Comments Made During the Contest
A.M. Wallace (Level 0)
This is a fun screeplay and I like how you tied the actions of John and the Cubs together at the end. Very cleaver. However, you have a number of issues that take away from your screenplay. Fix them and it will be much better. "The lint trap..." Doesn't add anything. We know he didn't check it because you didn't mention it in the action. I would take it out. In action the shorter the sentences, the better. Yours are quite long. Short sentences add tension and move the reader forward. Long sentences slow the reader down. Keep the action in the present tense. "He's a bit freaked out by it", "startled by the noise...", "before giving into the reality that...", and many other sentences, these are feelings, not something you see on screen. If you want to convey how he feels, you should put it in actions or just eliminate it all together. You should banish adverbs from your writing. They slow the reader down and what they are describing should be clear to the reader without the adverb. Your movie should start with "FADE IN" and end with "FADE OUT" or something similar. You have typos that need to be fixed.
Ali Barr (Level 4)
Great story. I loved the action and your character. Very clear and easy to relate to. Not all action has to be guns and violence. Your writing was easy to read and fun to picture. We have all done that quick dash around the house before someone arrives. Loved it. I like your style and the element of comedy with the action.
Audrey Webb (Level 5)
Your interpretation of "action" made me smile. Be careful with character name...switches from John to Charlie....and a few minor typos.
Bill Delehanty (Level 4)
I don't think the ANGLE is needed, especially when referring to specific close-up objects, its kind of a given it will be a close-up.Cute story. Liked it alot!
Brian Wind (Level 5)
This was good but unfulfilling. We were rooting for him to have everything take care of perfect when the wife got home and we didn't get it. Instead he's laying on the floor holding a soapy glass with silverware stren about. I don't know, to me it felt like he failed in his mission but that was not reflected in the script. I gave it a GOOD.
Carl Rossi (Level 2)
This is the one that MoviePoet warns you about.This was a completely competent script with an expertly executed sense of rhythm. But I didn’t like it. I reacted negatively to the situation and the story. I can’t and I won’t hold this against the writer since I know he/she will write a new story next time and it will probably be something that I like.But the characters were could have been a bit more than they were. John is a slob who loves sports and procrastinates. Mary is not only perfect, but also needs to call to remind John of his chores. And she's right, she does need to call. The goofball and the princess, as it is, is already somewhere between cliché and standard plot device. But since nothing new is brought to the characters, they lean more towards cliché.But don't get me wrong. That was a lot of text to explain the only thing that didn't work. High marks are well deserved.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
I didn't understand the title.I don't think Mary would have listed the jobs over the phone - maybe just said 'Have you done all those things?' The way it was written sounded unnatural.I felt it was too far-fetched that he jumps up in the air and falls through the attic opening feet first. How did he DO that?Who on earth is Charlie?This was a good fun idea, and I could really relate to it - just be careful to check your script for avoidable errors like the Charlie thing.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)
Good job, this was cute and fun, but I can't help thinking it could be much better.The ending was wonderful. John saving the wine glass as the runner is safe at home -- the whole way through I kept thinking how cool it would be if the whole script were that way. Like when he's running the trash through the alley, there could be guys with a boom box listening, he could jump up and look through bottom floor windows at games playing in every home as the announcer's voice is heard, coordinating his movements with what is happening on the screen. Maybe he looks up and is about to run into a biker and has to hit the ground just as the announcer tells us the runner slides into second. Not easily done, but if it were, in my opinion this would easily have been the winner this month.You have an interesting story, just not quite enough umph. A couple of spelling errors and somehow when John took the trash out he came back named Charlie. Nothing against the name, mind you, just very confusing.Anyway, fun story, good job.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
I thought this was great. Very creative.I love the energy and style of it. This will make a great short film and I will be surprised if someone doesn't film it soon.About the only thing I didn't love was the last line - I didn't hate it either - I just think there is something better out there.
David D. DeBord (Level 5)
Another fun story. What is it with guys anyway?Great action in John’s attempts to get done all that he needs to do. The action lines are short, direct, and are written in an active way. That makes the action visual.Good work.
