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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  The Booker Man Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Booker Man  (currently 5797 views)
Don
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 9:23am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Booker Man, The by Guy Jackson - Comedy, Drama - Chris Booker is the ultimate ladies man.  A senior at New York College, Chris can get any woman he wants, anytime he wants.  He is content with a lifestyle of promiscuity and casual sex, but when certain things happen that don't go in his favor, "The Booker Man" reflects back on his actions and wonders if this is the life he really wants to live.    122 pages - pdf, format


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

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Don  -  April 3rd, 2008, 9:20pm
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guyjackson
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 2:01pm Report to Moderator
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Comedy?  Drama?

Haha, I'm turning into the Gore Verbinski of screenwriting.  But yeah, I have posted yet another screenplay up on the SS.  I decided that I want to take a crack at all of the major genres so I can see where my strengths and weaknessess are.

I would like to warn people that this screenplay is a bit unconventional.  Some rules are broken, but it should mesh together very well.  I hate to compare my scripts to already existing movies but if I had to, I would say this would be a hybrid of "Alfie", "American Pie", with a little bit of "Def Jam's How to be a Player".

I am looking for other scripts to read, so if anyone would like to recommend their script, I will be more than happy to review it.  I haven't done so in a while so I don't have too many reads to make.

Enjoy!  
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bryan00009
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 6:04pm Report to Moderator
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Alfie goes to college -- that's about it.  I don't see the point.  This rip-off of a bad Jude Law movie boils down to an adolescent male fantasy of promiscuous sex and (wink-wink) laughing at the gullibility and stupidity of women.  It doesn't ring true for a second.  It's unoriginal, unsympathetic, and thoroughly lacking in depth.  Don't these characters have any life outside of school or fucking???  Chris's yacking to the audience is trite and superficial.  And NO TALKING TO THE CAMERA, PLEASE.  In fact, no mentions of the camera at all.  It's amateurish and instantly pulls the audience out of the story.  


"It's just a rehash of something that wasn't very good to begin with.††I found it flat and trite..."††Sunset Boulevard (1950).
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guyjackson
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Man, it's been a while since I have gotten a bad review, but they are just, if not more entertaining, than good reviews.

Even though you have written about eight sentences in that paragraph, it says absolutely nothing constructive.  It seems like you either have a personal problem with the content or with me, and I could quite frankly care less.  I have seen your FIVE other posts on this site and have noticed you only have negative things to say on things that really don't matter, especially format, so I am not surprised by your lack of insight.

I use camera directions.  That's the way I write.  Deal with it.  I will not change my writing style to some watered down novella because people like you have a problem with camera directions.  

I also find it funny you calling my writing amatuerish considering you are on a screenwriting message board reading unproduced scripts.  I think we all are amateurs here, so that really doesn't say much.

If you want to respond, PM me.  Don't clutter up my screenplay's message board with your responses.  

Thank you for reading.
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George Willson
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 6:45pm Report to Moderator
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bryan0009, please note the following excerpt from THE RULES:

11. When reviewing a script, you should back up negative comments by citing evidence from that script about which the comment is being made.

Sorry, Guy. Thought I'd clutter for a moment so everyone remembers this bit.


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Shelton
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 7:05pm Report to Moderator
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Ok, I'm not usually one to do the "I'm gonna read this" thing, but I figured I'd just point it out given the direction this thread has gone.

Been waiting to read something by you, Guy, and this falls more into line with the stuff I normally look at opposed to Action.

Bryan,

He used Alfie as one of his comparisons, so for you to say that it's a ripoff is somewhat flawed.  Also bear in mind that the "bad Jude Law movie" was a remake of a Michael Caine movie from 1966.

And please don't presume that these responses are due to the fact that you didn't like the script.  We do the same thing with the "cool script" posts.


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guyjackson
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
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George thanks for the rule clarification.  I was actually going to post that myself, but you beat me to it, haha.

