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"Hans In Luck" by John Brooke

Logline: This is a triumphant saga about a man who never, even under the most trying of circumstances, ever faces the facts. This film reveals the truth of why he is the luckiest man in this whole wacky World.

Genre: Comedy - Family - Fantasy

Cast Size: 7

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

Contest: A Grim Tale (May. 2009)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent

Comments Made During the Contest

Brian Wind (Level 5)

This was written fine, but the story just didn't seem to go anywhere. I didn't feel like the vehicle/animal analogies were all that strong or that there was a very strong ending here. It's a strange type of story. I wouldn't call it comedy (although Harry Balz is a funny name), drama or anything else really... It was just kind of.... Blah. I blame it on the source material, which doesn't give you a very solid foundation for a gripping story to begin with. The dialogue was too repetiitive and expository. We've basically got a guy who quits Wall Street then keeps trading down his severance package until he gets home empty handed. That has potential, but there was no moral at the end and the guy didn't learn anything through his follies. Instead, he got home and declared himself the luckiest guy on Earth again. I don't know... There's potential here, but I think you may have been better off going with a story that had some sortof payoff at the end.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

This saga....sagas are usually very long stories! Good luck with the 5 pages!

I LIKE this! I love your style. I like the way you've written it with such fairytale nuances but the context is bang up to date.

Such a jolly and uplifting tale! It made me happy to read it and you can't say fairer than that. Or should I say, more excellently?

A few points:

Shakes head. No! Smiles shakes his head. Yes! - a shake is for no, a nod is for yes, where I come from.

surly - surely?

taxies - taxis

" - why the speech marks in odd places?

Chris Keaton (Level 5)

Ok, this was a strange tale to begin with and you made it stranger. I like the pace, but the cutesy dialog, while creative, didn't work for me.

- Oh, bless you for using a Fade In.
- Where's the action block in the first scene?
- Oh man another narrator.
- sartorially, what is this the word of the month.
- Love the names.
- "Yours, for s trunk full of luck?" ???
- "Creaming up the highway.." is this a perverted tale.
- "Thank Heaven for freeing me from my all my troubles." ???

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This was a sweet little fable.

After the first trade, you kind of know where the story is going, but it was still a fun ride. I liked Hans and his positive attitude. I also thought the names you came up with where fun.

I wish there had been a bit more to this story, perhaps a twist, but still it was kind of sweet.

Cindy S Duvall (Level 3)

While the author has chosen to update this tale, I found that it simply did not work for me. Among the technical and grammatical errors, the manner in which the characters speak belie the fact that it is supposed to be modern times. And, much of the dialogue did not fit the characters at all! A lot of redunancy in scene description and usage of words abound. Stick to pith!

The one thing I was impressed with was the author's choice of vehicles to describe the various trades that Hans made. Clever...

All in all a fair interpretation. With a good re-write, this story would work in an updated fashion. Lose the old dialogue and think of a more trendy way to have the characters interact.

But, I hate to be redundant!!!

David Birch (Level 5)

was the most imaginative adaptation that i've read so far (38/42)...tough assignment to get that in five it read a little jumpy in parts...for the purposes of the spec, i don't think you need to be "quite" so specific in your scene heading (US ROUTE 87 TO 90)...that seemed a bit out of place, since the scene could have taken place on any interstate out of nyc...anyway, good job...

David R. Harding (Level 3)

Reading these Grimm Brothers' stories can be bizarre at best, at times, and Hans In Luck is certainly no exception. An epic, by Grimm standard, it drones on about a fool and his money and how he trades it and subsequent traded items on his way home to his Mom. And, oh...did I mention how he arrives with nothing, of course?
Well, this entry offers an outlandish take as it opens with a modern Hans (20s) receiving severence and leaving a Wall street firm after seven years service. A 'whiz kid', indeed! It's the first real stretch in this story. More to come. We won't cover them all. Or anymore!
It all 'pulsates' to a 'gooey' finish as Hans reaches his destination, realizing just what a lucky fellow he is.
Frankly, I didn't like the original and, though this author captured the Grimm spirit here, the unlikely nature of events and dialogue sent me 'creaming down the highway' seeking a 'lucky escape'!

Erin Arbogast (Level 3)

This is a cute, light piece. You really kept the script true to the feeling of the original story. It can be difficult to bring these stories to a modern setting and stay true to the story and characters, but you did a fine job. I think this is a really solid effort.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

"Hans, for seven years..." and "Bearer Bonds, Hans..." and "Thank you Rustin." Be careful not to use names too much in dialogue. Listen to people talk in real life.

