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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  The Scorsese Club Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Scorsese Club  (currently 23455 views)
Don
Posted: October 3rd, 2005, 10:40pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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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


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Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  April 7th, 2012, 9:13am
revised script
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greg
Posted: October 3rd, 2005, 10:53pm Report to Moderator
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Good God that was fast!  6 months in the writing here, hope you enjoy it.  Thoughts, suggestions and criticisms are all welcome.  Thanks Don!


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bert
Posted: October 4th, 2005, 10:31pm Report to Moderator
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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.





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Shelton
Posted: October 6th, 2005, 3:58pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Greg,

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

Mike Shelton


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greg
Posted: October 9th, 2005, 9:24pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks gang, all feedback is noted and appreciated.  Has anyone else had the chance to check part of this out?


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-Ben-
Posted: October 24th, 2005, 6:21am Report to Moderator
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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!


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theprodigalson
Posted: December 7th, 2005, 1:27am Report to Moderator
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I read the script and i must say that i quite enjoyed it. the Russian kid was quiet funny and i really loved the computer tech parts, good stuff.

some of what i didn't like was, the word "Guy" used too much by Dimitri, sometimes it just didn't seem to belong and out of place, like in the sence about his fijaita(sp?)

also swearing, it wasn't alot, but in a movie like this is seemd too much.

the being blunt about the kids flims, i know the flims are the suck but i think the judges were a bit harsh on the kids.

other than that it was pretty good and enjoyable, good job.
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greg
Posted: December 7th, 2005, 1:42am Report to Moderator
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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!


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Martin
Posted: December 21st, 2005, 9:12am Report to Moderator
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Greg, I’ve been meaning to read this for a while and finally found some time. I’m really impressed. I don’t 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.  

SPOILERS

A few random notes:

Ben: No! They can give us nuclear wedgies, that’s one step above atomic- haha

When the guys go over and sit with the jocks, Derek just says: ‘Go away, please.’ – I don’t 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. It’s 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: “I have a customer right now who is a total dumb ass” – she sounds like one of the kids.

Chuck: Ben’s sister is naked! lol

Damn, that whole scene is hilarious.

Haha, the scene with the presents is very funny too. I like Stephen, he’s a good character.

Pg 61- “decorated to look like a mafia meeting place” – I have no idea what that looks like. A few details would be nice.

There’s a tape of Joanna naked? Lol

I’m not sure about Stephen fighting the technicians and Ben punching out Gino’s 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.

Rex’s film is pretty funny but maybe you could have one of the judges like it more. That way there’s 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 can’t 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. “I 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 there’s 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 you’ve written something marketable so kudos for that. I laughed out loud several times which is something I rarely do when I read a script.

Keep up the good work.
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greg
Posted: December 21st, 2005, 5:33pm Report to Moderator
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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!


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sfpunk
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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


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greg
Posted: January 10th, 2006, 1:49am Report to Moderator
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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."

Anyway, thank you very much for you comments!


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shelbyoops
Posted: January 15th, 2006, 9:40pm Report to Moderator
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I read your script. Most of the things I noticed was formatting. Mostly the sound effects like "CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK" on page two. Dont do that or thy shalt be slain! (tee hee hee)

Most of it was funny
"Graphic shexual material." lol.

Over all good job
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greg
Posted: January 15th, 2006, 11:23pm Report to Moderator
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Using CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK or BAM BAM BAM are encouraged to describe the sounds.

P.S. Who's airing political views?


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shelbyoops
Posted: January 16th, 2006, 12:02am Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text

Using CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK or BAM BAM BAM are encouraged to describe the sounds.


yes, but I read in a book that you arent supposed to do that. But that was probally just the authors opinion.

P.s. sorry about the avatar, i changed it.
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: January 17th, 2006, 1:29am Report to Moderator
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Greg, Greg,

Youre so mature when you post but you truly have an ability to capture kids. Admittedly, boys this age dont make much sense to me but, for the most part, youve got a lot of great ideas.

The best, in my opinion, is the basic premise. Its 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. Im surprised someone in Hollywood hasnt come up with this idea yet.

Some of the characterizations didnt 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 Bens sister and a few scenes of Dimitri working on his moves, there wasnt much in the way of this very important addition to a growing young mans 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 wasnt any. Rex bombed. Everyone basically bombed. I was left with the sense that Bens 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 Bens 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:

Theres 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 didnt have money but Im 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, then how am I talking to you now! Phone lines are separate from your power lines so its possible for your electricity to go out without your phone being cut off if its a corded phone. A cordless phone will go out because it needs electricity for the base. A cell phone wont 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 youre missing some ingredients. As it is, I dont think its potential is fully realized but I definitely do think it has the potential to make a film thats 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. Its not that they dont have the power to endear. They just didnt fully do it. And its 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. Its 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 cant help but think that if its this promising in its current state, how much better would it be with these (what I feel are) missing components.


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greg
Posted: January 17th, 2006, 1:58am Report to Moderator
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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


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: January 17th, 2006, 9:24pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from greg
...you're too kind! Come to think of it, every review you've given me has been rather inspiring.


Youre right. Im too kind. I take it all back! - just kidding.

Well, I think youre a good writer, Greg. I dont give a lot of really bad reviews normally because, number one, Im really good at picking scripts. I can plainly see by peoples 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.


Quoted from greg
You're like the Chuck Norris of my life!


Hey, Im a lot prettier than Chuck Norris. Ive been told a lot of things by men but I think this is the first time Ive ever been compared to an aging martial arts icon.


Quoted from greg
...what kind of distinct clothing should they (Gino and his goons) be in?


The mafia? I say you make them a vicious gang of mimes called The Mimes. Okay, maybe not. Berts got me hung up on mimes. I dont know. Id have to think about that one.


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greg
Posted: January 28th, 2006, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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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.

Thanks Don. Hope it's enjoyable.


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James McClung
Posted: January 30th, 2006, 6:05pm Report to Moderator
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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.


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greg
Posted: February 1st, 2006, 11:01pm Report to Moderator
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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.

And yes, Dimitri's the man  


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thegardenstate89
Posted: February 2nd, 2006, 12:15pm Report to Moderator
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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.
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wtrailer
Posted: February 4th, 2006, 7:40pm Report to Moderator
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THE SCORSESE CLUB
By Gregory J. Baldwin

Reviewed by Mark J. Derbas

First of all, I should probably preface by saying that Ive never reviewed anyones screenplay before, so Ill try my best to do a good job the first time. I should also give you a little info. on myself Ive 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, Ive written four screenplays 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 dont 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. Its 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 Olivers 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 Jodies character. She seemed like your typical suburban mother just trying to get by.
I also enjoyed how you created the backdrops for each scene How the kids would use all resources available to seem professional The bedroom turned office; the garage turned mafia hang-out.
One scene I didnt much care for was when Rex tries to sabotage the SCs film by tearing, spitting on the scripts etc. I liked the idea of the mafia waiting for the group to self-destruct, but it didnt seem like you executed that plot-point. I think it couldve been done a bit more cleverly with Rex going in "undercover" as one of the mafias 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 contestants films during the film viewing. This is clearly a place where you could have added a lot of humor. I thought the films couldve been sillier. I also didnt quite get Rexs film. I know you were poking fun at art films, but I think you couldve 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 familys 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 wouldve liked to know.
All in all, its a very solid script, and I truly enjoyed reading it. As far as its content goes, Im 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.
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greg
Posted: February 4th, 2006, 9:14pm Report to Moderator
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Tony,

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.

Mark,

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.

Thank you both for reading!


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aztec66k
Posted: February 8th, 2006, 2:09am Report to Moderator
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I'm not much of a reviewer.  I don't really look at many aspects of a script aside from the story.  Glitches in formatting, dialogue, etc. can be fixed.  A bad story can't be fixed.  

With this said, I can safely say that this is one of the better stories I've read.  It's inspirational... that's the word.  Good job man.
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Jaykur22
Posted: February 10th, 2006, 2:00pm Report to Moderator
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What up Doc,

(Im sorry I shouldnt have dont that).  Took a look at your script.  Now before I get rolling I have a little disclaimer.  Im new at this, Ive 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, Im 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 dont 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 cant 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 its really a necessity.

Specific Comments
**Spoilers**

5- Random Idea: Stephen is on the phone with tech help 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 doesnt understand him, or some communication barriers that could really be funny interplay between the characters especially with your writing style.  I dont know if you have ever experience tech help but often these people are foreign and you cant understand a word their say.  They are often Bob from Missouri 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 are you saying my eyes are dirty to play on the clean concept. I found the current line didnt 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 good looking but some other ideas about how he talks about himself: dreamy hair, dreamy locks etc.he could have a comb

14 nuclear step above atomic*

16 lisp * it just doesnt get old

21 Office concept *

25 doing a lot of business *

26 be gone*

30 agent concept *

32 Ben should be centered

     -at this point there are a lot! Of names floating around and Im having trouble keeping track of people.  

**screenplay really rolling at this point

34- Derek should be centered

  IDEA:  mafia should use the term: forgetaboutit,

36 Stephen bit *

40 continue shopping I dont 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 dont 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 dont 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 boatI laughed but the more you think about it the more I went huh???

The girls that the boys ask out hit etctheir responses seem to be lacking, I think you could go back and beef it up

60-PLEASE have them eating spaghetti

64f movie titles are pretty good

67- I laughed out loud here, dont change this no matter what, tape of Joanna***

71- You me who*

75 I dont understand the bit on corn muffins

76 Im not sure if its a misunderstanding on my part, or a typo on yours.  I looked at it like 3 times so Im not sure.  You write but I know what I want ???

77- Bet should be Ben

83 Oh Jesus goes and where/s -??? Dont understand

85 plastic knuckles and waffle ball bats

95-Isnt Mary Jesus 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 jokesis it appropriate?

99 at a kids film festival the review is awful nastyit kinda threw me back in my opinion it doesnt fit

109 I found myself really rooting for them

     I think all the boys should have trouble sleeping, though I see what you didnt.

110 I love Joanna*** AWESOME SCENE

As to the ending I dont 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, Im sure you can figure out where.  Back to the ending I dont really know, it almost to me feels like you didnt quite want to end it, or know how to end.  Like you didnt want to leave your characters yet.  The computer part at the end is funny but it didnt flow quite like the way the majority of your screenplay read.  Basically I didnt hate the ending but I didnt necessarily like it either, Im kinda indifferent.  Though I dont have any good suggestions so Ill leave it at that.  

Bang up job, one of the better scripts that Ive read.  Im wondering what scenes do you feel dont work if any, or scenes your concerned people dont understand?

Jaykur22


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!"
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greg
Posted: February 10th, 2006, 5:02pm Report to Moderator
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What up Jay,

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.


Quoted Text
I cant 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.


Quoted Text
32 Ben 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.


Quoted Text
IDEA:  mafia should use the term: forgetaboutit


You know, that's not a half bad idea.  I think I may.


Quoted Text
75 I dont understand the bit on corn muffins


Yeah, this is just Dimitri being weird.  


Quoted Text
83 Oh Jesus goes and wheezes??? Dont understand


Kinda like "Oh Moses smell the roses!"  It's basically a spiteful "oh my god."


Quoted Text
95-Isnt Mary Jesus mom, not his sister??


Oh my, right you are!  Hahaha.  That's a big oops right there.


Quoted Text
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.



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tomson
Posted: March 4th, 2006, 12:11am Report to Moderator
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Greg,

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, hmmm�

SPOILERS:

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.

Where will you be in ten years?

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Higgonaitor
Posted: March 4th, 2006, 2:04am Report to Moderator
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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.

Good job.


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greg
Posted: March 4th, 2006, 2:41am Report to Moderator
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Tomson,

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!

Tyler,

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.

Anyway, thank you both!


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greg
Posted: May 1st, 2006, 11:30pm Report to Moderator
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Hi everybody and thanks Don for posting this!

Added my James Bond opening, took away some shtuff, and also McClung or Tony pointed out that "The Scorsese Club" doesn't actually come around until around page 45.  So I pushed that up 20 pages, but I guess if there's any new readers I'm more focused on how I can chizzle this down 5-10 more pages.  Criticism always welcomed.

Thanks!


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Shelton
Posted: May 3rd, 2006, 10:54pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from greg
And for the record, I hope Shelton reads this, DIMITRI PIP COULD KICK JOHNNY'S ASS!



