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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Series  ›  Supreme Leader Moderators: bert
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  Author    Supreme Leader  (currently 782 views)
Don
Posted: August 3rd, 2019, 1:25pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Supreme Leader by W.L. Wright - Series, Comedy - It's the year 2030 and Teller Lowder is working at becoming Supreme Leader with the help of his good friends and the absurd seems to be working beautifully. 31 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  Today, 12:02pm
revised draft
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eldave1
Posted: August 3rd, 2019, 7:35pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



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Hey, WL:


Quoted Text
INT POLITICAL CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS OF TELLER LOWED IT'S A
SMALL OFFICE IN LOS ANGELES


No where near a correct scene heading.

Here's a good source for you:

https://www.storysense.com/format/headings.htm




My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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UnboundWriter
Posted: August 8th, 2019, 1:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
Hey, WL:



No where near a correct scene heading.

Here's a good source for you:

https://www.storysense.com/format/headings.htm




Thanks I do see that I added extra words on that one. Thanks for catching it. Oops!  
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eldave1
Posted: August 8th, 2019, 2:27pm Report to Moderator
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No problem


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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UnboundWriter
Posted: August 9th, 2019, 1:50pm Report to Moderator
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I've got the weirdest writer reality = this post has 83 hits in less than 24 hours and is banging it up but all I got is crickets other than the one comment on one typo. My novels are the same, they have their fans but they are the quiet ones mostly less than 1% aren't and I am eternally grateful for them because more people jump in and enjoy the experience because what they have said about the story they experienced.  

So let me say I am eternally grateful to you if you laughed because it's the point. It's time to drop the serious and I am all in and always have been. Even got in trouble in school over it but I was academically gifted so they were always nervous and their timing was always off. So I am what exists after the entire experience, still the same, forget serious let's laugh.
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Sam
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 3:54am Report to Moderator
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Hi UnboundWriter,

Welcome to the site.
I'll give this a read today. Are you looking for a review so you can rewite it? It sounds a little bit like you want people to read it and just tell you how good it is, as most new writers do.
Maybe I'm reading too much into your posts.

Anyway, I'll give it a read and let you know what I honestly think.


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Sam
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Title page – Not a good start. Get rid of that comment.

Most people, mainly new writers just want feedback on their story and get a little frustrated when people focus on the format and not the story but your opening action line (block) is a good example of how important format is to the story.

A big part of the craft of screenwriting is translating information using just visuals, sounds and dialogue. All information has to be translated into those which creates “film language”. That's why bad guys dress in black, the GOOD guys are GOOD looking and BAD guys are BAD looking. That's how we read subtext.

You're not using film language to relay information in your opening action block you're just telling us. Now... it could be that this isn't an action block and it's actually text that appears on screen. If that's the case then make it clear but it's a lazy way starts a script.

Assuming it's an action block, lets look at all the information you want the audience to know.

1. The year is 2030 and not much has changed except instead of a president the national election is now for Supreme Leader.
2. We are one year out from the election for supreme leader and Teller Lowed desperately wants to be elected and he will do anything to get there.
3. His team is made up of his long time friends from high school who all want Teller to make it so they can all cash in when he does.
4. Cash, a 20s something jock, Bunny a silver spoon debutante, Tanner a surfer beach bum and Sandy who sells weed and is also a beach bum.
5. Every morning Teller has to kick out the bums that have crawled in at night. He arrives in the morning alone and does the usual start.

So, lets film this scene. What do we see? Well, we don't know what the room looks like. I don't have a clear picture of the bums or how many there are.

So a guy, look unknown, enters a room and kicks some homeless men out. You haven't translated the information above into the scene.


That's all I'll say about format but there are other examples dotted about.
I'm guessing you're in your 20s like your characters? It's strange that such young people are running for supreme leader.

