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Old 05-03-2015, 07:18 AM   #1
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TPG Week 227: Not Too Bad At All!


Welcome back, one and all, to another installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a new Brave One in Aaron Williamson. We have Samantha LeBas in purple, and I'm the jerk in red, and we'll see what Aaron is up to in the




SALOON written by: Aaron Williamson

Chapter 1

The Player's Hand

Page 1

Panel 1 - Establishing shot of the dessert town, Red Ridge. It is in the afternoon, the red sun is going down over the mountain range. Hank Henderson (Good name) is tying up his horse at the hitching post in front of the Red Ridge Saloon. The Saloon is a well established 2-story building in the central part of the town.

Caption: It is May 19, 1878.

Caption: The town of Red Ridge, Nevada. (This sounds very Twilight Zone, is it meant to?)

Panel 2 - From inside Red Ridge Saloon, it is a rustic establishment adorned with deer, elk, hog, and ram trophies. There is a giant antler crafted, lantern chandelier mounted to the rafters.(with candles, specify. You don’t want lightbulbs showing up in the Old West.) There are stairs leading up to the second-level catwalk with several doorways to bedrooms. We can see the bartender polishing a mug, a pianist at work, a waitress serving drinks, etc.(Might need to mention that they are in period appropriate attire, or include ref) We are focused on a party of three gamblers (Mullins, Marc Armstrong, and Dale Flagstaff) and the House Dealer (Miles Blankenship). They are seated at a circle table, playing an intense game of poker. Miles, the dealer, sits with his back against a window.(Where is each man positioned at the table. Someone will have their back to us, might want it to be the character that isn’t speaking in this panel.)

Mullins: Yer call(comma) limp dick!

Marc : Yeah, I see your three... and raise you five.

Panel 3 - Mullins throws in wadded up dollar bills to the pot. Mullins is sneering at Marc. Dale doesn't hesitate to forfeit his cards face down in front of him. Hank Henderson can be seen in background entering Red Ridge Saloon.(Seems to me camera needs to rotate here, almost from dealer’s POV to allow us to see the men and the door in background.)

Dale: Too rich for my blood(comma) fellas. I fold!

Mullins: Call.

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Old 05-03-2015, 10:30 AM   #2
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Hank Narration – Years ago, Whip regulated with the Bengal Gang and eventually tried to cut ties with ‘em. They strung him up to die(comma) just as they did me. He’s been huntin’ them down ever since.
I am confused by this. Why does he need to hunt down a gang that he used to run with? It seems like he would know where they all were. Maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
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It's like this: we're friends. You try to leave me, and I go psycho and try to kill you, leaving you for dead. Now, you want revenge, and you have to search to find me.

Make sense now?
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:33 AM   #4
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It's like this: we're friends. You try to leave me, and I go psycho and try to kill you, leaving you for dead. Now, you want revenge, and you have to search to find me.

Make sense now?
No, Steven. How long have I been searching? Long enough for you to do it again?

We're friends. I know where to find you. I would not be searching so long that you would make new friends, they would tire of you, and try to leave, and you would go psycho again. That's a long time. Still does not make sense.

I am not trying to knock the script, just wanted to point out what I see as a problem.

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Old 05-03-2015, 02:50 PM   #5
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In the old west, travel was slow... so it takes a long time to get anywhere. Even if you know where someone is now, they might not be there when you get there. I could see a scenario where you know a group's usual routine, but you don't know exactly where they are now and you pick a place to start looking and end up constantly "just missing" them.
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Old 05-03-2015, 04:16 PM   #6
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In the old west, travel was slow... so it takes a long time to get anywhere. Even if you know where someone is now, they might not be there when you get there. I could see a scenario where you know a group's usual routine, but you don't know exactly where they are now and you pick a place to start looking and end up constantly "just missing" them.
Your explanation is not that bad, but still soft.

We are talking about a pretty long time in my opinion. The gang is not hiding from the guy, and if they heard that he was asking after them, they would realize that he was not dead, and be looking for him.

Maybe I am just knitpicking.

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Old 05-03-2015, 04:53 PM   #7
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I was thinking a little "High Plains Drifter" where:

Spoiler: (Highlight this box to see the hidden message.)
Eastwood's sheriff character is lynched (shown in flashbacks) and no one in town helped...
he comes back many years later as a mysterious stranger and offers to defend the town against the
gang that had lynched him years before. Somehow no one in town recognizes him as that sheriff.

I think it works in part because, people thought him dead... they weren't looking for him... so even
seeing him back in town didn't click that he could possibly be that guy.


It doesn't explain everything... but it gives a little room for leeway, with the setting being the old west.

Heck, in modern day it would be hard to track down a group that was constantly moving... we can't find terrorist groups reliably, but at least IF we find them we can get there quickly and have a shot before they move to a new place.
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:01 PM   #8
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I just cannot wrap my head around it. Whip would know where the Bengal hangout was. He could just wait for them there. Take them out while they were sleeping.

I think that Whip should be wandering, but not be searching for revenge. Then he saves Hank, and Hank wants the revenge. That way you also have some conflict too. Hank and Whip do not agree that revenge is the answer. Maybe Whip dies and Hank realizes too late that he was right all along. I don't know.

As it is, Hank and Whip are two guys that don't seem that different. They also had the same exact thing happen to them. They both want revenge. The second guy is extra. One guy escaping from a cactus tie by his lonesome, and then taking revenge, that would be better. Charles Bronson better.

Just my take.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:36 PM   #9
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Call it willing suspension of disbelief. It might not make perfect sense, bit it's close enough for me to let it slide.

Quote:
Also, if these were “his” men, then wouldn’t he know what was in store for him if he tried to leave?
Wouldn't this also apply to Whip? Even if neither of them were the leader, wouldn't they at least be somewhat aware of the consequences of leaving? Seems like kind of a shaky reason for revenge. Speaking of which, Whip seemed very polite and considerate for a man on a quest for revenge.

Lastly, "desert" is written as "dessert" in the script. Twice. Simple spelling error, or underutilized setting?
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:25 PM   #10
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I appreciate Comixtribe taking a look at my script, SALOON. All your crits will be taking into consideration. And thanks to everyone chiming in on the review.

After I polish this script up, it will be going into production with my publishing company. I will keep everyone posted in the 'projects' forum.

thanks again!
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:54 PM   #11
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If you want editing on the entire script or project, you can always shoot me an email and we can talk about it.

No matter what, good luck with it.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:43 PM   #12
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Thanks, Sam and Steven!

There's a famous quote about writing films. "Give me the same, only different!"

What's the 'only different' about this story? Right now it tells a well told story. Why should I read this instead of going and watching any of the Eastwood films with the same plot?
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