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RIVERVIEW
By Brian McAndrew

GENRE: Drama
LOGLINE:

A teen mom moves to her old hometown to reconnect with her old friends. Only to discover that her secret followed her there.

SYNOPSIS:

Sage McCallister (16) has a nightmare about her rape. Her mother Marissa (40) wakes her up and tells her that it's just a dream. Sage wakes up with a start and tells her the nightmares are getting worse. Sage hears her daughter Hope (3) calling out to her.

RIVERVIEW

View screenplay
Keith F. Broad

Hi, Brian... awesome detail of martial arts combat! Though perhaps misplaced. The introductory scene doesn't relate to your Logline or Synopsis so I found it somewhat foreign to what I was expecting. I like Bryan Lomax's suggestion and second it.

Pierre Langenegger

Hi Brian, This is the story of Sage McAllister, a teen mom who confronts the father of her child during a custody hearing. I think you indicated that this is the pilot for a web series. I don’t know that a straight drama will work as a web series. I also don’t know where else this story will go. It’s a short story about a teen mom starting a new life in another state only to be followed by the father of her child, the man who raped her, who coincidentally was going to turn up for a custody court hearing the next day anyway. So all the conflict and issues in this story were wrapped up by the end so there’s no indication of any following episodes. Almost immediately after arriving at her new house in another state, Sage’s best friends turn up as well. Did they all move at the same time? There are too many coincidences in this story and too many conveniences. It turns out, as soon as the hearing starts, that sage’s dad is not only a lawyer but her lawyer to boot. There are no issues with money as they seem to have a very nice house and they bought the local; rec center as well, so apart from a teen pregnancy and the threat of having to share custody, there are no real issues or obstacles for your protag to overcome. The dialogue seems mostly on the nose and our attention is often drawn to things that aren’t played out Notes I made as I read through. These are merely my observations, take what you want and ignore the rest: General – You must proofread your scripts before uploading them to any site. You won’t catch all the typos but you should catch most of them. Think of it this way, as soon as you upload your script to the internet, you are telling the world, “This is a sample of my work” and you only get one chance to make a first impression and you don’t want that to be an impression that’s full of typos and incorrectly formatted. Unfortunately this script is riddled with typos and grammatical errors. I won’t list them all as there are too many. General – Watch your use of parentheticals. There are way too many of them. They should only be used when absolutely necessary. Title – If you’re not going to enter any contact details then you should remove the following: “Name, Address, Phone, Email”. P1 – There’s an errant “1.” Sitting at the top left corner of this page. Page 1 should never be numbered and all other pages should have a page number at the top right corner of the page. P1 – The slug shouldn’t tell us we are in Ohio because we can’t tell that from sitting in Sage’s room at night. You can mention it if this is an exterior shot but never tell us which city we’re in for an interior shot. P1 – Incorrect format for a dream sequence. Change your slug to be “DREAM SEQUENCE” then you can use normal slugs to define the location until you end it with “END DREAM SEQUENCE” and not Back To Sage’s Room. Also, in case your thinking about it, don’t use “NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE” as they are all dreams and the content determines whether it is a pleasant dream or a nightmare. P2 – I don’t understand the visual of the following line, “A sixteen year old Sage in pajamas watches her twelve year old self getting raped”. Is Sage actually meant to be in this scene and watching the action from outside the truck? P2 – Try to find a better word than “JINGLES the car door”, it’s actually a little comical to read. P2 – Who’s yelling, “Get off me, get off me”? Is it 12 yo Sage or 16 yo Sage? Since 12 yo Sage only appears momentarily in a dream sequence, it might be best to constantly refer to her as “12 Y.O. SAGE” to avoid confusion. P2 – Remember to be consistent with character names. You introduce Sage’s mom as MARISSA MCALLISTER but then her dialogue is delivered as MRS. MCALLISTER. Keep it simple and use the same character name throughout. This also applies to Mr. McAllister. P2 – “..rushes in her empty room..” but it’s not an empty room because it’s Sage’s room and Sage is in there. P2 – “Marissa shakes Sage up”. This is poorly worded. P2 – “Sage realizes where she is..” Never tell us that a character realizes something. Show us how they realize something through their actions but never simply tell us. P3 – “Sage notices..”