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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  The Last Stop - OWC
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  Author    The Last Stop - OWC  (currently 4680 views)
Don
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:13am Report to Moderator
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The Last Stop by Rene Claveau (renec) - Short, Gothic Horror - When William gets separated from his new bride at a traveling circus, he finds all is not as it seems while trying to find her. 12 pages, 5 characters, PG Rating - pdf, format


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Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 4:59pm
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Ryan1
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 5:14pm Report to Moderator
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This was written with a sure hand and moved along at a quick clip.  There was a nice evocation of old-fashioned circus atmosphere.  It flowed well.

I have to say I liked the setting more than the actual story, however.  The entirety of the story is pretty much a winding chase that seemed like one hallucinatory detour after another.  William never seems to truly grasp that he's either in some supernatural world or dreamscape.  He just appears in one location after another, demanding to see Bethany.

You intro Charles as DWARF and use that as your character slug for half the script.  Then you change the slug to CHARLES.

The ending didn't grab me.  I took it to mean that the train was transporting people to Hell, or some other unfortunate destination.  Charles tells William about his wife's infidelities, but we never see these.  She just says she "shouldn't have strayed."  I assume this has something to do with the bullet holes in both of them, but we never learn any of that stuff, which is important to this tale.  I want to know how they died and who killed them.

Felt like you ran out of space at the end there.  No real resolution, no Fade Out.

But, this was original take on the challenge, and I did enjoy the visual images you conjured up throught most of the piece.  Well done on that.


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Ryan1  -  October 15th, 2011, 5:41pm
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grademan
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 5:27pm Report to Moderator
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THE LAST STOP

If youíre new to SS, welcome!

Interesting story, got a little talky as we turned into the final third. The ending confused me as did why and how she strayed. (Believe me, the audience wants to see the fall.) How did the guy get up at the top of the tent?

Also, a ghost was in the script but it didnít prove it was just misunderstood. Also, the circus was dark but not Gothic. I guess Iíll agree itís inspired by Gothic.

I admit to being frustrated with not knowing what was going on and why it ended that way.

AVERAGE with improvement needed.

Gary
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darrentomalin
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 11:06pm Report to Moderator
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I was left disapointed by the sudden drop off at the end.
I understand that WIlliam failed to heed the dwarfs lessons but it wasn't clear enough as to why she is no good - the bullet holes aren't explained properly or their origin even hinted at.
After some excellent exchanges between the two, the pay off was left wanting.
The descriptions were great.
Who as the ghost at the start? Why was he there?
I liked the series of challenges and each one being based upon a carnival sideshow.
You have a flair for creative writing but need a bit of story work - still good.
(continued at the end of a page is not required and got annoying!)


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

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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:41am Report to Moderator
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The atmosphere on this one hits the target.
Though I am reminded of ďSomething Wicked This Way ComesĒ.
My all time favorite autumnal nostalgia kid thriller.
I tend to tune out scripts that veer too close to cherished films.
The rampant Continuedís are not necessary.
A promising start gets mired in a lengthy chase sequence.
The tarot reading wasnít bad, but a bit too familiar.
I donít get why William wanted to keep the lovers apart.
The conclusion wasnít as satisfying as the set up.
Nice visuals overall. Thanks for playing OWC.

Regards,
E.D.


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jwent6688
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 4:02am Report to Moderator
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Well written. I also felt this ended abruptly. The cool idea of a traveling circus was well executed, but I'm left with more questions then answers. What reallly happened evades me. Why did bethany have bullet holes in her at the end? I think this could be fleshed out into something pretty good outside of the OWC parameters. I didn't really feel the presence of a ghost here. There's mention of one, but unless the dwarf is, I feel you missed the mark a bit. It was entertaining nonetheless. Good job completing an OWC.

James


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GM
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 11:19am Report to Moderator
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I believe the couple got murdered and they're the ghosts. Also, Charles is the misunderstood ghost trying to help William leave Bethany. My interpretation anyway. I think you can remove the wolfman show scene and add something similar to the snake charmer. The wolfman doesn't add much.

Hope this helps
Gabe
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Scoob
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 9:46pm Report to Moderator
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This is probably my favorite so far. Not sure where to start.

Perhaps with the only less than positive thing I have to say: the ending - I don't quite get it. I'm thinking that William was cheating unknowingly with Beth and he did indeed end up being killed by the rail worker, Beth's beau,  that he saw fleetingly at the start.  But then the guy at the start that is being thrown out is complaining about the same thing William ends up going through...so yeah, I'm not sure I'm in the state of mind to really digest this yet, which is a good thing!
Something to think about, and makes me wanna re-read this again at a later date i.e. sober. Or just check what other people have said haha.

