Anybody want to do a review swap with this animated series i'm working on?
I like the comedy premise -- sort of Chuck/Alias feel to it. Secret quasi-CIA outfit which saves the world and comedy ensues.
Think the pilot needs punching up gag wise, and less "family" relationships in the team, as in none.
Yeah i'm still working that part out @ the family relationships. Thanks for the notes, anything you need read?
I'd also like to point out, that I didn't want too many jokes because it was the pilot, but I understand where you're coming from considering the demo i'm aiming for.
Just an observation, I think BECAUSE its the pilot you need all the jokes you can in there as you only have that one script to impress, so it needs to be funny right of the bat.
Good point actually, but I always figured that being light on the jokes for the raunchy stuff would be best, guess not.
For some reason I can't upload the review I wrote.
The premise is promising even though, it lacks character devolpment. As a result, all characters sound like a twenty-year-old guy. It won't bother twenty-something guys, though. I think they are your main target, so they won't mind because they won't realize it.
If you want to broaden your audience, maybe you should take in consideration some minor faults; I'm not calling you a sexist. First of all, I don't know you. So, who am I to judge you as person? but as a fellow writer, you should pay attention to the way you protray your characters.
This is an animated series, I am glad it is because you can let your imagination blossom. Just do it.
As a writer, you should know better than perpetuating stereotypes, especially sexist ones. For instance, in family guy, Stan Smith is well-known for being homophobic, color-biased, anti-Semitic and misogynist. It is still funnny, though because the writers create a wide array of characters which balances Stan's views. So, you know that is Stan as a character who has this mindset and not the writers.
In your pilot, your characters lack individuality. They do not have a specific voice. Betty is supposed to be 46, she supposed to be the boss. She is also Donovan's godmother (please, listen to David and get rid of the family drama), so Betty is in charge and yet, she never calls off her godson when he is out of line.
You got ground for humor there. A brash and inappropriate Donovan who is in a workplace where his godmother is in charge. This could be funny. Donovan makes me think of Pauly D, not in the Jersey Shore, but in Pauly D's Project. The first pages, you think you're in for a hectic action flick or animated series. As the story unfolds, you realise that Donovan does not do anything. I thought he was the hero. What happened to him?
A piece of advice, read out loud Donovan's lines. You'll see how much he sounds like Pauly D.
The way you introduce Tina bothers me. You should say upfront that she is Asian. It won't matter in a test movie, of course. But, we just have the script. So you picture herself in a certain way, and boom! page 10, she is suddenly Asian. You're not writing a novel, so this kind of surprises does not bring anything to your script. It just makes your script smell like a first draft.
Maybe you should precise whereabout in Asia she is from. If she is Asian and Russian, she might know her Asian nationality. It just sounds a bit weird to me.
A question for you as a writer. Why all your male characters are so sexist and none of the women react? Or at least use the sexist comments in a humorous ways. Don't let them hang in here without doing anything with them, otherwise you or a writer or your show would come off as sexist. Maybe you don't know what I am talking?
P.6: Donovan calls Tina "fine ass", and neither she or worse Betty react. Last time I checked calling a woman in her face by reducing to her body parts, no matter how fine or not they are, this is blatant sexism. Especially if nobody reacts! Make your characters react. It could be funny.
You don't want to let that fly in here. Think of American Dad. Sometimes, Stan makes fun of homeless people or infants or pregant women or obese or elderly people, but there is always a character or a situation who calls him off and make the whole thing funny.
You can easily fix that! You should fix it.
You can't be like it is a boy show, so I can be sexist if I wan to, and if you don't like it just don't watch it. Well, actually you can. But do you really want to?
p.10: Matilda is referred as a "little number", she is older than Turner she does not react: once again, sexist alert!
p.16: Tina is also a senior. She is getting abused in her workplace and once again. She does not say anything. How weird is that? she is supposed to be a top secret agent, la crème de la crème. Give her some backbone for crying out loud.
p.20: Would Tina reders to herself as a "chick"? Don't you know it's offensive? What kind of women talk like that? Not a polyglot woman.
Now comes the part like everybody hates: mispelling and punctuation.
p.9: Change the punctuation in Betty's first line.
