Spicasso
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Rating: 4.0/5 (5 votes cast)

Spicasso

Jackie Carra, a 16 year-old aspiring artist of Irish and Puerto Rican descent, finds himself thrust into a racial powder keg after moving from a predominately black and Hispanic neighborhood to an all-Irish one in the Bronx of 1980. Torn between his old friends from Fordham and the Emeralds of Norwood, things come to a head after his friends are attacked in his new neighborhood.

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  1. Profile photo of barfield999
    February 14, 2016, 1:38 pm

    The beginning needs a hook. It is important to catch the interest of a first reader. Keep camera angles to a bare minimum and no scene numbers. Be careful not to over describe
    clothing unless it is essential to the plot. I thought that the dialogue was authentic and I liked the character names.

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  2. Profile photo of normanwilliam
    October 23, 2012, 5:02 am
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    The script needs work but overall it was very entertaining

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  3. September 21, 2012, 4:54 pm
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    Like an earlier reviewer, I, too, was reminded of A Bronx Tale. Although I did not grow up in the Bronx, I had a clear vision of what the writer was describing, and felt as though the story could have taken place in my own neighborhood.
    This story is all about identity; the protagonist is torn between his loyalty to his mother and desire to have a relationship with his father…the latter far more lofty a goal. The fact that he is mixed race makes it that much more poetic, being torn between both parents. And this is only exacerbated by moving to a new neighborhood, where only one side of him (the Irish side) is allowed to exist. Being forced to bring out that side of him for simple survival reasons is something everyone who has ever been a teenager can identify with, regardless of whatever race they may be. Couple that with the clashing of his old friends from the old neighborhood coming to visit him in the new neighborhood, where everything is alien, even to the protagonist.
    Overall, the script is pretty solid. There were a few formatting issues, but that does not subtract from the power of the story. I think this could be converted to film with a reasonable budget…certainly no Waterworld!

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  4. Profile photo of ranger2
    ranger2 says
    September 20, 2012, 12:12 pm
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    A coming of age story that reminds me in many ways of A Bronx Tale. From the opening scene, watching the 1980 US Olympic hockey team beating the USSR, you get a sense of the time period. I like how that feeling of euphoria is suddenly shattered as Jackie runs into his parents room to share in the joy only to be hit with the reality of his farther abusing his mother. When Jackie’s mother decides to move out on the father, she informs Jackie that he is the “man of the house”, certainitly a lot of pressure for a 16 year old boy. Without a father like figure in his life, Jackie is drawn to Truck, the leader of the Emeralds gang in his new neighborhood. It’s obvious that Truck has also taken a liking to the young artist and tries to look out for his well being. The racial element also made the story seem real and brings in some interesting conflicts. Especially when his friends from the old neighborhood decide to pay a suprise visit one night. The script itself does have some formatting issues that can easily be resolved with some tweaking but I think that the story holds up well.

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  5. Profile photo of jjcj3113
    jjcj3113 says
    September 19, 2012, 11:53 pm
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    First off let me talk about some formatting issues…

    Your slug lines were all off, they should be formatted like this INT. PLACE – DAY not EXT. -DAY – PLACE… Almost every slug line was formatted wrong.
    You do not need to use all CAPS unless you are introducing a character for the first, other words in the script do not Need to be in all caps.
    You do not need to label all your scenes, it is distracting and takes the reader out of the story. Get rid of all them and it will give you more space for a deeper story.

    You have the beginnings of a nice story, but it still needs some work when it comes to structure and character development.

    This is a drama but you need to go further with it. By that I mean you need to look at each of your scenes and make sure there is conflict in each of them. The way it is written now there are a lot of scenes that have no conflict and don’t really move the story forward. If there is no conflict in the scene either rewrite it or cut it.
    Without conflict you just have characters talking (talking heads).
    Also your main character needs to have a want in each scene and an overall want for the entire script, I call this a super want… This was no clear to me as I read the script.

