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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Monsters - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    Monsters - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 3816 views)
Don
Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:03pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Monsters by Jean-François Heidenreich - Short - Aiden is tasked to hunt down and kill an murderous shape-shifting creature, but who is the greater monster.

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


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RayW
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 10:33pm Report to Moderator
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Hi, Jean-Francois

Gotta do the FADE IN: left justified and FADE OUT: right Justified. Sorry.

For your slugs there needs to be a space between the INT. or EXT. and the location.

Cut the CUT TO:s.

Page 2 - You're doing wonderful. The jump back and forth between sea and home are fine.
Just a minor, weenie thing:
A wooden crate slams onto the deck. Three feet by three feet
in size.

... can be cut to:
A three foot square wooden crate slams onto the deck.
... would just economize an absurd little bit.

Minor typos throughout. A lot.

Nice page 6 reveal twist.

Be reeeeeal careful with those full page monologues.

Hmm...
Don't know how I really feel about that ending.

This isn't really horror.
It's certainly dramatic with some mildly horrific elements and a great deal of fantastic elements.
I like the way you spin a romance.
I dunno.

How about this: It's a great sea story, but doesn't fit the challenge criteria.
It's like... fantasy/horror/romance  



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keaton01
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 10:58pm Report to Moderator
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I just had to read this one real fast. I just option a super short of the same title.

Interesting tale, kinda the same theme, humans as the monsters. The cut and jumps were fine on a second reading.

I think this is horror romance, so no worries. Impossible to shoot on a short film budget. Just the insurance, ugh.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 27th, 2011, 11:32pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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I see so much potential in this one. First of all, this is Aiden and Melissa's story and I think too much with Callan is unnecessary.

You might begin with an opening image of Aiden and Melissa, back in the good old days.

I'm not sure about the monster. You need to nail it more. The image of a pig wasn't enough for me; so search for the magic that will bring it more to life there.

Did you mean homely kitchen? Or homey kitchen?

I went to look up the alter meanings of homely again just to be sure. I always associate homely with not so pretty, but indeed, I'm wrong in thinking that it only means that. Yes, it can mean cozy, but here in Canada, we say cozy or homey, which isn't a real word I don't think. But I'm mentioning it anyways because one word makes a world of difference. If it's an ugly kitchen, everything changes in our minds.

I liked the juxtiposition of the monster and the terrier in the next scene. Good show. These little details mean a lot.

But so does

she looks past the small dog…

*a glaring error of missing capitals at the start of a sentence. Careful.

I want to draw your attention to this because I liked it:

AIDEN
I had to look beyond my own selfish
desires, to cleanse this world of your seductive tongue. To fill my dreams with the vilest of thoughts. To become more of a monster than even you.

*This is coming through as dialogue, but think of how you might show this visually if you decide to rewrite. It's powerful and I think holds so very much truth.

Finally, I'd like to see you come up with something extra in the title. Monsters is so very generic.

A good effort.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Ryan1
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 6:42am Report to Moderator
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This is probably the strangest tale I've read so far in this OWC.  Some parts of it worked, other parts not so much.

The constant cutting between the boat and Aiden's life with Melissa made for a very disjointed read.  Thus, this script had no flow to it.  It felt like I was being jerked back and forth between the past and present.  One or two flashbacks are fine, but too many creates a problem.

Why would they use a wooden crate?  If this was a deep sea expedition, it should have been metal.

We need some background on this creature.  Aiden and the others just sort of acknowledge that they've captured a shapeshifter from the sea.  What the hell is this thing?

Too many pages wasted on melodramatic back and forth.  We need to know what this creature is and its connection to Aiden.

The ending fell flat for me.  Callan dies, but I really didn't care.  The "rules" of this story were never established, so I never had an emotional investment.

A creative effort, but ultimately it didn't work for me.

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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 8:18am Report to Moderator
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Pros.

Lots of interesting stuff going on. Strong themes, interesting action.

Real potential.

Cons.

Flashbacks disrupt the narrative flow.

Too much revealed through dialogue...a common theme in this OWC IMO.

Needs a more solid backstory.

Definite potential though.
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leitskev
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:03am Report to Moderator
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First, just a personal taste, but I would like to see more efforts like this. The writer is grappling with a complicated and difficult concept. The twists and turns were certainly effective enough for me to hold my interest. Even though the main twist...

SPOILER

...where he kills his wife, was something I anticipated kind of early, I didn't mind, and there were aspects that I did not anticipate, and maybe still haven't really figured out.

Let's start with where I had thought this was going, until the very end. The monster's main strength is that it can get in its victim's head, seize upon a critical memory to play with, that memory which makes him most vulnerable, and use it against him. What if such a monster was so effective at this that even telling yourself before hand not to be fooled is no help?

So Aiden determines that the only way to combat such a creature, through some complicated psychological analysis of his own mind, is to kill that which he loves, his wife. Maybe his mind seals off the memory of this killing, compartmentalizes it. Then, at the moment when the creature confronts him, when it breaks into his mind to use the memory of his wife against him, it breaks also into that compartment, bringing the memory of killing his wife to the front of his mind...and giving him the strength to resist the creature.

