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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Devil's Erudition - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    Devil's Erudition - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 3054 views)
Eoin
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 1:36pm Report to Moderator
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The whole tone of this was more comedy than anything near a horror for me. Was that the intention?

Some of your descriptions are clunky 'spits a spit soaked part to the side'. Other's are well . . . 'Owen kicks him in the jaw with a game winning shot.' unecessary IMO.

I'm guessing the writer of this is a teen? At page 5 it's starting to get OTT. The whole premise on which the story hangs, has taken FAR too long to devlop and it's mainly from exposition we learn what's going to happen.

SHADOW
Way to go, varsity. Doesn't sound like something a teen from the UK would say to me.

They seem to be so blaise about burning him on page 8, I just can't take this story seriously.

This just didn't do anything for me. I think you need to go back and rethink your story and show it in a more economical fashion.
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keaton01
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 9:30pm Report to Moderator
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Ok a few typos and odd sentences. Nice build and some realistic dialog. The end really wasn't foreshadowed and seemed rushed like you were running out of time.


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greg
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 12:40am Report to Moderator
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This could have been really good.  I think this was written in a hurry because the ending was just kind of random. Owen loves Mark?  Where did that come from?  

Lots of banter, I think maybe a little too much which delayed the buildup and then the payoff really could have been a lot better.

This was a good effort and it's a good premise, but I think the execution could use some work.

Nice job for a week.

Greg


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RayW
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 4:12pm Report to Moderator
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Hi, Darshan

Your kids are vulgar. And they're idiots.
They're really going to kill a person for a letter of recommendation to goto college?
Really?
That's stupid.
No one's that stupid.

I don't see anything meeting the criteria other than some reference to some witchcraft.
Nothing... supernatural. Juno?
??
Just dumb kids doing dumb stuff.

Looks like you ran out of pages.
Need to set up the relationship better between Mark and Owen.



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c m hall
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 4:23pm Report to Moderator
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Objection, RayW, to your comments.  
I think in this case "dumb kids doing dumb stuff" is equal to "the horror! the horror!"
It's a kick in the stomach to recognize these kids as being ordinary in many ways and, at the same time, without any trace of conscience or compassion.  Scared me plenty!
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RayW
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 4:32pm Report to Moderator
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People aren't entertained by what's in the newspaper.


~ WIDESPOTINTHEROAD GAZETTE ~

Police Find Principal and Two Teens Dead, Satanists Suspected


Bah.

People want razmataz!
Give it.



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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 5:16pm Report to Moderator
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Pros

Easy flow and decent pace.

Confidently written.

Cute characters, if not somewhat staple.

Cons

Tone a little too light-hearted for the challenge.

Revision History (1 edits)
Scar Tissue Films  -  March 4th, 2011, 5:55pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 12:49am Report to Moderator
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Sorry, but Page 1 and I'm gone.  Really awkward phrasing, horrid dialogue, poor scene setting.  No more...as I know what will follow.

Good job entering this OWC!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 1:41am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Sorry, but Page 1 and I'm gone.  Really awkward phrasing, horrid dialogue, poor scene setting.  No more...as I know what will follow.

Good job entering this OWC!


I'd like to try and get to the bottom of the trouble with page one.

Mark says,

Mark
Fucking Idiots!

Mark says,

Mark
You nearly smashed his brains out!

After some action with the ATVs:

Mark looks about to the brightest side of the sky.

Lines like this:

Greenwood’s face stops inches from crushing into Shadow’s big knobby tires.

**Try saying that out loud. woods, face, stops, 'ches, ing, ows, 'res.

Even though different people process words differently, some of us hear the sounds in our heads and for me it sounds awkward. If I read that whole sentence aloud, it's very difficult for me This might be one reason why Jeff put it down. Even if he did so in a bit of an unconscious manner, it might (I'm not saying it is) have been the cause.

**Let's look at some more phrasing:

>Owen obsesses over pointing out to Greenwood the mere inches that separate his face from the tire.

*A little closer:

>O wen... Obsesses... O ver... pointing Out... To...

Do you hear the awkwardness?

Don't feel bad! We all write this way sometimes. Then, we go back and red line it.

For this script, say you've learned to pay attention to some of that stupid stuff.

I see that you have a touch for comedy. Comedy is hard to pull off. If you can, I'd love to see it in your future work.

Sandra





A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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RayW
Posted: March 6th, 2011, 2:33pm Report to Moderator
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need a powerful ending here
and
but the ending needs to be fleshed out a good deal more.
and
The end really wasn't foreshadowed and seemed rushed like you were running out of time.

