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Don
Posted: May 7th, 2012, 8:31pm Report to Moderator
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Vourdalacks Of Love by Khamanna Isdandarova (khamanna) - Thriller - A driven filmmaker discovers the head of an Amish family was recently infected by a vampire and grabs his camera to document the family only to fall in love with the patriarch's daughter. - pdf, format

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Don  -  March 13th, 2017, 4:39pm
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Reef Dreamer
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Hi Khamanna,

Thought i would have a read of this one first.

SPOILERS

I don't know the book its based on but guess its a complicated, interwoven tale of family tension and three way rivalries. Or something like that.

I will try to attach my notes. I didn't go into detail just things that came to mind.

I liked the tone of a remote family, hidden secret and a sect that seeks to keep people, control them and not allow outsiders in. The desire to join a family, the sacrifice made and the power on a third party to follow.

Overall, i felt i needed to know more about the characters, their motivations etc. I can't say i fully kept up with the story and what was happening. On reflection there seems to be a fair amount of things happening else where - usually in the woods.

I'm still lost about the cowboy/barman and other girl. What were they, why did they know etc

Hope the following helps.


Vourdalack - comments

I haven't taken detailed notes. here are some reflections as i went through it. SPOILERS

I think Nick should be more interested in diverting his fiancés attention/distract her when the footage is on. I wasn't also sure about her description of saying the right thing at the right time. I struggled to see what this meant.
P9 - i think the what is vourdalacks was a bit on the nose - maybe better to have him discover more as he goes on, eg call them creatures
I’m also a bit thrown by the risk the old man has taken for meat
P10 - again i just have this feeling that the background information is too easily shared Confined space - slug - i found this confusing, wasn't sure who, where what etc then i find out it is a photo booth
Struggling to see why she would help Nick with the film - why him, why now etc
P12 small point - you’ve used the word Stick, from more than one character
P12 - would they have mobile coverage where they are?
P12 i’m a bit confused on Gorcha - so far i have in my mind as a spirit, nows hes at the window?
Not sure about Nick stroking her shoulder
If this is recorded footage watched by helen i wonder about having a scene within a scene, does it work, ie the booth. Just a thought
P14 Guest bedroom - should this be in the slug?
Room description may need some work - how would we know it is shuttered on the outside?
P15 -...is beautiful but I’m engaged... not sure why he’s telling himself this.
P18 not sure you need “he hit his child today if you must know”
P22 - “do you have an Amish footage” sounds a bit strange
P23 - general comments - you have quite a few orphans (lines with only one word) you maybe able to cut some of these out. Also i have seen any description of the land outside so i’m finding it hard to picture the countryside/place they are in. An establishing shot may help.
P23 - on screen no slug so i don't know what time of day is this. is it night? unless the next slug is the scene
P25 dialogue between gorcha and gregory seems a little forced, re the weapons
Boys - there are two boys but only Boris is really mentioned. do you need the other?
Nick - at p27 i have a bit of a problem with Nick. The fact is that i know little about him, other than he’s film maker and engaged. Who is he, where’s he come from, whats he want, ie whats his character. Not much to go on. I think if we had more it would help especially around the family scene.
P28 is Nick suggesting he has to stay to protect them?
P30 is the camera was on the table filming through the window may be a big ask? also isnt it night?
P32 - gocha house stands aloof - did i miss something, how do we know that? have we seen it before? Not much desacription so i’m not sure what i’m seeing
P32 Man in caps?
He meddles - whats is this?
P34 entrance in slug?
General comment - you use a lot of single lines for your action. it would appear you could be a bit more efficient, just saying.
P37 Nick “he’s better watch his father’ sounds a bit off
Zdenka - a bit like Nick, not sure i know enough about her, what drives, her desires, wishes, habits etc
P39 is this part recorded part non recorded scenes - bit lost who nicj is saying “staying up” to?
P39 when we go to the living room i think you need to explain who is there first - we only know about boris through the dialogue
up to p42Have to say i’m a little lost about Nick:Gregory and Gocha
P43 - not sure about Nicks note and his admission
P49-50 bar scene may need a little work to capture the meaning. veronica appears, does nothing, zdenka appears but nick gets into a fighter, after shes arrived?
P53 slug needs a dash
P63 grits his teeth
P65 “..but so is them..?” sounds strange
p87 corcha - name spelt wrong


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IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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khamanna
Posted: May 8th, 2012, 10:03am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Reef! I'll come back to you. Let me get on with the reads first though
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kingcooky555
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Decided to pick this up next. I read the pages 1-30, which I thought was Act I. Inciting incident with Gorcha gone and assumed to have turned into a Vourdalack. Also, Helen leaves Nick, thinking that Nick had an affair with Zdenka. Either Nick doesn't care or he's oblivious to Helen's suspicions.

Format wise it's clean. I did find it confusing at first as I didn't know it was a found footage script. It wasn't until page 15 did I realize it's a hybrid found footage, intercutting between Nick's apartment and the found footage.

On page 10 - the Confined Space was confusing. I didn't know if this was part of the found footage. What I gather is that Nick is looking through Zdenka's pictures.

It would be nice, at least for me, if you state at the beginning of the scene where the camera is. It reads as if the scene doesn't have found footage camera. For example on page 23, I know they're having dinner, but not sure where Nick put his camera. Also are they aware that they're being filmed?

If they are aware of being filmed, then it's questionable Gregory would say "If you touch her, I'll kill you." Why would he say this if he's being filmed, unless the camera is hidden?

Lastly, not sure why Nick would be kept into the house. I know he followed Gregory to the house as an invitation, but it's still not clear why Gregory would allow him to stay for so long.

Ok picking up on  page 30, looking forward to seeing Grandpa tear Gregory a new one with his Vourdalack claws...
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kingcooky555
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Okay I finished the read it was fast because your style is very clean with lots of white space. Technically clean from start to finish.

Now, I realize the motivation of inviting Nick to the house in the first place. I was confused with the motivations in the beginning, but Zdenka explains it in the end.

However, the hybrid found footage disappeared completely after page 30. I was waiting for it and kinda got confused from page 30-50 because I was waiting for it. I didn't realize Nick already left his apartment and went back to the house and this was present day. I think you're script works fine if you ditch the found footage elements, especially in the beginning which caused some confusion for me.

I would like to have seen more of the Cowboy and Veronica. It seems like they were thrown in there for exposition purposes. You did hint that they are/could be vourdalacks. maybe they're part of that vampire (sorry easier to spell than vourdalack) group, chasing Nick in the end.

On page 61, chilli should be chilly.

page 76, had a chuckle when gregory used Boris as a human missile. And I liked how the cute kids turn out to be little mean vampires in the end.

I thought it was good unique take on the vampires. Eery Amish background. A filmmaker trying to film an Amish legend/myth. I think you're script works fine without the found footage, but if you do want to go 100% found footage, the settings and characters are there.
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khamanna
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Thank you kingcooky! I'll get back to you - want to get on with the reviews first Thanks!
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steven8
Posted: May 9th, 2012, 4:33am Report to Moderator
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I like the story concept, and it reads very quickly, but I got kind of worn out reading all that continuous action.  Also, I got lost as to what was happening from time to time.  Were the cowboy and Veronica vampires?  Or was that Nick's imagination, or was it how he saw them as he turned into a vampire?

I can't believe Helen came looking for him, but she was assimilated too, eh?

I liked this.  It was a unique twist on vampires.  And on the Amish, for that matter.
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darrentomalin
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A very unique twist on the vampire story, well done for finding a new angle!

P1. Blue eyes and square jaw, Nick is athletic and handsome. His description should be after his name.
P2. “one of those women who know exactly what to say on every
occasion”. I don't mind unfilmables that much and there's a couple throughout, it gives the actor some direction and gives the reader some insight into the character but they are frowned upon in general.
P3. typo - “Is that you’re saying?”
p6. We're on screen at this stage and there's a slug INT. HOUSE – CONTINUOUS in the middle of the scene after the eggs, not sure where we are here, have the people on screen moved?  If so, be more specific with the 'house'. We're still on screen but it is a new location?
P10. A bit lost here at the bottom of the page, not clear who we're looking at and why a minislug is introducing a CONFINED SPACE? Is that young Vernoica and Zdenka? It needs stating.
You've also got a BACK TO SCENE which would actually take us back to the apartment after the ON SCREEN at page 6.
Perhaps the CONFINED SPACE to BACK TO SCENE should be a FLASHBACK? If so, how do we get to see that on the footage? Some techniques we can't use on a found footage as it would be impossible for the character to get them shots.
P11. I thing we're out of the found footage they were watching on the TV at the start now as Nick makes a call that wouldn't be on film.
P13. Right, we're now back in the apartment but a lot of the stuff we(they) just seen wouldn't have been filmable by Nick. It needs to be clearer what is actual found footage (i.e. Nick's movie) and what isn't.
P14. Need an ONSCREEN here. There's a few of these throughout where you need to clarify where WE are and where THEY are.
P16. So Nick is filming himself even when asleep?
This don't read right but I can see what you're trying to accomplish. Maybe have an establishing scene earlier where Nick fits the house out with camera's ala Paranormal Activity to “catch their everyday lives” Big Brother style.
I like the way you write your dialogue but a lot of it is a bit on the nose. The characters tell each other everything they need to know to get to the next scene so some of it feels forced. Other times it needs tweaking, read it out loud, use contractions where necessary.
There's clearly been a lot of research into Amish folk lore and life so well done on that aspect.
I'll be honest, I'm finding it hard to carry on past P40 as some of the wording trips me up so will try and get back to it later.
Good effort but needs a lot more work to tidy it up.


http://darrentomalin.webs.com/index.htm

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khamanna
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Back to your reviews!

