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That's going to be a big sofa and an awkward night.
Come to think of it, fuck the big sofa. A big bear skin rug, some bigass fluffy pillows, the aforementioned alcohol, and we're good to go. As long as I can kick 4or 5 of their asses out before morning, I don't see any awkwardness.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Hmmm the pictures of that rusted bridge make the TINK TINK work for me.
All teasin' aside, this little tale was creepy(in a good way). It was short, a bit scary and tragic.
Formatting gave me a lil bit of a problem. I'm not sure ..but don't think you need all the different sides of the bridge slugged. There are lots of format guys in here though and it probably has been pointed out.
It gave me that sense of trolls under the bridge ...the flat tire thing was a lil cliche but after that part the story read fast and got to the point really quick, picking them all off one by one.
I can't say I had a feeling for any of your characters in this. And the story didn't wow me but it was very easy to read and had the scare factor so I kept on going to the end.
In the pages you gave it, I think you did pretty good. Look forward to reading more of your work.
...I'm not sure ..but don't think you need all the different sides of the bridge slugged.
...the flat tire thing was a lil cliche but after that part the story read fast and got to the point really quick, picking them all off one by one.
...In the pages you gave it, I think you did pretty good. Look forward to reading more of your work.
Thanks for the review, pale yellow.
I had all the different slugs because that's where I saw different camera positions. I use a new slug if I think the camera has to change position.
The creatures slashed the tires as they drove onto the bridge. That's why all the tires are flat. Cliché? Perhaps. This was more than just a random flat tire though.
I'm glad you liked it. I need to work on creating characters that people identify with. I'm fairly new to screenwriting so I'm working on my mechanics right now. I'll flesh out my characters in my next script.
I agree with you here, Jordan, on several issues raised.
First of all, because the entire script took place on the bridge - 1 unique setting, it definitely helps to break it down from there, much like you would if you were in a house. So many times, you see a writer use INT. HOUSE, when in reality, the scene is in a certain room, inside the house. Or, if you're in a forest or on a mountain, does that mean once you set the scene with EXT MOUNTAIN, you never use another Slug?
I think people have a hard time with the phrase "cliche". It is hard to explain exactly what a cliche is and why whatever example being used is, indeed, a cliche. But, here, I agree with you 100% that these flat tires were far from cliche.
Finally, the characters. Well, you had, what...7 pages or so here? 4 human characters, many non human Antags, and you also had both the bridge itself as well as a feeling/tone of tension that works as a character all its self.
You know, I see what peeps are saying in that no single character stands out or is memorable, but I don't think that matters here. The bridge itself was memorable. The atmosphere itself was palpable, and very memorable. And the creatures were memorable as well, even though we barely ever even saw them full on.
Horror's a different genre and the "rules" don't always apply.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Good stuff here. Paced really well. Good use of the old 'less is more' when dealing with the creatures. Really like that it ONLY takes places on the bridge and you kept it interesting. Nice.
The stuff that goes on in the background etc could be written more smoothly, but as Dreamscale has pointed out, it doesn't spoil the read (and such complications usually kill a script stone dead). This means you nailed the atmosphere well enough that it didn't matter.
Just a note about dialogue. Mainly this --
"You're slipping! Billy! You're slipping!"
Read real cheesy. I don't mind cheese in a cornball horror comedy. But this is good enough to be straight faced, brutal and pretty awesome if filmed...my advice would get all the dialogue nailed.
Really cool though. Well done.
This would go great in a Stephen King-type horror anthology.
I agree with you completely Basket Case. I changed that line immediately after posting this. I need to heed my own advice and re-read and re-read and re-read, over and over and over until I'm happy with everything.
The nice thing about this site is that you all provide another set of eyes on my scripts to find the problems that I'm just too close to see. Thank you very much.
Thanks for the review Basket. I'm more than happy to return the favor.
The bridge itself was memorable. The atmosphere itself was palpable, and very memorable. And the creatures were memorable as well, even though we barely ever even saw them full on.
