Overall Recommendation:
3.5 stars
(6)
5 Stars:
16.67%
(1)
 
4 Stars:
33.33%
(2)
 
3 Stars:
33.33%
(2)
 
2 Stars:
16.67%
(1)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
3.8 stars
(4)
 
Story structure:
3.5 stars
(4)
 
Character:
4.0 stars
(4)
 
Dialogue:
4.3 stars
(4)
 
Emotion:
3.8 stars
(4)
 
 
1-6 of 6 reviews
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1 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

MISSING ACT?

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
No rating
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
November 11, 2011
Read the script – full script – and I have to say I really found this script confusing. For starters, it seems as though you have a missing first act. Or rather the story begins just at the end of the first act where the guys make their pitch and then “lose” it. From there we jump into the second act where they are looking for the lost idea while at the same time they have four days to come up with a winning script.

However, because we don’t know these guys or what this “pitch” really means to them it’s quite difficult to root for them. We know it’s worth a hundred grand but aside from that we don’t know what getting this money really means to them. Remember writing causes its fair amount of damage – it’s fair amount of pain – loved ones are hurt, bad decisions are taken, jobs are lost, bills are pushed back, hearts are broken, dreams are destroyed and we keep telling ourselves we’ll fix it up once that script sells. And it just gets worse and worse with time.

I believe you should give us at least fifteen to twenty pages before these guys go to make the pitch. In those fifteen to twenty pages you show us what screenwriting really means to these guys and what’s at stake if they don’t get to sell their script. You should also use these 15 to 20 pages to introduce us to the world of screenwriting and how competitive it is. So this would be where you introduce the interesting facts and figures and what people have to do to just get their work read. The sells and the rejections. You really have to make it seem as though it is is the toughest business in the world to break into and that only the “toughest” and the “smartest” or the “connected” can make it.

In my opinion the best way to do this is to make one of the characters – MICHAEL would be the best bet – a screenwriting lecturer. He’s one of those lecturers who secretly hope to make it in Hollywood and keeps telling people that he’s working on that “big one”. But every year nothing ever comes out. It is through him and the interactions with his students that we get the “facts and figures” of the business. Maybe have one of his students point out that he’s one of those “those who can’t do teach” type of people. That really stings him and he is now determined to bring out that script but he doesn’t have the great concept.

However, his friend HENRY has that concept. He’s pretty good at coming up with the great idea but not so good at the execution part – so he needs Michael. Henry has also got some other problems at home. He’s a couple of weeks away from getting married and his fiancé wants him to now get serious and stop with this screenwriting business. She believes that’s what’s holding him back at work. Instead of fighting for promotions “like other men” he’s busy “day dreaming” about being a hot shot Hollywood screenwriter. She doesn’t believe that it is ever going to happen and she wants him to see that. He’s already agreed to give it up as soon as they get married on one condition that she lets him pitch at his final pitch fest. She agrees.

So they team up with Michael. Henry will pitch and Michael will write the script. It all looks fine. Henry pitches, he wins but he loses the concept. When this guy loses the concept you want to make sure that it’s CARTER RIGHT’s fault. In my opinion this is the best way to bring in Carter and his people because the current set up just doesn’t make much sense. You have these guys just going over – UNINVITED - to this Hollywood producer’s house without a script or even an idea on what their movie is about but for some strange reason this guy agrees to attach himself to the “project’ and the next thing he’s giving them his PA and he’s bringing in a director on board and they are already hunting for A-LIST actors who also strangely just attach themselves to the” project” that isn’t even there – a project by some unknowns and some has-beens. Before long the guys have also moved in to Carter’s house.

So, like I said, the best way to bring in Carter is have him as the reason these guys lost their concept. So you could have Henry pitch and have him run out out the hall excited. He runs into the street with Michael behind him and then from out of nowhere – BLAHM! Henry gets knocked over by Carter Right’s car. He’s not seriously injured but he’s out for some time and when he finally comes to he’s lost the idea. Carter could be going through some serious financial problems- a messy divorce or whatever – and the last thing he needs right now is another law suit. So he agrees to help these guys out. It could be just to buy some time time before he skips the country or whatever, but he agrees to help them. But he takes them through the bullshit – the fancy lunch here, party there, a meeting with a washed up director, etc, etc, the whole point being once their pitch is done they won’t have anyone to blame but themselves.

