Comments Made During the Contest
Alex Hollister (Level 4)
VERY GOODA new take on the 'Grass is always greener' parable. Extremely well written. And I'll emphasize that point... EXTREMELY well written. Probably the best of everything I've read on this site so far.So why just a VERY GOOD I hear you cry? Because I'm very wary of these 'Inanimate object talks like a human' scripts. It's a very easy way to imply a feeling of depth to an otherwise ordinary story. I know because I've been guilty of it myself. Would this story hold up if these were humans talking about a neighboring field? Probably not, so why should it make a difference that we're talking about tumbleweeds? Is this great or am I being fooled by the cuteness of it all. I loved the dialogue and although I loved the message and the way it was handled, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was just reading an extended Chinese proverb of some description. And if that's the case what's to stop everyone just grabbing Aesop's fable books and reworking the story to fit into the parameters of a short script. And also just how would this play out on screen? It's one of those things that reads wonderfully as a short story/script, but how would you animate a tumbleweed and would all the charm be lost as the animator attempts to humanize TOMMY and JOE? Without expressions or mannerism would all the great lines of dialogue (and there are some beauties) be lost to the viewer?All that said I still give it a VERY GOOD because in spite of all my concerns, parts of it are just too damn good not to.
Barbara Lewis (Level 4)
This is such a creative idea - how did you think of this? Very cute.I was thinking this would be a really nice children's animation but then there's that one part where the truck plows through the herd. Other than that, though, I could see it.Good work!
Bobby Kegley (Level 2)
That was a very clever story with great personification. I loved the message as well, the tumbleweeds really amplified the meaning.
Brad Huffman Parent (Level 4)
I think this what we would get if Arnold Lobel wrote a short for Pixar. I definitely see this being animated, not sure if that's how you pictured it when writing. I was able to clearly "watch" the whole thing in my head when I was reading it, and to me that's the sign of a well written script.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
Wow, this was a ridiculously imaginative way of telling a familiar tale with a good moral. Nice story, great imagination. Good work.
Caleb Parazette (Level 3)
Imaginative. A grammatical error or two. You should have someone proof read before you submit. Nice message.
Carl Rossi (Level 2)
Very good! Classic 'the grass is greener' story, but in this case the grass is gold.The only thing I'd watch out for is dialogue that's unnecessary. For example, when Tommy says, "Ouch! That was close!" I'd decide between one or the other. Either "Ouch" or "That was close!" Considering we just watched the near miss, two sentences about it seems like you're broadcasting the event too much.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
This was a cute fable and would make a great animation for kids - but one of those that would appeal to adults too, on a different level. I enjoyed it! The only thought that occurred to me was that the names Joe and Tommy weren't very inspiring...
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)
Excellent. I thought this was really good, I really got into the characters, and you kept my anticipation at a high level. No problem with your writing.The only constructive comment I have is that I think you could increase the value of this script exponentially with a more meaningful ending/parallel. The "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" saga is a bit worn. If you could give it modern-day significance, relate to some political or world reality (don't know what it would be), I think it might give this script a fabulous zing.Anyway, you still get an Excellent from me. Great piece of story-telling here.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
This is great.A nice simple story/parable - "the grass is always greener" only this time is was golden. I liked the two characters and I think the action scene in the middle with the trucks would be very exciting.Your craft is excellent.
Chris Thomas (Level 3)
Funny and unique. I pictured it as a short Pixar type film.
DW Pollard (Level 4)
Good visuals and nice job of making tumbleweeds hold an audience's attention. I felt the message was a little to heavy handed, a little to "on the nose." There wasn't a whole lot for dramatic conflict, but then what's a poor tumbleweed to do I guess.I liked your style, but the story needs a little something more.
Gary Murphy (Level 3)
Really good story, a bit weird at first but worth staying with. Your writing is good and I like the dialogue - though of course unsure as to how realistic it was, I guess if any tumbleweeds are reviewers on here we might see.Did not really see an awful lot wrong with it.*Very Good
Graham Trelfer (Level 4)
Hmm, not sure I can personally connect with a tumbleweed and although I thought it would be funny if the grass wasn't so green on the other side (or gold in this case) it wasn't when I got there.
Jay Knisely (Level 4)
Grass is always greener...Plus: easy youthful story; simple two char voiceovers; seems easily filmableMinus: not much conflict nor a lot interest in tumbleweeds; kind of a dramatization of an ordinary natural happening. But good.
Jeremy Goodlander (Level 3)
A story about tumbleweeds? The action was nice but other than that I really don't get what you were trying to do here. Are we supposed to feel something for the tumbleweeds? Is there a hidden metaphor?
John LaBonney (Level 4)
A cute play on the idea that the grass is always greener (which it pretty much always is.) Enjoyed it. It's a little sad that Joe tells him that they just have to get lucky to end up in the right place. It would be a neat idea if Timmy rebelled t against the idea that tumbleweeds go where the wind blows them and discovered a way to get exactly where he wants.
Jon Watts (Level 3)
The plot needs to be a little deeper than "the grass is always greener". Also, the truck sequence needs more build up, it just comes out of nowhere.
Kirk White (Level 5)
giving a very good. Unique, compelling and very visual. Nice HUMAN story about tumbleweeds. I can see this animated or even filmed with a moc-umentary style with real tumbleweeds. Good job.
Margaret Avnet (Level 4)
I like that you used tumbleweeds as the characters. And it a nice way to illustrate the old adage that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In this case more gold. I think it would make for a nice children's short.
