Login   Sign Up 


Crystal Buddha

by JasonWebb71 

Posted: 25 April 2004
Word Count:
Summary: When British rock band Crystal Buddha visit Japan to tour and record an album, the actions of a corrupt club owner puts more than the gigs in jeopardy. Soon lead singer Jack Dempsey is fighting for the future of the band as well as the welfare of the girl he secretly loves.

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Get .pdf (Acrobat) Reader
Get .pdf (Acrobat) Reader

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

JasonWebb71 at 16:02 on 25 April 2004  Report this post
This is the first screenplay I've ever written and would therefore be most interested in any (constructive) comments that you can give in order to help me improve my work.

I'm currently writing a sequel and would be interested in finding people to act as proof readers/focus group for it when it's finished.

Account Closed at 21:03 on 25 April 2004  Report this post
Hi Jason, First of all congratulations at having completed your first screenplay! I've noticed that you've uploaded the whole thing. Generally, we try to upload manageable chunks of work and for screenplays the first 10 pages are the crucial ones (the hook). Reading a whole screenplay and analysing it takes a lot of time and I personally don't have that time. Could you maybe break it up and just start with the first 10 or so pages? Then you are more likely to get feedback.


JasonWebb71 at 18:55 on 26 April 2004  Report this post
Thanks for the advice, Elspeth.

I've now uploaded pages 1-12 (the 22Kb file). The full screenplay is still there (second link) if anyone does want that.

I'll be interested to hear any comments.



Account Closed at 20:06 on 26 April 2004  Report this post
Hi Jason,
I know nothing much about the music industry but what struck me as strange about your intro was the idea that they were going to make it in Japan, that they were unknown up to now (so how could they afford to fly and live there?) and that Japan would be less expensive than the States and the public more receptive.

In these first pages there is a lot of telling and people talking. I think you need to think more visually and show more through images. The band members seem very nice and similar – I don’t feel any conflict – maybe that’s to come but you need to build it in early to grab the viewers’ attention.
Your descriptions of people are good – I esp like Kirschbaum. I wonder about talking about the way people speak in their character descriptions before they have spoken. When Kirschbaum talks about the studio and his reason for chosing – again there is a lot of explaining – maybe you know about these things but does the viewer need to know this – yet?

When Hirotaka is introduced, we get the impression that he is the bad man but again you tell you don’t show. The scene with the pink haired man could be shown with very little dialogue – perhaps Hirotaka watching approvingly on a TV screen. He would almost be more ominous if he said very little.

So for the first part I think you need to grab the viewers’ attention earlier. Crank up the conflict within the band and show a meaner, more ruthless side of Hirotaka straight away.

Just as an exercise, try re-writing without dialogue to force yourself to focus on visual images.

Hope this helps.


Account Closed at 20:32 on 06 May 2004  Report this post
Hello?... Any reaction?... Do you agree?... disagree?...

JasonWebb71 at 18:30 on 11 May 2004  Report this post
Hi Elspeth

Sorry, I'm not ignoring you. You made some very good comments and I was just trying to find the time to write a decent reply. Unfortunately, that time isn't now.

I'll definitely try this coming weekend. It's a busy life :)



Account Closed at 23:24 on 11 May 2004  Report this post
Jason, no problem. I was just worried I might have offended you - that was not my intention.

JasonWebb71 at 18:39 on 17 May 2004  Report this post
Hi Elspeth

Right, I've finally found the time to reply to your comments:)

Firstly, thanks very much for your comments. It's actually quite a good exercise for me to look at these things from someone else's viewpoint as it causes me to address things that I may have taken for granted. I guess that shows the value of good proof readers.

1) The decision to go to Japan - This is a bit of a musical insider thing really which is why I had to bring it up in the discussion between Leon and Jack. Japanese kids are pretty receptive to British bands and some British bands draw big crowds over there whilst still being pretty smalltime in the UK.

The view of the band was that Japan would be a better choice than the US as the US has their fair share of new bands. In Japan they would be more of a speciality act due to them being a Western band in an Eastern country.

The point about the cost of flights and accommodation in Japan is a good one. It's actually brought into play later in the story and affects the decisions the band makes and the predicament they find themselves in.

2) Telling and Talking - It's a fair point you make here. I must admit that I like dialogue so I tend to use that as my primary medium. There was also the problem that I have to try and address an audience who might know nothing about the music industry or the way it works. As the ins and outs of the music business are vital to the story, I need to get this information across clearly and not risk it being lost so I relied on dialogue. Unfortunately this information does have to be put across very early in the story as it's the only way to understand why the band make the decisions they do. Without the viewer having this background information it just makes the band seem pretty foolish for acting the way they do.

3) Conflict - It's true there's not much apparent conflict at the start of the story. The conflict between Jack and Leon comes later. These are two people who have been friends since school and who started the band together so there's obviously an a strong bond between them. At the start of the story they're both embarking on what they believe is their passage to the big time so they're both on a high. The conflict comes when Leon starts to realise their passage to the big time isn't as straight forward as he thought it would be. The conflict really comes from how Jack and Leon cope with pressure in different ways and how events from their past affect their perception of situations.

continued in next post...

JasonWebb71 at 19:15 on 17 May 2004  Report this post

4) Talking about how characters speak - I agree that for the Western characters this probably isn't necessary. I did this for the Japanese characters as I needed to distinguish between the influences and Western corruption of the characters.

It's important to the story for Hirotaka Nakata's speech to identify a good Western education as this also identifies the abandonment of his Japanese values in favour of a more ruthless Western way of doing business. Think of Alan Rickman's character in Die Hard (Hans Gruber, I think). He's an Eastern European but there's an obvious Western education. Despite all his apparent Eastern Bloc posturing, he's just a good ol' Western style safecracker.

The contrast to Nakata is a character later in the story who is a older Japanese traditionalist. He's avoided Western corruption and as such still believes in truth and honesty. Obviously this character needs to speak in a very basic form of broken English but I didn't want to resort to stereotypical Japanese dialogue such as "Me rike vely much" which is difficult to understand and more than likely quite offensive to Japanese people. I therefore made the decision to explain the way they talked in the description.

Sorry if that answer was a bit long-winded :)

5) Hirotaka Nakata's Evilness - This is another good point. I agree that it may have been better to show Nakata's ruthlessness rather than have a conversation about it. As I mentioned earlier, I do like dialogue so I tend to lay it on quite heavily, maybe, as you point out, at the expense of the action element.

6) Conflict within the band - I basically covered the conflict between Jack and Leon in an earlier answer but I just wanted to address your point about bringing in the conflict within the band earlier.

I think that if I introduced the conflict within the band too early then the viewers would wonder how the band ever made it this far in the first place. To get too this stage they would obviously have gigged a lot in the UK and would no doubt have had the odd argument or two but they've stuck together through it. If they were arguing before they even made it to the hotel on the biggest trip of their lives then I really don't think this would ring true. There is, however, the slight hint of conflict as Leon questions whether they should have gone to the US instead of Japan but in the early stages he's just pleased they've got out of the UK.

I'm sorry if these answers got a bit long-winded but your questions really started my mind thinking and, like I said at the start, this was a really good exercise for me to sit down and go deeper into my story.

I hope none of my answers sound like I was annoyed or upset by your comments because, believe me, I wasn't. It's just my way of writing in a hurry.

I'm afraid that this screenplay has already been registered with the WGAw so I can't really do anything about changing it now but I will certainly take your points on board for the next one which I'm in the process of writing at the moment. I think next time I should post it on here first as I've found your comments very useful.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my screenplay and for taking the time to write your comments. It's very much appreciated.

Best regards


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .