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  Author    The first (few) Years  (currently 1046 views)
Don
Posted: February 4th, 2017, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The First (few) Years by Ashlie Hollis - Series, Dramedy - Five best girlfriends attempt to figure out adult life while tackling the tedium of marriage, unforgiving parenthood, nonexistent work, and straining relationships.  67 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit http://www.simplyscripts.com for what is new on the site.


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

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Don  -  February 4th, 2017, 11:38am
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Female Gaze
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Meet Cassidy, she�s young-ish, beautiful (if you squint), and open-minded (In the worst way).

Laced with neuroses, that would make Woody Allen scratch his head, and more passive-aggressiveness than the sternest of any mother-figure, we find her in the real world.

Pittsburgh to be exact, fresh from the bosom of commune life and now giving the real world a second go to almost hysterically disastrous results.

A dramedy for the generation everyone agrees Aint gonna make it.

The First (few) Years takes the audience on a journey through the ups and downs of being the only actual 'adult' in the room.

This isn't the story of 'How to..' It's the story of 'How it is...' Loosely and semi-autobiographical in nature.

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Female Gaze  -  February 6th, 2017, 7:12am
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DanC
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Hey Ashlie,
     I wanted to let you know that I didn't respond back b/c I'm in the process of reading your short.  67 page shorts are pretty long!!

One comment.  So far, I like it.  But, I want you to know that when I break a story down, I really delve in and I find stuff that professional readers miss.  I read Mark's screenplay that had been read over 20 times and found stuff they missed.

Also, you want me to be honest, right?  And please keep in mind that it is just my opinion.  

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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LC
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It ain't a short, by the looks of it Dan. It's listed under Series and judging by the format and Teaser at the top, this is the Pilot ep. Least, that's my best estimation. I'll also take a look Ashlie.


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Female Gaze
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Quoted from DanC
Hey Ashlie,
     I wanted to let you know that I didn't respond back b/c I'm in the process of reading your short.  67 page shorts are pretty long!!

One comment.  So far, I like it.  But, I want you to know that when I break a story down, I really delve in and I find stuff that professional readers miss.  I read Mark's screenplay that had been read over 20 times and found stuff they missed.

Also, you want me to be honest, right?  And please keep in mind that it is just my opinion.  

Dan


Take your time. I was reading this 'Like..what??? short?' But, honesty is the best policy, I'm a big girl I can take it.

I'm trying to trim some stuff...so if you see something a long those lines that would help. Originally this was 69 pgs with no page brakes  

People who read the original really let me have it (eldave, hunter, and equinox I believe) and it helped a great deal.

I know towards the end I'm concerned about the content but that could very well be me being paranoid.

Thank You!
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Female Gaze
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Quoted from LC
It ain't a short, by the looks of it Dan. It's listed under Series and judging by the format and Teaser at the top, this is the Pilot ep. Least, that's my best estimation. I'll also take a look Ashlie.


Thank you! Any and all feedback is appreciated LC. I'm about to hit the forum myself on some features and some shorts. So anything anyone wants me to look at I'm ready.


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Female Gaze
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I guess this SS member won't mind if I put this up here.



Quoted Text


Randomness:

page 4 - hopes - hops

Just me thing I prefer a space before and after an em dash.

page 5 (Notions to the...  - (Motions to the...


Page 6 - Pittsburgh is lousy with train tracks. I love this.

I would have died the way I lived-forgotten.

I would have died the way I lived. Forgotten.

I would have died the way I lived - forgotten.


Reality has just hit Cassidy in the face and it wears jeggings.  I love this.


Page 13 at first I thought it should be (O.S.) off screen rather than (V.O.) voice over
Need some way to convay that Cassidy isn't there.  I don't know how.


14 - Bue New Cassidy...  - But New Cassidy

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eldave1
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Ashlie - I had time to get through the first ten pages (sorry for so little, but I am a bit swamped right now).

Overall, the dialogue is very good/very natural. The story has (so far) has a real, modern day feel to it,

I have some nit picks to offer.


Quoted Text
CASSIDY YOUNG, 25, African-American, hipster cool-nude-basks
in the sun, on her back in the middle of a field, as she
stares wide-eyed towards THE


Not sure what "cool-nude" denotes. Is this hipster cool and totally nude or is cool-nude just a descriptor I am not familiar with.

So, this is her hallucination. Although that is clear by the end of the teaser, I would add a few sign posts for the reader so that the transitions are crystal clear. Examples: In the opening I would add something like:

CASSIDY YOUNG, 25, African-American, hipster cool is in the midst of a LSD induced hallucination. She basks in the sun, on her back in the middle of a field, as she
stares wide-eyed towards THE

And at the end of the scene - give us some indication that she's coming out of it. e.g., Cassidy shakes her head. The dream world starts to fade/blur into the real world.


