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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  The Jack Off: The Life & Times of the ... Moderators: bert
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 4th, 2012, 12:35pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from Eoin
Industry professionals can tell within these 10 pages if your script is any good or not. They read scripts all day long, it's their job. They see the same mistakes and same flawed openings.


Yeah...uh...right.  Sure they can.  Sure they do.  That's why we have so many fantastic movies every every, right?

Most industry professionals are complete fucking idiots.

Now, I will agree that smart, well trained readers with a good eye, who are also good writers, can read 10 pages or much less and know whether or not the writer knows what he or she's doing, as well as whether or not they can stomach the writer's style.

If that style emulates Shane Black, I can pretty much assure you that I for one am way out.  Such an irritating style!!!



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Eoin
Posted: July 4th, 2012, 3:49pm Report to Moderator
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Lol @ Jeff. By industry professionals, I am referring to readers and agents. For Christmas I'm buying you a write by numbers screenwriting book, I know you'll love it
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 4th, 2012, 4:15pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Eoin, I'd prefer an old Shane Black script...or a script writing book by Shane or my personal fave, old Blake Snyder.

NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

Send me a stripper and I'll owe you for life.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 3:26am Report to Moderator
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Eoin,

Most professional readers that I know do not stop 10 pages in.  They just don't.  Many times they are required to write coverage on a script, no matter how bad they may think it is.  Though it does not happen often, many readers will tell you that they started off a script in a bad frame of mind, found what they thought were problems and were eventually won over by a script.  

With all that said - your first 10 pages should 100% be enough to draw someone in.  

My beef was never with someone just reading even a few pages.  My beef was someone reading less than a page and making comments - especially in a comedy where set up and pay off is absolutely key.

However, I think it's key to understand, too, the readers who will read your script and where you have the best chance to land.  For instance, I would not send this script to Steven Spielberg or Tom Cruise's agents or managers.  I wouldn't try to get their production companies to read.  But I sure as hell will be sending it to Danny McBride, Will Ferrel, Vince Vaughn and the like's teams.

This script is a stupid, low-brow, (what I think is) very funny Rated R sports comedy focusing on a world that has never been explored in mainstream film.  Most "readers" on this site (and other sites) aren't going to "get it" and that's okay.  The few who do get it will speak into the structure of the story and help me take it from what I think is a good level to possibly a great level.

Unfortunately, no one on this site has done anything but talk about the first 5 pages or less.  So, I have a hard time trusting the readers of this site thus far.  Might be a learning curve for me - might be that my instinct is right.  But I gave this site another chance.  We'll see how it goes.



Anyway, based on several readers' (not here, but other sites) comments, I've worked on some actual story issues and have submitted a new draft, renamed the script (it's now called "The Jack Off: The Life & Times of the Greatest Lumberjack to Ever Live") and tweaked the logline a bit.  Here's the new logline:

When the greatest competitive lumber jack ever realizes he's broke and decides to come out of retirement, he soon comes to understand that to truly make a comeback, he must get more than his body in shape to defeat his arch-nemesis and be a world champion again.




Dreamscale,

In this script, I actually scream out my plot points via dialogue (Inciting event, break into two, midpoint, whiff of death) in a bit of a skewering of Blake Snyder.  Kind of an inside joke with other writers.  If it ever gets bought, I'm sure it'll get removed...but it's kind of fun at this point to skewer BS, since most of my reads are from other writers.

I personally prefer Michael Hague's Stages for a "beat sheet".  It is fantastic...it deals with 6 stages and 5 turning points - it just helps my brain make sense of structure.  If you haven't already, you should check it out.



Anyway, thanks for the comments...

Chazz
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nastynate
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 5:18am Report to Moderator
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Chazz,
It's give and take here on this site. This site is different from other screenwriting sites because no one's assigning a script for someone to read. People are choosing to read and comment on something based purely on whether or not the logline caught their attention, and/or if someone has helped them out by previously reading one of their scripts.

