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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Thriller Scripts  ›  Bury The Truth - Filmed!
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  Author    Bury The Truth - Filmed!  (currently 2672 views)
Don
Posted: August 5th, 2019, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Bury The Truth by Zack Akers - Short, Thriller - Two friends bury a body deep in the woods. But can they bury the truth? 4 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work




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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 7th, 2019, 11:30am
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Zack
Posted: August 5th, 2019, 1:34pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for getting this up so fast, Don. I'll never be able to say it enough. You're awesome, Dude!

My friend and I are wanting to make our own short horror films, so I tried to write something super simple and super cheap for our first project. Looking for any advice on how I can punch this up a bit more.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Grandma Bear
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Good for you intending to make your own film!

It kind of works as is, but I would personally have liked to see something that would make the reveal come a little less out of left field so to speak. Give us some subtle hints. Key there being subtle since you donät want to give anything away either. Maybe have Evan adjust his jacket or something and we can see his neck has bad bruises or even a beginning of a cut or something. Maybe slowly, you add a little makeup that makes him look a little more pale. A little darker under the eyes and that sort of thing. That way, if someone rewatches it, they can see that all the hints were there, they just didnät notice the first time.

Good Luck dude!  


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SS, is still free...
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PrussianMosby
Posted: August 5th, 2019, 2:35pm Report to Moderator
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Nice work. For a four pager it definitely has its needed satisfying moment. I think it's all right.


Nit-picky stuff that actually have no meaning:

I heard that "handsome" as a physical description is frown on by writers. Perhaps it's a too generic and non-specific term. I have no opinion on that myself other than that I already connect an athletic person to looking "generally" handsome.

I think you don't have to cap most of the sounds like scoff, sigh, roars… since it's just clear and easy to comprehend.

You got a lot of modifiers before the action verbs "begins to" fill in, "continues to" toss dirt, "stops" shoveling, "goes back to" filling, "finishes" filling, "uses the shovel to" …

practically ROARS - practically?

I don't think the (CONT'D) references are needed. These are two persons and your reader is fully aware what happens and when someone continues to speak.

Top of p3 – after the page break, I wouldn't start with a personal pronoun and rather simply use the character's name. Call me old-school but to me the reader owns the page break to take a sip of coffee or do whatever for a second, so imo you should be specific there to let her/him continue the read without having to look back whose turn it's been.

Close on at p4 isn't needed

Anyway, as said, those points have no true meaning and you don't have to change them since screenwriting is no algebra and everything is understandable and easy to follow as it is, especially the story, which works fine for this little piece.

Just nit-picky secondary style things…

Good luck.



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Arundel
Posted: August 5th, 2019, 6:33pm Report to Moderator
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Read this a few times, including once just the action, and once just the dialog. What's good is that it flowed with just the descriptions and also with just the characters talking. Unfortunately still kind of confused by the ending. Pieced it together enough to get the Jake was reliving his final conversation with Evan before... correct? Up until that it was pretty clear. As a shoot-it-yourself project you shouldn't have much trouble at all.
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eldave1
Posted: August 5th, 2019, 6:54pm Report to Moderator
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I l liked this, Zack.  Nice job.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
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Go, Zack!

First impressions: nicely done.

I actually thought these two guys were burying someone else (some hit they did together) and I thought the ensuing argument was going to lead to first the soil being shovelled in but it then being shovelled back out as the argument got more intense. Then obviously scrawny guy, oblivious, being smacked over the head and in he goes.  Your intended version (not the one where my head took it) is typically more supernatural. I do like Pia's suggestions with the visuals of bruising etc.

I'm going to give it another read later, see if I can add anything productive.
Great job.


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Steven
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While I'm not qualified to actually critique, I will say just two things. The first being that there are a lot of commas, when maybe there doesn't need to be? One sentence had 4 I think it was.

For the character introductions, there's no mention of how dirty they are. I'd assume if these dudes were digging a hole, they'd be a complete mess. At the very least they'd be sweaty and physically exhausted.

Maybe I interpreted this wrong, but I saw the story as Jake burying the "other side" of him, which he calls Evan.
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Matthew Taylor
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Well done for taking the plunge, Zack!

Did you describe the Evan character as handsome because you will be playing him?  


