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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    March, 2013 1+6WC  ›  The Wish Cow = 1+6WC Feature
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Don
Posted: April 27th, 2013, 12:27pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Wish Cow by Mark Moore (irish eyes) - Comedy - A father tries to make amends for his daughter's disastrous birthday, by buying her a smartphone from an old Chinese antique store... only he takes home the wrong phone. 90 pages - pdf, format

Here are the first 11 pages: http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1363469880/




Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


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

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  April 27th, 2013, 12:41pm
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RJ
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Might be just me, but I found the (Ashley’s mom) and (Ashley’s dad) a little distracting in the read of the first page.

Pg 3 - I was taken aback by Greg’s “Hey!” then he shoots her an “I’m afraid so look” because it seem like too big of a mood swing too close.  The superimpose took me out of the read for a sec too – IMO it’s not needed.

Pg 5 – Instead of SUPER: you might want to just put a LATER mini slug? Or MOMENTS LATER? Also, if I were Bella I think I’d be a little offended and might have left them to it after Ashley’s stupid bitch line.

Pg 6 – “Oil my genitals” – is definitely a classic. Funny as.

Pg 7 – unless Ashley is horny and her next line states it (which it doesn’t) I would see her not smacking him on the ass, but across his head. Loved “You’re not a good parent like me”.

Pg 10 – I don’t understand the “I don’t give you full refund” and then Greg says “ok”. Was it supposed to be “I give you full refund” instead? Everything else on that page works for me, but not that line.

The next couple of pages I found a little confusing – Greg sees Mr. Chow put the phone into a paper bag, there is a whistling sound from a box on the counter – which I now understand after writing it – that’s a mogwai, but then:

Greg grabs the wrapped gift from the counter and leaves in a hurry.

Mr. Chow glances to his left and notices a smartphone next to the box.

Where did the wrapped gift come from? Have I missed something? Then the smartphone is next to a box? Have I missed something again? Which smartphone? What box? The other box was in a paper bag.  

Then in Jillian’s room when Greg puts the phone on the nightstand and it emits blue light – Where is the phone? In a box? Wrapped? If Greg has opened it then why did he ask Mr. Chow to wrap it?

Just a couple of things that didn’t come through clearly.

Pg 16 – the phone does nothing but then Jillian runs up to her room to call Bella. I thought she would argue over why it’s not working and want Greg to fix it or slam it down on the bench before she leaves. How can she punch in numbers when it’s not working?

Pg 19 - Jillian circles the cow and pokes it at every opportunity. – think the every opportunity can be dropped.

COW
Ouch, really? I'm not a piece of
meat you know.

? I know what you mean but a minute ago the cow said “OMG, there’s a talking girl all up in my beef” – which I loved, but then she says she’s not a piece of meat – imo, didn’t fit.

Pg 23. Having babies on accident sounded a little off. By accident sounds better IMO.

Pg 26 – I didn’t buy that Bert would straight off guess it was his family. It might work better if Greg says it’s nothing to do with work, it’s his family.
Liked Ed’s prostitute line – seemed to fit nicely and portray his mind set well.

Pg 29 – felt that Ed’s line about Karen was a tad premature – would have worked better after she had talked with them.

I was really enjoying this until page 38, then felt like it was kind of lagging. At this point it id kind of feeling like you are adding a few scenes just to fill space. Sorry if this is not the case.

Pg 40 – I just registered – where did the cow poo go? Greg mentions the smell, but it’s obviously gone, where to? Cause I’m guessing Jillian wouldn’t have cleaned it up.

I don’t believe that Jillian wouldn’t ever have gone to Bella’s house. Specially at that age.

Pg 45 – Bella gazes at the twelve foot ceilings – should be Jillian.

Pg 53 – By her past reaction, I thought Jillian would be eager to talk with Bill. Instead she is painting nails.

The way Austin talked about his mom to his dad felt off.

How did Jillian know the grandparent’s were Bella’s?

Seems very strange that the whole family would come over for breakfast at Ed’s.

I don’t see a group of adults sitting around and insulting a crazy person. That just doesn’t gel with me.

How did Bill know Jillian’s wish if he didn’t create it? I didn’t think she told him.

Why would the cow say she would grant a wish for Jillian when Jillian ate a steak in earlier scenes?

I liked everyone coming together in the end and messages hidden within, but this needs a lot of work on making the whole story fit together as a whole.

All up it was interesting and inventive. Some nice ideas going on in this.

