Note: You must be logged in to read this script.

"The Secret Life Of Santa" by James McConnell

Logline: Santa must overcome an unexpected foe in order to deliver gifts on Christmas eve.

Genre: Action - Comedy

Cast Size: 6

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

Contest: Reduce Speed - Action Ahead (Jan. 2008)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent

Comments Made During the Contest

A.M. Wallace (Level 0)

I like your action and your descriptions. You do a good job of painting a mental image with your to-the-point description. But, I felt like this was two separate stories that weren't really connected. I don't see how they connect and what the chaos with the President has to do with the "secret life of Santa". You open up a lot of doors with the events at the White House that you don't answer later. I would say to either go with Santa having a secret life and explore that in detail or explore the events at the White House in greater detail and answer some of the questions you pose but don't do both.

Ali Barr (Level 4)

Loved it. I loved the humor. I wasn't sure where it would go at first, hoping it wasn't a slasher, "kill the Santa story" and then the mood shifted and I got the comic relief from Jeeves. Great story.

Little things: no such word as quietens. Use quiets. Capitalize VICTIM the first time he is introduced, and "a gunshot drowned out by music" is contradicted by "a gun with a silencer". Fun story! Thanks!

Brad Huffman Parent (Level 4)

I don't like not leaving any real constructive feedback, but I don't have much to say here. Very fun and entertaining, definitely something I would give 5 minutes of my life to watch and probably watch again. I like the 300 pound Jackie Chan comment, but that and a few others could be left out since even though they're funny to read they really don't belong in "proper" script format.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

This concept was very imaginative. I really liked it. Why did the President kill Senator Green though? That didn't actually end up having anything to do with the story and just kind of made the Pres into a cold blooded killer.

Overall, it was well written and I liked the creativity of this one.

I gave it a VERY GOOD.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

I have to say - my heart sank when I saw this was about Santa! Enough Christmas already! Not a valid response, but a human one!

I thought the Santa/Jackie Chan scenes were very funny, but somehow this didn't quite work for me as a whole. I think that to me Santa and Christmas is kind of sacred and I don't enjoy associating him with violence. I wouldn't be surprised if others shared that feeling.

There seemed to be just too much mixed in here = Santa, Jackie Chan scenes, the president, agents, P G Wodehouse, happy families, Christmas. All a bit too much!

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

I respect what you are trying to do here, but think you fell short of the mark.
First thing, when I see a Christmas script, I think, "Did the writer not get this in in time for November?" Immediate turnoff.
Around the middle the story does get moving, like the image of Santa doing matrix moves, etc., but you really go over the top and in the end I'm not certain if he's really Santa or secret agent White.
Think you basic idea is good, but it really needs some work.
Good luck with it.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

I loved this.

Incredibly creative. Wonderful action scene in the middle and very funny dialogue throughout.

Well done.

David D. DeBord (Level 5)

Really liked most of this. Dialog, action, and goofiness of the first half of the script were fun, fun, fun. Visually written.

The second half left me wondering though. I’m not sure it really added anything to the script. The story was in the opening half and the second half seemed tacked on. I’d expand half-one, delete half-two and concentrate on the creative concept developed early. There are more rooms and more opportunities in the rest of the President’s house.

There’s something there a director and actors (and special effects pros) could really have fun with.

David Rabinowitz (Level 2)

Good description, easy to read.

Bizarre and funny at times, I feel like the writer might be best at writing straight action instead of comedy. The action lines are very well-written.

Minor complaint: was confusing at times.

Another minor complaint: the "Matrix-Style" parody has been done to death.

Overall, however, this was an entertaining read.

Deborah Mack (Level 3)

I thought this was funny and entertaining. Especially the line; “This black belt ain’t just for show.” LOL! I also liked the super hero flavor with him fighting matrix-style, his suit and how his family doesn’t know that he’s Santa. While the martial art scenes were funny, they were hard to visualize. The script only describes the fight in a few words and that doesn’t say much about what is going on on-screen. Not that you should get super detailed, but a little more visual direction would be nice. The keypad was confusing at first, because I had no idea where it came from or what it was. “Santa runs over and places the keypad on the door.” This is the first time that the keypad is mentioned, so it might be easier to understand if you showed him taking a keypad out of his pocket and then putting it on the door or something. Just a suggestion. ;-) Overall, I thought this was very enjoyable!

DW Pollard (Level 4)

Had fun with the Matrix-Ninja-Santa scenes, very entertaining. I was a bit confused with the story line, why the Prez was killing a Senator, who the Nicholas character really was - I'm assuming one of Santa's helpers or is he someone particularly special to Santa?

Good story, though, very creative and fresh.

What is "Hava Nagila" mean? (when Santa's phone rings)

Gary Murphy (Level 3)

Probably be better to have read this in December, but apart form that this was good. I did get a little confused towards the end, the keypad I guess can turn any door into an exit?? that is where thought things were moving a little too fast for me. But a good idea and a strong ending too. Good stuff.

