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"The New You" by Brian Wind

Rewrite: 2/3/2009 12:00 AM

Logline: A perfect physical clone is only half the battle.

Genre: Comedy - SciFi

Cast Size: 3

Production Status: In Production

Contest: SciFi Here and Now (Aug. 2008)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent

Comments Made During the Contest

Ali Barr (Level 4)

Good on concept, characterization, format. Great dialogue. It fit your characters well. I have to come back to this.. Falling asleep.

Bryan Mora (Level 4)

My issue here, and only one at that, was why was the mother wanting to replace her son. She's getting the same exact person back, so why go through the trouble? It makes no sense to me. This was a great story, but that one fact realy just brought this whole thing down for me.

Great story, good characters, but a let down ending. Maybe it could be explained in the next rewrite, yeah?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

I really liked the way you moved from Evan's room...the the Sybermed Facility without the need for explaining stuff - like him reading what it said on the flyer. Too much of that in this contest - a very clumsy plot device, which you avoided.

Clever use of the beard to show passage of time.

I liked this very, very much. It was light-hearted and very well written indeed Could've been about my son in almost every way!

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

Well written, but don't really get why they'd have to clone him to do the memory switch. If they are that advanced, couldn't they just do a mind erase of the things his mother wanted to keep out?
The dialogue seemed a bit forced in a few places, "Aw that sucks", etc.
All in all, a pretty good job, with a little cleaning up and a little better plot, could move up a notch.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

Your craft is very good and this was a fun read. It was a slacker nightmare.

I liked the story, but I didn't believe it. It's not so much the science I have trouble with, it is science fiction after all and I can suspend my disbelief. My issue is with the lab and the scientist. I don't know why they would do this crime. The twist that his mother is behind it all is very clever, but I don't know that it makes much sense. Did Mom pay so much money to convince the lab to commit this crime?

As it is now, it is an original story, but it doesn't have much depth to it. Does that make sense?

Dan Delgado (Level 5)

I gave this one a 3.

Nice premise and a complete story.

The dialogue and action lines were tight and it was cinematic.

I would have probably rated this one higher if it hadn't been for the unnecessary cruelness and the unnatural hard-heartedness of the mother.

I bought into a mom who wants to redo her son, but I don't see why the son has to die, screaming in front of her.

Sure he's a deadbeat, but plenty of mom's love deadbeat sons, and I doubt that would want to see them die a cruel death.

And I didn't see any reason for it in the story. (Probably subjective.)

David D. DeBord (Level 5)

I like goofy little stories. Goofy by the way is a compliment not a complaint. You just know something is up as you read the script but you cannot figure out what it might be. And that’s good. It’s not predictable.

The twist at the end is the goofy but humorous part. It’s humorous because there’s a certain plausibility in this Sci-Fi twist of a story.

This also would work as a short film. A story, character arc, beginning, middle and end. Is it great literature or a life changing film? Is it the best script I’ve ever read? No to all of those questions, but the film would be an enjoyable bit of escapism that was entertaining.

I’ve been to a ton of film festivals, and this would be an audience pleaser. No giant laughs but plenty of chuckles and giggles.

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

I got a small laugh out of this. What a way to get your kid to stop smoking pot. Pot smokers beware. I liked the pacing, the characters, the descriptions, and the dialogue had just enough reality and subtext, Excellent.

Garnet Campbell (Level 2)

I love it. Excellent story. I think the one element that was missing for me to give this an excellent rating was that I would have liked to have seen his mother in the first scene and maybe him doing something really annoying in the house and her reaction... so when we witness his betrayal we totally understand her motivation.

Other than that this is awesome... Can I have first dibs to produce this... its perfect for Twilightfest!

John Brooke (Level 5)

Your ironic title truly reflects this matter of fact casual script. A fine morality story pointing out that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The bad seed cloned to be the perfect caring child that every loving mother deserves. Now mums can have their perfect children thanks to science.

I found your characters rather one dimensional, and not very interesting, but they did serve your story telling purposes well. I would have a difficult time describing Evan and his Mother to an other person. I would have preferred more clues into what these persons look like. Visually you painted an overall bland setting. I did like that “iron door” I could see that.

You crafted your story along at a pace that kept me reading smoothly to the end. The end was beautiful revelation; Mother does know best, eh, Evan.

Jose Batista (Level 5)

Whoa! That was a shocker indeed! Very well written script. I was enthralled from the beginning and was shocked to see the twisted road this story took. Not a bad shock, though. It was a surprise because I did not expect for a fool like Evan to get the quarter mil for just letting his body be part of an experiment. The way the story twisted at the end was excellent. You waited for the last moment and it was as shocking for Evan as it was for me. Very Good Writing.

Kathleen Clevenger (Level 4)

Wow! I loved your story. I thought the twist at the end, that the mother was behind the "new" Evan was brilliant. It might be worthwhile (if you can sneak it in) that his mom had been in his room earlier or something, just a little clue. Also, I was dying to know what the flyer said. I think you should describe it.
I love how he is paralyzed and can't escape. Great devise! Very fun story.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

This was very interesting. I'm sure there are more than a few parents out there who could relate.

