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"6 5/8" by John Brooke

Logline: It’s 1967, John David Burrow, a fatherless, bitter young man is ushered into manliness, by his wealthy maternal Grandfather. “Clothes make the man” is Grandfather’s first maxim in a series of catch phrases John is forced to recite. Secondly; “Dress for Success!” Finally; “always be a gentleman, no matter how painful. You are hatless, if you want to get ahead, you must get a hat, John!” He loathed his Grandfather and his dumb sayings. John kept his anger in check, as he longed to escape.

Genre: Comedy - Drama - Family

Cast Size: 3

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

Contest: Numbers (Oct. 2009)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent

Comments Made During the Contest

Aaron Williams (Level 4)

I am a little struck here. I liked the characters. good clear mental image-- the grand dad, hat salesman and grandson, though the grandson felt a bit one dimensional. But nothing happens! This feels like a great start, something that makes me want to read more, but on its own, it just doesn't feel complete. Too much real estate is devoted to the Granddad's obsession with 'manliness'. In such a short medium, I think you could trim down some of these examples-- and add a bit more story. There is some conflict, sorta, with the generation gap, but it needs more.

Amanda Sidorowicz (Level 4)

Another one with a title that fits the theme of the contest and not the story so much.

Have no fear, though, I won't let that way in my review. ;)

Few thoughts:
- It's dialogue heavy throughout. I'd try splitting up some of the long conversations with some action. Nobody likes talking heads!
- Your writing style is pretty good.
- How will the viewer know it's 1967 in the beginning? I know it's revealed later, but that's so far into the script. Maybe add a super.
- The story is kind of cute. I like the dialogue between the boy and his grandfather. I wish there was more plot, though.
- Overall, I think it could use a bit of a rewrite. Add more conflict and break up some of the dialogue with action.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

There are some spacing issues and typos here. A spellcheck would have caught some of the typos. There is a lot of information given to the reader that would not translate to the screen, for instance how does the viewer know it's 1967? You tell the reader, but you need to SHOW, NOT TELL the viewer too. Some of the dialogue was very unnatural. The story here wasn't much of a story at all. We've got a kid who's Grandpa is trying to give him some rules to being a man. The kid is less than enthused. Then they go pick out a hat and the kid finds one he likes, which the Grandpa then purchases. I don't know... Where's the story? There's no conflict or tension in this script at all. With no disrespect intended, I don't think this would make a very entertaining film. Nice effort, but I think you need to pick something a little more interesting than buying a hat as a storyline.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

slips s big? a?

I have a feeling that the preparation before the two men going out went on slightly too long - two whole pages of the same made me lose interest though it was well-written.

bankers strips? bankers' stripes?

I did like the gentle storyline but I was bemused as to why it was set in 1967, then there was no reference to that era really. Would a 19 year old in 1967 REALLY be pleased to look like George Raft or D Fairbanks? Surely they were current in the 30s or 40s? The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde. You Only Live Twice...films of 1967.

The whole thing seemed out of sync with its intended era...

Chris Keaton (Level 5)

6 and 5 8ths, hmm. Certainly a unique title.

How can we SEE it's 1967? You shouldn't give the reading audience special information that the viewer doesn't have.
Lose the word 'IS' and words ending in 'ING'. They weaken your writing and you want strong active writing.
The first two pages shows what I think is an odd relationship.
Nice writing, but I must admit this is the third story I read and the third story that didn't really have a story. You aren't writing prose, which I think you could do really well, you are writing for film. So your screenplay needs to be visually appealing and entertaining to sit and watch. Unlike a book your audience is trapped and it's our duty to entertain them.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This is a very sweet story and you do a nice job of capturing a bygone era.

Personally, I love old movies (especially Film Noir) and I wish hats hadn't gone out of fashion.

Your characters here are great, their dialogue is a bit stiff at times, but it works.

