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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2013 One Week Challenge  ›  Hear Before You're There - OWC rewrite
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  Author    Hear Before You're There - OWC rewrite  (currently 3603 views)
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 9:34am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Hear Before You're There (was "The Time I Don't Exist") by Alex Brauck - Horror - In a volcanic region, a young witch hunter on a foreign assignment has his fate already in tow. 6 pages - pdf, format

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  November 9th, 2013, 5:28pm
revised draft
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Posted: October 19th, 2013, 2:11pm Report to Moderator

Los Angeles, California
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A few notes as I go:

  • Pg. 1  Should "marshes" be "marches"?
  • The overall sentence structure seems like this may have been translated.
  • Pg. 2  Shouldn't Derek have filtered the water he just collected from the creek?
  • Pg. 2  "CREEPY LITTLE SURGERY" Should be a flashback.
  • Pg. 3  Are the cabin and the wooden-hut the same thing?

I had to stop taking notes after page 3.  The sentence structure made it difficult to piece everything together.
This reminds me of Hostel but in the jungle.  There wasn't any witchcraft to speak of.  Just a couple of cannibals.


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Last Fountain
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 8:43pm Report to Moderator

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Unique setting of Asian jungle. This wasn't too horror filled or all that witchy. It was different because it was an existentialist take on the potion. More philosophical ending than others. What's with all the potions in these scripts, by the way. This was unique at least as the drink let him experience death. Or am I confused on that?

Some weak exposition through voice over of thoughts and sudden appearence of Fabrice to explain motives. But at least it was a different cultural take on witchery.

I applaud your effort to make this original.

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Posted: October 19th, 2013, 8:48pm Report to Moderator

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Logline - should be volcanic region but that reads poorly as well. The idea sounds surprisingly cool though. But using common sense, if there is a mistake there, the script will also reflect the logline.

Original title too but not sure how it adds up with that specific logline. Anyway, onto the script.

Marshes? Is that even a verb?

Well, there hasn't been one script yet where I haven't found a mistake on the first page. "Remind me to the upper China." Peeps got to at least give their first page another read through.

Writing needs a lot of work, awkwardly phrased with a few mistakes.

"screws up his face in pain" Screws doesn't read well, change it to contorts or something.

It feels to me as if English isn't your first language? I'm going to stop focusing on the writing from here.

I thought tomahawks were Indian American weapons? Guess you learn something new everyday.

There was a strange surreal aspect to the script which I liked. But the writing lets it down, understandable since English doesn't seem to be your native tongue. I'd suggest having a writer friend who can speak it have a look and fix up all the errors. The ending didn't make a lot of sense, and Derek's predicament didn't really stimulate the reader. The story didn't have any flow, it kind of mumbled around until Derek died. Nothing was really achieved between the characters, just that Derek dies. VOs did nothing for me, very very hard to get right for any script though. Needs work.

Grade: D

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Posted: October 19th, 2013, 9:08pm Report to Moderator


Over there.
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I haven't been around these boards for a while. I thought I'd return, for a little while at least. On with the script -

I liked the title. Caught my eye.

The opening header "Asian Countryside" seems a little too vague. Actually, it's enormously vague, unless I'm missing something here. Which is perfectly possible.
Hang on... Nope, read it back. I'm pretty sure this header needs to be somewhat more specific.

I've never been a fan of 'we' in a script. Best avoided.

There are some typos and unusual phrasing here. I think this needed a good proofreading, but still, this was a time sensitive comp and all that.

Mosquitos don't fall to the ground when you slap them. People in the pub might, not that I'm recommending that kind of thing, but mosquitos just end up as little smears on the hand.

"Have a new mosquito prick."

Eh? Erm, that sentence certainly woke me up. And how, pray tell, did you gain such an appendage?

Enough of this type of banter. You get the idea. I could go on, I often do.
Suffice to say there's a lot of room for improvement here. I get the sense this was written at speed and needs rewriting. There are many phrases that give the impression English isn't the writer's first language.

I liked some of the ideas. Unfortunately the writing standard lets it down.

Having watched an episode of Myles Barlow Review last night I'm tempted to say "two stars". I'll refrain lest I cause a row about marking.


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Posted: October 20th, 2013, 11:58am Report to Moderator

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Oh man, I'm seriously losing what little patience I still have.  Sorry, but Page 1 and I'm out again.

Sentence stucture is just abysmal.  Typos galore.  Poorly edited or not edited at all.

Very dense - passages not broken up properly.  Long winded blocks of V.O.

Not for me, I'm afraid.

Congrats on entering this OWC.

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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 20th, 2013, 5:04pm Report to Moderator

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This is a difficult one. I'm not so sure that this was translated (it's a bit too clean), but definitely has the feel of an ESL script. As for the plot, I got five pages out of eight and I saw nothing in the way of story. The closest I got was the mystery jungle guy with the Nike pants. I almost thought I could have seen something interesting with the doctor guy shooting Derek up, but it didn't turn out to be sinister before I closed the script. I'd have almost stuck with the creepy doctor more and less in the jungle where Derek literally does nothing.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 21st, 2013, 5:15am Report to Moderator

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The Island of Jersey
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The time etc

Logline - interesting, quite different

Marshes! Along a path
The volcano is next in the right , ha ha, sounds like road directions
Neon nike pants with a spear - well it's different
Making soup with his foot!! Gosh


Ok, that was different. I'm not sure it works as a script, too much internal contemplation about having your foot cut off and eaten. Not such how much fabrice added, other than to explain.

