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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 27641 views)
Dreamscale
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 4:06pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Yes, that is my real hair...

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Bert, it's an insult, as is usually the case with VA.  The guy is delusional and nuts.  It's impossible to make sense of any of his posts...or his scripts.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Vaproductions
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 7:32pm Report to Moderator
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@ Bert I read your script. And its not my cup of tea. But essentially what I was saying is that across the boards your scrip "The Farm" has been glorified but with a costly price of being rejected when entering into a money pot. Such as internet scrip competitions. Because money changes peoples reviews and comments dramatically. And I happened to notice that your script wasn't even a semi finalist in the competition you put it into. So by being realistic simply scripts has glorified you into disappointed in which you may or may not admit.

The choice is yours to admit the disappoint of not being a finalist but besides that your story "The Farm" isn't that great. And is a typical story and probably is one of the reasons to why it didn't place in the finalist category. But your story on the other hand does read well. But both major labels and low budget companies are looking for one thing in a winning screenplay. And that is whatever they say or want to be a winning screenplay. And if you figure this out. You can never lose again.

By the way screenplay writing is a good hobby so keep it going.
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Vaproductions
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 7:36pm Report to Moderator
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To all who say I insulted Bert it was definitely not and insult. But if you wish to take it as a insult that would be the same for saying my formating is bad. But then again saying my formating is bad is based on your opinion and preference. So hopefully Bert you wont take my statement as an insult but once again the choice is yours.

P.S If I wanted to insult Bert I have way better ways of implementing this just to let yall know.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 7:43pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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So, VA, what is the point of your posts here on Bert's thread?  If it's not an insult, what are you trying to get across and why?  Just curious...


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Vaproductions
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 7:51pm Report to Moderator
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Quote from Bert"whether it be to encourage, to insult, or to commiserate in some fashion."

Take out the word "Insult". and commiserate & encourage are a profound mixture of what I meant. I hope this helps.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 8:01pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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OK, Varshawn, so you're saying the point of your posts here on The farm are to first of all commiserate with Bert, and secondly to encourage him to go forward with his writing?

Is that what you're saying?


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Vaproductions
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 8:13pm Report to Moderator
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Pretty much. But looking at both words commiserate and encouragement can lead to insulting a person. But then again insulting a person can easily be interpreted as Positive or Negative criticism in which this site has a lot to offer. For if the word insult meant negative or positive criticism in which it can imply ....everyone would be accused of this action.
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bert
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 9:41pm Report to Moderator
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Buy the ticket, take the ride

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Quoted from Vaproductions
The choice is yours to admit the disappoint of not being a finalist...


Are you talking about Bluecat a few years back?  Sure, I was disappointed at the time, but I am certainly over it at this point. (And I have since learned that there are competitions better suited for a Horror script than Bluecat.)


Quoted from VA
So hopefully Bert you wont take my statement as an insult but once again the choice is yours.


Then I chose not to, of course.  But I do wish you would stop implying that I think this is the greatest script ever.  I know its faults, and my own limitations as an author.

To paint me as some sort of egomaniac because some readers have graciously chosen to write some kind words about my work is hardly fair.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
curious question...how come there are only 550+ views on this thread?


Because I screwed up and deleted the whole darn thread!  But Don restored it for me at what I suspect was a considerable expenditure of time and effort -- though he did not complain or even make fun of me.  Post 265 tells the sad tale.

So thanks for the comments, VA.  Any additional comments about the script are of course most welcome, but please let us draw this protracted discussion of your veiled intent and cloudy semantics to a close.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Vaproductions
Posted: May 29th, 2011, 11:56pm Report to Moderator
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@ Bert Ima share a secret with you. I have learned over the years that the best way to get someone true feelings about you or your craft is to make them mad or to make them think that you think you know everything. Believe me Bert both tactics work wonderfully. Because now they give me a chance to exploit them for their true colors.  But anyways my review above was from my own experience of being lifted up on the shoulders by a group of people only to be let down by another group of people. So as long as you understand the nature of how the industry works. I will be silent with my opinions. For now. Continue making scrips and dips.
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crookedowl
Posted: June 2nd, 2011, 11:31am Report to Moderator
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Wow, that was definitely one of the best horror script I've ever read. The dialogue and descriptions were nearly flawless, although I would take out the parts when Ty says "retarded." You just don't use that in scirpts, and I doubt any directors will keep that in the movie, anyway. But besides that, I really can't think of anything else you should do to it. Great job.

