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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  The Bladesmasher Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Bladesmasher  (currently 1831 views)
Don
Posted: August 30th, 2015, 11:45am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Bladesmasher by Frank Bos - Comedy - Two guys chase down a barrier-breaking theory, revealing the truth behind the most contradictive man they’ve ever seen; Harold Bladesmasher. 126 pages - pdf, format


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cloroxmartini
Posted: September 1st, 2015, 1:13pm Report to Moderator
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Got to page 8 and couldn't handle it anymore. Don't have a clue as to what this is about.
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NickZ
Posted: September 2nd, 2015, 6:25am Report to Moderator
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Is the author around the boards? Not to be condescending or harsh but I have a lot of questions just about the logline. I quickly skimmed the first ten pages and could not figure out, I don't want to invest too much into reading/reviewing if the author's not around.
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Frankie Forest
Posted: September 3rd, 2015, 8:59am Report to Moderator
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Hi the author has arrived!

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. I also get that the first pages might be a bit confusing or overwhelming (with the Lawesomeness-line and a narrator communicating with the characters on screen) I have to say that this script is kinda "out there" and a fair warning, I had Will Ferrell in mind for Bladesmasher so just so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
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eldave1
Posted: September 3rd, 2015, 12:44pm Report to Moderator
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Frank: Just my opinions so take with a grain of salt.

The Good:

1) I absolutely love the concept of the narrator (Giles) as a character in the story. Very clever hook.

2) Your writing mechanics are pretty solid.

The Issue:

I got through page 20 and just didn't want to follow your characters any more. They was nothing compelling about them and I felt as I was just going to see a different type of re-run of Bill and Ted's excellent adventure. I am not a fart and poo joke fan either so in fairness, that may have contributed to the lack of interest in moving on.

Up front I would have liked a little more info on how the magical V.O (Giles) came to be other than this:


Quoted Text
GILES (V.O.)
I would have to concur with that
particular observation. But above
all, I do like to point out that a
contract has been signed. Where it
has been established by law that I
shall narrate this story.


And there does not seem to be enough shock among your characters that someone is magically narrating their life nor is their any rhyme of reason for when he narrates and when he doesn't.

Overall - I think you have a fantastic core premise here - the characters and the plot points just were not enough to keep it going for me.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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NickZ
Posted: September 4th, 2015, 9:39pm Report to Moderator
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My biggest issue with the logline is that it's so vague. The logline  doesn't give me any sense of what I'm going to encounter in the story. What does the theory deal with? Why should we care about Bladesmasher? What is your story's central conflict? What are the stakes?

I'm going to take another pass at it. Since I'm not the only one who had a little trouble following it, it might be worthwhile to write up a brief synopsis of the story your trying to tell. A synopsis (not to be confused with your logline) would give me a better sense of what your trying to set up in your first act and would help me give you more productive feedback.
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PrussianMosby
Posted: September 5th, 2015, 4:36am Report to Moderator
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Probably it's just me being a foreigner, but in my ears the title is dope.


Good you show up, Frank.

Logline isn't that bad imo.  Probably because the name saves the day for me. Still...

"Two guys" is a lame character description. The subject "guys" should describe who or "how" (state) they are originally.

Secondly, I agree that the direction the theory goes should be described. Where are we? What is the story's world? Contradictive how? In what way? Psychological?


Clear connections would help. I'm astonished so many writers tend to not give away their stories when "selling" them.

Some may disagree here; I'd suggest giving away everything in as little words as possible.

I'd take a look at the first ten at least since the title nevertheless got me...




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Frankie Forest
Posted: September 7th, 2015, 6:04pm Report to Moderator
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David; Thank you for your “salted” opinion, very helpful indeed!

Mainly because I realise that the real hook, the character Bladesmasher, only becomes interesting later on so I definitely need to switch some scenes around. Very valuable information, thank you!

Also, looking back I went too far with the poo joke and I’m going to cut some lines. The whole smelliness part doesn’t move the story forward nor is it needed and admittedly written for my own amusement, still keeping little Moses though as he fits nicely in the story.

Also going to cut the “weed smell” remark as I don’t want to give the impression they’re a bunch of lazy stoners. They’re actually quite bright, but childish in some ways, and on the right track in life. With Larry building and finishing his first computer game, which is set for a big release and Mike is a professional gamer, finishing in the top 5 for the last two years in a high prized tournament.

Regarding the magical V.O. Giles it’s kind of “accepting the craziness”. But an extra remark from one of the guys regarding the abnormality of the situation would be in place.

