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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Donny and Floyd Moderators: bert
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  Author    Donny and Floyd  (currently 4405 views)
Don
Posted: December 8th, 2013, 9:45pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Donny and Floyd by Dustin Bowcott - Comedy - Two old friends meet up and end up on the run together. 96 pages - pdf, format


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Dustin
Posted: December 9th, 2013, 12:14pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Thanks for listing. This is actually a dramedy. Writing out of my comfort zone as I prefer thriller. Indeed I've gone back to thriller on a new script I'm writing... all action, help let off some steam.

I've had some comments back on this already and I'm not 100% happy with it. It reads really fast though I do know that. Most people read through in under an hour and a half. My gf did it in an hour and 20 and she's not a fast reader.

The script follows two guys, Floyd, a hulk-like, not too bright black man and Donny, an effeminate, amphetamine-addicted, gay transvestite. Two old school friends that bump into each other again and get into a scrape that sees them go on the run.

I'd say the script is almost at the stage where it's done... I just have niggling little doubts about it that I can't put my finger on right now.


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Nomad
Posted: December 9th, 2013, 3:50pm Report to Moderator
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Dustin,

A few things that jump out at me:


  • Pg. 1  What is "council furniture"?  I googled it and nothing obvious came up.
  • Pg. 1  "DONNY (30’s), very effeminate, is sitting on the toilet.."  Try to avoid a passive voice when it's not needed.  You could just say "DONNY, 31, very effeminate, sits on the toilet."
  • Pg. 1  "farts loudly, echoing around the toilet bowl... then follows through."  I'm not big on fart jokes, so this doesn't do much for me, plus, what does "follows through" mean?  To me it sounds like Donny follows through with slashing his wrists.
  • Pg. 1  How do you distinguish between a clear plastic bag and a clear plastic PRISON bag?  If the bag had some sort of markings on it, that would help.  Here in the states it would have a "D.O.C." or something stamped on it.  Maybe even the prison name.
  • Pg. 2  It would be funnier if the taxi driver's window wasn't working properly and it took a little too long to roll down which would mean it would take a little too long rolling up, thus delaying his escape.
  • Pg. 2  I have a difficult time thinking anyone with a phone wouldn't be able to tell where a certain bus is going.
  • Pg. 4  Is "INT. HOSTEL - ROOM TWELVE" the same as "INT. HOSTEL ROOM"?
  • Pg. 4  "the sound of diarrhea has Floyd run for the exit."  Again, fart jokes don't do much for me, plus, should "run" be "running"?
  • Pg. 8  The dialogue between Chunt and Darcy is on-the-nose.  There's a better way to get the same information across without being so blunt.  I'd have Chunt unable to unlock a door that bears an imprint of his name from freshly removed decals.  Darcy walks up and informs him that his office has been moved for safety reasons.  Chunt questions "safety reasons" and Darcy tells him that "they found a rat in that office, and that the other men hate rats, can't stand them, they want to hurt them."  Some more dialogue, and then Darcy shows Chunt his "new" office, a scrawled piece of paper taped to a broom cupboard door that reads, "DEFECTIVE CHUMP".  Something like that works better for me.


I hope this helps.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
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Dustin
Posted: December 9th, 2013, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nomad
Dustin,

A few things that jump out at me:

[list]
[*]Pg. 1  What is "council furniture"?  I googled it and nothing obvious came up.


Everyone in the UK, knows what that is within context of bathrooms and kitchens, etc. Bathroom furniture fitted in council homes and flats. It's hard to describe what I mean if you've never seen it before.


Quoted from Nomad

[*]Pg. 1  "DONNY (30’s), very effeminate, is sitting on the toilet.."  Try to avoid a passive voice when it's not needed.  You could just say "DONNY, 31, very effeminate, sits on the toilet."


Noted. That one got past me.


Quoted from Nomad
[*]Pg. 1  "farts loudly, echoing around the toilet bowl... then follows through."  I'm not big on fart jokes, so this doesn't do much for me, plus, what does "follows through" mean?  To me it sounds like Donny follows through with slashing his wrists.


You don't know what it means when somebody farts and then follows through?


Quoted from Nomad
[*]Pg. 1  How do you distinguish between a clear plastic bag and a clear plastic PRISON bag?  If the bag had some sort of markings on it, that would help.  Here in the states it would have a "D.O.C." or something stamped on it.  Maybe even the prison name.


Thanks yeah. I suppose I could say the bag has HMP stamped on it. All clear plastic prison bags look the same here. Again, it's a UK thing.


Quoted from Nomad
[*]Pg. 2  It would be funnier if the taxi driver's window wasn't working properly and it took a little too long to roll down which would mean it would take a little too long rolling up, thus delaying his escape.


I agree. I will use that.


Quoted from Nomad
[*]Pg. 2  I have a difficult time thinking anyone with a phone wouldn't be able to tell where a certain bus is going.


I have a phone and I have no idea where the buses in my city go. In my city a bus can stop every 100 yards and we have a huge network of them. Quite easy to get on the wrong bus and even get lost if you don't know the area you get off in.


Quoted from Nomad
[*]Pg. 4  Is "INT. HOSTEL - ROOM TWELVE" the same as "INT. HOSTEL ROOM"?


Missed that one on the edit. Thanks.


Quoted from Nomad
[*]Pg. 4  "the sound of diarrhea has Floyd run for the exit."  Again, fart jokes don't do much for me, plus, should "run" be "running"?


No, I'm not sure that it should be.


Quoted from Nomad
[*]Pg. 8  The dialogue between Chunt and Darcy is on-the-nose.  There's a better way to get the same information across without being so blunt.  I'd have Chunt unable to unlock a door that bears an imprint of his name from freshly removed decals.  Darcy walks up and informs him that his office has been moved for safety reasons.  Chunt questions "safety reasons" and Darcy tells him that "they found a rat in that office, and that the other men hate rats, can't stand them, they want to hurt them."  Some more dialogue, and then Darcy shows Chunt his "new" office, a scrawled piece of paper taped to a broom cupboard door that reads, "DEFECTIVE CHUMP".  Something like that works better for me.
[/list]



The trouble with that is that detectives don't normally get their own office in my country, this is a special case, the reasons for which are revealed a little later in the script. I agree about the OTN dialogue, I've rewritten this scene a few times now. Also the Defective Chump thing doesn't work either, as it isn't the right tone for the script. The cops are played straight.

Thanks for the read.


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dogglebe
Posted: December 11th, 2013, 5:47pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nomad
Dustin,

[*]Pg. 1  "DONNY (30’s), very effeminate, is sitting on the toilet.."  Try to avoid a passive voice when it's not needed.  You could just say "DONNY, 31, very effeminate, sits on the toilet."


This isn't passive!!!!  It's progressive!!!!!

ACTIVE:  Donny sits on the toilet.
PROGRESSIVE:  Donny is sitting on the toilet.
PASSIVE:  On the toilet sits Donny.

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-use-progressive-verb-tenses-in-english.html


Phil

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Nomad
Posted: December 11th, 2013, 6:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from dogglebe


This isn't passive!!!!  It's progressive!!!!!


That's what I said...'booty traps'...I mean 'progressive'.

Thank you, Phil, for learning me.

Now back to the script.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
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Grandma Bear
Posted: December 15th, 2013, 9:59pm Report to Moderator
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Finished. Took me longer than planned, but nothing that had to do with your script. Just normal family type stuff.

I don’t know what draft this is, but I’m guessing a pretty early one. It’s pretty clean though. Not much in way of typos and that sort of thing. The “early draft” feel comes mostly from lack of character development. I’ll go into that later.

WRITING: Clean and easy to read and understand. No complaints there, other than I think the script might be a tad too white spacey. You separate a lot of lines when not really necessary. Also, quite a few orphans that would shorten the script if you got rid of them. No major issues with this,just stating that the script isn’t really 96 pages in my book.