Deborah Mack (Level 3)
I’m not sure if this script would qualify as an action script, but as a script it was okay…I thought the story was a bit too simple and I felt that it at least needed some kind of surprise/twist at the end. When John went into the attic I kept expecting something creepy to happen, like the clown doll will come alive and start terrorizing him, LOL! But nothing like that ever happened.I noticed that a lot of your action paragraphs are telling the reader what is going on instead of showing them. I felt like I was reading a story instead of seeing the images in my head. I think this rule is especially important in an action script. I liked that you used a simple vocabulary and few words and still made it very understandable.One small confusing thing; the main character is John, but then part way through the script he is called Charlie and then John again… This was probably just a typo. ;-)Keep up the writing… you have a gift for clarity; something I find is rare and very important in scriptwriting! :-D
Gary Murphy (Level 3)
I liked this, it was well written and very funny. I think you ended it too soon though and for me it was a weak ending that really did take the shine off what was a great piece. You had a bit of spare paper at the bottom of page 5 and would have liked for some dialogue from the wife or something, a better punchline I think was required.Maybe you could not do it in 5 pages but to try and somehow have the house wrecked just before the wife came back in would have been good. Maybe a pair of cats get into the house and wreck in completely, wife comes home to find him laying in a big old mess "Thats it I am leaving, I asked you to do one thing for me an clean the house" etc.. anyway just an idea.But apart from the ending I thought that this was a clever stab at trying to do something different with the genre at for the most part you pulled in off. *Very Good.
Graham Trelfer (Level 4)
For someone like me who hates reading action this script looked like hell on earth. But it was good and easy enough to read, it just didn't jump out as anything special the set pieces had all been seen before so it lacked that degree of what will happen next, because it does escalate in an unpredictable way. It is not that I'm marking you low for that, just down. With more original action your writing style could win you an Excellent.
James McConnell (Level 3)
This story didn't really do anything for me. I think the problem was that I didn't really care about John and his goal. There was nothing at stake. What would happen to him if he didn't do what he was supposed to?I think the inciting incident could also be better. Instead of an uncinematic phone message, what if he was watching the game and Mary has to go out to the neighbors or something. She tells him to do his chores or else... Give us consequences. Set it up so that we know what will happen. There are also way too many cheats. Only include what can be seen. If you can't see it then it doesn't belong in the screenplay. There was too many small details. Lots and lots of black on the page. To be honest, I found myself scan reading most of the story because the details were uninteresting. I didn't care if a box bounces off the heap of trash or if a dog barks at him. Do we really need to see this? Give me a description of John. Tell me something about him, something that an actor could use to portray him. Is he a couch potato? A high flying executive? Give me something.I would remove the camera directions. Let the directors direct.I would suggest that you think about only including what is essential to the story. Don't include all the minute details. Give us tension, give us excitement, give us conflict. Give us DRAMA....
Jay Knisely (Level 4)
Very good frenetic double action story.Plus: lively pace; easily understandableMinus: stairway gag; dogCould use a couple fades.
Jim Montgomery (Level 3)
How close to home does this one hit.
Kirk White (Level 5)
solid script and impeccable technique. Love the "paradise by the dashboard light" style of weaving the baseball narration into the action. The only real suggestions I'd have would be for you to play with altering your sentence lengths and using punctuation and white space to increase the rhythm and speed of the scene as the story unfolds. you do have a random change where John becomes Charlie for one scene...I'm sure it's the remnant of an earlier version.good stuff though. I think this script will/should place.
Micah Ricke (Level 4)
Nice. I like the pace you set. Overall writing was good, with just a few errors.
Roger Pine (Level 3)
This was an okay script. Fun to read. Not really action in my book though. Nobody died and nothing got blown up. But at least the Cubs won!
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
A guying doing chores, albeit doing them fast didn't seem to be action oriented, initially.But this was quite clever writing. If this were a spy film, say perhaps, Mission Impossible, the agent gets the briefing and he does the tasks and manages to squeeze in a few lovemaking scenes with the ladies.Now substitute defeating evil bad guys by chores and making out with the ladies by the baseball game on TV.It has a cartoon like quality with knives barely missing him and dogs chasing him.A little hint at his back-story would help explain his stamina. I know he is supposed to be a regular Joe, but what if he was GI JOE with a day off to catch the ball game?Technically you had quite a glitch by calling him Charlie in a couple of the scenes and they totally make the reader confused.A back-story, and a quick fix to the errors in the re-write will make this quite a good short. And its only got one actor, so a filmmaker can get this done in his own home.Good job.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
Really enjoyed this. It was full of fun montages of John getting all his chores done, before his wife gets home.This was really clever and fun. I do think there could have been more of a twist at the end. I thought you nailed the character and the fun back and forth preparations he made, while trying to watch a game on tv.You call John 'Charlie' on one page. Must be a typo.I think this would play very well as a short film, great for a budget, as it's all in basically a few locations, with lots of fun things going on, a likeable protagonist and a story that is human and funny. I gave it GOOD.
