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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Team Xtreme Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: June 1st, 2010, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Team Xtreme by Matthew Cardenas - Comedy - An inept superhero team fights for truth, justice, etc. 24 pages - pdf, format


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cloroxmartini
Posted: June 2nd, 2010, 12:47am Report to Moderator
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Haha, the intro of Falcon and his interaction with Theif #1 was really funny.

But that was about it.
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TheRichcraft
Posted: June 25th, 2010, 12:55am Report to Moderator
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Nice little parody of Marvel's bickering super-hero concepts.  Be sure to read my Hawkins and Dover superhuman series.
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 25th, 2010, 2:42pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the input, guys!  Glad you liked the intro at least, Cloroxmartini.  TheRichcraft:  While the team itself is mostly a play on marvel, a lot of the characters are parodies of DC characters.  I'll look up your Hawkins and Dover series.
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TheRichcraft
Posted: June 25th, 2010, 5:25pm Report to Moderator
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I got that, Matt.  Only the Bulk had a Marvel counterpart.  I'm assuming that Astounding Woman was a cross between Superman and Wonder Woman.

I toyed with the idea of Super-Heroes, Limited, in which the superhuman had powers that really more of a hinderance than a help.  For example, Fast Girl had super-speed but no stamina.  She had to stop after running over a block because she got tired.

Also be sure to read my short script The Vamp.  Frankly I need the readers, lol.
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 26th, 2010, 12:16am Report to Moderator
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I liked The Vamp, I left some feedback.  True about Bulk having a Marvel counterpart.  To be completely honest, and it's obvious if you read the script, but Bulk seems to be the least fleshed-out character I have in the script.  Plus the things he says aren't dumb and are out of character a lot of the time.  I'm thinking about replacing him with a tiny talking dog with the same powers, thoughts?
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jackx
Posted: June 26th, 2010, 4:38am Report to Moderator
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Not sure I've seen your name here before, you'll get a lot more reads if you give out some of your own.

Pretty sure its not a great idea to post your (I'm guessing) home address and cell number on the internet for pretty much any reason.  Even this site has plenty of sketchy characters wandering around who would be happy to make you regret it.  An email address will be more than enough for people to contact you.

Right off need to get rid of the 'we see' 'camera' etc.  This is screenwriting 101
Some awkward sentences, "She looks up to see the brain coming down to the city, and is hit in the face by the gorilla with a BOOM while momentarily distracted."
What do these characters look like?
Your random capitilization of words isnt right.
Altamont?
ice sickles should be icicles.
Around the time the Flame shows up are the first funny bits, "you came on to me"  "fighting black jesus"
The monologue from mach is vaguely funny, but too long to make sense on film.
Asprin should be aspirin
Your dialogue jumps back and forth from decent to on the nosy cliche.  If its on purpose I would say its not worth it, and not funny.  Im talking about the moments of "I'll teach you some morals!"  "the good people of megawhateveritwas"  This kinda breaks from the rest of the irreverent mode, which is much funnier.
How is flamer suddenly drunk?  you never mentioned any alcohol.

who calls falcon bird boy?

overall funny enough story, a too much on the nose dialogue, and the writing needs work.  lotsa awkward sentences, or three sentences that coulda been two, or gaps in the narrative where it looks like you editing out something and didnt adjust.  
Couple more intances in the end with we see or camera directions that are totally unnecessary.  Also several pretty long monologues that should be chopped up or cut down in size.  
Definitely need some work, but you have a pretty entertaining premise, so it would be worth the time.


Mine:
HARD CASE
††††††††††† (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...

APU
††††††††††† (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 26th, 2010, 3:12pm Report to Moderator
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Meh, if someone is pathetic enough to contact me, let 'em.
We'll see about the "we see"'s, I may try and figure out a way to rewrite them.
Not sure what you mean about that being an awkward sentence.
Good point on the character descriptions, I'll try and add some in.
I thought that my capitalization was fine, you CAP the word when introducing a character or doing a sound effect, am I missing something?
Altamont-Wikipedia.
Good one on icicles, that was a pretty dumb one there on my part.
Thanks on Aspirin, man I thought I was good at spelling!
Flame gets drunk on alcohol he is given by Falcon's butler.
Flame is the one who calls him bird boy.
Any how, thanks a lot for the input, you gave me a lot of useful stuff.  I posted on here so that people like you would give me some real input, and I got it!  Thanks again, some of those things I can't believe I missed, like misspelling icicles and aspirin
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 26th, 2010, 3:21pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry, and I forgot to ask, what do you mean by the "nose dialogue" and "nosy cliche"?  I wasn't quite sure what that means.  Thanks again for the read and the input, bro!
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TheRichcraft
Posted: June 26th, 2010, 3:38pm Report to Moderator
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On the nose dialogue means that the character's references to the action are redundant ones.  I've been accused of this a lot in my Hawkins and Dover series.  In comic book stories, this happens more due to the limited use of panels and dialogue balloons.

