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Don
Posted: March 29th, 2015, 10:32am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Blank Canvas by Howard Jensen (colkurtz - Short, Comedy, Drama - A passionate though bumbling, first-time politician struggles to navigate the PR circuit in the run up to the local elections. (18 pages) - pdf, format


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eldave1
Posted: March 29th, 2015, 1:58pm Report to Moderator
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Overall - a nice effort with a solid theme. A few suggestions:


Quoted Text
EXT. ROAD - CONTINUOUS

1)At least TWO POSTERS to every POLE all along, sometimes
2)THREE...different faces, same ďVote #1Ē appeals and smiles.
3)WOMEN #1 & #2 (mid 60s) stand in front of Angusís poster.


To me - the scene changed between 2 and 3 - above. I thing you need a slug there. Something like: EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY

IMO - throughout the script there are way too many instances of the character's  dialogue being interrupted. It became a real distraction. Hardly anyone completes a sentence.

The scene where Angus is at the radio interview - several blocks of dialogue went a little too long - I think you could clip them down a bit.

Although the ending is fine - I think there is room for a twist here. As it is, Angus just kind of falls into the fortunate circumstance of being the hero. You could add a twist - something like, maybe Sheila and Colm conspire to set up the event that made Angus a hero - knowing that he would bumble away the campaign without it. Just a thought.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Tiger
Posted: March 29th, 2015, 6:54pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Howard

You know what? I thoroughly enjoyed that. I laughed at several points and found the whole thing delightful.

I enjoyed the beginning with the women at the posters, but I think you can work a bit on how you introduce your main character. Having trouble choosing a tie is a rather clichéd and boring way of introduction, and as the wife doesn't really have any function other than saying that he should go with another tie, I think you could make something more out of their relationship. This would also pave the way for a bigger scene with her towards the end, as she only pops up again to say "stop", before she's gone again. Maybe it could turn out that she was one of the hooded robbers, and she's just hiding away the outfit when he comes back, but he never knows it was her? That could be a really quirky and cute way of showing her devotion.

The interrupted dialogue didn't bother me, but I agree with eldave1 about the lines in the radio being way too long. I get that you want to show just how boring he can be, but it worked a little too well, as you started to bore me as well. It's probably interesting if your audience are all locals who actually recognize the issues he's talking about, but for me as a reader who's not familiar with any of it, it felt rather alienating. Ironically, I think it might actually be more interesting if you make his speech into more of a generic political babble, and spice it up a bit with some satire for amusement.

I found the title is a bit misleading, as it gives the impression the main character would be without much to say, which isn't really the case, so you might wanna see if you can come up with a few other possibilities there too. Robbed Votes?

All that being said, I would still like to congratulate you on a great little script. A few screws could be tightened here and there, but I've seen much worse short films nominated for Oscars. =)

Revision History (1 edits)
Tiger  -  March 30th, 2015, 5:08am
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RichardR
Posted: March 30th, 2015, 9:28am Report to Moderator
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Howard,

Sometimes comments are as empty as a politician's smile.  Read with care.

This is a  nice little idea about a neophyte wannabe in the world of small-time politics.  I'll buy it.  I think, however, that is is much too long.  Much of the chat between Angus and Colm is info dump for the audience.  These two have gone over this many times.  Why would they rehash?  Give them a conversation they might have--are the trout biting these days?

The radio station bit goes too long.  Make the points you want--and they can't be the same ones he's made with wife and Colm--and move along.  Same goes for the door-to-door pitches.  Actually need 5 different doors to knock on?  all with dialogue?  The audience gets it.  Get to the door that makes the difference.

And showing his reluctance to be a hero works for me.  He's an accidental hero.  Great.  And he becomes the favorite.  I buy it.  The bookend old ladies work too.  Just make their comments shorter.  

Best
Richard
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StevenClark
Posted: March 30th, 2015, 5:01pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Col,

More self assured writing from you, I see. I really like the prose in your action. It's not overdone, and adheres to screenwriting format, but is very colorful and stands out. Good job there.

Very funny, too. As soon as I saw his say the word Messiah I know Angus had put his foot in his mouth yet again. And you played it out well with the door-to-door campaigning.

I feel this piece could have been longer if you chose to introduce us to a couple of his running mates. I believe they were alluded to but you could have really run the gamut here and basically kept the exact same storyline you have now. I only say that because it might have been fun to read what you would have come up with. But I understand why you kept it the way it is.

Funny that for as innocent as the remarks were that got Angus into trouble, the event that changed his fortunes seemed almost as innocent. I saw Angus as a buffoon, yet he did have a redeeming quality about him that changed him in the eyes of his would be constituents, who seemed like they were just waiting for him to do or say something smart... Or brave.

Yet, in the end he's labelled an opportunist. Is anyone ever happy?

Overall, this was very enjoyable, Col.


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Colkurtz8
Posted: April 3rd, 2015, 9:28am Report to Moderator
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David

Thanks for taking the time and sharing your thoughts.


Quoted from eldave1
To me - the scene changed between 2 and 3 - above. I thing you need a slug there. Something like: EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY


- Hmm, I donít think so. We are still on the road. I envisaged the camera showing the posters all along it before panning left/right/down to reveal the women in front of Angusís one. Even if there was a cut we are still on this particular road.


Quoted from eldave1
IMO - throughout the script there are way too many instances of the character's  dialogue being interrupted. It became a real distraction. Hardly anyone completes a sentence.


- Fair enough. True, I often interrupt the dialogue because firstly it feels realistic, and secondly, in most cases it will indicate the more dominant character within a given scene. Sheila cuts off Angus numerous times because she clearly wears the pants in that relationship. Angus cuts off Colm because he is the alpha male in those scenes. This dynamic applies between the DJ and Angus and when Angus is going door to door too. Any interruptions are consciously done to signify this.


Quoted from eldave1
The scene where Angus is at the radio interview - several blocks of dialogue went a little too long - I think you could clip them down a bit.


- I anticipated this would be a problem for some and as Tiger recognized below itís meant to be long winded and rambling. Angus is a wannabe politician after all. These guys have nothing but their words. This script was originally conceived when I heard one of these interviews on a local radio station in the build up to local elections during last summer. The guy literally started talking about himself as if he was doing a job interview. It was both comical and cringe worthy.

Although that conversation does run on for nearly 4 and half pages and seems indulgent it was carefully constructed. I see it as spanning five movements; firstly Angus goes on about himself, his wife, his job, how much he is part of the parishís fabric as per the interview I heard which inspired this. Secondly, Phil cuts him off and leads him into talking about his competitors which have already been set up previously. Here we see Angus being somewhat politically savvy by complimenting Noreen and commending Cyril for ďthrowing his hat into the ringĒ. This of course, is a direct contrast to his petty bit?hing to Colm earlier. Thirdly, Angus gets to talk about his policies and ideas, echoing what he preached to Colm but with some notable differences such as blaming Dublin HQ for the townís problems which also contradicts what he said to Colm in the privacy of his car. There he bemoaned the apathy of the parishioners. This again was to show Angus isnít completely clueless in the PR arena, Sheila has taught him well. Itís always wise to blame a third party than your electorate. It also gave him a chance to address the printing error which had been set up already. Fourthly, Phil asks him about his slogan which again had been primed earlier, this is when Angus makes his verbal slip up which leads into the last movement of the conversation whereby Angus has ironically lost his voice, rabbit in the headlights-esque. You see, everything up to now had been rehearsed by Angus from his notes but as soon as there is an unexpected deviation, he's stranded.

So while I canít deny itís a verbose scene, thatís exactly the point, itís a reflection of the character. Plus, all those long dialogue passages have a place within the narrative.


Quoted from eldave1
As it is, Angus just kind of falls into the fortunate circumstance of being the hero. You could add a twist - something like, maybe Sheila and Colm conspire to set up the event that made Angus a hero - knowing that he would bumble away the campaign without it. Just a thought.


- I like that idea of Sheila and Colm orchestrating the break-in to glorify Angus but I wasnít really going for a twist ending here. The ďfortunateĒ way that Angus foils the robbers was totally intentional and Iím glad you picked up that. In the public eye Angus is a hero but we know heís not. He initially fled the scene and although he had that vital change of heart, he had locked himself out of the house by then, effectively sealing Mrs. Hoganís fate. Youíll notice that the robbers unwittingly collide with Angus because he just happens to be there. Then only because Colm and the guy walking his dog are nearby does the robber flee. So in essence, Angus didnít really do anything, it was your classic ďright place at the right timeĒ but of course the media story will only focus on his perceived heroics without worrying too much about the specifics.

Thatís the central theme here. Just as he was ripped apart for his minor slip ups with the leaflet and what he said on the radio (I intentionally made them slight mistakes; no f-bombs, n-bombs, racial slurs or homophobic remarks necessary) he is equally held up as a hero for equally flimsy reasons. They are only interested in black and white, good or bad, winner and loser, yah or nay, narratives.

I guess the media has always been that shallow but it seems the landscape is particularly reactionary now, especially with the advent of social media. Someone says a choice phrase or expresses an opinion which might not suit the general consensus and he/she is tarred and feathered with a sickening amount of vitriol. That person better apologize on some chat show and fast or face being ostracized indefinitely. Thereís an unprecedented level of righteous shaming and outrage in todayís culture thatís very disconcerting, people are just ready on the wings to pounce on anything.

So the only way Angus could possibly overcome the bad press was by doing something this heroicÖor in his case fall into it, an accidental hero. The minutiae are irrelevant, just the broad strokes please! Again, the inadvertent nature of the act was done on purpose to highlight this. Shelia recognizes the situationís fragility, knows Angus is ahead right now and that itís best to just stay out of the way and let the good will carry you home on voting day.

This theme carries through to the bookended scene of the two women at the end who comment favorably on Angusís (the hero) features which previously (when he was seen as a joke) were judged in a disparaging light by the other two.

Thanks again for your comments, much appreciated. My responses probably feel as overwritten as the script Sorry.

If Tiger, Richard or Steven are reading, I will respond to you, asap.

Col.


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Dustin
Posted: April 3rd, 2015, 12:13pm Report to Moderator
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Code

He holds up TWO SUIT JACKETS of varying shades of navy, debates...selects the DARKER SHADE...moves onto FOUR NECKTIES laid on the bed of varying shades of navy, MUTTERS to himself.



I keep shouting mid sentence. It's like being at the markets. Mumble along for a while with sudden "6 for a pound, lovely jubly" shouts interspersed. A style choice... but I find it annoying to read. Why is it so important that he has >>FOUR NECKTIES? or that he selects the DARKER SHADE? The only thing that should be capped there, if you're of the mind to, is MUTTERS... but I even find that a stretch, not just because I feel that uppercase isn't needed, but because I don't have any idea what you mean by it. Is he muttering in a bad way, or a good way? He's already selected the suit he is going to wear, so what is he muttering about? Is he fidgety muttering? Nervous muttering?

Why is it important that he selects the THIRD DARKEST tie?

It's so irritating to read... but you write well, the conversation flows naturally. The characters real. IMO, you'd be better off leaving out such devices. Maybe he does select the third darkest tie, but why does it have to be the THIRD DARKEST? Why highlight it as though it's important when it really isn't?


Code

Angus nods, stares hard at the mirror, focuses...continues flossing.



This is an awkward image. Why would he stare at the mirror? Do you mean his reflection? Why is he staring hard at the mirror?

Code

Angus MUTTERS to himself



This needs clarification for me. It's a tell. Ah.. OK... do you mean that he's muttering what he says in dialogue directly after you tell us this in action? It doesn't work. It looks like he's muttering to himself and then going on to talk out loud. The mutters would be best served in parenthesis within the dialogue, IMO.

Code

Angus sits at the TABLE, eats cereal. Heís dressed, combed and flossed, reads a CRUMPLED PAGE of NEWSPAPER, sullen.



This is an awkward couple of sentences. Lacks flow.

Code

Another CAR comes against them, another big salute from Angus.


Huh?

At this point of the story, I'm struck by the notion that I'm dealing with an excellent writer who's putting too much thought into their action lines... overthinking their active status. The dialogue flows, smooth... but the action has missing words and/or strange sentence structure that is obviously placed there due to wanting to write as actively as possible. In so doing, you're actually accomplishing the opposite and making it more difficult to read. You're taking things too far. You need to keep the flow in your action too.

I'm also thinking at this point that this seems more like the intro to a feature rather than a short.

Code

MALE PASSERBY (40s) passes...


What passerby could resist?


I enjoyed that mate. A nice story. I think this is a decent premise for a sitcom.



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Iancou
Posted: April 3rd, 2015, 12:37pm Report to Moderator
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Col,

Liked it. Other than paring down the action and dialogue for length (as others have noted), you nailed the feel of the situation and the characters were well developed. I hope you revise this and repost.

Ian


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Colkurtz8
Posted: April 4th, 2015, 4:13am Report to Moderator
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Tiger

Thanks for the read, man.


Quoted from Tiger
You know what? I thoroughly enjoyed that. I laughed at several points and found the whole thing delightful.


- Cheers, glad you got some laughs out of it. Its intended be satirical and a bit silly first and foremost.


Quoted from Tiger
I enjoyed the beginning with the women at the posters, but I think you can work a bit on how you introduce your main character.


