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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Taibhse - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Angry Bear
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  Author    Taibhse - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 3725 views)
Don
Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:04pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Taibhse by Ray Liotta - Short - Three teenage troublemakers with a mission to burn down an abandoned house get into trouble they couldn't imagine.

A February 2011 One Week Challenge script. - pdf, format


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Dreamscale
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hmmm...well...uhhh...

Listen, although much of the dialogue is actually a Hell of alot better than most of the crap I read and listen to everyday, there's just WAY, WAY too much here. I mean, like WAY too much...and the vast majority goes absolutely nowhere for no reason.

The end doesn't work as written at all, and comes off as really cheesy and expository.

In reality, this isn't nearly as bad as a bunch of the dreck in here so far, but it just doesn't work at all either.

Focus on your story first and make sure your characters aren't cliche'd smartasses that sound like they've been watching Pulp Fiction recently.



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shane
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:32pm Report to Moderator
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I think this took way too long to get going. Sorry to say, but I didn't really like these characters at all. By the time the action got going, I didn't care what happened or what was going to happen to them.

I don't think I'd feel that way if you maybe cut down a few pages of the dialogue and built up the dead book story a little bit. Maybe replace those pages with a little suspense or have them search the house a little more.

Good job on finishing a script.
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GirlO
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:34pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with the above about your dialogue. Natural. Sounded like three smartass guys. Though amusing to read, a lot if it was unnecessary. I liked the exchange between the three of them about the books, but you need to give us some breathing space from these big mouths, or it does my head in a little, and feels like it’s just there to show off titles from your favourite, prized book collection…

This did keep my attention, though, until the end where I went – huh? I think I’m still a bit confused as to how/what actually happened with this shadow business….nevertheless I did like this, and think it was a pretty dam good effort.

Clarity is great thing. Pacing is great thing. I think this needs bit of both. Take it easy on the dialogue and give us a quiet moment to be scared shitless, I reckon?

Good work! I couldn’t do this in a week.

Naomi
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leitskev
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 10:36pm Report to Moderator
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Hmm. Well written in general. I have some questions on the story. Going right to them.

"Brandon reaches down on the floor and feels something wet. He
rubs it around his fingers and brings it to his nose"
--why would he do that? How would we see it in the dark? How did find the fireplace in the dark? If there is some light, then they must have seen something of Darren.
--they would not split up when Darren was killed. They just wouldn't; and they would be FREAKING out.

Regarding the ending; a nice attempt at a twist. I kind of want to know how Future Chris comes to have such super powers. He can move like a shadow and rip throats out and tie up his enemies with them.

Also, if Future Chris has determined the only way to stop this was to go back in time, couldn't he just make scary noises at the door and stop them from entering and ever reading the book? But let's assume for some reason he really did have to kill his friends. Why rip their throats out and tie up their hands? Wouldn't he want to kill them less brutally?

As always with time stories, there are so many questions. If he kills himself, how does he...well, you know what I mean.

Despite these questions, I really liked the effort.
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greg
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 12:09am Report to Moderator
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This had some good stuff going for it but could easily be improved.

First thing is that this read long and I think a lot of dialogue can be cut for one reason or another.  While a lot of it was good, for a 10 page short you only need so much of it.  The thing that kinda bugged me was the ending.  First, the Shadow's dialogue was bad.  You think mysterious shadow appearing...they may have something poetic to say.  But it just came off as awkward: "Because tonight, you’re going to be responsible for the death of every person on this planet"

On this planet?  Yeah, not too hot.  

The ending was also pretty anticlimactic.  It felt like a lot of thought was put into the story up to the Shadow point and then it was kind of like you had to wrap it up real quick.  

Darren's death was brutal.  Whoa.

Overall I did like this.  I think the latter part of it can be greatly improved upon, but for what it was it's not bad at all.

Nice job.

Greg


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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 10:39am Report to Moderator
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Not a bad effort for a OWC. But I have to echo some of the above. The teens know who Jim Morrison is; I'm impressed. Nothing really wrong with it- a lot of retro 60s and 70s artists/bands adorn the T shirts in retail nowadays. The kids have no idea who half of them are. (and Kurt Kobain has been forgotten about already, go figure) When they start naming off books, I'm skeptical. They talk about and correct each other on how to pronounce Ouijia. Now that I have a problem with.

Because, as others have said, it all amounts to nothing. Furthermore, the characters make a big deal out of it, which makes me wonder why didn't they use an Oujia board, contact a spirit and who they got was Taibhse. Instead, it is not only mindless discussion, it's introducing an element that isn't important. These conversations become filler. Some would poorly argue it is the way kids talk. True- but the downside to that truth is that it's not the only way. Personality and individuality still plays a factor; they have more to say.  What eventually happens when characters lose individual voices is that the run into borderline cliche - even if there may be an element of truth in that cliche.

That's what I get from the characters- they all speak the same to me. The script becomes average at best. What brings it to that level is not the casualness of Chris and Brandon when Darren dies (as someone also noted) but the spirit informing them 'They are about to bring about the end of the world' or something to that effect. At this point, I wish I got that sooner, because now you have my attention -very late in the script. The possible (dimwitted) actions of these teens could threaten the entire Earth by unlocking a supernatural door?! I'm kind of glad Chris and Brandon didn't stop cold and say "You mean like in John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness?' but I'm glad they didn't...

But think about it-! This statement made by the ghost raises the stakes! That's great! Where do you take it? Someplace average.The door to the other side was opened and the only way to close it was through them. I get it! But it comes late. If you took out the extra two pages of babble, the ending might have been more effective.

Congrats for finishing the challenge though.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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This told the story for me right off...

DARREN
Who cares? This whole fucking
neighborhood’s abandoned.

