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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Zombie Playground Moderators: bert
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  Author    Zombie Playground  (currently 24121 views)
Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 5th, 2011, 2:20pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from leitskev
Hey Brett, thanks for replying

My remaining question would still be on structure, and this is not at all a criticism, but just a question. Act one's conclusion is the appearance of the zombies, which is plot device. Act Two's conclusion is more in line with what we expect, where the protagonist reaches the emotional state where he's ready to lead the team to victory.

My limited understanding is that structure should revolve around the protagonist, even in an ensemble. The end of Act One does not change anything emotionally for the protagonist. It doesn't change what he wants or what he thinks. Does this make sense? It was my understanding that at the end of Act One, there is a turning point which sends the protagonist in a new direction.

I'm not sure if you need to do that, or how. I suppose Scott could be resisting going to the playground. I don't know.

Ok, Brett, best of luck!


Hey Kev,

Scott doesn't want to go to the playground and protests to his father.
Not only does he wind up being forced to go, now he's locked into the place.
I felt that was a big point of set up to close the first act.
The stage is set for both parents and kids, they're all locked in for the duration.
To me, that was enough, the environment change and lockdown.

Regards,
E.D.



LATEST NEWS

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is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 7th, 2011, 12:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
Hey, Brett.

So, like I told you, this thread grew too fast for me to really keep up with it, so I am uninfluenced by prior comments.  All I really have going in is your podcast pitch, but that was quite exceptional, and it did pique my interest.

I am also aware that you are in the fine-tuning stages with this (for now, anyway), so I will try to avoid speaking too broadly and focus on things that are easily amended (should you elect to do so).

Hey Bert!

Thanks a ton for reading this, your opinion carries mucho weight with me.
It's great to get a read from someone unfamiliar with the thread.
I deliberately didn't give much of the pitch during the podcast.
I was hoping to entice some "cold readers" to the thread.
As to fine tuning, I sent this draft out to production companies June 20th.
I hope to get some rumblings back by month's end or early August.

Quoted from bert

Notes as I go:

Use of the match cut, transitioning from jungle to industrial plant, was excellent.  Do not let people tell you that you cannot use this stuff for a specific shot if you have something good in mind.  Not entirely sure this would not be better as a DISSOLVE, however.

I am a little confused about the character of Abraham and what happened to him.  You should examine that passage for clarity.

Thanks on the match cut.
The flashpoint inspiration for that was quite fun in my mind's eye.
I hoped to say a lot with just that one image. A dissolve might be better. Thanks.

Abraham. He could use another beat before succumbing to the Bite.
You're not the first to say that. It needs a little something there.
Perhaps I was too vague in the interest of maintaining the mystery of the Bite.

Quoted from bert

Radish is a great name for a kid character.  [Unrelated:  My kid has a friend named Matt Toth, and everybody calls him "Toast."  I am going to use that for a kid one of these days.]

Toast is an awesome kid name.
The cool kid nickname is a bit of a nod to The Goonies.
It's one of many Easter eggish things in the script.
Though I think they went a little too far with the nicknames in that film.
Mouth. Data. Chunk. It was a bit much for me.
Radish felt more organic, since it's a bastardization of his birth name.
Much like Toast from Toth.

Quoted from bert

By the time we meet the Japanese twins, I am really hoping that we have met everyone.  You are bordering on too many characters, and though I acknowledge you are introducing them efficiently, labeling this as an "ensemble" only buys you so much sympathy in that department.

I acknowledge I'm straddling the line here, but straddle I must!
I did try to give all the kids legit affectations to help give each their own voice.
And several have pointed out that on the screen they will be even more distinguished.

Quoted from bert

Weird typo on page 17:  "his softens."  Do not even know what you meant.

Yup, my bad, just got past me. Fixed. Thanks.

Quoted from bert

You are missing a good opportunity for a nice "shock" scene when Leahanni charges the observation lab window.  You handle this, at least on the page, way too matter-of-fact.

Good point, I'll revisit that beat in the next draft. Thanks.

Quoted from bert

Lots of good things going on in the play area.  A pricey but entertaining set.

The battle scene at the fortress strikes me as very reminiscent of your "West Side Markets."  Different context, but same tone.  And it works well.  That short must have been good practice for this.

Pricey sets indeed, but we get a lot of mileage out of them, so it's good in my book.
Not to mention all the funky camera stuff you can play with slides and chutes, etc.
And projectile goo and all the attractions kinda scream 3D, perhaps.

And yes, you're the first to point that out to me. Busted.
I was prepping ZP when I wrote West Side Markets back in February.
That short was a testing ground for the tone of action I wanted for this feature.
Shorts to me have always been about experimentation.
I'm not concerned so much with production as I am about honing my skill set.

Quoted from bert

So far I have not dinged you on the wonky science (polymerases?  really?); I mean, I know it is a kid's movie, but pegging a mutation to a specific time like five o'clock sharp is kind of absurd.  You might reconsider that.  Isn't it enough that they know "something" will happen, but they are not sure what or when?  You can always pull in the "8 hour" reveal later, once things are resolved.

I can work on that, wonky exposition is not my strong suit.
I still want that race against time feeling, just perhaps less "on the dot".

Quoted from bert

At the go-kart track, I was not aware until the end of that scene that Peg was in a cart, too.  The way you have written it, I thought she was just able to run super-fast or something.  You should fix that.

On page 77, I think you are missing a slugline right before Mason dives into the cove.  Pretty sure that is a new scene.

I'll go back and work on that, thanks.
The Gymnasties were inserted into the go-kart chase just this draft.
So, I'm not surprised I didn't nail that transition on the first try.

Good point on Mason. I have the time to punctuate that cannonball with a slug.
Take a beat to show him and the lizard splashing around.
That might help with the solidifying Lord Gorzon as a live pet too.

Quoted from bert

Abbreviating the Turbo Dance machine like that (TDBE) in a script is interesting.  I mean, I know what you are doing, of course, but I am not sure I have ever seen it used in a script before.  I wonder if a format Nazi would frown on that one?

Heh, you're the first to even bring it up.
No one's dinged me for it, yet.
I'd never seen an abbreviation in a script, but it made sense to me.
Anything I can do to shorten up descriptions without losing clarity, I'm so there.
Heck, I even give most of my characters short names to save space!

Quoted from bert

Oddly, I have actually used a pallet wrapper in the past, and know what you mean.  But I suspect most will not.  You might provide a few details about this super-wrapper to help a reader envision why this specific tool would work so well.

I'll keep an eye on that, no one's mentioned any confusion, yet.

