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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 27807 views)
bert
Posted: August 30th, 2007, 7:26am Report to Moderator
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Thank you, Toran.  That is very kind of you.  I am about to board a plane to Philly and may not be around much for a few days, so I wanted to give a quick thank you now.

There is a link in my sig to some short horror that may amuse you if you don't have anything better to do.

Thanks again.  Gotta run.


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thegardenstate89
Posted: September 23rd, 2007, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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Hey,

I was half way into your script over a year ago (I believe that I promised you a review back then), but I found myself very busy with school and since then have not particpated in this site until now.

I started your script over and I regret having taken so long to finally finish it. This is one great ghost story.

It's been awhile since I've read a script so I don't know if I could be any help pointing out the negatives. I did have few minor issues that tripped me up:

I didn't quite get why all of Angel's eyes were missing. I found the idea creepy but I might have missed the whole explanation as to why they were missing.

I also got the assumption that Yonder killed Angels parents over the land, but in the end his whole motive was still a little unclear to me. I connected the peices that the lawyers letters said it was worth a lot and that it was once his land, but for him not to come out and say it for himself in the end was what confused me.

When it is believed that Angels father commits a murder suicide. However Greg only discusses this once with Mary El and it is very brief. Maybe you choose this because it would slow down the pacing of the story. There is no inquiry into why he might have done such a thing.

I also had to google some of the farm terms you used but that stuff is completely alien to me.

The descriptions help make for a great atmosphere it's only fall but you painted a clear picture of winter in my head.

You've written quite a few scenes that have the potential to be very chilling when filmed. One of them being when Greg goes out to investigate the animal at night and the wind carries the sound of children laughing.
You shy away from excessive gore and violence which I loved. With the exception of the combine scene. But I think violence is more effective when it is used in a film very little.

I really liked the way the entire family interacted. Especially the relationship between Ty and his father. You wrote some very funny scenes that involved those two.

Your script reminded me very much like a Guillermo del Toro movie called "The devil's backbone" which I recommend you check out. It too is a ghost story in which things aren't always the way the appear.

I'm sorry it took over a year for me to get back to you. But I'm very glad I finally read it.
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bert
Posted: September 24th, 2007, 11:47pm Report to Moderator
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Hey there, Tony.  Geez, I thought we had seen the last of you.  Welcome back.  I understand about being busy, though.  I am just glad to learn that the first half of the script didn’t send you screaming off a cliff or something.


Quoted from thegardenstate89
I didn't quite get why all of Angel's eyes were missing.


The wrong-colored eyes would have given away her identity before she could complete her task.  But that could be clearer.  Lots of people stumble on that point.  You are spot-on with Yoder’s motives, as well.  That, too, is getting a tweak.


Quoted from thegardenstate89
Greg only discusses this once with Mary El and it is very brief…maybe you choose this because it would slow down the pacing of the story.


Yes, I agree.  And I am gonna swap this around so they are related to Mary El instead.  It helps to firm up her motives.


Quoted from thegardenstate89
I also had to google some of the farm terms you used but that stuff is completely alien to me.


That's cool that you look up stuff like that -- I do it, too -- and then call people on it if they get it wrong.  I trust you found everything to be in order, but I do know about farming.  I spent my summers growing up on the farm -- and in the farmhouse -- in this story.


Quoted from thegardenstate89
You shy away from excessive gore and violence which I loved.


At first I was afraid that would be a barrier to getting reads haha.


Quoted from thegardenstate89
Especially the relationship between Ty and his father.


My favorite relationship in this, too.  And it came the easiest, so I think it's right.


Quoted from thegardenstate89
Your script reminded me very much like a Guillermo del Toro movie called "The devil's backbone"


Hey, thanks.  That comparison is new, but I like it.  And I do know that one.  My favorite part is the big bomb that just sits out there in the yard for the whole story.  What a whacked out detail to include haha.

Thanks again, Tony.  I enjoyed your comments, and they helped lend confirmation to a few things I thought might need fixing.  Hope things slow down for you a little and we get to see you around.


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Murphy
Posted: November 29th, 2007, 8:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Bert, had this one on my hard drive for a while waiting for the opportunity to read it and got the chance yesterday while on a flight. Reading some of your shorts i already knew you could write so was looking forward to reading a feature length.

