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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  Falling Angels - OWC
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  Author    Falling Angels - OWC  (currently 6112 views)
Don
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 8:27am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Falling Angels by Bill Sarre (reef dreamer) - Short, Gothic Horror - A young girl has to cope with the death of her family during a dark night. War brings out the best and the worst. 10 pages, 4 characters, unrated (thus far) - pdf, format


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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  January 21st, 2012, 2:05pm
revised script
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grademan
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:33am Report to Moderator
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FALLING ANGELS

I liked this.

What could be more Gothic than a church?
It had a dark feel to it.
The two characters felt real and distinct.
The ghosts fit the theme of being misunderstood.

The multiple fade outs of superimposed messages were not needed and took away from the emotional impact of the end.

Good writing, I’d suggest a few changes but then I realized they wouldn’t change anything important.

I hope they are all this good.

VERY GOOD
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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:48am Report to Moderator
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Okay read this one.

A few misspellings but nothing major. Maybe some grammar issues.

The story was cool. A French town and an ancient church make for an interesting back drop on the Gothic theme (Wonder if the writer is French).

The evil nature of the Father came through quite well.

Good Job on getting this OWC done!


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darrentomalin
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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A good story, nice setting, great opening.
I like stories with historical accuracy, this is accomplished here very well.
The church is indeed a gothic setting, but on its own, I didn't really get a gothic feel overall. The Father is a good villian and well written.


http://darrentomalin.webs.com/index.htm

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wonkavite
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 8:07pm Report to Moderator
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* Spoilers*

Really enjoyed this one...though felt it was flawed.

There are so, so many good things here, in the premise and the characters.  The historical background, with war raging around them.  Marie's your standard good girl - but not so bland that she's a cypher.  And the concept - of a priest who goes to loot the church's treasures  - then has to kill to cover up his deeds.  And the thread of philosophy behind it - of the impotence of the spirits to do anything to save Marie.  All good things.

My only objection - and it's a big one - is that Father Du Mort (heh, Du Mort.  French Easter Egg, there.) is too over the top.  Having him overtly try to rape Marie?  Too, too cartoony.  Play this one subtle - maybe with a quick look, a flash of the eyes - and this could be so, so much stronger.   It could have lingering emotional impact, if rewritten with a bit more inneundo - and a bit less villiany.

And the final saves by the infantry?  Great visuals.  This one's got so much promise.  Tone down the bad guy - and it could really work!
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feat747
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:52am Report to Moderator
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The historical context gives this story a better sense of realism. The backdrop of war makes the setting far more interesting and intense than your average Gothic fare. I wish I could know more about Father Du Mort's back story.


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Zanej
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:17am Report to Moderator
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I am new to writing, this OWC being my first. But I seen.

Dead goat getting stabbed squeals.
Not many scene changes.

But I like the story a lot gteat work
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:34am Report to Moderator
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I’m not feeling the gothic vibe from this WWII tale.
Format’s pretty solid, but the story was unclear.
Multi colored spirits aside, this one’s too churchy for me.
A religious tale set against a war, not gothic, IMO.
Another interpretation of misunderstood spirits.
This interpretation really pigeon holes the script.
Thanks for playing OWC.

Regards,
E.D.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 8:31am Report to Moderator
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Strong atmosphere...and unlike others I got a strong Gothic tone. The innocent virgin, the Church, the tyrannical Priest, the oppressive atmosphere...all apparent.

People have to be careful not to be too rigid in their interpretation of genre otherwise genres stagnate.

The story was strong in terms of tension and atmosphere, but it did seem lacking thematically for me. Actually that's not correct. I just flet that it was handled a little heavily. Felt like there needed to be more depth to the choices, more realism and more subtlety to the mental collapse of the Priest when confronted with such horror.

I wasn't big on the spirits to be honest, either. I think the story would be better without the supernatural elements. I felt they cheapened it.

One of the better ones I've read though, no doubt. Also good work on the Title...fit the genre (which is something only a few of the Titles do in my opinion) and the story.

Revision History (1 edits)
Scar Tissue Films  -  October 16th, 2011, 8:46am
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c m hall
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 8:58am Report to Moderator
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I love this, the descriptions, the characters, the dialogue, everything -- it's over the top in all good ways.

