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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Closed In Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: July 31st, 2006, 9:52pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Closed In by Gabriel Moronta - Short, Horror - Three individuals seek justice on a serial killer when one of their loved ones joins his victims’ list.  18 pages - doc, format


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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  December 31st, 2006, 2:38pm
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GM
Posted: July 31st, 2006, 10:32pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Don for putting this up. I revised alot and i believe that I have improved from before. Also, I will like to appolgize for the genre entry I put in. This belongs to the SHORT, HORROR section not action - sorry for that.  Other than that, I hope you guys enjoy the read and leave feedback on how good or bad it is.  
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GM
Posted: August 1st, 2006, 10:42pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you Bert for the revision. And im going to stop using caps from now, sorry about that Don.  
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Helio
Posted: August 2nd, 2006, 1:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Gabriel

I became very confuse at first, but I got what happend at the end.

I don't know whether Bert told you about some problems like CUT TOs, lot of names that weren't talk by the characters just by you etc. We just know that James is really James just when we hear someone calling or when we see the name written somewhere...otherwise it doesn't work.
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GM
Posted: August 2nd, 2006, 7:59pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for reading this Helio.

Spoliers !!!

"some problems like CUT TOs"

- I was not aware of that, but now I am. I thought it helped transition the story better from the rooms throughout the house.

Such as (this is not in script format):

blah blah blah description, and then cut to kitchen

as oppose to  

blah blah blah description, then suddenly kitchen

"lot of names that weren't talk by the characters just by you etc."

-I think I understand what you are saying, but can u please explain a little. I think you are pointing to that I have alot of characters such as the father, mother, etc. right?

"We just know that James is really James just when we hear someone calling or when we see the name written somewhere...otherwise it doesn't work."

-Well, I was thinking of doing that probably a ansering machine recording a message from the wife. But I assumed it will lead the story to another angle i didn't want to go. I thought showing the officer taking the wallet from James and seeing it that's James, which is when we see his face recognized from the photos was sufficient. I guess I should have put that specific part.  

But anyway, the points are taken. I have something to think about for the third draft. Thanks again.
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GM
Posted: August 8th, 2006, 11:24pm Report to Moderator
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I appologize for doing this but I'm going to be putting this up on the list so people could notice it. This is only going to happen today and I appologize for the inconvenience. I just want some reviews to know if there probelms other than what Helio mentioned. I already started the draft 3 of this script going by Helio's review and I want to be sure if I'm heading in the right track or not.  Thanks again for your time.
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Ayham
Posted: August 10th, 2006, 8:31pm Report to Moderator
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Gabriel, I like the story, and by the way, I like using "Cut to" and "Dissolve to" even though it's not a shooting script.
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bert
Posted: August 11th, 2006, 10:20am Report to Moderator
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Hey "TheWhiteCrimsonBrothers".  That is a very awkward screen name.  Is there more than one of you?

I seem to recall having read the first incarnation of this story -- not sure if I commented -- but this is certainly improved.  You seem to genuinely desire some feedback on this one, so I'm gonna give you some.  I did like the story overall, but for our purposes here, I am going to dwell on the negative aspects.  Just warning you up front.

SPOILERS:

*  You need to stop using “we” so much.  It’s the mark of an amateur.  Rearrange your descriptions to omit that word.  For example, “we hear footsteps distantly” becomes “distant FOOTSTEPS echo through the house.”  You need to do this throughout.  Maybe on very, very rare instances use a “we” -- plenty of people will tell you that even one is too many -- but people who say it is OK to use it all the time don’t know what they are talking about.
*  You also need to drop all of the “CUT TOs”, Ayham’s approval notwithstanding.  They are clutter.  With a new slug line, a “cut to” is understood.  I am of the opinion that a very rare “Dissolve” is OK provided that there is a very good reason for it.  Some  people don't even agree with that.
*  Your robber searches through the couch cushions?  For what?  Loose change?  This rings false, even for a novice criminal.  Skip that, and have him going for the silverware or something.
*  The names Mike and Matt are too similar.  Use diverse names to avoid confusing the reader.
*  You give awfully thorough descriptions of Emma and Amanda -- characters that do not appear in the story.  And I wouldn’t describe Amanda as Lindsay Lohan anymore -- that girl has matured into something of a hag haha.  If you want to use somebody famous, Amanda Bynes is much cuter.
*  Many people like to put sounds in CAPS.  Things like POLICE SIRENS.
*  When the police arrive, the “mystery person” that we never see -- allegedly James -- turns out to actually be James.  Why bother concealing his identity if he is who he actually claims to be?
*  James apologizes for his noisy neighbors.  Did you mean nosey?

So, the implied ending is good, and the shifts between black and white and color lend this story an interesting dimension.  You imply that Amanda is home during all of this.  If she isn’t, you need to make that clear.

You also spend a lot of time with Paul in the bedroom -- with newspaper clippings and photographs -- but these details never come into play.  I was confused about why they were there at all, and would recommend either paying it off later or losing it altogether.

