Comments Made During the Contest
Ammar Salmi (Level 5)
I liked the idea. It kept me interested the whole time. The ending disappointed me a little bit. I believe that this script has great potentials. If you just stretch it a bit and give it a more explaining ending.
Andrew Allen (Level 3)
This was one a surprise. Initially, I found myself a little disinterested as the first page was washing over me, however, the build-up of Danilo's brief was really enjoyable. The shifts of location within the script were handled excellently, and I found myself caring for the afflicted. This is a testament to your writing, which was very good.There was a lot going on, and the possibilities are rolling around in my head now. The tears of the 'Reporter' also suggests she had a personal stake in this, and it's inconclusive, so that intrigues me.The premise was perfectly fitted to the contest, and this worked really well.All in all, a good job.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
There were large chunks of dialogue and description that should be broken up or trimmed a bit. The concept here was very interesting, but I have a feeling that all the scientific talk will turn a few readers off. Personally, it didn't bother me. The story, while interesting, was a bit dull. We're basically watching one guy talking to five other people for five minutes about something interesting. I would have prefered to see this script take place inside the facility where all the action is happening as opposed to in a conference room hearing a guy talk about all the action that took place. Overall, I think you're on to a great concept, but you need to work on making the script more interesting and less science filled. Nice job with what you got though. I'd like to see a rewrite of this since I think it has a lot of potential.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
I think this is very VERY well-written, very clever. It really built up. At first, I found Gregory's speech very dry, expositional, and I was worried I'd have to wade through a dull scientific treatise which gave your character no personality. However, the background action was well done, to break up the monologue, and the tension became almost palpable with the use of TV Footage and reports read out and so on.Perhaps I'd still like to have seen more personality from Gregory? His pacing was almost the same throughout, quite flat really, although I KNOW he was submitting a formal report, and the action should lift that. And the 'holy, holy' bit really did stand out as a result of that subtlety, so I just contradicted myself!The last line and cut to black - inspirational.I think this is one of those screenplays that will be sensational on screen - better than on the page, if you see what I mean, because it IS hard on the brain to read great chunks of speech - I know I fear that for my submission. However, this is the first monologue I've read and I have a feeling that many of them will have this trait.You've set the bar high!
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
I liked this. I liked the premise. But it isn't visual enough. Just one dude talking and occasionally showing us stuff. I think is a problem several of these monologues.Notes:- Single dash in scene heading.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
Great story.I wish more writers would embrace a high-concept idea and run with it. This is great sci-fi. Very compelling. It felt like the kind of story Michael Crichton would write.One small suggestion, I wouldn't show the senators. Just show Danilo giving his report to a nameless and faceless group.This was a real page turner. Very well done.
Christopher Castle (Level 4)
Good title. Opening paragraph is confused and needs more precise clarity.A government official reports on a scientific experiment that went wrong and forced them to destroy survivors. It was a little hard to follow and had to read the piece twice to get the full gist. Dialogue was strong and very effective. Opening paragraph action is confused and needs more precise clarity to get the story going. Plot felt a pretty predictable and no real twists or turns. I felt the camera actions distracted from the flow of the story. You built the tension well but it failed to deliver for the main protagonist but you have a talent with this type of script and could do well with the right story.
David Birch (Level 5)
as well as this was written (and it was written at a very high level)...it was just a bit "static" as far as the way i visualized it...a guy talking into a microphone to people shuffling papers just didn't move my needle...showing footage doesn't achieve the same visceral reaction than having it done in "the first person"...anyway, a good read...one of the best so far...
Dom Kullander (Level 3)
I was gripped from start to finish, which shows that the narrative was both well paced and contained a terrific subject matter. Loved the splicing of Closed Circuit footage with the pre-written report. The tension in the conference room is a strong theme in the script and a feeling that a viewer would certainly adopt themselves. Difficult here to pick at things I didn't like as they were few and far between. Great job!
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
Interesting story. And well told.I noticed, after reading the first three paragraphs, that the writer uses words that end in ING quite a bit. I would suggest trying to rewrite these, which in turn will make the writing more active. Example: "Sitting at one of the tables, facing the middle of the room, five SENATORS look over papers and binders in silence." Consider instead: "Five SENATORS face the middle of the room, as they sit at a table and look over papers and binders in silence."Page 2: "The steady ambient click of the stenotype returns" The period is missing at the end of the sentence.Page 2: I really like the following bit of dialogue: "If they saw it, we saw it. If they said it, we heard it. If they tried to hide anything, it wouldn't matter." Very succinct.
Felice Bassuk (Level 4)
Nice effort on this. I thought you conveyed the story well through dialogue and footage, and I liked how you portrayed the emotions of the CIA agent. I would have liked to have seen more of the Senators' reactions. They seemed both nervous and supercilious at first, then become more involved ("riveted"), but by the end it seemed like you were more focused on the reporter's reactions, which I found a bit melodramatic, than on the Senators.Well-written, though I would omit "initial" in the phrase "initial creation." Seems redundant.
