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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Birdwatching Naked Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: July 13th, 2013, 11:36am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Birdwatching Naked by Tom Batt - Comedy -  A bored British intelligence analyst desperate for some excitement stumbles upon a terrorist plot whilst on holiday in a quiet French town, he decides to investigate despite the lack of training in field work. 103 pages - pdf, format


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alffy
Posted: July 14th, 2013, 4:14am Report to Moderator
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Hey Tom, I was wondering if you were around on the boards?

I scanned over the first few pages and have a few pointers;

Personally I wouldn't date the script or indicate that it's a first draft either as these could turn potential readers away.

Although the opening image is good you include the word 'camera' which is often frowned upon.

You may want to change the second scene too.  Rather than saying 'we are', which is again frowned upon, you could use a montage to show the town which would work better.

A description, even if minimal, of Damon would be better than nothing.

All these seem quite negative but easily fixed.  The story, in the few pages I read, seems pretty good and the title is awesome.  If you're about on the boards I may give this read.


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TomBatt
Posted: July 14th, 2013, 10:08am Report to Moderator
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Hi
Thanks for the feedback much appreciated. If you wouldn't mind having a read I need as many notes on improving it as I can get really, in order to make this script as good as it can be.
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alffy
Posted: July 14th, 2013, 10:18am Report to Moderator
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Hey Tom, I'll give this a read but I have another feature to finish reading first but will defo give this a once over for you.


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

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BillC
Posted: July 28th, 2013, 10:36pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Tom!

I've given your first 10 a once over. I hope that's okay. Might come back and read more, but just wanted to share my thoughts for now.

First off, lovely title. I read it and was like, "What the...? How could I NOT click on this?"

After your first 10, I didn't really know what the story was about. It wasn't until I read your logline that I understood. So here are some suggestions of mine to hopefully make it a bit clearer.

-- There are some technical mistakes. The one that irked me the most was the parenthetical; they should be on a separate line. And then later on there are triple spaces between dialogue and action lines, which should only be two.

-- I think you could have a strong comedic voice if you leaned out your writing just a bit. For example, I chuckled at "FYI, there aren't any" but some other jokes are over-written.

-- Speaking of which, I think the French conversation goes on for way too long. First off: it's in French. But second: we don't see them again until page 49? (I CTRL+F'd so perhaps I'm wrong.)

-- There are plenty of flash-forwards and flashbacks. I think what could really add to a comedic element here is beginning the movie with Damon tapping his fingers but freeze-frame right when he's going to get punched. Then, flashback and show Damon being bored at his job. As it is, I have no idea why he had a breakdown (and I don't even get why he wasn't fired). Perhaps a short montage of him getting increasingly droopy at his desk as the days wear on would help. Maybe he's seeking something more but his boss doesn't want him to do field work because he needs him as an analyst and then one day when he thinks his boss is calling him in to put him out in the field... but surprise! It's more analyst work, so he punches him. As it stands, I don't believe he'd punch his boss for no reason...and that he wouldn't be fired.

-- So, the freeze-frame. You could freeze-frame at the american tourist punch, and then flashback and have Damon punch his boss, and then go to the initial scene and have Damon's V.O. say something like "Amazingly, they didn't fire me. They sent me off on holiday, where I could relax." Resume scene and PUNCH. You know what I mean? Try to look for moments where the comedic timing could improve and have the jokes land.

-- By page 10, I'd say to show us a glimpse of the terrorist plot. Even if Damon is near it unwittingly, at least let the audience know it's happening so that we can stay invested. Those would be my suggestions


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TomBatt
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thank you ever so much for your feedback. I've taken on board what you said and I have even decided to incorporate your idea for the beginning into my rewrite. I would really appreciate if you could read the rest and give me more feedback. I want to make this script the best it can be.
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