British Comedy Guide

Bring Me Sunshine Page 2

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Lazzard

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 11:56am
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,776 posts

Well, in which case, my problem is that their two worlds are too far apart - they would never collide.

In Extras, we had the situation where Andy Millman - a man with potential who was reduced to being an extra, had his nose rubbed in it by his actor mate Greg Lyndley-Jones.

Similar to yours - but much more believable, because those two world do collide, the distance isn't that great.

But, as ever, it's just one man's opinion... :)

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elmonstro

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 12:03pm
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts
Quote: Lazzard @ 25th September 2014, 11:56 AM BST

Well, in which case, my problem is that their two worlds are too far apart - they would never collide.

In Extras, we had the situation where Andy Millman - a man with potential who was reduced to being an extra, had his nose rubbed in it by his actor mate Greg Lyndley-Jones.

Similar to yours - but much more believable, because those two world do collide, the distance isn't that great.

But, as ever, it's just one man's opinion... :)

Sunshine and King collide because they grew up in the same area (maybe I need to make that more explicit though), they went to the same college and King is back in town to attend the wedding of a a friend - he knows Dickie, the father of the bride after all, and Sunshine is filming the wedding. King has become successful beyond Sunshine's wildest dreams and gets Sunshine to film his LOTR wedding because, well because King is a git and wants to humiliate him. Does that plausible and maybe needs to be clarified in the script? Or is it just not plausible at all? Any thoughts?

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Lazzard

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 12:36pm [Edited]
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,776 posts

It certainly needs clarifying - didn't really pick up on the growing up locally bit.
But I still struggle with the vast distance between their two careers, and why King would even bother humiliating him.
You'd need to build in some sort of revenge scenario to get that to fly IMHO.
But get some other opinions - I might be way off on this.

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elmonstro

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 2:10pm
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts
Quote: Lazzard @ 25th September 2014, 12:36 PM BST

I still struggle with the vast distance between their two careers, and why King would even bother humiliating him.
You'd need to build in some sort of revenge scenario to get that to fly IMHO.
But get some other opinions - I might be way off on this.

Old rivalries die hard, at least that was the idea of why he would want revenge. But I didn't want to make it that obvious that King hadn't buried the hatchet. I wanted to leave open the idea that he was past all that now and genuinely thought Sunshine would be the right man to direct one of his projects. Sunshine's ego would mean he would believe King's offer was real when in fact King all along had realised Sunshine was really just just a wedding videographer.

You've definitely given me something to think about though. I should make what's going on a bit more obvious and raise the stakes a little perhaps.

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Lazzard

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 2:18pm [Edited]
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,776 posts
Quote: elmonstro @ 25th September 2014, 2:10 PM BST

... the idea that he was past all that now and genuinely thought Sunshine would be the right man to direct one of his projects.

You see for me, that's the most unbelievable bit.
People are too film-literate to think that would ever be even a remote possibility - it's the kind of thing that might happen in Norman Wisdom film, but that's about it.
It's the plot device at the heart of the piece and, I think, undoes all your good work in terms of dialogue ,jokes etc etc

But I'll say no more.
You have to do what feels right for you.

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some yoke

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 2:34pm [Edited]
  • Ireland
  • 37 posts

'Plausible?' depends what you're trying to do. In Father Ted or Matthews new series Toast of London, it's not plausible at all that Ted or Toast would have doppelgangers haunting them at every turn but it's hilarious.

I think this could benefit from an editing or it would almost edit itself at a table reading by how actors play the parts.

Example:

GARETH
"It's not Obi-Wan Kenobi!! That is Douglas King, my old nemesis!

Eddie peaks round with uncertainty.

EDDIE
A nemesis?"

The line 'my old nemesis' is implied in the delivery of the line: 'That is Douglas King.' said with venom.

I think the core of everything you have from this sample is great, very funny. You have a great knack for visual humour.

If I was writing on this I would offer additional suggestions on the back and forth like:

GARETH
"It's not Obi-Wan Kenobi!! That is Steveland Hawkes!

Eddie peaks round with uncertainty.

EDDIE
"I haven't seen the prequels." (alternate line: Well, all the Jedi's look the same.)

GARETH
"We were at film school together. Creative equals who were going to change the world, like George Lucas and Francis Ford Copella only unlike Lucas he's a sell out.

[Pull out and hold a beat on Jar Jar Binks]

EDDIE
He's your nemesis?

GARETH
Nem-a-misses a chance to pull out his BAFTA and dick it in my ear.

EDDIE
BAFTA. (impressed)

GARETH
ITV. (unimpressed) He got lucky casting George Michel as Poirot.

EDDIE
Role of a life time.

