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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Love You To Death Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: September 15th, 2010, 7:51pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Love You To Death by James McClung - Comedy, Drama, Romance - A video game tester fakes his own death to escape his unstable girlfriend. 97 pages - pdf, format


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Don  -  June 26th, 2011, 8:13pm
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sniper
Posted: September 21st, 2010, 4:03am Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

Finished Love You To Death last night – in one sitting. Fast script, man. Overall thoughts? Liked it. I’m not usually one for romantic comedies but the way you spun this, the whole absurdity of the situation really hit home with me. For me it was kind of a throwback to Better Off Dead (a John Cusack 80s comedy – don’t know if you’ve seen it) with those hilarious flashbacks and dream sequences.

Another thing, James: You “bear-ter” believe it? When I first read it I thought it sounded ridiculous. Then I read it out loud and it sounded…even more ridiculous. But in a good, cheesy way. Now I can’t even say that line without cracking a smile. Good job.

It is quite a talky script but I know you love dialogue so I was expecting that when I opened up the script. The dialogue worked throughout the script though in my opinion. Could there have been a little less of it and a little more action? Sure, but different strokes for different folks. I didn’t particular like when Lance talked to the camera. Don’t know why you felt you needed that. I thought you could have shown the “Fuck my life” lines without actually having him say it. And it probably would have worked better that way. I liked the movie jokes that you did – especially the one with the Academy Awards and British actors – but I doubt the average movie goer will actually know what you’re talking about. Just saying.

For me, the first 10-15 pages were probably the hardest to get through. Very heavy on dialogue, it’s basically just Lance and Anders talking at different locations. Okay, you did sprinkle the scenes with some nice flashbacks (and they worked) but it kinda took them a while to come up with the plan. Also, neither Lance nor Anders really struck a cord with me in those opening pages (that changed later on). I wouldn’t call them deadbeats exactly but they came across very stereotypical for their age really. Watching two guys – with basically not a care in the world - game, drink, eat and talk isn’t exactly an edge-of-your-seat movie experience – not even if you did it in 3-D. A lot of exposition spread out over quite a few pages. But that’s how you do it and that’s cool.

As for the characters? Like I said, Lance and Anders didn’t really work for me before they got to Baltimore. That’s when they became “real” people in a sense with “real” emotions – guilt, love, jealousy, you name it. That was good. Flora was obviously a scene stealer. Liked her a lot. Actually, I wouldn’t mind spending some time with her, know what I’m saying? As a movie buff, she sounds like a real treasure. Holly was okay, nothing terribly memorable, but okay. I think you could have brought her in a little sooner (and I don’t mean by flashback) because, as it stands now, she doesn’t really enter the story until about halfway through. Because of this she feels kinda like a stranger intruding. For some reason, my favourite characters were Bert and Linda. I absolutely loved them. I don’t know what it is about them but they totally hit home with me. I guess it’s the fact that they’re sort of normal – but then again not really. Again, I think they just remind me of the parents in Better Off Dead – and they were hilarious in their own weird way. Loved when Bert kicked Lance. Classic.

I liked Lance’s arc. The whole you-don’t-know-what-you-have-until-you-lose-it routine has been done countless of times but there’s a reason for that. It works. And I think your version works, too. The Anders-Holly subplot was cute but also very predictable. While the end worked well – without going super-mushy – it felt maybe a little too…easy? All of a sudden Flora isn’t really suicidal – she was just faking it. Then came the fake death and the heart attack. Again, a little too easy. Don’t get me wrong, it all worked for what it was  - and I guess it followed the traditional romantic comedy structure – but I think maybe you could have taken it to a more unpredictable level.

The dialogue – while there sure was plenty of it – worked fine overall. I was particular impressed with Flora’s speech at Lance’s “funeral” (a funny scene in itself). That was quite a touching speech actually, made me feel really bad for her (which I guess was also your intention).

People are probably gonna come down on both sides of the fence in respect of the plot itself. Faking your own death to break up with your girlfriend is definitely a new one. Believable? Not really. Would it make for a fun little film? In my book, absolutely.

So overall I like what you have done here. I hope you get some more reads cos’ the script deserves it.

Keep it up.

Cheers
Rob

PS: They were a few typos here and there but I wasn’t taking notes when I was reading this so – darn it – I can’t tell you where they were.


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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James McClung
Posted: September 22nd, 2010, 4:27am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for reading, man! Glad you liked it.