Quoted Text
SKY
In swirls of purple and red billowy clouds. Creatures circle
around overhead. A griffin begins to zero in on Cassidy and
just as it's about to devour her whole it dissipates into a
fluster of butterflies.


Took me too passes to get it.  You either need a comma after clouds (i.e., you start the description with "In" and end it with a period before you get to the creatures. Maybe flip it. e.g.,

Creatures circle in the purple and red billowy clouds around overhead.

Just a thought.


Quoted Text
DEPUTY.FUZZ


Why a period after Deputy?


Quoted Text
MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)


This is real nitty - but since we learn the voice ultimately belongs to a rabbit - maybe add a little more here. e.g., WEIRD VOICE or something like that rather than man's voice. Like I said - this is a nitpick.


Quoted Text
Cassidy, fully dressed in Afro-punk garb, surveys her
surroundings.


I thought she was nude. If that was just a hallucination - add "now" dressed in...

Quoted Text


inappropriately cuddles
him.


I would be more specific on what inappropriate is.


Quoted Text
and a lipstick-Blue lipstick-


Lipstick blue lipstick? Do you need lipstick light. i.e., maybe something like dark blue lipstick. glossy blue lipstick, etc.


Quoted Text

TASHA
Would you stop calling him that? He
is not my sugar daddy;he's my
husband.


typo between Daddy and he's

Like I said, these are all nitpicks. There is some interesting stuff here.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Quoted from eldave1
Ashlie - I had time to get through the first ten pages (sorry for so little, but I am a bit swamped right now).

Overall, the dialogue is very good/very natural. The story has (so far) has a real, modern day feel to it,

I have some nit picks to offer.



Not sure what "cool-nude" denotes. Is this hipster cool and totally nude or is cool-nude just a descriptor I am not familiar with.

So, this is her hallucination. Although that is clear by the end of the teaser, I would add a few sign posts for the reader so that the transitions are crystal clear. Examples: In the opening I would add something like:

CASSIDY YOUNG, 25, African-American, hipster cool is in the midst of a LSD induced hallucination. She basks in the sun, on her back in the middle of a field, as she
stares wide-eyed towards THE

And at the end of the scene - give us some indication that she's coming out of it. e.g., Cassidy shakes her head. The dream world starts to fade/blur into the real world.



Took me too passes to get it.  You either need a comma after clouds (i.e., you start the description with "In" and end it with a period before you get to the creatures. Maybe flip it. e.g.,

Creatures circle in the purple and red billowy clouds around overhead.

Just a thought.



Why a period after Deputy?



This is real nitty - but since we learn the voice ultimately belongs to a rabbit - maybe add a little more here. e.g., WEIRD VOICE or something like that rather than man's voice. Like I said - this is a nitpick.



I thought she was nude. If that was just a hallucination - add "now" dressed in...


I would be more specific on what inappropriate is.



Lipstick blue lipstick? Do you need lipstick light. i.e., maybe something like dark blue lipstick. glossy blue lipstick, etc.



typo between Daddy and he's

Like I said, these are all nitpicks. There is some interesting stuff here.



Thanks so much for looking at this. Much appreciated.


Quoted Text
Not sure what "cool-nude" denotes. Is this hipster cool and totally nude or is cool-nude just a descriptor I am not familiar with.


So, someone else mentioned something else they saw in my script that seemed off...I went back to remedy it and I didn't see it. It's supposed to read (descriptor and that she is in fact nude.)

Now I'm wondering if something got lost in the export stage from writerduet to PDF? I'll look again. Thanks for that.


Quoted Text
So, this is her hallucination. Although that is clear by the end of the teaser, I would add a few sign posts for the reader so that the transitions are crystal clear. Examples: In the opening I would add something like:

CASSIDY YOUNG, 25, African-American, hipster cool is in the midst of a LSD induced hallucination. She basks in the sun, on her back in the middle of a field, as she
stares wide-eyed towards THE

And at the end of the scene - give us some indication that she's coming out of it. e.g., Cassidy shakes her head. The dream world starts to fade/blur into the real world.


Took me too passes to get it.  You either need a comma after clouds (i.e., you start the description with "In" and end it with a period before you get to the creatures. Maybe flip it. e.g.,

Creatures circle in the purple and red billowy clouds around overhead.

Just a thought.



Quoted Text

DEPUTY.FUZZ
(grimacing)
Oh my God. You do realize you're high on acid, right?


Is that not sufficient enough? She actually doesn't come out of her ACID TRIP until way later. But I will make a note of adding that fact earlier in the action. Thanks. And I like your version of the hallucination better. Crisper.

I actually assumed that's how you spelled Deputy. Fuzz. No?


Quoted Text
I thought she was nude. If that was just a hallucination - add "now" dressed in...


