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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Clone Wife Moderators: bert
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  Author    Clone Wife  (currently 20289 views)
Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 6th, 2011, 11:21am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jwent6688
What i was hoping for here was a great motivating factor pushing Travis to clone his "not dead" wife. If she had died, I would believe it. Then this wouldn't be comedy would it?

Hey J!

That was my thought exactly.
There is a movie that went this route back in 1985, "Creator".
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088960/
It stars Peter O'Toole. He "grows" his dead wife from a new egg.
It's a wonderfully schmaltzy, but fairly flawed film.
I had seen it many times when I was working in a movie theater.
Forgotten about it for years, then revisited it before I wrote the new draft.
I had nearly forgotten the likely influence this had on Clone Wife.

I veered away from the dead wife thing to preserve the comedy.

Regards,
E.D.


Quoted from B.C.
Hey E.D. Hope to see you check in here soon. .

P1 – Opening Slug. Man Cave Lab. I don’t know what this is or what I am supposed to be visualizing. This might be my ignorace, but it’s just not clear to me.

Hey Basket,

You hit on something here, I was getting fancypants from the start.
So, I stripped all of that out of the new fresh draft. Thanks.

Quoted from B.C.

The clone wife dream sequence does have some interesting visual elemant. But then the real clone wife is introduced really abruptly. For me, this should be your “Bride of Frankenstein” reveal moment. With all the bells and whistles that comes with such a reveal. It should be dramatic. Like when Kelly Le Broc reveals herself in ‘Weird Science”.  

I see what you're going for here, pretty classic movie intro.
I went with the nightmare transition for one particular reason.
It helps explain why Travis looks "old" to Clone Wife.
He wakes all sweaty and pale from the nightmare.
I do the same when she sees her brother later.

There's a lot of "magic" in the script, I don't deny it.
But, I felt doing set ups like this would help facilitate believing in them.

Regards,
E.D.


Quoted from rc1107

Did I miss a huge time jump somewhere or a '9 months later' SUPER?  I hope I wasn't focusing too much on Star Trek still or thinking about the witches in Macbeth you were talking about earlier and I missed it.

Like I said, there are brilliant flashes of something that could be a great story here, but it's a little too cooky as it is now, and my mind's focusing on the cooky things instead of the story.

Hope this helps.

- Mark


Hey Mark,

Thanks again for all your time on this one.
Boy, did I really hang myself to dry out with this old draft.
I did make a clear match cut transition for the season change now.
So, that should eliminate any thoughts about a turbo pregnancy.

I tried hard to strip out the noise and concentrate on the story.
I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the complete fresh draft. Thanks!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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is producing a short based on my new feature!

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Eoin
Posted: November 7th, 2011, 4:47pm Report to Moderator
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This draft zips along like an old Singer sewing machine. Talk about chalk and cheese compared to your previous draft. This one flows.

Page 11 -

RENEE
This me would have been much more
honest. I tried to tell you, a
hundred times.

Page 15. I don't understand this action description, Fur + Saliva + DNA = clone dog. Travis grins. Is it on a screen or written on the petri dish? Needs clarification.

Page 18. Wouldn't Travis already be wearing safety glasses, a standard scientific requirement when working in the lab? Plus he is pretty anal. I think he just needs to flip them on.

Up to Page 30. Interesting to see how this will play out. Not so sure about the nighmare sequence, it doesn't advance the story, it seems like an unecessary inclusion. After Travis wakes up from his nightmare, i find it hard to believe he doesn't notice Renee is 10 years younger.

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Eoin  -  November 7th, 2011, 6:10pm
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Mr.Ripley
Posted: November 7th, 2011, 6:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Brett,

A better read. Up too pg. 17. However, there's a problem. How does Travis get the missing element towards making his experiments work? I must've missed that. Or maybe make it a bit clearer. I know the dog has to do with it but I guess I don't get it.

