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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Break-Up Chronicles Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Break-Up Chronicles  (currently 2344 views)
Don
Posted: January 4th, 2014, 10:35am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Break-Up Chronicles by Robert Spence - Short, Drama, Comedy - Kathy is a middle aged mother, and has just been dumped by her fiancé. In an attempt to get over it, she enlists in a support group with some interesting consequences. 20 pages - pdf, format


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Dustin
Posted: January 4th, 2014, 11:18am Report to Moderator
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A middle-aged single mother, dumped by her fiance, enrols in a support group with some interesting consequences.

Reads a lot cleaner like that. I've also switched out enlist for enrol as enlist means to enrol in the armed services. Doesn't sound like my kind of story, just figured I'd help out with the logline.

Good luck.


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Forgive
Posted: January 7th, 2014, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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Not too sure if the author's around?

This was okay in some ways, but lacked a bit of magic to it, and read a little flat.

It doesn't seem to go with the logline, but then I didn't read too far into it. There seems be a bit of a lack of intent with the story, and by page six I'm wondering what you are setting out to tell... in a 20 page job, I think the principle direction with a story like this should be set out by then. IMO.
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AtholForsyth
Posted: January 7th, 2014, 7:57pm Report to Moderator
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I read this to the end. It was okay but that's all, nothing really happened apart from she split up with her man, got depressed then got over it. It needs more of a punch, something to mix it up a bit.

You have one thing on your side tho, it was easy to read and flowed well, you just need something to kickstart it.

Hope this helped, keep trying , Rome wasn't built in a day.
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RobertSpence
Posted: January 8th, 2014, 5:59pm Report to Moderator
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Hi guys,

Firstly, I appreciate the critique you've provided on my script - or the logline.

DustinBowcott, I agree with with you on the logline. It was sort of an after-thought to be honest as I put the majority of my effort into the writing of the script. I'll give the logline a re-think.

SiColl007. just like Dustin stated, I'll give the logline a re-think. This story wasn't meant to be a high concept piece, but a simple drama about a middle aged woman who is getting over a break-up which is what I was setting out to tell. Sorry it didn't really float your boat.

AtholForsyth, that's a fair point you made about it needing extra punch. Is there anything you would suggest that could be done differently?

Thanks for your comments on the flow of the script.

Thanks,

Robert


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Scripts

Reservoir Pups

Short Comedy 14 pages

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1348865321/

The Break-Up Chronicles


Short Comedy/Drama 20 pages

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1388849749/s-0/#num4
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Heretic
Posted: January 8th, 2014, 6:34pm Report to Moderator
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As I go:

Page 1: "I'm really new to this." We will be able to tell this by her performance. I think you could go with another line that's more dynamic and less expositional.
The first scene here is a bit of a throwaway. A rather dour opening with no conflict that's really only there for the exposition. Also overstated. If you want to open the script here, why not just have her sitting in the room, obviously nervous, she says hello to everyone, then says "He met her on the internet…" That'll tell us everything we need to know.

Page 2: Pretty familiar dialogue here. I wonder if there is a more unique way to play this scene? Dialogue is always more interesting if the people aren't talking about exactly what they're talking about, y'know? So for example, Brian's objective in the scene is to be supportive of his mom, and her objective is to get home without completely falling apart. The whole scene could be, maybe, she gets in the car and Brian tells a joke -- and it's not very funny, but she tries to laugh anyway. After a moment of fake levity, though, she has to sniff back a tear. That's just a random idea, but is it clear what I mean? Showing the issue rather than telling it, basically.
"Eating tomatoes, I'm trying…" Here's another example where you overstate. She's trying to lose weight…perfect. We understand why she would do that. But then she outright says it's because she has poor self-image. We already get that. It can be cut.

Page 3: Anne's "sharing" exists as an obvious sort of scene lead-in and plays as a bit comically underdeveloped. If she's gonna be up there talking, she has to be a well-rounded character with an interesting story, rather than a throwaway like that.
Why did John wander into the room and then leave again? He had no apparent objective here.

Page 5: Another scene that's way too direct and straightforward. The realization that her son actually thinks there's a chance she might commit suicide could be a powerful moment for Kathy, but not when it's just put out here so plainly for the audience. Things need to be hidden. I won't comment on this particular issue again as I keep bringing it up but it seems like a script-wide problem, this far. It's not that it's necessarily unrealistic that Brian says this outright; it is, however, undramatic. In a story like this, the drama comes from the slow realizations we get as we begin to understand these people, not from big plot points, so it's important that there are layers and subtlety.

Page 7: Lovely moment here. Not quite buying Brian letting her out of the car, but the payoff of seeing them laugh together will be perfect once you get this whole sequence right.
Hahah the Kojak line is great.

Page 9: The scene with John is sweet, but it's also pretty darn familiar. I wonder if there's a way to step it up a bit so that there's a little more to it than the off-balance woman being charmed and embarrassed by the perfect man?

Page 13: I don't know if the transition back to the support group would make sense visually in the finished film. We understand on the page, but if you think about what's written right now, we just see the restaurant scene and then cut to Kathy sitting down silently. Would this work? I'm not sure. Just a thought.
The montage is oddly placed here, and as far as I'm concerned, it does not work. Montages are generally used to show the outcome of a major choice being made when that outcome is complicated; so for example, Rocky finally decides to fight Drago, and then there's a montage of him running up a mountain and whatnot, but everything in that montage extends from the big choice that Rocky just made. What's missing in your script is the major decision that creates the momentum that takes us through the montage. You've got a montage that's trying to generate its own momentum, and it's not working.

Page 15: The delayed start at University needed to be set up earlier in the script. It has no impact coming out of the blue like this (but it has the potential to be a great moment and a great aspect of this relationship, I think).

Page 16: Why is it one month later? Kinda kills the immediacy of the story and doesn't seem necessary for the following scene.

Thoughts:

A great ending to a script that tells a nice story. The major problem that you're facing here, as my comments above reflect, is that everything is very direct and straightforward. We've seen this story before and we know where things are going (thanks for doing the right thing and ending the John subplot in a good way, though!), so what you're trying to sell us on is what's unique and interesting about Kathy and Brian. That's gonna emerge from the subtleties in their relationship, and those subtleties are gonna be what we watch this story for. I think this needs a page one dialogue rewrite to completely overhaul the way we see these people relate to each other. We want to figure them out slowly, not to be told exactly what they're thinking.

I think the story structure works, except for that montage.

The supporting characters are in danger of becoming caricatures and stereotypes, and I would see what you can do to make them more interesting. We need to feel as though they have lives going on outside of their interactions with Kathy. Anne is basically personality-less and Keith is more or less what we expect; both need to feel like living, breathing people.

I think this is a very nice story and I think you've got everything you need to create an engaging drama, but right now I think major work needs to go into drawing out who these characters are and what this journey means to them.

Thanks though, I enjoyed reading!

Chris


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Dustin
Posted: January 9th, 2014, 2:23am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RobertSpence

DustinBowcott, I agree with with you on the logline. It was sort of an after-thought to be honest as I put the majority of my effort into the writing of the script. I'll give the logline a re-think.


Yup, I'm exactly the same. I'm a script writer not a logline writer. They're really annoying. I don't buy the logic that says one should write their logline first either. I always do mine last and it has never once stopped me finishing a script.


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