It of course was a well written script with good dialogue and especially good character development. I very much liked the fact it was more of a psychological horror/thriller rather than a slasher movie, it reminded in some ways of M Night Shalalayalalamans Signs, More of an edgy thriller rather than full on horror.

I have not read any of the other comments on here (far too many to read) so i may be in a minority here but for me the one thing that spoiled it for me was the mad possessed teddy bear. It really felt out of place in this story and felt a little bit like you were playing to the crowd with that one if you get what i mean? Personally if this were my story i would drop it completely.

I am also unsure of the ending, i think i understand why and how this all happened but i was surprised to find out that Angel was dead already. In terms of selling this script would angel living at the end not help? Does she need to be dead for the story to work? Bear in mind i am talking about selling this script here as i certainly think you could do, it is far better than much of the crap that get turned into horror movies at the moment.

One area of your story that i feel is underdeveloped is the role of the cop (Gaskin was it not?).
Your story was unusual given that it takes place so shortly after the murders and there is an active police investigation going on (although this is unknown to the viewer), The climax seems to depend on us taking this for granted that Gaskin just happened to work out who the killer is and heads out to the farm in the nick of time.

Not sure if you are a fan of the Coen bothers? i am a big fan of their work and i was wondering whether you could use Gaskin's character in a similar way to how they use a random minor character in a script to hold it together?  Maybe have him narrate the opening i.e. "i was a cold winter morning when we found them bodies at the old farm...." and then set up a small sub-plot with him trying to figure out what happened, maybe he could show up at the farm after the first night to check up on them etc.. It would not be such a surprise when he works it out and shows up at the end. Of course he thinks its a straight forward murder and does not realise what else is going on. I think this would make for an interesting sub-plot and help drive the story through to its conclusion, i certainly think it would better used than the Teddy bear which i really did not like.

Anyway i am rambling now but that idea did strike me after reading last night. It is a great story and could certainly be polished up and really could see this being made So well done, i enjoy reading your scripts.

Thanks Murphy



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bert
Posted: December 2nd, 2007, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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Hi, Murphy.  Thanks for taking time to actually pore over a feature-length and drop some thoughts.  Especially appreciated, that.


Quoted from Murphy
...one thing that spoiled it for me was the mad possessed teddy bear...and it felt a little bit like you were playing to the crowd...


No, I was playing to me.  It is what I would want to see.  

In my head, those scenes play out as terrifying -- but so many readers find it inappropriate, as you have -- or even worse, comical.

Everyone who has expressed an interest in this script -- they come and go -- **sighs** -- wants the bear toned down.

So your instincts there are good, Murph.  A rewrite will find the bear scaled back, with mere suggestions of menace as opposed to actually running around the room or whatever.


Quoted from Murphy
Your story was unusual given that it takes place so shortly after the murders and there is an active police investigation going on...


The time frame was supposed to lend the story a little urgency, but there is not a murder investigation.  It is supposed to look like suicide.

But so much of that is implied -- maybe a few scenes with Gaskins as "detective", uncovering the details, might help to clarify a story that is confusing to many readers.


Quoted from Murphy
Not sure if you are a fan of the Coen bothers?


Their films are a mixed bag, but "Blood Simple" is surely amongst my top 10 favorite movies.  I actually have a story in that style in my drawer of stuff that people may or may not see whenever haha.

I do not know if Gaskins would work in the exact way you've described -- I think the page count would shoot up big time -- but I also agree this story might benefit from a subplot as you described earlier.

There is a new version of this script scattered in notebooks and so forth.  I will get to it someday -- I say that about all my stuff haha --  and I'll see what I can do about adding an "investigation" subplot without going all CSI on the story.

Thank you again for your thoughts, Murphy.  I see your script is up now.

I will look tonight  


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sniper
Posted: January 10th, 2008, 10:46am Report to Moderator
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Hey Bert,

Just finished "The Farm" and here's my review. (I know I'm a little late for the dance so some of this might be a repeat of what other posters have mentioned.)

!!!SPOILERS!!!

I know you're a big SK fan and it shows - and I mean that in a good way.

