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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  The Farm Moderators: bert
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RayW
Posted: August 6th, 2010, 2:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
If the new draft ever sees the light of day here on these boards,...


What do we have linked here?
http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/The_Farm.pdf
Still the 2005 original or the >2009 rewrite?

Thank you.




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bert
Posted: August 6th, 2010, 3:52pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RayW
What do we have linked here...Still the 2005 original or the >2009 rewrite?


Hey Ray;

What is up now is a third draft, greatly improved from the original based upon feedback received here on these boards.

I forget exactly when it was put up, but I see that I amended the logline in 2007, so it was probably about that time -- right before I entered a new phase in my career where writing for fun has, unfortunately, had to take a seat at the back of the bus.

I have a file of notes from a few (lapsed) options, and some additional feedback since then, and I continue to evaluate how I feel about some of the proposed changes.  Some I like a lot, some I am lukewarm to.  I already know the third act is going to be greatly overhauled for sure.

It is all about finding the time, as I will someday.  Feedback is always welcome, even on the long threads -- at least you know those authors are around to see it, at any rate.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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RayW
Posted: August 6th, 2010, 4:06pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
It is all about finding the time, as I will someday.  Feedback is always welcome, even on the long threads -- at least you know those authors are around to see it, at any rate.


Amen.
I have forty feature log lines/premises aging like E-Z cheeze in the back window of an Arizona AMC Gremlin and little spare time to serve them on a ritz.

Tell me what kinda feedback you're looking for and I'll be sincere in offering my 2c to the noble cause.
Re-writes suggest spell checking and punctuation checks are fruitless, so I'm thinking... continuity and key plot emphasis points? Maybe?

When you look at your 3rd rewrite and consider the notes you already have in hand what do go "Hmmm..." over?

Ray



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bert
Posted: August 6th, 2010, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RayW
Re-writes suggest spell checking and punctuation checks are fruitless, so I'm thinking... continuity and key plot emphasis points? Maybe?

When you look at your 3rd rewrite and consider the notes you already have in hand what do go "Hmmm..." over?


Huh…you really want to discuss such things?  Alright, then.

While I am quite fond of this story and its characters, I am the first to acknowledge that this script is not without its faults -- though I will state that grammar and punctuation are not large amongst them.

It is tough to discuss without spoilers, but there are certainly a few key elements that I struggle with in this piece.  I can list them quite easily, as they are always rattling around somewhere in the back of my subconscious:


*  The father character, Greg, is the weakest link amongst the main characters.  He needs to be more involved in the story.

*  There is a teddy bear that some find frightening, and others find comical.  I need to cut it or change it or…something.

*  There is a character named Yoder, and his motives are too convoluted.  I need something nice and clean and immediately understandable.

*  There is a group of children in this script -- and they have exactly the same problem that Yoder does. Perhaps even more so.

*  The story loses its way a bit in the third act -- as action elements step to the forefront and the horror elements are nearly lost.  I need to change that -- ideally through condensing the story and stripping away what is not really necessary.  But I fear I may be a poor judge of that.

*  The script needs to be cheaper to produce.



I do have vague ideas about most of this, some more than others, but am hesitant to begin a new draft until I know exactly where I am going with these.  



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RayW
Posted: August 6th, 2010, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
Huh…you really want to discuss such things?


Yessir.
Doesn't do you any favors for anyone here to waste brain cells concocting dorky scenarios you're not even interested in pursuing when you may very well have fairly cogent "ideas" in which to bend things.

The points you cited are beautiful examples.
"Don't worry about the deck chairs and tapestries, Ray. How 'bout you pay attention to the big, fat gash in the side of the ship?!"
"Oh. Okay, Boss."

Now, I imagine when an agent says "B!tch, do this" and "B!tch, do that" then you might consider doing those things, but we're just schmucks in the audience tearing the movie apart with the charity of wolves.

My heavy reading time's running out for today and the weekend.

Looks like Monday will be when I can start checking oil levels and air filters.

Ciao!



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dogglebe
Posted: August 7th, 2010, 12:52pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
The script needs to be cheaper to produce.



IIRC, this script could be produced on a very low budget.  The windmill, itself, is the only thing that might be a problem.


Phil
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RayW
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 1:51pm Report to Moderator
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Bert's Goals:

It is tough to discuss without spoilers, but there are certainly a few key elements that I struggle with in this piece.  I can list them quite easily, as they are always rattling around somewhere in the back of my subconscious:

*  The father character, Greg, is the weakest link amongst the main characters.  He needs to be more involved in the story.
*  There is a teddy bear that some find frightening, and others find comical.  I need to cut it or change it or…something.
*  There is a character named Yoder, and his motives are too convoluted.  I need something nice and clean and immediately understandable.
*  There is a group of children in this script -- and they have exactly the same problem that Yoder does. Perhaps even more so.
*  The story loses its way a bit in the third act -- as action elements step to the forefront and the horror elements are nearly lost.  I need to change that -- ideally through condensing the story and stripping away what is not really necessary.  But I fear I may be a poor judge of that.
*  The script needs to be cheaper to produce.


