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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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Don
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 3:38pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Jack Off: The Life & Times of the Greatest Lumberjack to Ever Live by Chazz Christopher - Comedy - When the greatest competitive lumber jack ever realizes he's broke and decides to come out of retirement, he 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. 111 pages - pdf, format


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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  July 21st, 2012, 1:11pm
Revised script and title change from "The Lumber Hack"
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 7:56pm Report to Moderator
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Hey guys,

This is actually a (highly offensive, Hard R) straight comedy.

It'd be great if it could get put over into that forum, if possible.

Thanks!
Chazz
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Forgive
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 8:20pm Report to Moderator
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Okay - I've hit the first paragraph and I'm struggling.

Back-tracking some, I've got issues with the log line, so could do with a re-write.

On to the first paragraph:

INT. TV STUDIO - DAY
RALPH WATERSTOWN (40), tall, sturdy, massive beard,
wearing a flannel shirt and a too-tight pair of jeans.
These aren’t meant to be skinny jeans. Not on this guy.
It isn’t right.
Across from Ralph, pronounced Rafe, sits STEVE EAGERTON
(40), newscaster-kind of good-looking, perfect hair,
perfect teeth - the kind of guy most people want to punch
in the fucking mouth if they ever meet them in public.
------------------------
Okay, you said TV studio in the slug, but that's all you've given us. Opening images are important - they set the stage.

Then I'm okay with the description of Ralph, but you're over-doing the unfilmables and talking to the reader. And because you focused on the jeans - my mind's-eye had him standing.

You then tell us how Ralph is pronounced -- as part of your introduction of Steve ... you see how crossed wires are going to start sparking?

... and Steve's sitting - so I was then wondering if Ralph was sitting, but you don't really say, so I'm not really sure ...

Needs a re-think to my mind. Sorry.
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 8:55pm Report to Moderator
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Knowing you, sicol, I'm pretty sure that this isn't your kind of script anyway.

Read actual writers.  They use unfilmables strikingly a lot.  As writers we should have a style.  This first bit of action/description tells you immediately the kind of script you're reading: funny, sarcastic, absurd and outlandish.  And if you read even the first 10-15 pages, you'd realize that these are used very, very sparingly (as they should).

Read Paul Haggis' early specs.  Read Shane Black's early specs.  I could go on, but why?  These  2 are 2 of the biggest spec writers ever.  Their early scripts have unfilmables out the wazoo.  It's creating a style, which I've realized in reading post after post after post by you - you don't get.  And that's okay.

I mean, seriously?  Can you not tell that someone is wearing too tight pants while they're sitting?

You make me chuckle sometimes, that's all  Thanks for reading the first page.

Anyway, if this could please be moved over to the Comedy section, I would be greatly appreciative.

Chazz
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Doms
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 9:04pm Report to Moderator
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I read the first scene and I like it. However, I have to agree with SiColl007 that I had a problem trying to picture them. Even after I realized they were sitting down, I don't know if it's behind a desk or sitting opposite on chairs. A quick sentence would clear that up.

As far as the unfilmables, they seem okay to me.

I didn't realize this was a comdey - because it's in the wrong section - but I may finish reading it.
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ChazzChristopher
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Thanks, Dom.  I'm not saying it's perfect - in fact, you and siColl may actually have a point about the actual sentence (though in roughly 20 reads not one person has brought it up) - I had never thought about it in the way that he/she brought up.  

I'm not defensive at all about my work -- unless someone comes on, reads a paragraph and talks trash about it.

But my being rankled doesn't mean that his deal with the jeans is necessarily wrong.  I do disagree with the unfilmables comment, however.

Chazz
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Forgive
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 9:15pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
Knowing you, sicol, I'm pretty sure that this isn't your kind of script anyway.


I think that comedy is one of the hardest genres to write - so kudos on you for going for that.

Paul Haggis, I respect - Shane Blake is a little out-dated.

Style, I agree with - it's difficult to accomplish, and I respect the people who manage to pull it off.

Unfilmables work to my mind when they flow well with the script. The problem I had here, was the full-stops that you used slowed the read, so that focused my attention on the unfilmables, not the story.

The script-writers I tend to read most, are the likes of the Coen brothers - they don't use a lot of unfilmables, but do tend to be dialogue heavy.

Don't worry too much in regard to what I say - it's just my opinion - I'll have no impact on your career ...  
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Forgive
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 9:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
... I had never thought about it in the way that he/she brought up.  


Ohhhh ... most definitely 'He'.

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ChazzChristopher
Posted: June 27th, 2012, 9:20pm Report to Moderator
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Haha...cool - now I know.

Again, I will for sure take a look at that paragraph.  You probably have a point.

Chazz
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nastynate
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Hey Chazz,
I'm into highly offensive, R rated comedies so I'd thought I'd give this a look.

I got an Eastbound and Down vibe from it, but unfortunately almost all of the jokes fell flat for me. It had a mockumentary feel to it because Ralph seemed to be telling us how bad ass he was rather than having us actually seeing him being a bad ass. You could easily remedy this by showing a couple of quick flashbacks of lumberjack competitions that play over his voiceover.

Romanowski's intro with the pig didn't work for me. (Plus I would give him a different name, having your two main characters names start with an "R" is something to avoid) Of course with the v.o. I knew the payoff would be a twist on how the scene began, but the end result was a huge letdown. Romanowski's character is a good villain to Ralph, they both want the same exact thing, but they come across as too similar.

I read until pg. 16, but decided to stop there. The story structure is spot on and the characters are well drawn. Ralph has a lot of motivation and I can instantly visualize the characters/story/movie poster, but again in a comedy the jokes are king and they just struck out for me.

I'm not a stickler for format, I try to focus on character and story, but there are a ton of opportunities for you to trim a few pages from this without losing a single ounce of story by cutting orphans. On page 10 alone there are four lines of description that could be shaved to one line by just re-wording or eliminating certain adjectives. It could help make it an even quicker read.

Like I said I can picture the movie poster in my head after reading just a few pages, and if you're able to re-work some of this you could have an entertaining story here.
Best of luck,
Nate


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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kingcooky555
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I decided to check this out. Got to around 20 pages. I'll try to read more. I've seen you around this site, but I'd really like to see you commenting on more scripts.

I liked your angle here with the lumberjack. I can't come up with a movie that has explored this territory before so you have a unique concept. However, after 20 pages, I didn't see one tree cut at all. It felt more like a bodybuilder universe. The muscle flexing and the obvious ode to Shwarzenegger (I know I misspelled that).

Your style borrows a bit from Shane Black. I think it's okay to have some unfilmables to intro your characters if it helps visualize the character. And you did a good job here as I got a great sense of who the characters are.

I didn't like the Austrian "bad guy". He's too much of a caricature that's been done before. And to top it off you made him Austrian, which is a big nod to the Governator.

"See what I did there?  Good." The nod, nod, wink, wink here might turn off some readers. At least you kept it short and sweet.

Dialogue heavy for the first ten pages. I know you were looking for some laughs here, but it didn't work for me. However, dialogue is subjective so this is just my amateur opinion.

I think you missed an opportunity in the first ten pages to show some tree cutting. I've seen these lumberjack events in ESPN and some of this stuff has comedic gold waiting to be unlocked. Instead of the heavy emphasis on dialogue, why not have Ralph competing in an obscure, amateurish lumberjack competition. Here's your chance to show the comedic side of lumberjack competition. Also, you get to "show" rather than "tell" how Ralph has really fallen. He could be competing for a $500 check and making a real fool of himself. Thus, building sympathy for your character.

As is, you have an opening image of Ralph making gay jokes to an interviewer. Then you have him in  a bar and we're told he needs to get a real job. I didn't have much empathy for your main character here, as you're just "telling" us this, not "showing" us.

I think you got a unique angle here, as I've never seen anyone make a movie about the wide world of lumberjacking. In short, less talking and more tree cutting. Screw them tree huggers.
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ChazzChristopher
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Hey guys,

First off, I do hang out here from time to time.  When I do, I comment on full scripts, not just 5-10 pages of a script.  It's one of the reasons I don't spend more time here - people don't read full scripts, they read 1 page or even 20 pages and think they understand a script.  My normal hangouts are Talentville and Zoetrope.  But when I do come over I read full scripts (as I did with the Boob Job).

Secondly, thanks for those of you who did read a few pages and commented.

It doesn't really help the overall arc of the script, but it did hit me with a couple of ideas on the first act.  Which is good. Thanks.

Cooky - to your point.  In this script there is close to 25 pages of lumber jack action.  But the real story here isn't about lumberjacking - it's about a man who is a complete asshole overcoming himself to return to being a champion.

He isn't down and out.  He still lives in a mansion.  But he's headed towards desperation because of some bad investment he and his sexually starved wife made.  So, he's forced back into competition.

He's a 10-time world champion who retired in his prime.  He doesn't need to do small competitions (though I'm not saying that's a bad angle - that was something I looked at in my planning, but decided against).

I do think, however, that you have a point that there needs to be some images of what he does great.  So, during the interview I've added in a montage/highlight video that he comes out of into his conversation about his rock hard groinal area.

I am sure that every script's first 10 pages can be funnier and I will for sure look at how jokes can snap a little better.  But the overall, consistent theme I've gotten from most readers is that it's pretty damn funny - even the first 10-15 pages.  But comedy is subjective, so I am not saying that you're wrong or right - just that some people think it's really funny.

Anyway, thanks for the short reads!

Chaz
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ottercat
Posted: July 1st, 2012, 12:16pm Report to Moderator
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Your log line does need some help.

When a highly offensive former champion competitive lumber jack realizes he's broke, he contemplates a comeback -- and realizes he needs to get more than his body in shape to truly defeat his arch-nemesis.