What won me over with this was the writing. That was brilliant in my opinion. The first page, a little shaky, but after that, this thing was just a visual treat and so much fun to read.

The setting was great and the two main characters, William and Charles, were just plain likeable. I kept visualizing Charles with an Irish accent but I'll blame Leprechaun for that one and William from the Howling part 6 but I'm rambling on here.  
I'll just say, these characters worked and bounced off each other with seemingly effortless ease - excellent writing.

I feel I've learnt a lot from reading this.

Not sure what to add, it's easier to be negative than positive sometimes. Excellent work, I enjoyed this a great deal. 9/10

Thanks for the entertainment,

EDIT: Unsure if this meets the regulations of the challenge.




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Scoob  -  October 16th, 2011, 10:09pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 10:05pm Report to Moderator
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Argh...so much potential here, but so many problems.

Very awkward phrasing throughout.  Many fragments.  Technical issues.  Biggest hurdle for me, though are the rediculous overuse of exclamation points in your prose.  Reads pure cheese, and has the opposite effect you're after.

Story needs work, as does the actual writing.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 6:50am Report to Moderator
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Enjoyed the carnival atmosphere, but like others was left a bit flat by the end.

The tension and narrative drive disappear at the point they start playing Tarot....it goes from a frenetic ride, to a static exposition fest. Maybe you could lever that bit towards the beginning of the script...use it to sort of set up the mystery, instead of having as an explanation.

Liked the purgatory nature of it all. Enjoyed the individual characters and set scenes.

The sort of train to either heaven or hell/ life or death motif felt a little old for the upbeat tempo of the rest, but it is what is is, I suppose. Is there anything more carnival you can use? Even a rollercoaster? Just to give it a face-lift.

Didn't get the bullet holes, same as everyone else.

Despite these flaws, this was my personal favourite so far (other than my own, of course!).
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wonkavite
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 7:30pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Oscar -

This one didn't seem particular gothic (kind of curious if it's a script that you had previously, that you retrofitted for the OWC?)

That aside, there were bits of this that I liked.  

The main protags seemed pretty wooden - but the banter with the various carnie characters were a highlight - especially Charles.  (One formatting issue with this - don't switch out from "Dwarf" to "Charles" - that'll confuse your readers.  Name him from the beginning and go from there.)  The patter from the showman worked well, too.  Enjoyable chaos, in general.

Re: the twist at the ending.  To pull it off, you should really establish early on that there are issues between William and Bethany.  Subtly show that they're married, that they're newlyweds..and that there's a bit of friction in paradise.  That way, there's be less exposition later on...

Congrats on the OWC...and thanks for the submission!
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 7:30am Report to Moderator
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Hello Oscar,

If you take out a few format issues, shorten the chase, add some background and conflict between the girl  and boy, I think it could be super.

There are some  great scenes that jump out.

Well done. If we were asked for our guilty pleasure script ( ie almost shouldn't like but do a lot)  I think I would give it to this one.

All the best


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
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IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr

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Reef Dreamer  -  October 23rd, 2011, 2:43am
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Breanne Mattson
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Ahh, itís nice to read something that doesnít have a boatload of grammar errors. Thank you!

You could have just told us the dwarf was named Charles from the beginning. Wasnít like it was a big revelation later.

An asp slithers out from the curtain? Did I miss something? What happened to the snake that was already over his shoulder and behind his neck?

Personally, I think the wolfman would be better as a wild animal like a lion.

Theyíre newly weds and they decided to go to the circus before consummating? Hmm, that doesnít sound right.

I really liked the writing and generally liked the story. Toward the end, I came to view it as an allegory for love and commitment. I was actually okay with that, although I didnít think it really had the feel of a ghost story.

Then came the ending. Wtf? Was it longer than 12 pages and you just said screw it and let it end where it was, figuring you could add the rest later? Or is that really your ending? If so, wtf? Disappointing. You get two bare, perfect breasts deducted from your score for the ending.

Overall, one of my favorites.


