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John LaBonney
04-30-2008, 11:23 AM
Looking forward to your comments.

John

ConspiracyPenguin
04-30-2008, 04:21 PM
I love it! Another great piece, John!*




*For the record, I haven't read John's script yet. I simply posted this for two reasons: 1) To have the first reply on this thread, and 2) In hopes that John will comment in my thread with an equally kind remark.

StefanHaynes
04-30-2008, 04:30 PM
Logline? What's the basic premise/setting?

Michael Anthony Horrigan
04-30-2008, 05:14 PM
I had a chance to read the early draft. It was a very good read. I'm sure the polished version will be even more impressive.

Best of luck, John!

Mike

John LaBonney
04-30-2008, 08:28 PM
Logline: An overenthusiastic writer goes on a crazy chase.

I wrote a logline for the upload that's similar to this but I can't remember it exactly. I stink at loglines. Pee ewe.

Early reviews of the first draft I sent out to friends were pretty brutal. Since then I've tightened it up considerably, from nine pages down to seven. I cut a scene and trimmed the dialog.

I think I've got a unique premise for this script. I've always tried to take these dvxuser fests in a different direction. I mean they give you a theme and a couple of basics and let you loose on the world. So while others were making James Bond spy movies for SpyFest (and there's nothing wrong with that at all), I wrote a comedy and a mockumentary in addition to a spy thriller. I just like to look at the theme and try and come up with something different.

Hope you like it! But please be brutally honest with your comments--I'm here to learn and refine my craft.

Thanks,

John

StefanHaynes
04-30-2008, 08:44 PM
Wow. A friend of mine is entering a script called "Writer's Block." The logline could have been interchangeable with yours. What are the odds?

John LaBonney
04-30-2008, 08:45 PM
Wow. A friend of mine is entering a script called "Writer's Block." The logline could have been interchangeable with yours. What are the odds?

It's been known to happen. I wonder how similar the stories will be? Now I'm really itching to read the other entries!

ConspiracyPenguin
05-01-2008, 05:07 PM
I wish I had allowed more to read my early draft for feedback, now I am a bit worried. I like the story and all but I have my doubts, it is like nothing I have ever written and is done in a complete different way. I guess we will see...

Also, I, too try to take the theme and twist it up a bit. I think I kind of did that here. Good luck all!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-02-2008, 04:04 PM
Great work, John!
As you know I thought this was pretty funny. It will be interesting to read what everyone thinks of it considering the content. :D

I won't spoil it.

Cheers,

Mike

Captain Pierce
05-03-2008, 08:44 PM
This isn't a script, it's a reality show! That's not fair! :)

Seriously, though, interesting premise and a fun read.

aegriffin
05-04-2008, 03:10 PM
I enjoyed the premise, use of the required theme and the outright existential nod to screenwriting. A nifty little action comedy.

I have just a few suggestions to offer. Please consider cutting down John's dialogue where he says, "I mean..." as I don't feel it's necessary. Once the pursuit has been established I'm not convinced we need to have more description to add to the surroundings to get a feel of what is going on. I feel it needs less actually.

For instance, consider shaving down description as in the fruit cart scene. The dialogue is engaging and I found myself wanting to jump through despcription to match the pace of the pursuit.

On a more personal note, I'm not a fan of entertainment that turns the light back onto the writer/filmmaker angst. It wasn't until the end that I realized how cleverly you had done just that. So I'd say this script is proof that it can still be done and done well.

So very cool!

Mark Harris
05-04-2008, 07:35 PM
God, I have lost count of the number of times this has happened to me, trying to get Jack to read one of my scripts.

Jack really should have gotten hit by a car ala "18 Seconds." :)

That said, I kind of wish you would have gotten some more specific details about his life. There's lots of fun to be had with Megan, the dogs, Pavel, and the hipster coffe house where Jack goes to write.

mentatDUKE
05-04-2008, 08:27 PM
Hi John. This was an interesting read. I like the self-referencial aspects of the story. Very "inside baseball". Nice touch with the wife asking "Who?".

Good job making everything go wrong in the hero's life during the chase. The tension build was effective and had me wanting to yell "Let him GO!" to the characters.

