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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 8907 views)
Don
Posted: November 10th, 2014, 1:42pm Report to Moderator
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The Beginning of The End and The End by David Lambertson (eldave1) - Comedy - A widowed marriage counselor believes that she has already had her shot at true love. That belief is challenged when a divorce lawyer moves into the office next to hers.  116 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  February 15th, 2017, 8:06pm
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eldave1
Posted: December 20th, 2014, 4:52pm Report to Moderator
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Got this to the PAGE Semi-Finals and then crapped out. Currently working on a re-write


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: December 20th, 2014, 5:00pm Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Why do you think it needs a rewrite if it made it to the semi finals? If nobody is interested, probably best to move onto another script. I've got a script that made it to the BBC finals and the Shore Scripts semi finals. Doesn't look like anyone is interested so I'm moving on.

Just saying. Good luck anyway.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: December 20th, 2014, 5:49pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Eldave

I quite liked the Logline so had a look. Well done on the semi finalists, usually a good sign.

So, I thought I would open up the script..woah.

Now, here's a thing. We can all write in different ways, and that's fine. And 'us lot ' need to remember that. There is no single way to write.

But...

IMO there is a lot to improve in your first page...without being too obsessive about things.

There was a recent thread on 50 ways to know an amateur writer and I would guess a few are on display here.

Overly large block of action text. Passive writing - eg is singing, rather than sings etc

But also...

The first page had a clear message. Well done. That would have sucked he reader in. So many forget to make it clear.

However, it seems to me you have the opportunity of tightening this up, giving it focus, crisper etc and maybe it can go on to the next finals.

All the best


My scripts HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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eldave1
Posted: December 21st, 2014, 1:02am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the feedback Reef - will take it to heart. I found the thread you referenced - good stuff.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: December 21st, 2014, 6:34am Report to Moderator
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Code

INT. CAR TRAVELING ON LOS ANGELES STREET - DAY

EMILY, 35, attractive, with short blonde hair is driving a
convertible with the top down. She is softly singing along
with a love song that is playing on the car radio. She
arrives at a stop light and looks to her right - a YOUNG MAN
hands a bouquet of roses to a YOUNG WOMAN. Emily starts to
sing the love song a little louder. The young woman angrily
tosses the bouquet back into the young man's chest.



So, I figured I'd take a look at the Page semi finalist. Wow. Wtf was the point in me learning how to professionally write a screenplay? This looks like how I wrote screenplays before ever reading one. I actually wrote five full features (all by hand) before ever looking at correct format. And I'd write them just like this. Massive block of action right at the start and then the dialogue. Occasional breaks in dialogue for a line of action.

Why did I bother?

I'm not even sure I should give any advice. If this got to the semi-finals of Page, I can only wonder what the fuck those judges are doing. This one would go into the bin the moment I read the first few lines of action, If I was a judge.


Code

INT. CAR TRAVELING ON LOS ANGELES STREET - DAY

EMILY, 35, attractive, with short blonde hair is driving a
convertible with the top down.


Why not place in the slug that it's a convertible?

INT. CONVERTIBLE - TRAVELLING - DAY

EMILY, 35, attractive, short blonde hair, drives along
INSERT NAME OF LA ROAD.


Or it could even be an external shot first. So the slug would then have the name of the street in it and you would describe the convertible and Emily driving along it in the action. Kinda like an establishing shot. Then move to the INT of the convertible and whatever she's doing.

In fact I'd make your first two sentences just one:

EMILY, 35, attractive, short blonde hair, drives along LA
ROAD while singing softly to a love song playing on the radio.


I'd then move onto a new action block.. because the camera moves somewhere else.

Code

She arrives at a stop light and looks to her right - a YOUNG MAN
hands a bouquet of roses to a YOUNG WOMAN. Emily starts to
sing the love song a little louder.


What I don't like about the above is that I can't tell where the man and woman are. It may be a fairly inconsequential image in the grand scheme of things, but it still makes me confused. Are they sitting on a bench? Maybe outside the cinema. I have no idea.

She arrives at a stop light and looks to her right - a YOUNG MAN
hands a bouquet of roses to a YOUNG WOMAN.

Emily sings a little louder.


I think once she looks to her right the camera moves to her POV. When she starts to sing again, the camera will have moved back to her, so needs a new line of action, IMO. It's fine to have one line of action. Then move back tot the couple with a new line.

The young woman slams the bouquet into the young man's chest.

Anyway... that's all I have for now. I'm just sorely disappointed that it seems entering the Page is a complete waste of time.



Revision History (1 edits)
Dustin  -  December 21st, 2014, 11:52am
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Dontrel
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Yeah, I just started this, and so far so good, I'll give my honest feedback when I'm finished.

Dustin was kind of being a dick, but any criticism is good criticism I guess.
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Dustin
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 5:42am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


Sorry that your reading of a single page of my script led to your disgust for the PAGE contest.


I only need to read one page to see how well you write a screenplay. Sometimes I only need to read one action block. The tips that I gave you can use to rewrite the whole script... unless you seriously expect me to edit the whole thing for free?

I don't have any interest in your story, nor anyone else's... because I've read them all already. Over and over and over again. It's not personal. Nor am I doing it to be a dick as one idiot here claims.



