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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Peach State Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 2nd, 2019, 5:23pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Peach State by Matthew Gayles - Comedy - A washed up actress returns to her hometown to film a movie, but when the lead actor goes missing she becomes the only person who can save him. 115 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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AlsoBen
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Hey Matthew, are you on the boards? I took a quick look at this based off the simple sounding premise. If you let me know you're interested, I'm happy to read some more and give you my thoughts.

From what I've read, it's very efficient and technically fine. But let's have a look at this opening. Savanna meets Jeff, the Harvey Weinstein type guy, trying to get herself into his next big film. I think this would work so much better if Savanna already knew that it was being filmed in her home town, just for efficiency's sake. So you can pretty much jump right into "she's got the part" and you've got an early hook, that way. Other thoughts - Jeff being  really knowledgeable about random historical facts of the hometown feels odd to me. I thought he was a studio exec at first - you just call him a "big deal" in your desc "- but now, with his level of creative interest, is he the director?

Basically, everything up to the flashback is - as I said - efficient in getting us there for narrative purposes. But it's really on the nose dialogue wise and is too convenient and not really a funny enough hook for a comedy opener. Think about the potential, comedically, for how that could work: you have the director or whatever who obviously wants a REAL southerner for the role, and Savanna - who is at least famous enough that people, take her photo  and she steps out a Benz - who has turned fully L.A but wants the role badly. You've sidestepped the tension!

Also, any particular reason it's set in 2016? Is there going to be some #metoo stuff or are you trying to avoid it entirely?

Anyway, if you're on the board to hear feedback, let me know, or ask Don to make you an account so you can.  What I've said so far sounds hyper critical but I knew I was only going to read the hook today, so I over-analysed.



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MGayles
Posted: April 15th, 2019, 1:46pm Report to Moderator
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I wouldnít mind some extra feedback on my script. Please read the whole thing if you really want.
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LC
Posted: April 16th, 2019, 7:57am Report to Moderator
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Matthew, perhaps you might want to do a script exchange with Ben?

Ben has a WIP here:

https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-workinprogress/m-1555165469/s-new/

And, SS relies on a quid pro quo system - i.e., you offer feedback and get it in return.
Just a thought...

Welcome to SS. Hope to see you get more involved.  


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MGayles
Posted: April 16th, 2019, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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sounds fair. I read his script and he reads mine. You got it.
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AlsoBen
Posted: April 17th, 2019, 4:41am Report to Moderator
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What I wanted to find out, Matthew, is if you're on the board to take feedback legitimately. SS does rely on everybody being engaged (or no script would ever get read) but there's plenty of scripts on every page of this board marked "writer interested in feedback" to which they never reply.  You don't necessrily have to exchange my read of this for your read of my WIP (thank you, though, LC), but go through the board and constructively write some thoughts on someone's script who interest you.

Since you have appeared from the ether, I will give this a read and comment later tonight or tomorrow.


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MGayles
Posted: April 17th, 2019, 11:26am Report to Moderator
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I already started reading your incest script. Got to the scene with the social workers. Will read more later.
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AlsoBen
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Quoted Text
your incest script


Hahaha I love that you've referred to it that way. You really don't fuck around.

As I said, I have some downtime nowish. I'm going to keep reading as much as I can and just give you some thoughts. Good job making an account and getting involved.


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AlsoBen
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Pg 6 - Nothing wrong with using V.O, especially for a flashback. But when you V.O something that could be explained on screen like her dad being a preacher, against "sinful" movies, etc, its a bit of a no-no for me. A quick shot of him reading the bible (idk what religious people do), followed by Savanna hiding the tape and the implied belting, plus he V.O "we dont talk much" says more than enough. Also, this is a particularly horrific scene for the first six pages of a comedy.

Pg 7 - Goldman asks what Savannah has done since her show's been off the air when earlier he knows she was in a few indie flicks.