First of all I would like to say that I really enjoyed this script. This was horror understated to near perfection. The build up was slow but not too slow and you avoided many - if not all - of the in-your-face/on-the-nose pitfalls. It really worked well with the creepy undercurrent of foreboding, which is just what these ghost stories call for - we know something is wrong, we just can't put a finger on what it is. The structure was very solid too, clean cuts between the first, second and third act. Well done.

Angel was a scene stealer. A very creepy little girl (on the surface at least). You used her well and her constant staring out of the window was puzzling but you tied that up real easy. Even though she didn't really do much, except for the staring, her presence always turned up the creepiness. I don't know why she had to do the whole balancing act though, seemed a little pointless.

One thing that bothered me (and this is not really a bad thing per se) but I couldn't make up my mind about who was scarier; Angel or Mary El. Obviously Angel represents the main "horror" elements in the story but Mary El's almost manic protection of the girl (even though it's obvious that something is wrong with her) was quite scary. Mary El is an excellently written character, but maybe you overstated it a bit. It got to a point that her treatment of Ty (her real child) actually made me feel somewhat angry at her (like Ty did) and as a consequence I wanted something bad to happen to her. If that's how you wanted her to come across then you managed it to perfection. However, if you want the reader to feel a bit more for her I suggest you turn down the "Angel-is-good" part of her and turn up the "dead-child" elements. I thought you only touched upon it and mostly through dialogue, and that's a shame cos' it could have set up the end better imo.

Ty is somewhat generic and that's perfectly fine in my book. He comes across believable but I would have like to have seen him be a little more sad than angry at the treatment he gets from especially Mary El.

Greg on the other hand could use a major tune up I think. He's a very dull and bland character and even when he's running around with a gun he's still dull and bland. He lacks personality and it becomes more evidently when in the same scene as Angel and Mary El, who are both real characters. Even though he hadn't seen his brother (or his sister-in-law) for quite some time, he should at the very least show some sorrow over the dead of his brother. I know you have the short scene where he finds the cap but it's just too little and too vague. He comes across like nothing really affects him and that's simply not believable.

On to Mr. Yoder, the bad guy (and I can't believe you didn't put a YODA joke in there somewhere - shame on you, Bert). Yeah, I guess he was an okay bad guy. His motive was simple - money/land (at least that's what I got from the third act). I also liked his back story.

The rest of the supporting cast was also well written, but the Native American postal lady was a bit too stereotypical. It seems that all Native Americans can smell evil - idunno, maybe they really are in touch with the spirit world, but she reminded me of Sonny Landham's character, Billy, from Predator: "There's something out there waiting for us - and it ain't no man".

The story in itself was good and engaging. I especially liked the first and the third act. The second act felt a bit longer than it actually was and I think it's mainly due to the fact the things going on as pretty generic of the genre. The power cut and the destroyed car (and no cell phone signal) was to be expected. I know that you need those elements (as they're vital to the story) they just didn't come in at the same level at the rest of the story. You have to raise your game in the second act, Bert. The end, though a bit mushy with Angel's/Sarah's death, actually worked quite well and I thought it was a real page-turner. Okay, it may have gotten a little too sweet when Angel tells Mary El that she will get pregnant (I actually got cavities in my teeth from reading that and I will send you the bill). One thing I didn't get though is why Gaskins shows up alone. Why didn't he ride in with the cavalry? And what was with the syringe? I never got that part.

The dialogue was top notch. Period.

We've already discussed some of the actual writing, Bert, so I'll only touch upon it. Leave the editing to the editors, don't write what can't be seen on screen, don't let your descriptions get too coy and, for God's sake man, drop the "IS". Your choice of prose is phenomenal but the way you structure your sentences destroys it all. The IS makes everything feel like you're watching still pictures and not a motion picture.

Anyway, that's it for me. All in all a very enjoyable read and I'll be looking forward to the next draft - so get cracking.


Cheers
Rob


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bert
Posted: January 11th, 2008, 10:43am Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Snipe (a new nickname I just made up).  I really enjoyed reading your comments -- and filing away some of these nuggets for my next spin on this.  


Quoted from Sniper
I couldn't make up my mind about who was scarier; Angel or Mary El …her almost manic protection of the girl…was quite scary.



Quoted from Sniper
Greg on the other hand could use a major tune up...


