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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2008 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - The darkness of Todd and Tom
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  Author    OWC - The darkness of Todd and Tom  (currently 1402 views)
Don
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 11:29am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Darkness of Todd and Tom, The by Michael Burns (walford) - Short, Young Adult, Horror - Todd and Tom swap one darkness for another and retribution is theirs for the taking. 13 pages - pdf, format


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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Don  -  October 31st, 2008, 9:05am
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GM
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 11:48am Report to Moderator
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Hey Grumpy,

SPOILERS!!

I enjoyed the whole darkness thing going on with the vampires and the blind boys. What I see as a problem is the blind boys. I didn't get that they were blind. You should put in more actions that will convince the reader that they are blind.

Some of the dialgoue needs a bit more work such as on page 8 where Tom addresses his mom. Wouldn't it be better to simply say "yeah" or "mom" to let the mom know it is one of them? It's a bit nitpick but these small things affect the overall script.

All in all, good job; it just needs a bit more work.

Mr. R.

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GM  -  October 19th, 2008, 12:02pm
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BryMo
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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Right off the bat i have to say i like your title. lol

The relationship between the brothers is so genuine, its spot on.

Your headings in the descriptions aren't exactly correct. I also would've like to know what they(the characters) were doing the beginning of each scene before the dialogue initiated too. But i can understand why there's no description after the heading, too little space.

But who exactly is getting hoaxed? The theme, from i took it, was supposed to feature others being hoaxed, and two characters knowing the truth. For me, a small problem is i wish maybe some of the holding Todd and Tom prisoner thing went on for a little too long. Maybe have the vampires attack some of the town, then have Todd stop them in between... and THATS WHEN he gives his life to save the town.

Also i guess the ending is open to interpretation also. Are they vampires? I would imagine. Not a lot of things were crystal clear for me. But this was still a fun story.

Good job!

-Bryan.


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No Place Like Home
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BryMo
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 11:56am Report to Moderator
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One more thing that i COMPLETELY ignored. What kind of mother would let two BLIND 12 year olds alone on halloween? The mother should've been bitten. Also it should've been made more clear by you that they were blind. Becuase the opening sequence really didn't set that up. I was surprised when the one vamp said they were blind.


Shorts:
Good Golly Miss Molly
No Place Like Home
New Moon Rising
Yuno - BRAND-*SPANKIN*-NEW!
The Ballad of Uncle Sam: An Anarchists Melody
Toy Soldier
This Modern Love
A Virgin State of Mind

A GUIDE TO MY LITERARY BABIES
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dogglebe
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 1:36pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILER SPACE


The blindness thing was a problem for me as well.  I wasn't convinced that the kids were blind as Mom would just let them run off and go trick-or-treating in a rural area.

Another problem I had was why vampires would want to turn blind children.  It reminded me of the problem in the Anne Rice book with turning a 12 year old girl.  She would forever be a child, much like the twins.  Being blind would only create more problems.

I did like how they compared their versions of blindness.  This would be an interesting conversation under different circumstances.  It was rushed here.  I think writing a similar script, where you have the time to flesh it out properly, would be a good move.


Phil
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MBCgirl
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 2:16pm Report to Moderator
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I could see that the mom was tired of dealing with her two blind sons...she was a miserable woman, who in the end was sitting alone staring with nothing but a blue screen on her TV....

Todd and Tom's relationship was believeable...Todd being the one in charge and the caregiver to Tom...

I personally liked the blind apect, but maybe it could have been in a different setting to make it more believable...it is a little hard to grasp on  a road leading to town...plus if the boys would have smelled the "dead smell" in a populated area...it could have had a more interesting set up for the vampires finding them...

Over all, this is the best short I have read, so far (my 4th).

British as well, I'm thinking with "mum"   

~m~


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When people and places come to life...that to me is exciting.


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Dreamscale
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
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Overall, this is one of the best for me so far.  There are numerous mistakes throughout, but a few more edits and time would do away with them.  Big problem was on page 8 or 9 when the boys are on the phone with their "mum"...her dialogue should be "VO".

I like the strory here though.  It's different and for the most part, well done.  Great play on darkness.  Great visuals with the initial vamp entry in the trees.  Some good horror here, but I think it's a bit dark for a YA genre.

For your ending, I'd change the 5 years later time frame to much sooner...maybe even that same night.  The mum is a complete and utter bitch and needs to die a horrific death.

Overall, good effort on short time frame!


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stebrown
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 8:10pm Report to Moderator
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Good concept and very good title. You have a great idea for a short script here but it was badly let down in the execution.

Firstly, there was no mention of them being blind for the first half of your script. Why? It felt like you got that idea half way through and forgot to change the beginning to make it fit.

The dialogue is so on the nose that it was funny in parts. I don't mean that in a nasty way but some of it read like a spoof. Kind of like how the Simpsons sometimes has deliberate exposition to make a joke out of it.