I put your name in the search engine and 90% of your comments are about your own scripts, with the exception from your comments on the script "The Boob Job" by a poster that put their script on here but hasn't replied to anyones comments. If you want to get read by people on this site try reading the scripts from people that actually contribute to the site.

People here are spending their own free time reading and commenting on scripts without expecting anything in return. It seems like you are expecting people to read your entire script and spend an hour an and a half of their time reading, plus another hour posting a review without you giving anything in return? Do the math.

I feel your pain about people leaving a post after reading a single page of a feature length script, it's frustrating, but again, what are you offering in return?
I read 15 pages of your script and gave you honest feedback but you failed to even acknowledge me in your reply. Even more, here's your latest reply...

"Unfortunately, no one on this site has done anything but talk about the first 5 pages or less.  So, I have a hard time trusting the readers of this site thus far.  Might be a learning curve for me - might be that my instinct is right.  But I gave this site another chance.  We'll see how it goes."
A few days ago I read more of your script (thanks to seeing it on the Scriptshadow amateur friday contest) and was trying to see if I was wrong about my assessment of the first 15 pages, but unfortunately your script just got worse and worse. As I read it I actually got more and more pissed off because I felt like you squandered a solid idea for a script with shitty execution. It's rare that I actually get angry while reading a script but yours is so offensive and lame that I couldn't help it.
I read up until pg. 30 (before I read your latest post here) and then decided to finally put it down because even though the idea was solid, your execution just isn't funny. And not just cause it's unfunny, it's groan inducing, awful, and un-imaginative.

You changed the logline and the title which help, but still you're jokes just suck and are NOT FUNNY. I wouldn't be such a dick about it but you keep dismissing anyones feedback that isn't positive.
your quote...
"This script is a stupid, low-brow, (what I think is) very funny Rated R sports comedy focusing on a world that has never been explored in mainstream film.  Most "readers" on this site (and other sites) aren't going to "get it" and that's okay.  The few who do get it will speak into the structure of the story and help me take it from what I think is a good level to possibly a great level."

You act like you're on some superior level, but honestly people aren't getting it because it isn't well-written and your jokes and execution suck.
Plus, Will Ferrell played the "Bounty Lumber Jack" as he bust down his therapists door in the final 15 minutes of Step Brothers so don't act like your idea is that original.


New comedy short, "CRIME SCENE REENACTMENTS." The only TV show that lets actual crime victims reenact the worst moments of their lives for your viewing pleasure.

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1337896711/

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nastynate  -  July 6th, 2012, 5:34am
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Eoin
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 5:31am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
Eoin,

Most professional readers that I know do not stop 10 pages in.  They just don't.  Many times they are required to write coverage on a script, no matter how bad they may think it is.  Though it does not happen often, many readers will tell you that they started off a script in a bad frame of mind, found what they thought were problems and were eventually won over by a script.  

With all that said - your first 10 pages should 100% be enough to draw someone in.  


Chazz


Reread what i actually said 'Industry professionals can tell within these 10 pages if your script is any good or not.' - I didn't say they stop. If you really want someone to keep reading, then pay for coverage. This isn't that kind of site.
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ChazzChristopher
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Nate, thanks for breaking it down.  I didn't acknowledge your post before and I should have, you're right.

However, I really have nothing to discuss with you, not because you don't have positive things to say but because you had nothing of worth to say.  You're like most amateurs in that you assume your way of doing it is the only way.  You don't get or like the jokes?  Most who've read it do.  You think there should be more action at the top?  Okay, well most people who read it do not.  So who's right?  You, the guy who read 15 pages or the 20-ish people who read the script?  I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm saying I don't trust you enough to weigh your opinion, especially when you haven't given any constructive suggestions.  Saying jokes don't work or execution doesn't work isn't constructive.  It's a cop out.

So, thank you for reading 30 pages, if you really read 30 pages.  