I like your additional thoughts on that aspect of her character.  To repeat something buried in this thread, the next draft will be arranged so that Mary El is the blood relative here, not Greg.  That scenario can easily incorporate some of what you are talking about, I think.  This rearrangement should hopefully firm up what Mary El is going through and her motives for it, and also give more room for friction with an even more resentful Greg.

I agree that Greg is a bit bland right now, and is probably the weakest link.  We also do not have a scene with just Greg and Angel, and I would like to have one.  That should help, too.


Quoted from Sniper
One thing I didn't get though is why Gaskins shows up alone.


We will see a little more of what Gaskins is doing, as far as police work, if I can accomplish that without going overboard and getting all distracted (as with the murder plot in "Think of me...).

I was trying to keep everything at one location -- the Farm -- but I've finally decided that trying to tell Gaskins' story without showing it explicitly -- or using bulky exposition to Yoder -- just doesn't make things clear enough.


Quoted from Sniper
And what was with the syringe?


You really didn't get that, huh?  Darn.  That is the murder weapon.  How Yoder killed them.  It is the evidence that Gaskins found that night at Yoder's, and hence, his rush to the farm, suspecting the worst.  Particularly when he finds Yoder prowling around with a shotgun.


Quoted from Sniper
I'll be looking forward to the next draft - so get cracking.


A new draft is one of my resolutions for the New Year.  Two of my resolutions are already in the crapper, so we’ll see how this one goes.

Thanks again for some good, thoughtful input on this draft of the story.


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sniper
Posted: January 11th, 2008, 11:52am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
You really didn't get that, huh?  Darn.  That is the murder weapon.  How Yoder killed them.

I have to apologize here. When I read your comment above I was like, "duh, of course". I must have zoned out completly when I wrote the review cos' I remember that now. Sorry.

Btw.

When Yoder introduces himself to Greg and Mary El asks who it is, I would have wrote this:

-----

"Mary El pops over Greg’s shoulder.

MARY EL
Who is it?

GREG
(faux pleasant)
It’s our neighbor. Mr....Yoda?

YODER
Yo-Der."

-----

Just my poor attempt of a little humor.


Rob


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Ian
Posted: January 11th, 2008, 5:22pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
We will see a little more of what Gaskins is doing, as far as police work, if I can accomplish that without going overboard and getting all distracted (as with the murder plot in "Think of me...).

I was trying to keep everything at one location -- the Farm -- but I've finally decided that trying to tell Gaskins' story without showing it explicitly -- or using bulky exposition to Yoder -- just doesn't make things clear enough.


Are you worried that breaking away from the farm location will hinder the atmosphere or suspense? Because I don't think you need to be. Yes, you're script is of the 'threatening location' variety like THE SHINING (as opposed to one about a supernatural force that follows people around like THE GRUDGE or FINAL DESTINATION where the writer has the freedom to create threat and a sense of danger no matter where the characters are), so I can understand if you're worried that cutting away from that location will kill that heightened, claustrophobic 'there's no escape!' vibe that isolated settings provide.
However, I think it's only a problem when the MAIN characters leave the location. The feeling that they're in terrible danger could be destroyed if one of the characters in peril were to leave the farm. The reader/viewer might go 'well if it's that easy to get the hell out of there, why don't they do just that?'. If you strand them there, they're still there, in danger, unable to escape, even when we're in Gaskins' office watching him mull something over at his desk. And because he isn't part of the main story, we don't associate him with the threatening location so seeing him safe and far away from the horror doesn't undermine the threat of the farm. In MISERY they cut to Sheriff's investigation on numerous occasions and the it didn't hurt the film at all. Even though we get to see a safe environment outside of Annie's house, we still know that Paul Sheldon is trapped there, unable escape into that environment because of his injuries.

For an example of what NOT to do, watch HELL NIGHT, a little known slasher flick starring Linda Blair which sees a handful of teens trapped with a killer in an gothic mansion surrounded by a high metal fence and a set of gates with spikes at the top. The perfect scenario in which to build up an increasingly claustrophobic feeling of dread... until one of them manages to climb over the gates to get help, is ignored by the police who think it's a fraternity prank, so with a stolen shotgun in tow goes BACK to the house and slips through a convenient gap in the fence that he didn't know was there before (and which the remaining stranded characters are STILL unaware of and remain so for the entire film). It's hard to take comments of 'there's no way out!' seriously after that.


