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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Date Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Date  (currently 1148 views)
Don
Posted: December 20th, 2009, 8:33pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Date by John Keating (jimbob) - Short, Comedy - Guy takes girl out on a date. 6 pages - pdf, format


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Trojan
Posted: December 20th, 2009, 10:49pm Report to Moderator
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It's ironic that the last line of this script, 'Steve sits up and looks around confused', summed up how I felt after reading it.

There's a lot of formatting mistakes in here and the story and dialogue leave a lot to be desired also.

SPOILERS


The whole thing is just a dream?! Ugh, are you kidding? That is the most overused and tacky ending to a story you will ever find. It is a cheap cop out and should be banned from ever being used again. So essentially you have no story, just some guy who fell asleep and had a dream.

Let's start at the beginning.

Is there any reason to have a made-up WGA registration number on your title page?  You're generally not going to register a short so don't even bother with it.

Second bit of dialogue from Steve on the first page, 'She's just a woman. Just an
extremely hot, amazingly hot female woman.' As opposed to a male woman? Or a female man? Female and woman actually mean the same thing, so this just reads awful.

When you have Steve's Brain speaking, what you actually should have is Steve doing a voice over. I mean Steve's Brain is not an actual character but that's how it would look from the way you have written it.

Your use of wrylies are incorrect. For example you have
STEVE (getting angry)
Stop that!

But you need to have the wrylies on their own seperate line after the characters name.
STEVE
(getting angry)
Stop that!

That's how it should look (but obviously spaced properly which I haven't done here). You have quite a few of these.

If you are going to abbreviate words you need to include apostrophes where you have altered it. You can't just write how the word sounds because all you have then is a spelling mistake. For example 'spose to tape Dancing With The Stars' should be s'posed.

When you have something like (under his breath) you need to use that before the words your character says, not after. The way you have it written, Steve would be saying 'Oh my God' out loud and saying 'yeah sure' under his breath.

Some of your dialgue is really forced and awkward. Like when Steve says 'I really, really hate those kinds of movies. They suck. I think they suck a lot'. Sounds more like something a young teenager would say than someone in their mid 20s.

You should have a time location for all your scene headers eg.
EXT. OUTSIDE CINEMA
should be
EXT. OUTSIDE CINEMA - NIGHT

And when you write your scene headers you need to have them spaced properly. You have the dash right next to your location instead of centred. So this
INT. CAR- NIGHT
is incorrect.

I find it hard to believe that Sandra would imagine Steve would date hot women because she thinks Sebastian is a sexy name. Do you think women date a guy because of his first name? But then again this is all a dream, so none of this is actually real, right?

When he says his mother is Greek, what does that have to do with anything? And why does it get the reaction that he is so funny and interesting?

Okay Fade Out is really only used at the end of the script. Instead if you want that effect you could use Fade to Black, but even then I think there are better ways of doing it.

The ending is a real let down, and shows that no real thought has been put into an actual story. Also you would not have SMASH CUT TO BLACK. You don't need to be giving directions on how this will be shot, leave that to the director.

So ultimately, this didn't do anything for me. There is no story here. Read some scripts and get a feel for proper formatting, but more importantly, how to tell a story. Give us characters to care about who have goals and face conflict. Make them real and have them face tough decisions. Have them learn something or come to realisations. Just have something happen that is real and that we can invest in and get behind. Have a story worth telling.

Cheers,
Tim.
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ajr
Posted: December 21st, 2009, 12:42am Report to Moderator
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jimbob,

I think Trojan nailed this - I really can't add anything except to say that (SPOILERS) it's a stretch to think that Steve is arguing with himself inside of a dream sequence.

Also, he's such a numbnuts in what is supposed to be his fantasy.  If I'm dreaming about a smokin' hot chick, I can guarantee you that the last personality I would pick for myself would be fumfering fool.

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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jimbob
Posted: December 22nd, 2009, 9:26pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Tim, thanx for all the feedback.

Ya the dream thing is overused alot, and "Guy takes girl out on a date" has been seen a million times, I was just trying to present my own version of it.

"Shes just a woman. Just an extremely hot, amazingly hot female woman". These words, and repetition, are supposed to strike fear into Steve. He's trying his best to stay cool, but the reality of the situation becomes impossible for him to ignore. Thanx for pointing out the fact that woman and female are the same thing!

The dialogue from Steve was always meant to be forced and awkward. Thats the whole point. He's stupid.

