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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  The Open Casket - OWC
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  Author    The Open Casket - OWC  (currently 6641 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:02am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Open Casket by Darren Tomalin (darrenjames) - Short, Gothic Horror - Artist, Charles Drayton, has been commissioned to paint the viscount Corwin Redwinter's portrait at his remote castle in the mountains. Redwinter's intentions towards Drayton's fiancee, Melinda Hartwell, may be less than honorable and the stuff of nightmares. 11 pages, 5 characters, PG Rating - pdf, format

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Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 4:58pm
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Pete B. Lane
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 3:16pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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A quick, fun read indeed. Solid writing all around. I've read a half dozen scripts now, and this is my favorite so far.

My grade: A

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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 4:48pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Well researched, meticulous period detail and written nicely


There is no real feel or emotion to the story. I know there will be a few pure Gothic horror scripts in this challenge and that's fine.
But they need to have something original to make them breathe.

The writer here has used some nice horror refs, like Poe and characters from Stoker( I think)

I dont mean to be disparaging this early in the readings but I skimmed while reading this as there was too much detail and not enough writers voice

Still congrats on your effort

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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 5:07pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Definitely my fave thus far. Very well written. I thought the wife apologizing in the mirror was a nice touch. It foreshadowed things to come for me. Overall, very good entry, I will remember this one...


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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 5:39pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This is a classic Gothic horror piece, from the setting to the characters to the madness.  My favorite character by far was Poe, and how he named his instruments of torture.  I like how you went all out on the Goth.

I would liked to have known more about how Corwin initially killed Madeline.  Apparently it was bad enough that Madeline has been waiting for revenge all this time.  And, I did find it rather odd how easily Corwin could converse with her ghost at the beginning.

"Your odious dwarf is dead!"

Now that's what I call a line!

Bloody good ending.  Overall, I enjoyed it.  I think you could have found a way to make Corwin and his castle a bit more distinctive.  And like I mentioned, the backstory of Madeline's death felt like a missing piece of the narrative.  But this was very well done for a week's notice.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 8:09pm Report to Moderator
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I thought you did a sterling job trying ot capture the Gothic feel.

That being said, this struck me as more Rocky Horror Show than it did truly Gothic "horror". Too many cliches made it slightly comical for me at times....but that's being very, very harsh.

The overall story arc was good, but didn't do a lot for me personally....felt like I'd seen it before and I didn't really care for any of the characters either way..good or bad. I think part of the problem was that they were simply there as guests and had no real drive in the story...the convenience of it sort of over rode the narrative drive.

Still a  good effort that a lot of work clearly went into.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  October 16th, 2011, 4:47pm
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 8:51pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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I would like to have seen more of Corwin's past and what actually happened to his wife. Poe was cool and his "pretty ladies" were an original touch.
A bit more detail in the scene descriptions would have added more character to the script.
Good effort.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:24am Report to Moderator

Cars are made to go, not to stop!

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I liked it. It had a classic Gothic atmosphere to it. The only thing I suggest is changing the names of Madeline and Melinda. Their names are a bit too similar. I found myself misreading which character is which.

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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:39am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Good feel from this tale right on page one.
Stout flow, gothic vibe, distinct characters.
Effective descriptions, a refreshing page turner.
Then comes the expository misunderstood ghost scenario.
Iím just about twisted out with ghostly vengeance.
Solid pacing, visual style and crisp action. Kudos.
Thanks for playing OWC.



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 16th, 2011, 8:55am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Despite being cliche in many ways, this one is BY FAR the best of the bunch so far for me, and I'm about half through the entries.

The execution of the story is polished. Nothing at all to trip or slow the read, believable dialogue, logical story. And the parameters of the OWC are adhered to flawlessly, and yet in a way that will be unique.

We don't know all that much about the characters, but for one thing, this is a short, and for another, when I think of the classic films of this sort, we generally don't know the characters any better than we do here. If the writer chose to expand this to a feature, those characters could easily be fleshed out more, and the writer seems to have the competence to do it.

Like I said, certainly this was very archetypal to put it nicely. The evil dwarf ogre, the poisoned drinks, the dinner where the lord lusts for the young fiance, the secret door into the room, the torture chamber...all of these can be cut and pasted from standard 1950s and 1960s horror movies.

And I would like to see Charles escape in some more respectable way. The current escape just seems like the writer ran out of time or ideas, or space.

Nonetheless, this story easily shoots to the top of my charts until another can knock it off! Nice work.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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Hello Don,

A sound piece of writing, with good pace and flow.

A small issue but we are in Austria but the language was as expected in the Scottish highlands and I just wondered whether we needed a bit more understanding. Why are they there?

I find it difficult to challenge such good writing but it kind of felt like a hammer house of horror episode where the young lovers end up at a dodgy castle and just escape.

P10 belinda? Did I miss something

Good stuff, strong writing.

All the best.

EDIT NOTE : decided to read this again. Often the reads on the OWC are at night and busy. Not sure I fully appreciated this  first time around. Second time notes are: 1) beautifully written, a joy to read. 2) more depth than I first considered 3) still - how is this different to standard black and White films, other than the explicit nature of the 21 st century. This would be the only criticism.

So the question to me is, how do we differentiate this from a more unusual, maybe creative,  script that is written to a weaker standard? A joy of a question to consider.

All the best again.

I have booked marked this as a how to write. Fab!!

My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...

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Reef Dreamer  -  October 18th, 2011, 2:35pm
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 5:02pm Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

Buy the ticket, take the ride

That's me in the corner
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This one was suggested to me -- and another suggested that perhaps I had written it.

Quite a compliment.  This one is top-notch.  A pastiche of cliches with a few fresh touches, and to me, none of them misses a beat.

The names of Melinda and Madeline are far too similar, however, and you should rename one or the other of these women.  My sole grievance.

And the end?  To me, I think it would be improved were Madeline to retain Melinda's body -- with poor Charles none the wiser as to what had transpired.  Thus, the story adheres even more to its Gothic roots.

Cheers to this author.

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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Dammit, this one was 95-99% perfect!  Clean writing, gothic atmosphere.  Interesting story and characters.  I got worried when Poe pulled out the implements of destruction, afraid that it was going to turn into torture porn.  But it didn't go that far, and the denouement was a great twist in the story.

With just one problem.

Nowhere in the story is it hinted that Madeline has reason to hate her husband.  Drop some legitimate hints, and this script will be perfect (well, maybe change one of the women's names too...Melinda and Melissa are so close as to be confusing.)

Cheers - job well done! (99% anyway..) )))
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 6:40pm Report to Moderator

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Thank you for the story. Excellent!

Personally, I think the author chose the two M names on purpose.

Yeah, Wonkavite is right, a little foreshadowing of her hatred would put a shine on this.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 7:43pm Report to Moderator

I got dipping sticks.

Los Angeles
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the melinda/madeline thing served as a nice parallel. it was a bit confusing at first, but it worked well in the end.

furthermore, you absolutely nailed the genre on the head. you did your research and it shows. meticulously written for sure.

the dialogue was my favorite part. it was so well written and very reflective of the genre. the only bit i didn't quite feel was the "pretty ladies" part. for some reason, it just didn't sit well with me.

besides that, the best entry so far. A

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