The premise at the core of ACE CODER is certainly an intriguing one. The central technology in this story – Hayward’s wafers – feels relevant to our increasingly interconnected, “smart” present-day world, and the idea that a villainous figure would exploit such a massive and invasive collection of data feels perfectly believable (as sad as that is). The screenplay also easily hints at the dangers of the wafer technology early on. For instance, Hayward practically salivating at the idea of gaining “real control” on page 30 is appropriately ominous, as he wants to roll out a product users can’t live without. The double meaning in his admission that sheriffs can be bribed (on page 33) is easy to glean as well, and it’s one of the better lines in the story. Speaking of the dialogue, it’s often well-paced here. Those quick exchanges are important in terms of keeping the reader’s (meaning prospective buyer’s) eyes moving down the page and giving the script an energy that can translate to the screen. (Thatsaid, be sure the leads each have distinct voices to help their individual personalities come to life.) Finally, Makanga’s exit is a nice escalation to the conflict that shows how dire a situation this is forour leads, and Paulsen’s involvement in the World Heartbeat program is a clever twist.