    There is just a lot of things left unexplored with this script. If you really want it to work I feel a rewrite is needed where you give your main character a want and a need. Does he want to be a painter, get into the school of Arts? Whatever it is focus on that and show everything he does to get his want. Give him obstacles that he has to overcome, etc.

    The dialogue was very on the nose with very little if any subtext. All your characters sounded the same and seemed interchangeable.

    The story lacked structure. But I believe if you focus on the above mentioned items that will help with that a lot. Try to build in major twists and turns in your script take your character on the most profound journey possible.

    Like I said before, I think you have the makings of a nice story, you just need to take it further and dig deeper into your characters actions and motivations. I don’t know if this happens to be taken from real events or not, but if it does write from the emotional truth not just the literal truth.

    I hope this gives you something to think about as you work on additional drafts.

    Keep up the good work!

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  6. Profile photo of jusork
    jusork says
    September 19, 2012, 7:42 pm
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    You’ve got a very tight, but meaningful coming of age story. Your story beats are good and you seem to have the basic story structure complete.

    A lot of your issues are in your formatting. Don’t use any directing notes, like close-up and especially don’t use scene numbering. Parentheticals should always be under the name and above the dialogue. Not sure of your use of ellipsis. They’re very scrunched together. I’d say only use them if the person actually pauses. I think most of the time you can just make it a period. Also don’t split up scenes that don’t change in anyway. You do this a few times, such as during the fight at the end.

    A few points you avoid using (V.O), instead saying something like Jackie’s Voice in place of the character name. You can just say (v.o.) since that’s what it is. And with phone conversations, always intercut them if showing the other side. Sometimes you don’t.

    I think you over-detail sometimes. For example, we don’t need to know exact street address or the particular styles of clothes they are wearing. And you detail the space around the balcony a lot, especially when you detail exactly where people are standing and name the area of the park that they are standing on.

    Detail emotion more, such as when he catches his parents fighting. You say nothing about his reaction. If he has no reaction, as he seems to since you don’t say anything, you should say that. An emotionless stare perhaps. As this is a story about Jackie and his character, definitely could use more of his internal struggle throughout. It’s especially open sometimes and other times just needs more to get a stronger feeling of what he feels. Sometimes all you might need is a facial expression or something else simple. You do have a few lines of telling. Don’t write anything that can’t be shown and if it can, show it through descriptions and actions. You do this well at major moments, but can always do it more. Every scene can have action and reaction that’s full of telling descriptions of his mindset.

    Maybe there can be a reference to him getting a job. Didn’t expect it or anything. I’m not sure if it really needs to be in there.

    Who’s he on the phone with when he finds out Brian’s in a coma? Little scene doesn’t seem necessary.

    The scene where Jackie and Linda talk about Jackie’s dad seems forced. He goes over to Linda’s and asks to talk with her so he can talk about his dad with her like she’s a therapist. I don’t think he should go right over and talk to her about it. He seemed to just be venting and I don’t feel like he needed it. It could’ve easily been subtext within another scene or conversation.

    Not sure about how he feels about The Emeralds. He seems to be still wary about them even when he tackles a member of the Scorpions. I accepted this mindset, but it didn’t seem to quite be right. If you can express this more, his actions such as when he crumples up his acceptance letter may be easier to understand. In doing this, we could get some better understanding of why he’s falling away from his friends. I don’t really feel like Truck has become so personable as to distract him from them. But is Jackie supposed to be lured into this new world? Is he supposed to be loosing his old friendship? What’s keeping him from his best friends? Is he supposed to realize he was becoming distant or was he supposed to be at all?

    I think it ends very quickly and I don’t quite feel closure with the theme. It just ends with CJ’s death. One good question is how does Truck feel about the nature of his gang after this incident? How do the resident’s feel about having come to this point. Was it inevitable considering what they were doing? It becomes very serious at the end and I think these examinations of what you’ve develop need to be answered. And what about his decision to go to art school? What does he decide and how it relates to his new life? I thought that was a significant thread you had going.

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