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  #1  
Old 03-11-2010, 10:51 PM
Rex Rex is offline
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Default Holocaust

"One lives. One dies. The choice is yours."

To all MovieTreatment's.com users and all the Hollywood folks and anyone else who is interested I present Holocaust. A stark vision of the future where limited resources has left mankind with only one choice: reduction.

To what lengths would you go to save your own skin? When we we do things that fill us with guilt and regret can we live with ourselves afterwards? Would you let a stranger die so that you might live? What kind of a world is this?

Enjoy-

EDIT: I just upped a new version fixing some formatting errors and typos. My apologies and please download the newest version (3/12/2010) if you already have the old one.
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File Type: pdf Holocaust.pdf (22.4 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by Rex; 03-12-2010 at 12:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2010, 12:19 PM
WriteNow WriteNow is offline
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Looks like another futuristic sci-fi downer? Or maybe not? I read the first page and must say the concept is very intriguing, I'm curious to see where you take it. I will let you know when I finish-
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2010, 11:17 PM
Rex Rex is offline
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Hey WriteNow- not to be pushy but do you think you can tell me what you thought? I have a meeting with someone from Lionsgate regrading another treatment/script but I was thinking of pitching this while I have the chance (and in case they tell me the other one sucks). So any tips or suggestions you have before then (Thursday) would be great. I feel like this is one of my best ideas but I know there is some way to improve it that I'm not seeing. Specifically, the ending worries me. You don't see ending like that much these days and I don't think a big studio would like it. A smaller one like Lionsgate might not mind, though, and I feel it's best for the story but at this point I will do what it takes to get it sold.

Thanks a lot

Last edited by WriteNow; 03-18-2010 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:38 PM
WriteNow WriteNow is offline
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First off- don't worry about being "pushy". I'm here for you guys so if you have something you need help with then by all means let me know.

Second- congrats on the meeting. Play it cool and act like whatever you are selling them is the greatest thing to hit Hollywood in years. They HAVE to have it.

And I would have critiqued you sooner but I've been on the road and otherwise busy, but don't worry, I'll get to it.

As for Holocaust- I love it. I only have a minute but the ending is great. Perfect, even. I was expecting the total downer, everyone dies thing but you left it open (somewhat). Whoever directs this is going to love you for it, so much he could do with that final scene.

I wouldn't worry about Lionsgate not liking it. Anyone reading that treatment and enjoying it will be happy with the ending. If you are referring to the "downer" aspect of it keep in mind these guys have made six Saw films where EVERYBODY dies in the end. (The last one had a guy get injected full of acid. It was garbage but I had to watch- my friend worked on it.)

So, your story is pretty tame in comparison. On a moral and dramatic level its really dark and bleak, though. But it's a pretty killer story, so people will tolerate it. Look at the Road Warrior films or Soylent Green or Logan's Run.

(By contrast the recent film The Road was bleak, sad, hopeless and totally and utterly pointless, with no characters to care about and nothing of significance- symbolic or otherwise- ever happening. No one put up with that and it came and went quickly at the B.O.)
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Last edited by WriteNow; 03-18-2010 at 11:23 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2010, 10:12 PM
WriteNow WriteNow is offline
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Before I get going here I would just like to say that I would LOVE for some of our other members to chime in. Rex and all the other writers here need as much feedback as they can get and just because I'm a "pro" doesn't mean your critiques and opinions are any less worthwhile. Quite the opposite, as you guys are the future of Hollywood.

Okay, (and sorry for the delay) but here we go-

First off- I really like this one. It is a very cool idea. This is what's known in the business as a "high-concept" idea. That can mean a lot of things but basically it's simple, concise, and can be explained in one line. For example, the film What Women Wants Can be summed up thusly- "Guy gets hit on the head (or whatever) and can hear women's thoughts."

Hollywood LOVES high concept. Think of all the big blockbusters and many of them are high-concept films. Shark terrorizes small community. A scientist accidentally shrinks his children. Alien robots invade earth. etc. etc.

You have a nice length to it as well. I noticed you ditched the "act I"-style headers from your last treatment, which is fine, you don't need them. As for the, ahem, title- well, it was no doubt chosen to shock and generate interest. If it was made into a film some people might not appreciate it as it has obvious connotations with certain historical events. However, it is accurate, more or less, based on the films subject matter. And writers are always told they should grab the reader on the first page. Well, you grabbed me on the title itself, so that can hardly be a bad thing. Should you want to change it (or are forced to) you might consider the more benign "Project Choice" or even the word you used in your tagline, "Reduction". But "Holocaust" certainly gets the job done. I just worry that it might do it too well.

The opening is great, The barren room, two strangers, one sentenced to death by the other. Then we have nearly a whole page of exposition. It's a bit long, though, and I'm wondering if maybe this part can be shortened so you don't risk losing your reader since it doesn't have any narrative elements. In the finished film I see it as a "text crawl" a la Star Wars or many other sci-fi pics, as we are brought up to speed on what the future is like.

