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Yeah.. I did not get it. I read; Natural Born Killers meets 2 Shades of Grey.
I can see you have a mind for story's. Your writing ability ~ Grammar, format, etc... Needs a sharp pencil. The best way to learn how to script write is to read as many scripts as you can. Also, the web is full of script writing advise, lessons, tutorials, etc.. I have stacks of such (from when I started), that I'll gladly email you if you send me a PM.
Who am I? A man with a hundred stories.. You want to read one?
I live in the most beautiful country of South Africa. I'm a self employed electronics security technician. I'm four years into script writing ~ trying to make it in this ever competitive industry.
I was going for something that operates by the kind of dream-logic you’d get in a Dario Argento or Mario Bava film. It’s more about symbolism, subtext and metaphor than straight-up plot or character development.
On the surface these young sinners are lured to this town where they are murdered by the townspeople (think Red State). There are hints it’s a pagan ritual – the last shot is meant to evoke The Wicker Man; the town’s name Killugh in the Irish language means Church of Lugh, a pagan god; the people feast after the kill.
The subtext is about people putting youthful indiscretions behind as they start families and become respectable members of the community. So the theme is burying the past, literally killing the past, and moving on.
Yuvraj, the names are weird because they are Irish – Aoife is pronounced Ee-feh and Killugh is Kil-loo. What kind of name is Yuvraj anyway? (lolz)
BarryJohn, I get the story wasn’t for you but I don’t see any grammar or formatting mistakes here to be honest so if you’d care to elaborate please do. The action might be a bit detailed but I wrote it that way on purpose to try and convey the atmosphere.
LC, glad to see you have expertise on this subject!
Okay, first off, no I'm no expert. Just wanted to offer a little clarification to Yuvraj (such a common name) and Barry.
Niall, this sure took a nasty turn. But then I might have guessed seeing as it's listed as horror.
I really thought you were going the cautionary tale route but then this takes an abrupt detour and I thought where the heck do these happy families come into things with their frolicking picnics?
It's the segue that doesn't really work for me. It seems totally disconnected. The families just appeared to me to have nothing to do with the aforementioned action. They ignore the curious bonfire taking place in the adjacent parkland.
I think for it to work you need more via the dialogue between Aoife and Emmet. Perhaps have some foreshadowing going on - perhaps we see one of the picnic guys THE MAN following them in the car at night. The 'lured' aspect you mention needs to be made more of for us to get the link, otherwise I just got the feeling these weird picnickers were taking 'none of my business's to a new level.
Speaking of: you've got A MAN, and WOMAN, then the FATHER, THE MOTHER, model couple, LONE MAN (the latter I assume was the HAND, we saw earlier? You've also got the Adults? It's very confusing.
I like weird and surreal but there was no perceived link in my mind to the action playing out and your antagonist imho, other than that they're turning a blind eye to some really scary shit going on pretty close to where they sit.
Their faces look solemn. A grave, uneasy mood has descended. They watch the smoke rising. At this moment they all seem lost in introspection. They avoid each other’s eyes, ashamed. Only the sound of the oblivious children running around remains, but even they seem to have sensed something and are quieter..
Keep your action/description lines where you can to four lines. This could easily be condensed and you're doing a lot of 'telling' your reader information. 'has descended' descends, no need for the preamble of: 'at this moment' - just show us what we're seeing - solemn, grave faces, eyes averted. Smoke rises from...
They're ashamed? Quite apart from the fact you're 'telling' us this can they see what's been thrown on this bonfire?
CHILDREN SCREAMING - I guess you're going for a prelap here but if those kids are screaming... I don't know, I think that'd more aptly be 'squealing'? A few tech things:
5 or 6 extended families Five or six (for the most part spell out numbers in screenplay writing).
No need to duplicate action that appears already in your scene header: An empty country road delete that and just begin with - deserted, dark, etc.
Go easy on the camera directions such as ANGLE ON, Above the scene, In the background, foreground etc.
And, I'm pretty sure all those continuous scenes are actually not. They're more likely minutes or seconds later.
If you cut some of the directorial stuff that FADE OUT won't be stuck on it's own on page seven. And only write orphaned lines when you absolutely cannot do without that solitary word taking up one line.
The symbolism with the cross - what exactly are you going for there?
There's a good vibe here - a sort of Midsommar/True Detective bleakness but it needs a cleanup format wise and a more clear parallel between the two storylines being linked. Jmho.
Thanks, LC. I wanted it to be as nasty as possible.
Some of the picnic people were involved in the killing so when they see the smoke they know exactly what it is. I thought their weird reaction to the smoke would be enough to get that across. Maybe I need to give them all the same tattoo or something to get across the cult vibe.
The crucifix is to suggest Aoife is apprehensive about this, she's doing it against her better judgment, so taking off the crucifix is a symbol of veering off the safe path.
Emmet says "this is where the website said" so they found out about this dogging site online, and that line is there to suggest they were lured there by someone online.
When I thought up the killing scene I thought it would be a good opening scene for a serial killer/horror movie but I didn't have another 95 pages for a feature so I wrapped it up in a short.
Midsommar and True Detective would definitely be the type of bleak vibe I was going for all right.
You're right the 'continuous' scenes aren't 100% continuous - more like a montage of unfolding action. Could probably just switch back between 'INT. CAR' and 'EXT. CAR' for that sequence.
Niall, yep, I got the website reference, but thought it might just be a list of maps/locations they've looked up where this type of thing goes on. I think a bit more convo related to the couple's apprehension might just tie the bigger idea in more.
At the moment the picnicking group just seem too separate and not connected. By naming your character LONE MAN it gives the impression too that this guy is acting alone in a predatory homicidal way. Tattoos? Hmm, maybe.
I read your comment about this being like the opening to a feature and it does feel that way. I think that's why there are too many unanswered questions and that disconnection with the family scene. There's way too much plot, which isn't a crime at all, but in a short that can become an issue if you are too subtle.
I liked the emphasis on the No Dogs Allowed sign and the 'cut too' of the children running around excited.
I think it's a good premise and if you decided to turn it into a feature you would have a lot to work with. If I watched this as the opening scene to the movie I would be hooked. Of course the characters in the opening would be a different couple led to the slaughter, just to give us a glimpse of what's to come for the main characters. But heck....your characters..hell, lots of questions...what made them decide to go to one of these dodgy and dangerous gatherings anyway? Especially when it goes against one of the characters values...that's strong moral conflict... and good story line. Then the townsfolk...what bought them to the idea that murdering young adults and washing to wash away the is a good thing? Another good story line...there's a lot of moral conflict to work with which is great because the plot should generally come from characters choices, (in movies we love watching people make choices, it's draws us in, it's one of those little tricks to help create a connection to the character.)
And because this short shows us you understand the importance of developing deep themes and meaning in your story, you'll be able to explore that more in a feature.
Anyways it's a good story and you are heading in the right direction, so good luck with it, which ever way you want to go with this...
"Turn that off, our friend has just been killed in a fatal sunlight accident!"....