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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Captive - Feb 2011 OWC - Filmed Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    Captive - Feb 2011 OWC - Filmed  (currently 6872 views)
James McClung
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 3:57pm Report to Moderator
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One of the better ones I've read so far. I liked the setup. Sometimes it's more interesting to follow someone then just wake up in a situation. It makes room for a lot more dread. I liked the writing, the imagery, the character (that is to say The Welder) and the fact that our victims had a little more bite than usual.

The twist with Lark, I somehow expected. Walden becoming The Welder, not so much. I wouldn't been a little more impressed with it, as well as the twist of the cycle repeating itself, had I not seen Dario Argento's Jennifer for Masters of Horror. Same basic premise. A guy tries to rescue a girl from a would-be killer only to find out she's the bad one and become the would-be killer himself. Not always fun to come across the same basic idea twice. Still, the application of the theme is quite nice.

The flashbacks were kinda meh. I'm getting sick of the faceless wife plot device. I really don't care how much it tugs at the everyman's heartstrings. It's as flat and cliche as can be. But whatever.

Good one. Favorite, so far. Not sure why so many people are having a hard time with it.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 6:55pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from Dreamscale
OK...read this and then read all the feedback and felt like I must have missed something.  Skimmed over it again, and came to the conclusion that it wasn't me who was missing anything, but everyone else.  We'll see when things are revealed.

First things first...this is well written for the most part.  Not great by any means, but very solid, especially compared to the vast majority of OWC entries, and actually, even compared to most SS shorts in general, so Kudos!

I think I know who wrote this, and if I'm right, this is leaps and bounds above what "he" has churned out up till now, so again, Kudos, if I'm correct.  I'm basing my assumptions on a few things...the action sequences (which are pretty good, but not quite there, IMO) and the way that the "generic" cars were given colors.  Again, we'll have to wait and see.

So, for me, this isn't anything to do with merging time lines or the like.  Other than the incorrectly not labeled Flashbacks, this all plays out just like it appears to.  Not sure why everyone feels differently.

I see this as a pretty generic/standard torture porn slasher type short, melded with some sort of creature Celtic myth in Lark.  It all works OK and again, is written pretty damn well, so I applaud you, but I do have issues that don't jive at all for me..but again, maybe I'm missing something.

Let's go back to those Flashbacks that aren't labeled.  It's something that irritates me.  If a scene is a Flashback or dream, it needs to be labeled as such.  No way around it.  If you're trying to fuck with your reader, I understand, but there really isn't any reason to do so.  It makes things unfairly confusing.  So, if these are indeed Flashbacks, you need to come out and tell us.

What Lark is, is a mystery to me.  I'm not going to go back and look at all the various options we had to work with, but let's assume she's some sort of evil creature that likes to eat the entrails of the living.  She may be small, but she's obviously very formidable...so...I have an issue with the whole setup.  For some reason, she let this Welder dude grab her, tie her up, stab her, etc., before killing him and eating his innards.  Why?  Why then also attack Walden?  And why couldn't she overcome Walden?

The whole Welder thing is both good and bad, IMO.  It's a cliche character that we've seen in various forms in thousands of movies.  Nothing inherently wrong with that, but for a short that runs along typical torture porn themes, IMO, we need reasoning, as well as strong characters and I don't see either here.

So, in the end, Walden subdues Lark, but she escapes, and he decides to don the Welder suit and mask and do what?  Start a killing spree of his own?  I don't know...it doesn't fly with me, but maybe I am actually missing something here.

Looking forward to the reveal and some clarification.

Whatever the deal turns out to be, this is a solid, thought provoking OWC entry and one of the better ones for sure.  Strong writing, lots going on, and you seem to have hit a nerve of interest in the masses here.  Congrats on that!


I am just going to quote the whole thing Jeff said because that's how I feel too as I stated before.

This is no doubt a very well done script, but:

If Lark has these special powers, why does she allow her thumb to be broken and to suffer through that to get free?

It's a deliberate "fool" on the part of the writer which isn't good. So, the thing is, we need to figure out how to make this work. Maybe she needs to "pretend her thumb is cracked" Show it being bent... Use a phony rubber finger (the crack sound comes from her unique powers) for the shot, and then show her smirking off to the side, when she "oomps" a bit of pain out of her mouth.

Does this make sense to anyone or am I off course?

I did not get the "Walden is the Welder" thing that I'm not sure the author intended, but someone made that leap. Am I also off course with that? I did do a skim again, but I didn't see it.

Also, there's no logic to why the girl allows herself to be taken captive. Maybe here we've got room for development.

