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Youíre so mature when you post but you truly have an ability to capture kids. Admittedly, boys this age donít make much sense to me but, for the most part, youíve got a lot of great ideas.
The best, in my opinion, is the basic premise. Itís quite marketable, I believe. I think filmmaking (or any art for that matter) is something most kids engage their fantasies about at some point growing up. A movie about a bunch of kids trying to make a film just makes a lot of sense to me. Iím surprised someone in Hollywood hasnít come up with this idea yet.
Some of the characterizations didnít always seem realistic to me. But I think you were just embellishing. For example, the school mafia? Kids wearing pin striped suits to school would not have gone over well where I went to school. It was cute, though.
I kind of just took this as the lighthearted entertainment I believe you meant it to be. And it was entertaining. In fact, Now that I think about it, it was nice to read something so benign and sweet.
It did seem like there were a few components missing. For one, It seemed that something was missing in the romance department. There must be someone special to Ben. At age 12, I would think the old testosterone would be driving him a bit. Other than repeated sexual references to Benís sister and a few scenes of Dimitri working on his moves, there wasnít much in the way of this very important addition to a growing young manís life.
Page 42 - Dimitri wanting to film Joanna is just sick. Guys! I swear.
Page 67 - Dimitri says that remark about seeing Joanna naked in front of her dad. Man, my dad would have gone T-totally insane!
Another thing missing I think was at the competition. There really wasnít any. Rex bombed. Everyone basically bombed. I was left with the sense that Benís team basically won hands down. It would have been nice if perhaps there had been a real contender to really scare them good. Perhaps even one who would have been more deserving to win were it not for, say, a particular scene of true emotion in Benís film or something like that. In any event, I really think this would benefit with more tension and a greater sense of importance at the competition.
Some technical stuff:
Thereís a lot of capitalization in the dialogue. The exclamation point is plenty to let the reader know a character is yelling.
The empty box for a present - that was just cruel. I understand they didnít have money but Iím sorry, wrapping an empty box and giving it to a 12 year old boy just seems so hurtful and mean.
Just one little plot point - a technician tells Jodie over the phone that her power must have gone off and she yells, ďthen how am I talking to you now!Ē Phone lines are separate from your power lines so itís possible for your electricity to go out without your phone being cut off if itís a corded phone. A cordless phone will go out because it needs electricity for the base. A cell phone wonít matter. But whether a regular phone works or not is dependent on the phone line and has nothing to do with the power.
Greg, I think you have the makings of a great film but I think youíre missing some ingredients. As it is, I donít think its potential is fully realized but I definitely do think it has the potential to make a film thatís more than just cute. I think with some added dimensions, it could be a wonderful little family picture that could score at the box office. I really do.
This is one of those scripts that tears me. I really enjoyed reading it. It was so well written to the point that it prepared me to go on a journey with these kids. I wanted to go. I was rooting for them. In that, you succeeded in scores. But I felt that the journey never came full circle.
Yes, they set out on a goal. Ben even went through a bit of a transformation. Itís not that they donít have the power to endear. They just didnít fully do it. And itís because of the missing elements (a deeper relationship with his parents for example) that are the problem. In virtually every scene, they just yelled at comp techs. Itís a working aspect (albeit overdone) but without other dimensions to their relationship to offset it, that aspect comes off as just a gimmick. Things like that.
Overall, it was very entertaining. I just canít help but think that if itís this promising in its current state, how much better would it be with these (what I feel are) missing components.
Wow, that was nice to read before heading off to bed!
You know I was thinking of the school mafia kids and the suit thing. I think that would only work if it were being pitched to Nickelodeon or something. A question though. Obviously I want Gino and his goons to really stand out as the bad guys, but what kind of distinct clothing should they be in? The slicked back hair must stay, because I knew alot of really weird kids who had that style belive it or not. I was thinking maybe they could go for the prep look, or maybe Gino is that one kid that many schools had who took a briefcase to class. I don't know, I could toy with it.
