Today’s writer shows us how approaching a subject matter from an angle that’s never been done before can make your script instantly interesting.

Amateur Friday Submission Process: To submit your script for an Amateur Review, send in a PDF of your script, a PDF of the first ten pages of your script, your title, genre, logline, and finally, why I should read your script. Use my submission address please: Your script and “first ten” will be posted. If you’re nervous about the effects of a bad review, feel free to use an alias name and/or title. It’s a good idea to resubmit every couple of weeks so your submission stays near the top.

Genre: Dark Comedy
Premise: (from writer) A demented 14 year old girl strikes up a weird relationship with a convicted sex offender. Shit gets crazy when they embark on a twisted road trip in a “rape van.”
Why you should read (from the writer): Goodbye Gene has recently been named a semi-finalist in the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. My evaluation from the readers of Scriptshadow said “it wasn’t overwritten, but still incredibly telling.” They also said some kick-ass things about my character development. PS — it’s in the BlueCat Competition as The Repairable Brightness of Gene. Not everybody gets the Milan Kundera reference, which is understandable. So I simplified it.
Writer: Derek Williams
Details: 106 pages

Chloe-Moretz-in-Dark-Shadows-2012-Movie-Image-2Chloe Moretz for Kiley?

I’d just read American Bullshit and written a review of it for today’s newsletter, so most of my energy had already been sapped. I didn’t have the attention span or the desire to read and review another script. My mind was already swimming with pre-weekend fantasies. That’s what writers forget. Your script may be the second that reader has read that day. Or the third. And if it’s a contest, it could be the fourth or the fifth. Writers need to be reminded that when a reader reads your script, it’s typically not under ideal circumstances. They aren’t recently fed. They aren’t bursting with energy. They probably want to get to their own writing or their own work. And you’re in their way. You and three others.

Now the best of the readers (like me, of course), understand that this is often a reader’s only shot. And you have to respect that by giving them your full attention. But after writing an article and playing tennis and an argument with the neighbor and reading and reviewing another script and putting together a newsletter and it’s 10:15 pm and the ladyfriend’s blasting “Say Yes To The Dress” in the background…I’m sorry but I’m just tired. The only reason I’m reading this script is because I have to review it tomorrow. If I can muster up any interest for the story, it’s going to be a mini-miracle.

And then the main character bites off the head of a hamster in chemistry class and WADDAYA KNOW, I’m WIDE AWAKE again. The power of a shocking first page. Hey, not every story is designed to start with this kind of shock. But good writers know they have to jolt those eternally exhausted readers out of their stupor. So they put something in those first few pages that wake their ass up. Kudos to Derek. I was officially awake now. But was this just a gimmick? What about his actual ability to tell a story? Would he be able to do that?

The girl in question is 14 year old Kiley Waters. To say Kiley is an outcast is a chunderstatement. That’s an understatement that’s so far under, it actually inspires vomit (I told you it was late – just go with it). Kiley bit off the hamster’s head because a) her mom died when she was a kid, b) her rich father isn’t a good daddy, and c) her fucked up friends, Joanna and Lonnie, create “Sickest Shit” contests where they lay bets down on who can do the sickest shit. Newflash, Kiley won this round.

But the Sickest Shit contests are getting boring. Kiley needs a bigger rush. Lately, her and Joanna have been crafting up a new game: try to get molested by a sex offender. Yes, this is really happening. Luckily (unluckily?), Kiley runs into Thomas Jay, a pet groomer who can’t keep a job because sooner or later his employers find out about his sex offender past. Perfect target! But Kiley soon finds out, to her utter dismay, that Thomas isn’t REALLY a sex-offender. He was a senior who had a Freshman girlfriend in high school. They had sex and the state arrested him. So he’s not a slimy “legitimate” pervy. He’s just a really horny senior who doesn’t know you’re not allowed to have sex with freshmen.

Kiley won’t have it though. She needs to get molested! So she keeps tricking Thomas (who wants nothing to do with her btw) into these meetings where she can encourage him to molest her n stuff. For example, she purchases a “rape van” for him as a present. Thomas is repeatedly annoyed but since he’s jobless and bank account-less, he has to take the little monetary scraps Kiley offers him to keep going along with these ventures.

