Our script Yellow made the Top 1000 Screenplays in the first round of Project Greenlight 3. I'm incredibly happy, and surprised as well, considering it went from a germ of an idea to a final draft in about two weeks.
Oh yeah, about those two weeks...unfortunately, it showed. Below are the reviews we got from our fellow competitors. I agree with some comments, I don't agree with others, some make me scratch my head. But without further commentary:
The most interesting idea in the script concerns the girl who can take photos of the future. All other aspects should be scrapped.
Dialogue (1-12): 2 Characters (1-12): 1 Story/Plot (1-12): 1 Overall (1-12): 2
Reviewer #2 (used in evaluation):
I can tell this is either your first or one of your first scripts. I can also tell that you're young, probably in college. These are not bad things. The road to screenwriting is a long one, and one without a destination for most. The key is, if this is really, TRULY what you want, to stick with it. Keep writing. Write new, don't rewrite old, etc, etc. The main problem you have here is structural. I didn't get a clear sense of the three-act structure. In your logline (the reason I chose your script), you pushed this idea of a photographer who takes pictures that tell the future. Okay, intriguing concept, I'll bite. And bite I did, only to have to wait until page SIXTY SEVEN for you to reveal this part of the story. The first 35 pages are a muddled mess of introductions. Cut all that stuff out. The best rule of any scene or act is to start late and leave early. Let us, your audience, fill in the blanks. I don't need to see 6 characters introduce themselves to everyone (and multiple times, at that). You have to pick up where your story gets interesting. And that's with the first mention of the secret society. You need a clear main character, a clear problem and a clear goal-slash-consequence (if the hero fails to solve the problem). If you choose to rewrite this script, sit down with these points in mind and beat it out in an outline before you dive back in. Everything needs to move quick, be concise and lead the reader (without being predictable) in the direction of the narrative. I hope this helps. Write more, write on. Good luck.
Dialogue: 4 Characters: 3 Story/Plot: 5 Overall: 4
Reviewer #3 (used in evaluation):
I love Dario Argento, so I was eager to read this screenplay. I'd love to see PG do a horror movie (especially if I win the directing contest). This script was pretty good, though I think more lies in it's potential than what's currently there. The structure seemed to be the weakest link. Some information seemed to be revealed too early perhaps (Fioina's abilities...which could also be more important to the film before the ending bit). Time spent with characters seems a bit off. Until David died, I wasn't sure who was the lead, him or Bernardo. ONe more negative: I was dissapointed in the death scenes. Nothing very Argento-ish. Especially the explosion...cut the explosion, or at least make the exploions send a jagged piece of metal into the kids eye or something. And more deaths! More deaths. But I did really like the story. I liked the characters and the dialog alot. With some polishing this could be really good.
Dialogue: 9 Characters: 9 Story/Plot: 7 Overall: 8
Standard summer cinema shenanigans. The characters are two-dimensional, differing only in their mode of dress and sex. Add in the cost of a soundtrack and recording studios and you should break even.
Dialogue: 6 Characters: 6 Story/Plot: 2 Overall: 5
Of the three screenplays I have read, this is the only one that 'played' in my head-I could really see the colours & hear the characters. I was won over in the beginning by the bit about the chairs littering the room & the students littering the chairs. I could imagine this story fleshed out as a novel or realised as a movie.
Dialogue: 10 Characters: 10 Story/Plot: 10 Overall: 10
Reviewer #6 (used in evaluation):
The story is nicely formulated. The script has strongly defined characters. Story flows well. The script has a few minor punctuation errors, misspellings and missplaced characters. One example, just for reference, is found on page 17. The Author has Valerie take a drink of water, even though the character was killed off in a earlier scene. There are a three things that a reader will expect from an Author, whether they are cognizant of it or not, (one) spelling, (two) punctuation and (three) knowing your own characters. It will kill the reading no matter how minor the errors. Such is the case here. Find a "Third" party to read your work. I mean some one who has no reason to soften the blows. I would look for someone who you like but has the tact of a brick. This reviewer found there to be too much use of the "Montage". In the writen form this creates a nice cadance but would visually clutter a film. There are better ways to TRANS. In the "montages" given form they do not move the story along. If they contained elements that were essential to the plot ( ie. seeing a character involved in an act that would later effect the given character or plot direction)then they might work in a smaller number. As it stands now, the use of the "montages" could only appeal to a Warhol private collector. Every scene should move the plot forward. For an example, the Author may wish to readdress the scene with David and Coyles' father on the road. I feel this scene is not really necessary, though it is referenced later in the story by Heller. I feel the scene as a whole slows down the pace. And at the very least the Author should readdress the dialog. Playing the "race card" gives more weight to the scene than it should recieve. Use of that type of dialog may not be out of place for the character but is fairly out of place within the context of the entire story.
Dialogue: 10 Characters: 10 Story/Plot: 10 Overall: 10
The dialog was OK. The idea was great, even if it is similar to a Twilight Zone story, but that was fine. The problem is that the story made no sense. The camera was not used, except as a prop. The "LOOSE & R37734" weren't true, and didn't work. The story was hard to follow and drug on. From: Explosion--CU-David's eyes, through Heller conversation was confusing. The camera angle was the most interesting, but was NEVER developed. The style, flow and dialog were good.
Dialogue: 6 Characters: 5 Story/Plot: 2 Overall: 4
No comments provided
Dialogue: 4 Characters: 4 Story/Plot: 3 Overall: 4
A big, grateful "thank you" to all eight reviewers, who took the time to read our Hail Mary script. We really believe in this script, and though its continued success in the Project Greenlight contest is doubtful (I think), I'm committed to making this movie in any way possible. Your comments and criticisms are greatly appreciated and will definitely be taken into consideration for the next draft.
If any of my other readers would like to take a gander at our script, shoot me an email and I'll send you a .pdf. If you do read it, I encourage you to post comments to this space.
Finally, congratulations also to the writers of Grim, The Dream Weaver, and Sohorrity, wherever you are. We read your scripts and you deserve to be in the Top 1000. I even think Martin and I learned a trick or two from your writing. Excellent job, people.Where we saw it: project greenlight | We deign to rate it: outta 100