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In order to prove his worth to his father, and to himself, 14- year-old Jonah faces off against a fearsome adversary.
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Reviews of Jonah and the Shark (v2) 45
by davidthyssen on 10/11/2010I read this screenplay last week, when I wasn't aware about the fact that I had mandatory assignments, and this would count as a free will review. Right from the start I had the feeling Jonah was younger than 14. His general attitude, actions and speech, as well as his reaction to the girls, doesn't feel at all like that of a 14 year old. Of course, the same goes for Mary... I read this screenplay last week, when I wasn't aware about the fact that I had mandatory assignments, and this would count as a free will review.
Right from the start I had the feeling Jonah was younger than 14. His general attitude, actions and speech, as well as his reaction to the girls, doesn't feel at all like that of a 14 year old. Of course, the same goes for Mary Jean and Caroline, they seem 12 to me as well. The relationship that builds between Jonah and Mary Jean is not credible as that between 14 year olds, it seems too innocent and childish. Why not make Jonah (and Mary Jean / Caroline) 12 or even 11? He would be more believable as a 12 year old, and it would connect him better with the audience for this type of film.
Since this is set in a small coastal town, Jonah and his family must know Blue, because she's like a local legend type of person. We only understand that Jonah and his family are new in town when he tells Mary Jean that they lived all over, but that his mother is from this town. It may be a detail, but I think it would be better to set this up early on in the story.
Unlike some other reviewers, I have no problem with most of the used language. There was one dialog that struck me as odd for a kid under 17, which was on page 82, when he tells off Terence: "Shut up. He's my dad!" Terence is a 40 year old man, would a kid really say 'shut up' to an adult (who is not part of his immediate family)? Of course, Terence's words are a bit strong as well. It's unnecessary. However, it is every bit part of Blue's character to use strong words. I have women like blue in my family, so I recognized her immediately. She is just a great character and a natural mentor for Jonah.
What I missed here was Blue being a mentor to Jonah on a deeper level. I missed that deeper connection between these two, and when Blue tells Jonah she has cancer, it felt unnatural. When you're a 60 year old woman, you don't tell your 14 year old fishing buddy you met days earlier, that you have cancer. This would have been natural if there had been that deeper emotional connection.
Tom doesn't come over as a marine down on his luck. In one scene, Beth accuses Tom of being to hard on Jonah, saying that Jonah is not one of his marines, but this didn't come across in the scene with Jonah. Actually he seems like a pretty normal father, and only gets a little hard a few times but nothing really extreme, something you would expect if the mother has to accuse him of being too hard on his son. He gets harder much later in the story, the type of scene on page 83 would have been more effective a little earlier in the story. This to me would be the hook for Blue to connect on a deeper level with Jonah, and guide him through difficult times with his father. Then, much later in the story, Blue could announce she's dying of cancer, and Jonah has to start dealing with losing his friend.
I was very confused at Blue's sudden death. Especially since there hardly seemed to be any reaction from Jonah. Instead, he has a nice talk with Mary Jean, and doesn't seem very sad. I also found it not credible that Tom wasn't aware that Blue drowned. In a small town an event like the drowning of a 'local hero' would be something everyone has heard about within hours.
The end scene in which Jonah gets his shark is good way to end the story, but I wished there would have been a stronger moment of reconciliation between Jonah and his father.
I liked this story but wasn't satisfied with it. Of course, this is the writer's story and not mine, but I would have liked to see a deeper relationship between Blue and Jonah, as a stated earlier. That, to me, is the story. In this version there is just a whole lot of fishing, and not much of a plot.], which is a shame because this story is otherwise nicely written and has potential for a nice family film. read
by hecrush123 on 05/10/2010This action adventure tale of a young boy’s quest to catch a shark and ultimately please his father was an effortless read. The well rounded plot was fast and natural creating a delightful screenplay. The protagonist Jonah and young ‘wannabe’ fisherman is portrayed perfectly creating a solid and enjoyable lead roll. His relationships with the other characters create the depth...
This action adventure tale of a young boy’s quest to catch a shark and ultimately please his father was an effortless read. The well rounded plot was fast and natural creating a delightful screenplay.
