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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Bridge Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 5th, 2012, 6:06pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Bridge by Jordan Littleton (nomad) - Short, Horror - There are over 600,000 bridges in the U.S. alone.  Four friends discover the horror that lurks beneath one of them. 8 pages - pdf, format


Visit http://www.simplyscripts.com for what is new on the site.


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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Forgive
Posted: April 5th, 2012, 6:38pm Report to Moderator
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Okay - I think that this is the first script you've posted here - pretty good - tension built up well - I really liked the way you had Shawn running across the bridge - it was something about nothing - that's okay - and there was no resolution, but I liked the way you came into it - and you didn't go soft at any point - so for a dark piece of work - there isn't much underlying it it - but there's really - IMO - plenty of potential here - good stuff.
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Nomad
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Thanks for the review SiColl007.  Right now I'm using the feedback I get from Shorts to improve my Features.  

I'm working on putting more of a story into my Shorts, but when you say "it was something about nothing", you're absolutely right.  This was more of a mechanical exercise, but I'll try to make you care about the Protag in my next short.

This is my third script on here.  "Restroom", was my first, and "The Stone Within" was my second, which was for a OWC.


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 6th, 2012, 10:52am Report to Moderator
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Hey Jordan, nice job here, bro...nice job.

It's refreshing to read a script that works in so many ways that the writing issues on display don't overshadow it, and bring it down.  You've created real and serious mood, tone, tension, terror, and even uncertainty, while creating likable, "real" characters, who come off as real people, based on the well written dialogue.

This is the kind of review I wish I could write more.  The kind where the first words out of my mouth are positive, the highlights, as opposed to what's wrong and why it just kills the read.

And it should serve as a great example of what works, why it works, and why the less than positive issues don't drag it down into the abyss of pisspoor scripts.

Simon mentioned that this is "something about nothing with no resolution". I disagree with this.  It is exactly what it is and what it's meant to be.  And the col thing is that it succeeds at what it sets out to do - nothing more, nothing less - a good lesson for many writers to learn.  If you think about it, the standard storyline for horror could fall into the "something about nothing with no resolution" category.  I don't see it that way at all.  It's a full contained story here that leaves things open for our imagination to ponder.

The GOODS - Tension is well done.  It starts out slowly with action taking place in the B.G. - fleeting, quick scenes, leaving unsure of what just happened...or why.  It grows so that we know damn well is "out there".  And it culminates in a well conceived chase for survival.

Dialogue is well done.  The kids actually seem to know each other and be friends, which I rarely see.  There are some funny lines, which always shines in a dark horror script.  Good dialogue creates good characters, IMO.

Concept is well done.  It's simple but it works and you brought your own spin to a tried and true simple setup.

THE NOT SO GOODS - Numerous writing mistakes on display.  Let's look at them in a little detail that will hopefully help going forward.

You open with an orphan.  What's worse is that this orphan is also repetition of your Slug.  I always say to try to avoid using your Slug in your opening line underneath it, as it's repetitive and unnecessary.

I think you should have provided some detail as to where this bridge is, what it's named, etc, but that's just a personal opinion.

Your 4th passage consists of 2 sentences, but the 2nd one is a fragment that should be attached to the first with a comma. IT would read and look much better.

Notice that you committed the exact same mistake following your 2nd Slug as you did with the first one - an orphan of a word from the Slug.

I like the "TINK, TINK" sound effects, but IMO, a sound effect that you feel is important enough to CAP, should rest on its own line, thus drawing more attention to it...making it stand out, on its own.  I'd do it this way each time you use it.

Keep in mind that in dialogue, pretty much every time you use a name, it needs to be set off with commas.

Bottom of Page 2 - Some issues here - The line, "Shawn and Billy argue back and forth." doesn't work for me, as it reads like an "ad-lib", and I'm very against them.  And the last line on the page is also an issue.  It should be 1 single sentence and it should be reworked, as it's awkward as written, IMO.

The line on the top of Page 3 is also an issue, pertaining to what I just said about the ad-lib thing.  It's unnecessary.

Page 4 - "trying to pull him under the bridge." - basically, this is an unfilmable, but more importantly, it's just unnecessary.