I guess I really gave Dimitri a distinct personality, huh? Hahaha. I love that guy. Anyway, I think one of these days I'm going to finish my next draft so future readers don't experience the same non-elements that have really stood out in almost review I've read of this.
But wow, you're too kind! Come to think of it, every review you've given me has been rather inspiring. You ever see that movie Sidekicks and that scene where the guy can't go up the rope and then he imagines Chuck Norris beside him telling him he can do it? You're like the Chuck Norris of my life! Yeah, not the greatest example but you get it. thanks again
...you're too kind! Come to think of it, every review you've given me has been rather inspiring.
Youíre right. Iím too kind. I take it all back! - just kidding.
Well, I think youíre a good writer, Greg. I donít give a lot of really bad reviews normally because, number one, Iím really good at picking scripts. I can plainly see by peopleís posts who are the higher quality writers. If I could read every script I would. Then you would definitely read a lot more negative reviews by me on one thread or another. But being limited on how many I can read, I generally try to read the stuff by the best writers. If you want to be one of the best, you hang around with the best, you know.
This is the new draft of TSC. Not asking old reviewers to reread it, but this is mostly for new ones. Some of the language was taken out, some technical shtuff fixed, some other shtuff here and there, and the last 20 pages or so got a pretty big makeover.
Okay, just got done reading this. First off, I'd like to say I'm impressed by how you managed to create realistic preteen characters. Just like preteens, these characters think they know everything but have childish fights with each other and still have to deal with typical preteen issues (girls, bullies, etc.) Very few problems with the script. Looks like you've gotten rid of a lot of them over time.
Anyway, a couple things:
1. For a comedy, this is a really long script. The characters don't actually create the Scorsese Club until page 44. There's a lot of stuff going on in the script. I think you could trim a little of it down some.
2. Throughout the film, these guys are eating out of lunch boxes. Sure, they're young but not that young. Same with Gino's gang and the lolipops. Paperbags makes more sense IMO.
3. At one point, Ben mentions that the gang has limited resources while in another scene, he asks what a budget is. I think someone who understands what limited resources entail would know what a budget is.
4. Jodie's "Ben, you don't do things..." line on page 76 is a little strange. I'd say try to find a different way of phrasing it.
5. There're a couple times Oliver pulls off a straight "s" while he still has the retainer.
6. Dimitri's the man.
That's about it. Hope this helps. As of now, it's a good script. I enjoyed it.
I wanted to get out the Locust review before I responded, just to seal the deal.
Thanks for your review! 116 pages for a comedy is intimidating, and in my rewrite I added some extra shtuff, so as I continue to work on this I'll probably start taking things away little by little to get it under 110. Thanks again.
Hey I've been meaning to read your script for a while. I finally did. And I have to say I am very impressed.
First off you have yourself a great family comedy. The direction of "family" comedy you took it in is still undecided. For movies, stories about middle schoolers is difficult, they talk about sex jokes and are on there way to losing the "inoccence" (like they ever have any) and are slightly immature. You manage capture this at an appropriate level however. Some parts are very dark (i lauged so hard with stephens reaction to Dimitri's comment on Joanna naked), and the commentators at the film festival were also very sardonic which made it very funny to watch these kids dreams get crushed. Very dark children's humor (like christmas story cept I'm not trying to "compare" films here) but sometimes you go the opposite way.
The mafia thing though funny was too out there to be taken at all seriously. It was Too silly. It seems like that would only fly by in a kids made for tv movie on nick or disney.
Also for a family comedy the part where Judie, stephen, and ben all get in fights simultaneously seems ridiculous for there characters. You made Ben's parents very immature but then in the parts where they would lecture him very morale and forgiving. I couldn't see how Judie could justify throughing a can at a rude costumer.