Sandra thinking that Steve would be good with women because of his name wasnt meant to be taken so literally. She was flirting.

Sebastian is a Greek name. I admit that the reaction that he gets after saying that his mother was Greek didnt quite make sense. But it is a dream, so I wasnt aiming for realism.

John




Revision History (1 edits)
jimbob  -  December 22nd, 2009, 10:09pm
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jimbob
Posted: December 22nd, 2009, 9:53pm Report to Moderator
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AJR

"If I'm dreaming about a smokin' hot chick, I can guarantee you that the last personality I would pick for myself would be fumfering fool."  Whenever I dream I'm normally me. I dont have a choice in the matter. Stupid Steve dreamt of stupid Steve.

Thanx for the feedback

John
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_ghostwriters
Posted: December 23rd, 2009, 12:04am Report to Moderator
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jimbob...

It's "only a dream" idea can work ... despite popular belief.  It's how you decide to mix the colors ... then paint a clear picture ... and turn it into a "Picasso."  Or maybe even a "Salvador Dali"

Most of the time they don't make sense.  And other times and here is the kicker and there's no other way to put it ...

"I'll have a dream that unfolds like a movie.  Sometimes as many as 3 or 4 acts that appear unrelated until the final act or two of the dream, which pulls the opening sequences together."

Having said that...

Like so many others who ventured into this dark territory ... you also missed an golden opportunity here.  Yes after reading the first couple of pages, I immediately got the sense Steve was somewhat of an idiot.  Maybe even shy and alittle nervous when it comes to women.  Okay, I'll buy some of the dialogue but not all of it.

I probably would have took this in a different direction.  Forget the dream angle all together and make it just a regular date movie from the beginning and have a very interesting twist at the end.  Instead of Steve's brain talking, make a totally different character all together.  Something like in the movie ...(Mr. Brooks) with Kevin Costner and his sidekick, William Hurt.  You know what I mean?  

For the record, date movies aren't my thing.

Of course you would have to expand this a few pages though.  Hey, just throwing this out there but it's just me ... Ghost.

Anyway, there's a story here.  "A Rose." You planted the seeds but beause you failed to water it and expose it to sunshine, it didn't blossom.  With more practice and re-writes you can.

Your scene at the cinema... Unless the name of the theatre is , "outside" I must make a correction.

EXT.  OUTSIDE CINEMA - NIGHT.  It's an exterior shot.  We know we're outside.  We all have to start somewhere.  Good attempt though.

Good Luck

Ghostwriter


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RISE OF THE AMAZONS

THE SLEEPING TIGER

THE TIME GUARDIAN

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Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
_ghostwriters  -  December 23rd, 2009, 2:00am
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Colkurtz8
Posted: December 23rd, 2009, 1:11pm Report to Moderator
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Jimbob

It seems you've gotten some good advice above so I'll try not to repeat what has been said

I'll file this under a "potentially interesting" read. I think the concept here, the whole "its all dream" scenario has been used and abused beyond recognition for many a year now so you will need to rethink that. However, on the plus side, I liked the dialogue a lot. In the space of 6 pages I endeared to Steve as a character, bar the taping request (see note below) I think you got inside his mindset with reasonable success, his conflicting emotions, insecurities, etc. I can imagine most people has been in a situation that in some way resembles this, where you just feel out of your depth, out of your league and are constantly trying to not fu?k things up.

There was some funny banter in there between Steve and his brain and when Sandra came on the scene. It had me smiling anyway

But still, some formatting issues as mentioned below and in some cases sheer sloppiness held this back from being something better.

My humble advice would be to go over the story again, come up with a better, more original payoff and read a s much scripts as you can to perfect your writing

Some notes:

I would always write character ages in numerical form as you're not breaking any "rules" plus it takes up less space.

Have STEVE'S BRAIN as voiceover, a small thing thing but it helps clarity.

Parenticals should go under the name not beside it, you'll see it other scripts.

STEVE
Hey, ah..hey Sandra. No one. My
brother Jim actually. He was spose
to tape Dancing With The Stars for
me and he never did. He's such an
asshole!

-- Man, I hope he's joking.

Define your locations more clearly. Tell us where we are, it might be as clear as day in your own head but a reader won't know. For example, tell us where Steve pulls up when picking up Sandra, maybe have an exterior shot of Sandra's house and her approaching the car. As you have it - "He pulls up at her house." you don't change scene, we don't know where we are or what exactly is supposed to be on screen, you know. It comes off as vague and confusing.

