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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Soulshadows II: Message In A Bottle Moderators: bert
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  Author    Soulshadows II: Message In A Bottle  (currently 3198 views)
Don
Posted: March 2nd, 2010, 7:53pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Soulshadows II: Message In A Bottle by Noelle Rose (itmightbeorange) (Tanis by Robert Newcomer) - Series, Supernatural, Horror - After the death of her grandmother, Iris takes on the task of clearing out her personal belongings. All is well until Iris and her fiance stumble unknowingly into a half century family secret. 31 pages - pdf, format



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bert  -  March 2nd, 2010, 8:24pm
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_ghostwriter
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itmightbeorange...

Despite the 31 pages... I had to read this twice for several reasons.  You do have a small minor formatting issue here.  Within the first 12 pages your missing several scene headings that should be there.  pages#6, 11, and 12.  I'd be more consistant with your character names.  Sometimes you CAP them and other times you don't.  In particular Iris several times.  CAP them all the time or when you first introduce them and not again.  One or the other.

Your characters, not much description for any of them.  Pretty basic.  I would have given a better visual.  I asume the man from the opening scene was Alfred, right?  Maybe I'm missing the point but I don't see the big secret.  I would have introduced him as Alfred in the beginning.

Okay, no spoilers here but you could have gave us alittle more of a backstory with this one.   A few unanswered questions about the apparent witch and the connection with Alfred.  I would hate to assume but I know what I'm thinking here.  But then... I could be missing the point all together.

This was predictable from the start.  After the bottle got buried, just when would our couple find it... half-way through... fair enough.  Your ending surprised me and I'm still mixed on that.  I can only assume about our couple, here and I hate having to do that.

This one had some supernatural in it... so fair enough.  You had a few grammical errors in this and some awkward phrases as well but I'm not going to point them all out.

Some highlights...

page#3,"The man takes the bottle and buries into the ground, covering it with dirt."  Awkward.

page#17, misspelled Belle's name in Iris's dialogue...

page#26, I'd lose "The door slams," and just pick-up with Iris's reaction.

page#27, you have Paul standing at the open door but it's closed.  I think most women probably would have let him in first before heading down into the basement.

Just a few things.  Having said all of that... this is the first of anything I've read from you.  Overall, I thought this was okay but it needs a little adjustment.  Believe it or not, this was a quick read for the number of pages.  

Congrats of finishing this.

As usual good job with Tanis, Bert.  "If there's ever a season III... I want in."

Good Luck

Ghostwriter


THE TIME GUARDIAN: DARK FRONTIER - scyfy

GHOSTS OF APPALOOSA - western

RISE OF THE AMAZONS - action, fantasy & adventure

HEATWAVE - faith-based erotic thriller

THE SLEEPING TIGER - psychological thriller

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_ghostwriter  -  March 3rd, 2010, 3:43am
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Angry Bear
Posted: March 2nd, 2010, 11:23pm Report to Moderator
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I'm going to read this tomorrow despite the author not really participating on the boards nor having read more than 4 of the other entries...



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Angry Bear  -  March 2nd, 2010, 11:40pm
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Shelton
Posted: March 2nd, 2010, 11:41pm Report to Moderator
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Not a bad effort here.

In regards to Ghostwriter's comments, mini-slugs are perfectly acceptable, but I think they're a bit too generic here in terms of downstairs/upstairs.  I would expand them a little to hallway or something like that, or just use full slugs.

The pattern for the capped characters seems to be when they first enter a scene, which is definitely not needed.  I would leave them out in any instance outside of the character intro.

With that, I'll go into the story, which is the most important part here...

I like where you ended up going, but I felt it took way too long to get there.  By the time it gets to the heart of things, it's already page 16 or so, which is way too late to pick up the pace.  I think if you get rid of a lot of stuff up front and prolong the torment/haunting angle, it would improve this ten fold.  The "horror" is where it's at in these scripts.  Give the reader more dark clouds and less sunflowers.

At first I thought the slow going may have been due to the page requirements, but after seeing where you went with it, that's definitely not the case.  It can be made more suspenseful and spooky with minor effort.

