What if the person you loved had no idea who you really were?
HOW IT RATES
In 1919, Bourbon County's prodigal sons have it all...then prohibition hits. Faced with losing their family farm and distillery, brothers Neal and Joe O'Hare embark on a bootlegging run to save it all.
Other Submissions by jakenp
What if the person you loved had no idea who you really were?
What if the person you loved had no idea who you really were?
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Reviews of Bootleggers 8
by BBgunzz on 06/16/2011This is the second script of yours that I've read, the other being Not Cops. I have to say that I enjoyed Not Cops more. The humor in Bootleggers just didn't connect with me. I thought there were a lot of jokes that were repeated multiple times that were never funny enough to justify it, although other people might find them funnier than I did. The dialogue here struck me as... This is the second script of yours that I've read, the other being Not Cops. I have to say that I enjoyed Not Cops more. The humor in Bootleggers just didn't connect with me. I thought there were a lot of jokes that were repeated multiple times that were never funny enough to justify it, although other people might find them funnier than I did. The dialogue here struck me as more on the nose and expositional. The characters in both scripts also seemed to be very similar -- 2 brothers, a female, and a weird male sidekick. Maybe the feeling that I'd seen these characters (and even some plot devices) in your other script affected my enjoyment, I don't know. I'd like to see what you can do with a completely different set of characters and a very solid story.
I think you've got a decent concept here, but the overall story needs improvement. For starters, their goal seemed to be unclear to me. They wanted to save the farm by running a car full of moonshine? How much money are they expecting to get from that? How much do they need? Then they never sell the moonshine but still clear their debt by striking a dumb luck deal during a bizarre bank robbery, so what was the point? There are a lot of other story points that bothered me that are mentioned below.
The characters also need improvement. The main characters didn't have much depth to them and the script lacks heart. Jeremiah is a little too dumb and oblivious to be believable and his gangster turn at the end comes out of nowhere. It's also tough to believe that the guy who was getting drunk in the first scene became a reverend for some unknown reason. Your bad guys could have bigger roles and I think you need to introduce them earlier in the script, especially the Sommervilles.
Overall, it's a good start. I'd work on the dialogue, characters, and a few plot points moving forward. Most of my formatting and style notes for Not Cops apply here as well. My page by page notes are below.
p4 - The drinking game is funny, but I have no idea what Joe Sr. is talking about or the reason for this gathering until the very end of the scene. Maybe Joe Sr. could mention O'Hare Bourbon Whiskey in his first lines rather than his last? This scene reminded me of your other script.
p4 - I don't like the montage here. It doesn't seem like we've seen enough of the "before" to get a real sense of the "after." I don't feel like the characters have been established well enough yet. And how much time has passed? At the very least, an "X Months Later" title would help.
p5 - "47, 24, 8, 7, 9. Memphis, Tennessee, Chicago." What's he talking about?
p8 - You already told us that Jeremiah became a reverend (p4)
p11 - Funny end to this scene. "Don't think so, no."
p14 - I'm not sure what Lu-Anne is talking about when she says "Why didn't you talk to me for so long?" This seems like an awkward place to jam in a potentially tender moment.
p16 - It's hard to like a guy who says, "Your mom is dead! I don't give a shit!"
p25 - The formatting when Neal starts the car takes up way too much space and we don't need that much description.
p25 - "Okay" is a weak ending to this scene.
p26 - If Jack and Johnny are going to play a role in this story, they probably should have been introduced earlier. Neal and Joe Jr. could be jealous of their prosperity, which gives them the idea to run moonshine. Their dialogue is also on the nose here. It seems like that might be the point, but I'm not sure. Their appearance and abrupt disappearance is certainly random, though.
p40 - "He ponders the plan, his brother, Lu-Anne, and his dying father." We can't see any of this on screen.
