Latest News For The Brothers McDonagh by Shannonn Kelly

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

We’re pleased to publish the latest news for the Feature Screenplay ‘The Brothers McDonagh’, written by Shannonn Kelly.

The Brothers McDonagh has completed its festival circuit and going in for one final draft before it goes to the table for optioning by interested parties.

Shannonn is currently working on 3 distinctly different feature scripts and will be entering them into festivals when they are complete. Best of luck!

In the meantime, here’s how ‘The Brothers McDonagh’ fared in 2010:

  • Semi-Finalist at the SoCal Film Festival 2010
  • Top 22% Features Nicholls Fellowship 2010
  • Top 50 Features Golden Brad Awards 2010
  • Finalist at the Beverley Hills Film Festival 2010
  • 2nd Place Win at The Indie Gathering Film Festival 2010
  • Honorable Mention Win at Woods Hole Film Festival 2010

Here’s the logline: Ray McDonagh fights for closure to a childhood of torment for him and his brothers, but first he must face his worst fear – his father…

What Big Bear Lake IFF Screenwriting Competition has to Say:

Round One:
A compelling story. Dynamic relationships. I wanted to read more.

Best aspect of the script:
Each brother speaks with a unique voice. Well developed characters.

Round Two:
The story of a close-knit Irish family with the exception of the patriarch makes “The Brothers McDonagh” a compelling read. Stevie, the youngest brother with complications from AIDS, is a good flashpoint for bringing the old man back into the fold – generating considerable sparks in the older brothers.

Mystery of what Ray has over his father is equally compelling.

Best aspect of the script:
John is the fiery, rage-filled brother who literally rips up the scenery. His anger is palpable, whether he’s beating the crap out of a vending machine in the hospital, or, fornicating with a young woman he hates. His dialogue is equally venomous, hinting at some kind of trauma at the hands of their unanimously hated father. Sparks are sure to fly in ACT II and the writing style equally delivers.

What Gimme Credit has to Say:

Three brothers try to get their father to visit their dying younger sibling. The characters are very good. Ray, John, and Kennedy all make great impression. They are a passionate, fascinating bunch and their dialogue crackles. The screenplay is set up quickly. There is plenty of drama established in the first 20 minutes.

What Gordy Hoffman (yes, Philip’s brother), has to Say:

What did you like about this script?

Child abuse, whether psychological or physical is a troubling subject matter. It is something that is horrifying to imagine and an upsetting topic of discussion. To take it on as the subject for a movie is a challenge. It’s not something that is easy for an audience to willingly come to and engage in viewing. Therefore, it’s important to show characters that are strong and likeable and ultimately for there to be some sense of justice for the victims. I think you do a great job and giving the audience a satisfying ending to a sad story.

What I liked the most about this script was your pacing and your sense of setting up a visual timeline. Your opening sequence is a nice mix of the micro and the macro. I like that you create a timeline showing the personal history of the McDonaghs mixed in with current events in America.

On page 34 you do a good job of creating suspense. When Ray confronts his father and throws out an accusation, you’ve let the actual deed go unsaid. I thought this was a great way to maintain the tension that was building and stalling the reveal was a deft way to keep the plot going.

Consequently, when we do find out that Camas has been abusing his sons, you manage to wrap it up in a montage that is quite dramatic. Again, your sense of timing is interesting. You’ve almost buried this momentous occasion in what at first seems like a conversational scene between the brothers, but it’s a realistic way to frame the dramatic high of the moment. It’s certainly an interesting choice – one that is not the obvious choice.

You do a good job and really picking up the pace and momentum by pages 78-80. Inter cutting between John’s purchase of the gun and Lena’s efforts to gather the DNA evidence propel the story forward.

Your character development is very strong. By page 8 we get a clear sense of what a strong-willed, hardheaded individual John is. John clearly has the more forceful personality of all the brothers and it is easy to believe that he is capable of doing something irrational. It is not a surprise that he would want vigilante justice against his father and it is easy to believe that Ray and Kennedy would be able to talk him out of it.

I liked that the brothers all have clear, distinct personalities that complement each other. I think that’s a detail that is very realistic and really reinforces the positive message that ultimate comes from this story – one cannot take the law into one’s hands and that justice ultimately prevails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *