RETITLED: You Used To Bring Me Flowers by Jo Buckman Draft 3

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Draft Three Comments... have YOUR say!

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RETITLED: You Used To Bring Me Flowers by Jo Buckman Draft 2

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You Never Bring Me Flowers by Jo Buckman Draft 1

A woman attempts to re-kindle lost love with her…exceptional ex.
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Draft One Producers Development Notes for the author

1. We enjoyed this script and felt it would make a good addition to the 50 Kisses project. However, we felt that you need to be clearer about the nature of the relationship between the two characters. Has he always been a Zombie? Did she love him regardless? Or has he become a Zombie and she is looking past it to rekindle love? Have a think about how you can set it up to be 100% clear to the reader and subsequent filmmaker.

2. The other thing that wasn’t entirely clear was if he had an affair with Gillian or she was just some unfortunate that he ate? Again, just clarify.

3. It might be worth bringing Gillian’s cat in a little early – plant/payoff – for the picture of them devouring it later.  Has she taken it in after he ate Gillian?

4. Consider changing the dialogue and make it less colloquial and clipped. Opening it up in this manner, opens up the film to be considered by filmmakers around the world.  

Have your say, what do you think?

Comments: 12 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    Colleen (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:27)

    Loved it! I might suggest moving the reveal even further there's more of a surprise. Just a thought, otherwise, very creative!

  • #2

    Rhys (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:58)

    Great Script. Similar suggestion to Colleen from this end. What about moving when Shelley enters the dining room from when she currently does to just after she says she's redone the kitchen. Then we won't have had as much onscreen time of Stewart for the audience to figure out he's a zombie before the grand reveal?

  • #3

    Phil Charles (Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:33)

    This was a lot of fun. I love Shelley’s dialogue, tearing up into her Lambrini. As soon as you showed us the raw steak in the second scene I was guessing what he could be, so sort of gave it away. Could you just show her plating her cooked steak. Also agree with other posts, would be far stronger if you held the reveal for longer. And set up the cat in the earlier scenes. Huge congrats.

  • #4

    Jo (Sunday, 05 August 2012 13:48)

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the feedback. I actually did have the reveal a bit later on in the original draft, but I felt that part of the issue was that it started to lack emotion because we couldn't see who Shelley was talking to and thus engage with how she was feeling. So when we reveal Stewart a bit earlier, suddenly we can empathize with Shelley a bit more. ALSO, we start to wonder what's going to happen next. What's she going to do if he doesn't reciprocate? That said, it might be something that can be put later in the edit.

    Phil: I wanted to give a hint that's something a bit off without giving the game away. Any suggestions on what would be a bit more subtle than the raw steak out of interest?

  • #5

    Jo (Sunday, 05 August 2012 13:52)

    P.S I really want to change the line about not being the same man she fell in love with. Needs to be something like "You stopped pickin' me over a steak years ago. You ain't the same guy I fell for".

  • #6

    Damian Mallon (Sunday, 05 August 2012 14:25)

    Hi Jo, congrats on a funny script. I agree about changing the line you mentioned, it was the only one in there that didn't feel quite right. The joke is funny but the line feels a little forced.
    Like Phil I think the raw steak contrasted with the cooked one gives too much away in your opening shot, but I don't have an alternative in mind to suggest. If something comes to me, I'll post it.
    Congratulations again.

  • #7

    Shaun Bond (Monday, 06 August 2012 12:46)

    For feedback I have to draw your attention to a few things within the script which, from a director's POV, make it difficult to adapt. It's written in a very 'prose' style with far too much descriptive explanation which demands a result orientated performance from actors/actresses. For example; 'hesitates, sighs and gives up' is a line which an actor would immediately ignore as it doesn't allow them room to act naturally - more that it tells them the motions they have to go through. The line 'takes a gulp of pink sparkling stuff' is also difficult to envision as the director would have no way of knowing what this 'stuff' is that you are referring to. It appears you are trying to inject humour into the script through description rather than action, you state 'All he wants is her. For dinner' which is funny to read but impossible for a director to film. A final point is to mention the fact you have emulated dialect within your script, this should never be done in screenplay. Instead, you should point it out once when introducing the character and leave the rest up to the actor involved. Hopefully, what I've said is useful to you and you don't think I'm being negative about what is still a good little story.

