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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Romantic Comedy  ›  The Beginning of The End and The End
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  Author    The Beginning of The End and The End  (currently 8909 views)
oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 11:49pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
Again, in the re-write I might nuke Peter altogether and go with the widower back story.


I wouldn't change it because Emily being a widower is out of her control. By making that change, you put Emily in a position to lose control over her own destiny - which drives the story. It's her job! We the audience find those characters most fascinating. Will Emily get Peter back or will George win her over amongst their differences? And how much better to raise the stakes and have Peter be George's client over Mike? By doing this, you essentially give George (antagonist/co-resoluter) the keys to Emily's life. Either way, in the end, Emily should have earned her needs instead of realize them. By doing this, the audience will realize something about themselves - the theme!



Quoted from eldave1
I never mean to turn it into a referendum on the PAGE awards. Oh well.


I was skeptical after reading the first page too. It took awhile, but I've grown to respect Dustin a lot, he's passionate about what we do around here. His gripes with PAGE make total sense, and you do have talent. As for me, reading your script has informed me on what I should be doing myself if I decide to enter that competition again.

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Stumpzian
Posted: December 23rd, 2014, 12:12am Report to Moderator
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David: Great premise, funny, well told. Tracy/Hepburn. This a case where nitpicks about slugs, action lines, descriptions are irrelevant. Why? Because this is a MOVIE !




Revision History (1 edits)
Stumpzian  -  December 23rd, 2014, 5:43am
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eldave1
Posted: December 23rd, 2014, 8:33pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Stump - appreciate the thoughts


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: February 1st, 2015, 3:43pm Report to Moderator
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Finally done with the flu - arrrgh. This is the first re-write


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts

Revision History (1 edits)
eldave1  -  February 1st, 2015, 4:11pm
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Dustin
Posted: February 2nd, 2015, 11:04am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Code

Emily places the picture back down. Sits down at her desk and
turns on her computer.


Watch out for repeating words. The word 'down' here is used twice in one action block and isn't really necessary at all. Emily could simply place the picture back. If she places it back where she got it from then 'down' becomes superfluous. Same with the next sentence where you start with a  verb. Personally, I'd clean that action block up a little by joining the two sentences. Something like:

Emily places the picture back and sits at her desk --
turns on the computer.


Notice too how I've switched out 'her' for 'the' before computer. Watch for overusing his and hers (etc) and switch out for 'the' whenever you feel it will help the flow of the sentence.

Code

SAM, (40s), average looking and
NANCY (40s) and a bit overweight.



An extra 'and' after Nancy... but also what you should watch out for is using more words when one will do the trick. A bit... becomes slightly or marginally... I know it's a nasty 'ly' adverb, but you're allowed the odd one here and there.

Code

Emily stands up, walks towards the door and opens it.


Watch for the usage of 'up'. I know it may sound silly, but 'up' goes without saying in this instance. Likewise the extra info of her just walking to the door. Personally, I'd go for something like this:

Emily stands and opens the door.

When you see the sentence naked like that, it almost makes you want to write more... and you can. Just make sure the words used do something to change what is written. Maybe she smiles weakly, or better (I think) apologises with a smile. That way we avoid the 'ly' adverb.

Code

Madelyn firmly holds a large, white,
stuffed bear as she exits the car.


I think you can do better than 'firmly holds' here. Also 'exits'. Use your words to describe the character's mood. Like rather than exits, maybe she 'bounds'. Perhaps, something like this:

Madelyn hugs a large, white, stuffed bear as she bounds from the car.

Code

And looks in. Madelyn is in bed, fast asleep, her stuffed
bear held snugly in her arms.


Just a thought here... but I think the stuffed bear should have a name.

Code

MADELYN
Sometimes at our house the cats
will knock over a trash can lid. If
it scares me, I just hold on to
Teddy.


So it does have a name. I think this should be established earlier. It will also help when writing as you can simply use the name. Maybe be a little more inventive than 'teddy' though. Although I will agree that 'Teddy' is most likely a very popular name.