Quoted from bert

It may be just me, but it was not until very late in the script that I realized Lord Gorzon was not some kind of crazy toy or action figure.  You should definitely clarify when we first meet Lord Gorzon that this is a pet, and something alive.

I can make him more scurry friendly and maybe even hiss a bit at the zombies.
Lord Gorzon can do whatever he wants, he rules all he surveys!

Quoted from bert

And reaching the end, subplots are cheesily resolved, everybody gets their happy endings and oh, lord, you have even set up the sequel.  You have got this formula nailed haha.  That is intended as a compliment.

LoL! Some may write something like that and intend it as something else!
But yeah, I recognize the need to have some kind of wrap up for everyone.
It could be equated to the scene on the beach at the end of The Goonies.
But I did manage to shoehorn a "Die Hard" beat into my riff of that scene.

Quoted from bert

So I would say that you have indeed accomplished your Nickelodeon zombie film -- something I was not sure could be done.  The violence is comical, yet blithely benign, the good kids are likable, the villainous kids appropriately nasty, and everything is coated in healthy dollops of purple goo.

The pace is just right once we have gotten introductions out of the way and this actually gets rolling -- and I do think all of those introductions would be less annoying on film than they are to read -- so based on the strength of the rest of this, I think I will give that a pass as something you do not really need to worry about right now.

So, yeah, all of my grievances are pretty minor.  I think you are mighty close to having something you can shop around with this one.  Nicely done.

Thanks, Bert. Your words mean a lot to me.
The Farm is one of my all time favorite SS submissions.
I was a little bummed it did not get chosen for the Script Club.

I was going for a modern spin on 80s kid wish fulfillment fantasy adventures.
Not enough family films today feature kids solving problems on their own.
And ever rarer one that extolls some good family values while entertaining.

Should someone decide to produce ZP, I hope those qualities shine through.
Up next for ZP is Inktip Pitch Summit on 7/23.
Nickelodeon will be attending and I'll be there!

Regards,
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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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 9th, 2011, 11:07am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ryan1

Finished reading the new ZP and it's definitely superior to the first version.  You tightened up that opening section where you intro the family, and quickly establish Scott as the go-to kid in this tale.

Hey Ryan!

Thanks for the second read, it's doubly appreciated!
I focused a lot of energy on the first act for this new draft.
Sharpen Scott as our hero and get the plot moving sooner.
But I tried to tinker with the comedic beats as little as possible.
I'm glad it worked for you.

Quoted from Ryan1

A few notes:  on pages 2-3 was that gruff voice Big Fig?  I wasn't sure.  Also, Abraham almost instantly turns into a zombie when he takes a swig of Bite, yet when the test group starts drinking, it seems like it took them several cans to turn.  I guess I just never understood the significance of the Abraham scene, or what he meant by "Do we have a deal or not?"  But then, I did read this over several days, so I may be forgetting something later in the script.

There's a line on p. 25 that addresses this, but I guess I didn't make it clear.
"A familiar GRUFF VOICE addresses the kids."
That's what I said when Coach D speaks to her charges.
Hmmm, I may need to work on that, but you're the first to bring it up.
She makes a deal with Abraham to smuggle the Bite out of the building.
I wonder if holding her identity is the wrong call there. Thoughts?
And yeah, I should give Abraham a beat there to "digest'.

Quoted from Ryan1

I still think you should show a scene where Big Fig is tampering with the Bite early on here.  Maybe showing a mysterious figure in a lab adding the "special ingredient" to the drink.  I know you added that flashback scene on page 53, but it just seems to me it would serve the story better here, IMO.
I'll keep it in mind.
Why do you think it would serve the story better up front when we don't know Figgis?
I showed it when I did since he's a misguided antag, to show his folly.
[quote=Ryan1]
I see you found a way to keep the makin bacon after all, lol, you basterd.

Mwahahaha! And it's now totally PG safe. Yay for innuendo bacon sex!

Quoted from Ryan1

Do you really think Natalie and Garth are necessary in this script?  They don't add much, IMO, and if you got rid of their early dialogue you could save yourself a page and a half.  What if FigCorp provided a shuttle service for the kids to get to the playground?

Now they are not necessary, but they do provide some aside comic cutaways.
This script is 92 pages, I don't really need to save much.
I agree they could go, but I don't see the benefit, the script's pretty brief, as is.
I'd rather a producer or director think it's their idea to remove them.
That way, they feel like their stamp is on the project, so they won't tinker too much.
I read that somewhere, always leave something in there for others to remove.
If you don't then they'll start to mess with parts you don't want touched.

Quoted from Ryan1

Typo on page 17 where it says "Scott looks out the window, his softens."  Guessing you forgot to put "expression" in there.

Yeah, my bad. Fixed. Thanks.

Quoted from Ryan1

I'd still like the playground zombies to arrive a little sooner.  What if you had Coach D chug a swig of Bite as she eats her sandwich on page 25.  This way she could start to transform by page 30, and maybe you include a scene where she pukes on the gymnasties and from there zombieness spreads like wildfire.  Right now you just cut back to the playground on page 40 and coach and the gymnasties and a ton of kids are all zombies.  Felt like a scene missing there.

Oh, there may be something here to work with, hmm.
She gets the Gymnasties and gives them a speech about taking it to the kids.
Then she gets sick and BLAM-O! Could be a stronger set up for our bullies! Thanks.

Quoted from Ryan1

I noticed a couple of times you spelled Francis as Frances, which is the female version.

Fixed. Thanks.

Quoted from Ryan1

Other than that, I liked it.  It retains the lighthearted feel, which is all-important in a script like this.  Hearing anything back from these execs?

I"m glad you "get it". The lighthearted feel and all.
I've heard back from a couple script requests so far. Both rejections.
The basic reasoning being is, they want a strictly kids movie.
ZP is a family movie. And family movies have parental and spousal dynamics too.
It's an integral part of the thematic core of the script, and it stays.
Unless someone wants to pay me a chucnk of change to rewrite it, maybe.
Hopefully there will be more nibbles, we'll see.
Thanks again for all your insights!

Regards,
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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mcornetto
Posted: July 10th, 2011, 4:58am Report to Moderator
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Going to do this as I go.

I'm not sure that the opening grabbed me as well as it could have.  I was expecting some sort of event and what I got is a bit of back story.   It isn't bad but it could be improved.

From the first page I'm expecting the genre to be comedy.  That's the opening signal you gave me by the end of it.  If you can give it to me a bit earlier would make the first page read better.

Lots of characters up front.  Not a problem having that many in a script this size but  I'm hoping I can remember who is who.   I guess the last names are necessary.

I was seeing this aimed at children, now I'm not too sure because of adult concepts being bandied about like cohabitation and sex in the back of cars.  Like I said, not entirely certain of the target audience (even though I should be by now). I'll withhold judgement.

