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The Runner

After losing everything during the recession, an American moves down to Tijuana, Mexico, where he starts a new life as a drug runner. However, when a transaction goes bad, the man finds himself running for his life. With no memory of what happened, the runner’s only chance is to try to piece together what went wrong.

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  1. Profile photo of peterbrooke
    August 29, 2012, 7:24 pm
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    Commercial. Sellable. You’ll get interest here. Need to punch the characters a little better to add layers to this. Scenes running long. Trim them. Get it out there.

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  2. August 15, 2012, 10:58 am

    The logline is great! Gives me all the general info needed to be interested. Nice work friend. :-)

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  3. Profile photo of sethm
    sethm says
    August 11, 2012, 3:25 pm
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    There is a great deal of interesting elements in your story.  I can see this as a film. You have a strong creative voice and visIon. Generally, your narrative is clear, but could use some work on the execution.
    The opening is a great set-up. Could make it even more crazy for Ryan. Immediately setting the rising stakes. We’ve seen characters wake up In strange places and try to piece it together. Make this totally original and want us to like Ryan and be intrigued by him even more.

     You might want to review technical language formats for sounds and break up some of your long paragraphs for the reader. Quicker down the page is alway better. This was the first noticeable element, and it felt as if I was reading a novel, with excessive descriptions that could be trimmed. If it’s action, try to keep it under three lines if possible.

    Definitely proofread your dialogue. The first phone call threw me out because of missing words. Every word spoken is important and needs to move the story or inform the characters. The subtext is nice in opening dialogue, but slightly repetitive and you van get to the point faster while accelerating our interest in what Ryan did.

    LAST TUESDAY doesn’t inform the viewer. It is a FLASHBACK. Maybe with a SUPER: LAST TUESDAY. You need to be utterly clear from a visual standpoint.

    Ryan seems repetitive in his explanations. Keep it simple, tight, and move on to whatever information we need to know. We also need to SEE more of his direct action that results in his ultimate circumstances. We hear the story from hi. And see some great scenes, but he doesn’t seem to be driving the action in a meaningful way. This could be easily fixed and would add so much to what you currently have. 

    Ryan’s intro to Leader is vaguely familiar (BLOW, TRAFFIC). When you intro James, there could be a little more as to his features and mindset. You spend so much time describing scenes and action that doesn’t actually push the story, but when it comes to characters, you are a little thin. Bolster them up when introducing them so we get a really clear sense right away.

    The subtext in the dialogue is also a little thick. Better to show more and tell less. There is so much interesting action that could be exploited instead of discussed conversation. This is a movie, remember that everything that can be visual, probably should be. Good start!

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  4. says
    July 28, 2012, 8:37 pm
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    Hey Bud, thanks for the opportunity to read you stuff.

    What I really enjoyed was that this gritty drug drama could be done on a shoe-string budget. There was a lot of tension and a lot of good dialogue. Your anti-hero was someone I easily cheered for and James was a good twist.

    I jotted down a slew of mechanics notes but I didn’t mark everything down. You’ll really need to read each line word by word. There are tons of issue with double words, missing apostrophes, missing words, etc.

    Although I have no issue with the flashback used as a major tool in your story, I fear that they start being used excessively without cause. There are even flashbacks within flashbacks.
    As an example of one that could be eliminated, Ryan can follow the girl into the private room, get her info, then go with the guard.

    The conversation with the agent near the end is a lengthy expositional talking-head scene that need to be reworked.

    Something I felt was a missed opportunity was Ryan confronting James with the knife. You build up the tension at a major plot point where emotions are piqued by betrayal, then you left me hanging. Sure, my imagination filled in the blanks, but this is the stuff we go through the story to see.

    I think this screenplay has tons of potential, but will benefit from some more peer review. I’d like to add more, but if you could drop me a line at mailhot_p@yahoo.ca I’ll further comment.

    Below are some running notes.
    Best of luck.

