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Don
Posted: November 3rd, 2018, 4:03pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Glass House by Frank MacCrory - Horror - A new class of artists-in-residence arrives at an eccentric billionaire's home and discover the dark secret behind his fortune. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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khamanna
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Hey, Frank.

I would like to comment on your first 25 pages which is mainly your first short (and it's Laura and Emma's story) and some of the main storyline.

A lot of it you probably already noticed yourself and planned to tackle in your rewrite but I'll mention it anyway just in case.
I noticed some redundancy in writing. For example:
p1 no need to say "he mispronounces" just show him say "Zen"

on p8 Laura talks to herself a lot. She shouldn't. And I don't understand what she says that for. The lines read disjointed.

p9 - The flow of scenes in this short is a bit disruptive to me. In the end I could understand what Laura wants and does and why but at the beginning it took me time to figure her out.
I think that scenes here don't have strong connections.
To illustrate:
your first scene - Laura and Emma talk about the war.
second scene - Laura finds something among her dad's books (and you show no connection to the previous scene)
third scene - Laura carries lens in her basket fourth scene - talking to priest about her sins. I think you could show her doubts in faith earlier. You didn't set up and suddenly the Priest comes into play. You also don't show her personal struggle.
I think you could show her becoming a nurse and resenting it. Otherwise it kind of meanders about and you don't establish strong conflict.
If she was pushed towards being a nurse and she doubts she has to participate in a war - that would be much stronger set up in my opinion.

scene 4 and 5 in your short are well connected - this is the needed connection I'm talking about.

Later scenes are again misleading. Laura started witchcraft. Then on p14 Emma helps Laura and it looks like Emma is in since you show Emma lifting stuff for Laura. But I know she's not.

By the way the witchcraft is sudden and completely out of blue. I know Laura started having thoughts when we saw her looking for a book in her dad's library. But it's very vague.

p17 Why would Priest suddenly say anything about Laura becoming a nurse?

Demon reads like a Gennie from Alladin - belly laugh and all. You didn't intend it as a comedy, did you?
He should attack or do something from the very beginning and cause Laura some trouble.

The rest of the short was visual, good and I liked it. The set up should be rethought in my opinion.

The Observer sketching the people - that you should take further. Maybe show the Observer put a cross on one of the characters. Make us worry for them or something.

So, a lot of notes - and I do know it's just your first draft but I was afraid to leave anything out.


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PrussianMosby
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This is a very good logline, Frank.

I don't think it could be done any better.

Good first page.

first 10- all good so far, clean and all in all well told. I'm intrigued.

The two girls, Emma and Laura, have a good chemistry. Interesting characters.

P20 it's too talky yet and many is info we already have; also regarding the parts before, between priest and Emma. This could be tightened and cut to what is actually needed, to keep more pace and movement in the pictures and go quicker along.

P24 haha great appearing of the priest…

31 second dialogue of Dr. Nichol's reads as a very forced way to deliver the back-story

Laura's back, nice surprise

Ouch, the bodies on glass story is by far the ugliest yet... Great visuals there.

Just wasn't sure how Teetotaler brought them there when sitting in a wheelchair.

The invisible story then eventually arrives in present times.

I read to the end. The last third felt a bit rushed compared to the earlier stories. By nature I think.

As a whole the different periods of time made it definitely fresh and specific. Otherwise, I must say I didn't feel the concept yet.

A major problem I had, was that the story has no protagonist. Also, the 'kids' in the climax act all the same, as juveniles with smartphones, and not as I suspect those rich daydreamer painter kids to be--  as arrogant pricks, spoiled and wannabe-clever, each having their own quirks.

The ending wasn't that clear to me either. That supernatural part around the hourglass f.i.

What surprised me is that you rushed so much regarding the funding program and their stay at the glass house. I hoped for your creepy mansion exposition but only short before the climax they eventually dropped their luggage, then all was already over quick.

Coming to the positive again. The spectrum from old time moody supernatural "witches and mirrors" stories to such a brutal, modern mass murder slasher style was a very cool experience. I'm not sure I've ever seen such conceptual decision and would believe horror fans would fall for that stuff. Definitely.

Then I myself would want to have more of the creepy mansion. More of the painters, a clear protagonist and more Mr. Glass.

How to better "IMO": The character count in the Invisible angle goes far over the top. Also I noted the Laura, Emma, priest stuff dragged a bit while the motives and info were clear and you repeated them too often. Cut stuff and give the main plot to the painters in the mansion. The crossover of the Glass company portfolio, gallery, paintings, foundation etc. what this company actually is and does, was too unclear or vague. Better be definite about a clear portfolio of what they do. The talking in the mansion could leave, for the characters actually doing things, exploring the mansion, all combined with your artwork topic.

Nevertheless some truly refreshing aspects here. Find a way to make it concrete and 'closer'. The painters need a No 1 within their group, a character that stays in the readers focus.

However, a great accomplishment, Frank. Looking forward to see where you're going with it.


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)

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khamanna
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Placeholder for another 25 (or possibly will read it all)

Hey, Frank.

Just read your 2nd vignette. And started the thrid one.
For the second I have - Liz and Thomas and Liz and Suitor (p37) was kind of repetitive for me. As we know already what Mirror Liz is doing - it's kind of the same thing over and over. I wish Liz became more proactive and then gave up or something.
But still it's a very strong one and I liked it a lot.

p30 - you've got montage here. I'd think formatting it regularly would make up for the stronger storytelling. I've never been a fan of montages though.