STORY: Pretty good straight forward story that at times reminded me of Thelma & Louise. Is that a good thing? Could be. The thing with T&L is the characters. We knew them we could feel them. More on that later.

Another thing about the story that felt thin to me was Chunt and his situation. I think you need to make it more clear what exactly has happened and why things are the way they are. The whole police part doesn’t ring true to me. I know this is in the UK, but I would suggest looking into that for more accuracy.

Another thing is that I thought this was labeled comedy. You mentioned that it’s more like a dramedy. I would agree that it has some humorous situations, but I wouldn’t call it comedy. I can see the drama and some thriller and action parts, but the comedy is pretty sparse in my book. Especially when you have a lot of brutal killings and even four year olds bullying and beating up another four year old. Not much comedy in that. Or maybe that’s just me.

CHARACTER:  This for me was the weakest point of this script. I understand what you were going for, but it didn’t quite get there. That’s why I felt this was an early draft. As mentioned earlier, T&L was all about character. We really felt for them every time something went wrong. I didn’t here. You can fix this though. And I don’t even think it would be hard. You just have to make us feel more and connect better with these guys.

For example, take Donny’s and Floyd’s relationship. I was never really sure what their relationship was all about. You give us some explanation towards the end, but until that point, I was pretty confused. I never knew if they were really just best friends or loved each other in a more romantic kind of way. I never understood their relationship at all. If they are just best friends, then perhaps show us Floyd looking at some girl at one point or say something to Donny about him dressing up as a woman all the time. Something that shows us that Floyd is not having romantic feelings for Donny. Same goes for Donny/Donna. Personally, I would have found it more interesting if they did have a romantic relationship. Not because Floyd is gay, but maybe he just comes to fall in love with her over time. Remember that British film when the guy finds out his gf is a guy? He still loves her and they agree to give it a try. I have a script I wrote called “A Mime Is A Terrible Thing To Waste”. It has a love relationship between a mime and a puppet. Neither are gay, but they are both all that they have. It works. I just think in your case, you need to figure out exactly what Donny and Floyd’s relationship is and then make that more clear so we the audience don’t sit there confused.

I was also confused about Chunt’s attraction to Donna. Does he know Donna is a guy? I was never clear on that.

All in all, I think the story itself is decent, but needs to be re-written so we the audience can better “feel” what you wwant us to feel. That comes in character development.


The following is just my thoughts and questions while reading.


P1.   I don’t know what council furniture is. A Brit thing?

         Just a quick thought on the first opening page. I’m trying to picture this on screen. We start in Donny’s apartment that is “almost decrepit”. The very next scene is an equally dingy place, but a hostel. I’m trying to think how this would come across visually. I think you might want to try to make the two places more clear that they are not one of the same. Either with establishing shots or something. Just to make sure the audience realizes they are two totally different places. Either that or make the two places completely different. Maybe Donny’s place could be all bright a sunny and effeminate just like him. Maybe everything is neat and tidy. Flowers maybe? Know what I mean? Just something so that we know we are in a completely different place when we move to the hostel.

P2.   Kind of a clunky line “the window winds down, electrically”. How about “the window whirs down”.

         Just curious, but how do we know the drivers are Polish and Muslim? IMO, it’s better to describe what they actually look like. Muslims can be anything. Arab, Indonesian, Somali… Two of my kids married Polish people. They look very normal to me. Maybe there are some stereotypical things about them in the UK?

P6.   The flashback shows that they have been friends since way back. Therefore, I assumed that it had been a loooong time since they last met, but later in their conversations, it seems they’ve been best buds until Floyd went to prison. It seems so recent, I felt the flashback didn’t quite fit.

         Also, at the bottom of the page it says, the gangster run off leaving “their” two friends. Donna and Floyd are not the gangsters’ friends…

P9.   Funny. “It’s the digital age. How much space do you need?”

P10.  Cops have bodyguards?

P11.  Wouldn’t Floyd have know that Donny was gay for a long time? Why is he asking why he dresses like a woman?

Okay, first ten pages done. As you know, a LOT of people will say that those are extremely important as far as getting read by studios goes. We have an odd couple of long time friends who meet up again after one of them has spent some time in prison. We’ve also met Detective Chunt. At this point, I do want to know what will happens next and how Donny and Floyd’s story will work with Chunt’s. I do wish that there was a clear goal or something by now though. A problem or villain or something. Might have suggestions for that later as I read on.

P11.  I’m a little confused about their relationship. It’ll be interesting to see where you’re taking this.

P13.  Cunt’s office has a window? I thought you described it as nothing more than a broom closet.

P20.  My thoughts by this page. I’m not one of those people who believe we have to follow formulas and by this page or that page, this or that must happen. I’m really not, but in this case I do feel that I should by now know for sure who our hero/s are and who the antagonist/s are and I don’t really. Sure, Donny and Floyd are the protags, but I have no idea who the antag/s are going to be. For awhile I thought it would be Chunt, but now you have added Julio and Rebrov, so I’m not really sure. At 20 pages in and especially in a 90+ page script, I feel I should know what the goals are here. What’s at stake? I’m still confused as well about Donny and Floyd’s relationship. They are a very odd couple. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m struggling with believing it. Sure, we’ve seen them as little kids playing together, but I need more than that. What kept them staying best friends through their teenage years and so on. You know what I mean? I know they haven’t seen each other since before Floyd went to prison, but what if Donny was the only one that would come and visit Floyd while he was there? What if you showed Donny being the one true friend by doing something like that. IMHO, that would work better than showing us how they stole donuts together when they were little. We need to know what is keeping them best friends now.

P25.  Where did the hatchet come from? Was that mentioned earlier and I just forgot?

P27.  Lots of killing going on. Kinda takes away a bit from the comedy.

          I’m thinking all this shooting in an apartment would be rather noisy. Maybe have a suppressor on the gun other wise the neighbors would surely call the cops. No?

          Maybe show us exactly what the bullet hits to make it ricochet back to Rebrov. Normally, a bullet would just end up in the wall…

          There’s also something wonky with the lines at the bottom of this page.

P28.   Okay, so now I can see what this will be about. IMHO, this needs to happen a little earlier, but I think you can fairly easily trim a few pages off the beginning without hurting anything. Just my opinion of course.

P29.   Right now I’m thinking these guys are leaving finger prints everywhere… Also, I think you really need a suppressor on the gun or their would surely be sirens heard by now.

P30.   Funny with the pepper spray.

P33.   All this “I love you Donny. Don’t leave me again, Floyd.” is rather confusing. It sounds like they are a bit more than friends. Are they or not? I think that needs a little work to make things clear just exactly what their relationship is.

P34.   Just curious, but how old are Donny and Floyd when they are little? Same as in the first FB? If not, you might want to add an age for them in the FB.

P36.   So that’s how they became good friends. Good. Now you just need to convince us how they stayed such good friends.  

P37.   Some more wonky line spacing here. On p39 too.

P42.   Funny as it is with another person dying by accidental shooting and of a ricocheting bullet no less, I still think you need to have something that it ricochets off. Just grazing Floyd’s forehead seems a bit of a stretch to me. Maybe Floyd is wearing a hat or maybe he has a metal plate in head from an accident when he was a kid? Something.

          Typo in the police siren line.

           Are the Doormen passed out? If not what are they doing?

P43.   Lots of ricocheting bullets in this script. I’m almost wondering if the bullets are rubber. I’m also thinking it will be a recuring theme.

P47.   Funny you picked a Nova! Who’d want one. Lol!

P51.   You’d save a lot of space by writing INTERCUT: instead of having a new slugline every time e new person talks.

           I’m having a bit of a hard time buying Chunt being so mesmerized by Donna. He didn’t strike me as someone except for a very buy the book type person.

