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"After You" by Kyle Sullivan

Logline: Two men butt heads as they attempt to "out-gentleman" one another.

Genre: Comedy

Cast Size: 5

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

Contest: Deja Vu (Mar. 2011)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent

Comments Made During the Contest

Ayal Pinkus (Level 5)

Clearly a comedy. A woman dies, and they throw up their hands :-)

I'll be honest, you had me laughing during the singles bar scene. They didn't have to actually *say* after you any more, I was filling that in as they were doing their mime behind the girl's back.

On page three, you're supposed to spell out the numbers so you can tell us how the actor is supposed to pronounce them.

Love the ending! Chester dies, and Quentin continues his "After you" game with Landry. Nice surprising ending!

A great and proper attack on superficial politeness if I ever saw one.

You'll get comments on the action paragraphs being too long but frankly I didn't mind for this story. It read like a breeze. MAybe that's because it was just 3.5 pages though. But I enjoyed it a lot!

Bob Johnson (Level 4)

Was far too descriptive for me, it wouldn't have been too bad if the same 'after you' scenario hadn't been acted out time after time.

The whole thing reminded me of a madcap silent movie from the 1920's, it may have worked in them days but not today.

Bit of a let down.

Brian Howell (Level 5)

You mention a lot of facial expressions then qualify them with, "as if to say...". This feels kind of lazy to me because you're telling me not so much what I'm seeing and hearing, as you are telling me what I should think. I recommend using this sparingly. The first time you used it, okay. Anymore than that and it draws attention to itself.

These guys are so set on 'being polite' that they would allow a woman to choke to death? Really?! That instance took this to an absurd level where I started to check out. I couldn't determine why the absurdity was in there, it wasn't funny, which is a usual reason for outlandish character behavior. You didn't justify the absurdity by setting up the competitiveness of these men. For example, while the woman is choking, you could have the men start to argue rather than just repeat the "after you" line. One could start trying to guilt the other guy into breaking by exclaiming that this woman will die if he doesn't do anything. Then it escalates to a gun duel? This is out there. I liked the ending where Quentin gets that look in his eyes, but this is really the first time you indicate that he is this competitive.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

This was written and formatted well.

The script could be tightened up quite a bit.

The story was clever and funny. I liked the progression of it and found it entertaining all the way through. The ending was nice too.

So you know how to tell a story. That's good. That's the hard part. The easy part is learning proper screenplay formatting and you're already at the perfect place to learn it. Don't change anything about the story, but do tighten this up a bit. Descriptions and dialgue should be kept to 3 lines, 4 max. Anything longer looks amateur and more like a novel than a screenplay.

Cecilia Potenza (Level 3)

I guessed the men were middle aged, but I like to see their ages with their physical description as well. All of the characters' names were appropriate for their personalities and the storyline. It was cute and funny and I smiled the whole way through.

You took the "Deja Vu" rules to the extreme and used the same line throughout the script, which I liked a lot. The two words changed in tone as the script progressed and I loved how Landry starts the competition all over again.

Chris Keaton (Level 5)

This was cute, once I got by all the non standard screenplay style. You need to trim, compress, boil down, and make more visual. You have some description telling us what they are doing and expecting us to visualize when you should be SHOWING us what they are doing. It did think overall it was entertaining.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This was fun.

At times it felt a bit over-the-top, but it was saved by a clever ending.

I enjoyed it. Well done.

Dan Delgado (Level 5)

This was original and not a zombie or vampire story. That's points in it's favor.

I sound like a broken record on this, but this one could have been better if it was shorter in my opinion. Less scenes and less black each scene. I liked a lot about it but it started to look a little like a novel in parts.

But it wasn't a zombie or vampire story.

Good luck. Thanks for entering.

David Degiorgio (Level 1)

Love the way you keep the dio so simple and to the point, and the action helps visualinsing the detail and randomness of the scene.
Im new to all this and am struggling with the best way to explain myself so i guess on that i can only say that it was intresting to read but not something that made me want to know more.
I do believe that your imagination and wit is shown within the script and would like to see more but as i said this one was just lacking something, maybe others will prove me wrong!
bravo though!

