In our edit, we read over one of our twitch follower's awesome children's screenplays and comment on how to make an animal sidekick story work.
What we learned:
The animal has to relate to the hero's need: Whatever kind of animal you choose (sloth / 3 legged puppy) you must ensure it can directly speak to the hero's moral need -- how is he interacting with the world WRONG?
Get to the danger (stakes): First drafts sometimes take a while to ramp up, but hurry through that exposition to when the heroes are struggling with their first trials.
Give your supporting characters a defining characteristic: Even if they're not going to be a main character, use props like Dungeons and Dragons capes or first lines to define characters early.
Here's the video of the edit!
And here are the line by line notes:
P1 - Front entrance - add ancient wroght iron
P1 - Sad creatures - use this as an opportunity to REALLY
make us FEEL their plight - caked in mud and Poo
P2 - tone is on point for children's movie
P2 - A BEAT - this can sometimes be an opportunity for more
P3 - title card ususally not used in Spec screenplays
P3 - well done character intro!!!
P3 - trees / trees - beware repeat words too close
P4 - once you establish "into the walkie" you don't need to repeat
unless something different might be implied
P4 - Great job showing Logan's loss
P5 - clarify really gross on food -- is she a bad cook / mom
and just struggling to make ends meet?
P6 - he doesn't appreciate his mother / family over his
fun adventures -- FLAW
P7 - you do a great job with character intro / it's ok to add more
details around posture look etc.
P8 - a good moral flaw hurts others -- seeing his sad g-pa is a
good area for the character to grow
P9 - good friend interaction, but seems still in the SETUP realm
P9 - a little bit of fat is couching the great character points you have
making them a bit hard to seeing
P9 - We get his loss when it's communicated first, trust your writing and
develop forward into the plot
P11 - good dialogue with winston and cute setup of the antagonist
P12 - spent a lot of time on setup and there's not story conflict, there
is a lot of banter, but I never enter a scene unsure of its outcome.
P12 - Logan would KNOW about lizard tails
P14 - I'd consider a PROP for characters -- a BOOK of information - thenerd
P15 - there are a lot of chars, and you're handling it well, but it's JUUUST
on the borderline and you do a great job to make them unique!
P15 - I'd want to know what makes THIS SLOTH special (lazers) earlier
P16 - we've not gotten into REAL trouble or STAKES yet -- everything has
been pretty light, and there's minimal suspense
P17 - how did they earn the sloth? I want a HINT of how it
will CHANGE THEM
P17 - strong dialogue = well done :)
P17 - SPCA is a one line mention -- I'd use it to frame goose's house
as a stop where they can look up SPCA
P19 - cute otters != evil bad guy maybe caged??? or tortured?? he
drinks their cute otter tears? !#@Odf022
P19 - title may need some rethinking if it's just named laser
P20 - the bad guys are dumb, so I don't see them as too scary which is ok
--Great dialogue - strong characters that are unique
--Great vision of kids stuff and keeping it fun
--like the flaw with his dad and his ignoring family, but don't see much
of it influcencing his interactions with friends - that would make their
conflict hit harder
--give us some real stakes -- these seem really light so the conflict
doens't drive me to turn the page as much
--intro seems a little heavy -- trimming can probably get you to the sloth sooner
--WHAT is DIFFICULT about finding the SLOTH - what makes this different from
finding a puppy an evil guy wants -- what about a slow moving sloth
makes their adventures harder / more likely to heal Logan's loss of his