Code

A burly looking,


No need for looking. He either is burly or he isn't. Unless he has lots of padding on?

Code

Emily exits.


There's a lot of this. Be more inventive.

Code

Emily and Lauren are sit in a corner booth. A wine glass is
in front of each of them.


A great piece of advice here is to be wary of starting too many action blocks with a character's name. Look for inventive ways to start your sentences. For example, the above could become:

A half full glass of wine in front of them, Emily and Lauren sit in a
corner booth.


Code

EMILY
Typical BMW owner.


I keep hearing this about BMW drivers... but I'm different, I'm 'assured' by friends. The worst drivers are angry middle-aged women and also old people that drive extremely slowly, IMO. Doesn't matter what car they are in. Sorry for that digression. I'll get back to your story now.

Code

GEORGE
Well, your a marriage counselor


Typo.

Code

Madelyn starts to scamper off.


Watch out for 'starts' and 'begins'. Madelyn scampers off, does just as well.
I know you did the above as you want her to be called back... but you'll have to be more inventive. Perhaps she scampers off and then is called, halting her in her tracks. Or, maybe she scampers a short distance before the dialogue comes in. Try a thesaurus too, as a word like scampers shouldn't be used too much in one screenplay. http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/scamper?s=t

I always find it handy to have my browser at the ready with both the oxford dictionary and almost any thesaurus site. That way you can put words in immediately to ensure correct usage and alternatives.

Code

MOM
My goodness, when in the world did
you girls start talking going at
each other like this?


Talking to or going at... needs to be one or the other.

Code

EMILY
It's a floor, not an ice rink. I
can manage, thanks.


LOL. She's a great character.

Code

CAB DRIVER
I mean, you look like your having a
heart attack or something.


Typo.

Code

GEORGE
(to himself)
This was probably not the best day
to screw with her.


I find the above slightly annoying. He talks to himself quite a lot. I'm sure the actor would be better off replacing some of these with a quirky look.

Code

George is talking to a BETH,


Typo.

Code

She arrives at office her door,


Another typo.

Code

GEORGE
(yelling at Emily's closed
door)
That could of killed me.


Typo.. you mean 'have'.

Pages 92-93... Nice intercut.

Code

EMILY
I'm sorry I went on and on. He's
just such an ass. But, not another
a word. I promise.


Typo.

Code

LAUREN (O.S.)
Emily, where are you? I've tried
your cell but you're not picking
up. Your starting to get us
worried. Hello? Are you there?


Typo... you're.

Code

LAUREN (CONT'D)
In fact that there are two of them
inside the box. Please except them
as a memento."


Typo... accept.


Despite it really not being my genre at all, I quite enjoyed the story. It would be very easy and cheap to make and I could see this making money. The tone is consistent throughout and delivers everything people come to expect from this type of film.

From an editing perspective there's a bit of work to do... which I'm sure you will clean up with following drafts.

Story-wise it is spot on with individual characters. I particularly liked the tricks they played on each other, and you didn't go too far with it.

This would actually be great for a first time producer or even a director to tackle... you should consider making it yourself. I can now see why it got as far as it did. Nice job.


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JonP
Posted: February 2nd, 2015, 1:32pm Report to Moderator
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Honestly, I didn't want to read your script because romcoms typically make me want to wretch -- which is my problem, especially I want to have more success in dating.  But I was searching for a recently unpublished script to read and the first two I opened were horror shows, which would have been fine except horror wasn't the genre.  So I settled in for a nauseating romp.

Except it wasn't.  It was a 21st century Cary Grant style story, which, while formulaic, was actually rather fun.  And so the pages flew by.  Every so often I would get annoyed by a convention like getting trapped in an elevator for 4 hours, but I couldn't think of a more plausible way to force Emily and George together so that they could have a heart to heart.

George is perfect.  His witty quips were genuinely LOL funny.  I was also impressed by your formatting.  You make we want to be a better screenwriter (with my formatting).  There were just a handful of grammatical errors that I'll email you.