Also, on pg. 12 I think there should a super implying that a couple of days has passed. this is in reference to a description you have saying that the main protagonist hasn't shaved for weeks.  

Gabe
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Eoin
Posted: November 7th, 2011, 7:19pm Report to Moderator
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Page 31 - Travis hasn't clicked that Renee is a clone when she tells him she woke up naked in the lab, it takes the married a year comment. All this begs the real question, why we don't see her emerge from the chamber in the lab, the big reveal. It is called Clone Wife, the audience will feel cheated they don't see her cloned.

Why doesn't Clone Wife also know that Travis is 10 years older?

This is an interesting take on the clone idea. The clone wife is actually a replicant, identical in every way to Renee, but nine years younger. A clone on the other hand is a genetic copy like a twin and is an individual in their own right. I'm willing to suspend belief on this idea.

Up to page 41. The set  up with Renee in Tokyo gives Travis some convienent  freedom. I think the premise might be more interesting, create more situational comedy and tension, if he had to juggle between Renee and Clone Wife in the same house.

Page 47. I don't see why Renee suddenly changes her mind, what's the motivation?

Page 51.

ASTRID
(to Travis)
I don’t know what you did, but I’m
going to find out.

Slightly odd comment, sort of plays to the audience.

Page 53.

GUY
I like your thinking! Well, I’m
starving. Where’s that restaurant
your Swedish chef brother owns?

It's obvious that Stig is Swedish and Guy knows this, so why would he say this to Renee?

Page 54. Guy gives Stig head noogies while he talks. I imagine Stig to be a large man, maybe because alot of the strongmen competitors are called Magnusson.

The conversation bewteen Astrid, Guy, Travis and Clone Wife needs to be sharper and more focused. I want to see Travis squirm. At this point the dynamic isn't clear. Does Clone Wife know or not? Maybe the audience should know if she does.
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Eoin
Posted: November 8th, 2011, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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Page 64 - Renee has changed from hating Travis and saying that their marriage doesn't work and thus moving to Toyko, to coming home because she is worried he isn't picking up his cell?

Page 68. Travis tells Renee that he thought they could start over (referring to Clone wife), but that's not what we are shown - we see him clearly having a great time with Clone Wife - the moment of realisation where Travis figures out that he must make amends with Renee is not clear, nor is the reason for this epiphany.

Page 72. Why are the wives fighting each other and not directing their anger at Travis and why aren't they more shocked at the situation, they seem to be far too accepting.

Page 74. Clone Wife is pregnant. But the conflict between Travis and Renee still hasn't been addressed by way of a confrontation, instead Clone Wife and Renee are pals all of a sudden in the master bedroom.
Page 75. Confusion here over who is driving?

Renee puts the key in the ignition.
RENEE
Hit it.
Clone Wife starts the car, burns rubber and drives away.

Page 81. The only emotional ouburst comes from Oskar?

Page 84. I'm feeling cheated at this stage. The premise of the film still hasn't come to the fore, but simmers somewhere under the surface. The whole deal with Guy is too neat, Travis hasn't had to confront his problems and . . . change, he has to change.

Page 90. I don't see why Astrid now champions Travis, what's the motivation, he sold his research equipment, what about the way the has treated Renee and Clone Wife? Travis has twice proved himself selfish and uncaring.

Page 93. Typo - 'your' missing.

TRAVIS
It’s not your fault. It’s not
fault. I’m right here. I’m not
going anywhere.

The end just doesn't work for me. We never find out why Renee lost the baby and if it caused a major rift in the marriage (which should have been highlighted earlier) Why has Clone Wife given up the baby?? She's now driving off into the sunset What happened with Guy.

Overall the writing has improved 10 fold. The premise still needs to be addressed and the issues between Travis and Renee brought out. The situations and personal relationship they have should lend itself to comic moments that grow organically. The second act at the moment works only on a rigid technical level.

