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  Author    Hope Falls  (currently 7676 views)
Don
Posted: March 9th, 2008, 2:29pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Hope Falls by Stewart Wadwell & James Rosencrans - Horror, Sci Fi - An ex-con must save a small town from invading alien parasites while battling a corrupt Sheriff out to avenge his brother’s death 114 pages - pdf, format


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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  May 8th, 2011, 10:13am
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MacDuff
Posted: March 9th, 2008, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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I've decided to post one of my feature length scripts on here (this is my first post of a feature to date).

It's a fun premise along the lines of Tremors, Critters and Eight Legged Freaks. Will it win an Oscar? No. But hopefully it'll put a smile on one or two faces.

I had my good friend and fellow screenwriter co-write the last draft with me.

Enjoy.

Stew


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Busy Little Bee
Posted: August 18th, 2008, 10:15am Report to Moderator
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Hey, MacDuff

So, my approach to reviewing is little different than what I normal do. But I'm going to read it in seciond of about 33pgs. So, I should have about three of these coming, I'm only writing so much because I noticed you had no reviews and I liked the story so  much...


Hope Falls by Stewart Wadwell & James Rosencrans – Sci Fi/Horror

Premise (promise): An ex-con must save a small town from invading alien parasites while battling corrupt cops out to avenge their brother’s death.

  What I think of the premise. Immediate opportunity for your main character who was an ex con, obviously he has a problem in how he treats people. First, does this ordeal fix that issue, and second, how does it change him? A relentless opponent in the parasites that offer plenty of direct attack, given there lack of ability to think could be cause for concern when it comes to plot. You’ve offered a great remedy to that by also creating human opponents in the corrupt cops with the ability to offer indirect attack.

Some questions I had going into it based on the premise.
What are the desire, motive and stakes of the hero?
What are the desire, motive and stakes of the human opponent? Does he think he’s right? Will human opponent become another monster, which you already have in the parasites?


  The flow and pacing is good. I really like that in every scene that there’s a small conflict within that scene, sometimes it works well on the grand scale of things but it’s important to have those small conflicts to keep things happening. For instance, the baseball diamond and who didn’t bring extra balls and who’ll get the hit into the trees, not only Jake vs. Wade in the bar, but also Wade vs. Travis. While I also noticed and like the little conflict between Jake and Sara, I would of liked it more if the atmosphere between them was a little more subtle and tension was presented before a blow up about not being there and what not. I like you distribution of exposition too. Having character’s and the action tell us who’s who. It’s not only strictly the protagonist, Jake, but also plenty of expo on Travis, and the situation of the town.

  Another thing I liked when it came to the pacing is when you went back to the parasites, at Joe and Agatha isn’t wasn’t just a kill scene, but an expo on what the parasites can do the paralyize, they use heat to see, which may prove to be valuable for later on where someone escapes because they body temp drops or that all it takes is one bite and that body part is paralyzed. When Jake runs into the parasite it’s not the same ol thing because we see an evolved parasite. In monster movies the monster typically uses direct attack, brute force because of lack of intelligence.

  You did a great job at countering that by introducing human opponents, but that doesn’t necessarily they wouldn’t follow in the same foot steps of the monster, which is the felling I get from Wade who is not subtle, and very direct, but that could just be his personality. I’ve taken it as so. I was worried you were just going to have two monsters, but Buddy, love Buddy as a character, brings that indirect side of an opponent when he blackmails the Doc about his drinking habit, he’s scheme about the town, him telling Wade to stay in line, makes it appear as though he’s taking things into consideration making him a thinking and deadly opponent. I would like him to show a little more humanity about a boy dying, so he won’t seem like totally a-whole, and the potential of growth, which he may never reach, but still. A lot of people miss that when it comes to human opponents they make it black and white, good and evil battle between two sides.