My main issue with the story is that you don't explain things. Here's a list of things I don't know...
1. What a supreme leader is.
2. What country this is set in. North Korea?
3. Why Teller is running.
4. Who is against him.
5. Why he wants to win. What does he stand for?
6. What the world looks like. It's set in the future yet all we really see is an office and a country club.
7. What do the rich want him to do in exchange for the cheques?
8. Is weed legal? He's a politician giving out free weed without anyone questioning it.
9. I don't know how the race is going. They keep talking like he's going to win but he only has 19 twitter followers.
10. Why does this have to be set in the future? Why supreme leader why not just a local election or put them in high school and make him run for school president.


The story felt a little shallow. There didn't seem to be a point to it all.

I thought your dialogue was pretty good throughout and the characters had individual voices. I only read the first episode and it did drag at the end. They talk a lot and I have no idea why they go to a bar at the end. That scene has no new information.

I'm writing a comedy at the moment and it's unbelievably difficult. If you watch good comedies you'll notice every line is either a set up for a joke or a joke. That's a lot of jokes to think of!

I think if you try and find creative ways to answer my questions above you'll see a huge improvement and you'll have more opportunities for jokes.

Writing scripts is hard and it's easy to pick them apart. I do think you have a voice and you're clearly passionate.
I hope this doesn't sound too harsh  and I'll be happy to read a rewrite.




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UnboundWriter
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 8:40am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Sam
Hi UnboundWriter,

Welcome to the site.
I'll give this a read today. Are you looking for a review so you can rewite it? It sounds a little bit like you want people to read it and just tell you how good it is, as most new writers do.
Maybe I'm reading too much into your posts.

Anyway, I'll give it a read and let you know what I honestly think.


I just want feedback as all writers do but us indie writers don't get reviews very often from the general public. Thank you so very much for giving it a read and I hope you get a bunch of laughs! It's my ONLY goal. lol
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UnboundWriter
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 8:51am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Sam
Title page – Not a good start. Get rid of that comment.

Most people, mainly new writers just want feedback on their story and get a little frustrated when people focus on the format and not the story but your opening action line (block) is a good example of how important format is to the story.

A big part of the craft of screenwriting is translating information using just visuals, sounds and dialogue. All information has to be translated into those which creates “film language”. That's why bad guys dress in black, the GOOD guys are GOOD looking and BAD guys are BAD looking. That's how we read subtext.

You're not using film language to relay information in your opening action block you're just telling us. Now... it could be that this isn't an action block and it's actually text that appears on screen. If that's the case then make it clear but it's a lazy way starts a script.

Assuming it's an action block, lets look at all the information you want the audience to know.

1. The year is 2030 and not much has changed except instead of a president the national election is now for Supreme Leader.
2. We are one year out from the election for supreme leader and Teller Lowed desperately wants to be elected and he will do anything to get there.
3. His team is made up of his long time friends from high school who all want Teller to make it so they can all cash in when he does.
4. Cash, a 20s something jock, Bunny a silver spoon debutante, Tanner a surfer beach bum and Sandy who sells weed and is also a beach bum.
5. Every morning Teller has to kick out the bums that have crawled in at night. He arrives in the morning alone and does the usual start.

So, lets film this scene. What do we see? Well, we don't know what the room looks like. I don't have a clear picture of the bums or how many there are.

So a guy, look unknown, enters a room and kicks some homeless men out. You haven't translated the information above into the scene.


That's all I'll say about format but there are other examples dotted about.
I'm guessing you're in your 20s like your characters? It's strange that such young people are running for supreme leader.

My main issue with the story is that you don't explain things. Here's a list of things I don't know...
1. What a supreme leader is.
2. What country this is set in. North Korea?
3. Why Teller is running.
4. Who is against him.
5. Why he wants to win. What does he stand for?
6. What the world looks like. It's set in the future yet all we really see is an office and a country club.
7. What do the rich want him to do in exchange for the cheques?
8. Is weed legal? He's a politician giving out free weed without anyone questioning it.
9. I don't know how the race is going. They keep talking like he's going to win but he only has 19 twitter followers.
10. Why does this have to be set in the future? Why supreme leader why not just a local election or put them in high school and make him run for school president.