I think if you had Scissors offer to give them their sight back that would make it a bit more believeable. As it is now, I can't see them willingly becoming vampires.

Marie having her head ripped off was a bit out of the blue. A bit harsh don't you think? Also, why does Scissors like these two so much? What happened the other times that they came, as his dialogue suggested this was a regular thing they did.

Look forward to reading a rewrite.

Oh, ps, spellcheck and fix the slug-lines.


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pwhitcroft
Posted: October 20th, 2008, 7:24pm Report to Moderator
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There’s definitely a strong idea here. The darkness theme is good and you’ve got an intriguing moral dilemma.

There are sequences in this that are almost entirely dialog back and forth between the leads. Sometimes it feels like they are not saying much of substance and the story isn’t moving along.

Scissors seems to become quite nice and chatty as this continues. It might be better to have some else do that talking or have him speak less because he’s your main bad guy so it could be better if he stays scary.


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mcornetto
Posted: October 23rd, 2008, 2:46pm Report to Moderator
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Really good concept here.  I loved the comparison between the blind kids and the vampires - good thinking.  A couple of things...

I think you need to tell us they are blind right at the beginning.  You will increase suspense that way.

I sort of understand why the mother does not accompany them on their journey but it comes off as unlikely.  I think she needs to waver on the matter and give a better reason than I have my own life.  Or maybe they could insist on going alone because they don't need help.

I think instead of tempting them with power, scissors should tempt them with sight.  How would they like to see in the darkness - or something like that.  
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mythos
Posted: October 24th, 2008, 9:55pm Report to Moderator
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I really like your concept and the connection drawn between the kids and the vampires – good twist! I also like the way you’ve drawn Scissors as a polite psychopath. Marie’s head was a bit sudden, but then again, Scissors is that kind of guy.

Revealing that the kids are blind when you do, works well, except for the dialog on page 4, [Tom: Where are you? Todd: Just in front of you.] You might want to either drop this exchange, or reveal earlier that they’re blind. This dialog was a speed-bump for me. I’m guessing you intended it as a set-up, but it's confusing.

Some of the suggestions others have provided you that appealed to me:

•  Consider having Scissors offer to restore their sight if they turn vampire.
•  Perhaps tell us early that the kids are blind as a way to build greater drama.
•  Maybe kids insist to their mother that they go on their own.
•  Significantly reduce timeframe of the kids’ return.

Also, some minor matters to consider:

•  Watch “ing” endings.
•  Consider caps for sound words e.g. growling; slams; screams.
•  Punctuation/word usage e.g. we’re, not where’re (especially distracting as appears in opening and closing dialog).

Very creative!


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Zombie Sean
Posted: October 25th, 2008, 7:47am Report to Moderator
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I'm not sure I enjoyed this one too much. I almost stopped halfway because of the spelling and grammar issues (especially when 'were' was spelled as 'where'). I felt as though the dialogue wasn't too real, especially with the mom. Yeah, she was miserable, it seems, but the way she talked didn't seem real, along with Tom and Todd. And then there's the question that I'm sure everyone has been asking: why did the mom let two blind kids out on Halloween? Unless they know the entire town by heart, I don't think even a miserable woman like their mom would do that, even if she's sick and tired of them.

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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 27th, 2008, 7:28pm Report to Moderator
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I think you've got an interesting logline and premise here. The execution isn't quite what it should be though.

I'll say first that the mother's character came off as too over the top nasty. Right off the back I was thinking "Whoah yeah! Cut the kids some slack!" I was wondering why she was such a loser? Well, actually, I was thinking that it didn't seem real to me, but the thing is: I think you could make this work, but I think you might have to intrude as an author a little in order to tell the story.

Perhaps show her as truly plastered and uncaring. Maybe don't use the dialogue with her so much as just show her as completely uninvolved with the boys.

You should note that I had no idea that the boys were blind at first, this would be obvious on film; so you need to write it in I think, or hint at it at least.

Although I feel that this came off as weak, I like the underlining theme that you are working with. The later parts of this seemed stronger to me-- with Scissors talking. Did you write these parts first?

The ending felt tacked on and unnecessary with the five years later business.

Sandra




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bobtheballa
Posted: October 28th, 2008, 12:08am Report to Moderator
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I really liked this one, with the biggest problem being that it felt like you didn't read through it after you finished (ran out of time?) and that there were a lot of typos that should've been easily caught.

Most of my complaints echo what everyone else has said... why would the mom send her sons out seconds after complaining that they don't appreciate how much she has cared for them over the years, not to mention the blindness aspect, which could have been revealed or atleast alluded to earlier.