I started the third vignette, but have to reread. It's a bit not clear to me what's going on in here.

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FrankM
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Khan and PM,

Thanks for the read and the feedback. Traveling at the moment but will digest everything probably tomorrow.

One immediate puzzle is how on Earth to get a protagonist across the time periods. I don’t want to go the Hero and Villain with Suspiciously Similar Powers route, nor do I want to nerf angels to the point Mr.Glass could hold them off indefinitely. One idea is that some (or all) of the Artists have family members who have crossed swords with the artifacts, making their selection look less random.

I’ll have to think about that.

As for rushing, the vignettes were written in the order of 2, intro, 1, 4, finale, and 3... and the first two vignettes did get some feedback/revision TLC.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess?
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The fourth vignette has a smidge of sci-fi in it, something I thought might be on the horizon.

And now I see that someone's actually building the thing.



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FrankM
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Thanks again Kham, so I've had a chance to sit down and look at the script after a couple days break.


Quoted from khamanna
Hey, Frank.

I would like to comment on your first 25 pages which is mainly your first short (and it's Laura and Emma's story) and some of the main storyline.

A lot of it you probably already noticed yourself and planned to tackle in your rewrite but I'll mention it anyway just in case.
I noticed some redundancy in writing. For example:
p1 no need to say "he mispronounces" just show him say "Zen"


That's more compact and gets the same point across.


Quoted from khamanna
on p8 Laura talks to herself a lot. She shouldn't. And I don't understand what she says that for. The lines read disjointed.


I figured that a very sparing use of talking to oneself would be okay. She's the only character who does it (that's wrong, someone in the second vignette does too), and it was the only way I could think of to justify the book's presence in the house.

Very open to other ways to accomplish this, just can't think of any myself right now.


Quoted from khamanna
p9 - The flow of scenes in this short is a bit disruptive to me. In the end I could understand what Laura wants and does and why but at the beginning it took me time to figure her out.
I think that scenes here don't have strong connections.
To illustrate:
your first scene - Laura and Emma talk about the war.
second scene - Laura finds something among her dad's books (and you show no connection to the previous scene)
third scene - Laura carries lens in her basket fourth scene - talking to priest about her sins. I think you could show her doubts in faith earlier. You didn't set up and suddenly the Priest comes into play. You also don't show her personal struggle.


I should make it more obvious that the "lens" is, in fact, a crystal ball. Laura simply takes advantage of Emma's complete lack of physics knowledge.

Including the crystal ball's stand (even if Emma doesn't see it), may make this clearer.


Quoted from khamanna
I think you could show her becoming a nurse and resenting it. Otherwise it kind of meanders about and you don't establish strong conflict.
If she was pushed towards being a nurse and she doubts she has to participate in a war - that would be much stronger set up in my opinion.


Maybe there's a better way to get this across in the script. Laura wants to help the Union (remember all the patriotic stuff in the house) but has no particular interest in being a nurse.

A number of women did disguise themselves as men to fight on both sides of the US Civil War, but the only way for a woman to serve openly was to be a nurse. Even the surgeon Dr. Mary Walker was assigned nurse duties when she volunteered for the Union Army, though she eventually convinced them to let her be a doctor for them.

Presumably, Laura is going to wait for her parents and brother to come home before going anywhere, so as not to leave Emma alone. That needs to be stated explicitly in dialogue at some point. I could have her plan be to spend her time teaching herself nursing or arguing with Emma about pulling a Mulan, and the nurse option gives her a reason to be in the library.


Quoted from khamanna
scene 4 and 5 in your short are well connected - this is the needed connection I'm talking about.

Later scenes are again misleading. Laura started witchcraft. Then on p14 Emma helps Laura and it looks like Emma is in since you show Emma lifting stuff for Laura. But I know she's not.


Emma doesn't recognize what's in the crate. Laura was reaching for a weapon in case she did.


Quoted from khamanna
By the way the witchcraft is sudden and completely out of blue. I know Laura started having thoughts when we saw her looking for a book in her dad's library. But it's very vague.


Though the book has some supernatural ability to lure Laura into studying it, you're right that it should roll out on screen more gradually. I was just worried that this is already the longest vignette.


Quoted from khamanna
p17 Why would Priest suddenly say anything about Laura becoming a nurse?


The priest knows about the lives of all his parishioners at a general level. Laura was never shy about her desire to help the Union, just exactly how she plans to help it.


Quoted from khamanna
Demon reads like a Gennie from Alladin - belly laugh and all. You didn't intend it as a comedy, did you?
He should attack or do something from the very beginning and cause Laura some trouble.


Nope, not intended as a comedy.

My original plan for the "innocent" exchange was that they do a brief stare-down, the Demon cracks a tiny smile, Laura cracks a smile, and they laugh together. I took that out because it humanized the Demon too much, but I think I can put it back in so long as it ends with the Demon getting suddenly serious and demanding that Laura do something immediately to make up for the insufficiently heinous blood.


Quoted from khamanna
The rest of the short was visual, good and I liked it. The set up should be rethought in my opinion.

