Tag Archives: 10-page-twist

Just Read: Source Code

Source Code

by Ben Ripley

Draft Dated: Undated

Remember that everything I write is my personal opinion, and is (usually) based on an early draft; the plot, characters, and practically anything and everything in this draft could be changed, or will change, before the movie comes out.

Colter wakes up on a train. He has no idea who he is, or what he’s doing. He starts to freak out.  For 17 minutes, he observes his surroundings until… BOOM!  A bomb explodes, killing everyone on board. The next thing we know, Colter wakes up in an isolation unit, in some sort of government lab. Oh snap! He is part of some strange experiment. Before he can figure out what the hell is going on — BAM!  He is back on the train. Only this time, he has 17 minutes to figure out who the bomber is. He tries to gather his senses. There is a girl sitting next to him. What does she know? What about that suspicious looking guy? Is it him? 17 minutes later — BOOM! The train explodes again, and Colter gets to start all over.

I absolutely loved this script when I first read it. Sometimes I’ll read a script, even a good script, and I’ll have to set it down for a little while. Not this time. I did not set this script down ONCE. The entire script reads extremely fast. The writer is very talented. His words feed the senses. I felt as if I was actually there, in the train with Colter, as he first takes in his surroundings.  Every detail, every sensory impression overload, I was there.

One of the reasons this script reads so fast, is because there is so much we want to know. Right from page one, we want to know what the hell is going on. Who is this guy? Why is he on a train? Why is he in a government lab? Who bombed the train? How and why is this all happening? There are a lot of questions in this story, and the fact that we NEED these questions answered, makes the pages turn as fast as possible.

We’ve definitely seen this basic, back to the beginning “time travel” type movie before. Groundhog Day, Deja Vu, Vantage Point. But this story works way better, I believe. I thought Vantage Point was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The reason this story works better, is because there are constantly new questions arising, and there is more than one mystery to be solved. We need to figure out what is happening on the train, but we also need to figure out what the hell this whole lab is about, and how Colter got there in the first place. With all of these questions to answer, we are constantly moving the story forward. We don’t find ourselves in the completely fucking horrible stagnation that was Vantage Point. While watching Vantage Point, I wanted to rip my eyes out every time we reversed back to the beginning. In Source Code, you actually WANT to go back onto the train. You WANT to know what is going on.

I wrote an article on the “10-Page-Twist” a while back. I would like you to notice in this script, at the bottom of page 10, we find the bomb for the first time. BOOM baby! The “10-Page-Twist” in action.

Due to MAJOR SPOILERS I am putting the rest of the review after the jump. But to start off, I’ll break down the good, and the bad.

The Good

  • The script is extremely well written. I feel like I am actually there with the character.
  • The story is fast paced, and keeps you guessing. You’re always moving forward.
  • I really enjoyed the ending. It puts a nice twist on things.
  • Great use of the “10-Page-Twist” and completely snagging our attention, early on.

The Bad

  • There are a few story holes that have to do with the time travel and parallel universes.

The Verdict

Definitely read this script. Even if the movie ends up sucking balls when it comes out (and I hope it doesn’t), this script will still be in my top 10. As I said before, I cannot share scripts on this site out of fear of being sued, but if you place your email in the comments section, there is really nothing I can do if another reader decides to send it to you.

DUE TO MAJOR SPOILERS THE REST OF THE REVIEW WILL BE AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading Just Read: Source Code

Christopher Stone and the 10 Page Twist

My current project is a post-apocalyptic adventure/zombie road movie . I just finished breaking story and have started writing.

I’m on page 10. I believe something important is supposed to happen on page 10. I believe it’s called the 10 page twist. Do I have a 10 page twist? I do.  But at the moment it doesn’t hit page 10. Am I supposed to write the whole screenplay first, and then come back and rewrite to hit my marks? I’m not sure at the moment. Although I do believe something important should happen to grab your readers attention on page 10.

A fact of life: People do not have a high attention span.  If you cannot hook your audience into the story in 10 pages, my screenwriting teacher says you’re fucked. I believe him.

Another fact: The 10 page twist does not have to be a twist necessarily.

It has to be something that catches the readers attention and makes them say, “I want to know what happens!.” This is especially true if your screenplay magically falls into the hands of a producer/script reader. These people read so many damn scripts a week, they’re just looking for a reason not to read your script. DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM! When they get to page 10, they’ll know if they want to continue reading. Give them something that makes them want to turn to page 11.

That’s where I am at, and that is what I’m trying to do.