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DISCLAIMER: So now I'm going to tear it apart, and tell you pretty much everything that occurred to me as I was reading this script. Feel free to accept or ignore any of it; the point is that you should filter my comments through what you want to do with the script. Though any ideas that I do give you here now belong entirely to you. (And when I ask a question, it's not because I want to know the answer - it's because I want to make sure you ask yourself the question).
Page 1-introducing a ton of characters, and the only recognizable differences is there clothing, which is changing. Could pose problem.
Page 2-you have a nice quick fix to the problem-though the problem is the first thing the reader runs into, first page, we get bombarded with a lot of names. Something to think about.
-the kids conversations seem little mature for what I initially pictured. They’re playing with squirt guns, but they talk like 12-14 year olds. Slight logic conflict. There speech however vacillates from mature, to immature. I’m having a hard time matching their action with how they talk. Have you been thinking the same thing or am I way off base?
Page 3- walking : I’ve read the ing – should be pulled leaving only the action verb itself. Random thought is all.
Reaction to the first four pages you wanted me to check out:
Putting a microscope on them my reaction:
Sets a nice pace, shows the audience right off the bat what this story is about, kids that make movies. And the delivery is done is such a way that it remains interesting. Plus, you show us the hero of the story, and the villain bam, nice clean, and condense. Though you could take the james bond spoof to an even higher level, I picture a real rag tag crew. They won’t have an iris, but they might have something lying around the house that could resemble the look. Costumes are spot on, however a big theme to James Bond is always the character names, octupussy etc. you get the idea, I think you could explore how I child would tackle the names, and really go over the top with the spoof idea. Great beginning but you could still take it to another level. I was just thinking how, cause whenever I get feedback people have nice general ideas no specifics, so here’s some ideas on how to take James Bond to the level. Ketchup as blood, instead of squirt guns cap guns, a zip line to slide into the action but poorly cut together – much like a childhood film would be, perfectly gelled james bond hair (the often cut to quickly fix it), arighty these ideas were just meant to get you going, in no way should you include any or all, just my random thoughts. Also the beginning could be as the bad guy is cutting the movie together at home on his computer, which could give you some more room to explore the James Bond spoof.
First off, it’s a cool beginning, especially if the kids are younger – and squirt guns fit their age/maturity/speech pattern. But, I’m not sure if it fits with how the rest of the story proceeds. It causes a small conflict in my mind, cause if their screwing around with squirt guns that’s one age bracket (to me), but if the son is going home and is smart enough to realize that most of the tech support out there is outsourced that suggests another age bracket. Bottom line, it’s causing a conflict for me cause I’m having a hard time seeing these character. Every action needs to fit their character background etc, as you probably know, more on that topic - did you ever think to yourself as you read that sometimes characters said things that seemed – out of character. If not I’d leave it, but if this is an echo of some concerns you’ve had I’d suggest a nice careful read through to make sure all the lines are in character. I’m not saying they’re all bad, - justt he opposite – but there is the occasional distraction that just seems out of place and that is what I’d suggest you revise.
Okay, sorry it took so long to get this turned around to you, some things came up. But, if you’d like to brainstorm some other ideas, you know how to get a hold of me. I’ve got some ideas, but it’s your baby and I don’t want to step on your toes.
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!"
PG 12 ï¿½ Rex: takes of your life. ï¿½ should be Mistakes of your life.
Pg 15. Chuck: (ben nods). Should be Action.
Chuck (contd) Wellï¿½etc
Can shorten some sentences. Ex.
Ben and Chuck look nervous.
Derek BOO! Shorter and delivers same affect you want.
Ben, Chuck , and Dimitri ARE getting changed.
One thing a professional told me, is t end each scene with a high point.
ï¿½They glance over to oliver again and Aaron, etcï¿½ All that can be left out. And no one would miss it. After Ben says ï¿½ exactlyï¿½ scene should end there. Introduce aaron on pg 21.
Technician: Maybe the electric went out.
Jode: then how am I talking to you?
Jodieï¿½s response doesnï¿½t make sense for couple reasons.
1. You donï¿½t indicate to the reader, if the phone is a cordless, in that case, it wouldnt work. 2. She could be usen cell phone. Which house electricity wouldnï¿½t effect the convo. 3. She could be usen a regular wall phone which doesnï¿½t require to be electricity.
