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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  The Million Dollar Trip Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Million Dollar Trip  (currently 1267 views)
Don
Posted: September 22nd, 2015, 12:17am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Million Dollar Trip by  Marc Tyler Jr (MarcT) - Comedy - Disaster strikes, when three problem ridden friends travel a chaotic 2,800 miles in four days, to collect the winnings of a radio contest. 117 pages - pdf, format


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MarcT
Posted: September 22nd, 2015, 1:34am Report to Moderator
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A animation storyboard I did for the first 30 pages. Pretty funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1-iQTCfDcg
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NW3
Posted: September 29th, 2015, 5:55am Report to Moderator
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Hello Marc,

I took a look at this and saw straight away that it wasn't for me but I did have a look at your animation which is the first act in pictures. That's obviously taken time and effort so I came back to give you feedback with hopefully something you can use.

Well done to all the actors in your animation. I guess you had a table read and that would be the time to sort through dialogue because words in your head sound different spoken out loud. A lot of times I thought it read as awkward and unnatural but the actors did a good job. How do they feel about all the cussing?

For the story, it seemed unlikely to me that anyone would give away a million dollars in a radio contest and expect the winner to come along with ID at the end of the week to collect. Maybe for concert tickets. I know you write other scripts so you must be determined? Work on this a little more.

Take control of your characters. Don't let them joke around and flip each other off and talk nothing but sex or you will have pages of what you find funny while the story is on hold. Think about where they are and where they need to be, and what action and dialogue will get the job done. It doesn't mean you can't have fun, just that describing unrelated incidents one after another makes the whole thing a waste of time. Who are these people and why should the reader care? If the story is the trip, then make it worthwhile. How will the trip change them? Do they feel the need to change? Okay, one character comes out (sort of) but the others only want to party, and the script ends when you've run out of crude things for them to do. I'm with the Radio Station Assistant, tired of all the disrespect. The attitude towards women is deplorable.

Edit dialogue so that characters say only what you need. Look at page 14 where Tyler speaks to Neal three times and each time you put "Neal..." at the start. There are just the two of them so you don't need that and it would sound more natural because friends don't use names that often. You can keep the occasional man/dude/bro as it's that kind of script.

Take out all the instructions in brackets after they speak. It's obvious if the character is frightened or angry.

Shorter would be better for all your dialogue. Look where Melanie answers the door to Evan on page 15:


                    MELANIE
              (irritated)
          Evan, why didnít you answer my
          phone calls?


She knows who he is, so again you don't need the name, and what other kind of call could it be? She isn't asking a question, but accusing. Take everything you don't need away and it gets to the point: "You didnít answer my call." You won't need to tell us she is irritated.

Think about this scene. Melanie asks over and over about Evan cheating, and it carries on from the scene at the start that was already too long. ("Here we go with this s--t again.") Work out what you want from the scene and get there. Evan has gone to Melanie's apartment for sex and gets thrown out. You want him at a loose end so he can join the guys on the road trip and actually he was set because he knew Melanie suspected him of cheating and it must have been expected that she would continue the argument because he ignored her calls. Put simply, you don't need this scene. Better would be to show what seems a good relationship in the first scene (make it her place not his) and then he walks into an ambush when he goes back, because Melanie has found out about Claire. In your words he is a player and a jackass and here would be proof; his stuff is on the lawn but all he needs are sunglasses and swimming trunks ready for his next scene. One event leads to another.

p18  When Tyler comes back to Neal's house they watch Grandmasterstab on tv. This would be the perfect way to open your story, the two buddies wasted after a nothing night, dreaming of what they would do with just some of that flash. Now would come the contest, and because it is on tv there will be fame or notoriety with it. The story will be about the money and what it does to them, instead of a pointless road trip. The way it is, Neal heard the radio almost by chance, and easily won the million dollars and the script is stalled because here they are sitting around, and even his best friends do not care.

I couldn't see why there was a deadline for them to get to the money. What happens when they get there is absurd. I'm not even going to get started on the midget.