Denise Jewell (Level 5)

Amuzing little piece. I can see this as a Laurel and Hardy, or Bean type movie - basically all comedy. Nice job.

Ed Jones (Level 4)

All scripts in this contest are, by nature of the rules, predictable. This one even more so. From EXT. GRASSY FIELD - LATER it is obvious what is going to happen and the script didn't disappoint.

This is well written for a short story but over written for a script. You waste space telling us Quentin and Chester are 'delightful, modern' and 'equally delightful' gentlemen. Let this be revealed by their actions.

The over writing extends to large chunks of description such as; 'as if inhaling it
like a large mouth bass'. This would be fine in prose.

You might have made it more interesting if Quentin and Chester were individualized instead of being mirror images. You certainly have writing abilty with a refined idea of the absurd but you need to develop it into script form and not overlook story.

Gary Rademan (Level 5)

summary: Two delightful, modern Germans are caught in a do loop of 'after you'

deja vu: nice twist at the end *

comments: the scene with the glutton and the two gentlemen is definitely chuckle worthy * decent build-up * felt like a monty python skit *

page clean-up: parentheticals do not go in dialogue * blocks of action could be broken up

Greg Tonnon (Level 5)

Well chosen title. I like the wicked humor in that they would let Glutton die rather than go first. One minor point is you should have FADE IN: Overall, this is very good.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)

No need to specify what color the urinals are.

Spell out TWO.

Your blocks of action are too long. Try and cut them down to 2-3 sentences. Maybe 4.

This was Greaaaaat!!! I was ready to bash you on how you need to learn proper format, but man did the story take over. I loved it! It was so damn funny, and I loved how exaggerated it was where they were so tired of each other, one just had to die. The ending made me laugh so hard, and I'm in the library.

The blocks after blocks of action were too much though, so I'm going to have to give this a VG rather than the excellent the story deserves. Learn to tighten up your writing. Remember the more white on the page, the better.

Great, great story. I might have to favorite this.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)

The blocks of description could be divided to two or maybe even three living just two to three lines per each action block.

I found your story very amusing. It made great sense and the end is very punchy and fun. The writing is actually neat. Some things you may omit - for example "in the rest room" at the end of your first paragraph.
I would get rid of "Extreme close-up" a the end too.
I'm putting Very Good for it - comedies are the hardest I think.

KP Mackie (Level 5)

Funny story idea. There's a tongue-in-cheek feel. Kept thinking these two competitive fools would be terrific if this script was for an animated short. Particularly like the limited dialogue. Most of it is "After you"... After you," but likely could get away without a clear cut explanation for the continued deference to each other if the story's animated.
Might include a bit more description about Quentin and Chester. They're both "delightful Gentleman," but their ages aren't listed. (Assume they're over 50 though.) Perhaps they dress similarly, but each might have a visual distinction different from the other. Maybe give them a caricature appearance. Just an idea...

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

I'd suggest working on your character descriptions. Quentin is a "delightful modern Gentleman" tells me next to nothing, especially when compared with Chester who is also a "delightful Gentleman". What does this mean? That they wear ruffled sleeves and lace? I need to buy in to the characters immediately, and I really don't know who they are.

"Marinara sauce erupts from her mouth as she bursts out into an obnoxious laugh, then suddenly, Glutton begins to choke." This writing is more suitable for novels than screenplays. Use word economy.

Landry appears out of nowhere at the end. I think he needs a small role somewhere else, maybe as the bartender in the previous scene, especially to set up the fact that he's a "gentleman" too.

The story is absurd, wacky, written like a novel, and has poor formatting. But it's so wacky and so visual that it's really engaging. As is, this is Very Good. Work on your character descriptions and screenplay format.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

Very. very wordy. Print this out and take a red pen to it. Where ever you have action sections that go to four lines or more, take a hard look at how you're wording things.

The story has merit, it's even fun... but I'm overwhelmed by the verbiage.

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

You should tidy up some of the long paragraphs, it's very easy to just skip over them. Either cut them down or break them into separate ones. It's the custom not to suggest shots, as that's seen as the director's job.

I have to admit, I'm not sure what you were going for with this.

