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"Naked Fear" by John Brooke

Rewrite: 6/28/2009 12:00 AM

Logline: Shy young Harry Bumstead is a dedicated Naturalist and a recognized Natural Law authority. Making speeches is his greatest fear. Yet, his position demands that he speak in public. Harry took some courses and agreed to deliver his first speech to a Naturist Club. This is how he overcame his fear.

Genre: Comedy

Cast Size: 10+

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

Contest: Less is More (Nov. 2008)

Contest Scores
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Comments Made During the Contest

A.S. Freeman (Level 1)

I like the idea that you're attempting to convey here, but in practice, I feel like the idea is a little bigger than a one page script allows. I found myself confused by this piece, and it took me a few reads to even understand what was going on. Perhaps more pages would have allowed more clarity for the piece. Also, I didn't understand the use of a fade to pink, other than perhaps to indicate the color of flesh? Also, the color faded too seems to be a choice not made by the writer, unless it is justified textually, and I don't see any textual justification provided by you, the writer.

Adrienne Jorgensen (Level 4)

This is a cute little idea. It's kind of a one-liner, which I don't mean as a negative or positive. I do think that the moment when the nude audience is pictured clothed would make for a funny visual.

I know that space is an issue, with the one page requirement, but I felt a little cheated by the broad descriptions of events. I suppose things like saying that the main character remembers a tip from the toastmasters gives a potential director lots of creative freedom, but it's a little less satisfying to read than a description of how the memory happens or a moment where the guy mutters the tip to himself, or something. I don't think I described that well at all. I'll try to get back to this one to write more before the end of the month.

Amanda Sidorowicz (Level 4)

This was an interesting idea-- okay screenplay. There's a good amount of telling, though, and not enough showing. When he "imagines the audience clothed," how will this be shown? Also, how do I know they're ending their weekly meeting? It's like I'm reading a story more-so than a screenplay.

Also, this is minor, but hyphens separate the information in the scene heading. Ex. INT. MEETING ROOM - NIGHT.

Ammar Salmi (Level 5)

Nice one. You should put the tip into voice over. You was like narrator along the script not as a screenwriter. You should tell only what can be filmed.

Good luck

Ashley Croft (Level 3)

A nice story that grabbed me with his shortness but i still liked it.

Bill Delehanty (Level 4)

Fun twist on public speaking. It was a good read. And the FADE TO PINK, priceless.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

This was okay but predictable. The major flaw I saw here was either a missed slugline or a skipped chunk of dialogue. We go from Harry disrobing to the end of the speech but he hasn't really said anything. If we were supposed to hear him giving his speech, it needs to be included as dialogue. If we were supposed to skip from the start of his speech to the end, there needs to be a slugline there letting us know. Nice effort, but needs some polish.

Bryan Mora (Level 4)

Something seemed missing while i read this. A spark or...i dont know.

I liked the idea behind it, albiet it not being original. But i just would've liked it to have something original about it. I kept visualizing it on screen and i thought about if i would even want to see it.

Calvin Peat (Level 4)

This script is kind of weird, but slightly amusing. The funniest bits are Harry's dialogue: the dramatic irony of his first sentence, and the awkward nervousness of his second.

I understand that the writer wanted the script to have a happy ending, with Harry's speech being a success, but it might have been funnier to have more of his nervous floundering.

There are quite a few grammatical errors.

For example, "it's weekly meeting" should be "its weekly meeting", "The Chairmen introduces him" should be "The Chairman introduces him", and "in glowing terms concluding ..." should be something like "in glowing terms, concluding: ...".

"Oh ... ah fellow naturalists, er I mean" should probably be something like "Oh ... ah, fellow naturalists, er, I mean", "Toastmaster's Club" should be "Toastmasters' Club", and "Four Seasons Naturist's club" should be "Four Seasons Naturists' Club".

"Without losing a beat" should probably be "Without missing a beat", and "a toastmaster's tip" should be "a toastmaster's tip:"

I think "Spot lights" should be one word. Also, I think the convention in sluglines is to have a dash (or two) between the place and the time of day, so "INT. AUDITORIUM NIGHT" would become something like be "INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT", for example.