Sometimes character contradicted themselves or there were too many in one scene at once. I know the filming parts were meant to be chaotic but sometimes a dirty crack about Ben's sister would go unnotice because another character was bringing something up. as for the contradictions I think that Ben made his character look a lot worse when he started booing the Passion 2. I have these gripes mainly because it just wouldn't work for the "family feel" In some areas it seems you struggle with keeping the characters in check with appropriate, and at other times things were very kiddyish. That age is a difficult one but I think you pulled it off, I was that age not too many years ago and you seemed to catch the essence of the "group".
These gripes are mainly just finding an age audience who can enjoy the entire movie instead of just "parts" That doenst mean I didn't like it, I loved it! You did a great job and I had an excellent evening reading it.
First of all, I should probably preface by saying that Iíve never reviewed anyoneís screenplay before, so Iíll try my best to do a good job the first time. I should also give you a little info. on myself Ė Iíve been writing screenplays for about seven years now (part-time of course). I am completely self-taught; I never took any classes on the subject. I am a "learn-as-I-go" writer, and I hope to better my craft with each project. At present, Iíve written four screenplays Ė three thrillers, one sci-fi/comedy. I am currently working on a drama. Okay, enough about me... I want to start off by saying I really enjoyed reading your script. Having not read your synopsis, I really did not know what to expect. Once I began reading I found it to be quite a page-turner. Your pacing was very good. Each scene moved the story forward, never lagging anywhere. I donít ever remember being stuck in a scene too long. The story flowed very well. Your dialogue was also very believable. I truly believed that these characters were 12 and 13 year-olds. You were able to capture that age group very well in their speech as well as in their antics. Itís funny, because I was just like these kids growing up. I loved movies and was always trying to write scripts and get the neighborhood kids together to act them out, so I related to the characters, especially Ben, being that he was the ringleader and all. One of the strongest points of this script for me was the "side-humor". There were many times while reading this that I laughed out loud. I loved the English teacher in the beginning, the Oliverís retainer sequences, and the constant doting over the only female in the story, besides the mom. You did a great job lacing the story with comedy. The characters were very likable as well. I even liked the folks. I constantly pictured Rick Moranis playing the part of Stephen. I also enjoyed Jodieís character. She seemed like your typical suburban mother just trying to get by. I also enjoyed how you created the backdrops for each scene Ė How the kids would use all resources available to seem professional Ė The bedroom turned office; the garage turned mafia hang-out. One scene I didnít much care for was when Rex tries to sabotage the SCís film by tearing, spitting on the scripts etc. I liked the idea of the mafia waiting for the group to self-destruct, but it didnít seem like you executed that plot-point. I think it couldíve been done a bit more cleverly with Rex going in "undercover" as one of the mafiaís hitmen. In my opinion, that scene should have been more subtle and built upon. It seemed to brief. Another scene I thought could have been better was the contestantsí films during the film viewing. This is clearly a place where you could have added a lot of humor. I thought the films couldíve been sillier. I also didnít quite get Rexís film. I know you were poking fun at art films, but I think you couldíve elaborated a bit more on this. After all, he is the arch nemesis of the story. I thought the end of the film was great! The SC wins, Dimitri fixes the computer, and the familyís money problems are solved. I also enjoyed the final cameo appearance (which surprised me). One thing however, what did they end up doing with the prize money? Was it used to fund their next project? I wouldíve liked to know. All in all, itís a very solid script, and I truly enjoyed reading it. As far as itsí content goes, Iím not sure whether it would work better as a big screen film or television film. It probably falls somewhere in-between. I hope this review was informative for you. Good luck with all your endeavors. -Mark P.S. If you would like to ask me more specific questions about the script I will gladly answer them.
I see where you're getting the contradictions in Ben's character from. Maybe I should switch Ben's lines over to Chuck, since he's the jerk of the group. I want Ben to be that nice leader and you feel good when he wins. I'll keep that in mind for future reference.