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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 9th, 2011, 11:28am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from leitskev

This was a very tough read for me for a lot of reasons, starting with the fact that I am really not a rom com guy. It also occurred to me this week, reading another rom com, that one of the problems with rom coms is that we know the ending. Always. I mean, the happy couple always gets together at the end, don't they? So at least with your rom com, we can't say for sure. Or at least there is some doubt, since the happy couple is kind of two happy couples.

Hey Kev,

Thanks again for trudging through the old draft, you're a trooper!
I do tend to agree, this genre doesn't seem to get much love here on SS.
One of these days, I"ll write an action/horror script, I swear!


Quoted from leitskev

Some questions I would have: Has Travis learned anything, I mean besides don't clone your wife? Are the problems between  Travis and Renee solved? Is it because they have a baby now? Clone wife is ok with giving up not only Travis, but her baby?

You zip someone 9 years into the future, it isn't going to be long before they figure it out. Her husband and family are 9 years older, the news on TV and in the paper is different, technological things have changed, as well as style things and cars. Hell, the stuff in the house like movies and CDs would be different.  Maybe this stuff doesn't matter in a comedy. Maybe.


I tried to address these points in the new fresh draft.
Clone Wife is only around for a couple days before the cat's out of the bag.
I don't think it's entirely implausible to go a few days like that.
When CW sees Travis he looks "horrible" because of the nightmare he woke from.
Stig looks horrible to CW when they meet now, because he's puking and shocked.
I thought those comic elements would help suspend disbelief.

Thanks for the thoughts, pal!

Regards,
E.D.


Quoted from Mr.Ripley

I think you need to show Travis getting the idea of cloning Renee. The eureka moment that he should have "I can...clone renee". Hope this makes sense. It wasn't clear for me. Granted you show Algernoon cloned, but I can't recall    Very cliche

Also, the backstory should be developed more. I think opening the script with the failed pregnancy might be sufficient enough to set the tone. You have to establish that early on since that's your crux.

Hey Gabe!

Thanks a ton for helping out on this mess!
I decided to make CW's existence somewhat accidental in the fresh draft.
I felt him deliberately creating her was too close to another script.
That, and Travis trying to cover up the chaos keeps things lighter.
So, now that it's clearly an accident, I'm curious as to your opinion on the fresh draft.

I sprinkled some lines in the new draft to enhance their relationship.
Show where the cracks are that Travis isn't seeing, etc. Hope this helps.

***SPOILERS***

Quoted from Mr.Ripley

Furthermore, Clone Renee should stay. I felt sad when she leaves. She can help babysit.

Hope this makes sense. If not, ask. Good Luck. Hope you get better. Keep us updated.
Gabe

Aww, Clone Wife can come back whenever she wants.
But now she can live her life on her own terms.
And the bond she shares with Renee, well, they'll always be "together".
***END SPOILERS***

I thought it was important that CW have the chance to be herself.
I vetted the script with a psychologist colleague, he agreed with me.

Heh. May sound silly but I thought it critical to have a psychologist look this over.
Surprisingly, despite the fantastical set up, he felt the characters made sense.

How I deal with depression, denial, false hope, flouting responsibility & redemption.
There's a lot going on, this could get dark in a hurry, if I wasn't careful.

Hence, I lightened things up anywhere else that I could.

Regards,
E.D.


Quoted from Mr.Ripley
I just wanted to comment on that opening with the dog. That is funny and cute at the same time. lol. Will read this as quickly as possible.

Gabe


Gabe,

You are a work horse! Thanks for cracking the new one open so fast.
I really needed a confidence boost after the last debacle I posted.

Wanted to put a stamp on this fresh from scratch draft from the get go.
So, that meant I had to completely redesign my opening scene.

I actually drew some inspiration from a couple sources for Travis here.
Revisited "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and "Short Circuit".
So, Travis is showing off his inner Zelinski and some Newton Crosby too!
That tonal shift really helped me delve into the rest of the material.

It's amazing how one fundamental shift touches everything.

Regards,
E.D.