P58.   Your DAY to NIGHT transition is a bit abrupt here. Floyd opens the door to the Nova when it’s DAY, but when he appears by Donna and the cop, it’s NIGHT.

           I don’t know what to think about this cop who wants sex or something from Donna. Seems a little cliche’, no?

P60.   I’m glad they decided to take the cop to the hospital instead of killing him. Adds to their character.

P61.   Rather clunky transition from Chunt and Flanker to the FB of teen Donny and Floyd. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that FB scenes should come after a related scene.

P65.   Every channel on the internet?

P69.   I had forgot all about Iltaf. Adds some curiosity on where this is heading though, so that’s good.

P77.   I’m still not getting the Donna/Chunt relationship. Your script has a lot of white on the pages, which is good. Makes for a faster read, but in this case it comes a bit at the expense of character development. This script is 96 pages. You can easily trim the text you have and there will be plenty of room for your characters without lengthening the script’s page count.

P83.   Good page. Gives us some insight to their characters.

P84.   Would work better IMO, if Floyd says he read somewhere that heroin can be grey.

P88.   The corrupt cop angle seems a little flimsy. Maybe you want to really look into how that works. Right now it comes across as not quite real. If that’s your intention, then perhaps making it more outrageous will make it work better. At least for comedy.

P91.   It would be pretty hard probably to get a group of four year olds to beat up two other four year olds on film, I would think. Or maybe that can be done with CGI too. It would still be a VERY disturbing scene.

Nice ending. Very Thelma & Louise’ish, but effective none the less.  




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James McClung
Posted: December 16th, 2013, 1:02am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dustin. Here's my review as promised.

A mixed bag for me, this one. I don't think there was a single element I genuinely disliked. There were quite a few elements that I did like but also many that weren't as strong as they could've been.

Perhaps the most prominent issue I had was the tone, in that I found it very hard to pin down. The script opens with Donny holding a razor blade over his wrist contemplating suicide. It'd be a rather somber image if it weren't for the fact that he's sitting on the toilet and farts multiple times. I guess this could be an attempt at black comedy but fart gags have a way of dispelling seriousness so I don't know.

Similar tonal issues arise down the line. The scene at Julio's features a lot of extreme violence and some seriously unsavory characters that again suggest a black comedy vibe or at least an attempt to cut the overall humor with more serious stakes. But then both Rebrov's death and the later scene with the Bastard feature some cartoon physics that suggest a lighter tone.

Quite a few scenes of Donna getting used/threatened sexually as well. I wasn't sure what to make of these at all. Funny? Serious? Both? I mean, I'd say it was sort of mean-spirited but other than these scenes, Donna is treated more or less like a real character and not lampooned in an inherently negative way so I don't know.

Many scenes are played straight (e.g. Chunt's investigation) and Donny and Floyd's relationship similarly seems intended to be taken seriously. A few references to Thelma and Louise, which gave me a sense of what, perhaps, you might be shooting for but I could never say for sure. I didn't find the script particularly funny and at times it felt like a straight drama but Donna had enough one liners and there were enough attempted gags to make me think you were shooting for something more dramedy-esque.

Nevertheless, I think the tone needs to be a little more cohesive. I'm not saying it can't be funny, serious, light, and dark all in one package but as of now, it feels too disjointed.

The characters could use some work as well. Donny and Floyd were certainly an eccentric pair but I think their dynamics and relationship could both use some work. Donny is obviously the more colorful of the two but Floyd still felt kind of flat. I don't think he offers enough of a contrast to Donny to be, say, the "straight man" or the "quiet one" of the duo. He's just sort of there and while he does have a decent backstory, he doesn't come off as particularly memorable except for when his size comes into play. This isn't enough, I don't think. He's clearly overshadowed by Donny at this point. Both characters need to be distinct but also form a cohesive and interesting unit.

There were elements in the flashbacks that suggested the two were sort of troublemakers or at least often found themselves with bad luck. There was definitely a "look what fine mess we got ourselves into this time" feel to them, given what happens in the story and in their past. I liked this a lot and I think it could be used more in how the two characters relate to each other. As of now, there isn't much of that. There's some exposition about how much the two care about each other and have each other's backs but only in key moments. The other scenes feel a lot more straightforward and plot-oriented in terms of dialogue, except for a few zingers from Donna. I would've liked to have seen more old habits, familiarity, and perhaps some nostalgia between the two characters. As of now, they read sort of flat.

Speaking of the flashbacks, they definitely offer up some insight but they're sparse and the most important ones come toward the end of the story. This leaves one to wonder for a great deal of the story exactly why these two are so close. This isn't good. I think we need to get a better sense of their relationship earlier on in the story and not necessarily through blatant exposition and flashbacks. Some more subtle references and, again, behavioral traits would help, for sure.

Chunt's story was fairly straightforward. I didn't have too many gripes with it overall. I thought his backstory with Donna was sort of interesting considering how straight-laced he is on the job. Perhaps this could be expanded. Also, much of the earlier scenes with him feature a lot of blatant exposition that actually gets sort of redundant down the line. I'd try to work information about his past and present pariah status in a more natural way.

There's some fairly interesting ancillary characters that pop in and out of the story. Would've liked to have seen a few of them stick around or at least get more information about who they were. Not sure how you could work that out but it might shake things up a bit.

The plot felt pretty straightforward. I can't really think of any particular issues I had with it that wouldn't be splitting hairs. Perhaps I'll get back to you on this one.

Writing is also fine. Very cut and dry. Screenwriter-ly. Some progressive voice you might rework as was mentioned previously but other than that, not bad.

Anyway, definitely some elements I liked here. It's got potential and a good jumping off point. I just think it reads a little flat and sparse at the moment.

Hope this helps. Forgive the typos. Here's some notes to leave you off with:

pg. 10 - "Why do you like to dress up like that?" - Seems a strange question from a best friend. Wouldn't they have discussed this by now? If not, Donny doesn't really answer the question. He doesn't have to spell anything out but perhaps some kind of insightful response might be precedented.

- Might note an accent on Rebrov. At first, I thought he was British like the other characters until Julio mentions "our country."

pg. 28 - Rebrov's death feels awfully convenient. I mean, I guess the bullet could ricochet but the temple is quite the direct hit. Feels like cartoon physics here.

pg. 29 - Not sure about Floyd getting food. Plenty of gunshots previously. Think these guys would want to get out of there as quick as possible.

pg. 38 - "What if we tell them the truth?" - Mentioned earlier. Might just have this conversation happen earlier too. I also think it might be a good job to expand upon the disagreement here, so as to incorporate more conflict into the characters' relationship.

pg. 42 - Bullet ricochets off Floyd's head? More cartoon physics.

- Also Donna's frock joke makes me wonder if they actually shouldn't just go through the window. I mean, beats prison.

pg. 43 - "Nobody move or I'll execute..." - Strictly personal gripe but I think Pulp Fiction quotes are a little too obvious and overused for stories like this. People know every single line from the film at this point so it's basically dated. I'd lose it. I would keep the reference later on when Donny snorts the heroin as it's not a direct quote.

pg. 44 - "It's a bloke called, Donald." - No last name? Also what's with the comma?

- Floyd bounces back from this pepper spray awful quick. I'd imagine he'd be veritably wiped out, at least for a few minutes. This shit is no joke.

pg. 64 - The knife sort of pops out of nowhere during this flashback. Perhaps show Donny getting it?

pg. 67 - "As in all gunshot cases..." - Strange line for the news. I'd cut it.

pg. 91 - I don't buy this flashback with the four year olds. What teacher would actually do this? What prompts them to do it. I might've bought it if the kids were older but even then, I think it'd be a little too easy. Would rework.


