Bronx by David Newton | Script Revolution

Bronx

A divorced pastor becomes a topless bartender at the city's hottest gay bar. True story.

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Page Count: 
61pp

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Synopsis/Details: 

*PROOF OF CONCEPT/SAMPLE SCENE HAS BEEN SHOT! CHECK IT OUT BELOW*

Bronx is a streaming network, serialized dark comedy series, taking place at the intersection of gay pride and conservative religion… then given an unapologetic outlet on a standup comedy stage in the 90s.

Welcome to Nashville, Tennessee. It's 1996 in the heart of the Bible Belt.

It’s the time of psychedelic fanny packs, frosted hairstyles and TLC’s Waterfalls blaring from the fluffy orange headphones of a Discman. During the week it’s Saved By The Bell on a 34” Panasonic tube television... but Sunday’s belong to Rev. Billy Graham.

It’s a wonderful time to be alive… a wonderful time for one man to destroy the only life he’s ever known. This is a story all about how a life got flipped, turned upside down…

Until recently Adam Charlton was happily married to his high school sweetheart and the beloved youth pastor at Jubilee Church. One fateful day, Adam’s perfect life come crashing down around him, when he takes a glimpse in the mirror and doesn't recognize his own face. His inner demons have become too much for him… and he walks out on his wife and church.

Like a hurt, lost and blinded fool Adam gets up at an open mic comedy night where serendipity, in the form of a familiar church matriarch, steers him towards a job at the wildest gay bar in town: Bronx

To those who grew up in the shelter of the suburbs, Bronx is a place of folklore filled with mythical nocturnal creatures; manly Sirens who lure many a seaman into departing with fists-full of pink dollars for the promise of a fantasy… chiselled bodies dancing… flaming bottles flaring… and that’s just a Monday.

Paradoxically, for the straight bartenders willing to play the game, Bronx is the best kept heterosexual secret in town. If you walk by every night, talking sweet and looking fine, it gets kind of hectic inside… it’s a sweet, sweet fantasy baby.

Bronx is the excitement of a gay Magic Mike mashed with the dark reality of a Studio 54… as experienced by a self-destructive ‘church boy’… and then unpacked in honest and raw stand-up comedy sets. It’s a rollercoaster through two polarized worlds… two worlds that should never meet… but did.

Through flashbacks we dive into vulnerable back-stories of our protagonist and supporting characters. We will shine a spotlight on landmark events that have set the stage for the hero’s journey. We will pull back the curtain on topics like ‘church sanctioned virginity’… ‘infidelity and betrayal’ and the long-perpetuated church rhetoric concerning oiled men with six-packs and glitter hot-pants.

Following Adam’s interactions with a kaleidoscope of characters and an unlikely mentor, we will see traditional religion tested by fire, and wrestle with who our villain truly is. In our anti-hero’s attempt to self-destruct… his rock-bottom will become the perfect foundation for his rebirth and audiences will witness unorthodox redemption rising from the ashes.

The Bronx is a heartbreakingly hilarious ‘fish out of water’ tale in a climate of bigotry, mass religion and extremism. Not just because these two worlds are on either side of an age-old war… but because Bronx is a fairytale of true understanding and acceptance under improbable circumstances.

As audiences are taken on this journey, they will experience the challenges of forgiveness, identity, tolerance and rebirth... all within the spotlight on one of the best times in the 20th century for fashion, culture, music and gay pride… and given an unapologetically therapeutic stand-up comedy voice.

EPISODE FORMAT

Each episode of Bronx is utterly unique… as it will not only be title by an iconic 90’s song, but will include the song’s lyrics and visuals sewn into the dialogue and narrative.
Just like those 90s mix tapes that scored the soundtrack of our lives... the break-up songs or karaoke road trips where memories were made… Bronx will sweep audiences up in a wave of nostalgia through every episode.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

PLACED IN THE TOP 10%

STORY ANALYST: 83KA4
Overall - - Impression: 86th Percentile
Concept: 85th Percentile
Plot: 89th Percentile
Structure: 88th Percentile
Characters: 95th Percentile
Dialogue: 93rd Percentile
RATING: CONSIDER

