All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
The title of this really intrigued me, so I thought I'd give it a go.
I read the first 10 pages. If you show up, I'll read more.
I had quite a few problems with this.
First off, the writing was both passive and awkwardly written throughout. Furthermore, you write certain lines in the past tense? "Everyone who was around laughed" should simply be "everyone LAUGHS".
Secondly, the dialogue came across stiff, unnatural, and on-the-nose. For example, would someone really say this: "I should have known better, I skipped two grades!"?
Also, you introduce a hell of a lot of characters here. Now, this isn't necessarily a problem, but if you do this, you've got to justify your inclusion. For example, Abby and Nakul seemed unnecessary. Nakul seemed to be included for mere comedy value. And if you're going to introduce loads of characters, please, please, please make names more distinct than Michelle and Mitchell. You're just creating problems for yourself, as those two names are nearly identical. You're setting the reader up for some serious confusion.
Another main problem I had with this was the lack of focus. Michelle's voice-over sets the audience up to believe she's going to be your protag... but then the focus shifts more to Derek? But then nothing really happens at all in the first 10 pages. You really need to grab the reader in these pages, something which this script didn't do. And also, Michelle is also a seriously unlikeable character. I'm not sure if that was intentional, but unlikeable protags is always a risk.
Also, on page 3- Martin appears, but has never been introduced?
Like Toby, your title drew my curiousity so I had to check it out.
A lot of passive writing in your opening paragraphs. Michelle IS doing this, everyone IS taking their place in the bleachers, everyone IS hyperactive. It's best to keep things active. Michelle cheers. People take their place in the bleachers. It reads cleaner and shorter which is always good.
I don't recommend close ups unless absolutely necessary. Camera tricks like those take me out of the story and disrupt the illusion and rapport you're trying to build. Voice overs I'm on the fence about. I think comedies have a bit more leniency but still. I use voice overs too but if you can show what your characters are thinking through actual dialogue and action, it makes for a better read IMO.
CONTINUED at the top of page 2 isn't necessary. Maybe it's your software but if you can, cut it out.
A bit of weird words from Mitchell about his sister giving Derek a boner. It is a comedy though.
The "talking" part is unnecessary. Just jump to the dialogue between Derek and Mitchell.
Up to page 5 and thus far, aside from Michelle's voice over, it reads like a typical highschool story. Geek loves hot cheerleader, gets bullied by jock, nothing too original. BTW, it's been a few years since my highschool days but who hands out fliers to a party? I mean with adolescent teens totally submerged in social networking, I'd expect her party to have been all over facebook and whatnot. Just a thought.
The number of characters is really piling on in these early pages. Cut back on the intros of some of these and introduce them later, perhaps at the party.
So after 10 pages, there hasn't been much of anything happening. A lot of idle chatter with little development. Toby made a great point with the misdirection of who our protag actually is. In spite of that earlier VO, i'm thinking it's Derek but I'm still unsure. Protags can be unattractive in terms of personality but they need some kind of redeeming quality so that the audience can connect and ultimately root for them.
Summing it up, keep your writing active and really cut back on the blabber and talk so that you can get to the point of your story quicker. 10 pages in and all I have to go on is a knocked-up cheerleader and a geek in love (nothing funny really either). You need some action and events from which to really build that comedy instead of a bunch of gossip. A party scene with a few drunk girls dancing isn't cutting it. I'd cut that whole part out and get to Michelle calling Mitchell. Get to that inciting incident as soon as possible. I'm assuming that phone call may be that particular plot point but i'm not sure.
Tons and tons of problems here. First off, how can Derek sniff his own groin?
Almost all your action is wordy and passive. Way too much of this: Derek is walking. Should be: Derek walks.
Way too much of this:
INT. HOUSE - DAY
Derek walks in the house. (We already know he's in the house. Your slug tells us that.) You do this in almost every scene.
Your dialogue is very stiff and not the way people talk.
My biggest problem is the story. Your logline tells us the plot. You tell us again with the voice over, and then nothing happens. Nothing at all.
I've read 20 pages and have no idea what's going on other than drunk teens cracking jokes. I'm an easy sell on a mindless comedy. I like 'em, they take the edge off....not much thinking required. I love them. HOWEVER, they have to make you laugh. Not much here doing that.
One thing you should definitely change is that on the first page, second sentence you mention a "prep rally".
It should be "pep rally".
As a reader this immediately turns me off of your script because it leads me to one of two conclusions.
