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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Revenge of a Sea Witch - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    Revenge of a Sea Witch - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 2790 views)
Don
Posted: February 26th, 2011, 11:56am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Revenge of a Sea Witch by Henry Pierrepoint - Short - Two seafaring thieves pick the wrong person to rob.

A February 2011 One Week Challenge script. - pdf, format


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wannabe
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 12:52pm Report to Moderator
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I really liked these brothers.  Even though they were criminals, I felt sympathy for them and that's quite an accomplishment in only 10 pages.  

Great description of the fog rolling in, nice tension there.  

I liked this story.  I think there could have been a tad more info on why the sea witch was somehow attached to the man they killed.  For me that was vague and should have been explained a little more.  All in all it was a cool story with characters I cared about.  Nice work.

Nitpicky Stuff:

“Any trace of air movement had ceased well over an hour before and the normally turbulent sea had become glassy calm.” – unfilmable description.  How do we know what it normally looks like or what it looked like an hour ago?  Be careful of these types of unfilmable statements in your narrative:  “A sudden flush of utter vulnerability courses through his body.”” he seems to lose all sense of time and distance.”” He feels as though he has walked a mile without reaching his destination.”” His mind churns with the possibilities of what he has just touched. Deep down, he hopes – he prays - that his brother had become so frightened that he had lost control of his bladder.” – you can’t tell us what people are thinking and feeling.  You have to show us somehow.  That’s one of the things that makes screenwriting so challenging.

You have a lot of “ings”.  try to keep those to a minimum.  “After tightening a rope at port side, he joins Sig at stern.”  Maybe—He tightens a rope at port side then joins Sig at stern.

Why aren’t your pages numbered? And you’re missing FADE IN and FADE OUT.
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bert
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 1:14pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this one alright.

Some of the passages were wasted and unnecessary, such as telling us what happened to air movements hours ago, or what Orren might be hoping and praying for.  Losing some of those overtly descriptive passages that offer nothing visual would tighten this up a bit.

The tension on the boat is good enough, but I was disappointed by the end.  I kept expecting some late "Tales from the Crypt" sort of moment where the ultimate fate of these men is revealed to us -- but instead got a lady on a hill, which did not do it for me.

When Barber says, "Now is not the time, son", I was like, "Um…yeah, it is."  If not now, when?  

So this one does not find itself at the top or the bottom.  It is a solid entry that lands somewhere in the middle.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 1:38pm Report to Moderator
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The FADE IN police are going to come after you...

In any event, let's get on with it.


Quoted Text
moon (light)...purple hue.

First time for everything. Usually moonlight is rather pale, and movie moonlight is sometimes light blue. But purple...hokey-doke. Could be supernatural stuff, I'll let it slide.

Sig should drop the "Orr" of his dialog, p1. I know his buddy's Orrin- but it still reads odd. They are brothers, and may have a shorthand speech, but I'm tempted to wonder if there are any oars on the boat. Just me I 'spose, "Orr"--it just does not sound right. That's all. Sig calls him Orr a few times as the scrript goes on, but as I re-read the line, I could drop the Orr and lose nothing.

I was a bit worried about some of the early exposition, a wee bit of it seemed forced (to me, anyway) but the mood is set, so it mildly works.

Then, WHOOSH  p6- the author starts getting Wordy, second guessing what is seen:


Quoted Text
Silhouetted by the light, someone - or something - is standing
within.

He turns his head toward the stern and listens
for something – anything – but the low drone of the motor drowns
out all sound.


A Silhouette would take on the form of what object, be it a person or thing is there. It cannot be both; the 'something-anything" isn't needed because the motor drowns out everything else.


Quoted Text
He feels as though he has walked a mile without reaching his
destination.

He hopes – he prays - that his brother had become so
frightened that he had lost control of his bladder.


Un-visual inner state of being. And did he piss himself, or did he hope his brother did?

Some diaalog spills over onto the following page but with no CHARACTER (CONT) above it.

All in all, not bad for a OWC, but the piece falls apart for me halfway though because of the odd choice to go internal and not external. You might want to keep an eye out for that sort of thing.






-DjS





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Electric Dreamer
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 2:30pm Report to Moderator
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Good on ya for entering the fray commonly known as the OWC.
This one has a promising atmosphere, but it's mired by unfilmables and exposition.
The leads seemed pretty timid for thieves and wayward killers.
The dialogue foretold everything so no chance of any surprises here.
I was bummed we didn't get to see the gruesome death throes.
No one was impaled on a mast or strangled with a pocket watch chain. Alas.
But you did manage a consistent narrative which is more than some entries. Kudos.

E.D.