- I figured opening with the image of him on the poster was the quickest and most visual way to set him up. In those five lines you get a pretty vivid introduction to him without any dialogue. His name, his job, his appearance, his mandate (i.e. the slogan) and that heís not been taken seriously (i.e. the graffiti)


Quoted from Tiger
Having trouble choosing a tie is a rather clichéd and boring way of introduction,


- Perhaps. I was trying to focus on the superficial aspects of the political circus. You can just imagine these people mulling over something so surface as the colour of their tie, suit, etc. Because Angus isnít the sharpest tool in the shed, he really needs to ensure he at least looks the part so he fixates on it.


Quoted from Tiger
and as the wife doesn't really have any function other than saying that he should go with another tie, I think you could make something more out of their relationship. This would also pave the way for a bigger scene with her towards the end, as she only pops up again to say "stop", before she's gone again.


- I tried not to draw too much attention to it but suggest that Sheila plays an influential part behind the scenes in Angusís campaign, the silent partner if you will. An advisor who just happens to be his wife. In that opening scene she guides him through his preparations. As well as helping him choose the tie, she keeps him focused, tells him on what to say and what to avoid, reminds him to floss, stops him from dwelling on the printing error.

Then at the end, she understands that since Angus has found himself the darling of the people after his accidental intervention in the robbery he is best to keep his mouth shut for fear heíll undo this good fortune with another faux pas. I liked having her as this dominant force in the background but not in an official capacity. I mean, itís not like she goes to the radio interview with him and is on standby with prompts.


Quoted from Tiger
Maybe it could turn out that she was one of the hooded robbers, and she's just hiding away the outfit when he comes back, but he never knows it was her? That could be a really quirky and cute way of showing her devotion.


- Mmm, I dunno if that would work. Itíd have to be a pretty good disguise and just think of the practicalities in pulling that off. Mrs. Hogan would have to be in on it and the likelihood of Angus recognizing her would be too great. Plus, this is more about the fickle nature of public opinion and phoniness of public image and persona rather than their relationship. Itís an amusing suggestion all the same though, thanks. I just think it belongs in a different script.


Quoted from Tiger
The interrupted dialogue didn't bother me, but I agree with eldave1 about the lines in the radio being way too long. I get that you want to show just how boring he can be, but it worked a little too well, as you started to bore me as well.


- Ha, yeah you understand why it is long winded and I know you mean this as a criticism but Iím taking it as a compliment Angus is meant to be dull and his speeches perfunctory and rehearsed. I gave a more detailed response to my intentions with this scene in my reply to eldave1 above if youíre interested.


Quoted from Tiger
It's probably interesting if your audience are all locals who actually recognize the issues he's talking about, but for me as a reader who's not familiar with any of it, it felt rather alienating. Ironically, I think it might actually be more interesting if you make his speech into more of a generic political babble, and spice it up a bit with some satire for amusement.


- Although, there are hints in this script that Iím Irish in regards some of the turns of phrase and character names, I made up everything that Angus spouts on about concerning the townís problems. So it shouldnít alienate. He talks about bad roads, lacks of a neighborhood watch and petty crime, all fairly universal issues that plague towns which most should be able to relate to.


Quoted from Tiger
I found the title is a bit misleading, as it gives the impression the main character would be without much to say, which isn't really the case, so you might wanna see if you can come up with a few other possibilities there too. Robbed Votes?


- This is a fair point. Basically I tried to combine the connotations of stupidity which come with the phrase and the double meaning for canvas. Yes, he does have things to say but I tried to give the impression itís been primarily fed to him by others. Heís really more of a mouthpiece, trotting out these ďissuesĒ in that stilted manner I mentioned earlier but there is not much going on behind his eyes. Thatís where the ďblankĒ comes from. Heís like an empty vessel being filled with policies from other sources such as the customers where he works and Sheila. There is very little of his own observations or philosophy. Of course ďCanvasĒ relates to the political practice of canvassing which he engages in during the second half of the script. I do see your point though. Iíll think about an alternative, thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks again for checking this out. I donít think Iíve read a script of yours so point me in the direction of anything you might have on here.


Richard


Quoted from RichardR
This is a nice little idea about a neophyte wannabe in the world of small-time politics.  I'll buy it.  I think, however, that is is much too long.  Much of the chat between Angus and Colm is info dump for the audience.  These two have gone over this many times.  Why would they rehash?  Give them a conversation they might have--are the trout biting these days?


- I see where youíre coming from but the idea is that Angus is running over his conversation with Colm in preparation for the radio interview with Phil. This is the dry run where he can be a bit looser and less PC. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are subtle but important alterations between what Angus says to Colm and what he preaches to Phil. If this was just a normal drive for them on an average day, then yes, it would seem very on the nose and expository but the important difference is the purpose of their journey. Youíll also notice that Colm, ever the sycophant, readily agrees with everything Angus says in an almost automated way. As if to suggests heís heard the same righteous ranting before many times.

Plus, itís got to do with character dynamics.  Angusís scenes with Colm are the only ones where Angus is the dominant force, the smartest guy in the room, if you will. So there is an element of him relishing and exploiting this.


Quoted from RichardR
The radio station bit goes too long.  Make the points you want--and they can't be the same ones he's made with wife and Colm--and move along.  Same goes for the door-to-door pitches.  Actually need 5 different doors to knock on?  all with dialogue?  The audience gets it.  Get to the door that makes the difference.


- Iím not trying to shortchange you but Iíve explained in detail my process behind the radio scene in a previous post to eldave1 if you want to check that out. Yes it is long, yes there is repetition but there is a point to all that. It reflects the character and the nature of these interviews. I could probably lose a door, alright


Quoted from RichardR
And showing his reluctance to be a hero works for me.  He's an accidental hero.  Great.  And he becomes the favorite.  I buy it.  The bookend old ladies work too.  Just make their comments shorter.  


- Iím glad that worked for you although I see him more as an accidental hero than a reluctant one. Heíll take any good press he can get! The old womenís comments at the end counterpoint the ones at the beginning. Each feature the women at the beginning commented on negatively is addressed by the women at the end in a positive way. It plays into the theme of how easily public opinion can be swayed, its fickleness.

Thanks for the read and your thoughts, Richard. Much appreciated.


Steven


Quoted from StevenClark
More self assured writing from you, I see. I really like the prose in your action. It's not overdone, and adheres to screenwriting format, but is very colorful and stands out. Good job there.


- Thank you, Iíve always went by the ďtake what works for you and discard the restĒ approach. I take a lot of care in how I format my scripts and try to keep it consistent but Iím not a stickler for it in other peopleís scripts. If it reads well I donít complain. The majority of format criticisms are counter-intuitive.


Quoted from StevenClark
Very funny, too. As soon as I saw his say the word Messiah I know Angus had put his foot in his mouth yet again. And you played it out well with the door-to-door campaigning.


- Iím glad you got some laughs out of it.  As I said above, this is meant to be more comedic than anything.


Quoted from StevenClark
I feel this piece could have been longer if you chose to introduce us to a couple of his running mates. I believe they were alluded to but you could have really run the gamut here and basically kept the exact same storyline you have now. I only say that because it might have been fun to read what you would have come up with. But I understand why you kept it the way it is.


- Yeah they are referred to but I never considered introducing them physically. The events chiefly take place over a couple of hours, except the last two and half pages so I wanted to keep it tight and contained. True, if I was to expand this they would certainly be developed but political satires been done before many times by far more well informed people than me so I doubt I could bring anything new to the table.


Quoted from StevenClark
Funny that for as innocent as the remarks were that got Angus into trouble, the event that changed his fortunes seemed almost as innocent.


- Iím so happy you said this, man. The harmlessness of his remarks was exactly the point. Itís a comment on the outrage culture we will live in today where people are shamed for saying relatively innocuous things just because they might not fit with a widely accepted opinion. I made Angus slip ups very minor and silly to illustrate that mentality. Some people who I sent the script to have asked why I donít make him say nigg?r, or fagg?t but that would be too easy and commonplace, plus make his ridicule and derision more understandable. I wanted to highlight the absurdity of the media and public latching on to such insignificant mistakes.

Angusís redemption in foiling the robbers was intentionally accidental and comical again to indicate that the public and media donít care about the complete story. They just want clear lines, no grey area or ambiguity. Just give them someone to champion, a heroÖor someone to point the finger at, a villain and theyíll run with it.


Quoted from StevenClark
I saw Angus as a buffoon, yet he did have a redeeming quality about him that changed him in the eyes of his would be constituents, who seemed like they were just waiting for him to do or say something smart... Or brave.


- Ya, heís an idiot whoís just sort of fumbling his way through this. Heís a little self righteous and overly earnest but I think he generally means wellÖfor a would-be politician. ..so I guess thatís not saying much.


Quoted from StevenClark
Yet, in the end he's labelled an opportunist. Is anyone ever happy?


- Again, Iím very happy you picked up on this. That although the prevailing public is ready to embrace Angus and see him in a whole new light on the basis of his perceived heroics, there will always be the few who see right through the media hoopla.

Thanks for checking this out, Steve. Itís gratifying when someone recognizes your scriptís intentions. Glad you got some kicks out of it too.

Col.


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Colkurtz8
Posted: April 13th, 2015, 11:15am Report to Moderator
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Dustin

Thanks for checking this out, man.


Quoted from Dustin
Code

He holds up TWO SUIT JACKETS of varying shades of navy, debates...selects the DARKER SHADE...moves onto FOUR NECKTIES laid on the bed of varying shades of navy, MUTTERS to himself.



A style choice... but I find it annoying to read. Why is it so important that he has >>FOUR NECKTIES? or that he selects the DARKER SHADE?


- Why any number you could ask? I just went with four, it couldíve been 3 or 5. I made him select the darker shade to highlight his lack of boldness. His tendency to play it safe, to be bland and boring. Itís addressed in the subsequent line by Sheila.


Quoted from Dustin
The only thing that should be capped there, if you're of the mind to, is MUTTERS... but I even find that a stretch, not just because I feel that uppercase isn't needed,


- Like you say, itís a style thing. I always appreciate caps in otherís scripts to emphasise key element or props in a scene being used by a character or even features in a room so to give you the broad strokes of the setting.  That way, there is less chance of readers missing them.


Quoted from Dustin
  but because I don't have any idea what you mean by it. Is he muttering in a bad way, or a good way? He's already selected the suit he is going to wear, so what is he muttering about? Is he fidgety muttering? Nervous muttering?


- What follows the ďMUTTERS to himselfĒ action line? Its Angusís dialogue as he rehearses what he is going to say to Phil. From the moment we meet Angus he is going over his ďlinesĒ for the radio interview. Nearly every time there is a break in the conversation or he finds himself alone he goes back to reeling off his speech. I thought that was pretty clear on the page. I envisage him muttering inaudibly to himself, picking up his place in his notes where he was interrupted the last time (presumably by Sheila) When he finds it, it becomes discernible dialogue as he continues.


Quoted from Dustin
Why is it important that he selects the THIRD DARKEST tie?


- The same reason he picked the darker shade suit jacket as I mentioned above...and the same reason I chose navy to be the colour. Unremarkable, inoffensive and non-descript.


Quoted from Dustin
It's so irritating to read... but you write well, the conversation flows naturally. The characters real. IMO, you'd be better off leaving out such devices. Maybe he does select the third darkest tie, but why does it have to be the THIRD DARKEST? Why highlight it as though it's important when it really isn't?


- As youíll have seen when you read on, the caps are consistent throughout.  I use them to highlight sounds, props, dominant features of a setting to give the skimming reader a shorthand visual overview of the scene. Hopefully youíll learn not to attach too much significance to everything I capitalize when you grasp the pattern.

Iím not being contrary or striving to be unique in adopting this style. I merely take what I see done in other scripts which work for me and adopt them in mine. This is one such technique.


Quoted from Dustin
Code

Angus nods, stares hard at the mirror, focuses...continues flossing.



This is an awkward image. Why would he stare at the mirror? Do you mean his reflection? Why is he staring hard at the mirror?


- I donít think itís awkward within the context of the scene. Look at the preceding dialogue from Shelia before she leaves; she warns him about not letting Phil lead the conversation, instructs him to stay away from ďyou know whatĒ topic (the ďneighbourhood witchĒ printing error) all of which Angus takes on board, focuses himself...before lapsing back into his rehearsals. Frankly, I donít see how that jars, itís organic to the dynamic of these scenes and characters. Weíve already seen Angus in practice mode and Sheilaís dominating influence in the last page.


Quoted from Dustin
Code

Angus MUTTERS to himself



This needs clarification for me. It's a tell. Ah.. OK... do you mean that he's muttering what he says in dialogue directly after you tell us this in action? It doesn't work. It looks like he's muttering to himself and then going on to talk out loud. The mutters would be best served in parenthesis within the dialogue, IMO.


- I hope I explained myself above what I intended here. Itís like a gibbering preamble before he picks up where he left off in his rehearsals.


Quoted from Dustin
Code

Angus sits at the TABLE, eats cereal. Heís dressed, combed and flossed, reads a CRUMPLED PAGE of NEWSPAPER, sullen.



This is an awkward couple of sentences. Lacks flow.


