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Good choice for a dusting, Pia. All I can say is that it works and nothing stands out as a detriment. Solid visual storytelling with crisp dialogue. A pleasure to read. Methinks there's a feature in the works about independent shadows and debauchery. Thanks for the read!
LATEST NEWS CineVita Films is producing a short based on my new feature!
I was going to offer some criticism but then I noticed you had written this over 5 years ago, so I thought that may not be warranted as you may well have no inclination to come back to this masterpiece again.
This needs to be on a screen.
Tommorrow I'll be gone. I don't know when I'll be back. But in this world everything can change just like that.
Methinks there's a feature in the works about independent shadows and debauchery.
And Happy Holidays to you, E.D. Thanks for looking, but as stated elsewhere -- in one of those loooong threads you sometimes find around here -- any attempts to stretch this much further quickly became silly as opposed to scary.
Gypsy curses and whatnot -- eventually the whole thing just got trash-canned haha.
...so I thought that may not be warranted as you may well have no inclination to come back to this masterpiece again.
Yeah...I have kind of dabbled with it off and on. Like I told Pia, at one point a fledgling director asked for an "inner-city" version -- so I do have that rewrite floating around somewhere. But nothing ever came of it, as is so often the case.
I really do need to put this up as PDF. Will do that soon. Maybe both versions, if I still like the other one when I go to look at it again.
Thanks for looking, guys. It is fun to have the old stuff bumped up from time to time.
After seeing all the comments I had to read this Bert, I mean, I won't put more butter on the bread, but you write very good. Now I know I got to look more on your work to improve myself. Very intriguing story and catching all the way!
Notice you wrote it five years ago? And not produce or anything?
If I'm going to mention one thing about this is just the dialog of Pinto, you should cut it more, I know you wrote him as a black boy, but when I read his dialog I just see a white kid. But that wouldn't be a such a deal when a actor grabs this and makes it to his own words.
Felt the opening was a bit novelish for a short screenplay. Too much description for my tastes.
I couldn't get a visual of the door on the trailer. It revolves? Photographers use it? I just kept picturing a huge revolving door from an office building.
Meh, one of these days I'd like to take a big hot steaming turd on one of your scripts. This ain't the one. I loved it. Woulda like a bit more back story about the shadows and why they are there. Also, why it seemed Pinto inhereted them at the end.
Anywho, it had me gunning to the end. Great stuff Bert.
Thank you, Oscar, and I do appreciate your thoughts, as I have not looked at this for so long. When I go over this one again for a long-overdue PDF submission, I will certainly take another look at some of the dialogue.
You, too, James. Thanks. I did get called out for wordiness with this one, and maybe enough time has passed that I can look objectively for some cuts.
Half way through this I anticipate it was heading towards derivative Vampire territory...but it turned into something a lot more interesting and imaginative than that.
Great concept here, original too, at least as far as I'm aware. It would make a great horror feature length idea if one was to develop it in such a way. Some lovely prose also, particularly when describing the morphing shadows.
Funny that it’s in word format, or is that you flipping the bird to conformity.
I loved the “shameless plug” at the end, that’s is a new one...and sure why not?!
Funny that it's in word format, or is that you flipping the bird to conformity?
No, I was not flipping convention so much as this was a very early work, back in the days when Word files were not that uncommon around here.
I did not want to respond until I had submitted the updated PDF -- kind of goading myself to actually get it done, you know? If anybody was waiting for that, it will be up soon. It has been scrubbed and tweaked, but is essentially the same script.
Half way through this I anticipate it was heading towards derivative Vampire territory...
The misdirection was not intentional -- but I did notice it while writing, and kind of thought that it helped the story when it veered somewhere else -- when you are expecting one thing and get something else.
Wow - really good script! Clean, beautiful descriptions. And (as someone else on the thread mentioned) just the right length. Though, honestly? I could also see this working as a feature. And it'd be a nice change of pace from the uninspired torture porn that's usually out there.... (Like another reader, I completely thought I saw a vampire twist coming, and was prepared for the worst...)
