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Mad Talent

short
By Cyle Brooks
Comedy,Horror

A schizophrenic man loses his sanity after his singing audition for a talent show goes wrong.

Approved
Nominee
Draft #4
Winner
Draft #3
Peer Rating: 58%
Industry Rating: N/A
Draft 4: 58%
Draft 3: 57%
24 Reviews | 7 pages | 1 year ago | Draft 4

Summary

Jeff, a schizophrenic metal obsessed 20-year-old, auditions for a talent show and chooses singing as his choice of performance. After being rudely rejected by the judges, he loses his sanity and takes drastic measures to show he does have talent.

R for language and some bloody stylized horror violence.

Industry Reviews

Peer Reviews

A setup of Jeff's greatest fear and goal would make the humiliation from the judges more powerful. The reader gets the sense that Jeff likes to listen to heavy metal at loud volumes but not that his lifelong dream is to be a heavy metal singer. A letter rejecting his demo tape or troll-like comments under a youtube video of him singing could help flush out his character.

Jeff's sobbing is out of character from his setup as a metalhead. This s...

1 year ago | read more...
Jessica Collins Top Reviewer
Very intriguing story. I found myself really enjoying it and wanting to know more and invested in what happens next. It reminds me of Goosebumps or The Twilight Zone where it packs a whole story and extreme character depth in one short story. Really worth going forward with. I have a voice in my head very similar to the metal so I can say from personal experience that part is accurate. I feel as though the protagonist was relatable and the antago...

1 year ago | read more...
Except for the final, cruel ending, this fulfilled the fantasy of any performer who had to go through cruel criticism by no-talent judges.

Love the basic story. Of course, it was short, so it's difficult to go into any great depth. Here are the only negative points I could find, and none have to do with the actual story, just its execution.

Avoid adverbs, usually ending in LY
Don't use verbs that end in ING, keep in simple present tense...

11 months ago | read more...
Alec Cuddeback Top Reviewer
I'm gonna be as forthcoming with you as possible, kind reader. To be quite honest, this particular script is most definitely not my cup of tea, if you catch my drift. Not because I don't like it, but because of the content. The primary reason if the use of obscenity, less is more. Now that I got the cons out the way, let me talk about the pros. The formatting of spot on, the grammar is on point, no typos. Kudos for you. For the record, kind reade...

11 months ago | read more...
Short films are incredibly difficult to write, so first and foremost I’d like to congratulate you for packing so much conflict into so few pages! You didn’t waste any time getting to the action. That being said, I think paring down your action description would free up a lot of space on the page to include even more conflict.

For example, you spend the majority of a page introducing the three judges. I think something more compact would suffi...

11 months ago | read more...
Script Mother Top Reviewer
I really like the premise of the story as well as the complexity of our protagonist, Jeff. While he could be seen as unlikable due to the violence, he is a sympathetic character. Also, the people he killed were kind of jerks to him, so while it does seem a bit gruesome, it seems justified. Overall, this is a fun and exciting premise with complete twists. It's exciting, yet it's sad at the same time. This is one of a kind.

I honestly think that...

11 months ago | read more...
Advait Dantuluri Top Reviewer
To say the horror genre has been overdone is an understatement. However, they are still quite popular. The trick is finding something “new under the sun.” Well, this story is bizarre, if not unique. I couldn’t help but think of AGT and BGT while I read this script, and I often wondered how contestants felt and might react when rejected. This script is a contestant's worst possible "HORROR"-ible reaction.

The writer paints a vivid picture of a...

11 months ago | read more...
D Ray Van Top Reviewer
This concept isn't original, point-blank. But it's a strong enough concept that allows breathing room for a fresh spin. This script succeeds in creating a fresh new main character, but lacks a general ark for character development. It's a short, yes, but no character development = bland story. The story starts off with a clear image that ties directly to who the main character is and how he lives, but fails to tie that back in. It feels like the...

11 months ago | read more...
may rose Top Reviewer
I liked the story. I've seen a few lame-ass casting shows in my life, wayback when they started popping up all over TV and I always scoffed at the judges and at some of the poor "artists" too.
This script brings it all back in a different perspective. The Judges each have their own unique character, applyable to certain shows I remember. You did a good job here with that.
The thing with Jeff is he's interesting enough, but you can't help but n...

11 months ago | read more...
Meik V. Fischer Top Reviewer
Some parts made me laugh, not sure why but it's very random, I like it. Any story has the potential to be a great story. There are some bits of dialogue I would like to see improved, small re-words. I would have liked to see a standoff with the meaner judge in the end. With some dialogue where he's like. You f little shit, I hated you the moment I saw you walk on this stage. Im gonna f sort you out bro lol. Or something like an big final sho...

10 months ago | read more...
Carl W Lucisani Top Reviewer
I expected this to be the opening scenes to a horror movie perhaps, but I guess it's a short. First of all, I would like to point out that this type of writing can be harmful to people who suffer from schizophrenia. Associating murder with people who suffer mental disorders is unfair. I don't know enough about your background to discredit your knowledge on schizophrenia, but I would advise doing some serious research on the condition before writi...

9 months ago | read more...
Owen Marvin Top Reviewer
-The concept of the story is different and good. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea that you brought into your story.
-The story is quite intriguing and I kinda enjoyed reading the pages. It gone from one place to another. It also unleashed the power of your character.
-Structure of the script is very good and it was nice and neat. It was well structured and done in a professional manner. Even though it can be improved but it's pretty been well or...

