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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Catch 23 Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: January 24th, 2011, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Catch 23 by Matt Mackowski (mattman2900) - Short - Meet Bob... a screenwriter, stuck in a Catch 22.  Can Bob find his way out? 5 pages - pdf, format


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bert
Posted: January 24th, 2011, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
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One of the first things you are likely to hear, Matt, is that writers often get tired of stories about writers.

I suppose it is almost its own little genre -- the writer's tale -- and if you are gonna do one, you really need to bring something fresh to it.

And you start by succeeding, to a point, but it leads to a conclusion where you kind of lose me as to what this piece is trying to accomplish.

First things first, however.  While I am not a huge proponent of the (beat), as far as the opening of your script, I think a beat would be less awkward than the double-VO you've got going.  And you seem to be missing a verb in the final descriptive passage on page one.  I would suggest "hustle".

There are actually quite a few words missing throughout.  This could use a good proofing.  What I do is print my work on paper and read it aloud.  You will be surprised at what you catch.  Proofing on a computer screen simply isn't enough.

Where you succeed here is in blurring the lines between Bob's dream world and his reality, as everything that occurs (to a point) could be happening in either. Exactly when we move between them -- or if we even move at all -- is never made clear, and if that was your intent, it is good.

But you do drop me at the end.  I am not getting it -- leave alone the possibility that Ms. Portman might stoop to public transportation.

What is frustrating here is the feeling that you DO have a point to all this, but that it is not coming through in its current form.  At least, not to me.

What I would do with this one is take the key message you are trying to impart to the reader and distill it down to a single sentence -- then do what it takes in terms of a rewrite to ensure that this message is delivered intact.

I am curious to hear your thoughts on this one.  Please elaborate when you get the chance.  I would read a rewrite if you do one.


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mattman2900
Posted: January 25th, 2011, 3:57am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
One of the first things you are likely to hear, Matt, is that writers often get tired of stories about writers.

I suppose it is almost its own little genre -- the writer's tale -- and if you are gonna do one, you really need to bring something fresh to it.

And you start by succeeding, to a point, but it leads to a conclusion where you kind of lose me as to what this piece is trying to accomplish.

First things first, however.  While I am not a huge proponent of the (beat), as far as the opening of your script, I think a beat would be less awkward than the double-VO you've got going.  And you seem to be missing a verb in the final descriptive passage on page one.  I would suggest "hustle".

There are actually quite a few words missing throughout.  This could use a good proofing.  What I do is print my work on paper and read it aloud.  You will be surprised at what you catch.  Proofing on a computer screen simply isn't enough.

Where you succeed here is in blurring the lines between Bob's dream world and his reality, as everything that occurs (to a point) could be happening in either. Exactly when we move between them -- or if we even move at all -- is never made clear, and if that was your intent, it is good.

But you do drop me at the end.  I am not getting it -- leave alone the possibility that Ms. Portman might stoop to public transportation.

What is frustrating here is the feeling that you DO have a point to all this, but that it is not coming through in its current form.  At least, not to me.

What I would do with this one is take the key message you are trying to impart to the reader and distill it down to a single sentence -- then do what it takes in terms of a rewrite to ensure that this message is delivered intact.

I am curious to hear your thoughts on this one.  Please elaborate when you get the chance.  I would read a rewrite if you do one.


Thanks bert for such a detailed description for such a short short... Yeah this one was rushed a bit.   I did find the errors after submitting it, but not sure if I'll submit another draft of this or not since.  I do print out my work and reread it, because frankly computer spell checks are atrocious at catching similar spelled words or words missing letters and such. But when it's your story you still have a tendency to miss things. I wrote a short called "Defending Daisy" and am going to start getting ready to produce it. So Catch 23 may have to wait.  


Oh and yeah, Ms. Portman would probably not take public transportation... unless maybe she was dared. But why would she listen to me?   

If I do open up Catch 23 to a rewrite, I'll let you know.  Thanks though for the review.  It helped to get another pair of eyes to find what I missed and may not be aware of - like the double V.O. that's one the first page and I didn't even notice that! Yeah, I'm not a huge proponent of Beat or Pause, I try and keep them to a minimal amount, but sometimes lost in the story I forget, so it helps to have those that remind you.  I try to find some action to say in between, as actors we love to have something to do or hold or some of us feel somewhat uncomfortable, stiff or insecure or at least that's how we look on screen - not me I hope!

if I do use pause, I tend to try and give addition action, info, and feel free to point out if anything can be changed when i do do it - and I know most of you on here will.  Thankfully I also have parents that are journalism and english majors and when they read one of my scripts (They are behind the times - I think they are still on Sunset Summer!) they are able to give me honest feedback and they don't sugar coat it.  My friends and other family members that read are the same way. So it helps to get that kind of feedback and they know they can't offend me. Nor can anyone on this board. - Well I'm sure there's something that will offend me, but it will probably take a lot.  

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
mattman2900  -  January 25th, 2011, 6:26am
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khamanna
Posted: January 25th, 2011, 12:26pm Report to Moderator
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I've come across scripts about screenwriters and not so often was engaged by them much. Although there were some very good ones, even excellent. Yours is pretty effective I think.

The idea is original - when he writes about locked doors and no luck he's in trouble but as soon as he writes something pleasant like going to Hollywood everything is his way.

It's good but not very exciting. It's easy to understand, read... It just leaves me to want more. Not that I didn't understand something - all of it is on the pages, it's just a bit short for me.

But still a good read.
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