In my attempt to share as much with the world as I possibly can because I’ve found more good happens the more I share, I am going to let you all in on a part of my life that I’ve been somewhat quiet about. I try to make it no secret what I want in life. I want a mansion, chicks banging at my door to get in just to look at me, and happiness forever. I’m actually afraid of mansions (horror films), chicks never bang at my door to look at me (my face), and in general I’m pretty miserable (again, my face). All that aside there is still something I’ve convinced myself I can do. I want to get paid to write movies, TV shows, and anything else I can.
Sometimes when I tell people what it is I want to do I feel like a little boy. It is a little boy’s dream. It was my little boy’s dream. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be Mel Brooks. I met my best friend of 20 years because we both loved Spaceballs in kindergarten. In a way my life was kind of scripted out how it would go. Although I didn’t get real into writing until about 3 years ago, it was always in the back of my head that it was something I wanted to do. I saved up my money for my entire life thus far so I could have the opportunity to have more time to pursue this dream. I’m unemployed now but because I was responsible (cheap) for the last 25 years I can relax a bit and go after what I want without having to tie myself down immediately to a crappy job.
(Who said a uniform makes a job a good one?)
Okay this introduction was boring. What I really wanted to tell you blog friends was the first step I took toward my little boy fantasy. There’s this website called The Blacklist. Wait until I’m finished to check it out. Basically it takes the best scripts as judged by Hollywood professionals and they use an algorithm to determine the favorites each year. At the end of the year a list is produced. Many of these films go on to become major motion pictures. Argo and Django Unchained are two recent films that made this list not too long ago. What I’m saying is getting on this list means you’re a lot closer to getting that mansion with the whores.
In the fall this website opened up to the public. Everything I read about this opportunity seemed real legitimate. All you had to do was pay $25 a month to host the script on the site and any of the professionals could download it at any time. In November I finished up something I had started on Memorial Day and paid the $25 submission fee. Not too many people looked at it so I paid an extra $50 to get a guaranteed review. While sitting at my dad’s on New Years Eve because I have no friends, I got an email saying I received my first ever professional review from a real-time professional pro reading professional pro person. They get paid to do this is what I’m saying.
(How I spent my New Years Eve)
Now if you don’t mind, I would like to share with you the review I was given. I’ll put any of my comments in italics nearby:
Era: Present day
Locations: the Middle Eastern city of Nakajabulahantishistamene (I love the fact that they had to type this all out)
Genre: Comedy, Spoof/Parody
Logline:When an all-American rocker loses his popularity, a terrorist recruiting center in the Middle East hires him to write popular music that will appeal to young, aspiring terrorists. (It’s really supposed to be a caricature of the Proud to be an American singer as an arrogant asshole, but I guess their logline sounds more professional)
Strengths:This is a bold and outrageously unique premise in the hands of a writer who ultimately has the right sense of humor to handle it – a strong and consistent comic voice throughout this script with truly funny, tongue-in-cheek prose. Cliff is a distinct and laughable character, and the use of certain comic motifs (like the Nickelback jokes) really add to the script’s humor. (I like to think nothing else in the history of the world has had comic motifs surrounding Nickelback jokes)
Weaknesses:If this script has one major weakness, it’s that its plot doesn’t develop as much as it could. While the plot is generally well-paced, with things happening to the characters, there isn’t really an overriding tension, or developed enough central dramatic conflict, to keep the audience engaged in the story. While the consistent humor may succeed in keeping the audience engaged anyway, a bold premise such as this has more potential to make a political/cultural statement with its plot, engaging an audience on an intellectual level, than this script currently does. If Cliff experienced more of a character arc (even if it was to become more despicable), it may make the plot more engaging. On a lesser note, some of the dialogue – especially in the third act – feels excessive, affecting the overall pacing of the script and losing the audience’s attention. For example, Cliff’s several lengthy monologues may pack more of a punch if shortened or broken up by some action.
Prospects: While the writer’s talent and comic intent is clear, this script nevertheless uses some bold stereotypes that may limit its potential audience and make it a risky venture for major studios and certain production companies. That said, with very specific packaging(actors/creatives who have previously pulled off this type of irreverent comedy), and perhaps some attention to the above-mentioned weaknesses, this script may have the potential to market well, especially with 18-24 year old males.
Okay so I didn’t put too many italics in there because it seemed tedious to do. I have since uploaded two new versions which I believe help fix what was wrong with it. The funny thing about it is they say the Third Act is a little weak. The Third Act is where I did half-ass it. I had no idea what to do. I stopped writing it for 2 months I was so lost. All this makes me think is how much intuition I have into knowing what works and what does not work. Or maybe I’m just right about one thing. Either way, this made me really happy to find out the same things they found wrong with it were the same things I thought they might.
If you want to take away anything from this post it’s that I’m awesome and you should go out and take a risk for something you want because you might be pleasantly surprised and have it make you really happy like this did. Look for Friends With Terrorists to open in theaters sometime in 2078 when it is incredibly easy to get a movie made.