Looking for someone to read my 1st draft of my 1st screenplay?

Paul Holloway

New member
I am about almost done with the first draft of my screenplay. I like the story I created but have kept this screenplay to myself with no one having access to read it yet. I need to know what some people think of the story and their opinion on what they think should happen? Let me know if anyone is interested. It has a love story that carry's most the story but there is also drama with a little special effects in it as well. It is around 120 - 130 pages.

Here is a couples scenes from the beginning so you know somewhat where the main character storyline is headed:

The camera pans out as we see Daniel reaching into his backpack and pulling out a 8 x 10 frame. He glances at the photo of him and Nikki. Jeanie puts on the brakes and the frame falls out of Daniels hands.

DANIEL

Would you be careful driving mom?

Daniel picks up frame but has a crack in between him and Nikki.

DANIEL

Now I need a new frame.

Sarah

Are you kidding she keeps rocking the car like we are in the Titanic.

Jeanie

Comedians on this trip I swear. Hang tight kids. We are almost home.

Daniel looks at the window of his car at his new town. He looks out the window but can barely see anything with sunset approaching.

INT. Jeanie's HOME - EVENING

As the sun begins to set and sunset is approaching,Jeanie opens the door and all three enter the house. Daniel's first time and looks around. Daniel looks around as he enters the living room.

Jeanie

Welcome Home, Daniel!

DANIEL

(talking and walking around)

You have been living here and paying for my place in California? This place is huge!

As Jeanie begins to talk Daniel walks around the living room.

Jeanie

Like I said it wasn't easy. As you can see by looking around why I had to bring you here. I just couldn't afford it anymore.

Sarah

The house is nice just with the economy, its hard finding a decent job around here. We are in the middle of nowhere...

Daniel walks to a huge Indian painting. He turns and faces his mother.

DANIEL

Where did this paint come from?

Sarah

Mom had a painter design this. Riverdog...

Jeanie

Actually his name was Standing Deer and it was kind of a honeymoon present for me and ......

Sarah

Don't bother with his name mom. He was an alcoholic and he left you on your one year anniversary. I warned you about him. You two never listen to me.....

Sarah starts mumbling and heads to her room.Daniel looks at his mother.

DANIEL

I wish I could of been there for you mom. I guess I missed out on a lot while I was in California. I'm Sorry.

Daniel see's his mother's spirit is lifted

DANIEL

But your OK with this aren't you?

Jeanie

Daniel, people come and go in your life. If you keep holding on to one person you will never grow as a person.

DANIEL

Are you talking about Nikki?

Jeanie

It's just part of life's lessons. Sometimes you just have to let go...

Daniel starts to shed a tear.

DANIEL

I'm going to go see if Sarah needs anything.

Daniel exits and enters Sarah's room.

DANIEL

So mom, where's my new room at?

Jeanie points to where Daniel's room is.

Jeanie

You and Sarah have your rooms right next to one another. Right down that hall there

Jeanie

I think the movers are running a little behind. They won't be here until morning. You can sleep out here in the living room, tonight.

DANIEL

Thanks Mom

Daniel gives his mother a look and follows his sister to her room as she is passed out on her bed.

INT. Jeanie's Home (Sarah's Room)- EVENING

Daniel observes Sarah's room and observes a broken piano with the music hold gone and the cover for the keys are missing. He looks around at some of the still life drawings she has done as well as a artistic painting with chalk that was done of their father. The painting catches Daniel's eye.

DANIEL

When did you make this painting of dad?

Sarah

I did it a couple years after mom took me to a couple art classes. I wanted to do something personal. So I found an old picture of dad and made this out of chalk.

DANIEL

I guess it runs in the family.Its really good. You should be proud of yourself.

Sarah

Have you explored any of your talents in California?

DANIEL

I don't see how we ended up doing the same kind of paintings.

Sarah

Not really. If I remember, you just mess around with oil painting. With mine I try to get a little more creative.

DANIEL

You would be surprised what I learned back there in California.

Daniel looks at chalk painting of his father that his sister made.

DANIEL

You know dad would be proud of you.

Sarah

Yeah, I just wish he could be here to see it.

DANIEL

He see's it. He is just in another plane of existence that we can't see yet.

Sarah

If that is what you believe.

DANIEL

Yeah, I believe he is still around us. Watching over us and protecting us from any harm that comes our way. He is our father after all. He will always be our father. Dead or Alive.

Sarah

(crying)

Yeah, I just wish he was here with us, you know.

DANIEL

I know me too. You know you should try and expand your art skills farther. There are probably a lot of art exhibits in this town, you should try it out.

