September 22, 2008
I just finished reading ‘Semipro’. What an awesome script. I like the beginning where they have the documentary-like footage. You half expect the script to be serious (even though you know it is a comedy) and then the rest of the film, despite being an underdog story, and a character study of Jackie Moon (especially him anyway), the rest of the film is whacked out humor at its best. I liked the bizarre character traits that Jackie had, like that he’d never thrown up before. I also really liked his dream sequence where he visits his mother and she gives him the inspiration for the ‘alley oop’. Too funny.
Since finishing ‘Semipro’, I’ve moved on to ‘Rocky’ (actually written by Silvester Stallone). I’ve seen the film many times of course. But the script is really very good, depicting a backdrop of rough, working-class Philadelphia. We expect Rocky to be all tough, as he is a thumb-breaking collector of mafia debts, but at the same time, he loves turtles, dogs, and of course, Adrian. He has heart.
By the way, I did a little research and found out that Stallone actually wrote that script in three days!
The two scripts I mentioned above have inspired me to think a little bit about something very important in script writing. The importance of writing characters that people are going to care about. Even comedies that some people would think of as being juvenile have a heart. Watch Superbad and you'll see what I mean.
In my current script, Unusual Business (we’ll call it UB), the most frequent comment that we got in peer review was that the reader needed to care about the protagonist more. Stuff just seemed to happen to him, and he didn’t seem to care either! I think that with draft three this problem will go away.
Oh well, time to go drink a half dozen raw eggs.