The protagonist Jonah and young ‘wannabe’ fisherman is portrayed perfectly creating a solid and enjoyable lead roll. His relationships with the other characters create the depth within the screenplay. For example, his relationship with Blue is the forefront within the story yet this is over shadowed by the relationship he has with his father, ex marine Tom. However, this idea of a boy wanting to be free of his controlling, strict father is a relationship seen many times before. As Jonah explains to his father, “I’m not one of your marines” reveals Jonahs issue with his father’s controlling characteristics. Yet, this is quite a mature conversation for a boy of 14 to be having with his father. It also represents quite a stereotypical relationship between father and son with the conflict being portrayed beautifully as it comes to a pleasant resolution by the end of the screen play.
One of the great scenes of the tale is that of Tom, Jonahs father, realising his faults and walking down the pier with “two sleeping bags” under his arm and is ready to stay out all night with his son. The simplicity of this resolves one of the key differences between father and son allowing an effective and smooth ending.
Subsequently, I had issues with a few parts of the screenplay. I believed when Sarah, Jonahs younger sister, explained that her father “tore” her friends away from her were slightly premature. I believed it was too early within the screenplay. It was a line of dialogue that I thought stuck out against the easy flow that was already place. I would have built up a more steady background of where there family came from before I put in the emotions of the young children.
Another slight issue I had was that of Blue’s illness. The idea that Blue has cancer sort of comes out of nowhere and springs up on the audience. However the idea helps move the plot along. To make this narrative point travel more smoothly I would have put in more hints of Blues illness earlier. For example, I would highlight in the action that she would cough of hold her head occasionally. Yet I believe her death was fitting with her character as she appears to be one with the ocean.
Overall I believe that this screenplay flowed beautifully with realistic dialogue and actions. I think that this was helped considerably by the great structure and flawless layout of the script. I believe that Jonah represented a well rounded and confident protagonist allowing the audience to easily side with him. A great screenplay. read
by TrueStar on 02/26/2010Frank Capra once said, "There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness". First off I just wanted to say if your intention was to make this a children/family drama, you might want to not have Tom say "f$ck". Or have Blue calling the guys "p$ssies". And having Terrance say "d1$kh3ad" won't work either. When I began reading "Jonah and the Shark"... Frank Capra once said, "There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness".
First off I just wanted to say if your intention was to make this a children/family drama, you might want to not have Tom say "f$ck". Or have Blue calling the guys "p$ssies". And having Terrance say "d1$kh3ad" won't work either.
When I began reading "Jonah and the Shark" I found myself overly impressed with the character Blue. It's ironic for an old woman to be a better fisherman than most of the males in the town and her relationship with Jonah is in my opinion the strong point of your script. Blue's irony and influence on Jonah will sell your story.
As for the Jonah character, it seems he lacks overall character development. In stories the main character almost always grows or changes, yet I saw no growth or change in Jonah.
Too much of the script they are spent standing around fishing and talking. A little more drama wouldn't hurt the story at all. *For example you could a bigger showdown between the Grumpy Fisherman and Blue on page 13, and also another showdown between a potential bully and Jonah later in the movie. I believe Blue needs to teach Jonah more than to just fish. She needs to teach him more about life in general.
Tom as a character is broken and unrealistic. First off, my father served in Vietnam, and will almost never talk about it to anyone, especially strangers.
Answer me this. If Tom was trying to get a job working in security, would he tell the man he was discharged for hitting another soldier? Or would he rather just tell the man he was discharged. Or even tell him nothing at all. Does Tom suffer from PTSD? If so he would have flashbacks. It would be interesting to bring a few of these out when Tom is drinking and gets into the fight, or when he goes for his interview and the man brings up why he left. What if Tom had a panic attack during the interview from having a flashback and that's why he doesn't get the job?
Ask yourself if you were a soldier if you would ever tell anyone that you were discharged for hitting another soldier? You wouldn't.
Move to page 65. Blue telling Jonah she has cancer, and him asking her if it hurts and her replying "sometimes" is completely unbelievable.
First off, why would Blue ever tell the kid she has cancer? Second off, never say anything in a screenplay that you don't have to, show it with action. Third, think of this as real life. Is that a conversation that would really happen? If She must tell Jonah she has cancer (without him finding out accidentally, which would probably be better for the plot) make sure he is emotionally affected. Make sure his dad can tell he's an emotion train wreck as well. After all, he is a kid.