Seriously, might we consider:

The girl knew The Welder and loved him. He died. They're ghosts and they seduce others into their world in order to, together, kill them, take their energy.. and carry on in their screwed up loop of time, as ghosts often do, because they can't move on.

There! There's my contribution to making this better.  

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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stevie
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 7:15pm Report to Moderator
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On a second read, I picked the 'loop'. But it doesn't come over well in the writing, if that's what the author intended.

Also, I might add that, though Lark is meant to be a sprite/faerie type critter, there's no explanation or 'local legend' kind of hint.

Liked the writing, overall, except the non-use of flashbacks, but it only vaguely fits the challenge, with Lark.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 7:20pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from stevie


Liked the writing, overall, except the non-use of flashbacks, but it only vaguely fits the challenge, with Lark.


Maybe she was written on a lark.  

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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RayW
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
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The author has my sincerest sympathies watching all of this.  

http://www.fmlifecoalition.org/humptydumpty.jpg



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mcornetto
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 7:29pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RayW
The author has my sincerest sympathies watching all of this.  

http://www.fmlifecoalition.org/humptydumpty.jpg


Are you kidding?  The author has gotten a bonanza of comments and ideas.   They can use those to make this a really sold script.   Plus most people, even though they might not have gotten it, liked it.   Not a cracked egg at all - more like one about to hatch.
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leitskev
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 8:00pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I am sure the author is loving the attention.  I don't know how it usually works, but it's good to have a few scripts people can debate and try to understand, improve.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 2nd, 2011, 10:47pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from leitskev
Yeah, I am sure the author is loving the attention.  I don't know how it usually works, but it's good to have a few scripts people can debate and try to understand, improve.


To be able to question and study it-- that's the fun. I love being able to think about how this can go to the next level. This is an OWC and it's a really excellent one. It has its kinks, but writers often like things kinky.

Sandra



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keaton01
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 9:03pm Report to Moderator
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Not a lot to say that hasn't been said.

- Why donít you try that on someone closer to your own size? - Humor at times can be good, but this wouldn't be one of those moments.

Interesting horror tale. Could look nice with a budget. I would worry about the larger appeal, but I think the twist at the end would leave most people captivated.


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leitskev
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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Since there are some still reading, figured I would give this a boost with a post. No idea who the author is, I promise.

In many ways this is the best of the bunch. It starts out in a classic horror setting and hits the suspense rail almost right off the bat. The match thing humanizes Walden in a visual and simple way. We sense his anxiety without seeing him quiver or anything that blatant. Brilliant.

In following the van and getting out of it, there is a sense of the heroic which attaches us to the character. You find yourself saying, "don't get out of your car, call the cops!".

You suspect almost from the outset that the girl is the creature, but that's ok. You know there is at least one twist coming, you think that's it, but when a story is well crafted, you don't mind, and you want to hang around and find out.

If you don't try to reason it out, you like the ending. You're intrigued that the hero now finds himself the Welder.

There were some downsides to the story. The first is that there is nothing Celtic about it I can see. The OWC did have a couple non-Celtic creatures on the list. This probably should have been better explained, but my personal assumption on that was that if one used such a creature they should somehow "Celtify" it.

The other potential problem here is there is so much of the story that is cliche. Not necessarily bad, as that is common in horror, and I suspect that the abundance of these cliches in this story is evidence that the effect was intentional by the author. The girl being chased in the woods, the masked, aproned villain, the guy and girl tied up, the villain stirring a potion in the cellar with "Satanic" books on the shelf...all this was perhaps intentionally designed to tweak with an ending that is not cliche. So one could either be really annoyed by it, or play along and be amused by the ending.

The next problem is the main one raised above: the problem of the creature itself. Not gonna go into what has been covered above. I'm gonna see if we can discuss fixing the situation, if I can be so bold.

Let's look at basic facts, and see if we can make them work:
1) Lark is fast enough and strong enough to kill a dear, probably without a weapon
2) Lark is captured by Welden, who is large but slow, limited in sight by his mask, and does have an ax
3) Lark has trouble escaping being bound to a chair
4) Lark overpowers Welder and eats him in the cellar
5) Lark attacks Walden, but cannot overpower and flees
6) Walden is fast enough to chase Lark on foot
7) Larkcan to some degree adopt different human forms; we see her beautiful and hideous.

note: it is mentioned in a post that Lark can possess others, meaning Lark is one who had been possessed by the creature. There is no evidence for this in the script, and the obvious question would be why she did not attempt to possess Welder or Walden.

My first attempt at making Lark work was this: she is fast and clawed, but her strength is less than that of a large man. So she can catch a deer, gut it, and gut a man, but cannot overpower a man, especially if he is armed with an axe. She was able to kill Welder not because she was stronger, but because it was dark, his vision was constricted, and she is fast and clawed. She swooped in and sunk her claws before he could react. Then lunch.

