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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Series  ›  The Other White Meat Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: March 21st, 2015, 8:52am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Other White Meat - Episode 1 by John Hunter - Short, Horror - Researchers on a remote frozen planet awaken a micro-terror which threatens to devour the universe. 8 pages  - pdf format

Deep Space Truckers - Episode 2, The Other White Meat Series by John Hunter - Short, Horror - Deep Space Truckers returning from a remote and frozen rock in outer space unwittingly transport terror. 10 pages - pdf, format

The Nanorg - Episode 3, The Other White Meat Series by John Hunter - Series, Horror - A cargo ship loaded with micro-sized terror races through deep space. 10 pages - pdf, format


This short is a part of a much larger work which has now been turned into quick and easy to read entertainment written in prose. The two parts are The Other White Meat, Micro-Terror, Part One, and Tiny Critters, Micro-Terror, Part Two.


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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (7 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  May 13th, 2019, 3:59pm
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Iancou
Posted: March 21st, 2015, 10:25am Report to Moderator
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John,

I like the premise. Technically, the script is well-written and flows well. I would recommend that you up the tension and realism a notch. They are starving well before they find out it will be 65 days until resupply. People do funny things in such a state and the psychological issues can be perfect for film as much of it is visual. I suggest reading about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment (1945-1946) and "Unbroken", the story of Louis Zamperini, who was stranded on a liferaft for over a month, then further starved in a Japanese POW camp. These actual events can provide ideas for a more realistic depiction of people suffering profound calorie restriction.

Some of the action can be pared down as well. For example, the opening on the frozen planet can be shortened and made to be just descriptive. Unless you are going to superimposed "Z-2758", or need to state it, it is irrelevant to the story... remember the old adage "if it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage." Turn the saying around, if you don't intend to show or tell it, then don't write it.

Finally, I liked the twist at the end. It was a nice way to turn the storyline on its ear. I almost expected an earlier than expected resupply that would have mean't the whole slice and dice of Jack was unnecessary. Instead, they got their wish... there is alien life on the barren, frozen rock afterall.

Best of luck.

Ian


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: March 21st, 2015, 6:32pm Report to Moderator
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Hey John

Nice to see this up, a few thoughts... just my opinion of course.

I like the feel of the short, the interplay between the characters and the way that space travel/commerce is shown as just a little bit grubby - good work.

I think it would benefit from a proofread or two as there's a few errors, a few examples
- its hull - should be - it's hull
- Are is no answer. - should be - there is no answer.
- did you mean to have a section of Bert's dialogue as V.O.? not sure it's needed.
- Not sure you need - NOTE: Same set used in THE OTHER WHITE MEAT. The reader may not have read it, so it could confuse.
- Ernie looks around and finds Sarah’s jump suit, how does he know it's Sarah's?
- There is are muted SCREAMS - no need for this is.

You get the idea, have another read through or get some other eyes on it.

Ending for me was the weak point, seemed too convenient, and I liked the characters you'd given us... so wanted them to survive for another episode!

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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LC
Posted: March 22nd, 2015, 1:18am Report to Moderator
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There's a really good vibe to this 'short'. I like the name of the ship and your two main characters and you've set up a terrific Sci-Fi type horror on board a space craft that's a bit shoddy - sort of reminded me if you'd put Bill and Ted on a space mission. I haven't seen this type of setup before, so well done on that.

Typos Anthony has mentioned - I didn't go through it with a fine tooth comb but did notice the 'are' instead of 'there' - proving you might be a bit rushed in getting this posted. Proofreading always gives a good indication into professionalism so bear that in mind - not proofing does the opposite.

I wasn't too keen on the XBOX controls - that took me away from the realism. Was that deliberate? Are they in space or playing a game? It appears to be the former.

Finally, hmm, the idea doesn't appear to go anywhere - great set-up, intrigue, then the dire situation for your characters and... The End.

