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For a new writer, this is excellent work, Pale. There are some slug issues, and some other glitches. I am emailing you a PDF where I pointed some out.
The story definitely seemed cliche with the vampire love thing, but then you went zombie with it. I think that's ok, but I would like to see the reveal handled a little more deftly. His reveal to her was very on the nose.
But the rest of the dialogue is done very well. You have a bright future in this.
I don't know if you're sticking around or if this is a hit and run, but I'll chime in anywhow.
Overall, this is a nice little short, and while I would have liked a slight bit of diversity - at least in Goth style- with the friends (hey, one could have fire-engine dyed hair or more eyeliner than another) I didn't mind it so much. Slugs look okay, but...
LILITH She was talking about her boyfriend...(pause) or ex now.
Every here and there I see stuff like that. If you are going to use wrylie, it should look something like this:
LILITH (pause) She was talking about her boyfriend.
However, in the above quote you have an elipses (...) which is a pause as it suggests a train of thought. Thus "pause" is not a requirement. In addition, don't end dialog on a wrylie (p11).
p12 Breaden's explanation of what he is sounds more complicated than it needs to be. He was fine at 'new beginnings' the page before. And "You'll only feel pain for a minute". In those bits of dialog he is creepy. Once he talks about "abundance of salt" it becomes corny.
Also, watch your pronouns. You get he and her mixed up quite a bit in the last few pages. By the way, I'm surprised that--
1 - Breaden didn't tear Lilith's head off. There was a big stink about the news report which was somewhat sensationistic ("thirty and counting...dead and decapitated") If you are going to set up a few plot points, it's only fair to pay them off.
2- The word Bokor is used, While not said outright, this suggests (evil) voodoo. A voodoo zombie is different from the classic "living dead" zombie that we have seen in pop culture (Resident Evil, Dawn Of The Dead, Zombieland etc) But this is a minor complaint of mine.
She's around, Darren. Pale Yellow. Been trying to get to know folks. The problem with the slugs is there are several missing. In the first scene, we start in the parking lot and then we're in the car without any change of slug. Later, they get up and go to the bathroom, there is a time acceleration as one minute we're at a table, the next second we're in the ladies room, and no slug. That's all. Nothing major.
About the slugs ....I need to learn to SLOW down...instead of writing so fast and not rereading. Those kind of mistakes shouldn't be missed by me. Thanks for pointing them out.
And Darren, about the bokor word...I was trying to find a zombie that could do more than the dead walk and ran across the evil bokor stuff but again, if I was going to use that I should have made more of it or introduced it somehow. And with the tv and decapitations, you are totally right again. I guess my thinking when I was writing it, was that maybe instead of the "normal" zombie brain and flesh binge perhaps the leader(bokor lady) was taking heads back to her legion. Again, I write too fast and need to plan and think more.
I appreciate the heck out of the reviews and advice. I'm learning and am thankful to have this criticism and help in here!
I see that slugline and dialogue snafus have already been adequately addressed, so I just kind of read this for a sense of the story itself.
If you are not going to use Razi, you need to lose him. I would say the same for Mrs. Kippling. You use her more than Razi -- but not much, really -- and her inclusion does nothing to move the story forward. Everything in a script must be there for a reason -- and this is particularly true in a short script.
The salt is an intriguing and semi-comic angle, but as Darren told you, it is the kind of angle that loses some of its charm when you explain it. By all means keep it -- but I would recommend just letting it linger as a nice WTF that needs no further elaboration.
This proceeds with near certainty towards a vampire reveal, and you are commended for trying to take it somewhere different. But it also kind of spins off the rails when that final reveal comes along.
I mean, what the heck is Ursula doing, anyway? As far as evil master plans go, this one is just kind of weird. And again, I echo Darren, wondering why you mention the hordes of decapitated bodies if Lilith is not going to end up amongst them.
The dialogue is perhaps the strongest aspect here, with some nice, ironic lines. And having glanced at your old OWC, I can tell that you have already made tremendous strides in streamlining your narrative.
I think that perhaps this was not fully cooked in terms of the internal logic of the story, but it is enjoyable enough, and certainly a good effort moving forward to your next work.