I really liked the dialogue at the end between the vampires (I think... they could have been described a little better when introduced) and the kids' dialogue in general, though the mom's could use some work. Overall a nice script, very enjoyable, and should be even better with a few rewrites.
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walford
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Mr. Ripley
Thanks for your comments, everyone seemed to have a problem with the blind boys not being identified up front.  I guess I was trying to have the boys being at their most vulnerable at the same time as the threat was at its highest.  I left some clues to their blindness leading up this point (action and dialogue) which didn’t seem to help the understanding nor the overall script. Yes and some of the dialogue was a cheesy and could have been better written. Thanks again for your comments.

BryMo
Yes the title was hard to come up with, and I was hoping it was not too dark!
Actions after the headings do need more work (good point)

Couldn’t get the hoax into the story (complete failure)

I was going to have the vampires attack the town but I thought it may have been a bit too bloody for the age group. Yes they are vampires at the end.  I tried to make mother as bad and uncaring as possible but it didn’t really work that well.  Thank you very much for your comments.

dogglebe
Yes you are right the whole thing was rushed as I wanted to enter the OWC but couldn’t come up with a reasonable story line for about 3 days.  Although I had thought as you did about the turning of children by vampires and Ann Rice’s books as the bibles of vampire etiquette I needed to turn the children to save the town.  One idea I had was to have the vampire character being their long lost father and hence he wanted them to joint him because the mother was not a good mother and he could offer them something. But I ran out of time to fully explore this. Thank you for your comments.

MBCgirl
Thank you for all your positive comments.  
I guess it was set in a rural type area, hence the mother let them go out alone and the smells of the neighbourhood were sort of familiar to them. I didn’t set this up very well at all and hence it didn’t work.  Thanks again for your comments.

Dreamscale
Yes , the phone should have been VO and yes the mistakes were numerous.  I found it hard to come to the definitive level of horror for the age group involved.  The ending could have been on the same night as they were turned but for no real reason I put 5 years down the track. I guess it showed to some degree that they had been successful as vampires without her.  Thank you for your comments you have made some excellent points.

stebrown
See Mr R response above re blindness delay.
The children were always going to be blind and they were also going to be telepathic as well. (hence the identical twins).  I didn’t have enough time to work the telepathic aspect in.  I tried to make the boys very vulnerable yet be able to take on a group of vampires. They had to be able to save the situation in a non physical way.  My original idea was to have the vampires present them with a challenge in order to save the town and the boys outsmart the vampires because of their smell and hearing abilities as well as the telepathic aspect. But couldn’t get it to work in the timeframe.

Good point about the vampire giving the sight back, but dropped it as being too obvious. Then forgot about it in the final read. But would it be enough to turn them?
The vampire was going to be their long lost father hence he liked them, but I took it out.  I relied on the fact that they were similar due to their hearing and slight abilities. But you are right in the final wash up it wasn’t strong enough. Thanks for your feedback.

pwhitcroft
The vampire is way too chatty for my liking as well. Your point about having someone else do some talking is a good point, as the vampire turns from major threat to career counsellor in the space of a few minutes.   The boys being blind necessitated the continuing dialogue between them as they talked or described things around them. Thanks for read and your comments.

mcornetto
You’re right the mother and the setup needs more work to make it truly believable.  The boys insisting they go alone is a good suggestion, but hey had to come back to get her in the end and they needed to be pushed out of the house at the start by a really bad mother. Thanks for your comments and positive feedback.

mythos
The blindness setup provided some headaches with the dialogue especially as many didn’t pick they were blind yet their actions had to be real.  All of comments are great and provide some good ideas about how to better construct the story.  Yes spelling and grammar are issues for me.  Thanks for your comments and positive take on the story.

Zombie Sean
Your comments are spot on. One of the reasons I started writing was to try and overcome my dyslexia. Spelling and grammar are the death of any writing and my visual ideas that I try to convey onto paper suffer constantly.  This is my second script and I didn’t focus on the spelling and grammar, but rather the story. I make no excuses the mistakes (were and where) shit. Yes the dialogue at times failed to fully convey the story and the character.  I shall push on.  Thanks for comments, good response.

Sandra E.
You are right the set up with the mother needs lots of work.  Nobody seemed to buy the fact that she would let go out alone.  I like your suggestion about using her actions rather than the dialogue.  There was a number of hints in both the dialogue and actions that indicated something wasn’t quite right with the boys but it didn’t work for most.
No the end of the story was the end and written at the end.  The last scene was tacked on as I felt it needed something to ’finish it’ with the mother.  Couldn’t think of anything better at the time. Thank you for comments they helped a lot.

bobtheballa
You are right I didn’t read it through enough times to catch the problems.
See previous comments re blindness.  I’m not sure about a rewrite?  The description of the vampires I tried to kept to a minimum without overdoing it. But you are right it wasn’t as good as it could have been. Thanks for comments and the read.

CHEERS WALFORD
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