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Scene 1 -  Sammy's Frightening Film Experience
2 INT. PROJECTION BOOTH, FOX THEATER - NIGHT 2

The projector’s an aggressive monster, huge reels spinning,
film running through gears, passing through the gate, image
by image, past the brilliant bulb, out through the lens and
into...


INT. FOX THEATER AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

The movie palace’s opulent auditorium is filled to its 1200-
seat capacity. On the screen, the robbery in the train,
Cornell Wilde and Betty Hutton.

ROBBER 1 (ON SCREEN)
Wait’ll the engines pass!


ON SCREEN

TWO ROBBERS leap from a car parked next to the railroad
tracks and clamber aboard a circus train as it grinds to a
stop. Robber 1 dons a bandanna mask and smashes a window
with his pistol.

ROBBER 1 (ON SCREEN)
Open up the door!

An ENGINEER emerges to investigate and gets cold cocked by
Robber 2.
Conformed Draft 4.


IN THE THEATER

The audience GASPS. Mitzi checks on Sammy with a quick
glance. Sammy, eyes wide, is completely entranced, consumed,
absorbed watching as...


ON SCREEN

... The car is pulled up to straddle the train tracks.

ROBBER 2 (ON SCREEN)
What’s that?

ANOTHER TRAIN speeds towards them on the same tracks.

ROBBER 1 (ON SCREEN)
Second section!

Robber 2 pales. His sweetheart’s on the stalled train behind
the car, the train they’ve just robbed.

ROBBER 1 (ON SCREEN) (CONT’D)
Get goin! We gotta burn rubber!

ROBBER 2 (ON SCREEN)
Angel! She’s on that train!

ROBBER 1 (ON SCREEN)
So what? We got the dough, let’s
get outta here.

ROBBER 2 (ON SCREEN)
Lights! I must turn the lights down
the track!

He starts to pull the car onto the tracks towards the
oncoming train.

ROBBER 1 (ON SCREEN)
You crazy lug, gimme that wheel -

He lunges towards the steering wheel and Robber 2 punches
him, then clubs him. The theater crowd GASPS again.

ROBBER 2 (ON SCREEN)
Stop the train! STOP THE TRAIN!!!

He drives the car down the tracks right at the oncoming
train, flashing the headlights.

ROBBER 2 (ON SCREEN) (CONT’D)
STOP! CAN’T YOU SEE THE LIGHTS?!?!
STOP!!!
Conformed Draft 5.


IN THE THEATER

Sammy’s eyes go wide!


ON SCREEN

The Engineer in the second train tries to slow down.

ENGINEER (ON SCREEN)
(to his BRAKEMAN)
Hang on!

ROBBER 2 (ON SCREEN)
Angel! ANGEL!!!

But it’s too late. The train hits the car and flips it over!


IN THE THEATER

Sammy’s whole body goes rigid, pushing back into his seat,
staring in shock at the catastrophe on the screen.

Cut between the crash as the moving train ploughs into the
stalled train and Sammy’s reactions, frozen stills of his
sheer, visceral terror (cf 2001’s star gate sequence). For
Sammy this is real, not a movie. His eyes are huge, taking in
danger on the screen: lions and tigers are escaping from the
demolished train!

Above and behind him, the projector’s beam’s colors cross,
dance in the thick, cigarette-smoke-filled air. The beam’s
colors blend and merge into...

3 INT/EXT - THE FABELMAN CAR DRIVING THROUGH HADDON HEIGHTS, 3
NEW JERSEY

... the colors of Christmas lights festooning every house on
the street. Sammy’s in the car’s front seat between his
parents, visibly stricken with fear.

MITZI
What was your favorite part?

Sammy’s too scared to talk.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Sammy! What do you want for
Hanukkah?

Sammy doesn’t answer. Mitzi looks at Burt.
Conformed Draft 6.


BURT
I told you this wasn’t a good idea,
what with all his a-n-x-i-e-t-i-e-
s.

MITZI
Kids his age have big i-m-a-g-i-n-a-
t-i-o-n-s.

SAMMY
No fair spelling out the long
words!

Burt turns onto Crystal Terrace Avenue, resplendent with
Christmas lights. He squints.

BURT
The lights change how everything
looks. It’s hard to find our house.

SAMMY
(to Burt:)
Ours is the dark house with no
lights.

Mitzi laughs.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
That’s what I want for Hanukkah.

MITZI
What?

SAMMY
Christmas Lights.

Mitzi laughs again. Burt shakes his head.

MITZI
Sorry Dolly, Jews don’t get
Christmas lights.

BURT
Eight nights of candlelight.
(singing the penultimate
line, setting her up:)
“Who could ask for anything
more...”

As the car pulls into the driveway of the neighborhood’s only
dark house.
Conformed Draft 7.


MITZI
(big finish:)
“Who could ask for anything more!!”

Burt leans over Sammy and gives Mitzi a big romantic kiss.
Sammy watches, delighted and horrified. Then:

SAMMY
Can I sleep with the oscilloscope?
4 CUT TO: 4

CU on Burt’s oscilloscope, its sign wave waving, filling
Sammy’s darkened bedroom with an eerie a pulsating green glow
that’s having a narcotizing effect on Sammy, in bed, fighting
but succumbing to sleep. His eyes flutter and close.
5 CUT BACK TO: 5

6 CU on the oscilloscope’s round screen. Superimposed over its 6
fluctuating green sign wave: A wild jumble of sounds from The
Greatest Show On Earth. The tempo of the oscilloscope’s wave
fluctuations increase, getting frantic at the sound of the
car being driven onto the train tracks, the driver shouting
frantically. Suddenly flashing to the image as the train
flips the car and collides with the other train:
Genres: ["Drama","Thriller"]

Summary In a movie theater, young Sammy is deeply frightened by a train crash scene in a film. His parents try to calm him and ask about his Hanukkah wish. Sammy expresses a desire for Christmas lights, which his parents explain is not a Jewish tradition. The scene ends with Sammy finding solace in watching the oscilloscope's green glow in his dark bedroom.
Strengths
  • Effective use of suspense and tension
  • Emotional depth in characters
  • Innovative transition techniques
Weaknesses
  • Some dialogue could be more impactful
  • Character development could be further explored

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines suspense, emotion, and character development, keeping the audience engaged and setting up future plot points.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of contrasting the excitement of the movie with the everyday life of the characters is well executed, adding depth to the story.

Plot: 8

The plot advances with the introduction of the train robbery scene and sets up tension and conflict for the characters.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on the classic movie theater setting, combining elements of suspense, humor, and family dynamics. The authenticity of the characters' reactions adds depth to the narrative.


Character Development

Characters: 7

The characters, especially Sammy, show depth and emotion, but could benefit from further development in future scenes.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy undergoes a subtle emotional change as he experiences fear and shock during the movie screening, setting up potential growth in future scenes.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to overcome his fear and anxiety triggered by the intense movie scene. This reflects his deeper need for reassurance and comfort in the face of danger.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to enjoy the movie with his family and experience the magic of cinema. This reflects the immediate circumstances of his family outing and holiday celebration.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between the robbers and the impending train collision creates high stakes and tension, driving the scene forward.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene, between Sammy's fear and the movie's suspense, adds complexity and uncertainty to the narrative, keeping the audience on edge.

High Stakes: 9

The high stakes of the train robbery and collision create tension and danger, raising the stakes for the characters involved.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by introducing key elements and establishing the emotional and thematic tone for the narrative.

Unpredictability: 7

The scene is unpredictable in its emotional shifts, from intense movie drama to lighthearted family banter, creating a dynamic and engaging narrative.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict revolves around the clash between reality and fiction, as Sammy struggles to differentiate between the movie's danger and his own fears. This challenges his beliefs about the power of imagination and perception.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The emotional impact on Sammy and the audience is significant, drawing them into the story and characters.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the emotions and motivations of the characters, but could be more impactful in certain moments.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it combines suspenseful action with heartfelt family interactions, keeping the audience invested in Sammy's emotional journey.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension during the movie sequence and provides moments of relief through the family interactions, creating a balanced and engaging rhythm.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting adheres to the expected format for a screenplay, effectively conveying the visual and emotional elements of the scene.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a well-paced structure, transitioning smoothly between the movie theater and the car ride, maintaining the audience's engagement.


Critique
  • The scene starts off with a strong visual description of the film being projected in the theater, setting the stage for the audience's reaction and Sammy's intense response.
  • The transition from the film to Sammy's real-life experience in the car is well done, showing his fear and anxiety after watching the train crash scene.
  • The dialogue between Mitzi, Burt, and Sammy feels natural and captures the family dynamic effectively.
  • Sammy's desire for Christmas lights after watching a traumatic scene in the film adds depth to his character and shows how the movie has impacted him.
  • The use of the oscilloscope in Sammy's bedroom as a calming device is a unique and interesting detail that adds to the scene's atmosphere.
  • The scene effectively conveys Sammy's emotional state and sets up potential conflicts and resolutions within the family.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more sensory details to enhance the audience's experience of Sammy's fear and anxiety.
  • Explore Sammy's internal thoughts and emotions more deeply to provide insight into his character development.
  • Consider incorporating visual cues or symbolism to further emphasize Sammy's psychological state after watching the intense film scene.
  • Ensure that the transition between the film projection and Sammy's real-life experience is seamless and impactful.
  • Continue to develop the family dynamics and relationships to create a rich and engaging narrative.



Scene 2 -  The Hanukkah Train
INT. THE FABLEMAN HOUSE, HADDON HEIGHTS - HALL - NIGHT

SAMMY (O.S.)
MOOOOOOMMMMMMMYYY!! MOMMMMYYYY!

Mitzi in her nightgown rushes to Sammy’s room, still half
asleep.


INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT

She swings open the door to find Sammy jumping on his bed.

SAMMY
I know what I want for Hanukkah! I
know what I want for Hanukkah!

7 INT. THE FABELMAN HOUSE, HADDON HEIGHTS - NIGHT 7

A Hanukkiach with one candle; the shamos candle, held by
REGGIE, Sammy’s 4 year old sister, is brought slowly,
carefully to light it.

FABELMAN FAMILY
[Hebrew prayer TBD]
Conformed Draft 8.


The entire family shares in the prayer, including both of
Sammy’s younger sisters and both grandmothers: maternal
grandmother TINA SCHILDKRAUT, 63, beaming with joy and love;
and paternal grandmother HADASSAH FABELMAN, 66, a tall,
formidable Ukranian.

They finish with a collective joyous “HANNUKAH!” as the
sisters excitedly grab their presents and tear into them.

REGGIE
Thank you!

Burt quietly hands Sammy his own gift.

BURT
Sammy...

Sammy’s fingers tear open his gift: Lionel electric train
tracks!


INT. FABELMAN HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - LATER

A big piano fanfare, with Mitzi at the keys as the family
sings together. Hadassah is knitting small squares, which
she’ll stitch together someday to make an afghan. Burt films
with a wind-up Kodak Brownie 8mm camera; bright lights on a
stand overexpose the room, all around which are TV sets
Burt’s repairing. Burt closes in on Mitzi as she sings:

MITZI
Down by the station, early in the
morning,
See the little pufferbellies all in
a row,
See the station master pull the
little handle!

EVERYONE
PUFF PUFF TOOT TOOT OFF THEY GO!

Mitzi’s playing continues through:
8 CUT TO: 8

On each Hanukkah night, another candle, and Sammy opens
another present. On the second night, a caboose; on the third
night, a passenger car; night 4) a boxcar; 5) another
passenger car; 6) a crossing gate; 7) a transformer; and
finally, 8), the coal car and engine!
Conformed Draft 9.

9 INT. THE FABELMAN GARAGE - NIGHT 9

The garage is Burt’s work-station: TV sets undergoing
repairs; on a workbench, tools and ham radio equipment.

Burt hunkers down next to Sammy and places the locomotive in
front of the other cars on the completed tracks, mounted on a
green-painted plywood board.

BURT
...so the outside grounds, the
middle conducts the power, and
these two metal wheels under the
engine complete the circuit.

The two grandmothers and Mitzi enter as Burt carefully
connects the engine to the train.

HADASSAH
(to Burt:)
So nu, Mr. Engineer, RCA gave you a
raise? That is one expensive
trolley car.

SAMMY BURT
(indignant!) No raises for the computer
It’s not a trolley car it’s a guys this year. Next year
Lionel train! maybe.

MITZI
Your moonlighting son is paying for
it by filling up my house with
broken TVs. Repair work. That’s
how.

Sammy moves to the transformer, sending Hadassah lunging for
Burt.

HADASSAH
Oy! Careful he doesn’t electrocute
himself.

Sammy looks at Burt, momentary alarmed. Tina gets down on the
floor with Sammy as Burt says to Hadassah:

BURT TINA
Ne pugay mal’chika. (Don’t Hold on, you’re not taking
scare the boy.) that fancy train to Florida
(to Sammy) * without me!!
You’re okay. *

HADASSAH
She’s down on the floor. Who’s
gonna help her up?
Conformed Draft 10.


TINA
Who says I’m getting up! I’m going
to Miami on the Sammy Limited!!
(to Sammy)
Go ‘head.

Reassured, Sammy turns the transformer knob. The train moves.
Everyone claps, oohs and aahs. Reggie and Natalie rush in,
thrilled by the spectacle.

Sammy kneels to bring himself eye level to the tracks. From
his new perspective, the approaching train looks life-size,
getting bigger as it races towards him. In his mind, the
clickety-clack of a toy train is replaced by the deafening
roar of a steam locomotive. When the train reaches him, Sammy
flinches, breaking the illusion - which fascinates him.
Genres: ["Family","Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Sammy's excitement for Hanukkah culminates in receiving the electric train set he wished for. As the family gathers to celebrate, Sammy's joy is evident as he plays with the train, his imagination transforming it into a life-size locomotive.
Strengths
  • Authentic family interactions
  • Engaging introduction of the Lionel train set
  • Nostalgic and heartwarming tone
Weaknesses
  • Lack of significant conflict
  • Limited character development in this specific scene

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively captures the warmth and joy of a family celebration while introducing key elements that will likely play a significant role in the story.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of family bonding, holiday celebration, and the introduction of the Lionel train set are well-executed and engaging.

Plot: 7

The plot progresses by introducing the Lionel train set and showcasing Sammy's fascination with it, setting up potential conflicts or developments related to this new interest.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a unique blend of traditional Hanukkah celebrations with the excitement of receiving gifts, adding a fresh perspective to a familiar holiday theme. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue enhances the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are well-defined through their interactions and dialogue, showcasing their relationships and personalities.

Character Changes: 5

While there are no significant character changes in this scene, it sets the stage for potential growth or challenges for the characters in the future.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to feel excitement and joy during the Hanukkah celebration. He wants to be delighted by his gifts and the family traditions, reflecting his desire for happiness and connection with his loved ones.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to enjoy the Hanukkah celebration with his family and receive gifts that bring him joy. This goal reflects the immediate circumstances of the holiday season and the family gathering.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 3

While there are hints of potential conflicts (e.g., Burt's job, family dynamics), the scene primarily focuses on positive interactions and celebrations.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is moderate, with minor conflicts and obstacles that add tension and interest to the narrative. The audience is kept engaged by the characters' interactions and reactions.

High Stakes: 2

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on family bonding and celebration.

Story Forward: 6

The scene introduces key elements (Lionel train set, family dynamics) that are likely to play a role in the story's development, moving the narrative forward.

Unpredictability: 6

This scene is somewhat predictable in its focus on family traditions and gift-giving during Hanukkah. However, the characters' interactions and reactions add a layer of unpredictability to the scene.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

There is a philosophical conflict between the traditional values of family and celebration represented by the Hanukkah rituals and the modern technology and consumerism symbolized by the electric train tracks and the camera. This conflict challenges the protagonist's beliefs about the importance of tradition and material possessions.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene evokes a sense of warmth, nostalgia, and joy, resonating with the audience on an emotional level.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is natural and reflective of the family dynamics, adding depth to the characters and the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it captures the warmth and joy of a family celebration, drawing the audience into the characters' emotions and interactions.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotion, leading to a satisfying resolution. The rhythm of the dialogue and actions enhances the scene's effectiveness.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene headings and descriptions. The dialogue is formatted correctly, enhancing readability.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a structured format that effectively introduces the setting, characters, and conflicts. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the scene's effectiveness.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a lot of energy and excitement, but it could benefit from more clarity in the action and dialogue.
  • There are multiple characters introduced quickly, which can be overwhelming for the audience. Consider giving each character a more distinct introduction or role in the scene.
  • The transition between locations and time could be smoother to help the audience follow the story more easily.
  • The dialogue feels a bit rushed and could be more natural and engaging. Consider adding pauses or reactions to make the conversation more dynamic.
  • The visual elements, such as the train tracks and the train moving, could be described in more detail to create a vivid picture in the reader's mind.
Suggestions
  • Consider starting the scene with a clear establishing shot to set the location and mood.
  • Introduce the characters more gradually and give each one a specific purpose or role in the scene.
  • Work on the pacing of the dialogue to make it more engaging and realistic.
  • Add more descriptive language to enhance the visual elements and create a more immersive experience for the reader.
  • Focus on creating a smooth flow between different locations and actions to help the audience follow the story seamlessly.



Scene 3 -  Sammy's Destructive Play
10 EXT. THE FABELMAN HOUSE - NIGHT 10

Surrounded by houses ablaze with Christmas lights, the
Fabelman house is the black hole of Crystal Terrace Avenue.

12 INT. THE GARAGE - NIGHT 12

Sammy’s hand places a toy convertible car on the tracks,
facing the train. He wedges a small wooden figure of Noah in
the driver’s seat.

Flashlight in hand, Sammy’s turns the transformer dial.

The train starts to move towards the car, which Sammy’s hand
is moving towards the train; then we see Sammy’s face, level
with the plywood, trying to get the correct perspective.

The locomotive picks up speed. CU of smokestack pumping
smoke. The toy car barrels toward the train. CU of Noah’s
face, caught in the train’s headlight.

Sammy holds his breath, watching the train and car heading at
one another; the sound is again in Sammy’s head, VERY LOUD
AND REAL! Then...

CRASH!!!! The car hits the train! In SLOW MOTION, it does
exactly what it’s supposed to do: It flips up and over the
train, just like in the movie! Noah flies out of the car!
Sammy in the background traces with his eyes Noah’s arc
through the air, and then...

At normal speed, Sammy snaps his gaze to the train, rushing
straight at Noah’s model Ark, placed on the tracks, tilted to
make sure it’ll be derailed when...
Conformed Draft 11.


CRASH AGAIN!!! In SLOW MOTION, the train slams into the ark!
The cars accordion into V-shaped towers as the ark topples
heavily onto its side, its roof popping off and its animals,
dozens of pairs, tumble and scatter across the floor.

Sammy, startled, pulls away from the tracks, jarring Burt’s
work table, causing a shelf of tools near the edge of the
table to fall to the cement floor, making a mighty racket.

13 INT. BURT AND MITZI’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 13

The sound of the falling tools startle Burt and Mitzi out of
deep sleep. They sit up in bed.

14 INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 14

Sammy is in bed, Mitzi tucking him in. He’s watching Burt,
who sits on the edge of the bed, carefully straightening a
bent coupler on one of the train’s cars with a needle-nose
pliers.

BURT
They’re precisely engineered toys.
You can play with them when you’ve
learned to treat them with respect.

SAMMY
I do respect them! I love them!

BURT
I know you do, but you can’t just
love something, you also have to
take care of it, right?

He rises, but pauses in the doorway.

BURT (CONT’D)
Maybe we can play together with
them this weekend.

He leaves with the mended train car.

SAMMY
(turning to his mom:)
But I need to see them crash.

Mitzi looks at him, understanding something.
Conformed Draft 12.

14A INT. AND BURT’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 14A

Mitzi and Burt are back in bed. Burt is still working on the
train’s coupling. Mitzi is reading and marking the piano
score for the Goldberg Variations.

BURT
I don’t understand. Why does he
need to see them crash?

He looks at Mitzi. She shrugs, studying her score. Burt goes
back to the train, then he shows Mitzi: The two train cars
couple. She cheers quietly. Burt puts the cars on the
nightstand. He’s about to take off his glasses and settle
down to sleep when he stops because she’s still reading her
score.

BURT (CONT’D)
It’s late. You don’t wanna shut
your light?

MITZI
In a minute, I’m still wide awake.
(showing him the score,
open to Variation #21:)
See these descending notes?
That’s called a lament bass.
(singing the opening
notes, tapping each with
her blue pencil:)
Ya da da dee dah dah dah dah...

BURT
You should play it on the radio. On
that arts program, they keep asking
you to come back.

MITZI
I don’t have the time for that.

BURT
We can hire a sitter.

MITZI
Who can afford that? Forget it.
That was another life, that was two
kids ago.

Burt switches off his light. She looks up from the score.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Know what I miss most about the
piano? Surrendering to the score,
knowing Bach is gonna tell you how:
Conformed Draft 13.


First this note then this chord
then you open your hand, you
stretch down an octave, and...
(she sings the notes of
the lament bass, playing
them with her fingers)
Making a little world you can be
safe and happy in.

Burt kisses Mitzi’s hand and lies back. She takes off his
glasses and he smiles with his eyes closed.

BURT
Thank you...

Mitzi places them on the nightstand, next to the train cars.
Mitzi stares at the glasses and the trains.

MITZI
That’s why he needs to watch them
crash. He’s trying to get some kind
of...control over it.

Mitzi’s eyes stay on the train cars. An idea is forming.
Genres: ["Drama","Family","Coming of Age"]

Summary Sammy's reckless play with his toy train set, crashing them into each other, brings conflict with his parents. While Burt scolds Sammy, Mitzi recognizes his need for control over the chaos and fear he feels inside.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Symbolism
Weaknesses
  • Some dialogue could be more impactful

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is well-written, engaging, and emotionally resonant, with strong character development and thematic depth.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of using the toy train as a metaphor for Sammy's need for control and safety is compelling and well-executed.

Plot: 8

The plot is engaging and moves the story forward by exploring Sammy's emotional journey and his relationship with his parents.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh perspective on childhood playtime and family dynamics, with authentic dialogue and realistic character actions.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and their interactions feel authentic and emotionally impactful.

Character Changes: 8

Sammy undergoes a subtle but significant change as he begins to understand his own emotions and motivations.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal in this scene is to experience the thrill of watching his toy cars crash, which reflects his desire for excitement and control over his playtime.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to play with his toys and have fun, which reflects his immediate circumstances of being a child with a vivid imagination and love for toys.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

There is internal conflict within Sammy as he grapples with his fear and desire for control.

Opposition: 6

The opposition in the scene is subtle but effective, with Sammy's desire to watch his toys crash conflicting with his parents' concerns for his safety and the value of taking care of toys.

High Stakes: 6

While the stakes are not life-threatening, they are emotionally significant for Sammy and his family.

Story Forward: 7

The scene deepens the audience's understanding of Sammy and his family dynamics, setting up future conflicts and resolutions.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional depth and character revelations, such as Mitzi's realization about Sammy's need for control.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the idea of control and the need for excitement. Sammy's desire to watch his toys crash represents his attempt to exert control over unpredictable situations, while his parents' concern for his safety and the value of taking care of toys challenges his worldview.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions and resonates with the audience through its exploration of fear, safety, and family dynamics.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is natural and serves the characters and the story well.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its emotional depth, relatable family dynamics, and the tension built around Sammy's desire to watch his toys crash.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotion, leading to a satisfying resolution.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene headings and descriptions of actions and dialogue.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a clear structure with well-defined character interactions and a progression of events that build tension and emotion.


Critique
  • The scene effectively captures Sammy's fascination with toy trains and his desire to see them crash, which reflects his need for control and excitement.
  • The use of visual imagery, such as the crashing toy cars and the detailed descriptions of the train's movements, creates a vivid and engaging scene.
  • The dialogue between Sammy, Burt, and Mitzi reveals the family dynamics and Sammy's passion for trains, adding depth to the characters.
  • The scene transitions smoothly between different locations within the house, providing a sense of continuity and connection.
  • The emotional subtext between Burt and Mitzi, as they discuss Sammy's behavior, adds layers to the scene and hints at underlying tensions within the family.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more internal monologue or reactions from Sammy to further explore his emotions and motivations during the train crash.
  • Introduce subtle hints or foreshadowing of future conflicts or developments in Sammy's character arc to build anticipation and intrigue.
  • Explore the impact of Sammy's fascination with train crashes on his relationships with his family members, especially Burt and Mitzi.
  • Enhance the sensory details in the scene to immerse the reader in Sammy's experience, such as describing the sounds and smells of the toy train crash.
  • Consider incorporating symbolic elements or motifs related to trains and crashes to deepen the thematic resonance of the scene.



Scene 4 -  Secret Movie and Family Dinner
15 INT. THE GARAGE OF THE FABELMAN HOUSE - AFTERNOON 15

Reflected in the broken TV screens, Sammy sets up his shot,
placing the train, the toy car driven by Noah and the tilted
ark on the tracks. Mitzi enters with Burt’s movie camera.
She smiles at him, his complete absorption in the task.

MITZI
Sammy? We’re going to use Daddy’s
camera to film it. Only crash the
train once, OK? Then after we get
the film developed, you can watch
it crash over and over till it’s
not so scary anymore. And your real
train won’t ever get broken.

Sammy rises eagerly to take the camera, but Mitzi holds onto
it as she kneels before him.

MITZI (CONT’D)
One other thing, Dolly... Let’s not
tell your father. It’ll be our
secret movie, just yours and mine.
(with a wink:)
Okay?

SAMMY
Okay.
Conformed Draft 14.

16 INT. THE FABELMAN HOUSE - EVENING 16

Burt bursts through the front door carrying a TV set. As he
heads to the kitchen:

BURT
Sorry I’m late! I picked up Mrs.
Moynahan’s Motorola. There’s no
room left in the workshop. Where
should I put it?

MITZI
The living room, I guess.

Burt staggers away with the TV set. Right behind him,
Hadassah, struggling to get free, clutching her huge knitting
bag, is being carried in by BENNIE LOEWY, 35, Burt’s work
associate and friend, working-class, balding, heavyset,
cherubic face, sweet smile, mischievous twinkle.

BENNIE
(calling into the
kitchen:)
Hey, sorry I’m late, I picked up
Mrs. Fabelman. Where should I put
her?

HADASSAH
Otpusti menya, kayzol, tebe shto,
nyeh stiidno?!
(Put me down you big
goatish lump, you should
be ashamed!)

Hadassah grabs Bennie’s ear and twists, HARD, forcing him to
put her down.

BENNIE
OWWWW!!!! OW OW OW!

Sammy rushes through the door, past the pair, and straight to
the kitchen, where Mitzi’s got a huge meal going: pots on the
stove, a brisket and a casserole in the oven. She’s turning
the crank of a large metal grinder, making chopped chicken
liver.

SAMMY
Did the mail come?!?

MITZI
(to Sammy:)
It’s on the table.
Conformed Draft 15.


Sammy runs to the dining table and rifles through the mail.
Hadassah finally extricates herself from Bennie.

HADASSAH
Cossack.

She enters the kitchen with a bag of knitting supplies. After
a brief, silent stare down with Mitzi, she crosses to open
the oven.

HADASSAH (CONT’D)
This is brisket?

In the dining room, Sammy happily snatches a box of processed
Kodak film from Bennie.

SAMMY
MY MOVIE!

MITZI
Ah ah ah! After supper.

She plucks the film from his hands and puts the film box in
her apron pocket.
18 CUT TO: 18

Burt, Bennie, Mitzi, Reggie, Sammy, Natalie and Hadassah,
still visiting, are eating Mitzi’s superabundant shabbos
meal. The plates, the tablecloth, the napkins are paper; the
flatware and cups are plastic. Bennie is seated between
Natalie and Burt. Two candles are burning and there’s a
challah:

BURT
The amount of magnetism is
increased by how magnetically
permeable the core material is. The
tricky thing is how permeable -

BENNIE MITZI
Right, though eddy currents Am I supposed to be following
can cause energy loss, it’s - any of this?

BURT
(to Mitzi:)
You know what a magnetic field is,
right?

MITZI
Well, sure, I mean - Sammy, do you
know what a magnetic field is?
Conformed Draft 16.


SAMMY
Can I be excused?

BURT
Nope.

SAMMY
But I need to, just for a minute?!

BURT
What’s so urgent?

HADASSAH
(to Burt:)
Honey. This tastes funny, Burt. It
tastes funny on a plastic fork.

BURT
Mom...

HADASSAH
Is she saving the silverware for
when the Eisenhowers drop by?

BURT
(to Mitzi:)
The problem is we’re using vacuum
tubes, not transistors, and
magnetic cores to access -

BENNIE
35,000 magnetic cores!
(to Sammy:)
Hey, Sam, you know how on your
father’s camera, when the film runs
out?

Sammy is instantly interested.

BENNIE (CONT’D)
When that happens what do you do?

SAMMY
(With authority, even a
little condescension
because it’s so obvious:)
Load more film?

BENNIE
The same with computers, you have
to load more tape, and that slows
everything down.
Conformed Draft 17.


BENNIE (CONT’D) * BURT
But we’ve figured out how to * Mitts, the chopped liver was
take a whole bunch of tapes beyond belief.
loaded with data - *

Mitzi shushes Burt with a gesture, focused on Bennie.

BENNIE (CONT’D)
- and instead of changing tapes
every ten seconds, this new machine
he’s engineering -

He points to Reggie, who eagerly leaps up for her cue.

REGGIE
The BIZMAC!

BENNIE
The Bizmac! It can search for
information through all these tapes
at once. You never need to change
any of ‘em! It’ll be ten times
faster!

Mitzi takes Burt’s hand and says to Bennie:

MITZI
I love Burt’s brain, especially
when you’re around to explain
what’s in it.

Hadassah looks up from her plate, fixing Mitzi, then Bennie
with a look.

SAMMY
Mom!! I have to go upstairs now!

BURT
Not until you’ve finish eating.

MITZI
He cleaned his plate.

NATALIE
No he didn’t!

Natalie picks up Sammy’s plate, revealing that he’s hidden
almost all his food in a semi-circle under the rim.

BURT
Sammy.

Burt’s about to scold Sammy, who’s staring daggers at
Natalie, when Bennie jumps in.
Conformed Draft 18.


BENNIE
Hey Natalie, I think there’s
something under your plate!

NATALIE
No there isn’t!

Mitzi quietly crooks a finger to summon her son.

MITZI
Sammy.

BENNIE
(to Natalie)
Lift it up and check! I saw it
moving.

Natalie lifts her plate. There’s a big black spider
underneath. She screams!!

Bennie snatches the spider and pops it in his mouth and
chews. Natalie screams again, and Reggie joins her.

While the girls scream at Bennie’s anties, Mitzi takes the
film from her apron pocket and slips it to Sammy, who runs
out.

Bennie chews; grinning, mouth full, he says, a la Spencer
Tracy in Adam’s Rib:

BENNIE (CONT’D)
Licorice! If there’s anything I’m a
sucker for it’s licorice.

Everyone bursts out laughing.

NATALIE
Uncle Bennie, that was sooooo
disgusting!! So gross!

HADASSAH
Natalie! He is not your uncle.
(to Mitzi, pointedly:)
Also he is not that funny.

MITZI
(as she tries to get
control of her laughing:)
Uncle is a term of affection.

Hadassah grunts, then resumes eating. Mitzi, still giggling,
starts clearing the food, leaving the paper- and plastic-ware
on the table.
Conformed Draft 19.


HADASSAH
Natalie, he’s not related. He’s
only always here because he works
for my son.

BURT
He’s only always here because he’s
my best friend.

BENNIE
And deep down inside you, Mrs.
Fabelman, admit it: I’m your friend
too.

HADASSAH
Deep down inside of me is none of
your business.

Hadassah goes back to eating.

MITZI
Sid Caesar’s on at 8!
(to Reggie and Natalie:)
Help me.

Hadassah knows what’s coming; she lifts up her plate and
keeps eating. Meanwhile the girls jump up and grab two ends
of the paper tablecloth, while Mitzi grabs an end, then
gestures to Bennie to do likewise. He does.

BURT
Natalie, get that corner.

BENNIE
Get the corner! Get the corner!!

REGGIE
Can I help you take it out?

The girls, Mitzi and Bennie bring the four ends of the
tablecloth together, enfolding the plates, cups, plasticware
within.
Genres: ["Family","Comedy","Drama"]

Summary Mitzi and Sammy secretly film a train crash while Burt is away. Hadassah, Burt's mother, arrives with Burt, leading to a brief confrontation with Mitzi. Benny explains how a new computer works to Sammy, who hides his food. Natalie discovers the food, prompting Bennie to pop a spider in his mouth. Mitzi gives Sammy the processed film from her apron pocket, and he rushes out.
Strengths
  • Character development
  • Humor
  • Family dynamics
Weaknesses
  • Lack of significant plot progression
  • Low stakes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively balances humor, tension, and heartwarming moments, providing insight into the characters and their relationships.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a family dinner as a backdrop for character interactions is well-executed, offering a glimpse into the family dynamics and individual personalities.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the family dinner and the interactions between the characters, providing both comedic and tense moments.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on family dynamics and relationships, with unique character interactions and dialogue that feel authentic and engaging.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and their personalities shine through in their interactions during the dinner scene.

Character Changes: 6

While there are no significant character changes in this scene, the interactions hint at potential growth and development for the characters.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to feel secure and safe, as shown by his desire to watch the train crash repeatedly until it's not scary anymore. This reflects his need for comfort and reassurance.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to keep the movie-making a secret from his father. This reflects the immediate challenge of maintaining a special bond with his mother and having a personal project without interference.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

There is a moderate level of conflict, mostly in the form of humorous disagreements and tension between the characters.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicts arising from the characters' differing goals and beliefs, creating tension and drama.

High Stakes: 5

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on character interactions and dynamics.

Story Forward: 7

The scene provides insight into the characters and their relationships, moving the story forward in terms of character development.

Unpredictability: 7

The scene is unpredictable due to the unexpected interactions between characters and the humorous twists in the dialogue.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict revolves around the idea of secrecy and trust within the family. It challenges the protagonist's beliefs about honesty and loyalty.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene elicits a range of emotions from the audience, including laughter, warmth, and a hint of anxiety.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is engaging, with a mix of humor and tension, reflecting the relationships and dynamics within the family.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging due to its mix of humor, tension, and emotional depth, keeping the audience invested in the characters and their relationships.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective, with a good balance of dialogue, action, and character interactions that maintain the audience's interest.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene descriptions and dialogue formatting that enhance readability.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a coherent structure with clear character motivations and interactions, contributing to the overall narrative flow.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear focus or central conflict, making it feel disjointed and lacking in tension.
  • The dialogue feels forced and unnatural at times, particularly the interactions between the characters.
  • The transition between Mitzi setting up the shot with Sammy and the chaotic dinner scene with Bennie and Hadassah is abrupt and doesn't flow smoothly.
  • The humor in the scene, such as Bennie eating the spider, feels out of place and forced, detracting from the emotional depth of the scene.
  • The scene lacks emotional depth and fails to explore the underlying tensions and dynamics between the characters, particularly Sammy and his parents.
Suggestions
  • Focus on establishing a clear central conflict or theme for the scene to create a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Work on making the dialogue more natural and reflective of the characters' personalities and relationships.
  • Consider restructuring the scene to create a smoother transition between Mitzi setting up the shot with Sammy and the chaotic dinner scene.
  • Avoid relying on forced humor and instead focus on developing the emotional depth of the characters and their relationships.
  • Explore the underlying tensions and dynamics between the characters, particularly Sammy and his parents, to add depth and complexity to the scene.



Scene 5 -  Sammy's Film
19 INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM CLOSET, HADDON HEIGHTS - EVENING 19

CU the Kodak film spooling through the projector, light
streaming through the lens, and played out on the “screen” of
Sammy’s palms, the footage of the Lionel train wreck. Sammy
watches wide-eyed.
Conformed Draft 20.

19 INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM, HADDON HEIGHTS - SAME 19

Mitzi enters. The room’s dark. Sammy is nowhere in sight.

She hears a whirring noise, sees the closet, the door of
which is closed. From under the closet door, a bluish
flickering light.

Mitzi knocks gently.

MITZI
Sammy?

19 INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM CLOSET, HADDON HEIGHTS - EVENING 19

The door opens. Without a word, Sammy reaches up and takes
Mitzi’s hand, pulling her in. She smiles, confused.

MITZI
What?

Moments later, ensconced in darkness, Sammy, seated on the
floor by Mitzi, turns on the projector.

On the closet wall ahead of them, an 8”X10” rectangle of
light appears, and Sammy’s train crash movie starts to play.

First the train, rounding the bend and passing the camera.

Then there’s a flash of light. Then we see the Ark on the
tracks with the car in front of it. Sammy’s fingers make
Noah climb into the car.

Another flash. The train is coming right at the lens, its
light getting brighter and brighter. Then another flash.

Mitzi is unable to take her eyes off the film. The car,
driven by Noah, is coming right at the lens of the camera.

Another flash of light, then a side angle as the train
smashes into the car. The car flips up and Noah goes flying!
Another flash, then the camera itself is speeding towards the
ark! Another flash, and the train is heading straight at the
lens! It collides into the camera! Mitzi gasps! Sammy takes
her arm and watches her closely, seeking her approval.

Another flash of light, then Mitzi, spellbound, watches the
train crash into the ark, the trains accordion and uncouple;
another flash and the ark falls over and the animals inside
fly out towards the camera. Mitzi gasps again.
Conformed Draft 21.


SAMMY
I had to crash it a whole lot of
times but the train never got hurt.

The end of the film flaps past the gate. The projector lights
up the whole closet. Mitzi stares at Sammy.

MITZI
Oh Dolly! That was the greatest
show on earth!

Sammy looks back at her, an oddly serious expression on his
face.

MITZI (CONT’D)
More! More! More! More! More!

Sammy grins hugely.
Genres: ["Family","Drama","Coming-of-age"]

Summary Sammy and Mitzi watch a film in Sammy's closet. Mitzi is impressed by the film and asks for more.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Authentic character interactions
  • Exploration of childhood themes
Weaknesses
  • Limited external conflict
  • Relatively low stakes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines elements of family bonding, childhood wonder, and emotional growth, creating a poignant and memorable moment in the story.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of using a model train crash as a metaphor for Sammy's emotional journey and his need for control is well-executed and adds depth to the narrative.

Plot: 7

The plot advances as Sammy explores his fascination with the train crash, leading to a pivotal moment of connection with his mother and a deeper understanding of his emotions.

Originality: 9

The scene is original in its portrayal of a child's creative expression through filmmaking and the emotional impact it has on others. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters, especially Sammy and Mitzi, are well-developed and their interactions feel authentic and heartfelt. Their relationship is central to the scene's emotional impact.

Character Changes: 8

Sammy undergoes a significant emotional change as he confronts his fear and finds a sense of control through the model train crash, deepening his bond with his mother.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to impress and entertain Mitzi with his film of the train crash. This reflects his desire for approval and validation from someone he cares about.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to showcase his creativity and talent in filmmaking to Mitzi. This reflects his immediate challenge of expressing himself and connecting with others through his art.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 4

While there is a subtle conflict between Sammy's desire for control and his mother's guidance, the scene primarily focuses on emotional growth and connection rather than intense conflict.

Opposition: 6

The opposition in the scene is mild, with Mitzi's initial confusion and later enthusiasm providing a small obstacle for Sammy to overcome.

High Stakes: 3

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on personal growth and emotional connection rather than external conflicts or high-risk situations.

Story Forward: 6

While the scene primarily focuses on character development and emotional resonance, it also moves the story forward by highlighting Sammy's internal journey and his evolving relationship with his family.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional depth and impact of Sammy's film on Mitzi, adding layers to their relationship.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict is between Sammy's innocence and creativity in creating the film and Mitzi's reaction to the violent content of the train crash. This challenges Sammy's belief in the power of storytelling and the impact it can have on others.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes a strong emotional response through its exploration of childhood wonder, family bonds, and personal growth, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the emotions and dynamics between the characters, enhancing the scene's themes of family, imagination, and growth.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the emotional connection between Sammy and Mitzi, the suspense of the film screening, and the unique visual elements described.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional impact, leading to a satisfying resolution with Mitzi's enthusiastic reaction to the film.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene effectively conveys the visual and emotional elements of the film screening, enhancing the reader's immersion in the moment.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene follows a clear progression from Sammy setting up the projector to showing the film to Mitzi, building tension and emotional impact.


Critique
  • The scene effectively captures the intimate moment between Sammy and Mitzi as they bond over watching the film together in the closet.
  • The use of the projector in the darkened closet creates a sense of intimacy and focus on the film being watched.
  • The visual descriptions of the train crash movie playing on the wall are vivid and engaging, drawing the reader into the scene.
  • The interaction between Sammy and Mitzi is heartwarming and showcases their close relationship.
  • The scene effectively conveys Sammy's passion for filmmaking and his desire for approval from his mother.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more dialogue between Sammy and Mitzi to further explore their relationship and emotions during the film screening.
  • Introduce more sensory details to enhance the immersive experience of watching the film in the closet.
  • Explore Sammy's internal thoughts and feelings during the screening to provide deeper insight into his character and motivations.
  • Consider incorporating subtle foreshadowing or hints about future developments in Sammy's filmmaking journey to add depth to the scene.
  • Experiment with different camera angles and lighting techniques to visually enhance the portrayal of the train crash movie playing on the wall.



Scene 6 -  The Mummy and the Dentist
20 INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - AFTERNOON 20

Reggie steps into frame in a dentist smock made of one of
Burt’s shirts on backwards, Mitzi’s makeup mirror taped to
her forehead, in Groucho glasses, a fat bubblegum cigar in
her teeth.

Natalie is her patient in a folding chair, feet up on a stack
of Encyclopedias, a napkin tucked into her collar. Sammy
grabs her chin and adjusts her position.

SAMMY
Head back. Open. Candy corn in.

NATALIE
Ahhhhh.

Reggie shoves a spoonful of candy corn into Natalie’s mouth.
Sammy loads another spoon with ketchup.

Reggie hops in giddy anticipation, a piece of candy corn
already loaded in her pliers.

SAMMY
(to Natalie:)
Say “ah”. Head back. Ketchup.
‘Kay... Scream like it hurts.

He grabs the camera and starts filming as Reggie shoves a
pair of pliers in Natalie’s open mouth to yank her “tooth”.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Pull it!
Conformed Draft 22.

A20 INT. THE LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON A20

Mitzi, seated at the upright piano, opens a book of The
Goldberg Variations. She finds the one she’s looking for,
positions her hands above the keys, readies herself and, just
as she’s about to play: she’s nearly knocked off the bench by
Natalie SCREAMING A BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM upstairs!!

20 INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - AFTERNOON 20

The door flies and Mitzi charges in, agog with terror, just
as Natalie spews a gory spray of candy corn teeth and ketchup-
blood all over Reggie’s dentist’s smock. All while Sammy
films. Mitzi is equally shocked and amused.

