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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Comedy Scripts  /  Squeal Team Six
Posted by: Don, October 29th, 2017, 11:10am
Squeal Team Six by Gary Howell - Comedy - A group of high school freshmen try to recruit a former Navy Seal to help them steal the mascot of their rival high school, but when their efforts are hindered at every step by their own principal and gang of nerds bent on dominating the school, will they be able to bring home the bacon? 119 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Gary Howell, October 29th, 2017, 11:51am; Reply: 1
Don, as always, thanks for posting and for all that you do for this site!

Just some notes for producers (or anyone else) interested in this script:

1.  This is a high school comedy, but don't go in thinking "Superbad" or something similar. It's not a gross-out, every other word expletive comedy.  It's more family-friendly.  In fact, it does not contain one single curse word, which was sort of a challenge in itself when writing.

2.  Budget on this is probably fairly low.  Most scenes take place at the high school, Charlie's house, or at a couple of farms.  There are some fireworks, and a car chase, and a flying pig, but other than that....

3.  It's originally set in rural Kansas, but could basically be reset anywhere in rural America with no problem.

Enjoy!
Gary
Posted by: eldave1, October 29th, 2017, 1:29pm; Reply: 2
Gary - had a chance to read the first ten.  Not fair to review on that little - but maybe these thoughts will help - maybe not. Anyway.

A strong opening with Charlie and Mom. Charlie's voice is solid throughout the first ten and I like him a lot - already rooting for him.

The dialogue and scenes felt really dated - like this was set in the 50s. I know you are going for rural, but the things that struck me were:

- 16 and 17 years olds on a bus - they would be in cars by then.
- No one had an IPAD, Smartphone, or any other vestige of 2017. I know it is rural - but they have that stuff there too.
- Cherry Bombs - not sure I have heard that reference since I was a kid.
- etc.

Long winded way of saying the characters, setting and dialogue sounded less rural to me then they did dated. Did not ring genuine for 2017 High School students.

The Principal having his coffee spilled scene was a little tired - been done tons before - think of a different accident/mishap.

Although I liked the concept of the gang of nerds - didn;t care for the character names used - In my mind I kept seeing them in costume.

Anyway - food for thought. Charlie's situation is a good premise and the alliance with a Navy Seal is original.  Just not sure you got the setting nailed.

Hope this helps
Posted by: Gary Howell, October 29th, 2017, 3:55pm; Reply: 3
Hey Dave!  Thanks for the quick glance at the first 10 and the valuable notes.


Quoted Text

The dialogue and scenes felt really dated - like this was set in the 50s. I know you are going for rural, but the things that struck me were:

- 16 and 17 years olds on a bus - they would be in cars by then.
- No one had an IPAD, Smartphone, or any other vestige of 2017. I know it is rural - but they have that stuff there too.
- Cherry Bombs - not sure I have heard that reference since I was a kid.
- etc.


So I was thinking of this along the same lines as "Napoleon Dynamite" -- don't know if you've seen that, but there were a couple of scenes that involved high school kids on a bus.  Same with "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", and that's actually set in Pittsburg.  So I think there are still places where kids ride buses, just not to the extent where we did growing up.

There are several references to iPhones, drones, video games, etc. later on the script; just weren't in those first 10 pages.

Cherry bombs -- now THAT might be a bit dated!  Ha! I'll see if I can find another solution there.


Quoted Text
The Principal having his coffee spilled scene was a little tired - been done tons before - think of a different accident/mishap.

Although I liked the concept of the gang of nerds - didn;t care for the character names used - In my mind I kept seeing them in costume.


Agreed on the coffee thing -- I'll try to think of another mishap or unique situation he can stumble into.

So the idea behind the gang of nerds and the names -- I think they were meant to be descriptive and indicative of the type of outfit they were wearing.  So GOTH GEEK is always going to be in dark emo clothes, dark hair, eyeliner, etc.  TREKKIE might always be in a Star Trek T-shirt or something similar.  Just a way to distinguish them and make them pop off the page.  But I hear where you're coming from on that.

Thanks again for your notes -- I will try to incorporate some of these into the next draft!

Best,
Gary
Posted by: eldave1, October 29th, 2017, 4:11pm; Reply: 4

Quoted Text
So I was thinking of this along the same lines as "Napoleon Dynamite" -- don't know if you've seen that, but there were a couple of scenes that involved high school kids on a bus.  Same with "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", and that's actually set in Pittsburg.  So I think there are still places where kids ride buses, just not to the extent where we did growing up.


Yeah - saw both of those. Maybe you're right.

Maybe you could use a smart ass line from Charlie here - e..g, something to the effect of we're all losers here - we got driver licenses and we're on the bus. - not that exactly - but the point being a way to recognize that the cool kids drive and the rest arrive on buses. Just spit balling.


Quoted Text
There are several references to iPhones, drones, video games, etc. later on the script; just weren't in those first 10 pages.


Okay - sounds good - I would have it on the bus from the start (e.g., kids mindlessly scrolling through smartphones or something)


Quoted Text
Cherry bombs -- now THAT might be a bit dated!  Ha! I'll see if I can find another solution there.


