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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Singles Camp Moderators: bert
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: May 23rd, 2007, 4:21am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for offering your thoughts Tweak. I welcome all reviews, positive or negative. I don’t really see much difference in the writing between the first third and the remainder but sometimes others can see things in your work that you don’t see.

It’s difficult to write an exciting introduction scene with only a couple of characters but one with several supporting characters is particularly challenging. It must be a pretty bad scene, however, to cause you to stop reading altogether.

I don’t believe in arguing with someone’s criticism - unless it’s deliberately vindictive. I believe in taking my lumps and trying to use whatever criticism to help me improve as a writer. I believe your criticisms are fair and intended constructively. So I thank you for your comments on what you read and I’ll try and do better.

Thank you,


Breanne




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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 13th, 2011, 12:33pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Breanne!

Congrats on being the Screenplay of the Month!

July's almost half gone, so I thought I should get on the stick and read this one.
I'm going into this one, cold. Didn't even read the logline.

Thoughts as I go:

I like the glue factory, nice environment to open in.

p. 4 Co-Worker should have a name. They got three pages of dialogue.

p. 7 Your plant fire would play better with some foreshadowing.
Inter-cut that with your bathroom failure, could heighten the situation.

p. 8 I like the "we're closing the plant" cut to next scene.
Strong edits like that always keep me reading.

p. 11 The "it's just not in the cards" bit was nicely handled.

Overall, the dialogue feels pretty natural. Casual.
I think you could get to the plant being shut down sooner.
Feels like the bathroom sequence could benefit from some trims.

p. 14 Handicapped bathroom stall.
To me, this feels like a breaking point for Anna Lee.
I could see her breaking down and crying all over her lavatory antagonist.
I feel like we're due for that kind of moment.
Then, perhaps, she sees the singles camp flyer. My two cents.

p. 16 Do me unicorn style. Funny.

p. 20 I feel like we're missing a little more set up about the camp.
Perhaps a phone inquiry by Anna Lee, a hunky sounding counselor, etc.

p. 23 John Matthews speech is borderline absurdist humor.
I always use that stall cuz it's the only one that consistently has paper. =p
This has a pretty good white bread trailer trash corn fed vibe to it.

p. 27 Some clever dialogue during the intros, gallows humor is a good icebreaker.
Feels like a speech from the camp directors is absent here.
Give the reader a grasp of what actually goes on at the camp.
A pep rally speech, something would help foreshadow events.

p. 29 Sleeping quarters.
Feels like we need a line about how is someone supposed to get lucky in bunk beds.

p. 34 Again with the butt guards. Chuckles.

I'm stopping here for now, I'll pick it up tomorrow, as work allows.
This is a pretty breezy read, the languid pace suits the material, so far.
I feel like perhaps not quite enough has happened to fill 35 pages.

However, I"m not bored in the slightest.
To be continued.

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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Electric Dreamer  -  July 13th, 2011, 2:52pm
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: July 13th, 2011, 10:44pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for reading, ED.

I’ve gotten some responses privately about the script since it got SOTM. In fact, I still get emails occasionally from people who’ve read this script over the years. It’s been here since 2005. It suffers a little bit from that I think.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Co-Worker should have a name. They got three pages of dialogue.


I count less than two pages. She would be in the movie less than 2 minutes. Not sure that deserves a name.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Your plant fire would play better with some foreshadowing.
Inter-cut that with your bathroom failure, could heighten the situation.


I kind of like the idea of the fire coming out of left field. Plus we never actually see a fire, which is a lot cheaper than actually burning stuff.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I think you could get to the plant being shut down sooner.
Feels like the bathroom sequence could benefit from some trims.


Noted.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Handicapped bathroom stall.
To me, this feels like a breaking point for Anna Lee.
I could see her breaking down and crying all over her lavatory antagonist.
I feel like we're due for that kind of moment.
Then, perhaps, she sees the singles camp flyer. My two cents.


Hmm. Something to consider.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I feel like we're missing a little more set up about the camp.
Perhaps a phone inquiry by Anna Lee, a hunky sounding counselor, etc.


