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Soulshadows - Reflection by Stephen Brown (stebrown) - Series, Short - Soulshadows is a weekly supernatural anthology series. Join Tanis, each week, as she highlights an item from her collection – each one containing the shadow of a very special soul. The third episod asks, what price would you pay for fame and fortune? - pdf, format
Pentagon? Is that a UK thing? Cause I'm used to it being called a Pentagram.
I have to say that I liked this story. It actually reminded me of an epsiode of Night Gallery called "Make Me Laugh" that I caught on Hulu not too long ago. If you're able to watch the episodes, I'd definitely recommend checking it out. It's similar to your story, in that it's about a comedian who makes a deal for worldwide fame, with mixed results.
Yours had a different angle with the Peter/Patrick angle, which I liked, but I have to admit being just a little confused over the ending. Was he trapped in this wall of mirrors? What was the significance of the painting with Sam? Am I correct in assuming that he needs to find a "replacement" now?
Anyway, I do think you did a good job with this, which is good because I'm usually a little bit pickier when it comes to this type of horror, being that it's my favorite sub-genre.
Pleased you liked it Mike. The pentagon thing is just what I thought it would be called, might be wrong though.
Yeah, I thought there would be a bit of confusion with Peter/Patrick. Basically he was going to end up the same way as Sam but at the last minute took the necklace off. In order to get his soul back he had to find a replacement - Sam. Sam didn't take the necklace off, so he is trapped in the pentagon. He doesn't need to find a replacement because he's dead and he's lost his soul -- it's kind of just showing that his soul is trapped.
The painting of Sam was to show that Patrick was helping to control Sam's downfall, it was also to show that Peter and Patrick are the same person. It was mainly for exposition of Patrick's character rather than Sam's.
I checked out the first part of 'Make me laugh' last night, will watch the rest later on. Does seem quite similar so far -- always a bonus to see 'Mr C' in something too haha.
This story had a nice creepy feel to it. I liked how you handled the Soulshadows premise.
There were a few tweaks I could see being made though. First was Luciano. It wasn't really clear to me exactly what he was about. You kept him pretty mysterious. Was he an agent of the creator of the pendant, a willing party, or was he trapped like everyone else who came in contact with the necklace. I'm punting on the former but it wasn't clear.
Another tweak might be in the beginning, there is very little action at the start. I know you were going for a slow build-up (and you did that) but I think a little bang for our buck at the front to whet our appetites for what's to come wouldn't hurt. I also think you could cut some of the beginning section to allow us to see more of the necklace's effect. I thought the ending could have been prolonged a bit more.
Lastly, I think Peter needed to be foreshadowed for the audience. If you had done this the audience would be privy to information that Sam didn't know and it would have created a bit more tension. I think you could have achieve this with a mirror behind the bar where Peter was not relfected.
Great short. I liked it alot, espesically the mirrors. Just imagining it gives me the chills. Luciano was cool for a old guy, but shouldn't Peter be the one to look for the replacement and not Luciano. Just a thought. I was also kind of confused about the painting in Peter's place. Maybe clarify that a bit more. But overall, great job.
And Bert, another great job with Tanis. It was funny imagining her with the necklace on. Your developing her well.
Luciano is a character that I've used before actually - Suburbia. Just with a few minor changes.
Pleased you enjoyed it. Peter is merely being used as bait for Sam. That's the deal e struck with Lucky in order to get his soul back. The painting is a little confusing, I just thought it would be a cool shot and like I said above was mainly for exposition for Peter/Patrick.
Didn't you have concerns for this episode? If you did they were unjust because I found it entertaining throughout.
I agree with Gabe that I thought it should have been Patrick/Peter that enticed Sam but your way worked too. I like the whole soul capturing in the mirrors thing...very spooky.
Michael suggestion about maybe trimming the beginning and adding more later is a good one but I think maybe this was due to page restrictions right? I didn't really find anything wrong with it to be honest. Good work.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
I enjoyed the concept of this one and I think it will definitely work with the typical kinds of polishing.
