When the Nazis smuggle their latest nightmarish creations into a secret military base below London, a regiment of soldiers must make sure Churchill and Eisenhower survive the night, but not everyone is who they seem to be.
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.
I picked this review out of the pile because the logline is unlike anything I've read. It's so different and interesting and new that I had to read it. I wanted to know what the so-called "nightmarish creation" is, and why Churchill and Eisenhower have to survive and why everyone is not who they appear to be.
So do the first ten pages of Deep Level Shelter meet the expectations set by its killer concept? Let's find out!
The story opens somewhere in West Africa, where a tribal ritual is taking place. A priest, standing in front of an open grave, calls forth a beast who attacks the tribesmen, wreaking havoc until it is slain.
And then we hear applause, and the lights go on. This isn't West Africa, it's a soundstage, a sort of gladiator ring, where the Nazi leaders watch this gruesome battle from above. The remaining survivors in the ring are executed.
Cut to: World War 2-era London where the roguish Charlie Rayburn, who appears to be a Warden, runs into a burning jewelry store where someone is trapped! That someone is a safecracker who recognizes Rayburn and seems surprised he's alive. But instead of getting the safecracker out of the building, Rayburn kills him, pickpockets him, and steals what's in the safe. Talk about a surprise!
As it turns out, Rayburn is no Warden, and his intentions aren't honorable. He knocks out a firemen after cracking the safe, and picks up the fireman and escapes the burning building. The bystanders treat him like a hero -- irony at its best -- and Rayburn returns the Warden hat to its rightful owner, who is bound and gagged and stuck in a dumpster.
What I like about Rayburn is that he's the kind of character A-list actors like to play. Think Jack Sparrow, think Hans Solo: sly and quick-thinking with shady intentions and questionable morals, but highly entertaining to watch.
The dialog in these ten pages is brilliant, punctuated by quick wit and minimum exposition. One of my favorite lines from Angus also subtly sets up a type of "ticking time bomb" that may play a part in the story later: "Aye. You Yanks better shoot straighter than you throw those wee darts, or we'll all be speaking German soon enough."
The accents in this script also make the dialog feel textured, interesting, and specific to each character.
This script reads like a professional script should: paragraphs shorter than four lines, tight, concise action, sharp dialog-- the works! You always hear about entering and leaving your scenes as soon as you can, and this script actually applies this rule. These ten pages are so close to perfect that I wouldn't be surprised if Karl Larsson is actually some working screenwriter submitting this under a pen name. That's how much I love these pages!
There is one area of this script I'd like to point out that could be strengthened: the character introductions. Louis, Angus, Palmer and Tom are all introduced within one and a half pages. Most script readers read at a breakneck pace and can only keep track of eight named characters on average, and considering these four characters appear to be a part of the main cast, their introductions feel a bit rushed. Introductions are so important, and by staggering them, you can give each character a chance to reveal a bit about themselves by how the audience meets them. First impressions are everything!
Overall, these first ten pages are incredible! Karl's strong opening, slick dialog, multi-layered characters and a promising premise make this a definite "somebody shoot this"!
Amy's notes on "Deep Level Shelter"
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