This could be a wonderful film!

Congratulations on some fine work!

Of course it's "verses" not "versus"...
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 8:34pm Report to Moderator
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This one had to have been written by one of the regulars. One who has a love of the French. Nothing wrong with that.

And aside from what's been mentioned above with those few spelling errors, (and the use of "then") there's nothing wrong in the script. Could make my top three--but I got some more to read yet.

I really loved this overall.
Good work.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
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Ryan1
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 4:45am Report to Moderator
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I thought this had great atmosphere and a unique setting.  A French church in WWII provides a great backdrop for tales of life, death and the spirit world.  The stage was set well here.  

But, the story didn't seem to have much depth to it.   I didn't understand precisely what Marie was referring to when she talked to the Father about the "Lord seeks vengeance for our sins."  What sins?  What is her history with the Father?  What exactly was the deal with the Mayor and the bag of loot?  There were all these intriguing hints at a great story, but nothing really came to the surface.  I kept waiting for some explanation but never got one.

You're missing a slug line when Marie and the Father leave the Church and walk into the graveyard.

All in all, this seemed like the beginning of a very interesting tale.  But it felt more like a first draft to me, like you hadn't quite figured out the finer points of the story and characters.  But impressive for a week's notice.
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SteveUK
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I loved the atmosphere and backdrop to this story & thought the characters were well drawn out.  I think this will definitely benefit greatly from a rewrite and being longer, allowing more time to show the priest's descent into madness & giving a little more back story (correct me if I'm wrong but what I gleaned from the story was that their 'sin' was siding with the nazis?).

The only aspect of the script that I didn't like was the description of the spirits. It may just be me, but they felt too cartoony and a little out of place with the dark gothic atmosphere of the rest of the story.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this. As others have mentioned, there were a few typos littered about, but that's more than forgivable in a OWC script.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 2:19pm Report to Moderator
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This was well written and it's true in life. The innocents almost always do meet up with, at some point in their lives, evil manifested in human form. People might often think it just always happens to "the other guy", but when it does happen to them (you), I'll tell you, you hardly even want to talk about it because... I don't know why, but that's what happens.

So, back to the story... On this one I did read some of the other comments and I disagree with anyone saying that the spirits cheapen it. I know of people who have seen spirits. I've personally been able to feel what is like an electric reiki charge from a distance, (no hands touching) and I, my father and mother (when they were alive) had experiences. For instance, Mom, never having seen my Dad's dad when she was alive, saw him one night standing at the edge of their bed. She described him perfectly. They learned that at that time that she had the visitation, he had just died. So...

If one says the spirits cheapen it? I don't think so. People cheapen things; not spirits. The only thing that cheapens anything is "exploiting ghosts" "exploiting rape" "exploiting anything". But if it's real and for a reason. It works. That all depends of course.

Maybe Marie wasn't so innocent after all. Maybe she was one of those pretentious J.W.'s or any other Christian or Jew or whatever the hell that think they have the keys to heaven because of whatever shit they do-- that they're gonna get a reward. What reward?! You're supposed to do the good shit. So yeah... Let's talk character here...

If this script could do with anything it's that. Maybe Marie might benefit from a rape. Maybe the Priest might benefit from a rape. Maybe they've both lived with such sterility that it's causing them to show up in scripts like this?

One thing a lot of scripts do is parlor trick stuff: "Pull a bad guy out of a hat" thing. It doesn't work that way in life and it shouldn't in a script. People aren't born bad, they develop tendencies to do bad things-- sometimes very evil things, but it has a reason. There always has to be a reason.

If you want to lighten the Hollywood type of spirit vibe, that might be a thing to do. Work with more subtle impressions, from an internal perspective. They're all just existing inside of the "firings of the brain" anyways. There is no "out there". So maybe work with that.

Sandra



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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 7:42am Report to Moderator
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Hello Binky ( the horse of death? )

A work of fiction set in a factual environment, and not just any day! Makes a big change.

Lots of visuals going on, hopefully not too many, but overall a strong blend of war/storm/church/graves and spirits.

A couple of things,

When she says " for our sins", do you mean them as a couple or humanities sins?
The end scene with the priest could may be benefit from a softening
Why five spirits in five different colours, then use two in the graveyard?
perhaps the final Title cards could be presented in a softer way
I think the priests connection with the nazi's needs tad more depth?

