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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Dark'ning Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Dark'ning  (currently 4398 views)
Don
Posted: October 28th, 2007, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
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The Dark'ning by Nick Miranda - Short, Horror - Based on an original short story, THE DARKNING finds a detective interviewing a young girl about the disappearance of her boyfriend.  But a strange occurance described as "the opposite of lighning" may give the detective something else to write about in his report. (12 pages) - pdf, format


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Don  -  February 10th, 2008, 3:23pm
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bert
Posted: October 28th, 2007, 2:43pm Report to Moderator
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I originally opened this one to make sure the title was not a typo, and once I had read a bit into the story, I was pleased to find that it was not.

That initial conceit, of “dark-ning”, is good and interesting.

And I continued reading because I liked parts of this one, but I was ultimately disappointed by the ending.

About midway through I thought to myself, “I hope it doesn’t end that way” -- and then it did end that way.

This story suffers from some predictability.

There are also a few far-fetched items here in terms of police procedure, particularly those associated with the ending.  They simply clean up the blood and forget about it?  You strain credibility too much -- and you weaken the story.

Aside from having your policemen act a bit more like real policemen, there are a few other ways this story might be improved.  It would help to know how old Lindsay is, for example, and she might share a bit more of her past with the officers.  Perhaps shed a bit more light on this odd phenomenon that was “after her.”

This is supposed to be an ambiguous short -- and that is OK to a point -- but there is a fine line between ambiguous and just plain random.  I mean, why the rose?  What is up with that?

I think this story demands a few more details than what we have been given.  If you plan on a rewrite, I would recommend adding them.  Not everything, of course.  But I think a few additional pages to flesh out this “dark-ning” idea of yours would make this story stronger.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Blakkwolfe
Posted: October 29th, 2007, 1:46pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Nick;

Liked the short, but would have liked to have seen the initial darkening of Shawn instead of just hearing about it after the fact...I'd like to see her intial reaction to the pheonomena, then maybe the interogation scene would pack more punch...This seems like a segment of a bigger picture, which isn't clearly defined enough.

Joe


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: October 29th, 2007, 8:29pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Nick,

I liked this piece. I thought it was very entertaining and you only had 3 characters. I do, however, think it deserves to be either a  feature or just a bit longer (like 30pgs) because as it is, there really isn't much to say about it. But the story is just too good to be let go of and it still has a lotta juice to be squeezed out of it. I highly recommend you do something with this.

And I agree with both  Joe and Bert's suggestions. I think you should include Shawn in the next draft. I would've liked to see the scenario of his "taking". Maybe through flashbacks as Lindsay is telling the story?

Either modify the final scene about cleaning everything up or use it as a device to show how desperate those cops are for losing their prisoner. Because as it is, it is ridiculous and doesn't work at all.

A fine piece overall.

Keep writing!

--Julio

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mgj
Posted: October 29th, 2007, 10:41pm Report to Moderator
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You say this is based on an original short story but you don't say by whom.  Is it your own or some published work I'm not familiar with?  Just curious since it is an intriguing concept.

As for the actual story itself, you established a good mystery here but there's very little payoff.  I'd ask you what this story is about - or more specificaly what this darkning is exactly.  I can only guess because as far as I can gather you offer very little in way of clues or an explanation.

You need to throw a few more pieces of the puzzle at us.  As is, there's not quite enough here to connect all the dots.  It's odd because your writing is very good.  It makes me think you're only giving us a portion of this script.

A few questions I'm left with:

- Why are the police so determined to cover this up?  Does this paranormal phenoenon have something to do with a past police indisgretion?  A vengeful spirit perhaps?

- Surely security cameras would be installed in the holding cell.  Why not play those back, see if they recorded anything?  I guess the darkness would keep it hidden, but still it seems a prudent thing to do.

- What is the significance of the rose and the blood for that matter?  Is she dead?  Trapped in another dimension?


Like I said this is an intriguing concept, one you can definitely work with but as is, feels very incomplete.

-Mike


"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: October 30th, 2007, 12:30am Report to Moderator
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"Why are the police so determined to cover this up?"

Gee, I dunno. Maybe because a girl just dissapeared out of thin air leaving behind only a dead rose and a pool of blood? Even if there was a past story about it, I'm sure they'd be sent to mental asylums if they said that to anyone.

"What is the significance of the rose and the blood for that matter?  Is she dead?  Trapped in another dimension?"

I don't think that needs an explanation. As it is the story is very Lovecraftian. The whole fear-of-the-unknown thing worked well here. If anything, I agree that *only* the rose should be explained.

Of course, I'm speaking for myself here and not the writer...
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mgj
Posted: October 30th, 2007, 12:51am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReaperCreeper
"Why are the police so determined to cover this up?"

Gee, I dunno. Maybe because a girl just dissapeared out of thin air leaving behind only a dead rose and a pool of blood? Even if there was a past story about it, I'm sure they'd be sent to mental asylums if they said that to anyone.



