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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  The Executioner - OWC
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  Author    The Executioner - OWC  (currently 5165 views)
greg
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 11:11pm Report to Moderator
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Had some very good moments but really stalled there at the end.  For most of the story I was thinking of how generic of a character Rafti is.  Then when the twist came it was just like whatever.  He didn't have a strong presence to begin with so the twist didn't really work for me.  The other thing is the explanations of Goody and the Executioner - keep it short and sweet.  I think they spoke way too much and it kind of ruined the pretty good mood you established throughout the story.  

Wordy here and there, dialogue in some parts could be retooled, and again - the twist didn't work for me.  Either Rafti needs to be better developed or something else needs to happen.  

I did like this, though.  I think it's a solid effort.

Nice job.

Greg


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Grandma Bear
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 2:06pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this one, but I felt I was being told this story rather than shown. You do have some things going on in the script, but it seemed a lot of it was just talking in different places. Does that make sense? We start out at the train with a little talking. We move to another locale and then we are told things again and then on to yet a different locale where we are being told some more. The story is very good, but if you could figure out how to show us this tale instead of telling us it would work better as a screenplay. At least IMHO.

Good work. One of the better ones.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 2:10pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
I liked this one, but I felt I was being told this story rather than shown. You do have some things going on in the script, but it seemed a lot of it was just talking in different places. Does that make sense? We start out at the train with a little talking. We move to another locale and then we are told things again and then on to yet a different locale where we are being told some more. The story is very good, but if you could figure out how to show us this tale instead of telling us it would work better as a screenplay. At least IMHO.

Good work. One of the better ones.


Completely in line with what I've been saying all along.

All in all, this to me is a feature in progress. It's so very rich in back story, one just can't fit it into twelve pages without using dialogue for exposition...

Unless you use some kind of new nano technology.  

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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RayW
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 11:59pm Report to Moderator
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Locations & Sets  -   EXT commuter train through autumn forest, INT commuter train, EXT sunset forest and hill, rustic cabin, train stop platform, EXT New England square, EXT & INT white church, EXT stone chimney, EXT & INT colonial house with furnishings, EXT forest creek
Actors  -  RAFTI (20s), CHRISTINE (20s),  OLD LADY (70s), TEENAGER (15), TALL FIGURE, REVEREND OSGOOD (40s), REVEREND DANE (70s), GOODY (40)
Costumes  -  dark robe of tall figure, reverend's outfit, Goddy's colonial clothing
Props  -  long medieval axe, ABBOTSVILLE signs at train stop, antique wheelchair, wood stove, tea kettle (I'm not going to ask how a old man in a wheelchair makes tea from a kettle), tea service, shovel, cabin door suitable for kicking in, derringer
Audio FX  -  dogs barking, distant rolling thunder, wind, door bang, distant thunder crack, squeaky wheel, distant horn, banging at door, crow caw, shovel cracking against head
Visual FX  -  sunset w/ glare behind TALL FIGURE, smoke from cabin chimney, lightning cracks in distance, executioner at sunset
Other -  going to need a great fire to make charred timbers, drywall/painting extensions, big fan to blow in church doors which will likely need to be re-hinged to do so (fire code), dig a hole (suggest renting backhoe or make it shallow)
Comments  -  To catch all this fall foliage the cast & crew are going to have to wait until autumn 2012. Nice enough story. As is, the number of locations required for this short are budget busters, though. With some small rework this could be wrangled into something less expensive.



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JCShadow
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 2:28am Report to Moderator
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Overall, I liked this story. There were a few repetitive descriptions and as mentioned, a lot of telling not showing.

I was almost sure my Page Down button was broke when I tried to progress past Christine's last line of dialogue. Needs to have a properly formatted ending as well as the spacing issue.

Other than that, solid effort.

Congrats on completing the OWC.

John


The Door (Horror/Thriller) - 116 Pages

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bert
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 1:07am Report to Moderator
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So for this one I could have guessed the author if I had to, as it is riddled with clues as to its origin.  For those who are paying attention, anyway.

