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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Tales of Horror - OWC
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  Author    Tales of Horror - OWC  (currently 4193 views)
Don
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 12:26pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Tales of Horror presents: The Game Room forth ed. by Godzilla loves virgins + Debra Desch - Short, Horror - Death isn't the worst thing that can happen to you. 11 pages - pdf, format


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currentcmine
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 2:57pm Report to Moderator
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Grisly, graphic, and over budget. Not much character development aside from the surface traits of blood lust and carnal thrill. Perchta is too much like a deus ex machine for my taste.
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Simon
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 3:12pm Report to Moderator
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Rick needs to chill the fuck out.


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AnthonyCawood
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Not for me this one, saw no real reason for Perchata to rock up and interfere and you lost me at that point.

Couple of bits caught my attention...
Really good looking - bit of a lzy description
Amber should be AMBER first time we're instroduced

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Jeremiah Johnson
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 7:30pm Report to Moderator
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Congrats on entering.

Interesting sexual horror piece set up like a Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt kind of show.  A few mistakes like the "an an" on page 2 and a lot of (IMO) unnecessary setup at the beginning.  There were also multiple times you told us something in the action line, then said it in the dialogue. Take it out of the action line or dialogue and it will read much better.

Budget is modest with some special effects makeup work but not too bad.  Good luck.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 1:12pm Report to Moderator
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Alas it didn't do it for me. Actually I found it a tad dull.

I'm not one for whether this fits the criteria, but it's fair to say it's light on the liift and heavy on tthe torture room' warehouse etc

The weakness part for me is the lack of depth, and reader connection. Do I care whether Amber dies, do I care if Rick dies, or is in bondage for a thousand years...no. I have no reason to be so.

Others will probably find this better, I'm not into this kind of script.

I don't mean to be harsh, but that's how I feel.


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Dustin
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 1:19pm Report to Moderator
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Code

He laughs the
entire time, until she fades from view.



I'm out with this line. This is deliberately bad... it has to be. I was laughing all the way till here but this is just too much... now you're playing with me.

1 out of 10.


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eldave1
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Not a recommend from me. I don't mind gore - but this one was gory for the sake of gory in my opinion.

This line really was a WTF for me:


Quoted Text
RICK
(screams at her)
You took the thrill from me. You
denied me f---king you as you died.


Wait - that was after he stabbed her a dozen times and slashed her throat - right? He didn't expect her to die from that?

Anyway - this one is a pass for me. Sorry.


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Dreamscale
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Damnit...I really hate bagging out so early, whether or not anyone realizes.

I'm sorry, but I have to be honest.  Absolutely nothing is working here early on.  Nothing seems remotely real or believable.  The writing itself also isn't working and is probably the reason everything seems so "off".

Dialogue is the what terminally buries this, though.  Doesn't work even remotely.

I'm sorry...I really am.  I don't mean to be harsh, but for me this is a complete misfire out of the gate, and although I stayed around until the middle of page 2, I knew I should leave about a 3rd of the way down page 1.


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DarrenJamesSeeley
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p5
She does this.
She does that.
She feels a blade enter her back (ah! but do I see it?)
She spins...
She Drops...

Then after she dies she is revealed to be "PERCHTA" the 'hunt goddess' and then after those first few pages of sadistic glee, the tables are turned and she dishes out the sadism. She more or less switches the twirling mustache with Rick. Perchta is an odd choice, because her actions don't exactly correspond with the mythology. Not even close. In any case, I wasn't a fan of the Invisible Man / horror host bookends. There wasn't a bit of irony in it nor a punchline of coffin humor.

Y'know what would have been nuts? If you let Amber either fight off Rick and/or outwit him without the Perchta angle or, if you're going to go supernatural and have a vengeful spirit/spirits or pagan god take revenge have them resurrect that body count.

As you might suspect, this did very little for me.
And what is more sad is that, yes, you had the chops to be really effective. Instead you settle for cheese. Blood for the sake of blood isn't always make good horror.




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DanC
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 5:43am Report to Moderator
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I don't think it's as bad as some made it out to be.

I think it is too focused on blood and gore, that's true.

But, a few positives:

1.  It's a complete story.

2.  It did use a lift, kinda.

3.  It's not too expensive to shoot, some blood and a prosthetic or 3.

4.  I thought the juxtaposition was interesting.  She goes from being the prey to being the hunter and shows him how a real hunter acts.  

5.  I thought the message under the story was don't be something you aren't.  Don't be fake.

5/10


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MarkRenshaw
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If you are going to start with a Crypt Keeper style introduction you need to make it snappy, entertaining dialogue; even bad puns are better than this!

The crazy guy hunting a victim in a death trap location is a tired, over-used mechanism. The twist is different, I’ll give you that, but it’s so out of left field the baseball goes around the globe.

This story is not centred in or around an elevator.

The dialogue was very on the nose, most of it was there to tell the audience stuff and didn’t sound like real conversation. The gore and shock value didn’t work because I didn’t care about Rick or Amber/Perchta.

Sorry this didn’t work at all for me but you completed the OWC and entered. It is all part of the learning process and my comments are simply my opinion, take them as you will!

-Mark


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RichardR
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the opening V.O. didn't work for me.  I would rather get right into it.  No setup for Amber coming back to life.  Need a hint that he  has chosen the wrong woman.  After that, it's just one torture after another with no real logic to it.  He gets his just reward, and she gets a plaything she'll tire of in an hour.  Sorry, but it just doesn't work for me.