Breanne


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greg
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 12:03am Report to Moderator
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The cool factor for this one is definitely high.  However, it feels a lot like style over substance, as the story doesn't really go anywhere.  You've got all of these cool circus acts going on but for some reason none of them are connected.  They're just there.  And the ending didn't make a heck of a lot of sense to me.  And who was the ghost?  There's a lot of questions that need answering.  I think this has a lot of potential and I really did enjoy the setting and the various sequences, but they need to be connected.  There's gotta be something more than William trying to find Bethany and then they're both shot up somehow.  

Nice job, though.

Greg


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Baltis.
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 12:31am Report to Moderator
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I've been wanting to read this one since I read the log line inclusion of a traveling circus... and I finally got a chance to tonight.  

I will say, hands down, this is my favorite entry thus far.  I'm a sucker for carnivals, so it might be a tinge bias assessment.  The writing is fluid.  You know what you're doing and you know how to let a scene breath by saying the absolute bare minimum...  

I hate the continued junk at the tops and bottoms of the pages and I wish everyone with this software would turn it off while writing a script, or find out how to do so -- but other than that I was 100% alright with your style.  (sans the no FADE OUT or THE END)

The story was nice, full of ambiance and character... It did trudged to get off the ground a bit, but the same could be said with a few of the other scripts - The only problem here is it's almost 100% necessary to move these things along, but it gets hard given the page restraints.

The dialogue was, for the most part, pretty good... A few spots got long in the tooth, longer than I'd wish to have a chain go on, but nothing to unsustainable.  The whole package, save for a few hang ups, was as good as it can get for the short amount of time it took to write this script.

A fine work here...
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mcornetto
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 2:53am Report to Moderator
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I really liked the atmosphere here.   For a while it had a Carnival of Souls feel about it.  I would have liked it even more if you continued on in that vein.  But it suddenly went Carnivale, which I guess is cool too, and the whole thing was peppered with a pinch of David Lynch.    

However, there wasn't much of a story here.  Was it Gothic, sort of, more surreal than anything else.  Some of the dialogue was quite good.  I kept hoping this script would really distinguish itself but it never really quite made it to that level for me.

I think a large reason is you kind of lost me in the middle because it kind of dragged and didn't really seem to have any point.  Would it look cool on film?  Probably.  But looking cool isn't the only thing a movie needs to do.

Good work.  Maybe focus a bit more on what you are trying to convey with the story - give it more depth.
  
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c m hall
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 10:49am Report to Moderator
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Great beginning, super beginning!  I guess "misdirection" is being deliberately used, but it's overused for such a short piece, I think.  The dialogue, although awkard at times, is useful to the story, and the character Charles is superb.  
For me the beginning of this script is thrilling, the middle is muddled and the ending is satisfactory.  For a OWC this is a very good effort, indeed.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 3:07pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this for the most part and felt that the writing was good with only a few hiccups.

My main issue is that I feel William and Bethany's relationship, "from a future/past" perspective is not properly told. They enter the Carnival, which is a metaphor for life. That's really good and solid from my definition of gothic needing
atmosphere and the atmosphere needs to act like a character in the script. The whole surrealistic atmosphere boils down into the dwarf who entices William onward, searching, as it were for answers to the loss of his dear Bethany...

The trouble is though, at the end, after the whole dream like chase, (and I really appreciated that because that's exactly how dreams are: you're here and then you're there) they wind up together on the train with bullet holes in their backs; so that just kind of happened, but we don't know why. It felt like you ran out of pages and you had to wrap it up.

I really liked the part where Bethany and William were on the carousel and Willian says, "I think I saw a ghost". That really sets the stage.

A very memorable script.   It's definitely in the vein of a Twilight Zone or our lovely Soulshadows here on Simply.

Sandra





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rdhay
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 12:25am Report to Moderator
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This is my favorite too, even though I don't think it technically meets the challenge. I'll probably vote for it anyway

I really liked the transitions from one setting to the next. That lends quite well to the frustration he was feeling. And I loved Charles' red velvet suit

