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"Daddy Shot The Eater Bunny" by John Brooke

Rewrite: 2/1/2009 12:00 AM

Logline: In a split second, a trigger-happy daddy implants a legacy of horror in the minds of his young children.

Genre: Comedy - Family - Horror

Cast Size: 5

Production Status: Available (Please contact the author to negotiate the rights)

Contest: It's Better to Give than to Receive (Dec. 2008)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent
21%67%13%0%0%

Comments Made During the Contest

Blaine D. Martell (Level 1)

The writing wasn't very good. It also seemed like an extended joke, put into a real life situation.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

"We" are not in the film so "we" should not appear in the script except as dialogue. We know we see what's written because we're reading a script. We need more character description than justtheir ages. There were some typos here. The descriptions need to be written in present tense. It IS a killing shot, not it WAS. The story itself didn't work for me, mainly because you give away the entire story in the title and the first few paragraphs. A comendable effort, but this needs a lot of work.

Calvin Peat (Level 4)

The entire script is based around a pun which is passable at best, and the way that this thin storyline plays out is rather weird.

If it's supposed to be a drama, then it needs to get going more quickly, as the only drama doesn't even happen until the end of page 3. If it's supposed to be a comedy, then it needs to be a lot funnier.

Saying "We see" is unnecessary and a bit distracting for the reader. Film is a visual medium, so the writer should just say what happens, as it's taken for granted that the audience will see it.

There are also lots of spelling and grammatical errors.

For example, "a large bite chopped out of it's middle" should be "a large bite chopped out of its middle". Also, I'm not sure that "chopped" is the best word to use. Something like "taken" would probably be better.

The sentence "Then JENNIFER, seven, followed by PATRICIA, three and a half, holds up a partly eaten pod." is ambiguous. Who holds up the pod? Is it Jennifer, or Patricia, or both of them, or do they each hold up different pods? It's not particularly important to the story, but it is important to write in such a way that any details are clear to the reader.

"It's like Aesop's fable: "Dog in the Manger, this is" should be "It's like Aesop's fable "Dog in the Manger", only this is".

"Funny ha, ha!" should be "Funny! Ha ha!"

"Can't use a firearm up here so, I'll keep an air rifle, in the back door porch, ready to shoot" should probably be "Can't use a firearm up here, so I'll keep an air rifle in the back door porch, ready to shoot."

"SERIES OF MONTAGES" should either be "MONTAGE" or "SERIES OF SHOTS".

"Andre wastes a futile moment" is redundant, as it says the same thing twice. Andre either "wastes a moment" or "spends a futile moment".

On page 2, "Andre rushes out" (which occurs twice) should be "Andre rushes out."

"We see Andre, rifle in hand set to shoot." should be "We see Andre, rifle in hand, set to shoot."

"INT. DINNING ROOM - EASTER SUNDAY MORNING" should be "INT. DINING ROOM - EASTER SUNDAY MORNING".

For some reason, at the end of page 2, the screenplay switches to the past tense when it should be using the present tense.

"Yellow yokes inside." should be "Yellow yolks inside."

However, I do really like the sentence "Platters of steaming pancakes, sizzling sausages, and jugs of warm maple syrup." It's very evocative.

The writer needs to get someone who is very good at English to proof-read their work in future.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

Well, after a long while of thinking your title must be a typo...hmmm, I'm not sure how clever that was - mostly I found it annoying.

Knowing Dog In A Manger well, I can't quite see the relevance to Bunny in a Bed of Peas.

Aaaaargh with the 'We sees...' - who else would it be? Please don't use that.

A montage is a series of shots - it's not a series of montages - unless you have a series of series of shots :)

VEGETABLE not VEGTABLE,DINING not DINNING, shining not shinning - be good to get your work proof-read before submitting.

Please use Present Simple tense, not Present Continuous - 'The family sits' not 'The family is sitting' Later, you change to past tense. It should always be Present.

I'm afraid it didn't work for me. It was too much a mixture of cute with horrible blood-thirsty animal slaughter. What is your target audience?