p41 - The gags so far feel unoriginal to me.The out of control car, the cop who doesn't bust them, the references to stuff that hasn't been invented yetÖI've seen it all before. I'd like to see more depth to the characters. Jeremiah is too dumb for my liking and the constant drinking is getting old. What else do these people do? I really hate it when Joe Jr. keeps bringing up Lu-Anne's dead mother. I want to like the guy but that's not funny at all.
p42 - Too many corn on the cob jokes. What's so funny about corn on the cob?
p45 - So Jeremiah STILL doesn't have a clue what's going on? I find that hard to believe, especially after this latest confrontation.
p48 - I like that they really wanted him to bring whiskey.
p50 - The scene outside the bar could be trimmed down. Joe Jr. doesn't need to ask "Is he gonna buy it or what?" again at the end of this scene.
p51 - If there's something between Neal and Lu-Anne, we need to see glimpses of it earlier and continued throughout the script.
p53 - The preacher/reverend thing is getting old and was never funny.
p61-62 - On the nose dialogue.
p62 - They left without even trying to save Jeremiah?
65 - Three pages later and they're heading back to Chicago? There was no reason for them to come home.
p65 - I'm not sure why he'd paint "Black Pantherz" on a car, let alone one that doesn't belong to him.
p82 - This is the same kind of deception you used in Not Cops. It doesn't work. We see Gangster Al's face and we see the Banker's face. Everyone would know it's the same guy. You're trying to fool the reader with a switch that will absolutely not work on screen.
p82-87 - Very on the nose dialogue with a lot of exposition.
p90 - The clergy gang came out of nowhere. I'm not sure why they exist or why they're at the bank.
p92 - Now Jeremiah knows martial arts? This isn't making any sense. I'm really not liking this ending, sorry.
p98 - If they weren't speaking to each other until a week ago, we need to know that at the beginning of the script, not at the end. This love story isn't evident in the script aside from maybe a VERY subtle glimpse midway through, so it just feels tacked on here.
p102 - How did Joe Sr. go from barely able to stand and dying to swinging from a rope swing?
by Dingo_comedy on 05/14/2011This script really grew on me - started slow, but got better. You are certainly taking a chance breaking down the 4th wall, but I liked it. There's a smart sarcasm throughout that works well generally. In parts it seems to lag, but I imagine that it will play better visually than on the page. I do think that this script could be edited down by maybe 15 pages or so - there seems... This script really grew on me - started slow, but got better. You are certainly taking a chance breaking down the 4th wall, but I liked it. There's a smart sarcasm throughout that works well generally. In parts it seems to lag, but I imagine that it will play better visually than on the page. I do think that this script could be edited down by maybe 15 pages or so - there seems to be a good bit of unnecessary dialogue. The action at the bank gets pretty complicated, pretty quickly, but I think that most readers will be able to get it - and, again, it would be easier to follow visually. I liked the bit with all the corn, however I think that I might like different variants of corn better than just corn on the cob (corn pudding, cornbread, creamed corn, etc.). Arguably, the brothers (protagonists) aren't very likeable, but I dont think that this is really a big deal even if we concede on this point. The only important criticism I would have is that it just needs to be tightened - cut it down to the essentials to move the plot and bump up the funny. read
by phil.laaveg on 05/11/2011There's definitely some fun to be had here and a few good laughs, but the humor would work even better with more setup and foreshadowing for jokes, situations and characters. I liked the tone and the central characters were a fun gang. I thought Jeremiah was a bit off, possibly just because the opening scene establishes him as a raging drinker and then he's suddenly a minister... There's definitely some fun to be had here and a few good laughs, but the humor would work even better with more setup and foreshadowing for jokes, situations and characters.
I liked the tone and the central characters were a fun gang. I thought Jeremiah was a bit off, possibly just because the opening scene establishes him as a raging drinker and then he's suddenly a minister in the montage. Simply making him a teetotaler at the beginning and fighting with the boys to try and get them to stop drinking would make for more continuity of character.
There are couple meta jokes that pulled me out of the story even though they were funny (World War I, driver's license). I think there's plenty of opportunity for comedy in the premise you've established so I'd consider losing those.