Across town is parole officer Josh Dean. Josh is the world’s worst P.O. If someone raises their voice at him, he starts crying. It’s gotten so bad that he signs up for a Tony Robbins-like Parole Officer Seminar. It’s there where he sees Ferman T Ash speak, the coolest parole officer in the world. Ferman is so cool and confident on the podium that he inspires Josh to do a complete TLC-like makeover. So Josh buys a Dog The Bounty Hunter-type outfit and starts ending all of his sentences with “Bra.” He also renames himself “The Crocodile.”

The Crocodile becomes obsessed with taking down sex offenders. And when he gets wind that Thomas Jay is spending all this time with 14 year old Kiley, he decides to make an example out of him. And the Crocodile doesn’t play by the man’s rules anymore. The Crocodile wants to make Thomas Jay DEAD. Naturally, we believe that poor Thomas Jay, the unwitting recipient of this disturbed girl’s schemes, is going to get wrongly offed by the newly transformed The Crocodile. But there’s one thing I can promise you about Goodbye Gene. Don’t ever think you know what’s going to happen next. You will almost certainly be wrong.

Okay, I know this is a fucked up subject matter. It’s about 14 year old girls trying to get molested. But dammit, this shit was funny. And clever. Derek is a really good writer. You get the sense that this guy could make an adaptation of the Bible funny. I usually hate asides to the reader UNLESS it’s a comedy and funny. Lucky for us, Derek is hilarious. After Josh’s physical and mental transformation are complete, he insanely starts accusing one of his parolees, because he has a Chinese restaurant menu on his windshield, of building an underground sex bunker for Asian delivery boys. When his co-worker tries to calm him down, addressing him as “Josh,” Josh corrects him with, “The Crocodile. I’d appreciate it, if you could make the adjustment, and refer to me as The Crocodile from now on, bra.” Derek then writes:  We’re definitely going to make that adjustment. JOSH DEAN is now THE CROCODILE. And from that point on, his character name in all the dialogue is “THE CROCODILE.” It’s hilarious.

But probably the real reason this script succeeds is that it flips the script, so to speak. By going against audience expectations and having the young girl TRYING to get molested, everything in the story feels fresh. I mean, I’ve seen the indie movie with the pervy old guy trying to nail the young girl. Seen it a hundred times. It’s fascinating, then, how by approaching the same subject matter from the opposite angle, you encounter all these new situations you’ve never seen before. Like our 14 year old character trying to give her sex predator a rape van as a gift. Granted, the humor here is pretty edgy. Some people are going to be REALLY offended by it. But I’ll say this to the end – I’d rather you be edgy with your humor than Jay Leno with your humor.

(Spoilers!) Now I do have some issues with the script, and they revolve around the last 20 pages. First off, the twist where Thomas really was a molester was shocking. It totally got me. But here’s the thing. This is still a comedy. It’s a black comedy. A very dark black comedy. But it’s still a comedy. You can’t have Thomas rape her. You just can’t do it. It takes what was funny and makes it uncomfortable. After that moment, the script completely lost its footing. It “jumped the perv” so to speak.

I actually thought the impending collision between the newly transformed “Crocodile” and Thomas Jay was great. I was really curious what was going to happen. Was the Crocodile going to kill an innocent man? Even if you did go with the twist and had Thomas be a real molester, seeing these two meet in a giant final showdown would’ve been fun. I just feel like that’ll be way more exciting than what happens now, which is basically that Thomas anti-climactically gets caught and anti-climactically gets yelled at by The Crocodile while going to jail. So take out the actual raping. Imply the raping is GOING to happen unless the Crocodile saves Kiley. And then have the big showdown between the two.

Someone on Twitter called this script “unsellable,” and I’d probably agree with them. But man does Derek have a unique voice and a biting sense of humor. And he’s also a really good storyteller. I’d definitely snatch this guy up if I were an agent or manager. The next thing he writes, assuming it’s more marketable, is going to get made. That’s what my gut’s telling me.

Script link: Goodbye Gene

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: There’s something from last week that bothered me. After telling Z that the ending for his script, Verona Spies, fell apart, he said, “Yeah, but if I change it, it’ll go against the entire theme I set up.” Here’s how I see it: If you have to write a “lesser” ending to stay consistent with your theme, then change your theme. I just want a good ending. I don’t leave the theater saying, “Man, that ending sucked but dammit if he didn’t nail the theme with it.” A good story should take precedence over any “under the hood” work with your script. I don’t know if that’s the case here or not, but this ending went out with a whimper instead of a roar. So please people, good endings over thematic consistency. Thank you.