The only thing I didn't like about it was the ending. That could use some work. Other than that, great job!
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RayW
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 11:48pm Report to Moderator
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Locations & Sets  -  1890 London skyline (matte), period train and track, full period circus set up incl. carousel and big top tent, circus entrance, custom built hall of mirrors, high wire, INT caravan
Actors  -  Dwarf (40), Circus folk, long line/crowd of extras, WILLIAM (23), BETHANY (21), Yelling MAN, Two burly men,  RAILROAD WORKER (-),  ANGEL OF DEATH,  SNAKE CHARMER (21), SHOWMAN (48 ), WOLFMAN, Clowns, pit orchestra w/
Costumes  - Dwarf's dusty red velvet coat and top hat, period clothes for extras and circus folk, William and Beth's period dress, Beth's dress will become blood soaked and bullet shot, RAILROAD WORKER's outfit,  ANGEL OF DEATH skeletal costume with great black wings,  SNAKE CHARMER costume, SHOWMAN costume, WOLFMAN costume, clown costumes
Props  -  Dwarf's cane, torches to "light" the fairgrounds, sledge hammer, lunch pail, carved huge wooden framed mirror, mirror to break x 2, curtain, violin, animated "black asp", showman's stick, neck collar and chain, juggling sticks, high wire pole, glowing crystal ball, small table and chairs, tarot deck
Audio FX -  train whistle and engine steam, barkers yelling for fairway games, fairway clatter, violin music, TWACK! of hitting wolfman, big top music and drum roll, hushing crowd, drum beats,
Visual FX  - train pulls into frame (Hmm... ), RR worker walking though man, transition from wirework flight into CGI  ANGEL OF DEATH/Bethany flight into sky, spurting blood,
Other -  build a great bonfire (probably will need local fire dept on hand), wirework to pull  ANGEL OF DEATH and BETHANY out of hall of mirrors, albino boa and animal wrangler, MUA for WOLFMAN, spotlight
Comments  -  Turn off your program's page (CONTINUED) and dialog (CONT'D) features. Bare breasts - you just got booted from PG to R. Doing pretty good until right up to that cat-out-of-the-hat ending. WTH? This is NOT a cost effective short to produce, entertaining as it is, and it is, or was until that end.



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leitskev
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 9:45pm Report to Moderator
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In this corner, we have the champion, Open Casket, waiting for someone to step into the ring, but it looks like no one...ah, wait a minute. Wait a minute, a little fella over here with name that does not draw interest, Last Stop. A contender for the title! Yes, step into the ring.

Open Casket is chiseled, fleet footed, graceful. Last Stop has heart. Who deserves my choice for the title?

Last Stop held my interest from beginning to end, every word of dialogue, every action line. It is intriguing and original. It challenges our imagination, and does it with consistently applied tension. Unlike most of these entries, the protag has a clear goal, actively pursues it. There are stakes, a sense of urgency. This is how a story is crafted!

But there are problems too. I like these stories that have a dream like quality, where you are invited to question the nature of the reality we are experiencing. I was wondering if this was reality, or a dream, or a death like state, right up until he awoke on the platform in the circus tent. Then there was no longer a question of this being a real conscious state. Everything seemed a little weaker after that, the stakes diminished by the fact we are now in a dream or something similar.

We reach the final round, the ending. Does it work? Hmm. I am assuming that his wife cheated on him, and her lover, the rail worker, shoots them both. She dies, and he experiences a near death like experience, and at the end, has a choice, to live or die. To be with his flawed wife, he must choose death. He does. Pretty powerful.

Only flaw is I'm not sure if I have guessed right. Not saying you have to spell it all out, but there should be some more clues. Maybe the rail worker, if he is the shooter, has a gun. I only read this once, maybe there are more clues. I think some of this should be addressed on rewrite.

I tell you, I could get in to helping analyze this more deeply if the writer wants. This could really be made into something even more special than it is. Would love to see it filmed.

But there we have another problem. Can this ever be filmed? It would cost more than a feature to make, it seems to me. A whole circus, with multiple settings within. This short will cost hundreds of thousands to make! Should I consider that in choosing a winner?

Open Casket vs Last Stop. Perfect execution vs true originality. Do we have a title transfer?

Yes! We do. Why? One word: magic.

This story has it. Magic is rare. Hard to find, let alone create. Magic beats execution like rock beats scissors. Every time. Nice job.

And the new heavy weight champion, by TKO, Last Stop!

EDIT: It occurs to me I may have misinterpreted one part. I believe they are probably both dead, and the choice is whether to go to hell with his wife, or at least wherever it is she is going. If that is the case, it actually reminds me of a story I wrote called the Station. Anyway, I still enjoy the story, whatever the intent is here, and look forward to hearing more.

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leitskev  -  October 26th, 2011, 9:56am
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SpecialAgentDaleCooper
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 8:55am Report to Moderator
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First things first:

When introducing Charles, the slugline should have looked more like:

CHARLES, 40, a dwarf, enters frame...

Or, CHARLES, a dwarf (40) enters frame...

Something like that.