Quoted Text
I certainly did not intend that collateral damage.


Damage to who? Me or The Page? I can only assume you mean me... don't worry about me. I'm smart. Smart enough to know bullshit when I see it.



Quoted Text
I am a glass half full kind of guy so I'm going with the latter.


Yeah... I think I'll try out The Page and enter with a novelette, only lay it out to look like a screenplay. I'll write it all in past tense too. I'll probably win.



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eldave1
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 2:30pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks much Dontrel


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
I only need to read one page to see how well you write a screenplay. Sometimes I only need to read one action block.

Good for you. Keep working on it and you might be able to get it down to a single word.


Extremely weak attempt at sarcasm. No doubt the same lack of wit that attracted the high school kids to your script at Page.


Quoted Text
The tips that I gave you can use to rewrite the whole script... unless you seriously expect me to edit the whole thing for free?

The tips were valuable - thanks again. No, I don't want you to read another sentence. Please don't.


I was being sarcastic. I wouldn't read another sentence even if you paid me.


Quoted Text
I don't have any interest in your story, nor anyone else's... because I've read them all already. Over and over and over again. It's not personal. Nor am I doing it to be a dick as one idiot here claims.

Please use that lack of interest as motivation not to read more (given your statement I am at a lost as to why you looked in the first place).


I'm not sure what makes you think I want to read another word. I looked to see how your writing was and give you some helpful tips.


Quoted Text
No, I don't think you're doing it to be a dick. I think your a dick regardless. I can't be the first one telling you that.


No, you wouldn't be the first person to tell me that. Usually females. I think you're actually the first guy to admit it though. Feel free. Think about my dick as much as you want to. I should warn you that I'm straight.


Quoted Text
Damage to who? Me or The Page? I can only assume you mean me... don't worry about me. I'm smart. Smart enough to know bulls*** when I see it.

PAGE.

Why would you care about damage to the page? Why do you even care about my comments regarding The Page? Do you work for them?


Quoted Text
Yeah... I think I'll try out The Page and enter with a novelette, only lay it out to look like a screenplay. I'll write it all in past tense too. I'll probably win.

More evidence of dickishness.


Why do you care what I say about The Page? Have I actually offended you?

Just to be clear... I help you with your script then express my displeasure with The Page and this makes me a dick? Fuck you too.


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Dustin
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 5:59pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


This is emblematic of your problems. Your premise is that, because you have something valuable to say, it gives you license to say it any manner you choose. I would think that as a screenwriter you would know that's a faulty paradigm.


I did not insult you at all.


Quoted Text
Yes, you gave some sound advice. However, for whatever reason, you can't seem to provide it without gratuitous insults. It ain't that hard to be civil. Conversely,  it takes effort to be uncivil. You should take the easier road. You're mistaken if you think that folks should tolerate the insults because you dropped a pearl of wisdom in between them.


Quote where I insulted you prior to you insulting me. You're just pissed because I didn't read more than a page of your shitty script. Oh and you feel the need to defend Page... probably because you made it to the semi's so seek to legitimise that.


Quoted Text
So no - I don't really believe that your one page read of my script lead you to the ponder "WTF was the point of you learning how to professionally write a screenplay" or that you believe entering the PAGE contest is a complete waste of time or any other of the hyperbolic diatribe you felt  compelled to put in your response. Instead, they're just shitty things you wanted to say.


Yes it did lead to that very thought which is why I wrote it. If it didn't lead to that thought where the fuck did the idea come from to write it? Somebody with a psychic link controlled my fingers? Of course I had that thought. What a stupid thing to suggest.

And I know that there are a lot of writers reading your script that are thinking exactly the same thing. It's a piss take in my opinion. In the very least a screenplay should be professionally written... otherwise what is the point in learning to do it properly? I genuinely don't know. Seems I was better off not knowing what I was doing.


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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 9:15pm Report to Moderator
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David,

I chimed in briefly yesterday, but deleted my comment because I'm not gonna hijack your thread without reading any of the script. And unlike Dustin, I read its entirety. Congrats on being a Semi-Finalist, you should be proud, it's not easy to advance - and your script is strong contender. I'll say one thing about PAGE and move on to my thoughts about your work.

There are thousands of entries in PAGE, and when we open our wallets to play, the expectation is that this prestigious writing competition will showcase nothing but amazing scripts, encompassing elite showmanship of the craft. But we all know who won it all, so I'm confident the competition retains its validity as prestigious. If anyone hasn't entered it, there's more to the evaluation process than just the writing, so it should be noted that outstanding story, dialogue, and premise can set one author apart from the rest of the pack. If I was a reader, would I have advanced this script as a semi-finalist? Short answer - no.

Dustin is right, the writing is poor. Believe it. It was insanely slow, and quite often awkward and unclear. That being said, you have one EXTREMELY EASY rewrite on your hands here. Knowing that this can be a super easy fix writing-wise, most of my feedback is on the story elements.

Structurally, this is your run-of-the-mill RomCom with an excellent twist in premise. It's no wonder why PAGE fell in love with the script, because it does a lot of things right. You have interesting characters with believable dialogue. But I feel the characterization (want/need/change) falls short, and thematic revelation is dull because of it. I will say that these are the perfect characters for the bill, and your play on conflict through competition is what makes this work - but really - what do these character really want? What are their needs? Most importantly: their internal goals. They should be fighting over the same thing, whether they know it or not.