You are encouraged to take your time with the next one. Once you have typed, "FADE OUT", put it away. Stick it in a drawer for a week or two. Don't think about it. Then pull it out later -- work it over again with fresh eyes -- then submit that version, which I can virtually guarantee will be improved.
"You are encouraged to take your time with the next one. Once you have typed, "FADE OUT", put it away. Stick it in a drawer for a week or two. Don't think about it. Then pull it out later -- work it over again with fresh eyes -- then submit that version, which I can virtually guarantee will be improved."
OMG you hit the nail on the head. After I sat down and reread my crap owc and rewrote it, I know it was much better. I have got to force myself into that habit if I want anyone to read this stuff. Just as an exercise to me, I'll rewrite this one next week.
Hey pale yellow, i enjoyed the read, you obviously have a flair for atmosphere and a lively imagination. Most of what you need has already been mentioned by the esteemed company above so won't rattle on about format and slugs (though think I read your second draft) I didn't like the ending, with some corny dialogue and a fairly weak pay off. (liked the line about the dead end) keep writing, you clearly have a lot to offer. Daz
Couple of things -- the first scene on the porch. You intro three characters, then one of them gets up and leaves. End of scene. Seems odd to me.
Also -- not much happens, really, in the first 5 pages. I'd suggest tightening up and shortening for a quicker build for the finale. I like your character descriptions but for a short they felt a bit long winded.
Nice work, though. As kev said, if this is an early go... then well done you.
Hey Dena, a fellow SS'er PM'd me and recommended your script, so I thought I'd give it a quick look.
I'm not going to go into too great detail, but I do want to help.
Sorry to say, but there are major problems right out of the gate that no one seemed to see or care to mention.
First of all, although it's not a big deal, your opening line reads a bit "off" because you chose or missed "a" between "in" and "dimly". Read it out loud both ways and see if you don't see what I'm saying. IMO, the first line is a gauge that you can pretty much predict how things are going to follow, in terms of the writing, and missing a simple "a" does have an effect.
From there, we go into your first major Slug issue. We're in an EXT scene, yet every single line in this scene is actually INT scene action/description/dialogue. Basically, you need a new Slug after your opening line - "INT. CAR - CONTINUOUS".
Why is Ursula's dialogue O.S.? She's right there in the scene.
Why call Lilith's Mom, Mrs. Kippling, without introing Lilith, as Lilith Kippling? That's a mistake.
Wrylies are incorrect and need attention.
OK, not to be mean or anything, but this isn't really doing much for me and we're now in a McDonald's, which isn't going to ever fly for me.
You've gotten some good advice here and I hope the few things I bought up help as well. Keep on reading and posting and you'll catch on quick. Good effort for your 2nd attempt at screenwriting. It gets easier as you go, as long as you spend the time learning.
Best of luck.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I noticed some activity over here, thought I'd stop in for a look see. I've noticed you contributing some reviews, so here I am.
Jeff has a point about the first sentence. I wouldn't throw the script away on just one missed tiny word. But, as a production company reader, I would flag you for that, big time. And the incorrect parentheticals would be a big nail in the proverbial coffin too.
Then there's an un-capitalized character intro. That's a red flag too. Speaking strictly as a reader, I'm one misstep away from tossing your script. If you're planning on submitting to others to advance your career, keep this in mind.
Of course, I'm not going to do that here. But felt relaying how reader's think would give you some context.
P. 3 "As the sun goes down" should be a slug to denote a change in the time of day.
P. 7 Braeden's line before he;s seen should read: BRADEN (O.S.)
I was pretty much onto you from the very beginning. But it still read fairly decent, you have a voice on the page.
Most of writing is rewriting. Embrace the format and tighten every thing up.
Hope you stick around, best of luck.
LATEST NEWS CineVita Films is producing a short based on my new feature!
Ok, so I'm learning here and thank you to everyone of you who took the time to read my short and the reviews help tremendously. I have a question. I have rewritten this work and want to update it. I want to change the logline as well. Do I just resubmit with a note in the box for Don(just like any other rewrite)?
This is something I’m seeing a lot of in scripts and I’m not sure what the protocol is. My Final Draft software aligns these transition directions on the right margin. Not here. Where it is on the left.