Where the script didn't work for me was in some of the ways that Emily acted in her profession.  I recently read a couple books on screenwriting, Invisible Ink and The Hidden Tools of Comedy.  Two very different books, but the one area they overlapped was everything had to be true.  It had to be plausible.  Some of Emily's behavior is not plausible to me.  You had a laugh line on page 20 that didn't make me laugh:

CYNTHIA
We haven't had sex in five months.
(looking at Andrew)
Well, at least I haven't.
(to Emily)
Do you even know what that's like?

EMILY
Good God, do I.

She's a trained marriage counselor, right?  That's a big slip.  Something has to bring on such a slip, some major stressors/distractions/etc.  And all we have is some carpentry that's no longer going on and not being in a relationship which she repeatedly insists isn't a problem (the sexual zombie line is priceless).  I don't buy it.  I also don't buy the scented candles as something a respectable marriage counselor would employ, but I realize it's an important convention that sets up a few things that I don't know how you set up without them -- sort of like the elevator.  When she's not being a marriage counselor, I thought she was great.

Sorry to bring-up problems and not offer solutions, but that's all I got.  Overall, very well done.


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eldave1
Posted: February 2nd, 2015, 4:39pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
Watch out for repeating words. The word 'down' here is used twice in one action block and isn't really necessary at all. Emily could simply place the picture back. If she places it back where she got it from then 'down' becomes superfluous. Same with the next sentence where you start with a  verb. Personally, I'd clean that action block up a little by joining the two sentences. Something like:

Emily places the picture back and sits at her desk --
turns on the computer.



Perfect - thanks.


Quoted Text
Notice too how I've switched out 'her' for 'the' before computer. Watch for overusing his and hers (etc) and switch out for 'the' whenever you feel it will help the flow of the sentence.


Good tip - I'll do a key word search on his and hers and see if there are other instances.


Quoted Text
Code

SAM, (40s), average looking and
NANCY (40s) and a bit overweight.



An extra 'and' after Nancy... but also what you should watch out for is using more words when one will do the trick. A bit... becomes slightly or marginally... I know it's a nasty 'ly' adverb, but you're allowed the odd one here and there.


Got it - just changed it to overweight.


Quoted Text
Code

Emily stands up, walks towards the door and opens it.


Watch for the usage of 'up'. I know it may sound silly, but 'up' goes without saying in this instance. Likewise the extra info of her just walking to the door. Personally, I'd go for something like this:

Emily stands and opens the door.

When you see the sentence naked like that, it almost makes you want to write more... and you can. Just make sure the words used do something to change what is written. Maybe she smiles weakly, or better (I think) apologises with a smile. That way we avoid the 'ly' adverb.


I like the change you suggested.


Quoted Text
Code

Madelyn firmly holds a large, white,
stuffed bear as she exits the car.


I think you can do better than 'firmly holds' here. Also 'exits'. Use your words to describe the character's mood. Like rather than exits, maybe she 'bounds'. Perhaps, something like this:

Madelyn hugs a large, white, stuffed bear as she bounds from the car.


I like your line better - gracias.


Quoted Text
Code

MADELYN
Sometimes at our house the cats
will knock over a trash can lid. If
it scares me, I just hold on to
Teddy.


So it does have a name. I think this should be established earlier. It will also help when writing as you can simply use the name. Maybe be a little more inventive than 'teddy' though. Although I will agree that 'Teddy' is most likely a very popular name.


Got it.


Quoted Text
Code

A burly looking,


No need for looking. He either is burly or he isn't. Unless he has lots of padding on?


Got it


Quoted Text
Code

Emily exits.


There's a lot of this. Be more inventive.


Good tip - much like His/Her - I'll do a word search and look for alternatives.


Quoted Text
Code

Emily and Lauren are sit in a corner booth. A wine glass is
in front of each of them.


A great piece of advice here is to be wary of starting too many action blocks with a character's name. Look for inventive ways to start your sentences. For example, the above could become:

A half full glass of wine in front of them, Emily and Lauren sit in a
corner booth.