Although the premise is a strong one, it's one that suggests most - if not all - failed marriages end in infidelity, which strikes me more myth than fact. Either way, it's repetitive on both sides of your characters' argument. That and Emily seems to always need a drink. Marriages have a wealth of scandals and quirks that you could explore further.

Dialogue was a strong suit, this line was comedic and witty:

GEORGE
Did you hate your therapist?

MIKE
No, actually she was pretty good.

GEORGE
Well, then that's not her.

Emily's father had a solid monologue, good enough that he probably deserves a name in the script.

The exchange between Emily and Salvador was interesting. I thought it was a nice touch of venom regarding her Lauren's involvement.

So the pivotal revelation comes in an elevator that has malfunctioned. It's a worthy one, but why did you choose to have Mike hold the detonator and not George himself?

There was a nice juxtaposition in these two lines:

What are your emotional needs? What are your financial needs?

Those two lines are amazing thematic technique, yet I was curious why these two statements don't have stake in Emily or George's life? Or vise versa? The resolution of the climax seemed to be George's gesture of his office. It was a selfless motive, but comes from a man that never fully came across selfish. Even though it had external weight, it shouldn't have had such an emotional impact in regards to shedding Peter from her life. She demonstrates this when she sees him in the city - and flipping the bird might be the wrong thematic message.

Overall, Emily's needs weren't fully developed and, what needs were present, were never resolved. What was clever about this was the dynamic Emily and George had competitively, even though it came across more playful than what should be defined through story structure. I thought it would've been cool to see a patient/client tug of war rather than a territorial one, at least in the latter part of the script. I like the title, it aligns itself with the story.

I'm left thinking what this script could've been with polished formatting, and more importantly, a killer narrative that was well written. Good luck on your rewrite.

Johnny
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eldave1
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 11:03pm Report to Moderator
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Johnny - sincere thanks for the review. It is very much appreciated.

From your and other posters comments I have a lot of work to do on some of the simpler things (e.g., passive versus active voice, tightening up the action blocks, etc.) and am going to get right on that.


Quoted Text
Structurally, this is your run-of-the-mill RomCom with an excellent twist in premise. It's no wonder why PAGE fell in love with the script, because it does a lot of things right. You have interesting characters with believable dialogue. But I feel the characterization (want/need/change) falls short, and thematic revelation is dull because of it. I will say that these are the perfect characters for the bill, and your play on conflict through competition is what makes this work - but really - what do these character really want? What are their needs? Most importantly: their internal goals. They should be fighting over the same thing, whether they know it or not.


Perfect - it hit me as soon as I read your comment. I think I am particularly (but not exclusively) weak in this area as it relates to George. As I read your critique here it struck me that if someone asked me (a) What does George want? (b) What does George need? -  I couldn't answer the question - and I wrote the damn thing.  I think Emily's want (i.e, Peter) is clear, but not compelling and a bit tedious - it should be a deeper need. Think I need to explore the "why" of that (i.e., she wants Peter because....?).  Before I touch anything else, I'm going to take out a scratch piece of paper and start brainstorming the want/need/change for both these characters.


Quoted Text
Although the premise is a strong one, it's one that suggests most - if not all - failed marriages end in infidelity, which strikes me more myth than fact. Either way, it's repetitive on both sides of your characters' argument. That and Emily seems to always need a drink. Marriages have a wealth of scandals and quirks that you could explore further.


I'll work on this. I did have a scene (that I deleted) with Emily in a gym (i.e., rather than a bar ). I think it would be relatively easy to change the setting from drinking to something else i.e, I agree - she is drinking too much.  You had an interesting take on the premise. In the original version of the script, Emily was a widower rather than someone who was separated. She had lost interest in romance as she was certain that she had already been with the person she was meant to be with. In that version she was a more credible defender of marriage (rather than a victim of it). I am going to explore going back to that as a way to create the balance you talked about.


Quoted Text
Emily's father had a solid monologue, good enough that he probably deserves a name in the script.


Okay - he'll get one.


Quoted Text
Those two lines are amazing thematic technique, yet I was curious why these two statements don't have stake in Emily or George's life? Or vise versa? The resolution of the climax seemed to be George's gesture of his office. It was a selfless motive, but comes from a man that never fully came across selfish. Even though it had external weight, it shouldn't have had such an emotional impact in regards to shedding Peter from her life. She demonstrates this when she sees him in the city - and flipping the bird might be the wrong thematic message.


Good point. I think I kind of blended two things here together (i.e., 1 - what gets her over Peter, and 2 - what gets her into George). They shouldn't be. Best case is that they are out of sequence. Again, in the re-write I might nuke Peter altogether and go with the widower back story.


Quoted Text
Overall, Emily's needs weren't fully developed and, what needs were present, were never resolved.


Got it - as indicated above - I thing you are spot on here.

In terms of the PAGE awards diversion - not sure how all that got going. Obviously, I am an amateur. I am long retired and took this up as a hobby - something I always wanted to do. I was merely looking for help - thought I might have something given that I did okay in the contest (i.e., maybe there was something there worth working on). I never mean to turn it into a referendum on the PAGE awards. Oh well.

