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I think you may get a rough ride with this one, but thankfully I am new so happy to share some thoughts.
Before the detail if you want to progress, then read and review a lot on SS. It's a great education but you have to get involved.
I am not a format guru but some here will not be happy about your format, so read and learn.
I am sorry to say I didn't finish the script. I made notes as I went along and after a while had too many. But DON'T lose heart, in the last OWC I got knocked around but so far the reviews for this OWC are much improved so you can do it.
Fade in is off the left side First title is not in cap and abuts the sentence below The first time you see a character their name should be in CAPITALS Best not use bold Sounds can be CAPITALISED, such as a door KNOCKS. Don't over use. Ghost would be (o.s) off screen as you can't see it Use shorter paragraphs for description - some try to use a max of two sentences. Avoid POV In the dialogue the repetition of " brother" I found to be a bit annoying
The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
Hey Johnny Blaze, I'm guessing you are new to screenwriting so congratulations on finishing the OWC, they can be difficult to pump out in a week. This kinda read to me like an episode of scooby doo without scooby. It was pretty tough to get through, it did fit the challenge so you succeeded there. Good luck on future writing, I;m confident you will learn more as time goes on. Good job on entering the OWC.
Congrats on finishing the OWC. Like other reviewers, I'm getting the sense that you're relatively new to the biz.
That said, this is a great early attempt. A few pointers on this, which others I'm sure will touch on, too:
* Cut up your descriptions into paragraphs that are no more than three lines long * You overused "brother" - try to make the dialog more casual and nature (how many people constantly refer to their siblings by their relationship?) * With dialog, make sure you put in commas where appropriate (pauses, etc.) - and stay away from apostrophes as much as possible. A little goes a long way (!)
That said, your writing structure is for the most part very clean, with some neat turns of phrase. The humor does shine through. I see promise here. So keep it up, and write even more!
Great title and an entertaining slugline hooked me, but unfortunately the script itself, like others have noted, does give the appearance of an extremely early effort. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the OWC a great avenue to break into the scene since the challenge is formidable and the reviews can get pretty brutal.
Thr biggest problem for me really was the dialogue, which was very unnatural and clunky. Most notable was the overuse of the brothers sharing dialogue, which might be a fun device for Saturday morning cartoons, but don't really fit here. Maybe this was intended to be a cartoon? If that was the case it probably would've been a good idea to indicate it somehow.
Additionally, I failed to see how the ghost was not bad, driving two young individuals to their deaths. Sure, they were stealing stuff but the punishment wasn't really proportional to the crime.
However, I too urge you not to get discouraged. We've all been beginners and screenwriting is a form that doesn't come naturally to pretty much anyone. If you are more seasoned, I apologize for the patronizing tone of my comments.
Heck, I'll apologize in any case. Because that's the kind of guy I am.
The act of writing is a quest to put a hundred thousand words to a cunning order. - Douglas Adams
The two biggest problems I had with this script dealt with the characterization and with the overall tone.
Your characters are very two dimensional, if that. There was nothing that separates the brothers. Their dialog and their action are identical... and they weren't developed. Their dialog was artificial and dull. The constant reference to 'brother' was very annoying.
You need to develop your characters more. Develop them more than you would need to use in the script. What do Danny and Connor do in their spare time? What hobbies/skills do they have that would affect how they would interact with each other in the castle?
There wasn't much horror (much less gothic horror) to this story. There wasn't much story to the story. It was just a long chase sequence with very little payoff at the end.
I get the impression that you're new at this, and probably young. I strongly recommend that you read some scripts here (some non-OWC scripts). Learn about characterization and dialog. Without strong characters, all stories fall flat.
i'll say this mr blaze...keep at it. you're probably young and if you are thats awesome. because you're learning the craft now. i wish i started writing screenplays when i was younger. time is on your side, so use it wisely.
that being said, you need to read, read read. keep writing and read some well written scripts. learn from them.
Take your pick ... This one is, as many others have no doubt stated, pretty offensive.
-You got lines butted up tightly to your slugs -You got BOLD in your dialogue -You got 6 lines of action without break or hesitation to stop and think about us, the readers, feelings. -You don't space your scenes - SMASH CUT TO: < Seriously? I mean, really? C'mon... - I don't think AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH is really dialogue. It could just be stated within action sublets.
The story is almost as non-existent as the rules you followed to meet the criteria of the challenge to be honest. I'm not trying to sound like a total Anal Bead here, but even in a week some of the problems should be addressed properly.