The Observer sketching the people - that you should take further. Maybe show the Observer put a cross on one of the characters. Make us worry for them or something.


The entire wrap-around needs a re-think to introduce more suspense, but I think the quickest change will be to have the Observer sketching these people with facial expressions that show they are suffering.


Quoted from khamanna
So, a lot of notes - and I do know it's just your first draft but I was afraid to leave anything out.


Thank you again.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess?
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Quoted from PrussianMosby
This is a very good logline, Frank.

I don't think it could be done any better.

Good first page.

first 10- all good so far, clean and all in all well told. I'm intrigued.

The two girls, Emma and Laura, have a good chemistry. Interesting characters.


Thanks, I have a really hard time with loglines... but then again I suppose so does everyone else.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
P20 it's too talky yet and many is info we already have; also regarding the parts before, between priest and Emma. This could be tightened and cut to what is actually needed, to keep more pace and movement in the pictures and go quicker along.


Tightening will give me some breathing room to do the gradual temptation of Laura I mentioned above replying to Kham. That should also allow me to weave in the terms of the deal earlier. The only problem is that I don't want Laura talking to herself too much, though it has been established that she reads aloud.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
P24 haha great appearing of the priest…


Guy needs to wind his Heroic Timing watch I did want to hint that there is a world outside of the main characters.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
31 second dialogue of Dr. Nichol's reads as a very forced way to deliver the back-story

Laura's back, nice surprise


It might work better if he complains to Sister Laura, rather than copying the mannerisms of NCIS's Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
Ouch, the bodies on glass story is by far the ugliest yet... Great visuals there.

Just wasn't sure how Teetotaler brought them there when sitting in a wheelchair.


He has a bunch of hoists and cranes, and plenty of time to plan. The only real constraint is that he needs to harvest them all in the same day, which is one of those things that is so hard to explain that we just let it happen off-screen


Quoted from PrussianMosby
The invisible story then eventually arrives in present times.

I read to the end. The last third felt a bit rushed compared to the earlier stories. By nature I think.


Though I had been thinking about the first, second and fourth vignettes for a while, it took a while for me to come up with a suitable third. The first and second have also been on the page longer and got some feedback.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
As a whole the different periods of time made it definitely fresh and specific. Otherwise, I must say I didn't feel the concept yet.

A major problem I had, was that the story has no protagonist. Also, the 'kids' in the climax act all the same, as juveniles with smartphones, and not as I suspect those rich daydreamer painter kids to be--  as arrogant pricks, spoiled and wannabe-clever, each having their own quirks.


As I mentioned in the quick-take, I think putting their family members in the vignettes will help tie things together.

Hannah and Oliver are exactly what you describe: rich kids. They can recognize the chandelier from the first vignette. Hannah could have actually inherited the thing and donated it because it didn't go with anything in her apartment.

Zhen is supposed to be the social justice warrior of the group. Chinatown was established before Liz started terrorizing Manhattan, though due to immigration restrictions at the time the population there was 98% male. Liz, who is about as racially sensitive as Archie Bunker, can easily find herself on a Tong's bad side. It'll be fun to show her deal with one of those Feng Shui Bagua mirrors.

The easiest way to squeeze René in there is to make him an African American named Ray, then Leroy can be an ancestor pivotal in the Teetotaler's capture.

Martirio is going to take some thought.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
The ending wasn't that clear to me either. That supernatural part around the hourglass f.i.

What surprised me is that you rushed so much regarding the funding program and their stay at the glass house. I hoped for your creepy mansion exposition but only short before the climax they eventually dropped their luggage, then all was already over quick.


Yes, this part of the story definitely needs some more TLC.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
Coming to the positive again. The spectrum from old time moody supernatural "witches and mirrors" stories to such a brutal, modern mass murder slasher style was a very cool experience. I'm not sure I've ever seen such conceptual decision and would believe horror fans would fall for that stuff. Definitely.

Then I myself would want to have more of the creepy mansion. More of the painters, a clear protagonist and more Mr. Glass.


I'm glad you enjoyed the ride. I wanted to give the impression this guy has been involved in Bad Things for a long time, but having the Scooby Doo Gang wander freely a bit might help establish the company's role better. It'll certainly do a better job than my initial attempt at a trailer/sizzle reel. https://www.dropbox.com/s/idfisc3jnzctf5q/Glass%20House%20Sizzle%20Reel.pdf?dl=0


Quoted from PrussianMosby
How to better "IMO": The character count in the Invisible angle goes far over the top. Also I noted the Laura, Emma, priest stuff dragged a bit while the motives and info were clear and you repeated them too often. Cut stuff and give the main plot to the painters in the mansion. The crossover of the Glass company portfolio, gallery, paintings, foundation etc. what this company actually is and does, was too unclear or vague. Better be definite about a clear portfolio of what they do. The talking in the mansion could leave, for the characters actually doing things, exploring the mansion, all combined with your artwork topic.


At least some wandering around would be nice. I'm not sure I could do away with the Curator's tour entirely. He just has this superpower of getting away with exposition-heavy monologuing.


Quoted from PrussianMosby
Nevertheless some truly refreshing aspects here. Find a way to make it concrete and 'closer'. The painters need a No 1 within their group, a character that stays in the readers focus.

However, a great accomplishment, Frank. Looking forward to see where you're going with it.


I really appreciate it.