9 months ago | read more...
Abdirizak Hirsi Top Reviewer
MAD TALENT is a 7-page short following JEFF, a heavy-metal musician who competes in an 'American Idol' style singing competition. After his painful audition, Jeff is turned away by a harsh panel of judges, only for Jeff to return to the competition and kill two of the judges with a magical electric guitar. However, Jeff is overpowered by one of the judges and ends up dying in the scuffle, leaving the only surviving judge wailing in anger and sadn...

7 months ago | read more...
At seven pages, this is more a vignette than a fleshed-out story. This actually would fit well into The ABCs of Death, a collection of 26 short films, each depicting a different way to die. There isn’t much else you can do with a script this brief. It would need to be part of a collection or larger story.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay this short. This suggests a bigger story. Show us way more of the judges and their agendas. I...

5 months ago | read more...
Matt Gorman Top Reviewer
MAD TALENT is a fun, fast-paced short that uses its story to do what it's intended to do and little more: get us to the gory grand finale. Though it's a familiar concept that lacks much thematic depth or character development, not all shorts are meant to provide heavy-hitting drama. This is one of those shorts. Much like other films that fall into this category — Kung Fury and Death Proof come to mind — the short's ultimate success will rely on e...

5 months ago | read more...
Concept
Having a demonic presence in the script, i.e. “The Metal” influencing the main character to do despicable things is absolutely welcome. It is efficiently woven throughout the story culminating in Jeff doing some crazy things to the judges. But we could’ve definitely used some more conflict between Jeff and The Metal. Not only would it create some interesting banter but it would also provide Jeff with some much-needed internal struggle an...

5 months ago | read more...
I wish this was longer because I didn't expect what happened at the end. I definitely didn't see that coming. It was good. The idea is very good and relatable to many people I think (without the killing part hopefully). But this can grow into something bigger I think. Short but enough to bring us into Jeff's life and to make us feel his feelings and probably relate to what he did at the end. The way Justin dismissed him was perfectly executed esp...

3 months ago | read more...
I like the introductory page. You did a great job of introducing Jeff and showing what he's like as a person. I especially liked how he knocked over his trashcan and a bunch of noise complaint slips fell out.

On page 1 you say that a headache is beginning to form in Jeff's head, but how does the audience know that? How can we visually see that he is experiencing pain?

Liked the personality of the judges, reminded me of American idol, but a...

3 months ago | read more...
JONATHAN BARBOUR Top Reviewer
From the two screenplays I've read, I can see a clear interest in a character's conflict with his inner self or a personality crisis. This script has an underlying problem, which is the crude idea you gleaned from watching an episode of AGT Reality Show. Then, you mixed in a Slasher-like atmosphere, which is to some extent the feeling of Torture Porn. It's not a deep story, and I would really like to know who the main character is. Why it has a t...

1 month ago | read more...
I have seen this concept multiple times and it is refreshing to see it come from the view point of a musician rather than a stage performer or the like.
I think this is very refreshing to see.
The dialogue could still use a little bit of polish. I think a great exercise would be to read the script aloud to see how it sounds. The judges in particular seemed like rather terrible people. Unless you are going for an unreliable narrator point of v...

1 month ago | read more...
Grant Miller Top Reviewer
Well, its not a bad idea for a short but its not quite there yet, this is a short film and you have too many blocks of description and it disrupts the flow of your story. Scripts are supposed to have a rhythm and flow and you don't quite have that. Mostly you just need to trim back some of your details and re-write the descriptions. What you have is clear, but its just a little bloated.

I don't know enough about Jeff or the voice to really com...

1 week ago | read more...
john M Top Reviewer
Honestly, this was a pretty cool script. The script was pretty interesting and I love how you kinda over exaggerate talent show judges because they are pretty big assholes. I've never heard or seen of a guitar gun, that was really, really creative. Plus as a gore lover, I would definitely love to see that brought to life.

Plus I think if you tried, you could make this into a full-length film, many great films started out as short films. Case...

1 week ago | read more...
Marlon Schwiersch Top Reviewer
After review 6 other screenplays this week, it was a pleasure to read something that was correctly formatted with fully formed characters and good action lines. The dialogue was amusing and The Metal's final line cracked me up.

I don't know that I'll call it horror, as it struck me more like a parody in line with Zombieland or Buffy the vampire slayer (movie, not show). The real down side was that it was actually over a little too quick....

5 days ago | read more...
vince caruso Top Reviewer
This is my first review, so I will try to be polite and lenient. The premise sounds intriguing, and it could very well warrant a longer feature length. The concept of "The Metal" sounds interesting, and it has potential. However, the script doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be serious or humorous with this otherworldly entity. The dialogue is a little bit predictable in places and doesn't sound very organic when read out, and the clear dic...

4 days ago | read more...
I really liked Mad Talent. It's written very well and I only have a few minor complaints. Here are my overall thoughts:
- First of all, you did a great job of introducing your main character. I feel that's something often overlooked but here you perfectly set him up. In under a page, we already know a whole lot about him. Plus all the information is delivered naturally and in a fun way.
- The audition was very well set up. I knew the stakes an...

1 year ago | read more...
A supremely exciting batch of concept pages with lots of errors left and right that somehow manages to break through because it has extraordinary heart and imagination. I confess to being privy to this project after visiting the group chat, wherein the screenwriter pled for peers to take a look, fully acknowledging the fact that he wanted to test out his ideas on the community before setting out to develop the concept into a bonafide feature. Tho...

1 year ago | read more...

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