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It was 5 pages that read like 15. I really hard slog. The whole script is very over written.
A few things,
How will we know it’s an IKEA table and does it even matter?
You say that it is a narrow slit but he can examine the moons shapes, shadows and craters. How narrow we talking here?
I like a good aside and unfilmable every once in a while but in my opinion there are way too many in this script, things like,
“Calm and patiently he watches it, as if it's a miracle – and it actually is here, because of how his glassy eyes focus the common natural satellite.”
Huh? And this,
“The moment soon vanishes since nothing lasts forever. Nevertheless, Writer's eyes attest a revival, as if an elemental force touched him, brought back some relativity to his ways. It's one of the secrets of writers we witness. Psst. All alone and so on... then there are definite answers to Why. This is one.”
Sounds nice but its not suited to screenwriting.
“Writer drinks alcohol like an animal”, how does an animal drink alcohol?
I think the series of shots is way too long.
“He intends to flip open his notebook to do shit”, for such descriptive, flowery writing, this seemed lazy and out of place.
I couldn’t get invested in this story in any way and I felt nothing for the writer.
"How will we know it’s an IKEA table and does it even matter?" It's cheap crap. And the world-wide placeholder for cheap crap furniture is IKEA. In a way it's a metaphor for small crappy artificial wood garbage table. I'm fine with small IKEA table.
"You say that it is a narrow slit but he can examine the moons shapes, shadows and craters. How narrow we talking here?" Obviously big enough to view the moon. It's a coincidence in some way that the moon stands in exact position and is visible, no doubt. A bold cliché of staring at the moon I put out.
The prosy way of explaining the last shot is a clear specific intervention of me and those who liked the script walked with it through the whole development process and understood the purpose 100%. I think the problem you had here was that you just didn't like the script, so you rejected its individual style. And it is pretty individual/different. But all the characteristics of the writing were deliberately chosen throughout. It's a hell of a slow script. I know that. The reader/viewer/filmmaker shall mirror the content; that flowery romanticized dragging writing process on screen is in every word on page. There are not many scripts one should write that way, but in a drama that borders to a melo there is that opportunity. It’s the other side of the spectrum, regarding the BOOOM, staccato action script writing, which has its purpose too, of course, velocity.
I liked this quite a bit. Your experimenting with form, didn't bother me at all. And your prose, although flowery in places, worked well for this piece. A writer, being literally overwhelmed by his work is something I can definitely relate to. The way you conveyed the fragmented nature of the process, through the accumulation of pages is visually striking. I would love to see the finished film.
I'm pretty sure I've read this before. This has a very artsy vibe to it, and not everyone's gonna get it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The way I see it is it's more a meditation on perhaps the inner mind of a writer. It so over done, and I can't say it's how every writer works. I would suspect a serial killer would act more like this writer does! But the message this delivers is pretty clear to me -- it's the journey a writer goes on, metaphorically, in the writing process, and how what one sees as trash doesn't really matter in the end. It's how you feel about your own work that matters, whether it brings you satisfaction or joy. This obviously came from a very personal place.
I was at a Film Festival in Brooklyn over the weekend, and believe me, something like this would've fit in well with some of what I was seeing. Only problem -- or nitpick -- is it's not traditional, meaning it doesn't have a linear story to latch onto. It's kinda out there, yes, but that's sort of its appeal. Good work!
Thanks Ron. It's hit and miss with this script. Definitely great to hear you and some others are convinced of the exact way it is. I think the title can help to find the definite target audience later.
Steve,yes, you read the first version of it two and a half years ago. I think you understood the conflict very well. Enough said . Thanks, man.
Alex, I didn't mind this - at least as an experiment of form. You manage to make no dialogue flow a little better than it otherwise would.
I'm not really that interested in the struggles of a writer, even being one. It's a pretty cushy job if you ask me so it's hard to feel a lot of conflict (I understand that may not have been your intent). Is this intended to be a universal thing about writers - the "lonliness", the ennui, rejection? If not, why not give your character a name if he is not a placeholder for all? I won't go as far as RichardR and say it's self absorbed but it's definitely a bit...indulgent. Especially the "look of respect" shared by the mechanic and writer, as if the jobs are comparable.
Too many quick shots in that scene.
Overall, I guess it's interesting and well-written. The prose was good and you have a great eye for words. I guess my beef is conceptual (haha). Would be interesting to see how this could all be conveyed if filmed.
this script is done and if things don't explain themselves and you cannot connect, it is an honest, completely acceptable opinion and result.