All the best.


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Dreamscale
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 9:02am Report to Moderator
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Easily the best script I've read so far of 27.

There are issues throuughout that should have been caught, but in terms of writing, it's head and shoulders above the rest.  Many awkwardly phrased lines make this a bit confusing in places.  Lots of missing punctuation - mostly commas.  A major blunder is a missing Slug when the action goes outside of the church.  Calling Du Mort, "the father" over and over didn't read well. The dialogue from Marie wasn't great by any means.

I liked this for what it is.  I feel like Du Mort was a bit over the top in his evilness, which took away slightly from the power invoked here.  The setting was well thought out.  Having actual history play out as a back drop was also a great idea.  Personally, I liked the different colored ghosts, but feel they could have been set up a bit better.  I enjoyed the ending very much, also.

I feel the Gothic-ness, but I'm not so sure about teh misunderstood ghost aspect.

All in all, easily the best entry I've come across so far.

Well done!


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leitskev
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 12:26pm Report to Moderator
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This review brought to you by an amateur viewer and the makers of Jameson's Irish Whiskey. Please don't drink and drive, but if you must, drink Jameson's!

Gothic enough. An ancient church, an ancient town; cemetery; a damsel in distress; sins that haunt. Not sure about misunderstood ghosts. I guess Du Mort misunderstands what they are maybe, or what they can do.

The writing needs quite a bit of editing, Understandable for an OWC. Some areas were very awkward, such as "she feels a pain in her ankle and bends down to look." I understand the purpose of having her bend, it's just awkward. There were several of these, and a bit of over description.

Loved the setting and the description of it. An original choice, thank you very much!

Started losing me in the middle. I didn't understand some stuff, let's begin there, maybe I can figure this out while I'm reviewing.

"Oh Father, what have we done? The
Lord seeks vengeance for our sins.
I heard his servants, evil ghosts"

--never did figure this out. Maybe it'll be more apparent as I reread.

"They’re HERE Marie, they’re HERE."

--shades of Poltergeist

"There is no heaven Marie, no hell,
and I will not be... judged."

--not something I would expect from someone watching spirits at play.


"Your ghosts are kind Marie. You
have a decent grave"

--I don't understand why they are 'her' ghosts. Did she summon them? Has she summoned them before? Is this a reference to her grandma's ghost, which the priest is now telling her did not go to Heaven?

"I’ll save you... from entering hell a virgin"

--wait a freaking minute. He just said there is no heaven or hell!!


Ok, second read, and I still cannot make sense of the spirits. After the reveal, I'd be curious about whether there is a theme here. Be careful about trusting a priest? the dead are weak but not useless? Innocence triumphs in the end? There doesn't have to be a theme, I am just wondering.

Another thing that might have helped would be to have the priest have a character arc, even if we don't see it all, but we know of it. For example, he could have basically been a good priest who was overtaken by greed in time of war. That would give him a struggling conscience, and we would watch the struggle, knowing that the war within him affected the prospects of the innocent girl.  But this story makes a point to not go this route. The priest has sided with the Germans, so we know he was always evil. And there is absolutely no remorse or conscience in him. He is so purely evil that he becomes less interesting.

I love history, this script is probably in my top half of scripts. And it started out pretty strong. I have three main objections.

First, I never made sense of what the spirits were, how they fit in. Are they just the disembodied dead? Are they powerless? does it make sense that the priest knows about them, but casually says there is no heaven or hell? and when they put on such a uniquely powerful display, he says they are powerless? And then he mentions hell, as though perhaps he believes in that now, but no heaven?

The girl hints at a prior sin with the priest, described in the quote above. But from there on on in she is presented as innocent and virginal. I don't get that.

Finally, despite the very strong start, I really found myself drifting in the middle. And this might be due to something that is very difficult in a short to achieve. And that is that we don't know the girl, so we don't care much about her. She's innocent and all that, but that's also standard stuff from central casting. That girl has been in every script(mine too! She gets around). So we have the standard innocent girl and the standard, uncomplicated priest. We knew he would try to kill and rape the girl. That's what uncomplicated evil characters do in that situation. We didn't need to know the OWC parameters to know that, either. Anyone reading this will know that.