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)
It is certainly an interesting idea but I don't know that it continues to be engaging throughout. The thought of old senators bores me. Then my interest is peaked as Danilo arrives. He seems to have a lot to say. Maybe you can condense his dialogue a bit more.
Jeff Ferry (Level 4)
Rivetting... I could see the old sweaty face of every senator listening to this report. It starts off at a jog and speeds up from there. The ending is perfect with just "Questions." You can hear a slam cut ending right there. I also like thats it never really delved into super detail what happened before and after the nuclear detonation. I didn't see any real flaws.
Joel Davis (Level 5)
This was an intriguing tale. Unfortunately, I think the monologue format works against you, it would be more interesting to watch the events unfold as a participant, and especially, be part of the critical decision.The line about the angels was fantastic. That was my favorite part of the whole story.
John Brooke (Level 5)
Very creative and unusual story concept. I hung on every word of the telling. I am currently wrestling with myself whether you truly showed us very much.Your title is appropriate and spot on for this tale. The monologue report of the situation was powerful but there was very little action. The angel angle was I great twist.I was disappointed that you did not show me more of their levitation and other staggering show stopping abilities. That they made no attempt to contact the outside real world I found troubling. These angelic survivors seem totally self contained. I did not get any tangible reason as to why these ‘angels’ are murdered by a nuclear event triggered by an outside agency. You certainly opened my eyes to the fact that American interests can infiltrate and interfere with the workings of sovereign nations scientific explorations. This in the final analysis of what I actually got from your storytelling. I appreciated that you showed the audience the shame of those participating in the ignorant murder of a higher evolved species of human kind. Where was the Omnipotent One in all this anyway?
Jon Hill (Level 4)
I really enjoyed your story, it was fresh and original with some nice lines of dialogue.I do have a few criticisms though:Explicitly state that the Report is a female reporter, at first I wondered why a male reporter would have his hair in a bun! Give a quick description and age.“Daniel Gregory” is a bit too long. I would refer to him by his surname only when he speaks. My main criticism? There’s a bit in your screenplay where it’s revealed that all the Scientists are knocked out, but then ten months later, “we began to see movement”. This part of your story is quite a critical part, it’s the bit where things turn even more supernatural. The problem is the way it’s written at the moment it seems slightly flat. I just think with slight tweaking you could really hammer the point home. Something like: GREGORYThe inside temperature measured 140 degrees. Nothing could of survived that, nothing. (beat)Or so we thought.INT. COLLIDER CORE SURVEILLANCE – FOOTAGEThe bodies of Scientists are still slumped on the floor. GREGORY (V.O.)Ten months later things started to happen.One of the Scientist’s bodies twitches.Etc, etc. Just a little thing like that goes a long way. Other than these criticisms, great story, really liked it.
Jose Batista (Level 5)
Very Good Work! This script is very well monologued. Danilo's voice was clear in my head throughout the whole reading. The use of voice over was great and lent weight to his testimony. I like the entire concept of the story, but I feel that the whole God thing just blew it out of the box. Regardless, the script is flawless in execution and, although it does not jump out of the page, it does entertain and questions the topic of interest. You are a great writer and you've done a great job here. Cheers!!!
Kevin Carty (Level 4)
Well I can't in all honesty say that this was entertaining. Your formatting was fine but the story just wasn't all that interesting when you start a story start with a bang. End with something shocking. I want to say that there is some subtext in this one but if it is its pretty dry. For me the title doesn't fit but its your story sooo... I was expecting an alien lifeform like in Contact. This this is just a lil too bland.
Kirk White (Level 5)
This doesn't work as written. it's very prosey and the speech is so long and wordy and filled with such jargon it takes me out of the story a bit. ONce you get to the footage and the actual "event" it get's more interesting...my suggestion would be to trim as much as you can from the speech and just expand on the good stuff. Now that the contest is over, you can let go of the monologue aspect and maybe feature some stuff with the scientists as well? I think there is a kernal of a creepy interesting story here but as written it's honestly a little boring.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
Really well-written. Riveting descriptions. Dialogue interesting. Adherence to prompt, and no feeling that other characters are quieted because of the assignment.Technical aspect is tricky; small concern about content early on. Required some Google and Wikipedia research to comprehend.LEP not familiar, nor that CERN is European Organization for Nuclear Research. The unfamiliar language stymies the flow of a read, and may confuse an audience. Perhaps an addition can be made to define the LEP when it is first introduced; there's a mouthful of jargon in Gregory's words at the top of page two.Also, Gregory's line about "angels" on page five is so good that it should stand alone. It's somewhat lost at the end of the lengthy dialogue.Reading was a real pleasure. Good job!
