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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  The Figure
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Don
Posted: March 12th, 2019, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Figure by Matthew Sawyer - Short, Horror, Thriller - After a drunken night out ends in a creepy way for Chris, he will hope it's just a horrible prank and not something most sinister.  6 pages - pdf format

New writer interested in feedback on this work


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Andrew
Posted: March 13th, 2019, 12:30am Report to Moderator
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This reads easy enough, and has a an easy flow to follow.

Technically, there are a few things, such as capitalising NAMES that I'll let others touch on in more detail, who will forensically cover that better than I can.

My feeling is that you have a disconnect in your story. The first half (the night out) doesn't really serve the story. You have a subplot where Luke is proven rubbish with women, but that doesn't add anything to the story.

You can use that time for character development, and to add tension. There is tension when ' the figure' is introduced, but it lacks any punch or link to the rest of the short. If you eliminate some of the night out - as is - and focus the plot on unearthing why Chris would be the target, it would give the closing more resonance.

So, Luke is his buddy, and can be utilised to add in some mystery; for example, if Luke is the only other character we focus on, you can add him to the scene (in shot for us, but not for Chris) when Chris is confronted by this entity. As an audience, we have this unexplained presence on screen, which is deliberately not accounted for in the script, leading us to ask questions... like, what the f*ck is going on here. That type of addition adds a creepy factor.

For any potential short - or indeed any low budget film - there should always be an attempt to drive down the character and location counts. That forces the writer to sharpen dialogue, use location as its own character, and inject imagery and subtext to tell the story.

I don't really like the title, as it is too on the nose, in a sort of b-movie way. Which is fine, but I think a tightened script with a better name and you have a product that could be interesting to filmmakers.

Just my views, and feel free to disregard, but good luck with the script.


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Dreamscale
Posted: March 13th, 2019, 2:45pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Yes, that is my real hair...

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Matthew, your logline is a dead giveaway of what's to follow - lots of mistakes.

It reads very poorly and you just can't start things off like this.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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eldave1
Posted: March 14th, 2019, 2:36pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Matthew.


Quoted Text
EXT. LONG STRAIGHT ROAD. DUSK


Wrong format - should be a dash - not a period. i.e.,

EXT. LONG STRAIGHT ROAD - DUSK

Note: you have this problem in all of your headers.


Quoted Text
CHRIS (a tall, young, plain looking man, 22) walks down a
long road with his earphone's in.



- Avoid pedestrian verbs - "walks" - give us something more visual - e.g., lumbers, strolls, etc.

- Personally, not a fan of putting all of the character description in ( ).  

- You also don't need many of the words here (young, man, a) is they are already implied and you don't need a long road since it's already in your header.  I'd go with something like: CHRIS (22), tall, plain looking strolls down the cracked asphalt.


Quoted Text
The sun slowly setting, its the middle of winter and CHRIS
is well wrapped up. He reaches his destination...


Put the well wrapped up description with Chris when we first see him.


Quoted Text
CHRIS greets his friend LUKE (Tall, chubby, 22.) We can
tell they've been friends for a long time.


- same character description ( ) issue as above
- CHRIS should not be capped - only when first intro'd.
- We can see they've been friends a long time" - a bit of an unfilmable - how? what are we seeing?


Quoted Text
CHRIS
Alright LUKE.


Luke should not be capped. You need a comma after alright.


Quoted Text
LUKE
(nodding)
CHRIS.


Chris should not be capped.


Quoted Text
LUKE (CONT'D)
Right!, Lets get swigging...


should be no comma after Right!

CHRIS makes eye contact with a barmaid to get her
attention.

Chris should not be capped. Barmaid should be. The rule is cap your character's name - even unnamed ones like Barmaid, when they are first intro'd. After that - no caps.


Quoted Text
We cut to glasses filling with lager...


Not a proper cut to and you don't need it anyway - just delete it.


Quoted Text
MONTAGE:

CHRIS and LUKE drink one after another, they laugh and
roughhouse...., LUKE tries to talk to various females and
gets knocked back, they laugh a bit more.

A good amount of time has now passed and the pub has got a
lot quieter. A lot of alcohol has now taken its toll on
them and they are both rather drunk...


The format is all wrong for a montage. And - when you start a montage you must also formally end it. See guidance on how to do it here:

https://screenwriting.io/how-do-you-format-a-montage-in-a-screenplay/

Okay - I'm going to stop with the format and grammar issues - but note you have a lot that need fixing just from the first page - so I suspect you will have them on all pages.

Going to continue reading just for the story now.

And - didn't quite get it. mate. It's not really connected. i.e., there's no thread between the first part of the story and the end. Looking at it another way - if you didn't have Luke or the girl at the bar involved or the bar at all - would it have any impact on the story?? Could have just opened with Chris walking down the road on page 5, Sorry - It just didn't land for me.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Marcela
Posted: March 21st, 2019, 6:29pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the log line, that's why I started reading. Interesting beginning to the story, the whole script was easy to follow. A lot of spelling mistakes, perhaps some of them made on purpose to emulate text speak?
As somebody already suggested, there should be a connection between the night out with the friend and the ending of the story. I was hoping the figure would turn out to be the girl from the bar or something like that.
I also struggle with endings, they are important, the readers feel cheated if there's nothing spectacular at the end of the story.


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MikeK
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 10:36pm Report to Moderator
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Good idea, but the execution was a little rough. David has great advice, listen to him and learn. He's an expert.

Keep at it!


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