Best
Richard
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DanC
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Quoted from RichardR
the opening V.O. didn't work for me.  I would rather get right into it.  No setup for Amber coming back to life.  Need a hint that he  has chosen the wrong woman.  After that, it's just one torture after another with no real logic to it.  He gets his just reward, and she gets a plaything she'll tire of in an hour.  Sorry, but it just doesn't work for me.

Best
Richard


I think that's a valid comment.  The VO doesn't work.  It isn't funny, it doesn't do much.  The only thing it does is tell us that he's done this before, but, even that is shown later on, so, why was the VO there?

I do think there is a reason with the torture.  it isn't torture for the sake of gore and torture porn.

He lied.  She noticed.  She hated how he defiled the hunt.  If anything, this is a story about not lying and being something that you aren't.  


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Gum
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Good gravy!

Just curious if this is somehow influenced by Donald Marshall and his conspiracy about the ‘Clone Dome’ used for the elite’s disgusting bouts of debauchery.

“I have money.”
Lol, I like how nonchalantly slips that in.

“Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, we are going to have such fun.”
Now we’re talkin’.

“She picks up a thumbtack and shoves it into his armpit.”
I hate when that happens.

“Sadly, Rick passes out”
No, no, that’s a good thing. Then he doesn’t have to contend with the pain.

“She stalks him in cat-like fashion.”
Here… kitty, kitty.

“Oh, look a cheese grater.”
(gasp!)

Strangely invigorating, and serendipitously full of gore…  a gratuitous 6 out of 10 buckets of blood!


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Stumpzian
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I knew I was in for it when I read the title and author name(s). And -- did the writer really mean Forth Edition or did he just mispell it?

This seems a little like a story from the old EC comic books mixed with mythology, although I don't know why the writer chose Perchta as his vehicle. In a way, it doesn't matter because the story doesn't takes us anywhere beyond the catalogue of chase, blood, torture, etc.

I do think it has some funny lines, as noted by Canis in the previous post.



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Grandma Bear
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Hmmm...

I love horror. Gore even. And sex...well...

Somehow it didn't come together very well here.

Judging by the writing, I'm going to guess the writer is fairly new to screenwriting. Maybe even young?

I think I have an idea what the writer was going for here and you can probably fix this one up so that others can easily get it. Right now, Rick is sort of a cliche'. His looks. His dialogue. Serial killer... He wants to fuck Amber while she dies. OK, but why? What is his reasoning for this? Give him just a little bit deeper of a personality than what he currently has. Even the most evil of antagonists have a reason for why they do what they do.

Obviously, we were supposed to root for Amber. I wanted Amber to fight Rick and somehow win. Kill his ass in a painful way, but she dies quickly. Then when Perchta, or whatever her name was, comes to life and she's a god and she does Ricky in, I felt cheated. I wanted Amber to do it. Not some goddess.


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CameronD
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Not reading prior comments.

Getting a twilight zone kind of feel off the bat which is coo. However the narrator's voice needs more explanation. Is this over a black screen? I'm assuming it is but the script doesn't say so. In short scripts like this where page counts are tiny maybe consider overlapping the voice over the main character's actions. Wee see Rick, but we hear the narrator.


"Once the door closes, you can barely see two feet around
you." Just say it is an extremely dark warehouse. Avoid saying "we see" "you see" in scripts.

No need for AMBER's name to be in caps if it's dialogue.

A chase right away. Not bad, but how would we see any of the action if it's as dark in here as you say? It could work, but something to think about.

Amber's voice over is her thought right? Hard to do in movies. Why didn't we hear her thoughts before? Is there another way to show this? She knocks it over and Ricky responds with a "oh there you are, you found the bucket!"

No need for SALVATION by itself in caps. Also, how you you film this? An angelic choir on a shot of the elevator? Show us it's her salvation. Don't tell. This would be an example of an unfilmable.

Page 5. She panics. She steps backwards, She feels a blade, She spins around. Don't start every line with She, she she, or Amber, Amber, Amber. Combine all this into once action block. For example

Panic sets in as Amber steps backwards. Into a knife. In agony she spins around and drops to her knee, grabs her stomach as blood gushes out.

No need for seconds later in your slugline.

No need for all caps GAME ROOM in dialogue.

Page 6. Well that took a turn for the worse.

Page 7. Well that took a turn towards the weird. Not sure what's going on with Amber, but if you want to go this direction you should drop a hint to the audience beforehand. It will make something this unbelievable, a little easier to swallow.

Rock's eyebrows come together in confusion sounds as if his eyebrows really did merge together the way it's written. And given what's going on here, I dunno, maybe they are. Just say he scowls if you must.

Well that was different. The end seemed like too much of a snuff film to me. I know people like that Saw stuff but it's not for me. There were of course some typos, and formatting errors but those are easily fixed through editing. Alot of your action was a little too descriptive in that we don't need to read every little movement your characters make. Or too spaced out and too simplified at times. The story doesn't really need the narration, it would be a bit stronger without it I think and it doesn't add much to the story anyways. Rick is a bastard. Fair enough. But if Amber is the hero you should try and build her up more. Especially since she is more than what she first seems. Also if Rick has NVGs it would make sense to have some POV shots through his eyes so we can see what exactly is going on. The Halloween movies did his well, where you often saw things from behind Micheal Myer's mask. It made it feel as if you were taking part in the violence and would help here. I think the chase could have lasted longer as too much time is spent with both characters getting slashed, cut, and tortured. It would mean more if we knew them more. The dialogue had some good idea but could have been rewritten to come off as less hokey at times. But maybe gods talk like this.



