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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  Condemned Sanctuary -  OWC
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  Author    Condemned Sanctuary -  OWC  (currently 4074 views)
irish eyes
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 9:02pm Report to Moderator
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There`s too much blood in my alcohol

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Pretty good for the OWC.

I don`t think the teenage kids were necessary, didn`t really add anything to the story and likewise I think Christopher should have been more involved.
A lot of long winding dialogue especially from the ghost, which loses it`s scary factor for me, the longer he talks.
Either way I made it to the end, so you must have did something right.
6/10 for me


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leitskev
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 9:36pm Report to Moderator
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If this is relatively early work, which I suspect it is, IMO you have much to be encouraged about. There's some solid writing, some decent dialogue, and you're playing with strong concepts and ideas, and the emotions they evoke.

I've mentioned this on other reviews for this OWC, let me say it here: don't describe too many things, no matter how good your descriptions. Don't try to literally create a film in our heads by describing everything pictured in it. Paint us the picture of a story, don't paint us a picture of a film. Give us what we need, let our imaginations do the rest. If we have to keep picturing blowing curtains and every other detail, it tires us out, slows us down. This was not too bad in that department, but the early pages were too descriptive, though the descriptions were generally good.

As for the story itself, I feel we need something more. Not sure what. A mother discovers a ghost, so immediately commits suicide, now that the afterlife is confirmed, so she can be with her son. I needed a more compelling reason for the suicide. And a more compelling reason why this tragedy is interesting beyond a mother misses her child.

I didn't buy the part about the kids torching the house. I really didn't buy their obsession with the dead boy.

In general, this was pretty well done. I can appreciate the effort that went into this, and I expect promising things in the future from this writer!
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 9:57pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Again, I really did like this script a lot. I know, I could go over and vamp it up, but as far as my list of

ALREADY READS goes...

This one was highlighted with a yellow pen as being very good.

There's stuff like "October leaves" well, I know we don't need that. Leaves blowing in the wind tell us Fall/Autumn.

And other troubles, like the last line of Christopher's dialogue.

Still, I don't see why anyone, especially Ryan,  , should complain about dialogue with a ghost. Just because you've never been so fortunate, doesn't mean you should swipe it off like an irritating fly buzzing around. Remember Author, all of these opinions are just opinions, so don't let them affect your decisions completely. Take them, assimilate them, and discard what you don't feel is... well, discard what you don't "feel"-- what doesn't resonate with "you", personally.

Right now, I'm remembering "The Elephant Man" and I wasn't before. So it's just a thought, that you might work hard on "what kind of Freak". It's very powerful stuff and it hurts us all greatly when nature goes awry like that. We can't answer very well to such questions.

Sandra




A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Zanej
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
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Condemned Sanctuary
      by
Swimming Swan

Pg. 1 LIZ – “I'm not ready yet, Christopher” Christopher not needed.
Pg. 1 EXT. FIELD (2) – DUSK can just be EXT. FIELD – DUSK CONTINUOUS
Pg. 5 a series of shots could be used to explain the events in the beginning.
Pg. 8. YOUTH- “What's it look like? We heard screams in the freak house. We're gonna burn it down” Should be freak’s house
Pg. 9 instead of silent moments pass just use MOMENTS LATER: transition
Pg. 11 “Christopher tries a heart massage to resuscitate her” I would say begins CPR

I liked the whole story; it had good timing and good descriptors. I would recommend at least camera cuts between scenes CUT TO: DISSOLVE TO: ect.
I am new to screenwriting so any of my suggestions and comments please hold at a novice level, good work and thanks.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 7:54pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from Zanej

I liked the whole story; it had good timing and good descriptors. I would recommend at least camera cuts between scenes CUT TO: DISSOLVE TO: ect.
I am new to screenwriting so any of my suggestions and comments please hold at a novice level, good work and thanks.


Hello there, Zane!

From what I know, don't use those a lot, unless you're directing it yourself. I think it goes like:

Use with caution.

I have used DISSOLVE TO before, but I had a very strict purpose in mind.

Just wanted to bring that up.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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greg
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 9:53pm Report to Moderator
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Oh Hi

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I think this has a lot of promise but also has a lot of issues.  First and foremost - this is hard to read.  Way overwritten, way too descriptive, way too sluggish.  Cut down on all of that.  

Story-wise there's so many heavy themes in here but the problem is they're not effective because possibly of a lack of pages as well as a lack of back story.  I mean, you got these kids who are burning down houses and knifing people.  IMO that doesn't stand well on its own and needs more backbone to support why these kids are so horrible.  Another thing is that I kept expecting Tom to appear...in fact, I expected Tom to be a pivotal character (as in actually in the scene, not just a VO or a back story) and I think the story would have worked better if he was.  The Ghost just doesn't do much.  He's just there.  

The other thing is I didn't like the ending at all.  Everybody dies in their sorrow.  There's no closure, there's no amends, there's nothing that was learned.  For the subject at hand I was expecting the ending to be a little more definitive, you know?  Like, I expected one of the characters to learn something, partly because I kept expecting Tom to make an appearance.  

