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The Scorsese Club by Gregory J. Baldwin (Greg) - Comedy - An outcast team of 7th grade filmmakers battle through bullies, wedgies, and book reports for a shot at winning the ultimate prize at an annual youth film festival. 108 pages - pdf, format
Hey, Greg: You know I had to take a look at this one, right? I hope it is not too trite to call your script "cute", but it really is. I found myself rooting for these kids as this story took shape and gained momentum.
There are many very good scenes scattered throughout this tale, and all of our characters are really well-defined, making it easy to keep up with who is who. Well, maybe Ben and Chuck could have had a little more to definition between them, but Ben is clearly the "leader" here, so maybe that is enough. But if you can think of something else to "give" Chuck, to help him stand out, it might be a good idea.
Some additional things: * The business card holder coming back into play was a nice touch. * The "naming scene" worked out really well (if you ask me ) and scored some laughs, too! "The Uwe Boll Bunch" Ha! Wonder why that one didn't stick... * Extend the filming montage. Surely there is more to tell. * The simultaneous fight scene with Ben and Dad is good. * Don't have Jodie throw a can at a customer's head! Goodness. Try something a little softer, eh? Like celery or something. * Hey, your announcer guy is named Bert! * "Passion 2" This was pretty funny. * And the final scene. This was inspired, man. Your story ends exactly as it should. No matter how much rewriting you do, be sure to maintain at least the essence of the scene that leads into your final fade. It hits the perfect note.
So I liked this a good bit. You know what my biggest piece of advice is? Tone down the language. Really. Especially from the Mom and Dad characters. What you have here is the makings of an excellent, fun family film, and the language is ruining it. Maybe a few mild curses from the kids -- once or twice for effect if you feel you must -- but please, nothing from the adults. It sends the wrong message. You will not hurt this story in the least if you scale it back, and I really encourage you to do it, because you have a really solid idea here that could be turned into a decent film.
It's not perfect yet, but the building blocks are certainly in place here. It's nice work, Greg.
This is one I liked enough that I would recommend it to readers looking for something a little different. It's not raunchy, and it has no zombies -- but there is the genesis of a really good story here, I think.
Just wanted to send you a message to let you know that I read your script, and I liked it. The only thing that I would recommend would be to maybe cut out some of the parts between Stephen and the Techs in the beginning since I think it was established well enough to not have to go that much into it, and maybe add another scene prior to the ending instead of jumping from the family room right to them filming again. Perhaps to explain why Scorcese agreed to be in their movie?
I will admit I found the Oliver character humorous since I had a small bit character with a lisp in the beginning of my script "The Odds of Love".
Well that's about it. I just wanted to say good job, and I look forward to reading more of your work
This was funny. I loved the russian character, he was funny. Sespuite what Bert said, the language wasn't that bad, even for a family movie. Habve you seen "The Sandalot"? Its got lpost of swearing-the s word, the f word, sex references, you name they got it. But its still rated PG. So really it wasnt that bad. And hey, The main characters ame is Ben, thats my name!
Hey thanks! Believe it or not, Dimitri is based on a real person who does say "hey guys, yeah guys, ok guys" alot. Maybe I got carried away hahaha. I kind of wanted the judges to be harsh, it creates a more tense atmosphere and in a future rewrite, Rex's film won't get panned to really build that sense of doubt.
Well, thanks for reading and thanks a bunch for your feedback!
Greg, Iâve been meaning to read this for a while and finally found some time. Iâm really impressed. I donât usually go for family comedies but this is damn funny. I thought the characters were great and some of the gags are just hilarious.
Although Ben is the leader, it's the supporting characters, Dimitri and Oliver, that stand out.
A few random notes:
Ben: No! They can give us nuclear wedgies, thatâs one step above atomic- haha
When the guys go over and sit with the jocks, Derek just says: âGo away, please.â â I donât know, I expected more of a punch line here
I think you spend a little too much time with Stephen and Jodie in the beginning. Itâs a nice subplot and very funny at times but it almost detracts from the main plot at times. The arguments with Stephen and the techs are established quickly but then you seem to dwell on it.
Jodie: âI have a customer right now who is a total dumb assâ â she sounds like one of the kids.
Chuck: Benâs sister is naked! lol
Damn, that whole scene is hilarious.
Haha, the scene with the presents is very funny too. I like Stephen, heâs a good character.
Pg 61- âdecorated to look like a mafia meeting placeâ â I have no idea what that looks like. A few details would be nice.
Thereâs a tape of Joanna naked? Lol
Iâm not sure about Stephen fighting the technicians and Ben punching out Ginoâs gang. I mean, these are funny scenes but this is a family film and it seems like a strange message to be sending out when your protags resort to violence. Same goes for Jodie in the store. Maybe you could come up with a clever, non-violent way for the family to get one up on their tormentors.
Rexâs film is pretty funny but maybe you could have one of the judges like it more. That way thereâs suspense as to whose will win. The typical formula for this type of film is to make the audience think the enemy could win, when really you know that the heroes canât fail.
I agree with what others said about the judges being too harsh. I think it could be funnier if they tried to find some deeper meaning in obviously shallow films e.g. âI see the skateboard as a powerful visual metaphor for the freedom of youth, the atomic wedgie symbolizes... etc etc. I dunno, I'm not a comedian but I think thereâs room for something funnier than outright dissing.
The announcement happens right after the film is shown. Maybe there is room for an intermission to build some suspense and possibly have a final confrontation with Gino and Rex before the winner is revealed.