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Zack
Posted: August 6th, 2019, 10:14am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for giving this a look, guys. Much appreciated. I'm at work right now and unfortunately only have access to my terrible cellphone, but I will try to reply to each of you as soon as I get the chance.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Zack
Posted: August 6th, 2019, 10:27am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear


It kind of works as is, but I would personally have liked to see something that would make the reveal come a little less out of left field so to speak. Give us some subtle hints. Key there being subtle since you donät want to give anything away either. Maybe have Evan adjust his jacket or something and we can see his neck has bad bruises or even a beginning of a cut or something. Maybe slowly, you add a little makeup that makes him look a little more pale. A little darker under the eyes and that sort of thing. That way, if someone rewatches it, they can see that all the hints were there, they just didnät notice the first time.



Thanks for going over this for me, Pia. Hope you've been well.

I was actually worried the twist was too obvious. You really didn't see it coming? I really like you idea of having Evan gradually look worse and worse, but I'd have to keep it very subtle. Can't spoil the surprise. Lol

Thanks again, Pia. If you'd like an extra pair of eyes to look over anything for ya, just send me a pm.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.

Revision History (1 edits)
Zack  -  August 6th, 2019, 2:14pm
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MikeK
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Wow, was not expecting that ending. Great stuff. Keep up the good work


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Fais85
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Very well done Zack. Initially, I thought Jake will attack Evan from behind and will kill him too in the end. But this ending was really surprising.

I loved Pia's suggestions.
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Zack
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Quoted from PrussianMosby
Nice work. For a four pager it definitely has its needed satisfying moment. I think it's all right.



Thanks for reading, Alex. Glad you enjoyed it. You bring up a lot of good points that I mostly agree with. Appreciate all the advice.

I've always kinda struggled with character descriptions. Need to improve here for sure.

You say I use a lot of modifiers to begin my action. Is that bad? Or am I just doing it too much?

Totally agree with your point on the start of page 3. Makes total sense and isn't something I would have thought about. Thanks, Dude.

The CLOSE ON at page four is really just there to emphasize that Evan isn't in that shot, but I can see your point.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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PrussianMosby
Posted: August 7th, 2019, 5:56pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack

You say I use a lot of modifiers to begin my action. Is that bad? Or am I just doing it too much?


Zack, here's a little essay in response for you

To me those modifiers as I call them here - especially the chronologically driven ones (begin, stop) - translate a little passive while reading, regarding the fact that I truly translate your words into a moving picture LIVE. Each and every word is live to me.

And when descriptions of actions (actions, which VERBS embody more than any other word group imo, as parts of pure and immediate movement or behavior), are introduced by "begin, stops" doing something, it imo disrupts the direct process of translating pictures in my mind.

Because, when one picture follows the other, right, then how could a character stop something. Example, in a sense, a character wouldn't "stop" shoveling on screen but what he actually might do is to stick the shovel into the soil and lean his forearms onto the handle-

There are a few exceptions when I see 'stops' to do as a necessity though. However, I saw it a little frequently done in your work.

I hope this makes sense.

And anyway, you are truly clear and fine with your presentation. So, nothing to over-think in any and whatever case. Stuff is fine.

I like the twist very much and look forward to what you do with it.




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PrussianMosby  -  August 7th, 2019, 6:08pm
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Zack
Posted: August 9th, 2019, 9:24am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Arundel
Read this a few times, including once just the action, and once just the dialog. What's good is that it flowed with just the descriptions and also with just the characters talking. Unfortunately still kind of confused by the ending. Pieced it together enough to get the Jake was reliving his final conversation with Evan before... correct? Up until that it was pretty clear. As a shoot-it-yourself project you shouldn't have much trouble at all.


Thanks for the read, Rennie. Happy you enjoyed it.

I did not intend for Jake to be reliving his final conversation with Evan. More that Jake is just fuckin' crazy. Lol

Thanks again for reading.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Zack
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 12:11pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry for the late response. As usual, been swamped at work.


Quoted from LC
Go, Zack!

First impressions: nicely done.

I actually thought these two guys were burying someone else (some hit they did together) and I thought the ensuing argument was going to lead to first the soil being shovelled in but it then being shovelled back out as the argument got more intense. Then obviously scrawny guy, oblivious, being smacked over the head and in he goes.  Your intended version (not the one where my head took it) is typically more supernatural. I do like Pia's suggestions with the visuals of bruising etc.

I'm going to give it another read later, see if I can add anything productive.
Great job.


Thanks for reading, Libby. Glad you enjoyed it. Will hopefully be filming this in the next month or so... So if any idea strikes you on how this could be improved in any way, please don't hesitate.


Quoted from Steven
While I'm not qualified to actually critique, I will say just two things. The first being that there are a lot of commas, when maybe there doesn't need to be? One sentence had 4 I think it was.

For the character introductions, there's no mention of how dirty they are. I'd assume if these dudes were digging a hole, they'd be a complete mess. At the very least they'd be sweaty and physically exhausted.