Hmm. Something else to consider.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
John Matthews speech is borderline absurdist humor.


Borderline? Haha. I intended the whole script to be absurd. Even the parts that are relatively “normal” are laced with little absurdities. For example, John likening his work to that of an undercover cop and then the next person introducing herself as an undercover cop. That sort of thing goes on subtly all throughout. I love absurdist humor. I definitely wanted the whole thing to be sort of ridiculous. You should have read the logline haha.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Some clever dialogue during the intros, gallows humor is a good icebreaker.
Feels like a speech from the camp directors is absent here.
Give the reader a grasp of what actually goes on at the camp.
A pep rally speech, something would help foreshadow events.


Noted. Introducing a bunch of characters in this sort of story is tricky. I didn’t want to spend too much time on initial intros. I just wanted to give a taste and move on. I figured I had the whole second act for character development.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
This is a pretty breezy read, the languid pace suits the material, so far.


Languid pace? Ouch. I know what you mean.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I feel like perhaps not quite enough has happened to fill 35 pages.


I agree that getting to the camp and introducing all the characters may take too long.

I really just wanted to write something I thought was fun. I don’t really know of another rom-com quite like this one. On one hand, it’s fun and light. It doesn’t rely on cheap laughs. On the other hand, it’s absurd without losing emotional resonance or becoming totally incomprehensible. At least, that was my goal. Sometimes, they work. Sometimes they don’t.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, ED.

And thanks to whomever nominated this for Script of the Month!


Breanne


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 14th, 2011, 11:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Breanne Mattson
Thanks for reading, ED.

Languid pace? Ouch. I know what you mean.

Breanne


I definitely meant the peaceful definition.
Not the lacking vitality definition. Yeeouch!
It has a homespun rocking chair on the porch quality.
And I like it. There, that's better.

E.D.



LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 14th, 2011, 1:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Breanne,

I'm going through pages 35 - 70 this morning.
Let's see how those first act dilemmas develop.
And see what kind of sub plot camp shenanigans go on.

p. 39 Neville. Kooky character. I like him.
And the disgruntled biddie at date camp, that should be fun.

p. 47 Catty girls talking horseback riding.
Little surprised there's no riding side saddle or bareback joke here.
Seems the kind of comment these one track mind ladies would make.

p. 54 The bear and the mythies.
It's cute when they first see her, she's in Indian garb, good set up.
The socked thing is well, socked.
Is there a reason why Anna Lee is so good at archery? If so, I forgot it.

p. 55 Buck the one-eyed horse. Classy.
Never seen that in a movie or TV show, good on you.

p. 63ANNA LEE
I know but I keep doing and saying
stupid things.
LIZ
You’re just nervous, Anna Lee.
ANNA LEE
I don’t think so. I said and did
stupid things before we met.


I like the timing here, good cadence.
Though I must admit, it feels a little late in the movie for post first date jitters.
Took an hour to get Anna Lee and Heath alone together.
I'm just wondering now if Madge is Heath's mother or something.

Stopping at page 70 today, will conclude tomorrow.

I like the characters and the overall tone you are after.
Madge is a decent antag I"m sure that will develop in the third act.
I guess my biggest problem with the script is the title organization.
The Singles Camp doesn't feel any different than a Boy Scout camp.
It just seems like a standard summer camp with adult attendees.

That's ok to start, but I don't see anything new you're doing with that premise.
It's the title of your script, there's something about it that should stand out.
Why aren't we having a speed dating dinner or karaoke bar fun?
Top off the week with a Sadie Hawkins dance or something.
Foreshadow it earlier on, gives us something to look forward to at week's end.

I guess what I'm looking for is, what makes this camp a singles camp?
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like the script.
But, given that title, I was expecting more from the camp premise itself.
Does that make sense?

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 15th, 2011, 12:51pm Report to Moderator
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Heya Breanne!