The story felt a little shallow. There didn't seem to be a point to it all.

I thought your dialogue was pretty good throughout and the characters had individual voices. I only read the first episode and it did drag at the end. They talk a lot and I have no idea why they go to a bar at the end. That scene has no new information.

I'm writing a comedy at the moment and it's unbelievably difficult. If you watch good comedies you'll notice every line is either a set up for a joke or a joke. That's a lot of jokes to think of!

I think if you try and find creative ways to answer my questions above you'll see a huge improvement and you'll have more opportunities for jokes.

Writing scripts is hard and it's easy to pick them apart. I do think you have a voice and you're clearly passionate.
I hope this doesn't sound too harsh  and I'll be happy to read a rewrite.




Thanks for feedback all will be considered. Only thing you didn't tell me is whether you laughed at all? Comedy is subjective so maybe it wasn't your cup of tea but given how much you provided was hoping you could add that info?

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Sam
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I thought it was a fun script for sure. It's very light and enjoyable. I would be lying if i said I laughed but like you said comedy is subjective.

The one thing that I think is absolute poison for a script is "Banter". Banter between some friends is easy to write and seems funny but it's not comedy. Its a very deceptive thing.

With the comedy I'm writing I'm getting in the habit of stretching out moments and squeezing jokes out of them.
For instance, you build up to a speech Teller has to make but you cut it short and nothing really comes of it. Is that really the funniest way you can think of that scene playing out?

Like I mentioned in my review, I din't really understand the context of it all and comedy comes out of context. When teller got up to talk I didn't really know the stakes so it fell a little flat.

My advice would for you to have the speech as the main plot of the episode. Build it up and really ask yourself what is the funniest outcome.


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UnboundWriter
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Sam
I thought it was a fun script for sure. It's very light and enjoyable. I would be lying if i said I laughed but like you said comedy is subjective.

The one thing that I think is absolute poison for a script is "Banter". Banter between some friends is easy to write and seems funny but it's not comedy. Its a very deceptive thing.

With the comedy I'm writing I'm getting in the habit of stretching out moments and squeezing jokes out of them.
For instance, you build up to a speech Teller has to make but you cut it short and nothing really comes of it. Is that really the funniest way you can think of that scene playing out?

Like I mentioned in my review, I din't really understand the context of it all and comedy comes out of context. When teller got up to talk I didn't really know the stakes so it fell a little flat.

My advice would for you to have the speech as the main plot of the episode. Build it up and really ask yourself what is the funniest outcome.


Thanks for your response it is very appreciated. The Teller thing is that as much as he wants to become popular about his "platform of issues" he never gets to actually do that and despite that he is succeeding. His speech or lack thereof at the country club is irony and comedy in that they don't actually care what he "stands for" they care about what they get if they support him. Teller is altruistic but life has it's own path. Comedy laughs at life, at it's absurdities that we all know are true but comedy let's us dig into it and laugh at ourselves. If we can't do that we are all doomed.

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UnboundWriter
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WOW 189 I'm impressed!
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LC
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 1:12am Report to Moderator
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Hi Unbound,

First off you need to include your name as the writer on the title page of your script.
You also should add:

(c) 2019 All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

I'd personally leave phone numbers off.

By your own admission you’re a novel writer first so you're making quite a few rookie mistakes in the transition to screenwriting. Hey, we've all been there.

Screenplay writing (as Sam said) has its own set of structuring called Industry Standard Formatting. The links below will set you on the correct path re how your script should look and be set out so that it reads fluidly.

https://screencraft.org/2018/01/05/the-screenwriters-guide-to-formatting-television-scripts/
Ignore the scene numbers on the left hand side of the page. Those are 'shooting script’ specs.

https://thescriptlab.com/featu.....-television-scripts/
https://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_format.html

You should delete this on the opening page:
Television Comedy That's Hilarious
Unless you’re an established comedy writer and you’ve a rep for laying them in the aisles, you’d be wise to let your reader be the judge of this.