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screenrider
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 4:32pm Report to Moderator
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This one fell flat for me.   A tough read, very little payoff.   I can tell you put a lot of work into it creatively-speaking, though, so good job on that.   Some of the decriptions need to be trimmed.  Congrats on completing the challenge.  Not an easy task.
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leitskev
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 5:20pm Report to Moderator
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Straightforward story. Would like to see a twist, something different. Or maybe something to make one think of this if they find themselves at sea in a small boat.

The gypsy comment didn't fully match up. There really wasn't a reason for them to fear a sea witch based on that. Maybe create some reason for them to be afraid. If the witch lives on a local idland, seems they would know of her, and maybe her husband. If they then knew it was the witches husband, they could be struggling to get to the shore as fast as they could.

Maybe could describe the killings a little. The witch is pissed, maybe she'll mess with them.

But there is something here to work with. Brothers at sea, crooks with a conscience, an island witch. Keep working on it.  Decent first draft.
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grademan
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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Predictable yet solid story * over did it on descriptions like “the light from the full moon is now a memory” * don’t beat the reader with the just desserts the brothers got * interesting how two sea men didn’t see the fog coming until surrounded - must have been the purple haze from the moon * several parts of this would play well on film
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Dreamscale
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
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Oh man...no, no, no...so many problems going on here.  I'm not even sure where to begin, but I'll try.

Your title is God Awful.  Maybe you ran out of time and had to throw something up, but any other excuse is unacceptable.

You start out writing in the wrong tense ("Any trace of air movement had ceased well over an hour before and the normally turbulent sea had become glassy calm.").  Scripts are written in the present tense...always.

So many unfilmables everywhere.  So much crazy novelistic, overly detailed prose.  So little story.

Just didn't work in any way, sorry to say.


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c m hall
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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I like the story, I think you create great atmosphere and nervous, interesting characters in the 2 brothers.  There's really too much inner turmoil and unspoken emotions and FOG for this to work as a short film, I think.  Good story, though.
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Ryan1
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 7:56pm Report to Moderator
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One major problem I had with this script is that you don't show us one of the most important parts of the story:  the murder of the old man.  These brothers talked and talked about it, but if you had started your script with that scene, you wouldn't have had to use all that page space on their dialogue.  You could have shown us the look on the old man's face and the brothers' reaction.

So, a big part of the story was missing, IMO.  We never understand the connection to the sea witch because we never got to meet the old man, who maybe could have spoken some parting words as a warning to the brothers.

This script did have some good atmosphere, but just not enough substance for me.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 10:08pm Report to Moderator
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I like the title. I like the setting on the boat and the fog rolling in.

Here:  

ORREN
You knew damn well what you were
getting yourself into, brother. This ain't an honest man’s trade.

SIG
But it didn't need to end like that.

*I didn't know what the characters were talking about.

Good for you for completing the challenge.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Ledbetter
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 10:25pm Report to Moderator
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Okay,
Not a bad story. The talk back and forth felt a little forced for me. Where you lost me was when this script went into 2 straight pages of action and description.

On and on it went and by time it was done, so was I.

You have to break that stuff up. Give it to us in bits and pieces, not by the slab.

Shawn.....><


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khamanna
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 11:57pm Report to Moderator
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They killed an old man for two coins but why? Were these some kind of special coins? And why the old man took the coins when he boarded the boat with them.

The witch and I assume it's the old man's wife knew they would be on the boat killing her husband? Otherwise how she would know what they were doing and avenge his death?

I'm asking too many questions perhaps but this left me with questions.

Also, for some reason I never felt for the killers. Although maybe I'm not even supposed to fill for them but since these are your main characters.

The old lady's revenge was a good twist however, somewhat cool - a wife turns out to be a sea witch.... It's just it was a bit unexpected for me.
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stevie
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 4:07pm Report to Moderator
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This had a good feel to it - challenge wise - but there was a fair bit of clutter in the writing.
Too much intro and then exposition.

The formatting was fine but you need to cut about 4 pages from it, to make it tighter.

Nice effort though


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keaton01
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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Damn them sea witches!

"Pity for us." Why do people feel the need to explain things in dialog. Try this with action, it's always more entertaining. I mean seriously you just told us the whole tale. Is it really needed?

Don't let your dialog cross the page and if you need to use a MORE and CONTD.

Gore doesn't make a horror and try mystery it can really ramp up tension.


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Blakkwolfe
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 10:42pm Report to Moderator
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Orren and Sig, for whatever reason, manage to rob the wrong guy...who is married to a sea witch? Is that why Mrs. Worthington is expecting Barber? Dialogue is a bit flat...Watch out for unfilmables; things like "the warm, wet spot." We can see its wet, but warm takes a bit more thought. Perhaps a little steam or vapor rises from it. Keep it visual. We can't see his mind churning, either, with the possibilities. Demonstrate it, have him act it out. Would have liked a little bit more action on the boat. These guys are tough sailors...They should at least put up a fight! Smash the glass on the wheelhouse! Break stuff! These guys are too passive. Give them more to do.