Well, I'm about two months behind, but I'll start off by saying that Dimitri Pip just isn't cool enough to come up with a word like shitass, which is entirely beside the point, because once the "flaming balls" come out......GAME OVER



EDIT:  And Tomson has twin 18 year old daughters?!?!??!   Please pass this message along.

"Hey, How you doin?"  


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Higgonaitor
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Quoted from Shelton



Well, I'm about two months behind, but I'll start off by saying that Dimitri Pip just isn't cool enough to come up with a word like shitass, which is entirely beside the point, because once the "flaming balls" come out......GAME OVER



Guys, guys, lets settle down.  We both know that if Demitri and Jonny got into a fight chuck norris would come and kill them both, flaming balls and all.


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greg
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Quoted from Shelton


Well, I'm about two months behind, but I'll start off by saying that Dimitri Pip just isn't cool enough to come up with a word like shitass, which is entirely beside the point, because once the "flaming balls" come out......GAME OVER



Are you kidding me?  Let me tell you something, "Shelton," Dimitri practices Zen and he'll fix you up just like he fixed Ben's computer; HE'LL SMASH HIS HEAD ONTO YOUR FACE!


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Shelton
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Quoted from greg


Are you kidding me?  Let me tell you something, "Shelton," Dimitri practices Zen and he'll fix you up just like he fixed Ben's computer; HE'LL SMASH HIS HEAD ONTO YOUR FACE!



Why is my name in quotes?  Is my name not actually Shelton all of a sudden.  Huh, "Greg"?

Why can't you just accept the fact that my character is funnier and quirkier than yours and move on with your life, in the hopes that someday you too can achieve the character creating greatness that is possessed by one, Mike Shelton?

Ok, we're starting to get out of hand.

Cool script.

Hi Tomson's daughters!

Steve Nash rules!


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TAnthony
Posted: June 20th, 2006, 1:41pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Greg I promised you a review and here it is.

Dude, I absolutely loved your script! I was laughing the entire way through. Your characters are hilarious. All of your characters had some trait that made them funny.  I think Oliver was my favorite one. I was just hoping that he would speak so I could read him talk with his lisp. What makes them so cool is because probably everyone who reads your story has a friend that is pretty close to the same person.

I do like the little sub-plot with the technicians and all, but when Stephen is getting into that huge brawl with them, and Ben is engaging with the Mafia... I don't know. If your film is ever produced (which I'm sure it will) it's going to be a family film. And having a huge fist fight in the middle of it might sort of send the wrong message to the viewers. If you can come up with more of an inventive way to have them fight then do it. But an all out fist fight is a bit too much.

A lot of people probably have a problem with this, but the judges at the end were hilarious to me. I think you could go even more over the top. This might not make much sense, but the disses the judges have now are in between nice and mean. You need to go all out on those poor kids, and send them home crying. That doesn't sound right at all, but just think that over.

The scenes with Jodie in the grocery store were also very well written, but when she threw the can at the customers head... I just wasn't too sure about that.

Passion 2! Hahah now that was funny. Mary fighting off all those Roman soldiers. Ha! That was hilarious!

With Martin Scorsese showing up at the end and helping them film their new version of "Shaft" might be funny. I think it would be better if they did a remake of one of his films. Since Goodfellas is mentioned earlier on, that could be a possible candidate. Or maybe the part in Casino when Joe Pesci is beaten to death by bats. Wait scratch that this is a family film.

The only other problem I saw was that your script will probably end up being two hours long, and that's a tad bit too much for a family movie. Cut out anything that doesn't move your script along. Maybe some of the technician arguments, or Dimitri hitting on girls.

Overall great job, and I hope to read more from you. By the way this is the first time I read a script two times because I liked it so much.

Good Luck.


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greg
Posted: June 20th, 2006, 5:13pm Report to Moderator
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Wow!  Thanks man!!!


Quoted Text
What makes them so cool is because probably everyone who reads your story has a friend that is pretty close to the same person.


Exactly.  Considering all the guys in TSC are based off real people.  It's relatable.


Quoted Text
I do like the little sub-plot with the technicians and all, but when Stephen is getting into that huge brawl with them, and Ben is engaging with the Mafia... I don't know.


Damn! I must be the only person who thinks this can work.  Oh well.  I'll probably definitely have to work around Stephen's encounter with the techs, but Ben is mostly just giving wedgies and kicking dirt and stuff.  He's a man of peace.


Quoted Text
The only other problem I saw was that your script will probably end up being two hours long, and that's a tad bit too much for a family movie.


Yeah, those damn 116.  I've had some time to think about it so I have an idea of stuff to cut like chizzling the conversations with technicians, cutting out some dialogue, etc.


Quoted Text
Overall great job, and I hope to read more from you. By the way this is the first time I read a script two times because I liked it so much.


You're too kind

Thanks again for your review and taking the time to check this out.  I'll get to your piece soon enough, but I'm still juggling classes and other things.  But I will get to it soon!  


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tonkatough
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I am surprised there are not more scripts like this with the current technology available for amatuer movie making. And it is so simple to use that kids can make movies. I am even more suprised that movie making isn't a huge fad amongst kids at the moment. maybe the price for the equipment is still a little to dear for their parents to buy it as a christmas present.

You have a good idea with this script and you have created a very entertaining story with it.

You have used all the building blocks needed for a good structured story. Particularly with "Raising The Stakes" I struggle with that when I write but you have mastered it. I envy you.

The movie making scenes where fun and chaotic as movie making should be. To many opinions cause good conflict, drama and humour.

I am a sucker for a villain so Rex was my favourite and his dirty tactics to eliminate (buy them out)  the oppostion  was awsome. Rex's infiltration of the group and sabotage was some of my favourite scenes in the script.

Dimitri I take it was supposed to be the intense character like Kramer or Febe or Cartman. I could see what you where trying to do with him but I found it a little weak and it did not work for me.  I reckon you could crank him a lot more, have him boucing off the walls so to speak.

The punch line at the end of ths script is priceless. I can't remember the last hollywood movie i have seen on DVD that had such a funny end scene as you do in your script.

Oh yeah, what is your favourite Scorese movie of all time? For me it would have to be Birng Out The Dead, the one about the paramedics. man I loved that movie.    


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greg
Posted: June 26th, 2006, 8:26pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from tonkatough


Dimitri I take it was supposed to be the intense character like Kramer or Febe or Cartman. I could see what you where trying to do with him but I found it a little weak and it did not work for me.  I reckon you could crank him a lot more, have him boucing off the walls so to speak.



Hahahaha!  Thanks, man!  I didn't even think of that when I wrote his part.  That made my day

Thanks for taking the time to read and thanks for your review.  Much appreciated.  As for my favorite Scorsese film?  Hmmm.  I really liked Gangs of New York and Goodfellas.  Bringing out the Dead was a great film too!  


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greg
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 2:23pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Don for getting the new draft up.

Much has changed since the earlier versions of this.  I've cut down the page length, taken out the adult language(there's still some cursing by the kids, come on, even the Sandlot had cursing), and cut out some empty dialogue.  And I've taken out the punches in the sequence where Stephen attacks the technicians so it's more of a scuffle now along with some other rearranging and stuff.  I try my best to read someone else's writing if they read mine if anyone is interested.

Thanks everyone!


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ReaperCreeper
Posted: July 6th, 2006, 9:05pm Report to Moderator
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Heh, I really liked this one. You had some funny parts worth a chuckle here and there and a good story. I rooted for the guys and really hoped they finished the movie. But I had read a previous draft of it and I liked Oliver's last line "thish ish for being in Shark Tale!"a lot better than the one you used in this one.

Another thing that I suggest is to maybe make the characters a bit younger. Like 11-12 years old max. Not long ago I was 13 years old and I don't remember me or anyone else for that matter being that interested infilmmaking. Liking Film is one thing but to go as far as for them to enter a contest at that age seems a little, I don't know the word, "far-fetched" I think. Anyway, just a friendly suggestion.  
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greg
Posted: July 8th, 2006, 4:40pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read, Beast!


Quoted from ReaperCreeper


Another thing that I suggest is to maybe make the characters a bit younger. Like 11-12 years old max. Not long ago I was 13 years old and I don't remember me or anyone else for that matter being that interested infilmmaking.  


Eh, depends on the person.  I wanted to do that stuff when I was 13 but never made it that far, but obviously that would make a pretty crappy story otherwise.  

You should go talk to Rapture.  He's doing more than Ben Flanagan ever was =S

Anyway, thanks again!


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The boy who could fly
Posted: July 8th, 2006, 7:12pm Report to Moderator
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okay, this is script number 6 for me today, and my eyes, my precious eyes, are bulging, but that's okay cause this script made me smile.

This was quite a funny script, you got these kids down pretty good.

God I hated Rex, what a shitty little cunt fuck he is, I wanted to bitch slap that little twat.

I liked the stephen, steffon, stuff was pretty funny, but I think his sub plot goes on a little to much, maybe cut down on that a little.

Of all the kids I liked Dimitri the most, I knew a kid wo was like that, thought he could get any girl he wanted, and seriously, the kid couldn't get laid in a mourge.

I liked the whole "production" part of the script, like how these kids really didn't know what in the heck they were doing.

I liked Oliver and how he talked, for some reason he reminded me of Paul Rubens in Mystery men.

The scene where they were trying to come up with a name was great

on page 70 you have Stephen say "get your ass out of my house before I CONTACT your parents"

that seemed kind of wierd to me, the way it was phrased, maybe more lik "Get your ass out of my house before I CALL your parents"

Passion of the Christ 2....HA

Now I knew how this script was going to end, maybe it would have been cool if they had lost like in the bad news bears, I dunno, it would be different and throw people off, but that's just an idea.

all in all this was a fun neat script.  Good job

Oh and the atomic wedgie.....someone watches Seinfeld   funny stuff


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greg
Posted: July 9th, 2006, 2:14am Report to Moderator
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Hey Jordan, thanks for the read!  I think some of the things you said were funnier than the story itself


Quoted Text
God I hated Rex, what a shitty little cunt fuck he is, I wanted to bitch slap that little twat.


hahaha


Quoted Text
Now I knew how this script was going to end, maybe it would have been cool if they had lost like in the bad news bears, I dunno, it would be different and throw people off, but that's just an idea.


I did consider that because then I think it would really mold the characters better and you'd be able to really see that they learned something at the end.  Maybe they lose, but they still act like men and put aside their differences and Ben still gets to do his remake of Shaft.  That way everybody wins.  Heh, now I have stuff to think about, damn it.  


Quoted Text
Oh and the atomic wedgie.....someone watches Seinfeld    


That's a universal middle school theme and you know it!!!  I got wedgied once in the locker room.  It wasn't atomic though.  I'd say it was just a homing missile because it was right on target haha.  Oh man, memories.  

Anyway, thanks again for the read.  I shall read something of yours next as I like the read-for-read system.  Keep in mind though I'm horribly behind in my reading, so it will take some time, but it will get done!


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The boy who could fly
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Quoted from greg


That's a universal middle school theme and you know it!!!  I got wedgied once in the locker room.  It wasn't atomic though.  I'd say it was just a homing missile because it was right on target haha.  Oh man, memories.  



Dude I swear, not until Seinfeld did I ever hear of an atomic wedgie, in fact, I have never seen anyone get a wedgie on my life, how sad huh


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greg
Posted: July 31st, 2006, 11:53pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Don for putting up with this.

This is the final draft.  I recently copyrighted and registered it and will be looking into contests, specifically the family/comedy type since that's the specific audience this is made for I think.

So thanks again everyone who read this and providing valuable feedback and any future readers I hope you enjoy.

Greg


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Jaykur22
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Greg

Took a look at this one my thoughts -

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.  Theyre playing with squirt guns, but they talk like 12-14 year olds.  Slight logic conflict.  There speech however vacillates from mature, to immature.  Im 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 : Ive 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:

The Good

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 wont 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 heres 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.  


The bAd

First off, its a cool beginning, especially if the kids are younger and squirt guns fit their age/maturity/speech pattern.  But, Im 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 thats 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, its causing a conflict for me cause Im 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 Id leave it, but if this is an echo of some concerns youve had Id suggest a nice careful read through to make sure all the lines are in character.  Im not saying theyre all bad, - justt he opposite but there is the occasional distraction that just seems out of place and that is what Id suggest you revise.  

Okay, sorry it took so long to get this turned around to you, some things came up.  But, if youd like to brainstorm some other ideas, you know how to get a hold of me.  Ive got some ideas, but its your baby and I dont want to step on your toes.  