  On that same token. I find it interesting that Jake who went to jail doesn’t seem to be causing harm to anybody. I mean what is his moral need in all this. I mean he did go to jail. I know he’s causing a lot of pain for Sarah, but I haven’t seen anything as of yet. Like I said I think the introduction of their relationship which is like introducing a character in it of itself should carry more subtext at the beginning of their conversation before they get too direct. Like I loved the scene where Sarah comes home and finds the baseball bat and glove, and right before that Becky lies, and there’s a split second of subtext there before the revelation of it all, which made that relationship interesting and Becky an interesting character instantly. Don’t get me wrong I like what you did with Jake and Sara too because there’s conflict and that’s the most important thing.

  When I read or watch movies I’m always wondering things about per say, Sarah is a single mom, who broke it off with who, did she ever get married I think little hints about stuff like that adds a lot about rounding out a character.
  Does Becky split time between mom and father, or does Becky not know who her father is. She makes remark about her mother needing a man, I began to wonder again because usually a child wouldn’t want to see either parent some else other than their biological parent so she must not think highly of her father, or she does but wants her mother to move on anyway, which would speaks volumes about how smart and strong the young lady is. And does Beck know who Jake is? Would she want her mother to date him, if she was with her at the time Jake asked her out, it could have been Becky who suggested it because again she does want her mother to find a man. This gives Becky a desire that she’s acting out. And there is any faster way to round out a character than to give him a dream or desire.

Becky has a desire in this story to, too be with Tom, she’s needs an opponent her mother. The better stories goals and opponents extend further than just the hero and opponent. Some writer only bothers with hero. But you did a great job of creating rounded characters.


I like the beginning and what you've guys have done, a lot actually. All of my suggests are just icing on the cake type things, but I feel you definitly have every necessary element from what I can tell. Looking forward to the rest.



Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee..."
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MacDuff
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Hey Busy Little Bee,

Thanks so much for reading through this. You've brought up some interesting points.

Jake's morals is a good thing to bring up. I'm still working on him as a fully-fledged character. Most of his character is based upon his time in jail, but a lot needs to be added that reflects who he was before he went there.

It will be interesting to see what you think about the tone and pacing through the 2nd Act and into the third. Also, the character developments too... I'd like to hear your thoughts.

You've hit on many things that we had in mind about style, pace, conflict and character - which is a good thing as you seem to like them.

Thanks!
Stewart


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Busy Little Bee
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Hope Falls

I made many of remarks while reading as appose to summarizing, hope it’s coherent.


Act II

The revelation and decision continue with Jake calling Doc Gordon, which makes the parasites a new revelation for the Doc. When Jake decides he wants to alert the community or someone, Doc Gordon quickly suggest otherwise, and because of what happened before with Buddy we know Gordon’s motives, motives are also important along with goal.


Love this scene between Jake and Buddy, their first encounter. Remember when I mentioned how important that first impression is between characters because it establishes a precedent for that relationship. Again I have to mention how happy I am that Buddy comes with this indirect approach, I mean he’s threatening Jake just as his brother did, but if it was more direct rather than the “roof accident” it would have been more of the same in just two characters, and quite repetitive. But this is great.


Wouldn’t there be blood at the school? Wouldn’t someone see it and alert Buddy?
I also would of like if Jake had called Sara, I mean even though, Doc Gordon said not to tell, Jake could of called to see if everything was alright, and make sure she keeps an eye on her daughter. This would cause greater cause for Sara to be strict with her daughter, her motive. Of course she wouldn’t have any explanation for Becky, so Becky would be really upset and this could lead to her sneaking out, which would create suspense because we know what’s out their, but she nor her mother does.


I see you went with the drug argument, this is the scene where prior or during the fight Jake calls. And just ask Sara to be careful.

More good dialogue between Becky and Tom, I’m not surprised. There’s a reason they say that all it takes is the first ten pages in order to know what your dealing with here. And since the beginning you’ve shown to have a handle on insinuations, metaphors (subtext).


It’s weird while I was reading the part were Doc was explaining the parasites I found myself getting closer to the screen, lol. I was like OK you back up now.


I think their should be an argument between Doc and Jake about the Doc not warning anybody, but if you continue as you have Sara should argue with both men for not telling anybody when they knew something was wrong.


