An American in Oman uncovers a mysterious fertility cult in the village where he teaches. Already laid low by loneliness... more
HOW IT RATES
Inspired by his friendship with infamous rock burnout Bob Stinson, a drunken loser seeks to recoup his greatest loss - a daughter he hardly knows.
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Read this version at your own peril. Rough - and I do mean rough - first draft.
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Reviews of Close Your Eyes And Floor It - 2nd Draft 21
by bloodmeridian2004 on 10/19/2010Hey Chris: I just saw the documentary KURT & COURTNEY, which was a good lead-in to your story. I'm not familiar with THE REPLACEMENTS, but I Googled them, and I saw that you were using the real band. Then I looked in your production notes to see if you had their life rights. And if you have the life rights, I missed the note. The problem for me is twofold. One: If you... Hey Chris:
I just saw the documentary KURT & COURTNEY, which was a good lead-in to your story.
I'm not familiar with THE REPLACEMENTS, but I Googled them, and I saw that you were using the real band.
Then I looked in your production notes to see if you had their life rights.
And if you have the life rights, I missed the note.
The problem for me is twofold.
One: If you have the life rights, this needs to be in the production notes.
Two: Even if you have the life rights, the fact that it's a biography of people who are still living will cause this story to be disqualified from most major script contests.
Also, the synopsis is misleading—the story claims to be about a man who tries to get back in touch with his daughter doesn't manifest itself until the very end. In fact, the fish-out-of-water-rock-fan-turned-English-teacher-in-Japan doesn't take off until page 70 or so, even thought the story itself starts with a flight to Japan.
I only had a few reading notes. This was well-written and I only noticed a few typos.
p48 mis-formatted dialogue (too wide right)
Thank you, Mr.
pp73-75 Okay, this is where the story starts that was told in the synopsis—too late to start to deliver here.
There's a lot of good, thoughtful writing here. This felt well-researched and was rich in its level of detail. The problem to me is that without life rights, this feels like a law suit waiting to happen. One of my favorite novelists, Joseph Wambaugh, has been put through the wringer for his non-fiction work for the brilliant THE ONION FIELD. It's a noble topic, but it's just too much work for a “break-in” story.
So, if you want to keep the bulk of this script, that is to say the first seventy-odd pages, I'd seriously consider transforming it into a documentary. There's so much material you can use in a documentary, including popular works under the umbrella of “fair use.”
However, if you want to stay within the safe confines of pure fiction, then I'd re-write it fictionalizing everyone.
Then I'd restructure the story, clearly establishing our hero as a fish-out-of-water teaching English in Japan, but I would make him himself the lead singer of my new fictional band.
It's a lot of work, but I love the premise.
Keep punching keys,
by George8085 on 10/17/20101st Act: I like how you’ve given all your characters a distinct feel and look, even the minor ones. Great job giving them concise descriptions. Pg.1: Nice how you go on to describe Jimmy by comparing him to the train. Pg. 5-6: There’s a lot of narrative dialogue by Jimmy here. Be careful of that, or make sure you have some action to break it up some. Because he’s just... 1st Act:
I like how you’ve given all your characters a distinct feel and look, even the minor ones. Great job giving them concise descriptions.
Pg.1: Nice how you go on to describe Jimmy by comparing him to the train.
Pg. 5-6: There’s a lot of narrative dialogue by Jimmy here. Be careful of that, or make sure you have some action to break it up some. Because he’s just talking at that point, so you have to wonder what the audience is looking at, at that point, because there’s nothing else going on. It’s just Bob being cold.
Pg 8: How can painfully self conscious be shown on screen? Some kind of action by Jimmy showing this would work.
Like the quick description of Melvin.
Pg. 11: Monday morning insert isn’t necessary. The audience can assume this on their own.
Pg. 18: Linwood relaxes on a spare tire while Carl drives? I’m having a hard time imagining this. Is the spare tire in the back of the van that he’s sitting on? It’s a little confusing.
