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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Black Friday Moderators: bert
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  Author    Black Friday  (currently 3097 views)
Don
Posted: December 18th, 2011, 1:29pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Black Friday by Ernie Enriquez - Comedy - When Mel learns his sister just got laid off and canít afford a Christmas, he decides to take matters in his own hands. With the help of Rob and his slacker uncle, he decides to save Christmas and search for his niece and nephews most desired gifts. The problem is he can only get the gifts on Black Friday, while he is supposed to be at working on that very day. - pdf, format


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ChazzChristopher
Posted: December 18th, 2011, 9:35pm Report to Moderator
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Ernie, if you're on here, this script (so far - I'm to page 23) is brilliant.  Witty dialogue.  Great characters within the first 5 pages and your character's goals are clear from the beginning.

I'd love for it to be clearer that the opening scene through dialogue, too, that Thanksgiving dinner has happened.  I read the opening action description then promptly forgot until Mel and Laura began talking about "tomorrow" being Black Friday.

In the scene with Rob, I'd love to hear what it is about their job that is shitty - or what kind of job it is.  Did I miss that?  I know they talk about it when they actually get to work...but it'd be nice to maybe bring that up in the scene earlier.

Little small things: you have a lot of questions asked that don't end with question marks.  You may want to fix that.  Several mis-spellings: (i.e., in till instead of until; steal instead of still, etc.)

Comedy is hard to make work on the page.  You have genuinely funny lines.

I will definitely finish this later and give you more comments.

Good job.
Chazz
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Conz
Posted: December 20th, 2011, 2:40pm Report to Moderator
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I dont want to be a dick, but just from a few pages, your dialogue is not all that witty, and there's too much of it.  There are just blocks of dialogue and little scene descriptions.  There's a few typos and the dialogue doesn't seem all that natural, "Okay, think where pretty cleaned up. Why don't you guys go lay down. I'm going to see if your mom needs
me to do anything before I lay downtoo."  for example.

Also, your descriptions are wrong.  you didn't describe the characters, you used italics, etc.

This is a solid idea from the logline (which is wrong.  Who is Rob?) Black Friday seems like a day that will inevitably be turned into a Jingle All The Way type film.


I'd list my "work" here, but I don't know how to hyperlink.††

"Career" Highlights
-2, count em, 2 credits on my IMDB page.††
-One time a fairly prominent producer e-mailed me back.††
-I have made more than $1000 with my writing!
-I've won 2 mugs... and a thong.††(polaroids of me in thong available for $10 through PM)

@vc_wg - because I crave attention
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: December 22nd, 2011, 1:46am Report to Moderator
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Conz, seems like you didn't actually read the script. Seems like you're like the typical forum wannabe screenwriter.  Focus more on the typos and problems than actually assessing the script itself.  You are not incorrect on the guy's typos.  They have to get fixed.  But you read 30 pages and you'll see that the script sets up the story (a very sellable story btw), sets up the characters and sets up the tension.

The script is by no means perfect.  But what he has going on, is IMO funny.

Chazz
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Conz
Posted: December 22nd, 2011, 5:47pm Report to Moderator
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i read the first few pages and it wasn't good.  why go further?  i also read something by you, and it wasn't good, why go further?  I'm nobody, but I'm trying to help him b/c I don't think you gave him good advice.


I'd list my "work" here, but I don't know how to hyperlink.††

"Career" Highlights
-2, count em, 2 credits on my IMDB page.††
-One time a fairly prominent producer e-mailed me back.††
-I have made more than $1000 with my writing!
-I've won 2 mugs... and a thong.††(polaroids of me in thong available for $10 through PM)

@vc_wg - because I crave attention
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B.C.
Posted: December 22nd, 2011, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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I don't think Ernie is around, so this is futile.

But for the sake of it -- I read the first four lines of action. There's a simple mistake on the first three lines.

Line 1 -- "We see a shot" -- no need for this.
Line 2 -- Characters intro'd -- no caps.
Line 3 -- "They start picking up" -- could be "They pick up". Petty I know, but hey...

Another point -- and this is a general point on a thing I see in spec scripts online ALOT. Cinema is a visual medium. The log line suggests this is a commercial, mainstream Xmas tale. Your script has much more of a chance if something visual happens on the first page. It's important. It doesn't have to be an explosion at a firework factory, but it also doesn't have to be three people doing something as mundane as washing dishes. Make the first page stand out. Make the reader/viewer want to carry on.

