All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
I'd have to echo much of what has been said already. It was very dense read, needs to go on an Atkiens Script Special diet. It did have a Gothic feel to it though, so thumbs up on that.
The description of Colleen is more fitting of a much older woman IMO when first introduced.
The dialouge had a nice lilt to in places.
A little too heavy on the ellipsis . . .
Action descriptions like this give a nice period feel, but are just too novel orientated 'He strains to hear the steady sounds of the broom, it almost clears away the hollow noises of the house.' Poetic but unjust . . .
That fog machine in the hallway is doing overtime.
The exchange between Willian and Colleen on page 8 is a little bit of overkill. This little action description is redundant 'He's sorry he said that.' ?
Locations & Sets - EXT grand old house on rough coast's edge. INT furnished kitchen. Brick and stone fireplace, INT great hall w/ staircase Actors - PASTOR WALKER (50), COLLEEN WRECHT (20), LOUISE (40), WILLIAM MANSARD (25), YOUNG WOMAN (20), deep MORTIMER voice, MORTIMER YOUNG MAN (25) Costumes - period costumes for all, black pastor outfit. Props - broom and wash rag, scrub brush, skeleton in a woman's nightgown Audio FX - sea noises and wave crashes, wind sounds, spooky echoes, sweeping, machinery sounds, high pitched howling, brushing against stone, Visual FX - overhead branching darkness from hall to stairs, dark shadowy ghost effect on stairs, ghostly skeletal form passing through Colleen, and again up the stairs followed by smoke and shadows, smoke swirls into flesh on the skeleton in the nightgown, ghostly skeleton changes into ghostly woman, dark ash and fog, ghosts embrace and disappear in light, flying bees in the hallway Other - light for sunlight effect, MUA for Colleen and William's paleness and her face bruising, fire in fireplace, fog machine, spray bottle for dew on floor effect, pulley system or other to create floating skeleton in nightgown effect. Comments - "Pastor Walker, ready to run in the other direction, feels obliged to inquire" "Ready to run" and "feels obliged" are emotions and cannot be filmed, so they are thus called unfilmables. Fine for novels, but not for screenplays. Turn off your program's dialog (CONT'D) feature. That was a slightly creepy and strange little story. I'm not real clear on what the catalyst was for Mortimer's return, but, eh...
The script title seems a bit off on the title page. Don't sweat it too much, it's an easy fix.
Pastor Walker. His name slug is PASTOR WALKER. Sometimes in action he is Pastor or Pastor Walker. I think you could get away with simply 'Walker' (so long as you use a thesasarus so 'Walker don't walk') But use one or the other.
A short time later...
better served with a header : INT. HOUSE - DAY or NIGHT What is "later"? An hour later? Six hours later? Are we still in the Kitchen, or another part of the house?
SERIES OF SHOTS or MONTAGE and when that's done, either a new scene or END MONTAGE. Make sure you CAP 'em like I show you. Lowercase them, and they get lost quick, and some folks might think you are careless.
As my peeps have pointed out, there are several unfilmmables within the script. Such as:
the Pastor's guidance has been meager and now he's leaving...
Just have him leave. We can see that.
A lot of atsmosphere packed within; adter awhile I got tired hearing about the fog and the waves, the noise the waves make. Once some things are established, there's some things you don't need to write anymore. They take care of themselves. Only time you should mention them again is when something is different.
I tried to get into this. I failed. Not a bad effort for a week though.
Thank you Reef Dreamer, greg, Ledbetter, henrik, darrenjames, Electric Dreamer, Ryan1, wonkavite, Dreamscale, Baltis, Breanne, Scoob, Sandra, TheUsualSuspect, DarrenJamesSeeley, RayW, Eoin, Rdhay and Hugh for your comments, they are all useful and appreciated!
If there are any individual comments that anyone would like to have addressed please let me know, I will do my best to answer.
Generally, regarding the script, I guess I got quite caught up in the Gothic Atmosphere. I know the writing could be clearer and more refined and better attention could be paid to format issues.
to Ray: regarding the catalyst for Mortimer's return... my idea was that things get going because of the sweeping, which calms everybody in the house, then William (calmer, less crazy) notices that Colleen is beautiful, Colleen (still bruised from some previous bad experience) is uncomfortable with the attention, tries to hide in the shadows / fog (ghost), gets the attention of the ghost whose footprints appear on the stairs, Colleen touches the footprints and all of the characters get a jolt of life. Enter Mortimer!
to Breanne: in answer to the question "Would the pastor really introduce a 20 year old girl by her last name?" My intention was to show that Colleen has no social rank at all, she's the omega female... the Pastor is doing her a kindness by presenting her as a potentially productive worker.
Also, "Pastor Walker's mention of blackberry preserves seems inconsistent with his earlier desire to get out of there as quickly as possible". True, but I was hoping to show that he was trying to make the best of a bad situation.
to Sandra: regarding your comment "Please consider introducing Colleen without so much banter between Pastor Walker and Louise..." I certainly will consider it. I had hoped to establish Louise's need for (but inability to achieve) intimacy of any kind with the Pastor -- and then to contrast that with the female and male ghosts' powerful love for one another -- and of course, with William and Colleen's potential relationship.
Also, Sandra, your note that something in the script is "beautiful at its core" ... I cherish that!
Hugs to everybody and / or firm handshakes... nope, gotta hug you all.
Good idea with some interesting visuals but lacked cohesiveness. The story unraveled when the ghost/skeleton came up the stairs. Tone and feel were noticeable tres Gothic. The idea that sweeping is calming to the young man was inspired. If you rewrite introduce the ghost earlier.
CM - One of your better scripts. Sweeper girl had a charming Cinderella type thing going on.
You had the pastor backing up at the door, then the wind came up. I thought he was departing and Mansard was talking to the girl. Then he reverses to come in, which surprised me.
Pg 4 A short time later... I've been told by others that you can't pass time like that. It has to be implied by other means, perhaps sluglines? And you use (CONT.) after those five minutes. Has he been talking that whole time?
Pg 4 You do this again with "Time passes"
Pg 4. Yes, she needs a place. I assumed we were well beyond this. She's the new housekeeper, no?
Pg 6 Wow. She's been sweeping for days and days.
Pg 7 It speaks! And in English!
Pg 11 Silence! An exclamation mark on quietness!
Does their last name Mansard help describe this Psycho-like house's roofline? I assumed so.
RKeller, thanks for the read. Yes, Mansard is the family name and the type of roof. And yes, I think silence can be shocking, sometimes, deserving of an explanation point. A script from the Oct. 2011 OWC unexpectedly shaken from the dustbin -- but I appreciate your comments!