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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2014 One Week Challenge  ›  Spiral - OWC
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  Author    Spiral - OWC  (currently 5912 views)
Don
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 9:06am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Spiral by Hieronymush Bosch - Short, Horror - Within its pages lie some of mankind's best kept secrets. Many try to gain it. Many will fail. (R ) - pdf, format


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JonnyBoy
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 9:48am Report to Moderator
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Really liked this one. You sketched out the history of the book excellently, writing crisp and flows really well. Great opening image, particularly liked the cave sequence, very Indiana Jones / Lara Croft. Had Jessica Chastain in my head for Jenna.

But --

*SPOILERS*

-- rather like the ending of Lost, I'm not sure the pay-off quite lived up to what went before. It's so hard to come up with a solution to the mystery that makes people not think 'Is that it?' To me, the reveal of the Beast felt unimaginative compared to the great work that had gone before.

Perhaps its best if we too never know where the directions in the book lead? I understand you were going for a loop at the end, but must admit exactly how it worked was lost on me (may be my fault). Also, the two missing fingers - was the Beast actually Carswell? How does that work?

I'd love it if the writer would explain the ending once who wrote what is revealed. I know who I think it is... but yeah, great work. My favourite so far.

EDIT: having subsequently read others' comments, I suppose they do have a point that this script doesn't really fit the criteria of the OWC - which has to count against it, as we were all writing to a brief. However, I still found it very entertaining - there's a good writer at work here. Well done, you rebel.


Guess who's back? Back again?

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JonnyBoy  -  October 26th, 2014, 1:44pm
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LC
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 9:50am Report to Moderator
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This has a Tomb Raider, Raiders Of The Lost Arc feel to it - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Excellent use of horror and fantasy combined - gore kicks in right of the bat. Nothing to complain about really - obviously a seasoned writer.

It I had anything to nitpick it would be that there was no real character I connected with on a real emotional level but fine work nevertheless and meets the challenge well.

P.S. Funny, just noticed Jonny drew the same comparisons as I did. And I hadn't read his review prior to posting.


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DS
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 10:01am Report to Moderator
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First read of the OWC - My thoughts:

Good action lines, I could visualize everything well. Good location choice. The story didn't do much for me though.

I think the dialogue rule wasn't handled great on this one. Jenna being the only person to talk in a group of people venturing a cave together seems a bit so-so, but fine. The lazyness cuts in when everyone in Jenna's group is dead and the "thinking out loud moments" pop up. The "I told him so" moment is especially cringy. The dialogue rule is pretty much broken in the end with another character speaking.


My other problem with this one was the lack of plot. Everything just seemed to happen. We never find out what the goal is or what the cave/book is actually about. The characters always knew more than the audience and that never really changed, not even in the end. With a really high death count in the script, no one's felt important. Considering the huge mystery that could surround the cave and the book, a beast simply being there and everyone dying doesn't come off as a very strong ending.

Is the teenager the same teenager from Cairo years ago or another one? While the name is in caps, the name is still "teenager" with the exact same character description, confusing.

I didn't enjoy this one much, sorry.
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bert
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 10:32am Report to Moderator
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I liked the twisty nature of this one.  Not sure it really went anywhere, but I liked it nevertheless.

You kind of knocked it out of the park budget-wise, but a fun read, although maybe a bit too reminiscent of Indy on a few occasions.

The opening scene wastes a bit of time when it should be moving fast.  One hack from the sword opens the box, one shot from the shotgun seals the deal.  That sort of thing.

The missing fingers were an excellent device to drive your story forward.  The first time they came back, I liked it.  The second time they came back, I liked it even more.

It is kind of odd how it morphs suddenly into Jenna's story about midway through -- lots of quick scenes, then suddenly we are spending all of our time with her.  The pacing feels odd.

As for dialogue, only one person is tough to accomplish, but looking at this, I think you could give Jenna even less dialogue than you have.  Though the final sentence must be spoken, of course.

On the whole, not bad at all.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 10:35am Report to Moderator
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Very reminiscent of Indiana Jones. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Enjoyed the action/adventure aspect but overall though it left me a little cold. Felt like a lot of effort to get nowhere.

I gather that's kind of the point, just an endless chase after the Devil's power, but it was unsatisfying after such a long trip through history/geography then specifically through the caves.

I didn't get any idea of it being October the 31st when the portal opened, or of it closing at sunrise. Maybe just me that missed it.

Good effort.