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper
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shootingduck
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 1:14pm Report to Moderator
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This is written more like a short story than a short screenplay.  Passive language, past tense, unfilmable descriptions.  What's worse, we never really get to see your characters do anything.  The entire backstory is given in dialogue between two men sitting on a slowly drifting boat.  There's not enough substance to the story, nothing to really get your audience thinking, because it's all right there in plain black and white.  This is what happened, this is what we fear might happen... then it happens.  That formula doesn't really make for good drama as it is just too straight forward.

The biggest difference between screenwriting and writing a short story is showing rather than telling...  In a book, overly descriptive passages are the norm because we're never going to see them, except in the images created in our own minds.  A screenplay is basically a blue print for a film.  Your action should be short and sweet and get the point across as visually as possible using as few words as possible.  Give us the essentials, what we NEED to see.  If you insist on giving the backstory of the robbery in dialogue, rather than showing the robbery itself, make the dialogue between the characters realistic, tense, dramatic, interesting.  As it currently reads, it's two men having a peaceful conversation.  I think it'd be more interesting if there were more conflict...  maybe the fog rolls in on them as they're fighting over the events that just transpired instead of just sitting around chatting.  They go from being at each other's throats, to fearful of what's about to happen, to protective of each other in survival mode.  Give your characters a range of emotions to go through so they're not flat and one dimensional.  Your actors will appreciate the challenge...
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RayW
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 2:20pm Report to Moderator
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Howdy, Henry

This is the second story i thought I'd left comments on. WTH?
Anyway, "Sorry!" Read this when it was first posted.
Whatever.

FADE IN left justified needed. Same for right justified FADE OUT: at end.

Where'd your page numbers go?

"A sudden flush of utter vulnerability courses through his body."
Um... that's called an unfilmable, I believe.
"He shudders" will suffice.

"In the tense darkness, he seems to lose all sense of time and distance."
Okay, you can't keep doing this. No one can put that on film. Quit it.

" The rumble of the motor has become disorienting."
OMG. Stop. Please.


Story-wise, though, this is a pretty decent seafaring story.
Creepy, spooky, all that good stuff.

Honestly, hang around here, pick up some more formatting and style techniques and you'll be good to go before the next OWC.
My first was a disaster. LOL!
I'll show you the scars, but then i'll have to slit your throat.
Your call.  




Revision History (1 edits)
RayW  -  March 5th, 2011, 5:19am
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 2:30pm Report to Moderator
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Pros

Can really picture it on screen...the moonlight on the sea, the rocking of the boat...the way the mist rolls in.

The story is creepy and the atmosphere creepy.

Cons

As others have said...it would have helped to have seen the scene the brothers were discussing. Always better to show than tell.

I also didn't fully understand the importance of the coins..that idea needs stiffening and expanding upon. Take that and use it to create a stronger ending with a real twist that we didn't see coming.

Overall, a strong entry.

Revision History (1 edits)
Scar Tissue Films  -  March 4th, 2011, 6:41pm
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greg
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 6:08pm Report to Moderator
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Started out good but ended pretty flat.  

There's a good conflict brewing here with the brothers, and I thought for a while everything was flowing fine including pace and dialogue.  But once it went to two pages of description (much of which could be significantly trimmed.  Putting that Orren is hoping the wet stuff is from his brother losing is bladder wouldn't translate at all to camera and there's a lot of those types of descriptions) for Orren to basically walk around the boat, discover his dead brother, and then die, there was pretty much nothing left but an anticlimactic ending.

I think there's a lot of potential for this one.  Rework the final action and ending and you'd have something special here.

Regardless, good job.

Greg


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reuel51
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I didn't get to all of these during the challenge, but you read and commented on mine, so I wanted to return the favor.

This is very wordy and rife with unfilmables... yet it didn't seem to bother me quite as much as usual. It slowed things down a bit, but I still followed along.

I didn't buy into the dialog between the brothers. It seemed very expository and forced.

Some of the imagery with the weather and the lights is awesome! Those were the most memorable parts for me. You have a way of painting a picture.

I think the story seemed to suffer from your focus on what everything looked like, though. There wasn't an explanation how the Sea Witch was tied to the Old Man they murdered, that, to me, seems rather important.


new Ignoble 5 pgs, Shock Drama (could be disturbing)
Faking It 5 pgs MP 2nd place Feb 2011
Consequences 7 pgs Thriller
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