skyscraper". "Sleeps" isn't the right word there.Overall I thought it was pretty interesting.
Michael Alberstadt (Level 4)
This is a well-crafted and superbly-written story. The character "Jack" is empathetic, someone you want to root for. The story leads the reader both visually and emotionally.I read it twice and couldn't find anything to critique. It's the best I've read so far.Great work!
Paul Williams (Level 5)
It was a wise choice to tell a story of this nature for this particular contest. The genre and story stand out from the rest. Half the battle each month at MoviePoet is to come up with a different idea than everyone else, so good job with that.Parts of this story did feel a little familiar though in general, from the soldier leaving it all to go off to war to the isolated setting of a ruined, barren planet.The screenwriting is too bulky for my taste. I understand this is mostly narrative, and none of the action text passes four lines, but I felt there were too many paragraphs right at three or four lines and I feel this should be tightened up.Format overall appears acceptable. There are a few typos throughout.
Robbie Comeau (Level 3)
Interesting concept and direction. I liked how this went and it kept me interested to the end so that's usually a good thing :)good writing overallRobbie
Robert Kent (Level 3)
I liked this a lot. Very good descriptions, and we're left with just a vague but tantalizing idea of what kind of a terrible calamity has befallen these two species, so that we can imagine for ourselves what the catastrophe was and not be told directly.A couple of times you used the descriptor "futuristic". In these two cases, I'd suggest that you be more specific about what "futuristic" means.Shouldn't the fantasy/remembrance of the woman he loved come a little sooner in the story, before he talks with Bellon or even while he's searching through the ship? I think I would empathize more with his character if he had this remembrance sooner; then when he has his final remembrance of them making love, it would be more powerful.I enjoyed reading this piece!
Ron Hooker (Level 4)
I love the imagery. You definitely took the time to "show" what was going on instead of simply "telling" the story. Well done.But in your ACTION, be "active", not "passive":"He's wearing a sleek military spacesuit" is passive..."He wears a sleek military spacesuit" is active."...disappearing in the darkness" is passive..."...disappears in the darkness" is active. These are just a couple of examples.I'm just a little confused on how to connect the story/dream/Nessa. Is Nessa actually Bellon? Is his dream a foreshadow of things to come? I'm a little lost at the end.Still, I thought this was good.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
The title could be a lot stronger. It doesn't do justice to what is a very good script. Please fix it ... lol. I like your story, there's a lot of heart and passion in it. I like the visual way you write and the characters are believable and easy to root for. Very nice job on this, I hope it does well, I was too drawn into the story to check if you had all your words in place, but I am sure you did.Please consider finding a stronger title now that you don't have the constraints of the competition.Well done, nice writing and good imaginative story.
Scott Merrow (Level 5)
Seems like there's a great story in there somewhere, but it's WAY too grand in scope for five pages.Here's the problem. You're creating a whole new universe, and you have to devote a certain amount of space to introducing that universe to us. Because of the nature of this contest, you've only got five pages, so the more space you use up telling us about this future world (that we know nothing about), the less space you have to tell us your story. Now, combine that with this -- your story is a very complicated one. A space war, weird aliens, and a search for suitable mates -- a complicated plot with lots of subplots.Now, further complicate it with this -- your narrative descriptions are very long and detailed. Do we really need to know this: "He's wearing a sleek military spacesuit. Certainly not suited for this environment."? (We don't even know what that means.)So, those three things (introducing us to the future universe, a complicated story, and detailed narrative descriptions) take up a lot of space in a screenplay that's limited to five pages. That leaves very little space for...the story.This really isn't the type of story you can do justice to in five pages. You need that many pages just to describe your world to us.My recommendations: (1) Trim your narrative descriptions down to the bare minimum. (2) Simplify your story. (3) Simplify your future universe (so you don't have to spend so much space describing it). Or, better yet, one recommendation that encompasses the other three: save a story like this for a longer screenplay.My score: GOOD.
Sue Ploeger (Level 3)
You should be proud. You made me cry. This story reminds me of my sci-fi favorites, Asimov and Clarke, in tone, style, detail and portrayal of human stupidity and dignity. Specifically “Stars, won’t you hide me” by Ben Bova. Every word paints a vivid picture of Jack’s environment, of the world lost and his inner human struggle to deal with the war and the outcome, his surrender and final plea to the last martian. The images of your script will stay with me for a while. Absolutely freaking awesome.One teensy thing that brought your score down to 4.9999995: “Continuous” is unnecessary in your sluglines. This word is used when the sequence of events could be confusing to the reader. Your sequence of events was very clear and logical. So just stick with - DAY.
