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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Fizzy Pop Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: July 19th, 2008, 11:56pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Fizzy Pop by Tony Ellis (nick_nail) - Comedy - Grace wants the best that life in New York has to offer. But life in the Big Apple just might kill her. Throwing herself into a fast world of criminals, jazz, booze and celebrities her misadventures take her from a one night stand with Babe Ruth, a short love affair with composer Igor Stravinsky and gains her the ill-will of powerful crime boss Ace Rothstein. Suddenly, the good life doesn't seem so good 170 pages - doc, format


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bert
Posted: July 22nd, 2008, 9:35pm Report to Moderator
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Oh, my, nick.  I had hoped that was a typo, but this really is 170 pages.  You have to be told that no producer or agent is going to read a spec script that is that long.  Especially a comedy -- even a period comedy.

Job one:  Trim this down to 120 pages max (that is about 2 hours run time) and even that may be too much, really.  Shoot for less if you can.

Job 2:  If you are serious about this, fix the format.  All of your dialogue is centered, and that is incorrect. You have looked at a few scripts now, and are probably getting a good idea of what they are supposed to look like.  Look for links, here at SimplyScripts or elsewhere, that will give you instructions on how to format a script appropriately.  Let me know if you look and cannot find what you need.

Job 3:  Start setting the stage for us a little better.  I am talking about the stuff that is not dialogue.  This script is virtually ALL dialogue -- and while that is generally alright for a comedy -- you need to thicken up the descriptions for us a bit.

For example, "INT. JAZZ SPEAKEASY – NIGHT"

You tell us two men walk through a crowd -- and that is it.  Literally.

What year?  Is it respectable or something less than that?  Is it large or small?  Is there a band playing?  Are they good or bad?  All of these questions can be answered in one or two sentences, and that is enough.  But especially for a period piece, you need to set the stage.  Make us feel it a little.

And poor Grace.  When she gets gunned down, you give her less than the speakeasy!  We should feel that scene, too.

Now, I know I told you to make it shorter, and now I am telling you to make it longer haha.  Sorry about that.  But you need to cut scenes -- be brutal with it, sparing only what really drives this story forward -- then take the remaining scenes and make them stronger and more cinematic.  That is the only way there will be hope for this script.  Losing the INTERCUTS and FADES will help give you a few pages.

And I like what you've got.  I do.  Babe Ruth, Duke Ellington, Enrico Caruso.   I am assuming you have researched these characters a bit, and skimming over this, it appears to be a sexy period piece with compelling characters, but you are not doing them justice as this script stands now.  In its current form, this script will not get read by people with the ability to do something with it, and that is the cold, hard truth.

I would encourage you to take what you have learned from the scripts you have read, apply those lessons here and fix this up.  I am really sensing that this deserves a better chance than you have given it.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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nick_nail
Posted: July 23rd, 2008, 8:15am Report to Moderator
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Hi Bert
Thanks so much for the comments. Reading the scripts on this board have shown me the error of my ways.LOL. This was my first screenplay and needless to say I was a bit off with the page count and descriptions. I am currently working on a second draft that im hoping to trim down to 110 or so pages. I have also recently aquired some new software to help with my formating. I totaly get what you said about setting the stage, I guess I was afraid of making the page count any loner haha. I will take all your suggestions and re-do this because like you said they are compelling characters and I think I could get that across better. Thanks for the read Bert and I hope you wont be to scared to check out a revised version. Nick
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slabstaa
Posted: July 23rd, 2008, 5:58pm Report to Moderator
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Sam "Ace" Rothstein?  You mean his real life counter part, right?  Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal is his real name.
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nick_nail
Posted: July 28th, 2008, 8:08am Report to Moderator
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Hi Slabstaa
Thanks for the comment, but I wasn't refering to the guy from Casino. This character is based on Arnold Rothstein the crime boss who fixed the 1919 world series. He's a pretty interesting guy who some believe is the true father of organized crime the wat we know it today. Thanks for keeping me sharp!
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