Move to page 82. Jonah's dad seems to directing his anger on him for no apparent reason. It would be much more believable if something happened like Terrance and Robby getting drunk with Jonah to mourn the death of blue and Tom catches them in rage.
Move to page 87. Where in the script did we learn Blue drowned last night? Wouldn't it be a good scene if she did? I thought she had cancer?
And towards the ending, wouldn't it be great it Tom has saved Jonah, and both of them learned something about themselves and the meaning of life? What if Tom saves Jonah and dies? Or what if Blue saves Tom from the shark instead of dying earlier and Tom learns a valuable lesson and changes?
The subplot of Mary Jane and Jonah needs some work as well. Wouldn't audiences like it more if something kept them from seeing each other? Like a feud between parents or a Romeo - Juliet type quarrel? Jonah learning from Blue to take risks in life and him getting the girl in the end will definitely sell your script. Add the mix of Tom learning about himself and facing his fears and you have a solid script.
I had a hard time believing some of the dialogue. The descriptions were very solid overall, but some of Blue's speeches were too long and could be cut in half easily. As for the daughter, her dialogue is a bit too superior for her age.
I hope you use some of my constructive criticism. I want you to sell your script. That's why I took the time to read it all and tell you what I think could make it better.
Rating - 6/10
*could easily be an 8/10 after the next rewrite read
by Proudo on 02/24/2010I have to say that a genre labelled 'childrens/family adventure' would not normally fill me with excitement, and nine times out of ten I would request another screenplay. But not this time, and I'm so glad I didn't, I really did love this screenplay from start to finish. It was a fast effortless read which is due to the talent of the writers. It's very well paced and flows... I have to say that a genre labelled 'childrens/family adventure' would not normally fill me with excitement, and nine times out of ten I would request another screenplay. But not this time, and I'm so glad I didn't, I really did love this screenplay from start to finish.
It was a fast effortless read which is due to the talent of the writers. It's very well paced and flows extrmely well, you paint a great image of the scene and the characterisations are spot on, I got, and understood every one of them.
I very much liked Jonah, he is a well rounded character the audience can really get behind and feel for.
Even though the relationship between him and Blue was at the forfront if the story, it was his realtionship with his father I found most intriguing and rewarding, it gave a real depth to the story. The end scene where Tom joins him in catching the shark I thought was inpsired and beautiful, a real gem of a scene. I think this was purely due to the simplicity of it. A father whom cannot adapt after being disgracefully discharged from the military, he doesn't know how to be a father. Finding this salvation and hope in his own son works extemely well and is a very rewarding conclusion.
Your formatting and structure are completely faultless as far as I can see, and this goes a long way towards making the read so easy and enjoyable.
I do have a couple of issues. I think at times the dialogue of the children, namely Jonah, Jane and Caroline, is a little too adult. They speak with a maturity beyond their years. An example of this is at the bottom of page 83, Jonah's speech towards Tom, having a go at him because he's not one of his soldiers and sorry he can't die and make him happy! In my opinion this really stood out as not something a 14 year old would say. Believe me, this is a very tiny detail, nothing I would really worry about, just something you could bear in mind.
Overall, extremely well done, you should be proud.
by whosaidwhat on 02/17/2010This genre of film is not usually among my favorites, but I was pleasantly surprised with your screenplay. I really enjoyed it, and genuinely hope to see it on screen one day! I have never been much of a fishing person, but lived in a coastal town for a few years, and this screenplay really brought me back there. I also liked how the story was based around the fishing, as... This genre of film is not usually among my favorites, but I was pleasantly surprised with your screenplay. I really enjoyed it, and genuinely hope to see it on screen one day!
I have never been much of a fishing person, but lived in a coastal town for a few years, and this screenplay really brought me back there. I also liked how the story was based around the fishing, as this hasn't really been done before.
It did take me a little while to really get in to the script, as I found it a little slow to start with, but I think this was from reading rather than seeing it. I would really love to see some more development of the relationship between Jonah and Blue just to show how close they actually were.
