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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  In Search of Hysterical Jesus Moderators: bert
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  Author    In Search of Hysterical Jesus  (currently 2411 views)
eldave1
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nolan
Dave,

Finished this today.  Overall I enjoyed it.  After reviewing some of the other comments I can reiterate what a few others have said about Barry's redeeming qualities coming through a little late.  

Comedy is subjective, which we all know, so this will work more for some than it will for others.  In saying that, there were definitely some moments where I had a good laugh!  

**Spoilers**

After the introduction of Jesus, and especially when he went back to talk to God a few times, it was quite apparent that he wasn't going to reach his objective and it was obvious that the story was more about his redemption.  When I knew that was coming on, I was able to just enjoy the story and not dwell on him trying to make the bible funny.  Not sure if that was what you were going for, but I have an assumption that it may have been???

Anyhow, as always, well written and I thought it was a fun story.

All the best,

Nolan


Thanks, Nolan - this:


Quoted Text
After the introduction of Jesus, and especially when he went back to talk to God a few times, it was quite apparent that he wasn't going to reach his objective and it was obvious that the story was more about his redemption.  When I knew that was coming on, I was able to just enjoy the story and not dwell on him trying to make the bible funny.  Not sure if that was what you were going for, but I have an assumption that it may have been???


Is spot on. Yes - the goal is shifting and I want everyone to realize that before Barry does. As an atheist myself, it was a a bit of a sticky widget writing about redemption since I don't believe in God (wish I did - just don't). I know there is a story risk in the goal stake and the protag doesn't even realize he's pursuing it - Will have to wait to see how this lands.

Thanks again for the read and the notes - appreciated



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 12:02pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw

Dave - I didn't hate the script. I see great potential. It is just hard work at the moment when you've been so effective in making the reader dislike the main character. I think with a polish and some tweaks this could be amazing.


Thanks, Mark.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
The only place I've ever heard of a complaint in this area is from other writers that claim actors believe this. I used to parrot this information too, but in my actual experiences with real actors (not just unknown ones), parentheticals are not an issue at all. It's just words on a page that serve as a guide. They can be ignored. Indeed, the director may even decide to shoot the same scene using a variety of tones. However, as far as I know, the writer's intentions will usually be considered first.


Rejecting scripts due to parentheticals does not make good business sense, so we're better off not working with them anyway. Mate, those classes you paid for are a load of bollocks. Actors, giving lectures on screenwriting? Come on. That would be like me giving a lecture on acting. I can't believe you sucked that bullshit in and paid for it. Why? You're a great writer. Seriously. You don't need to pay for bad advice like that.


I'm flattered you consider me a great writer, but I didn't just wake up one day as such. It's taken a lot of reading, writing and studying the craft, which has included attending carefully selected workshops and seminars. I'm not daft enough to accept scriptwriting lessons from actors (unless said actors are renowned writers themselves like Mark Gatiss, then I do pay attention)  but when they tell me what they look for when reading a script, I believe them.  And you would be surprised at the some of the reasons agents reject scripts, whether that makes business sense or not.

When I have been lucky enough to sit with writers, producers, actors and directors from Die Hard, Robocop, Starship Troopers, Doctor Who, Trading Places, The Girl With All The Gifts and the head of the BBC writers rooms among others, as well as the agents of these people, and they tell me what they look for in a script - I take notes, bear it in mind and thank them for their time.

Dave - sorry for hijacking this thread. Parentiticals is a personal preference. I was just trying to pass on what I've been told from people in the business. In the end, if you network with a director and they like your work, you can pretty much do whatever you like with the script. I'll leave the conversation now so you can focus on your script.  



For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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StevenClark
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 2:34pm Report to Moderator
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Dave,

Notes were written as I read. Here goes.

Pg 4 Liking how you set the tone here. I can see everything you want me to see. Good job so far.

