An excerpt from my script review for Hail Caesar! which will be available 02/08/16:
You’re not Quentin Tarantino.
But neither are the Coen Brothers, either.
Not in terms of success, mind you, but that when Mr. Tarantino breaks “the rules”, he throws it in your face. The Coen Brothers? More like two kids who sneak a cookie when no one was looking.
Take their names off it, and a reader’s breaking out their red pen on this script’s ass!
For instance, actions in parentheses need to be on their own line when inserted into dialogue. That’s just a courtesy to your reader’s comprehension.
Things should be like this.
(Points to text.)
Scene headings? Absent from the script.
The last read to do this, that I can remember, was Nightcrawler, and although it felt odd at times, that script moved so quickly it didn’t truly matter.
Here, I’d argue the opposite, in that the “mini sluglines” used led to confusing transitions at times.
Lastly, not initially naming characters when they show up, led to jarring a reader out of the scene, trying to figure out who was speaking and if two characters were one in the same.
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