Johnny: again, many thanks for your efforts here. I can't wait to get back to this. If there is anything I can do in return, let me know.




My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Grandma Bear
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 11:15pm Report to Moderator
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David, stick around SS. One of our own won the PAGE Grand Prize this year. Your in good hands, it just takes some time to get to know all the characters that inhabit this place. There are beginners, PAGE winners and Nichol's semi finalists. We all try to help each other. Personalities clash sometimes, but that's just part of the forum.  


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eldave1
Posted: December 22nd, 2014, 11:44pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Bear - appreciate the thoughts


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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:

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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:

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Dreamscale
Posted: February 4th, 2015, 7:40pm Report to Moderator
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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
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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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medstudent
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Bravo, good sir. The sign of a great script is getting through it fast, in one sitting.

I won't go into a full review of this but I will say, from start to finish, this was a solid read with great characters, funny dialogue and a nice and neat story with an up ending. Well done.

The ONLY thing I would say could be reworked is raising the stakes. If you raised the stakes in this, it would bring it to another level. This could easily be a Silver Linings Playbook except the stakes are much higher in that film. What's at stake for the characters individually and as a group is much more palapable in SLP. This makes the payoff in the end much more satisfying for the audience.  

You could raise the stakes by making it much more important that Emily keep her job in THAT EXACT building otherwise her life ends (or something like that) figuratively. This could be done with George as well. There must be a REASON why he can't give up the building. When this is done (George giving up his office) in the end, it would have so much more significance. This wouldn't take much. Add a smidge more depth to George's character (he needs to be flawed and have to overcome that flaw - more than just being afraid of commitment) and give Emily more of a visceral reason to stay. Also, make them get close to being together and take it away. It's there, only superficially (when she leaves him in the elevator after they make their connection). Again, I'll use SLP as an example. Remember when he didn't show up for practice, putting in jeapardy the entire thing? EVERYTHING would come down like a house of cards if they didn't patch things up.

That's the point of good RomComs... life almost gets in the way of the characters finding each other. We should always be on the edge of our seats thinking that the two people who are meant to be together, may not get together.

I don't typically watch (or read) RomComs. There are very few that are good. This one is good but could be something really special. It would be a shame to not see this produced.

Joseph


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eldave1
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Quoted from medstudent

The ONLY thing I would say could be reworked is raising the stakes. If you raised the stakes in this, it would bring it to another level. This could easily be a Silver Linings Playbook except the stakes are much higher in that film. What's at stake for the characters individually and as a group is much more palapable in SLP. This makes the payoff in the end much more satisfying for the audience.  

You could raise the stakes by making it much more important that Emily keep her job in THAT EXACT building otherwise her life ends (or something like that) figuratively. This could be done with George as well. There must be a REASON why he can't give up the building. When this is done (George giving up his office) in the end, it would have so much more significance. This wouldn't take much. Add a smidge more depth to George's character (he needs to be flawed and have to overcome that flaw - more than just being afraid of commitment) and give Emily more of a visceral reason to stay. Also, make them get close to being together and take it away. It's there, only superficially (when she leaves him in the elevator after they make their connection). Again, I'll use SLP as an example. Remember when he didn't show up for practice, putting in jeapardy the entire thing? EVERYTHING would come down like a house of cards if they didn't patch things up.


First - thanks much for the read Joseph - appreciate it. I think this criticism (above) is spot on. One of my favorite Rom/Coms is "As Good As It Gets" - there, Jack Nicholson's entire sanity rests on his ability to have a normal relationship - perfect!. She has to move on from taking care of a chronically sick son - perfect. I have been working this issue for the next re-write.  I have been playing around with some ideas (maybe the building is where she met Peter - maybe he occupied the office next store before George moved in) and she can't move out of the building for emotional reasons. George I got to work on. I need to find his Achilles heel.

Thanks again



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JohnN
Posted: August 14th, 2015, 11:57am Report to Moderator
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I really enjoyed your script.  It's a clever, well-written story.

I only have two suggestions: One, I think your first two pages are your weakest. A missed opportunity, in my opinion, to show off your creativity that follows and set up the ironic premise  (a divorce lawyer showing the marriage counselor maybe you can find love twice.)

Just a thought... but why not start with something like this...

EXT. GRAVE SITE - DAY

EMILY STANTON (35), attractive, short blonde hair looks remorsefully at the tombstone of PETER STANTON [add dates and "loving husband..." stuff ]

                                                   EMILY (V.O)
                                  I was fortunate. At least I had true love...
                                  for awhile.  Most people are never
                                  that lucky.  They spend their lives
                                  in shampoo relationships looking for    
                                  reasons to stay together.  Then when it  
                                  it eventually fails - they do it over again.
                                  Wash, rinse, repeat. Not us. We had that
                                  rare, once in a lifetime true love.

INT. EMILY'S CAR - (DRIVING) - DAY

As Emily drives a busy street in downtown Los Angeles, D.J. on RADIO ends the news a love song begins.

Emily rolls her eyes as she quickly changes the station.                                      

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily, at her desk picks up a framed picture of her with PETER STANTON (30), boyish looking, on their wedding day.