  • Warren Hately

    I don’t know that I was as over-the-top about this as Carson. And I didn’t find it that interesting, though it was good to see a properly put together amateur script.

  • JayRaz

    Yeah, Derek has got a great voice. Josh Dean/The Crocodile was for sure my favorite character and I like your suggestion of having a showdown between him and Thomas. Things of course have to spiral Fargo-esque out of control to keep the tone consistent.

  • tipofthenose

    It was well written BUT for me the story never really got off the ground! Nothing really happened and I need a strong plot in my movie. I like the idea, I like the characters, still until page 50 it felt like a very long 1 Act.

    Also, the approach wasn’t that unique, see “American Beauty” or “The Crush”!

  • maleficedark

    A french tv show talked aboutScriptshadow this week :)

  • cjob3

    Boy, I love the title “The Repairable Lightness of Gene.” Would I like
    it as much if I didn’t get the reference? Hard to say. But that’s a funny title.

  • Lisa Aldin

    All due respect here, of course. But. Really? REALLY? All we wanna do now is shock and be disgusting and offensive as possible and that’s called voice? Write something disgusting, have someone get an arm ripped off or something, and, well, at least it’s fresh and different! This kinda material just isn’t for me but maybe I’m alone in that. Maybe I don’t read enough scripts so I’m perfectly okay with stories that are a bit more subtle. I’m solidly in the offended category for this one but this is clearly intended to offend so maybe it’s doing its thing.

    • jae kim

      I’ll say this much. when I have to read 5 scripts at once, biting of heads sure does help.

    • ripleyy

      I love edgy humour but there is the finest thin line that you can cross. I haven’t read the script but from the review, it seems Derek might have danced on it.

  • Montana Gillis

    Once read the haunting words of a very wise man about the ending having to be great because that’s what leaves the theatre with the audience. That guy was Carson. Thanks for the reminder. Yeah, the subject matter would prevent this one from getting made but the writer has some chops!

    • Paul Clarke

      I think he stole that from McKee.

      Go watch Adaptation.

      “Whatever you do, wow them in the end.”

      • Montana Gillis

        Yeah, Saw Adaptation and read the book “Story”. just patting ‘ol Carson on the back. Gotta give him a kudo once in a while (not too many that he gets a big head but just enough to keep him working) ;)

  • Antonio F.

    Jumped the perv LOL Carson, your next book needs to be a dictionary of Scriptshadowisms

  • Will Vega

    I gave up on the script after the whole pet shop scene where the guy admits he had sex with a freshman. Found it too gimmicky at that point and the characters weren’t interesting enough for me to care, despite the fact the author tried really hard to make them…erhm…quirky, I guess.

    No denying the writer is immensely talented and puts lots of personality in his writing, but I agree he needs to put those talents to better use and come up with a story that’s not only marketable but actually has a compelling story to tell from the getgo, no matter how absurd.

    Namely one where it doesn’t rely on lame shock gags. But that’s just me.

  • witwoud

    A 14-year-old befriends a child molester and buys him a ‘rape van’ to encourage his efforts. This is so beyond the bounds of plausibility that it’s uninteresting.

  • Poe_Serling

    First off, congrats to Derek for braving the SS obstacle course and getting his project across the AF finish line.

    Considering Thursday’s article from CR was about The Death of Comedy at the multiplexes, it’s sort of a feather in Derek’s cap to garner a ‘worth a read’ with his very dark comedy.

    Personally, the subject matter of the script is not my cup of tea.

    When I read the logline last weekend, it gave me a Hard Candy vibe. This 2005 film starred Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page. Here ‘a teenage girl raids a man’s home, suspecting he is a pedophile, in order to expose him.’ And no, it’s not a comedy.

    On a different note: glad to see it’s a chills and thrills weekend here at SS. I’m looking forward to seeing which of the 5 horror scripts will emerge as next week’s AF selection.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Always suspected he was a rabbit.
      And Spock with those rabbit ears.
      (Star Trek will never be the same.)

