Colton's Big Night by Nathan Gower Draft 2

Coltons Big Night Draft 2.pdf
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Draft Two Comments... have YOUR say!

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Comments: 6
  • #1

    Nathan Gower (Monday, 20 August 2012 01:31)

    Hi folks,

    If you are considering producing my script (great!), just a brief note about the second draft: you will notice that the second draft is VERY close to the first draft. In fact, all that has been changed is a dialogue exchange in the opening, and a bit of clarification in the action description in a few places.

    Please don't mistake the minute changes as laziness or an unwillingness to rewrite. I have literally spent days on this script, and rewritten about every part in it; but most all if the drafts feel different or not in the original spirit of the script. I honestly believe in the script (and may even like the first draft more than the second even now).

    Please realize that if you are producing the script, I am more than happy to have a dialogue with you about your vision, and I will certainly work with you to make changes that will work with your particular version.

    Thanks again to EVERYONE who has offered opinions and notes; please know that I considered every one of them, and I really value the input.

  • #2

    Sreemoyee (Tuesday, 04 September 2012 21:59)

    Sweet! :)

  • #3

    William Mager (Thursday, 18 October 2012 17:37)

    Beautifully written. Felt like a scene from a lost John Hughes movie.

  • #4

    Nathan Gower (Friday, 19 October 2012 16:43)

    Thanks for your kind words, William. They are highly appreciated.

  • #5

    Mark Williams (Sunday, 04 November 2012 22:17)

    Hi Nathan - really fun and fantastical script (my son plays one of the Colton's!), we aimed to "englishify" the wording, be interested to see what you think?

  • #6

    Nathan Gower (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 21:54)

    Hi Mark,

    I'm just now seeing your comment here, so sorry for not responding sooner. Your son gave a tremendous performance! When I wrote Colton, I pictured him as having a bit of attitude and swagger -- at that's how your son played him. I think the film could use a bit of a different cut in editing, particularly on the back half of the film; but the acting was quite good and should be something to be proud of regardless of the outcome of the competition.

Colton's Big Night by Nathan Gower Draft 1

A ten year old competes with his babysitter’s teenage boyfriend for her heart.
Colton's Big Night DRAFT 1.pdf
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Draft One Producers Development Notes for the author

1. We felt this was already a strong piece but would like you to reconsider the first scene. It is unlikely that the father would be encouraging of this romance knowing full well his son is likely to get his heart broken. It might be that Colton prepares for the arrival of his babysitter himself, or we hear the parents going out off screen, whatever it is you decide to do try to keep Colton in his own universe where a romance –however unlikely – is possible

Have your say, what do you think?

Comments: 36 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    chris (Friday, 03 August 2012 11:32)

    a nice, little story, well told - made me smile

  • #2

    Roger (Friday, 03 August 2012 14:29)

    Loved it ;)

  • #3

    Mac (Friday, 03 August 2012 14:52)

    Excellent. Great writing style too.

  • #4

    Margaret Ricke (Friday, 03 August 2012 15:09)

    I'd actually like to see this longer. Really sweet. Very well written.

  • #5

    Kim (Friday, 03 August 2012 17:18)

    Excellent work! Simple, wonderful story with a small, satisfying twist. I love Colton, and this is my favorite of the scripts so far.

  • #6

    David (Friday, 03 August 2012 18:01)

    Very nicely done. The protag is fantastic, and I wanted him to win from the start. Love this one.

  • #7

    Stephen Cooper (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:39)

    Very well told story with a good ending. Like it a lot.

  • #8

    Damian Mallon (Saturday, 04 August 2012 04:59)

    I was smiling right from the first line. Great work.

  • #9

    Andy Robinson (Saturday, 04 August 2012 13:07)

    Nice story, and with the right cast (especially for Colton) could be great. The ending feels a bit truncated for me - maybe its because the boyfriend is still in the room - what if something made him storm off before the kiss? Anna's last line is great, though.

  • #10

    John (Saturday, 04 August 2012 15:58)

    Really nice, good job. As mentioned, I think casting is key, so if that is nailed, could end up with a really strong finished film here!

  • #11

    C Bacon (Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:38)

    A great read - made me smile throughout!!

  • #12

    Craig (Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:40)

    Read one of the near kisses that was similar to this but this just had the edge in that one.

    Didn't like your use of what people are thinking (did she really not notice the suit? Didn't smell the cologne?) The doorbell rings (holy crap.)