Teo Gonzalez (Level 4)
What follows is some notes I've taken while reading your story:Good first few lines. I already feel the heat. Great visual description.Second scene: "It's sides lined..." Posesive pronoun is "its." More great visuals.Third scene, I wouldn't say "Futuristic walkie-talkie." When I read your story, I get pulled into the future along with Hailman. Now you name something "futuristic," and you're bringing me back to my chair -- and I was getting cozzy over there.Fourth scene. Since Hailman is still in the same main location, the Spike Celestial, you could start with a slugline -- HALLWAY -- instead naming the whole thing again. Need a coma "...damaged, and junk..."The second paragraph, you could trim down easily. For the third paragraph, you use Jack after you've called your character Hailman every time before. Stick to Hailman or Jack; no both.Fifth scene, you could slug it BRIDGE. Then you have "Half of the structure has collapsed, there are plenty of dead bodies around". That's a runon sentence. You either substitute the coma for a period or add "and" after it. Then, you say "Hailman... slides over the floor next to an exact copy." An exact copy of what? Also, what do you mean by "space suit hybrids"?Sixth scene, same thing with the futuristic rifle: You brought me back to Earth -- no good."...grabs the cable, with his stump..." is another runon sentence.Seventh scene could be slugged as PRISON CELLS."...it's broken door..." should be "its broken door."Cell 7 could be slugged as just that: CELL 7.In Hailman's first dialogue, "if its any consolation..." should be "if it's any consolation..."Alrigth, I just read to the end this time. The ending feels a bit melodramatic. I am not sure that brining a new charecter at the very end of a story and inside a dream is such a good idea. To tell you the truth, I think it is much the opposite.In general lines, I like your story, but I think it is in need of wotk.Good luck!
Thomas W. Brown (Level 4)
This is a beautiful, epic short that you've written here. The story itself is quite good and does not suffer because of its simplicity. I like the squid a lot, and the way that you have Hailman communicating with him throughout. Your descriptions are extremely well thought out and well written, but may be a little bulky for such a short script. The only problem that I see with the script is that it would be incredibly expensive to produce. However, you lose nothing on this point, simply because I love this. Best of luck!
Tim Ratcliffe (Level 4)
Interesting concept and the writing wasn't bad. Not too sure what the hypno-squid things were or what Jack's relationship with Bellon was. I assume some sort of planetary war has been going on for some time, but it wasn't too clear to me.One thing I didn't like was in your narrative you kept switching between calling your lead character Jack and Hailman. Why can't you just pick one or the other and stick to that? Similarly, in the dialogue you don't need both his names every time he speaks. Just one or the other is sufficient.Overall I thought it was okay but it didn't do a whole lot for me.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
I'm not into Sci-Fi at all, but the writing was very good, descriptive and the images were conveyed with a deft hand. This premise is not original at all, but I liked the way you approached the subject matter.
Comments Made After the Contest
Thomas W. Brown (Level 4) ~ 4/1/2010 12:08 AM
This is a great script Paul, I'm glad to see it got some recognition!
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 4/1/2010 12:11 AM
I loved this!I just checked and I think I love everything you have entered. You are quickly becoming one of my favorite writers at MoviePoet.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 4/1/2010 3:36 AM
Paul, you are an amazing writer. I loved this one. I accidentally didn't go back and mark it as excellent, though. I hope you forgive me. :)
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 4/1/2010 1:39 PM
Good thing Chris doesn't allow betting on results because I would have lost serious money on this one. I really thought it was a winner. Congrats on the honorable mention, though, well deserved.Love your writing style.
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5) ~ 4/16/2010 5:16 PM
Thanks all. Really appreciate the nice comments. Glad it got some fans and even favorites too. Means a lot to me. And I'm proud now Sue.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/21/2010 4:10 PM
This only received an Honorable Mention? What the EFF?Yes, writing in a script should be as spare as possible, but there are always exceptions to every rule.This is one of them.And it is an exceptionally fine exception.It's just crazy good. You are a fine writer, Paul.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/21/2010 4:11 PM
I didn't check to see who voted it Poor... but that person is insane. Quick, get the men in the white coats.