Mike, thanks for wanting to read.  I was actually hoping you would take a look at this one, being a the comedy writer that you are.

Maybe I should have been more clear with my writing credits.  I do have on my website the "Alfie Screenplay" as a story credit and Elaine Pope and Charles Shyer as the story creditors.  I just didn't know if I should put it on my title page as well.  I think I may go back and do that, because I do use elements from that script, but it is in no way a rip off.  There are some obvious references, but I think in a "ladies man" script, some things are often the same.  I am not the type of person to try and steal credit from other people's ideas, and will give credit to those that deserve it.

I can see where Bryan is crying rip-off, but I think I have added my own touches to it to make it stand alone.

Anyway, enjoy reading.


EDIT:  Here is the offical credits that I have on my website.  Hopefully this will clear things up.

Writing Credits
Charles Shyer ("Alfie" screenplay) &
Elaine Pope ("Alfie" screenplay)

Guy Jackson (screen story)

Guy Jackson (screenplay)

    
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George Willson
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 7:53pm Report to Moderator
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The main reason studios will claim relation to an older screenplay is to get people who like the older one to see the newer one, but in reality, if you write a new script based on an old idea, you don't have to credit your inspiration. Ideas cannot be copyrighted. I've said this a million times, and people fear legal action from lifting a single idea.

My best example of this is the summer when Armageddon and Deep Impact came out. Both of these films had EXACTLY THE SAME PREMISE. Yet both were released with no action from the other because the scripts were different. Only the script can be copyrighted, so if you didn't use the Alfie script, then you don't need to credit the original writers. The only time you really need to credit the original writer is if you use the script as the sole basis for your script and essentially rewrite it scene for scene and character for character.

So unless you have an Alfie remake, the reference to your inspiration is not necessary or required unless you want the corrolation to be drawn. Otherwise, no one could ever make a slasher flick again since that idea has been overused. How many click flicks follow the exact same plot line, but change the professions of the leads? How many James Bond knock-offs are there in the industry? They get away with it because they don't use the name "James Bond." Instead, they have Maxwell Smart or Agent from H.A.R.M. or Johnny Dangerous. There was a film called The Tailor From Panama that had an ex-MI-6 agent actually played by Pierce Brosnan. No violation anywhere in here because all that was used the idea that Ian Fleming sprung on us, but they put their own spin on it.

If you aren't stealing or using the script, don't worry about violations.


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Shelton
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 9:35pm Report to Moderator
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Ok, I told you I'd read it, so I read it.  Nice work by me.  

I've already read the comments about the camera directions, and your response to it.  You recognize that it isn't traditional, yet that's the way you do it.  Your format is spot on so that's good enough for me.  I will say however that despite the fact that us writers are supposed to leave directing to the director, it does help to give a better description within the "mind's eye".  I'm also taking into consideration that you have the ability to make your own films.  Am I correct?  If I am then it's even less of an issue.

Also, the talking to the camera.  This peaked my curiosity a bit, so I checked out the Ferris Bueller script on the site, which is the shooting script.  I found it kind of funny that there was very little mention of him looking at the camera in scenes where he clearly was.  Nothing to do with your script, really, but I thought it was interesting.

Ok, on to the script and the nitpicky stuff.

Just reading through the opening here, and you have Chris getting up, having a little conversation with Kelly, leaving the room, talking to the camera, etc. etc. and when he finally leaves the building...then you describe him.  That just feels way out of place considering he's been on camera for a few minutes now.

I found Chris' description of why Jackie is his "girlfriend" rather amusing.

Page 8 - Should be scarfs them down.

Chris' monlogue in psyche class.  I was with you right until you said "friend zone', then I thought of Swingers and another movie whose title escapes me right now.  I even think the one I can't remember right now specifically says "friend zone".  Is it American Pie, or am I just drawn to that by your reference.  Help me here.  Maybe you can reword it.

Preeti referring to Chris as Booker Man seems a little out of place considering they just met.