For some reason I found myself thinking about this story this morning. The story succeeds, since it lingers in your head. But there is a fundamental aspect to this story that I personally would change, and I want to mention it because for me it is an opportunity to talk about the way I think stories should be done more.
Everyone remembers the great stories from their childhood. Every kid tells stories, and in every group of kids were those one or two kids that were able to tell spooky stories that everyone listened to, and that left a powerful impression. Think for a moment on what made those stories work. Even when you're a kid, you're smart enough to know the facts of a scary story are unlikely. But if the story is told in such a way, there is a part of your mind that says, "well, maybe." And that's what scares you.
As an adult, the voice in your head that says, "well, maybe," grows weaker. But there is a part of us that still wants to hear that voice. Maybe it connects us to our childhood. Maybe it's something else. I don't know, but even as adults, we want to be able to say, "well, maybe."
So for a spooky story, one is looking for that balance between scariness and believability. Hard to achieve.
And here's another thing to consider. A story about a goblin or witch in the woods, or a ghost in an abandoned house only works to entertain as long as the woods or the house remain at the end of the story. You want to imagine the witch or ghost still there, waiting. Burn down the forest or demolish the house, and the story loses its power.
So I think for me this story is better if it does not end with the trailer burning down, or the old man dieing. When I hear a rightfully creepy story about a creepy old man whose fate it is to live in darkness in a run down trailer stalked by his own shadow, when the story ends I want to imagine that trailer and that man somewhere, and say, "well, maybe."
When the trailer burns and old man dies, and the shadow affliction is somehow spread to the boy, two problems are created. First, now we really need to know what this shadow thing is. What is its history? How did the old man contract it? It was easier to avoid those questions before, but now asking them cannot be contained. Also, the believability factor became stretched dramatically, and it became harder to say, "well, maybe."
If the story ended with the boy leaving the old man miserable and confined to his fate, that would have a real nice spooky factor. The boy, and hopefully the audience, will never look at his own shadow the same way again.
Another advantage to doing this way: yesterday someone posted a link to an award winning short film about fairies. What that movie achieves it does with no budget for special affects. The same could be done on this short. The shadow cuts into the old man, wounding him. Easy enough. There could be some problems filming something that dark, but not necessarily.
I also think if the film maker was looking for something with more of a theme, this could be developed here too. A lot of things can be done with the shadow, and this would also be an opportunity to explain some of what caused this creature to exist. Shadows are symbolic for different things, and that could be used to give a bit of a moral to the story. Hell, I really think it would make a great little film.
Hey guys, thank you taking the time to comment on this one, and sorry about the less-than-timely response. Busy weekend.
Quoted from Wonkavite
Like another reader, I completely thought I saw a vampire twist coming.
I am not sure that would even be a twist at all, you know? And as discussed previously, I am just not sure at all this idea has legs for a feature.
Nice to see you back around, Wonka, and good to know there is at least one person in your household with a little taste.
And thanks to SR -- who apparently was not kidding about that line, and even had the courtesy to ask haha.
And leitskev -- I very much enjoyed reading your breakdown on what worked and might work better. It may interest you to know this has gone through options a couple of times, without ever reaching production for whatever reason, and with everybody wanting to do something a little different.
There is an inner-city version (without any trailer at all), and last I heard, somebody else might be considering at least a slightly elongated version.
I have kind of reached the conclusion that this one is a director's piece. By that, I mean I can spin my wheels and change things up all I want, but in the end, it is probably better to wait and see what the guy behind the camera has in mind before rewriting too much.
Everybody wants to do something slightly different with it, and I seem to be the only one completely happy with it the way it is haha.
Not to say I do not appreciate the thoughts, and I will certainly return to them should somebody decide to actually pursue that route.