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critique WORK IN PROGRESS scripts

Hello everyone,

I’m posting some links to some of my scripts. If you want to jump in here’s the links:

1

life as a screenplay miniseries

Logline: An actress turned vigilante hunts down a rapist, afterwards, her sister falls for a club owner caught in the wake.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14lBbnQAvG88A9AwJSjUlHWInl5QMD5za/view?usp=sharing

2

life as screenplay 1st episode coming of age

Logline: Ronnie fills her daughter in about the rape of Miranda.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T_borDcLZKQGgzZt1loeYLlGaRu5AJ8J/view?usp=sharing

3

Bob’s Burgers

Logline: When Bob considers expanding, it is without his family.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y_fnPGa794rZrMqvEmr7uszUFfQMOWRR/view?usp=sharing

4

Fantastic Four script

Log Line: The Fantastic Four gain their powers and their first nemesis is one of their own: Malice.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1StdZCvVOZlXwd6mZJHjF0PtyFhTBXRNI/view?usp=sharing

If you want to know more read below.

Why I’m here. I hope get 1 to be read and get feedback.

2 find a writing partner.

My stuff is ruff. I need help with understanding structure, acts etc. As you’ll see if you take the time to read.
With ADD etc it’s like putting together a puzzle without a picture to go by.

Life as a screenplay: is an early version of my writing. It was to be a movie. I will rework it as a mini-series as it is a springboard to launch four series off from it.

The min-series is I know to descriptive. Closer to that of a novel. These are my babies and I went overboard. Hopefully you can stay with it and just give me feedback on the characters, scenes etc. I plan to make the concept clearer in rewrite. I plan to lose some characters etc. But, the basic idea will be the same.

Life as a screenplay: coming of age E1.

Is the first spin off. It is a coming of age show that will focus on the three girls. I am also reworking this to cover events from the mini-series.

Bob’s Burgers was for a contest I entered. Just read for example of my work.

Fantastic Four the heroes within.

Was meant to be a movie. Then, I had so much it had to be a series. Of course this idea was when FOX had them and wished they were open to ideas. Just read for example of my work.

I think a started to get a style from ‘age’ on.

Anyway, read share your thoughts, here or e-mail me.

clarkratliff@ymail.com

More on Fantastic Four:

A little bit about the script I’m working on and me:

I had planned on making this a movie with about 5 altogether, but I got so into it it would've had to be a series.

So this script is what
would be a season, only a season would be more stretched out and more developed. Such as, the hate monger and Sue/Malice. The Monger would be able to spend a good part of the season messing with her head like it was on the Hannibal TV series.

I of course would have liked to submitted the idea to the studios/comic company but they don't take submissions, ideas etc. I think the idea is there with the right help it could've been interesting. Hopefully something people would've liked. But, we'll never know.

I'm still learning about writing, so, understanding the three act structure etc and time is a challenge for me.

This version is based on the John Byrne era in the 80's. Plus, I tried to honor the original Stan Lee/Kirby version of Sue's dad is in prison for murder and he didn't want Johnny to know, to say he was dead. I took that and tried to build and twist on that. Such as I try to explain why each one has different powers even though same cosmic rays, etc. I twisted things around by having the hate monger play a part in their development making Malice the first villain as he will be a professor-x to Sue. Also, I didn’t like in the comic the Monger was an android I think it was. Mine, he’s just a twisted individual.

I didn't set out to make this version dark just because it's the in thing now, but the first one sets up the others and to come from a place of the FF to be being so dysfunctional. It gave me something to build on.

I added at least three characters that are not I the comic. One, to lighten the mood such as Johnny's agent Amy. It was getting depressing enough to where the script should come with a razor. So she added humor without making it silly (I hope). So my dynamic would be Reed and Sue are the parents and Ben and Johnny are more the kids. Eventually the FF would be more like the comics more fun etc, but they have to get there after all the dysfunction. There's a reason to get there.

