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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Bucharest by Bus Moderators: bert
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  Author    Bucharest by Bus  (currently 1097 views)
Don
Posted: February 25th, 2015, 6:35pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Bucharest by Bus by Jon Poland - Short, Comedy, Animation - The most exciting bus tour you have ever been on or your money back. 14 pages - pdf, format


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RichardR
Posted: February 26th, 2015, 11:17am Report to Moderator
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Jon,

Comments can indeed be signposts in the road ahead.  Claim the ones that fit.

In some ways, I like this idea.  A bus tour that includes a quick trip through zombie land.  Makes for a lively ride.  Blaming it all on the younger generation is OK with me.  My advice would be to get to the action more quickly and perhaps deversify the states that are claiming the treasures.  Toss in Texas, Maine, and a few other states, and you can inject a bidding war the tout can be proud of.  

Best,
Richard
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Colkurtz8
Posted: March 1st, 2015, 9:50am Report to Moderator
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Jon

Driver nods with a sly grin. American shrugs.

AMERICAN
What do I have to lose?

- Oh, famous last words.

Is American not even going to check out the mint condition bus to see what they have to offer? Obviously, that won’t work for the script but you could have a “gone to lunch” sign or something on it which makes American go back to the ramshackle outfit since he has no alternative.

Wow, that multicultural array of passengers really ticks every cliche. All the Japanese man is missing is an over-sized camera dangling from his neck! I’m going to assume that these blatant stereotypes are intentional.

The disdainful tone of the Audio Guide is an amusing touch. I liked passing through the seemingly nice façade of the university to reveal the neglect and decay inside.

These less than complimentary jabs at Romania won’t be getting this a release date in that country if it were ever filmed Much like Midnight Express in Turkey.

Are these images of the university and victory avenue true? I know it’s had a struggling economy for a long time and was brought to the point of ruin by a despotic communist dictator back in the 80s but are things really that bad? Does Oklahoma, of all places, benefit from it?

I appreciate the Audio Guide’s sentiment in his rant about overthrowing Ceausescu so the ungrateful younger generation could flourish but of course Ceausescu himself was a product of…which generation?

I’m confused as to which side the Driver is on. He’s only 30 and seems to get a kick out of the pedestal-only statues on Victory Avenue yet chuckles when Audio Guide derides the younger generation of which he would be considered part, no?

I love how everywhere looks dead and destitute...except for the red light district.
I’ll admit to getting a laugh from the Oklahoma banner at the theater.

“who holds his up like he just drew Excalibur from the stone.”

- Good prose.

Ha, nice change of direction into the absurd with the zombified younger generation in the prison.

“The bus flies off the fountain, clears the stairs, and lands in the street.”

- It seems foolish to question logic now as the script has gone off the reality chart a couple of pages back upon entering the zombie youth prison but I’m confused by what happens here. Does the bus somehow ramp off the fountain over the staircase? How?

“He then watches with chagrin as the shell-shocked, disheveled, banged-up passengers emerge.”

- Again, I’m confused by the attitude of the Driver. I thought he was getting a kick out of terrifying his passengers but now he’s disappointed with their shell-shocked state as they disembark. Why?

“Driver suppresses a sly grunt/wheeze as he gleefully watches other shell-shocked passengers exit.”

- Now he’s happy again at their distress. What?

“bonus bus.”

- It’s unclear but is this the mint condition one from the beginning?

“The interior of the bonus tour bus is full of cobwebs and a layer of dust.”

- Ha, good gag. I see now why it’s in mint condition.

As you’ll see from my notes, I got some laughs out of this, it get pretty crazy about two thirds through but in a good way or at least in line with the otherwise exaggerated tone of the script. Poor Romania has gotten a roasting in both your scripts. Let’s say you won’t be made an honorary citizen of that country anytime soon

My only concern is that it’s a pretty specific and off-the-beaten-track location which is a hindrance both for practical production reasons and for people to be interested it in enough to read it. You’ll probably find a lot of folk who won’t even know where Romania is, let alone Bucharest. It’s a rather esoteric subject matter that most will find hard to relate to or get invested in. It will serve as a turn off, an excuse to pass on it, you know. Especially since it takes place in a tour bus so there are a lot of historical details and references about the city, both factual and fictional...

Of course, on the contrary, the sheer singular exoticism of it could work in its favour.

It’s like:
“How many scripts have you read about Romania?”
"Um, none.”
“Well, here is one!”

Either way, I have to give you credit for the research that went in to it and for coming up with a novel and original idea.

Col.



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Colkurtz8  -  March 1st, 2015, 10:01am
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JonP
Posted: March 1st, 2015, 11:46pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text

Is American not even going to check out the mint condition bus to see what they have to offer? Obviously, that won’t work for the script but you could have a “gone to lunch” sign or something on it which makes American go back to the ramshackle outfit since he has no alternative.


Ah, I see where I went wrong.  That was a setup for the end.


Quoted Text

Wow, that multicultural array of passengers really ticks every cliche. All the Japanese man is missing is an over-sized camera dangling from his neck! I’m going to assume that these blatant stereotypes are intentional.


Yeah, I went full-on shameless stereotype.  I'll add the over-sized camera.  


Quoted Text

The disdainful tone of the Audio Guide is an amusing touch. I liked passing through the seemingly nice façade of the university to reveal the neglect and decay inside.


Thanks, I was having fun with that, especially since the disdain is in 16 different languages from actors.


Quoted Text

These less than complimentary jabs at Romania won’t be getting this a release date in that country if it were ever filmed Much like Midnight Express in Turkey.