Sort of a cliché discussion with mom. Troubled over-achieving kid, over-protective mom. Really nothing in this exchange I haven’t heard a million times. Well, at least a dozen times anyway. I’d try to give them something more meaningful to say.
And what is the point of this scene anyway? It doesn’t move the story forward. All of this could be accomplished by staying at the bookstore and calling.
Mom’s Name. This is something I’ve wrestled with myself. I’m sure it’s been discussed on the boards. What is mom’s name? Is it just ‘mom’ or should we use her first name? To some characters she is mom, and to others she is Mrs. Smith, or Kelly.
To write: Mom/Mrs. Smith/ Kelly…is death. You have to pick one and I think for the purpose of this script you should just call her Mom. Nobody else talks to her and mom is just fine.
Mickie D’s should have an apostrophe.
No parting dialog from Adrianna. She should be egging her friend on. Talking to her when he can’t here like this: He’s cute. What are you going to do? Playfully teasing her like close friends do. Something. She just gets up and leaves.
…is an ellipse. ..is a typo.
“We went to Mickie D’s.” Um, I know they went to Mickie D’s. You really have to watch out for dialogue like this. Come late and leave early. What is the point of her friend telling her this, when we already know it. If we don’t see it we will automatically assume she told her. In fact, she probably texted her that night, right?
What’s with the set ups? One of the cool reasons to write a short is because you are trying to attract producers who are working on a budget. Every set up is a different location. Some of these locations are expensive. McDonald’s?
It’s a bad choice. Because you are sort of sending a signal to readers that you don’t understand the realities of their world. Every single scene or action you write should come with a price tag attached. How hard would this be to film? How expensive are these costumes, make-up, or effects?
Spend it up only when you totally have to. McDonalds could easily just be the local diner, coffee shop, or sub shop. Plus, aren’t they getting enough advertising already?
I kept asking myself why the entire movie couldn’t be shot at the outside patio of the bookstore.
Kid pulls up. Girls see him. First encounter. Have a seat. Mom calls. Friend leaves them alone. Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you. What are you reading? Fog rolls in. A kiss. A drop of blood. Mmm good stuff. Want a ride. No. Come on, I’ll give you a lift. Maybe more. Okay. Hey, where are we? Who are all these people? Snack a brain. And we’re out. Bam.
“Lil strange.” I don’t like this dialogue. It slows down the reading. I’m trying to read as quickly as I can, when I come to a strange word I have to slow down and ask myself what this is. Just make it “little” and let the actors decide how much they want to slang up the dialogue.
Salt is sometimes referred to as, “the white death.”
Typo: In a quickness.
Grabs her wrist. You leave all the emotion on the table so to speak. Why can’t she get mad or scared or both. “Hey, asshole! Get the hell off me. Who do you think I am? You ever grab me like that again and…”
Seriously, if you overheard an exchange like that in a restaurant, what would you do? Personally, I would be riveted. I might even saunter by to get a better look. Then again I am a creepy unapologetic eaves dropper. But still…it is INTERESTING. Getting your wrist grabbed then silently chomping on a slice of pizza is not.
By the way…another whole set up in another whole location.
Typo: TV not tv.
“What happened?” You lost me a little here. If the TV is on why didn’t they all hear it at the same time? A little clumsy if somebody just didn’t hear it and the others are filling her in. But what about the audience, didn’t they at least hear it?
End Notes: Okay, I’ll admit I was a little surprised at the end. Brain snacking is a cool effect. Poor Lil. You had me going because this was going to be a sappy love story like “Twilight”. But then WHAM it turns into a horrific gore fest. The only thing I might advise is to wait a little. Probably looks better on film if he leads her out of the car while still alive. Mounting terror. Audience is maybe not sure if he’ll do it, or maybe he really likes her at this point. Something like that to increase tension.
Or think of it like this. Gore fest in a car? Blood gets on the camera and other equipment. You have to clean it off before returning it. Blood gets all over the car. Whose car is this? The producer’s? Yours? Who wants buckets of fake blood splashed around their car? Attack her in the forest and you can throw leaves on the fake blood on the ground and nobody even knows you were there.
Not sure if it redeems the rest of the script but at least it was worth the wait.
Your comments welcome on: GOD GETS FIRED. Comedy, 89 pages. Humans are such a failure that God loses his job. Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction. Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us. It’s about winning her back.