amateur offerings weekend

Another TV PILOT vs. FEATURES week! Read the amateur scripts below and find us the next Hollywood gem!

TITLE [TV PILOT]: The Barrow Boys
GENRE: Sitcom
LOGLINE: An awkward virgin arrives at university desperate to re-invent himself only to find his rough and ready, loud-mouth dad has enrolled to study with him.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I’m a long time reader sending in my first submission (I even had a review on the site for a script called DUFF a couple of years back). I’ve been writing for seven years but I have only recently started to submit to contests and contacts. I was a reader for BBC Films and the experience taught me a lot but also made me a little so critical of my own work that I never let anyone read it. I’m trying to change that now and I thought what better place to start than Scriptshadow!

So why should you read my sitcom? Especially as you rarely review sitcoms. Well, after reading NSFW and then your review I thought I had to at least try because I think mine is funnier and better.

“But it sounds identical to the premise of that Rodney Dangerfield movie,” you’re probably thinking (and if you weren’t… Shit!) Well I thought of this before I knew about that movie, didn’t I. And quite frankly this is totally different. Will Sum 41 make a parody music video about my finale? Probably not… but mine actually makes sense. Also, I heard William Goldman told the writer’s of ‘Back to School’ to make Rodney rich and I’m not one to question Sir William Goldman but go ahead and read mine and then tell me the old man didn’t get that one wrong.

“Okay, but why does it say university and not college? Are you British are something?”
Yes. I sound like I’m from London. I don’t actually. I’m from Leeds. That’s Northern England. But I live in California and people think I sound Irish. Which I’m not. But the sitcom is set in England and I’m kind of curious if submitting this in an American market is a bad idea or whether no one cares if it’s funny.

Which leads me to my last point. I might as well tell that if this get reviewed and you don’t think it’s funny then I’ll slaughter you in the comments for not getting my dry, elevated, renowned, very British, British wit.

TITLE: Work Retreat
GENRE: Comedy
LOGLINE: A recently dumped desk jockey sneaks his best friend onto an incentive vacation in Cancun, but he must pretend to be gay in order to save his job when the vacation unexpectedly turns into a company retreat.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: The hero is a good guy with the right intentions, but he’s also the WORLD CHAMPION of getting emotionally kicked in the nuts and thrown into awkward situations. If you like that sort of thing, then I think you will enjoy this script. It’s a story about friends, lies biting you in the ass, and learning how to enjoy life.

I’ve been writing for a little over a year now, and this is my second full feature script. I currently reside in Chicago, which isn’t an exploding screenwriting scene (Yeah that’s a PUN), but it’s pretty great for improv. ScriptShadow has been a great resource for learning the craft, and I’m hoping to make it through the gauntlet of AOW!

TITLE: The Hardest Weekend
GENRE: sex comedy
LOGLINE: When the world’s favorite billionaire-socialite contracts an STD that can literally kill him upon arousal, the traditional college experience transforms into a non-stop, fight for his life, survival game against hundreds of adoring women, in what becomes the hardest weekend he could have ever imagined.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I’m one of those writers that used to take the industry really, really seriously. Hard-core drama man, I wanted to win awards for that shit, and albeit, I have had some critical and financial success, however, after living in Hollywood for five years and a recent acid trip that literally flipped my world on it’s head, I guess you could say I now see the industry for what it is — one big joke — one big joke based on illusion, money, bullshit, and lots, and lots of sex, and do you know what? I can’t say I still don’t love it for what it is! The Hardest Weekend is my 15th feature overall and the first true-blue comedy script I have ever written. Inspired by a sexual dry spell that lasted way too long, gallons of pent up sexual energy, and a never-ending epidemic of morning wood that never ceases to haunt, I live vicariously through our lead character as the story poses the questions — What if I was a baller? Every woman in the world wanted a piece of me? And if I got an erection, i would die? — Sounds like a tough gig, right? Additionally, it also heavily features Dan Bilzerian — the most interesting man on instagram — as himself doing what he does best, that is, living the fast lifestyle that he lives, filled with epic parties, vegas trips, women, and guns. Overall, I had a blast writing this script, and for the first time since I picked up the craft, I laughed more than cried while putting in the time behind the desk, and I have to admit it was one hundred percent better all around, so, to all you dudes out there, speaking as a ridiculously horny twentysomething that’s shamefully spent more hours in the dark pecking away at tear-jerkers than he has out in bright, sunny LA pulling all that young, hollywood tail walking around, do yourself a favor and put down that newest Nicholl’s winner for an hour or two, and grab The Hardest Weekend… I guarantee it won’t be just your mind that thanks your for it.

TITLE [TV PILOT]: The New World
GENRE: Fantasy/Adventure
LOGLINE: A group of survivors; including a famous actor, a security guard and a failed warrior from ‘the other side’, begin a perilous cross-country journey from California to Florida through post-apocalyptic America over run by fantasy creature.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: In the spirit of the recent amateur submission, “Ariel”, I give you “The New World”, a fantasy/adventure drama pilot inspired by the same book. You should read “The New World” because it is the first part of an epic journey across a transformation and wonder. For unknown reasons, the world has been overrun by fantastic creatures from another place and time. Orcs, trolls, griffins, dragons and a multitude of other impossible creatures have taken over and survival has become paramount. Against this back drop, a group of survivors, led by an actor trying to find his daughter, must journey from California to Florida. “The New World” combines the high adventure of “The Lord of the Rings” with the character driven drama and mysterious intrigue of “Lost”.

A little about me, I’m a veteran, did five years as photo journalist for the Army from 2005 to 2010. Yes, I’ve seen “Full Metal Jacket”. Yes, I did write for my high school newspaper. No, I did not write for “Stars and Stripes”. No, I will not do a story about you because “I’m so freakin’ good”. Anyway, I moved to LA after leaving the Army to pursue my dream of screenwriting. I’ve had some near contest success. I was a runner up for the Fox’s Television’s studio fellowship, the NexTV Writing and Pitching Competition and the Script-a-thon. Early this year, I was interviewed for a slot in UCLA’s MFA in Screenwriting Program. Still waiting for that big break.

TITLE: The Introvert’s Playlist
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
LOGLINE: A woman with a rare auditory disorder reconsiders her life of solitude when she meets an inquisitive sound engineer (who might just be crazier than she is). But is his interest in her a case of romance…or research?
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Did you love “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly? Did you secretly wish it had been more like Russell Crowe’s personal life – i.e. funnier, with less math and more assault charges?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both these questions then please consider casting your eyeballs over my RomCom, The Introvert’s Playlist. I’d be grateful for any and all feedback. I’ve already pledged my first born child to BifferSpice in return for his absolutely incredible notes, but if I wind up having twins you’re all welcome to fight over the other one I guess.

  • cjob3

    “So why should you read my sitcom? Especially as you rarely review sitcoms. Well, after reading NSFW and then your review I thought I had to at least try because I think mine is funnier and better.”
    Well, I think it’s clear what my vote ISN’T. Good luck to everyone but this guy! ;)

    • Paul Clarke

      Nice. Even the wording “funnier and better.” feels like a big turn-off.

      When did the Why you should read’s all become novels?

      The only entry there that sounds like a movie or TV show that could ever be made is THE INTROVERT’S PLAYLIST. And even that doesn’t excite (Maybe because it’s a rom-com?)

      • cjob3

        To be fair, I’m enjoying it so far. Its well-written and I see the series potential. But yeah, not only “Back to School” but “Undeclared” also followed a virginal kid who’s dad decided to tag along with him to college.

        I’ll assume its a coincidence that the authors’ main character is also named Colin.

      • BSBurton

        Hahaha, they are long as hell aren’t they

    • Ant

      No offense meant to you, cjob3. I’m the writer of The Barrow Boys and I was just trying to get Carson to notice me amongst the many submissions he receives every week through comparison. You’ve got to try, right? I liked your script and I wish you all the best of luck in developing and selling it in the future.

      • cjob3

        No harm done, pal. I was only half serious. I’m actually glad the script is still being talked about. And hey, I inadvertently disparaged one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time in my Why You Should Read.

        I liked your script too. Read the whole thing. Good luck in the competition.

    • BSBurton

      LOL, you’re funny! But no swear words. Not seeing Grendl is a good influence on the board lol.

      • Linkthis83

        I disagree. If I’m understanding your comment correctly.

  • brenkilco

    As I think it makes little sense to compare TV pilots to features let’s be really superficial and review these strictly on the basis of problems with the pitch

    THE BARROW BOYS

    “I heard William Goldman told the writer’s of ‘Back to School’ to make Rodney rich and I’m not one to question Sir William Goldman but go ahead and read mine and then tell me the old man didn’t get that one wrong.”

    I’m not wading into any script where I might have to untangle sentences like that.

    WORK RETREAT

    “A recently dumped desk jockey sneaks his best friend onto an incentive vacation in Cancun, but he must pretend to be gay in order to save his job when the vacation unexpectedly turns into a company retreat.”

    If he’s dumped doesn’t that mean he no longer has a job? What the hell is an incentive vacation? And has there ever been a decent movie where the protagonist had to pretend to be gay? Not that I have a clue why this guy has to pretend to be gay.

    THE HARDEST WEEKEND

    “I wanted to win awards for that shit, and albeit, I have had some critical and financial success’

    I think albeit sounds a little pretentious even when it’s used properly. Not sure I want to know about your protag’s erections. Certain I don’t want to know about yours.

    THE NEW WORLD

    “it is the first part of an epic journey across a transformation and wonder”

    Traversing a wonder can be a challenge even for experienced mountaineers.

    THE INTROVERT’S PLAYLIST

    Personally I never want to see A Beautiful Mind again. But maybe after a couple of cases of research I’d be a better mood. Sounds like a reasonable dramatic situation. Suppose it has my vote.

    • walker

      “I think albeit sounds a little pretentious even when it’s used properly” Yeah if you are looking for someone to back you up on that… I’ll be it.

    • IgorWasTaken

      brenkilco wrote: “I think albeit sounds a little pretentious even when it’s used properly. Not sure I want to know about your protag’s erections. Certain I don’t
      want to know about yours.

      My hunch is that you are not a Brit, but that quip has a British sensibility to it. IOW, funny, cutting, and smart. The sort of quip Churchill might have made about Attlee.

      In fact, all of your above-reviews made me laugh. Now, I don’t know that all of them are fair… But since they are so well written, for this moment I don’t care if they’re fair.

      • brenkilco

        Thanks. Alas, not British. Comparison to a Churchill quip is highest praise. There are many. My favorite reported exchange concerned Churchill and Gertrude Lawrence.

        Churchill: Gertrude, would you sleep with me for a million pounds?
        Lawrence: I suppose so.
        Churchill: Would you sleep with me or a shilling?
        Lawrence: Of course not. What do you take me for?
        Churchill: We’ve already established that. Now we’re haggling.

  • K.B. Houston

    Off topic, but I just wanted to tell Carson, regarding the newsletter, I’m glad you’re reading Steinbeck, and I’m also glad you’re suggesting him to your readers. I’ve read lots of books by lots of authors, poetry, journalism, yada yada yada, the whole nine yards… I’ve never read better prose than Steinbeck. It’s freaking otherworldly, yet so damn human at the same time. Reading Steinbeck fulfills some deep, dark, existential hole in your soul, one you probably never even knew existed in the first place.