OPENING THOUGHTS
BRONX is a well written and intriguing one hour pilot which held the reader's attention throughout. Based on a true story, the reader found the script to be a thought provoking study of the lead character as he struggles to find his true identity. The reader notes that the writer is intelligent and appears to be knowledgeable about the industry given the note on the submission as well as with the high quality of this script.
The reader offers that in recent months there have been a substantial number of scripts submitted for analysisthathavethegaycommunityasabackdroporelement. Themajorityofthesescriptsmiss the mark. That isn't the case with BRONX. Although there are sexual inferences within the script, the reader did not see this script as being tawdry or stereotypical. There is a raw honesty to this script as it is simply about a troubled man trying to find himself in life.
The reader does have a few observations for the writer to consider that may further elevate this project towards a potential deal. Let's begin the analysis.
CHARACTERS
The reader notes the main cast of characters is lean which is major plus. The set safety protocols have handcuffed most productions. There is a significant amount of atmosphere at the two clubs in this script. While that may present a problem in the near term, an experienced director may be able to cheat some of those scenes stylistically in order to prevent a major obstacle for this project moving forward.
Adam Charlton (30's) is the lead character in this script. Adam is a complex character who has multiple layers to his persona that are tearing him apart mentally and physically. The writer has provided some interesting back story to Adam who was once a preacher and now finds himself trying to make his mark as a stand-up comedian and eventually as a bartender at a gay bar in an establishment named "Bronx"; from which the series takes its name. Through a series of flashbacks, the reader (and the audience) learn that Adam was once married and on his way to becoming a preacher, but he was not faithful. The reader surmises that Adam knew he was living a lie and subsequently bought a "one way ticket to anywhere but here".
Victor aka Venus (late 40's) plays a key role in this story and subsequently gets a nod as the lead supporting actor in this pilot. Victor is the manager of Bronx and in a poignant scene demonstrates

exceptional integrity and thoughtfulness towards Adam. Its too early to tell what role Victor may assume further into this story, but for now this is a compelling character that may be the game changer in how Adam views himself and begins to transform into who was meant to be.
Miss Dotty (60's) is an African-American and an "old friend" of Adam, although the writer doesn't elaborate further. Suffice to say, she knows Adam well enough that she sends him to a job opportunity at the gay bar. The reader surmises that she knows Adam well enough to understand who he is, even though he hasn't come to grips with it himself.
There are a handful of other characters who play supporting roles either for back story or to serve as stepping stones for Adam's transformation. None are stereotypical and all serve a purpose without reading like filler.
Is this lean cast the solid foundation for a potential series? Based on Adam and Victor alone the answer is yes. The reader was intrigued to see how this story is going to play out given the complexities and honesty emanating from the main characters. That is a solid start for a binge worthy series. More in Final Thoughts.
PLOT
Atthe10,000footviewthismayseemlikeasimpleplot. Aformerpreacherislivingalieandendsup as a bartender at a gay club. One could begin to connect some dots without reading further and believe that they knew the ending. Not so fast says Adam at the onset, "Don't presume I make it to the end."
Upon a ground level inspection of the plot it becomes much more complex and the reader wasn't taking anything for granted. The tone of the plot is what resonated most with the reader which was enveloped in Adam's anger; not just with those "promiscuous sodomites" but mainly with himself.
The reader saw that Adam hated who he was in the past and that he hadn't yet divested himself from that person in his present situation. Perhaps he did in the closing tag when he removed the tattoo.
Time will tell.
The reader did want to get a better handle on the setting for the plot to avoid confusion. The writer has set this story in Nashville. Naturally, when someone sees "Bronx" they immediately think of the

Big Apple. With Adam's reference to South Africa, the reader quickly grasped the writer's lift from the gay bar named "Bronx" in Cape Town from the 90's and mashed this story to America. It all made sense after a bit of "G-2", but the title may be misleading to the general audience given their familiarity with the New York borough. It also clarified the long term friendship of Adam and Miss Dotty given the racial make-up of Cape Town. Revising the name is a judgment call by the writer, but be advised it may become an issue based on focus group feedback.
Are there any major flaws in this story as it is told? No, not really. The writer professes that it is a true story, so the reader takes it at face value. All of the scenes read as credible.
On an economic/creative note, the reader generally suggests that writers refrain from painting themselves into a corner with popular music. There is never a guarantee that the rights to a song may be cleared; and often times if the rights are available the price tag may be prohibitive for the project.
The reader has seen this happen time and time again, particularly with indie projects where the estimated music rights out weigh the rest of the budget. The reader surmises that the writer has given this careful consideration, but if they haven't it's always wise to have a back-up script in the hip pocket so the project doesn't get delayed.
The reader notes that this is an intriguing plot which has the potential to serve as the basis for a series. The reader also notes that a strong story bible will be required in the current climate given the needs
of the potential buyers and financiers. More in Final Thoughts.
STRUCTURE
The writer has structured BRONX with an opening teaser followed by the standard three act formula of cinematic story telling with an embedded tag at the close. The reader notes that the writer has not formally formatted this script for commercials but at 48 pages it hits the sweet spot for an advertiser supported one hour time slot. The reader also notes that the writer has made a highly effective use of flashbacks to provide back story for the lead character.
The reader notes that the writer demonstrates an excellent skill set for the craft. The reader also notes that formatting this script for advertiser supported television would not diminish its prospects but

