Recently, I fought through the first 10 pages of a spec script.
Bloody, bruised, and confused, I didn't want to read any more after p. 4.
I missed that you had painted arrows on the ground for me to follow. I missed the clever handkerchiefs you tied to trees to guide my way. I even missed the sack of gold with the "Buried Here" neon sign.
Why? Because there were so many gnats I could barely see.
This script followed a trend I've seen of late: A lack of patience for building a mood, and laying out the landscape. There's a series of fast unrelated intercuts and hurkey-jerky switcheroos.
Even worse, I see writers trying to be super-clever by hiding the ball. More often than not, the writer thinks that fast and furious action (like a swarm of humming gnats) will divert my attention from the fact that the story is not well set up.
ex. The script includes a long shot of a boat. Then a wide shot. Then a close up... uh, hello?
Where's the story?
Frankly, I can tell you're trying waaaaay too hard to fake me out. I just want to know where the pier is so I can get on the boat.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I'm smart. I normally don't miss the boat...unless you WANT me to miss the boat.