Quoted from leitskev
I was afraid to go back, I really was. But I opened up, and sweet, the first page has been reconstructed, and is dramatically improved! Flows nice and easy, images come quick to the reader and are clear. I am assuming this improvement reflects similar adjustments throughout the work, so I will take another look soon. But so far so good as far as the improved read, good job.


Hey Kev,

Thanks for taking a quick crack at the fresh opener.
Aww, sorry I scared you before. It was not a good month for me.
But the medical stuff checks out and I really forced myself to rework this script.

I knew half measure weren't going to get the job done.
So, I went in there and ripped it apart, hoping I would make some headway.

I'm just glad I found my voice again.

Regards,
E.D.

Okay, whew, caught up.
Now onto you blokes that read the new draft!


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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leitskev
Posted: November 9th, 2011, 2:52pm Report to Moderator
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I haven't had time yet to get past the first quarter of the new draft, but like I said, HUGE improvement. Nothing as far as the read was a stumbling block this time. Most things seemed well conveyed.

This concept is very similar to a time travel movie, in that there are inevitably logic problems. But that hasn't stopped time travel movies from being successful.

And this really is a kind of a time travel movie, since we're getting a Renee from the past. I guess the idea is to minimize these problems to the point where most people won't question things too deeply. Terminator, Back to the Future...those had logic issues too, but it wasn't a major problem as long as you didn't scratch too deeply.

I'll have to see how the new draft addresses these, but for me, I think the biggest problem in the first draft was taking the clone wife to dinner with the parents and then to the reunion. Maybe...maybe...that would be possible if she was in on it, but the clone does no know she's a clone, and Travis doesn't want her to know, so why would he risk taking her?  Logic problems when it comes to the science or even the premise are one thing, but the characters have to act in a way that makes sense and is believable.

I'll check when I can to see how it works in the new draft. Sorry, been real busy lately. I'll get to it.
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James McClung
Posted: November 9th, 2011, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Brett,

Finally finished this one up.

I really don't have much to say as many of my thoughts echo previous sentiments. That said, I'll leave the logistical issues out of my review. They've already been addressed by some other members and I didn't have as much of a problem with the logistics collectively that others did. I mean you have a cloning machine that functions on anthropomorphic robot hands and goo instead of... well, anything that would resemble a real cloning machine, if such a thing were to exist. Long story short, your angle is a little more cartoony and enables a little more suspension of disbelief.

Anyway, I had mixed feelings about this script, as I did Zombie Playground. I think I liked it better than Zombie Playground as ZP was way left field from its subject matter. Zombies have been taken way too far in the goofy/satirical route in recent times for my taste so reading more of that stuff is a little trying. This one's elements seemed to blend a little bit better and the genre and tonal idiosyncrasies were a little more charming than disjointed.

The humor probably worked the least for me. I don't remember finding any of it funny. Just zany and bizarre. The mistaken nationality of Tony Montana... yeah, I get it but... not funny. Just weird. I mean elements like Stig's Italian/Japanese crossover cuisine and the rum raisin ice cream with the "special applesauce"... it gives your script character and your writing a unique face but it never appealed to me. It sort of reminded me of Robert Rodriguez's family films, which are, frankly, terrible.

There's some more "normal" humor like Wade gawking at Renee's ass but this didn't work for me either. Too vanilla, frankly. Especially with all the other weird stuff you've got going on. Seems like you threw in a few easily accessible jokes that you were less enthusiastic about to counter-balance the more esoteric.

So overall, the humor... not for me (except for the "sad flour" bit, that made me laugh).

Onto the meat of the script... the story and characters, that is. Well, I liked them. The characters worked. They were all quirky, distinguishable and more or less well developed. I guess I sympathized with Travis's plight. I think the whole "check here [ ] if you want to save our marriage" thing carried enough realism and melancholy to put the audience on his side. I think developing the lost child subplot further would help develop Renee's character, whom I understood leaving Travis but not coming back to him.

