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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  People's Parties Moderators: bert
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  Author    People's Parties  (currently 4025 views)
Don
Posted: August 31st, 2016, 6:52pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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People's Parties by Ben Clifford - Comedy - Two self-involved, entitled millenials face an unexpected pregnancy, a suicide attempt and disastrous sexual escapades in an attempt to forge identities and be "real adults". 81 pages - pdf, format


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Grandma Bear  -  September 1st, 2016, 9:54am
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AlsoBen
Posted: August 31st, 2016, 10:51pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for getting this up Don!

I'd appreciate any reads on this. I'm Australian so it may have some localisms - sorry.

Specifically, how is the structure? Is it hard to follow, or just aimless?

Thank you.


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AlsoBen
Posted: September 1st, 2016, 9:16am Report to Moderator
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Also...I just noticed my mispelling of disastrous in the logline. Can I change that, somehow?


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Jez
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I took a squiz at this one although the genre isnt really my thing.  Surprisingly I breezed through about 25 pages due to the writing being good and the dialog having great punch.
A couple of thoughts if I may...
Sammy seemed to move on real quick from Ted which to me contributed to the sex in the script feeling a bit empty. Maybe that's what you are going for or its to contrast a more emotional side of things later. Also some of the sex scenes might be on the tricky side to shoot without being too graphic for ratings boards ...directors problem.
A lot of scripts seem to have characters ordering food/ drink early on ...not the most cinematic thing.
Still ...as a fellow Aussie, you are far ahead of a lot of local writers I've read.
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AlsoBen
Posted: September 18th, 2016, 7:33am Report to Moderator
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Thanks so much Jez! I appreciate you giving  25 pages a read.

You're right about the food/drink thing...haha sometimes I felt like I was writing a cooking show. It's just a lazy way to push a scene forward.

Cheers!


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Jez
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No probs. Sorry I haven't got time to read it all.
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BSaunders
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Hey man. Some feedback.

Now, I'm not going to bombard you with typos and formatting errors, although there are a few that you will probably pick up in the next edit. But.. there are some things I will point out:

1) Don't use numbers in dialogue. Spell the number out. I know it's stupid, but that's how people prefer it. It doesn't matter a fuck to me as long as I can read it. Just thought I'd let you know.

2) Get rid of the (con't) with a character names when talking. They're annoying to most readers.

3) When Sammy goes to Janet's party and they hug, you introduce Janet (who we already know) as - Dan's friend from work -. Any reader that is actually paying attention to the script, doesn't need to be reminded. You do this a few times, so I won't mention it again.

4) There are a few lines where you tell us stuff instead of showing us. Screenwriting is all about showing, not telling. So I've been told. For example: On page 53, you tell us Kara is Sammy's sister. Not only is it obvious that Kara is her sister, but you smack us in the face with it again in the description of Kara. Show us a picture of the two, arm in arm at Sammy's graduation or something along those lines so we have a visual on the fact their sisters. Or even have Sammy say "Hey, sis" when she see's Kara. Subtlety is your friend in screenwriting, you have to trust that the reader/viewer isn't a retard.

There is also a lot of passive writing weeding itself into your script. Also, very frowned upon. http://reelauthors.com/screenplay-coverage/screenwriting-present-tense-and-active-voice.php
Check that link out. It is a brilliant site on active vs passive writing.

Now for the story:

It's interesting. It's definitely not my kind of thing. As you can probably tell, I'm into violence, mean people and bad language. In saying that, I didn't not like it. It's something I wouldn't tell my friends was a bad movie, but also wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again. It kind of had a Juno feel to it. Didn't like the movie, but it killed it with the critics and award. That's just my opinion. I also hate horrors and anything with Keanu Reeves.

There are some hilarious moments. I like that you didn't try to be funny with quirky lines and clichť come-backs. Your humour is shown subtlety with action which makes it soo much funnier. Heath pumping away despite not being inside Sammy was fucking hilarious. I pictured it in my head and actually lol'd. There were a few times I laughed during the script which of course is a very good thing because I'm not easily entertained.

I like Dan and Sammy. They're different in their own ways. They have their own kind of charisma that separates them from the typical young adults you see in movies today. Sammy kind of reminded me of Amy from Trainwreck. Nice job on the characters.