Complete nit but you don't really need evil in "evil Gymnasties".

And milf too, hmmm.

Going to stop here for a short time - up to pg 20.

I'm really not sure exactly where this is headed.  I don't see a strong focus on any one character as the protag.  I'm guessing the corporation is the antag but I'm getting a nebulous sort of picture of them, they feel disorganized and therefore to me, weak.  But we'll see.  

  
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mcornetto
Posted: July 10th, 2011, 6:40am Report to Moderator
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Ok. I get what you're going for now.  But you have to tell us much earlier.  You can't just hurl projectile vomit at us 20 pages in and expect us not to react.  Well you can but you'll turn off a lot of readers at this point if they aren't expecting it.  You'll turn off a lot of readers period (speaking from experience) but that doesn't mean don't do it.  It's certainly not boring and really, when it comes down to it, what we want to do is not be boring.

Now that I finally get your target it's reading much better.  You really need a better opening signal with this.  I should know what I'm in for on the first page.

I have no idea what this means "I'm not a green bean" but somehow it still works for me as dialogue.  Maybe I missed something earlier.  I've hit of couple of these sort of odd pieces of dialogue that seem a nonsensical to me but somehow don't really bother me.

I'm still not identifying with any one character.  I guess that ain't going to happen and that's an ensemble piece. It would make the read a bit better if it was someones story I was following rather than an ark piece.

I liked the bit of romance in the middle of it all. You're good at romance.

For the mother stuff to work, I think we need to have some mention of it a bit earlier.  I don't think we have.  It just kind of comes out of nowhere and seems thrown in to create conflict.

Purple crusty Predators haul more crying human Prey towards
the gyrating scream filled garish funhouse. <--Wonderfully worded but really took me a moment to get what you were talking about.   This particular scene was fast and furious with characters so you should be extra careful that your actions aren't confusing.

Some of the dialogue is really amusing "Pizza's very bad for your skin"

Pg 47 and I finally get what's going on with the Predator/Prey game.  Maybe I missed something earlier.

pg 51 Macon instead of Mason.

I think I also missed where the Gerbils first had Bite.

The number of character in this make certain parts very hard to follow.  Like what's going on on page 60.  I've forgotten who these characters are.   I'm not sure what to suggest to make it more readable.  If you need the characters you need them.

If you don't however, condense them.  I think you really only have a few stand out characters in this, the rest just kind of meld into the background.  If you want us to remember them they need to do something memorable or at least have a memorable name and if they aren't going to be memorable then they can be changed or perhaps removed.

More a bit later.



  
  

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
mcornetto  -  July 10th, 2011, 7:53am
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mcornetto
Posted: July 10th, 2011, 7:46am Report to Moderator
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Ok. Getting confused at this point as to who is a zombie and who isn't - this is when they are in the snack center.  Coach D (who is one of the memorable characters) is not a zombie.  Neither is Mason (Who is also memorable because of Lord Gorzon and this scene more than anything else) is not a zombie. Neither is Hanna (who is memorable because of her thing with Radishes and her friendship with Mason) is not a zombie and a vegetarian.  Scott (who I've seen mentioned a couple of times but can't remember much about him unless I look back a bunch of pages) is not a zombie.  But everyone else is?

I thought the zombies tried to turn the people who weren't?  This scene really doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  It seems like they are suddenly not a threat.

Other characters I remember at this point.
OZURU (mostly because of his name and his introduction of Gymnasties.
KIMIKO (because of her name and because she's OZURU's sister)
GIL and JOAN (because of their engagement)
FIGGIS (because he's the CEO)
RADISH (purely because of the name)

Characters I don't remember without looking back.
STEPHANIE
PEG?

Are you sure Mason isn't a Zombie?  He seems to have undergone a change.

pg 67 "Bad touch, Mason"?  Bad stuff?

Because there's so many names, I would rather you had named the Gymnasties by their qualities.  That's a personal preference though - would have made it easier for me to remember them.

Calling Ozuru Oz in actions isn't a good idea since so many names are being bandied about.  Call him Oz or Ozuru and stick with it.  Same with Kim.

The elderly Takeshiros help Joan and Gil hoist the chair
bound CEO up to the gate’s retinal scanner. Hunh?  Ah.  I see it earlier.  I think here your trying to mimic how the film will be edited a bit too much.  That's entirely your prerogative but it gets even harder to follow what's going on with so many short scenes.

I'm not really certain how everyone was cured. It had something to do with electricity. Sorry I must have missed something.

And now Coach D is the only zombie? And then she's ok?  I definitely missed something.

Oh! Eight hours of awesomeness....

And done.  

Final Comments:

Overall a good early teen flick. Lots of amusing dialogue and gross sticky bits. In some places the dialogue was excellent.  The concept is a sound one, it can work - with a bit more work.

The opening signal needs to be improved.  I should know on the first page exactly what I'm getting into.  I think this makes us guess until around page 20.

I think it also suffers by not having any strong characters to follow through the story.  It's an ensemble piece, which is ok, but unless it attracts big name stars or it's a block-buster disaster movie, that isn't going seem like a good business proposition.  And I know you want to sell this.

If you were to have a strong protagonist I would make it Mason rather than Scott.  Mason was memorable whereas Scott was a bit forgettable.  Personal opinion, of course - it could be any one of them as long as you make them memorable.

And do try to cut down on some of the characters.  I know, it's not going to matter on the screen but it does matter during the read.  

The antagonist, the zombies, were a hot/cold threat.  Sometimes they seemed on a path to turn everyone, other times they seemed like they were normal everyday people.  They need to be a threat and if they aren't because this is a comedy, then they need to be even funnier than they already are.  No matter which direction it needs to be consistent.

I have to be honest and say that after page 60 I was a bit lost for a while - precisely because of the above reasons.  I think that part of your script needs the most work. Too much going on, at least for a single reading (If I was going to read it more than once then maybe a lot more would make sense to me - unfortunately you usually only get one shot).

The ending didn't really work for me at all.  Sorry.  They just got better is kind of like it's all a dream.  Cute and you did foreshadow it but a bit of a cop out just the same.

But you did finish a script, it's funny and the concept is really good. So well done. Now it just needs a bit of polish.  

Cheers,

Michael  

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
mcornetto  -  July 10th, 2011, 8:45am
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from mcornetto
Going to do this as I go.
I'm not sure that the opening grabbed me as well as it could have.  I was expecting some sort of event and what I got is a bit of back story.   It isn't bad but it could be improved.

From the first page I'm expecting the genre to be comedy.  That's the opening signal you gave me by the end of it.  If you can give it to me a bit earlier would make the first page read better.