First of all I really appreciate the reads.
A little on the story - it's a low-budget thriller, not FF. I didn't plan it as FF. An idea occurred to me before (maybe a week before) I saw the 7WC on the site. The challenge gave me the needed push.
It was a challenge because it's not FF and still there is a lot of footage in the first 30. As soon as he goes back there's no footage anymore. I'll appreciate any suggestions with formatting - I see some of it is off.

@Reef Dreamer
Hi, Bill. Thanks for the notes! Motivation is a big thing - but I can't comment on it as you said it's off throughout. Zdenka's motivation is explained past page 45.
Nick wants the documentary on vourdalacks and to save Zdenka.

Thanks for letting me know about Cowboy/Veronica - pretty much in synch with the others. In my head they are vourdalacks, but I thought to leave it open in the first draft.

@kingcooky
I'll do something with "confined space" and the Cowboy/Veronica and will work on the first 30 formatting. It's not an FF script at all, it's just about a filmmaker. Glad you liked it! Thanks!

@Steven,
I'll definitely put in what Cowboy/veronica are. In the end. They are vourdalacks too. All of them are. Except for Nick and Helen. She's not assimilated Thanks!

@Darren!
Well, if I don't know which wording you're talking about I won't see it
Actually, I was planning to rewrite and then go over, do the cleaning, otherwise it gets too overwhelming - to work on grammar and then scratch... Thanks for some notes, I'll use them in my rewrite.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: May 14th, 2012, 2:48pm Report to Moderator
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Khamanna,

Your script was next on the list. I only had time for the 1st 10 pages today. Thoughts I had while reading are below.

So far, I have a couple of issues. The 1st one is Nick's and Helen's relationship. In my opinion, they do not seem like an engaged couple in love and soon to be married. Nick says and does some really dumb things. Second, I have to wonder if these people are American Amish people. It just seems so weird that they have Russian names. If I were Nick, my 1st question would be how they ended up with those names. Third, so far, most of what we have learned has been told to us.

It will be interesting to see where this is going.
It is definitely unusual.

Anyway, even though I only read 10 pages, I just wanted to chime in and let you know that I am reading. I'll continue on tomorrow. Good luck with your move by the way.

Page 1. Your description of Nick is a little bit contradicted. Not a big deal, I just thought I would mention it. In my opinion, I could picture him perfectly as an artistic guy. He is sloppy, eats lots of pizza and he wear sturdy close and his hair is uncombed. Yet, you described him as athletic and handsome. I have no problem with him being handsome, but athletic. That just does not seem to go with your earlier description of him. Usually, someone who is athletic works out. Is muscular and so on. Like I said, no biggie.

Page 2. I am not sure if there is a typo in the dialogue or if you intended it that way. Helen's line, I didn't know you came, seems like it should be, I didn't know you came home.

Again, the same thing happens in Helen's dialogue further down the page. " Did you come yesterday". Shouldn't there be the word home there too? I don't know, maybe that's just how she talks… Maybe she is a foreigner?  

No need to say that she chats away. It is obvious since she continues to talk.

Another thought I had here at the end of this page is that Nick can't have been gone very long. For a couple that are engaged, they sure don't seem very lovey-dovey to each other.

Page 3. In my opinion, it is rather odd that Helen did not flip out or ask him more questions about why he did not let her know that he had come home sometime ago. Again, it does not make them look like they have a very good relationship. Especially not for couple about to get married.

Page 4. Zdenka is described as insanely beautiful and sexy. I don't doubt that she is, but it is rather hard to picture when she is wearing traditional Amish clothing. Just saying.  

Another thought I had here is some of these Amish people's names. They are a little bit weird aren't they? Or unusual at least.

I find Nick's dialogue a little strange. Is he bragging to these Amish people? That seems rather stupid. Also, some of the word choices are strange.

Page 5. Isn't it weird that Nick doesn't care that Helen is watching the tape where he is flirting with the Amish girl? I mean, they are to get married…

Page 6. Nick does not care that Helen is watching the tape even though he flirts with a girl and insults Helen. If I was Helen, I would be rather pissed off by now. I repeat, they are supposed to get married soon.

For someone doing a documentary on Amish people, Nick sure doesn't seem very well informed of his subject matter.

Page 8. Do Amish people hunt? I don't know, maybe they do. I had just never heard about that before.

Some of your insights get annoying. Why not just write what we can see. For example, Zdenka's chin hardens - she knows better… You have a lot of those types of things in your script. It irritates some people, but others are not bothered with it and write that way themselves. It usually doesn't bother me, unless there is a lot of it.

Page 9. Nothing wrong with it, but I have to comment, it is rather funny to read these Russian names for these Amish people.

Page 10. I did not know that Amish people were allowed to go to the mall.

I am a little bit confused here. With the 2 girls in that confined space. Who is filming this?


.
SS, is still free...
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khamanna
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Thanks so much, Pia, for the detailed review of my first ten. I'm going to get back to you with it, really appreciate the read!

I'm also going to answer each reviewer in little more detail, later, as soon as I start participating again, and reading the 7WC entries. It's just that we're moving and I have no time for anything. Should be back in gear in couple of days (at least by the end of May hopefully). I skimmed through the reviews - all great stuff, thanks. I appreciate each and every one!
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khamanna
Posted: May 16th, 2012, 11:00am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear


It will be interesting to see where this is going.
It is definitely unusual.

Anyway, even though I only read 10 pages, I just wanted to chime in and let you know that I am reading. I'll continue on tomorrow. Good luck with your move by the way.


Thanks!


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 1. Your description of Nick is a little bit contradicted. Not a big deal, I just thought I would mention it. In my opinion, I could picture him perfectly as an artistic guy. He is sloppy, eats lots of pizza and he wear sturdy close and his hair is uncombed. Yet, you described him as athletic and handsome. I have no problem with him being handsome, but athletic. That just does not seem to go with your earlier description of him. Usually, someone who is athletic works out. Is muscular and so on. Like I said, no biggie.


I wanted to show why he's popular with ladies. I'll think about it though, your description makes him more human, I guess.



Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 2. I am not sure if there is a typo in the dialogue or if you intended it that way. Helen's line, I didn't know you came, seems like it should be, I didn't know you came home.


done!


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Again, the same thing happens in Helen's dialogue further down the page. " Did you come yesterday". Shouldn't there be the word home there too? I don't know, maybe that's just how she talks… Maybe she is a foreigner?  



Haha, no he's not a foreigner Done on that too.




Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 3. In my opinion, it is rather odd that Helen did not flip out or ask him more questions about why he did not let her know that he had come home sometime ago. Again, it does not make them look like they have a very good relationship. Especially not for couple about to get married.


Yeah, heard that from someone else as well. She's mellow. Need to work on that.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 4. Zdenka is described as insanely beautiful and sexy. I don't doubt that she is, but it is rather hard to picture when she is wearing traditional Amish clothing. Just saying.  


But an Amish lady in that movie with Harrison Ford is insanely beautiful. Well, at least to my tastes. Couldn't find it on imdb for some reason now.



Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 5. Isn't it weird that Nick doesn't care that Helen is watching the tape where he is flirting with the Amish girl? I mean, they are to get married…


Will fix this.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 6. Nick does not care that Helen is watching the tape even though he flirts with a girl and insults Helen. If I was Helen, I would be rather pissed off by now. I repeat, they are supposed to get married soon.


Will fix that.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 8. Do Amish people hunt? I don't know, maybe they do. I had just never heard about that before.


They do hunt.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Some of your insights get annoying. Why not just write what we can see. For example, Zdenka's chin hardens - she knows better… You have a lot of those types of things in your script. It irritates some people, but others are not bothered with it and write that way themselves. It usually doesn't bother me, unless there is a lot of it.


Will cut - thanks. I always need an extra push to get to cutting



Quoted from Grandma Bear
Another thought I had here is some of these Amish people's names. They are a little bit weird aren't they? Or unusual at least.
Page 9. Nothing wrong with it, but I have to comment, it is rather funny to read these Russian names for these Amish people.


Tolstoy wrote this in German about Serbians. There's a Russian name Gregori but not Gregory. Zdenka or Gorcha are not Russian names. His main guy is austrian. I thought to stay true to the novel, but good of you to notice - at least I could change them to Austrian names if not German.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Page 10. I did not know that Amish people were allowed to go to the mall.