Also, with "demonstrating a key difference", the way the joke is supposed to play out is not exactly clear. Does he explain it, or is this joke just supposed to be in the script and not verbalised onscreen?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

You rather gave away the entire plot by having Harry say he knew little about wildlife in his first speech, so then the surprise wasn't a surprise anymore.

I think the scene in the meeting gets this off to a slow start. With very short films it's better to dive straight in with something memorable.

"Without losing a beat, Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip
“Visualize your audience as though they were naked.”
Harry inverts this tip and imagines the audience as clothed." "demonstrating a key
difference between Naturism and Naturalism."

How on earth can we see this on screen? You need to stick to things we can see, not what's going on in someone's mind.

Why the sitting ovation?

I loved the FADE TO PINK!

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

Don't quite get this as a screenplay. Seems like a big set up for a small joke.
Your writing is good, but think you need more story here.
Good luck.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

Great title.

"Picture your audience naked" is a classic suggestion and has been done in movies many times before. It's clever to see it reversed, although I'm not quite sure how you film Harry remembering that tip.

This is a cute little short without much depth or characterization, but still a fun read.

Dan Lennox (Level 5)

That was funny. Good luck trying to cast that one, :-) I'd love to be there to see how that would go down. On a serious note, I thought this was good, and your imagery was well done. I also liked your fade to pink at the end. Nice touch!

David Birch (Level 5)

hmmm...what can i say about a room full of naked people listening to of my phobias is "public speaking"...throw in a room full of nudies...and, well, i broke out into a cold sweat reading this...on criticism is the opening dialogue seems more like description than what someone might say...anyway, good show...

David D. DeBord (Level 5)

The premise is fine but the execution of the story, as a screenplay, could use some adjustments. Primarily in the use of what a character is thinking. Instead of telling us, the readers, what someone is thinking, show us, the audience an action that demonstrates that thought.

Also, a play on words comment (a sitting ovation) works on paper but is lost on screen unless you can show that play on words in action or in some other way.

Premise is fine, as I said, but work on the screenplay presentation.

Erich VonHeeder (Level 4)

This is a very funny clip and I like the idea. I feel like there were a couple places where you packed a little more into the action narrative than would be "legal" in a normal script...but I'm trying to be pretty generous about that this contest, and just focus on the clip itself.

I think the gem you came up with here is the "picture your audience naked" idea, turned upside down by an audience of nudists. I think you can trim down everything around that single moment, and streamline a little.

But all in all...very funny.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

Good writing. Don't get the story.

Graham Trelfer (Level 4)

This reads like many cuts were made in order to get the script down to a single page, as a result it does read too well, especially when there are other cuts that could be made. The first scene for example set up the speech and the fact Harry is nervous, but that could have been shown as waited to walk on stage, there was no reason place in earlier in the story in a different location with a character who never returns.

You also you description to replace missing dialogue "The Chairmen introduces him in glowing terms concluding..." as the writer it is your job to write those glowing terms. Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip “Visualize your audience as though they were naked.” How do we know he remembers the toast masters tip? Sure this is a very common and over played technique of giving a speech, but this needs to be foreshadowed. Again at the end he finishes a speech you have not written a single word of. One page is tough, but that was the task and the story you were trying to tell was too big in the form that it is in.

Howard Jenson (Level 2)

Definitely one of the oddest I've read so far

"Harry steps forward out of the blackness, blinking. The
Chairmen introduces him in glowing terms concluding …"

If th echairman has introduced him on screen it should be included in the dialogue s we have heard. Which is the impression I'm getting from the above line.

I know a certain degree of "Suspension of belief" needs to be adhered with this story but if it was a case of misinterpreting naturists for naturalists would the members of the toastmasters club not have copped it when Harry said:

Thank you, I know little about wild
life, but I’ll do my best.

even though this can still apply to the naturists, he obviously isn't the man for the keynote speaker job in the first place.

Again a very odd read , the last scene would be funny to see on screen though.