  • #13

    Nathan Gower (Saturday, 04 August 2012 18:50)

    A HUGE thank you to each of you for your kind words and notes. I appreciate them very much, and I'm glad that the script seems to be connecting well with people. There were a few notes about the importance of casting, and I have to say that I agree 100%. In fact, I almost didn't write this particular script because I was worried that casting the perfect Colton might prove too difficult. I have faith, though, that the right director/team will find the perfect cast and really make a memorable film (and I can't wait to see it!).

    Craig, thanks for your note about writing "unfilmables" (i.e. what characters are thinking). This is a personal stylistic choice that I feel gives actors some ideas without being heavy-handed. I try to convey the emotion of the scene/moment without over-stepping my bounds as a writer, and I feel like I accomplished that. Still, I can appreciate your note, and I suspect several people will agree with you.

    Thanks again for the reads, and I hope others will chime in as well.

  • #14

    helene jackson (Saturday, 04 August 2012 20:04)

    sweet story, although not original, the beginning did remind me of "home alone".
    not too schmalzy though and great end line, like craig says a very similar vein to another winning entrant(thats a dig at the judges again) but your simplicity wins i think. however too much direction to the sctors detracts from the key points.

  • #15

    Mac (Saturday, 04 August 2012 21:26)

    Nathan, what I loved about your writing style so much was your inclusion of the "unfilmables". Personal choice, but I love it and didn't think it distracted from the key points. I actually think it made Colton a more of a vivid character. Plus, the more a child actor has to work with the better. Excellent job.

  • #16

    Nathan Gower (Saturday, 04 August 2012 21:41)


    Thank you for your perspective. I agree with you, and I will continue to make the same stylistic choices, as I have found very favorable results in doing so. Still, it makes some people uncomfortable, and I accept that.

  • #17

    chris m (Sunday, 05 August 2012 09:12)

    a fantastically written script. lots of craft in this one, along with a great story and main character. personally, i love the character asides - when done well, they give the actor an implied action without a specified direction. equally valid to only write what can be seen. really just a preference/style thing that i think helps define your writer's voice. all the best...

  • #18

    Nathan Gower (Sunday, 05 August 2012 23:16)

    Chris M,

    Thanks for your kind words. Some of my favorite scripts were written by writers who really understood how to write "unfilmable" character notes sparingly and effectively, and it has had a great influence on my own writing stylistically. Thanks again, all, for your feedback.

  • #19

    mark (Monday, 06 August 2012 12:11)

    Hi Nathan,

    I enjoyed this one. Well done. I'm cool with the thoughts. I think they help set the tone.

    As far as any constructive feedback goes my only thought really is about the father. I get that he helps set up the babysitting scenario, but I wonder whether we need him? If he didn't say his line, would we maybe have a greater sense of jeopardy for colton? He's not only out on a limb as far as risking it all for the girl, but he's stealing his dad's stuff at the same time...

    I'm not sure... having the note from the dad does help us really root for Colton ... but I'm probably 60 / 40 in favour chopping it.

    Anyway, really great stuff. Do have a read of mine if you have a moment - practice makes perfect. We've got a similar vibe!

    cheers and well done again on a great story.


  • #20

    Milethia (Monday, 06 August 2012 20:05)

    Very well written. Lovely character in Carlton.

    I don't feel Carlton needs to say the line - 'Oh. Your boyfriend. Right.' This could be the moment, when the child that he is overrides the pre-teen, so we see his absolute disappointment first - on his face. Or, if you want to keep the line, we see the disappointment - and Anna does - but he then pulls himself together to say, in a manner that he, of course, knew, 'Oh. Your boyfriend. Right.'

    'Jumping through the cologne. Twice' - inspired.


    All the best with this, and all your writing.

  • #21

    Rob Burke (Monday, 06 August 2012 21:08)

    I like the story here - I may be alone in wondering this - but have you considered making Colton older? Like 13? Though then you'd basically have a storyline similar to "Crazy Stupid Love". In any event, well done and congrats!


  • #22

    John (Monday, 06 August 2012 21:09)

    Loved this. Loves the kid, loved the girl. A stand out script

  • #23

    Nathan Gower (Monday, 06 August 2012 21:50)

    Mark, Milethia, Rob, and John:

    Thank you each for your read and your comments. I appreciate your kind words and your notes. Milethia, that is a good consideration about dialogue, and I will look back at that moment to consider. Rob, I did consider various ages for Colton, but 10 feels right to me. I'm curious to hear what you feel the advantage would be with going older. I wouldn't want Colton to lose any of his innocence, and I wonder if he were 13 if he would really have the childlike hope that Colton has. Thanks for your feedback! I truly appreciate each of you.