Like I said at the outset, this does represent an improvement -- good job there -- but there is still a little work to be done here.  I hope some of this helps you out should you dive into another draft of this.


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GM
Posted: August 11th, 2006, 11:39pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Ayham for your read and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thank you Bert for your extensive review here.


SPOILERS!


"*  You need to stop using “we” so much.  It’s the mark of an amateur.  Rearrange your descriptions to omit that word.  For example, “we hear footsteps distantly” becomes “distant FOOTSTEPS echo through the house.”  You need to do this throughout.  Maybe on very, very rare instances use a “we” -- plenty of people will tell you that even one is too many -- but people who say it is OK to use it all the time don’t know what they are talking about."

Alright, rule one: Don't use "We" at all, got it. This may sound too strong, but I like making things simple upon myself by taking things drastically such as this.

"*  You also need to drop all of the “CUT TOs”, Ayham’s approval notwithstanding.  They are clutter.  With a new slug line, a “cut to” is understood.  I am of the opinion that a very rare “Dissolve” is OK provided that there is a very good reason for it.  Some  people don't even agree with that."

Helio, another fellow screenwriter on this site, advised me on that and I did away with them. I now am using second headings more as tranistions between scenes.

"*  Your robber searches through the couch cushions?  For what?  Loose change?  This rings false, even for a novice criminal.  Skip that, and have him going for the silverware or something."

Good point. I changed the story alot from the orginial. Rather than having the robbers simply searching for items to steal, I have them searching for "something" within the house. This was the initial plan I had in mind when I wrote the original short, if I can call it that. The diffuclty on my part was figuring what the hell is that "something", so I came to the conclusion of incrimanting evidence, which has, quite recently, taken me on a newer and longer path of the story. But I'm unsure if I should follow it?

"*  The names Mike and Matt are too similar.  Use diverse names to avoid confusing the reader."

Would need to correct that, check.

"*  You give awfully thorough descriptions of Emma and Amanda -- characters that do not appear in the story.  And I wouldn’t describe Amanda as Lindsay Lohan anymore -- that girl has matured into something of a hag haha.  If you want to use somebody famous, Amanda Bynes is much cuter."

LoL, Thanks for the suggestion towards Amanda Bynes. As I was writing this, Lindsay Lohan simply popped into my mind and I used her. But I understand your point (keep updates with the entertainment news). I am going to the screenwriting section here to learn more about character description, if it's on here. Is there any other way of learning character descriptions or is reading scripts the only solution?

"*  Many people like to put sounds in CAPS.  Things like POLICE SIRENS."

It makes the story more effective, I understand.

"*  When the police arrive, the “mystery person” that we never see -- allegedly James -- turns out to actually be James.  Why bother concealing his identity if he is who he actually claims to be?"

I wanted to portray suspense, since it's the father who does all these murders. But I guess that didn't work so I'm just going to have to see if i can rework that scene.

"*  James apologizes for his noisy neighbors.  Did you mean nosey?"

Yeah. Thank you Bert. Sorry about that.

"So, the implied ending is good, and the shifts between black and white and color lend this story an interesting dimension.  You imply that Amanda is home during all of this.  If she isn’t, you need to make that clear."

Since this a short screenplay that I will try to film later on when the script is in tip-top notch, I don't like using blood or gore much. It looks a little bit cheesy especailly for a low budget film so I try to avoid that. There's times that's it's necesscary and others when it's not. For this one, I think it's really not.

The camera's color shifts is my salute to Memento, one of my favorite movies of all time.  

Also, I find that's an interesting take on the story that Amanda's there. I would need to fix that. I hope you don't mind Bert, but can you provide your take of what you thought the story meant. I'm interested in people's take on the story to see if I'm on the right track.  

"You also spend a lot of time with Paul in the bedroom -- with newspaper clippings and photographs -- but these details never come into play.  I was confused about why they were there at all, and would recommend either paying it off later or losing it altogether."

I deleted it all except for one. But I'm unsure if I should keep it since, as I said above, it takes me to another angle of the story.

"Like I said at the outset, this does represent an improvement -- good job there -- but there is still a little work to be done here.  I hope some of this helps you out should you dive into another draft of this."

I really appreciate any reviews especially these types since it gives me an absolute insight of what I need to work on with any script. You didn't get to post a review for the before script. But many people found too many problems on that one, so I'm happy with these. I see that many people love the overall story, that part of my job is done. Now on to effectively communitcating the story on to paper.    
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GM
Posted: August 11th, 2006, 11:47pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry for this extra dialgoue. i just wanted to answer this question.

"Hey "TheWhiteCrimsonBrothers".  That is a very awkward screen name.  Is there more than one of you?"

My best friend suggested that name to me but since I type quickly, I accidently pressed "s" at the end and it went through as is. That's how the sn TheWhiteCrimsonBrothers was born. you can call me Gabriel for much more appropriateness.  