*Very Good

Graham Trelfer (Level 4)

I don't know where to begin with this. All very odd. It is self contained which other scripts seem to struggle with this month. I'm just trying to figure what to say. Very odd, so many questions.Why did the president kill someone? In general and you have not hidden this you have made refs to action style such as the matrix and Jackie Chan which is all well and good, but the matrix thing is so cliche and I doubt a fat man could perform like Jackie Chan (Samo Hung maybe). i have mixed feelings and may have to come back to this, if I don't sorry.

Jay Knisely (Level 4)

Super Scrapping Santa
Plus: premise of Santa trying to be ordinary 364 days
Minus: raving plot that borrows; dumb Eleanor
The audience (me) wonders about what Senator Green did. Short of good.

Kirk White (Level 5)

Clever, Funny...the matrix stuff has kinda been done to death but it works here. very cute script.

Michael Thede (Level 4)

GOOD. Lots of action throughout and much of it was very witty. It was an interesting spin on being in the wrong place at the wrong time! I'm not quite clear on the circumstances surrounding the events, however, though I suspect with a little more than five pages that could've been cleared up some much. Well done!

Roger Pine (Level 3)

I loved this script! Very creative and entertaining. Nice job!

Rustom Irani (Moderator)

This reminded me a lot of the "The Incredibles."

Some plot devices are fantastic, like the keypad and Jeeves and his cellphone.

You do try and be cheeky with some of the descriptions by not elaborating on the action but just citing references or examples.

Santa fends off the agents using every martial art technique
known to mankind. He’s a fat, white, 300 pound Jackie Chan.
The ensuing melee is mind-blowing. Bruce Lee would be proud.

These two lines alone would be at least five pages in a script. And this being an action themed script I would like to know how he disposes of the agents in detail.

Another thing that threw me off a bit was the fact that at first you describe,

A gunshot drowned out by the music.

and then,

Rapid "silenced" gunshots.

So, the first shot was to draw attention and the next shots were to finish the senator off?

A re-write will make this an excellent script.

Look forward to your writing.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

This was a favorite. You've got a great story and lots of action going on. I thought this was spot on. A good story with a fun character, action throughout, humor and a dash of magic.


Spencer McDonald (Level 4)

Really fun story. I like action Santa.

Only have a couple of items for you.

1. The slug line at the opening should be more like:

2. I feel you misses an opportunity for some Christmas humor with Santa checking off the President from the nice list and adding him to the naughty list.

Really good job.

Steve Hanson (Level 2)

great action, great flow. the script was filled with surprises (the murdered senator, santa's marshal arts ability), which made it very fun and fast to read.

the joke about santa's black belt was my favorite line.

the ending, however, was un-fulfilling. it felt like a five intro to a great movie with a sudden "to be continued...". i would have liked more closure.

Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)

Hilarious and great job. When I first read the title, I thought "oh no, not another left-over Christmas story" but this drew me right in. I especially thought the action description was awesome and slapstick funny, considering how many I've read this month that describes every fight blow-by-blow when it needs to be left to the fight coreographer. Bruce Lee would indeed be proud of your exposition in this submission.

Once nitpick, NICHOLS = SANTA. The fact he has a secret identity does not change his name especially since we see his face from the beginning. For example, BATMAN is BRUCE and we all know that, betcha he's identified as Bruce all the way through the script and not as Batman when he's in the batsuit.

Methinks this may be a contender for placing this month.

Tom Shipley (Level 4)

This is certainly an interesting script. really liked the "this black belt ain't for show" line.

For my tastes, it was a little too out there. think you put in a lot of elaborate FXs that are unnecessary. And I don't necessarily like how it's at the white house.

BUT, I really like the concept of Santa coming upon a murder on Christmas eve. Think you could really have a nice tight action script if you strip all the FX, and maybe consider putting it at some random house, instead of the white house.

One other note: I think the "the following mêlée would make Jakie Chan proud" line is a cop-out. You need to describe exactly what's happening.

I also think the bit at the end was a little confusing. Santa's just a normal guy who is contracted out to deliver presents one night a year? I think that bit is unnecessary.

Trevor Bryon (Level 3)

Well done. Well paced, funny and interesting. Perhaps one more gag at the end would have rounded it off perfectly.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)

I enjoyed the Batman crossover. It was a good deal of fun. But the President killing a Senator? In the White House, no less. That's a big leap of faith for me, but one I'm willing to take for the story (though he'd have him killed by someone else, somewhere else).

Different and refreshing -- check your "sire" I believe you meant "sir" in both instances.

William Dunbar (Level 5)

This was pretty well done, but for some reason I just couldn't get into it. Is it possible something very like this has been done before? It just didn't feel fresh. I also think could use some more explanation (I know, we only have 5 pages to work with, but still...) to make the reader care about the action. It was pretty frustrating not knowing what was going on with the president and all. Anyway, it would probably be pretty funny to watch, but I wouldn't want it to go on too long.

Comments Made After the Contest

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2008 1:39 PM

Very inventive. I will remember this one for a long time.

Note: You must be logged in to add a new comment.