Friday, February 22, 2013


How Feedback Friday Works

Email Rob the first ten pages of your feature length screenplay (in pdf. format) along with a logline and title. 

Every Friday, one of our reviewers (or guests) posts one writer's work along with notes and a:


Trash It (Start over.)
Take Another Pass (You're onto something, but it needs more work.)
More Please (I'm hooked. What happens next?)
Somebody Shoot This!

Readers then comment on your work.

by Paul Knauer

Reviewed by Script Doctor Eric

Logline: A street bum, determined to be the world's greatest banjo player, blows his big break, but gets a second chance when an aging legend trains him for a showdown with his ruthless nemesis.

General comments from Script Doctor Eric


Thanks so much for allowing me to read your work.  It looks like you're having a lot of fun with this comedy, and really pushing the limits of the fish-out-of-water structure.

As I stated in the notes on your script, I think a real challenge is going to be nailing the tone of this thing.  Right now, it's a bit wild and fantasy-like, which CAN work, but most of the time does not, especially in scripts from unproven writers.  There are a few reasons for this:

1.  If insane, absurd things are happening, and no one is REALLY getting hurt, then there's no suspense left for us as an audience.  If anything nutty or silly can just swoop in and save the day, why should I invest myself in the character?

2. Even in a fantasy-type situation, if the characters don't react the way normal humans would react, it will be difficult for the reader to empathize with them.  The characters feel less real, and it doesn't seem as if we're watching a movie, but instead just something silly.

3. This type of comedy is very, very difficult to pull off.  You really need joke after joke after joke.  While ZOOLANDER and THE NAKED GUN make it look easy, I assure you, I've read hundreds of scripts that have missed the mark and are "passed" on, immediately.

And so, I really fee like you can be a bit more realistic with the script, and get many more laughs by taking an honest look at the same, strange situation.  What if the

Apologies if there are errors in this post.  Robert is making me do all the technical stuff myself this week (called ya out, Rob!) so things are getting a bit complicated.

Oh, one last thing that I often tell my clients when they order a SCREENPLAY CONSULTATION from me...It helps tremendously to have your script read aloud, in what some people call a "Table Read."  Consider getting together with a group of actors/friends (buy them food!) and have a reading of your work.  That way, you can see - in person - what works and what gets a laugh, and also what still needs a bit of revising.

Plus, it's fun!

Well, I hope those notes helped.  You've got some good energy going, and if you love writing comedy, then definitely keep going with it.  But consider making it more realistic and definitely have that table read!  :)

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.  Best of luck on this script and the others.






RATING - Somewhere between "Trash It" and "Take Another Pass" 

Friday, February 15, 2013

GLAZED HEIST by Tyler Loiselle

Cadence, a twenty-something deadbeat, devises a scheme to steal doughnuts from a local bakery, in an attempt to get her ex-boyfriend back.

Today's review of the first 10 pages of Tyler Loiselle's GLAZED HEIST is brought to you by Erman Baradi.

Erman Baradi is an aspiring screenwriter who graduated from Regent University’s Cinema-Television program. He recently interned at Mosaic Media Group/Atlas Entertainment where he enjoyed working on script coverage for film and television scripts. He is working on launching his own site where you can learn more about him and read writing samples. Erman also works with music artists and books shows. 

You can follow Erman on Twitter @Erman_LA.

Hello, Tyler.

Thank you for allowing me to read the first ten pages of your screenplay! I’ve gotten used to reading full feature scripts from my previous internship, so it is a relief to be responsible for just ten pages! It is truly an honor. With that said, there are details that can be fleshed out a little more to benefit the writing, yet there are definitely parts to the script I really thought worked!

First off, before I even began reading I knew exactly what the movie was about by the title alone. I pictured a donut shop being robbed a la Tower Heist; and, if I may be a little biased, heist movie premises tend to excite me as I envision teams of eccentric individuals clumsily pulling off impossible missions. I still thought the two words in the title were awkward together until I read the script and recognized how people associate having “glazed” eyes with being stone. Smart double entendre there.

The beginning of the story had a nice surprise we wouldn’t typically expect from these types of comedies: a good-looking woman in her late 20’s getting high while playing online gaming with her stoner friend. From the get go we understand who the protagonist is. She’s a foul-mouthed, seemingly free-loading underachiever with a younger, successful boyfriend. A ha! The couple consists of two people with opposing goals and interests and we immediately sense a conflict between them. There is an obstacle facing our protagonist and we are more aware of it than she is. My earlier inkling is revealed here as we understand the dynamics in the relationship. Cadence is spoiled by Lucas letting her stay at his place and drive his car. Lucas is reaching his boiling point with her, and Cadence’s aimlessness is the catalyst to their straining relationship. And exactly what is Drew’s role in Cadence’s life? Best friend?  Brother? We are not quite sure at this point but I can’t wait to see what mischief their similar personalities cause them to pull off.