"A third claw appears from behind Billy and sinks itself into Billy's shoulder. His hands slip away." - "Billy's" should be "his". Try to avoid repetition when possible.  This will also make the line read much better.

"Shawn stumbles back and falls down in the middle of the bridge." - Another orphan and another one that's so unnecessary.  Now, don't get me wrong, you only have a handful of orphans on display, which is no big deal, but every single one so far has been the word "bridge".  We know we're on the bridge, so the word is unnecessary.

Page 5 - "rings in his ears" and "His heart races." are both novelistic unfilmables.  They work fine here, IMO, but understand that they're both unnecessary.

"The squat form of the creatures, silhouetted with each flash." - This sentence doesn't work on its own, and especially not on its own line.  It should be connected to the sentence above it with a comma (but it will need to be reworded a bit).

"100'" - You can't use ' for feet in a script.  I wouldn't even use 100.

"He looks down..." - This is an awkward line, IMO.

"In a frenzy..." - This is also awkwardly phrased, IMO.

I have an issue with the untie his shoes to get away thing, but I guess it's no big deal.

I also have an issue with some of the writing as the creature gets closer.  It's definitely suspenseful, but using lines like, "The shadow is almost upon him." then "The shadow is mere feet away." really isn't fair, IMO.  It works here, but...

Page 6 - The line about the oblong shape of the creature's head is great, but since it's mere feet away, I would hope he can make out everything about it.

But, then you use the same line again, "the shadow is almost upon him" - You see what I'm saying?  It's like, fuck, man, I know the damn thing is almost upon him - it was almost upon him 6 lines ago!!!

Personally, I frown upon using exclamation points in description.  For me, it works exactly the opposite the intent.

"to avoid having his feet shredded" - unnecessary.  This is an aside or unfilmable of sorts.  See what I'm saying?

"He gets a cut on his right foot. A slash on his left. They get bits and pieces of him but he continues to run." - This is a poor passage, IMO.  The word "cut" just doesn't fit at all.  The whole thing is unnecessary to me.

So, then we get the countdown stuff, using 75 feet, 50 feet, 25 feet, and finally, 10 feet.  You know, this works on some levels for sure, but it doesn't "look good" or read well.  We'll see what others have to say about it, if anything.

"Claws pop up through the decking in front of him, every inch covered, nowhere safe to step." - I really dislike this line.  I don't buy it and I don't like how it's worded.  It's such an important part of the script at this point.  I recommend reworking it and trying to come up with a better visual that makes more sense - is more believable.

The final stuff is both good and not so good, IMO.  Sometimes explicit, graphic detail is great, and sometimes it's both unnecessary and overblown.  It's a thin line.  Trust me, I love graphic violence and the balls it takes to write it the way you want it seen, but in the same breath, this may be a little overblown.  You do leave us on a nice visual, though.

So, Jordan, I like this for sure and think it's a great effort.  My crits are only meant to help and make this even better.  Good job, bro!!





To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Nomad
Posted: April 6th, 2012, 2:48pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the review Jeff.

I used some of your suggestions in the rewrite.  It's ALOT tighter and reads more smoothly.

As far as the novelistic lines, "His heart races", and "rings in his ears", those are more audio cues.  The thump of his heart, and a reverberating ring of the TINK TINK is what I was going for.

I'll clean up the, shadow moving closer, lines to keep from over doing it.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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jwent6688
Posted: April 6th, 2012, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
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Jordan,

Don't think I've ever read anything from you, but this shows promise and creativity. It doesn't stand too well on its own as a complete story. It feels more like an opening scene for a horror feature.

A good opening scene, though. I'd read on to see where it goes from here. What these things are and the back story behind is intriguing.

You did a good job with the tension as he races towards the end of the bridge. I liked how you counted down the footage to go.

Mark and katie were disposable characters. I think this would actually be creepier with just Shawn and Billy. Maybe give Shawn a little more time alone on that bridge after Billy dies.

My only formatting gripe is that you don't double space your slugs. Should be able to fix that in your software.

All in all, fine work. I enjoyed it...

James


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: April 6th, 2012, 3:19pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Jordan,

Glad to return the read.

