Just wrapped up a fun scriptshadow edit with the Fox and enjoyed two awesome stories from some amateur writers.
Let's talk a little about what we learned tonight!
1.) SIMPLE! Keep your stories simple. Flare and flash are fun, but they distract from your story. Make sure your story is solid first, and then only add style if it adds to your story!
2.) Avoid verbal doubling. If you've said it once, that's enough! Trust your readers, they'll remember, and if you're going to repeat and image of a phrase, be sure to add to it!
3.) Don't alternate dialogue and action line for line in your screenplay. Give a cluster of dialogue together so it doesn't jar the reader out of the flow of your character's conversations.
Want to see more? Here's a video of our edit:
Line by line notes here:
Line by Line:
P1 - A lot of these snazzy talking jokes in the action don't translate well to film.
P1 - NEED a slugline.
P1 - DESCRIBE A shot that is gloomy don't say they're gloomy
P2 - I don't know if you NEED the movie trailer bit
P3 - How can we SEE and know the Ocelot is the mom's spirit if we were watching this?
P3 - cause mech jammed -- fix grammar!
P4 - Why not just start the story here?
P4 - What does "less cyborg-ish" look like? Are there more bits of cat?
P5 - the its his wife thing feels hyper un-established
P6 - Don't know if Sabatu is robot, mom, animal or what percentage of each?
P8 - A's connection with Victoria is interesting, but only understood through telling - can you show us an in=scene reaction?
-- Fun premise and cool characters
-- Like the idea of a post-apoc world and the setup
-- Mech animals are awesome concepts
-- Remove the extra setups - feels excessive
-- In your writing SHOW SHOW SHOW - try a draft with no asides, and no fancy stuff or other movie references
-- Make it story driven rather than performance and style driven
P1 - avoid stuff like "A beat" since you lose the opportunity to show us more of the scene by telling us what happened IN The beat
P3 - What except being murdered was Rebecca expecting - give us a better sense of HER PLAN A
P4 - Feels a little telly with Lang's description
P5 - delete the "A beat" on p4 and let your action lines do the great work they're doing
P5 - We don't need this dialogue / action / dialogue that much espcially since the scene dynamics aren't changing that much.
P5 - By the end of page 5 the looking for Adam feels repetitive -- TRUST YOUR READER.
P8 - We need to get to this knock a LOOT earlier - this scene plays the confusion beat for a long time - it needed a twist
P9 - Do we need this landlord scene? Why doesn't he just shove the package to him and let Lang and Andy deal with it?
-- I like the setup of Adam - he's creepy and cool
-- You have a strong writing style - trust it!
-- Speed it up! Cut time!
-- Need to know why to care about the girl, and about Lang. What are their goals?
-- Try to combine dialogue into a flow without action between. Let the words and the context of the dialogue suggest what action is transpiring.