I did however love your character Blue, right from the first scene she was in! I also liked your portrayal of Jonah's dad, and his struggle coming home from the war!
I also thought that the dialogue sounded quite natural when imagining the characters talking!
Well done, very much enjoyed! read
by filmwriter karyn on 02/14/2010Overall: Expertly written and moving. You make it look effortless. Please forgive how brief the critique is; I found very little that I think you can improve on. Here are some things you might want to look at, no particular order: -P. 2, scruffy and unshaven mean the same to me, so I’d cut one of those adjectives. -I think you need a period instead of a comma in Terence’s... Overall:
Expertly written and moving. You make it look effortless. Please forgive how brief the critique is; I found very little that I think you can improve on.
Here are some things you might want to look at, no particular order:
-P. 2, scruffy and unshaven mean the same to me, so I’d cut one of those adjectives.
-I think you need a period instead of a comma in Terence’s dialogue, top of page 3. Also, totally being nit-picky, but maybe consider changing Blue’s line from “You gonna throw him back with that hook in there?” to “…that hook still in him?” so that Terrance’s response flows better. As it stands now you’ve got two lines with “in there” right on top of each other which sounds weird to me.
-Too much action for one line, you should break that up; bottom of page 5. Same with the line following LATER on page 19.
-There’s something off about the scene where Tom is interviewing at Randle Security. I’m not sure what exactly is bothering me about it though. It feels like it’s either there solely for exposition or that perhaps the dialogue is a bit on-the-nose. (One example is Randle’s line “Watched a lot of good men die.”) So much of this script is subtle and effortless. This scene’s kinda clunky so it really stood out to me.
-Whoa…The scene where Tom flies off the handle at Jonah on page 69 came out of left field. I get he’s back from Vietnam and a total hothead, but I still don’t buy him suddenly going off like that. Maybe tone this down just a hair, like dropping the part where Tom looks like he’s going to hit Jonah. I understand that you probably need this
so that it escalates to the scene on the pier, but I think we need a heated argument between Jonah and Tom earlier on to earn this reaction character-wise.
-The dialogue between Mary Jean and Caroline on pages 51-52, while very nice, ran a touch long to me.
-I found myself wondering where/if Jonah learned to fish prior to his first time fishing on screen. I assumed so, since he has his own pole…but who taught him? Tom was in the Marines, so did he teach Jonah before he left for Vietnam, or was Jonah a newbie to it all in that first scene? He didn’t act like it, at least, it appeared to me he had some basic knowledge of fishing. I guess what I’m getting at is that if his father had taken him fishing a while ago, taught him…I would have liked to have seen/heard why Tom wasn’t interested in fishing with Jonah now.
-One silly thing for me; what do you do with a shark once you catch one? Do you catch them for food, money, respect or personal accomplishment? I was just wondering what was Terence and Robbie’s motivation was.
-Sarah is a bit precocious. Children are tough to write, and tween years I think have to be the hardest to get right. My half-brother is twelve and he does not sound like this. Now he’s a boy and I know girls can be more mature at this age, but occasionally I felt she was a little too mature. I’d say 90% of the time she was spot-on, but the one that really stuck out was the line about how Tom used to be the Gunny and now he’s working at a gas station. Kids can be pretty self-centered, so I’m not sure she’d acknowledge her dad’s struggle.
-Terence: “You all heard that.” Nice! Terence ended up being my favorite character. I love how you paint him almost as the villain at first and then he arcs to be a great supporting character.
-Tom: “Yeah, back then, when you had a reason to live.” Another great line.
-I like where you structured Blue’s death story-wise. After the scene where Jonah and Blue agree to catch the shark together, you’ve set it up that that’s going to be the climax…and then you turn it on its ear with her death. Great way to keep it fresh and surprising.
-Pretty much everything. Dialogue, structure, characters, etc. Congrats on such a great piece, you should be very proud!
I hope my comments are helpful and good luck! read
by general1 on 02/06/2010Any script that manages to put a smile on the face of a cynic like myself deserves a round of applause, so… Hooray for “Jonah and the Shark”! This is undoubtedly the most emotionally satisfying and uplifting script I’ve read to date on Trigger Street, and it’s easily something that I could visualize being made if it landed in the right hands. Unfortunately, I’m not sure... Any script that manages to put a smile on the face of a cynic like myself deserves a round of applause, so…
Hooray for “Jonah and the Shark”!