Fixed.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
I am a little bit confused here. With the 2 girls in that confined space. Who is filming this?


Confined space - everyone gets lost here. I'll think of something better. Didn't want a whole new location for this - though it;s just a bench in a dark space after all.

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khamanna
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Quoted from kingcooky555
Decided to pick this up next. I read the pages 1-30, which I thought was Act I. Inciting incident with Gorcha gone and assumed to have turned into a Vourdalack. Also, Helen leaves Nick, thinking that Nick had an affair with Zdenka. Either Nick doesn't care or he's oblivious to Helen's suspicions.

Format wise it's clean. I did find it confusing at first as I didn't know it was a found footage script. It wasn't until page 15 did I realize it's a hybrid found footage, intercutting between Nick's apartment and the found footage.


I'm still thinking how to work this out to avoid confusion. I see many are confused by my format. Will appreciate any suggestions!


Quoted from kingcooky555
On page 10 - the Confined Space was confusing. I didn't know if this was part of the found footage. What I gather is that Nick is looking through Zdenka's pictures.


Oh, yes...


Quoted from kingcooky555
It would be nice, at least for me, if you state at the beginning of the scene where the camera is. It reads as if the scene doesn't have found footage camera. For example on page 23, I know they're having dinner, but not sure where Nick put his camera. Also are they aware that they're being filmed?


I thought I should do that too, but then decided to avoid too much desctription. I'll reread, maybe I do need some staging here and there, thanks.


Quoted from kingcooky555
If they are aware of being filmed, then it's questionable Gregory would say "If you touch her, I'll kill you." Why would he say this if he's being filmed, unless the camera is hidden?


Will fix that.



Quoted from kingcooky555
Ok picking up on  page 30, looking forward to seeing Grandpa tear Gregory a new one with his Vourdalack claws...


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khamanna
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Quoted from kingcooky555
Okay I finished the read it was fast because your style is very clean with lots of white space. Technically clean from start to finish.


Nice to hear that!



Quoted from kingcooky555
I would like to have seen more of the Cowboy and Veronica. It seems like they were thrown in there for exposition purposes. You did hint that they are/could be vourdalacks. maybe they're part of that vampire (sorry easier to spell than vourdalack) group, chasing Nick in the end.


Thanks! I'm thinking about it.


Quoted from kingcooky555
On page 61, chilli should be chilly.


Done!



Quoted from kingcooky555
I thought it was good unique take on the vampires. Eery Amish background. A filmmaker trying to film an Amish legend/myth. I think you're script works fine without the found footage, but if you do want to go 100% found footage, the settings and characters are there.


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khamanna
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Quoted from steven8
I like the story concept, and it reads very quickly, but I got kind of worn out reading all that continuous action.


Well...


Quoted from steven8
Also, I got lost as to what was happening from time to time.  Were the cowboy and Veronica vampires?  Or was that Nick's imagination, or was it how he saw them as he turned into a vampire?


I'll make that clear - thanks!


Quoted from steven8
I can't believe Helen came looking for him, but she was assimilated too, eh?


Oh, no. I'll work on Helen some. She loves him, poor girl


Quoted from steven8
I liked this.  It was a unique twist on vampires.  And on the Amish, for that matter.


That makes me happpppyyyyy!

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Quoted from darrentomalin
A very unique twist on the vampire story, well done for finding a new angle!


Glad you find it unique.



Quoted from darrentomalin
P2. “one of those women who know exactly what to say on every
occasion”. I don't mind unfilmables that much and there's a couple throughout, it gives the actor some direction and gives the reader some insight into the character but they are frowned upon in general.


Yes, I will get away with infilmables, thanks.


Quoted from darrentomalin
P3. typo - “Is that you’re saying?”


Will fix.


Quoted from darrentomalin
P10. A bit lost here at the bottom of the page, not clear who we're looking at and why a minislug is introducing a CONFINED SPACE? Is that young Vernoica and Zdenka? It needs stating.
You've also got a BACK TO SCENE which would actually take us back to the apartment after the ON SCREEN at page 6.
Perhaps the CONFINED SPACE to BACK TO SCENE should be a FLASHBACK? If so, how do we get to see that on the footage? Some techniques we can't use on a found footage as it would be impossible for the character to get them shots.


Definitely a flashback. Good suggestion!


Quoted from darrentomalin
P11. I thing we're out of the found footage they were watching on the TV at the start now as Nick makes a call that wouldn't be on film.


Yes, we're out. It's not an ff at all.


Quoted from darrentomalin
P13. Right, we're now back in the apartment but a lot of the stuff we(they) just seen wouldn't have been filmable by Nick. It needs to be clearer what is actual found footage (i.e. Nick's movie) and what isn't.


Don't know which stuff. Wouldnt' know unless you tell me.


Quoted from darrentomalin
P14. Need an ONSCREEN here. There's a few of these throughout where you need to clarify where WE are and where THEY are.


Thanks!


Quoted from darrentomalin
P16. So Nick is filming himself even when asleep?


Yeah. He doesn't have a spy camera so he's using his FX3.
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khamanna
Posted: May 16th, 2012, 11:18am Report to Moderator
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Bill, I'll get to yours too In time Worked this from bottom up.
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khamanna
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Quoted from Reef Dreamer

I think Nick should be more interested in diverting his fiancés attention/distract her when the footage is on. I wasn't also sure about her description of saying the right thing at the right time. I struggled to see what this meant.


Thanks, I'll work on that.



Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P9 - i think the what is vourdalacks was a bit on the nose - maybe better to have him discover more as he goes on, eg call them creatures


I could go that route, I suppose, but decided to save pages.



Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Confined space - slug - i found this confusing, wasn't sure who, where what etc then i find out it is a photo booth


That I'm thinking about. I'll make it a flashback for sure or maybe even get rid of this recollection altogether.



Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Struggling to see why she would help Nick with the film - why him, why now etc


Hope It cleared up for you past page 50.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P12 small point - you’ve used the word Stick, from more than one character


good point!


P12 - would they have mobile coverage where they are?
P12 i’m a bit confused on Gorcha - so far i have in my mind as a spirit, nows hes at the window?[/quote]


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Room description may need some work - how would we know it is shuttered on the outside?


good point and funny that I wrote that.



Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P15 -...is beautiful but I’m engaged... not sure why he’s telling himself this.


Not himself - he's talking into a camera, it's a documentary, he has to say something.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P22 - “do you have an Amish footage” sounds a bit strange


Will work on that, thanks.



Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P25 dialogue between gorcha and gregory seems a little forced, re the weapons


You're right.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Boys - there are two boys but only Boris is really mentioned. do you need the other?


I already cut Gregory's younger brother from the novel. But this one I need that's why I kept both kids.



Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P28 is Nick suggesting he has to stay to protect them?


To protect Zdenka. I'll make that one clear, thanks.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P30 is the camera was on the table filming through the window may be a big ask? also isnt it night?


You're right. We are supposed to see mostly shapes - just enough to understand that Nick is fighting Gorcha for Boris.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P32 - gocha house stands aloof - did i miss something, how do we know that? have we seen it before? Not much desacription so i’m not sure what i’m seeing


Yeah, there's a scene that shows Gorcha's house - when Nick decides to return there.



Quoted from Reef Dreamer
P49-50 bar scene may need a little work to capture the meaning. veronica appears, does nothing, zdenka appears but nick gets into a fighter, after shes arrived?
P53 slug needs a dash
P63 grits his teeth
P65 “..but so is them..?” sounds strange
p87 corcha - name spelt wrong


All noted thanks.
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Grandma Bear
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I just now today I had a chance to get back to your script. I am currently on page 12 and a thought occurred to me. Maybe you explained it earlier and I just forgot, but who is filming Nick?

Page 12. I have absolutely no idea what Zdenka's dialogue at the bottom of the page means.

Page 13. If Nick does not believe in those Vourdalacks, why does he want to make a documentary about them? I have to admit, that I am little bit confused.

Page 14. Just a nitpick. If the window is shuttered heavily from both sides, how can we see that? The only reason I mentioned little things like this is so you can reword your sentences and descriptions for a tighter more economical script.

Page 15. Instead of writing, he sneers while talking, obviously doesn't believe it at all. You could just call it sarcastic too…

Page 16. It must be a big house if Nick spent the whole day learning the floor plan. That comment sounds weird.

Just a question here, you say that Nick is in bed for quite some time. Since that would be boring to watch, has Nick already edited the film together?

Page 19. I know that Nick is supposed to be scared to death here, however, I don't feel it myself. Gorcha does not come across as scary. He seems more like a nice grandfather. I do not remember right now if this is horror, thriller or something else, but if you were aiming for horror you need to kick up the scare factor a little bit.

Page 20. Again, Nick says that Gorcha is scary and intense. You might want to change the old man's demeanor and actions so that will come across better.

Page 21. Zdenka says, this is not acceptable here. You may want to have Nick asked her why? Since they are not really brother and sister, what would be the problem? Or is it something else that is not acceptable? Either way, I think Nick should mention it.