But if she's that fast, how can Welder catch her in the woods? In a welder's mask?

Ok, maybe Lark is not that fast. Then how did she kill the dear? Maybe she has some other skill. She puts the dear in a trance, holds it still. She lies for hours on a deer path patiently waiting. Plausible.

Then how does she kill Welder? Dam it!

Maybe she's the ultimate sprinter. Super fast over extremely short distances, but then she runs out of gas. That's how slow humans catch her. But she has the short burst to kill an unguarded human or a an unwary deer.

What about magic? Does she have any magical powers, besides changing appearance? Could that be used to make this work? Maybe she has the candle from the Flesh script, she can freeze time, but only for a moment?

Well, I tried. That's what coffee does to me! Maybe someone else can chip in. I wanted to bump this one back up so people will read it and wrestle with it. It's a great script.

My sense is there was a great starting concept: Walden will become Welder. The theme would be, "there, but for the grace of God go I!" The challenge was to pull it off, to get from A to B in a believable way.

The question is did the writer pull it off? Can we buy it? If not, can it be saved with tweaking? The writer may have ideas. He's probably pissed at the audacity of my questions, but he doesn't know where I live! Nothing he can do!

The more important question is what would a film festival audience think. Never been to one, can't help with that. It probably will be that how we get from A to B won't much matter. The fact that Walden becomes Welder will be enough to impress a large chunk of the crowd. However, if the journey between A and B can be made a little more sensible, so much better the chance for this will be! If one idea from a reader helps the writer, he has given great service. So hate me if you want, but hopefully something helped. And great job on the script, a master at work.
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leitskev
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 9:47am Report to Moderator
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How could I forget to discuss the flashbacks?

As I mentioned in a previous post on this, I think the flashbacks were something the writer felt was necessary to give Walden sufficient motivation to assume the mask of Welder and continue the hunt. The fact that the creature attacked Walden is not enough. It was a defensive move, and it is a creature after all. Would you put on the mask and hunt it if it was just a wolf? No, you would go to the hospital and treat your wounds, and tell the police.

But the fact this killed his wife gives him the animus needed to put all that aside and go after it.

Will it be hard for an audience to buy into the coincidence that it killed his wife?
Hmm. I don't know. If he lives in the area, it could be plausible.

Finally, a word on the "loop". Ah, no. If this is a loop, so there will be an infinite procession of Welders, I'm out. That just doesn't make any sense. I am ok with Walden becoming Welder. It's kind of his destiny; look at his name, a twist on Welder. That's cool. No infinite loop. Ok, cool beans, look forward to hearing from others.
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Baltis.
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 3:21pm Report to Moderator
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Too familiar for my taste.  Right fade in sucks monkey fuck.  The welder has been used in many films... I even wrote a script where a killer wears a welders mask and carries a flame thrower, yes it was inspired by my love for ' the exterminator 2'.  

My script was called 'all the way home'.

You also touched upon the Jenifer bit from masters of horror.  You write well enough, a few old school formatting quarks aside on my end.  But congrats on the win... It's easily filmable.
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leitskev
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
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Have I been here long enough to say this? Well, live with it...you people that make a big deal about whether the "fade in" should be right or left...seriously? Is it really that important. For the love of...I'm pretty sure "fade in" will not appear in the film.

Whoever the author here is, very nice work and congrats! I strongly suspected this was the winner the moment I read. This writer knows what works. Great job!
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 3:50pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from leitskev
Since there are some still reading, figured I would give this a boost with a post. No idea who the author is, I promise.

In many ways this is the best of the bunch. It starts out in a classic horror setting and hits the suspense rail almost right off the bat. The match thing humanizes Walden in a visual and simple way. We sense his anxiety without seeing him quiver or anything that blatant. Brilliant.

In following the van and getting out of it, there is a sense of the heroic which attaches us to the character. You find yourself saying, "don't get out of your car, call the cops!".

You suspect almost from the outset that the girl is the creature, but that's ok. You know there is at least one twist coming, you think that's it, but when a story is well crafted, you don't mind, and you want to hang around and find out.

If you don't try to reason it out, you like the ending. You're intrigued that the hero now finds himself the Welder.

There were some downsides to the story. The first is that there is nothing Celtic about it I can see. The OWC did have a couple non-Celtic creatures on the list. This probably should have been better explained, but my personal assumption on that was that if one used such a creature they should somehow "Celtify" it.