Pg 7/8 - ISIS joke/reveal. Idk. It's a funny concept. I like how you've built up this big "confrontation" whatever where Savannah's gotta beg for the job, and then she just drops this bomb, but it's ruined by the flashback in the middle. Some ideas - build big on Savannah's desperation for the role, and Goldman being set on this other chick. Lots of back and forth. Savannah deseperate, then, when it's clea she has no other option: the reveal. Also, ISIS supporters by default would not be fans of Israel.
The flashback then makes more sense as it happens alongside arrival to hoemtown

Pg 13 - Why does she add "in his penis"? Is she joking? Savannah has literally never made a joke the entire script, plus before your insert of Shane's party she didn't know anything about his ways

Pg 15 - OK. I think I'm figuring out what the underlying "thing" is here that's bothering me. Over and over again, your characters just...say what they gotta say. By that I mean, Savannah approaches the hot shot director and criticizes the filming schedule. For someone willing to either lie or divulge a pretty big secret about someone being an actual terrorist for this role, Savannah lacks any self awareness or timidity.

I'll point out a line that you've written well that serve it's purpose and is FILLED with subtext, from the director: "Before I met Shane, I was making porn in the valley, so I would say yes, I'm living the dream." This is a good line because - it establishes the director as someone willing to do something "shady" to get his career going; it establishes the set's dependence on Shane, and it's a quick quip. But you have a back and forth BEFORE that where the director just SAYS we have to work around Shane. Show us - as you've done - that the star is unmanageable, unworkable, a partier, and show us how it affects the set. Then maybe use one or two lines - like the one I highlighted - to point out the current situation.

"She watches the marathon until she falls asleep." Seconds? Hours?

I'm up to page 21. You've got a scene where Shane is in deep shit, getting robbed, and now I'm with some guy named Josh and he's busted dealing.

Page 24 - tonally, we've way shifted. I don't mind introducing a new set of characters. Oh wait, Josh knows Savannah. And we've shifted tonally back. Again, this whole exchange on pg 26 right after the flashback where Josh straight up says something about his embarrassment at the whole engagement being called off, then Savannah justifies it, back and forth. You don't need this right away! Leave us dangling with their history. We figured Savannah would have someone she knew in town, and you've just told us a huge story in two or three lines. No one so far saves any thought for their internal monologue and there's no subtext. This whole reunion could be done with a "Oh...hey. How's the acting?" "here for a movie. Blah blah" laugh laugh "well guess the NFL didn't work out for me". or whatever

I've read what looks to be the beginning of your second act, so I'll try to finish it. Line by line criticism always looks especially harsh, but you've done a good job, as I said, putting a plot in place. There's some saying about starting a scene a little too late, and ending it a little too early. It's like all your scenes are in the right spots (few exceptions), but they start too early and lead to long exchanges - like Josh and the bartender, or Josh and the cop, or Savannah, and the director - where character literally just say words they are thinking to move plot forward. Treat the reader like they are clever, when it comes to dialogue, because we are all humans and we all know that we don't say exactly what we want, think or remember.

EDIT: I think I just want to "sum up" my key point so far (there's some little stuff to I pointed out, that nbd). As said, the big problem I'm having is your dialogue. And that's not to even to say it doesn't read "as a person would say". Good dialogue in a script doesn't mean that it sounds like a real person would say it. Most real people talk like shit, have no vocab, no expression. Good dialogue in a screenplay does this:

- It isn't "on the nose". This means, like I said, it isn't said just because it's the easiest way to establish a plot or character point. OTN dialogue would be "Jenny's a hoarder". Showing her house filled with crap does the same thing. People watch movies and images are your tools.
- Confusingly, it is also purposeful. I'm guilty of not doing this. I just like writing scenes where interesting people talk. You might have watched some classic movies by particular writers where characters just talk and it's not relevant to the plot. Don't do this, or don't do it for more than one or two lines. Again, all of these are on the provision you can't use visuals to do it, but dialogue should only be used to establish plot, theme, character, or a joke (in comedy). If you can do all of that in one dialogue, great job (I can't). I'm going to think of some examples of great screenplay dialogue for you to read, but in the meantime, I hope this makes sense. Again, as I said, I'm as guilty as you of some of these -- that's why we're posting on a forum on the internet instead of showing our scripts to famous people and hashtagging #metoo.