Stig was one guy I didn't get. That is, I didn't understand why he was so chummy with Travis. Are they actually friends? What's the history here?

Guy was a problematic character. Astrid's affinity for him was ripe for some interesting conflict as she clearly wasn't fond of Travis so that worked. But he didn't really project himself as much of a villain, even with Clone Wife taking kind of a fancy to him. That actually kind of hurt the whole "Clone Wife is so much better than my real wife" angle. I mean, if Guy was hitting on her or something then it might've balanced out. Clone Wife's interest would be more responsive than inherent. Yeah, and the whole bar scene with Guy and Travis at the end... I see what you were going for but there's nothing that leads up to it for it to make sense.

Not really sure what to do with the cat but I think you need to reconsider his character.

Onto plot. Well, I think the concept is great and there's some moments that really click but for the most part, I think you squandered it. Everything seems to be working out. There's no awkward moments where Clone Wife reveals her offness. Everyone just seems to go along with her. Any moments of characters picking up on clone strangeness seemed to go to Algernon. Then at the end, when the cat's out of the bag, everyone seems to go along with the fact that there's two Renees. I mean you have a classic situation in which a character has to cover up a big secret and it all goes swimmingly for the most part. Nix. No good. You gotta shake things up a bit. Not only can you have outside characters on the verge of discovering Clone Wife's origins, you can have Clone Wife herself on the verge. I think that's equally dramatic, if not more.

That said, I would keep in mind that your premise is definitive classic comedy. That is to say you have a character who's luck changes for the better as opposed to the worse, which is, of course, tragedy. While I do think the plot needs some obstacles, I do think Clone Wife should remain a good thing to Travis that he wants to hold onto.

Might as well throw in that I like the ending. I like that Clone Wife goes off to be her own person. I do think the ease with which she abandons her birth child might be a little too easy. I mean, she's a mother. Clone or not, there's gotta be some built in biological mechanism that keeps her from wanting to give away her child. But again, it's the ease with which she does this. I don't think she should fight to keep the baby or anything and I think she should be able to recognize that it's a precious gift that she should be able to give birth and make Renee and Travis's lives better when it's the one thing the real Renee can't do. Almost like being a surrogate mother... actually, no. That's pretty much exactly what it is.

So yeah. Dig it.

Anyway, some of this I didn't like and some of it, I'm not going to like no matter what as you've got your own ideas of what this should be and that's cool. Other bits, I do think need work and would kick the script up a good couple notches by any standards. Regardless, for better or for worse, I think you have something standout here. Your writing continues to be distinctly Brett Martin which is harder to achieve than simply good or even great writing. Voice is important so be proud you've got one.

Hope this helps. Always a pleasure.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
James McClung  -  November 9th, 2011, 7:13pm
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 10th, 2011, 12:10pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Brett

First off it reads much, much better. Big improvement. It flows well, the characters are easier to understand and there is a better balance to the order.

Hey Reef!

Thanks for taking another look at this, you're a brave soul!

October was a tough slog for me, took a big chunk of it to rewrite the script.
I knew the best solution was a fresh draft from scratch.
It's painful to hacksaw months of work like that, but needed to be done.
I'm just relieved that the effort is yielding positive results.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

The laughs are clearer but there is still the opportunity for a bit more as you continue to fine tune. In particular you have started well with algereron but maybe there are a few extras to squeeze out in the interaction between them. As this is light hearted I think you can push the relationship.

I see what you're saying here, but this is why I'm a little gun shy on big laughs.
I don't want CW to be a yuck-yuck script. So, I inch in that direction, very slowly.
The material is too heady to veer into too much slapstick, IMO.
This is another step closer to see how laugh out loud funny I should make it.
I feel good about it, so I'll keep nudging the envelope in subsequent drafts. Thanks.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

Like Gabe the first page is a far stronger start as well as easier to read. Others will give you a more detailed read but here are a few comments;

P2 his speech on facts seems a bit in your face

Could be, I use it as a "place holder" until I have a better "keep your chin up" line.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

Part of the  travis character which you should milk is the geek who can't communicate. The interaction with wade could be used to highlight this further. Maybe he could talk to the robot as well as his dog.

