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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 28119 views)
CindyLKeller
Posted: August 18th, 2005, 8:24pm Report to Moderator
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Bert,
I can see you've been working.  This draft read a lot smoother, and there's an eerie feel throughout the entire script that keeps you there reading it.  

There is one thing that bothers me, though. Their meeting with Yoder. When they open up the door and ask if they can help him and he says no. Yoder still doesn't mention the windmill that's toppled over on top of their car... I think he should at least mention it or the wind from the night before.

Otherwise, pretty bad a**.  You've done a very good job with the characters. They all  seemed so real, even the darned teddy bear (I have a fear of dolls). Each character had their own purpose, and speech patterns. I can tell a lot of work went into this script. It shows.

On the creepometer scale I'd give it an 8, possibly a 9.

The poster is pretty cool, too.


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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Martin
Posted: August 22nd, 2005, 7:08am Report to Moderator
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Hey Bert,

As promised, here is my continued review.

pg. 41. Greg returns from outside. He mentions the snowball fight but not the windmill or the destroyed car. I get the feeling this is deliberate- maybe he doesn't want to worry her. What bugs me is that Mary El makes no mention of the power going out either.

Yoder arrives and still no mention of the windmill. If I was Greg, I'd be screwing at this point, no power, no phone, no car, but still nobody's mentioned it.

When Mary-El sees Angel on the windmill you say it's the first time she's seen how precarious it is. Unless I missed something, it's the first time she's seen it since it fell

Right, all finished. I realise that the windmill thing is my only criticism.

The ending reads much much better than before. I think you have the pacing just right.

Not much else to say about this, great work. The thing I like most  is the attention to detail. There are so many little details which add up to a very creepy experience. You've proven that you don't need a body count to create good horror. This is horror in the more traditional sense. I'm still reminded of The Shining when I read it and I mean that as a major compliment.

I reckon with a little more tweaking here and there, you could be on to a winner. Good luck and I look forward to reading more of your work.
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bert
Posted: August 22nd, 2005, 8:51am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read, Mr. Spieler.

Your points about the windmill and the power are good ones, and some other readers have touched on this as well.

What I was thinking at the time is that readers and viewers already know these events have occurred, so having the characters rehash these events through on-screen conversations seemed to be unnecessary, and added no information that was new.

I mean, we assume they would have had these conversations, but when I tried to incorporate something like that, it always came out redundant, and there really wasn't much drama involved.

I may have to return to this point and consider it anew.  Thanks again for your thoughts.  


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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George Willson
Posted: August 22nd, 2005, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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I think with the whole windmill thing, we don't need a rehash; we just need acknowledgment. Some kind of exchange between the characters that lets us know the subject has been breached and discussed. Visually, you could just start out the next scene with the group standing on the porch staring at the mess. Mary El shakes her head and goes back in to continue breakfast or whatever. It would take probably 3 or 4 lines of description at the most and no dialogue, but we'll at least know that Mary El knows what we know about the fall of the windmill.


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Martin
Posted: August 22nd, 2005, 12:10pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, George is right. You don't need a bunch of dialogue repeating what we've seen so something visual like he suggested would clear all this up. Also, when Yoder arrives and mentions that he heard shooting last night, it seems natural that he'd mention the windmill too.
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George Willson
Posted: August 22nd, 2005, 12:19pm Report to Moderator
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It would also seem natural for them to not want to talk about it and quickly change the subject. After all, who wants to dwell of the sudden crushing of their only vehicle?

Self-gratifying modification: Wow...I just hit 700 posts...



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George Willson  -  August 22nd, 2005, 12:20pm
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James McClung
Posted: September 13th, 2005, 12:41pm Report to Moderator
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This seems like a pretty polished piece of work. Very few problems. It seems the other users caught most of them a draft or two back. Nevertheless, I won't leave you with nothing:

1. Mary El seems very detached from the rest of the family. She seems to care more about Angel than she does them and is generally unsympathetic to any of their plights with moving to the farm (this is best summed up on page 19 I believe where Ty states that there's nothing to do and she replies with "That's the spirit.") I would think she'd make more of an effort to help her family cope with the current condition. This comment also ties into my second comment.

2. There seems to be traces of a subplot about Mary El losing a child throughout the script. Either expand upon it (it would better justify Mary El's attachment to Angel) or take it out completely.

3. On page 45, Yoder's first appearance, Mary El tells Greg not to be rude and invite Yoder into the house while on page 17, Alona's first appearance, Mary El has a chat with Alona through an open window. It must be freezing outside. It rings false that Mary El would not invite Alona, a much friendlier seeming person than Yoder, inside.

