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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Six Minute Massacre Moderators: bert
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  Author    Six Minute Massacre  (currently 968 views)
Don
Posted: July 21st, 2006, 6:46am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Six Minute Massacre by Christopher VanAlstine - Short, Horror - A bunch of kids getting drunk around a campfire get killed by a psycho. 13 pages - html, format


Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: July 21st, 2006, 6:05pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Christopher. Just wondering if you have an account here,  I'll post a review only once I get a response from you (I'm not sure if you're around). If you respond I'll give you my review, 'kay?

I'm sorry but I just hate reviewing someone's work when he's not around
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Vanstein
Posted: July 21st, 2006, 7:05pm Report to Moderator
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Hey!  I am around!  I'm Canadian living in an unknown part of Argentina but I make it to the internet at least once a day.  Hit me with whatever you want.  Good or bad just as long as its not immaturish.  I have been reading some people's responses and it seems to become quite personal instead of an actual script critique.


[b][/b][face=Sans-Serif][/face][color=red][/color] VANSTEIN
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darthbrion
Posted: July 21st, 2006, 7:35pm Report to Moderator
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I'm seriously troubled.....

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Just finished your short so lets get to it!

* SPOILERS *

* Fun read, although who the Hell is the killer?  It's kinda like a mass kill scene from a Friday the 13th flick.

* I felt the "so & so falls into the fire" was done one time to many.  If I remember right, two kids and the killer all took turns falling into the campfire.  Maybe just save the last one or something.

* The last girl who lived pulls herself out of the fire only to get raped by the killer?  I dunno, that just seemed to be tossed in there to add more of a graphic feel to it.

Overall a entertaining read
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Vanstein
Posted: July 22nd, 2006, 12:25pm Report to Moderator
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Hey thanks for your thoughts.  You aren`t really supposed to know the killer.  I wanted a quick kill scene with nobody left alive and that´s it.  I know two fire scenes might have been too much but I wanted her left alive until the end and I still felt I needed to keep the first one.  As for the rape scene,  The killer was listening in on their conversation and Sarah says that Jason just needed to get laid.  So my killer does that in the end


[b][/b][face=Sans-Serif][/face][color=red][/color] VANSTEIN
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: July 22nd, 2006, 3:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Christopher,

I read this. Well, no one can say the title doesn’t sum up the script.

This is your basic teen slasher story. It has some positives but overall, it’s not really able to separate itself from the overwhelming barrage of these types of scripts.

****SPOILERS****

Some issues:

1) Grammar - one issue is grammar. You do something a lot of new writers do. You use participles with helper verbs instead of present tense, for example:

A huge campfire is blazing - should be - A huge campfire blazes.

Scripts are written in simple present tense. That’s just the standard format. A lot of people don’t like to hear that and accuse me of trying to teach them English but it is industry standard and no agent worth his salt is going to show anyone a script that isn’t written primarily in present tense because it will make him look unprofessional.

Also, the more readers grow accustomed to industry standard, the more taxing it is to read something out of format.

Be careful with certain possessives, nouns and contractions - it’s their place, not there place. Ex: They’re going to their place over there. Same thing with your and you’re. Ex: You’re going to have to get your stuff and go.

2) Characters -  are introduced in all caps. You don’t introduce some of your characters in any way. They just pop up. You have to paint the picture for us. That’s your job as the writer. You don’t describe the characters in any way. Seven kids in their late teens. That’s the only description for seven characters. That’s not enough. We don’t know your characters. You have to lay it out for us. You don’t have to describe every little detail. Look at us like this: we’re not stupid so don’t treat us as though we are by telling us every detail. But we can’t read your mind either so you have to give us something to go on.

I couldn’t tell your characters apart most of the time. They’re what’s called “talking heads.” You have to distinguish them. I didn’t know Robbie was black until he said it.

3) Description - this is something other people will disagree with me on but it does make your script look unprofessional. And that is the use of a word like “tits” in a descriptive paragraph. People using words like that in dialogue is one thing but its usage in description just makes you sound juvenile. The writer is supposed to be a wordsmith. Others disagree. Usually those others are juveniles who do the same thing so take this whatever way you want but I’m telling you it makes you sound immature.

