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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  RB Moderators: bert
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  Author    RB  (currently 618 views)
SimplyScripts
Posted: January 22nd, 2015, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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RB by Joe Caruso - Drama - A story about a guy who could have been a great running back in the NFL but had his dreams taken away by an evil competitor. This is a story about how he deals with the harsh reality of real life and love and what could have been. 129 pages - pdf, format


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

Revision History (1 edits)
SimplyScripts  -  November 22nd, 2015, 10:33pm
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JerrodD
Posted: January 25th, 2015, 3:54pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed your script RB.  It was deep, real and I think every athlete - high school, college, and professional - should read it also.
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GreenGecko
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(1)
You have minor grammar errors on page 1. Normally, I don't mean to comment on those, but you should give your script a read through to catch them.
For example, why is afternoon capitalized?
Why is high school capitalized?
Why is some capitalized?
There should be a comma after 18.
Superhuman is one word.
Jay should say "just a little bit OF daylight."

It's nitpicking, but people get tripped up on these things especially if they're on the front page.

Just from the first page, it seems your writing is needlessly wordy. Lots of conjunctions make sentences run on or feel long. You describe Jay as strong, lean, fast, tremendous physical condition, and a perfect running machine. It's redundant.

And you overexplain. "Jay EXPLODES at top speed through the line with reckless abandon. Fantastic moves are made by instinct and they are super human in their speed and precision" or "Jay stops on a dime to move to the left" to "Jay ...accelerates at amazing speed." We already know he's FAST. You don't need to constantly remind us with top speed, reckless abandon, on a dime, super human speed, amazing speed, etc. We get it.

(2)
And the VO is killing the scene. It's merely saying what we're seeing, without any subtext or insight.

"Number 66 purposely goes for Jay's knee and he is writhing in pain after the tackle, it was a vicious attempt to break his knee." This is one long sentence. What does "goes for Jay's knee" mean? Does he tackle his knee? Say that. And you already told us it was "purposely," so why add this other sentence "it was a vicious attempt to break his knee?"

(3)
Once again the VO feels out of place. It's too on the nose, and then he changes topic to the "perfect woman" out of nowhere.
And then he tells us what his job is and what he's doing, but you should SHOW us instead.

(4)
"Every man's type." What does that even mean?? If you don't have anything to say about her, then don't!

I think this line "Those were the days" is on the nose too. He's crying at a photo of his younger self, he doesn't need to tell us those were the days. We can see it.

(5)
I don't think you need this flashback scene. We already know he has grievances of his past, and this flashback doesn't add much.

(6)
The scene is a little weird because you never mention that David is missing a leg in an action line.

(
You already introduced Mary, so you don't need to do it again.

Here you say "catches the can in mid air before it falls to the ground." Now, you can leave off "before it falls to the ground" entirely because it is implied, but since you left it in, it creates this weird sense that it DID fall to the ground. It's another case of you being too wordy.

(12)
There is no need to tell us what each of these guys does. If he's cerebral, we'll see it in the dialogue. If he's a leader, we'll get it from how he acts. Does it matter that Dave Carson works at an advertising firm? And if it is important, that means it'll come up somewhere in the script. Thus, you don't need it here.

And it seems you have a Dave Alexander and a Dave Carson, but then there's only one Dave in your dialogue.

(13)
You have some really weird structure going on. First there's the scene with Mary in the deli. Then you cut 100 days later to where Jay is grumbling about losing her, then you CUT BACK to Jay and Mary. I have no idea why you're muddling so many flashbacks in here. And then you do a flashback within this flashback to when Jay was a kid. It's all over the place. It's confusing for no reason. And then you go back to the "Present Day" where it seems Mary and Jay are together?

Page 21 is where I had to stop reading.
The problem that I can see so far is that in twenty pages, the only drama has been that Jay is not over what happened to him in high school. Two things happens. He either denies it, or he admits it and someone tells him to not dwell on it (David, Gus, Steve). But you know, that's hardly drama.

But my bigger gripe is that this is something that happened in high school. No one is going to sympathize over some thirty year old guy complaining about things that happened when he was seventeen. At most we can pity how pathetic that is. But then even Mary is crying over a Youtube video of this stuff that happened years ago. It's melodramatic. We all have issues with our past, so that's the key to making Jay a sympathetic guy. But all this mumbling and grumbling about shit that happened in high school is a cliche. Have you seen Napoleon Dynamite? One of my favorite lines is when Uncle Rico is talking about what he'd do with the time machine. "Ohhhh, man I wish I could go back in time. I'd take state." It's comedy the way he cares so much about his high school sports career. And that's sort of the impression Jay is giving off.

And your dialogue can be way too on the nose in general. As an example:
" JAY: I need to feel like myself again. To feel like I felt in high school You make me feel like I am in high school again.
MARY: This needing me to feel like you felt in high school is just too much for me. "

People don't talk like that. They don't plainly say things like that. And even if they do, it's not enjoyable writing. People speak through the subtext of what they are saying.

I'm afraid the story might turn into one of those "beautiful female who has no character other than being beautiful save a depressed man and shows him the wonders of life." But I'm unfairly judging it way too early. If I get the chance, I'll read it some more.