I have NO CLUE what happened here. It was supposed to read:

Startled Cassidy shoots up and turns to see DEPUTY.FUZZ a small bunny rabbit staring at her. Her clothes sit crumpled up in front of him....

Maybe during a wild fit of editing I took it out and didn't notice? Thanks.

The lipstick thing is cultural 'wink' to the Afro-punk lifestyle in a way.

All helpful thank you.


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Quoted Text
I actually assumed that's how you spelled Deputy. Fuzz. No?


No. There should not be a period after Deputy


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Quoted from eldave1


No. There should not be a period after Deputy


Thanks. Noted.

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1) Cool nude basks. She's naked?
2) far worse (underline issue)
2) I'm already really enjoying this story. No idea where it's going, but I'm strapping in for an interesting ride.
3) I'm a sweet like that. Guessing you don't want the "a"
3) no (beat) ready. Is that a joke? I usually associate beats with a joke but I don't get it.
3) lipstick blue lipstick. Maybe it's intentional but I'm not sure. seems redundant.
4) you're leaving a space between Deputy.Fuzz in action lines but note character lines. kind of weird. Should be Deputy Fuzz (I love the name by the way)
4) "Running is the obvious answer; it's
hardly the solution." Didn't get that line. Doesn't answer the question, so it felt strange.
6) Reality has just hit Cassidy in the face and it wears
jeggings. Lololol
6) don't need periods in SUV
7) you asked me to.  Great line. Really good teaser!
7) nit pick, I'd probably call it an SUV or vehicle not a "truck" on this page.
8 ) You sexy bastards. Lol
9) underline issue persists. Not sure what software you're using. The underline under nothing looks goofy though
9) he's my husband.  Lol.
9) i would say it's strange hearing wife talk about a vehicle as a gift. If they're married they're both paying for it.
10) Are you going to tell me why you in the woods dressed like Kylie Jenner? (Should be you're)
10) don't think you need the "i think you owe me" line.  Just tell me -- seems like it's sufficient.
11) mental touch gathering? huh
11) I'm here -- as in, I'm still here?, I'm hear aren't I?, I'm hear for you?-- I didn't get the meaning.
12) I was kidding. lol
12) Busy. Can't. No response. ? Don't get what I'm supposed to be getting here.
12) Thought: really enjoying it so far -- but I don't know where the story is going. maybe it's too early but thought i should mention that. also overall dialogue felt a tad bogged down in last page or two. maybe an extra word here or there. It's still very interesting.
12) oh and I'm not clear on the text thing.
12) MIMI KEENER,24, doll-face, troubled lies in bed with a goofy smile across her face. I think there should be either a comma or period between troubled  and lies.
12) should be breaths heavily - also covers not cover's.
12/13) I had to read this twice to understand the VO with Mimi. Probably just me but the first time I thought Cassidy was in the apartment -- then I realized they were still in the car. Knowing that ,the line about "not wanting to come" is funny but i didn't get it initially. I'm not a formatting guru -- but I wonder if there's a way to make it clearer that they're still in their conversation in the car, while we see Mimi and friend. Again, this could just be me being slow while reading it.
13) Mimi and her friend go at so hard = missing it.
13) JESSENIA 'JESS' ENDRES, 23, latina, chubby, very cute pukes
behind a dumpster -- comma or period between cute and pukes.
13) this you're missing a VO for Tasha's line
14) Bue New Cassidy believes in her friends -- but not bue (or the -- not sure what word you wanted there)
15) interesting seeing the so-called friends in their lives. still wondering about where the story is going
15) ah. now I get it. Cassidy has been gone for a months. has to adjust to a world that went on without her.
16) When you weren't looking obviously. LOL
17)  don't go to college, or else you'll end up like me. LOL
17) why not just say the SUV crashes into a parked car. That's what happened right?
Act 1 thoughts: This is really weird but also interesting. Some good laughs though knowing how long she'd been away -- the conversation seems too casual in the car. Tasha initially talked like it was a weekend away or something.
18 ) banal claim? Also why does she keep references her husband. what does he have to do with anything. he wasn't in the car.
19) I won't ruin your life today? huh. I get that she's mad but it's a strange thing to say. Why not have her ask, if there's a manager she can speak with. If you can't help me, is there someone else who can. I don't like the way I'm being spoken to etc.
19) binal doesn't come up on http://www.merriam-webster.com
20) do the white boards come back in some big way? the little back and forth was meh imo
21) Feminism. lol
22) One of the boxes spills out stills ... 'Love, Ava!'. Literally had to read this twice to understand it. Honestly this whole scene could probably be a little clearer.
22) standees?
25) this whole evan ava relationship could be clearer. I get that they have a weird relationship -- but I feel like I couldn't process it because there was so much going on. Also  I don't think evan would talk to his son that way. Feels unrealistic (and you've done such a great job with grounded dialogue)
27) "No. Friends don't tell friends BF's about said friends secret abortion's. And don't call me darling, my grandma does that, it's a turn-off." - very on the nose. there's probably a more grounded way to this exchange.
28 ) Rachel grabs up a cover and heads into Mimi's room but not
before she motions to Armand. -- mimi motions
28 ) ./sign? huh
28 ) So I was totally intrigued with Mimi and Armand the moment they kisses. Interesting twist -- though another observation. what's Cassidy up to. I've practically forgotten about her. She's the protagonist right?
30) her name is Jessenia now? i feel like she was just Jess when we last saw her in the voice over section. Yes, I realize they're the same but you should be consistent in the action and character lines
32) It�s our fault because we're the women? It�s our fault some idiot nutted in us and now we have to clean it up... great line but the scene plays out unrealistically. she'd be out the moment she became violent throwing the potted plant.