You're right, Jeff. I tried to focus on the bridge more and less on the characters. This scene is intended to be the opening scene of a horror feature, and in most horror movies, there's always a group of expendable people. What's important here is the bridge.
I liked this for the most part, but as a few others have pointed out, it felt more like a scene mid-way through a movie. That pic of the bridge you posted looks like a perfect setting for a horror short. But I think it would help it you took a couple more lines to detail the bridge, as it really is a character in this story. You don't really tell us much other than "rusted." Tell us about the faded gray paint, the corroded grating and even the warning signs around the bridge. Set the image and then have the headlights approach.
So, instead of starting with the car already immobilized, I think it would work better if we see the car rolling onto the bridge, the we hear the POP of a blown tire.
"She looks over the rail, a dark patch of water flows by."
I assumed you were talking about bodies with these dark patches, but realistically when you look down a bridge at night into a river, all you see is blackness.
"He turns to face Mark and Katie. They're gone."
We already know this.
As for the creatures, I had a hard time picturing them. We know they're metallic, so are they robots? Are they some mutant spawn of the bridge itself? You use phrases like "squat form" and "oblong head", but that didn't help much. I never got a grasp of their size. I sorta pictured some kind of metallic crabs skittering along the deck, but maybe you had something entirely different in mind. I think hinting at their origin would help. Maybe there's a local urban legend about this bridge? Some curse or...barge carrying radioactive materials crashed into the bridge(just spitballing there). The thing is, it felt very random, like this attack happened without rhyme or reason.
I like how you didn't skimp on the gore at the end. But, there was no resolution or real meaning to the story. As I said before, I felt like I was missing an explanation for the stuff that was happening. But I think this could be a great scene in a bigger, more fleshed-out tale.
Here is your 1st page in a nut-shell and what you need to do to fix it up.
-- You can get rid of your orphan in your opener by not making an amature mistake of overwriting for the sake of overwriting.
How do you do this you ask? By wording your 1st action slug like this.
A late 70's Mercedes Benz blocks the right lane.
Now, I know you're gonna say "but right lane of what?" Well... if you look at your scene header, you'll know of what. Why write it twice?
-- 2nd passage: Again, your second action slug is just as over written as the 1st. You don't need all your "the's" man... Any of them.
Try this... Hazard lights flash into an otherwise pitch dark forest ahead.
No "the" anywhere. Easy.
-- I get the flashy nature here... and it's alright, it is. But there's no need to be so novel about it. Try something like:
Glassy waters reflect a full moon through various slats in the bridge.
Only one the instead of two.
-- Your introduction of Billy needs work.
Billy, 18, exits the driver side, his breath clouds the air. He checks the front passenger tire -- FLAT.
I'd put the flat in all caps to show us, the reader, that it is the focus of the shot.
-- You are very general with a lot of what you're saying. "picks up the keys" "Throws the keys"
1. Billy tosses the keys to Shawn.
2. Shawn snatches them up, heads for the trunk.
Things like that. Keep the in between exchange, the bouncing and all that -- just spice it up a bit.
-- Your characters are all confined to a small car... mid sized at best. You're acting as if they have no idea what's being said or what's going on. I'd change this all around.
I enjoyed the script, but it's got some writing problems going on. The story itself isn't anything new and the characters are bumbling about like they should in a movie such as this... It's give and take. I'd love to see it on an anthology-like flick though. Just work on your delivery more.
...I think it would help it you took a couple more lines to detail the bridge...
..."She looks over the rail, a dark patch of water flows by."
I assumed you were talking about bodies with these dark patches, but realistically when you look down a bridge at night into a river, all you see is blackness...
..."He turns to face Mark and Katie. They're gone."
We already know this...
...As for the creatures, I had a hard time picturing them. We know they're metallic, so are they robots? Are they some mutant spawn of the bridge itself?...
Thanks for the review and notes. I'll follow your advice and add more description for the bridge in the next draft.