But take heart! Obviously writing an effective short is a very difficult thing to do. I've only read one that really worked in this challenge, and that one was pretty cliche, almost to the point where you get the feeling the writer is winking at us. This is tough, and obviously this particular OWC is tougher than usual. All in all, this script probably doesn't suffer from flaws any worse than most of the others, and is probably better than half.

IMO, of course. Amateur reviewer, respectfully signing out!
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Scoob
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 6:43pm Report to Moderator
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This failed to keep my attention at the beginning but I'm glad I read through it. There is an interesting idea of losing faith in a crisis and I'm sure some of the visuals would look great.
The writing felt a bit rushed, with a clean up things could probably bomb ( no pun intended) ahead at a better pace.
No complaints about the tone and setting, I just struggled to get into this one for some reason.



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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
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I think you did a good job of creating the war atmosphere. I liked the overall feel of it. It reminded me a little of an Ingmar Bergman movie.

Not crazy about the ghosts, though. Could have done without them, actually. Would have been better if they were figments of Marie’s imagination.

Father Du Mort denies heaven and hell but at the same time acknowledges that ghosts are real? Seems inconsistent.

I like the ending except for the title cards.

Good job.


Breanne


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jwent6688
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 4:55pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this one. You set up the atmosphere well here. The church is a nice Gothic setting. AS is this story. I'm sure others will disagree, but I'm not gonna argue it.

I would assume that the priest wanted to pay off the Germans with the church gold? The Mayor disagreed? What brought Father to be so evil does elude me. I tried. I though the backstory about her grandmother didn't play a part in this, was waiting for it to. If it did, I missed it.

I'm sure the author is getting a good deal of questions about the ghosts at the end. I will wait for them to chime in. I don't need a script to answer everything for me to be enjoyable, as was this one.

It was nice to see the yanks drop in to save the day at the end. AS was the backstory about the parachutes in the church window, if that is actually true, I'm glad to have learned that.

Good job completing an OWC...

James


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Grandma Bear
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 5:13pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed the fact that you chose a war setting. Not that I necessarily love war settings, but it was very different than some of the other scripts I've read so far.

I liked that Father Du Mort "Father of Death" turns sinister. I would have liked to see him go a little further...  

I liked the visuals of the ghosts and that they all had their own colors. However, I didn't really understand why they were there and why they were at that one particular grave. In a rewrite you could probably ditch the ghosts and instead work On Marie and her faith and the antagonist the Father.

I liked the soldier parachuting in...to restore faith?

The writing did not scream newbie to me. If I wrote it however, I would probably trim some extra words here and there to make a clean crisp and faster read.

Another good one in my book. Good work.


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bert
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 12:12pm Report to Moderator
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On page one you state, "...there begins the heavy sound of pounding artillery".  In "most" instances, script-wise, stating that an action of any sort "begins" is considered wasted words.  Most often, an action occurs, and there is no need to state that it begins. A distant explosion breaks the silence -- and leave it at that.

The I/E slug with CONTINUOUS on page 2 is working too hard.  She stumbles to the door is EXT.  She stumbles inside becomes INT.  Blow off the rest of that stuff and your continuous is assumed.  You only use continuous (in my book) if there is some reason the reader might become confused about the flow of the scene, and that is not the case here.

What is the point of Du Mort dropping the glass bottle on page 3?  Watch out for needless details that clutter your narrative.   Every action in a script -- and particularly in a short -- needs to serve a purpose.

When Marie pulls aside the curtain aside to reveal the Mayor this has little impact, apart from that of a body lying on the floor.  Unless he is wearing a nametag or something, he is just some guy on the floor.  I would make Du Mort's victim another priest -- in clerical garb -- increasing the visual impact of Du Mort's evil deed.  The nature of their dispute over church funds can remain the same, and it even makes more sense, in a way.

I am not sure the pervert angle is necessary.  Once you have established his murderous nature, he has his motive to harm Marie, and is that not enough?  The whole virgin thing almost feels like you are overselling Du Mort, making him almost cartoon-evil instead of subtly evil, which (to me) diminishes the piece.