I've given some thought to Travis conversing with the arms more.
Especially during the more expository moments shortly after CW's arrival.
I can see it in my head working, likely will be added to the next draft. Thanks.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

Why does the chain saw amputate the y?

Because in DePalma's Scarface, Tony uses a chainsaw to amputate a goon.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

P6 etymology?

Etymology is the study of the history of words.
I thought I worded that line so the meaning would come across.
I'll have to keep an eye on that then.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

Travis story to algereon about child. Perhaps too much on the nose, a bit more visual?

It's a storybook moment, I didn't want to get too fancy with it.
CW has many fairy tale tropes already, I didn't want to flower it up.
But I do feel the fairy tale elements help facilitate the fantasy of Clone Wife.
The storybook scene being the most obvious allusion to fairy tales.
Travis in the opener dancing with Renee, which then abruptly stops.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

P19 the production of clone al just seems a bit sudden. Could the previous experiments get closer to success, or some progress, possibly resulting in some mess to clean( other than goo) but giving the impression it's closer? Maybe an accident with some food?

That sequence used to be twice as long as it is now.
I have room to go back and expand a beat or two, if that helps sell the reader.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

P32 talks too much to himself?

This is one of those points where talking to the arms could help the script, IMO.
They can gesture "dialogue" as well.
Then that would give me some of the Molecuzilla vibe back from the old draft.
I can see it in my head, so likely it will wind up in the next draft. Thanks.

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

Standing back, the beauty with this idea is that it gives you various options with humour such as the change in time ( think back to the future) the trying to hide the wife, or secrets, (farce style) and the first flush of love and the stupid things people do.

It will be interesting to see where this goes as I didn't read the whole last time.

All the best.

Reef, I'm glad to hear you bring up the time travel thing.
Clone Wife is quite a hybrid beasty of a script.
Part rom/com. Part farce. Part time travel and all told through fairy tale glasses.
The juggling act is overwhelming at times.

The breadth of the concept staggers my mind quite often.
I didn't realize till late in the game I was doing a retro time travel thingy.
Really dug the fact that I was bringing "the past" to my protag.
Time travel is rarely handled that way, so the prospect excited me.

Thanks tons for the insights, I'm sure they'll result in some script tweaks.
Happy to return the gesture anytime.

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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leitskev
Posted: November 11th, 2011, 8:17pm Report to Moderator
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Here I am, sitting here working on my own stuff, and I guess I had it somewhere in my head that I have to get back to Clone soon, to read the rewrite, because OUT OF NOWHERE popped into my head an idea for Clone. Something that solves one of the issues people seemed to complain about. Hear it out Brett, weigh it for a while, before you reject it out of hand. If nothing else keep it on file if people keep complaining about the ending.

The solution is so obvious I don't know why I didn't see it before. All he has to do is clone himself! The copy that goes to clone wife will have the same memory as Travis, at least from the moment his tissue was taken.

You can go a lot of different routes with that. For the most simple solution, clone husband could be in the car with clone wife at the end. But if you really wanted to play around with this, he could clone himself earlier(yes, I've seen the Simpsons episode). He could use his clone to try to keep clone wife and Renee from finding out about each other. For example, Renee unexpectedly comes home, and clone Travis tells her there was a fire at the house, or mold, and they have to stay with her parents.

Of course, if clone wife is not in on things, eventually she will go visit her parents and all hell will break loose.

Clone Travis could even have "an affair" with Renee, making Travis jealous, perhaps somewhat irrationally.

It does open some more creative doors.