MITZI
Sammy!

21 INT. NATALIE AND REGGIE’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 21

A giggling Reggie lies on the floor, wrapped in strips of
torn-up bedsheet from the neck down. Sammy wraps her face and
hands in toilet paper, which Natalie feeds to him from an
immense pile of unspooled toilet paper.

Sammy soaks Reggie’s tissue-wrapped face and hands with a
squirt gun, producing the effect of hideously wrinkled flesh
that, to Sammy’ s evident satisfaction, resembles Boris
Karloff’s in The Mummy!

Reggie opens her eyes, raises her arms, stiff and
perpendicular, and growls, teeth bared:

REGGIE
GRRRRRRR!!!

Standing on the bed, an already “mummified” Natalie howls
with her sister.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Comedy","Family"]

Summary Reggie and Natalie engage in playful antics, pretending to be a dentist and patient before transforming into mummies with Sammy filming their theatrics.
Strengths
  • Humorous dialogue
  • Creative play scenarios
  • Strong character interactions
Weaknesses
  • Lack of significant conflict
  • Limited character development

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is highly entertaining, filled with humor and lighthearted moments that showcase the family's dynamics and the children's creativity.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of children engaging in imaginative play and pranks, while the adults react in amusing ways, is well-executed and adds a fun element to the scene.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the children's playful antics and the reactions of the adults, creating a light-hearted and entertaining narrative.

Originality: 9

The scene demonstrates a high level of originality through its fresh approach to family dynamics, comedic pranks, and character interactions. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters, especially the children, are well-developed and their personalities shine through in their actions and dialogue.

Character Changes: 5

While there are no significant character changes in the scene, the children's creativity and the adults' reactions showcase different aspects of their personalities.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal is to have fun and bond with her family through playful activities. This reflects her desire for connection and joy in her relationships.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to successfully pull off a prank on her sister and create a memorable experience. This reflects the immediate challenge of executing the prank without getting caught.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 4

The conflict in the scene is minimal, focusing more on comedic misunderstandings and playful pranks.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong enough to create tension and conflict, as the characters face challenges in executing their pranks and dealing with unexpected outcomes.

High Stakes: 3

The stakes in the scene are low, focusing more on comedic situations and playful interactions.

Story Forward: 6

The scene adds to the overall narrative by highlighting the family dynamics and the children's imaginative play.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected pranks, comedic twists, and surprising character reactions that keep the audience guessing and entertained.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict in this scene is the balance between humor and fear. The characters engage in playful pranks that border on the grotesque, challenging societal norms of appropriate behavior and personal boundaries.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 6

The scene evokes a sense of joy and amusement, with moments of surprise and light-hearted fun.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is witty and humorous, capturing the playful interactions between the characters.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its comedic elements, unexpected plot twists, and dynamic character interactions that keep the audience entertained and invested in the story.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by maintaining a comedic rhythm, building tension through the pranks, and delivering comedic payoffs at the right moments.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene adheres to the expected format for its genre, with proper scene headings, character actions, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene follows the expected format for its genre, with clear scene transitions, character introductions, and comedic beats.


Critique
  • The scene transitions abruptly from Reggie playing dentist with Natalie to Mitzi being shocked and amused by the chaos in the bathroom, which can be disorienting for the audience.
  • The humor in the scene, while intended to be lighthearted, may come across as forced or exaggerated, especially with the over-the-top reactions and actions of the characters.
  • The use of candy corn and ketchup as props for the dental scene may be seen as unrealistic and may not resonate well with the audience.
  • The sudden shift from the bathroom chaos to Mitzi playing the piano and being interrupted by Natalie's scream feels disjointed and could benefit from a smoother transition.
  • The visual of Natalie spewing a gory spray of candy corn teeth and ketchup-blood may be too graphic or exaggerated for the tone of the scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider refining the humor in the scene to make it more subtle and relatable to the audience.
  • Ensure a smoother transition between the different moments in the scene to maintain coherence and flow.
  • Reconsider the use of props like candy corn and ketchup to make the scene more realistic and engaging.
  • Explore different ways to convey the chaos and humor in the bathroom scene without resorting to exaggerated actions or reactions.
  • Adjust the visual elements to strike a balance between humor and realism, avoiding overly graphic or exaggerated moments.



Scene 7 -  Running Out of Toilet Paper
22 INT. MITZI AND BURT’S BATHROOM - AFTERNOON 22

Mitzi reaches to get some toilet paper. The roll is empty.
She reaches behind her head for the spare and finds another
empty roll.

CUT BACK TO:
Conformed Draft 23.

22A INT. FABELMAN KITCHEN - SAME 22A

Dramatically backlit by a big flashlight, Mummified Reggie
and Natalie, arms raised and growling ferociously, lurch
towards Sammy’s camera. He moves backwards, several steps
ahead of them, moving his camera side-to-side to augment The
Mummies’ lurching.

22 INT. MITZI AND BURT’S BATHROOM - AFTERNOON 22

Mitzi looks to the shelf above the toilet and finds a
multitude of empty cardboard toilet-paper tubes.


INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM - AFTERNOON

Reggie and Natalie are blindfolded with handkerchiefs as
Sammy guides them into his room, darkened by drapes. He
stands them before his open closet. Inside, a bright light
shines out from a spinning color wheel, seated next to
Sammy’s camera. He gets into the closet, grabbing the camera
and a rope.

SAMMY
Take off the blindfolds.

As the girls remove the handkerchiefs, Sammy pulls the rope,
causing a ghoulish model skeleton to come lunging out from
between the hanging clothes. Reggie and Natalie SCREAM!

27 INT. FABELMAN HOUSE - AFTERNOON 27

Mitzi comes to the bottom of the stairs, one hand holding a
baby bottle, the other supporting new baby LISA, 5 months
old, on her hip. She calls upstairs.

SCREEN TITLE: THE FOLLOWING YEAR

MITZI
SAMMMMMY!!!
(a beat, then:)
REGGIE!!! NATALIE!!! COME
DOWNSTAIRS PRONTO!! YOUR FATHER HAS
AN ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
28 CUT TO: 28


INT. FABELMAN LIVING ROOM - SAME

The kids are seated on the sofa in the living room. Mitzi
sits with them, feeding baby LISA, 5 months old, from a
Conformed Draft 24.


bottle. Burt stands, a nervous grin on his face. Behind him,
TV sets waiting to be repaired.

BURT
General Electric wants to hire me,
because of what I did on Bizmac.

The kids - Sammy, now 8, Natalie, now 5, and Reggie, now 6 -
listen raptly.

BURT (CONT’D)
They want to use my electronic
library system to - I don’t think
they have any notion what I can do
with it! And I’ll make more money!

REGGIE
Is uncle Bennie coming too?

MITZI BURT
Well, Daddy and me hadn’t had (surprised, bemused:)
a chance to - Bennie? No, he lives here -

MITZI (CONT’D)
Burt?

Taken by surprise, maybe even a little nettled, Burt looks at
Mitzi, waiting for an answer. Realizing he needs to address
the issue:

BURT
Uh... I’ll miss your Uncle Bennie,
too.

Then, as if nothing’s happened, he resumes with the kids:

BURT (CONT’D)
But Phoenix is a real neat city.
It’s on the rise!
Genres: ["Family","Comedy","Drama"]

Summary Mitzi discovers she has run out of toilet paper. Sammy, Reggie, and Natalie continue filming their movie. Burt announces that General Electric wants to hire him and the family will be moving to Phoenix.
Strengths
  • Heartwarming family moments
  • Creative activities like setting up a model train crash
  • Engaging dialogue and interactions
Weaknesses
  • Minimal conflict
  • Limited character development in this specific scene

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively captures the joy and playfulness of a family celebration while introducing new elements to keep the audience engaged.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a family celebration with unique activities like setting up a model train crash and filming adds depth and creativity to the scene.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the family celebration and Burt's exciting job opportunity, providing a good balance of personal and professional elements.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a mix of mundane and dramatic elements in a suburban setting, adding a fresh perspective to family dynamics and career aspirations.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are engaging and relatable, each contributing to the family dynamic and the playful activities in the scene.

Character Changes: 6

While there are no significant character changes in this scene, the introduction of baby Lisa hints at potential growth and development within the family.

Internal Goal: 8

Mitzi's internal goal in this scene is to maintain a sense of normalcy and control in the face of unexpected events, such as running out of toilet paper and dealing with her children's reactions to their father's announcement.

External Goal: 9

Burt's external goal is to announce his new job opportunity to his family and receive their support and excitement.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 3

There is minimal conflict in the scene, focusing more on the positive and joyful moments within the family.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong enough to create conflict and tension, keeping the audience engaged in the characters' struggles.

High Stakes: 4

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on family bonding and celebration rather than intense conflict or drama.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by introducing Burt's job opportunity and showcasing the family's dynamics and relationships.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable due to the unexpected twists and turns in the characters' actions and dialogue.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

There is a subtle philosophical conflict between Burt's desire for success and recognition in his career and Mitzi's concern for family relationships and stability.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene evokes feelings of joy, nostalgia, and amusement, creating an emotional connection with the audience.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is light-hearted and natural, reflecting the family's interactions and excitement during the celebration.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its mix of humor, drama, and unexpected events that keep the audience invested in the characters' lives.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene builds tension and suspense, leading to a climactic moment with Burt's announcement.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene headings and character actions.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a clear structure with distinct settings and character interactions, contributing to the overall narrative flow.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a mundane task of Mitzi discovering empty toilet paper rolls, which doesn't add much to the overall story or character development.
  • The transition to the kitchen with Reggie and Natalie pretending to be mummies feels disjointed and doesn't connect well with the previous bathroom scene.
  • The interaction between Mitzi and Burt in the bathroom searching for toilet paper tubes lacks depth and doesn't contribute significantly to the plot.
  • The sudden shift to Sammy guiding Reggie and Natalie into his darkened room to scare them with a skeleton feels abrupt and out of place.
  • The announcement from Burt about General Electric wanting to hire him and the family moving to Phoenix seems rushed and doesn't allow for a natural buildup of tension or excitement.
Suggestions
  • Consider revising the opening bathroom scene to have more relevance to the characters or plot development.
  • Ensure smoother transitions between scenes to maintain a cohesive flow of the story.
  • Add more substance to the interaction between Mitzi and Burt in the bathroom to deepen their relationship or reveal more about their characters.
  • Integrate the scare prank with Reggie and Natalie in Sammy's room more seamlessly into the overall narrative.
  • Revisit the announcement scene to build up anticipation and emotional impact for the family's big news.



Scene 8 -  Fleeing the Tornado
30 INT. THE FABELMAN HOUSE - AFTERNOON 30

BANG! The door of Mitzi and Burt’s bedroom flies open and
Mitzi storms out. As Mitzi descends the stairs, Burt follows
her, arguing:

BURT
They only just hired me, I’ve got
no pull there yet. I can’t ask
General Electric to hire somebody
else on my say-so, that’s not how
it works.
Conformed Draft 25.


MITZI
Don’t ask them, do it yourself.
They’re hiring you to manage.
Managers hire. Hire Bennie.

Mitzi reaches the first floor. She sees baby Lisa neglected
in her bassinet. Sammy and his sisters are gathered at the
front window.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Who’s watching --? Sammy!

Mitzi pulls the now-crying Lisa into her arms as Burt
continues to plead his case.

BURT
He’s gotta make a name for himself
at RCA, that’s what I did. He’ll
stay in New Jersey, get out from
under my shadow, and then he can -

MITZI
He needs you, Burt. He’s -

SAMMY (O.S.)
There’s a tornado outside!!

MITZI
Yeah? Well, there’s a bigger one in
here!
(turning on Burt:)
Honestly, honestly Burt sometimes I
wanna shake you. You - You’re gonna
leave him behind with just a, a
shrug?

Reggie grabs Mitzi’s arm to pull her towards the window.

MITZI (CONT’D) KIDS
See you later?! Once we’re Mommy! Mommy, look! Mom!
gone, who’ll he have left in Mommy! Look!
New Jersey? You have an
opportunity to help your best
friend! Honestly!! Wake up.

The kids’ insistent cries finally snap Mitzi around to them.

MITZI (CONT’D)
WHAT?

NATALIE
Look! There’s a tornado outside!
I’m scared!
Conformed Draft 26.

31 EXT. OUTSIDE THE FABELMAN HOUSE - AFTERNOON 31

Mitzi opens the front door and emerges with Lisa in her arms.
It’s wildly windy and very dark.

MITZI
(laughing)
Wow... Oh...

Mitzi, holding Lisa, stands in the street, looking at a
funnel cloud forming, several miles away. The kids and Burt
come out onto the front porch.

MITZI (CONT’D)
You weren’t kidding!

REGGIE
How close is it? Why does the sky
look -

Mitzi, a little wild, hands Lisa to Burt. As the baby starts
to fuss, she gathers the other kids.

MITZI
Come on! Come on, let’s go see!

She hustles the kids into the car. Burt trails her across
the yard, still holding Lisa, puzzled.

BURT
Mitts? Where are you going?!
MITTS! Where are... Hey?!

Burt watches as the car starts, then begins to back up,
faster than it should. Inside are the three kids, and Mitzi
at the wheel. Burt walks towards the car.

BURT (CONT’D)
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!

The car tears off, leaving Burt and Lisa behind in the cul de
sac.

BURT (CONT’D)
MITTS! MITZI!!!


INT./EXT. THE STREETS OF HADDON HEIGHTS - AFTERNOON

Sammy, Reggie, and Natalie lean forward from the back seat,
craning to see through the front window. Outside, high winds,
small branches from trees littering the street, and rain.
Conformed Draft 27.


Some cars pull over and Mitzi swerves around them, causing
other drivers to honk.

REGGIE
Where is it, I can’t see it anymore-

MITZI
Up ahead somewhere, we’ll find it.

SAMMY
(pointing)
Mom, it’s there! It’s there!!

Up ahead, the funnel cloud reappears, moving from left to
right. Cars have begun to pull to the right and left sides of
the street.

Mitzi accelerates and drives straight up the middle of the
street, now empty of traffic. Sammy sees that the traffic
lights are swinging wildly from side to side.

A couple of telephone poles begin to rock back and forth.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Is this s-safe?

MITZI
(laughing:)
Of course it’s safe! I’m your
mother!

A transformer box on one of the poles blows with a bang and a
shower of sparks. The children SCREAM.

KIDS
STOP! STOP!!

Mitzi slams on the brakes, pulling up short at an
intersection. Rain pours down and the rising wind drives a
fleet of abandoned shopping carts down the cross street. It’s
a sobering sight for Mitzi.

The kids slump back, relieved. Mitzi seems to realize how
irrational she is being. She puts her head on the wheel,
calming herself.

MITZI
(softly, hesitantly)
Everything happens for a reason.
Everything happens for a reason.
Everything happens for a reason.
(terrified, asking the
kids for support:)
Conformed Draft 28.


Say it with me! Everything happens
for a reason!

SAMMY, REGGIE, NATALIE AND MITZI
Everything happens for a reason!

As Mitzi and the girls repeat this, Sammy falls silent; he
stares out the window, puzzled and apprehensive.

REGGIE, NATALIE AND MITZI
Everything happens for a reason!

Over this: The Sons Of The Pioneers recording of Tim
Spencer’s “By A Campfire On The Trail.”
Genres: ["Family Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Mitzi argues with Burt about hiring her brother, then takes the kids to see a tornado against Burt's wishes. The kids are initially excited but quickly become scared as the tornado's destructive power becomes evident. Mitzi reassures them with the mantra 'everything happens for a reason' as the tornado rages outside.
Strengths
  • Effective blend of tension and humor
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
Weaknesses
  • Some moments of confusion in the action sequences

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines tension, humor, and emotional depth, keeping the audience engaged and invested in the characters' struggles.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a sudden tornado disrupting a family's dynamics and revealing underlying tensions is well-executed and adds depth to the story.

Plot: 7

The plot advances as the family faces a crisis, highlighting their relationships and individual struggles.

Originality: 8

The scene presents a fresh take on the family drama genre, combining domestic conflict with a natural disaster scenario. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters' reactions to the tornado reveal their personalities and relationships, adding depth to the scene.

Character Changes: 7

Mitzi's irrational behavior and the family's reactions to the tornado lead to subtle character changes and growth.

Internal Goal: 8

Mitzi's internal goal is to protect her children and make sense of the chaotic situation. This reflects her deeper need for control and security in the face of uncertainty.

External Goal: 7

Mitzi's external goal is to navigate the storm and keep her family safe. This reflects the immediate challenge of the tornado and the need to make quick decisions under pressure.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 8

The conflict between Burt and Mitzi, as well as the external conflict of the tornado, creates tension and drives the scene forward.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with the protagonist facing external challenges such as the storm and internal conflicts within her family. The audience is kept on edge, unsure of how Mitzi will overcome these obstacles.

High Stakes: 7

The high stakes of a sudden tornado and the family's unity being tested add tension and urgency to the scene.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by revealing more about the characters' relationships and setting up future conflicts.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because of the sudden turn of events, unexpected decisions made by the characters, and the chaotic nature of the storm. The audience is kept on edge, unsure of what will happen next.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene is between Mitzi's belief in fate ('Everything happens for a reason') and the chaotic, unpredictable nature of the storm. This challenges Mitzi's worldview and forces her to confront her beliefs in the face of danger.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The emotional impact of the family facing a crisis together is palpable, engaging the audience and deepening the character development.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the characters' emotions and conflicts, enhancing the tension and humor of the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its high stakes, emotional conflict, and fast-paced action. The audience is drawn into the characters' struggles and fears, creating a sense of urgency and suspense.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene is well-executed, with a gradual buildup of tension, a climactic moment with the tornado, and a reflective resolution. The rhythm of the scene enhances its effectiveness and emotional impact.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected format for its genre, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue. The formatting enhances the readability and flow of the scene.

Structure: 9

The scene follows a clear structure with a buildup of tension, climax, and resolution. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a strong conflict between Mitzi and Burt regarding hiring Bennie at General Electric, which sets a tense tone for the rest of the scene.
  • The neglect of baby Lisa adds to the chaotic atmosphere and highlights the family's disarray.
  • The sudden appearance of a tornado outside creates a sense of urgency and danger, but the transition from the argument to the tornado could be smoother.
  • Mitzi's impulsive decision to take the kids to see the tornado without Burt's consent adds to the tension and showcases her erratic behavior.
  • The car ride to see the tornado is filled with suspense and danger, but the resolution with Mitzi realizing her irrationality and repeating 'Everything happens for a reason' feels rushed and somewhat out of place.
Suggestions
  • Consider building up the tension between Mitzi and Burt more gradually to create a stronger emotional impact.
  • Provide more context or foreshadowing for Mitzi's impulsive decision to take the kids to see the tornado to make it feel more organic to the scene.
  • Work on the transition between the argument inside the house and the discovery of the tornado outside to make it flow more smoothly.
  • Explore the aftermath of the tornado incident to delve deeper into the family dynamics and the impact of Mitzi's actions on the family.
  • Consider adding more layers to Mitzi's character to explain her behavior and decisions in a more nuanced way.



Scene 9 -  Journey to Orange Blossom Estates
33 EXT. THE ARIZONA DESERT - DAY 33

The song continues over a Plymouth Electra station wagon
driving past cactuses and tumbleweeds.

SCREEN TITLE: ARIZONA

In the rear window, Sammy is anxiously watching the desert,
alert for signs of danger; in his hands, the 8MM camera.

REGGIE (O.S.)
I think there’s something dead in
the road.

Sammy snaps to attention as the car passes, on the side of
the road, a dead armadillo, hugely swollen, flies buzzing
around it. With grim satisfaction that his worst expectations
of this hellish place have been confirmed, he raises the
camera and films the roadkill. Then he films his fellow
passengers.

SAMMY
Reggie, wave to the camera.
34 CUT TO: 34

8MM FILM, grainy, jumpy, overexposed. Reggie looks out the
right rear passenger window; she turns to make a horrible
face at the camera. Natalie pops up next to her, facing the
camera; she brings her mouth right up to the camera’s lens
and breathes, fogging it up. Sammy’s hand grabs her by the
shirt, pulls her up to the lens and uses her shirt to wipe it
clean. There’s no sound, but Sammy’s called to Burt, who
waves, eyes on the road. Mitzi turns from the front passenger
seat, and waves. The camera moves to the right-side seat
behind Mitzi, occupied by: BENNIE! He waves, mouthing “Hi,
Conformed Draft 29.


Sammy”, then raises his tiny Minox camera and takes a
photograph of Sammy filming him. (END OF 8MM)
35 CUT TO: 35

Frankie’s still singing. Camelback Mountain looms over
sprawling suburb, which a “For Sale” sign on the lawn
identifies as ORANGE BLOSSOM ESTATES. The station wagon
starts to pull into the driveway of a one-story house.

MITZI (O.S.)
Ooo, look! There it is!

BENNIE (O.S.)
It is!

The kids CHEER.

SAMMY (O.S.)
Lemme out, I want to take a shot of
you pulling in!

NATALIE (O.S.) REGGIE (O.S.)
NO!! I HAVE TO PEE!! NO NO!! Me too!

The car stops. Sammy jumps out, runs ahead. Reggie and
Natalie stick their heads out the window.

NATALIE AND REGGIE
NO. I. HAVE. TO. PEE.

Sammy ignores them, frames his shot then gives Burt the go-
ahead.

SAMMY
Keep coming... Keep coming, Dad.
You’re doing great.

Burt obediently pulls into the driveway. Sammy slowly raises
his hand, ready to halt the car.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Aaaaaaaaaannnnndd...

When the lens of Sammy’s camera completely fills the frame:

TIME CUT TO:

CU of SAMMY, NOW 14, yelling:

SAMMY (CONT’D)
STOP!! FREEZE!!
Conformed Draft 30.
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary The Johnson family drives through Arizona, with Sammy filming their journey and his family members, as they approach Orange Blossom Estates.
Strengths
  • Natural dialogue
  • Family bonding moments
  • Humor
Weaknesses
  • Minimal conflict
  • Low stakes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively captures the excitement and dynamics of a family road trip, blending humor and sentimentality.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a family road trip to a new home is engaging and relatable, with the added element of filming the journey adding a unique twist.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the family's journey to their new home, with a focus on the characters' interactions and the excitement of the road trip.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on a family road trip, blending elements of humor, tension, and nostalgia. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and add depth to the narrative.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are well-developed and their relationships are highlighted through their interactions during the road trip.

Character Changes: 6

While there are no significant character changes in this scene, the interactions between the characters show growth and bonding.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to capture moments on film, seeking validation and recognition for his filmmaking skills. This reflects his desire for approval and acknowledgment of his talent.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to document the road trip and create lasting memories with his family. This goal reflects the immediate circumstances of the journey and the desire to preserve moments.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 4

The scene is more focused on the positive aspects of the family's journey and the excitement of the road trip, with minimal conflict.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicting desires and priorities among the characters. The audience is left wondering how these tensions will be resolved.

High Stakes: 3

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on the positive aspects of the family's road trip.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by depicting the family's journey to their new home and setting the stage for the next phase of their lives.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable due to the unexpected twists in the characters' actions and the evolving dynamics within the family. The audience is kept on their toes, unsure of how the scene will unfold.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

There is a philosophical conflict between Sammy's passion for filmmaking and his family's practical concerns, as seen in the tension between capturing moments and the urgency of bathroom breaks. This conflict challenges Sammy's values and priorities.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene evokes a sense of nostalgia, excitement, and warmth, resonating with the audience on an emotional level.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is natural and reflects the family dynamics, adding humor and depth to the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its blend of humor, tension, and emotional depth. The characters' interactions and the unfolding events keep the audience invested in the story.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by balancing moments of tension with humor and emotional depth. The rhythm keeps the audience engaged and invested in the unfolding events.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue. The formatting enhances the readability and flow of the scene.

Structure: 8

The scene follows the expected structure for its genre, with a clear setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a strong visual of the Arizona desert, setting the tone for the location.
  • Sammy's anxiousness and alertness are well portrayed through his actions of filming the dead armadillo and his fellow passengers.
  • The use of the 8MM film format adds a unique and nostalgic touch to the scene, enhancing the storytelling.
  • The interaction between Sammy and his fellow passengers adds a layer of realism and humor to the scene.
  • The transition to Orange Blossom Estates is smooth and provides a sense of arrival and excitement.
  • The conflicting desires of Sammy to film and his sisters' need to use the bathroom create a relatable and humorous moment.
  • The final moment with Sammy yelling 'STOP!! FREEZE!!' adds a sense of anticipation and mystery, leaving the audience intrigued.
  • Overall, the scene effectively captures the dynamics of the family and sets up potential conflicts and developments.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more descriptive language to enhance the visuals of the Arizona desert and the station wagon journey.
  • Explore ways to further develop Sammy's character through his actions and reactions in the scene.
  • Ensure a smooth transition between the different elements of the scene to maintain the flow of the narrative.
  • Consider incorporating more sensory details to immerse the audience in the setting and atmosphere of the scene.
  • Continue to build tension and anticipation throughout the scene to keep the audience engaged and eager to see what happens next.



Scene 10 -  Scorpion Hunting Expedition
36 EXT. THE DESERT OUTSIDE PHOENIX - AFTERNOON 36

Three Boy Scouts freeze amid boulders: DEAN; TURKEY (real
name Fred); and HARK, (real name Harold). All hold fine-mesh
kitchen sieves, and Hark has a lunch box.

Sammy, also in uniform, reaches behind a rock to find an
angry scorpion that’s backing up, its tail coiled. Sammy
expertly lifts the scorpion by its tail.

SAMMY
Where’s the lunchbox? Where’s the
lunchbox?! Hurry!

DEAN
(calling to the others:)
WOW! GUYS, LOOK AT THE MONSTER
SAMMY CAUGHT!

SAL (O.S.) ROGER (O.S.)
I got some babies!! Sal found babies!! Sammy,
Dean, c’mon!

Sammy and Dean race around some boulders to join their fellow
Scouts. SAL (short for Salvador), shifts a massive rock as
they arrive:

SAL (CONT’D)
There’s a huge nest right there!
That’s a big one, Sammy!

They join Sal on his knees. Everyone scoops up tiny scorpions
in their sieves.

Hark runs over so the scorpions can be dropped in the
lunchbox, which Hark shakes to prevent them crawling up the
sides.

ROGER
SCORPIONS COME IN NESTS!

SAMMY
ACTUALLY IT’S A BED OF SCORPIONS -

ROGER, a bespectacled Scout, pontificates from atop a nearby
boulder.

ROGER
The baby scorpions are called
scorplings. They’re twice as
venomous. That’s - that’s why the
lab pays more.
Conformed Draft 31.


SAMMY
(shaking the box:)
There’s got to be like fifty of
‘em!

HARK
Well how much is the laboratory
gonna pay?

SAMMY
Fifty cents per baby!

HARK
That’s twenty-five bucks!

DEAN
For real?

ROGER
Well, what’re we gonna buy?
Genres: ["Comedy","Adventure"]

Summary Boy Scouts venture into the desert to collect baby scorpions for profit after discovering a large nest. Their excitement grows as they gather dozens of specimens, anticipating significant earnings from a laboratory sale.
Strengths
  • Engaging concept
  • Humorous dialogue
  • Character dynamics
Weaknesses
  • Low stakes
  • Lack of significant character development

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is engaging, humorous, and showcases the characters' adventurous nature. It keeps the audience entertained and curious about the outcome.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a scorpion hunt in the desert is unique and adds an adventurous element to the story. It showcases the characters' skills and knowledge in a fun and engaging way.

Plot: 7

The plot of the scene revolves around the boys' scorpion hunt, adding excitement and humor to the story. It moves the narrative forward and showcases the characters' personalities.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh and unique situation of Boy Scouts collecting scorpions in the desert, blending elements of adventure and humor. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are well-developed and their interactions during the scorpion hunt reveal their adventurous spirit and camaraderie. Each character has a distinct personality that adds depth to the scene.

Character Changes: 5

While there are no significant character changes in the scene, it does highlight the characters' skills, knowledge, and camaraderie, showcasing their growth and development.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to prove his knowledge and expertise to his fellow Scouts. This reflects his desire for recognition and validation from his peers.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to collect as many baby scorpions as possible to earn money for the laboratory. This goal reflects the immediate challenge of finding and capturing the scorpions.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 5

There is a mild conflict in the scene as the characters hunt for scorpions and encounter the challenge of capturing them. However, the conflict is resolved through teamwork and cooperation.

Opposition: 6

The opposition in the scene is moderate, with some challenges and conflicts that add tension and uncertainty to the characters' goals.

High Stakes: 4

The stakes in the scene are relatively low, focusing more on the characters' adventure and camaraderie during the scorpion hunt. However, the excitement and curiosity add a sense of urgency and thrill to the scene.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by adding an adventurous element and showcasing the characters' personalities and dynamics. It sets the stage for future developments in the narrative.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected twists in the characters' actions and dialogue, adding a sense of spontaneity and surprise.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the value of knowledge and expertise. Sammy's practical experience with scorpions clashes with Roger's theoretical knowledge, highlighting the contrast between hands-on skills and book smarts.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 6

The scene evokes a sense of excitement and curiosity, as the characters engage in a thrilling scorpion hunt. It also showcases the boys' camaraderie and teamwork, adding an emotional depth to the scene.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue in the scene is humorous and showcases the characters' knowledge about scorpions. It adds to the playful tone of the scene and enhances the camaraderie among the Boy Scouts.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its lively dialogue, dynamic character interactions, and humorous situations that keep the audience entertained and invested in the story.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is well-executed, with a good balance of action, dialogue, and character interactions that maintain the momentum and energy of the scene.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for a screenplay, with proper scene headings, character names, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The scene follows the expected format for a comedic adventure genre, with clear character introductions, dialogue exchanges, and a humorous resolution.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear purpose or conflict, making it feel disconnected from the overall story.
  • The dialogue feels forced and unnatural, with characters delivering exposition in an unrealistic manner.
  • The action of catching scorpions and discussing their value to a laboratory feels random and does not contribute to character development or plot progression.
  • The scene lacks emotional depth or resonance, failing to engage the audience on a deeper level.
  • There is a lack of visual description and sensory details to immerse the reader in the desert setting and the characters' actions.
Suggestions
  • Consider integrating the scene into the larger narrative by connecting it to the characters' emotional arcs or the central conflict of the story.
  • Focus on developing meaningful interactions between the characters that reveal their personalities, relationships, or internal struggles.
  • Add tension or stakes to the scene by introducing a conflict or obstacle that the characters must overcome.
  • Enhance the dialogue to sound more natural and reflective of how real people speak and interact.
  • Include vivid descriptions of the desert setting, the scorpion-catching process, and the characters' reactions to create a more immersive and engaging scene.



Scene 11 -  An Afternoon in Orange Grove Estates
37 INT. CAMERA STORE, PHOENIX - AFTERNOON 37

CU on three boxes of Kodachrome II 8MM film being plunked
down on the glass countertop.

CLERK (O.C.)
Twelve dollars even.

Sammy counts out the money and puts it on the counter.

38 EXT. A STREET IN ORANGE GROVE ESTATES - AFTERNOON 38

Sammy and his gang are on their bikes, riding down tree-lined
streets and green lawns. Sammy has the bag with the film.

HARK
Well it’s the Merit Badge for
photography, not movies. Manual
says you gotta tell a story with
still pictures!

SAMMY
Yeah, but all a movie is is still
pictures. You just put a bunch of
them together and they move.

ROGER
Yeah, but what kind of a movie are
we making?

They see a group of GIRLS their age coming down the street.
Conformed Draft 32.


SAL
Ooooh, Sammy, look, it’s Janet
Benedict!

Sammy stares at one of the girls, very pretty.

TURKEY
Hey, go on and talk to her, I dare
you!

HARK
He already talked to her.

TURKEY
No way!

DEAN
Like hell.

Sammy pedals harder, head down, passing by the girls.

39 INT./EXT. A MOVIE THEATER IN PHOENIX - LATE AFTERNOON 39

The boys jog up to the box office. In display cases on either
side of the box office, the marquee one-sheets read: Together
for the first time James Stewart John Wayne in the
masterpiece of four time Academy Award winner John Ford: The
Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

HARK
He did! He did! He walked right up
to her and -

SAL
(to Sammy:)
You went up to Janet Benedict?!

TURKEY
What’d you say to her?

SAMMY
Nothing!

HARK
Oh come on, tell ‘em what happened,
Sammy!

SAMMY
Nothing happened.

Sammy heads into the theater. Hark turns to the others.
Conformed Draft 33.


HARK
Something happened.

They follow Sammy inside.
40 CUT TO: 40

They boys are taking their seats in the already-darkened,
semi-full theater of OLD PEOPLE watching the afternoon
showing, already in progress.


ON SCREEN

STODDARD (Jimmy Stewart) dusts off an old stagecoach while a
REPORTER observes.

STODDARD (ON SCREEN)
- the same one.
(reading the coach sign)
“Overland” - Hey, I think it is the
same one.


IN THE THEATER

The boys quickly find some seats. Hark plops down next to
Sammy, still holding court.

HARK
So Sammy kinda side-winds his way
in her direction -

Frustrated, Sammy huffs and climbs over the seats to the row
in front of Hark to escape the story.

HARK (CONT’D)
And he’s trying, um - he’s trying
to work up the nerve to say
something slick and smooth like
“Hey Jan baby” but -

SAMMY
No I wasn’t! You’re making this up!

HARK
- but, but he sees that Janet’s
got something on her nose, so now
he’s thinking “Cool! Here’s my
excuse to go up and talk to her!”
so he goes and he says “Hey,
uhhhhhhh, sorry, Janet? It looks
like you have a little smudge on
your nose?”
Conformed Draft 34.


SAMMY
Shut up, Hark!

HARK
But it wasn’t a smudge!

SAMMY
It looked like a smudge!

HARK
And it wasn’t little!

SAMMY
SHUT UP!

HARK
It was a BOOGER!! A BIG FAT JANET
BENEDICT BOOGER!

The boys crack up, except for Sammy, mortified. An OLD LADY
hisses at them to be quiet. Sammy climbs over another seat to
distance himself from the others, putting all his attention
on the screen.


ON SCREEN

LIBERTY VALANCE’S (Lee Marvin) masked gang is holding up the
stagecoach. Liberty fires his pistol to stop the horses.


IN THE THEATER

The other boys are still giggling about the booger; but Sammy
is immediately riveted, swept up and away. Roger leans over
the chair, whispers to Sammy.

ROGER
Hey, Sammy?

ON SCREEN

A huge close-up of Liberty Valance, in his black cowboy hat
and mask.

LIBERTY (ON SCREEN)
Stand and deliver!


IN THE THEATER

ROGER
What kind of movie are we gonna
make?
Conformed Draft 35.


MATCH CUT TO...
Genres: ["Coming-of-age","Comedy","Drama"]

Summary Sammy and his friends purchase film, ride their bikes, and watch a movie. Along the way, Sammy is embarrassed by a story his friend tells about him and a girl he likes. He retreats into the movie, trying to escape the embarrassment.
Strengths
  • Humorous dialogue
  • Character development
  • Nostalgic tone
Weaknesses
  • Limited impact on main plot
  • Low stakes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines humor, nostalgia, and character development, making it engaging and entertaining.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of a young boy's embarrassing encounter in a movie theater is relatable and adds depth to the character.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the embarrassing moment in the movie theater, adding humor and character development.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on coming-of-age themes, blending humor and heart in a nostalgic setting. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and engaging.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are well-developed, especially Sammy, whose embarrassment and growth are highlighted in the scene.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy experiences growth and self-realization through the embarrassing encounter.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to impress Janet Benedict, the pretty girl he likes. This reflects his desire for acceptance and validation from his peers and potential romantic interest.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to make a movie with his friends, showcasing his creativity and passion for storytelling.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 5

The conflict is mainly internal for Sammy, dealing with embarrassment and self-discovery.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene comes from Sammy's internal struggles and the boys' teasing, adding tension and conflict to the narrative.

High Stakes: 4

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on character development and humor.

Story Forward: 6

While the scene doesn't significantly move the main plot forward, it adds depth to Sammy's character.

Unpredictability: 6

The scene is somewhat predictable in its setup and resolution, but the humor and character dynamics keep the audience invested.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict revolves around the boys' differing views on what makes a good movie. Hark believes in telling a story with still pictures, while Sammy sees movies as a collection of moving pictures. This challenges their creative approaches and understanding of art.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 6

The scene evokes a mix of emotions, from amusement to empathy for Sammy's embarrassment.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is natural and humorous, capturing the essence of adolescent interactions.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its relatable characters, humorous dialogue, and nostalgic setting. The audience is drawn into the boys' adventures and interactions.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is well-executed, with a good balance of dialogue, action, and character moments. The rhythm keeps the audience engaged and invested in the story.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting adheres to industry standards, with clear scene headings and descriptions. The dialogue is well-formatted and easy to follow.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional structure for a coming-of-age story, with a clear setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and transitions flow smoothly.


Critique
  • The scene transitions abruptly from Sammy buying film at a camera store to the boys riding their bikes and encountering girls, which feels disjointed.
  • The dialogue between the boys lacks depth and doesn't add much to the scene, making it feel superficial.
  • The humor about the booger incident detracts from the serious tone of the movie they are watching, creating a jarring contrast.
  • The focus on the boys' interactions with each other takes away from the potential impact of the movie they are watching, diminishing the emotional connection for the audience.
  • The scene lacks a clear purpose or direction, making it feel disconnected from the overall narrative.
Suggestions
  • Consider a smoother transition between scenes to maintain continuity and flow.
  • Develop more meaningful dialogue that adds depth to the characters and advances the plot.
  • Avoid humor that detracts from the tone of the main storyline, ensuring consistency in the emotional impact.
  • Focus on the boys' reactions to the movie they are watching to create a stronger connection with the audience and enhance the storytelling.
  • Clarify the purpose of the scene and ensure it aligns with the overall narrative to maintain coherence.



Scene 12 -  Stagecoach Ambush
41 INT. A STAGECOACH - NOON 41

... Hark, black-hatted and masked like Liberty Valance,
leaning in through the window of a stagecoach that shakes
violently as if jouncing at high speed over a rutted road.

HARK
Stand and deliver!

Wisps of dust drifts in. REGGIE, now 13, in a homemade 19th
century dress and bonnet, clutching a metal strongbox, and
NATALIE, now 11, similarly attired, lean in from opposite
sides of the frame facing camera; both girls scream! Suddenly
another masked bandit (Turkey) thrusts his head into the
window nearest the girls. The girls scream again! The bandits
laugh maniacally.

SAMMY (O.S.)
No, keep screaming, keep screaming!

Natalie screams again, but Reggie starts coughing as another
wisp of dust floats in.

SAMMY (O.S.) (CONT’D)
I NEED MORE DUST!! DAD, CAN YOU
GRAB A SANDWICH BOARD?

42 EXT. PINNACLE PEAK PATIO RESTAURANT, OUTSIDE SCOTTSDALE - 42
NOON

Sammy sits on the hood of Burt’s car, filming through the
coach’s window. Sal, dressed as a bandit, and Dean, in a
white sheriff’s costume, are on either side of the coach,
shaking it violently.

REGGIE
NO!! NO, NO, NO MORE DUST!!

SAMMY
REGGIE STOP COUGHING!!

Burt drops the tray he was using and grabs a tall PARKING FOR
CUSTOMERS ONLY sandwich board. He begins to wave it as best
he can to blow the dust into the coach’s window.

REGGIE BURT
I’M COUGHING BECAUSE THERE’S More dust, fellas!
DUST!
Conformed Draft 36.


SAMMY
NATALIE, SAY “PLEASE DON’T KILL
ME!” REGGIE, STOP COUGHING, YOU’RE
BEING DRAMATIC. IT’S BAD.

The boys are scooping up dust from a trashcan and flinging as
much as they can at the coach.

The RESTAURANT OWNER, a heavyset Greek-American, walks up to
Burt:

REGGIE THE OWNER
DON’T YOU WANT ME TO BE Mr. Fabelman! You’re getting
DRAMATIC? dirt inside my stagecoach!!

SAMMY BURT
DON’T LOOK INTO THE CAMERA! Well, we’ll clean it out.
GUYS, STOP LOOKING INTO THE
CAMERA. I CAN’T USE ANY OF
THIS.

REGGIE
DAD!
Genres: ["Comedy","Drama"]

Summary Sammy and Sal film a movie ambush on a stagecoach with help from other actors. They throw dust to create a realistic effect but end up getting into an argument with the owner of the restaurant who complains about dirt in the coach.
Strengths
  • Engaging characters
  • Humorous dialogue
  • Creative concept
Weaknesses
  • Lack of high stakes
  • Minimal character development

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is engaging, with a good balance of humor and drama. The chaotic nature of the filming adds to the entertainment value.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of filming a western-style scene with homemade props and focusing on creating dust effects is creative and entertaining.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the family filming a scene, adding humor and drama to the story.

Originality: 9

The scene is original in its combination of historical setting with modern filming techniques. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and add to the tension of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are engaging and add depth to the scene, especially with their interactions and reactions during the filming.

Character Changes: 5

There is minimal character change in this scene, as the focus is more on the humor and chaos of the filmmaking process.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal is to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm. This reflects their deeper need for safety and security.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to survive the bandit attack and escape unharmed. This reflects the immediate challenge they are facing.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

There is a conflict between the characters trying to film the scene effectively, adding to the chaos and humor.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with the bandits posing a real threat to the passengers' safety and survival.

High Stakes: 4

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on the comedic and dramatic elements of the filmmaking process.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by showcasing the family's creative project and their dynamics.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected twists and turns in the bandit attack, keeping the audience on edge.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict is between the bandits' disregard for the passengers' safety and the passengers' desire to protect themselves. This challenges the protagonist's beliefs about morality and survival.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 6

The scene elicits a range of emotions from amusement to anxiety, but the emotional impact is not the primary focus.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is humorous and adds to the chaotic nature of the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its fast-paced action, tense atmosphere, and high stakes for the characters.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene is fast and intense, building tension and keeping the audience engaged throughout.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 7

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene headings and character actions.

Structure: 8

The scene follows the expected structure for its genre, with clear action cues and dialogue that drive the plot forward.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear sense of direction and purpose, as it jumps between different actions and characters without a cohesive narrative thread.
  • The dialogue feels forced and unnatural, with characters shouting commands and reactions that don't flow organically.
  • There is a lack of character development and depth in the scene, with the focus primarily on the action of filming a stagecoach robbery.
  • The visual elements, such as the dust and the shaking of the stagecoach, are overemphasized and distract from the overall storytelling.
  • The scene lacks emotional depth and fails to engage the audience in a meaningful way.
Suggestions
  • Focus on developing the characters and their relationships within the scene to create a more engaging and relatable story.
  • Streamline the dialogue to make it more natural and reflective of how people would actually speak in the situation.
  • Consider adding subtext and layers to the scene to create depth and intrigue for the audience.
  • Simplify the visual elements to enhance the storytelling rather than detract from it.
  • Work on creating a clear narrative arc for the scene to give it purpose and direction.



