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View Full Version : Critique my Script (Short Dark Comedy)



charles7
02-16-2013, 03:20 PM
I'm a freshman in high school. After showing this script to multiple people (adults, teachers, friends), I wanted to post it here before I put it into production. Tear it apart. Thanks for reading.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B27gHN1cBzblcVpGaU9FOFlIdzQ/edit?usp=sharing

Nick Soares
02-16-2013, 06:34 PM
I only had time to check out the first few pages, very descriptive - I understood clearly what was going on with the tw0 kids, keep up the hard work

Vance Baryn
02-17-2013, 07:53 AM
This story is just not believable to me. None of the characters have any motivation to act the way they do and the whole things seems like just a bunch of contrived situations.

First off, why does the bully just suddenly decide to befriend the kid in the beginning? Just because he finds out Herman has a bad home life? That's not like any bullies I have ever heard of. He's perfectly willing to beat some kid up just for listening to shitty music, but then suddenly grows a conscience? It doesn't make sense.

And then along comes Mr. Duke, which completely destroys any semblance of suspension of disbelief you had. Some full on violent drunk who verbally and physically abuses the students for no apparent reason is still working at the school? Tenure or no tenure, that's just ridiculous and totally out of place unless your intention is to have the feeling of a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Now a scene in which we find out that the protagonist is just some generic goodie-two-shoes. You have the opportunity to set up some dramatic tension and a real moral dilemma there with the drunk girl, but instead Herman just acts like a total idiot and screams that he's a virgin for no apparent reason.

Next there's the useless scene in the field which I completely fail to grasp the point of. It goes nowhere.

Ok, now Duke again and this time is even worse than the first. This dialogue is lacking in any subtlety and this time we find out that not only is Mr. Duke a violent, abusive alcoholic, but he's also completely insane.

Then Oprah gets all pissed off at Herman because he gets hit by the guy who was trying to hit Herman, a situation that Herman had nothing to do with, and he decides to stop helping Herman, which makes no sense unless I guess you take into account that he had no reason to start helping him in the first place...

Then Herman gets beat up by Mr. Duke because he wanted to be nice to another kid, ending with Mr. Duke spouting some ridiculous nonsense about not trying to change loners which he believes to be some kind of pearl of wisdom, but clearly isn't.

Was it supposed to seem like Oprah was trying to change Herman? because it certainly didn't seem like that at all. I can't think of anything that happened which could be interpreted as him trying to change Herman.

What's Oprah's motivation for doing what he's doing?
What's supposed to be the conflict in this story?

If you ask me I think you should think more about exactly what you're trying to say here. Flesh out the characters a lot more, give them purpose and personality. Find out what your conflict is, and make sure every scene has a specific purpose in building that conflict to its eventual resolution. Then start again from scratch.

Also, your scene headers aren't right and there are a couple places where you clearly transition to a new scene but do not put a new scene header. You should also capitalize name of characters the first time they appear. Look up screenplay formatting rules. If you're planning on shooting it yourself, maybe not a big deal, but still a good habit to get into, and plus the rules exist for a reason.

Thanks for posting. I know my critique was not exactly flattering, but honestly I don't think I wrote much better as a freshman in high school, so keep it up and you'll get better.

charles7
02-17-2013, 08:01 AM
Wow, thanks so much for your reply. You're the first person to really provide me with any kind of constructive criticism on this. I'll definitely be using your notes constantly in rewriting.