Can't you just put:

When a former lumber jack champion realizes he's hit rock bottom, he contemplates a comback only to realize he needs a lot more then physical strength to defeat his arch rival.

Do we need to know he's highly offensive right off the bat?

Just a suggestion.

Otter
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ChazzChristopher
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The new logline is this:

When the greatest competitive lumber jack ever realizes he's broke and decides to come out of retirement, he 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
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Eoin
Posted: July 4th, 2012, 5:07am Report to Moderator
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Try the Blake Snyder method of writing your logline:

On the verge of a Stasis=Death moment, a flawed protagonist Breaks into Two; but when the Midpoint happens, he/she must learn the Theme Stated, before All Is Lost.

- Right at the beginning your protagonist is stuck somehow.
- He/she has a flaw, weakness.
- Something happens to push the protagonist into a conflict situation.
- At the middle the protagonist is challenged to learn/get/implement the theme.
- Because, otherwise, everything is lost.


Quoted from rock.
Hey Chazz,

I understand, I, too, am personally a little annoyed when people read the first few pages and only comment on those as if they pertain to the whole script.  If you want to, we can swap and I can give some of my thoughts on the whole thing.  I remember reading a few of your scripts before and enjoying them.  I definitely need some reads and comments.  If you're interested, let me know or send me PM!  Thanks.


You may be annoyed, but the first 10 pages of your script are uber important. If there's no hook, or inciting incident that draws the reader in, most people will stop reading. It doesn't matter if you think your script is killer after page 10. Learn to outline.

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.
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 4th, 2012, 12:35pm Report to Moderator
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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/

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
nastynate  -  July 6th, 2012, 5:34am
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Eoin
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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.

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
ChazzChristopher  -  July 6th, 2012, 3:39pm
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Dreamscale
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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
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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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ChazzChristopher  -  July 6th, 2012, 5:12pm
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B.C.
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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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.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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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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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 6th, 2012, 8:50pm Report to Moderator
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Nice one, Ledbetter.  That was entirely helpful.

Go fuck yourself, by the way.  Hope that was helpful for you.

Nate, I appreciate you actually saying what didn't work for you.  I actually didn't write it with Danny McBride in mind but his characterization certainly works.

You still haven't really given any actual usable feedback, but that's better than nothing.

Thanks, everyone.  This site is awesome.

Chazz
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Nomad
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I had to chime in.  He are my thoughts:

Page 1.

"Not on this guy.  It isn't right."  Pick one or the other.  I'd go with "It isn't right."  Using both, slows down the read.

"Across from Ralph, pronounced Rafe," I know it's pronounced Rafe because for some unknown reason, Ralph told me so over a black screen.  Telling me that again, slows down the read.

I'd establish that they're sitting across from each other in an interview format.  It makes for a better visual.

Ralph calling Steve an "Eager Beaver" sounds out of character for Ralph.  He seems more like the kind of guy who would just sternly correct him.  Remove "Eager Beaver".

"Pussy" is the wrong word.  "Pussified", makes more sense.

Page 2.

"That sounds like it's only one man.  That's not a line, really."  This could be worded better.  Saying it "sounds like it's only one man" is unnecessary.  Just have Steve say, "That's only one man.  More of a dot than a line, don't you think?"

Why is Ralph using British slang for a cigarette?  I thought he was American because he says, "this country".  Is he British and Steve is American?  It needs to be cleared up.

Describing smoke as creamy doesn't work for me.  It's the wrong consistency.  Creamy is too thick of a word.  Milky, would work a little better.

Instead of "England English", use "English English".  It's funnierer.

Why does everyone else have an exact age but the Producer is just, 30's?  Nitpicky?  Maybe.  If he's just in this one scene then I guess, 30's, would work.

Page 3.

Why do you write, "His tone says that he does not, in fact, find this fascinating.", to describe how Steve says, "This sounds fascinating."?  You could use a wrylie that states (sarcastically).  The way you have it written, simply slows down the read and wastes space.

"I'm sure I have it in my notes, but I doubt I'm gonna look all the way down at the cards in my hand - so why don't you just tell me."  I see how you're trying to be funny with this dialogue, but it's not funny.  I'd use "I'm sure it's written on my cards, but they're all the way down in my hand.  So please, enlighten me."  Still not that funny, but it's better.

Is this constructive?

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 7th, 2012, 4:01am Report to Moderator
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Lol...you've got such a hard on for me that you're literally showing how few actual pro scripts you've read.

Go ahead and think that the dashes are 'wasting the reader's time' - that literally made me chuckle, by the way..  Where do dumb fucks like you come up with this shit?!  Read The Disciple Program, White House Down, scripts that actually selling...they literally break every fucking 'rule' you just pointed out.

And you've never read "Long beat"?  Um...how many scripts have you read?!

And pointing out that a man's pants are too tight?  That he shouldn't be wearing pants so tight?  That constitutes having a hard on for a character?

God, you're fucking reaching.  I mean, if you're gonna go after someone, at the least don't make yourself look like a jockeying asshole just working to make a point.  I mean, I could point out things on the first page that are wrong....but you're too fucking stupid to find those and choose to go after things that are preference, not hard, fast rules.

And that's my problem with this site.  Nearly everyone who's pointed stuff out has pointed out things that are preference, not actual formatting rules.  Which you would know had you actually read scripts that were selling?

And I'm mean spirited?  Um...what has nearly every person posting in this thread been to me? I was never mean-spirited, except to your stupid ass when you said you'd like to punch me in the fucking mouth.  To others, I simply said that this site does not run on constructive criticism, but instead piles on anyone new trying to get reads, all while spouting off bullshit non-existent rules.

So when you say you wanna punch me in the mouth, I again tell you you can go fuck yourself.  Because you have no fucking clue....as your post has 100% proven.  Your head is so far up the ass of your shitty scripts and the other shitty scripts on this site that you have to resort to calling out 'rules' that are clearly broken on a daily basis in scripts that are actually selling, and these aren't known writers I'm talking about...specs by unknowns that break your supposed rules.  

You would know this if you were actually reading scripts that are selling...but...

So, yeah.  Thanks for the drive by.  You're cool.  I like you...except when you say you wanna punch me in the face.

Chazz



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ChazzChristopher  -  July 7th, 2012, 4:31am
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nastynate
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"Nate, I appreciate you actually saying what didn't work for you.  I actually didn't write it with Danny McBride in mind but his characterization certainly works.
You still haven't really given any actual usable feedback, but that's better than nothing.
Thanks, everyone.  This site is awesome.
Chazz"
Any suggestions people leave after reading your script are merely SUGGESTIONS. No one expects you to instantly make changes to your script based on a single comment, they are just giving you their opinion on your work. If a reader says it isn't funny, take it as a grain of salt, if 7 or 8 readers in a row say it isn't funny, maybe you should take notice.

I figure the overwhelmingly positive feedback you've received has come from sites like Circalit, Amazon Studios and Talentville where members are practically giving each other reach-arounds because they're too afraid to say anything negative about someones script in fear that they will reciprocate the same negative comments on their own script.
Seriously, the reviews on those sites might as well be written by Pete Hammond (anyone? anyone? check his reviews out on Rotten Tomatoes if you haven't already)
But after all the commotion, it still comes down to you automatically dismissing any feedback that isn't positive.
From your posts people can decipher that you think "enough" people have read your script and said it's "funny" so therefore any further comments mean absolutely nothing unless they are giving you a rub and tug. Then why are you even bothering posting it here? Your post says you think people that "get it" could offer you suggestions on structure, but you've followed the Save the Cat structure to a tee, so why bother?
All in all, you give screenwriters a bad name. Just another douchebag that's in it to try and cash in. By the way, you mentioned your music, please, for the love of God, give us a link to it... please!?


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
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And p.s., I forgot to mention in my previous post, you're a chode.
Best wishes,
Nate


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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Dreamscale
Posted: July 7th, 2012, 12:06pm Report to Moderator
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Oh Chazz...you just keep digging deeper and deeper, don't you?  Are you really this clueless, or just another young douchebag kid who's got something wedged up his ass so far, at this point, it ain't coming out?

I'm going to try 1 more time to give you critical feedback that you can and should actually use.  It's all going to be on Page 1, because you know what?  Page 1 is actually your most important page.  It's make or break.  It shows what you know and what kind of writer you are.

But first, let's talk about your "preference" issues you brought up.  Preferences are good and we all have them.  The problem is that many douches come up with preferences based on what others think is cool or hip...or "what's selling".  It's like all the fucking little lambs dressing in horrendous little "outfits" because the stars or Pro athletes wear them.  Because most people are so uncool that they honestly believe wearing a certain "cool" brand or look, makes them cool.

It doesn't, bro, and the same thing goes with screenwriting.  IMO, it's a serious issue that has really dragged down the quality of scripts we've had to deal with for years.  You earlier stated that you try and emulate Shane Black, and somehow seem to think that's a good thing.  Yeah, the guy made a shitload of money, but did he ever write a good script, actually?  Is his "style" anything to write home about?  Is it a style that unproduced writers should try and emulate?

I'll answer for you on all those questions - Hell no!

You really need to find and develop your own voice and base your preferences on things that actually make sense in writing.  Things that matter.  Things that provide stronger visuals, more clarity, ease of read, efficiency, Professionalism.  You like using dashes?  Go for it.  You like using double dashes?  Sure, why not.  But, please, Chazz, don't think that a script sells because it has dashes in it, or that it doesn't sell because it doesn't have dashes in it.  Get a clue, man.

Page 1 - I won't comment on your OVER BLACK V.O. because it's a choice you made and it's not wrong - it ain't good either, but I can't fault you on it.  But, once we get into your first Slug, we've got problems, and you don't want any problems in your very first Slug.  Let's look at it and figure this out, so you can actually make a correction based on feedback at SS.

