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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Lawn Boys Moderators: bert
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  Author    Lawn Boys  (currently 3374 views)
Don
Posted: June 5th, 2016, 3:58pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Lawn Boys by Steve Cleary - Comedy - When an unemployed adman takes a job on his best friend’s struggling landscaping crew, he comes up with a risque campaign to keep them in business -- but he must sharpen his new yard work skills in order to prevent a rival company from ruining their hometown’s natural beauty with artificial grass. 107 pages - pdf, format


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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  June 23rd, 2016, 3:15pm
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SteveC
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Caveat Emptor! This is a frat-house comedy with lots of crass, crude and irreverent humor, and a bit of scatology thrown in for good measure.

However, it is professionally written, industry formatted with no typos or grammatical errors, structured to follow the Hero's Journey and the dialogue is completely punched up.

Enjoy!
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cloroxmartini
Posted: June 6th, 2016, 2:43pm Report to Moderator
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No need to bump. I started reading this earlier and thought I would finish...now I'm looking for typos...thought I had you at coworkers but that is allowed...dang it.

Based on the first few pages it wasn't enough to keep distractions away and certainly didn't sound crass OR crude. Let's see what your definition of crass and crude is...
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SteveC
Posted: June 10th, 2016, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the feedback, Mr. Martini :^)
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NW3
Posted: June 10th, 2016, 4:52pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from cloroxmartini
Let's see what your definition of crass and crude is..


I guess things like, "Hey there, mister butt fister." I'm more offended by a script that uses Dude more than once.

Hi, SteveC


Quoted from SteveC
Caveat Emptor!


You mean, of course, caveat lector. I read the whole script, do you want feedback? I first took a look at stevecleary.com, where you offer script doctoring to others so you might expect hard scrutiny.


Quoted from SteveC
no typos or grammatical errors


That's a bold claim, I took it as a challenge and there on page 4: class act with a hyphen. Do I win a cookie? Manhattan ... iPhone ... 'roided (?) ... Hetz ... Rheingold ... straightforward ... oncoming ... headfirst ... double exclamations ... split infinitives ... flies not fly (for barrage), etc.

Drop me a PM.
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SteveC
Posted: June 12th, 2016, 3:38pm Report to Moderator
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Sent you a pm. Thanks!
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SteveC
Posted: June 27th, 2016, 8:21pm Report to Moderator
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Updated logline: A jaded New York adman struggles to lead a crew of misfit landscapers to save their beach town’s lawns from being overrun by artificial grass.​

Revision History (9 edits; 1 reasons shown)
SteveC  -  July 1st, 2016, 5:42pm
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PrussianMosby
Posted: July 16th, 2016, 1:24pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve,

I read to page 12/13 sth…


Some to say about the logline:

I buy your theme of landscapers fighting the disfigurement of their city oasis. It's very down to earth and there's a big target audience of "normal" people who campaign against such locally problems day by day. Interesting to translate something like that into an over the top comedy, what I guess you do here.

You're logline has a problem though - the theme alone isn't enough. You need to add drama which directly concerns character. The adman here will have to change, I guess. If he can't, the town is going to get artificial grass in the future …

What's missing yet are his "personal" motives to step into this world from the start and what would be the "personal" consequences of failing there?

In other words, introduce the emotional angle of your script. Does he change from A to Z and discover life from another perspective, overcomes a trauma - or a pretty standard plot would be, he meets a girl who motivates him to get it done and he fights for her respect etc...

You should know what it is and deliver it not any later than in your logline.

That said, if it's a flick just about extreme comedy trash, then drama does not count but the the logline must read funnier and more subtle for sure.


What I read:

Concerning the writing, I got nothing to say from my side. Things are so clean that I won't give you any call how to polish it even more or whatever. That's your own job. I can follow the screenplay, anybody else could, because it reached the quality it has to , since it's no literature.

Only point here, I don't like the slugs, most of them. I hardly suggest investing some time there.

4 points on story

1. I liked the slow exposition in general, allthough after reading I reconsidered if this isn't all too nice and lovely as an 80's/90's way of telling.

Perhaps you need even more situation comedy moments. The beats work to slow in case of direct entertainment. This opinion is not about my taste, more what I see on today's markets.

However, there is already some of it inside but it could be quicker as a whole, better connected, quicker connected, and edited, cut, so that it's so compressed that every idea/sentence delivers at least "a bit of" comedy -- with direct story progress.  

2.
"Steve turns to Heiko.

STEVE
How about I start tomorrow?"

That was too simple. Clear problem here imo.

And it could be connected with No.

