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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  The Package - WT Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    The Package - WT  (currently 1435 views)
Don
Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 11:15pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Package by Anonymouse2 - A mysterious package wreaks havoc on a Psychiatrist's home office. 5 pages - Short, Horror, Action


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 12:31am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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This is written by a polished writer, whose style I believe I recognise.

The writing was  much better than the other two I've read so far. It felt much more like a real world.

The story, left me a little cold. It was all disconnected. Random events that didn't link particularly coherently.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 6:36am Report to Moderator
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Hello writer

This is very well written - I followed it all without tripping up, very clear imagery in my head - This has to be from one of the SS regulars.

It was creepy as hell - I would not watch this short, purely because it would scare me too much. So kudos on the horror part. The action part? A little light I would say, but it's only 5 pages so I'm not going to mark you down for it.

I liked it - Good job writer.

Matt


Feature

42.2

Two steps to writing a good screenplay:
1) Write a bad one
2) Fix it
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LC
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 7:26am Report to Moderator
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I really felt I was in the midst of an intriguing, mysterious, scary tale but the story components left me scratching my head.

Fluoxetine (more common name Prozac) indicates our main guy, Phil, is suffering depression and the doc makes a comment about looking forward to seeing him putting himself out there. Btw, using the brand name would have been a better idea imho.

However, Phil, from what I can gather has just paid the doc a visit under false pretenses and is just scoping the place out for the location of the Safe.

Then a/the Package is delivered.
Nice spooky placement, but how it works in with the rest of the narrative I don't know.

When you brought the package back at the end I felt almost drawn back into the creep factor (but with all the buildup) I'm still left wondering what the Bobbleheads had to do with anything.

You write very well and know how to build suspense but I have a feeling half the story was left in your head and didn't make it onto the page. Jmho.


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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 7:45am Report to Moderator
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I thought the writing on this was very good.  Obviously a sure hand at work here.

There were a couple of things that threw me -- I don't really know the motivation for Phil, as a patient of the doctor, to rob the doctor.  I think he should at least make some offhanded remark to Lou about why they're hitting the place.

Another thing I'm not sure about is the mysterious delivery of the package.  We don't know who it's from or why it's delivered to this doctor.  Usually in horror movies there's some connection with the horror being perpetrated and the victims.  This just all happens very randomly, it seems, but I may have missed something.

I did like the horror elements and suspense you brought into play, but I'm trying to figure out the second genre other than horror.  Perhaps action? No sci-fi or comedy.  I'm not going to ding you for it, given the difficulty of the challenge and the otherwise good writing on display here.

Best of luck,
Gary


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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leitskev
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 1:39pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Pretty good stuff!

Notes as I read:

Clear writing, but meandering tone and set up. The opening descriptions kind of lull me to sleep. I'm not sure why some of them are even included. Do we need the detailed description of the neighborhood, including the trio of boys? Do we need to see him drinking scotch? I'm not sure how this sets up his character in any essential way.

But then things take off!

Very nice idea on the bobble head. My interest perks right at this point.

Then the writing is very nicely executed. I think the writer is very familiar with horror/action writing.

My one criticism would be the convenience of the timing of the arrival of the bobble head. It just happens to come the same day he's about to be robbed, and that's not explained. When the robbers first arrive at the house, I guessed incorrectly where it was going. I thought maybe one of his clients had some psychic awareness of the danger he was about to be in, so the gift was sent to protect him. But it turned out, as far as I can tell, that the arrival of the doll on the same day as the robbers is random. As a result, the story ends up not being tight...unless I am missing the connection. I will check back periodically to see if someone explains it for me.
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PKCardinal
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
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Many elements to like here. Each part is satisfying, though the whole is not. It's just a bit too random. My guess is when this is over, you'll add a couple of pages and have a really fun script. I'd just like to see the package have some sort of connection to the overall story. That is, it feels like the story doesn't work without knowing the "who/why" of the package.

I'm guessing this is a target of opportunity for Phil. There's really no need for him to fake symptoms to gain access... they break in at night. Given that, I'm surprised their plan is to kill the good doctor. Neither here nor there, but thought I'd share my thought on that.

Anyway, I enjoyed the read, and it's a good entry. Well done.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 1:57pm Report to Moderator
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Title is good.  Logline is good.

I prefer reading the script completely and then commenting, but here, I have to jump right in on the writing.

What is a "suburban"?  Is it a make of car?  If so, it needs to be Capped.  "sedan" is a very generic descriptor of a kind of car.

The opening 6 passages appear to be non relevant, and overly descriptive, ending with the birds chirping, which is most likely completely unnecessary.  Let's see...

The wrylie isn't correctly formatted, as they sit on their own line.

Story - I don't get it...at all.  The way it's written, it's to be taken seriously, but nothing makes any sense...as in no semblance of sense.

Characters - No real character for any of these characters.

Dialogue - Nothing great or remotely memorable here.