Pg 10 Is Barry black or white? I get the sense the Rev Jackson is black, but you didn't make a mention of that either. I feel it's important to know this, as I'm kinda lost with this detail. I'm picturing Barry white, Rev Jackson black, and Sharon white. Comedically, I think these are details we need to know. I think what's throwing me off is the name Jackson. Can you clarify your intention please...

… Another reason I mention the above is that if The Rev Jackson is black, and Sharon is white, that in itself could be, visually, comedic.

Pg 20 I believe someone else mention how natural the dialogue flows, and it does flow well, comes off natural. Pretty much the whole script reads well, but that's a given. Nothing I can pinpoint as awkward or needs changing yet.


One thing I'd suggest is changing the title. A buddy of mine wrote a script entitled The Unlikely Temptations Of Christ. It was funny, and it got produced and turned out absolutely fantastic. Problem was, when the filmmaker tried to enter it into contests NOBODY would touch it. Why? The inclusion of Christ in the title turned everyone off. So they retitled in Unlikely Temptations. Everyone accepted it! It won awards, garnered several laurels and everyone loved it. So, just something to bear in mind here.


Pg 35 Bottom of page you use the word pace in consecutive paragraphs and it reads a little off.


Page 55 Love that Booker returns. I liked that dog and was sad to see him go.


Page 90 Jesus: Yes, I got it. One of my favorite lines so far and the first, I think, for Jesus to sort of break character.


Page 103 Barry: But after that you were a whore. I laughed out loud there!


This was really good, Dave. Quickly paced, almost too quick, I read it in one sitting. My lack of notes means that nothing much stood out to me that needs changing. I'm sure more astute readers will find fault, but other than the odd typo...


Liked Barry's arc. Everything was tied up neatly with a bow.


Very bold subject matter to take on. Good tht it's a comedy, and it works on several levels for me.


Poking good natured fun at religion is one. You also managed to - WOW - humanize Jesus, and that was pretty amazing. Not for nothing, I'd bet that's how Jesus would speak. Don't know how much research you did here, but everything, Biblically, seemed plausible the way you wrote it, whether or not it was accurate. Though when you introduce Jesus he is 30, but I'm sure you're aware he was 33 when he died. So, by having Barry come back to God to ask questions we should be aware of some sort of time jump there.


Also, the story never managed to take itself too seriously,but splicing in Barry's one-liners alongside the travels and miracles of Jesus made entertaining fodder.


Barry's longing for Sharon was heart wrenching at times, and it was in those moments the story became more human, and Barry more likeable. So likeable at that point that you were rooting for him, so that was good.


Funny, but I never found Barry detestable. I kinda liked him all the way through, and early on I found his hijinks more amusing than anything. Kind of like the guy we love to hate.


Also, in Jesus' final hours is where Barry's arc turns. He'd "made a friend in Jesus" like to song says.

Wonderful comedic moments. Saving the final FU - the cut cypress trees flipping the bird is brilliant, and I believe that joke was set up in the beginning somewhere, then revisited in the end. Well plotted out, and nicely executed.

Overall, very fine effort here and I wish you all the best with it!!

Steve




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eldave1
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 2:54pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from StevenClark
Dave,

Notes were written as I read. Here goes.

Pg 4 Liking how you set the tone here. I can see everything you want me to see. Good job so far.

Pg 10 Is Barry black or white? I get the sense the Rev Jackson is black, but you didn't make a mention of that either. I feel it's important to know this, as I'm kinda lost with this detail. I'm picturing Barry white, Rev Jackson black, and Sharon white. Comedically, I think these are details we need to know. I think what's throwing me off is the name Jackson. Can you clarify your intention please...

… Another reason I mention the above is that if The Rev Jackson is black, and Sharon is white, that in itself could be, visually, comedic.

Pg 20 I believe someone else mention how natural the dialogue flows, and it does flow well, comes off natural. Pretty much the whole script reads well, but that's a given. Nothing I can pinpoint as awkward or needs changing yet.


