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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Ezekiel Spelling Moderators: bert
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  Author    Ezekiel Spelling  (currently 5551 views)
jap313
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 4:58pm Report to Moderator
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Hi E.D.,

Quoted from E.D.
Ack! I just read through the comments and see a second draft is on the way.
Heh, I already read through the first act.
I'll jot down a few thoughts anyway for posterity.

Yeah, I just submitted my second draft two days ago, so hopefully itíll post in a week or so.  Still, your comments are much appreciated.

Quoted from E.D.
Overall, I like the idea, its kinda like "Funny People" if no one was famous or dying.
The documentary extra is a hook I have not seen used before.

The idea is similar to Funny People.  Like you said, stand-up movies are very polarizing, so in the second draft, I cut all but two stand-up scenes, and focused the story on Zeke chasing Claire.  The second draft is twenty-six pages shorter.  I cut A LOT, but I think it helped greatly.

I think the biggest thing going for E.S. is the hook.  Iíve been trying to think of a title to exploit that, something like ďProlific Re-enactorĒ or ďStar Re-enactor.Ē  However, I stuck with the same title for the new draft.

Quoted from E.D.
You have a solid grabber opening scene. Dropped me right into your world nicely.

Everyone is likable enough and I'm never bored, despite Act One being 41 pages.
And you wrap up the act well with tasking your protag to write his own ticket.
Sound story structure there, I like it long time.  
I'm intrigued and want to know where the story is going to take me.

I tried to tighten up the structure this time.  Act one now ends around p.30, Act two around p. 80.

Quoted from E.D.
p. 8 Didn't care for football skit, audience laughs lots, spell broken, almost lost me.

Thatís one of the stand-up scenes I cut completely.  

Quoted from E.D.
p. 25 Horoscope service made me LoL, nicely done.

I added a little bit to the horoscope joke.

Quoted Text
p. 27 the spooge pillow grossed me out. =p Would the History Channel show that?

Ha, the pillow scene was difficult to write.  ďThe Mad Henry the EighthĒ show isnít a documentary, itís a show just like ďThe Tudors.Ē The sceneís actually a straight rip-off of an episode of ďThe Tudors.Ē  In the scene, you never see Henry jerking off or his splooge.  You just see his torso and see his arm making the motion.  At the end, you see him orgasm and then a servant stands revealing he was there the whole time holding a pillow.  While watching the show, I just thought Ďhow embarrassing for the extra.í  Thatís where the idea for the screenplay stemmed.  I didnít do too much to the scene in the rewrite.  Iíll take a look at it and try to make it more clear.

Quoted from E.D.
p. 34 Shiv stuffing on the outside LoL head shake. Chuck = Zack Galifinakas

Ha, yeah Galifinakas is definitely Chuck.  After the Hangover, you just canít read the script without thinking of him.  I actually started on the script before The Hangover released, but after itís release, Chuck was much influenced by his character.

Thanks for the read,
JP
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 5:53pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jap313
Hi E.D.,

The second draft is twenty-six pages shorter.  I cut A LOT, but I think it helped greatly.

I tried to tighten up the structure this time.  Act one now ends around p.30, Act two around p. 80.

Thanks for the read,
JP


John,

I hope the rewrite was a satisfying process for you.
I know it can be a real slog sometimes going back through material.
I may finish the first one anyway, as a compare and contrast thing.

So you cut 26, you must be coming in right around 100 pages then.
30 for Act One, 50 for Act Two...and 20 for Act Three?
Maybe I'm a bit square, but I try to keep them relatively close to each other in length.

Anyone else have thoughts on proportionate act lengths?

Looking forward to the new draft, sounds like you're progressing well with it.

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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jap313
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 8:12pm Report to Moderator
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E.D.,

Quoted from E.D.
So you cut 26, you must be coming in right around 100 pages then.
30 for Act One, 50 for Act Two...and 20 for Act Three?
Maybe I'm a bit square, but I try to keep them relatively close to each other in length.