One thing, I couldn't really get my head around, was how easily Sammy got over Ted. I mean, he just shot a load on her chest then pretty much told her to fuck off. Why? Sammy is a bit crazy, a bit boisterous in a way. Perhaps that was what drove Ted away? Or maybe he's the crazy one? I think it would be a good idea to add a bit more to that note. And then, I was expecting Ted to come back into the story somehow, but he never did. You had a solid antagonist there and he just kind of fizzled out.

There are a few random parts which you need to add on to or get rid of. Like Kyleah. She was an interesting character, but she didnít do anything for the story, or Dan, or Sammy. With the amount of time we spend getting to know her, she also, just fizzles out. Who was she and why was she there? Same with the part where Dan speaks to his mum. It was random and if you removed it, it wouldnít affect the story one bit. If you find scenes you can remove without affecting the story; you should get rid of it. Or work with it.

An example with Kyleah: Get rid of the scene of her telling Dan about her dream and replace it with her running into Dan and Sammy out at lunch or something. There Sammy will see how miserable Kyleah is with her kid, which will then give reason as to why Sammy wanted the abortion so desperately. That way Kyleah is a major factor in the story. That of course is just an example.

I get the whole thing youíre going for about Dan and Sammy trying to be adults, but at the end of the day they didnít really seem to learn anything from their journeyís. In this type of story, we want to see the characters grow and hopefully find their feet. You give them such an interesting story together, but by the end of it I was wondering what the hell it was all about? The characters are in the exact same position at the end of story as what they were at the start. Character growth is something you need to address into this story. At the moment, we are just seeing two people nosey through with life with no real goals. Ask yourself, what do they want? Who do they want to be? Give them goals and set up obstacles for them to overcome to reach those goals.

Iíd suggest you spend some time with this script. Itís got a tonne of potential and with the right attitude and persistence, you could turn it into something quite amazing.

I am by no means a professional, so donít be disheartened by the negatives. Take what you agree with and disregard the rest. This is all based on my opinion and what I would do with the script.

I also see your 22 and from North QLD. Iím 25 and from the Gold Coast. Itís good to see someone on this board thatís younger than me for once. And from QLD! Youíre still young and you have a lot of talent. Keep at it and someday you WILL BE the next Tarantino!


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AlsoBen
Posted: September 20th, 2016, 9:26am Report to Moderator
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Thanks X 1000, this is really helpful stuff. I appreciate that you read the whole thing. I'm also glad it made you laugh. Most of the shit in this script happened to me or a friend in one way or another, so it's good to know I can turn my tragedy into comedy xd

Re: Kyleah -- yeah I don't know. I was trying to mirror that whole dissatisifaction with personality, roles etc in Dan, but I didn't make it explicit enough. My bad. I honestly don't know how to fix that, so I guess that character will have to go.

I guess I was trying to get across were these really narcisstic, self-absorbed character, who by nature learn nothing and achieve little. I guess it's not good fodder for comedy, but I was watching movies like Margot at the Wedding, etc, so I thought it was acceptable to do haha. I'm too attached to the characters and plot to rewrite this properly (I've tried) so I have to leave it for a while.

And yeah, QLD's a real hole, right?

Thanks again! Incredibly helpful.




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Warren
Posted: September 21st, 2016, 2:24am Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
And yeah, QLD's a real hole, right?


No, no, just Townsville. I actually feel a little bit sorry for you haha.


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

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BSaunders
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Quoted from Warren


No, no, just Townsville. I actually feel a little bit sorry for you haha.


Wash your mouth out! I love Townsville! Going there next week for a wedding  
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Warren
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Ha, I still have nightmares about that place from when I was in the army.

Sorry, AlsoBen, not trying to derail your thread.

This script is on my list to read at some point, just have a few more lined up and I'll get stuck in.


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

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AlsoBen
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Quoted from Warren
No, no, just Townsville. I actually feel a little bit sorry for you haha.


I appreciate your sympathies


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spesh2k
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Hey AlsoBen,

Page 3 - Try to keep away from using numbers in dialogue. Try to spell them out. There are exceptions, specifically long numbers or addresses, but, especially to start the dialogue, spell it out.

Page 5 - "you didnít hang up the properly"... you forgot "phone". Or you can just cut out "the".

Page 8 - "You canít break up with me in the
same minute you came on my tits!
Thatís not how an adult
relationship works."