"Hans trudges along nearing the Ferrari Showroom, ROLIN ROSENCRANZE, a dapper, hungry eyed salesman, steps out, flashes a smile as his creamy manicured hand stops Hans cold." This paragraph paints a nice picture but the writer needs to be aware of "run-on sentences". Consider instead: "Hans trudges near the Ferrari Showroom. ROLIN ROSENCRANZE, a dapper, hungry eyed salesman, steps out and flashes a smile. His creamy manicured hand stops Hans cold.

Also, be aware of too much exposition in dialogue. Remember to "show not tell".

Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)

This is a clever adaptation indeed. I was torn on giving you a very good or an excellent. This has to be one of my favorite Grimm Brothers' stories.

Jeffrey Slocum (Level 4)

Seems like it would read well as a children's book if some of the vocabulary was simpler, was that the point, given the fairy tale theme? If so, then I liked it, but the german charcaters and language threw me off a bit, but well written

Jess Flower (Level 3)

I was completely confused by this script. Is there something you were going for in having all the characters boldly name themselves? I feel like I missed what you were going for here. I feel old fashioned sometimes, but I would just like to see a story! I know the Grimms are infamous for having some interesting plots, but that's where our creativity as writers come in and focus on character -- focus on telling a beginning, middle, and end. I'm sorry. I didn't get it here.

Joel Davis (Level 5)

I liked the tone of this -- the odd wordplay in the dialogue like "I surly do" was great. The whole surreal texture of it was great. The bizarre characters were interesting and sparked the imagination -- I imagined this played out as kind of a circus sideshow. Really great tone and texture.

I felt that the straightforwardness of the dialogue itself, i.e. "I'm So-and-so, would you like to trade this for that?" was a little off-putting. For once I'd rather this be a little less clear, I think it would fit better with the rest of the tale if it were more oblique and cryptic.

A lot of these stories had problems with the plot -- the original Grim's plot seem to be uniformly muddled. You did a good job making this one actually work, but it didn't have the dynamic and unexpected feel of the scenes and characters of the piece.

Nice job, this was fun, and has a unique voice.

Jose Batista (Level 5)

You did a good job of faithfully reproducing the tale in a modern day setting. The Ferrari, Hummer, etc. were all great stand ins for the original and the dialogue touched on elements of the original story.

My dissapointment stems from the lack of story here. In an adaptation, it is okay to take some liberties and make an old story alot more exciting than it was. The Grimm stories, in my opinion, are mostly all boring tales. It would have been nice to get a little twist in there. As it is, the script is as boring as the original.

Kathleen Clevenger (Level 4)

Cute tale. This would be a great children’s movie. Very fun, and you did a great job committing to one style. Give this another proofread during your rewrite. There were a few oddly worded sentences, and some punctuation errors. I loved that your protagonist was an idiot stockbroker. Fun metaphors.

Kevin Carty (Level 4)

Hans sounds very unnatural in his dialogue. Sounds like a voice over. Too much thick, heavy handed description. A story about Hans in Luck would be better if he started off low then ended high. could have made this a love story but thats beside the story. Keep away from unnatural sounding dialogue. Extremely lame ending it was just so blah blah blah about nothing.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)

At first I thought that your dialog was forced, but then got into the tone of your movie and thinking it fits.

It's an interesting tone, I'm wondering if it would better fit for cartoon, or maybe black and white parody on 70's movies. Maybe? Good pacing too.

A good choice actually, both you and Grimm did a good job on it (don't I sound arrogant:))

I'm thinking you could be a little more frivolous and have fun with it... Not that the way it is now doesn't please me. It's just a very good choice. I read several of them and then decided to go for a well known one. If I knew about this one I would have taken it.

A typo on page 2 "Yours, for s trunk full of luck?"

How do we know that Harry Balls is a dairy farmer? Picture of cows on his truck would tell us.

I think you changed the places couple of types but never changed the heading U. S. ROUTE 87 TO 90. Doesn't flow smooth because of that.
By the way I like this scene heading, and his last words "U.S. of A." - looks intentional; all of your narrative pretty much sets the tone.

I'm thinking very good, mainly for the tone and the way you maintained a single POV through the whole thing.

Good luck to you.

You may hear a lot about overuse of continuous verbs (and rightfully so, I would think) and decide to rewrite, but I'm thinking whatever you do in the rewrite you should preserve the tone. It's a great one.

Kirk White (Level 5)

it's a clever update...the ferrari/hummer exchanges are top notch...the HOG is very smart. I don't's a solid adaptation but nothing really jumps out at me. I'd like to see more personality in this.