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jjcwn
Posted: November 25th, 2015, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JerrodD
I enjoyed your script RB.  It was deep, real and I think every athlete - high school, college, and professional - should read it also.



Thank you for your comments.  I really appreciate it.

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jjcwn
Posted: November 25th, 2015, 3:27pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from GreenGecko
(1)
You have minor grammar errors on page 1. Normally, I don't mean to comment on those, but you should give your script a read through to catch them.
For example, why is afternoon capitalized?
Why is high school capitalized?
Why is some capitalized?
There should be a comma after 18.
Superhuman is one word.
Jay should say "just a little bit OF daylight."

It's nitpicking, but people get tripped up on these things especially if they're on the front page.

Just from the first page, it seems your writing is needlessly wordy. Lots of conjunctions make sentences run on or feel long. You describe Jay as strong, lean, fast, tremendous physical condition, and a perfect running machine. It's redundant.

And you overexplain. "Jay EXPLODES at top speed through the line with reckless abandon. Fantastic moves are made by instinct and they are super human in their speed and precision" or "Jay stops on a dime to move to the left" to "Jay ...accelerates at amazing speed." We already know he's FAST. You don't need to constantly remind us with top speed, reckless abandon, on a dime, super human speed, amazing speed, etc. We get it.

(2)
And the VO is killing the scene. It's merely saying what we're seeing, without any subtext or insight.

"Number 66 purposely goes for Jay's knee and he is writhing in pain after the tackle, it was a vicious attempt to break his knee." This is one long sentence. What does "goes for Jay's knee" mean? Does he tackle his knee? Say that. And you already told us it was "purposely," so why add this other sentence "it was a vicious attempt to break his knee?"

(3)
Once again the VO feels out of place. It's too on the nose, and then he changes topic to the "perfect woman" out of nowhere.
And then he tells us what his job is and what he's doing, but you should SHOW us instead.

(4)
"Every man's type." What does that even mean?? If you don't have anything to say about her, then don't!

I think this line "Those were the days" is on the nose too. He's crying at a photo of his younger self, he doesn't need to tell us those were the days. We can see it.

(5)
I don't think you need this flashback scene. We already know he has grievances of his past, and this flashback doesn't add much.

(6)
The scene is a little weird because you never mention that David is missing a leg in an action line.

(
You already introduced Mary, so you don't need to do it again.

Here you say "catches the can in mid air before it falls to the ground." Now, you can leave off "before it falls to the ground" entirely because it is implied, but since you left it in, it creates this weird sense that it DID fall to the ground. It's another case of you being too wordy.

(12)
There is no need to tell us what each of these guys does. If he's cerebral, we'll see it in the dialogue. If he's a leader, we'll get it from how he acts. Does it matter that Dave Carson works at an advertising firm? And if it is important, that means it'll come up somewhere in the script. Thus, you don't need it here.

And it seems you have a Dave Alexander and a Dave Carson, but then there's only one Dave in your dialogue.

(13)
You have some really weird structure going on. First there's the scene with Mary in the deli. Then you cut 100 days later to where Jay is grumbling about losing her, then you CUT BACK to Jay and Mary. I have no idea why you're muddling so many flashbacks in here. And then you do a flashback within this flashback to when Jay was a kid. It's all over the place. It's confusing for no reason. And then you go back to the "Present Day" where it seems Mary and Jay are together?

Page 21 is where I had to stop reading.
The problem that I can see so far is that in twenty pages, the only drama has been that Jay is not over what happened to him in high school. Two things happens. He either denies it, or he admits it and someone tells him to not dwell on it (David, Gus, Steve). But you know, that's hardly drama.

But my bigger gripe is that this is something that happened in high school. No one is going to sympathize over some thirty year old guy complaining about things that happened when he was seventeen. At most we can pity how pathetic that is. But then even Mary is crying over a Youtube video of this stuff that happened years ago. It's melodramatic. We all have issues with our past, so that's the key to making Jay a sympathetic guy. But all this mumbling and grumbling about shit that happened in high school is a cliche. Have you seen Napoleon Dynamite? One of my favorite lines is when Uncle Rico is talking about what he'd do with the time machine. "Ohhhh, man I wish I could go back in time. I'd take state." It's comedy the way he cares so much about his high school sports career. And that's sort of the impression Jay is giving off.

And your dialogue can be way too on the nose in general. As an example:
" JAY: I need to feel like myself again. To feel like I felt in high school You make me feel like I am in high school again.
MARY: This needing me to feel like you felt in high school is just too much for me. "

People don't talk like that. They don't plainly say things like that. And even if they do, it's not enjoyable writing. People speak through the subtext of what they are saying.

I'm afraid the story might turn into one of those "beautiful female who has no character other than being beautiful save a depressed man and shows him the wonders of life." But I'm unfairly judging it way too early. If I get the chance, I'll read it some more.



THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS.  

The script needs work, but I know the story would work if made into a movie.  All scripts need improvement and this one is no exception.  

Thank you again.