All in all, this was quite a good read. I particularly liked the teddy bear and the possessed cat. Good work.


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bert
Posted: September 13th, 2005, 1:38pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you, James.  The character of Mary El has been a real endurance test for me.  She is supposed to change over the course of this story, so striking the right tone throughout has been a real struggle.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get it right, you know?

Right now I am working this over again -- *sigh* -- yes, again, but this time concentrating on just her and nothing else.  You gave me some good stuff to think on as I do this.

And as for the lost child...well, I finally figured out the right way to work this in once and for all.  Very creepy and very satisfying.  This has already been incorporated into the next draft, and I am very pleased with it.

Oh, BTW; there is a little button on the top right for deleting mistaken posts.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!

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bert  -  September 13th, 2005, 1:38pm
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Balt
Posted: September 20th, 2005, 10:50am Report to Moderator
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--------------------------------------------

Ok so here goes... I wanna thank you for taking the time, first and foremost, to read a couple of my works posted here. I really enjoyed reading your feedback on them both. However, they aren't final drafts but you did see a few mistakes in them that I didn't catch on my final drafts, thank you for that. I've sense went back and changed the content.

Anyways, on with the on, your screenplay is supurb in format. It's actually one of the best I've ever read. You have a good eye for detail. Little things like at the 1st when you were describing the snowy farm layout and how you had the ice looking like fangs. That's a very detailed description and it just read so well. I was almost ready to put on a long sleeve shirt.

I love the way you open this movie up. It's very ominous, very creepy and leaves you wondering what really did happen here. It actually made me want to finish it more so than your well written characters, which I'm gonna get into in a few. I simply thought your hook worked wonders. It hooked me into wanting to find out just what you were thinking when you wrote this.

I love, again, how you described something. That being the windmill... It was laid out very well.

When introduced to Ty and Greg and Mary El... I thought the dialouge could've been tightend up a bit. Even though there really wasn't much said, you still said enough to know that there wasn't really much to say. You said CRAP 2 times within' a blink of an eye. I dunno... It's not a big big deal, but I just kinda had to read that scene 2 times to see if it gels well. It works, but maybe you don't need the breaks in there with her turning around to the Ty. I dunno... I just read it again and it isn't bad, I like the flow of it, actually. I can see this in motion, in an actual movie. So keep it.

One thing I noticed. You do the elipse a lot too, I'm a big fan of the elipse, aswell, but aren't you supposed to space after it? I alwasy have been told to space after the elipse. You don't do it, so I'm just wondering on this one. It's not a very big hang up or anything I'd just kinda like to know for my own sanity

I loved the pencil excahnge. LOL! I just think it was funny when he's like... "YOU CAN DO THAT?" LOL!  

I can tell you've used a lot of directions... This bothers me and doesn't, ya know? It bothers me cause sometimes I feel like I need to use them but then read I can't use them... It's a double sided sword.

I noticed that towards the middle, I dunno exactly where but I kinda picked up on the way GREG and his son are communicating differently than they did at the 1st... It's almost as if their roles have been switched to kinda seeing eye to eye pals or something... I dunno. I don't think this is bad, however, cause I know a lot of people who talk to their dads this way... I was one of them.

I've seen 2 parts where you ask a question to us the reader...

I love your character build ups... They are amazing. I really felt like an  extension of your movie here.  At times I didn't want to stop reading... I do have to admit there was a time around 40 to like 49 maybe...??? It kinda drug for about 10 pages. It wasn't all together bad, just nothing really going on...

How old was TY? He seemed much younger at the start of this thing... by the end of it he seems to be an adult... but being attacked by bears and having everyone around you flipped out weird could probably do that to you. LOL!

The whole last scene, although very long at times... I thought it was brilliant! I loved the whole action scene you laid out for us. It was intense and flowed very well. I'd go see this movie. I would. That's a pay off in its self... To have someone say... someone you don't know mind you, say... I'd go see your movie... That's a huge thing.

Bert... You write amazing. You craft a story with great detail. You are a screenwriter. You are. You have what it takes and that is varried idea's in your head you form together with characters, plots, ups and downs, twist and turns... That's a movie.

Now there are a few problems with it... I'm guessing everyone else has already told you about some of them, so I won't go into too much detail on them. I've not read anyone's responces or replys as to not spoil my time with your script so I'll point out a few more.

