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"Boy Culture" by Bryan Mora

Logline: There's more to a man than the sum of his parts.

Genre: Drama - Romance

Cast Size: 1

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

Contest: Monologue (Mar. 2009)

Contest Scores
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Comments Made During the Contest

Brian Wind (Level 5)

Written pretty well and free of errors, but there are chunks of dialogue that are too long and should be broken apart or trimmed down. I don't like the title. It sounds like a gay script, when it's clearly the opposite. The story itself was kind of strange. It's basically the ramblings of a gigolo without any real story to it. There's no climax, no conflict, no twist. I don't know. It didn't really work for me. It came across like a gigolo commercial for this guy more than a coherent story with a beginning, middle, end.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

It's well done, accurately conveys a certain sort of character (is it you???!!!) and good that he has more than a shred of humanity to balance his (to me) totally unlikeable character - not my sort of thing but I won't ever mark down for that. My problem with some of it was it was incomprehensible to me.

On the holiday ornamented territory - I don't know what this means. 'The ink is just a pretty memento.' Nor this. Just two examples.

Incidentally, it's not a great plan to use different font for flashbacks - things like that really distract. Not necessary.

Chris Keaton (Level 5)

Boy Culture, for some reason I thought of a petri dish.
Interesting piece. I kinda got mixed up an when he was talking to the camera and giving a V.O.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This is an interesting character study.

I especially like when he breaks the fourth wall.

However, the descriptions and dialogue feel a little stilted to me. Maybe it would work with the right actor, but it just felt a bit off.

I think if you choose your moments carefully when you use the "big words" they will have more impact then when you sprinkle them throughout.

Still, I was intrigued by this story and the reveal at the end.

Christopher Castle (Level 4)

Cool title.

Connor lives out a life of fast women spurred on by memories of the death of a woman he once loved and was loyal to.

Enjoyed the script and story. Character of Connor was very deep and that came across in the script by his actions and words.

Action was fast paced and read well which made it easy to understand.

I couldn't work out if he was an escort or not. Maybe this needs to be made clearer.

Maybe you could show more of how he became this person. Also the script was balanced in favour of his life and did not shown any downsides, which is more usual.

On the whole good script well written.

David Birch (Level 5)

the writing was a little spotty in some places...things like "noticeably", "suddenly", "uncontrollably"...just don't do anything but bog down the read...just write "the blonde grunts"...or "the blonde moans"...keep it far as your protagonist goes, i was hoping he'd contract some sort of vd...

Dom Kullander (Level 3)

The Casanova of this piece works well as a concept, subverting the usual gender stereotypes we are used to. I felt his dialogue could be made slicker by ommiting the pop cultue references (Jedi's and Coldplay) which I felt worked against the timeless figure you were trying to forge. Clearly the subject matter is intended to make a bold statement, which I felt was enhanced by the stylish nature of the cinematography. It felt reminiscent of some of the great late 90's British gangster films such as Lock Stock without being offputting.
Great effort!

Erica Land (Level 2)

This was the first script to break the fourth wall, which I thought more people would do in this contest. This character reminded me of Dr. Troy in Nip/Tuck, or that type anyway...and these five pages are how he sees the world.

The one thing I found confusing was if he was having sex for hire or if he just got around. If you were to further develop this character, I would either a) have him love this life and people chastise him for it or b) hates this life and thus numbs the pain with drinking...or goes to sex anonymous.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

The writer did a good job with the screenplay format. However, the dialogue felt stilted to me and I could not immerse myself into the story, felt kind of self-serving. Page 3: "poka-dot bra". Should be POLKA dot bra.

Hafsah Mijinyawa (Level 2)

I'm not a huge fan of the subject matter, but it was a tight story and the author seems to have a good handle on action/dialogue. It reads like one of those character-study stories that will be considered pretty hip and risque, but as far as characters go, I really didn't like the guy. He seemed very selfish, I don't know if that's deliberately how the author was trying to portray him. BUT as far as writing style, it was pretty good. Story, for me personally, not a hit.

Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)

I don't find Conner to be very likable. Even when his true love dies, I'm not moved much. He's so cocky. Perhaps if we saw her passing away earlier in the story and his dialogue became more sorrowful instead of just informational, than maybe he'd touch us on a "deeper level". ha ha.