3. Who is the protagonist? From the story it's Heiko. Steve's decision above is completely passive. He's asked to help, "Sure I'm on it"… This does not work. If Steve is your prot, as the logline tells, then he must be active. Show us why he agrees on that truly. Friendship is not enough and a very, very, very passive way to drag your protagonist in the screenplay. Furthermore he's rich and all that. Give him an introductory scene. What pisses him on in his original world/life? What's his motive to act?

4. A little point. Beware of using too many loud machines. (I remember the long phone ringing in the Untouchables almost killed me once…) It's not enjoyable too watch a movie where  somebody constantly mows grass in the background. I know it's hard to avoid in your theme, however, work hard to get as many loud sounds as possible off your script . Only use those you need to  establish their craft. And make it clear that you cared about that toward your reader. It will give you credit showing that you understand what doesn't work on screen.

Keep it up!




Revision History (5 edits; 1 reasons shown)
PrussianMosby  -  July 16th, 2016, 1:44pm
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SteveC
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Thank you very much for the thoughtful and thorough notes! My latest draft won a table reading in the ISA's 2016 Comedy Festival. This turd is as polished as its gonna get (unless of course a producer options it and wants some more work on it). Time to move on to other projects...

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SteveC  -  July 19th, 2016, 3:05pm
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Dustin
Posted: July 18th, 2016, 4:05am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from SteveC
... with no typos or grammatical errors...


Page 2:

Code

BRIAN (CONT’D)
Just blow it out into the street
dummy.



Missing comma after 'street'.



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PrussianMosby
Posted: July 18th, 2016, 9:15pm Report to Moderator
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Don't understand why you call your script here a turd, possibly irony. However, not a motivating statement to make people get in touch with your material. What should I think spending half an hour on your script, and then reading that suddenly it's a piece of shit in your eyes, some weeks after telling it's great? You're talented, well educated on scripts, for sure. It seems to get you somewhere at least with the table read. Good luck.



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SteveC
Posted: July 19th, 2016, 3:05pm Report to Moderator
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Quite the contrary there Prussian. I was just being self-defecating :^)

Good catch Dustin!
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CindyLKeller
Posted: July 21st, 2016, 7:37am Report to Moderator
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Missing comma after 'catch".
Neener-neener.
Just picking. Your thread needs a lighter tone. ☺

Anyway, this seems like a good one to check out on my lunch today.
Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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Dustin
Posted: July 21st, 2016, 8:27am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from SteveC
I was just being self-defecating :^)


Surely you mean self-deprecating! Self-defecating sounds like you're shitting yourself.


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SteveC
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You do know the power of a good malapropism in comedy writing, right? ;^)

Thanks for that catch Cindy!

I'll take better care than to make such bold claims in the future!
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CindyLKeller
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Okay, so I made it to page 23 during lunch.
Here's my thoughts so far.
Funny and original.
I laughted out loud at this line:
He ain't so big, he's just big-boned. Lol

I liked The Summer's Eve Landscaping name for the douches.
You do know tha is a brand of douche, don't you.
Maybe it will be something the guys find out later???
Anyway, I thought it would be a good way for the guys to get their goat.
Instead of saying it smells like poop when they are around, they could say something like I smell a field of lavener... or something like that.

Also, on page 16 you're missing a lot of  those darned commas.
Yeah, man.
Yeah, dude.
Het, now, Mike.
Pg 18
We got your back, dude.
That's  it for now. I'll read more tomorrow.

Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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CindyLKeller
Posted: July 22nd, 2016, 2:42pm Report to Moderator
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Still reading.
Caught
Mouses up pg. 28
Bulls's eye

So far, the guys sound a lot alike, well, except for the boss who worries about losing business.

More tomorrow.


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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CindyLKeller
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I finished it  the other evening.
From an earlier post of yours you  mentioned that you wouldn't be doing another draft unless it gets produced. With that being said,  I'm not sure if anything I say will matter or not.
I think this was original and  had some pretty funny moments.
I still think you are missing out  on gags with the name Summer's Eve. ...

I can see Adam Sandler and his guys  starring in this, but I think there are still some things that you could work on and amp up...  

Thanks for the funny get away,
Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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SteveC
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Thanks for reading and for your feedback, Cindy!
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SteveC
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Quoted from PrussianMosby


You're logline has a problem though - the theme alone isn't enough. You need to add drama which directly concerns character. The adman here will have to change, I guess. If he can't, the town is going to get artificial grass in the future …

What's missing yet are his "personal" motives to step into this world from the start and what would be the "personal" consequences of failing there?



I'm hoping this log line is an improvement:

A jaded adman must become a champion of nature when a scheming artificial turf dealer opens shop in his hometown.
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PrussianMosby
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Quoted from SteveC


I'm hoping this log line is an improvement:

A jaded adman must become a champion of nature when a scheming artificial turf dealer opens shop in his hometown.