This is undoubtedly the most emotionally satisfying and uplifting script I’ve read to date on Trigger Street, and it’s easily something that I could visualize being made if it landed in the right hands. Unfortunately, I’m not sure just how marketable this script in its current form is, for the simple reason that it’s based around a subject the average filmgoer could probably care less about:
The biggest issue I had with this, then, is that it feels like too much of it is devoted to actual fishing itself, which—despite the fact that the “action” scenes are about as well-written as they can be—just won’t appeal to that many people. Pages 16-19, for example, cannot possibly be as visually entertaining as they appear to be on the page without seriously stepping the bounds of reality. The same goes with pages 55-59, which get closer to being implausible, and the climax—which frankly felt a bit ridiculous with Tom running into the water like a madman. In short, the fishing scenes only succeeded as “action” because they seemed overly exaggerated. The fact of the matter is that fishing is a boring “sport”—I can vouch from plenty of experience—yet trying to make this into Jaws 5 (or whatever sequel they’re on) takes away from all the great DRAMA that exists (and can be added) in this script.
On that subject, I’m going to make a few suggestions that I feel could really hit more on the “coming of age” element of this story—because while it’s good, it isn’t there quite yet IMO. First of all, I’d rethink the very first scene with Jonah on the pier. As is, he catches some catfish and, after being told that they’re nothing but “trash”, he throws them away. This is a good character moment, no doubt, but it sets the bar too high for Jonah. Sure, Blue helps him become a better fisher, but the fact that he’s already a decent one (far better than myself and most people I know) doesn’t leave quite as much room for him to grow. Also, I kept waiting to find out his fishing background, yet despite plenty of backstory on the other characters (Tom and Blue especially), I don’t recall him ever saying “I learned to fish…”. I know that I didn’t catch anything the first few times I went out (and even when I started getting bites, I couldn’t handle it all by myself as Jonah does), which makes me think that we need either (a) some acknowledgement that Jonah learned to fish before (maybe Tom taught him before he joined the Marinescould be an interesting angle), or (b) he needs to start off by catching absolutely nothing. I personally like the latter better, but again this is just a suggestion.
While Jonah grows in the area of fishing, no doubt, I also can’t help but think he needs something else in the outside world to symbolize his development. The Mary Jean subplot is good, although it takes a little long to get going (and the fact that he doesn’t even really talk to her at all until Blue dies is a bit disheartening). What I felt could have been played up was his relationship with the snotty kid at the beginning. Most coming of age stories feature some kind of bully and end with the protagonist standing up to them (Stand By Me is a particularly memorable one, especially since Kiefer Sutherland is so much older and a very dangerous kid). The snotty kid appears once more later on, but he certainly isn’t an antagonist to Jonah—in fact, there really isn’t a clear antagonist in this story (the ocean maybe?), whereas the snotty kid (or some bully type figure) could have allowed for us to see Jonah grow more.
CONCEPT: This is vaguely reminiscent of “A River Runs Through It”, although it just feels like here too much emphasis is placed on the fishing element, whereas in that book/movie (particularly the latter) we get more insight into how the characters interact in society. Again, the fishing scenes are great, but I just feel like they’re highly embellished—which in turn detracts from the realism of the rest of the story.
STORY: I’ve gotten most of it out under other headings and in general comments, so the only real thing I can think to say is that occasionally it was hard to follow what Tom was doing. One day he’s working at a gas station, then he’s applying for a job at a security group—only to get turned down. Then he’s working for the security group—I think? It got a little confusing.
CHARACTER: I’ve mentioned above that Jonah’s arc didn’t feel quite as authentic as it could—largely because most of his growth was in fishing, despite the fact that he was already fairly decent at it from the beginning—but I think this could be remedied if Jonah starts off as a terrible fisherman and perhaps encounters another subplot (like a bully) to allow us to see his visible growth. Blue was a terrific character, though. There isn’t much about her that could be improved (though sometimes her speeches are a bit too long).