Or something like that.

But there was another twist coming. Great! Kept me on the edge of my seat. But I didn't really get it. He becomes a couple with the creature? Why would the creature wish to become a couple with him? Because he is a murderer and therefore a kindred soul now? I am probably missing something on my end.

Another problem for me was this. Cullen goes in at the end and is easily destroyed by the vicious creature. If the creature is that powerful, physical powers, why does it need its mind invading powers? And even if Aiden could overcome the mind invasion, armed with just a knife, wouldn't the powerful beast just easily shred him like it did Cullen?

Come to think of it, they have been plotting this destruction of the creature for years. The best they can come up with is to send in a guy with a knife? Shouldn't they try to shoot it, burn it, kill it with Justin Bieber music...something?

This story was destined to be very, very difficult to pull off due to its complicated nature. I could be misunderstanding key elements, and would love to hear the explanation for what I can't figure out. I love what the writer is trying to accomplish here, and I hope the effort continues to develop this story and others like it. I could not be more sincere in saying that either. I have never been a fan of simple slash horror, unless it is done with humor so that it is part comedy.

I want a story. Slash horror works because it is cheap and easy, and it seems many people prefer it anyway. That seems to be the preference in this forum actually. If a story is well written, properly formatted, just add blood and sliced flesh and it will be well received. I would like to personally encourage efforts like this. It may be that this story can be fixed up just be clarifying some things, or it may be that it needs some major surgery for everything to fit. But I love the effort, and whoever wrote this feel free to PM me on what was really going on here.
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SteveUK
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:39am Report to Moderator
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A very interesting entry to the challenge, and one that almost works, but falls just a bit short.

There were numerous typos and punctuation errors.  A good proof read should pick most of these up, but they are forgivable in a OWC.

You've got a really good idea here, very creative, only it feels more like a fantasy tale than a horror story.

Most of the issues I had with it have already been covered, especially in the post above.  The only things I will add is the number of flashbacks on pages 7 & 8 seemed unnecessary. You could probably cut these down by at least half.

Also, you can't have flashbacks if nothing is happening in each scene - you need some action taking place, even if it's only one line of description.  Melissa's dialogue in the flashbacks should also be in voice over.

As I said, you do have a really good idea here, and with a little time and work it could become something great.
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bert
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:50am Report to Moderator
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It is unfortunate that poor proofreading pulled me out of this story a bit too often.

After a very compelling set-up, I have mixed emotions about where the author took us.

(Spoiler)

I respect the author trying to dig deep for an introspective piece, but with the murder of his beloved, the author takes me a little too far into I-just-can't-buy-it land.

Maybe a little more backstory might have helped -- or perhaps a little more information about the beastie itself -- but for my money, this way-cool set-up would be better served by spinning this tale off into a completely different direction that has nothing at all to do with Melissa.

My thoughts, anyway.  Still a good piece.  Nice job, and I freely acknowledge to the author that this is the sort of work that may resonate with others far more than it did with me.


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screenrider
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 12:02pm Report to Moderator
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This one definitely had heart.  Good job on that.  Different.  Original.  Format needs some work.  All in all, I kinda liked it.    Sorry to be so brief, but I'm in a hurry.   Congrats on completing the OWC.
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c m hall
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 3:37pm Report to Moderator
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I know there is a good story in here, there's certainly atmosphere.  

I got the feeling this script was a first draft, which is okay but that makes it difficult to read.

There's a line of description in the text, "it drags on" -- it does, for me.

Revision History (1 edits)
c m hall  -  February 28th, 2011, 4:33pm
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grademan
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 4:17pm Report to Moderator
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MONSTERS * average impact * lack of proofreading - how can you miss a period? * Never mind that last comment * The set up was good but those pesky flashbacks got in my way * longish dialogue by Melissa as she tries to convince him I skipped over because was getting antsy by this time * humans as the monster or the monster as human almost pulled it off * rewrite this one, okay?
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stevie
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 5:04pm Report to Moderator
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Very good set up for this one. I agree that the grammar errors(that got worse as we read), got in the way of the story.

I'm still a bit confused about Aiden's 'task', which he mentions in the flashback? a real dreamy quality at times in this.

The opening scenes reminded me a bit of Graeme Masterton's brilliant novel, 'The Pariah'.


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jwent6688
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 5:49pm Report to Moderator
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Damn, another fine show. I've been in about four of these OWCs and I've not seen this level of story telling across the boards.

I admired Aidens sacrifice to prepare for this mission. I didn't see it coming and found it fresh and original. I would've liked this a bit more had he accomplished his goal. Then, to see if it was worth it all for him in the end. Would he regret it?

Good job writing a script in a week.

James


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 6:59pm Report to Moderator
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I was with you, grammar aside, until an extremely improbable sacrifice.
Even with a prophecy scroll, I don't think I would have bought this one.
Lots of questions, which is a good indicator, but curiously done in by murderous slugs.
The BOAT/ PAST thing was not working for me at all, lots of revisiting paragraphs.
Evocative atmosphere and genuine emotion undermined by simple errors.
If you love screenwriting, learn format and grammer, people will read your efforts.

E.D.


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