To hopefully answer some questions from others regarding the theory and Bladesmasher;

With the barrier-breaking theory appearing correct, Bladesmasher starts displaying his remarkable, short-lived change in persona; from an awkward and unsure guy to the exact opposite; the new, awesome in every way, Harold Bladesmasher. (even his name is a complete contradiction of lame and awesome, no offence to all Harold’s of course On his own show we see his amazing and almost seemingly impossible skills with a kitchen knife, his unworldly dance skills and saving someone’s life during an earthquake. Soon, two clear destinies unfold; endangering his own life and that of others or reaching his true form, breaking the barrier and claiming the crown of pure awesomeness.

P.S. I agree that the “two guys” description is lazy writing, I’m thinking of maybe changing the logline and focusing more on Bladesmasher, though the logline does seem to evoke some questions and curiosity but if confusion gets the upper hand it might be wise to change it.

P.P.S. I’m not a native English speaking person (Dutch) and apparently I was convinced that waving someone goodbye was spelled “waiving”. Talk about lame right? I apologize for any further mistakes but would love it if you point them out.
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eldave1
Posted: September 7th, 2015, 10:03pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Frankie Forest
David; Thank you for your “salted” opinion, very helpful indeed!

Mainly because I realise that the real hook, the character Bladesmasher, only becomes interesting later on so I definitely need to switch some scenes around. Very valuable information, thank you!

Also, looking back I went too far with the poo joke and I’m going to cut some lines. The whole smelliness part doesn’t move the story forward nor is it needed and admittedly written for my own amusement, still keeping little Moses though as he fits nicely in the story.

Also going to cut the “weed smell” remark as I don’t want to give the impression they’re a bunch of lazy stoners. They’re actually quite bright, but childish in some ways, and on the right track in life. With Larry building and finishing his first computer game, which is set for a big release and Mike is a professional gamer, finishing in the top 5 for the last two years in a high prized tournament.

Regarding the magical V.O. Giles it’s kind of “accepting the craziness”. But an extra remark from one of the guys regarding the abnormality of the situation would be in place.

To hopefully answer some questions from others regarding the theory and Bladesmasher;

With the barrier-breaking theory appearing correct, Bladesmasher starts displaying his remarkable, short-lived change in persona; from an awkward and unsure guy to the exact opposite; the new, awesome in every way, Harold Bladesmasher. (even his name is a complete contradiction of lame and awesome, no offence to all Harold’s of course On his own show we see his amazing and almost seemingly impossible skills with a kitchen knife, his unworldly dance skills and saving someone’s life during an earthquake. Soon, two clear destinies unfold; endangering his own life and that of others or reaching his true form, breaking the barrier and claiming the crown of pure awesomeness.

P.S. I agree that the “two guys” description is lazy writing, I’m thinking of maybe changing the logline and focusing more on Bladesmasher, though the logline does seem to evoke some questions and curiosity but if confusion gets the upper hand it might be wise to change it.

P.P.S. I’m not a native English speaking person (Dutch) and apparently I was convinced that waving someone goodbye was spelled “waiving”. Talk about lame right? I apologize for any further mistakes but would love it if you point them out.


Glad it helped Frankie - all the best with this


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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PrussianMosby
Posted: September 10th, 2015, 2:07am Report to Moderator
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Hello Frank,

I read your script since I liked the title.

Now I'm not so sure anymore if it's the right one, especially because of the triangle, having two bigger main characters we originally follow through your story. Perhaps I'd modify it a bit.


What's positive:

I think there's an audience for the script's kind of humor. Probably male from 14 to 25
A group that demands straight youth culture comedy. Reminded me of Cheech and Chong, Wayne's World, Dumb and Dumber, and Dude Where’s My Car

So, I bet there's definitely demand of today's generation to get their trashy comedy picture as well.

I think the humor and wit could work with them. You have a good balance to handle the dialogue and change the direction of the story the way you want it to. That all comes across naturally.

Harold is a good character. Sometimes adding his typical "haha" annoyed me, perhaps it should do so, to show his other side, his lameness. Well, this ha-ha thing is just outdated.

Roger was cool too - reminded me of a crazy John Goodman.

The microcosm of all your characters does work. It's really as diving into a world of stupidity where normality is banned; and I mean it positive since that's what the genre stands for.

The narrator Giles indeed was an effective, entertaining tool.

The funniest stuff to me were Mike's reactions toward women. How he sabotages himself asap felt charming, subtle, simply absurd.

The videogame subplot, that builds up a bit of the boys' background, is a good starting point for more...



and that's when to come to things that don't work or should be developed new or different, imo:

The last point from above is a huge problem by now.  While the characters from the movies I mention have strong backgrounds - being stoners, rock fanatics, or just largely "visually" mad as in the Jim Carry movie - Larry and Mike have not enough background which explains to me why they are who they are. They just appear in their way which feels non-organic yet.

Location, their visual look, events they visit, could help to establish such understanding: A crazy car, a home which mirrors their personalities etc..  In general, you seem to set everything on the "dialogue-card".


