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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Way Down Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: October 1st, 2012, 6:24pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Way Down by Travis Kolpack - Short, Horror - One mans attempt to find forgiveness for his sin's before it's too late! 14 pages - pdf, format


Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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irish eyes
Posted: October 2nd, 2012, 2:15pm Report to Moderator
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I had to read your logline a few times... i think you need an "s" after attempts to make it a little clearer and a an apostrophe in "man's"

There were quite a few mistakes.

Try and limit your actions/descriptions to 4 lines max.... some may say 3

Page 2
JIM
(Making a HAND gesture from his genital to his mouth) this should also be in your action not a wryly

more 5 and 6 line descriptions.... narrow them down it makes for easier reading

page 3
your 2nd fade in should be on the left

page 4

Jim CHECKS the time

His conversation wife Carol is very on the nose... and really doesn't add to the story... It's not like he went home again.

page 5

They make THEIR way


Again the conversation is on the nose

Gwen
Wait just a second, this doesn’t go
anywhere.  Where are you taking me?    .... you should lose the first line. She already noticed it doesn't go anywhere.

You had few others.... but overall

The story itself was pretty good and had some great details in your actions.... Just need to clean it up.

Mark

Mark


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Steex
Posted: October 2nd, 2012, 2:28pm Report to Moderator
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I drink your milkshake.

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For your logline,
Also no apostrophe in sins.
It's not possessive, it's plural.


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killerk
Posted: October 2nd, 2012, 6:52pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks admin for posting!  

And thanks for the tips, I have been following this site and reading as many scripts as possible to get the hang of writing.

This is my first script and it has been a fun little adventure.  Still learning all the what to do's and what not to do's.

I have done a revision and if you want to read that -- link is : http://darkcritics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/TheWayDown-v4.pdf

(don't know if post can be moderated with new link/script version?)



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
killerk  -  October 2nd, 2012, 7:48pm
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rmaze
Posted: October 2nd, 2012, 9:59pm Report to Moderator
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What's up, killerk.

Your writing style is very easy to read, expect for a few technical errors. As a result, the story moved along briskly. As irish eyes mentioned, the details you provide complement the story perfectly. The story, on the other hand, was slightly deficient, especially the ending.

Spoiler:
Your ending is too straightforward: A bad guys gets killed, goes to purgatory and for a moment seems to earn redemption only to learn he hasn't. This ending didn't move me.The ending was in need of irony.
Jim could have earned a place in heaven only to learn that God is a vengeful god, and has a special place in heaven for serial killers that makes Hell look like Club Med. Thus, Jim would have been better in Hell where he belonged.

With that said, this was a worthwhile first effort. Congrats and keep writing.

Best regards.
rmaze
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killerk
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 6:45am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the comments rmaze.  

The ending has been the hardest part for me.  Your suggestion is close to my original, I had him making it to heaven but it turns out to be an old style prison, God being the warden.  Digging ditches and hard continuous manual labor to keep heaven looking nice.  But seemed too comical for a horror ending


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M.Alexander
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 7:42am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from killerk
Thanks for the comments rmaze.  

The ending has been the hardest part for me.  Your suggestion is close to my original, I had him making it to heaven but it turns out to be an old style prison, God being the warden.  Digging ditches and hard continuous manual labor to keep heaven looking nice.  But seemed too comical for a horror ending


I thought rmaze's suggestion was interesting.   But as a believer I also know Romans 10:9 says "if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved".  So I guess the dilemma remains how can you maintain an element of truth and yet keep it entertaining.

St. Paul was a murderer and God used him in a huge way.   So what if Jim actually got to Heaven but then God sends him back to Earth as a Bounty Hunter to hunt down serial killers as part of his penance.   Much more realistic, IMO.

Good luck with it.  Your first script is a heckuva lot better than mine was.  
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killerk
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 8:37am Report to Moderator
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I like your idea M.Alexander, but I think it would be a little too much to fit into a short ... might make for a good feature though.

If you get a chance read my new version, the ending is different.  (link posted above and in signature below)


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M.Alexander
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 8:47am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from killerk
I like your idea M.Alexander, but I think it would be a little too much to fit into a short ... might make for a good feature though.

You're right.  


Quoted from killerk
If you get a chance read my new version, the ending is different.  (link posted above and in signature below)


Read it.  Yeah it fits.  Pretty scary.   Just in time for Halloween.  
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alffy
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 12:31pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Travis, I've read over your second draft and here's my thoughts.

You can cut some things like:

EXT. ALLEYWAY - NIGHT

A damp and dimly lighted alleyway,....

You can lose 'alleyway' as you've stated that in the slug.  So it could read:

Damp and dimly lit.  Trash and dumpsters line the walls.

A few instances were you write in the past tense too. Try to stay in the present and not use 'ing' were possible.

Figure should be FIGURE.

'An irrational thought of escape crosses Bonnie’s mind.'  This is a well worded line but pretty much redundant in a script.

Okay enough on format stuff, I'll concentrate on the story...

Pretty blood thirsty demise of Bonnie.  Jim's explanation seems a bit awkward.  If he turns out to be completely mad then I'll revoke this.

I like you thoughts on the credits but it gives me the impression of a feature?  Are you thinking ahead?

Jim sits a table but speaks to the bartender.  Where is the bartender, he hasn't been mentioned so I would assume he is behind the bar.  This makes me think Jim is sat close to the bar or is shouting?  But Gwen seems startled by Jim's order which makes it sound like he is standing at the bar but you stated he's sat down?  This is very unclear.

Gwen is a bit to keen to leave the pub with a man she's only just met and shared a few words with.  She deserves what's coming for being so stupid lol.