Anyway, I'm probably coming off a little more negative than I usually do.  I think the framework is here, it just needs to be shaped a little more.

Bert,

Nice work on Tanis again, but to be nitpicky for a second, "If you would call it a garden" didn't work for me.  That could be relative to the way I talk myself, but I would've gone with "could" instead of "would".  Like I said, nitpicky.

Nice work to both of you.


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Orange
Posted: March 3rd, 2010, 12:16am Report to Moderator
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Cool thanks for the feedback.

Yeah i'm not accustomed to writing shorts so, condensing is probably my biggest issue. Then there's staring at this script for a really long time i guess i missed the most simple things in it >,< lol.


but yeah, thanks for your  replies.

In terms of not reading all of the submissions, I've been kinda caught up in trying to get my life started so i'm not worried about that.
I do intend to sit down and read the ones i haven't when i have the time but for the most part I don't, and when I do I forget about them. I don't expect you to understand but I will understand your strong feelings in my lack to fully participate in this series.
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Angry Bear
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I agree with both Ghostwriter and Mike so no need to repeat anything.

My thoughts were, why would the woman in the bottle go after Iris and Paul? Can't she see it's not Alfred and the woman from the beginning?

Was that Iris mother that came to the house? Wouldn't she freak out when she saw the house. Her question about the people in the house came off as way too casual. At least to me.

You use a lot of "he begins, she begins". You can skip those. Either they do or don't do something.

The story itself was not bad, but a bit predictable.

Good job Bert. Can't wait for your episode.  



PS. we all have lives with a lot of stuff going on off these boards...


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Dreamscale
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Hey Noelle, even though you don’t seem to read/review anyone else’s scripts, I wanted to check yours out, as I do with all the Soul Shadows scripts.  I took page by page notes but stopped after Page 17, as things were just piling up and it seemed to be the same things over and over again.  They should still help though.

I’m going to be 100% honest as I always am, so let’s get this out of the way right off the bat…I didn’t like this at all.  I really didn’t like anything about it.  The story was almost nonexistent, and based on the way it was told, it’s even flimsier than it could be.  The writing itself is weak.  Grammar and the like are far from good.  It’s not technically sound.  Characters and dialogue are poor.  And action is almost nonexistent, as well.

First of all, I have absolutely no problems with long, slow builds or ambiguity.  I actually enjoy both.  Not here though.  I mean seriously, absolutely nothing happened for almost 20 pages, and the “action” that was playing out onscreen was so visually flat line, it’s almost unbelievable.  Other than the intro, as far as I remember, it was basically 1 long scene with either 1, 2, or 3 characters doing almost nothing and talking about things that went nowhere.

What do we know about our characters?  Nothing.  Why should we care about them?  We don’t.

Belle is in this script for 1 reason and 1 reason only…to deliver some sort of information (that for some reason, only she can gather) to Iris, so Iris will be able to explain to us what a witch bottle is…and she really doesn’t do a very good job at that, even.  I mean, seriously, c’mon now.

All this talk about an upcoming party and gardening went nowhere and was so dull.  Why would anyone care if they didn’t realize Mary was into gardening?  Who cares?  No one does!

The only interesting visuals in this entire 31 page script are the first storm and the last storm.  Other than that, this thing could take place inside a frickin’ toaster oven, for all I care.

Based on the “story”, you could easily have written this in 12 pages or so.  Easily!  But, you used 31 and still didn’t even make anything remotely clear as to what was going on, what went on, and/or why.  I’m amazed Ghost read this thing twice.  It took me 4 sittings to get completely through it.  When it was over, I sat here kind of dumbfounded, wondering if I had missed something.  I don’t think I did.  There was no real payoff here for this long, dull ride.  You never made it clear what this was even all about, and because of that, I for one didn’t care.

Sorry to be so harsh, but this was just a complete mess IMO.  It really didn’t work on any level, and that’s truly a shame.  Hope this makes sense and helps in some way.