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Hey frank

Congrats. Sorry didn’t get to yours sooner. I decided to read the last two stories till the end since I already read the first two.

Spoilers

3rd tale

Very jigsaw. It was hard for me to imagine where they were in the area. I get glass was on the ground. They managed to escape by walking over bodies (each other). But we’re they separate or huddled together?

Kind of curious what they’re connection was with the mastermind. I identified the drunk but the others.

How was he able to get them in there with his condition?

Invincible

Kind of funny. I like how they join forces.

I think to add a bit more conflict if they can address the whole glasses issue at his job. I mean the glasses issue would be something that the QA will see, no?

The overall tale, I think it will be best if each artist goes missing one by one. Drag this out during five days as oppose to one day. Something to consider

Hope this helps
Gabe



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Hey Frank, right off the bat, this reads much better than the version I originally read, so good job!

A couple things I'll point out...just things to think about.

Opening passage - Since we know from the Slug, we're outside a house, and then we now it's a mansion from the 1st action/description line, using "mansion" again is the 2nd line is redundant.  Would be better like this - " A dull light illuminates the many windows from within."  There will will probably be numerous times you can find examples like this.

Opening line of 3rd passage - "Five twenty-something ARTISTS - three men and two women - exit the rear of the limo, which then drives off." - Here, you have several things taking place - 5 people exit a limo - this takes more than a few seconds...maybe minutes, even, based on the line that follows, "Each shoulders a duffle or drags a carry-on suitcase.", meaning they must be bringing these duffels or carry-on suitcases with them from the back seat, because the 1st line ends with the limo pulling away (included in the line with them exiting the limo).  Do you see what I'm saying?  The problem here is the inclusion of the limo pulling away.

4th passage - The problem here is the end of the passage - "t to greet the
Artists in an unhurried, almost condescending, tone with a German accent."  In a screenplay, you shouldn't ever tell what's about to happen, as it's an unfilmable, in reality.  Also, since he hasn't spoken yet, you shouldn't tell us how he sounds (German accent).  This should be shown in a wrylie, in his 1st dialogue.  Always show accents,etc by using a wrylie..or...if all of a certain "kind" of people speak in a certain way, you can use a note, so you don't continually use wrylies for each person.

The thing about the mispronunciation should also be a wrylie.

The way you did the mysterious sketcher is MUCH BETTER this way!  Only thing, is you don't need the "BACK TO:", as this is simply just another scene.

Page 2 - Note how both your 2nd and 3rd passages end in orphans - neither one needs to...or should.  If he's reaching out to shake hands, we know whose hand he's going to shake - you don't need to tell us that - in a way, it's an unfilmable, again...or a "tell".  Whatever it is, it's unnecessary.  Also, you have an "and" between "grins" and "thrusts" which could be/should be replaced by a comma, which in itself would most likely remove the orphan.  Same thing with the 3rd passage - the "and" isn't needed here, and would most likely do away with the lonely orphan.

Another orphan here - "Martirio and René avoid walking directly under the chandelier.", which is very easy to fix.  Replace "the chandelier" with "it", as it's obvious what you're referring to.

Page 3 - Check this out.  Here's a perfect example of how Mini Slugs work in your favor, versus using Full Slugs.

"The Curator opens a double-door that leads into...

INT. GLASS HOUSE - GALLERY - NIGHT"

I'd do it this way...

"The Curator opens a double-door that leads into the...

GALLERY"

And, IMO, you should continue using Mini's on this page, as they are all concurrent scenes...as in, no time is passing, and we these scenes have all already been set, and we know we're inside the Glass House.  So, for the next 2 Slugs, I'd simply use, "SECURITY ROOM" and "GALLERY".

Your intro is good.  You've set up some interesting characters and the lead in to your 1st vignette is well done.

That's all the time I have right now.  Hope it helps.





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A nicely done opening image with the limousine pulling up in front of the mansion showing the Glass Family Crest.

Having read the script in its entirety, I realize that the Curator’s dialogue:

Pg 2
The company started out making
hourglasses, but as you can see
expanded into almost every form of
high-quality glass-making.

Is extremely important, but can be glossed over since we’re only in the set up and it is only dialogue/exposition.

The seven foot Hour Glass at the end of the script is an imposing image that really speaks to the vaporous quality of time and in particular, I think, that The Curator, should be concerned and worried...

That is, if he needs more ash and fast.

This, I think is a critical element that you could employ to hasten and intensify the effects of internal conflict.

If we visually see the Curator having some kind of issues with the Hour Glass just before the guests arrive, we know something’s up and we’re guessing. It would take it up a notch.

I also note here, that the Curator doesn’t have a name. I think he should. And if he did, we know he's more than just a pretentious evil dude with an evil plan and is gonna win in the end.

Zhen and Hannah’s dialogue doesn’t lend anything to the story.

I'm noting you spent some good time trying to "draw up" the characters, but they don't have any effect on the story. They're basically stand alones. They hang out for awhile and then Poof!

The Curator introduces the idea of “the duelling sisters”, but then we see the Observer’s hand finishing the details of Oliver’s face.

When we hear about the sisters, we should probably see them briefly.

Also, now that I look again. The dialogue was and is fuzzy for me:

Curator
Back in the early Sixties a pair of
sisters sent in requests with such
intricate detail that we figured
they must have had some contest
between them.

