Redfield [Pilot] [Final Draft]
I’m very pleased with the way the final draft of my script has turned out. It seems that most people from my cohort, my tutors and my friends and family outside university who have read my script respond positively towards it and that its something that is definitely worth showing to employers looking for screenwriters as a testament to what I can do.
I very much enjoyed the writing process behind this script. It was a huge challange for me to write a story set in a time period I don’t have much knowledge about and its definitely something I’ll be doing a lot more often, writing stories with a subject matter or setting I don’t know much about which would require me to do extensive research.
In future I’m definitely thinking of extending the length of this screenplay so that it could fit an hour’s runtime on television as I feel that this type of television pilot would be best suited to the hour long format rather than a half hour one.
Redfield [Pilot] [Fourth Draft]
Before I turned in my fourth draft to my tutors and to my cohort I was relatively pleased with how my script was shaping up; the advice I took on board from the feedback I got previously helped immensely I was writing this draft. People liked the visual link of John West’s hat to signify the passage of time between younger William and older William, they consistently praised the dialogue scene between Tessa and Sally and they commented on how well the dialogue was written as well as how visual my script was written, helping them to visualise the story and the setting clearly.
The only contstructive criticism I got around this time was that the end torture scene between Walters and Dick didn’t fit with how I wrote the previous scene between Dick and Jenkins. In that scene, Jenkins kills Albert (Dick’s father) and leaves Dick for dead with a gunshot wound. Thus, this raised the question why in the next scene between Walters and Dick when Walters is torturing him for information, why he doesn’t divulge the whereabouts of Jenkins to Walters sooner as he owed Jenkins nothing, and in fact should resent him. This made sense to me, as I didn’t notice how by including how the person who is getting tortured by Walters to appear in an earlier scene with Jenkins to determine how he knew where Jenkins was, I overlooked how important it is that these two scenes need to link coherently not just for plot reasons but for narrative reasons also.
As a result I’m considering on how I should approach rewriting the earlier scene between Jenkins and Dick to fit with Walter’s torture scene with Dick or vice versa.
Other notes of feedback consisted of not feeling enough flirty banter between Tessa and Sally and the notion on whether or not I could do more with the antique cutlass in the bank robbery scene with Patrick, Miriam and George Jenkins. At this stage I’m more inclined to take the feedback for the latter on board rather than then former. I feel that it would be dramatically unrewarding in the long run if I hint too heavy handedly at a possible romantic relationship between both Tessa and Sally in their first encounter. Reading it through, I think this scene plays more dramatically interesting because the homoerotic undertones are subtle and not too heavy handed.
However on the whole, I think this round of feedback has greatly encouraged me in my personal development as a writer as I feel that I am finally beginning to grasp the fundamental skills and aptitude toward becoming a professional screenwriter. I look forward to writing out my fifth draft with this newfound confidence.
First Draft Script – PAIN [1st Draft]
As I was taking a break from writing my final draft for the script I submitted last term I decided to write something else in order to take my mind away from what I was writing at the time. As a result, I came up with Pain, a short thriller that takes place nearly entirely in one location and centres around a mother’s desire for revenge for her daughter. The idea for this short film actually came from a video game called Grand Theft Auto V in which there is a torture-based mission in it. I wanted to write a story that centred around a torture scene thus I came up with Pain.
Here is a video showing the mission from the game:
The script itself has a lot of torture scenes in it and after completing this draft and returning to it I couldn’t help shake the feeling that I just wrote a script with a lot of torture porn in it. Also the ending for this draft was too predictable and uninteresting so I knew that had to change. Even after I pitched the idea to my class, they too agreed that the ending needed to be rewritten in to something more interesting.
Therefore prior to the workshop sessions where we present our scripts to be read, I decided to rewrite this first draft into something with a story more focused on the characters and with a better ending.
Screenplay here: THE CLEANER [2nd Draft]
Before going into this workshop group I already knew that my script was too long. My second draft ballooned to ten pages long due to all of the extra dialogue I wrote. Part of the feedback I got from my first draft was that it needed more inconsequential dialogue in order to keep with the same tone of black comedy that I had established. This may have led me to overwrite in a sense and now I was in a position were my screenplay literally had two pages of extra dialogue.
Some of the feedback I got was to, obviously trim down the dialogue. Someone made the point that I had a lot of expositional dialogue that could be removed. I also had a running gag where my character Fat Charlie refers to my main character Dominic with the wrong name on several occasions, but people thought that this type of humour was inconsistent with the rest of the script. Another gag I had in this draft was to do with religion as the two characters get into a debate about religion.
While many people thought it was funny, I was told that it felt a bit too “added on” and that the only way to make it work was to make religion be intrinsic to one of the characters. I thought about this a lot and couldn’t think up of a way to make faith intrinsic to the character without making the character come off as a religious caricature which I personally would find a dishonest representation of a person who belongs to the Christian faith in modern day society (like myself).
There was also some concerns that Dominic was too crap at this job, but I immediately dismissed this point as Dominic being crap at his job is the whole point of my story.
My next draft is going to be rather difficult to tackle as I have to decide what to take out what to keep and I’m also thinking about restructuring my script to make it more visual as I am starting to get concerns with the amount of dialogue in it and whether I am overwriting my characters.
Screenplay here: THE CLEANER [1st Draft]
After having the first draft of my screenplay read out at the first workshop session, I was overall very pleased with the feedback I received from the group.
The general consensus was that my script had a good twist at the end and that the black comic nature of the dialogue was entertaining, but that it also had similarities to Pulp Fiction. This was something I knew would be pointed out very early on as Pulp Fiction did serve as an inspiration when writing this screenplay, but the truth of the matter is that my main inspiration for this film was from an episode of The Sopranos where Tony Soprano helps clean up the murder of Richie Aprile after his sister Janice kills him – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X6AaNbZZfQ
It’s fair to say that I am influenced by Tarantino’s writing style so I wanted to write something that would allow me to emulate that style in my own way. Throughout further drafts of this screenplay however, I guess I will try to differentiate my screenplay as much as I can from Pulp Fiction.
A few points I received to consider was that the death of my main character at the end, being strangled with a belt, was too messy and that it would have been better if my main character’s neck was snapped.
To be fair, the inspiration for my character being strangled by a belt was from The Godfather in which Luca Brasi is strangled in a bar by a piece of string:
There was also an issue with the phone call one of my characters, Fat Charlie, makes toward the end of the film in which there was divided opinion on whether it should be more cryptic or not. My intention with that was to make it that the audience knows what’s going to happen to the main character Dominic from what they hear in that phone conversation, creating a sense of objectivity in that they are expecting Dominic’s murder to happen. It was never my intention to make the ending a “twist ending” per se. I guess with this information on board, I will perhaps try to tweak the dialogue during that sequence.