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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    My Work In Progress  ›  Occupation - first ten pages of a horror script Moderators: bert
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  Author    Occupation - first ten pages of a horror script  (currently 107 views)
Posted: September 10th, 2019, 4:19am Report to Moderator
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Hi all

I found in my Writerduet 10 pages of a draft I started over a year ago of a horror feature after I'd done a full outline. It's about ten pages deep and I'd like to continue it, but having plotted it out back then I realise now it's similiarties to Midsommar, which came out this year. I'd love to know if it has an interesting enough hook and is dissimilar enough to current horror stuff out to continue (I know horror is much more premise-reliant than I'm used to writing)

Logline: A anthropology PhD heads to a deceased peer's remote property to continue the research into the wreckage of a mysterious historic ship. When she is stranded by a monsoon flood, she is courted by locals who seem to have a centuries-old plan for her - and many dark secrets.



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Posted: September 13th, 2019, 4:49am Report to Moderator

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Iíve only a passing knowledge of Midsommer so Iíve no idea as to the similarities.  The logline put me in mind of the Wickerman, and that Ďcommunity with a dark secretí vibe was enough to pull me in.  Tricky to give notes without a better understanding of the whole story but I can at least give you an idea of whether Iíd keep reading or not and why.

Notes as I go -

Do we need to see the dead infant?  Could leave something to mystery here - keep the reader wondering.

The couple having sex - could you see that happening Ďmiles and miles awayí?  Also, could you tell someone was staring back at you from that distance?  Isnít it practically first light?  

ĎÖmounting and mounting, rising and falling.í  - I get what youíre going for but Iím not sure it works visually.  I think this could be better described - or more simply.  Not saying itís a bad scene.  Itís unexpected and adds a somewhat creepy undertone with their reaction.  I just think the logic could do with re-working.

ĎItís not your fault I donít driveí ó Assuming her not driving is linked to the opening accident, Johnís chuckle seems a bit off.

Would the boarded up school speak for itself?  This is where you could let the imagery and character reactions work for you and trim back the dialogue.  Thereís a line about the kids not being replaced which gave me a sense of where this might be headed.  Though I could be wrongÖ. If itís important - foreshadowing - I think you could blend that line with Jamieís last line about the Ďageing populationÖetcí and trim Madisonís dialogue without losing anything from the story.

In all, I thought it was an okay opener.  The flashback/dream intro feels a little too familiar - tragic car crash etc. but there may be a deeper logic to it that feeds back into the story at some point so weíll see.

The writing when we get to the outback setting works well to place me in this remote location while thereís just enough mystery thrown in to keep me invested.  I want to know how the wreck and Dr. Richards ties into the story and most of all what danger Madison is facing - thatís a good draw.

On the downside, Iím not entirely sure I understand the setup.  Is Madison here to facilitate Helenís podcast in a real time investigation?

I donít know how the podcasting angle fits overall so itís hard to judge.  Granted, itís unique and gives you a device through which to set up the backstory; but is having your main character deliver a history lesson - via phone - to an unseen and largely unknown character the most engaging way for the story to unfold?  How would that look on screen?  The last two scenes are essentially back to back exposition - one a summary of the Hardiman and one of Dr Richard's work.  Is there a way to tease that information out - keep the reader guessing/wanting?

It's tricky as you've really only one character to work with and as a result thereís no real conflict - or the suggestion thereof - driving the story forward.  Thereís mystery - maybe that works alone?

Again, I donít know how far into the idea you are or where you go from here.  I thought this was nicely done in the lead up though the phone conversation feels less considered than the previous pages.  I would read on, though I guess it depends on how the podcast angle plays out - whether it becomes integral to the story or more of an interruption.

Hope this helps,


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Posted: Yesterday, 6:18am Report to Moderator
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Hi Ben,

The premise reads exciting.

You're on the right track and I'd try to compress and cut it down as much as possible once you finished the script.

P 1-2 the hook is there, man

P1 to to
P3 OS -> VO
stuff's pretty tidy otherwise, so no further comments on that

P3 not sure why he chuckles. Isn't it a sensible subject to her?

P9 all great Ė just give a visual impulse to the scene
Ahh, I see it's all coming at 10 and 11

I must say I'm a bit surprised of Steve's rather critical feedback -- because to me, this is very good throughout. To a degree where I can't say a thing that truly matters.

This exposition is a blast in all areas in my opinion. So, just believe in yourself. Impressive, Ben.

All best.

In the Head of the Driver (3p - drama, sports, SF)

Those Infinite Wolves††(8p - psychological horror)

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PrussianMosby  -  Yesterday, 8:05am
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