"INT. TV STUDIO - DAY
RALPH WATERSTOWN (40), tall, sturdy, massive beard,
wearing a flannel shirt and a too-tight pair of jeans.
These aren’t meant to be skinny jeans. Not on this guy.
It isn’t right."

I always recommend setting your scene first and foremost, so your readers can get a solid visual.  You sure as fuck haven't done that here, as we don't get a single word of description of what this "TV Studio" is supposed to be.  Instead, we get a 4 line "description" of a character that starts out with a 2 line, misleading fragment, that makes zero sense if you'd actually think about it.

Another thing I always recommend is writing in full sentences.  People say, fuck off, Pros write like this all the time...read some Pro scripts and you'll see. Well, Pros may indeed write that way, but it doesn't make it right.  You see, you fucked up here badly and even though many are calling you out on it, you don't understand the issue.

Because you don't have a single verb in your opening description, we have no idea what this character is doing.  Based on your overly detailed description, we have to assume that he's standing, unobstructed, giving us a full view of these jeans you want to highlight.  Then, for some unknown reason, you decide to tack on another 3 non sentences, covering 2 more lines.

Do you see what's wrong here?  Ralph is actually sitting, as we later find out.  Most likely, he's seated at some kind of table across from the guy interviewing him.  We'd never see his pants, and even if we somehow did, in no way is anyone going to know that his jeans are too tight, skinny jeans, or that they look wrong or right on this guy.  It's completely wasted lines of overwritten detail, in which you, the writer are simply trying to be a smartass hipster using completely unfilmable detail.

In your next passage, you decide to use another 4 line description of a single character, but at least here, you use a verb, so we now know they're both sitting and we know your opening passage is completely fucked up and incorrect.  The voice you use here, Chazz ain't working, as you probably know by now.

Then we get some dialogue from our 2 talking heads, followed by another completely incorrectly formatted line of action/description.  Check this out.

"The audience gasps along with the camera men. Ralph
doesn’t seem to notice, just plods along."

As Led correctly pointed out, you didn't properly CAP the initial intro of these characters - camera men and audience.  But wait, who fucking knew these people were even in the scene?  No one fucking knew, because you didn't properly set your scene from the getgo.  And why is there a live audience at an interview, in a PBS TV studio?

OK, that's all you get, but if nothing else, I will assume that you will no longer say that no one has given you any usable feedback at SS.  Not only is this usable, you need to use it!

Nobody and nothing is perfect and once you think it is, you're fucked for life.  Learn some humility and be thankful to those who try and help.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ChazzChristopher
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Nate, please point out 1 place...just 1 fucking place that I dismissed feedback because it wasn't positive.  Just 1.  I never dismissed feedback for not being positive.  100% of the time I have said, please give me something that's remotely usable.  Saying "your jokes don't work for me" isn't usable.  I can respect that you don't like the jokes but a dismissive comment like that in no way can help my script (or anyone's for that matter).

That's what douches like you miss.  You think that b/c you took 20 min to read a few pages that we writers should give you a hand job and say thank you when you dismissively say, "it didn't work for me" or "your jokes fell flat" or whatever bullshit you wrote every time you wrote.

The point of sites like this is to help screenwriters become better.  When I wrote a review I 100% of the time tell people what was wrong in my opinion then I tell them how I believe it can and should be better.  They're suggestions, but it's with encouragement that though things didn't work for me, they can be better with a few small (and sometimes big) changes.

There is a MASSIVE difference between what I just described & what EVERY fucking person has done on this site.  And not only that, when someone points out that what you gave wasn't constructive then you all dogpile the new guy to shut him up.

And fuck you for your comment on trying to cash in.  You stupid fuck...who the fuck are you to possibly make that kind of comment?  I would NEVER comment on you personally.  That's rude, uncalled for and beyond douchebaggery.

Dreamscale, thanks.

Chazz
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ChazzChristopher
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Dreamscale,

I'm sorry but I have to use actual quotes here, so that there is not this misunderstanding.  I have never once said that my script was perfect.  I have never once said that the script was perfect.  I have never once acted like I was better than anyone else.  Here are actual quotes:

Post #4:
"I'm not saying it's perfect - in fact, you and siColl may actually have a point about the actual sentence (though in roughly 20 reads not one person has brought it up) - I had never thought about it in the way that he/she brought up.  

I'm not defensive at all about my work -- unless someone comes on, reads a paragraph and talks trash about it.

But my being rankled doesn't mean that his deal with the jeans is necessarily wrong.  I do disagree with the unfilmables comment, however."

Not arrogant at all.  Disagreed with what I disagreed with, but was open to possibly being wrong about what they pointed out.

POST #7:
"Again, I will for sure take a look at that paragraph.  You probably have a point."

Arrogant?

POST #10:
"It doesn't really help the overall arc of the script, but it did hit me with a couple of ideas on the first act.  Which is good. Thanks.

I am sure that every script's first 10 pages can be funnier and I will for sure look at how jokes can snap a little better.  But the overall, consistent theme I've gotten from most readers is that it's pretty damn funny - even the first 10-15 pages.  But comedy is subjective, so I am not saying that you're wrong or right - just that some people think it's really funny."

I point out that I could be wrong, though it's hard for me to process since the reads I'd gotten from readers I know and trust have not pointed this out...this isn't arrogant.  It's simply saying that I'm processing.  If you put on your asshole hat, you can assume everything is defensive" but this was not written defensively at all, just processing.

POST #12:
"The new logline is this:

When the greatest competitive lumber jack ever realizes he's broke and decides to come out of retirement, he 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"

I agreed that my logline needed help.  Arrogant?  


POST #18:
"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."

I never said my script was perfect.  I did say that thus far the readers of this site were not very helpful.  Why is that a bad thing to say?  Is  that arrogant?  If so, I have a hard time understanding your definition of arrogant.


At this point in the thread was when I started to be accused of not taking constructive criticism when, at this point, there had not been one piece of constructive criticism yet.  The people giving me the negative, dismissive comments seem to be the arrogant ones here...I guess their comments should be treated like pieces of gold because they said, "The humor didn't work for me"?  And I'm the arrogant one?  How does that work out?

POST #23:
"I don't give a s*** 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."


And still no constructive feedback.


POST #27:
"Thank you, basket case.

That is fair."

Arrogant?


And you can read above, once things escalated.

I look at all of those posts, and UNTIL things escalated with nasty nate and Ledbetter calling names and going personal, I feel like I really tried to look for things that I could work on.

I'm not some asshole just trying to get positive comments.  After being in the music business as long as I have, you realize that people shitting on you is the best thing for you, as long as you can see how to make it better.  Up until your VERY last post, Dreamscale, you have not given one piece of useful information.  

And in your last post, you helped me.  And for that I am very, very thankful.

Chazz
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bert
Posted: July 7th, 2012, 1:42pm Report to Moderator
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So yeah, somebody sent me a PM about this thread, and it is getting a little ridiculous.

First off, everyone should agree that there is the "novice", and there are those who are beyond that, and have developed a style and voice with which they are comfortable.

Chazz here obviously falls into the latter.  He knows enough to think what he is doing is correct, and it appears that he knows enough to know that people are free to disagree with these things.  He rejects the notion of iron-clad rules, as do many, and that is not some kind of horrible offense.

He feels that pedantic nitpicks are of little value -- for example, calling him out on his use of the old double-dash -- I love the double dash -- so why continue to foist this upon him and expect a reaction different from that you received in the first place?

Same goes for reviewing the first couple of pages.  He obviously does not want that.  So why bother doing that?

Now, I can bark at Chazz a bit for his role in this, too -- but most of that can be attributed to lashing out like a cornered animal as he is totally ganged-up on here.

And the gang mentality can occur here just as easily as on any forum, so it is a little disingenuous for Chazz to look around and be, like, "Who me?"

Speaking to Chazz now, with a wee bit of house ethics -- if you get feedback (for free, no less) that you feel is of nominal value, it is very poor form to say, "this feedback is useless".  What you say is:


Quoted from Chazz
Dreamscale, thanks.


See how perfect that is?  No arguments, no disagreements, and totally polite. So elegant in its simplicity.

Just something to keep in mind.

As I have said elsewhere, my checking in will be spotty for a month or two, so I trust the hijinx on this thread are drawing to a close.  Deletions from this point forward might very well ensue, so don't act all surprised and everything if they do.

Especially the name-calling and the f-bombs.  Totally unacceptable.

Cut that sh*t out everybody.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Forgive
Posted: July 7th, 2012, 2:22pm Report to Moderator
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I've not been reading all the posts but:

The more I read about what you say - the more difficult it is to believe you. I'm on most of the other sites that you have posted on, so I thought I take a look, and see how 'glowing' your other reviews were:

Circalit - 'Nederland'. 14 reads. No reviews posted, that I could see.

Talentville - 5 scripts. Two got into the top ten with good reviews. One received fairly good reviews. Two received ordinary reviews.

TriggerStreet. One script posted, 'Nederland' - modest to good reviews.

Amazon - 4 scripts posted. Generally modest to good 3/4 stars.

I counted 59 reviews in total.

So competent, more than anything. And cetainly, these reviews on other sites show criticism of your work - from your structure, to your dialogue, etc - certainly things that people have brought up here.

From Triggerstreet, posted by 'DontStealMyScript':

"This doesn't feel like a comedy. There aren't many laughs to be had. I think you need to either punch up the humor, or change the genre you have this listed under. There was only one thing in the story that made me laugh, and believe me I really wanted to find something funny."

There's nothing amiss with the feedback you've received from people on this site -- you know as well as I do that many here will frequent and review on the other sites you use.
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ChazzChristopher
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Sicol,

I, in fact, have said that a lot of my reviews have not been glowing, unless saying "my scripts have been shit on & it helped me" = glowing in your mind.