    OK, I’m not gonna get into romanticizing Steinbeck because I think that’s something he wisely avoided — especially in his time when it was the thing to do — so I’ll just say thank you for promoting wicked smaaat prose on this site. If all aspiring screenwriters read Steinbeck consciously I have a feeling we’d be churning out a much higher quality script than we are now.

    • lysdexicuss

      Steinbeck wrote one screenplay: LIFEBOAT, an interesting Alfred Hitchcock movie made during WWII. It is also an early example of a confined-space Film with lots of character POV camera shots etc. Being limited like this allows us to expand & explore mediums in surprising ways. Hitchcock later took these concepts to the next level with another limited-setting concept entitled ROPE. The Elias Kazan film adaptation of East of Eden is a masterpiece in its own right but only focuses on 1/3 of the novel’s overall story. It’s also the best of James Dean’s 3 films.

      • Scott Crawford

        To be fair, Steinbeck wrote the TREATMENT for Lifeboat, and Hitchcock and his writer Jo Swerling rewrote most of it. Even back then there was a WGA arbitration where it seemed a third of the ideas came from Steinbeck, a third from Hitchock, and a third from Swerling.

        • lysdexicuss

          true dat. and I’m sure Alfred Hitchcock’s Wife had some input, as she was his lifetime collaborator & #1 Editmatrix.

  • bl2d

    THE NEW WORLD gets my vote. Ironically I see more potential for comedy in this script than the other four comedies you’re up against.

    • Andrew Orillion

      Thanks for the vote. While it’s not an out right comedy there are some intentionally funny moments. I was going for a light touch, something between “Army of Darkness” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Genre stuff doesn’t have to be all rape and head crushing.

  • carsonreeves1

    Just a note. The SCRIPTSHADOW NEWSLETTER has been delivered with my review of hot spec, Moonfall. Check your spam and Promotions folders. If you didn’t get it, make sure you’re signed up! – http://scriptshadow.net/contact/

    • Poe_Serling

      Thanks for the newsletter, Carson… it was worth the wait. I enjoyed the Moonfall review and Laurjeff’s stab at a multi-panel comic strip.

      My vote for next Wednesday’s post: The Final Girls.

      A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.

      • klmn

        I think Carson should review a Jodorowsky film. Since he linked to a preview of The Holy Mountain that would be a good pick.

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          That or EL TOPO. Holy slow-burn, Batman ! That was one tough movie to get through. Being stoned out of your mind probably helps to appreciate it :)
          I did like his SANTA SANGRE, though. Weird, twisted and eerily touching.

    • Paul Clarke

      Great review, disappointing to hear Moonfall fell so flat.

      I thought the original premise sounded good – until I saw the synopsis. Putting a community on the moon makes is a gimmick. The same story could take place in a remote suburb, or Amish settlement on something. The moon doesn’t make it any more interesting. Just physically harder to get to. And if there’s a community living up there, then clearly we’ve mastered space transport.

      Instead, my take on the premise was that one of the original trips to the moon in the 70’s was a cover-up. Evidence shows up (maybe they find a body on a new moon trip?). They dig deeper and find that one of the missions had 4 astronauts leave and only 3 come back. The 4th was removed from history. Because the investigator can’t go to the moon and see the evidence, it makes the investigation much more difficult. The ultimate cold case. Anyway, that just seems far more interesting to me. I guess you wouldn’t get all the cool sci-fi visuals that attract a director like Aranofsky.

      • Malibo Jackk

        What about Amish on the moon.
        Kinda like a WITNESS remake.

        (Will probably see more of this kind of thing.)

        • klmn

          That’s brilliant. But to make it work, you probably don’t want to use the moon. At least not the earth’s moon. Pick some planet or moon – real or mythical – that might have atmosphere. And then create vaguely familiar creatures to populate it, along with their human masters. (Didn’t Edgar Rice Burroughs and George Lucas do shit like that?)

        • gonzorama

          Can’t wait to see a horse in a space suite pulling a moon buggy!

      • Nemo

        Or how about the ultimate Cold War conspiracy theory over the moon? The Soviets launch a moon landing crew just days before the Apollo 11 launch but they didn’t make it. Did US Strategic Command take them out with a missile in order for Armstrong and Aldrin to get there first? Because the USSR liked to do stuff then announce their success, not do it in public because of the fear of failure, they couldn’t really say anything because the West would spin it as sour grapes on their part. Better to write their crew out of history than risk WW3 over it.

      • Scott Crawford

        The difficulty with any “moon movie” is that the moon just isn’t that interesting a place. The Martian Chronicles, Total Recall, Mission to Mars, Red Planet</em, John Carter, that one with Ray Donovan, and, soon, The Martian. Mars is much more photogenic, doesn’t have to be shot in the studio, can be shot on location. And Mars has storms.

        Moonfall reminds me of Pluto Nash, the last true “moon movie”. Don’t bother to Nextflix, but if Pluto Nash is on late night television, it’s worth watching a few minutes of it. It’s not awful, awful, just very ordinary. If it wasn’t set on the moon, not only would it have cost less, but it wouldn’t have been interesting at all. Good test – can a script survive if the setting was changed slightly? That is, are the characters and the story good enough to survive without the high concept?

        • davejc

          “Mars is much more photogenic, doesn’t have to be shot in the studio, can be shot on location.”

          They’re shooting Mars films on location now?

          • Scott Crawford

            Yes, davejc; Red Planet was filmed in Australia, for instance. They can change the color to red post-production. There’s nowhere on Earth that looks like the Moon, though. It’s always a soundstage.

      • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

        Go ahead and write it ;)

      • Scott Chamberlain

        Agreed. It’s just a remote town.

        I wonder if it was all about the images, rather than the story. Lots of shots of Earth over the moon etc. Could be a cool aesthetic. Mostly black and white with a hint of colour. Sin City. Film Noir that’s in colour but the colour is black and white.

    • ripleyy

      I realized there was a God the moment I read the Moonfall review. My thoughts were exactly the same as Carson’s. What a weird, weird reading experience that was.

      • IgorWasTaken

        ripleyy wrote: “I realized there was a God the moment I read the Moonfall review. My thoughts were exactly the same as Carson’s. What a weird, weird reading experience that was.

        Weirder, still, that anyone might find confirmation of the existence of God in that experience.

        What a weird, weird comment-reading experience that was for me.

    • Matthew Garry

      I get that AF is a learning experience as much as anything else, and with nothing else in the pipeline I can see it’s a good idea to select a script from which clear tips can be distilled, but AF is also a platform for writers who have managed to impress the general readership to get a bit more exposure and hopefully some traction.

      Half the fun of AOW is collectively trying to find the “next big thing” for Scriptshadow.

      That’s a long winded introduction to remind you that “Black Autumn” is still in the pipeline. “Bluedust” is being remarkably civil about it, and I think maybe he’s just being too polite. So with the hectic nature of AOW picks and AFs crossing over lately, I thought I’d chime in to make sure it’s not forgotten.

      • ElectricDreamer

        I’m sure the nice guy I met is doing his best to be zen about things.
        It’s a shame that a script the readership vetted and supports is ignored.

        TEN WEEKS have passed since BLACK AUTUMN won the AOW.

        • cjob3

          Really? Did it win? Did anything get reviewed from the week?
          I remember really liking Black Autumn’s logline.

          • ElectricDreamer

            To date, no script from that batch was ever read for AF.

            Bluedust won the AOW race two weeks in a row back in mid-May.
            When Carson noticed that, he TABLED the read of Black Autumn.

            PRIMAL, the other AOW winner, did get an AF review on schedule.
            Also, THE CLOUD FACTORY got a review from that same batch.

          • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

            Seems Black Autumn needs its day in the sun… sooner than later.

        • gazrow

          Yeah – I agree 100%. BLACK AUTUMN deserves to be reviewed.

        • BSBurton

          Good point electric.

      • Nick Morris

        Hell yeah. We need BLACK AUTUMN!

      • Poe_Serling

        According to this week’s newsletter, Carson is looking for something to review on Wednesday… why not include Black Autumn in the mix?

      • Bluedust

        Thanks for the Black Autumn shout outs, fellas. I actually sent Carson a revised draft a few weeks ago, along with the promise that I wouldn’t bother him with any more versions. Still hoping for a slot sometime in the not so distant future. Cheers. …Shit, maybe I am too polite.

        • Randy Williams

          It’s his blog, he can do whatever he wants with it. Generally, I like his choices.
          Honestly, I’d rather see an interview with you then another of your scripts. I know you can write. I want to know your work methods. How you tackle a story. What you’re contemplating writing next and why?

          You beat the competition on AOW two weeks in a row. That’s special and an interview with you would be cool.

          Whatever, and whichever, hope it happens for you.

        • Poe_Serling

          Hey Bluedust-

          Just curious – are there now 3 different versions of Black Autumn floating around out there?

          1) the original AOW version.
          2) the newsletter version which got yanked right before its airtime.
          3) the revised draft recently sent to Carson.

          And if so, are you talking major revisions or a few tweaks here and there?

          • Bluedust

            Just a few revisions, nothing major. A lot of the notes I got here gave me some ideas to tighten the first act.

    • SinclareRose

      All for an official SS book club. Have to make a run to the library tomorrow anyway. East of Eden is on the list now.

  • Zero

    I was hoping for good things from ‘The New World’, as I actually enjoyed the previous script adaptation of Ariel.

    But it was not to be. It turned me off when the radio announcer said ‘what the fuck is going on out there?’, and when landlines worked. So instead of turning it back to medieval times, all the Change did was turn it back to the 1980s?

    I think the lack of a sympathetic protagonist does it a disservice as well. At least with Peter, many people could remember when they were a virgin, and thus share in that with him.

  • Rachel Woolley

    Writer of Introvert’s Playlist here. Thanks for the link Sebastian – I really struggle with loglines and there’s some great advice here. Much appreciated!

    • Randy Williams

      Aha! You beat me out! I did some rewriting on “Skip’s Pillow” and submitted it. But, I’d gladly be beat out by you any time….you taught me “stickies”!

      I’m going to start with “The Introvert’s Playlist”

      Looking forward to it. Best of luck!

      • pmlove

        Sorry for the delay in feedback on Skip – I read part of it in blocks, then life took over and I couldn’t remember where I was – need to restart. If you’ve updated since, let me know, I’m happy to start over.

        • Randy Williams

          Do I have your email? I’ll send you the updated version.

  • Rachel Woolley

    Thanks for the vote! It does have its dramatic moments. And it’s romantic in (what I was going for anyway) the least sappy/gushy way possible. There’s no trips to the airport I swear! No one even uses the word “love.” If that helps at all ;-)

  • Malibo Jackk

    OT
    “…there was a truly terrifying incident outside Comic-Con
    this evening. A 64-year-old woman was hospitalized with a possible
    broken arm after being hit by a car during the annual ZombieWalk, in
    which people dress as the undead — complete with blood and gore — and
    stagger down a street. San Diego Police say the driver was a 48-year-old
    deaf man who had his small children with him. ‘The entire family in the
    car was deaf, and they were scared,’ SDPD officer David Stafford told
    Deadline.”
    — from Deadline Hollywood

    Damn zombies.