Chris Keaton (Level 5)

This was an entertaining story, but the problems mentioned below detracted from the overall enjoyment. The 'eater bunny' would've satisfied me. :)

-It's just an abbreviation. EXT.
-Get rid of 'we see' of course we see its a screenplay, just concentrate on the story.
-Not sure what a series of montages. Isn't a montage a series of scenes? so just say Begin Montage and then End Montage.
-Watch your tense and make sure you use the active voice. So get rid of the word 'is'.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

The story is okay, but there are lots of mistakes with your craft.

Stop using "We see". It isn't needed. Just describe what is happening.

Don't tell us things the film audience would have no way of knowing.

Write in the present tense.

Courtney Love (Level 2)

Series of montages? Eater Bunny? Elmer Fudd? Wastingof futile moments? Do we not want those to go away? Read really really robotic. Pwseky is not a good example of onomatopeia. I just think this could have a better vibe if it were written again. Dad shoots rabbit. Rabbit dies. Daughters now fear dad. Not for children. Not for adults. Not for consumption. Still very much raw and I hope it will get that rewrite it sorely needs. too!

Dan Lennox (Level 5)

This wasn't bad. I thought you had a typo going on until the end. The only thing that I saw in regards to formatting that I wanted to point out concerns your montage. I think you wasted a lot of page space the way you did your montage shots. According to Paul Argentini's book, "Elements of Style for Screenwriters", A montage usually offers individual shots which represent an overview of larger action. When a montage is included, the shots are indicated individually; there should be no space between all elements. For Example:

MONTAGE

A) Photograph of a football team.

B) Car racing a train to a crossing.

C) Masked nurse wheeling a gurney.

D) Gruesome faces of youg adults in pain.

END OF MONTAGE

Actually, in your example, perhaps SERIES OF SHOTS would be better. Difference is that in Series Of Shots, the main character(s) are in a majority of the shots, and in fact ANDRE is in 6 of the 8 shots that are in the script.

Also, another pet peeve of mine is the "We see" within your description lines. I know a lot of screenwriters use it, however, I don't want to be told what I see, I want to see it! That's what the description lines are all about.

David Birch (Level 5)

thanks for the disclaimer...would have liked more dialog to "back fill" some of the story...nice use of the "time clock" countdown(poor ol'e easter bunny)...but i guess there is a need for "animal control"...nice read...

David Jagernauth (Level 2)

Firstly, I feel like this script needs to be rewritten in line with screenplay standard. Descriptions should only include immediate actions that can be seen on screen. For example: "...they didn't eat anything all day..." cannot be filmed. We need to see them not eating, pushing food around the plate, throwing it away, something with immediate action.
"Is" and "are" language should also be changed. For example: "Three little girls are hoeing..." should be "Three little girls hoe..."
"We see" language should also be changed. For example: "We see the rabbit in the garden..." should be "The rabbit appears in the garden..." or "Andre sees the rabbit in the garden..." or something like that.
All past tense should be changed to present tense.
I would like more concrete description of the characters.
I would like something different to happen each time Andre goes after the rabbit.

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

This reads more than it is seen. It's a story in a book, not a screenplay. In your action paragraphs the visuals need to be here and now. Change all those verbs to present tense. Your not telling a story like in a book, you want to show the story on screen. This script is full of past tense verbs.

Michelle laid out a holiday breakfast on the table surrounded by smiling faces. (Has she already done this or is it happening now?)

Andre automatically slipped away,(he's off screen here, he's slipped away) muttering (now he's back).

" ...rushed smoothly out the back door rifle ready." Again the verb should be "rushes."

The story itself was a cruel chuckle. I'm not sure what the point of it was other than a joke. Ergo the warning, lol. You have creativity and a sense of humor, fix the verbs. We have to see everything as it happens. Oh, and, lose all the "we see." I've read it in many scripts but it really isn't needed. If it's written (in proper format) I will see it. The only reason I don't give this a poor is because, I did get a laugh.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

Cute story. My biggest complain is the use of "we see". Show us what we see. Don't tell us that we see what we are going to see.