I feel the punchline could have been stronger though. Switching gears and chasing the agent is funny, but a more over-the-top ending to match the over-the-top chase may have been more effective.

Good job on this.

John LaBonney
05-05-2008, 03:35 AM
Jack really should have gotten hit by a car ala "18 Seconds." :)

I showed an initial draft of this script to Jack to solicit his permission to use him as a character, and that was his thought as well.


That said, I kind of wish you would have gotten some more specific details about his life. There's lots of fun to be had with Megan, the dogs, Pavel, and the hipster coffe house where Jack goes to write.

I admit that I don't know much about him, besides the fact that's he's a respected filmmaker and longstanding member of dvxuser, but the story really isn't about him, it's about me chasing him. All that's really important to the story is that he's a great filmmaker.

Thanks for reading it!

John LaBonney
05-05-2008, 03:52 AM
For instance, consider shaving down description as in the fruit cart scene. The dialogue is engaging and I found myself wanting to jump through despcription to match the pace of the pursuit.


The tension build was effective and had me wanting to yell "Let him GO!" to the characters.

The fruit cart scene was a tough decision. I thought that it was funny and wanted to keep it instead of replacing it with a more succinct bit. I knew that it was interrupting John from continuing the pursuit, and that was the rub; I didn't know if it would be annoying or humorous to delay him. I guess it could go either way.

Russell Moore
05-05-2008, 08:52 AM
I literally laughed out loud quite a few times during this script. Some very funny moments in the beginning when you're talking with your wife.

The fruit cart scene also dragged just a bit for me, but I also found the dialogue here humorous. I wouldn't want to see it cut, maybe just tightened up a little bit to the pace brisk.
Maybe just figure out a way to edit a little here. Tighten up some the action description. Maybe after the line "Are you sure it was the apples?" You could go straight to John saying "Come on. How much?"

After he leaves the cart, John tries to pick up the pace the best he can, considering that he's covered in the remains of destroyed fruit. While being covered in destroyed fruit is funny, I'm not sure how it slows you down, maybe he's sustained some form of injury from bashing into the cart?

I thought the ending worked well. I really enjoyed reading this and its definitely the funniest script I've read so far.

aegriffin
05-05-2008, 12:27 PM
The fruit cart scene was a tough decision. I thought that it was funny and wanted to keep it instead of replacing it with a more succinct bit. I knew that it was interrupting John from continuing the pursuit, and that was the rub; I didn't know if it would be annoying or humorous to delay him. I guess it could go either way.

Perhaps it can be both, sir. Let's say John offers the fruit cart fellow some money (like $20) and then the fruit cart guy has the interaction with the son. As it continues to go on, John frustration has him offering more and more money ($40?, No, $60, No...) and they just ignore him with their continuing discussion until John, exasperated, takes off running after his target, leaving the fruit guys to finish their argument offscreen.

For what it's worth...

alex whitmer
05-07-2008, 05:42 PM
The script

This …

JOHN LABONNEY, a good-looking, smart, humble, and all-around
likable fellow …

*I tried that same nonsense with one of my characters, but of course nobody believed it! ‘Give the man a flaw,’ they all yelled. ‘Okay,’ I retorted!

**JOHN LABONNEY, a good-looking, smart, humble, and all-around
likable nose-picker …

This …

Then he types one letter at a time in dramatic fashion as the words "THE END" appear on the computer monitor.

Try …

**Then, in a big show of theatrics, he types THE END as he says each letter aloud.

This …

John sits at the kitchen table with his eyes riveted on his
wife, MICHELLE LABONNEY.

*And what are Michelle’s attributes? (Be very careful!)

Page 1/2

This …

JOHN
I knew it! You love it! It's really
great, isn't it? Not only is this
the best short film script I've ever
written, it's undoubtedly the best
script in all of recorded history!

MICHELLE
Oh brother, I've never met anyone so
full of himself. Get a grip!

Michelle tosses the script aside and turns her attention to
the newspaper.

JOHN
(ignoring her)
Fresh dialog! Hip characters! An
engaging story! I mean, have you
ever in your entire life read anything
so totally awesome?

