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Short suspense/action segment from my script


#1

I’m currently (and have been for a while now) working on my first script, of any kind. I’m pretty secretive about my plot details, because I’m always paranoid that my story will get stolen. Stupid I know, but its just me.



Either way, I’ve finally mustered up the confidence to post a brief segment of my script. Basically all you need to know is that its 2 brothers going to do a hit. The older brother is veteran Thomas, the younger brother is James. It is James’ first time. I just wrote this segment late last night, and a bit today, so it definitly needs some touching up. Remember also that I have no experience, just a passion for movies.



-EXT. LARGE HOUSE –EVENING



A 1990’s Chevrolet Lumina pulls into a driveway of a LARGE Expensive looking home with two Mercedes parked in the driveway.



-INT. DODGE DART –EVENING



THOMAS and JAMES are sitting dressed in Black leather clothing, JAMES looks anxious and excited and THOMAS is calm.



THOMAS

This isn’t exactly the neighbourhood I was expecting.



He looks over at JAMES.



THOMAS

Wipe that fucking smile off your face. What the hell do you think this is?



JAMES

I’m excited.



THOMAS

How could you be excited?



JAMES

I don’t know, I’m sorry.



THOMAS

Maybe you aren’t ready.



JAMES

No! I mean no, please. I’m ready, I promise.



Thomas thinks about it for a minute.



THOMAS

Keep your eyes open, These guys have mean friends, just hope its not poker night.



JAMES

Yeah well, we’ll see.



JAMES exits the car.



THOMAS

I have a bad feeling about this.



-EXT. LARGE HOUSE -EVENING



THOMAS gets out of the car. Before they begin to walk they put on Black ski masks.



THOMAS

Remember James, you do what you’re paid to do, and nothing more.



JAMES nods. He reaches around his back and pulls out a pistol. THOMAS looks at the pistol and then back up at JAMES.



THOMAS

Come on.



THOMAS and JAMES head to the back of the house.



THOMAS and JAMES are now ducking down looking into a large back window.



Through the window we see a group of 6 husky looking men playing a game of poker. Some of the men have shotguns leaned up against their chairs, others are armed with pistols.



THOMAS

Fuck.



THOMAS turns back around and sits comfortably below the window, he begins checking his ammo, to make sure he has enough.



THOMAS

Well this is going to be harder then I thought, but if we do it quick enough we might be able to pick him off from here.



THOMAS finishes loading a fresh clip into his pistol.



THOMAS(CONT’D)

You’ll have to…



THOMAS looks up and sees that JAMES is gone.



THOMAS

James?



We see the back door is slightly opened.



THOMAS

Oh no.



THOMAS turns back and looks in the window, he sees that the MEN have suddenly directed their attention to the hallway as if they all heard a suspicious noise. Two of the men pick up their shotguns and slowly head towards the hall.



THOMAS

Oh god.



THOMAS is frozen and his eyes are wide, he seems to be unsure of what to do. He quickly looks around trying to figure out a plan. He looks back through the window.



We see that the three remaining men have continued their game of poker



THOMAS begins running to the front of the house.



continued…


#2

-INT. LARGE HOUSE –EVENING

One of the three men continuously looks down at his cards, and back up. He takes a deep breath, and throws down his cards.

The second man smiles and puts down his cards. It’s a 2 and a 3.



MAN #1 looks at the cards.



MAN #1

Fuck you!



He smashes his drink off the table.



MAN #1

Fuck!



The doorbell rings.



The second MAN still smiling about his win gets up and heads towards the front door.



He opens the front door and sees that nobody is there. He steps out into the front porch. In the blink of an eye, THOMAS suddenly pops out from the side and snaps the man’s neck. THOMAS lays the man down, takes his pistol and enters the house.



JAMES has his back to a wall and we see one of the two men with shotguns quickly approaching. JAMES gets ready and pops out, before he can get settled the MAN quickly aims his shotgun at JAMES.



JAMES

Whoa!



JAMES panics and quickly jumps into a doorway as the MAN fires his shotgun. He narrowly misses the fleeing JAMES.