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crookedowl  -  June 5th, 2011, 1:42pm
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bert
Posted: August 27th, 2011, 5:06pm Report to Moderator
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Buy the ticket, take the ride

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My gosh, Owl, do I ever owe you an apology.

I have no idea how I missed this -- sometimes I get so busy watching the boards I miss my own stuff -- but please forgive my negligence in leaving your comments unacknowledged for so long.

And your primary comment is even a good one -- that whole "retarded" thing -- I agree with you and am going to take your advice.

So, yeah.  Belated thanks.  By all means drop me a PM if you have something posted and I will give it a look.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Atlas
Posted: September 6th, 2011, 2:35pm Report to Moderator
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Bert, do you still want feedback on this? The metadata in the PDF gives a creation date in 2005 and it seems like you've done at least some rewriting since then.
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bert
Posted: September 6th, 2011, 3:32pm Report to Moderator
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Buy the ticket, take the ride

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Well, hello Atlas.  It may or may not please you to know that I nearly swallowed my gum to find you posting on my baby, here.

I have seen you around.


Quoted from Atlas
Bert, do you still want feedback on this? The metadata in the PDF gives a creation date in 2005 and it seems like you've done at least some rewriting since then.


Man, it sure does not seem like that long, but I guess the numbers do not lie.

There was a time that I was far more prolific, but as some here know, it was right around 2006 that I began work on my dissertation -- subsequently graduating, then embarking on a new career that selfishly gobbles nearly all of my time.

But the dream is far from abandoned -- and I often return to my grand rewrite of "The Farm" as time permits.

Someday I may even deem the new version worthy of public consumption -- but not yet.  You seem to be a writer yourself, so perhaps you know where I am coming from in that regard.

Is feedback welcome?  Absolutely.  As much or as little as you care to offer is most welcome.  As I have said before, I know there are imperfections here, so I do not have fits when people find them.

Thank you for your interest, whatever the outcome.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Atlas
Posted: February 2nd, 2012, 10:06pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
Well, hello Atlas.  It may or may not please you to know that I nearly swallowed my gum to find you posting on my baby, here.

I have seen you around.


Ha! Like I said, death sentence on twelve forums. And I actually softened my posts on Fade to White a bit. I wonder, if you had choked on your gum and died, would that have been the world's first death-by-forum-post?

I'm finally getting around to organizing my notes from when I read The Farm last summer. Coming soon.


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Atlas  -  February 4th, 2012, 6:34pm
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Atlas
Posted: February 4th, 2012, 6:17pm Report to Moderator
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Part 1/3

With some work, I could see this as a movie. I have organized my comments into loose categories. I only read it once and it's been a while, so I apologize if I got any details wrong.

I. Structure

The structure is not strong enough. There's no real inciting incident. Nor is there a first act break. You have an event that happens around page 25--the bear incident--but it doesn't change the situation in a meaningful way. That's really what "plot points" are--change. When someone says of a movie "nothing's happening" what they mean is "nothing's changing."

MARY EL
Well, it's not a true hibernation. It's called a topor.  Like bears.


First, I think you meant "torpor."

Second, what is this whole scene doing here? It's on page 51 and runs for two pages. On page 51, you should be well into the second act. This scene could be 30 pages earlier and it wouldn't be out of place. Your characters should have better things to do at this point than quibble over zoological minutiae. (While it's fine and good to have a "fight-that-isn't-about-what-it's-about scene", this doesn't seem like that to me).  The next scene, where Greg has the cans of air-freshener, is also a first-act scene. Its subtle silliness doesn't fit anywhere else.