The CAT... it was random. I don't know why, but it seemed thrown in there.
You over use camera directions, I said this before.
Ty acts more like a adult at times.
The pacing of the story was good but I can't imagine it have a 3 act structure. I think this is a good thing in a lot of ways, though.
I really couldn't say where it was going at times... again this is also a good/bad thing. I like the feel of it.

In the end, this was your 1st script you posted I believe... and I'm impressed a great deal. It's not like 97% of the horror scripts here. It's different. It's strange at times and it's got a great vibe to it. I almost got this shinning vibe while reading it. It reminded me of Amityville and the shinning with a little bit of night of the grizzly and even Blood Harvest... A very diverse flick you've created here.

I give it 4.75 out of 5: I think most anyone who's thinking about writing a thriller/horror screenplay shuld check this one out. It's not typical and it's not run of the mill stuff. This is the kinda script quality we should have and hold to the site. If your screenplay doesn't fit a certain mold then it can't be posted. Simple as that.

I get tired of going thru hundereds of bad scripts only to find a good one once in a blue moon.

Anyways, I'm going on and on here. This was a fantastic script, hindered only by a few hang ups and dry spots along the way... nothing no screenplay doesn't have. I actually thank you for pointing me in the direction of your script cause I actually learned a bit from it and your writing style.

Balt~
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bert
Posted: September 20th, 2005, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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Whew…I am so glad you liked this.  I always wanted somebody with some hardcore horror chops to take a stab at it.  I am glad it passed the test, for the most part.  A few brief responses to Madman’s comments for those that might be following the evolution of this story:

*  Ellipses:  David Mamet uses an obscene amount of ellipses in his dialogue.  He does not use any spaces, before or after, and I figure he oughta’ know.
*  A draggy spot?  Thanks.  I’ll check it out for sure.
*  Ty becoming more mature?  Sure.  That is his own, tiny character arc.
*  The cat:  Damn.  You don’t like it either, huh?  Neither does Wesley.  I am going to have to take a hard look at my use of this animal.
*  No 3-act structure?  Tut-tut.  Their discovery of the mutilated portrait ends act 1, and Angel’s escape from her room sets act 3 into motion.  

Thanks again for the comments, man, and some things I need to revisit.  I, too, hope we can keep the momentum building on giving thoughtful reviews.  This board would be so much stronger – to everyone’s benefit – if more people would get involved.


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Heretic
Posted: September 21st, 2005, 2:56am Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS regarding 80s horror films..and the script, too.

Hey Bert,

I emailed you my review.  I'm just glancing at the above comments as I write this (I hadn't read any before I read the script) and I just want to say that personally, for me, the cat works fine.  I equate it to the finale of Re-animator, when Dr. Hill's organs begin attacking Herbert West in an unprecedentedly weird moment that is totally unexplained.  If the film's working at that point, and your finale's really going all out, so it should be, I think people will be to caught up to do anything but go...wow!  Look at that cat, did you see that thing?

Doesn't bother me.  But hey.  


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greg
Posted: September 23rd, 2005, 1:41am Report to Moderator
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Bert-

I thought I'd take a look at one of the primiere pieces on the site and wow!  Very impressive!  The very first sequence with Angel running was a solid way to set up the story.  The first 10 pages had their lagging points to introduce the characters, but what can ya do?

What really worked for this screenplay were the visuals and sounds that you weave into each scene, some more than others.  The laughing of the children, the roaring of the bear, all creepily effective and if made into a feature film would be sure to get the adrenaline running.

The characters, specifically Mary El and Ty, I found to be very intriguing people and felt you did an excellent job in excelling their characters.  Greg had his moments but there were times where he seemed dull, just not bringing the significance as the rest of his family did.

The flashback sequenceswhere you dissolved from the night to Yoder's infant day played out very well, as did incorporating the burned children into several sequences--very creepy.  

Overall: A solid piece of writing, sharp dialogue, clear descriptions, and a rather touching storyline.  This goes as one of my favorites on the site along with Andy's "House of Fun."  A true piece of work, Bert!  I wish you lots of luck with this in the future!


Be excellent to each other

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bert
Posted: November 19th, 2005, 8:09pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Balt
It's not like 97% of the horror scripts here.  Balt~



There is a new draft up (thanks, Don).  The quote above, from Baltis, is one of my favorites thus far -- think about who this quote is coming from for a minute…

If you’ve already read this, please don’t feel like you need to do so again.  It makes me feel guilty, and besides, I am going to spoil it for you below anyway, so just read that if you are interested.