    • klmn

      You can’t kill a zombie by running her over.

      Brain shots, my friend.

    • IgorWasTaken

      On the one hand, the fact that they’re deaf is… weird? On the other hand, it’s tough to see how that has anything to do with the confusion. Unless, if people there could hear, the woman/driver might have said, “What the ****?”, and a passenger could have said something about Comic-Con, maybe. Until just now, I never considered how deaf people would handle a situation like that. For starters, how do you have a conversation AND keep your hands at 10 and 2?

      To me, the physical/slapsticky element of that is funny; but I’m also curious how that really does work. Like – Before their was texting-while-driving, was there ASL-while-driving?

      • witwoud

        Or perhaps the deaf family simply missed the recorded announcement: “These are NOT real zombies. Repeat: These are NOT real zombies. Do not attempt to kill with your car.”

  • NajlaAnn

    Thanks for the newsletter. Enjoyed reading it. BTW, I fully agree on ” There’s a storm. On the moon??? When did the moon start having weather???” This doesn’t make sense scientifically. Perhaps the setting could be changed to another moon with some sort of atmosphere [but without oxygen] – that could work.

    • Casper Chris

      At which point, is the concept any different from all those other movies that take place on extraterrestrial worlds? Oh so there’s been a murder? Big whoopdidoo.

  • ripleyy

    Some writers can pull off loglines and some can’t. It just takes a lot of practice. You just have to keep cracking at it, even if you’ve gotten the logline you’re satisfied with. Your link is pretty good though.

    I mean, it’s a lot like going onto Amazon and reading the description for a book. I can have a sneak peek at it, but if the description isn’t catching my attention I doubt the book will. :)

    • Scott Crawford

      The best loglines, most of the time, are the shortest ones, particular if the title helps. First murder on the moon. Dinosaur theme park. Lawyer can’t a tell a lie for 24 hours. That last in particular is brilliant; I just remember at the time, a man can’t tell a lie, that’s good, but a lawyer can’t tell a lie. I’m laughing already!

      The worst loglines are unappealing – boring, depressing, perhaps offensive – you just don’t wanna read them. The second worst are derivative – heading in the right direction but nothing stands out. In the middle are the interesting loglines – they’re different but not necessarily in a way that compels you to want to read that script.

      The second best loglines are compelling, you have to read the script, even if it’s just to answer the question “How the hell is he going to pull that off?” Contained stories often fall into this group, and found footage stories. The best loglines are foolproof, so good that even a barely competent screenwriter could do something with them. But those ideas are rare, Transit of Venus rare. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an idea, don’t think so. Best to aim for compelling.

      • brenkilco

        “The best loglines are foolproof, so good that even a barely competent screenwriter could do something with them.”

        Though I was snarking on this week’s loglines above I have to wonder if there isn’t all but an inverse relationship between a great logline and a great movie. The more complex and intricate your story the less amenable it is to a logline. Try loglining Chinatown, Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, Pulp Fiction. I doubt I could come up with ones that wouldn’t make them all sound either dull or nonsensical. If it really is possible to adequately describe your story in a single line, how much can the story be worth?

        • Scott Crawford

          Absolutely true. Of your examples, Chinatown and Vertigo in particular can be loglined – a private detective uncovers a conspiracy involving LA’s water supply; a private detective suffering from a fear of heights falls in love with a suicidal woman he’s hired to follow – but these short loglines do nothing to convey why these stories are so great.

          However, if you’re trying to break into Hollywood, getting someone to read ONE of your scripts WITHOUT a great logline is almost impossible. If your portfolio – or mine – lacks at least ONE script with a compelling or foolproof logline, you will have trouble standing out in the crowd. Look at David Weil; one high-concept screenplay got his foot in the door, allowing him to pitch a much more ambitious project. Without Moonfall would have been a tougher prospect.

          • brenkilco

            ” a private detective uncovers a conspiracy involving LA’s water supply; a private detective suffering from a fear of heights falls in love with a suicidal woman he’s hired to follow”

            Precisely. Those are pretty much the loglines I would have written. I can see a reader instantly tossing both aside. A mystery about water? A depressing love story where both people are mentally disturbed? We really have two winners here.

  • Andrew Orillion

    Writer of The New World here, log lines aren’t my strength either. I’m a writer, not a salesman. The link you provided was really helpful and I’ve already come up with a better log line.

    “In a post-apocalyptic world overrun by deadly fantasy creatures and being conquered by an army of orcs, a former hotshot actor risks everything on a cross-country journey to save his daughter.”

  • Andrew Orillion

    I read The Barrow Boys and enjoyed it. I laughed out loud several times, especially at the beginning when Collin, the son, first learns Mike, his dad, is at the same college.

    Pros –
    1. I liked the relationship between Collin and Mike. It rings true and the writer gets some real laughs out of their interactions.

    2. I liked Collin, he was awkward without being weird.

    3. I like how a relationship develops between Mike and the head of security, Neal. It’s toward the end and adds some nice dimension to both characters.

    Cons –
    1. There’s an Indian character who acts like an American Hip Hop artist. It has potential, but not enough is done with it.

    2. There’s a scene at a comedy club that goes on a bit too long. I get the point of the scene, it’s to show how much cooler Mike is than Collin, but it just didn’t work for me. There’s also a brief mention of Mike trying to get into standup comedy that never pays off.

    3. The final scene isn’t as funny as it could be.

    Overall, I really liked this one. It gets my vote.

    • Ant

      Thanks for the checking it out. I’m glad you liked the Mike/Colin relationship. I know the Stand-Up scene is a little long. I’ve been looking for ways to cut it down. If this ever got made I anticipate the comedy segment would be ad-libbed by whatever stand-up comedian lands the job. It’s an interesting problem that I can’t be the first one to encounter: How do you write a stand-up comedy scene? I guess the first response is… as short as possible. Thanks again.

  • cjob3

    The Hardest Weekend sounds a bit like Speed with a penis instead of a bus.

    • Mike.H

      The writer intended it with major PUN intended I’m ‘Shore, [ brit accent].

  • IgorWasTaken

    Sebastian Cornet wrote: “‘The Barrow Boys'” is more an idea than a logline, and, like the author himself says, not a really original one.

    Does the fact that the logline is for a sitcom instead of a feature make a difference? I think so.

    Like, what would be the loglines for “Big Bang Theory” or “Two-and-a-Half Men”? I think they’d simply provide some summary of the situation – versus a screenplay logline that tells us much more.

    • Ant

      I was also thinking this. When I wrote the logline the aim was to give an idea of the series as opposed to the actual episode. Maybe that was wrong.

      In terms or originality, when I think of Seinfeld, Friends, Modern Family, The Office… are any of these premises super original? I think you watch sitcoms for the characters. With that being said, the premise of a father and son relationship being explored in a university setting has really been done before in a sitcom. I think it was covered in Undeclared in an episode or two but I think there is enough material for a series.

      But I guess all of this reasoning doens’t really matter. Ultimately, the aim is to get you to open the script and give me 10 pages. If the logline doesn’t do that then it’s failed.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Might suggest that the logline refer to the pilot.
        Then include a comment about future episodes.

  • Mike.H

    Is it me or THE NEW WORLD reminds us of THIS IS THE END with James Franco and the boys. For those reading it, is it any good?

  • Casper Chris

    Good to have Amateur Offerings back. Unfortunately, neither of these have me particularly excited (I’m not a big comedy guy first of all). I’ll try to at least crack them open later.

  • jw

    I really have to say that this just isn’t working. Period. And, I understand it’s not a popular stance, but unfortunately it’s reality. Nothing against the whole “amateur Friday” movement, but going back and looking at the past many months of this year I can’t find a single script that was chosen as the script to be reviewed that could actually do anything in the marketplace.
    And, yes, the argument is that “this is for amateurs to learn” and that’s cool, but let’s be honest, there are other sites for that — you can go to Zoetrope, TriggerStreet, The BlackList and so on and so forth for either peer or paid reviews to improve your work. There are 3 million writing books out there to see what your script should remotely resemble and thus, with a platform like this, I just don’t understand the same old thing would continue to be done that everyone else is doing?
    Why not take this platform and treat it like a serious way to look at scripts that COULD actually do something in the marketplace (instead of the regurgitation of offering a script that clearly hasn’t even gone through the early stages of understanding formatting?). I have always made these comments and they always get shot down as “insensitive” or “off-base” but the fact of the matter is that there’s a real ability to do something here that is being squandered in favor of the path of least resistance, and this is why we’re seeing fewer and fewer comments. Eventually the repetition gets old and people move on.

    • Casper Chris

      Finding great scripts is always going to be a “needle in a haystack” endeavor. I’m not sure what exactly you’re suggesting.

    • klmn

      It’s one day a week. If you find it [XX] Not For Me, surely you can find some other way to spend your time.

      Edit: And yes, I did call you Shirley.

    • gonzorama

      I totally agree. Maybe AOW can be used as a better tool for learning. I want Carson to be as brutal as he feels when he reads my stuff, but in a helpful way. Maybe he could be a little stronger with what’s wrong (or what’s right) about the scripts. It’s helpful when he tells the writer how he’d fix it. Maybe that’s what AOW should be used for. A more forceful helping hand.

    • IgorWasTaken

      One thing I’ve long hated about the “blogspot” format/platform that Carson uses here (versus a “forum” format/platform) is that it makes ScriptShadow a flash-mob kinda thing.

      OTOH, one of the things I love about this “blogspot” format/platform – especially for AOW/AF – is that it makes AOW/AF on ScriptShadow a flash-mob kinda thing.

      And that aspect has made this “a limited-time offer” that is actually for a limited time. Which clearly inspires people to show up and take part.

      To Carson’s great credit, he’s engendered a critical mass of readers and comment-posters – people who spend time reading and real, real energy to offer criticisms and suggestions.

      Finally, and maybe this is nothing to be proud of, but I’ve learned more from the not-ready scripts I’ve read hear than from many of the pro scripts. How? When I read something crappy on someone else’s page 12, I suddenly realize that same crap is in my script on page 9. And until I saw someone else make the mistake that I’d made, I didn’t understand that there was a mistake on page 9 of my script.

    • Howie428

      I think the tough part of this process is the bit we don’t see. I’m guessing Carson gets a lot of submissions and the task of finding five of them to include each week has to be pretty onerous. I suspect that anyone facing that would default to picking out the jazzy sounding concepts and the entries with chatty “Why you should reads.” When he finds one of those, I guess he crosses his fingers and hopes that the pages look roughly right when he opens them.

      It seems to me that this first level of filtering isn’t working out all that well. These catchy concepts tend to fall under samey genres, and the execution of them falls short. Of course, it’s easy to point this out, and much harder to devise a way to help the quality rise to the top.

  • Randy Williams

    THE INTROVERT’S PLAYLIST

    Congrats for making it on AOW! You’ve halfway won me already by writing a romantic comedy which is a genre I really love. But, they are, I believe, the most difficult genre to nail.