Also when they are walking to the cinema, all we are told is:

EXT. CINEMA- NIGHT

Steve and Sandra walk up to the door. Steve stops Sandra.

The two talk for a bit before bam! the ticket lady appears. This all happens without you even telling us that we have entered the cinema. Basically locations, a sense of place needs to be made more explicit for the reader.

INT. AUDITORIUM
Steve and Sandra laugh hysterically at the movie.

EXT. OUTSIDE CINEMA
Steve and Sandra burst out of the door laughing hysterically,
holding onto each other as they laugh.

-- You use "hysterically" twice here in close succession. I would try and refrain from repetition like this, don't be afraid to expand the vocabulary in your writing. Something everyone should be trying to incorporate the best they can

Why do they find "A Christmas Carol" so funny?

I hope some of this helps, as I said, you've got some genuinly funny dialogue in there and a likeable central character in Steve, you just need a more rounded, better presented and structured script for him to inhabit.

Best of luck

Col.


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Craiger6
Posted: December 28th, 2009, 10:17am Report to Moderator
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Hey Jimbob,

In response to AJR's comment you wrote:

"If I'm dreaming about a smokin' hot chick, I can guarantee you that the last personality I would pick for myself would be fumfering fool."  Whenever I dream I'm normally me. I dont have a choice in the matter. Stupid Steve dreamt of stupid Steve.

Just a thought, but if you were to stay with the whole dream sequence, perhaps you could make Steve the office lothario.  You know, the dude who is really suave and does really well with women.  This way the "dream" is more like a nightmare when he wakes up.  I dunno, just a thought.

Craig


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jimbob
Posted: January 1st, 2010, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Ghost, thanx for the read and review.

Yeah, my "its all a dream" ending definately without question has to be reworked.  I did think the dream thing was a bit cliche when i wrote it but I just went with it.

The thing was I was concentrating more on the dialogue than the story. When I read it again after a few days when it was posted I thought "oh that ending really sux".

Glad you believed in the character of Steve.


Colkurtz8

Great review. Thanx.

Glad you liked the dialogue. That was my main area of interest with this particular script. Yeah, the dream bit definately has to be reworked.

Steve was making up a story to explain the 'talking to himself bit' when Sandra sees him. But id like to think that he would be one of those strange characters that would tape Dancing with the Stars!

Ill work on my location descriptions.

Thanx alot

Craiger6

"Just a thought, but if you were to stay with the whole dream sequence, perhaps you could make Steve the office lothario.  You know, the dude who is really suave and does really well with women.  This way the "dream" is more like a nightmare when he wakes up.  I dunno, just a thought."

Yeah that sounds quite good. Id have to make the date go terribly wrong for him in the end. But I still think that  the "oh it was only a dream" might still be a bit cliched.

But the thought of making fun of someone like that, the "office lothario" ladies man really appeals to me. Maybe I could show him trying to be very cool in the office, and then have the date "dream sequence" and then have him wake up still at work, everyone laughing at him.

Might work better that way youre right.

Thanx for the feedback,

John

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tonkatough
Posted: January 2nd, 2010, 7:48am Report to Moderator
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Was that Steven's brain doing the talking or was he just a schizo?

I liked Steve and how his infurating brain kept pointing out what a moron he is. It made me smile reading it. The awkwardness of Steve was cute and watching him wriggle out of watching Twilight was funny.

But then you had to go and spoil it all with the last bit in the office. To me, it felt like a cop out cause you didn't know how to end it. Making it all a dream was just a lazy attempt at an ending that would've taken no effort to think up and apply to script.

You've got a great little script here that needs a descent original gag ending. Why not have something like Steve get's so stressed out about having sex that he faints and gets trapped in a dream about rubbing a fat chick's arm in an office and making an ass of himself.    


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Coding Herman
Posted: January 2nd, 2010, 2:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hmm.....I'm just being honest here and I didn't read the other reviews before I post this. Sorry to say, your story didn't do much for me. Because:

1) Your story goes nowhere. Steve picks up Sandra and they watch a movie. This takes up four pages. There is a lot of dialogue that takes up space without moving the story forward. You can trim a LOT of Steve talking to himself in the car. And did Steven actually say his name is not Sebastian? We never found out since...

2) Your ending is a dream. A definite no-no. Audiences feel cheated.

3) Steve talking to himself so frantically ruins any credibility.

I assume you're trying to write a romantic comedy, but it needs a lot more happening than picking up a girl to the movie.


FEATURE:

Memwipe
- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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