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wonkavite
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 7:36pm Report to Moderator
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Eh...  Whoever wrote this IS a seasoned writer.  And there's a certain amount of fun to be had with turning the tables on a sadist.  But as someone else mentioned, Perchta *does* come off as too much Deux Ex Machina (and a bit exposition heavy) - and the story goes on a touch too long.  Yes, it's torture porn.  But trim it a bit, and it'll go down easier...  
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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Is that a zero in the voice over? Honest error, but pay attention to formatting detail. I think the VO would've worked better with a visual.

A few page 1 chops:

A door opens as RICK GOODWIN (20s), white, fit as an ox, really good looking with blonde hair, blue eyes, in army fatigues, steps through the door.

1) It begins and ends with door. It's repetitive and awkward.

2) The subject Rick Goodwin and its verb steps through are separated by too much description. The best choice is to keep subject and verbs as close together as possible, if not side-by-side. You'll never go wrong.

3) "...really good looking with blonde hair..." You got to watch these kind of bits because they slow down the read. Some readers might think Rick is only good looking if he has blonde hair.

On one shoulder, he carries a sack, while singing "Love, Reign O’er Me" by the Who.

1) In this phrase, one shoulder implies Rick's carrying something else on his other shoulder. I recommend "He carries a sack over his shoulder while..."

The warehouse’s walls are barely lit as the door opens. Once the door closes, you can barely see two feet around you.

1) I'm sure warehouse's walls is correct grammar, but might not be possessive since a warehouse cannot exist without walls. Either way, it's not needed because the warehouse is the slugline.

2) Lots of repetition with the door. I'm not getting the "two feet around you" line.

Overall, the barebones of this isn't bad writing. It's bogged down with tons of repetition, easy fix though.

AMBER
How is that fair? You'll kill me right away.

The exchange between the two was engaging, until Amber dropped that on us. This situation is far from fair and I'm surprised she would even bother. Again on page 3, she states to Rick it's not fair. Repetition again - you're placing emphasis on something that isn't working. Amber's dialogue is extremely off key while Rick's is far more interesting.

Okay... I'm out. That's it for me.
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SteveClark
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Writer,

This just didn't work for me. One, just not a fan of Creepshow-like horror. Just doesn't make sense, but I understand horror doesn't have to make sense in order to be entertaining.  This feels like it was influenced by another script on these boards that's been awhile. I don't think it's the same writer.

The parameters are loosely recognized as most of the action takes place "near" an elevator. However, the elevator seems like its thrown in due to the challenge. This could've taken place almost anywhere. And that just won't do. I feel the elevator needs to be a key piece of the tale. A few of the scripts bent these rules. And as most 12 pagers, this probably could've been trimmed to 9 or 8. The trick is to make it shorter, and fit all your action and tension in that scaled down framework. It
Might have helped and definitely would've been more of a challenge to do.

Overall, not too bad, but needs work.

Steve


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Iancou
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There are several spots where something is described, but it can't be shown (Amber's feelings, Rick recognizes...) Also, the gore for gore's sake doesn't provide any hook that draws the reader/audience in. It is too shallow from that standpoint. I felt there has to be more to it. Hannibal Lechter was a well-educated man (and chef) that could talk to his victims on many different levels. SAW made the victims see themselves in a different light. Other examples show depth of characters and, more importantly, a driving need for the characters beyond satisfying mere blood lust (antagonist) and surviving (victim). Nice twist at the end, but not enough to rescue the story.


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JSimon
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notes as I read:


Quoted Text
has led me to chronicle everything.


better: "...to chronicle what I see." No way for him to chronicle everything.


Quoted Text
who claims to love the thrill of hunt


I assume you mean the hunt. All OWC's have mistakes like this, but when they are in the first dialogue like this the reader worries he's about to read a rough first draft. That puts me in skim mode early, which is never good or fair to your work.


Quoted Text
A door opens as RICK GOODWIN (20s), white, fit as an ox,
really good looking with blonde hair, blue eyes, in army
fatigues, steps through the door.


Some common beginner mistakes, stuff we all did, trust me. There's no need for blue eyes. Many beginning writers do this. They spin the wheel for random physical characteristics: skinny, tall, blue eyes, fat, blond, bald. All we need to know in this case I am thinking is that he''s fit as an ox and wearing army fatigues, and his age.

the girl
Quoted Text
thin, dark hair, brown eyes, pale skin, in a
tank top and short shorts.
  

See!

Can we see this fight in the dark? I had to go back and reread this, which isn't fair to me. Is she blindfolded? It doesn't say so as far as I can see and I've read twice. Is there no light? It says Amber can see only a few feet. Now THAT is an unfilmable. I could live with if things were clear, but I can't at all figure out what we can see.


Quoted Text
She feels a blade enter her back.


Ok, that's as far as I can go, Dan, I'm sorry. I don't think you are trying.

Ok, there is one good thing here, and it shows some understanding of story, and there are better writers that don't always get this. Let me explain since you did it well. In this scenario, it's absolutely crucial for the storytelling that we root for the girl. We're certainly not rooting for the bad guy. Not the invisible man. And yet we don't know the girl, so are we only rooting for her because she's hot and innocent apparently and in danger? Well, here's what you did very well: you had her almost immediately fight back by setting up the buckets! And she shows feistyness! That makes her worth rooting for. That's a great decision and instinct on your part as a writer.

