I found a screenplay online with an interesting concept and idea. You need these when writing. Anyway I thought I'd make notes while I read it. I thought I'd put these notes on here. The best way to learn how to write is by reading other writer's work. Whether that be amateur, or professional screenplays. Produced or not.
Giving notes is also an extremely useful tool for the writer. There's nothing quite like getting feedback on your work. The trick is trying to figure out what to use in order improve and strengthen your own work.
Everything Falls Apart is written by Chris Mulligan.
It's about a cocky, full of himself superhero who quite happily goes around stealing superpowers from other superheroes and supervillains. It has great potential to be good.
This is the review.
I've been trying to find something to read lately. This looked like an interesting project.
Tonally the first ten are all over the place. Who's your target audience? Is this a comedy aimed at kids or adults. Do you want it to be similar to Megamind and The Incredibles or are you going for an older age group. Are you considering this as an animated movie?
You intro well with Everythingman chasing the Supervillain. We then have talking heads for the next ten minutes. Which is quite boring. You then introduce a kid with Cancer on page 7 which shifts the tone of the movie completely.
The way you have the character of Everythingman in these opening pages also makes him extremely unlikeable. He gets granted a wish. And the first thing he does with it is steal the Genie's powers. Personally I feel you are making Everythingman too much of an asshole. I know that's what you're going for, but I really feel you need to tone it down.
Also these opening ten pages, from a story point of view are very boring. And I'm not entirely sure about the Cancer Boy angle as yet. Or the genie angle either. Instead of having everyone push Everythingman into giving this kid a wish. You should consider having Everythingman ask the kid.
'So whaddya want kid?' He gives the kid a list of things to choose from. And then on national TV, the kid asks him if he can have his powers. This puts Everythingman in a difficult position. He ends up giving the kid his powers. It's his decision.
But this act of generosity costs him big time.
This is just based on the first ten so far.
I also think you need to restructure those first ten. Consider showing Reggie in hospital and at home. He has a huge collection of superhero comics, action figures etc. He dreams of being a superhero? Maybe, instead of this Make A Wish thing, have him win a competition so that he gets to meet Everythingman on TV. Because I'm not buying into this genie angle. That seems like an entirely different story.
I think this is a great concept with much potential. And the fact that you've written it shows a great imagination. And that is what a writer needs, an imagination.
I'd better crack on with the rest, or I'll be here all day.
Consider having some scenes showing what's going on with these characters first. Show what their lives were like before Everythingman lost his powers and Reggie gained them.
Those first 10-12 pages are critical. As they are at the moment. You should consider a complete restructure. Because nothing much happens in them.
I'm going to have to bring up tone again with regard to these next ten pages and who your target audience is.
What's your age range? This is a superhero movie? Families, kids watch superhero movies?
'son of a bitch' on page 16.
'Fuck' on page 17.
'shit' on page 18.
This completely through me.
You have ten pages filled with dialogue. Nothing happens. Page 17 is a good example. You have Everthingman have an extremely long piece of dialogue that doesn't seem to go anywhere.
It's talking heads again. And talking heads are boring.
Also from a format point of view. You should consider having him revert back to his old name of DOUG instead of Everythingman as technically he isn't Everthingman anymore.
While we're on the subject of Format.
You introduce some 20-SOMETHING who then becomes NOT AXLE who then becomes FRANK. I think that's right. Why not just call him FRANK straight away? Saves confusion from a reader's perspective.
You also let DOUG slip in there as well. Why not just call him DOUG until he gets his powers back? I'm assuming he'll get his powers back at some point.
At this point you need to rethink this opening first act. As it stands at the moment. There's far too much dialogue in my opinion. Not much happens.
I've read 30 pages of this. And I have no idea where it's going at the moment. Apart from the chase scene at the start, the bar brawl and now KID AWESOME – O saving them. Not much has happened.
Does the story really need the Bar scene? We already know that Doug is down in the dumps. We don't need to see him spewing out about the good ol' days. This has already been established.
Again you have a lot of talking.
With regards to format and the introduction of DANNY THE BULL and MR. METALLO. Just introduce them as that straight away. Saves time and any confusion. Keep things simple.
Again the bar scene would only be relevant if you had set up Everthingman's relationship with these guys at the start. There only needs to be a quick scene with them.
Instead these two bad guys turn up out of nowhere.
Are these characters important to the story? Will they appear again? Maybe they end up helping Doug?
Again there is a lot of talking and not much happens. In fact nothing happens. I'm going to stick with it until the end.
I've been trying hard to find the story in these 40 pages. I don't understand Doug's obsession with getting back his powers from Reggie. What's his reason? Why does he hate Reggie so much? There doesn't seem to be any real goal at the moment?
Again there is way too much talking.
Also your format is off in some of the scene headings. I don't know, I feel that this was rushed through in order to get it written.
