Phil
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Rating: 3.4/5 (2 votes cast)

Phil

At the ripe age of 120, legendary prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is dying. A squirrel, a rat and a ferret must journey to Philadelphia on a Dalai Lama-like quest to find his successor.

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  1. aweiss says
    December 17, 2013, 2:58 am
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    Absolutely wonderful. I think kids and their parents would dig it. Sort of a Groundhog Day for kids.

    But I also, like then other commenter, felt it was a bit long. I would take out most of the montages, leave the ones at the beginning and then end, but the others, yes, do make the script a bit long. Ditto with the songs the characters sing, I think you can show their characters in other ways besides singing, and it also pulls us out of the action.

    And while the scenes with all the cool punk rock were fun, what they call “music calls” at a big no-no, and will mark you as an amateur. I had this happen to me when I got professional coverage for one of my screenplays. So they can’t be mentioned in description, but if you give the characters a lyric line, or mention the songs in dialog, that’s okay.

    I hope to see this on the big screen someday. You have a winner here, fun, sweet, funny, and not too cute. Good luck with it.

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      tsturm2010 says
      January 13, 2014, 9:43 pm

      Thanks aweiss!

      Yes, the weaknesses you mention have come up before, both the montages and the songs. My difficulty has been that:

      1) The montages are actually a shorter way to advance the story (page count-wise), so it’s been hard to figure out how to cut them without adding to the length (or leaving the viewer lost)!

      2) As a lifelong musician & songwriter, it’s hard for me to ditch the songs (which I wrote and recorded demos for, here: https://soundcloud.com/tom-sturm/sets/phil). They have been called superfluous by coverage folks, but they also provide a chunk of the “heart” of the story, I think, and add to the comedy. Oddly–though I’ve totally heard people say exactly what you did about the “music call” marking you as an amateur–no one’s ever mentioned the cover tunes I slipped in.

      Verdict: I probably need some brutal script doctor to chop the thing for me and/or tell me the music sucks :)

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      • aweiss says
        January 14, 2014, 9:28 pm

        You’re welcome! Glad I could be of help. I recomend coverage too, a pro reading things over, since they have a new, fresh pair of eyes, always helps, and that i learn something everytime i get some. I’ll try to get to your demos, I happen to have a music blog, the URL is in my profile, if you want to check it out, and i may leave some comments about them. As for the cover tunes, so long as it’s in dialog, and not description, it’s okay to mention music.

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          tsturm2010 says
          February 11, 2014, 10:02 pm

          Thanks again. I may try to modify any music “calls” as per your advice, though I think the main complaint will still be that it’s too long. It has gone through quite a bit of coverage already and been modified accordingly. Most of the readers dig it, though – it feels like it’s right on the edge of a “next level.” I’ll check out your music blog at some point, and definitely let me know what you think of the songs if you get a chance to listen.

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  2. belw says
    October 24, 2013, 10:47 am

    I love that picture!! he’s adorable

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    bradyrick says
    August 5, 2013, 8:35 pm
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    I liked the concept and the story. But it was a bit long. If you are gearing this for kids it needs to be a bit shorter. Some formatting issues, which could reduce the word/page count. But I could actually see this on film, as long as I get to voice General Beauregard Lee!

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