For example, say the Scarlet Witch is battling a sorcerer.  They're at an impasse.  The Scarlet Witch thinks, "I've got to find a way to defeat him!  But how?"  That's being too on the nose.

The script writers here tend to prefer action sequences without any voice-overs.

I wouldn't change the Bulk.  Having a talking, super-powered dog would make it too much like the Super-Friends.

Do proofread your stories three times before sending it here.  Of course, I'm a fine one to talk.  Readers told me of goofs I made to The Vamp and Widow's Peek.
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 26th, 2010, 3:43pm Report to Moderator
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Oh, thanks Rich, that makes a lot of sense.  I suppose I WAS doing it as an unconscious reference to comics.  Now that I realize it, I'm not sure if I want to take it out, though, but maybe I could find a way to incorporate it in a more humorous way.
  
I hear you on proofreading, I'd done it twice before posting, but apparently that third time is a charm.
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 26th, 2010, 3:47pm Report to Moderator
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I should have asked in the last post, how do I get rid of my "we see"'s, but still explain the shot?  Do I say "camera pans to.." and stuff like that?
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jackx
Posted: June 27th, 2010, 3:29am Report to Moderator
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Hey, sorry to give unclear advice.  To clarify:

1.  As a screenwriter your job is not to decide on shots or any camera directions.  That is the directors job. If you plan on shooting this yourself there is a little leeway, but as a spec script leave that out unless 100% necessary to the story.
I did the same thing starting out, pretty much had every shot and angle pictured in my head, til someone here set me straight.

"We see a view of space, gradually we see a giant green brain
appear from the distance and MOVE toward the camera. As it
passes, the view turns and we see that the brain is headed to
a distant earth."

Your first paragraph...  None of this is particularly necessary to the story, and itll be the directors choice whether to do it all as one shot as you describe, or several shots or whatever.  It should read something more like this:

"The utter darkness of space, broken only by scattered stars.  A giant green brain appears, gradually looming closer.  Slowly it approaches the distant planet earth..."

Or words to that effect.  That way all the camera movements are implied, I think the majority of people would picture it just as you originally wrote it, but you follow within the standards of screenwriting.

2   Yea I can look up Altamont on wikipedia, and did.  But do you want people stopping in the middle of your script to go look something up?  It could just be my ignorance and this is a well known reference, but if not then its not worth having the audience step out of the narrative wondering what it is.

3   Not sure if there was a different version you had worked on, but I dont remember any mention of a Butler or a bottle until after it says that flamer is a bit drunk.  Ditto with the birdboy comment.  I think some bits might have been accidentally edited out.

4   I generally use 'on the nose' referring to dialogue that is entirely grammatically correct, but doesn't sound like realistic people talking.  IE:  Two friends part ways, one says:  "I will see you later, my friend.  We will talk to each other later."  Obviously no one talks like that.  Realistically it would be "Seeya, man.  Talk later."  The second isn't really grammatically correct, however it sounds the way people talk.
Your dialogue varies from good to bad.  I think I had the biggest problems with Falcons overly formal speech.  
Some examples: "Iíll teach you some morals."      "Well Frost King, it looks as if your reign of terror has finally come to an end."         "I have to get him to hold still so I can put this cerebral synchronizer on his head. That alien brain is controlling his mind."    "Whatever that Space Brain thing was that mutated this poor man is still out there, and we have no idea how to stop it. Who knows what havoc and destruction it can wreak on the good citizens of Megalopolis?"

5   The general writing quality.  Plenty of missing commas, etc.  Awkward sentences: That particular sentence is awkward because you have her look up, then get hit in the face while momentarily distracted.  Your being redundant, her looking up is the same as her being momentarily distracted.  The simpler the sentence structure the better off you'll be.

6  Capitalization:  I'm not a hundred percent on the rules here, but for a while you capitalize just about every verb you write.  Then not so much later.  Need to be consistent and the caps are only used for emphasis.  And of course introducing characters.