THOMAS hears the shot and stops, he takes off his mask and we can see he’s sweating and his heart is pounding with fear over what he has just heard, he begins to move a little quicker, but he remains cautious with both guns ready to fire.



Two of the MEN are rushing down the hallway and quickly enter the basement. Just as they disappear, THOMAS rushes around the far corner and stops. He contemplates where to go next until it appears that he notices the bullet hole at the top of the basement stairs.



JAMES is hiding behind a pillar in the basement, which is nearly pitch black. We can only see his face and the pillar; the rest is too dark to make anything out. He is sweating and breathing heavily, but trying his best to keep as quiet as possible, He has a pistol in each hand as his arms lay steadily across his chest in the shape of an X.



One of the MEN is slowly walking around the basement, ready to fire. He hears a noise and directs his attention to the large pillar.



One of the other MAN looks over at the pillar as well.



The first MAN, gives signals him to head that way.



JAMES hears the footsteps getting closer, he closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath.



JAMES

Three….two…

The footsteps stop. There is a sudden moment of complete silence.



JAMES(CONT’D)

One.



In the blink of an eye JAMES quickly starts to jump up, but before he can do anything the room suddenly fills with flashes from gunfire. JAMES falls back down as if he’s been shot and just curls himself up for cover. As JAMES covers himself up the room continues to flash from gunfire as we hear some of the MEN yelling.



The gunfire stops. The screen is black.



After a few seconds, footsteps begin to very slowly move closer and closer. They stop.



JAMES face suddenly becomes visible as he peeks out from under his arm; he slowly turns to look upwards. As he finishes turning to look up, we see that there is a shiny pistol about an inch away from his head. The pistol cocks.



A shot is fired, and as the room lights up for the split second flash, we see the silhouette of a figure with his arm extended with a gun standing across from JAMES and his attacker.



The screen is black again, and we hear a Zippo lighter flip open. As it lights up we see that THOMAS is lighting his cigarette with it.



THOMAS

You better fuckin run.



The light switches on and we see a man standing at the top of the stairs wide eyed. His expression turns to anger and he pulls up a shotgun and aims. JAMES, who is still lying down, quickly reaches his arm around the pillar and shoots the man twice. He drops and rolls down the stairs.



JAMES quickly gets up and looks around the room, which is occupied with about 4 dead bodies.



JAMES, stunned, looks back at THOMAS.



JAMES

You did that?



THOMAS is continuing to angrily stare down JAMES while smoking his cigarette.



JAMES

Well…at least we don’t have to figure out which one he is now.



THOMAS throws down his butt, steps on it, and punches JAMES in the face.



THE END



Remember this is a quick, pretty rough segment which will probably be changed alot when re-writing, i’m even noticing flaws as I read it over now. But its pretty late, and I would really appreciate some constructive criticism mainly on my writing.



Thanks alot. :slight_smile:


#3

Despite its one of the many sagas of crime that seem to show up repeatedly and expectedly on this forum, the writing caught me by suprise, since I actually continued to read the rest of it! My only gripe involves the nondescript men, perhaps keep track of each of them and tag them with a number like so (MAN #1, MAN #2) so readers, and you even can track their movements throughout the action sequences. Good luck with your writing.


#4

It’s a good start. But I still get this image of all this leather squeaking durng the scene. It’s distracting.



It’s good stuff.


#5

[quote=“labonte18”]
I’m currently (and have been for a while now) working on my first script, of any kind. I’m pretty secretive about my plot details, because I’m always paranoid that my story will get stolen. Stupid I know, but its just me.



Either way, I’ve finally mustered up the confidence to post a brief segment of my script. Basically all you need to know is that its 2 brothers going to do a hit. The older brother is veteran Thomas, the younger brother is James. It is James’ first time. I just wrote this segment late last night, and a bit today, so it definitly needs some touching up. Remember also that I have no experience, just a passion for movies. [/quote]

Hey, we all have to start somewhere. And passion is usually a good bet, which is great to hear.



