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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2010 One Week Challenge  ›  Inner Demons - OWC
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  Author    Inner Demons - OWC  (currently 3379 views)
Posted: October 16th, 2010, 10:36pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Inner Demons by Mario Perrotta (coldsnap) - Short, Horror - A pair of ghost hunters encounter a strange presence inside an old house, prompting one of them to take a drastic step to rid the house of this presence. - pdf, format

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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  October 17th, 2010, 1:59pm
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Posted: October 16th, 2010, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Okay, Mario. First things first. Congrats on doing the OWC.

First thing I notice is the title page. The title says Inner Demons while the submission thread says only 'Demons'. I chose to read this one simply because while I know your script won't involve demonic masks in the rundown movie theater (a Dario Argento nod there) I think as far as the OWC guides go, a good ol' fashioned exorcism is too good to pass up.

While I found the script to have loads of long chit-chat, I was fine by this. The tone is set, and as a horror it's not too bad. While I'm somewhat...on the fence when it comes to "video feed" type scenes - but if you wanted the doc feel to it, that's good. Personally, I don't give a rip about the "Ghost Hunters" type shows because they get too sensational. But they are popular. That's not an excuse for camera angles. Even before then, I'm seeing things "in frame". It's a fine line to walk, and normally, I would consider moving on to something else.

However, the OWC's this time are for a non-comp (although some folks might consider the iScript table read a prize)- and this could serve as an excercise of do's and don'ts. Practice makes better writing.

I felt the characters, (esp. Emily) were there even if there's a mouthful to say for all involved. It slows it down a bit, I wanted this piece to get on with it. Again, I also didn't mind the doc like feel.

The grammar and spelling needs work, and then there's "the night is dark". It's not needed. It's clearly understood. That's like writing that ice cubes are cold. I'm also noticing the top and bottom margins, and the lack of white space here. Looks crammed in places.

That all said, you nailed the challenge requirements which is more than I can say than others.

Keep writing and good luck


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 1:28am Report to Moderator
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I kinda liked this one.  It defintely had a "creepy" factor.  I think it'd make an interesting little film.   Congrats on completing an entry for the challenge.

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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2010, 10:28am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Congrats on completing the one week challenge!
I think you nailed every aspect of the rules!
That's a lot more than I can say for several of the entries.

That being said, I like the type of story you are going for, but this does not work for me.
There is so much time spent talking about the past, I'd rather things happen.
Let the action tell your story as opposed to talking heads delivering all the plot.
The only action here is the priest entering, then carrying the chair out.

I do like the ghost hunters and documentary style imagery.
I think if this story had more movement and less exposition, it would work better.
Thanks for the read and good luck with your work!



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

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 11:29am Report to Moderator

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Thanks for the input, guys. I'm new to the forum. I've been writing scripts on and off for a few years now, thought I'd give this challenge thing a shot. The subject seemed right up my alley.

DarrenJamesSeeley, yeah the title is Inner Demons, but for some reason it was posted up as just Demons.

Now that I read it over, it does seem kind of chatty. I guess I come from the Kevin Smith/Brian Bendis/Joss Whedon school of screenwriting, where their characters often tend to orate quite a bit. I also come from a prose background, and I guess the rules of that format creep into my screenwriting from time to time, being unnecessarily verbose when, as Electric Dreamer stated, the action should tell the story instead of the dialogue. In most cases less is definitely more.

Again, thanks for the input guys, this is what I needed. Keep it coming.

- Mario

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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 1:09pm Report to Moderator
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I don't know of you, and have never seen you around the boards... But you write very clear.  I enjoyed the script, actually.  Your exchanges between the Father and Emily were nicely done and paced pretty well.  Yes, it became preachy and Emily had way too many blocks of dialog that went on and on, but it works.  

This is a well written piece for 7 days time.  It's not perfect, but not bad.  There is a story here.
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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 1:40pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with Balt that you have very clear writing and good pacing.  This was a good story with well developed characters.

I also agree that your dialog and descriptions run way too long.  If you were to trim the fat on this script, you'd be able to cut a page to a page and a half from this without affecting the story.

You wrote:

A man (50ís) steps out of the car. Wearing a long black coat. Matching black fedora hat. Eyes solemn. He pulls his collar up from the biting chill of the rain. This is FATHER FRANCIS LONDON.

He stands there a moment. Staring up at the decayed house. At the weeds and branches winding around it in some macabre embrace.

This could be cut to:

FATHER FRANCIS LONDON (50) steps from his car.  He holds tightly to the collar of his black coat as rain pour off his fedora.  He looks solemly at the house

When you introduce a character, just tell us his name outright.  Doing it the way you did (and a lot of others do) is just a waste of space.  Some descriptions are unnecessary.  You don't need to tell us that his hat and coat are black; it's a given.  You described the overgrown yard a paragraph or two early.