Blake Snyder says the second act is when you "deliver on the promise of the premise" and I think that's a good way to look at it. The Farm's premise is "A troubled family must unite to save a young niece from the sinister forces that inhabit a snowbound northern farm." So at this point they should be battling the sinister forces, not washing dishes or cooking or arguing about animals because nothing's wrong.

As far as I can tell, they don't even have an inkling of what's going on until around page 72--way too late. You have a two-act screenplay here. You've skipped the "rising action" part of the Freytag triangle. I'm not a dogmatist regarding acts--you can have any number of acts if it stays interesting--but this first act can't sustain 72 pages.

Something needs to happen earlier that forces the family to 1) realize their situation, and 2) confront it.

Poltergeist by Steven Spielberg bears some similarity to The Farm and it's almost exactly the same length (107 pages). Carol Anne gets sucked into the other plane on page 32. By page 51, Dr. Lesh and the scientists have been at the house for quite some time, investigating the situation with the goal of retrieving Carol Anne.

What's worse, these scenes take up space that could be used for scary stuff--this is supposed to be a horror movie, after all.

II. Character

The characters could use some work to enhance their personalities and their uniqueness.

For example, Mary El runs a successful catering company. What's the one skill a caterer needs above all else, besides cooking? Organization. If you're not organized, the food doesn't show up where and when it's supposed to and you don't get business. Mary El could pop out of the car with tasks scheduled and divided among the three of them (this would also help articulate a goal, see the next section). And is she the kind of woman who allows her husband and son to eat so much fast food that the car is "a wreck" from wrappers or does she make and label healthy sandwiches and snacks?

Greg is apparently an economics professor. Is that the best thing for him to be? Maybe physics or literature or theology would be better for this situation--each would approach a haunting differently. It doesn't really come into play, as-is.

Ty seems to capitulate a little too easily. If all he wants to do is play videogames in the beginning, have him do that, drag his feet more. Maybe sneak off.

III. Motivation/Goals

It's crucial that characters have clear, understandable goals and motivations. Usually, when someone complains that they don't know what's going on in a movie, they really mean they don't know what the protagonist or other major character is trying to accomplish.

  • I don't know why Greg and Mary El came to the farm. To get Angel? If so, why do they hang around and poke through things so much? To prepare the house and contents for sale? If so, why don't they do anything towards that? They seem to just kind of move in.

  • I don't know why Yoder killed the (other) Erecksons. What was he trying to accomplish? It seems like he doesn't want anything to be grown on the farmland, but surely he would know that someone else would buy or inherit it. And without tending, wild plants would grow on their own. Wouldn't it be easier to salt/poison the land so nothing could grow? It doesn't seem like Dan and Erica had just moved in. Why does Yoder take so long to kill them?

  • I don't know why Sarah took over Angel's body. The ghosts have the following powers:

    --Telekinesis/psychokinesis (irrigation system buttons, etc)
    --Clairvoyance (pregnancy)
    --Precognition (Yoder's face in the snow globe)
    --Image projection (snow globe, window)
    --Rearrangement of matter (changing picture, which is all the way in Yoder's house)
    --Resurrection of the dead (Angel, cat)
    --Healing (Angel's puncture wounds)

    So why do they need a six-year-old girl's body? What do the ghost children even want? To kill Yoder? Why can't they do that without a little girl?

  • I don't understand why Angel/Sarah cut out all the eyes from pictures of her. Obviously the possession or whatever changed her eye color, but most people wouldn't notice the difference between the eyes in the pictures and her eyes, and it's way more conspicuous to cut all the eyes out. Even if they did notice the difference, they would just say, "Huh...that's weird."  It's not like the mind immediately jumps to spectral possession. Why did Sarah save the cut-out eyes? Why did she put them in a spice jar in the spice cabinet?

Revision History (6 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Atlas  -  February 7th, 2012, 2:50am
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