- Really? It wonít surprise you that I disagree I think itís visual and as terse as it can be for all the information thatís in there. We know where heís sitting, what heís eating, his appearance, whatís heís reading and his mood...all in less than two lines. Maybe Iím cramming too much in for some people.


Quoted from Dustin
Code

Another CAR comes against them, another big salute from Angus.



Huh?


- We have already seen Angus salute a previous car. Being the budding politician, he wants to be everyoneís friend. In this case, another car passes and he offers another ďbig saluteĒ with a ďHow are ya, MaryĒ. Perhaps your confusion is coming from the term ďsaluteĒ. In Irish parlance, it means a wave or a gesture of acknowledgement to another individual (if we want to get all dictionary definitive about it ) Youíre probably thinking of it strictly in the military sense.


Quoted from Dustin
but the action has missing words and/or strange sentence structure that is obviously placed there due to wanting to write as actively as possible. In so doing, you're actually accomplishing the opposite and making it more difficult to read. You're taking things too far. You need to keep the flow in your action too.


- I see your point and I can appreciate that my prose can be a little idiosyncratic, staccato or missing words as you say but all the essentials are in there. It comes from reading too much baggy prose in other scripts. Drawn out, counter-intuitive sentence structures and redundant words with ďandĒ being the biggest offender and ďtheĒ a close second. Iíve paired down my writing to a minimalist aesthetic, just the necessities. It works for some, not for others but I believe in it and can stand by it which to me is the most important thing.


Quoted from Dustin
I'm also thinking at this point that this seems more like the intro to a feature rather than a short.


- There is potential for expansion but Iíve no plans to at present. IĎd like to think it functions as a self contained piece right now.


Quoted from Dustin
Code

MALE PASSERBY (40s) passes...



What passerby could resist?


- Ha. True, those fu?kers are always at it!


Quoted from Dustin
I enjoyed that mate. A nice story. I think this is a decent premise for a sitcom.


- Yikes, a sitcom, no thanks but I appreciate the suggestion.
     
- It appears you were distracted a lot by the writing since you barely mentioned the story which is a pity for me but Iíll have to make peace with that and chalk you down as a naysayer regarding my style.
     
Thus, it must have been a chore for you to read, apologies for that. Either way, thanks for taking the time and offering your thoughts, much appreciated.


Ian


Quoted from Iancou
Liked it. Other than paring down the action and dialogue for length (as others have noted), you nailed the feel of the situation and the characters were well developed. I hope you revise this and repost.


- Thanks for checking this out Ian, glad you got something out of it. I'll look to trimming it down when I tackle a rewrite.

Col.


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DS
Posted: April 13th, 2015, 12:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Col, glad to see another one of yours up.

Apart from just the script, I found reading your analysis in the responses below fascinating. The amount of thought you put into the script and discussion on them is always worth the read.

I liked how the script was basically a commentary on the election circus, particularly liked the opening/ending shot of old ladies having a go at the pictures. I was sold on the location and you created a believable and vivid image of Ireland and the characters in my head along with a nice light family-friendly tone, great job with that.

I think it's somewhat of a rarity to see characters such as Angus, I can't think of anyone to compare him to in fiction. That was part of the charm of the script for me. I liked the Mrs's dominance and Colm was funny, although his rant went overboard on the beginning of page 14 and didn't click for me as much with his character.

So, yeah, I definitely liked this and I don't have any negative to say. However, I can't help feel that the script is doing itself a disservice as a short. A wide number of characters, landscape, pretty expensive to shoot and it just feels to be a part of something bigger to me, despite seeing how well it comes full circle now. I don't know, I think you should make this into a feature or a pilot. It's clear that you do the light family friendly tone really well from this script, along with the Irish feeling -- I think this could be an excellent writing sample for you if you extend it.

Just my £0.02. Good luck!
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Dustin
Posted: April 13th, 2015, 4:31pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Colkurtz8
Dustin

Thanks for checking this out, man.



- Why any number you could ask? I just went with four, it couldíve been 3 or 5. I made him select the darker shade to highlight his lack of boldness. His tendency to play it safe, to be bland and boring. Itís addressed in the subsequent line by Sheila.


No... not the number, why place it in uppercase? It's the uppercase I find distracting.



Quoted Text

- Like you say, itís a style thing. I always appreciate caps in otherís scripts to emphasise key element or props in a scene being used by a character or even features in a room so to give you the broad strokes of the setting.  That way, there is less chance of readers missing them.


I don't read scripts, never have... aside from the ones I read here, of course. I don't agree that readers miss important information just because you haven't capped it. Even if I did, I cannot see the importance of some of the things you have placed in uppercase, hence the distraction.




Quoted Text
- What follows the ďMUTTERS to himselfĒ action line? Its Angusís dialogue as he rehearses what he is going to say to Phil. From the moment we meet Angus he is going over his ďlinesĒ for the radio interview. Nearly every time there is a break in the conversation or he finds himself alone he goes back to reeling off his speech. I thought that was pretty clear on the page. I envisage him muttering inaudibly to himself, picking up his place in his notes where he was interrupted the last time (presumably by Sheila) When he finds it, it becomes discernible dialogue as he continues.


I'm trying to picture the image and it evades me. I cannot understand why or what you mean by his muttering. He mutters inaudibly. So he just moves his lips? I'm sorry, I just can't see it.




Quoted Text
- The same reason he picked the darker shade suit jacket as I mentioned above...and the same reason I chose navy to be the colour. Unremarkable, inoffensive and non-descript.


Yes, but why is it so important that it needs to be capped?


Quoted Text
- As youíll have seen when you read on, the caps are consistent throughout.  I use them to highlight sounds, props, dominant features of a setting to give the skimming reader a shorthand visual overview of the scene. Hopefully youíll learn not to attach too much significance to everything I capitalize when you grasp the pattern.


But you said earlier that you cap to add significance, although using the word important, it amounts to the same thing. You cap to draw attention to the words. Yet, I'm at a loss sometimes, why.


Quoted Text
Iím not being contrary or striving to be unique in adopting this style. I merely take what I see done in other scripts which work for me and adopt them in mine. This is one such technique.


Fair enough.




Quoted Text
- I donít think itís awkward within the context of the scene. Look at the preceding dialogue from Shelia before she leaves; she warns him about not letting Phil lead the conversation, instructs him to stay away from ďyou know whatĒ topic (the ďneighbourhood witchĒ printing error) all of which Angus takes on board, focuses himself...before lapsing back into his rehearsals. Frankly, I donít see how that jars, itís organic to the dynamic of these scenes and characters. Weíve already seen Angus in practice mode and Sheilaís dominating influence in the last page.


No. I just didn't understand what you meant by he staring at the mirror. Is he staring at somebody else's reflection? Maybe his eyes are drawn elsewhere before refocusing on the mirror? I feel that if you mean he stops focusing on himself, yet still stares at the mirror, that this is an awkward image to write and unnecessary when you can simply have him drawn to another object.




Quoted Text
- Really? It wonít surprise you that I disagree I think itís visual and as terse as it can be for all the information thatís in there. We know where heís sitting, what heís eating, his appearance, whatís heís reading and his mood...all in less than two lines. Maybe Iím cramming too much in for some people.


Here is the block again:

Code

Angus sits at the TABLE, eats cereal. Heís dressed, combed and flossed, reads a CRUMPLED PAGE of NEWSPAPER, sullen.



I was actually referring to how passive the second sentence is. How do we know he has flossed?

Code

Another CAR comes against them, another big salute from Angus.



My 'huh?' was because of the way it is written. A car comes against them? You can do better than that. A car drives alongside them? Comes against? What does that exactly mean in terms of cars that are moving? It's a difficult image to get right. You obviously know what it means, but I don't. I wasn't confused about the salute. I just don't know what comes against means in this respect.


Quoted Text
- I see your point and I can appreciate that my prose can be a little idiosyncratic, staccato or missing words as you say but all the essentials are in there. It comes from reading too much baggy prose in other scripts. Drawn out, counter-intuitive sentence structures and redundant words with ďandĒ being the biggest offender and ďtheĒ a close second. Iíve paired down my writing to a minimalist aesthetic, just the necessities. It works for some, not for others but I believe in it and can stand by it which to me is the most important thing.


Fair enough.


Quoted Text
It appears you were distracted a lot by the writing since you barely mentioned the story which is a pity for me but Iíll have to make peace with that and chalk you down as a naysayer regarding my style.
     
Thus, it must have been a chore for you to read, apologies for that. Either way, thanks for taking the time and offering your thoughts, much appreciated.


No, I was distracted in the beginning, then settled in to enjoy the story. This type of story is not really my thing, but I found it pleasant enough that I read all the way through and even smiled a few times. I could never write a story like this so it's difficult for me to say much about it aside from whether I liked it or not. I did.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: April 14th, 2015, 5:12am Report to Moderator
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Hey Col,

Great imagery of the poster. The name Angus McGinty does actually sound like an independent politician.

For some reason I imagined the two woman commenting on the poster sounding like the guys from Monty Python when they put women's voices on. It made me smile.

Maybe give the two women names, it would help me identify with  them more.

Angus and Sheila introduced nicely, it's flowing along quite smoothly.  There's a lot of ellipses in the action and dialogue. I don't suppose there's anything wrong with that it's just an ellipsis in a script normally means a train of thought that has just sort of drifted away...whereas here they also seem to signify natural pauses. A minor niggle though.

Another minor niggle, lots of-- interruptions. It could get a bit tiresome.

The characters were rich, well rounded and realistic. I understood everything that was going on and could visualise the scenes perfectly. You describes small town politics and the people who live in such rural areas perfectly and this was a good tale of how the public's perceptions can change dramatically on a whim.  

You can sense there's a but coming along so here it is. But, the comedy as such for me is extremely light.  I liked Angus, but I felt more sorry for him than maybe I should. I neither laughed at him nor with him.

He only makes one bumble and that is the messiah comment, the Witch issue was out of his control, yet he's described in the logline as a bumbling first-time politician.

There's potential here for a 'Last of the Summer Wine' type sitcom, the problem is the characters are too realistic and it's more drama than comedy. Maybe that was the intention but there were moments when it was an effort to read rather than a joy; the radio interview for example. There could have been a lot more comedy here but all we have is Angus boring us with the usual politics speech that we've all heard many times.

All it would take is slight tweaks to turn this into more comedy than drama.

I also don't think the name Blank Canvas represents what this story is about, although I get the intent of it.

Another solid effort though from you Col, you never fail to impress.

-Mark


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK

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MarkRenshaw  -  April 14th, 2015, 5:28am
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Athenian
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Hi Col,

Really nice job with this one. It is clear that you have full control of your narrative when you write. You know what you're doing and why.

My only gripe is that the robbery scene isn't totally plausible in my eyes. The robbers having left the door ajar, not looking out to see if anybody is coming, not noticing AngusÖ It seems that these guys aren't very clever or experienced either, are they? What if the curtains on some window weren't entirely closed and Angus saw them through it, for instance? Just an idea.

Also, when Angus finally decides to intervene, what is his plan exactly? To confront the robbers alone? I'd expect him to call the police first, at least, and ask Colm for help. Otherwise, he puts Mrs. Hogan in even greater danger, trying to play the hero. Perhaps this is something you could stress though: That Angus was lucky enough not only to become a hero by accident, but also not to become the hero he intended to. That would have been a disaster, most likely.

Finally, I don't mind interrupted dialogue, but I would avoid interruptions like: ďWe're just dropping by, hopping you'll keep me in mind fó". It would probably be better if the reader could figure out what the full word would have been.

Anyway, I liked the script a lot Ė especially, your portrayal of Angus. You managed to make him likable despite all his flaws. Who knows, perhaps I could even vote for him.

Manolis
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Colkurtz8
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First off sorry, for the delay in responding, had a very busy week.


Marko

Thanks for checking this out.


Quoted from DS
Apart from just the script, I found reading your analysis in the responses below fascinating. The amount of thought you put into the script and discussion on them is always worth the read.


- Ya, I always try to respond in as much depth as per someone's comments on the script. Whether they're interested enough to read it or not is their choice but I think itís the least I owe them for taking the time to read and comment. Also, itís a good way for me to articulate my intentions.


Quoted from DS
I liked how the script was basically a commentary on the election circus, particularly liked the opening/ending shot of old ladies having a go at the pictures. I was sold on the location and you created a believable and vivid image of Ireland and the characters in my head along with a nice light family-friendly tone, great job with that.


- Thanks, yeah, itís also more a general comments on public perception too and how fickle and reactionary it is. The broad stroked narrative that can make or break an individual. How quick people are ready to vilify or champion someone for the most spurious of reasons. Not exactly a new theme I know but I think itís ever more prevalent today in the age of social media where people can sit at their computer, spit out 140 character long opinions instantaneously and within seconds millions of people may be reading and disseminating them. The political realm is obviously a good place to explore this because the stakes are a little higher. Where a personís success relies so much on their public image.

The important difference between the old ladies at the beginning and the end is their opposing opinions on Angus. The former note, what they perceive to be, his faults, purely superficial of course because at that time he is seen as incompetent and a bit of a joke. While at the end, when he has been heralded as a hero (although we know heís not) these other women make the same shallow, aesthetic observations but now their tone is much more complimentary.