* * * *

PDF pg 2/Script pg 1

>> At the center is a pivot, and during the summer it prowls
this field on fat tires, generating huge, concentric crop circles. <<

In your experience, do the english major flunkies/weenies working as reading assistants get caught up on details like "the pivot... prowls the field", or are they smart enough to jump back and forth that "Yessssss", At the center - is a pivot - that tethers - the irrigation structure - during the summer - on fat tires, generating huge, concentric crop circles?
Not that the pivot circles the field?

>> But it is sleeping now, and icicles dangle from its thick
piping like glistening fangs, dripping as they are warmed
by the approaching day. <<

Setting the mood, I hope. Otherwise, I hope this is going to payback later.

>> The footfalls belong to a young girl of about six years,
still in her nightclothes, making her way across this
frozen landscape.
She is wet and streaked with mud. Her naked feet bury
themselves into the snow halfway to her knees with each
step as she trudges forward. But she is in no apparent
discomfort, and in no particular hurry.
This is ANGEL.
She is heading towards a nearby farmhouse.<<

Condense to:
The footfalls belong to ANGEL (6), still in her nightclothes. She runs towards
a nearby farmhouse making her way across this frozen landscape.

Her night gown is wet and streaked with mud. Her naked feet
bury themselves into the snow halfway to her knees with
each step as she trudges forward. But she is in no apparent
discomfort, and in no particular hurry.


>> INT. FARMHOUSE

INT. BEDROOM <<

Irritating as it is stupid, I think the industry standard requires you state the aforementioned time of day (SUNRISE) on each and every slug line. (As I roll my eyes beacuse it's stupid).


PDF 3/ script 2

>> Erica is dead. Her eyes are open. <<
Fresh dead or weeks dead?

>> This carnage is taking place on a Gameboy screen, and Tyler
(13, just call him TY) is intensely focused on the game. <<

Capitalize TY, skip the TYLER if he's predominantly going to be refered to as Ty.

>> Ty is a tousle-haired kid with a disarming, wise-ass grin
he inherited from his father. Mary El is a mellow beauty
with intelligent features, suggesting that she can see
through either grin, from the father or the son.
The car interior is a wreck with fast-food wrappers and
other travel debris. It appears they have been driving for
quite a while. <<

I understand that industry readers can't stand these -ing words even though I find them unremarkably appropriate.
I can't tell you how many times I find myself using two dozen keystokes to work around using a single three keystroke -ing.
I loathe this policy.

>> The family is following a police cruiser down a deserted,
snow-banked country road flanked by wide, barren fields. <<

The family car follows a police cruiser
Actually, you'll shortly elucidate that it's a sherrif's cruiser, so go ahead and make that clear from here.
Keep all references consistant.


PDF 4/ S 3

>> TY
Thanks, Dad. That really
helped.
Mary El sighs and returns to her book. <<

Between these insert GREG - You're welcome, son. I do what I can.


PDF 5 / S 4 I see you've returned to stating time of day on the slugs. Usually.

>> And the windmill, of course. <<
Change to ,the windmill, and farmhouse

>> And the farmhouse -- Angel’s farmhouse. <<
Too many "ands" back 2 back
(I appologize. I really don't care, but the english weenies do, so... )
Change to
With the irrigation structure in the foreground,
the farmhouse in the background, it is the same
house Angel ran into.

Which reminds me, do you need to include a SUPERIMPOSITION of some weeks or months later?

>> Ty exits the car first, stretching and yawning. He walks
over to the windmill, looking up. <<

He crunches through the virgin snow over to the windmill then looks up

>> With a tired CREAK, the blades spin lazily in the slight
breeze. <<

Barbara Bitela has mentioned she doesn't like these -ly words.
Ask for an alternative work around. (Again, I don't care, but I don't cut checks)

>> SHERIFF HENRY GASKINS leads the family towards the house,
following the slushy path that constitutes a walkway.
Well into his fifties, GASKINS carries himself as if he has
been the sheriff around here forever. <<

Change to
SHERIFF HENRY GASKINS ( 58 ) carries himself as if he has
been the sheriff around here forever, he leads the family
towards the house, following the slushy path that
constitutes a walkway.


>> Nearing the house, an ancient, naked oak tree comes into
view. <<

Gotta ditch those -ing words.
They walk past an ancient, naked oak tree

>> as if only recently vacated. <<
Isn't this one of those un-shootables script readers/directors get irked over?