I like how you’ve shown Jimmy change from self conscious nerd to more of an outgoing rocker type.
Pg. 25 & 26: Should be ‘fairies’
Pg. 36: “She stares at him one last time.” Sounds cryptic like something bad is going to happen.
There’s a few instances throughout when a new, minor character is not introduced in all CAPS.
Pg 39: Everytime there’s a knock on the door interrupting Jimmy, it’s always very dramatic with: Bam, bam, bam! Might want to change it up from time to time
Pg. 45: “Jimmy with long hair and cool clothes” What does cool clothes look like?
Pg. 47: A little confused here. So did Jimmy find out Madeline was cheating on him or not? It’s a little hard to tell.
Pg. 51: Jimmy telling Bob he smashed the record then the next scene showing him smashing the record is a little redundant. You could probably cut the scene out since Jimmy already mentioned it in the previous scene.
Pg 52: Nice description of Jimmy snapping when he hears Bob is out of the band. I could totally see it.
Pg 58: “Traipsing” I learned a new word!
Good start to the 3rd act with his mother having a serious convo with him about growing up. But did she wait all this time to finally say something?
Pg 83: Good job adding to the potency of Jimmy listening to Bob’s tape recording by having Jimmy look at a picture of Bob on the cover. I found it to be more emotional that way.
Pg. 88: It may be better if you show Jimmy calling Sachiko when he sees there’s no beer in the fridge, then she comes over, instead of her popping up out of nowhere with alcohol in hand.
Pg. 93: I love how Jimmy uses his guitar as an instrument for learning. Great job! Despite the fact that he’s now considered old for the position, he has something that none of the other applicants could use, something that’s been with him from the beginning, his guitar.
Pg. 99: “Gaijin”? Not sure what that means. I’m thinking a general audience wouldn’t know either.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It's almost like Jimmy fell into mediocrity because his memories of what was and what could have been were holding him back. When he finally snaps out of it, he realizes another stage of his life awaits and the whole rocker craze he was in is the past and should be left in the past.
I didn't spot many errors or mistypes either in the script.
A strong theme of responsibility resonated throughout.
Good job and I wish you the best of luck!
by DeeJay77 on 10/08/2010I must say you’ve come up with quite a nice idea. There’s an interesting story here and you tell it well. Your formatting is good and there were only two typos throughout, so good job. I think you’ve done a real good job of writing the dialogue. It flows well and sounds natural. I would suggest minimizing the number of times you use exclamation marks. Over using the exclamation... I must say you’ve come up with quite a nice idea. There’s an interesting story here and you tell it well. Your formatting is good and there were only two typos throughout, so good job.
I think you’ve done a real good job of writing the dialogue. It flows well and sounds natural. I would suggest minimizing the number of times you use exclamation marks. Over using the exclamation point tends to lessen its impact. Also, I don’t think it’s necessary or correct to underline or use all caps in blocks of dialogue. Other than that, great!
IMO, there are two areas in which your script could be improved. First, the story needs to be enriched a bit more. It interested me and kept my attention as I read, but I still think it could be improved. Secondly, Jimmy’s character needs to be further developed.
As presently written, Jimmy had a crappy home life growing up. He drinks like a fish, loves to have sex, and really doesn’t seem to care about much of anything. It’s a bit difficult for me to connect with this character and really care about what happens to him when he doesn’t seem to care about himself. From the get go, he needs to care about something, at least have some sort of desire or goal. For example, maybe his desire was to start his own R&R band. Perhaps he wanted to become a doctor but the circumstances surrounding his home life prevented him from doing so. His failed dreams, coupled with the hurt of losing Madeline, eventually leads to a life of depression and alcohol abuse. Now I can sympathize with him.