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Dustin
Posted: December 16th, 2013, 6:20am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
I don’t know what draft this is, but I’m guessing a pretty early one. It’s pretty clean though. Not much in way of typos and that sort of thing. The “early draft” feel comes mostly from lack of character development. I’ll go into that later.

It took me around 5 weeks to get to that stage. It's not so much a draft as a complete third rewrite. Hence the exposition. I'm not normally one for typo's anyway. They should always be rare.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

WRITING: Clean and easy to read and understand. No complaints there, other than I think the script might be a tad too white spacey. You separate a lot of lines when not really necessary. Also, quite a few orphans that would shorten the script if you got rid of them. No major issues with this,just stating that the script isn’t really 96 pages in my book.

It's difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what action blocks you mean... but I generally write per camera shot. How I perceive the camera to be working. At the same time, I'm also aware that what I consider to be one camera shot, may not be to someone else... also that I may have gotten too carried away in places, so I'll keep an eye on those in the future.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

STORY: Pretty good straight forward story that at times reminded me of Thelma & Louise. Is that a good thing? Could be. The thing with T&L is the characters. We knew them we could feel them. More on that later.

I was aiming for Thelma and Louise meets Bonnie and Clyde.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
Another thing about the story that felt thin to me was Chunt and his situation. I think you need to make it more clear what exactly has happened and why things are the way they are. The whole police part doesn’t ring true to me. I know this is in the UK, but I would suggest looking into that for more accuracy.

This is the thing I've rewritten three times. At first I had him being new on his first day and he discovers corruption... but that's a whole other story and I discovered that my original version didn't cover it well enough. My first draft was 137 pages.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

Another thing is that I thought this was labeled comedy. You mentioned that it’s more like a dramedy. I would agree that it has some humorous situations, but I wouldn’t call it comedy. I can see the drama and some thriller and action parts, but the comedy is pretty sparse in my book. Especially when you have a lot of brutal killings and even four year olds bullying and beating up another four year old. Not much comedy in that. Or maybe that’s just me.

It has been deliberately written as a dramedy. I suppose the comedy aspects of a dramedy are relative to the plot. Although I'm aware that I should go in and find more funny moments. Indeed I cut a lot of the original

Quoted from Grandma Bear
CHARACTER:  This for me was the weakest point of this script. I understand what you were going for, but it didn’t quite get there. That’s why I felt this was an early draft. As mentioned earlier, T&L was all about character. We really felt for them every time something went wrong. I didn’t here. You can fix this though. And I don’t even think it would be hard. You just have to make us feel more and connect better with these guys.

I have found this script fairly difficult to write. The first draft went down great. I think I may go back to that draft and rework from there, rather than using this draft. I had a lot of character build up in early pages. I literally cut the first 40 pages or so, then completely rewrote everything else, twice.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

For example, take Donny’s and Floyd’s relationship. I was never really sure what their relationship was all about. You give us some explanation towards the end, but until that point, I was pretty confused. I never knew if they were really just best friends or loved each other in a more romantic kind of way. I never understood their relationship at all. If they are just best friends, then perhaps show us Floyd looking at some girl at one point or say something to Donny about him dressing up as a woman all the time. Something that shows us that Floyd is not having romantic feelings for Donny. Same goes for Donny/Donna. Personally, I would have found it more interesting if they did have a romantic relationship. Not because Floyd is gay, but maybe he just comes to fall in love with her over time. Remember that British film when the guy finds out his gf is a guy? He still loves her and they agree to give it a try. I have a script I wrote called “A Mime Is A Terrible Thing To Waste”. It has a love relationship between a mime and a puppet. Neither are gay, but they are both all that they have. It works. I just think in your case, you need to figure out exactly what Donny and Floyd’s relationship is and then make that more clear so we the audience don’t sit there confused.

I did toy with that idea for a while... but then I got the idea of making Chunt the romantic interest and wrote that in draft 3 instead. I found it to be more of an unexpected twist. I think you'll agree there. I like to avoid cliche wherever possible. The viewer wants to see a romantic link in the script and the obvious choice is Donny and Floyd themselves. I think Chunt falls in sweeter.
The relationship between Donny and Floyd is that Floyd has just got out of prison after 20 years... the reasons he was sent to prison are revealed through flashbacks. I need to make that more clear, and I think a lot of the problems have come from all the stuff I cut.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
I was also confused about Chunt’s attraction to Donna. Does he know Donna is a guy? I was never clear on that.

Well he met her in a male strip club, so I'm guessing that he does. He also knows who she is from the beginning of the investigation.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
All in all, I think the story itself is decent, but needs to be re-written so we the audience can better “feel” what you wwant us to feel. That comes in character development.

I'm going to come back to this after I've written my next one... a more comfortable thriller... and do what needs to be done.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P1.   I don’t know what council furniture is. A Brit thing?

It's just plain and boring... sometimes dirty and cracked. Yeah it's a Brit thing. This is written for a British audience.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
Just a quick thought on the first opening page. I’m trying to picture this on screen. We start in Donny’s apartment that is “almost decrepit”. The very next scene is an equally dingy place, but a hostel. I’m trying to think how this would come across visually. I think you might want to try to make the two places more clear that they are not one of the same. Either with establishing shots or something. Just to make sure the audience realizes they are two totally different places. Either that or make the two places completely different. Maybe Donny’s place could be all bright a sunny and effeminate just like him. Maybe everything is neat and tidy. Flowers maybe? Know what I mean? Just something so that we know we are in a completely different place when we move to the hostel.

I personally feel the differences should be obvious. The flat is dingy, but the hostel is far worse.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P2.   Kind of a clunky line “the window winds down, electrically”. How about “the window whirs down”.

Thanks, I'll have a think about that one.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
Just curious, but how do we know the drivers are Polish and Muslim? IMO, it’s better to describe what they actually look like. Muslims can be anything. Arab, Indonesian, Somali… Two of my kids married Polish people. They look very normal to me. Maybe there are some stereotypical things about them in the UK?

Yeah, Polish people have polish accents. They've just moved here, we don't have any long time descendents yet. So they all sound Polish. Muslims have beards and wear skull caps. I feel it is easier to say Muslim than explain how he looks and what he's wearing... especially when it is only such a small part.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P6.  The flashback shows that they have been friends since way back. Therefore, I assumed that it had been a loooong time since they last met, but later in their conversations, it seems they’ve been best buds until Floyd went to prison. It seems so recent, I felt the flashback didn’t quite fit.

Floyd went to prison when he was a kid. The flashbacks show when Floyd went to prison.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
   Also, at the bottom of the page it says, the gangster run off leaving “their” two friends. Donna and Floyd are not the gangsters’ friends…

The two guys knocked out on the ground are.


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Dustin
Posted: December 16th, 2013, 6:21am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from Grandma Bear

P11.  Wouldn’t Floyd have know that Donny was gay for a long time? Why is he asking why he dresses like a woman?

It's the first time he's seen him in twenty years.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
Okay, first ten pages done. As you know, a LOT of people will say that those are extremely important as far as getting read by studios goes. We have an odd couple of long time friends who meet up again after one of them has spent some time in prison.

OK, I understand that I need to make the twenty year thing clear from that point. I bring that information too late.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
We’ve also met Detective Chunt. At this point, I do want to know what will happens next and how Donny and Floyd’s story will work with Chunt’s. I do wish that there was a clear goal or something by now though. A problem or villain or something. Might have suggestions for that later as I read on.

Yes OK. I may need to bring one of the flashbacks forward. Maybe start with something dramatic. I hear you. Thanks.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P13.  Cunt’s office has a window? I thought you described it as nothing more than a broom closet.

