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.
 
What's the character's status?

So you are seriously cutting the shots here:

MR. PINK
You know the part in "Gypsies,
Tramps and Theives," when she says
"Poppa woulda shot his if he knew
what he'd done?" I could never
figure out what he did.

The table laughs. The WAITRESS comes over to the table.
She has the check, and a pot of coffee.

WAITRESS
Can I get anybody more
coffee.

And counting these as two separate scenes?
I mean I guess, you could say their convo gets interrupted by the waitress??? So they change what they are talking about?
But nobody's major plot points are revealed until they get up and leave, and you see someone is carrying a GUN.

Before that, you see them all as friends, just wearing nice suits, and you have no idea what they really are.... So....

If you told me as a director that the WAITRESS was a scene change, I'd lose my mind.

ALTHOUGH, I could see it as a "shot" change. I'd stop moving the camera around the table, and focus on her. So I mean, I get where you are coming from, and I see now that the 3-4 minute tip is a popular one... But that doesn't mean it applies to this film man.
 
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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.

Ahhh, now I know what you are going for. Those aren't scenes man, those are character arcs/sub-plots. Yes you need that to make an interesting script.

But the word SCENE is used in scripts to organize the creation and placement of set pieces and character/camera movements. It gives other people, like the DP or Director an idea of where to set a certain location, or what to build in a studio, and how to light it based on the time of day/how many characters/etc.

We are looking at it from two different meanings.

What you are describing could fall into books or anything really. You are going broad, while I am going narrow.

My bad.
 
Yes, you mean scene as one location, one period of time. I mean one scene, one conflict. I guess different schools
You are really just using the wrong word.

Yeah, I think this is a case of "lost in translation" - a problem I encounter a lot, as my French friends and neighbours insist on using English words to mean things they don't! I don't know how theatre/cinema is taught in Russia, but here in France, one "scène" would be as Shizik describes it, so it's quite possible to have two, three or even four or more "scènes" take place within the one room around the same table at the same time.

(That's also why the French take sooooo long to get anything done - because that's how they behave at meetings in real life! :cry: )
 
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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
here in France, one "scène" would be as Shizik describes it, so it's quite possible to have two, three or even four or more "scènes" take place within the one room around the same table at the same time.

NOW I get it.

I started out writing for stage before I wrote screenplays, and in theater the phrase "French scene" means any time someone enters or leaves the scene.

It's still considered the same scene, though - at least in the US :)
 
Yeah, I think this is a case of "lost in translation" - a problem I encounter a lot, as my French friends and neighbours insist on using English words to mean things they don't! I don't know how theatre/cinema is taught in Russia, but here in France, one "scène" would be as Shizik describes it, so it's quite possible to have two, three or even four or more "scènes" take place within the one room around the same table at the same time.

Yeah, to me that is confusing... Because quite literally, a script is written with scene headings. That's how you build your shot lists, sets, lighting, camera positions, etc.

I think we were driving each other crazy because I was like "dude read the script, scene 2 starts on page 11", and he was like "dude the conflict changes at this moment".

Haha.

Either way, I learned something new... So it was good for me!
 
You are talking about a SEQUENCE now, which holds multiple scenes. Read a screenwriting book dude.

SEQUENCE: A Sequence is a Scene, or a series of connected Scenes, that present a succession of related events or idea that constitute and advance a distinct component of the story narrative, plot and/or character development'.

SCENE: A shot or multiple shots that together compose a single, complete and unified dramatic event, action, unit or element of film narration, or block (segment) of storytelling. The end of a scene is indicated by a purposeful change in time, change in a character's status, focus of action and/or location.


So you are arguing your point, no script SCENES are longer than 3 minutes.

Reservoir dogs, you still consider it two separate scenes? But no character's status changes, no time changes, no location changes within that 8 minutes.

So what do you mean two separate scenes. How is the waitress providing a change in the characters? Or adding a conflict at the 3 minute mark?
Do we have that in my "scene number one"?
 
We have the answer, you aren't using scene the same way as a script does, you are using it in a "story structure" way.

Quite literally, regardless of what anyone feels or thinks, the script starts SCENE 2 heading on page 11.
How can you build a scene if you don't understand the structure? That's why people write ten minutes of dialogue scene which has no obvious purpose and is boring.
 
How can you build a scene if you don't understand the structure? That's why people write ten minutes of dialogue scene which has no obvious purpose and is boring.