The guys get into it and bit by bit Carter starts to notice that they might be on to something and that helping them could also help with his come back. So finally everybody gets in on it and maybe Henry falls for Marry the woman who truly believes in him and what not. They finish the script – they submit – it gets tanked – most likely by some vindictive judge - and everybody is crashed. In your third act somebody has to make the sacrifice and because of that sacrifice the script is turned into a movie.

In my view you use your REAL actors wrongly. I think the best way to bring them up would be if at the restaurant one of the ladies expresses a real interest in buying the dress – says she’ll do anything to get a hold of it - or Mickey Rourke expresses interest in buying the hearse. Carter refuses saying that it’s vintage – and it’s all he’s got left to show that he was once a big shot filmmaker. The scene ends there and we don’t see these big name actors UNTIL right at the end when the SACRIFICE is made. Carter really believes in the guys and their script that he is willing to let go of the dress/hearse i.e. his legacy just so that he can get one of these stars to attach themselves to this project. Out with the old and in with the new – and a great character arc.

As it stands right now, scenes just seem to be put together with not much direction and not much at stake. It gets all confusing when you bring in the “re-writes” and there is nothing more depressing than having to read the same flat scenes twice. Why you chose to tell your story in this manner instead of just a straightforward comedy about writing and breaking into the industry beats me. You could easily make screenwriting the coolest job out there – the drugs, the women, the parties, the money - and really make this story quite fun in the HANGOVER mold BUT I believe you are squandering that opportunity by choosing to go all artistic on us and coming up with THE TWIST.

One other thing and this is the first time I’ve said this to anyone and you are most probably the first person to ever be told this but, you are ABUSING the “get in late, leave early” facility. You seem to take it to mean that you don’t have to do any work in the scenes. So we have a lot of scenes where people should actually be talking and filling us in on their world, their goals, their dreams, their fears etc, but because you choose to come in so late and leave so early we never get to hear that. A lot of scenes just start right at the end of the scene, with somebody agreeing to do something and we never get to know how the other guy convinced them. DIALOGUE IS IMPORTANT – and when they say come in late and leave early they are saying come it at an appropriate time and make sure you leave before you start to get boring. And if your point is that to make it in Hollywood you just have to “waffle” i.e. “bullshit”, as everyone seems to be claiming, then we are going to need a shit load of “waffling”. And that’s a shit load of DIALOGUE. You really have to make us believe that these guys can bullshit their way right out of anything – think THANK YOU FOR SMOKING.

Wish you all the best in your rewrites

[ONE LAST THING – If your guys have a producer, a director and three A LIST ACTORS, why are they still wasting their time with this pitch fest thing?]
 
4 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Celebration of Spectacle, but hard to follow

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
2 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
November 07, 2011
I'm at a bit of a loss. I don't really know how to review this script because I didn't understand it. Lots of spectacle with (presumably) show tunes and lavish dance numbers. People jump around in time and rewrite what happens, for no rhyme or reason, except that they want to do so.

That said, the rest of this review has to do with the things I'd like to see addressed so that it makes sense to me.

First of all, why are they trying to get actors attached to their script, when (apparently) they went to the pitch contest in order to win money for a screenplay? Did I get that wrong? It's fun to see them go through their various antics, but I don't know why they're doing it.

How did they get Carter Right to participate in their project? Why? On what conditions? Or is it all just a fanciful stream-of-consciousness that takes place while they're waiting in line at the pitch-fest, so the why and how doesn't matter? (I think Carter Right may have been originally named Carter Smart, because in at least two instances the characters refer to a Mr. Smart).

Typo: amble should be "ample".

Mickey Rourke, followed by the other two actresses go to Carter Right's party because they want to do him a favor. Okay. That makes sense, but something more deeply personal might work better. Perhaps Carter Right acted in an old movie that Mickey loved, or is in possession of an artifact that Mickey would want to see.