Good job on a first draft Mark.
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irish eyes
Posted: April 28th, 2013, 7:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RJ
Pg 10 – I don’t understand the “I don’t give you full refund” and then Greg says “ok”. Was it supposed to be “I give you full refund” instead? Everything else on that page works for me, but not that line.


it read right... I was meaning for Mr.Chow to say it fast, so that Greg didn't really catch it.


Quoted from RJ
Greg grabs the wrapped gift from the counter and leaves in a hurry.

Mr. Chow glances to his left and notices a smartphone next to the box.

Where did the wrapped gift come from? Have I missed something? Then the smartphone is next to a box? Have I missed something again? Which smartphone? What box? The other box was in a paper bag.  

Then in Jillian’s room when Greg puts the phone on the nightstand and it emits blue light – Where is the phone? In a box? Wrapped? If Greg has opened it then why did he ask Mr. Chow to wrap it?



I changed this the night before I submitted it, on another members review and obviously I forgot to clear it up... Well spotted, thanks

The joys of a first draft


Quoted from RJ
Pg 40 – I just registered – where did the cow poo go? Greg mentions the smell, but it’s obviously gone, where to? Cause I’m guessing Jillian wouldn’t have cleaned it up.


it went to poo heaven


Quoted from blfywings
I don’t believe that Jillian wouldn’t ever have gone to Bella’s house. Specially at that age.


yeah I agree... a bit of a stretch


Quoted from RJ
Seems very strange that the whole family would come over for breakfast at Ed’s.

I don’t see a group of adults sitting around and insulting a crazy person. That just doesn’t gel with me.


It's an over the top comedy sometimes you gotta look past that


Quoted Text
Why would the cow say she would grant a wish for Jillian when Jillian ate a steak in earlier scenes?


I thought I deleted that another good spot.


Quoted from RJ
I liked everyone coming together in the end and messages hidden within, but this needs a lot of work on making the whole story fit together as a whole.

All up it was interesting and inventive. Some nice ideas going on in this.


Thanks bflywings for the awesome feedback... I'll get around to yours

Mark













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irish eyes
Posted: April 29th, 2013, 6:42am Report to Moderator
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Thanks to Coop and Gabe, who both reviewed by script via email

Mark


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EWall433
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I should preface this by saying I enjoy the over the top gross out humor thing only sparingly. That being said, I'll try to be fair. Here were some of my thoughts on the read through.

Note: Period scene certainly sets a crazy tone.  There's no way Jillian goes through this without at least trying to get rid of the flock of people watching her period.  Might be too much too soon. Maybe deeper in the script this would find a better place (it would certainly be a good reason to get the heck out of there and stay at a friend's house).

Pg. 12 Nice, a Gremlins reference.

Pg.14 "like a cat being ass raped by an elephant" This made me laugh.

Pg.15 Like the exchange about "creepy guys like grandpa"

Note: The morning scene from Pg.13-16 is pretty solid and funny throughout. Nice banter.

Note: I didn't really notice a connection between Jillian and Greg that would make her want to ditch him any less than the others (before Pg. 40 at least). Is it just because he came through with the phone?

Pg 37. "Dead, fired, what's the difference? He's not here tomorrow?

Note: Right now Austin and Greg are about equally likeable to me. Austin complains a lot, but he's also the only one taking care of the baby, which certainly is not his job. So when Greg tells him to "shut up" about it, it undercuts his likability.  Maybe if Austin spent most of his babysitting time doing something like drawing dongs on the baby's face, I could see him as more of an out and out brat.

Note: The scene where Ashley finally takes responsibility for the baby (pg. 50-53) is actually kind of nice. It's seriously undercut in her very next scene though. You should probably move this closer to Ashley and Greg's Bridge Scene or cut it altogether.

Pg. 70 "ASHLEY: Sorry. I thought you were a bum." Nice call back.

The ending has a whole lot of explanation all coming at once. If there was a way to space this out it might seem less bewildering (although it was nice to see how the pieces fit together).

The idea of Jillian's family coming together while she dreads her wish coming true is a good one and the payoff (for both the family and the mystery Cow) is a good one too. All around a decent story and promising first draft.
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irish eyes
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Thanks for read EWALL433( is that your real name? cuz that would be sooooo coool)


Quoted Text
I should preface this by saying I enjoy the over the top gross out humor thing only sparingly.


Cool, I only used it sparingly for 84 pages


Quoted Text
Note: Right now Austin and Greg are about equally likeable to me. Austin complains a lot, but he's also the only one taking care of the baby, which certainly is not his job. So when Greg tells him to "shut up" about it, it undercuts his likability.  Maybe if Austin spent most of his babysitting time doing something like drawing dongs on the baby's face, I could see him as more of an out and out brat.


good point, I shall use that.