Let's wrap up your whacky romantic comedy today.
What will Madge do to foil Anna Lee's wedding dreams?
Is she really Heath's mother?!?!?
How much toilet humor will there be in the climax? Let's find out!

p. 76 The "betrayal" by Heath.
I like the effect the fake wife has on Anna Lee.
But Madge being the wife, doesn't work for me right now.
It's absurd enough to be in line with everything that's come before it.
But that absurdity feels out of place when real emotional pain comes from it.

p. 85 WTF kidnapping absurdness.
HEATH
First, I’ll shoot you. Then I’ll
take pictures of you in suggestive
positions and post them on the
internet.

Best line so far! Total trailer material.

p. 93 Suitably silly climax. Totally left fieldish in a fun way.
Waiting on that emotional romance to kick back in.

p. 96 I don't get Anna Lee's apology.
What did she do that came off as pushy? Weird line.

Pretty whacky ending there with Madge.
It had the laughs, could've used a little more heart though.

This is a good read with a lot of appreciate.
I wanted more romance and a tad more dilemma for the lovers.
The camp itself could use more "date centric" activities.

I think this could be a fine vehicle for a Reese Witherspoon or Kristen Wig.
Girl power comedies are hot right now, good time to recirculate this one around!

Best of luck!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: July 15th, 2011, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the comments, E.D.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Catty girls talking horseback riding.
Little surprised there's no riding side saddle or bareback joke here.
Seems the kind of comment these one track mind ladies would make.


Hmm. Didn’t think of that.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Is there a reason why Anna Lee is so good at archery? If so, I forgot it.


No reason. Just a naturally good shot who never realized it before because of a lack of confidence.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Buck the one-eyed horse. Classy.
Never seen that in a movie or TV show, good on you.


Buck is based on an actual horse. His real name wasn’t Buck and he didn’t wear an eye patch, though. That was my idea. But he was huge and powerful and really stepped on people’s feet. He was a big sweetheart, though.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I like the timing here, good cadence.
Though I must admit, it feels a little late in the movie for post first date jitters.
Took an hour to get Anna Lee and Heath alone together.


They have a short moment alone on page 40. They have several non-alone moments before that. I don’t think the average moviegoer would even notice. Movies create a time illusion. Not saying the criticism isn’t valid, just that I’m a little leery of these types of criticisms from writers.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I don't see anything new you're doing with that premise.
It's the title of your script, there's something about it that should stand out.
Why aren't we having a speed dating dinner or karaoke bar fun?
Top off the week with a Sadie Hawkins dance or something.
Foreshadow it earlier on, gives us something to look forward to at week's end.


Please, no speed dating or karaoke. Those things have been done to death. The Sadie Hawkins thing is a little less overdone. Might be doable. I’d rather have something outdoorsy than something that happens in the dating world all the time.

There’s never really been a movie about a summer camp for singles. In fact, when I wrote this, I couldn’t find any such camps anywhere, not even with an internet search. Since I wrote this, actual camps have sprung up.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
The "betrayal" by Heath.
I like the effect the fake wife has on Anna Lee.
But Madge being the wife, doesn't work for me right now.
It's absurd enough to be in line with everything that's come before it.
But that absurdity feels out of place when real emotional pain comes from it.


Noted. I can see how a film that asks viewers to accept absurd humor can feel awkward when it tries to have a genuinely emotional moment.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I don't get Anna Lee's apology.
What did she do that came off as pushy? Weird line.


She’s just shy.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Pretty whacky ending there with Madge.
It had the laughs, could've used a little more heart though.


I admit that the stakes are perhaps not high enough. A lot of rom-coms have that issue. The worst case scenario is that a relationship doesn’t work.

It’s true that without a heavy emotional toll, a rom-com is pretty lame. I guess I wanted to write something that appealed to men as well as women. I didn’t want to just write a “chick flick.” I wanted to write a fun audience pleaser that could be easily produced.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
The camp itself could use more "date centric" activities.


Noted.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I think this could be a fine vehicle for a Reese Witherspoon or Kristen Wig.
Girl power comedies are hot right now, good time to recirculate this one around!


I would be thrilled to have either one of those women star. And I don’t mind at all if anyone wants the script changed to reflect any of the points you’ve made. I’ll keep them in mind for when the next revision time comes around.

