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I was thrown a few times here by the camera angles ON COMPUTER, ON JEFF etc. I thought he was typing these in and it took me out of the story.
Overall a good piece of work. A dark drama that would make a good Black Mirror episode I imagine. The reader/audience has to accept there is a group of people out there doing random internet searches with a specially designed app just to help people get vengeance on those they hate, but if you can get past that (as I did) this is an interesting concept. A kind of a Purge by request.
It would be good to know why Jeff typed Ryan in to begin with. Did he suspect his friend? He didn't seem to from his response.
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There are a few breaks in the logic here that throws out the overall message, I think, or cadence. First being they (GM) smack Jeff upside the head with a crowbar, possibly giving him an irreversible contusion, but in the end welcoming him to the clan as one of their own without further ado; maybe being knocked unconscious is part of the hazing ritual. Perhaps chloroform, or a black bag over his head to traumatize him with fear would be less intrusive if they want him to justify his true revenge on another individual by being coherent enough to murder, and ultimately join the Grave Men. Just thinking out loud.
But then thereís Ryan, Jeffís friend that he seemingly Ďcaresí if harm comes to him as in trying to warn him via a phone call but does a 180 when he finds out heís banging his olí lady and then shit-kicks/murders him. I donít know, seems all over the place with ideas that are not truly concrete as of yet, but the structure is there.
I truly like the concept of these Grave Men but might seem more plausible if found on the Dark Web, maybe Jeff was on the Dark Web, donít know, but itís a cool idea to play with, it could definitely be expanded and taken to another level if scripted into a feature.
Unless super imposed over the screen, Iím not sure (earlier) and (present) are entirely necessary, the time-line distortion is understood the way you scripted the events, at least to me it is. I found it engaging when the pop-ups started, it gave me a consensus that nefarious activities were afoot, and the appearance of the Grave Men brought it to the edge of ghoulish fun and lends credence to the warnings people always speak in the IT threadsÖ stay the f*ck away from the Dark Web. Best of luck.
Okay so dark web revenge squad, that's cool. I can get behind that. And him joining them at the end was a nice touch. That was pretty solid all around.
One nitpick - Jeff falling asleep after believing he's marked his friend as a target was an odd way to end the scene on pg. 4. How about he paces around the room, then grabs his stuff and races out the door? You'd have to change the first scene too, maybe have the masked men waiting outside his door when runs out.
I liked this story a lot. The premise is clever, but the text on screen interface seems a little slow for today's attention-deficient viewer. Maybe Jeff gets a "wake-up call," from an Alexa-like head on his computer? And I don't understand why the three GM beat Jeff up and dump him outside. Is undergoing a little pain himself the "payment" for having the GM hurt one of his enemies?
The giant machine roars through the woods? can't be many trees in these here woods lol
A search progresses between the two split screens. A dialog box shows - Searching for correlation. Please wait.
That was a cool addition.
He sits on his bed. Tense. Dreaded. Eventually, he dozes off.
How long are we watching him sit on his bed? Seems to fall asleep quick considering he was just petrified for his friend lol he could be suffering from Narcolepsy I suppose...
INT. JEFF'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT (EARLIER) Jeff in his work clothes, stands by the counter. He eats a bowl of oats. His phone rings. It's Cathy. He picks it. CATHY(VO) Hey, hon. Look, I still got a shit ton of work to do, so I'll come late tonight. JEFF No problem. CATHY(VO) I'll come as soon as possible. Promise. JEFF I'll wait. CATHY(VO) Love you. Bye. 6. JEFF Bye. He hangs up, looks at the phone screen for quite a moment then shakes his head. Sighs.
To me that is a pointless scene that doesn't further anything, we already get that she is his wife and she's cheating on him, we don't need the above.
Cool ending, joining the GM and announcing the next victim.
The GM's already had the dirt on Ryan, so why are they asking him for a name in the beginning? What if he had said someone else lol the ending makes the opening attack seem strange.
Your writing needs a bit of work, a lot can be reorganised and rewritten to both condense it and make it flow better (look at page 2 and how many sentences begin with "He")
The story was pretty cool, but it's one of those where the ending muddies the beginning a little bit for me.
I like the idea here, and the Grave Men are interesting villains. I admit I was a bit confused in parts. Maybe I'm just a dope. But I think in the end I got the overall gist of it. Possibly try to speed it up a little. I think that's why I got a bit lost. You have a few unfilmable descriptions throughout. Like a heart skipping a beat, Ryan acknowledging his surroundings....
The giant machine stops at a distance from the men. A blur outline of a person is seen on its wheels.
Not sure what I'm looking at, here.
Overall, this was decent. I liked the classic "Saw"-esque setup. Not sure if I liked the premise as is. So, these Grave Men were looking out for Jeff? How would they know to follow Jeff's life before Jeff hits that "Yes" popup ad? Were they looking to recruit him this whole time? I think the premise of this secret group needs more clarity.
Not sure the shuffling sound over black adds anything.
You lose the urgency going from Jeff being tense and trying to call Ryan to simply drifting off. Needs more work there to hold that urgency otherwise it feels like a false beat.
Where does this popup originate from? Wouldnít it be a website of some sorts? I think we needed more logic behind this aspect to make it more believable. Maybe better if Jeff suspected something between Cathy and Ryan and work the idea from there with Jeff idly searching for a means for revenge that gets out of hand. Otherwise itís too coincidental.
Iím on board with the idea of a shadowy organisation that helps you get rid of someone you donít like. But it needs a lot of groundwork to make for a believable scenario and for me this is too big a leap of faith to accept these Grave Men would simply approach you online in such a manner and away you go. Interesting idea and I like that Jeff then inadvertently becomes one of them; Iím just not able to suspend my disbelief enough to be fully invested in it.
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