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Only had time to take a look at the first couple of pages before I have to leave this morning. I think this definitely has potential as being funny and I will try to read on, maybe later today.
First thoughts on the first two pages.
I don't think you need the warning at the beginning. You're setting up big expectations that way. If you then fail to deliver on that warning, people will be bummed. Joke or not.
Warehouse should come before copy room. Always start with the larger area first and then be more specific. For example, INT. HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY.
Also use - rather than /.
...and a MARK
ALL LIGHT CASTE or CAST
Check for typos. I found several.
I would have liked to see better character descriptions in order to better keep them separated. Right now they blend into the same character. I stink at character descriptions, so it's not like I've never been told the same.
Technically, your writing is pretty solid. The prose is a bit bloated at times but the format is fine and its clear you know your way around what a script should look like.
Unfortunately though, I have to say that the story, character and tone just wasn't for me. Not my kind of humour at all. Very silly and screwball.
You had me curious with the advisory warning at the beginning, I understand now that it was done tongue in cheek as the potentially offensive subjects here are handled in a fairly mild and toothless way. If that is the point, fine, I just feel it would make for more compelling reading if it actually did challenge and unpack some of these issues. Comedy is probably the most effective genre in which to do that.
I know race seems to be a more explosive topic now than ever, a minefield of eggshells but the scenario here is so benign that the most “woke” of readers aren't going to get too hot under the collar...and where is the fun in that? Its just not funny or scathing or satirical or smart enough to land any real punches I reckon thus it feels like a wasted chance.
I can appreciate that this humour can work for some but I found it flat and frankly groan inducing at times.
There is potential of something funny here in the set up. You have a clever title and the idea of a man selling whitening cream to a bunch of black people probably has the makings of a good 5 minute sketch. At 22 pages though you are flogging whatever joke might be here to death...and then some.
Thanks for the honest critic as always Col. and thanks for the notes that you PM'd me.
It seems that this is a 'Marmite' script. Readers either love the humour or hate it.
I am, I think the term is 'Black British'. I love British irreverant humor like Monty Python, Kenny Everett, Dave Allen, Young Ones etc. It was those type of shows that influenced me to do this, not that I am in any way in the same ball park.
Returning the read I owe ya. First things first, comedy is very subjective. I have a very strange since of humor, and this just didn't do it for me at all. Any humor in this went over my head or just flat out didn't work for me.
The good news is that you know how to write. I had no problem following the action. It flowed pretty well, although some of it was a bit unnecessary, like the full ingredients description of the drug label on the back of the tub. Seriously, why was that in an action line?
Unfortunately none of the dialog worked for me. It was very stilted and forced. Read the dialog back, you'll see what I mean.
Sorry to say that I stopped reading after page ten. This is a comedy, and I didn't laugh once. Again, comedy is subjective and this may just be me. If you have any horror/action/sci-fi shorts, let me know and I'll give it a look.
The Idea of a white guy selling a racist cream to turn black people white at a NOI event is an original one, a funny one, and a great set up for a funny story to commence.
I am sorry to say though, despite the premise, it fell flat for me.
The opening with Adrian and Mark - I don't feel this is necessary at all, it has really only told me two things - Graham has learning difficulties, and they have set him up - Now reading through the story there is nothing alluding to the fact he has been set up and we never hear of the first two characters again - and the fact he has learning difficulties could be shown through his actions and dialogue.
Marvin chasing the man out of the hall, also, I feel, goes on too long. Graham has shown up on page 6 - now this is where the story actually begins.
Reading the many chunks of action/description was a little laborious - I get the impression these can be re-written to condense them and make the flow of reading a bit easier.
Some of the comedy I felt was a little unnatural and forced.
I get hints that you are trying to poke fun at the NOI, but it does'n't go anywhere near as far enough for me. I think you can push this a lot further.
I also didn't feel anything for Graham - I neither loved nor hated him. I think his character can be expanded.
To summarise, I think you have the makings for a great story here, it just needs a lot of polish. The story should come first, the politics, the racism, explore the theme - then the comedy should come second, once the story is sound, the comedy will come naturally.
Hope the above helps in anyway.
Below I have a couple of notes of niggly little bits:
- Ponzi and pyramid schemes are not the same thing - Why does his hand start burning so long after he holds the bowl? - Why doesn't Kimbee realise there will be black muslims at the event when it's for NOI? - you use unto a few times instead of into and onto - ingredients list is redundant - few cases of double information and unfilmable description