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Blood Ties by Anonymous Vicky - Short - As a hurricane bears down on the Texas coast, a man arrives at a remote motel, searching for his missing brother. He soon uncovers a horrible secret, which threatens to release an ancient, primal power. Horror, 8 pages - pdf, format
A nice effort but lacking an interesting story. It wasn't confusing like most OWC scripts but it was a little too simple, nothing wrong with that if that's what you were aiming for.
The dialogue here was a huge problem for me. Some lines made me cringe a little. Do people call their siblings brother and sister? Maybe it's just me who finds that awkward.
The ending was sudden which kind of ruined that moment for me. The brother just comes in there and saves the day and the couple lives happily ever after? I feel we needed a better understanding of why this happened. Why was the brother so important that the gods let him live? What was special about him?
I get the feeling this is from a newer member of the boards and if that turns out to be case, this isn’t too bad. The story moved swiftly enough, had some tension and wasn’t as confusing as some of the stories I’ve read so far.
Yes, it had some “on the nose” dialogue to move it along and Michael became “Hercule Poirot” to fill in some of the blanks about the history of the town but I didn’t mind that with this difficult challenge.
It was also not a bad premise using Huracan (the hurricane God) as a reason for actual hurricane and how these two need sacrifices to stop them every season. They reminded of the bad people from that little village in Hot Fuzz… you know “the greater good” kind of folks.
The problem for me with this story was the ending with the brother walking in and giving some cock & bull story about overpowering a God, and speaking to Michael like they’re having their usual Sunday roast dinner around their parents’ house before gliding off into the darkness. Just wasn’t for me I’m afraid.
The writing had some problems and that’s why I think it’s from someone newer to the craft. There was an awful amount of superfluous details filtered in like telling us they speak English after they’ve already spoken. If it was not English, I hope you would have informed us before they spoke. And throw in some commas into that opening “super” and what’s with the underscores in the dialogue, think that should be a dash.
And I don’t know if I’m right or not but the alignment of the character headings and dialogue looked off for some reason.
However, all that aside, this wasn’t bad – at least I understood what was going on.
If I could pinpoint one thing that really held this script back, it would be the dialogue. Lots of repeating, calling people by their relations (brother, sister) way too often that it started to become comical.
As for your actual story, nothing really came of it. They're going to offer a sacrifice to Huracan (cute) but the god was defeated by Michael's brother's ghost spirit?
I don't know about this one, because I don't think it can be saved without changing things up. This isn't one of those scripts that just requires a technical rewrite. It needs an idea change and more menacing villains.
Can only echo the complaints on the dialogue here. Way too expository and unnatural. Work on that and you have a nice, simple little piece (although you probably go overbudget with the last shot of Michael floating up towards the beach).
It seems like every scrpit in this 2nd to last batch suffers from the same issues - they start out alright, look to be compitantly written, then, as they go on, they turn into what looks like a pisser, with cringe or smile inducing dialogue.
No where near horrible like some early ones, but so unrealistic and "canned". I was trying to like it and stay with it, but the dialogue and even actions just come off like a grade Z sci-fi feature from the 50's.
Hpoefully, when you read this back and read your scrpit out loud, slowly, you'll see what I'm saying.
Good effort though.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I think the problem with many of the second batch scripts is that they start off well, but once supernatural elements are thrown in they really go downhill. It's like they weren't originally intended to be about ghosts or demons or whatever, but they were thrown in just for the challenge. (Apparently people would've enjoyed my script better without the supernatural elements...)
Not to mention the deadline-- some people probably spent six days on the first half of the script, then three hours on the rest. I'm not excusing anyone; I'm just saying, there's a reason.
Now for the script itself... your writing is decent. The dialogue, especially near the end, could use some work, as it's occasionally on the nose.
A few spelling errors, mainly misused/missing commas. Make sure you don't confuse "its" and "it's" and "lets" vs. "let's", "whats" and "what's."
I like your set up here. Some people arrive at a motel, searching for a man who texted them about the motel... Possibly a nice set-up for a feature, IMO.
I think it could be executed much better, though.
Page 5 was when it really started to go downhill. Everything happened too fast, too many coincidences...turns out the owners are crazy, and somehow, Michael knows all about their ritual.
And on page 6, Huracan shows up. Like I said, everything's happening way too fast.
And now it turns out he's really David.
Some one the nose dialogue between Michael and David.
...And it's over. This wrapped up way too fast. I don't blame you, though, with the deadlines and everything.
I'd like to see a rewrite of this after the OWC. Like I said, it's a cool idea for a feature, or at lest a longer short. Seriously, 8 pages isn't going to cut it.
Good luck with draft 2, and congrats for completing the OWC.
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... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
I agree with Bill on the comments about David coming in to explain to Michael about how he defeated the God. Need to change that. Also if Michael knew what was instore for him, doing all that research on the motel I would think that he would come armed instead of getting blindsided like he did. Congrats on writing the OWC
the dialogue is incredibly repetitive. i experienced deja vu several times throughout the script.
i also found the concept to be a bit cliched. others seemed to like it, but the whole sacrifice bit just seems...overdone.
i did like the latino flair. made it stick out a bit.
the ending didn't work for me as well. you establish a few rules throughout the screenplay. but at the end, you're just like f uck it and the rules i constructed. now this is going to happen instead. why? i have no idea.
thank god for rewrites. i feel like we've all submitted mediocre scripts at best. and the constraints of the OWC have held our stories back. but that's a good thing. because it's forced us to work on other elements of our story like setting and dialogue. now we can go back and improve the other factors once the restraints are lifted.
Khamanna was right in saying cut out all the unnecessary intro's of everybody - too pedestrian from the outset - just all about sandwiches and greetings.
This is just okay, for me. A few too many plot points were too convenient - for example, yes, they really should have thrown that mobile phone away.
Overall, I agree with Reef that there's a decent story idea here, so well done on that, I just don't think it's been realised yet. I would def. be interested in reading a revamp after the OWC when you have time to think about it some more.
Why did you make the antagonists Mexican and then have them speak eloquent English? Everyone spoke so formally, I thought this was The King's Speech 2. Your script would be better if you revamp some dialogue.
Also, have the motel owners deny having seen David. Some conflict and tension would be good.
You set us up for a decent horror story, but unfortunately wrap it all up in a pretty bow. Dave the Seamonster was too much for me.
I don't want to repeat what others have said, just wanna say I agree.