Red Light by Ryan La Via Draft 1

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Comments: 3
  • #1

    Joel C. (Friday, 17 August 2012 19:15)

    Can I still make this based on the first draft?

  • #2

    Craig (Saturday, 18 August 2012 10:40)

    Don't see how making the BJ giver male makes this any better.

    As far as your scene description, How do we know he "decides" to move his head, he again quickly turns forward "wondering" if she noticed... to her "it appears" as though he's been looking forward the entire time, moments later he slowly opens his eyes and shifts them over towards the female "to see if she's still looking", his "peripheral vision indicates" she's staring forward. How will the viewers of the finished film know any of this?

    After I read your first draft I commented that it didn't seem to be set on Valentines day. I was reminded by the fifty kisses team "Your story should be set on Valentines day or night. It does not need to contain a Valentines theme, but should plausibly be set then."

    Your first line now reads " It's a beautiful summer day." For one why have you moved it from night to day, as it will look so much better at night - quiet empty street - still and calm - but most of all 14th Feb (unless you're in the southern hemisphere) is winter. But of course, why would they have there windows open in the winter?

  • #3

    Evan (Thursday, 06 September 2012 01:30)

    For what it's worth I really liked this script and almost made it. The narratives you had sold it and the ending made me literally LOL. I imagined an elderly woman popping her head up and that's probably where I woulda gone with it. But then, I'm a little sick. Good job, and you've taken the criticisms with style.

Red Light by Ryan La Via Draft 2

A woman takes a fancy to the man in the car next to her as they wait at the lights.
Red Light - DRAFT 1.pdf
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Comments: 46 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    Jon Mills (Friday, 03 August 2012 10:50)

    Very good - nice visual writing, good gag that's been set up well in a short period. Good work!

  • #2

    Craig (Friday, 03 August 2012 11:04)

    When I reviewed some of the near kisses last week I criticised many for not looking at the competition criteria properly and making the kiss to incidental. I thought this competition was looking for stories about kisses, not just with a kiss in it. Obviously this is not the case as this has no case at all, it doesn't show its set on Valentines day or about love.

    Also find this very unoriginal, have heard this type of joke lots of time.

    Is this not going to be very difficult to film? Two cars parked on an empty Street at a red traffic light that seems to take an age to change?

  • #3

    50kisses (Friday, 03 August 2012 11:13)

    Hi Craig, so here is what the rules cleary stated

    4. Your screenplay does not need to be a love story, romance or comedy. It can be ANY genre.

    5. Your story should be set on Valentines day or night. It does not need to contain a Valentines theme, but should plausibly be set then.

    As for filming, all you need is one wide shot of two cars at a traffic light, the rest could easly be shot in a car park. You don't even need the wide with editing, so no its actually VERY easy to film.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • #4

    Craig (Friday, 03 August 2012 11:29)

    Sorry, but don't think I got my point across before (bad typing ) where is the kiss?

    And what about its originality?

  • #5

    50kisses (Friday, 03 August 2012 11:41)

    Well the kiss is certainly there - a few brave filmmakers may choose to show it!

    Originality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, in this case the readers and judges. As you know, nothing is original, it's all about execution.

  • #6

    Craig P (Friday, 03 August 2012 13:10)

    Few gramatic mistakes I noticed (ease instead of easy for example) - But I like that a script isn't punished for that :)

    I think the script is written with too much desciption though - more novelistic than script writing. Maybe that's what makes it stand out over others?

    I really liked the "kiss" idea, pretty different and funny, but I do think it needed another draft.

  • #7

    Márcia Mateus (Friday, 03 August 2012 13:33)

    Hello Jon,

    I don't think your story lacks in originality. You chose no to write a love story, which is an original and bold decision.
    However, (and maybe I'm a little distracted) I didn't notice the kiss.


  • #8

    Márcia Mateus (Friday, 03 August 2012 13:38)

    I mean...Ryan. (My bad!)

  • #9

    Sally (Friday, 03 August 2012 13:56)

    This entry is seriously poor. Where was the kiss?

  • #10

    Mac (Friday, 03 August 2012 14:48)

    Guys, the kiss is the blow job the guy is getting - lame!

    A VERY weak script and highly unoriginal. Seen this SO many times.

    Besides the lack of originality, how was this not dismissed for being a one (shamefully lame) gag script?

    Mistakes have been made. Abort mission. Get off the sinking ship.

  • #11

    Margaret Ricke (Friday, 03 August 2012 15:32)

    I don't see the problem with this. Yes, it's been done before, but what hasn't? It's an easy and inexpensive shoot for the right team of people.