Set the scene. (See below)

FYI: This example (below) is not how scene headers (aka slugs) are written:
EXT OUTSIDE CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS THE CROWD HAS GROWN SO
LARGE THE BUMS TRYING TO CONTROL THE UNRULY LINE CREATE A
RUCKUS THAT BRINGS A SWARM OF POLICE.

What you've done there is a combo of scene header and description, and the header is lacking any punctuation.

It should be written:
EXT. CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS – DAY

To reiterate Dave's advice:
https://www.storysense.com/format/headings.htm

Then describe the scene, paint the picture for us.

Avoid description generalisations such as: not much has changed. Changed from what and when?
You need to describe: Where are we? What city, state? Is it a wealthy city area, seedy part of town, out in the sticks etc?

Then set the scene with description on a separate line in ACTION/DESCRIPTION in your software.
An unruly MOB stretches around the block. Sirens sound, a convoy of Special Service Vehicles skids to a halt. A swarm of POLICE OFFICERS, clad in riot gear, spill from the vehicles onto the sidewalk.
A bit of overkill there, but you get the most in terms of the picture being painted for us.

So:
FADE IN:
Describe the scene.
Instead of telling us: The year is 2030
Use a Super.
Superimpose: The Year, 2030
You could alternatively use a Super over black before you FADE IN.

His team is made up of his long time
friends from high school who all want Teller to make it so
they can all cash in when he does. Cash, a 20s something
jock, Bunny a silver spoon debutante, Tanner a surfer beach
bum and Sandy who sells weed and is also a beach bum. Every
morning Teller has to kick out the bums that have crawled in
at night. He arrives in the morning alone and does the usual
start.


Sam noted it first, and I agree - that’s all telling us stuff and it won't work here. It's fine in a novel but not in a screenplay.

You need to intro all of your characters as soon as they make an appearance.
And, Capitalise character names on introduction e.g.

Make your characters three dimensional:
CASH, 20s, typical jock, chiselled, broad-shouldered and handsome, but dumb as a meat-axe.
BUNNY, 18, a silver-spoon debutante, sweet natured but as vacuous as her acrylic nails, eyelash extensions and newly minted breasts suggest.

So, you'd write something like:
SUPREME LEADER NOMINEE, TELLER LOWED, 30, flanked by his team, (describe the main players, ages, appearance etc.) addresses an unruly mob...
I'd omit Supreme Leader and just intro him as Teller Lowed.

We are one year out from the election for supreme leader and
Teller Lowed desperately wants to be elected and he will...


We can’t know we're one year out unless it’s mentioned in Lowed’s speech as dialogue, or superimposed/title card or perhaps posters tell us, or it's given in narration, etc.

In screen writing you can’t tell us information in big slabs like that above but by showing us through visuals, dialogue and action.

MELVIN
Okay Bunny so when is Teller
getting here I would like to talk
to him before this shin dig gets
going. You know just make sure he
doesn't embarrass himself in front
of my friends.


A lot of your dialogue is missing punctuation – specifically commas, question marks, ellipses etc.

Okay Bunny, so when is Teller getting here?
I'd like (contractions sound more like everyday speech)
to talk to him before this shindig (one word) gets going.
You know, just to make sure he doesn’t embarrass himself
In front of my friends.

You don't have to worry about that
Mr. Weener.

Offset names with a comma.
You don’t have to worry, Mr Weener.

Don't screw this up Teller!
Don't screw this up, Teller.

Only use exclamation points if they’re really necessary. They can be overused.

https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1124159895/s-0/
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-screenwrite/

Regarding plot, characters, and humour, there’s not a lot going on for me to really latch onto. It’s mildly amusing but I think you need more than machinations for election via ‘bums’ (perhaps call them homeless?), free weed and free phones. For a Pilot episode your characters need to jump from the page and you need a hook. Story wise it's a little one-note. Perhaps seek out some true-life voting/election scandals of a humorous or off-beat nature.