Act II - thoughts. I thought I knew what this was about in Act 1 - I was wrong, obviously because Cassidy is no longer the main driver of the story in this Act. Act II felt a little unfocused to me. It's still interesting but I still don't know what the story is about. What are we driving toward? Also do you want to be so specific with TLC shows.

35. I honestly -- don't think you need comma in between.
this chunk of dialogue could probably be smoothed out a little.
35) I liked the Juno thing. funny
38 ) there is sooo much going on.
40) rachel mimi back and fourth is off here.
44) we're a grown ass women -- don't need a
44) access to my credit card? she's a grown ass woman (mother of his children). he's her husband. very strange thing to say.
44) not sure if the dialogue is too on the nose -- but there's something off about this conversation.

Act III - thoughts. this was a lot. I enjoy Cassidy -- and feel like the story actually moves when she's involved.

48 ) He�s a complete fucktard - lol
49) It is third grade. Everything in
life is third grade -- true. but why is this a big deal? Keith was mean. a prick. they're all adults.
51) Nieth -- should be Keith
52) personally I don't like Keith at all -- and not in a, this character is a bad guy way -- but in a this character seems to pull everything down, way
52) if a deal --should be -- of a deal
53) yep, dislike Keith.
54) T's true = It's true?
54) Jon - soooooo many characters...
Act IV - like the last line.
58 ) So, Mimi what's it like munching on
vintage carpet? LOL
59) All day I've focusing on everyone
but myself. I've BEEN focusing?
59) Who wants to see my tits? cheers LOL
63) babies sleeping in adult beds are dangerous. just sayin'.
66) interesting ending - great twist that she's a mom.

Overall thoughts: I really enjoyed the beginning A LOT! The biggest knock is that the story eventually felt unfocused and had so many characters to keep up with. The more branches we followed the more deluded things got for me. Cassidy is the protagonist -- so it's was strange to spend so much time on these side stories.  

Also who or what is the antagonist? Can't be Keith -- he's not a biggest part of the story (he is a total ass though). I'm a big believer is clear protagonist and antagonist -- with a clear goal. I'm guessing the goal is Cassidy re-integrating into society -- but again, there's nothing that's standing in her way. I'd personally dial back on the other storylines and beef up Cassidy's story. An hour show with commercials will be 45-50 pgs.
--
After writing that I went back and looked at your log line.  Your vision for this is a show about 5 girlfriends. That isn't what this really is though. IMO what's here is a screenplay about Cassidy. If you want to make this the story that your log line promises you have to find a way to show all 5 of them together early on (via flashback or flash forward or whatever) just to set expectations.

If your thesis is that adulthood ain't all it cracked up to be but these 5 women can get through anything with each other -- that's cool but you have to put it out early so the reader can better follow along. I was so certain this was "the Cassidy show" because the whole story was about her for so much of the beginning (and she's a great character IMHO).

I personally think you should focus on Cassidy and give the other characters time to shine in other episodes.

Hope this was at least some what useful.


Am I on the right track with THIS ? Let me know.

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Ashlie, these are suggestions only. Take what you will, discard whatever else you don't agree with. Just my thoughts.

I've focused on your opening 'trippy' sequence/teaser first:

CASSIDY YOUNG, 25, African-American, hipster cool-nude-basks
in the sun, on her back in the middle of a field, as she
stares wide-eyed towards-


CASSIDY YOUNG, 25, African-American, hipster-cool, basks in the sunshine. She lies naked on her back, stares up at the sky.

Now describe THE SKY. It's effectively a change of shot, so leave a line break for every new shot you see in your head.

Also, she's tripping so go to town more on describing this hallucination. This is a good choice of open, something different. I just think it could be ramped up more. You want to plant visuals more in the reader's/potential director's eye.

On first read I thought you were just describing the pink and blues of a sunset or dawn where the changing colours can sometimes be quite amazing and even unnatural in colour.