Okay, so here we have Zdenka saying that she is in love with her brother and Nick has already told us that he is engaged, but here they are having sex together. Not sure how I feel about that. It is sort of a negative move on both their parts. It does not make me like either of them any more. I don't hate them, it is just one of those things that you don't do. Especially for Nick since he is going to get married.

Another question I had, was Nick not worried at all that Helen was going to see this part?

Page 22. Speak up, I can't see you. Rather odd thing to say, don't you think?

I have read to page 25. I will try to finish this script over the weekend. So far, my general impression is that this needs some work. I wouldn't really say that nothing has happened. Nick has had a fight with Helen. Gorcha is apparently a vampire, but we have not yet seen him do anything vampire-ish. Nick and Zdenka who loves other people and want to get married to those people had sex with each other. They are our main characters and so far, especially after having sex together, I can't say that I am really rooting for either one of them. I am also not sure what genre this is. I would have to go back to simply scripts in order to see what it is listed as. If it is horror, then I have not yet picked up on that vibe. Ditto that if this is supposed to be thriller. Drama, maybe. Fantasy, maybe.

I also don't get why this is Amish. So far, they don't come across that Amish to me. More like a semi-strict family.

There are also lots of grammar issues and weird word phrasings. Too many for me to mention. Now I know that English is not your 1st language so I do take that into account when reading. Also, you have done these 7WC before so you know as well as I do that these 1st drafts can be rough. Therefore, I hope that you can take my comments they way they are intended and not meant to be negative. We are all just trying to help each other here.

I'll get back with you with the rest, hopefully before the end of the weekend. Hope your move went smoothly.  



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khamanna
Posted: May 18th, 2012, 6:26pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Pia. No, still moving. It's back to my country for couple of years, you know Lots of stuff to do about the house and all...

Don't worry - I'm really thankful, not negative, not taking anything negatively. I haven't before, right.

I'll come back to your review, point by point, but too much to do right now

One important moment - Zdenka is not in love with her brother. HE is in love with her and she can't say no. At the same time, she says it's not acceptable in the village.
Read on and see - maybe it'll make sense to you at the end why Amish.

Thanks!
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Mr. Blonde
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All right, Khamanna. I took a look at this today. I didn't take specific notes about grammar or spelling or anything like that mostly because I'm sure you've gotten lots of help in regards to that so far. I will say that I think I enjoyed the idea more than the story.

The story itself was kind of a mess as you introduce people then they disappear (no pun intended) for a while then come back later but don't actually do anything. I liked Zdenka's character a lot but I really wasn't partial to any of the others. Some because they weren't fully developed or we barely got to know them.

It also felt like the video camera thing was tacked on. I mean, it is consistent for the first 60 pages or so but it's never really integral to the plot. Basically, there's no real reason for it that I could spot, as he kind of gives up on the documentary with about 20-25 pages left and that's the end of it.

I got really confused on some of the characters at times. This may be more on me than you as I usually have this problem in reading scripts and I'm certain it would be easier on screen.

Anyway, I enjoyed this overall and it seems like you have a good sense of where you're going so as is usual, it's about tightening up, improving the dialogue, adding sub-plots, etc. You know the drill by now but I can see it being quite good when it's complete. =)

6.5/10.

-Sean


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Pale Yellow
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I've only looked at the first 10 pages but I like your writing style. I don't mind the unfilmables and I like the way you work the description into your characters throughout, not all in one blurb.

I'll try to read more. Pushed for time...only reason I put this down.
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khamanna
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Quoted from Pale Yellow
I've only looked at the first 10 pages but I like your writing style. I don't mind the unfilmables and I like the way you work the description into your characters throughout, not all in one blurb.

I'll try to read more. Pushed for time...only reason I put this down.


Oh, my - I don't hear that often Thanks, I'll be waiting for your review.
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khamanna
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Quoted from Mr. Blonde
All right, Khamanna. I took a look at this today. I didn't take specific notes about grammar or spelling or anything like that mostly because I'm sure you've gotten lots of help in regards to that so far. I will say that I think I enjoyed the idea more than the story.

The story itself was kind of a mess as you introduce people then they disappear (no pun intended) for a while then come back later but don't actually do anything. I liked Zdenka's character a lot but I really wasn't partial to any of the others. Some because they weren't fully developed or we barely got to know them.

It also felt like the video camera thing was tacked on. I mean, it is consistent for the first 60 pages or so but it's never really integral to the plot. Basically, there's no real reason for it that I could spot, as he kind of gives up on the documentary with about 20-25 pages left and that's the end of it.

I got really confused on some of the characters at times. This may be more on me than you as I usually have this problem in reading scripts and I'm certain it would be easier on screen.

Anyway, I enjoyed this overall and it seems like you have a good sense of where you're going so as is usual, it's about tightening up, improving the dialogue, adding sub-plots, etc. You know the drill by now but I can see it being quite good when it's complete. =)

6.5/10.

-Sean


Thank you Sean for the read! I didn't plan it as FF at all, not even as a hybrid. I just needed to introduce Helen and Zdenka in the first 30 pages and a footage here and there seems like the way to do it. Also it's a nice way to show past without retorting to flashbacks.

I hear you about Nick - I didn't feel his character when writing, maybe he'll come around with the rewrite. I'm happy you liked my Zdenka.

It's a really good point you made about introducing people that are not there for the great part of the script and then appear closer to the end. I think you're talking about Helen - I hear you and will be thinking about changes.

Thanks!
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khamanna
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Pia, I'll come back to your notes! I just want to address a lot of your notes and that will take time! Thanks again for the detailed review - means and helps a lot!
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Grandma Bear
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No need to feel you have to answer all my scribblings. They are just thoughts as I read.  I haven't been able to finish yet. The rewrite of Arterial Motives has to take priority right now as they need to show it investors.

Good luck with the move. I hope that will go smooth.  


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nawazm11
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Hey, Khamanna. This is next.

Okay, to tell you the truth, I didn't understand the ending. Or, it just didn't make sense. It just didn't feel fulfilling. There was something lacking, a little vibe. Everything just happened. I'm not sure what it is, but I just didn't like it.

I think the idea of the found footage here was good, but I didn't like the execution of it. It reads fine in a screenplay, but it wouldn't look good in a movie. The camera stays still for minutes on end, showing people talking about vampires and amish and love. It would be a complete bore fest. IMO, ditch the found footage, or try and implement it in a way that doesn't make it seem as dull.

One thing I couldn't get my head around was that the story didn't focus on one thing. It kept deviating, from one thing to another. At first, I thought the story would be about Helen and Nick, but Helen didn't even seem important. She was just there so the story would progress without plot holes.

Nick didn't come off as a dick, but he wasn't likeable either for me. I think it was because he lacked a strong goal for the first half of the script. He was just there, so there would be a story to begin with. It felt tacked on, "I'm Nick, I met this guy at the bar, he seems interesting, let's go make a documentary about him." It just didn't feel right for me .

The story is about Vampires and Amish, but I think both of these are very lacking in the script, action wise. You say they're Amish, but there was no reason that they should be Amish, as they didn't even act like the Amish half the time. I think you need to focus on their culture and heritage a little more. You also say their Vampires/Vourdalacks, but they don't even show the slighest bit of vampire abilities until the second half of the scripts. They were vampires before Nick was there, I think? If so, I think you should give off some signs, kind of like teasing the audience.

Overall, I didn't feel much for the script , sorry to say. I didn't hate it, it was far from bad. I did like some aspects of it, mostly the angle on love and family, which I thought was very original. For a 7 weeks effort, you did a good job. I'd be happy with this for that amount of time, but it needs a few more rewrites.

Here are the notes I took, btw.

Title Page: You put a quotation mark when mentioning the original story but you don't finish it off with another one. Also, I searched the book on google and it says your title is spelt wrong?

Page 1: You might want to be careful with "And knows it". I see it a lot in scripts. His face can't show that he knows he's handsome, can it?

Page 2: "He stares ahead, and there’s some sort of fear in his eyes." He stares ahead, fear in his eyes.

Again, a strange, unfilmable description.

Page 4: Might work better as "INSERT SCREEN". Unless we're actually seeing the footage instead of filming the screen where it plays? Also, who's recording?

"behind a dinner table." Forgot the sit.

Page 7: "Zdenka is suddenly sad." A very dodgy sentence . Zdenka frowns.

Page 9: "Gregory’s children make an awful lot of noise." No need to mention it again.

Page 10: "CONFINED SPACE" I think you need a proper slug here instead of a mini one. Also, how'd a flashback appear in the footage?

Page 11: Who's filming this? Is the camera just sitting there in the corner? Wouldn't look very good on film if the camera doesn't move for 10 minutes.

Page 12: "I don't need a permission." No "A" needed.

Page 13: "That’s why I did not call." Sounds better as "That's why I didn't call."

Page 15: "The stake is not sharp enough." Cut that sentence out, IMO.