The idea actually is original.  A lumberjack is wholly & utterly different than what this script explores.  And I dunno how you read into my posts that I believe I'm better than you.  Sounds more like you've got a problem with your writing's self image than I do on my end.  I'm just looking for constructive feedback that this site thus far hasn't given.

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ChazzChristopher  -  July 6th, 2012, 3:39pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 3:23pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
  I'm just looking for constructive feedback that this site thus far hasn't given.


Chazz, I thought your name sounded familiar so i went back and checked, and sure enough your attitude is just what it was when you first posted on SS.

You say you're looking for constructive criticism...in reality, I think you're looking for glowing reviews and feedback and I'm afraid you're just not going to get it, unless you can provide a script that warrants such praise.

As others have correctly pointed out, 90+% of your posts are all on your own scripts.  You do not help out other writers at all.  You don't engage in any discussions.

You seem to think you're a great writer and your scripts are also great.  I actually like the confidence and attitude, but you have to back it up some way, and you haven't done that at all, sorry to say.

I actually read 15 pages of this script, to see what everyone was talking about and I'm in complete agreement on basically all the negative feedback.  It's not funny (now, don't get me wrong, there are some things that could be funny, if handled properly, and comedy is very subjective).  The setup is not strong. It's not visual.  Your characters are not likable or engaging.  Your dialogue is not remotely believable.  The whole premise isn't even something that sounds interesting...or remotely believable...even for a vulgar balls out comedy.

I say it all the time, and I'll say it again here.  Usually, the best feedback you'll ever get, is negative feedback, because it alerts you to problems you didn't see, or aren't even aware of.

Now, I'll also say this - I agree with you about not knowing or trusting someone's expertise enough to blindly follow what they're saying or telling you to do or not do.  many people on SS don't really have a clue, but they're trying.  They're continually learning.  And, usually, their goal is to help.  You should definitely take advice with a whole shaker of salt, but you you should also understand that some of, or much of the advice you receive is valid and makes perfect sense.

SS works in a Quid Pro Quo kind of way.  If you're not willing to help others, you don't deserve the help yourself.  Think about it, and decide if SS is really for you.  Maybe it's not.  But understand what it is and how it can work for everyone.  It's a great place and there's no way you won't learn to be a much better writer by frequenting the boards, reading and providing feedback to others, and making some acquaintances.

We all mean well, man.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 4:00pm Report to Moderator
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Dreamscale,

I appreciate the feedback & have good standing (I.e., dozens of reviews, plenty of friends, respect, etc) at zoetrope, amazon, Talentville, etc (over 100 reviews total between those 3 sites alone).  I received scathing feedback on most of my scripts that have made them better.  Not one person - including you - on this site has yet to give me helpful feedback.

I don't give a shit about positive feedback.  I care about useful feedback.  Saying "your jokes don't work" isn't helpful.  Saying "your script isn't visual" doesn't help.  You're using your paradigm as the definition of humor and/or writing.  How arrogant is that?  Now, if you say "xxxx didn't work for me and here's why...." then suddenly you're saying "I get how this might be funny to some but it wasn't for me" AND you're saying "here's how in my opinion you can make it better.". The difference between what I've seen on this site and what I just put here is incredibly VAST.

So be negative all you freaking want.  Your opinion won't get the time of day from anyone unless you can figure out how to do it in a way that's helpful/constructive.

I've tried twice here to get involved here but all I've gotten thus far from the "regulars" is non-helpful critiques.

I'd love for it to be better.

Chazz
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 4:15pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Chazz, you're not listening to what I'm saying.  You're not listening to what others have said.

Why do you think you deserve complete strangers' time?  What have you done for anyone here at SS?  If you don't read and provide feedback to others, why should they do it for you?

If you posted some great scripts that peeps wanted to read because they loved them and/or could learn from them, than you're a lucky guy.  That's not the case here, though.  I don't think anyone has praised any of your work.