It is a nice, twisty tale, some of which I did not see coming, but it is ultimately hamstrung a bit by its reliance on exposition.  And this is probably a function of the page limitations, as we must rely upon the characters to give us information that would be better served with flashbacks or other narrative means.

It reads quite smoothly, and it was only once I had reached the end that questions emerged.  And those questions begin on the train, where Christine and Rafti are terrified that the tall, dark man might also be on the train.

We never see any evidence of this menacing figure outside of Christine's dream world, so in retrospect, it makes no sense that he might suddenly appear on the train.  Not a huge flaw, but the logic of the story suffers a bit in that opening scene.

Now, if this figure DID start to appear while Christine was awake -- as they near the conclusion of their journey -- that might add another nice dimension to this story, and I will toss that out for your consideration.  This will also make a bit more sense in light of how your story concludes, when the Executioner does appear -- somewhat inexplicably.

When they reach Osgood, I am not sure why you make him so evasive at the start when he really has no apparent motivation to give these kids the runaround.  I do think Dane is a good character, but you should take him even farther, maybe deformed somehow, and with an oxygen tank or something.  Anyway, I just think this guy should be really creepy for some reason.

Dane's exposition is a bit dry.  Maybe give him a book with some drawings -- something visual to help him with his tale, help break up the talking heads, and maybe even help to introduce a family resemblance.

And after this discussion, it seems that Rafti breaks things up a little too abruptly.  Perhaps it would be smoother if Dane were to suggest that Christine try to sleep -- in the safety of the Abbot House -- in an attempt to learn more.

Why does Christine suddenly have a shovel?  It seems that her obtaining this item should comprise at least a small part of her dream.

Now, for the final twist with Rafti -- once he has the gold, I do not understand why he wakes Christine up in the first place.  She is asleep, and helpless.  And I think Goody and the Executioner should be aware of this danger while Christine is with them in her dream.  Ratchet up the tension a bit.

The conclusion can still play out approximately the same, but with the Executioner (and Goody?) somehow responsible for Christine's awakening instead of Rafti.  I am not exactly sure how all of that would work, but just putting it out there for consideration.

So, while this is engaging and it works as it stands, sometimes a short needs to be longer.  A good deal of the backstory here is compelling, but less so when delivered in the form of a dialogue-driven data-dump.  I would not say there is a feature here, but you have good twists that deserve better, and 12 pages does not seem adequate to contain this story.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 1:46am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
So
It is a nice, twisty tale, some of which I did not see coming, but it is ultimately hamstrung a bit by its reliance on exposition.  



Perhaps I could have used a donation of expository for mine.  

This script is purely too big for itself. I don't think that the writer should worry or trouble themselves into making it fit the page limitations of this challenge. He has bigger fish to fry. W.O.A.:

Move on my benefactor, move on my darling Kevin. Move on move on...  

Sandra



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SpecialAgentDaleCooper
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 6:47am Report to Moderator
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At this point, there's really not much I can say that hasn't already been said. There was a lot of information presented in a very short amount of time, and it would definitely have worked better as a longer piece.

At times, I was completely taken aback by the dialogue. It seemed really stiff and almost archaic in bits (and I'm referencing the present day characters, mind!) then would occasionally feature something like, "gonna" " 'bout" and the like. Very odd. I'd say that could be retooled.

I was also disappointed that there was so little known about the MAIN CHARACTERS. You do eventually come to discover that Christine is a Morgan, that Rafti is an Abbot...and you know that they came from Chicago. And, of course, you know Christine's dreams.

Unfortunately, this disconnect really doesn't make me care too much about the characters in general, although I definitely care far more about Christine than Rafti. Perhaps if more had been revealed about them? I'm not too sure what felt lacking here, it just felt incomplete. And the Abbot relation felt tacked on.

I'd also say this, as a piece of advice that I think would work better if you were intent on keeping both Reverends:

Either switch the Priest she's looking for in her dreams (e.g. She's looking for Dane, but first sees Osgood - or perhaps Osgood is the one in the wheelchair and Dane ultimately leads her to him) or scrap one of them. It's kind of cluttered and weird...and it seems like Dane was there solely for exposition and had nothing believable or otherwise interesting about him, aside from his age and being in a wheelchair. That also felt kind of tacked on. I'd like to see that explored a little more fully if this screenplay were to be expanded.