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)
It's like an exciting version of C-Span.The premise behind your script, as far as I know, is remarkably original. I have so little to say about the story that I guess it must be an Excellent. I was as riveted by the story as the Senators who portray the audience's reactions. The ending is suitably ambiguous, and I think this would make a wonderfully interesting film. Great job.
Laureen Muller (Level 4)
I like the creative concept of the story, it was easy to visualize and feel the emotion of the main character and some of the supporting characters. The dialogue, at times, seemed lost or out of context from the story line (i.e. leaving them there for 10 months?), why not destroy the place? If they were alive, scientist would want to examine, observe and experiment on them. Also, at some point you would expect one of the senators to interrupt and question things even before being asked “Any Questions?” You need to find a way to start the presentation with "I will take no questions or interruptions until the conclusion of the presentation so please reframe from any talking." This would give us justification for their self control, after all they are senators and their lives are based on talking. Not sure who or what was suppose to being saying this "Asset Four: Something wrong. Unknown particles passing through containment walls. Panic. End transmission." It sounds like dialogue mixed with direction; it broke the flow of the script. Was he repeating a tape, or was this his thoughts when watching the monitors. Clarity on this would help in keeping the flow of the storyline. Good format, good idea, just needs a little fine tuning.
Lewayne White (Level 4)
Interesting use of the monologue. The science is dodgy, and honestly, I find the CERN/LHC/end of the world thing a little irritating. But, I also recognize this as one of the more original pieces I've read so far.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
I like how the story was narrated effectively without loss of suspense or interest. That was very interesting. I wondered what point you were trying to make with the angels, that is, if you were trying to make a point with it at all. I actually liked how lightly it was treated - it could have just as easily been zombies in there, as far as the setup - and it made the decision to nuke it more important. I don't know if it's the best idea to use a location that exists in real life, but otherwise it was good.
Melissa Goetz (Level 2)
I like the story a lot. Very interesting, especially the second half. Formatting and grammar needs some work.Remember to include the age of your characters. Once you define the Senators as a group, you should capitalize them when you refer to them. When Danilo speaks you only need to put his first name. You should refer to him by his first name, too. Try not to use "ing". Bottom of page 1 -- who continues? Doing what? Be specific. Page 2 - stay away from fancy words. I don't know what acerbic means.
Micah Ricke (Level 4)
I liked the premise. I didn't really notice any formatting or writing errors, though the initial description is a little tough to get through. There's a tad too much detail. For example, describing the room as having hardwood floors is pointless; windowless, yes, that's important, but not the flooring.What transpired in your story is truly monumental, but I don't know if you chose the proper setting for telling it. I'm looking for a more compelling vehicle rather than a congressional debriefing. We're getting the information third-hand, so naturally it will be deluted and lose some of its emotional punch. I think this story would be quite powerful if told from the perspective of those who experience it.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5)
That was quite good. It was a bit talky but I guess that's the nature of the exercise. At one point I thought you were going for a zombie sort of thing and I was happy you didn't. Well done. My first excellent of the bunch.
Michael Hoffman (Level 4)
I was on the fence with this script. The idea was good and the religious overtones with the idea of angels was a very original twist. Much better than turning the scientists into superhuman beasts or zombies. I also liked that there was no preachiness about the subject or the decision but more just an unbiased recount of the disaster.The formatting, dialogue and narrative were also delivered well. No major missteps.However, something about the way this story was executed just didn't move me. I liked the initial build-up. You created a certain tension with the room and the arrival of Gregory. I think when he began to speak, things slowed down way too much. His dialogue was a little too technical and, although it did sound official, it didn't make for much of an engaging read. Things picked up again towards the end but the script still felt too bogged down by most of the dialogue.There were places where the dialogue was very good. Things like: "If they saw it, we saw it. If they said it, we heard it..." and "If they are angels they cannot die, if they aren't angels then they must die." I would have enjoyed more clever lines like this and less recital of dates and official correspondence.I think this could be pulled off visually with the eerie footage of the lab mixed with a variety of different camera angles on Gregory. However, as it's written, it was tough for me to get a great mental picture of the events.I found a lot of interesting things in here but it just needed a little bit of reshaping with the dialogue and a bigger boost of action and movement to make it even more powerful.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
A wonderful idea wrapped up in an awful lot of heavy and dull jargon.The last half page is wonderful and everything that went before is superflous becaue the line 'If they are angels, then they cannot die. If they are not angels, then they must die." sums it all up beautifully and is what caught my attention which was wandering away.The story is great but you take far too long to get there in a very slow and uniteresting fashion.Characters are dull, monotone, no sense of person or traits. Dialogue the same.Fantastic title and I will reiterate a marvelous and origianl concept but poorly executed.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
My biggest issue so far this month has been the setting of our protagonist in one location, then he or she literally gives a monologue. The subject matter can be very interesting, as is the case here, but it's not very visually stimulating for a movie.I've read this twice, it is a lot of scientific information to ingest. Is this similar to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"?I feel this story could have been served better outside the monologue theme. Perhaps rewrite it, adding in other scenes and characters. Again, it is a very interesting subject to write about, so keep at it.Your screenwriting is good, a few descriptions can be curtailed a bit, no it's no big deal. Format appears in order overall. Didn't detect any typos.