Tanis needs to be properly introduced. I'm not sure what she looks like and it's very important because she's your first image; so she will set the tone for the piece.
Also, after reading through, I'm wondering "why" Tanis can see herself since she is wearing the pentagon. Wouldn't she suffer the same kind of fate as Peter and Sam?
I think the characters could be worked a bit more, maybe showing what debt Peter/Patrick had that needed to be paid.
When Peter was at first brought into the script, I was wondering why-- thinking that Lucky should have been here. The talk of Peter's brother, Patrick, (who turns out to be himself) seemed out of place at that point. Maybe you can introduce him earlier somehow.
In the beginning, with the mirror, it wasn't clear to me what type of mirror or how it was situated.
The tarp through me off and I was thinking it might be lying horizontally.
>As we make our way into the Alcove.
Let's get it tighter to something like:
Into the Alcove.
>She pauses for a moment, admiring its looks. And the way it looks upon her.
Go more tight and a bit more cinematic. (*note redundancies like "it's looks" & "it looks")
I played a bit with:
She stargazes-- its beauty bewitches; her clavicles taking the sheen of the mirrored pentagon.
Why the tarp? (Later I realized it must be to conceal her from looking too much.) Was the mirror flat? Or on the wall?
I really like Tanis' speaking to us: "She only be pretty on the outside?"
This, to me, is excellent!
Their dress and looks suggesting the reason they're alone.
This is too general and generally too long. It's also a subjective comment. Remember, John Lennon married Yoko Ono.
On page 3: Why is DOOR given a whole line to itself? Is it that important?
I don't see why Lucky would be searching for the word "representation" if he carries business cards-- that would mean he regularly approaches people and knows what to say.
>raises two fingers to his head...
Try something like:
He salutes, gun-points two fingers at Sam, sparks a wink and leaves.
I see the phone dilemma again here. Doesn't he have a cell phone?
>He stares at it for a moment before he walks out of the club.
This is taking up two lines and also, his staring at the phone is a bit weak.
How about try something like:
Sam slams the phone down. He eyes his son's picture.
On page 7, it says:
... mirrors either side showing the two previous scenes...
I didn't understand this. It didn't really show me the images in the mirror.
What is the b.g?
I don't know why Sam thinks Lucky was a whacko. I don't think this was really shown properly.
That his brother was a painter. "Nothing really too special-- at least in my opinion.
Then Peter says:
He would have been Ireland's answer to Van Gogh though. Beautiful beautiful art he produced.
** What Peter is saying one moment, is not consistent the next; so be careful.
I'm on page 17 and it feels like Sam has forgotten all about his son.
I was confused when her broke the mirrors, but then he got back up and started smashing them again.
Overall, I feel that this script can use a fair amount of tightening and refining.
You might play with motive a little bit more and foreshadow it. Like with Peter/Patrick:
I think he should be introduced much earlier. We need to know he's in some kind of personal hell and his connection to the necklace right of the bat.
If his release is to be determined by Sam's failure to abide by the "necklace rules," then the tension would be raised if we watched Sam hum and haw over using it. Maybe just a little bit more... A teensy tiny bit more wouldn't hurt? Would it?
My advice is to raise the conflict and tension and provide a bit more motive. Also, don't forget Sam's got a son that he apparently cares about.
Tanis is Bert's work so I'll let him take you up on the points you raised regarding her scenes.
Your comments about Peter/Patrick are really good and I think I know a way to improve that and also beef up the start like Michael was suggesting. Maybe have an extra scene at the start with Patrick and Luciano? The deal being done or something where it isn't completely giving the game away but shows what Patrick has to lose. I'll have a think about that.
The point with Sam's son is supposed to show how deep down that is the reason he is looking for fame and fortune but the necklace blinds him of that, and makes him simply strive for success for his own selfish reasons.
Peter's line about his 'brother' goes something like;
'He wasn't anything special until he met old Lucky'
He's then talking about his brother after he met with Lucky when he says the next Van Gogh.