I wish there was a little more to the story, but, I still enjoyed this for what it was.

David Birch (Level 5)

like the nostalgia feel to the piece...lots of dialog (which is a good thing)...not sure there was enough conflict to really resonate with me...but a heck of a good entry nonetheless...the grandfather came across a little "preachy" but overall, nice try...thanks...

David D. DeBord (Level 5)

A story about class and appearance. About a time many think isn’t old fashioned, just simply been forced out of date.

I like the coming of age concept. Learning from an elder about what is important and what is not.

Technically I often have issues with little things like the use of gerunds in action lines. Especially when the line says “Grandfather is lecturing about shaving.” The “is lecturing” should be lectures or some other more active form of the verb but more importantly in this case, the whole line is unnecessary. The dialog indicates the lecture by Grandfather and the action line doesn’t have to say it.

The “begins to shave” type line always gets to me because he doesn’t begin to shave, he shaves. Don’t have to tell us in an action line that he blurts out when the dialog covers that action.

I guess I’m disappointed by the ending as well. I thought there would be more. There’s probably something there I’m just not seeing but the scripts just seems to end. A great build up then an instant fade.

I like the concept behind this script and I think it has importance. It’s a movie many should see and a concept more should embrace. My sense is that a thorough editing would tighten the script very well.

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

The grandfather is a well crafted character, he really came to life for me. You write well, and I also enjoyed the dialogue.

I didn't get the point of the story, a slice of life? A sentimental feeling? A shopping trip for a hat? Sorry I didn't get it.

The title fits.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

I loved this story. Thank you very much. Here are a few comments.

"Grandfather is lecturing about shaving." Since you show this in the dialogue, I think you can probably delete this sentence.

"Suitably attired, you and I, and we’re off to lunch at my Club" Ending punctuation is missing.

"In the rear, stands IZZY TIPOFSKI, a smile broad as his body." Does it make any difference how old Izzy is? Should I picture an graying old man or a younger man?

"Izzy Tipofski, meet my Grandson John David Burrow." The word "grandson" does not have to be capitalized.

"Mr. Tipofski please call me John" Again, the ending punctuation is missing.

Felice Bassuk (Level 4)

Good concept and your characters are interesting and distinct. As for dialogue, I would suggest less direct exposition and more action. Let gestures and action do more of the work than the characters' words. Also, take more care with your sluglines. The first should be Bathroom, not Mansion, and the second should be Master Bedroom. When you describe the closet, I would suggest you focus on what's unique or quirky about it, like his collection of hats or ties, rather than describing an ordinary closet. When they're at the store, not necessary to describe the mall. Also, you might want to pay more attention to proofreading. There are many typos and grammatical errors. At the end, just FADE OUT.

Herman Chow (Level 5)

You know what? I have to be mean on this one. The main problem is that there is no story arc. Things just happen by themselves because....well, they just happen like everyday life. No cause and effect. The scene in the hat store can go before the shaving scene and there wouldn't be a problem at all. Characters didn't change at all, the story didn't go anywhere. And it's a verrrrrrrry long setup for a joke.

There are so many interesting possibilities that can happen between grandfather and grandson. But all I got is some dull talk. How about make the grandfather buying a hat for the grandson and vice versa in the same store? The end result might be interesting.

I spotted quite a few typos in the script as well. It kinda distracted me from the reading.

Sorry about the negatives, I'll have to give you a FAIR.

Jacob Guerra (Level 4)

I liked the dynamic between the two characters (grandfather and grandson) and thought they sounded real. However, not too much seemed to happen for me, even though the generation gap was nicely presented.

Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)

Cute! I think you can make the final line a bit bolder by using some descriptive action line before it, letting the audience in on his expression and confidence. You can also add a camera shot such as a push in for finality.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)

This story just didn't do it for me. I thought it was well written (despite the few mistakes, I'll let the Pickier guys handle that) But overall... it was a story about hats?

