Anyone can write a screenplay but few people can write good screenplays.

I’m a writer for a production company. I’m not the greatest writer but I do know what makes a good screenplay. Structure and Character.

Sometimes I read solicited scripts we receive at the office and the amount of bad scripts I’ve read is staggering. In fact it’s absolutely mind boggling on how many people think they have a great idea then execute it with the end result being very very poor. With the amount of bad scripts circulating around Hollywood it’s not hard to figure out why we’re stuck with non-stop remakes and easy to adapt comic books (even though they still manage to mess them up usually beyond repair).

Sometimes it feels like the writer of the script has never even seen a movie before and they just vomited all over 90 pages and handed it to someone else to read. Here is an edited (due to legal reasons) response to one of those solicited scripts.

Thank you for submitting your script, “______”.  Unfortunately it was a truly bad story. You have much to learn about screenwriting. In fact you have so much to learn it’s almost embarrassing. Giving people your script will effectively kill any hopes you harbor in becoming a successful screenwriter, it’s that flawed.

First of all, your characters are weak flat shells of human beings. You tried to make it personal but they all come off as assholes. There’s not a single one of them to care for and at the end I’m almost glad to see them die.  There’s no rational reason you give for them for going to their _____. Aside from the _____, none of the other characters had any real reason to get their ____, as none of them have anything even slightly incriminating for the cops to find. You have no B-story. I repeat, you have no B-story. Instead you focus on some bullshit camera tricks which provide no additional merit to your script. The reporter scenes are redundant and simply fill space. They add absolutely nothing to the screenplay whatsoever, they need to be removed. It’s just bad writing.

Take a step back from your screenplay and realize you have four kids with one goal, to get their possessions from their _____. All you have them do it sneak around the _____ with absolutely no danger or obstacles in their way aside from a few dumb cops who are completely oblivious to their escapades, there might as well not even be cops. There’s a possible _____ _____ and they’re worried the cops are going to find their _____ magazine? Get real. This is just a horrible script with no thought put into it. You tried to be topical but failed miserably as the characters barely touch on anything that could be considered topical.

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