Anyway, I’ll give you some helpful pointers and critiques that I really think you can benefit from:

[quote=“labonte18”]
-EXT. LARGE HOUSE –EVENING



A 1990’s Chevrolet Lumina pulls into a driveway of a LARGE Expensive looking home with two Mercedes parked in the driveway.



-INT. DODGE DART –EVENING

[/quote]
This is a good place to start. Okay – forgive my ignorance of cars but: is a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina a Dodge Dart? I assume they are the same car, but that confused me for a second, because I have very little knowledge regarding automobiles.



And I’m sure I’m not alone here, but that’s why you don’t have to be that specific to name the exact car model and year if it doesn’t hold relevance to the plot (I don’t see any relevance in this script).



Oh, and you don’t need a dash before every Slug.

[quote=“labonte18”]

-INT. DODGE DART –EVENING



THOMAS and JAMES are sitting dressed in Black leather clothing, JAMES looks anxious and excited and THOMAS is calm.
[/quote]

Okay, stop telling us and start showing us. You’re using far too many adjectives, and not nearly enough verbs and adverbs. It’s bad writing – well, not really bad writing, but it isn’t ‘good’ writing. When you just write: Bob gets angry, or Billy looks sad, or Johnny is calm; it’s not visual (which is essential in a screenplay), personable nor creative for that matter. It’s easy to write like that. Anyone can, but you have to challenge yourself.



So more verbs and adverbs. SHOW us that James is anctious.



James twitches his leg as he quickly scopes out the house infront of him.



– Well that isn’t exactly the greatest either, but you can see the difference, and I’m sure you get the point.



Make it visual – Make it read like a screenplay.

[quote=“labonte18”]

THOMAS

This isn’t exactly the neighbourhood I was expecting.



He looks over at JAMES.



THOMAS

Wipe that fucking smile off your face. What the hell do you think this is?



JAMES

I’m excited.



THOMAS

How could you be excited?



JAMES

I don’t know, I’m sorry.



THOMAS

Maybe you aren’t ready.



JAMES

No! I mean no, please. I’m ready, I promise.



Thomas thinks about it for a minute.



THOMAS

Keep your eyes open, These guys have mean friends, just hope its not poker night.



JAMES

Yeah well, we’ll see.



JAMES exits the car.



THOMAS

I have a bad feeling about this.
[/quote]

Wait, I thought you said Thomas was calm? He doesn’t sound very calm to me – at least that’s the impression that I got. He sounded more paranoid and antsy than anything. First doubting the neighborhood, then snapping at James and then saying “I have a bad feeling about this.”

[quote=“labonte18”]


-EXT. LARGE HOUSE -EVENING



THOMAS gets out of the car. Before they begin to walk they put on Black ski masks.



THOMAS

Remember James, you do what you’re paid to do, and nothing more.



JAMES nods. He reaches around his back and pulls out a pistol. THOMAS looks at the pistol and then back up at JAMES.
[/quote]

Meh… it’s just not very screenplay like. And I don’t even know what the last line even means or refers to.

[quote=“labonte18”]
THOMAS

Come on.



THOMAS and JAMES head to the back of the house.



THOMAS and JAMES are now ducking down looking into a large back window.



Through the window we see a group of 6 husky looking men playing a game of poker. Some of the men have shotguns leaned up against their chairs, others are armed with pistols.
[/quote]

Again, the same problem over and over again. How easy is it to write “6 husky looking men playing a game of poker.” That’s such a cop-out, dude. SHOWWW US!!



INT. HOUSE LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS



Six large, husky men sit around a table, cards in one hand and their beer in the other. Poker chips, pistols and shotguns are scattered over and around the table.



MAN #1

I’ll raise ya’ $50.



EXT. BACK OF THE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS



THOMAS

Fuck.

[quote=“labonte18”]


THOMAS

Fuck.



THOMAS turns back around and sits comfortably below the window, he begins checking his ammo, to make sure he has enough. [/quote]

Again show us…


[quote=“labonte18”]


THOMAS

Well this is going to be harder then I thought, but if we do it quick enough we might be able to pick him off from here.