                                                         EMILY (V.O.)
                                             I just don't believe that anyone can
                                             find true love twice.

Emily places the picture back down.  She pushes the intercom button.

                                                          EMILY
                                               Okay.  Send them in.

She grabs a file and pen, stands up.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING CORRIDOR - DAY

The sign on the office door reads: EMILY STANTON, MARRIAGE COUNSELING.

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily sits in a large overstuffed chair. On the sofa across from her are her clients, SAM, (40s), average looking and NANCY (40s) and a bit overweight.

Something like that.  Something that starts the reader off sympathetic and intrigued with Emily and sets up the irony of her being a marriage counselor.

I think her changing the station when the love song comes on works better with the ending.  There I would have her (by contrast) sing along with the love song - pick the right song and stay on her singing along.  That can be cute, funny and telling.  A better visual IMO then her looking, noticing others.  I'd eliminate her looking at others in both beginning and end - keep focus on her.

The only other thing is the logline. "Widow" without anything else makes me think old.

Maybe something like...

"A widowed mid-30's marriage counselor belief you can only find true love once is put to the test when a divorce lawyer moves into the office next door."

Other than that I really like the script!  

Good luck,

JohnN

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JohnN  -  August 14th, 2015, 4:04pm
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eldave1
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Quoted from JohnN
I really enjoyed your script.  It's a clever, well-written story.

I only have two suggestions: One, I think your first two pages are your weakest. A missed opportunity, in my opinion, to show off your creativity that follows and set up the ironic premise  (a divorce lawyer showing the marriage counselor maybe you can find love twice.)

Just a thought... but why not start with something like this...

EXT. GRAVE SITE - DAY

EMILY STANTON (35), attractive, short blonde hair looks remorsefully at the tombstone of PETER STANTON [add dates and "loving husband..." stuff ]

                                                   EMILY (V.O)
                                  I was fortunate. At least I had true love...
                                  for awhile.  Most people are never
                                  that lucky.  They spend their lives
                                  in shampoo relationships looking for    
                                  reasons to stay together.  Then when it  
                                  it eventually fails - they do it over again.
                                  Wash, rinse, repeat. Not us. We had that
                                  rare, once in a lifetime true love.

INT. EMILY'S CAR - (DRIVING) - DAY

As Emily drives a busy street in downtown Los Angeles, D.J. on RADIO ends the news a love song begins.

Emily rolls her eyes as she quickly changes the station.                                      

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily, at her desk picks up a framed picture of her with PETER STANTON (30), boyish looking, on their wedding day.

                                                         EMILY (V.O.)
                                             I just don't believe that anyone can
                                             find true love twice.

Emily places the picture back down.  She pushes the intercom button.

                                                          EMILY
                                               Okay.  Send them in.

She grabs a file and pen, stands up.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING CORRIDOR - DAY

The sign on the office door reads: EMILY STANTON, MARRIAGE COUNSELING.

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily sits in a large overstuffed chair. On the sofa across from her are her clients, SAM, (40s), average looking and NANCY (40s) and a bit overweight.

Something like that.  Something that starts the reader off sympathetic and intrigued with Emily and sets up the irony of her being a marriage counselor.

I think her changing the station when the love song comes on works better with the ending.  There I would have her (by contrast) sing along with the love song - pick the right song and stay on her singing along.  That can be cute, funny and telling.  A better visual IMO then her looking, noticing others.  I'd eliminate her looking at others in both beginning and end - keep focus on her.

The only other thing is the logline. "Widow" without anything else makes me think old.

Maybe something like...

"A widowed mid-30's marriage counselor belief you can only find true love once is put to the test when a divorce lawyer moves into the office next door."

Other than that I really like the script!  

Good luck,

JohnN


Very interesting suggestions, John (interesting take). I will consider them. Thanks for the read.


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JohnN
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Think about it. Not necessarily my suggestion. That was just of the top of my head. But I really think there's the potential for a really strong opening and the script delivers from there.
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Marcela
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Hey David,
I have to admit I didn't like the logline and that's why I started reading. I simply thought - WTF? What can that be about?
I was pleasantly surprised on the first 6 pages or so. I found the scene where Emily gives counseling to Sam and Nancy absolutely hillarious! I just loved every dialogue line in that scene!
When the script moved to Emily being an Aunt Emily etc, that's where I got bored and stopped reading. But I'll give it another go.
I noticed some people mentioned tips like 'Don't use -ing in action lines', or 'No big action blocks' but the more scripts (produced ones) I read the less I'm sure about such 'rules'.


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eldave1
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Quoted from Marcela
Hey David,
I have to admit I didn't like the logline and that's why I started reading. I simply thought - WTF? What can that be about?
I was pleasantly surprised on the first 6 pages or so. I found the scene where Emily gives counseling to Sam and Nancy absolutely hillarious! I just loved every dialogue line in that scene!
When the script moved to Emily being an Aunt Emily etc, that's where I got bored and stopped reading. But I'll give it another go.
I noticed some people mentioned tips like 'Don't use -ing in action lines', or 'No big action blocks' but the more scripts (produced ones) I read the less I'm sure about such 'rules'.