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leitskev  -  November 15th, 2011, 12:04am
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 15th, 2011, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from James McClung

Hmm... I'm not sure what you did, exactly, but indeed, as Kevin said, this was a lot easier to read than the last draft. I read 60+ pages of that sucker and at times, I felt like I was trudging through descriptions, leaving me quite lost in the story at times. Not only that but you had some strange ideas (e.g. Molecule-zilla) that ended up wreaking havoc on your format somehow (the WORD BUBBLE dialogue was peculiar, to say the least). Obviously, you cut this down, to say the least, but it really does read like a completely different script. I can tell you rewrote this from scratch.

Honestly, I'm breezing through this so far. Already, this is a massive improvement.

Hey James,

Thanks for going back to the new draft.
You've already gone through this story one and a half times.
You're right, I went and wrote a complete fresh draft from scratch.
I was afraid I lost the thread of the story somehow.
So, I thought it best to start over with a blank page and give it another go.

Quoted from James McClung

I suppose what we get from Travis and Renee's relationship prior to their separation is a bit sparse, even with the fact that there's obviously been some growing apart, but I think you got the basics down. Without spelling it out, I got the sense that Renee'd grown a little weary of Travis and that his work likely played a major part in that. Obviously, he's wrapped up in it, rendering him a little forgetful. It's kind of a classic setup without being too forced. For the sake of basic storytelling, so far, so good.

I kept it sparse on purpose, I wanted her departure revealed within ten pages.
Anything more would have been belaboring the point IMO.
Keeping it light was key until the bomb was dropped at dinner.
I wanted to portray Travis as a decent but distracted and goofly immature fella.

Quoted from James McClung

Though it doesn't hurt your character now (and I don't see any signs of it hurting him in the future), I figured I'd bring this up just so you keep it in mind whenever you come back to this script.

I tend to get a little long winded when I address this kind of stuff so I recommend you check out the Nostalgia Critic's review of Flubber to get a better sense of what I'm talking about. Basically, Robin Williams' character in that film is just a huge jerk that they try to pass off as a sweet but bumbling goof.

Glad you brought it up, I was very wary of making his work obsession too heavy.
The script doesn't have a prayer of working if Travis is off putting.
Oh, I'll have to check out that review. Thanks for the tip.

Quoted from James McClung

Renee's reveal works way better this time. The first time around, she was way too apologetic. Her leaving Travis didn't feel as crushing to the guy. This time, it's much more of a blow. Good job.

I tried to sharpen the pain and sum it up into a few hurtful words.
The "I woke up from the dream" approach I felt summed that up well.
But not do it in a point the finger kind of repulsive way. Glad it worked for you.

Quoted from James McClung

Unfortunately, Travis's breakthrough suffers this time around. You went from an overblown build up to almost completely skimming over it. I mean all the Molecule-zilla stuff came to be way too much. But I liked the build up in percentage on the computer, which is absent this time. It gave the audience something to anticipate. I'd bring that element back.

I cut that sequence in half for this draft, including the demise of Molecuzilla.
The script has a pretty lean page count, so I can put a beat or two back for that.

Quoted from James McClung

Also, when Clone Al comes out, Travis's reaction is just way too downplayed. I mean, maybe he was expecting it but the magnitude of his success doesn't seem to hit him at all. I mean, he's happy but more in the way someone would be if they struck a really nice shot in gulf. It's like "Yes! Great! ...moving along..." No good, man. The whole sequence needs more drama.

I did put in a beat where Travis dances a jig with Clone Al.
I didn't want him to celebrate too much, but you're right it needed something.
That helps lead into where Travis learns his success was not happy without Renee.

Quoted from James McClung

I'm leaving off where Travis is doing a lot of talking to himself. That very movie-ish completely unrealistic talking to one's self. Fortunately, I think your setup yields a solution. Just a suggestion but why not have Travis be able to communicate verbally with his computer? I don't mean have the computer be self aware or talk back. More along the lines of cell phone voice commands. Then you can have him talk to himself until he's blue in the face. Worked in Cronenberg's The Fly and that's the greatest movie ever made.