I’m slightly skeptical of Tom “good father/bad father” bit, though. I understand that he got kicked out of the Marines, but the fact that it was for striking an officer kind of hurts his constant sentiment that he always stands up for his Marines. Perhaps he could have been discharged because some of his troops were killed in an ambush and he didn’t try to save them (or something like that). His bitterness would then be more understandable (and we’d have more sympathy for him, because without any context the striking an officer charge doesn’t make him particularly likeable), and it would provide a nice setup for the ending—rather than chasing the shark, perhaps it’s Jonah who goes after the shark, and then Tom rushes out to save him (like he’s getting his chance to redeem himself after his prior cowardice).
The peripheral characters were good for the most part (Terence, Robby, Mary Jean, Veronica, Beth—although she kind of disappeared near the end), with the only real exception being Sarah—who at times felt older than her stated age.
STRUCTURE: Here there are some problems, because going by the conventional three act structure, well…there isn’t really one. I suppose we could say that the appearance of the shark biting the fisherman is the catalyst that piques Jonah’s interest, yet it doesn’t come until page 24, which is about double the amount of time it should take. Likewise, Jonah’s asking Blue to teach him how to fish marks the end of act I, but it’s not until page 38 (when it should be around page 25 or 30 at the latest). Blue’s death on page 72 is a solid end to the second act, though I’m not sure there’s really a clear midpoint (lots of little things, but nothing huge). Overall, I feel like the structure could be tightened a good bit so as to allow for some non-fishing related subplots (Jonah’s relationship with Mary Jean, dealing with a bully (?), Tom’s struggling to get a job, etc.) to take place throughout act II and not just in the latter half.
DIALOGUE: It worked for the most part, although often Sarah (and occasionally Jonah) sounds older than her age says. On the nose dialogue and exposition are extremely rare, with the only real problems being that some speeches feel too long. For example, on page 52 Blue says:
Twenty-four aught hook. Remember,
go big. This one's called a
circle. Two of 'em, so they don't
take the bait and miss the hook.
Circle's better for hookin' 'em in
the jaw. Don't want to hook 'em
deep. No need to hurt ‘em more
than you have to. Four-hundredpound
wire leader. Four-hundredpound
swivels, five-hundred yards
of hundred-and-twenty-pound line,
sixteen-ounce spider weight. Keeps
the bait from driftin' off.
Now this is certainly necessary to teach Jonah, but it’s difficult to follow and not particularly exciting unless you love fishing (which, as I’ve mentioned, most people in the audience will not). Likewise, I’ll just mention that some of the jargon like “gimbal” (don’t think it’s ever in dialogue, but appears in action many times) is foreign to people like me, so perhaps these could be defined when they first appear. Otherwise I have to go look them up, which takes me out of the read.
OVERALL: Hopefully I haven’t made it sound like I didn’t like this script, because I really did. It’s wonderfully written and hits all the right emotional notes. I think what I’m trying to get at is that, as much good as there is in there now, there’s plenty of room for MORE. Rather than long speeches about fishing, or exaggerated action scenes about fishing, we can see more how fishing (and especially Jonah’s relationship with Blue and her teaching him) affects Jonah’s life AWAY FROM FISHING. We get some insight into this, no doubt, but even Jonah’s relationship with Mary Jean takes place entirely at the beach. Again, this is all just my opinion, but seeing as a boy coming of age is probably much more enticing to audiences than watching people fish (even if the latter is made to be action packed), I’d try to head more in this direction. But on the whole, this is an excellent script that with perhaps one more focused draft will be worthy of being produced.
NOTES AS I READ IT (BY PAGE NUMBER):
• I tend to mark formatting/mechanical mistakes only the first time they appear (unless they’re quite egregious, in which case I might list them multiple times)
• These are thoughts AS I READ, and hence an issue may be resolved as the story progresses (I try to note these, but don’t always)
--if you want us to know it’s 1965 then it would need to be superimposed, and as is I’m pretty sure the year should come last (after DAY)
-- Lying face-up in the uprush of the gentle waves, BLUE, a
sinewy, sun-baked, 60-year-old woman, her eyes closed, a
single shark's tooth attached to a leather thong around her
If you cut “60-year old woman” and instead puts (60s) after her name, you could reduce this to three lines
--I’ve always been taught to give an age range for adults (i.e. “early 30s” rather than “30”), though for kids an exact age is fine
--“water’s” not “waters”
-- She smiles up at them.