Quoted from Sniper
For me it was kind of a throwback to Better Off Dead (a John Cusack 80s comedy � don�t know if you�ve seen it) with those hilarious flashbacks and dream sequences.


Never heard of Better Off Dead. I'll have to check it out.


Quoted from Sniper
It is quite a talky script but I know you love dialogue so I was expecting that when I opened up the script. The dialogue worked throughout the script though in my opinion. Could there have been a little less of it and a little more action? Sure, but different strokes for different folks. I didn�t particular like when Lance talked to the camera. Don�t know why you felt you needed that. I thought you could have shown the �Fuck my life� lines without actually having him say it. And it probably would have worked better that way. I liked the movie jokes that you did � especially the one with the Academy Awards and British actors � but I doubt the average movie goer will actually know what you�re talking about. Just saying.


At some point, I think I resigned myself to writing a dialogue-driven script. My initial idea was that Flora wouldn't believe Lance was dead and try to track him down while he chases Holly. Then I opted not to make her an antagonist and have Lance end up with her instead. I think the story yields much more depth and character development that way and doesn't excuse the act of faking your own death. Honestly, there was no way Lance was going to get away with it anyway. Don't think the story, whatever it is, would function dramatically if he did.

Unfortunately, Flora not shaking things up puts a hindrance on the action. I love dialogue but it was still a challenge to make the scenes interesting on a visual scale. Hence dates at the bowling alley and aquarium. Any dialogue scene is cooler if you have some cool sharks to look at. Those places make for better dates in the real world anyway. I may try to mess with some of the more laid back scenes but this is definitely a dialogue-driven script and I don't think that's gonna change without drastically changing the story.

I think I'll leave Lance breaking the fourth wall in for now. I kinda like it. I think I always wanted to kick the script off that way (almost like Lance introducing the story). The second time doesn't appear until much later in the script and is the only other time I felt it was really appropriate (Lance has made a complete 180 at this point). That said, I don't think it's enough to really take people out of the story. People could almost ignore them if I wanted to. There's a lot of movies with V.O. bookends but people never recognize them as having any narration. But I think if they works for people, they're gonna add an unexpected bit of fun. I'd hope, anyway.


Quoted from Sniper
For me, the first 10-15 pages were probably the hardest to get through. Very heavy on dialogue, it�s basically just Lance and Anders talking at different locations. Okay, you did sprinkle the scenes with some nice flashbacks (and they worked) but it kinda took them a while to come up with the plan. Also, neither Lance nor Anders really struck a cord with me in those opening pages (that changed later on). I wouldn�t call them deadbeats exactly but they came across very stereotypical for their age really. Watching two guys � with basically not a care in the world - game, drink, eat and talk isn�t exactly an edge-of-your-seat movie experience � not even if you did it in 3-D. A lot of exposition spread out over quite a few pages. But that�s how you do it and that�s cool.


I won't argue with you there. Lance is particularly something of a shit when the story kicks off. Anders less so but definitely not a great guy either (a better guy, maybe). Nevertheless, if the arc works, I think it's stronger because of where Lance starts out. I also think his lifestyle, to an extent, plays into what the story's really about.


Quoted from Sniper
Holly was okay, nothing terribly memorable, but okay. I think you could have brought her in a little sooner (and I don�t mean by flashback) because, as it stands now, she doesn�t really enter the story until about halfway through. Because of this she feels kinda like a stranger intruding.


Holly has been a very hard and frankly irritating character to develop. Lance and her are supposed to get along well but not enough. They're not supposed to fit. My idea was that she likes Lance and Anders both because they're weird and different from her normal circles but not based on anything genuine. At the same time, she's supposed to be a good friend. At one point, she was supposed to throw people off and make them think Lance would end up with her. I don't think that's much of the case anymore. I think she's more of a foil for Lance at this point more than anything else. She needs work for sure.

BUT she does need to be there. I think a number of people will find this to be a very episodic script but there is definitely a cause-and-effect going on here (just a little clandestine) and Holly is definitely part of it.


Quoted from Sniper
For some reason, my favourite characters were Bert and Linda. I absolutely loved them. I don�t know what it is about them but they totally hit home with me. I guess it�s the fact that they�re sort of normal � but then again not really. Again, I think they just remind me of the parents in Better Off Dead � and they were hilarious in their own weird way. Loved when Bert kicked Lance. Classic.