"Are you saying I'm crazy!?"
"Oh no, but I'm certainly thinking it loudly"
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bert
Posted: January 12th, 2008, 3:44am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from sniper

GREG
It’s our neighbor. Mr....Yoda?


Hmmm.   I’ll think about it, but no promises on that one…


Quoted from Ian
Are you worried that breaking away from the farm location will hinder the atmosphere or suspense?


Hey, Ian.  How’s it going?  What I was really getting at with the single location thing was budget.  It is a nice tool for the pitch when you can say that all the filming takes place at one locale.


Quoted from Ian
...you're script is of the 'threatening location' variety like THE SHINING...


I get you, and thanks for bringing up Shining as an example, as that does help to clarify things a bit.  They do cut away occasionally to the caretaker in that film, don’t they?  Scatman, but I forget his movie name right now.  And it does not really slow the action or reduce the menace that I can recall.  His urgency may even ratchet things up a bit.

That is probably how much additional screentime Gaskins will have -- about as much as they give Scatman down in Miami or wherever he went.  Good thoughts there, Ian.   I think you are right on.


Quoted from Ian
...watch HELL NIGHT...


Hahaha....seen it.  And how dare you go dissing Linda Blair?  She was a cutie, man.  I might have to watch that one again...





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Quoted from bert
Hahaha....seen it.  And how dare you go dissing Linda Blair?  She was a cutie, man.  I might have to watch that one again...


No! I love HELL NIGHT actually, there were a handful of the HALLOWEEN/FRIDAY THE 13TH clones that were actually polished, well-crafted and decently acted and created genuine suspense. I think Hell Night is one of them, up there with MY BLOODY VALENTINE, PROM NIGHT, TERROR TRAIN, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (although that one had a diabolical ending lol). I wasn't dissing it really, and Linda Blair was a great final girl. That part where one of them leaves the house is the one thing that bothers me about it, killed the suspense a bit after building it so nicely. Actually, there is one other part that bothers me; when the British girl is drinking liquor from a hip flash and a frat guy says something like 'I see you're already down with the AMERICAN lifestyle'... Err... as if mate. .


"Are you saying I'm crazy!?"
"Oh no, but I'm certainly thinking it loudly"
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scotty
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I’ve read The Farm twice over the past year (not back-to-back, but about 5 months apart).  I wanted to comment, but I’m not sure what I can say that has not already been said many times before.  

-- I love the script.  Nice to see this type of horror script.

--The only thing I think might need more work is the dialogue.  It’s not bad, but like another poster said, it seemed overwritten.  I think you could be more economical with words and have the characters say the same thing with less.

--I think the dialogue holds the script back.  It keeps the story from flowing at times and keeps the tension from building (not that the tension does not build—it does—it would build tension even better with a good dialogue rewrite.  

Overall, I really liked the script and would love to see it made into a movie.  
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bert
Posted: January 19th, 2008, 4:04am Report to Moderator
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Thank you, scotty.  That's very kind of you, and welcome to the boards.


Quoted from scotty
Nice to see this type of horror script.


This is the kind of stuff I like best, too.  I wrote this for me as much as anyone.


Quoted from scotty
The...dialogue...it seemed overwritten.


Yes, I do that sometimes.  I use more contractions now, which helps more than I thought it would, actually.  I'll look for trims on rewrite.  I really do prefer the descriptive stuff over the dialogue, and sometimes it even seems clunky to me.  I envy those that can do it well.

Thank you again.  I appreciate your letting me know that you liked it.



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rc1107
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Quoted from rc1107 on the thread 'Server Problem with SS'
Yeah, I noticed it (server was down) about 7:30 this morning, about nine hours ago.  I was excited to read 'The Farm' this morning, but I don't feel like it anymore.  Guess that author loses out on a read.


That is actually true.  I was going to read it that morning.

All right, I browsed through a FEW of the thread pages and saw you posted a couple different drafts along the way, so I will just focus on what I think are the BIG problems that you still seem to have that were in the first few drafts you posted.

