Saturday, July 19, 2008

PISTOLERAS reader feedback

Thought this was very cool. Comes from the BLUECAT contest PISTOLERAS is a quarterfinalist in:

Title of Screenplay Pistoleras
Archive # 2306

What did you like about this script?

This is a great script from top to bottom and was a wonderful read. It’s a fun concept, having a traditional spaghetti western structure mixed with a girl power twist. Although it lavishes in borrowing from classic films like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Terminator, Ghostbusters and Deadwood, it never feels like a pastiche of classics – instead, it acknowledges the influence and turns it into something pretty original. Everything that the script sets out to accomplish, it does; the comedy elements work, the action scenes are kick ass, the horror scenes are tense.

One of the best things about Pistoleras is that the characters are written with such respect. There’s a lot of heart and it’s fun to watch the characters grow over the course of the story. Casey is the big one, going from na├»ve copycat to tortured rape victim to badass hero – and the progression is logical. It’s easy to empathize with her every step of the way, from moments when she’s learning to use a tampon to when she’s forced into a dog cage in the Church dungeon. We’re with her every step of the way, so when she’s able to enact her revenge at C.C.’s ranch, it’s a very satisfying moment for the audience. Casey’s certainly the centerpiece, but others are given a considerable amount of development, too, like Allison going from the uptight good girl to someone who’s willing to risk everything to get her friend back – or Loco, as he matures into the action star he always dreamed of being.

The story is expertly paced and the description jumps off the page. It’s easy to read since you’re invested in what’s going on the entire time and it’s always easy to picture what’s going on in your mind’s eye.

Moreover, I think Pistoleras has mass appeal. It’s tense and full of action, it’s themes of female empowerment and exploitation are well played, the dialogue is smart and snappy, and it’s all wrapped up in a commercial package with four wise-cracking and sexy female protagonists. I’d pay to see it.

What do you think needs work?

There isn’t much that needs to be improved upon. This is a work that seems pretty fully realized and accomplishes what it sets out to.

If I’m going to be nitpicky, though, I do think the script might be about 10 pages too long. At 120 pages, Pistoleras isn’t taxing anybody’s patience, but I could see it being whittled down to 110 without losing any of what makes it great and being a little more accessible. I wouldn’t change the structure or do any mass hacking to the script, just going through with a critical eye and eliminating elements that do not serve the story. I would focus, too, primarily on the first 50 pages up until Allison, Jamie and Sophie meet up with Loco – maybe find a way to trim down the scenes where Allison and Jamie are wandering around arguing and looking for Casey, or trim those scenes with the girls flirting with the Christian dudes. These scenes are all essential, no doubt, and I wouldn’t lose them – but maybe just tighten them up.

Be aware, too, of typos and inconsistencies that hinder the script from looking perfect. I think that since this is so close to being a real winner, you want to make sure to not have anything get in the way – like, on page 27, The Driver speaks “to Casey” but, of course, he hasn’t captured Casey yet and he’s actually speaking to the Teenage Girl. It’s a typo, to be sure, but it’s probably in your best interest to have as few typos as humanly possible to ensure the best reading experience.

All in all, there really aren’t any significant negatives and a whole heap of overwhelming positives about Pistoleras. It’s fantastic. Good work.


Jeremy Jed Hammel said...

That pretty much sums up how I feel about "Pistoleras."

It's a great script that could be an amazing movie.

I bought MY bracelet...what about you guys?

Freckles said...

Congratulations on the quarterfinalist status! Hooray!

Just out of curiosity, how many people read the script?

This is great PR for your film. Now I want to see the film :) I am a big fan of empowerment.

Look forward to seeing the film.