An excerpt from my script review for The Commuter which will be available 01/22/18:
3.) Quality of Characters
Holy commuters, Batman!
But given that this is an updated version of Orient Express, we need suspects to consider.
And that’s the main point of this section, if you’re writing a script with a “suspect” angle, especially in a contained setting, every character you mention we should be filing away in our heads.
Then as the main character crosses them off the list, so too can we.
Two points of caution…
A) Don’t get too “clever” with twists when eliminating suspects. We need clear cut rules for why someone ISN’T who we’re looking for. Bouncing back and forth with a “is she, isn’t he” scenario and you’ll annoy a reader.
B) Develop a balance when seeing these people and their routines. Give us too much, and we get bored. Give us too little, and we’re lost on who to follow.
Overall though, this script did a good job of establishing regular commuters familiar to Michael and new people who consistently (and sometimes literally) bumped into him creating suspicion in the backs of our minds.
A simple note.
The Voice told Michael to find the person on the train who seemed the most nervous. This didn’t really play out, since Mercedes was cool as a cucumber. In fact, aside from maybe two characters, none of them seemed nervous at all.
Would have been fun to get led down the wrong trail for just a bit, especially since it would create another obstacle for Michael to overcome since he would be wasting precious time.
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