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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Selvage - Feb 2011 OWC - Filmed! Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    Selvage - Feb 2011 OWC - Filmed!  (currently 4334 views)
Don
Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:01pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Selvage by James Williams (jwent668 writing as  by Godwine Porthund - Short - Sometimes, even a simple game of truth or dare can end up deadly.

A February 2011 One Week Challenge script. - pdf format


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leitskev
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 12:21am Report to Moderator
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A ton of potential here. Not sure if it works as a short, seems more like something that could be a feature. I liked the truth or dare element; and the legend with the mirrors used. A short might be perfect if it ends with the first girl getting killed, but actually showing it.

Great concept, a lot of directions you could go.

Some stuff that proof reading missed(p 5 stepped), but overall the writing was effective. No problem to follow, nothing slowed it down.

Every script so far in the challenge has shortcomings, and this is no exception, but it's one of the better ones, in contention, seems easy to film, and has potential to expand or do more with. Nice work!
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screenrider
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 12:28am Report to Moderator
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Godwine Porthund?   effin' hilarious.  These psuedonymns are about as random as the letters in the alphabet.

Moving right along...

This one was just another "ok" for me.    I'm not gonna get into the why's or what's.    Congrats on completing the OWC.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 1:13am Report to Moderator
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Good logline. I don't understand the title though.

The premise is good, but there are flaws in logic and I think the biggest problem is the set up.

The beginning is weak. I know you wanted to show it's Halloween, but I think showing the mother as a bit odd might have amped up the validity of her dialogue later on and added intrigue. Right now, as it stands, we've got the wooden goblin, (which you might like to put in caps) as the identifier that tells us that Mom knows all about the kind of esoteric lore.

Maybe if you showed her doing some wild ritual or something, you could establish a connection between her and her daughter. Kinda make out like they get a bit possessed you know. Change the tempo, where they go from "just a dare", to a bit crazed and insistent, that Sarah play their little game. No what I mean? Create that energy.  

On page 1, lines like:

Music plays in the house.

Are extremely weak. Pay attention to this kind of thing. We know we're in the house by the slug; so don't write it again.

On page 5, you’ve got Jules as being off screen and it doesn’t make sense. For the dare to be carried out correctly, she’d obviously want to be in the bathroom with her, watching the whole thing take place; so I think that there’s a logic flaw there.

On page 6 the story appears over.

Sara’s dead. A bit of a so what for me.

And Mom seems to have all the answers all of a sudden. (Remember, the wooden Goblin is not enough for the audience to make the leap of faith that, yes, she's some kind of spiritual guru-gal. So yes, seems like she’s all loaded up with logic on how to deal with the problem, but it comes out of nowhere.

Still, this is a good effort. All a person has to do is go back in years to remember a time when this kind of story would be really cool to watch. Zip it up a little maybe for this generation and voila!

Good show.

Sandra





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bert
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 9:14am Report to Moderator
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I was not a big fan of the set-up for this one, and felt the introduction of the "myth" was particularly clunky in terms of the flow of dialogue.

Once the story gets going, however, the narrative is strong enough to pull you along even if you do not buy completely into the suspension of disbelief that is necessary for these events.

In the bedroom, it would have been nice were there a more clever reflection than that of a giant mirror, which she surely would have known about beforehand.

The most compelling character here, actually, was the mother.  She was foreshadowed well  -- and I like her contribution to this story -- and I wonder if it was the right choice not to let her arrive at the house and to include her in the action going on here.

This entry was entertaining for the type of story it had to tell, but could have used a little something extra to lift it higher, and I think the mother could have provided that had the author been given more time.

And I do not understand the title, either, Sandra.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:33am Report to Moderator
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Not bad for a OWC. Not bad at all. It's one of the better ones.

I got a  little worried with the Candyman reference (didn't you see the movie?) First off, I'm usually not too thrilled when other horror works are referenced (regardless if I like the pop culture or not) second, 'Candyman' is inspired by the urban legend of Bloody Mary.

Other than that (which is minor) I liked this one.

Like others, I don't get the title- but yknow, if the story's good, the title's good. At least most of the time.


