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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2013 One Week Challenge  ›  Familiar - OWC
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  Author    Familiar - OWC  (currently 3439 views)
Don
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 9:37am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Familiar by Sixteen - Horror - A mournful witch faces off against a vengeful spirit in the wake of her coven's dissolution. ( R ) - pdf, format


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 4:31pm Report to Moderator
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Familiar

Spoilers

Logline - not bad, quite dynamic and suggesting of conflict and motivation. Mournful?

Witch on witch action !! Not seen, alas
How do we know it's thistles hand?
Malfiore - at home seem to take a while with lots of noises. Does a witch really get a knife?
A heavy last 4 pages.

Finished

I think within this is a sound story I just found it heavy going and not always clear what was going on. Clarity is so key to keeping the reader.

My best guess is that this is a love triangle, mal loving thistle - yet has her hand in a box, nice - in competition with hemlock. She kills them all but hemlock and thistle were the stronger couple.

I feel we needed to see more of the relationships. Didn't feel very modern day either.

My grade c-


My scripts  HERE

The Elevator 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
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IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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pale yellow
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 4:54pm Report to Moderator
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I did like the witch/witch action. There were some confusing parts in this to me. I felt bogged down reading at times. You had mystery ...yet maybe too much IMO. I liked the end though.

Good job completing the owc!!


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Forgive
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 5:05pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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An assuredly written piece. Spare and rich in equal measure.

SPOILERS****
I'm wondering, did Malfiore rip Hemlock's heart out - therefore the 'exploding scar'?

Abundant use of symbolism, and the props were cleverly dealt with. Again, I'm wondering if Malfiore's tattoo is a reference to Thistle.

I didn't get the sense that the coven had been dissolved as per the logline, but I did get that authority had been questioned and usurped.

I thought the dialogue was well crafted from start to finish. Pacing was good. Looked to me like it was split into three clear acts - the initial exposition between Malfiore and Hemlock; the quiet mid-section, building up the dark aboding; and the bloody conclusion.

I liked that Malfiore checked under the bed at Hemlock's and how this s later referenced.

I don't know if this will win, as it may not appeal to popular taste, and the back-story is cloaked in mystery. But it's very well written and executed.
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KevinLenihan
Posted: October 19th, 2013, 9:40pm Report to Moderator
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There's a good story here, and a good concept.

It took me a long, long time to get through this. Maybe I am suffering an attention deficit tonight. Probably not the writer's fault.

The thing is, we're reading through a pile of scripts(and the process is similar with a studio reader sifting through features). That presents a difficult challenge to the writer.

The writer needs to:
-- grab the reader's interest early, and in these shorts, VERY early.
-- make sure the reader is not confused with what is going on in the story.

In hindsight, once one finishes the story, everything is clear. Especially with the title.

During the story I found my attention wandering because I had no sense of what was going on. No sense of the drama, the stakes. Not even really much mystery that intrigued.

And as I said, it's not always the writer's fault. This writer is trying to be subtle so he doesn't give away the game too early. Which is good. But it risks giving the reader nothing to latch onto, nothing to keep him reading. It's a tough dilemma.

On the whole, it's a very decent OWC effort. Very solid quality, with a lot of potential in this revenge by familiar concept. Congrats.
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stevemiles
Posted: October 20th, 2013, 5:54am Report to Moderator
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A slow-burn approach it took me a little while to get into this.

Opening paragraph was a touch confusing.  Not badly written, just found it difficult to grasp visually.  Writing was a touch flowery in places and though it gave the story a decent amount of pace and atmosphere, it did take a second read to put everything in place.

One issue for me was the lack of character.  Felt like only Malfiore had any real presence and yet she died leaving two almost unknown characters to complete the pay-off.  Knowing more about who Thistle and Hemlock were and what they meant to each other would have given this a little more substance.

Didn’t dislike this, just can’t say I took much from it.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


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Dreamscale
Posted: October 20th, 2013, 11:50am Report to Moderator
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Very dense again and hard to get through.

Strange names and long winded descriptions.

Are Malfiore and Hemlock really nude in the opening scene?  Malfiore is described as having a tatoo on her breast and Hemlock is described as having a big scar on her breast - if they're clothed, we wouldn't be seeing what's on their breasts.  Odd, to say the least.

I continued on and gave it up after Page 4, as the action is almost nonexistent and the detail way too heavy.

Sorry, not for me.

Congrats on entering this OWC.  


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ReneC
Posted: October 20th, 2013, 6:14pm Report to Moderator
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This is very well written and visual. I didn't find it over-written, just too dense. The descriptions should be broken up more to let the visuals sink in, to read down the page and let it breathe.