How does the waffling work? Is he really altering time and space just by speaking or imagining it? When did this begin? Before the pitch-fest? Just after the pitch-fest? Because he drank water from a fountain? Did any of this stuff happen in reality, or was it all just the fanciful imagination of the writers in the story.

If it is time travel, what was the original cause, and how does Henry activate it?

I guess I just need more of the story behind the story. To know the rules of the game, so to speak.

I recall thinking it might be cool to see Henry knocked on the head after his waffle pitch, which would account for why he acquired his new superpowers, and why he couldn't recall his original pitch.

Finally, I'm not sure if Henry has any control over his superpower, but it might be interesting to see how he acquires control over it.

All these logical questions aside, I found the characters likeable, fun and believable. I think I'd probably enjoy spending 90 minutes watching them.
 
2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

A funny, mixed bag of characters that only Hollywood could provide. Did the writer live this story:-)))

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
November 05, 2011
About halfway through the script I thought besides a film (probably more Indie than mainstream), this also has the ability to be a stage play. Something the writer should think about.

I liked the opening. I did wonder why Henry, Michael, Rupert were all 28 years of age. Seemed slightly odd. But no big deal.

PP 18- Laughed out loud, could see the scene and I thought, that's Hollywood.

PP 20- What's a winkle pickle:-)))

PP's 20 & 21- Using real actors added a sense of realism.

PP's 22 - sitting around a table, instead of sat? All laughed. X out X ?

PP 37 - Funny - food vendor scene.

PP 49 - EARL 'Psycho' Landlord. Funny! Says a lot.

PP 64 - Again, good pay off for Earl.

PP 70 - Forest Lawn X s X (I think) Also, this page offered a big surprise. No spoiler from me.

PP 78 - Again, another cool surprise.

PP 85 - Everyone flies X fly X ?

Nice ending. A little quick, but works.

Final thought: This script plays certainly to the people that understands the biz. An example would be Entourage on HBO. Not everyone gets it, but certainly a lot of insiders watch this series.

You're a good writer, Jamster, with a dark sense of humor which I like. Keep up the dodge.

Good luck,

Richard Guimond
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

A straight-through read

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
November 03, 2011
Congratulations on the fantastic script. It's the first script on Amazon that I read straight through. I am not a writer so I can't give much of a review but I will offer my thoughts.

Off the bat, I questioned whether most people would know what a pitch event actually was. (I wasn't 100% sure myself) So, while not agreeing with some of Mr. Jordan's posted review, I would second his idea about having a few failed pitches on screen. It's a good idea and 30 seconds of film would solve the problem.

I felt the Hippy Chick was the only real stumbling block for two reasons. First, since "hippy" has become more fashion than a lifestyle, her immediate violent response to possibly missing a sale will, sadly, be lost on most viewers. But more than that, she seemed too 'off the top of the head'. For as much thought that went into everything else in this script, she seemed like a band-aid to get a map into their hands. I almost want to say cut the character and have the out-of-date maps printed on the diner's place mats.

Few typos, some English to English translation problems. Mr Smith covered all those in his review (which I felt was spot on..... except the part about losing the "donkey plums".)

The dialogue was smart and quick, both of which are sorely missing in contemporary film. 6 stars on dialogue.

Finally, the spectacle at the end (the coffin opening, etc) while I'm not 100% sold on it I have to admit it's ballsy.

Great job Mr. Jamster. It's one Hell of a script and I have high hopes for you.
 
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

A Hard Premise to Tackle

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
No rating
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
November 02, 2011
I'll try not to give away too much of your script. I know you wanted a full read and I want to make sure no one uses my review to fake one. I'll be tackling each of the criteria in turn.

Premise
You use a writer. It's hard to make a writer's work interesting. Of course, your have a special framing device for your story. But it would be better if we saw something more interesting with it, maybe a little focus on the people. Everyone may not understand what a pitchfest is, you might want to make that a little clearer, maybe by giving short samples of the pitches from the other people there.

Story Structure
Your script is only 86 pages, and a few of those pages are after-credit stuff (which you could lose in my opinion). This may be one of the few times I've said something like this for feedback, but you could stand to add some pages. I wouldn't mind getting to know the characters more. The biggest inner conflict scenes involving the three main characters is really just a love subplot that only involves one of them.