Your formatting is good. Your characters are solid and they have indivduality when speaking. I'd toyed with a similar idea but couldn't make it work. You did it.

Nice work.

Marla Brecheen (Level 4)

This is a parent really getting back at her child, every parent's dream once their child gets old enough to move out! Nice job. Great twist in the end with the mother.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)

Hee hee. That was good. :) I was wondering how the flier ended up in Evan's room. I love that it was his Mom.

The ending was sort of abrupt. I would have liked a little bit more dialog between the new Evan and his Mom. It was a funny story, I just think the last bit of dialog could have been spiced up a bit.

Overall I really enjoyed it...very good job. :)

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

Funny. I was thinking about some of the science, and how someone would omit parts of memory, but I heard in some countries that you can clone a pet, so it might not be too far off reality. I wouldn't think a cloning clinic would advertise using a flyer, but it didn't matter. It would be cool if you could go deeper into the ethics and issues with cloning, but it was still good.

Matias Caruso (Level 5)

Cool title. Cool concept.

I would have like this story better if I had a character to root for. I don’t mind rooting for a loser as long as the loser doesn’t get himself needlessly into trouble.

But there wasn’t much trouble after all. And, apparently, the protagonist did benefit from the experiment since it turned him into someone more responsible.

This guy did everything wrong, yet everything turned out right for him.

I think that the opposite approach (a character doing things right, but with bad results) is a better recipe for conflict. And you feel sorry for the guy, which helps you connect with him.

I’m scoring it a good, though. I just think this has potential to be much better.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5)

Hey. That was pretty good. I especially liked the mother angle. The one thing I think you could do would be to make him even more unlikeable in the beginning. Maybe foreshadow some nasty interaction with his mother. Give him worse habits than being unkempt and an pot smoker. Otherwise, well done.

Michael Rome (Level 4)

Thought you had a good concept here about what it would take for a parent to force a change in their children.

To give the piece more emotional force, it might be good to expand on the behaviors of the child and the conflict between him and his exchange for less treatment of the science scenes.

I think you had a typo in the son's last lines:

Hey mom, you mind if we stop by a
few open houses on the way home?
I've been thinking getting a job...
Maybe my own place."

Believe you meant to say "...been thinking about getting a job..."

Nice job.

Paul Jaworsky (Level 4)

Every mother’s dream when they have a boy who “reaches for his bong.” I loved how you made him 31 years old; that was just precious. You also made him a great, easy-to-imagine character with little description and dialogue. The story had a really nice flow and a typical, but apropos ending. I’d really like to see this on film. I can’t find anything wrong or make any suggestions to make it better. You did a really good job with this sci-fi comedy. Nice one!

Paul Williams (Level 5)

A fun comedy that concludes with a semi-evil mother creating the son she wants. The tone stayed consitent up until the mother appears, then it does get sinister, but it still retains a fairly light feeling.

Formatted perfectly, well written, easy to follow, no typos detected.

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

The technique is strong and the story is easy to follow. So this is well done but for me it doesn't feel all that original. Clones replacing the actual people is a common story line. Your story does not feel believable for me so it's kind of hard to take it seriously and care about the protagonist.

"Next to his bong, a FLYER on the coffee table." - This is an odd line because it suggests that we are seeing the flyer and yet there is no hint about what is on it.

Pia Cook (Level 5)

I liked it. I especially liked that the mother was behind it and how he turned into a good boy at the end.

Don't really have anything else to add. Thought it was well written and the story amusing.

Good Luck with it! :-)

Robert Newcomer (Level 4)

Haha -- this one was funny. Great screw-job for old Evan. This is the first comedic one I have read this time around that actually works. Not too many comments here, as this one is pretty complete as-is.

The "mom reveal" comes at exactly the right time, and plays out perfectly.

The only real flaw here is the question of what happens to the old Evan. It would be nice if you could insert a single scene to answer that question.

Rustom Irani (Moderator)

This was a simple parable well told without too many complications.

It does seem like the set-up to a larger piece though. I wonder what they're going to do with Loser Evan?

I mean the Evan with memories of smoking pot, and loafing about. It'd be hilarious to see what that version does.

The mom's introduction is a bit late and I'd want a hint or two as the doctor prepares him for the experiment. Just introducing her doesn't quite work as a twist. Perhaps we see her but you don't tell us she's his mom, till he notices her and calls out.

The needle piercing the roof of his mouth is a good detail and very horrifying. The closes way to the brain however is through the ears. Something to consider.

I enjoyed this.

The re-write has a lot of possibilities for more hilarity.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

I like the story. The character of Evan is fun, and I can picture him in my mind. The story has some great moments. I think the dialogue really takes it up a notch. Evan's dialogue is very natural.

Your action lines are good, and the pacing is well done.

I liked the twist at the end. The only thing I would change is that the mom not explain everything. Just let her presence there be enough. We can all get it, without her telling us why and what she is doing.

This was one of my favorites, maybe cos I have an 'Evan' myself.. Ha ha.

Nice job.

