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Hey Steve, I like to read your scripts because they are so easy to read! I got halfway through this script so far. On page 5 the cat VOMITS. Just a practical thing - who's going to ensure that a cat vomits during the filming? Ah, okay, they'll just shoot a pile of some disgusting stuff. Page 8 - how can it look like Doug is getting butt fucked by Princess? Is she wearing a strap-on dildo or what? What about that CRACK? Is it Doug's back again? If yes, then it's not obvious enough. Page 15 - A young man, 16, wearing a football jacket sits at the table. Tears stream down his red face. He lets out a faint squeak. Who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he letting out a faint squeak? Page 33 - Swayze's missing an arm -I would put 'Swayze is' missing an arm, especially because 'Grey's nose is extremely large' in the same sentence. Page 40 - I love the scene with MRS. ALTENBURG! Page 51 - I think you've gone a tiny bit too far with Cum Stain. I suggest replacing. Dunno what with , sorry!
I though your use of intercut was actually very good!
Thanks for digging this up! You're funny. Peeps are gonna see your post and wonder WTF with this script.
Truth be told, this is an old draft and a couple things you commented on do not apply anymore. As far as Doug and Princess, it's supposed to appear as if Doug is being anally violated when in fact she's really trying to crack his back. Just wanted to clear that up.
I'm glad you like it so far. Lake Moose is the first script I ever posted here on SS -- and actually the first script I ever wrote. I still think it has potential and, hopefully soon, I'll post an even funnier and more streamlined version.
Thanks Dustin. You're right. Had some interest in this way back when, but you know how that goes. However, the bones are there -- just needs a good rewrite. My writing style has changed a lot in three years so it'd be fun and challenging to give this one some teeth.
Hey Steve, now I've read the second half. I loved this on page 74 - MRS. ALTENBURG is in the pool. She looks up just in time to see Doug falling on top of her. She SCREAMS. Doug SCREAMS. typo INT. BRISTOL'S ROOM - EARLY EVENING The same with EXT. THE MORGAN'S BUNGALOW - LATER - DAY page 87 - typo again - Morgan's are on dance floor page 92 - KYLE You're not my father. DOUG That's right, I'm not. But I'm your daddy! I don't get this dialogue at all. What does Doug mean?
Overall, this script reminds me of 'Dumb and Dumber'. Half of the fun is feeling embarrassed on the characters' behalf! I agree with everybody who said the story is not tight enough, there seems to be too many side-stories and characters that you don't need. Good luck with the rewrite and finding the producer!
Thanks for the second half (full) read. Much appreciated! The rewrite's gonna look a bit different. Something's I kept, some out the window. The main goal is to condense this, make it funnier and give it more purpose. Basically, something someone wants to see on the screen.
I only read the first around 28 pages, but reading these other comments I very much agree that it takes too long to get set up. Think about what's act one, what's act two, and what's act three in your script. Act one should be the first quarter of the script. At its current length, that would be 25 pages, but we are still very much in act one, I believe, on page 28. Other than this, just little problems that others pointed out, such as no numbering the first page, and don't add a cat just for one joke. I love the humor of it, and I think this could be great when you re-write it.
Thanks for reading an commenting. I agree with what you said. Definitely need to tighten this up. There is actually a rewrite I started a while back so it's on its way. BTW -- I love the cat joke and it's staying!
Ahm, I give you a review here and perhaps come back with some more thoughts when first impression is completely settled, or when you ask for something specifically.
I think you know what to fix concerning format, since it's a script you wrote in 2013 and from your more recent works I never saw such issues before.
Super fast read for me, 100 pages, 2 hours only; don't think I've been quicker through a script here before.
Man, even as an ESL kid, I just understand your way of writing screenplays, actually I'm a fan. Your style is so well balanced; half sentences, staccato, and full prose - I just like all of that. The best thing I notice is that you never use one adjective too many. Really sparse and to the point while nailing dramatic and descriptive harmony.Then I'm a foreign speaker, although, well, I know what's an adjective and somehow I can still compare you with other screenwriters, so... compliment.
There was one definite feeling with regards to story yet- I liked the play from the mid of 50 to the end much more than the first half.
What you need to do, IMO, is, cut dialogue.
You got the perfect length now to really trim it into perfect shape; I thought about cutting something like 20 p, and bringing in 10 fresh rethought ones that help structure and help building clearer sequences and themes - with that more orientation, especially in case of more precise characterization and dramatic coherence.