Glad you liked them. They didn't quite turn out how I expected but they've been going over surprisingly well. I think Lance is a strange character and I wasn't really sure what kind of parents he would have. One thing I was certain of was that Lance would be the dominant party in the parent-child relationship. I wanted to communicate that he'd put them through the ringer growing up and they'd grown weary. Maybe even borderline apathetic.


Quoted from Sniper
I liked Lance�s arc. The whole you-don�t-know-what-you-have-until-you-lose-it routine has been done countless of times but there�s a reason for that. It works. And I think your version works, too. The Anders-Holly subplot was cute but also very predictable. While the end worked well � without going super-mushy � it felt maybe a little too�easy? All of a sudden Flora isn�t really suicidal � she was just faking it. Then came the fake death and the heart attack. Again, a little too easy. Don�t get me wrong, it all worked for what it was  - and I guess it followed the traditional romantic comedy structure � but I think maybe you could have taken it to a more unpredictable level.


The Anders-Holly thing is predictable and cutesy and I'm totally okay with that. I didn't try to make it fit the romantic comedy formula (I didn't try to make anything fit the formula) but I figured their coupling to come about, perhaps not naturally, but easily, for sure.

Which leads me to the stars. I'm actually surprised you thought they followed the typical structure. I thought the fake death would be really unexpected and the heart attack even more so. Not totally out of left field. I think both are completely fitting. But I don't think they're predictable. Maybe they are.

In any case, I still don't think it was that easy. Flora's suicide threats are ridiculous and completely attention-seeking. They're still evidence of a very off balance, insecure person, undoubtably. That's more the point, really. But I don't think it'd be a stretch for anyone to assume she's bluffing right off the bat. Lance would still have all the reason to want to end the relationship.

Flora doesn't exactly take him back at the end either. It's still going to take them a while to get back on track. At the same time, she absolutely will and I don't think that makes it easy. I think anyone would choose someone they love faking their death over them actually being dead. The permanence of death makes people put aside any grudges, I think; it'd be hard to take them up again so quickly.

I also had Lance "die" so he and Flora would genuinely be square. Like she says, it's the only way. Otherwise, the script would've ended with them breaking up for good (which was the original ending).


Quoted from Sniper
People are probably gonna come down on both sides of the fence in respect of the plot itself. Faking your own death to break up with your girlfriend is definitely a new one. Believable? Not really. Would it make for a fun little film? In my book, absolutely.


Indeed, there's a fair amount of absurdity to the script. But there's definitely a lot of truth to it as well. Maybe not in the whole fake death thing but it's there, for sure. Nevertheless, I agree. I think reactions will be mixed.

Thanks again!


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Posted: September 22nd, 2010, 7:00am Report to Moderator
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The moment it started, I adored it. I really love this script!


What Am I Working On?
Currently going back and forth with projects. (--) :


Reason why Rainforests are disappearing is because of all of the useless scripts Hollywood wants everyday.
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dogglebe
Posted: September 22nd, 2010, 10:50am Report to Moderator
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I had problems with this script.  There was just too much banter between Lance and Anders.  The two characters just weren't interesting enough to carry the script.  It's like watching those stoner movies.  Can you really make a movie out of a couple of guys sitting around and coming up with bullshit that they think is brilliant?

The only character I really liked was Flora.  I wouldn't want to date her, but she was fun to read.
I've seen suicide montages before, but death by softener was cute.

I recommend taking out some of the chatter; put some more action into it.  There was only one site gag that sticks out for me (the fisherman).  Need more like this.


Phil
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James McClung
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Quoted from dogglebe
I had problems with this script.  There was just too much banter between Lance and Anders.  The two characters just weren't interesting enough to carry the script.  It's like watching those stoner movies.  Can you really make a movie out of a couple of guys sitting around and coming up with bullshit that they think is brilliant?

...

I recommend taking out some of the chatter; put some more action into it.  There was only one site gag that sticks out for me (the fisherman).  Need more like this.


I think that's fair. Probably not the last of such comments I'm going to hear. Which stoner movies though? I hate most of them.


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dogglebe
Posted: September 22nd, 2010, 3:44pm Report to Moderator
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Which stoner movies?  All of them.  I can't stand them myself.