Hey Michael,

Thanks a lot for taking a look at this.
Always good to get a fresh perspective from veteran eyes.

I'm glad that you got from the opening grabber this is a comedy.
That's what I wanted, showing purple coated Pygmy kids running around, etc.
I kinda see it as Nickelodeon goop meets the opening of Coming to America.
You're right about it being back story, but I felt is set the tone I wanted too.

When you say I should set the tone earlier, you mean earlier on page one?
By half way through page one, we've got the native "block party" going on.

Perhaps I can have the kids playing the video game look more zombie like.
Glazed expression in their eyes illuminated by the game, etc. That could work.
Perhaps a clap of thunder outside the hut as the exotic leaf is revealed?
Is that the kind of stuff you are alluding to? I can see that working. Thanks.

Quoted from mcornetto

Lots of characters up front.  Not a problem having that many in a script this size but  I'm hoping I can remember who is who.   I guess the last names are necessary.

I used the last names to help keep which kids belong to which parent.
There's definitely a rift between her kids and his kids at the start of things.

Quoted from mcornetto

I was seeing this aimed at children, now I'm not too sure because of adult concepts being bandied about like cohabitation and sex in the back of cars.  Like I said, not entirely certain of the target audience (even though I should be by now). I'll withhold judgement.

It's pretty much aimed at the general age group of the kid characters.
This is not a PG-13 film, definitely a PG deal all the way.
As to cohabitation and vague sex innuendo, it's intentionally mild.
I personally don't like it when adults act like pre-teens.
"The Zookeeper" would be a relevant recent example of that.
I don't think that's the answer to adults being in kids tales.
I'm trying to be a bit more authentic about it, it's a work in progress.

My 12 year old cousin hocks his mom's Zanex bars at school for Burger King money.
I don't think there's anything in this script that's going to challenge his sensibilities.
But I'll keep an eye out for sore spots that folks have issue with.

Quoted from mcornetto

Complete nit but you don't really need evil in "evil Gymnasties".

And milf too, hmmm.

Going to stop here for a short time - up to pg 20.

I'm really not sure exactly where this is headed.  I don't see a strong focus on any one character as the protag.  I'm guessing the corporation is the antag but I'm getting a nebulous sort of picture of them, they feel disorganized and therefore to me, weak.  But we'll see.  

Good point about the Gymnasty opener, their moniker implies evil already.
Yup, the milf joke, it's resolved on p. 21, you may have stopped before then.
Gotta test the boundaries or you'll never know what you can get away with.
And the "answer" is a non vulgar resolution that hopefully satisfies.

Scott is the lead protag, and they are tricky in an ensemble.
I open on him on the roof, we cut to his reactions a fair amount.
Scott plays an online game with friends that goes sour.
We see his strained relationship with his father.
We're alone with him in the bathroom, as he has a private cry.

I hoped these indicators would steer things in the right direction.
It's a work in progress and I'm open to strengthening Scott's first act.
Thanks for the insights, they'll come in handy at the next pass.

Regards,
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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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from mcornetto
Ok. I get what you're going for now.  But you have to tell us much earlier.  You can't just hurl projectile vomit at us 20 pages in and expect us not to react.  Well you can but you'll turn off a lot of readers at this point if they aren't expecting it.  You'll turn off a lot of readers period (speaking from experience) but that doesn't mean don't do it.  It's certainly not boring and really, when it comes down to it, what we want to do is not be boring.

Now that I finally get your target it's reading much better.  You really need a better opening signal with this.  I should know what I'm in for on the first page.

There's a famous quote about rather being confused than bored by a script.
I did "foreshadow" the vomit on page ten with the security guard getting nailed.
Then we segue into Scott playing the online video game from there.
Perhaps that wasn't written as strongly as it should have been.
I suppose I could try to shoehorn something in the opener about the ooze.
As it stands, the Pygmy kids smear their tag victims with the goop.
Maybe something more overt would set the stage sooner. I'll keep it in mind. Thanks.

Quoted from mcornetto

I have no idea what this means "I'm not a green bean" but somehow it still works for me as dialogue.  Maybe I missed something earlier.  I've hit of couple of these sort of odd pieces of dialogue that seem a nonsensical to me but somehow don't really bother me.

It's a bit of kid speak and a bit of set up mixed together.
Hanna is a vegetarian, so calling her a "green bean" is related to that.
Stuff like that to me felt authentic for kids, so I let it fly.
The words just came out that way on the page and I went with it.

Quoted from mcornetto

I'm still not identifying with any one character.  I guess that ain't going to happen and that's an ensemble piece. It would make the read a bit better if it was someones story I was following rather than an ark piece.

You're right in that the tale is not told subjectively though one character.
It's a conscious choice I made as an ensemble comedy adventure.
This is not just a kids movie, it's about families.
And to make it about families, the parents have to have their time too.
So, that makes a singular subjective POV rather problematic.
It's a style choice I made early on, and I realize it can cause issues.
I'm honing in on Scott as the ring leader/organizer type.
But that's as far as it will go, for now.

Quoted from mcornetto

I liked the bit of romance in the middle of it all. You're good at romance.

Thanks, that's good to know.
Especially since the new feature I'm marinating is a romantic comedy.

Quoted from mcornetto

For the mother stuff to work, I think we need to have some mention of it a bit earlier.  I don't think we have.  It just kind of comes out of nowhere and seems thrown in to create conflict.

Are you referring to the unseen mother-in-law character?
I suppose there could be an earlier line about her wanting them to visit.
Perhaps in the car on the way to work, yeah, I can see that, thanks.

Quoted from mcornetto

Purple crusty Predators haul more crying human Prey towards
the gyrating scream filled garish funhouse. <--Wonderfully worded but really took me a moment to get what you were talking about.   This particular scene was fast and furious with characters so you should be extra careful that your actions aren't confusing.

When the zombies take over the playground, it gets visually, dense.
Perhaps some spacing would be in order to punctuate certain beats.
I despise those jumpy castles, they are an abomination.
So, I wanted to portray them as the evil creations that they are.

Quoted from mcornetto

Some of the dialogue is really amusing "Pizza's very bad for your skin"

This is a line I struggled with, quite frankly.
I've never been fully satisfied with how I worded it, but it stands, for now.
I'm glad someone mentioned it, I don't feel as bad about it.

Quoted from mcornetto

Pg 47 and I finally get what's going on with the Predator/Prey game.  Maybe I missed something earlier.

There is an explanation of the rules by Coach D starting on p. 25.
I can see how it might be confusing if those scenes didn't register for you.
I thought her lines were fairly explicit, I'll take another look at that.

Quoted from mcornetto

pg 51 Macon instead of Mason.

I think I also missed where the Gerbils first had Bite.

Whoops! My bad on p. 51. There was a name change in recent drafts.
He started out as a Macon, but was changed with all the bacon stuff.
I'll have to fix that, thanks.

Gerbils is the moniker that the hero kids adopt at the slide fortress.
The Predators imbibe the Bite via Coach D earlier in the script.
We don't see their change, just the aftermath and cans on the ground.
Ryan suggested giving a little more detail there, I might do that now.

Quoted from mcornetto

The number of character in this make certain parts very hard to follow.  Like what's going on on page 60.  I've forgotten who these characters are.   I'm not sure what to suggest to make it more readable.  If you need the characters you need them.

If you don't however, condense them.  I think you really only have a few stand out characters in this, the rest just kind of meld into the background.  If you want us to remember them they need to do something memorable or at least have a memorable name and if they aren't going to be memorable then they can be changed or perhaps removed.


You aren't the first to suggest that seven kids may be a bit much.
It's something that weighs on me from time to time.
I settled on not changing it until there's an external reason to do so.
Due to producer interest or something like that.
I like the number, but always open to making the kids more standout.

After page 60, there's a lot of ideas the supporting kids bring to the table.
Once they start working together, they become more integral.
But I can see where you're coming from and I appreciate the candor.

Yikes. Workout time. Thanks muchly for the detailed notes so far.

Regards,
E.D.

TO BE CONTINUED...



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mcornetto
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
When you say I should set the tone earlier, you mean earlier on page one?


It's not easy and unless you're a Master Screenwriter you can't do it most of the time (I'm certainly pretty bad at it myself)  but if you can then you should set the opening signal on the first sentence of the first page.  Usually, it's going to end up later on the page because it's really hard to get it on that first line.  

The reason you want to do this is because anything you can do to put the person reading in the right head for reading your script means they are likely to continue.  You want to put them there as early as possible.
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from mcornetto


It's not easy and unless you're a Master Screenwriter you can't do it most of the time (I'm certainly pretty bad at it myself)  but if you can then you should set the opening signal on the first sentence of the first page.  Usually, it's going to end up later on the page because it's really hard to get it on that first line.  

The reason you want to do this is because anything you can do to put the person reading in the right head for reading your script means they are likely to continue.  You want to put them there as early as possible.


Hey Michael,

I see what you're saying.
And you've given me some food for thought with the opening grabber.
I've had some ideas to tailor it a bit to infuse more for zombie comedy.
But I think I'm gonna stick with the opening establishing shot of Africa.
And I like the moment with the irrigation system and the anxious natives.
Then, it's party time in the native village. So, that's like a third of the page.

I see where you're coming from though.
It's something I'm striving for on the feature I'm currently working on.
Ironically, I wrote the opener yesterday, this subject is timely.
I took my time with my opening image, trying to capture the spirit quickly.

I just haven't had that eureka clarity with the ZP opener, I guess.
Though I'm pretty satisfied with the Pygmies themselves.
If I can tweak the comedic tone and dial it in better, I'll do that.

Regards,
E.D.


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from mcornetto

Ok. Getting confused at this point as to who is a zombie and who isn't - this is when they are in the snack center.  Coach D (who is one of the memorable characters) is not a zombie.  Neither is Mason (Who is also memorable because of Lord Gorzon and this scene more than anything else) is not a zombie. Neither is Hanna (who is memorable because of her thing with Radishes and her friendship with Mason) is not a zombie and a vegetarian.  Scott (who I've seen mentioned a couple of times but can't remember much about him unless I look back a bunch of pages) is not a zombie.  But everyone else is?

I thought the zombies tried to turn the people who weren't?  This scene really doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  It seems like they are suddenly not a threat.

Other characters I remember at this point.
OZURU (mostly because of his name and his introduction of Gymnasties.
KIMIKO (because of her name and because she's OZURU's sister)
GIL and JOAN (because of their engagement)
FIGGIS (because he's the CEO)
RADISH (purely because of the name)

Characters I don't remember without looking back.
STEPHANIE
PEG?

Are you sure Mason isn't a Zombie?  He seems to have undergone a change.

pg 67 "Bad touch, Mason"?  Bad stuff?

Hey Michael,

Ok, I'll wrap this one up today.
I think I know where the bulk of this confusion is coming from.
On pages 61 & 62 is a detailed "zombie makeover" sequence.
The kids steal slurpee syrup and make themselves look like zombies.
They do that to infiltrate the arcade and recover their phones.
The "threat" is real, but the zombies don't know the kids are human.
It's the classic infiltrate the impregnable fortress action trope.
Instead of Nazi uniforms, I use purple syrup and silly strong.
I can see how disorienting it would be, if those pages didn't work for you.
I thought I was pretty explicit, but I'll take another look at that sequence.

Quoted from mcornetto

Because there's so many names, I would rather you had named the Gymnasties by their qualities.  That's a personal preference though - would have made it easier for me to remember them.

Calling Ozuru Oz in actions isn't a good idea since so many names are being bandied about.  Call him Oz or Ozuru and stick with it.  Same with Kim.

I never thought about that with the Gymnasties, I'll keep it in mind.
Not sure what quality outside the menacing braces I could give them.
But I'll keep my mind open for suggestions, thanks.
I see what you're saying about the nicknames.
Perhaps it would work better if the grandparents call them by their full names.
I like the abbreviations in the description, saves space.
I'll meditate on this point.

Quoted from mcornetto

The elderly Takeshiros help Joan and Gil hoist the chair
bound CEO up to the gate’s retinal scanner. Hunh?  Ah.  I see it earlier.  I think here your trying to mimic how the film will be edited a bit too much.  That's entirely your prerogative but it gets even harder to follow what's going on with so many short scenes.

I'm going to disagree with you here.
As the scene plays out, some pinpoint timing is necessary.
The electric fence deactivates right before Scott falls and hits it.
I need to bring that together on the page to show why he survived.
I'm sure the director would do their own thing.
But I have to bring urgency to that scene the best way I know how.
Showing parents and kids working independently towards the same goal.
The kids negate the zombies, the parents negate the security.
Without the combined independent effort, neither succeeds.
So, I feel a few quick scenes to illustrate that are appropriate.

Quoted from mcornetto

Final Comments:

Overall a good early teen flick. Lots of amusing dialogue and gross sticky bits. In some places the dialogue was excellent.  The concept is a sound one, it can work - with a bit more work.

The opening signal needs to be improved.  I should know on the first page exactly what I'm getting into.  I think this makes us guess until around page 20.