  • #12

    I'llOweYouOne (Friday, 03 August 2012 15:54)

    To be fair, considering the feedback I've read - they're going to need a BJ or two to sell the film to people ;-)

  • #13

    Carolyn O. (Friday, 03 August 2012 16:26)

    Great setup. Would make a hillarious film. No sound required. You'll have everyone laughing at the end.

  • #14

    Ross (Friday, 03 August 2012 16:50)

    Made me laugh, which is what it set out to do.
    Like that it's all in the eyes.

  • #15

    Martin Lejeune (Friday, 03 August 2012 16:56)

    This is the first script I've read that I'd consider shooting. One of the few so far that is actually a fun idea!

    Great gag.

  • #16

    paul.woods (Friday, 03 August 2012 17:22)

    Have to agree with Craig and Marcia re the remit about Valentine, love and the kiss. The title is 50 kisses ?

    Did not find the script original or moving.

    After reading some of the near misses scripts, in my opinion they were far more entertaining and original.

    I guess it all comes down to who's doing the reading or judging?


  • #17

    Chris Jones (Friday, 03 August 2012 17:30)

    So just to clear things up, here are the rules as published.

    1. Scripts must be two pages or less and contain at least one kiss. It can contain more than one kiss.

    2. Your screenplay does not need to be a love story, romance or comedy. It can be ANY genre.

    3. Your story should be set on Valentines day or night. It does not need to contain a Valentines theme, but should plausibly be set then.

    The judges felt there was a kiss, even if it's off camera.

  • #18

    Mark (Friday, 03 August 2012 18:01)

    Hi Ryan,

    Well done. I thought this was fun. I did predict the BJ but I guessed it was going to be a guy's head popping up!

    From a development point of view, I think that it could be pushed to have a bit more character depth. We've got the chocs on the dashboard, but maybe there could be something else to signify something different. For example, is the guy getting a BJ from a prostitute and has he just met the girl of his dreams? Could it be an ex in the other car? Just one additional layer of character might really elevate it and add to the tension.

    I also think it would be worth thinking a bit more about the characterisation of the female characters. Perhaps instead of the other lady being defined by her low cut top, she could much more tender, shyer? She's plucking up the courage to ask something or smile at him or whatever, but then the other head pops up at the last minute. And then the lady that's giving the BJ, perhaps we could have a line or some action from her where she indicates some gumption. Could she say something to indicate that she'll be getting a BJ later, or has just had one? Or maybe what a bummer that the guy has his birthday on valentines day!

    Anyway, well done Ryan. All these comments are intended to be in the spirit of 50 kisses, so please do feel free to give feedback on mine: Practice makes perfect.


  • #19

    50kisses (Friday, 03 August 2012 18:04)

    Thanks Mark, that's REALLY great. When we start talking about what else could we do? How can we improve? The creative juices start to flow and that's really helpful to the process. Bravo.

  • #20

    Mark (Friday, 03 August 2012 18:34)

    Cheers - I'm going to have a go at sharing my thoughts on all 50, but perhaps not all in one day!

  • #21

    50kisses (Friday, 03 August 2012 18:36)

    That would be great Mark, you can lead us all by example

  • #22

    Rhys Howell (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:18)

    Hi Ryan,

    Congratulations on making the final 50.

    If we're just spitballing ideas at this stage,What about flipping the blow job receiver around? Make it the woman who was getting the blow job at night and when the guy's head pops up, its a friend of the Male driver, who can give a cheeky/shamefaced/proud "Alright,Clive?

    Loved the gradual eye then head move. Good bit of visual comedy there.

    I did find the flashback a bit hard to follow for a couple of seconds but I think that was me being dense rather than anything in the script.

    Hope my comments are of some use.

  • #23

    Ryan La Via (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:40)

    Thank you all for the kind words and notes!

    This short can be played out many different ways and I do hope to chat with the filmmaker more about it. However he/she chooses to interpret the story and characters is fine with me. I look forward to collaborating!


  • #24

    James Howard (Friday, 03 August 2012 22:41)

    Previous feedback identified the only weakness I see in this, which is predictablity—that is, once the guy yells "Whoa," closes his eyes, and mouths the word "Fuck," we're pretty well tipped off as to what's going on out of our view. And any actor playing a driver who's being fellated at a stoplight is probably going to give other subtle (or not) indications as well. So the suggestion that the person who pops up might be a same-sex fellator is probably a good one, because it adds surprise to the inevitability. The best endings tend to have both.

