Review of: Sunshine Studios Presents R1 

reviewed by andrewkula on 05/15/2007
Credited Review
Sunshine says it all Credited Review

I think "Sunshine Studios Presents" is a pleasant, upbeat story. The child characters are interesting and believable, the movie pitches are amusing (the I like the woody allen kid), and the story conveys a nice message. I think your writing flows well, but the script could be cleaner - example: the 3rd to last scene, in Mr. Sunshine's office, lasts three pages and it feels like it could be condensed into one. Also, I like the sign-language conversations between Mattie and the monkey. That said, I do have some suggestions on how to improve the next draft.

1. It seems like we need a stronger revelation. Jayne says that they don't make movies kids want to see, and Mr. Sunshine kind of shrugs and offers her a huge opportunity. This should be a powerful moment when Mr. Sunshine realizes that the solution is for kids BY kids. This is the idea that's gonna make or break his studio, so it should seem more meaningful to him. Maybe he should be resistant to it but pressured into the decision because it's the only way to save his business.

2. I'd like to see more character development. Mr. Sunshine is the same nice guy throughout the story, and I don't see how he really changes from beginning to end, other than that he happens to get married. But as far as what he's learned or how he's changed, I'm not sure. It seems like his name, Mr. Sunshine, should be an ironic name at the beginning. Maybe he's cynical or grouchy or jaded, but then working with these children shows him about the importance of family and the simple, childlike optimism. In any case, I think we need more of a sense of how Mr. Sunshine evolves throughout the course of the story.

3. It's okay to make the villains goofballs, but they should be more effective. There never seems to be any risk that they might succeed in ruining the business. Can we see Snidely and Jenkins pose more of a threat? And what happened with Vinca? What crime was he arrested for, and is that what clears Mr. Sunshine's debts, or is it the movie's success? I wasn't really sure what brought about the wedding happy ending.

4. I don't like prescribing page limits, but this story shouldn't take this long to tell. I'm sure if you look at the script, scene by scene, you can trim several pages and make the whole thing more concise.

5. I think the process of making the movie deserves more attention. Do children run the cameras, or edit the film, make the music, or design the sets? If this movie is revolutionary because it's made by kids, I want to see the children actually making the movie.

"SSP" is a pleasant story with some endearing child characters, amusing scenes, and a nice message. I think it needs some work on character development and additional attention to the process of filmmaking, but it's coming along nicely. I hope my comments are helpful to you, and I wish you best of luck with your next drafts! Please let me know if you have any other questions or want to discuss anything further.

- Andy

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