I am also confused by the role of the multicolored spirits wafting around. It leads to some nice visuals -- as with Du Mort running his fingers playfully through the ethereal black spirit -- but their purpose, and why they appear now, seems disconnected from the rest of the action.  The tale will be strengthened if you somehow justify the presence of these spirits -- in this place -- at this time -- in a suitable fashion.

I will also note that you abandon Du Mort at the most critical juncture in this tale.  What becomes of him?  You neglect to tell us, and that is an omission that must be corrected for this tale to feel complete.

I do not mind the title cards you have placed near the end, as they contribute something unique to this tale.  If you are going to focus on the stained glass windows, however, you need to emphasize these windows (and their destruction) earlier in the script.  I missed it the first time, went back to look, and even then found nothing to indicate that this event had any real significance.  If you have a "payoff" late in the script, be sure you give it a proper "set-up" earlier on in the narrative, or its impact is lost.

I enjoyed the unique setting you brought to this script, and I found the writing solid, with very few instances of cornball dialogue where frankly you had the opportunity for tons of it.  Nice job there.  A solid entry amongst some of the better ones I have read, and correcting a few narrative hiccups would make this stronger still.  Notify me of a rewrite should you do one.


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irish eyes
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 4:25pm Report to Moderator
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I really enjoyed this script, one of the best I`ve read..
I finally get the feeling of Gothic horror from this one.
I enjoyed the  setting, French church during world war II and the father du Mort character(nutter)

You had few typos here and there, but overall an excellant read.

Well done for getting your OWC out

Mark


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greg
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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This is one of those rare pieces where I struggled to get into it but was eager to continue on.  

There's a lot of interesting things going on in this script from Marie's story, to the evil priest, to the war setting, to D-Day, to the ghosts - there's some good stuff in here, no doubt and I really enjoyed it for the most part.  

It did read slow for me and I feel the writing could be simplified, but I thought overall this was unique.

Nice job.

Greg


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SpecialAgentDaleCooper
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 10:43am Report to Moderator
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Very interesting, with a nice attention to detail in terms of historical accuracy. The spirits were a neat touch, and I thought this approached religious themes without being too preachy.

It was also compelling from beginning to end. I echo what someone said earlier, though, about du Mort being a tad over the top. I did, however, think on that a bit and I feel that excess (in the wake of the horror surrounding him) may have contributed to, and ultimately helped in, fleshing out the character in my mind.

Good work.
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Ledbetter
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 4:24pm Report to Moderator
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Boy, coming in at the end on this one and I see it has pretty much been gone over. Every time I found something to talk about, I found a thread had already covered it.

Great story! In short, this would look good on film. A classic feel and tone throughout. In fact, I will go so far as say, it's my Fav so far.

Hell I even like it better than mine.

Good Job!

Shawn.....><
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Quiou
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As a french, I like your setting. Sainte Mčre Eglise was well chosen and the church was great. The father was so evil, and i like this A LOT. I didn't feel the gothic horror part. WWII is not really gothic in my opinion.
The spirits don't really fit in the story. They appear "out of nowhere". I think it would have been better if they were spirits of people she knew.
An other thing. It may sound stupid but "red" and "purple" for a spirt is not my thing. When I imagine Normandie on June 6th 1944, I see different kind of colors. It doesn't seem right in the settings.
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rdhay
Posted: October 25th, 2011, 6:29pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Good job here. I like the visuals, though I think you could pull back a bit with the ghosts. I agree re the priest's name - it's too much, I think.

My only real problem with this one was the dialogue, mainly because it's really not clear what's going on. You do have a few unfilmables too, but that's an easy fix.

Overall, really good job!
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wonkavite
Posted: October 30th, 2011, 7:56am Report to Moderator
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Hey Reef -

Thought Falling Angels had alot going for it - kudos!  Especially good for just a second short.  For my taste, I *strongly* do feel that you need to tone down Father Du Mort...make his evil more subtle and insidious.  Having him try to rape Maria just makes him over-the-top and takes away from the impact.  BUT - there's alot in this story with themes and writing that are good, and can certainly be built upon.  The lush historical background, the idea of the ghosts (and God) being impotent to help the "good who are in need".  The parachutes coming down at the end were also a great visual.  Give this more nuance and less "volume", and you've got a really good one here.

