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Little Japan in Big Trouble by James McClung - Short, Comedy - Cultures clash when Japanese exchange student Asano breaks his busy schedule to go drinking with his American roommate. 17 pages - pdf, format
Opened ok for me Tommy lad. Maybe someone in Tassie pulled out the plug to the mainland... Hi James, yeah, this was alright, an amiable read. Your formatting and writing were good, though some people would probably say no need to CAP every object. Is this gonna be part of a longer feature? The characters were set up well and served their purpose. But it didn't really have anything different from other 'buddy drinking' stories. And it could have been funnier. Hope this helps. Cheers, man.
Big Japan in Little Trouble by James McClung - Short, Comedy - Cultures clash when Japanese exchange student Asano breaks his busy schedule to go drinking with his American roommate. 17 pages - pdf, format
It read well and I liked it. You proved you could write a good short comedy. The laughs were somewhat predictable. A little annoying having Asano parrot the words back almost every time he was asked a quesiton.
More could have been made of Asano's journey to the darkside of his scholarly world. The title is a takeoff on Big Trouble in Little China but I'm not sure about Big Japan in Little Trouble being a spot on title for this one. Clever though.
Anyway, yeah, there's really not too much to this one. I wrote it for my screenwriting class (which explains the caps, BTW). It's very loosely based on my good friend and old roommate of mine (who was a Japanese exchange student) who went through a similar experience. I'm not of the opinion that anecdotes translate well into scripts so about 80% of this is fictional. Anyway, I threw the first draft together in relatively short order to fit the assignment, with the intention of rewrites going to my Vietnam script (No Guts, No Glory). My professor honed in on this one as having potential so I decided to make this my main project instead. It's definitely been beefed up some but it's still quite minimalistic for me. I thought I'd post it to get some thoughts.
Wow some of the writers on here are on fire this week. another great script I really enjoyed.
I loved the simplicity of this story and even felt a little emotional at how Noah mates played a mean prank on Asano. Poor Asano.
The big reveal at the end when we learn Asano is more then meets the eye was cool.
I didn't find this funny at all but I don't think you where going out of your way to make this haw haw funny. What you did succeed in was have having two very diverse personalites bounce of each other. Good job with that. It made a very rich story.
Not really a problem but when reading dialouge for Asano I kept expecting him to squeeze his eyes shut and teleport away. That's who he reminded me of.
But great solid script and Japanese people rock. It was early this year I was holidaying at Gold Coast and was at a water slide theme park that was chock a block full of japanese tourist and me and my nephew spent all day bowing to every Japanese we passed and due to their culture they have to bow back. and most of them did.
I really liked this one man. It was a very entertaining, fast read. Your writing was perfect; descriptions flowed well, and dialogue was very decent.
For once, I actually don't have too much to comment on. I read it earlier, thought about it, then read it again just now and I couldn't see much to improve. I didn't like the use of capitals, but eh, they didn't distract me too much. It was amusing, without being too stupid, or focusing too much on it trying to be funny.
A simple, but effective story. I'd love to see this made into a film. If I can secure some kind of budget (which I hopefully could be able to if my next short goes well) I would even consider filming this.
Yeah, I honestly didn't try to make this funny at all. I figured whatever comedy that was to be had would just come out naturally. Otherwise, it's just sort of a coming-of-age/feel good story. I don't know. It's not really supposed to be anything. The person it's based on is a real character, not at all as bookish as he is in this story, and we've gotten in all sorts of trouble together. I always wanted to write a script about him, even though I usually hate scripts based on true stories.
I'd also love to see this one filmed. I'm sure it'd be easy. I'd do it myself but my friend's not around anymore (back in Japan) and I wouldn't want to do it with anyone else. I'd rather someone else just interpret it there own way.
So I don't know what else to say. It is what it is.
James, I really enjoyed this one. I don't know what it is, but it's so much easier to pickup on the personality of the Japanese in america than most others. Probably because they all seem the same to us in movies. I kept hearing Long Duck Dong's voice from sixteen candles.
I like the story, though his friends seemed to contradict themselves a little. It was like they were trying to blow his chances with Courtney, then they all saddle up to go and defend him.
NOAH Sit tight, buddy. We’ll be there soon. Come on, guys.
This read funny to me. I thought they were gonna leave him and go try to fix it themselves.
Asano's "misplaced punch" didn't make sense either. He hit Bradley square in the nose. I think your were looking to say it was A lucky shot, didn't come off that way.
Anyways, you got me to like Asano and I was cheering for him. You also made Courtney seem like a genuine person eventhough she's dating a prick. I liked this. Nice work..... James
Man this read fast, and truth be told I don't really have much to say other than I enjoyed it and the dialogue was great throughout.
Asano's character was pretty cool and he definately seemed to stand out with the Noah and his friends. He seemed uncomfortable at first and reacted quite realistically to the drink. Asano been egged on by the lads is also something that comes across very realistically too, we've all been there were one person is much drunker than the rest and you just can't help but bully them into doing something stupid.
There's some funny banter too, and I liked how you didn't force the comedy. This could easily be part of a larger script too.
Good work this James and different from your horror scripts, when's the next one coming by the way?
