Comments Made During the Contest
Andrew Allen (Level 3)
It was actually very difficult to rate this one - on the one hand, we have the inventive nature of the script and the quality of the writing itself. You are clearly very accomplished. On the other hand, I wasn't really liking where the story went. It just didn't do anything for me. As a piece of fun, it didn't festively enthrall me like say 'Jingle All The Way' which was a real treat and. Hardly a fair comparison, I know - a feature-length script ad produced Hollywood picture versus a whimsical little 5-page. However, the rating given was high due to the nature of the script, the quality of the writing and its inventiveness which deserves recognition as good work overall.
Ayal Pinkus (Level 5)
The second sentence is superb! "A DRUNK CHRISTMAS ELF holds back the hair of his GIRLFRIEND ELF as she vomits on the wet pavement." I'd actually start the story with that sentence. It's awesome!You don't introduce Rudolph, you don't tell us he is a reindeer. Even though we can guess from the context and the boot-polished black nose. It stopped me dead in my track, until I figured out he was in fact a reindeer and not a human.Funny world you depict, seedy streets, elves vomiting, reindeer getting drunk in bars. Hilarious!Typo on page one; "I was this close to STEALING the whole goddamn thing!"The action where the Grinch holds up his thumb and forefinger a half-inch apart should be placed before his dialog I think. A typo I think on page five. Shouldn't it be "as two pistol cracks PIERCE the air"?I think the story is funny! It satirizes film-noir a bit. Love the surprises that kept coming. Easter Bunny. Rudolph actually having a red nose, blackened with shoeshine for camouflage.
Bill Clar (Level 5)
Very good title. I'm already looking forward to reading your script.Your setting is Santa's Village. You may want to start your script with an establishing scene of said village. It makes it easier to digest that we're in Rudolph's room.Your photo of Santa and Rudolph enjoying whiskey and cigars isn't going to go over well with some fans of Christmas. These are beloved characters that bring out the childlike innocence in us all."His words are delivered in vintage film noir cliche". Do not put directions for the actors in your scripts. The director and actor(s) will decide which route to take.A couple spelling errors: steeling (stealing), candycaine (candy cane).Your story is funny and original, but you're taking a big chance by painting Christmas icons with a dark brush. If you do want to pursue this script with rewrites, I recommend making the crime more lighthearted. Instead of killing Santa, how about stealing all the toys for Christmas Eve? Wrecking the sleigh?
Brian Wind (Level 5)
Great title. This was written and formatted perfectly. Could have been tightened up a little in the descriptions.This was wonderfully creative. If I had better animation skills, I'd ask to shoot it, but since I don't, I'll just say I loved it. No constructive criticism and congrats on a nawesome script. My 2nd Excellent of the month! Nicely done!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
The title immediately turns me off. I hate smoking and the thought of sullying Christmas with nicotine makes me shudder. That IS just my opinion, of course!Loving it now I've started reading.bag a’nuts - should be bag o'nuts as in 'of'steeling - stealingTall Man - should be capitalised when he first appears.it’s red glow. - its red glow - it's means it isI wasn't too sure of the ending - did you run out of space? It seemed like you did.I loved the film noir take on this, thought it amusing. Thank you for a fun read.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
What a fun and twisted Christmas tale.I love Christmas and Film Noir and I love that you mixed them together. The Godfather opening is fantastic. Overall the style here is fantasticIf I had one small suggestion, I wish there was a bit more story and a little less voice-over. Too often it felt like the V.O. was giving us exposition. But that is a small suggestion.That is great. Very well done. I would love to see this get animated.
Dan Delgado (Level 5)
I can see what you were shooting for with this but I just don't think it quite got there. And this is going to sound stupid for a review of a five-page, detective spoof, set in Christmas Town, but things seemed to come to easy with no real sense of danger. In my opinion it's tough to condense this kind story down (there's a lot of voice over in these.), and it probably could have used some more pages. I wouldn't mind seeing this done better (even if it goes over five pages), I like "Hoodwinked" which is a very similar idea. This is probably one of the more original scripts this month.Thank you for entering. I gave this one a "Fair".
