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by Howard 

Posted: 07 April 2005
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Colin-M at 10:59 on 09 April 2005  Report this post
Hi Howard,

I read this and found myself wondering how much help any comments can be. If you've already had this book published then how much are you prepared to deviate from the dialogue in the text? It's also clear that you've put a lot of work into this, so I don't want to dive in with combat boots and a sledgehammer.

I found a lot funny about this script: some good jokes and I loved the character of the undertaker. A few of the jokes are topical, and now out of date, eg the Gladiators hasn't been on the box for a while.

I found the style of dialogue a bit "pantomime", especially at the beginning where Marcus feels the need to explain his chores and tasks to the trader. It's unrealistic but also unnecessary: the viewer will find out about the tasks in a few minutes anyway. Better that he tells the trader to sod off until he's beaten down and forced to listen.

I didn't think it was clear enough why they were trying to buy a coffin. It might be more obvious when filmed, but I had to read this part a couple of times.

What I do like is that you tried to work in a feasable plot. For me, it's always the plot and the "situation" that makes the comedy, and not the jokes, one-liners or celebrety personalities (please wipe Friends from the face of the earth).

It's certainly more Blackadder than Up Pompeii, which is good, because that's the first comparison you're going to be hit with. It also made me think of Rising Damp for some reason. Lord knows why!

Overall, I think it has legs, but I don't feel it's running yet. It also feels very short.

Again, this comes back to how different you want to make it from the book, but sit-coms work differently to books. You need to cut out waffle and increase the action based on the situation(s). This might mean adding three or more scenes and paying a lot more attention to the plot.

Hope this is some kind of help,

Colin M

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