Jane Beckwith (Level 4)

I found this script hilarious. Very well done.

Javier Torregrosa (Level 4)

That was quirky. Different, unique. But nothing really happened. It kinda was like a story that skimmed through all the interesting parts and went to the end. Your first slug should read like, INT. MEETING ROOM - NIGHT

Some people get upset and will mark down for that. I am marking on the story and feel it needs more. Too much mentioned and not enough explaining. This could do with lengthening.

All the best.

Joel Davis (Level 5)

Frankly, I got confused about the distinction between naturism and naturalism. The best material in here is the last bit, after harry speaks. Unfortunately, this is all only visible to the reader, and not to the camera. The "sitting ovation" is a good joke, but again, one that won't translate to the screen.

Jon Hill (Level 4)

Random thoughts:
- When Harry remembers the tip “Visualize your audience as though they were naked.”... it’s all very well telling the reader this but that’s something that can’t be filled. Show a Toastmaster giving the tip earlier on in the screenplay.
- “Dais”? I’ll admit I had to google it. Consider dumbing it down :)
- MEMBERS and AUDIENCE are played by actors and as such should be capitalized.

Jorge Swaby (Level 2)

its kind of fun, well written so i guess that adds more quality to it apart from the story.

Jose Batista (Level 5)

I really didn't understand the point of this script. Was Harry there to speak about naturalism? or was he there to become a naturist? Maybe he was hired to speak on the differences and likenesses of both?

The script doesn't come across to clear and the dialogue sort of not helped in the endeavor. Also, you could have ommited the fades and cut so you would've have a bit more space to develop the story some. Would make for an interesting short with all the nude people. Perhaps if you would've scratched the first scene and just expand on the speech part, the script would have been more understandable and entertaining.

Kathy Thomas (Level 3)

I liked this story but there had some problems with it. One of them being that your script reads like a novel, too much inner thoughts of the character. I think the one area that troubled me was how Harry remembers the toastmaster's tip. I would show the toastmaster telling Harry this. Then flash back to Harry staring at the naked audience and coming to the realization that he has to invert the statement and we see the audience clothed. Also the line how he demonstrates the difference between Naturism and Naturalism maybe this can be said by Harry as he removes his clothes. We must remember that film is about seeing not telling.

Kirk White (Level 5)

This doesn't work at all. It reads like a short story and not a script. You'll get some grief about the fade to pink stuff; but really where your script falters is that it moves forth like prose, not a screenplay.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

I felt that the joke was given away in the very first dialogue.

There was a ton of information "given" to the reader in the action lines that the viewers would never understand. Examples: how would the viewer know that the Toastmaster's meeting was ending, not beginning, not in the middle? How would they know that Harry remembered a specific phrase from his past? You can't just say that the Chairman gives a speech, you have to spell out his words in the dialogue. You say there's a "key difference between Naturism and Naturalism", but that's too vague of an idea to be plopped into the action line like that.

Lewayne White (Level 4)

Knowing his audience, wouldn't Bumstead have walked out naked, rather than disrobe at the beginning of his speech? I realize not doing so sets up the joke, but that's exactly what it comes across as-a punchline setup.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

This is fun. Excellent save on Bumstead's part, too.

I think you could have left out the "CUT TO" in the middle. I don't know what the proper formatting is for the mental images you obviously intend to be on film at the end - the clothes on audience and the VO for the "picture your audience naked" advice. In something this short it might not be an issue.

Good work.

Mark Christmas (Level 2)

I don't know. Really, that describes it perfectly. I just don't know. It isn't a bad story and I can see where you were going, but it didn't have much of an interesting plot though it did fare well as a one page script. Fair job.

Marla Brecheen (Level 4)

Funny. He didn't understand naturist in the beginning, but quickly figures it out when he was surrounded by them. Nice concept and story.
Concept: Good
Story: Fair
Characters: Fair
Dialogue: Good
Overall, I felt that this is a good read.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)

This was amusing. The problem told us what someone said to Harry instead of showing us. How would you film this remark? -- "Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip
“Visualize your audience as though they were naked.” -- How would you film this? You'd have to show it in a conversation.