The plot is pretty loose and the reveal that the banker was actually Gangster Al, who is a young Capone, felt really forced. Maybe drop the banker disguise and he's just muscle for the mob and Joe Sr. is in debt to them, not the bank.
Likewise, the sudden arrival of the clergy gang really came out of nowhere. That was even goofier than all the goofiness that preceded it. Something to establish this would help, but I think replacing the gang with a big federal raid might make more sense and still allow for comedy and slapstick.
I liked the banter between the brothers. Some really good moments there.
Overall, this was pretty fun. Could use some tightening up to make the plot flow more smoothly and the jokes pay off better.
My notes as I read:
p.3 a little context for the father's speech would be good. as is the oddness of his speech impedes the humor.
p.8 if jeremiah was trying to get the boys to stop drinking under the table it would be more in keeping with his older self. the montage is odd with him suddenly being a minister.
p.20 jesus painting ploy is pretty thin.
p.28 be good to introduce the younger sommervilles in the opening scene.
p.33 seems like a missed opportunity for some comedy here. think you could have a little more fun with the interaction between the guys and the agents.
p.38 the meta jokes - world war 1, driver's license made me chuckle, but also really took me out of the story. not sure its worth that trade off.
p.47 you have a couple PASTERs mixed in. also, seems like the guys would jump at the chance to start slinging their hooch.
p.49 missing a chance for drama and humor with jeremiah's revelation of what the boys are up to. shouldn't gloss that over. it's a necessary beat.
p.64 ha! i think the joke is worth the montage and journey home.
p.74 missed opportunity for some conflict with the sommervilles. the joke of the ease of stealing the booze doesn't go very far.
p.91 clergy gang certainly comes out of nowhere. could be funnier with a bit of foreshadowing. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 05/05/2011It took me a while to get used to this script; I think you need to set up the metadiagetic comedy earlier, to clarify what you're doing; you need a page one joke with the characters being impossibly aware of their place in history. Once I did get the schtick, I loved it. All the allusions to history are brilliant. While I didn't laugh so much, I can easily imagine a Bill Murray... It took me a while to get used to this script; I think you need to set up the metadiagetic comedy earlier, to clarify what you're doing; you need a page one joke with the characters being impossibly aware of their place in history. Once I did get the schtick, I loved it. All the allusions to history are brilliant. While I didn't laugh so much, I can easily imagine a Bill Murray or Jack Black going to town with this material. The story and structure were not all that great, but a script like this is more about the comedy - and you had that in spades.
One other problem was that the two brothers, while clearly defined (stupid/smart), blurred together for me; I think that this was because they were only defined by characteristic, and not by goal; if they had different and conflicting sub-goals (in addition to their shared main goal), that might make them stronger characters.
Finally, a few small points: 1) I thought the denouement was a little too long; 2) the whole "Black Pantherz" thing was confusing for me; 3) there were quite a few typos. read
by brrose on 04/23/2011This showed up in my box and I couldn't turn it down. I enjoyed "Not Cops" and I find your writing easy to read. I'm guessing I'm the only person so far to have read both your submissions and now that I have I feel like I have a decent grasp of your style and humor. I certainly can tell they were written by the same person. That's kinda cool. I'm always up for a good boozin'... This showed up in my box and I couldn't turn it down. I enjoyed "Not Cops" and I find your writing easy to read. I'm guessing I'm the only person so far to have read both your submissions and now that I have I feel like I have a decent grasp of your style and humor. I certainly can tell they were written by the same person. That's kinda cool.
I'm always up for a good boozin' comedy and I found this very funny. I feel like the jokes really hit on this one. Again, it may be because I'm more familiar with your style and I knew what you were going for.
random stuff/lines I found funny:
p2 liked the struggle joke. Like Muirhead's addresses in NC, this is a really funny public speech parody. Obviously, you have a talent to find the humor in these situations.
p6 the occasion is that this is last of it.
p29 I laughed at Jeremiah's monologue- long but funny.
p59/60 exchange. Foggy- maybe teetering towards no.
p84 there's always next time, mickey
I have to say I liked most of the humor.