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Pard
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:09am Report to Moderator
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The title was lost on me I'm afraid but I quite liked this.  It all escalated pretty quickly.  One minute they're just three teenage girls talking about boys, the next they're all dead, and all because of their gossipy, peer pressure antics.
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khamanna
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 12:11pm Report to Moderator
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Nice use of mythology although I'm not sure what it has to do with Halloween.

It's so NOT-predictable and that's the best thing about it. I did not expect all three of them to die. So, when I saw Miranda in a bathroom I thought "awesome".

I liked this one a lot, don't think you should change it any. The "are you really a virgin" and the "looking into the mirror" myth made great sense.

I remember this myth myself, we used to look into mirrors... Two mirrors would be across from each other creaating a mirror labyrinth. the guy in our mirrors was supposed to start walking toward you. If he reaches the last mirror he'll strangle you. We did it when we were ten and still believed in spooky...
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grademan
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 12:17pm Report to Moderator
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Selvage * Self + savage = selvage? * I liked it even though it was built on the horror standby truth or dare game gone wrong and mirrors * the mother’s knowledge was convenient * flow was good, didn’t even see the slugs
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dogglebe
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 2:51pm Report to Moderator
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This was an okay story, not the most original.  Another House of Mystery type story.  I think it suffered because it was rushed (thank you one week challenge).  There wasn't much time for too much suspense to build, though there was some.

I have to wonder if teenagers still play these superstitious games.  Candyman.  Bloody Mary.  Eating the apple (one I hadn't heard).  Twelve year olds, I can understand.  Seventeen year olds, not so much.

After the OWC, you should give this a rewrite.  Increase it by five pages, or so.  Build up the suspense a little.  Maybe develop the characters a little more.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 5:10pm Report to Moderator
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This one read okay, so good on you there.
You executed a worn concept fairly well.
I don't get what Halloween had to do with anything, goblins seemed tacked on here.
Why have the mother be uber with the folklore but only use her for exposition? Boo.
A mother fighting to save her daughter is more compelling than screetchy teens.
It's a plain pizza, but it eats okay, a mirror shard above the average here.

E.D.


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Ryan1
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 5:46pm Report to Moderator
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This one had some nice, tense moments.  But I think the writer could have explored the premise more.

Creepy scene with the candle flames bending one way.   Could have done without the ROAR.  Somehow seemed out of place.  Someone already mentioned the sentence "She stepped into a pool of blood...", which read awkward.

I couldn't understand why the girls wouldn't just run out of the house.  Something is in there with them, and their friend has just been murdered.  Seems like they'd be breaking down the front door to get out.  The phone conversation with the mom kind of dialed down the tension.

Nice imagery with Sarah turning her head and the bones cracking.  But, I thought the bad guy was the candyman in the mirror.

I did like this idea of the girl doing everything in her power to avoid looking at a mirror.  I would have preferred something more subtle than a big door mirror to be the thing that gets her, though.   But once again, I kept thinking why is this girl not running for the hills?  Screw what Mom said about staying in the house.

So, solid effort for one week.
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jwent6688
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 6:05pm Report to Moderator
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I'll have to echo what the others have said here. Feels a bit rushed and done before. I did like that you attempted to try and modernize an old myth. I Just think it needed some more pages or time to really build tension, character.

Also, I think you might want to re-visit that scene where Miranda dies. Head stuck in the toilet? Might come off a bit comical on screen. Although, i do enjoy watching someone get a good swirlie. Speaking of Swirl.... Moving on.

The title? I'll look forward to an explanation after the names are revealed...

Good job writing a script in a week.

James


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wonkavite
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 8:18pm Report to Moderator
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*Small spoilers*

Clean, strong writing...enjoyed the script.  (Probably my favorite part was the full length mirror...it actually took me by surprise, and worked well for the plot.)

Not sure this fits the description of a Celtic tale (it feels more like a contemporary horror short, Tales of the Darkside style) - but still a fun read.  

(A little side note...actually didn't figure Jules to be female, until halfway through the script...  All the "Jules" I've ever known have been male!)

Cheers!
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pwhitcroft
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
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This is a strong well contained story that plays well with the mirror mythology.

These are notes I made as I read:

Pg 1 – The start of this is okay, but I’m not hooked yet.

Pg 3 – Bringing in the mythology adds to the discussion.

Pg 5 – This has really kicked off now.

Pg 6 – I wonder if you have skipped over a potentially strong scene by showing us nothing of Sarah getting killed?

