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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Beyond the Forest Moderators: bert
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  Author    Beyond the Forest  (currently 1452 views)
Posted: December 23rd, 2006, 8:22pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Beyond the Forest by Evan Gillespie - Short, Action, Suspense, Supernatural - This is a short film about a mental patient who believes she is the manifestation of Mother Nature.  Everyone is connected and nothing is really as it seems. 25 pages - rtf, format

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Posted: December 24th, 2006, 8:59am Report to Moderator
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I found this script to be a little confusing.  Telling it backwards didn't do it for me and I'm not sure why you did it.

The biggest problem I had with this script, whoever, was the formatting.  The dialogue was very on-the-nose and you wrote long stretches of dialogue, occasionally broken up by long segments of action.  Split these up a little bit.

Don't use camera directions!  Don't use we see.  We are not there!

Your descriptions are very long winded.  Tighten up what you have; if you did, your twenty-three page story would probably be closer to ten pages long and a more enjoyable read.

Examples of your 'wordyness,' include (SPOILER SPACE):

From page three:

The camera looks out into a thick forest as the sun sets.  As the sun disappears and day turns to night, the forest takes on an ominous and haunting feel, as if now were the perfect time for wrong-doing.  The camera begins to makes its way casually through the forest.  The distant sound of shovels hitting earth begin to be heard.  As we progress further into the forest, the shoveling sounds begin to intensify.  The camera makes a sudden sharp right turn.  Two men stand, digging a large grave.  They are sweaty and covered in dirt.  In the pail light they appear as zombies on a devil's errand.  There are two large mounds of dirt on either side of the grave, indicating a lengthy depth.  The man on the left, Nick, stabs his shovel into the pile of dirt and motions for the other, Joel, to stop.

Instead, try for:

The forest is dark and intimidating.  SHOVELING is heard.

In the distance, Joel and Nick dig a hole.  They are dirty.  Their breathing is LOUD and RASPY.  Nick motions for Joel to stop

From page four:

The night is cold and black.  The inside of the institution actually has a warm feel to it.  This however, is occasionally interrupted by certain patients screaming uncontrollably.  Sarah sits in a common room-like area of the institute.  It's an area where patients can spend some of their free time relaxing, watching TV and playing games or just talking with other patients and even visitors.  There is a set of large doors on either side of the room.  They are the only ways in and out of this area.  Tonight Sarah sits by a window looking deep in thought, like someone remembering a fond childhood memory.  Outside in the distance, the dark outline of treetops can be seen.  Sarah sighs and gently leans her head against the glass.  Off screen a man clears his throat.  Sarah opens her eyes and turns to see who it is.  The Police officer stands rigid, a bouquet of flowers in his hand, and a devilish grin on his face.

try this:

Sarah sits in a chair, looking out a window into the darkness, smiling.  Other residence are in the background, watching television and playing board games.


Sarah turns and is surprised wto see a police officer standing next to her, holding a bouquet of flowers.

A lot of your descriptions are vague.  Descriptions should consist of only what can be recorded by the camera.  Saying that it is cold outside but the institute has a warm feel to it is wrong.  How would we know that the institute has a warm feel to it?  How do we know that night time in the forest is the perfect time for wrong doing?

Tell us what we need to see and hear.  We'll decide what we should feel.

Read some other scripts on the boards.  You can learn a lot from them.


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Posted: December 25th, 2006, 1:24pm Report to Moderator

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Thank you for the feedback.  It helps a lot.
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Posted: December 25th, 2006, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
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Not a problem.  Keep in mind that it doesn't take make for a script to be a tiresome read (this is a general statement).

Incidentally, you signed up for these boards two weeks ago.  Your first post should not be thanking someone for a read of your script.  Read some other people's work and post some feedback.  Then see if your feedback matches that of other people.  It's a great learning experience.

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