Thanks for transferring your review onto the boards! The sequence where Rex tries sabotaging was tricky to work in. I needed something to bring the group down but also bring them back together. Thank you for pointing that out, though. As for the prize money, well, I think their ultimate prize was just the win and being able to put their differences aside. Maybe they gave it to Oliver to pay back his debts, I don't know. I may consider that also for future rewrites.
(Iím sorry I shouldnít have donít that). Took a look at your script. Now before I get rolling I have a little disclaimer. Iím new at this, Iíve only written one full-length screenplay. What little knowledge I have is based on websites, books, and mainly SS. As for how I write a review, I basically give some general thoughts in the beginning and end, and I write a detailed page by page review in the middle, so prepare yourself.
Lastly, Iím brutally honest, and what may come across as harsh is not meant to be in any way insulting, I write only to share what thoughts went through my head as I read in hopes that you can use it as a gauge to improve or take the temperature of your audience.
Anyhow onto the Scorsese Club. I got a real Little Rascals feel out of this movie, I kept picturing kids that were younger, but I think you did a great job. I donít normally like family comedies but I found yours to be quite entertaining and funny. In general I felt this screenplay was really rolling by page 25, a very quick read. I canít put my finger on what it is about the very beginning that seemed slightly slower then the rest. It may be the fact that your introducing the characters and setting the stage, and in that case itís really a necessity.
Specific Comments **Spoilers**
5- Random Idea: Stephen is on the phone with tech helpÖ Throughout the screenplay you use this concept, now some ideas I had were you could have Stephen talking to a foreign tech person who just doesnít understand him, or some communication barriers that could really be funny interplay between the characters especially with your writing style. I donít know if you have ever experience tech help but often these people are foreign and you canít understand a word their say. They are often ďBob from MissouriĒ aka Abdul from Behran (another concept you could possibly use). Also your tech help is never electronic, if you get a moment call Sony Computers and just listen to it, I think it may inspire you, and again with your writing style you may be able to develop something really funny from it.
8- possibly ďare you saying my eyes are dirtyĒ to play on the clean concept. Ė I found the current line didnít quite seem to fit.
10-Milk Money Mafia * (*=I liked the idea/concept/quote)
12 Ignorant patch of cabbage *
13- I forgot what character is ďgood lookingĒ but some other ideas about how he talks about himself: dreamy hair, dreamy locks etcÖ.he could have a combÖ
14 nuclear step above atomic*
16 lisp * it just doesnít get old
21 Office concept *
25 doing a lot of business *
26 be gone*
30 agent concept *
32 ďBenĒ should be centered
-at this point there are a lot! Of names floating around and Iím having trouble keeping track of people.
**screenplay really rolling at this point
34- ďDerekĒ should be centered
IDEA: mafia should use the term: forgetaboutit,
36 Stephen bit *
40 ďcontinue shoppingĒ I donít think the lines works
41-shequal shaft *
45 section to use tech help ideas
47- how bout they do some video games quotes, this may be too old (I donít know how old you are) for you but street fighter, mortal kombat???
51 behind the scenes** maybe dvd bonus features??
56 idea: Ben could get his sister to ask Oliver?? (I donít know if I got that right, basically get the sister to use Oliver, or try?
59 PERFECT TIME FOR CHEESY PICK UP LINE but screw it up etc.
59 rock this Russian boatÖI laughed but the more you think about it the more I went huh???
The girls that the boys ask out hit etcÖtheir responses seem to be lacking, I think you could go back and beef it upÖ
60-PLEASE have them eating spaghetti
64f movie titles are pretty good
67- I laughed out loud here, donít change this no matter what, tape of Joanna***
71- You me who*
75 I donít understand the bit on corn muffins
76 Iím not sure if itís a misunderstanding on my part, or a typo on yours. I looked at it like 3 times so Iím not sure. You write ďbut I know what I wantĒ ???
