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Behind The Veil

Film Noir. Los Angeles, 1947. A private investigator's search for a gay man among those marginalized by society results in a battle against that powerful elite who exploit them.

COVERAGE - FILMMATIC SCREENPLAY COMPETITION 2020

Call me a sucker for noir, but this script had all the twists, turns, and escalating tension that I could have wanted. Behind the Veil knows exactly what genre it's operating in and makes sure to bring the entertainment not just through surprising plot points, but also through equally complex characters. The entire cast feels like it has real relevance to the narrative. Even minor characters see their actions have a direct role in shaping the story. It’s great seeing how consequential character choices are. It not only makes the world seem authentic, but it keeps coincidence and luck from removing all stakes from the plot. With a feedback loop of narrative affecting character motivation, which affects narrative - the story becomes engrossing.

Behind The Veil also does a good job of avoiding jarring anachronisms. While the setting and time period are a major draw for the script, they also come with a host of dangers. Misrepresentations of the technology, culture, worldview, or even manner of speech are obvious and require a lot of attention to detail on the writer’s part. Fortunately, the writer is up for the task, littering the script with little details specific to the time period. The setting never becomes distracting with overly obtuse colloquialisms in the dialogue. Likewise, the action description doesn’t come off as an encyclopedic recitation of the era and its quirks. The setting serves as a backdrop and not the star of the show, which I appreciated.

I really enjoyed this script because of the way the narrative slowly unfolds into a greater, more intricate story. The writer is great at playing in the mystery genre, dripping out information and giving clues to even deeper mysteries. Pacing is a key factor here as the writer knows when to draw out a moment or write with greater urgency to convey tension. I quickly realized trying to predict the twists and turns of this narrative was futile, though the writer never relies on cheap tricks like luck or convenience to deliver its surprises. Everything is grounded in the internal logic of the story so that even the more objectively far-fetched plot points feel at home in the narrative.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Budget:
Big
Starring Roles For:
25 - 35 Attractive Guy
25-30 Attractive Female
40 year old Brown/Black skinned Male
In the Vein Of:
Chinatown
Farewell, My Lovely
Devil In A Blue Dress
Posted:
12/09/2019
Updated:
09/08/2021
Author Bio:
Had representation in the past. Not currently repped. Optioned once. Non-union.