In regard to story, you already have the right elements so to speak. I think you just need to do a bit of re-arranging and do some minor tweaking. First of all, let the audience meet Yumi and Aiko earlier in the story. We could even learn something about Jimmy via one of their conversations. I also would like to see Jimmy looking at Aiko’s picture and being concerned about her from the very beginning.
Keep in mind, this is just my personal opinion, but I would consider changing the Jimmy/Yumi relationship. What if Jimmy and Yumi actually cared about each other but the odds were stacked against them? Let’s say they are both very young when she gets pregnant. Jimmy deals with his internal conflicts on a daily basis and doesn’t know how to be a great father or husband because his father never set a good example for him. Yumi’s family is filthy rich and snooty. The entire family considers Jimmy to be nothing more than a bum and that’s exactly how they treat him. These are serious problems for any relationship to withstand and overcome.
Finally, when Jimmy makes the mistake of sleeping with someone else, it’s the last straw for Yumi and they end up going separate ways. We could actually learn of this via Yumi explaining it to Aiko. I also think it would add to the emotional impact of the script if Yumi were a little less bitter towards Jimmy. Maybe, even at some point prior to Jimmy’s returning to Japan, we could hear Yumi tell Aiko something along the lines of “I have forgiven your father. I know he loved us in his own way, perhaps the only way he really knew how”. I just think this would add something to the reunion in general. Again, this is simply my opinion.
Overall, I think you have a good story on your hands, a story which has the potential to become an excellent story. I really enjoyed it. You’re clearly a very talented writer and I hope my input will be helpful to you in some way. If you have any questions or would like an opinion about something as you work on revisions, please let me know. I’m happy to help if I can. Please keep up the good work. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to reading another one of your scripts in the future.
by Greg Jackson on 10/05/2010There are some serious problems with this script. This is supposed a movie about a guy who reconciles with his daughter. But that daughter's not even hinted at until page 61. That needs to be in there right away. Instead we have from page 11 to 61, a bunch of scenes at rock shows and conversations that don't really push the story forward at all. Think about this: All... There are some serious problems with this script.
This is supposed a movie about a guy who reconciles with his daughter. But that daughter's not even hinted at until page 61. That needs to be in there right away. Instead we have from page 11 to 61, a bunch of scenes at rock shows and conversations that don't really push the story forward at all.
Think about this: All those pages could easily be a 30 sec to one minute montage in the first act, and the same information would be given out: In the past Jimmy was a big fan of the Replacements, Bob was a hero of his, both are drunks and losers in the present.
Then what? I'd say you need to bring up the daughter. After all she's the reason the movie exists. You need her in there ASAP, not an hour into the whole thing.
All the other info about the Replacements being great etc are basically irrelevant. This isn't a Bob Stinson bio-pic, but it reads like on at the very beginning. Why?
The character of Bob is flat and one dimension as well. His dialogue feel over written.
Why is he even in the film? Are they supposed to mirror each other? Jimmy and Bob are both drunks, they like music, and later at page 61 we find out they both have kids.
Bob's death should be a huge eye opener for Jimmy to get things right. Bob's death essentially gets glossed over.
Please lose the voice over. All it does, now is tell the audience what they're about to see. What it says is that either you can't figure out a way to write it, or there's something in the story that's confusing and needs explaining. Remember: Show don't tell. There's a lot of telling going on as it stands.
I think there could be a good story about two men who's lives parallel each other. And I think you could do it in a really cool way, like a comment on what it's like to actually meet your heroes and see what they're really like in real life (Like the film "The assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford") There's great potential here, but some serious trimming and structure work needs to happen first.
Good luck and keep writing.
by gromano on 10/01/2010This isn't normally the genre that I read/watch, but I have seen some similar movies. I really liked the storyline. It was a little tough to get into and slightly confusing at the beginning; but once I adapted to the flow, I was engrossed. You really did a great job with the characters and their actions/reactions made a lot of sense. They were well thought out characters... This isn't normally the genre that I read/watch, but I have seen some similar movies.
