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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    The Night Gallery 7 Week Challenge  ›  Gurza - 7WC Moderators: Mr. Blonde, Moderator
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  Author    Gurza - 7WC  (currently 1047 views)
Don
Posted: November 3rd, 2018, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Gurza by Khamanna Iskandarova - Horror - When an ancient Azerbaijani myth foretells that the killing of a Gurza snake will be followed by five deaths in the same family, one man's plan to survive may be worse than the original curse. 76 pages - pdf format

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

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 18th, 2019, 3:04pm
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GM
Posted: November 3rd, 2018, 10:50pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Khamanna

Had to take a look at yours first.

Congrats on completing a feature. Now comes the rewrites. lol.

Finished in one sitting. If I mistake anything, I blame it on my quick reading lol.

Spoilers!

My thoughts in no particular order:

I'm presuming the scene where his mom is dead and draws in the eyes is when he starts becoming an artist? If not, you gotta establish that storyline. That's a pretty cool storyline.

What does Davood get with the five deaths completed? Devood lives? I'm guessing so since the father killed the snake in the beginning. So, since the father is dead, Davood is trying to save himself? I would advise explaining the mythical curse or story behind the gurza like to avoid one's own demise, needs to kill five family members.

I would advise showing how Davood and Jeyla improve their relationship since Jeyla has been avoiding him for the longest.

This doesn't mean I don't like it. I enjoy the characters, structure, and storyline.

I'll see if I can think of anything else.  

Hope this helps,
Gabe
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khamanna
Posted: November 4th, 2018, 11:10am Report to Moderator
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Thank you so much, Gabe, for reading this one mess of a screenplay.

You actually gave me something I thought was clear - so thanks for that, I'll look into that too.

No, he was an artist before that. His mother talks to his sister about his obsession with drawing snakes.

And as to your second question - he's so obsessed with he myth that wants to live up to it. He wants for it to be true. But I don't know if I should change this as it's a bit of complicated. I know I should get rid of a lot of convo so that only important part stays and everything would be much clearer that way.

Looking forward for yours!

And to all - I'll get to the reads soon. It'll just take me time, but I'll read all of them surely. Very excited.
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ChrisBodily
Posted: November 8th, 2018, 7:23am Report to Moderator
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Now that the future of American democracy is secure, I finally have time to read these scripts. Figured I might as well start with yours.

"Sir" doesn't necessarily need to be capitalized.

Banu. Pretty name.

Iiiii should have known better with a girl like you.



Are they sketches or paintings?


Quoted Text
Gabriel  sits  down,  his  eyes  tired  and  [his]  posture  slumped.



Quoted Text
I  guess  you  want  to  tell  me  the  
story.
  Go  ahead,  Iím  listening.


Sounds more natural. More subtext.

Just like I  told you before, before...




Quoted Text
Not  an  overly  polite  question[,]  but  
what  the  heck.  Iíll  be  twenty [-]two  
this  month.


But you said she's 23. Is she lying about her age? Then again, none of this would be apparent on screen.


Quoted Text
No,  please,  go  ahead.  Truth  be  
told,  you  got  my  attention.


Why not show it?


Quoted Text
Could  you  sit  down,  please[?]


Azerbaijan is a real country. It's capital is Baku. Make of that what you will.


Quoted Text
Thatís  where  people [no comma]  that  
are  well-off  have  their  summer  
houses.


I would maybe break up the dialogue with action or visuals.


Quoted Text
EXT.  NEIGHBORING  HOUSE  -  DAY

A  nice  [home / residence]  in  sharp  contrast  to  the  unfinished  
construction.


Redundant. Try not to repeat your slug in the action line.


Quoted Text
MAHMUD[,]  a  [M]iddle-[E]astern  man  of  35,  a  strong  hard-working  
type,  weeds  the  garden.


I thought Mahmud was that Mahmoud guy who used to be President of Iran.


Quoted Text
A  big  portion  of  the  garden  has   [already been]  weeded  out.



Quoted Text
Be  careful,  honey.  Look  out  for  the  
snakes.


I would pick one or the other.


Quoted Text
Voices  from  afar.  They  belong  to  his [parents].  He  
listens.  Then  walks  toward  them.


"Ain't" sounds weird coming from Middle Easterners. It's more of an American South thing. It's like the word "Dude" in a Shakespearean setting.


Quoted Text
Davood  walks  to[ward]  his  mother


TIL that you can use "revenge" as a verb.

Shouldn't Gurza be capitalized?

"Mom" should be capitalized if it's an address.


Quoted Text
Narmin  breath[e]s  heavily.



Quoted Text
The  child  inside    
my  belly  might  get  sick  from  all  
that (extra space)   worry.



Quoted Text
They  are  being  interrupted  by  their  father. Their father interrupts.  He  thrusts  the fence  open.


No comma after "And."


Quoted Text
Narmin  and  Davood  turn  and  see  Mahmud[,]  who  drops  to  the  
ground,  holding  his  foot.


I'm gonna save time and not point out all the mistakes from this point on, unless it warrants attention.


