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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Comedy Scripts  /  Down Holler
Posted by: Don, September 20th, 2008, 9:10am
Down Holler by Bo Ransdell (BoinTN) - Comedy - He's running home.  She's running away.  Accidents were bound to happen. 109 pages - pdf, format 8)
Posted by: BoinTN, September 22nd, 2008, 1:35pm; Reply: 1
Thanks for posting it up, Don, but I think you may be allergic to my titles...  this one is actually Down Holler, and thanks as always for providing such a great place for all of us to get feedback!
Posted by: wordartisan, October 3rd, 2008, 6:09pm; Reply: 2
I loved it. Fantastic characters and brilliant dialogue. Why isn't this a movie yet?

My one comment is based on personal experience. My girlfriend and I were lip-zapped once (in a supermarket, of all places). It bloody HURTS. Not romantic at all. In fact, we've never been able to share a kiss at that venue since - at least not without deliberately grounding ourselves on something metal first.

Other than that, I wouldn't change a word. Thanks for posting.
Posted by: BoinTN, October 4th, 2008, 11:44am; Reply: 3
Thanks so much!  The lip-zap is realistically painful, but serving as a very visual metaphor here, it played pretty good in my head.  I really appreciate the read and please let me know if I can respond in kind!
Posted by: screenplay_novice, October 22nd, 2008, 12:09am; Reply: 4
Very good dialogue, excellent flow and very believable characters! Nice job!

I identified with Charlie. I too, had taken care of a sick parent (Mother) and her passing was swift and unexpected, as death usually is. I took care of her for 11 years, doing everything myself. I felt Charlies burden.

The character of Blake (Charlies brother) worked well in the story, but I have to admit that I didn't like him much! I can't tell you how many arguements I had with my own family about receiving no help from them and closing their eyes to my plight! He's the type of Character I'd love to give a good "what for!"

The reopening of Xanadu was a pleasant surprise. Kind of puts me in mind of Clerks.

Again, excellent job. With the right director, I see this screenplay adapting very well to the screen.  
Posted by: walford, November 6th, 2008, 2:33am; Reply: 5
Bo
Read the first 20 pages, intend to read the rest.
Thought I might comment as I go along so that I donít forget things.
You have used  the term ďcharacterizationĒ twice in the first 20 pages. That bugged me. The lawyers I can understand but not Blake.

The lawyers seem to be the same. At the same level. Same age etc. Similar dialogue. Could Charlieís lawyer maybe be a bit more like Charlie?  Laid back, younger, eager and mess things up a little? Amy gives in a little too fast, a woman with a lawyer wanting money from a ex is a scary sight. Has this been going on for too long for her ? does she want closure? Has Charlie got her dog or something?

We spend a whole lot of time with Glen explaining about the wife not wanting Charlie at their place. Yet she doesnít have line of dialogue when he gets their? Even to Glen. (ok one line)(missed opportunity? For some fireworks between them )

Lots of continuous dialogue between Charlie and Glen on the porch  No action. No kicking of the feet, kicking the dog rearranging a pot plant or facial expressions. Did they just stand next to each talking ?  Why didnít Glen come back out when he said he was going to?  I assume his wife prevented him but I donít know.
The scene HOME DAY p 11 I originally thought it was Glenís house again next morning.

Patís body lies motionless, but it shakes and shudders?