Funny!

Page 9 - the MINI-SLUG, SAMMY'S HOUSE - BEDROOM. You can just say BEDROOM.


Quoted Text
INT. COUNSELORíS OFFICE - DAY
Dan sits in a comfy chair across from his trainee
psychologist, SUSAN. Susan is about Danís age, professional.
Dan is dressed in work clothes, and speaks slowly to Susan.


You make it sound like Dan is a psychologist at first and Susan is his trainee.

Later in that scene -- Oh, so Dan is a psychologist (or psychiatrist) and she IS his trainee?

Then later... he's in social services?

Page 15 -


Quoted Text
OUTSIDE: Her car has driven up the driveway haphazardly,
parked diagonally, half on the grass.


This is worded strangely. Not sure what I'm looking at. Maybe "Her car is parked crookedly, half on the grass".

Also, maybe STOMPS instead of STAMPS. I thought she put a mailing stamp on it at first.

Page 17 -


Quoted Text
Night has fallen out the window.


Strange wording. You already mention NIGHT in the slug, no need to mention it again. Maybe just "moonlight shines through the window" or something.

No need to remind us that Janet is Dan's friend from work. We get it. We saw her only a few scenes ago.

Page 24 - Kind of odd that Sammy and Dan are no longer friends... but they act like they are. And he invites her to sleep over pretty quickly without really making amends. Perhaps they're just quirky and had that type of friendship before. Still, seems a little bit forced. Especially after "Good night, my love". Initially, they seemed like they don't like each other. Then Dan does something pretty mean. And then they're friends again. I'd work on that dynamic a little bit.

He slams his own hand in the drawer. Is this like alcoholic who wear a rubber band around their wrists and make themselves feel pain? Or when someone cuts themselves? If so, it's pretty interesting. Though we see none of that up to this point. So it feels out of the blue.

Okay, up to page 27.

So far, it's a very smooth read with breezy dialogue. I won't further comment much on the writing, though you could mix it up with the vocabulary a little bit (instead of she drives, maybe she cruises... or something like that)>

As for the story, we have two characters in Dan and Sammy who are each going through their own shit. I understood that there was a parallel between these characters but we don't see their connection until after page 20. And the reveal isn't really much of a reveal. I was expecting some sort of build-up to something, but we come to find out that they were friends back in the day and aren't anymore. And then they are again pretty quickly.

I liked the dialogue on the most part and the characters seemed pretty fleshed out. But I have no idea what this story is about really. Not to say nothing happens. Plenty happens to these characters. But that's just it -- stuff happens to them. And we're really not sure where this is going, exactly. Now, I'm not telling you to be predictable, but there doesn't seem to be a clear direction as to where this story is going.

But I'll continue on after work tonight -- the read is pretty fast and I like the characters overall, mainly because we, (most of the audience) kinda know people like this. So, we can identify with them a little bit. They seem real.

Will comment further later when I get home!

-- Michael







THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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AlsoBen
Posted: September 26th, 2016, 9:43pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for this Spesh. Glad you found it funny.


Quoted Text
You make it sound like Dan is a psychologist at first and Susan is his trainee.

Later in that scene -- Oh, so Dan is a psychologist (or psychiatrist) and she IS his trainee?

Then later... he's in social services?


Good point, that sounds confusing. Dan is her client, she's just a trainee to explain her young age. Dan has a similar job but he works in a different field (this is why she fires him as a client -- it's called a "dual relationship" in therapy parlance). I'll clarify this.


Quoted Text
Page 24 - Kind of odd that Sammy and Dan are no longer friends... but they act like they are. And he invites her to sleep over pretty quickly without really making amends. Perhaps they're just quirky and had that type of friendship before. Still, seems a little bit forced. Especially after "Good night, my love". Initially, they seemed like they don't like each other. Then Dan does something pretty mean. And then they're friends again. I'd work on that dynamic a little bit.


I don't know. I know lots of people like this who are all over the place. It's kind of the point of the characters that they're both so insular and spiteful that they're awful friends.


Quoted Text
He slams his own hand in the drawer. Is this like alcoholic who wear a rubber band around their wrists and make themselves feel pain? Or when someone cuts themselves? If so, it's pretty interesting. Though we see none of that up to this point. So it feels out of the blue.