Hey Steve,

Sorry it took a while to come back to your thread. Is your logline better? Of course, I'd say. You succeed to say the same things in lot less words, which is a great achievement and shows you can articulate directly and straight.

What I still didn't get, is, what's up with that Adman? What's going on under the surface?

In other words, your project reads emotionally empty yet.

I give you an example to explain: You probably know a pretty successful comedy movie called "We're the Millers" I think. Not to mention if it's a good movie or not… Thematically, the movie is about 4 strangers who imitate being a family to smuggle drugs from Mexico into the USA in a motor home. Which is a strong scenario on its own, isn't it?

Emotionally, the movie is about 4 strangers realizing their loneliness and becoming a family.
This is what lies under the surface.

If there isn't any strong emotional angle, which is possible for sure (examples: Wayne's World, Monty Python, Dumb and Dumber etc.) then I believe you should write that fact into your logline and imply the tone of your project. You know… if it's a goofy comedy, why don't translate, embody, and say that 100%?

Sth. like: An adman joins a fight about turf or no turf, when he finds his hometown's nature is threaten by believers of artificial grass landscaping.

I don't know if that's any funny and I'd rather like to know your version of it, or otherwise, if existing, add the emotional angle to your logline.

In other words, give me crazy or feelings. If it's a trash comedy, I want the trash comedy logline. It makes no sense to hide facts. Just hit the ball. I know you can do it.



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SteveC
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Hmmm. Thank you for providing such perspective and challenging me to go deeper with exploring the emotional theme.

The way I see it, the man worked in advertising in the big city -- a world so vacuous, plastic and pretentious and far-removed from the raw, natural and authentic realm of landscaping in the suburbs. I suppose this is close to a town and country storyline.

And what's going on under the surface is he was flawed by placing so much value in making it in the big city, but the statement of the story is to "bloom where your planted", meaning he could find self-worth and respect by working in nature.

So I guess what you're getting at is that being a jaded ad man strikes no contrast with his objective vis a vis the log line. Originally I had pretentious, but that still missed the mark. So what's the opposite of nature-loving? City-loving? Urbane? And I wanted to show that he was jaded, washed-up, unemployed, maybe even a little disgraced. Those were all terms used in previous iterations of the log line, but maybe it could simply be "city guy"?

A jobless city guy must become a champion of nature when a scheming artificial turf dealer sets up shop in his hometown.

And your other challenge is to convey the tone. It is pretty wacky, but also grounded. Not sure how much more I could do there. Suggestions welcome :^)
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PrussianMosby
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Quoted from SteveC
Hmmm. Thank you for providing such perspective and challenging me to go deeper with exploring the emotional theme.

The way I see it, the man worked in advertising in the big city -- a world so vacuous, plastic and pretentious and far-removed from the raw, natural and authentic realm of landscaping in the suburbs. I suppose this is close to a town and country storyline.

And what's going on under the surface is he was flawed by placing so much value in making it in the big city, but the statement of the story is to "bloom where your planted", meaning he could find self-worth and respect by working in nature.

So I guess what you're getting at is that being a jaded ad man strikes no contrast with his objective vis a vis the log line. Originally I had pretentious, but that still missed the mark. So what's the opposite of nature-loving? City-loving? Urbane? And I wanted to show that he was jaded, washed-up, unemployed, maybe even a little disgraced. Those were all terms used in previous iterations of the log line, but maybe it could simply be "city guy"?

A jobless city guy must become a champion of nature when a scheming artificial turf dealer sets up shop in his hometown.

And your other challenge is to convey the tone. It is pretty wacky, but also grounded. Not sure how much more I could do there. Suggestions welcome :^)


I had written a longer reply originally but I think I can reduce it to the following to be clearer:

Steve, you should exactly write what you explained to me above. IMO you even should use the exact vocabulary. That is the way to deliver authenticity and produce identification.


"An adman, disgraced by the plastic big city life, blooms where he's planted and finds self-worth as he joins the raw realm of landscaping, becomes champion of nature, and the last competitor of the artificial turf dealer in his hometown."


Make up your own version. No vague focus, no detours, only what you think is important.

(RE: The wacky tone. The irony is already there I must say in hindsight. Your artificial turf punch line is undeniable wacky and strong on theme. You know, it makes me believe: What a stupid shit, in a positive way.)





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PrussianMosby  -  September 12th, 2016, 7:57pm
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SteveC
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Thank you very much! I will process this and come up with a final polish of the logline...
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SteveC
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If anyone's interested, I uploaded a new screwball comedy here: http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1480042743/

Include a link to one of your own scripts if you wish to review. Thanks!
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