Jake


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!"
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JD_OK
Posted: September 17th, 2006, 8:39pm Report to Moderator
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hey, just wanted to start off with the review. First thing I have noticed is (what i believe) is that your centering is off for dialog and character.

I use final draft to write mine.(suppose to be at industry standards) so i may be wrong. but yours goes over about 5 or 6 spaces more then it should.

More to come.


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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greg
Posted: September 17th, 2006, 11:22pm Report to Moderator
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I don't think the spacing is off.  It's never been brought up before...

I think it looks different since FD is different than Word.  Other reasons could include font.  Some people use 12 point new courier as opposed to regular courier...and stuff. Woo  

Anyway, I look forward to your stuff.  I've begun X-Men and should be done whenever.


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bert
Posted: September 18th, 2006, 7:47am Report to Moderator
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Hey Greg.  I popped the file open for a look and he might have a point.  It's not that big a deal, but yeah, you might go a little too far to the right with dialogue.

Look at the long dialogue for Rex on page 2 -- see how close to the margin that goes?  Looks to me like the first line should end after "You think this is fun?"

It's hard to tell for sure without a ruler (like anybody is going to do that haha), but you might consider hitting the return key for dialogue a little earlier than you do.

Maybe ask the obsessive Mr. Willson to take a quick look at that for you.


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JD_OK
Posted: September 18th, 2006, 7:28pm Report to Moderator
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PG 12 � Rex: takes of your life. � should be Mistakes of your life.

Pg 15. Chuck: (ben nods). Should be Action.

Ben nods.

               Chuck (contd)
           Well�etc

Can shorten some sentences. Ex.

Ben and Chuck look nervous.

Beat.

               Derek
     BOO!
Shorter and delivers same affect you want.

Pg 18.

Ben, Chuck , and Dimitri ARE getting changed.

Page 19.

One thing a professional told me, is t end each scene with a high point.

�They glance over to oliver again and Aaron, etc�  All that can be left out. And no one would miss it. After  Ben says � exactly� scene should end there. Introduce aaron on pg 21.

Technician: Maybe the electric went out.

Jode: then how am I talking to you?

Jodie�s response doesn�t make sense for couple reasons.

1.     You don�t 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 wouldn�t effect the convo.
3.     She could be usen a regular wall phone which doesn�t require to be electricity.

Pg 20.

          Ben
     Something like that.

          Jodie
  No problem.

Jodie lines isn�t 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 isn’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




Still reading. Will be done today with review


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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JD_OK
Posted: September 21st, 2006, 8:36pm Report to Moderator
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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.

48. Guarantees

Pg 73, I really don�t understand, how its goes gino, working for Rex, to Rex working for gino, calling him boss�

Montage, I know where you are getting at, but for a spec script, I don�t 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, � I scored� 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  �we � see� and �the end�

I think you could loose the beginning mom at work scene, doesn�t do anything for the plot. Look at it. If you took it out, you wouldn�t 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.


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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greg
Posted: September 22nd, 2006, 11:02am Report to Moderator
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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.


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dresseme
Posted: October 16th, 2006, 2:18pm Report to Moderator
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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.

But I continue on...
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greg
Posted: October 16th, 2006, 5:50pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matt, thanks for your feedback thus far.  I'm sorry I couldn't entertain you more.  Hopefully the rest of it can do something for ya.  I look forward to the rest of your review and words!


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dresseme
Posted: October 17th, 2006, 9:49am Report to Moderator
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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.

More critiques:

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.
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greg
Posted: October 17th, 2006, 11:30am Report to Moderator
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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.


Quoted Text
...but no film festival works this way.


Little out of textbook there, isn't it?


Quoted Text
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!


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dresseme
Posted: October 17th, 2006, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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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)
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greg
Posted: October 17th, 2006, 5:42pm Report to Moderator
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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.  

No worries though.


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Alex J. Cooper
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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!


Shorts:
I Named Him Thor
Footloose, Cut Loose
Tainted Milk
Marshmallows
Confucius & The Quest For Nessie
Wondrous Presentation
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greg
Posted: January 30th, 2007, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Alex,

Cool, thanks for the random read!  I'm glad the story worked out for you!  


Quoted Text
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..


Haha.  Most people see Dimitri as their favorite, but hey, it's great to get some different opinions!  I see where you're coming from, but I didn't want to make his dialogue completely broken, but perhaps I shall add in a few speech impediments or something.

So thank you again for reading and for the feedback!


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greg
Posted: February 9th, 2007, 5:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, I got an update here.

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a woman in Mississippi named Addie and she asked if it would be okay to film this with her youth group, and I gave her the OK to go ahead.  We've been in close contact ever since and so far the early stages of pre-production are looking most excellent.  I've seen pictures of some of the folks that will appear in the flick including the four guys who will play Ben, Chuck, Dimitri, and Oliver.  I've been asked not to post their pictures/names unless they say it's okay.

Since this is a non-profit deal, no rights were given up and I made it clear that if this was just for fun and the experience and nothing else(i.e. festivals, profit), then that's okay, and Addie's a great gal so it works for her in a sense that her group can make a film and I can see my stuff on video.  They've put on plays and whatnot before, so they do have the talent and from the info that Addie's been sending me, I'm very impressed with the direction it's going.  

So, just thought I'd post that up here.  If I get the OK from the actors I'll put the pictures up as well.  

And thanks to Tyler Hawk. and JD who gave me some encouraging words in some PMs last week regarding competitions.  It was most inspiring and I hope to do so this year.

End update.


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JD_OK
Posted: February 10th, 2007, 1:07pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from greg
Hey, I got an update here.

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a woman in Mississippi named Addie and she asked if it would be okay to film this with her youth group, and I gave her the OK to go ahead.  We've been in close contact ever since and so far the early stages of pre-production are looking most excellent.  I've seen pictures of some of the folks that will appear in the flick including the four guys who will play Ben, Chuck, Dimitri, and Oliver.  I've been asked not to post their pictures/names unless they say it's okay.

Since this is a non-profit deal, no rights were given up and I made it clear that if this was just for fun and the experience and nothing else(i.e. festivals, profit), then that's okay, and Addie's a great gal so it works for her in a sense that her group can make a film and I can see my stuff on video.  They've put on plays and whatnot before, so they do have the talent and from the info that Addie's been sending me, I'm very impressed with the direction it's going.  

End update.


Hey thats great man! I'd would definitely want to see this finished film!

http://www.internationalscreenwritingawards.com/enter.asp

i'm going to enter my 3rd draft to this competiton and blue cat. You should enter both or if only one.. do page international. They have seperate winning categories!


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

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greg
Posted: February 10th, 2007, 5:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hey JD, I'm glad you brought this up!  The regular submission date is a little over a month away and I like what I see here.

The question here though is would I send it as a Comedy or Family Film?  I'm just a poor college student and initially would just select one category, so I'm thinking Family Film since this is a friendly comedy and whatnot.  Thoughts?

Thanks again for bringing this to my attention!  We shall rock this thing!


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JD_OK
Posted: February 10th, 2007, 6:30pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from greg
Hey JD, I'm glad you brought this up!  The regular submission date is a little over a month away and I like what I see here.

The question here though is would I send it as a Comedy or Family Film?  I'm just a poor college student and initially would just select one category, so I'm thinking Family Film since this is a friendly comedy and whatnot.  Thoughts?

Thanks again for bringing this to my attention!  We shall rock this thing!


They said for lil more you can enter into 2 categories. So if you dont make it in cmedy, you could make it in family.

Im doing 2 catergories to increase my chances. I would suggest that to you aswell if you can afford it.

But for as Family, I do remember alot of cussing, and in my review wrote it went from PG to like pg 13 at one point, when I read it last. I dunno if you changed it since then. So I would tone down the cussing to fit the family categorie, cuz they might count you off for it.


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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greg
Posted: February 13th, 2007, 1:13am Report to Moderator
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The fellas who are gonna star in the film have given their consent to post their photos, but I've been asked to withold their names, so I shall abide by those wishes.  Without further ado:


Here's Benjamin J. Flanagan(Ben).  The dude listens to excellent music, so that's a plus.  Thought I'd throw that out there.


Charles M. Mills(Chuck)


Dimitri Smolvonlon-boo-boo Pip


Oliver Kemp

I saw a more recent photo of all the guys together and I think they look like a great group; very faithful to the original 4 that they're based on.  Word is that they've done a few readings of the story and things are going most triumphantly.  

While this is going on, I'm also going to enter this into the PAGE International deal next month.  I may bite the bullet and enter it in Comedy/Family Film, but if not then I'm gonna take out the rest of the dirty language and enter it as a family film.  Hopefully that'll hit its niche.  

I'd also like to thank every single person for their feedback on this piece.  The story has come a long way for the better since it was first posted back in 2005, and I owe alot of that to the sharp feedback that was received.  You all are most excellent in my eyes!  


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JD_OK
Posted: February 13th, 2007, 1:53am Report to Moderator
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Cool man, they look great, but alil older then I imagined them. Look forward to scene stills.

Yea and its only $10 more to enter into another category. $40 for 1 category , $50 for 2categories


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JD_OK
Posted: March 28th, 2007, 1:29am Report to Moderator
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Hey whats the word with the makin of the film? Its been close to 2 months since the pics!


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

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greg
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Thanks Newton, haha

Alot of pre-production measures have been taken.  Addie revised the script so it would be shootable for her crew(taking out a couple characters and taking out any offensive lines, since it's a church youth group it needs to be clean, not that I'm complaining!).  The scripts were handed out to the guys and they've been practicing their parts, but there's been a small snag with the equipment, so filming hasn't begun yet.

I'm sure it will be worked out promptly seeing as how Addie has done a terrific job with organizing everything and staying in contact.  Any week now it should begin!

And for the record, I submitted the current "final" draft to PAGE International, just barely making the regular deadline.  So...that's that for now.  We shall see what happens!

Thanks again!


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Hey Greg,

Thank you again for reviewing Fight Belle.  Here are my thoughts on your script:

*I like the opening.  The idea of these kids acting out James Bond is funny and I think the moment where they all take off their costumes makes for an entertaining visual.

*I dont think you need the pronunciation guide to Stephens name.  Its not that uncommon a spelling (Stephen King, for example) and it pulls the reader out of the story.  Either take the pronunciation out, or if its really worrying you that people might say it wrong, just change the spelling of his name to Steven.  AND you can still use the joke when the tech guy later mispronounces his name, because if English isnt his first language its still believable that hed say Steffen.  However, on page 36, the joke about Stephon doesnt work as well because the Fat Technician is someone Stephen met in person he wouldve introduced himself as Stephen and I think someone whos met him in person would be less likely to make that kind of mistake, because theyd be hearing his name, not seeing it written.

*For some reason, when Stephen says Buenos Noches to the tech support person on the phone, it pulled me out of the story.  I think its because 90% of the time when I call tech support, I get someone whos Indian, not Mexican or Spanish.  Just something to think about.

*The techs line Keep insulting me, sir, its really helping made me laugh out loud.

*Dimitris a fun character.  The pick-up scene with the two girls is very funny, as is the later scene at the mall.

*Rexs line You ignorant patch of cabbage didnt really sound like a kid to me, more like a fussy old man.  On the one hand, its a funny thing to say, and you do have him talking more like an adult earlier, but there it seems more like stuff he could have picked up from the movies as he tries to figure out what a director sounds like; here it pulled me out of the story.

*There are quite a few places where youre saying something in the action that cant be shown.  Its okay to do this occasionally, for emphasis professionals do it sometimes.  But the place where it really jumped out to me is on p. 25 you say that Oliver is mesmerized by Joanna, you say that Ben struggles to stay professional, etc.  It would work better if you came up with an action to convey the emotion youre going for, like Oliver ogles Joanna for example.  Also, Id lose the Joanna laughs and sarcastically responds line.  I think her dialogue is clearly sarcastic you dont need the adverb.

*For some reason, Im not really getting that Ben and his friends are excited about filmmaking, just in general.  At the beginning, it seemed like Rex was the one who was really into it, and the others were along for the ride.  When they decide to do the contest, it seems to be more to show up Rex.  I think that Ben would seem more like a protagonist we could care about if he was really passionate about filmmaking, even at the beginning, and if Rex taking his camera and going home was a huge blow to him.  Later on, Jodie mentions Bens passion for filmmaking and Im just not getting that at the beginning.

*I like the negotiation between Ben and Derek on page 36 very funny!

