SimplyScripts Discussion Board
Blog Home - Produced Movie Script Library - TV Scripts - Unproduced Scripts - Contact - Site Map
ScriptSearch
Welcome, Guest.
It is May 26th, 2019, 11:30am
Please login or register.
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login
If you wish to join this discussion board, please send me a message. Please do read the guidelines that govern behavior on the discussion board. It will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. A word about SimplyScripts and Censorship


Scripts Studios are posting for award consideration
The Writers' Tournament is back...


The Beginners Guide to the SimplyScripts Discussion Board (WIP)


Yes, I am running script reviews, again...

Short Script of the Day | Featured Script of the Month | Featured Short Scripts Available for Production | Submit Your Script

How do I get my film's link and banner here?
All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Forum Login
Username: Create a new Account
Password:     Forgot Password

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  Barbarians Moderators: bert
Users Browsing Forum
No Members and 2 Guests

 Pages: 1
Recommend Print
  Author    Barbarians  (currently 1691 views)
Don
Posted: April 24th, 2014, 5:23pm Report to Moderator
Administrator
Administrator


So, what are you writing?

Location
Virginia
Posts
12993
Posts Per Day
1.94
Barbarians by Gary Benjamin Holtt Jr. (Yeaster) - Horror - A group of teens and young adults are forced or force themselves to go to a Christian retreat to be rid of their homosexuality, only to have a hand in creating man-eating demons. 72 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
Logged
Site Private Message
Toby_E
Posted: July 9th, 2014, 4:08pm Report to Moderator
Regular



Location
London, UK
Posts
987
Posts Per Day
0.24
Hey Gary,

Read the first 50 pages of this. Need to do a few more things tonight (including watching the rest of the world cup game -- go Netherlands!), so I'll finish it for you tomorrow and post my thoughts up then.

Cheers.


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 1 - 12
Guest
Posted: July 9th, 2014, 4:17pm Report to Moderator
Regular


Posts
804
Posts Per Day
0.25
Hey Tobes, hope you like it.  I already checked out about 30 pages.  I like the idea of these kids being forced to go to this stupid, ridiculous camp because their parents think they're gay.  I don't like the idea of the monsters, which come out of the blue (page 27) and just seem like they're in a totally different story (opening sequence).  I think that whole plot should be dropped.  One thing is for sure, this needs some beefing up.  70 some pages is way too short.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 2 - 12
Yeaster
Posted: July 9th, 2014, 5:29pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Location
Baltimore, Maryland
Posts
98
Posts Per Day
0.02
Thank you for checking it out, Toby! I look forward to your thoughts. negative or otherwise.

Like I said in my PM, I'm thinking about switing genres. If I decide to stick to horror, I'll add some sepence in certain scenes, a couple of lines should do it.


---
Blog
Logged Offline
Site Private Message AIM YIM Reply: 3 - 12
Dark Shape
Posted: July 9th, 2014, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Location
Los Angeles
Posts
27
Posts Per Day
0.01
This idea is very, very similar to my next horror script.  And I thought I was original.  
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 4 - 12
Guest
Posted: July 9th, 2014, 11:55pm Report to Moderator
Regular


Posts
804
Posts Per Day
0.25
It's all about execution.  Two people could have the same idea, but that doesn't always mean you should drop yours - just find a way to make it fresh and unique.  I have read your stuff, Matt, and I know you have the chops to do just that.  
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 5 - 12
Toby_E
Posted: July 10th, 2014, 12:54pm Report to Moderator
Regular



Location
London, UK
Posts
987
Posts Per Day
0.24
Gary,

Right. Finished this. I apologise in advance if this review comes across as negative -- I think this has potential to be a really neat little story, but there's quite a bit of work that needs to be done before it reaches that point. So I'm going to pick out the areas which needs the most work.

