first of all, I'm very sorry for the massive delay. Really. I cannot remember that I ever needed that period of time to read a feature which I promised to look into. So, you get the super massive all in feedback so that we're fine again, right? I'll even add a further evaluation, soon :-), with how I see your stuff regarding the whole picture, things like concept and such… a better summary than those chaotic notes below…
That said upfront, I believe in the script, and even much more in you and your screenwriting alone/on its own. The script itself is pretty individual, partly to a degree that it's possibly even too idiosyncratic in comparison to what else is out there. Don't know. I enjoyed it very much and hope they, whoever "they" are, would make such out of the box flicks, almost exactly as they are.
The characters are awesome and I especially liked the story's good-hearted attitude which definitely took me away from everything around me…
(an extensive spellcheck would kill me now... so forgive some mistakes; I maybe look over it later)
Notes as I read:
First two: happy to say the presentation and writing is flawless, top character descriptions.
3-4: all fine, there's just no real hook/incident existent that explains me what's to be expected, a direction, tone… Perhaps you're too slow here and need to get topical sooner.
P5 comma after (40s)
Not sure if I'm right, but since I know the premise, that this James' company is dealing with comedic gimmicks and joke items etc... then why not include the stuff they sell into this office place? It would give much more color and also theme to us.
P5 cut that "still" (not a good word for a live-picture experience), it hurts the pace; rather do something different here, like
"Tina leans over Gina's desk"… blah… whatever you do, just don't make it look inactive or 'still'.
P6 said before but your character descriptions are superb
And I like your whole screenwriting too. Very balanced. Complete go on that whole topic.
P7 top, yep this is a much better transition to go back there
"suddenly" same as 'still' – don't use those time modifiers. IMO those are poison to a screenplay since it is a chronological row of live-actions happening in my reader's head. In a sense everything "is", is now, is sudden, is still, is already and so on… it is there -- fix this with your writing, like: "Tina's eyes shift into a blank stare. She frowns." <- I'm an ESL, so, you can do this better, just see it as a pattern…
P8 top - period after "him", rest is clear, rather connect with next sentence.
First ten evaluation: Okay, I like this a lot. I like the wit, the well-minded levity, the good-hearted characters who perfectly established this certain consistent tone full of charm. Everything. I fear, just fear, some decider person would like to get things going sooner. I myself would possibly want a bit more speed in Gina/Tina conversation too and especially, bring in that visual stuff about the gimmicks somehow. Show some items in a showcase, possibly even let them (Tina Gina) do a joke with it, having something in hand, visual (<-they could even say what they already say here 'simultaneously', which would be great to deliver information even more vivid and entertaining). However, their business, which is the side-theme of your story, must be clearly shown imo. And by now it's just carried by dialogue ("I've ordered this and that/wear unicorn hats etc…) IMO there must be something in picture; you're logline won't do the job for the viewer. Whatever, my critique is marginal. I'm into it.
P16 O.S. row of dialogues are not visually presented. You need to fix that; something must happen on screen other than Tina put her ear to the door only.
Maybe entwine it with the courier boy, stepping in and checking her out, right after. It's always good to compress things like that into one expression. Then, we'd see her listening at the door, hear the info from inside (the O.S.) AND additionally the naughty little guy is checking her out in the meantime. I'd say that'd be a great active picture with lots of stuff to experience, not?
"She points at the closed door.
They’re talking about me."
This is all so great and gently "stupid" in a positive way. Just a small snippet of dialogue but I love the characters and their short direct dialogues.
P21 okay, the first big laugh of course
P31 some things are eventually a bit overdone -> It feels uneven that you made her that extreme goober and jinx now, one scene after the other. I get it, really, but too many of those scenes are equally structured: the penny (too flat btw), pulling the rack with her, colliding with someone, kicking the ball into a window. In some of those scenes (baby mother topic) there is information in the background, sure, and so I actually see a certain "sense" for the plot but it somehow became a little tough and steady, so that the script actually loses a bit of its easiness there - which is ironic regarding the light happenings one after the other there, but nevertheless it is true. Possibly, compress some ideas to fewer scenarios with a larger and clearer expression at once. >>Or at least just cut things heavily to gain a lot more speed<<.
I definitely want more direction at this point and get to the conflicts with other characters that truly define the plot as soon as possible. Several strangers laughing at her over and over is not, you know, focused regarding the storyline. It's okay to degree but then NEXT. Go on. Leave this part behind, quicker.
P40 okay, her change has begun, good. However, her WANT and overriding GOAL, which should drive the plot, wasn't very strong to that point, which is an issue. I like her, sure, but what am I actually hoping for her? This dramatic impulse isn't set-up enough. Or better said, you rather lost too much time with her stumbling around. It's entertaining to follow her, for sure, but cut a lot of the stuff I talked about and you actually automatically strengthen the beats that dictate the script: her getting fired and wanting a comeback in the business, getting respect from her mother. This is the backbone of the story and is too much overshadowed by the long partsin between. Just look more precise on the dramaturgy, the real structure that carries everything and kill some of your darlings, parts that don't serve your dramaturgy.
P41 yeah, exactly, she wants her job back. That's what I mean…
p50 it's back on track, def… I like the confrontations-
P50 "looks let down" typo?
"Suddenly" cut that
P52 Mickey, and -- no comma
P 69 I see, things eventually unfold
P 72 re the order of rats blah… -- notice this is the first time I actually realize what they are doing exactly, having an online shop. This whole side-theme of novelty business comes clearly too short. You should implant it more, especially at the beginning of the script, and more than that, make it visual, touchable. It's such an important characteristic of the script that isn't developed yet, almost completely absent.
P76 yeah, suddenly all the gimmick stuff is at hand
P78 in love "with" your
P81 nitpicky but the original slug was JAMES' HOUSE not HOME (wouldn't use 'home' in a slug anyway)
P82 rubber snakes then are a bit too over the top, cause not really scary as presented. You made a lot of simple "traps" with those toys but don't forget, you must also convince the audience that cool and actually surprisingly startling things happen on the screen, or they will think, well, cute, rubber snakes… why do they jump with fright now over every little thing
Find some better stuff. Even invent some stuff yourself. Imagine the snakes shoot up, with red glowing eyes, hissing at her etc… You should, imo must be, more attractive in that area and cannot go only with 80s/90s stuff. That's unbelievable and repetitive. Find some fresher toys or even invent crazy stuff never seen before.
p99/100 this Tina person, great scene
Okay, it's getting more and more hilarious, now Tina actually holds a Columbo/Poirot-like monologue. Awesome.
p110 slugline JAMES' missing apostrophe
Also, the cheese then is definitely needed and well-placed there in the last scenes
Hmm…?... Tim found guilty too? I concur of course but what did they get him for; isn't clear to me
The long V.O. s and Fade back in part is a super way out. Lots of fun to reconsider all of them.
Well, I'll write an additional summary about how I see your "enterprise" as a whole here…
See you there.