potentially enhance them. More in Final Thoughts.
DIALOGUE
The reader notes that the writer has a keen ear for creating dialogue that is organic and flows naturally. The reader was particularly impressed with Victor's dialogue when he visits Adam at the comedy club. There was raw honesty and a high degree of integrity in that scene which elevated this script in the eyes of the reader. Kudos.
The reader also thought Adam's reluctance to swear was a nice touch not only for his character, but also kept the script from going into a downward spiral based on an over reliance with profanity.
CONCEPT
As written in a congested and highly competitive script market, the reader anticipates moderate interest in this script and the concept as a series. That is not an aspersion to the writer, but merely an assessment on where the market currently stands and where the buyers' needs are now focused.
Are there paths towards procuring a deal for BRONX? Yes. There are a few which the reader will elaborate on further in Final Thoughts.
FINAL THOUGHTS
This is an intriguing script and concept given the high quality of the writing; as well as the complexities the reader found in Adam and Victor. The reader sees merit in this script. In the current market though there is a downside. Let's address that first and get it out of the way.
The reader networked with buyers in September at the virtual NATPE Conference (National Association of Television Program Executives). The message of the streaming platforms was clear. Their focus is on the family subscriber since it has the greatest ROI. For content, they are aggressively looking for series that have the potential for a 7-10 year run. Barring that potential, the analytics

suggest that they are better off spending hundreds of millions of dollars on re-runs of FRIENDS and THE BIG BANG THEORY. That is the reality of the streaming platforms as they gear up for an all out war for market share.
Where does that leave BRONX? While any of the streaming platforms would potentially acquire this project after it is in the can, premium cable may be its best play as a first pitch. HBO and SHOWTIME are still willing to take on edgier material; and despite the high quality of BRONX, its LGBTQ subject matter pigeonholes it into the edgier realm of projects.
The reader does have another suggestion for the writer to consider. Projects that are under the umbrella of a major are handcuffed for the time being due to the set safety protocols. With the dire need for fresh content, a seller's market is blossoming on the near horizon. Subsequently, various indie projects have completed pilots, music videos and features while prudently adhering to set safety protocols and reasonable social distancing. In short, an indie television market is also blossoming on the horizon as well.
Formatted for advertiser television to keep all options open, the reader suggests that private equity may find this project intriguing. The potential Federal and State tax incentives are low hanging fruit for a savvy producer; and the need for content would provide a potential negative pick up deal from any number of entities which includes cable channels such as FX or AMC.
The cable channels are becoming the "farm teams" for their parent companies' streaming platforms. Original content will have a first run on the cable channel where it will begin to recoup its costs. From there it will transition to their parent company's streaming platform where it will be offered with and
without commercials.
While the streaming platforms are looking for long term family content, the cable channels are not averse to a potential edgier limited series; particularly as negative pick-up deals. This is the reason why formatting this project for advertiser supported television will not diminish its opportunities.
Eventually all the streaming platforms will have this two tiered pricing structure so it's better to address this now rather than after the fact.
In closing, the reader notes that this is an intriguing concept from an intelligent, insightful and talented writer. Hollywood is preaching diversity and inclusivity and the reader suggests that this

project has the potential to emerge as an "indie darling" during these uncertain times when content is king.

Video: 
PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bronxtv/bronx-television-pilot
Submitted: October 27, 2020
Last Updated: July 20, 2021

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The Writer: David Newton

I entered this world in Cape Town, South Africa to British parents... then moved to Los Angeles to pursue life in 'The Industry'. The enticing incident of this story happened when I made a cross-road deal... and was inadvertently hurled into a standup comedy and acting career. Standup comedy was good to me and taught me failure and character arcs... and somehow earned me awards along the way. Ten years into it, I was commissioned by a Hollywood producer to adapt one of my comedy routines into a rom-com screenplay (which took me into rooms with big-wigs at Warner Bros.)... and shortly afterwards I had my first television pilot optioned by another production company. It turned out, much to my... Go to bio

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