Scene 13 -  The Nail-Cutting Caper
INT. FABELMAN HOUSE - EVENING

CU on the bare bulb of an unshaded lamp. Sammy slowly spools
film from an 8mm reel, using the back light and a magnifying
glass to examine the frames.

He goes through the process of editing, cutting the film in a
block, abrading the edge, applying cement and pressing the
shots together in the block. The finished element is taped
to a table alongside several other labeled cuts.

OVER THIS: Mitzi’s playing Friedrich Kuhlau’s Piano Sonatina
in A Minor, Op 88, No. 3: “Allegro burlesco,” which syncs
with the movie. Her piano playing continues through this.


INT. BEDROOM CLOSET, FABELMAN HOUSE - EVENING

In the darkened closet, Sammy projects the film against the
wall.

8MM FOOTAGE:

The sheriff (Dean) and the bandits (Hark, Sal, and Turkey),
shoot at each other from behind rocks, making “pow” sounds
when they fire.
Conformed Draft 37.


Sammy stops the projector, then runs the film in reverse.
Back and forth, over and over, fixating on the action of the
gun barrels as they “fire”.

He pauses the projector and stares at the freeze frame of
Dean, disgruntled, disgusted.

SAMMY
Fake. Totally fake.

45 INT. THE LIVING ROOM, THE FABELMAN HOUSE - NIGHT 45

The whole family and Bennie sit in an arc of chairs,
listening to Mitzi, in a beautiful flowing dress, make-up and
high heels, playing expertly through the first movement, the
Allegro of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.1 in F Minor, Op. 2.
Burt is rapt, deep inside the music, enormously proud of
Mitzi’s artistry. Bennie looks disgruntled. He whispers to
Burt:

BENNIE
You hear it?

Burt, not wanting to be distracted, makes a discrete gesture:
“Be quiet, I want to listen!” Bennie settles down then, after
a few seconds, he whispers again:

BENNIE (CONT’D)
(whispering:)
She has gotta cut those goddamn
fingernails before she goes on live
television.

Mitzi stops playing and turns to them, annoyed.

MITZI
I have to perform this tomorrow.
It’s a difficult piece. It’s a very
big deal for me. All I asked is for
you to keep your big traps shut and
listen to my dress rehearsal.

BURT
Sorry Mitts! It’s wonderful!
(to the kids:)
You hear how the rising arpeggios
lift up the sad notes? It’s in F
Minor but your mom makes it sound
so alive.

BENNIE
She makes it sound like she’s
playing a typewriter.
Conformed Draft 38.


Everyone laughs, even Mitzi.

MITZI
Oh not this again!

BENNIE
(imitating a combo
piano/typewriter:)
Bah-dah-dee-dah-dee-dah-clickety-
clack clickety clack!

The kids laugh. Burt smiles despite himself.

MITZI
(to Burt:)
Do you hear it? Am I clicking?

BURT
I concentrate on your playing, but -

MITZI
Oh great. But what?

BENNIE BURT
But people can hear it in * (to Mitzi:)
Tucson! Maybe I’ve gotten used to it?

REGGIE
Maybe GE should make rubber tips
for fingernails.

Bennie pulls a pair of nail clippers from his pocket!

BENNIE
Alright, Mitzi Fabelman. Time to
face the music.

BURT
Oh boy...

MITZI BENNIE
You stay away from me with (advancing towards her:)
those things! No, no, no! It’s Beethoven, dammit, it is
Stop, stop, stop it! not Morse Code! Come on!

MITZI (CONT’D)
(standing up, to Burt:)
Stop him!

BURT
He has a point, though, especially
with the polydirectional ribbon
microphones they have at television
stations -
Conformed Draft 39.


Mitzi springs up, sweeping the sheet music to the floor as
she makes a break for it. Bennie lunges and wraps his arms
around her waist. She screams, laughing but also annoyed. The
more she struggles, the tighter he holds her. Reggie’s
appalled, Natalie’s delighted, Lisa is fascinated and a
little scared. Sammy’s thrilled and appalled in equal
measure.

Bennie, holding on to Mitzi, tosses the clippers at Burt.
They land on the floor near him.

BENNIE
C’mon! You married her!

REGGIE MITZI
Daddy, don’t! I will scratch you! Don’t
think I won’t!



NATALIE
Do it! Do it! Do it! DO IT!

Burt grabs Mitzi’s ankles and together Burt and Bennie carry
her, kicking, laughing, yelling to the sofa.

BENNIE NATALIE
You think Arthur Rubinstein Do it!
had fingernails? Horowitz?
Schnabel? Kempff?


MITZI
No! No no no no!

BENNIE AND BURT
Liberace??!?!

Burt picks up the clippers and tries them out on his
thumbnail.

BENNIE MITZI
C’mon, Fabelman, show her NOT MY NAILS MY BEAUTIFUL -
who’s General Electric’s
product design manager!

With Bennie holding Mitzi, Burt takes her thumb and moves in
with the clippers.

MITZI (CONT’D)
I PAID A BUCK FIFTY AT THE BEAUTY
PARLOR FOR THEM NO NO NO NO!
Conformed Draft 40.


BURT AND BENNIE MITZI (CONT’D)
One. Two. THREE! (imitating Lucy
Ricardo:)
WAAAAAAAHHHHH!

Mitzi stops struggling and, leaning in very closely, Burt
clips one nail. After a quiet beat.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Get offa me, Delilah.

Bennie releases her. All three are breathing hard, laughing.

BURT
Delilah?

Mitzi swipes the clippers and stands.

MITZI
Okay, the fun’s over. I’ll do the
rest myself.

Natalie claps enthusiastically and Mitzi answers with a deep
curtsey. She notices her sheet music speared on her heel.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Oh! Oh great, just great.
(she pulls the page off
her heel and tosses it:)
Well that decides it: I’m gonna
play the program from memory
tomorrow, no sheet music. Short
nails. Like a real performing
artist.

Sammy looks down at the perforated sheet music. The carpet
shows through the hole. He picks up the paper and holds the
hole up to the chandelier’s light. He smiles; an idea is
forming.

PRE-LAP: the percussion of Bernstein’s score for The
Magnificent Seven.
49 CUT TO: 49
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Sammy edits film footage and becomes engrossed in the action of gun barrels. The family gathers to listen to Mitzi play the piano, but Bennie criticizes her long fingernails, leading to a playful struggle. Sammy watches the chaos and smiles, hinting at an idea.
Strengths
  • Humorous dialogue
  • Family dynamics
  • Character interactions
Weaknesses
  • Minimal conflict
  • Low stakes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is engaging, humorous, and showcases the family's dynamics effectively.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of the scene revolves around Mitzi's piano rehearsal and the playful interaction between family members, which is executed well.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around Mitzi's piano rehearsal and the comedic interactions between family members, adding depth to the scene.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on family dynamics and creative pursuits, with unique characters and unexpected plot developments. The dialogue feels authentic and the interactions are engaging.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed, each with their own unique personalities and dynamics, which adds depth and humor to the scene.

Character Changes: 5

There is minimal character change in the scene, focusing more on showcasing the characters' personalities and dynamics.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to uncover the truth about the film he is editing and to express his artistic vision. This reflects his desire for authenticity and creative fulfillment.

External Goal: 7

The external goal is for Mitzi to have a successful dress rehearsal for her performance. This reflects her desire for recognition and validation of her talent.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 4

There is minimal conflict in the scene, focusing more on humor and family dynamics.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicts arising between characters and their goals. The audience is kept on their toes, unsure of how the interactions will unfold.

High Stakes: 3

The stakes are low in the scene, focusing more on humor and light-hearted interactions.

Story Forward: 6

The scene moves the story forward by showcasing the family dynamics and Mitzi's dedication to her piano rehearsal.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because of the characters' spontaneous actions and the unexpected turns in the plot. The conflict between Mitzi and her family adds a layer of unpredictability to the scene.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

There is a conflict between artistic integrity and commercial success evident in the scene. Mitzi's struggle with her family's criticism highlights the tension between personal expression and public perception.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 6

The scene evokes a sense of joy and amusement, but does not delve deeply into emotional depth.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is witty, humorous, and reflects the relationships between the characters effectively.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its lively dialogue, dynamic characters, and unexpected twists. The interactions between the family members create a sense of tension and humor.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective, with a good balance of dialogue, action, and character development. The rhythm of the scene contributes to its overall impact.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows standard formatting for its genre, with clear scene headings and descriptions. The dialogue is formatted correctly and contributes to the overall flow of the scene.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a clear structure with well-defined character arcs and narrative progression. The pacing is effective, leading to a satisfying resolution.


Critique
  • The scene transitions from Sammy editing film footage to the family gathering in the living room, which feels a bit abrupt and disjointed.
  • The interaction between the family members, especially Mitzi and Bennie, is chaotic and lacks clear direction or purpose.
  • The humor in the scene, while present, feels forced and doesn't quite land effectively.
  • The tension between Mitzi and Bennie over her piano playing and nail cutting detracts from the overall flow of the scene.
  • The physical comedy of the nail cutting scene, while intended to be funny, comes across as awkward and uncomfortable.
Suggestions
  • Consider a smoother transition between Sammy editing the film and the family gathering in the living room to improve the flow of the scene.
  • Focus on developing a clearer and more cohesive interaction between the family members to give the scene a stronger sense of purpose.
  • Refine the humor in the scene to make it more natural and engaging for the audience.
  • Streamline the tension between Mitzi and Bennie to avoid detracting from the overall tone of the scene.
  • Reconsider the physical comedy elements of the nail cutting scene to ensure they are well-executed and enhance the comedic aspect of the scene.



Scene 14 -  Troop 275 Movie Night
50 INT. THE LOCAL ARIZONA JAYCEE MEETING HALL - EVENING 50

Pulling back from a running projector to reveal Sammy’s Boy
Scout Troop 275 is having its bi-monthly Friday evening
assembly. There are about 120 SCOUTS watching the movie,
mostly white, a few Black, Latinx and Native American Scouts;
behind the Scouts, the SCOUTMASTER and a number of DADS, Burt
among them. A record player plays the Magnificent Seven
Conformed Draft 41.


soundtrack. While the rest of the audience chuckles along
with the movie, Burt sits rapt.


ON THE SCREEN

The 8mm footage of Reggie and Natalie having their stagecoach
robbed.

The bandits grab a strongbox from the coach and race off.
Turkey fumbles his pistol in the dirt.


IN THE MEETING HALL

Hark mocks Turkey.

HARK
You dropped your gun?!


ON THE SCREEN

Reggie and Natalie in the sheriff’s office, gesticulate
wildly, pointing, tearing their hair, showing empty purses,
describing the robbery to the sheriff (Dean). Looking heroic.


IN THE MEETING HALL

Dean smiles proudly.

DEAN
That’s me.


ON THE SCREEN

Dean takes his gunbelt from a coatrack, fastens it and puts
on his 10-gallon white hat. Someone calls out from the crowd.

AUDIENCE MEMBER (O.S.)
Scary sheriff!


IN THE MEETING HALL

People chuckle as Dean covers his face, embarrassed. His
friends clap him on the shoulder, a silent “attaboy”.
Conformed Draft 42.


ON THE SCREEN

the three bandits (Hark, Sal and Turkey) sit behind a rock,
the strong box open, costume jewelry spread out on the rock.
The bandits exult over their stolen booty! The sheriff
appears, on a boulder above them.


IN THE MEETING HALL

The crowd spontaneously applauds their hero.


ON THE SCREEN

The bad guys draw their guns and break for cover! The sheriff
opens fire! It’s the scene Sammy had found unsatisfying and
fake - but now when the actors fire, SHARP BRIGHT LIGHTS
flash from the barrels of their toy cap guns!

Intercut: The audience GASPS in awe! Burt is openly
impressed. Roger stares at Sammy like he’s a sorcerer.

ROGER
How - How’d you do that?

Two of the bandits are shot. The lead bandit (Hark) realizes
his guns are empty and flees up the rocks. The sheriff in
close-up points his gun at the camera; he fires. There’s a
blinding white flash from the end of the gun’s barrel!

A makeshift dummy bandit topples floppily over a cliff and
falls many feet to his death on the desert rocks!

AUDIENCE
WHOA!
52 A close up of Hark’s bandit, dead on the rocks. Above him, 52
Dean holsters his pistol, collects the loot, and walks off.
Then, over black, a title in white: GUNSMOG.

The Scouts erupt in cheers and applause!
Genres: ["Family","Adventure","Comedy"]

Summary Sammy's Boy Scout Troop 275 enjoys a movie night, watching an 8mm film created by Reggie and Natalie about a stagecoach robbery. The movie features a thrilling chase and shootout, culminating in a daring cliffside showdown between the sheriff and the bandits.
Strengths
  • Creative concept
  • Engaging characters
  • Family bonding
  • Humorous dialogue
Weaknesses
  • Minimal conflict
  • Low stakes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is engaging, entertaining, and heartwarming, with a good balance of humor and creativity. It effectively captures the joy of childhood exploration and the power of imagination.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of kids making their own movie and bringing their imaginative ideas to life is unique and engaging. It adds a layer of creativity and fun to the overall story.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the kids' filmmaking adventure and their creative process, which adds depth and entertainment to the scene. It moves the story forward by showcasing the family's bond and the kids' exploration of their interests.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on the classic Western genre by incorporating elements of childhood imagination and creativity. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds depth and relatability to the story.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters, especially Sammy and his friends, are well-developed and showcase their creativity, enthusiasm, and camaraderie. The family dynamic adds warmth and humor to the scene.

Character Changes: 5

While there are no significant character changes in this scene, it does showcase the kids' growth in creativity, teamwork, and bonding with each other.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to impress his friends and fellow Scouts with his filmmaking skills and creativity. This reflects his desire for recognition and validation from his peers.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to entertain and engage the audience with his film 'Gunsmog'. This reflects his immediate challenge of creating a compelling and exciting story for the Scouts to enjoy.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 4

The conflict in the scene is minimal, focusing more on the kids' creative process and family interactions. It adds a light-hearted and entertaining element to the overall story.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong enough to create tension and conflict, but not overwhelming to the point of overshadowing the protagonist's journey.

High Stakes: 3

The stakes in the scene are relatively low, focusing more on the kids' creative exploration and family interactions. It maintains a light-hearted and fun atmosphere.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by highlighting the kids' filmmaking adventure, their family dynamic, and the upcoming move to Phoenix. It adds depth and entertainment value to the overall narrative.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because of the creative use of toy cap guns producing bright lights, which subverts the audience's expectations and adds a sense of wonder to the story.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the tension between reality and fantasy. The protagonist's film blurs the lines between fiction and reality, challenging the audience's perception of what is real and what is staged.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 6

The scene evokes a sense of joy, amusement, and warmth, resonating with the audience on an emotional level. The family's supportive and playful interactions create a heartwarming atmosphere.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is playful, humorous, and reflective of the kids' personalities and interactions. It adds to the light-hearted tone of the scene and enhances the family dynamic.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its dynamic storytelling, humor, and unexpected twists that keep the audience invested in the protagonist's journey.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene is well-executed, with a good balance of action, dialogue, and visual storytelling that keeps the audience engaged and invested in the story.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene adheres to the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting. The visual descriptions enhance the reader's understanding of the setting and characters.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a well-defined structure that effectively builds tension and excitement, leading to a satisfying conclusion. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the overall effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear focus or central conflict, making it feel disjointed and lacking in tension.
  • The transition between the footage on the screen and the reactions of the audience could be smoother to enhance the storytelling.
  • The dialogue feels a bit generic and could be more engaging to capture the audience's attention.
  • The visual elements could be more dynamic and visually appealing to enhance the impact of the scene.
  • The character interactions could be more nuanced and layered to add depth to the storytelling.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding a central conflict or tension to drive the scene forward and engage the audience.
  • Work on smoother transitions between the footage on the screen and the reactions of the audience to create a more seamless storytelling experience.
  • Enhance the dialogue to make it more engaging and reflective of the characters' personalities and motivations.
  • Focus on creating visually striking elements to captivate the audience and enhance the impact of the scene.
  • Develop the character interactions to add depth and complexity to the storytelling, making the scene more compelling.



Scene 15 -  Father and Son's Discord
53 INT/EXT. INSIDE THE FABELMAN’S STATION WAGON/A ROAD IN 53
PHOENIX - EVENING

CU of Sammy’s new Merit badge in Photography. Sammy is
looking at it, aglow from his triumph. Burt’s driving.

BURT
It’s kind of like what I do, isn’t
it? What a movie director does?
Conformed Draft 43.


SAMMY
It is?

BURT
I figure out what my division needs
to accomplish, then I work out how
my guys are gonna get it done.

SAMMY
(smiling, pleased:)
Yeah, it is! Yeah! Sorta.

BURT
How’d you make it look like the
guns were really firing?

SAMMY
I did it with pins.

BURT
(appreciative)
Pins...

SAMMY
Yeah! I poke holes in the film with
pins.

Burt laughs, looking at his son with surprise and delight.

He reaches over and tousles Sammy’s hair.

BURT
Sammy! Thinking like an engineer!

SAMMY
(laughing)
Watch the road, Dad.


53A CUT TO: 53A

A54 EXT./INT. ANOTHER STREET IN PHOENIX/THE FABELMANS’ NEW CAR -A54
LATE AFTERNOON


The Fabelmans’ shiny new station wagon drives along a street
from right to left.
54 CUT TO: 54

Inside the car, Sammy, 16, is at the wheel, driving his dad.
Burt watches the road like a hawk, nervous.
Conformed Draft 44.


BURT
Sammy. Watch the road.

SAMMY
I can’t edit without an editing
machine, I have to be able to cut
and splice, and I -

BURT
Let’s revisit it after the camping
trip.

Sammy sulks.

BURT (CONT’D)
It’s three hours to the National
Forest. If you get your license you
could help with the driving.

SAMMY
(distractedly:)
Okay.

Burt turns back to a driver’s ed manual to quiz Sammy.

BURT
You are approaching a railroad
crossing with no warning devices
and limited visibility the speed
limit is -

SAMMY
(then with excitement:)
See the thing is though, about my
new movie, is that it’s just...
It’s about World War II, your war,
it’s gonna be like outa this world.
I’m shooting on a Bolex H-8!!
Finally I can use double-run film.
You know that’s six minutes without
having to change the reel?

BURT
How much did you spend to rent this
camera?

Sammy hesitates, smelling a trap; then:

SAMMY
Twenty bucks.

Burt whistles at the price.
Conformed Draft 45.


SAMMY (CONT’D)
But I used my own money, you don’t
have to -

BURT
And this movie editor gizmo costs -

SAMMY
It’s a Mansfield Eight Millimeter
Movie Editor.

BURT
How much?

SAMMY
Eighty bucks.

BURT
Doggone it, Sammy! A hundred
dollars! For a hobby?

SAMMY
(offended, mad:)
It’s not a hobby, dad.

Sammy comes to a stop at an intersection.

BURT
If you spent half the time on
algebra that you spend on these -

SAMMY
Algebra? I hate algebra. Why are
you...? It’s completely pointless.

BURT
Not if you want to make something,
it’s not pointless. Geez, Sammy,
when I was a boy, I always used to
think “somebody figured out how to
make this, this car, that rearview
mirror, that directional signal -”

SAMMY
I want to make movies, though!

BURT
I mean something real. Not
imaginary. Something someone can
actually use. Like a driver’s
license.
Conformed Draft 46.
Genres: ["Family Drama","Coming of Age"]

Summary Sammy, excited about his Photography Merit badge, attempts to engage his father Burt in a discussion about filmmaking, but Burt remains focused on practicalities like driver's education and spending money on equipment. Sammy becomes resentful when Burt dismisses filmmaking as a hobby, leading to an unresolved conflict between them.
Strengths
  • Strong character dynamics
  • Engaging dialogue
  • Exploration of themes
Weaknesses
  • Lack of external conflict
  • Limited action

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively captures the tension between Sammy's passion for filmmaking and his father's desire for him to focus on practical skills. The dialogue is engaging and reveals the characters' motivations and conflicts.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of balancing creativity with practicality is well-developed and drives the conflict in the scene. It explores themes of pursuing one's passion versus meeting societal expectations.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around Sammy's desire to make movies and his father's emphasis on practical skills, creating a compelling conflict. The scene moves the story forward by highlighting the differences between the characters.

Originality: 8

The scene demonstrates a level of originality through its exploration of family dynamics, generational differences, and the conflict between artistic passion and practicality. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds a fresh perspective to familiar themes.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-defined, with Sammy's creative spirit contrasting with Burt's practical mindset. Their interactions reveal depth and complexity, adding emotional depth to the scene.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy experiences a shift in perspective as he grapples with his father's expectations and his own creative aspirations. This internal conflict sets the stage for potential character growth.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal in this scene is to assert his passion for filmmaking and defend his choices to his father. It reflects his deeper desire to pursue his creative dreams and be understood and supported by his family.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal in this scene is to convince his father of the importance of his filmmaking hobby and to gain his approval and understanding. It reflects the immediate challenge of balancing his creative pursuits with his father's expectations of practicality and responsibility.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The conflict between Sammy and Burt regarding filmmaking versus practical skills is palpable and drives the scene's tension. It adds depth to their relationship and highlights their differing priorities.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong as Sammy and Burt face off in a conflict of values and perspectives. The audience is unsure of how the conversation will unfold and how the characters will resolve their differences.

High Stakes: 6

While the stakes are not life-threatening, the emotional stakes are high as Sammy navigates his passion for filmmaking and his father's expectations. The outcome of this conflict will shape Sammy's future.

Story Forward: 8

The scene propels the story forward by establishing the central conflict between Sammy and Burt. It sets the stage for future developments and character arcs, driving the narrative.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because it presents unexpected twists in the conversation between Sammy and Burt, challenging the audience's expectations and assumptions about their relationship and the outcome of their conflict.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict evident in this scene is the clash between artistic passion and practicality, imagination and reality. Burt represents the practical, real-world perspective, while Sammy embodies the creative, imaginative perspective. This conflict challenges Sammy's beliefs in pursuing his dreams and his father's values of practicality and responsibility.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene elicits mixed emotions, as the audience empathizes with Sammy's passion while understanding Burt's concerns. The emotional depth adds complexity to the characters and their relationship.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue effectively conveys the characters' conflicting perspectives and emotions. It drives the scene forward and adds tension to the interaction between Sammy and Burt.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it captures the audience's attention through its relatable characters, emotional depth, and conflict-driven dialogue. The tension between Sammy and Burt keeps the audience invested in their relationship and the outcome of their conversation.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by balancing moments of tension, humor, and emotional depth. The rhythm of the dialogue and character interactions keeps the audience engaged and invested in the outcome of the conflict.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 7

The formatting of the scene follows the expected format for its genre in terms of scene descriptions, character dialogue, and action lines. The visual and auditory elements are effectively conveyed through the formatting.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene follows the expected format for its genre by establishing the setting, introducing the characters, and developing the conflict. The pacing and rhythm of the scene contribute to its effectiveness in conveying the emotional dynamics between the characters.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear focus and direction, jumping between topics such as Sammy's photography merit badge, his editing techniques, his desire to make movies, and his father's concerns about practical matters like driver's education.
  • There is a lack of emotional depth and conflict in the scene, making it feel flat and unengaging.
  • The dialogue feels forced and unnatural at times, especially in the interaction between Sammy and Burt about the cost of the camera equipment.
  • The scene could benefit from more character development and exploration of the relationship dynamics between Sammy and Burt.
  • The transition between the two parts of the scene, from the car to the street, feels abrupt and disjointed.
Suggestions
  • Focus on a central theme or conflict to drive the scene forward and create a more engaging narrative.
  • Develop the emotional depth of the characters, especially Sammy and Burt, to make the scene more relatable and impactful.
  • Streamline the dialogue to make it more natural and reflective of the characters' personalities and motivations.
  • Consider restructuring the scene to have a clearer progression and flow between the different topics being discussed.
  • Explore the father-son relationship between Sammy and Burt in more depth to add layers to their interactions and create a more compelling dynamic.



Scene 16 -  Camping Adventures and Family Bonding
55 EXT. THE FABELMANS’ CAR, A HIGHWAY TO THE COCONINO NATIONAL 55
FOREST - DAY

Pulling a rented luggage trailer packed with camping
equipment, the car heads into the mountains.

LISA (O.S.)
I’M GONNA VOMIT, SAMMY!! I’M GONNA
VOMIT!!

REGGIE (O.S.)
SAMMY, PLEASE PULL OVER! SHE’S
GONNA PUKE ALL OVER ME!!

A56 INT. THE FABELMANS’ CAR ON A ROAD IN THE COCONINO NATIONAL A56
FOREST - DAY

Natalie, Reggie and Lisa are in the backseat, next to Bennie,
bouncing violently over huge ruts in the road.

NATALIE
GO SLOWER! You are the WORST
driver. You’re gonna break the car.

SAMMY
We’re on a back road going three
miles per hour. Calm down.

Mitzi, seated between Burt and Sammy, pats his arm.

MITZI
You’re doing great, dolly, you’re
doing great.

Bennie pats Sammy on the shoulder from the back seat.

BURT
Watch out, puddle up ahead.

The car plunges into a deep puddle in the road, plowing
through to dry land, but a big bump jars the back of the
trailer loose and some of the camping equipment falls out of
the trailer and into the muddy water.

57 EXT. A CAMPGROUND IN THE RED ROCK-SECRET MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS 57
-
DAY

Burt demonstrates how to make a branch-and-bark tripod over
the fire for cooking, explaining his process to Reggie, 14,
Natalie, 13, and Lisa, 8. Sammy films this with his Bolex P1
camera with a zoom lens attached.
Conformed Draft 47.


BURT
So we’ve got three that are strong
and still green inside so they
don’t burn. Right? Green means that
they’re still alive and that they
carry moisture. And the reason that
we use the shape of the triangle is
that when these three points
connect, if we find the center of
gravitational force it creates
almost perfect balance.

Behind them, Mitzi and Bennie laugh as they gather wood.
Bennie grabs the top of a small sapling to bend it, inviting
Mitzi to climb onto the springy trunk.

BENNIE
- because, I’m Tutti and you’re
Frutti. So who else are you gonna
listen to? A wop bop a lula -

Mitzi struggles to haul herself onto the narrow trunk.

BENNIE AND MITZIE
- a wop bam boom!

She’s finally on and -

BENNIE
Okay!

Bennie releases the tree and it spring back upright, carrying
a whooping Mitzi with it. Burt drones on obliviously...

BURT
- the pyramids, right? I mean the
history behind this shape.

But Reggie has already sprung up to run over to where the fun
is happening.

BURT (CONT’D)
It’s pretty... It’s pretty
incredible.

And Natalie takes Lisa by the hand to race after Reggie.
Sammy jogs over to film them as Mitzi reverses her position
on the trunk to go for another ride.

BURT (CONT’D)
Girls? I’m gonna start the fire!

BENNIE
Three, two, one!
Conformed Draft 48.


He releases the trunk and Mitzi shouts with joy as she’s
launched again. Burt diligently strikes flint at the
kindling until -

BURT
Oh! It’s - it’s happening! Wooo!

But everyone else is too busy laughing with Mitzi.
61 CUT TO: 61

It’s the last night. Sammy isn’t filming. Everyone’s around
the campfire. Burt and Mitzi sing the verse of the Russian
folk song, “Kalinka.”

MITZI AND BURT
Kra-ah-sa-vava-vitsa, doo-oo-shah-
vava-d’yeh-vitsa,
Pah-loo-oo-bee-ee zheh-eh tee meh-
eh-enya.

Sammy, Reggie, Natalie and Lisa join in with the chorus:

THE FABELMANS
(a moderate lively tempo:)
Kaleenika, kaleenika, kaleenika
moya!
Zhadoo YAH-goda maleenika,
maleenika moya!
(FASTER!)
Kaleenika, kaleenika, kaleenika
moya!
Zhadoo YAH-goda maleenika,
maleenika moya!

The Fabelmans launch into another chorus. Bennie joins in,
making up words.


THE FABELMANS (CONT’D) BENNIE
(EVEN FASTER!) Kleenex-ica, Windex-ica,
Kaleenika, kaleenika, She’s sexy-ca oh boy!
kaleenika moya! Pneumonia, dyspepsia,
Zhadoo YAH-goda maleenika, leukemi-oy-yoy-yoy!
maleenika moya!

The Fabelmans begin the fourth, super-fast chorus, but Mitzi
and the kids start to drop out (NOT ALL AT ONCE) as they
listen to Bennie’s improvising. Burt continues singing alone,
then gives up.
Conformed Draft 49.


THE FABLEMANS BENNIE (CONT’D)
Kaleenika, kaleenika, Oh Leningrad and Petrograd
kaleenika moya! I’m sorry Dad, I lied!
Zhadoo YAH-goda maleenika, I snatched the keys and stole
maleenika moya... the car
And took it for a ride!

Bennie heads immediately into the next verse. Mitzi claps in
time: The kids join her. Burt sits it out. Bennie sings:

BENNIE (CONT’D)
You take it back, paskudniak!
You’re giving me a -

He gestures to Mitzi: “Take it!” She sings:

MITZI
- heart attack!

BENNIE
I’ll take a zitz and have a -

MITZI BENNIE (CONT’D)
Schvitz! - schvitz!
And eat some gribbenitz!

MITZI (CONT’D) BENNIE (CONT’D)
And schnitzel-bits! Drink slivovitz!
And we’ll get the shits!

REGGIE NATALIE
And eat some grits, (reacting to “shits”:)
And throw some fits - Eeeeewww!

Mitzi falls off her log, laughing. Bennie pulls the camera
away from Sammy’s eye and pulls him into a dance as the
sisters join in. Burt sits quietly.

BENNIE
We live in Arizonia!
Where nothing can be grown-ia
The land is dry and stony-a!

NATALIE
But we can eat bologni-a!

BENNIE
EXACTLY!

Everyone cheers. The game deteriorates into a cacophony of
“ah” rhymes shouted out by Bennie, Mitzi and the kids:
Etcetera, blah blah blah, lah-dee-dah, umbrell-ah, Hanukkah,
Conformed Draft 50.


oom-pah-pah, grampapa, grandmama, cha-cha-cha, hip-hip-
hoorah, Canada, America.
62 CUT TO: 62

Sammy and Reggie listen and watch as Burt pours Bennie a
stiff tin cup of Jim Beam; Burt’s relaxed, Bennie’s arguing
passionately, worried.

BENNIE (CONT’D)
They’re gonna know that kind of FPU
is not for industrial process
control and it will raise every red
flag there is. How many bits?

BURT
Float 64!

BENNIE
64 bits?! 64 - ?! You are nuts! And
time-sharing for eleven operators!
They’re gonna know this is a
business machine we’re building,
and we’re all gonna get fired.

BURT
Naw.

BENNIE
YES!! GE doesn’t build business
computers, we do heavy industry
processing - you got that straight
from the CEO. Ralph Cordiner’s
gonna skin you alive.

BURT
Once Bank of America buys in,
this’ll be profitable, and that’s
Mr. Cordiner’s job - making money.
My job’s getting Raytheon to
deliver 10,000 germanium
transistors that meet our tolerance
standards. And your job is to get
the cabling diagrams to Pitney-
Bowes so when the time comes we
have a sorter to hook up to the
mainframe.

BENNIE
Well maybe Pitney-Bowes’ll hire me
after you get us both canned from
GE.
Conformed Draft 51.


BURT
Isn’t it worth getting canned for
the chance to build a machine that
can do all that?!

BENNIE
It’s worth it to you, maybe: Sure
as the Lord made little green
apples, California here you come!
IBM is waiting!

Mitzi lies in her tent listening. The kids chime in from the
picnic table.

REGGIE
Are we moving to California?!

BURT BENNIE
Naw. Any day now!

SAMMY
What?

BURT
IBM’s asking, and that’s...
flattering, but -

BENNIE
Flattering?! Flattering?! Every guy
in computer would give his matzoh
balls to get an offer - You’ll be
in California building double-
precision auxiliary units with an
FP 64, and I’m gonna be left
schvitzing in Arizona, making,
making forty-watt lightbulbs.

Mitzi drains a cup of Jim Beam beside her cot

BURT
(to Sammy and Reggie:)
Hold your horses!

BENNIE
(awestruck:)
Congruence modulo -? Oh my God-

BURT
I told your mom it’ll be up to her.
I’m not uprooting us again unless
she says yes.

Mitzi emerges from her tent in a thin nightgown, a bit tipsy.
Reggie and Sammy look at Mitzi. Bennie looks down.
Conformed Draft 52.


MITZI
Why would momma ever leave all of
this:
(the campsite, the
mountains, the stars)
- for California?! We have the
Grand Canyon!! They have the San
Andreas Fault!!
(to Burt:)
Mammalah says: I will never leave
Arizona! And Arizona will never
leave me!!

Mitzi embraces Burt and, to his surprise and even to hers,
gives him a big passionate smooch! Bennie says, with forced
amusement:

BENNIE
Kids! Avert your eyes!

Mitzi pulls away from Burt and begins to dance: She’s good, a
natural performer and she’s a little drunk.

BENNIE (CONT’D)
(to Sammy:)
Hey, man?

SAMMY
Hmm?

BENNIE
Shouldn’t you be filming this?

SAMMY
Not enough light.

Bennie snorts, then jumps up and runs to the car.

BENNIE
GE!! LIVING BETTER ELECTRICALLY!!

He turns on the headlights. Mitzi dances around the bonfire,
spinning in and out of the headlights. Sammy starts to film.
In the headlights, Mitzi’s nightgown becomes transparent.

Reggie, embarrassed, rushes over from the picnic table.

REGGIE
Mom. Mom, everyone can see through
your dress. Um - ?

Mitzi ignores her. Reggie half-heartedly dances in front of
Mitzi to block the view.
Conformed Draft 53.


SAMMY
(still filming)
Reggie, get out of the way.

Reggie rushes to her father sitting placidly.

REGGIE
Dad, can you please stop this?!

He just pats the log next to him.

BURT
Come sit.

REGGIE
No.

Frustrated, she rushes over to cover Bennie’s face.

REGGIE (CONT’D)
Bennie, don’t look!

He deftly removes her hand and kisses it. Reggie flings him
off and storms away.

REGGIE (CONT’D)
Oh! You’re all nuts!

Mitzi swoops, pirouettes, leaps. Burt watches her with love
and hunger, overcast with sorrow. Bennie with longing. Reggie
watches from her tent, feeling sadness and empathy for her
mother.

Mitzi gracefully lowers herself to the ground, ending the
performance with a soft smile.
Genres: ["Family Drama","Comedy"]

Summary The Fabelmans, a complex and loving family, embark on a camping trip in the stunning Coconino National Forest. Amidst the challenges of navigating rough roads and missing equipment, they find moments of joy and connection through shared activities like crafting a tripod over the campfire and singing Russian folk songs. While underlying tensions about a potential move to California linger, the family's bond and resilience shine through, creating a bittersweet and deeply memorable experience.
Strengths
  • Authentic character interactions
  • Emotional depth
  • Humor
Weaknesses
  • Some elements may feel slightly predictable

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines humor, sentimentality, and character development to create an engaging and memorable moment.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of a family camping trip leading to discussions about potential job opportunities and relocation is intriguing and adds depth to the characters and their relationships.

Plot: 8

The plot advances through the family dynamics, discussions about job opportunities, and the decision-making process regarding potential relocation, keeping the audience engaged and invested.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on a family camping trip, blending humor, drama, and musical elements to create a unique and engaging narrative. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed, each with their own personalities, motivations, and conflicts. Their interactions and reactions feel authentic and contribute to the emotional depth of the scene.

Character Changes: 7

Some characters experience internal conflicts and growth, particularly in relation to the decisions they need to make about their future.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal is to maintain a sense of family unity and happiness despite the challenges they face during the camping trip.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to successfully navigate the camping trip and create lasting memories with their family.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

The conflict mainly revolves around the potential job opportunities and relocation, as well as the internal struggles of the characters regarding their desires and responsibilities.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicts arising from family dynamics, personal goals, and external challenges. The uncertainty of the family's future adds to the opposition.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes are moderately high, as the characters face decisions that could significantly alter their lives and relationships.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by introducing new developments, such as potential job opportunities and relocation, which will likely impact the characters' lives and relationships.

Unpredictability: 7

The scene is somewhat predictable in terms of family dynamics and conflicts, but the addition of musical elements and unexpected moments adds a layer of unpredictability.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict is between the desire for adventure and new experiences (moving to California) versus the comfort and familiarity of home (Arizona). This challenges the protagonist's beliefs about family, stability, and personal growth.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions, from joy and humor to nostalgia and empathy, creating a strong emotional connection with the audience.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is natural, engaging, and reveals insights into the characters' thoughts and feelings. It effectively conveys humor, emotion, and conflict.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its mix of humor, drama, and musical elements. The interactions between characters and the unfolding family dynamics keep the audience invested.

Pacing: 8

The pacing and rhythm of the scene effectively build tension and emotion, leading to a climactic moment with Mitzi's performance.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting adheres to the expected format for a screenplay, with clear scene descriptions and character actions. It enhances the readability and flow of the scene.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a structured format, transitioning smoothly between different moments and interactions. It effectively builds tension and emotion.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear focus or central conflict, making it feel disjointed and lacking in purpose.
  • The dialogue is scattered and lacks depth, with characters engaging in random conversations that don't contribute to the overall story.
  • The visual elements, such as Mitzi's dance and the interaction between the characters, feel disconnected and don't add to the scene's impact.
  • The transition from the car ride to the campfire lacks smoothness and coherence, making the scene feel abrupt and jarring.
  • The comedic elements, while present, don't land effectively and feel forced at times.
Suggestions
  • Establish a clear central conflict or theme for the scene to give it direction and purpose.
  • Streamline the dialogue to focus on meaningful interactions that contribute to character development or plot progression.
  • Enhance the visual storytelling by creating more cohesive and impactful visual moments that resonate with the audience.
  • Improve the transition between the car ride and the campfire to create a smoother flow of events.
  • Refine the comedic elements to ensure they are organic and enhance the overall tone of the scene.



Scene 17 -  Somber Moments and Family Conflict
63 INT. - A ROOM IN A NURSING HOME IN CINCINATTI - DAY 63

A few weeks later. Burt sits quietly, focused on a beeping
scope. Not an oscilloscope this time, but a heart monitor. He
looks scared.

In a nearby hospital bed, Sammy’s maternal grandmother Tina,
skeleton-thin, her hair transparent, is dying.

Mitzi lies on the bed next to her mother, holding Tina’s
hand, stroking her hair, whispering to her. Mitzi’s eyes are
red and scrappy. Sammy sits in a corner. His sisters sit
opposite him.

MITZI
I’m right here. I’m right here with
you. I’m holding your hand. Can you
Conformed Draft 54.


feel that, Mama? Just give me a
squeeze.

Sammy focuses on an artery in Tina’s thin neck, weakly
pulsing. Then... It stops. Sammy blinks, expecting it to
start again. But it doesn’t. Tina’s eyes blink open.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Mom... Mommy?

She turns to the NURSE at the back of the room, excited.

MITZI (CONT’D)
She opened her eyes. Nurse. Mommy,
I’m here. I’m right here, Mama.
Mommy, look at me. Mommy, please.

The nurse moves to the bed, passing the girls, all on the
brink of tears. She quietly takes Tina’s pulse, then turns to
Burt. But he already knows. The monitor has flatlined.

Frightened, Sammy looks at his father. Burt is still staring
at the heart monitor. He seems helpless and afraid.

Mitzi realizes Tina is gone. She starts sobbing. Burt goes to
her. He puts his hands on her shoulders but she reaches back
to brush him off.

Over this: Satie’s “3 Gymnopediés: No. 2” begins to play.
With great gentleness, Burt closes Tina’s eyes.

64 INT. THE FABELMAN HOUSE, PHOENIX - NIGHT 64

CU on Mitzi playing Satie’s “3 Gymnopediés: No. 2”. Her eyes
are closed; she’s somewhere else.
65 CUT TO: 65

CU on Burt’s hands opening a cardboard box. Inside, a new
Mansfield Eight Millimeter Movie Editor.

BURT
It’s a Mansfield Eight Millimeter
Movie Editor. That’s what you
wanted, right?

Sammy and Burt are in Sammy’s bedroom. Mitzi’s practicing
drifts in from the living room.

Sammy stares dumbfounded at the machine. All around him, on
the bed, the floor, the walls, his storyboards, gadgetry,
model tanks and planes - preparations for Escape To Nowhere.
Sammy sits down at his new gear in awe.
Conformed Draft 55.


SAMMY
Oh my god.

BURT
Now I need a favor in return -

Sammy lunges across the box and hugs his dad tight. Burt is
very pleased, though a little awkward. He pats Sammy’s back.

BURT (CONT’D)
OK, OK. Here’s the favor.

SAMMY
Wow, yeah...

Sammy lets go, sits back and waits. Burt listens to Mitzi’s
playing for a moment, then:

BURT
I want you to make a camping trip
movie. You can learn how the
editing machine works while you do
this. It’ll make your mom feel
better.

Sammy nods.

SAMMY
Yeah.

BURT
That last night, when she danced in
the headlights. That’d be great.
(he stops, listening to
Mitzi’s music; then:)
Get to it tomorrow, okay?

SAMMY
Um - Tomorrow’s when we start
shooting.

Burt looks confused. Sammy laughs nervously.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Escape to Nowhere! We’re shooting
all weekend, I can’t -

BURT
Shoot it next weekend.

SAMMY
We’ve got like forty guys coming to
be in the movie! I’ll work on all
the camping trip stuff on Monday.
Conformed Draft 56.


BURT
I’m asking you to do this now, for
your mom, she’s -

SAMMY
Yeah, and I said that I will, just
not tomorrow!!

BURT
Don’t be selfish. She just lost her
mother. That’s more important than
your hobby.

SAMMY
Dad, can you stop calling it a
hobby?

BURT
It’ll cheer her up, watching this,
it’s something we can do to-

SAMMY
Her mom just died! How is that
gonna cheer her up?!

BURT
Because you made it for her.

Burt looks down. Mitzi’s playing fills the silence. Burt
says, almost to himself:

BURT (CONT’D)
Something’s... not right. I don’t
know what else to do.
(a beat:)
Can you help me?

Bewildered, Sammy looks at the editing machine.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary In the wake of Tina's passing, Mitzi grieves while Burt struggles to cope. Amidst the sorrow, a dispute arises between Burt and Sammy over Sammy's priorities, highlighting the conflicting perspectives and tensions within the family.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Realistic portrayal of grief
  • Character development
Weaknesses
  • Lack of external action
  • Slow pacing

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys the deep emotional impact of losing a loved one and the internal conflict faced by the characters.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of dealing with loss and the clash between personal desires and familial obligations is well-executed.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the death of a family member and the subsequent emotional aftermath, providing a poignant and impactful narrative.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh approach to themes of grief and family dynamics, with authentic character actions and dialogue that resonate with the audience.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and their emotions are portrayed realistically, adding depth and authenticity to the scene.

