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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  The Farm Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Farm  (currently 27860 views)
dogglebe
Posted: May 28th, 2006, 12:40pm Report to Moderator
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You don't know what you're talking about, newbie!  Stop writing here!!

Just kidding, S.T..  A lot of new people are afraid to afraid to post their comments in fear of disagreeing with us 'regulars.'  Write what you think and, if possible, include examples if you have a problem with someone's writing.  Don't read everyone else's reviews until after you post.  Then compare what you wrote with what others wrote.


Phil
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Kevin Eiford
Posted: May 31st, 2006, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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Hello, Bert. I'm Ernie...  

I have a short review for your great piece of work here. I'm not the greatest person who can review, but at least you'll get some input.

'The Farm' was definately one of the only scripts that actually gave me goosebumps. It was full of non-stop suspense, and horror mixed in with it. Your formatting was at formatting's best, which is a good things. Your grammar was almost perfect despite a few errors here and there.

Your characters were developed nicely, and I felt like I knew them all personally except for the teddy bear. I love when teddy bears turn into demons and stuff like that in movies.

This is overall a great script, I'm sorry I can't do a page by page review, but that's just difficult for me.

Do you have any work coming out soon?
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bert
Posted: May 31st, 2006, 7:58pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Kevin.  I'll even let that crack about Ernie slide.  Bert is short for Robert, btw.

I'm glad to read that you liked the story -- and the characters -- and the bear (my favorite, too) -- and I format on plain old Word -- so you don't need an expensive and fancy program (just so ya' know).

My sig has a link to all of my work -- "Starbuck Starr" is my current work in progress -- but there are plenty of other great writers around here, too.  Nose around and you'll find them easily enough.

Thanks again for the look.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Steve-Dave
Posted: June 23rd, 2006, 4:41pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Bert, thought I'd give this a read since I've heard good things. For the most part, I didn't think it was all that great, but a good read. There were things I liked and things I didn't.

The parts I liked were Ty, I thought his character was great. He has a very smart @$$ element that I can identify with very much, I also dug Mary El as well. I like the way you write dialogue and think that you should incorporate more of that into your writing. The bear I thought was an interesting addition, although I don't know how well it would play if it was a movie. Although Chucky worked, and he was a doll, so I guess the teddy ruxpin from hell would work too. And the part where lucifer ate her own young to stay alive I thought was splendedly creepy.

The biggest problem I had with the script was the whole scene where Greg investigates outside for the bear, it just seems very unnatural to me. If Yoder could hear all the noise from his place, but Mary El doesn't seem as concerned as she should be though. She hears gunshots, and the lights go out, and then a tower drops on the car (which she doesn't hear, yet she heard a gunshot?) And she's not concerned what he's shooting at or worried enough to step out of the house, it just doesn't seem real. then greg tries to save the car when a tower's about to fall on it??? And their conversation inside just seemed to casual as well once greg entered from outside. Because your writing is very good, and this scene just didn't measure up to the rest, I think you could do it a lot better. Also, the whole angle with yoder I didn't think was natural, when he was in their house trying to kill Angel. I mean, he just tried to kill her, and they just seem to have a very casual attitude to him. I would have just shot him right there, or at least kicked his @$$ if he's trying to strangle a little girl. And then he kept getting away, and even the sheriff couldn't get him, and he's an old guy, yet he's always throwing people off of him who try to tackle him??? There was just too much convenience. The motives were also at a loss on me, so not all that much made sense. I think there should have been more of a backstory to how the kids died, the lightning in the cornfield and burning is a cool idea, but serves no purpose I thought to explain why the kids are so malevolant. Now, if someone killed them, or set the corn on fire, I could see why they'd be pissed, but in a natural disaster death, I don't see why they're so malevolant. The whole "this will always be there property" angle just wasn't enough for me. I also don't get why they're so malevolant in particular to ty and greg and mary el, since mary el tried to help, and yoder was the one who conjured them out, why'd the bear go after ty then if yoder's the real bad guy and the spirits didn't kill the other family???? and then they're all friendly and helping them out by the end??? What was yoder's motive in the first place, or did I miss it? Was he just crazy from losing his family or what??? It was the displacement of motives that ruined a lot for me, cuz I didn't understand why anybody did or didn't do anything. I also think the whole eye and picture thing is old hat now, and too cliche by today's horror movie standards. The ring already covered it by having the faces crossed out in the pictures, and I think another movie already did something with the eyes as well. I think it was like Hide and Seek or Darkness or something like that were they did something with pictures, but I can't remember what exactly. But the writing is very good, the concepts, but the story I thought was lacking, especially in the third act. I thought the concept was good, just could have been executed better. but that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


"Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd" - George Carlin
"I have to sign before you shoot me?" - Navin Johnson
"It'll take time to restore chaos" - George W. Bush
"Harry, I love you!" - Ben Affleck
"What are you looking at, sugar t*ts?" - The man without a face
"Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death." - Exodus 31:15
"No one ever expects The Spanish Inquisition!" - The Spanish Inquisition
"Matt Damon" - Matt Damon
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bert
Posted: June 23rd, 2006, 6:57pm Report to Moderator
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This is so weird, Sry.....