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AlsoBen  -  April 18th, 2019, 3:47am
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MGayles
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They haven't seen each other since the marriage proposal. I think that's the first thing they would talk about. Maybe that's just me ... idk.

Anyways ... keep it coming.
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MGayles
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so my characters should just shoot the shit for a few lines or something, even though they have nothing to talk about? Your advice is a little confusing. Josh and the cop have nothing to talk about besides, "license and registration, you've got weed in the car, here's the bribe."
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AlsoBen
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Quoted Text
hey haven't seen each other since the marriage proposal. I think that's the first thing they would talk about. Maybe that's just me ... idk.


Maybe we are different people, but if it's really been years (at least long enough for Savannah to establish herself elsewhere), it's odd for it come out the way it did. I'm not doubting it would be at the forefront of the character's minds - "OH SHIT I TURNED DOWN THIS GUYS ENGAGEMENT AND NOW I GOTTA TALK TO HIM" - but it didn't happen yesterday. I run into people from my past that did things to me, or I did crazy shit to them, years ago. Almost all of this time, it doesn't come up as one of the first things said. In a script, you can use a combo of ure flashbacks (if you want to keep them) and some very subtextual lines ("so...how are things in town since..." him: "since when? our last "chat", or when you left?"). Idk that's a shitty example, but your characters are allowed to feel those things, but we can still see them without them expressing it so obviously.


Quoted Text
so my characters should just shoot the shit for a few lines or something, even though they have nothing to talk about? Your advice is a little confusing. Josh and the cop have nothing to talk about besides, "license and registration, you've got weed in the car, here's the bribe."


What character specifically? Characters shouldn't be shooting the shit on screen unless it's relevant. My advice was the opposite of that: it seemed like every conversation and every exchange was fully geared towards plot movements. The cop scene is a hard example, and I'm not able to re-read it at this time, but basically what I'm saying is that you're in some "southern" town full of gossip and histories, rejected proposals - have fun with the dialogue. Even if it's a little stereotypical, isn't the whole "Southern Charm" of saying nothing while IMPLYING a lot very fun to write?

I'm going to link you to a produced script for an example of "subtext", because it's hard to describe. Matthew Weiner, sexual assault rumours aside, LOVED to write dialogue that implies lots but said NOTHING directly:

http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Mad_Men/Mad_Men_1x01_-_Smoke_Gets_in_Your_Eyes.pdf

Just in the first scene with Don and the Busboy, and the Busboy's boss. No one says anything remotely racist, or even approaching hostility. But we get an implication of the time's absolute disregard for black people, especially those in white establishments, in a  few key ways:

- the black busboy being initilly flustered by having to engage Don. he doesn't need to say "I'm going to get into trouble" - we figure this out
- Then the black guy's boss, the bartender, says this: "Is Sam here bothering you? He can be a little chatty." First of all, we all know EXACTLY whats going on. "Shut this black service dude up and keep him away from the customers." is the implication. It also helps establish Don's character/attitude towards that he WANTS to speaks to Sam, as early as page four. And not a single character says a word about race! Now that's subtext, and that's how I learned/am learning it - reading it.


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AlsoBen
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None of this is meant to be discouraging, by the way. You wrote a feature length screenplay that is technically correct, readable, and engaging. You have a protagonist with a clear conflict established and you've also got an interesting setting. I've read lots of spec scripts on here and elsewhere where people don't do some or any of these things - you're ahead of the curve.

I'm writing line-by-line feedback which, by nature, is not strengths-based. I used to have a boss who told me her theory for providing feedback on the job effectively as "the sandwich method". You sandwich a criticism between two things you liked or didn't see the need for improvement on. I don't have that option for the way I'm reviewing your script, but it doesn't mean it's all crap -- it would just be pointless for me to highlight like "pg. 11 - loved this exchange". etc


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MGayles
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lol I just watched that episode of mad men last night on Netflix lol
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AlsoBen
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It's a great show, and like I said re: subtext (especially in later seasons), the writer's use it A LOT. To the point of parody.


