Blaise is a script analyst and reader for Shorescripts.com, as well as consulting privately with clients including writers, directors, producers, and actors. He also read scripts for a production company in London, TheFyzz.com. He’s also an optioned and commissioned writer currently working on two shorts with two different directors.
SUPER LAME is a weird and surreal short, with some wonderfully odd moments, but it does need more development and thought to really hit home. It's god as as far as it goes but needs more. In my reading, it’s mostly the same tale as King Midas, with violence substituted for gold, and while that’s entertaining and amusing, it doesn’t add anything particularity new to the idea. I would say to really stand out it does need something more – either extend the morality tale to include an idea not previously in it or use the setup to explore an idea and story through Tired Man’s character arc.
So the external plot works really well but the internal arc of Sam needs development and setting up. We need to know what he is like so we can see him change. His flaw should be established in the classroom before we enter the imagined world and he should be addressing it through the script – that will give it the meaning and the depth it touches on currently but doesn’t quite achieve.
SWEET TOOTH is a grim and gritty story that has an interesting and contentious message. Currently, it feels slightly condemnatory and judgemental, but if we see the film more from Sylvie’s perspective and develop her internal arc, then Sylvie could be shown as more of a heroine, sacrificing her need to be a mother for what she perceives to be the best interests of her child. This would turn her more into a hero and make her less of a character to be judged. One major tenet of storytelling is that the audience sees the story through the eyes of the protagonist. If the writer then judges the protagonist, the audience will also feel judged and not enjoy the expericience. It's' for the audience to make their own judgments after experiencing the story through the protagonist's eyes, not to be told what to think by the story.
HIT LIKE A GIRL was a great read after I got over the confusion of the first few pages and understood what the story was about. Jane is a fantastic central character but to really do her justice if you are going to hold her up as a paragon of virtue, then you need to test that virtue and ensure it is as virtuous as you claim. Then you’ll convince the audience she is someone in to emulate and learn from and convince them of her argument and the message of the piece, that discipline and control can empower people.
You’ve got a fantastic original voice and an inventive mind. The script was consistently surprising and entertaining, and wild and weird at times. But to ground it all and engage the audience it needs to concentrate on the protagonist and their arc. As the saying goes, character is story. So why does this godhead happen to Cherry? Why is she the perfect type of person to get this gift? Does she have to control her rage in order to be worthy of the god's power? What is the link between her flaw (rage), gaining the god power, and the gangster through-line? Also bear in mind that money is not a goal in and of itself, it’s more a means to an end. So what is that end that Cherry wants? And it might be an idea to contrast the types of power in the script – how money is power of one sort, but magic is power of another, and to consider which is more powerful and better. The other thing that needs attention is the genre and worlds – the gangster world and the mythical world of gods are an original combination, but some underlying theme – like power – should be found that can then be used to bring these two separate worlds together.
Overall CULT KID is an entertaining and funny script, with a couple of moments and scenes that need better crafting. However, it does come over as a short as Danny does address his flaw which in essence finishes the story. If you want to develop it as a TV pilot then I think it will need a lot of thought and replanning as to Danny’s character arc and where the show is going. A good tip when writing pilots is to plan out the character arcs and stories over the first few seasons before writing the pilot -that will prevent issues like this one.