    Some thoughts as I read.
    page 1-3. You’ve endeared me to the girl off the bat. I can’t like a rom com if I don’t like the girl. I like this one.

    page 3. I like this subject matter. I was hooked for a while on those videos that are the complete opposite of this. Those people who find comfort in small noises, crinkling of paper, pops in the cheeks. There’s this one young man on YouTube who’s a master at making these videos. Anyway, great choice of subject matter,something different.

    page 6. Yearning for some indication that she has a life separate from this noise issue. Maybe in front of the administrator’s, put her there with her friend or family member. “Are you her lawyer”? “No, I’m just here for moral support, she has an issue that prevents her from serving effectively on jury duty” Joke, joke. Gives us an indication she does have a “normal” life of some kind.

    page 8. First laugh out loud for me, “hashtag jealous”

    page 23. I’m losing sympathy for her here. She’s getting too whiny. I’d much rather see her battle herself, give the dog an exception. The dog does suffer from loneliness like she does. Maybe have her embrace the dog even as it howls, and she’s fighting herself, maybe to tears. Give a joke to the owner. I think she’s howling now from gas, not the loneliness. Something like that. Put your heroine through the grinder.

    page 24. A visual on reaction from Kynlee but not from Levi?

    page 25. Love this, foreman has figured out her weak spot. Escalating on this, good.

    page 26. She’s crying here. Again, I thought crying would work better with the dog.

    page 33. The meet cute needs more conflict, I’d push more the legalities of them talking. A place that sets up more conflict than a tea shop.

    page 34. Okay, more conflict, good.

    page 36. Iris’s “I don’t really socialize” could be a joke. “My mother would kill me if I dated an acoustic ecologist. They…..”

    page 36. “It’s like regular boring only you go to bed even earlier” I’d eliminate “even”

    page 37. Format issue- “Jefferson Davis” is indented in dialogue.

    page 42. Not buying it that she’d go out to his place on her own. Maybe bring the sister, then the sister can scoot later. Levi can bring Iris home.

    page 52. I really like the potential for laughs here with the sounds of the restaurants. “I’d figure we’d start with an Italian place” I wanted him to let her listen to a variety of restaurants and we could laugh along with the stereotypes, the assumptions, be surprised. Like, suddenly there’s silence. What restaurant is that? A joke as the answer I think this certainly would be funnier than that downbeat anecdote about a guy puncturing his own eardrums out. Yikes! You could even end the scene with those sounds. They’re suddenly getting intimate and then something happens on the recording to damper their mood. “There’s a worm in my salad!” Something like that only funny.

    page 60. About now, I’m thinking what is preventing them from moving on here? My advice would be to eliminate the library scene which I don’t so far see any reason that touches the story to show that she was fired. Instead, give her a decision to make that would damage their chances. Maybe it’s suggested by a doctor she see a specialist in Switzerland with treatment that takes months?

    page 64. Great idea using the watermelon smashing. This allows Iris to “let go”

    page 70. She’s repeating herself here. Levi should know already at this point the sounds that bother her. Honestly, I’m tuning out here, but to your credit, I want to see if they end up together and how.

    Overall, I thought the tone was appropriate for a rom-com. This is a given. Then, the female was endearing. I thought there were things to make her less whiny, however. She has a handicap but we need to know she’s frustrated and working on it, and allowing for others as much as she’s able. There were situations dealing with sound that I thought were left unexploited as far as pushing the comedy. The male didn’t have much to do to pursue her. This leads me to this.
    I really like the idea. I did think, however, why she just didn’t go around most of the time with headphones like most people do anyway? That was an easy fix for some of the situations you put her in. I think you should make this more HIS story and his pursuit of her. You could say a lot here about how people these days close themselves off, about how couples communicate, as well. Cut to the chase by cutting some of the flashbacks with Kynlee (she doesn’t add much to the story in my opinion) and get to him pursuing her. She’s one of those girls with headphones on constantly, he doesn’t know her sound problem. He tries on several occasions to communicate with her and can’t. He should be the one to figure out her problem, not her telling him. He’s a sound expert, after all Then when they do get together, she’s constantly putting them on when he wants her “open” Ever seen those couples on their cellphones on a date instead of communicating with each other? He could lead her into the “sound” world like someone would lead someone who was just blind into the “seeing world”. Like I said before, give her a decision to make that would keep them apart. A clinic in Switzerland, for instance. I think as well, you could give us a mystery box. What is she listening to all the time on those headphones to drown out the world? When we find out, it shocks us and him and threatens their relationship,perhaps?

    Thanks for a little romance. We all need it!

    • bex01

      Great notes!

  • klmn

    About the Barrow Boys. There might be more opportunity for comedy if the guy’s Mom enrolled in college with him, instead of his dad.

    Little known fact: Douglas MacArthur came from a long line of generals. When he was appointed to West Point, his mom moved to a hotel near the academy so she could look after him.

    • klmn

      One preliminary comment. The typeface is very light. Darker would be better.

      • klmn

        The other scripts appear the same. Maybe it’s the fault of the hosting service.

        • Ant

          Thanks for giving it a whirl.

    • Midnight Luck

      I like that story, and the idea.
      I think in the end it could work much better,
      and play for more laughs.
      I can picture it well.
      –great thoughts.

    • klmn

      I read up to p10. It’s presumably written for British tv, so for a yank like me it’s almost like reading a foreign language. I don’t know what British universities are like so it’s hard for me to judge the setting.

      It didn’t make me laugh. Maybe I’m not the right audience for this. Moving on.

  • Bifferspice

    yay rachel! great to see the introvert’s playlist gets a go! i will look through the others, but i do encourage people to give this a look. it’s original, has a lot of heart and is written with a deft touch. i’m looking forward to seeing what changes there are :)

  • Mike.H

    the Woodley surname is quite in demand in recent YA developments; yeah.

  • pmlove

    There’s a lot of good there. Nice moments, lightness of touch, likeable characters. Think you just need a few ruthless rewrites. It’ll get there, I’m sure.

    And my usual caveat – I don’t know shit, so only take the bits that in all honesty you think are true.

  • Randy Williams

    WORK RETREAT

    Congrats on making it on AOW!

    Wow, you’ve only been writing a year and your writing has a nice energy to it.
    There are things I loved about this but overall it didn’t work for me. More on that later.
    First, some thoughts as I read.

    page 2. Shouldn’t this be page 1? Anyway, nice energy. I like Brian already from the first words from his mouth. Made me laugh out loud.

    page 4. “finance hair” love that.

    page 6. Nice conflict, set up.

    page 8. LOL @ “not you, you’re smart”.

    page 13. I’m tuning out a bit here. This scene with the GF cheating on him is awkward. I’m not feeling it. No pain, no anger, no hiding one’s real emotions. It’s just flat. Frenchman is a fool, exploit it.

    page 22. Really liking Jeremy, great character. Push it with him, they’re in their 20’s. He says what he thinks. Missed opportunity, I thought, after the cavity search. Give us a joke, “I can’t put my seat in the upright position, my prostate will fall out”…. anything but “we’re not talking about it” That doesn’t sound like Jeremy.

    page 28. LOL @ “very gay together” So far, I’m laughing. That’s good. Maybe complicate it furthur by having a bell boy overhearing this, bringing their bags to the room and work the comedy through his reaction to what he heard? Expecting a big tip cuz they have expendable income or even coming on to them?

    page 33. Perplexed why Brian would bring their “relationship” up at dinner. I’d think he’d want to steer the conversation away from it. Jeremy is very funny here, too.

    page 44. This whole thing with Jeremy and evaluating the women’s breast enhancements is very funny.

    page 52. I’m getting a little itchy here. I think I’m sticking with it because of Jeremy, he’s a trip. I think we’re jumping around too much from one scene to the next very rapidly and focus is waning.

    page 54. Jeremy’s kidney joke seems more appropriate for the less fearless Brian.

    page 63. Abrupt return to the U.S. I wasn’t sure where I was. Perhaps insert “Back in the U.S” in the slugline?

    page 66. I’m mentally checking out. I’m not getting a good read on Amy. Maybe she’s diluted by so many other women around. I’m skipping around at this point. I see the client’s identity makes this a real coincidence that may be hard for some readers to swallow.

    Again, I like the energy of the writing. When it’s focused on one thing, it nails it, adding plotlines and other characters, it gets shaky, I thought. Has more funny lines than most comedies I read on here, though. I think you have a talent for that. Still, more can be mined from the situations you put your characters in.

    I can’t buy the whole premise as something I’d like to watch. Perhaps, if this was all a set up on Brian’s part. If after they go through all this, he turns to Jeremy and says. “Dude, look at all the fun and whacky times we had, all the experiences with women, how we had each other’s back, it was like old times since we’ve grown up together, all the while you acting like I was gay. Well, dude, you can go on thinking that way.

    stunned silence. Jeremy shakes his head, “really”…

    THEN, I could buy the premise.

  • Randy Williams

    THE HARDEST WEEKEND

    Honestly reading that long winded presale in the “Why you should read” I didn’t know what to expect.

    I was honestly surprised and very entertained.

    This really has heart. There’s not a character I didn’t feel endeared to, well, maybe the housekeeper, she is a bit creepy. Hugh is perfect, Dr. Grant is hilarious. Hugh and Gerrard together remind me of the 21 Jump St. pair. More of them together!

    The premise is simple and the plot development is simple. However, I wanted more of the relationship between Hugh and Lucy. Honestly I think you’re better at heart than humor. Not to say there were not funny moments. Maybe it just needs punching up. I still think you should get Lucy in sooner. It’s only 88 pages. There’s room to expand on this relationship which I think is missing. Their relationship hardly settles and conflicts much too soon. Victoria gets more exposure than Lucy does and Lucy represents all those female viewers who would love to be in her position. A boyfriend that has to remain “chill”. Gerrard is also in a coveted position if you made him gay., perhaps? Imagine being the protector of a heart throbe from getting too excited about women? Cover all your audience bases. Apropos of that, I’d get rid of Gerrard’s friends. They didn’t add anything, I thought. LOVE his last name especially when the dean says it.

    Good stuff.

  • Casper Chris

    Opinion on The Introvert’s Playlist after 40 pages:

    Recently, someone here posted a video which posited that American comedy shows and films are too heavily focused on the verbal, disregarding the true strength of the screen medium, the visual. The visual gag. Now here’s a script that embraces another, even more overlooked strength of the medium, the auditory, and for that I applaud it. Whenever a script comes along that attempts to do something different, we should recognize it. Also, so far at least, it seems that’s it’s more than just a cheap gimmick. It ties into the fundamental premise of the script, the protagonist’s condition. Admittedly, the gags are a little one-note at the moment. All the CRUNCH and POP and TAP is not particularly clever from a writer’s perspective, but at the same time, I could see the novelty of it paying off in a theater where you have the benefit of actual sound. It’s like some bizarre horror-show for the poor protagonist, and I could see a lot of people being amused by that. The absurdity of it all. The absolute horror of the absolute trivial. Having only read the first 40 pages, my hope is that the writer manages to use the premise for some even bigger payoffs later on. If the writer can milk the premise for all it’s worth and continue to leverage the auditory component in doing so, she might be onto something here.