Maybe I interpreted this wrong, but I saw the story as Jake burying the "other side" of him, which he calls Evan.


Thanks for read, Steven.

I tend to break up my sentences a bit more than usual with commas, sorry if it was distracting. Still trying to find the right balance.

Agreed on the characters need to be better decribed. Will fix that ASAP.

Yeah, you interpreted it wrong. Jake is just crazy and talking to the guy he just killed. Interesting idea though.  


Quoted from Matthew Taylor
Well done for taking the plunge, Zack!

Did you describe the Evan character as handsome because you will be playing him?  


You know it, Dude.   Just kidding. Lol. I'll be behind the camera for this project.  


Quoted from MikeK
Wow, was not expecting that ending. Great stuff. Keep up the good work


Happy it surprised you. Thanks for reading, Dude.


Quoted from Fais85
Very well done Zack. Initially, I thought Jake will attack Evan from behind and will kill him too in the end. But this ending was really surprising.

I loved Pia's suggestions.


Thanks for the praise. Glad I was able to throw you off with the ending. And I agree about Pia's idea's. Good stuff.


Quoted from eldave1
I l liked this, Zack.  Nice job.


Thanks, Dave.  


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Zack  -  August 28th, 2019, 12:24pm
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PKCardinal
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I'm late to this party... and I have nothing to add.

Just know, I enjoyed this. It worked for me and I didn't see the end coming.

Since you're shooting this yourself, I didn't even read it for formatting, etc. I only read for story. Figured the other stuff was inconsequential if you're not going for a sale.

Can't wait to see the finished short. (Have fun digging that hole!)


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Zack
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Quoted from PKCardinal


Just know, I enjoyed this. It worked for me and I didn't see the end coming.

Can't wait to see the finished short. (Have fun digging that hole!)


Thanks for reading, Paul. Stoked you enjoyed it. Wanna write another draft of this before I film it. And no, I'm NOT looking forward to digging that hole. Lol

On a seperate note, I've had 3 different emails asking about this scripts availability. Since I'm planning to shoot this myself, I'm unsure how I should respond to these requests. Should I let multiple different filmmakers use this?


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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MarkItZero
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Hey Zack,

Liked this one. Pretty dark with a solid twist. Only nitpick is that last line and him spitting in the grave was maybe a bit too vicious. I mean, he murdered him so obviously he's capable of being that vicious. Just thought he might pull back a bit there and say something like "Guess you did help me in the end, Evan". Or some other little call-back to an earlier line. That's a very minor nitpick though and probably just personal preference.

Good luck with the filming.


That rug really tied the room together.
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Zack
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Quoted from MarkItZero
Hey Zack,

Liked this one. Pretty dark with a solid twist. Only nitpick is that last line and him spitting in the grave was maybe a bit too vicious. I mean, he murdered him so obviously he's capable of being that vicious. Just thought he might pull back a bit there and say something like "Guess you did help me in the end, Evan". Or some other little call-back to an earlier line. That's a very minor nitpick though and probably just personal preference.

Good luck with the filming.


Thanks for the kind words, James.

I actually agree with on the final line not being very good. I need to think on that. Any more suggestions?


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.

Revision History (1 edits)
Zack  -  September 10th, 2019, 8:14pm
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MarkItZero
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Quoted from Zack


Any more suggestions?


None that would be remotely good. Maybe the line is fine. Could always try out some different things on the day of the shoot. Let your actors improvise a bit, maybe they'll hit on something.


That rug really tied the room together.
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Zack
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Quoted from MarkItZero


None that would be remotely good. Maybe the line is fine. Could always try out some different things on the day of the shoot. Let your actors improvise a bit, maybe they'll hit on something.


I'm sure something will come to me. Thanks again for reading, Dude.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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PKCardinal
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Quoted from Zack


On a seperate note, I've had 3 different emails asking about this scripts availability. Since I'm planning to shoot this myself, I'm unsure how I should respond to these requests. Should I let multiple different filmmakers use this?


Such a problem!

As I'm not experienced with that particular conundrum, I don't have much to offer in advice. But, my gut says tell 'em your plan and let 'em film if they want. If it comes out great, then scrap your plan to film and write another. If it doesn't meet your vision, film it yourself.

But, if they've got plans to take the short to festivals, they may not want anyone else filming the same script. I know I wouldn't.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Zack
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Bury The Truth has been produced. I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out.



An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Grandma Bear
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Good job Zack!

That was quick!!!!!!!!!!!!