One thing I'd suggest is changing the title. A buddy of mine wrote a script entitled The Unlikely Temptations Of Christ. It was funny, and it got produced and turned out absolutely fantastic. Problem was, when the filmmaker tried to enter it into contests NOBODY would touch it. Why? The inclusion of Christ in the title turned everyone off. So they retitled in Unlikely Temptations. Everyone accepted it! It won awards, garnered several laurels and everyone loved it. So, just something to bear in mind here.


Pg 35 Bottom of page you use the word pace in consecutive paragraphs and it reads a little off.


Page 55 Love that Booker returns. I liked that dog and was sad to see him go.


Page 90 Jesus: Yes, I got it. One of my favorite lines so far and the first, I think, for Jesus to sort of break character.


Page 103 Barry: But after that you were a whore. I laughed out loud there!


This was really good, Dave. Quickly paced, almost too quick, I read it in one sitting. My lack of notes means that nothing much stood out to me that needs changing. I'm sure more astute readers will find fault, but other than the odd typo...


Liked Barry's arc. Everything was tied up neatly with a bow.


Very bold subject matter to take on. Good tht it's a comedy, and it works on several levels for me.


Poking good natured fun at religion is one. You also managed to - WOW - humanize Jesus, and that was pretty amazing. Not for nothing, I'd bet that's how Jesus would speak. Don't know how much research you did here, but everything, Biblically, seemed plausible the way you wrote it, whether or not it was accurate. Though when you introduce Jesus he is 30, but I'm sure you're aware he was 33 when he died. So, by having Barry come back to God to ask questions we should be aware of some sort of time jump there.


Also, the story never managed to take itself too seriously,but splicing in Barry's one-liners alongside the travels and miracles of Jesus made entertaining fodder.


Barry's longing for Sharon was heart wrenching at times, and it was in those moments the story became more human, and Barry more likeable. So likeable at that point that you were rooting for him, so that was good.


Funny, but I never found Barry detestable. I kinda liked him all the way through, and early on I found his hijinks more amusing than anything. Kind of like the guy we love to hate.


Also, in Jesus' final hours is where Barry's arc turns. He'd "made a friend in Jesus" like to song says.

Wonderful comedic moments. Saving the final FU - the cut cypress trees flipping the bird is brilliant, and I believe that joke was set up in the beginning somewhere, then revisited in the end. Well plotted out, and nicely executed.

Overall, very fine effort here and I wish you all the best with it!!

Steve



Thanks for the notes friend. I really had thought of a race in terms of Reverend Jackson. Interesting note on the title. I hadn't thought of that push back. Glad you enjoyed it
Thanks much for the read and notes.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 9:35pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from GregoryM
I read the whole script. I think its very clever in its approach, but I think theres a few issues which can be worked on to make it better.

Most importantly is barrys relationship with jesus. At the moment the script feels very 'surfacey' like the sarcasm and quips of barry are entertaining enough to carry interest through jesus' journey, there isnt enough realism or gravitas to help foster an environment where a real bond can form between the two of them. When he tells god hed rather him die than jesus at the last supper it feels unearned and thus rings false. Like its not that we dont believe him and think hes lying to god just to get what he wants. But it feels like since there was never any threats present or major road blocks which made us feel like barry or jesus wouod fail that their relationship ends up feeling a little one sided in the end.

There was this feeling of impending obviousness to the ending. Everyone knows what happens to jesus. We could all guess what would ultimately happen to barry. Ita difficult to create doubt when the story is so well known so its an uphill battle and a problem thats not easily solved

I think you need create a b story here and figure out a way to get ahead of the reader. Sacrifice some ofnthe humor for darkness and maybe shift the jesis character from being a charicature of himself to beinf something more real. Jesus portrayal feels like a cutout of quotes from the bible which was itself written by other people so many times, that by the time it reaches the script it feels one note and played out.