So far, our protagonist is lazy, constantly disappointing, and lacks direction. Perfect! Has the ingredients to make a “likeable” lead. She has something to attain – er- a LOT to attain. I wonder how much she grows by the story’s end. Hell, we’ve seen this character before, but now we replace Seth Rogen with a babe. 

The next scene shows Lucas coming home late from work. Hmm. We’ve heard that before. Starting not to trust the guy. Cadence is dressed and ready to hit the club with her best friend. I like how this scene is quick. Not having them communicate as much in person in comparison to the previous scene through the phone shows a real detachment between them. This is especially since Cadence’s main goal right now is to get to the club. To add to Lucas’s already growing madness it was a nice touch to have Cadence irresponsibly leave her spare key inside. 

The club scene introduces Cadence’s partner-in-crime, Mel. I would like to know more about her. She gets the job done of being the party girl best friend but her few lines of crude humor are appealing. Hopefully, we see her playing more than just the best friend role. Cadence gets to show off her witty personality here as she rejects a man interested in her, but the scene is really successful in revealing characters that would make us like Cadence more. She is loyal to Lucas and would never cheat on him, drunk as she is.

The drunk driving scene reminds me too much of the scene from 40 Year Old Virgin as Cadence unknowingly side swipes parked cars. It does a good job of displaying Cadence’s unruliness but something to that extent (damaging her boyfriend’s probably expensive car) would make me side with Lucas. Maybe something less damaging like just hitting the trash can? Just a suggestion. 

Now we have reached the inevitable break up. Cadence stumbles in as Lucas has waited all night for her. Depending on how you want Lucas to be portrayed, be careful how you write him in this scene. Here, he is sitting in the dark, appearing almost terrifying. Lucas’s burst with the “sick and tired” line feels a little too sudden. One suggestion is to have his frustration build up to a climax before letting it all out. Perhaps he can ask her more questions about her night and subtly questioning her about how her actual job search is. That way, we can empathize more with him from his perspective (we have to care about her journey in trying to get him back after all, right?). 

The writing so far has had a brisk, comedic pace. My main concern is that even though we see Cadence’s potential undertaking after the break up (as per the log line), we have yet to understand where the bakery comes into play. How is this particular bakery connected to her, if at all? And why these specific donuts? Or does she simply find out about the bakery/donuts from a commercial or ad? Maybe we can add a hint in the beginning somewhere about the bakery’s relevance. Also, what else do we understand about Cadence other than she is a deadbeat? Deadbeats obviously don’t have particular objectives but for our lead maybe we can have some quirky reasons as to why she is the way she is. 

I do see a possible story here. The writing itself is well done, in my opinion, and the dialogue is humorous and fluid. I do enjoy the flashbacks and like how they didn’t interrupt the story but rather added to it. Cadence’s personality definitely indicates a heist that can go wrong in every way, so I am interested in seeing the comedy that pans out. I will say, though, the logline doesn’t quite make it clear why Lucas would take her back if she steals donuts.


TAKE ANOTHER PASS. Keep on writing! This is a comedy that has potential to work and you are onto something here. Please contact me when more of the script is available. I would like to see where the rest of the story takes Cadence.  Thank you once again for allowing me to read.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Hi folks,

There's no review this week, but your thoughts on the following are welcome in the comments.

The 1st 10 pages of WANTED: SUGAR DADDY by Monique Mata (Romantic Comedy)

Soon after being dumped, a gold-digger returns to her small town and sets her sights on a local bachelor. But her plans are derailed when she locks horns with his conniving girlfriend and his charming younger brother.

The 1st 10+ pages of CHEMICAL by Joshua Roach

In a Dystopian future, a young bounty hunter must track down a band of outlaws with supernatural powers who are responsible for the death of his father.

The 1st 12 pages of FOR RENT by Corey Swim (Psychological Horror)

A couple rents a New England home that seems too good to be true- during the worst winter storm in recent memory, they find out why.

I'd also like to share two upcoming independent films that I'm excited about:

One is called The Unconventional Death Of Josie Wells. I read the screenplay for it and think it's going to make one hell of a film. 

I can't say much about it without giving away the hook, but it's about a young girl who is "precocious, dresses like death and has porn producing parents."

If you have a second please give it a like on Facebook: …

I haven't read the screenplay for the next one, but am excited to see it some day. It was written by the writer of Jonah Hex, William Farmer.

Arbor Avenue Film's Kickstarter campaign for STAR AND THE SNOWMAN 

A mob enforcer attempts to piece together his mysterious past while trying to figure out whom he can trust and why someone wants him dead.

"Think Luc Besson's The Professional meets No Country For Old Men meets a Shakspearan tragedy."
- Phil Garrett (Produecer)

Director: John Whitney
Screenwriter: William Farmer