Ok, I can see why Bryan said "Jude Law movie" now, but I'm still having a hard time buying into the logic.  It's a completely different ballgame than a blatant ripoff wjhen you start to reference movies specifically.

I'm a little confused as to how Zoey ended up at the party.  Your initial description says that it's filled with corporate types and what not like it's a company christmas party, so she seems kind of out of place.

Chris' conversation with Latasha's mother.  If she were in labor, she wouldn't have an assigned room yet.  Minor thing, but I thought I'd mention it.

Pgs 104-105 - My first real problem with this script.  Zoey is banging another guy in Chris' room?  This is just totally unbelievable, plus she doesn't even try to say that she did it on purpose to make him mad.  It's just really, really off.

And I'm done.

It's kind of weird really.  I enjoyed the script, I like your characters and your dialogue, and flet you did a pretty decent job of allowing the story to come full circle.  The weird thing about it is that you managed to do all of this without a major conflict.  Yes, you have a smal handful of minor conflicts strewn throughout, but nothing that Chris is really striving to overcome.  Normally, I'd have a bit of an issue with this, but maybe your use of the smaller ones caused this to serve as more of a series of vignettes, and caused me to overlook it.

I was expecting something more between Chris and Valerie, especially when you brought the Christmas gift into the scenario.  My personal guess was that it was a condom, kinda two gifts in one...hahaha, but nothing ever happened.

I can't really comment on the similarities between your script and Alfie, since I haven't checked that one out yet, but I may give it a rent in the near future and try to offer a little more feedback in that regard.

On the whole, as a straight up comedy, this wouldn't work, since a lot of your comedy is subtle here, and as a straight drama you'd have issues because of the the amount of comedy, but the dramady balance works here, so your "dual genre" tag is well justified.

Going back to what I said above about the camera directions, and not knowing fully what your intentions for this script are, I will point out that the script itself isn't marketable.  A casual reader like myself can use those things to increase the story in their head, but a professional wouldn't want to see it, no matter how interesting the story is.

If you wrote this just to write it, or if you plan on doing it yourself, then it's fine and pay no mind to the statements about it.

So to wrap up, I enjoyed the characters, dialogue and story, and I think you did a nice job here.  Hopefully you'll find some of these comments useful.


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guyjackson
Posted: July 3rd, 2006, 10:18pm Report to Moderator
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You're the man, Mike.  This is exactly what I was looking for.  I'll go through each of your comments.

- Yes, the camera directions seem to be a big problem here, but I stand by my writing.  99% of the scripts I write are for me to make, if they will even be produced.  I don't think I would try to market the scripts I have written on Simply Scripts.  Most of my scripts are very beginner-ish (is that a word? haha), but I'm trying to learn the ins and outs with each one.  This is just practice for the real thing.  I can write a script without camera directions, but I really don't see a reason for it.  These scripts aren't going to be made, so I feel like I should give as much description as I can to make it a little bit more visual.

- The Ferris Bueller reference you made is actually quite interesting.  I might have to check that out to see how they pulled that one off.  It would have been great to not have to always refer to the camera everytime Chris spoke.  Thanks for that resource.

- As far as Chris's description goes, that was put in last minute (yikes!).  That is one thing that I'm finally starting to get used to.  Describing characters' attributes.  Usually my descriptions are the absolute bare minimum.  Maybe one line, if that.  But I can see it being rather late.  I think I could probably put it when he's putting his coat on after him and Kelly are finished, or when he steps into the hall.  Just earlier.  Thanks for that nugget.

- Haha, I'm glad you liked the whole "girlfriend" description funny.  I remember I asked the EX-GF when we were together the question of whether we were together or not using those examples and she cracked up.

- Scarfs down.  Got it.

- The friend zone speech actually came from an article I read on Askmen.com.  That really wasn't a reference to any movie.  The American Pie reference was basically college-aged kids and their sexual escapades.