I can't remember the window to be honest, but I'm sure that a broom closet would have one too. The broom closet thing was actually something left over from the comedy version and only left in because I didn't want to have to write in more characters that don't do much. But I suppose most extras come free.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P20.  My thoughts by this page. I’m not one of those people who believe we have to follow formulas and by this page or that page, this or that must happen. I’m really not, but in this case I do feel that I should by now know for sure who our hero/s are and who the antagonist/s are and I don’t really. Sure, Donny and Floyd are the protags, but I have no idea who the antag/s are going to be. For awhile I thought it would be Chunt, but now you have added Julio and Rebrov, so I’m not really sure. At 20 pages in and especially in a 90+ page script, I feel I should know what the goals are here. What’s at stake? I’m still confused as well about Donny and Floyd’s relationship. They are a very odd couple. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m struggling with believing it. Sure, we’ve seen them as little kids playing together, but I need more than that. What kept them staying best friends through their teenage years and so on. You know what I mean? I know they haven’t seen each other since before Floyd went to prison, but what if Donny was the only one that would come and visit Floyd while he was there? What if you showed Donny being the one true friend by doing something like that. IMHO, that would work better than showing us how they stole donuts together when they were little. We need to know what is keeping them best friends now.

OK, I'll work on rectifying all of that when I get time for another draft.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P25.  Where did the hatchet come from? Was that mentioned earlier and I just forgot?

Rebrov's jacket. He pulls it out.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P27.  Lots of killing going on. Kinda takes away a bit from the comedy.

I'll think about that.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
      I’m thinking all this shooting in an apartment would be rather noisy. Maybe have a suppressor on the gun other wise the neighbors would surely call the cops. No?

Not on a council estate. It's quite likely somebody could get shot in front of twenty people and everyone go about their day like nothing had happened. A soldier was hacked to death in the middle of London and plenty of people walked on by like nothing had happened.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P28.   Okay, so now I can see what this will be about. IMHO, this needs to happen a little earlier, but I think you can fairly easily trim a few pages off the beginning without hurting anything. Just my opinion of course.

There should be things I can do to make that happen.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P29.   Right now I’m thinking these guys are leaving finger prints everywhere… Also, I think you really need a suppressor on the gun or their would surely be sirens heard by now.

Good point on the fingerprints...

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P33.   All this “I love you Donny. Don’t leave me again, Floyd.” is rather confusing. It sounds like they are a bit more than friends. Are they or not? I think that needs a little work to make things clear just exactly what their relationship is.

Noted.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P34.   Just curious, but how old are Donny and Floyd when they are little? Same as in the first FB? If not, you might want to add an age for them in the FB.

I refer to them as Little, that makes them the same age.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P36.   So that’s how they became good friends. Good. Now you just need to convince us how they stayed such good friends.  

Gotcha.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P42.   Funny as it is with another person dying by accidental shooting and of a ricocheting bullet no less, I still think you need to have something that it ricochets off. Just grazing Floyd’s forehead seems a bit of a stretch to me. Maybe Floyd is wearing a hat or maybe he has a metal plate in head from an accident when he was a kid? Something.

Good idea.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
  I’m having a bit of a hard time buying Chunt being so mesmerized by Donna. He didn’t strike me as someone except for a very buy the book type person.

I don't understand your point. Donna is completely innocent at that stage. He having a sexual relation with her is perfectly acceptable.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P58.   Your DAY to NIGHT transition is a bit abrupt here. Floyd opens the door to the Nova when it’s DAY, but when he appears by Donna and the cop, it’s NIGHT.

Maybe I made a mistake on that one.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P61.   Rather clunky transition from Chunt and Flanker to the FB of teen Donny and Floyd. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that FB scenes should come after a related scene.

I agree.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P88.   The corrupt cop angle seems a little flimsy. Maybe you want to really look into how that works. Right now it comes across as not quite real. If that’s your intention, then perhaps making it more outrageous will make it work better. At least for comedy.

Yeah, the relationship needs work.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P91.   It would be pretty hard probably to get a group of four year olds to beat up two other four year olds on film, I would think. Or maybe that can be done with CGI too. It would still be a VERY disturbing scene.

I don't agree. I've got four boys, they fight all the time.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
Nice ending. Very Thelma & Louise’ish, but effective none the less.

Thanks, I'll keep most of it on the rewrite.
Thanks for your comments. I'll take all of them into regard, maybe even ones I presently disagree with, on the rewrite.
Quoted from Grandma Bear

P11.  Wouldn’t Floyd have know that Donny was gay for a long time? Why is he asking why he dresses like a woman?

It's the first time he's seen him in twenty years.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
Okay, first ten pages done. As you know, a LOT of people will say that those are extremely important as far as getting read by studios goes. We have an odd couple of long time friends who meet up again after one of them has spent some time in prison.

OK, I understand that I need to make the twenty year thing clear from that point. I bring that information too late.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
We’ve also met Detective Chunt. At this point, I do want to know what will happens next and how Donny and Floyd’s story will work with Chunt’s. I do wish that there was a clear goal or something by now though. A problem or villain or something. Might have suggestions for that later as I read on.

Yes OK. I may need to bring one of the flashbacks forward. Maybe start with something dramatic. I hear you. Thanks.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P13.  Cunt’s office has a window? I thought you described it as nothing more than a broom closet.

I can't remember the window to be honest, but I'm sure that a broom closet would have one too. The broom closet thing was actually something left over from the comedy version and only left in because I didn't want to have to write in more characters that don't do much. But I suppose most extras come free.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P20.  My thoughts by this page. I’m not one of those people who believe we have to follow formulas and by this page or that page, this or that must happen. I’m really not, but in this case I do feel that I should by now know for sure who our hero/s are and who the antagonist/s are and I don’t really. Sure, Donny and Floyd are the protags, but I have no idea who the antag/s are going to be. For awhile I thought it would be Chunt, but now you have added Julio and Rebrov, so I’m not really sure. At 20 pages in and especially in a 90+ page script, I feel I should know what the goals are here. What’s at stake? I’m still confused as well about Donny and Floyd’s relationship. They are a very odd couple. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m struggling with believing it. Sure, we’ve seen them as little kids playing together, but I need more than that. What kept them staying best friends through their teenage years and so on. You know what I mean? I know they haven’t seen each other since before Floyd went to prison, but what if Donny was the only one that would come and visit Floyd while he was there? What if you showed Donny being the one true friend by doing something like that. IMHO, that would work better than showing us how they stole donuts together when they were little. We need to know what is keeping them best friends now.

OK, I'll work on rectifying all of that when I get time for another draft.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P25.  Where did the hatchet come from? Was that mentioned earlier and I just forgot?

Rebrov's jacket. He pulls it out.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P27.  Lots of killing going on. Kinda takes away a bit from the comedy.

I'll think about that.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
      I’m thinking all this shooting in an apartment would be rather noisy. Maybe have a suppressor on the gun other wise the neighbors would surely call the cops. No?

Not on a council estate. It's quite likely somebody could get shot in front of twenty people and everyone go about their day like nothing had happened. A soldier was hacked to death in the middle of London and plenty of people walked on by like nothing had happened.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P28.   Okay, so now I can see what this will be about. IMHO, this needs to happen a little earlier, but I think you can fairly easily trim a few pages off the beginning without hurting anything. Just my opinion of course.

There should be things I can do to make that happen.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P29.   Right now I’m thinking these guys are leaving finger prints everywhere… Also, I think you really need a suppressor on the gun or their would surely be sirens heard by now.

Good point on the fingerprints...

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P33.   All this “I love you Donny. Don’t leave me again, Floyd.” is rather confusing. It sounds like they are a bit more than friends. Are they or not? I think that needs a little work to make things clear just exactly what their relationship is.

Noted.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P34.   Just curious, but how old are Donny and Floyd when they are little? Same as in the first FB? If not, you might want to add an age for them in the FB.