They'd either love me for promoting tourism or I'd be persona non-grata.  They actually encourage making vampire films in Romania.  I don't know about zombie films.


Quoted Text

Are these images of the university and victory avenue true? I know it’s had a struggling economy for a long time and was brought to the point of ruin by a despotic communist dictator back in the 80s but are things really that bad? Does Oklahoma, of all places, benefit from it?


Nope, just being silly.  There's a famous story about how an Oklahoman bought an English castle and had it shipped home, piece by piece.  It was the idea of people without culture importing it.


Quoted Text

I appreciate the Audio Guide’s sentiment in his rant about overthrowing Ceausescu so the ungrateful younger generation could flourish but of course Ceausescu himself was a product of…which generation?


I honestly don't know as much about Ceausescu as you and I hope a general audience doesn't either.  


Quoted Text

I’m confused as to which side the Driver is on. He’s only 30 and seems to get a kick out of the pedestal-only statues on Victory Avenue yet chuckles when Audio Guide derides the younger generation of which he would be considered part, no?


The idea is that he gets a kick out of watching people's shocked (and in the case of the red light district, aroused) reactions.


Quoted Text

I love how everywhere looks dead and destitute...except for the red light district.
I’ll admit to getting a laugh from the Oklahoma banner at the theater.

“who holds his up like he just drew Excalibur from the stone.”

- Good prose.


Thanks.  Is that the only Oklahoma joke that worked for you?


Quoted Text

Ha, nice change of direction into the absurd with the zombified younger generation in the prison.


Now we're into the "most exciting" part, the reveal behind the reveal.


Quoted Text

“The bus flies off the fountain, clears the stairs, and lands in the street.”

- It seems foolish to question logic now as the script has gone off the reality chart a couple of pages back upon entering the zombie youth prison but I’m confused by what happens here. Does the bus somehow ramp off the fountain over the staircase? How?


I'll make a change to say that the fountain is built into a gently sloping incline and that the bus is coming from the top of the incline.


Quoted Text

“He then watches with chagrin as the shell-shocked, disheveled, banged-up passengers emerge.”

- Again, I’m confused by the attitude of the Driver. I thought he was getting a kick out of terrifying his passengers but now he’s disappointed with their shell-shocked state as they disembark. Why?

“Driver suppresses a sly grunt/wheeze as he gleefully watches other shell-shocked passengers exit.”

- Now he’s happy again at their distress. What?


Oops!  "Chagrin" is the opposite of what I meant to imply.  My English teachers would be mortified.


Quoted Text

“bonus bus.”

- It’s unclear but is this the mint condition one from the beginning?

“The interior of the bonus tour bus is full of cobwebs and a layer of dust.”

- Ha, good gag. I see now why it’s in mint condition.


Yep, I need to clarify that.


Quoted Text

As you’ll see from my notes, I got some laughs out of this, it get pretty crazy about two thirds through but in a good way or at least in line with the otherwise exaggerated tone of the script. Poor Romania has gotten a roasting in both your scripts. Let’s say you won’t be made an honorary citizen of that country anytime soon


If this ever got produced and I visited, I might have to wear a disguise.  


Quoted Text

My only concern is that it’s a pretty specific and off-the-beaten-track location which is a hindrance both for practical production reasons and for people to be interested it in enough to read it. You’ll probably find a lot of folk who won’t even know where Romania is, let alone Bucharest. It’s a rather esoteric subject matter that most will find hard to relate to or get invested in. It will serve as a turn off, an excuse to pass on it, you know. Especially since it takes place in a tour bus so there are a lot of historical details and references about the city, both factual and fictional...

Of course, on the contrary, the sheer singular exoticism of it could work in its favour.

It’s like:
“How many scripts have you read about Romania?”
"Um, none.”
“Well, here is one!”

Either way, I have to give you credit for the research that went in to it and for coming up with a novel and original idea.

Col.


Thanks!  I was actually inspired to write the script from a bus tour I took of Budapest where the American audio guide made the disdainful inference to the younger generation when discussing the declining population.  I found that hilarious, especially once I "realized" that the reason was whoring and zombies.

But there were two problems with Budapest - (1) too many people know about that city to mess with the facts and (2) I wanted a brutal recognizable dictator like Ceausescu.  I did some research when I got to Bucharest, but I also just made stuff up.



Revision History (1 edits)
JonP  -  March 1st, 2015, 11:56pm
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Colkurtz8
Posted: March 2nd, 2015, 11:06am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JonP
Ah, I see where I went wrong.  That was a setup for the end.


- Yeah, its an effective set up and I would keep it in. I just think that American should make a move for the mint condition bus to suss it out given the state of the first bus. It would be a natural curiosity.

He can be deterred/diverted (I'll leave that up to you) in some way before getting a good look at it so its function remains a mystery. That way, he'll still end up having to take the Bucharest By Bus one as you've written it. This will add to the reveal at the end when you learn of the mint condition bus's actual use.


Quoted from JonP
Nope, just being silly.  There's a famous story about how an Oklahoman bought an English castle and had it shipped home, piece by piece.  It was the idea of people without culture importing it.Thanks.  

Is that the only Oklahoma joke that worked for you?


- Ha, I'd believe it alright. That's why I didn't assume it as been one of the script's fanciful parts.

The joke did work for me, I just particularly liked the banner on the theater gag.


Quoted from JonP
Oops!  "Chagrin" is the opposite of what I meant to imply.  My English teachers would be mortified.


- I see. Yup, make that change pronto.


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