But you need to start thinking about this being a script for a movie. The script has to describe what we can see...not what characters feel.

And though I didn't make it to the end...the invisible man?! Why? And why is he there watching an innocent girl getting killed?
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ChrisBodily
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 10:54pm Report to Moderator
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I had to skim through it. I'll read it more thoroughly when I can.


FADE IN:
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Dreamscale
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Quoted from ChrisBodily
I had to skim through it. I'll read it more thoroughly when I can.


Thanks, Chris.  That's very helpful to the writer.  Pure gold, actually.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Thanks, Chris.  That's very helpful to the writer.  Pure gold, actually.

As opposed to your always helpful and insightful - 'Page 1, I'm out'.  



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DanC
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 11:10pm Report to Moderator
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LET THEM FIGHT!

My money's on LC.  She's tough as nails.  Actually, nails fear her.


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

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Dan
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 31st, 2015, 2:23am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
As opposed to your always helpful and insightful - 'Page 1, I'm out'.  


Is that all I say, Libby?  Or do I say why I'm out?  I think you should read my feedback and see if your comment is just a little assholish.  You get me?  Do you?  Or maybe you don't?  Let me know, please.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Dustin
Posted: May 31st, 2015, 3:47am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC

As opposed to your always helpful and insightful - 'Page 1, I'm out'.  



Jeff can't help it if people aren't using proper screenplay grammar.


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ChrisBodily
Posted: May 31st, 2015, 9:43pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry, time constraints last night.

I read this more thoroughly, and I'm still not sure what to make of it. I love horror. I love anthology horror. Not really interested in torture porn. I love slashers. I love suspense.

There was some decent writing here for what I assume to be a first or second draft (third is pushing it).

First off, is it "forth" or "fourth" edition? Amusing pen name, by the way.  


There were a few repeated words in action lines. You didn't capitalize AMBER.

This is personal preference, but for Amber's first line after the reveal, I would change it to:

Code

 
                  AMBER/PERCHTA
            Real hunters don’t need weapons,
            nor do they need to cheat.



Before changing it to PERCHTA from then on. Less confusing... ish. Still don't get what that was all about, though.

It was interesting enough, and maybe with a third draft (or more), it could really shine.

I'll give it a solid B.


FADE IN:
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DanC
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Quoted from ChrisBodily
Sorry, time constraints last night.

I read this more thoroughly, and I'm still not sure what to make of it. I love horror. I love anthology horror. Not really interested in torture porn. I love slashers. I love suspense.

There was some decent writing here for what I assume to be a first or second draft (third is pushing it).

First off, is it "forth" or "fourth" edition? Amusing pen name, by the way.  


There were a few repeated words in action lines. You didn't capitalize AMBER.

This is personal preference, but for Amber's first line after the reveal, I would change it to:

Code

 
                  AMBER/PERCHTA
            Real hunters don’t need weapons,
            nor do they need to cheat.



Before changing it to PERCHTA from then on. Less confusing... ish. Still don't get what that was all about, though.

It was interesting enough, and maybe with a third draft (or more), it could really shine.

I'll give it a solid B.




Hi Chris,
     Thanks for reading this.  I appreciate it.  I know I made some serious errors in it.  It is truly amazing how you can read something like 5X and still screw up.  Just crazy.

The story, which I failed at, was supposed to be a tale about a serial killer bragging about his hunting prowess.  He gains the attention of the goddess of the hunt, and curious, she comes here to see what he has, however, she's less then impressed, to say the least.

She had to let herself get "ravished" by him in order to see what he has to offer.  But, he cheated and was so irked at him that she wanted to teach him a lesson in what he had done to others.  

Like I said, I failed.  Big time.  I could have taken the easy way out and just made Amber kick his azz, but, wanted the "higher" concept and didn't make good on my promise.

It was written in the tales from the crypt vein.  Without the trademark humor, not a wise choice.

A thing no one picked up was the extra creeks were supposed to be from the invisible man walking around and taking notes about this exchange.  But, I failed at that too.

I did get one private email about where I can take this idea, and it was awesome, make it about all forms of hunting, not just serial killers, and that does make it really interesting.  

Thanks for reading.  Let me know if you need anything read.  thanks for the kind grade too.

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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Dustin
Posted: June 1st, 2015, 3:42pm Report to Moderator
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Code

NARRATOR (V.0.)
Welcome to Tales of Horror, I’m
your host, the Invisible Man. Many
years watching all the atrocities
humans do to each other has led me
to chronicle everything.
(beat)
Our story centers on Rick, who
claims to love the thrill of hunt.
Sadly, his obsession with the
sexual highs of conquest have led
him to terrible extremes. This is
his latest thrill.



I hate blatant exposition like this... it took me out of your story right away. Not that there isn't plenty of this shit on the TV or in the film industry, mostly by directors writing their own shoddy scripts. I just can't stand it. It's ugly. It's cheating. It's unprofessional.

Code

Welcome to Tales of Horror, I’m
your host, the Invisible Man.



I read horror, but this line took me to comedy. Also comes across as a weak rip off of tales from the crypt. To do this right would have taken showing the Invisible Man (obviously in his trademark bandages) in the very least.

Code

A door opens as RICK GOODWIN (20s), white, fit as an ox,
really good looking with blonde hair, blue eyes, in army
fatigues, steps through the door.