Try to avoid repetitions " Everyone LOOKS away from each other with LOOKS of guilt..." One is a verb, the other a noun, but still, that's the same word in the same sentence. Variety is the spice of life, so spice up your description. As Hank Green would say: "Use your words!".
p.10: You don't want your writing to be stilted: " William extends his hands for a shake, which is accepted by both Donny and Barny". Nope. Change it. Use your words!
p.11: "What exactly do you do?": missing space!
p.12: Capital letter for Facebook, because Zuckerberg cares. I've just realised that his name means "Sugar Mountain " in German. Sweet name, but I'm rambling, now.
p.13: Comma between "wow" and "really".
Capital letter for English translator.
The translator has a name, use it to introduce his lines of dialogue.
p.16: You were instead of "you was", unless if you insist on using colloquialism. In that case, be consistent. Your character can't have a way of speaking in the first pages then totally changes his way of speaking without any obvious reason.
p.17: "idioticy" is not a real world. It could be a neologism, though. But make sure to use it that way.
mispelled words: "alrOght" / "holYness"/ "two maleS", add the "s" in the end.
Synonymous with "run", please. You overuse that verb. Talking about overusing there are too many brackets in your script as a whole. In the beginning, you don't need to precise tha Donovan is angry. This is obvious. Read your dialogue out loud, or better have it read by a couple of friends. You will see that they would instantly know how to read your lines.
p.20: check the spelling of "guards". Ditch the "S" in shrug.
Food for thought:
Make Bernard be British, and you have a killer joke on page 10. Maybe that is what you intended to do, so kudos for being witty.
Do you really need to introduce Matilda and Erik in the pilot? They don't do anything and the encounter with these two characters only slow the action down.
p.19: The shooting scene is so far-fetched.
The opening scene is really hackneyed. If you watch at all the series which made it to the Dev Slate, they are all oirginal. I think it is what AS awants: originality.
Hence the following question:
Do they really have to be Russians? There are a myriad of movies dealing with the Cold War. By the way, it ended in 1991. Don't you want to be original?
Once again, if your characters use erroneous information make sure it is in a funny way.
Polish the genre of your script. You want it to be a comedy with a lot of action. Make sure it comes off this way. Comedy is one of the hardest genre to write. You can't force people to laugh.
If you don't do it write, you may really offend people. Think about that show: "Work It!" I bet they have top quality writers working on that show, and yet it got cancelled. Many people didn't think that men dressing as women to have a job was inherently funny.
I'm not buying the part where Donovan enters the CIA to find out his mother. Well, he is 28. I mean the I want to find my mother theme would be much more powerful with a younger man or even a teenage boy. That's why Bruce Lee always wants to avenge his sister, and not his mother in Enter the Dragon. That is why Remi is an 8 year-old boy in Without Family by Hector Malot. It would not have the same emotional impact if he were a grown man.
Now, I'm done.
Hey Victor, glad my tiny observation coincides with your own thoughts.
As one of the other contributors notes it's probably best to get as many natural funnies (gags, one-liners) in your pilot as you can, without sacrificing character development of course.
The Simpsons being the gold standard of so many levels of funny, visual, verbal, characters. Are you wedded to animation? I can see this as a real life series too.
Oh sure Victor. Please feel free to rip into my own comedy pilot if you want. cheers dave.
"For some reason I can't upload the review I wrote."
someone said earlier in another thread that we AS has not allowed us the space to do "full" reviews of series like we can for features. don't know why. but twitter-sized reviews will NOT do much good in matters like this.
I think As is going to work differently for the series. Basically they are just fishing for ideas. I'm under the impression they are going to rewrite the whole thing as they please and not necessarily involved the original writer in the whole process.
Thanks Emeline, I found your comments on the female characters and William to be very informative. You guys have given me alot to consider for the revision.
Hey guys, I would love some additional feedback, reviews, or discussion on my series script and bible for my project, "Welcome to Camp. Here's the link or just go to the series link. It's on the first page.
Also, If you want me to review your series and follow you, i'd be glad too, if you'll do the same.
A Participant says:
@Emeline Minah Naval
@ Victor: I'd like to do a review swap!
Blake- I just read your script, and gave you a review. Good work, I enjoyed reading it, and I'd be happy to offer more detailed feedback if you like. I have to warn you- 19 5-star reviews on a script with 7 downloads makes it way too obvious your Facebook friends came in to support you- that's a bit of a sore spot in this community, and you'll catch some heat for it.
You came in here and asked for feedback, which is smart- polish your script with good criticism and it will climb up the popularity chart naturally.