Just what does that mean? The sisters both commissioned some kind of art with detailed requests. How does that indicate a contest?

We don’t know the sisters. Can’t see the requests with intricate detail and don’t understand how they could figure anything by it, nor how they would want to.

I would like to see Laura and Emma’s dialogue within the frame of their argument shortened and made more clear.

Laura doesn’t want the war to continue, but who is she intending to kill with that musket?

Emma says,

They’re round the corner by now.

I don’t understand.

Also

LAURA
Doesn’t that contradict what the
Gospel of Matthew said?

What contradicts? What’s the detail?

Bottom of Pg 13

Has Laura looking over the spell book.

We see a parody of a Christian Altar

She reads from the book and says,

Laura
I think I can play both parts.

Following this, we’re into the scene where they are handling the crate.

It feels jumpy to me. And even though she read it from the book: the priest/the nude woman
in the ritual, I don’t know if the info is going to zoom into our lilly brains.

Here:

Laura panics, scans the room. She inches her hand toward a
heavy red-and-white-striped candlestick.

The lid was not off yet. Where was Laura and where was the red and white striped candlestick?

What is really good about the crate scene, however: Is

GLAZIER AND ARTISAN COMPANY

And maybe it’s not the fashion anymore, I don’t know, but I would capitalize it. And I would have that box DOING SOMETHING that boxes don’t do.

And I think that would freak out Emma more than that red and white candle stick.

It would seem at this point, Emma would know something is very wrong and she wouldn’t

smile and walk out of the room.

Why would she smile at all? I think if she did, it would be a pretend smile, and then she would hang out behind a slightly ajar door, trying to see just exactly what Laura was doing.

Now after the point in which the demon has been summoned, killed off Emma and then dies himself, we wind up

Back at the Glass House.

There’s no transition and it’s jolting. But what I found difficult, and I couldn’t quite say exactly--
It was the dialogue of The Curator:

CURATOR
René and Jen are the first two
digital artists to join our artistin-
residence program.

I guess I was thinking: Why do I need to know that. And why does Hannah say,

Ah.

And Martirio says,

That takes talent, too.
I might have gone that way
if I knew about it earlier.

*That dialogue seemed very unnatural and off balance for the story.

Emma just had her head severed and a demon was defeated. I think what I need is Laura;

Doing what she needs to do to make up for what she’s done and she infiltrates the artist’s worlds then and there, subtly, doing stuff that makes her presence known.

If she does, the Curator might become even more worried. And his attitude might not be so blasé.

It should be mentioned that The Observer is a strong device that I think you can put to stronger effect.

How is something to think more on, but definitely it’s good and I think you can do a lot with it.

Considering the “Digital Arts” dialogue, since it’s fresh in my mind, perhaps you could have the observer also using such computer methods, creating striking effects that SHOW MORE than what the artists and curator see. Perhaps, Laura? Perhaps that Mirror Liz? Hmmm...

I have to complain about the dialogue again with René

Oh come on, man...

He sounds more like a rebellious  teenager than a suave artist.

Here the Curator is standing next to a painting but he says,

“This mirror does not show how one
appears at a casual glance; it does
not show how one wishes to be; its
sole purpose is to show how one
actually is.”

Change this so the Curator stands in front of an actual mirror.

THIS is the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to show the Curator as he actually IS. OLD AS DIRT. Not refined old. But would-be-dead old if it weren’t for the ash.

This is the time to show us and maybe, one of the artists catches a glimpse, have an unsettling moment that maybe, they’re just hallucinating. It’s late. After all, they’re tired.

Then, you can have him progress to the next painting.

I think the story idea of Liz versus Mirror Liz is good, but this conflict needs development.

Also, I think that it is more effective to merely injure the suitors than kill them off.

It is on this note that I have to say that I grew tired of the increasing gore and by the time I got to the last story with the broken glass glued onto the floor, I felt I’d had enough.

Might I say, “Over kill”? Tee tee.

I don’t think you should have the additional scene with the robot on page 75 unless you incorporate that aspect into the beginning.

I personally would like to see a good ending.

I’d like to see more conflict and worry in the Curator.

I’d like to see a strong protagonist even though in NIght Gallery mode, we wouldn't have the Curator being an actual part of the story, this is a challenge and the material generated can be utilized, I think, and turned into a single feature.

I’m wondering what happens if the Hour Glass were to completely fill up at the bottom. Or does the ash just keep disappearing? More on that. The whats and hows.

The first two stories have a lot of potential. The third I’d scrap and develop the whole Mansion History aspect which is really intriguing and I think you’ve done an excellent job with that idea.

Oh, I also should say: Good one on

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

This is really strong work for a draft of seven weeks.

Very impressive.  

Sandra









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Dreamscale
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Return of Sandra!    

What's shaking, girlfriend?  Long time.  Hope all is well.

You've been missed!!!  


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Quoted from GM
Hey frank

Congrats. Sorry didn’t get to yours sooner. I decided to read the last two stories till the end since I already read the first two.


Thanks for the re-read, Gabe. Your feedback really helped with the first couple stories.


Quoted from GM
Spoilers

3rd tale

Very jigsaw. It was hard for me to imagine where they were in the area. I get glass was on the ground. They managed to escape by walking over bodies (each other). But we’re they separate or huddled together?