I think I've made it clear that my problem here is not the positive vs negative.

So...moving on.


Bert, you are kind & fair.  I agree with you I could have and should have responded with a simple thank you.  I apologize for you having to step in.

Chazz

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ChazzChristopher  -  July 7th, 2012, 5:31pm
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nastynate
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I apologize to everyone in advance for beating a dead horse, but I did it! I actually did it! I read this entire script!

I urge everyone to forget about any formatting/grammatical errors and just read it based on character and story alone. It's like the author took the scenes from all your favorite movies and  changed them slightly, then put them back in this script... except this time... they aren't funny. Especially the 2nd half, there is some strange stuff going on.

I admit, I'm in the minority, I thought the original idea had potential, but if readers can give it a look it's a perfect example to see how things can go haywire with your 2nd and 3rd acts.

And it's still a week and a half after his script was posted and he has gone on and on about not getting any useful feedback in return, yet he still hasn't left a single comment on anyone's script but his own. It's a give and take world Chazz.
I'm pretty sure at this point that Chazz has moved on and won't care to comment.


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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ChazzChristopher
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Thanks for reading, Nate.

I will most likely not get involved here just b/c the give & take seems to be more give crap than take crap.  Plus I've read a coupla scripts that have done well here & found too much wrong with them to be constructive, and due to the response of I've gotten thus far to any and all things critical has not been received well...so I'm unsure I could carry on dialogue without being cornered and then attacked.  I personally don't enjoy being put in the position of telling someone to f off.

But, Nate, if you'd like to PM me and tell me the weird stuff happening, because I'm 100% sure it was purposeful.  In return I'll gladly read a script of yours.  I'd enjoy reading someone who seems to assume mastery over screenwriting and originality and who takes the art of screenwriting more seriously than I.  I've only gotten to read a coupla amateurs like that, so it'd be an honor.

Just lemme know where I can read!  I'll give detailed notes as to what was good & what wasn't and the why behind what didn't work.  Basically I'll give you what I'm asking for myself.

Anyway, thanks.
Chazz
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bert
Posted: July 8th, 2012, 2:53pm Report to Moderator
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Buzzed through this at light speed out of curiousity -- no notes -- first impressions.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this script.  You go into it knowing basically what you will get and it basically delivers.
  
Will Farrell could make about 50% of this dialogue work and be funny with it, too.  Some parts are not funny but I do not agree that none of it is funny.  I will say that the raunchier it gets the less funny it gets -- with the lone exception of the Japanese guy, where the raunch does work.  (He was the only one of that trio of trainers I really liked, though).

Lose the Save the Cat beats.  Those took me right out of the story and I am not even sure what you are trying to accomplish with those.  It is nothing good, though.  I usually hesitate to use the word "absolutely" in a review, but I am absolutely sure of this one.

Lose the midget wrestlers.  No humor there, and too WTF anyway.

Totally lose the diarrhea.  It is way over the top and damages the character.  You like him much less and it is too late at that point to do that.  Figure out some other way to get him into diapers for that one scene.  Shouldn't be too hard to come up with another way to trash his pants.

Way too much stuff with the ESPN guys, particularly for those who will not even get it.  Take only the funniest 50% of that stuff and cut the rest.  You also spend too much time with that hobo lumberjack.

I liked the religious kid.  That angle was oddly amusing, at least to me.

So there you go.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
bert  -  July 8th, 2012, 3:04pm
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ChazzChristopher
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Bert,

Thank you for reading.  This was incredibly helpful.

I take a bit of a different approach to letting people read my stuff.  Some people believe that places like SimplyScripts and Talentville and Zoetrope and such should be a place where they put finished works, because agents and such might see them.  I believe that to use these sites to the fullest, you should put things out ASAP and get feedback.  

This script is another 2 drafts away from going to anyone on my team.  I use a pseudonym purposefully so that I can get gut instincts from other writers and readers that aid me in my rewrites.

Zoetrope and Talentville helped me re-write/rework a script that I will (Hopefully, if the deal doesn't fall through) be shooting within the next year, co-directing with my cinematographer/D.P./Co-director.  It got torn apart at zoetrope and the second draft got torn apart at both Zoetrope and Talentville.  

But that getting torn apart made me see some angles on things that helped me take a few scenes in different directions.  The newest draft of that script is ranked now #6 of all time on Talentville and is one of the top 3 scripts of the month this month.  That obviously doesn't do anything for my career, but what it does tell me is that I'm beginning to get closer to that script being good.

A lot of screenwriters tend to think that putting early drafts out there and (on the other side) reading early draft is a waste of time.  I have found it to be invaluable.  There are angles that other writers/readers see in early drafts that I just wouldn't see because of the kinds of films I prefer and love.  But once they shed light on the "blind spot" it allows me to explore a dark area that I didn't know was there.

And let's be honest.  Few, if any, of us will ever sell a script BECAUSE of any of these sites.  These sites are really just there to help each other reach whatever is the next level in our screenwriting journey.  For some, they need to be told that they need to learn how to make slugs right or to not write 14-line action blocks.  Some have it harder - they have to be told their script is good, but to be great you have to nail tone throughout the script; to be great you have take really good dialogue and make it great; you have to take really good characters and make them great with backstories that inform their characters.  To me, that's way harder than dealing with BIG problems up front.  Taking something from 85% to 100% is much harder than taking it from 40-85%.

I'd much rather have BIG problems like certain scenes not working or the ending not being right (which by the way, in this draft, the ending is NOT right.  The next draft has completely changed the ending, AND the MMMAA makes much more sense in the new ending).

With all that said - yours and a couple of others have made me see a couple of blind spots that needed illuminating.  And that is invaluable.

Chazz

Bert, is there any of your scripts around here?  I'd love to return the favor.  I just am not sure how to search for a certain person's scripts.  Thanks for any help you can give me towards that.
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ABennettWriter
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Hi Chazz. I haven't read your script and I probably won't because you don't seem to really understand how it works.

People comment, make suggestions, give notes and you can either be appreciative of the time (whether they read the whole script or just the first ten pages, it doesn't matter) or dismiss them completely. You have been very defensive, dismissive and rude. You're here for your own ego. That's apparent.

I'm not going to get into name calling. I've been a member of this site for a long time and I've seen a lot of members join, post a script, get mad when people hate it and then run away because no one gets their genius. You seem like one of those people.

You can diss me all you want. I don't care. I just wanted to add my two cents. Hi Chazz. I haven't read your script and I probably won't because
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ChazzChristopher
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Hey AB,

Either you haven't read this thread or your comprehension is surprisingly low.  I'll gladly give you the benefit of the doubt & assume the former.

I've not dissed 1 person yet for not liking it.  But, hey, thanks for popping in.  We were all waiting for you to make a statement.  Now we can all rest easy again.

Chazz
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nastynate
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"Just lemme know where I can read!  I'll give detailed notes as to what was good & what wasn't and the why behind what didn't work.  Basically I'll give you what I'm asking for myself."

I'd be truly honored if you read something of mine. There's a link to Crime Scene Reenactments in my sig.
I don't know why, but I have a feeling you're not gonna like it. Anyway, have at it if you want and feel free to rip me a new one.
Nate


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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ABennettWriter
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I have a few shorts on here and I would love your opinion.

You can read 10 pages, right?
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mcornetto
Posted: July 8th, 2012, 10:05pm Report to Moderator
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Really dudes.  The worst you can do to a script thread is not comment.   By commenting on a personal level, instead of proving your point, you're making this a hot script and you're making yourself and the site look bad in the process.  Ignore it, don't feed it.

And that's the last I'll say on this before I start deleting inappropriate comments.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
bert  -  July 8th, 2012, 10:40pm
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_ghostwriters
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Chazz...

First off let me say, kudos to Bert for trying to get this thread back on track, where it should be, rightfully so too!  But some are still determined to derail it again.  So let's see if we can stop that from happening.

I checked out the first ten.  I don't do comedy, I'm not good at it, so I don't write them, but I do know if you let jokes hang around and linger too long, the script will get unfunny fast.  

I got a couple of chuckles, particularly the line bewteen Louis and the Producer, "This is PBS." Felt you did good setting up that punchline.  

I thought you did a good job with Steve's intro.  But like I said, I've only read the first ten pages... so I don't know if he shows up again.  The reason why I say this... Ralph is your main character and I just felt you wasted a golden opportunity with his intro.  He's your Protagonist, names, age, clothes are just not enough.  Not for a feature.  I mean you're asking us to spend the next 90-120 minutes with this guy,  as a "Reader" I wanna know something about the essence of Ralph as a charater so I can get interested and involved with him.  Remember -- you've got a lot of leeway when it comes to character intros, use it.   It's definitely something you should think about.

Personally I didn't have a problem with your opening slug.  I mean it's a TV Studio, no need to waste Real Estate by trying to establish that.  The only thing I would have done different, was mention they were before a live studio auidence right off the bat.

I thought the description of Romanowski was all right, but I'd really consider adding (O.S.) to his first three lines for sure.

I agree with Bert when he said this... "There is nothing inherently wrong with this script." Too be honest, outside not having that (O.S.) which I think should be there I didn't have a problem, clearly you have your own style and that's good.

Having said that, it's suppose to be a comedy, it really needs to be funny.   Nothing made me laugh out loud.  But to your credit I haven't read past page 10.  So fair enough.

Just a few quick thoughts.  Maybe you should consider a Script Exchange.  I noticed a new member here, "Doms" he chimed in on your thread.  I don't post too much, but I'm around alot more then people think.  "Ghosting." I've read some of his reviews... I believe he may have a script posted.  Not sure. Might consider PMing him.