*P. 46-47 I think this could be a very funny scene if you ramped up the physical comedy.  Instead of just saying that their fight choreography is cheesy, I would recommend describing it more vividly.  Like: Chuck flails with his sword arm.  Derek trips over a rock.  Stuff like that.  Describe the scene in detail and the readers will see it as they read.

*P. 57.  IMHO, the bit with Wallace asking for Olivers retainer as collateral doesnt really work.  Its not like hed be able to re-sell it to make his money back.

*P. 65  Oliver leaving with his video camera is a good midpoint complication however, I think it needs to happen a bit earlier in the script.  I think if you trim up some of your descriptions and the stuff with the computer, you can get it to about page 60 or so which would be better for the pacing of your script.

Overall, here are my thoughts.  I think kids making a movie is a great idea for a film, and youve got the right idea giving them a competing team.  Structurally, I think your script needs some help.  In general, your turning points need to be bigger higher highs, and lower lows.  Also, it seems like youre going for a theme about money and how not having it can be difficult.  But the truth is, I didnt pick up on that as the theme until really late in the script, and heres why: the subplot with Stephen, Jodie and the computer doesnt seem like it belongs in the same movie as all the filmmaking stuff.  The computer doesnt have anything to do with your central plotRex asks toward the end if its the machine theyll be editing on, but clearly its not, since it doesnt get fixed until after the competition.  I think youd have a much stronger script if you changed that make it so it *is* the computer they need to edit on, and then have them use their ingenuity to find another way to get the film done.  Too, Ben doesnt seem very stressed out by a lack of funds until he doesnt get a birthday present, and since hes your protagonist, your theme should be affecting him right from the beginning.

Another thing that would help is giving Ben whats called a misbehavior.  It doesnt seem like he has any real flaws.  My partner and I have worked pretty closely with someone who used to teach at Writers Boot Camp, and one of the things she really hammered home to us is that your protagonist needs to have a flaw, so at the end they can either embrace it (down ending) or reject it (up ending).  Ben needs a flaw, and for the story to really work, it should somehow relate to both your central plot and your theme.

Thanks again for letting me read, and for your thoughtful and detailed critique of Fight Belle.  If you have any questions or need clarification on anything, please just send me a private message and Ill get right back to you.  


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greg
Posted: June 4th, 2007, 4:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Aimee,

Thank you very much for your thorough and well thought-out review.  Another dude said earlier that this piece was, in essence, overly structured, so I think your comment may be a sign that the story isn't balanced enough one way or the other.

Anyway, thank you for your critique!  It's been a pleasure!


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You're welcome, Greg -- likewise!  Any time you want to trade reads again, we'd definitely be up for it.

Keep writing,

Aimee


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Don
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Any Major Dude by Greg Baldwin - Comedy, Family - A quality film requires a strong story, workable equipment and talented actors. Unfortunately, Ben Flanagan and his crew don't have any of these. Along with his group of mischievous middle schoolers, Ben and company will compete against all odds to make a movie for the 2010 San Francisco Junior Film Festival and beat out their arch rivals for the ultimate prize!  108 pages

Complete re-write of The Scorsese Club - pdf, format


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Pete B. Lane
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I don't recall reading any previous drafts, but I do remember giving story suggestions long ago. I'll give this a read soon, Greg.

"Any Major Dude" sounds very familiar - is that a reference to something?

~Pete
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greg
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Hi Pete,

Thanks for looking.  The title was inspired from a Steely Dan tune called "Any Major Dude Will Tell You" from the 70s.  It's a slow happy melody and one day after fiddling with titles for a while I felt this had a nice ring to it, as I think it also pertains to some of the story's themes.

To everyone else,

Big thanks to Don for posting this.  The original "Scorsese" script has a long history here and while the general story of these dudes making a movie is the same, pretty much all the backstory has been changed.  Some scenes are still intact(i.e. the opening James Bond sequence), but for the most part this is a new script.

Special thanks to Pia, Mike Shelton, Mike Jones, and James for checking this out beforehand.  Much appreciated, guys!

To anyone who decides to check this out, I hope you enjoy it.

-Greg


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ajr
Posted: January 31st, 2010, 6:52pm Report to Moderator
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Oh, this is Greg as in "rock n' roll" Greg!  I'll definitely take a look at this sometime next weekend then.

AJR


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ajr
Posted: February 11th, 2010, 8:16pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Greg,

Okay, so I'm finally here with this. I'm going to give a Colkurtz type review with a bunch of notes I made along the way, because I read this over the course of several days (not the way I usually like to read things, but unfortunately just the way it worked out).

I have to say this is a strange one for me, because I think you have some very good elements here, and a somewhat fresh idea. I guess the main issue I had is with the plausibility of the premise.

We're given these thirteen-year-olds at the beginning who seem to be major goofy types who happen to like filming each other instead of reading comic books and lifting girls' dresses - okay, cool. But then Mr. Shields comes in and announces (very conveniently) a contest that while advertised for junior filmmakers seems very grown up. The prize money is something I'D kill for at present, and it's all very formal - a hotel, a convention center, screenings, and over 3 nights?

I could be way off if something like this exists. And I could also be off if you're purposely exaggerating the situation - if so though I'd like to see more winking at the audience by the characters. Do they know it sounds out of balance?

The other issue I had is that I'm not sure what the film wants to be. Is it aimed at children or adults? Is it for the big screen, or would it play better on TV and perhaps chopped down to an hour? Is it an absurd comedy, or a feel-good pre-teen flick? I picked up elements of each of these as I read it, so I would preach consistency in tone here.

Having said that, you had some genuinely funny moments, and at other times I felt this dragged a bit. Also, every single 13 year old in the piece sounds like they're forty. It's okay from a few of them, but not all (unless, again, you're winking at us - in that case, you should amp up the absurdity to "eleven").

Okay, my page by page notes:

You dont fade us in?

Page 1 - Falls to the ground but emerges moments later Have moments really passed? Youre playing with time compression here. Of course the audience knows what you mean, but you havent written it in real time, so your meter of 1 minute per page will be off.

Try something like this: He falls to the ground. He springs up quickly and runs behind a pile of boxes.  The boxes shake slightly after a few seconds Dimitri emerges, wearing a wig

Youve got almost the same problem in your next narrative as well. I see this scene taking almost a minute to film, therefore it should be almost a page, and you have it wrapped up in less than half a page, so its timed out at less than 30 seconds.

Im mixed about whether to give character descriptions on page 1, when theyre first introduced, or on page 2 where you have it. On one hand, theyre in costume on page 1 so giving a description may take away from their images. On the other hand, Ive got 3 kids in costume and I dont know how to picture them until page 2.

Also, give us an idea of what Bens parents look like?

On page 8 in your narrative instead of TWO GIRLS it should be BRUNETTE GIRL and REDHEADED GIRL?

Not sure about the slug on page 17 EXT. LONG JUMP should it be EXT. SCHOOL TRACK or something like that, and mention the long jump pit in the narrative? Ditto on page 33 with EXT. BIKE CAGE and then EXT. PLAYGROUND since the bike cage is on the playground shouldnt it just be two separate paragraphs of narrative under one slug?

Page 21-22 Ben goes into the kitchen the scene changes here maybe give us a sub-slug? Also, Jodies next line would be (O.S.) if Ben is still in the kitchen. Then, when Ben returns, he gives the cookie to Cara, but she exits through the doggie door from the living room. Also, Caras running around on the lawn without a scene change do we see her through the window?

Also, I think you can break here after the line were talking hundreds (funny line).  We get that the parents are idiots I picture them as the parents of Ronnie Miller from Cant Buy Me Love. When Stephen goes into the explanation of why they dont have the money, it lends credibility to an absurd situation letting a dog die over a few hundred bucks (why dont they borrow it from the grandmother who gives the weird gifts?) and we begin to question whether the parents are comic idiots or real ones.

Im by no means the comedy expert, but Ive found its best to leave the scene on a takeaway line, and youve got a pretty good one there. Also, it seems like at this point you wanted to up the stakes for the contest i.e., theres a cash prize, and Ben must win it to save his dog. This is too Lassie-esque, I think, for the tone youve set, which is quirky kids who in all honesty speak like adults, and dumb, weird adults like the parents and the homeroom teacher. I think beating that jerk Rex should be enough conflict.

Narratives need a bit of work for example, on page 29 Ben arrives on the scene and is horrified at the situation, but Chuck and Dimitri are amused. First, horrified is too strong here. Its a guy getting a soft ball in the nads. Then, you have Ben arrive, but not Chuck and Dimitri it appears as if they were already there.

And I hate to pick at plot, but when Ben promises to pay Olivers debt, he doesnt make it contingent on winning. So dont Aaron and Wallace only have to help with the movie in order to collect the $100?

Very funny line on page 31 by Chuck Well, I guess that makes you a pansy then, huh?

Your dialogue is good and snappy mostly because it is adult dialogue coming out of the mouths of 13-year-olds. It didnt bother me I thought it was amusing but the danger here is that you have to keep the irreverent tone going. Any lapse into the saccharin or maudlin will strain the movies credibility.

Bottom of page 31 after a cute reference to Back to the Future, Ben and his friends are horrified again?  Youre in love with that word! Maybe shocked, maybe they stare blankly, maybe with raised eyebrows something like that instead.

Oliver, but you can call me Olive another very funny line.

Page 46 If Bens and Chucks line are O.S. (and not V.O.) then you should describe what theyre watching, instead of just saying that theyre watching the tape.

Page 54 Shouldnt Oliver say ESH-O-L? Oliver does play exactly like the Neil character from Family Guy though.

Page 55 Wallace opens the front door and greets Oliver with Ben, Chuck and Dimitri behind him. This doesnt read right to me? s/b Wallace opens the door. He sees Oliver. Ben, Chuck and Dimitri stand behind him.

Page 56 I dont get it what is a retainer worth as collateral?

At around page 60 I start to have questions why include Oliver at all if hes going to take his camera away? Hes a plot point only because he has the camera, so the three put up with his weirdness because of it. If hes not a means to an end then he existed only for the comic relief.

Also around this time I started to notice that every single kid in this piece speaks like an adult. Its okay for a few, but when Gino and his mafia band start doing it, I lose the sense of it being unique to just a few characters.

Also, there is a scene where Rex and Gino discuss breaking up the boys group from the inside. Yet in a scene following this, the group has a fight with Oliver and he storms off, and in the scene after this Ben and Chuck have a fight. And Rex is responsible for neither rift. So why have Rex and Gino have this conversation if the tension among our group is so amped up that its going to cause its own rift?

Page 92-93: an example of where to cut Mr. Shields pretty much says what the announcer just said verbatim. I realize this is how it probably would be at a convention, but remember, you dont need to show us everything blow-by-blow. Also, we dont need to see the projectionist put the DVD in the player.

Page 94 Tim is mean-spirited Simon type judge, for a junior contest?

Page 97 wrylie in the dialogue the crowd chuckles has nothing to do with the way the line should be said or to whom, so it belongs in the narrative.

Page 99 Theyre acting is pretty good here s/b Their acting

Page 100- Bens speech is very reminiscent of Belushi in Animal House (though nothing is as funny as was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?). You do this a few times. I hope youre aware of it and winking at the audience and not subconsciously lifting material?

Page 101 Richard Nixon - youre shameless. Also, firey s/b fiery. And very funny work on Rexs picture.

SPOILER ALERT:

Nice touch with the 3rd place and the no place in the contest. Though my bet while reading this was that youd go untraditional (glad you did).

Oh no, the mega happy ending, with Tim as Stephens new boss!  (o:


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greg
Posted: February 11th, 2010, 11:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hey AJ,

Thanks for taking the time to read and provide your feedback.

I see where you're coming from on what exactly this script's identity is.  I wanted it to cater to a more family-oriented crowd with stuff in it that adults could also relate to.  In terms of straight-to-video release type feature, that was actually also brought up in a "preview review" and honestly I never really considered that aspect.  It does need a clearer identity though.  A more firm kick in the ass!

And dude!  They really sound 40?  Whoa.  Specifically who and what kinds of things were they saying that made you feel this way?

Thanks again, man
Rock n Roll Greg


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ajr
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Well, I'm exaggerating a bit, but for example on page 1 when Rex says "by the likes of you", Nixon saying "your attempt at sarcasm humors me", the scenes between Rex and Gino, etc.

And what I mean by this is that they are all very-well spoken for 13 year olds - of course Chuck and Dimitri have their own personalities, and Ben is okay because he's supposed to be the brain. I would just work more on having the supporting guys say things unique to them, instead of saying the cleverest line that fits, if that makes any sense.