  • #8

    Laura (Monday, 06 August 2012 20:44)

    Oh, I have to disagree about the pink sparkly stuff - it's quite obvious what that is! And I could visualise it perfectly from the info you'd given. I thought the script was darkly funny - I love the air of desperation in Shelley' situation. For me, I found the end a bit too gory with the bitten-off lip though - not sure we really need to see it in all its glory.. Lunge and spattered blood, though yes - very effective.

  • #9

    Kingsley (Tuesday, 07 August 2012 17:09)

    Ah I love this script!! What a great story.

    I agree about moving the reveal back - personally I would put it half way through her romantic monologue, and have the camera pan around from her face to his, sitting there grunting and drooling.

    Agree about the steak slightly giving the game away - maybe have her cook it 'blue'?

  • #10

    Mark Jones (Tuesday, 07 August 2012 20:55)

    Hi there, Zombie script neighbour (I'm the Lonely Heart just below). Congratulations on a great script! I really liked its playfulness, despite the underlying danger of the situation; plus Shelley's dialogue was great. Personally, I think the 'reveal' is where it should be, as it establishes what's at stake in this relationship for the rest of the running time.

    Suggestions? Not many. Maybe have the authorities banging on the door, on the hunt for people harbouring zombies/the person that munched on Gillian. Could add urgency to the situation and force Shelley to make a decision she wouldn't under normal circumstances have made.
    Maybe Shelley could have a goal? Like get Stewart to show he still has feelings by some kind of act, like a gesture or sign -- the 'you complete me' sign language thing from Jerry Maguire?

    Possibly Shelley might have cut the steak into a heart shape?

    Anyway, just some thoughts. Well done!

  • #11

    Milethia (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 22:24)

    This is a well-written, funny zombie script. I love the way Shelley's character plays out; the humour injected into her dialogue, and that she is so blinded by love she would kiss a zombie - yuk!

    Minor thing i picked up on when reading.

    'Never choose me over a steak
    before. You’re not the same guy I
    fell in love with.'

    I think this should read 'Never chose...'

    'Clamping down'...this is sufficent, I think, for people to see, without the lip incident; but this is personal preference. I'm sure there are many zombie film enthusiasts who would like to see the bottom lip bitten! It's enough that I'll have to watch the cat being eaten!

    'Sensing something, Stewart suddenly quietens and stares at
    her. And Shelley sees a flicker of the man she loved.'

    The photograph you mention at the end, of them feeding each other cake, perhaps he could point at it with an 'Ug' (maybe not the 'Ug'), so that she is even more convinced of the man beneath the zombie.

    Great stuff! Exciting times ahead.

  • #12

    Jo (Thursday, 09 August 2012 00:38)

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all your feedback. Laura - you're right. I'm going to change that line anyway to something like "You stopped choosing me over a steak years ago".

    R.e.: Other feedback: To me, this is a love story. Mark - the initial drafts did have zombies or people trying to break down the door, but in the end I wanted the focus to be on their relationship. I found the intrusion and the knocks on the door took away from the moment between them and broke rather than added tension.

    Also Laura, Stewart doesn't STOP being a zombie for a moment, he's just quiet, contemplating his next move. Shelley MISREADS this as a sign - fatally as it turns out! Perhaps this needs to be a bit clearer?

    Agreed about the steak - I think she can just toss it into a pan for about a second on each side rather than pull out of the oven. (Actually I think I had that originally but had trouble conveying this in 1 line - it was the difference between 2 or 3 pages at the time!)

    Also the lip gore - I'm thinking it would be a cutaway to the photo just as the bite starts. Would be very expensive to show lip being bitten off and difficult to get right. Also I find the audience's imagination does a much better job than any special effects!

    Oh yeah and Shaun - scripts like this are also written not only to convey the scene to actors/crew, but also to excite and engage the reader, so I took a few liberties. Good point about the dialect though. I think was trying to convey middle class - but you're right, don't need an accent for that. At the time though, the accent gave me the character. Once Shelley was cockney, she just came to life and kind of wrote herself!