GARETH
Well, Hawkes. You're on my set now.

EDDIE
(worried) I better get Sally."

I mean all my lines might be rubbish but it's how the exchange needs to narrow down for pace. I'm actually working on a very similar idea, characters with big aspirations, and more ego than talent working at the bottom rung in a small media production company - corporate videos / wedding stuff / Leads to absurd consequences etc.

I'd be happy to send you mine if you were willing to critique it based on how good I think yours is.

Something else I found really useful once was a friend who read my script asked which of the inbetweeners was my main character supposed to be.

I said none, but he disagreed and said it had to be one.

I thought about it later and I agreed it had to be one but I hadn't made my mind up and the character didn't come across fully formed.

Will is Father Jack or Blackadder
Neil is Baldrick or Dougal
Jay is David Brent or Dell Boy or Father Ted
Simon is Seinfeld or Joel in Community

I can't think of a classic comic character that wouldn't precisely fit into one of the four.

I thought it was a great insight into how an audience builds in an expectation of behaviour from your character and any situation becomes instantly funny because you expect a character to behave a certain way in that scene.

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Godot Taxis

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 3:33pm
  • England
  • 5,296 posts

I've only read the first extract but you clearly know how to write. Good natural jokes and a funny situation. Where it starts to break up is when you bring in the auteur/film-making stuff and the nemesis character.

Lazzard is right (he usually is), it's amateurish and will get your script binned. Draw the characters smaller and it will work. Most film-makers enjoy making films of anything - it's the visual story telling that excites them. There's no reason why Sunshine can't be a jaded event videographer rather than a wannabe auteur - which is not something your audience will relate to, believe me.

The Star Wars wedding is funny and you milk it expertly, but is there scope for similar humour in a regular wedding?

The names are poor and the title's execrable. 'Old nemesis' is a tautology and it's Darth Vader, not Darth Vadar - keep an eye on that stuff.

I'll read the second lump as soon as I can.

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elmonstro

  • Thursday 25th September 2014, 11:47pm
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts
Quote: Godot Taxis @ 25th September 2014, 3:33 PM BST

I've only read the first extract but you clearly know how to write. Good natural jokes and a funny situation. Where it starts to break up is when you bring in the auteur/film-making stuff and the nemesis character.

Lazzard is right (he usually is), it's amateurish and will get your script binned. Draw the characters smaller and it will work. Most film-makers enjoy making films of anything - it's the visual story telling that excites them. There's no reason why Sunshine can't be a jaded event videographer rather than a wannabe auteur - which is not something your audience will relate to, believe me.

The Star Wars wedding is funny and you milk it expertly, but is there scope for similar humour in a regular wedding?

The names are poor and the title's execrable. 'Old nemesis' is a tautology and it's Darth Vader, not Darth Vadar - keep an eye on that stuff.

I'll read the second lump as soon as I can.

Thanks for your reading and for your feedback, I'm going to have a long hard look at the auteur aspect again I think. I don't see the characters filming many or indeed any more weddings because that would get very boring very quickly. Rather the videography/photography gives the main characters an excuse to be in various situations and locations as imagination allows. For example I had one idea about Sunshine filming something in town when he inadvertently captures a crime in progress. He becomes convinced the criminal is out to get him (or worse, his beloved footage/camera) and things go from bad to worse. In some way or another.

Good catch on the Vader spelling incidentally - I can't believe I missed that, how embarrassing. :$

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Mattytheswan

  • Friday 26th September 2014, 8:52am
  • England
  • 175 posts

Hi, having now read the rest of the episode I thought I would throw in my two penneth worth (possibly not even worth that though). As every one is said, there is some good stuff in there, with each scene providing it's funny moments, but for me, as an entire episode it didn't seem to really work (feel a bit of a dick saying this as I've only ever written one thing myself and THAT didn't work)
Trying to put my finger on the things I felt didn't sit right.
1)Gareth's character. At first I thought he was going to have some talent and integrity, not wanting to sell out etc. But it turns out his films are shit (both the one he was making at the beginning and the ones he was watching with King) and the fact he starts to brown nose his supposed "arch enemy" at the merest whiff of a big commercial opportunity kind of tells me he has neither. This, for me, makes him harder to root for. I think Lazzard (the wise owl) has already said this but, If he did have some talent, he could then have some genuine opportunities come his way that he could stuff up through a combination of bad luck, his stupid mates, and his own character flaws (being uncompromising about his art etc)
2) As far as the episode goes, I thought it was a bit flat. I never really felt there was anything at stake for any of the characters. Gareth is so pathetic he has nothing to lose anyway. He never really has a real opportunity put in front of him. The whole scene of King getting freaked out by Eddie and the misunderstanding/overhearing that he was going to kill him would have worked better if King was going to offer him a real opportunity and that whole scenario messed it up for him. But it didn't because King was essentially just planning to humiliate him so was always going to give him the gig.
3) I think the exaggerated nature of Kings character was ok and seemed to fit in with the tone of the show. However, I do agree with Lazzard that I don't know why he would bother trying to humiliate Gareth if he was now this massive success. And even if he did I'm not sure a way to do that would be to get him to dress up as Golum and film HIS OWN wedding. Although it was funny and a neat back to square one moment... I didn't think the characters (especially Gareth) went on enough of a journey in between. Also, as much of a dick as he is I'm sure even King's wedding day would be important enough to him that he would want a proper video of it, and not give Gareth an immediate opportunity to get revenge (i.e F**king it up). On top of this, Gareth must at some stage have found out he was being misled and so was at the wedding dressed as Golum by choice (but why??)

