Which is a damn good score! You can read version 7 here! I took the judge’s notes to heart about cutting down the big speeches, and did my own hard pass over unnecessary parentheticals etc. It’s down from 104 to 100 pages now.
Here are his positive notes on the script:
You’ve written a very original story exploring a world that most of us are clueless about – what it’s like to live with HIV, the fear of coming out to your family and the struggles amputee vets
have with PTSD and suicide. It’s a story that needs to be told because it’s far too easy for us who haven’t served to forget about the horrible aftermath of war and what people are dealing with all over this country. It’s a heartbreaking story with a nice dose of redemption to balance things out. There’s an authenticity to the characters and their struggles – it all feels very truthful and perhaps drawn from firsthand experience. Nice job with creating two contrasting lead characters. All of the characters are well-drawn and specific, flesh and blood. The final family scene is emotionally impactful and seems painfully honest. The dad’s behavior at the dinner table is not only unpredictable for a reader/audience but is also a real tear-jerker which provides a solid payoff after such an emotional story. In the current political climate we live in, I like how you gave the hardcore conservative guy some heart in the end. Sometimes we forget about this when the bitter divide has created so much animosity.
This is a deeply moving story about an issue rarely explored in TV and film with characters who I believe an audience would be cheering for. I would say it’s highly marketable. If you reexamine some of the “heavy page” scenes and whittle it down some, it will increase the pace of the read. I can’t emphasize how important that is when you begin to pitch this around.
WHEN I begin… as in, it’s good enough to try and sell… that’s a whole nother ball of stress, of course, but damn I feel good!