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Pia, it looks like you have missed my point as well.
I didn't say Carson's opinion doesn't matter, but it is one person's opinion and is definitely not the end all opinion.
You can look at 1,000's of Rom Com movies or any genre movies and see many, many things that either don't work or are downright foolish. That does not mean it can't be or wasn't successful.
As I always say and always will continue to say, things work for a reason and even though they're far from perfect, it doesn't matter. The bottom line is whether or not they work, as in what they have going for it.
Far too often, peeps get caught up in various "things" having to be this or that, and that's just not the way it works in reality.
If you want to take Carson's word as gospel, you go right ahead. He does bring up a number of things that I agree need work or change (based on the draft I read), but that doesn't mean it's not good or downright bad.
As always, you take it with a few grains of salt and make decisions based on all the input and knowledge you have around you.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I didn't say I take his words as gospel. In my original post, I said that if we/us/whoever freak out when he gives a script a GENIUS, then we can't dismiss his comments when they are not what we would like to hear.
For me personally, I HATED Killing on Carnival row and I know you did too.
Jeff, I'm not sure if I should oblige too specifically at the moment because I think Brett would like to settle down discussion of the script itself.
Carson's review would not be adequate for script notes. But it's a review, not coverage. And as such, he gets right to the heart of things in the review.
Part of the problem actually stems from the concept, which though perhaps is high, is technically difficult to pull off. It is absolutely essential in a rom com that the audience root for the couple to end up together. That's what a rom com is. We see two people that we think belong together, there are obstacles, and we watch to see those obstacles overcome.
In Clone Wife, we have no reason to want Travis to end up with Renee. In fact, we might prefer he be with clone Renee. That's a critical problem with the concept. I'm not sure how you overcome it.
But certainly if there is any chance, we have to REALLY care about Renee from early on. Again, not sure if that solves it. Because unless clone wife is flawed, like that old Star Trek episode with the evil Kirk, why wouldn't we also care equally about clone wife?
If the story does not make us desperately want to see Travis and Renee together, then it is not even really a rom com. I'm not sure what that leaves. It's kind of just a situation comedy where we watch to see how Travis gets out of the predicament. If that's the case, it better be roll over funny. A straight up comedy full of gags.
I thought Carson hit correctly on the problem of Clone Wife's appearance, though he forgot the dog cloning. I think every reader in this thread mentioned her appearance. Obviously that seems to be a difficult part of the story, because it's hard to make sense of the accidental cloning, or of the apparently now self conscience and intelligent arm/robot that for some reason made her.
But if the cloning is on purpose by Travis, that might be a problem too. I forget, I think he starts the process but doesn't finish it. Is it done this way just so there can be a dream sequence and the surprise appearance of clone wife? Or is it done so the audience is not angry at Travis for this unethical creation? I'm not sure. But the appearance over night of something as complicated as a fully grown replica, which was put together in the basement by AI robots, is hard to buy into in an adult film.
I even think Carson's comments on the writing approach are amazingly insightful here. Brett is very talented. And he has not been writing long. I think Carson's insights could fuel him to move on to the next level in his work. It hurts today, but it won't hurt long. It's the next leg of the journey.
Your balls just got a little more Teflon on them is all…
I've read all this back and forth regarding who thinks this guys is "important" and thinks he isn't. The really important thing is, what do you think?
Do you like the final product? Does it "feel right" to you? Is it where you think it could be picked up by a studio? Then chances are, someone in the industry thinks so too...
I don't know who Carson is. Truth is, I've never heard of him before this week. But I have heard of Brett Martin. You write well, you write real, and you have a pulse in your style that only one in a thousand can claim.
Now you can say Carson did a review. File it away under “stuff I wanted done” and see it for what it is; an opinion; nothing more or less.
Remember, your running point on a lot of fronts my man. You’re doing all the right things brother. Oh and I just gave Clone Wife another read. Here’s how I rate it.
I actually think there's a lot of positives to be taken from the review. The negatives do look like a kick in the balls on first reading, but once you get past Carson's style of writing then I think the criticisms could maybe be used for a positive re-write. And I do say maybe, because Brett has to decide whether he makes changes based on this review or not. It's the writers choice, their gut instinct, that should drive the bus after letting all this settle in.
One thing I took from the review which once again rammed home how tricky this screen writing lark is, was "So really, after you get your script into perfect shape, consider going back and “dirtying it up” a bit."