The characters seemed to be two different people at times. The boy went from a 19 year old boy to like a 14 year old. Sometimes his speech would be too childish for a young adult. And if the boy looked at his grandfather as unearthly strict, why did the grandfather crack a joke in the store, or seem so excited at the thought of purchasing a hat for his grandson? I know he would be happy to get it for him, but I think he would of went about it in a different way, only judging from the character you portrayed him to be in the first half of the script.

I didn't understand the ending either. Was it supposed to be funny? Or were they lyrics from a song? I don't know, it just seemed odd...

Jem Rowe (Level 4)

High marks for style but low marks for substance.

You clearly know how to write a decent script, you just need to work on plot. Your characters did not seem to be tested or changed (other than in fashion taste) by the events of the script.

Also, I don't see why your script couldn't have worked just as well in a modern day setting, I'm not criticising you for this, just wondering about your reasons.

I look forward to more scripts from you. Well Done.

Jonah Yarden (Level 4)

what a queer little picture. I like this short as I too am partial to the odd fedora,trilby and even bowler when mood dictates. However, something about it doesn't feel like a short, as though if I watched it I'd feel short changed.The grandfather sprang to life instantly, I have such an affinity with his cultural ideals of early 20th century western civility. However, John's personification of a modernistic generation of style over substance resided in a line but not in his being or actions. Maybe a greater juxtaposition was needed between how John was dressed in comparison to his grandfather's ideals- the rolled Levis vs. the creased slacks, the mop of hair vs. the lacquered SB&S. I know you mentioned these things, but in a short the necessity points more towards the visual, punctuated maybe with dialogue rather than formed by it.
All in all it was a refreshing approach and an appreciated commentary.

Good Job!

Jose Batista (Level 5)

A well written scenario of gramps and kid going through one of the manly lessons in life. But nothing much more. I do like that the script does succesfully show the older generation giving way to the younger generation. The reflection on Kennedy not wearing a hat was golden.

However, magnificently written as it is, there is no story here. It feels like a scene in the life of the two characters. I wish there would have been something more going on in between the lines with grandpa and grandson. Cheers to you on a Good entry all the same.

Kevin Carty (Level 4)

I'm not going to lie to you, my eyes wondered a bit. Ok my eyes wondered alot. I suspect the tarantino- philes will love this but it takes alot for a dialogue heavy script like this to actually move me. So make sure you shorten your dialogue. This really wasn't a compelling movie for me. It has that super hallmark ending as well. That last line was sooo... forced in there. I also predict that Faith is gonna get ya for putting numbers in your dialogue. Also, your dialogue just sounds so stilted and expository at the wrong moments for me but someone will like this. Sorry, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)

Well written, an eazy read really.

Wouldn't $275 for a hat be expensive for 1967 (I understand it's some kind of designer/exclusive hat but still)? The story is interesting but did not elicit much emotion in me.
The title does not underline the theme of the script strongly, I think. However it's not that off either.

KP Mackie (Level 5)

A clever idea. Great color in the scene at the "Mad Hatter" with all those hats.
Good descriptions of James and his Grandfather. Perfectly clear picture of James and his "bored expression (that) screams escape." Both characters have their own distinctive voices; good job with the generational differences.
There is a lot of dialogue involved in James' hat education. Perhaps, place James and Grandfather Fuller in an emotional situation without any words. Maybe on the way to Izzy's...
Wondered if James might be a bit too old at 19 for a "life lesson"; but decided the end worked better with James actually liking the new "midnight blue Borsalino fedora." (Googled, and those fedoras are pretty cool.)
Enjoyable story.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

"Grandfather is lecturing about shaving." I'm sure you'll hear all about this line.

The middle names make it look like this is based on a true story.

John looks like he wants to escape, you say, but his very first line makes it sound as though he's completely invested.