Harriet Barbir (Level 0)

Think it was a simple typo and the story was about the Easter rather than the Eater bunny, even though he/she did a lot of eating, presumably. It would have been nice to see some of the damage done by the rabbit each time during the montage scenes, possible showing alternating scenes where Andre carefully tends some vegetables only to find next day the pesky wabbit had destroyed them. Calling it a pesky wabbit sonded like a cartoon.

Your use of "we see" is a bit overdone. If it's on the page we should see it, so all you need to write is the action.

Not sure why you changed to the past tense but scripts should always be written in the present and yours shifts in page three.

Nice eanding, where the victim becomes the monster. Well done.

Javier Torregrosa (Level 4)

It's not a particular story that I like but I see how it came together for you. The montagé most definitely can be shortened down to a fifth of the page. It felt like I was re-reading scenes that were no different from the last.

The story itself wasn't quite right. The end was there to fit the beginning and the middle was alot of filler. All I can say is you must of thought this story in a few seconds and wrote the first thing that came into your head. I'm I wrong?

Nonetheless, if you shrinked the montagé and made the dad dyslexic, then this could work even better.

All the best.

Joel Davis (Level 5)

This was an odd entry. I think the biggest problem was the title gives away the pun. But even if it didn't it's kind of a shaggy dog story, a lot of setup without much of a punchline.

On the plus side, it's a GOOD pun, and you make good use of it. It's good enough that it could be the "punchline" to the whole piece, but you should throw in some other puns to build us up to it.

There's some technical issues, you don't need sluglines in a montage. In my opinion, this would work as written without the MONTAGE.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

There's an old saying in comedy that I can't remember. But it's basically that if the comedian laughs, no one will laugh with him (obviously not true for Red Skelton, but no piece of sage wisdom is perfect). This goes for your "Funny, ha ha!" line of dialogue. By your stressing so strongly that the previous line was funny, all the humor was sucked right out of it. The same goes with the writing at the end: if we can't get the joke from the title and from his pronunciation, we're not gonna get it by Andre scribbling it on a whiteboard. You took too much effort to be funny.

Your rabbit death scene description was so good I felt like you'd actually heard a rabbit scream. It's a bloodcurdling sound, and one I hope I never hear again.

There's a redundancy in all the "we see"s littered across the second page, in particular. Delete those, and the flow will be faster without losing anything important. I'm sure other folks will chime in to help you out with your formatting, which needs a lot of cleaning up. You've also got spelling errors ("shinning" for "shining", "yokes" for "yolks") and punctuation mistakes (missing periods at the ends of sentences, a ":" instead of a period in a slugline, etc.).

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

This is really cute and fun, but it needs some polishing.

You should always be writing in the present tense. Don't say "We see..." Describe what we see instead. Don't describe what happened before the scene - "Michelle laid out a holiday breakfast on the table..." The family isn't sitting at the table. The family sits at the table.

Your story is great. Your characters are great. Your descriptives are good. Spelling and punctuation are good. The formatting is fair. If the tense had been accurate, this would have rated higher...

Good work.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)

I didn't really connect with this story. I didn't like the dad for shooting a rabbit in front of his little girls and I didn't like the mother for not stopping him.

Too many camera directions too. and I really didn't get Eater Bunny. I didn't find that funny. I thought it was insulting to his family that he thought they were that dumb they'd buy that excuse.

What if he thought it was an air gun but it ended up being a real gun? That would be better in my opinion.

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

Nice title - I did a double take though, because I assumed you meant Easter Bunny.

Some people will tell you never to use 'we see' in action. Although you should never say 'never', excessive use does limit the involvement by the audience, jerking them out of the action every time it's repeated. "We see" is just so passive, so uncommitted, so unnecessary and easy to replace that it shouldn't really be needed seven times in a row.

Also there were a few sentences I couldn't understand or didn't make sense to me because of grammar or punctuation. An example:
"Can’t use a firearm up here so, I’ll keep an air rifle, in the back door porch, ready to shoot".

You also slip into the past tense at one point. Please don't.

I liked the central conceit, but it didn't feel like a script. This is because, as well as what I have already mentioned, you describe action in a narrative way which couldn't be interpreted visually.