Then you tell us what he's thinking when you say he iimagines the audience naked. And how do we know why he took his clother off? On film we would just see Harry taking his clothes off. The audience would have no way of knowing why he did that.

Telling us information doesn't work for a screenplay. Work on showing us, through a character's actions or dialog. Just remember, you can't tell us anything we can't see on screen.

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

Your script was funny but didn't make complete sense to me.

"At the conclusion of his speech..." Whoa, when did his speech happen? I had to think about it, and what I came up with was a time dissolve, but then again, they can look cheesy. What I'm saying is that you have to spell it out, otherwise I as a reader can't tell what you mean to happen.

Another example of this - how do we know he's visualising the audience clothed? Do we see it from his mind?

What's a toastmasters' club? Why does it exist? Harry is speaking on something he knows nothing about? I would think it exists just to set up the situation for the payoff, but I think there can be a more plausible way of doing that in a similar time frame.

Otherwise it was good.

Martin Lancaster (Level 4)

I like this. The concept is good but the execution doesn't quite work for me.

Without losing a beat, Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip
“Visualize your audience as though they were naked.”

There's no way we can see this, it either needs to be set up in an earlier scene or come back to him through voice over.

Still, a good concept and some nice touches, especially the fade to pink at the end.

Melissa Mitchell (Level 4)

Cute. Set-up, development, ending. Harry has a problem to deal with. Bumstead is an appropriate last name for him in this story! Although Harry has a problem, I thought the story lacked conflict.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5)

Great title, poor guy, imagine getting that mixed up!
I felt some more humour could have been injected, I know the whole premise is funny, but perhaps more of his reaction to an auditorium of naked people.

Neal Barringer (Level 0)

This piece went over my head. Still, I can make a few comments about your craft. The last four action paragraphs really need to be rewritten. They are 1. telling instead of showing, 2. going inside character's heads, and 3. leave nothing for the audience to see. They appear to be the main theme of the piece; yet, they will not come across well (if at all) on the big screen. the audience will simply see:
The house lights come up - the audience is naked.
Harry doesn't lose a beat - he'll just keep talking.
The camera pans to the audience - they will be fully clothed.
Harry takes off his clothes
Harry has ran out of speech because the writer didn't write anymore.
Camera pans to the audience - they applaud wildly, still sitting in their seats.
There was never an action sentence that said the audience was standing, so there's no reason to believe they were doing anything but sitting through the entire speech.
And, of course, I'm still lost on the theme of "Naturism vs. Naturalism." Wish I had some suggestions to show the theme rather than tell it, but I got nothin.

Nick Miranda (Level 4)

I was a bit confused. Was Harry supposed to purposefully set up as a comic gesture or was this a genuine shock? At first, I really thought that he was applying the public speaking trick and we were getting his mental POV, but as that was not the case I was left scratching my head.

Also, why would his group of naturalists, send him to be a key note speaker if he knows
"little about wildlife"? This is why I was confused and I stayed that way the entire time.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

Fade to Pink? That's a new one on me.

There are a lot of screenwriting and fomatting issues here. This has been written more like a short story than a spec script.

None of the characters are formally introduced to us, given us absolutely no idea who they are or what they look like. Some even have dialogue before we know they're in the scene.

Scene transitions aren't necessary.

You have unfilmables, that being information provided to us, like Harry's thoughts or background information that can't be filmed or viewed on screen. How would we know Harry is now imagining the audience with clothes on?

You do have tight action sentences and don't let the narrative get clumped uo in long paragraphs, so great job with that.

There are a few typos throughout as well.

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

There is potential for a good sketch style short script in here. However much of your script, especially the second half, read to me like a set of notes waiting to be turned into a script. The underlying gag is also a little predictable except for your bit about imagining the audience naked which is a really good twist.