"Grandfather bleeds like a human being." I know what you're going for here, but I haven't yet got the impression that Grandfather is awe-inspiring, imposing, or otherwise larger than life. Especially because later he "cracks weak jokes" that don't seem designed to awe.

John, who's so enamored of "modern stuff", would be the least likely person in the room to compare himself to "old" stars like Fairbanks and Raft, who were near or past the end of their careers already by 67, I'd think.

The ending line feels like it must be a take-off on some old advertising, or something, because of the phrasing, but I'm not familiar with the original. I suppose, if it is a take-off, it's probably hilarious. :)

There are some spelling and editing errors. Make sure you proofread first, so that you submit your very best to contests.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)

I liked the interaction between John and his Grandfather. But I think the hat store scene went on way too long, 3 pages long, and then it didn' feel like a complete ending. I think there was way too much info about hats that didn't push your story forward. Your plot got lost a bit there. If that scene were cut and then you ended with them at the Club, that would come full circle.

John is shocked, "Grandfather bleeds like a human being". -- That's why he was shocked? How are we supposed to know that without you telling us? How can you film that statement?

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

It was a nice character study, but there wasn't really a story to it. If the story was about John getting his first hat, then most of the first two pages can be removed.

"Grandfather is lecturing about shaving."
There was some unnecessary action.

A lot of the dialogue was stilted and felt too formal, even for 1967. Izzy and Grandfather Fuller are friends, but they don't talk like them.

Melissa Mitchell (Level 4)

Nicely written. Grandfather is a character; John is a bit of a stereotypical young man. You tap the generation gap for conflict, but it doesn't take you far enough. Nothing is at stake. I ran smack into the ending still expecting something of import to happen. It's a cute story, though, so thanks and keep writing.

Micah Ricke (Level 4)

There are a few punctuation errors (missing commas and such), but they don't detract too terribly.

The dialogue is a bit too 'spot on'. Even if people did talk like that in 1967, in the US, the UK or anywhere else, to me it sounds unnatural.

Other than these things I do not really have any complaints about the structure, style, etc. It's just that the story doesn't have a lot of punch for me.

Take another pass at it, polish the dialogue (modernize it) and it will have more umph.

Best regards.

Paul De Vrijer (Level 5)

What can I say, one of those stories that are ripe with feeling and emotion. Little details and some wellsuited knowledge, but offer no conflict, drama or something else that is interesting. It's just a scene in between with Grandfather taking his grandson in tow. Liked the writing but the title feels tacked on, he could have been saying ANYTHING at that last moment, would the title have adjusted? Didn't feel like it covered the entire load of your script. Also expected a little more dynamic between the two, Grandfather was always the leader, and the kid was always the sheep. Perhaps you could shake it up a bit, perhaps even at the ending.

Simply story, oddly placed in that specific timeperiod, don't know why. Good writing.

BEST MOMENT: Grandfather explaining he made a weak joke. Humble man and I laughed at that.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

I like the relationship between Grandfather Fuller and John David and I like the statement on class and the changing times in our society during these times. There is probably some other subtext and symbolism involved that I did not pick-up on.

While these are responsible and worthwhile themes to touch upon, I feel for a movie, watching a Grandfather taking his Grandson shopping for a hat might not be the most visually intriguing or captivating film to see.

Nineteen seems a little old to start learning how to shave.

Your screenwriting is good, but how would we know, besides you telling us, that it's the year 1967? If it's not a "Super," then it has to be visualized.

Formatting overall appears fine, but I think bathroom and master bedroom might have to be "slugged."

There are some typos throughout, particularly the absence of commas and periods.

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

This is an interesting character piece that sets out some solid commentary on social changes. For me I'm not sure if it is edgy enough to be really compelling. Perhaps if this were the background story to some other story playing out then it would very strong.