Edit out the prose, reconstitute the story and it will be much better.

Martin Lancaster (Level 4)

Bizarre little story you have here. Watch your tenses, a lot of this is written in past tense: "Michelle laid" "the family focused". You could also cut the "we sees" from the series of shots, they're not needed.

I don't think there's enough of a story here. It relies on the Eater/Easter gag which also appears in the title, so it doesn't have much impact as an ending and, although clever, it's not quite enough to hold my interest for 5 pages.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5)

That was cute. I thought at times you were a bit verbose. For example, you did not need the sentence: There before their innocent wide eyes, the Easter Bunny had
been gunned down. We already knew that. Also, I didn't really like the allusion to Elmer Fudd in the way spoke. I thought you could have done without that.

Mike Dominguez (Level 3)

I think you have a good idea for a story, but some of the writing needs work.

I would get rid of all the "We sees". Just write what is happening in the story.

"The children were excited and giggling." - keep it in the present tense: "The children are excited and giggling"

"Easter breakfast abandoned, they didn’t eat anything all that day, not even one single little chocolate Easter egg." - be sure that you are describing events in terms of what will appear on the screen. This sentence doesn't directly translate into a specific shot. If you need a sequence of shots from throughout the day, then you need to write a scene for each.

The end joke is kind of spoiled by the title - I would change the title.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5)

"The children were excited and giggling" - are excited

The script sudddenly jumps from present action to past. Was this previously short fiction?

Well written but I do think this is a short story that has been quickly and not properly adapted for the screen.

The story itself is good, mean old dad, what was he thinking?!

But I was totally pulled out of it by the jump in tenses from page 3.

Neal Barringer (Level 0)

no reason to label the pink text as "disclaimer." just tell us what text to scroll across the screen. I'm conflicted about what to expect. first, the disclaimer may be a red herring. second, the title suggests this will be a comedy. so, it may actually be suitable for children.
I've only read a few lines and already your score is dropping because:
1) you didn't write active sentences
2) you used "then" as transitions. eliminate these.
3) you write more like an editor than a screenwriter since you included "Fade In" and "Dissolve To"
4) you used "We see"
5) you also wrote sentences that are in past tense, i.e. "Michelle laid out..." "Rebecca started giggling..." "The family focused on...."

with those comments about craft out of the way, I'll focus on story now:
it was hard to stay focused on the story because of all the distracting flaws. screen stories are told in present tense. your choice of tense was more like a narrator telling me what was happening on the screen rather than showing me.

the final line was rather campy. not sure how satisfying it was, either. but, it made me laugh a slight groan.

Nikhil Venkatesa (Level 1)

Good idea...but at the part when Andre tries to shoot the bunny, you should make each time a bit more different. I really liked the last "Easter" scene. Overall, I scored it so because the script was a bit monotonous, but a good job.

Oliver Webb (Level 3)

The only reason why I have it poor was because I didn't clearly understand the piece; in spite of not finding the ending funny.

Okay,now here's an asshole, oh, no, I meant he's my opinion.
This is a poor story that could be "very good"

The setup made me think "hallmark family." For some odd reason I think you are making "fun, light, funny" of the situation, but it doesn't come across like that. You wrote it in such a way that I don't see a dichotomy with the family and the father. I am thinking, I am suppose to be seeing a normal family with a "odd" ( for lack of a quicker word) father. You can do that in the montage scene. Make the bunny "descriptively" perfect, white, innocent bunny. Keep the father "loving" to his family and him obsessed with the bunny's death. The father's eyes get dark, restless, turn red with desire. The weapons turn from an air gun, to a ak-47, maybe a "remote controlled" landmine. To up the tension with his obession with the rabbit. Be different, give us a typical Brady-family with an atypical father obsessed with a garden rabbit. Now i will waste 5 minutes of my life to watch that!

I could also be totally overwhelming a nice, family-oriented, short but with a title like "daddy shot the eater bunny", i don't think so. Also maybe calling it " daddy shot the ea(put a scratch over the "s" in it)ter bunny. We prepare the reader to understand the punch line at the end, because it reflect the title. This "confusing ( not the best word to describe but the quickest to mind" title needs a "clear punch line."