Yep.
Needed about two more pages to make sense of that truncated ending.

loose the gay motivation or at least foreshadow it
and
I liked it and was prepared to say it's one of my favorites but then Owen's love happened...

Owen isn't any more homosexual than I'm... Prince Albert in a Can.
Stupid, mixed up kid doesn't know what he is.
Thinks he's one thing - when he's really another.

He's a sociopath, my favorite kind of monster.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopath#Signs_and_symptoms

Signs and symptoms
Characteristics of people with antisocial personality disorder may include:
- Apparent lack of remorse or empathy for others
- Persistent lying or stealing
- Cruelty to animals
- Poor behavioral controls  expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper
- A history of childhood conduct disorder
- Recurring difficulties with the law (or @ school)
- Promiscuity
- Tendency to violate the boundaries and rights of others
- Aggressive, often violent behavior; prone to getting involved in fights
- Inability to tolerate boredom
- Poor or abusive relationships
- Irresponsible work behavior
- Disregard for safety

Other common characteristics of those with Antisocial Personality Disorder include superficial charm, shallowed emotions, a distorted sense of self, a constant search for new sensations (which can have bizarre consequences), a tendency to physically or verbally abuse peers or relatives, and manipulation of others without remorse or empathy for the victim. Egocentrism, megalomania, lack of responsibility, extroversion, excessive hedonism, high impulsivity, and the desire to experience sensations of control and power can also be present.

Owen exhibits or reports several of these behaviors.
Quite a few, actually.
Did you not notice?

However, I can foreshadow some semblance of what's coming down the pike.

The whole tone of this was more comedy than anything near a horror for me. Was that the intention?
and
They seem to be so blaise about burning him on page 8, I just can't take this story seriously.

If other than the sociopath aspects these seemed like just rude, nasty little sh!ts then "yeah" they're funny.
They seem like normal kids but... they're clearly demented.
Their normalcy is comedy.
Their pathology is horror.

It's a kick in the stomach to recognize these kids as being ordinary in many ways and, at the same time, without any trace of conscience or compassion.  Scared me plenty!
Bingo! Someone give that little girl a Kewpie doll!
Drive by your local high school and point out these three kids.
What are they doing tonight and tomorrow morning?
Themzure neighbors.

I have to say, that the amount of swearing I see in so many scripts is starting to...
Yeah, well...
Sandra, I love and respect you. I apologize for offending you.
I wrote for a rated R horror movie.
I wrote their dialog as children of this demographic do speak.
Perhaps I ought not to have watched HARRY BROWN just before writing this.
You MIGHT have picked up on the fact these are NOT nice or well adjusted kids.
It's amusing that coarse language is offensive, but summoning demons and sacrifice by burning doesn't really hit the radar. (chuckling, here).

No worries.
Easy fix on te re-write.
I'll include the PG-13 burning sacrifice of the school principal to a demon. With better language, of course.  

Did anything Celtic or supernatural happen?
Mmm... kinda, sorta.
Witches were part of the mythological pool.
Thanks to the fantastic links Rick provided I pretty much read all of the demon summoning rigmarole.

Folks, let me tell you - summoning demons, according to The Key of Solomon and The Lesser Key of Solomon, is a hassle - but doable.
Definitely doable.
So doable that if this sh!t actually worked our government and corporate officers would be doing this sh!t left and right.
Since I'm still seeing a effed up world I'm guessing... no.
No, summoning demons really doesn't work.

HOWEVER -
I can easily envision stupid kids ordering these books off of Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Goetia-L.....299437559&sr=8-1
Look. you can get all three as a "Frequently Bought Together" bundle, "Price For All Three: $39.27"
+ +
LOL!

Lo and behold, what do we have here... ?
http://cgi.ebay.com/3501-STERL.....3785db#ht_1335wt_905
LOL!

Now, can this be done?
Yes.
Will it work?
No.
Are kids stupid?
Yes.

Incompetent vulgar teens invoking Satan for a letter of recommendation.
and
Why conjur up this demon for A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION?!!? Lets raise the stakes a little but still have it related to a teenagers goals, you know what i mean?  

Yes, I do know what you mean, probably better than you'd suspect.

Can you envision the headline in your local paper to read:

~ The PUDDLETON PAPER ~
Missing Principal and Two Teens Found Dead.  Satanists Suspected


I can.
And for what?
High stakes "I want to rule the world!" ?
Um, nope.
Something stupid.
Like a letter of recommendation.
Teens are stupid.
Especially neglected, maladjusted teens.

I read this as something less horror and more of a horror satire.
and
but then that last line summed it all up, and it was clear to me the script was written to be stupid.