As being modern computer nerds, who spend their time on the net, programming shit,
with same time keeping connection to society, having clear extroverted needs all along,
of course such a mixture could have made them that "different/crazy"
and perfectly explain their otherness.

I guess that's already the way how you try to establish their strangeness. But how "exactly" does that work? It's not coming through yet, and has to increase massive. I believe this could be largely extended by them doing more tech-shit, showing more from their place, showing what kind of people they deal with on the internet...

...everything what makes their personality more grounded and with that more believable.


The dialogue is gigantically overwritten. You hurt your own jokes if you repeat punchlines and structure of every single joke over and over; it gets annoying also.

For example: You cannot keep the cam on Moses for such a long time them talkning about the same stuff. It's not cinematic, nor is it that funny. Give us the joke and let us go on... You come back to Moses later anyway.

The first act is unbalanced to me. The guys talk at their place, they talk in the tv studio, they talk in the car, they're back at their home... and guess what they have – another long conversation.

Where's the adventure, activity? There's a huge potential for throwing those guys into absurd scenarios. If they just stay home, then their home should better be an interesting place.

They know how to work with a computer well, but they handle this formula on a board, why? Shouldn't they have damn great bigscreen-powerpoint stuff about the lawesomeness theory at the ready?

More Bladesmasher in first act.

More Bladesmasher in second act – with the guys together - and outside the house. He could fail to convince them of the theory and eventually succeeding; more obstacles, problems.

Third act was okay, nevertheless there is a noticeable difference between the visuals of the action-climax and the whole conversation heavy script before.

Imo Cutting the dialogue to the very gems would bring enormous profits to your screenplay. With that alone I think it's even possible to reach the page 100 mark. For that you'd need to let go which actually not seems to be easy with regards how you linger on dialogues yet.

There were several charming parts and in places I found it quite funny. Though it wasn't my humor completely. But it doesn't have to be since you have a clear target audience to serve. And imagine the script's humor works very well with them. So, nothing to complain about in case of the comedy factor.


Almost forgot about the whole lawesomness concept. I believe the characters only talk about it too much: They assume Harold could trigger events for example. Is there a possibility to bring in something that helps your story to show the theory, visualize the plot? Because since yet it's all carried by a board and the guys "assumptions" only? Perhaps another character who researches lawesomeness, also searching for the one, has invented a meter – something we actually can see!! And not something they just talk about.  Just an example of course... reconsider yourself if you agree on what I'm trying to point out...

Lots of work on Mike and Larry. They need to move and do things.

The foundation is promising. For my taste, you'd need further intensive development to reach the best path for The Bladesmasher script.

Hope something makes sense to you...
Best regards



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Frankie Forest
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Larry and Mike have not enough background which explains to me why they are who they are. They just appear in their way which feels non-organic yet. But how "exactly" does that work? It's not coming through yet, and has to increase massive. I believe this could be largely extended by them doing more tech-shit, showing more from their place, showing what kind of people they deal with on the internet. Everything what makes their personality more grounded and with that more believable. As being modern computer nerds, who spend their time on the net, programming shit,  with same time keeping connection to society, having clear extroverted needs all along,  of course such a mixture could have made them that "different/crazy"
and perfectly explain their otherness.

- Very good tip!! I need to seriously amplify the extreme stressful week the guys are already having. With Larry’s first game, non-stop programming for months, dealing with a deadline and by now a demanding girlfriend. Mike’s need to finally win, dealing with an insane trainer, meeting Tracy and of course both dealing with a trolling Giles at times.

Location, their visual look, events they visit, could help to establish such understanding: A crazy car, a home which mirrors their personalities etc..  In general, you seem to set everything on the "dialogue-card". Imo Cutting the dialogue to the very gems would bring enormous profits to your screenplay. With that alone I think it's even possible to reach the page 100 mark. For that you'd need to let go which actually not seems to be easy with regards how you linger on dialogues yet.

- I too noticed that it’s a very heavy dialogue script (latest statistics; 63% dialogue against 25% action and 120 pages) although is does get more balanced (or unbalanced, depends how you look at it) towards the end. I tried to keep the action very basic but realized; it’s thin. For example the apartment is actually quite luxury, expensive looking furniture, with latest high tech, big screen TV, both having big desks with multiple screens. Although everything comes up in the dialogue it’s not mentioned in the action. Going to make some adjustments here and there as I also missed some opportunities to add some quirky attributes/looks, helping to establish more character.  
I must say I’ve written two other scripts in the past (a thriller and a sci-fi) and they looked quite different in action-dialogue ratio, it seems that this genre brings out the dialogue in me. And I noticed I have a lot of trouble cutting the dialogue (one of the biggest reasons on why I decided to place it on these boards) although the script started out with 146 pages, so I’m trying

The dialogue is gigantically overwritten. You hurt your own jokes if you repeat punchlines and structure of every single joke over and over; it gets annoying also.