>> she quickly crunches it out in an ashtray
already blossoming with butts. <<

Quick, she... ashtray blossomed with butts


6/5
>> The Erecksons tentatively enter the farmhouse behind him.<<
The tentative Erecksons enter the farmhouse

>> EXT. THE SAME FIELD WHERE WE FIRST MET ANGEL - DAY
We’ll call this “Angel’s Field”. It is unchanged, save for
Angel’s tracks, which are long since snowed over. <<

This is going to make a disjointed jarring jump from the Erekson's entering the house - to - standing or looking over the field - then - everyone piling into Angel's room.

>> INT. ANGEL’S ROOM - DAY
Angel sits in a chair facing the window, overlooking the
field, gazing silently. The window is open. No screen.
The curtains flutter lightly, as does her hair. <<

Angel sits in a chair that faces the open window that overlooks
the field. Without screen, the curtains and her hair flutter in light breeze.



7/6

>> GREG
Hey, man...why does she keep staring at you? It’s kind of weird. <<

Mr. Ereckson addresses a Sheriff "well into his fifties" as "Hey, man..."?


At this point I'm going to step back from this version of "The Farm".
Six pages in and this looks more like a first draft than a third.
I think I'm still looking at the wrong version.
I can't concentrate on the fundamental story with all this going on.





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RayW
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 2:22pm Report to Moderator
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Screwit.
I have faith that you're a pretty good story developer.
This evening I'll try again without all the weenie nit-picking and just read for fundamentals in reference to your stated goals.



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George Willson
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
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If I might comment on this. There's no rule against words ending in -ing. Not a single one. That's the impression of someone who doesn't fully understand this: "Write in the active voice." Words ending in -ing are often used in the present progressive tense which usually takes away from the active voice. However, -ing is also used on many other types of words and even verbs can use them to create the most active and best choice of words.

As long as the sentence is active and not passive, then don't worry about -ing.

Besides, Bert wanted a focus on story and character as opposed to format. Just saying.


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RayW
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 4:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from George Willson
If I might comment on this. There's no rule against words ending in -ing. Not a single one...
As long as the sentence is active and not passive, then don't worry about -ing.

Besides, Bert wanted a focus on story and character as opposed to format. Just saying.


Howdy, George

BEAUTIFUL!
Thank you!
Kisses for your grandchildren!
I can swing with that, as my impression (aquired from who knows where, like a Bangkok STD) of the "rule" was irritating me to no living end.

Story & character it is! Tonight!
Cheers.

(Whatta relief!)

Ray




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dogglebe
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 4:16pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from George Willson
As long as the sentence is active and not passive, then don't worry about -ing.


It's called a progressing verb, like running, singing, masticating.

And, IIRC, Babs said not to do it.  Must be a rule somewhere.


Phil
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bert
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 4:38pm Report to Moderator
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As stated, this draft is a few years old -- and was written before I had worked that whole "ing" thing into my writing processes.

I agree (now that I know) that you can sometimes use it -- but it is best avoided.

In Ray's defense, he is mostly correct here, and glancing over his examples -- were I writing this today -- I would lose at least half.  Perhaps more.

Fair criticisms, Ray -- but no need to knock yourself out catching them all.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Mr.Ripley
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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Personally, grammer is the last thing one should think of when writing a screenplay. The two hardest parts of a screenplay are capturing the character and story down. That's a handful on its own.
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RayW
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 5:24pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
... glancing over his examples -- were I writing this today -- I would lose at least half.  Perhaps more.
Fair criticisms, Ray -- but no need to knock yourself out catching them all.


(Chuckling)
Aye! You got it.
Like I said, this evening I'll approach it in a more utilitarian way for your hopeful benefit.
Lord knows, these dissections certainly help me with my crafting.

A quick run around the search engine looking for active verbs has been personally beneficial for both righting wrongs and to provide affirmations that at least some of the things I'm doing are correct.

Lotta chaff.
Not much grain.
Only a few that 'spoke to me':
http://www.scriptsecrets.net/articles/descrptn.htm
http://writingright-martin.blogspot.com/2008/01/making-passive-writing-active.html
http://www.scriptnurse.com/wcms/index.php?aid=58



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RayW
Posted: August 11th, 2010, 5:31pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Mr.Ripley
Personally, grammer is the last thing one should think of when writing a screenplay. The two hardest parts of a screenplay are capturing the character and story down. That's a handful on its own.


Being the mud-stirring fool that I am, I've discovered SimplyScripts has a heavy bend toward indie production, in which case (IMHO) - You're RIGHT!

I have come to this forum looking at screen writing from a studio perspective, and word around the waterhole is that the prissy gatekeepers will not suffer petty grievances such as formatting and sentence structure violations. That's before they even get to the story.

So... If you're gunning for indie prod, and you know that's where the story is shooting for, then gopherit.
If you're gunning for a Big 6 + mini-major because that's the best suited venue then grammar will need to be considered IN ADDITION TO rocking tight characters & story.



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