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MGayles
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anyone else want to give thoughts on my script? ill read yours in exchange!
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AlsoBen
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You can request a script exchange here, or respond to someone else's:

https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-goose/


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MGayles
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do you have any thoughts on the plot/themes/characters and how they're developed?
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Colkurtz8
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Matthew

This began in a promising fashion. It got straight in there, I dug its directness and lack of laborious set up. We meet Savanna and within that first few pages her motivations and goals are established.

However, the more I read, the more I realised that this absence of build up/scene setting also resulted in what eventually became the script main stumbling blocks; underdevelopment, aimlessness, implausibility.

Everything from the macro; dialogue, prose, character, plot to the micro; character dynamics within specific scenes got so muddled and nonsensical I found myself with raised eyebrows more often than not and simply asking ďWhy?Ē.

As I said to you, my page by page notes will highlight these in more detail. There were so many times where I was thrown for a loop, characters seemed to be talking about the wrong things, asking the wrong questions, fixating on the insignificant rather than dealing with the problems at hand.

The various situations that characters find themselves in, specifically Savanna and Josh, are contrived at best but even if we are to let that slide, itís how they work to overcome them which left me baffled at their stupidity/ridiculousness/wrongheadedness,etc. Some of these tight spots couldíve been greatly mitigated if not avoided altogether.

Fundamentally, the premise of a movie producer asking their lead actress to go look for the main star gone AWOL (possibly kidnapped by some rather dangerous people) because she is from the town (despite not having lived there for years) is absurd to begin with. Then the way in which she reacts to being pursued by said dangerous people makes no sense, her decision making to not inform the cops but instead try to make other family member snitch is ridiculous and poorly executed. (What happened Buck after being shot with the prop gun? We never know)

The central relationship between Josh and Savanna had me scratching my head to as I noted probably too many times. Their interactions were forced, unrealistic and again, didnít make a lot of sense. The fractious history between these two was sometimes addressed but often shrugged off like whatever, move on. Overall, I fell Savanna got off way too lightly after what she done to him while Josh was too much of a milquetoast, seemingly ready to forgive her and...become business partners? Huh?

The Wallace family too, and in particular Clayton, werenít near mean and low enough. They often talked too much and just didnít carry the level of intimidation they shouldíve. It was a classic case of their reputation flattering to deceive. This is particularly noticeable in Claytonís introductory scene which, while being tonally jarring (more on that later) is a formidable greeting for this character as he treats some nameless poor bastard like heís hunting game (I was reminded of that scene in The Jackal (1997 version) when Brice Willis does something similar to Jack Black) so Iím thinking this guy is a mean sonofabitch...but he never really capitalizes on that. Instead he turns out to be a rather talky, bland character that carries minimal threat.

Which leads me to my broad, overarching thoughts on the 3 areas of the script that need work...1. The prose. In short: You need more. What you have written is not so bad, itís relatively terse and lean. However, you need to consider what each character is doing in a scene, how they are feeling, what they want, what they are projecting. Film is a visual medium, use your prose to write visually, put us in the scene. Too many times we get a couple of lines at the start of a scene and thatís it. From then on, it just becomes long reams of dialogue. Which helps quicken the read but you sacrifice the readerís immersion in the script and what we are meant to be seeing on screen.

2. Dialogue. Too many times it felt, overly explanatory, padded, clunky and just plain dull. Just not how people talk in real life. It lacked authenticity. Each character seems to use just a few words too many to get their point across. There is very little subtext or suggestion. Pretty much everything a character is feeling is explicitly said, and a lot of time, I struggled to understand why they were feeling that way, why they were saying these words. Now, I have no issue with characters being direct and saying exactly whatís on their minds (Youíll find some people who think ďI love youĒ has no place in a script because its too blunt) but if every character is talking in the same, excessive, literal manner, it becomes tiresome. It lacks wit, humour and spark.