It's an inevitable train wreck waiting to happen and I don't think it can be avoided cos' the rails are rusty as hell. There is a solid grasp on what screenwriting is here, and that's important. I will never fault anyone for submitting a script and supporting this site and these challenges. These are so good at honing your skills. Writing more efficient . Don't give up - Keep plucking away using the above things mentioned by others and myself. You can really tighten up your work seemingly over night. And don't, under no circumstance, take my word or anyone's word here as rule... We all bend the rules, some more than others. We all learn from each script we read and each script we write. You're gonna hear the harsh nature of some people here simply because there is a screen between you and them -- And some will justify it as saying "We're getting you ready for the industry."
Fubared slug to open, not a good sign. No CAPPED character intros. Random bolding of dialogue. This site is a great resource for screenwriting. Explore. Your script feels more like a tween thriller than a gothic tale. I guess the ghosts are misunderstood since the kids stole stuff. Good effort for someone unfamiliar with the format. Thanks for playing OWC.
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The title sounds farcical, like a comedy set in a haunted castle. As I read, it seems that was intentional.
Obviously abandoned? I’m seeing the word obviously in a lot of scripts. To me, this word is more befitting of an emotional state, like “The tension between them is palpable.” In the case of an abandoned castle, what exactly makes it obvious?
The dialogue is a little stilted. Does Danny really have to call his brother by name nearly every single time he speaks to him? Occasionally is okay. It actually acclimates the audience to his name, but nearly every single time?
Was the fact that they’re stealing treasure supposed to be a revelation? It’s pretty obvious. Maybe it would be better to be up front about that.
It seems to be written by someone fairly new to screenwriting. Looking at it that way, it’s not a bad early effort. Could be fun with some fixing up.
One thing I thought I'd mention (it seems my other thoughts have already been covered) is that a few times, you repeat what you've already said. An example would be the violin music - you say it's violin music in the action line, then one of them says they hear violin music. I get what you're going for, but it doesn't read well IMO.
The good news is I can tell you had fun with this. There were also some good ideas in here, from the Scottish kilt ghost to the ballroom to Danny and Connor becoming ghosts themselves. However, the script itself was very routine, pretty much a chase with no character development (I couldn't tell you the difference between Danny and Connor) and dialogue that felt more cartoonish than anything else.
Locations & Sets - EXT castle w/ heavy wood and iron door, INT castle hall, INT Trophy room, INT castle kitchen, INT banquet room, INT castle staircase, EXT overlooking castle moat Actors - DANNY (20s), CONNOR (20s), voice for GHOST, SCOTTISH NOBLEMAN GHOST, banquet hall full of ghosts waltzing, FEMALE GHOST Costumes - full regalia Scottish nobleman costume, period evening dress and gowns x 12 Props - large weighted bag, suits of armor x 4, candles and holders x 2, mirror, broadsword, stuffed reared bear, pots and pans, treasures in bag Audio FX - thunder crashes, heavy footsteps, thunder rolls, windswept rain on windows, THUD!, heavy breathing, crashing of pots and pans, ghost scream, violin music Visual FX - lightning flashes, rain, orb of light becomes ghost, ghost proclamation, gliding ghost, ghost floats through the door, ghost throwing pots and pans, ghost waltzers, female ghost turns into a skeleton, ghost rising through floor, bag opening by itself on command Other - Horse drawn carriage, hose to rain on the windows, lights for lightning flashes, big fan for blowing open window, probably going to have to figure out a way to safely jump over the castle wall Comments - Gotta capitalize character introductions. This is very Teen-Nick Nickelodeon good spirited and fun. Special effects and setting make it a budget buster for all but a large studio.
There is a rolling crash of thunder. During the thunder a voice is heard.
GHOST LEAVE THIS PLACE , NOW!!!!
I took this advice. The formatting is all over the map. See all the above comments, they echo everything I have to say. Still, it was a nice effort. Better a short script to work on your writing errors than a 120 page behemoth, I always say.,,,and since there's a chunk of white on p3, you have some work cut out for you (no pun intended)
Personally I felt the story needed a lot more depth, it was essentially two people being chased by a ghost in a big house, there wasn't any set up or suspense, it was almost a constant stream of action. Who's the ghost? Who's home is it? Did they know it was haunted before they came? I think it needed more backstory.
However, I did like the undead waltz. To be chased by a single ghost only to run into a whole ballroom of them, it was a nice turn of events.
This is SO bad it's actually good. I nearly didn't make it past the first half-page but decided to plow through. I'm glad I did, it's enjoyable once the reader's expectations adjust.
This is like Scooby-Doo meets Be Kind, Rewind. Pure cheese but light on tongue-in-cheek, meant to be taken lightly and laughed at. I'd re-write the first page to establish this tone firmly in the reader's (and viewer's) mind. Every line is so on-the-nose it's painful but that's part of the charm here; whether intended or not it works.
It doesn't stand up to some of the other entries but I can see this getting made, preferably with cheap, silly special effects and terrible synthesizer/organ combo for music to really nail it.