    You could cast a really good-looking guy to attract the woman's attention, and then the pop-up guy can be even better looking, and maybe instead of indignation or jealousy, he finds the woman's outfit cute or something, so he responds to her remark about the car with a compliment in kind. If that's too stereotypically gay, there are other ways to play it. The switch in gender opens up some new possibilities.

    For me, by the way, the chocolates on the dash and the obvious blowjob fulfill the requirements of the contest. I don't get those criticisms at all.

  • #25

    James (Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:14)

    Haven't read all the selected yet, but wondering if this won't seem an odd inclusion given what occurs.

  • #26

    Márcia Mateus (Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:30)

    Just to conclude my previous comment. I did understand the blow job gag. However I don't consider a blow job PROPERLY a kiss. But it was up to the judge who read it.
    Anyway...congrats Ryan. You're in the top 50. Let's cheers that!

  • #27

    Paul Woods (Saturday, 04 August 2012 11:54)

    Looking forward to seeing how the film maker portrays the kiss or off camera kiss as Chris Jones describes it.

    Well Done Ryan


  • #28

    Phil Charles (Saturday, 04 August 2012 15:23)

    Wow! You’ve been getting a hard time. Congrats on getting through. A few thoughts. To make your twist more impactful maybe you could really trick the audience into thinking this could really be the start of a beautiful relationship. That these two could actually fall in love, rather than it being just sexual flirtations. And could it be her story, we see her first and get an idea of how/why she doesn’t have a date on Valentine’s. Maybe bangs off a romantic Valentine’s track that starts on radio, being single’s crap type thing. This would get us into her mindset. Then she hits the red light and the man of her dreams (or so she thinks!) pulls up. Then she’s the one with all the hope, the one investing in this being a possible romantic encounter. He knows this is never going to happen, for reasons the audience discover later. So I suggest staying with her more.

    As pointed out, The ‘Whoa’ is totally not needed. Any actor worth their salt could do a good facial getting a blowjob routine. They need to have their equity card taken away from them if they can’t! Just felt there was a final beat missing. Does Mr Casanova need to get sort of comeuppance? And give them names, will make them feel more real.

  • #29

    Marc Lockier (Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:36)

    Instead of putting -- Night (same) you can just put Continuous, as that reads better.

    On first read I missed the "kiss" but a brave and different move nonetheless.

  • #30

    helene jackson (Saturday, 04 August 2012 17:10)

    ok so i will admit i did not like this premise, cheap and not original - however it could shift a little and become a little different. how about the girl in the car is smoking hot and the guy in the car is not really, play more on the bookish.she glances over unimpressed. now as the BJ heats up he lets out some highly erotic moans, not quite when harry met sally a bit more subtleg.girl in the car tries to ignore but as it goes on she is getting a little flustered, turning the tables she is getting turned on by him getting turned on and when the lights change it is her that is unable to go because her attention has been taken by him and he sails off into the night.
    still dont like the fact there's no kiss though - that is a dig at the judges!

  • #31

    Craig (Saturday, 04 August 2012 18:07)

    Like Phil said "You’ve been getting a hard time" and it may have been me that started that. Sorry.

    My main point is not about your script but rules and judges.

    Having said that, alot of people have agreed with me about your unoriginal, and how it would be better if you did this or did that.

    My point is that you have won a competition, your one of the top 50, but people are saying it needs so mush work.

    So is this still a competition?

  • #32

    Mac (Saturday, 04 August 2012 21:07)

    Craig, I'm with you there.

    I think the judges have made a complete mockery of the process and the competition by putting underdeveloped scripts through and I can see why so many of the entrants are not only disappointed but upset by the choices.

    Why can't all the writers who entered have the chance to develop their scripts further with the help of the judges or the community that they are trying to build here and allow them to resubmit? I'm aware that time is a factor but the way the competition is being run at the moment doesn't make much sense and I can't really see that it's fair.

    I've looked on the site - maybe I am blind, but I just can't find any information (other than a few names) on the judges responsible for selecting the final 50 scripts(not the judges listed under 'Judges and Prizes'). If that info is already out there could someone give me a link please? I'd be interested to know what background and experience they have.

    I'd still like to believe that this whole process is actually as transparent as the blogs would have us believe, but out of 1800+ scripts - are these really the best 50?
    Some of the top 50 are really fantastic and I can easily see why they were chosen and I've really enjoyed reading them. It's just a shame that they'll have to stand shoulder to shoulder with some confused, ill thought out and unoriginal concepts - and while the development process might smooth things out - again, I can't see how that's fair on the other 1800+ writers who have been denied the chance to develop their scripts further for this "competition".