Solutions: maybe try shortening the time frame which the jesus story takes place in. Lose pages by getting to jesus faster and lose some of the jokes and fluff dialogue (which may seem counterintuitive)

My instinct is that if barry is sent by god to jesus not for barrys benefit but for Jesus' benefit to save jesus from the temptation of satan, then youd have enough for a b plot that adds enough complexity to the story and allows for you to play with irony. Make barry save himself by saving jesus so jesus can save barry by saving mankind. Ditch the i cant take it anymore take me instead revelation and try to find something real in there. Right now it feels stale and barry isnt believable and there isnt enough emotion. Create additional drama and complexity by reimagining jesus as a flawed individual struggling with himself and allow barry to 'find him' by trying to help jesus become the person barry believes he should be.

Just my 2 cents. Apologies for typos this was written on my phone.


Gregory - much thanks for the read and the notes. You are the second or third person that has commented on feeling that the depth of their relationship at the end was unearned - this is definitly an area for me to look at.

Many of the quotes from Jesus are indeed from the bible.

Not a fan of going with Jesus as a flawed individual or putting Barry in a position of saving him - just a bridge too far for me.

Again - much thanks for the thoughts on this - really appreciate that you took the time.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Zack
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 1:34am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dave,

25 pages in and i'm really digging it, Dude. Everything Barry says is funny. he's such a smart ass. I think I now where this is heading, but I'll hold of on predictions. All I can say is that I'm enjoying the read. My favorite part so far is when Barry meets Saint Peter. The line "Everyone smokes down there." made me crack a huge goofy grin. Good stuff.

As for the technical aspects, pretty much no complaints. A couple of minor typos, and one instance where you refer to 'Saint Peter' as just 'Peter". I think you should remain consistent with his name. No biggie though. I love the way you write, Man. I'm really breezing through this.

Have to stop for the night. I've got a doctors appointment in the morning and I need to get to sleep. But I'm really looking forward to finishing this up after my appointment is finished. Thanks for sharing this, Dude. I'm really learning a lot from you.

Zack


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eldave1
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 11:58am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack
Hey Dave,

25 pages in and i'm really digging it, Dude. Everything Barry says is funny. he's such a smart ass. I think I now where this is heading, but I'll hold of on predictions. All I can say is that I'm enjoying the read. My favorite part so far is when Barry meets Saint Peter. The line "Everyone smokes down there." made me crack a huge goofy grin. Good stuff.

As for the technical aspects, pretty much no complaints. A couple of minor typos, and one instance where you refer to 'Saint Peter' as just 'Peter". I think you should remain consistent with his name. No biggie though. I love the way you write, Man. I'm really breezing through this.

Have to stop for the night. I've got a doctors appointment in the morning and I need to get to sleep. But I'm really looking forward to finishing this up after my appointment is finished. Thanks for sharing this, Dude. I'm really learning a lot from you.

Zack


Thanks a lot Zach. Glad that you were enjoying it. I appreciate the feedback


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 12:01pm Report to Moderator
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I picked this up again today at work - Before I knew it I got from page 33 to 66 and was so engrossed I forgot to make any notes.

I'm sure my notes aren't helpful anyway so I won't go back and write any.

I honestly hope this is produced, it is very clever and very funny. You have obviously put a lot of time and thought into it, and it shows through in the writing
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eldave1
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 12:40pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Matthew Taylor
I picked this up again today at work - Before I knew it I got from page 33 to 66 and was so engrossed I forgot to make any notes.

I'm sure my notes aren't helpful anyway so I won't go back and write any.

I honestly hope this is produced, it is very clever and very funny. You have obviously put a lot of time and thought into it, and it shows through in the writing


Thanks buddy. I am glad you enjoyed it I appreciate the kind words


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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BarryJohn
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Different -  A REAL GOOD READ! - I'll buy that cinema ticket!!
PS: Not religiously offensive at all.. I think God himself loved the read.

Barry John
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eldave1
Posted: January 11th, 2019, 4:25pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from BarryJohn
Different -  A REAL GOOD READ! - I'll buy that cinema ticket!!
PS: Not religiously offensive at all.. I think God himself loved the read.