Quoted from DS
I think it's somewhat of a rarity to see characters such as Angus, I can't think of anyone to compare him to in fiction. That was part of the charm of the script for me.


- Cool, thanks, yeah heís kind of the likeable idiot, harmless. Heís inept and rather tactless first and foremost. This is partially down to the fact that itís his first time running so heís raw but heís also just one of those guys who means well but often manages to put their foot in it. I tried to make him genuinely passionate and enthusiastic too so you would understand why he would run for this job and to make him a little more likeable. Although he inadvertently foils the robbery and initially flees, it was his sense of duty to turn back and face the robbers but also his perseverance to even go to Mrs. Hoganís door in the first place after Colm had given up. However, I also see him as petulant and provincial in his dismissal of his competitors and a little too self righteous when spouting off about the problems of the parish both to Colm in the car and Phil at the radio station. So heís a character of contradictions both positive and negative.


Quoted from DS
I liked the Mrs's dominance and Colm was funny, although his rant went overboard on the beginning of page 14 and didn't click for me as much with his character.


- Yeah, I liked that shifting dynamic of Sheila dominating Angus in their scenes together while Angus is the dominant one in his and Colmís scenes. It was fun to play around with how a characterís attitude can totally change depending on who they are interacting with.

Ha, yeah, Colmís breakdown is a little dramatic but that was the intention. It was meant to be comically over the top. He has just seen Angus getting ridiculed by each one of the parishioners and has reached his threshold. The guy looks up to Angus, heís his sidekick, hangs on his every word so it kills him to see Angus treated like this. Also, Colmís capitulation allows Angus to step up to the plate and show his resolve in continuing to go door-to-door. As I said, itís Angusís determination here which is ultimately rewarded as he intervenes in the robbery and becomes the toast of the parish.


Quoted from DS
However, I can't help feel that the script is doing itself a disservice as a short. A wide number of characters, landscape, pretty expensive to shoot and it just feels to be a part of something bigger to me, despite seeing how well it comes full circle now. I don't know, I think you should make this into a feature or a pilot. It's clear that you do the light family friendly tone really well from this script, along with the Irish feeling -- I think this could be an excellent writing sample for you if you extend it.


- A few have said this actually which I never anticipated as I see it as a self contained story and right now I have no plans to expand it. Primarily because I donít think there is anything new I could bring to the political satire genre to justify a feature. While I concede that itís an awkward length for a short I donít think it would be expensive to make. There are only four interior locations; Angus and Sheilaís house, Colmís car, the radio studio and Mrs. Hoganís house while the exteriors are mainly peopleís front porches.

Thanks again for taking the time and your thoughts, glad you liked it.


Dustin


Quoted from Dustin
No... not the number, why place it in uppercase? It's the uppercase I find distracting.


- Ok.


Quoted from Dustin
I don't read scripts, never have... aside from the ones I read here, of course.


- So that means you do read scripts. You got over 2200 posts!


Quoted from Dustin
I don't agree that readers miss important information just because you haven't capped it.


- Not always of course but I see it happen a lot. Important details can get lost in a sea of monotonous looking prose. Even in just a block of three lines. Iíve been guilty of it myself reading other scripts and itís happened to me with folk reading mine. I think itís safe to assume that the majority of people reading scripts, read them quickly. Prose-wise, youíre not there to bask in the writingís aesthetic qualities, thatís what novels are for. Which is why brevity is king for so many, they want the reading experience to be nearly as fluid as watching the film itself.

I donít mind prose heavy scripts as long as the writing is worthy of it. I enjoy good writing full stop and read much more prose than screenplays but since Iím far from a good writer I use the least words possible so thereís less chance of my deficiencies being exposed. There is nothing worse than an overwritten script littered with clunky phrasing and bad grammar. Thatís the epitome of delusion, not recognizing your own limitations.


Quoted from Dustin
Even if I did, I cannot see the importance of some of the things you have placed in uppercase, hence the distraction


- Like I said, itís more about highlighting the key points in the visual make-up of a scene. Iíll take the block of prose in question:

ďHe holds up TWO SUIT JACKETS of varying shades of navy, debates...selects the DARKER SHADE...moves onto FOUR NECKTIES laid on the bed of varying shades of navy, MUTTERS to himself.Ē

- A quick glance at that and registering the capped words tells you very quickly what Angus is doing. Youíre right, in the grand scheme of the story these arenít significant details, itís just Angus getting dressed after all. However, for this particular scene, they are the essence of whatís happening on screen, what weíre seeing so within that context they are all that matter for now. My goal is clarity, communicating the primary images of a scene with only a cursory skim.

As I acknowledged, itís not to everyoneís tastes and Iím cool with that.


Quoted from Dustin
I'm trying to picture the image and it evades me. I cannot understand why or what you mean by his muttering. He mutters inaudibly. So he just moves his lips? I'm sorry, I just can't see it.


- Fair enough. Have you ever seen someone mutter to themselves and not catch what theyíre saying, as in talk under their breath? Think of a Muttley from the Dastardly and Muttley cartoon or your average wino vagrant Angus is in rehearse mode here, going over his lines like an actor before an audition.

Iím not ignoring the next two comments by the way, itís just they go over ground already covered in my answer above so Iíll only be repeating myself.


Quoted from Dustin
No. I just didn't understand what you meant by he staring at the mirror. Is he staring at somebody else's reflection? Maybe his eyes are drawn elsewhere before refocusing on the mirror? I feel that if you mean he stops focusing on himself, yet still stares at the mirror, that this is an awkward image to write and unnecessary when you can simply have him drawn to another object.


- I guess I didnít think I needed to specify he was looking at his own reflection, I figured that would be assumed. Especially in light of what Sheila has just said to him. Heís psyching himself up, taking a long hard look at himself in the mirror, etc, so itís appropriate that heís looking at himself. Again, itís about context within the scene, that is important. I will change ďstares hard at the mirrorĒ to ďstares hard in the mirrorĒ though as it seems more apt but I donít think further direction is needed.


Quoted from Dustin
Here is the block again:

Code

Angus sits at the TABLE, eats cereal. Heís dressed, combed and flossed, reads a CRUMPLED PAGE of NEWSPAPER, sullen.



I was actually referring to how passive the second sentence is. How do we know he has flossed? .


- On a purely straightforward level, we know he has flossed because we saw him doing it in the last scene. On a more aesthetic level itís to give the impression of Angus being ready to go out on the trail. Itís like when you say someone is ďin their Sunday bestĒ for an event or a woman is ďprim and properĒ. They can be seen as somewhat abstract or vague language but it instantly stirs up an image of that person because of its connotations. That was the intention behind the ďdressed, combed and flossedĒ phrase here, itís emblematic of Angusís careful attention to superficial preparations. Heís all set for the day ahead. Some might see it as a redundant aside but I feel it earns its place because of the visual it conjures up.


Quoted from Dustin
Code

Another CAR comes against them, another big salute from Angus.



My 'huh?' was because of the way it is written. A car comes against them? You can do better than that. A car drives alongside them? Comes against? What does that exactly mean in terms of cars that are moving? It's a difficult image to get right. You obviously know what it means, but I don't. I wasn't confused about the salute. I just don't know what comes against means in this respect.


- Ah I see. This must be an Irish colloquialism then. If we are in a moving car and a vehicle ďis coming against usĒ it simply means its approaching towards us going in the opposite direction. Iíll see about clarifying that in a more universal way. Thanks.


Quoted from Dustin
No, I was distracted in the beginning, then settled in to enjoy the story. This type of story is not really my thing, but I found it pleasant enough that I read all the way through and even smiled a few times. I could never write a story like this so it's difficult for me to say much about it aside from whether I liked it or not. I did.


- All good, I was just curious as to why the bulk of your remarks focused on technical minutiae with little to no mention of the story as a whole. Iím glad you got a few smiles out of it anyway as its meant to be satirical above anything, a bit of a laugh.

Itís interesting that you say you could never write anything like this. Iíve noticed from the stuff Iíve read from you that its dark, gritty dramas you gravitate towards or perhaps feel most comfortable with. I was like that for a long time too in that the vast majority of my scripts were dramas which often ended tragically. However, in the past couple of years most of my shorts have taken a much more humorous tone. The cynicism remains, it just has a different inflection now. This was a conscious decision to lighten things up and see if I could diversify.

My features are still as depressing as ever though

Anyway, it could be worth exploring yourself. You got a sense of humour, right

Thanks for the back and forth, man. I love discussion like this, itís the main reason I post on here.

Cheers.

Col.


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Dustin
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 3:24am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Colkurtz8

- So that means you do read scripts. You got over 2200 posts!


I meant professional scripts. I downloaded Tarantino's Hateful 8 once and only read 2 pages.


Quoted Text
Not always of course but I see it happen a lot. Important details can get lost in a sea of monotonous looking prose. Even in just a block of three lines. Iíve been guilty of it myself reading other scripts and itís happened to me with folk reading mine. I think itís safe to assume that the majority of people reading scripts, read them quickly. Prose-wise, youíre not there to bask in the writingís aesthetic qualities, thatís what novels are for. Which is why brevity is king for so many, they want the reading experience to be nearly as fluid as watching the film itself.


I don't agree that novels are for basking in the aesthetic qualities of the writing... if I were to see random words capped in a novel, I would also be put off reading those. Brevity is also king in a novel. Often the examples given to screenwriters regarding novels are not something we'd ever find in a well written book. The way the information is relayed in a novel allows for tells, so images can be conjured and stories told that would probably be impossible to film.



Quoted Text

I donít mind prose heavy scripts as long as the writing is worthy of it. I enjoy good writing full stop and read much more prose than screenplays but since Iím far from a good writer I use the least words possible so thereís less chance of my deficiencies being exposed. There is nothing worse than an overwritten script littered with clunky phrasing and bad grammar. Thatís the epitome of delusion, not recognizing your own limitations.


Well yes, I agree... however you can also go too far the other way. You shouldn't see yourself as a not very good writer. To write screenplays you need to be a good writer too, else it will show just as badly as it would in a novel. I noted that you have a natural flow, but I felt that flow was broken at times with your choices.




Quoted Text
- Like I said, itís more about highlighting the key points in the visual make-up of a scene. Iíll take the block of prose in question:

ďHe holds up TWO SUIT JACKETS of varying shades of navy, debates...selects the DARKER SHADE...moves onto FOUR NECKTIES laid on the bed of varying shades of navy, MUTTERS to himself.Ē

- A quick glance at that and registering the capped words tells you very quickly what Angus is doing. Youíre right, in the grand scheme of the story these arenít significant details, itís just Angus getting dressed after all. However, for this particular scene, they are the essence of whatís happening on screen, what weíre seeing so within that context they are all that matter for now. My goal is clarity, communicating the primary images of a scene with only a cursory skim.

As I acknowledged, itís not to everyoneís tastes and Iím cool with that.


He holds up TWO SUIT JACKETS of varying shades of navy, debates...selects the DARKER SHADE...moves onto FOUR NECKTIES laid on the bed of varying shades of navy, MUTTERS to himself.

He holds up two suit jackets in varying shades of navy, debates...selects the darker...moves onto four neckties, in varying shades of navy, laid on the bed, mutters.


I've given the second version a bit of an edit. No need to mention that he mutters to himself. Also, once you've described the neckties and moved onto the bed, you shouldn't really make the final part of the sentence about the neckties. In your version, it could be interpreted that the bed is in varying shades of navy. Anyway, the point is that the information is all there just the same and it isn't important so doesn't matter if one misses it.

But, like you said, if that's how you want to do it, then it's up to you. I've been looking over scripts with a producer's eye recently and I have to say that, were I so inclined, it probably wouldn't stop me from making it. So there's that.



Quoted Text
Fair enough. Have you ever seen someone mutter to themselves and not catch what theyíre saying, as in talk under their breath? Think of a Muttley from the Dastardly and Muttley cartoon or your average wino vagrant Angus is in rehearse mode here, going over his lines like an actor before an audition.


Yes I have... but then people can mutter in all sorts of ways. Anger, in exasperation, moaning... etc. I think you need to make clear exactly what this muttering is and why he's doing it.



Quoted Text
- I guess I didnít think I needed to specify he was looking at his own reflection, I figured that would be assumed. Especially in light of what Sheila has just said to him. Heís psyching himself up, taking a long hard look at himself in the mirror, etc, so itís appropriate that heís looking at himself. Again, itís about context within the scene, that is important. I will change ďstares hard at the mirrorĒ to ďstares hard in the mirrorĒ though as it seems more apt but I donít think further direction is needed.


Using the in makes a lot of difference.


Quoted Text
On a purely straightforward level, we know he has flossed because we saw him doing it in the last scene. On a more aesthetic level itís to give the impression of Angus being ready to go out on the trail. Itís like when you say someone is ďin their Sunday bestĒ for an event or a woman is ďprim and properĒ. They can be seen as somewhat abstract or vague language but it instantly stirs up an image of that person because of its connotations. That was the intention behind the ďdressed, combed and flossedĒ phrase here, itís emblematic of Angusís careful attention to superficial preparations. Heís all set for the day ahead. Some might see it as a redundant aside but I feel it earns its place because of the visual it conjures up.


Maybe you could show him combing his hair? If you showed him dressing, flossing and combing, making sure that everything is impeccable (the old, not a hair out of place thing) that that would show how careful he is.