Second, you say you spend time on a lot of sites, may I suggest DD.  Mainly beacuse they have an advanced script section, where you can post the first three pages of your script and  professional writers and producers working in "Hollywood," will give you some very good feedback.  It's pretty popular over there. And since yours is a comedy, Craig Mazin (Im sure you've heard of him) more than likely will be the one who reads it.  Comedy is his field.  

Oh and may I suggest getting coverage if you haven't already down so.

Please try to participate on the boards.

And last, but not least, I hope this thread gets cleaned out fast.

Forgive any errors, I wrote this on the fly...

Good Luck

Ghostie


"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."


Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
_ghostwriters  -  July 8th, 2012, 10:33pm
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ChazzChristopher
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Ghostwriter,

That is both fair and just.

I 100% agree with you that the first 10 needs to be funnier.  I personally find it funny, but the overall impression of the first 10 is that it could be funnier.  So, I must make it funnier.

Thanks for the other suggestions.


AB and Nate,

I have read your scripts and commented.

Enjoy.

Chazz
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CoopBazinga
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Hey Chazz,

I’ll be honest and admit to reading your script last week for a few reasons; one being the concept which I think has potential.

I used to watch “Worlds Strongest Man” many years ago when living in the U.K and always thought there is tons of comedic potential which applies to your story with all the musclemen running around with their foreign accents. So let’s just say I had the same sort of idea but you beat me to the punch shall we say.

Anyway, the other reason was that I saw your script on the list of 20 in line to be reviewed by Carson Reeves on ScriptShadow so I thought I’d give a look-see.

I was going to comment on the script over the weekend but I thought I would wait until all the fuss had died down. I also see that today you’ve commented on a few scripts which is a good way to get reads, it gets you noticed and then in turn, more reads.

So I’m wondering if you’re still after feedback from the members of SS?

Just let me know as I’ll be happy to share my views on your story here.

If not then I hope all the best with this script.

Good luck and keep writing.

Steve
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ChazzChristopher
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I'd love to hear your thoughts, Coop.

I just finished a pretty extensive rewrite, but ending one rewrite just means you're starting a new rewrite, right?

Things to keep in mind:

1)  I've removed some of the most offensive material.  The diarrhea scene still happens, but there is no actual diarrhea, just the reaction TO the diarrhea.

2)  The opening scene has changed completely.  I felt (via suggestions from several, including people here) that I needed the first scene to be more active and to show that Ralph is actually good at what he does.  So, I changed the interview setting to live TV on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and Ralph is chopping wood outside of 30 Rock WHILE saying these horribly offensive things.

3)  I felt like we still needed to hate Ralph at first, BUT I wanted to take away *some* of the offensive-ness in the first scene.  So putting it on live network television allowed me to still have him be offensive, BUT the curse words are all {Bleep}-ed out.  And, to me, bleeping it out is kinda funnier.

4)  I did a pass through the script with the "Early in, early out" emphasis with every, single scene and made sure that everything at the beginning and ends of scenes was needed.  I lost 5 pages just from cutting out un-necessary dialogue at the beginning/end of scenes.

5)  I cut out roughly 1/3 of the stuff with the 2 ESPN anchors and cut 1 of the ESPN NEWS scenes.  I feel like I kept the funniest stuff (especially Van Pelt getting sloppy drunk on air at the end) and cut out the worst.

6)  I set up the MMMAA a little more early in the script and the new ending makes its usefulness to the script highly important.

7)  Finally, the ending has been completely changed.  When I originally wrote this, I tried to hit all the beats of a traditional sports comedy, but with each beat, I tried to change or twist it just a bit.  With the ending, I wanted it to be weird and cheesy and different.  Problem was, I thought we lost Ralph's ballsiness and power of being a strong man.  So, I still have the same ending to the actual competing, but we suddenly realize that Ralph has played Romanowski (now named Stanski, to avoid reader's having a hard time with 'R' names) in a way that I think is a little un-expected.

Anyway, I will try to read your script 'The Chat Up' today.

Thanks,
Chazz
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ABennettWriter
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If you send me the new rewrite, I'll read it today.

Austinbsteel@Yahoo.com
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bert
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
Bert,

Thank you for reading.  This was incredibly helpful.

Bert, is there any of your scripts around here?  I'd love to return the favor.  I just am not sure how to search for a certain person's scripts.  Thanks for any help you can give me towards that.


Glad it was helpful -- and even more glad to see most of the silliness dying down as people get back to the business of actually reviewing.

You can click the red HERE in my signature for a selection of my work -- it is always a pleasure to find comments on anything, so if anything looks appealing, that is cool, or if not that is also cool.

But in answer to your larger question, most of the regular members will have some sort of link whoring out their work in their signature  


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Yosef91
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Chazz,

I had about 15 minutes to kill before leaving work, and thought I would take a peek.  I only read 12 pages.  Don't like that?  Sue me.

I will say that I laughed out loud several times.  The beer stein bit was good, as was the "not entirely accurate" exchange.  The pig washing joke got a good chcukle, too.  I laughed more in that 12 pages than I did in any other "comedy" script on this site.

I would advise to stop with the "beat" pauses and the overuse of exclamation marks.  It looks amateur.

There are some posters around here that like to sabotage threads as soon as they get the chance.  One avid reader did that to mine, breaking every rule of the stickies.  What can you do?  Jers are jerks, to use a polite term.

I hope I get a chance to finish.  If not, good luck with it.
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Forgive
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I don't want to get into any conversations with "fishwife" Yosef and all his moaning, but I've taken a couple of looks at this, and it just doesn't ring for me. None of it.

Anyway. You know I've been checking out some of your other stuff, and I came across an earlier version of this script 'Jack Off ... ". LOL.

That one made me laugh.

But then I'm like, why are you doing all these changes -- the one I read actually did make me laugh - like quite a few times. I really liked the nerves of Ralph -- somehow it made it funnier that he wasn't trying to be funny ... ? It just came across as really off the cuff - embarrassing like they were doing it there and then - not like you'd written it for laughs.

So anyway. That's my thoughts. Gotta quit now 'cos Yosef's got fish to cook for her husband.
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ChazzChristopher
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First off, Yosef, thanks for reading the 12 pages that you did.  Glad you found it funny.

I will take a look at the "beats" and such.  I am an actor first, so many times I can tend to write dialogue in the way I'd say it, instead of letting other actors have room to improve it with performance.  One of my weaknesses, for sure.



SiCol, if you saw "The Jack Off" - that is actually the newest version.  That is the one that includes all the changes that I talked about a couple of posts ago.

Sorry we got off on the wrong foot - hope we can start over.

Chazz
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IsaacStickley
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Chazz,

Whereabouts could I find your most recent version, with the new title & revisions?


WARNING:  I am neither a professional screenwriter nor reader.
My opinions are my own.  Take from them what you will, and throw the rest aside.
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Forgive
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Quoted from IsaacStickley
Chazz,

Whereabouts could I find your most recent version, with the new title & revisions?

Talentville
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 14th, 2012, 1:46am Report to Moderator
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Let's try this.

Here it is at Scrib'd - newest draft.

The Jack Off

Thanks for looking.

Chazz
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CoopBazinga
Posted: July 16th, 2012, 9:31am Report to Moderator
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Hey Chazz,

Sorry for the delay in getting around to this, started yesterday before finishing today but I swapped versions on page 19 I think. Most of the things I pointed out in the opening pages could have already been changed so throw aside what you’ve already changed.

First off I want to mention how much your writing has improved since I last looked at your work. I remember being a newb and looking at “A Lot Like Christmas” and the opening wasn’t good and I failed to get past the first 10 pages. I see this is doing well over at Talentville now so congrats and I also saw how long you’ve been at this game… a lot longer than me.

The idea is solid and very original which is always nice to see. The premise is the same old sport comedy piece but the chosen sport is a completely new one on me, I’ve never heard of a lumber jacking movie anyway.

So I came into this with high hopes and for most part I liked it. It was a good read with some eccentric characters to match the sometimes outlandish story.

I did have some problems with your writing but upon going onto the revised script it seems you’ve cleared a lot of those issues up so kudos to you.

If I had any gripes it would be the constant exclamation marks!!!!! I’ve never seen so many in a script. I also found the use of “beat” or “long silence” quite tiresome but I understand why you had them and maybe I was more aware of them after the recent discussion on the site.

I would also keep an eye on the use of “and” I saw a few instances when a comma would have been better used in its place, if only to tighten your action.

On the whole, I found your writing good and it made the script a good read for it. I will again say well done for the improvements in the revised script, you can see the difference.

Let’s move onto the story. I found the opening 30 pages good and it moved at a good pace, we met our protag and learnt about him and closet to him. We also found out about his problem (money) This aspect never really came into play to affect Ralph again apart from the early commercial’s he did. You seemed to concentrate more on his “getting back into lumber jacking” after his unfortunate meeting with the 4th graders.

This brought us onto the dreaded middle act and things did slow down, the training scenes were a tad long and I personally had no idea how the board knew he was a changed man… he just walked in and got accepted back in. Thought he might have to prove his new character a bit.

The trainer’s were all good and if I’m honest, I’m surprised they didn’t come back in the final act for something. Even if it was in the crowd it would have been nice to see them again cheering Ralph on.

I think the kids disappeared for maybe to long during this period, I think you’re looking at 60 pages between their scenes and this felt too long. I wanted to know why Ralph wasn’t concerned to see or get back to them during this, I think this whole separation from his kids could have been a good kick-start to his training harder.

We then moved into the final act and for me this is where a few problems arose. The Paul Sheedy character was just odd, a few funny lines but overall he was strange and didn’t really play a part like maybe he should have.