Quoted Text
Note: The scene where Ashley finally takes responsibility for the baby (pg. 50-53) is actually kind of nice. It's seriously undercut in her very next scene though. You should probably move this closer to Ashley and Greg's Bridge Scene or cut it altogether.


I wanted to show that she had a softer side, if only for a moment... Just to let us know that she might change before the end.


Quoted Text
The idea of Jillian's family coming together while she dreads her wish coming true is a good one and the payoff (for both the family and the mystery Cow) is a good one too. All around a decent story and promising first draft.


Thanks again

Mark

p.s great to see you wrote a script too, I promise i'll get around to it





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nawazm11
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Hey, Mark. This one is up next.

Page 3: Minute later, strange thing that. I honestly don't think a Super is the way to go for a passing minute, unless supers are going to be very common in the script. It also doesn't pass the time either technically. A minislug is needed.

Page 4: Sorry about being technical again but if we're currently in Jillian's room, how do we see Greg run up the stairs?

Page 5: "Jillian sits up and eyeballs Bella" makes it sound like Bella is the one in the diaper and cowgirl outfit.

Page 22: The cow is very unexpected, man. Almost too 'in your face'. I'm not sure I like how sudden it was, really gives the whole script a strange unwarranted shift in tone. And I really do think it's too out there for its own good. Will see how it goes. Also, the shift of focus from Greg to Jillian could be handled better IMO.

Page 45: "she expecting you." Needs a fix.

Page 48: Strange, I hope that whole "I'm coming to your house" scene will come back to play later on, man. It seems like a huge waste of time when she could've just asked Bella on the phone. Gotta make every page count.

Page 50: I spoke too soon .

Page 61: "a beautiful and caring woman trapped inside a bitchs' body." Mistake... I think?

Page 63: "GRANDMA SUSAN
That's right, when that nice young
man with a rifle walked past me on
the stairs of the Texas School Book
Depository Building going up to the
sixth floor. I told him "you could
kill someone with that"... and he
did." Hahahhaha .

Finished, man. Before I start, you gotta love over some of your commas, Mark. You seem to put them in random spots where they're not needed.

Anyway, for what you were going for, the script was enjoyable. It worked as a comedy but I do think it needs some work. There was a lack of focus here and it radiated through the whole script. Things didn't perform well with each other IMO, a lot of unnecessary layers, which is usually a good thing but honestly, I do think we had too much going on. I don't think Austin was really needed as a character, he doesn't do much except make the journey a little harder for our main character. Mr. Chow's father, although funny, didn't seem to have a point to the story, I think he could be cut.

There's just a lot of wandering I think... But honestly, I liked it, it was unpredictable, very unpredictable actually, hard to achieve with a comedy like yours. I'm not sure what to say here, man. If I get anything, I'll be sure to mention it.

Good luck!
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irish eyes
Posted: May 2nd, 2013, 6:40am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read Mo


Quoted from Mo
I do think we had too much going on. I don't think Austin was really needed as a character, he doesn't do much except make the journey a little harder for our main character.


That's the point, everybody in her family, makes it harder for Jillian to like them and thus she wants a new family. But instead she realizes that her family love her, they're just a pain in the ass... like most families


Quoted from Mo
But honestly, I liked it, it was unpredictable, very unpredictable actually, hard to achieve with a comedy like yours.


I go for unpredictable that's why I like writing comedy... it's so easy for me to put a genie in and say "here is your wishes" bullshit... A wish cow adds to the comedy and it's also a true belief in Buddha...

Thanks again

Mark


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Angry Bear
Posted: May 2nd, 2013, 6:09pm Report to Moderator
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Mark, finished your script.

Congrats on the script. You did pretty good here I think. It was quiet funny in places and I thought the idea of a wish cow was great!!

I did have some issues with this though, which is to be expected with a feature put out in a short amount of time.

I think my main issue with your script is that I didn't really know who this is supposed to be about. At times it felt like it was Jillian's story, but at other times, I thought it was Greg's. This also leads me to another issue. What audience do you have in mind for this? When it was about Jillian, it felt like it was intended for teenagers. When it was about Greg it felt like it was intended for a more adult audience. Therefore, it felt like it didn't really know what it wanted to be.

I also thought some of the characters, especially Ashley, was too over the top and unlikable. Her turnaround later in the script didn't help her. By that time I hated her too much to change my mind.

The characters speak very similar to each other. Other than the occasional "like" from the young girls, everyone else sounded the same. Same type of jokes, same type of humor and speech.

All in all a great effort for the time allowed and that's coming from someone who doesn't like comedy.  

Good luck with this!  

