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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  God's Dartboard Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: December 14th, 2008, 7:14pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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God's Dartboard by Steve McDonell - Comedy - Four dead guys get to Heaven and discover it ain't what it seems… 78 pages - pdf, format


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Orange
Posted: December 17th, 2008, 9:54pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this script for the most part. I found the idea interesting but that's about it.
In my opinion there really wasn't a comedic feel to this film. I think this is perfect for independent cinema, but as far as Hollywood goes it's not. I don't know your intentions for this, maybe you are rooting for independent films. If so, you did good, if not i think you should go back and really look at the script. There was a lot of stuff you could have included to give the story a little more structure that I don't feel you did well.
I think if you are going to create a script as blasphemous as this is it needs to be executed better.

The only humor I can find in this script is of sexual nature. Explore other ways of making people laugh. Figure out what you want to say with this script and say it. nt directly of course lol.

I think you should extend the opening scene a bit, start out with random conversation that leads into the discovery that something is not right and before Tanya enters, reveal that oh...this person works in heaven, okay. Because the way you have it now doesn't flow, in my opinion. It's out of nowhere. I had to read it twice to make sure I was reading it right. Also if you are going to have the character speak directly into the camera in the beginning, try and make that a reoccurring theme through out the movie. Have the character address the camera at key moments, but only a few times not every five pages.

I don't know, there is just something about this script that irks me. I liked the premise, I liked the characters, I liked the descriptions and the general plot, but I didn't really feel like a comedy. There were funny scenes yes, but most of the jokes were based off of something sexual, like I said earlier. In a way it kind of felt more like soft core porn than a comedy, which I guess is the same since I find soft core porn humorous but...I don't know.

So yeah. I found it interesting but for feedback I would say extend the opening, add more humour that isn't sexual in nature, use the main character's narration a little more and i'd also like to see something play out with the dynamic between jesus, god and tanya.
It confused me a little that in the beginning you said jesus and tanya hated each other, then at the end they are hooking up in the office. maybe hint a little more on your intentions with that, but definitely keep working on this script, I would say. Hope that helped at least some.
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stevie
Posted: December 17th, 2008, 10:29pm Report to Moderator
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thanks for your comments!  i should make it clear this script started as an idea for a story and i only adapted it to script because i had some stuff done for it. actually it was probably a writing exercise to see how far i could take the joke. but a few friends encouraged me so i kept at it. i had no outline just a rough idea and ending(which probably shows in the script) i wrote straight from mind to screen, which might explain some of the stuff! i tried to mix the aussie humour with american and english when possible. it took about two weeks to nail it. i did no revision just fixed the errors. i didn't want to lose any of the immediacy. i've entered this in the L.A Comedy festival comp just to see where my writing is at. i wasn't going to develop it any further but i'll take your advice into account. thanks again.



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Orange
Posted: December 17th, 2008, 11:32pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, it did have a feel of spontaneity about it, which is certainly good for a rough draft, but as for a final product, not so much. It is never a bad idea to go back an revise for dialogue and consistency. I do hope your script does well in the competition, but I hate to say that I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't.
Either way, I hope you do consider revising it because i do like the premise and everything.
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stevie
Posted: December 18th, 2008, 12:35am Report to Moderator
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cheers! i appreciate the feedback. after my last reply i realised i didn't mention i wrote this after coming off a 150 page first draft of a first script (SENT). i'd been labouring over this for over a year, first as a novella then to screenplay. currently i'm revising it, have to knock about 50 pages off it. anyway, writing the comedy was like releasing a dam( a script enema?) and unclogging my brain! no need for things to make much sense, no convoluted plots(SENT is a time travel piece), just, well, fun and jokes!
i forgot to add also, the original text of this was written in first person, through nick's eyes. there were lots more jokes and puns. but i couldn't figure out how to do it for a script without wholesale narration so i just did the couple of voice-overs. i see your point though!
by the way, looking at your profile? u only joined yesterday? can't work that out as i'm sure i've seen posts from u before. anyway, c ya!




Revision History (1 edits)
stevie  -  December 18th, 2008, 12:47am
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KaBow
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TANYA
(leaning forward)
Jack, the animals have their own
section. We leave them alone.
They leave us alone.
– this is one of the few times I’ve laughed out loud while reading a script, literally. Great line.

Plot Hole – I know this script is not based on logical cohesion so you can ignore this if you want. The “fluffer” job that Jack has. If heaven has complete records and videos of everything, it seems they could find it. Really nitpicky so ignore it if you want.