- The reason I had Preeti say "Booker Man" was trying to convey that time had passed since Preeti and Chris started talking.  I guess I didn't clarify that enough.  I'll go back and try to make it seem like a longer conversation.

- Yeah, I wanted to have the actual movies in here as sort of a homage to them.  To show that I am aware of their stories and I respect them.  As you can see Chris's skills were "spawned" from these films.  At least that's want I wanted to be shown.

- I just realized about Zoey right when you stated her relevance at the party.  I had a line of dialogue where she told Chris her father was the CEO of the business that was having their party at the reception hall.  Why I deleted that, I have no frackin idea.  Looks like something is getting put back in.

- Haha, you can obviously tell I don't have any children.  The hospital room number can be fixed though very easily, I think.  I can have the nurses inform Chris when he gets to the hospital.

- Zoey's cheating is definatly kind of sheisty now that I think about it.  I was trying to find a way to have Chris catch her cheating, but I didn't really know where to put her, haha.  Maybe I should have Chris say he is leaving for the weekend or soemthing, because I think it doesn't really seem logical that she would cheat knowing he would be back the next day.

I take it you enjoyed this script, Mike and I really appreciate you reading it.  I was going to try and play the guilt trip on you and review another one of your scripts and "randomly" plug my script in the review, haha, but you read it on your own, so that's cool.

I didn't write this with the intent of it being marketable so I can understand your comments on that.  The main reason I wrote this was to see if I was able to write funny things on paper that would actually rise a laugh out of people.  I guess I could have done that with a short, but as I said before, I can't write shorts.  So hopefully, there were a few things that caused you to laugh and I will take that when it comes time to write a real comedy.

Well, I'm actually midway through Coffee and Inspiration so I should get back to that for you.  Thanks again, Mike.      
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Bates
Posted: August 18th, 2006, 5:45am Report to Moderator
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Guy, finally got round to reading your screenplay, so here's my thoughts.

The opening of the script flowed very well and showed Chris's character early on and what we could expect from him before he went through some changes. The only problem i have with the opening is minor, but i feel i should mention it anyway. It's when Chris throws, Kelly's underwear into, Jackie's wastebasket. What the hell is he doing? Surely, "The Booker Man" should be more slick than that? He is just setting himself up for a fall with that one!!

Other than that blip, i really liked the character of Chris and thought his dialog was great throughout.

Regarding, Chris talking to the camera throughout, it personally didn't bother me. For me it creates a bond betweeen, Chris and the audience and in a way truly helps us understand Chris.

On the plot, i thought it was thin(sorry). When i say thin i mean, for quite a lot of the script it just seemed, Chris was sleeping with different women in different situations. However the script did have a few really good subplots. My favorite being the, Latasha and the baby situation. I thought you did a great job conveying each charcaters emotions in the hospital room leading to Chris leaving and having his breakdown. Good job there.


Page 12 - "For a professor she is pretty hot" Either she is hot or she isnt. If you cant decide then how can the audience?

I gotta admit you tricked me with the ending, i was sure that Chris would change his ways a get it together with, Jackie, but i was made a fool off. I guess its true, a Leopard never changes its spots!

Overall this was a good, well written, well formatted screenplay with a good set of characters. Talking of characters, i was expecting something to develop between, Chris and Valerie. Your just a tease!!!

Anyway, good luck with future writing.

Robert


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guyjackson
Posted: August 18th, 2006, 11:45pm Report to Moderator
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My man, Robert.  Thanks for the read.  I actually forgot about this for a second, haha.  I guess that's bad.  But on to your review.

As I told you before, I am not a comedy writer.  I wanted to try this out just to see if I could do it.  I don't think I can stress how much fun I had writing this though.  I got the idea to write this after I saw my younger brother get ridiculously nervous about asking a girl out at his high school.  I was like what is it about girls that scares the crap out of some guys?  It was just awesome to write some of these scenes in the script and read them aloud.