Ben Something like that.
Jodie No problem.
Jodie lines isnï¿½t needed there and can be removed. Remember high point.
24: Ben tries to make his pitch. Line unnecessary
Oliver: Do you guys have a script?
That is really spot on. This kid who deals with nothing about making movies, asks pro question about a script?
Pg 27 Oliver: Yea, I illegally downloaded it. Can remove illegally. Downloading movies is illegal, goes without saying.
Pg 29: Ben: Spread around to guys on campus.
This isnâ€™t sounding like a kid trying to sound ground up. Since we do 12 yrs old refer to school to campus. That is for college people. At least to me.
Pg: 31. Cut dialog after Jodie: Parasites could be living down there. High point
Washburns , with mom. Many get rid of whole need another r job stuff.
Pg 40. paragraph, rule of thumb. No paragraphs more then 4 lines.
Pg 73, I really donï¿½t understand, how its goes gino, working for Rex, to Rex working for gino, calling him bossï¿½
Montage, I know where you are getting at, but for a spec script, I donï¿½t think you should have it written that way. I may be wrong. I was told by professional, just tell the story.
Pg 85, need space on scene heading.
Pg 86, throwing soup can, and bitch. Lol, I think u snagged that from scary movie with the homeless guy. But with this funny, but it the tone of the movie just shifts from pg to like pg-13, minus the small curse words b4
Pg 103 ben (os) needs periods
107, ï¿½ I scoredï¿½ reminds me of sandlot. Is this who you molded oliver from?
I assume you wanna sell your script, if so, loose the fade out and fade in pg 112 and ï¿½we ï¿½ seeï¿½ and ï¿½the endï¿½
I think you could loose the beginning mom at work scene, doesnï¿½t do anything for the plot. Look at it. If you took it out, you wouldnï¿½t miss it. You can add dialog when she gets home, to where she is working.
Over all, I LIKED IT! Good humor and wit. I liked how you used our vader scene, to be incorporated. Cleverly creative. I could diffenately sit and watch this as a movie. Far as going to movies to watch, I wouldn't. Like sandlot, I wouldn't watch at big screen either, just doesn't have the draw for me to pay. But yours is a word of mouth type of movie. To me at least. But yea it is good story and plot.
Hey thanks for your review, JD! I see what you're saying and agree with the word of mouth type of film, but that goes with the territory when selecting the target market. I guess it's both a gift and a curse.
Regarding the centered dialogue--I printed out one page from several acclaimed pieces on this site--The Devil in D Minor, The Burnout, The Hero of Her Heart, The Farm and The Fempiror Chronicles as well as a page from Scorsese and compared the hard copies. Bert said it's probably not a big deal and I agree.
Each work looks slightly different on paper, not only the centering of dialogue, but also text-wise. None of them look alike. So, I'm not too worried about it. Tomato, tomahto.
As I like to do, I've reached the first Plot Point, so I'll jot down a few of my notes right now.
Honestly, it hasn't really hooked me yet. It's a great premise, it just seems to fall flat at every corner. You've gone all the right directions, and just when I'm getting excited, it comes short of actually doing something great. For example, the auditions could have been a really great gag, but I found all of them really pointless. If I were looking at the outline for your script I'd say "Hell yeah, this looks great!", but when I actually look at what you've got...like I said, it falls flat for me. But that's just me.
But I am interested and will continue to read. I'm sure right now it would be an enjoyable film to watch, but it wouldn't really be funny and I would still feel (up to this point at least) let down by what it could have been. The only part I laughed at was the "communist" joke.
I hate being so negative, because I always fear (much like in film school) it'll propel people into taking my scripts and tearing them apart, but why else would you put them in the public forum? Like I said, it has the makings of a great comedy, but I just don't think (right now) it's there yet.
Ok, I finished your script. Overall, I didn't end up liking it too much. Like I said, your structure was fine, but it fell flat. It really seemed to start to drag near the third act, and it definitely shouldn't have been that long. I guess my biggest problem was that you relied too much on basic Hollywood devices that have been used too long; for instance, the EXTREMELY happy Hollywood ending. I know this is a kid's/family movie, but the ending was way too over the top and cheesy. I really liked where you were going with Rex's film getting a standing ovation (completely unexpected and funny--and also the film itself), but then you relied on standard conventions. And the way that EVERYTHING ended so happily was just too much for me. The dad's computer gets fixed and all of a sudden they have thousands of dollars? Why couldn't the dad call these people and talk with them? There are few businesses where you operate solely by a computer.