Dated - yes (but they sure as hell were fun).


Quoted Text
Agreed on the coffee thing -- I'll try to think of another mishap or unique situation he can stumble into.

Maybe you can still use it with a twist. Charlie comes barreling down - the Principal turns just in time to avoid Charlie hitting his cup - hey,  does anyone watch where they're going!!! Then he turns and runs smack dab into a teacher spilling his coffee over her (just a little irony - the man complaining about carelessness actually ends up being careless)


Quoted Text
So the idea behind the gang of nerds and the names -- I think they were meant to be descriptive and indicative of the type of outfit they were wearing.  So GOTH GEEK is always going to be in dark emo clothes, dark hair, eyeliner, etc.  TREKKIE might always be in a Star Trek T-shirt or something similar.  Just a way to distinguish them and make them pop off the page.  But I hear where you're coming from on that.


Yeah - I get the objective and maybe I'm wrong - it just got confusing for me - may be fine for others - see if any other peeps have an issue.


Quoted Text
Thanks again for your notes -- I will try to incorporate some of these into the next draft!


My pleasure - best of luck.
Posted by: PKCardinal, December 28th, 2017, 2:26am; Reply: 5
I read this script straight through last night.

There were some true laugh out loud moments. Lots of great lines peppered throughout. I really like what you've done with it. There were multiple points that I was nodding my head saying, "That was a great choice."

My main piece of advice, though, would be to shorten this baby. 119 pages is at least 20 too long for a comedy script. Ideally, you 'd get it below 95.

And, if you do shorten it, I'd suggest making almost all of the cuts in the first 60 pages. I think you'll find the pace really pick up, and you'll get more momentum for the laughs that are in here.

I'd like to read it again before getting too specific, but, a serious slashing of pages would be a great start.

One question: where do you see the second act beginning?
Posted by: Gary Howell, January 2nd, 2018, 9:58pm; Reply: 6
Paul!  Ha! You found my secret hiding place!  Sorry I just saw this - holidays and all wasn't paying much attention to anything.

Thanks for the kind words -- and you know you deserve the credit for all the good parts!  And i completely agree -- it's too long and definitely is in need of some serious editing. Your guess is as good as mine right now how I get those 20 pages out of there, but you're right that they probably need to come out of that first bloated act.  I think the first act needs to end with the decision to go for the challenge, and they need to get to asking for Killer's help sooner than they do (or he needs to agree sooner).

Thanks again for reading this -- I'll be in touch -- and get me the rewrite of 60 Feet Under! Can't wait to read that!

Gary
Posted by: Nolan, January 3rd, 2018, 4:36pm; Reply: 7
Gary,

Read it today.  I liked it!  There were some good moments where I certainly had a laugh.  The characters were all unique in their own way.  

I was a little disappointed in the climax, however.  Not to say that it wasn't a good climax, I think it was well done.  I wanted to see the Jets being more of an obstacle.  I know that the goal was to get the pig from the rival school, and all that, but during the story it felt as though the Jets should have had more of an impact.  By the time you're in the third act, they're almost an after thought after they were dealt with in the hall on Page 79.  Benny has a few lines here and there, but that's it.  

I get the premise of getting the pig to gain the respect of everyone, it's pretty hard to miss.  But I feel like the Jets were just kind of... there.  They were jerks, and bullies (nerd bullies!), but they didn't have any impact on the outcome of the mission.  If they're the antagonists, I think you need to make them more antagonistic and more of an obstacle to Squeal Team Six!  I think of Animal House with the Dean and the Omega House against Delta House when I think of Charlie and his friends against the Jets and the Principal.  

Those are just my thoughts.  Like I said, I enjoyed it.  It was a good read!  I just think it fell a little flat on that part... for me anyway.

Good luck!

Nolan
Posted by: Gary Howell, January 3rd, 2018, 11:11pm; Reply: 8
Hey Nolan!  THanks for the read and the comments!  I'm glad you liked it (for the most part) -- and I understand your thinking on the climax.  I guess my thinking was that there were essentially two conflicts going on here.  One was the conflict with the Jets, and the second was the conflict with himself to achieve something and proving that he could be the man his father was.  Maybe it didn't really come across that way, but that was the intent.  Believe me, I tried to find all sorts of ways to get the Jets at that party and I'm still considering it.  So your suggestion is highly taken under advisement!

But most of all I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read the entire script! Thanks again!

Gary
Posted by: PKCardinal, January 5th, 2018, 4:22pm; Reply: 9
Excellent point regarding the Jets. Hadn't thought of that.

H... you've already laid that groundwork for getting them in the middle of it. You just don't realize it. To my point (made off-site) about making "the heist" more elaborate, you already have the Jets aware of what's happening. (They're recording some of the preparations.) Now, you just need to make them ALSO attempting to stop the heist in order to punish Charlie. (Bennie definitely doesn't want Charlie to get any glory.)

There's nothing wrong with ST6 having MULTIPLE parties trying to stop them. In fact, it's that much better.

Making the heist more difficult, the solution more intricate, the enemies more numerous... all will serve to make the resolve more satisfying.

That's quality feedback Nolan!


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