Pia Cook (Level 5)

Nice story opposite of many people's fear. Well written too, but the ending wasn't exactly surprising. The title and the naturist word sort of gave it all away. If you could find a way to keep the ending a surprise/twist that would make this tons better. Not bad though so good luck with it. :-)

Raymond Belair (Level 3)

This doesn't quite seem to work as a screenplay. I could see it as a piece of flash fiction, but you get much to "squishy" at the end. We can't see what he's remembering. Just seeing the audience naked, we are likely to assume that's how he's imagining them, then when they are clothed back to normal. This would be difficult and consfusing on screen. Then we're at the end of the speech without an appropriate transition. At least it would make for an interesting casting call. Good luck.

Rich Keel (Level 4)

Not bad. Good descriptions and flowed nicely. I thought the story was a little boring, but that is just me.

Rick Hansberry (Moderator)

Clever premise but this doesn't work as a screenplay. In film, the audience can't see 'thoughts' -- they must be brought out through action and character. The initial set up is fine but we can't 'see' how Harry remembers through what is written on the page. Normally, this would be presented by Harry bumbling for something to say, then in Voice Over or Flashback - the trick would be presented to him -- then we would see that Harry jolted the trick out of his memory bank. The same is true for 'imagining his audience clothed.' Normally there would be a POV or Point of View shot to establish what Harry sees rather than you just writing it like in a short story or novella. I really liked how you chose to close the script by turning 'Fade to Black' on its ear and having it Fade To Pink. Very clever and in perfect keeping with the light tone of the script.

Rustom Irani (Moderator)

The title is cute and fits the story well.

But there's a lot of stuff that is missing in the script to make it a screenplay.

In the first scene you never introduce the characters to us at all. Who's the President, What does Harry look like? Are they present at the meeting? Where are their dialog's coming from?

Do we essentially just see the meeting coming to an end and as the people walk out we have the President and Harry's V.O.

Do you need this scene?

Couldn't you just as well have a short moment backstage where someone congratulates him for being a keynote speaker?

In the second scene, things that can't be conveyed on screen take precedence as the end nears.

Without losing a beat, Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip
“Visualize your audience as though they were naked.”

-How do you plan to show this? All we'll see is the next part.

Harry inverts this tip and imagines the audience as clothed.

-Show this. Maybe he blinks his eyes or turns around and then turns back to see them clothed.

He proceeds to remove his own clothes, demonstrating a key
difference between Naturism and Naturalism.

- Again. You just tell me that he is demonstrating the difference. But he has to say this or mention it.

At the conclusion of his speech, the wildly applauding nude
audience gives Harry a sitting ovation.

- So how long was the speech? You have to show the time elapsing.


-This was just cute. Works for me, but is the pink meant to be because of the naked topic? Okay, it works. :)

One pagers are tough. You have to be really, really stingy with your descriptions and how to use them. I want to see what you do with five pages as you have a lot of elements in place.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

Kind of a fun script. I liked it. I know you know that you can't really film people's thoughts, so if he decides to imagine them fully clothed, you might want a little scene there to show that.

Great title! I thought you did a nice job with this.

Scott Merrow (Level 5)

This is a cute idea and with a little work could be a cute short. But as it reads now, several key elements are only understood on the printed page and wouldn't necessarily be clear on the screen. How would we know Harry was remembering a toastmaster's tip "Visualize your audience as though they were naked?" How would we know he was demonstrating a key difference between Naturism and Naturalism? Would the audience even get it? And, at the beginning, it's a bit confusing who Harry is speaking to -- the Toastmasters' Club or the Naturalists' Club. (Or are they Naturalist Toastmasters?) Clear up some of these confusion factors and this would be a funny and effective short.

Shaheryar Ahmed (Level 4)

I liked this one for its changing or I would say breaking the norm... FADE TO PINK!!! FANTASTIC!!!!

Coming to the story! I liked the story... A meeting of naturalists and the audience is naked. Hence, the phrace, visualize your audience as naked!!! LOL!!! There is nothing left to do! I can see the speaker, Harry Bumstead. Fat body, porky fingers, facing scalp conditions. You know sometimes a dialogue or a presentation of a character in a way makes the audience imagine him... and i guess you did a great job in that area!!!!