Quoted Text
All good, I was just curious as to why the bulk of your remarks focused on technical minutiae with little to no mention of the story as a whole. Iím glad you got a few smiles out of it anyway as its meant to be satirical above anything, a bit of a laugh.


I often read stories and simply enjoy them. If the choices made are good then I rarely have any complaints. I saw this as a light hearted comedy.


Quoted Text
Itís interesting that you say you could never write anything like this. Iíve noticed from the stuff Iíve read from you that its dark, gritty dramas you gravitate towards or perhaps feel most comfortable with. I was like that for a long time too in that the vast majority of my scripts were dramas which often ended tragically. However, in the past couple of years most of my shorts have taken a much more humorous tone. The cynicism remains, it just has a different inflection now. This was a conscious decision to lighten things up and see if I could diversify.

My features are still as depressing as ever though

Anyway, it could be worth exploring yourself. You got a sense of humour, right

Thanks for the back and forth, man. I love discussion like this, itís the main reason I post on here.

Cheers.

Col.


I am writing another comedy. My first attempt, Donny and Floyd failed because my first draft was 146 pages with lots of funny in it. My second draft ended up as a 90 page drama.

Anyway, I'm trying again with a concept I've wanted to write for a couple of years now. I've done 23 pages in two days so far. Should hit 35 today. Still though, it's more of a darker comedy than a light hearted one. Maybe with age, I'll get there.

Good luck.


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Colkurtz8
Posted: April 21st, 2015, 7:10am Report to Moderator
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Mark

Thanks for giving this a look, man.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Great imagery of the poster. The name Angus McGinty does actually sound like an independent politician.


- Yeah, I thought opening with the election poster would be the most succinct and effective way to introduce the character by purely visual means. I had a bit of fun with the name alright. Same with Noreen Twohig and Cyrill Duffy.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
For some reason I imagined the two woman commenting on the poster sounding like the guys from Monty Python when they put women's voices on. It made me smile.


- Anything that invokes Monty Python is cool with me.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Maybe give the two women names, it would help me identify with  them more.


- Since they only appear in that scene so I didnít think it was necessary. Plus the idea of just numbering them is to give the impression they are just two of the anonymous electorate, the average voter.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Angus and Sheila introduced nicely, it's flowing along quite smoothly.  There's a lot of ellipses in the action and dialogue. I don't suppose there's anything wrong with that it's just an ellipsis in a script normally means a train of thought that has just sort of drifted away...whereas here they also seem to signify natural pauses. A minor niggle though.


- Yeah, they signify pauses in dialogue, the phrasing of its delivery. I see it in prose all the time and scripts for that matter and it makes sense to me so I employ it.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Another minor niggle, lots of-- interruptions. It could get a bit tiresome.


- Eldave1 had a problem with that to but itís intentional and for a reason. The character doing the interrupting is usually the dominant one within a given scene. Their insistence on speaking by cutting off the other is a reflection of this, itís indicative of their character.

For example, in the scenes between Angus and Shelia itís usually the latter because sheís clearly the alpha presence there while in the Angus and Colm scenes itís usually the former for the same reason. I liked that changing dynamic. Then in the radio interview scene its more even handed as Angus is trying to get his points across while Phil continuously steers the conversation towards a new topic to stop Angus from rambling or to poke fun at the error which has marred his campaign so far.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
The characters were rich, well rounded and realistic. I understood everything that was going on and could visualise the scenes perfectly. You describes small town politics and the people who live in such rural areas perfectly and this was a good tale of how the public's perceptions can change dramatically on a whim.


- Thanks. Yeah, you nailed it, itís more about the fickle nature of public perception, which is more reactionary than ever now, then it being specifically about Angus. He is more of a vehicle in which to expose these absurdities.  


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
You can sense there's a but coming along so here it is. But, the comedy as such for me is extremely light.  I liked Angus, but I felt more sorry for him than maybe I should. I neither laughed at him nor with him.


- Ah, the inevitable but! Thatís a pity you didnít get any laughs out of it as I did predominately write this as a comedy with some dramatic elements. Itís meant to be broadly satirical and a little exaggerated in order to explore the theme I mentioned above.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
He only makes one bumble and that is the messiah comment, the Witch issue was out of his control, yet he's described in the logline as a bumbling first-time politician.


- Yeah but we see how he interacts with his wife, how much she calls the shots, how off he was when he suggested what he should talk about to Phil. I tried to indicate in those opening scenes with Sheila how much she dictates his actions, how lost he would be without her. When he pontificates in front of Colm we again get an idea of what kind of guy he is. True, the only tangible bumbles are the printing error and his ďmessiahĒ slip up but overall I wanted to give the impression that this guy is always one line away from saying something stupid or misguided. Heís a bit of a fool, means well but not taken very seriously. In his ramblings to Phil he needs to be reined in and cut off and when trying to placate the voters at their front doors he is ill-equipped and unable the salvage his pride with any of them.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
There's potential here for a 'Last of the Summer Wine' type sitcom, the problem is the characters are too realistic and it's more drama than comedy. Maybe that was the intention but there were moments when it was an effort to read rather than a joy; the radio interview for example. There could have been a lot more comedy here but all we have is Angus boring us with the usual politics speech that we've all heard many times.


- Not so sure about the Last of the Summer WineĒ comparison but I guess itís a institution of British TV The radio interview has been an issue for some and Iíve already explained my intention behind it so I wonít repeat myself here, not out of laziness or disrespect to you, itís just ground Iíve covered already in previous posts if you want to check them out.

What I will say, is that I think itís generally more important to stay truthful to your character and the situation even if it means sacrificing drama or in this case, comedy. I couldíve made that scene more snappy and conventionally funny but that would betray Angus character and the nature of these type of interviews which are dull, PR exercises where the politician gets to drone on about themselves and what they are going to do if elected. It was actually listening to one of these last summer during our local elections that gave me the idea for the script.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
All it would take is slight tweaks to turn this into more comedy than drama.


- Iíll look into this and thanks for the suggestion, there can always be more jokes injected into something but this aligns with my own sense of humour and what I respond to in films. Comedy that comes more from character and dialogue than laugh out loud gags.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
I also don't think the name Blank Canvas represents what this story is about, although I get the intent of it.  


- Yeah, Tiger mentioned this above too. Yes, Angus does have things to say but the impression I wanted to give was that they are opinions and point of view largely adopted from other people, the customers at the store he works and of course his wife. Heís very much trotting out the same old local concerns we hear all the time. I do believe heís enthusiastic and driven and cares about the parish but a lot of it fuelled by what heís other folk say. Plus, the word ďblankĒ has associations with stupidity and cluelessness which can certainly be found in parts of Angusís character.

Thanks again for the read, Mark, much appreciated.


Manolis

Good to hear from you, havenít seen you around for awhile. Thanks for the read.


Quoted from Athenian
My only gripe is that the robbery scene isn't totally plausible in my eyes. The robbers having left the door ajar, not looking out to see if anybody is coming, not noticing AngusÖ It seems that these guys aren't very clever or experienced either, are they? What if the curtains on some window weren't entirely closed and Angus saw them through it, for instance? Just an idea.


- Fair point. My thinking is that yes these are not the brightest thieves, there are just local no-gooders looking for a quick score. It wouldíve been very much a smash and grab operation. Thatís why I specified they were in tracksuits and peaks caps. It might be a cultural stereotype but in Ireland, young males in this attire in an urban areas suggests a certain unsavoury demographic.

- Of course I will admit that the door had to be open for the story reasons too. I wanted Angus to enter, see what was going on, fleeing, before gaining courage but by then he has locked himself out of the house. Only for the two boys are leaving at that time and crash into Angus he wouldnít have been the hero he is now being made out to be. Of course we know different.  That whole scene was intentionally un-heroic and accidental. Yes, he does show some balls by turning back but the rest is pure luck.

Which is why I couldnít really have Angus just see them through the window. It was important for me to have him make that critical decision of flight over fight when inside the house. If he remained outside it would be much easier for him to react accordingly. Having him in the house puts him in more immediate danger and tests his true colours.


Quoted from Athenian
Also, when Angus finally decides to intervene, what is his plan exactly? To confront the robbers alone? I'd expect him to call the police first, at least, and ask Colm for help. Otherwise, he puts Mrs. Hogan in even greater danger, trying to play the hero. Perhaps this is something you could stress though: That Angus was lucky enough not only to become a hero by accident, but also
not to become the hero he intended to. That would have been a disaster, most likely.


- Thatís a good question. I donít think even Angus knows. Itís that spur of the moment reaction. Heís sees a crestfallen Colm in that car, realises his political ambitions have taken another beating after the radio interview and just knows he has to do something to prove himself. Itís time to man up. Youíre right, he probably wouldíve made matter worse if heíd actually gotten back onto the house and tried to be the hero. We can only speculate how it wouldíve went down. I guess in cases like that one hopes to catch the thieves by surprise and scare them away.

The most apparent thing I wanted readers to take away from the scene was that Angusís actions were chiefly inadvertent and far from heroic and how that is not going to matter in terms of the media and public perception. Theyíll just want to simplify and streamline it into a clear, unambiguous narrative where heíll be held up as the night in shining armour...and Angus understands this much.


Quoted from Athenian
Finally, I don't mind interrupted dialogue, but I would avoid interruptions like: ďWe're just dropping by, hopping you'll keep me in mind fó". It would probably be better if the reader could figure out what the full word would have been.


- Thanks for the suggestion, Iíll look into this.


Quoted from Athenian
Anyway, I liked the script a lot Ė especially, your portrayal of Angus. You managed to make him likable despite all his flaws. Who knows, perhaps I could even vote for him.


Thanks for the kind words. Ha, yeah, heís incompetent, an idiot but has a spark...and is probably no worse than the rest of them.

Thanks again for taking the time, appreciate it.

Col.


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Colkurtz8
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Dustin


Quoted from Dustin
I meant professional scripts. I downloaded Tarantino's Hateful 8 once and only read 2 pages.


- Ok, I was just talking about scripts. I read both but wait until after Iíve watched the film if itís indeed one I plan to seek out. Tarantino is definitely on that list for me. There has been a few occasions where I broken that rule though with Steve McQueenís ďShameĒ, ďBuriedĒ with Ryan Reynolds and ďThe DescendantsĒ


Quoted from Dustin
I don't agree that novels are for basking in the aesthetic qualities of the writing...


- True, not always but there are certain novels that focus more on aesthetics than a functional narrative. Form over content. My point is that prose writing is far more suited and accommodating to that type of writing than screenplays which is purely functional. Where you are to convey whatís happening on screen and little else.


Quoted from Dustin
if I were to see random words capped in a novel, I would also be put off reading those.


- You see them as random words but have my reasoning behind every one I cap.


Quoted from Dustin
Brevity is also king in a novel.


- I donít agree. It totally depends on the type of novel and perhaps more importantly, the type of writer.


Quoted from Dustin
  Often the examples given to screenwriters regarding novels are not something we'd ever find in a well written book. The way the information is relayed in a novel allows for tells, so images can be conjured and stories told that would probably be impossible to film.


- Yeah, there is a lot more artistic freedom in a novel naturally, both in the external and internal. Thatís why I dilettante like me gravitated toward screenplays


Quoted from Dustin
  I've given the second version a bit of an edit. No need to mention that he mutters to himself. Also, once you've described the neckties and moved onto the bed, you shouldn't really make the final part of the sentence about the neckties. In your version, it could be interpreted that the bed is in varying shades of navy. Anyway, the point is that the information is all there just the same and it isn't important so doesn't matter if one misses it.


- I debated whether to leave out ďto himselfĒ or not actually. To me, itís extra clarity to prevent the reader thinking he is muttering to someone else or louder than I intended. If I could fit it on the line, I would include it but if it meant going onto a new line I would omit it. In both cases I was able to squeeze it in but I remember in the earlier stages when the action line was longer I just had ďMUTTERSĒ. Iíve become very conscious about spilling onto a new line with just a couple of words, seems so wasteful.

Good call on rearranging the ďlaid on the bedĒ part, Iíve made that change.


Quoted from Dustin
  Yes I have... but then people can mutter in all sorts of ways. Anger, in exasperation, moaning... etc. I think you need to make clear exactly what this muttering is and why he's doing it.


- I hoped the subsequent dialogue would give an idea of how he was saying it. Yes, at this time we donít know who Phil is or grasp the full picture of what he is talking about, that only comes later when we hear him repeating it; loosely in the first case (his affinity with the parish) and verbatim in the second instance (his slogan). Then we really understand what heís rambling on about.

However, we do know from the opening shot that he is a politician and its election time so again, I hoped the reader would join the dots and surmise that Angus is preparing for some kind of speech or interview.


Quoted from Dustin
  Maybe you could show him combing his hair? If you showed him dressing, flossing and combing, making sure that everything is impeccable (the old, not a hair out of place thing) that that would show how careful he is.


- I could but I felt I had showed enough with him dressing and flossing to get the idea across. Plus, his hair is mentioned already in the opening scene, both in the action lines ďcombed hairĒ and in the dialogue ďHis hair is greasy.Ē


Quoted from Dustin
  I am writing another comedy. My first attempt, Donny and Floyd failed because my first draft was 146 pages with lots of funny in it. My second draft ended up as a 90 page drama.


