a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Kicked in the Crouch

Because I mostly read for good-sized production companies or small studios, the scripts I read are usually/supposedly of better quality; most come from agents or producers, so in theory all the bad scripts have already been culled out. I sympathize with readers at agencies or contests, who really have to wade through the slushpile.

Still, I'm amazed by how much bad writing I see. I wish I could give you a litany of the past abuses I've seen, because you wouldn't believe it if you saw some of the stuff. Unfortunately for you (though fortunately for me) I've purged most of it from my brain.

Except for one. I was reading this comedy script, and a character gets kicked in the crotch. Except the writer writes that he was "kicked in the crouch". I was amused by this, but figured it was a typo.

But then another character gets kicked in the crouch. And he falls down, holding his crouch. And as the script goes on, there are endless references to people getting hit in the groin or grabbing their nuts, and each time, the writer refers to it as their "crouch".

I don't think he was trying to be polite. I just think that, incredibly ironically/amusingly/jaw-droppingly, the script that I have read that had the most crotch references in it was written by a man who didn't know how to spell the word crotch.

So, in his honor, the Crouchy Awards, for egregious/sloppy/eye-rolling scriptwriting. I'll post them as I encounter them.

And feel free to submit any you come across.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Steve Barr said...

One of Mr. Pabulum's former reader/intern/personal assistants had to read a script in which the author had apparently recently learned the Page-A-Minute Rule.

About halfway through the script, there was a fashion show that was supposed to take about ten minutes of screen time.

So on one page the author writes "The next ten minutes are filled with a fashion show" -- and left the rest of the page blank.

Then, on the next page, it says at the top -- "And the fashion show continues..." -- and the rest of the page is blank.

Then, on the next page, it says at the top -- "And the fashion show continues..." -- and the rest of the page is blank.

Then, on the next page...

Well, I imagine it went on like that for a total of ten pages.

I'm not positive about that, though, because at that point Mr. Pabulum's former reader/intern/personal assistant died of a brain aneurism.

Reading can be dangerous.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Crouchies!

I love it!

Over on Making Light, they were talking about bad writing, and one of the examples went something like: "In anticipation, John licked his own lips."


Harry C

At 5:26 PM, Blogger PJ McIlvaine said...

Love the blog. I think the writer really meant to write "couch" but failed to use spell check.

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Kiwidebra said...

One of my favorites was a script about drug dealers. On the first page, in the first paragraph, it described a young boy on the street corner "selling hope." I've never forgotten how hard it made me laugh. I still want to write a comedy sketch about hope dealers.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Fun Joel said...

I get a million of these. I'll try to pass them along as I find them. Some are funny, some are just mistakes. For example, a script I just read confused "bemused" for "amused." Not funny. Just wrong. I'll send 'em along!

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Bald Eagle said...

Crouch potato Pt II

Way back, as a copy-editor of film reviews, I once
came across a star having a “felching smile”.
I think it was Kevin Spacey. So of course I left it uncorrected.

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Bald Eagle said...

Technically not a crouch, but still howlingly bad.

"Her eyeball floated around the room, finally landing on the mantlepiece."

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Georgiana said...

I bet the writer used "replace all" in spellcheck, without noticing that he or she was replacing with the wrong word. Or sometimes you get kind of numb clicking through spellcheck and make errors. Usually I notice them right after I make them and have to do another find and replace but sometimes they slip past.

I was proofing something yesterday where the author said "If you must breathe in order for business to come in, if you must be there in order to make money, you just have a highly libelous glorified job."

I don't think libelous is the word he wanted but I don't know what he did want to say. Again I wonder if there was some sort of spellcheck mix up.


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