Cheers,

--J (Wonkavite)
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 30th, 2011, 11:13am Report to Moderator
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Falling Angels, my second short.  Thankfully, better than the last one.

Thanks ( garry, hugh, darrenj, wonkavite, feat747, Zanej, E D, Scar T, CM Hall, DJ Seeley, Ryan, Steve, Sandra,  Jeff, Kevin, Scoob, Breanne, Jwent, Pia Bert, Irish Eyes, Greg, Sara, Led, Quiou and RD Hay)  for the reviews . All taken on board.

I appreciate FA needs work. I’m on it. Whilst I am happy with the response to FA I am VERY annoyed with myself for losing control of the priest. I knew this but failed to deal with it. Thankfully most accepted this as one of the tweaks that are required.

I have a lot to learn and don’t have the writing prowess of others so I will need to work hard.

Aim –  I wanted this to be compact and dynamic.  So I chose an active setting and added a simple story with which to create a debate.
  
Who are the Falling Angels? – I like complexity in the name. Is it the soldiers? Or the Priest’s fall from grace? Maybe Marie, the Angel that falls to her safety because she believed in spirits?

I concluded it was about all of them. The idea of a dynamic day when lives change and good and bad switch places when the circumstances decide.  

Background story – it strikes me that the writer needs to carefully assess what info is needed and what can be held back. I lean towards holding back on the assumption that the viewer will accept scenes if presented clearly, perhaps more readily than a reader. Ooh, that sounds like a debate.

Marie is the young, innocent, god fearing village girl, brought up in the occupation (four years) and reliant on the family/church as her foundation. When her house is blown up (45 civilians died in Ste Mere eglise that night) her instinct is to run to the place she trusts, the Church.

In my mind Father Du Mort (the name roughly means “of death “, is this over the top?) was a complex character, not pure evil. A reliable local priest (helping Marie’s grandmother was to expose his good side and why Marie would trust him) but he has sided with the Germans. How or why we don't know.

When D Day arrives, he realises he must run. In the madness of the night he tries to steal the booty, is found out and in a fight the Mayor is killed. His decent is therefore triggered through war, fear, collaboration, theft, murder and assisted with alcohol.  Enter Marie, stage left.

Relationship – there is NO sexual relationship. Marie’s words about “OUR” sins, was her fear that the God she trusts is destroying the word around her. Why? That must be for humanities sins. She goes to him in her hour of need as a father figure.  Need to clarify this.

To spirit or not to spirit? -  Initially the spirits were the solution to the ghost requirement.  Soon they were extended to create density within the debate. Is there a god and if so will it intervene? The pilgrims drinking the spring water was the set up for their existence (the spring is a true fact).

I didn’t want to explain everything. I wanted there to be an element of mystery but not too much. The fire is the energy of humanity.  We don’t know why it’s on but we see D Day in the background. The suggestion is made that they are linked.

Ah, the beloved Spirits. Black = death (not evil), White = life, Red = emotions, Gold = attributes, Purple = spirituality (Marie’s colour).

This script concluded there was that a spirit world but not with a heaven or hell, just one place. The Priest is presented with the existence of the spirit world, but believes that he will not be judged. He thinks he can do what he likes. Remember, he has lost the plot.

The overuse of “hell” was me losing control (easy fix), but in essence the script was to suggest that the single spirit world you go to can be more heavenly or hellish, depending on what happens to you. Like either ends of the same spectrum, rather than different worlds. Needs work to clarify.

Misunderstood –This was the Priest’s opinion that the spirits play no role. They do. The black forewarns his death, which he ignores. The purple reacts to Maries spirituality. In following the spirit she falls into the trench and escapes the explosion that kills the priest.

Title cards – these are true. I visited the church during the week, after I had written the first draft. There I discovered that the stained glass window has parachutes falling around the virgin, almost as I had written it!! I couldn’t let that pass. Not everyone likes them, but I feel it adds depth/connection.

However, I don’t like the writing in capitals. It seems harsh. Would it be better to write in normal font? Is there another way to present this?

Historical inaccuracies – I took some liberties. As it is rare for a script to be based like this I wonder what readers think. I decided to write it as I needed it. The cemetery is actually 100 yards away. There is no crypt. On D Day German soldiers were in the church tower, it was not empty.