This did inspire a thought about the gesturing robotic arms.
Travis could talk to them when he's going through some exposition.
They can gesture answers back, could be a fun way to get through that stuff.
I think that will make into the next draft. Thanks!

Regards,
E.D.



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James McClung
Posted: November 15th, 2011, 2:23pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
This did inspire a thought about the gesturing robotic arms.
Travis could talk to them when he's going through some exposition.
They can gesture answers back, could be a fun way to get through that stuff.
I think that will make into the next draft. Thanks!


Certainly a better idea than mine. I'm going to encourage this. You should definitely take advantage of your anthropomorphic cloning machine.


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wonkavite
Posted: November 15th, 2011, 11:41pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer


That helps lead into where Travis learns his success was not happy without Renee.



Oooooh, that's a great idea!  What if Travis were to call out in excitement to Renee...only to remember that she's not there anymore...?

Small thought, but the thread sparked the idea.  Great way to add a bit of emotional pathos....
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 16th, 2011, 10:10am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from wonkavite


Oooooh, that's a great idea!  What if Travis were to call out in excitement to Renee...only to remember that she's not there anymore...?

Small thought, but the thread sparked the idea.  Great way to add a bit of emotional pathos....


Hmmm, turn a happy dance moment into a sad face with glum music cue.
That could work! Be a nice lead in to unexpected brother in law. Thanks!

*writes it into his CW notebook of doom*

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: November 19th, 2011, 5:19pm Report to Moderator
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Brett, I decided to give this one a read instead of rereading ZP. Hope that's ok.

I've only got to page 20 so far.

As you probably know by now, rom-coms are not my favorite but it's a very popular genre from what I understand.

So far, my thoughts would be that the beginning needs a change. We need to see more of Travis' and Renee's relationship. Need to learn more about them. More characterization from the get go so we attach ourselves to these characters and want to know how it's all going to turnout for them. Right now, that's missing, IMHO. That's why I think the first ten pages are a bit weak.

I want to know how the clones are going to turnout though. I find myself wondering how you're going to handle their knowledge. Seems to me they would be born with a blank slate?

Anyway, so far so good. I'm glad you're being so prolific.  

The following are notes as I was reading. They might come off as curt, but they are not intended as such.

As far as the poster goes…I'm not sure yet, but right now I'm thinking it's too kid like and cartoony.


pg    1.    you might want to describe the "supercomputers" better. what popped into my head was these giant computers that need special air-conditioning and such and I also didn't get the "kid's" room. in short, I had a hard time picturing this makeshift lab and IMHO that's not good when it's your first line…

isn't it still correct to spell out numbers in dialogue or has that too gone out of style?

I had a hard time picturing the genetic chamber and what goes on inside it…maybe I'm stupid?  

pg    3.    Algernon rubs against her leg? he's a dog, not a cat.  

pg    5.    Stig Magnusson? that's Swedish. nothing wrong with it. just pointing that out.

pg    6.    I thought the description of Astrid reads rather clunky. I had to read it twice.

my thoughts after having read the first 10 is that I would have liked to see more interactions between Travis and Renee and less of her relatives. more characterization so we get to know their relationship better would probably have made me care a little more about the story. some clunky lines and descriptions here and there that made me have reread them slowed the read.

pg   11.    I don't understand at all how this works "Renee stares at the photo, Travis' writing reversed in the medicine cabinet mirror". she's sitting on the toilet. is she holding up the photo to the mirror? things like that is what slows the reading down…

pg   14.    Travis doesn't wake up even though the dog is walking in circles on his chest? why is Travis so deep asleep in the middle of the day?

pg   15.    "fur + saliva + dna = clone dog". another one of those things that stopped me dead in my tracks. what exactly do you mean by it? is it a camera shot or Travis' thought?

just realized that maybe I was reading the earlier version of the script. you'll know if I did. I'm on page 15 now and am on the current version from here on.

pg   15.   IMHO that's not a montage, but a SERIES OF SHOTS

pg   20.    Get off, yourself!  LOL! good line.


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