Genesis
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Rating: 4.4/5 (13 votes cast)

Genesis

An apocalyptic virus manifests itself in all of the world’s water supply. Rainstorms which once brought life to the planet, now only take it. Purified water is the world’s only salvation, but a power hungry business tycoon named Seth Spader controls all of it. With the world’s leaders in the palm of his hand, Seth crowns himself supreme ruler of the world and presents an ultimatum that declares if any faction resists or attempts to overthrow him, he will be forced to destroy the world’s water reserves. It is up to a small band of scientists led by a virologist named Filipp Lassman to find a cure to this virus and put an end to Seth’s tyranny.

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  1. roknsrf says
    February 20, 2015, 3:14 pm
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    What can I say about this script other than it was a top-notch thrill ride. The concept was excellent!!! Invoking physical, psychological, and most importantly philosophical elements that took me on a journey I thoroughly enjoyed. Not to mention that I never knew what was coming and continued to be blown away from beginning to end. I felt the story structure was perfect and I didn’t feel annoyed once by the montages or flashbacks, each one keeping the story and plot moving at its break neck pace. That said, I agree with many of the reviewers and the writer’s own replies when it comes to the Stephen’s character needing more build up to his actions. This will allow the audience a more significant understanding of his motivation and a depth to his role as the antagonist.so they can buy into his decision making process. I think the biggest question for me is, how does the writer want this script to be perceived? On the one hand it has the feel of Starship Troopers when it comes to the more graphic scenes, but on the other hand, it has an almost Avatar like quality to it when it comes to the philosophical storyline. I’m wondering if it is better to have both these qualities or should Joseph-Day take the script all the way to one side or the other, if you get my meaning. It’s a matter of sending it in the comicbook/superhero direction or the, let’s say…Planet of the Apes(original version) direction. You know, “You maniacs! You blew it up! Ahhh, damn you! God damn you all to hell!” Either way, I can’t wait to see this one in the theater.

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    • Joseph-Day says
      March 5, 2015, 10:48 am

      Thanks for the review. I’ve reworked the script since I submitted this and have built up Seth’s character a lot more throughout the story. I wish the judges shared your and many other reviewers’ sentiments for this story because I didn’t even place in the contest. I suspect that it may be due to the finale with the giant serpent at the end. I can see where a lot of people would think that that comes out of left field considering the more realistic elements throughout the rest of the story. Any thoughts on that? I’ve have considered rewriting the ending and having a band of neanderthals attack them instead, which would also require me to alter the birthing scene at the end. At any rate, I do need to include some sort of serpent theme at the end (for obvious reasons if you read the story) but have been hung up on that for months.

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    GBland77 says
    September 8, 2014, 10:17 pm
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    This script has real potential and is a good, strong read. I am wondering if there is a way this can be adapted to a series.

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  3. tfarnath says
    February 16, 2014, 1:31 am
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    Wow. What an adventure that was. Really creative and pressing boundaries.

    If you want Seth to be that evil of a person then I think you should show something in him early on. You have some pages to spare length wise. Maybe devote a couple to how he could become this type of person. Maybe he was scorned by the president (before he was president). Who knows, you could go so many ways.

    I’m used to reading comedies so this was different for me, but highly entertaining. I did not see that ending coming at all. You’ve obviously put a lot of work into this. Great job.

    fyi…misspellings on pages 3, 45, 64 and 68.

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    • Joseph-Day says
      February 16, 2014, 8:57 am

      Thanks for the review! I think I will take your advice on building up Seth’s character in the early pages of the script. I may just have him yelling at someone on the phone when everyone is at Robert’s house in the beginning. Thanks for pointing out the misspellings, as well.

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    Lisa-C says
    February 15, 2014, 11:07 pm
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    I enjoyed the concept and story overall and it definitely held my interest. I was eager to realize the conclusion. However, I felt this screenplay blended three genres: comic book, sci-fi, and horror, and as a result fell short of each. The comic element (even the villain “Seth Spader”) lacked a clear hero. The horror and gore element was solicitous. And the sci-fi explanations were often unbelievable. Perhaps, more of a focus on one of these elements would better support what is a very good underlying story.