- Yeah, itís interesting how we gravitate towards what we respond to, and often subconsciously, without realising it. Itís that auteur thing of how they return to explore similar themes over and over.

Cheers, best of luck with your writing going forward too. If you want me to read anything let me know.

Col.


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DanC
Posted: May 12th, 2015, 2:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Howard,
    I'm gonna read your screenplay.  

Good luck and here goes:

1.  I know this is probably just me, but when you open with "fixed to a telephone pole" I imagined that he was nailed to it, like crucifixion style.  Perhaps you want to add the word photo in there somewhere

2.  Wait, so he spends all that time flossing so he can eat cereal?  Wouldn't he eat first then floss?

3.  You give an AWFUL lot of back story to explain why he feels he's right for this job.  I wonder if his monolog is really all necessary.  I understand that he's reciting and improving his speeches, but, all this back story tires out the reader.    I know you break it up, but, it's all him reading about his life.  I wonder if there isn't a better way to do that.  Perhaps a funny "this is your life" skit...

4.  I wonder when Angus goes door to door if you shouldn't do that as a montage-like setting.  It's a funny thing when he screws up again.  You could easily show different faces responding to his latest gaffe.

5.  I think it's funny how you guys spell Kerb when we spell it curb.  I wonder every time what the heck is that word for a second or 2.  

I just finished it.  It was good.  I don't like the ending b/c I think you leave it too open.  I think a lack of dates also hurts.  

When you write for people who aren't from your country, we don't know the rules.  For us, most of election day is on the first tuesday of November.  Why would Sheila tell him to stop going around unless it's nearly election time.  I think we need to know that.

I also think I'd like to know who the mysterious hand was.  Was it the second thief?  That'd be cool.  Also, the second thief knows the truth about the accidental arrest.  It'd be awesome if that somehow came into play.  I imagine that was who wrote opportunist on his poster.   I could imagine the other candidates looking for that second thief to try to discredit Angus from his new-founded bump to front runner.  

I did like the story, but, I do think it needs some work.  The back story really detracts from the actual story.  I'd rather you focus on his 2 errors and the robbery rather then the back story.  OR if you are gonna work on the back story, have him practice with his wife and perhaps screw up that part at home.  Have that screw up on his mind as he gives the speech live and then have him screw up.  I could imagine him swearing to himself in his mind.  

Good luck with it, I'd read any rewrite you do.

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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Colkurtz8
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Dan

Many thanks for the read, much appreciated.


Quoted from DanC
1.  I know this is probably just me, but when you open with "fixed to a telephone pole" I imagined that he was nailed to it, like crucifixion style.  Perhaps you want to add the word photo in there somewhere


- Ha, I see what you mean but I donít think itís necessary because the slugline tells us itís an ďELECTION POSTERĒ. I try to avoid repeating the slugline in the prose where possible, itís redundant.


Quoted from DanC
2.  Wait, so he spends all that time flossing so he can eat cereal?  Wouldn't he eat first then floss?


- Thatís a great point which no one has ever picked up on before. Iíll omit the cereal eating but the flossing stays!


Quoted from DanC
3.  You give an AWFUL lot of back story to explain why he feels he's right for this job.  I wonder if his monolog is really all necessary.  I understand that he's reciting and improving his speeches, but, all this back story tires out the reader.    I know you break it up, but, it's all him reading about his life.  I wonder if there isn't a better way to do that.  Perhaps a funny "this is your life" skit...


- In a purely storytelling sense it might seems like blatant exposition but itís a reflection of his character and the circumstance heís in. Itís meant to be dull and boring, such is the nature of these political PR campaigns. The sheer banality of Angusís  life story and background is the point and his efforts of trying to inject it with some purpose and significance is where I hoped the humour would come from.


Quoted from DanC
4.  I wonder when Angus goes door to door if you shouldn't do that as a montage-like setting.  It's a funny thing when he screws up again.  You could easily show different faces responding to his latest gaffe.


- You mean cut away to a succession of reacting faces? That could work but I wanted to stay with Angus through all of this and have him experience first-hand how the electorate have taken his latest slip up. That immediacy of direct interaction is where I was looking to get in some humour too.


Quoted from DanC
5.  I think it's funny how you guys spell Kerb when we spell it curb.  I wonder every time what the heck is that word for a second or 2.


- Ya there are lot of cases of that. We feel the ďuĒ deserves its place in favour, colour, odour, neighbour, etc...while you crazy Amercians treat it with scorn!


Quoted from DanC
I just finished it.  It was good.  I don't like the ending b/c I think you leave it too open.  I think a lack of dates also hurts.  


Ok, sorry it didnít work for you. I felt I had enough in there to suggest how Angusís campaign has been irrevocably changed for the better but thatís not really what the script is interested in; whether heíll win or not. Itís more about the fickle, knee jerk, context-less nature of public perception. Not the most groundbreaking of themes to explore I know but it is something thatís become increasingly problematic in todayís society where everything is instant, information is disseminated, interpreted, distorted and judged quicker than ever before.

This is why Angusís error are so minor. I couldíve had him drop an f-bomb or say something homophobic, racist, sexist, etc but that wouldíve been too easy. The insignificance of his mistakes were to amplify the ridiculousness of the situation, accentuate the satirical aspect of the script. The bookended scenes of the woman assessing the election posters on a purely aesthetic level with diametrically opposed points of view was an extension of this theme also.


Quoted from DanC
When you write for people who aren't from your country, we don't know the rules.  For us, most of election day is on the first tuesday of November.  Why would Sheila tell him to stop going around unless it's nearly election time.  I think we need to know that.


- The reason why Sheila tells him to stop campaigning is informed by the theme I mentioned above. She understands that Angus is in the good books of the electorate now and knowing his character, will just as easily put his foot in it again so she adopts the ďquit while your aheadĒ approach. I donít think knowing the specific election dates is important.


Quoted from DanC
I also think I'd like to know who the mysterious hand was.  Was it the second thief?  That'd be cool.  Also, the second thief knows the truth about the accidental arrest.  It'd be awesome if that somehow came into play.  I imagine that was who wrote opportunist on his poster.   I could imagine the other candidates looking for that second thief to try to discredit Angus from his new-founded bump to front runner.  


- Yeah the hand writing ďopportunistĒ is intentionally left ambiguous but I did anticipate people to assume it was one of the thieves, which is fine too. Again, I donít think itís important to find out who it is, itís more about the idea that although Angus has won over the vast majority of people with his ďperceived heroicsĒ there will always be folk that wonít be seduced by the black and white, yay or nay media hoopla surround it and see through the bullsh?t.

Those additional plot development you mentioned are great suggestions and would be worth exploring if I were to expand this. Thanks.


Quoted from DanC
I did like the story, but, I do think it needs some work.  The back story really detracts from the actual story.  I'd rather you focus on his 2 errors and the robbery rather then the back story.  OR if you are gonna work on the back story, have him practice with his wife and perhaps screw up that part at home.  Have that screw up on his mind as he gives the speech live and then have him screw up.  I could imagine him swearing to himself in his mind.


- I already gave my reasoning behind the emphasis on Angusís speech making so I wonít repeat myself. I take your point all the same though. Itís interesting that you bring up him making mistakes in his rehearsals as I took this into consideration when writing them. While he delivers them confidently when selecting his suit and tie, in front of the mirror and with Colm there are some subtle differences to what he says in those instances and what he says to Phil during the interview.

Despite Angusís lack of tact and general incompetence he knows enough to not blame the townspeople for the state of the town, instead calling out the headquarters in Dublin. This is in stark contrast to how he views the issue in the privacy of Colmís car. Also, he voices his small minded, provincial opinion about Cyril Duffy running for office and criticises the incumbent candidate while graciously espousing their virtues in the interview. I thought it was important to show that Angus has picked up a trick or two along the campaign trail.

Thanks again for the read and sorry again it didnít work for you on the whole.

Col.


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stevemiles
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 3:43pm Report to Moderator
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Col,

Nicely played swipe at the fickle nature of (local) politics.  

Took me a little while to figure out where we were in the world, but no bother.  No real gripes here -- thought the characters and situations were well drawn.  Particularly like the bookend approach as set-up and payoff.

If anything the radio interview ran a touch too long.  Dialogue felt dry -- almost too natural.  The messiah slip-up works fine, just took a while to get there.  Maybe more fun along the way?  The previous in-car conversation with Colm benefitted from the Ďsalutesí breaking up the conversation.  An extra quirk or two could perhaps give it a little more flavour.

Nice touch with Angus going back only to find the door locked.

Different and thatís no bad thing.

Steve.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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Colkurtz8
Posted: May 23rd, 2015, 12:56am Report to Moderator
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Steve

Thanks for taking the time.


Quoted from stevemiles
Took me a little while to figure out where we were in the world, but no bother.


- Yeah there are a few turns of phrase and charcterisatons in there which would be familiar to an Irish person.


Quoted from stevemiles
If anything the radio interview ran a touch too long.  Dialogue felt dry -- almost too natural.


- As I've explained in previous posts this scene was intentionally drawn out and dull as its a reflection of what these things are like, formal, on-the-nose and over rehearsed. Also, it provides an indicator of what kind of person Angus is, just another mouthpiece trotting out the same old stuff. Phil is essentially the reader here and his impatience and restlessness hopefully mirrors the reader's.


Quoted from stevemiles
Nice touch with Angus going back only to find the door locked.


- Yeah, having the door locked was to drive home the point that Angus's initial cowardice had fucked things up and only for the robbers were leaving at that time, he would have essentially locked the hapless Mrs. Hogan in with them, sealed her to her fate. All this was to reinforce the notion that Angus was far from heroic and only inadvertently saved the day, at least in terms of getting Mrs. Hogan's money back.

Thanks again for your thoughts and I'm glad you picked up on some of the things I was going for.

Col.


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SteveDiablo
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These dropboxfiles are fricking annoying.
Would a producer want to go throught the crap I just went through to reead this? Probably not!"

Ditch Dropbox. Great for people that have it, but for those that don't --

It's an annoyance.

So I'm interested -- once I finally found it -- and would like to read it.

comments are based on how I read it as I went. May need editing themselves.

The opening is a mixed bag.
I get what you mean, but it's a very awkward scene.
No, it's just awkwardly set.

*sorry for being such an asshat, but I am only trying to help. I can only say what I see.

If I'm honest, the opening is pretty poor.

I'll try and explain why if you can make a decent pdf.

Very difficult to read.

Post in correct format in pdf.

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SteveDiablo  -  May 23rd, 2015, 3:37am
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DS
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Quoted from SteveDiablo
These dropboxfiles are fricking annoying.
Would a producer want to go throught the crap I just went through to reead this? Probably not!"

Ditch Dropbox. Great for people that have it, but for those that don't --

It's an annoyance.

So I'm interested -- once I finally found it -- and would like to read it.

comments are based on how I read it as I went. May need editing themselves.

The opening is a mixed bag.
I get what you mean, but it's a very awkward scene.
No, it's just awkwardly set.

*sorry for being such an asshat, but I am only trying to help. I can only say what I see.

If I'm honest, the opening is pretty poor.

I'll try and explain why if you can make a decent pdf.

Very difficult to read.

Post in correct format in pdf.


Looks like you're taking your own disdain and/or not knowing how to use Dropbox into absolutes here. The file is clearly a pdf and the "new to Dropbox?" window that pops up? You can just close it and start reading whether you have a Dropbox account or not.
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rendevous
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Works fine for me too. I don't have Dropbox either. I thought the start was pretty good. I would read on but there's something good on the telly and I'm having a drink.  

R


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SteveDiablo
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Quoted from DS


Looks like you're taking your own disdain and/or not knowing how to use Dropbox into absolutes here. The file is clearly a pdf and the "new to Dropbox?" window that pops up? You can just close it and start reading whether you have a Dropbox account or not.


Looks like you're right.
I tried opening this at home and it works fine, sorry about that.

I will give it a read ( bet you can't wait) and write a few thoughts later.



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Colkurtz8
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 9:39am Report to Moderator
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Gents


Quoted from DS
The file is clearly a pdf and the "new to Dropbox?" window that pops up? You can just close it and start reading whether you have a Dropbox account or not.


- Thanks for explaining this, Marko. I had Dropbox long before I actually started using it but assumed you didn't need to download it in order to access files.


Quoted from rendevous
Works fine for me too. I don't have Dropbox either. I thought the start was pretty good. I would read on but there's something good on the telly and I'm having a drink.


- Good stuff, Ren, just two (of many) excuses why one should pass on reading my drivel. Keep her lit.


Quoted from SteveDiablo
The opening is a mixed bag.
I get what you mean, but it's a very awkward scene.
No, it's just awkwardly set.


- Not sure what you mean by "awkwardly set". Perhaps you will elaborate if you read the script and post your thoughts.


Quoted from SteveDiablo
I tried opening this at home and it works fine, sorry about that.
I will give it a read ( bet you can't wait) and write a few thoughts later.


- Its all good. I'm glad you were able to get it sorted. Looking forward to seeing what you think should you check it out.

Col.


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rendevous
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"Good stuff, Ren, just two (of many) excuses why one should pass on reading my drivel. Keep her lit."

