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.
Scene headings are incorrect "EXT. ROAD NIGHT" is supposed to be " EXT. ROAD - NIGHT
Your first action block ...
A young couple are running frantically down a dark deserted road, constantly looking up, clutching each otherís hands. This road is on the outskirts of a small town in Louisiana. Terror is spread across their faces! They come upon a tree and stop, desperately trying to catch their breath. The guy keeps looking around.
You start out by describing the couple and say what they are doing, then you have a short little location description right in the middle before going back to the couple. Best to start with the "This road is on the outskirts of a small town in Louisiana. " first then go into the couple.
EXT. ROAD - NIGHT
A lone, vadalized sign reads "Marthasville - 2 Miles". It looks close to tipping right over.
A young couple stagger by it, their arms and legs struggling to cooperate as they suck in all the air they can. They move off towards a tree on the side of the road and almost collapse when they reach it.
You have a show don't tell error here .... "She and Caryn have been friends since forever." ... we have no way of knowing how long they have been friends, you can give us an idea through their conversation as you do with Dana telling the BJ story.
As for the whole BJ story, I think it can really be shortened down. Two friends conversing isn't really interesting to read for very long. You also have quite a few big dialogue bits in there too, one of which is 71 words long. Dialogue is best used by saying the most with the fewest words unless for speeches or stuff like that. I think this bit here can be taken down to one to one and a half page length rather than 2.
Start of page 10 ...
A young man of about twenty five is doing push ups shirtless. His name is RASHAD ANDERSON. He has a nice build, and performs the exercise like a man who is not afraid to get sweaty. Hip-hop music is playing in the background. A knock comes at the front door. He stops, and puts on a shirt. On the other side is his brother DONALD ANDERSON dressed in a police uniform. Donald is the older brother of about thirty five. Heís more muscular, mainly due to his years of playing college football in his younger days. Upon seeing his brother Donald laughs.
You need to break up this action bit here, readers won't be as willing to continue when they see chunks like these.
So far the writing is decent, the opening scene was good. Perhaps look into some screenwriting software for the formatting issues like Marty has stated above.
Wow. I can't believe I missed that heading error. I usually write them the way you stated. Thanks for that. As far as the action blocks I can definitely work on those. I have a habit of also getting a little carried away with the dialogue at times. Lol. I appreciate the feedback. I use Final Draft software and am so used to it I don't see any problems since that was the software I was recommended since I first began writing scripts. I have looked into other software programs so thanks for that recommendation. Keep reading though. I'm hoping that despite its few flaws the script entertains.
Page 14 "Caryn and Debra laugh. The front door opens and in walks FREDDIE, Carynís father. Heís a big man, with a working manís demeanor. One of those fathers who can be loving one minute, and fiercely protective the next. Heís accompanied by another man in preacher clothing. This is PASTOR ISAIAH JAMES. Heís a shorter man, with a stocky build, and thin rimmed glasses on his face. Antoine runs to his grandfather. "
This big action block can be separated, it has multiple camera shots in it. For example ....
Caryn and Debra laugh.
The front door opens and in walks FREDDIE, Carynís father. Heís a big man, with a working manís demeanor. One of those fathers who can be loving one minute and fiercely protective the next.
Heís accompanied by PASTOR ISAIAH JAMES, short and stocky with thin rimmed glasses on his face.
Antoine runs to his grandfather. "
I also trimmed it down a bit too.
Very small nitpick here at Pastor Jame's comment ...
PASTOR JAMES I bumped into Freddie in the store, and decided to come over and see how you all were doing. Always a pleasure to see the families around town."
Almost makes this meeting sound forced in a way, but it's a very small nitpick anyways.
page 17 " ... retrieving a chocolate chip cookie from a jar shaped like a bear eating from a pot of honey"
You don't really need to describe things in big detail, shorten descriptions of things not vital to the story to keep things reading smoothly. We don't really need to know what the cookie jar looks like.
" Page 18 "The camera pans around watching cooks sizzle up food, while servers hustle about getting drinks. "
Try and keep camera directions out, here you can simply say the kitchen is an organized chaos with cooks and servers darting around.
Page 18 "These two guys have the most interesting conversations, mainly due to the fact that they are always talking about something, no matter what else is going on. "
Unfilmable, there is no way to show this on screen.
Page 24 Roger's bit "You better come out here right now!! I donít play behind my truck!" typo?
page 30 "Sheís one of those chicks that always has to be the center of attention, and loves when men make her feel like she is the sexiest woman in the world. "
"The crew is in full attendance. Everybody is having a lot of fun. The house is furnished nicely, and a pool in the back sparkles with a magical blue. Alcohol and food are in abundance. The walls are vibrating with the sounds of hip hop bounce music.