Sorry if this comes across as harsh.
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: December 22nd, 2011, 8:03pm Report to Moderator
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Conz, the point is that most readers are giving you at least the first 30 pages.  You gave him 3.  The first 3 pages of any script are rarely great.  What happens in the first 3 pages of Crash?  What happens in the first 3 pages of Braveheart?  Very little.  Even 10 pages rarely allows the story to unfold.  The readers I've had the opportunity to talk to have told me 30 pages (or roughly the 1st act) is how long it really takes to see if a script is actually good or bad.

People on sites like this one are wanna be experts.  I get it.  The anonymity of the internet and all.  This script isn't perfect.  In fact as a script it needs work.  Truth.  BUT...the dialogue actually is quite witty and snappy and the story is somewhat commercial.  I was broaching it from the positive.  Because in this script there actually was positive in the first 30 pages.

Does it need an extensive rewrite?  I'd say so.  BUT...and this is a big BUT...having a good story and good dialogue are the toughest thing.  Formatting and spelling and figuring out how to give a script a visual feel are many times the hardest things.  If a script has something positive - which this one does - why not be positive, and if the author is on here then begin to try to help him realize what things are not great.

We as amateur screenwriters trying to reach the next level in our careers should be attempting to actually help each other, not just come on, crap out a "hey I'm a frustrated screenwriter who wants to crap on your parade" response.

I have a manager and an agent.  I'm further along the process than others on here.  But - as I did in the early 2000's with my other (real) career - music - I know that there is strength in having people in your life who have struggled and are struggling with the same things you are looking at your work, and you looking at theirs.  Why not build a real community of actually taking the time to read scripts, help people with stories beyond just telling them their spelling sucks?

In my opinion, that's what I'm going for.  I want to read, encourage (if possible - sometimes it's just impossible, that's for sure), then try and help them figure out what's bad.

Basketcase - I did not think what you said was harsh at all.  Great comment.

Chazz
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Conz
Posted: December 24th, 2011, 1:10pm Report to Moderator
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dude, you called it "brilliant"  Brilliant!  Don't tell someone what they made is brilliant if it isnt. that's false hope.  If you want to help don't throw a word around that probably describes maybe 5 professionally written scripts a year.  I'm not trying to be a know it all, I pointed out that he had blocky dialogue that needed work and wrong descriptions.  You got a piece of this script?  are you a co-writer?

As far as I know, and I guess you know more than I do b/c you claim to have an agent, if a script isn't gripping from the get go, it more than likely isn't getting read by anyone worth a damn.   How am I not helping by mentioning that?  I'm not saying a building has to explode in the first 5, but give them something.

And I told the guy it was a good idea.  

and I'm sorry but if you can point out some of that "snappy" dialogue, I'd appreciate it.  I'm not saying you're wrong, I just didn't see it.

oh and Merry Christmas.


I'd list my "work" here, but I don't know how to hyperlink.††

"Career" Highlights
-2, count em, 2 credits on my IMDB page.††
-One time a fairly prominent producer e-mailed me back.††
-I have made more than $1000 with my writing!
-I've won 2 mugs... and a thong.††(polaroids of me in thong available for $10 through PM)

@vc_wg - because I crave attention
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Dreamscale
Posted: December 24th, 2011, 1:35pm Report to Moderator
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I was intrigued by the back and forth here between Conz and Chazz, so I had to take a look.

First of all, the logline is very poorly written and I knew immediately that the script would also be very poorly written.  The idea itself is also extremely cliche, extremely predictable, and very immature...but hey...so are most movies.

Anyway, I did attempt to read the script and stopped within 1/2 a page, as it's written much worse than the logline, which is surprising.  So many mistakes, there's no reason even going into them.

No way any "real" agent, producer, or reader would read past the first page unless they're being paid to do it.  No way...period.

I also attempted to read Chazz' script and stopped very quickly, because it was also written very poorly, and I knew what was to follow.  At that time, I really wanted to reply to a post from Chazz, where he was putting some reviewer down and saying what a great writer he was and having this agent and manager, but because it's the Holidays, I resisted and didn't say a word.

Well, I can't resist any longer.  Saying this is a great script in any way is ludicrous.  Saying that a spec script, written by a nobody will get 30 pages read when the first passage is so badly written, it's obvious what will follow, is also downright crazy.

People on SS are here to help and we do it all for free, and spend our spare time doing it.  We do it to help, and we do it because others have helped us in the past and help when we ask for it now.  There are those who wrongfully praise every script they come across, but there are others who may come off as harsh, but do it to help, and keep it real.

No offense, Chazz, but hopefully your "real job" in music is paying the bills, cause I don't see a future in screenwriting or script reviewing for you in any way, at any time in the future.

And I seriously do apologize for the harshness here, but I mean every word of it, and it is actually meant to help both the writer of this script and Chazz.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: December 25th, 2011, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Dreamscale.

