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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Give Blood Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 30th, 2010, 10:21pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Give Blood by Anthony Russo (ajrscreenworks) - Short, Horror, Thriller - But you may find that blood is not enough… 8 pages - pdf, format


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bert
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 9:18am Report to Moderator
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Hey Russo;

Big Townshend fan over here, earns you a read on that alone.

But I must let you know this piece held few surprises for me.  There are maybe a dozen pieces around here that tell the exact same story, more or less.

Reading through this and perusing for errors, however, I found little to complain about.

One might argue that this has too many characters for such a short piece -- particularly early on -- but then, I am also given to understand that this characteristic is endemic of your work.

Jerry, for example, brings nothing to the table.

You should always try to tell your story with the fewest number of characters possible.  At least, that is my opinion -- and it inarguably eases production.

I will give you the baby as a nice touch, perhaps the best thing in the script.  If you were to expand on that angle -- tell us a story about Connie and this little guy -- then you might have something that would feel fresher.

And there must be some other way to handle that final line of dialogue.  It is good, but the way you handle it here it comes off more as a punchline, if that makes sense.

So, while this is good alone, there are too many like it.  I would leave this script out there, for sure, but would not invest too much time on rewrites.  If you liked writing this one, or this topic in general, I would spend some time composing a tale about Connie and her unique burden, apart from the rest of these characters.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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screenrider
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 9:19am Report to Moderator
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Well, well...Mr Russo.

Here we go.  This didn't do much for me.  But it's not by any fault of your own.  I'm just tired of vampires, zombies and serial killers.  Whatever happened to inspirational stories? Stories that lift the spirit?  That's a non-rhetoriocal question so don't bother retorting.

To the story; your writing stryle is flawless.  You have truly dialed in your own voice. I noticed you omitted some of the characters ages in lieu of just describing them. Clever.  Other than that,  this story seemed like an 8 page build up to the sheep punchline.  But, I'm sure plenty of others will enjoy it.   You're becoming a force to be reckoned with around here.

Nice effort.
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ajr
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 9:26am Report to Moderator
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Bert,

The logline is a total red herring. I'm really glad the first reader got and appreciated the reference...

And this is hugely experimental for me, more so to stretch myself as a writer, so I would not know how derivative the idea is. I just tried to concentrate on story telling.

Mike,

I viewed this as sort of the anti (SPOILER) script I've always wanted to write.  And as for others enjoying it, well, I'm a neophyte in this genre, so I'm expecting guns blazing...  

Thanks to both of you for the read -

Anthony


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Brian M
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 12:44pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Anthony,

Great work again. Very different from your other work. I liked this, but as Bert said, there are many similar scripts posted here. I've read at least two on this site that deal with this subject that deal with this subject in a similar way.

That being said, it was still very enjoyable and well worth the read. Well written as always, good dialogue and interesting characters. If this was an experiment in this genre, consider it a success.

Well done!

Brian
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ajr
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 1:04pm Report to Moderator
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Brian,

Thanks for the read. Yeah, I would never know about these other works because I don't normally read them, but I'm glad you thought it was a decent experiment.

Anthony


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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dogglebe
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 2:30pm Report to Moderator
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This piece felt like part of a bigger story though, at the same time, it dragged a little.  The name of the organization was something of a give away for me, but it all played out nicely.


Phil
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jwent6688
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 3:44pm Report to Moderator
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Aj writing a horror??? Gotta check this out.

Spoilers!!!!

Of course, vampires, one of my fave subjects. I didn't get the logline, so it didn't throw me off.

As far as originality, it's been done where vampires try to fabricate their own blood to co-exist with man.. i.e. True BLood, Underworld, but I've never seem them try to mimic the read cross to get their hands on it. So good job there.

My problem with this piece is that it lacks a little intensity IMO. Bert suggested you explore the relationship between Connie and her baby. Not a bad Idea. Some people would argue that vampires can't have babies, so you'd have to address that.

Also, is a little hard to believe they could pull off the charade of mutliple donor sites going off.

When Mccormick and Sheehan argue they talk about being hunted like animals. It's like man is aware of their existence. So if i may be so bold as to offer another suggestion.