    • Rachel Woolley

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I don’t know if you carried on with it or not but I appreciate the feedback all the same, especially your sentiment about focusing on the auditory aspect (and the absurdity of it all) to help tell the story in a different way. It’s a RomCom where no one is ever actually in harm’s way, but my protagonist is in a perpetual war zone thanks to her eardrums. It’s like everybody else is in the RomCom and she’s trapped in her own personal horror flick.

  • Awescillot

    Why you should read (my life story).

    I don’t think it helps when you mention how inexperienced you are, how experienced you claim to be, or whatever it is you did before (unless it’s really really relevant to the script).

  • Howie428

    I decided I’d take a look at the first five pages of each of these and then go back to the ones that stood out for me. In the end “The Barrow Boys” was the one that got me to read it through, although I can see that some of the others might have got going if I’d have been able to spend more time on them.

    The Barrow Boys

    It’s an amusing opening, although it predicates on the idea that mature students are really unusual, but I’m not sure they really are. To persuade us of why this is unusual it might make sense to back this up to their home life and give us a view of how this came about.

    The “I’ve enrolled” surprise on page 8 is great stuff, but it feels like the kind of major story beat that belongs a bit deeper in the story. With this happening here, I guess I’d be worried about this running out of steam further on.

    I got to the end of this episode and the fun tone carried on going. However, it did feel like things kind of resolved themselves and that the issues in this were a bit thin. I can see how you’ve set up other characters to make this an ensemble, but I’d suggest going for a simplified pilot that leaves more issues outstanding and goes for a bit more humor.

    Work Retreat

    Opening on a guy hitting his alarm clock and getting started with his day is a bit old-hat. You’ve done it fine, but it’s not enough to stand out. And the other scenes in these five pages are also pretty solid, but at the same time they are a bit generic.

    I carried on reading a bit further on this one and it seems like it might work out, but it didn’t quite get me excited enough to keep on going.

    The Hardest Weekend

    The premise of this has a good high concept. There’s a challenge with this opening in that you’re showing us an unlikeable guy, so that you can have this whole experience change him. These early pages do quite a bit of scene setting in his luxurious life and for me I wonder if that gets in the way of getting the story started. It also adds to the distance you’re putting between me and the main character. For me I’m not sure the opening to this is funny enough and I’m finding it hard to care about your spoilt rich kid.

    The New World

    The opening page is okay, but I’d wonder if there is a way to make it something other than a normal Oscar win. As it stands, it doesn’t hook me. After five pages, I like the contrast of the early success with the situation that plays out. Being fussy, I guess I’d question having the world go to shit this quickly since it seems like you could have had some fun with developing that a bit more steadily. This makes me think of “This is the End,” which also had actors in an apocalypse.

    The Introvert’s Playlist

    The title of this is cerebral. That might be good, but it might also put some people off. The illness described here gives this a chance to be cinematic. However, the extended opening voice-over might take the fun out of it. The opening five pages have some interest, but felt a bit documentarian to me. I guess I’d suggest showing us your character living as per normal, have her afflictions begin to appear, and let us learn over time what her situation is.

    • Ant

      Thanks for the notes.

  • cjob3

    THE INTROVERTS PLAYLIST

    I really like this concept and it was interesting to see a character with an ailment we’d never seen before. It was fun to learn about it and I can see it being fun to present visually. (Almost like Tobey Maguire’s Spider Sense) The visuals were well painted in my mind. It’s a unique hook and that’s crucial for a rom-com these days. Although I do agree it runs the risk of being a one-trick pony. I wish our hero spent a little more time showing us the clever ways she’s learned to work-around with her issue, rather than wallowing in it. We get a lot, perhaps too many, examples of her being annoyed by everything. It makes her unlikeable after awhile. She had my sympathy in the beginning but I after awhile she did just seem whiney. I’d like to see her be a little more resourseful in overcoming her issue. That would make us like her more. If it were more that she was dealt a bad hand but she’s overcoming it, we’d admire that and root for her. Right now, her malady is only defining characteristic and she seems completely defeated by it. A girl who’s constantly annoyed by all sound. That’s not a fun person to hang out with for two hours. Think of something like “Scent of a Woman” or even “Stuck on You.” We don’t focus on all the things the main character(s) can’t do, but all the things they can.

    Maybe it’s true- there’s no treatment whatsoever. So what if she solved the problem herself? For some reason I’m thinking of Spaceballs where the princess leya had those huge headphone hair buns over her ears.What if she jerry rigged something like that? Maybe with a headband or something? It could fail when conveniant to the plot but it would show she’s trying rather than just woe is me-ing. You have a great ear (ha!) for dialogue. The banter between the two leads was nicely done.

    THE BARROW BOYS

    I liked it. It’s cute and genial enough. I read the whole thing. (Though maybe that was only because the author called me out personally?) Obviously, I was looking to dislike it and I didn’t. The author deserves credit for that. The father/son dialogue rings true and the pacing feels spot on. But there are a lot of british references that Americans wont get, so I’m not sure of it’s chances in Hollywood. I’m a student of brit coms and there were a lot of names even I didn’t recognize. I’m pretty sure I understood most of the lofty, superior english wit but I’m not sure about the final scene. We learn the kid has a huge cock, right? And the old lady burps real loud? ;)

    The writer has talent. I might have even voted for it if weren’t so incredibly petty and vindictive. You’ve learned an important lesson about networking.

    THE NEW WORLD
    I like the idea of intro’ing characters in our heros life via an acceptance speech. That’s clever. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. The opening with the orc is a fun, wild, hells-a-popping, crazygonuts way to kickstart a story. Couple nitpicks though: I’d have like Thomas to exclaim something upon seeing the orc. A “What the fuck?” or a “Holy shit” I think would be in order. I assumed you were trying to keep it clean but then you have a newsreporter say “What the fuck is going on out there?” (I agree with the other poster. You should cut that line.) And I didn’t understand why his phone lines were dead the first two times he tried and then suddenly work on the third try. Maybe if he got the recorded message the first two times but kept hanging up? Also, we need to know how old Sydney is. I assumed she was around 9 until she starting talking about the “evac center.”

    Great image with a dragon on the Hollywood sign. I don’t even like Fantasy stuff but that shot alone is enough to give it my vote.

    THE HARDEST WEEKEND
    This is a fairly fun premise for a sex comedy. It’s well written, but I can’t quite say it grabbed me. I can almost see this under the “National Lampoon” banner. I’m not sure the one joke can sustain a whole screenplay. And the 88 page count seems to support that fear.

    WORK RETREAT
    A lot of the scenes just felt kinda flat to me. And the concept of a staight guy pretending to be gay is a little dated and corny IMO. Like Three’s Company territory. No offense. It felt as generic as the title at times. The pages for me, weren’t rising above the concept. It’s by no means bad, I just wasn’t feeling it.

    My vote THE NEW WORLD [X]
    2nd Place: Introverts Playlist
    3rd Place: Barrow Boys

    • Rachel Woolley

      Thanks for giving the Introvert’s Playlist a look, and for the insightful observations. I definitely wanted to inspire sympathy for Iris’ plight but if I’ve crossed the line into a wallowing protagonist that’s a big no-no. It’s so funny you mention the huge headphone idea – that’s actually a solution that Levi comes up with later on :-)

  • Midnight Luck

    I’m Angry

    …edit

    I’m Happy!

    …edit

    I’m ?

  • Somersby

    Read all to about page 25 – except The Barrow Boys, which at 31 pages is a pretty quick read, why not just finish the thing?

    There is a been-there, done-that flavour with “The Barrow Boys”, and although the stuff with the mother at the beginning seems to set the stage for an Oh, no. Not again. reaction, it script picked up as it went along. Yeah, it’s over the top, but there is a genuineness and sincerity in Mike and Colin’s relationship (as convoluted as it is.) The writer knows what he wants to achieve and, for the most part, nails it.

    I could see this as a sitcom. Nice set-up for the final scene and a strong, final line to end the pilot. Nicely done.

    Second choice for me is “The Introvert’s Playlist”. Competently written, and a nice tone and style. As someone else pointed out, it’s a unique concept… and the audio dimension is nicely explained and exploited. That said, I found the comedy a tad predictable. But that’s the backbone of most romantic comedies, so I have to give Rachel props for knowing the genre and meeting its expectations. (The first 25 interested me enough to sneak to the last 10. Predictable, yes. But sweet.) Again, knowing the market you are writing for is a big plus, and this one lands nicely in the rom-com genre.

    “Work Retreat” has some really nice moments, but much of it is predicated on unlikely and contrived circumstances. Plus, the whole I-gotta-pretend-I’m-gay thing is a fairly weak spine on which to build a story. But there are some good characterizations and good dialogue here. I’d encourage Dan not to be discouraged. A stronger concept and a more polished execution will open doors, I’m sure.

    “The Hardest Weekend”, unfortunately, is not in my wheelhouse. (Nope, not a Judd Apatow fan.) But, hey. Apatow has done alright for himself despite my eye-rolling.) I did like the Hugh and Matilda relationship in the first few pages, but the story just didn’t grab me.

    I actually found “The New World” a hard read. The action lines in particular, didn’t seem well thought out or effective. Take, for example:
    “Up the road, a car comes barreling toward the guard shack. Linda notices the car just in time to get out of the guard shack to see who is coming her way.

    The car gets closer but doesn’t slow down. Linda squints against the headlights.

    At the last second, Thomas stands up through the sunroof of the limo, Oscar in hand. He waves it about like a war trophy and screams. He’s also very drunk.”

    Too wordy and lacking emotion. Maybe something like this–?

    Linda looks, sees a car barreling toward her guard shack. In a second, she’s on her feet, out the door, where—

    A LIMO

    races past. An inebriated Thomas stands precariously through the sunroof. His eyes meet Linda’s. He whoops, pumps his Oscar. In your face, bitch.

    The concept for the potential series seems as if its trying to be i>really original and daring. I just don’t think there’s an audience who will invest in Orcs and Giant Spiders. Just not strong enough.

    • Ant

      Thanks for reading. The pilot is definitely a little convoluted but if you are still interested in reading about Mike and Colin then I’m happy. Cheers.

  • bex01

    The Introvert’s Playlist

    I started off with The Introvert’s Playlist because I love a good rom com! And can I say first up, Rachel can definitely write. I really loved her descriptions of characters, I loved how she wrote her action paragraphs – everything flowed very smoothly. Her writing style
    definitely makes it easy on the reader. So double thumbs up for that. One example of an intro:

    “Sara (27), a bouquet of sunflowers compared to her sister’s wilting demeanor”
    And there were plenty more like this.

    The story, on the other hand, didn’t quite impress me as much. Here are some of my thoughts:

    – I felt like the opening scenes, with Iris’ v/o, were very repetitive. We get her disorder after scene numero 1. Maybe, instead of making her take out the batteries calmly, get her to smash the clock or something equally crazy so that scene is a bit ‘bigger’, then you
    can cut out the following scenes where Iris is essentially reacting in the same way. We already get it.

