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The October One Week Challenge scripts are being posted here
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Ok when I began reading, I thought that this was going to be a zombie short. But not long into it I knew they were ghosts. The orb baby was a bit weird to me... I mean trying to imagine a floating orb baby floating around and then the hounds coming to get it. Were they like hounds of hell, taking the baby to hell? I was a little bit confused, but interested enough to read the whole thing through. I think maybe if it was a bit longer, you could have added more to answer some of the hidden questions....But overall, I enjoyed.
You could probably sit and think about this one for a bit. Luckily, I'm not one of those people. Liked the dogs barking in the distance. Felt like an inevitability that Steven and Marsha were going to have to face.
Nice, dark overtone to the entire thing. I'm assuming the orb was Danielle's soul headed back towards the living? Again, a script the can very easily be misinterpretted. The most interesting thing for me was that Steve and Marsha died several months from each other. I know that there's meaning behind it in the script, but I'm not going to embarass myself with a guess..
The writing is decent but the prose is purple, too flowery and repetitive. The baby's spirit felt manipulative, but I tend to see the emotional puppet strings so perhaps that's just me. Good action with the hellhounds but I would have liked a little more context for it. There isn't enough to understand the rules of this world you've created, I'm left with a few important questions without answers. You set more up than was paid off with the ending, this sort of twist should answer all the questions but failed to do so.
Good effort, good potential. It could be turned into something with some changes, perhaps unfettered by the restrictions of the OWC.
Saw the twist coming, but liked it. It's a concept you should develop and play with. The perception of the dead is always intriguing.
I think maybe the middle of this story needs some development. It seems like you knew how you wanted it to end, and then just had to come up with filler before you reached the end. When that happens, it's usually a sign there's a problem more intrinsic to the story. Let's see if we can find it.
You started constructing this story with the twist with the daughter in mind. But that's pretty much it. So there really kind of isn't a story. The protags are ghosts, so there is no development, no character arc, no character goals, no stakes, no flaw to be discovered. That's why there is a problem with having to come up with filler.
Think of the ghost in Sixth Sense. He has a super strong goal: to help the kid. He also has other issues to work out, such as a sense of failure in his marriage, and a sense of having made choices which led to that failure. His struggle as a ghost, and to learn he is a ghost, is about those flaws and those goals.
Not sure I saw anything like that here.
Especially if this is early work for the writer, all in all, you're off to a good start. Descriptions are decent, imagination healthy. Good luck.
Creepy setting, for sure. Cemetery is misspelled throughout the script. The writing itself was okay, some clever descriptions of the trees and headstones. But there was some clunkers in here:
"They release Steven crawl back into the rocky earth."
The dialogue drifted toward the "meh" and had a tendency to be repetitive. Marsha's sole purpose in this script seemed to be complaining to Steven that they were a family and that Danielle had been taken from them. And Steven repeatedly assured her many times over that they would be togther again...someday.
As for the story, I took it to mean that these two had just died in a car accident and were wandering through this hellish landscape of a graveyard. But, why were they in hell? Who was that "new baby" who just arrived? Why would the hellhounds swallow up a baby's soul? A lot of questions raised, but few answers given.
Then, we see Danielle in the same cemetery, as seen through human eyes. Apparently she survived the accident that claimed her parents. So if she never died, why would she have a headstone in her parents' spectral version of the cemetery? Yet another plot point I didn't get.
This was a very basic tale that hinted at a deeper narrative. Unfortunately, at six pages, it stopped well before it could reach any depth.
I liked the story and I liked the ending. I guess I should have seen it coming but I didn't, so it was a nice change of pace. Didn't get the thing with the baby crying and the guesses I have for it don't make a heck of a lot of sense...but I'll try. Danielle's tombstone says 1991, which is her birth year and not her death, so maybe because Steven and Marsha are dead, seeing a tombstone means the opposite? Like a birthstone? That's the best I can figure for the baby.