I didn't put a writer down.  I simply said that the idea that he was trashing was not a bad idea - there are some really bad ideas on here, for sure.  This is not a bad idea.

And why is he (or you for that matter) even commenting on a script that you didn't read and think the idea sucks.  It's simply self-gratification to see your words in print on the internet, as far as I can tell.

I also said that, though I have been able to have manager/agent I'm looking to be better and that doesn't come by some anonymous person trashing someone's work - or me being the anonymous person who tells people their work sucks.  I've read a few pages of several scripts on here (and other places) that I think suck.  I simply don't comment.  Why comment?  It does nothing for no one.

The scripts I have up are early drafts of scripts that have changed significantly.  I have learned much of formatting and/or over-writing from boards like this one.  What I have not learned from was some anonymous idiot who has as much success in screenwriting as me - and much less success in life...I did check out people's twitters - trying to make himself feel superior by trashing a script they read 2 pages of.

And -because of my position, I have gotten reads and comments from actual readers, whether I deserved them or not - and that has accelerated my learning.  But the comments I got from actual readers - not guys who are wannabe screenwriters in Pheonix or the Bronx - have been remarkably encouraging and never as asshole as any comments I've seen from you guys on this board.

So, thanks but no thanks to idiots who think the way to best get across a point is to say "i made it 1 or 2 pages to know that it was bad."

Ernie's script isn't good.  But the idea is there.  What comments like yours and Conz's do is tell someone they such b/c they haven't learned that MORE and CONTINUED's are out of fashion now - when I took 2 semesters of screenwriting in college btw they WERE in fashion; or because they put 5-6 lines of text instead of 4 in the action writing, that they can't write.  When, in fact, after reading Ernie's whole script I would contend that he can write.  He can't format a screenplay, but he can write a story.  

Good thing formatting is freaking easy to learn - and thanks to guys like you and Conz who think they have their shit together b/c they can format, one can learn formatting quickly.

Ernie's script is not well-written but it is a good idea and the characters and dialogue are good to very good in spots.  Bad and on the nose in some spots, too.  But there's actually good stuff in this script.  You know how I know that?  Because I freaking read it.

I came on to SS because it looked like it could be a place where people could be challenged to be better at writing and be better at telling stories and - yes - better at formatting.  none of us on here are professional readers and none of us here are professional writers, yet.  So, what's the use of just trashing each other instead of helping?

For instance - here's how, if I were Conz, I'd have put it to begin with:

"You know, your formatting on this script is almost impossible to get past.  I'm not a professional reader so I choose not time to fight through this.  But the idea seems like it could possibly be commercial - but this kind of overwriting and this kind of poor formatting, unfortunately will hurt the chances of it ever being seen by anyone with any power to get the movie made.  I would be willing to give this script a chance beyond the first 2 pages if some of the formatting were better, but for now that's my 2 cents."

Or he could just not comment in a thread for a script that he hasn't freaking read.  I dunno, logic would say that would be the best way to go about it, but what do I know?  I don't have a future in screenwriting or script reviewing at any time in the future.

Thanks for posting and Merry Christmas to you.

Chazz

P.S.: maybe if people in these forums worked to encourage people to be better or simply left shitty scripts alone and let the writers just go away, then people might actually, you know - get better.

Being nice is always better than not.
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: December 25th, 2011, 7:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Conz
dude, you called it "brilliant"  Brilliant!


You are correct.  Incorrect use of word.  I enjoyed the idea greatly.  But it was not brilliant.

Chazz
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Conz
Posted: December 26th, 2011, 12:28pm Report to Moderator
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If you're a successful writer who has an agent, why are you posting early, crappy versions of your scripts?  Just curious.

Also, why comment on a crappy script?   To let the writer know they have a crappy script.  First script I wrote -- I thought it was amazing, but in the end it was just a collection of funny scenes and a loose plot.  I thought I could take over the world, but I didn't get anyone to read it.  In hindsight, I could have saved some time if I posted it online and got a few "this is wrong, this doesn't look right, you're dialogue is blocky, etc"  

since that point I've studied hard (admittedly self taught, with only a few workshops) and if I see something off in a script, I'll tell the writer.  I thought that was the whole idea of this site?  I disagree with a lot of things people say on here, but I didn't think I said anything mean or wrong.

And if you think anyone in the know is gonna look past bad formatting, you're out of your mind.   I'm supposed to just let that slide?  

lol @ your suggestion for how I should have replied.  Sorry I didn't put it so elegantly.  I like how you're stull whining about me, but thanked Dreamscale for saying essentially the same thing in more words.

Again, you seem to believe producers/readers/agents are gonna look past glaring flaws to read scripts, just b/c some guy you know read some of your stuff -- that's not the way things work.

