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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  The Spirit of 1865 Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Spirit of 1865  (currently 1642 views)
Don
Posted: May 1st, 2006, 10:20pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Spirit of 1865 by Mike Jones (MGJ) - Action, Adventure, Fantasy - Alison discovers that a ghost lives next door to her. She must help the spirit make the transition into the next life. 100 pages - doc, format


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Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 13th, 2010, 6:18pm
revised script
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TAnthony
Posted: May 6th, 2006, 4:42pm Report to Moderator
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Spirit of 1987 had some very good parts in it that on-screen could be pretty creepy. But I didn't feel that the story was really a mystery like it said in the synopsis.

SPOILERS

TheGood
-Some of the scenes were very creepy, good job.
-The scene where Alison meets Mrs. Leefer in the beginning was also well done.
-The curator actually being a ghost was surprising

The Bad
-Alison or Robbie don't really have much of a personality. There's nothing special about either of them.
-I'd like to know alot more about Alison we don't know that much about her.
-In the action descriptions you don't need to scream. In one action sequence you wrote: 'AHHHHH!"  That's not neccesary.
-Another thing in your descriptions is when you pose questions like, "Maybe she dreamed it all up, was it a dream?" We can figure that out.
-I wanted a better description of death. The one you give is overdone.
-Why was there an oath made that no one can bring in live beings in the mansion?
-The dialogue could use alot of work. When really really strange things happened it didn't seem like Allison or Robbie were surprised at all. Especially when a civil war soldier showed up.
-The beginning should have more info on Alison, and other characters in the script wouldn't be bad either. There's very few.
-This script could also use more twists and surprises.

Good Luck!


"You wanna go to jail or you wanna go home? -- Training Day

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mgj
Posted: May 6th, 2006, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
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TAnthony:

You're right, it's not really a mystery.  It has elements fantasy, adventure, horror, even a little comedy.  Basically it's a ghost story.  

To answer your question - the reason no living beings were allowed in the mansion was because the spectre of death can detect the living.  As a society of the undead they were determined to avoid detection at all costs.  The fact that you were confused by this confirms my suspisions though.  I'll have to rework this.

I was surprised to see you found the characters of Alison and Robbie flat.  Robbie was basically conceived as a chubby outcast while Alison was sort of a tomboy.  You've given me something to think about now.  

Thanks for your review.  I'm glad you found it creepy.



"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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tonkatough
Posted: May 14th, 2006, 5:48am Report to Moderator
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This was enjoyable. Nothing outstanding. Once again MGJ has mastered the skill of creating scenes and stringing them together. Every scene is lean with not an ounce of fat and obeys perfectly the script writing rule of end a scene late and leave early.
This make the script very easy to read and keeps the story moving fast.

In this day and age I don not understand peoples fascination with ghosts. They just seem so damn silly. ( how does a spirit/soul have sight when they do not have the physical components that make up the human eye?)

The ghosts in this story are very grounded and simple. I like that. The ghost are not taken for granted or overly exploited with cheap CGI gimmicks such as floating or flying through the air or drifting through solid objects.

I loved the part where the children ask the lead female ghost if she had speical powers and the ghost is shocked and says along the lines of "God no!"
This keeps the ghost very human and real.

While reading the script I couldn't help but wonder what the sale pitch would be for this script. Girl meets ghost, girl gains ghost as compaion, girl must rescue ghost from evil developers who want to demolish ghost's haunting grounds.

Sounds kind of neat to me.

  


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mgj
Posted: May 14th, 2006, 11:22am Report to Moderator
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Tonkatough:

I guess no ghost story could ever hold up under scrutiny - good point.  I wondered while writing this if kids today were as scared/fascinated with ghosts as they used to be (I know they scared the heck out of me).

Old buildings still hold a deep fascination me though.  I love learning about my city's past history.  In a sense the spirits of the past can still live on through us.




"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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tonkatough
Posted: May 15th, 2006, 5:05am Report to Moderator
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Kids will lap up anything that is fantastic. Look at Harry Potter and that has ghosts in it.
The problem with ghosts is that it has been done so many times that I think it has hit a brick wall. A bit like vampires. To make a ghost story worth while You will have to pull a really big spin on it. Personally I don't think it is worth the effort and their are so many other mythological creatures that have not even been touched on. Like fairy for example.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


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mgj
Posted: May 15th, 2006, 9:27pm Report to Moderator
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Tonkatough:

This is an interesting topic and something I've wrestled with quite a bit.  

I'm conflicted about there needing to be some big spin put on it, as you say.  That's always seemed a bit gimmicky to me but you're probably right; you do have to guard against conventionality.  Personally, the number one complaint I get back, by far, is that my writing tends to be too conventional.  

The Spirit of 1897 is basically a straight up ghost story, plain and simple and probably suffers a bit from that fact.  There is no spin other than the fact that the ghosts are more human than in your average ghost story.  I like to think that what makes my story unique is the mood and tone in which it is presented, the colors and feeling that they evoke and not the subject matter.

If, as you say, ghosts and vampires have hit a brick wall then who am I to argue. Ultimately I believe that it's the human element that makes a story compelling and that the subject matter doesn't really matter, whether it be ghosts, demons or what have you.  

Of course, I say all of this knowing that I probably won't make it as a screenwriter until I learn to think outside the box.  Fairies?  Hmm.  You're giving me ideas.  


"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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