Phil
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Murphy
Posted: September 22nd, 2010, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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Okay, I will start by really echoing what has already been said, think you could do with having a look at the first few pages again. I found it fairly hard to get into this, in fact I actually started this script a few days ago and could not get in to it at all. I stopped reading and waited till I was in a different frame of mind to have another go. It was only seeing Sniper's review made me give it another chance. But to be fair that is not just about the writing but also to do with the fact it was two video game players talking crap in a room, I automatically assumed it was gonna be 100 pages of that and just couldn't be arsed.

The good news is when I got back to it this morning, and after getting through the first few pages, it improved a great deal and is actually pretty decent. I enjoyed reading it, which fair play, is something that not all SS features deliver, in fact the majority of them don't.

I like the premise, I think it is perfect for an "alternative" rom-com, though while it worked in this style of rom-com I can't help wondering if it would be better as a more indie style black comedy movie?  Anyway. I digress, it did work.

Funny? It passed the Mark Kermode 5 laughs rule, which essentially is a rule that states a film is only a comedy if it makes you laugh more than 5 times. This did, you had a few good gags in here and you did manage to keep the humour going throughout, which was good. I do agree with Dogglebe however, not enough visual gags.

Which does bring me onto the biggest flaw with this script, and one I do not need to expand much on, but yes, it is too talky and does need something else to help break that up. One thing I can't remember from the script is "the scene", all decent comedies seem to have that one scene that is just so hilarious and memorable, a scene that obviously has been designed from the start to be in the trailer and form the main talking point for the whole movie. I think you could have done so much more with the camping trip, really turned it into a riot. What if a real bear had turned up? I'm talking naked men being chased by a bear up a tree, or something equally bizarre. I think it just needs a really funny 5 min sequence in there somewhere.

What you did do brilliantly was create some good, distinctive characters. This script and the absurd premise only works because I believe that the characters were capable of doing what they did. And for me characters are the most important and often under-rated aspect of any script posted here. I watch plenty of great movies with little plot and action but with well written characters and yet even the most exciting story in the world is useless when I don't feel anything or believe in the people involved. So kudos for that.

So overall a great effort and a good read, after page 20 it just flew by and was entertaining. I am not sure how much you pay attention to hitting plot points but this worked well, you killed Lance at around page 30 which is just about perfect for taking us into act 2 and this did help the story flow well. This combined with solid characters makes for a pretty decent script, with maybe some work still to do to make it better.

Nice one.






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James McClung
Posted: September 22nd, 2010, 5:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Murphy. Will respond on your review in depth a little later.

In the mean time, I'll say it's more than evident from these three reviews that the first act needs to be cut down considerably. The script's a hundred pages so I think I've got the breathing room I need to drop some pages. Shouldn't be too hard. I think the first couple scenes are where I took the most liberties.

EDIT: Since I posted this, I've removed 3 whole pages worth of dialogue from the first 25, all between Lance and Anders. I've removed all their dialogue from the campsite sequence except for the "pitch our tents" line, the "stunt bear" line and the night scene. Not a bad start, I'd say.



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James McClung  -  September 23rd, 2010, 3:22pm
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James McClung
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Quoted from Murphy
Okay, I will start by really echoing what has already been said, think you could do with having a look at the first few pages again. I found it fairly hard to get into this, in fact I actually started this script a few days ago and could not get in to it at all. I stopped reading and waited till I was in a different frame of mind to have another go. It was only seeing Sniper's review made me give it another chance. But to be fair that is not just about the writing but also to do with the fact it was two video game players talking crap in a room, I automatically assumed it was gonna be 100 pages of that and just couldn't be arsed.


I hear you. I've since trimmed at least every scene with the two guys in the first 25 pages by at least a quarter. At best, at least half the scene was cut, as was the case with the scene at Flora's apartment (before she arrives), the one after the bar and just about all of the camping sequence. Within that sequence, I expanded the role of the fisherman at Phil's recommendation.


Quoted from Murphy
I like the premise, I think it is perfect for an "alternative" rom-com, though while it worked in this style of rom-com I can't help wondering if it would be better as a more indie style black comedy movie?  Anyway. I digress, it did work.


I think it's about as much a black comedy as it is a rom-com. I think even at it's darkest moments, it's still kinda goofy and no one really gets hurt in the end. This draft was a lot darker than the last one though. I'll give you that.


