In less than a 24 hours zombies rise all over town. A teen rock band struggles not only to survive, but to play the show of their lives.
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!
Readers then vote and comment on your work.
LOGLINE: In less than a 24 hours zombies rise all over town. A teen rock band struggles not only to survive, but to play the show of their lives.
The best loglines contain the following: a clear goal, a sense of urgency, and high stakes. "Rock Not Dead" satisfies all three conditions!
Could it be improved? Perhaps:
When zombies rise in a small town, a teen rock band struggles not only to survive, but to play the show of their lives.
What I like about this concept is that it is "the same but different." It's a zombie movie with a twist, and it reminded me of Zombieland.
So did this script do its winning concept justice? Let's find out!
The script opens with a group of teenagers playing the Rock Band videogame. But they're playing too loud, so Leonard's sister pulls the plug on their jamfest. Tyler leaves to go do homework, and then Leonard's creepy old neighbor comes out of nowhere and tells them they're playing too loud.
Then it's the next day and Leonard walks to school and sees a woman through said creepy old neighbor's window. At school Lynch and Leonard talk about logos and commercials and sing jingles. They ogle their female classmate, and talk about Nazism and some other things.
Then, in what might be the inciting incident, a postman gets pulled into the creepy old neighbor's home.
I really wanted to love this script. I did. But unfortunately there were too many problems and the story just wasn't engaging enough.
English isn't the writer's first language (he's from Argentina), so this could account for the numerous grammar and spelling errors. However, as mentioned by Carson Reeves on Scriptshadow, it is critical for these writers to find someone to proofread your script before you send it out. Another disconcerting red flag were the numerous semicolons that were used incorrectly.
Another problem was that the first ten pages moved too slowly. The dialog is leaden and feels unnatural, and there were strange references to obscure musicians and commercials that did nothing for the story.The conversations had no consequence, and the characters all act and sound the same. Try this test for the dialog of your script: cover up the names of your characters and see if someone can guess who said what. If they can't you have a problem. Give each character a style of speech! Some can be ramblers, some might speak in clipped phrases, some can have accents, some might always be misquoting famous people, and others might only pop in here and there to say something cryptic. Give your dialog (and your characters) texture!
As I mentioned in my notes, I had an issue with the description of Victoria. She is "blond" and "pretty." can we think of another adjective other than "pretty"? Aren't all actresses pretty unless otherwise stated? Instead, how about describing a particular trait that creates an image in our mind? The other characters have watered down, generic descriptions and it is hard to visualize them.
Something else that is critical lesson we've all broken at one point or another is the paragraph rule. In spec scripts, paragraphs should almost never exceed four lines. Lean writing is professional writing! When script readers pick up your scripts, they will hate you if they see giant blocks of text because you've just made their job harder. Make sure your script reads like a dream! 2-3 lines per paragraph is ideal. Make every word count!
Unfortunately, I have to give this script a "trash it" rating simply because the writer might want to consider getting a fresh start on this script.
Still, the premise is great! The writer should consider re-outlining the characters and coming up with another way to approach the execution of the script. Maybe moving the postman scene further to the start of the story and trimming down the conversation? Everything that does not advance the story or develop characters should be cut. Also, when he is done writing, he should ask someone else to proofread it.
Screenwriting is a difficult craft to master and feedback is intensely subjective, so I wish the writer best of luck!
( )Take Another Pass
( )More Please
( )Somebody Shoot This!
What did you think of Martin's first 10 pages?
Next week guest reviewer Script Quack gives feedback on the first 10 pages of Alex J. R. Durham's £80 Per Week.