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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    June, 2020 One Week Challenge  ›  Divided We Fell - OWC Moderators: LC
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Don
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 8:17am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Divided We Fell by The Tiger King - Short, Horror, Sci Fi - When mysterious lights appear in the sky, a man must protect his pregnant wife from an ominous threat. 6 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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MarkRenshaw
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 11:38am Report to Moderator
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The first script I've read influenced by current events!

Budget wise this would be tough unless you could use stock footage of the riots and had access to  a couple of ranches (one dilapidated) as well as the resources to smash a car up, but maybe!

I used to think starting off a screenplay with dialogue over black was super cool. Then someone asked me how many films can I remember which has nothing visual going on while someone talked and, there may be some out there, but none spring to mind. A minor point, just thought I'd point it out as someone once pointed it out to me.

The story itself is well written I just don't quite see what the message is. SPOILERS - Are you suggesting the aliens pop by for an invasion because of all the protests? There have been protests all over the world, some as equally strong as the ones now (like when MLK was assassinated) and ET didn't go all Independence Day on us then.

Or are they here to solve our racist problem? That would be an interesting angle to explore, aliens intervening to 'fix' us and the inevitable disaster that would be. A very interesting aspect to explore indeed. I just don't know at the moment what you are trying to convey, so maybe have a go at clearing that up in the next draft and well done for entering.

-Mark


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ajr
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 3:13pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the social undertones of this, and I really like the title.

I think the idea is great, however to execute it properly I think you need more than 6 pages. (SPOILERS)  This felt more like a scene out of WAR OF THE WORLDS then it did a complete story.

I thought James checking in with Otis was odd since they must know each others' history and can't like each other; though I get that Otis is the closest neighbor to James and he's just trying to find out what's happening.

I'm also trying to understand the horde of what I suppose to be aliens, mistaken for protesters, in the context of this piece, if the aliens can destroy us from above.

I also expected only the racists to be killed, and when James and Mary get it at the end, this turns doomsday apocalyptic.

Well written and I like the message.

AJR


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MarkD
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 3:33pm Report to Moderator
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Yet another awesome script inspired by current events. What are those figures at the end? Aliens? Evil spirits? Who knows, but great job.
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Cam Gray
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hey there, Tiger King,

Okay, budget wise this is a bit on the large side, but if Gareth Edwards can do Monsters from his house then you’ve got a vague chance...you just need to source Gareth Edwards.

SPOILERS!!!!

I hate to be a stickler, I really do, but I don’t think a modern piece of tech was influencing this (as in VR, AI, 5G infiltration) rather we’ve got an alien invasion which I’m not sure counts.

The horror works in the sense that there are clear stakes, and the tension builds with some trauma for good measure. It’s also well paced and written so you’ve got that, but at the end of the day it really is a straight up alien invasion story, set against the back drop of racial tension and riots.

I think you got half way there, in horror and ability, but I don’t think there’s enough originality to make it a contender (IMO obviously).

Well done for entering,

Cam


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eldave1
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 4:54pm Report to Moderator
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Very well written - think I saw everything you wanted me to see.

So:

SPOILERS

We have as alien invasion in the middle of a race riot - ostensibly.  Not sure how that hits the horror button - just seems like straight-up sci-fi.

Again, I like the writing but I found the end un-satisfying. If the good ones and the bad ones are all going to be sucked up - why do we care? Don't know - was almost expecting some twist here - like the husband was sucked up because they knew he was bad - but the wife wasn't.

Nice writing


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 5:41pm Report to Moderator
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This has a bit too many CAPPED things for my taste, no real reason some of them are capped either, e.g. Wall Mounted TV... imho of course.

The story, well it is SciFi but I don't see how it really fits the criteria of this OWC as they're just aliens that (I think) come and sort out the racists?

Decent effort.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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LC
Posted: June 7th, 2020, 1:26am Report to Moderator
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Definitely SciFi but not really along the lines of what I was hoping re Future Shock type concepts of science and technology. . And the horror/scares were a little on the light side.

It was entertaining that's for sure. I'm not sure why James & Mary met the same fate as Otis getting his just desserts.

Your opening voice over suggests -

JAMES (V.O.)
We called to them. Not directly,
but through our hate.

-- that all of mankind is being annihilated because of their hatred, by some alien race?

A few too many OS descriptions. They kept interfering with the read for me. That might just be me.

Pretty big budget would be needed even with stock footage.

I loved the description of the blackout and the build up of dread was terrific and scary, so big points there.

I feel like the deadline might have got to you in terms of your idea being a little unfinished? It ended rather abruptly imho, and I was left wanting more.


