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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  A Dance in the Dark - OWC
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  Author    A Dance in the Dark - OWC  (currently 3753 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:26am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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A Dance in the Dark by Greg Baldwin (greg) - Short, Gothic Horror - A nifty new smart phone app allows a feuding couple to communicate with the dead.   12 pages, 5 characters, PG-13 Rating - pdf, format

Visit for what is new on the site.

You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 5:02pm
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 2:13pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Lighthearted, original concept. Not bad. At least there was a nice effort at some character building and arc. I think once you start with the premise of a phone app that allows communication with the dead, you do have to go in the direction of comedy. A little more humor here would help.

The spider and scorpion getting in the breakfast was a bit much.

I still would rather have the app from the bud light commercial, but this would be a cool one to have too.

Nice work overall.
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 2:45pm Report to Moderator

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If you're new to SS, welcome! Here we go.

Pet peeves: JO could be a female name. Go with JOE. No confusion. And how many people do you know named ORION? Also, the first slug should be diner. And no need to describe a place as typical. Okay relax. Iím done.

The setting was Gothic inspired when the couple is in the basement. The ghost was bad when he sabotaged the dinner plate and his intentions were misunderstood.

The story is talking heads in a restaurant. In other words, how visually exciting would an audience find this? But there was some action going to the basement, the dancing.

The main hook was a phone app which raises questions like how does it work? I donít think the phone app was needed. They could have been cold called by the ghost and gone from there. Would have upped the tension.

The story does have a message for couples. The tone was more light than horror.

Writing was fine.


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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 2:47pm Report to Moderator

Vancouver, BC
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Light-hearted, kind of warm and fuzzy. The tone dipped into the dark a few times, I expected something sinister to happen but it never did. It could use one really good moment of terror, something to scare them straight to be convincing.

Not bad. The dialogue is decent but on-the-nose, and while isn't much depth to the characters they aren't simple cut-outs either. Good effort.

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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 3:24pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Can I have a sip?

Hill Valley
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I like the premise, although I thought it was strange how Jo was so willing to follow the directions into the basement, when the ghost just put a scorpion in his food, and told him to die. The rest of the story is sweet, except for the spider at the end, which didn't make much sense to me. I say if you stuck to the humor and romance side, it would work well.

Revision History (1 edits)
Ectoplasm  -  October 16th, 2011, 3:29am
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 6:19pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

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Gothic Horror? Not even close.

Not bad little story though. The idea of a ghost hunting phone app was fun.
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 8:06am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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I hate to copy, but...

Gothic Horror?  Are you frickin' kidding me?

I'm out after 2 pages.  So many issues all over the place and no atempt to follow the challenge.

Congrats on completing an entry for the October OWC.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 10:38am Report to Moderator
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Not gothic, but I really liked the premise of this.  The snappy banter back and forth for the couple was fun and enjoyable.  And the idea of a ghost attempting to patch up a relationship was pretty neat, too.  Oh and the waitress/cook dialogue also worked.

Did I think it worked as is as a whole?  Not quite.  The conversations did drag a bit, could've flowed more naturally.  You could probably chop about 3 pages off this baby, tighten everything up and have a gem on your hands, with a little bit of work.  

Re: the exposition on the fire.  Too...exposition-y.  Have them discover an old newspaper, with the article circled.  Something along those lines.  After all, the ghost's more interested in repairing their relationship than telling them about his story.

Oh- and make it a bit harder for them to sneak into the basement.  Think they got in there a bit too easily...and written right, the process could make for even more humor.

In general, good submission.  Enjoyed the read!
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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This was fairly written and had good dialogue and format but the story is just a mess.
A phone app that detects ghosts - and works?
Dancing in a diner basement?
Nothing remotely gothic about it.

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The boy who could fly
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 6:04pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

British Columbia, Canada
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Well I dunno if this really fit the challenge, and it is a bit silly, ghost ap on the phone seems like something they may put in the new ghostbusters film. Din't really feel gothic at all. still it was written well but i think it failed the requierments of the OWC.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 6:13pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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the writer tried for something different here and it was not bad.

A little too talky for most of it, but, yeah, nice effort.

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c m hall
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 10:26am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

peninsula of Jersey
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I stumbled at the spelling of the man's name, had to quickly revise the characters in my head.  Then I  didn't really get interested in the characters until the last few pages, but I think the ending worked, for the story.
Good job creating a memorable ghost, too.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 12:41pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Smartphone use complaints in a gothic tale? Hmmm.
A ghost detecting smartphone, I wish!
This is sounding more like Fringe by the second.
How come no one noticed the scorpion on the plate sooner?
Virtually all talk with little adherence to the OWC rules.
Thereís only one thing missing from this ghostly smartphone app.
I kept waiting for a joke about ďroaming chargesĒ for ghost radar.
Oh yeah, I so went there.



CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Posted: October 17th, 2011, 1:21pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Procrastinator in residence.

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Flowed very nicely, I thought the dialogue was very competent and established the characters well. I would've used CONTINUOUS's in all the sluglines after the first, but that's a very minor technical detail. Very nicely written throughout.

However, I didn't quite follow the logic of the initial threatening messages and the scorpion when the ghost was not adverserial. And the final spider was even more confusing. The constant shots of a single word on a smart phone screen might be visually cumbersome if filmed. And is it Gothic? I won't even hazard a guess.

But overall, one of the more enjoyable entries so far.

The act of writing is a quest to put a hundred thousand words to a cunning order.
- Douglas Adams
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 3:55pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

where's my simply scripts thong?

The Island of Jersey
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Hello Vince,

I'm a sucker for happy endings and rom com's (I think that's a bit unusual around here so keep it quiet) so I liked this and I think it has the potential to be a heart warming short.

Yes, it has flaws but after 30 scripts of long shadows, over grown weeds, locked doors, and leaf devils(not heard that one before) I appreciated the aim of doing something different.

My comments

If we are to see an arc then the distance between them needs to be clearer at the beginning so that the change is more apparent
The message from the ghost was confused IMO. One minute sinister then next all lovey dovey, but set against a massacre.
The scorpion??
The idea of a phone that does this. I can buy into that if handed properly, eg from her mad scientist brother rather than off the street. It is light hearted after all.

In short it seems about a ghost wanting to feel joy and put it back into the world. Why does he want to do this? Why can't he do it already?

It didn't fit the OWC criteria, but I am glad I read it.

I would like to see this revised.

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
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...
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Posted: October 17th, 2011, 10:41pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Well, this script is about as Gothic as an episode of Three's Company.   I appreciate the writer trying to set a story in a different locale, but very little in this story worked for me.  Why would you name the man Jo?  For the first three pages, I thought this was two women having a conversation.

And then a scorpion in the omelette?  A live one, no less?   C'mon.

Having them stumble into the burned out basement seemed like a last ditch effort to inject any kind of mood in this piece, but it was too little and way too late.

It's a disappointing script, mainly because you can tell the writer has a fluency with the format.  This sure didn't read like it was from a first timer.  But in the end, the script accomplished very little in the way of scares, laughs or any sense of believability at all.
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Posted: October 18th, 2011, 12:36am Report to Moderator
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Gothic horror this may not be...but I found myself, once I got past the absurd Smart phone plug, really getting into the exchanges.

It had very pop-culture-like dialogue and it was a fun read... I don't think you got the Seinfeld bit right, though.  If memory serves, and it should as it's my favorite show other than Twilight Zone and Sledgehammer -- It was George's statue.  

Anyways, mostly dialogue here and it wasn't all bad, so that's good.  It could've been heavy on bad dialogue and been a whole lot worse.  It was, to this reading, the cleanest of all scripts I've read so far.  

Well, until the end when you literally put the end under Fade out.  That was sloppy.
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Posted: October 19th, 2011, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

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This was a nice little rom-com that was well thought out and put together. Writing was flawless in my opinion, so I have a feeling whoever is responsible for this one knows their territory and what they're doing.

Unfortunately it had no Gothic horror - but there is a misunderstand ghost!
Good job on the story itself, I found it fun and entertaining.

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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 5:53pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I didnít know Jo was male until page 2.

This was a light one, which was actually kind of nice after so many grim stories.

Not much else to say. Itís not plausible at all but isnít really trying to be. Itís pretty good considering what it's going for.


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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 6:10pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Okay not so much Gothic, but still fun.

A little tough to read through a few times, but otherwise I like it.

Actually I have seen a ghost hunting app for my blackberry, but I havent downloaded it yet lol.

Good job on getting it done.

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Posted: October 21st, 2011, 1:22am Report to Moderator
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I thought that was cute enough.  Not very Gothic but it had a real ghost.

I have to echo everyone sentiments about JO.  Definitely thought he was a woman to start with.

I thought your weak point her was the dialogue. A lot of times it didn't ring true for me.

But I loved the idea of the ghost hunting app.  

Good work though, especially for a week.  
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Posted: October 21st, 2011, 1:33am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Not really Gothic Horror and kind sparse for me in the descriptions.

I found it to be more comedic than horror, which in my opinion, doesn't fit the challenge.

It's a decent script and story, just not for this OWC.

A Picture Is Worth

If you want me to read your script, send me a link.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 12:47pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
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;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Gothic? No.


;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D  

I loved it!!!


