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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Found Moderators: bert
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 15th, 2009, 5:38pm Report to Moderator
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Hey James, just read this now.

I liked it, as most have said.  I also think it's defintely a bit overwritten for the most part, but I totally understand the style you went for here.  It worked for what it was.

A few uses of passive language, where the active voice would have worked better and could have been used so easily, but based on the nice flow and feel here, it's no big deal.

2 complaints...first is the underuse of POV for whatever is following her.  You used it at first, but then ignored it.  Since you continually shifted between scenes, you need to continually use POV, so we understand that we're not seeing what's chasing her, only seeing what it sees.  Simple fix, though.

2nd complaint is the ending, which is a letdown, and leaves me feeling like I didn't get any payoff for the entire story.  Yeah, I know, it's only 5 pages, but they still have to go somewhere, and based on the ending, this didn't go anywhere at all.  I would have preferred an ambiguous ending, in which we never even find out what's chasing her, but by revealing it to be her Dad, everything we just went through is for naught, so to speak.

But overall, it defintely has a nice feel and flow to it, and although usually I'd be against overly flowery, novelistic prose, it works here, and does paint a cool picture...but then again, that may also be because there really isn't any story here at all.

Good, unique effort!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Baltis.
Posted: July 15th, 2009, 5:50pm Report to Moderator
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You can probably shorten this to 3 pages by doing away with the unnecessary, often wordy, descriptions.  For instance, page 1 you should simply describe the building in question as dilapidated and be done with it. When we think dilapidated we get a good mental picture of the structure... You don't need to go into detail about how the bottom hinge was all that held the rusty door on the shell of a frame... Or whatever it is you wrote.

Dilapidated -- move on. Saved yourself about 4 paragraphs.

Anyways, aside from your overly descriptive "albeit, very well written" writing... It seemed to be the opener of a much bigger story. Not a lot of content here and I agree with what another said it would be best suited as an animated gig... Hell, I'd Animate it on Toomboom and be done with it.
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harrietb
Posted: July 16th, 2009, 2:21am Report to Moderator
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Hi James,

I really enjoyed your script. It was very visual and I liked that the "thing's" pace picked up at the same time as the action did.

It's good as it is, but this could be the opening to a longer piece, as it would be interesting to see how she  and her father, survived, and if other members of her family did too. Also, how she has survived (presumably all alone) for what must have been a long time and to find out where the others are, so you could start here and tell the backstory. Good job though, because I was expecting some zombie, or wild beast to be on her trail, so you did a great job of keeping up the suspense and adding to the sense of chase. Now that I know the twist, of course, logic is asking why Dad didn't just call her name but then I'm thinking either he or she might be deaf, which could be interesting, or that he's afraid of drawing the attention of another "thing."

Anyway, well done. Enjoyed the read.

Harriet


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James R
Posted: July 16th, 2009, 2:15pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
A few uses of passive language, where the active voice would have worked better and could have been used so easily, but based on the nice flow and feel here, it's no big deal.

Hey, Dreamscale, I think you were the one who pointed out all of the passive voice in my last script too. I'll have you know that I went all the way through the one I just submitted and found some there that I changed. So thanks for your help.
I figured that using that much POV would be too much. I introduce it and hoped it would be inferred the rest of the way. You think I should put it in each time?
You're not the first to mention that this felt like the beginning of a larger story. I have been thinking about it, who knows. Thanks for the comments.

Baltis - thanks for your comments as well. A few have mentioned it being over-written and the more that mention it the more I realize it is. I checked out ToonBoom, pretty cool. Maybe I'll look into it more.

Harriet - Same to you, I guess. Many people seem to think this feels like an intro to a bigger story, I'll be thinking about it. I'm not sure how far I can go without dialogue, maybe I would just have to ditch that for the rest of it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

James


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Dreamscale
Posted: July 16th, 2009, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
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James, I just want you to be clear on something...passive verbiage.

I know that I seem to harp on this subject quite a bit in the reviews I post.  I usually say something to the effect, that I'm not saying that you can';t ever use it.  I truly believe there are situaitons where it actually sounds better and works better.  There are also most situations where not only doesn't it sound or work better, but it's just downright simple not to do it.

In your script, your 3rd passage is a classic example of when not to use it.

"The door is hanging on only by its bottom hinge, the windows are gone."

As some have said, this, and many other sentences on your first page are unneccessary, but the passive verbiage here jumps out like a sore thumb and pretty much alerts the reader to almost look for more examples.  It occurrs so quickly and is such an easy fix, or catch, that for me, at least, it gives me the feeling that there's going to be alot more of these to follow.

The simple fix here is obvioulsy...