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rogerooni
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page 6 "of vent up hostility" do you mean "pent"
pg 10 : those are some mean ass girls to slap someone just because he's sings and asks you out.
pg 18: Andie's line: "Why? So you can exploit my body
for your own pleasure? Pervert!"  seems wholly inappropriate for that situation?

I don't know, the dialogue just seems completely not age appropriate.  Do thirteen year olds really say : "Yeah, including your mom from lasht
night. Ill get on that. "   And where is Chuck's response?

Why is Tim the judge such an asshole to little kids?

the description of Rex's film wasn't clear enough.  I had trouble visualizing what i assume to be a funny scene.

Well first off, this was totally not what i was expecting.  from the logline I thought it was going to be a family/kiddie movie but the dialogue and characters really made it more adult.  I also had trouble with the conflict.  Ben wants to save Cara but really doesn't spend much time with her at all.  

Also none of the kids are that likable (other than Dimitri), I mean my god from the sister to Oliver they are all just mean/ weird /bad people.  It is hard to a kiddie movie where the majority of the cast is not cute at all.

a couple of things confused me.  is Wallace a middle school loan shark? Does he have vig.  And what is going on with the judge being the dad's new boss?  does his dad work in the movie business?

I think you might have a hard time selling the story as it is currently constructed.  I would suggest either focusing more on the children element or going full scale adult.  the way it is now I felt horribly uncomfortable for the majority of the script.


H.S.PSci Fi, Fantasy - When a splinter group instigates a desperate plot to prevent the extinction of their species at the expense of human life, a jaded Doctor and an FBI double agent is caught in a struggle between their own people and their humanity. 119
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greg
Posted: February 12th, 2010, 9:30pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Roger,

Thanks for reading this and I'm very sorry it made you feel horribly uncomfortable.  While your thoughts are fair, I must say that there is a big difference between a story aimed to the family and one aimed to "kiddies."  Barney, for example, is kiddie.  The Sandlot is something a whole family can happily watch, even if it's boys being boys.  That's the target I was going for, so even though you didn't think it to be cute, it wasn't really supposed to be.

And who and why, specifically, are you referencing to as mean/weird/bad people?  

Thanks again for taking the time
-Greg


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Grandma Bear
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Quoted from rogerooni

Well first off, this was totally not what i was expecting.  from the logline I thought it was going to be a family/kiddie movie but the dialogue and characters really made it more adult.  
I think you might have a hard time selling the story as it is currently constructed.  I would suggest either focusing more on the children element or going full scale adult.  the way it is now I felt horribly uncomfortable for the majority of the script.

I've read the original Scorsese Club and the rewrite that is now this one.

I almost fell off my chair reading this comment by you.

I loved the story and thought it was very sweet and portrayed that age group perfectly...I've had three kids in that age group myself...

There's nothing in this script that is not family friendly. In short, I think you're off your rocker. This script is clean, well written and has a very nice positive story. Did you even read the end?



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greg
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Pia, you're my hero.

Thanks always for your insight and support

Greg


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jackx
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When Ben throws the rock I would picture him biting off an imaginary spoon, just to clarify.  And I think it's a funnier image than just him throwin a rock.
Chuck is outgoing?  how do we know this?
And you tell us how dimitri talks before he has any dialogue.
You ever seen the show Home Movies on adult swim?
I dont think you can unanimously place hands over hearts, but could be wrong.
I like the teachers response to the bible book report.  schools and bibles and stuff, and just sit down.  great.  Though I agree with some of the previous comments that your gonna lose your kid audience with this kind of stuff.  Though its not necessarily a bad thing.
I also have to agree the film contest does seem a little easy, especially just thrown in the middle of class like that.  Might be better to have the teacher like pull one of them aside as they all go to lunch, and offer it just to them, so its a little more planned and not just randomly thrown out at them.
Also I dont remember when I was 12 all that well, but I think there was more to doing a book report than just saying two paragraphs and sitting down.
It's pretty odd that they make fun of Ben for not having any friends, when they are all his friends.  And there's like four of them, which seems like a reasonable size for a clique at that age.
I agree a lot of the dialogue is unbelievable for kids.  "You ignorant patch of cabbage!"  What?
Were wedgies really still an issue at twelve?  
The scene with the milk mafia is a little too easy, "lets make a deal"  "Okay"  And their whole deal is a little unbelievable.

Read up to page 57 so far.  I think most of the issues I had were covered by others, IE the "lassie esque"  bit with the dog, or the way the kids talk, or how well it would relate to kids.  Personally I dont imagine a kid enjoying watching this all that much.  And theres a few too many dorky bits for adults.  That said, there is a lot of funny moments in it, and its enjoyable.  But all the spots I laughed at were definately adult humor.  I think you're kinda doing a disservice to your story and humor by trying to ride that fine line where everyone enjoys it.

I'll keep reading later, it does read very smoothly and it is funny, you just need to figure out your tone and audience a little better.


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(65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...

APU
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grademan
Posted: February 18th, 2010, 6:42pm Report to Moderator
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ANY MAJOR DUDE

Greg,

Not afraid to write family comedies, eh? I liked it -- The ending was golden -- but think it may be a draft or two away from hitting it out of the park.  I know this is a max rewrite from the previous Scorcese Club script so kudos on that. To me, this had a School of Rock vibe. Well done!

Some suggestions, comments and questions:

-- Change the title?  No connection in my mind to the present story.

--Add a scene where Cara and Ben are buddies?  Now shes just a dog on the floor when introduced. Ben pretty much ignores her for the entire story.

--Mr. Shields spouts some inappropriate comments to his middle school class. Example brew crew and communists which I know is to establish Mr. Shields as the hip emcee later.  

--The who's who of the two opposing film crews were confusing to me in the middle of the story.

--Dialogue wasnt not very 13ish for me. Very adult. See examples below.  Naysayer! is a prime example.

--Ben did not seem like a lonely boy or that unsure of himself as he wrote in his blog

---Mike being Stephens boss was a bit convenient for me but okay. It shades Bens 3rd place and Rexs no place finish nicely.

--Chuck comes off as a perv when pulling the pants of sixth graders down.  

Three standouts in this script;

--The ending
--The scene where the boys are brainstorming really caught the spirit of young teen age boys.
--The scene where Chuck buys the T-shirt for his pal.

************************
Here are my detail comments.

p. 1

Great 007 opening!  But no scene heading or fade in? Does the gun look like a real gun? Or a squirt gun?

BEN(12) should have space BEN (12). Same for DIMITRI(13) and CHUCK(13).

emerges > appears (hes not emerging from anywhere)

reemerges > reappears

p. 2

Dimitri fast speech and a Russian accent should not be character description. If he does have an accent shouldnt it creep up in his dialog? Otherwise its a wasted detail.

Did you even do your two hours of required script reading last night? Sounds forced esp. for a 13 yr old.

Parenthetical not needed. Also, appears to conflict with dialog below:

REX
(angrily nods)
Uh huh. See, I dont think you are.

Chuck has a reasonable question and gets blasted by Rex?

Dimitri should be playing the Russian. This may be an opportunity for a bit of comedy.

The proof is in the pudding. Most kids today dont know this saying. Even if Rex doesnt get it, its too dated.

p. 3

Relax, Rex Nice use of Rs and Xs

So Bens last name is Flanagan? Why not in intro?

And Rexs last name is Morgan? Again, why not in intro?

You make as much sense as a baked potato.  Mr. Potato Head?

Rex continues his rant a la Christian Bale. Sounds like an adult here.  How many 13 yr olds can rattle off phrases like I did not go into directing major motion pictures to be disrespected by the likes of you! You are to refer to me as Mr. Morgan, Flanagan!

p. 4

ground > floor

Awe >Aw

No age or description for STEPHEN FLANAGAN and JODI FLANAGAN?

Stephens beginning dialog is forced. Because I am a human being and I live in the United States of America and I demand satisfaction to test a deaf dogs hearing? I understand you wanted the loudness to surprise us into thinking Bens home life sucked too. Is this a film quote?

p. 6

Captains Log cool. Im not sure a boy would be revealing his greatest fear in a blog where anyone can see it.

p.7

I was confused by the opening of windows on his computer and the opening of a house window within a few sentences of each other.

scrolling with gibberish not clear.

A window frame is the frame structure around the window not the glass. Window pane?

p. 8

Ben rolls his eyes not needed

The introduction of the girls is fine.

p. 9

I do wonder why a song would be enough for them to each slap Dimitri.

And why do they call D. prune-face? Again, a dated saying.

If two of my middle school friends saw me crash and burn with the two girls, theyd LAO instead of commenting Smooth.

Scene heading ENGLISH CLASS should be CLASS ROOM.

Throwing papers? Try something a little more exciting than 1950. Sorry, didnt mean to be nasty.

Unanimously > simultaneously

p. 10 brew crew inappropriate given anti drug campaigns in schools. Calling the kids communists wouldnt go over big either. Just saying.

Ill stop my detail review now...

Gary

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greg
Posted: February 18th, 2010, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Gary and Hi Jack,

Wow guys, thanks for opening this.  Jack, I'll respond to your comments when you've had the chance to finish it up.  

And do you think you guys could give a little more feedback on the dialogue and its adult sounding tendencies?  I do have a reason for certain things, but I'm really curious now because it keeps coming up.  Certain things may seem exaggerated to fit the characters(i.e. Rex is a really artsy dork and can even be labeled a drama queen for the crap he stirs up.  Gino, too, has his own little style going on and his own way of saying things).  Obviously certain lines will need retooling, but on a whole could you go into more detail about their speech patterns/flows?  This is a huge red flag to me and I want as much feedback on it as possible!

And Gary, thank you for your feedback!  I'm glad you enjoyed it for the most part.  A couple things I wanted to respond to:


Quoted Text
Change the title?  No connection in my mind to the present story.


While it was inspired from a song, it's more of a reference to the theme of these guys trying to do something big or "major" with their lives/selves.


Quoted Text
Chuck comes off as a perv when pulling the pants of sixth graders down.


This also fits for the wedgie thought that Jack mentioned; wedgies and pantsings, at least when I was in 7th grade not too long ago, were huge.  Chuck likes teasing others, not to the cruel or even violent extent as Gino and his boys, but pantsing a kid here and there to feed his ego a little bit is the kind of guy he is.

So thank you very much for checking this out!  Your comments are much appreciated.

Greg


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rogerooni
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Quoted from Grandma Bear

There's nothing in this script that is not family friendly. In short, I think you're off your rocker. This script is clean, well written and has a very nice positive story. Did you even read the end?


Now that's just strange, I don't want to take over someone else's thread but my opinions don't seem that off.   alot of other reviewers have commented on the adult nature of the dialogue and I have no idea why you would personally attack me on this.  shrug


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Grandma Bear
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Personally attack? Wow....


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jackx
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The rest from page 59

More kid unfriendly stuff talking about bens sister at the strip club.  again, not necessarily a bad thing.
p61   You say everybody except oliver steam?  doesnt steam mean mad?  they should all be laughing.
64 if bens dad has a camera why didnt that come up before?
why does dimitri throw out spanish randomly?
"Ah, whats money? My family doesnt make that much either, but it doesnt bother me. If anything, it just makes you appreciate what you got a little more."  Really?  twelve year olds saying that?
The comedy is pretty stalled during this whole section.
boss wants to have dinner tonight.  like soon!"  Like soon?  odd wording

Ending was definately on the good side.  It dragged a bit between p60 and 75ish, if you're trying to shave it down that would be the place to do it. But I understand that's kinda the darkest before the dawn bit where everything goes wrong.  
I think part of the problem with trying to have this a kid friendly movie, besides the adult comments, is the majority of the movie is kids playing dress up and using their imaginations.  This is fun and nostalgic for adults, who can reminisce about that.  But for kids whats the point of watching other people pretend, when they can pretend themselves, if you get my meaning.  

In any case, still an impressive job, and a lot of potential.  Let me know if you get any future drafts up.  Good luck.


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greg
Posted: February 24th, 2010, 12:37am Report to Moderator
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Hi Jack,

Thanks for your review and your kind words!  I'll take your thoughts into consideration for the future.

I'll get to your work next and give you some feedback as soon as possible.  