THOMAS finishes loading a fresh clip into his pistol.



THOMAS(CONT’D)

You’ll have to…



THOMAS looks up and sees that JAMES is gone.



THOMAS

James?



We see the back door is slightly opened.

[/quote]

Cut all the “we see” in the action. It’s not needed.


[quote=“labonte18”]


THOMAS

Oh no.



THOMAS turns back and looks in the window, he sees that the MEN have suddenly directed their attention to the hallway as if they all heard a suspicious noise. Two of the men pick up their shotguns and slowly head towards the hall.

[/quote]


Now it's your turn to guess what's wrong with the pervious action. SHOW US!! stop telling!



I hope this helps... and don't worry, those are mistakes we ALL made when starting.

#6

Thanks alot for all of the help ;D I really am greatful that you went through and told me everything that was wrong, I knew there would be quite a bit lol



The car thing was my fault. In most of the script the brothers drive a Dodge Dart, but since this was a flashback from quite a while ago, and they were doing a hit, i figured they would be using a different car. I forgot to change one of them lol.



That line you didn’t understand, is just a minor bit of foreshadowing :wink:



I will definitly keep in mind to start showing and stop telling, It really hadn’t occured to me til now.



Thanks again, I’ll do an updated version or post a new segment shortly :slight_smile:



EDIT: As i’m looking through my script now, I completely understand what you’re saying, my biggest struggle right now though is what to do in the case of facial expressions. What if I want to say, for example “The Preist looks confused as he notices the letter on the table”? Is that alright?



Thanks


#7

[quote=“labonte18”]
Thanks alot for all of the help ;D I really am greatful that you went through and told me everything that was wrong, I knew there would be quite a bit lol



The car thing was my fault. In most of the script the brothers drive a Dodge Dart, but since this was a flashback from quite a while ago, and they were doing a hit, i figured they would be using a different car. I forgot to change one of them lol.



That line you didn’t understand, is just a minor bit of foreshadowing :wink:



I will definitly keep in mind to start showing and stop telling, It really hadn’t occured to me til now.



Thanks again, I’ll do an updated version or post a new segment shortly :slight_smile:



EDIT: As i’m looking through my script now, I completely understand what you’re saying, my biggest struggle right now though is what to do in the case of facial expressions. What if I want to say, for example “The Preist looks confused as he notices the letter on the table”? Is that alright?



Thanks
[/quote]

It’s the fragment that’s all wrong.



"The Preist looks confused as he…"



A better way to write that would be:



Confused, the Preist notices a letter on the table.


#8

Based on the advice I got from everyone I’ve upgraded the scene quite a bit. I think its alot better but I don’t know, it may even be worse then the first. :-X



Either way, here it is.



-EXT. LARGE HOUSE –EVENING



A 1990’s Chevrolet Lumina pulls into a driveway of a LARGE Expensive looking home with two Mercedes parked in the driveway.



-INT. CHEVROLET LUMINA –EVENING



THOMAS and JAMES are sitting dressed in Black clothing, THOMAS is calm, like its just another day at the office, while JAMES seems anxious and excited as he continuously scopes the area looking like kid driving up to Disney Land for the first time.



JAMES

This it?



THOMAS

Yeah, not exactly the neighbourhood I was expecting.



He looks over and notices JAMES excitement.



THOMAS

Wipe that fucking smile off your face. What the hell do you think this is?



JAMES

I’m excited.



THOMAS

How could you be excited?



JAMES

I don’t know, I’m sorry.



THOMAS

Maybe you aren’t ready.



JAMES

No! I mean no, please. I’m ready, I promise.



Thomas thinks about it for a minute.



THOMAS

Keep your eyes open, These guys have mean friends, just hope its not poker night.



JAMES

Don’t worry so much, I’ll be fine.



JAMES exits the car.



THOMAS

I have a bad feeling about this.



-EXT. LARGE HOUSE -EVENING



THOMAS gets out of the car. He walks over to JAMES and hands him a black ski mask.



THOMAS

Put that on. Hurry up.



