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Talentville Bar & Grill : The Wild West
Apologies to Dan Loschack

Mike Scherer
Posted May 18, 2015 1:57 PM
I recently reviewed Dan’s script, Exit 13, and after considerable thought have come to the realization that I was much too harsh and unfair, although not intentionally and not out of pettiness or spite.
I’ll explain. But first a little back-story – Back-story, not a continuation of the critique.
I started my critique with the following: 
“This script needs a whole lot’a work. There are so many coincidences and convenient events happening that I never experienced that ‘willing suspension of disbelief’. 
“Much of the coincidences could be remedied by providing some set ups in the beginning of the story that could be paid off later on.”
The coincidences and contrivances took me out of the story and, I felt, hurt the script. I offered a solution -- provide some set ups and foreshadowing in the beginning -- but I should have done more. I should have mentioned the good things (and there was much that was good – ie. Some very witty dialogue) and I didn’t. For that I’m truly sorry. If I could re-review (is that a word?) Exit 13 I would do things much, much differently.
Hopefully this will be a learning experience for me and ultimately make me a better reviewer because the bottom, for me anyway, is to ‘pay it forward’ and help my fellow writers.
In the future, if I step out of line again, please let me know.
Best regards,

Ben Cahan
Posted May 18, 2015 9:02 PM

Remember, Mike, if you jot down a few thoughts, you can always send them to Dan via a Conversation, I can't imagine any writer would say no to a little extra explanation, even if it is not an official part of the review.  Of course, if you do make any tweaks to the review and want to re-post it, I can turn on the Review Editing for you (which is usually limited to a few hours from the time the review is submitted).  Just let me know and I will be happy to do that.

Ben Cahan

Billie Harris
Posted May 19, 2015 7:39 AM


There have been a couple times when I've done almost the same thing myself, have had it pointed out, ate some humble pie and apologized in an e-mail.   But it takes an especially big person to apologize publicly.  Very admirable.

Dan Loschack
Posted May 19, 2015 9:56 AM

Thanks, Mike.

I read Mike's review and "got my Irish up," as they say, and fired back with an email which opened with, "If nitpicking were and art, you'd be Picasso."  We exchanged several e-mails back and forth where each of us stuck to our guns and defended our positions.

I explained I was writing a "popcorn script," sheer entertainment with no pretense of being anything more.  I felt Mike fact checked my script as if I had offered up a documentary.  If I needed a situation to propel the story, I created one for my two leads to encounter and move on.  Mike felt some of these were too convenient and coincidental.

Mike didn't like anything about my script and I felt the same way about his review.  Thus, we had the perfect storm for confrontation.  I've received negative reviews before.  I pulled two scripts, THE HOUSE ON MILLER HILL and COLD CREEK CANYON, from circulation because the critical reviews they garnered convinced me they needed a good deal of work.

I'm going to keep EXIT 13 in the mix, but here's the kicker, I'm not going to buy another review for it until I address some of the comments Mike made in his review.    Once the dust settled from our email exchanges I realized his comment about foreshadowing was correct.  I had originally written the script in chronological order, but needing to get the action scene right up front,  I shuffled the scenes which made the foreshadowing come too late in the story.  Mike pointed out I needed to be more accurate with my setting so any mention of the Long Island Expressway will be absent from my next draft.

Mike also graciously sent me an article concerning the use of coincidence in scripts and where they can go wrong if overused or a bit too convenient.  So Mike, you did pay it forward and helped me out.



Mike Scherer
Posted May 19, 2015 10:11 AM


Very gracious. Thank you.

Good luck with the project. I would love to read it again once you are happy with the changes.

Thanks again.



Geoff Morton
Posted May 19, 2015 2:24 PM

Mike Scherer
Posted May 19, 2015 4:38 PM

WinkHmmmm. I thought we were....