Thanks, I'll fine tune the opener and make it more goop friendly somehow.
I felt the native scenes, the janitor and security were laying down the foundation.
But I can see that didn't work for you, I'll review those areas.

Quoted from mcornetto

I think it also suffers by not having any strong characters to follow through the story.  It's an ensemble piece, which is ok, but unless it attracts big name stars or it's a block-buster disaster movie, that isn't going seem like a good business proposition.  And I know you want to sell this.

If you were to have a strong protagonist I would make it Mason rather than Scott.  Mason was memorable whereas Scott was a bit forgettable.  Personal opinion, of course - it could be any one of them as long as you make them memorable.

Mason is too young, IMO, but I see your point.
Perhaps I made Mason so strong, he eclipses Scott.
That may be part of the problem I have not considered.
I've taken small steps to make this Scott's story over the drafts.
And I imagine I'll make more strides in subsequent drafts, it's ongoing.

Quoted from mcornetto

And do try to cut down on some of the characters.  I know, it's not going to matter on the screen but it does matter during the read.  

This is exactly why I don't intend to cut characters.
Two managers said the very same thing, so they didn't criticize the read.
They understood that it would play on the screen fine, so they didn't ding me for it.
I tried hard to differentiate the kids on the page to help with this.
I understand it may thicken the read, but I feel it will translate to film.
I've found the few industry types I've met are very visual folks that way.
However, if I start getting dinged for it, it's certainly worth revisiting.

Quoted from mcornetto

The antagonist, the zombies, were a hot/cold threat.  Sometimes they seemed on a path to turn everyone, other times they seemed like they were normal everyday people.  They need to be a threat and if they aren't because this is a comedy, then they need to be even funnier than they already are.  No matter which direction it needs to be consistent.

I think this is a direct result of the "zombie makeover" not working for you.
Without that sequence, I can see why you'd feel this way.
It would indeed seem like the zombies and kids were hanging out and eating.
Once the ruse is discovered, the chase is back on again.
Perhaps I can augment the makeover/infiltration scenes some.

Quoted from mcornetto

I have to be honest and say that after page 60 I was a bit lost for a while - precisely because of the above reasons.  I think that part of your script needs the most work. Too much going on, at least for a single reading (If I was going to read it more than once then maybe a lot more would make sense to me - unfortunately you usually only get one shot).

The ending didn't really work for me at all.  Sorry.  They just got better is kind of like it's all a dream.  Cute and you did foreshadow it but a bit of a cop out just the same.

But you did finish a script, it's funny and the concept is really good. So well done. Now it just needs a bit of polish.  

Cheers,

Michael  

It seems the final act is a polarizing point.
I'm curious if it would have read better for you, if the makeover scene worked.
i could see that as a point of disorientation and losing the thread.
The third act has a lot of movement and it moves along.

The execs I have heard back from think the second half is the best.
The 8 hours of awesome in a can can be viewed one of two ways.
Yes, it could be considered a cop out, if I didn't foreshadow it well.
I've also been told it's a neat and tidy way of dealing with the phenomenon.
I don't have to spend lots of plot on discerning an antidote, etc.
Which I wanted to avoid that in a family movie.
As it is, I think I have a bit too much science on the page.

Thanks for the extensive notes.
They will come in very handy when I take another run at this script.

Your time and effort is always appreciated!

Regards,
E.D.


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mcornetto
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I think it's fine that you stick to your guns btw.   I don't have any issues with that whatsoever, which I think you know anyway.  Just trying to give you my honest opinion. Ultimately, no one can tell you what will sell and what won't.  It's anybody's guess and I, of course, wish you complete luck selling it.  

I did want to respond to couple of your comments though.  The first is please don't try to underplay other characters to make another one stronger.  If anything, just make that character stronger.

I thought you did a fine job of foreshadowing the ending.  And no denying it's cute and clever, I just found it a bit too simple for my tastes.  IMHO when writing for children there are two options -- either it's good to have a simple story, or you make a good story simple.  Both would be appreciated by a child but the first would likely  be forgotten as they grow while the latter would likely be cherished.  

And purely to show you there are other cures available in your story - and while I am trying to open your mind to other options,  I'm not asking you to change a thing - chiptune music.  

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
mcornetto  -  July 12th, 2011, 5:35pm
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from mcornetto
I think it's fine that you stick to your guns btw.   I don't have any issues with that whatsoever, which I think you know anyway.  Just trying to give you my honest opinion. Ultimately, no one can tell you what will sell and what won't.  It's anybody's guess and I, of course, wish you complete luck selling it.  

I did want to respond to couple of your comments though.  The first is please don't try to underplay other characters to make another one stronger.  If anything, just make that character stronger.
[quote]
Hey Michael,

Thanks for the continued dialogue and elaboration.
I think you're right about the characters, I was just spitballing in the moment, per se.
It's a fine line between preserving your voice and being market attractive.
[quote=mcornetto]
I thought you did a fine job of foreshadowing the ending.  And no denying it's cute and clever, I just found it a bit too simple for my tastes.  IMHO when writing for children there are two options -- either it's good to have a simple story, or you make a good story simple.  Both would be appreciated by a child but the first would likely  be forgotten as they grow while the latter would likely be cherished.

Gotcha, I misunderstood you there, my bad.
I know it won't appeal to all, but it seemed an effective way to wrap things up.
And be a bit snarky towards consumerism with the slogan and all.

Quoted from mcornetto
  
And purely to show you there are other cures available in your story - and while I am trying to open your mind to other options,  I'm not asking you to change a thing - chiptune music.  

Hmmm, are you suggesting the music is the solution?
I like the mobile net corral very much, I'd like to keep both.
Seems like you're alluding to a music soothes the savage beast motif?
Some outside the box thinking there, intriguing. Thanks!

Regards,
E.D.



***There's a new script awareness industry site on the net.***
***It's called Cinepresto, it's free to upload your script during beta testing!***

However, they do require a Facebook log in to join.

Thought I would share the page with my esteemed SS colleagues.
http://www.cinepresto.com/scripts/zombie-playground

You can learn about site details and how it all works here:
http://www.cinepresto.com/

Yay for new ways to get our scripts seen for free!




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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from wonkavite

Okay, here are the little bits I didn't like and/or suggest revising:

* One thing with your writing style: while sharp and clean, you like to pull two ideas into a single sentence, and separate them with a comma.  Examples include p 46: Joan powers up the Interpolator computers and unpacks glass slides, Gil barricades the door.  Personally, I'd start a new sentence at Gil.  You do that a number of times in the script, so I didn't itemize them.  But IMHO, I'd go through and chop up sentences like that in two.  It'll read even cleaner that way.