Sarah

That's an idea, I guess. You should do the same. Maybe we can take some classes together.

A moment of brief silence

Sarah

So why did you tell Nikki you would be back in a year?

Close up to Daniel face as we enter into his head into a Flashback.

FLASHBACK - Nikki'S PARENTS APARTMENT - Morning

Daniel knocks on Nikki's door. Nikki answers and lets Daniel in.

DANIEL

Your parents already leave for work?

Nikki

Yes, they left about an hour ago.

DANIEL

What did they say about me moving in here temporarily?

Nikki

(sighs)

They said unless we get married,or at least engaged.They would let you stay. So how about it?

DANIEL

How about what?

Nikki

How about we get married? It will solve all your problems. My parents could drive us later...

DANIEL

Come On Nikki, You know I am not really ready for that yet.

Nikki

(upset)

I guess your right.

Nikki goes back to couch Nikki and Daniel exchange a look. As Daniel sits down Nikki gets up and goes to kitchen.

DANIEL:

What are you doing over there?

Daniel see's how sad Nikki looks from distance and decides to walk over to the kitchen to see what she is doing.

Daniel watches as Nikki pulls out a butcher knife and he witnesses her staring at the blade and then looking back at Daniel in sadness.

Daniel watches as she starts to rub her finger on the sharp edge of the blade.

DANIEL:

What are you Doing Nikki?! Put That Knife Away!

Nikki:

(upset)

No! I don't want to live because you are leaving!

DANIEL:

Nikki! Give me the knife!

Daniel puts up manages to get knife out of Nikki's hands and tries to steer her away from sharp objects.

Nikki:

You can't watch me 24/7. I could always overdose on my medicine.

Daniel is in a state of shock and is speechless. Nikki walks into her bathroom.

Daniel makes this attempt and tries to hide all the knifes out on display. Daniel make attempts to hide in cabinets but finds that none of them have locks so he keeps them in the original spot and then walks over to the bathroom and knocks on the door.

DANIEL:

Are you Ok in there, Nikki?

Nikki:

Leave me alone!

Nikki comes out of the bathroom and walks back to the couch in the living room. Daniel is in a state of shock as he watches her every move. Daniel sits down at the couch with Nikki.

Nikki:

Please Daniel, Don't tell my parents about this. If you do then I will never forgive you and never speak to you again.

Daniel is unsure how to respond to that comment, takes a second to think and then replies

DANIEL:

Ok, I promise

DISSOLVE

INT. Jeanie's HOME (Sarah's ROOM)- EVENING - scene 2

The camera pans away from his face and focuses the shot on Sarah and Daniel in a medium shot.

DANIEL

I guess I needed to leave on a positive note so she wouldn't do anything stupid.

Sarah

Like What?

DANIEL

Nothing. It's not important. Well, I'll let you go to bed. Your probably tired from the trip. Night,Sarah.

Sarah

Night

Daniel leaves Sarah's room and shuts her door behind her and heads for his room, across from his sister's room.
 
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Your blocks of dialogue are to long. Break them up with action. If it's half like that, it'll be hell on the eyes to read for 120 pages, regardless of content.

A spec (or reader) script is a poem and must please my script weary eyes FIRST AND FOREMOST.

And I want a picture in my head, not a voice in my ear.

Don't put action in parenthesis unless the action is not indicated by either dialogue or context. It belongs as elemental Action.

I don't mean to be harsh, but if I'm not honest than it's not useful constructive criticism. And believe me, the reality of this business is a bitch that steals you Ipod when she leaves!

So make it look all pretty, and I'l take it out on a date.
 

Lisa Talley

New member
It's hard to say anything about the content of the actual story since I only got to read a couple of scenes, but it seems like it would play on screen fairly well. The only thing that felt a little wanting was the flashback to Nikki's reaction to Daniel's not wanting to get married... I was waiting to see how he worked in the whole "I'll come back in a year" promise to get her to calm down, but it didn't happen. However, I could just be missing something that you reveal later in the story.

On a technical side, the parenthetical action is something to stray away from. Usually, certain actions or inflections can be inferred from the set up of the scene so we don't have to add them in there. Also, directors like to make those kinds of calls as well when they bring the script to life, so it isn't always necessary for the writer to include them. Unless it's pertinent to the story and we can't infer it from the set up of the scene, don't worry about parenthetical action. As for your dialog, I didn't think it was too long... I think it flowed pretty naturally, actually.

Video production is such a difficult thing to write for, it takes so much practice AND critique to get down, but you're doing well so far. Are you writing this for competitions or are you going to make this yourself?
 
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