Firstly, as I just said, I liked the overall concept (A group of teens and young adults are forced or force themselves to go to a Christian retreat to be rid of their homosexuality, only to have a hand in creating man-eating demons). However, I feel that you're missing a massive trick here, as this idea is ripe for so much irony! What if this retreat 'cures' them of their homosexuality, only for them to find that the monsters only attack straight people? So then they have to try and learn how to be gay again? And even the pastors want to become gay, to prevent themselves from the monsters? So the roles are reversed -- instead of the pastors trying to 'cure' the campers of their homosexuality, the campers are now trying to 'cure' the pastors of their straightness?

Also, I never really understood how the camp is designed to cure them of their homosexuality, as we never saw any specifics. We never saw what their methods were. Little things like this do damage your script, as they give the writer the impression that you're not 100% sure of your concept. So show us this!

But anyway, what were my main issues with this?

1) The structure.

2) Your protagonist.

I'll go into both these points in a little bit of detail for you, identifying the specific issues I had with both these problems, and throwing a few suggestions out there of ways to rectify this issues.



1) The structure

As soon as I opened this script and saw that it was only 72 pages long, I knew there were going to be some issues with the structure. Nine times out of ten, when a script deviates substantially from the norm, in terms of page count, there are some pretty significant structural issues -- and unfortunately, this script was one of these 'nines'.

So what issues did I have with the structure? Well, there didn't really seem to be a structure here. You open up with a monster attack. We then spend the next 10 pages with a closeted star, thus setting him up as our protagonist. We then jump to a camp, spend 15 pages with another set of characters -- where all they do is talk to each other, no scene goals, nothing driving the story, etc. -- only for two of these new characters to get attacked around the page 28 mark. OK, page 28 -- that's fine for a first act break, if you're rolling with a 120 page script, or something similar (roughly speaking, your first act = 25% of your page count; second act = 50%; third act = 25%). But with a script as short as this, you need to get to your second act as quick as possible (around page 20), to stop the script feeling like all it is is set up.

But anyway, OK -- so first act break occurs on page 28... or does it? The reason that I ask this, is because despite this event occurring, no real story emerges for another 20 pages! And what I mean by this is no one wants anything until around page 48 (when they decide to take down the monsters). Until this, everyone's still just sitting around talking, without any scene goals or conflict, etc.

So what would I recommend? I go into this in detail in the page specific notes, so check that out


2) Your protagonist

This was a huge issue for me. You establish this guy as our protagonist, but then he disappears for the second half of the first act, only to reappear in the second act, as more of a pawn to other characters (ie, Kris). Matty needs a goal. He needs to be the one driving the story. He needs to be the one investigating the disappearances, searching for April and Miriam. He needs to be the one going after the monsters. This needs to be his story.

Matty needs some serious work as a character, because at the moment, he's not a worthy protag. What's his external goal? What's his internal need? What's his inner conflict? What's his flaw? His fears? His ambitions? His backstory? Where's his character arc? You don't have to attack all of these, but the more you can nail, the more we're going to root for and identify with this guy.


But yeah, these are two pretty fundamental issues that need to be rectified, as  structure and protagonist (or lack of a protag) is screenwriting 101. In fact, here are two articles I recommend. Sure, people hate on ScriptShadow (and I don't agree with everything the guy preaches), but you could do a lot worse than checking out these articles:

http://scriptshadow.net/screenwriting-article-outlining/

http://scriptshadow.net/screenwriting-article-character-outlining/



Below are some page-specific notes:

Page 1 – Think it would work better if you had the first two sentences as an EXT. scene, then cut to the INT. of the car for when you introduce Ashley and Jacob?

One year olds normally don’t talk as well as that...

Also, how old is Ashley?

Is the girl talking in the OS (“I was downer than down”) Jez? If so, cut the OS and write PRE-LAP in the brackets instead... as that tells us that this bit of dialogue merges into dialogue following in the next scene. I’d also give the girl a name.

And it’s a flashback? You need to tell us this in the scene. After your slug, put FLASHBACK in brackets, or something.

I don’t know what software you are writing on, but sentences shouldn’t carry over between pages. Neither should the character’s name be on one page and their dialogue on another. This goes on quite a bit throughout the screenplay.

Page 4 – “She hides somewhere...” Where does she hide? Behind a tree? In a bush? We need specifics, if you want us to visualise this.