Does this matter?

That’s enough for now. A rewrite is in progress. Thanks everyone.


My scripts  HERE

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

Revision History (1 edits)
Reef Dreamer  -  November 2nd, 2011, 3:26pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: November 5th, 2011, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Bill, as requested, I've gone over your script in detail.  It's a long Word doc, so I'm going to simply E-mail it to you.  Hope it helps.

This was a very solid effort and I really wish more saw it for what it did so well.

Take care.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: November 5th, 2011, 2:15pm Report to Moderator
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Jeff

Thanks for that - document received.

I was just nice for me to find people enjoying the story and accepting this OWC entry for what it was, an early draft!

All the best.


My scripts  HERE

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
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leitskev
Posted: November 5th, 2011, 4:11pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Reef

Couple of thoughts regarding your interesting story.

the priest: when you made him a collaborator with the Nazis, it was information that was just added in. Since such information is supposed to tell us something important, I took it that you were saying the priest was inherently evil. Otherwise, why tell us this? so here's a thought: why not make the priest part of the French Resistance instead? This establishes an arc for him. He was once good, and for some reason has wandered to the dark side. The simple explanation is greed, but we know it's more complicated. Perhaps at some point he became cynical, lost faith that the Allies would come; lost faith in God. You don't need to show all this, but if you make that the back story, little references can come out in his dialogue with the girl.

The next suggestion is to remove any sexual motivation. More compelling is that the priest simply needs to remove the girl as a witness.

Finally, hammer home your theme of faith. Faith not only in God, but in the justice of the afterlife, faith that good can prevail in this world. The girl does not lose this faith, the priest does. In the end, when the Americans are seen parachuting into town, this symbolizes the fact that good can prevail.

I think if you focus on faith as the theme, everything else falls sharply into place. The priest's arc, where he falls from being a pillar of faith, and the girl's retaining of faith in trying circumstances. You might consider testing their faiths. Choice is the key. For example, perhaps there is a last chance for the priest to redeem himself. Likewise, there is temptation for the girl to lose faith, and she does not.

That leaves the spirits. Now that the OWC is over, there is no requirement for you to keep them. I'm not saying you should get rid of them, but you have to consider where they fit in, how they move the story around your theme. Without some changes in your dialogue, they might not make sense. For example, a priest staring at something this wondrous and still matter of factly explaining there is no God or Heavenly justice seems out of place.

I would also consider the multicolored aspect. This is a grim, bleak setting. It works. I'm not sure if rainbow spirits are consistent with that tone. A little Disneyish.

Compelling effort here, Reef, worth developing further!
Hope this gives you food for thought.
Kevin
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: November 5th, 2011, 5:11pm Report to Moderator
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Kevin,

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the effort and take it all on board. Jeff has also given me a great breakdown which I need to go through.

I almost didn't enter as I didn't feel up to it, but once written i felt FA had the makings of a decent story do gave it a shot. I'm pleased I did,  but  it does need work. I would be doing this now if my computer hadnt decided to have a bad hair day and is at the computer hospital!!  Lucky I have an iPad.

The only issue I will deal with here is the  "spirits" as I am in two minds on this. On balance I would like to keep them, with changes, because;

#In a black and white world I like the idea of spirituality being mulit dimensional, a light/beacon
#They are always seen, in the script, against the backdrop of war - so not seen in isolation,and hopefully a great visual
#The colours reflects aspects of the human spirit - the variety adds to density, but it needs the right set up
#I liked the idea that we take two of the five and use them - adds to the debate of what and why
#Some readers felt they just happened - there was a set up but this can be clarified

I like your idea of the confused background of the resistance and also the different questions they are asked. I will ponder how I can incorporate these, if possible.

I also agree that the sexual element feels awkward. I feel there is a moment to include this, if I set it up properly, but it needs to change. The essence of the fallen priest, and an innocent virgin should set some up some sexual tension, just different.

One question. Could this script be a feature? On balance I am inclined not to do this, but I do see options but what I see in my head is very different to this short, if I had a try. At present I  think I would prefer a here and now script to be my next feature effort ( when I get around to try)

All the best.




