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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2019 One Week Challenge  ›  The Gathering - OWC Moderators: Zack
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  Author    The Gathering - OWC  (currently 1067 views)
leitskev
Posted: May 10th, 2019, 10:09am Report to Moderator
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I thought there was definitely an undercurrent of humor. Just read it again, and it's there. Not pisser humor. The kind of humor we see in a lot of horrors of this type.

Actually, it brings something to mind. I've been working on a YA novel. I mentioned it to a friend and he asked me if I was putting humor into it. I thought about it and realized I had not been. So I started adding more humor wherever I could and it really helped. I think it might be the case that unless a story is really, really serious, like the Exorcist or more recently the Witch, it kind of makes sense to add somme humor. That doesn't mean it's a comedy. I think your're writing style, Jeff, would work very well with this.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 10th, 2019, 11:57am Report to Moderator
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Well, I think in terms of humor, I always go for some in dialogue, as that's how I communicate.

And I agree that humor is important - not outright comedy, of course, but just a lighter side of dialogue and communication, that brings "reality" to characters, and makes the relationships seem like real peeps who actually know each other.

I appreciate the back and forths here, guys.  This is how the old OWC's used to be.

Nowadays, once the OWC ends, the threads go dead and most writers don't even chime in to say a few words about what they wrote and why.

I miss those od OWC's!!!!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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leitskev
Posted: May 10th, 2019, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
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My first OWC was Feb 2011. I think the general writing is much improved in these though. My entry then would be laughed out of the joint now. Well, our entry this time was panned, but we just crapped it out. I never even(still haven't) read the log, and Dena usually has me do the logs. That Friday was a big treatment/drinking day for me.

Yeah, I read this again this morning and the humor is definitely in the dialog. It matches the tone of what we see too. Like the invasion/neck shooting scene in the men's room.

Or think about the part where Bill tells him his neck somehow got scratched when he found a dead raccoon. The tone of the dialog matches all that action.
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Zack
Posted: May 10th, 2019, 5:02pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Hello there, Mr. Creams.

A nitpick on the writing... You use EXT. RANGE ROVER, shouldn't that be EXT. STREET? I believe you have corrected me on this in the past.

Besides that, the writing is excellent.

Story-wise, I'm a little more mixed. I more or less liked it, but I feel like it doesn't really meet the challenge. Not a whole lot of suspense and not time with a vehicle.

Also, some of the logic seems a bit off. Why did Bill wait to infect Austin? Doesn't really make sense to me. Actually, why didn't the dog either?

Still, like I said, I more or less liked it. You did a really good job with the characters and their dialog. They seemed authentic to me.

Not bad, but I enjoyed your last OWC script better.



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eldave1
Posted: May 10th, 2019, 6:03pm Report to Moderator
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Trying to get to some entries I missed. Here goes:


I liked the opening imagery. Very visual other than a nit issue – I think lightening follows thunder. Other than that - excellent job on setting the vibe here.


Quoted Text
EXT. CHASE BACKYARD – NIGHT


Kind of an odd header. If the resident’s name is Chase – it should be CHASE’S BACKYARD. Same with the headers that follow.

Regardless, I think it provides more info to give us some kind of description of the house in the header rather than the owner anyway. E.g., EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT

This


Quoted Text
The wind howls, causing a multitude of wind chimes, hanging
from the covered patio, to sing out into the storm.


Was very visual - a nice environment setter.


Quoted Text
Austin looks around groggily, as lightning lights up the
master bedroom.

How about lightening illuminates…

This dialogue sequence:


Quoted Text
AUSTIN
Wow, big storm, huh, Jake? You wanna
get in bed with me, Buddy?

Jake's tail wags, as he bounds into the big bed, almost
landing on MR. WHISKERS, a fluffy white, ten pound cat.
Mr. Whiskers MEOWS, playfully swats at Jake.

AUSTIN (CONT'D)
Easy there, Mr. Whiskers. There's
room for all of us.


Was a bit too sugary for me. Sounded closer to a 13 year old child than a middle-aged man.

Most of the dialogue – at least to my ear – between Austin and Jake sounded unnatural. Maybe because I’m a dog owner – but I rarely speak to my dog in full sentences – examples.

This:


Quoted Text
AUSTIN
OK, Jakes, just a second, Buddy.

Reads more natural as:

AUSTIN
Stay.

Anyway – may be just me.  As a note - the critique here may not be a fair one if indeed your character talks to animals like humans. It just made him seem a bit off kilter for me.


Quoted Text
To the gate where Jake waits patiently.


As soon as the gate is open, Jake is gone. Didn’t strike me that Jake should be waiting patiently here (given how hyper he was). Think he should be twitching – ready to bounce out of the gate the second it’s opened.


Quoted Text
On the tablet, his wife, DEBBIE CHASE, 40, and very
attractive, comes into view.


Weak character description, IMO.


Quoted Text
DEBBIE
I'm a little burned, very tired, and
missing my baby!

Not sure an ! is needed here.

It also struck me as odd that there was no dialogue referencing the storm here. The reason the animals were in the bed was this hellacious storm – you would think he’d mention that.  


Quoted Text
AUSTIN
Bill? What happened to your neck,
Man? Get in here!

Get rid of the get in here – it’s implied. Just – What the hell happened to your neck!?

This exchange lost me a bit.


Quoted Text
BILL
Strangest thing, Brother...I was out
walking in the arroyo, saw a dead
coyote, and next thing I know, I'm
bleeding.

AUSTIN
So, the coyote wasn't dead and bit
you?


Shouldn’t it be:

BILL
Strangest thing, Brother...I was out
walking in the arroyo, saw a dead
coyote, and next thing I know, I'm
bleeding.

AUSTIN
You got bit by a dead coyote?