I'd focus on those colours being, 'vivid' 'too bright' 'distorted', 'undulating', moving swirling clouds etc. You need to paint the picture for your audience, while being as economical as possible. Your choice of words is key.

So:

THE SKY swirls with vivid purples and reds, clouds move fast across (Cassidy's) her eyeline.

Btw, bolding of slugs? Yep, okay, it's become a consistent trend. I don't mind it. Bolding the character's name and other miscellaneous things throughout however - there's just so much bold a page can take before it becomes distracting. Least to my eye. Sometimes less is more. Up to you.

Creatures circle
around overhead.


Too vague. What creatures are these? You're leaving it all up to the director here.

Example/suggestion: Images appear in the clouds, a pink elephant, a poodle, a monkey. They appear, then disappear in an instant. Cassidy smiles, squints up at the sky.

Plus, with what follows with the griffin if you set it up as harmless, comical even, the danger element with the griffin will carry much more weight.  Contrast this 'lulling into a false sense of security' of the lovely rainbow scenes and images, then wham! Her next hallucination is scary, threatening, the manifestation of her real fears.

With the griffin, you need a new line. It's a new shot.

A griffin begins to zero

Be aware of, and avoid, 'begins to' 'starts to' 'about to' - see below example  - just write what you see, what you want us to see in that instant.

A griffin swoops down, zeros in on Cassidy.

just as it's about to devour her whole it dissipates into a
fluster of butterflies.


I quite like, but also wonder if a 'fluster of butterflies'  is effective.  The collective noun is a 'kaleidoscope' btw. But bear in mind an emotive description is often better than using an adjective that just states a fact.

And a continuation of the previous visual morphing into yet another image is key imh.

What are we actually seeing on screen with the griffin 'about to devour her whole'? I know this seems obvious to you, but you need to paint the picture more.  Is her head in its gaping jaws, are claws or talons involved ? It's an hallucination but what exactly do you want to see depicted on screen.

It's an important visual which could do with some elucidating.

Make it clear then we're seeing one image (the griffin) morph into another (hundreds of white butterflies). You do this. But, it could be given more impact.

Those butterflies, (white would be nice cause they too can morph into white bunny: Dep Fuzz. You go from vivid colours and harmless, to threatening, then to the white of the butterflies which further morph into the white of Dep Fuzz. So, you also establish a visual theme.

If you want to an example of economical writing with brilliant evocative visuals you should type Matias Caruso into the search bar of SS. He's gone on to much success. Has a way with the words and he's of NESB which sometimes I feel adds to his choice of words and visuals. It's inspiring.

CASSIDY
Starts to blink wildly.


Cassidy blinks wildly. more active

& What I mentioned above: no need for the 'starts to'.

Startled Cassidy shoots up (considering the drug reference, I'm not sure about 'shoots up' but I get it.  She could alternatively jump to her feet? or: Cassidy sits upright. Cassidy sits up suddenly.

Startled, Cassidy shoots up
(the comma is needed after 'startled', regardless).

and turns to see

Script writing often reads faster, more action packed if you delete 'and' and 'is' and just insert a comma. I'm not saying you never can btw...

Fragments are perfectly acceptable in script writing. Just make sure the 'subject' is included in the line if it's at all ambiguous.

I reiterate what Dave said about DEPUTY FUZZ
Delete the period.

Also: instead of introducing DEP FUZZ as a character as you have done here:
MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

I suggest you do it this way:

DEPUTY FUZZ (O.S.)
(friendly male voice)

I concur with Dave re Cassidy's naked body when it morphs into fully clothed.

Same goes here:
Abandoned makeshift homes...'

Her environment/the setting suddenly changes, so ditto there. Write it on a new line. We get Cassidy's look, we see she's now clothed, and then (imagine) the camera changes POV with regard to her surroundings.

In the blink of an eye everything has changed. Of course you could do it the other way around - show the vivid green meadow morph into the slum area - nice visual easily achieved with camera effects, then go to Cassidy's actual change in appearance/different clothing. Either way the fact she's tripping is ripe for dramatic visual effects.

All great adventures
must end either with death or
knowledge.


Ooh, really nice line.

Oh my God. Personally I'd delete (this) Dep Fuzz's preamble line.

I think it's
the user who is bad not the
substance.


'I think it's often the user...'? to make it less definitive of all drug users.

inappropriately cuddles him - Okay, I'm really not sure what you mean by 'inappropriate' here.

that-
Insert space prior to the en-dash

tries to lick him.
Either she does lick him or she doesn't - unless he whips his head around to stop her, or bite her, in which case yes, then she tried. Get it?

DEPUTY FUZZ (CONTD)

Turn off MORE'S AND CONT'Ds in your software. Some people keep them, however imh, it's a cleaner read without them. Of course they're needed where dialogue/action continues over the page.

