All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
The story didn't make much sense to me, maybe I need to re-read.
A couple of issues here:
- Bold slugs. Some say they're acceptable, but it's not traditional.
- Music direction. Lose all those references to the piano score. It's easy to think of yourself as director but you're just the writer at this point. Music is a directing decision.
- Watch your tense. Even in flashback sequences, write in present tense.
- Overuse of adverbs. I don't like adverbs much at all, but sentences like "rhythmically, Tania moves out to the lobby cautiously" are confusing - is it rhythmically or cautiously? Perhaps try using stronger verbs than these ~ly words which cheapen the writing, in my opinion.
I like the idea of the story but the format and execution came up a bit short. I agree with Simon that the mentioning of the piano score is more of a hinderance than anything else.
I enjoyed Tania's poetic voice overs but the lack of description kind of left me outside the fear. Drop the piano notes and throw in a little more detail and a clearer end as Chris suggested. Should spice up the read a bit.
I'm going comment on your narrative because the story is Edgar Allan Poe in a modern setting. Maybe, Poe's short had an influence in the way you wrote your script. The thing is one is a prose narrative the other is a script different disciplines. A few tips show don't tell and skillfully direct (not technically). Try using active verbs, be in the moment. "Almost immediately, there is an ominous knock on the main door." If it's immediate shouldn't you just write it out. "A KNOCK at a door." Little things like that make reading a script flow better, appear in the readers mind and easier on the eyes.
Keep writing. BLB
Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee..."
Only just noticed that you've made an appearance now, so I'll give you the notes I had before.
First off, welcome to the boards. Hope you see it as a great learning experience.
I have to say my notes don't really differ from the notes given by other reviewers already. You already have enough to go on to make major improvements to the screenplay, but I've already written them all down, so I'm going to have to repeat what's already been said.
You really need to find yourself a decent screenwriting software that helps you to get all the formatting issues fixed. I strongly recommend Trelby, which is completely free. It truly is a great tool to use. If you find that doesn't work, you can always try Celtx, another free software. Both are awesome tools for when you're starting out. The best thing about them? They deal with all the important things like the allignment of dialogue and the spacing of slugs.
Speaking of the spacing of your slugs, they don't quite look right in this draft. It appears that you may have them set to triple-spacing as opposed to double-spacing, but I'm not too sure.
As well as that, there are no times of day on any of your slugs. Yes, I know that the screenplay's title is "Night" but don't assume that the audience will know that this is set at night. Treat us like complete idiots in that regard.
I'm not a big fan of your opening sentence, to be honest...
"A HORROR FILM plays on the television." - Don't get me wrong, it's great that you've jumped into the important details of the story, but that's not going to be enough for a producer reading this script. You need to build up a sense of atmosphere in your opening few lines. You haven't done that here. Describe the room. Is it dark and creepy? If so, then say that in the script. Building up a decent atmosphere right from the start will see your script hit out of the ballpark.
AS people have mentioned, the piano score needs to go. To this day I have never read a script that has musical score descriptions. A screenwriter is there to write the script. Tell the story in the best way that you can and let the director deal with the musical score.
Page 3: "Her palms were sweaty." - I've seen this mentioned a few times from other reviewers. Keep the writing Present Tense. It should read something like this...
"Her palms ARE sweaty."
Page 3: "Tania is standing in her room..." - Two things, here...
1)We know that Tania is in her room because you've told us this is in the slug. Try not to include unnecessary detail in the narrative writing.
2)"Tania is standing..." - This is what we call passive writing. "Standing" could easily just be "stands".
Page 4: "At that moment, Tania knew that the real danger was about to enter through that door." -Two things, here...
1)How can an audience watching the film see what Tania knows? You need to show this rather than tell this. So, you could try something like this...
"The door shakes, Tania's eyes wide as she backs away."
2) Again, you need to keep things in Present tense.
Keep away from adverbs ending in "ly". It keeps writing longer than it needs to be. For example, "impulsively" could easily just be "impulsive". It gets the exact same point across with less characters used. In screenwriting, every character needs to count.
As for the story, I love the poetry in the voiceover, although I'm not sure it serves much of a purpose. If you could let me know the point of it all then please do. I guess this is something that would work on screen, but the writing isn't quite cutting it at the moment.
- Describing what's in a room indeed does 'not' matter when it is dark.... so don't. - "strangely calm". Is no sound and no movement - even in a horror movie - automatically strange? - Please tell me how calm exactly is a "summer" sea? - "intriguing pattern". Ahhh something intriguing... but you don't describe it. - Let us readers decide what is ominous.
"keeps" must be "puts it back on"
I guess in The Netherlands you normally sit "in" a bathroom, but I don't know 'how' you sit in your country.
How does Tania know that the entity that opened the door below is a "somebody"?
Ahh ... now "Tania is "sitting". But why not just Tania "sits"?! This story is really dull and trying to "tell" - instead of show - us it's not only makes it more b.....
"And the audience understands the horrible effects this story has on them". Luckily I'm not the audience. Maybe I could have digged this story if it would been called "The Bollywood horror experience". But only on paper!
Hi Prateek - just watched your video - kudos on getting this filmed - I guess you did this yourself?
A number of issues with the finished product. Some of this comes from the premise - what is the story and what is she so afraid of? This is not resolved in the script, and consequently is not resolved in the finished product.
The film: some nice camera work there; some dodgy moments, but a plus overall. Some really good audio, but I suspect you did a little dubbing, but it's a 'like' from me apart from a couple of freaky bits.
Out of ten? It still loses out to a poor story - I get where it's coming from, but I'm not getting what the girl is really afraid of -- to the extent that she dies of a heart attack .. that's just not really going on.
You're out there though, and it's great that you did this rather than sitting around thumb-up-the-ass, so I hope you keep on working toward your goal. More room-for-improvement than missed goal. good on you.