Quoted Text
Good [thing]  I  had  a  plow  in [my]  hands.



Quoted Text
Hey,  what  are  you  doing?  Wake  up.  
Donít  do  that  to  me!


Doesn't ring true to me. Sounds a tad they-only-say-that-in-movies.

*SPOILER*


Quoted Text
Yes,  in  the  end  he  did.  But  not  on  
that  day,  not  on  the  next  day  and  
not  the  day  after  that.


Interesting. Let's see where it goes from here.


Quoted Text
Narmin  sits  on  the  floor,  hands  elevated  towards  the  
ceiling (two periods)


"extra[,] extra careful"

I love our first visual of the snake.

Who is Narmin talking to?


Quoted Text
He  adjusts  his  cave  and  ambles  away.


His cave? Or his cane?

The eyes glow? Spooky.

I'm gonna stop here for the night. Pretty good so far. Excellent job, Kham.


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Don  -  March 17th, 2019, 11:43am
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ChrisBodily
Posted: November 9th, 2018, 7:34pm Report to Moderator
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I would have CAPPED the customer.

"Gabriel shifts [uneasily]" or "Gabriel shifts[,] uneasy."

"Middle East" is a proper name and should be capitalized.


Quoted Text
It was her daughter. Remember she was (a) child when Mahmud got hit by a truck?



Quoted Text
She was seventeen at the time [Ö]


I would break up this paragraph. It's too long as it is.

Top of page 20 and taking another break. It's a special night. Love what I'm reading so far.


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khamanna
Posted: November 10th, 2018, 1:07am Report to Moderator
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Hey, Chris,
Thank you so much for the read and the detailed notes. I'm going to use every single note of your comments. Will do the amends tomorrow. Hopefully.
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ChrisBodily
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Picking up on p20.

What kind of receiver are you taking about? Telephone? Gun? Audio-video receiver?


Quoted Text
Narmin unzips it but keeps the bag closed. She opens up a bit of it looks[,] closely inside.



Quoted Text
Her breath[ing] fastens. She [quickly] closes the bag.



Quoted Text
And itís not one of those darlings that donít bite, [it] brings death.



Quoted Text
Okay, I believe you. Now, I think I need to do something to help you. You live with a crazy person.


This sounds a bit inauthentic and unrealistic. Plus, too wordy for the given situation.

You usually cut out the "goodbye" in a phone call.


Quoted Text
As soon as she does[,] the key in the lock turns and Davood appears in the door.



Quoted Text
Youíre seriously [hung] up on that childish tale.


"Bye[,] [M]om." Always offset names with commas.


Quoted Text
Bye mom. I need to paint a snake, thatís all. You canít live with a snake, but I canít live without it. Donít worry about me, Iíll crash with someone tonight until I get my own place.


Good line, but it makes the exchange too wordy.


Quoted Text
Hey, donít worry about it. I really appreciate you help[ing] me out like [this].


A "picturesque place" can be any place. Is it a field, a city, a town, a marketplace, a village, mountains? You're the writer.

"something seems [to move] inside."


Quoted Text
He looses his conscious.


I don't understand what you mean.


Quoted Text
She dumps the contents of the cup onto the frying pan, switches the gas underneath it. She waits beside it for a bit, then turns off the stove. She walks with a frying pan to a TV, turns it on.


This paragraph is a little too busy. I'd break it up into smaller portions.


Quoted Text
[She feels] hot[. S]he moves to sit under the draft that gets in through open window.


We, the audience, can't feel the heat. You have to show it to us.


Quoted Text
Then pulls on the blinds string to bring them down.


You could just say she draws (raises or lowers) the blinds.

Top of page 31. I'm gonna call it a night. Where does the time go?


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ChrisBodily
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[qupte]Blood trickles from her open mouth down her clothes forming a long streak that resemble(s) a snake.[/quote]

*SPOILER*

I love the blood snake imagery.


Quoted Text
He carefully lays her down, places the hands next to her body.


Who's hands? His or hers?


Quoted Text
They say when Stalin... you know Stalin, right... when he looked into the eyes of a person he was intended to kill[,] his own eyes would turn yellow.



Quoted Text
We often mistake the truth for a myth and a myth for the truth. Thatís one of the best complexities of life. And one of its beauties.


I love this line. It's a keeper.


Quoted Text
I guess now that youíre thinking Iím a big fat liar not worthy of your time you donít want to hear any more of Davoodís stories, right?



Quoted Text
No, please finish them. There are two more (extra space)  sketches left.



Quoted Text
She points at the Davoodís paintings.



Quoted Text
Itís four sketches in total: One is with his mother in [snake / snake's] eyes. The other one is a wounded snake. Two more are left.


There are a lot of orphans in the script, and I don't mean Davood.

And with that, I'm signing off for the night.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: November 11th, 2018, 4:15pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Khamanna, (sister in kitty cat cuddles)

This is a good story and the issues are really simple fixes.

Mostly, I felt the dialogue needed work. Such as when Davoodís mother asks him to read and he says he canít and you know that. Why would his mother ask him?