Jeff Ferry (Level 5)

I thought the script picked up as the story unfolded. My main problem was the tone of the story seemed uneven. Judging from the first couple pages it almost seemed like a screwball comedy or sex comedy setup. Then we hit around page four and we slam into a drama. I just think the transistion could be hanled better. maybe by making the first half a little less zany.

Joel Davis (Level 5)

This was an interesting character sketch, and the dialogue was unique and unusual. But I didn't see the story here. You had a unique protag, but he didn't really have any goal or any other sort of dramatic question to drive the story. Also, the scenes illustrated the monologue, which was well done but you didn't need both. I'd rather see more contrast or tension between the monologue and the scene itself.

John Brooke (Level 5)

You express your idea creatively in a fresh ballsy romp quivering in salacious language and ejaculating sustained spurts of self absorption. Clear, direct visual and visceral storyline plunges along, thematically raping the reader and orally painting a lustful graphic of sex for hire.

This poet’s expression of a man’s most fundamental base instinct would make a fine short art film for a sophisticated audience.

This is a perfect example of that contemporary affliction among males namely; Amortality – the state of hopeful agelessness wherein one acts the same from adolescence to the grave.

You have conjured up a wonderful revealing movie, with a masterful use of images and symbols and language.

I applaud your defiantly transcendent screenplay.

Jose Batista (Level 5)

I look forward to the day I can write Dialogue that good. Conner's method of dealing with loss is nothing new, but I like his take on it. the interchange between Voice Over and speaking directly to us is great and worked well within the context of his dialogue. The tattoo and it revelatory meaning was a good way to introduce the reason for his new way of life. Your descriptions are well crafted considering the scenes and the actions taking place. Overall, this was a well done script and would make a visually impacting short with a story to boot. Excellent!

Kenneth Hurd (Level 4)

I like how you were able to develop Conner's character in just five pages. As far as story goes, the only thing I could recommend is giving Conner a clear set of goals and something that stands in the way of those goals. I never really found anything that challenged what Conner wants.

Your structure is good and the script flows well. I would recommend that if you ever have dialogue that overlaps onto a new page, to start it with "CONNER (cont'd)", but that may have resulted from the upload. Did you write the script in Word?

Also, try not to use italics in your scripts. It makes things a bit hard to read. Simply put Flashback in the scene heading, or give us a time that should appear in text on the screen. Once you establish the scene, you also don't have to repeat it in the first sentence of the action. Since the scene heading tells us where we are, the line "In a repugnant apartment complex" seems a bit redundant. You should instead tell us what we see in the apartment that makes it look repugnant.

I do like how you broke the fourth wall with this script, but I was a bit confused later on. I wasn't sure if Conner was still breaking the fourth wall, or if he was actually talking. Maybe by his name you could put "CONNER (breaking fourth wall)" or something like that? Just a suggestion.

Kevin Carty (Level 5)

Ok, Half way through I liked it until the voice overs got a lil too artistic for a guy putting the business supposedly to a hooker in the back seat of his car. It reads as if you were trying to replace the action and description or its just tooo weird for a guy that V.O. and is having sex. He sounds like a poet and for some that may be believeable but not for me. FREEZE FRAMES WHY? I'M GOING TO GIVE THIS A GOOD. I really don't like the character because you try to make him sound articulate. It was bad for me cause he sounds like mojo jojo (powerpuff). Arggh NO MORE SHOTS PLS. So much repetitive statements. I was thinking please we know you can write now cut the fat out of the glorified speeches.Like saying something. I just wanted this motor mouth to stop.

Kirk White (Level 5)

There’s a lot about this one that I like…it’s slick and highly stylized…it moves really fast and the speech is solid. The sex stuff is handled really well. I was a bit confused about exactly a “Virgin-er” is. At first I thought he pretended to be a virgin for them…then I thought he was seeking out Virgins but then he’s a hustler. So I am a bit unclear with what exactly he does. I think the twist with his true love is a little expected in this one but maybe I’m just too cynical for my own good. I enjoyed this though.