Greg


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NJDevil
Posted: February 27th, 2010, 11:22pm Report to Moderator
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Greg,

Not sure if I see the meaning in the title but it was a nice, family-friendly story. Based on earlier posts I was waiting for them to turn to some sort of adult situation, but all I saw was a PG-type story made for Teen Nick or something. So I tried to adjust my comments accordingly (I've been out of that demographic for too long )

Your formatting looked very clean, other than a few slugs. I think you have them inverted, Ex:

INT. GARAGE - REX'S HOUSE

should be

INT. REX'S HOUSE - GARAGE

at least that's the way I learned it. And I didn't find any typos, which is impressive.

Your descriptions of each character could be more vivid, and there's some minor inconsistencies with their vocabulary. I thought they sounded geniune 90% of the time, but just some phrases sounded a little too grown-up to me (I had to look up the definition of "poltroon"). Not exactly what you'd expect to hear a 13 year-old say. A few of your references seemed dated -- I got them, but I don't think young teens would. (I would keep the Rick roll, but ditch Spud Webb for example)

All that aside, you've got a good story here. I like your main characters, but the adults in the story could use some life; they seem a little stiff.

Some random thoughts/comments:

p9. the girls' reaction to Dimitri seems a little strong. they'd laugh, sure. might even insult him. but would they slap him?

p12. Mr. Shields could segue into the competition a little smoother. ex. "Speaking of film directors/movies/etc."

also, you've got some big chunks of dialogue that could be trimmed. see if there's a way to be more economial with your words, while also being realistic. it isn't easy, I know. I struggle with it myself.

p16. probably nit-picking, but I'd have Ben shrivel his face before he says "that's disgusting"

p.17. very funny stuff with Gorp and Addie.

i would add TRACK or STADIUM to your slug before LONG JUMP, and fix the "have already jumped" (avoid past tense)

p. 19. you can probably dump the wyrlie if you drag out Oliver's line. example: "Ssshhhhut up!"

also, spell out your numbers throughout, starting with "factor of 0"

p. 22. "his question still unanswered" ...change to "awaits an answer"?

p. 23. not sure the series of shots is needed, since it's only three. you could probably write these out the long way

Chuck's "Tough Guy" idea is very funny, esp "Uh. Don't get in Tough Guy's way" LOL!

p.24. I like Ben's business card. subtle and clever.

p.30. if Oliver still has his retainer, "dumbass" might come out as "dumbassh"

p.36. I think the Ali quite should be "float like a butterfly"

p.41. most of your action lines are good, but this is one that could be cleaned up a bit. example: "Everyone crowds into the room and starts chatting amongst themselves, creating a noise level..."

p. 45-46. this is where I would use SERIES OF SHOTS; get rid of all those pesky LATERs

p. 53. really liked Dimitri's version of a half-dollar

p. 64. I don't buy Stephen's "get out of my house" line, for two reasons. 1) because he just seems too tame, it's out of character. and 2) because there's no indication that Stephen is angry. if you write it into the action line preceeding it, it might work. or, you could just have him sternly ask Dimitri to clarify "What did you say?" etc.

p. 67. I get that Rex would try to sabotage their film project, but I think you could do a better job of selling Ben & co. on his sincerity.

p. 73. Jodie's line could be cleaned up. ex: "...The drugs are an adult problem. Your problem should be..."

p. 81. i think you mean "simultaneously" instead of "unanimously"

p. 85. Gino's line about being better than everyone sounds repetitive. if you want him to sound like that, i suppose it could work if you stay with it enough. if not, clean it up so he's only saying things once.

p.88. Dimitri's name is hillariously unpronounceable. However, you might want it to end in "ov", (male) not "ova" (female)

p. 89. Passion of The Christ 2... made me think of Family Guy "Let he who is without sin ...kick the first asss!"

p. 94. The judges seem lame to me. if they're going to be snarky, make them sound more clever.  

p. 96. I'm noticing a theme here with the other entries... revenge!

All in all, not bad. kinda loses a bit of steam in act 3, and I think you could use a little more depth to certain scenes and characters, but it was light, funny, and an enjoyable read. Keep going on this, I really think you're on to something!

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greg
Posted: February 28th, 2010, 9:10pm Report to Moderator
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Chris,

Thanks a lot for your review, comments, and thoughts!  I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it, but I think more-so is that I'm glad you saw the PG-story in it.

Your notes are great and I'll keep your words in mind for the future.  Hope to read some more stuff from you.

Thanks again!  

Greg


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Coby
Posted: June 2nd, 2010, 10:43am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ajr
Well, I'm exaggerating a bit, but for example on page 1 when Rex says "by the likes of you", Nixon saying "your attempt at sarcasm humors me", the scenes between Rex and Gino, etc.

And what I mean by this is that they are all very-well spoken for 13 year olds - of course Chuck and Dimitri have their own personalities, and Ben is okay because he's supposed to be the brain. I would just work more on having the supporting guys say things unique to them, instead of saying the cleverest line that fits, if that makes any sense.

I think that's what makes them funny- they're kids living in an adult's world. It's funny that there's a mafia at a middle school. That could be a movie in itself- Middle School Mafia. You could cast Bobby de Niro and Allie Pacino
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GirlO
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Hey, Greg.  How's it going?

Your script? Wow! So, I just finished reading it, and man its got so much potential to be awesome. I love middle grade ish boy  stuff books, films, whatever so this was enjoyable to me. (Maybe having five brothers helps)

Im definitely echoing what a couple others have said about the adult dialogue/attitudes, but I saw it as a positive. No, my brothers and their friends dont all talk like that, but this script is very OTT, I can see thats what youre going for, and its like a lot of the humour thats around for this age group these days. I can see it playing on Nick.  Boy, do they love ott, zany comedy for this age
The whole mini adult get ups were cute/funny.

Adult themes, a bit of cussing, sexual undertones, are sprinkled throughout PG films. Take Drillbit Taylor theres partial nudity cussing, and violence to boot. Grown Ups sexual undertones, boobs, man everything. You can get away with a lot these days in film for the whole FAM.
Have you seen Son of Rambo? Its PG. When I read your logline thats what I was reminded of. Its about a boy that makes a short film with the school bully and a bunch kids, and they want to enter it into a film fest? The kid in that is an eleven-year-old, cigarette smoking, badarse who makes these kids look soft. Pretty sure youre safe, man.

Ok, so now that you know I liked this and am not a complete arsehole, Ill give my thoughts
Sorry if I kind of jump around here I just jot things down as I remember.

I was surprised, at age 13, that Ben didnt have some cute gal on his eye, and surprised that this avenue wasnt explored as a type of motivation/sub plt, instead of using the family pet being sick which I actually saw as being somewhat melodramatic. Sorry. I just dont think it was fully realized, (cant think of the right wordSomeone said Lassie-esque? I second that, to a certain extent.)
It just felt inconsistent with the tone. Tone was a bit of an issue for me, actually.

For example, the issue with the parents finances was underplayed. The problem was never really a problem because it never stood in the way of anything, or at least I never got the impression that it was a big deal.
The IOU Bens parents gave him could have been a great place to create conflict between this kid and his seemingly perfect parents. Their relationship felt artificial every time they asked Ben how was your day? Hows the film going? he always blurted out his exact feelings. Its all good if you want to portray him having a good relationship with his parents, but it was just too much After all, it is almost moody teenager age hes at? Maybe let Ben hold back on the sharing so you can add some emotion and big moments later on, like when he has to apologize, or finally tell his parents things arent working out, or has to crawl to them for advice after things to custard.

Youre definitely not afraid to make waves with the kids relationships now do the same & maybe stir up the pot with the parents, too!
Cant Ben be a little angry at his parents for the lack of birthday gifts? Letting the dog die? (Im sure 13 year-olds are more selfish)
This would make the ending with the party actually have some emotional impact if they patched things up at the celebrations. As it is, its anti climatic. We get it - happy families, everyone wins. Great. But nothing changed from the beginning? They were already happy. Now all they have is money, but I thought money wasnt important according to Ben? Bit of a contradiction in messages. I dont know. Just trying to add things up.

Random note -maybe even make the party a surprise? Their way of making it up to him? Thinking out loud here.  Anyway,

I was confused about how quick all the guys dismissed Rex at the start? Yes, I know he was a controlling syko, but we never got to see it that much until the film progressed. I mean, how long have these guys been friends? And they just suddenly turn on each other and become enemies over something like that? Dont they know what Rex is like? Wouldnt it take more to push them over the edge and in a sense breakup?
These guys were like besties right? The two guys interested in movie making, they must know each others secrets/what pisses each other off? Use that.
Every thing just needs to be pushed a little further IMO, thats in relation to everything really.

Ok. Ill chill now. Just a couple notes:

-Why are Bens parents sitting by the door with the dog every time Ben arrives home like three times, I think? I was wondering if theyre poor because they just sit around all day playing with the dog. No jobs.   Not a great look.

-Why do the girls slap Dimitri? It would be funny, & probably make more sense, if he did a slightly crude/suggestive song and dance to them, justifying the slap?  

-Could the teacher announce the competition in a more subtle way? Less convenient and obvious. Maybe he especially pulls aside Rex and Ben, who he knows are interested in film, and just tells them? That would create some more immediate tension I dont know. Just something more subtle.

-When Ben says rock n roll/stares at the movie flier, it doesnt have much, if any, impact because we already knew he was going to do the competition because of all this build up you have before it. It would make more sense if he was still under Rexs reign when he decided to act/said something ball busting like this. Timing feels out of sync. If you want to have it here, then could Ben have been doubting whether or not he was going to do the film before this, until the dog (if you must) pushes him to act?

-Why do the parents have the IOU chat when Chuck is still around? Seems like a private thing to me.

-Why does Rex tell Ben how much hes paying the Badfellas? Theyre not friends. Wouldnt he say none of your concern or piss off

-Why would Wallace lend money to Olive if he doesnt really like him? And if he does like him, then why does he pester him so much to pay him back? I think you even mention this in the dialogue

-They accept Rex back into the group far too easily after everything hes done. Make it harder cause I saw that little stunt he pulled, in Bens room, coming.

- For Rex and Bens reconciliation could the mafia guys be dicks to Rex about losing the competition (he does owe them a lot of promised prize money, after all?) And maybe Ben and his guys can step in and help Rex out. One of the recurring themes in these movies, is the whole love thy neighbour, be the bigger man, help out the big bad guy when things go wrong yeah? That would create an actual reason for Ben to step in and help/forgive Rex, other than just being this perfect kid that Ben seems to be Think Wimpy Kid Greg forgives his friend/takes the blame for eating the moldy cheese. Superbad saves his dick friend from getting his arse kicked by drunks. Bromance. Anyway, Im sure you know all this. Ok. The end. Promise

My fave line of the whole thing was Addies: Why? So you can exploit my body for your own pleasure? Pervert!    - would gain work better than the word pleasure?
Lots of crack up lines in here, Greg. Couldn't list them all.

Id like to read a rewrite. This could be mint. The dialogue between the boys was great to read. Cool watching this all unfold. I can see all the ingredients here; everything just needs to be stirred up a little! I really dont know how this got so longI get a bit thorough? sometimes. It seems like Ive commented on heaps of stuff, but they arent major structural things, for the most part.
So, feel free to disagree with anything (or yell) wont hold it against you.  These are all just ideas/my opinions, after all! I should be in bed. Forgive anything that doesnt make sense its too late for a once over!

Kay. I said Id stop nowhope I didn't do your head in.

Naomi.
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Yet another great piece of work. I'll cut the formal critique here, cause everything I could think of was already mentioned in the countless other reviews.

Actually, I read it out of interest, whether you also anticipated the success of Youtube (like u did with Facebook). Although u didn't, this script made my day, because it reminded me of my childhood.
I started out in filmmaking when I was 7 and maintained the interest so that I'm now in the TV business. I think when I was 12, I was exactely like Ben.
You really nailed all the problems we hobby-directors stumble across: No money, no participators as actors or crew, no decent camera, those who take part are never serious about the project, and so on...

For the characters, I think they seemed like real people all the time.
Even the sidekicks had decent characterization. As a friend of the 90s TGIF lineup, and especially of the early Boy Meets World, I loved that you set the story into the world of 12/13-year olds. Most of the stuff that happened would seem redicolous for older kids, but at this age everything was absolutely credible.