Wasnít convinced with the airplane chatter (passenger/Charlie) maybe if the passenger was drunk and was extremely interested in the whole story yet offered no input would have been funny. It was information that we needed for the rest of story but if the passenger was disinterested then why should the audience be.  Overall the first 20 pages are good and keeping me interested, I look forward to reading more. PS ( is this the sort of feedback which is useful for you ? if not let me know) cheers walford
Posted by: BoinTN, November 10th, 2008, 12:31pm; Reply: 6
Definitely great feedback, and I look forward to hearing the rest of your comments!
Posted by: Xavier, November 10th, 2008, 8:38pm; Reply: 7
I'm sorry to say this but i don't get it, is it supposed to be a dramedy or black comedy or something? i liked the dialogue and all it reminds me of the vocab in Seth Rogan's screenplays/ the Coen brother's, too. it was pretty good other than the genre confuse, i think it would make a grate movie such as Choke did and i think it'll do well if you decide to make it.
Posted by: BoinTN, November 12th, 2008, 12:26pm; Reply: 8
Thanks, Xavier.  I'm not sure I would label it a black comedy exactly, but it does have a dramatic element.  My intention was to do a romantic comedy that felt more real, more grounded in a recognizable universe than the silliness that accompanies most films in the genre.  Still, it's often difficult for the writer to judge their own work objectively, which is why I always post here, so your reaction is very welcome feedback.  The other work i have posted here is probably more recognizable in terms of fitting squarely into a genre (usually horror), but I do like to play in other sandboxes, too.  Thanks, again!
Posted by: davejendras, January 30th, 2009, 4:10am; Reply: 9
BO,
Here's the deal with your script. It's funny, an easy read and very cute in a Zach Braff way. (actually remarkably similar to Garden State). If it were to sell and be released around the last week of summer vacation it would probably rack in a cool 21 million opening weekend.

This, however, doesnít make it a great script. I am sorry to be the first to criticize, but this might be the least original comedy Iíve read in months. This doesnít ďfeel more real.Ē Loser, unemployed pot head loses girl, then meets unique naturally beautiful offbeat girl somewhere hip. Girl is afraid to let anyone in after dads death which felt like it was squeezed in the script, blah blah blah and then we end with ďthatís what ive been doing my whole lifeĒ Dude. We get it. We've gotten it. As soon as I read that line I had nightmares of Freddie Prince Jr oppistire Monica Potter.

Every time Charlie was in the video store, I couldnít help picturing you in the video store, grabbing your source material for this script. Knocked Up, Grandmas Boy, Garden State, Smothered, the list goes on. The problems your characters face are overshadowed by your Apatow style comedy, leaving us wondering if we should even feel for these people. Please stop reminding us how much the characters surrounding Charlie mock him. Keep it simple, it will still be funny and it will give you more space to expand on the more dramatic element youíre looking for. Iím sorry dude, I donít want to sound like a prick. Itís just good.

Your descriptions are perfect. The sequencing, pacing, structure is all there, and I look forward to reading your next project (hopefully a fresher premise).
Posted by: BoinTN, January 31st, 2009, 11:34am; Reply: 10
Dave-

  I appreciate the feedback, and I think all your points are valid.  To be completely fair, this script was a first attempt at doing a romantic comedy for the portfolio.  I think I wrote this from a place of insecurity about the genre as a whole, but I ended up pleased with the results.  Does it reinvent the wheel?  Of course it doesn't.  As a result of this one, I have secured a fair amount of for-hire work, and so I have to call the script a personal success even if it's not the strongest script I've done.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on my other scripts here, if you have a mind to read them, stories I think have a greater degree of originality.  As I said, I still like this script very much, as you do with everything you write, but I understand where you're coming from on every point.  Thanks, again!
Posted by: davejendras, January 31st, 2009, 3:33pm; Reply: 11
Bo,
please list the other script titles you have on here so I can check em out. Like you said, this is def a foot in the door for-hire work because it shows that you can write within the confines of conventional romanctic comedy. I got through the entire script at one sitting so it is def written in a marketable way. I'm interested in reading your others but I'm even more interested in reading your next romantic comedy if you have one in the works. I feel like this is a genre that seems to be losing its steam in hollywood so its good to us younger writers keeping the competition honest.
Posted by: BoinTN, February 2nd, 2009, 2:49pm; Reply: 12
Here are links to scripts I have posted here:

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-horror/m-1201570307/s-new/

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-horror/m-1216469682/

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-comedy/m-1211149937/

There are others, of course, which I would be happy to send directly, but lately, as I mentioned, it's all been for-hire stuff.  I have two on the drawing board once the outside gigs allow for it.
Posted by: personnumber123864, July 21st, 2009, 9:29am; Reply: 13
again i'm way late to the party but got here as fast as i could. i'm somewhat grateful that they're not posting anything until august 1 -- gives me a chance to go back and read some of the more "vintage" stuff (if last september can be called vintage).

this is a solidly good script. premise may be borrowed as davejendras mentioned but, hey, that's life. parents die, kids come home. you see it over and over again in movies because you see it over and over again in life. so that didn't bother me.

the characters, dialogue and story are all very good and the overall writing is excellent. you turn a phrase well and there's a refreshing lack of typos. did see a couple but too few to mention. and waaaaaaay less than i normally see in scripts on this site.

meanwhile, in another conversation - is trickum actually a town? i lived in gwinnett county (ga) about ten years ago and have heard the name before but never knew if it was an actual town or not. just curious.

at any rate, kudos on a job well done.
Posted by: BoinTN, July 21st, 2009, 12:20pm; Reply: 14
Thanks for the feedback!  Trickum is an honest-to-God town, but I've never been, just liked the name...

This script has had an interesting history of late as it was almost turned into a stage play by another theater company and just yesterday received an inquiry into a possible option for it, so I'm very pleased people have responded to the story, which is largely based on some real folks. Even Xanadu was a real place from my childhood, so I like this one more and more as time goes by.

Thanks again!
Posted by: personnumber123864, July 21st, 2009, 5:42pm; Reply: 15
that's great. congratulations. hope it all works out for you.

where is trickum? in your screenplay i remember he flew into atlanta but your address on the title page is in nash vegas. is it in georgia or tennessee?
Posted by: BoinTN, July 21st, 2009, 6:41pm; Reply: 16
Trickum is in Georgia, but I hail from Nashville.  For this one, kept everything nice and southern.
Posted by: personnumber123864, July 21st, 2009, 7:33pm; Reply: 17
that's apparent from the title. how did you come up with 'down holler'?
Posted by: BoinTN, July 22nd, 2009, 9:31am; Reply: 18
"Down Holler" was a direction I'd heard growing up... "Where's Ed?"  "He's down holler."  I though there was something innately comforting about the description, so I used it as the title, though there's no direct reference in the script to that, I still like it.
Posted by: personnumber123864, July 22nd, 2009, 12:05pm; Reply: 19
it's a good title. good logline too.
Posted by: BoinTN, July 22nd, 2009, 12:10pm; Reply: 20
Much appreciated!  Hopefully it will make a good movie one day, too!
Posted by: _ghostwriters, July 23rd, 2009, 4:38pm; Reply: 21
BoinTN

hello,

It needs a little work, but then most scripts do anyway.

I can see once or maybe twice but... your doctors and nurses, appear often in your script.  Have you thought about assigning them names?

Second, it's too wordy in some parts.  It made for a very hard read at times.

I wont list them all, just a couple.

Page#20... INT. HOME, can be cut a little.

Page#71... Kate is in bed - it's very late, after all.   I'd re-word it or get rid of after all.

Page#89... She carries herself like royalty, trapped by geography.  Sounds like poetry to me.  Is "trapped by geography," necessary?

Third, you have several INTERCUTS.  Minor adjustments, I would suggest.

Page 22 after that Intercut... you need a BACK TO SCENE or a new MASTER SCENE HEADING.

Overall,

Original, no.  Somewhat predictable. I kept reading beacuse it was pretty funny for the most part... but then again, it's comedy.

Did I like it,  yes, but I suggest tighten it up.

Good Luck to you,

Ghostwriter 22
Posted by: BoinTN, July 23rd, 2009, 4:54pm; Reply: 22
Thanks for the feedback!  Once I finish the new script, I may go back and do those very things.  My later work has been defined by more brevity, certainly, and I do like to hear myself write at times... it's a problem I'm addressing with each new project.

Still, I will always defend a little poetry in my work.  That's a criticism I will embrace.
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