    • klmn

      It’s a little known fact that former president Jimmy Carter was once attacked by a swamp rabbit. Fortunately he was able to fight the rabbit off with a canoe paddle. The incident was immortalized in song:

      • Poe_Serling

        And ‘Jimmy Carter is one of two U.S. Presidents who have reported seeing a UFO before becoming the President.’

        He said, “It was the darndest thing I’ve ever seen. It was big, it was very bright, it changed colors and it was about the size of the moon.. We watched it for ten minutes, but none of us could figure out what it was. One thing’s for sure, I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified objects in the sky.”

        • klmn

          But was there a connection between the two incidents?

          Killer Rabbits From Outer Space! President Abducted By Alien Bunnies! Stay tuned for latest developments.

  • jae kim

    I think the whole shock factor goes along with the writer’s ability
    to write. if the writer is good, it’s icing on the cake, but if the
    writer sucks, it’s just a gimmick.

    I mean the writer does a lot of things here that could have gone wrong. I thought
    the crocodile thing could have been really stupid, but the writer pulled
    it off.

    I agree the ending has to change. It went from funny to just creepy.

    Being different if what we’re going for, I know, but I really wanted to

    like the guy til the end.

  • Keith Popely

    Ha! That concept is hilarious! Let’s have one about a woman trying to get raped next. Or a Jew trying to get into a concentration camp. That’d be so fucking funny! Think I’ll take a break from Scriptshadow for a while.

  • Lisa Aldin

    Yeah which is why I also said this kind of material just isn’t for me and I prefer a different direction and a different type of story. No big deal at all. I’m only offering an opinion. That is what the comments are for, no?

    And that “all we wanna do now” stems from scripts like Fatties and Bullet for My Best Friend, both of which also have shocking material. Yeah, I’m offended at this story and am not interested in it at all. I’m sure the writer knew he’d get that somewhere. Others may like it though. Cool. I don’t like it. Moving on.

  • m_v_s

    The key problem was the plot twist. I thought it ruined what had been and gone. It’s a highly controversial theme and as I noted on the original AF Selection talkback, the best example I can think of, of a production walking the line between crass exploitation and satire is South Park. You can be a sex offender on a technicality by having consensual sex with
    someone under the age of consent. I would’ve bought into Thomas’ character a
    lot more if he was, as originally portrayed, “misunderstood” and struggling
    with the misunderstandings of his label. This would further the misunderstandings of Kiley and her friends (of how they think a sex offender would behave) and would support the misunderstandings of Josh Dean/The Crocodile (of how, in his work role, he thinks he should deal with sex offenders). That’s where the “humour” would lie in a black comedy like this: misunderstandings. As it stands, we get an unwanted late plot twist and a contrived wrap-up ending. When you’re dealing with controversial or highly-charged subjects, it’s worth considering what it is you’re trying to do or what it is you’re trying to say. I thought that while the characters were well-written, the writer’s intention wasn’t particularly clear. I abhor rape and sexual abuse but gave the script a chance. I could temper my feelings towards the themes toyed with in the script to begin with because I could see where the script might be headed. Alas, I felt a cop-out when the plot-twist came about.

  • Kay Bryen

    My favorite sex offender is Charlie Day in Horrible Bosses.

    • klmn

      Every woman should have a favorite sex offender. Oh wait, that’s wrong.

  • Colin

    Yeah, this is something that will only live as a pdf. The point of actually exposing yourself to the financial risk of making a movie is that it will one day make money. This will not make money. I can only imagine the comments the producers would get when they held their first test screening…

    Now as a writer trying to break in you’re not necessarily trying to write something that will get shot tomorrow. You’re trying to get signed, that is the ultimate end goal. Did this script help the writer reach his ultimate end goal? Probably. Congrats, it’s good to see people break on through.

  • Stank

    Did those of you who are soooo offended read the script? It’s edgy material but I think our author did a pretty reasonable job about not making this some gross-out flick. I’m not suggesting it will get made (I agree that this would be nearly impossible to market), but I enjoyed the script. I agree with Carson 100%, she can’t actually get raped! Too much! But other than that, well done and beautifully balanced between weird and funny. Good Job.