Structure is one of your strengths and I found this piece to be very solid in that regards. Well done! Again, I especially appreciate the beat you put in after the low point to let us feel that "dark hour" in the ext alley/ street p78. It doesn't have to be long. I seldom see it on TS and think it's so important.
As far as suggestions how to improve it, my biggest issue is the same thing I said about NC. I read the first 15 and wasn't sure who the main character was. I don't think, in the end, there was a main character and it was more of an ensemble piece. I'm not saying an ensemble piece can't work but it would be an extremely difficult pitch as a spec. An unnecessary obstacle. I believe readers are more easily drawn into the story of one well developed character and their journey. Colorful sidekicks are great but I say, pick a character and make it THEIR story- someone the reader can root for. Believe me, I've struggled mightily with this concept. My first draft of OHW was an ensemble because band movies, almost by definition, are ensemble. I was fortunate enough to get reads by experienced people who ripped me to shreds until I made it about one character.
I felt this wasn't quite as polished as your other script. More typos. Isn't it zoot suit? Dialogue wasn't always consistent among the characters, especially the Sommervilles. Nothing major needed here just a couple careful reads and a clean up.
p71 I wondered why this booze desperate cop didn't take off after the Sommerville's moonshine rich car.
p5 What was the counting in Joe Sr's dialogue? I missed the joke, even when I looked at it twice. It may be me.
p102 Joe Sr can't stand and then he swings like a monkey on a rope swing and drops into the water??
Overall, I found this thoroughly enjoyable, though. No problem turning the pages here. You have a good premise and many great comedic moments. Another very solid script which could be taken to another level if we could identify THE protagonist.
As I close, you may (or not) have a question for me. If 'Not Cops" and "Bootleggers" were at the cineplex, which one would I see first? Well, "Bootleggers" I say - I really connected with the humor with this one and see great potential!
Best of Luck! read
by javidaman on 04/22/2011I'll say a few words here then I'll paste the notes I wrote as I read your work. First off, congrats on writing your script. It takes nerve and dedication to write something and expose it to the judgment of others, so kudos to you. I think your concept of a comedy set during prohibition dealing with Moonshiners is a novel idea. Some of the characters in your script reminded... I'll say a few words here then I'll paste the notes I wrote as I read your work. First off, congrats on writing your script. It takes nerve and dedication to write something and expose it to the judgment of others, so kudos to you.
I think your concept of a comedy set during prohibition dealing with Moonshiners is a novel idea. Some of the characters in your script reminded me a bit of the George Clooney film "O' Brother, Where Art Thou?" Your story being a comedy as well is a good twist on an era where there was very little to laugh about. I say this because most stories set during prohibition are violent crime films or sad depression era films like Of Mice and Men or Where the Red Fern Grows.
My biggest issues with your work were the inaccuracies relating to the time period (you'll see in my notes) and some of the exposition in the dialogue.
I was also a little confused about a few things in the backstory. For example, Lu-Anne and Jeremiah are of the servant class, yet for the entire story, they act and behave much more civilized than Neal and Joe, who are more fallen aristocratic type. I understand if that was done on purpose to show that why they would relate to each other on their little adventure, but "pride" is a characteristic that would offer an interesting dynamic. For example, Neal and Joe are accept with the idea that they're poor, but pride may prevent them from acting like poor drunkards all the time or have other inhibitions. Where as Lu-Anne and Jeremiah, being of poor origins may not care how they're perceived and have not inhibitions.
The closest you come to alluding to that are Joe's reminders to Lu-Anne that she is poor. And that's too easy, makes him seem like a jerk instead of perhaps a complex funny character.
