How It Works
Email Rob the first ten pages of your feature length screenplay (in pdf. format) along with a logline and title. Every Friday one of us (or a guest reviewer) posts one writer's work along with notes and a:
Trash It (Start over.)
Take Another Pass (You're onto something, but it needs more work.)
More Please (I'm hooked. What happens next?)
Somebody Shoot This!
The logline is pretty solid and enticing as is. Could it be a little tighter? Perhaps:
An amnesiac must reconcile her past as a lethal spy before a black ops organization makes sure she doesn't discover the truth about why she lost her memory.
The first scene is an active, establishing one in which a violent storm assaults an island. Amy's verb choice is excellent. Words like slam, tear, ripping, and rise give the reader a very visual image of what is going on. Right from the start you've got a movie playing in your head.
We then move to a high tower office with a panoramic view of "the battle below" where we meet Erick Prince and his subordinate Chynna. There's a sense that they belong to some sort of paramilitary operation and it's very clear that Chynna is accustomed to being the one calling the shots. We also learn that she's after a weapon that she's been tracking for years.
Page one begins with a cinematic opening, tension between characters and some dramatic questions: Who are these people? Whom do they work for? What is this weapon and what happens if they don't find it?
Another cinematic sequence follows in which Chynna narrates events (that unfold on screen) that occurred in the northern Ural Mountains in 1959. I won't go into detail here, but let's just say it was a bad day for Yuri and an even worse one for his buddies.
When Chynna's voice over ends we are back in the tower office. There is an exchange between Erick and Chynna that sets up the stakes. Whoever was behind the Dylatov incident plans to strike again. But this time they will be coming for Yuri and they won't stop there. In order to stop them Chynna will need, "the one we left behind."
Next, we smash cut to a Russian town where we meet Dale, an American novelist. He's not given an age, which is a huge screenwriting no no. It's essential to give some indication. Marlon Brando, for example, can conjure up two very different images. Is it Brando from Street Car or Brando from The Island of Dr. Moreau? (By the way, don't use actor's names in your character descriptions. It doesn't hurt to have an idea of who's playing it in your head, but leave the casting to the casting director.)
I go into detail about the next couple of pages in my notes. But to sum it up, this is where we meet the protagonist, Alexia. The biggest problem I found here was too much dialogue and too little action. When getting exposition out there it needs to be done in a visually interesting way.
Amy's got a solid, commercial premise (as evidenced by someone else selling a similar script). She's also got a great opening sequence. With another pass this one could be a contender.
( )Trash It
(*)Take Another Pass
( )More Please
( )Somebody Shoot This!
What did you think of Amy Suto's DYLATOV'S ENCORE?
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW ON AMY SUTO'S FIRST TEN PAGES