  • blue439

    This doesn’t fly for me. It sounds more like an attention-getting gimmick (which obviously worked) than a real story with recognizable characters. Kiley, while ostensibly the main character, really acts like a MALE teenager doing sick things for her friends. Any woman who reads this is not going to be down with the character. The same situation worked in Hard Candy, although that was pushed to the point of straining credulity, because the girl had a motivation that made sense — getting revenge for her friend. Here, getting raped for peer approval goes over the edge. Usually, the writer has a surrogate character in the script. Usually it’s the main character. But here, it’s obviously The Crocodile. Carson writes more about TC than the main character. If Kiley were a virgin and said to be so unlovable that her peers told her even a sex offender wouldn’t f*ck her, then she set out to prove them wrong, then met a sex offender who was trying to go straight and get over his perversion, that would be an interesting conflict that would have some recognizable motivations. The fact that the script runs out of gas just goes to show how much of a gimmick the rape thing is. After a while, it’s just not funny and is no substitute for an actual story.

    • Will Vega

      In Hard Candy, the guy was firmly established to be a pedo in the opening scene. So everything that happened afterwards made sense, whether you agree with those events or not. Apparently from what i’m getting at here, the guy is said to be only a sex offender by a technicality only to be revealed to BE an actual sex offender.

      It’s an interesting twist but only if it’s served to be a horror film or some experimental indie film. I can’t see that going down well in a comedy if the main protagonist turns like that, then i’ll come out of the theater confused. “Was I suppose to like this guy? Cheer for him? Or were the creators playing me for a fool?”

  • klmn

    Where is Grendl now that we need him? This script is a perfect setup for him.

  • Malibo Jackk

    While Comedy Week, Horror Week, ect. sound like an interesting concept, there is an inherit problem — you’re no longer searching for great scripts.
    By limiting the search to the genre of the week, you are willingly passing by what could be much superior scripts

    Not much different than the people you complain about. Those who pass up good movies
    — and flock to an Adam Sandler comedy.

    • Paul Clarke

      I disagree. Assuming there are hundreds of AF submissions and they’re not judged on a week by week basis, I see no problem with grouping then into like categories. It gives us a better frame for comparison.

      Otherwise we find ourselves trying to compare scripts that are totally different. Given people have different tastes, prefer different genres, the script from the more popular genre is likely to get more interest than the best script. By having all the scripts from the same genre you even the playing field. Given that scripts must all fit in some genre they should all get a fair go at some point.

  • James Inez

    [x]not for me. The writing was good and it was pretty funny at certain points, but I didn’t really care for the characters too much. Girls that want to get molested? That is wrong in so many ways. Scripts and attitudes and personalities with no boundaries are great for some people but I think there should be some kind of boundaries. Some people think that you can never go to far. Not I.

  • deanb

    If you ask me, people are taking the edginess in Goodbye Gene way too personally, and they’re missing the single biggest factor here. Derek Williams has a voice. ‘Gene’ is distinct. It’s memorable. It’s like something Diablo Cody would write if she went on a mescaline binge. That, combined with the risque plot and characters, is part of why ‘Gene’ has done well in the BlueCat contest, and probably why it got picked for AF. Too much stuff I read looks generic and lifeless to the point of Puritan sterility. That includes professional scripts too, not just amateurs. It’s refreshing to read something that looks like a personality wrote it, and not some pre-programmed Max Headroom who read Save the Cat a hundred times. In short, death to generic mediocrity, long live the new flesh!

  • AdonistheDark

    The second the child molester successfully rapes the 14 year old protagonist who responds “My vagina hurts” before resuming “wacky” banter is the second the writer ought admit, “Perhaps child rape wasn’t the fertile ground of comedy it appeared to the be and I certainly don’t have the chops to tackle the issue with the necessary nuance.”

    The key to good edgy comedy is empathy (or a decided lack thereof) and/or abstraction. Look at Blazing Saddles. Racism in the era of lynching ain’t exactly comedy gold but the overall tone and the way the joke’s on the racists helps it be hilarious. Actually being clever doesn’t hurt.

    Regardless, turning Juno into Hard Candy is just “what the fuck are you thinking?”

  • Paul Clarke

    Has anyone else read the original script for The Professional/Leon?