No need for the “up”
-- TERENCE (40), scruffy, unshaven, muscular, walks with a limp,
holds tightly to the flexing fishing rod planted in the
harness around his waist, watches anxiously as ROBBY (40)
leans over the railing with a long-handled gaff, snags the
shark and muscles it up, over the railing and onto the pier,
blood seeping from its gill slits as it flails about on the
I’d split this into two paragraphs, the first ending with “harness around his waist”, and the other “he watches anxiously as…”
every bit the Marine that he was,
perhaps you could show this rather than tell it (maybe he has a “Semper Fi” tattoo or something like that)
-- Terence grins, slugs him on the shoulder.
I think you mean Robby here
-- They just don't. They're just
Probably could cut the first sentence, and maybe you could show a reaction from Jonah to hearing this (we see one later, but perhaps one right here would be good)
By both of them or just one?
-- GRUMPY FISHERMAN (V.O.)
Think you want O.S. here
-- studying him with curious
Not sure what this would look like
--Sarah’s dialogue here feels a little mature for an 11 year old. Lines like “before you tore me away from them” seems suited to a teenager
Are we eating fish?
Good dialogue, though I still can’t help but picture Sarah as being at least 15 or so based on some of her lines
-- Can we stop and buy some line.
Need a question mark at the end of the sentence
Can we stop and buy some line. Dad
said it was okay.
You're gonna have to start bringing
home some of those fish pretty
No free rides around here, Buster.
I’d move the last line before Beth’s “your’re gonna…”. It doesn’t make sense to have it after she’s already made her point
--cut the “beat”
They don't mean any harm. They just
lack social skills.
--this seems like an inciting incident (or maybe end of act I), but it happens very late
--great scene there, and Sarah’s dialogue felt much closer to what I’d expect from an 11 year old
thirty-five years old, for Christ's
sake. You have a family. You're
not in high school anymore.
This is repetitive. I’d get rid of at least one sentence (and maybe even two)
--missing a time of day for slugline
--“ushers” not “usher’s”
--extra whitespace in the middle of the page
-- Jonah's waving his arms.
“Jonah waves his arms”
--“used to” not “use to”
-- One night he hooked into a big
tiger. Managed to get it inside
the breakers, down south of the
pier there. Took him a couple of
hours at least. Had it right
there. Must have been a twelve
footer, at least. Said he could
see it clear as day. Like it was
surrounded by millions of little
lights. That big ol' tail
sweeping back and forth in the
churn of the waves. He just waded
out, cut the leader, gave it a
little nudge and watched it swim
off. At least that's what he told
I’ve overlooked most of the long blocks of dialogue because they gave us information without which we wouldn’t understand what was happening, but this anecdote could be condensed a good bit
--that reaction felt a bit too extreme. Tom seemed fairly happy in the last scene, and even after he got thrown in jail he wasn’t near that po’d
--sad about Blue…
--I’d call him BLUE’S SON since that’s how she’s been referenced in dialogue and action
This is unnecessary read
by PeltonWheel on 02/03/2010I got this through assignment, so I didn’t see any reviews but I did notice it atop the daily favourites. Now I see why. I never thought fishing could be so intense. Normally I take notes while reading the script through, but I got too into this one and forgot to make notes while reading the first time. The introduction is great. It paints a beautiful picture of the... I got this through assignment, so I didn’t see any reviews but I did notice it atop the daily favourites. Now I see why. I never thought fishing could be so intense. Normally I take notes while reading the script through, but I got too into this one and forgot to make notes while reading the first time.
The introduction is great. It paints a beautiful picture of the scene. Your descriptions throughout are all very good. They give enough information to let you really see what’s going on, without dragging things out. The action details are the best I have seen on this site, really revealing characters’ thoughts and emotions by what they are doing.
The only real thing I felt could be better, and it really is minor, are the occassional expositories, for example Tom’s little outburst to Randle on p. 48.
The dialogue is fun, particularly from Blue. She has a great smarmy old granny charm.
The characters were wonderful, relatable, and you made me care for them, particularly Jonah and Blue.