KP Mackie (Level 5)

Well-organized "romp." Good utilization of prompt. Like the variety of locations -- Connor's musings would sound like rambling without the change of scenery.
Not certain the title is best choice. Could omit the line about the "fourth wall," as it states the obvious.
The death of Conner's girlfriend as the catalyst for the hustler lifestyle seems a bit contrived. Not enough concrete info about her to feel Conner's loss. She exists, she dies, and he decides he won't "put stuff off." Yet, the reference on page one to him being "available" when other businesses are closed for the holidays insinuates money is involved.
Perhaps expand her character; or maybe, he simply chooses the behavior because he likes the money?
Also, Conner mentions his desire to be "the best damned boyfriend"; but, on the last page, his reference to "the ink" being a "memento" infers they were married.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

I'm really not sure what to say. The story was an unflattering portrait of a male hooker. The dialogue was crazy, a verbiose attempt at an incoherent, rationalizing philosophy. Imaginative, I suppose, but ultimately unfulfilling as a peek into a life.

I thought the flashback (which shouldn't be in italics) was unnecessary. All it showed was another woman he's in bed with. It didn't reveal any emotions beyond those he's already told us. It also felt out of place with the "fourth wall"-breaking attitude of his new life.

I just read an interview with Terry Rossio in which he said: "I might ask—is this all really best suited as a screenplay ... is it really a novel, a short story, or a play, or a comic book or a television series just masquerading as a feature screenplay?"

Rossio's basic point is that if the story can be better executed as a short story, then he wouldn't even consider writing the script for it. I got that feel out of your story here. The only reason it could be a movie is to give the viewing public several more gratuitous sex scenes (which, truth be told, weren't even original). I thought it would've worked far better as a psychological short story.

Laureen Muller (Level 4)

Curious title does peak an interest. The story line was unique and very creative. I felt like I was watching a late night paid programming ad for a male prostitute, with a lot more visual then most ads. You could have put a little more into the dying girlfriend if you wanted to show why he took things so casual or how he became what he is. The format was good, the scene descriptions were alright. It was somewhat easy to visualize the character and his state of emotions, with the exception of the scene with his girlfriend. The first scene was a little hard to follow which made it a little harder to visualize in the beginning (between a leather car exactly do you get between a leather car seat?), and the beginning dialogue seemed forced, unreal and with the feeling that I wasn't sure I wanted to read any further. Not my kind of storyline, but it was creative.

Lewayne White (Level 4)

I've got nothing. This isn't my sort of piece. The sex bits don't bother me so much as the absence of any real story. It seems more like something that one would see on a small stage, or as the opening scenes to some sort of UK cult film like "Trainspotting".

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

Some of the description/action felt a little awkward, especially: "He breaks the “fourth wall”, converses directly to us." This should suffice: "(to camera)"

The italics in the flashback scene is confusing.

Something about his dialog feels strange. It doesn't flow, I guess, from one phrase to another.

"lays in bed"
should be "lies in bed" (lay is transitive, in that it has to take an object).

The story was really good, but was just held back from being expressed in the best way possible.

Melissa Goetz (Level 2)

I like the idea of seeing the inner thoughts of a male prostitute, but was confused as to what the message of this piece was.

Some other thoughts:
How can someone be perched between a leather carseat? Between a carseat and what? How old is the woman? Awkward phrasing -- "wet hair is broadened across his face". I'm not sure what this means. Be careful of fancy words -- I don't know what "coruscating" and "dilettante" mean. Should be "sprints down the runway". Try to stay away from "ing". Slugline should not be in italics. Is the top of p. 5 a voiceover?

Michael Cornetto (Level 5)

I thought this was well written. The dialogue was fantastic. I thought there was an issue with lack of story and even though you had an interesting zinger in there by the time you got to it, you had already lost me. Though this guy had a fun rap, he wasn't particularly likeable and he wasn't going anywhere. I would try to give us the feel that you're going somewhere with this much earlier - even if and especially if it isn't where you wind up going.

Michael Hoffman (Level 4)

This was a very different yet entertaining story. I applaud the originality and consistent tone throughout.

It really comes out swinging and I'll admit, I did struggle a bit to catch on to the opening scenes but settled in nicely and paddled with the flow. The Conner character was interesting and unique. Not necessarily likeable but he was what he was and you stuck with it.

I also liked the way you approached the emotional context. Not falling into cliche but allowing the reader to feel however they want about this man and his story.

Despite the monologue restriction, you did well in creating plenty of action and visual scenes to enhance and sparkle the narrative.

I actually read it twice and found it even better the second time. Hope others give it a thorough examination.


MJ Hermanny (Level 5)

Great title.

Unusual story. but very hard to read. Some odd choices of language that had me re-reading over and over to get what was being said and this totally lost any flow I might have had. The opening line itself really had me struggling -'territory' it took me a few reads to realise you meant the bar.

