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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  All That Remains - OWC
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  Author    All That Remains - OWC  (currently 4417 views)
RayW
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 11:39pm Report to Moderator
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Locations & Sets  -   Ocean bluffs with working lighthouse and nearby B&B-type house, close EXT of B&B, B&B (furnished house) kitchen, dining room, Erin's bedroom, stair well,
Actors -  ERIN (20s), JOAN (30s), TIM (30s), MITCHELL (30s), HICKS (40)
Costumes  -  Erin recluse attire, Joan frump attire, Tim sleaze attire, Mitchell academic attire, Hicks old jock work attire,
Props  -  wheelchair, glasses, stacks of bottled water cases, general food provisions in cabinets, nautical do-dad house decorations, cassette recorder w/ mic, Erin's overnight case (probably some background luggage stuff, too), gloves, tape & diary, duct tape, Hicks' knife
Audio FX  -  wind rattling the window
Visual FX  -  slicing Erin's throat + blood, knife swing through Emma ghost, knife to gut effect.
Other -  van with wheelchair lift, pick up truck, Emily rising from the floor = wire work?
Comments -  Pg 6: "I think she's dead" "Sit her up" "I'm okay". LOL! Turn off your program's dialog (CONT'D) feature. "Treasure of the Devilís Eel" needs to be set up much earlier. Page 11 just got all waaay too confusing about the no twin sister stuff. Dialog gets a wee expositional. And with the physical violence in this I'm gonna kick this up to PG-13



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leitskev
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 6:12pm Report to Moderator
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Good things here, and a few that were tough sells. First the good: I loved the character intro's. That's how it's done! Great example for others.

I liked the initial twist, where the diary was a fake and a plant to draw out the killer. Great idea.

I was mildly troubled by the predictability of Hicks being the killer. I can live with it, but it would be nice if the killer wasn't just another version of "the butler did it".

Having Erin be a ghost all along, I don't know about that. That makes her more undead than ghost. She can plant diaries, join ghost hunter teams, and so on. Maybe it would be better to have Erin be just someone possessed by the ghost of Emma.

Very well written, a nice attempt at catching the audience off guard.

Revision History (1 edits)
leitskev  -  October 29th, 2011, 6:54pm
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 6:27pm Report to Moderator
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Hey everyone,

Thanks for reading and commenting.

A lot of the issues brought up were addressed in the original script, like Timís attitude. It was 18 pages and growing. I had to cut it down to 12. It lost a little in the process but something had to go.

I donít agree with all the criticism but Iím not going to defend against any of it, except to make a few comments:

I donít really mind if it doesnít meet someone elseís idea of Gothic Horror. It meets mine. And itís something that would be relatively easy to produce.

As far as people knowing who the killer was, I think writers have to be careful about taking those kinds of comments too seriously. Itís too easy to say that after youíve read it. If any of the other characters had been the killer, I feel certain that some readers would still have said they knew right away.

As far as foreshadowing the end, I think I did. I think itís a no-win situation for a writer. If itís too obvious, people say itís too obvious. If not, people say it isnít foreshadowed enough. There are definitely clues I think people would see if they reread it.

Regarding the ghost being too human, all I can say is that I donít believe in ghosts so I donít see how there can be any particular way to portray them. Ghosts appearing as the living is not new. It goes back at least to the days of pulp fiction (the novels, not the Tarantino flick). The concept has been used in The Twilight Zone and numerous other places. A more modern example would be The Sixth Sense. I felt like it was fair play.

All that said, thereís no question that it needs work and I think there were some great comments and a lot of valuable input. And I really appreciate it.

Thank you all and Iíll work on it.


Breanne


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 6:41pm Report to Moderator
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Ah Breanne, this was yours? Frick and double frick. It really deserved more than it got in the attention department. Seriously.

You know what? I guess it's just due to the fact that in the OWC there's a whole lot of scripts to keep track of. But you know, I remember Hicks coming along and jangling those keys.  

Truly, the weakest point of this script (to me) is the title. And there were a lot in this OWC I'd say the same.

But yes, I want to say that after all is said and done, this one is very deserving, but it scooted on by me. The Emma/Erin connection wasn't clear enough for me, but that's just me being stupid.

As a story, this one gets high marks. It does need to be more gothic in my estimation. We've recently discussed this again: What defines gothic? Everything evolves and that's the nature of time; so I guess it's very subjective, but for me:

Gothic includes passion to such a degree that it leaves one ultimately, empty.

And that "emptiness" resounds within the environment of a gothic piece, whatever that environment may be-- not concrete physical, but implicit and unwieldy (because of its sublimity) in a virtual fashion.  

I really do want to send you out props for this and I feel bad that this one escaped people.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 6:54pm Report to Moderator
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Sandra,

Thank you, thatís very kind of you to say. Itís really interesting to see what people do when the authors are unknown. Iím actually thankful for the opportunity to see if anyone would pay any attention to it when they didnít know who wrote it.

I agree with you that the title isnít great. The original title wasnít any better. I kind of like it in a weird way, though.