No one begins to do anything unless that something is abruptly halted. People don’t start to scream when they see a murder. They scream.

You don’t describe this dark figure in any way. Is he tall, short? Does he look like a caveman? Bigfoot? Apish? A flying monkey? He has an ax. Does he look like a lumberjack? A biker? Pee Wee Herman? We need something to go on. Only later do you use the word “man” and you still don’t describe him in any way.

I want to show you something. Read this:

The man instantly comes out of his trance and looks up to where Sarah is still sitting where she was. She hasn't moved making it so easy for the man to just walk up to her.

Do you see the overwriting here? The last sentence is completely unnecessary. We’re smart enough to figure that out. The first sentence is in need of simplification. Here’s one example:

The man looks up and focuses on Sarah, who still sits frozen in the same spot.

4) Direction - We can all tell that she’s into it - this is directing us, not telling us a story. Most readers can’t stand to be told what to feel or what to think. We resent it. It’s your job to make us think or feel something with your writing skills. Telling us what to think or feel only shows your lack of skill. Words like, “We can” or “We see” or “We hear” all remove us from the scene and destroy our ability to suspend disbelief. We are immediately pulled from the story.

You’ve got too many action descriptions in parentheses in with dialogue. You need to find a way to keep the actions primarily with the descriptive paragraphs and the dialogue primarily dialogue. Some are unnecessary altogether. We don’t need to read in parentheses that Sarah is begging Mike not to drive. She’s plainly begging him not to drive in her dialogue. It’s redundant.

Remove all the CUT TO’s and angles and such other direction.

5) More stuff:

There’s no need for dialogue such as: Aarrgghh!

The timeline is off. Mike runs toward the van and falls on bottles, etc. The killer drags Lisa to the water (you don’t tell us if it’s a river or lake or what?) and drowns her. Then he kills Robbie. After all that, Mike is just now getting to the van, which is nearby. In the time it takes a person to drown, Mike could easily have gotten in the van (no matter how many times he fell) and driven off. The key delay device (clichéd, by the way) is going to have to take place a little sooner unless Mike is doing a Chaplin-esque slapstick routine with the falling down.

OVERVIEW:

The good news is that you do have raw talent. It’s raw. Your grammar issues are mostly small matters in terms of fixing. Your grammar is generally pretty good. If your characters were better described and more distinguished, your dialogue is generally pretty good. Maybe forced here and there but that’s a problem for any writer and knowing what to cut and what to keep as far as dialogue is as much a talent as writing dialogue itself.

Of course, the biggest problem is that the story is pointless. It’s an exercise in slaughter that cannot in anyway be distinguished from countless others of its type or even from an old urban legend. I do see potential for this writer, particularly with regards to character banter. If this writer is willing to grow and improve, to be disciplined enough to do the work necessary, I do believe this writer can eventually separate himself and write something inspired.

Brea



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ReaperCreeper
Posted: July 23rd, 2006, 12:54am Report to Moderator
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"Hit me with whatever you want.  Good or bad just as long as its not immaturish.  I have been reading some people's responses and it seems to become quite personal instead of an actual script critique."

Ha ha, that doesn't happen here dude, everyone on this site is very mature.


All right Christopher, let's get on with this (I'm reading as I write).

First of all, I admire how straight-forward you were when describing the plot synopsis. It's your basic popcorn slasher. I don't like it when other writers feel the need to make their story sound better than it really is. That's a plus in my book. Now, on to the actual screenplay:

You start off with this:

FADE IN: LAKE SIDE- NIGHT

But it should be like this:

FADE IN:

EXT. LAKE SIDE - NIGHT

A minor mistake. No biggie.

All right, you described your setting (the Lake side) pretty well, but it needs to be split into smaller paragraphs. 2-4 lines each paragraph is the standard I believe.

Your dialogue is completely cliché, but that's expected from an 80s-oriented slasher.

I can see the characters are Horror acolytes. But you still need to describe each and every single one of them when they are introduced. ALL of your seven teens must be described individually. We know they're in their late teens, but what do they look like? Do they seem geeky? Smart? Hot? Ugly? What are they wearing Y'know, all that stuff (try to avoid mass introductions though, like maybe describe your character when he/she first speaks or when he is first involved in an action).