You give away lots in your dialogue, many times you repeat things we've already read in the descriptions, or you repeat an action we've already seen in the dialogue. Characters just talk, and see the story. Let your characters live in the now, the same we do. If you do allude to something in the past, do it vaguely so the viewer can rationalize, guess and assume, unless of course it's something intrinsic to the development of a character or a story.
The rest are my notes. Thanks for letting review your work.
NOTES ON BOOTLEGGERS
PAGE 7. - When Neal describes the last two years. It seems a little too much exposition.
Page 13 - Lu-Anne says she and her momma have been making moonshine in stills hidden in the woods.
Isn't common knowledge that moonshine is made by stills hidden in the wood and wouldn't Neal and Joe Jr,
know that already, considering they are or were distillers themselves?
Page 21 - When Neal suggests they run Lu-Anne's moonshine, she says it's all "she has left" from her momma.
Earlier in the story she mentioned she kept making moonshine after her mother died.
Pages 30 & 31
Why wouldn't the Revenuers just stop them when Neal, Joe and Jeremiah passed by them to get to the car?
If they were so close, why would the Revenuers allow them to make it to the vehicle?
During the Prohibition era (1920 - 1933), Lu-Anne wouldn't have said "Iím glad you didnít die over there
in World War One." World war 2 didn't start until 1939. In the US, during prohibition, WW1 would have
been called "The Great War or The European War" and not "World War 1".
When Neal responds to Lu-Anne, I get the feeling that the author is making a point to these facts, and
this maybe the punchline to a joke...I just don't see how it would translate to a typical audience.
I'm pretty sure driver's licenses already existed during prohibition eras.
If the Pastors in Chicago only wanted whiskey, why wouldn't Neal, Lu-Anne, or Joe jr jump on the
opportunity to unload a trunk full of it?
During prohibition, especially after the crash, there wouldn't be any Yuppies much less in zuit suits.
People in finance where older men, not yuppies (Young Urban Professionals) and if they had money, they'd
be far too upscale for zoot suits. Zoot suits were the wear of jazz musicians, dancers and some
gangsters. The style wasn't popular during prohibition, it was popular in the late 30's and 40's and during
Also, a speak-easy bar during prohibition wouldn't have a 10 piece band. Much too loud and would and
they were called "speak-easy" for a reason, especially in a place like Chicago.
I parts of the dialogue the characters allude the facts of times, like when Lu-ann says; "Even though I
donít fit the standards of beauty for our time?". You do this sometimes for comedic effect like when an
actor breaks from character and performs "an aside" to acknowledge an audience. or a soliloquy where he
talks to himself to provide exposition. But your characters speak as if they don't belong in the era in
which they live, like they're from the future or something. I'm not sure it this is done on purpose for
laughs, but if it is for laughs, it has to be obvious to be funny.
Ignition starters didn't come around until the 40's, so during prohibition there wouldn't have been a
need for keys to start the car.
A family with more than one car was unheard of during the prohibition, less during the depression and
much less a preachers family. Whoops...guess you answer this in the very next page. Sorry.
No such think as a white Ford Model T. Most were black and a rare few were green, gray, silver, blue
Earlier in the scripts when the Somervilles refereed to Mr. T you gave up then that they were running for
Torrani. In this page 76, Neal, Joe and Lu-Anne figure it out because of the valet. I think you
shouldn't have given it away earlier with the Somerville's dialogue. This way your audience is left to
guess or they make the realization along with the main characters, either way, it would more likely
captivate your audience to your story.
The Banker was actually Capone? You could have done so much more with that concept. The exchange
between the wounded Torrani and Capone is pretty funny. More of these type of exchanges would help your
script come to life.
"From a distance the group is seen splashing around. The scene is idyllic and exactly right". You have
to describe the scene, or at least compare it to something that the audience can visualize. How do we know
what you mean by idyllic?