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    • Joseph-Day says
      February 15, 2014, 11:34 pm

      I can see now that these last two reviews were created just to vote up “Three Days at the Gate” which is from the author that rated my script before so excuse me if I receive these reviews with a grain of salt. I know that it is allowed in the rules, but boy do I think it’s cheap. I’d be surprised if you actually read it at all. Good luck to “Three Days at the Gate.” Hope it pays off.
      P.S
      Do your research on the science. It may just surprise you.

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    Jennifer says
    February 14, 2014, 3:19 pm
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    Good script but it has tempo issues. It feels a bit like the author realized that the screenplay needed to be wrapped up. I certainly understand increasing the tension but it felt rushed. Unique concept. Adam and Eve reliving and reliving creation is great. I like the final scene where it shows subtle differences between each revisited life (perhaps displaying Free Will vs. Destiny). The need for Spader to be so overwhelmingly evil may be a little too overdone. You sort of feel like “I get it, he’s willing to put the world at jeopardy and kill people for his vision, but why does he need to fly to the arctic as well?”
    Lastly, and I may be dead wrong, but it seemed hard to believe that you could pull a viable fruit and blood sample from a cadaver that was 25K years old. If you have researched this point please disregard this note. It seemed hard to believe but that is not to say it isn’t possible.
    All in all I liked it. You seem to be getting positive reviews and they are warranted. Keep working on it, it’s a very worthwhile idea. Hopefully you take any criticism I’ve given as constructive, as I believe you are more in the fine tuning stages than the rebuilding ones. ‘

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    • Joseph-Day says
      February 14, 2014, 4:22 pm

      Thanks for the review. The subtle differences in each past life are actually two alternate timelines that have been melded together. The symbol for infinity is a sideways 8. If you trace the timeline of the script, you’ll notice that the events follow a figure eight. Humanity gets wiped out by a virus. Robert goes back in time, altering the future. Humanity discovers the cure. Humanity goes back in time for the cure and causes the virus. Humanity gets wiped out by the virus, and so on and so on.

      I definitely will rework Seth going to the Arctic. He still will most likely go to the Arctic, but I will need to find a way to justify him making the trip. I guess when I wrote it, I took a page out of Star Wars: A New Hope. If you think about it, Darth Vader has no excuse to be in a TIE fighter chasing after Luke in the trenches of the Death Star sense he has an entire Empirial fleet at his disposal, but he does anyway. It may not make much sense, but it is more satisfying for an audience to have the antagonist and protagonist meet head on in the finale.

      As for the blood and fruit sample, scientists have stated than DNA can last up to half a million years frozen in the Arctic.

      Thanks again for the review!

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  6. February 12, 2014, 2:13 am
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    Great story. Amazing concept. I loved the way the title references the first book of the bible and draws a connection between the time machine and the ironic birth of modern man via the mutated offspring of Adam and Eve form the future. The villain (Seth) has potential to be iconic, but I have to agree with Chrisliam. It seems a bit too easy for him to just become SO over the top evil, and consumed with money and power. Personally I think the character would be better served if he were a bit more reserved and no so much of – for lack of a better word – a douche bag. His scheme to hold the world at ransom makes him evil. The character and the story would be better served by maybe dialing him back a bit. He can be a snake without being an ass-hole. That being said, his dialogue in the office when he acquired the launch codes, was one of my favorite conversations next to the one between the two scientists discussing the cure, and their personal lives.

    But as a whole, I think the characters in general leave much to be desired. They are all more like Chess pieces. Each one being strategically placed to move the story along at what eventually becomes break-neck speed (I can almost see the last 20 pages or so being shot like comic book frames, much in the style of “CRANK 1 & 2”, but this is ten times the story, so it should be slowed down). The problem is, we don’t get enough, learn enough, or know enough about any of them past their connection to the plot advancement to really care what happens to them. The irony and reveals are woven together in an awesome way. They would have THAT much more impact on the audience if we cared more about the people all of this was happening to.