DJ, you're looking right at the face of death and might not even be seeing it.
The satire is on us for ignoring these kinds of kids UNTIL they become a problem.

To me, this is horror.
It's sooooo freaking plausible it genuinely terrifies me more than silly Michael Myers and Freddy Kruger bullsh!t.
Stupid kids with stupid ideas and no accountability for their actions.

Now, I did bollocks the part up by not making it clear WTH the plan was.
In the re-write they straight out (exposition?) tell Greenwood since he failed to persuade the teacher to write the letter of Rec. that the demon they're summoning will get the job done at persuading the teacher.
Better?

I also found every character... incredibly detestable.
Good.
As you should. That means you're likely sane and well adjusted.

fav line was "way to go varsity"
LOL! Mine, too!

Sorry, but Page 1 and I'm gone.
Oh, thank GOD! LOL!


Quoted from Sandra Elstree.
I'd like to try and get to the bottom of the trouble with page one.
Lines like this: Greenwood's face stops inches from crushing into Shadow's big knobby tires.

**Try saying that out loud. woods, face, stops, 'ches, ing, ows, 'res.

Even though different people process words differently, some of us hear the sounds in our heads and for me it sounds awkward. If I read that whole sentence aloud, it's very difficult for me This might be one reason why Jeff put it down. Even if he did so in a bit of an unconscious manner, it might (I'm not saying it is) have been the cause.

**Let's look at some more phrasing:

>Owen obsesses over pointing out to Greenwood the mere inches that separate his face from the tire.

*A little closer:

>O wen... Obsesses... O ver... pointing Out... To...

Do you hear the awkwardness?


Okey doke.

IDK WTH ya'll are talking about having difficulty reading words because they "sound awkward" in your mind(s).

Who wants to hear my ratty little soft southern voice?

http://kiwi6.com/file/zfpn5mi098
(Click the "Listen" icon beneath the ad block on the left.)

I read through the lines in question.
Didn't really hitch and chop to me.




EDIT:  Here's an audio read of the the PG-13 version  ~  http://kiwi6.com/file/6dg68iu821



Stupid kids: http://videosift.com/video/Peluca-Short-Film-Inspiration-for-Napoleon-Dynamite




Revision History (5 edits; 1 reasons shown)
RayW  -  March 12th, 2011, 9:03pm
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Pard
Posted: March 8th, 2011, 9:54am Report to Moderator
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Hey Ray,

This was a quirky and oddball script, but I liked it.  The easy going manner in which the teens go about the whole thing is pretty scary.  There was no feeling or remorse about it, or any thought to the consequences of their actions... which is how a lot of teens think!

Really well written and good dialogue between the teens.

The ending kind of came out of nowhere, but I sort of liked that in this script.

Nice one!
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bert
Posted: March 9th, 2011, 4:29pm Report to Moderator
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Did not get to this one during the contest, so playing a little catch up.
  
This one has parts that move along well -- the opening was strong and sets the tone quickly -- and parts that are tedious -- such as the teens arguing over their book color.

There are a few other parts where the banter between these teens overstays its welcome, and you might want to examine areas where your characters say more than they have to.  For example, Mark giving us a laundry list of things he doesn't need for his spell.

The Greenwood pun is unbearably forced.  You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Personally, I had no problem with your use of sports metaphors, and found them not only clear but effective.  I seem to recall a little debate about those.

Some of the action is not as clear as it could have been, however.  You imply cutting off fingers rather than stating it explicitly; I found that confusing, and think that passage is much weaker for it.

And the ending is really rushed -- with a feeling that the author started the script without a clear idea of where it would end up, and as a result, ended up someplace really weird with no time to do something different.  My theory, anyway.

This would not have been amongst my favorites, but would have hovered somewhere in the middle.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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dogglebe
Posted: March 17th, 2011, 7:12am Report to Moderator
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I get to the last page of this and I wonder, "Where's the rest of it?"  This was just a scene of something bigger.  It was all set up.

I thought your characters were pretty good.  They each had their own voice and role in the piece and I enjoyed their ignorance in the dark arts.

There's a lot that can be done with this script.  You could follow it up with a demon arriving, or with a demon not arriving.  But the end, here, is not good at all.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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RayW
Posted: March 19th, 2011, 8:52am Report to Moderator
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Hi, Yohn -
The easy going manner in which the teens go about the whole thing is pretty scary.  There was no feeling or remorse about it, or any thought to the consequences of their actions... which is how a lot of teens think!
Yep. That's the sort of thing that creeps me out the most.
They're not out for world domination.
No vengeance.
No million or ten million dollars/pounds/euros.
Just pretty small potatoes. A letter of recommendation = a life. Yeah. That's reasonable. Not.
Solving problems in their own horrible manner.
Sure, they're mildly concerned with each other, but... eh. Being associated with them, I wouldn't sleep too comfy.