So I would like feedback not just from writers, but people who enjoy reading, fans of film and television and of course, fans of the Fantastic Four comic. Do they like my vision of the FF?

I know I could use notes on my writing its self. I have an alphabet of learning disabilities, so stating the obvious may not be that simple for me. I've tried reading script books and checked on a few sites and everyone says something different etc.

So my hopes by putting this out there is one, to get read and hopefully maybe find the Hall to my Oats and find a collaborator who can work with me that has the same twisted visions I have.

Also, just in general, fans of the FF comic, I would like to hear from them as well. Keeping in mind this is a version of them, not trying to say it is the only version, just how I see things. I can go more into here or e-mail me. I could talk for hours about what I would've liked to have done. Things such as, in the comic the ship was on a military base and they stole it and I don't think it was mentioned anymore. I have it where to keep from jail they work with the military for some time. Also, Reed has money, so when he learned of Sue's dad he bought the prison to make sure her dad was taken care of and respected his wishes to remain there.

I have a DVD-Rom of the first 40 years of the FF. I wanted to go through and work it in and honor all that came before, but I wanted to get this out and only if it were go get a lot of request would I continue it. But if no one is interested, then it's just for me. That’s at least one good thing about the internet, you don’t have to suffer alone in never getting anyone to read what you have.

My hope of course is maybe someone will like this version and maybe see fit to let me collaborate on something.

Also, my writing style, though I know it needs work, the overall content, do I capture dialogue well, execute this and that. Basically, is it anything you'd like to see? One of my script heroes is Shane Black. I enjoy just reading his scripts and for someone with ADD etc. That’s saying a lot. I hope to have a style one day like his to have it easy to read/hard to put down and some of the best movies out there.
 
There are also couple of things i would like to add: i'm on page 25, it means that i just spent 25 minutes in front of the screen watching the film you wrote, and there is nothing really happening. Normally, i would expect to be introduced to main character and understand character's desires and goals. And then i looked at number of pages in your script. Is it 243 pages? It's like a four hours long film. The best advice i can give you is to write a really short synopsis, like one-two pages, and tell us a whole story using that two pages. Then you write a script using core elements of your story from the synopsis you wrote and keep your script up to 90-100 pages.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
Well, i' ve just read ten pages of "life as a screenplay". And all ten pages is one scene. There is a dialogue for the first three pages with nothing going on and there is no obvious purpose of that dialogue. Then it's another seven pages of a dialogue. It's ten minutes of just talking. Usually, maximum scene length is around two-three minutes. And there is a reason for that - no one is going to watch ten minutes of people talking. It's just not interesting. Sorry, mate. You should aim for two minutes scenes and try to give us as much information as possible through dialogues.
This "two minute scenes" statement is unworkable. Not every screenplay needs to follow
that notion. There are many great films that use long sequences of dialogue. Each project
is as unique as the writer.

I'm sure you could name a dozen screenplays that didn't follow this maximum scene length
of around two-three minutes. I know I could. The reality is, many people will watch ten minutes
people talking. Your statement that "no one" would is false.

What clark doesn't like, and the reason he has left indietalk, are comments like that. If the
dialogue is excellent and moves an interesting story people will watch and enjoy it. If
nothing is going in his pages of dialogue that is a valid comment. Suggesting that usually
scene length is two-three minutes isn't.

Granted, I'm not going to read it because clark has made it clear he will not return to get
any help from us.
 
And i'm not saying that scene with dialogues can't go over three minutes, sure it can. But there should be purpose for that, some kind of conflict, it should be intriguing. Not just two people standing and telling each other their lives.