Rather like the clip being discussed, it feels like there are two parallel conversations going on here! :secret: On the one hand, I think we're all in agreement that the problem with @clark ratliff 's sample scripts is not the long passages of dialogue per se, but the lack of structure and obvious purpose. On the other, there's a tangential discussion taking place within the thread where confusion has arisen due to a difference in how certain terms are understood, possibly because of a trans-Atlantic cultural divide.

I think, Shizik, the others are making the same point as you, but you're using a continental European vocabulary that doesn't have quite the same meaning in the anglophone world.
 
Rather like the clip being discussed, it feels like there are two parallel conversations going on here! :secret: On the one hand, I think we're all in agreement that the problem with @clark ratliff 's sample scripts is not the long passages of dialogue per se, but the lack of structure and obvious purpose. On the other, there's a tangential discussion taking place within the thread where confusion has arisen due to a difference in how certain terms are understood, possibly because of a trans-Atlantic cultural divide.

I think, Shizik, the others are making the same point as you, but you're using a continental European vocabulary that doesn't have quite the same meaning in the anglophone world.
Word
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
On the one hand, I think we're all in agreement that the problem with @clark ratliff 's sample scripts is not the long passages of dialogue per se, but the lack of structure and obvious purpose. On the other, there's a tangential discussion taking place within the thread where confusion has arisen due to a difference in how certain terms are understood, possibly because of a trans-Atlantic cultural divide.

Two dialogue scenes in one thread! The irony! :D
 
I believe sites such as this( and have tried many) I see no interaction. People post works and no comments. What comments there are (well you see). As for DrK comments the jist I got was didn't like, not interested. I get my stuff is to wordy (learning, as if maybe others could, maybe glance over check out dialogue, or move onto one of the other scripts??!

I did mention in my introduction it was like a novel, so if you go to read it and point it out, it's like letting someone know there if cussing in it if offended please don't read and then you read it and complain there was to much cussing??! Reading is just that. Screenplays are longer than twitter posts. Again as for DrK comments, I've been on a few sites and most situations turn into flame wars I think they call it? I've learned if someone hates it explaining myself is pointless. IF someone were to engage in questions such as; why kill off that character, why this etc then you're questioning what is in the story you're challenging the writer. if I read others works, I read it, and make note,s point out what I like and question what I don't understand. Most sites like this I believe have fewer interactions by how what little interaction there is, is not an open positive experience, but attacks almost to points of bullying?

Again, all was stated in my introduction (overwriten and incoherent by ADD). So choosing to point out what was pointed out before seems only to be a basis to attack and as you can see from the comments people circle and gang up. If you can't look beyond others comments and judge for yourself, it is what it is.

Most sites I have been to seem more to be private clubs. Always the same people comment, usually never in a positive lite. I'm assuming most on these sites are not professional writers, as that is why we are here or there to learn. Perhaps like school bullies the frustration of not succeeding themselves , attacking others, gives them that strength. Instead of working with others to better ourselves. I am no expert (obviously) but as I said before if I choose to read others works I interact not judge. For if I could judge I would be making a living at this.

Also I believe I mentioned I have learning disabilities ADD etc. Others may express themselves in one word I may take a few more.

So in closing 1, again sorry response longer than a twitter post and 2, to anyone, again, think for yourselves. Read my scripts or don't, just don't go by peoples opinions who only know how to criticize. I wouldn't think telling others how to read, like food at a buffet, if you don't like one thing, try something else??! I did mention (in my own opinion) my writing evolves from the novel to be less descriptive. And should someone think for themselves to read on their own, I will again mention, while I believe I have cut down my novel writing, I still need to work on story/structure etc AGAIN, NOT A PROFESSIONAL writer.

The fact that you are making an attempt at script writing shows you are a visionary with talent! All advice is good, Even if it constructive criticism. I am writing my first documentary treatment. The first thing I learned is if the script or treatment is formatted or correctly typed, it won't get read! Thrown in the waste basket! I feel what i have is good, but it can be written much better. I am taking the approach most filmmakers learned while in film school on the first day. " I no nothing, and have a lot to learn." I want to ask questions from those who know more than me, read books, and watch videos on the subject, and most importantly, attend a work shop and/or a online writing program to learn from a expert. Ask questions etc. It can be expensive, but learning a trade is an investment towards your project. Try to always keep a positive attitude and never give up on your dreams when you feel discouraged!
 
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