It's just a typical Saturday in Southside (Jamaica, Queens), but little does Trey know that seemingly insignificant events will cause this to be the last day of his life.
SummaryTaking place on one of the last Saturday's of the summer, "Southside" is a hood drama that follows Trey as he goes through the motions of being a father, boyfriend, and friend, living in Southside.
A culmination of my own experiences, stories I've collected in my life growing up in Southside Jamaica, Queens and sprinkles of my favorite hood classics. This script began as an homage to one of my favorite films, Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing", but ended up becoming a very personal cathartic experience.
The script stays true to the hood's vernacular, so it has a heavy use of slang (NOT TYPOS, MISSPELLINGS OR GRAMMATICAL ERRORS). I also provided music cues that set the vibe for several moments -- they aren't necessary to understand the scenes but give a little more immersion for what was felt while writing.
What a wonderful concept you have here. Original.
I must confess. The opening got me interested but the middle of the script... Not so much. Nothing was happening. The scenes were well written except all scenes in the middle of the story has a lot of chit chat. Our protagonist is interesting but not compelling enough.
Honestly, the middle dragged a bit. Nothing interesting. The beginning pacing and the ending pacing was absolutely awesome. Great job.
I like the ending. The part where we bury Trey and his nights prepare to avenge him. That was brilliant.
The purpose of the script, overall, is to give the audience a harsh, but heartfelt look into life in the inner city. The main issue, is the lack of plot and substance within. Instead of getting a concrete three-act story that builds in a cohesive, dramatic fashion, the audience instead is taken through vignettes, or instances of the protagonist's day, that merely end in his sudden demise.
The writer does a solid job of creating an accurate and compelling world for his characters. The characters of Southside are diverse, unique, and there's a consistent dialogue and mood surrounding the entire script. It's similar to the mood set in Training Day, where the audience is thrown into the streets of LA along with the protagonist, and gets a firsthand look at life in the inner city.
But current plot of Southside gives the reader a vague idea, at best, of the character's motives. The writer spends too much time showing off the character in different situations throughout the day, but doesn't provide him with a specific challenge or obstacle.
For instance, we know Trey is a father who's trying to make it work with the mother of his child. We know he loves and cares for Joselyn and his newborn son. However, the writer doesn't present this challenge in any special sort of way. Instead, this struggle is merely assumed and established by the setting itself. The audience needs a more specific story that flows from beginning to end, rather than random moments thrown together throughout the day.
Because of this, character development is low. I expected to see Trey grow in some way, or discover something within himself by the end of the script. Although Trey begins as a very strong character, and is well-written with regard to his demeanor, attitude and relationships, he doesn't change or re-discover himself in any way. He remains the same, only to meet a tragic end. This gives the audience little to go off of, aside from the notion that the streets are filled with hopelessness, and almost impossible to escape.
The antagonists, I assume, are Roc, Keating and Callahan. I get the sense that these people represent two opposing sides that feed into the same black hole that makes the streets a hard, unchangeable place to live. But the conflicts these villains create are presented in random fashion. For instance, I never got the sense that Roc would ever re-emerge as Trey's killer, and the one responsible for Mook's death. This is due to the story lacking a consistent flow and narrative.
Keating and Callahan are a little over the top. It seems as though the writer is forcing us to hate them, instead of making them develop as villains. We're told to assume these cops are bad from the very start, but it would be better if you gave them more complexity and depth, rather than show them as outright psychopaths with no moral compass.
The dialogue and setting are excellent. However, since the story and character development need improvement, the dialogue and setting don't shine as much. Still, the concept and idea is very solid, and it has the potential to be the compelling drama it sets out to be.