  • #33

    Greg (Sunday, 05 August 2012 00:33)

    I know this is going to make me sound bitter, but, I'm afraid to have scripts of this quality in the top 50 makes a complete mockery of the competition. There is no way that this one, and many others I've read in the "top 50" are of a high enough standard considering that there are many scripts in the near kisses section that are genuine 4 & 5 star pieces of work.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a simple concept, and isn't an abomination, but, there is no way this, and others deserve to be in the top 50. I can't help but wonder how?

    I'm sorry, and congratulations, but that is the bottom line.

  • #34

    Damian Mallon (Sunday, 05 August 2012 08:40)

    I have to admit, I wasn;t sold on the idea originally. The punchline was set up, but wasn't really that great.
    It does need something more to it though and I wasn't initially sure what until Phil (#28) dropped this gem: "could it be her story, we see her first and get an idea of how/why she doesn’t have a date on Valentine’s". This was when I started to see the real potential here.
    This can work, but it needs development. Congratulations on making the top 50, Ryan.
    And to everyone who is fixated on turning this thread into a bash regarding rules and kisses I have this to say: the top fifty have been picked, get behind them or get off the road. This thread is for you to provide feedback on the development of Ryan's script, so give Ryan something to work with rather than complaining about judges and selections.

  • #35

    Mac (Sunday, 05 August 2012 14:39)

    Damian, while I agree that the original purpose of this thread is to provide feedback for the writer (which he's got - and far more than most writers), please don't be so quick to dismiss the other opinions that have been expressed here. I think the judges have as much to learn from this process as the writers do - if not more, so I think all feedback is valid in this case, especially if these guys want to run a similar competition in the future.

    Not only for future projects though, but I know of several film makers who have now decided not make a film for 50 Kisses as they're not happy with how the script writing and selection process has been run.

    They don't want to spend their hard earned cash not to mention the endless days if not weeks they'll be happily slogging away to make their much loved and polished films only to have to contend with constant script, rule and date changes and the likely possibility that a very mediocre version of the film they are working on gets chosen over theirs.

    We're ALL still learning and these are conversations worth having - whether this is the right thread to have them on is another matter, but when have any of the other rules actually been enforced so far in this competition? :P

  • #36

    Jon Mills (Sunday, 05 August 2012 15:32)

    Well I still like it...

    Perhaps because this is one of the earlier scripts on the list it seems to have become a bit of a lightning rod for people's broader concerns with the judging process and the project as a whole - maybe the 50 Kisses people (if you're listening) could set up a general feedback page for the 50 as a whole, which would be a better forum for these complaints?

    I agree with Mac (#34) that whilst there are some unconstructive criticisms floating around, you have to remember that the next stage will involve filmmakers investing their own time and money in these scripts. If people are being put off because of the overall package then that's a problem and something that needs to be addressed.


  • #37

    Ryan La Via (Sunday, 05 August 2012 17:10)

    Again thank you all for your feedback whether it be for better or worse. Many points have been noted and I am looking forward to working with a filmmaker to develop this script even further, and to make it the best it can be for production.

    Being a judge in any competition is a thankless gig as you can't please everyone. I also read many great scripts in Near Kisses that I'm sure the judges spent hours debating over. Point is what's done is done. If you feel there are 'better' scripts in Near Kisses then by all means go produce those - 50 Kisses actually encourages it.

    Attack me and the story I wrote all you want because I've heard it all before, but please stop attacking the integrity of this competition because it really does come across as classless.

    Feel free to let me hear more on Twitter @ryanlavia

  • #38

    Mark W. (Sunday, 05 August 2012 18:52)

    Well said, Ryan - a dignified and generous response. As you point out, the Near Kisses are also up for grabs (as possible DVD extras).

    Re Jon's suggestion - there's already a feedback FORUM, which is probably the best place for general debate, leaving this thread to focus on "Red Light".

  • #39

    50kisses (Sunday, 05 August 2012 20:59)

    Here is a link to the forum

  • #40

    50kisses (Sunday, 05 August 2012 21:26)

    And here is a forum to continue this conversation - would be great to finally meet you guys online, instead of just Aliases. Would love to hear from Greg, Mac and any filmmakers too. Look forward to it - add to the forum here

  • #41

    James Howard (Sunday, 05 August 2012 22:44)

    Sorry, Chris, when I open the feedback page, it's not clear at all where to provide said feedback. I see your solicitation for thoughts, but clicking on it doesn't produce anything like a forum or comment field.