3. Tone. This is tied into everything Iíve mentioned already; dialogue, prose (or lack thereof) characterisation, plotting. I see this is in the comedy section here, and there are some moment of genuine humour as I noted but there is a lot of dark drama here too, gang violence, PTSD, drug abuse. Now, thatís fine, a comedy doesnít need to be wall-to-wall comedy to be successful but itís how these tones are interwoven and compliment or undercut each other that I really had problems with. As I said, this has got a lot to do with the dialogue, characterisation and skeletal prose in particular. There are many scenes and lines where I just wasnít sure if it was done for laughs or deadly serious. Something genuinely troubling would be happening before a character would make some ill-timed quip that felt so out of place it took me out of the read as well.

Other times it seems as though characters are talking about things that should be taken as a joke but there is no indication of it being tongue in cheek or ironic. They appear to be totally sincere so again Iím left confused as to how I should be responding. For example: Southside High, the film-within-the-film is referred to as a ďwonderful scriptĒ by Savanna yet the scenes we get of it make it seem anything but. So I donít know if you genuinely think itís a wonderful script, or if itís being played for laughs...or Savanna just has terrible judgement. Iím lost.

I mean, in general, itís all a bit silly, right? The whole premise...but Iím not sure if you know this. Sometimes I think you do and play to that (the Frank character is an example of this. He is obviously someone so stupid weíre meant to laugh at him. Savanna using a prop gun to take out a good is another) but then other times you play it completely straight. I was just never 100% sure which side we were getting in any given scene.

Anyway, Iím rambling on. Iím genuinely very curious to hear about your intentions with this. I might have been way off and totally misunderstood it.

Col.


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MGayles
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As for the tone, It's a crime comedy. There are dark parts but i don't want it to be taken seriously. And no, Southside High is not a good script (to me), it's meant to be cheesy and in the style of those high school dramas from the 90's that were so fucking lame (Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me etc). I'm playing it for laughs.

As for the dialog, can you give some more examples of it being too direct?
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Colkurtz8
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Quoted from MGayles
As for the tone, It's a crime comedy. There are dark parts but i don't want it to be taken seriously.


Fair enough, in that case, I think it needs more comedy. Mixing tones can be difficult and its something I find myself particularly sensitive to, particularly on the page as there is more heavy lifting involved to convey these variations. This is where I think more prose would help. It will clue the reader into your intentions. Or maybe it's just me.



Quoted from MGayles
And no, Southside High is not a good script (to me), it's meant to be cheesy and in the style of those high school dramas from the 90's that were so fucking lame (Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me etc). I'm playing it for laughs.


Ok so Savanna really does have terrible judgement when it comes to choosing her projects? See, I thought that she was a half decent actress who just hadn't been given a fair opportunity at more prestigious films yet. Yes, she is only known for that cheesy sitcom but she subsequently went the independent route to hone her craft so that tells me she cares about the work

Also, would Rachel Morrow, a supposed big actress, be interested in such a terrible script? Yes, Michelle Pfeiffer was a big star then but is Dangerous Minds an the same "So bad it's good" level  as Southside High?


Quoted from MGayles
As for the dialog, can you give some more examples of it being too direct?


I would say most of the exchanges between Savanna and Josh when they start to talk about their past. Clayton, in particularly, rambles on too much when brevity would be far more effective, both as a crime boss and an intimidating character. I also noted several times during my page by page notes where the dialogue didn't read natural, was too long winded or just bizarrely off topic.

However, in light of you saying that this is intended to be more of a comedy maybe this was meant to be part of the humour.

Col.


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MGayles
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The script is terrible to us, the audience. The characters involved in the project aren't aware of it. And bad scripts get made with multi million dollar budgets. Add a big star like Shane Woods and why wouldn't Savanna want to be in it?

Also, this entire script (Peach State not Southside High) is going through a massive rewrite. The entire first act is being reworked to focus on character. The opening scene is brand new. Savannas character is getting massive changes. I gave her a manager that works as her lackey and Josh has a daughter (guess who the mother is). And the whole "business partner" idea is being dropped. It never made much sense.

Structurally, the movie is going to be mostly the same in act two and three. I'm ditching the drug dealer and the pill bottle as a plot device. Ray is still the kidnapper, and his brother Clayton is still the main villain of the film.

