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  Author    The Beginning of The End and The End  (currently 5845 views)
Don
Posted: November 10th, 2014, 11:42am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Beginning of The End and The End by David Lambertson (eldave1) - Comedy - A widowed marriage counselor believes that she has already had her shot at true love. That belief is challenged when a divorce lawyer moves into the office next to hers.  116 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  February 15th, 2017, 6:06pm
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eldave1
Posted: December 20th, 2014, 2:52pm Report to Moderator
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Got this to the PAGE Semi-Finals and then crapped out. Currently working on a re-write


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: December 20th, 2014, 3:00pm Report to Moderator
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Why do you think it needs a rewrite if it made it to the semi finals? If nobody is interested, probably best to move onto another script. I've got a script that made it to the BBC finals and the Shore Scripts semi finals. Doesn't look like anyone is interested so I'm moving on.

Just saying. Good luck anyway.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: December 20th, 2014, 3:49pm Report to Moderator
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where's my simply scripts thong?

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Hi Eldave

I quite liked the Logline so had a look. Well done on the semi finalists, usually a good sign.

So, I thought I would open up the script..woah.

Now, here's a thing. We can all write in different ways, and that's fine. And 'us lot ' need to remember that. There is no single way to write.

But...

IMO there is a lot to improve in your first page...without being too obsessive about things.

There was a recent thread on 50 ways to know an amateur writer and I would guess a few are on display here.

Overly large block of action text. Passive writing - eg is singing, rather than sings etc

But also...

The first page had a clear message. Well done. That would have sucked he reader in. So many forget to make it clear.

However, it seems to me you have the opportunity of tightening this up, giving it focus, crisper etc and maybe it can go on to the next finals.

All the best


My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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eldave1
Posted: December 20th, 2014, 11:02pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the feedback Reef - will take it to heart. I found the thread you referenced - good stuff.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: December 21st, 2014, 4:34am Report to Moderator
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Code

INT. CAR TRAVELING ON LOS ANGELES STREET - DAY

EMILY, 35, attractive, with short blonde hair is driving a
convertible with the top down. She is softly singing along
with a love song that is playing on the car radio. She
arrives at a stop light and looks to her right - a YOUNG MAN
hands a bouquet of roses to a YOUNG WOMAN. Emily starts to
sing the love song a little louder. The young woman angrily
tosses the bouquet back into the young man's chest.



So, I figured I'd take a look at the Page semi finalist. Wow. Wtf was the point in me learning how to professionally write a screenplay? This looks like how I wrote screenplays before ever reading one. I actually wrote five full features (all by hand) before ever looking at correct format. And I'd write them just like this. Massive block of action right at the start and then the dialogue. Occasional breaks in dialogue for a line of action.

Why did I bother?

I'm not even sure I should give any advice. If this got to the semi-finals of Page, I can only wonder what the fuck those judges are doing. This one would go into the bin the moment I read the first few lines of action, If I was a judge.


Code

INT. CAR TRAVELING ON LOS ANGELES STREET - DAY

EMILY, 35, attractive, with short blonde hair is driving a
convertible with the top down.


Why not place in the slug that it's a convertible?

INT. CONVERTIBLE - TRAVELLING - DAY

EMILY, 35, attractive, short blonde hair, drives along
INSERT NAME OF LA ROAD.


Or it could even be an external shot first. So the slug would then have the name of the street in it and you would describe the convertible and Emily driving along it in the action. Kinda like an establishing shot. Then move to the INT of the convertible and whatever she's doing.

In fact I'd make your first two sentences just one:

EMILY, 35, attractive, short blonde hair, drives along LA
ROAD while singing softly to a love song playing on the radio.


I'd then move onto a new action block.. because the camera moves somewhere else.

Code

She arrives at a stop light and looks to her right - a YOUNG MAN
hands a bouquet of roses to a YOUNG WOMAN. Emily starts to
sing the love song a little louder.


What I don't like about the above is that I can't tell where the man and woman are. It may be a fairly inconsequential image in the grand scheme of things, but it still makes me confused. Are they sitting on a bench? Maybe outside the cinema. I have no idea.