I like that they refer to the stock market with optimism alluding to the future crash. It's cynical
by kennystjohn on 04/22/2011Jake, I'm not a big fan of parodies although I did find some scenes amusing. The screenplay did not possess a constant flow. I know it's a comedy, but a few items were a little tough to swallow. For example: Johnny and Jack cooking moonshine in the O'hare's distillery with Joe and Neal never knowing about it. Al Capone being such a wimp, Lu-Anne being bored immediately... Jake,
I'm not a big fan of parodies although I did find some scenes amusing. The screenplay did not possess a constant flow. I know it's a comedy, but a few items were a little tough to swallow.
Johnny and Jack cooking moonshine in the O'hare's distillery with Joe and Neal never knowing about it.
Al Capone being such a wimp,
Lu-Anne being bored immediately after a gun shot was fired into Vincenzo.
A SWAT team in 1921.
I know these things were put in place to make us laugh, but it's rather hard for me to take in. Several gallons of moonshine in the trunk of a Model T? I don't think so.
Joe is dumb as suggested in his description in the beginning of your script, but there are times he speaks using vocabulary that "dumb" people normally don't use. I found Neal's vocabulary a bit inconsistant also.
I wrote down a few tyops:
1) Pg 12. "The walk on for several steps". I think you meant They in lieu of The.
2) Pg 49. Drop "and" from the Andy Feagan description.
3) Pg 52. "Girl drops the top her dress down" You may want to add "of" or reconstruct your line.
4) Pg 90. CERGY GANG?
5) Pg 100. When Neal hands Joe Sr. the mortgage Joe Sr. says "It's the mortgage". Is he asking or telling Neal?
You state that Jeremiah has become a Reverend twice, once on page 4 and again on page 7.
There is humor throughout, but the structure seems a little off. I hope my review assists you with your screenplay, I think if you make a few adjustments, you'll have a nice parody. Good luck with all of your writings.
by Damian P Ramsajan on 04/20/2011Bootleggers has a lot of comedic potential with its slow speed car chases and ironic status quoís. The free flowing alcohol pre and post prohibition characters and points of views, makes for good comedy. Cops selling bullets for beers and advocating drunk driving. Al Capone the banker, all saved by the sloppy southern martial arts preacher, good stuff. The world war one uniforms... Bootleggers has a lot of comedic potential with its slow speed car chases and ironic status quoís. The free flowing alcohol pre and post prohibition characters and points of views, makes for good comedy.
Cops selling bullets for beers and advocating drunk driving. Al Capone the banker, all saved by the sloppy southern martial arts preacher, good stuff.
The world war one uniforms draws me into your story.
Hate to be a show not tells Nazi, but on page one itís hard to miss, donít tell us Lu-Anne is hired help.
It would be helpful, at least to me, if you superimposed the amount of time elapsed at the start of the prohibition montage.
Nice contrast between the free running alcohol days and prohibition, although the wonton drinking at the beginning felt a little meaningless standing on its own.
Iím not a big fan of the way the distillery burned, Joe seniorís reason for going to church that day after a long absence was never explained, so the whole thing seems a bit convenient.
Joe jrís character isnít that funny and makes his scenes a little hard to read for me.
I donít know what to say after Johnny and Jackís performance on the bridge either, speechless.
I like the scene when the police officer pulls them over, good conflict, dramatic tension and irony, so far I think this is the best and funniest scene.
The younger pastor winking over the phone is hilarious.
The story flows at a nice pace from the end of act one through the midpoint after what felt to me like a slow start.
The standoff with Torrani and subsequent kidnapping of Jeremy cut the momentum that I thought you established well for most of act two.
Not feeling the scene where Joe jr. paints Jeremyís second car.
I liked the twist with Torrani getting shot with the old guards soft trigger gun while Alís eyes glitter with hope.
These are just thoughts on the emotions your script elicited from me with the hope of helping you with your writing. read
- Writer: Jake Palas
- Uploaded by: jakenp
- Length: 105 pages
- Genre: comedy
- Bio: Thomas Edison said that success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. Iíve found that screenwriting is similar, but a little bit different, in that itís 10 percent perspiration and 90 percent looking at facebook.
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