The other potential problem here is there is so much of the story that is cliche. Not necessarily bad, as that is common in horror, and I suspect that the abundance of these cliches in this story is evidence that the effect was intentional by the author. The girl being chased in the woods, the masked, aproned villain, the guy and girl tied up, the villain stirring a potion in the cellar with "Satanic" books on the shelf...all this was perhaps intentionally designed to tweak with an ending that is not cliche. So one could either be really annoyed by it, or play along and be amused by the ending.

The next problem is the main one raised above: the problem of the creature itself. Not gonna go into what has been covered above. I'm gonna see if we can discuss fixing the situation, if I can be so bold.

Let's look at basic facts, and see if we can make them work:
1) Lark is fast enough and strong enough to kill a dear, probably without a weapon
2) Lark is captured by Welden, who is large but slow, limited in sight by his mask, and does have an ax
3) Lark has trouble escaping being bound to a chair
4) Lark overpowers Welder and eats him in the cellar
5) Lark attacks Walden, but cannot overpower and flees
6) Walden is fast enough to chase Lark on foot
7) Larkcan to some degree adopt different human forms; we see her beautiful and hideous.

note: it is mentioned in a post that Lark can possess others, meaning Lark is one who had been possessed by the creature. There is no evidence for this in the script, and the obvious question would be why she did not attempt to possess Welder or Walden.

My first attempt at making Lark work was this: she is fast and clawed, but her strength is less than that of a large man. So she can catch a deer, gut it, and gut a man, but cannot overpower a man, especially if he is armed with an axe. She was able to kill Welder not because she was stronger, but because it was dark, his vision was constricted, and she is fast and clawed. She swooped in and sunk her claws before he could react. Then lunch.

But if she's that fast, how can Welder catch her in the woods? In a welder's mask?

Ok, maybe Lark is not that fast. Then how did she kill the dear? Maybe she has some other skill. She puts the dear in a trance, holds it still. She lies for hours on a deer path patiently waiting. Plausible.

Then how does she kill Welder? Dam it!

Maybe she's the ultimate sprinter. Super fast over extremely short distances, but then she runs out of gas. That's how slow humans catch her. But she has the short burst to kill an unguarded human or a an unwary deer.

What about magic? Does she have any magical powers, besides changing appearance? Could that be used to make this work? Maybe she has the candle from the Flesh script, she can freeze time, but only for a moment?

Well, I tried. That's what coffee does to me! Maybe someone else can chip in. I wanted to bump this one back up so people will read it and wrestle with it. It's a great script.

My sense is there was a great starting concept: Walden will become Welder. The theme would be, "there, but for the grace of God go I!" The challenge was to pull it off, to get from A to B in a believable way.

The question is did the writer pull it off? Can we buy it? If not, can it be saved with tweaking? The writer may have ideas. He's probably pissed at the audacity of my questions, but he doesn't know where I live! Nothing he can do!

The more important question is what would a film festival audience think. Never been to one, can't help with that. It probably will be that how we get from A to B won't much matter. The fact that Walden becomes Welder will be enough to impress a large chunk of the crowd. However, if the journey between A and B can be made a little more sensible, so much better the chance for this will be! If one idea from a reader helps the writer, he has given great service. So hate me if you want, but hopefully something helped. And great job on the script, a master at work.


Leitskev,

Thank you so much. You said so very extremely well, what I tried to say about her "thumb breaking episode" in the chair. I felt that it has lost validity there.

My suggestion to fix the whole Lark problem is to make her powers unstable. I think it's valid and justifiable especially when we consider people in general and their everyday performance. Some days they're miracle workers, other days, they need a miracle.

Hope this helps.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Baltis.
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 3:56pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from leitskev
Have I been here long enough to say this? Well, live with it...you people that make a big deal about whether the "fade in" should be right or left...seriously? Is it really that important. For the love of...I'm pretty sure "fade in" will not appear in the film.

Whoever the author here is, very nice work and congrats! I strongly suspected this was the winner the moment I read. This writer knows what works. Great job!


It's very important for Flow and Pace.  What people, mainly amateur's, overlook is the structure of a script and how important it is that you nail certain criteria and aspects down to a science.  

Can you right FADE IN: right justified to the 1.5?  Sure you can... But we can also read books backwards.   Having FADE IN: on the left of the page means we jump into our movie and read it from left to right.  It's a flow and pace thing.  It's a blueprint thing.  It's a traditional thing.

I don't know about you or anyone else but I like reading left to right... It might be old school, but it works.  I like ending a book by turning pages to the left too.  It's just how I am.

Can you get away with putting it on the right side of the page?  I'm sure many have to a level of success -- But why change the record if people are still dancing to the current one?   Some people, myself, don't like change.  Others do.  It's a taste thing.  It's a style thing.  You do what works best for you and your style -- Some, myself included, will pan it -- Others will applaud it.
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