They're all chained to the same post, but I wasn't absolutely clear about them all being in the same clearing. Easy enough to fix.


Quoted from GM
Kind of curious what they’re connection was with the mastermind. I identified the drunk but the others.


Facepalm. Completely missed this!

All four of these people were found drunk in public, and the Teetotaler has... a problem with that. This entire vignette needs better characterization anyway, so having the badguy shame each of them in turn would fit in.


Quoted from GM
How was he able to get them in there with his condition?


He has lots of hoist and cranes and time to plan. The hardest to explain is how he nabbed all four of them in the same day. I plan to leave that up to the viewer's imagination


Quoted from GM
Invincible


He wishes he was invincible.

I tried to find somewhere to slip in "Invisi-Bill", but it didn't work.


Quoted from GM
Kind of funny. I like how they join forces.

I think to add a bit more conflict if they can address the whole glasses issue at his job. I mean the glasses issue would be something that the QA will see, no?


I should mention each time that he does NOT have the glasses on at work. They're non-correcting glasses, and he is only "invisible" when he wears them. This way he'll show up normally in the image history when he's NOT doing anything suspicious.

I'd rather not add another thing for him to explain to Shreya near the end... it might come out with an earlier victim.

My primary discomfort with this vignette is that something really terrible should happen to this guy. But it needs to end with him at large, and he's in the latest time slot.


Quoted from GM
The overall tale, I think it will be best if each artist goes missing one by one. Drag this out during five days as oppose to one day. Something to consider

Hope this helps
Gabe


I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to rework the wraparound, but this is definitely a good kernel of an idea.

Thanks again, very helpful.


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Quoted from Dreamscale
Hey Frank, right off the bat, this reads much better than the version I originally read, so good job!


Thanks for the re-read.


Quoted from Dreamscale
A couple things I'll point out...just things to think about.

Opening passage - Since we know from the Slug, we're outside a house, and then we now it's a mansion from the 1st action/description line, using "mansion" again is the 2nd line is redundant.  Would be better like this - " A dull light illuminates the many windows from within."  There will will probably be numerous times you can find examples like this.


I find that I'm more careful about such things when trying to limbo under a page limit

Orphans will get their due during the revision.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Opening line of 3rd passage - "Five twenty-something ARTISTS - three men and two women - exit the rear of the limo, which then drives off." - Here, you have several things taking place - 5 people exit a limo - this takes more than a few seconds...maybe minutes, even, based on the line that follows, "Each shoulders a duffle or drags a carry-on suitcase.", meaning they must be bringing these duffels or carry-on suitcases with them from the back seat, because the 1st line ends with the limo pulling away (included in the line with them exiting the limo).  Do you see what I'm saying?  The problem here is the inclusion of the limo pulling away.


You're right, this is a bit jumbled. The unloading would definitely take longer on screen, so I should use it for a modium of characterizing. I think this would be the place to mention Hannah's especially large bag, though it will be tricky because she hasn't been properly introduced yet.


Quoted from Dreamscale
4th passage - The problem here is the end of the passage - "t to greet the
Artists in an unhurried, almost condescending, tone with a German accent."  In a screenplay, you shouldn't ever tell what's about to happen, as it's an unfilmable, in reality.  Also, since he hasn't spoken yet, you shouldn't tell us how he sounds (German accent).  This should be shown in a wrylie, in his 1st dialogue.  Always show accents,etc by using a wrylie..or...if all of a certain "kind" of people speak in a certain way, you can use a note, so you don't continually use wrylies for each person.


That's a good idea.


Quoted from Dreamscale
The thing about the mispronunciation should also be a wrylie.


I think I'll go with the earlier suggestion and just have him say Zen. Zhen correcting him should make it clear that Zen is incorrect.


Quoted from Dreamscale
The way you did the mysterious sketcher is MUCH BETTER this way!  Only thing, is you don't need the "BACK TO:", as this is simply just another scene.


A lot of good suggestions floating around now to help up the suspense here. Which is good, because I find it really hard to write for suspense.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 2 - Note how both your 2nd and 3rd passages end in orphans - neither one needs to...or should.  If he's reaching out to shake hands, we know whose hand he's going to shake - you don't need to tell us that - in a way, it's an unfilmable, again...or a "tell".  Whatever it is, it's unnecessary.  Also, you have an "and" between "grins" and "thrusts" which could be/should be replaced by a comma, which in itself would most likely remove the orphan.  Same thing with the 3rd passage - the "and" isn't needed here, and would most likely do away with the lonely orphan.

Another orphan here - "Martirio and René avoid walking directly under the chandelier.", which is very easy to fix.  Replace "the chandelier" with "it", as it's obvious what you're referring to.


All good points. I removed a lot of and's, but left some in for readability. Maybe the wrong ones.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 3 - Check this out.  Here's a perfect example of how Mini Slugs work in your favor, versus using Full Slugs.

"The Curator opens a double-door that leads into...

INT. GLASS HOUSE - GALLERY - NIGHT"

I'd do it this way...

"The Curator opens a double-door that leads into the...

GALLERY"

And, IMO, you should continue using Mini's on this page, as they are all concurrent scenes...as in, no time is passing, and we these scenes have all already been set, and we know we're inside the Glass House.  So, for the next 2 Slugs, I'd simply use, "SECURITY ROOM" and "GALLERY".