Liked the wolves a lot, dialogue was stiff and slow, and at times the script itself lagged as a result. The word "slowly" also appears numerous times, so naturally that slows the pace.
There is potential here, but it's definitely not realized.
The writing is the big culprit, IMO. Awkward, clunky writing throughout. Misspellings, typos...
Dialogue very poor. So many examples of exposition and repeating character's names over and over.
Not much of a story, as others have noted, but an interesting idea of paralleling the dead parents with the survivng daughter. I think it was a big mistake to have Steven resemble a zombie, as it hurt the tone and feel right off the bat.
You had 6 more pages to include and you definitely should have, as this isn't fleshed out nearly enough. Looks like a rush job, that was based ona decent idea.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Pg. 6 ďA cherry blossom petal floats down. He picks it up and gently tosses it aside.Ē Did Danielle pick up the blossom or a man?
Besides that there werenít many errors other than some spelling and using LY words that I donít have a problem with in most cases. The story was ok, it seemed to drag without getting to know too many details.
I am new to screenwriting so any of my suggestions and comments please hold at a novice level, good work and thanks.
I thought it was a clever attempt to reverse the worlds of life and death, but there was so much here that I didn't understand. The babies? The wolves? I look forward to your explanations.
I think the twist was fairly predictable quite early on which spoilt the ending a little. Personally I found it strange that they talked about Danielle as if she were dead, when they must know that it is them that have died, shouldn't they be pleased that she is still alive, surely it is them whom has been taken from her (unless i've misunderstood something). I understand it's to reinforce your twist, but i think it felt forced.
MARSHA (screams) We were a family!
STEVEN And we still are... And we will be together again... Someday.
MARSHA We were a family and Danielle was taken from us! We were a family!
STEVEN We will, again. I promise you that... We'll all be together again... Someday.
They were very similar sentences repeated in fairly quick succession. I think one would've been enough.
Overall though, it was an interesting concept and I was intrigued and entertained. But my confusion over what was happening and the 'logic' of this world made it far less accessible.
Page 1 ( in another life?) is distracting and pointless. Killed the mood. Otherwise, pretty atmospheric and felt like a video game I used to play in the 80's! Not entirely sure what the deal was, felt like it was a landscape between heaven and hell and that the ghosts, Steven and Marsha, were constantly trying to stop orbs from being taken away by hellhounds. Were the other people just mourning at graves? I don't know.
Locations & Sets - Cemetery with character! bare trees (winter shoot), blossoming cherry trees (late spring shoot) Actors - STEVEN (20), OTHER FIGURES x 5, MARSHA, DANIELLE (20) Costumes - ragged attire x 6, rag gown, DANIELLE's casual dress, steri-strips and cast Props - dried weeds, thorny brush at ankles, DANIELLE WASHINGTON tombstone, headstones x 6, flower bouquet Audio FX - dog howl, baby cries, distant dog snarls Visual FX - floating glowing orb transforms into MARSHA, MARSHA's flowing spectral rag gown, ghost hand passing, second glowing orb, several passes of MARSHA's hand through baby orb, weeds squirming into ground, 3D CGI hellhounds fighting, thousands of bats from tree, hellhounds taking orb and running away, MARSHA's hands in ground, dark weeds become colorful, old headstones to polished marble, Other - extensive rotted flesh and bone makeup (MUA needed), dolly for making MARSHA glide, greenscreen, spotlight for sunbeam unless CGIed, birds in flight shot, Comments - Sad and mournful story. Perplexing. Very nice. There's a lot of special effects going on in there. The winter and spring shoot, although time consuming and assuming you have a great cherry blossom cemetery available, should only be a minor hassle once permission to film there is secured. (Good luck!). This almost might get knocked up to PG-13 due to subject material combined with its tone.
Very nice story. But there is a lot of unanswered questions. If it was a little longer, we could get more explanation. Good visuals, loved the scenery change from dark to light. Very strong potential. Thank you for the enjoyable read.