Thanks so much for the read, Marcela - it is appreciated.

The "ing" rule is a good one I think for the most part and the version you read has revisions in that regard. Like you, I don't believe all rules are absolutes. It's really is whatever works best.

The Aunt Em scene is a set-up for things to come - but certainly don't want boredom here - I'll be sure to give it another look.

Thanks again!



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LC
Posted: February 25th, 2017, 8:55pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Marcela
Hey David,
... tips like 'Don't use -ing in action lines', or 'No big action blocks' but the more scripts (produced ones) I read the less I'm sure about such 'rules'.

That's a good thing Marcela, you're observing 'ing' words and 'ly' words used properly. The so called 'rules' are there for beginner writers to keep them on track with present tense, progressive verb, active writing in screenplays.

Once you know how to write a screenplay, and you know what a good story is, of course you can ditch a lot of the rules. Story is always key.

Keep reading too. It's essential.

P.S. I've read this script. I know I gave feedback/suggestions with the logline. I don't think I ever commented on story or format cause by the time I got round to reading it Dave had pretty much all the feedback he needed and mine would have been repetition.

I should have come on to say,: great and entertaining story, Dave! So there it is.

P.S. I was reading back to see if I had commented. Is this the original thread?
Jeepers, that exchange between you and Dustin I didn't recall.
Carry on, and congrats for making semis in Page.

P.P.S. I think my suggestion for logline was better.  
I think your current two-sentence log reads clipped and without a flow that could improve it. Just saying...and obviously jmho.

Regardless, you've got the writing chops, everyone knows that.




Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
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eldave1
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Libby!


Quoted Text
I should have come on to say,: great and entertaining story, Dave! So there it is.


Thanks much - it is appreciated.


Quoted Text
P.S. I was reading back to see if I had commented. Is this the original thread?
Jeepers, that exchange between you and Dustin I didn't recall.  


It was tense. Actually, I was real new at the time. Dustin and I eventually made good and actually ending up exchanging a lot of advice/thoughts. I got over the nature of the critique and went to the meat of it - found helpful stuff.  


Quoted Text
Carry on, and congrats for making semis in Page.


That was 2015. This actually made it to the Finals in 2016. I used a lot of the suggestions I got here at good ole SS. I am taking one more shot this year with some additional revisions and after that this will go into the I have done all I am going to do heap.


Quoted Text
P.P.S. I think my suggestion for logline was better.  
I think your current two-sentence log reads clipped and without a flow that could improve it. Just saying...and obviously jmho.


Yours was actually better. It was:

"A battle of wits ensues when an arrogant and jaded divorce lawyer rents an office next door to a heartbroken marriage counselor.  Could this be a recipe for disaster, or a match made in heaven?"

I have used it on about 75% of my queries and in contest submissions - so - Gracias!

I also use this one, partly from you:

A battle of wits ensues when an arrogant divorce lawyer moves moves into an office next door to a strong willed marriage counselor. Ultimately, the building fire that interrupts their battles also serves to spark a relationship.


Quoted Text
Regardless, you've got the writing chops, everyone knows that.


Too kind - thank you.






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Marcela
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Hey David,
I have to correct myself!!!! I meant to say that I didn't like the TITLE very much. As for the logline, I actually did like it, that's why I started reading in the first place. (I'd better keep focused better on what I'm trying to say in my feedback!)
The reason I didn't like the title? It's about ending, and I don't want to hear about endings, I want to hear about new beginnings, hope, new hopes etc.
And I'd better crack on with reading your script...
M.


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eldave1
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Quoted from Marcela
Hey David,
I have to correct myself!!!! I meant to say that I didn't like the TITLE very much. As for the logline, I actually did like it, that's why I started reading in the first place. (I'd better keep focused better on what I'm trying to say in my feedback!)
The reason I didn't like the title? It's about ending, and I don't want to hear about endings, I want to hear about new beginnings, hope, new hopes etc.
And I'd better crack on with reading your script...
M.


In that case - you may end up pleasantly surprised - it ultimately  is about beginning


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Marcela
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I read the whole script and loved it!
I would still get rid of/rewrite pages 7 - 10 as not much happens there and Madelyn is quite unimportant for the plot anyway.
Otherwise things progressed nicely, one of the most enjoyable scripts I've read on here for some time!

One little thing on page 17 when George's eyes move up to Emily's backside, then her torso, covered in a white blouse...
I couldn't quite figure out who was where so maybe describe that George sits at a table and she sits at a bar.

I absolutely loved this bit:
Emily finishes the last of her wine and looks towards a booth in the corner of the bar. She spots a TIPSY MAN nibbling on the neck of an equally TIPSY WOMAN. Emily sighs.

Good luck with having it produced, I really think it's great!


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eldave1
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Quoted from Marcela
I read the whole script and loved it!
I would still get rid of/rewrite pages 7 - 10 as not much happens there and Madelyn is quite unimportant for the plot anyway.
Otherwise things progressed nicely, one of the most enjoyable scripts I've read on here for some time!

One little thing on page 17 when George's eyes move up to Emily's backside, then her torso, covered in a white blouse...
I couldn't quite figure out who was where so maybe describe that George sits at a table and she sits at a bar.