Page 18: "Yes, he did. He hit his child today if you must know." Doesn't sound like something Nick would say. It'd be more casual.

Page 21: The sex seemed very sudden.

Page 22: I think you need a VO if they're talking on the phone and you don't see the other person.

Page 23: "Gregoriy" No I.

Page 26: " He does have a loving family and he knows it." Not needed.

General Note: You seem to have a lot of unneeded unfilmables. Some of these are well suited for a novel but not for a screenplay. You could easily cut a few pages if you got rid of them all.

Page 28: "The kids gotten quiet and look at a picture book in a corner." have gotten quiet** But that still doesn't sound too good.

Page 29: "You do understand you’re putting your life on the line too, don’t you?" I thought Nick couldn't be bitten? As Gorcha doesn't 'love' him (no homo ).

Page 30: She knows how to use a camera?

Page 32: Is this being recorded by Nick, or it it just normal view?

Page 33: "Haven’t he told you?" Hasen't* Unless it's Amish talk?

Page 37: You killed a dog! Yes! Somebody who isn't scared to kill a pet in a script.

Might look a little weird for the boys to first hug Gorcha, and then suddenly run together and hug Zdenka.

"She moves to the sink and starts for the dirty dishes." No 'for'.

"He’s better watch his father." Think you need an 'a'.

Something just occured, why wouldn't they try and kick him out if they know he's a vampire? Maybe it's because he'd kill them, but shouldn't they just run away from him? Unless, he has some kind of super smell ability.

Page 39: The "I'm going to stay awake!" scene is cliched to death, but I always love them. A really easy way to squeeze some humour into the script. Good job.

"For you stupid documentary." Your.

Page 40: An amish swearing? To hell with those who sin!

Page 42: "Her heavy breath and longing eyes tell it all - she loves him and she wants him." Don't think this would work on screen.

Page 43: "The camera flickers, shows Helen smiling at him and dies." The footage, right??

Page 48: "Nick splashes his drink in Cowboy’s face." So lady-like! Change it, IMO. Something more fierce, not less chicken. Not sure if you've seen The Departed? But at the bar, when the dude ticks Leo off, he grabs his drink and smashes it across his head.

Page 49: "Do Amish dress like that these days? I’ll dig up an Amish girl for myself then." Me second! Just joking. Seems a little strange for the cowboy to be near an Amish village.

Page 54: "My FX-3 might be missing too if I knew what it was."

Page 58: I thought the cowboy was still in the bar?

I think you should name the house as sometimes I think he's walking into a new location.

Page 65: "So is them" ?

Page 73: "Just please... spear them if they don’t attack you. They are the only family I’ve got."   For a second there, I thought she meant spear, as in push the steak through their heart. You meant 'spare' didn't you?

Page 76: "Gregory pushes Zdenka away, grabs Boris and throws him at Nick." Really change that, as it would look hilariously unbelievable on film.

Page 80: Strange, that Amish skateboard...

Page 81: She believes him just like that? Also, she should be a lot more angrier, I mean her future husband had sex with some girl he met for a day!
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khamanna
Posted: May 22nd, 2012, 8:34am Report to Moderator
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Big thanks, Nawazm11! (I need to learn your name )

I'll be on the back with the answers, I skimmed though the notes - thanks a lot, detailed and yet you gave me your overall feel - good to know, always food for thought.

I'll come back to you with the longer answer - it's just we are moving now and there's one other writing endeavor I stupidly chose to do...

I'm almost done with Steven's Radical Forecast. Next is yours then on my list!
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khamanna
Posted: May 22nd, 2012, 8:35am Report to Moderator
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Aga! Mohammad! Thank you, Mohammad!
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khamanna
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
No need to feel you have to answer all my scribblings. They are just thoughts as I read.  I haven't been able to finish yet. The rewrite of Arterial Motives has to take priority right now as they need to show it investors.

Good luck with the move. I hope that will go smooth.  


Oh, okay! I won't answer in detail then, but just want you to know that those "scribblings" are being carefully studied by me.
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CoopBazinga
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Hey Khamanna,

Your script is up next on my list and I see it’s an adapted piece. As I’ve never heard of it, I wonder if you’ve stayed true to the original story or added your own spin to it.

P.1 “A studio feel” Really in a studio apartment… who would have thought.

“including a camera and a film editing setup.”  I think this is superfluous, and filming equipment should be enough.

“sleeps there in his dirty jeans and shirt.” “there” could be taken out of this sentence for the better IMO.

“He stares at his dripping face.” He’s staring into a mirror right? Might want to add something about the mirror for clarity. Just a thought.

P.2 “BEDROOM” He was in bed in the loft before? Now I’m not a expert on studio apartments so it could be the same room?

“sort of fear” Sort of? Not sure about this, maybe it should just be fear in his eyes or a worried look.

“You’re home?” Should this be “Are you home?”

Unfilmables in the character descriptions, this is one for debate I guess as some like it and others don’t.  EDIT: See you use these a lot in your action, like I say it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and maybe something that needs to be established more visually sometimes.

“you’re back” reads wrong.

P.3 “you’re different.” Think this should be your different.

“Is that you’re saying?” missing “what” here.

P.4 “(ON SCREEN)” No need for the parenthetical here IMO… we know it’s on screen from the mini.

“city folks may afford” Wonder if this should be “can” instead of “may”

“That catches Helen’s attention.” Change this line to after the “back to scene” as we’re still “on screen” when it happens.

P. 5 “leans to him” Should this be “leans into him”

“strokes” A lot of stroking in the first 5 pages.

P.6 It needs to be clearer when we move into the house, I was briefly confused and had to do a double take to make sure where I was.

P.7 “but Gregory or Zdenka don’t look annoyed.” I would change “or” for and. This tripped me up at first and reads awkward IMO.

“Yours is a documentary right?” very much on the nose IMO, surely he would know this information.

I’m a bit confused by Gregory’s dialogue here. He says they do anything with hand like shaving and brushing teeth… well so do most people right? Unless he means literally with his hands? The dialogue here just needs to be reworked here IMO.

“Zdenka is suddenly sad.” Sorry but I don’t like this line at all, when is somebody suddenly sad in an instant?

P.8 “Your brother here, Gregory” Yep, pretty sure she’ll know his name.

“met me at the bar” What bar? “met me at a bar” would probably be better IMO.

I don’t know about Zdenka but I’m interested to know how someone goes from selling someone eggs to inviting them into their house to do a documentary?

“She wouldn’t continue” How would we know that?

“10” I would write out your numbers “ten”

“it’s the only way to get meat around here” No butchers? Love the fact there’s a bar though… they’ve got there priorities right.

“is” I’ve seen this little nasty around a few times when it could have been avoided for the best. Do a ctrl-f on your script when tackling a rewrite and try to eliminate as many as possible, just makes for a smoother read sometimes. Just a thought.

P.9 I wonder why you didn’t intro the kids earlier at the dinner table?

“Both disappear from sight.” I’d reword this one. Something like “Both exit the room upset” something like that anyway.

“You hit your kid” I thought she would say something more like “You hit Boris” She’s speaking like the child is a stranger at the moment.

“slamming shut the door behind” This reads awkward IMO.

“It’s only Nick and Zdenka in the room” Superfluous as we know this.

Just a quick question, is the camera still on at the moment?

“Dad asked to stick a stake into his heart” Think you’re missing “us” in this sentence.

“after the dawn” Take out “the” here in the same line of dialogue.

P.10 “Zdenka points at a grown girl in that picture.” Should be “in the picture”

“CONFINED SPACE” Was lost here at first, came from nowhere. Maybe you need a flashback transition and also change the slug to a photo booth which we find out was the confined space.

“Veronica” Isn’t capped on first intro.

She also states she didn’t know she was infected yet she expected an attack according the action? It’s a bit conflicting.

P.11 “the girl” change to Veronica, we know her name now.

“No, please. I’ll be happy to help you with it.”

Really! Isn’t she concerned about her dad?

“She disappears into the kitchen.” I thought they were in the kitchen? I guess the slug was house so it could have been anywhere but it might be better to clarify where they are in the beginning of this scene.

P.12 “I don’t need a permission.” Take out “a”

“sucking on his elbow” Elbow? That’s strange, always was thumb or… maybe not.

“She rises” When did she sit down? She was in the kitchen last time we saw.

“You think of it as of entertainment” Take out the second “of”

Okay, what is going on with Gorcha, this scene with him waving from the window with his kill came off as comedic to me? I don’t think it was meant too?

P.13 “Nick strokes her shoulder.” Back to the stroking.

Why did they invite Nick round if they knew this could happen?

“Helen kills the recording and exhales a sigh of frustration.”

So they’ve just watched all that?

P.14 “I’d call eventually.” Change this, it’s even more insulting to Helen.

Why’s Helen (O.S). Where is she now? It’s just the door slams shut after the dialogue.

“GUEST BEDROOM” Why can’t this be in the slug?

Maybe it’s just me but you’ve missed a really good part the story here. The whole scene before was setup for when Gorcha got home at 8. There could have been a lot of tension in that scene but you’ve skipped it completely and now it’s a day later. Something to think about.