Great revelation with the daughter, I see why you held onto it. Discard what I said before, while a good suggestion I made, I see you did it for a reason and a good one at that. Why change what’s not broken. It’s also one of the biggest on for Jake our main character. I still think that Sara should argue with the Jake and Doc about not telling anybody. Than the daughter calls, and she mentions it to Jake along with the knowledge he understands that he should have been more active. With argument before it will be something that goes unsaid by the characters but understood with audience that he knows he was wrong and his decision to be more active.

I like this frantic action, the use of the cross cutting between scenes offering action, drama, horror.

The pacing is good here, where before we had people getting killed that little established relationship to our main characters, now friends and family are getting killed which adds an immediate pending danger for major characters.


One the best techniques of the horror, usually used toward the end, is when what people think is the safest place to be turns out to be the worse and most frightening. In Carrie, you have Prom and home, in 28 Days Later you have the manor that promises sanctuary. Here there’s the gymnasium, which harbors the nesting place of the parasites.


I also like how in the Fair sequence that you didn’t just jump to people running out of area after Tom’s announcement, but you personalized the attack scene with the maze, than the haunter/mirror house with the friends before the initial panic. It’s the difference between saying there’s war going on, and zooming in to one or two incidents within the war, zooming back out again and the audience even more than if it had gone with out that, that sense of horror...


I’m considering asking the “Script Club” to consider going over this script, even though we’ve already done a horror.





Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee..."
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MacDuff
Posted: August 20th, 2008, 2:47pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you so much for the updates. I'm taking everything you say into consideration.

I especially like the idea of more friction between Jake and Sara, especially how she does not react to JAke and the Doc not telling people about the parasites... I'll definitely have to look into that.

Keep it coming!



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Electric Dreamer
Posted: May 3rd, 2011, 11:30am Report to Moderator
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Hello Stewart,

I got whiff of this script over on Babz's thread, so I opened it up.
First off, I'm a fan of Critters, Tremors and even Eight Legged Freaks some.
So, this kind of corn fed cheese ball action sci-fi is right up my alley.

I read the first third, 38 pages, this morning and will continue as work allows.
Your pages ready very smooth and you keep the action beats thumping.
My main criticism so far is that everything feels too familiar.
There's nothing, so far, to set this apart from its predecessors.
And there should be something, you even got a hint of Jaws in there.
The corrupt town official keeping the lid on events for personal gain, etc.
Too Spielbergian a trope for its own good, Dante's Peak used that too.

The little pink footsteps were great, I want more of that kind of natural humor.
I want to say that was right out of Critters, but I could be wrong.
Still, it was a great beat, helped swallow the blow torch set up nicely.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Waiting for when the army trucks figure back into things, etc.
Would've liked more tension with Jake and Sara.
You've got efficient plot set ups and character intros.  Good flow all around.

Regards,
E.D.


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MacDuff
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Thanks for the feedback!

I've just realized this is an old version of the script. I'm in the process of asking Don to to update it. There have been quite a few changes since this version.

I really appreciate the read. I'm not sure if you want to wait until the next version is up or continue with this one.

Thanks again,
Stewart


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: May 3rd, 2011, 12:55pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from MacDuff
Thanks for the feedback!
I've just realized this is an old version of the script. I'm in the process of asking Don to to update it. There have been quite a few changes since this version.

I really appreciate the read. I'm not sure if you want to wait until the next version is up or continue with this one.

Thanks again,
Stewart

Hey Stewart,

If you think of it, please drop me a PM when the new version is available. Thanks.

E.D.



LATEST NEWS

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MacDuff
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 8:00pm Report to Moderator
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New Version of Hope Falls is up (Thanks, Don).

We would appreciate any feedback. This has been a fun re-write but a difficult script to write as it can come across as a 'tired' genre. We've focused on character depth and subplots.

thanks all,
Stew


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: May 17th, 2011, 11:02am Report to Moderator
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Hey Stew,

I read the first 40 pages of the new draft this morning.
For a moment, I thought it was the old draft, having the same page count and all.

I only read through the first 40 of the previous draft.
To be honest, I enjoyed the previous draft more.
Sure, it was almost too familiar at times, emulating its predecessors.
But it moved at a decent clip and Jake was the central focus.
I like that the meteor hit as Jake was coming to town in the opener.
You got right down to business with a good grabber.
This new draft doesn't have a strong opener like that.