Also, the first time you used your framing device, I wasn't sure what was going on. You use two types of scenes (you know what I mean). I think it would be better if they were different in tone

In my opinion, you should cut the scenes of people waking up, because so many screenplays start that way. I think starting at the pitchfest would work out fine. Again, I would cut the end because after-credit stuff isn't really part of a spec writer's job. And it all just seemed confusing.

Character
As I said, I could stand to have more development, which may be hard given your structure. Also, instead of using actual actors, which you know can and probably will be changed, why not use the beginning to create a trio of actors for the script. If your script sells, they'll probably be replaced with whoever gets the role anyway. And they don't seem to speak the way they would in real life, so it's not like it's crucial to the plot.

Dialogue
I found it strange that so many people use the term "Waffle" in such a short span of time. But other than that, I found it better than a lot of scripts I read from unsold writers. It didn't jump out at me or anything, but I see it more as the dialogue not drawing attention to itself. Aside from the waffle thing.

Emotion
I didn't really feel much during reading the script. Again, I think this is from focusing so much on the movie and not the trio. The scene near the end that was suppose to be emotional was really just jarring as it's a completely different tone than what we got. It seemed a little out of place.

In conclusion, I would be a lot more immersed if you focused more on character and less on the mechanics of the operation. If this was an action movie, character would be less important. But when you're making a movie about writing and filmmaking, we should get a lot of character to keep us interested. Twenty more pages should do wonders.
 
2 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

A Writer/Director's shooting script...

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
November 02, 2011
The new writing fashion with scripts is to have ‘location’ as the new character; rename the script to something along the lines of THE L.A. PITCH.

Here is my version of the info for your front page. No need for page ‘0’ on the front.

“THE L.A. PITCH”
WRITTEN BY
JAMES H. S. WHITCHER

“Contains “named” actors for illustrative purposes. Different “named” actors can be substituted and re-written according to budget, availability and maximum Irony.”

- Director Benny Brady
‘The greatest Director never to be nominated.’

BACK TO SCRIPT

Technical terms such as ‘Antag’ have been expanded and explained for the uninitiated audience, becoming ‘villain, antagonist’ throughout.

The odd Calibri typeface word has been re-Courier-ed. Underlining and italics have also been removed which is a pet hate of some Holly-readers. The less irritants in a script the better chance it has of staying out of the bin.

‘&’ has been expanded to ‘and’ (#11)

‘director’ is a noun ‘Director’ as is ‘Bible’

I have removed some elements that suggest a Director’s shooting script without losing intended content meant by the Writer. EXTREME FAST MOTION can be dropped as the structure that follows implies speed and the term becomes redundant. CUT BACK TO: and CUT TO: likewise can be dropped.

* This work is now a well-worked embellished ‘Treatment’ showing beats of action.

p.1 The first bedroom shots now establish HENRY, MICHAEL and RUPERT as the principal characters from the get-go. Character names have been applied to locations.
The mystique surrounding their characters has been lifted.

locations are listed larger to smaller in this order
INT. FIVE STAR HOTEL LOBBY – DAY

p. 5 accidently should be accidentally

p.5 OUT OF FAZE should be OUT OF PHASE

p.6 –- (double dash) means interrupted by, so you need to place –- before whatever is interrupting.

p.9 ‘than’ should be ‘then’

p.22 changed the EMMA WATSON dialogue “It's the 21st Century. The youth of today can hold our own.”

p.24 just UPPED the expectant momentum of the script… I feel at this point anything could happen and a rollercoaster ride is in order. Great build up.

p.28 head or tail, becomes the phrase ‘head nor tail’

* ‘donkey plums’ becomes ‘donkey-balls’.
(Clarity added 5th Nov, 2011 In context ‘donkey plums’ is like trying to be rude then pulling back mid phrase losing initial intent. It’s like saying “What the F”.’
The onscreen character is projecting to a crowd. The actor can be a man with ‘balls’ or a mouse with ‘plums’. Great metaphor.