Excuse the type-o's I've been during a lot of these tonight. No time to edit.

Patrick Sweeney (Level 4)

Cute story. Funny twist at the end as the father tries to talk his way out of hot water.

Correct format for title card is SUPERIMPOSE: text text text. Kill 'to be' verbs - 'girls are hoeing' becomes 'girls hoe.' Tighter, more active writing. Also, Rebecca, 5, - trim ruthlessly. Needs edit pass for punctuation, verb tenses. Don't need to specify transitions between scenes unless they are crucial to understanding; let the director or editor figure out how to get from scene to scene, focus on the story. Don't know that we need the exact same text repeated in full three times. Why does the description of the window come after three scenes set at the window? Sudden switch in verb tenses at the end. Was this formerly a short story incompletely converted to screenplay format? Many unfilmables here.

This could be a very fun screenplay, but needs to be rethought from the beginning for film - emphasis on visual storytelling.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

Unfortunately, there are a lot of screenwriting and formatting issues that distracted from a story that I don't know if I fully understand overall in terms of moral or theme.

Read, read, read spec scripts that have placed in contests here throughout the months, determine what the common denominators are with them all, and incorporate that into your future screenwriting.

And never stop writing!

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

This seems to be adapted from a story format written piece because in many places it still reads that way instead of being in screenplay style. The story was quite weak for me also because the title gives away everything and the rest of the story gives it away as well so when the climax is reached it is so well signposted that it lacks impact.

Also I think that "This film is not suitable for young children’s eyes." gets me expecting something pretty brutal and actually it's really not that bad. My six year old would probably think this is funny. A warning like that needs to be followed quickly by something that backs up the need for the warning.

"The children were excited and giggling." - You have slipped out of present tense in this line and others.

Ron Hooker (Level 4)

I'm sure this script was fun to write, but I think it would be better if it was written as a funny story that children would enjoy. The "Daddy Shot" aspect deflects the humor that children would find fun. Maybe it could be rewritten with more of a "Daddy Chased The Eater Bunny Away" approach. As an adult, I liked it. It cracked me up. Maybe that was the approach. But if it was aimed to attract kids as well, the gun needs to go in order to make it more child friendly.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

I thought maybe it was a typo in the title, LOL. But it's not. I thought the script was cute, the story just a fun little story. It reads in the past tense, more like a story than a script. If you go through and make it present tense, that will improve it.

Sad for the poor bunny.

Sasha Clancy (Level 4)

This could be a great story. It has all of the elements. But, your problems with formatting make it a bumpy ride. Realizing that many people on this site only want comments regarding the story, I will give them to you. Good story. Fun dialog. Cute ending. However, the formatting really gets in the way of the story. Minor formatting problems are one thing but all of the "we sees" jump out and hit me on the head. Another big problem is writing things there is no way we can see or know in a movie - like that they didn't eat all day. You can get away with them sometimes if you have no other problems. But, with the other problems, these really jump out. The scenes that just repeat themselves word for word are redundant. If you want to repeat it, say something like "repeat" instead of wasting space with the same exact words. Better yet, say the same thing with different words. It makes it a more interesting read. I scored this based on the story not the formatting because the formatting would have taken it down at least one level.

Scott Merrow (Level 5)

Pwseky wabbit, indeed! A pwseky skweenpway, too! It's kind of a cold-hearted story, and with no real reason for being told at all -- except for the punchline, Eater Bunny vs. Easter Bunny, which isn't all that clever or funny. (What's next, Stuperman and Bratman?) The narrative shifts from present to past tense at the end. Keep it in the present. This one needs some work.

Shane Shearer (Level 4)

"There before their innocent wide eyes, the Easter Bunny had
been gunned down. Their father was a cold-blooded killer."

"Easter breakfast abandoned, they didn’t eat anything all that
day, not even one single little chocolate Easter egg."

"His three sweet daughters stared up at him icily, solemn
disbelief reflected in their untrusting sad eyes."