    – AND if you do this, then you’ve freed up some page space in the beginning! Which I think is really needed to set up more of Iris’ character. Just because she has a disorder does not automatically make her ‘deep’. I think we really need to know MORE about her
    before we get stuck in the courtroom. She has a disorder… OK. What else? Where
    does she work? Who is she apart from the disorder? Other characteristics?
    Traits? Everyday routine? I have no idea about her life, and it makes her feel incredibly flat

    – The court scene. Hmm. I stopped reading not long after we left the courts, so I’m not sure if these details come back to play later on in the story, but the time spent here felt wayyyy too long. Do we really need flashbacks to what happened between Levi and
    Kynlee? I mean, I feel it’s pretty obvious that Kynlee is exaggerating everything. You should be able to get this across without flashing back. I just
    felt we were spending way too much time in the past when it didn’t even have
    anything to do with our main character. Also, I don’t know anything about the
    legal system, but would they really have a jury for such a minor case? And the
    jurors seemed pretty unrealistic and a bit dumb to me – can they really not
    tell that Kynlee is making things up? It seemed pretty obvious (even without
    the flashbacks). Finally, the scenes between the jurors are drawn out, but for
    what reason? So much time is spent on food – chips, tacos, nachos – to
    reinforce Iris’ disorder. But we already get her disorder! Tell us something
    else about her. Or better yet, cut these scenes! They’re not needed. We need to
    be in and out of the courts MUCH quicker

    I stopped reading around page 30. I think what this script needs is way more depth to the characters (we should know so much more about Iris by page 30) and the plot needs to be tightened. This script definitely made me laugh – the problem was, all the best jokes were in the descriptions, so apart from the readers, no one will know about them. If Rachel can find a way to write jokes that will translate over to the screen, she could have something hilarious! And if she ever writes a novel, I’m so there.

    • Rachel Woolley

      Thanks for the read and the kind words! To answer your first question, the stuff that happens between Levi and Kynlee does come into play later on. There’s a big showdown at the end when Iris and Levi run into Kynlee that leads to a question of jury tampering being raised, and ultimately some major karma for Kynlee.

      And with regards to your second question, different states have very different approaches to assault charges. California in particular has one of the loosest definitions of what qualifies as assault under the law (making it harder to actually prove someone’s guilt but incredibly easy to take just about anyone who pisses you off to court over it.) In fact, during my research I came across some CA law firms who focus only on defending against frivolous assault charges.

      Iris’ job/family/etc. are revealed as the script goes on but if I lost you at 30 then none of that matters! I’ll definitely address that in my next draft. Thanks again for taking the time to give me this feedback. And for the words of encouragement. They’re sincerely appreciated!

  • charliesb

    Just a note to Carson regarding something he said in the newsletter.

    Yes, The Walking Dead is pretty amazing (despite a few clunky episodes/characters) but Hannibal is the best show on television right now. Fuller deserves all the awards. It may not have the heart of TWD, but it is so polished, so nuanced, so polished. I can not recommend it enough. This is the type of “horror/thriller” that has the ability to appeal to a wide audience, but still hasn’t been able to find that audience yet. Thank God for the creative financing that has been able to keep this show getting renewed.

    Also my vote is for Sicario for Wednesday’s review.

  • Randy Williams

    THE NEW WORLD

    Teaser- I think there’s lots of room for a reader to jump to conclusions starting off with the celebration of make believe at the Oscars and then having your protagonist wake up and dragons are landing on the Hollywood sign. Me, personally, was thinking, is he still asleep and dreaming? Certainly, this is not really happening.

    Act One – But it is….and it’s interesting, I love disaster stories, although you tell more through a radio broadcast then maybe showing it, but the reactions from the protagonist are often simplistic as is his dialogue. Not sure, what tone you’re going for. The insistence that he could get a flight because he’s an Oscar winner made me laugh. Was that the reaction you wanted?

    There are lots of typos, spelling and grammatical. Page 9, for instance, “..several news organization” “advice” for “advise” Page 11- “in front Thomas’ car” Members on here are very good at proofreading if you can find someone to share your scripts with. I have and been amazed at what they’ve picked up on.

    I bailed out at the end of Act One. Playing this straight doesn’t work for me. “You stalled out twice. You don’t got this and it’s my car!” I’ll tell you, for me, the only way this could work is the actor won an Emmy for his children’s show and he and everyone around him reacts to everything like they’re on that show.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Can’t help but think that, for the most part, these are ‘PLEASE READ MY SCRIPT’ scripts.
    If you are somebody, they might prove interesting. But you’re not somebody, yet.
    They’re not GET ME NOTICED scripts or I MUST READ THIS SCRIPT scripts.

    And that’s what I keep hearing the pros say you need to write.

    Here’s what you need to know: There is no shortage of ‘PLEASE READ MY SCRIPT’ scripts.
    We’ve all written them. Now it’s time to move on.

    And here’s a question:
    Should the ‘Why You Should Read’ — be more interesting than your log line?

    Here’s what I find curious:
    A while back we had a Twit-Pitch contest.

    And here were the winners —

    1st place: PROVING GROUND
    2nd place: FATTIES
    3rd place: GUEST

    All three GET ME NOTICED scripts. And all three picked based on loglines.

    If you’re looking for a needle in a haystack,
    I don’t think it helps to look in a desert — where there’s little hay.

  • GoIrish

    The Hardest Weekend – made it to page 12. Quick suggestion: this needs a good proofread. The very first slug line of your script has an error. You don’t want to risk losing readers over this stuff. I made notes on the errors I found, but it takes me out of the story when I do so. My focus starts turning to identifying the grammatical mistakes rather than getting into the plot. As for the story, you’ve described it as “sex comedy.” The “sex” part is fairly evident early on – lot of talk about girls. The “comedy” element, however, probably could be a little stronger. I think you’ve got your comedic premise, but the situations and dialogue might benefit from some tweaking/revising (e.g., having the pool boy pour chlorine on his face seemed more odd than amusing). As has been stated here many times, comedy is tough. Additionally, a line could be delivered completely different on the screen than I am reading it on the page.

    Notes while reading:
    p. 1 (opening slug line) – MANSIONS (no apostrophe)
    p. 1 – booze FLOWS freely
    p. 1 – you don’t state Dan’s age

    p. 1 – was “astronaught” intentional?
    p. 1 – ROLLS over
    p. 2 – donde es las chicas today? (delete the comma after “las”)
    p. 2 – the maid scene feels a little too reminiscent of Billy Madison
    p. 2 – “cheesus” reminds me of those cheese-flavored products that resemble Jesus
    p. 2 – “smile greet him heartily” seems a little off – “smile and greet”???

    p. 3 – how’s life (with apostrophe)
    p. 4 – …of an education, son. (add a comma)
    p. 4 – I’m serious, kid. (add a comma)
    p. 4 – Initiation is the weekend. THIS weekend???
    p. 5 – I think we need to see him pick up the shotgun before we hear the BOOM
    p. 6 – “this is the life” has been used three times in the first six pages
    p. 8 – probably don’t need “Howard is not pleased” in the action line AND Howard saying “Words can’t express how disappointed I am in you.”
    p. 8 – seems a little weird for the dad to suggest going to the doctor. I just got the impression that Hugh was just hung over.
    p. 9 – Dog, get over here. (add a comma)
    p. 10 – Let’s go to the Europe. (add an apostrophe)
    p. 10 – …sees his mom (delete apostrophe)
    p. 11 – Good luck, kid. Call me if you need anything. (move comma, add period)

    p. 11 – two uses of “smirk” (once with the doctor and now with the mom) – neither seems correct word choice to me for the situations. I recall a previously AOW exchange where “smirk” was debated extensively. So, I understand people have different impressions of what the word means. I typically associate it with a smugness or scorn.

    p. 11 – do you want an INTERCUT with the phone call?
    p. 12 – DR. GRANT’S OFFICE (add an apostrophe)
    p. 12 – Dr. Grant’s desk (add an apostrophe)
    p. 12 – “Dr. Grant snaps out of it.” Snaps out of what?? Was he distracted by Olivia? if so, you need to include something stating so.

    • IgorWasTaken

      Golrish wrote: “I recall a previously AOW exchange where “smirk” was debated extensively.

      Yep.

  • Randy Williams

    It doesn’t. It plays off the bravado of a young man, the youthful enthusiasm to experience love and sex and the dangers in each.

  • walker

    I read the opening (10-15) of each script, which incidentally favors the pilots, even though I myself prefer features. Based on that sample my vote is for The Introvert’s Playlist.

    • Rachel Woolley

      Thank you!

  • Randy Williams

    THE BARROW BOYS

    Congrats on making it on AOW!

    This one really feels like a TV pilot. The writer displays confidence and skill in seeking to entertain.

    Did love the opening, dad, the student’s dad, mum, brilliant, laughed out loud a number of times.

    The rest, in my opinion, started to swirl around itself without gaining a foothold onto something. I think an American show would have the father try to hide his presence for a while. The reveal that he was there would be tied with some love interest of the son, perhaps. They’d be several avenues of conflict right off the bat and one would be resolved to leave others for remaining shows. The reveal came quickly here. father and son seemed too chummy, and then it was settling in to get to know the different characters of which there were many, none of which I found distracting enough to make me not yearn for that opening vibe.

    • Ant

      Thanks for reading. I definitely take your point about delaying the reveal. In earlier drafts that’s how it went but the feedback I got from my workshop group was ‘establish the set-up then get to the story’. I suppose the argument is that the audience already knows the reveal from the log line and ultimately the strength of the show comes from the clashes between Colin and Mike. Still, I was a little worried they appeared “too chummy” so that is something I’ll look to address. Cheers.

  • charliesb

    Didn’t have much time this weekend but i’m trying to give each at a least a few page read.

    First up: The New World

    I read to page 20. A few things. This story is supposed to be about a guy trying to get to his daughter right? So I would shorten all the other stuff and get him on the road moving towards his goal. Instead of using the first few pages to just show us an awards ceremony, use this time to tell us something about the character. I’d cut the ceremony and go right to that night (early morning – no one who wins an oscar is going home till early morning). Maybe he’s on the phone with his daughter talking about which of her fave celebs he saw, or teasing his girlfriend about her first threesome (him, her and statue). Whatever you decide you need to make Thomas a little more concrete to us.

    I know what you’re trying to go for with instant chaos outside the window, but it might be more effective to show the opposite. Maybe it’s eerily quiet and the streets are empty before the orc bursts in, think of The Mist, that uses a build up of monsters and chaos very effectively. If it’s Defcon 4 outside his window, how could he and his girlfriend have slept through it?

    After the orc shows up and is killed, Thomas calls his daughter. Shouldn’t he be calling 911, it’s a reflex as soon as someone is injured isn’t it? Even when they are dead, especially with what’s going on outside the window. Maybe he tries 911, but gets the all circuits are busy message and then tries to call his daughter.