Pg 7 – Miranda going as well feels a bit random to me, and again we don’t see it.

Pg 9 – And the final twist is a strong chilling finale.


Philip


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stevie
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 9:10pm Report to Moderator
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This has some pretty chilling stuff in it but is more a straight horror/Halloween one.

If there was a connection with the mythic beings needed for the challenge, it would've been more effective.

Tautly written though, so kudos for that



Revision History (1 edits)
stevie  -  February 28th, 2011, 9:11pm
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c m hall
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 8:28am Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS

I really like the story and the way the tension builds up, good writing.  If you could extend the length, bring the characters to life more, maybe flashbacks of the girls' personal demons, etc., it could be a good, scary movie.  
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Dreamscale
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
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Well...hmmm...OK...

Not bad, really. There are some well done visuals, especially right at the end, but for me, it just didn't have enough life or uniqueness.  I didn't like the Candyman ref and I'm not sure what myth this centered around.

There were some mistakes including one past tense verb. I know, only a week's time.  It's not bad for that at all, and I think with some more time and thought, it could play out much better.

Characterization was non existent though, and that's always going to be a killer. When you intro'd the Mom on the phone, I assumed and hoped she would play into the mythology or at least come into play.  She didn't and because of that, IMO, her dialogue time was a waste.

I definitely want to know what the title is supposed to mean.

Solid OWC entry.  Congrats!


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keaton01
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What does a goblin look like?

You're rushing these girls. Love the Clive Barker nod.

Mom's VO is just weird, I think because it doesn't sound real.

What is with you SS guys and 'The End'?

It was a good effort. Could use some maturation. The whole Mom's a witch thing came out of nowhere. It might have been better to use the entity that killer the first girl to ramp up the tension or maybe one victim becomes the killer of the next like it sorta does now without the exposition.


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mcornetto
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 2:23am Report to Moderator
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For a one week script this wasn't bad.  The feel of the story and the dialogue was very good actually.  It unfolded well and created lots of tension.  The teenage girls were very natural sounding.

I think my main problem with this was that it seemed so very familiar, like I've seen it tons of times before.   I didn't really get the feeling that anything new was transpiring.  It didn't transport me.

Production wise it seemed like it would be fairly inexpensive.  Though homeowners are never really too happy when you get a lot of stage blood all over their house - you'd probably end up with a cleaning bill out of the deal.

Good job.  
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greg
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 3:00am Report to Moderator
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This was pretty good.  Nice flow, nicely written, and pretty creepy once things got going.

The manner in which Jules recited the myth was awkward and clunky.  It's like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry goes "how long have you been waiting to throw that into a conversation?"  But after that things picked up.  I especially liked that Jules covered every possible reflection in the house, including picture frames and the television.  Good thinking there.  

Overall I liked this.  Nicely done.

Greg


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GM
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 10:36am Report to Moderator
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Need to give a better hint early on that Jule mother's a professional in what happens (don't want to give it away). Cliche but I think it was good for ten pgs. I just didn't buy the mother instructing the children on what to do.

Hope this helps,
Gabe  
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Leon
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Hi. I enjoyed this one, it was well written, has some good suspense, i liked the use of the mirrors.

I more of less agree with the other comments.  I think the explaining of the myth could be more eloquent, a little richer.  

I feel it was a little too predictable leading up to the death of Sara.

The mom was really jarring for me, i think maybe because it kinda takes you out of the house.  It has a trapped claustrophobic feel to it and i feel her V.O from elsewhere breaks this.  Maybe she consults a book  (is that too much of a cliche, i'm new to this horror stuff).

But still an enjoyable story, i felt genuine fear in there.


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Eoin
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 1:41pm Report to Moderator
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This was well written, good white space etc. I didn't see how it fitted into the challenge of Celtic Mythology though? It'ss kinda like you said, 'hum, a challange to write a horror, let's throw in something based around Halloween'. Don't really know why. For me, this story was okay, but just didn't deliver any knock out punch. It's clear you know how to write, i just wanted something I could sink my teeth into.

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Eoin  -  March 3rd, 2011, 3:14pm
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Took a little bit to get going, but was a nice read when it did.  Kept me interested.  I agree with others that the mom could have been better developed.

There was no differentiation between the girls' characters, but hey, it's a short and they're teenagers, so close enough.