MICHELLE
So tell me Shakespeare, who are you
going to get to direct this
masterpiece?

*I would rearrange all this …

JOHN
I knew it! You love it! It's really
great, isn't it? Not only is this
the best short film script I've ever
written, it's undoubtedly the best
script in all of recorded history!

Michelle tosses the script aside and turns her attention to
the newspaper. John is oblivious.

JOHN
Fresh dialog! Hip characters! An
engaging story! I mean, have you
ever in your entire life read anything
so totally awesome?

MICHELLE
Oh brother, I've never met anyone so
full of himself. Get a grip!
(a beat)
So tell me Shakespeare, who are you
going to get to direct this
masterpiece?

*Maybe this last part could use a little editing …

MICHELLE
Get a grip, Shakespeare. And just who are you going to ask to direct this – masterpiece?

Page 2

MICHELLE
Who?

Maybe …

MICHELLE
Stanely who?

Page 3

POLICE OFFICER
I haven't got a chance to use my
night-stick on anyone today yet.
You want to be the first?

*Feels a little clumsy with the ‘today yet’. Maybe lose ‘yet’.

*John could make some smart remark to set her off, and set up the suggested changes for the scene.

**JOHN
If you thump somebody with it during the day, is it still called a night-stick?

This …

Just as John steps off the curb, the light instantly changes
to "Don't Walk."

*Maybe you could add something to this whole scene, like this good-looking and likeable miscreant runs when the walk sign lights, and the cop tells him to walk, not run, and to go back to the curb and try it again. Something like that to mix it up.

This …

Having lost interest, the cop gives John a final warning
Grimace …

*Maybe a sneer would be better.

This …

Now at a fair run,

*Try fair pace, or fair clip.

This …

John dodges through pedestrians, narrowly avoiding bumping into several of them.

*I would arguer that dodging is enough. The rest is somewhat redundant. Maybe add ‘scuse me, pardon me to tell the rest.

Cont ...

alex whitmer
05-07-2008, 05:44 PM
Cont ...

Page 4

This …

MAN
Wait! I have massage oil and fifty
dollars!

*Maybe add …

MAN
Wait! Who do you want me to be?! I have massage oil and fifty
dollars!

**As John runs …

**MAN
A hundred then?!

And this …

John looks over his shoulder at the Man with a incredulous
look and continues after Jack.

But while running ahead and looking backwards, he doesn't
see a fruit cart in his path. BAM! He wallops right into
it, overturning it and dumping all the fruit on the sidewalk.
An irate FRUIT VENDOR throws his hands up in the air.

*You can tighten this up to …

As John glances back with an incredulous look, he slams into a fruit cart, overturning it and dumping all the fruit. An irate FRUIT VENDOR throws his hands up in the air.

Give your fruit vender some great accent, like Italian.

FRUIT VENDER
(Heavy Italian accent)
Was’a matter with you?!

*Maybe throw in subtitles for fun.

*This needs tightening as well …

John tries to get up and extricate himself from the cart.
He slips on some fruit and crashes to the ground again.
Finally, he manages to make it to his feet and get the cart
upright.

By this time, the fruit vendor has taken out a pad and pencil
and is doing some calculations, occasionally pointing at the
fruit on the ground with the pencil as he counts.

*Try something along these lines …

John slips and slides on the damaged fruit as he tries to stand. The fruit vendor takes out a pad and pencil and starts to add up the damage.

*Jack and the actors will fill in the rest.

*29 words instead of 68 to create the same scene. 39 words too many. You’re flapping your proverbial screenwriter’s jaw!

This …

FRUIT VENDOR
I hope you like fruit, because you've
just bought yourself a cart full!

*Go for the subtext and simplify …

**The Fruit Vendor glances at the damaged but fixable cart. He puts pencil to paper.

FRUIT VENDOR
Shall I throw in the cart as well?

This …

The fruit vendor isn't the brightest bulb on Broadway, and
has a few difficulties with his math.

*You can leave this off. It’s ‘shown’ in the following dialogue.

And finally this …

John looks down the sidewalk and sees Jack disappearing into
the distance.