Page 5- “A waitress comes over. She looks an awful lot like Jez.” Huh? Either she is, or she isn’t Jez?

Page 8- All of Nelson’s phone convo should be a VO.

Page 9- I would recommend against introducing us to four new characters in one scene, as this just increases the likelihood that we’re going to forget who they are – especially as we don’t learn much about their personality, as this scene is dialogue-less.

Wowza – another five or six characters introduced in the scene directly after this as well. I would really recommend staggering the introduction of these characters if possible... or, at least, give them more personality when introduced.

Also, how come Ashley’s experience of the springs was so different to what these guys are experiencing? How come she made her own way there and wasn’t greeted by Nelson?

The scenes from page 12 – 19... Arghhhh, haha. These scenes need a serious shake up, I’m afraid – all they are is people introducing themselves to each other. Where’s the scene goals? Where’s the character who wants to achieve something? Where’s the character that wants to stop them from achieving this? Where’s the conflict?

Page 22 – Nelson’s threat seems super weak here... I feel that it would hold more weight if we’ve already heard April and the rest talking about how much they hate rich people, etc.

This focus switch feels really jarring as well... you set Matty up as our protagonist, but then he disappears for the second half of the first act, once they arrive at the springs... This needs to change, IMO.

Hang on – the attack on Miriam and April was the day before this scene with Matty and the boys...? Why not then set the attack at night, that way, when we switch to this scene in the day, we’ll know a day has passed?

Also, this scene with Matty and co goes on for faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar too long – it’s six pages! I’m honestly from the school-of-thought that scenes should only be longer than about three pages if there is something exceptional going on, that allows the reader to keep interest. Tarantino does it brilliantly with dramatic irony. We know something that the characters don’t know, so keep watching to find out what happens. But this is a 6 page scene of characters just talking. No scene goals. Little scene conflict. Just talking. And I’m sorry to say, that I was super bored throughout this scene.

But anyway, this is your act 1 break... and it’s coming at page 32. With a script this length, this should be occurring at page 20 at the latest. Get to your story as quick as you can. That way, you can create scenes where your characters are attempting to achieve their story goals, thus creating scene goals as well. That way, you avoid the dreaded ‘scenes of death’, where all that happens is characters talk to each other, which do kill your screenplay.

And then even after Miriam and April go missing, you spend one scene searching for them and then we are back to more scenes of death

Page 38 – Hang on, where has Miriam been all this time?

Page 41 – This scene is super on-the-nose. “You don’t give a damn about Christopher. You just care about yourself.” “Do you know what he wanted to be after he came out of college? He wanted to be a pastor. He modelled himself on me. You have no idea how responsible I feel.” People just don’t talk like that.

Page 47 – Right, this moment of the story should either be your act 1 break or your midpoint of the story – it really just depends how you want to structure things. If you want your act 1 break to be the first attack (April and Miriam), then you need to make your characters active in achieving a goal until we reach the midpoint (them getting attacked whilst leaving the camp, meaning that they have to find another way out). Have them actively seeking something (probably searching for April and Miriam/ investigating whatever it is that’s going on). That way, you avoid all these scenes of death where characters are just sitting around, talking. If you want to make this moment your act 1 break (as this will force them to be active in achieving a goal – escaping the camp), then push the first attack back to more of an inciting incident. I’d personally go the first route (have this as a midpoint shift), but either will improve the structure of this.

And now they’re going all commando, when they could have escaped... hmmm...

Yeah, this structure needs some serious work, I'm sorry to say.


OK, this is how I could personally structure this:

Inciting incident – They arrive at the camp and the audience realise something’s up (dramatic irony) – maybe he get a glimpse of one of the monsters, etc. (I’d then cut out the opening, as it felt jarring and a bit too random for my liking).

Act 1 break – April and Miriam disappear. Matty and co then start searching for them, realise something’s up and start and investigation (part one of your second act). Maybe Nelson is trying to shut down their investigation, as kids have gone missing there in the past and he doesn’t want a scandal, etc. (his objections thus create conflict and obstacles).