Soooo...we spend years learning to write, then have to learn to un-write!! I know he doesn't mean that exactly, but it's interesting in itself, and indicative of the challenges every spec writer faces.
Well done, Brett. Remember the Rocky Balboa rule of getting back up for another beating, cos that's the only way we move forward.
Hey Brett! Not been around for a while, but I saw the review on ScriptShadow.
Obviously Carson's opinion matters - you wouldn't have put it up there if it didn't at least matter to you. And if anyone's opinion matters to enough people - then it simply holds weight.
I didn't think the review was too bad, to be honest. It was over-arching, yes, and didn't deal with technicalites, but was a good 'other angle' to have on your work.
Maybe just deal with the criticism head-on. He says your characters need a little more character. Maybe he's right. And if he is, is it that much to write into your story? Is that all it needs to really kick it off?
Sometimes we take criticism badly, but really in another language it's just people telling us which holes to fill to make our work what it should be. Medicine taken, now of the hole and re-write.
I’m a bit late on the scene, I’ve just the read review on Scriptshadow and hope you take all the positives from it and don’t get yourself too down. I really think there is so take away from it, if not just the experience.
To get your script reviewed in the first place is a fantastic achievement and it means the majority of readers liked it enough to request it. I think a lot of people (probably including you) respect Carson’s views so take what you think is beneficial and move onto the next round of rewrites.
One thing I learned from this is that you’re a great writer with a lot of confidence in your ability which is rightfully justified – you’re shooting for the stars buddy and with this confidence, you’ll be making your destination soon.
I also learned, well, actually I knew this already that you have a great concept which is not only great but sellable – if anything and let’s hope, maybe this will open some unexpected doors for you…
I’m confident you’ll be back on the horse soon and ready to crack into it again.
It's not Carson that annoys me so much, it's more his followers. Nobody commenting on the review seem to have their OWN opinions on Brett's script. Most of them are ratting on about 'agreeing with Carson'.
Brett knows Carson's opinion... Why does he have to hear it another 50+ times? It's turning into a bit of a witch hunt, IMO.
Hey Brett, I read Carson's feedback. Sorry it didn't go as planned.
I'll tell you something I'm sure you already know, but it is true and may help if you take it to heart.
It's one opinion. Carson isn't any different than alot of us. People may think he is, but he's not. He has an opinion just like everyone else does.
I didn't think he was slandering you in any way. His comment was simply that he didn't personally know the peeps who wrote in, recommending your script. I wouldn't let that get you down.
I'm not a big Carson Reeves guy, but I did notice that he didn't really go into too many details on your script, yet still gave it a rather negative final grade. My take is that he expected or hoped for more, based on the title, the logline, and the strong writing.
I haven't read this last draft, so I can't comment, but I did have to agree with a few of the things he said that I remembered from way back.
Hey, you know what they say, brother - every time a door closes, another one opens up.
All you can do is soldier on and keep the faith, never say die, and continue to move forward.
I know this really sucks when you're all fired up for good news and then get crap like this. Always try to look at the positives and keep that chin up.
Thanks for the sage words. In perspective, I don't regret sending in the script at all. It's another stepping stone. I keep getting rejected by "bigger" folks all the time!
So, chin is in the upright position, ready to work next year.
And yeah, I think there's an aspect of it not getting across. I also think part of the disconnect is the tone I chose. Went with a fairy tale vibe over realism.
Agreed, the review read like Carson started skimming after about 20 pages. If the script didn't hold his interest, that's the way it goes.
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I'm reposting this from the other thread because I totally disagree with Jeff!
Carson is not just another reader/reviewer. He has the clout to get studios to read scripts.
"Since we and so many other writers and industry professionals put so much weight on his IMPRESSIVE and GENIUS rated scripts, we must also respect his comments when a script gets a WASN'T FOR ME. No? I mean everyone likes different stories/genre/style whatever, but I don't agree with the attitude that Carson's review was "just one person's view". Carson is not just another reader. We have already established that..."
From a business standpoint, Pia's on the money. If Carson falls in love with your script, you'll get calls. Period.
Hey, there's nothing that says I can't resubmit. But I'm also toying with uploading my other two 2012 features too.
Carson's not the only game in town. I'll keep rolling the dice!
LATEST NEWS CineVita Films is producing a short based on my new feature!