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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  Confessions of a Cadaver
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  Author    Confessions of a Cadaver  (currently 823 views)
Don
Posted: October 25th, 2019, 1:02pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Confessions of a Cadaver by Matthew Taylor - Short, Horror - As a surgeon dissects a cadaver, it tells him a story he doesn't want to hear. 3 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

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Don  -  October 30th, 2019, 12:48pm
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_ghostwriters
Posted: October 25th, 2019, 7:28pm Report to Moderator
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@Matthew

A premise like this is well-trodden ground, but still... this was quite good. The writing evoked a sparse, desolate tone, matching the despair and dread of the story.  It felt like I was listening to you tell a story, rather than reading a script.

Not sure you needed the last bit (one word) of dialog because it was clearly evident that the Observer was in fact, his son.  Well, at least for me.   But I suspect in the overall grand scheme of things it still works.  So, fair enough.

I'm sure this will be well received.  Good luck with it,

Ghostie


https://lifeofrileysite.yolasite.com/resources/Jayonna%20Wick.pdf

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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_ghostwriters  -  October 26th, 2019, 12:05am
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: October 26th, 2019, 3:33pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, high praise indeed. Thank you very much for taking a look.

I should really listen to my instincts. When I wrote the last line of dialogue my gut told me not to, but I did anyway.

Anyway, glad you liked it. Hopefully the "3 minute short" comp I wrote it for like it too.

Matt


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LC
Posted: October 26th, 2019, 5:17pm Report to Moderator
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Ditto on the last line. I get why you wrote it, just to be sure but it's not needed.
Coming back to this with more soon...


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StevenClark
Posted: October 26th, 2019, 10:08pm Report to Moderator
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Matthew,

Hey again. Really appreciated what you were going for here, and wasn't expecting the ending. So that's a good thing. I liked the build up, and I liked when the students were revealed. One key piece of dialogue stood out and that was the line about the body shows something about the life lived. You know which one it is.

I think the end line -- "I'm sorry, son," is way on the nose for the reveal. I mean, yeah, it fits, it works. For me, I'd be racking my brain trying to think of another way to put this. Something more subtle, but just as effective.

Also, I would think a doctor who is performing an autopsy on his own son wouldn't want an audience, though I understand you used that so the doctor can give his dialogue. Perhaps just a lone assistant? That's just me, though.

It works as is, but I just think it can be better!

Steve


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Arundel
Posted: October 27th, 2019, 2:03am Report to Moderator
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Hello Matthew,

I believe this is the best written of yours that I have come across. The dialog worked in that it revealed the story one layer at a time. The reader was able to come to the conclusion that was made at the end. However, one section of dialog was lost on me:

OBSERVER
October 1st, nineteen ninetyfour.
She went into labour while we were
on shift. We ran through the
corridors so fast we tripped over a
gurney. We made the nurse stitch us
up in the delivery room so we
didn't miss the birth. when did it
change?

The observer/son mentions he wanted to be a father and this sounds like maybe this was a lost pregnancy he and his partner experienced?

Aside from that part it was all clear.

~Arundel
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: October 27th, 2019, 7:25am Report to Moderator
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Thank you both for the reads and comments, appreciated

(N.B apologise for my brevity, writing on my phone)

Seems something may have been lost. The observer is not the son, only the cadaver is the son. The observer is a younger version of the Surgeon who is judging the man he has become - (I hoped having the same scar and the line "when did I become you" would have made it clear.
Originally I had the observer be the son but it seemed too obvious a choice.

The last line will deffo be cut.

Steve - I too had slight issues with the surgeon choosing his own son as a cadaver to train the students, but then I thought it fits his character of loveless father. Whether it works or not, no idea lol I'm mainly just guessing when it comes to my stories

Really grateful for the reads. I owe you all. If you want an untrained eye on any of your scripts in particular, let me know.

Matt


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LC
Posted: October 27th, 2019, 8:09am Report to Moderator
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The Observer is a younger version of the Surgeon?
I thought for sure that the Observer was the son lying on the slab. Got confused obviously with the whole scene in the delivery suite and the stitches, just as Arundel did.

My other advice is you need to up some of the Surgeon's dialogue with proper medical terminology which I can give you examples of later, if you want.

Mind you I'm going to need to go for a fourth read bearing in mind I had it wrong with who was who.
I'm rather partial to the son being the Observer.

Hmm... Jmho.


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: October 27th, 2019, 1:49pm Report to Moderator
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Yea I'm partial to the son being the observer as well (and is how it was originally intended) but I thought I would be lynched for being too obvious. I may write both versions and see how they compare.