Well, I guess that's just me then.  Personaly I wouldn't risk conspiracy in some police cover-up which could send me to jail (worse than an asylum, I'd imagine).. Again, just me.


Quoted from ReaperCreeper

"What is the significance of the rose and the blood for that matter?  Is she dead?  Trapped in another dimension?"

I don't think that needs an explanation. As it is the story is very Lovecraftian. The whole fear-of-the-unknown thing worked well here. If anything, I agree that *only* the rose should be explained.


why does the rose need to be explained but not anything else?  I don't get your logic.  I ask questions like 'why' and 'how come' -  I'm funny that way - I don't need it to be all spelled out for me but I'd like an explanation, otherwise these are just random events that are taking place without any reason or purpose.






"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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Hoody
Posted: October 30th, 2007, 2:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, just got a chance to read it.  It was pretty good.  Your writing is very detailed, which is great.  

The idea of the "dark-ning" is awesome.

And now the things that irked me:

The story has SO much more potential.  You hint at a lot of different things that could make the story better, but you don't pursue them.  I believe if you make this script a litte longer (20-25 pages) you could answer the question behind the pool of blood and the rose and Abernathy's recollection of how this happened before.

Another big problem with the story is the coincedence of no cameras and Abernathy not loading the tape.  Did he do it by accident or did he do it on purpose?  It could go both ways because he seems pretty determined to get rid of whole situation, which might help you dive into a deeper mystery.  

In short, this was a great idea that just wasn't used to its full potental.  There's a lot of things I would love to see fixed or answered.  As it is, it's like starting to watch "Lost" halfway through the season and trying to put it all together.

Hope this helps.


Please, read Elvis The Goat or Cold Turkey.  Thanks in advance and I'll make sure to review your script in exchange.
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nick_horror
Posted: October 30th, 2007, 11:31pm Report to Moderator
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A big thanks to everyone who has commented.

First, let me explain that this is based on a story I wrote, which is why I felt no need to name the author.  Also, this screenplay is written so that my friends and I could go into production on it, but when I moved, it was scrapped...hence the length and beginner style of story telling.  So now you know.

I originally wrote this screenplay as a challenge to myself.  I had just seen the episode of "On the Lot" where the aspiring directors made horror films and I was a little disappointed with what I saw, so I set out to write a serious short horror film.  Thus was born the aforementioned screenplay.  What you all have read is the first and only draft.  I wanted to see your comments to find out what to change.  Now I know and I will begin working on a second draft which will bring in more of what I had to leave out from my original story.

Also, forgive the lateness of my response.  I had my wedding on the 27th and have been busy.  I am also hard at work formatting my short stories for my website in time for Halloween.




My short fiction can be seen at:
http://www.angelfire.com/scary/nicksliteraryvault
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herb_West
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Hey Nick,

I just read the script briefly. Nice fluent style of writing. You know how to set the scene.

My problems with this:

This all set up and no pay off. I don't mind randomness, but in order for a twist to work there needs to be clues along the way. Some seeds that might seem insignificant but reveal themselves to be vital.

Again, there is no motivation for Abernathie to do what he does. He is simply there to push your plot along towards it's inevitable conclusion. He is simply a function at the moment.

I would have liked for your main detective to come to some kind of realization. What if he sees something in the darkning? It will also give him an arc.

My final thoughts: This could have been 5 pages long, as your middle section becomes redundant as it bares no resonance to the main plot. If you could tie everything together, this would make the twist more hard hitting.
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nick_horror
Posted: February 5th, 2008, 2:44pm Report to Moderator
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This screenplay was picked up for production by Autumn Spirit Productions.  I'm very happy about this, since so many of you seemed to enjoy this story.




My short fiction can be seen at:
http://www.angelfire.com/scary/nicksliteraryvault
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DeRRBaby
Posted: February 5th, 2008, 3:31pm Report to Moderator
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I really like this, very creative.

I wish lindsay would have explained why this "darkning" is after her. I was intrigued with the concept. I just wish it would have told more.

overall nice... I enjoyed it


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bert
Posted: February 5th, 2008, 3:59pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from nick_horror
This screenplay was picked up for production by Autumn Spirit Productions.  I'm very happy about this, since so many of you seemed to enjoy this story.


Actually, every reader thought it needed a rewrite.

Did Autumn Spirit ask for changes, or accept it as-is?


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Zack
Posted: February 5th, 2008, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
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Neat script, Nick.

It's not perfect, but it's certinly enjoyable.

The beginning moved kinda slow, but once they started to talk about the Darkning, things picked up.

Then it ended... and I kinda felt cheated. What is the Darkning? This script begs for an answer, please give it one. You have so much potential here.

Good luck.

~Zack~


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nick_horror
Posted: February 5th, 2008, 5:28pm Report to Moderator
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They contacted me based on this version.  I requested to do a rewrite which added more to the story which I will post soon.  The producer liked the changes.




My short fiction can be seen at:
http://www.angelfire.com/scary/nicksliteraryvault
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