The first fourteen pages read like a struggling small town melodrama.
There's hints of corruption and economical woes.
It feels like that's the focus of the story now.
There's very little of Jake in the first fifteen pages.
I liked the familiar aborted bar fight, that's gone now.
And it's a bummer talking about this old manslaughter rap.
He was imprisoned for manslaughter, I think he'd have a realtor sell the place.

I liked the longer action scene with the alien footprints in the pink paint.
Stuff like that was clever, I recall more small town humor before too.

The meteor blows up a barn when it first hits in this draft.
It makes no sense the authorities don't get involved then.
Rusty should be calling the authorities right then so his cabin doesn't burn.
When it crashed somewhere in the woods it made more sense and was cheaper.

This first forty pages doesn't feel as nearly as fast paced or as fun.
And why is Jake fat and messy now in the opener? i don't recall that.

I'm interested to see where you take this.
But I'm also curious about why you changed so much and there's no doctor now.
It feels like a much different script now.

I'll continue the script as my schedule allows.

Regards,
E.D.



LATEST NEWS

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MacDuff
Posted: May 17th, 2011, 4:26pm Report to Moderator
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Hey ED,

Thank you for the review. I appreciate the honesty. It's good you were able to compare the two versions.

Let me know how the rest of the script reads. The first act was a challenge. We made some subtle (and not-too-subtle) changes to the setup and turning points. You've brought up some good points that we will definitely need to take away for a rewrite.

One point - Jake isn't meant to be fat or messy in the rewrite. We may have miss-informed the reader, I'll look into his character again.

Thanks!

Stew


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: May 17th, 2011, 4:58pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from MacDuff
Hey ED,

Thank you for the review. I appreciate the honesty. It's good you were able to compare the two versions.

One point - Jake isn't meant to be fat or messy in the rewrite. We may have miss-informed the reader, I'll look into his character again.

Thanks!

Stew


Hey Stew,

Thanks for the quick reply.
Yeah, you describe Jake in the opening line as "husky and unkempt."
If you want to throw me the previous draft to compare and contrast, go ahead.
You can e-mail it to me through here.

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: May 18th, 2011, 10:51am Report to Moderator
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Stew,

I read pages 38 - 76 this morning.
Your pages are constructed well enough, format doesn't trip up the read.
However, I didn't have a lot of fun with the mid section of the script.
It seems all the humor has been drained from the story.
The barn set piece is gone and replaced with a more random crater discovery.
I enjoyed the sequence where Jake found the crater in the barn.
The blow torch affair with the paint trails, all that was fun.

I think what makes Critters and Tremors fun is fun characters.
Down to earth folks in otherworldly situations reacting with their homespun skill set.
Joe and Agatha had a nice talky lead in to their demise.
And that characterization made Joe's arm getting blown off less shocking.
Now, it just plays plain gruesome, instead of dark humor.

I'm guessing the weapons deal will unintentionally arm the town to retaliate?
Big coincidence that high powered weapons are available in their hour of need.
Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems to be the direction you're going.

I'm guessing you turned the tone of this rewrite more serious for a reason.
But for me, it's lost a lot of the color I enjoyed in the previous read.
Some set pieces may help things out too.
Action sequences in uniquely small town setting could be a boost.

p. 49 Jake wants to take Sara and leave town. What?
        Your protag basically gave the entire town the middle finger there. Ouch.

p. 62 I like the baseball metaphor for foreplay. I want more of this characterization.
        Becky could even say "foul ball" when the glass breaks.
        This kind of humanity and natural humor the script could use more of.

I'm interested to see where you take the third act.
Hope these notes help, keep writing and rewriting!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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MacDuff
Posted: May 18th, 2011, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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These are great notes. I'm worried now that we've toned it down too much. I got a lot of positive reviews with the last draft and we may have skewered the feel of the script by addressing some weaknesses in the earlier draft.

I'll definitely send you the prior draft.

Thanks again for the read.

Stew


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