Title Very Good
Characters Very Good
Dialogue Excellent
Story Very Good
Concept Good

Stephen Brown (Level 5)

This was a good story. It's interesting because I mean, this could probably be done now if the law would allow it. Who knows, maybe the rich have already done it? Cloned themselves when ill and old, so they can pass all their money onto their 'heir' and live forever.

I'd have liked different characters to have taken this journey. Just it all seemed a bit too good. He's a loser, his mom is sick of him, so everyone wins really. I didn't really feel for the real 'Evan'. Plus if his mom has so much money, why didn't she just buy him his own place?

VERY GOOD though

Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)

Good idea but the story missed the mark. It lacks any impact so what might have been a nice twist at the end fell flat.

For starters, the character relationships are weak. Solve this problem by having Mom bitch at Evan on page one rather than he just finds a flyer - have mom give him the flyer and suggest he do something worthwhile etc. As it is, the ending comes out of the blue and needs to be set-up better.

Add some emotional involvement - make it more sinister or camp it up & make it a dark comedy. Evan does not even seem afraid of what can happen, the scientist doesn't seem very excited by the propest, overall everyone is very blase about the whole thing.

William D. Prystauk (Level 5)

Okay story, but once Mother was introduced the ending was predictable. Great, on-target dialogue for Evan. But the real problem was why clone when the doctor can obviously just alter some of Evan's memory to suite the needs of his mother? That should definitely be addressed in the revision.

Proofread aloud and fix all the grammatical errors, such as: "in to" to "into" and the missing word when Evan's clone speaks at the end.

Comments Made After the Contest

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 10/1/2008 12:13 AM

Wow, thanks for the wonderful feedback everyone! I'll have to take a little time to let it soak in and figure out what I want to do with a rewrite. This is, on the whole, the most positive batch of feedback I've ever received. I'm glad to see most people enjoyed it! Thanks everyone for taking the time to review!

Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5) ~ 10/1/2008 12:29 AM

Thank you Brian - you know I'm a fan of yours, and I was surprised to see New You was your work. It pales in comparison to Rome & Julia, so I know this can be much better. I look fwd to the rewrite.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 10/1/2008 1:06 AM

Thanks Sylvia!

David D. DeBord (Level 5) ~ 10/1/2008 8:41 AM

Brian: Thanks for a fun story. As I said in my review, this would play well at film festivals. This is exactly what people tend to like. Short, with identifiable characters, a twist at the end, fun, and as I noted - just a touch of goofy. One of my favorite scripts this month.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 10/2/2008 12:56 AM

Thanks David!

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 10/2/2008 3:21 PM

Alright, I've taken a little time to let the feedback soak in, then went through and re-read it all again and I think I've come to the conclusion that introducing the mother earlier on, showing some friction there will be the route I go to improve this script. I will also focus on making loser Evan more unlikeable.

I had the concept of this plotted out in an entirely different story but it was far too long and in depth to cram in to 5 pages so I tried to strip it down as much as I could while still getting the idea across.

If anyone else has suggestions to add, I'd love to hear them.

Stephen Brown (Level 5) ~ 10/2/2008 4:16 PM

Brian, I might be standing alone here but I'd go the other way. I'd make loser Evan more likeable. As it is, as I said in my review, I don't see where the problem is. I didn't like Evan, so I'm not bothered he's getting replaced by a clone. The mother could have just bought him his own place so I'm not too bothered she's got the son she always wanted.

If you make us care about Evan more I think that would be the angle to go for.

Saying all that I gave this one very good as it is, so I do really dig the story.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 10/2/2008 4:24 PM

Oh, I see what you're saying. So you think I should try to make him into a more loveable loser that we can relate to instead of a more detestable loser that we'd rather see get his just desserts?

Stephen Brown (Level 5) ~ 10/2/2008 4:55 PM

Yeah, that's my opinion on it anyway. To me, the only problem with your script was that the whole premise of being cloned should be based on the person getting cloned. So if that character was someone that's had a tough time, trying to sort his life out, and this happens, I think that would improve it.

I'd look into reasons why he's a slacker. Now you don't have the page limit an extension of the start and building Evan's character up would really benefit it. The premise definately has legs. Good luck with it.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 2/3/2009 6:38 PM

If anyone's interested, I had a local filmmaker request this script. Before sending it to them, I touched it up a bit and uploaded the rewrite here. I'd love to hear any feedback on the changes.

Ali Barr (Level 4) ~ 4/1/2009 10:38 PM

Hey Brian, I am catching up with MP this month. I've had other less fun things tying me up. I noticed my above comment. I didn't mean that your script was putting me to sleep, I'm sure it was just late at night when the family was asleep.

I looked at your script again and your rewrite and I think it will make a fun film. I like the reveal at the end about the mom. I'm not sure if I like the idea of him finally moving out or that she had him cloned so that he will now become her new butler and stay, but in the way she wants him to.

It depends on if you want the comedy or a darker side in which you could reveal that she is like a black widow kind of lady who couldn't find any new husbands so she had her kid turned into her butler/servant. It doesn't need to be sexual. Yuck. She is his mom afterall.

I like this story. Sorry I took so long to get back to it

I hope to get some serious writing done this month and get active again on MP.

Happy writing.

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