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.

crappy%20job

(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.

buddy 2

(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:

PREMISE
7/10
PLOT
5/10
CHARACTERS
7/10
DIALOGUE
6/10
OVERALL
7/10
(Not bad so far. The average rating on the site when I got this rating had an overall 6.82, it has since gone down to 6.79 which means I am above average. I was going to be happy just knowing I got above a 4 considering nobody else had ever read past page 10 of the script)

Era: Present day

Locations: the Middle Eastern city of Nakajabulahantishistamene (I love the fact that they had to type this all out)

Budget: Medium

Genre: Comedy, Spoof/Parody

Pages: 107

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.

Comments
  1. Luddy's Lens says:

    I don’t usually go for corny sentiment, but: Yeah, you are truly awesome.

    See you in 2078, when I will schedule a defrosting of my cryogenically-preserved self so I can go watch your film on…whatever media-delivery-system the kids will be using then…

    • Mooselicker says:

      You’ll do all that for me? I think at that point we’ll only have movie trailers. After all, aren’t the previews better than the actual movies half the time?

      • Luddy's Lens says:

        Weellll, I’ll probably make the rounds to see friends and family (I never like to waste a trip), but I can probably fit in movie trailer at some point. Your script would probably make an *excellent* movie trailer, in fact.

  2. Congratulations! You’ve opened a new door with a really good review. You should totally be encouraged! I’m sure it took quite a while before someone realized the comic gold behind “Pigs In Space” or “Hitler On Ice”! You could be the next Mel Brooks!!

  3. josefkul says:

    I have to agree with everyone here in the comments section of this post. I’m working my way through your Satan Little League Superstar book and the humor you have is edgy without leaping itself over. I can’t wait to see whatever terrorist rock band script you come up with.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Wow thanks Josefkul! I appreciate you reading the book more than you know. The script is actually pretty closely related to the book in humor and character arc so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it when we’re both much older men and I finally get some recognition the voice in my head has convinced me I deserve.

  4. That’s amazing!! Good for you! As you know, I’ve written a few screenplays and I agree that building tension and giving the main characters a nice arc is difficult but important. It’s funny, because when actors read a script they like to see big chunks of monologues for their character. They’re completely ego driven. The studios, on the other hand, want everything to move – lots of action. (Better to please the studio) I also think that 90-100 pages might be good to shoot for, especially with a comedy, and it will cause you to have to tighten everything. It needs to be lean and mean. Are you using Final Draft? If not you should definitely invest. Make sure your material is protected, Tim. One of my scripts turned into a carcass – I’d see actual blocks of dialogue randomly show up in films. For example, Sandra Bullock’s company, Fortis Films, read my script, Brand New Me. Next thing I know, I’m watching “Two Weeks Notice” (terrible) and there’s one of my scenes, almost word for word. So, let that be a cautionary tale – protect your stuff.

    I’m excited for you. I think that’s an awesome premise. It’s just a matter of time before this happens for you. I can feel it in my bones.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Thanks Lisa! I really do want to shorten it up a bit. I think the hardest part of course is having to take out jokes which is the most logical but the saddest thing to do.

      Yep I have Final Draft and evertyhing is copywritten. This is pretty specific and if someone tries ripping me off I’d be amazed if they could only take one scene, but sleazebags can be pretty crafty.

      Thanks for the advice and kind words as always 🙂

  5. Lily says:

    This is actually really cool. I remember you telling me about it, but now that I can read the review, it really sunk in that it happened.That’s rad! I’m so bad at being critiqued. Like, so bad. I hate when people tell me things I can fix and stuff. Maybe because I grew up with parents who were really good at writing and they would just change my essays until they sounded perfect. But that’s really cool and $50 dollars isn’t too big of a price to pay. Or was it $50 on top of the $25?

    • Mooselicker says:

      $50 to get the review, $25 to let it sit on the website and have people randomly download it then not contact me a month.

      Somewhere along the line I learned how to be overly critical of myself which is the only reason why I can handle the negativity. I also set my expectations really low. They probably tell people to give idiots like me good reviews so I continue to pay them. At least I know some Jewish person read it. Everyone who’s anyone is Jewish right?

  6. robpixaday says:

    TIM!! TIM!!!!! TIM!!!!!!!
    How wonderful!!!!
    (((((((happyhugs)))))))
    You’re an inspiration. Yes.
    I’m thrilled for you!
    WOW.

    There’s no doubt that you’re going to be successful at this dream you have. It’s just a matter of when. And you’ve already made GREAT progress!
    I wish I could help. If I knew anyone who’d be a beneficial connection for you, I’d tell you right away.
    LOL…I went to the Blacklist website hoping to see your name in large font, twinkling the way it ought to. But they keep a pretty low profile there.

    I’m glad you’re aware of and working to avoid copyright messes/infringement.

    And I’m VERY glad that I know you now — before you’re dodging paparazzi, living as a tanned bi-coastal, and giving press conferences about your most recent awards.

    When. Not if.
    YAY!!!!!!!!

    And the idea sounds like a winner. I’d go see it. Oh, yes.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Hahaha thanks Robin. I actually did make a cool copy once my script went up there that looks very professional and authentic. Maybe I’ll make the list this year? I doubt it. A few people have gotten agents off it. Do I really need to have an agent? This seems annoying. I should just go to technical school and learn how to fix doors.

  7. Those are better grades than I ever got in school. I still plan on reaqding your stuff, but I can’t spend money till I make some from my book… or I have to get another crappy minimum wage job… if I can…

  8. Addie says:

    Hurrah, Tim!!! I’m so proud of you and for you, as much for living your dream as for writing your dream. Don’t stop doing either, your work deserves to be seen and appreciated and produced.

    If I knew how to do the emoticons, I’d do a big happy smilie thing.

  9. joehoover says:

    Sounds like a great idea, so much shit makes it onto screen, you’d think they would find a way to get better scripts. Those scores aren’t at all bad and gives you a chance to amend anything if you want.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Yes exactly. They were very specific and like I said, the third act was what took me months to figure out. I forgot to add the average score of all the 6,000 scripts on the site is 6.79 and it’s been going down steadily each week so I am better than average. Or maybe I did add that. It’s always better to be better than half the people out there.

  10. Pete Howorth says:

    $75 for someone to say you’re awesome? I could have done it for far less! If anyone has the writing ability to make themself a better life it’s you. Your humour and imagination is definitely your strength.

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