I absolutely loved this bit:
Emily finishes the last of her wine and looks towards a booth in the corner of the bar. She spots a TIPSY MAN nibbling on the neck of an equally TIPSY WOMAN. Emily sighs.

Good luck with having it produced, I really think it's great!


Thanks so much for the read and the kind comments - much appreciated


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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Warren
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Hi, Dave.

Not sure if this is The Page finalist version but I thought it was time to check it out.

This script has well and truly been dissected so I won稚 do the same thing; I just really wanted to see what makes a Page finalist.

It's a secret shame (well not so secret anymore), but I love a good romcom and this did not disappoint. Funny stuff. Dialogue is on point. Well rounded characters. Really well written, it just flows and the pages fly by.

Congrats on a great script and congrats again on The Page. Beers on you!


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eldave1
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Quoted from Warren
Hi, Dave.

Not sure if this is The Page finalist version but I thought it was time to check it out.

This script has well and truly been dissected so I won稚 do the same thing; I just really wanted to see what makes a Page finalist.

It's a secret shame (well not so secret anymore), but I love a good romcom and this did not disappoint. Funny stuff. Dialogue is on point. Well rounded characters. Really well written, it just flows and the pages fly by.

Congrats on a great script and congrats again on The Page. Beers on you!


Thanks, Warren - appreciate the kind thoughts. This version is about 90-95% of the one that won. I added a few things (George has a dog) and took out a few things. Glad you liked it.


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Shakey
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Heard about the Page thing... figured I'd have a read.

I've also skim read the comments on this thread. There's a few biting ones in there which made my pores shrivel a little... but hey.

I'll begin with a couple of utterly minor things for you to take or leave.

"Sexorcism" should probably be spelled like that, no? Like exorcism.

Page 43: "I brought a peace offering." Not piece.

There's a few bits of expository dialogue that I snagged on, which could be easily avoided. In particular page 94. "So what's so different about this Emily gal?" My male friends would not formulate that question in such a straight way. And we already have evidence that Mike likes to rib George and approach conversations in more indirect ways.

OK, that's the trivia out.

It's a great setup for a clear cut rom com. Liked it! The opening scene sets a great tone with its sequence of cartoon-y vignettes. I actually liked the script any time it became more exaggerated, more cartoon-ish, more cinema-entertainment-unreality. For me, that's when it becomes more of a perfect story. Allow the themes of the story to dominate and don't let reality get in the way on this one, I think.

Did you have actors in mind when you wrote this? (Is that a good thing to do, or a terrible idea?) For what it's worth, the name George (and the character you've created, obvs) triggered a young George Clooney in my head - impossibly suave, but childishly dumb in parts. Emily somehow didn't need an actress for me to get a fix on her character. Perhaps she's more vividly written...

I was not emotionally neutral when I finished it (that's British for: I felt something, and it was slightly awkward sitting on the London Underground trying to cover that up). The concluding situation/circumstances/drama had not particularly ramped up - could definitely have been a more dramatic denouement - but the characters and the overall arc were strong enough that I genuinely cared how it all turned out.

So I think my single biggest suggestion is to be unafraid of leaving reality at the door with this one - assuming you're rewriting further. Let the circumstances go a bit more crazy, a bit more metaphorical. That's where I had the most fun reading it. And you're justified in doing so because the fundamental story and characters are more than strong enough to carry that.
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eldave1
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Quoted from Shakey
Heard about the Page thing... figured I'd have a read.

I've also skim read the comments on this thread. There's a few biting ones in there which made my pores shrivel a little... but hey.

I'll begin with a couple of utterly minor things for you to take or leave.

"Sexorcism" should probably be spelled like that, no? Like exorcism.

Page 43: "I brought a peace offering." Not piece.

There's a few bits of expository dialogue that I snagged on, which could be easily avoided. In particular page 94. "So what's so different about this Emily gal?" My male friends would not formulate that question in such a straight way. And we already have evidence that Mike likes to rib George and approach conversations in more indirect ways.

OK, that's the trivia out.

It's a great setup for a clear cut rom com. Liked it! The opening scene sets a great tone with its sequence of cartoon-y vignettes. I actually liked the script any time it became more exaggerated, more cartoon-ish, more cinema-entertainment-unreality. For me, that's when it becomes more of a perfect story. Allow the themes of the story to dominate and don't let reality get in the way on this one, I think.

Did you have actors in mind when you wrote this? (Is that a good thing to do, or a terrible idea?) For what it's worth, the name George (and the character you've created, obvs) triggered a young George Clooney in my head - impossibly suave, but childishly dumb in parts. Emily somehow didn't need an actress for me to get a fix on her character. Perhaps she's more vividly written...

I was not emotionally neutral when I finished it (that's British for: I felt something, and it was slightly awkward sitting on the London Underground trying to cover that up). The concluding situation/circumstances/drama had not particularly ramped up - could definitely have been a more dramatic denouement - but the characters and the overall arc were strong enough that I genuinely cared how it all turned out.

So I think my single biggest suggestion is to be unafraid of leaving reality at the door with this one - assuming you're rewriting further. Let the circumstances go a bit more crazy, a bit more metaphorical. That's where I had the most fun reading it. And you're justified in doing so because the fundamental story and characters are more than strong enough to carry that.