  • #24

    Rob Burke (Monday, 06 August 2012 23:38)


    Good question. You would lose the innocence/childlike hope - and perhaps that's where the humor is in this story. A lot of what he does is what a 13 year old would do because they want to get laid - but, as a 10 year old, Colton likely is only doing what he's seen on TV or read or seen on youtube.

    One other suggestion - "You look . . . lovely."

    Is there a better word than "lovely" that you could use. Doesn't seem like a word Colton would use nor a word that Dude would use. However I like the idea of the set up/payoff you've constructed - there's got to be a better word out there that both a kid and a 17 year old would use that could be nicely contrasted on delivery because of their ages.

    Awesome? A 10 year old might say this with some real awe - while a 17 year old might say it with some real lust.

    I dunno - just spitballin' here.



  • #25

    Nathan Gower (Tuesday, 07 August 2012 00:44)


    Yes, that bit of dialogue was an area I struggled. My goal was to have Colton come off as trying to sound much more grown-up than he is, and "lovely" seemed just antiquated enough for it to work (especially in his mind... remember, he's trying REALLY hard). The problem, though, is that a 17 year old might be not be as quick to say it, and the set-up/pay-off needs for them to choose the same word.

    I'll give it some more thought. Thanks!

  • #26

    Andre Lang (Tuesday, 07 August 2012 11:11)

    I'm sorry for my bad English ...

    Nice idea. Thanks for read.

    I think the script needs more original solutions. The suit, cologne, rose petals - This is all a little bit boring.

    How about:

    Colt is struggling with his hair somehow... unusual...


    The suit is too small and Colt MUST do something.

  • #27

    Kosha Engler (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:06)

    Nathan, I really enjoyed your script. The craft, writing style and character of Colton really stood out.

    Loved the unfilmables comments. Hugely helpful in establishing the tone and creating character. I was wondering about how OK it is to put them in but it seems a great tool for the reader, production team and actors if done well. I recently did a reading of a new ITV drama series in the UK which had lots of soap opera elements. The scripts had tons of unfilmable comments about what's going on in the character's head, but all seemed necessary and like your script, added to the style and tone. Plus you could see characters' expressions in your head. I got to speak to the series writers on the day about that and they were saying it's all about showing characters' POV.

    About the word 'lovely' from an American living in London - to a UK audience that word won't seem antiquated at all. Possibly more grown up. 'Lovely' is used all the time over here about as much as 'brilliant.'

    I don't think the things Colton does to prepare (roses, cologne, suit, etc.) necessarily need to be more original. The point is the OTT-ness of them. The child's view of what a grown-up does, which is where the comedy comes from.

    Also once the babysitter realizes how much Colt wants to be her Valentine, I wanted her to ask the Dude to leave. We can guess that they'll meet up later. She could give Colt her full attention. Although perfectly reasonable to keep the Dude there she seemed less appealing when she calls the boy her Valentine, slightly taking advantage of his ignorance, and keeps the guy there. We're totally sympathetic to Colt and his plight and it would make her more noble if she took a bigger step to acknowledge his effort. But perhaps your wanted to make her more realistic, a bit selfish (that she invited a guy to a babysitting job anyway) in contrast to Colt's idealization of her?

    Anyway, great work and I look forward to seeing it made.

  • #28

    Nathan Gower (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 17:57)

    Andre and Kosha,

    Thank you so much for your notes. Kosha, I particularly appreciate the thorough nature of your post. I like your note about having the boyfriend leave (and I think someone else made a similar, if a little different, comment). I considered it, but I think Anna's reaction is more believable as is (in my own, subjective opinion).

    I truly appreciate your comments!

  • #29

    Bobby D (Thursday, 09 August 2012 15:00)

    I really liked this. Nice writing style for the genre. I agree with some of the above comments. The dialogue with the Dad is slightly on-the-nose. You only really need to state that the parent/s are leaving. Colton is already years ahead in his mind so he could give some smart ass comment like "don't stay out too late!". Loved the imagery of jumping through the clouds of cologne. I imagine him doing this off a stool or something to get that extra height.