“shuttered both from the outside and the inside.” How would we know it’s shuttered from the outside?

P.14/15 A personal thing but I would try not to let your dialogue go over two pages, looks messy IMO.

“He was resting the whole day yesterday” He got home at 8 in the evening.

“means my movie will live” Thought it was a documentary.

“Zdenka, is beautiful, but I’m engaged—“Seemed strange to say this… lucky Helen was still watching.

“turn” should be turns.

“She asked to forget” should be “she asked me to forget”

P.16 “Nick gets his backpack from under his bed” He already pulled it out to get his penknife.

“He sticks his watches under the lenses to see the time.” I was confused here? Do you mean watch? Where are he and the camera? I thought he was in bed?

P.18 “Did Gregory hit Boris today?” No idea but he did yesterday.

“He’s loosing it” should be “he’s losing it”

“It’s number one” add “the” after “it’s” here.

I’ve stopped at page 20 tonight and will continue as time allows during the week.

I’m not engaged into the story yet but have to say that Gorcha has added something to the mix in the guest bedroom scene, he’s already come across as the best character in what little he’s had to do.

Nick as a protag isn’t working for me at the moment, find him quite unlikeable to be honest… this could change of course.

Also think it’s been a slow opening 20 pages, not a lot has happened and maybe something to think about when coming to a rewrite.

Hope this helps.

Steve
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khamanna
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Thanks Coop! I'll study your notes!
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CoopBazinga
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Hey Khamanna,

Continuing on today from page 20.

“Gregy” She hasn’t called him this once before this and doesn’t feel right.

“I’m in no position to tell no.” Should be “say” instead of tell.

I fail to understand why Zdenka feels like she has to marry Gregory here? If she doesn’t want too, then why even consider it?

P.21 “strokes” More stroking, something to look out for.

I’m finding it difficult to believe that Zdenka and Nick just suddenly have sex here, they hardly know each other. It just feels rather sudden and we’ve not learnt anything about their relationship. Doesn’t Zdenka care about Nick being engaged?
Also if he couldn’t reach to turn the camera off, how did he put the lid on the camera lens.

“Kissing and moaning fill the room.” Awkward IMO. Shouldn’t it be sound emitting from the television.

“MOANS emit from the television, echo through the room.”

Something like that anyway, just an idea.

“For a moment he sees Zdenka” How would we know this?

P.22 “Speak up, I can’t see you.” This sounds like he knew he nodded?

“UP” Why is up capped here?

P.23 “He strokes Boris’ hand.” Okay, I won’t mention it again but I would definitely look out for the stroking.

P.24 “So, how’s food?” missing “the” here.

P.25 “I thought you shot him from the distance” Take out “the” here.

“He looks at Nick to change the subject.” This needs to be clarified who is looking at Nick. I thought it was Gregory but it’s Gorcha who talks?

I have to be honest and say some of the dialogue here in this scene doesn’t read right and I’m a bit confused.

P.26 “run to Gorcha” Why are they running? They were sitting beside him at the dinner table.

P.27 “Nick finishes his dinner.” When did he start? Nah, I think there needs to be a tad more visuals on the dinner, a clanging of knives and forks on a plate, something visual to show them eating. There was an awful lot of talking but not much eating is all. Or take out this line which made me think about them eating in the first place.

P.28 “The kids gotten quiet and look at a picture book in a corner.” Think this segment could be reworded for the better.

If Gregory is concerned about Nick and Zdenka, then why doesn’t he ask Nick to leave? I mean, he invited him when selling him eggs so I’m sure it’s just as easy to ask him to leave.

“Nick got right into the belly.” I think this is supposed to be a term for “he’s surprised Gregory” but I’ve never heard it?

P.29 “Gregory gets up.” That’s twice in the last page, cut one.

“turn it of” Should be off.

“skate board” Is one word.

Why are they outside at night and learning to ride skateboards? I thought Gorcha was tired?

“Nick reaches under his shirt and pulls out a stake.” Huh! Where was he hiding it?

P.30 “Camera is positioned in a way that everything that goes on outside is being filmed through the window.” How, if Nick didn’t move it?

Is this entire scene outside supposed to be seen from the camera’s P.O.V?

“A figure appears and blocks everything that goes on in the
window.” Is this supposed to be “outside the window”

Watch out for all the sentences starting with “she” on this page in quick succession. Also, isn’t Zdenka worried about Boris? I mean if she’s thanking Nick then she must have known something bad was going to happen?

P.31 “Nick snaps the phone shuts.” Typo, should be shut.

“t-shirts,  underwear” An extra space here.

“He turns of” should be off.

All the stuff Nick does at the bottom of this page would take a little while, wonder if you need a series of shots or cut it down.

Also again watch out for repetitive use of “He” at the start of sentences, 6 times on a row on this page.

P.32 “a man in torn clothes makes way through the trees.” Missing “his” between makes and way.

I wonder if “man” should be capped, I know he doesn’t talk but he seems to be reference to something so important enough to be capped. I’m not sure really, he may never appear again which would raise another question of what was it all about?

“Coffee sloshes out” When instances like this happen, I have to ask why we haven’t moved to an INT. slug in the car?

“He’s being greeted by a loose dog.” Get rid if “being” in this line IMO.

P.33 “He hears” hear.

“CONTINUOUS” I think you can get rid of these on some of these mini-slugs.

“your father and your sister.” Take out the second “your”

“Haven’t he told you?” Haven’t should be hasn’t.

P.34 “ENTRANCE” It’s not a great mini-slug IMO but again why isn’t it in the full slug? Last time I’ll mention it.

I’m feeling sorry for Denis, he doesn’t get a lot to do and Boris is taking all the limelight so far.

P.35 “(on top of his lungs)” or shouts.

“Zdenka takes his rifle off dad’s shoulder.” Reads awkward.

P.38 They’re calling him a vampire but I haven’t seen any evidence except one scene where he moved with inhuman speed. Maybe there needs to be more clues or scenes showing of some vampire traits from Gorcha. Just an idea because I’m not seeing a vampire here, a weird old hunter maybe but certainly no vampire.

P.38 “in fear someone sees this.” or “in fear someone might see” Think it reads better.

“inside the wall” Literally inside the wall? But he then moves a flower pot?

P.39 “Gregory holds Nick’s camera.” He found it in the wall already, that was quick.

“For you stupid documentary.” You should be your.

“but he pins her to the ground with an angry stare.” That’s one almighty stare, normally people need some kind of body force to do this.

P.41 “Gregory disappears in the rooms.” Reads wrong IMO.

I don’t understand all this discussion about Gorcha coming back? Sorry to say but I’m a bit lost now in the story, hopefully it becomes clearer as I go on.

Why does Gregory have to stake Gorcha? I feel like the story is sometimes missing major plot elements and we’re catching up. Why is it Nick’s fault?

P.42 “sees Nick of.” Should be off.

“Zdenka watches him walk out” He’s already walked out at the top of this page.

P.43 “Nick tries to retrieve a footage” Take out “a” in this line.

“throws the tape to the floor” Think you mean disc.

P.44 “The camera is as good as new.” That was quick, maybe Nick should change jobs.

P.45 “wonders” should be wanders.

“She stares at broken pieces” missing “the” here. This whole scene with Helen at the apartment felt unnatural, I think it needs to be reworked when coming to a rewrite.

“IN MOTION” That’s a new one, never seen this transition before. Normally “DRIVING” is used but I’m up for learning new things.

“She holds coffee, so dark that she winces at every sip.”

Now I like a good coffee so I wondered what this could mean? Is it just a strong coffee?

P.46 “BARTERNDER” should be bartender.

P.47 “He signals to The Bartender and The Bartender knows what
the drink is.” This could do with some tightening.

“don’t you?” Think this should be aren’t you?

Have to ask about the cowboy, it’s a funny description IMO for the setting, where are we again? Now remember that I’m from Australia so it could be very possible. Just seemed random to have a cowboy show up and talk to Nick at a motel bar in an Amish village.

“The cowboy downs his drink at once.” Cowboy isn’t capped here and you’ve capped him after. And again at the bottom of page 48.

P.48 “Nick runs out of fuse.” I know what you’re trying to say but it needs to be reworded.

“He glares at a Cowboy” change “a” for the.

“He makes quotation marks at “Amish”.” I’ve never seen or heard this before, what does it mean?

P.49 How does the Cowboy know Zdenka is an Amish girl? He’s never seen her before.

“springs” Used this twice in quick succession to describe both characters getting up, mix it up.

“font” typo, should be front.

Okay, page 50 seems as good a time as any to stop tonight. I should finish this by the weekend.

I don’t think mentioned this last time but I’ll give my overall summary at the end.

There are a few problems for me up to this point, one major being that I feel that some plot elements have been hidden from the reader. It’s like we’ve come in after all the action has happened and am trying to catch up.

And the fact that I’m 50 pages in and there hasn’t really been any vampire stuff happening could be a problem, it is a bit slow to be honest.

