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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Balancing Act Moderators: bert
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  Author    Balancing Act  (currently 311 views)
Posted: November 26th, 2023, 9:31pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Balancing act by Jes - Comedy - {no logline} 108 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

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Posted: November 28th, 2023, 9:46pm Report to Moderator

Northeast USA pretty much.
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I genuinely liked this. The mindless ramble of people who ramble was genuine and quite funny. This had the look and feel of an art film. It took a while to get used to it but when I did it was hysterical.

My favorite line was from Jesse to Mike, “Thanks for not beating me up.”

I also thought it was hysterical when Jessie found the long boards Ironic Man stole in the man’s truck. He then asked him politely if he can have them back. He made the argument that if the guy didn’t ride them after he stole them, he should at least give them back. And if that wasn’t funny enough, they engage in a footrace to Subway to get footlongs to settle the situation.

You have totally captured the essence of stoner culture better than anyone I know. The only things missing are Ultimate and Disk Golf.

However, this script has a few fatal problems. They can be fixed but it will require a re-write. The reason being is that it is not in what is known as the STANDARD FORMAT. It’s more than I can address here. You need to look it up. There are a lot of resources online as well as on here.

I know you have your own system to differentiate between action text and dialog. You use an equals sign to indicate a scene heading. I did a search online to see if your format is used anywhere else. I’m under the impression that you made it up and it is quite clever. I had no problem following your story.

The problem is that if you don’t follow the standard format, nobody will take your work seriously.

The next problem is that you need a title page. It has the name of your story plus your name as the author and your contact information. You’ll see what I mean by looking at the other work posted here or  examples of the standard format.

You need page numbers. The standard format covers that as well. When addressing problems, I’ll refer to the PDF page numbers.

These problems will all go away if you use software specifically meant for writing scripts. It will make many things easy. There are a couple of expensive packages, some that are free, and several priced in between expensive and free. I cannot tell what software package you used but based on your margins and font, I’m pretty sure you used a word processor.

There is considerable repetition in your story. The storyline on page 49 repeats itself on page 54. I doubt that is deliberate. If that is deliberate, I give you credit for originality. I have never taken recreational drugs but seeing the story repeat itself made me feel like a stoner. The same thing happens between page 60 and 82.

Try not to give camera or actor direction like look down or the camera follows and zooms in. A lot of people like to do this, including myself but you need to keep it to a minimum. Let the director and actors do their work. They get paid more so make them earn it.

There is a rule called, “Show, don’t Tell”. It means that you shouldn’t put things like people’s thoughts or smells in your script. You can’t film that. You can show a flashback. You show a smell through people’s reactions. You can show someone getting angry. As a basic test, think of how a director could show what you write.

A couple of last comments: You’re = You are as in “You’re learning.”  Your=possessive as in This is your script.
Then = happens next as in: “First he hit the baseball, then he ran to first.” Than = comparative as in, “This is better than that.”

I hope you find my advice useful. I wish you a lot of luck on this project.

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Posted: December 9th, 2023, 2:05pm Report to Moderator

Northeast USA pretty much.
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Another thing I would like to add, you need a log line. I'm sure you've noticed that everybody else (pretty much) has one. The log line should be short but sum up what the story is about.

I would recommend something like: Three young stoners contemplate life after high school.

I'm sure you will come up with something you like more but my suggestion should get you started.

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