Pg. 57 change “now” to “know”

Pg.76 I think you meant “sweet ass” but I don’t know.

I like the way you set up your theme with phil. but there is a big counter to it, I recommend reading a book by Voltaire titled Candide. If you want to read something that goes against the “best of all possible worlds” way of thinking.

Overall, really funny. Pretty clever. Honestly though, you’re about 30 pages of dialogue away from a porno. I think it’s funny, but it would be hard to find backing for this outside of the porno industry.

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stevie
Posted: January 15th, 2009, 4:39am Report to Moderator
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thanks for the review!  i was intrigued by that line you found funny - i honestly didn't write that as a funny line! it was just a line of dialogue. but sweet!
as i said earlier in this thread, this was just an idea that kept going. i was writing straight from head to page and it probably shows.
yes, the fluffer bit is suss, but i'd just read ron jeremy's autobiog and i first heard the term there. it was too good to resist.
it wasn't meant to be semi-porn and obviously the more explicit scenes would be handled differently. it was originally a story not a script and was even more full on!
in australia we spell ass as arse which is sort of funny cos it will get past the censor on this site! well, maybe not after this...cheers
hang on i read page 76. the comment is right. sweet as is an aussie slang term, short for sweet as silk, i think



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KaBow
Posted: January 15th, 2009, 1:18pm Report to Moderator
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Awesome. Aussie lingo is so much better than American lingo. I think I'll try and get some Aussie lingo going in America if you don't mind.
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nextbigthing24
Posted: January 18th, 2009, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
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One thing at the very beginning (on p2) 14 line action sequences usually never fly. The usual limit for an action paragraph is 2-4 lines, maybe 5 or 6 if really necessary. But when you're going over 10 lines, a potential buyer may automatically be turned off. Although after reading through the rest of the script, and it doesn't seem like this is a continuing problem. But there are so many places in that first paragraph that could be split into multiple sentences. For example, after you describe what's on the consoles, begin another paragraph since you're now describing characters. Also, the character description might better read like this:

Instead of "There are two men, early twenties, sitting at their computers. They are ERIC, a tall black Englishmen, and JACK, a short American." change it to "ERIC (23) a tall black Englishman, and JACK (23), a short American, sit at their computers.
Do the same for Nick and Ziggy.

As far as comedy goes, it was pretty much all sex jokes. This is only a couple more scenes away from being on HBO at midnight. The plot was interesting, as were the characters, but it wasn't something I could see getting produced for mainstream Hollywood. The descriptions and actions in the script were good, but if you're going for comedy, try throwing in some jokes that don't only relate to sex.

Dang that sounded real critical, so to end on a good note...The overall premise and characters were really good, so nice job there.


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stevie
Posted: January 18th, 2009, 11:16pm Report to Moderator
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hey thanks for the comments man. yeah, i seem to have a problem with my long action bits. i didn't realise they should be minimal, so thanks for the heads up.
and i know this has a lot of sex references, but that's just how it came out. i was reading ron jeremy's autobiog when writing it. the boys at work kept encouraging me too. or maybe i have sex on the brain like the normal male!

getting back to the action paragraphs, so its ok to split it into different lines? i've see that in some scripts and it seems to read like a character list at times. but i'll definitely try and keep the whole action bits down. cheers!



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nextbigthing24
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Yeah I know what you mean. Maybe split it once after "...scale.", again after "...screens.", and then after "...2355." That way it's easier to read and split organized by event per se.


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tonkatough
Posted: February 6th, 2009, 2:37pm Report to Moderator
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This was an enjoyable romp with an awesome premise that blew me away.  working the Beatles and Lennon's arrogant comment into your story was pure genius. So to was the dart board concept.

Such a shame for so cool a premise that what your script lacks is a story and fails as a feature script for the following reasons.

To many characters, Why do you need four main dudes? the problem with that is that when they all start talking at once it stretches out your scenes for to many pages.

The first scene in the control room when four boys relize something is wrong drags on for 6 pages what could easily have been done in two pages. It is important to keep your story flowing and should never ever stop the momentum of yoru story.  

To get a good feel of how tight short scenes give a story momentum, pay attention to the length of a scene in a movie or a graphic novel, note when a scene cuts in and cuts out of the moment.

Another problem is that there is almost no story. You have a clever central problem of God want to make Earth a clean slate and start again, but do nothing with it. It has plenty of potential for drama, conflict and comedy but all you seem concenred about is a bunch of dudes throwing porn one liners at each other.