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
pretty cool little script here. I went to boarding school with a large amount of asian boarders, so the whole trying to corrupt the guys from a different culture rings pretty true. one typo: P6 broade is spelled broad and I don’t think Bradley was ever introduced. He starts out as just boyfriend then becomes Bradley. A little awkward. I think everything else was covered by other posts. I would work on some of the dialogue tho, some of the buddy talk read a little stiff and unnatural. But overall nice job.
On a side note, is the city of brotherly hate pittsburg?
Mine: HARD CASE (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...
APU (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
Not really gonna dwell on technical stuff as you seem to have a firm grasp of that side of things.
As for the story, I thought it was ok. A simple story, efficiently told but I can’t really say it done too much for me unfortunately, felt flat and a tad uninspired. A little too much of an “against the odds ending” which normally don’t sit well with me. I’m a cynical prick at the best of times and as a result practically all my scripts have bad or ambivalent endings. Frankly I think a film has to work a lot harder to earner a happy ending then a tragic one, its generally much easier to pull the rug out from under the viewer in the final reel then build to an upbeat, positive conclusion that doesn’t have me cringing, shaking my head or overdosing on an unhealthy amount of saccharine or sentimentality.
While I don’t think your script suffers from mawkishness I did find the final act at the house party not to my tastes for the reasons stated above.
Clean writing, just not my kind of story, sorry.
Some page by page notes:
You could nearly be accused of falling into the nebbish, geeky stereotype of Asians in western culture with the character of Asano. Time and time again we see Asians or Indians painted in a very insulting light particularly in collegiate/teen/gross out comedy genre, really turns me off. I thought they woulda learned their lesson after Mickey Rooney truly embarrassing, almost obnoxious turn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, oh man. I know you are going for the green, socially inept, devoid of “college experiences” guy but the constant truncated questions (usually cut short be Noah) got a bit repetitive. But again I get you were aiming for, an even though it irritated me at times, I must admit that the dialogue as a whole came off as natural conversation between students communicating through a cultural divide.
-- I dunno, calling it Marijuana seems very formal and sterile, like its coming from a politician or doctor. Referring to as “weed” or “pot” suits better I think. Not a big deal anyway.
I loved the use of “behemoth” when describing Bradley, great word.
Whatever about the typecasting of Asano, you definitely done it with the “IRISH BARTENDER tall, red hair, red beard.” I mean come on, man, that’s just one assumption short of having him greet them with “Top of the morning to ya” in one of those affected Irish accents poorly executed by a lazy (or deluded) American actor. Think Tom Cruise in Far & Away” or Kevin Spacey in “Ordinary Decent Criminal”
IRISH BARTENDER (to Noah) Once you start bartending, I’m gonna come in and order a World Trade Center, you asshole.
-- Witty comeback.
Zach is accompanying Asano and Noah here yet we don’t here a word from him in 3 and half pages when they are talking to Courtney, the Irish Bartender & downing the shots…why? It makes me think you forgot about him.
NOAH Sorry, dude. I was gonna say-
-- I liked the sudden reversal of character here, nicely done.
WES Lucky bastard. What do you say you send her a text message?
-- Like the “Marijuana” thing, it’s not a big deal but would “text” sound more natural here coming from a student. Only my luddite mother would use the full title as if too avoid confusion or something.
NOAH Sit tight, buddy. We’ll be there soon. Come on, guys.
-- Where? Home? A higher stand of inebriation? Since they immediately leave the bar and arrive at a house party its pretty clear now. I was just confused by the wording when I first read it.
I imagined when Asano saw Courtney he woulda got the hell outta there. I know he’s drunk and eagerly wants to explain himself but instinctual, self preservation would come first. At least have him or Zach, Wes & Noah look about warily as if anticipating the “behemoth” to be nearby. I know my chicken sh?t self would be. I suppose you can put this reckless abandonment in approaching her solely down to the booze consumed.
COURTNEY I guess I’ll see you later?
Asano lets out a drunken laugh as he nods.
-- Hmm, not so sure about this, very frothy, coming-of-age, David V goliath feel here. Like “Angus” or your average “Big Big Movie” which shows on TV, Saturdays at half six for pre/young teens. You know, where the geeky kid surprises everyone, most of all the local bully in a public confrontation while gaining respect of peers & said Bully’s girlfriend alike.
NOAH You ever smoke weed before?
“Smoke” should be “smoked”. Sorry, I hate to call attention the last line of a script.
Woah! Out of all the scripts I've written, how'd you decide to dig this one up? Seriously. I'm curious.
Not sure if you were holding back on this one or not but I'll one up your review and say this is little more than a fart of a script. I wrote it as an assignment, basically dramatizing events that were going on with my Japanese roommate at the time. Didn't think much of it. The true story is, needless to say, a lot funnier but ended up with threatening phone calls, police involvement and talk of a restraining order... not so funny.
I posted it with earnest intentions at the time and definitely tried to write something decent but totally forgot it existed until now. Not sure if I want to read it again, especially with what you've said in your review. I'm a lot more conscious of cheap, sensational writing in 2010 and think this one might've had its share.