Please read some more - I would love to talk about your ideas.

Joe

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GreenGecko
Posted: November 25th, 2015, 7:29pm Report to Moderator
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I find this dialogue exhausting. The characters keep repeating the situation. They talk about things that *already* happeneed, and then talk about things that they are *going to* do. Nothing in the scene is in the present. Does they really have to decide who goes and who doesn't? We'll know Steve won't go when we don't see him in the scene. And then two lines about what day they're going to do it. It's all filler.
I often write scenes like these, and I have to go back and ask myself "how can I make this interesting?" In a drama, it usually means, "how can I add conflict in this scene?" I don't know these characters too well, but maybe one of them says something like "Being a depressing mope over shit that happened in high school and now he gets upset when one girl he barely knew breaks up with him? He's just a kid, he'll grow out of it. And if he doesn't, fuck him. Let him kill himself. I'm sick of hearing about his football days when we were kids."

I know, I know, a little over the top, but it's all too harmonious for it to be interesting. People want to watch drama, not happy people solving problems.

Either, find a way to make the scene interesting, OR shorten it down to a couple of lines.

(26-32)
The same happens in this scene. Everyone is just repeating over and over for SIX pages. The scene doesn't really get to the crux of it until Mary asks "How is Jay." But before that, you have 1.5 pages of fluff and small talk. They're cracking small jokes, but hardly worth it to be there.


Quoted Text

MARY
Jay was using his love for me to get over his depression about losing his career in college and the NFL. It was too much for me.

MARY
He has to be aware. He just never got past it. The injury and what he had.

BILL
Jay was the biggest College and NFL prospect of all time. And then this video which was not his fault.
(pause)
I don't think you guys should give up.

GUS
He never gave up on a play. The athlete he was is why he can't move on.


We know this. It's just more summary. Yes, even though the guys don't know this, seeing them find out isn't such a big plot point.

You never really even say that she lets them in. So I imagine this five minute scene of standing at her doorway.

Plus, no one is doing anything. They're all just talking. Talking about things we know or things we can assume. The scene needs more momentum.

I still don't understand why Mary loves Jay. I just feel like it's something I have to accept for the sake of the plot.

(34)
You describe Harvey's appartment before they're in it. You should do that after the next scene header.

(35-42)
This scene is a little better because something actually happens. But once again, it is way too long. They have to re-explain EVERYTHING to Harvey.


Quoted Text

DAVE:
He is living in the past, of what could have been. Can't you see how that would fuck a guy up?


Cut the fat. That goes for the whole script. Start every scene as late as possible, and end as early as possible. Find out what the dramatic question of each scene is, and then revolve around that.

The problem I have with this scene, is that it starts out interesting, but then turns into nothing. I kept thinking, how are they going to convince Harvey to take those videos down? And it turns out, they just *ask* him. It's the same issue that I mentioned before. That's not drama. Harvey is some rich tech snob. He doesn't have to take shit from these football jocks now that he's older and made a nice living for himself. Just say that Harvey makes a bunch of dollars off ad revenue, so he's not taking it down. There's conflict. The boys want the video down, and Harvey stands in the way. Then you have to figure out the outcome. Maybe they'll pay him, but where will they get the money? Maybe they'll beat the shit out of him, but that causes problems with police later in the script. Maybe they try to do it themselves, and it ends in a wacky, unpredictable outcome. I don't know, but at least there's conflict.  

I don't mean to badger your script. It's a good premise because we all hold onto the past in some way, so there's a strong emotional hook here. But half these scenes are three times as long as they need to be and lack that dramatic push to them.

Keep rewriting! Keep it up.


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jjcwn
Posted: November 26th, 2015, 2:05pm Report to Moderator
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Your ideas about people not identifying with Jay's depression is DEAD WRONG.  Remember that he was crippled by an evil lowlife who wrecked his chances at being great and the only reason for his recent depression is because of that YOUTUBE video.  The highlights of a great athlete will make this movie as well as the music.

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TonyDionisio
Posted: November 26th, 2015, 2:58pm Report to Moderator
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Damnit, get to the point!

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Quoted from jjcwn
Your ideas about people not identifying with Jay's depression is DEAD WRONG.  Remember that he was crippled by an evil lowlife who wrecked his chances at being great and the only reason for his recent depression is because of that YOUTUBE video.  The highlights of a great athlete will make this movie as well as the music.



But it's not a movie, at least not yet. It's a written story that originated in you head and needs to be told or explained as clearly as possible (in proper script format) to every one who reads it.

The comments are help. I don't get the impression you agree, sorry in advance if I read that incorrectly.

P. S. It also sounds like you can cut 10-20 pages from your 129 just from reading the above critiques. I doubt you need 129 to tell this story.
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jjcwn
Posted: November 26th, 2015, 4:26pm Report to Moderator
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You are right about reducing the size and fixing the flashback issues.  I KNOW FOR A FACT that this would be a great movie if done correctly with great scenes of athletic ability (very hard to shoot), music and emotion.  Your ideas are mostly good and appreciated.  ALL SCRIPTS can be improved and its hard work to get them close to perfect.  

Joe
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