The creek below is shallow enough to see the rocks and sand at the bottom. With a full moon, you'd be able to see a dark patch of blood flow by.
As far as saying, "They're gone.", I did that to show an empty bridge. We, the audience know that there's nobody there. I needed to show Shawn learning that there was nobody there.
The way I see the creatures, they have claws that are similar to those of a sloth, except they're metal. They also look like a sloth but they walk upright and have a larger head, kind of like Stewie from Family Guy. I hate to spell out exactly how I see the creatures, because I don't want to ruin the image the readers create.
Nice to see some heat on your thread here... So, I thought I'd join the SS masses and check out your pages...
Right off things are reading fairly smooth. Some spped bumps have already been mentioned... But they're not derailing my read.
Though I think showing the tires getting popped on the bridge is much better. You could go with something like this...
Start with a description of the bridge, gives us some visual details... Perhaps shifting shadows, whispers, etc. Something indicative of activity.
Then the car approaches... a flash of metal claws/whatever pops all the tires. I prefer the visual action to just starting static on the bridge. But that's just me.
P. 5 I dig the yellow eyes through the metal grating. I wish we had more visuals like this throughout the script. As written, I don't have a good sense of space or bridge dimensions.
P. 5 If something was holding onto your feet, you'd know. Now, there's potential for a shock beat when they GRAB Billy. But him just looking down to secured feet strains credibility for me.
Finished. Read pretty well save for the aforementioned stuff by other SS members. Kinda reminds me of the ooze segment from Creepshow 2.
I could see kids trapped on the bridge all night... Like say... On a bus heading back from a football game. Mmm, cheerleaders. Coach and driver will cover the adults quota nicely. Can use the school bus to establish character drama, like they just lost a big game. The protag could likely be the reason for the loss, due to personal angst. All that can play out in a contained horror on a bridge all in one long night.
Yup. That's a movie to me.
And your script plays like an opening grabber, not a short story. So, I'm assuming you're testing the waters here before you write the feature.
Clean up your pages a bit and this'll read pretty well. Hope this helps. Keep writing and rewriting!
LATEST NEWS CineVita Films is producing a short based on my new feature!
The orphan is there because I needed to describe the bridge as being rusted. I'll fix the orphan by giving him some brothers and sisters.
I didn't want to put RUSTED in all of my slugs so I just put it in the first description.
I can remove the first "the" from the second passage but to say, "Hazard lights flash into an otherwise pitch dark forest ahead." doesn't convey the feeling I'm going for. "Illuminating" is the correct word for what is happening and the word "black" has a more sinister connotation than simply "dark".
I like the way the third passage is written. The word "below" indicates something is under the bridge, and if I said, "various slats", that would indicate more of a wooden bridge, which this isn't.
I agree with you about the description of Billy. Jeff had some good ideas on how to fix that.
I don't think I'm being general with what I'm saying about Billy throwing the keys at Shawn. Billy is a dick. He didn't TOSS them to Shawn. That would be too nice. He didn't HURL them, or CHUCK them to Shawn. That would be too mean. He didn't even throw them TO Shawn. He threw them AT Shawn. It may appear that I didn't put too much thought into how Billy got the keys to Shawn, but it's there. You just have to be able to see it.
I'll add a little spice to how Shawn picks up the keys, but I didn't want to use the word "trunk". Not everyone in the world calls it a trunk. Our British and Australian friends call it a boot. I try to write as universal as possible.
I'm not sure what you mean when you say I'm acting as if they have no idea what's being said or what's going on. Katie and Mark are dating so they're in the back of the car making out while Billy and Shawn are talking. They're not exactly aware of the problem until they get out.
Thanks for the review. I'd be happy to return the favor. All I could find was an OWC of yours from 2010, Kline Manor Pledge. I'm sure your skills have improved since then so I won't go over the problems in that script. If you have anything new that isn't sold, optioned, or in production, and you would like some input, feel free to send it my way.