My big huge main niggle, which unfortunately, you seem dead-set on keeping in the story no matter what, is your Snuggles Gone Psycho.  Lol.  I literally visioned Snuggles, you know, the bear from fabric softener commercials, with a vendetta against Ty.  It reminded me a lot of the monkey that threatens to kill Chris in 'The Family Guy'.  I understand this is a supernatural script, but that was just too out there and really doesn't fit with the rest of the story.  It takes away from it, in fact.  At least the children had souls, so their ghosts are plausible.  Even the cat (yes, I have something to say about, that, too) was at least plausible, because it had died.  But the teddy bear was inanimate.  Hopefully, now that you got your fix with reanimating a bear in 'Think of Me...', you might consider removing Snuggles out of this one if you ever do want to do another rewrite.  I'm just saying.  It'd be a pretty frightening addition if it kept in tune with the rest of the story.  But it goes against the ending as it is right now.

All right, now the cat.  The cat, I thought, was a great element to add into the story.  (And I'm sure you already know I wallowed in the fact that she ate her babies to stay alive.  Thank you for satisfying my demented side today.)  And even the way you killed it was great and terrifying.  But it should have been left at that.  Everything else involving Fishface you could have saved if you ever get hired to write an installment of Pet Sematary.  And, once again, it goes against the grain of the ending of the story.

Isn't one of the points of the ending for all the horrible happenings was Yoder's greed?  Even if you keep the cat in, you have him attack Greg.  Based on the ending, shouldn't have Fishface attacked the shameful and greedy Yoder?

Which also made me think, why are the ghost children focusing on Greg, Mary El and Ty, if it's all about greed and shame.  Maybe if you have the family want to stay there, I could see the ghosts getting rattled.  I do remember Angel asking them why the ghosts were messing with the family, but I don't think you ever answered it.  Or if you did, I'm sorry.  I missed it.

Those are my main niggles.  I have a couple smaller ones that might be worth mentioning:

- No matter how nice Children's Services is, there's no way they'd let Angel stay there like that, especially with how aggressive she's being.  I think you should stress the point a lot more that the family's just staying there until they get the estate in order.  Once again, not that important, but I thought it enough to express it.

- I remember somebody nailing you on the first draft you posted that Greg was extremely immature.  Then, on the next draft, they said it was much better.  To me, he was still acting way way way too immature, definately like a father, no matter how in touch with his inner fifteen year-old is, shouldn't act.  And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he a teacher?  However, I did like him whistling 'Green Acres' while he was checking out the combine.  But I think it went overboard when he obliviously started playing with the levers.  A lot of his dialogue seems off and pretty forced, too.  Especially when Mary El tells him and Ty to go stay in a hotel.  Then Greg, says very superhero Arnold Schwarzenegger-ishly 'Nah.  We'll stick around'.

- In fact, a lot of the dialogue, especially towards the end of act 2, seemed really off.  Which was really surprising because it was very good up until that point.  Here's a couple examples that didn't fly with me just to point out.

    -  After Angel throws the knife at Yoder's feet, Greg says 'Damn, girl.'  I kept on waiting for him to add 'You go on with your bad self.'  Then they hi-five and give each other some hip and jive and happenin' handshake.

    -  When Gaskins is gruesomely caught in the machine, Ty walks up to him and casually states 'That looks really painful, sir.'

    -  After Mary El shoots the rifle, but nothing happens.  Yoder says it's only meant for one shot, and Mary El, speaking to the person she just tried to kill, simply says 'Oh.'  I was waiting for her to add 'my bad.'

-Also, I made a note of it, but never marked the page and now I can't find it, but somewhere in the beginning, Greg says something like 'Haven't you felt something weird going on for the past few days.'  I might have missed something again, but I thought that was still their first night in the house.  That's something I'll have to pay attention to when I read this again, though.

Welp, everything else is little small things already mentioned (How the dead animals wouldn't rot in the cold winter, which I'm surprised you didn't think of, especially since you had the family burying meat in the snow when the electric went out).

And now the part you've been waiting for.  How I felt about the story.

Honestly, I didn't like it.  It was boring and the story went nowhere.  I give it one star out of five just because of Fishface eating her babies.  Sorry, but that's how I felt.

Did I scare you?  Because I'm only kidding.

It was definately an awesome story and even the points I've brought up don't come close to hurting how extremely well this was written and how good the story is.