Character Changes: 7

The characters experience a significant emotional change due to the loss of a loved one, leading to introspection and growth.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal is to cope with the impending loss of his grandmother and navigate his father's expectations and grief.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to fulfill his father's request to make a camping trip movie to cheer up his mother after her mother's death.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The internal conflict faced by the characters and the strained relationship between father and son create a sense of tension and emotional turmoil.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicting desires and emotions driving the characters' actions and dialogue.

High Stakes: 6

The high stakes revolve around the emotional well-being of the characters and the strained relationships within the family.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by exploring the emotional aftermath of the character's death and the impact it has on the family dynamics.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable in terms of how the characters will navigate their conflicting emotions and goals, keeping the audience on edge.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict revolves around the protagonist's struggle between fulfilling his father's wishes and prioritizing his own needs and emotions during a time of grief.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions of sadness, fear, and hopelessness, resonating with the audience on a deep emotional level.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the characters' emotions and inner turmoil, enhancing the overall emotional impact of the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging due to its emotional depth, realistic dialogue, and the conflict between characters that keeps the audience invested in the outcome.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional resonance, allowing for moments of reflection and character development.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting adheres to the expected format for its genre, enhancing the readability and flow of the scene.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a structured format that effectively conveys the emotional and narrative beats of the story.


Critique
  • The scene effectively captures the emotional intensity of the moment as Tina passes away, with each family member reacting in their own way.
  • There is a strong sense of helplessness and fear portrayed through Burt's character, which adds depth to the scene.
  • The use of Satie's '3 Gymnopediés: No. 2' enhances the emotional impact of the moment and creates a poignant atmosphere.
  • The transition to the Fabelman house with Mitzi playing the same piece on the piano creates a sense of continuity and emotional connection.
  • The dialogue between Burt and Sammy effectively conveys the conflicting emotions and priorities of the characters, adding layers to their relationship.
  • The scene effectively sets up the emotional arc for Sammy as he grapples with his father's expectations and his own passion for filmmaking.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more visual cues to enhance the emotional impact of Tina's passing, such as close-up shots of the family members' reactions.
  • Explore ways to visually represent the internal conflict Sammy is experiencing between his father's wishes and his own desires.
  • Introduce subtle visual motifs or symbols that can reflect the themes of loss, grief, and familial relationships in the scene.
  • Consider incorporating more non-verbal communication between the characters to convey their emotions and inner turmoil.
  • Experiment with different camera angles and lighting techniques to create a more immersive and emotionally resonant atmosphere in the scene.



Scene 18 -  The Unexpected Visitor
66 INT. BURT AND MITZI’S BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT 66

It’s dark. The telephone rings, waking Mitzi from a deep
sleep. She fumbles, picks up the receiver.

MITZI
Hello?

There’s buzzing and crackling, then a voice, sounding like
it’s coming from far away:

TINA (ON THE PHONE:)
Mitzi? Mitzi!!
Conformed Draft 57.


MITZI
Mama...?

TINA (ON THE PHONE:)
Somebody’s coming!

MITZI
Mama? Mama, what...?

TINA (ON THE PHONE:)
You mustn’t let him in.

MITZI
Mama? I can’t hear you!

On the other side of the bed, Burt is awake.

TINA (ON THE PHONE:)
Dolly I’m scared, you mustn’t let
him in the house!

MITZI TINA (CONT’D)
Mama, Please, I don’t - No, I Do not let him in! Do not
can’t. Who - who’s coming? open the door! Don’t open the
Mama! door.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Mommy, don’t go. Don’t go yet.

Burt reaches for the receiver and listens. He hears a dial
tone. He returns the receiver to the cradle, then he takes
Mitzi in his arms.

BURT
You’re having a bad dream.

67 INT. THE KITCHEN, FABELMAN HOUSE - EVENING 67

Burt and the kids are at the table, already crowded with a
stunning assortment of dishes, and Mitzi is bringing more
from the stove. Again, the table is set with paper and
plastic. Mitzi hauls a roast chicken from the oven and
awkwardly slides it onto a platter.

NATALIE
This is a lot of food, mom.

MITZI
Well, I’m upset.
(to Burt:)
That crazy dream. I can’t get it
out of my head.
(to the kids:)
Conformed Draft 58.


Last night I dreamed I got a call
from my mama, and she wanted to
warn me.

LISA NATALIE
That’s silly, grandma died! About what?

MITZI
Well, something’s coming, she wants
me to batten down the hatches.

NATALIE
We’re never gonna be able to eat
all of this.

Mitzi starts to speak, but she stops at the sound of a car
pulling into the driveway. Reggie peeks out the living room
window.

REGGIE
Who is that?

Mitzi parts the curtains above her. A large man in his 80s
wrestles his bag from a taxi - dark, worn suit, bushy hair
and eyebrows and wild eyes. Mitzi’s eyes go wide.

MITZI
It’s uncle Boris!

SAMMY
Hmm?

REGGIE
Uncle Who? Mom?

MITZI
That’s who she meant! My - That’s
my momma’s brother.
(back to Burt:)
Oh! He scared the crap out of her
when they were kids!

They rush to the kitchen doorway to see Boris’ silhouette
approach the front door. Mitzi whirls on her family.

MITZI (CONT’D)
(hissing fiercely:)
Don’t let him in!!!!!
68 CUT TO: 68

Uncle Boris has joined them at the kitchen table. His eyes
bloodshot from crying, He eats, ravenously. The kids are
aghast at his lack of table manners.
Conformed Draft 59.


REGGIE
You were in the circus?!

MITZI
(to Boris:)
Mama said you were the lion tamer.

The kids are goggle-eyed.

BORIS
Nah. Not at first, at first it was
“Podgorny, pound in the tent pegs,
Podgorny muck out the pachyderms!”
And then one night, the big cat
act, he comes down with a flu bug,
so it was “Boris Podgorny! In with
the lions.”

NATALIE
(to Burt:)
He’s lying, right?!

BURT
No, he’s telling you a story.

BORIS
(to Sammy:)
You know what it’s like, huh? Pain
in the ass, sisters.

NATALIE LISA
That’s rude!! (delighted:)
He said ass!!

SAMMY
But... When did you start working
in the movies?

Boris blows his nose loudly, vividly into his napkin.

BORIS
1927.

SAMMY
1927 that was The Jazz Singer! That
was the year the talkies started!

Mitzi, Natalie and Reggie remove the food.

BORIS
Yeah sure, talkies, but me, no, I
started with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, not
a talkie, it was Harry Pollard, he
acted for Selig Polyscope, he
Conformed Draft 60.


married Maggie Whatsername, he
directed Uncle Tom.

MITZI
(to Boris:)
Lift up your plate.

Boris does as he’s told, continuing to talk as Natalie,
Reggie, Mitzi and Sammy lift the ends of the tablecloth.

BORIS
So Pollard needed help with the
bloodhounds, so my pal Fleischaker
who was a big name in dog acts,
poodles mainly.

The kids and Mitzi bring the ends of the tablecloth together,
Mitzi ties them in a bundle, then carries the bundle to the
trashcan.

BORIS (CONT’D)
But “Sure,” Fleischaker says to
Pollard, “bloodhounds, poodles,
what’s the difference?” So he went.
But by this time, Fleischaker he
had it up to here with the Jew-
haters - there was a lot of that
kind in the circuses, not many
Jews, lots of Jew-haters.

SAMMY
Right.

BORIS
But the movies! Oy vaVOY,
Fleischaker writes to me, “Boris,”
he writes. “Boris,” he writes,
“Hollywood is haymish, imagine I’m
in a minyan with Douglas Fairbanks
and Ricardo Cortez?! Come to
Hollywood!” So! I went.
(to Burt:)
Your wife, she don’t like doing the
dishes?

BURT
Ah... Piano hands.

BORIS
(tapping the side of his
nose:)
Ah, farshtaynen.
(to Sammy:)
Conformed Draft 61.


So you like the movies, huh, Mr.
Pizzelshass?
Genres: ["Drama","Family","Comedy"]

Summary Mitzi's midnight phone call triggers anxiety when her uncle Boris, a large and intimidating figure, arrives and recounts tales of his life in the circus and early Hollywood. Despite Mitzi's fears and conflicting family reactions, Boris's storytelling captivates the table, leaving Mitzi's concerns unresolved.
Strengths
  • Well-developed characters
  • Engaging dialogue
  • Humorous moments
Weaknesses
  • Lack of high stakes
  • Some pacing issues in dialogue

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines humor, nostalgia, and tension, creating an engaging and memorable family dynamic.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a family dinner disrupted by the arrival of a quirky relative is relatable and adds depth to the characters and their relationships.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around Mitzi's unsettling dream and the unexpected visit of her uncle Boris, adding layers to the family dynamics.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a unique blend of family drama, mystery, and humor, with authentic character interactions and dialogue that feel fresh and engaging.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters, especially Mitzi and Boris, are well-developed and their interactions reveal insights into their personalities and histories.

Character Changes: 6

Mitzi experiences a range of emotions, from anxiety to amusement, as she deals with her dream and Boris' arrival.

Internal Goal: 8

Mitzi's internal goal in this scene is to understand and make sense of her dream about her mother's warning. This reflects her deeper need for security and protection for her family.

External Goal: 7

Mitzi's external goal is to deal with the unexpected arrival of her uncle Boris and the potential threat he may pose, based on her mother's warning.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

The conflict mainly stems from Mitzi's anxiety about her dream and the tension created by Boris' unexpected visit.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with the conflict between Mitzi's dream and Uncle Boris's arrival creating uncertainty and tension.

High Stakes: 5

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on character dynamics and humor than intense conflict.

Story Forward: 7

The scene provides insight into the characters and their relationships, setting up potential conflicts and developments for future scenes.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected arrival of Uncle Boris and the tension between Mitzi's dream and reality.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict in this scene is between Mitzi's belief in her mother's warning and the reality of her uncle Boris's arrival. It challenges Mitzi's beliefs about family loyalty and trust.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene evokes a range of emotions, from humor to nostalgia to tension, keeping the audience engaged.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is witty, engaging, and reveals the characters' relationships and emotions effectively.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its blend of mystery, humor, and family dynamics that keep the audience invested in the characters and their relationships.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective in building tension and suspense, while also allowing for moments of humor and character development.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows standard formatting for a screenplay, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional structure for a domestic drama, with clear character introductions, conflict, and resolution.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a mysterious and tense phone call from Mitzi's mother, Tina, warning her not to let someone in, creating a sense of suspense and intrigue. This sets up an interesting plot point that could be further developed.
  • The dialogue between Mitzi and Tina on the phone is a bit repetitive and could be more concise to maintain the tension and urgency of the situation.
  • Burt's response to Mitzi's distress is somewhat dismissive, which could be explored further to add depth to their relationship and his character.
  • The introduction of Uncle Boris adds an element of chaos and unpredictability to the scene, but the transition from the phone call to his arrival feels a bit abrupt and could be smoother.
  • The conversation with Uncle Boris provides interesting backstory and character development, but it feels slightly disconnected from the initial tension of the phone call. Finding a way to tie these elements together more seamlessly could enhance the overall impact of the scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider building more suspense and mystery around the phone call from Tina by adding subtle hints or clues throughout the scene.
  • Streamline the dialogue between Mitzi and Tina to maintain a sense of urgency and tension.
  • Explore Burt's reaction to Mitzi's distress in more depth to add emotional complexity to the scene.
  • Work on the transition between the phone call and Uncle Boris's arrival to create a smoother narrative flow.
  • Find ways to connect Uncle Boris's backstory and the initial tension of the phone call to create a more cohesive and impactful scene.



Scene 19 -  Sammy and Boris: A Conversation About Art and Family
69 INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 69

The room’s even more consumed by Escape To Nowhere
preparations. The editing machine is on Sammy’s desk with
footage from the camping trip waiting to be edited.

Sammy’s in his PJs, sitting on the floor with Boris, who’s in
an old undershirt and boxers, his little suitcase open
nearby. Also close at hand, a bottle of scotch and a glass.
Sammy is showing him his storyboard notebook.

SAMMY
Okay, so then the sergeant he comes
over the hill, here, and I’m gonna
go below him so we see him and the
sky, and so we don’t see what he
sees, but we do see that he’s
really, um - okay so he’s like
almost losing his mind, right,
cause what he is seeing is totally
terrible! And then I’m gonna turn
the camera so that we see it.

He jumps up.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
It’s just in another notebook, hang
on -

BORIS
(indicating the editing
machine:)
That’s the movie? You could show me
instead of describing me to death.

SAMMY
Nah, that’s just our stupid camping
trip, my dad’s...
(beat)
He wants me to put this camping
film together so it’ll cheer up
mom.

BORIS
Because her heart is broken because
her mama iz toyt.

Sammy nods, thinking.
Conformed Draft 62.


BORIS (CONT’D)
But you, Mr. Director, you don’t
wanna do this, what your daddy
tells you, because you wanna make
your war picture, ah?

Sammy’s embarrassed, startled to be understood so exactly.

BORIS (CONT’D)
Yeah, yeah... Believe me, Sammy
Boy, I get it. Family, art:
(he makes a fierce gesture
meaning: “Pulled apart”)
It’ll tear you in two.

Down the hall, Mitzi softly plays Muzio Clementi’s Sonatina
in C Major, Op. 36. No. 3: I. “Spiritoso”.

BORIS (CONT’D)
(lifting his head, as if
scenting something:)
You hear that?

SAMMY
Oh yeah, my mom’s practicing, she’s
always -

BORIS
Shah!!!! You talk too much!!
Listen!!

Boris opens the door to hear better. Mitzi’s playing is
tender, soulful, soft.

BORIS (CONT’D)
When she was a kid, already she
played like that, she shoulda been
a concert piano player, a little
Rubenstein she was, she coulda
played... you name it, she coulda
played there, and she, once I
visited her and Teenee and Menashe
in Cincinatti, and she says to me
she wants to be a great piano
artist, but... She didn’t do it.

SAMMY
Yeah, she’s really good! You know
she played on TV!

BORIS
TV!! Feh!! She coulda played the
Musikverein in Vienna!
(he leans towards Sammy:)
Conformed Draft 63.


You see what she got in her heart
is what you got, what I got - ART.
Like me, like you I think, we’re
junkies and art is our drug. Family
we love, but art, we’re meshugah
for art. You think I wanted to
leave my sisters, my mama and papa
and go stick my stupid head in the
mouth of lions?!?!

SAMMY
Putting your head in a lion’s mouth
is art?

BORIS
(roaring with laughter,
then with ferocious
seriousness:)
NO!! Sticking your head in the
mouth of lions was balls!! Making
sure that lion don’t eat my head??
That is art!!
(he takes a drink:)
You see Teenee, she didn’t say to
Mitzi “go do what you gotta!” I
mean she was a good person, my
sister, but she was scared. Scared
for your mother, she should have
safety and family. So Mitzi, she
gave it all up.

He gives Sammy’s cheek a horrible hard squeeze. Sammy yowls.
Boris hangs on, examining Sammy’s head, one side then the
other; after one last painful shake, he lets Sammy go.

SAMMY
OW!

Sammy grabs his cheeks, rubbing them, his eyes watering.

BORIS
I want you should remember how that
hurt. Because when they say all
this -
(gesturing to the film
preparations all over)
- when they say what you do, it’s
cute, it’s a hobby, it’s like
stamps or butterfly collecting, you
feel your face how it feels now!

SAMMY
Yeah, you almost pulled it off!
Conformed Draft 64.


BORIS
So you remember your Onkl Boris and
what he’s telling you: Because
you’re gonna join the circus, I can
tell. You can’t hardly wait, you
wanna be in the big top, you’ll
shovel elephant shit until they say
“OK, Sammy, now ride the goddamn
elephant!” Oh you love those
people, ah?
(gesturing to the rest of
the house)
Your sisters, your mama, your papa,
except -
(whispering, gesturing to
the editing machine:)
- except this, this I think you
love a little more.

SAMMY
No I don’t!

Boris, laughing, reaches for Sammy’s cheeks. Sammy jumps up
and steps out of reach! Boris howls at him:

BORIS
Run all you want, boychick, but you
know I ain’t whistlin’ Dixie here!!
You will make your movies, and you
will do your art, and you remember
how it hurt so you know what I’m
saying: Art will give you crowns in
heaven and laurels on earth. BUT!!
It’ll tear your heart out and leave
you lonely. You’ll be a shonde for
your loved ones, an exile in the
desert, a gypsy. Art is NO GAME!!
Art is dangerous as a lion’s mouth,
it’ll bite your head off!! LOOK AT
ME!! LOOK AT ME!! IS IT A WONDER
THAT TEENEE, SHE WANTED NOTHING TO
DO WITH ME?! WITH - WITH M-
(crying brokenheartedly:)
TEENEE!!! OH, TEENEE!!!

He tears his undershirt and pulls at his hair. Sammy’s
horrified.

SAMMY
Stop! Stop! Stop it!!

Boris stops.
Conformed Draft 65.


BORIS
What, you never saw nobody grieving
before? Pfft!
(lying down on the floor:)
Let’s go to sleep, buballah.

SAMMY
Um, you can sleep in the bed. I
have my sleeping bag.

BORIS
I’m sitting shiva for my sister. I
sleep on the floor. You wanna sleep
on the floor too?
(shrugs:)
She was your grandma. Tear your
clothes. Sleep on the floor.
Goodnight.

Sammy carefully tears a corner of the pocket on his PJ shirt
and stands pensively before his editing machine.
Genres: ["Drama","Family"]

Summary Sammy and Boris talk about Sammy's dream of making movies. Boris convinces Sammy that he should pursue his dream, even if it means going against his family's wishes. He also warns Sammy that art is dangerous and will cause him pain, but it is also worth the sacrifice.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Poignant dialogue
Weaknesses
  • Limited external plot progression
  • Relatively slow pacing

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is emotionally charged, with deep reflections on the characters' inner struggles and desires, making it highly engaging and thought-provoking.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of balancing art and family responsibilities is well-developed and drives the emotional core of the scene.

Plot: 7

While the plot progression is subtle, the scene delves into the characters' internal conflicts and sets up important themes for the story.

Originality: 8

The scene explores the familiar theme of balancing artistic passion with family obligations in a fresh and emotionally resonant way. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are complex and multi-dimensional, with Boris providing wisdom and insight into Sammy's inner turmoil.

Character Changes: 8

Sammy experiences a shift in perspective regarding his passion for filmmaking and the sacrifices it may entail.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to pursue his passion for filmmaking and art, despite the expectations and desires of his family. This reflects his deeper need for creative expression and autonomy.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to edit the camping film to cheer up his mother, as requested by his father. This reflects the immediate challenge he faces in balancing his personal artistic ambitions with family responsibilities.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

The conflict is more internal and emotional rather than external, focusing on the characters' inner struggles.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicting desires and emotional outbursts creating tension and uncertainty. The audience is left unsure of how the characters will resolve their internal conflicts.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes are more personal and emotional, revolving around Sammy's internal struggle between his passion for filmmaking and his family's expectations.

Story Forward: 7

While the scene doesn't advance the external plot significantly, it deepens the audience's understanding of the characters' motivations and conflicts.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional outbursts and revelations from the characters. The shifting dynamics and conflicting desires add a layer of unpredictability to the scene.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene is between pursuing one's artistic passion and fulfilling familial obligations. Boris represents the perspective of following one's artistic dreams, while Sammy is torn between his love for art and his sense of duty to his family.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions of sadness, longing, and regret, drawing the audience into the characters' emotional journey.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is poignant and reveals the characters' emotions and motivations effectively.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its emotional depth, intense character interactions, and thematic complexity. The conflicts and dilemmas faced by the characters draw the audience in and create a sense of suspense and intrigue.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional resonance, allowing for a gradual unfolding of the characters' conflicts and desires.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 7

The formatting of the scene adheres to the expected format for its genre, allowing for clear and engaging storytelling.

Structure: 7

The scene follows a structured format that effectively conveys the characters' emotions and conflicts. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the scene's effectiveness.


Critique
  • The scene effectively captures the dynamic between Sammy and Boris, showcasing Boris as a mentor figure who understands Sammy's passion for filmmaking.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Boris is engaging and reveals deeper themes about the sacrifices and challenges of pursuing art.
  • The emotional depth of the scene is well portrayed, especially through Boris's monologue about the dangers and rewards of art.
  • The scene effectively transitions between moments of humor, tension, and vulnerability, creating a multi-dimensional interaction between the characters.
  • The use of visual elements, such as Boris examining Sammy's head and the editing machine in the background, adds depth to the scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more visual cues to enhance the emotional impact of Boris's monologue, such as close-up shots of the characters' expressions.
  • Explore ways to further develop Sammy's internal conflict between following his passion for filmmaking and meeting his family's expectations.
  • Provide more context or backstory to deepen the audience's understanding of Boris's character and his relationship with Sammy and the family.
  • Consider incorporating subtle foreshadowing or hints about future conflicts or resolutions to build anticipation for upcoming scenes.
  • Experiment with different pacing techniques to create moments of tension and release throughout the scene, enhancing the overall emotional arc.



Scene 20 -  Boris's Farewell and Sammy's Discovery
70 EXT. OUTSIDE THE FABELMAN HOUSE - MORNING 70

A cab waits as the family gathers to send off Boris.

MITZI
(to Lisa)
Say bye bye.

LISA
Bye bye.

BORIS
Bye bye.

As he heads for the taxi, the CABBIE tries to help with his
bag. Boris hangs on until the driver relents. He tosses the
suitcase in the cab then turns back, pointing at Sammy, who
seems pinned by his intensity. The family all turn to Sammy,
puzzled. Boris repeats the torn-in-two gesture. He gets in
the cab and it drives away. Burt puts his arm around Mitzi.

MITZI
(wiping her eyes:)
I don’t know what momma was so
worried about. It was a nice visit.

71 INT. SAMMY'S BEDROOM/THE LIVING ROOM - 2AM 71

Mitzi in her nightgown in the living room, playing the Adagio
from Bach’s Concerto in D Minor, BMV 974. Burt is on the
Conformed Draft 66.


sofa, papers all about him, scribbling work-related notes as
he listens to her play.
73 CUT BACK TO: 73

The editing machine’s loaded. Sammy turns the handle, feeding
footage through the viewer: Mitzi eats some stew from the
campfire. She turns to Sammy’s camera and opens her mouth
wide, exhibiting the masticated contents. Then she feigns
theatrically choking and dying. Reggie steps in to haul her
to her feet, laughing.

Sammy transfers the film to the editing block and cuts out
the shot to add to the series of trims taped to his table.

Everyone walks up a steep path, smiling, waving at the
camera. Sammy at the editing machine scowls and cranks
faster, racing through till he gets to:

Mitzi rides up and down on the sapling while Burt teaches the
girls tripod-building. Sammy at the editor slows down at a
possible jump from the tree lifting Mitzi to a close-up of
her face, laughing, lit-up, a little scared. He enjoys
speeding it up, reversing it.

Sammy searches through a new reel, now enjoying the work. He
cranks ahead till he gets to:

Burt gutting a fish, Lisa, Natalie and Reggie looking grossed
out. Reggie pretends to eat the fish guts, grossing out
Natalie. Sammy chuckles, then he cranks ahead, stops and
reverses - his eye’s been snagged by something. Cranking the
film forward again, slowly, Sammy bends closer to the ground-
glass screen. At a distance from Burt and the girls, in the
frames’ background, Mitzi and Bennie are seated on a log
together, deep in conversation. Bennie playfully puts his hat
on Mitzi’s head.

Sammy stares at this frame, then he slowly turns the crank,
wanting to move past this but also reluctant to do so.
Deciding to leave it, he zooms through a few more scenes.

Everyone’s walking across a stone bridge, pretending to be
tightrope walkers, Mitzi and Bennie last in line. Bennie
puts both his hands on Mitzi’s shoulders and starts to draw
her close to him. Sammy slows the film down as Mitzi allows
Bennie to hold her before she spins and pulls Bennie’s big
hat down over his eyes. The reel ends and Sammy, yawning,
changes it out.

CUT TO:
Conformed Draft 67.


In the living room, Mitzi continues with the Bach. Burt
listens as he works, making calculations with one hand,
conducting with the other.
77 CUT BACK TO: 77

Sammy scrolls rapidly through a new roll, stopping at a
sequence of Reggie and Natalie clowning around with some
branches. In the background, Bennie and Mitzi walk along a
trail into the woods.

Something catches Sammy eye and he reverses the film to play
it again slowly, intent on -

Mitzi and Bennie in the woods, partly obscured by tree
branches, but what’s not hidden is Bennie putting his hand
tenderly on the small of Mitzi’s back; Mitzi moves his hand
away, but as she does she looks back over her shoulder to
make sure no one’s watching. Then she leans over and kisses
Bennie’s ear. He playfully flicks at his ear as if brushing
off a mosquito. They laugh and walk together into the
darkness of the woods, Mitzi leaning her body against
Bennie’s as they disappear from view.

Sammy throws the reel off the editor and reloads the earlier
one of the stone bridge crossing. The intimacy between Mitzi
and Bennie is even more clear as she gazes lovingly into his
eyes when he steadies her balance.

CUT TO:

In the living room, Burt continues “conducting” with his
pencil.

CUT TO:

Sammy has loaded a new reel: Mitzi, Burt and Bennie clowning
around at the campsite. Burt and Bennie laugh as Mitzi
gesticulates dramatically, doing silent movie Lillian-Gish-
type schtick. She puts her hand to her forehead in a 19th
Century stage swoon. Both Burt and Bennie move to catch her.
Mitzi switches direction mid-swoon to make sure that when
she’s caught, it’s by Bennie, not Burt. Bennie dips her as if
about to go in for a passionate kiss. He scrolls slowly ahead
to a frame of Bennie’s and Mitzi’s faces, almost about to
kiss. The next frame, an instant so quick it barely
registered, but there it is on frame: Mitzi has abandoned her
stage-pucker and is looking up into Bennie’s eyes
meaningfully, sad, serious.

Sammy shoves back from the movie editor and stands,
overwhelmed, terrified; he’s having a panic attack.

CUT TO:
Conformed Draft 68.


In the living room, Mitzi is reaching a climax in the piece
she’s playing. Sammy seems pinned to the wall with the
incriminating frame of Mitzi and Bennie frozen on the screen.
He slumps to the floor.
78 CUT TO: 78

79 Mitzi finishes gently. Burt, still on the sofa but sitting 79
up, watches her with love. Mitzi returns his gaze,
unreadable.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Family Drama","Coming of Age"]

Summary As Boris departs in a cab, Sammy edits family footage, discovering intimate moments between Mitzi and Bennie. The revelation overwhelms him, leading to a panic attack.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Nostalgic atmosphere
Weaknesses
  • Lack of external conflict
  • Minimal dialogue

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively captures the emotional depth of the characters and provides insight into their relationships, creating a poignant and engaging moment for the audience.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of revisiting old family footage to uncover hidden emotions and relationships is compelling and adds depth to the characters and story.

Plot: 7

The plot focuses on Sammy's emotional journey and his discovery about his mother and uncle's past, adding layers to the family dynamics and character development.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh approach to exploring family dynamics and relationships, with a focus on internal conflicts and emotional complexities. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters, especially Sammy, Mitzi, and Bennie, are well-developed and their emotions are portrayed effectively, drawing the audience into their personal struggles and relationships.

Character Changes: 8

Sammy undergoes a significant emotional change as he discovers the truth about his mother and uncle's past, leading to a deeper understanding of his family dynamics.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal in this scene is to come to terms with the growing intimacy between his mother, Mitzi, and Bennie. This reflects his fear of losing his mother's attention and affection to another man.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to edit the footage and capture the family's activities, but this is overshadowed by his internal conflict regarding his mother's relationship with Bennie.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 5

The conflict is more internal and emotional, focusing on Sammy's personal journey and realizations rather than external conflicts.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with Sammy facing internal and external conflicts that challenge his beliefs and relationships.

High Stakes: 4

While the emotional stakes are high for Sammy and his family dynamics, there are no immediate external high stakes in this particular scene.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by revealing important insights into the characters' past and relationships, setting the stage for future developments.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional revelations and character dynamics that challenge the audience's expectations.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the themes of family loyalty, jealousy, and acceptance. Sammy's beliefs about family dynamics and his mother's relationships are challenged by the unfolding events.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions of love, loss, and nostalgia, creating a poignant and memorable moment for the audience.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is minimal but impactful, allowing the visuals and emotions to drive the scene forward.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its emotional depth, character conflicts, and subtle revelations that keep the audience invested in the unfolding drama.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional intensity, allowing for moments of reflection and character development.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene adheres to the expected format for its genre, with clear scene descriptions and character actions. The use of visual cues and dialogue enhances the storytelling.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a structured format that effectively conveys the emotional tension and character development. The transitions between locations and character interactions are well-paced.


Critique
  • The scene effectively builds tension and intrigue with the subtle hints of intimacy between Mitzi and Bennie, creating a sense of unease and conflict for Sammy.
  • The use of visual storytelling through the editing of the film reels adds depth to the scene and enhances the emotional impact.
  • The pacing of the scene is well-executed, gradually revealing the growing intimacy between Mitzi and Bennie through Sammy's discovery.
  • The juxtaposition of Mitzi playing Bach's Concerto in D Minor while Sammy uncovers the intimate moments between her and Bennie adds a layer of complexity to the scene.
  • The scene effectively conveys Sammy's internal struggle and panic as he uncovers the truth about his mother and uncle.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more subtle visual cues or foreshadowing earlier in the script to hint at the growing intimacy between Mitzi and Bennie, building up to the reveal in this scene.
  • Explore ways to heighten the emotional impact of Sammy's discovery, perhaps by incorporating his reactions or thoughts more explicitly.
  • Consider incorporating more dialogue or interactions between the characters to further develop the tension and conflict surrounding Mitzi and Bennie's relationship.
  • Experiment with different camera angles or visual techniques to enhance the sense of unease and tension in the scene.
  • Consider adding a resolution or follow-up scene to address the aftermath of Sammy's discovery and its impact on the family dynamics.



Scene 21 -  The Film and the War Film
81 INT. THE DINING ROOM - NIGHT 81

Burt, Bennie, Reggie, Natalie and Lisa sit around the table
in the dark, watching the camping film. On screen, Mitzi mugs
for the camera with her mouth full of food. They all laugh.

LISA
Yuck!

On screen, Mitzi pretends to choke. Then it cuts to her
riding the springy sapling.

FAMILY
Whoa!

On screen, Mitzi peeks out at the camera from her sleeping
bag.

FAMILY (CONT’D)
Aww...

As the on screen Mitzi sits up and speaks to the camera, real-
life Mitzi does her best to dub herself.

MITZI
This. Is. The. Life!

Sammy watches, unsmiling.

On screen, Mitzi’s dance, edited by Sammy, dramatic and
beautiful. Joy, sorrow, desire move across Mitzi’s face as
she vanishes into the darkness beyond the headlights, then,
with her instinct for drama, Mitzi runs to the campfire,
lifts out a flaming smoking branch, and begins to twirl
around with it, whirling a trail of smoke and embers, caught
in the headlights, until she’s cloaked herself in her own
nocturnal tornado.

BENNIE
Only you can prevent forest fires.
Conformed Draft 69.


MITZI
Shhh...

Then everything goes brilliant white as the film spools out.
Mitzi gets up and goes to him, enfolding him in her arms.

MITZI (CONT’D)
It’s so beautiful, what you made,
Dolly. You really see me.

He allows it for a moment, but then steps aside to busy
himself with the projector.

BENNIE (O.S.)
Hey, man, how ‘bout that, huh?

BURT (O.S.)
(quietly:)
Hey Sammy. That was real neat.

Sammy can’t speak. Mitzi is left with a quizzical look:
“What’s wrong.”

83 EXT. AN ABANDONED ADOBE PUEBLO, THE DESERT OUTSIDE PHOENIX - 83
DAY

A teen in a t-shirt and a makeshift Nazi helmet stands on a
boulder, bringing his assault weapon to bear.

“NAZI” SOLDIER
DIE AMERIKANER!!!

As his comrades charge over the rocks, he jiggles his gun
from fake “recoil” and makes machine gun sounds with his
mouth.

Other howling BOYS charge at the camera, in uniform: tan
chinos, black t-shirts, black infantry caps, each with a
cardboard badge of a Swastika-clutching German eagle. The kid
playing their commander wears a genuine WWII German helmet.
They’re armed with toy rifles and BB guns; a few have real
lugers which they wave as they hurl themselves forward,
laying siege to an American stronghold inside the pueblo.

They sweep past Sammy, who pans with them to catch all of the
action on his camera.

Sammy digs two shallow holes in the dirt, then sets a board
on a rock as a pivot point to seesaw between the divots. He
covers one end with dirt so that when he steps on the other
side of the board, it launches a cloud of dirt into the air.
Instant “explosion”. The costumed actors are thrilled by the
effect.
Conformed Draft 70.


In a series of fast, VIOLENT cuts: Hand-to-hand combat,
American soldiers in white t-shirts and green infantry caps
bayoneting Germans, Germans shooting Americans. The boys have
sponges filled with red tempera paint; when they get shot,
they press the sponges and squeeze; the blood oozes out.
Sammy, crouching, moves in and around the fighting soldiers,
filming. He uses an old baby carriage as a makeshift dolly
to sweep across a line of charging soldiers. He comes in
close as one soldier, shot in the face, mashes his hands
against his eyes and screams as blood gushes between his
fingers.

Roger carefully lays a string of firecrackers in a shallow
trench, then covers it with dirt. Later, as soldiers race
through the area, the firecracker puffs mimic machine gun
fire tearing through their ranks. They all fall.

Then ANGELO, a tall, handsome, tough-looking 16 year old
playing an American sergeant, enters with a surplus army
machine gun. He fires at the Germans. Dozens of
firecrackers, concealed in the wall against which the Germans
have been forced, detonate! Despite the visible evidence of
burning fuses, this sells the impression of bullets
destroying the wall and the soldiers! Germans collapse like
bloody, dusty rag dolls!

SAMMY
Turn...

Angelo turns so the camera can catch his face, looking
heroic.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
CUT! GREAT! Now...

Sammy hands Sal the camera and pulls Angelo aside to issue
new directions. Hark, Turkey and Dean hand out Dixie cups of
kool-aid to the dead soldiers, while Roger and Sal carefully
wipe the dust from the lens.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
You’re standing here for a minute,
looking down at what just happened -

SAMMY (CONT’D) ANGELO
I’ll give you a signal when I A whole minute?
want you to start to move,
okay? -
No, don’t count to 60, you
just gotta -
Like, you mean I should count
to 60, like one-Missippi two-
Mississippi? And then I move?
Conformed Draft 71.


SAMMY (CONT’D)
(regrouping)
So you’re all like, Oh my God, like
ALL my men, they’re all, they’re
all dead! All my men, they’re -

ANGELO
So you want me to like act and
stuff.

SAMMY ANGELO (CONT’D)
Yeah! Right, um, that’s the - Like I’m sorta sad or
something. Cuz my whole
platoon -

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Right right, your platoon. Your
men. They’ve been wiped out. These
guys they’re your family, your
family’s being like, like murdered,
and it’s your fault, you did this
to them, and -

ANGELO
I thought it was the Nazis that -

SAMMY
Okay, yeah but, but it was you gave
the order to go down into the
Valley of Death! Okay, you decided.
Nobody else. You coulda, you coulda
protected them, okay? ‘Cause they
trusted you, and they loved you.
Now you’re just looking at this, at
this thing that you’ve done, and
you can’t save them anymore -

ANGELO
Because they’re all dead.

Sammy nods, his eyes filled with tears, shaking.

ANGELO (CONT’D)
(seriousness sinking in:)
Wow, that’s... real gung-ho. Um,
okay.
(he’s got it:)
Okay.

SAMMY
You good?
Conformed Draft 72.


ANGELO
Lock and load. Yeah, yeah. Lock and
load. Alright.

SAMMY
Good.


LATER

Angelo steps from behind a ruined wall, a mass of dead
soldiers behind him. He looks down at the valley in front of
him.

Angelo has an instinctive understanding of how to do this
acting thing. His face is hard, clenched tight, but something
powerful is battering away beneath the surface, and as he
walks slowly down among the bodies of his men, Sammy creeps
along beside him, tracking him with the baby carriage dolly.

As the camera moves with Angelo, the “dead men” behind him
scramble to their feet and race around behind the camera to
set up again in FRONT of Angelo. They hit the dirt just as
Angelo reaches them and Sammy pans to take in the “new”
carnage - twenty American soldiers, strewn across the desert
in the positions and postures of their final agonies.

Angelo walks through the bodies and out into empty desert.
Sammy keeps filming, but Sammy takes his eye off the camera,
leaving it running on the tripod. Angelo, overwhelmed,
openly weeps with his back to the camera. Sammy stares at
Angelo’s retreating form, his thoughts elsewhere.

SAL
Uh, Sammy? How far you gonna let
him walk?

SAMMY
(snapping out of his
reverie:)
CUT!!!

Angelo doesn’t hear him; he keeps walking. The dead soldiers
start to stand and with Sammy’s crew they yell at Angelo:

DEAD SOLDIERS AND CREW
ANGELO!!! HEY THAT’S A CUT,
ANGELO!! STOP!!! CUT!! COME BACK!!!

SAMMY
ANGELO!!!
84 CUT TO: 84
Conformed Draft 73.
Genres: ["Drama","War","Action"]

Summary The family watches a camping film that Sammy edited, featuring a dance by Mitzi. Sammy then directs other boys in creating a war film in the desert, using effects like firecrackers and dust to simulate war.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Innovative concept
  • Intense action sequences
  • Character growth
Weaknesses
  • Potential for confusion with the war reenactment within a film

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is highly engaging, emotionally impactful, and showcases a unique blend of drama and action.


Story Content

Concept: 9

The concept of using children to reenact a war scene with creative special effects is innovative and adds depth to the storytelling.

Plot: 8

The plot advances through the war reenactment scene, revealing character emotions and relationships.

Originality: 8

The scene introduces a fresh perspective on the creative process and the dynamics of filmmaking within a group of friends. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds a layer of originality to the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters show depth, emotion, and growth, especially Angelo who undergoes a significant emotional journey.

Character Changes: 8

Angelo undergoes a significant emotional change, from stoic soldier to emotionally overwhelmed, showcasing growth and vulnerability.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to feel seen and understood by his partner, Mitzi. He craves validation and recognition for his creative work and wants to connect emotionally with her.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to successfully direct a dramatic scene for the film he is making with his friends. He wants to capture the emotions and intensity of the moment.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between the characters, the war reenactment, and the emotional turmoil adds intensity to the scene.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicting desires and emotions driving the characters' actions and interactions.

High Stakes: 8

The high stakes of the war reenactment, emotional turmoil, and character growth add tension and importance to the scene.

Story Forward: 9

The scene moves the story forward by revealing character dynamics, emotions, and setting up future conflicts.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional turns and the nuanced character dynamics that keep the audience engaged.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

There is a philosophical conflict between the protagonist's desire for creative control and authenticity in his filmmaking, and the need to balance the expectations and desires of his friends who are also involved in the project.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions from the audience through the portrayal of loss, responsibility, and sacrifice.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue effectively conveys emotions, motivations, and relationships between the characters.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the dynamic interactions between the characters, the emotional depth of the protagonist's journey, and the blend of humor and drama.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional depth, keeping the audience engaged and invested in the characters' journey.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene is consistent with the genre and effectively conveys the visual and emotional elements of the story.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a clear structure with a buildup of tension and emotional depth. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene starts off with a light-hearted family moment watching the camping film, but quickly transitions into a violent war reenactment, which feels jarring and out of place.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Angelo feels forced and unrealistic, lacking depth and authenticity in their interaction.
  • The emotional depth of the scene is not fully explored, especially in Angelo's breakdown at the end. It feels rushed and underdeveloped.
  • The transition from directing the war reenactment to Sammy's crew yelling at Angelo to stop walking feels abrupt and disjointed.
  • There is a lack of clarity in the purpose and message of the scene, leaving the audience confused about the significance of the war reenactment and Angelo's emotional response.
Suggestions
  • Consider reevaluating the tone and pacing of the scene to ensure a smoother transition between the family moment and the war reenactment.
  • Focus on developing more authentic and meaningful dialogue between Sammy and Angelo to convey the emotional weight of the situation.
  • Take the time to fully explore Angelo's emotional journey and breakdown, allowing the audience to connect with his character on a deeper level.
  • Work on creating a more cohesive and logical progression in the scene, avoiding abrupt shifts in tone and narrative.
  • Clarify the purpose and message of the scene to ensure that the audience understands the significance of the war reenactment and Angelo's emotional response.



Scene 22 -  Sammy's Screening
85 INT. THE JAYCEE HALL, PHOENIX - NIGHT 85

Sammy, in his scout uniform, mans the projector once more.
It’s being watched by an audience of Boy Scouts and their
parents, mostly dads, clearly swept up in the drama onscreen.

In a middle row, Reggie, Natalie, Lisa, Burt, Mitzi and
Bennie sit, as enthralled as everyone else. The sound of the
projector starts to grow louder and louder.

8MM: The heat of the climactic battle by the adobe pueblo,
Americans and Germans killing each other.

Alfred Newman’s “Buffalo Stampede” from How The West Was Won
is playing on a phonograph record; underneath the music, the
whirring of the projector.

Behind the projector, Sammy’s attention is angrily,
exclusively fastened on the backs of the heads of Burt, Mitzi
and Bennie.


ON THE SCREEN

The carnage continues. A blast to the chest of one soldier
is accented by an exceptionally bloody makeshift squib.


IN THE AUDIENCE

Everyone GASPS and Natalie quickly covers both Lisa’s eyes
and her own. Lisa pushes her sister’s hand aside.


ON THE SCREEN

Angelo mows down the last of the Germans, then steps out of
the ruins and begins his solemn walk through the valley of
his slain comrades and into the dessert.


IN THE AUDIENCE

The projector’s whirr is turning into a loud roar in Sammy’s
ears, beginning to drown out Newman’s score.

Mitzi is deeply moved by the moment. Natalie and Reggie are
rapt, but Sammy’s focus remains on his parents and Bennie.

Over the shot of Angelo walking away, a screen title
announces: “ESCAPE TO NOWHERE”.

The audience applauds, but Sammy can’t take his eyes off the
three adults. They’re applauding too - Mitzi ecstatically.
Conformed Draft 74.


Sammy watches Burt turning, smiling and excited, to Mitzi,
just at the moment when Mitzi turns to Bennie to mouth
silently: “OH MY GOD!”

CU on Sammy, his face fierce, stricken, drawn tight, glaring
at the three adults. They turn to face him, directing their
applause to him.

BURT
Sammy!

86 EXT. THE JAYCEE PARKING LOT - NIGHT 86

The scouts and their families are leaving. Roger, Turkey,
Sal, Dean and Hark help Sammy load equipment into the car.
Mitzi, her hands on Sammy’s shoulders, whispers:

MITZI
Oh Dolly. You’re not a civilian
anymore. That movie, my God it was -

Sammy, scowling, steps back, shrugging off her hands. Roger
edges by to load some equipment.

