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The Gateway Experiment by Anthony Hudson (alffy) - Short, Horror - A team of scientist have a theory but it requires a controversial experiment. One man decides to be the guinea pig they need. 17 pages (Based on the Creepypasta 'Gateway of the mind')
production:Limited locations. 4 Characters. - pdf, format
Been meaning to get around to posting on this, though Iím still not sure what to make of it. Itís an intriguing idea that (frustratingly) seems to hold back from building more mystery surrounding the Gateway premise. On the flip-side youíre constrained somewhat by the source material (albeit what little there is) and I donít know where youíd stand to break from that?
I think this could do with a touch more context to understand what it was the scientists were hoping to achieve and importantly (for sake of conflict/stakes) the risks to the scientists and Walter. The original source posits the scientists as highly pious individuals which goes some way to understanding their motives - prove the existence of God.
Presumably this is a highly clandestine experiment. At best theyíve condemned Walter to a living death - thatís a legal risk to the scientists but itís never really mentioned. If they fail they have to essentially euthanize Walter. More intriguingly - if they succeed? Theyíll prove the existence of an afterlife.
Id suggest looking at Henrik and Rhoades dialogue, it was difficult to tell them apart. There was a moment when Henrik stares at a photograph (suggesting at backstory? Personal motive?) but thatís as far as it went.
I kept waiting for those little moments that could prove/suggest something otherworldly. You teased the notion when Walter mentioned Edna - Kingstonís Grandmother. I think thatís a key moment, one of the most chilling, but it felt underplayed.
I understood that Walterís nerves were severed but not that it related to removing all his senses. That wasnít altogether clear until I checked the source.
I like the ending with Rhoades taking Walterís place - that works for me. Suggests theyíve opened a Pandoraís box with the experiment unleashing forces beyond their control.
Hope this helps,
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I completely understand your concerns about this being a bit thin. I wrote this a while back and stuck to the source material pretty closely. Since, I've been thinking of fleshing it out but was concerned about page length.
I do think I will come back to this and add a bit more though. I did have an extra few pages at the end that continued with Rhoades going bat shit crazy but a felt it completely changed the tone of the piece.
Cheers for your thoughts, they are greatly appreciated.
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Finally got around to reading this. Full disclosure, I love creepypastas, but this one has always been one of my least favorites. Now onto my notes:
I agree with Steve on a lot of points. There is not enough context for my liking. This would obviously have to be a secret experiment and if it ever became public knowledge, it would ruin the lives of the 3 doctors, but they never really mention any of the details. Even the final purpose of the experiment never seems to be stated, just implied.
You hint that one of the doctors is motivated by, what I can only assume, is the death of his daughter, but then you never really have any payoff with that character. I would definitely expand on this point.
I, too, had trouble telling one character from the other. Again, more characterization would help.
I would have also liked to see a better escalation of the experiment's progress. You mention the dead grandmother, but then after that it's just incoherent rambling and whatnot from Walter. I think that would have been a great spot for the doctor to start using Walter to try and talk to his dead daughter.
One last note, the work is a touch overwritten. Once the action starts it wasn't as noticeable, but from the opening scene you use a ton of adverbs. I would trim some of the fat to make for a smoother read.
For example, you have:
A single naked bulb provides only adequate light in the small confined space. The tiled walls home no windows and only a single door.
I'd streamline it to be more like:
A single bulb provides the only light in the small, windowless room.
What's the copyright scenario with stuff like this?
I wrote a feature based on The Russian Sleep Experiment. I did extensive research on the original source material and the author, but ultimately found that the author is unknown, so...it was okay for me and anyone else for that matter to write about it. I would assume this story would be the same. Unless the author is known.
I remember reading this one on creepypasta. I liked it a lot. I will try to read it if I find some free time. A bit swamped right now.
I always over write lol, I do try to tone it down though.
I'm guessing from reviews so far that I need to flesh it out a bit and work on characters. I wrote this a while back and haven't wrote anything since, and haven't been motivated to do anything new. Maybe this is my new project...a long with the 2 feature rewrites I also need to do lol.
Thanks for the read, if you want anything reading in return, pm me.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
What's up Anthony? Good to see you're still around as well. It's been too long since I've read one of your shorts.
The only creepy pasta I'm familiar with is "The Russian Sleep Experiment". That one was pretty creepy, and so is this one.
Format wise everything is top notch. A couple of missing comma's here and there. Some of the descriptions could use a little bit of tightening, but that's more of a personal preference. It still read very well and never dragged.
The story was interesting, and even got quite tense at the end. I even got a little grossed out at the eye gouging.
Really good characterization all the way around, I really got a feel for who was who.
I could see this being produced if an ambitious filmmaker gave it a crack. It wouldn't be an easy short to film, but I think it would be worth the effort.