Overall, it's pretty good. Held my attention for the most part, but it definitely contained way more information than 12 pages of screenplay should hold.

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SpecialAgentDaleCooper  -  October 23rd, 2011, 10:24am
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dogglebe
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 7:30am Report to Moderator
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I liked this story.  Recalling the Salem witch trials was nice.  Unfortunately, it seemed to lack gothic atmosphere.  I didn't get the feeling of dread and despair that this genre relies on.

Some of the dialog was on-the-nose.  Dane, explaining the witchcraft trials in great detail.  Goody explaining the Executioner's origin.  Feeding us information like this isn't good storytelling.


Phil
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CindyLKeller
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 7:56am Report to Moderator
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Although this needs a rewrite as most OWC do to tweak it and make it more visual, I think it is my favorite so far.

I think it was quite odd that he had the same dream about her digging a hole, especially since he was an Abbot whose relatives killed supposed witches. Wouldn't that be a sign of witchery? As soon as he said he had the same dream of her digging a hole, I was like, huh? It seemed out of place.

I did like the story. Like I said earlier, it is my favorite of those I have read so far.  

Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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Leon
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 8:32am Report to Moderator
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This was pretty good, shaped up well but the exposition in the twists let it down.
The concept of being chased in your dreams by a hooded man in black was a little too generic for my tastes.

Just a few things that came to mind.
They seem to have a genuine fear of the hooded man appearing in the real world,  at this point was there any reason for them to believe that this was anything more than a dream, or was it implied that they had already seen him?

Rafti can also see the dreams?  Feels like this should have been a bigger plot point.

I'm not sure you needed both priests, they both seemed fairly interchangeable.  Also the dream tells them to seek Osgood when it was Dane that really held all the answers.

Pretty minor points really ~ Overall an entertaining read.




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gmanp
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 11:28am Report to Moderator
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I liked it. I can see room for expansion on the story. I agree with others that the 2 reverends seemed to throw it off. Dane could have had more to this. I also did not care for the last line of dialog. It wasn't needed. Great story though. Lots of potential. My favorite so far.
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Quiou
Posted: October 24th, 2011, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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I didn't see the ending coming, so good point on this. the script was well written in my opinion. I like the "betrayal" part in your script, how the guy she likes betrays her.
The beginning of the script was not my cup of tea. I didn't really feel it.
The thought the executioner was the bad guy, and I like when the ending surprises me. overall I liked it. Good job.
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albinopenguin
Posted: October 24th, 2011, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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excellent writing. excellent story. excellent entry.

however i couldn't quite get into it. i mainly had a hard time relating to the main characters. like others have mentioned, this one should be expanded. the dialogue was a bit long but that was okay by me. then again, you were limited to 12 pages. not a huge fan of dream sequences, but you made it work.

i definitely want to read the expanded version if and when you decide to rewrite it.


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rc1107
Posted: October 26th, 2011, 1:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hmm.  Boston...  History...  I won't say whose name pops into my head when I hear those two words.

I happened to come across an article in Time Magazine about a person who used to give death row inmates their injections, and it reminded me of an OWC title that almost made my Top 5 list.  Of course, I'm talking about The Executioner.  So, I figured I'd check this one out next.  (Wow, reading Time Magazine makes me sound very intelligent.  For the record, I was in a doctor's office and the only other reading choice was Redbook.)

I really liked this one a lot.  There was definately drive and suspense behind the story.

It does get kind of weak in the end, especially with the surprise about Rafti, but it didn't really ruin my enjoyment of the story leading up to that, though.  Like I said, there was some great suspense.

A little bit of the dialogue was too on the nose, and I'm not just talking about the expository dialogue, (probably the only way to get this story across in 12 pages).  I'm talking about in the beginning, too.  Some of the dialogue in the opening scene seemed a bit stale or wooden.  Just didn't come off as natural.

But like I said, the story had me gripped through and through and I was burning the pages to find out what was going on.  A great set-up for a story.

- Mark  


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