Breanne


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leitskev
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 7:06pm Report to Moderator
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There were only 4 I did not read, and I'm not sure how this slipped off my radar. The opening writing is very strong, so it was not like I opened it and stopped reading. The log seems fine. So I guess it could be the title, or just the low number of views. Sometimes a script needs some early momentum in views to get going.

In my first OWC, last Feb, I had a title that did not draw for horror(Scottish Lullaby), so I languished in the cellar for a few days. It turned around in the end because I got some good reviews which drew more readers, but the title was a real handicap.

Breanne, it's not that your writing tipped us off to Hicks being the killer. It's more that kind of guy is always the killer. A van full of investigators, and one strange guy that we see briefly, who then disappears. That guy is always the killer. I found myself hoping that Erin would be the killer. I read this after the reveal, so I knew you would have twists as a veteran writer, I thought maybe that would be it. Turns out the twists came in other areas.

I loved it when the blank diary was revealed, and the fact that Erin set it up. That's a really good idea.

Someone brought up the wheelchair issue. I can tell you, I had a guy in a wheelchair in mine, and at the time of last October's OWC, I had never heard of Simplyscripts, had never read a script, and had never attempted to write one. I guess the challenge involved a wheelchair. Your handicapped character was fine, and his personality was linked to his handicap.

Sorry I didn't review this before the OWC was over. It wasn't the only good one I missed, and Last Stop I didn't get to til the end.
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bert
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 10:15pm Report to Moderator
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A Fresnel lens?  Really?

Had I looked at this script prior to the reveal, my choice of potential authors would have been drastically reduced by the third sentence alone.

A nice set of characters are introduced efficiently and effectively.  Those that rail against the use of asides would be well advised to review how it is done most appropriately here.

I was mostly enjoying this tale in a generic sort of way -- but then perked up around the bottom of page 9, where you took things to a different and unforeseen level.  Well done.

The exposition from Hicks was a bit of a groaner, but I get what you were going for, and some of your twisty stuff near the end pulls the story back up.

Once Mitchell reveals the truth about Emma's sister, I am not sure why there is anything more to be said, and I think the exchange between Hicks and Erin may diminish the intensity of the moment.

You might also consider (perhaps) concealing the identity of Emma's sister in the diary itself -- that single sentence you give Mitchell buried within the otherwise empty pages -- for Hicks to discover on his own.

Just some thoughts.  This read easily, and on the whole, the tale you told here was amongst my favorites.  The anonymity worked against you this time -- and I will bet a good fraction checked out right after your Fresnel lens...


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: October 30th, 2011, 10:10am Report to Moderator
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Well written work.

The story had more of a Ghost story vibe than a Gothic one, at least to me, but thats subjective of course.

I liked the end, I actually thought several things were going to happen, and what actually did happen I didnt expect, very good.

Well done!


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 31st, 2011, 12:47pm Report to Moderator
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Bert, Hugh, thank you for reading. Bert, Iím going to respond to some of your comments and one from Kevin earlier.


Quoted from bert
A Fresnel lens?  Really?


What can I say? I live near the west coast and Iím a lighthouse junkie. Iíve been to every lighthouse in Oregon, some in California and Washington, and some on the east coast. I guess I made the mistake of assuming people would recognize a Fresnel lens. Phil asked earlier how we would know the house is a former light keeperís house. I felt that a light keeperís house nearby would be obvious.


Quoted from bert
The exposition from Hicks was a bit of a groaner, but I get what you were going for, and some of your twisty stuff near the end pulls the story back up.


Yeah, I hated to have so much exposition there from Hicks. I felt kind of stuck, though. Erinís need to know what happened was too pivotal to her character. I had to do something.


Quoted from bert
Once Mitchell reveals the truth about Emma's sister, I am not sure why there is anything more to be said, and I think the exchange between Hicks and Erin may diminish the intensity of the moment.


I like that idea. Iíll see if I can make it work.


Quoted from bert
You might also consider (perhaps) concealing the identity of Emma's sister in the diary itself -- that single sentence you give Mitchell buried within the otherwise empty pages -- for Hicks to discover on his own.


I like this idea. I kind of wanted the revelation to happen with the blade to Mitchellís throat. Iíll see if I can rework it.

Squeezing this into twelve pages hurt it, I think. One of my biggest regrets is that I had to cut out parts regarding Mitchellís condition. I wanted to show more about his deteriorating health and why itís so important to him to have a genuine experience with the ďother side.Ē I really wanted the end to be poignant.

I will revise this, not because I think itís such a great piece of work so much as because I simply canít stand it so compressed.


Quoted from leitskev
Breanne, it's not that your writing tipped us off to Hicks being the killer. It's more that kind of guy is always the killer. A van full of investigators, and one strange guy that we see briefly, who then disappears. That guy is always the killer. I found myself hoping that Erin would be the killer. I read this after the reveal, so I knew you would have twists as a veteran writer, I thought maybe that would be it. Turns out the twists came in other areas.