In the above you're trying way too hard with the description. Is it important that he is white? Does race play a part in this film? If it doesn't then race shouldn't need mentioning. Also you use 'door' twice in the same sentence. Huge no-no. People may say there are no rules, but if you want to write well then you should learn that there are in fact some rules. One of them being repeating words within the same sentence. Certain words are OK, like the, is, a, as, and... but generally speaking avoid using the same word twice. Does he need to step through the door? Maybe the door slams behind him after he walks in. Play with your sentences, flip them around, always look for ways they can be improved.

Code

On one shoulder, he carries a sack, while singing "Love,
Reign O’er Me" by the Who. His British accent matches
Daltrey’s spot on. He closes the door.



Here was where you really started to lose me and I thought I was reading one of Jeff's pissers. Especially the accent thing. It's just so unnecessary. Another thing I've noted already in this script is a mixture of US and UK spellings... we spell centre with the re... in US you do center. Here in UK we do blonde, you do blond.

Code

A door opens as RICK GOODWIN (20s), white, fit as an ox,
really good looking with blonde hair, blue eyes, in army
fatigues, steps through the door.

On one shoulder, he carries a sack, while singing "Love,
Reign O’er Me" by the Who. His British accent matches
Daltrey’s spot on. He closes the door.



The above two action blocks are really one action block stretched out. I'll rewrite just using the information you've placed in the blocks:

With a (large?) sack over his shoulder, RICK GOODWIN (20s), fit as
an ox, dressed in army fatigues, whistles Reign O'er Me by The Who
as the door swings closed behind him.


Code

The warehouse’s walls are barely lit as the door opens.
Once the door closes, you can barely see two feet around
you.



Again, too much information. Perhaps this too could be condensed and even included in the first action block?

With a (large?) sack over his shoulder, RICK GOODWIN (20s), fit as
an ox, dressed in army fatigues, whistles Reign O'er Me by The Who
as the door swings closed behind him and the light fades to a dull glow.


Overwriting will kill your readers every time.

Code

He walks past an old freight elevator to the other end of
the huge warehouse. He swings the sack from his shoulder
and gently rests it on the floor, releasing a beautiful
woman (20s), thin, dark hair, brown eyes, pale skin, in a
tank top and short shorts.



One of those rules things again. 5 lines of action. I'm not sure if 5 lines is ever warranted, but perhaps on the odd occasion it will be. Here it isn't and is just more overwriting. We should already know this is a huge warehouse. No need to repeat information. If the reader misses it, that's on them. How many times will people turn to you and ask what's going on in a movie even though they've watched every scene just like you have? It pisses me off. Anyway, this is also why you should mention the size of the sack in the beginning. Maybe even come right out and describe it as having a wriggling body in it.

Code

He bends down, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a
package of smelling salts. He breaks it near her nose,
causing her to regain consciousness almost instantly. She
gasps for air. Here lies Amber.



He bends down... or he bends... down isn't necessary. Could he bend up? Maybe sideways? I suppose if he bent sideways it would be ok to be specific. Generally, one bends down. Also, why the smelling salts? Seems a little camp under the circumstances. Why not a good old fashioned slap across the face? Or perhaps something inventive. This is torture porn after all.

Code

RICK
Hello hottie. What’s your name?
Hottie’s so informal.


This dialogue I also found bad. Far scarier to not have say anything. Why would he care what her name was. It could be anything he wanted it to be. Maybe something hateful toward women, show his character. Maybe she's Slut.

Anyway, I hope my comments don't sting as they are meant to help. I'll try and read some more tomorrow.


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Pale Yellow
Posted: June 1st, 2015, 7:05pm Report to Moderator
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Ok starting out not sure I love the narrator and the type of story this is going to be. Just taste maybe...

RICK GOODWIN (20s), white, fit as an ox,
really good looking with blonde hair, blue eyes, in army
fatigues, steps through the door.
**To me this is way overdone for a description. Maybe I like asides. I'd rather know more about this character than all of his attributes and if it's going to be filmed...this stuff never pans out anyway. Just my opinion...

A lot of this seems to take place out of an elevator.

Ugh thumb biting reminds me of finger eating (Cowboy Sam)

So he picks the wrong girl and she does him in. This was 'ok' for me. I got tired reading this many pages of it and think it could be trimmed way back. The dialogue seemed a bit talky and I found myself wanting to scroll through it faster just to get through it. Good job completing an OWC.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: June 2nd, 2015, 5:11pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Dan

as promised a few thoughts for you. Sorry if these are repeated but i haven't read other feedback.

Ill just try and say what i think. others may disagree. as you continue you'll find, if I'm not mistaken, that you start to formulate your own approach using what you like, discarding the rest. I have.

Title - doesn't always mean much. This was fine but perhaps a little long for me.

                    NARRATOR (V.0.)
          Welcome to Tales of Horror, I’m
          your host, the Invisible Man.  Many
          years watching all the atrocities
          humans do to each other has led me
          to chronicle everything.
               (beat)
          Our story centers on Rick, who
          claims to love the thrill of hunt.
          Sadly, his obsession with the
          sexual highs of conquest have led
          him to terrible extremes.  This is
          his latest thrill.

As a rule try to avoid sounds before the fade in. you can, and many do. but try to do this for good reason - essential actually - that otherwise isn't possible elsewhere.

here we have a way too long narration. IF you really need this why not over a scene, an image etc that reinforces the message. Here we hear about horror...cliched as it is...why not open with the camera tracking a trickle of blood. double the whamy.

you then have a beat, in a narration, over black - well i say over black because i don't know what its over. we have faded in on to nothing before he speaks. anyway, so we have nothing to see, and in the middle of his speech, he stops, then starts again.

