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Very well written, loved the language and really heard the southern drawl come through in the flavour. Scene headings should not be bold. There was one element missing for me that is the misunderstood aspect of the brief, but that is my translation of the rules. Her dead Aunt turns up to save her at the end, there should be more of a build up, hints and clues that lead us to that point naturally rather than feeling forced. Very enjoyable.
This one also follows the literal interpretation of the OWC. Lovely descriptions, for a novel, not a screenplay. I tend to visualize too much as well, it kills a story. Do I really need to know they dine on duck and wild rice? Or, does it at least give me insight into your characters? Nope. So, why did I need to know that? Your prose gets better as the story unfolds, albeit a tad slow. The sacrifice gone awry has been done often. I dug the veil part, and you have a misunderstood ghost. Great effort expended on the atmosphere. Thanks for playing OWC.
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Very good. The best thing I've read so far. Picturesque, good beats in the dialogue, nice cuts between scenes.
Just *one* or two things I'd probably change...nothing major:
1) Love the descriptions. They could be streamlined - just a touch. Not so much as to take away from the flavor (which is very important in this piece.) But a small trim - to keep the pace moving slightly quicker.
2) Needs a line that explains how Louis chose Coralie to be his victim. And how he expects to keep it a secret, given their familial ties.
3) Completely understand why Daphne protected Coralie. But another line, hinting at her reasons for choosing her over her husband would seal the deal. Yes, he'd turned evil. But a single additional line (if subtle and well worded) might be a good thing.
Bold slug lines - I personally like them but many don't The descriptions were a bit heavy for me, I found it a harder read because of it The blood veil element was good but the lead up to it was not so clear and it then required an explanation as to why this was happening, almost like the reveal a the end of a TV who dun it.
The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
The slow pace fitted the mood. The characters and the setting were excellent, so was the dialogue.
Would have liked to have seen a few things develop organically and without having to be told everything in exposition...see more of the ground and see the decay for ourselves for instance, or get to meet the strange Monk face to face rather than have him simply explained.
There was a good amount of tension built up, but it unfortunately fell a bit flat for me with the simple "Deus Ex Machina" appearance of the ghost. I didn't feel the set up of the ghost was nearly enough to justify her interference. On top of that...the old ghost saves the day thing is now starting to grate..not your fault I know....but unfortunately it's impossible to judge things in a vacuum.
Very good effort though. You have a natural feel for this kind of Southern Gothic. I'd read/watch more of your work in ths style.
The narrative was a tad overwritten but that’s where the atmosphere originates so not that critical. For some reason the defining moment in the script was the butler looking sadly at Coralie.
I wondered about the ending and then realized it had come full circle to the beginning. That was an acceptable ending but maybe a little more is needed. Though after a finale like that, it’s better to just close it down.
The dialog also was effortless except for the Latin. The passage where Louis calls Coralie “ravishing” set up the ending.
This certainly met the criteria of this OWC. Serious Goth here. I'd disagree with some of the other posters who thought there was too much overdescription. If there's one genre where I think you need deeper detail to really nail down the feel of the setting, Gothic horror is it.
I'm not a fan of bolded sluglines, although I have been seeing them more and more often lately.
The ghostly element sort of felt shoehorned into this story. Like the owc guidelines demanded it, so ghosts had to appear somehow. I wouldn't call the ending "Deus ex Machina" because the ghost did tell the girl to "Run" before that. But, I would have preferred it if the girl had somehow found a way to save herself.
That's what I call an over the top ending with the bloody bride running away from the flaming house. But it does fit the history of the genre. So, good job for a week's work.
The thing that made me happiest was how the writer used "fade out" AND "the end". Was that done to tweak the anal folks? If so, I applaud.
The writing here was well above average for the OWC's. Ant-bellum gothic, I love it. Well described setting. It flirted with being too descriptive for a short, but because it was well done it works. Dialogue was very natural, well spaced, authentic.
The story was decent but didn't blow me away. There really was not a lot of tension or conflict until the end. Basically, most of the story was set up, and then a quick conclusion.