Monica and Tatyana are good hosts. They shamelessly own the room, with their wit and style. A knock comes at the door, and Tatyana goes over to answer it.
TATYANA Well damn itís about time! Where did Yíall go? Paris France?
The living room has a big flat screen, with a stereo system alongside huge woofers. A sliding glass door separates the room from the pool. "
Action is out of place here, describe the room (only what's important) and try not to break it up like you did here.
Page 34 - Anthony's and Sheila's conversation can be reduced, it's not intriguing.
Page 36 - Just an idea for some drama, why not have Caryn question Rashad about Sheila?
error page 48 "They laugh as the reactions of the crew. "
Caryn follows him, as they run to his car and peel off. Sylvia stands on top of the roof, with tears in her eyes from the deaths of her girls. She pulls the knife from her neck and licks some of the back blood off the blade. She watches them drive away into the night. "
This needs to be separated
Page 57 Five, scaly, hideous, half vampire, half cannibal creatures emerge from behind her. "
Good description, I don't get the half cannibal part though, how do cannibals look?
Thread bare hairs, sweaty and horrendous, cover their bodies ... I don't get the thread bare hairs.
Enjoyed the scene where officers see gory pool area, good work on this.
page 74 - you need some more scene headings as you go from outside back into the room and then to his grandma's room
Page 75, they say "boy" a lot, get repetative after a little bit. same with all the "Girl"'s at the start with Dana and Caryn.
Page 75 "Debra screams like a woman during childbirth"
this bit didn't work for me you want her to scream in horror not pain.
"Debra grabs Antoine, and they run into the bedroom bathroom with the thing right on their tails"
just say bathroom
"Debra closes the door, right before the monster grabs her robe! It smashes into the door like a demon from hell trying like anything to get inside. "
All the highlighted stuff really isn't necessary as we already have a good idea what it's doing and how.
Idea - What about having the vampire break into the window, instead of it just standing outside of it doing nothing? Maybe when Antoine and his Grandma are coming back to his room they hear the window smashing. You depict these things as rabid beasts so having one sit and wait is just odd.
page 79/80 too many wrylies (relaxed), (With A Difiance In Her Voice) (To Rashad) (Seriously) (sadly) (recoiling) (Irate) ... all can be cut. Wrylies are used for when clarity is needed for the readers. It's fairly clear already.
Page 95 - You need to trim or at least break up that 145 word long dialogue bit.
All in all I thought this was a decent story, there's a couple of suggestions I have for you to consider, but it worked for me. It can be better though, you need to go through this and start trimming down a lot of the dialogue and action blocks you have in it, doing this would at least make the read smoother. I liked the bad-ass Pastor too, cant help but feel the first scene where he sees the vampires can be better though. Maybe have him already in his house when he encounters them?
My suggestions ...
- Perhaps change the vampires thing a little bit, give the vampires that Sylvia releases more of a purpose or story, maybe she was planning on creating an army of vampires to consume/enslave the world and that is all she has made so far ... unless there serve another purpose already, not sure.
- Make Sylvia have a personal vendetta against Caryn, have her being hunted down by Sylvia from the get go as is they seem to meet by chance outside the bar.
Man thanks for the suggestions! I appreciate it. I can see where you are coming from with your critique on the action blocks but I don't completely agree with the dialogue reviews. The people say certain things for a reason. That's just how people talk from this state.
I like the suggestions about the bathroom scene. An attack from a window would be great but I thought it was understood that the vampire stopped attacking Debra because it went after Freddie. Either way I incorporate that in future drafts.
Also, Sylvia meets Caryn for the first time in the story and immediately notices something in her. A personal vendetta sounds too much like other vampire movies. You know the ones where the lead vampire from a century ago notices our hero and they remind them of someone they knew from said century. They did this in the original 'Fright Night". I just felt that Sylvia would notice a spark in Caryn early on and despite Caryn killing her girls she would want her to join the dark side alongside with her.
The vampire army described as having thread bare hairs and tattered clothing is meant to introduce a different species of vampires. It's a given in most vampire films that when bitten the victim becomes a vampire. I thought of doing that but then there would've been a town full of monsters walking around and I wasn't exactly writing salem's lot. To keep control of the chaos I made it so that Sylvia and her girls could bite people and turn them whereas this new breed was more brutal and destructive. They went for the complete annihilation of their victims. I thought it would make for a different angle.
Upon reading your reviews my mistakes are things that can and will be fixed. I think the reason you may see this in my script or some of their other scripts you read on this site is because we as writers see some of these things in screenplays that have been made into hit films. No matter. Small revisions at best.
Well all in all I'm glad you at least liked it. Thanks so much for the reviews and suggestions. They have been a real big help.