I refer to them as Little, that makes them the same age.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P36.   So that’s how they became good friends. Good. Now you just need to convince us how they stayed such good friends.  

Gotcha.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P42.   Funny as it is with another person dying by accidental shooting and of a ricocheting bullet no less, I still think you need to have something that it ricochets off. Just grazing Floyd’s forehead seems a bit of a stretch to me. Maybe Floyd is wearing a hat or maybe he has a metal plate in head from an accident when he was a kid? Something.

Good idea.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
  I’m having a bit of a hard time buying Chunt being so mesmerized by Donna. He didn’t strike me as someone except for a very buy the book type person.

I don't understand your point. Donna is completely innocent at that stage. He having a sexual relation with her is perfectly acceptable.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P58.   Your DAY to NIGHT transition is a bit abrupt here. Floyd opens the door to the Nova when it’s DAY, but when he appears by Donna and the cop, it’s NIGHT.

Maybe I made a mistake on that one.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P61.   Rather clunky transition from Chunt and Flanker to the FB of teen Donny and Floyd. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that FB scenes should come after a related scene.

I agree.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

P88.   The corrupt cop angle seems a little flimsy. Maybe you want to really look into how that works. Right now it comes across as not quite real. If that’s your intention, then perhaps making it more outrageous will make it work better. At least for comedy.

Yeah, the relationship needs work.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
P91.   It would be pretty hard probably to get a group of four year olds to beat up two other four year olds on film, I would think. Or maybe that can be done with CGI too. It would still be a VERY disturbing scene.

I don't agree. I've got four boys, they fight all the time.

Quoted from Grandma Bear
Nice ending. Very Thelma & Louise’ish, but effective none the less.

Thanks, I'll keep most of it on the rewrite.
Thanks for your comments. I'll take all of them into regard, maybe even ones I presently disagree with, on the rewrite.


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Dustin
Posted: December 16th, 2013, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from James McClung

Perhaps the most prominent issue I had was the tone, in that I found it very hard to pin down. The script opens with Donny holding a razor blade over his wrist contemplating suicide. It'd be a rather somber image if it weren't for the fact that he's sitting on the toilet and farts multiple times. I guess this could be an attempt at black comedy but fart gags have a way of dispelling seriousness so I don't know.


This has been my first attempt at a comedy. Indeed I've jumped straight into another thriller. It's where I feel most at home. Anyway, that's why I attempted a dramedy instead. It's very much meant to be a black comedy/dramedy. The fart gags were an attempt to offset the suicide attempt... plus I really got attached to the pun, where his motives for suicide had been excreted. Still gives me a chuckle now... without the fart gags, I can't use that line.


Quoted from James McClung
Similar tonal issues arise down the line. The scene at Julio's features a lot of extreme violence and some seriously unsavory characters that again suggest a black comedy vibe or at least an attempt to cut the overall humor with more serious stakes. But then both Rebrov's death and the later scene with the Bastard feature some cartoon physics that suggest a lighter tone.



Quoted from James McClung
Quite a few scenes of Donna getting used/threatened sexually as well. I wasn't sure what to make of these at all. Funny? Serious? Both? I mean, I'd say it was sort of mean-spirited but other than these scenes, Donna is treated more or less like a real character and not lampooned in an inherently negative way so I don't know.

Many scenes are played straight (e.g. Chunt's investigation) and Donny and Floyd's relationship similarly seems intended to be taken seriously. A few references to Thelma and Louise, which gave me a sense of what, perhaps, you might be shooting for but I could never say for sure. I didn't find the script particularly funny and at times it felt like a straight drama but Donna had enough one liners and there were enough attempted gags to make me think you were shooting for something more dramedy-esque.

Nevertheless, I think the tone needs to be a little more cohesive. I'm not saying it can't be funny, serious, light, and dark all in one package but as of now, it feels too disjointed.


That's how I feel about it too. It is disjointed.


Quoted from James McClung
The characters could use some work as well. Donny and Floyd were certainly an eccentric pair but I think their dynamics and relationship could both use some work. Donny is obviously the more colorful of the two but Floyd still felt kind of flat. I don't think he offers enough of a contrast to Donny to be, say, the "straight man" or the "quiet one" of the duo. He's just sort of there and while he does have a decent backstory, he doesn't come off as particularly memorable except for when his size comes into play. This isn't enough, I don't think. He's clearly overshadowed by Donny at this point. Both characters need to be distinct but also form a cohesive and interesting unit.


Yes, Floyd is missing closure. He has no real arc aside from living and dying alongside Donny. I think that is what's missing there, he needs to learn something/change in some way... come of age.


Quoted from James McClung
There were elements in the flashbacks that suggested the two were sort of troublemakers or at least often found themselves with bad luck. There was definitely a "look what fine mess we got ourselves into this time" feel to them, given what happens in the story and in their past. I liked this a lot and I think it could be used more in how the two characters relate to each other. As of now, there isn't much of that. There's some exposition about how much the two care about each other and have each other's backs but only in key moments. The other scenes feel a lot more straightforward and plot-oriented in terms of dialogue, except for a few zingers from Donna. I would've liked to have seen more old habits, familiarity, and perhaps some nostalgia between the two characters. As of now, they read sort of flat.


Thank you. Some great advice there.


Quoted from James McClung
Speaking of the flashbacks, they definitely offer up some insight but they're sparse and the most important ones come toward the end of the story. This leaves one to wonder for a great deal of the story exactly why these two are so close. This isn't good. I think we need to get a better sense of their relationship earlier on in the story and not necessarily through blatant exposition and flashbacks. Some more subtle references and, again, behavioral traits would help, for sure.


Yeah, both you and Pia have picked up many of the same points. Much thanks.


Quoted from James McClung
Chunt's story was fairly straightforward. I didn't have too many gripes with it overall. I thought his backstory with Donna was sort of interesting considering how straight-laced he is on the job. Perhaps this could be expanded. Also, much of the earlier scenes with him feature a lot of blatant exposition that actually gets sort of redundant down the line. I'd try to work information about his past and present pariah status in a more natural way.


Yeah, as I said to Pia it's one area that has changed three times now. I'll get rid of the exposition there.


Quoted from James McClung
There's some fairly interesting ancillary characters that pop in and out of the story. Would've liked to have seen a few of them stick around or at least get more information about who they were. Not sure how you could work that out but it might shake things up a bit.


Yeah, I'll see what I can do with some of those. Also maybe cut some of the killings and create some real arcs.


Quoted from James McClung
The plot felt pretty straightforward. I can't really think of any particular issues I had with it that wouldn't be splitting hairs. Perhaps I'll get back to you on this one.

Writing is also fine. Very cut and dry. Screenwriter-ly. Some progressive voice you might rework as was mentioned previously but other than that, not bad.

Anyway, definitely some elements I liked here. It's got potential and a good jumping off point. I just think it reads a little flat and sparse at the moment.

Hope this helps. Forgive the typos.


Yes, been a great help. Thanks.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 10 - "Why do you like to dress up like that?" - Seems a strange question from a best friend. Wouldn't they have discussed this by now? If not, Donny doesn't really answer the question. He doesn't have to spell anything out but perhaps some kind of insightful response might be precedented.


They haven't seen each other in twenty years. My fault for not making that clear in the script. I'm sure in one of the drafts I wrote they did mention that. I think the flashback where teen floyd is arrested may be good there... although I'll hide the reason for the arrest and just show Teen Floyd being arrested. I'd still rather not reveal exactly why he had to go to jail till near the end.


Quoted from James McClung
- Might note an accent on Rebrov. At first, I thought he was British like the other characters until Julio mentions "our country."


Yeah, doesn't really matter how he is played. Generally though, Rebrov, is thought of as Eastern European.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 28 - Rebrov's death feels awfully convenient. I mean, I guess the bullet could ricochet but the temple is quite the direct hit. Feels like cartoon physics here.


