An excerpt from Reals’ script review for Eighth Grade by Bo Burnam which will be available 09/14/18:
Pg. 1 – I like the character description because it is short, sweet and (I hope) the writer will reveal more about the character through her dialogue and actions. This is always better than telling us what/who the character is.
Pg. 4 – I like the waking up, getting ready, then going back to bed and taking a selfie with the caption “just woke up” – this is a funny comment on social media.
Pg. 16 – I love the way this is described – as a reader you can feel how uncomfortable it is:
They sit in silence for a FULL MINUTE. Sixty excruciating seconds. No one enters.
Pg. 77 – The dad buying the hand cream is a funny visual.
Pg. 87 – I like the choice not to show us what happened in Riley’s car – we just know he went too far and they are both tense – but the transition is a little jarring.
Pg. 94 – This is a good ending – Kayla posting a video where she admits that she is still learning who she is and growing up. This should be our ending point, but the script drags on for much longer.
There is an old screenwriting saying – Enter a scene as late as possible and leave as early as possible. Here, that applies to the entire story – we don’t leave when we should and so the script drags and feels bloated.
What We Can Learn
If you are going to pick a well-worn genre, make sure that you have something to say or at least are telling it in your own voice. Otherwise, it won’t stand out as it should.
I think the writer wanted to take the teenage angst story and add modern-day technology and challenges into it. This is fine, but the script failed to really incorporate those challenges in any new and/or meaningful way, so the entire story felt dull.
Perhaps if you are successful comedian or known-personality it is much easier to get a screenplay greenlit, but for most of us, we have to do better than this to have our work read and shared.
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