All in all, a nice read.  I enjoyed the build-up and ending and the writing was quite good.

Congrats!


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RayW
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 2:57pm Report to Moderator
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Hi, Godwine    (Geezus. What a name. Sheesh!)

Do seventeen year olds do truth and dare cr@p?

Pg 6 - LOL! Pretty laid back mom.

Cool story.
I liked it.
(Feel embarrassed I don't have more to say.   )
Congratulations!



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Scar Tissue Films
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Pros

Fast paced, gripping narrative. Creepy.

Well written.

Cons

Felt more like a Halloween script, rather than one developed specifically for this challenge.

The mirror thing was far too close to the Candyman story that the script references. Not enough in there to really forge its own identity.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  March 5th, 2011, 10:19am
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jwent6688
Posted: March 6th, 2011, 10:06am Report to Moderator
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Thanks to all for reading. This script was fun to write, especially since I didn't come up with the idea til Thursday. Some much needed explanations....

Selvage. The title. According to my Final Draft 7 thesarus its a noun that means fringe, perimeter. So I looked at the mirrors as being a selvage between the world of the living and another. If you google it, which I didn't, its more commonly referenced as the seem on jeans or fabric. Woops. So, yeah, bad title.

Alot of you felt this didn't meet the challenge criteria. I did zero research for this. Was ready to throw in the towel, but I had done so much smack talk the previous weeks, I know I had to post a script.

Its based off the doppleganger legend. Dopplegangers are usually doubles, but I read this in Ray W's research that he posted....


Quoted from Ray W on the Theme and Genre thread
Doppleganger - The frightful image seen at the window, or staring back from the mirror, could be your own--a double, or doppelg?er (from the German for "double goer"), the sight of which could foretell your own imminent demise. Sometimes described as the soul embodied, sometimes an astral projection or aura, the double most often presented itself as a warning.
Queen Elizabeth I reportedly saw a vision lying on her deathbed, pale and still, soon before she died. Goethe and Shelley also claimed to have seen their doubles, and when Catherine the Great of Russia saw her own coming toward her, she took no chances and ordered her soldiers to shoot at it. Witches, it was long accepted, could project their own doubles and set them loose to do mischief far and wide. As a result, many a women was hanged as a witch even though it could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was somewhere else entirely when the barn burned down, the cow died or whatever else had happened that she was now charged with having done. On other occasions, a double -- of someone else - -could be called forth or seen.

One old Halloween custom has it that if a young girl lights two candles before a mirror, while eating an apple, she will see in the mirror the spectral image of her future husband, peering back at her as if from over her shoulder. If she is brave enough to venture out to a graveyard, and walk all the way around it twelve times, she will meet up with the double itself.
According to another old belief, anyone who wants to know who will pass away in the coming year has only to stand vigil near the church door on April 24, the eve of the feast day of St. Mark. At midnight, the airy doubles of all who will die file in a solemn processional into the church, if the watcher is unlucky enough to see his own image there, he knows his own time is not far off.

To this day, the fear of the double is observed, if unknowingly, in the custom of covering all the mirrors in a house where a death has just occurred. The double of anyone passing the glass, it was once thought, could be projected into the mirror and carried off by the deceased to the afterworld.


So, I made up the part about having to be a virgin, but i think it worked nicely. I also used the second part of the legend that I bolded. After sarah was killed, Jules and Miranda had to stay away from their reflections because Sarah had just died and could take their souls.

So anyway, I loved that most everyone felt the tension and creepiness here. I personally, think its one of the scariest OWCs this go around. Just not the best overall story.

One major oversight, as Bert pointed out, Was that Jules should obviously know the final mirror was on the back of the door. I realized this while proofing Friday night. An easy fix, I just didn't have time. It just can't be jules' house so she's unfamiliar with it.

Anywho, Thanks to all who read and commented. I'm going through the list now to make sure I've commented on all who took the time to read mine. If I haven't, I'll be there shortly.

James





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shootingduck
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Don't forget, if it's not Jules's house the mom's goblin wouldn't be there...

I'm going to echo everyone else on the mom.  You had a nice flow going with creepy stuff happening in the house, the mom takes you out of it.  Need to find a way for Jules to get the info about the mirrors another way.  If you lose the claustrophobic feel in this particular type of story it kills the mood.

