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cboy
04-13-2003, 03:50 PM
Hey all-

I am new to this forum, thought I've been visiting the site for a couple of years now. I've enjoyed reading everyone's ideas and topics, and finally decided to register and start sharing with you wonderful people (not that I really know any of you, but you seem nice.)

I want to be screenwriter. I have a few script ideas bouncing around in my head, and I would appriciate it if you all would take a look at the one that is most developed at this point. Thank you.

"The Beautiful Ones" - a drama about Americans and the presssures society places on outward appearences and everything. The characters are sort of an ensemble cast. One family, the Brenners, are upperclass, old money folk, and the patriarch, Michael, is running for congress. The wife, Linda, is a stay-at-home mother. The oldest child, Lesley, a junior in high school, is "popular," but has secretly struggled with bullimia since her boyfriend of two years told her he wanted to take a break and has started dating extremely skinny girls. Lesley takes it as a direct insult on her physicality. The youngest child, Mikey, a freshmen, is a brilliant young artist. But he is basically in the closet abut his art because his father wants him to grow up and be a business man/politician like he is. The whole family is also under pressure by Michael to look nice and appear happy because "the public is watching."
The second family in the flim, the Krenskys, are lower-middle class. There is no father. The mother, Sharon, is slightly overweight, working as a secretary to a slim and beautiful female lawyer who is cruel to her. The daughter, Alice, wants to be a writer. She was once best friends with Lesley, but their friendship has slowly dissapated (sp?) as high school cliques seperate them. Alice has a younger brother, Jerry, who's part is fairly small. She also has an older half brother, Max, who ran away when he was 17 because Sharon's husband at that time, Alice's father, Seth, treated him badly and accused him of horrible things. Sharon would not stand up for him, so Max left. He comes back in the movie, though.
An important, supporting role is Joan Hollars, Linda's mother. She is a freelance photojournalist, very in-demand. She married Linda's father because it was socially pleasing, even though there was another man that she truly loved. She has regerted this since the day the were married. Now she travels all over the world, taking photos, and has a strained relationship with Linda.
Of course, Lesley will be hospitalized because of her illness, Mikey and his father have a serious confrontation, Linda tries to mend the broken relationship she has with her mother, and Michael has to decide if the congressional race is more important that his family. Max and Sharon have it out, and Alice is torn between her need for love and affection from an abusive boyfriend who is, ironically, the only person who makes her feel beautiful.

Please, I would like to know what you all think. The synopsis always look so flat compared to the script. The dialouge makes the script, you know, so keep that in mind.

If anyone would like to see the approx. 24 pages I have completed, e-mail me: cboy852003@yahoo.com

Thanks!

Ronaldinho
04-13-2003, 04:51 PM
I think that beginning screenwriters are setting themselves up for trouble if they try to do an ensemble piece. Now, maybe others will disagree with me, but I think the balancing act required to keep different stories interesting and moving forward together is an added challange most beginners don't need.

I think you have to be very careful about cliche. Having a bulimic character is good--but such a straightforward cause of her bulimia may be pushing believability. (We may not need to know why she's bulimic, in any event--and no explanation is better than a poor explanation).

I think you're skating on thinner ice when you have the kid who's the closet artist. You're going to have to be very careful to make sure you're showing me something new and compelling.

So the next thing is to try to figure out why these stories should be told in the same film. You're not picking two families at random, you have to pick two families who's stories comment and connect with each other in unexpected ways.

Beeblebrox
04-13-2003, 06:25 PM
This sounds more like a novel than a movie. I agree with Ron that you may be biting off more than you can chew.

About the cliches, it feels like you've taken every family drama stereotype and rolled them all into one story. The artist who's father wants him to be a businessman. A outwardly popular girl who secretly struggles with an eating disorder. The abused mother and child. The runaway.

Rather than give us all of this, why not focus on one or two and make them different, compelling, interesting.

Jon Lyrik
04-13-2003, 07:55 PM
To be honest, that story is almost a compliation of cliches.

Ronaldinho
04-13-2003, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by Jon Lyrik
To be honest, that story is almost a compliation of cliches.

Well, let's not be too harsh. There are very few things that can't be made original if approached from a fresh point of view, so I think it makes sense to just point out possible pitfalls rather than to be so derisive.

cboy
04-13-2003, 09:17 PM
Thanks for the comments, guys. I will take them consideration. I agree that maybe there's too much going on in the flim? I could take some things out. My main goal is to show how people are all under this constant pressure to look this way or feel that way, you know what I mean?

What if I took out the other family? They're not really neccessary...they just sort of evolved from Alice, Lesley's friend.

Ron, thank you! I didn't even think about not having to tell why exactly Lesley struggles with bullimia...I should let the audience make their own assumptions!?

Thanks again, guys.

C