I’m sorry I don’t have much to add other than to heap praise onto this script. The two of you did a fantastic job here – I look forward to reading more of your work. read
by Smartguy on 01/25/2010I’ve read close to 30 scripts on Trigger Street in the last few years, and this is by far is one of the best. It flows extremely well from character to character and scene to scene. The characters are richly developed without a whole lot needing to be said to fully realize them. The concept is a classic “Old Man and the Sea” tale but told through the eyes of an adolescent... I’ve read close to 30 scripts on Trigger Street in the last few years, and this is by far is one of the best. It flows extremely well from character to character and scene to scene. The characters are richly developed without a whole lot needing to be said to fully realize them. The concept is a classic “Old Man and the Sea” tale but told through the eyes of an adolescent boy which gives it a fresh perspective that really held my interest. The subplots of Jonah’s friendship with Blue and Jonah’s families near disintegration added to the richness of the story. The scene between Jonah and his father at the end of the script was very well written and believable. The only area that I might change at all in the script is the subplot between Beth and Tom. I would have liked to have seen the relationship between Beth and Tom a little more developed but I’m not sure that doing so might take away from the purity of the Jonah’s story. Overall all a terrific job, a movie I would definitely go and see. Let me know when they decide to produce read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 01/15/2010When I read the tagline for this script I was really excited and I thought it was great idea for a movie. However, when I read the script I was dissapointed and I think a lot of improvements can be made to make this really shine. First of all, the positives. Like I said, the concept is fantastic and would make for a very interesting and unique movie. I also liked Jonah and... When I read the tagline for this script I was really excited and I thought it was great idea for a movie. However, when I read the script I was dissapointed and I think a lot of improvements can be made to make this really shine.
First of all, the positives. Like I said, the concept is fantastic and would make for a very interesting and unique movie. I also liked Jonah and I thought he was very well developed. I liked the tension that came from his relationship father and how it served as an obstacle to his goal. I thought the characters of Robby and Terence where also very well written and were perfect as far as supporting characters go.
Now, the things that thought could do with some improvement. The major issue in the script for me was the structure. For me, there wasn't enough of a driving force behind Jonah's goal of catching a shark. Alhtough the tagline says Jonah is trying to catch the the shark in order to win his fathers's affections, I didn't really feel this when reading the script and it felt like he just doing it because he thought it could be a challenge and something to do as a hobby.
I kept on thinking when I was reading the script that surely it would make more sense for Jonah to enter a fishing competition to catch the biggest shark? There could be a substansial cash prize for the winner and Jonah would see this as way to ease his parent's problems and earn his father respect. This would also tie into the continuing thread of his father wanting Jonah to get a job.
This would also be a great way for his to bond with Blue. Since the other fishermen think she's slightly crazy, Jonah could be her only option and she could set about mentoring him from there. This would then add more weight to the climax when he finally does catch the shark after Blue has died.
This brings me to the character of Blue. Although, I thought she was a necessery inclusion for the story to work, I didn't feel like she had much depth and I don't think that her actions were really congruent 100% of the time. I also found that she introduced the fact that she had cancer too late and it didn't feel particularily emotional when she died, becuase she really didn't seem to add that much to the story. I think if you were to allow Blue to tell Jonah more about her life and the reason as to why she fishes, then she will be a more effective character overall and really add some resonance to the script.
I also had a few gripes with the dialouge, which I thought was a bit unbelievable at times, especially coming from Sarah. I also have no knowledge of fishing whatsoever, so I didn't really understand all the technical terms that were used for the fishing equipment. I woul seriously consider simpligying these terms if you are writing another draft.
Overall I think I would give this the script 6/10 and I would be very excited to read another draft if you made some changes to the story and how Blue comes across, especially in her relationship with Jonah. read
- Writer: Rachel Stevens, Pat Ames
- Uploaded by: GimmeABreak
- Length: 100 pages
- Genre: action, children/family, drama
- A family-suitable coming-of-age drama in the vein of Stand By Me. Thanks to the reviewers of the earlier version. The spelling errors/misused words/typos have been fixed. We have also made a few changes to add more depth to Jonah's character.
- Bio: Just another schlub tryin' to get by...
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