Added parenthicals direction
MARY (sour lip curl) Your whole lives?

p.29 ‘amble gut’ (slow walk) I think you meant ‘ample gut’

Carter’s speech has been embellished.
“Mary tells me you boys are a bit lost in regards to creating a storyline?

Hollywood isn't about story, or talent. Get your money back and profit, that’s the Benjamin's bollocks in Hollywood, profit. That's all that really matters in this business. Get it down on the page, waffle. A good writer slits his own wrists and writes in his own blood and
does whatever has to be done.”

p.32 Matt Dillon, not Dilion.

p.40 (gardener’s exit) Gardeners exit<lots of characters.

p.41 Henry's waffle has got us to the midpoint. So much tension in the first act. He needs inspiration. Both he and the character are now at their lowest point. He’s raising the stakes with some big trouble. Moving sub-plots forwards to get us through the second act.

P.41 added ‘FRED and GINGER’

p.42 DAVIDISON is HARLEY DAVIDSON

p.43 ‘on back’ becomes ‘pillion’, 'darlingg' is 'darling'.

EMMA (whispering) “The bathroom?” Adds a gentle contrast to Kate Winslet’s request for the restroom.

p.46 I’ll have you know I'm a very good driver.

p.48 not sure what you meant by this so I left it alone
--Two pairs of three back and forth across the Harley

p.51 not sure what you meant by this so I left it alone
He gives a sharp clap and everyone goes to one; as if
any of them actually have a clue what's about to unfold.

p.51 ‘bow-legs’ is a condition, ‘bow-legged’ is curved outwards. Even though it is ‘present tense action’ I still think bow-legged is correct in this context.

p.52 Adjusted the following wording as follows.
Michael shakes his head - shoves Carter forward who attempts an elaborate bow/curtsey yet royally screws up. Even though it sound unusual in this review... this is a simplified version of the line...
CARTER “Welcome-s my honor. Oh shoot.”

p.52 This threw me when I read it. Thought it was the wrong tone at that part for Rourke’s character.
MICKEY ROURKE (mumbles)”Spoilt brat”.

I changed it to something which makes it more of a sexual innuendo. Emma, earlier wanted to ride pillion. MICKEY ROURKE (mumbles) “Me to”. It’s a laugh-out-loud line that an actor would want to be heard to be saying. A kudos line.

p.52 Now a bit more assertive.
KATE WINSLET “Where's the bogs Rourke? And STAY!
I haven't finished with you yet.”

p.53 I’ve elaborated on Rourke refusing a drink because he’s driving.
HENRY “I'll take Mr. Rourke's, if Betty Ford’s got him going cold turkey.”

p.69 added a bit of timely humour
HOGSON(a hopeful suggestion)A gay marriage?

p.69 added (see comment below at p. 77)
A second cruiser arrives with a WHOOP! The attending Officer’s names ‘Brewer’ and ‘Droop’ emblazoned on their vehicle’s sunshades.

p.76 added an intellectual Confucius element to Mary’s dialogue.

MARY “Yes. But that gun doesn't make you anymore of a man as much as a feather in your hair makes you an eagle.

It makes the reader laugh aloud when she then puts the gun in her own mouth which of course is not a brave thing to do but an act of stupidity.

p.77 Brewer and Droop ( I just got it!)
I returned to the first mention of the characters which is on p. 69 (8 minutes earlier on screen) and added a visual to let the audience absorb this suggested joke.

p.82 (As a reader I felt this was a nice little wrapping up of the story here)

p.82 Mentions OFF SCREEN dialogue for SLY. This is a point in the film where suspense doesn’t need to be held. Show the audience SLY. The joke's already been made. This is the big reveal. Plus if SLY is acting, at this point you need to get your monies worth. You show his face.

p.86 BENNY’Y should be BENNY’S

Some minor amendments were changed on pages not mentioned above.

added THE END before FADE OUT

Removed excess information.

NOTE: I’ve NOT taken out any occurrences of ‘we’, ‘is’ ‘are’, ‘as’ or shooting elements written in bold.

Nice little project :-) I can send you the rtf with all the above corrected.
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