Thread: Buddy Bear

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    Buddy Bear
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    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    (script attached to this post)


    Logline: Can one simple man and his squirt gun save the earth?



    Putting the finishing touches on it now. Doesn't make the fest, but I always appreciate the feedback.
    I haven't written anything for awhile and this is a bit of a departure for me. I tend to go dark or weird. So I am curious to see how something a bit lighter fares.

    I'll attach a PDF. If anyone gets a chance to read and review it, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
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    Last edited by Russell Moore; 06-21-2012 at 10:57 PM. Reason: add script
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

    Need a short script?
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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Not a great deal in the way dramatic tension but an entertaining character piece nevertheless. Very easy to read and the development of the main character was well realised, he was a living breathing character and the pace of delivery was spot on. As for the aliens, i liked their dialogue and particularly liked the description at the start where they manifested themselves. That was COOL, I could definitely see that on screen. The only notably weak moment was the drowning scene. It needs to be worked on because it didn't provide the climatic punch it should have. It might play better on screen but on the page it was just another event in the story. I'm not saying get rid of it, it just needs developing to have greater impact. The resolution and epilogue worked fine. I liked the way he took the sighting in his stride and then immediately thought of his stomache! Nice touch.


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    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    I am glad to hear that you found it entertaining, despite any heavy dramatic tension. In the past my scripts were heavy in that area and I wanted to try and deliver something lighter. Always glad to hear that I managed to develop a character in a short amount of time, thanks.

    The alien dialogue was tricky for me, I wanted to convey there unfamiliarity with the language and also deliver information without being too on the nose. Happy to hear it worked for you.

    I agree with your assessment on the drowning scene. It feels a bit rushed? I'm going to take a look at it and figure out a way to build some more tension around that moment.

    Yep, just another day for Buddy, biscuits are the highlight.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my script. I appreciate it.
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

    Need a short script?
    Have an idea? Want to collaborate? Contact me.

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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Probably shouldn't have lead with that, probably better phrased as: an entertaining read in spite of being low stakes (high stakes are hinted at but the main character is both oblivious to and never threatened by them). I merely meant this story pulled me along because it was enjoyable rather than because I needed to know what happens next. It's a backhanded compliment, it still gets the job done. Not every story needs to have the fate of the world or a teenager's framework of reference on the line. Dramatic tension could have been ramped up by having the aliens be more threatening when they were on the ship making plans but the path you took was refreshing.

    As for the drowning scene, it's not so much that it was rushed. More that its location in the story needs to be more impactful. It's more of a structural issue. It worked well in context of the story but structurally didn't give that kick to release tension and let the resolution do its job. It could be made to do so on the screen with music, visual and editing tricks but I would have liked for it to do it on the page as well.

    I don't know what to suggest, it's tricky because the scene illustrates the alien's lack of understanding about the limitations of its human body so it is an important scene. You can't really ramp events up to it because the point is that it happens due to ignorance. You can't really make it more dangerous because it is the boy's story and he needs to be nonchalant at the end. But if you can get it to work I think you'll teach yourself a valuable lesson you can use again in the future. I've got a feeling it is going to be a subtle fix. Maybe they could swing in on a tyre instead of diving in. The alien needs to be told to let go and when he does he starts drowning...?
    Last edited by Egg Born Son; 06-22-2012 at 05:44 PM.


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    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    That's a backhanded compliment I am happy to take. Thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Egg Born Son View Post
    I don't know what to suggest, it's tricky because the scene illustrates the alien's lack of understanding about the limitations of its human body so it is an important scene. You can't really ramp events up to it because the point is that it happens due to ignorance. You can't really make it more dangerous because it is the boy's story and he needs to be nonchalant at the end. But if you can get it to work I think you'll teach yourself a valuable lesson you can use again in the future. I've got a feeling it is going to be a subtle fix. Maybe they could swing in on a tyre instead of diving in. The alien needs to be told to let go and when he does he starts drowning...?
    Great feedback.! I don't think I could've broken down the scene more succinctly myself and I wrote it.
    I liked the idea of him just stepping off into the water and sinking straight to the bottom, but ultimately I want what works best for the script as a whole.

    I like the tire swing idea....not only does it keep the original idea intact, but Buddy actually shares in some of the responsibility (by telling the alien to "Let go") for putting the alien in a dangerous situation. Thus bringing more emotional weight to bear on Buddy and the story. If the Alien recovers in the same manner, essentially unharmed, Buddy's nonchalant attitude would be unchanged.

    Could it be even more simple? Buddy jumps in and the alien is still reluctant to follow and Buddy has to coax him in? I also originally thought, I might have the alien step in and then end up tumbling downstream caught in a faster current from which Buddy saves him. Though, I'm not sure if that fundamentally changes the scene I have now or just prolongs it.

