An excerpt from my script review for Marlowe (2022) which will be available 02/27/23:
2.) Plot Stability
The importance to starting STRONG!
Now, we’re not ol’ Billy Monahan with the success of writing The Departed under our belts.
We need to get right into it with our writing.
Think of it, for the newer generation who stumbled upon this site, as a YouTube or TikTok video if you will.
Do you sit around waiting for the video’s creator to explain a bunch of bullshit to you before showing you what the title promised?
User data suggests a strong “NO” there.
Same goes for your spec script.
We don’t need a bunch of artsy, self-absorbed bullshit in the first two pages of your script.
We’ll cover more of this in a later section, but for now, get it, and get to it!
The problem for this script, in relation to an undiscovered writer, is that we’re well into page 4 before the writer stops jerking his brain off and gets to the story.
(“Stroking his ego” was too kind a phrase for what this reader had to suffer through.)
And the story is actually pretty good, but part of that has to do with the source material, I’m sure.
Phillip Marlowe is a principled private detective who’s tasked with finding a missing person.
As he goes about his business he discovers the man is dead…but has been seen alive?…
The “death” was a cover-up involving one of the most prestigious social clubs in LA…
His client isn’t being completely honest with him, and because he’s attracted to her, there’s a moral conundrum there…
Similar to The Big Sleep, the further Marlowe goes, the more trouble he gets himself into.
And by the end, everything wraps up nicely, with the “good guy” actually being a standup good guy.
The story was interesting, moved relatively quick, and made for an enjoyable read.
What didn’t? The first few pages, and if you’re not an established writer, your reader might not give you long to prove yourself.
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