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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  The God Stick - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Angry Bear
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  Author    The God Stick - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 4843 views)
Don
Posted: February 26th, 2011, 11:57am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The God Stick by Ryan Lee (ryan1) - Short - A young man and his grandfather venture into an Irish forest, where the grandfather explains a grim family burden. 10 pages

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


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

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  November 22nd, 2011, 7:02pm
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 11:49pm Report to Moderator
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The God Stick is a completely solid piece of work. It's suitable for children, I think. And I believe it would make a nice Halloween entry.

Very lovely. Polished. Nice to see such a fine piece of work in only a week.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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screenrider
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 12:08am Report to Moderator
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This was a breath of fresh air.   Fun.  Straight forward.   Qick read.   It would've been nice to have a twist at the end, but then again it didn't really need one.    Not much else to say.

Good job.
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mcornetto
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 1:02am Report to Moderator
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Wow! That was quite good.  It's going to be really difficult to top that one.  There were minor niggling things I'd suggest to change but it really doesn't need them.  

Production of this wouldn't be costly but there would be one spot that would be rather tricky.  I don't think there would be much trouble with making it believable either.      
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greg
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 1:46am Report to Moderator
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Pacing and all that technical crap was terrific.  

The flashbacks didn't really do anything for me, but overall I thought this was good.  That's all I'm gonna say.

Greg


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wannabe
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 2:25am Report to Moderator
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This was written very well.  The story was cool and I liked the relationship between Sean and his Grand da.  That was the best part IMO.  Really good dialog and good use of the VO over the flashbacks.  Great work!!
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Eoin
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 4:17am Report to Moderator
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Not a bad piece of writing. You did some solid research which embued the writing with a sense of the authetic. If I was nit picking I'd say the family name should be O' Rourke and that nobody uses boyo, except American shows making a stab at 'tura lura, be God and be gora, Top O the Morning to ya laddy' Irish. I was a little disappointed you didn't make the shillelagh the Grandfather had  the cudgel, because that's exactly what it is, more so than a supposed walking stick. It would also have been a passing of the guard moment, something special the family do. It would also explain why the grandfather never leaves it out of sight. Leaving the God Stick in the cabin just seemed a bit unbelievable, especially given it's importance. I'm not going to go into why the priest had extra marital affairs! Overall, great job, a nice read with well thought characters and plot. Great work on completing the OWC.
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Pard
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 4:53am Report to Moderator
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This was a fun and entertaining script. Well written.  A great short for the halloween season.  Reminded me of when Ash fights that witch women in the pit at the start of Army of Darkness.

As Eoin pointed out I thought that the Grandfather's walking stick would be the weapon, and wasn't really sure why they'd leave the God Stick in the cabin.

Overall though nice job!
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bert
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 8:52am Report to Moderator
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This one is enjoyable.  Kind of unrealistic how Adam throws Sean into the midst of a screw-job like that, but it is also kind of funny, and serves as part of this story's charm, I suppose.

That the shillelagh itself is not the God Stick is a lost opportunity.

The last bits of dialogue end the story well on an appropriate note.

A well-done entry.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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khamanna
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:15am Report to Moderator
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This was wonderful.

Up until the ending - I was waiting for more than Sean killing Sorcha. I thought there's a twist waiting to explode on me.

But the Sorcha story and how they have to defeat her every year is great. Would make a great halloween entry.
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RayW
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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Hi, Albert

Excellent story.
I've the same grievances as the others, which are pretty minor.
Ends rather short, not abrupt, just short.
Otherwise, you did very well on this.

Nice dialog and action/fight choreography (Lord, I hate doing those.)

Congratulations.



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grademan
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:17am Report to Moderator
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The God Stick * loved it! * all that in nine pages in one week?! * creative and well written * speak softly and carry a big stick
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leitskev
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:26am Report to Moderator
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Very well written. I sensed a family bond between grandfather and the young man. The dialogue was generally good, but sometimes did not seem quite natural, easily fixed on rewrites.

Questions on the story: did the father die fighting the witch? This was implied, but he died in April, not on Samhain. Maybe his heart was just weak from years of battle.

It seems strange to me that the grandfather was going to just bring him to the fight with no training or preparation. Also, why can't the family get help with the witch? Are they the only ones who can wield the Godstick, and if so, why?

I think in horror you can go one of two ways. One way is the scary spooky way, where you want to frighten your audience, even if just for a moment, or at least creep them out. To do this, the story needs to in some way seem plausible. There has to be a part of the viewer's mind that says "well, maybe." Think of when you were a kid, listening to someone tell a spooky tale. The ones that impacted you were the ones that when you heard them made you think, "well, maybe that could happen."

Adults want to do the same thing. Maybe it reminds them of their childhood, I don't know. But they want to suspend disbelief for just a moment. They know the story is not true, that it could not be true, but they want some part of their mind to say, "well, maybe it could be true."  For that to happen, as much of the story has to seem plausible as is possible, and still seem scary of course. Hard to do.

The second way to go with horror is to take the attitude that there is no way to make this seem plausible, so let's run in the other direction, make it really over the top not believable. For that to have entertainment value it has to be a comedy. For example think of zombie movies.

I think with this story you are down the middle and need to go more in one direction or the other. You could really turn this into a comedy if you wanted. All the props are there, and the writing talent certainly is up to the task.

Or, if you wanted to go the scary route, here's some ideas. As I said, I can't picture Grandpa just thrusting this on his grandson without preparation. UNLESS he had never intended this for him, but circumstances suddenly force him to. Maybe Kevin, the father, had always insisted that the son never face this. Maybe the son is a gentle soul, not a fighter by nature. Or maybe fighting the witch compromises one somehow, and like Michael Corleone, the father did not want this for the son.

But something changes and forces the grandfather to place the burden on the grandson. Some other plan for dealing with the witch falls through. As it is now, the way the grandfather does this, Sean should beat him with the Godstick!

I think the comedy route could be a great way to go with this. The characters are strong enough and ripe for this use, especially grandfather. You would have action for strong visuals.  You are already playing up Irish stereotypes, you could expand on it. Bring in a pint of whiskey, make the characters a little more argumentative, usual formula.

Was generally a good read, those are my thoughts, but what the F do I know, hope it helped in some way!
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:34am Report to Moderator
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Pros

Potentially excellent story.

Good atmosphere and location. Got that mythological vibe.

Cons

Agree with those who said the God Stick should have been the stick the Grandpa was carrying...easy fix.

A lot of the story is told in dialogue...something I've mentioned more than once in reviews.

Agree with Bert about the fact he's unprepared...seems unrealistic.

Think there could be a wider scope played out here than just the singular entity.

Also think a further twist is needed.

Altogether, a very good effort.
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leitskev
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:38am Report to Moderator
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I just read the other posts. I agree with Bert, making the shillelagh would be a great idea.

When I read the entries to the challenge, I don't read other posts until after mine. I am sensing a little bit of a pattern where my opinions seem to run different than the others, so unless what I have suggested strikes a particular note with you, go with the majority. I watch ESPN and the news most of the time, only see movies occasionally. These guys are probably a better gauge of what works. I am happy to discuss any of these ideas if you ever wish to. Congrats on your work, which seems to be very well received.
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