ROGER
Hi, Mrs. Fabelman.

Sammy turns to Mitzi, but has nothing to say. He walks off,
leaving her puzzled and slightly hurt.

Bennie barrels up to Sammy.

BENNIE
(moving in to hug Sammy:)
Mister DeMille! C’mere!

Sammy silently sidesteps him to join his father, who stands
with Angelo, SCOUTMASTER NEWHART, and one of the troop DADS.

BURT
Hey, there he is!

Sammy grins, embarrassed, as the dads slap him on the back
and compliment him.

ANGELO TROOP DAD
Hey! Congratulations, young man!
Congratulations!

SCOUTMASTER NEWHART
Guess you based it on your father’s
war stories, huh?
Conformed Draft 75.


SAMMY
Sort of, you know. He doesn’t
really like to talk about it, so...

SCOUTMASTER NEWHART
I understand.

The girls walk up.

REGGIE
Dad, Mom’s getting a ride with
Bennie. She’ll see us at home.

Burt and Sammy both look across the parking lot: Mitzi is
getting into the passenger seat of Bennie’s car; he’s holding
the door for her.

REGGIE (CONT’D)
(to Sammy)
Hey, why do you like blood so much?

NATALIE
Are you ever gonna make a movie
with parts for girls again?

Sammy looks at Burt to gauge his reaction; Burt looks
surprised, a little crestfallen. Then, aware that Sammy’s
scrutinizing him, he gives Sammy a bemused, quizzical look.
Sammy immediately looks away, turning to his sisters.

SAMMY
(still distracted)
What?

NATALIE
With GIRLS. You know, like, when
all the men stare off into the
distance all the time, maybe a girl
can save the day.
Genres: ["Drama","War","Family"]

Summary Sammy projects a war film for an audience of Boy Scouts and their parents. Behind the projector, he glares angrily at his parents and Bennie, who are sitting in the front row. The film is met with applause, but Sammy remains focused on the adults. Outside, Mitzi praises Sammy for the film, but he shrugs her off. Bennie attempts to hug Sammy, but he ignores him and joins his father and Angelo. Burt and the other dads congratulate Sammy for the film. Reggie and Natalie ask Sammy about his future films, but he is distracted by Mitzi getting into Bennie's car.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character complexity
  • Tension building
Weaknesses
  • Potential for confusion with multiple character reactions

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys a range of emotions and conflicts, setting up a compelling narrative for future developments.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a young filmmaker grappling with family dynamics and personal passion is engaging and relatable.

Plot: 7

The plot advances through the presentation of the war film and the reactions of the characters, setting up potential conflicts and resolutions.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh approach to family dynamics and explores the impact of war on relationships in a unique way. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and relatable.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters' reactions and interactions reveal depth and complexity, hinting at underlying tensions and personal struggles.

Character Changes: 8

The protagonist's internal conflict and emotional turmoil indicate a potential for character growth and development.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal in this scene is to confront his feelings of anger and betrayal towards his parents and their relationship with Mitzi. He is struggling with his emotions and trying to make sense of the situation.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to successfully finish the screening of the film and handle the equipment with the help of his friends. He also wants to impress his father and the other adults present.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 8

The internal and external conflicts within the family and the protagonist add tension and depth to the scene.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with Sammy facing internal and external conflicts that challenge his beliefs and values.

High Stakes: 7

The emotional stakes are high for the characters, especially the young filmmaker protagonist, as he navigates personal passion and family dynamics.

Story Forward: 7

The scene sets up future conflicts and resolutions, moving the narrative forward with emotional depth.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected reactions and emotions of the characters, as well as the shifting dynamics between them.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around loyalty, family dynamics, and the impact of war on relationships. Sammy is torn between his loyalty to his family and his feelings of betrayal.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The emotional depth and intensity of the scene resonate with the audience, drawing them into the characters' struggles.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys emotions and conflicts, adding layers to the characters' relationships.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the emotional tension and conflict between the characters, as well as the dramatic setting and high stakes.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by building tension and suspense, as well as allowing for moments of emotional impact.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with clear scene descriptions and character actions. The dialogue is well-written and adds depth to the characters.

Structure: 8

The scene follows the expected structure for its genre, with a clear setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene effectively captures the tension and conflict brewing within Sammy as he projects his war film for an audience of Boy Scouts and their parents.
  • The use of visual and auditory elements, such as the loud whirring of the projector and the dramatic music, adds to the intensity of the scene.
  • The dynamic between Sammy and his family members, especially Mitzi and Bennie, is well portrayed, showcasing the underlying tensions and emotions.
  • Sammy's internal struggle and his fierce, stricken expression as he watches his parents and Bennie applaud the film reveal the depth of his emotions and conflicts.
  • The scene effectively sets up the ongoing conflicts and relationships within the family, hinting at future developments and tensions.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more internal monologue or dialogue for Sammy to further explore his conflicting emotions and thoughts.
  • Enhance the visual and auditory elements to heighten the tension and drama of the scene, such as using close-up shots and impactful music cues.
  • Explore the relationships between Sammy and his family members in more depth, delving into the complexities of their interactions and emotions.
  • Provide more context or backstory to deepen the audience's understanding of Sammy's internal struggles and conflicts.
  • Consider incorporating subtle foreshadowing or hints of future developments to build anticipation and intrigue for the audience.



Scene 23 -  Revelation in the Closet
88 INT. THE FABELMAN HOUSE - MORNING 88

CU on the BSA pamphlet for Life-Saving, open to a section
dealing with saving people who are drowning.

Sammy, shirtless in swimming trunks, Reggie, Natalie and Lisa
are at the breakfast table. Mitzi, upset, closed off, is
making a huge batch of matzoh brei. Sammy is in his bathing
suit. He’s not eating. Natalie holds the BSA pamphlet and is
quizzing Sammy.
Conformed Draft 76.


NATALIE
OK what are the five steps to save
a drowning person?

SAMMY
One is you swim behind the person
so they don’t grab you. Two you
throw your arm across his chest.

SAMMY (CONT’D) REGGIE
Three - Or her chest.




THREE you swim on your back, NATALIE
with the victim on your Not Sammy, he’s too scared of
chest, using your free arm to girls’ boobies.
paddle yourself -

SAMMY (CONT’D)
(to Natalie)
And speaking of boobies, if you
ever get any we’ll have a party.

REGGIE
And at the party we’ll give her the
booby-prize!

NATALIE
Ha-HAH! What’s four?

SAMMY
Ummmm... Crap.

NATALIE
Bring the victim to land, dummy!
And then five:

Sammy tries to remember.

MITZI
Call the undertaker.

SAMMY
(to Mitzi, immediately
angry:)
This is serious business! I gotta
know all of this to get the
Lifesaving Merit Badge! More kids
die in swimming accidents than in
any other kind of accident!
Conformed Draft 77.


MITZI
Sorry, I’m sorry.

SAMMY
Not everything is a big joke.

MITZI
Okay, okay, so what’s step number
five?

SAMMY
You laugh at everything, even when
nothing’s funny! You always have to
be the center of attention!

Mitzi slams a plate of matzoh brei in front of him.

MITZI
Eat! And don’t talk with your mouth
full!

SAMMY
I’M NOT EATING THIS CRUD BEFORE A
SWIMMING TEST!! YOU CAN GET CRAMPS
IN THE WATER IF YOU EAT BEFORE AND
YOU CAN DROWN FROM GETTING CRAMPS.

Reggie springs from her chair to confront Sammy.

REGGIE
Stop shouting at her!

MITZI
Sammy Fabelman! Goddamn it, for
weeks now it has been nothing but
disrespect from you!

SAMMY
(attempting a sneering
laugh:)
“Disrespect!”

MITZI
Why are you being such a little
shit to me? Dammit to hell, I am
your mother!!

Sammy jumps up and walks up to Mitzi and snarls:

SAMMY
I WISH YOU WEREN’T!!

He turns and starts to walk away. Mitzi, before she can catch
herself, strikes out at him, slapping his bare back with her
Conformed Draft 78.


open hand so hard that he stumbles forward. The slap sounds
like a gunshot. Sammy spins around; they’re both shocked. The
girls are shocked. Lisa starts crying. Sammy turns and runs
to his room. Mitzi stands there, stunned at what she’s done.
89 CUT TO: 89

Sammy slams the door of his bedroom, fighting to hold back
tears. He throws open the closet door and looks at his back
in the mirror. An angry red welt is rising in the exact shape
of his mother’s open hand.

Mitzi enters the bedroom. Sammy starts to pull on a t-shirt.
Mitzi goes to him and stops him, spinning him around. She
sees the red hand-print on his back.

MITZI
Let me see... Oh my God, oh what
have I done?

He spins on her. He looks as if he’s going to attack her. She
takes an involuntary step back. Sammy stands there, shaking,
his fury being replaced by a plea for help he’s not able to
speak. She retreats, shocked, small.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Talk to me.

Sammy turns to the door, but Mitzi grabs his shoulders,
pleading.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Sammy, please. Talk to me. Tell me
what’s happening. Do you have any
idea how much I love you?

He nods. Then steps away.

MITZI (CONT’D)
(small)
Don’t go...

But instead of leaving, he closes the bedroom door. Mitzi
watches as he goes to his desk, opens a drawer and takes out
a small plastic reel of film.

He looks at his mom for a moment, then decides. He plugs in
the projector, goes into the closet, sits on the floor and
starts loading the film.

CU on Sammy’s nimble fingers expertly threads the film
through the sprocket holes, then through the gate, which he
closes, then up to the take-up reel.
Conformed Draft 79.


Sammy opens the closet and extends a hand to Mitzi, who’s
smiling to cover her confusion. He takes her hand and gently
pulls her into the closet.

She sits on the floor of the closet next to the projector.
Sammy looks at her. There’s another flash of hesitation, then
he reaches down and switches on the projector. He steps out
of the closet, closing the door behind him.
90 CUT TO: 90

The dark closet lights up as the film starts to play on the
opposite wall. Mitzi, her face uplit by the projector’s
light, watches, baffled, bemused when she recognizes that
this is more footage from the camping trip. Then:

8MM: FULL SCREEN: Mitzi sitting by Bennie as he playfully
puts his hat on her head.

Mitzi watches, smiling at first. But her small slowly fades
as the clips continue and she realizes what they mean.


IN THE BEDROOM

Sammy sits on his bed, waiting in anxious silence.


IN THE CLOSET

The film runs through the projector and flaps in the take-up
reel. Mitzi opens the door and clumsily crawls out of the
closet on all fours. Sammy’s sitting there, paralyzed.
Realizing that the projector is still running, Mitzi yanks
its power cord from the wall socket; then she sits on the
floor.

She begins to cry, trying to stop herself, but the floodgates
burst open: She sobs, loudly, devastated. Sammy doesn’t know
what to do. He sits down on the floor next to his mom.

SAMMY
Mom... Mom... I won’t tell. I won’t
tell, I won’t

She hides her face and can’t speak. He leans into her,
resting his head on her shoulder. She puts her arm around
him. They sit, Mitzi crying, Sammy horrified at what he’s
done.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
I won’t tell. I won’t.

FADE TO BLACK.
Conformed Draft 80.
Genres: ["Drama","Family"]

Summary Sammy is studying for his Lifesaving Merit Badge while Mitzi makes breakfast. A heated argument leads to Mitzi slapping Sammy, who then discovers her affair with Bennie. Despite the betrayal, Sammy promises not to tell and comforts Mitzi as she cries in remorse.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Tension building
Weaknesses
  • Some dialogue may feel slightly melodramatic

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is emotionally charged, well-written, and effectively conveys the tension and eventual resolution within the family dynamic.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of using film projection as a catalyst for emotional release and reconciliation is unique and impactful.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around the escalating conflict between the mother and son, leading to a moment of vulnerability and connection.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on family dynamics and explores themes of anger, love, and forgiveness in a compelling way. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed, with complex emotions and motivations driving their actions.

Character Changes: 8

Both characters experience a significant shift in their relationship and understanding of each other.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to navigate his complex emotions towards his mother and come to terms with his feelings of anger and hurt. This reflects his deeper need for understanding and connection.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to prepare for a swimming test and earn the Lifesaving Merit Badge. This goal reflects the immediate challenge he is facing in the scene.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between the mother and son is intense and drives the emotional core of the scene.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicting emotions and power struggles driving the character interactions and narrative progression.

High Stakes: 8

The emotional stakes are high as the family confronts deep-seated issues and seeks reconciliation.

Story Forward: 7

While the scene focuses more on emotional development than plot progression, it sets the stage for future dynamics within the family.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable due to the unexpected emotional outbursts and shifting power dynamics between the characters, keeping the audience on edge.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict evident in this scene is the clash between the protagonist's need for independence and his mother's desire for connection and discipline. This challenges the protagonist's beliefs about autonomy and family.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions from the audience, particularly in the moments of confrontation and reconciliation.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the escalating tension and emotional turmoil within the family.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its emotional intensity, conflict-driven narrative, and relatable character dynamics that draw the audience in.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional resonance, leading to a powerful and impactful resolution.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene follows the expected format for its genre, with clear scene descriptions and character actions.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional stakes, leading to a climactic moment of confrontation and vulnerability.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a focus on the BSA pamphlet for Life-Saving, but the transition to the breakfast table feels abrupt and disconnected.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and his sisters, especially the comments about 'boobies' and the party, feels out of place and inappropriate given the serious nature of the scene.
  • The tension between Sammy and Mitzi escalates quickly and dramatically, leading to a physical altercation with Mitzi slapping Sammy, which may be too intense for the context of the scene.
  • The emotional outburst from Sammy, expressing his frustration and anger towards his mother, feels raw and authentic but may need more build-up and development to fully resonate with the audience.
  • The resolution between Sammy and Mitzi, with Sammy promising not to tell about the footage he discovered, feels rushed and could benefit from more exploration of their complex relationship.
Suggestions
  • Consider a smoother transition from the BSA pamphlet to the breakfast table to create a more cohesive flow in the scene.
  • Revisit the dialogue between Sammy and his sisters to ensure it aligns with the emotional intensity of the scene and the characters' relationships.
  • Explore alternative ways to depict the conflict between Sammy and Mitzi that maintain the emotional impact without resorting to physical violence.
  • Allow for more gradual development of the tension between Sammy and Mitzi to build up to the emotional climax in a more organic way.
  • Consider adding more depth to the resolution between Sammy and Mitzi to provide a more satisfying and nuanced conclusion to their conflict.



Scene 24 -  Uncle Bennie's Gift
92 INT. A CAMERA STORE, PHOENIX - DAY 92

CU on Sammy’s much-used Bolex P1 camera in Sammy’s hands,
putting it down on the glass counter top.

THE FIRST CLERK (O.S.)
You sure about this?

SAMMY
Uh huh.

A rapping at the other end of the counter makes Sammy look;
Bennie’s handing a receipt to a SECOND CLERK.

BENNIE
There ya go, bought and paid for.

THE SECOND CLERK
(taking the receipt:)
Oh, just a second, it’s in the
back.

Bennie notices Sammy, waves and makes is way down the
counter.

BENNIE
Stocking up on Kodak before the big
move?

SAMMY
(confused, suspicious,
hostile:)
No, I’m -

BENNIE
Smart! Film’s cheaper here than in
California. I bet everything’s more
expensive there.
(to the clerk:)
You’re losing your steadiest
customer. Him and his whole family,
they’re moving west.

THE FIRST CLERK
(nodding, then:)
He just sold me his camera.

BENNIE
(to Sammy:)
Oh yeah? How come?

THE FIRST CLERK
Says he’s finished.
Conformed Draft 81.


The second clerk returns, placing a large box on the counter.

THE SECOND CLERK
Sorry about the wait, Mr. Loewy, we
had to order it special.

SAMMY
You bought a camera?

Making a drumroll, Bennie slides the box across the counter
to Sammy. It’s a new Bolex H-8 Reflex camera.

BENNIE
It’s for you.

Sammy stares at Bennie.

BENNIE (CONT’D)
I know how much you loved using it
for your war picture, so I figured
you oughta have one of your own.
It’s, um, a bon-voyage-see-ya-later-
alligator-I-believe-in-you present
from your uncle Bennie.
Genres: ["Drama","Family","Coming-of-age"]

Summary Sammy sells his Bolex camera at a camera store. His uncle Bennie walks in and notices him. Bennie tells Sammy he knows he's moving to California and that he bought him a new Bolex H-8 Reflex camera as a bon-voyage present.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character dynamics
  • Exploration of themes
Weaknesses
  • Potential lack of clarity on Sammy's internal conflict

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys emotional depth and conflict, setting up important character dynamics and themes.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of familial support and conflict in pursuing artistic passions is well-developed and drives the scene forward.

Plot: 7

The plot focuses on the gift of a camera from Bennie to Sammy, setting up tension and potential character growth.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on family dynamics and personal identity, with authentic character interactions and dialogue.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters of Sammy and Bennie are well-defined and their relationship is central to the scene's emotional impact.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy's perspective on his passion for filmmaking and his relationship with Bennie undergo subtle shifts during the scene.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to resist the pressure from Bennie and maintain his own sense of identity and purpose.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to navigate the situation in the camera store and deal with the unexpected gift from Bennie.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The conflict between Sammy's passion for filmmaking and Bennie's practical expectations creates tension and emotional depth.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong enough to create conflict and uncertainty, keeping the audience engaged.

High Stakes: 6

While the stakes are not life-threatening, the emotional stakes in terms of family relationships are high.

Story Forward: 7

The scene sets up important character dynamics and themes that will likely impact the story's progression.

Unpredictability: 8

The scene is unpredictable due to the unexpected gift from Bennie and the tension between the characters.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict is between Sammy's desire for independence and Bennie's attempt to control or influence him.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions, particularly in the strained relationship between Sammy and Bennie.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the conflict and emotions between Sammy and Bennie.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging due to the tension between the characters and the unexpected gift, keeping the audience interested in the outcome.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene builds tension effectively, leading to a satisfying resolution.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows standard formatting for a screenplay, with clear descriptions and dialogue cues.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional format for character interactions and dialogue, fitting the genre of drama.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear transition from the emotional intensity of the previous scene, where Sammy discovers his mother's affair and promises not to tell.
  • There is a missed opportunity to explore Sammy's internal conflict and emotional turmoil after discovering his mother's affair.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Bennie feels forced and lacks depth, especially considering the emotional weight of the previous scene.
  • The interaction between Sammy and Bennie could have been more nuanced and impactful, given the context of Sammy's recent discovery.
  • The scene could benefit from more subtlety and emotional depth to convey the complex feelings Sammy is experiencing.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding a moment of reflection or internal monologue for Sammy to convey his conflicted emotions about selling his camera and receiving a new one from Bennie.
  • Explore the dynamics between Sammy and Bennie in a more nuanced way, delving into the underlying tension and emotions stemming from Sammy's recent discovery.
  • Enhance the dialogue between Sammy and Bennie to reflect the emotional complexity of the situation and deepen the character interactions.
  • Add a visual element or symbolic gesture to convey Sammy's internal struggle and conflicting emotions in a more subtle and impactful way.
  • Consider incorporating elements from the previous scene to create a more seamless and emotionally resonant transition between the two scenes.



Scene 25 -  Stalled Dreams
93 EXT. THE PARKING LOT OF THE CAMERA STORE - DAY 93

Sammy storms out of the shop and crosses the street. Bennie
catches up with him, grabs him by the arm, turns him around
and thrusts the camera at him. Sammy won’t take it.

BENNIE
Because it’s from me?

Sammy looks away. Bennie stares at the box he’s holding;
then:

BENNIE (CONT’D)
This move, huh? This, this is your
dad’s Glory Hallelujah moment, and
oy vavoy, Sammy, does that guy ever
deserve it! All the way back when,
back at RCA, he knew what computing
was gonna be about, before
practically anybody else knew it.
And IBM, that’s where guys like
Burt are figuring out how to use
what he’s made to - they’re gonna
change the whole goddamn world. So
this was the right decision, for
all sortsa reasons.
Conformed Draft 82.


He waits for Sammy to respond. Sammy just turns to walk the
other way.

BENNIE (CONT’D)
Yeah, so, I’m happy for you, you
know I am... But I’m gonna miss
you. All of you. A lot.

Sammy glares at Bennie, daring him to continue. Bennie nods,
then again offers the camera to Sammy, who steps back.

BENNIE (CONT’D)
Think whatever bad things you want
about me, kiddo, but you stop
making movies, it’ll break your
mother’s heart. You will break her
heart, I mean it.
(he tears up:)
And she doesn’t deserve that, not
from anybody. Least of all from
you.

He holds out the box. Sammy goes to walk away, but then
pauses and turns back, looks at the cash he’s holding.

SAMMY
I’ll give you 35 bucks for it.

BENNIE
You drive a hard bargain, kid.

He holds out the box. Sammy holds out the money. Bennie
takes it and hands him the box. Suddenly Bennie hugs Sammy,
fiercely. As he does, a sob escapes. Bennie lets Sammy go.
He turns and walks towards his car.

SAMMY
I’m still done making movies
though.

BENNIE
Everybody makes movies in
California!

Bennie gets into his car. Sammy looks down: the cash is
sticking out of his shirt pocket.

SAMMY
Hey!

BENNIE
(already driving away)
Keep the change.
Conformed Draft 83.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Sammy, furious, flees the camera store, pursued by Bennie. Bennie insists Sammy accept the camera as a gift, claiming Sammy's father would be proud of his IBM job choice. Sammy hesitates but accepts after Bennie warns that his mother would be heartbroken if he abandoned filmmaking. Bennie embraces Sammy, bids him farewell, and urges him to keep the money. As Bennie departs, Sammy stares at the cash protruding from his pocket.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character dynamics
  • Exploration of themes
Weaknesses
  • Potential lack of resolution
  • Limited external action

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is emotionally charged, with strong character dynamics and a poignant moment of familial conflict. It effectively conveys the internal struggle of the protagonist and sets up potential character growth.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of familial expectations versus personal passion is well-developed and drives the emotional core of the scene. The conflict between Sammy and Bennie adds depth to the narrative.

Plot: 7

The plot advances through the exploration of Sammy's internal conflict and his decision regarding his filmmaking aspirations. The scene sets up potential future conflicts and character development.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on the classic family drama, with unique character dynamics and emotional depth.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-defined, with Sammy struggling between his love for filmmaking and his father's expectations. Bennie's emotional plea adds depth to his character, showcasing his concern for the family.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy experiences internal conflict and potential growth as he grapples with his passion for filmmaking and his father's expectations. Bennie's emotional plea showcases a vulnerable side of his character.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to assert his independence and make a decision that aligns with his own desires, despite pressure from Bennie.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to negotiate the purchase of the camera from Bennie, showcasing his bargaining skills and determination.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 8

The conflict between Sammy and Bennie, as well as the internal conflict within Sammy, adds intensity to the scene. The emotional stakes are high, driving the narrative forward.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong enough to create conflict and tension, but not overwhelming.

High Stakes: 8

The stakes are high in terms of familial relationships and personal fulfillment. Sammy's decision regarding his filmmaking passion has significant consequences for his family dynamics.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by setting up future conflicts and character development. It establishes the emotional stakes and potential resolutions for Sammy's internal struggle.

Unpredictability: 7

The scene is somewhat predictable in terms of character actions and dialogue, but the emotional depth adds a layer of unpredictability.

Philosophical Conflict: 8

The philosophical conflict revolves around family expectations and personal fulfillment. Bennie believes that Sammy should continue making movies to avoid disappointing his mother, while Sammy wants to pursue his own path.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions through the portrayal of familial tension, sacrifice, and personal struggle. The poignant moments between Sammy and Bennie resonate with the audience.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the emotional tension between Sammy and Bennie, highlighting their conflicting perspectives on filmmaking and family obligations.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging due to its emotional intensity, witty dialogue, and character dynamics.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotion, leading to a satisfying resolution.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows standard formatting conventions for a screenplay, making it easy to read and understand.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional structure for a dramatic confrontation, with clear character motivations and development.


Critique
  • The emotional tension between Sammy and Bennie is well portrayed in the scene, but it could be further developed to enhance the impact.
  • There is a lack of resolution in Sammy's internal conflict about giving up filmmaking, which leaves the audience wanting more closure.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Bennie is heartfelt and authentic, but could benefit from more depth and exploration of their relationship.
  • The scene could use more visual cues to convey the characters' emotions and inner turmoil effectively.
  • The transition from Sammy refusing the camera to eventually accepting it feels slightly rushed and could be smoother.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more backstory or flashbacks to provide context for Sammy and Bennie's relationship, adding layers to their interaction.
  • Explore Sammy's internal struggle more deeply to give the audience a better understanding of his conflicting emotions.
  • Enhance the visual elements of the scene to visually represent the emotional intensity between Sammy and Bennie.
  • Provide a more gradual progression in Sammy's decision-making process regarding accepting the camera, allowing for a more satisfying resolution.
  • Consider incorporating subtle gestures or actions to convey the characters' emotions non-verbally, adding depth to the scene.



Scene 26 -  Mitzi's Confession
94 EXT./INT. THE FABELMAN CAR, A HIGHWAY BRIDGE, ARIZONA- 94
CALIFORNIA BORDER - NOON

Over this, The Crystals sing “Da Doo Run Run,” ushering the
Fabelmans out of Arizona. The Fabelman car rounds a curve in
the highway with a small sign: WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA!
95 CUT TO: 95

Inside the car, The Crystals still singing.

LISA
When will the new house be
finished?

BURT
A few months. In the spring.

LISA
Can I have my own room?

BURT
Everybody gets their own room.

LISA
Yay!

In the backseat, Natalie and Reggie smile! Mitzi, withdrawn,
sporting a new cowboy hat, stares out the window. Burt
laughs. Everyone looks at him.

BURT
I just remembered last night I had
a funny dream.

REGGIE
What was it?

BURT
I can’t believe I dreamed this. Uh,
Bennie and me were having an
argument, and I hauled off and
socked him right in the nose.

Mitzi stares at Burt, mouth agape.
96 CUT TO: 96

HIGH SHOT, CALIFORNIA VISTA: The car pulls onto the shoulder
of the highway. A small figure emerges from the passenger
side. Mitzi throws her hat in the dirt and makes her way up a
hill covered with ice poppies.
97 CUT TO: 97
Conformed Draft 84.


Inside the car, the kids watch their mom climb the hill.
Burt, expressionless, turns off the engine.

NATALIE
What’s wrong?

LISA
Is mommy carsick?

Everyone sits for a moment.

BURT
Let’s just give her a little time.

Sammy shoots an angry look at the back of his father’s head,
then opens the door. He slams it shut, then climbs the hill.

Mitzi sits against a split rail fence, sunglasses on to hide
her tears. Sammy leans against the fence by her. She takes
off her glasses to look up at him.

Sammy goes up to her and sits down beside her. She takes his
hand and squeezes it.

MITZI
Bennie and me, we never... we never
d - we never let it get as far as I
imagine you think.

SAMMY
Oh I never imagined any of that.

MITZI
Do you think dad knows? I don’t
mean did you tell him, I know you
didn’t. But - do you think he has
an inkling?

Sammy has no answer.

MITZI (CONT’D)
I’ve almost told him so many times.
I’ll say “Burt, there’s something
I’ve got to tell you,” and, and he
looks at me like he can’t conceive
that anything could be wrong
between us. So instead I say “Burt,
we got ants,” or “Burt, could you
climb on the roof and turn the
antenna so I can watch Channel 5?”
Which, of course, he does.
(heartbreak threatens to
overwhelm, then:)
I can’t fight with your father. He
Conformed Draft 85.


kills with such kindness. I’m mean
to him, he buys me a dress. From
Saks.

SAMMY
(a beat, then:)
Mom, when I showed you what I
filmed, I never meant for any of
this to happen.

MITZI
(she nods, considering
this, then, firmly:)
Guilt is a wasted emotion.

A little surprised at this, Sammy starts to respond, then
doesn’t. Then:

SAMMY
What’s gonna happen now?

MITZI
(a beat, then:)
I’m gonna be your mom. I’m gonna be
the girls’ mom. Despite my
countless faults, I’m not ruining
everything for everyone. I’m gonna
not be selfish. Burt Fabelman is
the kindest, smartest, wisest, most
patient, most decent, most
understanding man there is. And I’m
gonna stay married to him.

Sammy looks at her, wanting to believe her. Mitzi stands and
offers a hand to help Sammy up, resolved, smiling
reassuringly.
Genres: ["Drama","Family"]

Summary As the Fabelmans drive to California, Burt shares a humorous dream about hitting his brother. Mitzi reacts emotionally and reveals her inner turmoil to Sammy. She confesses an affair with Bennie and her inability to confront Burt due to his kindness. Despite her desire, Mitzi chooses to remain married and prioritize her role as a mother.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Poignant dialogue
Weaknesses
  • Pacing could be slow for some viewers

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys deep emotions and resolves important conflicts within the family, leading to a poignant and impactful moment.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of addressing infidelity, guilt, and the decision to stay together despite challenges is well-executed and provides a strong emotional core to the scene.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around resolving conflicts and addressing emotional issues within the family, leading to character growth and development.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh approach to family dynamics and marital struggles, with authentic dialogue and complex character relationships. The authenticity of the characters' actions and emotions adds to the originality.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are complex and undergo significant emotional turmoil, especially Mitzi and Sammy, as they navigate difficult decisions and emotions.

Character Changes: 8

Mitzi and Sammy undergo significant emotional changes, confronting their feelings and making decisions that impact their relationships and future.

Internal Goal: 8

Mitzi's internal goal is to come to terms with her feelings of guilt and uncertainty about her marriage and family. She wants to make peace with her past actions and make a commitment to her family.

External Goal: 7

The external goal is for the family to reach their new home in California and settle in. The protagonist's actions and dialogue reflect the immediate circumstances of the move and the excitement of starting fresh.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The scene contains internal conflicts within the characters, particularly regarding infidelity and family dynamics, leading to emotional tension and resolution.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is primarily internal, with characters facing emotional conflicts and moral dilemmas. The audience is unsure of how these conflicts will be resolved.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes are high in terms of emotional impact and family dynamics, as the characters grapple with difficult decisions and the potential consequences of their actions.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by resolving key conflicts and deepening the emotional complexity of the characters, setting the stage for future developments.

Unpredictability: 7

The scene is somewhat predictable in terms of character interactions and resolutions, but the emotional complexity adds a layer of unpredictability.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict revolves around Mitzi's internal struggle between guilt and selflessness. She grapples with the idea of being a good mother and wife despite her past mistakes.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene has a high emotional impact, evoking feelings of sadness, regret, and resolution as the characters confront difficult truths and make decisions.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is poignant and reflective, effectively conveying the characters' inner struggles and emotions.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its emotional depth and character development. The audience is drawn into the intimate moments and conflicts between the characters.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective in building tension and emotional resonance. The rhythm of the dialogue and character interactions enhances the scene's impact.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting adheres to the expected format for a screenplay, with clear scene descriptions and character dialogue. It is easy to follow and visualize.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional structure for a character-driven drama, with a clear setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and rhythm contribute to its effectiveness.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear resolution to the conflict between Sammy and his parents, especially Mitzi.
  • The emotional depth of the scene could be further explored to provide a more impactful moment between Sammy and Mitzi.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Mitzi could be more nuanced and revealing of their inner thoughts and feelings.
  • The scene could benefit from more visual cues to enhance the emotional intensity of the moment.
  • The transition from Mitzi's emotional confession to her resolution feels slightly abrupt and could be smoother.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding a moment of catharsis or closure between Sammy and Mitzi to provide a more satisfying resolution to their conflict.
  • Explore deeper into Sammy's emotional turmoil and inner conflict to create a more impactful and resonant scene.
  • Enhance the dialogue between Sammy and Mitzi to reveal more about their relationship dynamics and emotional struggles.
  • Incorporate visual cues such as close-ups or subtle gestures to convey the emotional intensity of the scene.
  • Consider refining the transition between Mitzi's confession and resolution to create a more seamless flow of emotions.



Scene 27 -  A New Beginning?
A98 EXT. THE RENTAL HOUSE, LOS GATOS - SUNSET A98

The Fabelmans’ car is parked outside.

SCREEN TITLE: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

98 INT. THE RENTAL HOUSE, LOS GATOS - SUNSET 98

The interior is gloomy, meager furniture covered in sheets;
the piano stands among unopened moving boxes, mummified in
moving blankets and tape. Mitzi and the kids, holding the
things they’ve brought with them from the car, look around,
appalled. Then:
Conformed Draft 86.


BURT
It’s only a rental. The new
house’ll be ready faster than you
can say Jack Robinson.

REGGIE
Jack Robinson.

MITZI
(despondent:)
And... We’re still here.

99 EXT. A SIDEWALK IN SARATOGA, CA - MORNING 99

Sammy, Reggie and Natalie are walking to school, Natalie
teasing Sammy, who ignores her.

NATALIE
Just tell me if you’re gonna mope
for the rest of your life or is
this something you plan to outgrow?

SAMMY
Bug off.

NATALIE
You’re like going for the Misery
Merit Badge. You and mom, with your
long faces. She can’t even get out
of bed to make breakfast, and -

REGGIE
(Turning on them:)
Okay! New rule, guys! When we walk
to school in the morning let’s just
leave all the Fabelman mishegas
behind us in the Fabelmans’ moldy
old rental house! And for eight
hours a day let’s be normal
ordinary kids in an ordinary normal
school, okay?

The school is in sight. They watch the other students going
in. Sammy looks even more anxious and unhappy.

SAMMY
It’s like we got parachuted into
the land of the giant sequoia
people.

REGGIE
Alright.
Conformed Draft 87.


She forcefully shoves aside the towering JOCKS blocking the
walkway, clearing a path to the school.

REGGIE (CONT’D)
‘Scuse me. ‘Scuse me.

They move aside, laughing. More amused than insulted. Natalie
and Sammy follow Reggie into the school.
Genres: ["Drama","Family"]

Summary In the aftermath of a stressful move, the Fabelman family struggles to adjust to their cramped and dilapidated rental house in Los Gatos. While Reggie attempts to inject optimism, Sammy remains anxious and withdrawn, feeling the weight of his parents' marital issues. As they walk to school, Reggie urges them to leave their family problems behind, but Sammy's unease lingers.
Strengths
  • Effective portrayal of emotions and family dynamics
  • Engaging dialogue and interactions
Weaknesses
  • Low level of conflict and stakes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively sets the tone for the family's new life in a different location, showcasing a range of emotions and dynamics within the family.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of adjusting to a new environment and trying to find a sense of normalcy is well portrayed in the scene.

Plot: 7

The plot focuses on the family's transition to their new rental house and the challenges they face, setting up potential conflicts and character developments.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on the familiar theme of adjusting to a new environment, with unique character dynamics and witty dialogue that set it apart from typical moving scenes.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters' emotions and reactions are well depicted, showing their individual struggles and dynamics within the family.

Character Changes: 6

There are subtle hints at potential character changes, especially in Sammy's anxious demeanor and Reggie's attempt to maintain a positive attitude.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to come to terms with their current circumstances and find a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos of moving and adjusting to a new environment.

External Goal: 9

The protagonist's external goal is to adapt to their new school environment and navigate the challenges of being the new kids in town.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 5

While there are underlying tensions and challenges, the scene focuses more on the characters' emotional responses to their new situation.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong enough to create tension and uncertainty, as the protagonists face challenges in adapting to their new school environment.

High Stakes: 4

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, focusing more on the characters' emotional responses to their new environment.

Story Forward: 6

The scene sets the stage for future developments in the story, hinting at potential conflicts and character arcs.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected humor and character interactions that keep the audience guessing about the protagonists' next moves.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the idea of fitting in and finding a sense of belonging in a new place. The protagonist's values and beliefs are challenged by the unfamiliarity and discomfort of their surroundings.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions from sadness to anxiety to amusement, making it emotionally impactful.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the characters' feelings and thoughts, especially through Reggie's interaction with Sammy and Natalie.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its witty dialogue, relatable characters, and the sense of anticipation as the protagonists navigate their new school environment.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by balancing moments of humor with emotional depth, keeping the audience engaged and invested in the characters' journey.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for its genre, with proper scene headings and clear descriptions of the setting and characters.

Structure: 8

The scene follows the expected structure for its genre, with clear transitions and character development that drive the narrative forward.


Critique
  • The scene effectively sets the tone with the gloomy and meager interior of the rental house, reflecting the family's current state of transition and discomfort.
  • The dialogue between the family members, particularly Reggie's attempt to lighten the mood and focus on being 'normal' kids at school, adds depth to their characters and the dynamics within the family.
  • Sammy's anxiety and unhappiness are palpable, providing insight into his internal struggles and the impact of the family's situation on him.
  • The scene effectively conveys the contrast between the family's internal turmoil and the external world of the 'giant sequoia people' at school, highlighting the sense of displacement and alienation felt by the Fabelmans.
  • The visual of Reggie clearing a path through the jocks to the school symbolizes her protective and assertive nature, adding a layer of strength to her character.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more visual cues or actions to further enhance the atmosphere of the gloomy rental house, such as dust motes in the sunlight or creaking floorboards.
  • Explore deeper into Sammy's internal struggles and anxiety by incorporating his thoughts or reactions to the external world around him, providing a more nuanced portrayal of his character.
  • Perhaps delve into Reggie's protective nature further by showcasing moments of her standing up for Sammy or confronting external challenges, reinforcing her role within the family dynamic.
  • Consider incorporating subtle hints or foreshadowing of future developments in the family's story arc within the dialogue or interactions, adding layers of complexity to the narrative.
  • Experiment with different ways to visually represent the contrast between the family's internal turmoil and the external world, such as through lighting choices or framing techniques, to further emphasize the theme of displacement and alienation.



Scene 28 -  Bullying in the Locker Room
100 INT. THE GYM, GRAND VIEW HIGH SCHOOL, SARATOGA - DAY 100

A boys’ PE class, 24 BOYS, ages 16-18, is engaged in a robust
game of volleyball.

COACH
Up and over, nice dig, Adam
Johnson!

Sammy is on one team, surrounded by boys who seem much
taller, stronger, more aggressive, and it seems like all of
them are blonds. Sammy tries to participate but the game
mainly goes on above his head.

PLAYERS
Set set set! / Get up! / Okay! / I
got it!

Sammy is aggressively bumped aside by a teammate.

COACH
Way to get up!

From the opposing team comes a powerful spike by LOGAN HALL,
golden-haired, very handsome, tall, the school’s star
athlete.

COACH (CONT’D)
Nice, Logan! Do it again, go again.
Good work, guys. Keep the
intensity, keep moving.
(as the next point begins)
Rotate! Nice dig! Good job!

CHAD THOMAS, a short, muscular boy near the net on the
opposite team, leaps and deliberately spikes the volleyball
as hard as he can straight at Sammy. Sammy involuntarily
crouches, the ball painfully bouncing off his crossed arms.

COACH (CONT’D)
Fabelman, it won’t hurt ya. It’s a
volleyball not a cannon ball!!
Conformed Draft 88.


His teammates look at Sammy with contempt. Chad smirks at
him with cold, alarming eyes. Logan calls to his teammate.

LOGAN
Let’s go, serve.

COACH
Good reactions! Let’s move!

Determined to make up for his earlier disgrace, Sammy sees
the ball coming in low over the net. He moves to the front,
then crouches and leaps as high as he can, swinging wildly
with all his might, missing the ball but whacking Logan, on
the other side of the net, hard on the top of his head. Logan
sways, grabbing his head in pain.

LOGAN
OWW!!!

Everyone rushes forward.

SAMMY
Oh my god, I’m so sorry!

Suddenly Chad lunges at Sammy, snarling. He grabs Sammy’s
shirt; it tears at the neck.

CHAD
I’m gonna murder you ya piece of
shit!!

The coach pulls Chad back. He struggles in his arms until -

LOGAN
Hey Chad!

Chad stops immediately, looking at Logan.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
Cool it.

Chad calms, shrugs off the coach, and stalks away. Sammy
comes under the net to apologize to Logan.

SAMMY
I am - I did NOT mean to do that.
Are you okay?

LOGAN
(low, to Sammy:)
That really hurt. Asshole.
Conformed Draft 89.


COACH
(chuckling)
Watch your mouth, Logan.

LOGAN
(to Sammy:)
Go fetch the ball.

Sammy turns. The ball is several feet behind him.

SAMMY
Sure, yeah...

COACH
Let’s go.

Sammy runs towards the ball, the other boys whispering and
snickering. Sammy’s foot gets to the ball before his hands
do, and he accidentally kicks it twenty feet away. The other
boys find this hilarious. Sammy chases the ball, cursing
under his breath.
101 CUT TO: 101

The locker room. Sammy sits, alone, in front of his locker,
humiliated and dejected. He hears Chad’s wheedling voice:

CHAD
Hey. New kid! What’s your name?

Sammy looks up. Chad arrives in front of him, Logan behind
him in his letterman jacket.

SAMMY
Sam.

CHAD
Sam What?

SAMMY
(a beat:)
Fabelman.

CHAD
(to Logan:)
Told you he’s a kike.

LOGAN
(to Sammy:)
He doesn’t like Jews.

CHAD
Nobody likes Jews.
Conformed Draft 90.


LOGAN
(to Sammy:)
Except other Jews, right?

CHAD
So Bagel Man -

SAMMY
No, that’s not my name. Don’t call
me that.

CHAD
So, you gave my best friend a
concussion, Bagel Man.

SAMMY
No I didn’t. Leave me alone -

Sammy starts to stand; Chad slams him back on the bench, then
leans in, glaring crazily:

CHAD
Hey! Don’t argue with me! A serious
concussion. So how do we make you
pay? How about this? You’re
drinking from the fountain. You
never hear me come up from behind
you... And BAM!
(miming a blunt blow with
his palm:)
I shatter your front teeth all over
the spigot.

Logan, laughing, revolted, pushes Chad away from Sammy; then
Logan leans down to Sammy. Sammy flinches, eyes down.

LOGAN
(indicating Chad:)
Hey, look at me. He’s demented.
Like, medically. So watch out for
yourself.

Sammy looks up at Logan, who grins - could be friendly, or
malicious, certainly dazzling.
Genres: ["Drama","Coming-of-age","High School"]

Summary Sammy is humiliated during a volleyball game at school, leading to a confrontation with Chad and Logan in the locker room. Chad threatens Sammy with physical harm while Logan warns him about Chad's dangerous behavior. The scene ends with Logan advising Sammy to watch out for himself.
Strengths
  • Intense conflict
  • Realistic portrayal of bullying dynamics
  • Emotional depth
Weaknesses
  • Potentially triggering for some audiences due to the intense bullying themes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys a sense of tension and conflict through the interactions between the characters, creating a compelling and intense atmosphere.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of bullying and intimidation in a high school setting is well-executed, highlighting the challenges faced by the protagonist.