    I understand that the action adventure sci-fi genre doesn’t lend it’s self to character development much as a whole, but the most successful single stories and franchises give us memorable characters we can all relate to, and upon who’s decisions/actions/circumstances the story twists and turns around. The MATRIX was a sci-fi action juggernaut, but in the end there is no cult following or 2 sequels if we don’t know who NEO, TRINITY, and eventually MORPHEUS are, where they come from, and why they are doing what they are doing. The same with INCEPTION. A tremendously complex movie full of sci-fi theory and lore. But in the end what keeps us watching through dream after dream is COBB (DiCaprio). His internal struggle that lead to some flawed actions/decisions on his part, are what the whole thing hinges on. If we don’t care about him or Robert Fischer’s ordeal and inner struggles with his fathers legacy, the whole dream within a dream heist story becomes an over worked concept that struggles for almost 3 hours NOT to be repetitive. Whether people thought these films were good or not, the point is they worked. And they worked because you walk away remembering those names on top of the great story they lived through. but the names weren’t superseded by the story. Right now the only name I can recall from GENESIS aside from Adam and Eve (for obvious reasons), is Seth.

    The idea of the world’s entire water supply being contaminated by viral infestation is really cool. I noticed some people had issue with the exploding bodies thing. From a shock value stand point, if one reaction was so accelerated give a special circumstance that the victim exploded, I think that would be great. My main gripes are that, it gets repetitive, and man…those sci-fi/comic geeks and nerds are gonna pick you apart. I can’t claim to be a biology expert, but it just seems a bit convenient and perhaps a little lazy for contact to cause instantaneous explosions. I don’t think it’s too gruesome, but it seems a bit unrealistic from a timing standpoint. I even think it wouldn’t hurt to be a bit more gruesome. I said it earlier. Slow it down. Rather than exploding instantly, why not have the infection spread rapidly form the point of contact? Still causing death within a matter of minutes or even seconds but slow enough to see the flesh eaten away into rotten mush till it falls to the ground. Maybe first contact is on someone’s hand or arm and in the horror of watching the rapid decay creep up their appendage, the victim struggles to cut off their arm before the virus reaches their main organs? Kind of like speeding up the flesh eating infection of a Brown Recluse bite wound (If you haven’t seen or heard of this, google it…shits real nasty). That is just a suggestion but the point is, I don’t know how realistic instantaneous explosions of bodies are due to viral infection at a cellular level. There’s the point of entry. The time it takes to infect the surrounding tissue, and eventually corrupt the blood stream, etc, etc. I’m no expert but the kind of people who would clamor to see this, will be and that will be in question. Not sure if it would derail attraction or not but rapid decay just seems more realistic than explosions, and a little grosser (and any reaction you can pull form an audience is a good thing).

    Last thing that just seemed like a stretch to keep the story moving in the desired direction, was Seth hopping into a helicopter to chase down the guys flying back to lab with the fresh water. Seth is the commander and chief now. He has nukes, radar, and the entire American military at his disposal…no to mention he seems to be a pretty smart guy. Why would he take a helicopter? And why would he go himself? I can see if he wasn’t a smart man, or he was built up as a character who’s angst and madness drove him to want to do the job himself, and made him hop in a helicopter to chase these guys down and shoot up the lab. But as it is written, this part of the story seems a bit too convenient from a writing stand point, and out of character from the actions that seem to be part of Seth’s M.O.

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    • Joseph-Day says
      February 12, 2014, 8:36 am

      Thanks a lot for the review. I’m glad that you see the overall potential that this story has. I’ll definitely have to reassess Seth’s character. Like I said before, I was going for the greedy corporate approach. I put the political cartoon in the script to sort of hint at how exaggerated and over the top the character would be. He’s an impersonation if you will, to the type of people that exist today. Just look at the corporate heads in the medical industry.