Use this as a first draft. Work out the story a little better, for example how was it the radio contest in San Francisco was heard in Baltimore? It would make more sense if it was a local contest. If it's just because you want a reason to drive across America, make it that the contest will take place live in the California studio and Neal simply has to get there. That deals with the deadline as well. The questions seemed easy, make it so that only Neal had the special knowledge to have won. Perhaps it could be Neal and not the angry caller who was at school with Grandmaster? That would also make it logical that he knows more about him than other entrants. I did like that the rapper was determined to give away the money before "them peoples" took it.

I found one line that stood out, where the angry caller says,

                    CALLER #1
              (threatening)
          Donít let me see you around. Iíma
          click clack pull ya wig back.


I have no idea what that means but it sounds the right way to diss a gangsta. I hope you didn't lift it.

Try to get a distinctive personality for your main characters, I was constantly forgetting which was which because all three speak the same. Which two met first, would you think, and how did they enlist the other? Although they are all said to be 20s they act immature. Where are the adults in all this?

Most of all, strip out the casual swearing and crude sexual references. If you can't make it funny or lose interest without these then you know you have a problem and might want to try something else. I didn't see any comments on YouTube or here yet but another reader might like it.

Good luck.

-NW3
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MarcT
Posted: September 30th, 2015, 12:26am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from NW3
Hello Marc,

I took a look at this and saw straight away that it wasn't for me but I did have a look at your animation which is the first act in pictures. That's obviously taken time and effort so I came back to give you feedback with hopefully something you can use.

Well done to all the actors in your animation. I guess you had a table read and that would be the time to sort through dialogue because words in your head sound different spoken out loud. A lot of times I thought it read as awkward and unnatural but the actors did a good job. How do they feel about all the cussing?

For the story, it seemed unlikely to me that anyone would give away a million dollars in a radio contest and expect the winner to come along with ID at the end of the week to collect. Maybe for concert tickets. I know you write other scripts so you must be determined? Work on this a little more.

Take control of your characters. Don't let them joke around and flip each other off and talk nothing but sex or you will have pages of what you find funny while the story is on hold. Think about where they are and where they need to be, and what action and dialogue will get the job done. It doesn't mean you can't have fun, just that describing unrelated incidents one after another makes the whole thing a waste of time. Who are these people and why should the reader care? If the story is the trip, then make it worthwhile. How will the trip change them? Do they feel the need to change? Okay, one character comes out (sort of) but the others only want to party, and the script ends when you've run out of crude things for them to do. I'm with the Radio Station Assistant, tired of all the disrespect. The attitude towards women is deplorable.

Edit dialogue so that characters say only what you need. Look at page 14 where Tyler speaks to Neal three times and each time you put "Neal..." at the start. There are just the two of them so you don't need that and it would sound more natural because friends don't use names that often. You can keep the occasional man/dude/bro as it's that kind of script.

Take out all the instructions in brackets after they speak. It's obvious if the character is frightened or angry.

Shorter would be better for all your dialogue. Look where Melanie answers the door to Evan on page 15:


                    MELANIE
              (irritated)
          Evan, why didnít you answer my
          phone calls?


She knows who he is, so again you don't need the name, and what other kind of call could it be? She isn't asking a question, but accusing. Take everything you don't need away and it gets to the point: "You didnít answer my call." You won't need to tell us she is irritated.

Think about this scene. Melanie asks over and over about Evan cheating, and it carries on from the scene at the start that was already too long. ("Here we go with this s--t again.") Work out what you want from the scene and get there. Evan has gone to Melanie's apartment for sex and gets thrown out. You want him at a loose end so he can join the guys on the road trip and actually he was set because he knew Melanie suspected him of cheating and it must have been expected that she would continue the argument because he ignored her calls. Put simply, you don't need this scene. Better would be to show what seems a good relationship in the first scene (make it her place not his) and then he walks into an ambush when he goes back, because Melanie has found out about Claire. In your words he is a player and a jackass and here would be proof; his stuff is on the lawn but all he needs are sunglasses and swimming trunks ready for his next scene. One event leads to another.

p18  When Tyler comes back to Neal's house they watch Grandmasterstab on tv. This would be the perfect way to open your story, the two buddies wasted after a nothing night, dreaming of what they would do with just some of that flash. Now would come the contest, and because it is on tv there will be fame or notoriety with it. The story will be about the money and what it does to them, instead of a pointless road trip. The way it is, Neal heard the radio almost by chance, and easily won the million dollars and the script is stalled because here they are sitting around, and even his best friends do not care.