The Stella coming back from the dead plot was ludicrous no doubt and I think that was your intention. But to finally reveal her and her anger after all the little snippets of her hair and FEMALE VOICE, it just fell flat for me. She had that one scene with Ralph, had an evil grin and then… nothing happened. Ralph told her he was filing for divorce. Huh! Why go to all those extremes to hide her and then reveal a master (Dr.Evil type plan) only for it all to fall away after 5 pages.

This made the last competition between Ralph and Stanski rather lacking other than Ralph getting his tenth world championship (guess that was the whole point). Their fierce relationship/rivalry was ruined and hence, the whole last 10 pages lost all tension.

Don’t get me wrong, the change of Ralph lying about the stein was surprising and did give it more but I would have liked to have seen these two athletes have it out in one last battle for the championship.

I’ll also give you credit on the two ESPN broadcasters; they were a hoot even if half their dialogue flew straight over my head.

Some of the humour worked, some didn’t but I do think a lot of it would be a lot funnier on screen rather than reading it from a page. I did particularly like one scene where he chops down a tree onto someone’s house: Why? Because of how you timed it, this is what people need to think more about in comedy.

It was an inspiring moment, Ralph’s done his Rocky moment and is fit and ready chopping down trees. One goes down and he watches it fall in slow motion onto –

-- A house. Just really well written. Comedy is all about timing and this scene showed how it can work. Other times I did feel the timing was off but comedy’s subjective like they say.

The main characters were well drawn out and you did a good job.

Ralph was a good protag and I liked that you kept a hint of his personality at the end because that is what makes him funny. If you had completely changed his character, he wouldn’t have worked.

Stanski was excellent and I was really enjoying this Austrian klutz until the final act when all the story of the stein came out. I was thinking this was a man about the sport of lumber jacking which is the real comedy here for me. To think that these men care so much about cutting wood and winning championships was enough for me. I think there is good element there which gets lost in the Stella plot.

Louis was a good side-kick to Ralph but we didn’t find out much about him personally. I think it would be nice to have his own character side-story.

Stella didn’t get a lot to do like I said, couldn’t really get too much into her plot of revenge.

The kids I think could feature more, especially during the middle act where they completely disappeared. I was just surprised that Ralph didn’t try to get to them or see how they were? It might also have been an idea to have them find out about their mother being alive. I’m still confused about the midget cage thing… but at least they got a show F/X.

Elagia was well…? Yeah, I was just confused by her actions. She wanted Ralph, then separated from him, kicking him from the house and kids before wanting him again. Then she didn’t care that Ralph wanted a divorce before she turned up with lawyers and was deported. Just a strange lady with no real motivation other than sex. She didn't even get those big knockers out.

Like I said before the ESPN broadcasters were fun but I would have liked to see some more of them.

So overall I think this is a solid read but I think the middle act needs more, a tad slow at the moment. Needs some more competitions (ESPN guys) and the kids need to be integrated in here as well.  Can’t help feeling there gone too long.  I also think the final act could do with revising; I just wasn’t a big fan of the Stella angle which killed the world championship contest finale.

And that is the big disappointment about the ending.  It should have been about the protag overcoming the odds and winning the world championship against a younger, tougher foe but it lost its momentum as soon as Ralph said “well, that about clears everything up”  I think he was right.

Obviously this just my opinion and other’s may have said what a great ending with the reveal of Stella and her evil plan. That is how opinions differ.

Good work overall though, this one has much potential and I see no reason why it can’t be picked up. Wish you all the best with it.

Here are the notes I took during the read:

P.1 Where’s my “fade in” It may be picky but I do like to see it in a script.

A few unfilmables here, there okay but only in small portions and something I hope won’t go on throughout.

“pronounced Rafe” Repeated info here, unnecessary to tell us twice on the same page.

“sits STEVE EAGERTON” So is Ralph sitting? I kind thought he was standing from his description… guessing there is no table?

“fucking mouth” There is no need to swear in the action, comes off very unprofessional to me. I understand this is supposed to be R-rated but still… this should come though in the dialogue.

“camera men” Think this is one word.

“Ralph doesn’t seem to notice, just plods along.” Get rid of “seem to” it’s superfluous and if anything getting rid of it will help to show what a douche he is. “Ralph doesn’t notice, plods along” Also tightens your action.

P.1/2 Uh-oh! Already a pet-peeve of mine. Try not to let the dialogue go over two pages. Just looks messy IMO.

“wearing a name tag that reads “Producer”” Again can be cut, I mean he/she is called Producer so it’s evident. But we can’t see the name producer when watching… true but the audience aren’t idiots.

“in khakis, polo shirt and a blazer.” I wonder if his attire is all that important?

P.3 “Louis picks up his stuff” What stuff? Try to be visual here, mobile phone, wallet? What is he picking up?

“Ralph is leaned back in his chair, smoking a cigarette.”

Or

“Ralph leans back in his chair, smokes a cigarette” Tightens your action and gets rid of that nasty “is” and “ing” word.

“and jizzed myself.” Missing “I” after and.

“That’s what this country was built on” What? Premature ejaculation!

“His tone says that he does not, in fact, find this
fascinating.”

This line could be re-worded for the better.

“His tone says different.” This would work quite well with the line preceding it. Just a thought.

“Steve just” No need for “just” “Steve throws his…”

Okay so I’ve learnt Ralph’s a douche but I would have liked to have seen some flashback in this opening showing him in his prime chopping down some trees. Would have been a nice visual over all the dialogue.

P.4 “In the dark bar” We know this from the slug. No need to repeat info. If it’s important that the bar is dark then find a way to describe this without mentioning the bar again.

“The BARTENDER/WAITER” Choose one! No need for both, probably bartender as we’re at a bar.

“to the Bartender/Waiter.” Superfluous, can be taken out.

P.6 “apparently” A horrible word choice here when it wasn’t even needed.

P.8 Some good dialogue in the bar scene between Ralph and Louis and especially liked the book title.

“A massive mansion that would make Donald Trump
simultaneously proud and jealous.”

Wasn’t a fan of this line and it’s repeating the slug again.

Shouldn’t Romanowski’s dialogue be (O.S) here outside the mansion?

“The home is absolutely gorgeous” Please don’t use this line unless you’re a gay interior designer.

“things” Calm down on the usage of this word, it becomes repetitive. Same with “massive”

                ROMANOWSKI
          “Oh Em Gee - this is perfect.”

Again, shouldn’t Romanowski be (O.S) he’s not in the hallway right?

“The bedroom is massive” Try not to use “is” so much, it will help the flow of the read. Also not repeating your slugs which will help tighten your action.

Kinda liked your description of the bed and bedside tables though.

Again with the (O.S)?

P.9 “(30’s)” No need for the apostrophe in the ages.

“the SOUND of someone showering.” How do I know someone is showering? Why not “the shower SOUNDS in the background or b.g for shorter” You’re emphasising “someone” to me so I know it’s someone important, almost like a spoiler to me.

“Fine!!!” You use a lot of exclamation marks! Something to cut down on.

“(into phone)” Get this into the action before instead of the overlong intro… don’t use parentheticals unless necessary.

You do have a tendency to overwrite at times for me in your action.

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CoopBazinga
Posted: July 16th, 2012, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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Continuing on:

P.10 “The Mini drives down and around and quickly” Get rid of one of the “and” here for a smoother read.

I do like a good description of the setting but why add the slug into the description.

“The office is filled with pictures” Could be

“Various pictures cover the wall… so on” We know we’re in a office from the slug. Just a thought.

“Trophies cover a multiple shelves.” Take out “a” from this line.

“obviously” This is a preference thing but I don’t think you need this word.
“as a nervous Rodgers stands in front” Why state it’s obvious.

“We wanted” Who’s “we”? I thought it was him from the name of the agency and his name? He’s the only agent right? Should this be “I wanted”

P.11 “The flabby lumber jack” Again preference and I’m big on consistency but I’d rather you’d kept this as Ralph or Rafe.

Yeah, Ralph’s dialogue here is a tad long and could do with some editing, there is no reason to mention the Hitler mug… it’s just random fiddle.

P.12 “See what I did there? Good.” Not my cup of tea I’m afraid. Guess some might like this but you’ve totally lost me here.

P.14 “(beat)” I guess another recent discussion has brought this to my attention but there have been a couple. Maybe this is going out of fashion now.

“(soto)” I have no idea? You’re have to explain this one to me.

P.15 Try to not to use the nasty “is” word if it can be helped. A few instances now where they could have been avoided for the better.

P.16 shouldn’t there be a flashback reference here for the car scene.

Why isn’t Stella capped? It might be a flashback but it’s her first time on screen.

P.17 “I’m dead.” What is Stella talking about? She’s not dead, she’s talking which would argue that point.

“when it explodes into flames.” Find “into flames” redundant. Explodes gets the message across.

“Noooooo!” Hands up who likes to see this in a script… I think every avenging action star has this line in their contract. Certainly could see Will Ferrell using this line to funny effect.

“INT. DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS FROM BEFORE” Instead of a new slug, you could of just used “back to scene” if you used flashback at the beginning.

“I miss you, baby!” He’s doing all this in front of Elagia. She’s going to be pissed right?

Ralph seems to have changed character so quickly from the first 10 pages where he seemed like a womanizing jerk. I mean, he’s trying to avoid having sex, he’s sentimental to an old picture and quite loving to his kids… not the character we met in the opening.

P.18 “And I’m not coming out of the damn closet!” Now to me this doesn’t sound right. Wouldn’t he say “And I’m not gay” His line doesn’t clear that up… more states that he’s going to continue hiding it, if true? Now knowing his distaste for homosexuality, I just thought he would want to be abundantly clear here.

“INT. ESPN NEWS – DAY” I would add “studio” to this slug. I’m guessing this is in a studio.

P.19 “he happens to be the eleven-time world champion.” Looks like ESPN have got their facts wrong because I thought he was a nine-time world champion?