7  Other issues:  Some of the plot is a little jumpy, such as the proposing the joining of the team seems pretty forced and abrupt.  Also Bulk seems a tad weak, one second hes a fat guy, the next he wants revenge on the brain that mutated him.  Obviously the physical change is accounted for, but the mental adjustment to superhero should take some time and a little less bland acceptance.


Mine:
HARD CASE
††††††††††† (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...

APU
††††††††††† (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 27th, 2010, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks again for the input.  I guess I didn't realize about the camera angles, I suppose I've read some scripts that weren't the right kind of script and picked up some bad habits from them.

Yeah, maybe the altamont thing is a bit vague, I kind of wanted it to be subtle, though, but it's just not that funny either way..

I'm going to have to go over the version I posted again, I did edit it several times, and might have missed some lines in there, it sounds like it.

I get what you're saying about the "on the nose dialog", the problem is that I did that intentionally to make fun of comic books.  I think I should just find some way to make it more funny/obvious that I'm making fun of comic dialogue.  Plus that's just how I envision The Falcon talking.

I'm generally a pretty good writer, so I'm not sure about your opinion on the writing quality, no one else has complained so far.  I suppose I'll look over and see if there are missing commas/etc.  

My caps are kind of random, but I can't find many I want to remove, maybe 1 or 2.

I get you on the proposing of the team, I actually added that in at the last minute with a rewrite.  Plus I totally agree with you about Bulk, I'm still trying to figure out how to flesh him out as a character more.

Thanks again for the input, you've been a lot of help, I've got a lot of ideas for the editing now.  Thanks a million for the constructive criticism, it should really help my writing, plus as you can tell I wasn't 100% sure on all the rules, but I have a bit clearer idea now.
Edit: spelling.
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hotdotbot
Posted: June 27th, 2010, 7:24pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, just wow, I really enjoyed your script. I believe it was very funny. I really have nothing to say about the criticism then what has already been said, just a note that most of what has been said if subjective. I believe if we had more talent like you in Hollywood the consumer would be much more entertained and not have to deal with the crap we do now.

Keep up the good work.

John
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TheRichcraft
Posted: June 27th, 2010, 11:38pm Report to Moderator
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Matt, you may also want to order the Professional Writer's Teleplay/Screenplay Format booklet.  It is from the Writer's Guild of America, and it tells how to just tell the action and let the directors figure out how to film it.

My copy is from the 1990's, so hopefully they've put a new version out by then.

Now that I've learned how to use pdfonline.com, I'll posting my scripts in pdf and using the page format listed in the writer's reference section of this site.
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 27th, 2010, 11:43pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks a lot for the tip Rich, I'll look that up!  I really could use a formal guide to all the rules, as I think I've said before, most of what I've learned was from reading scripts, and sometimes not even the right kind(shooting scripts).
Hotdotbot, thanks for the enthusiasm, glad you liked the script!
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 27th, 2010, 11:51pm Report to Moderator
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Well, before someone else points it out, I see now that I should take out CAPS for the sounds, as this isn't a shooting script.  Also I'll take out the CUT TO and FADE TO, etc, except at the beginning and end because this also seems to be a shooting script element, no?
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TheRichcraft
Posted: June 29th, 2010, 1:43pm Report to Moderator
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According to my script booklet, the CUT TO's and DISSOLVE TO's can be skipped.  They tend to make the scripts longer by a few pages as they add up to the story's space.

Of course, the script guidelines on SS.com say that there should be two line spaces between scenes.  This isn't in my booklet.  And SS.com says that pages should be numbered like 1. instead of just 1 without the period behind it.

Yeah, it can be confusing trying to write a script based on previous resources.  The best advice I can give is to follow the SS.com's guidelines in setting up the page format and tab creations.  Then use the booklet's info to write the script.  Be very sparing in using camera details.  Just simply tell what is happening on the screen without using "we see."  Let the director decide when to use close-ups when people are talking.  Otherwise, just present the dialogue.

I hope this helps.  Richard
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MattBCardenas
Posted: June 29th, 2010, 9:32pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, I'm working on taking out all the camera details.  That does help.  I hadn't heard about 2 spaces  between scenes, hopefully that one is wrong!  Thanks again for all the help, you too Jackx.  I'm working on another script currently using the new rules I've learned, and then I'll do some more editing on this one.
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