'A door opens as RICK GOODWIN (20s), white, fit as an ox,
really good looking with blonde hair, blue eyes, in army
fatigues, steps through the door.'


a few things. my rule is only describe what is essential and relevant. can be a bit of a skill this. Some also go further with a little extra flourish on the description - and i think a little extra garnish is fine if it is visual - e.g. so pretty she could be a princess - and helps picture what you can see on screen . Some pros have gone way over board on this and it didn't seem to matter.

anyway;

[1] do you need a full name. easier to remember a short one. [2] colour - not relevant usually. [3]fit - can be relevant [4] good looking - a tad bland [5] blonde hair and blue eyes - only relevant if you are setting up a character type, IMO, e.g. the all american boy, or poster boy, or pop star, psycho albino killing monk

On one shoulder, he carries a sack, while singing "Love,
Reign O’er Me" by the Who.  His British accent matches
Daltrey’s spot on.  He closes the door.


song type not relevant. the fact that he is relaxed, at ease, seems to do this often = very relevant. remember to choose you description to drive the visual intention. e.g. he closes the door without looking back, knows where the lock is etc he knows this place. its his manor.

British accent - irrelevant, and generally a slur upon our once noble country  

The warehouse’s walls are barely lit as the door opens.
Once the door closes, you can barely see two feet around
you.


this comes with practice but again what is the distilled image you want. inside its murky. even then do we need that'd detail? what we may benefit from is that he is at ease in this dark world as though he knows it like the back of his hand. what visual image could show that? the beauty is we can make it up. e.g. a pillar in the way that he ducks automatically, or counts his footsteps until the light switch etc

He walks past an old freight elevator to the other end of
the huge warehouse.  He swings the sack from his shoulder
and gently rests it on the floor, releasing a beautiful
woman (20s), thin, dark hair, brown eyes, pale skin, in a
tank top and short shorts.


IMO i would have this as two separate sentences. two action, two images. i try to keep to two lines max to drive the lean tone of the read. WOMAN in caps

tank top and shorts - irrelevant i think.

He bends down, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a
package of smelling salts.  He breaks it near her nose,
causing her to regain consciousness almost instantly.  She
gasps for air.  Here lies Amber.


when you get into lean writing the 'bends down' 'pulls out' etc start to be redundant. he breaks  some smelling salts by her nose - thats what we need to know.

why give her a name now. we've seen her, its not mentioned on screen. you should avoid not naming your characters from first sight only for good reason. This adds nothing.

RICK
          Hello hottie. What’s your name?
          Hottie’s so informal.
                    AMBER
               (speaks in Gaelic accent)
          AMBER.  Why am -


hottie - didn't work for me and why repeat it. why not use her name. it then shows he knows her. but then she doesn't know him . tension, curiousity, unwritten backstrory etc

gaelic - seems irrelevant to me. actually it confuses the reader as to they should be looking for something, or know something etc

RICK
               (cuts her off)
          Why are you here?  I know, it’s
          always their first question.  I’m
          shocked it’s never who are you?


no need for the cuts off. i prefer -- for cut off and use ... when some trails off and doesn't finish their words.

BUT...and I'm sorry its taken a while...i liked his words. has tone. backstory, intent etc

thats all for now, hope some of this helps.

all the best


My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
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EWall433
Posted: June 4th, 2015, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dan,

You asked me to give this a look, so I wrote down every little thought that entered my head.

There’s a lot of little things that jump out right away.

FADE IN should be OVER BLACK, since you haven’t entered a location yet. You have the Narrator introduce himself as the Invisible Man, so I would just name him that above the dialogue.

The framing device for this story strikes me like a Tales from the Crypt type riff. It doesn’t really seem that elaborate or interesting though. There’s no set, we don’t see him and not much of a backstory. You could expand on this and do it better, but unless this is an actual series or the framing device intersects with the main plot at the end (i.e. it turns out the Invisible Man is Rick) I don’t see much reason for it and would cut it myself.

“Once the door closes, you can barely see two feet around you.”

Not only is that sentence distracting by referring to the reader, but it doesn’t add much. Just note the dim light and possibly its source.

“releasing a beautiful woman (20s)”

Since we find out her name is Amber shortly, I think this best reads as “releasing AMBER (20s)”

“He breaks it near her nose, causing her to regain consciousness almost instantly. She gasps for air.”

The wordiness of this sentence defeats its intent. This is supposed to be happening quickly and yet the way it’s worded feels relaxed. I’d try, “He breaks it near her nose and she snaps awake, gasping for air.” This way it reads almost as quickly as it would happen.

I’m realizing Rick is a rapist, which I actually didn’t understand from your narrator’s speech. It said he liked the thrill of the hunt and sexual highs, but I thought that just meant bird-dogging chicks and being a man slut. Not a problem if you cut it all together.

“How is that fair? You’ll kill me right away.”

This line seems to cognisant for someone who just woke from smelling salts. She’s too quick to accept her situation. I would just have him mention the sixty seconds and start counting down. Eventually she realizes that running is her only option and she’s already wasted 10 to 20 seconds.

“Rick reaches into the bag, grabs, puts on NIGHT VISION GOGGLES.”

A few things here. One, is this the same bag she was in? You should really describe that bag a little better. Two, ‘grabs’ is awkwardly forced into that sentence. Maybe, “Rick pulls a pair of NIGHT VISION GOGGLES from the bag and slips them on.”