She arrives at a stop light and looks to her right - a YOUNG MAN
hands a bouquet of roses to a YOUNG WOMAN.

Emily sings a little louder.


I think once she looks to her right the camera moves to her POV. When she starts to sing again, the camera will have moved back to her, so needs a new line of action, IMO. It's fine to have one line of action. Then move back tot the couple with a new line.

The young woman slams the bouquet into the young man's chest.

Anyway... that's all I have for now. I'm just sorely disappointed that it seems entering the Page is a complete waste of time.

Revision History (1 edits)
Dustin  -  December 21st, 2014, 9:52am
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Dontrel
Posted: December 21st, 2014, 11:36pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I just started this, and so far so good, I'll give my honest feedback when I'm finished.

Dustin was kind of being a dick, but any criticism is good criticism I guess.
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Dustin
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 3:42am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


Sorry that your reading of a single page of my script led to your disgust for the PAGE contest.


I only need to read one page to see how well you write a screenplay. Sometimes I only need to read one action block. The tips that I gave you can use to rewrite the whole script... unless you seriously expect me to edit the whole thing for free?

I don't have any interest in your story, nor anyone else's... because I've read them all already. Over and over and over again. It's not personal. Nor am I doing it to be a dick as one idiot here claims.



Quoted Text
I certainly did not intend that collateral damage.


Damage to who? Me or The Page? I can only assume you mean me... don't worry about me. I'm smart. Smart enough to know bullshit when I see it.



Quoted Text
I am a glass half full kind of guy so I'm going with the latter.


Yeah... I think I'll try out The Page and enter with a novelette, only lay it out to look like a screenplay. I'll write it all in past tense too. I'll probably win.

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eldave1
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks much Dontrel


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 1:25pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
I only need to read one page to see how well you write a screenplay. Sometimes I only need to read one action block.

Good for you. Keep working on it and you might be able to get it down to a single word.


Extremely weak attempt at sarcasm. No doubt the same lack of wit that attracted the high school kids to your script at Page.


Quoted Text
The tips that I gave you can use to rewrite the whole script... unless you seriously expect me to edit the whole thing for free?

The tips were valuable - thanks again. No, I don't want you to read another sentence. Please don't.


I was being sarcastic. I wouldn't read another sentence even if you paid me.


Quoted Text
I don't have any interest in your story, nor anyone else's... because I've read them all already. Over and over and over again. It's not personal. Nor am I doing it to be a dick as one idiot here claims.

Please use that lack of interest as motivation not to read more (given your statement I am at a lost as to why you looked in the first place).


I'm not sure what makes you think I want to read another word. I looked to see how your writing was and give you some helpful tips.


Quoted Text
No, I don't think you're doing it to be a dick. I think your a dick regardless. I can't be the first one telling you that.


No, you wouldn't be the first person to tell me that. Usually females. I think you're actually the first guy to admit it though. Feel free. Think about my dick as much as you want to. I should warn you that I'm straight.


Quoted Text
Damage to who? Me or The Page? I can only assume you mean me... don't worry about me. I'm smart. Smart enough to know bulls*** when I see it.

PAGE.

Why would you care about damage to the page? Why do you even care about my comments regarding The Page? Do you work for them?


Quoted Text
Yeah... I think I'll try out The Page and enter with a novelette, only lay it out to look like a screenplay. I'll write it all in past tense too. I'll probably win.

More evidence of dickishness.


Why do you care what I say about The Page? Have I actually offended you?

Just to be clear... I help you with your script then express my displeasure with The Page and this makes me a dick? Fuck you too.
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Dustin
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Quoted from eldave1


This is emblematic of your problems. Your premise is that, because you have something valuable to say, it gives you license to say it any manner you choose. I would think that as a screenwriter you would know that's a faulty paradigm.


I did not insult you at all.


Quoted Text
Yes, you gave some sound advice. However, for whatever reason, you can't seem to provide it without gratuitous insults. It ain't that hard to be civil. Conversely,  it takes effort to be uncivil. You should take the easier road. You're mistaken if you think that folks should tolerate the insults because you dropped a pearl of wisdom in between them.