Man, shorts are a lot tougher to create than I ever imagined. This was set up very skillfully...for a feature. Shorts are tricky. This was an 11.5 p short, and 8.5 pages were set up. I won't say that's necessarily bad, but I feel something is missing. There were no powerful engines driving the story. Even the girl is really just a pretty, innocent face. We don't know anything about her or what she wants. I don't recall her having any goal.
The antagonist, Louis, is the one we know the most about. But he doesn't really have an arc of any kind. He comes off as cranky in his first line, we suspect he is the villain, and nothing transforms him in any way. We don't even get a strong sense of his love for his wife until he tries to bring her back.
All in all, one of the better ones I've read of this OWC. It is a little hollow, however, devoid of anything powerful or memorable, and the ending robs the protag and the antag of doing anything interesting, as the ghost comes in and kicks ass. There have been several of those, though this was the best executed.
The writer obviously put a lot of work into this one and it shows. I think the gothic vibe is nailed with all of the strong impressions created with the visuals. I think it really teeters on the edge of very well done and not so well done.
I'm thinking that maybe it's lacking enough of the tension and suspense to really drive us forward, but hey, that's life and death in gothic.
Note that you have some excess here as in this:
>of the dim basement.
We already knew we were in a basement from the slug so you needn't repeat it.
>what were once lush, rolling lawns.
I’m going to give you heck for this. Not because it couldn’t work. IF, we see the dissolution from lush green into choking weeds.
Although I get this totally:
>But a musty staleness pervades everything.
Everyone’s frekin’ and rushin’ around. “My god! Good Lord! Non filmable! Non filmable! Holy crap! Non-non-non!”. So yeah, just show someone feeling that musty staleness. (What the hell?) Yeah. Show it.
I don’t mind if you write this:
A house cloaked in shadows of former glory.
But I want to see what that former glory is. A picture of it on the wall perhaps? A tiny article of some sort that boils all of that glory down into something that you might be able to hold in the palm of your hand?
>A dark figure stands there.
Those dark figures start to get on one’s nerves after awhile, don’t they? Make him count for more.
Now others might not like it but here’s a suggestion regarding this:
>Coralie opens the lid of her trunk. She reaches in, grabs a dress, then walks to a beautifully crafted mahogany wardrobe and hangs it.
**Later, she turns to see the lid is closed.
If it were me, I’d underline it. Of course, you don’t want to be underlining and capping everything, but I would find it much more striking to see. Especially since I know how fast some of these “readers read”. They might wind up in some brain freeze at some moment, dreaming about G-d knows what and miss it entirely.
With regards to the cheval mirror. Almost had one in my script, but I opted for a smoky one instead. ☺ But I really wish I owned one of those babies.
>She runs down the candlelit corridor.
Does she run down or run up? Toward us or away from us? I guess we’ll leave that for the director. ☺ But Ima still wonderin’.
The following is good in essence but let’s look:
CORALIE How long was your journey, Brother?
LOUIS Oh, forgive me, cher. Ottavio speaks only Italian and Latin. Luckily, I still retain a certain fluency in Latin from my school days.
Coralie sits down, followed by Louis. She sips her wine.
CORALIE What order is he from?
LOUIS Oh, he was a Benedictine.
LOUIS You might say he...worships in a new church now. I heard of him through my European contacts. 8Coralie takes another sip of her wine. Ottavio watches her with dark, hawk-like eyes.
LOUIS You see, he's come to restore Belle Vie. To return it to splendor. Coralie rubs her eyes, sets down her wine glass.
CORALIE But how, Uncle? You said the fields were salted. How could... Her head sways, her eyelids droop.
LOUIS When all earthly attempts fail, one must look elsewhere.
**Just because Ottavio speaks only Italian, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t speak at all. I’m bringing this to your attention because I’ve had a lot of situations where I’m with a mixed group of people and we speak different languages. Everyone, always tries to communicate except:
Due to variations in character or situation. For instance:
Maybe they are very shy. Maybe they are afraid because they don’t want to be noticed or are hiding something etc… So. Just be careful. I think you can rightly get away with it here, but I just wanted to point that out.
➢ It coalesces into a human figure.