Quoted from Murphy
Which does bring me onto the biggest flaw with this script, and one I do not need to expand much on, but yes, it is too talky and does need something else to help break that up. One thing I can't remember from the script is "the scene", all decent comedies seem to have that one scene that is just so hilarious and memorable, a scene that obviously has been designed from the start to be in the trailer and form the main talking point for the whole movie. I think you could have done so much more with the camping trip, really turned it into a riot. What if a real bear had turned up? I'm talking naked men being chased by a bear up a tree, or something equally bizarre. I think it just needs a really funny 5 min sequence in there somewhere.


I know what you mean by "the scene." Don't think it's that kind of comedy though. I suppose it's just not "in your face" enough for something like naked guys getting chased by a bear. I don't know. I'll think about it.

More gags though. I can agree with that. Just rewrote the bowling scene to end with Holly accidentally crushing Lance's foot with a ball. Unlike most slapstick-oriented romantic comedies, I actually show the foot afterward. Maybe that's a start.

Thanks for the review, dude!


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grademan
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Hey James!

I think you may be one of the most prolific writers here and you really hit a cross section of genres. Red Storm is still my fav.

James, I liked your writing as usual. This rom com was hard to nail. They all are.

I didn’t get into it. Here’s why:

1) Anders didn’t convince me that he was that good of a friend to help Lance fake his death. Maybe some kind of leverage.

2) Lance didn’t sell me that Flora was a freaking girlfriend from hell. Pointing out the majority of her flaws in flashbacks took some of the oomph out of the start. Maybe a scene or two of them in public.

3) What was Holly doing hanging around Lance and Anders, anyhow? She had a failed relationship with Anders and a might have one with Lance. Well, maybe she did help Lance see his dream girl was not a potential mate. Maybe a scene where he comes on strong and she reciprocates up to the point of almost no return.

4) The funeral could have been a hilarious moment but I understand why you didn’t – what can be one that hasn’t been done? But there’s nothing like the knowledge the coffin is empty to spice up a funeral.

5) I would have preferred a conflict between Lance and Anders other than Holly, who Anders went out with six years ago. Anders falling (kind of) for Flora was good. Anders needs to be consumed by guilt.

6) I wasn’t convinced that Lance was feeling the stress he was. Maybe he should be consumed by guilt, not Anders.

I did like the parents, not sure why. Maybe it was their sneaking around to make things right.

This idea was done before on a “My Name is Earl” episode. I’d check it out for reference sake. The girl is really pitiful in this one.

My two cents.

Gary
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James McClung
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Quoted from grademan
1) Anders didn’t convince me that he was that good of a friend to help Lance fake his death. Maybe some kind of leverage.


They know each other from high school. That kind of history goes a long way. Don't you think?


Quoted from grademan
2) Lance didn’t sell me that Flora was a freaking girlfriend from hell. Pointing out the majority of her flaws in flashbacks took some of the oomph out of the start. Maybe a scene or two of them in public.


The suicide flashbacks were supposed to be a montage. I feel like there was too much information in them to format as such. Jeff did it basically the way I did in his Unforgettable script only he actually labeled it as a montage. I think I'll do the same. Those particular flashbacks were supposed to be quick and snappy. It's one of those things that's hard to suggest on paper but maybe labeling them as a montage would help.

In any case, I'll insert a scene of them in public. That would help, indeed. I've got just the idea.


Quoted from grademan
3) What was Holly doing hanging around Lance and Anders, anyhow? She had a failed relationship with Anders and a might have one with Lance. Well, maybe she did help Lance see his dream girl was not a potential mate. Maybe a scene where he comes on strong and she reciprocates up to the point of almost no return.


Don't think there's anything to suggest that the nature of Holly's and Anders's breakup was anything serious other than maybe one line which I've since removed. High school is high school and I've a few friends who are still friends with their exes. It's not something I condone personally but it happens.

I'd also say Lance feels there's sort of unfinished business between him and Holly. The whole high school sweetheart fantasy is a common one, I'd say.


Quoted from grademan
4) The funeral could have been a hilarious moment but I understand why you didn’t – what can be one that hasn’t been done? But there’s nothing like the knowledge the coffin is empty to spice up a funeral.


I totally hear you. That would've been great. But there's just no way they could've pulled it off. Coffins cost money. Plots cost money. Funeral services cost money. Lots of money. Not to mention they'd need the participation of a lot more people. There's just no way it could work.