    Also, your timelines are little strange. He gets a call from his daughter in the day. And then it cuts to night and he’s still on the phone with her. He doesn’t talk to her mother (or anyone else for that matter) or attempt to find out what’s going on and then suddenly it’s a few days later and he’s still at home. Then he finally tries to leave the house to go the airport, is turned around and then bam it’s three weeks later? You need to up the urgency here, if he’s worried about his daughter he should be looking to try to get to her that day. It might make more sense for him to run into Linda while she is fleeing work than for her to come back. This is a pilot, once you turn up the intensity you need to keep it up, not stop and start and stop and start. Check out the pilot for Flashforward to see what I mean.

    The only other thing I would suggest is adding technology. It’s 2014 and you’re featuring heavily a land line and a radio. I don’t even own a radio anymore (except in the car – which could be a plot point actually maybe he has to keep going down to the car to listen to the radio) Thomas and his daughter should be using Skype. He should be turning on the television or using the computer to find out what’s happening.

    As an aside, there must be something in the air, I’m also working on a semi-fantasy TV pilot, so I hope your’s get’s picked so we can discuss it further.

    Congrats on making the cut. And good luck with it.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Agree with your comment regarding the late Saturday posting of AOW leading to it’s decline. That is a full day wasted, especially since we no longer get the newsletter on a Thurs or Friday anymore. It would be a shame if AOW became a thing of the past.

  • charliesb

    The Introverts Playlist

    I did not like A Beautiful Mind. The only screen writer I dislike more than David Goyer is Akiva Goldsman. Still I kinda liked this. I immediately thought of Jeunet, Spike Jonze or Wes Anderson. It’s quirky and funny and I like the overall concept. I read to page 30.

    I would remove the opening V.O, let us see and experience what Iris is dealing with without trying to explain it all right away. Let us discover the details later in (or throughout) the movie. If you’re going to have voice over it should be recurring, not just for exposition at the beginning of the film. (Unless it’s Morgan Freeman or Sam Elliot.) And I think this film will be stronger without it. Your character descriptions need to be a little stronger. You’re giving me a “feeling” about a person without a concrete “look”.

    Also, by page 30 nothing had really moved the story forward. Kynlee had made me laugh out loud a few times for sure, but I found myself wondering what the story was about again. You need to have Iris and Levi meet earlier (like right away) if the court case is just a means to make them meet, then shorten it, if it has some other payoff later, then it needs to be a bit more engaging.

    Congrats on making AOW, and good luck.

  • Ant

    I can understand the feelings on Sanjay, the Indian character. I was watching Mean Girls the other day (as you do) and I couldn’t help but think Sanjay was kind of similar to the Math-lete Indian kid in that too. Truth is, I wrote this script before I saw Mean Girls (and I’ve never seen Looking for Alaska). Sanjay is an exaggerated caricature of some Indian kids I knew at Uni. I’ll have to try to add something else that differentiates him from the characters that got there before me. Cheers.

  • charliesb

    The Hardest Weekend

    WTH with your “why you should read” man? That needed a TLDR. ;) Anyway here are my thoughts.

    You know when you watch a TV show or movie and there’s a scene with a bunch of teens in it, and the character’s actually look like teens (instead of 30 year olds), wear ironic t-shirts, and say things like “Dude”, “instagram” and “whatever” and yet the whole things feels inauthentic? This is how I felt when I read the opening pages of this script. It’s not that the stuff happening couldn’t happen or doesn’t happen. Rich people hang around pools with hot chicks and get propositioned by their maids/nannies I’m sure. But something about the writing felt forced. Like from the perspective of the person looking at the instagram feeds instead of the person living in them.

    To fix this, I would focus on the comedy. I got to page 10, and hadn’t laughed once. The pool, the chicks, the money that needs to just be background set up for your jokes. I don’t care if Aoki is spinning unless he throws a cake in some chicks face (happened – true story).

    Your dialogue is a little on the nose, try to have people say what they mean without exactly saying what they mean. Instead of Howard saying: “It’s been some summer, Hugh. You’ve had a lot of fun, but now it’s time to start college.”

    He could say something like : “I gave Waldo his bonus this morning. He said his tuition is due this week.”

    Or ok, not that, because that’s not funny, but you know what I mean.

    Also, with your premise you need a really funny sex joke right at the beginning to set the tone. I don’t think Matilda hit it (pun intended). And check your grammar and spelling.

    Congrats and good luck.

  • Poe_Serling

    My Pick: The Introvert’s Playlist

    This script is quirky with a capital Q, and you know what – I really enjoyed it. I found the character of Iris and her ‘disorder’ oddly compelling.

    Also, the dialogue made me smile quite a bit.

    INT. JURY SELECTION WAITING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

    Iris stands before the blank-faced ADMINISTRATOR.

    IRIS
    So you understand? You can’t trap me in a room with a bunch of other people.

    ADMINISTRATOR
    You say you got a disease?

    IRIS

    Technically it’s a disorder. You can look it up. Kelly Ripa has it.

    ***And I did look it up. It’s all true about poor Kelly Ripa.

    Nice work, Rachel. Thanks for sharing your script with us.

    • Rachel Woolley

      Thank YOU Poe, for your time and the vote. Glad you enjoyed it :-)

      • ElectricDreamer

        Sorry it took so long, but I whipped up some notes for you.
        Good luck on the AOW vote!

        • Rachel Woolley

          Thank you!! Much appreciated! :-)

  • Citizen M

    My vote this week goes to THE NEW WORLD with honorable mention to THE BARROW BOYS.

    THE BARROW BOYS
    Writer from Leeds, eh? *sings* “People stop and stare, they don’t bother me.
    For there’s nowhere else on earth that I would Radebe.” Sorry. Soccer pun.

    Read all 31 pages. Breezy writing and a quick read. More of a dramedy than a sitcom. Humor is based on appreciating the situation rather than setups and gags or one-liners. Good cast of characters. Presumably tatted-up Jenny will keep embarrassing Colin until he ends up with sweet Lizzy. Love-hate relationship between father and son has potential for further exploration.

    In general, quite promising. I would like more laugh out loud moments, and I though security Nazi Neil was overdone

    WORK RETREAT
    Read 30 pages. Cliche setup of two guys having to pretend to be gay. Not bad but not fresh enough take on the genre, nor funny enough. I think the stakes need to be bigger. If his boss discovers his SO is really his friend, is he going to fire his best performer? I don’t think so.

    THE HARDEST WEEKEND
    Read to page 19. Misused apostrophe on first line was a danger sign. This didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t buy into the premise. Get an erection and your nose starts bleeding and you drop dead? How is that medically possible? I couldn’t believe Hanson Snr knew nothing about his son gallivanting with playboy Bilzerian. These rich dudes have staff who keep them informed. When Bilzerian calls Hanson a “hardarse motherfucker” that’s telling not showing. We need to see Hanson being a hardarse motherfucker. The pool game where Hanson kept hitting the servants with pool balls was too slapsticky. Might be funny if Hanson is set up better. I didn’t buy Dr Grant at all. A doctor who makes jokes at the expense of his patients isn’t funny, it’s mean and nasty.

    Generally, there doesn’t seem to be a story. What does Hugh want? What does Hanson want from his son? We need specific goals that we can see Hugh moving towards or away from. The stakes need to be bigger. Hugh needs to have some big goal that requires him to have an erection. Maybe a girl he’s in love with and tonight’s the night.

    I’m not sure the script is fixable. Might be better to move on to the next one.

    THE NEW WORLD
    Read all 64 pages. Pretty good. Believable world with orcs and elves and dragons invading Earth. Thomas and Linda make a good mismatched couple. Thomas has a mission, get to his daughter, and a nemesis, the Orc Lord. The action is a bit vanilla, but there are a couple of nice twists like Thomas knowing sword-fighting from his acting. All is set up for a good series and I’d like to know what happens next.

    Only problem is the many homonyms that spoil the read: breaks/brakes; breath/breathe; sheers/shears; battle scared/scarred; all ready/already; chocking/choking; over powers/overpowers; spoke the locals/spook.

    THE INTROVERT’S PLAYLIST
    Read to page 31. Nothing much happening. No GSU. Scenes are too drawn-out for the small amount of story they contain. The early scenes are the same exposition re misophonia repeated over again. We got the picture, move on. And make it funnier and more visible. Most of us can’t relate to the affliction because it’s so unusual.

    There needs to be more depth. A B-story. Iris needs to have a life apart from her misophonia. Needs, desires. At the moment she has no character whatsoever.

    • Ant

      A Lucas Radebe on Scriptshadow… there’s a first time for everything. Thanks for reading.

      • ElectricDreamer

        Sorry it took so long, but I whipped up some notes for you.
        Good luck on the vote!

  • Ant

    I grew up around Oakwood, near Roundhay Park. Most of my friends and family are still back there. I moved out to Cali close to six years to go. Where are you at?

  • Ant

    I used to go out in Chapel Allerton. I came out to Cali to study and met a girl and now I’m married and I live here. No screenwriting career to speak of yet, just trying to get things going.
    It’s not easy getting out here without a visa.

    • cjob3

      I assume you’ve tried submitting to the BBC?

      • Ant

        I submitted a much earlier draft to a contact that didn’t go anywhere. It’s changed a lot since then and so I will probably submit the next draft. Cheers.

  • ElectricDreamer

    Apologies for being a little late to the show. Didn’t get these until Sunday afternoon.
    Welcome back AOW! Big props to all the candidates. It’s another HYBRID WEEK.

    AOW Winner: THE BARROW BOYS.

    WORK RETREAT:
    Methinks your logline is a bit confusing.
    It reads like the protag has already been sacked.
    But I’m guessing that’s about a personal relationship?
    And he’s still struggling to keep his job. I think. Right?

    P. 5 It reads strange that the incentive trip is so soon.
    Typically if there’s a time constraint, it’s mentioned UPFRONT.
    It’s the only way anyone can plan to participate in such a thing.

    Only stuff that’s happened so far is the winner announcement.
    Everything else is BACKSTORY and the scene choices are overly familiar.
    This fact would be more tolerable if I learned about Brian.
    But the only thing I know about him so far is he’s a hard worker.
    Things must be happening on the page to entertain/inform the reader.
    There’s not even an attempt at jokes during the opening plot set up.

    P. 7 Instead of forcing the bestie and girlfriend’s intro right here…
    Why not PAY OFF the SET UP between Brian and Mark from earlier?
    You spent an entire page constructing the scenario. Give us the reward.

    Why aren’t you going right back to Brian’s desk here?
    It’s the NATURAL PROGRESSION of things. It’s where my mind went.
    Also would be a good way to show us something about Brian’s character.
    How someone handles a potential gloating situation like that is REVEALING.

    But instead your FORCE the UNNATURAL CUT. Mark needs to be here.
    It’s like you’ve gone out of your way to alienate your scenes.
    Being unable to CONNECT SCENES into SEQUENCES leaves the reader adrift.

    P. 7 Isabella’s character intro should be in CAPS.

    P. 8 Wouldn’t Brian know that his girl’s got play rehearsal?
    It’s not something you’re typically allowed to miss out on for big chunks.
    Anyone knows that. The plotting here isn’t logical at all.
    But if she’s known for weeks, then you can potentially have a scene…

    Let’s say that Isabella never asked for the time off…
    Because she never thought Brian would EVER HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN! Ouch.
    Isabella admits never mentioning the trip to her boss because of that.
    This is a REWARDING and comedic way for the reader to learn character traits.
    And that also leads to something this script has none of — CONFLICT.