Brian Howell (Level 5) ~ 4/21/2010 6:50 PM
I voted POOR, and maybe I am a little insane. In hindsight I would have changed my vote to a fair, maybe a good, but no further. You all could read my comments above (you can't miss them, it's the longest one). My main reasonings are below. From my review:"I have one main issue: what's the point? It feels like the ending of a larger script to me. Too much of the dialogue is open and vague. You're assuming that I know how to fill in the blanks." "I'm left thinking a few questions:What is this list? What's with the females being circled, then crossed out? What is Hailman's comment about a mate? What is his relationship with the alien? Are they enemies? Friends? Or it doesn't matter now because everyone's dead? It could be a good ending to a feature with some tight editing, but for a short, it's not working for me."This was one of the first scripts I reviewed on this website. I reviewed the logline contest and then this contest. I am by no means a wiley veteran on this site, but I stand by my review - for the most part. I feel this would make for a 10-12 minute movie. That was an issue for me, one that probably weighed too heavy in my voting (which is why I ultimately went POOR).I notice TIM W, that you did not review this script during the contest. How would you have voted this? I can tell by your comments it would be voted favorably by you, but why?@Paul - you are a fine writer. To me, this was more of a prose piece. I'm obviously in the minority here, but I do have issues with very wordy scripts - good writing or not.
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5) ~ 4/21/2010 7:09 PM
Thanks for the very kind words Tim. I really challenged myself with this one, I wanted to create this world in 5 pages and in every sentence it became such a neccesity to push things forward yet still construct the world. Brian, that's really honest of you. Personally, I feel like the answers are all there in the script. In fact, I think you basically ask the right questions and you answer them immediately with your own questions too. All the information you need to answer te core questions is in the story. But even if it wasn't, would that really matter?I want people to think about the stories, question things. I don't write it all out. I like the feeling of writing a smaller segment of a bigger world. Yes, this story could be the ending to a bigger movie. But I think you get enough information to fill in the blanks. Thanks for reading anyway and for the honest reviews.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/21/2010 10:09 PM
Brian, Peace bruthuh... I was indulging in hyperbole and mild humor, of course. There have been many times where I was the insane one (watch it Caroline, I see you coming...)The lowest score I can imagine giving this is Excellent. This script absolutely captured old school SciFi. It's like Heinlen, only better - richer.To be fair and honest, I am generally quite the stickler when it comes to description-heavy scripts. I will almost always mark down for it.Why? Simple. Most wordy scripts are improperly, unnecessarily or destructively wordy. By which I mean they go on and on with stuff that either doesn't matter, doesn't advance the story, doesn't paint a picture, is boring, blah. However, if done well (or perfectly, as this did), it enhances the story.Paul had a grand vision. He had to paint a picture of an epic situation, of a world we don't know, a setting we've never seen - AND tell a compelling story - in just 5 pages. What he accomplished is remarkable.Many short scripts seem to be part of a larger story. This is not unusual. However, if properly done, the small story that is part of a larger story will have a beginning, middle and end - which makes it stand on its own.If this hadn't stood on its own, I would have praised Paul for the beauty of his work, but then I would have marked it down. Probably heavily. Why? Because the story itself, aside from the heavy description, would likely have been flawed.But it does stand on its own.The questions you had for Paul about why this and why that... everything is in the story. The "mate" thing... well, if you were crash landed on a planet, would you want to be alone? Nope. You'd be looking through the wreckage to survivors. And while he'd like a buddy, he'd really want someone he could, er, "relate" to - hence - "Mate". All of the rest is there, too.Hey, sometimes things don't work for some people. No harm, no foul. I didn't intend to get you worked up. I was mostly trying to get across how much I liked this.Hey Paul... this is one of those scripts that makes me want to be a better writer.A tip of the chapeau to ya!
Brian Howell (Level 5) ~ 4/22/2010 1:59 AM
@Tim: I was never worked up. I was the only person who voted this poor, and I look back at it now and realize I shouldn't have. I was trying to portray that to Paul, but also explain why my initial reaction and vote was the way it was. That was all.And in asking for your review, I was interested in understanding why you thought as highly of this as you did. You've explained it very well. @Paul: I wasn't the only one who asked those questions. In reading the discussion about your script, some people missed it, and many people got it. I missed it. And even feature lengths are small slices of something much larger. I understand what you were doing, and in hindsight, I should have voted this higher. So if my vote kept you from placing - I'm sorry. I won't always be right or insightful or even helpful, but there's one thing I will always be in my reviews - honest. Thank you for recognizing that.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 4/22/2010 3:50 PM
great writing Paul!The opening scene is fantastic - so vivid and instantly creating a sci-fi tone.I'm sorry I didn't get around to reviewing this, I'd certainly have given you an excellent.Your script has reminded me that MP entries don't have to be small with low budget filming in mind.I enjoyed your alien too and the fact that Hailman gives his life to save what was previously his enemy. Great job.