Then we meet our main character who is "forty to fifty years old". This kind of stuck out for me. I would lose it and make him "middle-aged" or something along those lines. The more leeway you give potential casting directors the better.

I like how we see the president of LifeTech via TV broadcasts and the like a couple of times throughout the film. I would do it once more, though, really setting him up as a powerful adversary. Maybe mention a conversation Mike overhears at work about how Gary is pushing his technicians too hard, something like that. Because when Mike and Gary meet and the grand plan is unveiled that is our big climax, so Mike should be somewhat awed or terrified to be in the presence of the man behind the curtain, so to speak.

I like his son and daughter. Nicely written, and likable. Although I feel the son gets short shrift, unintentionally telegraphing to the audience that he is going to be the first to go. Just like in horror movies when you can sense that "that guy ain't gonna make it." Mike's ex-wife, on the other hand, is mentioned once and that's it. Seems odd to me, especially that she never comes up when he talks to his son or daughter. Is she alive? Dead? A chooser? A chosen? It's nice to have unanswered questions sometimes, though, so this doesn't worry me too much.

What does worry me quite a bit is the identity of the "mystery woman" who contacts Mike and seems to know what's really going on at LifeTech. Who is she? Why did she pick Mike? I was waiting for the president to tell him that was his long-lost daughter or some such but it didn't happen. This seems to me like a very big plot hole that needs to be addressed. A simple explanation at some point would go a long a way to making your story more credible.

Also, you say there are no children in the future because sterilization has been mandatory for the past twenty years. So- maybe some expansion on that. Humans will need to reproduce again at some point, right? Maybe LifeTech is running a test-tube baby lab as well. Maybe the "mystery woman" is part of the program and has escaped, now part of an underground faction of children made in a lab? That would tie up both loose ends nicely, except for why she chose Mike. Perhaps Mike's ex-wife is part of the program and the "mystery woman" is really Mike's daughter. You can foreshadow that by making her look younger than twenty and have similar features to Mike. Yes, it's a bit contrived, but this is a movie, and sometimes we have that luxury. Better to yank on the audience's heartstrings than not at all.

Now the ending that you were concerned about. As I said before I like it. It's ambiguous but still satisfying. I should mention that you rely on the cliche of the "bad guy revealing his plan" in a big speech, but it works well here and doesn't bother me. After all, it became a cliche for a reason- it's effective. We got our answers and, in a way, Mike has prevailed by being proven to having had the right mind set all along regarding "Project Choice". Of course, Gary and his henchmen could easily kill Mike, but it doesn't happen as far as we know and leaves the possibility completely open. As for his daughter, well, we all know what button she's probably going to press, but it serves to drive home the film's central conceit of sacrificing yourself for the good of humankind. Too bad for her.

And that's it, fade to black.

This story is really solid and generally well-written. The little futuristic details like the floating trays at the restaurant and whatnot are enough to keep reminding us we are not in the present. I wouldn't mind more of a sense of oppressive police presence, but then again, there isn't supposed to be that, is there? Project Choice is meant to let the citizens do the dirty work so the government doesn't have to.

This is a much easier sell than Wreckage, and if you do get the chance to pitch it know that the basic premise is your selling point. (As opposed to say, a special-fx extravaganza, which I wouldn't percieve it as being. I'm thinking more along the lines of Gattaca for the production design. Simple, but not as luxurious, of course. The world is "ruined" after all.)

Good luck Rex. And while you will need luck, this is a viable treatment you have here. Given the right opportunity I have no doubt you could sell it. Think about my criticisms, though, as I believe you could make what is a great treatment exceptional.
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Last edited by WriteNow; 03-18-2010 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:58 AM
PoisonPen PoisonPen is offline
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Didn't anyone think this was scary? What? Everyone on earth has to KILL someone else! It's kind of like a semi-apocalypse. Jeez, I got pretty freaked out by this one myself. I don't understand how the people are getting picked exactly, like who gets to choose and who doesn't. Is it just a random drawing by computer or something?
Also, the poor women in this movie! One gets hits by a car, one is just a photograph, and the other probably gets left for dead in the end. How come the main chracter doesn't have a girlfriend or something? I agree that we should find out about his ex-wife. Or just something about a woman in his life, he seems kinda, I don't know, asexual or something. But I guess he's older-

But I liked it a lot Rex! Really, really, good. I think it could totally be a movie someday. I'm thinking maybe Richard Gere in the title role since he's about the right age now. I hope you're meeting went well! Good luck with this one, it's my favorite one that I've read here so far!

Last edited by PoisonPen; 03-20-2010 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:38 PM
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marc marc is offline
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Wow, this thread got my attention too. Congrats Rex! As far as I know this is the first treatment posted to this site that got sold. So you're a trailblazer. Now that you sold one and you've got some connections, that will make future treatments that much easier to pitch and sell.

And thanks to our resident expert WriteNow for posting a detailed critique of Holocaust and giving Rex some pointers on how to prepare for the meeting with the prospective buyers. Hollywood's a tough business to crack, so the more experienced veterans you know the better your chances of success. Rex has proven that!
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