KP Mackie (Level 5)

Interesting story that unfolds nicely. Familiar idea where one trade leads to another, and everything falls apart at the end. Good selection of "trading-up" items.
Liked the modern take, although several times Hans' dialogue drifts into old-world speak. Some snappy dialogue. Unfamiliar with "Herkimer Jeckimer" term -- found it should have been "Jerkimer." Funny, and describes Hans. And, Balz with his "Sorry your sweet redhead is dead." Clever writing.
Believe the Narrator at the beginning not needed -- story quite clear without the VO.
After reading the original, noticed the more deliberate characterization of Hans as a "country bumpkin."
Good job.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

You need a new slugline if Hans is to be seen driving in the countryside. Without it, he's still back at the Ferrari dealership.

The Hans in the original story was not worldly, but your Hans is almost too dense. He actually admits he knows there's 12 million in bearer bonds, yet he trades it for the Ferrari! The original Hans didn't actually know the value of his possessions, which is what made his actions so outlandish and humorous. But your Hans must know the value of valuable things: he's worked on Wall Street for seven years, one of the most worldly places on earth! So your Hans' sudden attack of stupidity doesn't play well. A simple fix: make Hans more of a blue-collar guy, take him off Wall Street. Then I think everything will fall together.

The character names are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over the top. I like them. :)

There are some spelling errors (including the word "s" instead of the word "a"), punctuation problems, capitalization problems.

You don't have to ALL CAPS a character's name if it appears in the dialogue.

"Hans is feeling lucky, now he can fly home fast to mom." This line isn't really action, it's a thought. And my initial response was that there was no way an Ultra Lite is really cheaper than a Harley. The "goose" theme fits the original story perfectly, but I'm not convinced it's a downgrade... And then I did my research! Sure enough, an Ultra Lite can cost between 3 and 30 thousand, but a custom Harley can go for about 40 thousand! That sound you hear? That's me eating humble pie. :)

The ending is bit more of a letdown than in the original, since here he wasn't actually burdened by his bike at all! Perhaps if he was trying to carry the thing, sure, but it was still working perfectly. Losing a good bike is no cause for rejoicing. But if it had broken down and he was having to lug it over the mountains, well, then, I think it would be.

Good job!

Laur Clevenger (Level 1)

I love your story! I think its almost perfect. I just wanted to slap Hans for losing all his money.....but the moral is money doesn't matter........wonderful!

Leigh Smith (Level 4)

It took me a few reads to get this story, but that isn't a bad thing. The second and third readings revealed things to me that I missed the first time. I was confused at first as to why he would choose to trade for a bicycle when he was trying to get home to his mother as quickly as possible. Then I realized this story isn't about the method of travel to get home to mom. It's about the journey within yourself to find out what is really important in life.

There is still the problem of an explanation for Hanz being able to learn to operate an airplane and a motorcycle immediately. Does he switch out implant that give him the knowledge? Does he take a pill? Maybe he puts on a new jacket with each new vehicle (or another piece of clothing like a hat)and that empowers him to be able to operate the vehicle.

Some aspects of the story need tightening up. Overall this is a good start for longer character piece. It might take more than five pages to create a story about the rise of a man soul during the destruction of his worldly possessions. And you don't have to stick to him trying to go home to mom. It could be his true love or he would be walking towards death and the afterlife.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

Page 1: "Hans sets off pulling..." Punctuate after "New York City."

Page 2: On page 1 you have Hans say, "I like those black prancing horses." Here you have Balz say, "Sorry your sweet redhead is dead." I'm probably missing something, but what color is the car?

Ooops. I'm in 10-pager mode... Enough with the page by page...

Your formatting is pretty good. I don't think you need "THE END" at the end. That's what the "FADE OUT." is for.

Your characters are a lot more interesting than the originals they're based on. There is a very small amount of punctuation to work on. The flow is good...

Good work.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)

Clever how you changed the animals to vehicles. This was silly, I liked the names of the characters too...very cute.

Hans is in his 20's and he's worked for a Wall Street company for 7 years? Just seemed a bit young.

This was told in a similar way as the original so it did end up reading more like a modern-day fairy tale than an actual story. I think if you dipped a little deeper into your creativity you could have structured it more like a story. I did enjoy the quirkiness of it though. :)

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

A bit sloppy with your cut and paste dialog - there are a few quotation marks at the ends of lines, and the line "I got the bike for a goose in trade..." doesn't make sense.

There's a strange mixture between the city elements and the fairy tale elements (also how Hans doesn't know that cars can be refueled), but most of the time it plays as intriguingly surreal instead of clashing.

Blissfully innocent characters make good protagonists, and I like how Hans (re)acts throughout the script.

Overall all these qualities were good, in service of what was ultimately a quite simple story.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5)

A modern retelling. I vaguely remember the original with cows and goats instead of vehicles. Trouble is, the story, although it has a moral, doesn't particularly grab me. It's very repetitive and Hans is so naive and quite frankly a bit daft, even though the story teaches that material possessions are indeed trappings, I just don't connect or am interested him or the tale.