This would accomplish the continuity I was going for with the BACK TO: transitions. My only worry is that it would make for a really long scene.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Your intro is good.  You've set up some interesting characters and the lead in to your 1st vignette is well done.

That's all the time I have right now.  Hope it helps.


Yes, it does. Thanks!


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Hi Sandra, I don't think we've met. Thank you for the read.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.

A nicely done opening image with the limousine pulling up in front of the mansion showing the Glass Family Crest.

Having read the script in its entirety, I realize that the Curator’s dialogue:

Pg 2
The company started out making
hourglasses, but as you can see
expanded into almost every form of
high-quality glass-making.

Is extremely important, but can be glossed over since we’re only in the set up and it is only dialogue/exposition.


You're right, hourglasses should probably get mentioned at least once more before the finale.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
The seven foot Hour Glass at the end of the script is an imposing image that really speaks to the vaporous quality of time and in particular, I think, that The Curator, should be concerned and worried...

That is, if he needs more ash and fast.

This, I think is a critical element that you could employ to hasten and intensify the effects of internal conflict.


Hopefully I can make it clearer during the revision. He has no shortage of ash, per se. The problem is that each time he adds ash it dilutes some of his "self," and he reached a critical point where he no longer feels like himself (specifically, he no longer feels the urge to create art).

The Artists are going to be added as ash, but he's after their artistic nature rather than their years. But, since he's going to get their years anyway, might as well pick young ones.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
If we visually see the Curator having some kind of issues with the Hour Glass just before the guests arrive, we know something’s up and we’re guessing. It would take it up a notch.


Very good idea. I've been getting some really good ideas about upping the wrap-around, the hard part will be settling on some and not others.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
I also note here, that the Curator doesn’t have a name. I think he should. And if he did, we know he's more than just a pretentious evil dude with an evil plan and is gonna win in the end.


He's supposed to be Ranulf Glas. It'd probably be clearer if the Observer referred to him as such.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Zhen and Hannah’s dialogue doesn’t lend anything to the story.

I'm noting you spent some good time trying to "draw up" the characters, but they don't have any effect on the story. They're basically stand alones. They hang out for awhile and then Poof!


It's actually worse than that... it's been pointed out that there's no real protagonist at all. My current idea is to place an ancestor of each artist into one of the vignettes, someone who caused a problem for its villain even if they didn't defeat him/her.

For example, it can easily be Leroy who gets the Teetotaler captured.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
The Curator introduces the idea of “the duelling sisters”, but then we see the Observer’s hand finishing the details of Oliver’s face.


That is a bit of a non sequitur.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
When we hear about the sisters, we should probably see them briefly.

Also, now that I look again. The dialogue was and is fuzzy for me:

Curator
Back in the early Sixties a pair of
sisters sent in requests with such
intricate detail that we figured
they must have had some contest
between them.

Just what does that mean? The sisters both commissioned some kind of art with detailed requests. How does that indicate a contest?

We don’t know the sisters. Can’t see the requests with intricate detail and don’t understand how they could figure anything by it, nor how they would want to.


I suppose we could see a request or two from each in flashback as the Curator is talking. The third vignette could probably also use a flashback to help intro it.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
I would like to see Laura and Emma’s dialogue within the frame of their argument shortened and made more clear.

Laura doesn’t want the war to continue, but who is she intending to kill with that musket?

Emma says,

They’re round the corner by now.

I don’t understand.


The gentlemen outside were West Point cadets who hail from Confederate states. Historically, they resigned their positions in the Academy a couple at a time until they'd all gone home to take up officer positions in the Confederate Army.

Laura wants to prevent the perceived enemies from getting home to join the fight.

At the time, most people believed there would be a few skirmishes then one monumental battle between North and South to settle the entire war. It most certainly did not work out that way, but there was a palpable rush to join the fighting.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Also

LAURA
Doesn’t that contradict what the
Gospel of Matthew said?

What contradicts? What’s the detail?


I didn't want to get too far into the weeds on this lest it offend someone, but Matthew and John downright contradict each other in places, such as John the Baptist recognizing Jesus as Christ or not.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Bottom of Pg 13

Has Laura looking over the spell book.

We see a parody of a Christian Altar

She reads from the book and says,

Laura
I think I can play both parts.

Following this, we’re into the scene where they are handling the crate.

It feels jumpy to me. And even though she read it from the book: the priest/the nude woman
in the ritual, I don’t know if the info is going to zoom into our lilly brains.


This actually ties into the scene BEFORE it. The witch just told Emma that it takes two to do the evil tango, so Emma now has a false sense of security.

The witch wasn't even wrong (in real life Satanists use a nude woman as an altar when possible), it's just that no one thought that Laura might be improvising.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Here:

Laura panics, scans the room. She inches her hand toward a
heavy red-and-white-striped candlestick.

The lid was not off yet. Where was Laura and where was the red and white striped candlestick?


Laura knows that there are skulls in there, and the point is to show that she's gotten to the point where she's willing to hurt and maybe imprison her sister to fulfill her self-given mission.

The whole room is full of patriotic stuff, so a red-and-white-striped candlestick could be just about anywhere.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
What is really good about the crate scene, however: Is

GLAZIER AND ARTISAN COMPANY

And maybe it’s not the fashion anymore, I don’t know, but I would capitalize it. And I would have that box DOING SOMETHING that boxes don’t do.