Page by Page notes…

Page 2 – Something I always say, and will always say…intro your characters immediately – Not sure if this “man” has a name or not, but obviously the “woman” is “Mary”.  She needs to be intro’d as “Mary” right off the bat, so you don’t have an extra character show up in your “character report” – now you have both “woman” and “Mary”, but it’s the same character.  EDIT AFTER FINISHING – The “man” does indeed have a name’ and should have been intro’d immediately as Alfred.

Page 3 – “You need to “CAP” your initial character intro, and you didn’t here.

Comma between “lied” and “Mary”

Page 4 – Your opening Slug is “SUBURBAN HOME”, now it’s “SUBURBAN HOUSE” – keep it consistent…100% consistent!

“An open, half empty box lays on the floor. Ready to be packed.” – this is actually 1 sentence, connected with a comma.  Also, “lays” should be “lies”

Why is “MARY” all CAPPED here?  She’s already been intro’d.

No description of Paul, whatsoever.

Page 5 – “give” – “gives”

Comma between “it” and “Paul” – almost always, in dialogue, a comma should precede someone’s name.

Page 6 – “…BELLE, Iris’s good friend.” – classic example of an unfilmable.

“Hey Paul is Iris...” – you badly need a comma after “Paul”

“I don’t know it just popped off…” – again, in great need of a comma after “know”

OK, way too many examples of missing commas.  I won’t be bringing them up anymore.

General note – the dialogue is not sounding remotely real.  Way too many examples of people speaking “proper English” which doesn’t seem to apply here with these characters.

Page 8 – “can be heard” – no reason for this, IMO.

Why is “IRIS” all CAPPED again?

Page 9 – Same with “PAUL” – why are you doing this again and again?

Page 10 – “stop” – “top”

Page 12 – You chose to Cap “Bedroom”, but not “playgirl magazines” – that makes absolutely no sense.

Page 14 – General note – painfully slow and dull so far. Not only has basically nothing happened, but the sets are so visually dull and unappealing.  Why would anyone care whether or not Mary liked reading some gardening magazines?

“IRIS” all CAPPED again?  Huh?  What’s going on?

Page 17 – How convenient that Belle just happened to give Iris that info that included “witch bottles”.  Oh boy…

I have to stop here…way too many issues going on…


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Orange
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Cool thanks for your feedback. I admit this isn't my best work and since i don't normally write shorts I know that this could use a lot more work but am slightly satisfied with what I have so far. It's a work in progress and i definitely appreciate your feedback.

The "she begins" and "he begins" thing, yeah ive noticed that in my scripts and try my DAMNDEST to get it out of there lol, It's so easy to do. I guess i need to work on looking at the script from an editorial standpoint during revision as opposed to trying to make the story make sense.


In terms of, again, the comments about me not reading other people's stuff, i find those comments rather presumptuous as i've had some pretty eventful things both positive and negative happen in my life over the past year, back to back, and fully admit that soul shadows has not been at he forefront of my mind or really even on the scale, but i did work, albeit slowly, on doing what I said I would do. I do take fault for not using my time wisely but I really don't appreciate, and this forum thread is NOT the only time ive been mentioned in this sense, the comments that seem to suggest I care only about my work and no others.


If you have any comments about me my contact information is in my profile and you can message me so we can discuss your concerns and feelings.

If you feel strongly about me not reading other works then you are more than welcome to not read this script until I read the entries I haven't yet read and commented on, which will be a bit longer. I could feasibly read the entries all in one sitting tonight, but I wouldn't be reading them as much as i'd be merely skimming over them and going "it's cool. the end" which i don't think the authors want and deserve.

All in all, constructive criticism never hurts only helps, but id appreciate it if the comments stayed about the script and not the author.

That all being said, thanks for your feedback guys I really appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time to read it in it's entirety, even though it seems to be as bad as you all say it is, and not stopping at the second page >,< .
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grademan
Posted: March 4th, 2010, 10:54am Report to Moderator
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Noelle,

** SPOILER ALERT **

I liked the story: Husband locks mistress in a witch's bottle. (I can hear Sting singing "Mistress in a Bottle.") The bitch gets out after a long time in the ground. The bitch mistakes the granddaughter of the husband and her fiance as the targets of her destruction.  Kind of like a pissed off genie.