OK... a cop out. I'll do better on that one.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 29 - Not sure about Floyd getting food. Plenty of gunshots previously. Think these guys would want to get out of there as quick as possible.


That was left over from when I had these two as being completely mad... but I realised that the characters had little to like about them, so rewrote it. I may just write what I like rather than trying to write what I think other people want me to.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 38 - "What if we tell them the truth?" - Mentioned earlier. Might just have this conversation happen earlier too. I also think it might be a good job to expand upon the disagreement here, so as to incorporate more conflict into the characters' relationship.


I agree.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 42 - Bullet ricochets off Floyd's head? More cartoon physics.


Sorry.


Quoted from James McClung
- Also Donna's frock joke makes me wonder if they actually shouldn't just go through the window. I mean, beats prison.


Yeah again left over from when they were more nutsy. Donna actually stops to lip synch a tune before leaving in an earlier draft as they had actually gone there to rob the place. I changed the tone and left some stuff in thinking it could fly.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 43 - "Nobody move or I'll execute..." - Strictly personal gripe but I think Pulp Fiction quotes are a little too obvious and overused for stories like this. People know every single line from the film at this point so it's basically dated. I'd lose it. I would keep the reference later on when Donny snorts the heroin as it's not a direct quote.


Good thinking. Thanks.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 44 - "It's a bloke called, Donald." - No last name? Also what's with the comma?


It's correct grammar to encase a person's name in commas in most sentences.


Quoted from James McClung
- Floyd bounces back from this pepper spray awful quick. I'd imagine he'd be veritably wiped out, at least for a few minutes. This shit is no joke.


I've been hit with it before, a little bit. It stung. From what I've seen, people react differently to it. Some people can bounce back quite fast, others end up in hospital. I met a guy once that got sprayed by a police officer, he then got so angry he ripped the spray from the officer's hand, pinned him to the ground and sprayed him in the face with it. One way to get yourself four and a half years. I'll write that better, just thought I'd share.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 64 - The knife sort of pops out of nowhere during this flashback. Perhaps show Donny getting it?


I'll think about that one.


Quoted from James McClung
pg. 67 - "As in all gunshot cases..." - Strange line for the news. I'd cut it.


I'll look into that one.


Quoted from James McClung

pg. 91 - I don't buy this flashback with the four year olds. What teacher would actually do this? What prompts them to do it. I might've bought it if the kids were older but even then, I think it'd be a little too easy. Would rework.


Well that's twice now somebody has pointed to that. I suppose I'll have to handle that a little differently.

Thanks for the notes, they've certainly helped.


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Grandma Bear
Posted: December 16th, 2013, 11:49pm Report to Moderator
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I will go over your response more tomorrow....it was so effin long.  :p

Seriously though, I appreciate you doing that. Whether we agree or not, it shows you took care with your response.  


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Dustin
Posted: December 17th, 2013, 4:30am Report to Moderator
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Thanks... I appreciate your long review. Extremely grateful for it. So much easier doing rewrites when I can see what needs to be done.


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Grandma Bear
Posted: December 18th, 2013, 3:45pm Report to Moderator
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Went over the comments and tried to explain myself on a few comments.  Hope that helps. If you have any questions, just let me know.

I still haven't finished mine. Between getting ready for Christmas and such, my head is spinning in all different directions!

This is just an example of what I meant with almost too white spacey. There's nothing really wrong with it and it does make the read quick, but it also adds a lot of extra lines making the script longer than it really is, IMHO. I do know what you mean about writing shot by shot. I do that too. In this case though, it was just something that hit me while reading. That along with the orphans probably add several pages to this script.

Julio hurries into the

HALLWAY

and opens the FRONT DOOR.

Rebrov pushes past him

                    REBROV
          There are people coming here soon.

and walks into the

LIVING ROOM

where he stops to appraise Brunette. She scowls and turns
away, unimpressed.



About Chunt and his history. I did get that part about the corruption and such. I sort of guessed that, but wasn't quite sure.

About the shooting in the apartment. I see. I just didn't know what a council estate was. I'm assuming government housing here in the US?

About Chunt being mesmerized by Donna. Probably because in my head, she's a guy dressed up as a woman. I thought he would see that. Also the club where Donna dances seemed to be a gay club. I must have misunderstood that part if it was for straight guys. That's why I assumed Chunt was a pretend straight guy who goes to gay clubs. Did that murk up the water more or did that make sense?

About the four year olds fighting. I know boys tend to fight, but I was thinking finding "actors" not regular boys.  


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Dustin
Posted: December 18th, 2013, 6:14pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
Went over the comments and tried to explain myself on a few comments.  Hope that helps. If you have any questions, just let me know.

I still haven't finished mine. Between getting ready for Christmas and such, my head is spinning in all different directions!


I've slowed down myself now with xmas just a week away. Everyone is getting excited. I'm finding it hard to concentrate. First day in ages I haven't written a single word. As xmas gets nearer, I really can't see me getting much done.



Quoted from Grandma Bear

About Chunt and his history. I did get that part about the corruption and such. I sort of guessed that, but wasn't quite sure.


Yeah, I'm hazy on it myself. So I'm not surprised that isn't 100% clear. Like I said, I may replay the police with a more comedic tone. In the first draft I had the investigators as being inept, but then felt one of them should be straight, then I wrote them all straight.


Quoted from Grandma Bear

About the shooting in the apartment. I see. I just didn't know what a council estate was. I'm assuming government housing here in the US?


Yeah, government housing. High rise tower blocks, tight, cheap housing. Drug problems, high crime... I suppose it's the same everywhere.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
About Chunt being mesmerized by Donna. Probably because in my head, she's a guy dressed up as a woman. I thought he would see that. Also the club where Donna dances seemed to be a gay club. I must have misunderstood that part if it was for straight guys. That's why I assumed Chunt was a pretend straight guy who goes to gay clubs. Did that murk up the water more or did that make sense?


He's not stereotypically gay. I felt no need to bring it up until I revealed that he had an intimate relationship with Donny/Donna. It's a male strip club, for gay males. But I get what you mean now, I should indicate that it's a gay bar... but then again there are also male lap dancers walking about etc. I'll think of some way to make that clearer.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
About the four year olds fighting. I know boys tend to fight, but I was thinking finding "actors" not regular boys.  


Well you're the second person to tell me it's in bad taste, so I definitely need to rethink how I've played out their back story.

Thanks again. I look forward to reading yours.


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BlakeTrueLove
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Newbie here, just joined today. This is the first script I've read so I am just pointing out a few things that jumped out at me. As I have never actually completed a script and have just very recently starting reading about proper ways to write and format (Snyder, Fields), you have my permission to take what I say with the smallest grain of salt you can possibly find. That being said:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Pg. 26: Rebrov causes Abdul to reflex-fire and shoot Imran, killing him.

Pg.27: Gun slips from Donna's hand causing it to fire, bullet ricochets and strikes Rebrov, killing him.

Pg. 42: Bastard fires at Floyd, the bullet grazes Floyd's forehead before ricocheting and striking Bastard, killing him.

So far there have been three people killed by virtual happenstance while the one person (Bastard) who was actually aiming at someone barely grazes him. I'm not really sure I'm buying all of these happy accidents.

Pg.66: I really think that Pig needs a name simply because the reporter only referred to him as "Officer" and not "Officer So & So". The news usually have their crap together before airing a piece like that. Also, by that time most hospitals will have released a statement on the condition of the officer such as stable, fair, serious or guarded. One last thing, I don't think that the reporter would have simply identified them as "Donny and Floyd". I'm sure their last names would have been used as well.