I really liked the storyline. It was a little tough to get into and slightly confusing at the beginning; but once I adapted to the flow, I was engrossed.
You really did a great job with the characters and their actions/reactions made a lot of sense. They were well thought out characters that I could relate to.
I especially loved Bob. He was a drunk and kind of an idiot, but he was such a fun, believeable character. It was really cool how he was the one who inspired Jimmy to get to know his daughter and change his life.
It's something that I can really see making the big screen. I know a few people who would enjoy this immensely, my fiance being one of them.
One thing though...Yumi's husband was a little too reasonable and trusting of Jimmy for someone who had walked out on his daughter and her mother. I would think he'd comfort Yumi briefly himself and kind of glare at Jimmy like 'see what you've done to her?' then maybe Jimmy convinces Axelrod to let him see Aiko.
But here are a few pointers on some small things to fix:
pg. 1-2: Jimmy's voiceover-unless the facts are significant to the storyline, we don't need to know them
pg 8: Mrs. Lundvall's dialogue-"The school bus will be here any minute." instead
pg 34: You don't need to repeat bob's name a second time so close together
pg. 38: Jimmy's second dialogue, the last sentence doesn't make sense...
pg 64: Mrs. Lundvall's third dialogue-"Just as long as you're not getting into any trouble."
pg 69: Jimmy's first V.O. doesn't make sense...
This has INCREDIBLE potential. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You're a great writer who obviously has a lot to say. Keep pushing. You'll get there. Someone will see your potential...just like I did. Good luck!!! read
by Chimp on 09/17/2010The best part of your script was the third act. It was focused and structured better than Acts I and II. I sympathized with protagonist for wanting to reestablish his relationship with his daughter. I was cheering for Jimmy, hoping everything would workout for him. I felt that the script should have focused more on Jimmy's relationship with Yumi. Most of the first and... The best part of your script was the third act. It was focused and structured better than Acts I and II. I sympathized with protagonist for wanting to reestablish his relationship with his daughter. I was cheering for Jimmy, hoping everything would workout for him. I felt that the script should have focused more on Jimmy's relationship with Yumi.
Most of the first and second act of your script doesn't relate to the third act very well. You have two different stories that really don't build to the next scene. The first two acts have Jimmy just drifting around and it becomes redundant. When first reading the script you think this is a story about Jimmy, Bob and Madeline. However, Jimmy never has a good relationship with either. Bob was never a good friend to Jimmy and Madeline cheats on him. Their relationships never gain any depth. The second story is Jimmy's relationship with his daughter, Aiko. Jimmy then wants to go to Japan and reconnect with his daughter. I didn't buy it. There isn't enough information about Jimmy's internal conflict to convince me that a recording from Bob could make him leave for Japan.
You have twenty-one flashbacks that don't really build up to the next scene. With all the flashbacks, your characters never truely develop. Jimmy's character arc barely arches. He is basically the same person at the beginning of the script as he is in the end. You start in the year 2001 (page 1) and then flashback to the year 1978 with Jimmy talking about Bob starting a band and by 1981 (page 8) Jimmy is pushed around by Melvin in high school. Then Jimmy drifts around with Bob in 1995 (page 31) and then jump back to 1984 with Jimmy and Madeline having sex (page 38) then jumps to 1995 with Jimmy recording a story about Bob (page 40) then flashbacks to Japan, 1988, and having sex with girls (page 45) then flashes to Madeline having sex with a guy from the Mats in 1986 (page 47). Then you flash forward to 1995 with Jimmy having a beer with Bob (page 50). This goes on until the third act. All were seeing are episodes into peoples lives but never learning why they act the way that they do.
What are the internal conflicts in Jimmy? We know he hates his father because he was a drunk but so was Jimmy. Why should Aiko forgive Jimmy for being a bad father when Jimmy never forgave his father?