I swear to you that I was kind of half-buzzing through "The Skeptic" just this afternoon -- not really taking any notes -- but just kind of reading -- and now I guess I have to finish it for real haha.

It's also kind of funny -- I remember thinking "Why does every horror movie seem to have this?" when I reached the part about the altered polaroid photos (with the white spots floating around Andy?) -- so yeah -- I don't remember what movie you are talking about either -- but I did see something pretty recently with the eyes cut out, and I was like, "Shite!!"  I hate it when that happens.

I'll delete this post and put up a more appropriate response to your comments sometime this weekend -- thanks, by the way -- but I couldn't help but comment as soon as I saw this -- and I'll try to finish up with The Skeptic before too terribly long.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Steve-Dave
Posted: June 23rd, 2006, 8:26pm Report to Moderator
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lol. Thanks Bert. Glad someone decided to read it. Hope you enjoy.


"Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd" - George Carlin
"I have to sign before you shoot me?" - Navin Johnson
"It'll take time to restore chaos" - George W. Bush
"Harry, I love you!" - Ben Affleck
"What are you looking at, sugar t*ts?" - The man without a face
"Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death." - Exodus 31:15
"No one ever expects The Spanish Inquisition!" - The Spanish Inquisition
"Matt Damon" - Matt Damon
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bert
Posted: June 25th, 2006, 2:31pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Sry.  Pardon the delayed response, but since I kind of went and committed myself to Skeptic, I wanted to wait until I was ready to post on that one before I posted here.  So I'll bump that one up ahead of this haha.  Fair is fair.

Thanks for taking the time to work your way through a feature-length, and also for having the guts to point out some of the stuff you didn't like.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting what people really think, or if this long thread just beats them into submission

You are not first reader that has found the motivations for some of the characters -- particularly Yoder -- to be a little murky.  As the writer, I know why they act as they do, but unfortunately, it is not my job to explain this in a post -- it is my job to explain it in the script!  So thanks for pointing out the things that aren't coming through in this story for you.  That helps a great deal.

I will be generating another draft of this story -- not sure when, exactly, but I am starting to reach that tipping point where I have enough feedback on this draft to justify starting another -- and I appreciate your taking the time to give me your thoughts.


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bert
Posted: July 6th, 2006, 11:06am Report to Moderator
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This is for people who might be interested.  I tossed this script into the BlueCat competition this year.  Not a finalist.  Would have been nice, but I wasn't really expecting it.  They had about 1700 scripts this year.

Anyways, they do give feedback.  If you are curious about the type of feedback you get from BlueCat, I thought I would toss it out there.

I found it to be completely fair, touching on many of the weaknesses that have already been recognized by readers here.  The comments are thoughtful, and this reviewer did pick up on many of the things I was trying to do with this story.

I would enter this contest again.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Farm
Archive #656


What did you like about this script?


This is a terrifying and chilling ghost story about a farm haunted
with the souls of the children burned alive. The mystery builds
steadily and it's suspenseful all the way through. The opening scene
with Angel in the barn, not only establishes her character, but also
sets the tone of the script. The author has masterfully created an
eerie and supernatural atmosphere in every line and on every page.

The family dynamic plays a huge part in this story. The
mother-daughter connection between Mary El and Angel are the backbone
of the narrative. Mary El's protectiveness of Angel, even from Ty and
Greg are intensified by the loss of her own daughter (a detail of back
story revealed in the middle of the script). At every point, it's that
bond that prevents Mary El and her family from leaving, despite the
warnings and ominous events.

The haunting images are a powerful part of the storytelling. The
photographs of Angel, the demonic teddy bear and the animals rotting
in their cages are all wonderful devices to terrify the characters and
the audience. The most effective of these images is the children.
Their motives are ambiguous and their presence is invasive, especially
as they manipulate the Ereckson family. Structurally, the scenes enter
and exit with perfect timing. There is no superfluous or expository
information and the pace and mood of the script is established
succinctly in every scene. The description and dialogue is neat and
fluid, giving the story a natural rhythm.

Each character speaks with a distinctive voice, their dialogue pulling
with the weight of their importance, but also their point of view.
Mary El is the main character and therefore has the final say on the
debates with her family. Ty speaks with the apathy and angst of a
burgeoning teenager and receives as much credibility. Even though
Angel says very little throughout the script, her words have an
authoritative and intimidating resonance, suggesting her foresight in
the events that unfold.

What do you think needs work?

There are so many interesting plot twists that the final one is a
letdown. The beginning of the story creates so much tension and
mystery that it loses steam by the third act. The story has been set
up wonderfully, but it needs more of a follow through. The final scene
is the most important part since it is what the audience is left with.
In this particular story, too much is resolved at once and it feels
contrived.

