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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Comedy Scripts  ›  The Three Little Pricks (and the Big Bad Wolf)
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  Author    The Three Little Pricks (and the Big Bad Wolf)  (currently 648 views)
Don
Posted: March 8th, 2017, 5:17pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Three Little Pricks (and the Big Bad Wolf) by Cooper Knight - Short, Comedy - The Svine brothers are up against the biggest of bad wolves, the federal government. Can they beat the rap or will their next address be "the big house"? - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  March 9th, 2017, 10:35am
typo coffrected. error entirely mine.
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Cooper
Posted: March 9th, 2017, 1:02am Report to Moderator
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Full disclosure: This was a total experiment as I've never written a short before. I bought some new software (Fade In) and wanted to give it a test drive. This is a silly, super quick read. Curious to hear your thoughts!


Am I on the right track with THIS ? Let me know.
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Simon
Posted: March 11th, 2017, 11:07am Report to Moderator
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Sometimes you tell, and not show. For example, JAMES has the shorter temper', and 'DAMON WOLFE is impatient'. I laughed when I read about Timmy shoving paper in his mouth.  'If the warrant doesn't fit -- your boys -- have got to split', was a good line. Is it possible to destroy a hard drive simply by smashing it? If not, I think Timmy would know that. You say 'shred' quite a lot. Maybe you could use different words, like 'destroy'. I liked the story.


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eldave1
Posted: March 11th, 2017, 12:34pm Report to Moderator
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Cooper - there is a lot to like here.

That being said, IMO it is only a "short" because it has a limited number of pages. The story is not a complete one. Issues remained unresolved. Conversely, it is a nice opening to a feature.

SPOILERS

This could be written more efficiently:


Quoted Text
Two beautiful BIKINI BABES (20's) are chicken fighting in
the pool. They're straddling Harry's brothers, JAMES (20's)
and TIMMY (20's). Both are also sunburned, stubby and
overweight. James has the shorter stature and temper.


Something like:

In the pool, two beautiful BIKINI BABES (20's) chicken fight as they straddle the shoulders of Harry's brothers, JAMES (20's), short, and TIMMY (20's). Both sunburned, stubby and
overweight.

There are a few instances where I think you over do the dialogue. This passage for instance:


Quoted Text
The attorney pulls out his phone. A snapshot of the warrant
is on the screen.

ATTORNEY
You need to pull your men back. You
have a big problem with your warrant.

AGENT WOLFE
And who are you?

ATTORNEY
I'm the Svine family attorney -- and
this warrant has incorrect
information.

Agent Wolfe takes the original warrant from Harry. Looks it
over closely.

ATTORNEY (cont'd)
This says, "Thirty-twenty Feather
Lane". We're at Three-oh-two.

AGENT WOLFE
That must be a typo. Not a big deal.

ATTORNEY
Actually, it's a huge deal. You're
not authorized to be here


Repeats the same info/message several times making it become a little unnatural. You could make it crisper. . e.g.,

The attorney pulls out his phone. A snapshot of the warrant
is on the screen.

ATTORNEY
You need to pull your men back.

AGENT WOLFE
And who are you?

ATTORNEY
I'm the Svine family attorney. The warrant's invalid.

Agent Wolfe takes the original warrant from Harry. Looks it
over closely.

ATTORNEY (cont'd)
It's for Thirty-twenty Feather
Lane. We're at Three-oh-two.

AGENT WOLFE
Just a typo. Not a big deal.

ATTORNEY
Actually, it is.

Basically, use the fact that we have a physical warrant and a screen shot of the warrant in the scene. The attorney doesn't have to belabor the wrong address issue. They are all looking at it.

There were a couple of places where changing the POV slightly could lend some comedy. This struck me as an example.


Quoted Text
EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

Bikini Babes SCREAM as agents rush in with guns.

AGENTS
No need to panic. We're just
executing a search warrant.


So, what we have is an Agent barreling into the backyard and - wala - two gorgeous bikini babes are in the pool of these obese fellas with questionable morals. A funny situation because of the contrast. But then you give the agent a really pedestrian/on the nose line that kind of deflates the comedic element.

No line at all would be funnier. i.e., The Agent just rolls  eyes - moves on.

Or - mutters something akin to: AGENT: "I'm guessing it's for the money - BIKINI BABES - "Huh?

Anything other than the don't worry we're only here for.... You got a funny scene. Don't step on it.