You always make me smirk, you cheeky bollocks. I like your stuff. It's good. I'll come back to this. Whether you like it or not. I might indeed be lit at the time.

R


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rendevous
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I'm not lit. But I might be later. See how it goes.

I said I'd come back to this when I had time. I like to keep my word, despite my reputation. It's all lies, your honour.

Not really my subject, but that shouldn't stop me. I might learn something.

Reminded me a little of The Casual Vacancy. The book I mean, haven't seen the TV version. Heard it didn't go down too well, so I'm not casting aspersions.

I see the word 'parish' being bandied. I presume we're in the auld country. Glancing back, I should have picked up on it earlier. I think it was the fact he was called Angus put me off the scent.

Dialogue's good, believable. You've always had a knack at drawing well defined characters. I really quite enjoyed him practising for the radio while he was getting dressed.

I thought it was going good up to the radio station. Might be me, but I think that bit needs some trimming, as it felt long. Especially compared to the length of previous scenes. Don't get me wrong, a lot of it is very good and I don't know where you'd cut. The messiah bit is rather inspired. But you get what I mean.

It's picky, but I'm fairly sure you lose the 'e' and should stick an apostrophe in witch's hat. I only mention it as you use it a few times.

At first I wasn't having a good time reading this. I'm interested in politics, but not usually in fictional politicians. But it grew on me. There's lots of gentle humour, the type of stuff that makes the pages go by faster.

I think you're a bit too fond of... Ellipses are useful. But overuse should be avoided. And they definitely need a space after them.

I liked the line about the view of page 4 / 5. Made me laugh out loud. It's exactly what people say there, way too often.

I have to question the wisdom of putting a Ted in such a humorous Irish story. I suppose if he's different enough and no Dougals, Jacks or Bishop Len Brennans also appear, you might get away with it. They're still showing it all around the world all the time. Maybe you're referencing, or not. But even for such a small part, I'd stray away.

Also wondering about the POV in Mrs. Hogan's house. I think you're cheating a bit with headings. Hang on, I'm gonna read it again. Hmm, on second thoughts I think you got away with it. Adding a new heading would kinda mess it up. You did well there.

I did rather enjoy this. Some nice topping and tailing going on. And a lot of the dialogue is very good, some of it is great. You could do a series of these. God knows they've made series about a lot less. Hmm, that last bit sounded a lot better in my head.

Not bad at all. Rather good.

R


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Colkurtz8
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Ren

Thanks for checking this out, brother, much appreciated.


Quoted from rendevous
Not really my subject, but that shouldn't stop me. I might learn something.


- Iíve seen you say this a few times in your reviews and it make me curious as to what is your thing. What makes McManus tick, floats his junk about, rocks his world, turns him on, gets his juices flowing and so on and so forth...storytelling wise of course.


Quoted from rendezvous
Reminded me a little of The Casual Vacancy. The book I mean, haven't seen the TV version. Heard it didn't go down too well, so I'm not casting aspersions.


- Never seen, read nor heard of it to be honest. I see its Rowlingís first foray into adult fiction. It passed me by.


Quoted from rendezvous
I see the word 'parish' being bandied. I presume we're in the auld country. Glancing back, I should have picked up on it earlier. I think it was the fact he was called Angus put me off the scent.


- Yup, its one the few scripts Iíve written that is firmly set in Ireland. Angus is more of a Scottish name I know but itís an amusing handle that I wanted to get in there. Its derived from the Gaelic name ďAonghasĒ, in case youí werenít wondering... I mean, why would you?


Quoted from rendezvous
Dialogue's good, believable. You've always had a knack at drawing well defined characters. I really quite enjoyed him practising for the radio while he was getting dressed.


- Cool, thanks. Yeah, I tried to get a bit of humour out of his dutiful rehearsals while giving you an idea of what type of guy he is.


Quoted from rendezvous
I thought it was going good up to the radio station. Might be me, but I think that bit needs some trimming, as it felt long. Especially compared to the length of previous scenes. Don't get me wrong, a lot of it is very good and I don't know where you'd cut. The messiah bit is rather inspired. But you get what I mean.


- A few have said this and my response has been the same in that I wanted to reflect the nature of these type of interviews. They are extremely dull and perfunctory with the politician laying out his mandate...not before prefacing it with some horribly forced bio to ingratiate themselves to the electorate. I wrote this during the local election last summer but specifically got the idea when hearing one of these interviews on the radio in the car with my dad. It was pathetic, a cringe worthy experience for all concerned but at least I got a script out of it.

Frankly, Iím disappointed that more people havenít picked up on this and just automatically judge it as too long because the rule of thumb for scenes is ďto start late, get out earlyĒ. That holds some value of course and is a good guideline to adhere to in many scenarios but itís not always the case, not always the primary objective of a scene. Sometimes a scene is protracted for a reason, itís operating on a different level other than entertainment or moving the story along as quickly as possible.

Angusís ramblings during the interview again give us a window into the type of person and candidate he is. Plus, they vary tellingly in certain parts to the lines he fed Colm in the car so that although heís is a bit of a dope, he is still playing the political game, cultivating a PR persona. It was important to show he's not a complete fool because then you'd wonder how he would've gotten this far. Although I see Sheila as the real driving force behind his campaign, she has to constantly re-steer him in the right direction when he veers off track.

I see the scene as going though five movements: Angus talking about himself...his competing candidates...his polices to which Phil brings up the ďwitchĒ printing error but Angus deflects this and gets back talking righteously about the changes he will bring... his slogan... before he makes the ďmessiahĒ slip up. So there is a progression itís just that a lot of verbose padding happens en route because this is inherent to his character and the circumstances. What do politician have at the end of the day only their words and how they spin them?

Remaining true to those elements at the risk of an extended scene is totally justified in my opinion.

Iím glad you liked the messiah bit. As Iíve said to others I couldíve easily went a sexist, homophobic or racist comment... or just threw in an f-bomb but I intentionally made Angusís mistakes inconsequential and minor as a way to comment on the outrage, shaming culture we live in today where people are excoriated for saying the most innocuous things. A slip of the tongue can go viral in minutes and the perpetrator is vilified and ruined within hours thanks primarily to the self administered judge, jury and executioner mentality of social media... but itís ok, that person will give a heartfelt apologise on Jimmy Kimmel the following night and all is well again in the world.


Quoted from rendezvous
It's picky, but I'm fairly sure you lose the 'e' and should stick an apostrophe in witch's hat. I only mention it as you use it a few times.


- I concur, good catch. Cheers.


Quoted from rendezvous
At first I wasn't having a good time reading this. I'm interested in politics, but not usually in fictional politicians. But it grew on me. There's lots of gentle humour, the type of stuff that makes the pages go by faster.


- Good, I thought you might appreciate the humour, glad you go some amusement out of it.

Quoted from rendezvous
I think you're a bit too fond of... Ellipses are useful. But overuse should be avoided. And they definitely need a space after them.


- Yeah, Iíve had this conversation with people before but I stick by them. Theyíre very useful to convey phrasing in the dialogue and breaking up the action in the prose. Iíll look into putting a space after them though. Thanks.


Quoted from rendezvous
I liked the line about the view of page 4 / 5. Made me laugh out loud. It's exactly what people say there, way too often.


-Yeah, much like Alan Partridge, Angus is a celebrator of the mundane, he champions the ordinary!


Quoted from rendezvous
I have to question the wisdom of putting a Ted in such a humorous Irish story. I suppose if he's different enough and no Dougals, Jacks or Bishop Len Brennans also appear, you might get away with it. They're still showing it all around the world all the time. Maybe you're referencing, or not. But even for such a small part, I'd stray away.


- I love the show in question but never even thought of it to be honest. Itís just because Ted is such a common name around my parts.


Quoted from rendezvous
I did rather enjoy this. Some nice topping and tailing going on.


- Yeah the bookend scenes with the two sets of women were to show that fickle nature of public perception. Perhaps itís a little overt but I was mainly going for humour with their terribly shallow and superficial remarks.


Quoted from rendezvous
You could do a series of these.


- Of just Angus? I dunno, I hoped it would be a self contained story in its own right. The outcome of the election isnít really the central concern of the script but more the absurdity of the political circus itself and the society (dys)functioning around it.

Thanks again for taking the time and sharing your thoughts. Glad you got a kick out of it.

Col.


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rendevous
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Quoted from Colkurtz8
Ren

Thanks for checking this out, brother, much appreciated.


You're welcome. It was enjoyable.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- Iíve seen you say this a few times in your reviews and it make me curious as to what is your thing. What makes McManus tick, floats his junk about, rocks his world, turns him on, gets his juices flowing and so on and so forth...storytelling wise of course.


Yes, we shan't go into the other. This really isn't the venue.

I like my sci-fi, but a lot of it is bloody awful. I should probably have said 'good sci-fi'. I like thrillers, drama. I love Lynch, Fincher, Hitchcock, Scorcese and Kubrick.

Most of all I love my comedy. Usually English. As the US hasn't made many good comedies since Planes, Trains & Automobiles. God rest John Candy. He made even the most terrible movie far more bearable. And yes, I've seen Bridesmaids. And yes, I thought it sucked. Very sucked indeed.

I don't usually like scripts about politicians. For every House of Cards, they'll be twenty stories drier than a bone in a desert in the sun on a fire.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- Never seen, read nor heard of it to be honest. I see its Rowlingís first foray into adult fiction. It passed me by.


Quite. You didn't miss much. Just had a vaguely similar storyline.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- Yup, its one the few scripts Iíve written that is firmly set in Ireland. Angus is more of a Scottish name I know but itís an amusing handle that I wanted to get in there. Its derived from the Gaelic name ďAonghasĒ, in case youí werenít wondering... I mean, why would you?


Oh. Didn't know that. Well I wouldn't, would I? Not unless it was my middle name. Which it isn't. Even if it was I still probably wouldn't know it. The name works in it. That's the main thing. At first I kept thinking of Angus Young, but this soon wore off.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- Cool, thanks. Yeah, I tried to get a bit of humour out of his dutiful rehearsals while giving you an idea of what type of guy he is.


It worked.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- A few have said this and my response has been the same in that I wanted to reflect the nature of these type of interviews. They are extremely dull and perfunctory with the politician laying out his mandate...not before prefacing it with some horribly forced bio to ingratiate themselves to the electorate. I wrote this during the local election last summer but specifically got the idea when hearing one of these interviews on the radio in the car with my dad. It was pathetic, a cringe worthy experience for all concerned but at least I got a script out of it.


Indeed. I got the idea. And I have heard those interviews over there. The English politicians are annoying and smug. But no one can wax more lyrical and waffle finer than an Irish politician.

I get what you're saying. And it's fair enough. There is the danger though of your film being duller by keeping it the same length.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
Frankly, Iím disappointed that more people havenít picked up on this and just automatically judge it as too long because the rule of thumb for scenes is ďto start late, get out earlyĒ. That holds some value of course and is a good guideline to adhere to in many scenarios but itís not always the case, not always the primary objective of a scene. Sometimes a scene is protracted for a reason, itís operating on a different level other than entertainment or moving the story along as quickly as possible.


Fair enough. I'm still of the idea you could acheive much the same result if it was shortened. But we'll agree to differ.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
Angusís ramblings during the interview again give us a window into the type of person and candidate he is. Plus, they vary tellingly in certain parts to the lines he fed Colm in the car so that although heís is a bit of a dope, he is still playing the political game, cultivating a PR persona. It was important to show he's not a complete fool because then you'd wonder how he would've gotten this far.


That was good. At first I thought it was going to be silly, like Father Ted silly, which I don't think would have worked as well as it did.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
Although I see Sheila as the real driving force behind his campaign, she has to constantly re-steer him in the right direction when he veers off track.


Indeed. Most fellas have a Sheila, otherwise they'd be hopeless. Like Homer is when Marge is away.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
I see the scene as going though five movements: Angus talking about himself...his competing candidates...his polices to which Phil brings up the ďwitchĒ printing error but Angus deflects this and gets back talking righteously about the changes he will bring... his slogan... before he makes the ďmessiahĒ slip up. So there is a progression itís just that a lot of verbose padding happens en route because this is inherent to his character and the circumstances. What do politician have at the end of the day only their words and how they spin them?


This is all true and I see you're strong on it, so we'll move on.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
Remaining true to those elements at the risk of an extended scene is totally justified in my opinion.


Quite. You're repeating the same point though, just like a politician.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
Iím glad you liked the messiah bit. As Iíve said to others I couldíve easily went a sexist, homophobic or racist comment... or just threw in an f-bomb but I intentionally made Angusís mistakes inconsequential and minor as a way to comment on the outrage, shaming culture we live in today where people are excoriated for saying the most innocuous things. A slip of the tongue can go viral in minutes and the perpetrator is vilified and ruined within hours thanks primarily to the self administered judge, jury and executioner mentality of social media... but itís ok, that person will give a heartfelt apologise on Jimmy Kimmel the following night and all is well again in the world.


I think the messiah bit worked particularly well because it's Ireland, and because of the history of religion in the south. Still works today because not so much has changed for a lot of people, despite them voting for gay marriage, and all those scandals with the Catholic church. You couldn't do Father Ted these days though.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- I concur, good catch. Cheers.

- Good, I thought you might appreciate the humour, glad you go some amusement out of it.

