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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Hannah's Demons - Filmed Moderators: bert
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  Author    Hannah's Demons - Filmed  (currently 6827 views)
eldave1
Posted: June 25th, 2016, 11:33am Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
Dreamscale,  not going to lie, when I learnt about orphans I kinda missed the idea. I get it now. I will start being more conscious of it straight away, thanks. I do have another two shorts currently floating around the SS universe, that have not made the boards yet, they will have the same issues.

Question though, in a short and particularly a short short like I tend to write, how much of an issue is it? I get how valuable the real estate on a page is in a feature but how bad is it to do this in a short?


Warren, writers look at the issues of orphans (like all other issues) with different points of view. For me, I examine all orphans (even in dialogue) not so much as a matter of saving space, but as a function of making sure that I am writing as efficiently as possible.

As an example: you have:


Quoted Text
The woods open up to reveal a house. No lights appear to be
on.


I would have probably re-written as:

The woods open up to reveal a house. No lights are on.

I would have re-written it not to get rid of the orphan per se - but because "appear to be" adds little to the description.

So long-winded way of saying that even in shorts I pay attention to orphans just as a signpost to check to make sure things are written as crisply as possible.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 25th, 2016, 11:42am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren
Dreamscale,  Question though, in a short and particularly a short short like I tend to write, how much of an issue is it? I get how valuable the real estate on a page is in a feature but how bad is it to do this in a short?


Warren, it's not "bad" at all and in the big picture, it means very little...usually.  Depends if you run onto a new page at the end of your script by x lines and you have x orphans in your script.

The real deal is that most of the time, and I'm talking like 95+%, orphans are the result of overwriting, unnecessary words, or downright extra words that shouldn't be there.  I bet I/we could go over each of your orphans and see exactly why they're there, and cut at least one word from the line.[/quote]



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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MarkItZero
Posted: June 25th, 2016, 1:50pm Report to Moderator
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Guess I'm the only one but I didn't see the ending coming. That's probably because I haven't read very many shorts so to me it was a unique concept. Whereas Dustin and others have read some variation of this (or even identical plots) many times over from past writers. Still, I found it engaging. Would have been more so if the action descriptions didn't read like a list sometimes...


Quoted Text
HANNAH, 16, attractive under the bruises, scratches, and torn
clothes, crouches down low. She looks back towards the
flashlights. She breathes heavily as sweat beads on her
forehead.

The flashlights come closer.

HANNAH
Shit.

Hannah flees into the night.


As opposed to something like...

HANNAH, 16, attractive under the bruises, scratches, and torn
clothes, crouches down low. Hot vapors of air billow up between ragged breaths.

A flashlight beam slashes in front of her.

She ducks, flees into the night.

Maybe that's just me imposing a different style, but I feel like some variation of this "shows" rather than "tells" better than listing "she does this, then that, then this happens..."


Quoted Text
The bald man comes into sight. She strikes him in the head
with the rock. His eyes roll back. Blood runs down his face,
he drops to the ground.

Hannah is illuminated as the hunterÔŅĹs flashlight settles on
her.


Again, this reads like a list. There's no sense of urgency.

It could go something like this...

The bald man pounces behind the tree. Flicks his light about only to find empty ground.

A NOISE from behind. He spins.

Hanna comes at him in a blur, rock in hand, whipcracks him hard across the face.

Her wild eyes lit by the hunter's beam as he races towards his downed companion.

**Maybe this is just a style difference. Maybe my style is wrong lol. But I'd like the descriptions to be more vivid, urgent, throughout.







  


That rug really tied the room together.

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MarkItZero  -  June 25th, 2016, 2:18pm
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khamanna
Posted: June 25th, 2016, 3:52pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Warren,

I think it's a nice little short. Simple idea easy to follow. And nicely done as you build the suspence really well.
I'd like to know a bit more about Hannah though - to feel for her.
I thought she'll turn into a werewolf or something or turn out to be a vampire - and I think the reason is that she doesn't talk much, doesn't lead to believe she's a human. So, I was following the chase, but it left me a bit impartial because I don't know much about her - just see a girl being chased. So I assumed she'll turn bad at the end and she turned out to be a phsyco. This way is much better than a vampire or some creature.

This one is a low budget production I guess, and I see it made. Good luck to you with it.
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Warren
Posted: June 25th, 2016, 6:13pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you all for the reading.

James, I'm glad I got you with the ending.

Like you, I'm not so sure it is a style choice, it's also the second time my writing has been pulled up for reading like a list, so I will go back and take another look.

Khamanna, thanks for the possitive feedback. I can almost certainly assure you that you will never see a werewolf or vampire story from me.

Dreamscale and eldave, thanks for the clarification on orphans.

Everyone, I have received some very valuable feedback on this one. Will have another look and give it a clean up.


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DavidV
Posted: June 25th, 2016, 10:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Warren,

I thought this was very well written. Moved at a fast pace, easy to follow, and you did a great job at creating imagery. It kept me engaged.

It did seem a bit odd for our main character talk to her mother on the phone as she's (supposedly) getting hunted. It decreased the tension of the situation.

The ending was very depressing, though I suppose that's what you were going for. I definitely didn't see it coming. Overall, I think it was a good short, but as others said, it would be better if we actually got to know the character. I also agree that you should cut out that first conversation she had with her mother... it didn't really add any depth to Hannah and it seemed bizarre.


