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The Story of June by Herman Chow (coding) (Call me Ishmael) Short, Romantic Dramedy w/ music - An aspiring female singer falls in love with a songwriter, who writes her a song to enter a singing contest. - pdf, format
I think this is an example of what I was balking at when the genre and theme was announced i.e. how to fit a 'bigger romantic story' and lyrics into twelve pages. For example, there's little to no build-up in the search for the 'songwriter' - which is solved too quickly imo, and ditto with the reader (or at least, this one) not being able to fully realize the backstory for Melinda's dislike of Sam.
There's one other thing that also didn't ring true to me: the idea of the MC threatening to call security because June dares to sing a song not on the program.
Having said that, there are some sweet moments in this story and the lyrics were reasonable and I see that you worked hard to try to get the full story across through the use of Montage, so good job.
Just as an aside, I would have picked a more contemporary name for your lead. Once again that's just my opinion.
Even though this was cloying, sentimental, cliched and predictable, in the end, it fit all the criteria! Romantic/drama (though nil comedy, apart from Sam accidentally clocking someone at the opera) muiscal... The writing was good and overall, even though I wouldn't pay to see this type of movie/short, the writer captured the theme quite well. Nice effort!
I think you should've let the story reveal the song's title rather than just telling us. Even if it's obvious what the title will be... especially in a story like this where it is, at first, unkown to your main character.
I also, like others have said, think this is maybe too big a story for just 12 pages. Unlike some of the others, I didn't like the montage. It gave it a rushed feeling, but I do understand why you used them.
The BEATS... most of them weren't necessary. After each one, there was somthing written to indicate a pause anyway.
The ing words have been covered. I'm another person who noticed em tho and others will too.
As for the story, there wasn't any comedy but you did do a good job meeting all the other requirments and pretty well.
This one is definitely a romantic dramedy! It's all about romance!
I liked it! The only thing I am not crazy about is the montages. You have them in two places and in both cases they seem to ruin the flow. Sam and June hooked up - it's pretty obvious - I really don't think you needed the series of shots.
The resolution was quite satisfying. Yey! She sang Sam's song!
The song did not impress me (meaning your lyrics) but better than my own... and do lyrics really matter...
Anyway, thanks for an easy read. Very engaging script.
nice story...a little "one noted", but a good try for a week...like some of the previous comments, i'm not sure if your montages really helped your cause...everything seemed to have a rhythm to it and the montages broke it...there was a lot of subtext in the description (still believing that sam is here [how do we know that]...june prepares to confess [again, we can't see that. but we might find it out through dialog])...a little tightening of the description would move the read way up...some things to like...
I thought this was a good effort and you really captured the theme well (minus the comedy). Certainly had the romance part covered and the song fit into the plot of the story so good job there.
Wasn't too sure on why Sam started ignoring June. I mean I know that Melinda called him up and presumably asked him to stop seeing June, but why did he listen? If he really cared for he wouldn't just give up on her so easily, especially over something as trivial as a singing competition.
But you packed a lot into the twelve pages and had the feel of the genre, so it's probably one of the better entries I've read so far.
Cons – Few stumbles in format/storytelling: Don’t need phone numbers, don’t need to told the song will be known as The Story of June, don’t need to be told twice it’s 3:00 PM, don’t need to see June arrive at Melinda’s, don’t need underlining, use of beats was intrusive….
Comedy – Mild humor with Sam singing badly as a continuing gag. Opera hit was good too.
Romance – Moderate. It’s there but not quite fully realized. The dual montages could be tuned a bit to help here.
Lyrics – Integrated as the song on Sam’s lost iPod which becomes the song June sings at her contest to win her man.
Writer – The dreaded love montage – twice in one short! But they did work. I did like the dialogue “It depends on how well you sing.” Nice touch.
Criteria – Comedy could use a kick-up but at least there is romance!
Sorry, but there are just so many problems going on here. Passive verbiage is a big issue. The fact that you repeated "The Story of June" at least 7 times is crazy! Maybe it was more like 10, actually. Verb tense shifted several times as well. Lots of mistakes.