Keep at it. You can learn a lot on this site.

SS relies on a community of writers reading and reviewing each other’s work. Quid pro quo. You get what you give. You'll get to know others and learn more in the process.

You can specifically request a script review exchange here:
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-goose/

It's pretty quiet around here at the moment but when OWCs and Writer's Tournaments are on it's a hive of activity. I hope you’ll join in.

Read past entries and Writer's Choice entries here:
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?c-OWC/

** FYI: I don’t mean to burst your bubble but thread views don't typically equate to Script reads.
The good news however is that it’s proof of traffic and Producers do come looking for scripts on SS.


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_ghostwriters
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 6:10am Report to Moderator
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Wow, outfreakingstanding!!!  Libby probably offered you some script analysis that you would normally have to pay top dollar for!

Just drive-by comments.  Gotta admit, after reading seven pages, I'm still not engaged yet. And I should be, given the subject matter.  But it's not gripping me.  To compound the problems, the dialogue itself, some of it... it's all very on-the-nose to me.  There's nothing under the lines.  The characters aren't lying, defending, concealing, boasting... they're just delivering speeches and asking questions.

"I want to be supreme leader not supreme sucker," "Hey don't piss here go piss at the next business!" - these feel like they are supposed to be the joke lines, but they aren't funny.

Humor could be turned up. I get that it’s subjective but nothing felt funny for me.  To each their own, I suppose.  

Libby, brought a flashlight onto a dark street and helped you to pave a smoother road.

Best of luck!-Andrea


A-CAROLING FOR CHRISTMAS

GHOSTS OF APPALOOSA

RISE OF THE AMAZONS

THE SLEEPING TIGER

THE TIME GUARDIAN

https://lifeofrileysite.yolasite.com/resources/Jayonna%20Wick.pdf

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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UnboundWriter
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 8:26am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Hi Unbound,

First off you need to include your name as the writer on the title page of your script.
You also should add:

(c) 2019 All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

I'd personally leave phone numbers off.

By your own admission you’re a novel writer first so you're making quite a few rookie mistakes in the transition to screenwriting. Hey, we've all been there.

Screenplay writing (as Sam said) has its own set of structuring called Industry Standard Formatting. The links below will set you on the correct path re how your script should look and be set out so that it reads fluidly.

https://screencraft.org/2018/01/05/the-screenwriters-guide-to-formatting-television-scripts/
Ignore the scene numbers on the left hand side of the page. Those are 'shooting script’ specs.

https://thescriptlab.com/featu.....-television-scripts/
https://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_format.html

You should delete this on the opening page:
Television Comedy That's Hilarious
Unless you’re an established comedy writer and you’ve a rep for laying them in the aisles, you’d be wise to let your reader be the judge of this.

Set the scene. (See below)

FYI: This example (below) is not how scene headers (aka slugs) are written:
EXT OUTSIDE CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS THE CROWD HAS GROWN SO
LARGE THE BUMS TRYING TO CONTROL THE UNRULY LINE CREATE A
RUCKUS THAT BRINGS A SWARM OF POLICE.

What you've done there is a combo of scene header and description, and the header is lacking any punctuation.

It should be written:
EXT. CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS – DAY

To reiterate Dave's advice:
https://www.storysense.com/format/headings.htm

Then describe the scene, paint the picture for us.

Avoid description generalisations such as: not much has changed. Changed from what and when?
You need to describe: Where are we? What city, state? Is it a wealthy city area, seedy part of town, out in the sticks etc?

Then set the scene with description on a separate line in ACTION/DESCRIPTION in your software.
An unruly MOB stretches around the block. Sirens sound, a convoy of Special Service Vehicles skids to a halt. A swarm of POLICE OFFICERS, clad in riot gear, spill from the vehicles onto the sidewalk.
A bit of overkill there, but you get the most in terms of the picture being painted for us.