This business (which again, I'm admittedly not a part of in any major way) is cut throat, I'd hate to see how'd you react if someone told you your work wasn't up to par.

And if I wanted to sit here and put myself on a pedestal, I've had some of my stuff read by paid, successful Hollywood screenwriters too.  Only a few, and mostly stuff I don't post here, but I have.  It's a long process, I don't pretend to be more than I am, nor would I ever even consider bragging about it.

Oh, and the dude who posted this script doesn't even seem to be a member.   I'd like to hear what he has to say about my terrible, soul crushing replies.


I'd list my "work" here, but I don't know how to hyperlink.††

"Career" Highlights
-2, count em, 2 credits on my IMDB page.††
-One time a fairly prominent producer e-mailed me back.††
-I have made more than $1000 with my writing!
-I've won 2 mugs... and a thong.††(polaroids of me in thong available for $10 through PM)

@vc_wg - because I crave attention
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: December 26th, 2011, 9:33pm Report to Moderator
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Conz, ultimately you are entitled to your opinion.  As I am mine.  I was never commenting on your opinion just on the fact that your opinions on this board are nearly 100% negative and nearly always harsh.  I just don't understand why someone on a board like this feels the need to trash someone without any kind of encouragement.  We're all in the same boat...we're trying to write stories.  No need to be harsh.  That was my whole point.

I actually relish being told I suck as long as there's a reason as to why I suck.  Tell me I suck at formatting I'll figure out how to get better.  Tell me my plot sucks I'll ask what you mean by that an ultimately figure out if you're right.  Tell me my longline sucks I'll work on it.

The reason I'm working on these boards is because my agent suggested it.  I also have a few produce writers I am dealing with but they though it'd be great for me to read other amateur scripts and work on story comments.  So I'm doing the grunt work.  I'm lucky to have a team but having a team is only a small part of it.  I have to get better

And honestly, so do you and Dreamscale and others on this board... So let's help each other get better.

Chazz
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: December 26th, 2011, 9:37pm Report to Moderator
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Btw I apologize if I somehow offended you.  It was truly not my intention.

Chazz
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bert
Posted: December 26th, 2011, 9:49pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
I actually relish being told I suck as long as there's a reason as to why I suck.


Fine -- you suck because you keep bumping up this thread with your tedious codswallop.

Kidding, Chazz.  Just wanted to use my new favorite word.

Your attitude seems good -- but since the author for this script seems the sort to drop their work on our doorstep never to be heard from again, your efforts seem better directed towards a different script.  Right now you guys are just whistling in the wind.

Probably time to move on.  You, too, Conz.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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nawazm11
Posted: January 14th, 2012, 6:28am Report to Moderator
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Ok! This is the Short script of the day so I just thought I'd give it a read but it's 108 pages without a fade out so I don't know what happened there. The logline makes no sense to me. "The problem is he can only get the gifts on Black Friday, while he is supposed to be at working on that very day." What?

I read all the comments on here just for laughs, but I didn't seem to laugh very much I don't want to start an argument so I'll shut up.

Oh my! Mistake in the first sentence. "We see a shot of a small duplex." We aren't in the movie. I made the same mistake on  my first script but learnt from it very fast so don't fret. I also don't understand why some of your action is in italics, why not just leave it like it is?

Oh my, again! I can't get past the second page. How old are the characters! I don't even know which ones are which. You didn't bother to describe them except tell us that Mel is the uncle, but that makes no sense at all cause if this were a movie, how would I know that he is their uncle.

This needs some serious work, some producers would've stopped reading by the first paragraph. I would bother to read more if you existed on the boards but you don't! Sorry if I came off harsh.

Mohammad

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nawazm11  -  January 15th, 2012, 9:15pm
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ottercat
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I agree with Mohammad and most other comments.  I read through ( And by no means am I a pro, just learning as I go) the first couple scenes. Not gonna keep stating other people facts.

What I noticed is that some of your dialog can be shorter.

EXAMPLE:
PG 4
MEL
Come on you can tell me whatís
wrong with you?

Just leave it at:
Come on you can tell me whatís
Wrong?

OR JUST
Come on, tell me whats wrong?

PG 3
Ever since your mom has let me move in you
guys been "A" OK in my book but

Just leave it at:
Ever since your mom let me move in you
guys been "A" OK in my book but

PG 3
Iím going to see if your mom needs
me to do anything before I lay down
too.
PUT: GONNA instead of GOING.

There were a lot more that could use work. Try and read (OUT LOUD) your dialog like your the actor. If you sound like a ROBOT you need to fix your lines.
Hope this helps


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ottercat  -  March 7th, 2012, 1:11pm
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