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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  Mr. Daniels - OWC
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  Author    Mr. Daniels - OWC  (currently 3214 views)
dogglebe
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 1:35pm Report to Moderator
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Several people commented on the large block of text at the beginning of the story.  No one wants to read those.  Description (and dialog for that matter) shouldn't go further than three lines at a time.  If you have a lot to see, break it in paragraphs.  It organizes your thoughts and gives the reader a chance to breathe.


Quoted Text
INT. MANSION - NIGHT

We open on an empty hall. The interior is heavy set with dark and timeless furniture. The mansion is clearly owned by a wealthy man with exquisite taste. We float through the hall towards two French doors. They swing open as we reach them, enter a dining room. The camera floats over the table, which is set for one with a glass of white wine and a half eaten fish dish. It continues into the next room and reveals a rugged, sun tanned man with white and gray hair, wearing a loose flax shirt, a wool cardigan, matching trousers and a pair of braided leather shoes standing in the light of a fireplace. With a Walther PPK in his hand, he stands on a balcony. This is ALBERT BAKER (53). As he takes a long, smooth drag of his cigarette, the camera comes to a hold right behind his head. He slowly turns as he exhales deeply.  His voice is rusty and experienced.


can be better told:

INT.  MANSION - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

The room is huge and immaculately furnished.  Two dozen people could sit around the mahogany dining table.  Royalty probably did, a century ago.

A single plate sits at the table's head.  A half-finished meal.

ALBERT BAKER (53) stands by the fireplace.  His clothes are casual, if not expensive.  He raises a cigarette to his mouth and inhales.  

In his other hand, he holds a pistol.[/quote]

Don't burden the script down with unnecessary details.  The make and model of the gun isn't important.  His clothes aren't important.  His dinner isn't important.  Tell us only what we need to know and move on.

Don't use the phrase we see.  We are not there.  And leave the camera angles to the director.  As the writer, you write the story.  That's all.

I suggest you read some scripts and learn about formatting and storytelling; don't use the OWC challenge scripts as they were written in haste.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 4:52pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Wow! Wow! And more Wow! First off, I was about to close when I saw the BIG BLOCK OF BLACK, but...

Sandra's not like that is she? Nooooo... She's a curious sort and it PAID OFF!

I wouldn't be surprised if some excellent screenwriter or director dude went and submitted this to play around and see if anyone noticed.

I absolutely loved the writing of this even though it doesn't conform to standards. This is a beautiful piece and yes, I feel gothic all over the place. It's implicit within it. The words transported across that table and the uneaten fish.

You are a magnificent writer. I can't believe I read what I just did because I've read a lot of pretty good, but ho hum scripts. I'm very happy to have happened upon this. A nice little present I was able to unwrap this afternoon and I'm still only on a rose petal flavored tea right now.  

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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ReneC
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 12:58pm Report to Moderator
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This is more like a stageplay than a screenplay. It's all dialogue in a single location. Not a terrible thing, but this is a visual medium and there isn't much visually going on here. The dialogue is decent, not great but I'm guessing English isn't your native language. Lots of grammar errors but great word choices and concepts. The back-and-forth banter doesn't quite work. Cudos for the homosexual content, I liked that, but though they were speaking the words I didn't see it in the subtext. That would make it far more effective.

You have great potential as a writer. I do recommend developing this as a stageplay or, if you want to, rewrite and expand on it as a screenplay.


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darrentomalin
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 6:03pm Report to Moderator
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Lots of nasty little problems with this from the get go already pointed out above.
Upon viewing the first page I took a deep breath, put the kettle on, had a cup of tea, then came back to it through a kind of obligation.
My point is, that I didn't want to read it, it looked like too much to take in, never good.
Keep writing, you obviously have a very creative mind, you just need to dig a little deeper and streamline your process.


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

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The boy who could fly
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 6:26pm Report to Moderator
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I dunno if this really fit the challenge, not really gothic or horror, but it did have a ghost. The chunks of action were way too much, the first passage should be cut into thirds. The story itself wasn't bad, the gay theme was different but it worked quite well. Good job on finishing the OWC.


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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 6:40pm Report to Moderator
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Okay read it.

I did catch a few spelling errors in this, easy fix.

As far as the story goes its got elements of Gothic, the tragic "love that never was cause I was afraid you might kill me if you found out about it" theme was there lol. Seriously though thats quite similar to themes of lost found in a lot of classic stories.  

Not "bad" IMO, but could use some more Gothic atmosphere in my mind.

Good job on getting it done!


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RayW
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 12:07am Report to Moderator
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Locations & Sets  -   INT. well furnished mansion w/ balcony
Actors  -  ALBERT (50s), DANIELS (30s)
Costumes  -  Nice outfit for Albert, B&W suit for Daniels
Props  -  setting for table, food and wine w/ glass, pistol, cigarette, dry bar w/ drinks
Audio FX  -   Tchaikovsky’s ’Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy'
Visual FX  -  none
Other -  lighter
Comments  -  Turn off your program's page (CONTINUED) and dialog (CONT'D) features. Wow. I'm not quite sure it's gothic horror per se, and the only thing killing this, but it would make for a weird little guilt ridden ghost story. Nice economical use of minimal settings, actors and effects.