Angel's sacrifice and death are poignant, but the revelation of Mary
El's pregnancy is too easy. Mary El's grief for Angel offers some
resolution to her grief over her own child. Giving her what she wants
just contradicts that character development. She doesn't have to have
a little girl for the audience to feel closure. In fact her acceptance
of her situation would be satisfying and bittersweet.

The two Angels in the end are really confusing. Not only is this
little girl possessed by the ghost of one of Yoder's sisters, but she
appears in two different places at the same time. Everything makes
sense up until those last few scenes and then the story falls apart.
The story is intricate, but the ending doesn't have to be so
over-complicated. Simplicity might work better.

Greg's behavior is strange and inappropriate, especially in the
beginning of the script. He doesn't seem at all sad about his
brother's apparent suicide. He acts too cheerful and happy-go-lucky
for someone in this situation. This is true especially in scenes where
he is playing with the farm equipment or goofing off with Ty. Even
though he isn't the main character, he still needs some depth and
credibility.

As the villain and antagonist of the story, Yoder shows up a bit late.
He arrives halfway through the story, whereas every other character is
introduced in the first twenty pages or so. His conspicuous entrance
points to his guilt too early. As the main opponent, he should
interact with the family more.

Overall, the story is well-written and well-executed, but needs a
little more originality and uniqueness. As a well-worn genre, horror
needs extra care and attention to avoid the commonly beaten paths. The
characters and the story need to take the audience someplace they have
never been before.


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Scoob
Posted: July 7th, 2006, 8:47pm Report to Moderator
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Bert that is great, thanks for sharing.
It was certainly well detailed and is a great review, one you should be extremely proud of.

If "The Farm" never made it into that competition then I really am gobsmacked.
What the hell won it?




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bert
Posted: July 7th, 2006, 9:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scoob
What the hell won it?


Hey, Scoob.  You know, I've got a theory (perhaps you'll sympathize) that maybe us Horror writers already have one strike against us when we go into something like this.

Whether they admit it or not, I'll bet alot of the "serious" readers have an automatic bias when they pick up a script and see its a horror script.  Guess we gotta' work just that much harder, you think?

Anyways, you can find the semi-finalists (16 outta' 1700+) here, at this very intuitive link:

http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com/

So yeah, I was pretty happy with the comments.  That's why I put them up, I guess.  I would be really curious to see some of the other feedback forms, though -- to see if they all got as many "ego-strokes" or if that was just for me.

I suppose I can pretend I'm special until I learn otherwise.

Another minor, interesting thing I noticed.  Out of all the semi-finalist titles, only one title begins with the word "The".  I wonder if that's a problem with mine.....


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Scoob
Posted: July 7th, 2006, 9:51pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Bert,

Completly agree with you, I think the horror genre gets a lot of slack and its a shame. There is an art form in horror and when it is perfected, it is still treated like the shame of society to the so called big wigs.

I can see why a lot of people look at a script and see it labled a horror and think "Oh god, not another". But it is a shame horror films get labled as if they are all the same.

But yeah, I guess that makes us have to work harder at creating more exciting and original stories so thats not a bad thing in some respects. I know most people start off writing horror as it seems like its an easy thing to do. Thats fine, but I guess it devalues the genre at the same time.

I'll take a look at the link, cheers.

As for the "The" title thingy, I was thinking the same thing the other day when I was putting a title for one of my works in progress. I was calling it "The Dark Moon", but when I wrote it into my signature on this site I thought it sounded a little...off.
Little things like that may count I guess.

But heck, Bert, that is a great responce you got. Its a great script and like I said, it is a little odd it was not considered.



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Abe from LA
Posted: July 13th, 2006, 8:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
Whether they admit it or not, I'll bet alot of the "serious" readers have an automatic bias when they pick up a script and see its a horror script.  Guess we gotta' work just that much harder, you think?


I think this is true, Bert.  I recall reading that one contest actually tries to match scripts of a particular genre (Horror, Sci-Fi, Historical) with readers of like tastes.  The contest organizers never said this, but I got the impression that those genres were susceptible to getting "raw deals."

Horror is probably notorious for bad script entries, which adds to the problem.  Lending credence to why readers have a bias against such themes.  That's a stigma that will always be there, unless you enter horror-themed contests.

Even in literature, before King, how many pure horror authors were respected?
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Oney.Mendoza
Posted: July 15th, 2006, 3:58am Report to Moderator
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Its amazing that its been well past a year since this was originally posted and its still being reviewed like crazy.

Read through it again recently, still love it.

-ONEY


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James Fields
Posted: July 15th, 2006, 5:00pm Report to Moderator
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I read through this again a few nights ago. It's so flawless. This is one of Simply Scripts classics. I've noticed how new people to the site always seem to pick this one up first.

Like me...


Coming Soon:

I finally found the title for my short.

Acronym- You've been warned...

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Abe from LA
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Quoted from James Fields
I read through this again a few nights ago. It's so flawless.


If you think this is killer now, wait till Bert does his next rewrite.

The Farm will likely get optioned, if not sold.
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