    Just read it last week, bit of a coincidence. In the original Mathilda is 14, so some comparison there. And you know what, it’s dark. Real dark. Besson must have been in a bad place to write this thing. I read that the story was changed because Portman was the best actress to show up, so they cast her despite being too young. And therefore had to change the story to suit. Also, Reno had come off a successful comedy so tried to play his character a little more that way. The end result is amazing. I can only imagine what would have happened had they tried to film and release the original. It certainly wouldn’t be the classic it is today.

    Anyway, the lesson there is that you can tease the audience. Keep them on the edge of their seat with the THREAT of something horrible happen. But you’re better off if it doesn’t.

    My original advice when reading it, was that he should not be a sex offender, but not defend himself. It just felt wrong when he had this long explanation about how it happened. I’d have him just keep his mouth shut (I would). Work the suspense that comes from a naive child screwing with a pedophile, only to have him turn out to be a nice guy. Have her have to save him from the over-zealous Crocodile, because he’s now her only real friend and the father figure she always needed.

    • Michael

      Very good suggestions.

  • kk

    Sorry, but I just can’t get into a script about someone — specifically a 14-year-old girl — purposely trying to get raped. I like dark humor, but there’s also a matter of good taste that must go into the construction of the darkness. Rape isn’t funny. It’s not something that should be taken lightly. This reminds me of that humor script a few weeks back about that dude constantly trying to take a shit. People need to understand that a movie isn’t a short story; it’s a two-hour, intimate viewing experience. If something can’t stand up for that long, it’s not gonna make it.

  • adobongpusit

    As a dark comedy, it’s actually only funny at rare times during the script, dialogue and plot-wise. The Crocodile rarely rises up to being more than an insane loon. Because of the twist involving the sex offender, we’re rarely privy to his thoughts or some actual backstory during the first part of the story. The only interesting character with funny lines was Kiley but she’s pretty one-note most of the movie, and I’m also thinking that she’s only interesting to me partly because I saw the Chloe Moretz pic above and I was ascribing more personality to her character because of that association than was actually in the script.

    All-in-all, it was a good, fast read as a screenplay because of the script’s economy of words but as a story that needed to have things happening or something to say, it was pretty weak.

  • Eudora Quilt

    But sometimes the theme may require that the bad guys win and the princess rejects salvation, and those can be good stories as well.

  • JWF

    I enjoyed this. Maybe it’s because it’s so different to most of the scripts I’ve read lately?

    I’ve read 10 or so scripts this week and this is the only one that really stuck in the memory. In fact last night I was telling my friends about it while we were at the pub.

    That’s what you want your reader to do. Remember your script and feel the need to talk about it.

  • ElectricDreamer

    I cracked open the script, didn’t get far, but was reminded of a very underrated film…

    My First Mister.
    Been a while since I’ve seen the film, but I recall it pulling off the risky premise well.

    In the script, sensationalism seems to reign supreme.
    Where I felt in the film, those two messed up souls really needed EACH OTHER.
    And that’s what makes a potentially disgusting union feel real to me.
    That requires a delicate touch, to get you to care about that illegal relationship.

    Same in a criminally obscure Agnes Varda film, Kung Fu Master.

  • Derek

    Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day or evening to read “Goodbye Gene.” I appreciate all the kind words and encouragement.  Very much. 

    After “Goodbye Gene” and my next script, “The Necessary Asphyxiation of a Pre Mature Baby” — I’m ready to get more mainstream. My goal in life right now is to get representation. So I’m going to tone it down a bit and get started on a VERY marketable horror comedy I have outlined. 

    Thanks again to Carson and the rest of the Scriptshadow community! You guys are lovely people. 

    • m_v_s

      Based on Goodbye Gene, I’m guessing your next script will start out not nearly as crassly as it sounds, get the reader on side and then flip them the bird with a bizarre plot-twist, negate any semblence of satire or knowingness and end up being as crass as it originally sounded. It’s a real shame because you clearly know how to write a script, it just seems odd that you would want to undersell yourself by writing exploitative pieces. Unless of
      course “The Necessary Asphyxiation of a Pre Mature Baby” is either metaphorical or deals intelligently with its controversial subject matter……hang on, Kiley’s words are coming back to me: “Then why does my vagina hurt like hell, dude?! And why can’t I remember anything?!” Hmmm, then again, maybe not.