Great opening scene between Hemlock and Malfiore. It's odd to jump to after Hemlock's death, it seems like moments later and it interrupted the flow, and robbed an opportunity for final words or looks which can be the most effective. It sputters a bit after that, the pace slows down way too much trying to build up suspense and tension for Malfiore. It gets confusing towards the end, not clear enough about what's going on with actions and the geography. The battle works for me, good job with it, but the motives for everything were a bit vague so the ending doesn't have the impact it should have.

There's a need to understand what a familiar is before reading this as it's never really explained, only hinted at. There's no reason not to show the cat under the bed after Hemlock's death, I was expecting something cooler or more sinister because it was set up like a big reveal. I'm not sure why Malfiore's last words are spoken as voice-over, I'm assuming it's a mistake. And how do we see that it's Hemlock's skeleton at the end? Simple to say that in the script but how does that translate visuallly for an audience?

Not a bad entry, and it hit the marks for the challenge, but a few too many problems for me. Good job finishing, this does have potential with a rewrite.


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Forgive
Posted: October 20th, 2013, 6:22pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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Some good pints there, Rene.

familiar
adjective

1.
a demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal.
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: October 20th, 2013, 7:09pm Report to Moderator
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I had to read this twice to grasp what was up. I was upset at myself that I didn't get it the first time, but the way this story is told is at the writer's advantage.

Good use of symbols, you pretty much killed three birds with one stone with the tattoo.  Even though the last couple of pages were stacked with ink, they where less cryptic and I was able to read it quickly.  Dig the dialogue.

I like the ending, ties it together.  But I kinda feel like I have to read it again.

Good one,

Johnny
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EWall433
Posted: October 22nd, 2013, 4:25pm Report to Moderator
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Abigor’s intro should be upper case, even if it is just a bird.

Pg. 5 I kind of like that you specified “valerian root”, but I don’t think it would show onscreen.

This is one of the more interesting entries.  Whether it comes off as slow or deliberate will largely depend on the reader’s mind set, I think. I could easily see this working better on film than on page as it seems like a piece meant to be ‘felt’ rather than ‘understood’. The events didn’t feel real, they felt surreal and I could easily see a director having some fun in trying to create all that.

This may have shorted itself on the ‘modern’ aspect of the challenge, but it was a nice change of pace that I enjoyed greatly.

Thanks and Congrats!
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StevenClark
Posted: October 23rd, 2013, 8:06am Report to Moderator
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Hey,

Not a bad story here at all. It's your typical revenge tale. It read fairly well, but in the end it comes out a bit contrived, but that's not to say it didn't have a general creepiness to it. It did. However, exposition was way over the top, and this ran on for way too long, I feel. It could have def been chopped down some. In the end, that's what turned me away from this.

But still a fine effort. Congrats on getting this in!

Steve


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PrussianMosby
Posted: October 25th, 2013, 11:52am Report to Moderator
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No comments read before.
Non-native speaker – take it or leave it.


Familiar

Ok. Read it through. The script relates mostly to Fantasy-Relationship-concept so far.

Nothing horrible to me, affiliated to the concept of course.

There's a love triangle between two witch sisters and a guy. Every witch has got a special animal that protects them. I believe so.  It's a lot of abilities and moves of this pets.

The problem I got here is – Malfire is too passive. There is a point where I had doubts about her strength. There's a long passage in the middle part, when it seems like she's just waiting for her death. She's the protagonist, she's a witch, she shouldn't cook tea or go to bed and all that.

I appreciate the fact that you stayed in the concept to the ending. Also I liked, that you've tried in any time to let the characters act in action, not in dialogue. In my eyes, It's a positive opposite to some other scripts, which did not so.


In the Head of the Driver (3p - drama, sports, SF)

Those Infinite Wolves  (8p - psychological horror)


Revision History (1 edits)
PrussianMosby  -  October 25th, 2013, 12:22pm
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: October 25th, 2013, 10:44pm Report to Moderator
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I read this., twice. I wanted to be sure on my thoughts. I wanted to find something, anything, that would make me not like this. It may be futile, because from what I can gather, I really can't say anything negative about the script. I might throw in a little bit of good ol' white space....but this is right on target.

Again, as with another OWC script, some of the names were "cute" to me, but in this case, it's not as noticable.

I don't believe in a voting system. That said, the work here is great. I'd pick you as one of the SS vets. Well done.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
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rendevous
Posted: October 25th, 2013, 11:55pm Report to Moderator
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Away

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This was well done and I can't fault too much with it. It's a pretty straight forward story that would probably work a lot better on screen than on paper.
There's something that makes this slow to read, hard to put my finger on as it's not overwritten. I think it just needs something a long the way that would make the reader invest more care for the character(s).


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