1. You didn't proofread your script. 2. or you don't know your subject matter.
These issues are magnified by 2000% because the error is on your first page. Make sure your first page is free of errors and it draws me into the story.
Also comedies should be around 90 pages, not 103.
Hope that helps.
Personally, I think 90 pages for a comedy is almost too light. 93-99 in usually a good range, anything over 100 is starting to get long for the genre. I recently watched "This is 40." Didn't care much for the movie and it was a whopping 135 minutes.
Write in present tense (they walk, she walks, etc). "Began" is past tense, use begin/begins.
Leave the story how it is, just proofread and try to make the dialogue a little bit more natural. I actually read the whole script, and I get the importance of characters -- don't change anything about them.
So, keep writing.
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.
Hey, Keep writing, yes, but also mind what the others say here, too. They're only trying to help. And they're advice is sound. Take another look at your script as you make changes and you'll probably see a whole bunch of things you need to change. But only you can do that. You love your script, as do I. But a fresh pair of eyes will really make you see the light. Make it the BEST it can possibly be! Steve
I really do appreciate the feedback, I was aware of some of the errors when I posted it on the site. But no matter how many times you fix and proof read, a script is never finished but I am working on fixing it the best that I can and will post it again soon.
And another note if the dialouge seems unatural, it's my style for writing comedy, I like to write whimsically to keep it quirky and unique.
If you do like this script please check out another script I wrote "Freshmeat" that is also on this site and yes I am aware of some of the errors on that too, just give me time to repost
The main reason why I am posting scripts on this site is to get feedback on the story, dialouge, and characters. But I am learning the technical side is important as well.
I was not trained professionally on how to write scripts but it is a passion of my mine. All I had was my "Juno" and "Knocked Up" scripts for reference guides.
They gave you feedback on all the things you said you wanted feedback on yet you choose to ignore it. The technical aspect is what will get your script read by the professionals. If you choose to ignore advice on that aspect of things too, you'll never make it. You come off as pretty inflexible. Not a good quality for a writer.
Despite it being a draw to board members, I do not believe your title is not a viable one. Sure, it sticks on a message board. The problem is that readers on this board have nothing to lose by reading your script except a little bit of their time. Industry readers are looking for something they can buy with the intention of turning around and selling it to the move going public.
The movie industry is an industry, and when a screenwriter writes a spec script in hopes of selling it, he is asking someone to take his work seriously enough to spend their time reading it, and ultimately take it so seriously that they're willing to invest thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars producing and selling it to the public.
"Nerd Sperm" does not inspire any confidence in me that a writer takes his work seriously. If anything, it reveals inexperience from the get-go. Sure, it's an amusing title, but in the way that it's the first thing that pops into your mind, you laugh, and then move on to more serious title options.
Relentless revision is the mark of a mature writer, and throwing the first thing that pops into your brain onto the page and leaving it that way is the mark of an inexperienced writer.
Your script may be good or may totally suck. I'll probably never know, and neither will an agent or any industry readers so long as that is the title.
I apologize if this comes off as harsh. I expect you worked hard on this script, and spent a good amount of your time writing it. Communicate that to potential producers by picking a serious title.
"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -Thomas Mann
I read over your first 10 pages and here are my semi-live thoughts:
1. Title may be an attention grabber but you put that on a billboard and there are gonna be problems, it sounds a bit too juvenile even for a raunchy comedy which I think is what you are going for. 2. Not sure if having him drool is a good idea, but that’s just me it’s a bit too on the nose, maybe something along the lines of “you’re staring” would be a bit more effective.
3. While Mitchell and Michelle does sound like the name a family would give their twins to be cute it might help to shorten Mitchell’s name to Mitch for the sake clarity.
4. The couples you mention aren’t “bromances” they’re romances (two of which ended in the death of both members) it might be useful to find historical bromances (or modern ones) I think that would be a bit funnier.
5. Is “you/I” skipped 3 grades going to be a running joke, it might work.
6. You know a way to solve the problem of handing out fliers might be to set this in the 70s or 80s that also sets up good period-specific jokes, I’m thinking star-wars in particular.
7. Ok the “Hannah from Montana line made me smirk but its got a shelf life on it.”
8. Aren’t Nakul and the others friends? If so I’d think his problems talking with his parents might be another running joke and something they wouldn’t have to discuss too much.
This has potential but your hesitance to accept constructive criticism will be your downfall. It's a cliche but its true you have to "murder your darlings" when writing. I suggest you look over it again and rewrite it if possible. It's not always fun to do things that way but it's the nature of the beast.