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SpecialAgentDaleCooper
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 4:16pm Report to Moderator
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I'm also going to echo that I'm not a huge fan of reading 'we' in screenplays...and my Lord, that is a huge chunk of text to start out the script!

I'm also going to have to tell you that within said giant hunk of words, you could omit so much of that: That level of description should, in my opinion, be reserved for a shooting script for director and crew. With this sort of screenplay, I'd say probably just mentioning details of the surroundings directly pertinent to the plot would be the way to go.

Who in the world is Andreas? (P. 1)

Quite a few spelling errors - if you would like to expand this or revise this, I'd highly suggest looking it over with a fine tooth comb.

I'm assuming that when he threw his gun into the fire, he'd removed the ammunition.

All in all, not a bad effort. It was kind of light on substance, and didn't seem to go anywhere very far from where it started, so the excitement factor was low. I also don't see that it was especially gothic horror, but it was different in many ways from the other scripts I've read, so it was refreshing.

I'm just going to suggest that you really look over this a bit, polish the dialogue, pare down the description, and really do something to build up the conflict.
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Ledbetter
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 6:11pm Report to Moderator
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My God! Why hasn't anyone mentioned the large blocks at the start and ending of this script?

Are you all blind??? LOL...

The Bro-mance could have been a little nicer (for real). It really didnt come across as gay as I would have thought it to be, reality wise. (Think American Beauty) The big reveal was spot on.

Did the large blocks get mentioned?

For real on this one, I think maybe you could go much darker. If the man had fantasies, bring them out. Lets hear the sorted details.

In need of a major re-do but I think your head was in the right place on what you wanted to say.

Good job!

Shawn.....><
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 10:10pm Report to Moderator
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I was out and over by page one, but after giving it some thought, I came back...for one reason. On a handful of other comments, I did something to show something. Thus, I will do so here. First this:


Quoted Text
INT. MANSION - NIGHT
We open on an empty hall. The interior is heavy set with
dark and timeless furniture. The mansion is clearly owned by
a wealthy man with exquisite taste. We float through the
hall towards two French doors. They swing open as we reach
them, enter a dining room. The camera floats over the table,
which is set for one with a glass of white wine and a half
eaten fish dish. It continues into the next room and reveals
a rugged, sun tanned man with white and gray hair, wearing a
loose flax shirt, a wool cardigan, matching trousers and a
pair of braided leather shoes standing in the light of a
fireplace. With a Walther PPK in his hand, he stands on a
balcony. This is ALBERT BAKER (53). As he takes a long,
smooth drag of his cigarette, the camera comes to a hold
right behind his head. He slowly turns as he exhales deeply.
His voice is rusty and experienced.


You will hate me for this. But this is how it could have read:



INT. MANSION - HALL -  NIGHT

Dark and timeless furniture.
French doors lead to -

KITCHEN/DINING AREA
A table set for one with a glass of white wine and a half-
eaten fish.

FOYER
A rugged but well-dressed ALBERT BAKER (53) stands in the light of a fireplace.
Cigarette dangles from his mouth.
Takes out a Walther PPK.
Steps out to the

BALCONY
Albert turns, his voice rusty:



It won't be exact, but consider this. If you lose the camera direction, then we see (when you show us, you don't need to "tell" us what we see) isn't needed. The question is how to get the same visuals. The best bet is to just get to these rooms, establish this is a well to do place, someone is on thier way to meet Albert.

You'll notice that I advise you move Albert out of the room with the fireplace and "onto" the balcony. There's a reason for that. As you wrote it--look carefully. The fireplace is on the balcony I'm not thrilled with the fireplace being on the second (or third?) floor, but for the moment, we'll say it is in an adjoining room. Otherwise, drop the fireplace, and have Albert already on the balcony (as implied)

I don't mind the way he's dressed. But that's a lot of description. Better just to say he's ruggedly handsome and well-dressed. As for the suntan, keep in mind he's (for the moment, anyway) in front of a fireplace.


"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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rdhay
Posted: October 25th, 2011, 6:48pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Sorry, I didn't read the other comments, but I'm guessing they talked about the huge action passages and the need to proofread (and Andreas and the gun...), so I won't add anything about that.

I will say, though, that this is basically just two talking heads. They're not doing anything that engages the reader. And from what I've seen, when it comes to writing dialogue, less really is more. So rather than having them say all these things, have their actions speak for them. That way you've got the subtext doing all the heavy lifting and then they could pretty much be *saying* anything at all and the point would still get across.

Overall, though, you've put in a good effort, and you've obviously got the story down in your head, so you can get a pretty nice rewrite out of it Good job.
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