Why not have boys race against the clock to try and out smart God and stop his plan? tell us more about rivalry between JC and Tanya, have them backstab manipulate the dudes to their advantage.

You have some great ideas in this script, (I would have paid a ticket to see this just to watch that fat little porno toad with the mostache play God through the whole movie. You should of went through with your idea) and your script reminded me of Bill and Ted and Hitch Hiker's Guide the the Galaxy.

But because of way to many main characters, (two is all you need) to much dialouge and no conflicts, crisis or situation or raise stakes your script goes nowhere.

Oh yeah and a good tip on how to write action is picture each bit of action as a camera angle, when the camera angle or position switches to something else you start a new line of action. If that makes sense.      


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stevie
Posted: February 6th, 2009, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Glen! I appreciate the comments. Yeah, I can see the flaws in this script, and

they have been pointed out in other reviews. But I have to stress again, this was an

idea that I just took off and ran with it, so to speak! i wrote it straight from head to page

and it shows. I had no outline and just a rough idea how it would end. The guys at

work encouraged me and I kept at it. As I said in answer to other reviews, I didn't

revise or tweak any of the humour as I feel it needs to stay spontaneous. I know

it borders on the semi-porn with all the sex jokes; at the time I was reading Ron

Jeremy's autobiog, and got influenced! Yeah, there is some Bill and Ted in there, as

well as Jay and Silent Bob. I honestly had no real plans for this, it was basically an

exercise in trying a comedy. I'd been working on a time travel script before it and

needed to clear the brain and write without restrictions.

Cheers again for the review!

P.s:  I always try and work the Beatles into my stories. They are my heroes, especially

John. The infamous comment slotted perfectly into that part of the script!



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Colkurtz8
Posted: March 2nd, 2009, 3:53pm Report to Moderator
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Stevie

First off I'll repeat myself by saying, watch the paragraph length in the prose, 3 to 4 lines max. It’s just a small thing, easily remedied.

"Even China and India." -- Oooh, I sly little dig there.

Again you use the "talking directly to the camera" device. Not something I'd do but I think, like "The Fill" its fits aptly into the context of the scene & the script as a whole.

"That’s true. I don’t think Turkish hospitals would be this clean anyway." -- Sly dig No. 2

I'm 11 pages thru and really diggin' this. Great concept, great intro sequence, I liking the characters and Tanya

The repetition of

NICK/ZIGGY/ERIC/JACK
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck... -- made me laugh.

It’s all good, really innovative idea here that thankfully is being well executed...so far anyway.

Really liked Ziggy's soliloquy on Pg 12/13 in particular the lines:

Here’s a shovel, clean up God’s shit! Fix that cloud, it’s leaking! Wash those angel uniforms -- witty stuff.

"And they were French..." -- Sly dig No. 3

JACK
Yeah. Hey, I wonder if we can
play Halo on this? -- Great line.

Funny exchanges between the guys discussing job allocation on Pg 17

"I don’t seem be feeling any remorse." --  "to" before "be" pg 18



NICK
There is no way he’ll get that
thing in her. It’s against the
laws of nature! She’s just skin
and bones!

ERIC
Soon to be just boned.

JACK
That guy is Tavon Baker.
Defensive end.

ZIGGY
That chick’s end is gonna need
defending real soon.

ERIC
Fuck this, I ain’t shy. I need
some relief!

He frantically whips out his dick and starts masturbating.

The others look at each other and shrug.

NICK
Who cares? We’re only dead guys.
I’m game.

Soon, the four boys are pumping the fist. On screen the
black guy is slowly entering the white chick, who squeals
with delight. The boys can’t hold back...

NICK/ZIGGY/ERIC/JACK
OOOOOHHHHAAAAAAAHHHH.......WO

-- My favourite scene so far, killer. The good ole' unabashed absurdity of "The Fill" resurfaces. You certainly like your porn/gross our comedy.

Loving Jesus's attire.

NICK
Reality TV...new album by
Nickelback...Amy
Whitehouse...the design of the
new Cairo Sheraton...Cristiano
Ronaldo...hmm, I can see the
importance of your job

-- Ha Ha quality. I pretty much agree with everything here except its "Winehouse" not "Whitehouse" & I don't think she's that bad, she def has some talent. And Ronaldo: although he is a complete sickner, he can be greatplayer to watch (when he’s not acting the prick. Diving, complaining, etc)

But yeah "Reality TV" & "Nickelback" -- Chalk those motherfu?kers down, man.