      As for the water/blood virus (I should really come up with a better name), the heart can pump six quarts of blood throughout your entire body three times per minute. That means it would only take 20 seconds for the virus to be completely spread through your veins. What makes this virus pack a punch is that it alternates in it’s polarity, meaning that electrons will bounce back and forth between the virus and blood cells, creating energy. It’s like in Chemistry class when you mix two liquids in a beaker and they react causing the beaker to bubble and overflow. I always thought that it would be interesting if there was a chemical that could literally make your blood boil.

      As far as the sci-fi and comic fans picking me apart, I hope they do because that means people will be talking and arguing over it. It would be amazing to see everything in my script debunked by Myth Busters or made fun of on the “Everything Wrong with…” YouTube series because that means that I would have made some sort of impact. I couldn’t think of a better complement.

      I do feel the same that Seth hopping in a helicopter towards the end was a bit of a leap in logic, but I needed him to die in the end so that humanity could be trapped in an endless loop in time. I was hoping that his arrogance and sense of invincibility would sort of smooth over his decision for the audience.

      Thanks again for your feedback!

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      • February 12, 2014, 10:46 am

        Have you considered turning this into a two party story, or maybe even a trilogy? Bragging it up that way would allow you to explore your characters individual growth, without slowing down the pace of the action and plot advancement. Especially altering you more room page wise to delve into Seth turn into power hungry insanity (I get the logic behind attaching the launch trigger to his vitals but we are simply given a motive abruptly and never shown how he goes from the Seth we meet in the past to the gun and armor class dude running through the snow with a nuke detonator surgically attached to him).

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        • February 12, 2014, 10:47 am

          Breaking it up that way…*
          Sorry. Trying to type on my phone.

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          • Joseph-Day says
            February 12, 2014, 12:12 pm

            I have considered breaking apart the script. Someone even recommended I turn it into a mini-series. The original draft that I had was roughly 145 pages, but I realized that I was not Christopher Nolan and it would be practically impossible for me to sell the script as long as it was. The four year jump after the presidential election is where I did most of my cutting. In that draft, I told what happened during those four years during President Miller and Seth’s first term and about Filipp and Dr. Laws’s search for a cure. I inevitably cut it because while it did make for better character development, it didn’t do much as far as plot. Maybe if I sell the script, the director will want me to add those scenes back in, but at the moment I’m just trying to get it sold.

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          • February 13, 2014, 1:37 pm

            Might be worth it to try to sell as is, but start work on that mini series, or trilogy. One good screenplay is a tough sell. But a catalog of good work, especially one that ties into the same story…there’s no doubt people will be interested in the story, but if you show them you already have two or three more where the first one came from? EVERYONE loves a bargain, and exclusivity, especially producers. I am stalled on SUNFLOWER now with a two different producers (mainly because I want to star in the feature and I’m a no-name actor), and the first thing they both told me when I said I had another script I’m polishing right now is shoot the rough draft to them first to take a look. If it appeals from a bankability stand point as much as the first one then it may be easier to package a sale with me as the lead in at least one. Rumor has it same thing happened to Quentin Tarantino with Reservoir Dogs and True Romance (I think), where he wanted to direct so with two scripts to push (and an initial fail with the predecessor to True Romance) he chose to option the later to be able to be the director for the first. ANYWAY, best of luck with whatever you choose to do brother.

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    chrisliam says
    February 10, 2014, 12:46 am
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    I liked this screenplay a lot. There were some “heavy-handed” moments as it relates to the Genisis chapter of the bible and conceptually there were a few things that I didn’t care for (the “genisis device’s movements and the speed in which Eve and Filipp were willing to test the fruits results without documentation or advising other scientists of their success before testing results) but those few things put aside I truly enjoyed this script. There is a lot of time shifts which can be difficult to follow or off putting but they seem relatively seamless.

