For those leaving low reviews, what should be changed? What's not working? Please be specific as I need feedback in order to rewrite it to make it better. I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my project so please cite specifics!
For me the premise is disengaging. When you refer to a life in LA and a weekend life in Vegas, all I can think about is the commute.
Names like "Ghetto" for me never work as it passes off as trying too hard. Sorta like having your villain with the last name "Thorn" or something.
Finally, you have to ask yourself, is this something we really want to see? We want to watch a guy aspire into a career that most of us cannot and don't care to relate to. This is a world that not too many are familiar with (relative to population).
I'm not trying to knock you but there have been a few shows showing this fast paced lifestyle we see in those 30 second Vegas commercials, but can that be sustained for an entire episode?
Thanks, Steve! I appreciate you taking the time to put your thoughts down. Funny what you say about the name "Ghetto" as it's inspired by a friend of mine whose nickname that is. I was hoping people could relate to the career of an aspiring musician, someone following their dream, but I can see how if you aren't interested in the world you wouldn't be. However, a lot of music seems to be influenced by dance music these days (just turn on the radio) so I do think there is popularity within the population.
Did the commute monologue at the beginning of the script not help with what you're thinking? Or did it exacerbate that problem? As for being sustained for an entire episode, did you finish the script and was it not working for you?
Thanks again for taking the time, I really appreciate it!
I get what you're saying, Steve, but I have to disagree with the relatability issue. There are networks out there who's entire brand is built around introducing the audience to a new world and experience through the experience of the main character. For example, USA Network.
Kristopher: You are right however, it just didnt work for me. Could work for others I'm sure, just not me.
Sam: It's not bad just not for me. If youre going to use his name as "ghetto" and taking kristophers comment...how can we experience the experience of the main character if he is already kinda in it? We're just watching, not experieincing
I guess since he's experiencing his first professional gig I thought the audience would be, too, so it's interesting you mention that. Thanks!
I've read both drafts you've posted. I agree with some of what others have said, primarily that the subject matter is too niche and (at least for this contest) it's not enough of a comedy.
My opinion on the former is that this story is too much about Ghetto and not enough about Mike. I'm a musician so I understand your attempt to make music his whole world, but instead it should be his escape. The contrast shouldn't be LA vs LV, it should be Mike vs Ghetto.
Currently, he seems to be a smart ass who's annoyed by everyone, but I think you need to draw a distinction between who he is in the real world and who he is with music. When he's with his girlfriend or at his day job, he should Mike: insecure, henpecked, idealistic--essentially, softer and on the bottom rung of the ladder. When he's gigging or even locked in a room by himself working on mixes, he can be "Ghetto" and he can glow. See, music is the one thing he can control.
I think more comedy can arise from the incompatibility of his two worlds and the pressure from both sides to pick one over the other. I also think lessening the focus on the music can broaden it and make it more relatable. After all, who doesn't want to escape from being under the proverbial thumb?
Thanks Justin! That's a really insightful post. Someone told me it should be a Jeckyll-Hyde dynamic between the two, and perhaps utilizing "Mike" as a character vs. Ghetto would make that difference. The hacky way to have him pick one world over the other is if, say, there's an event that the girlfriend planned and it happens to be that weekend. There may be a fresher take on that, but it seems that's where the conflict leads itself. Perhaps making more of a B-story out of the cubicle life will also build up the Mike of it all - maybe he's not directly working for his girlfriend at the same company, but she could have a higher position there. The challenge will be dramatizing Mike changing into Ghetto, especially if he's alone, but maybe the costume can help that.
It's a lot of food for thought so I appreciate you coming in and sharing your opinion. Your summary of Ghetto's character isn't necessarily how I want it to come across, so it's very helpful just to see that. Again, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!
Honestly, I feel like most of the people giving you advice (or abstractly negative feedback) don't understand your project at all. They are trying to have you turn it into a CBS remake of "Entourage." I think you have a strong sense of the world you're creating, and although some elements are weak in their current state, I have to say its foundation is better than 80% of what I've read on here.
Ghetto doesn't need a costume. If it's something that arises organically as he comes into his DJ persona, so be it, but that can't define his personality. I see it more as Mike being timid and/or aimless and Ghetto brimming with passion. Jekyll and Hyde is a bit extreme; he's still the same person either way, you know? It's a question of how he acts when he's in his comfort zone and doing something he loves vs when he has to put up with the "real world."
I figured he was not supposed to be as cranky as he is, which is why I mentioned it. I mean, he is really a dick to his girlfriend. I'm not sure where you're going with the idea that she smothers him and he hates it. It's not really a relationship I can root for. And at work, he's rolling his eyes at his coworkers and out-quipping his boss. It just doesn't feel right. He should be more under people's thumbs. And he can be passionate about his music career without hating his other life.
As Ghetto, he's in a world he feels he can actually be the master of (or King, as you'd say) so he can have more confidence with what he's doing. Of course, that shouldn't prevent him from making mistakes.
For a good template for Claire, look to Anna Kendrick's character in "Up in the Air." And I'm not sure what your plans are there, but please don't do a love triangle. I was already cringing in the opening when Ghetto and Paul were discussing prostitutes despite the fact that they're both in serious relationships.
Sorry for writing so much. I'm trying to give the sort of helpful feedback I hope people will give me once they start reading it. I'm not here to tell you your project is bad, because it's not. I'm here to tell you that I know you can make it better, and hopefully I've given you a little food for thought on how to do so.
Haha please NEVER apologize for writing too much! I wish more people would write more! And you're certainly approaching this with in the spirit Amazon wants to foster, and I can't thank you enough for that (though I will be posting some thoughts for your project on your discussion board).
Haven't seen Up in the Air, but I appreciate the reference point. And I've had issues with the Ghetto-Jess relationship so maybe making him more whipped would help that. People really don't like the teaser, I think I need to rethink it from the ground up... maybe it's a fantasy sequence or something, he's day dreaming while at work. I like the idea of him becoming someone different in his comfort zone doing something he loves... this is a lot of good stuff to think about. Thanks again!!