Obviously I am glad you enjoyed the character of Chris.  I really wanted him to be a favorite.  I didn't just want him to be some mindless sex hound.  I wanted people to see that he was a arrogant SOB, yet he was very good at seducing women.  He isn't just some schmuck getting lucky.  This dude is laying down some game and the women are falling for it.

As for the plot, I think it's razor thin, hehe.  I still don't know how the hell I pieced it together to be a coherent story.  Every single one of the scenes in the script was based on an actual event.  Whether it was in my own experiences or a friend, all this has happened.  Somethings were  embellished a little but nothing out of the ordinary.  The Latasha subplot I was afraid would be a little too dramtic for this, but as people are reading it, it seems like it fit well.  

The ending was really what I took a lot of consideration in.  I went through about 10 endings before I kept this one in.  I had endings that ranged from Chris being killed in a drive-by shooting (yikes!) to Chris and Jackie kissing and making up on the graduation stage.  But I just liked Chris so damn much that I didn't want him to change.  It seems like every movie has a womanizer changing for the "better", but I say why should he?  He's getting what he wants already.  Why settle for one when you can have more than one?

I am also getting a lot of complaints of the whole Chris/Valerie scenario.  I didn't want to have them end up together because that would have been a little too convenient, in my eyes.  I mean here is the one girl that he cannot seduce on his life, and at the end he gets her.  I tried to show at the end that she was almost like the female version of him and could possibly give him some compeition in the future.  But I don't know, maybe I'm too subtle with my subtext.  

Hehe, anyway thanks for your review.  It is very accurate and points out the positive and negative.  As I said before, I just wanted to see if I could make a reader laugh.  I hope you laughed a couple times while reading.  If you did, then I am satisfied.  This was my first and last dip in the Comedy genre pool.  I am an action writer.  Dramas are too slow paced for me.  You can see that I need to have a lot of stuff happening just to keep myself writing in non-action pieces.  So if I can ever escape this writer's block funk that I am currently in, my upcoming art thief action/thriller will be my best one yet.

Thanks again, Robert.  I hope you have some stuff coming along lately that I can read.  I am looking foward to seeing your progress with great interest.

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tomson
Posted: September 18th, 2006, 4:14pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Guy,

Iím finally getting around to commenting on your script.

Iím not the best reviewer in the world and I hate typing so this will probably be short.

This obviously wasnít written with my demographics group in mind, but guess what? I liked it!  I do think that the plot was perhaps a little thin. It wasnít really until the pregnancy part that it starting having some depth to it, but it was still an enjoyable read.

Ever since Chris cheated on Julian with Latasha I was waiting for some sort of punishment. You just donít do things like that. There was punishment on several fronts in the end with everyone pretty much telling Chris what a jerk he is. The realization that heís been a shallow, arrogant prick the whole time and then he still refuses to change was disappointing to me, as if he didnít want to learn from any of those lessons at all.

I too was waiting for something between him and Valerie. Not a romance, but perhaps a friendship or something. I know they have at least one thing in common.

I saw your note about askmen.com. You shouldnít have mentioned that! Here I was, super impressed with you and your ďinsightsĒ, haha.

Cerebral assassins Ė I like that

Pg 14, Chrisís first dialogue Ė I wrote TRUE DAT in big letters on the script. That is so true.

Pg 37. I like how Chris is trying to convince us and himself that what heís doing is in fact okay. We all do that when we really want something bad enough, but we kind of know itís not okay.

I think that was all I had to say about the story itself.

Your writing, however is something that I was really impressed by. Could you win a contest writing that way, probably not, but for me as a reader I think you made it a very enjoyable read. 120 pages or so and it flew by. Not only did I enjoy Chris talking to the audience, but I also enjoyed the way you had funny comments in the script for the reader. Things that canít be shown on screen and so on. I really dug those and it may be unconventional, but it made me really enjoy reading it.