Quoted from grademan
5) I would have preferred a conflict between Lance and Anders other than Holly, who Anders went out with six years ago. Anders falling (kind of) for Flora was good. Anders needs to be consumed by guilt.


I suppose Holly is a little too much of a foil at this point. I need to work on that. At the same time, I think she symbolizes an escape for Lance which he can't achieve as the consequences of his fake death interfere in a number of ways. Like I said. Needs work.


Quoted from grademan
6) I wasn’t convinced that Lance was feeling the stress he was. Maybe he should be consumed by guilt, not Anders.


I definitely tried to show that. I think he definitely comes off as worried/concerned about her a number of times. In this draft, Lance's guilt affects his health. It's very subtle but there's a few moments where he looks sick, throws up, etc. all leading up to the heart attack. Maybe it needs some more work.

Thanks for the read, dude!


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: September 27th, 2010, 10:41pm Report to Moderator
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Hello James,

Thanks for uploading your script, I enjoyed the read.
I'm afraid my thoughts on the script are a tad personal.

You see.....I lived with two beta game testers for three years.
They were the most obsessive, compulsive and socially maladjusted folks I have met.
Neither of them would touch booze, women or drugs, they were all about energy drinks.
So, that being said, its hard for me to believe in Lance or Anders at all.
I don't recall you spending much time with them obsessing over games. Did you?

As your dialogue centric story unfolds, I like Lance less and less.
Flora is this wounded awesome flower after the "death". It doesn't help me like Lance.
I just don't see what's so terrible about her to warrant the faked death.
I wanted less talk and more doing, lots of flashbacks here, some seem redundant.
P. 67 there's a scene transition there that confused me. I stopped, didn't solve it.

Lance and Anders are pretty good together. I particularly liked the camping stuff.
I don't recall much in the way of sight gags, they would help a dialogue heavy story.
I like Lance having the heart attack to even the score. The editor was a wise ass. Heh.

I tend to not get invested in scripts where the protagonist wants to disconnect.
Lance wants out of what he's in, that's all he knows. Its not another girl, etc.
I like the parents, morally conflicted, always thinking of others, good job.
I know what Lance doesn't want, but I scarcely recall if he has any other goals.

I like your tone, but the story dynamics and occupation choice get in the way for me.
Sorry if all seems a bit vague, I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks a bunch for the chance to review your work!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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James McClung
Posted: September 28th, 2010, 5:39am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Thanks for uploading your script, I enjoyed the read.
I'm afraid my thoughts on the script are a tad personal.


No worries. I love personal thoughts! Anyone can tell you your marketability will improve if you add this or lose this but genuine reactions are much more insightful. For example...


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
You see.....I lived with two beta game testers for three years.
They were the most obsessive, compulsive and socially maladjusted folks I have met.
Neither of them would touch booze, women or drugs, they were all about energy drinks.
So, that being said, its hard for me to believe in Lance or Anders at all.
I don't recall you spending much time with them obsessing over games. Did you?


They can't all be like that, can they? I watched some interviews with testers and programmers and most of them seemed like regular people. Not like your friends or like Lance and Anders.

A couple years ago, I think I would've agreed with you completely. But with the advent of Halo and GTA, I think video games are just as much for Miller Lite drinking bros as they are for socially retarded game nerds. One of the biggest game nerds I know works as a talent agent at one of the biggest modeling agencies in the country and basically hangs out with hot chicks all day. This is a guy who previously worked at GameStop from his high school years on and can play Guitar Hero literally behind his back. You look at these WOW nerds now and they're about the same as kids playing Doom back in the 90s but in spite of that, the culture has really changed.

But most importantly, I wanted to get away from the myth that game testing is the best job in the world. Have you seen Grandma's Boy? You don't need to know anything about video games to know the job's not like that. It's a total cartoon. I didn't want the characters' lives to revolve around video games.

Unfortunately, I can't say that intention correlates into their seeming lack of enthusiasm toward games. My taste in games is several years old. I think still think Thief and Sonic the Hedgehog are the best games ever made, even having played some of the new ones. Other than BioShock, I really don't know many modern day classics. Any ideas?


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
As your dialogue centric story unfolds, I like Lance less and less.
Flora is this wounded awesome flower after the "death". It doesn't help me like Lance.
I just don't see what's so terrible about her to warrant the faked death.
I wanted less talk and more doing, lots of flashbacks here, some seem redundant.
P. 67 there's a scene transition there that confused me. I stopped, didn't solve it.