When writing a screenplay, its honest intention is to be viewed on screen. That is why when formatting, you should immediately disclose pertinent details such as name, so as to eliminate confusion for potential actors / directors about what's going on when the script is in their hands.

I like the hall of mirrors, but I'm easily seeing that as a potential cameraman's nightmare! With that said, it's a pretty nifty setting.

I thought you captured the circus setting as wondrous, strange, and surreal quite well. It was a pleasant world to get wrapped up in, and I thank you for it.

Very interesting and wonderful piece here. I thought the end was lovely. Top notch stuff, especially considering the time constraints, and page length constraints; you managed to fit a full story into twelve pages without overloading the reader / audience with too much information. I dug it.
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Ectoplasm
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 11:57pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this, the setting of a circus is an interesting change of pace from the typical haunted house. I dig the whole bad dream vibe it gave off, and I liked the ending, not saying too much, without saying to little.
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rc1107
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I'm partial to carnival stories.  :-)  I'm still looking to write that one great carnival story that out-trumps all other carnival stories.  (I have it cooking, but not all the elements are there to make it exceptional yet.)

This one was good.  A very well written fever-dream.  Terry Gilliam probably wouldn't mind directing this one.  In fact, it was very reminiscent of the Bazooko Circus part in Fear and Loathing.

Which was cool, but at the same time, brought me out of any gothic tones I was feeling for this one.  I don't know.  I'd have to probably examine my own personal definition for gothic, again, though.

You definately have the misunderstood ghost.  Ghosts, even.  Sixth-sense style, complete with the bullet holes and everything.

A pretty good story, but the fever-dream pace of everything was kind of losing my interest once in a while.  My mind wasn't scared to wander during those parts because I knew it would all be explained in the end and the middle parts were just done for style.  Maybe even filler.

Still good, though.


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Angry Bear
Posted: October 27th, 2011, 2:28pm Report to Moderator
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I really liked this one. It seemed William went from one crazy place to the next. After a while I started thinking this must be a dream or something and in the end he'll wake up and I'll get pissed, because I hate when stories turn out to be just a  dream. Therefore I liked the ending myself.

Great atmosphere. Sometimes I felt the dialogue didn't match the time and place.

I wished I had read this one earlier. Great stuff! Congrats!


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 28th, 2011, 2:45am Report to Moderator
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I've just re-read my comments on this one and my negative feedback on the ending stands.

I still feel like we were in a situation where page count was out and we needed to finish.

This was an ace script. The ending needs to be re-worked.

Also, if I were seriously tackling this, what would I do?

I would change all of the normal "fair-esque" stuff into "gothic fair-esque" stuff and let the mood chime in the big Grandaddy Clock for all time.

I love the challenge with those sorts of things and I always love to raise the bar.

This is a neat and efficient script. I guess I'm always one to demand more.  

Sandra



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Angry Bear
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Excellent work! I read this one after I had already voted for Open Casket. I think I would have  had a hard choosing between those two, but thinking I might have voted for yours.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 6:49pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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The Last Stop was a standout for me. The only reason it didn't get my complete favorite vote was:

1. It hurried to its ending. Ultimately, it felt unresolved.

2. It felt surreal and ghostly, but not gothic.

Even still, you captured me and your script stood out among the others.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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leitskev
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 6:50pm Report to Moderator
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Don't let Jeff hear that! He'll think I influenced you, Pia.

As you know, Rene, from my review, I liked this one a lot. Seems like it would be impossibly expensive to film, but it's great work. I hope you chime in on the ending. I hope you're not one those that thinks if the audience doesn't figure it out, oh well! I had a couple of interpretations in my head, and I would like to see what you had in mind.
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ReneC
Posted: October 31st, 2011, 12:38pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks to everyone who posted comments. I greatly appreciate the praises and fully acknowledge the faults. I was a little too quick putting this together and made two gross errors which became quite obvious in the reviews. For the sake of clarity, I'll try to explain, so hold onto your hats because it's going to be bumpy.

First off, everybody's dead right from the start. The railroad worker is the only living being but seems to be a ghost to those who are actually dead. The purpose of the train is to ferry the dead to the underworld (think the rivers Styx and Acheron if you will). But first, the dead are tested to determine their worth (the Egyptian Walk of the Dead). Charles (or Charon, if you please) serves as guide through the tests. Everything William goes through from the Hall of Mirrors on is designed to test different aspects of his soul. The Hall of Mirrors tests his love; he runs off to find his wife, clearly out of his depth, and thereby passes. The snake charmer is temptation which he passes when she fails to seduce him. The black asp isn't part of the test. The wolfman tests his compassion, a test he passes when he pauses in his quest to intervene. The highwire tests his courage and his will. He risks his "life" to save Bethany and passes. The final test is two-fold; the fortune-teller tests his reason and also prepares him for what's coming.