Is this part of a series? Reiterate what Anthony said about The Other White Meat - nu-uh imh.

Adding a P.S. now I've read The Other White Meat.

You definitely should have Don put this up in the Series section, John. I assume other eps are to follow? My comment about this not going anywhere is obv. not valid cause I see this is part of a bigger picture in terms of story. This is quirky and intriguing and for the most part pretty well written, and it's definitely outside the box. I look forward to reading more.


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LC
Posted: March 22nd, 2015, 1:47am Report to Moderator
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Okay, I get this is a 'series' effectively told from the different characters/perspectives.

Deep Space Truckers got me to read this one. - ingenious, or at the very least cheeky.   If you have quite a few episodes I'd think about asking Don to post this in the Series section - they're all around 10 pages I assume, so very easy to read.

'late twenties or early thirties' - John, as said with your other script- give your characters a definite age otherwise it leaves me thinking you're a very undecided person - if you don't know your characters no one else will.  You can get rid of all the CUT TOs as well - new slugs indicate this and especially where you should have put one - after they cut the cards - you didn't. Odd. There appears to be no transition there at all and it's needed even if you just show the passage of time with Sarah sleeping.

I was particularly not fond of this:

NOTE: Imagine a pork shoulder roast with a large portion
gnawed away and covered with finely ground black pepper.


The thing is this is a great description, but it's defeated with the NOTE: This only serves to take me out of the story. Easily fixed.

Okay, Sarah's obviously 'cool' and both of these characters have gone through rigorous psychological/physical testing etc. (like the current crop of Mars contenders will)   but really, is she this cool? I expect you've done this because you like the idea of the audio-only of the SCREAM against the blackened and starry visual in closing and I can't blame you for that, just make sure you also give your audience enough visual scares at some point otherwise the horror element of these scripts will only be imagined - that's a fine gimmick/trope in itself but I'm not sure that's what you're aim is. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

P.S. Good title - given the 'pork n pepper' description.


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eldave1
Posted: March 22nd, 2015, 2:03pm Report to Moderator
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I thought that this was really well written. There are a couple of nits that are my idiot-cycrancies only (i.e., other folks might be fine with them).


Quoted Text
JACK, male, late twenties or early thirties breaks the
silence.


I've seen this a lot lately - I would pick a poison. e.g., late 20s  or early 30s.  

There were way too many "small beats" to the point that they became a distraction.

Like I said - nits.

The story really flowed and I really enjoyed your style - quite visual.

There was one plot hole for me. If the micros are now going after Sarah when she is still alive - why wouldn't they have gone after Sarah and Jack when they were both alive?

If you are looking for twists in future re-writes - one might be that Sarah cheated at the card cut.

All in all - solid effort.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JohnHunter
Posted: March 22nd, 2015, 6:49pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Anthony and LC for the feed back. Proofreading continues to be the bane of my existence.

"Ernie looks around and finds a jump suit on the floor -- The name SARAH is on the chest pocket. Next to the jump suit is a small pair of boots. Ernie picks up the jump suit, sniffs them and a small amount of fine dark color dust falls out. He shakes the jump suit and more dark color dust falls out. He sneezes."

"There are muted SCREAMS, then SILENCE."

As for the vibe, my inspiration was those wonderful, early and cheesy Doctor Who episodes.

Bert and Ernie survive? Not a chance -- no one lives forever. That said, the good ship Pop Eye could crash land AND spread the bugs?

Watch for my next LOW budget short: THE COMPANION SHOP, an eight page, futuristic, comedy-retail-horror story -- Caveat emptor. Logline: "A lonely elderly woman buys an artificially intelligent companion at a 20 percent Off Clearance Sale."

Thanks again for the feedback -- It has been used to make this a better script.

John


"There are no mysteries in life, just a lotta stuff you don't know anything about."
https://www.scriptrevolution.com/profiles/john-hunter
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JohnHunter
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Thanks for the feedback. It will be used to make this a better script.