Now we have another character being introduced in the way of DEB on page 40. who's apparently his sidekick's sister? Seems a little late in the game for this. Also what's happened to Mr. Metallo and Danny The Bull?
Great opportunity for some conflict with DEB.
Perhaps Doug had a crush on her or something when they were younger? Or when they worked together. Maybe because his ego grew as he gained more powers she broke up with him. She got fed up with his oversized ego.
You should consider introducing Deb sooner, a lot sooner, this is far too late. This would make it far more interesting? Maybe all three of them used to work together as a superhero team ages ago and split up for various reasons? Probably because Doug was getting too cocky. Again this could bring conflict to the story. You need to look at bringing new angles to this. There is far too much talking in this. These ten pages reflect this.
Pages 45-50 are good examples of way too much dialogue. It's just dialogue. Nothing is happening?
What if there was an attempted robbery at the diner, and Doug, Frankie and Deb stopped it from happening? It gets in the newspapers. Former superhero saves people in diner from robbers.
This spurs Doug on to get back his superpowers. I'm throwing ideas, suggestions at you to think about. Again this would need to happen sooner, at the start of Act 2. Or maybe at the midpoint? Things are looking good, then he finds out that Reggie is turning bad or something. Or we see Reggie have a conflict of interest with these powers. He wants to be bad.
What's the story?
I'm still not convinced with Doug's motivations for getting back his powers from Reggie?
Doug is going on about how these powers apparently eat you up and tempt you to do bad things. Instead of having him go on and on about it. Actually show Reggie having these problems with these powers. Maybe he's getting tempted to do bad things with them. Maybe he gets fed up using them for good or what ever reasons.
All this talking isn't very exciting. It's talking heads. Talking heads = boring.
Also where does Doug get this information? Was he ever tempted to do bad things with his powers? Really bad things? Has he had first hand experience with this? Show, don't tell. I think it would be far better to show this.
Again this page is just dialogue. It's an 'I' page. Sorry to be blunt.
Your format is off as well. Is it DOUG, E or EVERYTHINGMAN?
That restaurant scene was 10 pages. Far too long.
Not really understanding any of these scenes?
How are they related to the story?
The kitchen scene with Deb and Doug?
Why are they going to the supermarket? What does this have to do with the story?
Is this scene pushing the story forward?
Dick refers to Cindy as Debbie? I think?
Of all the people that would offer him help. I really can't see the Genie helping him, especially after what he did to him. Would he really go to the Genie for help?
If you decide to keep Genie as a character. You should make Doug work hard to get Genie to help him? At the moment it's too easy.
I'm glad that they did work together at some point. But again this information comes far too late. I really think if this is set up at the start that all three of them worked together at some point. And for what ever reasons, they went their separate ways. This would make for good conflict. You could open with such a scene or maybe a flashback of the good ol' days. Things for you to consider.
I'm also not buying this whole Genie character. Seems like a whole different movie.
Why can't the three of them take on Reggie on their own?
Why would Genie wait until now to try and take back his powers?
The whole section with the toys felt out of place. Did Reggie like toys? Consider setting this up? Reggie now feels like The Toymaker from Batman.
Also it felt like a big cheat bringing MRS. EVANS into it at the end?
You then have Frankie tell Everythingman that he saved the day. He didn't save the day.
This has a great concept and premise behind it. But this really feels like it was rushed through without much thought. Which is fine for a first draft. It's always good to get some ideas down on the page. But there needs to be far more thought put into the development of the story in future drafts.
There are scenes that are unnecessary and far too long. Characters that aren't needed or are just conveniently slipped in to add pages to the story.
Doug isn't all that likeable as a character.
Not entirely sure about having a kid with cancer as the antagonist either. Who then turns bad for some unknown reason? Maybe try coming up with a list of new bad guys.
Don't have characters endlessly chatting to each other. Very boring. And repetitive.
This is marked as a comedy. But I didn't find it funny.
Lacks action. Where's the action? This is a comedy about superheroes and supervillains. There's just not enough action scenes.
Keep at it and keep writing.
This has the potential to be a good movie.
You just need to figure out the story and the structure.
Get plenty of feedback.
Actually, you have plenty of feedback to work with now. The hard part comes in sifting through the feedback and deciding what to use or not.
Also consider writing three versions of the story.
These are all ideas for you to consider.
Take what you can from them.
Thanks for the read.
On last comment about the title. I don't think it's very catchy. It may work better with a poster. Not all titles convey what a movie will be about. As this is a superhero movie. I think it should.
Just needs more work, lots of work, storywise.
As it's 90 pages. You have plenty of pages to play with. There's nothing wrong with writing an 85-90 page screenplay as long as there is plenty of depth to it. As it stands at the moment, there just isn't enough here.
Read some superhero screenplays and watch the movies. Look at how they do it. Break them down. Make notes. You're on the right track.
Well done and Best of luck.
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
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