Opening doesn't work for me.
Okay, so here are some thoughts on your opening pages. I will write and edit the review as I go along, just so you know. It takes a lot to read a whole script and my notes will be as I read.
Please take what you can and chuck the rest. It is my opinion.
Opening scene. It is dark and disturbing, but for me, not much happens, you have to think that this is ‘one whole’ minute of screen time. There needs to be more.
What you have is a very descriptive piece, but it suits a novel more than a script. I would also suggest removing as many ‘ing’ and ‘ly’ words as possible. Keep everything in active present tense.
He stops a moment, reaches out to touch flaky damp walls. Water trickles and pools at his feet.
A clang sounds in the distance.
He creeps on. (substitute for walks)
His head rests on a pillow.
You also need to do a search for all the other ‘bad words’ there are many. And the biggest ones will be ‘looks’ and ‘walks’ you repeat these often on the first page alone. You need to mix things up to keep a readers attention.
Besides, walks tells us nothing about the character, does he amble, wallow, glide. Anything to help us picture that first scene. If I were you though you need to cut this down to half a page at least, if not less.
My biggest concern is would opposite genders share the same ward?
People sit at long metal tables and chat as they eat.
Short and sweet.
Cameron joins a long queue for food.
Again on this page, sitting and looking are used a fair bit.
This is 2 pages of screen time now and nothing happens? This all needs a very heavy edit. By now, I’d be more likely to turn off or stop reading. Unless this was a documentary of what it really is like in an asylum. The every day stuff, you really need to cut unless it is paramount to the script and that we see how things happen.
Parathenticals need to be on their own line, and is it really necessary for him to nod?
You have a ‘flashback’ here this needs to be stated...
Sitting is used 4 times. Oops.
If you’re going for scary, there needs to be more.
Finding out Sarah can’t sleep in the asylum is as interesting as it gets up to now.
And to Page 10,
I think you have some interesting characters to play with here. Although in the first ten pages I have to admit, I needed a lot more. This wouldn’t be something I would carry on with, and this basically is just down to your choice of scenes. With anything there needs to be a hook. I can’t see it. I want to get invested in Cameron as a character, you hint at him as a child and give another flashback, nightmares, but they’re not scary enough for me. I want so much more.
Character interaction is paramount to things. Get the Doctors to ‘pin him down’ after a set of nightmares, or do something to Sarah. Anything for me to think wow, this might be leading somewhere.
I just think you start too soon. Get in late and get out early. Works for every scene. And even for the starting point of a script.
If you don’t like to cut too much, just hack it back. But the beginning here really does need in my opinion another think.
Hope this does help in some way, ask me anything and of course if you do want me to read more, just let me know.