I wanted to know how she got in the bottle, was Mary in on it? Hell, I wanted to meet her! There are so many ways this could have gone to up the stakes in this one. What did Lana know? Was there any evidence of the love triangle? I know it's your story to tell, just consider stepping it up a bit.

I loved how you revealed the spirit was out of the bottle. Face on/face off.

My nitpick of the day. Don't play with the dog's name aka Speedy, speedy, Buddy, Mr. Gonzalez. Pick a name and stay with it. Esp, if it has nothing to do with the story.

Bert,

Tanis was good. I had to laugh at the image of Tanis 's fat ass looming large and the pile of old skulls nearby. Intentional or not, I liked that.

Gary

BTW, did anyone else think the bottle should have a feminine face on it?

Mistress in a bottle,..

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grademan  -  March 4th, 2010, 11:13am
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Angry Bear
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Quoted from grademan

Tanis was good. I had to laugh at the image of Tanis 's fat ass looming large and the pile of old skulls nearby. Intentional or not, I liked that.

BTW, did anyone else think the bottle should have a feminine face on it?

Mistress in a bottle,..


I can't picture bert writing anything unintentional.

You are right about the face! It should absolutely be female and I like Mistress In A Bottle a lot better too. Great suggestions!  



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bert
Posted: March 4th, 2010, 4:10pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from _ghostwriter
As usual good job with Tanis, Bert.  "If there's ever a season III... I want in."


Thank you very much, G.W.  Tanis is actually a lot of work for not much feedback, and it is nice to hear from those who appreciate her -- as not everyone does -- but that's cool, too.  I realize she isn't for everyone.  Another season has not been discussed, but if it were considered, it would likely be in a somewhat different format.


Quoted from Mike Shelton
Nice work on Tanis again, but to be nitpicky for a second, "If you would call it a garden" didn't work for me.  That could be relative to the way I talk myself, but I would've gone with "could" instead of "would".  Like I said, nitpicky.


That is your comment??  Thanks for the feedback...if you could call it feedback.


Quoted from Angry Bear
Can't wait for your episode.


Me neither.  The only one left now is Gabe, who **ahem** needs to get off his ass and finish reworking his episode.


Quoted from Dreamscale
...892 words, and not a single one of them for bert...


Sigh...that's OK, I guess....


Quoted from grademan
I had to laugh at the image of Tanis 's fat A** looming large and the pile of old skulls nearby. Intentional or not, I liked that.


Pia is correct -- any humor you find in the Tanis segments is intentional.  At least, I hope so.  I think it was late in the first season that I got tired of making her so dark all the time.  Certainly by the time we did Wesley's episode.  Thanks, gradman, for your thoughts.


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Dreamscale
Posted: March 4th, 2010, 8:59pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry, Bert...no offense, obviously.  I just didn't like this one so much, that I decided not to even include you in it.  As always, your prose is great and appreciated.  Didn't mean to slight you you.

Sorry!


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Shelton
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Quoted from bert


That is your comment??  Thanks for the feedback...if you could call it feedback.


Sorry...


Cool script.


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GM
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I'm reading this at work.

SPOILERS

It's very convential except for the witch bottle business. I liked the bad ending simply because it was bad. lol.

I didn't find the design of the bottle to be scary.


Hey Bert, I'll be sending mines as soon as possible. Prob even today. Tanis was great. I'm really curious where she lives since it's always something new. lol.

Gabe  




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TheRichcraft
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This read like a 1940s radio show more than a film script.  Since I like old-time radio, I didn't hate it.  But it didn't really move me either.

It also didn't make any sense in terms of characterization and reactions.  The house falling down is a common theme in OTR.  The termites being used as a logical explanation has also been used before.

And the part about the urn crashing.  Was the grandmother's spirit going to fight the old witch's?  Now there's a story.  Everybody always has an evil spirit haunting and killing innocents.  It would be nice to see a good spirit also come back from the grave and mess up the evil spirit's plans.

Tanis reminds me of Nancy, the narrator of the Witch's Tale.  Maybe Tanis can own a junkyard, and he gets sinister images from certain objects that he holds.  Just a suggestion.  Rich
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