You have detailed feedback above so I'll just my impressions.

I felt like I wanted to know why they were on the bridge, how they got there
I wonder whether the bridge could have a name that eludes to what will happen - during and after
The action got going fast didn't hang about which kept the tension
The picking off of the characters worked and added to the impending doom
I do agree with the impression that it is a scene of soemthing larger rather than a story in itself

What if the last one escaped, but saw all the creature disappear? How would he explain it to the police? Would he go back and check?

All the best.


My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
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Nomad
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Thanks for the review James.  

I'll heed the advice of Captain Morgan and double space my friggin slugs.

An opening scene is exactly what I had in mind while I was writing this.  

I like to get some feedback to see if I should even continue with a story, or if I should just abandon it.  

I'm glad you liked it.  If I make it a feature, I'll be sure to send you a copy.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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Forgive
Posted: April 6th, 2012, 5:20pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah - you could definitely do further work with this - I think it's a great opener - but you'd just have to be clear in your own mind where you felt you would go with it? It could end up being just a slasher - or have you got something more intriguing in mind??
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Dreamscale
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Quoted from Forgive
Yeah - you could definitely do further work with this - I think it's a great opener - but you'd just have to be clear in your own mind where you felt you would go with it? It could end up being just a slasher - or have you got something more intriguing in mind??


Simon, what's wrong with a Slasher with a cool angle and a unique take?  And, BTW, at least as far as I'm concerned, Slashers do not involve creatures...ever.

Get your genres straight, bro.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Forgive
Posted: April 6th, 2012, 7:09pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
what's wrong with a Slasher with a cool angle and a unique take?

nothing - that's exactly what it needs - like I say - something unique - as opposed to 'just' a slasher.

Quoted from Dreamscale
And, BTW, at least as far as I'm concerned, Slashers do not involve creatures...ever. Get your genres straight, bro.

Okay - not going to argue with you on this one - but didn't Freddy borderline this? I mean like - are we meant to think that he was human? And to some extent, the creatures could mimic a slasher? But this area ain't my strong point - I can see you laughing while I'm flailing. Maybe alien creature slashers, peed off at the existential trajectory of modern youth? Yeah I'm talking crap.  
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Dreamscale
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I'm not trying to be a dick, Simon.  I'm really not.

It just bugs me how the standard feeling is that Slashers or horror in general is lowbrow, or inferior to other genres.

It's not.  It's just that it's so damn easy to write a shit horror script and shoot it on a dime.  The vast majority of horror movies and scripts are downright awful, and it gives the genre a bad name and has killed it for the most part.

A cool take, with "smart" characters, good dialogue, rational action and decision making can go a long way, be made on the cheap, and make a fucking killing at the BO.

And to the others here who have commented on wanting to know the back story of the creatures, why this group was here, etc., I say...c'mon now.  Who cares?  Give me creatures, graphic violence, T&A, horror, suspense, terror, and a half dozen hot nubile young nymphs and I'm golden.     OK, you better throw in a bottle of good vodka, some Jagie and a comfy sofa, big enough for us all to squeeze in together.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Forgive
Posted: April 6th, 2012, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
you better throw in a bottle of good vodka, some Jagie and a comfy sofa, big enough for us all to squeeze in together.



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Forgive
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Quoted from Dreamscale

A cool take, with "smart" characters, good dialogue, rational action and decision making can go a long way,


Yeah - but this is really true, not just in horror, but maybe more so in horror - it's got its bad name from too many lacking in just this. You hit the nail.
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Nomad
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Quoted from Reef Dreamer

I felt like I wanted to know why they were on the bridge, how they got there
I wonder whether the bridge could have a name that eludes to what will happen - during and after...

...What if the last one escaped, but saw all the creature disappear? How would he explain it to the police? Would he go back and check?

All the best.


Thanks for the review Bill.

They were on the bridge because they were heading to a party.  I guess I could fit that in somewhere but I didn't think it was necessary.

I don't think the last one will get away.  I'm thinking that the police find another car with flat tires and missing people.  Then someone puts it all together and discovers the creatures.

The bridge I imagine looks a lot like the Dump Hill Road Bridge in Pennsylvania.





Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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