When Jim says 'Don't make me angry, bad things when I'm angry.' I just kept imagining Bruce Banner lol.

'Death and burning flesh inflame Jim's senses', again a really good line but it's redundant as it can't be shown on film.  This goes for saying the temperature inside the bus is rising.  you need to think of a way of showing this.  Perhaps have Jim sweating and touching a metal arm rest that is so hot it burns his flesh to the surface?

I like the shift from reality/drama  to supernatural/horror.

I really like Jim's pain.  You give us a clue that Bonnie wasn't his first victim by showing us that Jim has a thousand stab wounds.

When he grabs the barred windows could give you a chance to show how hit it is in the bus?  Just an idea.

Try not to repeat the opening of action lines.  You have a few consecutive 'Jim does this and Jim does that.

Is Carol suppose to deliver the line 'And the surprises are not done yet'?  Sounds like it should come from Levi?

A very strange story Travis.  I liked it.  I think you could probably trim a few pages off this though.  I like the shift to the underworld but I think you could missed a trick.  I thought when Levi said he would be reunited with family, a member of Jim's family would show up that perhaps wasn't dead before.  A sibling or someone, the only one in his life.  Making him grieve and guilty for taking the lives of others.  Just my idea, take it with a pinch of salt.

Anyway, I liked this and for your first script you did well.  I hope this is helpful and it is just my opinion, what you have is good as is.  I wonder if you could spin this into a feature?


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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killerk
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 4:37pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from alffy
Jim's explanation seems a bit awkward.  If he turns out to be completely mad then I'll revoke this.


I may have to make this clearer.  You're not the first to mention this.  Jim leads a double life, schizophrenic like.


Quoted from allfy
I like you thoughts on the credits but it gives me the impression of a feature?  Are you thinking ahead?


Yes.  Being my first script and first film, I wanted to start small.  If it turns out and is liked, I will expand the and make it feature length.


Quoted from alffy
Jim sits a table but speaks to the bartender.  Where is the bartender, he hasn't been mentioned so I would assume he is behind the bar.  This makes me think Jim is sat close to the bar or is shouting?  But Gwen seems startled by Jim's order which makes it sound like he is standing at the bar but you stated he's sat down?  This is very unclear.


I will have to look this over again.  I was sure he gets up and walks towards Gwen...not sure now.


Quoted from alffy
Is Carol suppose to deliver the line 'And the surprises are not done yet'?  Sounds like it should come from Levi?


I have had this both ways. I still haven't figured the ending out fully.

Thanks for all the great suggestions and tips.  I absolutely love this community!


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Nomad
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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For a 14 page short, it was a pretty quick read, even with all the passive verbiage and grammatical errors.

I read the first draft so that's what I'm basing my comments on.

It's pretty good for your first script.  There really isn't anything new about it, and it's fairly predictable.  

It looks like everyone already covered the nuts and bolts of the script.  My only suggestion is that you have the song "Lady" by Styx playing when Jim awakens on the bus.

Welcome to S.S.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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DV44
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 5:47pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Travis - Welcome to SS. First script is always the toughest but you learn from it and get better. Nice read though. Best of luck with future scripts. - Dirk
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killerk
Posted: October 3rd, 2012, 10:29pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for reading Nomad and DV44!  



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rc1107
Posted: October 4th, 2012, 4:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Travis.

I only read the first draft so far.  I didn't know about the 2nd draft until I started reading the responses afterwards.  I'll check out the 2nd draft when I get a little bit of time.

I saw this, and couldn't help but smile:


Quoted from Travis
Being my first script and first film, I wanted to start small.


:-)  Lol.  A story about Heaven and the portals of hell small?  I'd like to see your big ideas.  I realized though that you meant small as in a 'short' and not a 'feature' after a moment.

Anyway, horror isn't really my cup of tea, so don't take anything personally if I didn't like the atmosphere of the story.

Writing-wise, I can tell you've been paying attention to the scripts you've been reading.  (Welcome to the site, by the way.  Glad you decided to join as a member.)  While there might have been some mistakes here and there , you're still way above the curve when it comes to people's first scripts.  The mistakes you did make (mainly passive action that I see), I'm sure you can have cleaned up in no time, if it's not already fixed in the second draft.

As for the story, let's see.  First scene:  Boobs and blood.  Yep, you've got the modern horror format down pat already.  :-)

I've mentioned I'm not actually a horror fan in the slightest.  I may be unimaginative, but I kind of tune out when supernatural things begin happening, and it takes a lot to bring me back into the story.

I will say that the ending does read very weird right now.  He gets to Heaven, then is right back again in hell.  It just seems that there needs to be a little more going on, rather than it just ending like that.

Again, I haven't read the second draft yet, and it seems the ending is different in that one, so I will check that one out as quick as I can.

But, like I said, it looks like you're on the right track, writing-wise.

One thing I will say, though, is that I think some of the dialogue might need working on.  Some of it is coming off as cheesy, ('It's finally time to have some real fun') and although this is a horror, I think this could be more of a serious horror and lines like that just don't really sit that well with me.

But definately a valiant effort for your first try.  Like I mentioned, you're way ahead of the curve in the case of first scripts.

I saw you mentioned in the 'Difficult' thread that you mentioned this would be a film in 2013 and see you're taking the reigns.

I definately wish you the best of luck with it.

I'll check out the second draft when I can and let you know my thoughts on that one.  Plus, now that I know it's a horror story (I went into this draft thinking it was a drama for some reason.  I never noticed horror in the description), I'll go into it a little more open-minded and a little more imaginative.

Talk to you in a bit.

- Mark


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