The opening scene demonsrrated a self-destructive streak, doesn't it? Along with the fact he's in therapy. Self-harm is relatively common among the mentally ill so I don't think it's too out there.


Quoted Text
I liked the dialogue on the most part and the characters seemed pretty fleshed out. But I have no idea what this story is about really. Not to say nothing happens. Plenty happens to these characters. But that's just it -- stuff happens to them. And we're really not sure where this is going, exactly. Now, I'm not telling you to be predictable, but there doesn't seem to be a clear direction as to where this story is going.


Thanks for this, it captures a good problem with the script I wasn't seeing. I'll work on it.

I look forward to the rest of your feedback!


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spesh2k
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Alright, all finished. Now, before I comment further...


Quoted Text
The opening scene demonsrrated a self-destructive streak, doesn't it? Along with the fact he's in therapy. Self-harm is relatively common among the mentally ill so I don't think it's too out there.


True. But there are a lot of self-destructive people out there, but not everybody cuts themselves or slams their hands in drawers. It happens, I used to do it myself at a younger age (banging my head). But, in the context of a film, it does seem out of the blue. Everyone has had a sexual encounter they feel ashamed about at some point. But not everyone slams their hands in drawers, know what I mean? If I watch "As Good As It Gets" and, a half-hour into the film, we see Jack Nicholson doing some OCD shit for the first time, like stepping over cracks on the sidewalk, would that not seem out of the blue? Plenty of people are neurotic, but not all of them step over cracks on sidewalks.

Now, onto the rest of the story...

Page 26 -


Quoted Text
She begins to walk towards the door. Other BUSINESS PEOPLE
mill about, heading to work.


Try to stay away from begins. She either walks towards the door or she doesn't. Maybe "She starts towards the door".

Page 27 -


Quoted Text
Sammy is interviewed by a HIRING MANAGER and a SUPERVISOR,
both middle aged, serious men, dressed very business casual.
She sits across from both of them, who are reading from a
folder clearly containing Sammyís CV and credentials. If
this were a cartoon, Sammy would be green with nausea.


Try to break this up a little bit. And don't tell us it's an interview, show us.

Sammy sits nervously across from --

A SUPERVISOR and a HIRING MANAGER, both middle-aged, dressed casually.

They look over her job portfolio.


Or something like that.

Okay, I'm going to comment mainly on story from here on out.

Page 37 -

The doctor departs, leaving the gown and sliding across a
curtain.

Again, it's an easy read, but I've seen this quite a few times -- you could definitely work on your sentence structure and your way with arranging words.

This may seem nitpicky, but it helps dictate what we see in the order we see it.

The doctor leaves a gown on the bed and exits, sliding the curtain shut behind her.

Also, "sliding across a curtain" is worded strangely. Maybe "sliding the curtain shut".

I know, I didn't pick the most obvious example, but I noticed it quite a few times and tried looking past it. But I had to say something. Again, may seem nitpicky, but it does effect the read.

Okay, I'm at page 40. So far, this seems to lack focus. Your two main characters are in one-two scenes together pretty much from around page 20-25. And then we dovetail into their own stories again -- before that, their stories kind of built towards them sharing time (though there wasn't much of a build-up or pay-off to them being connected). And I don't really see the parallels between their own separate stories. This feels like it should be two different films. But, I'll read on...

Page 41 -

They finally share screen time again!


Quoted Text
EXT. MELBOURNE AIRPORT - DAY
Dan and Sammy stand outside the arrivals terminal a huge,
busy airport. They both carry a weekendís worth of luggage.
They await a taxi.


Again, sentence structure. The order of the visuals.


Quoted Text
EXT. MELBOURNE AIRPORT - TERMINAL B - DAY


Mention the terminal location in the scene heading. That way, you don't have to mention it in the description. You can focus on the visuals.

Then give a brief description of what we see, the setting.


Quoted Text
EXT. MELBOURNE AIRPORT - TERMINAL B - DAY

Hustle and bustle, a constant revolving door of PEOPLE leaving and going, hauling luggage.


And then the focus on the characters and what they're doing.

EXT. MELBOURNE AIRPORT - TERMINAL B - DAY

Hustle and bustle, a constant revolving door of PEOPLE leaving and going, hauling luggage.