I'd love to get your thoughts on the changes if you have the time. I'm 45 pages into the rewrite and I'd love to know you guys thoughts on it if you have the time to read it.

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Quoted from MGayles
The script is terrible to us, the audience. The characters involved in the project aren't aware of it. And bad scripts get made with multi million dollar budgets. Add a big star like Shane Woods and why wouldn't Savanna want to be in it?


Fair enough.


Quoted from MGayles
I gave her a manager that works as her lackey and Josh has a daughter (guess who the mother is)


The lackey manager might provide some comic relief too by the sound of it.

Re: mother. Ummm, Savanna? Assuming she is, I'd be careful about that. She is already portrayed as a rather self centred and brusque character who cruelly bailed on her fiance and headed west. Add the fact that she abandoned her baby and you got a mountain to climb in terms of getting the audience on her side. Personally, I think it's a bold choice and certainly sets her up as a flawed person, that is far more interesting to me. I'm just saying you don't want to push too far in that direction where it's impossible to come back from.


Quoted from MGayles
And the whole "business partner" idea is being dropped. It never made much sense.


Agreed. Although it was a practical way to suggest that Josh wants her to stick around. At least that was how I read it...but then, given their history, it makes you wonder why Josh would want someone like Savanna back in his life again.


Quoted from MGayles
Structurally, the movie is going to be mostly the same in act two and three. I'm ditching the drug dealer and the pill bottle as a plot device.


The pill bottle plot device could work. It's just the initials were too stupid to be even funny. You could replace them with a symbol/logo or some subtle calling card/indicator. Think Walter White and his blue batch.


Quoted from MGayles
I'd love to get your thoughts on the changes if you have the time. I'm 45 pages into the rewrite and I'd love to know you guys thoughts on it if you have the time to read it.


As I said in the email, I'm a little tied up at the moment with other things. maybe in a couple of weeks. Keep me posted.


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MGayles
Posted: May 8th, 2019, 2:31pm Report to Moderator
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Fyi, I already dropped the jilted fiancee thing. With the dead beat mom added to the mix it was just too much. However the deadbeat mom gives Savanna something to fight with internally. And it make sense since her own mom didn't raise her.
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Colkurtz8
Posted: May 9th, 2019, 5:40am Report to Moderator
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Ok I see, major changes to her then. I hope it comes together for you.


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AlsoBen
Posted: May 18th, 2019, 4:29am Report to Moderator
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Hey Mgayles

I finished this. I don't have much to add that I don't think col touched on.

I agree with a number of things, and re-iterate my initial points. There's a good premise and plot in here, but it's buried in expositional dialogue and characters who say their exact thoughts to advance the plot.

You don't use the visual nature of film to it's fullest extent: again, a reliance on dialogue hinders a plot.

I still don't see the way the more lighter comedy aspects are intertwined effectively with the darker aspects like the crime plots. I don't even fully see the crime aspects as necessity: the protag returning home, having a difficult coworker, and running into the ex she ditched is more than enough conflict and comedy without introducing the crime aspects.

On the plus side, this was very readable and not at all without positives. It sounds like you've already commenced a new draft, which is great, and I think it will be something you can feel proud of.


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ajr
Posted: May 19th, 2019, 8:24pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matthew, I cracked this open a while ago, and I see that you mentioned you are making wholesale changes to it. I also see where you asked Col for examples of the on-the-nose dialogue.

For me, I couldn't get to the story because I didn't believe your setup. You start with:

SAVANNA
Jeff Goldman?

GOLDMAN
Yeah?

SAVANNA
Savanna Stone.
She tries to shake his hand. He sips his drink instead.

GOLDMAN
I know who you are. You were on
that show about the teenage girl
that was a secretly a pop star and
a superhero. What was it called?

SAVANNA
"So Savanna".

You describe Goldman as a "Hollywood player", I'm guessing a Weinstein type. So why would Savanna need to question whether it was him? And he, in turn, knows who she is, despite the disparity in Hollywood hierarchy. It smacks of an outsider's view of the business rather than an insider's. I would do something like this:

GOLDMAN
(rolls his eyes upon seeing Savanna)
Jesus, I have to pay that bouncer more.