You started out by saying you had an agent and a manager ans basically, you were already a Pro writer who knew what he was doing.  A few months later, you said that you've learned so much and made many changes to your scripts.  These 2 concepts don't jive, bro.

It always amazes me how people handle negative feedback.  If something's wrong, is it a bad thing for someone else to come right out and tell you?  Hell now, bro.  It's meant to alert you to something you missed.  There are so many people, you included who act like proper formatting, grammar, spelling, punctuation doesn't matter - like you just don't want to hear it.  So, in turn, people are now telling you that they don't find your jokes funny, your setup and visuals rewarding, and your story compelling.  You keep saying how unique it is and how everyone should love it.

I just don't get it.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ChazzChristopher
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Once again, I say this: so far there has been no helpful feedback.  Even in reading 10 pages no one has given helpful feedback.  I've posted 2-3 reviews of scripts I've read here completely.  I read them based on interest not trying to figure out who the 'regulars' are.  Didn't realize I had to brown nose the regulars.  

I've done work here...just apparently not the right work.  I just don't agree with the way assholes like you decide to come in & teach a lesson to the guy asking for actual critical feedback not bull shit "I'm gonna give you my opinion on 10 pages cuz I'm a big fish here & I don't ever need to actually give real feedback because I'm a fucking regular". You - and no one else - has this far given 1 piece...not 1 fucking piece...of good feedback.

So yeah...maybe this isn't the place for me.

And, dude, there aren't problems with my formatting, grammar or punctuation.  So come on...don't be a complete asshole just to try & make a point.

Chazz

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B.C.
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Hi Chazz , just to let you know -- nobody in England pronounces Ralph 'Rafe'. With the exception of a certain thespian, who pronounces it the Welsh way, for reasons I'm not sure. Presumably because he thinks it's more refined, like your lead character does.

I've read the first ten pages and I'm sorry to say the humour didn't work for me. I got that Rafe is supposed to be an offensive douchbag. But I didn't see much comedy or laughs in the opening scene to go along with the douchebaggery. Therefore as a reader I'm not sure I want to spend much time with this fella.
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 5:10pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you, basket case.

That is fair.

Chazz
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 5:15pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
And, dude, there aren't problems with my formatting, grammar or punctuation.  So come on...don't be a complete asshole just to try & make a point.Chazz


You honestly believe that, Chazz?  For reals?  I beg to differ...but what do I know?  maybe your manager and agent can offer the critical feedback you so crave.

Big Fish, out.



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nastynate
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"Even in reading 10 pages no one has given helpful feedback.  I've posted 2-3 reviews of scripts I've read here completely.  I read them based on interest not trying to figure out who the 'regulars' are.  Didn't realize I had to brown nose the regulars."
You don't have to brown nose anyone, if you want to receive feedback it just makes sense that you read scripts by active members who are more likely to return a read then someone who just posted a script and may or may not know the message board even exists.

As far as actual examples of things that did and didn't work for me with your script (in addition to the ones from my 1st post) here are a few-
- You spent 30 pages building up your story world and making it believable but then you throw in a "save the cat" reference with Louis and Ralph. It's the equivalent of having your main character "wink" at the camera. For me it ruined any believability you had established.  
- It's obvious you wrote this with Kenny Powers/Danny McBride in mind. Even his speaking patterns sync up with your dialogue, which is great, but like I said before your jokes just repeatedly fall flat for me. Don't know what else to say (I'm not going to list specific examples because literally nothing worked) I laugh my ass off at Eastbound and Down and read his dialogue with his voice in mind, but still nothing.
- The scene with the orphans almost worked. He had some nice back and forth with them but yet again the payoff was lacking. Offensive humor usually is okay by me but having "an amazing amount of diarrhea" run out of Ralph's pants towards the kids was too much. Gross doesn't always equal funny. This is just in poor taste.


New comedy short, "CRIME SCENE REENACTMENTS." The only TV show that lets actual crime victims reenact the worst moments of their lives for your viewing pleasure.

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1337896711/
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