Friday, April 5, 2013

Bangers & Mash by Crystal S. Adaway

Welcome back for my second review for this week's Feedback Friday. If you haven't had the chance already, please scroll down below for today's earlier review! 

In case this is your first time here, here is how Feedback Friday works. Email Robert Dillon a pdf version of the first 10 pages of your script and one of our reviewers will rate it based on the following:

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!

Bangers & Mash
by Crystal S. Adaway
Reviewed by Erman Baradi

Logline: A brokenhearted Brit and a frustrated graphic designer are brought together by destiny. Almost. They must navigate the perils of their insecurities, and the horrors of DC traffic, to find each other.

If you would like to take a read of the script please check out this Google Doc.

Greetings, Crystal!

Thank you for submitting your script for review. One of the hardest parts of being a writer is letting others critique your work, so thank you for granting this learning experience for both of us!

I noticed on your title page you had put your email underneath the title. I suggest placing it on the bottom where the contact info usually goes (address, number, etc.). It is just common routine and you would hate to have a studio rep toss out the script based on one page. I've seen it happen sadly, so it something to be aware of!

I like your logline to be quite frank. The two troubled protagonists must overcome an emotional (and physical) obstacles in set location. I can't remember getting a hint of Grace being a graphic designer though. We only read the first ten pages here but perhaps we can get a glimpse of this somewhere of her being a struggling artist. After reading we do get a sense she would rather be doing something else other than help out at her mother's restaurant. Still, I would like to understand more of her goals. 

You were clever, in my opinion, in how you opened up with Stewart and his now ex-girlfriend Ann in the middle of their break up. In addition, it is at the airport so we already know change is in effect. We immediately see Stewart (who is written as British, tall and geeky chic - pretty marketable nowadays for girls who are into those kinds of guys) as his heart is breaking. We get the opening image, and as the story progresses we learn more about the history of their relationship and connect more with Stewart, so good job there. I also like how you wrote Ann with underlying intentions. You characterized as "unburdened" as she delivers the crushing blow, coming up with logical explanations as to why the break up is beneficial to them both. Yet, we understand a few pages later that a third party might be involved!

At the end of page 1, Stewart leaves his old life (visualized by him boarding the plane and staring back at Ann, who simply keeps on walking) and enter his new "world." In this case, it is America. Culture shock, I assume? Thus, his journey begins. 

Page 2, we are introduced to the inevitable love interest, Grace. She is in trouble of her own: late to work. Cutting back to Stewart, he is on the plane and has a shift in perspective. He doodles all over an image of Ann. I believe this is the period of numbness we go through after break ups. He may not think it here but he definitely isn't as over her as he wants to be. I suspect this becoming an issue later on in the story!

By the sixth page I suggest your theme should be stated by now. Maybe since we are introduced to Stewart's lovable sidekick, Jake, the best friend can say something smart and relevant in reference to love and life, especially since Ann is brought up. 

So far, you have a good hold of your characters, even the charming supporting cast of elderly women. Horny older women, might I add? That's always a vehicle for humor! Still, we see them more in the beginning than we do Grace, so you may want to write more scenes that include Grace. You definitely understand the minds of your characters, as seen with Stewart's evident culture shock. He acknowledges having to drive on the right side of the road and correcting colloquialisms ("biscuits" to American "cookies").

By page 7 we get more of Stewart and Ann's backstory as we are still in the set up stage. They were together for almost four years, so I can understand Stewart's emotional anxieties. Finally, on page 10 we are teased with the destined meeting between Stewart and Grace. She catches the backs of Stewart and Jake just as they leave the restaurant. With that said, their paths colliding is something they will achieve. Now the question ism What makes them interesting in "navigating the perils of their insecurities" and DC traffic to find each other? How will they learn more of each other to want this in the first place? I am definitely curious!

Between Take another pass and More please. 

Overall, I enjoyed your writing very much! There are several details to go back to and tweak, but you have interesting dialogue. a variety of characters, and a story that sappy romantics would definitely see. We have seen guy meets girl plenty of times, and unique romantic comedies are hard to write! But in this case, it seems like they DON'T meet as things get in the way. On a side note, I am not sure what Bangers and Mash means. Maybe I'm just not hip enough!


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