Thanks E.D. Lots of food for thought here.


Breanne


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pwhitcroft
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 12:28am Report to Moderator
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Breanne,

I’ve listed my comments as I read this below. Often I’m more likely to note negatives than positives.

Title Page – The title works really well for me. I get an immediate sense of it being a fun adult comedy. I wonder if you need an apostrophe after Singles.

Pg 1 – You could consider ending the paragraph after “BAM! Powder bursts everywhere” to give it emphasis.

For me replacing “seems to have” with “has” is an example of a way this could be tightened up.

First page works pretty well, you’ve established a character and got us attached to her.

Pg 3 – The stuff about the bathroom is amusing but it risks alienating a section of the audience from your character.

Pg 5 – The toilet humor is amusing, although it’s not gonna be for everybody. I’m wondering if this sequence would play better if this was a character I already knew.

Pg 7 – “I almost died today... alone.” – It’s a dramatic line, but to me it doesn’t seem to fit with what happened.

Pg 8 – I like the dialogue transition at the top of the page, but typically I’d expect to see an action text to begin the scene.

“I’ve got three months to find another job.” – I get that she’s a softy of a character, but it runs the risk of her coming over as a loser who we don’t have much sympathy with.

Pg 11 – “like a ninja shuriken” – I like the idea of her having some special talent. I wonder if an earlier hint of it would make sense to beef up her character.

Pg 12 – Her seeing the flyer has an inciting incident feel about it. My initial thought is that perhaps the script has been treading water a little bit up to this point with the intention of hitting this mark.

Pg 15 – I like the sketch with Madge, although Anna Lee’s lie to get out of the situation might be a bit inconsistent with the character you’ve developed so far.

Pg 16 – “Is it your sense of humor that men love?” – I like her being more feisty. It makes me think you could consider making her start off more this way.

Pg 19 – “go out and get a boyfriend” – I know this is the point of the story but it’s feeling repetitive for me and since I know where she is going I’m feeling impatient for her to get on with it. For example I recently watched Stripes, and they get to the army pretty early in the story, this makes me think that by around page 10 or so she could be heading for the camp.

Pg 22 – “That’s with an “N,”” – I’m not sure I get what he’s saying here.

This is a really tough scene to write. A room full of new characters introducing themselves. You could consider having her meet some of them in the parking lot.

Pg 27 – The big intro scene worked out okay. You could look at how distinctive the voices of the various characters are.

Pg 34 – These scenes are amusing. They seem to be being quite childish at this point, but I’m guessing that’s deliberate.

Pg 37 – “I’m sorry but the sign fell off.” – If he knew that why would he come in?

Pg 41 – It seems at the moment that Heath and Anna Lee are destined to end up together. That’s fine but as things stand it seems too easy. They don’t appear to have any obstacles to them getting together.

Pg 47 – For me all the “you met up with him, you spent time with him” stuff feels forced given that this is an adult singles camp. If it was a kids or religious camp then it would work fine.

Pg 54 – I like the archery sequence.

Pg 56 – I’m enjoying the amusing tone and sketches within this. At this point I’m not entirely sure what is at stake in the story. Much of what you have here would play well in a movie that had some wider alternative A-story. The things you are working with appear in many movies, but they are not often the core plot line.

Pg 59 – “They kiss” – Given that her original issue was having no boyfriend I’m not sure what is left to resolve after this.

Pg 61 – “What if she doesn’t like me?” – For me the character of Heath has fluctuated between different personas, which might make sense in a romance. However this line makes him seem very soft.  

Pg 69 – I realize that Madge is closing in, but the last few pages have been happy and joyous for Anna Lee and the threat posed by Madge doesn’t seem substantial. Looking at the page count I’d be expecting Anna Lee’s situation to be deteriorating and her enemies to be getting their way at this point in the story.

Pg 76 – “now, Anna Lee” – That’s three consecutive dialogues where she has said Anna Lee’s name. I’ve noticed this is a few other places as well.

It’s good that things have gone negative.