I normally take a few days to finish reading a feature. This one I finished within hours. WELL DONE!!!
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greg
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 4:48pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Naomi,

I've seen you reviewing some of the OWC's and I guess this is your first feature?  I'm honored you considered mine.  I appreciate you taking the time to look it over.  You've got a lot of well thought out comments here and I'm gonna try and answer some of your questions --


Quoted Text
Can�t Ben be a little angry at his parents for the lack of birthday gifts? Letting the dog die? (I�m sure 13 year-olds are more selfish�)
This would make the ending with the party actually have some emotional impact if they patched things up at the celebrations. As it is, it�s anti climatic. We get it - happy families, everyone wins. Great. But nothing changed from the beginning? They were already happy. Now all they have is money, but I thought money wasn�t important according to Ben? Bit of a contradiction in messages. I don�t know. Just trying to add things up.


Some kids would get mad, some kids wouldn't.  I personally didn't when that scene played out on my 14th birthday, but everyone would respond differently and Ben is established as a pretty mellow kid to begin with.  Likewise, folks ask a kid what's wrong, some will say "nothing," some will literally say nothing, some will say "meh," and still others will talk with them about it.  At that age everyone develops at different speeds.  Oliver, Rex, and Gino are the kind of kids who probably wouldn't.  Dimitri, well, who knows what planet he's on.  

Things did change -- a lot of it is in between the lines.  Early on Jodie says money isn't everything.  At the end Ben realizes money isn't everything.  But everything in between no matter if it was kid or adult, money mattered and it was a reoccurring theme.  No money, no camera, creates the conflict.  The prize money for the festival is what he wanted to use to help his dog out, but along the way he forgot a couple basic things; he's 13 and making movies for him is supposed to be fun.  But he got so caught up in everything that he forgot about that.  And the parents feel horrible - no one wants to give their kid an IOU, no one wants to say there's nothing we can do for the dog since those chemo drugs are ridiculously expensive and finances are freezed.  Are they happy?  Eh, subtly happy enough for the purposes I was going for, but there are issues there.


Quoted Text
Random note -maybe even make the party a surprise? Their way of making it up to him? Thinking out loud here.


Originally there was but I felt transitioning directly from the festival to the party in the backyard (with Chuck's repeated "Party at Ben's House line") was how I wanted to play it out.


Quoted Text
I was confused about how quick all the guys dismissed Rex at the start? Yes, I know he was a controlling syko, but we never got to see it that much until the film progressed. I mean, how long have these guys been friends? And they just suddenly turn on each other and become enemies over something like that? Don�t they know what Rex is like? Wouldn�t it take more to push them over the edge and in a sense �breakup?�


Push them over the edge?  Or Rex?  Cause Rex was the one who fired them and they had just pretty much had enough of his bitching.  In terms of friends they weren't great pals to begin with - they had similar interests so it was a friendship forged from that.  In Ben's blog he's more fazzled by not having a camera than he is from losing Rex as a friend.  In 7th grade, we had partnerships like this.  We actually once "hired" two guys to be critics at our own "competition" even though one of these guys I couldn't stand.  The reason I brought him on board is that we had similar interests for this kind of thing.


Quoted Text
Why are Ben�s parents sitting by the door with the dog every time Ben arrives home � like three times, I think? I was wondering if they�re poor because they just sit around all day playing with the dog. No jobs.


They like the chairs    Yeah, they're sitting around a couple times in the family room, kitchen, etc.  In the middle of jobs exemplifies the waiting game aspect of it.  Jodie got a part timer in an earlier draft and wound up throwing a can of soup at a customer.


Quoted Text
Why do the girls slap Dimitri? It would be funny, & probably make more sense, if he did a slightly crude/suggestive song and dance to them, justifying the slap?


Well he did ask both of them out simultaneously after Rickrolling them


Quoted Text
-Could the teacher announce the competition in a more subtle way? Less convenient and obvious. Maybe he especially pulls aside Rex and Ben, who he knows are interested in film, and just tells them? That would create some more immediate tension� I don�t know. Just something more subtle.


That's also been bounced around.  I think it was just a random flier initially but after developing Shields as a more integral role (and replacing the original host of the festival) I wanted to give him a more involved presence.  He knows these guys are into that kind of thing so he personally brings it up.  Including Rex is a good idea though.  I'll keep that in mind.


Quoted Text
Why do the parents have the IOU chat when Chuck is still around? Seems like a private thing to me.


Good point.


Quoted Text
Why does Rex tell Ben how much he�s paying the Badfella�s? They�re not friends. Wouldn�t he say none of your concern or piss off�


One kid may, another kid may not.  


Quoted Text
Why would Wallace lend money to Olive if he doesn�t really like him? And if he does like him, then why does he pester him so much to pay him back? I think you even mention this in the dialogue�


The funny thing about 7th grade logic is it doesn't make sense a lot of the time.  True story: In 8th grade I asked this kid for a dollar so I could get a burrito at lunch and I said if I don't pay you back tomorrow, I'll give you another dollar interest.  The next day I was absent with an illness so when I returned I gave him his dollar -- but he wanted another for the missed day.  I said I was sick and there was no way I could have given it to him but he insisted.  The middle school yard codes can only do so much for you there.  Well into high school he still pestered me for the accumulated interest - which was getting into the hundreds (yes, he counted).  I would give him a dollar here and there just to try and shut him up but it didn't work.  I'm still not sure if he was serious or not, but he started to bump into me in the hallways, curse at me, and just be a pest whenever he could while demanding I pay up...and then I punched him and he never spoke of it again.  

So really, the thing is -- part of it is having that power, the other part of it is just to bug someone, and the last part of it is to make their lives seem more adult than they actually are.  Why would anyone lend Olive money?  From a kid's perspective, especially one such as Wallace who's not afraid to impose himself, he sees Olive everyday and Wallace is higher in the popularity totem pole, so if Olive doesn't pay up then Wallace gets to pester him.  That's what kids do haha.  


Quoted Text
For Rex and Ben�s �reconciliation� could the mafia guys be dicks to Rex about losing the competition (he does owe them a lot of promised prize money, after all?) And maybe Ben and his guys can step in and help Rex out.


That's a good idea and it would complete the loop - Rex kicks Ben out in the beginning, Rex gets kicked out in the end, then they make peace.  


Quoted Text
So, feel free to disagree with anything (or yell) won�t hold it against you.  


Yeah - WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!?!

Haha, but really - thank you for the read and your well constructed thoughts.  I hope my responses to your questions didn't come off as dickery or anything - I really do appreciate the time you took for this!

If you've got something you'd like read, feel free to let me know and I'll check it out for you.

Thanks again!

Greg


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greg
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 4:52pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Lex,

Thanks for another read.  


Quoted Text
this script made my day, because it reminded me of my childhood.


I'm glad!  I hope that anyone who had interest in this kind of thing as a kid could relate, so I'm happy to hear that from you.

Remember - whenever you've got something to read, whether it's on the boards or off, just let me know.

Thanks again!

Greg


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pwhitcroft
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Greg,

Ive listed my comments as I read this below. Often Im more likely to note negatives than positives.

Title Page The title has a good sound about it and Im intrigued. Im also a little afraid about this being a rip off homage type thing because of the Scorsese reference.

Pg 1 I know this is a point of debate here at the moment, but what is to be lost by putting FADE IN: on the left and having one line after it?

The James Bond trademark opening If it is James Bond trademark what makes you think you can get permission to use it?

The first page gets this moving really quickly.

Pg 3 Rexs early melt down is quite amusing, but I wonder if hes a little well-spoken for a 13 year old. Maybe its okay.

Also in this scene I dont have a sense of whose side Im supposed to be on. Since Rex talks so much Im wondering if it is his film.

Pg 6 The family intro is nice, perhaps a bit too much so.

Pg 7 It probably doesnt matter but instant messages could probably be formatted as INSERTS.

Now Ben is using swanky sounding language in his blog. One well-spoken child I can believe, two is pushing it.

Pg 11 Ill be interested to see if Aaron reappears as a character and if his religious views matter. If they dont then this will have been an example of entering the scene too early, since it is Bens bit that we are interested in.

three of the best movies of all time What, no love for Raiders of the Lost Ark?

Pg 12 Im guessing this contest is the inciting incident and is going to be what they set out to achieve.

Pg 14 I get that this is a fun teenage thing, but Im wondering if it doesnt make sense to age these characters up a few years and then you can let loose with the comedy.

, startling the two. For me this is example of redundant description that could be tightened up.

Pg 17 The story is well under way now. I wonder if the scene that ends on this page could be broken up and happen over some other actions. As it is they are in the Lunch room for 5 pages going through some fairly obvious situation set up.

Im so ashamed. An example of on-the-nose dialogue.

Pg 18 Oliver trips over his shoes and tumbles into the pit. This is pretty funny, but comedically I wonder if having the other kid fall over before this makes this seem repetitive?

Pg 20 But he said that Rex is in talks How would this kid know that? And could you hold this back to be revealed later?

Pg 22 Using the dog as a reason he needs money might work, but Im not sure cancer is a good choice of problem. Also it seems to me that at least one, and most likely both parents would be upset by the imminent demise of their dog. Another problem with this is that the golden rule of screenwriting is that you never kill the dog, so I know youre not doing that, so now I know the outcome of the movie!

Pg 25 For some reason this audition scene made me think of that movie from a couple of years ago where a group of teenagers made a porn film.

Pg 27 20th Century Chuck Again Im not sure about using these things.

The story has been set up fairly well. Much of it is dialogue driven and especially it seems like you are aiming for comedy from the dialogue. That can work fine, but often it is situations that are funny and the dialogue becomes funny because of those situations.

Pg 29 Ive just got a feeling. On-the-nose?

Pg 31 Gino knocks his fist I had to search back to remember who Gino is. This might be a sign that you have quite a lot of different characters floating around in here. An initial thought on this would be, why not have Nixon and Joshua be the badfellas leaders?

Pg 34 You talkin to me? A Scorsese reference! I bet there have been loads of others and Ive missed them.

Pg 35 but #are# overpowered - ?

This fight is good stuff, but having set up the badfellas as frightening demons it seems odd to have our heros initiate a fight with them.

Pg 36 And now Derek turns up and all by himself is more badass than your badass bad guys?

Pg 38 I had expected that it would be Silly Billy who helps them out after being rescued, but at this point they got nothing from him.

Pg 41 The stuff about sister and mom being hot is okay, but for me it has a tired clich feel about it.

Pg 42 I have a script, guys. Seems a little odd that its taken this long for this to come up.

Pg 47 Again Im not big on the dynamic the parents bring to this.

Pg 49 This filming of a Star Wars parody reminds me of what I think happens in Zak & Miri Make A Porno.

Pg 54 I can see them being desperate for entry money, but to buy one light?

At the moment Im sort of lost on where this is at. They filmed a bunch of stuff, but they are still testing different ideas, I guess this might be a sign of the second act losing pace.

Pg 56 This page seems to highlight the dual bad guy thing you have going on. You could consider making it clearer that Rex is calling the shots, so that he is the super bad guy.

Pg 59 The posters are cool things, but again Im not sure youll be able to use them.

Pg 65 Im not sure I buy them getting pally with Rex at this point.

Pg 68 The discussion on this page has similarities with stuff that happened much earlier in the story. That might suggest that the story has not moved on much.

Pg 72 Sorry to harp on the rights thing, but now you have a guy singing a Rolling Stones song and they are famously awkward about people using their stuff.

Pg 75 Ben checks out the title; The Scorsese Club. I had thought about that outcome about 50 pages ago. It makes good sense.

Pg 77 Well, up until now all weve been doing is shooting random scenes and whatnot. This has the effect of emphasizing the aimlessness of some of their earlier scenes.

Pg 81 Solid final act action.

Pg 82 Thats why Im doing this; to prove that Im better. Feels like psych-analysis of the character.

Pg 84 Since that last sequence felt like the first part of the final act Im a little surprised that youve got 20 pages still to go.

Pg 89 For me it feels like some of the energy from the earlier confrontation has sapped away because you are setting up the festival. Im not sure you need much of this.

Pg 92 Having a night appear in your festival also seems like an unnecessary slowdown in the story.

Pg 98 Im a little surprised that the bad guys movie is playing second.

Pg 99 Another night slowing this down again, you can have aside scenes in the breaks between screenings and before the results.

Pg 100 The characters are very passive throughout this finale. They are not making stuff happen and it seems like the judges are being expected to save the day.

Pg 101 So they didnt win, now they need a miracle solution to all their money problems.

Pg 105 And things wrap up with things just kinda turning out to be okay.


Overall the story has some good potential. Youve got a solid underdog story, clear protagonists and antagonists, and a clear set of objectives for them to work towards. Much of this hinges on peoples taste in comedy and I could see this comedic content finding an audience.