Dawn Calvin (Level 5)
This just made me laugh from beginning to end. I could just hear the VO, very serious and see the characters in contrast. Funny, quippy and cool dialogue.I also really like the title!
Denise Jewell (Level 5)
Well done. I hate voice over, but you used it appropriately in this detective farce. The end seems a bit crowded like you were literally running out of room, and the line where Rudolph shoots is kind of confusing, but overall this is well written and works. (You also have a misspelled word in the Grinch's line - it's steal(to take something) not steel(metal).) Funny and easy to visualize, although I struggled at first with a reindeer moving like a human, but you took me out of reality and in to your world pretty quickly.
Ed Jones (Level 4)
The title is the weakest part of an otherwise highly amusing and promising script. “Cigarettes” is an attempt to link with the classic ‘film noir’ it parodies but carries no comic weight.The ‘toon’ world Rudolph inhabits is very well done with lots of imaginative detail. I particularly liked the ‘red and white-striped powder’ called ‘candycaine’. There are a number of colourful characters to compliment Rudolph’s alter-ego, 'Detective Redrein’, of which ‘Mrs. Claus’ and ‘Blitzen’ have potential for expanding upon. Words trimmed from other places and given to these characters could pay comic dividends.There are instances of awkward syntax and spelling errors which suggest a lack of careful proof-reading.‘A furrow shapes across his brow...’‘curiously lifts’‘gradually dies’ = subsides?‘begins pouring’ = pours‘steeling’ = stealing‘monitors’ = surveys?‘piece’ = pierceThe denouement is good but, given the imagination shown before, I think could be improved upon. Superfluous words cut and added here could give a more satisfying ending to a potentially excellent comic script.
Elias Farnum (Level 5)
So Santa get killed by the Easter Bunny, and Rudolph gets revenge. That was different, a seedy Christmas story. The writing is crisp, and the used characters colorful, but I didn't really care for the story. Good job anyway.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
Although the story was original and entertaining, it is not one I would be interested in seeing at the movies. In the second paragraph, the word TOGETHER is used three times. This is repetitive and redundant and I would suggest rewriting. The writer should strive to write as actively as possible. Example #1: “Rudolph lies sleeping under a Santa themed bed-spread.” Consider instead: “Rudolph sleeps under a Santa themed bed-spread.” Example #2: Rudolph stands weeping under a shower…” Consider deleting the word “stands”. I guess Rudolph could be sitting under the shower but the word stands seems redundant to me. Also, consider changing sleeping to sleeps.When a screenwriter finds themselves using words such as BEGINS or STARTS, consider rewriting to make the word more active. Example on page 2: “The BARTENDER begins pouring…” Consider instead: “The BARTENDER pours…” Example on page 4: “His eyes begin to droop…” Consider instead: “His eyes droop…”On page four a Tall Man is introduced. The first time the Tall Man appears, TALL MAN should be in capital letters. A few paragraphs later, “the bartender prepares four shots as the Man…” I got confused here, is “the man” the same person as the “tall man”?Remember less is usually more: “They all hold up a shot” can be “They hold up a shot.”
Fred Koszewnik (Level 5)
What a clever, imaginative and utterly silly screenplay. Well done. But I'm worried for you. I'm certain you are going to receive strong hate mail from the URRADL "United Raindeer and Rabbits Anti-Defamation League." And you already know just how nasty they can be. Continued good success.
Gavin Bale (Level 3)
Brilliant. One of the most original scripts I've read in a long time. Very well written, wonderful characters. I was totally absorbed throughout the script. So damn funny too. Nothing else to say, except I loved it. Congrats on a truly original story.
Gianpaolo Gonzalez (Level 1)
For some reason I couldnt open the PDF from the script link here in the voting section. I tried to open but it would bring me back to MoviePoets home page. Sorry for this inconvenience, I was just wondering if there was a certain way to go about opening up a script from a link. I want to read this so if there is another way to go about receiving this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Heather O'Connell (Level 4)
Interesting, fun and twisted. I like the film noir mood. I never would have thought of doing Santa this way. There were a few spelling issues, but overall very good.