I couldn't see why there was a deadline for them to get to the money. What happens when they get there is absurd. I'm not even going to get started on the midget.

Use this as a first draft. Work out the story a little better, for example how was it the radio contest in San Francisco was heard in Baltimore? It would make more sense if it was a local contest. If it's just because you want a reason to drive across America, make it that the contest will take place live in the California studio and Neal simply has to get there. That deals with the deadline as well. The questions seemed easy, make it so that only Neal had the special knowledge to have won. Perhaps it could be Neal and not the angry caller who was at school with Grandmaster? That would also make it logical that he knows more about him than other entrants. I did like that the rapper was determined to give away the money before "them peoples" took it.

I found one line that stood out, where the angry caller says,

                    CALLER #1
              (threatening)
          Donít let me see you around. Iíma
          click clack pull ya wig back.


I have no idea what that means but it sounds the right way to diss a gangsta. I hope you didn't lift it.

Try to get a distinctive personality for your main characters, I was constantly forgetting which was which because all three speak the same. Which two met first, would you think, and how did they enlist the other? Although they are all said to be 20s they act immature. Where are the adults in all this?

Most of all, strip out the casual swearing and crude sexual references. If you can't make it funny or lose interest without these then you know you have a problem and might want to try something else. I didn't see any comments on YouTube or here yet but another reader might like it.

Good luck.

-NW3



Thank you for the feedback. I will be sure to take a look at everything and make some changes. It is well appreciated. I really did most of the voices myself, it was just something I threw together. Thanks again for your comment. I'll have a new version asap.
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C.R.L.
Posted: October 3rd, 2015, 8:23am Report to Moderator
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Hello MarcT.

First off, let me start off by saying I'm from Baltimore and how you put in "home of the Ravens" you the man! The way you encapsulated what life is like in Baltimore really came from the heart and I can see it. From the flow of the city to Penn station, you definitely gave a brief glimpse of life here.  The storyboard is amazing man. If I were you and had that ability; I would try to create animation videos for Youtube and push an episodic series of your characters. This could be your jumping off point with the film, then continue there story lines, or tell more about them before the film. People get discovered through those means everyday.

As for the script. At the moment I'm only on page 15 and still reading. I focus more on story then grammar issues in a script. That could be because I'm not the best at grammar and don't want to sound stupid if I'm wrong about something lol. Either way, to me personally, if a story is good people will look past those issues so long as its readable. So far all seems good with story. I did think maybe when he crashed through the glass window it was some what over the top. What about instead he bounced off a car and was ok? It might shadow something later on, but thats just my thoughts right now.  Also, the million dollar prize, I think maybe this could be executed better. It does seem like to much for a radio station give away. Maybe you could do something with White Marsh Mall or another mall. You know how they have those drop boxes at the mall where you can win a car? What if you could use that and change up the prize. Another idea could be something to do with the casino they just built in Baltimore. Just some ideas for you.

Formatting... Some of your sluglines have a - before them like... -INT. HOUSE - DAY... Those should be removed. Another thing. In the scene where Neal is calling the radio station. I would say bring the INTERCUT in right away. Other then those things all looks good so far. Again, keep representing for Baltimore haha. I'm currently working on a script based in Baltimore. If you want to check it out, I posted it on here in the work in progress section two days ago. If there were more people pushing scripts like me and you, more movies would be shot here. Thanks man for allowing me to read this. I'll give the whole thing a read then post again.

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C.R.L.  -  October 3rd, 2015, 8:33am
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