(beat) (pause) however you choose to write it
I'm not absolutely against them where I think they suffice. Just make sure you don't use the 'beat' in place of action which we therefore would not see otherwise. For example, if during that 'beat' a character was eyeballing the other furiously, that would be a stronger action than just as a pause. You can leave some stuff up to the actor/director, sure. If you want to leave it to the imagination and context of the scene, similarly that's your choice. Just don't use them too much.

She pulls out a small mirror
and a lipstick-Blue lipstick-and puts in on.


Suggestion: She pulls out (retrieves) a small compact, applies electric-blue lipstick. Smacks her lips together.

laying in the grass.
should be lying on the grass, despite all the lyrics you've listened to. (Lie as opposed to Lay Down Sally) doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? But it isn't grammatically correct. Neither does Snow Patrol 'would you lay here...' well, actually they get it right in the chorus I think. Pet peeve of mine, I'll shut up and direct you to this link below:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/lay-versus-lie

BITCHFACE 59:02
Not sure what I'm looking at here? Is it just text from no-one in particular?

I think I get it on the one hand... but is it communication from somebody Cassidy knows, is it a countdown? Apparently I don't get it as much as I thought.

THE SCREEN
in bold is overkill and kinda annoying to me, but you do what you want obviously.

Fuzz heads into the woods
later 'hopes'
TYPO
Hops?

In yellow what, exactly?
dressed in yellow (what are they dressed in, a similar garment like orange-people who wear robes?)

(to the People)
(to the people)
All parentheticals are usually in lower case. This may be a typo...

They pass her by. (too static imh)
They race past her.
Verb choice can add a lot to the visual. Use verbs that pop.

She stops dead in her steps.
She stops dead in her tracks.

Deputy Fuzz is now next to her instead of ahead.
Make this more active.
Deputy Fuzz crouches stock still up ahead. Cassidy catches/rushes up to him.
Or similar.

The two watch in silence as the people run over the edge of a
mountain.

Edge of the mountain? Suggestion: The two watch in awe as the yellow people run to the edge of a cliff-face, disappear over the other side.
Or: ... drop over the other side. Now that's some visual.

Depends on what you actually want the audience to see at this point and what directions/alternative visual choices you are inherently giving your director. Reminded me of those zombies in World War Z. Though you wouldn't have a cast of thousands.

So, are we running towards it or
away from it?


I'd ramp up the tension here. Make it more active. As if it's not just metaphorical but that what we're seeing is an active choice to be made.

Do we follow them, or not?

Make it dramatic. Combine and infuse her 'trip' with reality.

Running is the obvious answer; it's
hardly the solution.

Get rid of the semi-colon. They're really not needed in screenplays.

Suggestion: Running away is hardly ever a solution, is it?
or: Running away is never a solution, now is it?
Running away is not an option.

Cassidy appears again right where she started.
Okay, what's happened here? Are we out in the open or still in the woods? Okay, we're in the woods along a trail...

Suggestion: Cassidy bolts through the woods, branches whip and scratch her face... (give us the atmosphere you visualise)

Then further on, suggestion:
Cassidy appears in the clearing, by the fork in the path. Exactly where she started.
She puts her hands on her hips, winded, defeated.


How long do you really think you can go
on like this? Everybody has
their limits Cassidy-even you.

Delete the dash imh. And delete the first sentence imh. (see below)

Everybody has
their limits Cassidy, even you.

Sometimes less is more provides more impact.

Says me, of course. I'm a classic over-writer.
You could even make more impact by splitting it in two sentences. No dash, no comma.

Play around with it.

You can try to outrun the monster
but you've already lost.
(Notions to the correct
path)
Retreat.  


This is about facing your demons or running away, right? Escaping reality through the next high, being in a loop.

'Retreat' sounds like giving up in this context so I'd think more on that line if I were you. About what the actual message Dep Fuzz is giving her.

This piece of dialogue just appears to me to need some more rhythm.

Suggestion:
You can keep running, Cassidy. /Keep trying to outrun the monster...
Or you can face things head on


and I think we both
know you're too self-involved to
kill yourself.


Start a new sentence for more impact:
So, my first thought was:

You and I both know you're way too
self-absorbed/egotistical to kill yourself.


But then I thought 'Self-involved' is a little bit too close to introspection which is usually how people are when they're depressed.

Perhaps you should use a word like 'vain' or 'egotistical' i.e., she's way too fond of life and way too attracted to the opposite sex to ever want to give up on life. Get me?

Just admit you're
scared.

(Alt suggestion) No shame in admitting you're scared.

You're right...I'm a fighter...I
got spark and shit...I got this.


She's determined here, revving herself up. Not sure I'd personally go for all the tapering off ellipses here which really give a slower more contemplative rhythm.

You're right. I'm a fighter... I got spark and shit.
I got this!


Just clarifying too. Is Cassidy saying:

I got spark and shit
or:
I got spark (revelation comes)
Shit... I got this!