Jimmy explains to Madeline that he hated his father because he was a drunk but why did this effect Jimmy so negatively when 80% of the fathers in America drink and yell at there kids. Jimmy's father would take him to Twins games so his father was trying to spend time with him. Jimmy comes across as a brat than a victim of an abusive father. Since there is so little written about Jimmy and his father's relationship, we don't know why he is so troubled by it.
Keep the third act and get rid of ninety percent of the flashbacks that don't have a bearing on Jimmy and Aiko's relationship. Develop better the causes of why Jimmy feels isolated from society. You have a pretty good story and a ear for dialog...Good Luck. read
by Chicklet on 09/15/2010I'm trying to remember when was the last film to come out that rivaled 'Almost Famous" was but I can't because there haven't been any. This one just may have that potential. Granted, there may be a tad too much focus here on drinking, vomiting, having sex with random asian women and vomiting again but there's definitely something to this piece. The whole rock and roll thing... I'm trying to remember when was the last film to come out that rivaled 'Almost Famous" was but I can't because there haven't been any. This one just may have that potential. Granted, there may be a tad too much focus here on drinking, vomiting, having sex with random asian women and vomiting again but there's definitely something to this piece. The whole rock and roll thing is solid. The washed up Bob character getting his own commemorative bench by the lake is well deserved perhaps but I feel something "more" about him or his past needs to be revelaed in the tape(s) he left for Jimmy. Something to let us know that he was strong and not just a lush. Something. Something between him and and the band member who kicked him out of the band that's bittersweet. Something Bob did for him and that the favor was never returned. Some secret Bob hled but never revealed. The story as a whole flows nicely. Things presented are resolved. Perhaps some more images of Aiko can be injected at Jimmy's drunken states. Flashes of her existence maybe. Flashes back to what a b'iatch Aiko's mother was/is. Near the end, still in Japan, it got a little confusing or meandering. Maybe have Jimmy find Aiko, have the confrontation with the drunk mother and have Aiko choose to want to live and be with Jimmy. HAve that relationship solidify more as it's what Jimmy went and changed his whole life for even if his life was an irresponsible mess prior. read
by HowieGreen on 09/12/2010Close Your Eyes and Floor It Reviewed by Howard Green I’m not familiar with either the music or history of The Replacements but I love stories like this, infused with musical energy and an unfettered love of rock and roll and the lifestyle that comes with it. The first act begins with a bullet of non-linear storytelling, transitioning between time periods before transporting... Close Your Eyes and Floor It
Reviewed by Howard Green
I’m not familiar with either the music or history of The Replacements but I love stories like this, infused with musical energy and an unfettered love of rock and roll and the lifestyle that comes with it.
The first act begins with a bullet of non-linear storytelling, transitioning between time periods before transporting us to the icy streets and dingy rock clubs of early 80’s Minneapolis. Here we learn of and experience firsthand the formative years of The “Mats” and their unstable guitar wizard Bob Stinson through the worshipful eyes of Jimmy, our protagonist and increasingly unreliable narrator.
Teenaged Jimmy meets his idol backstage at an early concert. The band are still local heroes on the verge of breaking out and Stinson himself is only a few years older, already displaying self-destructive tendencies. Years later Jimmy befriends Stinson, now an ouot of control addict, kicked out of his own band years earlier. Jimmy’s fortunes are little better. He’s unemployed, living with his exasperated mother after an extended stint in Japan.
Here in the second act the screenplay explores the tenuous relationship between artists and fans, celebrity image vs. reality, friendship and idolatry. Disgraced and nearly forgotten, Stinson proceeds to drink himself into oblivion in full view of Jimmy, who’s too blinded by admiration to notice and who’s need to live vicariously pushes the guitarist over the edge.
