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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Thriller Scripts  ›  Inbox (1)
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Max Ruddock
Posted: March 11th, 2019, 6:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matt,

Just had a reread and wanted to share my thoughts on it. First off, I liked it. It's an easy read, well structured and nicely paced. I found the shift from the non-horror scenes to the horror scenes a bit jarring; but I'm guessing that was your intention, right?

There's quite few funny lines in there too, and the part with Eric covering his mouth was laugh out loud funny even on the second read. He might be a wanker, but he's a funny wanker.


I noticed a few little things that might help in a polish. Nothing story based, so not super valuable, more nit-picking if anything. But I just wanted to try and add something that might be of use... so here goes:

No need for uppers caps in the parentheticals.
Don't forget to use commas before character names when they're being addressed directly in dialogue.
Speaking of commas, it might be worth switching some of the commas to full stops in dialogue, just to break up the sentences a bit more cleanly. Plus it can help emphasise certain thoughts the character is having.
I think it's meant to be a double hyphen thingy (--) if dialogue is broken or interrupted.
Perhaps on page 7, Freddy should shake his head rather than nod.
On page 8, "pitch black" should have started in upper caps.
And lastly, there's a couple of times when you wrote "it's" rather than "its".

Hope that's helpful in some way.

Cheers

Max

Sorry if I mentioned anything someone has already pointed out, but I generally prefer not to read other comments until I've made my own.

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Max Ruddock  -  March 11th, 2019, 9:18pm
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Max Ruddock
Posted: March 11th, 2019, 6:30pm Report to Moderator
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Just read through the other comments... I'm guessing it's changed a fair bit through rewrites, right?

Did anything come from the inquiry you had before?
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Andrew
Posted: March 11th, 2019, 9:09pm Report to Moderator
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I don't know what version I've stumbled upon, but it does have a feel about it that is first draft. That said, there's enough here to warrant more work, in my opinion.

The below is all opinion-based on plot, so feel free to ignore, but thought I'd put it out there.

To remove the issues of back and forth, I would cut down on the characters, and have Freddy in the room by himself, working the nightshift (responding to enquiries from the West Coast, or Australia, or somewhere it logistically makes sense to have him in emailing for).

By doing this, I think you externalise his internal isolation, with visuals to support that, which would allow you to use the location as a character (which is what Jeff was touching on, I feel). Being in an office, late at night (especially one you've set up as potentially horrifying, which is multiplied by his vulnerability, being deaf) will always raise tension a little. Think how Kubrick used the hotel in "The Shining", or how the location becomes its own character in "Hush".

You can retain Eric and Christina, with maybe him coming in as they log off for the night; that way, as an audience, you are aware they *could* be still there, and they *could* be involved.

I would also adjust the volume of emails (500 is a lot to get through, as you'd inevitably have replies to replies), and think on how you sharpen up the interaction with the inner demon of Freddy (if he is the killer), or how the entity is his own personal paranoia (if the killer is someone else).

Personally, I'd recommend keeping going with this, as you definitely have the potential for something good.


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: March 12th, 2019, 4:25am Report to Moderator
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Hi Max & Andrew - Thanks for giving this a read. Appreciated

Max - Yes, this is the third draft (I think) you are the first to comment on this latest draft anyway so the previous comments wouldn't have made sense lol

Thanks for pointing out the errors - This is one of those I need to retrospectively go back and clean up based on what I have learned from my other shorts.

I have had a couple of people inquire about it, but then communication goes silent - one day maybe.

Andrew - I went into this one without a game plan, kind of ended up writing it off the cuff which I think shows.

I think what I was trying to achieve is, he suffers from a dissociative personality disorder. His disorder is triggered and exasperated by not taking his pills - The alternate (killer) personality breaks through sending emails to himself. He then dips in and out of both personalities (So when the lights go down, I was trying to get across that this is Freddy's now suppressed personality watching the killer personality). I tried to do it at times when the victims would have been killed - so the nice personality isn't aware of the murders.
Then, in the end, the killer personality becomes dominant and takes over - suppressing Freddy.

Now, I realize that having to explain it means I failed to get it across in the writing - But I agree with you that there is something here that I need to keep chiseling away at.

Thank you for your input, very interesting. Might have to have a look at going at this from a different angle.

All the best

Matt


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MikeK
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
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This was amazing. Really well done.

Just one thing, the spelling for Christina's name changes at the end to 'Cristina' just so you're aware.

Great stuff.


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Dustin
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 4:30pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Yeah... great title. It's eyecatching.

Unfortunately, Matthew, I'm a little disappointed in your first line of action. I expect more from you. I'm aware that makes me sound like a school teacher. But, anyway, here it is:

Code

Dark, shadowy. Fluorescent light bulbs flicker on, bursting
the whole room in light.



From the top.

Code

Dark, shadowy.



Dark, shadowy?

What does that actually mean? You don't need these words at all... because it is a given the room is dark before lights come on.

Code

Fluorescent light bulbs...



'Fluorescent lights' is enough.

Code

...bursting the whole room in light.



This is the worst part. For one thing, you've just had the lights flicker on hinting at a more gradual process. The second thing is... what do we expect to happen when the lights come on? It goes without saying that if the lights flicker on then there will be light.

It's a very overwritten line as it stands. Compare the amount of words used to actual information conveyed. That's what overwriting is. So long as you are adding to the visual then more words are fine. Of course we can go over. I'm not suggesting we write like we would a novel. It's impossible to write visually using too much description. There has to be a faster flow.

The worst crime is overwriting as you have displayed here. 13 words and two lines to describe the lights coming on.

No... I'm not feeling the writing in this one at all, mate. I see this is an old script. You need to work some of your 2019 magic on it else I'll be here all day pointing out what's wrong with it.


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 5:16pm Report to Moderator
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Mike - thanks for the read, glad you liked it. It's one of my first shorts so is in need of a rewrite but I'm pretty pleased with the story (or at least, the idea of it)

Dustin - please don't read past the first line lol this draft was written 2 months after I started writing properly - I've learnt a shit tonne since then and desperately need to rewrite this - but yeah, I agree the writing is terrible


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Arundel
Posted: July 13th, 2019, 2:23am Report to Moderator
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After reading, first question that comes to mind is "Why make Freddy deaf?" After making it all the way through it felt as though the same story could have been told if he could hear just like the others, so what was so special about that?

The logline description was intriguing however. So what can't he do that the others can, or what sense of his is higher than the others based on his handicap. Did enjoy some of the politically incorrect fearlessness of some of the writing though.

Parts of it were arty, but for the most part this was laid out well. A bit heavy on the back and forth from Freddy's perception and "reality" and it was cluttered and predictable at times, i.e. the co-workers get killed, Freddy's the real psycho, so just missed the mark a tad based on the attention-getting logline.
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Dustin
Posted: July 13th, 2019, 8:39am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from Matthew Taylor

Dustin - please don't read past the first line lol this draft was written 2 months after I started writing properly - I've learnt a shit tonne since then and desperately need to rewrite this - but yeah, I agree the writing is terrible


No worries... I know you're way better than this. From reading the reviews, the story sounds like it has something, so a rewrite might be in order. The clever title is sure to be a draw.


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