The Imaginator
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Rating: 3.7/5 (2 votes cast)

The Imaginator

Imagine a toy that lets you dare to dream.  It exists in “The Imaginator,” a new holiday family classic that interweaves the loves and losses of a toymaker and an orphan with the high concept, special effects of a magical toy.

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  1. Profile photo of craighorst
    craighorst says
    February 12, 2014, 9:29 pm
    Overall
    Concept
    Story Structure
    Character
    Dialogue
    Grammar
    Budget (1-Low / 5-High)

    Proper screenwriting format followed well. Easy to read.

    “Holographic images of New York in Winter of 1973” needs to be introduced with a card on the screen, otherwise how would we know the year?

    On page 6 a montage is mentioned that we never really see. Not enough time is allowed for a montage either.

    “Their mission: to place kids before Christmas.” This is something which must be shown in images or explained in dialog. The audience is not going to read the script.

    On page 7 there is not sufficient visual evidence to support the slug line, “INT. CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES.” Also you need to find a way to “show” that it’s Chrismas eve.

    Also you cannot say that Madeline is opinionated. You must demonstrate it.

    Neither can you say that Barbara is “a quietly beautiful and happy soul with a fiercely energetic mission to save children’s lives.” You must demonstrate these characteristics through action.

    Barbara grabs her purse and shoots out the door without any apparent reason. They spent VERY little time discussing children…certainly not enough for us to appreciate their mission.

    On page 11 it seems that the party has just begun when the band leader announces the last song of the evening.

    Nick’s position as CEO is mentioned rather late in the film.

    After the party, they begin speaking to Jack as if they had just spent the evening together, when actually he was observing quietly from the corner “as if he were a stranger.”

    Why does Barbara have Holly’s case file in her apartment? And why did she not find Ian when she came home after she saw Dawn die in the taxi accident? (actually I do not recall who was Ian.)

    The introduction of humor in the courtroom scenes seems sudden and out of place.

    There are Jack’s Interactive Alice and Allen Dolls, but why is only Alice active?

    Page 68, comments such as “He recognizes Charlie from days gone by” or “Holly can’t quite contain herself – but she doesn’t know why,” are out of place. Such things must be revealed in the scene, not merely in the script.

    Lacks a truly inciting incident?

    Pages 73-74 Holly’s “soliloquy” about the Jacobson family seems long and uncalled for.

    Page 96 Barbara does not recall having seen Holly operate the imaginator at the toy fair.

    I believe one needs to find more opportunities to express that the entire movie is a magical flash back made possible by the imaginator. Otherwise the ending is a little unexpected as we forget where we began. Needs to be shortenned a little. Overall a great children’s fantasy with lots of potential. Good luck, writers.

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  2. Profile photo of craighorst
    craighorst says
    February 12, 2014, 9:23 pm

    Proper screenwriting format followed well. Easy to read.

    “Holographic images of New York in Winter of 1973” needs to be introduced with a card on the screen, otherwise how would we know the year?

    On page 6 a montage is mentioned that we never really see. Not enough time is allowed for a montage either.

    “Their mission: to place kids before Christmas.” This is something which must be shown in images or explained in dialog. The audience is not going to read the script.

    On page 7 there is not sufficient visual evidence to support the slug line, “INT. CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES.” Also you need to find a way to “show” that it’s Chrismas eve.

    You cannot say that Madeline is opinionated. You must demonstrate it.
    Neither can you say that Barbara is “a quietly beautiful and happy soul with a fiercely energetic mission to save children’s lives.” You must demonstrate these characteristics through action.

    Barbara grabs her purse and shoots out the door without any apparent reason. They spent VERY little time discussing children…certainly not enough for us to appreciate their mission.

    On page 11 it seems that the party has just begun when the band leader announces the last song of the evening.

    Nick’s position as being CEO is not made clear until well into the film.

    On page 12 they suddenly begin speaking to Jack as if they had just spent the evening together, when actually he was observing quietly from the corner “as if he were a stranger.”

    Why does Barbara have Holly’s case file in her apartment? And why did she not find Ian when she came home after she saw Dawn die in the taxi accident? (I am not sure who Ian was?)

    The introduction of humor in the courtroom scenes seems sudden and out of place.

    There are Jack’s Interactive Alice and Allen Dolls, but why is only Alice active?

    Page 68, comments such as “He recognizes Charlie from days gone by” or “Holly can’t quite contain herself – but she doesn’t know why,” are out of place. Such things must be revealed in the scene, not merely in the script.

    Pages 73-74 Holly’s “soliloquy” about the Jacobson family seems long and uncalled for.

    Page 96 Barbara does not recall having seen Holly operate the imaginator at the toy fair.

    I believe one needs to find more opportunities to express that the entire movie is a magical flash back made possible by the imaginator. Otherwise the ending is a little unexpected as we forget where we began.

    Overall a fine children’s fantasy. Lacks somewhat in momentum and the spots noted above need attention. Needs to be tightenned up a bit. Get it under 120 pages. Good luck, writers.

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  3. aweiss says
    December 25, 2013, 2:08 am
    Overall
    Concept
    Story Structure
    Character
    Dialogue
    Grammar
    Budget (1-Low / 5-High)

    The characters need to be fleshed out more, the dialog could be less “on the nose,” that is don’t say exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling. Use “subtext,” where a sentence can mean many different things. You’ve dug into your characters, dig more. They have flows, which is good, but smoothing them out a bit more would do a lot here. I like your characters, they seem real, make them more real.

    This screenplay, while way too long, and is crying out for some structure and better formatting, has so much potential. That’s why the concept is five stars. I’m also sorry no one has reviewed this except me, they’re missing out on the fun. And for all the problems, this is really fun to read. Truly magical.

    Plot wise though, this is a mess. Which also goes for structure, and both can be solved at pretty much the same time. I recommend “Save The Cat” as it has many good things to say about plot, and will give you an idea of what is meant by structure with their “Beat Sheet.” As for formatting, I use The Screenwriters Manual” but there are other good books on the market too. Coverage Ink’s Style Guide is also very good, and cheap, as it’s a PDF.

    The plot needs to be laid out in a liner fashion and integrate the characters better into the plot. You have semblance of one, but it needs to be plotted out a lot more, and the “Beat Sheet” will help a lot with that. Right now it’s so jumbled that I couldn’t make a lot of sense of it, which is why I’m giving it only two stars.

    With formatting, somethings that stood out “Continuous” means “no time at all has passed.” What you need to do is first put what time of day it is, and mostly just Day or Night will do, as all that does is tell what kind of lighting will be used. Other times of day like Afternoon can be used, but sparingly, ditto for “continuous.” Don’t say “we see” a big no-no. Use synonyms for that word, watch, view, gaze, take in and so on. And when you lay the plot out linearly you’ll get rid of flashbacks for the most part, which also should be used sparingly. You’ll find more things to correct after pursuing a style guide.

    With the log line, take out words like “holiday family classic,” “special effects,” and “high concept.” The first part is great, and the rest is nicely done.

    I hope my comments help, and much luck and success to you. You have something good here, and with a few more drafts, something great.

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