But, having said that, I really liked the image of him doing his ďpretend readĒ.

You did a really good job of moving the story along.

I think in a re-write, you can improve the mystical aspects of the myth itself and show it.

Also, I should mention that the opening image wasnít clear enough. Later, I understood this wasnít a museum, but a store. In my notes I had written: Big Gallery? Private? Etc...

This is also the case with the use of Picturesque Place. It was a little sketchy.

Pg 7 the sun is about to set so it should be in the header.

Pg 9 they are being interrupted should be tightened to something like
Father interrupts them

Page 11 She should crush the pills or he would choke

Page 12 issue with time - Itís night when Malmud rushes away
But on pg 13 the header reads Day

Note that a screech of wheels does not waft.

Pg 14 Gabriel asks will you be here tomorrow and Banu answers
I would love to.
Wrong response.

Pg 14 header should be Next Night

Pg 15 I noted the word ďcustomerĒ as wrong before I realized it was a store type of gallery.

I like Davoodís dialogue as it mirrored his speech as a five year old. I canít work. I have to watch out for snakes, you know that.

This clearly represents the fact that heís off his rocker. Good job there.

I made a lot of Xís as relates to dialogue that I thought needed to be shortened or improved to be more realistic or clear, but those details can be readily fixed.

The story is a good and keeps one interested.

Big congrats on finishing the challenge in such short order!

Sandra



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FrankM
Posted: November 12th, 2018, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Kham,

Sorry for taking so long to write up my notes.

This is the most cohesive set of stories submitted to the 7WC, making everyone else look bad

There are some minor word choice issues and quite a bit of on-the-nose dialogue, which is a common feature in just about any first draft. It was common enough to pull me out of the story at times, but importantly it seems straightforward enough to fix during a re-write.

The action is little over-descriptive in spots, which is better than being too terse, but it does slow down the read. A good example is Davood and the shrubs at the bottom of page 6.

The garden definitely had a "the cobbler's children have the worst shoes" element to it.

Very cute with Davood pretending to read. It's not unusual for kids that age or even younger to memorize a story, so the only part that seems out of place is Davood saying he can't read.

The family deaths appear to be a "simple" curse maybe a little too long, but everything makes sense after the audience is let in on what's actually happening.

There are a few things about Davood's behavior that don't make sense to me. I get that he thinks five people need to die, and if he can get five OTHER people to die then he'd be better off.

Davood in his early 20s says that he "can't work," and it's clear from this conversation that Narmin has been aware of this forever, but it seems like she's only just this moment doing anything about it. A child who acted as obsessed as Davood does here wouldn't have been able to function in school. Either he's gotten worse recently (maybe when he captured the snake) or he's been a problem child for a very long time. Either way can be interesting.

Davood's interactions with his family also seem a bit odd. He goes through a lot of effort to make contact, they reject him, and he acts like he doesn't like them either. Maybe his only real interest is in locating the family members rather than bonding with them, but the interactions just seemed odd to me. If he really truly doesn't like the family members, it could come up in his dialogue with the toy snake.

Davood seems weirdly calm about catching fire. Even forming the words "It hurts!" would take way more concentration than most people could muster in that situation. Maybe he is that disassociated from his body (remember Gollum's joy at gaining the Ring overrode his pain of falling into lava), but then he'd be showing concern for Girly rather than himself. He could plausibly switch at some point and realize his own plight when it's too late (Richard Prior discussed how even when he was as high as a kite, completely unable to realize he was in danger, once the fire reached him he acted like pretty much any sober person who finds himself on fire).

I think all these issues are fixable, and a round of editing will help with the text issues.

Great job with this feature.

Edit: I also like the open ending. Maybe this (driving a family member mad) is simply how the curse operates. In which case ten more lives are on the line.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess? Latest draft (3/2019)
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House Latest draft (2/2019)
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Comedy short: Feedback

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FrankM  -  November 13th, 2018, 7:19am
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ChrisBodily
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Since time is running short, Kham, I'm gonna move on to the other scripts. I definitely hope I come back to this one. It's awesome so far.


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khamanna
Posted: December 13th, 2018, 9:37pm Report to Moderator
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Chris, sorry I haven't thanked you properly on the thread, but all great stuff. Nice thing to have when you rewrite. And I'm happy to see you like it. Well, at least the beginning of it.
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khamanna
Posted: December 13th, 2018, 9:41pm Report to Moderator
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@Sandra, what a sudden come back. Thanks for reading, thanks for the comments - I'll look closely into them, actually all good and useful stuff.

@Frank, wow, almost failed to thank you. But I remember reading your comments and thinking - woah, where's he coming from.

Ok, kidding)) All good stuff, all the headers - you guys making the rewrite too easy.
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Angry Bear
Posted: December 13th, 2018, 10:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Khamanna, email me the latest draft of your script. I'm leaving on vacation and I'll be happy to read.  


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khamanna
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Thanks a lot, Pia.

I'd like to do it tomorrow, so I reread at least half of it and make some amends. My latest draft is still the first draft. I haven't rewritten. But I would like to fix the grammar some at least.
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