    Paul

    You open by decribing what he feels.
    If you want to indicate time, you’ll have to use SUPERS.
    Do not put a location in the slugline, then repeat the location in the text that follows.
    Rather than INT. UPPER LEVEL OF BAR use INT. BAR – UPPER LEVEL
    The first page is very heavy and dark with text. Concentrate on being less novelistic in your prose. Create white space which allows the reader the sense that they are reading easily and quickly. Four lines of text maximum before a line break.

    Page2
    The janitor doesn’t even need to speak, just gesture.
    INT. BAR – RESTROOM

    Page 3.
    Maybe Ryan kmows she will shield him from cover, but the audience cannot know his intentions, thoughts, memories, etc.

    Page 5
    Again, if you want the audience to know things you have to show them. Show them Baja Highway, show them south bound, show them saturday morning. Don’t tell the reader, show the audience.
    There’s no other way around it.
    when it rings again
    For phone conversations write.
    James (O.S.)
    (phone, filtered)
    Ryan, where the Hell are you?

    Page 6
    I don’t (owe) anyone anything.

    Page 7
    but how does the audience know that ryan knows he has time to kill, how does the audience know he’s a few minutes away?
    large abandoned home situated on…
    Ryan thinks about how his life ended up like this. (delete this line) and change the CUT TO to DISSOLVE TO
    Again you repeat info from the slug line in the text that follows it.
    The interrogator hands Ryan a file, even though he’s tied?
    Interrogator is not V.O.
    There’s not much

    Pge 13
    work my way up

    Page 16
    from kneeling causes falls him (??)

    Page 17
    hard to find

    page 18
    how do we know he’s heading to Potpola?

    page 19
    how do we know his degree of remaining hangover?
    turn around

    page 20
    Do they are care what happened?
    They want to
    know they can still trust you.

    page 21
    against the collar

    page 31
    why is Ryan VO, but the interrogator is OC?

    page 35
    if you fade out you have to fade in again

    page 39
    down with down with

    page 41
    Ruan’s dialogue at the bottom of the page are not questions so delete the question marks.

    page 44
    or it can be you.

    page 48
    I don’t see a reason to put the private room scene in a flashback. Why not just have Ryan bring her to the room and get the info right away before the bodyguard fetches him. There are already many many flashbacks. No need for needless ones.

    page 52
    nauseated

    page 57
    start talking

    page 62
    text message

    page 64
    CLOSE ON: THE KNIFE SLOWLY BEING PUSHED UP HIS SLEEVE. (delete)

    page 71
    is behind him

    page 74
    there’ll be two.

    page 76
    see why you’re

    page 84
    I think that’s what I like about it
    most–Mexico isn’t perfect, but
    (MORE)RYAN (V.O.) (CONT’D)

    84.
    it’s growing. It’s not like in the
    U.S. Over there, all the rules are
    set; lines are drawn. Mexico’s
    still figuring it out. In the
    meantime, maybe a regular guy could
    have a chance. (I really like this passage)

    page 89
    elusive (??)
    —–Honestly, the Ryan – Gutierrez conversation is waaaayyyyy too expositional. It’s a looong talking heads scene that is explain explain repeat explain repeat. Not what you want. You’ll have to slice it in half or rework it somehow.

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  5. Profile photo of gerryohalloran
    July 24, 2012, 1:55 pm
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    I enjoyed reading the story and I agree it could easily be a popular film. The interrogation scene on page 15-19 was especially riveting and I can easily imagine the action scene on pages 82-83 in a blockbuster Hollywood film. The dialog is authentic and the main character is someone you can relate to . Good job.

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  6. cyndith says
    July 22, 2012, 4:59 pm
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    I can easily see this as a movie. The dialogue is strong. The action is good. I think you did a great job in weaving the flashbacks in with the story. It is a good, tight story with a main character I can sympathize for. Good job!

    I also think this would be a budget friendly project that many producers would find appealing.

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