These are all examples of telling rather than showing and should be refined in your script to reflect that. Although what you are saying is good, it is not good for screenplay writing. Going into detail on each of these accounts would have strengthened, and elongated you screenplay and made it worlds better than it currently is, which is still "good".

The story is good, the way it's set up, and paced is good. But ultimately this one falls because of formatting issues that need to be addressed so that you can stop suffering the same lowly scores due to this problem. Once you've fixed this, your next screenplay will recieve much higher reviews.

Stephen Brown (Level 5)

Formatting is a little kooky.

I'm going to hazzard a guess that you are a novel writer and new to writing scripts? Scripts are supposed to be written in present tense, which you haven't done with this.

I'm not going to be harsh because I believe you are new to this medium but what I will say is read as many scripts as possible if this is what you are wanting to pursue.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of very helpful advice from this site too.

On a positive sense; I can see talent, just as a writer you know? It read very much like a dark, children's book. Unfortunately, not at all like a script though.

Steve Monger (Level 3)

Surreal and inventive. I did however fail to connect with it, maybe as the characters are hard to relate to or maybe its my fault?

T. James DeStein (Level 5)

Uh. Erm. Hmm. I don't think it was really necessary to repeat what was basically the same scene over and over and over again. That part really got tiring for me. The story felt contrived for me, too. He just so happens to kill the bunny JUST as Easter comes around? A little convenient for your storyline. I think it's kinda redundant to say "we see." Obviously we're going to see it if you're describing it.

Tim Westland (Moderator)

Nice attempt at what could be a cute story.

There are a lot of problems, though.

First off, you write much of your script in the past tense. That's how people write novels and stuff. But scripts, they are Present Tense.

Example: The rabbit was still sitting there. He squeezed the trigger.

Should be: The rabbit, oblivious, sits quietly on the table. Andre takes his opportunity and squeezes the trigger.

How can you have a Series of Montages? It's either a Series of Shots or a Montage. And there are far too many images.

Lots of "We see" events. Those should be written so that the "We see" isn't necessary.

The whole "opening scene" message... ummm... weird. Axe that completely.

What's with the "mother and wife" and "husband and father" thing?

All in all, the idea is what has merit. The writing (format, style and content) need a good deal of work.

Make sure to read the winners of this (and other) contests and see how they manage things. It will teach you a lot.

William Coleman (Level 5)

There is a core of a good short film in your script. You writing has energy and your descriptions are vivid, but your screenplay doesn't hold together and pull me along as a reader. You need to build in the suspense of whether - or it could be when - Daddy will kill that pwesky wabbit. Did you model it after Elmer Fudd and Bugsy's famous encounters in those great Warner Brothers animated films? More of that style might have invigorated and centered your screenplay. I found the last joke line didn't work for me.

There are several misspelled words. Be sure to run a spelling check before you submit. Using "DISSOLVED TO:" is not necessary. In fact there is no need in these fine minute screenplays to use FADE IN and FADE OUT. Use the space they take up.

Also "SERIES OF MONTAGES" is not proper usage. What you have is a MONTAGE or a SERIES OF SHOTS. I think it is the latter. Sometime we should have a thread discussing the difference between those two!

You had a lot more space to develop your screenplay. If you rewrite, you have plenty of room to develop your screenplay more fully. At this moment it strikes me as a rough draft of something that contains promise if it is fully developed.


Comments Made After the Contest

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2009 8:33 AM

This marks my seventh bomb and once more I must thank all those who reviewed my attempt. I especially value the positive in depth suggestions and insights supplied by so many patient reviewers. Of course I shall soldier on and rewrite this script heedful of my errors.

Salud

Joel Davis (Level 5) ~ 2/5/2009 2:41 PM

I wouldn't call it a "bomb". It made me smile. I think if this had been in the one-page contest, it would have done well.

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 2/5/2009 3:16 PM

Thank you Joel for offering me a glimmer of script writing hope. I have rewritten and posted it on this page. You just have to tap on the date of the rewrite and the pdf pops up. Pretty well all the comments made by members were taken into consideration and I believe that this script has been vastly improved. I hope you can read, I welcome your thoughts.


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