At the core you both are right, it's a study about self-absorption and also a complete placeholder scenario (almost fictive - that's open to interpretation; a cliché taken to the top, bold and over-pictured). That said, it's a placeholder only of those writers who not think what they do is an "easy" job, and rather experience a hard daily fight. ((@Ben I definitely would compare them. Not technically, more from a human sight. They both do what they can do, which is to use their specific abilities. The Mechanic knows his neighbor. He doesn't fully understand him but he knows Writer pays the bills and that he does something alone behind the curtains what lets him pay the bills. Mechanic respects that and greets him when he shows up once in a while. And Writer respects that Mechanic works on cars. Even in this little image, there's heavy irony in case that Writer probably would most times prefer working outside with a better overview on a certain task -- but Mechanic, on the other side, might think he would like to sit in the Loft and write something instead of having his hands under the hood, full of oil. Though the truth is – each of them does what he can, and they know the other one does so too))
People are just divided here. Some seem to get every beat and meaning plus their given freedom to interpret wildly on top -- while others give a clear no for simple and clear reasons. I respect that. This script cannot work different. I just know that.
So I decided to read this despite my initial hesitation after glancing at the pages. Make no mistakes, this 5 page script is incredibly intimidating at first glance. Why? Because it's nothing but prose. And scripts that contain little to no dialogue are typically over written. And this script is no different.
After reading your responses to criticism, I'm a little discouraged. I'm sure most, if not all, of the people who read this script "get" it. I certainly did. This might be a fine novella, but it's not a good screenplay. Every page of this script could be condensed into two paragraphs. This isn't a hit or miss script. It's a miss from both a technical and story telling standpoint.
And if I'm saying this, what are potential filmmakers going to think? It's important to remember that we're only responsible for a portion of the finished product. Us writers must rely on others to produce our work.
Anyways, this script tells the reader what and how to feel. Instead, the reader should infer this on their own. Write the story, not the analysis.
"Every page of this script could be condensed into two paragraphs."
The writing indicates partly single twenty second shots the way it is. Writing those shots in standard format, f.i. the one with staring at the moon, is simply ridicolous. A big crater there, a shadow on the left moon surface, glassy eyes... come on.... The script is completely out of the box. There's a clear target audience that is upfront defined with the title alone. On screen is prose, so is on the page. Probably I wouldn't write any other script that way, here it has its purpose... in case you don't believe that I've chosen this style deliberately, perhaps check out my WIP The Individual Wars if you like, it's straight written...
For me it lacked story. And action I'd say. All of the writers movements and thinkings and looks - this is not really action for me. When the publisher writes pass - this I consider action and I think if he stamped "pass" it would be more effective in this kind of setting. Some of his thoughts you explain in prose - I don't see how it will be translated into film. Well, I wish there was more. I also wish it was more grotesque. Like this one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sON0He2mTC8
Both your short and the episode of Kids In The Hall gave me the same vibe. And I think if yours was more grotesque it would work better. Well, at least for me.
I watched into the clip and can't see where the connection sits. My script is very sensible, in my own eyes, and has a fine line that easily can be crushed to pieces with regarding its content, both, presentation and/or story.
To defend it like a baby, ambiguous , isn't my thing here. I truly accept if people see it different. It feels that I completed this one and since you know me, and you do to some degree, you also know that I've written many scripts in English so far. This is still my first script if you know what I mean.
That it's dragging and boring, static, slow, passive, is somehow the soul of this script. It speaks that language and shall touch at a different level. I even like it that it splits opinions, there's debate and "life in the house" as we'd say in Germany. If it's any good... ? ... there my writing personality would always say it's up to you.
Alex, I think you could use better adjectives as Warren stated to describe the soul of your story.
Perhaps: Intense, contemplative, even tortured rumination in the day in the life of a writer.
You do well describing the Writer's agony, the chaos, the cleanup, and then the dogged resolve to begin all over again.
I think you missed an opportunity when Writer exits the building after his visit to the publisher. I really thought, while lighting his cigarette a wind gust was going to result in those manuscript papers going everywhere. That he would attempt to pick them up, and then throw his hands up in a 'to hell with it' gesture.
I'd also break the action/story up so that there is another visit to that same publisher/agent etc. Perhaps he gets a 'maybe' in the beginning etc., goes back a second time.
I think it breaks up the action(I enjoyed it the first time) akin to the writer finally getting some fresh air.
It gives your audience a change of scenery too, though a lot of tortured writer's repetitive groundhog day type routine could be speeded up on film too. Make sense?
Some word choices could be better, getting lost in translation i.e., ESL. You do really well considering. But I'd replace the word 'pisses' with 'urinates', or 'micturates' if you want to show off, but I'd stick with the more everyday 'takes a leak'.
I enjoyed a lot of this, the vibe, the ideas behind, but I think it needs something more. I'll keep thinking... Get back to you if I have any more to add.