Plot: 8

The plot revolves around the protagonist's experience of being bullied and intimidated, driving the narrative forward with a strong sense of conflict.

Originality: 8

The scene introduces a fresh take on the high school bullying theme by focusing on the intense physical confrontation between the characters. The dialogue feels authentic and adds depth to the characters' interactions.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed, with distinct personalities that contribute to the tension and dynamics of the scene.

Character Changes: 7

The protagonist undergoes a shift in perspective as he navigates the challenges of bullying, showing resilience and growth.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to prove himself and gain acceptance from his peers. This reflects his deeper need for validation and belonging.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to survive the volleyball game and avoid further humiliation. This reflects the immediate challenge he is facing in the gym.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict in the scene is high, with intense interactions and power dynamics at play, creating a sense of unease and tension.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with Chad posing a significant threat to Sammy's safety and well-being. The audience is left uncertain of how Sammy will navigate the situation.

High Stakes: 8

The stakes are high for the protagonist as he faces physical and emotional threats from his peers, impacting his sense of safety and well-being.

Story Forward: 8

The scene propels the story forward by highlighting the protagonist's struggles and setting up future conflicts and character development.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected physical confrontation between the characters. The audience is kept on edge, unsure of how the situation will escalate.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene is the clash between the values of acceptance and bullying. Sammy values acceptance and kindness, while Chad values dominance and aggression.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes strong emotions, particularly feelings of fear, intimidation, and empathy for the protagonist.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue effectively conveys the hostility and aggression present in the scene, adding depth to the character interactions.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the intense conflict and emotional stakes. The reader is drawn into the characters' struggles and invested in the outcome.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene is well-executed, with a gradual build-up of tension and a climactic confrontation. The rhythm of the dialogue and action enhances the emotional impact.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene follows the expected format for a screenplay, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue. It is easy to follow and visually engaging.

Structure: 9

The structure of the scene follows the expected format for a high school drama, with a clear setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene effectively sets up the dynamic of Sammy being an outsider in the volleyball game, surrounded by taller, more aggressive boys.
  • The confrontation with Chad and Logan adds tension and conflict to the scene, showcasing the bullying and anti-Semitic behavior Sammy faces.
  • The dialogue and actions of Chad and Logan effectively portray their antagonistic and threatening behavior towards Sammy.
  • The scene effectively conveys Sammy's humiliation and dejection through his interactions with Chad and Logan in the locker room.
  • The scene effectively builds suspense and unease, leading to a sense of foreboding for Sammy's safety.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more internal thoughts or emotions for Sammy to further develop his character and allow the audience to connect with him on a deeper level.
  • Explore the repercussions of the confrontation with Chad and Logan to show the impact it has on Sammy's mental and emotional state.
  • Consider adding a resolution or turning point in the scene to provide closure or a shift in the power dynamic between Sammy and his bullies.
  • Include moments of support or solidarity from other characters to balance out the bullying and anti-Semitic behavior portrayed in the scene.
  • Consider incorporating themes of resilience, self-discovery, or empowerment for Sammy to showcase his growth and strength in the face of adversity.



Scene 29 -  Chaos at the Rental House
102 EXT. THE RENTAL HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON 102

Sammy is about to open the front door when he stops, hearing
his sisters screaming and glass breaking inside.
Conformed Draft 91.

103 INT. THE RENTAL HOUSE, LOS GATOS - LATE AFTERNOON 103

Sammy opens the door to find Mitzi’s on the floor,
frantically trying to assemble a metal cage, the directions
open amid bolts, nuts and washers. A lightbulb rockets past
her and shatters against the front door that Sammy’s holding
open. He ducks to avoid the flying glass.

REGGIE
Close the door!!!

Lisa and Natalie cower behind the sofa, while Reggie stands
atop a step ladder under the chandelier. Above her, a brown
capuchin monkey is clinging to the living room chandelier,
unscrewing light bulbs and flinging them at the girls. There
are still packing boxes everywhere, and the piano remains
mummified.

LISA
Mom got a monkey!

SAMMY
Why’d you get a MONKEY?

MITZI
‘Cause I needed to laugh.

The monkey throws another lightbulb at Natalie, who catches
it. The monkey leaps down to the couch and clambers onto
Natalie’s shoulders. She shrieks.

MITZI (CONT’D)
(to Sammy:)
Help me with this! The directions
don’t make any sense!!

The monkey leaps from Natalie to the window drapes! Reggie is
off the ladder and at the drapes. She starts shaking them.
The monkey holds on for dear life, screeching. Natalie races
to the kitchen.

NATALIE
I’ll get a banana!

MITZI
Don’t tear the curtains, they’re
rented!

The cage falls apart in Mitzi’s hands. Then the curtains come
down on Reggie.

The front door opens and Burt walks in. He’s bemused by the
sight of Mitzi on the floor with the half-built cage. The
Conformed Draft 92.


monkey leaps to Burt’s shoulder. He wraps his long hairy arms
around Burt’s head, knocking off his hat.

BURT
Oh!

The monkey starts playing with Burt’s hair.

BURT (CONT’D)
(feigning calm)
Hello. Who are you?

MITZI
He’s mine.

Burt’s quizzical, Mitzi defiant.

LISA
What are we gonna call him?

Everyone looks at Mitzi.

MITZI
Bennie. His name’s Bennie.

Burt stares hard at Mitzi. The monkey licks his cheek.
104 CUT TO: 104

Mitzi’s and Burt’s bedroom, crowded with unpacked boxes,
unhappy-looking.


MITZI (CONT’D)
I don’t want to see a psychiatrist,
Burt.

BURT
You’re scaring the kids. You’re
sleeping all day -

MITZI
I miss the desert. I miss dry heat.

BURT (O.S.)
You haven’t even unwrapped the
piano. You aren’t cooking, or
shopping or unpacking.
105 CUT TO: 105

In the dark kitchen, Sammy, on the floor, listens to Burt and
Mitzi’s argument, floating in through a heating vent.
Conformed Draft 93.


MITZI (O.S.)
Psychiatrists help you know why
you’re feeling something. They
can’t help you feel something
different.

BURT (O.S.)
You’re behaving like when your
mother died.
106 CUT BACK TO: 106

Mitzi’s and Burt’s bedroom.

BURT (CONT’D)
Like you’re in mourning. But...
Nobody’s died.

Mitzi stares at him for a long moment, till he looks away.

MITZI
Okay... so we’ll call the monkey
some other name.

BURT
(a beat, then, quietly,
scared:)
IBM’s out of his league, Mitts.
Bennie was - he is my best friend.
But they don’t need him. This is
what I know. I don’t need him
either.

He waits for a response. She remains silent, looking at her
hands.

MITZI
Bennie wasn’t your friend.
(she looks up at Burt:)
But you knew he was mine.

Fighting to keep his face fixed and inexpressive, he takes in
what she’s just told him, then he nods.
107 CUT BACK TO: 107

Reggie has joined Sammy by the vent. She looks at him,
shocked.

REGGIE
What does that mean?

Sammy shakes his head and says nothing. Just closes the vent.
Conformed Draft 94.
Genres: ["Drama","Family","Comedy"]

Summary Sammy arrives home to find his sisters in disarray as a monkey wreaks havoc, throwing light bulbs and leaping around. Mitzi, amidst the chaos, attempts to assemble a cage for the monkey while arguing with Burt over her erratic behavior and refusal to seek professional help. The scene highlights Mitzi's emotional turmoil and Burt's concern for her well-being.
Strengths
  • Effective balance of humor and emotion
  • Compelling character dynamics
  • Unique and memorable element with Bennie the monkey
Weaknesses
  • Some elements may feel slightly chaotic or disjointed

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively balances humor with emotional depth, creating a compelling and engaging dynamic. The introduction of the monkey adds a unique and memorable element to the story.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of introducing a monkey into the family dynamic serves as a metaphor for the challenges and changes the Fabelman family is facing in their new home. It adds a layer of complexity and humor to the scene.

Plot: 7

The plot advances as the family continues to struggle with their new living situation, highlighting the tension between Burt and Mitzi. The introduction of the monkey adds a new element to the story.

Originality: 9

The scene is original in its portrayal of a family dealing with a monkey in a comedic yet emotional way. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and fresh.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters, especially Mitzi and Burt, are well-developed and their interactions reveal deeper emotions and conflicts. The introduction of Bennie the monkey adds a new dimension to the characters' relationships.

Character Changes: 7

Mitzi and Burt both undergo subtle changes in this scene, as they confront their emotions and the challenges of their new living situation. The introduction of Bennie the monkey also prompts a shift in the family dynamic.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to understand why his mother got a monkey and to navigate the chaotic situation unfolding in the house. This reflects his desire for stability and normalcy in his family life.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to help Mitzi assemble the metal cage and deal with the monkey causing chaos in the house. This reflects the immediate challenge of restoring order and safety.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The conflict between Burt and Mitzi is palpable, as they struggle to adjust to their new environment and deal with their emotions. The chaos caused by Bennie the monkey adds an additional layer of conflict to the scene.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene comes from the chaotic situation with the monkey and the characters' conflicting emotions. The audience is unsure how the characters will resolve the conflict.

High Stakes: 6

While the stakes are not extremely high in this scene, the emotional and relational challenges faced by the characters add depth and complexity to the story. The introduction of Bennie the monkey raises the stakes in a humorous and unexpected way.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by highlighting the family's struggles and conflicts in their new home. The introduction of Bennie the monkey adds a new element to the narrative and sets up potential developments in the future.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected introduction of a monkey and the characters' reactions to the situation. The audience is unsure how the scene will unfold.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict revolves around the idea of finding joy and laughter in unexpected ways, as seen in Mitzi's decision to get a monkey for that purpose. This challenges the protagonist's beliefs about traditional sources of happiness and coping mechanisms.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions, from tension and sadness to humor and hope. The interactions between the characters and the introduction of Bennie the monkey create a memorable and emotionally resonant moment.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the tension and humor in the scene, showcasing the characters' personalities and emotions. The interactions between the family members feel authentic and engaging.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its blend of humor, drama, and emotional depth. The chaotic situation and the characters' reactions keep the audience invested in the outcome.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by balancing the comedic moments with emotional beats and character development. The rhythm keeps the audience engaged.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for a screenplay, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a clear structure with a setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the effectiveness of the comedic and dramatic moments.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a chaotic and comedic tone, with Mitzi trying to assemble a cage while a monkey wreaks havoc in the house. This sudden introduction of a monkey feels a bit out of place and may distract from the emotional depth of the family dynamics that are being explored.
  • The dialogue between the characters, especially Mitzi and Burt, feels tense and emotionally charged, which is effective in conveying the underlying issues in their relationship. However, the presence of the monkey and the comedic elements may dilute the impact of the serious conversation they are having.
  • The visual elements of the scene, such as the monkey throwing light bulbs and clinging to the chandelier, add a sense of chaos and disorder to the setting. However, the cluttered and unpacked boxes in Mitzi and Burt's bedroom could be used more effectively to reflect the emotional turmoil within the family.
  • The conflict between Mitzi and Burt is well portrayed, with Mitzi expressing her reluctance to seek help and Burt trying to address her behavior. The tension between them is palpable, but the resolution with the monkey being named 'Bennie' feels a bit forced and may not fully resolve the underlying issues.
  • The scene effectively sets up the ongoing family dynamics and the internal struggles each character is facing. However, the sudden introduction of the monkey and the focus on its antics may detract from the emotional depth of the scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider toning down the comedic elements involving the monkey to maintain the emotional weight of the scene and the serious conversation between Mitzi and Burt.
  • Focus more on the unpacked boxes and the disarray in Mitzi and Burt's bedroom to visually reflect the emotional turmoil within the family.
  • Explore alternative ways to resolve the conflict between Mitzi and Burt that feel more organic and true to the emotional depth of their relationship.
  • Ensure that the presence of the monkey does not overshadow the underlying family dynamics and character conflicts that are central to the scene.
  • Continue to build on the tension and emotional complexity of the family dynamics while maintaining a cohesive tone throughout the scene.



Scene 30 -  Bullying and Betrayal at Grand View High
108 INT. GRAND VIEW HIGH SCHOOL - AFTERNOON 108

CU on the locker door. Sammy’s hand opens the locker. Inside
there’s a bagel dangling from a string. Written with a felt
pen on the bagel: JEW-HOLE

Sammy pulls at the bagel; it breaks in pieces in his hands,
leaving the string dangling.
A109 CUT TO: A109

A walkway. Sammy walks among them, warily, his eyes peeled
for Logan and Chad and their gang. Parched, he stops at a
long drinking fountain with three spigots. He hesitates
before taking a drink, remembering Chad’s threat. Since no
one threatening is nearby, he decides to go for it. He bends
down to take a drink; just as he does, another boy bends in
to drink. This startles Sammy who jumps away.
109 CUT TO: 109

Sammy enters a stairwell. He passes a poster advertising
SENIOR YEAR DITCH DAY!!! VOLUNTEERS WANTED!!! Among the
activities for which volunteers are wanted: PHOTOGRAPHERS!!
Sammy is studying this, thinking, when he hears sounds coming
from below:

A boy moans, a girl moans, then the sounds of French kissing.
Sammy tiptoes down a few steps, then cautiously leans over
the railing to see who’s making these sounds. Unable to see,
he descends further, treading very quietly.

Finally he can see a couple making out: a red-haired GIRL
and Logan, rubbing against her, kissing her, his hands all
over her sweater.

RED-HAIRED GIRL
Logan, I’m really, really missing
you.

Sammy’s transfixed, prurient and horny, till it registers how
dangerous this situation is. He starts to climb up again, but
trips, one knee striking a stair tread.

SAMMY
OW!!!

The girl pushes Logan off, straightening her clothes.

LOGAN
HEY!! Who’s there? Who’s there?!?

But Sammy has already sprinted up and out of the stairwell.
Conformed Draft 95.

110 EXT. BEHIND GRAND VIEW HIGH SCHOOL - AFTERNOON 110

Sammy exits out the back of the building, covered by an
awning. Then he stops abruptly as Chad appears from behind
the last of the awning’s vertical supports.

CHAD
Bagel Man! Yo!!

Sammy turns to run back in the opposite direction, just as
four track jocks come out the rear door, followed by Logan
with his arm around a beautiful blonde girl, CLAUDIA. She’s
wearing his letter sweater.

CHAD (CONT’D)
(to Sammy:)
I left you a little snack in your
locker. Didja like it?

Sammy is torn between an intense desire to murder this creep
and fear of being slaughtered.

ONE OF THE JOCKS
Guess he wasn’t hungry.

LOGAN
He said - He said it was -
(to Chad:)
What’d you call it, Chad?

CHAD
Kosher!

CLAUDIA
Knock it off, moron.
(to Logan:)
We talked about this.

LOGAN
(to the jocks:)
Come on, we’ll be late for
practice.

Sammy moves to leave, but Claudia steps in front of him.

CLAUDIA
(to Sammy:)
So what is this, you’re Jewish?

Sammy stares at Claudia, unable to talk - she’s beautiful,
he’s humiliated and scared. Chad hoots in delight and says to
Logan:
Conformed Draft 96.


SAMMY
Well...

CHAD
Holy crap, he’s got the hots so bad
he can’t even talk to her!

SAMMY
NO I DON’T!

CHAD
(To Sammy:)
Apologize to her.

SAMMY
For what?

CHAD
For making googoo eyes at her, for
drooling at her!

SAMMY
I wasn’t drooling at her.

CHAD
Then apologize to her for killing
Christ!

Logan and the jocks find this funny.

CLAUDIA
(to Logan, angry:)
Why are you encouraging him?

CHAD
(to Sammy:)
Go on! Apologize to her for killing
Our Lord!

Claudia starts to leave. Logan grabs her hand.

LOGAN
Don’t go. Come watch me run.

CLAUDIA
No thanks, I’m not in the mood now.

LOGAN
Aww, please? I run better when you
are there.

CHAD
APOLOGIZE TO HER YOU CHRIST-KILLING
SONOFABITCH!!
Conformed Draft 97.


CLAUDIA
(to Logan:)
I’m going home.

Logan steps in between Chad and Sammy. Grinning, he says to
Sammy:

LOGAN
Go on and say sorry, you’re getting
me in trouble with my girl.

Sammy looks at Logan for a beat, nods, then turns to Claudia.

SAMMY
You know, obviously since I’m not
two thousand years old and I’ve
never been to Rome, I’m not
apologizing.
(turning to Claudia)
But hey, you know maybe, uh, your
boyfriend should apologize to you
for making out in the stairwell
half an hour ago with some red-
head.

Everyone freezes. Logan turns immediately to Claudia who
looks stricken. He flashes his signature smile.

LOGAN
He’s lying. He’s - I didn’t do
that. I swear.

CLAUDIA
You told me you were finished with
her. Logan, you lied to me!

Again he tries to speak, but Claudia tears off his letter
sweater, throws the sweater on the sodden ground with his
books and runs. Logan starts to follow, then stops. He picks
up the sweater and stands, holding it.

LOGAN
Claudia...

The others watch him. Then Logan turns towards Sammy.

CHAD
Ooooooooh...

Holding the sweater, Logan charges at Sammy and punches him
hard in nose, knocking Sammy flat against the asphalt.
Conformed Draft 98.


Logan stands over Sammy, breathing hard, his face contorted.
Sammy covers his nose, spurting blood, holding up the other
hand protectively. Logan slaps Sammy’s upheld hand away.

LOGAN
You made a mistake.

Sammy defensively raises his hand again; Logan slaps it away.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
LISTEN. TO. ME. You made a mistake
and you’re gonna fix it. Tomorrow -

CHAD
Bash his head in!

LOGAN
(savagely:)
SHUT UP, CHAD, GODDAMN IT.
(back to Sammy:)
Tomorrow you’re gonna find her,
first thing, and you’re gonna tell
her you were lying. Say you were,
um, scared. Say - say whatever you
gotta say, but you tell her it
wasn’t true and you did not see me
doing that, or I swear I will hurt
you worse than you’ve ever been
hurt.

Logan leans in.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
(hissing:)
You get me? Nod to show you dig
what I’m saying.

Sammy nods. Logan stands and walks away. The other jocks
follow him. Sammy is left on the ground as the tears come.
Genres: ["Drama","Teen","High School"]

Summary Sammy encounters bullying in the form of a bagel with a derogatory message in his locker, a threatening encounter with Chad and his gang, and a confrontation with Logan and Claudia that leads to a physical altercation. The main conflict revolves around the bullying and intimidation Sammy faces from his peers, particularly from Chad and Logan. The scene ends with Logan physically assaulting Sammy and threatening him to lie about what he saw.
Strengths
  • Intense emotional impact
  • Realistic portrayal of high school dynamics
  • Strong character development
Weaknesses
  • Potential for triggering sensitive topics related to bullying

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is impactful, intense, and emotionally charged, effectively portraying the power dynamics and conflict between characters.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of bullying, identity, and standing up for oneself is effectively portrayed through the confrontation between Sammy and the bullies.

Plot: 7

The plot advances as Sammy faces a challenging situation and must navigate the conflict with the bullies.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on the high school bullying trope by delving into complex power dynamics, moral dilemmas, and emotional conflicts. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and raw, adding depth to the familiar setting.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed, with clear motivations and emotions driving their actions in the scene.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy undergoes a significant emotional experience and stands up for himself, showing growth and development in the face of adversity.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal in this scene is to navigate the dangerous social dynamics of high school and avoid confrontation with the bullies. This reflects his deeper need for acceptance, safety, and self-preservation.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to avoid physical harm and humiliation at the hands of the bullies, particularly Logan and Chad. This goal reflects the immediate challenge he faces in the scene.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between Sammy and the bullies is intense and drives the emotional tension in the scene.

Opposition: 9

The opposition in the scene is strong, with Sammy facing physical threats, emotional manipulation, and moral dilemmas from the bullies. The audience is kept on edge, unsure of how Sammy will navigate the dangerous situation.

High Stakes: 8

The stakes are high as Sammy must confront the bullies and navigate a challenging and potentially dangerous situation.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by highlighting the challenges and conflicts faced by the protagonist in a high school setting.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected twists and turns in the characters' actions and dialogue. The shifting power dynamics and moral dilemmas keep the audience on edge, unsure of how the situation will unfold.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the themes of power, control, and morality. Logan and Chad exert their dominance over Sammy through intimidation and violence, challenging Sammy's beliefs about standing up for himself and the consequences of his actions.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions from the audience, particularly in relation to the themes of bullying and standing up for oneself.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is intense, confrontational, and effectively conveys the emotions and power dynamics between the characters.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its high emotional stakes, intense conflicts, and dynamic character interactions. The reader is drawn into the tension and suspense of the scene, rooting for Sammy to navigate the dangerous situation.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene is well-executed, with a balance of action, dialogue, and description that builds tension and suspense. The rhythm of the scene enhances the emotional impact of the characters' interactions.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for a screenplay, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting. The visual descriptions enhance the reader's understanding of the setting and character interactions.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a structured format with clear transitions between locations and actions. The pacing and rhythm contribute to the tension and suspense of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene depicts a disturbing incident of bullying and anti-Semitic behavior, which may be triggering for some viewers.
  • The use of derogatory language and the physical altercation between Sammy and Logan perpetuates harmful stereotypes and violence.
  • The scene lacks depth and nuance in addressing the complex issues of bullying, anti-Semitism, and peer pressure.
  • The dialogue and actions of the characters come across as unrealistic and exaggerated, diminishing the impact of the serious themes being portrayed.
  • There is a missed opportunity to explore the emotional and psychological impact of bullying on Sammy, as well as the dynamics of power and control within the high school environment.
Suggestions
  • Consider revising the scene to handle the sensitive subject matter with more sensitivity and authenticity.
  • Focus on developing the characters' motivations and reactions in a more realistic and nuanced way.
  • Explore the emotional aftermath of the bullying incident on Sammy and how it affects his relationships and sense of self.
  • Provide context or consequences for the characters' actions to deepen the impact of the scene.
  • Consider consulting with experts or individuals with lived experience to ensure the portrayal of bullying and anti-Semitism is accurate and respectful.



Scene 31 -  Family Conflict and Emotional Turmoil
111 INT. THE RENTAL HOUSE - EARLY EVENING 111

Mitzi opens the door for Burt. She’s already on the war path.
Sammy is slumped on the couch, his eyes and his bandaged nose
swelling and purple, clothes stained with blood.

MITZI
He won’t tell me who did this!! Ask
him who did this!!
(to Sammy:)
Tell your father who did this and
he will drive to that little shit’s
Conformed Draft 99.


house and he will beat the living
crap out of him!

BURT
Is your nose broken?

MITZI
Of course it’s not broken, you
think I’d be sitting here if his
nose was broken -

BURT
(to Sammy:)
Who hit you?

SAMMY
What do you care who it was? It’s
not like you’ll do anything about
it.

BURT
Tell me what happened first.

SAMMY
(he goes off:)
What happened is I hate it here!
And what happened is you brought us
here, because -

BURT
Because I got a better job, so we
moved.

SAMMY
(jumping to his feet:)
You don’t even care where you are,
you get to go to work and that
could be in Iceland! You’re working
with your goddamn machines so you
get to be happy while the rest of
us are miser-

Mitzi tries to put the ice pack against Sammy’s nose which
has started to bleed again. Sammy bats it away.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Don’t!!

MITZI
You’re bleeding on the carpet!

SAMMY
It’s a rental house!!
Conformed Draft 100.


Sammy snatches the ice pack from her and, still furious, he
turns back to Burt.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Do you even notice how much we hate
it here where, where we’re
practically the only Jewish people
for miles, and everything is
awful?! Do you even care that this
is your fault, everything that’s
happening now, just because you ran
away from home and took all of us
with you?!

BURT
(getting angry:)
I came here so I could work ten
times harder with ten times the
responsibility which seems to have
escaped everybody’s notice -

MITZI BURT (CONT’D)
Could everyone settle, I - so I could build us a nice
wanna say something. home and a -

SAMMY
You didn’t come here to build
houses. You didn’t come here to
work. You ran away!

BURT
(snapping:)
I think you have something to say
to me, Sammy, and if I’m right
about that, then get it off your
chest and say it to my face!

Mitzy climbs onto the piano bench to seize focus.

MITZI
(loud:)
I started therapy!

Burt and Sammy stop and stare at her. She stares back. Sammy
storms out. Burt slumps into a chair and Mitzi lays back on
the piano, both drained.
112 CUT TO: 112

Sammy’s in his bedroom, so filled with rage he doesn’t know
what to do with himself. Lying in bed, he stares at the
shadows on the bedroom wall, created by a streetlight, of
leaves on a tree outside, moved by a strong breeze.
Conformed Draft 101.


A light rain begins to fall; Sammy looks at the shadows of
the raindrops streaming down the wall, intermingling with the
leaves. He raises his hand and watches its shadow move among
the shifting lines made by the light streaming through the
rain-streaked window.

Grief, anger and terror rise up in him; he’s frightened at
the size of his feelings. He breathes, starting to panic. He
tries to calm himself by focusing on the shadows of the
swirling leaves and streaming water.

He sits up suddenly, then kneels on the floor and from
underneath his bed he pulls the box containing the Bolex H-8
Reflex camera. He opens the box and lifts the brand-new
camera for the first time, examines it. He puts it to his
ear. He pushes the release button. Closing his eyes,
listening to the whirr of the camera’s motor.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary After Burt, Sammy's father, arrives home, Mitzi, Sammy's mother, confronts Sammy about his swollen face, demanding to know who hurt him. Sammy refuses to answer. Burt expresses concern, but Sammy lashes out, blaming him for moving the family and neglecting their well-being. Mitzi attempts to calm the situation by revealing she has started therapy. Sammy storms out, leaving Burt and Mitzi disheartened. Sammy retreats to his room, filled with rage and anguish. As he stares at the shadows cast by rain and wind, he feels overwhelmed by intense emotions. Seeking solace, he retrieves his Bolex camera, symbolizing a desire to capture and control the chaos within him.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Intense dialogue
  • Realistic family dynamics
Weaknesses
  • Some repetitive arguments
  • Lack of resolution for certain conflicts

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is emotionally charged, with intense performances and impactful dialogue that drives the narrative forward. It effectively sets up future conflicts and character development.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of family dynamics, personal struggles, and the pursuit of artistic passion is well-executed, providing depth and complexity to the characters and their relationships.

Plot: 7

The plot advances through the characters' confrontations and revelations, adding layers to the story and setting up future conflicts and resolutions.

Originality: 9

The scene presents a fresh approach to the family drama genre by delving into complex emotional dynamics and unresolved conflicts. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are multi-dimensional, with conflicting emotions and motivations that drive their actions. Their interactions reveal deeper layers of their personalities and relationships.

Character Changes: 8

Mitzi's revelation about starting therapy and Sammy's decision to embrace his passion for filmmaking mark significant character changes, setting the stage for future development.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to be understood and validated by his father. He wants his father to acknowledge his feelings and take responsibility for the family's situation.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to express his anger and frustration towards his father for uprooting the family and causing their current unhappiness.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The scene is filled with internal and external conflicts, driving the emotional intensity and character development.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicting beliefs and emotions driving the conflict between the characters.

High Stakes: 7

The high stakes involve the characters' emotional well-being, family dynamics, and personal growth, adding tension and urgency to the scene.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by deepening the conflicts, revealing new information, and setting up future events and character arcs.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional outbursts and shifting power dynamics between the characters.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the protagonist's belief that his father is responsible for their current situation, while the father believes he is working hard to provide for the family. This challenges the protagonist's values of family and responsibility.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions from the characters and the audience, creating a powerful and memorable moment in the story.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is sharp, emotional, and revealing, capturing the characters' inner turmoil and conflicts effectively.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the intense emotional conflict, raw dialogue, and relatable family dynamics that draw the audience in.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional intensity, keeping the audience engaged and invested in the characters' struggles.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene is clear and easy to follow, with proper scene headings and character actions.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene follows the expected format for a dramatic family confrontation, with escalating tension and emotional revelations.


Critique
  • The scene effectively portrays the escalating tension and conflict within the Fabelman family, particularly between Sammy, Burt, and Mitzi.
  • The dialogue captures the raw emotions and frustrations of each character, highlighting their individual perspectives and struggles.
  • The use of physical actions, such as Sammy batting away the ice pack and storming out, adds to the intensity of the scene.
  • The scene effectively conveys the sense of isolation and unhappiness Sammy feels in the new environment, as well as the underlying issues within the family dynamic.
  • The visual imagery of the raindrops, shadows, and swirling leaves adds depth to Sammy's emotional turmoil and inner conflict.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more internal monologue or introspection from Sammy to provide insight into his thoughts and feelings.
  • Explore the underlying reasons for Mitzi's behavior and emotional state to add depth to her character and motivations.
  • Provide more context or backstory to Burt's decision to move the family and his perspective on the situation to create a more well-rounded portrayal of his character.
  • Consider incorporating moments of vulnerability or reflection from Burt and Mitzi to showcase their own struggles and complexities.
  • Experiment with different camera angles, lighting, and sound effects to enhance the visual and emotional impact of the scene.



Scene 32 -  Sammy's Confession
113 EXT. GRAND VIEW HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY - MORNING 113

CU on Claudia, hurt, angry, listening unsympathetically. She
sits next to her friend MONICA SHERWOOD, shorter, pretty,
indignant, intrigued.

Sammy sits across from them, two black eyes, swollen nose.

SAMMY
Anyways, what I really wanted to
say is that - about yesterday -
what I told you was... It wasn’t
true and I lied. And...I’m sorry.

CLAUDIA
But... Why? What did I ever do to
you?

SAMMY CLAUDIA (CONT’D)
Oh no no, it wasn’t about Because that like really,
you. No I didn’t mean to hurt really wasn’t cool, y’know?
you.

CLAUDIA (CONT’D)
Because I really love Logan.

MONICA
Yeah, she cried herself to sleep,
thinking he cheated on her. You
ought to be more considerate of
other people’s feelings.

SAMMY
Okay, but Logan told me to say I
killed Christ.
Conformed Draft 102.


MONICA CLAUDIA
What?! Why would he do that?! That wasn’t Logan, that was
Chad and -

SAMMY
Logan laughed! He thought it was
hilarious!

CLAUDIA
(to Monica:)
He’s Jewish.

MONICA
(to Sammy:)
You don’t say?

SAMMY
Yeah, I - Since the day I was
circumcised.

Claudia laughs; Monica blushes. Sammy smiles with them.

CLAUDIA
(to Sammy:)
So how’d you know she was a
redhead?

MONICA
Oh. My. God. He was making out with
RENEE REYNOLDS?!?!

Both girls lean over the table, resting their heads on their
folded hands, staring down Sammy.

CLAUDIA
If you were lying, how’d you know
her hair color?

Sammy looks at Claudia; he’s been busted, he has no answer.

Claudia takes his bruised face in her hand, inspecting it.
He winces, but of course he loves it.

CLAUDIA (CONT’D)
Does it hurt?

MONICA
So you don’t believe in Jesus.

Claudia releases Sammy’s face.

CLAUDIA
Monica’s like totally high on
Jesus.
Conformed Draft 103.


MONICA
I can’t imagine my life without
Him!

SAMMY
Well, we’ve managed for like 5,000
years, so I guess it’s possible.

MONICA
Maybe we could, I dunno, get
together? And pray on it?

SAMMY
(laughing nervously)
What, like... You and me?

She smiles warmly at him. Sammy is speechless.

MONICA
We can ask Him to come into your
heart. And, y’know, see what
happens.

SAMMY
Uh, yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah...
(to Monica:)
Sure! That’d be like, when? Like
today?!
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary In the school library, Sammy nervously confesses to Claudia and Monica that he lied about Logan cheating on Claudia. He reveals that Logan told him to say he killed Christ. Despite Sammy's apology, Claudia and Monica confront him about knowing Renee Reynolds' hair color. Sammy admits that he's Jewish, and Claudia inspects his bruised face. Monica invites Sammy to pray with her, and Sammy hesitantly agrees.
Strengths
  • Natural dialogue
  • Character development
  • Emotional depth
Weaknesses
  • Some elements of humor may not resonate with all audiences

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively balances humor and introspection, providing insight into the characters' relationships and emotions.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of apologies, misunderstandings, and personal revelations is well-executed and engaging.

Plot: 7

The plot progresses through the characters' interactions and reveals more about their personalities and relationships.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on teenage relationships and conflicts, blending humor with deeper emotional moments. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and relatable.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and their dynamics are explored in depth through dialogue and actions.

Character Changes: 7

The characters experience growth and self-reflection during the scene, leading to personal revelations and changes.

Internal Goal: 8

Claudia's internal goal is to understand why Sammy lied to her and to assert her feelings for Logan. This reflects her need for honesty and validation in her relationships.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to apologize for lying and to navigate the consequences of his actions. This reflects the immediate challenge of repairing his relationships with Claudia and Monica.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

There is a moderate level of conflict in the scene, mainly stemming from misunderstandings and emotional tension.

Opposition: 6

The opposition in the scene is not particularly strong, as the conflict is resolved relatively easily and without significant obstacles.

High Stakes: 5

While the stakes are not extremely high, the emotional impact of the scene is significant for the characters involved.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by deepening the characters' relationships and revealing new information.

Unpredictability: 7

The scene is somewhat predictable in its resolution of the conflict between the characters, but the humor and banter keep the audience entertained.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

The philosophical conflict revolves around religious beliefs, with Monica's strong faith contrasting with Sammy's more casual attitude towards religion. This challenges their worldviews and values.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions, from humor to empathy, making it impactful for the audience.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is natural, engaging, and reveals important information about the characters and their relationships.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging due to its mix of humor, drama, and teenage dynamics. The dialogue and interactions keep the audience invested in the characters' relationships.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective, with a good balance of dialogue and action to keep the story moving forward and maintain audience interest.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows standard formatting for a screenplay, with clear character descriptions and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a typical dialogue-driven structure for a high school drama, with clear character interactions and progression.


Critique
  • The scene starts with Sammy apologizing to Claudia for lying about Logan cheating on her, but the reason for his lie is not clearly explained.
  • The dialogue between the characters feels a bit disjointed and lacks a natural flow, making it difficult to follow the conversation.
  • The revelation about Sammy being Jewish and the mention of circumcision seems out of place and doesn't add much to the scene.
  • The transition from discussing Renee Reynolds' hair color to Monica suggesting to pray together feels abrupt and doesn't have a smooth connection.
  • The interaction between Sammy, Claudia, and Monica lacks depth and emotional resonance, making it hard for the audience to connect with the characters.
Suggestions
  • Clarify the reason behind Sammy's lie to Claudia and make it more impactful to the storyline.
  • Work on the dialogue to make it more natural and engaging, ensuring that each character's voice is distinct and consistent.
  • Consider revising the mention of Sammy being Jewish and the circumcision reference to fit more seamlessly into the conversation.
  • Smooth out the transition between different topics in the dialogue to create a more cohesive and engaging scene.
  • Add depth to the interaction between Sammy, Claudia, and Monica by exploring their emotions and motivations in a more meaningful way.



Scene 33 -  Monica and Sammy's Prayer Play
114 INT. MONICA’S BEDROOM, LOS GATOS - AFTERNOON 114

CU on a big poster of Jesus delivering the Sermon on the
Mount, beautiful face, long flowing hair.

Jesus is surrounded by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, another
Jesus poster, JFK photos, another Jesus, Troy Donahue, yet
another Jesus, Tab Hunter, Eddie Kookie Burns, Pat Boone and
a few more Jesuses. Sammy inspects the posters.

MONICA
It’s a lot, huh?

SAMMY
It’s... sort of a shrine, almost. A
shrine to guys. Lots of guys.

MONICA
They’re sexy.

SAMMY
I guess.
Conformed Draft 104.


Sammy moves to take in Claudia’s bed. Above it is a HUGE
crucifix, encircled by a heart of red Christmas lights.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
I mean, not Jesus.

MONICA
Jesus is sexy.

SAMMY
(a little shocked:)
Isn’t that like a sin or something?

MONICA
I dunno. He came to us as a man. A
handsome young man. He could’ve
come as a girl, or an old man, or
someone with leprosy. But...

She’s standing directly in front of him.

SAMMY
Nobody knows what he really looked
like.

MONICA
Probably he looked like you.

SAMMY
(perplexed, then:)
Oh, because, because he was -

MONICA
Jewish. A handsome Jewish boy. Just
like you.

She suddenly steps away to close her bedroom door, then moves
back to Sammy with a sly smile.

Sammy makes a slight move forward, unsure but deciding to try
for a kiss. Monica puts two fingers in sacerdotal position
between their lips.

MONICA (CONT’D)
Let’s pray.

Monica kneels down in front of him. He has no idea what to
do. She reaches up, takes his shoulders, and pulls him to his
knees. She presses her palms together in front of her.

MONICA (CONT’D)
Close your eyes.

Sammy obeys. Monica takes a deep breath.
Conformed Draft 105.


MONICA (CONT’D)
Lord, I’m here with my friend Sammy-

SAMMY
Sam.

MONICA
I’m here with my good friend Sam,
who’s Jewish and he’s a nice boy,
Lord Jesus, he’s good and brave and
he’s funny, Lord, and, and I like
him.

She opens her eyes and takes Sammy’s hand. He resists,
puzzled, and she tries to shake him loose.

MONICA (CONT’D)
Relax.

Monica quickly moves Sammy’s hand to make the sign of the
cross.

MONICA (CONT’D)
Ask.

Sammy looks confused.

MONICA (CONT’D)
Ask Him to come unto you, ask him
to enter you.

SAMMY
(at the ceiling, clearing
his throat:)
Um... Hi there, Jesus, it’s me, Sam
Fabelman. If you’re real, show me a
sign or something and -

MONICA
You can’t ask Jesus to do tricks to
impress you. You have to be humble,
you have to beg him to - I’ll do
it.
(inching closer to Sammy:)
I’m going to beg the Holy Spirit to
come into me, I’m going to draw the
Spirit in with my breath.
(a beat:)
SPIRIT! COME INTO ME! PLEASE, HOLY
SPIRIT, I’M BEGGING YOU, SWEET HOLY
FATHER, FOR THE SAKE OF MY FRIEND
SAMMY -
Conformed Draft 106.


SAMMY MONICA (CONT’D)
Sam. - COME INTO US, JESUS!! HEAR
OUR PRAYER!!

She sucks in a huge volume of air, then, holding her breath:

MONICA (CONT’D)
Open your mouth, open your mouth
and take the spirit of Christ into
you!

Sammy opens his mouth. Monica, her eyes closed, brings her
face right up to his and exhales powerfully. Sammy drinks in
her breath. As he’s doing this he opens his eyes, and she
opens hers. They look into each others’ eyes, and they kiss.

Monica pulls back and crosses herself. Sammy awkwardly tries
to copy her.

A moment later, Monica pushes Sammy down on the bedspread,
gets on top and bends down to kiss him. Sammy looks up at
Jesus, crucified, looming above.

MONICA’S MOTHER (O.C.)
Monica? Sammy?
(singsong:)
I made snaaaaacks!

Monica devours Sammy with kisses. Immediately there’s a knock
on the door. Monica leaps off Sammy and Sammy jumps up. Both
straighten their clothes as:

MONICA
WE’RE COMING!
(to Sammy:)
Tomorrow after school, wanna meet
out back behind the bleachers?

SAMMY
Yeah!

MONICA
Cool! We can pray some more.
Genres: ["Drama","Romance"]

Summary In Monica's shrine-like bedroom, she and Sammy engage in a playful prayer session that culminates in a kiss, bridging the gap between Monica's flirtatious Christianity and Sammy's Jewish beliefs.
Strengths
  • Exploration of complex themes
  • Authentic character interactions
  • Emotional depth
Weaknesses
  • Potential for cliched romantic tropes
  • Lack of external conflict

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively blends themes of religion, identity, and romance in a compelling and emotional way. The dialogue and character interactions are engaging, and the scene evokes a range of sentiments from the audience.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of exploring religious themes through a teenage romance is innovative and thought-provoking. The scene delves into complex emotions and beliefs, adding depth to the characters and storyline.

Plot: 7

The plot advances through the exploration of Sammy's internal conflict and his budding relationship with Monica. The scene adds layers to the characters and sets up potential conflicts and resolutions.

Originality: 9

The scene presents a fresh approach to exploring themes of religion, sexuality, and identity through the lens of teenage romance. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and engaging, adding to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters of Sammy and Monica are well-developed and their interactions feel authentic and engaging. Their emotional journey in the scene adds depth to their personalities.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy experiences a shift in his understanding of his identity and beliefs through his interaction with Monica. This sets the stage for potential growth and development in future scenes.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to explore his feelings towards religion, masculinity, and his budding romantic interest in Monica. This reflects his deeper need for acceptance, understanding, and connection.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to navigate his interactions with Monica and potentially explore a romantic relationship with her. This reflects the immediate challenge of understanding his feelings and desires.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

The conflict in the scene is more internal and emotional, focusing on Sammy's struggle with his identity and beliefs. The tension between characters adds depth to the storyline.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong enough to create conflict and uncertainty in the characters' interactions, adding depth to their emotional journey.

High Stakes: 5

The stakes in the scene are more personal and emotional, focusing on Sammy's internal struggle with his identity and beliefs. The outcome of his interactions with Monica could have significant implications for his character development.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by deepening the emotional connections between characters and setting up potential conflicts and resolutions. It adds layers to the narrative and sets the stage for future developments.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected twists in the characters' interactions, challenging the audience's expectations and assumptions.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict evident in this scene is the protagonist's internal struggle with his Jewish identity, his perception of Jesus, and his attraction to Monica's interpretation of spirituality. This challenges his beliefs, values, and worldview, forcing him to question his understanding of faith and love.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes a strong emotional response from the audience, delving into themes of identity, religion, and young love. The intimate moments between Sammy and Monica resonate deeply.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is natural and reflective of the characters' emotions and beliefs. It effectively conveys the themes of the scene and enhances the intimacy between Sammy and Monica.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its blend of humor, drama, and romance, keeping the audience invested in the characters' emotional journey and philosophical exploration.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional resonance, leading to a climactic moment of connection between the characters.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene adheres to the expected format for its genre, effectively conveying the setting, character actions, and dialogue.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene follows a natural progression of events, building tension and emotional depth through the characters' interactions and dialogue.


Critique
  • The scene in Monica's bedroom has a lot of religious imagery and undertones, which may be confusing or overwhelming for the audience.
  • The transition from discussing Jesus and the shrine of male figures to a prayer session and kiss between Sammy and Monica feels abrupt and disjointed.
  • The dialogue between Monica and Sammy during the prayer session comes across as forced and unnatural, lacking authenticity.
  • The physical intimacy between Sammy and Monica escalates quickly and without much build-up or emotional depth, making it feel rushed and insincere.
  • The scene ends with a sudden interruption and shift in tone, from a romantic moment to Monica's mother calling for snacks, which disrupts the flow of the scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider toning down the religious imagery and focus on developing the relationship between Sammy and Monica in a more organic way.
  • Provide more context and build-up to the prayer session and physical intimacy between Sammy and Monica to make it feel more authentic and emotionally resonant.
  • Explore the characters' motivations and emotions more deeply to create a more meaningful and impactful scene.
  • Smooth out the transitions between different elements of the scene to ensure a cohesive and engaging narrative flow.
  • Consider revising the ending to create a more satisfying and natural conclusion to the interaction between Sammy and Monica.