I'm okay with Sarah's death happening off screen, but the thing that bothered me were the girls going into the bathroom to open the curtain and see the body.  I don't think the ghost would have closed the curtain, the girls can probably tell from the mass quantities of blood that Sarah's dead and the fact that they'd have to walk through the blood (probably barefoot since they're so relaxed with their shirts untucked and unbuttoned) to open the curtain.  I get the mood you're creating... the slow walk to the tub, but I think you can get a cleaner, more realistic feel with a slow, overly cautious opening of the door.  Sarah's body could be lying in the tub with the curtain ripped down as though she tried to catch herself on it.

The second death was anti-climactic.  It was basically a less exciting version of the first death, complete with Jules opening the bathroom door, going in to handle the body, then getting freaked out by it.  I did like how she had to back out and avoid looking in the mirror during her exit.
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jwent6688
Posted: March 9th, 2011, 4:31pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from shootingduck
Don't forget, if it's not Jules's house the mom's goblin wouldn't be there...


Quite right. Thats why I didn't have time to fix it. There was some other things i had to go through the script and fix.

Looks like mom getting the ax is going to happen.

I agree, i thought mirandas death was weak. I called myself on it too when I fake reviewed my own script.

I quite like the curtain being closed, Though i should make it bloody. More like she was thrown in there. I like the damatic effect of ripping the curtain open like ripping off a band-aid.

This was an exceptionally lame effort for me. I like it, It just needs a few rewrites and some major changes. I wouldn't have posted it if Screenrider and I weren't talking smack all week.

Anyways, Thank you for reading. Congratulations on being picked and writing a kick ass script in a week. I look forward to the film...

James



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screenrider
Posted: March 9th, 2011, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jwent6688
This was an exceptionally lame effort for me. I like it, It just needs a few rewrites and some major changes. I wouldn't have posted it if Screenrider and I weren't talking smack all week.



This script wasn't so bad considering you wrote it in a day or so.   Kinda reminded me of the beginning scenes of "The Ring".    

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Scar Tissue Films  -  March 10th, 2011, 8:29pm
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I remember catching some flack for the stupid name of this. In one of my drunken internet searches I swore it meant the doorway between two worlds. Anyway, I don't write much on these boards anymore, but I've been getting more and more into film making with some local indie folk. Instead of picking one of my favorite scripts to shoot for my first film, I grabbed this one. I hacked it up and this is what I came up with. If anyone wants a break from their OWC for a few minutes, have a look and let me know what you think.

Cheers,
James



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stevemiles
Posted: October 18th, 2018, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hi James,

The script is a little before my time here, but the film's enjoyable enough - nicely shot and acted.  The moment the creature peers around the corner gave me a chill.  Nifty little horror.

I didn't realise the apple/mirror thing is an old pagan ritual - so I even learned something too.

Nice one.    


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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_ghostwriters
Posted: October 18th, 2018, 8:59pm Report to Moderator
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Hey James...

Ha, just in time for Halloween too.  Good job, man.  I remember reading this script.

Ghostie


"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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LC
Posted: October 18th, 2018, 11:40pm Report to Moderator
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Very nicely done.

Just one thing (and your Mum might hate me for saying it) - I was expecting when the door opened that the blood spatter would be thicker, considering what was seeping under the door.

Just sayin'...

Regardless of that, this has a nice Pro feel and look to it. Congrats.


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jwent6688
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 7:34am Report to Moderator
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Steve and Ghostie, thanks for checking this out.  I’m glad you guys liked it.





Quoted from LC


Just one thing (and your Mum might hate me for saying it) - I was expecting when the door opened that the blood spatter would be thicker.


I’m all about practical fx, but I’m in the process of repainting her bathroom now because of the mess we made. When fake blood reads soap and water cleanup, don’t believe it. Glad you like it aside from the lack of blood.

James



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Grandma Bear
Posted: October 24th, 2018, 8:23am Report to Moderator
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Hey Jay, great job!!! Cool to see you directing too!!! My first thought in the end was, I wonder if that blood was hard to clean up.   


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jwent6688
Posted: October 31st, 2018, 7:39am Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Pia. Yeah, the fake blood was a disaster. Thanks for checking it out. No Pumpkin Nightmare 3 this year?

James


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