Iancou, Please read DEEP SPACE TRUCKERS, the sequel to THE OTHER WHITE MEAT. My goal in both of these shorts is cheap, LOW budget entertainment. I've written some seriously dark stuff which takes me to a place I don't like to go, so I try to keep this stuff light and CHEAP. Ideally, the best chances of getting produced would be write a boffo hit set in an empty garage or a phone booth which could be shot using one smart phone.

Again, thanks for the feedback and please watch for my next LOW budget short, THE COMPANION SHOP.

John


"There are no mysteries in life, just a lotta stuff you don't know anything about."
https://www.scriptrevolution.com/profiles/john-hunter
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JohnHunter
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eldave1, Hope this doesn't come off as too self-serving, but I did consider the point you raise:

"There was one plot hole for me. If the micros are now going after Sarah when she is still alive - why wouldn't they have gone after Sarah and Jack when they were both alive?"

It was the availability of JACK MEAT stored on the surface of the planet that first alerted the micros to the presence of Sarah. Until then, they lay dormant DEEP, DEEP below the surface of the planet. This also explains why Jack and Sarah had, todate, been unable to find LIFE on this frozen rock. Perhaps too convenient, but it's my story and I'm sticking with it.

John


"There are no mysteries in life, just a lotta stuff you don't know anything about."
https://www.scriptrevolution.com/profiles/john-hunter
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eldave1
Posted: March 22nd, 2015, 7:36pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JohnHunter
eldave1, Hope this doesn't come off as too self-serving, but I did consider the point you raise:

"There was one plot hole for me. If the micros are now going after Sarah when she is still alive - why wouldn't they have gone after Sarah and Jack when they were both alive?"

It was the availability of JACK MEAT stored on the surface of the planet that first alerted the micros to the presence of Sarah. Until then, they lay dormant DEEP, DEEP below the surface of the planet. This also explains why Jack and Sarah had, todate, been unable to find LIFE on this frozen rock. Perhaps too convenient, but it's my story and I'm sticking with it.

John


Reasonable enough, John.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JohnHunter
Posted: March 22nd, 2015, 7:39pm Report to Moderator
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LC,

My thoughts. YES, Sarah is as cool as the other side of the pillow. I like strong female characters as leads and co-lead (please note, in real life I'm your basic chauvinist swine OR perhaps just a more cuddly shoat?) What is she to do? Cry? Get high-sterical? She has no place to run or hide. The bugs are closing in, she's THE OTHER WHITE MEAT and she knows it. Just time enough for her to leave a quick WARNING for anyone who might come to this planet -- A warning which goes unread in DEEP SPACE TRUCKERS. Twisted, huh?

The gnawed pork roast description is an un-filmable 'hidden' in the narrative. The audience would not see my production notes which, out of the goodness of my heart, I have left for the filmmaker-- Again, like the Xbox(s) in DEEP SPACE TRUCKERS, my aim is to write CHEAP entertainment which  is more likely to be produced; glitzy FX, GCI, etc is interesting, BUT that stuff makes my (and our scripts) less attractive to peewee producers and filmmakers who pick up this type of short. In the big budget FEATURE, I'll be all about spending money and making Angelina Jolie happy.

Hey, just my thoughts.

John


"There are no mysteries in life, just a lotta stuff you don't know anything about."
https://www.scriptrevolution.com/profiles/john-hunter
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LC
Posted: March 22nd, 2015, 9:01pm Report to Moderator
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John, the 'pork n pepper' description (as I call it) is a great one, as I said. I'm all for a few class descriptions and even asides where appropriate - they are what elevates a script above bland. I'm just suggesting you omit the NOTE: - it's not necessary and detracts imho. Of course you can write your script any way you choose...



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RichardR
Posted: March 23rd, 2015, 3:02pm Report to Moderator
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John,

Few comments come gift wrapped.  Most are as messy as your space ship.