I’m proud to say I didn’t have one “figure” in my script this time around…
I’m just funnin’ with ya. Nothing wrong with a figure. Butchya know, figures come in all shapes and sizes. Try and nail it more.
You did a lot with environment and that's excellent. As always, I'd like to see more character.
The logline doesn’t really tell us what the story is about. It sounds like a travel program on public television.
A lot of the early description is great but I think it’s wasted on a night setting. Maybe it would be better to start in daylight and let night descend.
Other than that, the description is wonderful. This writer should consider writing a novel.
As a script, I liked it. With the right direction, the right mood set, it would make a nice short. Although it’s doubtful it will ever get produced due to cost. Still, it’s a nice script with strong description and a solid story.
Great tone, truly gothic. It felt like the opening to Dracula, very similar in style. The writing is solid, the dialogue is good and could be great with some tweaks. Overall a good job.
The story itself is lacking, predictable and without much content. The structure also needs work, there are empty scenes and some scene intros and exits could easily be chopped. I feel you're a competent, even skilled, writer but perhaps new to screenwriting. Whether or not that's true, your unique voice comes across clearly and you're on the right track. Good job on the writing, with some additional content and editing this could be a great piece.
Dunno much about gothic horror, but from what I've read, it's about setting. The author takes their time here bringing the atmosphere to life. The bold slugs need to go. Did Bert write this?
At the same time, this doesn't kick into gear until page 9. I did not mind, because the writing was so good. It actually out-performs your story a bit. I felt this was an opening to a much longer script. A script I would've continued reading with the extra pages. Would love to know what those Latin words meant. Maybe when the writer chimes in...
As far as the challenge, I thought this was definitely one of the better entries. Good job completing the OWC...
I saw 'Louisiana' and was excited to read this one (I'm from Louisiana...).
I thought you set the mood right, but I was torn about the dialogue - the combination of French and formal English didn't feel right to me (but then again, maybe that's me hearing my Cajun grandmother fussing at me in French and *terrible* English, so take that with a grain of salt).
I agree that the descriptions were overdone. And at the end, I kind of had a WTP moment.
Score one for the Bold Sluggers! (By the way, Club Meeting at my blog at 9 tonight. Don't forget to click that square B before you start typing. We ignore any weak-charactered words.)
Quoted from james
Did Bert write this?
Hmm. I don't ever remember any of Bert's having bold slugs. But you did bring up something interesting, James.
Quoted from james
the writing was so good. It actually out-performs your story a bit.
I feel that is true. I feel that the story here is lacking, somewhat. I mean, the story wasn't dismal or anything, but the writing is what definately pops here. In fact, if it were sent for coverage (which I don't particularly like or agree with), then the story would probably get a possible consider, but the writer a definite recommend.
This is the best written I've read so far. Even better than Open Casket, which I enjoyed.
And Gary (grademan) brought up something, too.
Quoted from Gary
For some reason the defining moment in the script was the butler looking sadly at Coralie.
Something about that moment really jumped out at me, too, when I read it. I loved that part.
I'll be honest with you, I laughed when the Satan stuff was brought up and it was all for the wrong reasons. I'm sorry, up until that point it was a slow moving story and then all of a sudden these guys are resorting to sacrificial Satanism and they seem so proud of themselves and it just struck me as bizarre and more humorous than anything else. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but that was the last thing I was expecting and it just kind of fell apart for me there.
It's a cool idea, though. I do like your thinking but IMO I couldn't buy the execution of it.
Well written and conceived, a good read anyway for the most part.
I agree with greg. Satan was a bit too much Didin't bring anything Gothic in the story IMO. But it was very well written, quite over written sometimes, but I enjoyed it. I visualized perfectly everything.
However, I think the fire caught a bit too quickly at the end.
This was a good read, though it seemed I was halfway through the script before things got started. At the same time, I think this script could be expanded into a feature. There is enough potential story for it.
I liked the uncle, he was something of a sympathetic villain. The ghost's role could be fleshed out a little more. The other characters, over all, were nicely developed.