  • fragglewriter

    I’ve read that if you know you’re ending, you know how to write the script. But I think after the outlining, and the actual writing of the script, you realize that the theme may go awry, and you just try to write it back on track.

    Saying changing a theme is easy, unless you’ve spent an enormous amount of time getting to that point. But then if he changed the theme and went along with the ending that you had in mind, it would of seemed predictable, IMO.

  • Citizen M

    Very late due to Easter house-sitting duties.

    This didn’t turn out the way I expected after reading the first 25 pages. It started as an offbeat comedy with duelling high school girls and ended up as… I’m not sure. A cautionary tale, perhaps. I know I’ve seen movies where you start off light and entertaining and get gut-punched before the end. Can’t remember the titles, unfortunately, and perhaps an indication it’s a risky strategy for a writer.

    This is a perfect example of why you should take care with your logline. Many commenters appear to have dissed the script on the basis of the logline alone. It suggests that a disturbed girl and a sex offender set off on a trip to rape people. Ewwww. Nasty. But there’s no twisted road trip and the “rape van” is slang for an ordinary van with no windows. My take is “A teenage girl competing with her friend for the ‘sickest bitch’ title takes things too far when she realises her new acquaintance is a registered sex offender.”

    On the plus side, I thought the interaction between Kiley and the sex offender was good. And the idea trying to persuade a reluctant rapist to rape you was edgy but interesting. Even getting raped, which could be seen as punishment for really stupid behavior. We know that adolescent girls act out sexually before they have the emotional maturity to deal with it. But then to continue with the same behavior, spraying “Team Satan” on the church, has the girl learned nothing? We expect contrition and remorse, and a drastic change in behavior.

    On the minus side, I thought the minor characters like the teacher and the principal could be funnier. The whole Josh Dean to The Crocodile transformation left me cold. Why not just have the redoubtable Ferman T. Ash on their case?

    Also, we know Kiley was faking cutting herself. That should have been made more of. Possibly have her cutting exposed as a fake, and she is under pressure to up her game to regain credibility, and that’s when she meets the molester.

    Please, for the love of God, delete every PAUSE in the script. Let the actors figure out the comic timing.

    Also, addressing the reader. I hate it. They say reading the script should give you the same experience as going to the movie. Well, all the asides to the reader are the same experience as going to the movies and every now and then the projectionist shouts out some smart-ass comment. Not fun unless you’re drunk and it’s a crappy movie.

    Some detailed notes:

    p. 2 – Tell us what Kiley’s reaction is after biting off the hamster’s head. Is she blank, triumphant, grossed out, smiling, or amazed that she did it?

    p. 5 – PAUSE. Does this mean time out or later or freeze frame? The principal would ask Kiley to explain herself. (Perhaps Kiley’s dad is a big benefactor so the principal has to handle Kiley with kid gloves.)

    p. 5 – “Alright then…” It’s not clear whether the principal is talking to herself or to Kiley or to the teacher. She should at some point say to Kiley, “You, my girl, are suspended, starting now.” I was never quite sure what her status was, because she kept seeing her friend Joanna as if she was still at school.

    p. 7 – Kiley is scared to self-harm. She’s faking. Why?

    p. 10 – Thomas’s firing needs to be funnier.

    p. 18 – Things definitely liven up once Kiley meets Thomas.

    p. 24 – Kiley lies to her friends about being molested. Why? She’s already proved herself by biting the hamster’s head off. Maybe Joanna does something sicker, or exposes Kylie as fake cutter.

    p. 29 – Not sure why Ferman T. Ash akes over the meeting and talks of kicking dong. An expensive scene to stage. Needs more justification.

    p. 48 – Use something less generic than SMALL HOME in the slugline, like VAN SELLER’S HOME with some description in the action paragraph.

    p. 52 – Transformation to The Crocodile was too sudden. People don’t change that quickly.

    p. 62 – Daniel Rocco’s attempted pick up of Joanna is funny. Maybe we should see more of Joanna and her rivalry with Kiley.

    p. 81 – Don’t see the point of the “many vans” hallucination or the Ferman T. Ash appearances.

    Niggles: p. 1 jaw/jaws; p. 45 stain/stained glass; p. 75 fifthly/filthy; p. 78 beat/beet red; p. 78 it’s/its blade; p. 79 vile/vial; p. 89 peddles/pedals off.