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FreelancerK13
04-26-2013, 05:12 AM
This is the first page of the first script I've written. Critique would be great! Please be harsh!

Page 1
1 – Overhead of a cliff overlooking a valley, in the desert. Three dark figures can be seen with little detail. (I know I need more here but I'm not quite sure what to put.)

CAPTION – Another day, another duty.

2 – Close up of black haired man, pale-white skin, in profile, shaggy brown hair and green eyes – Demitri –. Behind him is a grey skinned, bald, but attractive female – Boapin – and a blonde, Caucasian male towering over her – Martyr –. Mounted upon Boapin’s back is a long range rifle. On Martyr’s, a long sword, suited for his size sheathed on his back. Boapin wears a navy blue tank top and black cargo pants with two pistols holstered on each of her legs. Across her torso are five lengthy bullet magazines for the rifle on her back. Martyr is donning a red jacket and what appears to be a brown glove on his right hand. Underneath his jacket is a black t-shirt, and on his legs he too wears black cargo pants. Demitri is wearing a black trench coat, dark red t-shirt and black cargo pants. The two in the back are arguing as Demitri stares off into what looks like this distance from this angle.

BOAPIN – I’m not going down there, that thing is huge.

MARTYR – What are you, chicken? What do you think you’re on this team for? To be pretty?

CAPTION – Another thing to kill.

3 – Wider shot of the three, Demitri is looking with a concentrated gaze at a large, almost comically sized eleven shot revolver, his prized weapon. Martyr turns to him with an impatient look. Boapin has crossed her arms and turned away.

MARTYR – You done yet, Demitri? You can’t meditate all day. We have to kill this thing!

DEMITRI – Hush, partner. Almost.

CAPTION – And today, we get to kill…

4 – Cut to down into the valley, where a large, dog-like creature stands growling. The creature has metallic claws and teeth, as well as (metallic) spikes sticking out of its back. The monster is drooling through its clenched fangs, though appears unaware of the presence of the three above.

CAPTION - …a monster.

Clockworm
05-02-2013, 10:12 AM
Hello,
Here are some notes on your script.

Please be harsh!

The criticism dial is set to eleven. ;)


Page 1
1 – Overhead of a cliff overlooking a valley, in the desert. Three dark figures can be seen with little detail. (I know I need more here but I'm not quite sure what to put.) (Where are the figures? On the cliff, or in the valley?)

CAPTION – Another day, another duty. (That comma should be a stop. Much more assertive. Also, if this is a character actually speaking, but from another location or time, this caption will be a voice-over. Voice-overs require quote marks. You should also tag this caption with a characters' name (e.g. CAPTION (JIM): DIALOGUE) if it isn't being read by an impersonal narrator.)

2 – Close up of black haired man, pale-white skin, in profile, shaggy brown hair and green eyes – Demitri –. Behind him is a grey skinned, bald, but attractive female – Boapin – and a blonde, Caucasian male towering over her – Martyr –. Mounted upon Boapin’s back is a long range rifle. On Martyr’s, a long sword, suited for his size sheathed on his back. Boapin wears a navy blue tank top and black cargo pants with two pistols holstered on each of her legs. Across her torso are five lengthy bullet magazines for the rifle on her back. Martyr is donning a red jacket and what appears to be a brown glove on his right hand. Underneath his jacket is a black t-shirt, and on his legs he too wears black cargo pants. Demitri is wearing a black trench coat, dark red t-shirt and black cargo pants. (All of this character description can be handled on another page before the script. It'll save from bogging down the more important details as you can just reference the characters by their names. As this is, it's extremely convoluted.) The two in the back are arguing as Demitri stares off into what looks like this distance from this angle.

BOAPIN – I’m not going down there, that thing is huge. (Ah, so they're on the cliff edge. Make that clearer in your establishing shot.)

MARTYR – What are you, (Question mark here instead of a comma. As you have it, Martyr is referring to Boapin as if she is actually called 'chicken'.) chicken? What do you think you’re on this team for? To be pretty? ('You're not on this team to be pretty.' would be much more succinct.)


CAPTION – Another thing to kill.