For me though the comedy felt a little flat and that meant that I was probably not going with the flow enough to buy into the wider story. You can probably get most of the things I had trouble with from my earlier notes.

The writing technique is very clean and smooth.

Sorry about not being more positive. Good luck with it.

Philip


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GirlO
Posted: March 7th, 2011, 5:50am Report to Moderator
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Hey Greg,

No dickery on your part.
Yep, this was my first feature review. A great starting place.

Im hearing what youre saying about Ben being a mellow kid and having this good relationship going on with his parents. I always had/have a good relationship with my folks, too. I was a communicative Ben. I get that. But the reason I brought up Bens possible anger/annoyance at his parents and the IOU was just my (random/one possible) idea for making Ben have a little more kid quality. He does seem very mature, which is fine, but to seem unflawed is different He seems like an almost perfect dude, and his only real faults or issues are focusing too much on the sick dog/winning prize money for it, which are actually not faults, but virtues/pretty admirable qualities.
I get the arc and the subtle change, but it would have been nice to see Ben realize something small, other than kinda how wonderful/grown-up he is?
If he had become a bit of a dick on his road to festival winning glory, then the outcome as written, I would have totally eaten upbought it. Im not saying to make him a dick, just that it seemed like you might be afraid we wouldnt like the character if he did anything too wrong (Like, random example making him have a little stronger hatred of and desire to beat Rex?)
Just my two cents.

Dont know how well I explained that.

Anyway kudos again on this. And I forgot to mention last time that I thought Dimitri was great!

Oh, and thanks for the IOU on the read   I should be finished working on my first screenplay to actually be seen through to the end in a couple of weeks. Been working on it for about six months, with no one having read it yetso kinda nervous. But, yep. Will appreciate any comments. Good. Terrible. Whatever.

Naomi
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cobybc
Posted: March 8th, 2011, 4:43am Report to Moderator
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OK, I've read about 300 screenplays in my life and out of all of them, this is the one I think needs to be produced. Not only is it clever, funny, original, and a realistic portrayal of teenagers such as myself (I'm 15), but it's poignant and heartwarming.

Long story short, I think kids my age and slightly younger and older will really dig The Scorsese Club. If it's released as a feature film, I think it could also play to older crowds, like Pixar does.
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greg
Posted: March 8th, 2011, 5:16pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Philip,

Thanks for the read and your thoughts.  A couple things I wanted to respond to so you can see what I was thinking --


Quoted Text
�The James Bond trademark opening� � If it is �James Bond trademark� what makes you think you can get permission to use it?


Trademark as an adjective.  Sorry for the confusion.


Quoted Text
Pg 14 � I get that this is a fun teenage thing, but I�m wondering if it doesn�t make sense to age these characters up a few years and then you can let loose with the comedy.


13 is the best age.  After that, the awkward stage begins.


Quoted Text


�I�m so ashamed.� � An example of on-the-nose dialogue.



Why?


Quoted Text
Pg 20 � �But he said that Rex is in talks� � How would this kid know that? And could you hold this back to be revealed later?


Playground politics - a lot of people know things going on with others.


Quoted Text
Another problem with this is that the golden rule of screenwriting is that you never kill the dog, so I know you�re not doing that, so now I know the outcome of the movie!


The dog isn't the mystery, though -- how they're going to compete to achieve their goals with all this stuff going on in their clique is the obstacle to overcome.  The cliche easy-to-predict outcome would be for them to win (which they don't).


Quoted Text
Pg 49 � This filming of a Star Wars parody reminds me of what I think happens in Zak & Miri Make A Porno.


That scene was actually written 3 years before that movie was released.


Quoted Text
Pg 54 � I can see them being desperate for entry money, but to buy one light?

At the moment I�m sort of lost on where this is at. They filmed a bunch of stuff, but they are still testing different ideas, I guess this might be a sign of the second act losing pace.


Jumping from one thing to another is what 13 year olds enjoy doing - quick ideas for finding quicker solutions.  Light was an issue so they come up with a quick plan to get one and that unfolds into other issues.  I'm sorry though you felt it was losing pace.


Quoted Text
Sorry about not being more positive. Good luck with it.


No need for apologies.  I appreciate your thoughts and thank you





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greg
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Hey Naomi,

Thanks for your response and thoughts -


Quoted Text
Been working on it for about six months, with no one having read it yetso kinda nervous.


Yeah, it can be pretty nervewracking to post your stuff for the world to see, but you get used to it and it's always good to get your stuff out there.  If you want me to check it out before you post it, you can always contact me through e-mail



Coby,

Thanks for your words.  You've been a big champion of the script for a while and I appreciate your enthusiasm and relation to it!

Thanks again guys.

Greg


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Hello Greg,

I'm a big fan of family friendly properties.
So, I was excited to learn about this script.
The Feature Script of the Month idea is pretty nifty so far.
I intended to sit down and read the first third (35 pages).
However, when I looked up, I realized I was on page 38.
That's rare, when I lose my place in a script, speaks highly to the flow of the pages.

Your grasp of the format is solid. Only one typo stood out to me.
p. 6 "vent up" Methinks you meant "pent up". Unless it's a misuse joke I failed to get.

So far, I am engaged by your story.
Your set up and character dynamics in the first act are pretty solid.
I feel the protag/antag aspect could use some enhancement.
As a rule, I care less about heroes that are reactive instead of proactive.
Ben can only react to Rex's prima donna departure. Ok.
It doesn't tell me much about our hero or what his morale code is like.
You have a mildly clumsy parental exposition scene about Cara.
For what it is, it's pretty decent, but there's a better way to inform the audience.

For example, if Cara was an actor in the Bond opener, here's how it could go...
Instead of someone just flubbing a line, Cara misses a mark, Rex calls cut.
Rex tantrums, Ben defends Cara, she's going to the vet tomorrow or something.
Rex declares either the dog goes or he walks. Our hero has a choice to make.
Ben chooses to defend his beloved dog, Rex walks off the set.
Our hero made a choice, free will and it tells us a lot about him as a character.
Now, the dilemma of that choice, we learn about the competition.
Ben realizes his choice has now put him in a hole to raise money for Cara.
Instead of wallowing, Ben rises to the occasion and will take up the challenge.
He rallies his friends and  will use his abilities to do his best to win the day.

A simple "plumbing" change like that opens up the story to me a lot.
Ben steps up, makes a choice with free will and spurns and embarrasses Rex.
Thus, making Rex a more antagonistic villain, wanting to make Ben look bad.
Your protag/antag dynamic is enhanced and we know Ben much better this way.
And we're invested in the ensuing dilemma from the choice he made to protect Cara.
We root for him when he protects his dog and want him to succeed in the contest.
A story opener like that has got me hooked, I like Ben, he makes good choices.
I'm much less interested in reactive protags always adjusting to deal with villains.

But then again, what do I know? I'm a no resume nobody.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the pages, thanks for sharing.

Keep writing and rewriting!

Regards,
E.D.


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greg
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Hi Brett,

Thanks for opening this up.  When you finish at your leisure I'll go more into specific issues.  Just wanted to acknowledge your words thus far.

And I'll bust open Red Sun one of these days to return the favor  

Greg


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Electric Dreamer
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Hey Greg,

I read pages 38 - 70 this morning.
Your pages are still moving along well.
The script testing phase didn't catch fire with me.
The parodies felt tame, something an adult would come up with, not a kid.
Check out "Son of Rambow" for some truly off the hook kid film auteurs.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0845046/

I know the mid section is typically where scripts flirt with b stories, etc.
But I felt as though the boys haven't gotten anywhere in these thirty pages.
The Rex defection felt like filler to me, flat and unconvincing on all fronts.
It's followed up by a summary speech, resetting the goals of the characters.
The speech echoes the sentiments of the end of act one, with no progress.
Perhaps the mid section can be enhanced with more Chuck and Dimitri.
I struggle to distinguish between the two of them constantly.
Everyone else pretty much has an affectation or something to set them apart.
A couple more noble goals for the cash would help out the second act.

The money for the light took me right to cash collection in "Stand by Me" for food.
If that's an intentional homage, it definitely felt like that film.
I'm not buying into the Badfellas at all.
I've seen the kid mafia trope in lots of family films, what sets it apart here?

I liked the contract from the parents, it's a light touch.
The script could use a bit more sentiment like that sprinkled here and there.
However, it felt like a missed opportunity ending on the video game thought.
I see Ben amending the contract to use those funds to help Cara.
Even initializing the amendment on the contract, like an agent.
That kind of sentiment helps cement our hero to me.

Your pacing is still crisp and your format never trips me up.
I'm looking forward to finishing the script.
Feel free to look over Red Sun at your convenience, it's appreciated.

Regards,
E.D.


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Hello Greg,

I had the pleasure of finishing your script this morning.
Apologies on taking so long, I had an unexpected house guest this weekend.

I like your script and the tone and overall coming of age messages.
However, I felt like the third act was generally unsatisfying.
The Badfella fight at Ben's house fell completely flat for me.
It gets off to a poor start with a parent conveniently leaving the house.
She sees a gang mafia kids she's never seen before and just leaves?
My suspension of disbelief is wrecked right there.  
Perhaps if Gino teased Cora that might stoke Ben's fires to fight?
However, I do like that Cora saves the day.
It's good to revisit one of the chief motivators for the competition.

I don't recall Derek's security deal ever coming back. Why set it up then?
If the Badfellas pulled shenanigans at the festival, that's a good recall for Derek.
Which gets to my next point about act three, the festival. Nothing happens.
All the folks you've put solid effort into creating sit there and do nothing.
It reads static, much like the judges struggling for kind words about the bad entries.
Almost always there's some kind of back stage shady doings.
The Badfellas try to muscle or buy off the judges, something mafia like.
I don't see savvy Gino buying into Rex's dance fest film without changes.
Makes more sense to me Badfellas would use Rex to make a pro mafia picture.
They love it, but the film flops with the crowd, villain humiliation, yay.
I like the Rex reconciliation. It's a good moment.
The parent job get/judge connection felt left fieldish to me. Arbitrary.
I feel like that goal needs to be more prominent for our young hero.
Perhaps Ben and Rex team back up post fest for a project to help Cora.
After all that set up, it's a weak resolution to that plot point.
I like the post birthday birthday party, all feels right.
Just how we got there I think could use some motivational remapping.

This is a truly fine effort and with a character and motivator polish, it will shine.
I love stories around this age group. The pseudo adult dialogue worked too.
With J.J. Abrams' "Super 8" coming out this summer, the timing is right for this.
Could be a renaissance of Hollywood buying more of these kind of specs.

Thanks for sharing and keep writing and rewriting!

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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greg
Posted: March 15th, 2011, 7:45pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Brett,

Thanks for your read and comments.  I wanted to respond to some of your things but I've been so swamped over here that I'll just say thanks again for taking the time and I appreciate your words

I'll get to Red Sun in good time.  

Greg


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mcornetto
Posted: January 21st, 2012, 5:24pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Greg,

Finally gave this a read.  

I thought you did an excellent job with this script.  You knew the demographic and story you were telling and you kept the tone consistent throughout the piece.   The opening signal was clear as to what I should expect from the rest of the script.

Most notably Ben's arc as a character was very good, it encouraged the reader to turn pages.

There was one thing I think could be improved.  Though your antagonist and his gang were pretty good, I think Rex is under-involved.  Bring him out more as a villain who is competent so we can be more worried about Ben besting him.  You have Ben and the gang surprised his film was as good as it was - they shouldn't be and neither should we.  

I also thought Ben's sister should get involved with the film in some way or other.  Don't ask me why - I just think it would add an interesting element.

The only other thing that got me about the script was that the beginning seemed a bit dated. Not the ending, just the beginning.  Everyone today has a camera in their phone - the technology assessment at the start just didn't feel right.

However, good work.  I enjoyed the read.

    
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greg
Posted: January 23rd, 2012, 9:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Michael,

Thanks for digging this up and giving it a read.  I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I hear what you're saying with everything, especially with Joanna.  When I get around to another update of this I would like to get her more involved rather than just being "the babe" who periodically appears.

And regarding the phones, yeah, haha.  I picked an area which has rapidly evolved since the first draft, so things have changed and I'll need to take in that angle.  

If you've got some stuff you'd like feedback on, let me know.  I know you have a new short up so I'll check that out to start.  

Thanks again for your words!

Greg


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