My scripts  HERE

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
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Dreamscale
Posted: November 5th, 2011, 6:27pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Bill, IMO, this is not feature material.  It's great short material, but far from enough meat to be a feature (IMO, that is).

I didn't mention it in my notes, but I do think a couple extra pages would really help here - to show Du Mort's fall from grace, per se, or at least give some reasoning as to what and why.  IMO, it came a b it quick and sudden, as if he had always been this way, but we know that's not true, per Marie's dialogue.

Also, as I did say in my notes, in a short, IMO, you don't always need to spell everything out, as in give exact reasons for things, or character actions.  The killing of the Mayor could use some further explanation, though.

And let me say this again - compared to 90% of the OWC entrants, this was very solid, and I'm surprised you were concerned about entering it.  I'm sure you now realize after reading all of the entrants that you had nothing to worry about in terms of quality.

I think quality was definitely lacking this OWC, and at least 25 of 38 entrants weren't worth reading past the first half page.

Clean this baby up and repost in the shorts section and hopefully more peeps will see what they missed originally.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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rc1107
Posted: March 16th, 2012, 8:02am Report to Moderator
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I never ended up writing a script for last October's OWC, but I read over twenty or so of the scripts at the time, and I wish I had come across this one back then so I'd be able to compare it a little better with the others.

Because this one just might have made my top three.

Very strong writing here, Bill.  Very strong through and through.  The visuals were great and I got a heavy sense of atmosphere.  I followed the actions, I always knew what was going on.  There were a couple words used here and there that made me stop and think, but that's more of a difference in the places we live and slang.

The rape might have been just a little bit too much, but only for this story.  Just him wanting to do violence to her probably would've been enough.  Otherwise, the priest was a pretty interesting villain.

I liked how you brought up the pilgrims and the spirits protecting.  However, the spirits at the end did kind of make me slow down at the end.  Not that I didn't know where they were coming from, just that... well, I don't want to say that they were cheesy, but they definately made me snap out of the spell your story had me under and made me realize I was reading.

Of course, spirits are hard to do though in film.  They just made me think of supernatural comedies where the whiffs of smoke form into a hand and gesture 'come here' with its finger.  Hope that makes sense.

But very very great job on this.  And I read that this was only your second story.  Pretty impressive stuff.  From what I've read from these three stories, you've definately got the goods.  You just have to hone in on a couple things, mainly dialogue wise (and I'm sure you will), and there just might not be any stopping you.

Again, I wish I would have read this back in October so I could pit it up against the others I read from that OWC, but this one probably would have made the top three, if not my Reader's Choice.

- Mark


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: March 16th, 2012, 4:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Mark,

Thanks for digging this one up. I haven't been around here that long but this already feels like a part of my history.

FA is special to me as it was the first piece i wrote that was of merit. it made me believe i could do this, which to me, was important.

Now to be fair, the script you read was not the one everyone got to read. Some of the blemishes have been removed and a few tweaks applied, but otherwise the story is the same.


Quoted from rc1107
I never ended up writing a script for last October's OWC, but I read over twenty or so of the scripts at the time, and I wish I had come across this one back then so I'd be able to compare it a little better with the others.


Yeah, where was your vote. Only kidding i was mighty touched to be placed third.


Quoted from rc1107

I liked how you brought up the pilgrims and the spirits protecting.  However, the spirits at the end did kind of make me slow down at the end.  Not that I didn't know where they were coming from, just that... well, I don't want to say that they were cheesy, but they definately made me snap out of the spell your story had me under and made me realize I was reading.


I'm glad you spotted the connection of the pilgrims and the spirits - most didn't see that.

As to the spirits, well you know what OWC's are like, and we needed a ghost that was misunderstood! You are not alone in not buying into them but, righty or wrongly (i'm probably too sensitive at this point) i like them.

Not sure if you read the explanation behind them but first off, i wanted the viewer to see them with WAR raging in the background. The suggestion being they are linked.

The colours are then the aspects of humanity, human spirit for want of a better phrase, so more that just some floaty ghosts. Purple, for spiritual, helps the believer, black for death, not the devil, does similar.

Thanks for that, its been nice to see this old friend again.

Please let me know if there is something i can read to return the favour.

cheers

bill


My scripts  HERE

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
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