Herman Chow (Level 5)
I enjoyed this very much. Like L.A. Confidential gone all Christmas-y.The first scene is from the Godfather as well. LOL.The tone of the script is film noir, detective mystery with some parodic comedy thrown in. It's really hard to keep this tone consistent throughout the entire script and you've managed to do that effortlessly.All of the characters are well-drawn. The Grinch, Blizten, Papa Elf, and even Mrs. Claus. Just a glimpse of their appearance and I can visualize what they're like.Dialogue is very good, too.The one that I'd like is that the Bunny character just feel a little bit random. Why would Easter Bunny kill off Santa Claus? But anyway, it's funny as hell.EXCELLENT!
James Hughes (Level 5)
Good idea to put the christmas characters in the hard boiled film. I liked the elf holding his girlfriend's hair and papa elf handing out zip lock bags of candy cane dust.The ending left me hanging as far as what would happen with all of the other characters who were in on it with the easter bunny.
Jamie Collins (Level 3)
This is great, a film noir starring Rudolph. i love it and all the wonderful characterizations of classic characters.The only typo I noticed was on page 5 "two pistol cracks piece the air."
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)
Excellent! I hope this takes first place. Title is a perfect fit - light and funny. Makes me want to read it right away. Very comical yet keeps to perfect story structure. Rudolph has a goal and it is attained but not in too linear a sense. We see some twists and we enjoy the ride!
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)
So far I love the title. "Rudolph’s voice is more gruff than his girlish weeps and screams would lead one to believe. His words are delivered in vintage film noir cliche." This is way too funny. I love that you added that. "The dirty stocking bar" Hilarious!Oh, he polished his nose black. Classic."Get me a hard eggnog" Man you are killing me over here!"On saying "this close" The Grinch holds his thumb and forefinger a half-inch apart" I don't think that was necessary. I kind of assumed that. "this close" kind of tells us that a person is doing that. "Papa Elf. King of Christmas Town’s candycaine distribution." Yes! A pink suit too?! Hahahaaa!!Oscar the grouch. Too funny. Comedy is really hitting the nail this month and you are one of the few on moviepoet that have a talent for it.I can't wait to find out who this tall man is. "pistol cracks piece the air" I don;t really know what that means. I'm assuming they shot each other?I think you should have said his voice changed before I read the dialogue because I had to read it over again and you don't want that in your screenplay. Anyway, I loved it. Very entertaining. Kept me laughing throughout. I loved the dialogue. Great, and for the most part, clear descriptions, I'm giving this an excellent.
Jessica Burde (Level 3)
I don't know if I should say 'wow' or 'ow'. I think that may have killed a piece of my soul . . . but in a really good way . . . creative, original and seriously disturbed/disturbing. Absolutely amazingly written script, not a major fan of film noir but definitely seems to hit the style right, opening was beautiful, shoot out well done. Rudolphs dialog had the perfect touch of grit and nostalgia. Couldn't improve this if I wanted to, wouldn't change it if I could. Gonna go rinse my mind out now. Excellent
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
What an Excellent story!In the tone of the last Little Red Riding Hood (the one that feature the voice of Ann Hathaway, I believe). So beatifully crafted, such a full story... Everything is just perfect about it. I remember Scott Merrow's comedy Ace and Eights - I'm thinking that one is the best comedy on the site, well... it met its match. In my eyes...May I congratulate you? I hope so!!!