So:
FADE IN:
Describe the scene.
Instead of telling us: The year is 2030
Use a Super.
Superimpose: The Year, 2030
You could alternatively use a Super over black before you FADE IN.

His team is made up of his long time
friends from high school who all want Teller to make it so
they can all cash in when he does. Cash, a 20s something
jock, Bunny a silver spoon debutante, Tanner a surfer beach
bum and Sandy who sells weed and is also a beach bum. Every
morning Teller has to kick out the bums that have crawled in
at night. He arrives in the morning alone and does the usual
start.


Sam noted it first, and I agree - that’s all telling us stuff and it won't work here. It's fine in a novel but not in a screenplay.

You need to intro all of your characters as soon as they make an appearance.
And, Capitalise character names on introduction e.g.

Make your characters three dimensional:
CASH, 20s, typical jock, chiselled, broad-shouldered and handsome, but dumb as a meat-axe.
BUNNY, 18, a silver-spoon debutante, sweet natured but as vacuous as her acrylic nails, eyelash extensions and newly minted breasts suggest.

So, you'd write something like:
SUPREME LEADER NOMINEE, TELLER LOWED, 30, flanked by his team, (describe the main players, ages, appearance etc.) addresses an unruly mob...
I'd omit Supreme Leader and just intro him as Teller Lowed.

We are one year out from the election for supreme leader and
Teller Lowed desperately wants to be elected and he will...


We can’t know we're one year out unless it’s mentioned in Lowed’s speech as dialogue, or superimposed/title card or perhaps posters tell us, or it's given in narration, etc.

In screen writing you can’t tell us information in big slabs like that above but by showing us through visuals, dialogue and action.

MELVIN
Okay Bunny so when is Teller
getting here I would like to talk
to him before this shin dig gets
going. You know just make sure he
doesn't embarrass himself in front
of my friends.


A lot of your dialogue is missing punctuation – specifically commas, question marks, ellipses etc.

Okay Bunny, so when is Teller getting here?
I'd like (contractions sound more like everyday speech)
to talk to him before this shindig (one word) gets going.
You know, just to make sure he doesn’t embarrass himself
In front of my friends.

You don't have to worry about that
Mr. Weener.

Offset names with a comma.
You don’t have to worry, Mr Weener.

Don't screw this up Teller!
Don't screw this up, Teller.

Only use exclamation points if they’re really necessary. They can be overused.

https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1124159895/s-0/
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-screenwrite/

Regarding plot, characters, and humour, there’s not a lot going on for me to really latch onto. It’s mildly amusing but I think you need more than machinations for election via ‘bums’ (perhaps call them homeless?), free weed and free phones. For a Pilot episode your characters need to jump from the page and you need a hook. Story wise it's a little one-note. Perhaps seek out some true-life voting/election scandals of a humorous or off-beat nature.

Keep at it. You can learn a lot on this site.

SS relies on a community of writers reading and reviewing each other’s work. Quid pro quo. You get what you give. You'll get to know others and learn more in the process.

You can specifically request a script review exchange here:
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-goose/

It's pretty quiet around here at the moment but when OWCs and Writer's Tournaments are on it's a hive of activity. I hope you’ll join in.

Read past entries and Writer's Choice entries here:
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?c-OWC/

** FYI: I don’t mean to burst your bubble but thread views don't typically equate to Script reads.
The good news however is that it’s proof of traffic and Producers do come looking for scripts on SS.

Thanks for the input I see your points and especially thanks for the effort to make my script better. I use an online program to write the script and they literally frowned on using Fade In but I see how it is better used than not. I made errors apparently at least 2 on the scene part I do know that rule but I guess my eye missed it on the edit pass. The phone number/etc title thing I forgot that was there and realized it after, oh shock and awe my phone number is online, but I was getting to that change. The second line, I understand, let them decide but I'd rather put confidence in the reader's mind then blankness, even at a risk. lol

Once again thanks I will work on it and resubmit without the phone number Eek! lol
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