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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Pray For Rain Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 15th, 2015, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Pray For Rain by Lee Miller - Comedy, Romantic Comedy - Rain, an actress from Hollywood, meets Randy, a farmer/rancher from Texas. They are from different worlds and love wouldn't be probable. He is in the middle of Texas' worst drought. She is making a ridiculous film about the heroine of the Alamo (which there wasn't one). Somehow they need to stay together in spite of her artsy, film friends. 180 pages - pdf, format


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GreenGecko
Posted: May 16th, 2015, 4:49am Report to Moderator
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I don't know what program you used, but you don't have page numbers. So I'll just refer to the PDF page number.

The biggest problem is that half this script is non-visual description:


Quoted Text
RAIN is quintessential Hollywood. She has had a charmed adult life and is already a huge box-office draw. She has winked and flirted her way to the top and the public loves her. She is the proverbial girl next door. Like nearly everyone, RAIN is controlled by the Hollywood money machine and she will make almost any movie they bring her, if the price is right. The DIRECTOR, who is barking orders. He is worried about the wind and the light what this story is going to do to his career."


Make it work in one line! At first I thought it was just an overblown introduction, which isn't bad or anything, but you continue writing like this. Lots of description and often writing about what a person is thinking ("VERNON seems to be remembering how green it used to be" (14)).

This reads well, but most people would agree that it belongs sparingly in a screenplay. You're setting a nice picture, but really, it's hard to see how all of it translates to the screen. Remember, you're writing for the screen. Try to cut most of the descriptions.  The director/producer/actor should be able to pick up on all that subtext. Your script is already 180 pages, which is insane for a comedy spec. Even Jerry Maguire (a 2+hr comedy/romance) is only 132 pages long. As it is now, you're just wasting time when you should be getting to the jokes and the story.

Part of it is unbalanced. For example, the first scene with Randy at the bank, you don't spend even one sentence introducing him, despite him being the protagonist. You spend all this detail about backstory and people's thoughts, but not introducing Randy.


Stray thoughts:

Sometimes the descriptions don't make any sense to me:
"JOE's department is the chewing gum." (9) Who is Joe? I don't think he was mentioned before this. Does that mean he's the one that put the gum there?
"RAIN has love scenes with half the Texas army. The film crew changes costumes, locations and male actors quickly." (13) What is a love scene? It's lines like these where I'm not sure if you're describing what the scene is about, or describing what we're actually seeing.

You mention Rain is charming at the bottom of page 8. We already know she's charming from her large introduction before. Try not to repeat yourself.

I'd recommend capitalizing names only the first time. It makes it easier for the reader to understand when a new character is being introduced. Capitalizing names every time is a little distracting. And make sure to introduce them before they start talking, or at least after maybe one or two lines. People like Sand start talking and I'm not even sure who they are or if they've already appeared in the script.

Don't take my word for this, but you can't pan down! You can't pan up either. Panning is strictly along the horizontal plane. You're looking for tilt up/down. I'm not saying to take out the camera direction, but you only seem to use them in the beginning, and I don't know if it's necessary.


It reads well, and you seem to know how it would flow on-screen, what with all the cutting and visual cues. I just imagine that, if a producer got a hold of this, he would 1) throw it away after seeing it's 180 pages, and 2) get bored because it's not funny fast enough. But I know nothing about Hollywood!!

Best of luck, dude.


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