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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Red Balloons and Rollercoasters Moderators: bert
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  Author    Red Balloons and Rollercoasters  (currently 5525 views)
dresseme
Posted: March 4th, 2008, 12:43pm Report to Moderator
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Limey-

Ok, so normally I start writing my initial thoughts on a script after I get to page 30, but I didn't end up doing that for this script.  Mainly because I didn't really know what to think by page 30.   I know you've expressed concern for the first part of your script, and I think I might suggest a re-write is in order.  The first part of your script just tended to drag a lot for me, and having not read the logline, I just kept asking myself "What is this story about?"

Once the story got moving, however, I found it to be pretty interesting.  Your dialogue is pretty solid, and while your formatting seemed to be a bit off at a few points, it didn't take me out of the story.

I did have a few problems with the script that stick out in my mind.  One, and I'm sure you're sick of hearing it; the story's been done so many times before.  So much to the point where I could basically map out every single turn it was going to take several pages before it happened.   But no one else seems to really have a problem with it, so maybe it's just me.

Two, the ending was really abrupt.   When I turned the page to see it was the end I could barely believe it.  I don't know what more I wanted, but it just seemed to be lacking.  I mean, you have the revelation of the roller coaster incident on the very page you end on.  It just seemed like you should have had some type of epilogue.

Three, and this relates to one, you might really want to consider changing it up a bit.  I found it difficult to care about the characters b/c I just found them all fitting into these stereotypical rom-com roles, placed in their usual places in the formula.  The jerk boyfriend, the hopeless romantic, the crazy/quirky friend, etc.  And because I always knew where everything was going, I never really cared too much for them.  I hope this makes sense.

I don't mean to bash your script b/c I did enjoy it.  I just think that it could be changed up a bit.  Throw in some unexpected twists and turns.  Maybe a b-plot not usual to most rom-coms.  

Good work though, ya limey bastard.  (Sorry, just wanted to say that.)  

-Matt
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Limey
Posted: March 5th, 2008, 5:58am Report to Moderator
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Hey Matt, ya yankee... er... b*stard (just returning the favour   )

Thanks for the read and sorry it didn't do much for you - I guess you can't please everyone.


Quoted from dresseme
I know you've expressed concern for the first part of your script, and I think I might suggest a re-write is in order.

Yep, still working on it. Think I have something better but still not perfect.


Quoted from dresseme
The first part of your script just tended to drag a lot for me, and having not read the logline, I just kept asking myself "What is this story about?"

I thought you said you could map out every turn before it happened...?   Just kidding


Quoted from dresseme
your formatting seemed to be a bit off at a few points, it didn't take me out of the story.

Anything in particular? I cut out a lot of the "..." in the latest rewrite and used "--" to show interruptions. Is there anything else I need to worry about?


Quoted from dresseme
One, and I'm sure you're sick of hearing it; the story's been done so many times before.  So much to the point where I could basically map out every single turn it was going to take several pages before it happened.   But no one else seems to really have a problem with it, so maybe it's just me.

It's a fair point but I didn't intend this to be about "what's going to happen" as much as "why it's going to happen". To be honest there's very little that hasn't been done in this genre - there's only so many obstacles to love - and what I hate is that most RomComs rely on increasingly fantastical situations in an attempt to be "unique". This, for me, makes them so unrealistic that I just can't get into the world of the characters and as a result never care about what's going to happen, regardless of whether or not I can predict it. Here I'm much more concerned with the reader empathising with the characters and caring about what happens, even if they can pretty much guess what that might be. But it sounds like you didn't "buy" the characters so there probably wasn't much left to keep you interested. Sorry.


Quoted from dresseme
I found it difficult to care about the characters b/c I just found them all fitting into these stereotypical rom-com roles, placed in their usual places in the formula.  The jerk boyfriend, the hopeless romantic, the crazy/quirky friend, etc.

I agree they fit into stereotypical roles (hell, this is a RomCom and there are certain conventions) but what I've tried to do is make the characters themselves unique. Ben isn't your typical hopeless romantic - he's pretty bitter, sanctimonious and hypocritical and actually destroys his best mate's relationship (even if he's acting on a subconscious level). Yes, Matt's kind of a jerk but not in the usual sense where's he's simply using "the girl" for his own pleasure - he really loves Soph, he doesn't cheat on her, he tries to do nice things for her, he wants to marry her, he just doesn't, as he says, always know the right thing to do. But if these things don't come across in the script then it's bad writing on my part. As for the crazy/quirky friend... yeah, you got me on that one. Just as long as he's funny  


Quoted from dresseme
I don't mean to bash your script b/c I did enjoy it.  I just think that it could be changed up a bit.  Throw in some unexpected twists and turns.  Maybe a b-plot not usual to most rom-coms.

Bash away, I'm a grown-up, I can take it   . Seriously, though, if you feel there's nothing new here then I need to go back and take another look. In my mind I have some (what I consider to be) unique takes on the genre but it's quite possible they haven't come across because I haven't done them justice with my writing. I do think the Soph / Helen subplot is pretty unusual, though - can't remember seeing it in a RomCom before.


Quoted from dresseme
Two, the ending was really abrupt.   When I turned the page to see it was the end I could barely believe it.  I don't know what more I wanted, but it just seemed to be lacking.  I mean, you have the revelation of the roller coaster incident on the very page you end on.  It just seemed like you should have had some type of epilogue.

Ha, ha, I hate epilogues . I wanted the various plots (Ben/David, David/Karen, Ben/Soph and Soph/Matt) to all tie up in the same scene. And once they do, what more is there to show? I'm looking at maybe extending the final renunion of Ben and Soph a bit but as for an epilogue... unlikely.


Thanks again for the read. I'll have my review of Douchebag up by tomorrow night at the latest.

Cheers

Limey b*stard



Bored of shorts? Try a full length feature;

Red Balloons and Rollercoasters (Comedy / Romantic Dramedy)

Read it...

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/REDBALLOONSANDROLLERCOASTERS.pdf

And rip it to shreds in a review...

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-comedy/m-1202674615/
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