The script obviously is partly an homage to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” But it’s much more. My goal is to have it made into a movie that becomes this generation’s “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” but sans an animated character. https://i.etsystatic.com/27427857/r/il/a88a81/3427923145/il_794xN.3427923145_s2h9.jpg Everyone in the movie is a live-action character.
Logline: High-profile, outspoken, techy businessman is jailed for the murder of an ex-coworker at Amazon. An ex-con-turned-PI, just out of prison for serving 10-year sentence for DWI while on duty as a homicide detective, tries to find out Who Framed Bobby Babbitt?
Roger Wentworth, about halfway through his 10-year prison sentence, has a revelation: He’s already free, free from the prison in his mind about being separate from the rest of the universe. But even enlightened folks have to live in a largely unenlightened world. As a nearby prison employee quips after hearing Roger exclaim, “I’m free”, he says, “I’ll be sure to let the warden know.”
Roger serves the rest of his sentence and immediately after being released, goes on a three-day drinking binge. As he explains to his best friend Stephen Gates, “In order to get the urge to drink out of my system, I have to put a bunch of booze into my system.”
After a binge at the iconic dive bar, Liquor Lyle’s (south Minneapolis), Roger opens up his own PI agency called P.I.S.S. — Private Investigations & Security Services. He finds his first client from online headlines, Bobby Babbitt. He’s accused of murdering ex-colleague/Amazon co-worker, Tommy Dell. Roger discovers that besides himself, Babbitt has hired two other P.I.’s to investigate the case. The first one to solve the mystery and get the rich businessman out of jail will receive $1M plus Babbitt’s top crypto investments.
I have written other scripts, most notably “Stone’s Throw From Hell”, a sci-fi thriller that http://www.screenplaycoverage.com gave extremely high scores to, including a perfect 10 in dialogue. The script was featured on the radio show, “Acting Up”. Here is a reprint of the coverage:
Title: STONE’S THROW FROM HELL
Logline: A future paradise dotted with otherworldly golf courses hides dark secrets of slavery and corruption.
Writer: L.A. Eide
Positive elements in this screenplay:
This script has a wonderfully inventive concept that offers an almost entirely new spin on some familiar themes. The presentation is pretty much top-notch across the boards. Your intricate story structure and thoughtful plot grab us from page one and don’t let go until the story has reached its seemingly logical conclusion.
You don’t take a whole lot of time to look at some themes such as robot slavery vs. human slavery, or what it means to be “friends” with a machine – but this is meant as a relatively light entertainment, and it is as lightly entertaining a script as I’ve read in many a moon.
Areas that need improvement:
Sometimes the tone of the piece can become a little too tongue-in-cheek given that it’s a
dystopian tale of a slave-driven future. The robots can also be a bit on the cutesy side – Tweekie from Buck Rogers where they might have been better suited to be something along the lines of C3PO. The late entry of TERENCE as a bridge to a possible sequel is a confounding plot choice, but otherwise the story hums along with great ease
Scores are 1-10 (10 being highest)
These golf courses of the future are wildly imaginative, and the notion that they serve as a cover for a massive slave operation is just the kind of flight of fancy that studios always like to see.
You take this story in some weird and wild directions, but with such a fantastic concept setting the stage for what is to come, it can never get weird enough. Your unique style and compelling slant on what the future might bring is engaging and intriguing from the first page to the last.
The presentation generally conforms to industry standards, though your title page should definitely include a WGA registration number. If you haven’t registered the script, I suggest you do so immediately. A few minor spelling mistakes occur throughout, but nothing a good proofing session or two can’t fix.
You are a world builder. It is a rare talent. In structuring this story, you have built an entirely new reality, one with its roots in present human experience, but lifting off in bizarre and compelling directions that provide a thoroughly authentic and believable framework in which the story can unfold. You increase the sphere of conflict with great skill, first circling it around the rants and raves of one “madman” and then cycling out farther and farther until we realize the entire system is rotten to the core.
The plot is not particularly original – there are plenty of stories about seemingly idyllic futures where all is much darker than it seems. What sets this story apart is the vivid sense of the specific. Right down to the details of how these characters tee off, you ground your plot in a cohesive imagined existence in which nary a false note is struck. Just as with the structure, you expand the scope of your story further and further as it goes, thus widening the number of those affected, and consistently raising the stakes.
STRYKER is an excellent protagonist – a bit deluded at first, then a reluctant hero, and
ultimately a tireless fighter for truth, justice, and liberation. You populate your world with all sorts of fascinating characters, from the over-the-hill DEELAND to the portly but reliable sidekick ORLAND. Even your minor players leave an indelible impression as they burst so vividly with life.
The pacing chugs along at just the right clip, pausing when necessary to allow your characters and the audience to catch their breath, then diving right into another major twist or gripping action set piece that keeps pulses racing and sends us on a thrill ride that does not let up until the closing shot…and even then leaves the door open for more.
Great dialogue! You have expertly captured the way real people speak (regardless of what year or POAT it might be). You have a finely attuned comic sensibility. Perhaps you might want to consider setting your next script firmly in the comedic genre, rather than just playing with some light comedic elements within the context of what is, essentially, a rather dark story. Regardless, you’ve got an ear for this stuff, and that’s quite uncommon. Use it.
Who deserves to live in Paradise? This is pretty much the central question you raise in this script, and it echoes with all sorts of ethical and even spiritual themes. As we close our borders and shove the homeless further and further into the gutter, this story comes along as a timely “reminder” from the future that the only way to save ourselves is to save everyone else at the same time, too.
As with your dialogue, the tone strikes a good balance between the comedic and the intensely dramatic. You might want to consider dialing the comedy back just a little bit – you risk being too funny for your own good at certain points in the script. Overall, though, the tenor is a captivating mix of sarcasm, good-natured humor, and all-out thrills and chills.
Commercial Potential: 9
The only real barrier to making this film in terms of commercial potential is what would likely be its exorbitant costs. Sci-Fi films are rarely inexpensive to make. This script would be on the decidedly expensive side. That is by no means a deal-killer, but it probably means that you’ll need to get a name actor involved before a studio will consider investing the kind of big bucks that will be necessary to bring your vision to the screen.
Don’t let this throw you off. When you really start digging through your contacts and your network, you will be amazed at what a slight degree of separation there is between you and the glitterati, and the right script slipped into the right hands at the right time can make all the difference.
Advice for executives would be:
Ways to improve this screenplay, additional advice:
There is nothing much here to improve – the characters are great, the story works, the dialogue crackles and the resolution is just neat enough to answer all questions while tantalizing us with an ending that could serve as a bridge to an even bigger story should you reach franchise velocity. As noted above, work every connection you can with actors of any note.
If you can get a bankable star interested in this script, the studios will come calling real soon. Even without that add-on, this is a great script, and with the application of a great deal of determination and grit, I believe you will see it through to market viability.