PHIL
Right. Ok, I asked something I’d
thought of when I was diving.
(beat)
I asked if he’d ever secretly
gone down to Earth and
experienced his own Creation. You
know, walked through a
sun-drenched field of daisies, or
felt the autumn breeze on his
face. Had an ice cold beer on a
beach at sunset, or tenderly
kissed the clean sweat from a
lovers neck...

-- Amist the surrealism, anti-Existentialism, racial & smutty jokes comes a poignant piece of dialogue, rather eloquent, sir.

Conversation spanned 9 pages from 28 - 37. -- Personally I enjoyed every line, but most people are going to have big problems with it. Especially on some pages as there is no prose, only dialogue. Again this doesn't bother me in the slightest, as on the contrary I've have found this a joy to read so far, but according to the format authorities, it ain’t cool.

Tow flashes that might be eyes are visible. -- Don't know what this line means, can you help me out?


NICK
You don’t have any face. You’re
as anonymous as the millions of
innocents who die in your name.
Have a good day.

-- Excellent come back.

"Tine to get back to work. We can talk more about then.-- "Time" instead of "Tine" - "It" after "about" (I know you hate these but its all to tighten up the finished product.)

ERIC
(to Jesus)
Yeah he does look like Becks.
Fucking uncanny.

-- Effective comic relief amid a more "serious" part of the piece.

JACK
(reviving)
Who’s John Lennon?
Ziggy cuffs his head again and Jack is gone once more.

-- One of my criticisms is I think Jack is maybe a bit too dumb at times, that he draws away from the piece but I loved his exhibition of stupidity here. Such blissful ignorance.

"The Beatles are the greatest. Especially Paul." -- I agree with Tanya on this one.

"A God has to have some secrets." -- Whether you implied it or not, this has multiple reverberations on many levels.

"They all start complaining, a cacophony of whine." -- Sly dig No. 4

"Shouts of ’We want our lager and football back. And fucking fish and chips’." -- Sly dig No.4 -- Love it, although very generalised you're not too far off the mark, bud?

"Subtitles read ’Where’s the fucking autobahns? And the sauerkraut’?" -- Sly dig No.6. A pattern forming here.

"Subtitles read ’We want a fully integrated conveyor belt based industrial production plant’! Supplied by a lower class system of fields and villages’." -- Sly dig No 7. Ha, very funny.

Could have ended on pg 70 The "fluffer" line would make a great closer. Having said that the last eight pages were very enjoyable, much like the whole script which I found in all in all to be a very fun piece.

I loved it all the way thru, so much that I was expecting it to dip and go downhill at some point but it never happened. You sustained enough humour & crazy situations to the end. I defy anybody not to enjoy this, really it’s a shame it hasn't gotten more attention.

I’m disappointed too at the comments above as I’m only reading them now, but everyone has a right to their opinion. It why we put stuff up here.

I'm not just saying this cos we have been swapping scripts & it’s all pat on the backs so far but this was excellent. Loved the concept, characters, humour & but above all the execution. How you developed your idea with some degree of rationality & credibly regardless of the outlandishness story was a credit to you.

Like a believable fantasy if you know what I mean. Not just complete brainless craziness

My only minor drawback was Jack getting the slap for his dumb comments. It worked most of the time but it got a little too repetitive. I think this is too clever a script to descend into hackneyed slapstick. I mean leave the character in just maybe tone down his stupidity. He was a "Fluffer" after all, he's a man of the world.


I liked "The Fill" but this was a far superior piece, in my humble opinion. I'm not a religious person at all so I lapped it up.

From the comments above its looking more and more like this is an acquired taste, I think we definitely have a similar sense of humour & that’s what the script is gonna hinge on, being a comedy.

Anyway I really enjoyed this. A fun, breezy and very witty read. Another fine job, sir.

Keep it up.


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stevie
Posted: March 2nd, 2009, 6:40pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the comments Col! Glad u liked it. Like 'The Fill'. this was an idea that sort of snowballed. I wrote it very fresh, from head to page, with only a rough idea of the ending.
Ironically, u mentioned the 'fluffer' line being a good ending? It was originally, then I kept writing a bit more to tie things up. I realise there is a fair few porn references and such (well, I am a normal male!) but the boys at work egged me on a bit. Plus reading Ron Jeremy's autobiog at the time was bound to influence me! That's where I discovered the fluffers!

anyway, man cheers again.
oh yeah, just realised:  yeah , I know Jack's antics got a bit much. i guess I was looking for a comic line too much. He became a bit of a pathetic mascot, I suppose. c ya



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