(Jumping around a bit. Sorry)
Pg. 52: When Donna was contemplating suicide, I can't imagine that she would do it in the Nova with Floyd sleeping right beside her. Maybe she would sneak off behind a building and spare Floyd the trouble of having to detail the inside of the car. Lol. But seriously, maybe show her behind the building struggling with her decision. Perhaps even then putting the barrel in her mouth and closing her eyes for impact before deciding to fight on. It was also very convenient for Floyd to wake up at precisely that moment in time.

Pg. 59: Another reflex-fire that conveniently hits a target that helps D & F get away. BTW, Donna must be an AMAZING looking tranny as Bastard, Pig and the Hotelier all tried to force sex on her. Lol.

Not sure of the page number but I thought it was an amazing coincidence that the same style of old Nova that they had stolen at 16 was for sale right there in that area. But I guess I could accept it. Just saying.

Also, when they purchased the Nova, I'm guessing they didn't register it. Otherwise they would have a license plate on record with their names that could be traced to the car. Actually, The DMV probably would have caught it if they had tried to register it since they are a government agency. So did the car have no plate? That's a HUGE red flag for the police. Not sure how things are done in the U.K. but the seller removes his old plate when he sells a car.

Pg. 81: Not to be picky but "tries to prise his hands away." Shouldn't it be "pry"? Maybe its a British thing. Lol.

Pg. 85: Floyd smashes Hotelier wife's cell phone yet she pulls out a second one. I thought only celebrities and cheating spouses had multiple cells. Lol. Besides, wouldn't the hotel have land lines?

Pg. 85: The wife calls the police after Floyd runs out, then by the time Floyd pulls the car out of the lot he can hear sirens in the distance. She must've told them she had doughnuts.

Okay, that's my $0.02. Very Thelma & Louise-ey. At one point you even had a T&L dvd play when Donna thought she had the tapes from the camera at the drug dealer's place. So you obviously see the similarities for yourself. I'm guessing you were going for that sort of thing. I honestly didn't find any humor in this at all. That's not a BAD thing since senses of humor vary greatly from person to person. I would peg this as a drama, but what do I know?

I kind of felt myself feeling for Floyd but Donna, for some reason, reminded me of Roger the alien from "American Dad". I'm not sure if you will get that reference. Maybe it was the drugs and cross-dressing. And that was just me as I was reading it.

Anyway, this was a great way to spend a snowy and sleepless night. I will continue to read and respond and hopefully build up enough good will with you guys so that when I actually do finish and post a script you guys will waste no time tearing me apart. Lol.
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BlakeTrueLove
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I'm sorry, I just noticed that I only posted things that I had trouble with but nothing positive. As I stated before, I am a newbie, my apologies. I am writing this in a "man on the street" type way saying nothing of character development or Acts 1 and 2, etc. (I do this because I am not yet well versed in such matters but I hope that will soon change).

SPOILER ALERT!

I felt that Floyd was deep down a great guy that, for whatever reason, life had rained crap all over. I kept wondering why he was in prison and when it was reveled it was very touching. I kinda saw him as the big guy (Coffee?) in The Green Mile. Very large, powerful and kind but somewhat slow witted.

As far as the actual writing goes it was very fluid in my opinion. It wasn't choppy or filled with grammatical errors or misspellings. A very easy read.

The scene in the drug dealer's place was very interesting, especially with the brunette being offered around like a cup of tea.

I like the old Nova. A friend had a '72 back in the mid 80's. Beautiful car.

The way that Donna would not turn on Floyd even though she could go scott-free was a nice touch. It really showed the type of close relationship they had with each other.

Also, the fact that Donna was gay and a cross dresser made no difference to Floyd, another nice touch.

For my first full read script I could've picked a whole lot worse. Keep it up. (That's what she said). Sorry.








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Dustin
Posted: January 27th, 2014, 12:20pm Report to Moderator
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Apologies for missing this review. I'm a thriller/drama writer trying to write comedy. So I had a go at Dramedy. First draft was full of slapstick type humour that I went off on the second draft and stripped it all out entirely. Indeed I actually stripped the first 45 pages of the first draft. I also played the cops straight, when they weren't before.

I'm trying to write commercially viable scripts and don't want to waste my time on ideas that aren't going to work. I have over 30 ideas pinned to my storyboard... I may come back to this script in a year or so, or maybe sooner. Right now I have too many ideas that may work to work on. I appreciate honesty.

Thanks for the positives, but I'm only concerned with the negatives... you shouldn't feel bad. The negatives are all that count. Even one is one too many... and could perhaps be rectified, but like I said, this script needs to stand out for some reason, and I don't feel this one does. I haven't given up on dramedy as I still have a couple of ideas... I suppose I just have to get in the mood for it.

Thanks for the review. I'll be happy to return it... and I have no qualms in being blunt, if you can take it. If I feel that the script is good, I will tell you so. Blunt works both ways.


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PhillipH
Posted: April 6th, 2015, 1:33am Report to Moderator
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I read the first twenty pages of Donny and Floyd. The story is about a transgender character reunited with her childhood friend Floyd, who has just been released from prison. Overall, it’s fairly well written, particularly in the area of narrative. However, at times, there is a little too much of it. The dialogue is minimal and nothing above average. Though I’m sure transgender individuals meet with their fair share of indifference and prejudice in London society, the early scenes are a little heavy handed in the depiction of society’s disdain for them. I think if the writer dialed it back a bit it would be more believable. Also, the whistleblower character needs to have better dialogue and the gang banger’s dialogue was also a bit stiff and clichéd. A little slow overall but good idea for a story.  
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Dustin
Posted: April 6th, 2015, 4:22am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from PhillipH
I read the first twenty pages of Donny and Floyd. The story is about a transgender character reunited with her childhood friend Floyd, who has just been released from prison. Overall, it’s fairly well written, particularly in the area of narrative. However, at times, there is a little too much of it. The dialogue is minimal and nothing above average. Though I’m sure transgender individuals meet with their fair share of indifference and prejudice in London society, the early scenes are a little heavy handed in the depiction of society’s disdain for them. I think if the writer dialed it back a bit it would be more believable. Also, the whistleblower character needs to have better dialogue and the gang banger’s dialogue was also a bit stiff and clichéd. A little slow overall but good idea for a story.  


Thanks... but for me, this is an old script. I've written at least seven features since. This is one of those scripts that I resigned to the 'can't be bothered finishing' pile.


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PhillipH
Posted: April 8th, 2015, 1:26am Report to Moderator
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Dustin:

It's good that you're prolific. a lot of writers flog the same damn script for too long. And, you can definitely write well. You're particularly strong in narrative. That's a great skill to have. It looks like you bang them out though. How long does it normally take you for a first draft?
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Dustin
Posted: April 8th, 2015, 4:47am Report to Moderator
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For a viable first draft it can take me from 7 days to 2 months depending how complicated the plot is. I wrote A Slave's Tale in 3-4 weeks and that did well in the comps, finishing as a finalist in the BBC Writer's Room and Semi Finalist with Shore Scripts. I wrote Swings n Roundabouts (very simple A to C horror) in 7 days. I wrote Out with the Old (a simple cockney crime flick) in 8 days. Then again, I spent at least four months writing Adm & Eiv and still couldn't find the right story for the concept. Although I believe I have now cracked it and will be coming back to it as soon as I've finished with the other ideas at the forefront of my mind.

I've just finished another feature that I'll be pitching to Carson and his 250 thing. That's taken me three weeks to get to a 'viable' first draft. Viability comes when there aren't any plot holes and the story runs smooth. There may be things a producer would want to change, maybe even demand a complete rewrite with a fresh tone placed on the story, but then, no matter what I write, that is always a possibility. So once I get it to viable stage, if I can't find anybody interested in making it, then I move onto the next story and forget about it.

I have lots of stories I want to write. So little time.

I spent over twenty years procrastinating. I suppose this is just me trying to catch up.


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