. As per the previous issue, never tell us that a character notices something. P3 – “A young child yells from the other room” should be “..from another room” unless this house only has two rooms. P3 – Watch your passive writing. Screenplays must be written using an active voice rather than a passive voice. Passive is “Hope is sitting up on her bed”. Active is “Hope sits up in bed”. The best way to fix this is to remove most occurrences of “is” and “are” and also remove “ing” and “ly” from the end of most words. P4 – What’s the relevance of the St. Agnes of Rome medal? It was mentioned here but did not come up again for the rest of the story. By mentioning it here, you’re drawing our attention to it so we are now expecting it to appear again somewhere in this story for a specific reason. If it’s not important to the story or the character then it needs to be removed. P4 – “alter server” should be “altar server”. P4 – “(sighs to herself)”. People only ever sigh to themselves. P4 – On the nose dialogue. Sage is telling her mom about Adam being best friends with her and Parker and the judge dropped the charges. This is all information her mother should already know so it comes across as unnatural dialogue. P5 – The slug is EXT but most of the action and the subsequent dialogue takes place in the car. I think this slug should be an INT. P6 – “You two have been the closest twins I know”. Very unnatural for a mother to say this about her own kids so this is very unnatural dialogue. P8 – “Marrisa comes from the garage” How do we know where she comes from? We’re inside the house so we won’t know where she came from. P8 – “They pass Hope’s room” How do we know it’s Hope’s room? We see them pass a room but how do we know it belongs to Hope? P8 – “Christian rock posters are on the walls with a crucifix over her bed”. What’s the relevance? There’s no mention anywhere else in this story of her being a Christian so why make a specific point of it here? Is this meant to be faith based writing or is this a character trait? Either way, it’s never mentioned again so if it’s not relevant to the story, it shouldn’t be here. P8 – “Sage notices new stuff on the walls”. She’s never been in this room or house before so how do you show us that something in this new room is new for Sage? P9 – “I should being your twin and all”. Think this is the third time we’ve been told that they are twins. Once is all you need. P10 – Incorrect format for the slug. P12 – Who is getting turned on here with the hairplay? Is it Ming or is it Sage? P12-13 – Timing issue. Todd calls out that dinner is here so everyone heads downstairs from Sage’s room. They sit down at the table and get drinks organised before the doorbell rings by the delivery guy. Is Todd psychic? How can he know dinner is here several minutes before the doorbell rings? P13 – I’m confused. Was Adam the delivery guy at the door or not? P13 – How can parker realize that Sage has had a flashback? How can you show this? P14 – “But we’re best friends” how can they be best friends when Bristol is the only one in the house of seven people who doesn’t know what’s going on? P15 – “Sure, let me just tell my mom and dad” Very odd dialogue. Try to visualize the scenes that you write. In this scene, every one sits at the dinning table eating their meal. Ming suggests they go get ice cream and Sage says, “Sure, let me tell my mom and dad”. She then turns to her dad and says “Can Parker and me go to the dairy shack..”. It just seems very odd that would actually happen in real life. Surely Sage’s whole block of dialogue would be something like, “Is that okay, dad?” P15 – I also want to take this opportunity to bring up the quality of Sage’s dialogue. It’s apparent later in the story that Todd is a lawyer, now I can imagine some lawyers having errant kids but usually their education is better than that. The way Sage and Parker talk is pretty bad for a well educated lawyer’s kids. Characters need to be true to form so the children of lawyers should not speak like they left school at the age of ten. P16 – The four kids walk from the parking lot. Who drove the car? Can they drive at the age of sixteen? Ming and Bristol are both fifteen. P16 - Do they go to a serving window? The slug is still EXT but should it be INT? This scene is unclear, if it’s a serving window then you should tell us this, if they have gone inside then this need to be corrected as well. P18 – Sage’s logic for not having sex with Adam is the fact that he is five years older than her. It’s really odd that the fact that she was only twelve is not the reason that she mentioned. So it’s implied that it’s perfectly acceptable to have sex at the age of twelve but not if the guy is five years older. Is that what it’s really like in Ohio? P19 – “Parker rubs her back as she clears the landing” I don’t know what this means and I can’t visualise it. P20 – Hope goes out to do some finger painting on the patio. It was night when they sat down to have dinner, the kids then went out for ice cream, now they’re back and three year old Hope goes outside to do some finger painting. It must be the middle of the night, isn’t it a bit late for her to be up? P21 – “It starts to rain”. We’re inside the house, how do we know it’s started to rain? P25 – The slug tells us it’s LATER but everyone is sitting around having breakfast so it’s obviously the next day which means the TOD should be DAY and not LATER. P26 – Sage’s Therapist is not introduced properly. P26 – Todd is Sage’s lawyer? Is this allowed? Wouldn’t it be a conflict of interest? Why wasn’t this brought up earlier? P26 – Both Todd and Adam’s lawyer question the therapist but there is no dialogue. There needs to be dialogue or an indication of the proceedings or we won’t know what’s going on. P28 – Why is this trial appear to be a retrial of the rape case? I thought this was a custody hearing, they should be reiterating the rape case as he was already tried for that. The questions had nothing to do with a custody hearing so it’s an unrealistic court session. P29 – “Bristol’s testimony is energetic when she explains what happens”. You can’t use this line in the montage as there is no dialogue. In fact, all four montage lines require dialogue but there is no dialogue. P29 – A montage needs to end with END MONTAGE. P29 – Sage is mentioned twice as a character present, in the last paragraph. Overall: I’d hate to say it but there’s not a lot to maintain our interest in this story and I don’t know if this is really enticing web series material. You have to ensure your formatting is correct and you MUST proof read before uploading.

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