3 – Wider shot of the three, Demitri is looking with a concentrated gaze at a large, almost comically sized eleven shot revolver, his prized weapon. (Where'd this gun come from? It's just popped in. Put it in the character descriptions.) Martyr turns to him with an impatient look. Boapin has crossed her arms and turned away. (No expression for Boapin?)

MARTYR – You done yet, Demitri? (Organic name drop. Nice.) You can’t meditate all day. We have to kill this thing!

DEMITRI – Hush, partner. Almost.

CAPTION – And today, we get to kill… (I'm still unsure as to who these captions belong and what in form they're being delivered. If I had to take a guess, I'd say these are Demitri's internal monologue.)

4 – Cut to down into the valley, where a large, dog-like creature stands growling. (There's no dialogue or sound effect for this growl.) The creature has metallic claws and teeth, as well as (metallic) spikes sticking out of its back. The monster is drooling through its clenched fangs, though appears unaware of the presence of the three above.

CAPTION - …a monster. (I can't see the point of these captions. They're just expositorily telling us stuff we can either see or repeating what is being delivered through actual dialogue. They're a detriment to your story. Have them say something else, elaborate on what's going on, or cut them completely.)

(There's only four panels on this page and a small amount of dialogue. That's quite fast. Fortunately, you have garnered a little speck of my interest, so I'm willing to forgive the pacing. However, if the successive pages share a similar brevity, you're going to lose that interest pretty fast. I'd really have to see more in order to make a judgement call.)

That's not at all bad for a first effort. I would have turned the page if I were reading this. There a few issues you need to address within the script, but given corrections, you could shape this up nicely. Another thing to be aware of is the narrative progression. Be sure to include some form of narrative progression or inciting incident within the first three pages. The reader isn't going to stick around long with random prolonged action with no discernible consequence.

Hope that's of help.

Found this critique helpful? I'm available for editing work! (http://www.lhcomics.com/editing)
Cheers
Liam

FreelancerK13
05-07-2013, 06:43 AM
Thank you Liam, you've been very helpful! I will work on it when I have time. Much appreciated.

NathanNuber
05-12-2013, 12:59 PM
I second what Liam said regarding pacing and narration.

3 – Wider shot of the three, Demitri is looking with a concentrated gaze at a large, almost comically sized eleven shot revolver, his prized weapon.

Where is it when he's gazing at it? Holstered? In one hand, nonchalantly? Cradled in both hands, lovingly? Being carried by someone else because he's a trigger happy maniac and the others took it away? I'm also confused as to why he's gazing at it. Your artist, similarly, won't really know what to draw here. The frame you'll get back from the artist will have the weapon in one of the four above locations (or somewhere more creative!) and you'll have no right to complain :p

2 – Close up of black haired man, pale-white skin, in profile, shaggy brown hair and green eyes – Demitri –. Behind him is a grey skinned, bald, but attractive female – Boapin – and a blonde, Caucasian male towering over her – Martyr –.
As Liam said, this is something you will have worked out with your artist in advance (or at least on a different sheet).

Mounted upon Boapin’s back is a long range rifle.
Mounted like a shelf on a wall or a cowboy on a horse? Probably neither, it's most likely slung over her shoulder (in which case, is it diagonal across her back or really just slung over one shoulder?). What kind of rifle? bolt action? Semi-automatic? Most rifles are long range, but I'm thinking you meant the kind of rifle appropriate for use by snipers. Be specific! Do your research! Your writing and artist will appreciate it.

On Martyr’s, a long sword, suited for his size sheathed on his back.
The second sentence is written in a very strange way. "On Martyr's," you've inentionally left out "back," but then you put it at the end of the sentence.

Also, keep in mind that many people will think of a "long sword" as a particular type of European sword (thanks, role-playing games). Like Baopin's rifle, give us detail! Be interesting! Why use a straight edged, classic longsword when he could have a sweet Shamshir with a story behind it, or a pirate's cutlass. Hell, why doesn't he have a morningstar? What was your motivation for picking this weapon in particular? You've told me there's a big guy (large target), who wears T-shirts, who thinks he can use his sword to kill people who have guns. I don't believe you, so now you have to convince me!

Boapin wears a navy blue tank top and black cargo pants with two pistols holstered on each of her legs.
Where do the pistols fit? I get one thigh holster on each leg, fine-- but then what? Keep in mind, she does have to sit down, run, and generally be athletic if there's going to be some action going on. Why cargo pants? This seems to be a recurring clothing item, so it makes me wonder if there's supposed to be something in the cargo pockets.

