An excerpt from Reals’ script review for The Baytown Disco which will be available 03/22/18:
What Needs Work
Before I start, I think 116 pages is too long for an action/comedy. Especially because the final film only clocks in at 98 minutes, telling me that this script is probably going to drag in places or stretch certain plot points too far.
So. Much. Text. Seriously, just looking at the first page I did a double-take because there are walls of text. DON’T DO THIS.
Pg. 1 – Why did they feel the need to describe every interaction on the street? Like the little boy playing fetch with his dog. This doesn’t matter or pertain to the main plot.
When we are describing our characters, we don’t need to describe their heights unless that is a very distinct plot point or reveals something about the character and the way they interact with the world.
This line is just bad… and even worse that it is the first line of dialogue in the script.
Hot as hell down here in Ole Mexico.
Pg. 5 – This is a personal pet-peeve, but honestly the MONTAGE is formatted extremely incorrectly. Take the time to be sure that you study formatting and the way that other writers format their scripts before sending anything out.
Pg. 6 – 7 – Also, it seems like the authors find the characters’ racism funny, but it doesn’t land for me. Not just that, but with our political climate right now it seems especially distasteful.
Pg. 11 – I HATE the trope of “X pulls a file out of the cabinet and then proceeds to give all of the exposition on a certain character or characters.” This is lazy and cliched writing. Be better than that.
Pg. 12 – UGH. AND a FLASHBACK MONTAGE of Exposition. This is literally one of the laziest things you can do.
Pg. 15 – I’m already done with this script. I will press on to give my analysis of the rest of the story, but if I am a reader looking to option a script, I likely would have put this one down in the PASS pile after page 11, but certainly by page 15.
Pg. 20 – 21 – There is no distinction for FLASHBACKS here. It is not labeled on any of the scene headings. That is lazy and confusing.
Pg. 27 – You don’t have to make your characters likable, necessarily, but you do have to make them interesting and, so far, I don’t care about or like any of the characters in this story.
Pg. 30 – The action in this script isn’t written too well. I provide some examples of good, smooth action writing in my Batman: Year One review which is coming next week, so be sure to check that out for a better of example of scripting action scenes.
Pg. 31 – I’ve already mentioned a few formatting errors, but now I’ve seen several spelling/grammar issues as well. Don’t do this. Give your script a thorough read-through before you send it out anywhere.
Pg. 35 – EVE, 30, beautifully trampy tattooed woman.
Come on, be better than this. Describe female characters as you would male characters – by their personality or defining character traits, not just their physical features.
This is an unintentionally funny line (because of the grammar issue) but it did make me laugh out loud, so I had to include it:
You’re ignorance is unbelievable.
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