Kirk White (Level 5)
this works...I hope you have the means and the wherewithal to make it because it'd be a hit! I predict this one will place.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
Love a good noir, and this animated noir is a lot of fun. Love all the color in the "The Dirty Stocking" bar. The characters are terrific and the storyline works. There are a few tweaks that might streamline the read. Probably could change the description of those photos in Rudolph's bedroom to indicate present tense. Seems like "ing" endings portray movement, difficult to imagine in a photo. "Rudolph lies sleeping (sleeps?) under a Santa-themed bedspread."Rudolph's gruff voice is more "...than his girlish weeps and screams would lead one to believe" isn't clear. The information that "words are delivered in vintage film noir cliche" can't be seen by an audience. Maybe introduce the "furry green creature" as THE GRINCH before his dialogue to avoid confusion. Minor typo with "ally" (alley?) and "Tall Man" should be capitalized at his introduction for easier identification. The "Easter Bunny" reveal is pretty funny. Love the title. Well done.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)
What I like so much about this script is that you went for it. You took two opposing genres and were relentless in mashing them together. Great stuff, good dark humor. Fitting title.The only thing that goes unexplained is why the world still needs these fairytale figures. Rudolph, at the end, says the world needs him, but I'm not sure why. What do these characters bring to the world? Since all of our normal assumptions about these guys have been completely demolished in the script, you'll still need to build new reasons why the world finds them so necessary, or more specifically, why the world still needs an innocent little Rudolph. It might be worth showing "the rest of the world" in a "we are in desperate need of innocent fairytales" mood at the beginning of the script. It's not that the denouement was bad, it just wasn't set up completely.I note a couple of minor technical mistakes, such as using italics in the dialogue, a misspelling of "candy cane", and a misplaced apostrophe on "'em". Eh. Very Good!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
I love the title. Very festive... almost.I've read this twice and didn't notice any formatting problems either time. I did notice one spelling error, though - It's "stealing," not "steeling." Other than that, no real problems with the the technical stuff.The characters are wonderful. The story is great... This is really funny! I definitely wasn't expecting the Easter bunny, so the reveal took me by surprise. Something from halloween, maybe, but not E.B.The one really big problem I have with this script is that it's going to be an incredibly expensive undertaking for a novice to film, and who else would film it? Shorts don't make money. I can, however, see this being more than worth it if it were 20 to 30 pages and could be made for cable. It would have to be done with CG or stop motion or live action with costuming (the last would probably end up looking cheesy, though). Something along the lines of "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," would work...My point is that, as a short short, this doesn't work as a film script. All that being said, I'm still giving you a Very Good because I love it.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
This was very well written and silly. I liked the noir tone to it. And of course it was the Easter Bunny! I never trusted that rabbit. Thanks for that entertaining peice. :)
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
Interesting interpretation of a post-apocalyptic society. I don't think the voice-over is necessary, at least not at the beginning. Almost everything he says is then illustrated on screen, and having him spell it out (e.g. "That’s when it all changed") detracts from the story. The dialogue on the last page could use some tidying up. How does Veronica know about Peter's mother? The whole purpose of "The Collective" and the "therapy" Peter's handing out is quite vague.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5)
Great title.I loved this one. Very fun read and well put together.I hope I get this in before the deadline!
Matthew King (Level 2)
Brutal! I can safely say it's the only blend of noir and holiday folklore I've ever seen, but maybe I've been sheltered! The black shoe nail polish covering the red nose was a creative touch.I just watched the claymation classic a few weeks ago, and I thought, "You know what this needs? Guns." Pitch it as a sequel and Christmas will never be the same again.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5)
That was nicely done. Great idea with an interesting execution. The only comment I would make is that some of the action came across a bit clumsy, but that could just be personal taste. I would love to see this expanded.
Michael Hughes (Level 4)
I enjoyed this one alot. The contrast in subject and style to my expectations of the characters is a great idea. (I love Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, so that's how I envisioned Rudolph through the script.) It would be tough in such a short length script to do, but if there would be time to have Rudolph follow another clue that leads him to the nightclub, I would have more of a sense that he was investigating the crime. (or, he could have gotten a clue in the nightclub which leads him to the confrontation elsewhere.) Because he went straight to the nightclub and then left to wait in the alley, he seemed to be waiting around for something to happen rather than pursuing the suspect. I liked the comic grinch character as well.The descriptions and dialogue were terrific, they really put me into the movie happening in my head. Good Job
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
This is fun and very creative and imaginative. You capture the film noir tone beautifully and I'd love to see this animated. Great gimmick.Several typos throughout.