Scene 34 -  Dinner Table Discussions
118 INT. THE DINING ROOM IN THE RENTAL HOUSE - EVENING 118

The Fabelmans sit around the dinner table with their guests:
Hadassah, older but her dress is a little more modern; and
Monica. Bennie the monkey sits by Burt’s plate; Burt feeds
him a cherry tomatoes from his salad, spearing them on his
fork one by one. Hadassah stares at the monkey with horror;
Monica stares at him with astonishment as she listens to
Mitzi:
Conformed Draft 107.


MITZI
When I was a girl and I felt sad,
I’d go to the zoo and I’d watch the
monkeys.

MONICA
They made you laugh?

MITZI
Yeah, the monkeyshines. But there
was more to it than that, it was...

She looks at Bennie the monkey.

MITZI (CONT’D)
(To Monica:)
They understand what we’ve done to
them, with the cages and the people
pointing. We share that with them,
the truth of how cruel people are.
But if you watch them for long
enough, you can tell they know
stuff we can’t begin to imagine,
important stuff. And they’re not
going to let us in on it. Because
it belongs to them, it’s their own
monkey business, theirs. It’s not
ours. It’s, oh I dunno...

BURT
Self-possession.

Mitzi looks at him, an instant of deep connection. She gives
him a sad smile.

MITZI
Right. They belong to themselves.

She hears what she’s saying, and she turns away from Burt. He
stares at her, hurt by the abrupt severing.

HADASSAH
If it belongs to itself, let it go
back to where it came from.

MITZI
(to Monica:)
Anyway, that’s how come I got a
monkey.

NATALIE
And a therapist.
Conformed Draft 108.


LISA
(to Monica:)
He throws his poop.

MONICA
The therapist?

LISA
No the monkey.

HADASSAH
(to Monica:)
That’s why I’m staying in a hotel.

BURT
You don’t have to. We have plenty
of room -

HADASSAH
(to Monica:)
My rabbi in New Jersey says a
monkey in the house isn’t Kosher.

MITZI
That’s why we’re not going to eat
him.

BURT
(to Mitzi:)
Did you schedule him for his polio
vaccine?

MONICA MITZI
They can get polio? (to Natalie:)
Pass the peas.
(to Monica:)
He hates going to the vet.

BURT
Well, they’re susceptible to
pretty much everything humans
are, so yes.

MITZI (CONT’D)
You see, Monica, in this family,
it’s the scientists versus the
artists. Sammy’s on my team, he
takes after me, except he’s got
real talent.

SAMMY
Mom.

Natalie
Conformed Draft 109.


And he’s completely terrible at
science.

REGGIE
And algebra.

NATALIE
And sports.

SAMMY
Will you please stop!

MONICA
He showed me his camera.

NATALIE
Is he good at kissing?

MONICA
I’ll tell you later.

Reggie and Natalie crack up.

SAMMY
SHUT. UP.

MITZI
(to Monica:)
He sleeps with a camera under his
pillow -

SAMMY
No I don’t!

MITZI
- but he refuses to actually shoot
anything.

MONICA
(a gasp, a GREAT idea!)
He should shoot Ditch Day!
(to Sammy:)
They still don’t have a
photographer. You could volunteer!

MITZI
What’s Ditch Day?

SAMMY REGGIE
It doesn’t matter, I’m not (to Mitzi:)
going. It’s a thing the Seniors get
to do at the end of the year.
Conformed Draft 110.


MONICA
(to Mitzi:)
They let us pretend like we’re
ditching school and we all take
buses to Santa Cruz Main Beach.
(to Sammy:)
You have to go, everyone goes! My
dad’ll lend you his camera, it’s
super-fancy, costs like a thousand
dollars. It’s called like a... an
Air something? I forget.

SAMMY
(a beat, then:)
Wait. Not an Arriflex.

MONICA
Right!


SAMMY
Your dad owns a 16 millimeter
Arriflex?!? Wow, wow, okay...

MONICA SAMMY (CONT’D)
(to Mitzi:) But 16MM raw stock, two
Usually it’s a teacher who minutes forty-five seconds a
shoots the Ditch Day movie roll at ten bucks a roll, for
and it’s a big joke, but - a whole day, that’d be like
(to Sammy:) insanely expensive -
My dad’ll get the school to
pay for it.

HADASSAH
I owe you a graduation check.

SAMMY
- And I’d need to rent a 16MM
editing machine, I have no idea how
much that costs, so -

MONICA
My dad will rent one for you.

MITZI
We can rent it. Whatever it costs.
(to Burt:)
Right? Burt?

BURT
(to Sammy:)
Uh, what’s wrong with your Bolex?
Conformed Draft 111.


MITZI
(to Burt:)
You could afford to be a little
encouraging.

BURT
About what?

MITZI
About him making movies again.

BURT SAMMY
Maybe he’s moved on. Well, I didn’t say that! I
just -

MITZI
On from what?

BURT
He hasn’t picked up his camera once
since we got here. He’ll be going
to college in September, maybe his
feelings about it have changed.
He’s growing up. I’m enthusiastic
about that.

MITZI SAMMY
Filming is what he loves, and Oh Jesus Christ!
I don’t think him abandoning (to Monica:)
what he truly loves is I’m sorry.
something we should (to Mitzi:)
celebrate. Do you? I’d think Guys, can we please stop
that you more than anyone talking about me?
would have some understanding (to Monica:)
of what a, a vocation, a Let’s go to your place or
calling is! something, maybe your dad can
show me the camera -

BURT
(trying to make light of
it, but underneath he’s
angry:)
Alright, alright, we’ll rent him
the equipment!

REGGIE
(to Monica:)
He hates the beach, that’s why he
doesn’t want to go to Ditch Day.

MITZI
(to Burt:)
But it’s not your calling. Is that
why you can’t, um, respect it?
Conformed Draft 112.


BURT
I have respect for everything he
works hard doing!

REGGIE
He’s afraid.

NATALIE
(to Monica:)
He’s scared if he does those guys
will beat him up again.

As the argument continues, the monkey moves from Burt to
Mitzi, and Hadassah asks Sammy, who ignores her:

SAMMY
What? No I’m not! I never said that
I was scared of them!

HADASSAH
You got beat up?!

MITZI
(to Burt:)
You always dismiss what he does,
what anyone does that’s playful or
imaginative as a pastime or a hobby-

BURT
You already won, Mitts. I
surrendered. I’m not taking the
bait.

MITZI SAMMY
(to Burt:) (to his parents:)
Who’s baiting who? I said I’d Can you guys please cut it
take him for his polio shot out! You’re embarrassing me!
the first five times you
asked me. Didn’t I?

BURT
Well, you say you will but I guess
you don’t mean it. So I ask again,
and again, and -

MITZI
He’s scared of shots! He’s scared
of the doctor -

Bennie the monkey, scared by the anger, jumps into Hadassah’s
lap Sammy stands up abruptly and slams the table!
Conformed Draft 113.


SAMMY
I am taking the goddamned monkey to
the vet! Okay?!

Hadassah scratches Bennie’s head.

HADASSAH
He probably needs a tranquilizer
with all this yelling.

Sammy looks at his family, then smiles; an idea is forming.
He says to Monica:

SAMMY
Can you ask your dad about
borrowing the camera?

MONICA
He’ll say yes.

SAMMY
Thank you! I’m filming Ditch Day. I
think it’s a great idea.

Over this: the calliope intro to James Darren’s “Goodbye
Cruel World.”
Genres: ["Drama","Family","Comedy"]

Summary The Fabelmans gather for dinner and engage in lively conversations about monkeys and filmmaking. Sammy, eager to pursue his passion, plans to film an upcoming event using a borrowed camera, while navigating his parents' concerns regarding his fear of shots and their disapproval of his filmmaking aspirations.
Strengths
  • Sharp dialogue
  • Complex character dynamics
  • Humor intertwined with tension
  • Exploration of family themes
Weaknesses
  • Some repetitive arguments
  • Lack of significant character development in this scene

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines humor, tension, and emotional depth to create a compelling and engaging narrative. The conflict between characters, the introduction of the monkey, and the exploration of family dynamics make it a strong and memorable scene.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of the scene, revolving around family dynamics, personal passions, and the introduction of a monkey into the household, is well-executed and engaging. The exploration of themes such as self-possession and the struggle between pursuing one's passion and meeting family expectations adds depth to the narrative.

Plot: 7

The plot of the scene revolves around the family dinner table conversation, the tension between Burt and Mitzi, and Sammy's decision to film Ditch Day. While the plot is engaging and moves the story forward, it is the character dynamics and interactions that drive the scene.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on family dynamics and coming-of-age themes, with a quirky twist involving a monkey and a budding filmmaker. The characters' interactions feel authentic and engaging, contributing to the scene's originality.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters in the scene are well-developed and their personalities shine through their interactions. Burt, Mitzi, Sammy, Monica, and the other family members each have distinct traits and motivations that drive the conflict and humor in the scene.

Character Changes: 7

While there are no significant character changes in the scene, the interactions and conflicts between the characters hint at potential growth and development in future scenes. Sammy's decision to film Ditch Day may signal a shift in his character arc.

Internal Goal: 8

Mitzi's internal goal is to encourage her son Sammy to pursue his passion for filmmaking, despite his father's reservations. This reflects her desire for Sammy to follow his dreams and not give up on what he loves.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to borrow a camera from Monica's dad to film Ditch Day, showcasing his excitement and determination to pursue his filmmaking aspirations.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The conflict in the scene is primarily driven by the tension between Burt and Mitzi, Sammy's internal struggle with his passion for filmmaking, and the introduction of the monkey into the household. The conflict adds depth and drama to the scene, keeping the audience engaged.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicting viewpoints and tensions between the characters driving the conflict forward. The audience is left unsure of how the characters' conflicts will be resolved, adding suspense and drama to the scene.

High Stakes: 6

While the stakes in the scene are not extremely high, the conflicts and tensions between the characters hint at deeper emotional and personal stakes that may unfold in future scenes. The decision to film Ditch Day and the family dynamics add layers of complexity to the narrative.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by introducing new conflicts, deepening character relationships, and setting up future plot developments. Sammy's decision to film Ditch Day and the tension between Burt and Mitzi foreshadow potential conflicts and resolutions in the narrative.

Unpredictability: 7

The scene offers some unpredictability in the characters' actions and reactions, adding tension and intrigue to the narrative. The unexpected twists and turns keep the audience on their toes.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the clash between traditional values and artistic pursuits. Burt represents practicality and conformity, while Mitzi advocates for creativity and following one's passion.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions, including tension, humor, sadness, and hope. The complex family dynamics and personal struggles of the characters create an emotional resonance with the audience, making the scene impactful and memorable.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue in the scene is sharp, witty, and reflective of the characters' personalities. It effectively conveys the tension, humor, and emotional depth of the interactions, adding depth to the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging due to its blend of humor, drama, and character development. The conflicts and dynamics between the characters keep the audience invested in the story and eager to see how it unfolds.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is well-balanced, with a mix of dialogue, action, and character interactions that maintain a steady rhythm. The scene builds tension and conflict effectively, leading to a satisfying resolution.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene's formatting adheres to industry standards, with clear scene descriptions, character actions, and dialogue. The transitions between characters and interactions are well-executed.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional format for a family dinner setting, with clear character dynamics and escalating conflicts. The pacing and dialogue flow smoothly, maintaining the audience's interest.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear focus or central conflict, leading to a lack of tension and engagement.
  • The dialogue feels forced and unnatural at times, with characters delivering lines that don't flow organically.
  • There are too many characters introduced in a short span of time, making it difficult for the audience to keep track of who is who.
  • The transition between different topics and conversations is abrupt and disjointed, making the scene feel chaotic.
  • The emotional dynamics between the characters are not fully explored or developed, leading to shallow interactions.
Suggestions
  • Focus on a central conflict or theme to drive the scene forward and create tension.
  • Streamline the dialogue to make it more natural and reflective of how people actually speak.
  • Introduce and develop fewer characters to allow for deeper exploration of their relationships and dynamics.
  • Smooth out the transitions between different topics and conversations to create a more cohesive scene.
  • Dig deeper into the emotional dynamics between the characters to add depth and complexity to their interactions.



Scene 35 -  Ditch Day and Family Drama
119 EXT. SANTA CRUZ MAIN BEACH - DAY 119

“Goodbye Cruel World” plays as Sammy, wielding Monica’s dad’s
Arriflex 16-S, arrives at the beach, where a massive banner
welcomes “GRAND VIEW HIGH CLASS OF ‘64”. Monica rushes to
join him, carrying a shoulder rig for the camera.

The students have fanned out across the beach. They’re
swimming, sunning, chasing each other, building sand castles
and burying each other in the sand. Sammy, Monica assisting,
films all of this.

Students use beach blankets to playfully toss a girl back and
forth while Sammy films and Monica cheers.

Sammy notices Logan, in a lively game of beach volleyball,
leaping high in the air and spiking a ball.

At a long table, Sammy films several students having a hot
dog-eating contest.

Monica and some sunbathers stage a gag for Sammy. Monica
stands directly above one of the sunbathers, then drops a
small glob of vanilla ice cream onto his forehead.
Conformed Draft 114.


Late afternoon, golden light. In the parking lot an
improvised circular track of traffic cones and trash cans,
the perimeter surrounded by students, cheering as the
strongest athletes in the class race each other. Logan,
naturally, is winning. Sammy kneels and pans to follow Logan
with his camera.

Sammy films Claudia and Monica passing under a limbo bar
together. Logan watches from the crowd and catches Claudia’s
eye, but she turns her back on him. But when Logan goes under
the bar next, Claudia can’t help but watch. She walks off and
Monica goes to drape herself on Sammy as he keeps filming.
She nuzzles into his cheek until he gets the hint and lets
her peer through the viewfinder.
122 CUT TO: 122



123 EXT. 8MM FOOTAGE: THE NEW HOUSE IN SARATOGA - DAY 123

It’s cloudy and silent, with only the whirr of the camera
heard under the footage.

Sammy, behind the lens, heads up the walkway to the front
door. Burt, Reggie, Natalie and Lisa are excited. Mitzi
glances at the house’s unfinished exterior, promising to
become a handsome, generously-proportioned A-Frame. She looks
away, out at the view.

The girls rush inside, followed by Burt and the camera. It
follows the girls, exploring - the boxed appliances in the
kitchen, the hall leading to their new rooms. Then the
camera pans to the front window, where Mitzi stands looking
in. Burt knocks and waves to her and gestures to Sammy to
shoot her. Burt plants a big kiss on Mitzi then runs into the
expansive, sun-soaked living room, miming where her grand
piano will live. The girls run back in and Burt lines them
up in the living room and has Sammy frame the front door.

He rushes outside and sweeps Mitzi in his arms like a bride,
silhouetted by the strong sun behind them. As Burt carries
Mitzi over the threshold, towards the camera, their faces
growing distinct, the film slows down till it advances one
frame at a time; then finally it freezes on a frame of Burt,
happy and proud, and Mitzi, staring at the camera with a sad,
lost smile.

125 INT. THE RENTAL HOUSE, LOS GATOS - MORNING 125

Burt steps into frame with a sad, gentle look.
Conformed Draft 115.


BURT
Don’t be scared.

The kids are seated on the sofa. Lisa is holding Bennie the
monkey. She’s crying, as is Reggie. Natalie scowls
fiercely.

BURT (CONT’D)
Your mom misses Phoenix too much -

Mitzi sits on the piano bench, tears in her eyes:


MITZI BURT (CONT’D)
(softly, not looking at - and I can’t leave, this is
anyone, to Burt:) where my work is, I have to -
Tell them the truth.

NATALIE
That’s crazy! You don’t, you can’t
ruin everything because -
(to Mitzi:)
- you miss one place and -
(to Burt:)
- you’re stuck someplace else!

MITZI
I miss Bennie too much.

NATALIE
(a beat, shocked; then:)
So? We all miss him.

Sammy sits alone on the stairs, watching Mitzi.

MITZI
This is a different kind of
missing.

NATALIE
Because what? You love Bennie?

No one answers her.

LISA
Don’t you love daddy?

MITZI BURT
Of course I love daddy. Sure she does, and I love
mom, that’s not -

NATALIE
WHY IS THIS ALL OF A SUDDEN
HAPPENING??
Conformed Draft 116.


REGGIE
Stay together. You love each other
and you love us, and we don’t want
this, we don’t want to have to move
back and forth and not live with
both of you, we can’t! Dad, we
can’t -

Natalie leaps from the sofa to confront Mitzi.

NATALIE
(to Mitzi, red with rage:)
YOU’RE ALWAYS SO MEAN TO HIM!!
THAT’S WHY YOU’RE GETTING DIVORCED!
IT’S BECAUSE OF YOU!!

BURT MITZI
Don’t blame your mom. This No, don’t say that, that’s -
wasn’t her idea, it was mine.

NATALIE
(to Burt:)
NO IT WASN’T YOUR IDEA!! SHE JUST
SAID IT WAS BECAUSE OF BENNIE! SO
STOP LYING!! BOTH OF YOU STOP
LYING!!

BURT
I’m giving your mom a chance to go
back to Phoenix to live...

Sammy takes it all in, numbed and disconnected. He sees the
drama playing out in the mirror over the mantle. In the
reflection, he sees HIMSELF filming everything, moving
through his family like they’re actors.
Genres: ["Drama","Family","Coming-of-age"]

Summary Sammy and Monica capture the fun and camaraderie of a beach party, including Logan, Claudia, and Monica. Meanwhile, at their new home, tensions arise as Mitzi expresses sadness over leaving Arizona. Natalie confronts Mitzi, accusing her of cruelty in the divorce. Sammy documents these family conflicts through his camera lens.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Authentic character interactions
  • Intense conflicts and revelations
Weaknesses
  • Some dialogue may feel repetitive or melodramatic

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is emotionally charged, with intense confrontations and revelations that add depth to the characters and advance the plot significantly.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of family turmoil and emotional revelations is executed effectively, drawing the audience into the complex dynamics of the Fabelman family.

Plot: 8

The plot progresses significantly as key conflicts and emotional revelations unfold, setting the stage for further character development and story arcs.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh approach to capturing a high school celebration at the beach, with unique activities and interactions that feel authentic and engaging.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and their emotions and motivations are portrayed authentically, adding depth and complexity to the scene.

Character Changes: 8

Several characters experience significant emotional shifts and revelations, leading to potential growth and development in future scenes.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to capture the joy and camaraderie of his classmates on film, reflecting his desire to preserve memories and connect with his peers.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to successfully film the Class of '64 celebration at the beach, showcasing the fun and unity of his classmates.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict within the family is intense and multi-layered, driving the emotional tension and character interactions in the scene.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene, such as the conflict between preserving memories and the inevitability of change, adds depth and complexity to the characters' interactions.

High Stakes: 7

The stakes are high in terms of the family's relationships and dynamics, as key decisions and revelations could have lasting consequences.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by revealing key conflicts and emotional revelations that will impact the characters' relationships and future decisions.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable in the interactions and reactions of the characters, adding depth and tension to the celebration.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

There is a philosophical conflict between the desire to preserve memories and the inevitability of change and growing apart. This challenges Sammy's belief in the permanence of friendships and experiences.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions from the audience, with its raw and authentic portrayal of family turmoil and emotional revelations.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys the emotional intensity and conflicts within the family, showcasing the characters' inner turmoil and struggles.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it captures the energy and dynamics of a high school celebration, drawing the audience into the nostalgia and camaraderie of the event.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotion, moving smoothly between interactions and activities at the beach celebration.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene is clear and follows the expected format for a screenplay, making it easy to visualize the events and characters.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a structured format, introducing the setting, characters, and their interactions in a coherent and engaging manner.


Critique
  • The scene at Santa Cruz Main Beach lacks a clear focus or central conflict. While it captures various activities of the students, there is no overarching narrative or tension to drive the scene forward.
  • The transition to the 8mm footage of the new house in Saratoga feels disjointed and abrupt. The shift in setting and tone is not smoothly executed, leaving the audience feeling disconnected.
  • The emotional dynamics between the Fabelman family members in the rental house are complex and intense, but the dialogue feels somewhat forced and melodramatic. The conflicts and resolutions could be more subtly portrayed.
  • The scene lacks a clear resolution or closure, leaving the audience hanging with unresolved tensions and emotions.
  • The visual elements in the scene could be enhanced to better convey the emotional depth and complexity of the family dynamics.
Suggestions
  • Consider introducing a central conflict or theme to drive the scene at Santa Cruz Main Beach, providing a clear focus for the audience.
  • Work on smoother transitions between different settings and tones, ensuring a cohesive flow throughout the scene.
  • Refine the dialogue to make it more natural and nuanced, allowing the emotional dynamics between the family members to shine through without feeling forced.
  • Provide a more definitive resolution or closure to the scene, giving the audience a sense of completion and satisfaction.
  • Enhance the visual storytelling elements to better convey the emotional depth and complexity of the family interactions.



Scene 36 -  Mitzi's Marriage
127 INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 127

Sammy is working at a rented 16MM editor, surrounded by film,
a tape recorder, tapes, a record player, 45s rpms. Labeled
film strips are taped to the walls. Sammy has Jimmy Soul’s
“If You Wanna Be Happy” playing for inspiration. Reggie
comes in. Sammy looks up at her, stop the music, then goes
back to his editing.

REGGIE
I don’t understand how you can go
back to your beach blanket movie
after that.

SAMMY
We’re different, I guess.
Conformed Draft 117.


He works. Reggie goes to sit on his bed, then:

REGGIE
Is she gonna marry Bennie?

SAMMY
If she wants to, she will, she’s
the most selfish person on earth.

REGGIE
It must’ve been hard for her,
married to a... a genius.

SAMMY
Dad worships Mom.

REGGIE
OK - But maybe it’s hard, being
worshipped by someone you know
you’ll never be as good as, or
ever do anything as good as. She
laughs at Bennie’s jokes, but...
(she shakes her head:)
Dad’s always been her best
audience.

Reggie starts to cry.

SAMMY
Come on. She’ll be fine, she’ll
tell herself everything happens for
a reason, she’ll make excuses like
she always -

REGGIE
You’re way more selfish than her.

Sammy, confused, tries to laugh it off.

REGGIE (CONT’D)
That’s why you’re angry at her.
It’s because she’s scared. Just
like you, Sammy. Out of everyone in
this outta-control falling-apart
family, the one who’s most like
Mitzi is you.

Reggie waits for Sammy to respond. He looks down and doesn’t
say anything. So Reggie stands and starts to leave the room.

SAMMY
Wait.

Reggie stops and turns to him.
Conformed Draft 118.


SAMMY (CONT’D)
Before I show this to the whole
school, could you please watch it
with me?

Reggie nods yes. She goes to Sammy, puts her hands on his
shoulders and leans in. He pushes the button and the film
starts to play.
Genres: ["Drama","Family"]

Summary Sammy works on his film, inspired by the song 'If You Wanna Be Happy' by Jimmy Soul. Reggie enters and asks about the film, specifically if the main character, Mitzi, will marry Bennie. Sammy responds that Mitzi is selfish and would do what she wants. Reggie shares her thoughts on Mitzi's marriage to Sammy's father, suggesting that Mitzi may have felt inferior to him. Reggie starts to cry, and Sammy tries to comfort her. Reggie accuses Sammy of being selfish like Mitzi, stating that he is afraid like her. Sammy asks Reggie to watch the film with him before showing it to the whole school, and she agrees.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Introspective dialogue
Weaknesses
  • Lack of external action
  • Limited external conflict

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys the emotional turmoil within the family, with strong character interactions and introspective moments.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of exploring family dynamics, selfishness, and fear is well-executed, providing depth to the characters and their relationships.

Plot: 7

The plot focuses on the emotional conflicts and revelations within the family, driving the character development and setting up future conflicts.

Originality: 9

The scene demonstrates originality through its nuanced exploration of family relationships, selfishness, and fear. The dialogue feels authentic and the characters' actions are emotionally resonant.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and showcase vulnerability, selfishness, and fear, adding layers to their personalities.

Character Changes: 8

The characters experience emotional growth and introspection, particularly Sammy and Reggie.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to confront his feelings towards his family dynamics, particularly his mother. He struggles with his own selfishness and anger towards his mother's actions.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to show his film to the whole school and seek validation from his sister. This goal reflects his desire for recognition and approval.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The conflict arises from the emotional turmoil within the family, leading to introspective moments and confrontations.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with emotional conflict and unresolved tension between the characters. The audience is unsure of how the protagonist will respond to his sister's revelations.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes are emotional and personal, focusing on the internal struggles and relationships within the family.

Story Forward: 7

The scene deepens the emotional arcs of the characters and sets up future conflicts within the family.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional revelations and the complex dynamics between the characters. The audience is unsure of how the conflict will be resolved.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the protagonist's struggle with selfishness, fear, and family dynamics. It challenges his beliefs about himself and his relationships.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions of sadness, regret, and empathy, drawing the audience into the characters' struggles.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is introspective and emotional, revealing the inner thoughts and struggles of the characters.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the emotional intensity, character dynamics, and the unresolved conflict between the protagonist and his sister. The audience is drawn into the characters' internal struggles.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional depth, leading to a climactic moment between the protagonist and his sister. The rhythm of the dialogue enhances the scene's impact.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene is clear and follows the expected format for its genre. The scene directions and dialogue are well-organized and easy to follow.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional depth through the characters' interactions and dialogue. It follows a natural progression that leads to a poignant moment.


Critique
  • The scene provides insight into Sammy's perspective on his family dynamics, particularly his views on his mother and father's relationship.
  • There is a strong emotional undercurrent in the scene, with Reggie's vulnerability and Sammy's confusion adding depth to their interaction.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Reggie reveals underlying tensions and insecurities within the family, adding layers to the characters.
  • The use of music, specifically Jimmy Soul's 'If You Wanna Be Happy', adds a poignant touch to the scene and enhances the emotional resonance.
  • Reggie's observation about Sammy being similar to his mother in terms of fear and selfishness adds a compelling dimension to their relationship.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more visual elements to enhance the emotional impact of the scene, such as close-ups of the characters' expressions or reactions.
  • Explore the use of lighting and shadows to create a more atmospheric setting that reflects the emotional intensity of the conversation.
  • Further develop Sammy's internal conflict and emotional turmoil through subtle gestures or actions that convey his inner struggle.
  • Consider incorporating symbolic elements or motifs that reflect the themes of fear, selfishness, and family dynamics in the scene.
  • Experiment with different camera angles or perspectives to visually represent the shifting power dynamics and emotional dynamics between Sammy and Reggie.



Scene 37 -  Prom Night Revelations
128 EXT. THE GRAND VIEW HIGH SCHOOL PARKING LOT - NIGHT 128

Sammy pulls up in the family car, Monica beside him. All
around them, students are exiting their cars in prom dresses
and tuxes. Colorful lights from the prom illuminate the big
gym window.
129 CUT TO: 129

Inside the car, Sammy in a suit and tie reaches behind to get
something on the back seat. Monica, in a big baby-blue prom
dress, beehive hair, lifts a can of hair spray.

MONICA
Hold your breath!

She sprays her hair, blasting Sammy, blinding him. He
frantically rolls down the window to get some air. Coughing,
but smiling, he reaches into the back seat for a box
containing a corsage.

SAMMY
(blindly holding the box
out to Monica:)
Here!

MONICA
(taking it:)
Oh wow!!!

She opens the box and lifts out the corsage. A gold chain is
pinned to the base of the corsage; Monica, confused,
surprised, lifts the flower until, at the end of chain, a
small gold crucifix swings free of the box. Monica looks at
it, not knowing how to react. She looks at Sammy.

MONICA (CONT’D)
(a beat, then, shyly:)
Did you find Jesus?

SAMMY
(deadpanning:)
In a jewelry store.
Conformed Draft 119.


She stares at him, then she laughs and throws her arms around
his neck and kisses him.

130 INT. THE GYM, GRAND VIEW HIGH - NIGHT 130

All the Senior Prom glitz and glamor the student organizing
committee could muster. On a raised platform at one end of
the gym, Claudia in a sparkly prom dress, is singing “Walk On
By,” accompanied by ten student MUSICIANS, including the
nearsighted accompanist at the keyboards and a TRUMPET
PLAYER, struggling with his exposed six-note solo. Behind the
band, a banner announces the theme - “Reaching for the Stars”
- in glitter letters. Passing by the stage, Logan stares up
at Claudia, his look of hopeless yearning making it clear
they’re not back together. She sings out, ignoring him.

Sammy and Monica are slow dancing, her head on his shoulder.
She’s wearing the corsage and the crucifix. She looks very
happy. Sammy looks burdened.

SAMMY
So in September when I move to LA.
I’m gonna try to get work in a
movie studio.

MONICA
I thought you were going to
college?

SAMMY
Could you - Would you ever consider
coming with me?

Monica raises her head and looks at him.

MONICA
I’m going to Texas A&M. You know
that.

SAMMY
Yes, I do. But I thought maybe you
should change your mind. Because...

MONICA
Because what?

SAMMY
Because I love you?

MONICA
OW! SAMMY!

He’s just stepped on her foot.
Conformed Draft 120.


SAMMY
I’m sorry! Sorry sorry sorry!

MONICA
That’s not...possible!

SAMMY
What? No, it is! Monica, I love
you!

MONICA
That’s impossible! Sammy -

SAMMY
Sam.

MONICA
We only started dating like -

Monica pulls a little away from him.

MONICA (CONT’D)
Everything was so normal before!
Why’re you acting so -

SAMMY
No, because nothing is normal now.
They’re getting a divorce.

MONICA
What are you talking about?!

SAMMY
My mom and dad, they’re splitting
up.

MONICA
Jesus Christ!! This is Prom! You
can’t just blurt something out like
that at Prom!

Monica walks off the dance floor. Sammy follows.

SAMMY
Wait -

Claudia’s THREE BACKGROUND SINGERS punctuate the moment with
a staccato -

BACKUP SINGERS
Don’t! Stop!

Sammy catches up to Monica.
Conformed Draft 121.


SAMMY
Monica! Look, that’s - That’s got
nothing to do with us, okay! That’s
not why I said that I love you, I
don’t know why -

She stops and turns on him.

MONICA
I’m not gonna like change my whole
life and move to Hollywood because
your parents are having marital
difficulties!

Claudia’s song continues in the background. Sammy steps
away, trying to figure out how to salvage the situation. He
returns to find that Monica has taken off the necklace.

MONICA (CONT’D)
You can get a refund. I hardly wore
it at all.

She holds it out to him.

SAMMY
Are you breaking up with me?

MONICA
Not at Prom, but of course
eventually.

Monica wraps his hand around the crucifix.

MONICA (CONT’D)
I’m gonna pray on it, and I’m gonna
pray really really hard for you,
because you are such a fun boy to
kiss, but -

Claudia has finished her song and the dancers are applauding
her.

Monica stops when the Principal taps the microphone.

PRINCIPAL
Thank you, thank you, wonderful,
wonderful! Let’s thank our band for
that great music!

MONICA
Sometimes we just can’t fix things,
Sam, and all we can do is suffer.
Conformed Draft 122.


PRINCIPAL
Now we’re going to take a little
break from the dancing for a very
special moment for the Class of
1964 -

Everyone cheers at the mention of the Class of 1964. As the
Principal begins to scan the crowd:

PRINCIPAL (CONT’D)
Mr. Samuel Fabelman, where are
you?!

A follow-spot manned by a kid in the bleachers searches till
it finds Sammy: Ashen and blinking. Blinded, he turns to
where Monica had been standing: She’s gone. He looks around
for her, then he looks down at his hand. He’s holding the
golden cross as it winks, spinning in the spotlight.

CHAD
BAGEL MAN! BAGEL MAN!

The JOCKS and other kids start to pick up the chant.

PRINCIPAL
There you are!! Okay! Okay. Face
this way. Grab a chair. Let’s all
get close to the screen. Right up
front. Very good. Mr. Fabelman,
this is your big moment!! We’re
ready to watch your Technicolor
masterpiece: DITCH DAY 1964!

The students cheer. Sammy startles, then, still in a trance,
he heads towards the projector at the rear of the auditorium.

PRINCIPAL (CONT’D)
And as they say way down south in
Hollywoodland: LIGHTS!!!

He pantomimes rolling a camera, then catches and corrects
himself.

PRINCIPAL (CONT’D)
LIGHTS!!! CAMERA!!! ACTION!!!!

The auditorium grows dark.

Sammy turns on the reel, which starts to spin. Then he puts
one hand on the projector’s light switch and another on the
tape recorder. He flicks both switches simultaneously. The
tape recorder starts playing music - the score for the film,
an amalgam of pop songs and movie scores as the projector’s
Conformed Draft 123.


beam flares up and whites out the whole screen. First up,
once more it’s Jimmy Soul’s “If You Wanna Be Happy”.
131 16MM FILM: Title card: GRAND VIEW HIGH “DITCH DAY” 131

Dozens of students running into the ocean, diving into waves.

A montage: Swimming; chasing; the hot-dog mouth stuffing
contest; dancing; sunbathing; making out - which elicits
hoots and cheers from the audience. The audience hoots and
cheers at every fun moment.

At the projector, Sammy closes the housing and puts his head
in his hands. But slowly, he looks up to watch the movie.


ON THE SCREEN

Two lines square off in a water balloon skirmish. Logan’s red-
headed stairwell tryst partner (Renee) takes a ballon full in
the face. A quick pan catches her assailant (Claudia)
mouthing an insincere “Sorry”.


IN THE AUDITORIUM

Claudia enjoys the moment all over again, looking past Monica
at her side to smirk at Renee.


ON THE SCREEN

Chad sneaks up to an OBLIVIOUS COUPLE and steals their
unattended beers.


IN THE AUDITORIUM

Chad smiles proudly among his pals, feeling cool.


ON THE SCREEN

Zooming in on a volleyball game. The ball arcs high in the
air. Logan, on the other side of the net, crouches down, and
then leaps up. As Logan reaches his apogee, his arm starting
to swing upwards, the film goes into slow motion; he seems to
be floating in space, the sun over his shoulder flaring in
the lens, his eyes wide open, his hair windblown. The
audience in the gym has gotten completely quiet. Logan’s
hand, fingers spread wide, meets the ball and grasps it,
causing sand stuck to the ball to explode outwards. As he
hurls the ball downwards with enormous force, the film speeds
up. The ball strikes the beach, scattering players who duck
Conformed Draft 124.


to avoid it, and all the students, those watching the game in
the film and those watching the film in the gym, go crazy!


IN THE AUDITORIUM

Chad and the other jocks slap Logan on the back,
congratulating him. But Logan finds he can’t enjoy the
moment. Something feels off. On the other side of the
projector, Sammy watches Logan through the turning reels.


ON THE SCREEN




Chad, beer in hand, starts to sit down on a towel next to a
girl. She pulls the towel out from under him, gets up and
relocates.


IN THE AUDITORIUM

Even more laughter from the crowd as Chad starts to squirm
with embarrassment.


ON THE SCREEN

A seagull, hovering. And a new music cue - Chubby Checker’s
“Limbo Rock”. The camera does a vertical swish-pan down from
the bird to some sunbathers; a glob of white goo (vanilla ice
cream) smacks the boy on his forehead! Screams and laughter
and applause from the audience. Now there are two gulls; the
camera pans down to the girl, looking up in horror as a blob
of white shit hits her right in the eye.


IN THE AUDITORIUM

Groans and laughs mix together. One grossed out girl cries
out -

GROSSED OUT GIRL
OH NO!


ON THE SCREEN

A veritable flock of gulls. The camera pans down to the other
boy, stretching and yawning wide. There’s a swell of
Conformed Draft 125.


anticipation in the crowd before the biggest blob of birdshit
yet goes right into his mouth.


IN THE AUDITORIUM

The audience’s delights verges over into ecstatic chaos. The
last “victim” gleefully pantomimes gobbling up the
“birdshit”, then stands on his chair to soak up the crowd’s
adulation. At the projector, Sammy takes it all in.


ON THE SCREEN

Students limbo under the pole, lower and lower. Those who
succeed earn applause, those who fail get applause and
laughs. Claudia and Monica pass under, Claudia turning away
from Logan as he watches from the crowd. Then Logan, doing
the impossible, limboing under the pole when it’s only a
couple of feet above the sand. Sammy’s camera angles
emphasize the athleticism involved, making this something
heroic. The kids in the gym start clapping along with the
kids on screen.

Sammy locates and films Chad, walking drunkenly alone at
surf’s edge, unaware that he’s being observed, a pathetic
image.


IN THE AUDITORIUM

Chad angrily pushes his way past his crew and out of the room
while Logan keeps watching the footage, inscrutable.

The students rise from their chairs, cheering, as the screen
shows late afternoon at the improvised track. To the score
from The Captain From Castille, the track jocks are racing
each other, sunlit sand flying up from their feet like
sparks. Sammy’s filmed this from many angles, and the
assemblage is thrilling. Logan’s in the lead. He flies past
the camera, glistening with sweat, hair streaming, his
expression transcendent.

The final lap. Four students stretch a tall barrier of
butcher paper across the track’s finish line. On the paper,
“CLASS OF 1964.” They’ve just pulled the sign taut when Logan
explodes through it, ripping it right down the center, arms
raised in victory. Wild cheers from the audience on screen
and in the gym.

Claudia’s eyes are shining. Logan seems confused and
overwhelmed, unable to enjoy the cheers of the students
around him.
Conformed Draft 126.


The film cuts immediately to:

The entire class gathered in front of a gorgeous sunset for a
group photo. A single title appears above them: THE END
132 CUT TO: 132

The gym’s lights come on abruptly. The students all around
Sammy are cheering, applauding, hooping and hollering; Sammy
looks down, hoping not to be noticed. He becomes aware that
the crowd is moving. At first it seems to be moving towards
him; he looks up and sees that the students are pushing past
him, oblivious to him; they’re surging towards Logan. Sammy
looks around: All the applause and excitement is for Logan,
not for him. He looks at Logan, disoriented and unhappy at
the center of the attention. Logan’s JOCK PALS hoist him on
their shoulders. But he squirms in protest.

LOGAN
No! No no...

They put him back on his feet. The crowd parts as Renee walks
up to Logan. He looks lost as she approaches him.

RENEE
Logan, you looked so incredible up
there. It was amazing.

But Renee is forced to step aside as Claudia confidently
approaches. Claudia stares into Logan’s eyes, serious and
sad, then she kisses him. They embrace. The other kids cheer
as...

... Monica pushes through the crowd towards the projector,
excitedly looking around for Sammy. But she finds only the
projector and the tape recorder running; Sammy is gone.
Unable to locate him anywhere, Monica switches off the tape
recorder.
133 CUT TO: 133

A hallway, somewhere in the school. Sammy is sitting on the
floor, back to a wall of lockers, knees drawn up, head down,
the crucifix still dangling from his clenched hand. He keeps
his head down as he hears footsteps coming down the hall,
then stopping in front of him. Sammy doesn’t look up.

LOGAN (O.S.)
Why’d you do that?!

Sammy looks up. Logan is there, agitated, perplexed, angry,
suspicious, maybe even afraid. He glares at Sammy, not
knowing what to say next. Sammy waits, then:
Conformed Draft 127.


SAMMY
What?

LOGAN
Why’d you make me look like that?!

SAMMY
In the film?

LOGAN
YES IN THE FILM!!

He slams his fist, hard, right into the locker above Sammy’s
head. Sammy cringes. The loud BOOM!! and the rattling
adjoining lockers echo down the hall. Logan grabs his hand,
dancing around in pain.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
OOWWWWWWWWWW SHIT SHIT!!!
(to Sammy:)
What’s the matter with you?! I’ve
been a, a total asshole to you! I
broke your nose! And, and then -

SAMMY LOGAN (CONT’D)
You didn’t break my nose, you - then you go and make me
almost did but you didn’t look like like that!? What’s
break it- wrong with you?!

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Logan. All I did was hold the
camera and it saw what it saw -

LOGAN
BULLSHIT, Fabelman, you made me
look like, like this golden kind
of... THING!

SAMMY
Yeah?

LOGAN
And Claudia!? She just kissed me!

SAMMY
(grim, almost to himself:)
Mazeltov.

LOGAN SAMMY (CONT’D)
In front of the whole school - (he’s had enough of
I treat her shittier than I this!)
treat you, and now - OK great! You’re welcome,
man! Jesus Ch -
Conformed Draft 128.


He gets up and starts to walk away. Logan blocks him.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
Hey wait, don’t go. Don’t go.

Sammy stops.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
I wanna know why you did that.

SAMMY
I don’t know, I oughta have my head
examined.

LOGAN
Am I supposed to feel bad now about
all that shit we did to you?

SAMMY
DO you feel bad about it -?

LOGAN
That’s none of your goddamn
business!

SAMMY
Because you should feel bad about
it!

LOGAN
Alright! That’s why you did it!!
You want me to feel like crap -

SAMMY
I wanted you to be nice to me for
five minutes, or - I did it to make
my movie better! I don’t know why.
You are the biggest jerk I have
ever met in my entire life, I HAVE
A MONKEY AT HOME THAT’S SMARTER
THAN YOU, you dumb anti-Semitic
ASSHOLE. I made you look like you
can fly!!

LOGAN
BUT I CAN’T FLY!! I CAN OUTRUN ANY
GUY IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY, AND I
WORKED REAL HARD TO DO THAT! But
you, you make me feel like I’m some
kinda failure or a phony or, or
like I’m supposed to be some guy
I’m never gonna be, not even in my
dreams - YOU TOOK THAT GUY WHOEVER
HE IS WHEREVER YOU GOT HIM FROM AND
Conformed Draft 129.


YOU PUT HIM UP THERE ON THAT SCREEN
AND TOLD EVERYONE, EVERYONE THAT
THAT’S ME!! AND THAT’S NOT ME!!
THAT’S - IT’S -

Logan stops, shaking, trying to control himself, but a loud
sob rises up from deep inside him, and to his and Sammy’s
horror, he starts to cry.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
Goddamn it, goddamn...

Logan sits on the floor, his back against the lockers,
cradling his head, crying. Sammy stares at him, flummoxed.

SAMMY
Jesus, it wasn’t supposed to make
you... upset. I didn’t mean to
freak you out, I didn’t mean to -

LOGAN
Who cares what you meant?

CHAD (O.S.)
FABELMAN!!

Sammy and Logan turn to see Chad charging towards them. Logan
hurriedly wipes his eyes and starts to stand.

SAMMY
Oh shit.

CHAD
YOU LIAR, YOU BACKSTABBING LIAR!!
I’M GONNA BEAT YOUR GOD -!!