For most of the script, Jimmy is a cipher, a passive character that defines himself entirely by his worship of Stinson and his love of Rock and Roll. Its one of the few issues in this very well written work: A protagonist who for long stretches observes more than participates in the plot. This quality is engendered in the non traditional structure, but I’d still like to see a stronger internal and external arcs for the character. He’s a rather pathetic figure, an immature alcoholic who suffers the abandonment of a procession of characters in his life (most of whom he genuinely alienates), including his mother and ultimately Stinson himself (via his death). It is not until the third act that Jimmy takes an active role in his own redemption.
Ultimately the screenplay achieves is intentions, creating a vivid sense of time and location, involving us in the true life events and characters of a relatively modest chapter of rock and roll history. It reveals the dark side of the music scene but also its pure exultations. It’s Almost Famous without the overt sentimentality. An entertaining read from start to finish, but it could use a bit more heart. read
by jmdsbussrv on 09/09/2010A nice story of a young man finding himself in the midst of the late nineties and into the twenty-first century. If you want to present this to Professional Readers, then I recommend going through the “Formatting Notes” below. If not, you may skip that section. As with any analysis you receive, there will ALWAYS be suggestions people can make, even with the best written... A nice story of a young man finding himself in the midst of the late nineties and into the twenty-first century.
If you want to present this to Professional Readers, then I recommend going through the “Formatting Notes” below. If not, you may skip that section.
As with any analysis you receive, there will ALWAYS be suggestions people can make, even with the best written material. Some may be valid, some may not, and others are just a point of view. So, please take these things in that light.
On page 1, keep in mind that the audience does not have the benefit of seeing the name of the person speaking in the script. If you are showing Bob, and Jimmy starts speaking, it will be natural to assume that Bob is the voice of the voiceover. Also voiceovers need to be timed to your action so you aren’t leaving the creative crew having to figure out what to do to stretch or condense the actions to match (within reason, they don’t need to be timed to the fraction of a second).
Since Jimmy’s voiceover is rather long relative to Bob just “lumber”ing down the street, I would recommend starting Jimmy’s voiceover when we see Jimmy. You may, however; have to mention music coming from the earphones so the audience does not think the voiceover is actually the tape playing (unless it is the tape playing?). This will depend on your timing.
Then, when Jimmy mentions Bob, and the camera is on Bob, the audience will assume that Bob is indeed “Bob” by reference.
I know some people don’t do typos or formatting issues in reviews, but as far as I’m concerned, I’d rather have someone tell me before I send it out to a professional reader or company. You may skip this section if you like.
Overall, your script was reasonably well formatted. Good job there.
On page 1, you have a scene header with the tag “1978”.
This is acceptable, except you then have other scenes following that are apparently 1978 also. You can add 1978 to each of these to avoid confusion on the time, but I recommend using “TIME – 1978” as a header, separate from the scene header. This will let the reader know that you are placing the entire series into flashback mode rather than just the individual scene. Example:
“TIME – 1978
EXT. STREET – DAY
SUPER: "MINNEAPOLIS - 1978"
BOB STINSON (19), large, slightly goofy ...”
(Side notes, you’ll also notice that I placed the SUPER first, to orient the reader before the action description, and removed INSERT. You only need SUPER there. A “SUPER” is already “INSERT”ed by definition.)
Then when you finish with 1978, you bring the reader back to your next time frame with another header, something like “BACK TO 2001” or “FLASHBACK – 1995”, or “TIME – 1995”, etc.
The point is that you want to set these time blips up as a separate header since you have multiple scenes in most time frames.
Page 45-46, I am assuming that the Japan scene was a flashback, but you do not bring us back to 1995 afterward, so using your past formatting, it would still be 1988. This is why I strongly suggest the formatting change as mentioned above.
Page 15, Paul “singing” should be marked “(V.O.)”
There are other minor issues here and there, but I think your main concern needs to be your story and your structure.
If you find that you are getting a lot of “removes” in ratio to the “assigns” or that people are just getting assigned, but never actually posting a review, my guess would be that it is because of the things I am about to say here.