Story itself was OK, but not much more. Very unrealistic, lots of continuity issues with time, and a very predictable ending.
Music was well integrated, but the lyrics were pretty bad, and the fact that it begun with "The Story of June" over and over, really ruined any hopes it had.
Good effort for the OWC, but other than that, this did not work for me in any way. Sorry, again, as I don't want to be harsh.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Well you know, I do think that this has potential.
From the perspective of the premise you developed, I think you did a good job because I found that "her choice" in this, made it compelling.
Now for the bad news. There are lots of troubles with your writing that you just have to work on is all. I'll only mention a few.
Sometimes we screw up because we write things we really haven't researched and sometimes you don't even think you need to research, but I guess that's why "write what you know", although it sounds pretty narrow minded, kinda makes sense.
Anyways, here's the for instance:
Instead of: >Expand the stomach.
The singing teacher would probably say, Breath from the diaphragm.
It's just one of those little things that make it sound real.
In a lot of the dialogue, you didn't you contractions.
Most people do not talk like they are robots. The exception would be for people having English as a second language.
>I just think the note is outta my range. >That's no excuse…
Actually, it is.
Why doesn't she lower transpose to a lower key?
I liked the scene on page four with Sam singing his song terribly and then June turning it around for the crowd of onlookers.
Maybe change the singing teacher's name. Melinda didn't ring true as a singing teacher name. Especially, with her, "That's no excuse!" dialogue. I kept picturing a young girl.
Melinda's character changes with:
>But now as a friend-- tell me, what's wrong?
Look at the bottom of page seven and top of page eight.
The dialogue again, is not ringing true.
>I don't think any of the judges will like it either.
Now, if she thinks that, especially after the friendly what's wrong dialogue, she'd certainly explain why she thinks they wouldn't like it.
>she spotted Sam
Try and stay in present tense.
Like I said, I think you have a good premise and some good moments in this. Just keep writing!
Hmm.. Was not very fond of this piece, but then again it is almost 2 am and I'm out of Captains....
You did get the drama down.... The romance lacked. And there was nil comedy IMO. I've read the cliches all over the OWC and I think we've all tried to be nice... I'm afraid I cannot be on this one. I did not like the guy walking out to join her on stage at the end. To make her more cumffy...
Like I said, bit of an arse right now, the thing i will defend is that it does seem like you wrote your entire script around this challenge. Where as i could believe others could have had a comedy, romance, or drama in the banks that they just threw out here for a read. Seems like you tried to base your entire script around this song...
I applaud that, I just thought there could've been an effort to encompass the other two elements. Which made this so difficult.
On the positive side i did like the lyrics, I thought they were emotionally charged and well conceived. Again difficult to do what they asked in a 12 pager...
I thought this was one of the better efforts that I've read so far. Had some maturity to it.
It's a bit predictable and a couple of things let it down. The montages felt very akward indeed and the security guy at the end seemed a little off.
In some ways having Sam sing at the competition was a step too far. It's a bit like About a Boy when Hugh Grant gets on stage.
Might have been nicer if she didn't know Sam was there but decided to sing the song anyway. Sam is hiding at the back and only then shows himself.
That way you have the circle complete. The song found June. Then it finds Sam again.
However it was a good story. It had more going on than a lot of them and I think that's important in longer shorts. Statistically, viewers are very unlikely to watch a short over 6 minutes long unless they are at a festival. 12 minutes is a very long time for a short and you need to tell quite a large story in that time IMO. You do need to flesh out some areas more (Sam and Melinda's back story for instance) but rather than extending the page count, I would try and chainsaw some of the existing script and fit in the extra in the existing space.
So she was compelled to find this guy just because one track (without words) on his iPod sounded good? How did she know the owner was even a guy? The ending was just as unbelievable... the audience stands up and cheers just because some guy with a terrible singing voice walked on stage completely against the rules of the competition and started singing?
The whole thing was loaded with cliches and felt like a really bad romantic dramedy, which I suppose is good because that was the challenge, but the script itself didn't really work for me. Sorry.