Thanks for the read and comments, mate. Not rewriting this anymore at this time as I have moved on to other things.

Your question regarding - did I envision anyone for the roles - yes.

Emily - a younger Elizabeth Banks
George - a younger on Hamn.

I always do that when I write - pick someone out. For me it is easier to keep the character voice more consistent that way.

Thanks again.


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HyperMatt
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It has to be said that the male writer really knows how to get in the head of the head of female characters.


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eldave1
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Thanks - much appreciated


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HyperMatt
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I知 going through this slowly. I値l give a full comment when I知 finished.


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eldave1
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Quoted from HyperMatt
I知 going through this slowly. I値l give a full comment when I知 finished.


Thanks - look forward to it


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HyperMatt
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but I decided to finish it quickly as the script had a pace that I did not want to lose. When Emily is looking after her niece, I thought this is going to be a really corny piece, but quickly leads to an interesting and amusing bed scene. The script is not predictable or boring. In fact I cannot recall any part of this feature screenplay that was a chore to read, which is surprising and a good sign. I quite enjoyed reading it. It was very clearly written on what it wanted to convey, I had a good picture in my head of the scenes. The tone is consistent throughout. Some laugh out loud dialogue and great situations (e.g. Emily and the taxi driver scene). I have to try that air freshener trick on somebody. I liked the sarcastic humour, especially from Emily and George.
It didn稚 hit me immediately, the irony of having a marriage counsellor next to a divorce lawyer, but I am slow on the uptake.
I don稚 usually go for romantic comedies, but the ones I like are the deeper ones (like Play It Again Sam and Lost In Translation). This has a light hearted tone, but I think it is trying to be that kind of film. I think that is its greatest strength; it has this cheeky, non-offensive style, but working with the serious topic of being able to move on to other relationships when you have lost the love of your life suddenly and unexpectedly. I suspect that a lot of Emily痴 reticence and sarcasm is to stop her from facing this.  
The script is well written and intricate, you know exactly what you want, you know exactly what you want your characters, you know the atmosphere of your scenes. Maybe a bit too specific, but that is a personal choice.
Loved the scene where Nancy is imagining suffocating her husband, it reminded me of that scene in Return of the Pink Panther where Dreyfus is imagining strangling Closeau.
All the characters our consistent and solid, particularly Emily. This would be a great comedy role for a lead actress (Calista Flockhart and Jennifer Anniston may be too old, I知 not good at knowing current stars who would be good. Wish we could go back in a time machine and get a young Goldie Hawn or Diane Keaton!).
It痴 not just a girl痴 theme, George, John, Emily痴 Dad are portrayed quite well. I felt a lot of sympathy for George, and poor old 全al too! I知 sure there痴 a dame out there for him.  The cameo parts also seem quite meaty, from the taxi driver to the carpenter.
I like the low key, introspective ending, as opposed to wedding bells and looking into each other痴 eyes.
前ne who fears to suffer, will always suffer from fear Don稚 know if that is a quote from somewhere, but it is a good line.


I would try and get this down to 100-110 pages, make it tighter. (But what the hell do I know? I haven稚 been able to write full script in less than 122 pages).
I知 not sure about the CAP descriptions (e.g.) I致e been getting a lot of conflicting information if I should do this in my scripts or not.
Is INT/EXT excepted slugline format?
Pg. 79 How do we know thirty minutes of time has passed? I suppose there will be some device to indicate it, like time on a wrist watch.

Well done. I would be interested to know how long it took you to write this.


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eldave1
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Thanks, mate - really appreciate the time you took and your comments. In response to your questions:



Quoted Text
All the characters our consistent and solid, particularly Emily. This would be a great comedy role for a lead actress (Calista Flockhart and Jennifer Anniston may be too old, I知 not good at knowing current stars who would be good. Wish we could go back in a time machine and get a young Goldie Hawn or Diane Keaton!).


All of the above would have been great. When I wrote it the faces I had in mind were Elizabeth Banks for Emily and Jon Ham for George - both probably too old - but that's who I envisioned in my head.


Quoted Text
前ne who fears to suffer, will always suffer from fear Don稚 know if that is a quote from somewhere, but it is a good line.


Thanks - I wrote that. HOWEVER - I googled it afterwards and found an almost identical quote from a 1500s French philosopher - Michel de Montaigne. His was: "He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears."


Quoted Text
I would try and get this down to 100-110 pages, make it tighter. (But what the hell do I know? I haven稚 been able to write full script in less than 122 pages).


Next goal is 110.


Quoted Text
I知 not sure about the CAP descriptions (e.g.) I致e been getting a lot of conflicting information if I should do this in my scripts or not.


Yeah - probably boils down to a style choice more than anything.


Quoted Text
Is INT/EXT excepted slugline format?


It is. Commonly used in travelling vehicles.


Quoted Text
Pg. 79 How do we know thirty minutes of time has passed? I suppose there will be some device to indicate it, like time on a wrist watch.


You are technically correct - That one I just decided to let the Director figure out.


Quoted Text
Well done. I would be interested to know how long it took you to write this.


Much thanks again for the read and the comments. The first draft took me about a month as I pretty much had it in my head already.

There have been several iterations since.


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