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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  Emerald
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  Author    Emerald  (currently 1583 views)
Posted: May 29th, 2018, 3:42am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zombie Sean
I tried to make this script very visual, imaginative, surreal, and dream-like, so I'm glad to hear that you really enjoyed the descriptions and visuals. This script actually started as a short story, so that's why there are so many visuals contained within it. I don't want to come off as too overwritten and fluffy, though. I tried my best to tone down a bit when writing this and I'm glad to hear that it's worked out so far.

- Yep, it was a welcome change to the usual lean, mean but often colourless scripts one reads.

Quoted from Zombie Sean
As I had mentioned above, this is like a modern day ghost story. Andrew is dead and a ghost the whole time in this story, except for the third act where he drunkenly drives off the bridge and doesn't escape the vehicle as it sinks down to the river bottom. Madam Mallory's advice was to help him move on in the afterlife. She warns him that if he resists this "transformation" (i.e. from the ghost-world to wherever we go when we truly "move on"), then he will be met with unfortunate consequences. He's almost "moved on" once he lets Katie go from his grasp on the bridge and she falls into the water (him lifting up into the air, the lamp post shining down on him and getting brighter and brighter--the light at the end of the tunnel, if you'd call it), but when he jumps off the bridge and into the water, he's met with the horrifying truth of his past. The dead, decayed form of the love of his life, being trapped in his car and essentially drowning again. Because he doesn't accept his fate, and dismisses the transformation that Madam Mallory told him to accept, he's stuck in a limbo going 'round and 'round for an eternity, searching for his lost love and never finding true peace in the afterlife. Madam Mallory is only a guide into the afterlife to help those move on. It's up to the soul/ghost themselves to truly decide how their fate ends up. With Andrew, he couldn't resist letting go of Katie, so now he's stuck in this limbo, reliving his final moments over and over again. I tried pulling that off with the very last line of action, where we hear the sound of water lapping at the shore of the river OVER BLACK.

And, he's not getting a second chance at life, but rather reliving his final moments and given a chance to let go of his past in order to move on. The third act, where he drunkenly drives off the bridge and ultimately drowns, was just to show what really happened, and the poor choices he made that got him to where he was. Madam Mallory mentions that "the universe is not completely at fault" and that Andrew might've done things to get him to his present circumstances, which was driving drunk and ultimately getting himself killed, due to Katie breaking up with him and him not being able to let go of the past.

So, no, him driving off the bridge was not a suicide mission or a way to hide Katie's body (Katie is alive and well somewhere else). It was simply his mistake from driving drunk, and ultimately gets him killed and takes us to where we are when the script first begins. Katie represents the path that Andrew takes to his final moments, and the reason it is her is because she is what's holding Andrew back from truly moving on.

- Ok, thank you for the detailed response. You definitely have this one well thought out in your head and I appreciate that. You've crammed a lot in here that I'd probably get on a second read or if I saw it on screen but as you've gleaned from my notes, I didn't grasp it fully first time around. That's probably more on me but again, its good to see you attempt challenging material.


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Zombie Sean
Posted: May 29th, 2018, 11:46am Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
- Ok, thank you for the detailed response. You definitely have this one well thought out in your head and I appreciate that. You've crammed a lot in here that I'd probably get on a second read or if I saw it on screen but as you've gleaned from my notes, I didn't grasp it fully first time around. That's probably more on me but again, its good to see you attempt challenging material.

I completely understand how this story can be confusing and would probably take more than one read to get the full grasp of it. If it's any consolation, you're not the only one who got confused by this story. The story is rather non-linear, as we jump from present to past to even further past, all while seemingly happening at the same time. I think this script would be easier to understand if it were ever filmed as it is more of a visual script than anything. I wanted to go for dream-like, which can be confusing at some times, so I guess I succeeded?! Haha. If you think about it, the story is separated into three acts (which I thought about including in the script).

ACT I - Andrew wakes up and begins his journey as a lost man, meeting Madam Mallory along the way, who informs him of his journey and how to complete it, then sending him on his way.

ACT II - Andrew continues his journey, which is now portrayed as his final moments in life, following the path that he took that led to his death, starting from the town of partiers, along the winding deserted road, and to the bridge where he is supposed to 'move on' and let go of his past. Instead, he fights the transformation and holds on to his past, throwing him into an emotional, downward spiral of horror where instead of moving on into the afterlife, he's thrown into a limbo of reliving his death of drowning and faced with the horror of his emotional baggage.

ACT III - The truth to what happened with Andrew, how he started in the town as a drunk and got into his car. He drives along the winding road before his car drives off the bridge and into the river. There, he drowns. And the final line (the OVER BLACK) is supposed to assume that he's back at the river shore to start his journey all over again. He's thrown into a neverending loop of reliving his final moments again and again. A limbo, so you'd say. As a ghost.


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