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 12:18am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
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Locations & Sets  -   INT diner guest area & hallway, INT wooden stairway, INT restaurant storage room w/ equipment & supplies, INT dirt basement
Actors  -  JO(30), CAROLINE(30), WAITRESS (25), extras in diner x 10, CHEF (40), ORION (30s)
Costumes  -  Waitress uniform, Orion's burned outfit
Props  -  smart phone, scorpion, breakfast foods x 4, bookshelf w/ books, false wall w/ passage through, spider webbing, wall mirror
Audio FX -  phone vibrating
Visual FX  -  wiggling scorpion, Orion's image in mirror
Other  -  charcoal dust for smoke/burn charring, MUA for Orion's burns
Comments  -  Turn off your program's (MORE)s and (CONT'D) features. Beautiful. Not a d@mn bit horrific, barely even Gothic, but very nice.

You may note on my spreadsheet that there's a asterisk after the (by the numbers) score.
That's because I really liked your story.
It doesn't fit the "Gothic horror" challenge a d@mn bit, but I enjoyed it perhaps the best of the stories I've read so far.
If I was going to enter a Gothic horror short I'd have to pass this up.
But if I was going to shoot five or six of these shorts for a one hour show, I'd DEFINITELY slip this on in under the wire and finish the hour with it.
Nice story.  

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Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 3:32pm Report to Moderator

Dreamer of dreams.

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The first thing I'm going to say about that I have that app on my BlackBerry and my little sister has it on her iPhone! It's so cheesy, and I think it picks up on sounds in the background and says those words later; I remember I was visiting my Mom, and there was an episode of Ellen coming on with Robert Downey Jr. The phone kept saying, "Robert"! Freaked my little sister out, and made me laugh out loud. It's especially entertaining, because the iPhone app, by default, actually says the word out loud!

Anyway, carrying on:

I really thought it was a cute premise. Gothic? Nooo. Not by a long shot. It was, however, a very enjoyable read, and a nice, light thing to read after I've been going through all of these super dark pieces. Thank you for that!

I echo some of the above that 'Jo' should have been 'Joe' to avoid distraction and confusion of gender.

I did love how when I saw that there was a scorpion in the omelet, I immediately thought, "Wait a minute...they'd better be out west where there actually are scorpions," only to (almost) immediately see that they were in California. More of an aside than a note, but I liked how that was cleared up.

All in all, very sweet. I am still confused about Orion's motivation at the beginning, as he seemed to want Jo dead, but am thinking that perhaps you intended that to be misconstrued? As in, Orion was trying to warn him there was going to be a scorpion on his plate, and had no ill intent?

I also think their banter pre-Orion wasn't as distant as it could have been. They just seemed like a normal couple out, and I'd have liked to see a little more coldness and distance between the two. It didn't really feel like they were really arguing beforehand. It seemed just...conversational and light.

Still, good job!
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Posted: October 25th, 2011, 7:03pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Victoria, Australia
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Yeah, so you've got a few things to tweak, but I liked this one. It wasn't gothic horror IMO, but I'll let that slide because it just made me wanna call my hubby and tell him I love him

Two comments - Jo with no 'e' makes me think of a woman, so the story was disrupted a bit when I realised it was a man and I had to rethink the first page in that context. Secondly, I'm guessing you're Aussie, right? Or British? I'm thinking Aussie: Ta! I love that you used that - I've never seen it in a script:p

Anyway, good job
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irish eyes
Posted: October 25th, 2011, 7:13pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

There`s too much blood in my alcohol

Upstate New York
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Starting off in a restaurant, I was trying to figure out were Gothic horror came into it, I have eaten in some restaurants in New York that yes, were gothic horror!!! With spiders and scorpions also... But this story was not..
Either way I read it to the end, as it was something different, more rom-com
It was a nice modern twist, using the app as a ghost detector/communicator.

The writing itself was pretty good, didn`t notice many typos..

Good job just not OWC.


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Posted: October 26th, 2011, 1:39am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
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Call me slow...

Babz has a customer looking (or was looking) for supernatural romance.
Consider stringing this out.

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Posted: October 31st, 2011, 5:20pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed.  Admittedly this was written in haste as was my research for the Gothic theme.  This was one of five scripts I tried to write over a three day stretch with the other four not really going anywhere.  Horror's not my thing but oh well.

This wasn't my favorite OWC to participate in, but I think they're fun so I like to contribute.  Not at all surprised by the feedback, so IMO there's not much reason to respond to specific comments, except this one:

Quoted from Baltis.

I don't think you got the Seinfeld bit right, though.  If memory serves, and it should as it's my favorite show other than Twilight Zone and Sledgehammer -- It was George's statue.  

Technically it started out as Jerry's but then he gave it to George.  However, George never took it, so it was still in Jerry's possession when the cleaning guy, Ray, allegedly stole it from his home.  So in essence I thought it was more accurate to say it was Jerry's since he also went through the trouble to confront the guy.

I love Seinfeld, too.  I put Seinfeld and Star Wars references in pretty much everything I write ha-ha.  

Thanks again everyone.


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