Not your fault, the repetetiveness and dumb character are in the original story - maybe a poor choice to adapt.!

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

This is an entertaining story and I like how you have updated the adaptation.

The dialogue in this has a stilted feel about it. For the setting I think it might have been better to make the dialogue purely contemporary in style. On the same theme I think you could have changes many of the names so that they are less obviously German.

Raymond Belair (Level 3)

I really enjoyed this one. Great characterization, loved the dialogue, and you did a wonderful job of modernizing the story. The only thing I might change is that it seemed odd that Hans was working on Wall Street at age 13, and was getting such a big bonus! I would have given him another type of job - working on Wall Street would have taught him the value of money and trade, so he would have been so naive in his dealings on the way home it seems. I'd also have him deliver his "I'm the luckiest guy" catch phrase when he gets his bonus to keep it consistent. This could have used another proofread or two (stray quotes at the end of some dialogue, extra words, etc.), but this is my favorite so far! Good luck!

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

I liked your adaptation of this story. It brought a really modern setting with modern themes. I liked Hans, such a fun (if not a bit annoyingly optimistic) character.
The writing is fun and the story was a quick read.

Scott Merrow (Level 5)

It was really cute and clever the way you modernized the story and substituted the various modes of transport for the animals in the original story. Great! But, in my opinion, there were several problems with the script. First, the minor stuff. You have a LOT of grammar and punctuation errors. Normally, I wouldn't comment on them, but you have a ton. Proofread. (Or get someone to proofread for you.) Next, the story. What's the genre? Who's the target audience? Adults? Kids? I don't really think kids would enjoy this (although 10-year-olds will get a kick out of "Harry Balz"), so let's assume this is written for a grown-up audience. You need to keep that in mind as you're writing something like this (an adapted fairy tale). There's not much in this to get (and hold on to) an adult's interest. And the dialogue is W-A-Y too childish. Hans says, "I'm off to Herkimer Village to be with my mom," and "I'm the luckiest guy in the world," (or words to that effect) about a million times (in a 5-page screenplay). Fine for a kids' bedtime story (after all, you're trying to put them to sleep), but kind of annoying for adults. It's a real challenge adapting a story written for nineteenth-century children into a screenplay for twenty-first century adults. Early on, you have to choose an audience (adults or kids) and stick with it. Your script seems to be somewhere in the middle.

Shane Shearer (Level 4)

Not bad, a little sloppy though, in places. I think this needs a fine toothed comb to go through it and clean up some parts that were a bit confusing, like the lyrical rhyme schemes that throw the reader off every now and again. I found myself having to go back over it and review what I had just read in order to gain some sense from it. A quick edit may clean these up, as well as some of the spelling/grammatical errors that were present in thsi script.

Not a bad attempt, though it lacked flow. It was a bit choppy and abrupt and needed some better transitioning between scenes. A rewrite will clean that up no problemo.

Shaun Bragg (Level 4)

The dialouge wasn't getting it for me. The way characters spoke to one another didn't seem realistic. Most of it feels plain. If there was any script that needed to stray away from the original adaptation it would be this one.

As for the descriptions they were pretty well put. The story and formatting were done well.

I liked how the writer/ers squeeze as much as possible into the five pages. The lead Hans is lucky but doesn't have much common sense so it seems. Good work but I suggest a re-write.

T. James DeStein (Level 5)

The script's dialogue felt stiff and awkward. Perhaps the writer is not a native English speaker? Maybe try loosening the dialogue up a bit. This entire story was just really bizarre in a kind of fun way. From Harry Ballz to the stilted dialogue, I had a good bit of fun reading this.

Victor Ojeda (Level 3)

Not. Bad yet if seems a bit forced. I know we are adapting stories written two hundred abd seventy five years ago and that on itself is a big challenge but i think you could have used the modern rdferences in a smoother way. This thing of dapting is tough but you do have potential just keep workinc hard.

Comments Made After the Contest

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 7/1/2009 10:30 AM

Thank you all for reading my Grimm script. I just keep learning from all of you here. I do take your comments seriously, so thank you.

Ashley Croft (Level 3) ~ 7/1/2009 10:46 AM

John, I really liked your script I honestly thought it was gonna win.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 7/1/2009 10:57 AM

"John, I really liked your script I honestly thought it was gonna win."

But you didn't review it? or am I missing something?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 7/1/2009 11:17 AM

John - I gave this an Excellent. Top job!

Ashley Croft (Level 3) ~ 7/1/2009 12:03 PM

Chris, all my reviews were taken down cause some were (and I admit) too rude, yeah, I guess I get really dare I say 'passionate' when reviewing sometimes. But I loved this script. It took my imagination a lot of places. Chris you miss nothing!

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