    Thanks again, I haven't written anything in quite awhile and your feedback has really greased the wheels for my creativity and has me thinking.
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

    Need a short script?
    Have an idea? Want to collaborate? Contact me.

    screenwriter75@yahoo.com


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    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Dang, dude, this read like butter. When I opened it I thought 'Oh crap a 10 pager. We're in for a long haul.'

    I was through it before I knew it. Really love the concept, love the two different realities explored. I like that we get a chance to know a little about each before the meeting. In the end, we still don't really know for certain what was real, and what was imagined. At least for me.

    Mostly I love the what-if of it. First impressions and all that. I get Buddy Bear might be closer to Warren in 'Something About Mary' than Forest Gump, though a few lines seemed heavily influenced by the latter.

    Some nice comic relief in the testing out of the bodies. There was ample room to get raunchy or sappy there, and I think you gave it just what it needed and no more. Dialogue was solid and entertaining.

    Not that I didn't find a thing or two to whine about. Au contraire. I'm doing that part now. And a second read may change my mind on story !!

    Always dig your stuff, Russ.

    Alex


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    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    Thanks Alex, I appreciate it.
    Glad that you liked the story(for now). I'll comment more after further critique.

    After reading some of your feedback on other scripts, I went back and read mine again and found several spots that need adjustment. Looking forward to your critique, always a good learning experience.
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

    Need a short script?
    Have an idea? Want to collaborate? Contact me.

    screenwriter75@yahoo.com


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    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Page one.

    This …

    EXT. WOODS – DAY

    BUDDY BEAR (30's) big and rugged, t-shirt and jeans, dirt smeared across his face. He crawls through thick foliage.


    This is really trivial, but I am such a big believer in cadence. You have ‘across’ and ‘crawls’ just three short words apart. This reads chunky. Maybe try …

    EXT. WOODS – DAY

    BUDDY BEAR (30's) big and rugged, t-shirt and jeans, a face smeared in dirt. He crawls through thick foliage.

    Think Haiku.

    This …

    He breaks from cover, speed belying his size. Two quick
    steps, launches himself into the air.


    I’d added two words here …

    He breaks from cover, speed belying his size. With two quick steps, he launches himself into the air.

    Per your way, I really want to read it like this …

    He breaks from cover, speed belying his size. Two quick
    steps launch him into the air.


    I first read this thinking ‘himself’ was a typo, and maybe he was using some Olympic apparatus to launch himself.

    This …

    INT. SPACECRAFT – DAY

    The pure white surface of the egg-shaped room are smooth.
    The back wall ripples, the surface of the floor rolls forward like a wave gaining size, it stops in the middle of the room, the size of a park bench.


    Hmm. This needs work. Not sure where to begin. Some very cool visuals here left wanting.

    INT. SPACECRAFT – DAY

    Egg shaped with smooth, pure white surfaces. A wall suddenly ripples. The floor rolls like a wave, then suddenly stops, forming a small bench.


    40 words down to 24 to say the same thing.

    Since this interior space is egg shaped, I don’t see a reason to say which wall ripples, and it never plays out in the story. All writers, myself included, seem to opt for ‘the back wall’ as the default to initiate change. Weird.

    Note I tossed your opening articles. In this particular intro they just aren’t needed.

    Here is an important note in case anyone is following these critiques, and no doubt wondering (sure, Alex) why I left in THE as the intro article for FLOOR, even though it has not been formally introduced. When you have a thing that is the ONLY one of its kind in the space, such as a refrigerator in a kitchen, a shower in a bath, or the sky, a furnace, etc, and assuming you have intro’d the space where this unique thing is located - BASEMENT/FURNACE, KITCHEN/FRIDGE - then THE is your choice.

    INT. BASEMENT – DAY

    Dark and dank. The furnace creaks.


    UNLESS, of course, you add some adjectival fluff to the item, in which you would then use A/AN.

    Like …

    INT. BASEMENT – DAY

    Dark and dank. An ancient furnace rumbles.

    And the kitchen example …

    INT. KITCHEN – DAY

    Country charm. The fridge door is open.

    INT. KITCHEN – DAY

    Country charm. A 50s refrigerator with its door open.


    Like that.

    In this screenplay there is only one floor. If I read A FLOOR, I would be scratching my head wondering where the other one is. Now if it were something related to the floor, and there is, or could likely be more than one, then A is the choice, such A FLOOR HEATER.

    In Egg Born’s script he has two things intro’d at the same time, and each is unique. However, the attention is on the tower, so that carries the definite article THE, while the repeater station isnot the focus, and carries the indefinite.