Across her torso are five lengthy bullet magazines for the rifle on her back.
"Bullet magazines" seems redundant, but ok, she doesn't carry Vogue, Cosmo, Redbook, Southern Comfort, and the latest issue of Wired magazine.

What makes these magazines lengthy? She's carrying a "long range rifle," which to me implies a short magazine. So are these magazines even longer than a regular rifle magazine (I'm thinking USGI Stanag magazines here as normal), or are they actually just regular size and they're long for her particular weapon?

Now this really raises the question about what weapon it is-- How else will your artist draw the right size magazine? Don't let your artist decide what weapon it is, you may be drawn into a corner and not be able to do what you want to later (or end up with a Rob Liefeld weapon with two barrels and no magazines at all). Anways, bullet size matters. There's just no way she's carrying 5 extra long .50 Cal magazine.

Finally, I have to ask about the number 5. Why are there 5 magazines? In the first place, it's not symmetrical, so is one directly down her front? How does she lean forward? Second, if were carrying "normal" magazines, she would have 6 of them, three on each side. I'd encourage you to rethink much of her appearance, in order to include more realism. Not that realism is necessary in comics, but if you disregard realism just 'cause then the setting starts to not really make sense at all.

Martyr is donning a red jacket and what appears to be a brown glove on his right hand.
Minor nitpick hear, donning implies that he's in the act of putting it on. Also, that whole "what appears to be" thing is no good for your artist. He needs to know exactly what it is, and then you can tell him what it should look like to the audience. DO NOT SURPRISE THE ARTIST! This is all in the same vein as the rifle/magazine thing above. Is this a brown leather glove? How long is it? Like a driving glove? A fingerless glove? An elbow-length, superhero glove? A winter glove? I would pay money if it was a mitten. (All this is besides the point that, again, character descriptions belong elsewhere.)

Underneath his jacket is a black t-shirt, and on his legs he too wears black cargo pants.

Demitri is wearing a black trench coat, dark red t-shirt and black cargo pants.
Is he really wearing all black, with a long coat, in the desert? Wouldn't it be funny if he was instead taking off his coat because it was just too hot, and the other's made fun of him for not thinking about where they were going?

The two in the back are arguing as Demitri stares off into what looks like this distance from this angle.
He's staring off into what looks like the distance? But what is he really staring off into?

or the TLDR; for the time-deficient

My number one piece of advice for your is, anytime you find yourself writing "what looks like," you just need to stop right there. Tell the artist what he is drawing! Now what it looks like he's drawing-- What he's really drawing. He's the only other guy (besides maybe the editor) who's going to read the script. You don't need to misdirect the artist, in fact doing so is suicide.

My number two piece of advice is to do more research, and think about the consequences and ramifications of the decisions you make. These are really the same thing-- How will you consider the impact of your decisions without knowing about the real world. Here, most of this is related to wardrobe/equipment, but in the broader sense of you being the writer, that mean's EVERYTHING. Every word you write, every sentence, gives life to the world that you are creating. If your world doesn't make sense, the audience will notice, and it will quickly fall apart.

Do you find yourself picturing things in your head, and then writing them? That's awesome, creativity is the most important skill at your disposal. At the same time, it should plant cool little ideas in your head and not be the end-all-be-all of your story. Once you have a good idea, consider, contemplate, modify, research, rehash, redo, and then redo again until it really works and makes sense.

Sorry if this was too lengthy-- I really wanted to cover everything that I saw. Despite what you see above, you're doing just fine for your first attempt. My usual proof reading for my own first drafts consists of printing out the whole document and burning it just for the catharsis. Then I smash my hard-drive to make sure it's really gone. Then I start over and can really get to work.

FreelancerK13
05-13-2013, 06:39 AM
I appreciate the comments. :) I do, off to the side, have roughly 700 words on each character based on their weapons and equipment and why they wear what they wear. As well as another biographies, personalities and in depth appearances (eye color, height etc), on top of that 700 words each.

But I shall work on the things you have commented on, thank you!

If anyone wants to see my bio's for the three characters ask and I'll give them... I'm looking for all the help I can get!