Dan and Sammy wait at the curb with their luggage, waving for a cab.


Page 50 -

Dialogue from the abortion clinic (the Nurse) overlaps into the next scene as a voice over as Joel kisses Dan on the lips.


Quoted Text
NURSE (V.O)
The doctor is making sure no
materials remain in you uterus.
Sometimes that happens.


But why do you use this overlapping dialogue here? I don't see the relation between that v.o. and this scene in particular. I don't see any parallel meaning.

Page 51 -

I'm noticing that the writing is becoming sloppier as the story progresses, as if you were rushing through to finish it. It's not as clean and smooth as the first 30 pages or so.


Quoted Text
Dan lays on his back on Joelís bed. Joel takes of his shirt
manically, likewise removing Danís. Dan turns to his side,
taking his pants off. From this angle, he spies a framed
photo on Joelís bedside. It features Joel and a pretty young
woman, presumably MARIA, standing in some holiday
destination.


Break this up -- each paragraph is a camera shot. When you switch focus (or change camera shots, focus of action), jump to another paragraph to emphasize what we should be seeing at that moment of screen time.

And the sentence structure is sloppy here, too. Worded strangely.

Page 54 -


Quoted Text
The childrenís mother, KARA, in her late twenties, a chubby
and overworked woman, heads in from the kitchen. She is
Sammyís sister, but you couldnít tell.


If we can't tell, then how would we, the audience, know? Remember, this a script for a FILM. We're seeing this. How could we tell unless you have graphics on screen telling us that she is Sammy's sister? SHOW us. Same with "the children's mother"... SHOW us that she is their mother.

And on page 57, we have a scene with Kara and Sammy. Then we go to a scene with Dan on Facebook finding out that Joel blocked him, interrupting the scene between Kara and Sammy. Then we're back to the scene with Kara and Sammy. There doesn't seem to be any order here -- the stories have no relation. So why are we jumping back and forth between them? Not only do they not have any relation in a concrete kind of way, but there is no relation or parallel in an abstract, ideological kind of way. Their separate stories do not share any meaning, any similar theme. It just feels unbalanced.

Page 60 -

Okay, there seems to be some sign of a parallel here -- Dan with Morro, who he met at a party. Sammy with Kyle, who she met at work. And neither encounter goes particularly well. This is the first time in the script where the different stories share a similar theme/scenario.

Page 64 -


Quoted Text
RICH (OS)
I donít give a fuck! You didnít
flush, you pig. Thereís shit in the
toilet!


Eh, the shit jokes/toilet humor dialogue is wearing a bit thin. This isn't quite a comedy really, more like a drama with some funny dialogue sprinkled throughout. But this is the third (or fourth) bit of dialogue that had to do with shitting. The comedic bits are kind of one-trick pony-ish.

Page 73 -

[img]EXT. HOSPITAL - PARKING - NIGHT
The sun is rising. Danny and Sam reach the visitor car park.
The wind blows Danís gown, revealing his bare arse.[/img]

If the sun is rising, then it is no longer NIGHT.

OVERALL:

Yeah, man, this seemed to lack focus. The weakness here is definitely the structure. Which is a shame because you have two very real characters here going through real struggles. By the way, this should probably be in the drama section. There's funny dialogue here and there, but to be considered a true comedy, there should be comedic scenarios. And there really isn't any. I guess it could be considered a dramedy -- it felt like you were going for a "Skeleton Twins" or "Greenberg" kind of vibe. But the two separate stories didn't have clear themes that connected them. It felt like two different films -- though they have a similar tone, they don't have similar themes, similar scenarios. And there isn't a stark contrast between each story, either, no irony -- e.g. one character has an abortion, another character in their own story can't get pregnant, etc.

As I mentioned, there's no structure or meaning (that I could see) in the scenes. They just felt thrown in there. Dan with the social case, holding a child, giving a young mother advice... why is that here? It doesn't seem to really fit in thematically or logically with anything that happens. Not every film has to have a super strong plot. You can have character-studies with thin plots (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas -- I know those are completely different in tone, but you know what I mean). But the stories had focus. You jump from a scene with Sammy to another scene with Dan that has absolutely no connection. It just felt a bit jumbled to me. You have good characters here... they just need either a better story or stories that are more connected to the other. They need to have more in common that just the fact that each character is a mess. As of now, this is just 81 pages of random scenes almost. If felt rushed... and I could see some of that in the quality of the writing, too. It was a smooth, pretty clean read for the first 30 pages or so. Then the writing got sloppier as the story progressed.