Not sure about this one - let me mull it over.


Quoted Text
Code

EMILY
Typical BMW owner.


I keep hearing this about BMW drivers... but I'm different, I'm 'assured' by friends. The worst drivers are angry middle-aged women and also old people that drive extremely slowly, IMO. Doesn't matter what car they are in. Sorry for that digression. I'll get back to your story now.


This made me laugh. Thanks.


Quoted Text
Code

GEORGE
Well, your a marriage counselor


Typo.


Fixed - also searched for "your" and found three other instances of this error (arrrgh)


Quoted Text
Code

Madelyn starts to scamper off.


Watch out for 'starts' and 'begins'. Madelyn scampers off, does just as well.
I know you did the above as you want her to be called back... but you'll have to be more inventive. Perhaps she scampers off and then is called, halting her in her tracks. Or, maybe she scampers a short distance before the dialogue comes in. Try a thesaurus too, as a word like scampers shouldn't be used too much in one screenplay. http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/scamper?s=t

I always find it handy to have my browser at the ready with both the oxford dictionary and almost any thesaurus site. That way you can put words in immediately to ensure correct usage and alternatives.


Good tip - thanks


Quoted Text
Code

MOM
My goodness, when in the world did
you girls start talking going at
each other like this?


Talking to or going at... needs to be one or the other.


Corrected - thanks


Quoted Text
Code

CAB DRIVER
I mean, you look like your having a
heart attack or something.



Now fixed.


Quoted Text
Code

GEORGE
(to himself)
This was probably not the best day
to screw with her.


I find the above slightly annoying. He talks to himself quite a lot. I'm sure the actor would be better off replacing some of these with a quirky look.


Concur - will make the change and look for others


Quoted Text
Code

George is talking to a BETH,


Typo.

Code

She arrives at office her door,


Another typo.

Code

GEORGE
(yelling at Emily's closed
door)
That could of killed me.


Typo.. you mean 'have'.


Thanks - all fixed.


Quoted Text
Code

EMILY
I'm sorry I went on and on. He's
just such an ass. But, not another
a word. I promise.


Typo.

Code

LAUREN (O.S.)
Emily, where are you? I've tried
your cell but you're not picking
up. Your starting to get us
worried. Hello? Are you there?


Typo... you're.

Code

LAUREN (CONT'D)
In fact that there are two of them
inside the box. Please except them
as a memento."


Typo... accept.


Fixed.


Quoted Text
Despite it really not being my genre at all, I quite enjoyed the story. It would be very easy and cheap to make and I could see this making money. The tone is consistent throughout and delivers everything people come to expect from this type of film.

From an editing perspective there's a bit of work to do... which I'm sure you will clean up with following drafts.

Story-wise it is spot on with individual characters. I particularly liked the tricks they played on each other, and you didn't go too far with it.

This would actually be great for a first time producer or even a director to tackle... you should consider making it yourself. I can now see why it got as far as it did. Nice job.



Thanks much and I appreciated the detailed read along with the general tools I can use to fix other issues. It is amazing how many times you can read something and not pick up typos. Again - much thanks.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: February 2nd, 2015, 4:55pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JonP
Honestly, I didn't want to read your script because romcoms typically make me want to wretch -- which is my problem, especially I want to have more success in dating.  But I was searching for a recently unpublished script to read and the first two I opened were horror shows, which would have been fine except horror wasn't the genre.  So I settled in for a nauseating romp.

Except it wasn't.  It was a 21st century Cary Grant style story, which, while formulaic, was actually rather fun.  And so the pages flew by.  Every so often I would get annoyed by a convention like getting trapped in an elevator for 4 hours, but I couldn't think of a more plausible way to force Emily and George together so that they could have a heart to heart.

George is perfect.  His witty quips were genuinely LOL funny.  I was also impressed by your formatting.  You make we want to be a better screenwriter (with my formatting).  There were just a handful of grammatical errors that I'll email you.