77- Bet should be Ben
83 Oh Jesus goes and where/s -??? Donít understand
85 plastic knuckles and waffle ball bats
95-Isnít Mary Jesusí mom, not his sister??
Oliver should definitely be wearing a bowtie Random note Oliver is my favorite character
97 Is Scorsese gonna be well enough known to your audience to understand the hooker jokesÖis it appropriate?
99 at a kids film festival the review is awful nastyÖit kinda threw me back in my opinion it doesnít fit
109 I found myself really rooting for them
I think all the boys should have trouble sleeping, though I see what you didnít.
110 I love Joanna*** AWESOME SCENE
As to the ending I donít know how I feel about it. You definitely have a bang with I love Joanna. To be honest with you I rarely laugh out loud when reading but here I did twice, Iím sure you can figure out where. Back to the ending I donít really know, it almost to me feels like you didnít quite want to end it, or know how to end. Like you didnít want to leave your characters yet. The computer part at the end is funny but it didnít flow quite like the way the majority of your screenplay read. Basically I didnít hate the ending but I didnít necessarily like it either, Iím kinda indifferent. Though I donít have any good suggestions so Iíll leave it at that.
Bang up job, one of the better scripts that Iíve read. Iím wondering what scenes do you feel donít work if any, or scenes your concerned people donít understand?
Mason: "Are you sure you're ready for this?" Stan Goodspeed: "I'll do my best." Mason: "You're best. Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*** the prom queen!" Stan Goodspeed: "Carla was the prom queen." Mason: "Really?" Stan Goodspeed: "Yeah!"
First screenplay or not, you seem like an intelligent human being and I appreciate all the feedback, especially the one liners that you found comical.
I canít put my finger on what it is about the very beginning that seemed slightly slower then the rest
I know what you mean. I'm considering changing the opening sequence to the gang filming a Bond movie, then Rex exploding and carrying on from there.
32 ďBenĒ should be centered
You mentioned this a couple times. This is actually a technique used for the camera which I'm going to eliminate in my next draft.
IDEA: mafia should use the term: forgetaboutit
You know, that's not a half bad idea. I think I may.
75 I donít understand the bit on corn muffins
Yeah, this is just Dimitri being weird.
83 Oh Jesus goes and wheezes??? Donít understand
Kinda like "Oh Moses smell the roses!" It's basically a spiteful "oh my god."
95-Isnít Mary Jesusí mom, not his sister??
Oh my, right you are! Hahaha. That's a big oops right there.
Oliver should definitely be wearing a bowtie Random note Oliver is my favorite character
Nice! Another Oliver fan!
In regards to the ending, it's better than what it was but I agree with you that it needs more work. My biggest weakness as a writer is ending the script and wrapping it up with a satisfying note. The Shaft bit is staying and that will correspond to the Bond thing in the beginning, but it's like the last 10 pages or so before that which still needs the tweaking.
Anyway, thank you very much for your review! It was very helpful and very much appreciated. I'll be sure to check out your script when Don posts it. Thanks again.
I see that you are 18 (same age as my twin daughters) and I will take this in consideration. I think you did a really nice job here. I liked the whole premise of the plot. Underdog comes through at the end sort of thing.
I haven't read any of the previous comments, but the few format/ spelling errors that I could find I will leave alone. I'm sure they've been mentioned already.
I will instead point out things that to me, being older would make me ask questions if I were to see this as a movie. None of these things may matter and they are just things that make me go, hmmmÔŅĹ
Dimitri, Russian? Sounds kind of Slavic or Greek to me, but then again, a lot of things sounds Greek to me.
I enjoyed Dimitri the most of all the characters. I wonder if by any chance he's related to Johnny? Very interesting how Mike and you both have a similar characterization of a Russian, a little weird, darker, brooding.
Maybe a little more description of Ben's parents, right now (beginning) I have no idea how to picture them.
Students flutter to class? Is flutter the best word here?