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Fais85
Posted: June 7th, 2020, 2:29am Report to Moderator
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I have mixed feelings.

**SPOILERS**

The overall story was entertaining. Loved the mysterious tall figures at the end. That was cool.

Not a fan of the ending though. It feels rushed.


Quoted Text
JAMES (V.O.)
We called to them. Not directly,
but through our hate.

This was the best line I've read in recent times. If you've sticked to this, this could have been much more interesting and memorable short.

Very well written though. The writer surely knows his/her craft.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: June 7th, 2020, 3:02pm Report to Moderator
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That was a bold one

And not really low budget if we’re being honest

I liked the sense of dread, things developing that are a bit known, but not all the detail etc

Format wise there are few things that could go, and from memory the double VO at the beginning is unlikely to work - keep that simple

Aliens arriving during a riot - reminds me of Predator for some reason.

And they didn’t come in peace !!

What would I suggest - keep it tighter, probably focus the tension on the couple and rioters outside. A neighbour that doesn’t help is fine, but this one didn’t seem to add much, but I get the divided element you were trying to express

In fact if you were to keep with the aliens, or other force, it maybe good to bring this in early to make the couple feel double trapped

Modern tech angle?

All the best


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Gum
Posted: June 7th, 2020, 4:55pm Report to Moderator
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Hi writer,

Aliens, nice, or in this case, I think what we have here are interdimensional beings who are tired of humans destroying the planet. Some call them the ‘Watchers’.

There’s always been a consensus that beings from this planet, via other dimensions are always interfering with mans’ progress here to ensure we don’t blow shit to oblivion… which we… well, not you or I, but the crazed quantum theorists who want to open black holes and welcome globs of dark matter into our world would do in a heartbeat, if they could.

This tale is bordering on that notion, I believe, and it works well for the theme. It has some creepy ‘Watcher’ type ominous figures in it.

Then there’s chatter on the internet about something called ‘Project Bluebeam’ via the deep-state, wherein they reveal the technological achievements of the 20th century as an aggressive alien type invasion, probably using a technique you described here, or… whatever. Is it the deep-state taking control of society to install a military police state to protect everyone from the otherworldly threat, or is it actually the ‘Watchers’ who have had enough of our bullshit?

Best of luck.
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Gary Howell
Posted: June 7th, 2020, 10:31pm Report to Moderator
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Story:  You had me until the ending.  Not sure what is happening, but it seems like an alien invasion, but is it because of the racial divide?  Can’t figure that out. And why didn’t the blue light take James when it took Otis? Are the aliens only taking racists?   Might help the story if you clarified just a tad.

Characters: Okay. James is a kind of aw shucks kind of guy who we think is destined who help disarm the tension, but turns out he’s just another victim.  Otis has a little more to chew on with his character.  Definitely hateable.

Dialogue:  Decent.  Wasn’t on the nose or offputting.

Writing:  Good.  No glaring errors.  Good construction of story for the most part. Just was hoping for a more definitive ending.

Meeting the challenge:  Think it succeeds on the challenge.    


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Max Ruddock
Posted: June 8th, 2020, 9:02am Report to Moderator
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I really enjoyed this. Very nice writing that was a breeze to read. And sure, there's a few issues that have been pointed out already but nothing that I found really bothered me much.

I'd be surprised if this one doesn't score well.
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Spqr
Posted: June 8th, 2020, 11:03am Report to Moderator
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This vision of Judgement Day is pretty good, but I have a few issues with it. First, James’ VO in the opening: when did he have the opportunity to say these lines? In the beginning he doesn’t know what’s happening, and he dies in the end before he figures it out. Second, in the same section, the Female Reporter’s speech could probably be added to her report in the opening scene. Third: why is the Force that’s sucking up the people, doing it individual by individual? Sure, it looks cool, but since the Force is sucking up the bad and the good people, wouldn’t it be more efficient if Masonville was wiped out by a flood or a herd of poisonous locusts?
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Conz
Posted: June 9th, 2020, 9:54am Report to Moderator
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Intriguing open for sure.

This is a nitpick and might just be me, but characters in scripts like this are always the same. They feel like clichés. There’s always a couple, the woman is usually pregnant and there’s always a gun-toting, usually old man neighbor.

Oh man, Otis is going there…

This is obviously not low-budget.

Ok, why not? Bring the aliens into the dystopia that is 2020. I figured someone would go that route.

Again, could be me, but these dystopian mystery type stories that take place in the woods/country/ranch/etc whether produced of just scripts I’ve read online, always feel exactly the same. I feel like I’ve seen these characters.

There’s definitely a story to be written involving our current chaos and Aliens just popping in while our guard is done. Is this is? Probably not.

Solid writing for the most part though.


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