Okay what to cut in dialogue (all an IMO of course) - Any time when characters speak:
1. check if you need the sentence to make us understand character (or make us laugh), or move the story forward
2. if the characters need to say things that are boring, and sometimes they do, then better use the absolutely shortest way of articulation.
3. There were many dialogue blocks which easily could be ONE instead of two or three. Try to compress everything to its essence -- and check out how often a character repeats another ones speech in almost exact wording f.i. as an affirmation of what's been said <-unneccesary)
4. To prevent long boring explanations try to find a way to use gestures and physical interactions which make things clear in the same way.
I give you one example that was jumping off the page and made me experience this issue entirely (by the way I have exact same problems in my stuff all the time in early drafts, it's naturally)
What does happen there: May shows her scholarship confirmation to her mother. "Oh my God/We're so proud of you/ I worked hard/Yes you did/ Can't believe it etc. much more..."
I think that's the perfect example. Point is: If you can show us all of that in two or three blocks only -- you're going into dramatic super mode, accelerating the story, bringing us to jokes, punch lines and REAL STORY sooner; you wouldn't lose any impact.
( sometimes you do that with scenes too: I remember May in her room, preparing her gown and cap then entering the kitchen... – why couldn't she sit there already with them)
The problem I have now with judging the script is, that once you'd accomplish all those cuttings, I feel it would be a completely different story. The characters would be deeper because we see them acting much more and the conflict also could flow, serve the needed orientation about what story we're actually watching-
With that in mind I should be really carefully with any advice --
I tended to feel the whole vacation would needed to be more specific and have more themes, just like: There seem to be a lot of older people in the resort and I thought if this shouldn't be somehow a bigger theme – that it's like a disappointment for the family, at first, when they arrive, then it all turns out to be upside down. Having subthemes like "old-people can party too." (I know that you're starting something like that already; sex theme etc.)
But again: I cannot really say the above because when you move us quicker forward, have clearer sequences and dramatic points connected to the characters needs, THEN PERHAPS THIS WHOLE RESORT IS ALREADY PERFECTLY DRAWN OUT.
87 to 90 pages and there's just massive conflict.
Another point: The title is Lake Moose and it's far too late that this subject appears first time.
First act indeed is the weakest part IMO.
I needed so much time to understand the characters because they just say things as people say things. The problem is that I need that bigger than life character in comedy. They shouldn't be normal, you know; or the script should be about a bigger than life normal character "About Schmidt" or something.
June for example. She was the complete stereotype of mom running the business at home. Later she develops a bit more. With Brian you did better from the start.
So, let's see what I think the script is about. The main conflict is a father-daughter relationship. I like that pretty much. It's sad but truth somehow, that I cannot remember a lot of those central female conflicts in a fun/holiday script. Your opportunity, I think. Combined with a great setting, that you have here, and interesting sub-characters (give it up for Wayne), that you also have here, it could work imo.
I don't like the set up. F.i. I remember the father fears his daughter makes a bad move and goes to Africa. This comes back as a payoff when he jumps into the pool -- and it works 100%. All of that should be expanded, deeper imo. What makes him fear all that exactly (you have a flashback and a lot of backstory; Friday the 13 joke etc.)
What could be a sequence that shows HOW you set up the whole dramatic conflict?
On the other side, in third act you got the whole dramatic structure right.
It felt like the whole heart is beautifully exposed there BUT WHERE WAS THE PROBLEM, the true ignition, catalyst. I believe that the plot should be quite clear on display when set up, and especially, the plot should escalate at plot point 1.
I found everything funny and charming, that said; but once you get your structure right, I think you're able to multiply the comedic features and those absurd/eccentric jokes that go along anyway.
Except for those things I mentioned here, I enjoyed it. The garden party. Dinner with the Morgan's. The binocular scene. The swimming pool squirell jump, the showdown worked as well.
I'm excited about your rewrite since I know you work with a lot of care. Will be interesting how you reflect on your script and how you develop it further.
@ Perhaps think about the title. I don't think it represents the comedic chaos you deal with so well yet. I believe the most interesting point in this vacation flick is that there's a family disaster but the main conflict is about a girl. Think about how to make the title freaky and same time delivering the message that you deal with a female lead in this scenario. We haven't seen that in a vacation movie before (so often). And isn't that the exact point of same but different... somehow?