My modified script is half the length of yours (word wise).  In the actual script, I just trimmed six lines from the page.

Your dialog was also on-the-nose.  You explained things to us through the dialog and it came off as forced an unnatural (another common problem with writers).

You wrote:

Iíve heard the stories. Some
say he was possessed by demons,
in a futile attempt to explain
how he did the things he did
while confined to a wheelchair.
A very weak theory, even by
Church standards.

Could be rewritten as:

I've heard stories.  Demon possession
used to explain his actions.  Weak,
even by Church standards.

Four lines off the page.

People, for the most part, do not talk in in correct and proper English, unless they're lecturing behind a podium.  And they don't talk as if they're reading from an encyclopedia.  By including these 'imperfections of speech,' you tell us as much about the characters as their actions.

I noticed several orphans in your script.  These are lines on the page that consist of just one or two words.  Try to avoid these.  Do a little rewording if you have to.  Avoid progressing verbs (verbs that end in -ing).

Again, this was a good story and you told it well.

Welcome to the boards.

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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


Over there.
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Quoted from DB
When you introduce a character, just tell us his name outright.  Doing it the way you did (and a lot of others do) is just a waste of space.  Some descriptions are unnecessary.  You don't need to tell us that his hat and coat are black; it's a given.  You described the overgrown yard a paragraph or two early.

I disagree here. I think the way it's put is more interesting as is. It's not a given, not these days. In a horror script, as in any other, it's important that the tension comes across. It's not merely a functional shooting script: it's a screenplay. It's supposed to read well, not just be a cold set of instructions. Er, here endeth the lesson.

M/C, Sorry to hijack the thread. Note to Mods: When I get to read this tomorrow sober and not tired I'll come back to edit with a review. Okay? Okay...

R xo

Out Of Character - updated

New Used Car


Right Back

The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 2:32pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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This was good.  Liked the idea of using ghost hunters and the backstory, though a little chatty, was eerie and well done.  The concluding shot of the recording video camera for some reason was the pinnacle of the script for me as it was both spooky and effective.  Reminded me of those videos you sometimes see of people claiming to see ghosts and stuff.  It worked good.  I think some of the chatter could be cut down a bit and we could get into the action sooner, but overall this was solid.

Nice work.


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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 2:38pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


New York
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Hello Mario


Nice entry. Exorcism/Blairwitch project. Never would have thought of that. You build great suspense. Some of the dialgoue can be cut down as phil demonstrated. I enjoyed your prose.

Hope this helps,
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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Definately in my top 5. Others have already mentioned the heavy dialogue, so I won't repeat it. As for the prose, I'm with RV, leave it in. To me, it adds to the experience. I thought the descriptions were spot on. No problem visualising anything.

Nice job.
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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 4:00pm Report to Moderator
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You say you're new here? Well welcome aboard and nice job. Is this the first script you have written?

I like this as well. A bit wordy in places. Also Phil did gives some good advice regarding structure. Look forward to seeing more work from you.

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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 4:19pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Hi Mario, I loved the atmosphere you created in this - very eerie.  The characters were strong & the story good, but I do agree with several of the others with regards to the dialogue.  If I were you, i'd follow Phil's great example & trim it back a little.

I'd also have liked a little more to happen in the ending.  Rather than just have a drawer fly open & a floorboard collapse, go for broke!  Have all kinds of scary shit happen and terrify the characters, making them want to get the hell out of the house as soon as possible.

Having said that, I really liked the final scene with the video camera - very creepy.  Well done!
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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 7:28pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Hi Mario. Nice script to open up your SS life!

It had that Excorcist feel about it as someone mentioned above. Very atmospheric writing.
I would cut back on the descriptions - actually, a lot of the entries have over-described the actual houses used - we all know thats gonna be the setting so basic is good IMO.

Your dialogue could be made less blocky by breaking it with action lines.

Perhaps the dialogue on the vid could be written as (V.O)? ON VIDEO is ok, whatever works I guess.

Overall, i liked this, it met all the requirements, so well done


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Posted: October 17th, 2010, 7:43pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Hey Mario, congrats on completing an OWC script, and welcome to SS!

Like others have said, there are numerous issues going on here, but as a whole, it works pretty well, anyway, but is pretty slow and uneventful.

Coming from a novelistic background, I understand why you are overwriting, using passive verbiage, not aware of orphans, and not concerned with too much dialogue.  It's a learning curve that you'll quickly understand.  There are other things that could use some help as well, but I just don't have the time to go into it all.

I wish you would have included some more horror here, as it is now, it's a bit dull and very uneventful.  It's a good effort though, easy to read, easy to follow, and hard not to like.

Good job!

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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