The acceptance speeches cracked me up. Oliver rocks.
I like the ending sequence too. A great way to tie it all up.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. You have talent and youâve written something marketable so kudos for that. I laughed out loud several times which is something I rarely do when I read a script.
Hey, thank you for your feedback! I've been slowly editing this one, and some things that have changed are things you've mentioned. A) I'm doing my best to take out the language, but I'm leaving the shmucks in for Oliver's sake. B) The gist I've gotten from this site and other offline readers it that the techs take up too much time, so those areas are getting chizzled. C) Having Rex's film be popular at the festival, because then there's that chance that the good guys won't win.
Anyway, thank you again for taking the time to read and review. Much appreciated!
okay below are all the comments I have on your script. I've indicated page numbers to make it easier for you, since you seem to know how to format and write in industry standard nearly all of my comments are story notes. I'm sorry if I say things that have already been said, I didn't read your entire board. Anyway, if I do repeat anything it means that it's something that you should consider more highly than anything I pinpoint myself. Alrite... here I go (sorry if this is a long post, I don't know how much feedback people expect so I'm just pointing out everything I notice, good or bad)
page 8: I already like the humor going on... the dad yelling in the background is a nice touch... not quite sure if you're going for more of a kids movie here as I havn't read enough but even if you are the beginning shows promise that there will be still be stuff that even the adults can get a chuckle at
pg9: looks like dimitri is going to be a very funny character... good characterization of him right from the start
pg11: Dimitri says guys twice in a row... I believe I read that in another thread you based him off of someone you know but just be sure it doesn't get too repetitive. Since you already answered why you have that in another thread I won't mention again. Just something to take into consideration if you didn't after the first guy said it.
pg 13: I like chuck and bens little arguments. For some reason, circular arguments like that are always funny to me.
pg14: I'm not sure if I am correct on this but I'm pretty sure that you aren't supposed to use bold or underline anything to tell actors what words to punch. The caps should be enough. If it's acceptable to underline like you did then I gues you can ignore these comments but I thought I read something that it wasn't. Maybe something to check up on.
pg14: is derek supposed to be a nice guy? he seems a little too polite in how he asks them to leave
pg21: i like how the buisness card holder finally found a use
pg22: hahaha call for phone number? I got a laugh out of that
pg39: maybe this is just me but I don't think parents would call people dumbasses in front of a 12 year old.
pg45: haha I love the computer stuff... even though it's been happening on and off for 45 pages now I still laugh whenever you include a scene about it. The steffen part I can relate to as well as my dad's name is stephen and people sometimes mispronounce it.
pg50: the birthday scence although funny was unrealistic. I don't think a parent would really do that to their son so I'm hoping it's a joke and he gets real presents on his birthday
pg75: I think you need more of a reaction from stephen. I think that most parents would yell at their child if one of their friends did something like that. The rest of the scene is good though
pg77: i think the first two dialogue lines (jodie and ben) are two close together. You're missing the line of space between them
pg84: i noticed someone else said this too and i agree... make the montage longer or add in another scene or something. It seems very brief when i'm sure there is alot more filming to talk about
pg88: i like this whole series of stephens, jodies and bens problems all going at once and the cutting back forth. Very well written
pg89: again someone else said this but the can of soup isnt too realistic. If it hit them in the head chances are it'd knock them out or at least wound them. Maybe it a box of cereal or something like that.
pg93: i was waiting for you to mention other competition. It would have unrealistic if it was just between rex and ben's group as there must of been hundres of entries.
pg99: the judges are funny.. i like how their comments are blunt and to the point especially about the skateboarding movie which is a typical teenage movie thing to do.. i know all about those
-For the whole film festival sequence i think you need to add in one film that is equal to their film otherwise there is no suspense to if theyd win or not.
-Include a letter from Martin Scorcese or at least a newspaper article about the film. I'm sure he's such a busy director that word of a junior film competition might not even make it to him. It's a nice ending though, just fill it out a little more
Oh! and secondly, have Ben finally get a birthday present or something, that scene just seemed a little mean to me and also seemed to be something that wasn't wrapped up
FINAL COMMENTS Greg, I enjoyed your script immensely. It had alot of funny parts that I appreciated and the overal story was very good. Apart from the part with the film festival I don't really have any major complaints. All the characters are well developed and I can actually imagine this being a movie. It has a story to it that both kids and adults can relate to it and it does what it sets out to do. The ending though in my opinion needs a little bit of work. Make the movie festival more suspenseful and also add in a little bit before that final scene with scorcese. Overal though I'm very impressed. You format and write very well and the only things I noticed were story based. You have an extremely good start on your hands, and with only a few minor tweaks you have something that you could potentially sell to a studio. I know it's harder than it sounds but based on the other feedback several people agree with me that you have the building blocks for a great film. Hope my feedback is useful, -Matt
PS. i just read your posts that you are taking out some of the tech stuff.. I personally dont think you should do that but if i am in the minority go ahead... however, i enjoyed that part of the script and the humor it offered
Wow! Thanks a bunch Matt! The critique is very much appreciated, and yes, when the rest of your piece is posted I will be sure to finish that one up!
To answer some of you questions:
-I believe I read that underlining is okay, but italics and boldness should be avoided. -I've cut all of the language that an adult uses in all of the child scenes -I've cut the tech scene right before Stephen talks to Jodie regarding the job and I'm toning down the others, but leaving enough to still make it funny. Additionally, I've kind of built on it because one of the techs calls Stephen "Stephon."