That’s a longer sentence, but you can take it out of the next one by changing, “He purposely walks heavily as he approaches her.” to “He stomps toward her.”

Hearing Amber’s thoughts would play odd onscreen, imo. There’s also an awful lot of telling in them.

There’s a lot of physical location-type problems and inconsistencies with how I think this would play out.  A lot of this has to do with how dark it is, or isn’t.

At the top of page 4, you have “Rick swings his knife that grazes her arm.” Besides the sentence being awkwardly worded, it seems to come from nowhere because Rick hadn’t been established as being next to her. I can’t see anything in the described location that would prevent her, or us, from seeing him. In my mind I’m picturing her throwing the bucket. And then Rick swings the knife and WHAM he’s only a foot away from her. It’s jarring. This is compounded by a couple things. One, she would’ve reacted to him talking right next to her before he swung. Two, you write, “Amber grabs her arm, looks at the flesh wound.” If there’s enough light for her to see her arm, I think she’d notice Rick standing two feet away from her.

“She measures each step, not to give away her position.”

How does that work anymore? He found her, he’s wearing NVGs, plus she’s already headed for a sound herself, a sound he would’ve heard (not that he needs to).

I doubt the door of a freight elevator can be opened silently.

“She feels a blade enter her back. She spins around. The blade enters her stomach.”

I know what you’re going for with the first sentence, and I’ll admit it’s a hard thing to get right. Maybe focus more on the sound we’d hear and her reaction? The last sentence made me imagine a knife hovering in mid-air. Maybe a close up? But then…

“Rick pushes a cord that hangs from the ceiling.”

You have this way of concealing Rick, presumably in darkness, but then presenting him without fanfare. Why couldn’t we see this guy? If there’s a shadow, mention it. An object he’s behind, bring it up. But the way it is here, it’s like he was there all along, but you couldn’t be bothered to tell us.

I should take this moment to say, managing a character’s perception of darkness versus the audience’s perception of the same darkness is always tricky, so it’s not like you didn’t have your work cut out for you.

“Bodies of dead women cover the floor.” Definitely an opportunity to be more visually descriptive. What’s the room look like? The lighting, the walls, how big is it, what’s in there other than bodies? You don’t have to answer every question in the prose, but use the answers you think of to set a more visually specific scene.

“You took the thrill from me. You denied me fucking you as you died.”

I have to be honest, this line was hilarious to me. There must be dozens of ways an actor could say this line, and they’re all really funny. I think it’s the on-the-nose combined with how extreme it is.

But part of me is wondering if this is intended. With Amber waking up and declaring herself the ‘Goddess of the Hunt’, it’s so over the top and out of nowhere that I have to wonder if humor is intended. The whole Goddess thing needs to be better set-up. She indicates that she’s not human, but so far nothing in the story could give me a clue as to what she is, or that a creature like her is even capable of existing. Also why wait until she’s been stabbed multiple times to turn the tables. Surely she could’ve turned the tables at any point downstairs. I know she says she wanted to see how he hunts, but she’d have a pretty good idea of that by the time she got thrown into a bag, wouldn’t she?

“He tries to bite his own tongue off, but, can’t. “

This is one of the most unlikely suicide attempts I’ve ever seen.

The basic structure, woman chased by killer, he catches her, she turns the tables, is fine. But the way it is played is either too over the top (not feeling realistic) or out of nowhere (not set up) The first half is very basic. It’s been seen and done many times and it needs to be written well and executed almost flawlessly in order to stand out. Once the turn happens, you’ve got some interesting new ideas, but I can’t see what they have to do with anything that came before it.

Just an example, if Rick was to tell Amber about some story from Greek mythology involving hunting before letting her loose, Perchta’s reveal would at least tie back to an element of the story. Right now it just hangs there.

Finally, I think the ending would be more in keeping with “the hunt” angle if she released him. Gave him a head start before she began her hunt. And you could FADE OUT there with the reader knowing that there isn’t much chance of him getting away.

Hope some of this helped. Good luck.
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PrussianMosby
Posted: June 4th, 2015, 8:03pm Report to Moderator
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Tales of Horror presents: The Game Room forth ed.

To be fair toward other entries, the elevator has not the slightest impact on anything here.  

Torture isn't my genre so what can I say: much too long and much too long.  10-12 minutes watching that darkness must also be exhausting for the eyes.

The dialogue is partly good but quite repetitive. PERCHTA repeats ten times and more through what of an awful hell she's going with Rick soon. There's a point when it's not bringing your story further any more.

... but as said before, I'm not part of the supposed audience here.



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c m hall
Posted: June 5th, 2015, 2:53pm Report to Moderator
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I think that the establishment of a "host" who speaks directly to the audience giving this the illusion of being a cautionary tale is very smart.  The characters are interesting, the game that Ricky hopes to play is so mean that the audience will hope Amber can somehow outsmart him.  Amber's transformation was not as exciting to read as it would be on film, I suspect.  Ricky's fate suggests a ring in Dante's Inferno, well, he'd feel at home with his own kind.
The dialogue is good enough to allow a filmed version to leave some of the brutality to the imagination. Fine work.
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DanC
Posted: June 6th, 2015, 11:48am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from c m hall
I think that the establishment of a "host" who speaks directly to the audience giving this the illusion of being a cautionary tale is very smart.  The characters are interesting, the game that Ricky hopes to play is so mean that the audience will hope Amber can somehow outsmart him.  Amber's transformation was not as exciting to read as it would be on film, I suspect.  Ricky's fate suggests a ring in Dante's Inferno, well, he'd feel at home with his own kind.
The dialogue is good enough to allow a filmed version to leave some of the brutality to the imagination. Fine work.