    I'd like to say something to previous commenters knocking the contest/judges: Most screenplay contests cost money to enter, offer no transparency or feedback, no "Near Kisses"-like second chance for scripts to get picked up by filmmakers, and certainly no assurance that winning entries will ever be developed. This is a completely new kind of contest, as far as I can see.

    One thing that's not new, though, is subjectivity. Of course you disagree with the results. Every one of us can find scripts in the Near Kisses group that we like better than some of the winning scripts. So what? Choosing 50 scripts out of 1800+ is a tough row to hoe, a thankless, grueling task—and there's no such thing as complete consensus. We all have different ideas about what's good, what's filmable, and what might work in the context of 49 other stories. How could it be otherwise?

    And this idea that a winning script shouldn't need as much development as this one supposedly does? There's no such thing as a finished script, in my experience. All scripts are in development until the film is released. If I were judging a contest like this, I'd be looking for screenplays with great potential, not scripts that need no revision.

    Anyway, the proof will be in the pudding. I have a hard time imagining that 50 two-page stories by different writers, shot by different filmmakers, can be combined into anything remotely resembling a coherent movie—no matter how good the individual scripts are. It's a wild experiment. We should be glad that the London Screenwriters people dreamed it up.

    I guess what I'm saying is, it's preposterous to complain. Just be glad there are people out there creating opportunities like this. Don't like the way they're doing it? Do something better.

  • #42

    Alison (Monday, 06 August 2012 06:38)

    I can totally see why this one made the cut. Amidst torrid exchanges and emotional journeys, a bit of light 'relief' will be well received.

  • #43

    50kisses (Monday, 06 August 2012 09:18)

    Thanks James, you nailed it - we have zero funding and a hard working team doing it because we want to create something. Yes we will get some things wrong, this is the first time we have done this, but we have all worked our collective arses off so far. We don't shy away from criticism, that's what will make it better. But when it slides into attack and vitriol, it doesn't help anyone, least of all the person leaving the comments. Thank you for engaging in the spirit of this grand experiment to get fifty new writers produced!

  • #44

    Samantha (Monday, 06 August 2012 13:41)

    This is actually an entertaining script! It's fun, unexpected, and a unique take on the 'kiss'! After reading some of the scripts, I do feel that if the characters of my script were naked then it might of got through to the final 50 but I wasn't brave enough!!! Sex sells I guess!

    In terms of development, you could have some knocking noises of the girl giving the BJ hitting on her head on the car in order to put the audience in a position where they have an idea of what is going on whereas the girl in the other car wonders what's going on. His face will also say it all.

  • #45

    Bobby D (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:00)

    I agree with Mark #18, the idea may not be original but there are plenty of ways to put a different sleight on it. That's where development comes in!

    In my opinion it doesn't read very well and feels muddled in it's direction and pace BUT it has all the makings of something short and sweet (no puns intended). It's always refreshing when an idea is turned on its head and I think that's what this story needs. The basic framework is there, it's the comedic content that needs attention.

    For instance, think of all the inuendo you've ever seen in great movies. Usually it's playful silly imagery imitating the action, sound or feeling. Sexual connotations could be something like the Rev counter going up and down, the exhaust spluttering to a rhythm on the asphalt, him gripping the steering wheel again and again, perhaps a song on the radio crooning about going down... Keep these descriptions short and succinct.

    Also, never think the audience is stupid. It's well signposted that he's getting a BJ but that's where you surprise us. Yeah, maybe it's a man giving him head? Maybe when the BJ Man comes up to wipe his lips (connoting an alleged kiss - of a kind) he locks eyes on the woman in the car next to them and it's his mum! Perhaps the woman in the car next to him isn't fit but by his reaction she thinks it's a come-on. Or maybe the woman thinks he wants to race?

    Or MAYBE, and I like this idea the best, not only is he getting head, but when BJ man/women locks eyes with the woman in the car next to them and they realise they've been rumbled, someone pops their head up from her lap and wipes their lips also!

  • #46

    Alison (Thursday, 09 August 2012 00:29)

    Can I just add a different perspective (just to confuse the issue even more!!) You could consider doing everything you can to NOT signpost the BJ, making all his expressions and reactions APPEAR to be growing flirtation with the other driver. At first we think he's shy as he shows reluctance to make eye contact, then we think he's growing in confidence as he smiles coyly, then we think he's almost overdoing it as his expressions become more sexually overt (reaching climax) and finally he seems to regret his forwardness as he subdues himself and looks back apologetically. And just as we think that perhaps a sweet bonding moment has occurred between the two drivers, all is revealed. Just a suggestion but it would be a good writing and performance challenge and there'd be a nice pay-off if it worked. (Pun possibly intended.)