I'm always happy for the help (RE medical terminology)

Thanks

Matt


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Angry Bear
Posted: October 27th, 2019, 5:15pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matt, I don't have the time to read right now. A lot os stuff going on, including my daughter and her family moving to Texas tomorrow, I just wanted to say I LOVE the title!  


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LC
Posted: October 28th, 2019, 12:52am Report to Moderator
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Sent you a big PM with some extra thoughts, terminology etc.


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: October 29th, 2019, 4:35am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
Hey Matt, I don't have the time to read right now. A lot of os stuff going on, including my daughter and her family moving to Texas tomorrow, I just wanted to say I LOVE the title!  


Thanks! I realized recently that I very much judge a book by it's cover when it comes to script titles. And for some reason, I am really disliking single word titles at the moment (Not all of them are bad, but most appear lazy) - So I am making a conscious effort to try and make mine better.

P.S hope the move went well


Quoted from LC
Sent you a big PM with some extra thoughts, terminology etc.


Thank you so much! All really helpful stuff.... a single "thank you" doesn't really seem sufficient for all the help you have been giving me, feel like I should be sending you a bottle of scotch or something.

Anyway - I really appreciate it. Working on the rewrite now so hopefully, it's an improvement (I can't put all of the suggestions in as I want to keep it at 3 pages for a script comp in London)


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LC
Posted: October 29th, 2019, 7:01am Report to Moderator
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Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

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That my suggestions are helpful is thanks enough.

Did you see this the other day...?

A bottle of whisky sold for $1.9 million on Thursday, October 24, exploding records -- again.
The Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 became the most expensive bottle of wine or spirit ever auctioned


I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference between that and a bottle of Jameson.  

Looking forward to reading the final draft of this, Matt. Whenever that may be...
All the best of luck with the comps!

When's the deadline?


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Matthew Taylor
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That's what happens when people have more money than sense... I bet they don't even drink it!

I've submitted the update (It is already up on script revolution if you just can't bear to wait   )
Although I must admit, after all the help you have given I am a bit apprehensive that you won't like the new version lol

Deadline isn't until November 30th, so I got plenty of time

(Also noticed that I put this as a horror originally, i didn't mean to, drama?)



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Matthew Taylor  -  October 29th, 2019, 9:32am
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LC
Posted: October 29th, 2019, 6:59pm Report to Moderator
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Curiosity got me.
It's great, Matt!

Few quibbles, take or leave.


Amount to nothing – not mount
7 inch scars?  Whew! Bit much?

STUDENT (O.C.)
Suicide.
Not needed imho. Spoon feeding your audience. Or is it you've promised a speaking role to a friend?  

Cadaver’s hair. (insert apostrophe)

Okay, you've got a grinding rib cutter, organ removal, the Observer slicing open his wrists, plus the
supernatural element, but you think this is drama? I say 'horror'.

What's everyone else think?
If I was going to sit down and watch a drama I'd be a tiny bit shocked if this started playing especially if I had kids in tow.


His father broke it so often I bet
it has more scars than a blind
carpenter.

I guess you're going for a little light relief but this doesn't quite work for me. I'm not your only audience though, so again see what others think.

on the cubital fossa
(checks groin)
And on the femoral vein.

Up to you but I've worked transcribing doctor reports and I've only ever heard them remark on damage 'to', not 'damage 'on'.

Bright clothes on the Observer?
I thought you might reference that changed by the end? Otherwise, why?


And a note about: (O.C.). Warren often remarks this is a TV thing only. And I looked it up, see below:

(O.C.) O.C. stands for “Off Camera,” which is different than Off Screen. Off Camera means the person we cannot see is in the same room as another character he/she is speaking with but cannot be seen because maybe the camera is trained on only one person.

So if Adam is at a table and the director has the camera at a close up on Adam, Adam will fill the screen. We can’t see anyone else. So if Stacey is at the other end of the table carrying on a conversation with Adam, all of her dialogue would be labeled as (O.C.) until she was brought into the shot, that is to say, appears on screen.


So, there's all that which tallies, but then this:

It’s important to remember that if you are writing a movie script you do not use (O.C.), you will use (O.S.) you will use (O.C.) when you are writing for television. (O.S.) = film (O.C.) = TV.

I'm used to seeing (O.S.) in film scripts. Just one for the format police.

...
Yep, they'd be mad to drink that plonk. Imagine if you dropped that bottle of whiskey?


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