I was taught that the first and third acts each make up a quarter of the story, and the second act takes up half.  That's for the three-act structure.

Quoted from E.D.
I know it can be a real slog sometimes going back through material

Right on!  

JP
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cloroxmartini
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 8:26pm Report to Moderator
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Gave it a read to page 30. I didn't laugh but then I don't laugh much at jerk-off humor films (just not my style).

Stuff is going on but there is no direction (to page 30). The plot thickens with Chuck and Claire showing up but it's too late for me.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 9:09pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jap313
E.D.,

I was taught that the first and third acts each make up a quarter of the story, and the second act takes up half.  That's for the three-act structure.

JP


Huh, I don't recall hearing that breakdown before. Is that from a book or class?
Mine stuff always winds up in a half dozen pieces it seems.
I reckon they can be arranged any way we see fit so long as it works!

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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jap313
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 9:41pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from E.D.
Huh, I don't recall hearing that breakdown before. Is that from a book or class?
Mine stuff always winds up in a half dozen pieces it seems.
I reckon they can be arranged any way we see fit so long as it works

I bought The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier a while back.  He has the three-act structure breakdown on p. 5.  If you don't have that book, I strongly recommend it.  It's like six books in one.  It talks about style, structure, format, coverage, and marketing.

Anyways, that's the book i use.  Like you said, whatever works.  However, the three-act structure is a tried-and-true structure.  It's kind of funny; even though the structure is simple, it's pretty hard to follow.

JP
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 10:58pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jap313

I bought The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier a while back.  He has the three-act structure breakdown on p. 5.  If you don't have that book, I strongly recommend it.  It's like six books in one.  It talks about style, structure, format, coverage, and marketing.

Anyways, that's the book i use.  Like you said, whatever works.  However, the three-act structure is a tried-and-true structure.  It's kind of funny; even though the structure is simple, it's pretty hard to follow.

JP


JP,

Thanks for the book reference, I'll take a look at it.
Does the book actually stipulate the rough percentage and page count per act too?
Or did that come from somewhere else?
Yeah, I certainly do the three act thing too.
Always seems something's a brewing half way through that's sorta like an act break.
Hence, the six remark.
I think at one time, there was a six act structure a ways back.
I recall hearing there was a game changing book/teacher that truncated it to three.
Could be the schnapps talking, but I may be right.

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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jap313
Posted: December 30th, 2010, 11:30pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from E.D.
Does the book actually stipulate the rough percentage and page count per act too?
Or did that come from somewhere else?

Yeah, I certainly do the three act thing too.  
Always seems something's a brewing half way through that's sorta like an act break.
Hence, the six remark.

Yeah, the book gives the numbers as 25% for Acts 1 and 3 and 50% for Act 2.  That's all on page 5.  What you're talking about halfway through the act Trottier calls the Pinch.  It's the point in the second act where the character's fully committed, a point of no return.

There probably was a six-act structure.  Shakespeare used a five-act structure.  I guess as long as you have rising action, a climax, and a resolution, it doesn't matter how you break it up.

JP
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: December 31st, 2010, 1:49pm Report to Moderator
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JP,

Yeah, you're spot on about the five act thing, heard that one before.
Not sure if it was William Goldman's second book or perhaps The Dialogue DVD series.
Someone said that the three act structure was adapted from an old six act style.
It might have come from theater, I'm not entirely sure.

Well, I read through pages 42 to 84 today.
The pages move well enough, your style is very readable for me.
I didn't feel like there was a lot happening though, felt a bit rehashy of act one.
Not much of the screenplay idea over these forty plus pages.
The schmoozing things doesn't seem to be progressing all that much.
I've seen the awkward deer hunting scenario a few times.
I didn't feel you brought anything new to that concept, save for the point blank gore.
Drew feels a bit cookie cutter to me, is that on purpose?
Zeke, Chuck and Ben are affable enough, but not a lot of forward momentum.