Thanks for the kind words.  I know there are faults.  I do have to fix a lot in this story.  For one, I forgot to use the Night vision goggles POV.  

I had wanted to use the invisible man as a way to have him chronicle the stories that he saw while running around naked (hence, totally invisible).  

Oh, just so that everyone knows, I didn't write this with Duex Ex Machina in mind.  I had never seen the movie.  I have heard of the video game, but, never played it nor did I know what it was about.  So, she was NOT based on that character.

For the guy that said that it didn't fit her profile exactly, well, it fit it close enough.  She was associated with the hunt.  The hunt wasn't just about hunting a boar for meals.  The hunt was also used as a means of guilt or innocence.  So, I adapted her to be the total goddess of the hunt.  I thought that was pretty smart of me.

I should have tried to hide clues that she was more then just a human, or have her glow (showing possession or something, like the goddess enters her body).

I got an awesome idea from Mark Renshaw saying that I should have her go after real hunters as well.  When we hunt today, the animal has no chance at all.  It isn't a hunt, it's a slaughter and she would be VERY upset about that.  So, if I do rewrite this over, I might make it a bit longer but, add more.  Or make it a series of shorts like what others did with Great White, which was a very cool character.  Lots to consider...

Thanks all who responded to it.

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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LC
Posted: June 6th, 2015, 12:09pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not sure in what context this was said and tis late here so I don't have time to look it up. But a FYI, Dan, if not talking about a specific movie title or game this has a specific meaning in the world of film. Forgive me if you already know, but just in case not:

Deus ex machina - from the Greek: meaning "god from the machine".
The term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object. Depending on how it is done, it can be intended to move the story forward when the writer has "painted himself into a corner" and sees no other way out, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or as a comedic device.


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DanC
Posted: June 6th, 2015, 2:46pm Report to Moderator
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Killing villains since 1980!

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Quoted from LC
I'm not sure in what context this was said and tis late here so I don't have time to look it up. But a FYI, Dan, if not talking about a specific movie title or game this has a specific meaning in the world of film. Forgive me if you already know, but just in case not:

Deus ex machina - from the Greek: meaning "god from the machine".
The term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object. Depending on how it is done, it can be intended to move the story forward when the writer has "painted himself into a corner" and sees no other way out, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or as a comedic device.




I was thinking of that movie ex machina based on the video game.


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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LC
Posted: June 6th, 2015, 9:31pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DanC
I was thinking of that movie ex machina based on the video game.

I got that, which is why I posted the plot device meaning of it.  Currentcmine gave feedback in regard to Perchta being convenient as a plot device as did Janet and I thought perhaps you'd misconstrued their comments as being about the movie. No problem if I misunderstood you, just wanted to offer you the other perspective of what they were saying.  




Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
LC  -  June 6th, 2015, 9:46pm
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Private Message Reply: 40 - 41
RKeller
Posted: October 12th, 2015, 8:32pm Report to Moderator
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Pg 1
His obsession..HAS let him. (subject-verb agreement)
Here lies AMBER (upper case)
The wryly (cuts her off) is implied by the dash after Why am--

Pg 2
There an an old elevator -> There's an old elevator (missing ‘s plus “an an”)
The wryly with the slap should be put in an action line RICK
The second comma "luck, but," is unnecessary
The "Run, run, run" is implied and not necessary.
"...scream, the -> then quickly..."

Pg 3
"She takes off headed straight"  Versus "crooked?"  How about, "she starts to run again, recklessly"
Amber yells, "...You're moving." Why would she give away her location?
Some SLUGLINES may help in this section: INT. WAREHOUSE - ELEVATOR
Not sure the intent of the paragraph "SALVATION"  Maybe Amber's inner thoughts?  If so, not sure we can do that.

Pg 5
She's mortally wounded and the most important thing on her mind is, "What's that stench?"

Pg 6
The wryly "(screams at her)" is really unnecessary.

Pg 7
The fight sequence could be improved.

------------------------------------------------------
PERCHTA
Real fighters--

She hits him with a right cross.

PERCHTA (CONT.)
--use no weapons--

She roundhouse kicks him

PERCHTA (CONT.)
--and never cheat--

She heel-stomps his face

PERCHTA (CONT.)
--ever

She stomps again for good measure.
------------------------------------------------------

You like extra commas after the conjunction BUT

Pg 9 Bottom
What's the difference between the underline and italics?

Page 10
Why is it sad that Rick passes out.  Sounds like her interior feelings.  Not sure we can do that.

Suggestion on this action line
You say: Her eyes glow white, Rick's body responds like he's getting shocked from a defibrillator, forcing him to wake.
Perhaps instead: Perchta's eyes glow a brilliant white.  Rick's body violently convulses as if defibrillator paddles squeeze his crotch.  He squirms and pukes like an untethered firehose.

She grabs the "other" foot.  Did she have the first one already?

You say: Like the drugs, huh? Like to feel unnatural highs or lows?
Suggested:  So you get your nuts off killing defenseless women?  Gives you a rush, an unnatural high?

Pg 11
No need to mention the cheese grater in dialogue.  The action line is enough.
Why the quotes around horny?
"I'm gonna show you how to use this?"  Sounds like she's gonna hand it to him.
Suggestion: Let me show you my recipe for shaved meatballs.  Mmmmm.
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