Conor's first piece of dialogue was also a struggle to grasp.

His character came over strongly, dislikeable as he was. I felt no sympathy for him even after the reveal of his lost love, mainly, I think, because I found it so hard to grasp what he was saying. ' a coruscating beacon in the night.' - while showing a wonderful command of language and vocabulary it is rather unrealistic, people don't talk like that, even in surreal monologues.

Found the tatoo section difficult to understand.

Format is good although I didn't like the flashback in italics.

Hard to read. hard to enjoy.

Nicky Muddle (Level 3)

I really disliked this script and got the strong impression you wanted people to either love it or hate it.

Please don't assume this is a prudish reaction to script porn. I have absolutely no opbjections to showing lots of flesh when it is well done and adds to the whole experience. Even a script showing nothing but copulation could be a beautiful, moving, illuminating or uplifting experience. But this was not. It is gratuitous and deliberately provocative, with writing as flashy and attention seeking as the constant naked couplings.

This is nicely matched with the narcissistic main character, who obsesses about his own hurt from his one true love who died so inconveniently. Poor him indeed.

Actually on second reading I realise it is Conner's mind I most dislike. I have come across many damaged, self obsessed little boys like him in my time. Despite living a teenage boy's fantasy, he actually exists in a kind of "living death", with no real connection to any living being and only takes from, hurts and pollutes the people he comes in contact with.

This could be the basis for an insightful film, if you gave any of the women a voice, or allowed them to show him there is more to a life worth living than his shallow existence. Instead this script celebrates his self obsession and congratulates him on being a deep and sensitive character.

So this is either an ironic masterpiece which relies on the audience to see through his pretentions, or it is as shallow as Conner himself.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

You get points for an original story, that's for sure. I've only read ten scripts so far, but I doubt there'll be others like this.

But, this is the third script I've read in which the main character talks directly to the audience, which I guess I'm ambivalent about, but I'm not the biggest fan in general.

There were times in Conner's dialogue that I had no idea what he was talking about.

There is a change in tone from when we first meet Conner, his crazy life and dialogue to the conclusion to when we learn that his true love died. It's good to have your protagonist arc in five short pages, but it did affect the overall tone.

How did she die, by the way?

Your screenwriting overall is good, format appears in order, although flashbacks do not have to be italiczed. Didn't detect any typos.

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

This is a sharp idea and it is an intriguing story. However I found it difficult to follow partly because it starts off with bizarre dialogue and that mixes with a very unconventional story telling method. The mixed use of voice over and fourth wall dialogue results in the story being spoken, yes over the top of intermittent sex scenes to make it interesting, but still spoken out.

"On the holiday ornamented territory" - I'm not sure what this means. This is more unfortunate because it is the first line and the beginning of a script is much more important than it really should be.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

I think your script shows a talent for writing, but the story didn't engage me at all. I had a hard time feeling anything for your protag. This would probably have a mature rating if it got shown anywhere. Whenever I read a script, I ask myself would I want to watch this on screen, and if not, then I rate it lower. I would not want to watch this film.

T. James DeStein (Level 5)

Think you were trying for the Fight Club/Kevin Smith-esque feel, but I didn't really vibe with it at all. Didn't see the overall point/message in the end, the girl dying seemed interesting, but it didn't appear to go anywhere.

Tim Aucoin (Level 4)

I like the concept but I find the main character unlikeable. It almost seems as if this script was an excuse to write a bunch of scenes involving people having sex. I do like the idea that he's talking to the camera during all of these escapades and there is some great description and I even get where he's coming from after having lost the love of his life. But there's something about him that I don't like, though now that I think about it the fact that you were able to evoke that emotion from me has made me decide to change my score from fair to very good.

Tim Westland (Moderator)

Hmmm... this one seems like it's trying REALLY hard to be edgy. Too hard, I think.
The dialogue felt very "well thought out" as opposed to natural.

I really couldn't connect with any part of this. It's not about the sex or him looking for virgins and stuff... it just didn't work for me.

By the end, it seemed as if he was in a commercial offering his services. But that doesn't make sense, given the entire rest of the script.

Maybe I just don't get it. I know this review isn't providing much in the way of constructive criticism, but I just don't know how to change or improve this. Probably because I don't get it. Sorry about that.

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John Brooke