Still want to see some examples )
 
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I have a personal problem with writing screenplays lol 😂. See I was an author a while back so the way i make my stories and lines is i just write down the story, then I make a list of each scene and what dialogue each scene has. When filming comes around I have a sheet of paper for that scene with just normal lines of what to say. It’s far easier, simple for me to do it that way and so the actors can just look at it and say it. I don’t really write a full on professional styled screenplay. I just stay simple and easy. Kinda lazy I know lol. But it allows me more time to focus on story, plot, production design etc.
I just have a laid back style of directing lol. If anyone here makes another film you should try it that way lol. Or if your writing a films story. Just do it a simple way.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
That's a selfish act. Let me explain. You are only thinking of yourself with that process and not the cast and crew. There's a screenplay format for a reason, and that reason is not only the director. It's the DP, the prop department, wardrobe, the actors, etc. Your film should run like a well oiled machine. Having a proper screenplay/shooting script is essential. If you are still at the "YouTube with friends" stage, fine, but you've been posting about a "real" feature that you want to be bigger than Lord of the Rings, or something like that. You should start learning now!
 
That's a selfish act. Let me explain. You are only thinking of yourself with that process and not the cast and crew. There's a screenplay format for a reason, and that reason is not only the director. It's the DP, the prop department, wardrobe, the actors, etc. Your film should run like a well oiled machine. Having a proper screenplay/shooting script is essential. If you are still at the "YouTube with friends" stage, fine, but you've been posting about a "real" feature that you want to be bigger than Lord of the Rings, or something like that. You should start learning now!

I prefer to make my own styles of “screenplays” that are simple, easier to read and more effective. Generally I’m involved in every aspect of my films. Just because i don’t have the “standard” format of scripting and screenplays as others doesn’t mean my films are “youtube with friends” stage. Or don’t run like a smooth machine. I try thinking outside the box with every single aspect of film. From the way my scenes are planned, script flow and film shooting. To make the process easier, more effective and all. I often get criticized that my films are made too differently and the process is way off. I just like exploring new territories if you get what I mean. “Proper way to do it” is only a point of view that everyone has from their own experiences. There are only ways, no proper.
I don’t think I could make a feature bigger than lord of the rings, thats suicide. But I definetely can try to re-create it’s feel with new stories and new ways of production.
I reckon everyone who hasn’t already should at some stage try going way off the general line of production. Try new ways to make a film. Make your own special scripts that don’t stay to the usual run of the mill formula. Try new ways to handle budgets. Thats what im aiming to do. For example for my next film I’m trying to find ways to make massive set piece battles, castle seiges, magical battles with no CGI, only hard made sets and time and imagination. Low budget and all.
To do the impossible.
Sticking to run of the mill production processes should only be for when we all start out.
Wow sorry for saying so much lol. Kinda went off topic from this threads conversation.
I might make another thread on this topic soon though, about how the film industry is generally stagnating.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Yeah yeah yeah, too late you already said it's because you are lazy. :P

If you want to work in the industry or ever submit a screenplay you will need to know proper format. It's not only the blueprint, it's the language everyone knows how to speak and already understands.
 
Yeah yeah yeah, too late you already said it's because you are lazy. :P

If you want to work in the industry or ever submit a screenplay you will need to know proper format. It's not only the blueprint, it's the language everyone knows how to speak and already understands.

to be fair. Doing what everyone always does. The “blueprint” and standard is the lazy way. No offense 😂. I’m not sure if I’ll be submitting screenplays more like making them into films myself.
you don’t have to stick to the standard “way” to work in the industry. Maybe for other films, but for your own. There is free reign.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
:lol:
All the people on here learning proper formatting and asking for help... you are lazy! You heard it here!
 
to be fair. Doing what everyone always does. The “blueprint” and standard is the lazy way. No offense 😂. I’m not sure if I’ll be submitting screenplays more like making them into films myself.
you don’t have to stick to the standard “way” to work in the industry. Maybe for other films, but for your own. There is free reign.

There is nothing wrong with writing your way if you are the one creating the film, but if you try to submit a screenplay to the industry without the industry standard, it will immediately be thrown into the garbage before they even see how great the story is.
 
