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I'm not that much of a romantic comedy fan but the scenario of eating out with a vegan is an interesting one. Some amusing bits, I think the humour could have been more subtle in places. I would have liked the ending to be a bit more amusing. I think he got off lightly. You need to put DAY or NIGHT in your sluglines and cap charecters when they are first introduced.
Dustin(20s, good looking, wearing a light colored shirt, jeans and a black jacket), adjusts the sleeves of his jacket just before entering into the restaurant. He looks a bit nervous but squares his shoulders and opens the door to the restaurant.
On the SCENE HEADING a time is needed: DAY or NIGHT
Capitalize DUSTIN as this is his first appearance. Then afterwards just Dustin.
INT. RESTAURANT - DAY or NIGHT
He enters and looks around in search of someone. At the far end of the restaurant, he spots a girl in a black dress sitting at a table.
He enters and looks around in search of someone. He spots a girl, EMMA in a black dress, at a table in the far end of the restaurant.
Just my preference. Let's get the NAMES in early for the reader.
#3. Speaking of NAMES: Let say I am watching and listening to your movie. How do I know he is DUSTIN and she is EMMA. I haven't seen nor heard their names. The reader will know because it is on paper. This is an area that more than many writers make.
DUSTIN Well, that took the edge off. COULD BECOME Well, Emma, that took the edge off.
EMMA (laughing) Yeah, it did. COULD BECOME. Yeah, Dustin, it did.
OR SOMETHING LIKE: Oh, you must be Emma!
Yeap, Dustin, I'm your blind date!
NEVER: Hi, I'm Dustin AND Hi, I'm Emma.
Kinda work the names in someway.
Now the viewers know the names.
DUMP the CONTINUEs at the TOP and BOTTOM of each page. These are old fashion and are like unwanted SPEED BUMPS.
Emma gets up from the table and goes to the reception to pay her bill and leave. Dustin scrambles from the table, hurriedly pays the bill, grabs something from one of the waiters and rushes to catch Emma.
This falls under SHOT BLOCKING. Think about the action above in real time and in screen time. On SCREEN I don't want to invest so much time watching a bill pay. In real time this event takes awhile and B O R I N G to watch on screen. Then Dustin repeats the above while in a RUSH. The SHOT timing isn't real. A rewrite will fix this with those thoughts in mine. Think CINEMATIC.
Overall, I like the story. A rewrite will strengthen it and the COMEDY will prevail more.
Good luck Yogita
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"Springtime in Alaska" 8 pages (Taken from Cold Dead Fingers)
“EXT. RESTAURANT Dustin(20s, good looking, wearing a light colored shirt, jeans and a black jacket), adjusts the sleeves of his jacket just before entering into the restaurant. He looks a bit nervous but squares his shoulders and opens the door to the restaurant.”
- Just a suggestion but its good practice to keep prose to 4 lines or less, breaks up the read and helps with pacing. Especially in your opening lines which is the first impression you give to readers.
Also, look to removing “and” where possible by using commas instead and omitting “ing” in verbs. It’s all in the name of conserving space.
For example, the above this could be rewritten as:
“Dustin (20s), good looking, wears a light colored shirt, jeans and black jacket, adjusts his sleeve as he enters the restaurant. He looks a bit nervous but squares his shoulders, opens the door.”
You’ll see that nothing has been lost but it’s smoother and shorter, always a plus in this craft.
- Should be “seat”
DUSTIN Doesn’t that somehow involve chicken?
- Good line
DUSTIN It said something like if you eat too many you could turn orange?
- Yikes, not so good but I going to give him a pass and put this lame attempt at humour down to his nervousness.
“Their orders arrive and both put the napkins in their lap and start eating.”
- A small thing but there should be a scene break before here unless this is the fastest restaurant service ever. A CUT TO: or LATER slugline would do it.
EMMA You should have just said you didn’t like it.
- True but she still shouldn’t have gotten up and walked away without a word, equally rude.
Mmm, not sure about the ending, its weak. Besides the line I mentioned liking above the comedy here felt very forced and obvious. As a setup it has potential (although perhaps all the jokes about the righteous indignation of vegan/vegetarians have been done to death) but it’s certainly fertile soil for satire nonetheless.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the writing, while coherent for the most part, could be tightened up all around. You don’t have to explain every detail, convey the essentials and keep moving. You could definitely take a page or two off this.
Overall, this feels like a missed opportunity, lacks any real bite or originality. I would see about how you could bring a fresh or alternative perspective to it while working within the premise you’ve created.
Also, she says she’s a vegetarian yet it’s called a “The Vegan Date”. Am I missing the joke here?
Nice little story without real highlights. An acquaintance of mine, his nickname is 7River, once wrote a short film script about a meat eater who meets a vegetarian in a restaurant, chooses to eat meat, and has hallucinations. So he sees the toilet as a slaughterhouse, and himself as a cattle; that is to be slaughtered by two paramedics whom he considers as butcher. This story had tension and turning points. Your story splashes, like a quiet stream.