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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Series  ›  Tommy's Millions Moderators: bert
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  Author    Tommy's Millions  (currently 933 views)
Don
Posted: October 28th, 2016, 4:20pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Tommy's Millions Episode #1 "Fishing for Tigers" by Cameron Gray - Series, Drama - A single mother struggles with the loss of her children's father, and the prospect of the wealth that he appears to have left them. 51 pages - pdf, format

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

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 25th, 2017, 9:10am
revised draft
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JakeJon
Posted: November 1st, 2016, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
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Hi C,
Your story was fluid, easy to read and digest.  AND  It's pretty obvious you've had a lesson or two in screenplay formatting.   But, I thought it read more like a Short Story than a Screenplay.

The rest of my comments are purely subjective so take 'em or leave 'em.  You need more CONFLICT, CONFLICT, CONFLICT!  I think your story is too predictable.  
Anna is "very nice" , too nice, with two wonderful boys.  Her ex. is a "lucky" druggie", her mom, a drunk  and June is the beautiful, addict bitch.   Soap Opera stuff.  If that's what your "Series" is? then, okay.

Watch out for Over Writing actions, ie. (The Line goes dead. Anna drops her phone and holds the ridge of her nose as she starts to cry.  She collapses against the counter and lets out an ear shattering scream). A little over the top, perhaps something like,  (The Line goes dead.  Anna collapses.)

Your first Montage: I'd eliminate completely. Anna, the boys, and Lynne are travelling to see Margaret and Jim.  If the actions add nothing important to the story, let 'em go.  NOT NECESSARY.

Margaret and Jim, Tommy's parents are pissed because June wins out. They get skunked and they could use the $. That's great. Make more of it.
Anna is satisfied with the small amount for the boys.  I don't know.  Anna is just too nice for me.   She deserves more.  There's so much potential conflict in a Will gone wrong.  I think this is a missed opportunity.  

Your last Montage seems like an attempt to pull the ending together.   Too many scene changes. You may want to forego the Montage again and rewrite using scenes, action and dialogue.

Here's what I Liked:
Lynne, A great character, drunks usually are. (clinging on to her former glory) Wow, I'm dying for more info here.  What former glory?
Alexei steals the show, of course. and finally the Peacock.  Great stuff here. The tiger taking out June is minimally satisfying but an ok ending.

Finally, ask yourself,  Who is the protagonist? What is her/his goal?  What is at stake if she fails.? It should be critical that she succeeds.  What's in her way (conflict)?  Finally, who is  the antagonist?    If you've heard this, all before, I apologize.  But the "stuff interest is made of".

I think you should rewrite and turn it into a 90 page feature.

Pretty brutal huh, remember it's just my opinion and my stuff
is always getting ripped apart.

Anyway, good luck and stick with it.
JJ





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#GaryManson
Posted: November 5th, 2016, 8:05am Report to Moderator
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Hi Cameron, Sorry but I stopped after the first page. I'm new so if I'm wrong then I have learnt something new. Anyway my problem is, why the V.O for Tommy, where is he, is he on the phone to Anna, if so surely you have to tell us. Just asking.

Cheers

Gary
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Cam Gray
Posted: November 7th, 2016, 2:54pm Report to Moderator
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Evening lads!

Apologies for late reply, I need to put a notification on this one.

Firstly, sorry you didn't read on Gary. It's a correct method of dialogue regarding phone conversation (method 2 of link) - http://screenwriting.io/how-do-you-format-a-telephone-conversation-in-a-screenplay/

JJ, really glad you got through it all, and no hard feeling with criticism as an honest opinion is always the best way forward. I'm actually pretty new to all this screenwriting jazz, having only started in January, so glad it's reading well. Got to say I owe everything to the beautiful people round this site, as I didn't have a scooby doo as to what I was doing when I started.

I'll take on board needing further advancement of characters, it can only lead to more conflict, and I think where a large part of this seems to fall down for you is lack of full depth in characters. I've since taken a look at how long a drama series is supposed to be, and I'm about 15 pages short so I guess I need to get down to expanding this bad boy.

Alexei needs to be in this earlier, I'm pretty certain of that, as during the couple of reads I did of it I just kept getting drawn to him. Anna needs to show a different side, the fact she's divorced from Tommy means there's got to be some edge there. Don't worry, the tiger and June ain't done yet, that was for part deux (if I bother with a re-write), basically I need to get more down and as I said expand. Given you'd rather have 90 pages is that what you were aiming at?

At the heart of this was actually supposed to by Anna, struggling to cope with the concept of her boys inheriting the wealth that ruined their father. Again further emphasis needs to go in here, I guess.

Anyway, thanks for the detailed feedback, much appreciated mate.

Cheers

Cam

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Cam Gray
Posted: March 27th, 2017, 2:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey ladies and gents,

The first version of this was terrible. There we go, I've said it, ropey as.

That being said, there's a new revision (thanks Don for sticking it up here)! Any chance of another read of some of you beautiful people?

Any feedback would be amazing.

Cheers,

Cam
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