Actually, a sound that implies the skulls burrowed into the wood chips would be nice.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
And I think that would freak out Emma more than that red and white candle stick.

It would seem at this point, Emma would know something is very wrong and she wouldn’t

smile and walk out of the room.

Why would she smile at all? I think if she did, it would be a pretend smile, and then she would hang out behind a slightly ajar door, trying to see just exactly what Laura was doing.


Emma has no idea how far things have gone at this point. She's worried, but only in a general way. She offered her support, and thinks she's done for now.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Now after the point in which the demon has been summoned, killed off Emma and then dies himself, we wind up

Back at the Glass House.

There’s no transition and it’s jolting. But what I found difficult, and I couldn’t quite say exactly--


The whole story definitely needs some help with the transitions.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
It was the dialogue of The Curator:

CURATOR
René and Jen are the first two
digital artists to join our artistin-
residence program.

I guess I was thinking: Why do I need to know that. And why does Hannah say,

Ah.

And Martirio says,

That takes talent, too.
I might have gone that way
if I knew about it earlier.

*That dialogue seemed very unnatural and off balance for the story.


It was just to give a couple bits of character. Hannah is just being condescending about digital being a less-worthy artform.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Emma just had her head severed and a demon was defeated. I think what I need is Laura;

Doing what she needs to do to make up for what she’s done and she infiltrates the artist’s worlds then and there, subtly, doing stuff that makes her presence known.

If she does, the Curator might become even more worried. And his attitude might not be so blasé.


We do see Laura again eventually, she basically spends the rest of her life in penance as a nun. Note that by destroying the demon she did do some major damage to the badguy side. In the revision, I plan to have the Curator holding a grudge about that, taking it out on her relatives (though not direct descendants of course), Hannah and Oliver.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
It should be mentioned that The Observer is a strong device that I think you can put to stronger effect.

How is something to think more on, but definitely it’s good and I think you can do a lot with it.


One idea I have to build suspense is to have the Observer sketch them with expressions of suffering.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Considering the “Digital Arts” dialogue, since it’s fresh in my mind, perhaps you could have the observer also using such computer methods, creating striking effects that SHOW MORE than what the artists and curator see. Perhaps, Laura? Perhaps that Mirror Liz? Hmmm...


I'm not sure exactly how yet, but there's definitely some potential in the variety of monitors in the Observer's room.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
I have to complain about the dialogue again with René

Oh come on, man...

He sounds more like a rebellious  teenager than a suave artist.


He's probably going to get "recast" anyway... but I imagine these artists much more as "young and talented" than "suave and sophisticated."

Also, René's dialogue is my terrible attempt at writing an accent. Another reason to "recast" the character.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Here the Curator is standing next to a painting but he says,

“This mirror does not show how one
appears at a casual glance; it does
not show how one wishes to be; its
sole purpose is to show how one
actually is.”

Change this so the Curator stands in front of an actual mirror.

THIS is the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to show the Curator as he actually IS. OLD AS DIRT. Not refined old. But would-be-dead old if it weren’t for the ash.

This is the time to show us and maybe, one of the artists catches a glimpse, have an unsettling moment that maybe, they’re just hallucinating. It’s late. After all, they’re tired.


I've been getting lots of requests for More Creepy Mansion, and something like this would fit right in.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
Then, you can have him progress to the next painting.

I think the story idea of Liz versus Mirror Liz is good, but this conflict needs development.

Also, I think that it is more effective to merely injure the suitors than kill them off.


The problem with leaving them alive is that it makes it far more likely that someone will "connect the dots."


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
It is on this note that I have to say that I grew tired of the increasing gore and by the time I got to the last story with the broken glass glued onto the floor, I felt I’d had enough.

Might I say, “Over kill”? Tee tee.


This was a risk I took in trying to touch on different sub-genres of horror, that relatively few would like ALL of the pieces. It's not so much a deliberate artistic choice on my part... more an admission that I couldn't come up with several interesting variations on the same story type.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
I don’t think you should have the additional scene with the robot on page 75 unless you incorporate that aspect into the beginning.


You're right. It should tie in well or just not be there.

It was my hat tip to the "Hey, where's the zombie apocalypse story?"


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
I personally would like to see a good ending.

I’d like to see more conflict and worry in the Curator.

I’d like to see a strong protagonist even though in NIght Gallery mode, we wouldn't have the Curator being an actual part of the story, this is a challenge and the material generated can be utilized, I think, and turned into a single feature.


A single protagonist isn't realistic, but as I mentioned putting Artist family members in the stories will help tie it together.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
I’m wondering what happens if the Hour Glass were to completely fill up at the bottom. Or does the ash just keep disappearing? More on that. The whats and hows.


At one point I had the Curator say "There should be more in the bottom, but I don't ask questions." The guy says SO MUCH that I ended up cutting a lot of it.

As things get re-arranged to tell the story better, this nugget may find its way back in.


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
The first two stories have a lot of potential. The third I’d scrap and develop the whole Mansion History aspect which is really intriguing and I think you’ve done an excellent job with that idea.

Oh, I also should say: Good one on

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

This is really strong work for a draft of seven weeks.

Very impressive.  

Sandra


Thank you very much for the great feedback.


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