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
This is a very strong set up for a monologue. The tension is great and the story goes to an unexpected place. It is very thought provoking. It plays with expectations cleverly and has an original feel about it. I wonder if having the nuclear device detonated at the end might have a slightly contrived feel, because I guess it does not seem like a logical run of events for me. It also has the problem that we the audience know that that has not happened in real life and otherwise the events described could be true, for all we know, and that would add to a possible chill effect at the end. "Holy holy holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." - Even though I got the idea that this was referring to God I was not entirely sure that this was not a name for someone else. It might be better if it is uncertain but I get the impression that at this point you wanted us to be clear who this is, so I wonder if some extra confirming cue would help.
Rob McCarthy (Level 2)
This was quite gripping, if a little damaged by being based on the premise of someone walking into a senate hearing and moving straight into a long monologue without being officially introduced or questioned.I thought it was particularly well-paced, and I can imagine the inclusion of the surveillance footage giving this a pretty eerie feel. I'd be very interested to see it play out on screen.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
I thought this was very well written, but I wasn't drawn in to the story. It seemed like a someone reading a file, what happened, the facts etc, but there was not much heart to the script. I didn't really connect with it. Like I said, it was very well written and flawless attention to formatting. I just felt like it needed some heart and soul and I didn't sense that at all.
Comments Made After the Contest
Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 5/1/2009 3:54 AM
Hey Eric,Well done. The only one I gave an excellent to this month.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/1/2009 4:52 AM
One of only two Excellents I gave - and neither of them placed! (I'll remember not to think your work is excellent in the future and then you'll stand a better chance)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 5/1/2009 10:09 AM
I love the way you write and I truly look forward to your stories every month. Very well done.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2009 11:39 AM
Thanks all. This was a fascinating contest, just to see how people would react to artistic choices surrounding ONE PERSON TALKING. (I know that may come across as an absurdly simple statement but...I don't know...picture Orson Wells saying it or something. It's really deep. Really.)
John Ward (Level 3) ~ 5/1/2009 12:14 PM
I really liked this. Sorry I didn't get chance to review it during the contest. I used to work at CERN and was slumped over tables in the restaurant on many an occasion :) Great stuff
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 5/1/2009 12:36 PM
One of my 8 Excellents. Still an elite club. :)
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2009 2:02 PM
There's something evil in this script.It gets my vote of excellent.And who told you the truth about CERN?You don't really need a honorable mention, do you? Give me this miniscule advantage over you Iguanaman.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2009 2:20 PM
CERN melted down a month ago and they're hiding it.Swine Flu is an engineered virus released to speed global economic meltdown as a step toward one-world government.Mothman is an evolved Bigfoot, both of which are interdimensional nomadics.Lindsay Lohan isn't really a lesbian.What else do you want to know? I'm a wealth of conspiratorial knowledge.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2009 2:31 PM
I'm not really evil, am I?And Rustom spelled backwards isn't really Motsur which again, isn't French.Conspiratorial knowledge. Does that require lax questions to eke out?
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2009 2:40 PM
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.Not that I have a problem with killing you, but I HATE talking to you.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2009 2:42 PM
Go celebrate with inebriation you freak of writing you.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2009 2:47 PM
Sounds like fun.Which means it must be a trap. Nice try.
Michael Hoffman (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2009 5:13 PM
Congrats on the 'Honorable Mention'.Honestly, I had it scored as 'good' but there were a lot of things I liked in here. I can see why it did well with others. I loved the Angel angle. Very original.Keep up the good work.
Nicky Muddle (Level 3) ~ 5/3/2009 10:51 AM
I didn't review this during the contest but would have rated it excellent (and possibly bumped you into a well deserved place). I loved every detail. Anyone rushing through this risks missing so much. More material about the "Angels" would be fascinating but could upset your balance between the long, slow, finely crafted build up and the emotional ending. Once again, you took a challenge that had most struggling to appear natural and made it your own.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 8/17/2009 9:32 PM
Holy smokes... I, too, wish I'd gotten to this one in the contest. I'd have rated it as Excellent. The concept, the descriptions, the setup, the dialogue, the ending... soup to nuts, this is just awesome.Well done, sir.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 8/18/2009 11:43 AM
Thanks for the kind words Tim.I love soup and nuts.