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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Horror  /  Humphry Under The Bed
Posted by: Don, April 2nd, 2017, 3:33pm
Humphry Under The Bed by Zack Akers - Short, Horror - A father discovers that his young daughter's imaginary friend is horrifyingly real. 10 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: khamanna, April 2nd, 2017, 4:23pm; Reply: 1
Hey, Zack.

I must say I liked everything about it. And thank you for the good ending. Well almost good, but it ended well.
You kept me glued to the screen. Good vivid images, yet there's no monster and blood and it's not very graphic. at the same time it's horrific. Great job. Very nice. The man was very creepy. The whole thing is wonderfully creepy.
Posted by: stevemiles, April 2nd, 2017, 6:07pm; Reply: 2
Zack,

Reminded me of an old episode of Dungeons and Dragons - pretty much the reason I demanded a frameless box-spring throughout childhood, but anyways…  Familiar set-up with the monster under the bed - though it’s nicely handled - chilling in places.   Writing put me in the scene and had me pulling for Kat and Robert.  Humphrey is suitably sinister and works in being seen only briefly.  Actually surprised you ended on a ‘happy’ note as I was expecting this to go badly - for Robert at least.  I suppose there’s the suggestion of more to come.

Some hint as to the ‘why’ could give this a little twist.  Some tie to Humphrey in the real world as it were.  Unless there's something that I'm missing?  As it is it’s pure nightmare logic - entertaining nonetheless.

Steve
Posted by: Zack, April 2nd, 2017, 8:36pm; Reply: 3
Thank you for getting this one up, Don. Much appreciated. :)

khamanna and Steve, thanks for the reads. I'm very happy you both enjoyed it. I actually had a hard time writing this one, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

As for any deeper meaning to who or what Humphry is, I'm sorry but there isn't any. This is more or less based off a fear I had as a child and I really just ran with it. Thanks again for reading.

~Zack~
Posted by: Dreamscale, April 3rd, 2017, 9:25am; Reply: 4
Zack, you're missing an apostrophe in your logline.

"daughters" - "daughter's".
Posted by: Zack, April 3rd, 2017, 9:30am; Reply: 5

Quoted from Dreamscale
Zack, you're missing an apostrophe in your logline.

"daughters" - "daughter's".


I sure am. That's embarrassing. Thanks for the heads up, Jeff.

~Zack~
Posted by: Dreamscale, April 3rd, 2017, 11:08am; Reply: 6
Hey Zack, read this.

Sorry, but there are so many mistakes, typos, etc throughout.  Missing capitalization, missing apostrophes, repetitiveness, poor breaking of passages, awkward writing.

At just over 9 pages, this feels too long, as very little actually happens.  IMO, this is a 5 page short, tops, as it really doesn't warrant anymore space, unless you gave us more backstory, or any other scene, showing that this is taking place over time.  As is, it's 1 single night, with no lead in, and no explanations.

Story-wise, IMO, this has been done to death, in scripts, stories, and even feature length movies.  There's really no twist here, nothing new or notable, and because of that, nothing memorable.

Couple things you need to try and focus on, IMO...

Give your characters actual ages.  You created them, only you know how old they are.  

It doesn't matter if someone films this or any script and changes the ages, of uses actors that aren't the age you wanted.  At this point, it's your story, so give us the ages of your characters.

ALWAYS Cap any kind of name in dialogue.  Even a pet name.  If it's being used to address someone, it should be Capped.

lays/lies - learn it!  Living things lie.  Inanimate objects lay.

"large queen bed" - You really need to be careful with such descriptions, the same way peeps need to understand that "young" or "old" to them isn't necessarily young or old to whoever is reading their script.  IMO< queen beds are far from "large".  But another point to be taken, is who cares how large or small it is?  It doesn't come into play and doesn't matter.  It's a QUEEN BED.  Period.

This is a nit pick, but depending on what kind of "house" this is (as we have absolutely no clue, because you never set the scenes properly) it's going to be tough to hear muffled voices from a different bedroom, with both doors closed, and a hallway in between them.

Remember, that the vast majority of times you use "and" in an action/description line, it's a waste.

Where's the mother?  Obviously, you don't need to tell us or show us, but often, it can come into play in some way...can give character to your characters, or just show you've thought things through.

Not a bad effort by any means, bro, but nothing anyone will remember, either.

Hope this helps.  
Posted by: eldave1, April 3rd, 2017, 11:15am; Reply: 7
Well done - kept me in it till the end.
Posted by: Zack, April 3rd, 2017, 11:39am; Reply: 8
Thanks for reading, guys.

David, I'm stoked you enjoyed it. :)

Jeff, your tips and advice continue to be invaluable. I didn't know that pet names needed to be capitalized. Thanks for reading, man. One day I'm gonna write something you will enjoy. That is my mission. :)

~Zack~
Posted by: Kirsten, April 5th, 2017, 7:01am; Reply: 9
Hi Zack,

I liked the beginning, the way you set it up..... it set the tone.... this little cutie that  loves unicorns, which you show, is talking with a possibly dangerous ghost..
I liked the description of Humphry, he was very creepy. you had the action, and it flowed along nicely.

As for the premise, it's been done alot, and this needed more. I felt like I was following along and there weren't any surprises... for me it just needed more story...a twist, something more about Humphry...
Posted by: Zack, April 5th, 2017, 1:45pm; Reply: 10
Hey Kirsten, thanks for reading.

Originality is NOT my strength. Lol. I just try to get by with cool visuals and quick pace. :P

I'm happy you were able to enjoy aspects of this one. Thanks again. Let me know if you have anything you'd like me to look at for ya'. :)

On another note, this script will be put into production in the coming weeks. All thanks to this wonderful website. Thanks for everything, Don.

~Zack~
Posted by: Kirsten, April 5th, 2017, 5:27pm; Reply: 11
Hey zack...originality not your strong point? What? you wrote that  awsome Scared yet...I was actually looking for it the other day to re read cause I loved it and wanted to do see it again...I'm looking forward to the video of it...
And congrats on getting this produced...NICE!
Posted by: Zack, April 5th, 2017, 7:40pm; Reply: 12
Well thank you very much for the kind words, Kirsten.

As of right now, "Scared Yet?" isn't being filmed. The producer who was interested wanted to make some changes that I didn't agree with. Maybe one day someone will pick it up. :)

Thanks again.

~Zack~
Posted by: Kirsten, April 6th, 2017, 5:12am; Reply: 13
Good on you for sticking to your guns on that... someone will. :)
Posted by: MarkItZero, April 12th, 2017, 11:37am; Reply: 14
Nice, kept me going till the end. Normally, I would need more character-wise. But the first scene did a good job setting up the family dynamic and you got into the action very quickly without ever letting up.

I do wish there was some kind of twist at the end. You have that tense moment where Kat is waiting for Robert to come out and we're not sure what's happening under the bed. Perhaps, when Robert crawls out there's something just a little bit off about him. Then, instead of heavy breathing at the very end, it's Robert's voice calling out. Hinting that the evil thing actually escaped and the real Robert is trapped in the other world.

Just a thought formulated in all of thirty seconds after reading so take it with a mountain of salt. I enjoyed it as is.
Posted by: Zack, April 12th, 2017, 10:11pm; Reply: 15
Thanks for the read, James. Very happy to hear that you enjoyed this one.

I do like your suggestion for the ending. This is definitely missing something. I was trying to give it a happy ending.

Thanks again. :)

~Zack~
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