Overall I really just didn't like the running computer technician gag. It was really drawn out, was mildly amusing the first time, and then just started to drag. And, as you can see above, I didn't really like the pay-off either.
p.88----Why does the person give him the finger?
I know this is a comedy and there's suspension of disbelief, and most people don't know how film festivals work...but no film festival works this way. I've been to several and none of them operate in this manner. But that's a very minor gripe and can easily be overlooked.
I guess, in the end, I wish you had strayed from basic Hollywood conventions. Your movie was just VERY textbook and I could see where it was going at every direction. As in, "Here comes the part where all of the characters experience a period of change and grow towards the end of the movie." This would have been fine if it didn't fall so flat with dialogue, etc. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but I guess the script just didn't do it for me. But it seems as though other people like it, so perhaps I've just in the critical minority. Also, it's a kid's movie.
Hey Matt, thanks for reading! I do have some responses to your feedback, so don't take them the wrong way, I'm not trying to be an ass.
...but no film festival works this way.
Little out of textbook there, isn't it?
Also, it's a kid's movie.
It seems like you're reviewing this on the basis of that you don 't like "that" genre. I quote "that" because this isn't a kid's movie for one. It stars kids, yes, but it's not aimed soley at kids. I compare it to the same target market as "The Sandlot" which has the occasional curse, boys will boys thing. That's more of a family oriented-friendly comedy, not soley for kids.
Quoted from dresseme
This would have been fine if it didn't fall so flat with dialogue, etc. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but I guess the script just didn't do it for me.
Could you provide examples of where dialogue fell flat and all that other stuff? That would be most helpful for me to see where you're coming from. Your feedback is probably very valuable since you didn't like it, so that could help me out with some things.
Again, much appreciated. Thanks. I'll try to have a review for your piece up by the weekend!
What I meant by "textbook" was the conventions you use to structure your story. Like, how I pointed out that everything just seems to fall into the exact place it would if a screenwriting professor was teaching a class. He would say "Ok, here's where you have the hero fall, and then you have him rise...and then conflicts are resolved, and everyone goes home happy." I just wish, at times, it would have strayed from where I thought it was heading. Having a film festival that doesn't follow the actual rules of a film festival isn't anti-textbook, it's anti-reality.
And I reviewed this as I would any film. I never really thought "Well, I shouldn't think that because this is a kid's film." I just kind of added that as an afterthought when I had written the review. But it is a family film. And I meant that in the way that family films can usually slide by on being text book, etc.
I'll go back and look for examples of the dialogue that didn't work for me later. Look, I don't want us at each others throats. It looks like, from your response that you're a little upset. But what you should consider is that my review is one bad one out of a bunch of good ones. Everyone won't always like what you do. My script has been getting really good reviews, but I've received some bad ones too (off the board) and it makes me feel like shit. But when was the last time EVERYONE agreed on liking a film? (Besides Jurassic Park)
I didn't mean to sound like I was going at your throat, Matt! I'm upset that it didn't do anything for you but I'm not upset at your review. I could have decorated my response with smiley faces but that's not my thing
No, but I appreciate all feedback and negative feedback is more ample to correct problems that others don't catch, which is why I requested examples rather than just saying "fell flat" without citing.
First stop at my tour of recommended scripts. I've got myself a list of scripts to read and Scorsese Club was certainly a good introduction. There were a few bits that made me laugh out loud, like the Star Wars parody, but i did find a few jokes that didn't work for me. The interview bit for example. I didn't see a point to it. Also, Rex's attempt to sabotage The Scorsese Club came off a bit short and kind of seemed irrelevent since Chuck and Oliver had already left. The club did more damage themselves than what Rex did.
The characters were all great. Rex and Gino seemed like fine antagonists. Especially Gino, a kiddy mafia! hilarious. One character that i thought could have been a whole lot better was Dimitri. I just figured if he was Russian his english wouldn't be perfect and he'd have a different view of things... meaning he'd speak of Russian traditions..
The story was a great one and played out well...
I should've wrote notes while reading this because I've forgot a whole lot of stuff I was going to say. Ah well, I might revisit this when i finish my tour. Good work!
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