Midpoint – They realise what’s going on. Everyone tries to leave, people get slaughtered, etc. The survivors then spend the rest of the second half of the second act trying to fix the buses to escape/ finding another way to escape (might be an idea to establish how isolated the camp is, so we know how hard this goal is going to be).

Act 2 break – They realise they can’t escape (act 2 low point), so all that is left is to go commando and take down the monsters once and for all.

This is just something that I’ve thrown together in a few minutes, so obviously it’s far from perfect. But I feel genre films like these are the types of films which lend themselves to adopting a more rigid structure, and by doing so, you will dramatically enhance reader enjoyment, as we will know have active characters who are in danger... instead of characters slightly at risk, sitting around and talking, which, I’m sorry to say, doesn’t make for the most entertaining of reads


Page 55- Nelson’s speech here needs some serious work, as it’s super on-the-nose.

See! This type of investigation is what you need your characters to be doing earlier! Have the investigation occur earlier, then spend your final act with your characters preparing to take the monsters down. By this point, all the detective work needs to have already happened, IMO. Their journey needs to be nearing the finish line, not only beginning.

Page 61- Will the audience remember what Jez, our waitress from 55 pages ago looks like?

Page 70- I feel that it needs to be Matty, your protagonist who defeats Jezebelle alone. This needs to be his defining moment.


Overall:

As I said, I see serious potential in this idea -- which is the most important thing, because you can't polish a turd. There's a lot of stuff that needs improving. The structure needs an overhaul, as does Matty as a character. The concept needs to be developed further as well, to really make the most out of it. And the story needs to be beefed up in general, because 72 pages is too damn short!

But if you can rectify these problems, I'm confident that you'll have a solid little script here.

If you want me to clarify anything that I've said, I'll be more than happy to.

All the best.


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 6 - 12
Yeaster
Posted: July 10th, 2014, 4:21pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Location
Baltimore, Maryland
Posts
98
Posts Per Day
0.02
Thanks for reading, Toby! Your comments have given me ~a lot~ to think about. I can't believe I made so many basic mistakes. O.o Anyway, if I dive into this again, I think I'm going to take it in a different direction, but with anything I do in the future, I'll certainly be thinking of this stuff.


---
Blog

Revision History (1 edits)
Yeaster  -  July 10th, 2014, 6:34pm
Logged Offline
Site Private Message AIM YIM Reply: 7 - 12
Toby_E
Posted: July 10th, 2014, 4:49pm Report to Moderator
Regular



Location
London, UK
Posts
987
Posts Per Day
0.24

Quoted from Yeaster
Anyway, if I dive into this again, I think I'm going to take it in a different direction, but with anything I do in the future, I'll certainly be thinking of this stuff.


Make sure you definitely do dive back into this! As I said, I was digging the general premise -- which is one of the harder things to change during a rewrite!

I'm currently on the third rewrite of the feature of mine you read... after I finish this version, I honestly reckon only about 33% of it will be the same or similar from the first draft. So much has changed, been removed, etc.

The rewrite is what makes our babies shine

Best of luck with it and if you need any help or anything at any time, just shoot me a PM. I'll always be more than happy to help.


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 8 - 12
Dreamscale
Posted: July 11th, 2014, 10:49am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Yes, that is my real hair...

Location
Cave Creek, AZ
Posts
10742
Posts Per Day
2.56
Gary, I saw the buzz on your new script and decided to have a look.  I read the feedback after I wrote my brief notes.  Sorry to repeat some things, but here goes.

72 pages ain't gonna cut it, sorry to say.  Yeah, I know...I know...many award winning scripts that turned into 2 hour movies have been this length, but c'mon now...really?  72 pages?  I honestly don't understand why anyone would write a feature script and have it come in any less than 90 pages, and to me, that's still short.

You open up, right out of the gate with numerous mistakes and it's just not remotely acceptable.  Your first 2 sentences/passages are not INT scenes.  Even if they were, using MUSTANG as a Slug, without introing that Mustang first, is a mistake, as mustang means more than 1 thing - if you say Corvette, everyone knows what you're talking about.  If you say Mustang, it's unclear whether it's the car or a horse.  Make sense?