Hey Janet,

Thanks a ton for reading through this draft.
Apologies for not replying to your notes sooner.
I had forgotten that you PM'd them in a note.

You're right, I tend to stack descriptions I shouldn't on occasion.
Sometimes, in my mind's eye, things play out in a "master shot".
But that doesn't always translate well to the page and I need to watch that.
In the new feature I'm banging out, I endeavor to minimize this kind of mistake.

Quoted from wonkavite

Typos/description issues:

p. 1:  The fulcrum description feels awkward.  I'd chop that up.

p 17: his softens (his expression softens)

p. 20: The playground amusement experience description feels awkward.  Reword?  I'd also rephrase another line on that page as Tell me.  And Lord Gorzon...

p 21: Okay. Everyone's zombified.  Wouldn't they have run *some* animal tests firsts?  This is a great opportunity to come up with "we were supposed to do animal tests first?"  Or: Well, this didn't happen to the hamsters...  And: please tell me this is covered under insurance...

p. 32: I'd take out the "more" in "We're the more snacks".  I know what you're doing.  But it just flows better without it.

p. 39:  Maybe I missed it - but when did Lord Gorzon disappear?

p. 40: The Gymnasties ARE in for a surprise

p. 1 I can take a look at that the next time around.
      Sometimes, I get obsessed with saving place and skimp where I shouldn't.
      Question is, did you know what I meant by how it's written?

p. 17 Fixed. Thanks.

p. 20 Honestly, that's two descriptions I hodge podged together. Guilty as charged.
        I could probably use a better description of the sign there. Thanks.

p. 21 It gets explained later, but I see what you're suggesting here.
        Perhaps a line or two about supposed pre-testing would be appropriate. Thanks.

p. 32 I see your "more" point. I can be too fancy for my own good, at times.

p. 39 There's a few shots of Lord Gorzon in the backpack earlier.
        We see his tail sticking out as the Gymnasties confiscate the packs.
        So, our intrepid lizard returns once they break into Coach D's office.
        Perhaps I need to be more explicit about that confiscation beat. Thanks.

p. 40 Fixed. Thanks.

Quoted from wonkavite

Those issues aside, I have nothing to complain about.  The characters are fun, and not overly cliche (hey, it's a kid's film!)  And the structure/plot work.  Extra plus, this is potential a very low budget piece.  Which is a selling point.

Despite the high adventure tone, I tried to keep it "contained".
That way, I can get a lot of "mileage" out of my set pieces/playground attractions.
And the set pieces "spin" the intent of said attraction for satirical mayhem points.
I wrote a treatment then converted it to index cards to structure the plot.
Glad to hear those efforts worked for you.

Quoted from wonkavite

A quick read.  And a very, very good children's film!  I think you've got a winner here.  Honestly.  The writing's sharp, the dialogue's witty, the action's kid friendly..and it's a neat Goosebumpy, Nickoleon spin on zombies.  As a side issue, the poster's fab, too.

Honestly, I like this ALOT better than the shorts I've read of yours.  Very nice stuff.  Kudos!!  (PS: I cringed at the idea of reading a zombie script.  But this worked, for the kid-friendly reasons mentioned above.)  Go for it....

I'm thrilled to hear you "got" the tone that I was going for with this story.
Sadly, Nickelodeon pulled out of the InkTip pitch con this week.
They were my "number one" at this event. Alas. I'll rethink my strategy.
The poster was done by my roomie, he's a very talented artist/game designer.
And I agree that it goes a long way to setting the tone for the script.

LoL, I submitted the Puerto Rican rewrite of Lie Detector last week.
Hopefully, you'll like that short a little better than the others.

Thanks for the worlds of encouragement.
I'll carry them with me as I brave the industry con this weekend!

Regards,
E.D.


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RayW
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Alrightty! Here we go... !

Characters:
MR. and MRS. GRABOWSKI (40s), outdoor types in FigCorp work khakis bearing their name
ABRAHAM (60s), comb over in custodial FigCorp coveralls
SULLY (40s), scarecrow build with a moustache in a guard uniform
“BIG FIG” FIGGIS (50s), masks his bookish looks with corporate polish,
LOUIS (50s), turkey neck guard
LEAHANNI MONROEVILLE (80s), wears a pill box hat over blue silver hair
GLEN (20s), lanky with a soul patch

Blended family
GILBERT HORTON (40s), (Scott and Steph's Father) average build and earnest eyes
JOAN BREWSTER (40s), (Dad's GF) pixie nose and long locks
STEPHANIE HORTON (14), (Gil's Daughter) tweener fashion magazine victim,
SCOTT HORTON (12), (Gil's Son) shaggy bangs and pale complexion
HANNA BREWSTER (11), (Joan's Daughter) button nose and braids wearing a green “Recycle or Die” T-shirt
MASON BREWSTER (6), (Joan's Son) freckles and round face

RADISLAV “RADISH” GRABOWSKI (13), curly hair and big ears
NATALIE (17), (babysitter) girl next door
GARTH (17), gangly with athletic physique
OZURU TAKESHIRO (12), dark hair and slim
KIMIKO TAKESHIRO (12), long hair in a tight bun
COACH D (40s), NFL linebacker build
CHIPMUNK GIRL (7), bowl cut and buck teeth


p1
SUPER: Somewhere in the Congo
Depending upon the humor vs political correctness the tone (I told ya!) you want to achieve here, the proper national name is Democratic Republic of the Congo or if it's just rain forest specific the Somewhere in the Congo Basin or Somewhere in equatorial Congo.
ygmy_languages_" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fileygmy_languages_(Bahuchet).png

Okay, first page opinion:
This looks like a standard semi-documentary narrative with nothing really pulling my pants down. I know the (unremarkably common) filthy, organic setting the zombie agent is likely originating from. I am introduced to two likely character players with only an inkling as to their personas and almost no archetype establishment other than generic "field scientists", anthropologists, botanists, linguists I dunno? And FigCorp is introed. I don't know if the screenplay's tone is ARACHNOPHOBIA, INDIANA JONES or PREDATOR.

Nice match cut on pg 2.

BITE ENERGY BOOST CAN IMAGE

Hot d@mn! Got a tone! Love your can graphics & text.

p3
“FIGCORP TO TEST NEW REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY DRINK NEXT WEEK"
Change to “FIGCORP TESTS NEW REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY DRINK NEXT WEEK".
Additionally, New + Revolutionary are kinda redundant, so depending upon how you want that to go it can be left alone to give this a slight goofy sense or cut the New: “FIGCORP TESTS REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY DRINK NEXT WEEK" or "FIGCORP MARKET TESTS REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY DRINK NEXT WEEK".