Shane Shearer (Level 4)

Ingenious. Well done, not sure that most people are going to get this, but if they do then they'll love it. Really, a brilliant script done by an intelligent person. I'm curious as to what you were doing, or studying, that brought this up in your mind and you said, "oh, that'd make a great one page script!" It worked, and well too. I'm trying to think of all these awesome compliments to give your script, and deservedly so, but I can't because my mind has been blown.

Thank you for that!

Spencer McDonald (Level 4)

Interesting story.

I have been a toastmaster and could see some of the cliched fumbling of our speaker. Yet it was cliched and that takes away from your story. I did enjoy the naturalist vs. the naturist example.

If you were to rewrite this short, I might like to see the top part before CUT TO: lost and begin with the slugline in the Auditorium. Maybe paint a grotesque picture of one naked individual that distracts the speaker or causes him to make inappropriate comments.

Good job.

Stephen Brown (Level 5)

I didn't really get this joke. Surely the point of the joke is someone gets naturists and naturalists mixed up. It seemed like these were naturists who just decided to get naked - that's what I don't get.

Old joke and I think you told it wrong to be honest.

Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)

This might have been a lot of fun had it been set-up for the visual joke.

But this was not well executed or formatted as a screenplay - the entire ending took place inside Harry's head - how do we "see" him remembering or imagining anything?

Fix this problem by letting us in on the joke from the beginning - have the club president give Harry a pep-talk and suggest "remember to imagine the audience naked" and then snicker to set-up the punch line. Then have Harry break the ice to overcome his embarrassment with the naked audience and play it for the laugh, "Guess I have to imagine you all as clothed."

I also found it hard to believe he would simply strip; most people have hard enough time speaking in front of an audience (that's why he's a novice at Toastmasters, right?).

T. James DeStein (Level 5)

Didn't work for me. How would a viewing audience know about Harry's thoughts in regard to naturalists vs naturists? The beginning felt like unnecessary exposition, you could've added that exchange in the actual speech scene. You've got me interested in naturalism now, though.

Teo Gonzalez (Level 4)

Your script goes well until it heads to its end.
The lighting of the house as the speaker goes to the podium seems forced and contrary to the way it's usually done.
You don't show us how Harry "remembers," "visualizes," and "imagines;" you just tell us about them -- which cannot be projected on a screen.
I don't get what is the difference between naturisn and naturalism that he demonstrates, as you don't show but tell about it.
And finally, I really don't understand what is the point of a "sitting ovation."

Tim Westland (Moderator)

Some real problems here.

Remember, everything you write in narrative HAS to be something you can film. Your last four paragraphs/sentences are all "internal". The last one maybe less so... but it still involves a scene cut (time has passed) that isn't indicated on the page.

Naming your characters is important, as is What you name them. The name can have meaning beyond just being a name. This is a tough skill to master, so until you do... be careful. Naming your character "Harry Bumstead" is obviously a play on "Hairy Bum" or, a hairy butt. It's not a great joke to begin with, but the name also harkens back to some sort of 1930's backwater hayseed.

The dialogue at the beginning is pretty stilted. Not very natural.

Tommy Merry (Level 4)

Harry Bumstead LOL! Great name!

I thought this was a very funny premise and one that's close to my heart.

I liked the whole thing but wondered.. How is this explained to the audience of
the film:
Without losing a beat, Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip
“Visualize your audience as though they were naked.”

Would this be better described as a V.O. in Harry's head?
Otherwise I'm not sure how this is conveyed, as its a thought
and not an image or sound, which is needed for screenplays.

Again, great subject matter, 4 stars!

Wes Worthing (Level 5)

"it’s 'weekly' meeting." This is not filmable or necessary to the story, so it's best to get rid of it.

I imagine "FADE TO PINK" is a reference to skin color, but not everyone is pink and this may be offensive to some. If I'm wrong about the interpretation, then please accept my apology; it won't have any bearing on my score for you anyway.

"Spotlight" is one word. "Wildly applauding" and "ovation" have the same meaning so one of them should be dropped.