I love the final lines of the teaser:

I'm gonna be Ok right?

Punctuation wise:
I'm gonna be OK, right?
or:
I'm gonna be okay, right?

You need that comma for the pause and emphasis of her question, regardless of how you write 'okay'..

Dep Fuzz's response is priceless:

DEPUTY.FUZZ
Meh.

Ha! Great line.

Perhaps include an accompanying visual to go out on with Dep Fuzz. He's an animated rabbit, right? What's he doing in this moment, licking his paws without a care in the world? Staring at some other female bunny in the distance? Making a dubious face. What? His reaction face is needed imh.

.............

EXT. ROAD - DAY

This new scene needs a stabilizer. It can't be a continuous scene, surely. New scene, new day/following week? I dunno. I do know it's abrupt. The time jump needs some establishing, even if just the sun rising, Cassidy brushing herself off, rubbing her eyes to indicate she's been up all night, if in fact it is a continuation of the previous day/night, or if it's something else.

....


Okay, I know I've mentioned a lot of formatting re your opening and not focused on story too much yet. I'll read through the rest and try not to dissect everything and really just give my view on story then, ok?

I do think the opening with Cassidy tripping is a novel idea. I'd just infuse it with a bit more.



Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  February 7th, 2017, 4:54am
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I'm a fan of (...) lol

Wow, you're thorough, thank you so much.

I will take these notes to heart and adjust as needed.
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Quoted from Cooper
1) Cool nude basks. She's naked?
2) far worse (underline issue)
2) I'm already really enjoying this story. No idea where it's going, but I'm strapping in for an interesting ride.
3) I'm a sweet like that. Guessing you don't want the "a"
3) no (beat) ready. Is that a joke? I usually associate beats with a joke but I don't get it.
3) lipstick blue lipstick. Maybe it's intentional but I'm not sure. seems redundant.
4) you're leaving a space between Deputy.Fuzz in action lines but note character lines. kind of weird. Should be Deputy Fuzz (I love the name by the way)
4) "Running is the obvious answer; it's
hardly the solution." Didn't get that line. Doesn't answer the question, so it felt strange.
6) Reality has just hit Cassidy in the face and it wears
jeggings. Lololol
6) don't need periods in SUV
7) you asked me to.  Great line. Really good teaser!
7) nit pick, I'd probably call it an SUV or vehicle not a "truck" on this page.
8 ) You sexy bastards. Lol
9) underline issue persists. Not sure what software you're using. The underline under nothing looks goofy though
9) he's my husband.  Lol.
9) i would say it's strange hearing wife talk about a vehicle as a gift. If they're married they're both paying for it.
10) Are you going to tell me why you in the woods dressed like Kylie Jenner? (Should be you're)
10) don't think you need the "i think you owe me" line.  Just tell me -- seems like it's sufficient.
11) mental touch gathering? huh
11) I'm here -- as in, I'm still here?, I'm hear aren't I?, I'm hear for you?-- I didn't get the meaning.
12) I was kidding. lol
12) Busy. Can't. No response. ? Don't get what I'm supposed to be getting here.
12) Thought: really enjoying it so far -- but I don't know where the story is going. maybe it's too early but thought i should mention that. also overall dialogue felt a tad bogged down in last page or two. maybe an extra word here or there. It's still very interesting.
12) oh and I'm not clear on the text thing.
12) MIMI KEENER,24, doll-face, troubled lies in bed with a goofy smile across her face. I think there should be either a comma or period between troubled  and lies.
12) should be breaths heavily - also covers not cover's.
12/13) I had to read this twice to understand the VO with Mimi. Probably just me but the first time I thought Cassidy was in the apartment -- then I realized they were still in the car. Knowing that ,the line about "not wanting to come" is funny but i didn't get it initially. I'm not a formatting guru -- but I wonder if there's a way to make it clearer that they're still in their conversation in the car, while we see Mimi and friend. Again, this could just be me being slow while reading it.
13) Mimi and her friend go at so hard = missing it.
13) JESSENIA 'JESS' ENDRES, 23, latina, chubby, very cute pukes
behind a dumpster -- comma or period between cute and pukes.
13) this you're missing a VO for Tasha's line
14) Bue New Cassidy believes in her friends -- but not bue (or the -- not sure what word you wanted there)
15) interesting seeing the so-called friends in their lives. still wondering about where the story is going
15) ah. now I get it. Cassidy has been gone for a months. has to adjust to a world that went on without her.
16) When you weren't looking obviously. LOL
17)  don't go to college, or else you'll end up like me. LOL
17) why not just say the SUV crashes into a parked car. That's what happened right?
Act 1 thoughts: This is really weird but also interesting. Some good laughs though knowing how long she'd been away -- the conversation seems too casual in the car. Tasha initially talked like it was a weekend away or something.
18 ) banal claim? Also why does she keep references her husband. what does he have to do with anything. he wasn't in the car.
19) I won't ruin your life today? huh. I get that she's mad but it's a strange thing to say. Why not have her ask, if there's a manager she can speak with. If you can't help me, is there someone else who can. I don't like the way I'm being spoken to etc.
19) binal doesn't come up on http://www.merriam-webster.com
20) do the white boards come back in some big way? the little back and forth was meh imo
21) Feminism. lol
22) One of the boxes spills out stills ... 'Love, Ava!'. Literally had to read this twice to understand it. Honestly this whole scene could probably be a little clearer.
22) standees?
25) this whole evan ava relationship could be clearer. I get that they have a weird relationship -- but I feel like I couldn't process it because there was so much going on. Also  I don't think evan would talk to his son that way. Feels unrealistic (and you've done such a great job with grounded dialogue)
27) "No. Friends don't tell friends BF's about said friends secret abortion's. And don't call me darling, my grandma does that, it's a turn-off." - very on the nose. there's probably a more grounded way to this exchange.
28 ) Rachel grabs up a cover and heads into Mimi's room but not
before she motions to Armand. -- mimi motions
28 ) ./sign? huh
28 ) So I was totally intrigued with Mimi and Armand the moment they kisses. Interesting twist -- though another observation. what's Cassidy up to. I've practically forgotten about her. She's the protagonist right?
30) her name is Jessenia now? i feel like she was just Jess when we last saw her in the voice over section. Yes, I realize they're the same but you should be consistent in the action and character lines
32) It�s our fault because we're the women? It�s our fault some idiot nutted in us and now we have to clean it up... great line but the scene plays out unrealistically. she'd be out the moment she became violent throwing the potted plant.

