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The Sunshine Jungle by John Ramos - Series, Drama - They say that the sun shines brightest over a jungle. Growing up in Los Angeles, no truer words have ever been spoken. This is a story of Julian Benes; a handsome man in his mid 30's who struggles to juggle his life as a father of a rebellious teenage son, an ex-husband to a woman who left him for a younger woman, and a prominent figure in the adult sex industry. Despite the complexity in his life, Julian is a man living the good life --- that is until the night he's framed for murder by a Mexican Cartel boss named Victor Vargas. 54 pages - pdf, format
So I gave this a read. When I first popped this open, I didn't look at the title page but after seeing the "Teaser, four acts and the prologue," maybe you should have put this under the series section. 54 pages, your looking at an hour television show for HBO or Showtime because this isn't for NBC, ABC or the Family channel, that is if you were to ever pitch this.
Having said that... your logline did nothing for me but I thought I'd give it a read anyway.
1) Consistant. When you first introduce your characters, you do use all CAPS but you were inconsistant. 1/3 of your script, you had some of your characters still in CAPS and some not. Either CAP your characters when you first introduce them, and leave it at that, or CAP them through the whole script. I've seen some major Hollywood scripts that do it. Personally, I'd do the former.
2) Your character Julian, other then the fact, he really loves his daughter, I didn't like anything about it. Other then maybe Noelle, most of you charaters lacked any sense of morals, RILEY comes to mind.
3) AVERY and ANGEL. Confusing. I had to keep going back to read several scenes with them in it. Maybe because I'm thinking, Angel should have been the girls name and Avery for the guy.
4) Lots of sex in your script man. I'm not saying it's gratuitous but the first twelve pages, you had three of them. Two scenes I didn't find realistic. The opening bar scene and at the toy store. I don't buy it.
5) Page#26, you could loose the wyrilie here for Noelle, because the action line before that, She walks in realizes Julian's there and clearly she's not happy one bit about this. Her dialogue, "What are you doing here?" So I'd loose the wyrilie (to Julian)
page#46, don't read right.
They share a light laugh then they both sit there and stare out at the beautiful lights the light up the city below them.
Your missing a few things here... one a "that," I believe is what you meant. Comma, period somewhere.
They share a laugh, then sit and stare out at the beautiful city lights below.
Page#49, Victor finds alittle humor in that. He cracks a smile. To me, this says the same thing. I'd takeout one but that's just me.
A few others, I don't care to point out.
I got to the ending and so many questions were left unanswered, so I went back and looked at the title page, yep, I figured this was probably a series and that was good because I was about to pick your ending apart.
I read it, would I read the second episode, unfortunately no. For a short with 54 pages... you'll be hard pressed to get other SS members to read this. I hope this helps.
Hi. Thanks for the review. I appreciate all feedback like this and would love to respond.
First, I should have put this in the series section but being a first timer that was an honest mistake. If there is a way to transfer the script then please let me know.
Now here are some of my thoughts on the points that you made.
1 - My log line. I agree that it needs work. If you have a suggestion it's more than welcomed.
2 - As far as my consistency of CAPS I will go back and only keep the character's names in CAPS when I introduce them. As far as using CAPS with places and action, should I also discontinue that?
3 - I understand your dislike of Julian. After all, he is modeled after a friend of mine as well as Julian McMahon of Nip/Tuck. BUT this is a series. I've written Julian's character that way so we can see and appreciate his growth throughout the series.
As far as the rest of the cast, the morals are thrown out the window. Every character in this script is based of someone I know in real life and believe it or not, in real life their moral metter is pretty low.
In this first episode I introduce them purposely with all their flaws. By the end of the first season I hope to establish why they have those flaws and why their moral code is so flawed.
4 - Opening bar scene and toy scene are realistic because they have happened. Like I said, the character of Julian is based off of a friend of mine and one of the two sexual encounters belongs to him and the other... luckily belongs to me.
The sex is very important to this series.
This series revolves around sex, the moral standards in Los Angeles as well as how we handle ourselves at our lowest. This first episode is their lowest. The rest of the season is how they climb out of that hole they're in.
5 - Angel and Avery are named after my son and Avery is a girl who was basically the other woman during my high school days. To me their names are perfect, BUT I can see where you were confused.
Angel is named after my son, but is based off of me during my teen years and the things I dealt with including teen pregnancy, cheating, sexual confusion, and drugs.
6 - "Page#26, you could loose the wyrilie here for Noelle, because the action line before that, She walks in realizes Julian's there and clearly she's not happy one bit about this. Her dialogue, "What are you doing here?" So I'd loose the wyrilie (to Julian)"
I'm sorry, but I don't know what "wyrilie" means.
7 - For a short with 54 pages... you'll be hard pressed to get other SS members to read this. I hope this helps.
- I didn't know 54 pages was too long? I guess maybe for a short. Is there a way to move this to the series section?
Hmm, now how are we suppose to know that? Your character Julian is based off one of your good friends. You wanna know how to make your logline better... then that's a good place to start. Maybe you need to include this important detail. "This story is based off... go from there... or better yet at the end of your logline throw that in there... based loosely on or based on so and so or based on blank... blank life experiences. If you had mentioned this in the first place, then I would buy the two scenes in question. Because other then that, I'm not buying the second one without some more concrete scientific data.
I'm sorry, I don't know what "wyrilie" means?
"Wyrilie" I mispelled that word. I meant WRYLY OR WRYLIES (this thing under dialogue). Actors instructions-- parentheticals or wrylies. These can provide useful and helpful tips to the reader, usually suggesting the subtext or attitude of the character. Avoid telling actors how to act... ect...
As far as using CAPS with places and actions, should I discontinue that?
If it's not EXCITING or something you really want to EMPHASIZE then no... you really shouldn't. It only clutters up your script. Not too mention it's unnecessary in most instances.
Okay, all your characters are flawed and you want to let it all unfold, great but you do want your audience to like them right? I wouldn't show all their flaws upfront, give us a reason to like something about them or atleast 1 0r 2 to make the audience want to tune in for the next episode.
JULIAN'S POV... this is called a camera direction, usually reserved for SPEC scripts. A good writer can get this point across without the camera angles.
Why do you have TABLE CAPS? This isn't exciting. Is there something particular about this table.. no it's not.
ON JULIAN'S FACE... camera angle.
BELOW HIM... what is this? BLACK LEATHER COUCH... Is it important, that it's a black leather couch? Not exciting. Unnecessary too.
Page#2 your first slugline...
INT. TOY STORE - DOLL ISLE - DAY
Julian stands in the middle of a TOY STORE. Not too mention you also have that in CAPS... Why?
REDUNDANCY. You've already established this fact in your slugline. No need to mention it again. You don't want to do this too often but it happens alot throughout your script. Try to avoid.
All this is amateur stuff. It only clutters up your script... makes it hard to read... and very distracting. Nothing but roadblocks that instructs the reader to make a U-Turn and go home.
Still page#2, Angel's dialogue, you throw this in there... Julian --- What is this? I think I know what it is, but I'm not sure because... a DASH indicates a sudden shift or break in thougt... ect... -- this... not --- that. (All the small things, don't overlook them)
page#3, ISLE...Why? SMASH CUT: Another camera direction. Why? Do you even know how a SMASH CUT is used? You need to concentrate on telling a story and leave things like this too the director.
Julian impishly smiles... again this word. Get creative.
page#4, NEXT DOOR... DRIVEWAY all CAPS. Why? You even keep CAPS on BMW. After the first time fine, then drop it.
Maybe things have changed and you've made some modifications which would really be great. The good thing, this feedback will only help to make your script better.