It's pretty late, so if I think of anything else, I'll comment further. Again, I liked the characters, but there needs to be more structure and organization. And there should be some kind of story to build off of rather than just tossing in random trial-and-tribulation scenes. I'd also suggest getting to the Dan/Sammy story earlier rather than waiting until page 20 to see that there is an actual connection between them.

-- Michael






THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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AlsoBen
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I really appreciate the thoroughness (sp?), Spesh. I competely agree that it was a "hasty" effort in the second half -- I wrote it in about two days and did a (clearly very quick) error-fix. There's a lot here for me to digest.

Re: all the problems with action descriptions. I completely agree. I don't focus much on action (moreso dialogue) and it always suffers as a result.


Quoted Text

Okay, I'm at page 40. So far, this seems to lack focus. Your two main characters are in one-two scenes together pretty much from around page 20-25. And then we dovetail into their own stories again -- before that, their stories kind of built towards them sharing time (though there wasn't much of a build-up or pay-off to them being connected). And I don't really see the parallels between their own separate stories. This feels like it should be two different films. But, I'll read on....


I certainly agree that the script lacks a clear focus. I defs need a rewrite haha. However, I don't think it's accurate that it should be two different films. I can think of many mainstream movies with seperate storylines that collide at one or two points, linked thematically. I think the stories here are themtically linked and they obviously collide at several points.


Quoted Text
there is no relation or parallel in an abstract, ideological kind of way. Their separate stories do not share any meaning, any similar theme. It just feels unbalanced.


I mean, I'm in disagreement on this with you. "Ideologically" and thematically the two characters have the same issues, just in a different context. The scripts about the post-adolescence, post-graduate, pre-childrearing confusing that 20 somethings go through.


Quoted Text
Eh, the shit jokes/toilet humor dialogue is wearing a bit thin.


HAHA oh thankyou for being honest. It was the refuge of the lazy.


Quoted Text
Dialogue from the abortion clinic (the Nurse) overlaps into the next scene as a voice over as Joel kisses Dan on the lips.


I jus re-read this, and it confused me too - I dont even remember writing it, lol. Thanks for catching that.

And a HUGE thankyou about clarifying the "order or shots" issues -- reading those descs felt off to me, too, but I couldn't articulate why. Now I know.

Anyway, just to be clear, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and write this. I agree with, 99% of what you said just a few things I felt I needed to make clear.

Ben


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BenL
Posted: September 27th, 2016, 8:19am Report to Moderator
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You wrote this scipt in TWO DAYS?? Holy moly, I'm even slower than I thought....

I need months, maybe even a f*cking year to finish the script that I'm currently working on. But in my defense, I'm not a native speaker, that slows everything down.

Sorry for spamming, but writing an entire script in a couple of days feels surreal to me.
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AlsoBen
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You wrote this scipt in TWO DAYS??/


OH, no -- I wrote the first 20/25 pages over a week or so. The rest of it was in a marathan, mania-induced effort. Do not recommend. And then were a few days were I sat on it and made little edits.


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BenL
Posted: September 27th, 2016, 8:23am Report to Moderator
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Still, it's so frustrating that other people finish a script (or at least a first draft) in just a few weeks and I struggle to finish half of a script in months....
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AlsoBen
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You said English isn't your first langauge, which is a huge barrier (and from the quality of your posts, I never would have guessed). This script excluded, I struggle with writing most of the time, and English is my native language. AND, a quickly written script is rarely the best it could be. Take your time.


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Warren
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Hey, Ben.

Finally started this. Thought I'd check in at the 10 page mark.

So people have already mentioned it but there are some grammar issues and typos, easy fix. I wonít harp on that.

Story wise, so far so good, I already feel like each of the characters has their own voice, which is great for 10 pages.

This is some funny stuff, Iíve laughed several times already.

May take me some time, but I will push on and let you know my thoughts along the way.

Cheers.


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AlsoBen
Posted: September 28th, 2016, 10:06am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read Warren. Glad you've liked it so far. Hope you enjoy the rest.


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Warren
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Okay just hit page 51, no comments just a question.

