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Old 09-04-2018, 08:41 AM   #1
pedramyz
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Your take on my script's reader's comment

As I mentioned in other threads, I entered the nicholl fellowship screenwriting competition but unfortunately couldn't enter the 2nd round of the competition. Below is the reader's comment which got out 10 hours ago. I am curious to know what other people take away from this critique. Is it overall a positive review or a negative one ?

This script takes the protagonist, Johnny, to an underground world that just keeps getting more complicated as it goes along. It felt like he was in his own wonderland with a group of people who donít want him to know the full truth about their world or his purpose.

While Johnny is easy to relate to, some of his motivations could have been more distinctly defined. Although the scene construction was pretty solid, this would have benefited from a stronger structure. It takes a while to get to the core of the story.

The scenes in the beginning where Johnny works for a mobster could have used some streamlining and editing. There is a tendency to allow the characters to ramble on at times and even start shouting at each other. Much of the dialogue could have been depicted with a little more nuance and subtext.

Johnnyís colleague, Marlo, who accompanies him, is a character defined mostly by his very crude and graphic language. Both his behavior and language felt a little over-the-top. Indeed, the tone of this script felt a bit inconsistent, as it can be very comical in one moment, but turn deadly serious very abruptly.

Crafted with some skill, scenes flow nicely into each other. The sequences in the underground world are imaginatively brought to life and this does a good job of escalating the stakes as it moves along
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Last edited by pedramyz; 09-04-2018 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:44 AM   #2
pedramyz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedramyz View Post
Indeed, the tone of this script felt a bit inconsistent, as it can be very comical in one moment, but turn deadly serious very abruptly.
Isn't that a good thing? Doesn't this show that the writer is skilled in the terms of transitioning from a comic vibe to a serious one? Or in the terms of manipulating the audience's feelings?

Last edited by pedramyz; 09-04-2018 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:21 AM   #3
UneducatedFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedramyz View Post
Isn't that a good thing? Doesn't this show that the writer is skilled in the terms of transitioning from a comic vibe to a serious one? Or in the terms of manipulating the audience's feelings?
It's a good thing if the transitions are natural and believable. Meaning natural for the scene that they are in and for the characters you've created.

As an example, in Better Call Saul there is a character named Gus Fring. He's a deadly serious lethal antagonist. Part of his character is to also portray a serious but friendly fake "pasted on smile" alter ego. To have him in some very serious deadly scene crack a joke and make everyone laugh would be out of character for him. Or to have him stumble in a room drunk with two hotties on his arm would be out of character. It would be a red flag something's not right (meaning a red herring in the story) and if left as is, would leave people scratching their heads "What was that?"

I haven't read your script so I don't know the characters or the scenes of lethal stakes that the reader may have been referring to. I'm just guessing that maybe what they're referring to is they had a hard time buying either the flip in the characters for the scenes they are in or the traits they exhibit as characters (their action or dialogue was "out of character" for what had been portrayed of them to that point).

That's just my guess as to what they meant.

Maybe it was meant to be like Pulp Fiction and Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield's scenes and the reader just didn't get it or maybe it just didn't reach the level of those types of scenes in Pulp Fiction which at first seem inconsistent, but then after a couple of scenes with them, we realize that is who they are leading up to lethal actions.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:31 AM   #4
pedramyz
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Originally Posted by UneducatedFan View Post
It's a good thing if the transitions are natural and believable. Meaning natural for the scene that they are in and for the characters you've created.

As an example, in Better Call Saul there is a character named Gus Fring. He's a deadly serious lethal antagonist. Part of his character is to also portray a serious but friendly fake "pasted on smile" alter ego. To have him in some very serious deadly scene crack a joke and make everyone laugh would be out of character for him. Or to have him stumble in a room drunk with two hotties on his arm would be out of character. It would be a red flag something's not right (meaning a red herring in the story) and if left as is, would leave people scratching their heads "What was that?"

I haven't read your script so I don't know the characters or the scenes of lethal stakes that the reader may have been referring to. I'm just guessing that maybe what they're referring to is they had a hard time buying either the flip in the characters for the scenes they are in or the traits they exhibit as characters (their action or dialogue was "out of character" for what had been portrayed of them to that point).

That's just my guess as to what they meant.

Maybe it was meant to be like Pulp Fiction and Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield's scenes and the reader just didn't get it or maybe it just didn't reach the level of those types of scenes in Pulp Fiction which at first seem inconsistent, but then after a couple of scenes with them, we realize that is who they are leading up to lethal actions.
That makes sense! Thanks.
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