Box Seats At Shea
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Rating: 2.8/5 (6 votes cast)

Box Seats At Shea

A former Minor League All Star pitcher, now turned priest, is invited by his long lost brother to share Box Seats at Shea. When he befriends the mobster and his sultry girlfriend in front, he discovers the real action is in the seats and not on the field.

Monologue: Page 9

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  1. susanv1 says
    September 13, 2014, 6:00 pm
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    Sibling dynamics and differences is something that all can embrace. Interesting concept with twists. I hope that you are successful.

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  2. Profile photo of normanwilliam
    October 29, 2012, 9:29 am
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    Everybody said what needed to be said as far as character, growth, dialogue and typos goes. I’m going to say the only thing that needs to be said. This is an entertaining script from a decent writer. Work hard on this!! It reminds of something that could become a great tv movie!

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  3. Profile photo of handsomefatman
    October 29, 2012, 1:54 am
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    Addressing format first: it’s off. Dialogue is going too far right, slugline formatting is non-standard, and some other nitpicks (typos, grammar). Me, I’m not the guy who’ll immediately brush off a script for that… but others will. Recommend Final Draft or some other screenwriting software that makes scripts look like scripts. Read scripts, note the format, etc. The usual advice.

    Onto the non-formatting related feedback: this has potential but some serious flaws. Ironing out those flaws and massaging the script will make it great, but it needs some work to get there.

    Dialogue needs to imply more subtext and be less “on the nose” and less exposition. Good dialogue tells you what it isn’t telling you. There’s actually a lot of both good and bad dialogue here, and I find the best lines are the ones where you picked a clear model for how someone speaks (Gary is a good example here). The very first line of the script (Paul’s) is an example of the bad, where he’s just expositing.

    That said, I think you’re capable of writing strong dialogue. Speak the lines out loud, re-write them like eighty bazillion times (writing is re-writing, after all), etc. Advice you’ve probably heard a thousand times before, but it’s good advice and should be taken to heart.

    Some of my favorite lines:
    + “You could go anywhere in the world, throw a baseball to someone you never met, and you’d be friends for life. I mean it.” (This line paints Paul’s picture well.)
    + “I listen to the games on the radio too at home! That’s the ONLY way to truly appreciate the nuances of the game.” (This line by Vito tickles me, because this mobster thinks the so-called “freak” is on point.)

    Some of my least favorite:
    – “By the way, I noticed your religious affiliation and asked the hospital priest to stop in and say a few prayers.” (Too wordy. Have the doctor notice some subtle sign, like a rosary, and go right to how he asked the priest to stop in.)
    – “Your girlfriend Natella?” (Yo, the line immediately before established this and there’s no other Natella.)

    Scene transitions/directions (the right-aligned stuff) aren’t usually necessary in a spec. That’s the director’s job; worry about writing. “Direct” with crafty slugline use, slick description, and dialogue.

    Some scenes start too early; enter as late as possible, leave as early as possible. The minutiae isn’t important; the important stuff is. Avoid small talk.

    The argument Paul and Suzy have while Suzy’s husband is a vegetable seems… oddly timed. There’s potential for these two to reconnect over time, find that drama over the course of the script, instead of just blurting it all out at the beginning, while Suzy loses her husband and is IMMEDIATELY hitting on her ex. There’s a mourning process she and her daughter don’t seem to go through. Where it leads — her going back to Paul — seems forced and unnecessary.

    Characterization seems a tad odd. Paul toggles between sensible and reckless, and I get the latter is more him dealing with Suzy’s return, but it’s still jarring. Anthony doesn’t really seem like a character, just an enabler to get Paul to the stadium and advance the plot. And hey, it’s okay to have a character be an enabler, but it can’t be apparent.

    What I like: the second chance this former pitcher turned preacher turned, I dunno, early mid-life-crisis-er is put through, and while the mob part is out of left field at first (pun intended), it CAN work with some polish. Some massaging and rewriting will produce something good. Three act structure is cliche but effective; read up on it, learn it, apply it, and it’ll add form and flow to the script.

    I also like the name “Willie the Boat.” Clever. 😉

    As is, it’s underwhelming. But that’s fine; learn, improve, get better, both in this script and your future ones. Best of luck.

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  4. wardparry says
    October 24, 2012, 3:04 am
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    Struggled with this one. Conceptually, there is lots to like in the idea of a priest with a past narrative. Unfortunately the application is not well put together. Structurally, it’s all over the place, to the point it seems you are unsure of how you want to present Paul. The scene with Suzanne and Paul at the hospital makes both characters so eminently unlikeable that I couldn’t get close to caring about Paul’s failed dream to pitch. The scene with Chicky at the Mets game is another example of an unstructured and badly implemented scene with little consistency in the through line of Paul, one minute he’s commenting on the injustice of Chicky’s continued evasion of the law, the next he’s supping beers with him in the box. The scenes continue in this way, which suggest little structural cohesion and character development.

    Dialogue; first it’s worth pointing out that dialogue is tough. Most of us writers struggle with it. This was a really weak point in the narrative. The dialogue was overly expositional and without depth. Great dialogue is economical. Take a look at scripts by Tarrantino and Paul Thomas Anderson, two of the most gifted dialogue writes of my generation, and see how they craft dialogue. It’s an art form, and has a poetic drive to it, that is integral to character narratives such as yours.

    Best of luck. WP

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    • frankvespe says
      October 25, 2012, 12:23 pm

      Your in-depth review is more than I could ever ask for and is truly invaluable, but imagine this:
      You are in love with a high school sweetheart and are drafted by the NY Yankees, with a most promising childhood dream to pitch in the Major Leagues, but your sweetheart abandons you on your wedding day in front of the entire NY Yankee organization and in front of thousands of fans, shattering your dreams, your life, your soul.

      I’d be a little mixed up too.

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    John-S says
    October 16, 2012, 10:19 am
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    Too simple

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  6. rickemg says
    September 12, 2012, 12:25 pm
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    All in all the story had a stark quality to it. The dialogue was too on the nose and the slugs where all over the place.

    The use of numerals instead of writing them out and various gramatical errors tells me that a rewrtie would be in order.

    Chicky is a steriotypical hustler with earning problems that comes back to bite him in the ass. He was a little two dementional along wtih his girl friend who turns out to be a FBI agent.

    I think that you have a good story here Frank and it could be a hit. I love the concept.

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