Barry John


Thanks- appreciate the kind words


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Zack
Posted: January 11th, 2019, 10:52pm Report to Moderator
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Gonna be 100% honest with ya, Dave. When I first started reading this, I didn't believe I'd finish it. Not because it was bad. I just have an incredibly short attention span, and like I said earlier, comedy isn't usually my thing. But something happened that I wasn't expecting. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. I became so absorbed that I couldn't wait to read the next page. I had to know if Barry would find redemption. More importantly, I really wanted him to.

I said earlier that I thought I could predict the way this would end. I was a little right, but mostly wrong. If that makes sense. You see, I expected Barry to redeem himself by the end. But I also expected the vulgar humor from the first act to carry through to the 2nd and 3rd acts. I was way off there. The more Barry failed to make the bible funny, the more he grew as a character. And, not trying to be sappy, I honestly felt like I grew a little bit with him. Full disclosure, I've had a rough past couple of years. It's been my own fault. I've been selfish and cruel to those who care about me. In many ways, I empathized with Barry. I've had drug problems. Been in and out of jail for stupid reasons. Lied and taken advantage of those who have trusted me. Not trying to sell you a sap story. Just saying, I really connected with this character more than I thought I would.

I fully expected Barry to make the bible funny by the end. In hindsight, that wouldn't have been satisfying. Instead, he learned to become a better person. In my opinion, that's a much better ending.

And even though the vulgarity mellowed out as the story went along, it remained funny throughout. The ending actually got pretty emotional, which I really didn't expect. You truly put a ton of effort into this and I really hope someone picks this up. Thank you so much for sharing this, Dude. I learned so much by reading through this. I actually plan to read through this a few more times and take some notes. I hope one day I can write this well.

Great job. This put such a big smile on my face.

Zack


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eldave1
Posted: January 12th, 2019, 12:01am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack
Gonna be 100% honest with ya, Dave. When I first started reading this, I didn't believe I'd finish it. Not because it was bad. I just have an incredibly short attention span, and like I said earlier, comedy isn't usually my thing. But something happened that I wasn't expecting. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. I became so absorbed that I couldn't wait to read the next page. I had to know if Barry would find redemption. More importantly, I really wanted him to.

I said earlier that I thought I could predict the way this would end. I was a little right, but mostly wrong. If that makes sense. You see, I expected Barry to redeem himself by the end. But I also expected the vulgar humor from the first act to carry through to the 2nd and 3rd acts. I was way off there. The more Barry failed to make the bible funny, the more he grew as a character. And, not trying to be sappy, I honestly felt like I grew a little bit with him. Full disclosure, I've had a rough past couple of years. It's been my own fault. I've been selfish and cruel to those who care about me. In many ways, I empathized with Barry. I've had drug problems. Been in and out of jail for stupid reasons. Lied and taken advantage of those who have trusted me. Not trying to sell you a sap story. Just saying, I really connected with this character more than I thought I would.

I fully expected Barry to make the bible funny by the end. In hindsight, that wouldn't have been satisfying. Instead, he learned to become a better person. In my opinion, that's a much better ending.

And even though the vulgarity mellowed out as the story went along, it remained funny throughout. The ending actually got pretty emotional, which I really didn't expect. You truly put a ton of effort into this and I really hope someone picks this up. Thank you so much for sharing this, Dude. I learned so much by reading through this. I actually plan to read through this a few more times and take some notes. I hope one day I can write this well.

Great job. This put such a big smile on my face.

Zack


Thanks so much for the kind words. Much appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed it and glad that it meant something to you. Again thanks for the read and the notes. Glad I struck a chord


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Max Ruddock
Posted: January 14th, 2019, 4:56pm Report to Moderator
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I was reeled in by the log line but only read so far as it's not really my cup of tea. However, I thought the writing was really decent. I'll keep an eye out for anything else you post up in the future.

Cheers

Max
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