    I think the Seth character seems impossibly evil (and perhaps unnecessarily so). As I was reading the script I thought A) why would he be so elated to be vice president? If it was such an honor and something his popularity afforded why not just BE PRESIDENT? B) Why does he need the nuclear deterrent? The threat he poses to the worlds water supply seems a far greater threat than anything a missile could provide. Personally, he would have read far more devious if his character weren’t so transparently corrupt and evil. A self richous character convinced of his purpose would have been much scarier.

    That all being said, and hopefully you take all of that as constructive, I enjoyed this very much. Good luck with your piece.

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    • Joseph-Day says
      February 10, 2014, 11:49 am

      Thank you for the review! You raise a lot of valid points. I actually cut a scene that had Filipp and Dr. Laws dragging their feet on human testing, but no matter how I presented it, it seemed to slow down the momentum of the story.

      With Seth’s character, I went for the corporate greed approach because I felt that it sort of mirrored some serious issues that exist in the world today. He secures the nuclear launch codes because he fears that some emerging corporation could catch up to his technology and steal his business. If the people had another place to get purified water from, then he wouldn’t have a foot to stand on. The nuclear codes are his Plan B. Plus, without that development in the script, the entire idea of humanity being trapped in a state of eternal recurrence could never happen.

      Again, thanks for the review, and good luck in the contest!

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    Anastasia says
    February 5, 2014, 6:15 am
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    Great modern and very actual nowadays story. Just reminded a bit an old movie “Total Recall”.

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    • Joseph-Day says
      February 5, 2014, 12:36 pm

      Thanks for the review! Just curious, what about it reminds you of Total Recall?

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  9. mikeyz says
    January 10, 2014, 4:15 pm

    My pleasure Joseph. Again, just nit-picking a bit but what a solid body of work overall!

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  10. Joseph-Day says
    January 10, 2014, 4:01 pm

    I’m really glad you enjoyed the script, Mike. I will definitely try to tone down the violence in the script as many have suggested. Thanks for the review!

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  11. mikeyz says
    January 10, 2014, 2:37 pm
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    Incredible script Joseph — well-written; great premise; great characters and smart, often witty dialogue! Grammar is near-perfect too.
    What a concept? Water – pure and simple: The life-blood of every living organism ultimately destined to destroy us all! Throw in corporate greed into the mix and a man who controls the only known safe supply of it … and ultimately uses that to his advantage to control the world! Simple yet brilliant. And where does this all lead us to in the end? Where else, the very beginnings of time, of course! Never saw that coming but wow was it ever done effectively!
    I really and truly believe that a script like this can be picked up by a major studio and made into a film! It is that good in my opinion.
    Only tiny concern though (and I believe it has been addressed by others): the script is laced with graphic imagery of bodies being torn apart and exploding. I understand that this is part and parcel of this virus and is central to the story. The scene with Russell and the sabertooths near the end as well — terrifying stuff but the challenge for me, as I see it, is how this would translate on screen? Can it be done stylishly without jarring the audience in negative ways? Probably. Would it be a challenge to pull off for a director shooting these scenes? I might think so. Or should it be toned down somewhat as has been suggested by other readers? Just something to consider but certainly nothing for you to lose any sleep over or to take away fom the integrity of this great script!
    Last point of nit-pick (and I do apologize!) — the title. When I first saw this I instantly thought: here we go again … it’s the end of the world. How many times has this title surfaced in this genre? I know it is the name of the time machine here and the biblical reference suffices but can we perhaps find something a tad punchier to really intice the reader / viewer? Again, just playing devil’s advocate here to an otherwise flawless screenplay!
    Good luck to you Joseph. This was marvellous!

    Best,

    Mike.

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  12. Joseph-Day says
    December 20, 2013, 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the review, Mark. I see where you’re coming from on the scene with the bodies exploding. I feel like if this film were ever put into production, the director would probably approach the scene just as you have suggested.
    I originally did have a more subtle ending, but then I had the idea to tie the first scene of the film into the last scene of the film and things kind of took off from there.
    Your remarks concerning the relationship between Seth and the President are interesting. I’ll look through the script and see if what you’ve suggested works.
    Thanks again.

