Here is a copy of the script I wrote for this film.
Once we had had all our initial ideas and eventually settled on this one I volunteered to go away and write it. Having not written a script for a short film before it was a fairly daunting undertaking.
Before the writing process began I read a couple of feature length scripts and a couple of scripts from sitcoms to begin to familiarise myself with how they should sound in one’s head. I read An Education and Chinatown as well as reading a couple of episodes of Extras. I also watched a certain amount of short films such as Goodbye to the Normals on BBC FilmNetwork which I saw for the first time in a lecture given by the tutors but have since watched a number of times because it is a fantastic example of dialogue in short film. Another film I watched was 8, a short film by Stephen Daldry, who eventually went on to direct Billy Elliot. 8 wasn’t a good example of the sort of character dialogue that will happen in our film but visually it had given me plenty of ideas to incorporate in the script, especially during our montage section.
When I sat down to begin writing the script for the film I basically just let the story come straight out without worrying too much about the tightness of the dialogue – I think this shows from one of the first drafts which can be seen here
Here is some of the feedback I received from tutors regarding what I had written and you will notice the difference between the final draft and the initial one posted above that was affected by the feedback.
Generally quite good but:
- starts out well but peters out at the end
– end is too quick (last page is the problem)
– read out dialogue: moves from being middle class to ‘upper class’: “It’s treachourous out there”
- It has lost some of it’s spark in the writing.
- Final shot = problem (we will see immediately that they are in lounge UNLESS we see band on the TV or something).
I like the ending “It’s late now: time for bed” and the hand coming out the tent.
Hope this helps.
have had a chance to read this now and I feel that while the story is still good and will work well you are taking too long to actually set it up. The humor comes from their situation but we do not get there until page 3 of a 4 page script. You should set it up in half a page max then get to the scenario that is funny and the final pay-off with the reveal. Also the dialogue is very stilted and succinct, would the guys really talk this way? I suggest you read the script out loud to hear it spoken…the read it again out loud twice as fast. These are guys on a mission to get pissed get laid and get wasted…..except by the end we see they arent at all but again this will make the ending better. The dialogue as it is is not nearly naturalistic enough,
If we dont go this year we never will
MAN B: You don’t think we’re like… over the hill now?
MAN A :Bollocks, no way, we’re younger than most of the bands!
MAN B: What about
MAN A He’s in. Anything for a weekend away - even if it is loud music, drug abuse and cold baked beans.
MAN B (Laughs) All the way from Newcastle?!
MAN A Trust me, he’s in. etc…..
Work it through the set montage would be great as would another as they get boozy and probably a couple more incidents, why no reference to girls? Guilty pleasures is what they are after even if at the end it is all in their dreams.
Such a good idea!
Now whilst plenty of this was encouraging there was obviously a lot to work on and you can see from the final script that’s at the top of this post that we did plenty of work to tighten it up.
Linda M. James says in ‘How to write Great Screenplays’ (2009) that what all comedies have in common is “a plot designed to amuse and provoke laughter by exaggerating the situation’ and this was key to my writing. I really wanted to exaggerate the friendship these three have, as if they are so totally absorbed in their friendship and their weekend together that it hardly matters they are actually inside and not really at a festival at all! This I think makes it funnier and why I think I was so lucky to have our actors in mind as I wrote.
Script when shooting:
During the actually shoot we allowed plenty of ad-libbing because we wanted as naturalistic a performance as possible from the three friends. Eventually our script is followed fairly loosely in terms of dialogue which in some ways I am disappointed in but in others very happy. This is because having a relaxed attitude as a director to how they manipulated the script like I did when on set actually made for a better film and this is eventually what we are heading for.