This sequence of dialogue was the weakest part of the script for me:


Quoted Text
AUSTIN
So, you looking forward to seeing
your girl?

BILL
Really?

BILL
She better not come home with a hickey
like last year. She told me it was
a rash...like I'd really believe
that bullshit?

Austin takes a big swig from his beer.

AUSTIN
Hey, you don't know...

BILL
I do know, Man...and I bet you and
Debbie know too. It's cool. After
tonight, everything will be fine.


It’s too on the nose – I can see where Austin would state that he’s looking forward to seeing his girl, but to ask another man if he’s excited about seeing his – seems – well, odd.

Hickey? Not sure I’ve heard that term since high school. These are middle-aged folks – they talking like adolescents.   The sequence sounds like teenagers – not grown men.

Suggestion:

AUSTIN
Man, I’m looking forward to seeing Debbie.

BILL
That’s because she’s not fucking around on you.

AUSTIN
What –-

BILL
Like Selena is on me.

Austin shifts uneasily in his chair.

BILL
Don’t matter though. After tonight, everything’s going to
Be fine.

AUSTIN
What's that supposed to mean?

This doesn’t sound natural to me:


Quoted Text
AUSTIN
You're seriously freaking me out
here. What's wrong with you and
what the Hell are you talking about?

Like you’re trying to get all the questions into one set of dialogue. Pick one – either 1) what’s wrong with you? – or 2) what the hell are you talking about? Not both.


Quoted Text
Bill pulls the gauze from his neck, and something shoots
out, making impact with the man's neck.
Almost instantly, the man smiles, winks, as blood oozes out
of the wound.

The above raised a logic question for me. If Bill is shooting whatever it is from his neck into people to have them join the Gathering – why wouldn’t have he done that right away with Bill???

This:


Quoted Text
BILL
Can I drive us back? I've never
driven a Range Rover and Serena and
I are in the market for a new ride.
Cool?

Strains credulity.  They’re best buds – he hasn’t driven his car before AND – the time Bill’s going to let him do it is when a) he thinks Bill is acting crazy and B) Bill is drunk.  Nope – never would happen.

So, you’ve got this contorted logic here all to get Bill to take control of the car – something you need for a coming plot point. Why not just have them take Bill’s car in the first place???

And then followed with this very awkward reaction.


Quoted Text
AUSTIN
Let's do it!


He’s excited???? Why – because if they get in a horrible accident he gets a new car – I mean if he lives I guess. This is a really unnatural exchange – and again – not needed if they are just in Bill’s car to start with.

THE STORY - liked it for the most part. Liked the forecasting used with the animals -  i.e., showing us the fate that humans are in store for.

Descriptions were pretty vivid for the most part.

Dialogue was weak. The characters didn't sound their age and some of the dialogue seem forced/unnatural.

Good luck with his going forward.




My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 11th, 2019, 9:33am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for reading, Zack.


Quoted from Zack
A nitpick on the writing... You use EXT. RANGE ROVER, shouldn't that be EXT. STREET? I believe you have corrected me on this in the past.


Yes, great catch.  I can't believe I didn't see that.


Quoted from Zack
Story-wise, I'm a little more mixed. I more or less liked it, but I feel like it doesn't really meet the challenge. Not a whole lot of suspense and not time with a vehicle.


Many have said the same thing.  My plan was to have more take place in the car, but I rambled on so much at the beginning.  I did try and have real tension and horror in the car, but I guess I didn't succeed.


Quoted from Zack
Also, some of the logic seems a bit off. Why didn't Bill wait to infect Austin? Doesn't really make sense to me. Actually, why didn't the dog either?


These sorts of questions don't work for me.  Why did the quail cross the road and get hit by a car?  Who knows why peeps or animals do stuff?  Why didn't any of James Bonds' Antags just kill him when they had the chance?  Why don't the bad guys just blow up Ethan Hunt's house when he's home to get rid of him?

Thanks for reading, brother.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Zack
Posted: May 11th, 2019, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale


These sorts of questions don't work for me.  Why did the quail cross the road and get hit by a car?  Who knows why peeps or animals do stuff?  Why didn't any of James Bonds' Antags just kill him when they had the chance?  Why don't the bad guys just blow up Ethan Hunt's house when he's home to get rid of him?



What I mean is that whatever this infestation is, it seems to be intelligent. Its actions, however, are inconsistent.

Infected Jake doesn't hesitate to go right after Mr. Whiskers, and later infected Bill shows no hesitation when going after the man in the bathroom. Why does infected Bill wait to attack Austin? He has plenty of opportunities to do so. Hell, there's even a point where all three infected have Austin outnumbered in the house.

Is there something special about Austin that makes them want to wait? Just doesn't make sense to me.

Could just be me, so take it with a bucket of salt.



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Dreamscale
Posted: May 11th, 2019, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Dave, thanks for your notes.  I wish I had time to respond to everything, but being Mother's Day Weekend, I don't.

One thing I do want to say is that I and everyone I know, talks to their dogs and cats as if they were real people.  IN fact, we have a dog named Jake and all the nicknames I used, are real ones we use for him.  We think of his as a little human.

Thanks again, bro.  I appreciate the feedback very much.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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eldave1
Posted: May 11th, 2019, 6:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Dave, thanks for your notes.  I wish I had time to respond to everything, but being Mother's Day Weekend, I don't.

One thing I do want to say is that I and everyone I know, talks to their dogs and cats as if they were real people.  IN fact, we have a dog named Jake and all the nicknames I used, are real ones we use for him.  We think of his as a little human.

Thanks again, bro.  I appreciate the feedback very much.


No prob. Just trying to get around to ones I misses - hoping for two a week - You may be dead on about people and pets - like I said - could be just me



My Scripts can all be seen here:

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