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  13. December 18, 2013, 3:51 am
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    First off Joseph thanks so much for giving me some useful feedback and suggestions on my Sci-fi Nimrod. I’ll try to give you the best feedback I can on yours and maybe some of it may be useful.
    The concept is pretty interesting. A comment I would make relates to the vivid images of animals, whales and people exploding with more body parts flying about than the start of, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ which may limit your audience. A suggestion; maybe it could be done so the exploding bodies could be hinted at and vision of it limited. Maybe showing an up close of someone in a room infected and trembling then cutting to outside a door with a window then ‘boof’ blood etc sprays the window and a severed hand bounces off it.
    The structure, things hot up nicely towards the end esp. A comment on the ending. I love the twist you put in, even with all the hints, names etc I didn’t see it coming, (I usually do)
    A suggestion about the ending; Why not try a version trimming the ending so we only see enough to ‘get it’ and no more. Examples of this working well are Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘To catch a Thief’ and ‘North by North West’. Yours is different but a bit repetitive when we have already ‘got it’.
    Characters: Your characters are good, Seth is the main character, I like how his desire for wealth and power mirrors much of what is wrong with the world today. There was an aspect of his character and behavior I had an idea on related to some main characters he offs and is brazen about it, announcing it to the world.
    My thoughts; the President is his friend, he has already successfully wrested power from him and is in control and maybe the murder would be better not Seth’s plan but a consequence. Plus even the worst of dictators usually put blame for murders they commit, (esp heads of state), onto other parties. In this case Seth could be conflicted about the killing, troubled, and blame it on his friend, ‘why did he insist on opposing me? It didn’t have to be like this’ sort of thing. Same with another murder, ‘why didn’t he confide in me? He’s betrayed me, he knew my people would have to use measures to get the information, is it my fault he had a weak heart as well as a weak mind?’ or something. Seth and the President could conflict over finding a cure, (which might be hazardous), or relying on the proven bio hazard gear and Seth’s water, so Seth can think of himself as a hero and justify to himself all he’s done. Even justify his greed, after all he’s deserving of his wealth, he’s the savior of mankind.
    Overall, I enjoyed the twist and time travel use, it’s complex but well done and easy to follow.

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  14. Joseph-Day says
    December 5, 2013, 11:12 am
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    I spent four years writing this screenplay and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Dave Trottier, writer of The Screenwriter’s Bible, has evaluated my screenplay and wrote that the story was “original and clever” and praised the dialogue as “natural and conversational, with many clever and original lines.”
    I write this not to gloat, but to entice more people to read my script. I would love to read as many opinions on my script as possible and see if there is something with it that I have overlooked.

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  15. Joseph-Day says
    November 22, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Wow, thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I’d been wondering about the hyphens. It was something that my software did automatically and I didn’t know how to turn them off, but I’ll definitely try to figure it out. Thanks again!

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  16. November 22, 2013, 8:21 am
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    I LOVED this! It was an AMAZING read. Your Brother was right about the rating, in my opinion. The Character development was excellent. Adam and Russell would have to be my favorite characters in the whole script. I really like what you did with them.

    Some small formatting errors to fix would be: To write (MORE) when the page breaks and the Character isn’t finished talking, and then to write the CHARACTER’S NAME (CONT’D) on the next page. (I think i only saw this twice or so)

    Also the hyphens, I never read a “Professional” script that had them. If i were you I’d take them out, especially in the characters dialogue.

    Anyway, Thanks for an AWESOME read.

    :3

    SplitLocked

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  17. Joseph-Day says
    October 30, 2013, 7:42 pm

    Thanks for the rating bro. I’m glad you liked it.

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  18. Brad_Day says
    October 30, 2013, 6:19 pm
    Overall
    Concept
    Story Structure
    Character
    Dialogue
    Grammar
    Budget (1-Low / 5-High)

    interesting and original concept. i loved it. the villain is written right and time travel sequences dont get mixed up. he knows what he is talking about. overall amazing!!

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