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SS, is still free...
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SteveClark
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Nice, Zack. Congrats. Simple and effective. I like the guy playing, Jake. He’s a good actor. Where was this shot?


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Zack
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Thanks for watching, Pia.

You too, Steven. I was also really surprised how good the acting was. This was shot in Cincinnati, Ohio.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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jwent6688
Posted: October 7th, 2019, 3:28pm Report to Moderator
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Nice work here. Difficult to shoot outside in the dark, thought they did a nice job simulating the moonlight. Added some fog as well. Jake reminds me a bit of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) a bit. He’s a good actor. He can really throw some hatred into his dialogue. You should be proud of this one. Nice to have on your resume.


James


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Zack
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Thanks for watching, James. Very proud to have my name attached to this.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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LC
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Zack! You'd be pretty chuffed with this I imagine.

They did a great job on this, and your name on the end credits comes first, yay!
The acting was top class and the music was suitably sinister too.

Very impressive.


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Zack
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Quoted from LC
Zack! You'd be pretty chuffed with this I imagine.

They did a great job on this, and your name on the end credits comes first, yay!
The acting was top class and the music was suitably sinister too.

Very impressive.


Thanks for the kind words, Libby. Definitely stoked with how this turned out.  


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Fais85
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Congratulations, dude. Looks good. The guy playing Jake is a good actor. The performance elevated the feel.
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Zack
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Quoted from Fais85
Congratulations, dude. Looks good. The guy playing Jake is a good actor. The performance elevated the feel.


Thanks for watching, Dude.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Matthew Taylor
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Congrats Zack! you should be really proud!

I echo the others on the actor, he is really good - the other doesn't seem like a natural smoker though lol

Something strange happens at 2 minutes (when he throws the cigarette down), seems to freeze-frame. But overall a really good short, kudos to you




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Dreamscale
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Zack, very impressed!  I never saw this script, but the filmed version is strong.

Nice job, brother!!!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Zack
Posted: October 9th, 2019, 8:38pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Matthew Taylor

Something strange happens at 2 minutes (when he throws the cigarette down), seems to freeze-frame. But overall a really good short, kudos to you




I noticed that too. Lol

Thanks for watching, Dude.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Zack, very impressed!  I never saw this script, but the filmed version is strong.

Nice job, brother!!!


Thanks, Bro! Happy you like it. Feels good to finally have one of my scripts adapted into a good short film.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Zack
Posted: April 26th, 2021, 5:52pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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This has been produced again.



An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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LC
Posted: April 26th, 2021, 6:29pm Report to Moderator
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Getting some good mileage out of this one, Zack.

Nice touch this time with the snow.
A terrific short script - simple, yet sinister - and both productions are really good.
Great stuff.


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: April 26th, 2021, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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Two good productions of the script now Zack, congrats!


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Zack
Posted: April 26th, 2021, 7:46pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Thanks for the kind words, Libby and Anthony.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Warren
Posted: April 27th, 2021, 12:01am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Double congrats, nice little short you have here.


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Zack
Posted: April 27th, 2021, 12:28am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from Warren
Double congrats, nice little short you have here.


Appreciate it.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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BarryJohn
Posted: April 27th, 2021, 7:11am Report to Moderator
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Who am I? A man with a hundred stories..

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Well done Zack - Congrats.  


Who am I? A man with a hundred stories... you want to read one?
Analyst, mentor, competition reader/judge, film critic, magazine article/blogger.  
https://simpsonliteraryagency.com/script-analyst
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Yuvraj
Posted: April 27th, 2021, 7:21am Report to Moderator
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Kudos my man!! Amazing short!


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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 27th, 2021, 9:40am Report to Moderator
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Congrats on the script that keeps on giving!  


.
SS, is still free...
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Zack
Posted: April 27th, 2021, 10:45am Report to Moderator
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Thanks, everyone.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: April 29th, 2021, 10:17am Report to Moderator
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Only just noticed this!

Will watch this after work - Congrats on the double production of the short  


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Zack
Posted: April 29th, 2021, 1:53pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from Matthew Taylor
Only just noticed this!

Will watch this after work - Congrats on the double production of the short  


Thanks. Hope you enjoy it.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Robert Timsah
Posted: May 14th, 2021, 10:53pm Report to Moderator
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I watched it and I liked it. The dialogue works, the music, and you're kinda wondering what he's burying down there. Oh! Good job.


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Zack
Posted: May 19th, 2021, 3:12pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group


Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from Robert Timsah
I watched it and I liked it. The dialogue works, the music, and you're kinda wondering what he's burying down there. Oh! Good job.


Sorry for the late response. Thanks for watching! Happy you enjoyed it.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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