I only commented on the things that I thought that could be enhanced. There was a lot of good stuff here and it is  a pretty solid opening scene for a feature.

Best of luck


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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MarkItZero
Posted: March 11th, 2017, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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For your first short ever this is solid stuff. I liked the mad rush to destroy evidence and Timmy stuffing papers in his mouth. The ending kind of petered out though and it didn't really feel like a finished idea. Not sure what it needs.

Maybe you can incorporate more of the fairytale. For example, when the agents are in the backyard, there could be a tiki bar made partly of sticks and straw they knock down in their search for evidence.

I don't think the lawyer angle allows for any escalation at the end. I'd say they could kill the agents and stuff them in a brick furnace in the basement (like the fairytale end), but there's no way they'd get away with that. So, I dunno... I'd keep working on the ending...


That rug really tied the room together.
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LC
Posted: March 12th, 2017, 3:05am Report to Moderator
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Cooper, thanks for bumping mine. A read is in order in return.

You're a bit overly fond of the commas in a couple of places, and 30s doesn't need a ('), even though it's left over from yesteryear.

I also don't think you need the brackets in the title or the title underlined. I'm not a format stickler btw, I just feel a title jumps off the page more without underlining. I don't even care if a fancy font is used as long as the story supports its use.

I will come down on you with this common mistake below:

HARRY SVINE (30's) lays asleep...

Should be 'lies'.  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/lay-versus-lie

Harry sees this, smiles and closes his eyes.
Fragments are fine in screenplays. I'd personally replace the 'and' insert another comma for faster flow.

Considering Harry's on the way to the door  and further on 'the doorbell rings again' I'd open under that slug with the ring of the door bell. Consider though that cops with warrants usually bang on doors and don't bother with gentle rings.

HARRY
Jesus! Hold on.

This dialogue is surely ripe in terms of character for an idiom instead of plain predictable speech. 'Hold your horses' is way too tame but you'll get the drift with the example. I take it these good oil' boys into what they're into would have some classics up their sleeves in terms of urban language, and this is what makes a script stand out, quirky character dialogue.

Up front: The lead agent,
You're doubling up here. One or the other will do.

This isn't a negotiation.
(peers into the house)
Are you trying to stall us?


I don't think he'd say the 'stall bit'. This guy's surely seen every trick in the book. He's given the warrant then he'd be in. Sure, you're setting up the whole paper trail scene but have him resist in a more ingenious way. Easy for me to say, I know... Snappier dialogue, use the odd euphemism. Jmh.

I'm being picky again, but:

'They push...'  Barrel, barge perhaps?
Verb choice can make a huge difference. Too tame under the circumstances.

Perhaps introduce a bit more comedy. I like Timmy eating the paper, but maybe the last piece. And the second last goes to a dog sitting there, or down one of the girl's pants. Why all the hard copy? Seems that stack is way high for a covert business such as this in the age of high tech.

No need to panic. We're just
executing a search warrant.


He might say the first line. More likely he's just ignore the girls. Them squealing is enough.

Not keen on identifying sub locations in brackets. Why not just use mini-slugs? Or just the norm with another dash.
INT. MANSION - (DOWNSTAIRS) - DAY
INT. MANSION - DOWNSTAIRS
We know it's continuous - still DAY.

I know I sound like I'm being picky yet again but even the Attorney explaining the incorrect address and the exchange with the Agent could lose a couple of lines back and forth.

Time/pace is of the essence at this point in plot. The Attorney should keep moving while he talks too. Those other Agents would be in the room with the evidence already.

Timmy SHREDS more documents but a sizable pile remains.
Agents are on the other side of the door, ready to enter

Ramp up the suspense: Delete 'ready to enter'

The Montage is ill advised imh. That'd more likely be a sequence of shots.
http://www.scriptgodsmustdie.com/2010/01/format-3-montage-vs-series-of-shots/
If there's no music backdrop and change in location I would write it as SOS's.

Maximise the 'typo' line, that's pretty funny (it's a bit throwaway at the moment). And maximise the visual of the address. No need to 'explain' it all. Your audience gets it.

Overall, I like this a lot. You've done nicely with me being able to visualise these characters and evoked the setting nicely.

A further twist or some misdirect or something from left of field is needed however for this to stand alone as a satisfying short.

Very enjoyable Cooper, despite my nitpicks.


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