Bert, Ernie, and Pop Eye all in one script.  I like it.  This one has a good setup.  These guys are delivering.  While in the other work, we knkow they are way late, we don't get that from this script.  I think it might work to have them expect the worst, since they're months late on delivery.  

I have a problem with the rock.  If it's a rock and not a planet, how does it have atmosphere?  I'll buy that if it's a full fledged planet it can have snow, but a rock?  Did I miss something?

This one gets especially good after they're infected.  What is missing is their attempts to rid themselves of the parasite.  I'm guessing they would try any number of homemade remedies--from bleach, soap, beer, and perhaps excision.  Cutting out their own flesh might be a very graphic scene.  Won't do any good though.  

In any case, I like this one.  I just think it needs for Bert and ernie to try more cures.

Best
Richard
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RichardR
Posted: March 23rd, 2015, 6:03pm Report to Moderator
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John,

In deep space, comments never arrive.  read at your leisure.

I like this setup very much.  It's classic and well done.  And in this case, the survivor didn't win the game.  

here is my problem.  These two were sent here to find life.  They failed, but they were well trained.  When she discovers life, why doesn't she follow protocol?  Why doesn't she try to isolate the infection, kill off the life form, or do any of a dozen things she was trained to do?  Why doesn't she climb into a hazmat suit and keep them at bay, at least for a while?  I'm no fan of a character turning dumb at precisely the moment they need to be dumb.  In the trucker short, the characters are not trained.  They would immediately work on killing off the infection, but this woman came here to respond to this precise threat.  Why doesn't she?

And it's not as if she'll succeed.  You can arrange for the parasites to get her, but I don't think you can merely have her surrender.  That's not her training.

Other than that, very good job.

Best
Richard
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JohnHunter
Posted: March 24th, 2015, 12:47pm Report to Moderator
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RichardR,

All good and well considered questions.

"When she discovers life, why doesn't she follow protocol?" She has very limited time -- She about to get ate.

"Why doesn't she try to isolate the infection, kill off the life form, or do any of a dozen things she was trained to do?" A living carpet of micro-organisms is advancing quickly, the only thing she's had to eat in weeks is some diced pickles over a handful of stale cornflakes -- She's exhausted and surrounded. She's the next white meat and she knows it.

"Why doesn't she climb into a hazmat suit and keep them at bay, at least for a while?" Not enough time or energy. What hazmat suit? This is being shot in an empty garage using the video app on a mobile phone.

"In the trucker short, the characters are not trained.  They would immediately work on killing off the infection, but this woman came here to respond to this precise threat.  Why doesn't she?" First, it's no an 'infection' - these are micro-sized carnivores. Sarah's stated mission was to find life - This does not guarantee she has training to combat this type of aggressive, micro-sized threat. The Truckers incorrectly thought the scientists were just outside doing research. All they saw was clothes on the floor and a little dust. Later, they just assumed they had tracked some harmless dust into their ship. The one who sniffs Sarah overalls is a marked man -- He's being eaten from the inside. They also incorrectly think sex with an ugly waitress gave them both an "itch." By the time they are denied docking at DISS 7 and re-directed to DISS 10 for decontamination -- It's too late.

You will wet yourself when you read episode 3, THE NANORG. This covers what happens when the truckers leave DISS 7 and are headed to DISS 10 for decontamination and a hot shower.

NOTE: Many of my choices made in THE OTHER WHITE MEAT and DEEP SPACE TRUCKERS were, in part, due to my efforts to keep the production costs LOW (also read, make the scripts more attractive to a greater number of we-don't-got-no-money indie filmmakers.)

Enjoyed your comments and glad you liked my stuff.

John

PS, This has turned out to be the series I never intended to write. It's taken on a life of its own.


"There are no mysteries in life, just a lotta stuff you don't know anything about."
https://www.scriptrevolution.com/profiles/john-hunter
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