    The transmission tower of a repeater station. (his version has The transmission tower of the repeater station)


    To sum it up, this little diddy … The benches in a well-manicured park sit covered in snow.

    Like that. Definite benches in an indefinite park.


    Enough about that.


    This …

    The surface of the bench quivers slightly and lies still.
    Abruptly it vibrates like jello, picks up velocity, a blur.

    The surface of the bench pools upward, shifts, shapes and
    separates like gravity defying syrup. HUMS and snaps into
    the form of a MAN (40s) and a WOMAN (40s).


    You have AND between quivers slightly / lies still. This should be THEN, as I am assuming one action happens before the other.

    Not liking the adverb use here (abruptly). How about …

    The surface of the bench quivers slightly then lies still.

    An abrupt jello-like vibration picks up velocity.


    For some reason I see moving that second line to the next block. Maybe because it’s more in keeping what is happening there. Like this …

    An abrupt jello-like vibration picks up velocity. The bench pools upward, shifts, shapes and separates, like gravity defying syrup. The shapes hum, then snap into the form of a MAN (40s) and a WOMAN (40s).

    A comma added or delete, an adjustmet here and there.

    Funny this …

    pools upward, shifts, shapes and separates,

    Remember the old bra commercial ‘lifts and separates’? And here I thought the ladies wanted them mashed together to produce the coveted cleavage. Well, times change.

    Anyways, all together those two lines might read something like this …

    The surface of the bench quivers slightly then lies still.

    An abrupt jello-like vibration picks up velocity. The bench pools upward, shifts, shapes and separates, like gravity defying syrup. The shapes hum, then snap into the form of a MAN (40s) and a WOMAN (40s).


    Which brings up the question: do you mean to say like gravity defying syrup, or like gravity-defying syrup? Me thinks it is the second, since you are talking about the fluidity of the shapes, not the gravity in defiance of the syrup. I’d hyphenate that. Funny, though.

    This …

    Both Man and Woman are pure white, their hair and iris's are black. Both in average physical condition with small paunches, wrinkles and black body hair.

    Might be time to do another moving of text to make sure like-info is aligned.

    Yeah, I’m going to move this …

    The shapes hum, then snap into the form of a MAN (40s) and a WOMAN (40s).

    And merge it with what follows. Like this …

    The shapes hum, then snap into the form of a MAN (40s) and a WOMAN (40s). Both Man and Woman are pure white, their hair and iris's are black. Both in average physical condition with small paunches, wrinkles and black body hair.

    Now to edit this as a single text block …

    The shapes hum, then snap into the form of a MAN (40s) and a WOMAN (40s). Both Man and Woman are pure white, average physical condition with small paunches and wrinkles. Their eyes and hair are jet black.

    Why the changes?

    I juggled the physical description around to start with the overall condition, then on down to the smaller details. Moving from eyes to paunch then to hair is confusing. Start with the biggest, then to the smallest, or as close as makes good reading.

    This …

    iris's

    There would not be an apostrophe here. This is called the grocer’s apostrophe, used to indicate a plural in the produce department (apple’s 30cents each). No idea why they do that.

    Okay, so the three text blocks all together, realigned to keep like-info together …

    The surface of the bench quivers slightly then lies still.

    An abrupt jello-like vibration picks up velocity. The bench pools upward, shifts, shapes and separates, like gravity-defying syrup.

    The shapes hum, then snap into the form of a MAN (40s) and a WOMAN (40s). Both Man and Woman are pure white, average physical condition with small paunches and wrinkles. Their eyes and hair are jet black.



    Kinda like that. And, 9 words less overall. Same number of lines (10).

    This …

    They contort their mouths in various manners. They stop,
    look at each other and simultaneously elicit a series of
    BUZZES and CLICKS and....


    Is there more than one way to contort a mouth? A few words here can go …

    They contort their mouths this way and that, stop to
    look at each other, then elicit a series of BUZZES and CLICKS, followed by …



    This …

    MAN
    Gwaaaaashewaaaaackull!

    WOMAN
    Gwaaaaashewaaaaackull!


    Funny. Might go viral.

    This …

    Buddy Bear's back is broad, he stands tall, stares downward.

    Maybe include the broad back when you intro Buddy.

    This …

    BUDDY BEAR
    Come on Jack. Spill yer beans.
    Where's yer secret hideout? Tell me
    or lil Miss Susie pretty pant's gonna
    get it!


    I think this is a tad long. Or break it in two parts with some kind of action between.


    Alex
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 06-25-2012 at 09:49 PM.


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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex whitmer View Post
    Here is an important note in case anyone is following these critiques
    All of them.


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    I liked this one a lot. Fast-paced dispite the illegal length. Great, well-written script.
    "If they move, kill'em!"


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