Community Critique: The Game


(Joseph Steven Heath) #1

The Game: https://writerduet.com/beta#M6BE3_QSQ7UXB7G2CDF

This was made for the Stareable Pilot Contest. It didn’t win, but there was a note that I could offer it up for critique, so that’s what I’m doing. It’s about a girl who finds a buried hand in a park that literally pulls her down the rabbit hole.

A bit about me: My name is Joe Heath and I’ve been making videos since I was about 15. You can check them out over at Minty Pineapple Entertainments. I also made the defunct unfinished web series Monsters Anonymous (Stareable link!) and the soon-to-be finished The Projectionist Project (Stareable link!), the latter of which frequently guest stars Chris Cherry of Brains and Relativity fame.

I don’t have any specific concerns about the script, but I am open to any and all notes. I’m also open to any and all notes on that other stuff I make, but that’s entirely up to you.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. OLMEC, OPEN THE TEMPLE GATE.


(Bri Castellini) #2

So just to start off, Lisa is a woman after mine own heart, and I would die for her. “Well… he has a car”

I really enjoyed the banter and the very web-series-feel of how you described the action and camera. I’m a sucker for found footage, though, especially when it’s used creatively, as it is here.

My only real critique is that I think the ending happens to abruptly and ties up too many loose ends too quickly. If it was at the end of a traditional drama pilot, maybe I could buy that being the end of episode button, but it’s at the end of a six minute script, and I kinda want to see Lisa and Frank in their “ordinary world” for a little longer. I want to see who they are outside of this before they’re whisked away in a government conspiracy. You can still end on something of a mysterious governmental entity (and in terms of the contest it makes sense why you got there so fast), but I think you explained everything too fast, and these characters are too fun to blow that surprise in the first episode.

Also. You’re gonna make this, right?!?!


(sam lockie-waring) #3

real talk: is frank gonna get to come with her


(sam lockie-waring) #4

this is cool as hell. i wish there were more mystery and puzzle web series. seems right at home. i agree with bri about wishing i knew more about my dude frank and also lisa. this feels like a cold open more than a pilot


(Joseph Steven Heath) #5

Yeah, it could definitely be expanded upon, but I was afraid of going over the page limit. And also running out of time.

I dunno??? MAYBE???


(Joseph Steven Heath) #6

Frank would definitely be involved. I feel like he would be into it until shit got real and then he’d be in it reluctantly.

And yeah, I wanted to leave you wanting more! So I guess that worked at least.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #7

The biggest problem I see going forward with this as an actual series is that I would have to come up with some puzzles and mysteries. I sort of got around that in this by only vaguely mentioning things.


(Bri Castellini) #8

Part of the joke could be that you never actually show them? Or you could enlist Chris Cherry! I bet he’d be good at that nerd shit.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #9

Enlisting Chris Cherry is always the better option.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #10

One of my thoughts as for how to potentially go forward with the series is that the government agency basically setup this ARG to recruit Lisa because they themselves have been stuck in this other ARG setup by aliens to test them. And if the government fails to do the task, boom goes the world or somesuch. And then throw in some twists and turns.


(Kallum Weyman) #11

It’s strange how similar elements were in a few of the pilot contest. I liked the banter in this script, in the short bit we got I felt Frank was the least developed of the two characters but that could be being overshadowed by Lisa since her personality is the biggest part of the script. The twist is interesting an unexpected however I don’t know if Lisa’s reaction is believable maybe its the way I read it but she was extremely confident while maybe her cockyness could be played as a nervous reaction rather than being unscathed by being dragged by a hand underground to a secret base of some sort, Enjoyed it overall however.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #12

Oh yeah, she’s definitely nervous and freaking out but trying not to in that last scene. I could probably make that a little clearer. And I think of Frank as an underappreciated sidekick. Glad you liked it!


(Kyla) #13

yoooo this is great!!! I really enjoyed the read & would one hundred percent watch this. I absolutely love lisa & I agree with bri in that the banter was great but showing lisa & frank in their normal world more would be cool as this moves fast (the speed is understandable though as it’s for a contest). my only true complaint was going to be that the dialogue in the last scene sounds a bit wooden, but I think that’s because the agent is too serious for lisa to riff off of like she did with frank.

so yeah, this is SO COOL PLEASE MAKE THIS A THING.


(Kallum Weyman) #14

That makes sense. It’s a good pilot with out much context however The Game itself (The set up) is really vague if you worked on producing it or working on it more, it might benefit some more time before the reveal.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #15

Yeah, if I was to do this, I’d write more stuff at the beginning setting up the game and Lisa and Frank more. I could also polish up the end scene a bit. Also, I would need a better title than The Game. A really dumb title came to me this morning. Because Lisa finds a hand that eventually leads her to a job…

The Hand Job.

God, I’m the worst.


(Kallum Weyman) #16

I think the Hand Job as a subtitle is pretty funny. I think titles are the most difficult part of the possess.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #17

Ah, man, if I could base all the episodes around really terrible sex puns…


(Kallum Weyman) #18

I mean I would be a terrible producer since I would tell you to do it. If everyone keeps thinking Lisa and Frank are a couple but aren’t it would be pretty funny.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #19

The show is called The Game. Every episode title is a sex pun. The last episode? “Don’t Hate the Player.”


(Simon Paul Miller) #20

It certainly hooked me and kept me reading. I wanted to know what happened next as I was reading it (and still do).
I’m not convinced Lisa is the brains. Is Frank the smart one or they only smart as a team, their different ways of looking at things complimenting each other?
As the setup has similarities to Alice in Wonderland, could I suggest that the main character be called Alicia rather than Lisa? (That’s not a critique, Lisa is a fine name).
I don’t really have any criticism, but here’s a suggestion- Maybe you could increase the mystery by not showing the agent- just have a shadowy figure behind a darkened glass bank teller screen who passes the puzzles through the partition. That gives you the option of making that person be someone Lisa/Alicia and/or Frank know or meet in the ‘real’ world?
Anyway, good stuff. I enjoyed reading it.