Bite dampens the front page headline. The purple liquid trail
continues down the page and contaminates a smaller headline:
“FIGCORP KIDPLEX PLAYGROUND FRANCHISE A BIG HIT”.

Very nice imagery.

A picture of Bite can art in an open three ring binder.
<-- I'm not real sure what I'm looking at. Why is there a picture of Bite in a kid's 3ring binder?

The breeze from a nearby open window flutters the page. The
ceiling creaks and thumps, as if someone is on the roof.

EXT. HORTON/BREWSTER HOUSE - ROOF - CONTINUOUS
SCOTT HORTON (12), shaggy bangs and pale complexion, sleeps
on the roof under a flannel blanket as the morning sun rises.

Okay, now these two back-to-back descriptions don't geehaw unless when we goto the roof Scott is restlessly turning over (to cause the aforementioned creaks and thumps) not just laying there peacefully asleep.

p4
          GIL
It’s our one week cohabitation
equation anniversary, Dr. Brewster.

Nicely handled exposition of Dad's cohabitating GF's credentials.

Gil flips open the box behind his back with his thumb. A
diamond engagement ring sparkles...
Joan sits up, Gil conceals the ring...
Gil puts the ring back in his coat.

Aww, how sad. I am interested in knowing his reconsideration.
That aside, he pulled the ring out of the box behind his back, so he cannot very well put it BACK in his coat.
Gil puts the ring in his bedside coat pocket.

p5
... holds a bearded dragon,...

As in a real live f#ckin lizard? Good lord.

Joan drops to her knees in front of Mason.

Kinda overly dramatic.
Joan takes a knee in front of Mason.

          MASON
Lord Gorzon accepts your yummy
offering, earth woman. The veggie
alien will be spared, this time.

Change to vegetable alien and add ellipsis before... this time.

          HANNA
Vegetarian
  --> Vegan.  She's old enough to know the proper term, esp w/ her Dr Mom.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan

p6
          GIL
The kitchen’s downstairs.
  --> consider "You going to make me squeal, again?"

Bacon sizzles in a pan as Hanna and Stephanie use their
“FigCorp” laptops and smartphones.
... blah - blah - blah...
Joan turns to Stephanie, spatula in hand

Okay, this is one of those "stupid" things I typically roll my eyes at when SS-ers nail me for it.
Could I shoot this simple scene with actors and a camera? Sure.
Mom's at the stove top frying bacon, H & S are at the table computin' and gaming away. Cool. Fine. Great. Bagged and tagged.
However, it does read like H & S are using their laptops and smartphones to tend the sizzling bacon in a pan in the kitchen.
Thennnnn we reeeeead (not see) that it's mom tending the bacon in the pan, spatula at hand.
Yeah. It's stupid. And I hate the f#ckers that can't non-sequentially compose a multi-character set.
"Nooooo! Everything must be described linearly".
OMG. Jerk-offs.
Whatever.

pp6 - 8 I like the breakfast banter. This was constructed well, especially when mom says to ditch the computers just before dad come in with a reason to bring them. Classic family dynamics without being cliche. Good work.
I'm getting a definite ALIENS IN THE ATTIC, JUMANJI/ZATHURA feel to this.

          RADISH (V.O.)
Can I have a bag, Doctor Horton?
Gil looks at Hanna’s laptop.

Another nice credential expo!

p9
          MASON
But, mom.

Should either be a trailing though ellipsis or double-dashed interruption.

          GIL
No mall and no texting. We have the
Direct Connect Fig Family package

Does not reconcile with the pg 8 laptop bag to bring laptop to KidPlex.
I don't have a readily available solution, only a point-and-grunt.

NATALIE (17), girl next door, puts away her FigPhone and
blushes as GARTH (17), gangly with athletic physique, nuzzles
her neck. Garth holds a packet of FigCorp Corn Nuts.

Okay, the extensive Fig this and that are becoming ridiculous.
Perhaps in communities built around a major employer actually are inundated with such comical levels of company premiums, but this is getting silly. Like Troma-ville silly.
And there really hasn't been any semblance of an explanation for the rather goofy name of "Fig".

p10
          NATALIE
That’s right. So, our first time
alone together has to be our
special secret, OK?

Okay, that was more of a PG-13 moment. "Our first time alone"? At seventeen years old? What, are they going to play Scrabble or something? C'mon, man.

p11
          SULLY
Abe, you’re one pig of a janitor.
Faint mocking pig grunts break the silence. Sully squints as
he scans the cluttered cage with the flashlight.

Cute.

Scott plays the same FigCorp console used by the Pygmy kids

Now, how are you going to demonstrate it it's the very same console used by the Pygmy kids?
Some thumbprint? Nah, that could be wiped off over transport time.
Does the purple Pygmy paint stain? If so, then establish such in opening sequence.
A scratch, a burn, something.
Also, I know the Horton/Brewsters just moved next door to the traveling Grabowski's. Why does Scott Horton already have Radish Grabowski's hand-me-down console?

p12
KIMIKO TAKESHIRO (12), long hair in a tight bun

Is that some kind of oxymoron I'm just being obtuse to?
If it's in a bun, then how do I know...
Is it like... just a very BIG bun?

p13
          GIL
Look, I know it’s the first week in
a new house, but it’s still the
same neighborhood. School starts
soon, and Oz and Kim will be at the
KidPlex for the special event.

"Special event" sounds to vague to even be interestingly cryptic.
Name it. Grand opening. FigFest. Something.

p14
          SCOTT
I don’t want a new mother. Gil. I
already have one.

Gil? Twelve year old kid calls his dad by his first name?
How about "dad".

INT. HORTON/BREWSTER HOUSE - HALLWAY BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS
Scott sits in the empty bath tub and sobs.

Okay. I can't wait to see what sort of heavy sh!t this is going to pan out to be.

p16  I'm not so sure about this scientist/FIg employer relationship. Of course companies employ their own internal scientists to conduct research, but it's supposed to be fairly objective which is kinda hard to do when the CEO is bugging you amid an ocean of self promotion.
Not that kids would generally have an objection to this leap from reality, but it does put this one peg closer to a genuine Nickelodeon made-4-TV project.

p17
Gil stops short of a spike strip at the security gate.

Better be a payoff on this spike strip.

Scott looks out the window, his softens.

I don't understand what "his softens" means in this context.

          GARTH
Yeah, Miss Brewster’s a total milf.

Milf is an acronym for Mom I'd Like to F#ck, so I'm pretty sure this just tippy-toes out of PG bounds.
Try babe, instead.
And all heads should look up at Garth's grand faux pas.

p19
Leahanni points to a portable defibrillator. Glen balks.

Another odd insert that had better have a good payoff.



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