All that said, it was still an enjoyable read. And bear in mind, I have no real writing credentials so please feel free to ignore. Good luck.

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gappy

  • Friday 26th September 2014, 10:36am
  • Oxford, England
  • 2,078 posts

Some really great advice on this thread, I'm often impressed at how much effort people will go to FOC :)

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elmonstro

  • Friday 26th September 2014, 11:34pm
  • Scotland
  • 32 posts
Quote: some yoke @ 25th September 2014, 2:34 PM BST

'Plausible?' depends what you're trying to do. In Father Ted or Matthews new series Toast of London, it's not plausible at all that Ted or Toast would have doppelgangers haunting them at every turn but it's hilarious.

I think this could benefit from an editing or it would almost edit itself at a table reading by how actors play the parts.

Example:

GARETH
"It's not Obi-Wan Kenobi!! That is Douglas King, my old nemesis!

Eddie peaks round with uncertainty.

EDDIE
A nemesis?"

The line 'my old nemesis' is implied in the delivery of the line: 'That is Douglas King.' said with venom.

I think the core of everything you have from this sample is great, very funny. You have a great knack for visual humour.

If I was writing on this I would offer additional suggestions on the back and forth like:

GARETH
"It's not Obi-Wan Kenobi!! That is Steveland Hawkes!

Eddie peaks round with uncertainty.

EDDIE
"I haven't seen the prequels." (alternate line: Well, all the Jedi's look the same.)

GARETH
"We were at film school together. Creative equals who were going to change the world, like George Lucas and Francis Ford Copella only unlike Lucas he's a sell out.

[Pull out and hold a beat on Jar Jar Binks]

EDDIE
He's your nemesis?

GARETH
Nem-a-misses a chance to pull out his BAFTA and dick it in my ear.

EDDIE
BAFTA. (impressed)

GARETH
ITV. (unimpressed) He got lucky casting George Michel as Poirot.

EDDIE
Role of a life time.

GARETH
Well, Hawkes. You're on my set now.

EDDIE
(worried) I better get Sally."

I mean all my lines might be rubbish but it's how the exchange needs to narrow down for pace. I'm actually working on a very similar idea, characters with big aspirations, and more ego than talent working at the bottom rung in a small media production company - corporate videos / wedding stuff / Leads to absurd consequences etc.

I'd be happy to send you mine if you were willing to critique it based on how good I think yours is.

Something else I found really useful once was a friend who read my script asked which of the inbetweeners was my main character supposed to be.

I said none, but he disagreed and said it had to be one.

I thought about it later and I agreed it had to be one but I hadn't made my mind up and the character didn't come across fully formed.

Will is Father Jack or Blackadder
Neil is Baldrick or Dougal
Jay is David Brent or Dell Boy or Father Ted
Simon is Seinfeld or Joel in Community

I can't think of a classic comic character that wouldn't precisely fit into one of the four.

I thought it was a great insight into how an audience builds in an expectation of behaviour from your character and any situation becomes instantly funny because you expect a character to behave a certain way in that scene.

Thanks for your thoughts. I like your thinking a lot, the way that exchange goes above feels pretty good to me I have to say. I particularly like the idea that Sunshine and King were going to be the next Lucas and Copolla; it suggested to me that they were once close collaborators but one went one way and the other betrayed the vision in some way and had real success. Enter bitterness and resentment. It at least spells out the nature of their personal and enduring enmity which I've not really gone into.

I'd be delighted to read your idea and give you my feedback for whatever that's worth to you.

I have to say I've found the feedback on this thread to be tremendously useful. I've genuinely been helped here. Thanks to everybody who took the time to read and share their very constructive thoughts. Same goes for the kind words about the script - very often "well done" or "that made me laugh" is all a comedy writer has to keep him going. I shall continue. :)