I guess outside the flashbacks, you guess you only hear about what kind of girl Flora. Maybe she's a little too nice/welcoming in her first "real" scene. I'll try to make her less so. She was never meant to be a bitch though. Just clingy and annoying. It was hard to find a balance between that and her sweeter side. Based on the responses I've been getting, I'd the latter stands out. I don't quite want to change that so I'll work on rewording her first scene only. Her real character is supposed to come out after the "death" anyway.

I resigned myself to using so many flashbacks from the getgo. I actually think it'd be cheaper to use one or two than to use a lot. Lance's arc is supposed to be more reflective than action oriented which the flashbacks support.

I'll take a look at 67.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Lance and Anders are pretty good together. I particularly liked the camping stuff. I don't recall much in the way of sight gags, they would help a dialogue heavy story. I like Lance having the heart attack to even the score. The editor was a wise ass. Heh.


I just finished a new draft which someone else is looking at right now. I removed about three pages of dialogue and replaced them with gags so I think it should be at least slightly more balanced this time around.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I tend to not get invested in scripts where the protagonist wants to disconnect. Lance wants out of what he's in, that's all he knows. Its not another girl, etc.
I like the parents, morally conflicted, always thinking of others, good job.
I know what Lance doesn't want, but I scarcely recall if he has any other goals.


Pretty sure he just wants to move to Baltimore, drink and do drugs with Anders. This guy sets his sights high, right?... Fair point.

Thanks for reading, man! Let me know if you want anything read in exchange.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: September 28th, 2010, 9:55am Report to Moderator
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Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

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Quoted from James McClung

They can't all be like that, can they? I watched some interviews with testers and programmers and most of them seemed like regular people. Not like your friends or like Lance and Anders.

A couple years ago, I think I would've agreed with you completely. But with the advent of Halo and GTA, I think video games are just as much for Miller Lite drinking bros as they are for socially retarded game nerds. One of the biggest game nerds I know works as a talent agent at one of the biggest modeling agencies in the country and basically hangs out with hot chicks all day. This is a guy who previously worked at GameStop from his high school years on and can play Guitar Hero literally behind his back. You look at these WOW nerds now and they're about the same as kids playing Doom back in the 90s but in spite of that, the culture has really changed.

Oh I do agree with you, I'm just a bit too personally jaded to see past it. My bad.
Oh gawd yeah, my roomie's mum is a WoW stoner. There's a script in waiting. LOL


Quoted from James McClung

But most importantly, I wanted to get away from the myth that game testing is the best job in the world. Have you seen Grandma's Boy? You don't need to know anything about video games to know the job's not like that. It's a total cartoon. I didn't want the characters' lives to revolve around video games.

Unfortunately, I can't say that intention correlates into their seeming lack of enthusiasm toward games. My taste in games is several years old. I think still think Thief and Sonic the Hedgehog are the best games ever made, even having played some of the new ones. Other than BioShock, I really don't know many modern day classics. Any ideas?

I have seen Grandma's Boy, it had its moments.
I stopped buying consoles when they started getting sequels. =p
Ummm, my suggestion would be read a few game mags. They are full of opinions.



Quoted from James McClung

I guess outside the flashbacks, you guess you only hear about what kind of girl Flora. Maybe she's a little too nice/welcoming in her first "real" scene. I'll try to make her less so. She was never meant to be a bitch though. Just clingy and annoying. It was hard to find a balance between that and her sweeter side. Based on the responses I've been getting, I'd the latter stands out. I don't quite want to change that so I'll work on rewording her first scene only. Her real character is supposed to come out after the "death" anyway.

As the story unfolded I got further away from Lance.
That's kinda the time I should be invested in your protagonist.
I found myself caring less about him and more about those left behind.
Perhaps monstering FLora up a bit without flashbacks might help regain some balance.


Quoted from James McClung

Pretty sure he just wants to move to Baltimore, drink and do drugs with Anders. This guy sets his sights high, right?... Fair point.

Thanks for reading, man! Let me know if you want anything read in exchange.


Yeah, if I felt there was another reason for it, I might be more invested in Lance.
An old flame, a fresh start cuz he owes the mob money, something like that. =p
You've got lots of nifty stuff here, which I why I want to root for Lance down the stretch.

I will be uploading a spec adaptation write sample soon, thanks!
Good luck with your work!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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