One of the things I noticed while browsing the comments was your wordy descriptions.  Well, as far as I'm concerned, one of the purposes of a screenplay is to tell a story using pictures.  You do this extremely well.  You get the feeling and mood across to your readers superbly well, and it definately separates you from a lot of other writers I have read.  It makes it very easy to get a clear picture in my head of what is going on.  In fact, I only came across one description that I thought went overboard, and it was in the very beginning.

- 'At the center is a pivot, and during the summer it prowls this field on fat tires, generating huge, concentric crop circles.'  That's the only thing I felt stepped over the line.  And you even make up for it, though, with great imagery in the very next description:  'But it is sleeping now, and icicles dangle from its thick piping like glistening fangs, dripping as they are warmed by the approaching day.'

Even when you describe Ty with 'a disarming, wise-ass grin he inherited from his father.'  This makes sense because the father was right there in the car with him and we could compare it.  If we had never seen his father before, then it wouldn't have made sense.

I don't remember if I said anything in 'Some Place Nice and Dark', but if I didn't say it, I meant to.  You would make an excellent novelist or short story writer, with how well your descriptions are.

And I loved the atmosphere for this and the way you handled the supernatural element of things.  You did, for the most part, try and keep it grounded in reality, though.  Nothing came as a cheat.  Except for the damn bear.

Just to let you know, I've been working on a story that takes place on a farm and there are ghost children also.  If I do decide to finish writing it, just know I'm not trying to copy off of your idea.  I got the idea for mine awhile ago, when I was outside rounding the horses up to bring them in around midnight.  I swear to God I heard a child laughing somewhere in the woods.

The reason I brought that up (besides to stress I'm not ripping you off), is because I'm struggling really hard to keep the story grounded in real-life, and I commend you for succeeding very well at pulling it off.

All right, well, enough jerking you off now and time to get back to some writing of my own.

Excellent story once again.  All the hype I've heard about this story was worth it.

- Mark


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Hey Mark.  As of about a week ago, I have officially set aside this summer for a new draft.  And you touch on many of the things that gotta change.



Quoted from rc1107
My big huge main niggle…is your Snuggles Gone Psycho.
  

I suppose I will never convince the rest of the world just how terrifying my demonic teddy bear can be.  Ever heard of "killing your darlings?"  Well, this darling is going under the knife.  I might still have a bear in some form -- but walking and leaping with claws and fangs?  No.


Quoted from rc1107
All right, now the cat.


Her name is Fish-Head.  And you get it wrong, like, 10 times.  Now you have to forgive every instance of Maledori.

The cat in the graveyard has been a problem since the very first draft.  The easiest solution may just be to kill that whole episode.  That may happen next draft.


Quoted from rc1107
Why are the ghost children focusing on Greg, Mary El and Ty?


Ty hates Angel/Sarah, and Greg gets too close to the truth (in the graveyard and the bathroom scenes).  And Mary El is never really in any danger at all, if you think about it.  All of this needs to be made clearer in the new draft, which will also have firmer ground rules for what these kids can and cannot do.  Menacing, scary stuff happens, for sure, but the only time there is any real danger, it will be from Yoder.

As to some of your dialogue niggles, I have to agree.  Taken out of context, they do kind of shrivel.  And I have always doubted that one line from Greg, from the first moment I wrote it.  


Quoted from rc1107
Did I scare you?


Haha.  You fucker.  I was sitting there going, "Now how can I politely thank this asshole for reading...?"  So yeah -- nice gotcha moment.  And thanks for the stuff after that.  I will not be pretentious enough to slap it in a quote box, but I appreciated the thoughts quite a bit.


Quoted from rc1107
I've been working on a story that takes place on a farm…when I was outside rounding the horses up to bring them in around midnight.  I swear to God I heard a child laughing somewhere in the woods.


So you have spent some time on a farm, too?  That is interesting.  This story takes place on a farm that actually exists, and most of the details, right down to the painted windmill, are true.

What you need to do is walk around that farm where your story is set, and think about your story while you are there.  Look for real-life details to incorporate, and that will help it to feel grounded.  That is what I did, anyway. Wander into those woods where you heard the child -- at night, if you can -- and use whatever you find there.

Thanks again, Mark.  Much appreciated.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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