The ending kind of came out of nowhere, but I sort of liked that in this script.
Yeah, I really needed another two pages and a few hours.
This was like... four or five hours of work after a day of thinking about it.
Well, you're the only one to sort of liked that in this script.
I figured if the rather successful Paranormal Activity duo could end abruptly why not mine?
Oh, well.


Bert -
... the opening was strong and sets the tone quickly -- and parts that are tedious -- such as the teens arguing over their book color.
Glad I set the tone right outta the gate.
I like the first bite of my double-cheezeburgers to taste like the last.
I never cared for (eye-rolling) "tension building". Maybe I'm immune to it.
Re. Tedious arguing. You don't find it stressful that a person's life seems to be coming to a poor ending while the potential malfeasants argue over stupid shstuff?
I can't really argue the point. I was nailed for the same thing in (7WC) LAPSE; antags chit-chatting while the lives of protags waited under the sword of Damacles.
Different strokes for different folks or just doesn't work, really?

For example, Mark giving us a laundry list of things he doesn't need for his spell.
No! That's actually an important part. Maybe.
In your line of work procedural chains have been established to create specific products.
No matter how tedious the procedure is any shortcuts compromize the product's integrity.
Same for summoning demons.
There's a clear procedure established - and these stupid kids think they can just crib sheet, Cliff Notes, buy an A+ essay short cut their way through this thing.
Uh... no.
Short cut list is important.
It contributes to establishing just how "self worldly" they think they are.

Now, here's a problem that I will cop to: I know how to operate firearms, so it drives me nuts in movies to see characters cocking hammers, pulling slides and pumping shotguns when doing so is almost always wrong.
I'm a victim of knowing too much.
HOWEVER, HWood's been doing this same dumb shstuff forever, I'm guessing, largely, because the general audience member hasn't a real clue that cocking the hammer is unneccessary, pulling a slide not only chambers a round but ejects the perfectly good bullet in the breech, same for pumping a shotgun shell.

So, screwit. Don't suggest an actual demon summoning procedure to the audience because even smart guys like you just go "Meh. Whatever. Yawn." ?
Same for anything: Door locks can be picked with ball point pens, safes can be cracked with stethescopes, a six inch strip of duct tape will gag a person.
Just keep most stories to Disney reality?

The Greenwood pun is unbearably forced.  You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
In other screenplays I see writers getting ragged for making their kids talking too smart and in others for adults talking too dumb.
Is it not apropriate to have teens talk like teens? Stupid cliches and all?
That was a teen joke, not a Ray joke.
Mine R mucho mo' sophisdicaded.  

You imply cutting off fingers rather than stating it explicitly; I found that confusing, and think that passage is much weaker for it.
Show it, don't suggest it?
I was shooting for some "greater than cheeze" atmosphere.
Miss?

And the ending is really rushed -- with a feeling that the author started the script without a clear idea of where it would end up, and as a result, ended up someplace really weird with no time to do something different.  My theory, anyway.
Pretty accurate.
Needed two more pages beyond the guidelines and maybe another four hours.


Phil -
I get to the last page of this and I wonder, "Where's the rest of it?"  This was just a scene of something bigger.  It was all set up.
Ran outta time and pages.
I wrote RING OF DECISIONS first, but Pia flagged it on budget. Of course she was correct.
So then I started cooking up something super cheap to shoot.
One setting. Cheap props. No costumes. Fire as the only SFX.

Owen hops on an ATV drives out to Starbucks and plots
the grisly death of school faculty over a grande latte.


I thought your characters were pretty good.  They each had their own voice and role in the piece and I enjoyed their ignorance in the dark arts.
Thank you.
Their ignorance about so many things is what I wanted to emphasize.
Children with power but insufficient control or comprehension.

There's a lot that can be done with this script.  You could follow it up with a demon arriving, or with a demon not arriving.  But the end, here, is not good at all.
Yeah, I'll eventually get around to presenting the EXPANDED! PG-13 + R + HWood + pisstake versions.
Demon (candy) in two of 'em.
Sheer demented humanity  reality in the other two.
Gotcha on the ending: Left field + abrupt = no good.

Yes, your comments and everyone's certainly helps.
Deer, God, Yes! they help.
http://www.deviantart.com/download/82473487/Deer_God_by_rah_bop.jpg

Thank you, each of you.



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