Your third passage is also a complete mess - "A woman with bruises on her face, ASHLEY PEARSON, drives. A one-year-old boy is in the backseat, JACOB HAND."

No age for Ashley and starting her intro by using "A woman" is just a complete waste of words.  It's also very awkwardly phrased.

3 strikes like this and you're normally out, but I'll stick in as long as I can.

OK, hold the phone - so a 1 year old baby speaks like an adult?  Really?  Is this a comedy or what?  Is this going to be dubbed like a bad Italian zombie flick?

When Jacob says, "Buddy", you correctly cap it, but when Ashley repeats it on the next line, why isn't it capped and why is it in quotes?  Makes no sense.

Damn, bro, next passage is also a mess...really?  "Next to Ashley is a brochure for the PROMISE SPRINGS. Ashley looks at it, has a conflicted expression on her face."

"Next to Ashley"?  You mean like on the passenger seat?  You need to be clear and precise and write visually.  "the PROMISE SPRINGS"?  Huh?  Why is this capped?  What is "the" Promise Springs? Again, you need to be visual and your writing needs to make sense in terms of what you cap and why.  The final sentence in this pasage is very awkwardly phrased.

And yet another mistake ends this for me and it's the very next line - a V.O., from "Girl", who is actually "Jez" and the dialogue is actually from the next scene.  Really?  Yeah, I know - we see this "transition all the time in movies, but as a Spec writer, this is not your call and there's absolutely no reason to write this like this.  It's extremely confusing to a reader, especially when every single line so far has contained mistakes.

Sorry, bro, I'm out.  No excuse for all these mistakes on your very first page.  This needs serious attention.  Sorry to be harsh.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Logged
Private Message Reply: 9 - 12
TonyDionisio
Posted: July 11th, 2014, 11:58am Report to Moderator
Regular


Damnit, get to the point!

Location
New York
Posts
783
Posts Per Day
0.38
Toby,  that was an A+ review that you provided. Great stuff. You are correct in reference to warning signs about script structure,  such as page count.... Etc. Also worth mentioning is the logline. It reads weird. "are forced to force themselves" can be re-written and the log should include what stakes must be resolved before the story ends.

Interesting idea. GL with the re-write.

Tony
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 10 - 12
Yeaster
Posted: July 12th, 2014, 2:26pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Location
Baltimore, Maryland
Posts
98
Posts Per Day
0.02
I propably meant to write "or."

Yeesh, I didn't realize I made so many technical mistakes, and on the first page, no less. @_@ Thank you for everyone's advice, it's really, really appreciated. =D


---
Blog
Logged Offline
Site Private Message AIM YIM Reply: 11 - 12
Fernando
Posted: November 18th, 2014, 9:40pm Report to Moderator
New-ish


Posts
2
Posts Per Day
0.00
this is a fun concept, gay kids sent to camp for being gay.  it's such a rich premise, and i enjoyed particularly the dialogue.  the characters are funny and warm, and i think this is the main strenght of the story, that, and the the fact that it's mostly in one basic location, which makes it very producible.  
a lot of valuable work here that deserves to be continued.  especially the dialogue, it's fresh and real and funny.  it's entertaining.  i would like to see this as a movie.
my only comment would be about the scary parts.  the monsters don't seem as compelling as the basic premise of the story.  but overall the script is great and deserves a re-write with a stronger horror element.
of course, there's also the possibility of making this movie into something different, and taking the horror element out.  i wonder how this would work?  you have a storng premise that might even work without the horror, as a quest for the protagonists to find themselves in spite of the rejection from family, religion and society.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 12 - 12
 Pages: 1
Recommend Print

Locked Board Board Index    Horror Scripts  [ previous | next ] Switch to:
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login

Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post polls
You may not post attachments
HTML is on
Blah Code is on
Smilies are on


Powered by E-Blah Platinum 9.71B © 2001-2006