A few scene specific notes...

p. 42 Miscarriage. Whoa. Didn't see that coming. Intense.
p. 62 Not writing the poem for money. LoL
p. 74 Double penetration paintball gun. Nice.
p. 75 Second time this act Ben explains Sarah's voracious appetite.
        Even the lines seemed virtually identical.
p. 84 The surprise party was surprising. Looking forward to see what happens there.

Happy New Year!

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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jap313
Posted: December 31st, 2010, 4:10pm Report to Moderator
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E.D.,

I felt the first draft moved a little slow in the second act.  There wasnít a clearly defined goal.  

The deer hunting scenario has been used a few times.  In the new draft, I added a little bit more funny and cut down on its length.  I really wanted to do the Avatar joke (the one where Chuck whispers in the deerís ear).

I changed Drewís character completely.  In this draft, heís a super nice guy, and I just couldnít quite make it work.  I changed him to an asshole, which created more conflict.  I also created a better relationship between Chuck and Michael.

I cut the miscarriage joke, too intense.  I used a similar joke somewhere in the second draft, and I think it works well.  You mention the Sarah talk.  Thatís something Iím worried about in the new draft.  I tried to change the scenes a little bit to not seem repetitive.  Hopefully, it works.

Thanks again for the thorough read.

Happy New Year!

JP
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cloroxmartini
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Plane is late so I had time to kill, thought I'd give it another shot. Up to page 68.

No change.

So I wonder, is it just me? Don't I know funny when I read it? I've read scripts from SS that made me gut bust laugh, this one didn't. There are scripts that show up that hook me, some hard, some not so hard, but enough that I read them to the end.

So what is it with this one?

I have to settle on the jokes ALL being about sex. Star fucking. Masturbating on a pillow. Jerking off. Feeding the Geese. Sex robot.

Have you ever seen Brian Regan? Have you ever seen Louis CK? Polar opposites in adjective delivery, but both of those guys are very funny and they both tell stories. Louis CK's best bits are NOT about sex.

The relationships are stagnant. That makes the dialogue stagnant. If you moved the story forward, not sideways, you would not be stagnant in those relationships and the characters would have something to talk about besides the weather and you would not need sex jokes.

Sex jokes do work, of course. Role Models is a good example, but Role Models had a moral and a forward story. Wedding Crashers, lots of sex (I didn't like that as much as Role Models), had story and moral, too. The story as well as the moral are at least being set up early so you can root (in this instance) for your protagonist to "get it,", to "fall in love," in other words: win. Yours currently has neither and it needs both.

I will keep reading, but I can tell you that it won't change from here. Nothing will change until you give the protagonists something to live for. Giving Zeke a screenplay to write isn't it because that's not what your story is about. If Zeke had to write AND  SELL a screenplay to Mr. Mogul in 90 days or Snidely Whiplash would bind up Claire and lay her on railroad tracks to be halved by the 3:10 to Yuma, that would be a story.

Drew shows up too late and he immediately reminds me of Drew Barrymore's love interest in The Wedding Singer.

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jap313
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Hey Cloroxmartini,

Thanks for reading on.  I submitted a new draft that will hopefully post next week.  That said, I'm still not sure you'll like it because it's the same type of humor.  I did cut 26 pages and made the relationships stronger.  I made the story focus more on Zeke trying to win Claire.

This is a pretty crass comedy.  I'd liken it to Knocked Up and Superbad.  Honestly, i didn't like Role Models.  The jokes just didn't make me laugh.  I thought Wedding Crashers was great when i saw it in high school, but i watch it now and think it's good not great.  Actually, the new draft has a structure very similar to Wedding Crashers.

Writing comedy is difficult because you're not going to make everyone laugh.  There are just so many different senses of humor.  I haven't seen those comics you mentioned perform, but i'll check them out.

If you want to give my screenplay another go, i'd wait until the new draft posts.  I feel it's a lot better.