Right, I’ve swapped here because I see the newer draft up since I’ve started so I will read on from that draft now. I’m lazy so I’m not starting from the beginning again and will continue from page 21 on the new draft. Hope you don’t mind.


P.21 “Big, stupid  chicken  head.” I’m confused a bit here, is his face covered? It’s just it started  with Ralph looking miserable but then his head is covered. I’m guessing on top of his  head.

“The axe slung” I would change this for “An axe slung” the indicates that I knew it was there which I didn’t.

P.22 “Camera Crew” Why isn’t camera crew capped? I’m only going on the basis of “interns” being capped previously… always good to be consistent. And as they were capped on the beer commercial.

“Ralph looks miserably” Get rid of “miserably” We know he’s miserable already, no reason to repeat this info. If you feels it’s necessary then just change the word.

P.24 I think Ralph’s line about the beer was a tad confusing and I had to read it a couple of times. Maybe it’s just me being stupid but I would consider simplifying it.

Where are all the beer bottles his been drinking? Have something about loads of empty beer bottles by the camera crew or by the wall he threw it against. Wouldn’t the bottle smash if he threw it against the wall.

P.27 “and he bend over.” Should be bends.

P.29 “cop” Cap him on first intro as he speaks.

P.31 When did Elagia fiile for separation and why? Was it the orphanage incident? How did she get the time to do all that, I mean the restraining order and custody of the kids? Ralph was only in prison for three hours… just thought it would take longer.

P.32 Finding these “long beat” tiresome now, need to calm down on the usage of beat IMO.

P.33 “booms stands everywhere” Should this be “boom stands everywhere”

P.38 “shudders.     Jesus” Seems to be an extra space here.

P.41 “You have to trust fall.” I wasn’t too sure about this line, reads a tad awkward.

Also have to ask if “Jap” is an offensive term for Japanese people… he’s supposed to be working on this aspect right and here he is in front of his trainers doing it. Just thought Sherry (think that’s the right trainer) would have something to say about it. On the other hand I could be wrong and it’s not offensive?

“All right” You use this word a lot to start dialogue and it’s something to keep an eye on.

“his branch” Change his for “the” or reword it. It’s not his branch.

P.44 Think Jesus should be (O.S) again on the top of this page.

P.45 “over on his back” Change to “onto his back” for a smoother read.

“INT.  LIVING  ROOM  -  DAY” Where is all this  taking place? Is this in Louis’s house?

P.46   “straight into Fukushima’s crotch.” This could read a tad awkward which might even make it funnier to be fair. Just might want to clarify this line.

“Then you speak something about a robe” I must have missed this, I don’t remember Ralph saying anything about a robe?

P.49 “Fukushima only glares at Louis.” I think “only” can be taken out here, doesnt add anything and would work better without it IMO.

“Suddenly, from outside, the SOUND of a man screaming.” Okay nothing technically wrong here but I just want to offer another way… see what you think

“A man SCREAMS (O.S). The three gawk out the window, surprised.” This gets rid of “suddenly” which I’ve never been a fan of and also gets rid of “SOUND” which is unneeded. Emphasise on the scream. Like I say, just another way to handle it but this is a preference thing and we’re all different.

“They all three” Get rid of “they” or “three” as in “They all go running…”

“-- and see nothing.” I don’t mind dashes; in fact it’s something I like to incorporate into my own style. My question is why there is a space before you do one on an opening of a sentence which looks odd. You also might want to change to a mini-slug “BACKYARD” because we haven’t changed slugs so technically we’re still inside the living room.

“the sound of” Superfluous and should be taken out to tighten this line, you’ve capped them so that should be enough.

P.50 “tied to the telephone pole” Tied or cuffed?

“I tol’t him” I’ve never heard this before? Maybe it’s a slang thing or maybe it was simply supposed to be told?

“The police cars disappear over a hill.” I think this is phrased wrong? I got the impression it was only one car from the previous passage?

P.51 “You’ve been trained.”  So that’s it! Just three days training is enough… seems short.

Yeah, I mean three days and he’s a changed man. Louis must have called Elagia recently because he only just asked the trainers how Ralph was doing before. There needs to be more thrown at Ralph about losing his kids for me, this kind of motivation could explain how someone can change so quickly. Losing them like he lost his wife, this would explain such a fast turnaround.

“(still in her dress)” What’s going on Chazz? You’ve got an R-rated comedy with all the dirty slang and penises on display, well in wood and on mirrors but no nudity. You’re just teasing now.

P.52 “don’t she?” I think “doesn’t she” would work better here.

“he disappears around a corner.” What about the hill? The police car disappeared over the hill?

P.53 Did you need the scene with all three guys getting into their cars and driving away? It feels like it would be a tad long to watch on screen. Just a thought.

P.54 “sticks her head into the outer office.” I would add “out” after head for a smoother read. I had to re-read this line.

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CoopBazinga
Posted: July 16th, 2012, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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Continuing on:

P.55  “I don’t give a shit about you women’s problems.” This line doesn’t read right at all. I’m guessing “you” should be your and women’s should be women.

“I think Ralph has made a great strides lately, Commissioner.” Change “a” for some. Or “strides” for stride.

“a shit about you lady’ s problems.” Again “you “ should be your.

P.56 “Fetley sits down” When did he stand up?

“paper work” Paperwork is one word.

“The door closes behind them.” Did Ralph or Louis close it? Or did it close on it’s own?

What’s with the fifty cent piece? Are drinks that cheap? Where is this bar because I’m there and the first rounds on me.

P.60 “He looks to the sky and yells.” Should “sky” be ceiling?

“immediately loses his balance and falls face-first into the wall across the room, then to the ground.” How do you fall across to the other side of the room? That is one hell of a fall, almost Matrix like.

P.62 “gun shot” Gunshot is one word. And again on page 63.

P.65 “EXT. TREE CLIMBING - DAYLUMBERJACKmber jacks stand at thebottom  of  their  trees.”

I don’t need to state what’s happened here? Maybe a mistake during your revisions , buddy.

“him slowly making way back down the tree.” Add “his” after making.

“Suddenly” Yeah okay it may be preference but I do think you need to cut down on the usage of “suddenly”

P.66 Is Stanski still there or should he be (O.S)? The way you described it before kinda made me think that all the jacks had left, hence the “sudden” arrival of lumberjack 3.

“grand stands” Pretty sure grandstands is one word.

“landing” change this to approaching or something like that because I thought he had already landed but he hadn’t. It needs to be clearer.

“And proceeded to nearly kill nearly a hundred  fans”  Change one of the “nearly’s” how about “to nearly kill over a hundred fans”

Are they not going to take into account the lumberjack chopping down the tree with him still on top? Seems like he’s going to get the blame when it clearly wasn’t Ralph’s fault. I mean it was televised so should be easy to prove his innocence.

P.68 “Ralph takes the cup in his hand.” What happened to the glass? There is a difference between the two so try to be consistent with your description.

“EXT.  SOMEWHERE  –  DAY” Not  a  fan  of  this  slug..,  surely  you  can  come  up  with  something  more  creative. Yeah this should have just been the homeless village as a slug.

P.71 “Stanski just watches a blonde, blonde head of hair disappear around the corner.” Take out “a blonde” “Stanski watches a blonde head of hair disappear around the corner.” Reads a lot better.

P.72 “Trying to put my family back together.”   I haven’t seen much of this to be honest and this is something that maybe needs expanded on. He should be trying to put his family back together.

P.77 So Ralph was ready to kill himself, well it looked that way which surprises me because of his kids. What I don't understand is what has changed since the discussion with Paul. If anything he seems more confused after it, but he just walks away instead continuing on with his original plan. Also would have liked to have seen a better reaction from Ralph, he idolized Paul right but his reaction was so... meh! You've got Will Ferrel in mind for this so think about Anchorman and how he responded to the death of his dog. Maybe this could work in the same light here but the other way, so Paul's death pushes Ralph to compete again. I think this was your angle but for me it needs more to play like that.

"Father, you’re home again!" Found it strange to add "again" here.  Think “Father, you're home”  reads a lot better.

P.78 "re-become world champion again?" Don't need both "re-become" and "again" You could take one of these out for the better.

P.79 "My current wife hates me." Don't like this line, think if you take out "current" it would work a lot better. I actually think this gives away your twist coming up. How many times has he been married?

"looks them closely." Missing "at" after looks.

P.80 I have no idea why midgets are fighting in Ralph's basement but nevertheless, why not keep the kids upstairs when he tells them about the gnome tactic... it would work better because as is, they're right there to hear him. Have Ralph close the door on the kids, say his stuff then walk back up and tell them to stay away from the cage. Just a thought.

P.82 Elagia takes the news of Ralph divorcing her and leaving her with no money quite well, in fact so well that she happily takes the kids away so the men can talk business. If there is one character I'm really struggling to understand its Elagia. She doesn't even care that Ralph is in the house when she has a restraining order against him. Yeah, she's lost on me.

P.83 "Ralph looks up at Louis." You've already said this in the wrylie so no need to rpeat the info. If you want to break up the action, have Raplh ponder or something like that. Or better, take out the wrylie.

"That’s the conclusion I came to,too." This doesn't read well. "That's the conclusion I made as well" Of course there are other ways as well but this does need to be changed IMO.

P. 84 "Your way won eleven worshipchampionships." Does he mean "world" championships and where is this eleven coming from? I thought it was nine? I wonder if you changed your mind about this through the process and it was originally 11 so that's why there is a couple of references to this.

"catch phrase" Catchphrase is one word like you had it before.

"the slowly" “The” should be then.

p.85 "he picks an axe." Missing "up" after picks.

P.86 "If he can just get away from this guy!" So normally I wouldn't like this kind of thing but on this occasion it works. I think this is a good case to show when this kind of technique can be used to your advantage. It made the scene all the funnier for it.