The people know that they're vampires. It's in a time where vampires lost a war with man. Mccormick pioneered the pact between them. They set up donor sites hoping people will give for their survival, which the gov't allows.  They'd probably just get freaks that wanna be like them, peace junkies, the like. Picketers wherever they go.

Sheehan knows they're starving, Would give more impact to feeding the hungry baby, He threatens to break the pact... Then your ending would work nicely as Mccormick does what he has to...

But if you're like me, I usually just throw suggestions in the trash bin.

Either way, good clean work. Quick read. I enjoyed it.

James


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ajr
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 3:58pm Report to Moderator
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Phil,

Thanks for the read - I'll take "it all played out nicely" from you and run...

jwent,

Yeah, was a bit nervous about writing this one because I'm not steeped in the lore. It is an interesting suggestion you have, though. I guess what attracted me to it was the thought of the ruse - and the resulting "what's all the big deal about nasty (SPOILERS) then anyway when they can get what they want by behaving?

Thanks for checking it out -

Anthony


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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grademan
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 5:59pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Russo!

This one wasn't horror filled or that tension building, The glowing eyes weren't a big reveal or surprise. The character who felt the the "need to feed" reminded me of Top Gun's tagline the "need for speed."

However, the writing was good. I took this more as a thinking man's horror. If that means anything. I always doubt the use of quotes at the beginning or the end of a script since I think they work better in novels.

The baby should have ripped the nipple right off that bottle. Or, the hungry blood junkie should have ripped the bottle away from the baby. Or, the  jumkie should have ripped off the baby's head... well, you get the point. (Sorry about that, I got carried away.)

This might have been good for the last OWC on the supernatural if expanded on the baby's story.

You certainly are trying new things. Kudos.

Gary
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ajr
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 6:04pm Report to Moderator
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Rademan!

Thanks for the read as always - and I'll take "thinking man's horror", which is probably the limit of my talent in this genre.

Anthony


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Inquiringmind
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 7:30pm Report to Moderator
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This script was meh. Although I don't share screenriders religious scruples, there is alot of the same cliche storylines circulating this board. First off there isn't enough of a story for me to care for the characters, and their unworldly problems. With shorts it's difficult to make it compelling and keep it short, but that is the challange we screenwriters must tackle.

The writing was readable and clear. As a reader I would pass on it because it didn't move me in anyway.

I always say it is better to be a bad writer with good stories than the recipical.
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ajr
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 8:44pm Report to Moderator
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I think there's a compliment in there somewhere... (0:

Thanks for the read inquiringmind - as I said earlier, this is really a stretch for me as far as genre. Sorry it didn't work for you.

Anthony


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Inquiringmind
Posted: May 1st, 2010, 8:55pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ajr
I think there's a compliment in there somewhere... (0:

Thanks for the read inquiringmind - as I said earlier, this is really a stretch for me as far as genre. Sorry it didn't work for you.

Anthony


Anthony no need to apologise, it didn't work for me, but keep up the good work.

Take care

Eric
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Ryan1
Posted: May 23rd, 2010, 1:30am Report to Moderator
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Clever idea having vampires set up a blood drive.  Was the phlebotomist a vampire , too?

Your format is on, but I think what sank this script for me was the fact that you never ratcheted up the tension.  I think everyone saw the vampire twist coming.  It's at night, blood drive, priest.  All the elements were there.  So, what this script needed was a twist that no one saw coming.

Also, it's almost like there's a bigger story attached to this smaller one.  All this talk of a vampire code and the entire operation and stuff.  There's a whole lot of talk among the characters about stuff that happened elsewhere.  All that took away from the immediacy of what was happening right there in the high school.  And, I don't think you needed all these characters.  This script is a bit overpopulated.

If you do rewrite, I might suggest leaving the action within the gym and cook up a way to raise the tension.  Maybe the businessman begins to realize this is no normal blood drive and he's in serious shite.

As I said, formatting seemed good.  You did misspell bassinet a few times.  

I think with a rewrite you could turn this into a dark little script.
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