SAVANNA
Surprised to see me, Jeff?

GOLDMAN
Not really. I knew once the Rachel Morrow news hit the trades -

SAVANNA
She's wrong for it.

GOLDMAN
Yeah, and I suppose you're right for it.

SAVANNA
Did you see my self-tape?

GOLDMAN
Savanna... I think six unreturned calls to your agent would have been the hint?

SAVANNA
ET said I was a comedic genius.

GOLDMAN
Yeah, on a show that can't sell a big budget project overseas... look, if we're done here, I -

SAVANNA
Maybe Rachel is not who you think she is. I know things about our time together on 'So Savanna'. Be a shame to invest forty million and then have to deal with a publicity nightmare...

GOLDMAN
I'm listening.

You cut out the on-the-nose stuff this way, while still delivering the background in the way that insiders would converse.

Hope this helps.

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Dustin
Posted: May 20th, 2019, 4:55am Report to Moderator
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I second AJR and Col (third then?)... AJR's version deals with the delivery way better. Good example.


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MGayles
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Quoted from ajr
Hey Matthew, I cracked this open a while ago, and I see that you mentioned you are making wholesale changes to it. I also see where you asked Col for examples of the on-the-nose dialogue.

For me, I couldn't get to the story because I didn't believe your setup. You start with:

SAVANNA
Jeff Goldman?

GOLDMAN
Yeah?

SAVANNA
Savanna Stone.
She tries to shake his hand. He sips his drink instead.

GOLDMAN
I know who you are. You were on
that show about the teenage girl
that was a secretly a pop star and
a superhero. What was it called?

SAVANNA
"So Savanna".

You describe Goldman as a "Hollywood player", I'm guessing a Weinstein type. So why would Savanna need to question whether it was him? And he, in turn, knows who she is, despite the disparity in Hollywood hierarchy. It smacks of an outsider's view of the business rather than an insider's. I would do something like this:

GOLDMAN
(rolls his eyes upon seeing Savanna)
Jesus, I have to pay that bouncer more.

SAVANNA
Surprised to see me, Jeff?

GOLDMAN
Not really. I knew once the Rachel Morrow news hit the trades -

SAVANNA
She's wrong for it.

GOLDMAN
Yeah, and I suppose you're right for it.

SAVANNA
Did you see my self-tape?

GOLDMAN
Savanna... I think six unreturned calls to your agent would have been the hint?

SAVANNA
ET said I was a comedic genius.

GOLDMAN
Yeah, on a show that can't sell a big budget project overseas... look, if we're done here, I -

SAVANNA
Maybe Rachel is not who you think she is. I know things about our time together on 'So Savanna'. Be a shame to invest forty million and then have to deal with a publicity nightmare...

GOLDMAN
I'm listening.

You cut out the on-the-nose stuff this way, while still delivering the background in the way that insiders would converse.

Hope this helps.

AJR


Yeah it does help but I scrapped this scene a long time ago ... I wish I you guys could read the new 45+ pages  I cranked out. Maybe I can post a link if anyone is interested.

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MGayles
Posted: May 20th, 2019, 6:03pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from AlsoBen


I still don't see the way the more lighter comedy aspects are intertwined effectively with the darker aspects like the crime plots. I don't even fully see the crime aspects as necessity: the protag returning home, having a difficult coworker, and running into the ex she ditched is more than enough conflict and comedy without introducing the crime aspects.



I've seen lots of movies that juggle crime plots with levity and humor. And I never felt the darker parts of the film where super dark (just kidnapping and attempted murder lol). Maybe I'm just a sick fuck. IDK.


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AlsoBen
Posted: May 21st, 2019, 6:53am Report to Moderator
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Plenty of films do, I just feel like this particular script doesn't balance the tone well.


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MGayles
Posted: June 9th, 2019, 1:19pm Report to Moderator
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Isn't It Romantic stole my shit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPbhSt9liPQ
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