- Yeah, Iíve had this conversation with people before but I stick by them. Theyíre very useful to convey phrasing in the dialogue and breaking up the action in the prose. Iíll look into putting a space after them though. Thanks.


They're a funny thing. I have to stop myself using them sometimes as they start appearing all over my writing. Just something to bear in mind.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
-Yeah, much like Alan Partridge, Angus is a celebrator of the mundane, he champions the ordinary!

- I love the show in question but never even thought of it to be honest. Itís just because Ted is such a common name around my parts.


Quite. You got away with it.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- Yeah the bookend scenes with the two sets of women were to show that fickle nature of public perception. Perhaps itís a little overt but I was mainly going for humour with their terribly shallow and superficial remarks.


I liked it. Seemed true to life.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
- Of just Angus? I dunno, I hoped it would be a self contained story in its own right. The outcome of the election isnít really the central concern of the script but more the absurdity of the political circus itself and the society (dys)functioning around it.


I didn't mean just Angus. But you could do a series around a town like this. Have characters like Angus appearing in their own episode, then appear in the odd episdoe after. I liked the type of humour you had here. It could also be shown on the telly any time of day.

I have a bit of trouble writing comedy without swearing. You seem to have no such problem.


Quoted from Colkurtz8
Thanks again for taking the time and sharing your thoughts. Glad you got a kick out of it.

Col.


Welcome. Keep it up.

R


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Colkurtz8
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Quoted from rendevous
I like my sci-fi, but a lot of it is bloody awful.


- As in the sci-fi you write? I respect your brutal self critique.


Quoted from rendevous
I should probably have said 'good sci-fi'. I like thrillers, drama. I love Lynch, Fincher, Hitchcock, Scorcese and Kubrick.


- That's a solid bunch right there but I do remember you givin' it tight to Paul Thomas Anderson on the "Chappie" thread a while back. I was too indignant to respond and by the time it passed I couldn't be ars?d. Your dismissal of The "Master" and "There Will Be Blood" was enough to earn an immediate muttered expletive at the screen, from me, in your direction. I even clicked on your profile, swore at it, shook my fist, clicked back to the home screen, logged off, then went about my day...However, I simmered long after...


Quoted from rendevous
Most of all I love my comedy.


- Ah, I see you're balancing the books here with some unabashed patting of one's own back.


Quoted from rendevous
Usually English. As the US hasn't made many good comedies since Planes, Trains & Automobiles. God rest John Candy. He made even the most terrible movie far more bearable. And yes, I've seen Bridesmaids. And yes, I thought it sucked. Very sucked indeed.


- Tis been many years since I seen "Trains, Planes and Automobiles" but I remember loving it. I'm nearly afraid to go back to it now as it could ruin the memory. I didn't like Bridesmaids either. I'm not much of comedy fan simply because I don't like a lot of comedy films that are churned out, they don't make me laugh.

I'm more about character based humor than gags, that's why some sitcoms like "Seinfeld", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "The Office" (UK), "Extras" "Black Books" and "Father Ted" (which can be a bit too broad for my tastes at times) really work for me. The comedy comes from getting knowing the characters and their ways. Huge fan of everything Alan Partridge (although the film was only ok) while "The Big Lebowski" is far and away my favorite comedy film. I generally like the laughs to be cynical, uncomfortable, self deprecating and dark.


Quoted from rendevous
I don't usually like scripts about politicians. For every House of Cards, they'll be twenty stories drier than a bone in a desert in the sun on a fire.


- Yeah, I would never try to write a serious political drama, I wouldn't know where to begin. Attempting a localized satire about it felt much more within my limited knowledge of the subject.


Quoted from rendevous
Quite. You're repeating the same point though, just like a politician.


- Well spotted, meta or what! Have I ever told you how cinema is be more than just entertainment and the brilliance of Paul Thomas Anderson? C'mere, lend me your ear...


Quoted from rendevous
I think the messiah bit worked particularly well because it's Ireland, and because of the history of religion in the south. Still works today because not so much has changed for a lot of people, despite them voting for gay marriage, and all those scandals with the Catholic church. You couldn't do Father Ted these days though.


- True, we do have a disconcertingly close relationship with Catholicism. It is on the wane big time though and church attendances have fallen off dramatically across the county in the past couple of decades.


Quoted from rendevous
I didn't mean just Angus. But you could do a series around a town like this. Have characters like Angus appearing in their own episode, then appear in the odd episdoe after. I liked the type of humour you had here. It could also be shown on the telly any time of day.


- Thanks for the suggestion but I feel it could get very colloquial and "Irish" in the worst possible sense. No paddywackery inflected cliche shall be left un-turned! Who knows, maybe in the final episode they'll be a busload of the senior citizens from the parish heading to Knock on a pilgrimage when they breakdown in Athlone, the debauched citadel of the midlands (really its just a college town overrun with drugs). Generational clashing hilarity will ensue! Cute and funny to outsiders, tiresome and patronizing to natives.

I'm very aware of falling into the mire of Irish tropes which is why I generally try to keep my scripts as geographically neutral as possible. Having said that the last short I wrote takes place specifically in the fields behind the house where I was reared and the feature I'm currently working on is set in Ireland too.

Sorry, I know its sounds like I've just shot your idea down in flames, its definitely something worth exploring...just not by me.


Quoted from rendevous
I have a bit of trouble writing comedy without swearing. You seem to have no such problem


- It totally depends on the character and type of story of course. I do have a lot of swearing in other scripts, both comedy and drama, if it sounds true to the characters/story. A softer tone seemed more suitable here to chime with the locale, its inhabitants and the nature of events. Its all a bit silly really.

Thanks for your further comments, R.

Col.


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Maroun
Posted: March 14th, 2018, 6:34pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Col,

I really liked this script, very well written.
I agree with one of the comments though, that the title "blank canvas" doesn't perfectly match the story: maybe you could come up with a funnier title, like "witche's hat", or something more connected to your story.
I like the general theme, that the media distorts and amplifies any small event, often believing its own lies. One thing i would suggest though is to identify the vandal with the black marker at the end of the script as one of Angus's rivals; this would mean that media is not as unbiased as it would seem; there are people who manipulate media buzz to serve their own interests.

Best of luck,
Maroun.
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Colkurtz8
Posted: March 15th, 2018, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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Maroun

Thanks for the read and comments.


Quoted from Maroun
I agree with one of the comments though, that the title "blank canvas" doesn't perfectly match the story: maybe you could come up with a funnier title, like "witche's hat", or something more connected to your story.


- I stand by the title as it has more than one connection to the story and can be interpreted in more than one way. You probably know this already but just to clarify, "Canvassing" is when politicians, primarily at a local level, go from door to door, ingratiating themselves with the people to accrue votes.


Quoted from Maroun
One thing i would suggest though is to identify the vandal with the black marker at the end of the script as one of Angus's rivals; this would mean that media is not as unbiased as it would seem; there are people who manipulate media buzz to serve their own interests.


- Good suggestion, I left it open as it could be anybody within the parish who either don't like Angus because of his policies, personality, etc or just don't like his face on that poster. I'd like to think its something as petulant as the latter. Funnier that way.

I know when local elections come around and the streets are festooned with airbrushed, grinning faces, I get the urge to to some petty vandalism. Even if you like the face at first, you grow to hate it after a few weeks and its over saturation...at least I do anyway

Thanks again for the read, If you have anything else you want me to take a look at, let me know. We could do another swap. Cheers.

Col.


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HyperMatt
Posted: June 14th, 2018, 5:28pm Report to Moderator
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Didn't realise this was from way back Howard when I read it. Flicking through the comments, a lot has already been said. This kind of story is not my usual cup of tea. It's basically about a campaign (I think). It took me a few pages to realise it is set in Ireland.
I think the second half of the script is much more interesting and flows better than the first half. That stuff with
Angus campaigning and the radio interview was a bit slow for me. It all feels like a prelude to the real story which for me really started when Angus and Colm were going door to door, and when Angus stepped into a robbery, that really held my attention.
I think the dialogue and friendship between Angus and Colm is the strongest thing in the story. I didn't really like
the scene with the ladies commenting on the poster at the end. I think that scene done once was enough.
For me personally, the progression or regression in a political campaign is not high enough stakes, although I loved the Michael Douglas film 'The American President'.
I did feel, especially at the start, this seemed as if it was a cogwheel in a bigger story. That Act 1.


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Colkurtz8
Posted: June 25th, 2018, 12:58pm Report to Moderator
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Matt

Thanks for checking this out. Yeah, it has been knocking around for awhile.


Quoted from HyperMatt
It's basically about a campaign (I think).


- It is on the surface but itís more a satire on the volatility of public opinion. How reactionary and fickle it is. I wrote it during a local election at home, surrounded by pristine, ginning faces on posters dotted along every road. Creepy and hilarious at the same time.


Quoted from HyperMatt
It took me a few pages to realise it is set in Ireland.


- Yeah, I don't set many of my scripts in Ireland as itís too niche. I'll just be inundated with quizzical comments about slang. Generally, I try to keep my scripts geographically ambiguous. In that they could set anywhere...within the western world we'll say.


Quoted from HyperMatt
I think the second half of the script is much more interesting and flows better than the first half. That stuff with
Angus campaigning and the radio interview was a bit slow for me. It all feels like a prelude to the real story which for me really started when Angus and Colm were going door to door, and when Angus stepped into a robbery, that really held my attention.


- Well, yeah, the radio interview is a prelude to what happens later. It informs the actions and reactions of Angus going forward. Admittedly, the interview itself is lengthy but itís of a piece with what comes before and after it. Itís really the central scene for me as it tell us what kind of a politician Angus is in comparison to how he acts in private. Itís also where he commits his faux pas that sets off a chain reaction.


Quoted from HyperMatt
I didn't really like the scene with the ladies commenting on the poster at the end. I think that scene done once was enough.


- There is a point to it though that ties in thematically. It serves as a contrasting bookend while being a comment on how people's opinions are so flimsy and easily swayed. At the beginning, Angus is seen as a bit of a fool, not someone to be taken seriously. The ladies' derisory opinions on his looks are inflected with this perception. However, this is turned on its head when he saves the day, albeit unintentionally. Now, he's seen as a hero which in turn effects how the locals judge something as superficial as his poster. They see him in a whole new light without knowing the nuances of what happened, they just accept the condensed black and white version of events.

I see it all the time how people let their personal biases and prejudices blur their opinions on things and people. The poster hasn't changed but the view of Angus has. One factor alters the other even though it shouldn't have any bearing on it.

The biggest example of this is in sports. You have people so invested in their team that they can't even bring themselves to admit the merits of an opposing player...but you watch, if that player ever transferred to their club, their point of view would completely change even though itís the same player. Specifically Cristiano Ronaldo, who is objectively one of the greatest to ever play the game but so many trash him and say he's this and that just because they don't like his personality, antics, vanity, hairstyle, whatever.

I find the whole thing a bit annoying but much more amusing. That's what inspired this.


Quoted from HyperMatt
For me personally, the progression or regression in a political campaign is not high enough stakes, although I loved the Michael Douglas film 'The American President'.
I did feel, especially at the start, this seemed as if it was a cogwheel in a bigger story. That Act 1


- I kept it local for comedyís sake. I wanted it to be provincial, this adds to the pettiness of the whole situation. That is also why I made Angusís slip up so minor. He said ďmessiahĒ big deal...but given todayís overly PC landscape, people get vilified and ostracized for the smallest of infringements. Itís ridiculous and only gotten worse since I wrote this nearly 4 years ago. I exaggerated it here for laughs.

Yeah, perhaps there is a bigger story of seeing of what becomes of Angusís political aspirations but I never intended it to be anything more than what it is now.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this.

Col.


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HyperMatt
Posted: June 26th, 2018, 2:46pm Report to Moderator
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No probs.


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UnboundWriter
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So I actually tried three times but couldn't finish it. I tried because you went through mine but my biggest realization is that as I said, not everything is everyone's cup of tea and this isn't mine. It kinda made me feel like you watched the Quiet Man and then wrote this because the character is very similar to Michaeleen. My significant other is a great fan of that movie and I'm not. We all don't like, love or appreciate everything it's a fact. Since you cut my technical to pieces I didn't put any time into that on yours. Good luck to you in all your endeavors!
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Colkurtz8
Posted: August 13th, 2019, 2:16pm Report to Moderator
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Wanda

Thanks for the taking the time. It's a pity you couldn't finish it.


Quoted from UnboundWriter
It kinda made me feel like you watched the Quiet Man and then wrote this because the character is very similar to Michaeleen.


I saw that film about 15 years ago and don't remember much from it except the boxing match and the Technicolor. I am Irish and this takes place in Ireland, its based on people I know. The Quiet Man had no bearing on it. If I was looking to films for inspiration about small town Irish life, that film would not make the longlist.


Quoted from UnboundWriter
Since you cut my technical to pieces I didn't put any time into that on yours.


No I didn't. On the contrary, I made a point of not focusing on the technical elements of your script. I flagged a few examples, advised you learn the basic craft and moved on. I focused primarily on plot, character and theme as I usually try to do when giving feedback. Anybody can just tell you to go Google "screenplay format".

Anyway, no worries. Thanks again for giving it a go.

Col.


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