Olga Tremaine (Level 5)
I appreciate you tried to pull out-of-the-box concept. Nice try! However I was confused, is it a real reindeer or a man named Rudolf. He lives in a house, sleeps under a duvet, he has brow and smokes! Maybe you should give a definite description at the beginning. Yes, I know there pictures on the wall of Santa and Rudolf the reindeer, but still... Same kind of issue, A Tall Man turned out to be a rabbit. At first when he's referred as a tall man I imagine a man not a fluffy animal face. These aspects confused me and couldn't fully concentrate on the story. But overall, the writing is pretty good. Nice work.
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5)
Pretty nice, it certainly has some tension, but then it basically all turned out to not have any point at all...which is a horrid way to solve things.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
This was so fun, so much imagination went into this. It's always cool when two very different genres are fused together.The Easter Bunny being the culprit was the perfect twist-ending.This loses a bit of steam of pages two and three inside the bar, but otherwise I really dug this.Your screenwriting is good. Format appears in order. Didn't detect any major typos.Very Good!
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
It’s an eye opening first scene. I like the original concept and the mixing of the noir genre with the holiday characters.As far as I can tell this would be almost impossible to film since I suspect it would be difficult to do it justice. With that in mind I’d suggest that you are close to having a radio play that would work well.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator)
Great title. This was pure fun and I'd imagine it to be a hoot of a short. I enjoyed the play on the various characters and I thought it was great to break in the Easter Bunny as well. There was a typo on 'steeling' that I'm sure you're tired of hearing about and there was a feeling that this was more of an SNL skit than a film at times but most of worked quite well for me. One suggestion would be to have a bit more shock and anguish in Rudolph early on. He turns to the film noir character right away and I thought a quick scene of him mourning or being lost with the Big Guy would be fitting. Still, very good original work and entertaining.
Robert Newcomer (Level 4)
There was a little trepidation from this reader going into a Christmas tale. By January, most people are pretty well over all of that.But from the opening scene, it was pretty clear that you were going for something a little different.You have a unique vision here, and hit most of the right notes, with an amusing lineup of familiar characters. The Grinch my favorite amongst them, I think.The ending fell a bit flat, though. Not so much a resolution as it was an ending. I am not sure what this piece was trying to accomplish outside of upending a few clichés.This was both clever and amusing, but if you are gonna tackle Christmas, you need to say something about the season -- including its icons without a message just doesn't feel like enough.Very good.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
Parodies of iconic characters and genres needs a fresh shot in the arm and with the advent of shows like "Robot Chicken" you have very little room for originality that is really out there.And essentially your script feels like a running gag or skit rather than a pure narrative. Nothing wrong with that, and it's probably your intention.While you deliver on technique and character with a nod to obvious style, I'm left wanting for substance. The riffs on famous characters associated with Santa and the setting might get chuckles out of young adults but I needed a dash more wit and panache if you intended this as a pure noir theme.Here, you're between two worlds, do I go tongue in cheek and hide "blink-and-you-miss-it" references, or just keep it straight and dark?Your set pieces and characters overpower something that could've been really clever, I'm afraid.Rudolph's transitions from reindeer to Redrein and back stand out as do the visual moments of observation. The gore and action, might not be as essential as you think. Then again, "Robot Chicken" has killed of plenty of characters iconic to commercials, TV and film. Successfully!This is good, has potential to be great and heck you could expand this.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
I'm always amazed at what people come up with in the open competition. This surely was a very unique story! I thought it was fun and light and just a nice break from the drama and gloom of some of the other stories this month.The title was pretty unique also.
T. James DeStein (Level 5)
Why was Santa's head in Rudolph's bed? Didn't make any sense. I thought this was really cute and orignal, but it still needs to make a little bit of sense. This was just so randomly noirish and goofy for the sake of being noirish and goofy. I'd you could put as much thought into the actual plot as you did for the cute Christmas/noir gimmicks this would be an awesome script.
Wayne Morrical (Level 4)
What a fun read! Film Noir in Christmas Town. Great visuals (vomiting elves, Rudolph in a shoot out, Santa's severed head). Probably way too weird for actual consumption, but a great script. Very creative, very brave. Kudos! Damn Bunny!