          "Sarah is taking long sips from a wine cooler.  She is
          sitting on Mike's lap and he has his hands around her
          waist."

When first introducing, not only do you need to give a brief description of the character, but also CAPITALZE his/her name when he/she first appears. Like this (example):

"SARAH, a beautiful brunette in flared pants and a  white tanktop, sits on  MIKE's leg. He is a clean-shaven, built guy wearing a football Jersey."

Not exactly like that of course but you see what I mean. I think that's about it with the mistakes.

Your characters were all one-dimensional. Non-interesting, you know? But a bunch of non-interesting characters equal a bunch of fresh corpses in flicks like this! So we'll see how it turns out...

Now that I've read further your characters are not only one-dimensional, they also don't speak like they're in their late teens, they all sound more like fifteen year-olds than anything else.

Hmm....I like the fact that the first kill happened right in front of the kids' eyes. Nice.

Incineration, axings...all happening with all the teens there.  Sweet deaths 'bro. I'm glad you avioded the whole let's-split-up-so-the-psycho-can-kill-us-faster thing.

                                 "MIKE
                         Fuck you too then!"

LOL! She blew her off! WTF? HAHAHA that was great.

Robbie tries to fight the killer but is slashed across the chest. Don't write "aaaargh!" in your dialogue. Just descibe that he screams in a description paragraph.

This is a mistake:

"CUT TO: VAN INT"

It should be:

CUT TO:

INT. VAN

And you may as well get rid of the "CUT TO"s. They're not neccessary.

......So....they all get killed then? Man, the killer didn't even get any sport.

Not much to say.....

You could try extending this a bit, and improving it. I think the fact that we never find out who the killer is is cool, but the screenplay definitely needs a re-write.

Goodluck.





  






  

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Daniel_Robinson
Posted: July 23rd, 2006, 1:01am Report to Moderator
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Hello,

An interesting story.  I have to agree with the above, It seemed alot like Friday the 13th. But not bad if I say so myself.

Keep up the great writing.

Dan


Gotta keep writing!

Writer of:  

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and more, run my name in search.

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Vanstein
Posted: July 23rd, 2006, 5:54pm Report to Moderator
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thanks for all the points.  I guess I didn't do so hot but it was my first try.  I'm going to copy this page so I can take it home with me.  I live in the middle of nowhere so I don't have internet yet.  I will re-read all your points and hopefully put it to good use.  Maybe it will turn me into a better writer.
thanks again.


[b][/b][face=Sans-Serif][/face][color=red][/color] VANSTEIN
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James Fields
Posted: July 23rd, 2006, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
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The thing that bugs me with every single slasher script. Is that it's the same crap every time I read it. Teenagers getting crunk, being all horny and shit, then getting killed.

It seemed unreal as well. They talked so clearly for being drunk, and usually people's composure with their grammar skills.

The deaths are the biggest part of any slasher, and your deaths were really, really, bad. You weren't descriptive enough for me. I just couldn't see it happening in my mind.

Your formatting is a big no-no.

Example:

CUT TO: CAMPFIRE

It should just be...

EXT. CAMPFIRE

You don't need CUT TO: after every scene that you have. You just need a lot of work done to your script here.

Nice try at a slasher, but it certainly isn't a good one. Good luck next time...

-James


Coming Soon:

I finally found the title for my short.

Acronym- You've been warned...

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michel
Posted: July 24th, 2006, 1:16am Report to Moderator
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Hi Chris

Classical but effective script with good dialogs.
Good start though a little bit talky for a short souding like "Pulp Fiction" meeting "I know waht you did last summer". Butr waht's the point? Who's that man? He could be no monster because of his sexual desire.

*******************SPOILERS********************

The deaths are not quite original. The one I like (well, it isn't a death) is the way Sarah falls into the fire from the van.

Did you time your script? Because the massacre starts at page 7 to 11. So less than four pages for 6 minutes. That's mean that all the action before lasts--- about 12 minutes.
Am I right?


Michel


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