Inverting the toastmaster tip was unexpected and fun.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)

The fear of seeing them naked -- that's the entire conflict? I don't think you need the Toastmaster's Meeting at all. The script would be better with conflict that goes beyond a line or two. I would get rid of the beginning and start at the speech. It would give ample space to develop the conflict a bit more as far as action and reaction.

William Coleman (Level 5)

You have an excellent and witty premise for your script. You write clearly, and your dialog, while not outstanding, is speakable and functional. However, it is drastically underwritten. First, Chris said we didn't need to use FADE IN and Fade Out. Without these your script would have been less than two-thirds of a page long. I think your using the word Naturist is a giveaway to most of us. However, that could set you up for a farcical misunderstanding. Somehow everything gets muddled. Yes, there is that old saying that a speaker can relax by imagining his or her audience as naked. There needs to be a clear through-line, but I feel your script is unfocused. If you had used your page, i think you might have brought off this idea. Perhaps it all comes down to the old saying, "Sum up your work in one simple sentence." I thunk you would need at least three. Decide what you script is about and stick to it. As Poe once wrote a short story is like an arrow aimed at a target. The same goes for short screenplays.

William D. Prystauk (Level 5)

"Without losing a beat, Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip 'Visualize your audience as though they were naked.' Harry inverts this tip and imagines the audience as clothed." There is absolutely no way for the audience of a film to see this. It would be fine if this were a short story, but you are trying to write a script and "thinking" elements are impossibilities. Also, how is the audience supposed to get this point: "He proceeds to remove his own clothes, demonstrating a key difference between Naturism and Naturalism."?

I'm not sure I understand the Toastmaster's Club purpose at the beginning. I know you need to get Harry to speak before the Naturists, but why would someone who doesn't know what they're about speak before them?

A rewrite focusing on the visual elements, which is a mainstay for screenwriting, and coming up with an understandable need for Harry to speak could lead to an interesting story.

William Dunbar (Level 5)

I'm guessing "fade to pink" is your indication that this is not a serious entry. Well, I hope you enjoyed writing it.

William Flink (Level 3)

"Without losing a beat, Harry remembers a toastmaster’s tip
“Visualize your audience as though they were naked.”
I think that should be re-written, show, not tell, how do we know that he remembers a tip ?

"He proceeds to remove his own clothes, demonstrating a key
difference between Naturism and Naturalism." - How does he demonstrate the key difference?

The ending didn't work for me, I got confused. If he imagines the audience clothed and takes off his own to show the difference between naturism and naturalism. how can the audience see the difference?

Other than the last three paragraphs I thought they were written well.
The dialogue was ok.
Title was ok.

Comments Made After the Contest

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2009 2:13 PM

Hola MoviePoet writers,

Thank you so much for the wonderful candid feedback you have provided.

Once more I must confess to writing another screenplay stinker. But oh, heck, my flash fiction writing has improved immensely.

All the points commented on in this work have been seriously taken into account, some of them were bravely positive. I value all your energy.

There will be a rewrite!

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2009 9:36 PM

No, no, John, don't immediately toss this one away as a "another screenplay stinker". You've got a genuinely comic idea here that begs to be rewritten (even though I doubt I'd want to watch it, lol).

This is your best so far, IMO. Keep improving!

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 4:47 PM

Hola Kyle,

Thanks for your encouragement. I have posted my first rewrite on this script.

It’s not Earth shattering but it is an improvement over my submission.

Thanks for your earlier comments as well.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 4:55 PM

John, your rewrite isn't up yet.

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 5:03 PM

I just posted the rewrite moments ago! I just looked at it on the site. Thanks for checking.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 5:07 PM

Hey, hey! There it is.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 5:12 PM

Oh, John, so much better. That's legitimately hilarious. You really turned the advice on its head: good job!

I would suggest changing the word "shaken", since we know now that he is expecting all that flesh in his face. How about "completely distracted" instead, or something else along those lines?

I would also suggest taking out the action line at the end, where the audience loses interest in him. They need to pay MORE attention, in my opinion, showing that his little mental trick has worked and made him magnetic.