I also think the dialogue has been an issue throughout and reads very unnatural and awkward at times.

This might sound like I hate this but that is far from the truth, in fact the bar and Veronica element I’ve just finished on is making me want to continue and find out what the Cowboy was talking about.

Hope this helps.

Steve
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Grandma Bear
Posted: June 1st, 2012, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
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Khamanna,

Picked up your script again. I am sorry I am reading such small portions, but I have been very busy lately. Do not feel like you have 2 comment on all my thoughts. Some of my comments are just ramblings while I read.

I made it to page 55 today. I'm hoping to finish over the weekend. So far,IMO, the biggest issue with this story is what the characters do or don't do. Maybe I have already said that, I don't remember. It just seems to me that these characters do things or don't do things that are illogical. It could possibly, have something to do with your writing, but I am not sure. Some of your word choices might be what makes it confusing about the characters. Sometimes it's hard to picture what you actually intended for the characters to mean. I hope that makes sense.

Hope your move is going smoothly by the way.

Page 26. Gorcha calls Nick Nicky here. That feels rather odd to me. I don't think anyone has called him that before. It also sounds weird for an old man to call another guy  Nicky. If you know what I mean.

Nick says he feels love in here. I personally do not see where he gets that from. So far in this script, I have not sensed a lot of love at all.

You have a lot of asides in this script. I don't mind them every now and then, but they start to become annoying. Things like, he does have a loving family and he knows it. It is your script and obviously you do what you want with it, but, if it was my script, I would remove them.

Page 28. The kids gotten quiet… Come on, Khamanna!! Why not write " the kids are quiet"?   I know English is not your 1st language, but that one stood out like a sore thumb.

I don't understand what you mean with " Nick got right into the belly"? At 1st I thought you meant a fight started.

Page 30. So, Gorcha is taking Boris away. I guess to make him a vampire. Maybe I have forgotten something since last time I read this, but I thought they all knew that Gorcha was a Vourdalack. So, I don't quite understand why Nick is racing after him. It did not seem to me before that anyone cared if someone was a vourdalack or not. It also makes me wonder why, Gorcha flashes a sly smile. None of it seems to go together, IMHO.

Page 31. I think it would be better if you described Nick's face instead of telling us " it can be told that Jerry isn't happy with that suggestion".

Page 32. I don't think that " meddles" is the right word to use here.

Page 33. Again, odd choice of word here. Zdenka, shudders. There is nothing wrong with the word itself, I just don't think it's what you really mean. Maybe she was startled instead?

Also, I don't quite understand what she is doing. 1st she shudders and she smiles a happy smile and then she fights to hold back a scream. Seems like there are too many emotions going on here.

I thought Greg said just a few pages ago that he would kill Nick if he ever came back again? What happened to that?

Page 34. The next scene takes place inside the house at night. I wasn't sure if this is now a regular footage or the found footage.

Page 35. This is an ex-ample of what I said earlier. They said there is so much love in that house. So far, I haven't seen it. Quite the opposite. Unpleasant too when hitting a child.

Page 36. I don't understand why Gregory and Nick focus on the stakes in his backpack. Are they going to kill Gorcha? If so, why? As far as I can see, he has not done anything bad. I think I know what you are trying for here. However, it doesn't work and the reason is we do not fear Gorcha at all. For us to be able to feel the suspense and tension we must fear him and what he is capable of. The only way to do that is showing us that he is bad. So far, he is the only one that has shown us that love that this family has. To see what I mean? I have a hard time explaining myself and get my thoughts across. English is not my 1st language either.  

Page 37. Zdenka seems to spend hundred percent of her time in the kitchen.

Page 39. Nick catches a glimpse of Gregory and the rest in the living room. That's a little bit lazy don't you think? The rest, who? Everyone including the kids? You need to write exactly who we see.

Gregory pins her to the ground? How do they get on the ground? Was there a fight?

Page 40. There are lots of typos and grammar issues so I usually don't comment on them, but it is supposed to be stomps instead of stamps.

Page 41. Would Nick really say darn it? I don't think so….

Page 43. I thought the camera was busted? I guess it still works to see some footage on. However, you need to change the line where you say Helen smiling at him and dies. At 1st I thought you meant that Helen died.

Nick says on the note to Helen that he slept with a girl and it doesn't matter, I just want the story. Will be back soon. I have to say, Nick must be a very very stupid guy if he thinks that Helen is going to be fine with that. LOL.

Page 44. In this studio apartment, who is holding the camera? Is it just stationary? You may want to mention the camera moving on what it is focusing on so we can get a feel for the found footage.

Page 45. Nick has just fixed he's busted camera, yet, he throws it on the bed? I would imagine that he'd be more careful with it.

Helen sure is multitasking while driving…

Page 46. Hebert. Anything to do with Charlie at movie poet?

Page 50. Again, in the motel room, is Nick filming or not? I have a hard time telling when it this regular footage or found footage. I see, I guess in this case its regular footage.

Page 51. I don't understand why Gregory would have listened to Nick if he was not engaged. Why does that matter?

Page 52. Gorcha appears where? I had a hard time picturing that.

Page 53. I just had a thought, who is home with Boris?

Page 54. Why is Nick accusing the cowboy of stealing his camera? How would the Cowboys have got into his motel room?


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Grandma Bear
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Page 57. Nick hurries out of the bar. He turns around to see that nobody is following him. But yet, the cowboy is talking to him. Is he outside with Nick or is he in the bar?

Page 58. You do not state in your slug line if this is day or night. Also, whose house is this? Is it a new one or is it Zdenka's?

Page 60. If Zdenka wanted to see the footage, why not ask Nick to show it to her at the hotel instead of stealing it?

She loses her hair?………

Page 61. You write that Nick walks into the kitchen. However, you never have a slug line for the kitchen.

Chilly not chilli.

Page 63. Nick's complete change of feelings towards Zdenka here seems kind of off to me. The day before they slept together and now he is throwing dirt at her and calling her a stupid bloodthirsty leech.

Page 64. After he have just ran away from her and called her nasty names, now he runs back to her so she can save him? Sometimes the characters in this story do things that are not logical. At least not to me.

Page 66. I don't really understand what's going on here. Is the camera inside the wall? That's what I thought it meant. But now it seems like it's a projector playing the film from earlier of them on the wall? It's a little confusing as I do not understand what screen they are looking at.

Page 76. Gregory throws Boris at Nick? Just a thought here. Where is Helen? I thought she was coming.

Okay, finished your script. If you question still remains. The 1st one would be, what happened to the cowboy bartender and Veronica? When Nick saw them last time they were very pale, almost gray. What was that all about? We never find out. Where the vampires as well? I didn't get that.

Also, here in the end Nick decides to go back to Zdenka. That's fine. However, why did Gorcha decide to bite her too? Isn't that setting up for a rather trouble some family dynamics? Having Nick lived with both Helen and I can't really see that working out very well for Nick. LOL!

Anyway, I think it was great of you to finish another feature. It was also your 2nd time at least to take part of the 7WC. Congratulations for that. I remember before the scripts were posted, that you said you weren't sure if you should post it or not because it sucked. I would not agree with you there. Your script did not suck, however, it does need work. Like I said in my previous post, I think the biggest issue with your script is your writing and your characters. Your characters come off as very un-even. I think if you read through your script and each time you read through it try to concentrate on only one character. Follow that character only and look at their actions and dialogue. That might help you to see what I mean with uneven. I think your own writing and word choices might perhaps exaggerate how a reader views your characters. Your basic story and what you're trying to accomplish with it is not bad at all. That's good because you don't have to restructure your story just polish the words, the characters and dialogue.

I hope my comments can be of any help to you.

Pia  


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khamanna
Posted: June 3rd, 2012, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Pia, thanks! I won't go through the comments then - you said no need, but I want you to know that I appreciate it a lot and reading into it. Every review brings something new.

I'll get back to the script later this month (not to jinx it hopefully ) And knowing how busy you are this month... So big thanks!
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khamanna
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Hey Coop, I appreciate you reading on. I love all the grammar suggestions too - even though a large portion of it is gonna be rewritten it's still extremely useful to me - helps better my language
Like I said I'm studying your comments and thinking about the rewrite strategy. I hope you don't mind if I don't response to the comments in detail. I decided not to anymore, which doesn't change anything really - I still analyze everything said just the same Thanks!
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Grandma Bear
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Quoted from khamanna
Pia, thanks! I won't go through the comments then - you said no need, but I want you to know that I appreciate it a lot and reading into it. Every review brings something new.

I'll get back to the script later this month (not to jinx it hopefully ) And knowing how busy you are this month... So big thanks!


I'm sorry I took so long. As long as there's something there you can use, I'm happy. No need to address everything I commented on.

If you have any questions about any of my thoughts, just ask. If I don't respond, just pm me because I must have missed your question.

Pia  


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CoopBazinga
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Hey Khamanna,

Continuing on from page 50 today, hoping to finish.

