Today’s script is the Jingoist, submitted for free script feedback by J. Russell
Read the pages here
“Jingoist” is a sci-fi concept that suffers from a lack of clarity and tends to raise a lot of questions. Because of the opening voice-over, which sometimes doesn’t match what is being shown, the audience is likely to get lost rather than hooked.
It is unclear what the difference is between puppets, mannequins and humanoids. Rather, while it is clear that there is a difference in appearance, it is unclear how they came to be to live beside one another. Their relations are never addressed. For example, if Renaldi is a humanoid, we don’t learn why his daughter, Coleste, is a puppet.
Some of the voice-over lines are confusing, such as this one on p.1: “Both worlds live in a universal reality made up of Earth’s myths and stories of make believe.” It is unclear what is meant by this.
The Gorgonians slay the Alterians when they learn the Alterians are headed for collision with them. However, this is confusing because killing the Alterians won’t stop the collision, which is beyond anybody’s control.
When the Supreme Being is introduced via voice-over, we are introduced to two hooded beings onscreen. The connection between them and the Supreme Being giving the Alterians special abilities needs to be clarified.
On p.2 the voice-over tells us that “The Alterians grant the Gorgonians a full pardon and a truce until … The tiny asteroid must follow a parallax of zero point zero astronomical units. They are on course to impact.” However, this line seems to be missing something.
The script also informs that the higher divine awaits Renaldi, but the audience is not informed why. The same can be said for Coleste being endowed with something, the identity of which is not revealed.
It is unclear why the Gorgon armada decides to strike against Alteria a thousand years after their initial battle and what the relations between these two species were for those thousand years.
Finally, the lieutenant’s line on p.10, “Commander Zerlock, revitalization is not predicated on whose humanoid, puppet or mannequin,” is very confusing.
Above all, the script could benefit from more clarity, and action over dialogue.
1 thought on “Free Script Feedback: Voiceover should be congruent with what we see”
Thanks, I benefitted in two ways from this review. One, I wasn’t sure rather to go with a VO or a SUPER for the backstory. I don’t want anybody getting lost so I’ll try the latter. And two, highlighting that killing the Alterians won’t stop the collision is a good point. I’ll have to create a reason for them to die.
All of the questions have answers. I’m sure as a script reader/writer you know that are “not clear” or the audience is “not informed why” because they are to set up for “Ahh Ha” moments. Beyond the ten it all ties together.
Thanks again for the eye opener.