I'll be honest with you when it comes to Ben's parents, I don't get them at all. If Stephen makes a living using the computer, why on earth don't they go out and by a new one. They could get a functional one for about $400. I understand they don't have a lot of money, but anyone can walk into almost any major store and open up an account (unless their credit is REALLY bad) and walk right out of there with a new pc. I think to me, the fact that he has been trying to fix his pc for weeks just puts him in the looser category.
If you still want to stick with the pc fixing though, it would be funny if the rep on the phone is someone hard to understand from India. At least that's the type of person I always get when calling for help. You know, outsourcing and stuff.
When I first read your descriptions of the Mafioso's, I pictured dorks. Maybe I'm just from a totally different generation and therefore clueless, but that's how I saw them.
I know these guys are young, but I still think I would've liked to seen a little more interaction with the opposite sex. At that age, they didn't really resemble anyone I knew at that age.
I understand your thinking about the fight scene, when Ben and his dad are fighting at the same time. My problem here is the "Tech Guys". Every PC fixing guy I ever saw has been a non imposing geek. Your guys are more like plumbers or something.
Some parts were really funny like Oliver being Princess Leija. That scene was funny! Ha, ha.
I think you could tighten the script up just a bit by sharpening some of the dialogue and cut some of the back and forth chit chat.
The end I think could've benefited from a little more buildup and suspense. Rex's piece was a flop, but I think you would make the script even better if his movie had been really good and actually challenged the Scorsese's.
Knowing your age, I have to say that I was pleasantly impressed. Nice script, nice premise and nicely told.
Greg, I just finished this, and want to point out a few things I like and did not like before I go to bed. becase I'm tired. Bed solves tiredness . . .
Anyway, overall, I liked this. It was pleasent. It was funny. Ya did good. My favorite jokes are the following: 1. The customer asking what he should buy (I don;t know why I thought this was as funny as I did, but i was actually laughing pretty hard) 2. But you can call me olive 3.Olive as Leia, 4. The technician fight. That was amazing.
Oliver was my favorite character. Kind of the scape goat type kid, like Vern from stand by me. And I finally find out a possibility as to why you say shtuff rather than the commonly accepted word "stuff" The only thing related to this character that I would change is his first poster, you compare him to one of the apes, right after you compare chuck to king kong. The gags are a bit to similair, I bet you can think of something better, or put mary popping first so the monkey's aren't so close together.
There were a few characters that didn't really matter: Derek, Aaron, and Rex's sidekicks. What I would do with Derek, is just combine him with Wallace. They never needed walace for stunts, so just have Wallace volunteer to be the guard in that one scene. This mighbt not work, but think about it. Don't waste characters, it can get confusing. Aaron, did he really do anything? He humiliated Oliver a few times but I think thats it. You should do something about that. I'm not sure what right now, but I'll think about it tommorow. And rex's compadres, keep them, and give them more scene time and lines, I thought they were pretty funny.
If this has been a disorganized crappy entry, I'll come back and fix it tommorow, i just wanted to get some thoughts out while they were fresh.... I f you have any other questions you can PM me, or IM me, or E-mail me or . . . yawn . . . whatever.
Thanks for your words! Ben's parents are bugging the hell out of me. The story has come a long way since the first draft, but they're still one of the targets for improvement.
I wanted to include a female character or two. I really did. Right now I'm strapped because this thing is 116 pages. I'm thinking of adding everything else that I've considered then take out the parts that aren't needed. That sometimes works.
Dimitri is a Russian name. He's roughly based off a real person I know who, surprise, is from Russia. And for the record, I hope Shelton reads this, DIMITRI PIP COULD KICK JOHNNY'S ASS!
Haha thanks for gutting it out. Believe it or not, there were originally eleven members of the whole filming group in the early stages of the script. Those 4 barely did or said anything, so I took them out. I think for a third draft I may have to take out Derek or Wallace cause as you said they can be merged. Aaron's gotta stay cause it's fun to humiliate Oliver haha.