"and talk to someone" Should be talks.

"blonde, blonde hair" You're have to explain this one to me? I saw it earlier and thought it was maybe a typo but now I'm unsure. Does it mean her hair is really blonde, blonde?

P.87 "(to himself)"  Who else was in the bush? Don't think you need this.

P.90 Stella and Ralph are talking like she's dead or died and it reads wrong because she's sitting right there.

P.93 "Gregory-San" Should this be son?

P.94 "know metaphors off" Missing "are" after metaphors.

Okay , I agree with Ralph about the plot, it's pretty ludicrous with a lots of plot holes but as this is a comedy , let’s try to move past that... get the feeling it's supposed to be stupid anyway.

P.95 The speech could be a lot better and more funny, this was the perfect sport movie speech but funny. I think you’ve missed an opportunity here.

"Stalin, Stanski and Stella stop a few feet away from Louis and Ralph ." Where did Stalin come from, you never mentioned him in the passage before? And he never actually does anything… is he supposed to be there?

P.98 How did Ralph know Elagia was going to show up? He had immigrant officers at the ready? I also don't like how all this get tied up so quickly.

P.99 Just a quick point which might need clearing up. Ralph has competed  in one competition in eight years yet he's in the world championships? Now lumber jacking could be different to other sports but I thought only a certain number of competitors go into the final world championships and it's based on a seeding process or something like that. It's just six months of lumber jacking and he's only competed in two comps... feels unfair on the other guys.

P.103 The montage looks wrong to me or I've never seen it done this way? Wouldn't mind seeing some spaces between the individual paragraphs for a cleaner read, looks compact the way you have it at the moment.

P.105 "lumberjacks slide down the ground." Missing "to" after down.

Just another thing I've noticed in your writing sometimes. You use "and" a lot when a comma could be used. It would really help tighten some of your action.

P.107 "talked about, Steve." Think he means Matt. First time you've done this on the rewrite right near the end here.

Good luck and keep writing.

Steve



























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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 17th, 2012, 4:45am Report to Moderator
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Coop,

Great thoughts.  Thanks - I appreciate it.

I agree that the middle act slows down.  I did the dreaded "Fall in love with your work" and fell in love with the trainers.  I will cut, for sure.

I agree on bringing the kids back.

RE: the ending.  Well, really the script.  I wanted to hit the beats of a traditional sports comedy and then twist it.  I did it with the break into the 2nd act, I did it with the mid point (you think things are finally looking up, when it fact, Elagia's cheating actually sends him into an even worse spiral that ends with the whiff of death), the "inspiring moment" doesn't come from where you expect it to come from where it usually does.  

So, when I got to the ending, I was trying to figure out how to make it funny to those who know all the beats.  And most of the people who watch these kinds of movies know how it's supposed to end.  The climax is the final fight.  I wanted to make the climax the clearing out of all Ralph's problems and then make the actual ending competition almost part of the wrap up.

However, with that said - I think I might rethink that, since every person who reviews the script comes around to the ending being a little anti-climactic.

Hey, I tried to do something different and it didn't work.  There are worse things that could happen!  : )

Anyway, I appreciate you seeing the good with the bad.  That I can respect and be thankful for!

Peace and love,
Chazz
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Forgive
Posted: July 17th, 2012, 6:32am Report to Moderator
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I see that 'A Lot Like Christmas' got silver medal for Script of the Month at Talentville -- well done on that front!
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 20th, 2012, 8:05pm Report to Moderator
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SiCol,

I appreciate it.  I've optioned that one twice and had it fall through.

Which is good because after each fall-through I go through and make it better.

And it's still not great.  But...it's getting closer.

Chazz
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 21st, 2012, 2:49pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Forgive
I see that 'A Lot Like Christmas' got silver medal for Script of the Month at Talentville -- well done on that front!


Congrats Chazz, hope you can build momentum on that recognition.

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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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 22nd, 2012, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, E.D.

Looks like I'll most likely have 2 of the top 3 scripts this month also, with 2 other scripts.  Fingers crossed...let's hope they can hold on.

Chazz
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Craiger6
Posted: July 22nd, 2012, 10:35pm Report to Moderator
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Chazz, for what it's worth, i cut through the first 15 pages like butter, and had more than a few chuckles.

I don't post here much for many of the same reasons that you cited throughout this thread((i.e. cliquish regulars who think they know it all, and who get way too bogged down in minutia (double dashes, are you fucking kidding me?), etc, etc, very tired etc.))  

Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed the pages that I read.  Carry on.

Craig


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cloroxmartini
Posted: July 22nd, 2012, 11:31pm Report to Moderator
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The first rule of a comedy script is open with funny.

You did.

I've only read the first couple pages. Initially it reminds of a script I read some years ago about Jack (something), Male Flight Attendant. Very funny, but too vulgar for me at some points that kept it from going the distance.

I'll keep going.
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nastynate
Posted: July 26th, 2012, 5:47am Report to Moderator
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Hey Chazz,
I read the latest draft of "The Jack Off" and you have made serious progress with it.

I never doubted your ability as a writer, you have a way to come up with a marketable concept and follow through with it for the most part. That's 90% of the battle.

As for the changes you made form the first draft, this is a much easier read, and you made a good decision to lose all the "save the cat" references.

Reading this draft though, I finally figured out why I had so many problems with your first draft, and now with the 2nd draft.
Keep in mind, I'm not ganging up on you (you gave me fantastic notes on a short script and I only intend to inform you why I have problems with your script: they are only one person's opinion, so do with them what you will)

First off, there were a lot of scenes from the Lumber Hack that felt like they were derived from movies/scripts that already exist, mainly Will Ferrel movies, who I know you wrote this for.

As a note: No actor wants to repeat themselves, so I'm calling out the following scenes with hope that you might find an alternative to them:

1:You're new "original" opening with Ralph being interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today Show.... it is the opening scene of Will Ferrell's "Land of the Lost" movie" where he is interviewed by Matt Lauer... it's the same exact thing, Matt lauer being Sarcastic, Ferrell doing his thing.
The "I've never puked" bit, it's the same running joke from the Will Ferrell movie "Semi Pro", he goes through that whole dilemma with Woody Harrelson's character. Ferrell's character swears he has never puked until the first act break (exactly like yours, until he actually does seconds later)

Plus, the Paul B. Sheedy bit is almost the same exact mysterious "Chazz" /will ferrell character from Wedding Crashers.


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/

Revision History (1 edits)
nastynate  -  July 26th, 2012, 4:20pm
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ChazzChristopher
Posted: July 26th, 2012, 6:22am Report to Moderator
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Hey Nate,

I've actually never seen Land of Lost - so thanks for pointing that out.  Definitely will need to rework that.  Maybe change it to Kathy Lee - that'd be funnier anyway.  : )

ETA: just watched the Matt Lauer scene from Land of the Lost.  Completely different context and set up and pay off...but Matt lauer is too similar.  Maybe I'll have him on First Take with Skip Bayless or do the Kathy Lee thing (cuz Kathy Lee is just funny to me).  But you're right, I need an alternative.

It's been years since I saw Semi-Pro - I don't remember the bit about puking or not puking.  What was the joke?  I can't remember it.

ETA: just went back and found the puke scene.  Yeah, it's different, but similar.  I'll definitely have to figure out an altenative.

The Paul B. Sheedy - I don't really see the correlation between the two.

But thanks for reading the new draft, and thanks for the kind comments.  Also thanks for pointing out things that I either didn't know or subconsciously missed.

Chazz

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
ChazzChristopher  -  July 26th, 2012, 6:40am
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ChazzChristopher
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Feature Script of the month this month over at Talentville.

Looks like someone thinks it is funny.  : )

Chazz
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: August 1st, 2012, 9:02pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher
Feature Script of the month this month over at Talentville.

Looks like someone thinks it is funny.  : )

Chazz


Congrats, Chazz!
Adding feathers to one's proverbial cap is always a good thing.
Though it does kinda stink they discontinued the coverage prize last month.

You're making some waves over at Talentville, awesome sauce...
But I still have the #1 ranked script ever over there. Mwahaha!
I'm sure they'd like to get that little annoying short out of there though. LOL.
I kinda semi swore off the site months ago!

Keep writing and rewriting!

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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ChazzChristopher
Posted: August 1st, 2012, 9:21pm Report to Moderator
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Yep - you're number 1 and The Jack Off is number 3!  I also have the 8th ranked overall on the site and the 17th ranked.

I like Talentville a lot.  Reviews are sometimes a little soft - but then again, they're a little soft just about everywhere!

I know it is absolutely meaningless, but it helps my wife feel like my manic writing is at least worth a little bit.  : )

Chazz
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: August 2nd, 2012, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ChazzChristopher


I like Talentville a lot.  Reviews are sometimes a little soft - but then again, they're a little soft just about everywhere!

I know it is absolutely meaningless, but it helps my wife feel like my manic writing is at least worth a little bit.  : )

Chazz


Agreed on both counts...
I had a Top 10 feature over there and some 20 year old UK snot trashed it.
Reading his review, it's obvious he didn't read the script.
Just pontificated on how he disliked the genre and gave me 2's across the board.
At that time, there was no way to recover from something like that.
Why should I bust my hump to earn TalentDollars to tray and undo that?
That being said, I hope the site gets a hit and sheds some light on talented amateurs.

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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Forgive
Posted: August 3rd, 2012, 10:06pm Report to Moderator
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It's lack of people on board that's doing it -- they can't afford to pay for coverage anymore, so they stopped giving out the medals.

You can work out any system you want or just go for a free-for-all.

Main problem with Tdollars is that there ain't a value-function to them. And elsewhere the value-function equates to reputation...
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