Where the script didn't work for me was in some of the ways that Emily acted in her profession.  I recently read a couple books on screenwriting, Invisible Ink and The Hidden Tools of Comedy.  Two very different books, but the one area they overlapped was everything had to be true.  It had to be plausible.  Some of Emily's behavior is not plausible to me.  You had a laugh line on page 20 that didn't make me laugh:

CYNTHIA
We haven't had sex in five months.
(looking at Andrew)
Well, at least I haven't.
(to Emily)
Do you even know what that's like?

EMILY
Good God, do I.

She's a trained marriage counselor, right?  That's a big slip.  Something has to bring on such a slip, some major stressors/distractions/etc.  And all we have is some carpentry that's no longer going on and not being in a relationship which she repeatedly insists isn't a problem (the sexual zombie line is priceless).  I don't buy it.  I also don't buy the scented candles as something a respectable marriage counselor would employ, but I realize it's an important convention that sets up a few things that I don't know how you set up without them -- sort of like the elevator.  When she's not being a marriage counselor, I thought she was great.

Sorry to bring-up problems and not offer solutions, but that's all I got.  Overall, very well done.


Thanks do much for the read and the comments Jon as well as the typos you mailed me  - much appreciated!

I work with your thoughts - above - I think they have merit.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: February 3rd, 2015, 5:10am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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No worries. I'm just glad that I have helped in some small way after your excellent advice on my scripts. I've just noticed your Last Statesman script and will read that too as soon as I have a couple of hours free.


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eldave1
Posted: February 3rd, 2015, 6:35pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
No worries. I'm just glad that I have helped in some small way after your excellent advice on my scripts. I've just noticed your Last Statesman script and will read that too as soon as I have a couple of hours free.


I would appreciate the read - but hold off until get the next drat posted - I'm currently rewriting based on the formatting tips you gave me for this one (I got a lot of corrections to make)  - and of course, let me know when you have another one of your own ready for a look see


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: February 4th, 2015, 6:20am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Will do mate.

I didn't share the best example but the advice about the character's name at the start of an action block is sound.

If it becomes noticeable to a reader that you are starting almost every block with a character's name it may put them off. It's fine to do it. Just be wary of doing it too much. Even just for aesthetics, look for other ways to start your sentences.


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eldave1
Posted: February 4th, 2015, 1:20pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
Will do mate.

I didn't share the best example but the advice about the character's name at the start of an action block is sound.

If it becomes noticeable to a reader that you are starting almost every block with a character's name it may put them off. It's fine to do it. Just be wary of doing it too much. Even just for aesthetics, look for other ways to start your sentences.


I did a quick re-read of of my script and I think I get it. It's not a matter of correct formatting as much as it about boredom. i.e., 99% of action lines involve a character and half of those involve the same character (the protagonist). If they all start the same, the writing runs the risk of becoming boring to the reader. So:

Dave typed as he took a long drag on his cigarette.

could easily be:

Taking a long drag on his cigarette, Dave typed.

Thanks for the reiteration of the point. Going to make some changes. Cheers


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dreamscale
Posted: February 4th, 2015, 7:40pm Report to Moderator
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Yes, that is my real hair...

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Dave, although Dustin makes a good point about watching out for sentences that all start the same way and follow the same general pattern. you also need to be careful not to word your sentences awkwardly, just to break up the monotony of the standard subject verb variety.

Everything is a fine line in writing.

IMO, the cause for what you're looking out for, is usually overwriting and over describing what someone is doing.  Unless it's really important, you shouldn't have to write several sentences in a row, describing what a character is doing.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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eldave1
Posted: February 4th, 2015, 8:37pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the thoughts dude


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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medstudent
Posted: March 11th, 2015, 5:16am Report to Moderator
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I wasn't going to post on this. I wanted to peek at your script and was really taken by how well written it is. I have to admit, this is how you write a script. We not only learn about the nuances of your characters, and what drives them... we feel for them. All this within the first few pages. Impressive.

For those who want to know how to introduce characters, this is how it is done.

Joseph


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