Chad lunges at Sammy; he’s stopped, mid-lunge, by Logan, who
grabs his jacket, violently pulls him back, then punches Chad
in the face, slamming him into the lockers and down to the
floor. Chad lies there, blinking, nose and mouth bleeding,
unable to move; Logan stands over him, fists at the ready.
Chad pushes himself into a sitting position and spits a big
gob of red in Sammy’s direction.

CHAD (CONT’D)
(to Logan:)
You totally bought it. His whole
snow job, you ate it up. You moron.

Logan hauls him to his feet by his jacket.

CHAD (CONT’D)
Logan, you are so conceited and
dumb.
Conformed Draft 130.


Logan spins Chad 180 degrees and kicks him, hard, sending him
to his knees. Chad crawls away on all fours till he’s a safe
distance from Logan. Then he scrambles to his feet and
staggers, fast he can, down the hall; he rounds the corner
and he’s gone.

Logan turns around, breathing hard, still in a fighting mood.
Sammy, alarmed, asks, very very nervously:

SAMMY
Is something about to happen?

LOGAN
You like living dangerously,
Fabelman.

SAMMY
No I don’t, I really, really don’t-

LOGAN
Yes you do. But you tell anybody
about me getting, um, upset? That
would be a mistake.

Sammy nods.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
Our secret, OK?

SAMMY
Definitely.

Logan starts away and Sammy, smiling, can’t resist -

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Unless I make a movie about it.

Logan’s face hardens and he turns back, scary.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Which I’m never ever gonna do.

A beat, then Logan grins and takes a joint and a cigarette
lighter out of his jacket pocket. He lights up, takes a toke,
then holds the joint out to Sammy. Sammy hesitates, then
takes it. He looks at it suspiciously. Logan laughs.

LOGAN
You never...?

SAMMY
What’s it like?
Conformed Draft 131.


LOGAN
It kinda shows you how outta
control everything is, and how
you’re not in charge of anything,
and how it doesn’t matter.

Sammy waits a second, looking at Logan.

SAMMY
I better not.
(shrugging:)
In my head everything’s already out
of control.

Logan gives Sammy an appraising look.

LOGAN
You’re fulla shit.

Sam snorts a laugh. Logan takes back the joint.

LOGAN (CONT’D)
I gotta split. Claudia’s waiting
for me.

Smoking, Logan walks down the hall. Then he turns:

LOGAN (CONT’D)
Life’s nothing like the movies,
Fabelman.

SAMMY
Maybe not. But, hey, in the end?
You got the girl.

Logan gives Sammy the finger. Sammy returns the gesture.
Logan turns and, rounding the corner, disappears.

Sammy’s alone. He sits on the floor heavily, baffled,
excited, sad, overwhelmed.
Genres: ["Drama","Coming-of-age","Teen"]

Summary Sammy confesses his love to Monica but is rejected. He shows his film at prom, causing conflicts with Logan and Chad. Logan confronts Sammy about his portrayal in the film, leading to a physical altercation. Eventually, Logan shows a more vulnerable side by offering Sammy a joint. The scene ends with Sammy reflecting on the emotional rollercoaster of the night.
Strengths
  • Deep emotional exploration
  • Intense character interactions
  • Powerful performances
Weaknesses
  • Some moments may feel slightly melodramatic

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is powerful, emotional, and impactful, with intense confrontations and deep emotional exploration.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of revealing deep emotions, confronting inner conflicts, and exploring complex relationships is well-executed.

Plot: 9

The plot is driven by the emotional revelations, confrontations, and character growth, keeping the audience engaged and invested.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces fresh conflicts and emotional dynamics within the familiar setting of a high school prom night. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and relatable.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed, showing depth, growth, and complexity in their interactions and emotions.

Character Changes: 9

Multiple characters experience growth, confront their inner conflicts, and reveal new aspects of themselves.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to express his feelings for Monica and navigate the complexities of their relationship. He wants to convey his love for her and potentially convince her to change her plans for the future.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to have a successful prom night and potentially make a romantic gesture towards Monica. He also aims to showcase his film 'DITCH DAY 1964' to the audience.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 8

The conflict is intense and emotional, driving the character interactions and revealing deep-seated emotions.

Opposition: 9

The opposition in the scene is strong, with conflicts arising between characters and leading to intense emotional confrontations.

High Stakes: 7

The stakes are high in terms of emotional impact and character relationships, but not in a life-threatening sense.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by revealing key emotions, conflicts, and character dynamics.

Unpredictability: 8

The scene is unpredictable in its emotional twists and character revelations, keeping the audience on their toes.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict revolves around the idea of authenticity and self-identity. Logan feels misrepresented in Sammy's film and struggles with the perception of himself that is projected to others.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 10

The scene evokes strong emotions in the audience, with powerful performances and deep character revelations.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is raw, emotional, and impactful, adding depth to the character interactions and conflicts.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging due to its blend of humor, drama, and emotional intensity. The conflicts and character dynamics keep the audience invested in the story.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds tension and emotional impact, leading to a climactic confrontation between the characters.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected format for a screenplay, with clear scene descriptions and character dialogue.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a well-paced structure, transitioning smoothly between different character interactions and emotional beats.


Critique
  • The scene starts off with a playful and light-hearted tone, but quickly transitions into a more serious and emotional moment between Sammy and Monica. The shift in tone could be smoother to better convey the emotional impact of the conversation.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Monica feels a bit rushed and could benefit from more depth and exploration of their feelings. The revelation of Sammy's parents' divorce is a significant moment that could be given more weight and emotional resonance.
  • The interaction between Sammy and Monica lacks a sense of resolution or closure, leaving their relationship and the impact of the divorce on Sammy's life feeling unresolved.
  • The transition from the prom setting to the hallway confrontation between Sammy and Logan is abrupt and could be better connected to create a more cohesive narrative flow.
  • The confrontation between Logan and Sammy escalates quickly and the resolution feels somewhat forced, lacking a deeper exploration of the characters' motivations and emotions.
Suggestions
  • Consider pacing the scene to allow for more emotional depth and development between the characters, especially in the conversation between Sammy and Monica.
  • Provide more context and build-up to the confrontation between Logan and Sammy to create a more organic and impactful resolution.
  • Explore the aftermath of the confrontation to show the emotional impact on both characters and provide a sense of closure to the scene.
  • Consider refining the transitions between different moments in the scene to create a more cohesive and engaging narrative flow.
  • Focus on developing the characters' internal struggles and motivations to add complexity and depth to their interactions.



Scene 38 -  Morning After Prom
136 INT. THE FABELMAN KITCHEN - DAWN 136

Sammy enters the kitchen, still in his prom clothes. Mitzi is
at the stove, cooking breakfast.

MITZI
Must’ve been some night.

Sammy shrugs.

MITZI (CONT’D)
Did Monica like the corsage?
Conformed Draft 132.


SAMMY
Yup.

MITZI
Yeah, I told you she would.

Mitzi goes back to the stove to resume cooking, but before
she does she turns and says to him:

MITZI (CONT’D)
That time when I hit you.

Sammy looks confused.

MITZI (CONT’D)
In Phoenix, when I - oh God, you
remember.

SAMMY
(pretending not to
remember:)
Not really -

MITZI
Oh for the love of God, it’s not
like I spent my whole life hitting
you! Once I hit you! Once!! It
shoulda been memorable!

SAMMY
Before the swimming test.

MITZI
Yes! Before the swimming test. Yes!
I, I slapped you on your back, as
hard as I could, I screwed up your
tryout and you couldn’t get your
merit badge and then you couldn’t
make Eagle Scout and -

SAMMY MITZI (CONT’D)
Mom, I made Eagle Scout, it It left a goddamn mark on
wasn’t a big deal - your skin in the shape of my
hand!!

MITZI (CONT’D)
And I need you to say you forgive
me for doing that.

SAMMY
Oh, okay, I forgive you-

MITZI
Because, because you’re my kid -
Conformed Draft 133.


SAMMY MITZI (CONT’D)
Mom, I forgive you. - and, and my kids mean more
(embarrassed, then to me than anything else on
gentle, sincere) the earth to me, because -
I forgive you. I forgive you.

MITZI (CONT’D)
- please, because -
(she starts to cry:)
Because how am I ever gonna forgive
myself? I can’t.

Sammy puts his arms around her and hugs her tightly.

SAMMY
Mom, I, I... I forgive you.

She wraps her arms around him, crying. They hold each other.
Behind them, the salami and eggs start to burn.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
The eggs are burning.

Mitzi goes to the stove and turns the burner off. She faces
Sammy, leaning against the oven.

MITZI
I’m doing this thing, and I don’t
know if it’s the right thing, but
it’s a life-and-death thing for me.
And I’m sorry but everybody else is
gonna have to hang on for dear
life, and somehow we will survive
this, all of us, even your father
who I adore with all my heart, he
deserves so much better than what
I’m doing - But Bennie needs me,
Dolly, and I need him, so much so
that without him I’m turning into
someone I don’t know, and none of
you will know me anymore, I’ll just
be that hateful person who did that
terrible thing to your back. And
yes, this is the most selfish thing
I have ever done, but I‘ve gotta do
this now because, Sammy - You do
what your heart says you have to.
Because you don’t owe anyone your
life - not even me.

After a quiet moment, she turns away. Focuses on the eggs.
Conformed Draft 134.


MITZI (CONT’D)
Oh, are they ruined? I can make
some more.

SAMMY
Oh, no no no. I like ‘em burnt.
(he goes to the drawer for
a fork:)
So Monica dumped me.

MITZI
She did?

SAMMY
Yeah, after I told her about the
divorce.

MITZI
Huh?

SAMMY
Probably shouldn’t’ve asked her to
marry me.

MITZI
You did not.

SAMMY
All but.

MITZI
Oh, you did!?!?!

Sammy can’t help but laugh as Mitzi slices more salami.

SAMMY
In so many words.

MITZI
Poor girl!


OVER WHITE

SCREEN TITLE: ONE YEAR LATER

SCREEN TITLE: LOS ANGELES
Genres: ["Drama","Family"]

Summary Sammy and Mitzi have a tense exchange in the kitchen the morning after prom, with Sammy pretending not to remember when his mother hit him in the past. Mitzi insists that he remembers and that the incident left a mark on his skin. Sammy assures her that he forgives her, but Mitzi continues to express her guilt and need for forgiveness. Sammy eventually gives her a genuine apology and a hug. Mitzi explains that she is doing something that may hurt others, but she needs to do it for herself and for Bennie. Sammy accepts her explanation and reveals that Monica dumped him after he told her about his parents' divorce. The scene ends with Sammy and Mitzi embracing, with Mitzi expressing concern about the burnt eggs.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character development
  • Intimate dialogue
Weaknesses
  • Limited external plot progression

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively explores complex emotions and relationships, providing depth and insight into the characters' inner struggles.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of forgiveness, self-discovery, and the impact of family dynamics is well-developed and drives the emotional core of the scene.

Plot: 7

While the plot progression is subtle, the focus on character dynamics and emotional revelations adds depth to the overall narrative.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh and authentic portrayal of family relationships and personal struggles, with unique character dynamics and emotional depth. The dialogue feels genuine and relatable, adding to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are richly developed, with nuanced emotions and conflicts that drive the scene's emotional impact.

Character Changes: 8

The characters experience growth and introspection, particularly in terms of forgiveness and understanding within the family dynamic.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal is to come to terms with his mother's past actions and find forgiveness within himself. This reflects his deeper need for closure and understanding in their relationship.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal is to deal with the aftermath of his failed relationship and the impact of his parents' divorce on his personal life.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

The conflict is more internal and emotional, focusing on the characters' inner struggles and relationships rather than external events.

Opposition: 6

The opposition in the scene is subtle but impactful, with emotional conflicts and personal struggles driving the character interactions. The audience is left wondering how the relationships will unfold.

High Stakes: 5

The stakes are more internal and emotional, focusing on personal growth and relationships rather than external conflicts.

Story Forward: 6

While the scene doesn't significantly advance the external plot, it deepens the emotional and thematic layers of the narrative.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected emotional revelations and character interactions. The audience is kept on their toes, unsure of how the relationships will evolve.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict in this scene revolves around the themes of forgiveness, selfishness, and personal growth. It challenges the protagonist's beliefs about family, love, and responsibility.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions and provides a poignant exploration of forgiveness and self-acceptance.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is intimate, raw, and reveals the characters' inner thoughts and struggles effectively.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of its emotional depth, relatable characters, and authentic dialogue. The audience is drawn into the intimate and heartfelt moments between the characters.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is well-executed, with a balance of emotional moments and character interactions. The rhythm of the dialogue and actions contributes to the effectiveness of the scene.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene is clear and concise, following the expected format for its genre. The scene directions and character dialogue are well-organized and easy to follow.

Structure: 8

The structure of the scene follows a natural progression of emotional beats, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The dialogue and actions flow smoothly, contributing to the effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene in the kitchen between Sammy and Mitzi is emotionally charged and reveals a lot about their relationship, but it could benefit from more subtlety and nuance in the dialogue and interactions.
  • The conversation about forgiveness and guilt feels a bit heavy-handed and could be more effective with a more nuanced approach to the emotions involved.
  • The burning eggs as a metaphor for the tension and conflict between Sammy and Mitzi is a bit on the nose and could be explored in a more subtle and layered way.
  • The dialogue could be more natural and less expository, allowing the emotions and dynamics between Sammy and Mitzi to shine through in a more authentic way.
  • The scene could benefit from more visual cues and actions to enhance the emotional impact and depth of the interaction between Sammy and Mitzi.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more subtext and nuance to the dialogue to make the emotions and conflicts more complex and realistic.
  • Explore different ways to convey the themes of forgiveness, guilt, and selfishness in a more subtle and layered manner.
  • Use visual cues and actions to enhance the emotional depth of the scene and create a more visually engaging and impactful moment between Sammy and Mitzi.
  • Focus on creating a more natural and authentic dialogue that reflects the complex emotions and dynamics between Sammy and Mitzi in a more realistic way.
  • Consider revising the metaphor of the burning eggs to be more subtle and integrated into the scene to enhance the thematic elements without being too on the nose.



Scene 39 -  A Father's Support Amidst Uncertainty
137 EXT. BURT’S APARTMENT BUILDING, BRENTWOOD, CA - AFTERNOON 137

The sun’s molten hot. The street’s lined with palm trees.
Sammy’s beat-up Le Mans pulls up to an apartment building.
Sammy, now 18, gets out, burdened, harried. His hair’s
Conformed Draft 135.


longer. He wears a loose necktie and sports jacket. Under his
arm he’s carrying the trades.

He marches grimly into the building.

138 INT. BURT’S APARTMENT, BRENTWOOD - LATE AFTERNOON 138

It’s a small two bedroom apartment, sparsely decorated but
neat. Sammy comes in the front door. He’s breathing hard, in
shallow gasps. He’s having a panic attack.

SAMMY
Dad?
(gasping:)
Hey dad, I’m....
(gasping:)
... home.

He throws the trade papers on the floor, tears off the jacket
and the necktie, then runs to the kitchen sink, turns on the
cold water and sticks his whole head in the sink. This
doesn’t help his breathing. Gasping, coughing.

BURT (O.S.)
Sammy?

Burt walks in, carrying the mail and a small white bag.

SAMMY
I think I’m having a heart attack.

Burt puts down the mail and the bag immediately and joins
Sammy in the kitchen. He shuts off the faucet, puts his head
to Sammy’s chest and listens, then:

BURT
It’s a panic attack. Your mom gets
them.

SAMMY
What did you do when she...?

BURT
I made her tea.

SAMMY
Okay...

He goes to the little gallery kitchen. Sammy slumps in the
kitchen doorway. As Burt lights the burner under the kettle:
Conformed Draft 136.


BURT
Plus you’re exhausted. You don’t
sleep, I hear you walking around
all night, or typing those letters.
And the three hours drive to the
college every day and back -

SAMMY
Oh no, no. I can’t go back to that
dorm.

BURT
Maybe your roommate’s settled down?

SAMMY
He voted for Goldwater! I can’t go
back.
(collecting himself)
Dad. I don’t know...what to do
anymore. I don’t want to disappoint
you and I promised that I’d stick
it out, but two years is like
forever, and I hate school, like, a
lot, and...I want to get work!

The kettle starts whistling. As Burt fixes a cup of tea:

SAMMY (CONT’D)
On a movie or a TV show, so I send
out all those letters but nobody
ever writes back and, my life, is
just going by so fast, but it’s not
getting anywhere!

Sammy’s starting to panic again. Burt puts the tea on the
table. As Sammy gets up off the floor:

BURT
Concentrate on sipping. It’ll calm
you down.

Sammy sips. Burt drapes his discarded jacket on the chair
back.

BURT (CONT’D)
Here, uh, you can go through the
mail while I get the soup on.

Burt picks up the bag and the mail; he hands the mail to
Sammy, then goes into the kitchen. Sammy starts sorting
through the mail, then stops and tears open an envelope.
Inside, folded in stationery, are several photographs. Sammy
looks at them.
Conformed Draft 137.


SAMMY
It’s from mom, it’s just a bunch of
goofy photos from some kinda block
party.

Burt comes over. Sammy hands him the photos. Burt, smiling,
looks at the photos, stopping on one which he scrutinizes for
several beats. Sammy watches as Burt’s features collapse,
pulled down by weighty sadness; he ages visibly. Burt stares
just over the top of the photo for a long moment, then he
hands the photos back to Sammy. As Sammy takes them he sees
Burt’s hand is shaking slightly. Burt picks up the rest of
the mail and goes into the kitchen. Sammy looks at the
photograph Burt was scrutinizing, then he looks back up at
Burt, whose back is turned to Sammy.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Dad? Dad, what’s - ?

Sammy doesn’t know what to do. He looks again at the
photograph:

Reggie, Natalie and Lisa are smiling for the camera. But in
the background, Bennie is at a grill, in an oversized chef’s
toque; Mitzi stands next to him, handing him a lobster for
grilling. They’re looking at each other, very happy.

SAMMY (CONT’D)
Ah, Dad, I didn’t mean to -

Sammy looks up at his dad, who is now sorting through the
rest of the mail. Then, without turning to face Sammy, Burt
clears his throat and says, in a hoarse voice:

BURT
If you hate school so much, don’t
go.

SAMMY
But... Dad, we -

BURT
I don’t know, I would like you to,
because this film thing, I don’t
know. Maybe I should’ve put my foot
down about it, years ago. But...

Burt picks up the mail and turns to face Sammy. Burt walks
towards the table.

BURT (CONT’D)
I know you’re going to work like
the dickens on whatever you wind up
doing, because you’re a chip off
Conformed Draft 138.


the old block.
(Love and grief rise up,
he can’t speak. Then:)
We’re never not going to know each
other, Sammy.

SAMMY
How do you know that? You and mom
don’t anymore.

BURT
Yes we do. We always will. I know
it because...
(shrugs)
We’ve gone too far in our story to
actually say the end.

Burt takes an envelope from the pack of mail, holds it out to
Sammy.

BURT (CONT’D)
You missed something in the mail.

Sammy hesitates, looking at his dad. Burt grins slightly.
Sammy takes the envelope. On the front: SAM FABELMAN, 4900
BARRINGTON AVE #304, BRENTWOOD, CA 90049.

Sammy turns the envelope over. On the back, a letterhead:
ALFRAN PRODUCTIONS. Above the letterhead, the CBS EYE LOGO.

Sammy tears the envelope open, yanks out the letter and reads
voraciously, his eyes widening.

BURT (CONT’D)
Good news?

Sammy looks up at Burt.

BERNIE FEIN (V.O.)
They’ve ordered thirty-two half
hours.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Sammy confides in Burt about his frustrations with college and his desire to pursue a career in film. Despite his initial reluctance, Burt suggests that Sammy quit school if he truly dislikes it. The discovery of a photograph of Mitzi and Bennie triggers an emotional response in Burt, but he assures Sammy that their bond remains strong. The arrival of a letter from Alfran Productions, offering 32 episodes of a TV show, brings a glimmer of hope for Sammy.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Authentic character dynamics
  • Poignant dialogue
Weaknesses
  • Limited external conflict
  • Slow pacing

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys the emotional depth of the characters, particularly Sammy and his father, through their dialogue and actions. The tension and vulnerability displayed create a compelling and relatable moment.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a son seeking reassurance and guidance from his father in a moment of crisis is a universal and poignant theme that resonates with audiences. The scene effectively explores the complexities of family dynamics and personal struggles.

Plot: 7

The plot revolves around Sammy's internal conflict and his desire to pursue a career in filmmaking despite his father's expectations. The scene sets up a potential turning point in Sammy's journey as he grapples with his future.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on the coming-of-age narrative, blending elements of family drama and personal growth with a unique setting and character dynamics. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters, particularly Sammy and his father, are well-developed and their emotions feel authentic and raw. The audience can empathize with their struggles and connect with their relationship dynamics.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy experiences a shift in perspective and emotional growth as he confronts his fears and seeks reassurance from his father. This moment marks a potential turning point in his character arc.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to find direction and purpose in his life, feeling lost and overwhelmed by his current circumstances. This reflects his deeper need for validation and success.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to pursue a career in the film industry and receive positive news about his efforts. This reflects his immediate challenge of balancing his desires with his family's expectations.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

The conflict in the scene is primarily internal, as Sammy grapples with his future and his relationship with his father. The tension arises from his struggle to reconcile his own desires with his father's expectations.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with Sammy facing internal and external challenges that test his beliefs and values. The uncertainty of his future and the conflict with his father create obstacles that drive the scene forward.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes are primarily emotional and personal, as Sammy grapples with his future and his relationship with his father. The outcome of this moment could have significant implications for his character development.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by delving into Sammy's internal struggles and setting up potential conflicts and resolutions. It deepens the audience's understanding of the characters and their relationships.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the shifting dynamics between Sammy and his father, the unexpected news in the letter, and the unresolved tension in their relationship. The audience is kept on edge wondering how Sammy will navigate his challenges.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict is between Sammy's desire for creative fulfillment and his father's expectations of traditional success through education. This challenges Sammy's beliefs about his own path to happiness and fulfillment.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene has a high emotional impact, evoking feelings of empathy, sadness, and hope in the audience. The raw vulnerability displayed by the characters resonates deeply and creates a powerful connection.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue effectively conveys the emotional turmoil of the characters and reveals their inner thoughts and conflicts. The exchanges between Sammy and his father are poignant and heartfelt.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the emotional depth of the characters, the tension between Sammy and his father, and the uncertainty of the outcome. The audience is drawn into the intimate family dynamic and Sammy's internal struggles.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective in building tension and emotional depth, with moments of quiet reflection and intense dialogue. The rhythm of the scene enhances the impact of the character interactions.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for a screenplay, with clear scene headings, action lines, and character dialogue. The formatting enhances the readability and flow of the scene.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional structure for a dramatic family interaction, with a clear setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and dialogue contribute to the effectiveness of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a strong visual description of the setting, but the transition to Sammy's panic attack feels abrupt and could be smoother.
  • The dialogue between Sammy and Burt feels a bit rushed and could benefit from more natural pauses and emotional depth.
  • There is a lack of clarity in Sammy's emotional state - his panic attack, frustration with school, and feelings towards his family are not fully explored or resolved.
  • The revelation of the photographs from Mitzi to Sammy could be more impactful if the emotional weight and significance of the images were better conveyed.
  • The interaction between Burt and Sammy regarding school, filmmaking, and their family dynamics could be more nuanced and layered to reflect the complexity of their relationship.
Suggestions
  • Consider building up to Sammy's panic attack more gradually to create a smoother transition into the scene.
  • Allow for more pauses in the dialogue to convey the emotional intensity of the moment and give the characters space to process their feelings.
  • Explore Sammy's internal conflict and emotional turmoil more deeply to provide a clearer understanding of his character and motivations.
  • Enhance the significance of the photographs by adding more context and emotional depth to the interaction between Sammy and Burt.
  • Develop the conversation between Burt and Sammy to delve deeper into their relationship dynamics and the complexities of their family situation.



Scene 40 -  An Introduction to Hogan's Heroes
140 INT. BERNIE FEIN’S OFFICE - AFTERNOON 140

Crawling over a bulletin board where several headshots are
pinned above hand-written labels for various roles: “LEBEAU”
“HOGAN”. Widening out reveals several other head shots,
labels, location photos, etc...

BERNIE FEIN (O.S.)
Fridays at 8:30 pm on CBS starting
September 17th. We already have six
shows in the can.
Conformed Draft 139.


BERNIE FEIN, a round, balding, bustling actor/producer shows
Sammy, in a jacket and tie, set designs and storyboards for a
show he’s making featuring American POWs and German soldiers.

BERNIE FEIN (CONT’D)
It’s like Stalag 17 or The Great
Escape, except it’s funnier.

SAMMY
Hmm.

BERNIE FEIN
And it’s for television. And it’s
funny.

SAMMY
Yeah.

BERNIE FEIN
Or at least I pray to God that it’s
funny.
(showing off a mock-up
sketch)
Hogan’s Heroes. That’s the title?
What do ya think? Pretty catchy,
right?

SAMMY
Catchy... Yeah...

BERNIE FEIN
And if all goes well, I might be
able to offer you something next
season.
(gesturing, have a seat)
Maybe assisting an assistant to an
assistant.

Sammy sits, nods, crestfallen.

BERNIE FEIN (CONT’D)
You don’t want to be in TV anyway.
Your letter said as much.
(he picks it up from his
desk to peruse)
By the way, I love this letter. I
used to write a whole bunch of
these letters when I was your age.
You wanna make movies. Am I right?

SAMMY
Yeah. Yes, I do! Look, I’m just
happy to start, anywhere, and that
doesn’t -
Conformed Draft 140.


BERNIE FEIN
(snapping his fingers!)
You know who you need to meet?! I
mean not for a job, ‘cause...he
doesn’t do that. How would you like
to meet the greatest film director
who ever lived and he’s right
across the hall?!
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Bernie Fein shows Sammy set designs and storyboards for a new TV show he's making called Hogan's Heroes. Bernie offers Sammy a job as an assistant to an assistant, but Sammy declines. Bernie suggests that Sammy meet the greatest film director who ever lived, who is right across the hall.
Strengths
  • Strong character development
  • Engaging concept
  • Emotional depth
Weaknesses
  • Limited external conflict
  • Some dialogue could be more impactful

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively conveys Sammy's internal conflict and sets up potential future developments in his filmmaking journey.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a young filmmaker navigating the industry and meeting a legendary director is engaging and sets up intrigue for future plotlines.

Plot: 7

The plot focuses on Sammy's aspirations and disappointment, setting up potential conflicts and resolutions in his filmmaking journey.

Originality: 9

The scene introduces a fresh take on the television industry in the 1960s, with a focus on the creative process and the clash between artistic ambition and commercial success. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

Sammy and Bernie Fein are well-developed characters with clear motivations and conflicts, driving the scene forward.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy experiences a shift in his perspective on his filmmaking career, setting up potential growth and development.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal in this scene is to prove himself as a talented and ambitious filmmaker, despite Bernie Fein's dismissive attitude towards TV. This reflects Sammy's deeper desire to break into the film industry and make a name for himself.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to impress Bernie Fein and potentially secure a job in television production. This reflects the immediate challenge of breaking into the industry and gaining recognition for his talent.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

The conflict between Sammy's aspirations and his current situation provides tension and sets up potential resolutions.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in the scene is strong, with Bernie Fein's dismissive attitude towards TV production posing a challenge for Sammy's aspirations.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes are moderate as Sammy navigates his aspirations and disappointments in the film industry.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by introducing new opportunities and challenges for Sammy in his filmmaking journey.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected twist of Bernie Fein offering Sammy a meeting with a famous film director, adding a new layer of intrigue to the scene.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

The philosophical conflict in this scene is between Bernie Fein's pragmatic view of the industry and Sammy's idealistic dreams of making movies. This challenges Sammy's beliefs and values about the path to success in the film industry.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene evokes emotions of disappointment, hope, and determination in Sammy's journey as a filmmaker.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys Sammy's disappointment and Bernie Fein's enthusiasm, setting up their dynamic for future interactions.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the dynamic between Bernie Fein and Sammy, the humor in their dialogue, and the tension of Sammy's desire to break into the film industry.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective in building tension and highlighting the contrast between Bernie Fein and Sammy's goals.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows the expected formatting for a dialogue-heavy scene in a screenplay, with proper scene headings and character cues.

Structure: 8

The scene follows the expected format for a dialogue-driven scene in a screenplay, with clear character interactions and progression of the plot.


Critique
  • The scene lacks emotional depth and connection to the overall story arc of the screenplay. It feels disconnected from Sammy's personal journey and struggles.
  • The dialogue between Bernie Fein and Sammy feels forced and lacks authenticity. It doesn't reveal much about the characters or move the story forward.
  • There is a missed opportunity to explore Sammy's passion for filmmaking and his internal conflict about pursuing his dreams versus conforming to societal expectations.
  • The scene could benefit from more visual elements or actions that reflect Sammy's inner turmoil and aspirations.
  • The introduction of Hogan's Heroes and Bernie Fein's offer to Sammy feels abrupt and doesn't tie back to the central themes of the screenplay.
Suggestions
  • Consider integrating Bernie Fein's character and the TV show offer in a more organic way that aligns with Sammy's character development.
  • Add depth to the dialogue by exploring Sammy's internal struggles and desires more explicitly.
  • Include visual cues or actions that convey Sammy's passion for filmmaking and his conflict with societal norms.
  • Connect the scene to the overarching themes of the screenplay to ensure continuity and relevance.
  • Consider revising the scene to make it more emotionally resonant and impactful in the context of Sammy's journey.



Scene 41 -  The Mentor and the Aspiring Filmmaker
141 INT. A CORRIDOR AND AN OFFICE, LOS ANGELES - DAY 141

Bernie Fein leads Sammy out of his office to an office
directly across the hall. As he’s opening the door:

BERNIE FEIN
C’mon. Wait here a minute.

Bernie goes in. Sammy looks at the office door’s plastic
sign: “SUITE 3B.” Bernie’s voice can be heard from within.

Bernie comes out and leads Sammy in.

Sammy nervously enters an old, shabby waiting room. NONA, a
secretary, 50ish, dressed in 1940s style, sits behind a desk.

BERNIE FEIN (CONT’D)
Uh, this is Nona. Nona’s gonna look
after you. Um, he’s not here. He’s -

NONA
He’s at lunch.

BERNIE FEIN
Right.

NONA
(to Sammy:)
You want to wait?

BERNIE FEIN
Yeah, he’ll wait.
(to Sammy:)
Sit.

Bernie guides Sammy to a chair and slaps him on the shoulder.

BERNIE FEIN (CONT’D)
Good luck.

Bernie leaves.

NONA
Could be hours.
Conformed Draft 141.


Sammy nods. Nona goes back to work. Sammy looks at the old
posters on the walls (the strumming guitar of The Searchers
score commences in his head): STAGECOACH, HOW GREEN WAS MY
VALLEY, THE INFORMER, THE SEARCHERS, 3 GODFATHERS, SHE WORE A
YELLOW RIBBON, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, THE QUIET MAN, and a
newer poster for LIBERTY VALENCE.

The door of the office flies open, The Searchers score ends
with the sound of a needle scraped off a record, and JOHN
FORD enters. He’s 71 but he looks older, tall, gaunt, an
eyepatch over one eye, covering his glasses on that side.
He’s wearing beat-up safari clothes and a cloth safari hat.
He’s holding a partly burned, unlit cigar, the mouth-end
badly masticated. As he walks past Sammy, oblivious, Sammy
sees that there are perfectly-shaped lipstick kisses on
Ford’s cheeks and in the middle of his forehead. He goes
past Nona, enters his office and slams the door. Nona picks
up a box of Kleenex and runs in after him.

Sammy waits. Nona emerges with a wad of pink-stained wet
Kleenex. She dumps it in her desk trashcan and says,
indicating the partially-opened inner office door:

NONA (CONT’D)
Alright kid, you got five minutes.
Probably one. Stand up.

Sammy stands.

NONA (CONT’D)
Lose the tie. You’ll stand a better
chance.

Sammy nervously removes his tie.
142 CUT TO: 142

John Ford is at his desk, snipping the end from a fresh cigar
with a tarnished silver clipper. Sammy enters and stands
before the great man, awestruck.

Ford reaches retrieves a match from a small brass holder
shaped like a cowboy boot, strikes it on his desk blotter,
lights the cigar and puffs again and again. It goes on and
on, but Sammy drinks this in, not moving a muscle. Ford takes
the cigar out and licks his lips, his tongue weirdly
distended, like a cat’s. Then:

JOHN FORD
They tell me you want to be a
picture maker.

SAMMY
Um, yes sir. I do.
Conformed Draft 142.


JOHN FORD
Why?! This business -
(he shreds the air!)
- it’ll rip you apart!

SAMMY
Well, Mr. Ford, I -

JOHN FORD
So whatta ya know about art, kid?

SAMMY
I just- I love your movies so much -

JOHN FORD
NO! ART!!

Ford suddenly points to a big Remington painting, two men on
horseback looking off into the distance with a large butte in
the background.

JOHN FORD (CONT’D)
See that painting over there?!

SAMMY
Uh, yeah, I mean yes! Yes, I do see
it.

JOHN FORD
Walk over to it!

Sammy walks to the painting. He looks at it, unsure about
what he’s supposed to do.

JOHN FORD (CONT’D)
Well?! What’s in it?! Describe it!!

SAMMY
Oh okay, um - so there are...two
guys, and they’re...on horseback
and they’re looking for something,
so maybe they’re scouting - ?

JOHN FORD
NO!! NO!! Where’s the horizon?!

SAMMY
The - the horizon?

JOHN FORD
Where is it?!
Conformed Draft 143.


SAMMY
(pointing:)
Oh, it’s, um, it’s at the bottom.

JOHN FORD
That’s RIGHT! Walk over to this
painting!

He points at another painting, a Western scene by Charles
Russell. Sammy examines it: five cowboys in a large, crater-
like ditch. Their horses are tethered by a small pool of
water at the center of the depression while the men are all
hunkered around the ridge, rifles ready, forming an armed
perimeter.

JOHN FORD (CONT’D)
Well?!

SAMMY
Right, okay, so there are five
cowboys, you know, they -

JOHN FORD
(in a RAGE:)
NO NO NO NO NO!!! WHERE’S THE
GODDAMNED HORIZON!!!!!????

SAMMY
(flustered, pointing to
the top of the painting:)
Um, it’s there!

JOHN FORD
WHERE?!?!

SAMMY
AT THE TOP OF THE PAINTING!

JOHN FORD
ALRIGHT GET OVER HERE!

Sammy obeys, walking to Ford’s desk.

JOHN FORD (CONT’D)
Now remember this! When the
horizon’s at the bottom, it’s
interesting. When the horizon’s at
the top, it’s interesting. When
the horizon’s in the middle, it’s
boring as shit!! Now good luck to
you -

Sammy smiles.
Conformed Draft 144.


JOHN FORD (CONT’D)
- and GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY
OFFICE!!

Sammy rushes out the open door. After a moment, he peeks his
head back in.

SAMMY
Thank you!

JOHN FORD
My pleasure.
Genres: ["Drama","Biography"]

Summary In a tense meeting, aspiring filmmaker Sammy faces the harsh criticism of legendary director John Ford. Ford's insights on art and filmmaking challenge Sammy's understanding and leave a lasting impact despite his intimidation.
Strengths
  • Compelling character interaction
  • Educational content on art and filmmaking
  • Inspirational mentorship dynamic
Weaknesses
  • Limited action or external conflict
  • Focus on dialogue and education may not appeal to all audiences

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is highly engaging, informative, and impactful due to the meeting with John Ford and the lessons on art and filmmaking imparted by him.


Story Content

Concept: 9

The concept of meeting a legendary filmmaker and receiving a lesson on art and filmmaking is executed brilliantly, providing valuable insights into the creative process.

Plot: 8

The plot advances as Sammy seeks advice from John Ford, leading to a significant learning experience and character development.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh take on the mentorship dynamic in Hollywood, with a legendary director challenging a young aspiring filmmaker. The characters' actions and dialogue feel authentic and engaging.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters of Sammy and John Ford are well-developed and their interaction is compelling, adding depth to the scene.

Character Changes: 7

Sammy undergoes a significant learning experience and gains valuable insights into art and filmmaking, leading to character growth.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal is to impress John Ford and prove his passion for filmmaking. He wants to show his knowledge and dedication to the craft.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to make a good impression on John Ford and potentially secure a job or mentorship in the film industry.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

There is a moderate level of conflict in the scene as Sammy navigates the intense interaction with John Ford and grapples with the lessons imparted.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in the scene is strong, with John Ford's tough demeanor and challenging questions creating obstacles for Sammy to overcome.

High Stakes: 6

While the stakes are not extremely high in this scene, the encounter with John Ford and the lessons learned have the potential to shape Sammy's future in filmmaking.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by providing Sammy with crucial advice and knowledge that will likely impact his future decisions and actions.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because of John Ford's unpredictable behavior and Sammy's uncertain responses. The audience is kept on their toes wondering how the encounter will unfold.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

The philosophical conflict is between Sammy's idealistic view of filmmaking as art and John Ford's practical, no-nonsense approach. Ford challenges Sammy's romanticized notions of the industry.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions, from awe at meeting a filmmaking legend to confusion and respect during the art lesson.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue between Sammy and John Ford is impactful and educational, showcasing the mentorship dynamic between the two characters.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because of the dynamic between Sammy and John Ford, the high stakes of the encounter, and the humor and tension in their interactions.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective, building tension and momentum as Sammy interacts with John Ford and navigates the challenges of the encounter.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The scene follows standard formatting conventions for a screenplay, with clear scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The scene follows a traditional structure for a mentorship encounter, with a clear setup, conflict, and resolution. The pacing and dialogue flow smoothly.


Critique
  • The scene effectively builds tension and anticipation as Sammy nervously waits to meet John Ford, creating a sense of awe and respect for the legendary director.
  • The interaction between Sammy and John Ford is intense and showcases Ford's intimidating personality, adding depth to the scene.
  • The emphasis on the importance of the horizon in art is a clever way to convey Ford's perspective on filmmaking and artistry.
  • The scene effectively conveys Sammy's nervousness and eagerness to learn from Ford, capturing the essence of a young filmmaker seeking guidance.
  • The abrupt ending with Ford's outburst and dismissal adds a touch of humor and surprise to the scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more visual descriptions to enhance the setting and atmosphere of the waiting room and Ford's office.
  • Explore Sammy's internal thoughts and emotions more deeply to provide insight into his character and motivations.
  • Provide more context or background information on Sammy's admiration for Ford and his aspirations in the film industry.
  • Consider incorporating subtle cues or hints about Ford's character and his impact on Sammy's future filmmaking endeavors.
  • Add a reflective moment for Sammy after leaving Ford's office to show his growth or realization from the encounter.



Scene 42 -  Sammy Leaves Paramount Studios
143 EXT. PARAMOUNT PICTURES STUDIOS - AFTERNOON 143

Sammy emerges onto an empty studio street, bordered on each
side by the huge semicircles of the soundstages. Sammy is
stunned, happy, taking in what’s happened. He looks back up
to the third floor of the small office building, then ahead.
Sammy walks down the street, happy with the world. He keeps
walking, getting smaller and smaller.

The camera adjusts to move the horizon from the middle to the
bottom of the frame.

END OF FILM

ROLL CREDITS
Genres: ["Drama","Coming-of-age","Family"]

Summary Sammy leaves Paramount Pictures Studios after a successful meeting with John Ford. He walks down the street, feeling happy and content.
Strengths
  • Emotional depth
  • Character growth
  • Resolution of key storylines
Weaknesses
  • Lack of intense conflict
  • Some dialogue may feel repetitive or melodramatic

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively wraps up the main character's journey with a sense of closure and new beginnings, showcasing emotional depth and character growth.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of exploring family relationships, personal struggles, and artistic aspirations is well-executed, providing a rich and engaging narrative.

Plot: 7

The plot ties up loose ends and sets the stage for the protagonist's future endeavors, offering resolution and closure to key storylines.

Originality: 9

The scene offers a fresh approach to depicting success and fulfillment in the film industry. The authenticity of Sammy's emotions adds to the originality.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters show growth, vulnerability, and complexity, adding depth to the scene and enhancing the emotional impact.

Character Changes: 8

Several characters undergo significant changes, particularly in terms of understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance, leading to personal growth.

Internal Goal: 8

Sammy's internal goal in this scene is to feel happy and content with his achievements. This reflects his deeper need for validation and success in the film industry.

External Goal: 7

Sammy's external goal is to walk down the street and reflect on his success. This reflects the immediate circumstances of his recent accomplishment.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

While there are emotional conflicts and tensions present, the scene focuses more on resolution and personal growth rather than intense confrontations.

Opposition: 3

The opposition in this scene is minimal, as it focuses more on Sammy's internal journey and emotional resolution.

High Stakes: 5

While the emotional stakes are high for the characters, there are no immediate life-threatening situations, focusing more on personal and relational challenges.

Story Forward: 7

The scene wraps up key storylines and sets the stage for future developments, providing closure while hinting at new beginnings.

Unpredictability: 5

This scene is predictable in its outcome, as it serves as the closing scene of the film and resolves Sammy's arc.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene. It focuses more on Sammy's personal journey and emotions.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes a strong emotional response from the audience, touching on themes of family, forgiveness, and self-discovery.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue effectively conveys emotions, conflicts, and resolutions, contributing to the overall tone and themes of the scene.

Engagement: 8

This scene is engaging because it captures the audience's attention with Sammy's emotional journey and the sense of closure.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene effectively builds towards the emotional climax and resolution, contributing to its effectiveness.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 8

The formatting of the scene is clear and follows the expected format for a closing scene in a screenplay.

Structure: 9

The structure of the scene effectively conveys Sammy's emotional journey and sense of closure. It follows a logical progression towards the end of the film.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear resolution or emotional payoff for Sammy's character after his meeting with John Ford. It leaves the audience wanting more closure or insight into Sammy's feelings.
  • There is a missed opportunity to delve deeper into Sammy's reaction to the meeting with John Ford and how it impacts his aspirations as a filmmaker.
  • The visual of Sammy getting smaller as he walks down the street could be interpreted as a lack of empowerment or agency, which may not align with the overall theme of the screenplay.
  • The transition of moving the horizon from the middle to the bottom of the frame feels forced and disconnected from the rest of the scene.
  • The ending with 'END OF FILM' and 'ROLL CREDITS' is abrupt and does not provide a satisfying conclusion to Sammy's journey.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding a final moment of reflection for Sammy after his meeting with John Ford to show his growth or realization.
  • Explore Sammy's internal thoughts and emotions in response to the meeting with John Ford to add depth to his character arc.
  • Revisit the visual symbolism of Sammy getting smaller as he walks down the street to ensure it aligns with the overall message of the screenplay.
  • Find a more organic way to convey the theme of shifting horizons visually, perhaps through a metaphor or symbolic object.
  • Revise the ending to provide a more conclusive and impactful resolution for Sammy's journey, tying up loose ends and leaving the audience with a sense of closure.