Prose - Way overwritten and with loads and loads of completely unnecessary filler.  We have almost 5 full pages and very little happens.  What's here could easily be written in less than 3 pages.

Criteria - There is horror, there is some action, and there is a bobblehead.  What the bobblehead is doing here is a complete mystery and that's not the good kind of mystery.

You're lucky, because based on how the scoring goes, you will score much higher than you should, but I have to base my score on how the scoring was laid out.  This is not a good script in any way, but it will score much higher than it should, sadly.

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Hank
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 4:59pm Report to Moderator
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pg. 2 - ‘opens the flaps the box’ missing an ‘of’.
pg. 5 - When Lou smashes through the wall, I was under the impression they were on different floor levels.

The possession of the doctor was pretty creepy, though him in the corner reminds me too much of ‘The Blair Witch Project’. I would try to shake up the reveal of his new form. I found the first half of this script too slow-paced. Things definitely pick up in the second half, still I do not think this can be classified in the action genre, unless it were more drawn out.

Revision History (1 edits)
Hank  -  June 4th, 2019, 5:27pm
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Warren
Posted: June 5th, 2019, 4:00am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

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Hi writer,


Quoted Text
The large two-story colonial bakes in the summer heat. The
front lawn has recently been mowed, the bushes trimmed, etc.


I hate seeing "etc" in a script, it's just lazy writing. It's your story, tell us what you want us to see. I think the point was made with "recently been mowed, the bushes trimmed" anyway.


Quoted Text
A trio of NEIGHBORHOOD BOYS, 12-14, ride their bikes along
the sidewalk.


Do their ages somehow matter to the story? Boys riding bikes would be enough.

This already seems like it's going to be over written.


Quoted Text
nice, mahogany desk


You're a writer, surely you can find a better descriptor than "nice".


Quoted Text
DR. GOODMAN (CONT)
I’ll see you back here Thursday
the... (checks cellphone) The
eighth. That should be long enough
for you to see some real results.
In the meantime, I want you to
continue to put yourself out there.


While doing a wrylie this way may save you a line, it looks bad and would be better formatted correctly.

It's definitely over written.


Quoted Text
INT. DR. GOODMAN’S HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER


No real need for LATER, we assume it's later with the full slug change, the only reason we wouldn't is if you used CONTINUOUS in the slug.

I don't think some tires squealing and a couple of O.S. gunshots make this an action so this is straight horror. No fusion of genres.

Here we have some stuff-just-happens-because horror, my absolute least favourite kind. The entire bobblehead angle is so underdeveloped it makes no sense at all. I'm pretty sure I know whose calling card this is.

Not for me.

All the best.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Warren  -  June 5th, 2019, 11:03pm
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: June 5th, 2019, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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Didn't really see any Action in the script so didn't really hit the fusion bit for me.

It's well written, couple of errors that a tidy up would fix, but...

It all feels a little disconnected at the minute.

The bobblehead - where did this come from and why, did I miss something.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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khamanna
Posted: June 5th, 2019, 11:01pm Report to Moderator
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The progression of events here is very slow.
A lot of detail that doesn't matter in my opinion. A queen sized bed. Or the description of the kitchen.
There's much more on the prose side that you could cut I think.
It's just all that overwriting (imo it's overwriten) gets in the way of the read and my mind wanders off.
Overall it's hard for me to connect with it for some reason. I want to but too much distraction I guess.
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jayrex
Posted: June 6th, 2019, 11:50am Report to Moderator
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Cut to three weeks earlier

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I found this to be a slow read.  The story crawled along.  The action limited, the horror short lived.

It was well written and the bobble head doll featured a bit.  The doctor looking and acting maniacal would be better off dead killed by the doll.

And before Phil can exit, the door closes on him.


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ReneC
Posted: June 6th, 2019, 12:21pm Report to Moderator
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This is straight up horror. The action isn't genre-specific, it's necessary for the horror. The horror is really well done, but it fails to meet the criteria in my mind.

Great visuals with the bobblehead and Dr. Goodman. I love that it was hand-carved and the effect was creepy, though you could probably skip the red eyes.

It would have been nice to know something more about the why though. The story isn't about who's targeting Goodman or what's behind the creepy possession/transformation, it's just the inciting incident for the robbery gone wrong. Outside of the challenge, the question would be why a bobblehead, and unlike many other entries this one doesn't even bother to give a hint.

What I don't get is the package in Phil's car. Why is it there? Is Bobblehead Goodman responsible? How did he do that? If it's someone else...again, how? Why?

Great writing, you nailed the horror, strong visuals, but the story and especially the ending could be better.


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Spqr
Posted: June 6th, 2019, 2:27pm Report to Moderator
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Dr Goodman was not intrinsic to the story. He just happened to live in the house Lou and Phil broke into. And maybe it was too much coincidence that the evil doll took over Goodman's body on the same night that the break-in happened. At the end, Phil is spooked by the drumming coming from the box beside him. What if the drumming is instead coming from inside the glovebox and it starts slowly opening...
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