*Add …

**John, with crushed fruit clinging to his clothes, looks down the sidewalk and sees a distant Jack.

Page 5

*Funny exchange between FV and Junior. I think all the more reason to play up the cop scene, sort of match the tone.

This …

John reaches in his pocket, thrusts the money into the
vendor's hand, and dashes down the sidewalk.

There's Jack, about a block away! John picks up the pace
the best he can, considering he's covered in the remains of
destroyed fruit.

*A few tweaks …

**John reaches in his pocket, thrusts the money into the
vendor's hand, and dashes down the sidewalk. He leaves a trail of smashed bananas.

About a block away, John sees Jack!

Page 6

This …

with plenty of scrapes and bruises from the passing asphalt.

*The asphalt isn’t passing. I think you can lose that.

This …

John is revealed to still be hanging on to the bumper.

*Lose ‘revealed to’ and ‘be’.

*Actually I feel an ‘urgency’ to rewrite this whole action …

**Jack pulls into a parking space. John is still on the bumper; exhausted, bleeding, dirty, and with ripped, fruit-stained clothes. He’s barely hanging on.

This …

I can't accept any unsolicited
manuscripts. It's a legal thing.
All potential material needs to come
through an agent.

*Not sure manuscript is the right word. I’d use unsolicited material.

Page 7

Jack's words fade away as John ignores him, limping off after
the car.

*Lose ‘ignores him’ as it’s ‘shown’ via the action of limping away. Use ‘limps’

***********************************************

Other notes …

Too many ING verbs.

Too many LY words.

Very fun piece with some tongue in cheek! I’m guessing this can be one page shorter with clever editing.

Alex




www.alexwhitmer.wordpress.com (http://www.alexwhitmer.wordpress.com/)

www.guerro.wordpress.com (http://www.guerro.wordpress.com/)



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krestofre
05-07-2008, 05:55 PM
Terrific script, but I can't vote for it as number one. The Mod Squad simply would not have the budget for the cast. Sorry.

:)

smashedburrito
05-10-2008, 11:58 AM
Honestly I felt like this is really just a script for the insiders here on DVXuser. I obviously know who JDS is, but it almost tarnishes the script by making it a user here on the forum. I think you should either go big (Spielberg), go goofy (Larry Clark to direct your Goonies Sequel) or completely Made Up (Joe Schmo Director). By making it Jack it really just feels too much like an inside joke to me and took me out of the piece.

Same goes for using yourself and your family. If you are really serious about this script and making it or getting it made then make the lead someone else. Honestly it makes it a little hard to critique when you are using yourself and your family and friends in the script. I am guessing you are making fun of yourself with the "genius" stuff, but I had to assume there.

I thought the crossing guard and the creepy old man were funny characters. I was thinking you could even bring one of them back at the end. As me lunges after Marty, have the crossing guard stop him or something. I like the fruit vendor scene but I think it could be a line or two less. The whole 1 page=1 minute rules applies here and makes it a little lengthy.

Otherwise I thought the script was breezy and funny. I'd suggest trimming and cleaning up the pacing as well as deciding whether or not you want to keep it as a big inside joke.

John LaBonney
05-10-2008, 03:02 PM
Thanks for reading it; I appreciate your comments very much.


Honestly I felt like this is really just a script for the insiders here on DVXuser....By making it Jack it really just feels too much like an inside joke to me and took me out of the piece.

I agree entirely that this was a script for the insiders of dvxuser. I figured that the members were the only ones going to read it, and they would be the primary audience of the short made from it. So I'm okay with making the film a big inside joke, although there has been some mixed reaction on this theme. But I gave it a try.


Same goes for using yourself and your family. If you are really serious about this script and making it or getting it made then make the lead someone else. Honestly it makes it a little hard to critique when you are using yourself and your family and friends in the script. I am guessing you are making fun of yourself with the "genius" stuff, but I had to assume there.My wife and I are just characters in the script. In real life I'm a little overweight and have a receding hairline (although I'm all-around likable). I was trying to make John be ridiculously full of himself to give him the motivation to go on this crazy chase.

All-in-all I'm glad I tried the inside joke theme. I'm not sure I would go this way in the next ScriptFest, but I felt that this fest was a pretty unique opportunity to try something like this.

Thanks again!