Friday, April 26, 2013

Belligerency by Tony de Freitas

Hello, everyone!

Thank you for checking out this week's edition of Feedback Friday. This week we will be reviewing
Belligerency by Tony de Freitas, who bravely submitted a script and had it reviewed here not too long ago. Love the persistence, Tony!

Belligerency by Tony de Freitas

Genre: Fantasy/Horror/Drama

Logline: After a vampire is awakened, she give birth to twin hybrids who avenges the death of their werewolf father.


It is a pleasure getting connected with you. As I mentioned earlier, you had another script reviewed in March. Feedback can be a scary thing but kudos for staying committed to your craft!

I will say, though, that there are a number of concerns similar to the review for MEET THE MURPHYS. Please make sure to revise your script for grammatical and spelling errors. Mind you, readers go through piles of scripts. One's interest can easily be killed on the first page if too many errors get in the way of the story. Friendly advice: Take a look at how you wrote the title on the title page ;) Also, note that your logline needs cleaning up. Be mindful of the subject and verb agreements. It should read: After a vampire is awakened, she GIVES birth to twin hybrids who AVENGE the death of their werewolf father. Additionally, I would replace "death" with "murder" as it would deliver more of a vengeful tone.

Based on your premise the story can possibly work in modern cinema. Sure, the "Twilight" saga is over but werewolves and vampires are still in with a show like "Being Human" on air, the "Underworld" franchise alive in theaters, and the upcoming "Byzantium" release in the US. 

The first character we are introduced to in the script is Evelyn, who appears to be the mother vampire. Please revise your character description for her as it reads like one big run-on sentence. Conan's character description on the first page reads better as "a werewolf in his mid 30's" rather than "mid-30's a werewolf..." There is a moment between the two when you write in the action that he "embrasses" her (also please check that spelling). Rather than tell us, SHOW us. As a matter of fact, the two are alone, so rather than embarrassing her it feels more like he is being playful with his woman. He is teasing her in a charming way, which I like. You establish him as a brave, charismatic, and loving warrior who is ready to find for his love...but then it happens. Conan is killed in an attack by Evelyn's brothers without an ounce of fight. It happens all too quickly. We want to care about the twins succeeding on their journey for revenge, right? So draw his death scene out. Have him swinging to the bitter end, battered, bloodied, and not ready to bow down to anyone. Perhaps have him stare into Evelyn's eyes as he bites the dust. Afterwards, we have talking heads between Evelyn and her murderous vampire brothers Paul and Nicholas. Here, I suggest rewriting the dialogue. Even though we are placed in the 1700's the overabundance of phrases like "my dear little sister" and "dear brother" can get hammy. Also, everything is "on the nose." The characters here are basically telling us the entire backstory. Remember that we want to watch a film, not be read a story. 

By page 5, Evelyn awakens from her 200-year sleep somewhere in the mountains in the late 1990's. A climber finds the tomb way too soon. Don't rush this scene. Play it out longer. Feed our imagination. Draw us in by describing the scenery for us. Film is a visual medium. At the beginning it is vital to establish this world. I noticed the first ten pages have an uneven pacing, which makes it difficult to believe or visualize the world you set us in. Characters react and do things on the fly. Let us understand their decision-making. Take for instance the moment at the barn when the humans find a pregnant Evelyn and deliver her baby. Grace, a human, realizes Evelyn is a vampire and completely just accepts it. She lets Evelyn stay with her and her son, John, and, through a series of quick shots to end the first ten pages, we see the humans help raise the twins into their teenage years. Help us get into the minds of these characters. They should never do something just because. 

So far, the screenplay feels more like a novel. Let's look at a sample from page 5 when Evelyn awakens:

"She still feels weak because she hasn't feed in ages. She lurches into the light of day, struggles to open her eyes because of the brightness of the sun.

She caresses her left side of her chest. We see a TATTOO sketch of a sun (it protects her from sunlight). She then caresses her stomach."

As I said earlier, I do believe this can become a marketable project. I recommend heavily revising the content in addition to checking your grammatical and spelling errors. Perhaps sit down with a group of friends and read the script out loud. Does the pacing feel rushed? Do you believe the actions of your characters? I hope this helps!



  1. Hi Erman. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. I agree with all you said, but the reason why I rushed through the first ten pages was because I thought writing it the way you just discribed it, readers would find it a bit boring. Now I see your point. I have completed the script, but I had to change the logline because the story takes on a bit of a twist.
    "When twin hybrids learn of their father's brutal murder they seek vengeance, but before revenge they need to battle their way to rescue an alliance who's locked up in the Witch Pit. What they're unaware of is that their vampiric enemies is behind them every step of the way".
    What do you think of that?
    Anyway, thanks again. I will fix it especially the grammar I know.

  2. Sorry for late reply! Much better in the sense that we get a clearer understanding of the rising stakes (no pun intended!).


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