Your structure starts out a little strangely since you go via different time frames, but not chronologically.
2001 - 1 page
1978 - 2 pages
1995 - 7 pages
1981 - 20 pages
1995 - 7 pages
1984 - 3 pages
1995 - 6 pages
1988 - 1 page
1995 - 2 pages
1986 – I don’t know how many pages as I will stop keeping track now at around page 49. This makes EIGHT time changes within the first 49 pages. And you seem to continue this barrage of time changes throughout the remainder of the script.
I am open to “outside the box”, but quite frankly, so many flashbacks or change-ups in a screenplay is very confusing and generally not a very good idea.
The entire middle of your screenplay kind of reads more like a series of bits rather than a feature film. There is no thread or substantial progression tying them together until near the end where …
… on page 81 we have a shimmer of hope here when Mom confronts Jimmy about responsibility.
Page 95 Jimmy says, “I’m changing my priorities.”
And you bring the third act in with a relatively nice finish.
I understand that you are trying to show Jimmy’s “lost” life, so to speak, until he gets his act together, but you already show that in a relatively short amount of time. Everything else is just the ongoing saga which would be fine if there was some order and structure to the direction you are heading.
I see that this is your second draft, and I’m sorry to speak of such restructuring, but I am coming from the direction of helping people get prepared for professional readers. If you just want a “cool” story with no intent on bringing it into the professional realm, then perhaps my input is moot. I am just relatively certain that you are going to lose professional readers rather quickly because of the things I mention.
Overall, your structure is difficult to pinpoint because it seems more like a series of bits than a feature film. (I understand I already mentioned this, but I want to make the point clear).
In your mind, you might think that there is clearly progression and tying together, but I did not see it.
This could be because the script is very cluttered with too many plots and themes with no clear direction on what we should be most concerned with. You have extensive back and forth dialogue that uses up a lot of unnecessary page space. These things are killers of any good story in a screenplay.
As I mentioned above, you have a lot of things happening here. Besides the infinite number of time changes, they are not in chronological order, increasing the probability of confusion. You have a lot of back and forth dialogue that do not move the story along. You have a lot of sub plots going on as well.
You start the story with Jimmy narrating and alluding to the fact that he will be telling “Bob’s” story. Then you spend an awful lot of time talking more about Jimmy’s story. I understand you want to show it from Jimmy’s POV, but you have created two parallel plots here (among other sub plots scattered here and there).
On top of that, it is very difficult to determine exactly what your theme is. If the story is about Bob more than Jimmy, we need to see an ending that focuses on Bob’s ultimate achievements. Instead, you focus on Jimmy’s at the end (which, I might add I think you did a very nice job of it).
I understand that it was Bob’s influence (“close your eyes and floor it”) that led to Jimmy’s taking charge of his life, but this was not well developed in the middle of the story, so I think the whole thing got lost somewhere.
In a screenplay, you should focus in on the primary plot and the primary theme and trim everything else out or at least down. I am not saying this as an absolute, but you have to be a pretty good writer to pull something like this off. Perhaps you have the talent, but for this draft, it just didn’t seem to work, for me at least.
In addition, I want to add that you have so much content in a couple places that you risk your work getting an X rating (which “porn” is against the rules on TS).
Some of the swearing and content seemed natural and flowed well, but the majority seemed out of place and even somewhat forced, like you were trying to fit it in there. Quite frankly, much of it adds nothing to your story, and I found it actually distracting in some places. If you only want to produce a “raunchy” comedy, then you are fine. Otherwise, you may want to consider what I’m saying. Just giving you my opinion.
THINGS I REALLY LIKED ABOUT THIS SCRIPT:
I did like your ending. There could be more I would like, but the clutter makes it difficult to connect with anything or anyone. That’s why I am spending as much time on the subjects as I am. If you find a way to correct these, I am sure you will have a much better product on your hands.
