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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  Lakeshore Manor Moderators: bert
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  Author    Lakeshore Manor  (currently 5542 views)
Don
Posted: July 22nd, 2008, 11:03pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Lakeshore Manor by Stewart Wadwell & Shawn Buffington - Horror - A group of college students are stranded at a haunted manor run by a villainous family. 118 pages  Finalist - Slamdance Horror Competition 2007. - pdf, format


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MacDuff
Posted: July 23rd, 2008, 10:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hi all,

Here is another feature of mine. I had help with the last few drafts after Shawn, a fellow screenwriter, took interest in the characters and premise. He really spiced up the characters and helped flesh out the 3rd Act.

We entered it into last year's Slamdance Horror Competition and was a finalist. So close, yet so far.

I like it. It's a nice blend of genres and that's what I had intended when the idea was fleshed out.

Enjoy,
Stew


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Busy Little Bee
Posted: July 25th, 2008, 7:10pm Report to Moderator
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Here we GO!!!

  First, Iíd like to say congratulation on your finalist spot in the Slamdance Horror Competition. I felt this story open well with our four college students who for the most part came of as well-rounded characters. Our main character has a clear desire line to free the spirits of the little girls from the house. I think the best job of the entire story is giving your main character Kelly something to learn from this ordeal she goes through, which is always good in any story, particularly horrors though because for some reason itís a neglected piece. I thought Kellyís own haunting ghost worked well with her current ordeal because all girls were drowned, it made sense for her character to go through this. The third act was a rush of action going with the best and grosses part the death of the Sheriff. I also liked when Sebastian gave that last ditch effort to bursting through the door I felt it gave him a redeeming quality much needed as I felt he was the worse of the four characters. Because he gives this repetitive beat between him and Kelly where he doesnít believe her, which isnít entirely his fault again they have little to chew on.


  The horror story offers some problems up front like a hero that learns nothing in the end, which you covered, but thereís also repetitive killing, opponent with limited attack and thus limited plot. I think even though Kelly has a goal the plot wears thin because the opponent is out in the open, which leaves little surprise for Kelly or audience. Surprise being the revelation with the revelation gives the characters and Sebastian something to chew on, new information. Itís interesting because I think by trying to avoid one pitfall you fell into another.


  Usually horror characters are acted upon but you sought to remedy that making this a investigation too. But you have to understand that horror has one crucial beat and thatís the scare, which you eliminated by having Kelly leave the house essentially the place where the scare/attack could happen via the crazy family or the ghost. This is a big sacrifice for little payoff because only the opponent can create plot, and unless it turns out that the Sheriff or someone outside that manor is the real opponent thereís nothing of value for Kelly to venture out to. Her running into the Sheriff and the office lady tells us something we already know how creepy the manor house is we get it. It would be find to have this if you threw in something new along with it but I just didnít see nor feel it. The best way to fix this is to have Kelly figure things out while still in the present of immediate danger that entails her snooping in or around the house/manor.


Continued...


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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Busy Little Bee
Posted: July 25th, 2008, 7:13pm Report to Moderator
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  Now, if you still want the present of the Sheriff a, and that great death scene of his, and donít want him appearing out of left field. You could easily have him drive by the manor, see the skid marks left by the group of college students car, and on to the cafť where he asks the waitress about anyone staying at the old manor. Showing her obvious concern, and the Sheriffs indifference. Then thereís this underlining suspense to whether heíll go check it out.


  I also found it fascinating how you had created just the right opponents and circumstances and missed the mark on how to create plot. You have the group of students vs. the crazed family thatís clear, and then also have the crazed family vs. the ghosts. But also you have the crazed family with desire of there own which is to use Kellyís gift for there own needs via get rid of the girls ghost. Given that wouldnít it make more sense of for them rather than playing up how bizarre and crazy they are they play it cool as they can, and convince the students that the place is haunted and they need the students help.

  This way the audience nor Kelly will know who the true opponent is, because the ghost will attack the family because of what happened, but the audience will only see the attack and assume that their just bad ghost, and when the ghosts try to seek help from the students itíll look like the ghost are just attacking them. Then when the Kelly decides to investigate around the house, and help via the ghosts revelation the ghosts arenít trying to hurt them their trying to warn them, revelation the crazed family is responsible for the death of Nat where before it was just assumed that the ghost did it, revelation how the crazed family killed the girls. This amp up Kellyís personal ghost with her sister.
  
  Plus all this scheme and deceit gives subtext to the entire story. Also creates another argument between Sebastian first he argues the ghost donít exist, now you bring an new beat because he believes they exist a lot sooner with the attacks, so, when Kelly believes the ghost are trying to help them, and need their help Sebastian can argue against that saying they tried to kill us, they killed Nat.

Again, congrats on you're placing, and being able to collab with another author. I think that is a skill as well.

Thanks, BLB


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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ABennettWriter
Posted: July 25th, 2008, 10:15pm Report to Moderator
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I haven't read the script and I can't promise that I can't, but "Lakeshore Manor" sounds sooooooooooooooo (times a million trillion thousand bajillion) generic.

Couldn't a villainous family come up with a more sinister name?
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screenplay_novice
Posted: July 26th, 2008, 6:12am Report to Moderator
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The structuring of the story was excellent! The script had a very easy flow. I read it from beginning to end in one sitting. Horror scripts are hard to write because it's so hard to come up with anything original. Not so here! The idea of a homicidal family (like in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre) played very well.

I liked the fact that the story took place in an out of the way, near secluded area. It added angst to the script. Also, the spirits of the little girls helped move the story along.

But what I really liked was how the character of Kelly had to help the spirits of the little girls move on by finding their corpses, thus ending her feelings of guilt over her own sisters drowning

I liked the script. It was an enjoyable read! And congrats! it being picked as a finalist is deserved.

Jerry  


If you can't beat 'em, then get yourself a bigger stick!
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MacDuff
Posted: July 26th, 2008, 1:34pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, folks.

Spoilers...

BLB - Thank your for the insight! You hit upon 2 issues that I agree with. The issue the family being crazy instead of playing it cool did cross our minds. I think it could work with them playing it straight, but we felt like we wanted this off-kiltered sort of family from the get go. This is something we will definitely have to think over. The second issue is Sebastian. He is a bit of a flat character that has a lot of shift/momentum in the 3rd act only. This is something we also need to remedy. I'm happy you picked up on those. Thanks!

jerrynoe_71 - Thanks for the reading. I'm glad you were able to get through it in a single sitting - that's a good sign. And I'm really glad you picked up on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre comparisons, because they were definitely an inspiration for the family. I'm glad you liked Kelly. She was a hard character to flesh out, especially her goals and the overall theme of the script. Thanks!

ABSteel - haha. I like the title. The thing is, the family wasn't always villainous and there was a time in their lives when the manor ran true, with lots of customers every season.


Thanks again.
Stew


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