- Yes, I’ve noticed the same on quite a few occasions but still needed to actually hear it from someone (thank you) to be able to cut more “double jokes”, as it just becomes desperate funny and lame.

For example: You cannot keep the cam on Moses for such a long time them talkning about the same stuff. It's not cinematic, nor is it that funny. Give us the joke and let us go on... You come back to Moses later anyway.

- Very true, I’ve already cut about 1,5 page on the subject but I would like to point out; we never SEE little Moses, we see the characters at all times (with a pov cam for Moses on some occasions, if it were my choice)

The first act is unbalanced to me. The guys talk at their place, they talk in the tv studio, they talk in the car, they're back at their home... and guess what they have – another long conversation. Where's the adventure, activity? There's a huge potential for throwing those guys into absurd scenarios. If they just stay home, then their home should better be an interesting place. More Bladesmasher in first act and second act – with the guys together - and outside the house. He could fail to convince them of the theory and eventually succeeding; more obstacles, problems.

- Totally agree,  I’ve already made some adjustments here and there. Was also thinking of a car-chase of some sorts with Bladesmasher taking the wheel and revealing his awesome driving skills.

They know how to work with a computer well, but they handle this formula on a board, why? Shouldn't they have damn great bigscreen-powerpoint stuff about the lawesomeness theory at the ready?

-Yes, this also crossed my mind but chose to go for the current board. Mainly because of the accessibility of the board, one can grab a marker and add a name (actually cut out a scene where Larry writes down Giles’ name, placing him on the left in the category;” people we’ve met”, probably going to bring that back) Another reason is that the guys have been using this system since they were kids and the last reason is that this board sets off against the rest of the high-tech environment, making it stand out. But again my thin action and further depth in the characters is lacking and I’m going to work on that.

Almost forgot about the whole lawesomness concept. I believe the characters only talk about it too much: They assume Harold could trigger events for example. Is there a possibility to bring in something that helps your story to show the theory, visualize the plot? Because since yet it's all carried by a board and the guys "assumptions" only? Perhaps another character who researches lawesomeness, also searching for the one, has invented a meter – something we actually can see!!

- I actually played that card, although it happens quite late in the story, with Barf and his crew using a futuristic scanning device to confirm the theory. But I’m thinking of starting the script with the events Bladesmasher mentions at one point;, about the robbery, car-jacking and a shoot-out happening all in one day, making it clear for him this is not the right way. Then I can insert a short scene where these events get noticed by Barf, as a spike occurs on their computer screen, they can only pin point that it happened in the Milky Way galaxy because the events don’t continue.  I think that will work very nicely and will create a better first act.

Finally, I would like to thank you for your feedback (made me laugh out loud at the Roger/John Goodman remark, as I saw the image of the character he plays in the Big Lebowski in my head) and taking the time to read the script!

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PrussianMosby
Posted: September 14th, 2015, 1:24pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, that all sounds reasonable to me. You have a comprehensive control over your material.

Problem with feedback is that things come across as ultimate judgments when it's still relative and relative meant (but you seem to handle it the right way). For example what I didn't mention is that on the other side I also like how you leave a lot of stuff to my imagination. Your script isn't riddled with unnecessary description as so many others are.

Your idea with the P.O.V. from Moses – is brilliant. Those are precisely designed images, visuals that I missed in clearly presented manner between all the talks. Finding a concept how one shot/paragraph works best; every single shot you write. What you tell about their home is not coming through yet, though it was what I imagined it to be. Those things could be developed to a flawless 100% all over the script if you work on it.

If you cut dialogues and jokes, you would probably find a way to compress stuff for the better, gaining multiple contexts and facets of the script's humor. Every line you have a single doubt if necessary could (imo should) be deleted.

One further addition: Larry's and Mike's visual appearance shouldn't be left out. They are so eccentric and I don't know how they look like, what they wear. A little hint here and there, a crazy t-shirt, stupid haircut could be everything needed to help to win understanding what makes them/ made them too.


Quoted from Frankie Forest

Another reason is that the guys have been using this system since they were kids...


Bam. Exactly this. You mean those guys make theories and argue about with each other since they were Kids? This is background. This explains who they are. Giles could perfectly help you out with showing three feet high Larry and Mike arguing a theory back in the days.

Of course it's only an example how to establish them better... all their quirks


Quoted from Frankie Forest

....made me laugh out loud at the Roger/John Goodman remark, as I saw the image of the character he plays in the Big Lebowski in my head...


Yap. That's what I thought of.

I enjoy a lot of John Goodman stuff. Probably you know him in this one, with a terrific Denzel Washington...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tYnAf7PqV0

Banana boat is coming legendary



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