But if you haven’t read this yet...well, you should, darn it.  If all you read are Freddy and Jason fan-fics, Scream 13, or whatever -- do yourselves a favor and broaden your horizons a bit.

This is an original work, and I think it has evolved into a damn fine script with the help of this little community here.  Big shout-outs to Heretic and George Willson for their thoughts, and a broader thanks to all of those who spend a few moments here caring about work apart from their own.  You know who you are.

This draft expands the character of Mary El, and as a result, it ends up expanding on Angel, as well.  She has a little more to do and say, and I think we like her better as a result.  There are lots and lots of little changes scattered throughout, but here I'll run through some of the largest changes:

SPOILERS:  SOME NEW THINGS:

*  Pg 21-23:  The first time Mary El goes to Angel’s room.  Before, she just dropped off the dreamcatcher and left without a word.  Now, she spends some time engaging Angel in a one-sided conversation -- trying to draw the girl out, and dropping hints about her past tragedy.  Not the most exciting scene in the world, but necessary to strengthen the bond between these two, instead of Mary El just “dumping Angel in her room” all the time, as some readers pointed out.
*  Pg 25:  The changes mentioned above have a direct effect on the “bath scene” -- now, instead of asking about her parents, Angel asks Mary El directly about her dead daughter.  Not only is this scene even creepier than it was before, but it makes better sense in context with the larger story, and it helps to establish this subplot.
*  Pg 45:  Mary El observes the wrecked windmill.  Real quick.  No dialogue.  Probably just as George and Martin had envisioned it.
*  Pg 46:  Yoder acknowledges the windmill now, too, as Cindy had suggested.
*  Pg 60:  Angel helps to repair her own portrait this time.  Another “found” opportunity for Mary El and Angel to interact without adding undue length.  (This new draft is only 4 pages longer, BTW).
*  Pg 86:  The return of the cat.  I have added a tense exchange between Angel and Yoder, immediately prior to the cat’s return, that will hopefully make the resurrection a bit more palatable for those who did not care for it.  But plenty of readers liked it.  No real consensus ever emerged about this damn cat, but since virtually every reader commented on it, I decided it must be making some kind of impact, and kept it.


So...thanks again to everyone who helped improve this story over the course of these past few months.  This draft is so much better than what I had originally posted (way back when) that I can hardly believe it.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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George Willson
Posted: November 20th, 2005, 1:59am Report to Moderator
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I would say at this point, reading through some of the more recent reviews, the point that impresses me the most is that Balt was not scathing in his review. I mean, when Balt says, I read your---, you cringe in fear. However, he liked it, which says A LOT about this script that I've read twice so far on different occasions. I'll have to catch the new version as well, of course.


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Curse
Posted: November 24th, 2005, 7:16pm Report to Moderator
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The Farm is a supernatural thriller/horror written by Robert Glenn Newcomer.

1. One of my greatest concerns was the grammar, spelling and style, which in this script, is brilliant. The author seemed to have checked all this in great detail. Also, the style of the writer was very impressing to me. 10/10

2. The detail was very descriptive, which is a Number 1 in my books. The description and detail in this script was beautiful. Clearly written, so the reader could understand everything. "A vast, snow-covered field. The morning sun is blinding as it glints off this stark, white ocean of fresh powder. The horizon seems miles away." Wonderful. 10/10

3. The storyline was also good. This story goes on without drifting of on another subject. It sticks to the story straight on through the whole thing. 10/10

4. The formatting was great. Everything was layed out correctly, and in a style of proper screenwriting. 10/10

5. The characters emotions and dialouge was lovely. You could feel everything. The age differance of each dialouge was excellent.

MARY EL
(darkens a bit)
I will delegate, Greg. I will
assign tasks to my staff and
they will deal with it. Because
I have a family emergency.

10/10

6. I found myself quite confused at the end. I think that there was a tiny bit TOO much action going on there. I should point out that I didn't really understand all about the irrigation myself. That's why I must give 9/10

7. The page length was of feature-length, and did not go over 120-pages. This is great, as it doesn't make the reader have to go on and on. It did not drag at all. 10/10

So, mostly everything was great. Genuinely scary with great suspence. A brilliant thriller. That's what this was. Bert, I think that your style of writing is superb, it really lets you feel and imagine what's actually going on.  I just think, (in my own personal opinion), that you can go a bit over the top with all this multi-action going on. I think you should keep it to the middle, and not make it all so much.  This was a great read. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Curse!




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