Dan = BPD?

I thought so very early on but now I'm almost 100%.


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Warren
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Page 78 now, DBT program, question answered. Iíll just finish up and comment then PM you.


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Warren
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Done and done.

So, overall I liked it. There is some good comedy throughout. The dialogue is really great, itís definitely not an easy thing to master but yours is solid.

Quite a few typos and grammar issues. Will leave that up to you to find and fix.

There is a problem though. As I see it, neither character has an arc. Yes Dan says he will do the right thing this time, but will he, will he really? I guess if you take this deeper you could almost say BPD makes you more one dimensional, not in how you act but in how things will generally turn out. Unfortunately I think producers will want an arc or at the very least some kind of resolution.

Sammy doesnít really learn from any of her problems either, even saying that they are too old to be new people, (god I hope not, they are only what, 22 and 23).

Moving out seems to be a step in the right direction for her but in the last scene they end up together again.

I think if this wasnít rushed and you gave it the attention it deserved, this could be great.


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AlsoBen
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Hey Warren, thanks for reading, sorry I didn't notice your comments yesterday. Yes, Dan is written to be suffering from borderline personality disorder. I didn't want to name it because it's an illness that differs so much between people, and I didn't want to contribute to it's stigma.

Thanks for the feedback. When I rewrite, I'm going to have a lot to consider here.



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Cooper
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Okay, so I'm really late to the party (no pun intended) but I found this script affected me. I read the entire thing more than a month ago (I've been a lurker on this board for a while) and was just really impressed by it. It crossed my mind a bunch of times, which I think is the mark of a strong story.

The one (and critical) flaw I think is the lack of character arc -- but aside from that, it was really really well done.  Love the sex scene then breakup -- found the abortion scene shocking (in a good way, if that makes sense) -- thought the mental illness was handled smartly -- the dialogue as a whole was sharp and funny.

I really liked the two main characters but just wished they could have been in a better place at the end.
All in all, this was a great story.


Am I on the right track with THIS ? Let me know.
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AlsoBen
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Hey Cooper, thanks for the read. Glad you enjoyed it. Feel free to PM me if you have something for me to read.


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eldave1
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Ben - read the first 20. Style and format wise really solid. Just enough description and the dialogue is snappy. You do very well with dialogue. Some nit notes from the first 20:



Quoted Text
Peter is still grinning.
PETER
Itís a cock-ring.
DAN
Okay.
Dan stares at the offending body part.
PETER
It helps me stay hard.


A missed chance here. I would either lose Dan's "okay" and just have him stare at it or replace it with a line something akin to: "Jewelry?"


Quoted Text
EXT. PETERíS HOUSE - NIGHT
Dan is let out the front door by Peter.
PETER
Nice to meet you.
DAN
Yeah. You too. Thanks for
the Valium.
Peter smiles and waves. Dan starts walking towards his car.


This scene doesn't add much. I would consider deleting it or at least punching it up. have some conversation akin to Peter: when do you think you're going to need a refill.? Dan- not sure I'll ever need it that bad again.  


Quoted Text
SAMMY (CONT)
Anyway, he rang me back and goes
"you didnít hang up the properly,
the message you left...an air
conditioner?".


think you need a "phone" after the

Dan seems too young (22) to be a child investigator - I would consider bumping him up to the 25 year old range.

Lot of funny moments in the Ted/Sammy injury scene - just didn't quite buy the logistics of stepping on a piece of glass resulting in an ambulance/x-rays/etc. I think you need to step up the severity of the injury or at least - in a comical way - speak to the absurdity of the level of treatment Ted needs for this minor wound.





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AlsoBen
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Hey Dave! My greatest thanks for looking into this. I know it's not your style.

The funny thing is, I'm 22 and a child protection officer :p you only need a bachelors to do it over here.

You're right about everything else though. I've since rewritten this as a pilot and I hope it clears some things up.


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eldave1
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Quoted Text
Hey Dave! My greatest thanks for looking into this. I know it's not your style.


My pleasure - it was an easy read - not my taste as you said - but solid writing. Will try to get to more.


Quoted Text
The funny thing is, I'm 22 and a child protection officer :p you only need a bachelors to do it over here.


Wow - in USA you need Master's Degree and a year or two as intern.



