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Out of all of the scripts Iíve read so far, this was the hardest one for me.
Maybe Iíve just read too many of these but the descriptions all seemed jumbled to me. It seemed like the same thing happened over and over again. It was like parts were copied and pasted.
Wait, I checked. Some parts actually were copied and pasted! Not good.
The characters just arenít developed enough or compelling enough to engage me. There really wasnít anything to draw me in except the story and it was too incoherent.
I think this writer could write something good but, I donít know, it seems like youíre trying to be too clever and itís to your own detriment. You need to either develop the characters more to make them more compelling or write the story clearer.
Good luck with rewrites. Oh, and please donít copy and paste.
I enjoyed this script and thought it was mostly a good read. The repetition of Jennifer, repeating her actions is very strong and good. It really details how a ghost, or even a living person can get into a "loop", performing the same actions, without realizing, that they are not progressing and moving forward the way they should: to grow, to move on.
You do an exceptional job showing her going back to that old blood stain, and consequently, the pain of her own death.
I found this very easy to read and I found myself right there in the action. Every detail was very strong for me and I felt more like I was actually watching a movie and not just reading.
What I wasn't clear on was: Who killed Jennifer? It didn't seem to me like it could have been Eric because he was willing to sacrifice his soul to save her, releasing her from the Hell of reliving the experience of her death.
I think this would make a good first part to a movie. To imagine what would happen after this-- especially if we had other factors coming into the mix. Like, for instance, a what if scenario of: Jennifer was staying behind for a reason (that she herself did not know about) and now with her not there, she can't fulfill that destiny...
This was a very strong submission. It's one of the memorable ones for me.
Locations & Sets - INT Victorian mansion w/ furnishings and stairwell Actors - OLD MAN (70), ERIC (20), JENNIFER (20s) Costumes - nightgown for Jennifer, suit for old man Props - pen and paper, oil lamp, portrait painting w/ frame, shotgun, shovel, loose soil, white sheet, 6mil black plastic, blood, butcher knife, "stain" on floor, door to split and destroy, pocket watch Audio FX - wood on wood banging, thud, duct tape pull, plastic crinkles, body drop into iron tub, heavy foot/boot steps, scream, crashing and breaking things Visual FX - muffled shotgun blast, fiery room, Other - light for shotgun blast, cleanup of blood on tile, spotlights, MUA for aged Eric, orange gel for light, Comments - "A lone porch light saves it from an air of loneliness and abandon." Don't include novely goobbledy-gok as this. I think there's a few pages missing to this story. Premise is there, just not explained well.
Read this a few times. I did find it rather wordy, and difficult to get through at first.
I'll also echo that the repetition of the actions was a nice touch, but I'd have liked, somehow, to see a little...more. Like, something happens, and then (without too much emphasis, until the last time) she goes through and does pretty much the same thing.
With the specific direction as far as the number of times she flicked the deadbolt, etc. (and the copy-paste of that particular segment) it really seems like, "Oh, okay. She's doing that again..." and it's so wordy, that a reader's not inclined to want to stick around.
This kind of reads to me like a sort of shooting script, less like a script being pitched. Maybe that was your intention. I don't know. I tend to feel like shooting scripts should be reserved for Directors and Crew, but that's probably just me.
Overall, I liked it. I may go back and give it another read.
Sorry I haven't been able to respond before now, a promotion at work has had me tied up. So I will try and respond to everyone's comments and make a few explanations.
Ledbetter: All those scenes must be viewed from the inside out and that is exactly why I wrote it that way. We as the reader/viewer are trapped in the house just like she is.
Those noises that "throw" you out of the scene are noises that traumatized her on the way out of this world.
The repetition of the scenes where she locks the door are there for a reason and I am sorry you didn't understand them. They are what she does after every event she relives. She is trying to make herself feel safe but all she is doing is keeping herself locked in with the very thing she fears and the comprehension of her situation.
The story was that of a couple who is assaulted in there home and only one person survives, the husband. To those who read to the end, only one person came close to deciphering the end. This was partially due to the version I turned in and some of the stuff I cut to get it down to 12 pages, and were crucial to the story, got cut out.
I was hoping the obvious shadow knocking the attacker off of Jennifer would be enough to let the reader know that it was her husband trying to save her from a very real killer.
Eric was not the killer but always the protector, even to the extent where, after putting up with his wife's haunting the house he finally can take no more and does the ultimate act of love to save her. Remember the banging when he is with the man in the opening scene? Yup... Jennifer's ghost repeating the scenes that no one seemed to understand.
I guess I gave too much credit that people would know or understand the many facets and symptoms caused by trauma in the OCD scenes but alas... I was wrong and I apologize as it seemed to be the biggest complaint.
I think the repetitiveness of the OCD locking scenes, while intentionally the same every time (to bre's distaste), would work well on film as it serves two functions. 1. it is the mindless chaos she feels in between bouts of horror and 2. it cuts the scenes or the reliving of her trauma into nice independent slices. Trauma is never cut and dry or easily painted in one simple picture.
And to set the record straight, I am not new to writing. This entry was written on the Friday it was due in about 4 hours or so with maybe an hour to edit, tighten, and condense into 12 pages.
Thanks to all those who read this, whether you liked it or not. I enjoyed writing it. And thanks to Sandra for the kind words and to C M Hall for getting the noises
I might try to stretch this into a longer short for shooting or maybe put it in the lineup for a feature.