Bold slugs. Maybe for a feature, but I am not sure I like them in a short -- and whatever PDF converter you use makes them, like, really bold. At least on my screen, anyway.
You describe so much in these opening scenes, lush with detail, but set this introduction to the plantation at night. If you are going to have rolling hills and fields of withered crops, you really ought to place these beneath a gray sky -- or perhaps as the sun dips low onto the horizon? They can still have dinner at night.
It bothers me a bit that some of the more ghostly acts seemed shoehorned into the story. The opening trunk and the spinning mirror? Why did those occur? Their lack of purpose weakens this tale. If the goal of this spirit is to warn Coralie, then any manifestations should serve that purpose.
And while I am nearly certain that a racial slight was unintentional, upon reflection it troubled me that this spirit destroys the entire plantation to save Coralie -- while mere moments earlier Robert gets a quick dagger to the jugular. That is kind of an unwholesome message if one goes reading between the lines a bit too deeply. I would not call that a flaw as much as something to think about if you ever consider a rewrite. Perhaps Robert could meet some different end.
The writing itself is the primary strength here, nearly evoking the spirit of Poe. There are small details that feel as if they were researched in at least a cursory fashion, and I always appreciate that as a reader. This tale does take a while to get going, but that suits my understanding of the genre.
This script will be too flowery for some, I am certain, but you cannot please everyone. For me this is surely one of the more polished tales this go-round.
I really liked this. The writing was good. It was sort of novelistic at the beginning but I think it set the stage. I loved the southern tone...it seemed right on. The bold was hard on the eyes at the beginning. This was my favorite.
Fit the challenge quite well and was written by someone who knows their stuff. started off a bit slow, but it also built the mood so that's not really a bad thing. Liked the ending a lot, good old fashioned Satanism . Good job on the OWC.
Like everyone has said, your writing is beautiful. The story was good, too.
I'm not sure about the devil though. You had me up till that point. I don't think it fit in with the story.
Instead of the devil, I would have liked to seen ghosts of the slaves who worked there get some kind of revenge. Maybe he killed some of them after they got their freedom and tried to leave. That could be what made the soil go bad. Maybe they cursed the soil???
So that is my only gripe with this script, the devil... Please ax him.
Anyway, you did a great job for a OWC. The work you put into this definately shows.
Let me know if you do a rewrite. I'd like to check it out.
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
Believable dialogue for the most part. The chanting in Latin for Satanic rituals is almost cringe-inducing in how overused it is, but I suppose making it so Ottavio speaks only Latin and Italian makes it SOMEWHAT more passable.
Creepy and dread-inducing. Paced well, if a little too descriptive in the slugs.
Liked this one. Great descriptions and writing, really captured the mood.
I thought the story worked fine and I enjoyed it.
A minor quibble would be Coralie in her room when the ghost of Daphne was playing around with the mirror and trunk - in retrospect this scene seems a bit lost in the overall picture. Mind you, it could have just been just trying to scare her away so I don't mind it too much. Nothing else for me to nitpick at really.
Went back and gave this another read since it did so well. Definitely good work. Not sure why it didn't grab me the first time. It's one of those ones I gave a pretty good review, but then every time I looked back at the title, I couldn't remember anything about it. That's not necessarily bad. Sometimes I remember the stories that had something ridiculous in them, like the scorpion in the omellete. This one didn't have anything bad enough in it to remember.
I think the one reason the story didn't connect with me was the ending sequence. I'm not a fan of these stories where ghosts kind of just shows up at the end, immensely and inexplicably powerful ghosts that save the day. There were a lot of these in this OWC. I tend to think ghosts don't have much power in this world. Their connection is more to our minds than to the physical plane. Kind of like in the film Ghost, where it takes immense effort on their part to do something physical in this world. Otherwise, we'd see them driving cars and drinking in bars!
I did give this a 'consider' in my vote, but in hindsight, maybe I should have rated it higher. Certainly it was perfectly crafted to attract Iscripts, as the writing is appealing and there are only 4 characters. Some of the other top vote getters would have been much harder to do. Hindsight is 20/20, but from that perspective this does look like the obvious choice for winner... I mean, selection. Nice Job!