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eldave1
Posted: January 2nd, 2017, 1:11pm Report to Moderator
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Next 20


Quoted Text
INT. JANETíS HOUSE - BATHROOM
Janet is using the toilet, the sounds of the party muffled.
Sammy quickly enters, shutting the door behind her.


This could be punched up a bit. Show us she's drunk. e.g.,

A very drunk Janet hums to the sound of muffled party music. Sammy bursts in slamming the door behind her.


Quoted Text
MORRO
MOMA exhibit by Marina Abramovic


Certainly natural dialogue - you think the readers are going to know what MOMA is?


Quoted Text
Sammy laughs and kisses Dan on the cheek.
SAMMY
Goodnight, Dan.
DAN
Goodnight, Sammy.


Think you can end the scene with something better. It is a really poignant scene. They're re-uniting in away, Dan's life is about to change. I don't know, something like after Sammy says goodnight - she turns over. Dan just stares at the ceiling a moment - contemplates.

DAN
Yeah, maybe it was.

Just something other than goodnight - goodnight.

Quoted Text

SAMMY
Thankyou.


Should be Thank you.


Quoted Text
JANET
That was like three weeks ago.


This kind of surprised me. Had not quite visualized that much time had passed.


Quoted Text
The front page reads: "100 REASONS WHY CHILDBIRTH DESTROYS
YOUR CAREER, RELATIONSHIPS AND THE SPACE BETWEEN YOUR ANUS
AND VAGINA".


A funny visual - just not sure it fits - it wouldn't be in a medical office.

Okay - thru 40 - final note. The Doctor/Sammy scene has some brilliant parts in it. However, this is the point where Sammy's empathy meter drops significantly. If that it the objective - okay. If it is not - you may want to revisit lines like:


Quoted Text
SAMMY
I want it out of me. Can we do that
now? Murder it. Make it go away.


It's a great line. But is it where you want the character to go in our mind. Right here and other places in this scene, for me Sammy went from some kind of hapless, wandering, girl that I couldn't help but somehow like to selfish, uncaring and unaware. I hated to see the Sammy I like go I guess.

Writing is still real solid.





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eldave1
Posted: January 2nd, 2017, 7:08pm Report to Moderator
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And - now done.


Quoted Text
EXT. MELBOURNE AIRPORT - DAY
Dan and Sammy stand outside the arrivals terminal a huge,
busy airport. They both carry a weekendís worth of luggage.
They await a taxi.
DAN
Does Uber work here?
SAMMY
Not from the airport.
A TAXI pulls up. The pair hop in.


Not sure you need this scene - it doesn't add anything really.

Okay. Ben, I've finished it. Overall thoughts:

There were many places where I thought the writing was stellar - the quirkiness of the characters and some of the dialogue was outstanding.

There were some scenes (I mentioned some) that seemed a bit throwaway for me. The one i mentioned earlier about Uber comes to mind - each scene and each line has to count.

There were some opportunities missed and I think you have sufficient space to include them. IMO, there was not enough in depth dialogue about the background regarding Dan's arousal from violence. His interaction with Joel could have been a place for this but more some in depth conversation with Sammy. Something akin to I don't get it - how is it that the gentlest soul I know needs violence to orgasm?

The abortion thing - now, I am not a prude on this and am pretty much pro choice. But Sammy is so seemingly nonchalant about aborting a 6 month old fetus. Dan is too. This topic is rich for development. As an example, the I think if Sammy visits her sister before the abortion - wala - scenes with doubt and conflict. Sammy should at least have her sister's admonition's in her head as she's lying on the table. Even Dan could be an interesting angle here. He seems to have no opinion. I think  he should - and have one without judgement (i.e., he's not a judger given his own issues - but he ought to have a point of view). Hell, maybe he even wants Sammy to keep it so he can raise it. Or - is so jaded by his child abuse work can't imagine why anyone who bring a child into the room.

The ending just kind of ended for me. No real resolutions. Has any one grown? Changed? Just seemed to me that our two characters (Sammy and Dan) are where they started. It needs something like Sammy running into a Ted and realizing that he was a douche and she's moving on. The abortion is about half the script and it seems to have no real impact on her. Stuff like that.

I ended up really liking these two quirky characters. I'm just not sure what they got out of the journey they took together.

That being said - there is tons of potential here.




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