Well, i would like some examples of long dialogue sequence, maybe i'm missing something.


You aren't wrong about boring dialogue, but as you also said, it depends on what they are talking about and whether it is interesting enough. You can up the watch-ability by adding on screen action too.
 
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You aren't wrong about boring dialogue, but as you also said, it depends on what they are talking about and whether it is interesting enough. You can up the watch-ability by adding on screen action too.
Love this film. Great scene, but actually there two dialogue scenes in that one. There is boss with his note book trying to remember girl's name and tarantino with madonna and dicks, dicks, dicks - it's a set up for the first conflict. When harvey keitel grabs the bosse's notebook that is beginning of scene one. "Give me notebook back. No, im tired of you toby, moby" first conflict. When conflict resolved "you get your notebook, when we leave restaurant" that is the end of scene one. Now there is a set up for a new conflict - boss stands "tip the waitress, i'll pay for your coffe". He leaves. Second scene begins. Everyone tip. Steve buschemi "i don't tip". Bam, new conflict. It resolves when boss comes back and says "tip, i payed for your breakfast". He tips. End of scene two. You see, there are two dialogues scenes in there and i bet both of them around three minutes.
 
Love this film. Great scene, but actually there two dialogue scenes in that one. There is boss with his note book trying to remember girl's name and tarantino with madonna and dicks, dicks, dicks - it's a set up for the first conflict. When harvey keitel grabs the bosse's notebook that is beginning of scene one. "Give me notebook back. No, im tired of you toby, moby" first conflict. When conflict resolved "you get your notebook, when we leave restaurant" that is the end of scene one. Now there is a set up for a new conflict - boss stands "tip the waitress, i'll pay for your coffe". He leaves. Second scene begins. Everyone tip. Steve buschemi "i don't tip". Bam, new conflict. It resolves when boss comes back and says "tip, i payed for your breakfast". He tips. End of scene two. You see, there are two dialogues scenes in there and i bet both of them around three minutes.

Isn't written as two dialogue scenes... You might be over analyzing.


And the next "scene" is on page 11, which from industry standard is 11 minutes in.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
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They are all at the table like any group of people. All present but some speak, some listen, some talk to certain people. One scene.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
However you are wrapped up in the semantics of it... your point is it can work with the right dialogue. Tarantino is a dialogue king, so yeah, he figured it out. You can too. ;)
 
I don't think so, it's a basic structure. It's like inner montage. There are two different scenes wrapped in one.

This is something I've had to accept myself... It's cool to theorize your own opinions about scenes... But you are making it sound like you wrote the script (which we all know isn't true).

We as filmmakers can argue for days about these things.... But in the end, the script is the script, it is written a certain way to convey what the WRITER wants to convey. Anything we say or analyze afterward is not going to be anything like what the original writer intended.

How do you really know Tarantino is writing two dialogue scenes? Do you really? Or is that what YOU take from it? And even further, how can you say that was the intention to split the dialogue using a 2-3 minute rule? That doesn't apply to writers, and I highly doubt that any script writer is thinking "I better cut the scene 3 pages in, because it will bore people".

That seems to apply more to Cinematography, but that is my thought... Not a hard fact.

Its the monkey chain lesson we all did in middle school. There is no right answer, there is only the original intended piece, and then everyone's opinions after the piece is released.

That said, for the original post, everyone is just trying to help OP improve the story. Its going to die before it is born because it isn't exciting enough. It needs some spice and some Act/Plot messaging. The beginning needs cut a lot, the conflict needs introduced earlier, etc. etc.

My scripts suffered from this too. Heck, my last short film is a slog to most people. They can't even get through the first 5 minutes! It sucks to hear, it hurts my heart, especially after working so hard on that film!

But at the same time, I can use that information to make the next film just a little better.
 

indietalk

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Staff Member
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However in saying yeah it worked because it was two "dialogue scenes," means, he admits it worked! ;)
 
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