Act II - thoughts. I thought I knew what this was about in Act 1 - I was wrong, obviously because Cassidy is no longer the main driver of the story in this Act. Act II felt a little unfocused to me. It's still interesting but I still don't know what the story is about. What are we driving toward? Also do you want to be so specific with TLC shows.

35. I honestly -- don't think you need comma in between.
this chunk of dialogue could probably be smoothed out a little.
35) I liked the Juno thing. funny
38 ) there is sooo much going on.
40) rachel mimi back and fourth is off here.
44) we're a grown ass women -- don't need a
44) access to my credit card? she's a grown ass woman (mother of his children). he's her husband. very strange thing to say.
44) not sure if the dialogue is too on the nose -- but there's something off about this conversation.

Act III - thoughts. this was a lot. I enjoy Cassidy -- and feel like the story actually moves when she's involved.

48 ) He�s a complete fucktard - lol
49) It is third grade. Everything in
life is third grade -- true. but why is this a big deal? Keith was mean. a prick. they're all adults.
51) Nieth -- should be Keith
52) personally I don't like Keith at all -- and not in a, this character is a bad guy way -- but in a this character seems to pull everything down, way
52) if a deal --should be -- of a deal
53) yep, dislike Keith.
54) T's true = It's true?
54) Jon - soooooo many characters...
Act IV - like the last line.
58 ) So, Mimi what's it like munching on
vintage carpet? LOL
59) All day I've focusing on everyone
but myself. I've BEEN focusing?
59) Who wants to see my tits? cheers LOL
63) babies sleeping in adult beds are dangerous. just sayin'.
66) interesting ending - great twist that she's a mom.

Overall thoughts: I really enjoyed the beginning A LOT! The biggest knock is that the story eventually felt unfocused and had so many characters to keep up with. The more branches we followed the more deluded things got for me. Cassidy is the protagonist -- so it's was strange to spend so much time on these side stories.  

Also who or what is the antagonist? Can't be Keith -- he's not a biggest part of the story (he is a total ass though). I'm a big believer is clear protagonist and antagonist -- with a clear goal. I'm guessing the goal is Cassidy re-integrating into society -- but again, there's nothing that's standing in her way. I'd personally dial back on the other storylines and beef up Cassidy's story. An hour show with commercials will be 45-50 pgs.
--
After writing that I went back and looked at your log line.  Your vision for this is a show about 5 girlfriends. That isn't what this really is though. IMO what's here is a screenplay about Cassidy. If you want to make this the story that your log line promises you have to find a way to show all 5 of them together early on (via flashback or flash forward or whatever) just to set expectations.

If your thesis is that adulthood ain't all it cracked up to be but these 5 women can get through anything with each other -- that's cool but you have to put it out early so the reader can better follow along. I was so certain this was "the Cassidy show" because the whole story was about her for so much of the beginning (and she's a great character IMHO).

I personally think you should focus on Cassidy and give the other characters time to shine in other episodes.

Hope this was at least some what useful.


Oh, man! I legit thought this was LC's. Sorry. I did read them. Thank you so much for this.

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