Rick Hansberry (Moderator)

Nice, original take. A few typos but the kind that tell me that you hurried to get the script in on time. Not sure why you listed the year in the opener since you had a character proclaim it later on. Given your use of terms, you seem very familiar with the era and its nuances -- given that I was surprised that there was such a thing as a safety razor in 1967. The one element I think could be improved is the payoff. I'd rather have Grandfather specifically assisting in the planning of meeting a business associate at the outset rather than the bits about shaving and dressing like a gentlemen. I also don't know that as a film this would play without a bit more drama. Nothing much happens and we're left with an enjoyable 5 minute period piece that sails along but doesn't change its characters at all. Maybe twist it at the end that the business associate that he meets is a slob with no manners to speak of. Just a thought. Nice work, I enjoyed the lessons of Grandfather and appreciate the timelessness of certain truths.

Rob Dianora (Level 4)

I like aspects of your story, I think the dialogue can use some work. The grandfather sounds like Yoda at points. It may be a good film, plot wise there's not much going on and it's really character driven. Also, I liked your title and how it was incorporated into the story.

Robbie Comeau (Level 3)

Not so much my style of a flick, but I do enjoy your writing. The dialog flows well and matched properly with each characters.

Def. had the film of an old film

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

I'm not sure what to make of your story. It started off strong and I expected something interesting to happen, but it basically was a lot of dialogue between grandfather and grandson, they go to a hat store and buy a fedora.

I just wanted something to happen. It got to be real hard reading in the middle and seemed to fizzle out, with nothing really going on.

The relationship between the Grandpa and the grandson was really sweet though. I could tell that they had a respect for each other. The love of the Grandfather shone through, I wish I could have seen more of that, and less shoppping.

Scott Merrow (Level 5)

Cute vignette. A little bit thin on the story side, but that's okay -- it's just a snapshot of a nice inter-generational moment between a grandfather and his grandson, during one of those transitional periods of history. (I remember the hubbub when Kennedy declined to wear a hat to his inauguration.)

For me, though, it was a little TOO thin on story. It could have been so much better if this nice little moment had been woven into an actual story with a set-up and a real pay-off -- something more than the corny last line, "I look dashing in my smashing Borsalino." That line is NOT enough pay-off to justify an entire screenplay.

Anyway, it was a fun little read.

My score: GOOD.

Thomas W. Brown (Level 4)

This is a fun little piece. I like the idea of playing with social norms that are not so norm anymore. The laughs were a tad dry for my taste, but hey. (insert shrug here) The Grandfather is what held this piece together obviously, and you did a great job of crafting him as a man out of his time. Your form is pretty good. I would recommend cutting some of the longer conversation blocks, such as that on page four, with a little action, just to keep the piece visually fresh. Overall you've done a good job with this.


Wes Worthing (Level 5)

Awkward read: John David addresses Izzy;
Mr. Tipofski please call me John:

As soon as John David says "Mr. Tipofski", we'll know that he is addressing him.

A simple tale of a Grandfather and Grandson reminding us of how it used to be. An innocent age being forced to evolve into a generation of turmoil and revolution. Woodstock only a few years away, there is someone who stays true to the protocol past. Nice moments throughout; the tone doesn't waver off course. I don't see this playing excitedly to an audience because it seems to be more of a sequence to a larger piece, but it was suredly a change of pace.

Comments Made After the Contest

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2009 2:47 PM

Hola Movie Poets,

I thank the reviewers who managed to get through my latest bomb. I especially appreciate the tips, suggestions, and guidance, just as I have in the proceeding fourteen contests.

It may look damn hopeless, but I swear that somewhere in the next fourteen contests I will actually create a notable five page short film script. Maybe even a feature. It’s the least I can do, to honor all my helpful reviewers.


Paul Williams (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2009 5:20 PM

This wasn't a bomb at all, John. This had the best structure and presentation of all your screenplays to date. "Present Laughter" is still my favorite of yours, but this is a close second.

You have the best attitude on the site and many here could learn from your intrepidness and perserverance.

Thank you.

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