I think you have the beginning of something good here - that's why I have all these thoughts.  Definitely a heavy-hearted story, but I think it needs more backbone.  I liked what you started and would like to see this revised.

Nice job.

Greg


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RayW
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 11:57pm Report to Moderator
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Freedom

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Locations & Sets -   EXT graveyard. EXT cut cornfield and farm, EXT wooded lane, EXT suburban street w/ streetlamps, EXT abandoned/neglected Victorian house. INT house throughout,
Actors  -  CHRISTOPHER (60s), LIZ (60s), Tom and ghost's voice overs, teen youths
Costumes  -  Suit for Chris, Black mourner's robe for Liz,
Props  -  custom engraved headstone, scarecrows, surveyors marking tape rolls, bundle of stakes, banner, bag of leaves, "condemned" sign, thick velvet curtains, match, candle w/ lamp, family portrait and frame, sprinkle dust, teardropper, hip flask, mattress, journal filled out, newspaper roll, switchblade/butterfly knife
Audio FX  -  wind, leaves blowing, match strike, floorboard creaks, doors opening and slamming shut, loud mocking laughter
Visual FX -  windows, doors, and curtains opening and closing by themselves, self lighting candle, ghost's dark silhouette, clear ooze/water draining down walls, ghost hand passing through her forearm, more ghost time during pg 7 & 9 monologuing, blood, ghost superimposing with Liz
Other  -  Bulldozers and heavy equipment, spray paint, big fan, extension cord/portable generator, light for moonlight through windows, MUA for Tom for photo and Liz's death, Christopher's car, lighter
Comments  -  "She shows the page to the Ghost, forgetting momentarily of his odd supernatural shape." I can't film what someone momentarily forgets, so don't create a sentence dependent upon things like that. Instead, try something like "Indifferent to his ghostness, She shows the page to it". Nice tragic ghost story. I'm pretty sure you could cut out the cornfields and bulldozer elements.



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Pale Yellow
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 11:47am Report to Moderator
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I really liked this story. There were a few parts where I was a lil confused. It fit the OWC! Using the emotional impact of not only a disfigured son but his committing suicide was clever.

It could be tightened up. There were some grammar issues(not many). As I'm learning, the descriptive paragraphs were too chunky.

Great job.
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SpecialAgentDaleCooper
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 11:07am Report to Moderator
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This one really does have a lot of promise. It could, with some revision and work, be potentially heartbreaking.

I thought that Tom's diary was a lot melodramatic. Hold that back a bit.

The youth behavior and the "FREAK" stuff on the tombstone and gate were also a bit much.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see frightened kids who were just going to egg a house as a joke before running away with fear coming back to burn the house down...that's kind of a stretch. I find it even more unrealistic that they returned once again to stab a man who is in his sixties.

A fourteen year old kid going from light mischief to potential manslaughter over the course of an evening is a bit excessive.

The spirit was misunderstood, and that's good that you stuck to that aspect of the theme. I just feel like this is another one of those screenplays which need a lot of polishing and tightening up - so much of the scene with the ghost could have been condensed.
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jwent6688
Posted: October 30th, 2011, 10:09am Report to Moderator
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Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Maybe its just the mood I'm in today, but i loved the dark overtone of this. Just holds alot of the nastiness that humans are capable of. Tom, being a freak. The kids outside stabbing Christopher.

I didn't mind the dialogue with the ghost as much as the others. I found it soothing to Liz's character. This whole piece is just sad all the way through. I got that the ghost was good, didn't really get a gothic feel from it. The repetition in the sleep well line at the end was good. The repetition of October leaves blowing in the beginning was not.

I find myself dumbfounded as why I can't suggest a way to make this better. I guess that is a good thing. I enjoyed it, its right up my alley...

James


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GM
Posted: October 30th, 2011, 1:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Scoob

I liked the tone however I believe this story would better as a longer short or feature. That's one of the negatives about a short: they tend to go quickly and not much gets developed i.e. how the mother just easily accepts the ghost existence. If you plan to expand this, there should be some mix of mystery and hesitation in there. Also, I'm interested in the ghost and his involvement with the parents son.

Hope this helps,
Gabe
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Scoob
Posted: October 31st, 2011, 10:25am Report to Moderator
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Thank you to everyone who gave a review, I greatly appreciate every one of them.

I've no complaints about any criticism, I agree I completely overdid the writing and those damn October leaves! Ahhg!  What happened there was the second page was originally the opening page and the entire script was just six pages. I wasn't too happy with it and on the final day decided to add a bit more story, and in the process somehow forgot to clear some of the build up. In fact, I probably felt I needed to add more which just bogged everything down.
I think the format went a bit pear shaped somewhere along the line too.
The original twist was meant to be about hereditary mental illness ( the ghost being just a voice in the head) but I just couldn't manage to pull it off so just went with a "family tragedy" instead.

There is also a lot of exposition that I should have dealt with a bit better - no wonder everyone wants to commit suicide after being stuck in a room with the Ghost, that thing can talk people to death!

Seriously, I am very grateful for the comments and feel I have learnt a whole lot more due to taking part and reading everyone else's scripts. Great stuff!

Happy Halloween!

Malc



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