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Beast of the Earth by Bo Ransdell (boinTN) - Horror - A family escaping civilization in Yellowstone National Park find themselves on the frontlines of a war between man and nature. Fur will fly. 101 pages - pdf, format
Hey Bo, just got done with your script. I have mixed feelings here, and I'll discuss both sides of the coin. These are just my thoughts and opinions, so please don't take anything the wrong way.
The good - For the most part, this is well written. I spotted probably less than 20 mistakes in total, in terms of spelling, grammar, and typos. Everything flowed pretty well, and was an easy and quick read for sure.
Your story was definitely coherent, pretty well thought out, and believable. For me, the ending was the strongest part of this script. It's a very non Hollywood ending, and I appreciate the balls it takes to go against the norm.
Your kill scenes were well done also. Many happened very quickly and had very little detail...but I think this worked for the most part, and left alot to our imagination. Other kills involved some gore and some detail. Overall, the combination worked for me.
The so so - I didn't really like any of your characters...I didn't dislike or hate them, but no one really jumped out at me as someone that I liked. I think Andy was the closest to being one that I could route for, and I did, but he said alot of things that I found to be rather lame, or dumb. I think he could be tweeked into a much stronger character. I also think there could be more to bring Jack into a strong role. As is, he's kinda on the outskirts and I just didn't ever really buy into him as a real person.
I also didn't think there was enough action here. Maybe that's not quite the right word, but something seemed to be lacking, or just not quite where it needed to be. The dialogue wasn't bad, but also wasn't good either. Many exchanges went on too long and didn't seem quite real. Maybe it was emotion that was lacking in the dialogue and action. I'm not sure completely, but I felt it just needed "more".
The bad - Story-wise, this is bascially a remake of "Day of the Animals", which I remember seeing in the theaters when I was a little kid, back in the 70's. There have been others along the way as well. Nothing at all original and really no twists or surprises to keep it fresh.
I found a number of lines (sentences) that didn't make sense. I reread them several times, but they definitely were just downright incorrect. Sorry I didn't flag them. I'm sure you can easily catch them in an edit, but they stuck out like a sore thumb to me, and detracted from an otherwise solidly written script.
Your lack of detail in the Yellowstone area itself is a big mistake, IMO. I mean, Yellowstone is a simply gorgeous place and you didn't take advantage of your chosen setting at all. Because of this, I never felt like we were even in Yellowstone, and in reality, we didn't need to be...it could have been just about any park in the country (that has the wildlife you used). I don't know if you're familiar with Yellowstone or not, but if you are, I'd recommend adding a bunch of detail about the area itself.
I didn't like your Scene Headings. They were extremely generic and I had trouble figuring out exactly where we were at times. You used "Cabin", Cabin #2", "Trail", etc. Sometimes "Cabin #2 " turned into "Cabin". I think you need to relook at these and give them more specific names.
OK, so all in all, I think you showed some good writing skills here, but didn't break any new ground in terms of plot, story, and even characters. You did prove, however, that you're not afraid to kill off every single one of your characters, and leave us with a very bleak outlook on the world, which is far from standard.
One more thing I want to say...I truly dislike the title of your work (even if it wasn't missing the "s" here). It has an extremely low budget, unimaginative ring to it. But...you did do a very good job of tying it in at the end. I was actually very impressed with the quotes and the relevance of the title.
Hope some of this helps. Take care.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I definitely appreciate the feedback. Yes, this is clearly a first draft, but I wanted to know what I had on my hands with it. It was very much in the vein of Day of the Animals, and I don't dodge that in the slightest. I like B movies, and I like trying to make them a little more fun and inventive.
The title has haunted me, as I've neevr had a good one for this script. Still working on that, honestly.
I think opening up the setting a bit is a good idea, and one I will happily take. Thanks for taking the time to read and post. I truly appreciate it!
Hey Bo, Just finished reading the script. The first thing that jumped out at me is the flow of the script. It read fast and easily. That I like.
The second thing to jump at out me were your characters. My favorite was Satomi. I was waiting for Carrol to get kiled as soon as she opened her mouth! I just didn't care for her at all.
I agree with Dreamscale's opinion of adding a few detailed descriptions of Yellowstone. I also agree that your scene headings should be more specific. Let us as the readers know exactly where in the story these particular scenes are being played out.
I would've like to have read a scene where the survivors make it to another research building where they do find evidence that some kind of mutated virus has affected the wildlife.
I liked it. It read fast and it was well written. Good job!
If you can't beat 'em, then get yourself a bigger stick! John Mavity