Gabriel
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DOM
Posted: August 14th, 2006, 3:55pm Report to Moderator
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Okay. I read this script and now I'll review it.

***POSSIBLE SPOILERS***

The ending... I have absolutely no idea what was happening. James started putting on clothes, grabbed a knife and went somewhere. What was he going to do? Am I just being an idiot, is the ending obvious? I REALLY don't get that bit.

There was too much dialogue. I mean, you have to describe what they're doing, but not every step they take. I mean, at the ending, it took about 2 pages for James to put on all that stuff.

When those guys (Matt, Mike & Paul, I think) ransacked James' house, nothing really happened. The description of this script says that they were looking for evidence (on what and they found more than they bargained for. They didn't actually find anything. They just got paralyzed.
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bert
Posted: August 14th, 2006, 4:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from GM
I hope you don't mind Bert, but can you provide your take of what you thought the story meant?


Sorry Gabriel, I must have missed this before.  Only spotted this question after it got bumped back up.

[SPOILER]

What I thought was going on was that James caught some people messing around in his house, and then -- for whatever reason -- decided to chop them up in his basement.

If there was something deeper than that going on I missed it.  And I also got the sense that these guys were robbers as opposed to searching for some kind of evidence.  I found that confusing in the logline, but forgot to mention it.  Does that have something to do with the pictures and clippings under the mattress?

Anyways, it's something that is not coming through clearly in this story's present form.  


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GM
Posted: August 14th, 2006, 4:28pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for reading it The Writer Type Guy.

SPOILERS!

"The ending... I have absolutely no idea what was happening. James started putting on clothes, grabbed a knife and went somewhere. What was he going to do? Am I just being an idiot, is the ending obvious? I REALLY don't get that bit."

Well, I always noticed in horror movies those what I like to call McGavior(I hope that's how you spell his name) scenes where the good person always aquires simple items within their environment and make something powerful to fight against the bad guys. So, I decided to use it as a means for James to do something against the bad guys which is killing them. He aquires stuff around the house that can be easily rid of blood or disposed of. That was the whole idea of the ending.

"There was too much dialogue. I mean, you have to describe what they're doing, but not every step they take. I mean, at the ending, it took about 2 pages for James to put on all that stuff."

I think you might mean description rather than dialogue. I'm a descriptive type of guy but I try to not be over descriptive to give some leway for the actors and directors to contribute their thoughts. But I'll take that into consideration in my third draft.  

"When those guys (Matt, Mike & Paul, I think) ransacked James' house, nothing really happened."

I don't really quite understand this comment. James' house is a mess because of their messy search. So, do you mind if you can explain this a bit more?  

"The description of this script says that they were looking for evidence (on what and they found more than they bargained for. They didn't actually find anything. They just got paralyzed."

I agree with you on the evidence part. That is one thing I am definitely changing in my third draft. But they did not get paralyzed, they died a very gruesome death. I just didn't show it since  i dislike those gory movies. I'm willing to watch it but, it has no affect on me.

But thanks for your review. It really means alot. I'm currently working on another script at this moment in order to take a break from this one. It's also a short and hopefully will be done very soon.
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GM
Posted: August 14th, 2006, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Bert. You've made something offical for me right now, which is a definite change in my third draft.

No need to appolgize Bert. Scripts get pulled back alot. Your input is important as everyone else's.

I'm working on another script as a time breaker from this one. Hopefully when I'm done and it's posted on here, I can return back to this one fresh.  
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mgj
Posted: August 15th, 2006, 10:38am Report to Moderator
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I got through this one pretty quick so I'm posting my review sooner than expected.

Overall my impressions are that this one has potential.  You've established a good scenario here and created a nice payoff at the end.  That's a good start.  I think it just needs a little more fleshing out to really work.

As I see it the burglars are the real protagonists in this story, not James.  Maybe you have a different take?   Anyways, perhaps you could expand on their dialog a bit more or do something to give them distinct personalities.  As it is we know very little about them, nor do we know anything about their actual intentions in the house other than the obvious - that they are trying to find something of importance to them.

From what you've given us Paul seems to be the perverted one in the group and Mike the leader.  That's definitely a start.  Obviously they're crooks and likely really bad dudes so revealing this to us through their actions and words would make their comeupance at the end that much more satisfying.  Maybe one is a reluctant participant in all this and acts as the conscience of the group?  Just a thought.

The black and white/color thing was interesting.  At first I thought it might have something to do with a past/present scenario you created with the burglary taking place a long time ago in a flashback sequence.  I assume now your intention was to contrast the two different worlds - the gloomy, claustrophobic inside world with the brightness of the outside world.  If so a cinematographer could have fun working with this.

I know others have mentioned the issues of proper formatting of a spec script so I won't go into that.  I think they're pretty easy to correct anyway.  

I'm a little unclear about the newspaper clipping.  Is that supposed tie in with the burglars then?  Did they beat up James?  You might want to clarify this.

All in all a nice effort.  It just needs a little fleshing out.


"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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