Rick.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 10:38am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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The opening scene suggests to me you could write a really intense horror version of The Mummy though. Might be hard to get the money to make it, but it would be good to watch.
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Dustin
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 11:20am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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The CAIRO - EGYPT thing in the slug belongs in a SUPER, IMO.


Bit of a surreal feel to this one... not enough for a consider yet from me though, I'm sorry to say. A bit of work to do yet.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 1:09pm Report to Moderator
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Logline - thats quite dramatic - sounds like a movie flyer. can't say it does much for me. lets see...

INT. CELLAR STRONGROOM - ROYAL PALACE - CAIRO - EGYPT - DAY - nows thats a slug and a half. most would advise to go out to in so start with the location. i don't think egypt is required

I'm at page three and this has done more travel than a bond film
and nows its like predator ... with a  touch of romancing the stone

the rope bridge above lava - that old chestnut. never worked out how they don't burn away

what is Hibosch? must google

I donít know what to do next. -would someone say that?

didn't really explain how jenna and marcus get back to life - in fact we don't really have a protag, in some ways

for a short this feels too big, too expansive, but at least its dynamic

the book of the devil, how it passes hands, leaves a trail of death etc is all sound i think i just needed more connection. someones story, someone's fate, something at risk etc

cheers





My scripts †HERE

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
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coldsnap
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 2:28pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DS
My other problem with this one was the lack of plot. Everything just seemed to happen. We never find out what the goal is or what the cave/book is actually about.


I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I enjoy stories that leave room for interpretation, not always having every point spelled out for us. That said, this entry appears to be lax on some of the rules i.e. the rules state a portal opens on the night of the 31st. Do the stories have to be set all on that one night, or can they go back and forth in time? Also I don't recall a portal to an 'otherworld' in this story, unless I'm missing something? In any case, this was an intriguing premise that I'd like to see more of.


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Stumpzian
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 4:21pm Report to Moderator
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Big problem for me:

No Halloween. I don't want to be a poophead, but shouldn't that disqualify this? I'm sure most entrants (well, me at least) might have gone a different way if they knew they didn't have to abide by the rules of the game.

If I missed it somehow ( I read it twice), somebody tell me.



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dead by dawn
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 4:22pm Report to Moderator
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The pacing was off for me.  Not sure I'm seeing the theme yet by page 7?  I'm tuning out.  
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Pale Yellow
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 4:51pm Report to Moderator
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The beginning scene was cool but I'm thinking why did the book have to be in the box? And why if he did kill them men on the floor, why couldn't you have shown him kill 'for' the book. Him swinging the sword on the box didn't really fit for me. I mean what if he cut the box and the book in two? Just wondering as I read.

It starts with action and paced quick then slows back a little much for me. You lose the tone for me during this part of the script like pages 3-4.

Also the book trades so many hands and this thing spans over so much time, that I find it hard to want to follow or root for any of these characters. You could perhaps shorten this by a montage and focus on one character unless you are focusing on the death the book seems to bring to those harboring it. And more than once the holder of the book, makes sure no one else sees..makes sure they are alone, but why? I want to know more.

I never understood the portal thing in this one. Too many characters for me. Time spread to wide also. Good job completing an owc.
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dogglebe
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 5:46pm Report to Moderator
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This one didn't do it for me.  For starters, it was more like an Indiana Jones chase scene, rather than a horror script.  Way too much action.  I kind of understood the point of the story (the twist at the end) but it just didn't do anything for me.

I big problem why it had no impact for me was that I didn't feel; for the characters.  None of them meant anything to me.  And if you don't care for the characters, then you don't care what happens to them.


Phil
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: October 25th, 2014, 6:15pm Report to Moderator
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Influenced by Goonies maybe? That's what immediately came to mind with the device toward the end. Interesting way to start, with the book trading hands. It establishes a history, but doesn't reveal anything about it - which is good for mystery - but you can add to that on top of everyone dying that possess it. Maybe a more overt change in mood or behavior?

Jenna's part of the story didn't hit for me. It was a huge filler, and the characters were mostly a letdown, except for the beast. It was a clever twist of fate, coming around full circle, but needs clarity on why it happened. The end scene juxtaposed everything that came before it, so kudos there.

There was a lot of overwriting, it would be real easy to trim. Some sentences read awkward, mainly because there were irrelevant words that added to what was already stated. Formatting is off - right justified... well, right margins. Could be on my end though.

Interesting short, lots of adventure.
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