    P. 10 The forced contrivance of catching Isabella in the act is script suicide.
    Why rely on such extraordinary coincidence to further your plot?
    Have Isabella — BE HONEST. She figured the contest would never come up again.
    Why is every woman in the script a CHEATING WHORE or a PSYCHO STALKER?
    Given all these issues upfront, I’m passing on the final 103 pages.

    Learn the basics of connecting scenes and how to use them to inform readers.
    You must REWARD the reader as much as possible to keep them turning pages.

    PASS.

    • ElectricDreamer

      THE HARDEST WEEKEND:
      P. 3 Waldo the Incompetent Pool Boy is a big RED FLAG here for me.
      He’s an “add-on” joke that has nothing to do with your protag.
      But we get random sight gags about how stupid this guy is.
      Why aren’t we getting jokes that relate to your protag?
      Hmmm. Is that supposed to be why Hugh gets an STD, from the pool?

      P. 6 For the sheer amount of babes on screen, you’d think sex would happen.
      I mean, even if by accident. Someone should have gotten laid by now.
      Reads so odd that these guys love the life, but don’t fool around.
      Isn’t there supposed to be an STD in the plot somewhere?

      P. 8 Why isn’t Howard pulling Hugh out of Vegas sooner?
      He’s super rich, so why not send some THUGS to bring back his son?
      That would introduce a little much needed CONFLICT on the page.
      Anything would be more interesting than a stiff chat on the tarmac.

      P. 14 The doctor’s slapstick incompetence isn’t funny, reads dated.
      Why would very rich people not have the best doctors?
      Again, this is TACKED-ON SLAPSTICK that has ZERO to do with the protag/plot.
      If Hugh had a new STD, he would be put into QUARANTINE immediately.

      P. 16 I’m bowing out here. There’s nothing here compelling me to continue.
      No character beats. It’s all BACKSTORY up to the plot device reveal.
      Hugh has no real problems that would interest a reader.
      He’s just a party boy with zero personality or goals and NO CONFLICT.

      Besides, I’m sure there’s a pill out there to inhibit erections.
      Enough drugs from Big Pharma already do that as a side effect!
      Seems easy enough to keep Hugh on drugs until a solution is researched.

      PASS.

    • ElectricDreamer

      THE INTROVERT’S PLAYLIST:
      P. 2 I dig that your VOICE OVER is at least INFORMING us about your protag.
      So many attempts don’t accomplish that fundamentally critical task.

      P. 3 We need a reference here to how much this affects DATING.
      When Iris is at the cafe, have her recoil from an attractive gum chewer.
      Something like that to SHOW THE READER how hard dating is for Iris.

      P. 5 Five pages for that intro reads too long.
      You can weed out repetitive beats and enhance the remaining ones.

      P. 9 The dramatic irony of Levi’s profession is a bit too on the nose.
      Unless this fact plays a big part in how these two come together.

      P. 10 Isn’t Levi the one that’s going to hook up with Iris?
      If so, then why aren’t we listening to HIS SIDE of the story?
      What’s so important about the woman to your tale?
      We need to cut to the chase here much sooner.

      P. 15 Waiting five pages to hear Levi speak is way too long.
      The script’s only 95 pages & you spent 6% of it on a flashback backstory.
      Not using your pages wisely. Cut to Levi right away.
      Let Kynlee’s reactions to him fill in the blanks.
      Make sure the prosecuting attorney questions Levi, MORE CONFLICT that way.

      P. 18 I’m bowing out here.
      This courtroom intro has been going on for TEN PAGES.
      And most of it is spent on another woman, Kynlee.
      This is all BEFORE your two leads ever make eye contact.
      More than 20% of your script is already over, and no story progression.
      We’re still introducing characters and taking a lot of real estate to do it.

      This over-plotted courtroom sequence is very unrewarding to read.
      Why the rampant convenience? Why not have Iris try to HELP HERSELF?

      For instance… Iris researches ways to mitigate her unusual condition.
      And that plucky research leads her to a quirky sound engineer.
      I want to know more about that girl and how she relates to a suitor.
      That’s all you need. Let the characters find each other, organically.

      PASS.

    • ElectricDreamer

      THE NEW WORLD:
      P. 4 Your prose gets in the way of the story’s pace at times.
      Bursts of brevity can be your friend when the heat’s on in your tale.

      P. 4 Be consistent with calling your protag by ONE NAME.
      You’ve got Thomas and Tom in your prose. A lot.

      P. 7 Good visual to end your teaser on.
      But it honestly feels more like a CARTOON than a serialized adventure.
      I mean that in the good way, it plays well in that arena.
      I’m glad you didn’t overplay how upset Thomas was about his Oscar.

      Rogen & Goldberg have SAUSAGE PARTY already set up at Sony.
      That’s a hard R-rated anitamed tale. A “This is the End” style cartoon.
      Heck, maybe even an apocalyptic half-hour comedy show is the way to go.

      P. 10 It’s awkward that you haven’t AGED Sydney yet.
      I can’t really tell from the dialogue how old she should be either.
      If you cleared this up earlier in the script, I can’t find it.

      P. 12 Tonally, I think your script is AT ODDS with itself.
      You have the dramatic mythology tropes that signify adventure.
      But Thomas is such a self absorbed snot, the whole thing reads SITCOM to me.
      This is the End made over a $100 million doing that very same thing.
      And I believe there’s a post-apocalyptic comedy with Wil Forte coming up.

      P. 14 Linda’s spot-on survivalist humor backs up my sitcom theory.

      P. 15 Thomas should be FURIOUS that Linda let trouble follow her there.
      Now he’s lost his sanctuary. Not to mention how odd it is that she showed up.
      Seems there’s a lot of POTENTIAL CONFLICT left on the floor here.

      P. 15 The “for this scene” sidebar in the middle of the prose is jarring.
      It’s like a NOTE: that didn’t get the proper punctuation.
      We know when danger’s afoot why people whisper to each other.

      P. 16 We know a gate watcher can’t afford a Lambo.
      You don’t have to grind your scenes to a halt to telegraph that.

      P. 17 Pouring on all the meta-movie snark only proves my point.
      And it’s going to signal me parting ways with your script.
      Sorry, but this rousing adventure plays more like an action sitcom.
      On that level, I think your premise has some genuine promise.

      PASS.

    • ElectricDreamer

      THE BARROW BOYS:
      P. 3 Right off, the dialogue’s got plenty of snap.
      There’s no “cartoonish subjugation of everyone around the snarky protag” junk.
      Sad to say how rare that is in the comic specs that cross my desk.

      P. 4 Your description of Colin BEGS to be SPOKEN.
      It says so much that we need to hear it. Or find another way to convey it.
      Get that unfilmable on the page/screen somehow.

      P. 8 The sex through the walls joke landed pretty well for me.
      I actually LOL’d that one. I like how Mike is not condemning anyone.
      He’s merely struggling with dependency and man-baby issues as best he can.
      In a few words, Mike is endearing because he — LACKS PRETENSION.

      P. 9 Jeremy Kyle joke went right over my yank head.
      And I’m a pretty avid fan of BBC, specifically the channel that’s running UTOPIA.

      P. 11 Pretty sure that BACK TO SCHOOL used the same gimmick here.
      The old “I’ll kick you out on Monday morning” routine.
      I prefer your work when you steer clear of the Dangerfield territory.

      P. 11 Butlins joke sailed right over my noggin.

      P. 14 Points off for being a tad yuck-yuck racist with Sanjay.
      The whole “one color acting like another” stereotype flat out sucks dead ass.
      It’s about as nifty as reading a polished WSYR that’s full of sour grapes.
      Describing one’s own art by degrading someone else’s isn’t a fun read for me.
      Fortunately, your script doesn’t rely on such cheap fodder to entertain.

      P. 15 There’s a GLARING OMISSION that’s been galling me, until now.
      There’s a total lack of SOCIAL NETWORKING in your tale, that irks me.
      I’m an old fart and even I’m thinking… Why isn’t Sanjay tweeting this debacle?
      Where’s the contemporary to counterbalance the nostalgia that dad brings?

      P. 15 Let Mike set up The Vet’s punchy punchline…

      MIKE
      And what if we just want to hang out?
      THE VET
      Then you freestyle it.

      Break it up and share the wealth amongst your characters.
      This is an ensemble dialogue staple. Use your characters to spotlight each other.
      The more you spread it around, the more “realistic” your sitcom feels.

      P. 21 A friendly word of advice on your PROSE: thin it out, please.
      For a snappy sitcom, there’s TON of action description on the page.
      There’s next to nothing to suggest a vertical read. Dense pages.
      Far too much MICRO-MANAGING of the page, dialogue NEVER BREATHES.
      And that’s a big fat shame considering your talent with the spoken word.
      Try to stop yourself from stuffing description in after nearly every spoken line.

      P. 23 Great to see only ONE action description on the entire page.
      It gave me a nice reward for wading through the earlier prose.
      Use this philosophy to reward readers. We’ll love you long time.

      P. 26 Mike a tad too close to Robert Carlyle in the Full Monty at times.
      The line’s almost word for word, accidentally I’m sure.

      P. 27 Neil works for me. He mostly makes up for Sanjay, who’s rock awful.
      And Mike once again spins things in a flattering way for his new flawed pals.

      P. 32 Fine wrap up for a slapsticky sitcom, which is the absolute tone here.
      I was disappointed you went a tad SHREWISH with the mum.
      I could never see a woman like that ever married to Mike.
      But yet she doesn’t exhibit any real flaws of her own so far, pity.

      Make it feel more current (social networking) and refine your prose.
      Right now, your verbosity on the page tends to get in the way of your talent.
      I can see this yielding lots of episodes with academic and filial entanglements.

      CONSIDER WITH REVISIONS.

      • Ant

        Thanks for the notes and encouragement. I’ll definitely be incorporating some of your ideas… especially the the prose edits and Colin’s Mum. I’m a little torn on Sanjay. I’ve had notes on both sides of the camp. People think he’s great, people think he’s over-done and/or racist. I wonder if people would feel that way if I did not mention he was Indian. I certainly don’t want people to brush him off as an offensive stereotype. As I mentioned before, the characters are loosely based on people I met at university and I had a lot more to explore with Sanjay in future episodes. But the note about the absence of social media makes me think incorporating that into his character might be the way to go. Thanks again for your time.

        • ElectricDreamer

          Good scripts good ideas. Best of luck with the rewrite!

    • Dan B

      Thanks for the feedback. I actually cut a Brian/Mark scene after he wins the trip as I thought the script was too lengthy for a comedy. Your points are all helpful, I probably need to pepper in more jokes in the front 10 pages given it’s a comedy. Having Isabella cheat was my catalyst for Jeremy going on the trip with Brian, but I love the idea of her undermining his talent in the beginning. Thanks again!

  • ElectricDreamer

    Sorry it took so long, but I finally whipped up some notes for you.
    Good luck on the AOW vote!