And so, at the end, because he passed all of the tests, William is entitled to enter Heaven. His wife is not. Charles tried to appeal to his reasoning but in the end William's love wins out and he foresakes Heaven to be with his wife. The bullet holes are how they died, shot dead together. Charles's comment about "not even consummated yet" is a hint that they died on their wedding day.

As I said, I made two gross errors. The first was being too subtle, trying to be clever for the sake of it. It only served to confuse and blur the details. The second error was about focus. I'm trying to communicate two distinct ideas in this short: the idea of being tested after death in order to gain entry into Heaven and the idea that even those who have earned passage to Heaven can still choose to go the other way because of love.

I'm obviously pleased with what I wrote in three days (it took three days just to come up with something). Thanks to all the very helpful comments I know what I need to do in the re-write, and I will definitely re-write it.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 31st, 2011, 8:37pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from ReneC
Thanks to everyone who posted comments. I greatly appreciate the praises and fully acknowledge the faults. I was a little too quick putting this together and made two gross errors which became quite obvious in the reviews. For the sake of clarity, I'll try to explain, so hold onto your hats because it's going to be bumpy.

First off, everybody's dead right from the start. The railroad worker is the only living being but seems to be a ghost to those who are actually dead. The purpose of the train is to ferry the dead to the underworld (think the rivers Styx and Acheron if you will). But first, the dead are tested to determine their worth (the Egyptian Walk of the Dead). Charles (or Charon, if you please) serves as guide through the tests. Everything William goes through from the Hall of Mirrors on is designed to test different aspects of his soul. The Hall of Mirrors tests his love; he runs off to find his wife, clearly out of his depth, and thereby passes. The snake charmer is temptation which he passes when she fails to seduce him. The black asp isn't part of the test. The wolfman tests his compassion, a test he passes when he pauses in his quest to intervene. The highwire tests his courage and his will. He risks his "life" to save Bethany and passes. The final test is two-fold; the fortune-teller tests his reason and also prepares him for what's coming.

And so, at the end, because he passed all of the tests, William is entitled to enter Heaven. His wife is not. Charles tried to appeal to his reasoning but in the end William's love wins out and he foresakes Heaven to be with his wife. The bullet holes are how they died, shot dead together. Charles's comment about "not even consummated yet" is a hint that they died on their wedding day.

As I said, I made two gross errors. The first was being too subtle, trying to be clever for the sake of it. It only served to confuse and blur the details. The second error was about focus. I'm trying to communicate two distinct ideas in this short: the idea of being tested after death in order to gain entry into Heaven and the idea that even those who have earned passage to Heaven can still choose to go the other way because of love.

I'm obviously pleased with what I wrote in three days (it took three days just to come up with something). Thanks to all the very helpful comments I know what I need to do in the re-write, and I will definitely re-write it.


I'm just quoting your whole post because yes, I clearly missed a lot. I didn't know they were dead, but do know the imagery and shifts really kept this moving.

I really hear you as far as being subtle goes. A lot I think depends upon head space when you're reading something. People who are clamoring to do a lot of reads really fast (I think anyways) have lost a lot of the sense of enjoyment in the whole process. They (as if) try and jam them all together and:

Process them!!! Like on an assembly line.

Because of this, we, as readers I think need to take some of the blame, too.

Truly, your script stood out for me. Yes, now that you've explained the subtle ideas you had in your head when you wrote it and they didn't come through for me, I can see how it's a downer in that sense. You win and lose at the same time.

I think I did the same thing with mine. I don't think I made it clear that Laval was in his Izabiza Castle, but really it was more of a purgatory than anything. His good deeds with Payer's mother showed his good hearted side even though, he had a very possessive nature with his employee, The Tax Man in the character of Glonde. That, I will leave to everyone's imagination. But yes, he couldn't change and according to his "ideals" if you will, felt remorseful.

Yes yes though, I completely understand how you might feel you have failed with the connections. To get through the disconnects and maintain a well written script is very difficult.

If you want me to read your re-write. Feel free to send.

Thank you for taking the time to explain.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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