    When Anna arrives, it is slightly Home Alone-esq for me and you lose the comedy momentum that was set-up at the start. Personally this is where I would flip this story on its head. And this is purely food for thought... (assuming you are mainly heading down the comedy genre)... and possibly a completely different story so bear with me as I'm just bouncing ideas off yours ;)

    1. Make Anna not drop dead gorgeous but frumpy, a little overweight, maybe even ugly and spotty. And perhaps she's bit of a bitch as well. She looked pissed off. But this is where we see Colton is an aspiring Casanova. He doesn't see what we see. What he sees is a beautiful woman (a grown-up), a challenge and he wants it bad so he drops all the smooth lines and phrases but she's having none of it. All he wants is ONE SWEET KISS but she's so nonchalant, she ignores his advances. She barely even looks at the candle lit dinner table. All she sees is a little annoying boy.

    2. Colt perhaps goes in for the kill anyway after one smooth but terrible line, when the doorbell goes. Jackson, the boyfriend, is standing there, looking flustered, but ironically he's wearing a very similar outfit to Colt. They double take each other. Little and large. Then Jackson storms in after Anna. We then learn they were rowing earlier and Jackson has come to make things right. Anna shouts at him (whatever the row was about - perhaps something regarding valentines) and Colt sides with Anna, wanting this intruder on his patch to leave. But Jackson is a nice guy and says nice heartfelt comments. He even booked a table at a classy restaurant, he's doing his best etc. Cue for Colt to glance at his attempt of a romantic dinner setup. But Anna throws the comments back at him, ranting about how all men are same...blah blah blah...really going off on one. To the point where it's stunning both men in the room. Real cutting and foul-mouthed.

    3. Cut to the door being slammed behind Anna. She's been chucked out. Then cut to Jackson and Colt eating the candle-lit dinner together. Maybe chatting like they were on a date, "This is veal is delicious", "Thank-you. Would you mind passing the asparagus?"

    Or something like that. Just my interpretation....

    ps. Just on a side note. Would the parent/s leave before the sitter turns up? I suppose that depends on the politics of parenting skills.

    All the best though.


  • #30

    Nathan Gower (Thursday, 09 August 2012 16:44)


    A huge thanks for your read and thorough notes/suggestions. You have some interesting ideas, but I'm afraid (as you have noted), that would be an entirely different story, and one I don't engage with as well personally. Still, I truly appreciate your feedback. Very clever ideas, indeed.

  • #31

    Marcie Schmidt (Thursday, 09 August 2012 17:49)

    This one is truly wonderful -- my favorite of the whole bunch by a fair margin so far (to be fair, I haven't yet read a handful of them). The characters are wonderful and believable, and with respect to some of the other commentors, I just don't see the need for much change here. The story is sweet, and seems to really speak to the "what is love to you" theme originally presented by the judges.

    Sure, you could tweak the dialogue if you choose, or maybe make some other minor changes; but some of the comments here (and on several of the other scripts) seem to be driven by preference rather than anything that will truly make the script objectively better. Just my 2 cents -- and really looking forward to watching this one!

  • #32

    Adriena Dame (Friday, 10 August 2012 18:01)

    Congratulations, Nathan! What an endearing play! I think Colton's age, conflict, and subsequent resolution work. Bravo!

  • #33

    Nathan Gower (Saturday, 11 August 2012 19:11)

    Marcie and Adriena,

    Thanks so much to both of you for your kind words and support (and Adriena, for sharing the script on FB -- you know I appreciate that!).

  • #34

    Nathan Gower (Saturday, 11 August 2012 19:14)

    Hi all,

    So I've noticed I've that my script has received a few 1 star "terrible" ratings over the last day, but nobody wrote any feedback to accompany such a rating. I don't mind criticism (in fact, I've received several helpful notes which I appreciate very much), and I think I've replied graciously to all criticism so far.

    I would ask, though, that if you are going to rate my script as "terrible", that you would at least be supportive enough to say why. I appreciate the dialogue, but it seems some people are just trying to bring ratings down (not only on my script, but on several others), just for kicks.

  • #35

    Layla (Thursday, 16 August 2012 23:12)

    Super sweet. On my list of "to make"

  • #36

    Nathan Gower (Friday, 17 August 2012 01:34)


    Thank you so much for your kind words. If you do indeed produce the script, I am definitely happy to help in any way you need. Contact me at any point in the process should wish (e-mail listed on the script title page).