I can barely stand to read the banter like this. I've seen it in so many scripts that I'm starting to think the banality is like a virus that's catchy.

If all a person wants to do is listen to that kind of dialogue, all they need to do is go hang out in a low grade bar or maybe an oil field. And really, I see so many intelligent and sophisticated kids these days, why are so many painted like idiots.

You know, my grandma used to say, "You don't need to be rich, or even really smart to have class".

Don't let yourself go the way of so many that buy the junk that people think is cool. Buy what's kool instead.

Yours is the #40 of this OWC, the last read of the bunch and as I mentioned on my #39, I was going to start hitting close on docs that have fuck this fuck that in them, unless it's used in a meaningful way. For character, or emphasis. I decided to wait, read some of this anyways. But in future reads, I'm going to hit close on this kind of thing.

The following is what you might like to show at the beginning. Not in dialogue, but the mistake he makes.

SHADOW
Because you... are me. Six years
ago, I made the mistake of breaking into a house to burn it down. But I read the wrong spell and instead awoke the dead.

Then you could write the story from the perspective of a series of things that aren't right. Then, he finds out he's dead and meets his shadow.

Most importantly, lose the banter. I think that most of us start off writing banter when we begin. Even afterwards we do, just to rev up the engine sometimes. But pay attention, get rid of it, and see what happens then.

Good for you for entering the challenge.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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grademan
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 1:12pm Report to Moderator
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Taibhse * not sure if I liked this one * the shadow concept was interesting but fell short on dialogue * if it’s chris come back to tell them they screwed up wouldn’t he talk like chris? He’d say something like “ hey assholes, put that fucking book down” * also, when three guys are bantering it’s hard to get a feel for their characters * good job of keeping this on one location *
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BryMo
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 5:04pm Report to Moderator
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Well, okay, here goes...

I think focusing on what kind of story you want to tell is important. Very important. Characters matter too but if there isn't a distinctive tale that you want to tell then you aren't going to get a reaction from your audience. With that said, I think you introduce a story where anything is possible but nothing really happens.

Like i said, characters are secondary, but still important. These characters all read like the same person with no distinctive personalities. They all curse and are all smartasses. Who wants to read or watch that? Teenagers like this aren't liked for a reason. This is it. Personally, i'd want to backhand every one of them. And, with that said, do you think i'm rooting for them to survive by the end of it? Not so much.

A suggestion I can make would be to just go back to the drawing board and decide why you think these characters are important? If you start there i think you're well on your way to becoming a great writer!

And finally, good job for entering this OWC. It's a challenge for a reason.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 6:12pm Report to Moderator
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Truckloads of unnecessary dialogue killed this one for me.
Odd that these nobs wouldn't make fun of the one with the CD player. MP3 much?

**SPOILER**

Seven pages of mouthy jerk off superfluous teen dialogue mixed with...
Five pages of ghost time travel zombie apocalyptic shenanigans a script does not make.
Get into a scene as late as you can and bail as soon you as you can. Period.
If you simplify your story structure, it will compliment your dialogue better.
Thanks for playing.

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wonkavite
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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Really enjoyed the banter between the characters on this one.  As well as the twist ending, and the last few lines.  

If there was any "weak" point in it, I'd say it was the during the killings and the "reveal" at the end (ie: as to who the "big bad" was.)  Good use a little more description, and creepiness in those segments.  (Though the use of the vocal cords was a nice touch.)

Otherwise, cheers - and well done!
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c m hall
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 9:28am Report to Moderator
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Definitely a creepy read (strikes a chord)!
Good ending, I think, but there's too much darkness and confusion to make this visually interesting, except of course for what happens to the boys... maybe the pages and pages of talking are there to be sure the audience hopes the kids all die.  And stay dead.
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wannabe
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 10:20am Report to Moderator
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IMO this took a really long time to get going.  For several pages it was just banter that did nothing to move your story forward.  Their reaction when they saw Darren was way to calm.  Their friend is hanging with his throat cut out...what would your response be?  Just didn't feel natural.  The rest of the action was okay but the fact that it took so long to get there really killed the momentum of this piece.  If you cut down the banter that would pick up the pace and definitely add to the tension of their situation.  
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Eoin
Posted: March 3rd, 2011, 11:42am Report to Moderator
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DARREN (O.S.)
Two points!
BRANDON (O.S.)
Yeah and two-hundred decibels. You
wanna be a little bit louder?

Don't know if it's correct to have character names like that. We haven't even been introduced to your characters yet, so the name are irrelevant.

Not a big fan of WE FOLLOW & ON either.

DARREN (O.C.)
Man, screw that book. It went on
for-fucking-ever.                              Should be (OS)

Don't forget to include page number on the top right hand corner.

Your story takes way too long to get going IMO. I'm a fan of well written dialouge, but alot of this could be chopped with the same result.

Strictly speaking, Taibhse translates as appration. Púca is a ghost . . . research my friend. If you don't know or you're unsure of language translations, ask someone who does, especially when it's title of your short.

I don't understand where this is set. From the dialouge, these guys sound American to me, so how does Chris speak As Gaeilge?? You could have used the first few pages to establish that, since it's important.

In total darkness these guy are throwing books from the bookshelf into the fireplace . . . okay, if you say so.

Vocal cords used to tie the guys hands? How long are they?? Human vocal cords are between 12.5 and 25mm in length, you wouldn't tie very much with those.

This script had a kernel of a good story, but felt very very rushed. You need to show more. Alot of the dialouge was exposition, when it should have been used to advance the story and reveal character traits. With some time and polish, concentrating on the central story, which was good, this could be kicked into shaped.

Well done on completing the OWC.
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