To some, your style of writing may be seen as arrogant, to me, much like your character Chris, it exudes confidence and I like that.

I found a handful of typos, but who cares.

Looking forward to your heist/thriller script and please keep me posted on the progress of the filming of this one .  
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guyjackson
Posted: September 18th, 2006, 10:45pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah Pia!  I really appreciate you taking a look at this.  I was praying that a female would read it.  This script was a real experiment because I wanted to try and write something that people weren't used to and also had a strong personal narrative.  My previous scripts were all major action or horror scripts that usually had a group of people going after a common goal.  This screenplay was about the main characters internal conflicts, which I think is a real difficult thing to do.  I have so much more respect now for drama screenwriters, because it takes real talent to show the progression or regression of an individual through images.  These Oscar Winning writers definately deserve their accolades.

As far as your review, I'll try and respond to each your comments.  I'm glad you found this script enjoyable even though this was written with college students in mind.  That really gives me confidence that I can appeal to a wider range of readers.  

Chris's punishment was the ultimate goal, obviously, but I didn't really want him to conform.  The reason I chose to do this was because I think his character just didn't seem like the kind that would reform, even given his circumstance.  This is how he has lived his whole life and trying to change now would be impossible.  

Chalk up another comment regarding Chris and Valerie, hehe.  I really didn't think that was going to be looked at as much as it is.  Valerie was a very minior character when I was writing.  I'm surprised she has made such a big splash concerning people's critiques.

Haha!  askmen.com I only used for the "friend zone monologue".  Some of the articles on that site are fracking hilarious.  I can't believe that there are men out there that are that pathetic.  It's kind of sad.  But, I do have certain "insights" when it comes to women, can't you tell?  Haha.  But no I almost wrote this with the intent of trying to show some guys that women are human just like us guys, you don't need to be so intimadated by them.  They have some weaknesses.  Like thier ears.  I have always believed since the day I found women attractive that the key to a woman's heart is through her ears.

I like that you found some of Chris's insights to be true, being that you are woman.  That just made my day.  So I guess my game that I have been using to attract the ladies works after all!

And finally, thank you for the kind words on my writing.  I hate following guidlelines and being told what to write.  So I like to push the envelope when it comes to format and proper etiquette.  I'm just a rebel by nature, haha.  I have been on here for about a year now and I look back on my progress of my writing and I am really pleased.  My Mercenary script was pretty basic in the narrative and story department and to see that I have been able to write a drama screenplay like this is a real good feeling.  I don't mean to try and cater to myself, but I think every writer's goal should be to try and get better with each script, and I really think I am accomplishing that.

Thanks again for reading, Pia.  I always welcome your comments and reviews.  As far as my next script goes, you might have to wait awhile before that thief/thriller comes around because I'm having trouble maintaining my second act.  I'm looking to delve this one into the "neo-noir" genre.  I am going extremely darker and more bleak and dystopic, but I have never written a script like that so it's not coming along fast!  But anyway, you wanting to read it is giving me the incentive to get it finished and down on paper.

Thanks again.  
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blackwrite
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As an earlier poster wrote, yours was an "Alfie" wannabee, which is not good. Worse still, the point about "Alife" you missed -- and the thing that makes your screenplay superficial  -- is that in the long run, ALFIE WAS THE VICTIM!

Alfie was a tragedy, not a comedy. In Alfie sex is used to show what a tragic hero Alfie is. In your sceenplay, sex is an end in itself. This makes the sex almost clinical, pornographic.

Your story needed to be dressed in a dramatic overcoat. The protagonist needed to make us care about him, he needed to experience change. He needed to be pitted against obstacles. He needed to be put in a tree with no way to get down, and after he found a way to get down, a higher tree with no way to get down. He needed to stare into the aybes and find an inner strength he never knew was there. He needed redemption. He needed to be reborn. He needed to meet a woman who almost killed him.  He needed drama.

ricland



ricland
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