"The door hangs by its bottom hinge only."  The 2nd part makes this a run-on sentence, and probably doesn't really tell us anything we want to know.

But what I'm really saying is that if you hadn't included this sentence, chances are good that I wouldn't have commented on pasive verbiage at all, as the rest of your 1st page is clean.  There is another example on page 2, and it's an awkward sentence, but if you start things off cleanly, and catch our attention with your story, these things won't jump off the page.

I think it's important for writers to realize this and try to eliminate them, but there are examples where it's going to be fine, and no one will care...or even catch them.  First page is key to set your tone and the quailty of the writing.  You really can't have mistakes in your first few passages.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Dreamscale  -  July 16th, 2009, 7:29pm
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Andrew
Posted: July 16th, 2009, 7:03pm Report to Moderator
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The title has a nice depth to it, which is an odd way to start but is the first thing that came to mind.

Well, the script is pretty compelling and it manages to reach a conclusion. What you've presented is a self-contained story/scene, which is what a short should do - but it feels like an artsy little short that really isn't my thing.

The major problem for me is that we have no sufficient reason to care for the little girl, now that may sound bad, but why would I want to watch a girl for 4 minutes suffer without any real explanation as to why? I think it was Phil who referenced how a young director would look at this as a great showcase, which is true, so that could help this get produced and make my question null and void.

Ultimately, this just felt devoid of anything pulling me in - it kind of reminded me of Bert's script where the young child is lost in the supermarket, but that script has more substance.

Sorry if that sounds bad, but I imagine you have this powerful scene that's been cut from a feature and condensed into an intense 4-pages. That's good, but I don't see this as a story as such, but just a rogue scene presented alone.

Having said that, it was well-written, but I would much prefer to see those talents applied to something more substantial.

Andrew



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Andrew  -  July 16th, 2009, 7:16pm
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Baltis.
Posted: July 16th, 2009, 7:24pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from James R


Baltis - thanks for your comments as well. A few have mentioned it being over-written and the more that mention it the more I realize it is. I checked out ToonBoom, pretty cool. Maybe I'll look into it more.


James


You should, I've done some work with Toonboom and could help you aquire it if you'd like...    It seems daunting at first, but after you realize it kinda draws for you and how to use layers and what-not to your advantage then it becomes a damn good choice for your ideas... I've even done several screenplays of mine up in Storyboards using Their easy as hell storyboard software.

Again, something to think about.
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James R
Posted: July 16th, 2009, 7:29pm Report to Moderator
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Dreamscale, no worries. It has been good for me for someone to help out. Because I am an amateur with no schooling whatsoever in screenwriting I have to rely on my friends here. This script was written and posted before you pointed out my faults in "So Many Words". It has been a good lesson for me and you have spoken clearly. So thanks again.


Quoted from Andrew Allen
Ultimately, this just felt devoid of anything pulling me in - it kind of reminded me of Bert's script where the young child is lost in the supermarket, but that script has more substance.

The more I go over this script with people's comments the more I agree with this. I haven't read Bert's script so I can't compare. I guess begging people to care about a little girl holding a teddy bear just doesn't work. Nothing sounds bad to me, I take all criticism as constructive unless you call me names or something. Even that's OK sometimes.

Thanks for the reads, all comments are welcome.

James


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James R
Posted: July 17th, 2009, 1:35pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Baltis-
You should, I've done some work with Toonboom and could help you aquire it if you'd like...    It seems daunting at first, but after you realize it kinda draws for you and how to use layers and what-not to your advantage then it becomes a d*rn good choice for your ideas... I've even done several screenplays of mine up in Storyboards using Their easy as hell storyboard software.

Yeah, I took a look at it last night, it looks like pretty handy software for animations. It's not cheap, though, is it? I've done a lot of graphic design but have never done any animation beyond MarioPaint. Celtx has some storyboarding stuff but I've never used it. It would be great to see some stuff from it.

James


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tonkatough
Posted: July 17th, 2009, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
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Hey? wha-? What happeend? I was working my mouse like crazy trying to scroll up the next page and there was nothing there. Not even a FADE OUT: Your story just stopped.

Oh well I am guessing this is just an exercise in writing rather then a true short script.

The writing was nice and very descriptive. You paint a very vivid picture with words.

Your devastation was very devastating and I will be scratching my head the rest of the night trying to guesst what happened to the town in your story.  


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James R
Posted: July 21st, 2009, 2:15pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, tonka. Sorry I left out the FADE OUT, I usually do. Not sure why. Thanks for reading and for the comments, I have been thinking about expanding this one but it ranks kind of low on the priority scale right now.

James


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