Pg 79 – The fight scene is good comedy. I wonder if it could be a little less predictable? Also as it stands it feels like a side-track from the story because it doesn’t seem to have much to do with everything else that is happening.

Pg 81 – I like the fact that these dangerous characters have appeared and how they spice things up. I’d suggest seeing if there is a way to get them involved earlier on.

Pg 84 – “I say we let her go.” – I like Heath coming to the rescue, but the last we saw of him he was going to the office to sort out the wife thing.

Pg 85 – “rips his cap off” – Being picky, I’m not sure you could do this from distance with a shotgun without shooting the guy full of pellet holes.

Pg 88 – I like the idea of a big standoff. I’m having a little trouble picturing how the loggers will take things this seriously. Also because this has not been set up and seems to involve Anna Lee as a bystander I guess I’d suggest seeing if there is a different way to play it.

Pg 93 – I don’t recall her mother being in this before so that makes me wonder if she should talk to Delia.

Pg 94 – At this point I’m thinking that the big climax ended on page 92, so I’m surprised that it’s 11 more pages after that to get to the end.  

Pg 103 – A secondary ending to wrap the thing up, that’s what the pages are for. I guess I’m wondering if there is a way to get all three of the big endings together. One being the battle, the next being the Madge confrontation, and the third being the Anna Lee/Heath relationship. You could consider if there is some way to have a building finale that takes in all these things without stopping between them.


Overall the story is a lot of fun and has numerous great comedic scenes and recurring gags. It’s pretty contained and doesn’t require expensive effects so it’s a solid script for a lower budget production. You’ve got good twists and keep it moving along well.

The technique works fine for me. It could be tightened up a bit in places and the wording could be more dynamic. Some of the dialogue gets a bit on-the-nose and at times during the banter it felt like the voices could be more distinct from each other.

By way of suggestions on this, I’d suggest considering if there is a way to make the big picture story more compelling and clearer. At the moment it meanders a little in the middle and seems like it is looking for something to anchor it and give it momentum.

Also, for me you could cut this down by 10 pages or so and it would likely be a stronger story for it.  

Good luck with it.

Philip


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: July 21st, 2011, 12:00am Report to Moderator
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Hi Philip,

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Lots of good suggestions. I agree with a lot of them and others are something to think about.

This script was written six years ago with a very low budget in mind. My skill has increased dramatically since then. It seems like once a script gets that old, it’s hard to revise up to your current standards.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
The title works really well for me. I get an immediate sense of it being a fun adult comedy. I wonder if you need an apostrophe after Singles.


I actually dealt with this issue before when I booked acts for a songwriters night. The word singles in this case is being used as an adjective describing what type of camp it is, not as a possessive.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
The stuff about the bathroom is amusing but it risks alienating a section of the audience from your character.


Yeah but it’ll be the stuffy section.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
“like a ninja shuriken” – I like the idea of her having some special talent. I wonder if an earlier hint of it would make sense to beef up her character.


This was foreshadowing her talent with a bow. Yeah, I know, they’re too different types of skills but people with great eye-hand coordination tend to be good at a lot of different things.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
I like the sketch with Madge, although Anna Lee’s lie to get out of the situation might be a bit inconsistent with the character you’ve developed so far.


You should have read the original scene ha ha. It was highly offensive.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
“That’s with an “N,”” – I’m not sure I get what he’s saying here.


With an “M” instead of an “N,” the station would be PMS.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
“I’m sorry but the sign fell off.” – If he knew that why would he come in?


Just because the sign fell off, he wouldn’t necessarily know someone was in there. It could have fallen off anytime.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
“I say we let her go.” – I like Heath coming to the rescue, but the last we saw of him he was going to the office to sort out the wife thing.


Yes but there was an emergency and the ladies went to get the guys.


Quoted from pwhitcroft
“rips his cap off” – Being picky, I’m not sure you could do this from distance with a shotgun without shooting the guy full of pellet holes.


Good point.

Anything I didn’t address directly is something I either totally agree with or I’ll take into consideration.

Thanks Philip.


Breanne


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