Grade - this comes across as someone new to scripts so I shall leave at that. Not for me.

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Posted: October 22nd, 2013, 7:44am Report to Moderator

Upstate NY
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Hard where to begin with this. Doesn't really seem like horror save for the cannibal scenes. I was intriqued by Derek's journey-- that's what kept me reading. But there was no horror-like tension that you should see in a horror script. And when we meet Fabrice it seems more gratuitous than anything that he happens to be a witch. Like it was just thrown in to meet the parameters of the challenge.

Not a bad effort, but not for me.

Congrats on completing this!


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Posted: October 22nd, 2013, 1:14pm Report to Moderator

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First thing I notice is this is overwritten in places.  For instance, “a massive natural stone”. Considering the setting.  I doubt anyone would question the ‘naturalness’ of the stone he sits on. Also the very next sentence “He opens out a landscape” is confusing because I don’t know what that means.

The voice overs gone on a little too long. Try to cut it down, or break it up with action maybe.

The writing definitely falls apart the farther along it goes (“Derek’s face attacks sweating”).

Well I enjoyed the change of scenery. Volcanoes, a jungle in China and a tribe of Natives was definitely an original way to go. But the story that came out of it didn’t really capitalize on the setting and the writing made it hard to get through.

Congrats on completing the OWC
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James McClung
Posted: October 22nd, 2013, 3:04pm Report to Moderator

Washington, D.C.
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I'm going to lay off the writing itself. I'm in agreement that English is very likely not the writer's first language. It is extremely poor though. I'd recommend you spend some extra time proofreading next time.

Nevertheless, the format could use a lot of work. This is the second script I've seen with dashes after INT/EXT. Stop that. It's unnecessary and looks sloppy. Lots of dashes and colons in the action as well. Nothing wrong with this per se but many of them seem to be there for no reason and the frequency with which they're used makes everything look broken up and messy.

There's some pretty hefty blocks of dialogue here as well. I'd cut them down and try to break them up with some action lines if they're still too dense. There's something wrong with the dialogue margins as well. Maybe invest in some screenwriting software?

Also, DEREK'S INNER VOICE (VO)... just write DEREK (V.O.) and leave it at that.

As for the story, I don't think it worked at all. Not horror for one thing. The timeline jumps around a lot and makes it difficult to follow and all the supposedly existential dialogue is too poorly written to come across the way I think it's meant to.

Also, you're definitely supposed to get your vaccinations before you travel, that is, in your own country. That goes double - no, triple for visiting jungles and the like. The bugs in those places are no joke.

Points on the location but overall, not good.

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Posted: October 24th, 2013, 12:20am Report to Moderator

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Quoted Text
(while we fly across Asian countryside)

Aside from the 'we' problem, this wrylie isn't needed. It does not belong Period. When doing wrylies, the action is that of the character, and for clarity. It should be used sparingly. Furthermore, some (over) description had already set the location.

I like the fact that the 'witches' aren't really spelled out (forgive the pun) but I think some might not be clear on this. Witch cannibals. Okay....I'll roll with it. Some grammar  and spelling issues get in the way here and there (as pointed out by others) and the vo's get a bit long in the tooth. Not too scary or creey. Just enogh for a fair read.

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Posted: October 25th, 2013, 7:38am Report to Moderator

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Can definitely tell in places that English is not your first language (or if it is - needs a reread for errors).

By page 8 - ew, ew, ew (exactly the reaction you want, by the way) with the hacking and the eating - yucko. However, I'm not a big fan of the VO's on this page.

All in all - this wasn't too bad. When you look through the nitty gritty stuff - there's a half decent story in here. I like the setting of the jungle and the volcano etc. and actually thought most of the scenes fit together nicely, including the doctors visit. I liked the "I have no vaccination for that" reference.

Needs a good go-over to sort out some of the English issues, but other than that it was good.

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Posted: October 26th, 2013, 12:35pm Report to Moderator

I wish my brain was half as wise as my ass.

Asheville, NC
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INT. – CREEPY LITTLE SURGERY – DAY -- ??  Is that the name of the place?

DEREK'S INNER VOICE - this is new. LOL. I think just Derek's name and VO is all that's needed here.

BY SILENCE - ????  

Well, I didn't understand it. It was eerie though. I liked the vibe you created but I just didn't understand what was happening. Derek was on a journey to the volcano, got bit by a mosquito, ran into some creepy people and this is where I got lost: a witch cut off someone's foot and stirred it in a pot. Why? Gross and cool but...why?

The writing could be leaned out, format needs to be proper (no made up stuff like I pointed out above) and grammar checked but it wasn't too bad. Story wise, I just didn't get it.  

Good job getting something completed for this OWC.  

“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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Angry Bear
Posted: October 26th, 2013, 4:14pm Report to Moderator
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I really hate to do this, but I'm out after the first page. If it turns out you're a new member, but read a lot of the entries, I will get back to this one after the writer's names are revealed. There's lots to correct and comment on, which I will be happy to do if you read a lot of the OWC yourself. If I forget, just shoot me a pm to remind me.  

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