Quote where I insulted you prior to you insulting me. You're just pissed because I didn't read more than a page of your shitty script. Oh and you feel the need to defend Page... probably because you made it to the semi's so seek to legitimise that.


Quoted Text
So no - I don't really believe that your one page read of my script lead you to the ponder "WTF was the point of you learning how to professionally write a screenplay" or that you believe entering the PAGE contest is a complete waste of time or any other of the hyperbolic diatribe you felt  compelled to put in your response. Instead, they're just shitty things you wanted to say.


Yes it did lead to that very thought which is why I wrote it. If it didn't lead to that thought where the fuck did the idea come from to write it? Somebody with a psychic link controlled my fingers? Of course I had that thought. What a stupid thing to suggest.

And I know that there are a lot of writers reading your script that are thinking exactly the same thing. It's a piss take in my opinion. In the very least a screenplay should be professionally written... otherwise what is the point in learning to do it properly? I genuinely don't know. Seems I was better off not knowing what I was doing.
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 7:15pm Report to Moderator
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David,

I chimed in briefly yesterday, but deleted my comment because I'm not gonna hijack your thread without reading any of the script. And unlike Dustin, I read its entirety. Congrats on being a Semi-Finalist, you should be proud, it's not easy to advance - and your script is strong contender. I'll say one thing about PAGE and move on to my thoughts about your work.

There are thousands of entries in PAGE, and when we open our wallets to play, the expectation is that this prestigious writing competition will showcase nothing but amazing scripts, encompassing elite showmanship of the craft. But we all know who won it all, so I'm confident the competition retains its validity as prestigious. If anyone hasn't entered it, there's more to the evaluation process than just the writing, so it should be noted that outstanding story, dialogue, and premise can set one author apart from the rest of the pack. If I was a reader, would I have advanced this script as a semi-finalist? Short answer - no.

Dustin is right, the writing is poor. Believe it. It was insanely slow, and quite often awkward and unclear. That being said, you have one EXTREMELY EASY rewrite on your hands here. Knowing that this can be a super easy fix writing-wise, most of my feedback is on the story elements.

Structurally, this is your run-of-the-mill RomCom with an excellent twist in premise. It's no wonder why PAGE fell in love with the script, because it does a lot of things right. You have interesting characters with believable dialogue. But I feel the characterization (want/need/change) falls short, and thematic revelation is dull because of it. I will say that these are the perfect characters for the bill, and your play on conflict through competition is what makes this work - but really - what do these character really want? What are their needs? Most importantly: their internal goals. They should be fighting over the same thing, whether they know it or not.

Although the premise is a strong one, it's one that suggests most - if not all - failed marriages end in infidelity, which strikes me more myth than fact. Either way, it's repetitive on both sides of your characters' argument. That and Emily seems to always need a drink. Marriages have a wealth of scandals and quirks that you could explore further.

Dialogue was a strong suit, this line was comedic and witty:

GEORGE
Did you hate your therapist?

MIKE
No, actually she was pretty good.

GEORGE
Well, then that's not her.

Emily's father had a solid monologue, good enough that he probably deserves a name in the script.

The exchange between Emily and Salvador was interesting. I thought it was a nice touch of venom regarding her Lauren's involvement.

So the pivotal revelation comes in an elevator that has malfunctioned. It's a worthy one, but why did you choose to have Mike hold the detonator and not George himself?

There was a nice juxtaposition in these two lines:

What are your emotional needs? What are your financial needs?

Those two lines are amazing thematic technique, yet I was curious why these two statements don't have stake in Emily or George's life? Or vise versa? The resolution of the climax seemed to be George's gesture of his office. It was a selfless motive, but comes from a man that never fully came across selfish. Even though it had external weight, it shouldn't have had such an emotional impact in regards to shedding Peter from her life. She demonstrates this when she sees him in the city - and flipping the bird might be the wrong thematic message.

Overall, Emily's needs weren't fully developed and, what needs were present, were never resolved. What was clever about this was the dynamic Emily and George had competitively, even though it came across more playful than what should be defined through story structure. I thought it would've been cool to see a patient/client tug of war rather than a territorial one, at least in the latter part of the script. I like the title, it aligns itself with the story.