Spencer McDonald (Level 4)
Well... it was kinda a fun story. The action was a bit subdued. Guess I was expecting something dramatic like a taxi cab to plunge through the wall or something. Good use of common household utensils.I did find the description long. Here is an example of one that is overdone."John darts in, flings the washer open and tosses wet clothes into the dryer before slamming the door shut and starting it. The lint trap didn't have a chance in hell of being checked."That last sentence could be lost. The lint trap has nothing to do with the description.Overall, good job.
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Cute idea, and some fun slapstick moments. I'm watching a guy fumble with housework, and he's trying to watch TV (did the outcome of the game matter?). There was no character relationship to hang onto. Could have been funnier if the comedy was taken over the top (add fire, flood, or real jeopardy to his mistakes), and more at stake (what would be the penalty if he didn't get the chores done?) or if he encountered some other unexpected resistance (what if the scary clown in the attic started sabotaging his efforts?). He didn't seeem to have a stake in the ballgame (like a big wager). Give me a reason to root for him to get the housework done, or win the game.
Tom Peterson (Level 3)
BEEN THERE. . .I really liked this. It hit the action genre square without being a crime drama.The plot was solid, the structure was solidly three acts, John’s character was well developed and you could sympathize with him (although I think guys probably sympathize with him more!). The format was fine.I only have three editing issues:P1. When the phone made a noise, did you meant that John picked it “up” as opposed to simply picking it?P3. John/Charlie? I’m sure you know.P5. No transition (FADE OUT).My only other question is about the significance of the Geico commercial? Perhaps given the up coming scenes for John, an Aflac commercial might be more appropriate?I enjoyed the suspense of John not getting hurt; it was the right kind of break in the action.Excellent, well done!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
I enjoyed this script. Something different from the action genre, points given for that. Not to mention, everyone survived. I also thought that John / game playing at the same time over one another was nicely done at the end.There are a lot of transitions in this script which can beat you down, but you have no alternative there (it wouldn't play like that on screen anyway).I also like the fact that John did not shirk his duties. Well done, enjoyed it.Fix the instance where you have Charlie, rather than John.
Comments Made After the Contest
Gary Murphy (Level 3) ~ 3/1/2008 7:53 AM
So I have a real problem with the fact that two people gave this a poor! Very bad reviewing from two people I must say. I know it is none of my business but please come on folks, maybe a fair if you did not like it too much but a poor??? BS.Good script Tom, I thought it was a great effort.
Tom Shipley (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2008 9:44 AM
Thanks Gary! Everyone is entitled to their opinion, though. And Charlie is the main character in the feature I'm working on... I do that a lot, actually. Called Charlie "Henry" when I first started on THAT script because Henry was the main character from my last screenplay.And I kept the action low-key because I wanted to make it as filmable as possible (although Major League Baseball) may have something to say about that.But thanks for all the reviews. Will make some notes and look it back over.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2008 1:12 PM
I loved this script. It was probably my favorite take on the action genre. Very original and a lot of fun.As I said above, I think this is perfect for a low budget filmmaker. Best of luck with it.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 12/8/2008 12:25 PM
I just found this absolute gem of a script. How this one slipped by the Honorable Mentions, I'll never know. What a marvelous job of juggling your two action lines. Thanks for the treat.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 12/8/2008 12:37 PM
I agree. I thought this was one of the best action scripts.Thanks for reminding me about it. I just added it to my favorites.
Tom Shipley (Level 4) ~ 12/8/2008 12:59 PM
Thanks for the kind words, guys. My first favorites!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 12/9/2008 11:10 AM
This is the first time I've read this script and I love it! Great action. Wonderful character. Really good work.
Amanda Sidorowicz (Level 4) ~ 12/22/2008 4:00 PM
I just read this screenplay and really enjoyed it! It was an awesome idea for the action contest. Being a Cubs fan, I was able to relate to this all the way. I love how you chose to have Johnson at bat-- he always came through! Title is perfect too. I love its double meaning.The last line could be a little stronger, but that's about the only change I would make.I see you've mentioned that you'd like to make it into a film... MLB is a pain (they don't allow clips on YouTube or anything), but with the "written consent of the Chicago Cubs" (especially if they are on WGN or Comcast), you may be able to work something out for a few Johnson clips that match your script.