Page 1. I like your descriptions of the people at the birthday party. I am not a comedy person, but I found quite a bit of this funny on this 1st page. Especially the false teeth in the glass. Yuck!

Page 2. Good dialogue here. Funny too.

Page 4. I was not as fond of this page. Maybe it is funny to guys, but I doubt any female would like.

Page 5. Grandma Susan. Ewww!

Page 10. I like Mr. Chow. He's funny and has character.

Page 13. If you write turns instead of switches you will get rid old that ugly little TV orphan. To actually do have a lot of those. Almost every single page has them. Although there is nothing really wrong with them, they are ugly, but if there are a lot of them they will actually affect the length of the script since each one of them adds a whole line.

Page 15. I am not so sure I like what Ashley is saying here. Would she really say that in front of her kids? I mean if you want her to be crass like that that's fine, but realize that most people will not like her character.

So far, Austin is the most likable person.

Page 17. A cow app??? LOL!

Page 18. I don't know that you need Jillian to sit and talk to herself. That seldom looks good on film. Just show us what she's doing.

At cow in the bedroom. I don't remember ever seeing that before.

Page 19. Keep it down. I can't concentrate on my wine. That is pretty good.

Page 21. Instead of having screams coming from inside Natalie's bedroom, I think you should just write cries. Screams sound more like pain or fear or horror. Not something we like to see with babies involved.

Page 25. Perhaps Jillian can say something else besides, you got to be kidding, again.

Page 26. Since Greg seems to be turning out to be a somewhat decent guy, perhaps you should have introduced him a little differently in the beginning. The way you had him described with that false smile made him seem like he was someone we should not like.

Page 27. I am wondering what target audience you have for this. With Jillian and the cow, it seems like it is for young people. But, when you have Greg and Ed talking and earlier even when Greg and Ashley were talking it seems fairly adult oriented.

Page 29. Ed's last line on this page is funny, even if it's ewwww.

Page 33. Jillian's line about the meat in the back room is funny.

Page 38. Right now it hit me that even though some of your jokes are good and work, all the characters seems to have a very similar way of talking. In all these jokes, it is really your voice I'm hearing. If you know what I mean.

Page 39. Small typo in Greg's dialogue. Why are you…

Page 45. What happened to the family reunion at Bella's house?

Page 50. You don't mention in your slugs if it is day or night. You only use continuous or later. On this page we moved to a different location and all it says is later. I'm assuming it's day, but you really need to state what time of day.

Page 55. I'm thinking Ashley's behavior towards the baby especially are too over the top bad that it depresses me. It's disturbing. Ruins any kind of comedic feel.

Page 57. Wouldn't two 13 year old girls be able to figure out what the sound was in Bella's parent's bedroom?

Page 62. I thought Austin was 16. Surely he hasn't just now started to masturbate…

Page 67. No one would be locked up for saying they see a cow.

Page 70. Too many girls with periods.

Page 73. Ashley's turning into a nice person a wee bit too fast. I don't buy it.

Page 87. Might be funnier if Jillian and Bella would be grossed out instead of clueless. You could even have Austin look at Grandma amazed or something. Maybe grossed out, but impressed…

Page 89. Arghh! One lone line on the last page??? I'm sure you can trim this script to get rid of it. I noticed a lot of orphans.


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irish eyes
Posted: May 2nd, 2013, 7:39pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Pia for the read, I know you're not a big comedy fan and I appreciate all your comments and notes.

I will try and get rid of the orphans and clean it up.

I suppose i'm trying to go for a sixteen candles kind of audience... somewhere in between.

Thanks again

Mark


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SteveUK
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Hi Mark, this was certainly enjoyable and had quite a few moments that made me laugh out loud, especially the line: "Young, innocent, throwing rocks at bums"

Yes, a lot of it is pretty unbelievable, and some of the characters' decisions and actions seem to lack any logic, but it all seems forgivable in such an over the top crazy comedy.

One thing that I think you definitely need to work on is the rules of the phone. As it is, they are a little cloudy & need defining - there's always ground rules when it comes to this kind of thing but they don't seem to be clearly outlined here. At first the cow offers her a wish, then stalls on it and says there's consequences, then Jillian asks for a new family but the cow stalls again, then they argue about it, then she threatens the cow at the butcher's until it gives in, but then it tells her she will die, as if the person making the wish dying is one of the 'rules'. But then a little later the cow says if she finds the previous owner, she might get her wish without dying.

