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A very tight 12 pages... I mean this thing is so butt up and clearly re-formatted into a more favorable space saving format it's not even trying to hide its offensiveness.
But, with that said, this is one of the more focused scripts I've read so far... Yes, it wasn't easy getting to the end of the 12 page mark, but when I did I felt like it had a direction. I don't know if I'd sit and watch an entire flick like this -- I'm not a huge, huge period piece guy -- But it's not bad as a short. Like, for instance, if this could be on an Anthology with a few stronger stories I could dig it.
It did meet criteria for the challenge on almost all counts and that's what's important here... Other than wasting my time. Don't waste my time if I read your script. Rather, don't make me think I wasted my time after I've read your script. A little winded, but worth the read.
The good thing about this OWC was/is none of these feel the same... The one I took part in, man was it a year ago already? They all ended up blending together and although I read them all, I did get burnt out on them towards the end - which was unfair to the writer.
I'm at like script 10 now or something and none of them feel the same. This one had a life of its own, as did the others.
Double space your friggin Slugs!!! -- It would probably add at least one page to your story here. Sorry, since i know the author, gonna have a bit of fun here. Am serious about the double spacing though. I dont think I could get through a feature by you if it were formatted this way.
Didn't like the fact that the TALL MAN became the TALL FIGURE when he spoke. I think Ryan suggested just call him The Executioner throughout your script.
I did find this story interesting, though. The twist at the end seemed to come out of nowhere. some very insightful use of ghosts. This is definetely something that can be expanded on, if the author choses to. Its heavy on the dialogue. most is told and not shown to the audience. Overall, still gets a thumbs up from me. Good job completing an OWC...
When you say double space your slugs, what do you mean?
I use Final Draft. The instant I type INT/EXT it double spaces for me. I'm even enough of a tool that I double space my mini slugs. KITCHEN... BATHROOM.. etc.
Adds more white to the page, but in all seriousness, it is the proper format for screenwriting long before software was available. Its just something I like to razz people about. And not an argument that holds much water. But, I like to argue...
I use movie outline. My first few scripts, the courier font I had, when combined with double spaced slugs, led to ridiculous results. I mean, a 60 page script would become 100 pages or more. And it looked silly.
Gary sent me the Final Draft courier, and it made a huge difference. But I've still not fully committed to double spaced slugs myself. It depends on the impact on page count.
I like the idea of the bold slugs, though I don't use it since it seems to give some folks unsafe levels of stress. Seems to me that bold slugs would do what double spacing does, without adding to page count.
I like white pages. But I also know what page count makes a difference. 100 pages looks better than 110, and pro readers look at page count before they even start reading.
One word came to my mind when I read this. Potential.
A lot of exposition, and a bit long. I'm surprised a lot of these scripts are hitting the 12 page mark, when they could be done in ten or less. This seems like one of those scripts. Starts out strong, then whittles away.
The writing is excellent, this was a joy to read. Active, engaging descriptions with lots of action words that really ramped up the tone and your unique voice ("scattering", "rattles", "majestic", "silence is broken", etc). Those deliberate word choices paint a very clear, active picture. Great job!
The problem with this story is the betrayal. It feels forced, not believable, and the ending is weakened by it. This could have been a much stronger piece if it weren't for that clunky bit. Also, Christine adopting the mantle of executioner is seriously weakened by the Executioner's benevolent nature. The ending is sinister but there turned out to be nothing sinister about the spirit.
Consider having Christine turn on Rafti, convinced he's the real danger she's been warned about, but perhaps make it unclear whether he was truly dangerous or if she'd been duped by her ghosts into believing it. Outside of the OWC parameters this has more potential, I think.
I really liked the mood you set in this one - good choice on the setting
It was pretty wordy - you could cut a lot of pages by tightening the action & dialogue up a bit.
The one thing that really stood out for me was Rafti's reveal. It pretty much came out of left field without any foreshadowing that might've hinted that he would do this. But that's an easy fix, I think.
I suspected Rafti as soon as I found out the executioner was Goody’s husband and Rafti had the same dream about digging. I don’t know how you could have done things differently, though. It’s probably fine as it is. I think it would work okay on film.
If the executioner is Christine’s grandfather, then it doesn’t make sense to me that he’s nearly eight feet tall. His height seemed to symbolize that he was otherworldly in origin when in fact, as it turns out, he was eight feet tall as a human.
If Rafti is descended from the Abbots, then why does he have visions the same as Christine? Wouldn’t that make him a witch?
Overall, I generally liked the story. Descriptions got a little too poetic occasionally but were otherwise pretty good. Needs a little more fleshing out but, overall, I thought it was a good effort.
It usually skips a generation or two. My daughter's boyfriend is almost seven feet tall, but his dad is only a couple inches taller than me. Maybe five foot five.
What I meant was that his height seemed to imply supernatural origin when in fact it had nothing to do with it. He just so happened to be an eight foot person. Of course, being eight feet tall isn’t impossible for humans. It’s a pretty rare thing though so it seemed like it was tied to the supernatural. Not a big issue.
The Executioner (inspired partly by real historical characters) Written by Petey F
Pg.1 INT. TRAIN (time frame) Pg. 2 EXT. WOODS - DREAM- SUNSET Pg. 2 just 1 "she runs" Pg. 2 no moments later implied need time frame Page 3 She said she didn't see a woman but she put a thought in her mind? Pg. 3 Rafi a voice style change PG. 3 INT. CHURCH (time frame) Pg. 3 EXT. WOODS- DREAM- SUNSET Pg. 4 INT. CHURCH (time frame) Pg. 4 Unsure if this is supposed to be something would make more sense. CHRISTINE- “My life is in danger. Someone, or...someone is after me” Pg. 6 INT. ABBOT HOUSE - MOMENTS LATE (time frame) Pg. 6 INT. ABBOT HOUSE - KITCHEN – LATE (time frame) Pg. 7 EXT. WOODS - DAY – DREAM needs to be EXT. WOODS- DREAM- DAY Pg. 8 MOMENTS LATER- in-place of LATER Pg. 9 EXT. WOODS - DREAM -DAY Pg. 9 INT. CABIN – CONTINUOUS (time frame) Pg. 10 EXT. WOOD – CONTINUOUS (time frame) Pg. 12 can make a series of shots after first dialogue Pg. 12 MOMENTS LATER: in-place of LATER
I really enjoyed this story and think it could go further and expand as I stated already in my previous response. Great work.
I am new to screenwriting so any of my suggestions and comments please hold at a novice level, good work and thanks.