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Warren
Posted: June 25th, 2016, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
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David,

Thanks for the read and positive feedback. I'm glad the imagery worked for you and that the overall read was satisfactory.

Will be taking another pass at this short in the coming days, trying to incorporate the tips I have received.

Cheers


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Warren
Posted: June 26th, 2016, 11:23pm Report to Moderator
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Just to let you know, before anyone else reads this and comments, I will be submitting the new version today. Hopefully it will be available soon.

I have used a lot of the advice given, so I hope it turns out well.

Thanks again to everyone for your feedback.


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eldave1
Posted: June 27th, 2016, 5:36pm Report to Moderator
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Best of luck


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Warren
Posted: June 27th, 2016, 6:51pm Report to Moderator
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This is the revised and final draft of Hannahís Demons. Thank you for your recommendations and advise.

NEW SPOILERS

These are the changes:

All single word orphans are gone. Still a couple of two word ones, but I can live with them.

The bald man has been completely removed.

The initial conversation with Hannahís mother has been completely removed.

The hunter has been demonised to show Hannahís warped perception.

I have added a sedative effect to the pills, hopefully adding to the immediacy of getting them swallowed.

The writing that could be condensed and cleaned up has been.

Some things I decided not to change:

Hannah still drops the rock after the attack, only now it is the hunter she strikes. He is seemly no longer a threat. And to be honest, if it was me I wouldnít be running with a large rock, even if it was my only weapon.

I have not changed or added any slugs. I know it can probably be done better, but after reading through it a few more times, I donít think there is any ambiguity in where and what is going on. I am happy with how this flows.

I have not really changed any of the descriptive type writing, for better or worse, I feel this is how I would like to write.

Were some other minor tweaks that arenít worth mentioning.

Thanks again, as you can see I am here to learn and use the input I get to make my writing better.

Hopefully with the changes this makes for a cleaner, more enjoyable read.




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Dustin
Posted: June 28th, 2016, 5:31am Report to Moderator
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Orphans, generally speaking, are all about aesthetics. They don't look good on the printed page. Even readers don't like them. Most of the time we can write around them... but never do so if it harms the flow or detracts the information you want to deliver. It's not an absolute rule that we shouldn't use orphans, and the use of them will not likely harm the chances of the script being picked up. It's just aesthetically more pleasing not to have them and also, I believe, suggests talent.


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Dreamscale
Posted: June 28th, 2016, 11:34am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
Orphans, generally speaking, are all about aesthetics. They don't look good on the printed page. Even readers don't like them. Most of the time we can write around them... but never do so if it harms the flow or detracts the information you want to deliver. It's not an absolute rule that we shouldn't use orphans, and the use of them will not likely harm the chances of the script being picked up. It's just aesthetically more pleasing not to have them and also, I believe, suggests talent.


Agreed.

The thing with orphans, is that the more you have, the more completely wasted lines you have, and thus, the longer your script is going to run.

Absolutely nothing wrong with 2, 3, 4 orphans per 10 pages...as long as they're not sitting there all by their lonesome selves because of a writing mistake.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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eldave1
Posted: June 28th, 2016, 11:55am Report to Moderator
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Agreed - Agreed.

I would also add the same thought to scene headings. I've run across many instances where a line could be saved by including the pertinent info in the scene heading. e.g.,

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

This is a large room.

Could just as easily be

INT. LARGE AUDITORIUM - DAY


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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RichardR
Posted: June 28th, 2016, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
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Warren,

Some notes.

This one works for the most part.  You manage to create the right vibe.  A young girl runs for her life, pursued by a hunter.  This scene has been done before, so we know what to expect.  You might consider having the hunter call to her.  After all, if you were dad, wouldn't you call to her?  Promise her everything will be OK?  Tell her it's just a mistake?  That she doesn't believe him reinforces her psychosis and makes him seem more sinister.

I have a problem with the breaking of the window.  She knows enough to hide but not enough to avoid noise?  Maybe.  Or if she did break the window, would she be clever enough to keep running?

The rock thing bothers me a little.   If she thinks she really knocked him out, why run so fast?  If not, why not beat him to a pulp?  Of course, as she jogs off, she looks back, and there's that damn light.

The ending works for me.  You might consider having her answer in a different fashion.  After all, she thinks she stabbed an enemy.  Why not work on that?  

Best
Richard
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Warren
Posted: June 28th, 2016, 6:04pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read and notes, Richard.

To say why doesnít she just beat him to a pulp with the rock there and then can be applied to a lot of movies. The amount of times it could all be ended there and then with either the protag killing the antag or visa versa. Well that doesnít really make for much of a story and many movies would end very prematurely.

I felt any reassurance in the beginning would be too expositional and thatís why I decided to leave it out.

A few people have commented on Hannah acting irrationally. There is absolutely no need for her to act rationally, she is in a state of psychosis, I would go as far to say that she is almost acting too rationally for someone that is seeing demons.

For the moment, I will not be doing any more work on Hannah's Demons. I have used a lot of the advice given to me and I feel I am happy with what I have. At the end of the day I still want it to be my story, regardless of whether it's been done before. Most things have, in one way or another.



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Warren  -  June 28th, 2016, 8:25pm
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