Formatting: there's a (V.O.) hanging in space. You'll probably want to put a new character: "VOICE" in there to clean up that little area, putting the "Picture, etc." in dialogue underneath it.

Really, a phenomenal improvement! My tiny nitpicks aside, you've really made it better!

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 5:30 PM

Hola Kyle.

It's wonderful to have another pair of eyes look over my work. Your points are well taken and make good sense. I'll get on it and over it.

Macho gracious amigo


John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 6:10 PM

Hola Kyle,

When you have a moment, please take a peek at the final re-write of this silly script.

Your last suggestion about the audiences reaction at the end, was a good one. Thanks.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 7:24 PM

John, you made me laugh out loud with that new ending action line. And that's hard to do: make me laugh out loud like that. That's hilarious.

And totally better.

I saw some new formatting things that could be quick-fixed to make your script look spankin' good. Please don't take any of these suggestions as me being arrogant: I just want to help make it perfect.

-You've introduced a new character, Serena Tea. She's great. But her name needs to replace "Chairperson" on those two dialogues. Now that we have a name for her, that name should be above the dialogues.
-"Spot lights" should be "spotlights". Take out that space.
-Add some commas in your intro of Harry, like so: "HARRY BUMSTEAD, nerdy, thirties, steps..." Delete the word "man" in that phrase, since we know Harry is a man's name.
-Need a period after "Four Seasons Naturist Club" in the first dialogue.
-"off to the side, his jaw..." should be separated into two sentences. Right now it's an awkward run-on. Should read like "off to the side. His jaw..."
-Need a period after the final "Chairperson" dialogue, like so: "...and here's Harry." Or even an exclamation mark: "...and here's Harry!"
-Need a period after "...public speaking tip", like so: "...public speaking tip."
-The dialogue from Speech Coach is great, but we need an empty line after the action line above. Also, the spoken line needs to be moved over to look like regular dialogue. And since it's regular dialogue, the quotation marks can be removed. Should look something like this:

Nonplussed, Harry remembers a public speaking tip.

Picture your audience naked.

-I think a Director would immediately know what you mean by the audience imagining Harry under his clothes, so you're right in not inserting a new shot from the audience's point of view. You should finish that sentence with a period though, and take out a space in the word "spell bound", something like: "The audience is spellbound imagining what Harry looks like under his clothes."
-I'm not entirely sure what "FADE TO BLUSH" means. Do you mean as in a blush wine, that color of whitey red that's not quite pink? Or do you mean the camera blushes, or Harry? Since I'm not sure, perhaps you could spell that out a little clearer to get YOUR meaning across so that I, as the reader, don't force my own interpretation onto your script.
-There are debates on whether or not screenwriters should write "We see" to indicate camera shots, as you do twice in here. Personally, I don't care as long as I catch your meaning. But just so you know, some people really get annoyed by that. Heaven knows why.

Good stuff, John.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 7:28 PM

Wow, that looks formidable. But all that'll only take a couple minutes to fix.

The computer didn't let me do what I wanted with the dialogue explanation. Let me try again (just ignore the periods on the lefthand side):

.Nonplussed, Harry remembers a public speaking tip.
. Picture your audience naked.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2009 7:28 PM

Goodness, it did it again. Anytime you put in more than one space, it chops it down into one. Here's try #3, just ignore those extra dots.

.Nonplussed, Harry remembers a public speaking tip.
........................SPEECH COACH (V.O.)
..................Picture your audience naked.

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 1/5/2009 10:22 AM

Hola Kyle,

Man, you have given me a great gift of your time, patience and intelligence. I would never believe that a one page script would be so complex and tricky.

With the valuable guidance provided by the MP reviewers I have learned many lessons that have assisted me in rejuvenating my basic concept.

You however have gone the extra mile!
Salud y gracious,


John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 4/12/2009 6:21 PM

Well I have rewritten the one pager completely. I think it will work and even be eligiable for that guy up in Vancouver Canada to consider for film production.

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