Paolo Tinari (Level 3)

Good writing technique. The long description are not annoying even if they are breaking the rule of three lines. I'm sorry i'll point to the story weakness but the two charachters are not interesting to me and the satire weakens after the first scene.

Paul De Vrijer (Level 5)

Nice that you see this one through. It got quite stale after a while and I personally feel that you didn't really milk your concept enough. You sqeeuzed the premise, surely, but I think you missed a lot of chances.

Suppose they were dying of their wounds, and they'd say ' after you' to the other one. Implying that the other needs to die first. Something like that.

It's a nice simple premise, but I don't feel like you got everything out of it. So in the end it just gets a bit dull. Though I love the competetive glance at the end.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

I appreciate your effort, but unfortunately, I found many screenwriting and formatting issues that, inevitably and detrimentally, detract from your story.

The best advice I can give: Read other screenplays that have placed in contests throughout the months, determine what their common denominators are in terms of dramatic writing and screenplay appearance, and incorporate that into your future screenwriting.

Never stop writing. Good luck.

Robert Chipman (Level 4)

This script has an idea for a funny short film, but the script needs a complete overhaul. Action lines should not exceed 4 lines. Multiple times the action lines go beyond that. Also the bar scene, you have the heading as "EXT." but you describe the characters being in the bar. If that is the case, the proper heading should be "INT." to state Interior.

Also if two characters are speaking, they should not share their dialogue on the same line. Instead you could state that they speak together, or some variation. Putting two characters' dialogue on the same line should not happen.

I almost gave this script a poor, but I revised to fair as I like the idea you presented here. Again, a full rewrite of the script needs to happen; and once done, this could be a very solid script.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

I think this starts off well and I'm pulled into the story. But after a while it started to become monotonous. I had a hard time believing they'd let the Glutton die, while trying to figure out who went first.

It seemed to repeat the storyline throughout the script and nothing new happened.

It also seemed odd that Quienten and Chester were always in the same place at the same time.

Shawn Cottrill (Level 4)

This one actually made me laugh out loud. Specifically the scene with the woman in the bar. This is obviously a bit of a dark comedy, and it was definitely funny. I think it is interesting that you use the same punchline multiple times, and even though it becomes expected, it is funny every time. This would be fun and very easy to film.

Stephen Brown (Level 5)

This was a funny script. A funny idea. I think it goes on a little too long though and you have a bit too much detail.

I think you overuse wrylies - character cues. Let your actors decide how to deliver the lines based on the subtext in your descriptions and dialogue.

Although funny, the dual at the end didn't really fit the rest of the piece. A bit old fashioned? I would maybe think of a more fitting way to end this - although that final shot probably gave me the biggest laugh.

Overall, it made me laugh which is obviously the aim of comedy but as a script it could be refined a little.


T. James DeStein (Level 5)

Ha. I loved this script. My favorite so far. Such a ridiculously goofy story and the ending is perfect! My only excellent.

Tim Ratcliffe (Level 4)

Amusing little story, would be pretty easy to film.

You have a few odd phrasings on here, though. When talking about the urinals, why have all but one are occupied 'by unidentified men'? Of course they are men, and how would they be identified anyway? All you need is 'all but one are occupied'.

'A delightful, modern gentleman' is a bit vague, and strange way of describing someone.

Why do you describe the person who flushes the urinal as 'a transient'? Seems an odd use of the word, and you could just as easily say a MAN flushes the urinal.

You could rewrite the massive paragraph about the glutton in a lot fewer words. Or at the very least break up the paragraph into a couple smaller ones.

Avoid using numbers in dialogue, spell out the numbers instead.

I liked the ending, suited the tone of the piece. Overall a good job.

Comments Made After the Contest

T. James DeStein (Level 5) ~ 5/1/2011 12:22 AM

Aw, this deserved better.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2011 1:44 PM

I thought this was hilarious! Excellent script, Kyle. Keep writing.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 5/2/2011 2:24 PM

I gave it a VG and I think you should write for the next contest since it's a comedy month!

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 5/3/2011 5:25 PM

A terrific first entry, Kyle! Keep it up!

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