Critique on my short film script



This is a script for a short film I might make pretty soon. I just thought I would post it here so I can get some criticism on it.

Ext. Sidewalk - Day

A trash can, full of garbage, sits alone. Through the quiet bustle of street noise there comes another noise, shopping carts pacing along the sidewalk. We finally see two bums appear from opposite sides (shopping carts included). Their carts bump into each other and they stop in front of the trash can.

Two Toothed Jimmy, on the left, wears an assortment of clothes that all look as if a dog had chewed out some of the fabric, and then took a big steaming dump on them. Crooked Eyes Ernie, right, wears the same style of clothing as Jimmy. Both hobos push shopping carts full of aluminum cans and an array of collectibles and personal items.

The bums exchange looks as they stand bewildered as to what to do. Finally, Ernie breaks the tension and reaches for the trash can. Before he can, Jimmy gently rams his shopping cart into Ernie’s. Ernie returns the action with a gentle ram into Jimmy’s shopping cart. Jimmy then walks up to Ernie’s shopping cart, grabs the front, and pushes it far away. Ernie runs to retrieve the cart.

While Ernie is away Jimmy takes the top off the trash can and starts rifling through the garbage. Before he finds anything good he is hit in the head with a moist, rotten, moldy orange.
He looks at Ernie, takes off his worn out hat and gazes at the mess. His face fills with anger.

Jimmy grabs his cart, in a fit of anger, and starts running towards Ernie and his shopping cart. Ernie’s cart is knocked over and all of his aluminum cans, personal items, and collectibles are spilled all over the ground.

Both hobos are now in a fit of rage. They start fighting each other (with hands this time). Ernie gets Jimmy into a daze and darts for the trash can. Jimmy wasn’t stunned enough. He runs after Ernie and tackles him to the ground. Jimmy then runs for the trash, but Ernie grabs his feet and Jimmy trips and falls. Both bums are now on the ground, tired and bruised.

As they both lay panting from exhaustion, a garbage man walks up to the trash can, grabs the garbage, and puts a new bag in. He walks away, but stops himself. He sets the garbage down and walks back to the trash can, picks up the top of it from the ground, and gently places it back on. He goes back to the trash bag, picks it up and walks away completely ignoring the two beaten up bumps laying on the ground.

The End


Do you plan to use any specific form of music to accentuate the tone of this humor, or is it all atmosphere noise?
I've played a hobo before in a short, and we used all music to accentuate the tone, and I know how difficult it can be to make misdirected motivation look funny. Something that's already considered sad and pathetic by general audiences would have to be stylized in such a way to distract the audience away from their initial generalizations of the common hobo, and place them in a funny light, which has never really been done successfully. If performed by the right types of characters it should turn out alright, otherwise it'll just turn out flat.


I don't think I will use music. I just can't imagine any kind of music that would not be cheesy. I hope I can get elderly actors to play the two hobos (because the only thing funnier then two hobos beating the shit out of each other is two elderly hobos beating the shit out of each other) but that depends on if there willing to do it. I dont think most old people are wanting to get the shit beaten out of them. Plus, I think the whole set up of them fighting to get trash gets rid of seriousness. I'm pretty sure the thoughts of, "look at these poor human beings" go away.


I agree with Jacob...
Thought it has all of the potential to be a comical short... it could very easily become a totally serious & depressing film...
In order to achieve the comical nature it appears that you intend... the approach and style you use (visually & auditorially) will greatly influence the outcome.

I think perhaps you might consider how you want your short to sound when it's done...
maybe "music" wont work for it... but you should definetly consider designing some musical undertones throughout the piece... they could help accentuate the comical element, without drawing too much attention to themselves (when done correctly)

Good luck, it looks interesting