JAMES puts the ski mask on as THOMAS takes a quick glance around to make sure they aren’t being watched. THOMAS puts his ski mask on.



THOMAS

Remember James, you do what you’re paid to do, and nothing more.



JAMES nods. He reaches around his back and pulls out his pistols. THOMAS looks at the pistols and then back up at JAMES.



THOMAS

Come on, and be quiet.



THOMAS rushes off followed by JAMES.



THOMAS and JAMES are now ducking down looking into a large back window.



INT. HOUSE LIVING ROOM –CONTINUOUS



A group of 6 husky looking men sit around a large hexagon style table in a smoke filled living Room drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and holding cards while enjoying a game of poker. The table is covered with poker chips, ashtrays and empty beer bottles. A few of the men have pistols near by, while others have shotguns leaned up against their chairs.



MAN #1 lays down his cards smiling with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.



MAN #1

Full house, sons a’ bitches.



A couple other men sigh disappointedly and toss down their cards.



MAN #1 laughs as he pulls in a large amount of poker chips.



EXT. BACK OF THE HOUSE –CONTINUOUS



THOMAS is still peeking through the window.



THOMAS

Fuck.



THOMAS turns back around and sits comfortably below the window, he checks his ammo by quickly unloading and reloading a clip into the handle of the gun. He takes out a second pistol.



THOMAS

Well this is going to be harder then I thought, but if we do it quick enough we might be able to pick him off from here.



THOMAS finishes loading a fresh clip into his pistol.





THOMAS(CONT’D)

You’ll have to…



THOMAS looks over and notices that JAMES is gone.



THOMAS

James?



The back door is slightly opened.



THOMAS

Oh no.



THOMAS turns back and looks in the window.



THOMAS POV



The six men still enjoying their game of poker suddenly direct their attention to an open doorway in the living room as if they heard a suspicious noise. They Exchange glances as MAN #2 and MAN #3 get up. MAN #2 gets his pistol of the table and MAN #3 picks up a shotgun. They head towards the direction of the noise.



THOMAS

Oh god.



THOMAS is frozen and his eyes are wide, he seems to be unsure of what to do. He quickly looks around trying to figure out a plan. He

looks back through the window.



THOMAS POV



The three remaining men have continued their game of poker



THOMAS begins a mad dash to the front of the house.



continued…


#9

-INT. LARGE HOUSE –EVENING



One of the four remaining men, MAN #4, continuously looks down at his cards, and back up. He takes a deep breath, and throws down his cards.



MAN #4

Fold.



MAN #1 smiles and puts down his cards. It’s a 2 and a 3.



MAN #4 looks at the cards.



MAN #4

Fuck you!



He smashes his beer off the table.



MAN #1 smiling pulls in a large amount of chips once again. He clearly has a much larger amount then the other men.



MAN #4

Fuck!



The doorbell rings.



The MEN exchange glances.



MAN #1

I’ll get it.



Man #1 slides his chair back and gets up, he picks up his pistol from the table and puts in the back of his pants as he heads towards the door.



He opens the front door and sees that nobody is there. He appears confused, and steps out into the front porch. In the blink of an eye, THOMAS suddenly pops out from the side and snaps the MAN #1’s neck. THOMAS lays the man down and rushes into the house with both guns up and ready.



JAMES has his back to a wall with both of his guns in hand as we see MAN #2, and MAN #3 quickly approaching. JAMES spins around and begins to aim his guns at the men. Before JAMES even has a chance to see what he’s aiming for, MAN #3 raises his shotgun.



JAMES

Whoa!



JAMES panics and quickly jumps into the basement doorway as MAN #3 fires his shotgun. He narrowly misses the fleeing JAMES.



THOMAS hears the shot and stops, he takes off his mask, he’s sweating and his heart is pounding with fear, he looks like he just saw a ghost. He looks in the direction he heard the shot as his expression changes to anger. He runs off in that direction.



MAN #4 and MAN #5 are rushing with pistols down the hallway and they quickly enter the basement. Just as they disappear, THOMAS rushes around the far corner and stops. He contemplates where to go next until it appears that he notices the bullet hole at the top of the basement stairs. THOMAS suddenly looks back and quickly ducks as a charging fist along with MAN #6 swoops by from off screen.



