Sentient USA review Draft 3

Sentient USA review Draft 3

Sentient Philadelphia - Pilot - Draft 3

Begin your review 

Welcome to Joseph DiFrancesco’s Philadephia, USA Pilot script review. 

This is the first of the reviews for the global team including Australia. 

Click on the Pilot script to the left to view.

See the original work and all prior reviews by the HOD here to track the work’s progress so far. 

Please ensure your review is based on the review guidelines.

Submit your review by Sept 30th 2018. Reviews received after that time will not qualify for leaderboard points.  

Thanks so much for participating in the development of the Sentient Sci-fi TV series. 


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Review task one

Read, rate and comment for 1000 points.

1 star = poor

2 stars = OK but not engaging

3 stars = engaging but it needs serious work

4 stars = very engaging

5 stars = a page turner

  • Log in to the Sentient.TV site and leave a comment on how the work can be improved at the bottom of the post for that script’s review. The comment must be no longer than two short paragraphs.
  • Confirm you have completed this for your points by emailing the HOD at or messaging via the site, (the safest bet).

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Review task two

Read, rate, (using the star guide) then create a review based on the formula guide for 3500 points.

  • Create a Word / PDF document based on the guide, (the guide gives an act by act guide).
  • The Author’s work may fall outside of that page count and plot point guide. That’s OK. Go with your gut and critique the work based on the formula and your read of it. Your review should be no more than 7 pages and no less than 2 pages.
  • Email your review to the HOD at  or send the work to this dropbox addressConfirm you have done this using the site’s messaging system.

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Review task three

Read, rate,(using the star guide), then answer the author’s 10 questions listed on the post for 2000 points.

We ask each Author to create a list of 10 questions they seek answers to. Read and answer the questions using the Download the Word document embedded in the post, answer the questions and send your work to the HOD at  or send the work to this dropbox address. Confirm you have done this using the site’s messaging system. They will be posted to the site for viewing. You may contact the Author directly to seek clarity re the Qs.

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Review task two and three combo

Complete task two and three for 5500 points.

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18 Responses

  1. Hi, everybody!

    Thanks Joseph for the opportunity to read his work, it was really a pleasure.
    The story is good, but from my POV needs some improvements. The positive moments are related with the protagonists and the changed world around them. The conflicts that are doing to rise in the following episodes are set well. The negative moments include the lack of motivation in some scenes (Sal, miners, Zoo group) and as the following the congestion with the antagonists – there are too many of them for such a short pilot. I’d say it could have been improved by slowing down the events in the pilot.
    In general, the formula works.
    My overall rating is 3 out of 5

  2. Joseph:

    Excellent writing: highly visual, utterly dramatic, this is a real page turner (5 stars from me). I especially liked that there’s a lot of tension, and the amount of it is just perfect, and with the pace being quite effective we get enough time to absorb the story as it unfolds. The individual set-ups are also nicely done (the Zoo — and the intention to save the animals, the Bar — and the birthday girl and her new pal, the inmates getting shot in High Ridge, and so on), and I did care about each of the characters throughout.

    However, it would be more interesting to see the main characters act with a clear goal. For example, JJ establishes his intention to get out and figure out what’s really happened only by the end of Act I, and before that, he just happens to be listening to Sal. Also, he doesn’t seem to care much about his fiancé. Of course he’s exhausted, but it’s quite natural for people to worry about their beloved ones in disastrous situations like this, especially given they know nothing about them. (Reese seems to be more determined. He is a good example of a pro-active character.) Also, it would be great to see more scenes containing reversals and twists, just like the one that I really liked, on page 12 (The pilots’ bodies are gone — and we wanna know what’s behind that mystery! It’s not just a catastrophe — it’s something way more complicated and frightening!).

  3. Evening, all

    I enjoyed the script – it has a clear sense of place, and the notion of three survivor groups in parallel allows information to be delivered on a broad front. It needs more work, I’d say, particularly as it seems to predate the recently updated guidelines. I did feel that JJ lost his focus at times, that is, is if his purpose is to find his girlfriend above all else, he seemed to be not concentrated enough on that task. The return of Syd like a vengeful ghost struck a false note for me, and some of the dialogue could be elevated.

    I’ll be interested where it goes next.

    3 stars = engaging but it needs serious work

  4. Hi, Joseph. Loved your script and I wanted to follow the characters. Great pacing and I think it hits the right points.
    I might look at some of the dialogue again – a few points felt a bit unnatural, but otherwise fine.
    Having all the “bad guys” appear toward the end of the script kind of felt a bit much, but they made good points (Jenny seeing the miners as the four horsemen), but just watch that they don’t get too cliched and don’t amass too quickly (which is a problem with The Walking Dead).
    I like JJ’s story, he has a purpose and is going in a clear direction. Lena and Reese maybe need more of those gaps filled.
    Otherwise, I think this script is great and I look forward to seeing their journey. You have just enough Sentient hints to get my curiosity piqued, also. Well done. 3.5-4 stars.

  5. Hi all

    I really enjoyed this script, though it does need some work. Some of the dialogue feels a little forced and unnatural, and there were quite a few typos (eg, Terimal) that were distracting. It seems to hit most of the right beats at the right time, and certainly has plenty of high stakes when needed.

    I did feel that some of the situations didn’t ring true. For example, I wasn’t convinced that JJ would actually scope out a bad guy, or that he would miss the cues in the gas station that Lena and Reese were sending. I felt he should be picking up on those more clearly near the end, which would also help to raise the tension there.

    I also wasn’t convinced with Syd’s return. We’ve seen him disintegrate, so his return as written felt unconvincing. I also felt that some people (including JJ) seemed to be wandering around a little aimlessly, with no real purpose – or at least with nothing driving them at times.

    I hope that’s helpful.

  6. Thank you, Ebuka.

    Work in progress. Will tweak as we move forward.

    Elements have been in flux since onset.

    The best.


  7. The USA Sentient Pilot is quite fascinating, engaging and propelling. Nevertheless, there are lots of gaps that need to be filled. The formula guide I believe is helpful in achieving this.

    I think the author wrote the pilot before the updated formula was published; otherwise he would have conformed to the guide. It is a step to step approach on how the story and characters will set out prior to the arrival and aftermath of the incident. The mysteries & imageries that is essential to keep the characters/viewers/readers on the edge.

  8. Hello Dave/Team,

    This is super fantastic. Energetic!

    We can do it!




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