JP
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ajr
Posted: December 31st, 2010, 8:59pm Report to Moderator
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John,

I just had to jump in here because CM named my two favorite comedians - in my opinion, the two most brilliant people working in standup today. And as he said, their styles are opposite ends of the spectrum...

For you to want to write comedy and not know these guys?

Regan, C.K., Jim Gaffigan, Dom Irrera, Adam Ferrara, Juston McKinney - These are some of the guys working today that I would recommend to you, along with guys I'm sure you've heard of like Rock, Dennis Miller, etc.

And comedy's not about watching a recent comedy movie and getting its structure down - it's about studying the greats and how they do it. So also beneficial would be to go watch tape of Buddy Hackett, Bill Hicks, Rodney, etc.


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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cloroxmartini
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Quoted from jap313
Hey Cloroxmartini,

Thanks for reading on.  I submitted a new draft that will hopefully post next week.  That said, I'm still not sure you'll like it because it's the same type of humor.  I did cut 26 pages and made the relationships stronger.  I made the story focus more on Zeke trying to win Claire.

This is a pretty crass comedy.  I'd liken it to Knocked Up and Superbad.  Honestly, i didn't like Role Models.  The jokes just didn't make me laugh.  I thought Wedding Crashers was great when i saw it in high school, but i watch it now and think it's good not great.  Actually, the new draft has a structure very similar to Wedding Crashers.

Writing comedy is difficult because you're not going to make everyone laugh.  There are just so many different senses of humor.  I haven't seen those comics you mentioned perform, but i'll check them out.

If you want to give my screenplay another go, i'd wait until the new draft posts.  I feel it's a lot better.

JP


I finished reading it and nothing much changed for me overall.

I laughed at Knocked Up and a little at Superbad.

My point about both Role Models and Wedding Crashers is that they have story and moral. You create some moral near the end where Zeke freaks out then straightens up and Claire loves him because he writes a script and acts. How many pages did that happen in? And how deep is Claire because of that?

While your script does have some structure, I don't think it has much story. You could get rid of half of your script and it would matter not to Zeke trying to get Claire. Your story starts with Zeke professing his love to Claire at the award ceremony (and puking on the stage) then it ends with Claire and Zeke together, sharing a Star fuck joke. That's how long it takes for Zeke to get a goal despite him meeting her early on.

Yes, you will not appeal to everyone with your humor and you have your champions here. I will tell you that you have narrowed your audience with the way you tell your jokes.

Write ten things that you LOVE about your script.
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jap313
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Quoted from ajr
Regan, C.K., Jim Gaffigan, Dom Irrera, Adam Ferrara, Juston McKinney - These are some of the guys working today that I would recommend to you, along with guys I'm sure you've heard of like Rock, Dennis Miller, etc

And comedy's not about watching a recent comedy movie and getting its structure down - it's about studying the greats and how they do it. So also beneficial would be to go watch tape of Buddy Hackett, Bill Hicks, Rodney, etc.


Ajr,

Thanks for the recommendations.  Iím sure they can give me a lot of ideas.  As for the structure, I didnít watch Wedding Crashers and copy its structure, but if I did, I donít think that would be a problem.  How many times has Romeo and Juliet been copied?  I donít think copying a structure is a bad thing.

Actually, I guess what youíre saying is only copy the Romeo and Juliets and not the Wedding Crashers.  


Quoted from cloroxmartini
While your script does have some structure, I don't think it has much story. You could get rid of half of your script and it would matter not to Zeke trying to get Claire. Your story starts with Zeke professing his love to Claire at the award ceremony (and puking on the stage) then it ends with Claire and Zeke together, sharing a Star f*** joke. That's how long it takes for Zeke to get a goal despite him meeting her early on.


Cloroxmartini,

I agree with you there.  I cut 26 pages and created a better story.  Hopefully, the new draft will post this week.  Thanks for the comments.
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