William Wilson (Level 3)
From a stupid title to what I thought was gonna be a horrible script (after reading the first page) I thought this was actually very well done... I know this was a joke entry and to be honest I dont think it has a shot at hell in winning this months contest but overall i really enjoyed it, the film noire style you used with the trench coats and voice overs was a nice touch and very well executedAlso the dialouge was creative and well crafted... As i keep writing this review i realize how much i actually liked this story.. Even though i dont think this script will win this contest it will be going into my favorites the second this contest ends.I give "Sleighbells & Cigarettes" a 9 out of 10
Zach Jansen (Level 4)
Should be stealing, not steeling.A few action lines come after the fact -- Rudolph speaks, but then we're told how he sounds, the Grinch "was this close" and then we're told his actions. Not wrong, but it was confusing for me and I had to re-read passages to get into the right frame of mind.Candycaine -- awesome!"Do you have any idea how many people mistake me for Oscar the goddam Grouch?" -- another great line!Great idea and story. Gritty North Pole with all the Noir elements is a great twist on both Christmas and the genre. A lot of good to great dialogue and I like the Easter Bunny twist. I suppose he does get overshadowed by Santa.Overall, a fun read with good suspense and a twist and ending that work.
Comments Made After the Contest
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/1/2011 12:14 AM
Congratulations on First Place! I really enjoyed your dark and twisted tale.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2011 12:21 AM
Congrats! Feels good when your favorite for the month wins!
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2011 12:56 AM
Congratualtions Jem! I just got that read and review submitted before time ran out. I'm glad I got my excellent vote in.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2011 1:14 AM
Congratulations Jem! This was great! 1 of my 2 Excellents.
Herman Chow (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2011 4:21 AM
Congrats Jem! One of my three Excellents.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2011 9:45 AM
Tim Ratcliffe (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2011 12:08 PM
Just read this one after the results have been announced. Very clever and funny script you've come up with here. I think it works well as is, not really a lot I'd suggest changing. Someone commented that you shouldn't include directions on the tone of voice that Rudolph uses, but I disagree. I think it's necessary to the story here and it helps create the right tone and atmosphere. If there's something you feel is important to convey to the actor then you should include it in the screenplay. It's only a no-no when the writer includes non-essential information.The visual of Santa's head in Rudolph's bed is a classic! Congrats on the 1st place.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/1/2011 1:05 PM
This was so good, Jem. Who the hell gave you a fair? People are just strange....
Paul Williams (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2011 2:03 PM
Congratulations, Jem. This was one of the funnest scripts I've read in a while. Great imagination.
Heather O'Connell (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2011 5:18 PM
Loved it. :)
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/2/2011 10:19 AM
Congratulations Jem!! This was great!!
Jem Rowe (Level 4) ~ 2/2/2011 7:59 PM
Thankyou so much guys!!! Your support makes me so happy. It's been a brilliant few days, the results came in just after my girlfriend and I booked tickets to go to Europe for 6 months before university. Talk about euphoria! My face still aches from smiling so much :) :) :)An odd fact about my script: Although the title gained mixed responses, the phrase "Sleighbells & Cigarettes" popped into my head out of nowhere one day in December before I had any ideas for an entry into the contest, and I thought "that would make a damn good title". The whole script was developed with only that as a starting point! I thought that was a really odd way of doing things, certainly not like me.
Dawn Calvin (Level 5) ~ 2/4/2011 4:15 PM
I didn't get to read them all but I did get a chance to read this one. Really cool idea! Congrats.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/6/2011 2:51 PM
Congrats on the first place Jem! Well done, this really tickled me.
Bill Sweeney (Level 0) ~ 9/20/2011 10:39 PM
Very interesting. Nicely written. As a big fan of Rudolph's, I was disappointed he had become so jaded later in life. Oh well...
Jem Rowe (Level 4) ~ 9/21/2011 6:59 AM
Thanks Bill :) And welcome to moviepoet! I'm looking foreward to your first entry :)