I'm desperately seeking, would appreciate *any feedback*, good or bad, short or long . . .
Regarding my short script "Educating the Ignorant" of 30 pages with an anti-racism theme as the driving force and plot progression during an unexpected conversation outside of a college university setting between a friendly black guy and some preppy young males.
I am so desperate for advice or feedback because the results and comments I get so far -- yes I know it needs work -- but some people praise it highly while others do the opposite.
I just would like more feedback so I can have a better estimate of what most people think of it. It's amazing how this script carriers different meanings each unique to the reader -- but none of them are consistent enough to benefit me in writing draft #2!
It's just such a mix of feedback that I cannot know if I have a winner or a dumper that needs to be reworked.
You can view it at my website and here is the address:
Remember to also send feedback regarding the site design since I did that as well. All feedback on design has been great so far. But seeking more opinions.
PS - Let me know if you'd like to collaborate on the 2nd draft with me... I am always open to new ideas (send them my way) or working with a writing partner -- even just someone or anyone who can technically advice me properly...
Edward Washington (E. Brown)
07-10-2005, 09:52 PM
...okay. First, I think that the assumptions being made by Chris are alittle superficial in that no one white or black is going to be able to make a statement like: 'blacks have made no contributions' and be taken seriously. It is a foregone fact this isn't true and a statement of this sort only serves to spotlight the ignorance of the speaker. You may have to dig a little deeper to find why 'Chris' thinks this way in terms of how he may have been raised and it isn't enough to just say he had a racist upbringing.
I realize that there are people who do feel that blacks have made no contributions, but my observation has been that they tend to be closed minded individuals, very set in their ways, though not necessarily old people. But I tend to believe, from my experience, that this will be a difficult assertion for people to suspend their plausibility for.
The listing of contributions, informative but its a listing. I think your characters might do better to be moving around and making more than one observation of a interracial situation.
...now, when you talk about racial situations, we have heard (or experienced) things like being followed in the department store or being passed up by taxi drivers, or the interracial dating situation. The questions needed to be asked is where that came from. One of the answers is a film called 'Birth of a Nation' by W.D. Griffiths (I think thats the director). So many assertions are made in that vile piece of propaganda, and it is a testament to filmmaking that the stereotypes given still have such awful staying power.
...I can't and shouldn't tell you how to fix your script. It is from you and your mind, but it looks as if you are asking some good questions. Just make sure that your answers are not what people have already heard before. Go give Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing another look. Also, go see Crash (forgot the directors name). Not to imitate what is being said or done, but to get an idea of how to make your story uniquely your voice. Racism is too big a subject to be handled with a list. You may have to focus on one type of situation and explore its aspects more fully...
...That's when your script will really be what you need it to be... Good Luck with it! :)
07-20-2005, 11:50 PM
PLEASE understand, this critique is of the writing, not the writer. ;)
If you tone down the language and get rid of the cigarettes, it's an after school special. The script reads like a 30 minute diatribe (which begs the question how your main character can notice two hours have passed). The script also suffers from LOTS of cliches, both character and situational. The dialog is unrealistic for 2005. Does anybody say 'homie' any more?
If you want an after school special then the fix is easy, get rid of the cigarettes and the 'N' word. If you want to tackle racism, show me something new. Show me cutting edge, take me there and drop me off. Make the audience uncomfortable with what's going on.
Honestly, if I want a black history lesson I'll watch PBS or go to the library. If I pay to see a movie I want something new and refreshing.
The best advice I can give you is to use your own experiences. Let's say your personal experience was walking through the mall, you hear the 'N' word, you turn to see who said it, turns out it was said, but not at you. Some rapper with a white girlfriend walking the other way. Now step back look at this situation. A lot of things could happen right here but only a few of them are interesting.
Here's where my favorite game begins, the "what if" game.
What if your protagonist realizes the 'N' word wasn't directed at him. He turns to continue down the mall when another white kid chimes in with another racial/rapper/white chick slur. Well that sends him over the edge, he turns and yells, "What the f*ck did you say!" He says it loud enough to get the rappers attention too. It works and the protagonist continues making a scene. "You f*ckin' white trash piece of sh*t! You are no where NEAR man enough to use that word!" He turns to the rapper and says, "Yo big G, looks like we got ourselves a situation here."
Now this is not a typical situation and of course the whole mall stops and watches, how could you not?
Avoid the cliches, don't make the white boys preppies or red-neck southern farmers, don't make the rapper a gang-banger, don't make the white girl his girlfriend, let's make them brother and sister (his family adopted her). In fact make the rapper be from England where they don't have racial prejudices toward black people. Break some rules, make the situation uncomfortable, give us unpredictable, give us interesting. If the rapper approaches the young white men have him defuse the situation with his intellect using an English dialect. As the rapper leaves the protagonist gets nervous, he's all alone now against four or five white boys. This could get ugly.
Does it? You're the writer.
Obviously you don't have to use this example but use something that's a little more on the edge.
07-21-2005, 01:34 AM
...Dizzee Rascal and the Streets. English Hip-hop, there you go! :D
How is the re-write going anyway?
...oh, and Hi, Boz! :hi:
07-21-2005, 11:18 AM
Don't want to heist the tread but Hi spinner :cheers:
:secret: He's about to become a Mac user you know tsk tsk tsk
So yeah, E.B. let us know how it's coming along. :cool:
07-27-2005, 08:06 PM
He finished up his drink and looks at his watch. He sees it
is 1pm and begins to slowly gathering up his belongings
As long as you are aware that sentances like that are unclear. It may seem clear but if perfection is what you strive for then keep your tenses in line. Here you go from past to present to past and your verbs are wrong too. Dont read over these in the re-write.