The story may find an audience, but I believe you will have to trim down to the basic plot and theme and then build up again from there. The ending was very good, I thought, but you need to build us up to it a little more focused, in my opinion.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and opinions. read
by stephjones on 09/05/2010Seriously Good! I did not read the first draft but I can't imagine you needing much more than a few little tweaks on this 2nd rev.--although I'm not sure I can point much out to you to change. These characters lived and breathed for me. You seem to be a very accomplished writer and your scene and action descriptions were so concise and perfect every place and movement bloomed... Seriously Good!
I did not read the first draft but I can't imagine you needing much more than a few little tweaks on this 2nd rev.--although I'm not sure I can point much out to you to change.
These characters lived and breathed for me. You seem to be a very accomplished writer and your scene and action descriptions were so concise and perfect every place and movement bloomed in my mind as though I were watching the movie.
I was so interested and invested in the characters that I stopped mid-read to google The Replacements, a band I had never heard of.(insert blush here) I even looked at where they stood in the current Rolling Stone ratings of the top 500 albums of all time -- they rank at #239...
In order to be somewhat helpful here I will say that because you mentioned the back and forth time line in the production notes I tried to imagine how it might translate to an audience. I had the benefit of the dates on scene heading but you were not consistent with the SUPERS which would indicated a time change to an audience. I figured maybe clothing, location and appearance could clue the audience as to whether it was a flashback or jump forward and 99% of the time I think it worked but I'm not totally convinced you need quite so many, especially at about the midpoint.
i.e - Jimmy is in the Uptown bar with Bob then you have a scene heading of Japanese Club 1988 on page 45 where Jimmy has long hair and cool clothes
then back in the Uptown bar and it's obvious we resume the narrative but for spec script purpose maybe you need a FLASHBACK and BACK TO SCENE to handle that little change.
then on p 47 (1986) Jimmy catches Maddy with the skinny guy so he screws Nokiko in the uptown
then p50 (1995) back to Uptown with Bob
then p51 it's 1986.
Don't get me wrong, I was able to follow, with a little flipping back and forth but I was trying to see it as an audience might
His appearance in 1986 and 1988 is probably not that different so without specifying the date I guess the audience would just assume it's the same year. Also since he's with an Asian girl in The Uptown and then goes to Japan and is with Japanese girls it might become muddled to your audience just where he is since they won't have the benefit of the scene heading?
Oh, on page 54 you wrote Bob wads up the paper and tosses it and I believe it should be Jimmy.
As far as structure goes you handle the set-up brilliantly. I am amazed at all you accomplish in the first 14 pages.Then by page 31 you break us into ACT II when Jimmy's Dad dies and the line 'you were the wrong kind of drunk' which in one short sentence spoke volumes about the story!Then you wrap it all up in a totally believable way.
Oh, just one nit pick--Somewhere after Jimmy steals the money to meet Bob at the Uptown and he's a no-show Jimmy calls Bob a 'wanker'. It was the only odd note dialog -wise for me(sorry I forgot to write the page down but it's the only time he uses the word)It's such a British word and sounded off for a boy from Minnesota.
So, I guess that's about it, except to emphasize that I loved this story! Can't wait to see it on the big screen!
Thanks for the great time! read
- Writer: Chris Simons
- Uploaded by: gordonkris
- Length: 111 pages
- Genre: drama
- Thanks to all who read the first version. If you want to give this one a shot, please note that I haven't messed with the structure (still very nonlinear)but did try to add more oomph and tension to the third act.
- Bio: I teach filmmaking and film history overseas on the uni level. Back when I was living in the States, I used to spend days at a time on Triggerstreet. It was addictive, fun and motivated me to write. I don’t read or write many feature screenplays these days and the desire to actually film one is on the back burner, but I do write and make a lot of shorts. I’ll try to review on TS when I can. Don’t know why I’m changing this bio and pic - probably the whole 10th Anniversary thing has got me nostalgic.
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