INT. DARK BASEMENT - CONTINUOUS



JAMES is hiding behind a pillar in the basement, which is nearly pitch black. His mask is now off and we can only see his face and the pillar; the rest is too dark to make anything out. He is sweating and breathing heavily, but trying his best to keep as quiet as possible, He has a pistol in each hand as his arms lay steadily across his chest in the shape of an X.



MAN #2 is slowly creeping around the basement, ready to fire. He hears a noise and directs his attention to the large pillar.



MAN #3 looks over at the pillar as well.



MAN #2 signals him to head that way.



INT. UPSTAIRS -CONTINUOUS



THOMAS and MAN #6 are locked in a tight grapple as each man tries to outmuscle the other. Eventually they are thrown onto the floor in the living room near a freshly lit fireplace. THOMAS and MAN #6 unlock as they hit the ground and THOMAS’ guns go flying.

Each quickly gets up ready to attack again. MAN #6 suddenly displays a sick smile as he grabs a poker from the fire.



MAN #6

You shoulda known what you were gettin yourself into boy.



THOMAS slowly backs up towards the large back window he was spying through earlier as MAN #6 nears with the poker.



THOMAS Stops. He gives MAN #6 a cocky smile, and signals him to come on.



THOMAS

Lets see what you got, wimp.



MAN #6’s expressions turns to anger over the insult as he starts to run at him with the poker.



THOMAS doesn’t move.



Just as MAN #6 reaches THOMAS he sticks the poker into attack position. Quicker then a cat, THOMAS leans aside, grabs the Poker and with all of the strength in his body hurls the man windmill style right through the window. THOMAS covers his face with his arm as glass shatters everywhere.



INT. BASEMENT -CONTINUOUS



JAMES hasn’t moved as the footsteps continue to get closer and closer. He closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath.



JAMES

Three….two…



The footsteps stop. There is a sudden moment of complete silence.



JAMES(CONT’D)

One.



In the blink of an eye JAMES quickly starts to jump up, but before he can do anything the room suddenly fills with flashes from gunfire. JAMES falls back down as if he’s been shot and just curls himself up for cover. As JAMES covers himself up the room continues to flash from gunfire as we hear some of the MEN yelling.



The gunfire stops. The screen is black.



After a few seconds, footsteps begin to very slowly move closer and closer. They stop.



JAMES face suddenly becomes visible as he peeks out from under his arm; he slowly turns to look upwards. As he finishes turning to look up, we see that there is a shiny pistol about an inch away from his head. The pistol cocks.



A shot is fired, and as the room lights up for the split second flash, a silhouette of a figure with his arm extended with a gun standing across from JAMES and his attacker.



The screen is black again, as we hear a body drop.



A Zippo lighter flips open. As it lights up we see that THOMAS is lighting his cigarette with it. He closes the lighter and takes a drag off of his cigarette.



THOMAS

You better fuckin run.



The light switches on and we see a man who was not among the poker players standing at the top of the stairs wide eyed. His expression turns to anger and he pulls up a shotgun and aims. JAMES, who is still lying down, quickly reaches his arm around the pillar and shoots the man twice. He drops and rolls down the stairs.



JAMES quickly gets up and looks around the room, which is occupied with about 4 dead bodies.



Stunned, JAMES looks back at THOMAS.



JAMES

You did that?



THOMAS is continuing to angrily stare down JAMES while smoking his cigarette.



JAMES

Well…at least we don’t have to figure out who’s who now.



THOMAS throws down his butt, steps on it, and punches JAMES in the face.


#10

So is that any better?


#11

Instead of saying MAN #1 ect. name them and say they are playing poker. All those numbers seem to come out of nowhere and are very confusing.



One line, “He appears to be confused.” Well, what is it? Is he confused or not?



It’s still a good story. Still love Thomas. A little more flow. Your writing is getting close to the clairty it needs.



Relax and let the story flow.



Write as cool as Thoma’s persosnality.