What should have been a simple wish granting turned into a drawn out negotiation/argument until she threatened to kill the cow, and the cow was as confused as me about what the actual rules were. It'd be better if the cow had laid out some solid ground rules straight away and told her to make sure that what she wished for was what she really wanted because she only gets one wish. Then after their discussion and Jillian has decided it's definitely what she wants, the cow could then say something like "Oh, I should also probably mention that the last people I granted a wish for died when it came true." And also tell her she has to tack down the app's creator to find out if she's going to die.

I think the cow's appearing and disappearing from the phone needs describing better as well. As it is, there's a flash, the room shakes, smoke comes from the floor and suddenly the cow's there. Then to get rid of it, she just pushed the button and it disappears. I'm sure you can find a more original and visually interesting way to have the cow appear and disappear from the phone. Also, I think Jillian should have a stronger reaction when the cow first appears. As it is, she's fairly relaxed and all "OMG I'm losing it". There'd be a lot more humour in the scene if she freaked out.

Here's the notes I made as I was reading:

Page 1
I don't think you need the mini slug straight after the main slug, just merge them together as - 'INT. THE ACKER'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT'.

'She's struggles...' - should be "She struggles'.

Page 11
'...let's rips' - should be 'let's rip'.

Page 12
When Mr. Chow said "Ah well, I'm sure a harsh lesson will be learned" it kinda felt a little throwaway to me. You should a least use this opportunity to have him say something that will foreshadow the craziness that's going to happen later.

Page 35
"Five thousand grand cool." - you need to lose either the thousand or the grand.

Page 37
Why would Greg say "He was only sixty nine" in response to Karen saying "Out with the old". Sixty nine is pretty old. Also, Greg doesn't seem very remorseful that he just cost Bert his job. Especially as he was so buddy-buddy with him earlier.

Page 45
"She expecting you." - should be "She's".

Page 51
You have Greg say to Austin that Jillian is only gone for the night. But it isn't until page 55 that Jillian actually asks for Greg's permission to stay at Bella's for the night.

Page 58
"...as long as their not mine." - should be "they're".

Page 72
"She put an arm around him." - should be "puts".

Page 74
'…enter with a tray a food.' - should be 'tray of'.

Page 75
"Bill, why are freaking out…" - should be "why are you".

Page 78
Where did all the talk about believing anything come from? It feels like a scene or conversation is missing here. Almost like the story skipped a page.

Page 84
So Ed is behind the cow app. Why would he willingly go to Mr Chow's store with everyone, knowing that he'd be recognised and get found out? You need to find a more creative and believable way of getting him in there.
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irish eyes
Posted: May 10th, 2013, 6:48pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve

Awesome feedback

I'm really setup for a redraft thanks to all the great replies... I promise I'll take your notes into consideration and maybe bounce a few ideas off you( if you don't mind) and vice versa obviously..

Thanks again

Mark


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hawkeye
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Mark, I just emailed you my notes on this.  Hope you can read them.

Good job, man!

Gary


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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irish eyes
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Thanks for the awesome notes Gary

Mark


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StevenClark
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Mark,

Finished this a couple days ago so it's been stewing awhile.

This, I'm sure you'd agree, is very, very raw.  No doubt due to the time constraints on the challenge.  However, it's written with the flair of a writer who knew exactly where he wanted to go with this.

There were spots here and there that were just laugh out loud funny -- most notably the old man in Knick Knacks passing gas.  I know, I know -- just a fart joke. but I almost shit myself there.

As I've said before, you have quite the hand for comedic dialogue.  It shows here with every one of your characters.  However, at times your dialogue was so over the top it lost its edge, particularly with Jillian's grandparents.  I get it that they're old and will make some crazy, off the cuff comments, but it just seems a bit over done.  I wouldn't be surprised if down the road on a rewrite you lost the grandparents altogether.  They didn't really seem to add much to the story except provide a comic foil.

I kinda like the cow app.  It was a unique.  As a matter of fact, the script itself was unique.  I think that's it's strength.  They say to write something that's never been done, or put a twist out there that's never been done.  I can't recall reading anything quite like this.

One thing that bothers me a little is your ending, as it's a bit contrived.  Kinda has what I call a Scooby-Doo moment where everyone comes together in the end, and everything is hashed out, revelations are revealed and what not.  Something About Mary ended much the same way, but that movie's strength was the crazy shit going on throughout, which complimented a very simple premise.

Overall, very original and funny.  I enjoyed the read, and you did build up a decent amount of tension as well.  Good luck on the rewrite!

Steve


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Steve

Thanks for checking this out... yeah it's raw. I haven't touched it since last June
I actually got professional notes on this, I can email them to you if you want. He basically states that I need to choose a path and concentrate on that... Jillian(the family comedy) or Greg (the raunchy version)

Mark


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