I wouldn’t expect you to answer all my notes which BTW are purely my own observations when reading. You have to remember that I’m still very raw and inexperienced so a lot I say could be very wrong or me misinterpreting something.

P.50 “Nick and Zdenka enter. Zdenka rushes in with Nick in tow.”

This seems to be one in the same, I would cut the first segment here.

P.52 So Zdenka is okay to have sex on camera? Isn’t she worried about the footage?

P.53 “INT. MOTEL ROOM DAY” this slug is missing a dash or something to break it up.

How can a room be dark but still have sunlight coming through?

“as if she was not here at all.” Wonder if “here” should be there.

P.54 “Anyone came in yesterday?” came should be come.

“from the bar scene” This is totally unnecessary IMO.

P.57 The Cowboy started (O.S) when Nick left the bar but then he wasn’t? Did he exit the bar?

P.58 “EXT. HOUSE” Who’s house? The slug is vague and might need more description here.

P.59 “The stool he’s sitting on” He was sitting on a bench before.

“Zdenka storms in” Where was she before?

“He couldn’t been.” Missing “have” here.

P.60 Why take the camera? Why couldn’t Nick and Zdenka watched it together.

“She looses her hair.” Huh? Hopefully this is not what I think?

Is she blackmailing Nick now, tell Gregory about us and you can have your camera back. I also thought that Zdenka thinks Nick has taken advantage of her?

“spider nets” think you mean webs.

P.61 “GUEST BEDROOM” There was no mini-slug for the kitchen before but you have one here? It’s best to stay consistent.

“chilly” should be chilli.

P.62 “abandoned leg from the chair, that Nick ripped of just a while ago.”

It went from bench to stool and now chair? What did Nick sit on? Also “of” should be “off”

P.63 “ZDENKA (V.O.)” I think this should be O.S

That was one hell of a throw by Denis, to hit somebody flush on the head with a stool leg. I can see the scouts now…

“Nick greets his teeth” I’ve never heard of greeting your teeth?

I’m a bit confused here, I thought Zdenka wanted Nick’s help? Why is he running away calling her a leech? I feel like I’ve missed something again.

P.64 Are they trying to kill Nick? Why now and not before?

P.65 So Zdenka is helping Nick? These last couple of scenes have come off confusing.

“You have some time to think but so is them, you know.”

I wasn’t sure what this line of dialogue meant?

“kitchen” No need for this as you have a mini-slug. It would also mean getting rid of that nasty orphan.

“to help him up” He stood up in the last scene.

Is a stool really the only weapon he can find?

P.66 “where Nick put camera once” missing “the” here

What’s in the wall, his camera or a projector?

So Nick didn’t know he got bitten?

P.67 She stops the bleeding with her finger? Needs more than that I’m afraid and if Nick had bluish lips then am I right in thinking he lost quite a lot of blood? Something to think about.

“that left.” Should be that’s

So now she wants Nick to be with her but what about Gregory and them getting married?

P.69 “Someone bangs the door and growls outside.” I’ve just had a thought, yeah the doors locked but don’t they have keys… I mean they live there.

“It’s from the bite.” Talk about a late reaction.

P.70 “She gets a glass of fresh blood from a cupboard.” No, sorry but it should be kept in the fridge to keep it fresh. It would taste horrible kept in the cupboard.

“He keeps silence” or silent.

P.73 “Wait. This documentary must worth a fortune.”

I think this should be taken out, why she is so concerned about the camera if Nick’s life is at (mind the pun) stake.

“As soon as she gets the camera out she goes back to the way
she always were.” Reword this segment, reads awkward.

“with the thud.” Change “the” with a

“Just please... spear them if they don’t attack you.” I think this is wrong unless she wants her family dead… think you meant “spare”

P.74 “it’s obvious that he believes her.” Try to be more visual here. It wouldn’t be obvious to the viewer.

“Something steers in his face.” Should this be stirs?

“It wouldn’t budge.” Should this be “it won’t budge”

“Go in peace.” There has to be a better line than this.

P.75 “(V.O.)” Again shouldn’t this be O.S

P.76 “breath” should be breathe.

“tires are empty.” I think flat would be a better description.

P.78 “INT. HELEN’S CAR NIGHT” Another slug missing a dash?

It’s also night, it’s been a long time since we had a day or night in the slugs and I think it’s important to know when it became night. I know it was day when Nick got to the house, just a thought.

P.79 “INT. CAR” It was Helen’s car before, why change?

“She starts the car again.” Why is she turning off the car? You would keep the engine running surely.

“There’s Denis standing in front of her.” Change “her” to car. Also Denis isn’t getting much luck with cars, that’s twice someone’s tried to run him over.

P.80 “He picks his board” Missing “up” here.

“INT. HELEN’S CAR” Now we’re back to Helen’s car.

Denis is certainly riding fast on that skateboard, to be keeping up with a car.

“Thanks for coming back for me.” Coming back?

So vampires are trying to kill them, the car tires have been slashed and their talking about the footage back at his flat not being enough for the documentary.

P.82 “They ride in silence for a while.” There’s been a bit of silence here… wouldn’t look great on screen.

P.83 “not stand on your way then” On should be in.

“Helen is ready to kill him” Give Nick a break, everybody wants to kill him.

P.84 It sounds like Helen knows the whole story with the remark about weakness and Zdenka wanting his blood. It’s just I haven’t heard Nick tell her anything about what has happened?

I think it’s time I mention something from earlier, I left it because I thought it would come into play but it seems unlikely now.

P.77 “A pothole, but Nick avoids it.” Absolutely superfluous unless this pothole going to play a role in the car flipping over or something like I said above.

P.85 “He drags to his feet” take out “to”

P.87 “There’s a glint of worry, but in a moment he’s alright” Please tell me he didn’t get over Helen that easily… the woman he was going to marry. I mean a moment of worry before he’s alright.

“CORCHA” should be Gorcha.

“She peers into her eyes” How can one peer into their own eyes?

P.88 “EXT. ROAD NIGHT” Another missing dash, keep an eye out for these.

I’ll be honest Khamanna and say this one wasn’t for me and by the end I was left confused and for me the story is still unresolved, the ending fell flat for me sorry to say.

Nick is unlikeable IMO and doesn’t seem to have a journey here, well he does but he gives off mixed signals if you know what I mean.

Let’s take the last 30 pages for example where he tries to escape, then talks to Zdenka who tells him that she wants him to join the family but he has to run unless her family will kill him. Also he’s told he’s half human/vampire now.

So he runs fighting off the family members or should I say the kids (Boris and Denis) who did all the work BTW before deciding during his escape he’ll go back to Zdenka.

Where everything is suddenly alright and hunky dory with the kids skipping in the background (the same kids who were trying to kill him moments earlier) while he shows no concern for his fiancée who could for all we know is being killed by Gorcha.

I didn’t know enough about him before the end to understand how he developed over the piece, for me he was a weak protag and needs work in the rewrite.

Other characters were just never developed, Gorcha had personality but never got anything to do. It seemed all his scenes were told to us after they happened.

Gregory was a waste, he seemed aggressive and bad tempted a lot and he obviously hated Nick but you never really played out this side of the story. If anything there could have been a final vampire showdown between Nick and Gregory for Zdenka but I have to be honest and say I don’t know if the marriage proposal from Gregory was a lie or not now?

What happened to The Cowboy and Veronica who came into play and disappeared? Veronica seemed like a twist in the tale when you revealed her in the bar but she had no role whatsoever after… seems a waste.

The camera/footage thing went out the window after page 50 and even before that it was sometimes difficult to know where you supposed to be on screen.

I would also recommend spicing up those first 50 pages as it took some time to get going. If they were vampires all the time then why not build some tension during those early scenes… give us the audience some hints.

Make us feel scared for Nick, knowing something he doesn’t in the story could help this because I also felt like I had come into a scene after the best bit had happened. It felt like playing catch up with a lot exposition dialogue to fill me in and even then I sometimes felt confused.

All in all this wasn’t for me but like I said before, I’m an amateur and this is only my opinion.

There’s a good base for a story here but I think its characters need to be better developed and maybe the footage angle dropped. I know you’re planning on a rewrite and I hope some of the notes above have helped.

Congrats on completing the 7WC.

Steve


















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khamanna
Posted: June 5th, 2012, 11:10am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Coop - much appreciated and there's a lot to use from your comments. I see it didn't work for you which is alright

I'm planning to start on the rewrite sometime this or next month.
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Abeoldieboy
Posted: July 14th, 2012, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
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Good script you got here!  I just wanted to let you know about adaptations. You have to be really careful with adaptations. You have to get permission and... Well you know. I'm not discouraging you from adapting stories. I'm just saying becareful what you adapt. Some authors aren't as open minded as others when it comes to their work being adapted.
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khamanna
Posted: July 27th, 2012, 3:50am Report to Moderator
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Hi Abeoldieboy
Thanks for checking out my script!
I see what you're saying - A. K. Tolstoy is A 19th century author (born and died in 18smth) so no worries here))
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