Matias Caruso (Level 5)
A nice metaphor about life, goals and ambitions; these tumbleweeds felt pretty human. I’ve got no relevant complaints about this one.Kind of saw the ending coming but it was very good nonetheless and fitted perfectly with the moral of the story.Very well written.
Matt Carrothers (Level 2)
A nice lesson...life isn't always golden on the other side of the road.
Micah Ricke (Level 4)
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually enjoyed this one thuroughly. A story about tumbleweeds no less! Keep up the good work!
Michael Cornetto (Level 5)
I absolutely loved the idea behind this script. However, I found much that I didn't like in the execution. I found the dialogue to be on the nose and, well, boring. The characters were lacking. It was kind of like you had this clever idea and then you - verbatim - had the characters tell it to us. I didn't feel any kind of excitement or attachment. I wasn't drawn in. I think you need to work more on the anticipation of heading toward this golden field and perhaps make it unexpected when a weed tumbles. Makes us feel more excitement and wonder when it finally happens and more disappointment when the journey ends. Most of all work on the dialogue and characters. You got a great idea and I think you are a good enough writer to make it work. Give it more thought. FAIR.
Michael Thede (Level 4)
This was cute and original. There's even a nice "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" moral to it. I would've liked to have seen Tommy break free a bit earlier and have more of an adventure before ending up where he wanted to go, but never-the-less this looks like the basis for a great little animated short! I'm scoring you a VERY GOOD.
Paul Jaworsky (Level 4)
Pure genius! I figured out your motivation, an extremely low-budget film. You don't even have to pay actors, you could do both voices yourself. LOL! Seriously though, excellent job. I love the vision you painted on paper. I could actually imagine the tumbleweeds and visualize their ordeal. Nice one.
Rob Gross (Level 4)
The dialog and script was solid.But a story about tumbleweeds? I know this could be about anyone/anything. Hell, you had me rooting for the damn tumbleweeds!Ok, even though it was a tumbleweed, the characterization was great. The descriptions were awesome as was the action scene when Tommy makes a tumble for the golden field.also, enjoyed the ending.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
You get high marks for a a great title and a very unique set of characters.You can go live action or animation and it doesn't really matter coz' there's a gem of an allegory here.Only thing is I wonder if someone would want to watch two tumbleweeds talking to each other for about half the length of the script? Don't get me wrong. The dialog is fantastic. I just am not sure who your audience is gonna be. A filmmaker on a shoestring budget could have Morgan Freeman be the older tumbleweed and Toby Maguire as Tommy. But they'd still be tumbleweeds talking. (Or swaying as the case might be.)I loved the execution of the road crossing sequence. That alone got you high points from me.Very well done. Keep writing.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
What a unique and fun story. I loved it. I love the characters and the moral woven in between the lines.I can see this as a short animated film. Really fun and we can all relate, both because we've seen these tumbleweeds on the highway, and also that we're all looking for golden pastures.Nicely done, it works on many levels. One of the few excellents i gave this time.What I likedI'd love to see this on screen. I liked the simpleness of it, and yet the subtext of the story speaks volumes.
Spencer McDonald (Level 4)
You have captured the essence of life in this 5 pager. Most excellent! Moral: the ain't always greener on the other side. The only thing greener is our hope.While reading this, I imagined this shot with tumble weed doing their thing... rolling. If this were the case, the weeds would not speak, so the dialogue would need to indicate O.S. The other option her might be a cartoon. If this were a cartoon you could put faces on each tumble weed. I think I like this as a cartoon.In my opinion, the title could be much stronger.Excellent!!!
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Beautiful metaphoric "grass is greener" story - and I particually enjoyed the non-human characters. I could see this as an animated short and thought the dialog was very good. Being from the southwest, I could relate to the well drawn scenery too. A couple of suggestions: The opening line refers to "native plants" was a little vague (what would they be besides native?), try something more specific like "cactus, sagebrush and other desert plants" would give me a better picture. Lose the action/parens in the dialog was not necessary.
Tom Shipley (Level 4)
Now this is a short. A lot of writers on here (myself included) write our shorts like we write features... they're almost mini-features. This seems like a short. Simple concept. A goal that grabs the audience. Good action and a payoff. Can't really think of much else to say. Think it's excellent.The only thing I'd suggest (and like any script, I think it could use at least another draft) is making it clearer we're looking at two different fields in the beginning.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
Well done. I liked the whole moral-fable aspect to the piece as well as the optimism at the end.The writing was solid - though I feel there may be a bit too much dialogue, pages 1-3. I would like to see more visuals there, and some of the dialogue condensed a bit.
William Coleman (Level 5)
This gentle fable is charming, a real possibility for longer treatment - or just as it is. With state of the art animation it would be stunning to watch.My only qualification, there is just a little too much discussion up front. Can it be woven into the action that follows. I think that would elevate this into gem state.
Comments Made After the Contest
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/1/2008 12:53 AM
Got an excellent from me - and it was. Can't wait to see what you come up with next.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/1/2008 1:35 AM
This was one of my favorites this time! Really enjoyed it. I can see it as a animated, or even a live action, with voice over.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/1/2008 1:35 PM
A favorite of mine as well. I loved had fresh and original this felt.
Paul Jaworsky (Level 4) ~ 2/1/2008 5:21 PM
Definitely original. Great idea.
A.M. Wallace (Level 0) ~ 2/1/2008 6:00 PM
I want to thank everyone for their comments and the time they took writing them. I appreciate the honesty and the constructive criticism as well as the praise. Knowing what I did right as well as what I did wrong helps me become a better writer. Thank you.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/1/2008 6:29 PM