I'm left thinking what this script could've been with polished formatting, and more importantly, a killer narrative that was well written. Good luck on your rewrite.

Johnny
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eldave1
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 9:03pm Report to Moderator
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Johnny - sincere thanks for the review. It is very much appreciated.

From your and other posters comments I have a lot of work to do on some of the simpler things (e.g., passive versus active voice, tightening up the action blocks, etc.) and am going to get right on that.


Quoted Text
Structurally, this is your run-of-the-mill RomCom with an excellent twist in premise. It's no wonder why PAGE fell in love with the script, because it does a lot of things right. You have interesting characters with believable dialogue. But I feel the characterization (want/need/change) falls short, and thematic revelation is dull because of it. I will say that these are the perfect characters for the bill, and your play on conflict through competition is what makes this work - but really - what do these character really want? What are their needs? Most importantly: their internal goals. They should be fighting over the same thing, whether they know it or not.


Perfect - it hit me as soon as I read your comment. I think I am particularly (but not exclusively) weak in this area as it relates to George. As I read your critique here it struck me that if someone asked me (a) What does George want? (b) What does George need? -  I couldn't answer the question - and I wrote the damn thing.  I think Emily's want (i.e, Peter) is clear, but not compelling and a bit tedious - it should be a deeper need. Think I need to explore the "why" of that (i.e., she wants Peter because....?).  Before I touch anything else, I'm going to take out a scratch piece of paper and start brainstorming the want/need/change for both these characters.


Quoted Text
Although the premise is a strong one, it's one that suggests most - if not all - failed marriages end in infidelity, which strikes me more myth than fact. Either way, it's repetitive on both sides of your characters' argument. That and Emily seems to always need a drink. Marriages have a wealth of scandals and quirks that you could explore further.


I'll work on this. I did have a scene (that I deleted) with Emily in a gym (i.e., rather than a bar ). I think it would be relatively easy to change the setting from drinking to something else i.e, I agree - she is drinking too much.  You had an interesting take on the premise. In the original version of the script, Emily was a widower rather than someone who was separated. She had lost interest in romance as she was certain that she had already been with the person she was meant to be with. In that version she was a more credible defender of marriage (rather than a victim of it). I am going to explore going back to that as a way to create the balance you talked about.


Quoted Text
Emily's father had a solid monologue, good enough that he probably deserves a name in the script.


Okay - he'll get one.


Quoted Text
Those two lines are amazing thematic technique, yet I was curious why these two statements don't have stake in Emily or George's life? Or vise versa? The resolution of the climax seemed to be George's gesture of his office. It was a selfless motive, but comes from a man that never fully came across selfish. Even though it had external weight, it shouldn't have had such an emotional impact in regards to shedding Peter from her life. She demonstrates this when she sees him in the city - and flipping the bird might be the wrong thematic message.


Good point. I think I kind of blended two things here together (i.e., 1 - what gets her over Peter, and 2 - what gets her into George). They shouldn't be. Best case is that they are out of sequence. Again, in the re-write I might nuke Peter altogether and go with the widower back story.


Quoted Text
Overall, Emily's needs weren't fully developed and, what needs were present, were never resolved.


Got it - as indicated above - I thing you are spot on here.

In terms of the PAGE awards diversion - not sure how all that got going. Obviously, I am an amateur. I am long retired and took this up as a hobby - something I always wanted to do. I was merely looking for help - thought I might have something given that I did okay in the contest (i.e., maybe there was something there worth working on). I never mean to turn it into a referendum on the PAGE awards. Oh well.

Johnny: again, many thanks for your efforts here. I can't wait to get back to this. If there is anything I can do in return, let me know.




My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Angry Bear
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 9:15pm Report to Moderator
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David, stick around SS. One of our own won the PAGE Grand Prize this year. Your in good hands, it just takes some time to get to know all the characters that inhabit this place. There are beginners, PAGE winners and Nichol's semi finalists. We all try to help each other. Personalities clash sometimes, but that's just part of the forum.  


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eldave1
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Bear - appreciate the thoughts


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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