When I originally conceived this, Tim was the killer. I was fairly certain people would say they knew from the start. Thereís a difference between the killer being obvious and readers merely guessing correctly. Iím very secure in the belief that no matter who had been the killer, someone would have said it was obvious after the fact.

Donít get me wrong. This story is far from a great mystery. It definitely needs work. But Iím supremely confident of two things. Number one, if this had been longer, so that I could have been more manipulative, I believe it would have been less obvious. And number two, no matter what I would have done, someone would still have said they knew the killer right away.

Hugh, in all the responses above, I donít want to overlook you. Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

Thanks everyone!


Breanne



Revision History (1 edits)
Breanne Mattson  -  October 31st, 2011, 3:47pm
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jwent6688
Posted: October 31st, 2011, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Breanne,

Just returning reads. I, like Bert, dont mind a little bit of unfilmable description of characters when its done right. I think you handled the intros well.

I'm not a "twist-sniffer". I don't go into a script hoping I can out-smart the rest of the audience and find your killer before he's revealed. Not like you win a prize. I didn't catch Hicks off the bat, so it was good for me.

I didn't like Erin shaking hands with Tim. Wished she could've just said she had a cold. As well as Hicks slicing her throat. I wished the blade would've went right through her at the get go. None of us know what ghosts really are, and I don't believe in them either, but I argue that at least 90 percent of us believe that they are spectral beings, not flesh and bone.

This was too big of a story for the limitations. I'm always guilty of that, too. I enjoyed it, but I think you could make this something really unique outside of the OWC parameters.

Thanks for reading mine as well...

James


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: November 1st, 2011, 12:06pm Report to Moderator
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Hi James,

Thanks for the read. I hope you didnít feel that you owed me, though. Iím not one of those writers who expects a read for a read. I read what Iím drawn to and I donít ask anything in return.

That said, Iím glad you did!

Regarding the ghost, I wasnít suggesting sheís flesh and bone. She is a spectral being, just one who can appear as a living person. Iíve seen numerous movies where a ghost appears in the form they were killed. The ghost of a car wreck victim might appear mangled, or a ghost may relive a physical experience over and over, etc. Iím surprised so many have a problem with me playing with the concept in this way.

I thought of it more as an illusion. The ghost appears as a living person and people, having no reason to doubt, accept her as a living person. To me, the passion is in Erinís deep seated need to know what happened that night.

I understand what you and others are saying. Iím experimenting here with concepts I like, though. One of my favorite characters of all time is a ghost who pretends to be a living person and then at other times takes on a more spectral form. I guess you could say Iím experimenting with the idea from an existential point of view.

I like your ideas about the cold and cutting Erin. Iíll see if I can incorporate them.

Thanks James.


Breanne


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Grandma Bear
Posted: November 2nd, 2011, 1:02pm Report to Moderator
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Breanne,

if I had read this one before the reveal, I would actually have guessed that you wrote it. I remember you saying you got married at an old lighthouse and knowing where you live...well, just call me Einstein, but I would have put 2 and 2 together and...  

I liked your description of Joan. Always busy, but never in a rush.

I thought the story here was decent. Not bad at all. My biggest complaint would be Joan saying Tim just joined their group. Why would he do that when he seems to think their work is just a hoax? That really bothered me.

I think I would have liked it better if Erin and Emma were twins. The ghost pretending was a stretch for me.

I found myself wanting to know more about the treasure.

You lead me astray with making it look like Tim was going to be the killer. Good job on that.

All in all, I enjoyed the read. Expertly written with a story that works, but needs a little tweaking.


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: November 3rd, 2011, 12:35pm Report to Moderator
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Pia,

Thanks for reading. Yes, actually, I was married in a light keeperís house near a lighthouse. Itís been converted into a bed and breakfast and itís supposedly haunted by the ghost of a woman who committed suicide by throwing herself off a cliff. She was allegedly distraught over the death of her child and the intense loneliness.

As a matter of fact, my wedding party spent the night before the wedding there as well as the wedding night. My maid of honor claims to have had a ghostly encounter. I didnít experience a ghost but I can tell you itís one spooky place to spend the night. The wind whistles and rattles your window all night. It definitely feels gothic.

I slept alone the first night and got a little spooked. The next night was much better hehe.

About the story, Timís motivation was addressed in the original. It had to be cut out to get down to twelve pages. He had his own reasons for being there. I can understand why his skepticism without any apparent motivation would bother a reader. Iíll add that stuff back in a rewrite.

There was originally a little more about the treasure, too.

About the ghost pretending to be human, yeah, that seemed to bother a lot of people. Seems people are pretty set in their ideas of what ghosts are supposed to be. I find it interesting that people refuse to accept a ghost as someone who could appear indistinguishable from the living. Now Iím wondering if people arenít more disturbed by the idea that they might not recognize a ghost than they are by stereotypical spooks.

Anyway, itís all fantasy to me and I donít personally see any reason why a ghost couldnít impersonate the living. Just trying to do something different.

Thanks for the read and Iíll see what I can do to address all the issues in a revision.


Breanne


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