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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Beacon Calling Moderators: bert
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  Author    Beacon Calling  (currently 994 views)
Posted: March 19th, 2016, 9:19am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Beacon Calling by Chris Keaton - Short, Sci Fi - Survivors of an apocalypse search for the seeds to restore humanity, but meet the worst man has to offer.  12 pages - pdf, format

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bert  -  March 19th, 2016, 9:58am
fixin' title
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Posted: March 19th, 2016, 10:45am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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I don't like the last bit of the logline... doesn't roll off the tongue. Still it is intriguing, so I'm going to take a look.

You've stored it in your images folder.... did you mean to do that? Anyway, onto the script.


Snow blows over a white wasteland. Boots crunch disturbing
the quiet isolation.

Because this is your first line of action, I feel you could try a little harder here. The location is a snowfield so mentioning the snow should be more interesting. Perhaps a light breeze disturbs the snow, blowing it over the crunching boots... or something to that effect. That little extra care to detail really helps hammer home the images, IMO.

A good story, nice work. Should be easy to film.

Good luck.

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Posted: March 20th, 2016, 1:10pm Report to Moderator

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Some notes.

I like this one.  It does all the things it’s supposed to do.  It even has a nice reversal at the end.  Nothing like a good search going bad.

And I like the polar bear and John’s sacrifice.  Reminds me of an expedition to the South Pole where one Brit leaves the tent and never returns.  Only enough food to go around.

You might consider giving these people enough rations to get back to the ship and perhaps some talk about how they’ll use what they find.  After all, what good is finding the stuff if they can’t haul it back?

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Posted: March 21st, 2016, 3:52pm Report to Moderator

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Solid short -- great writing, clear and concise.  Story kept me invested.  The beacon/mystery of what they’re looking for, the sick member of the party, ever present threat of the Polar Bear -- all good stuff.  I liked that the group knew the bear was tracking them -- it spun this in a different direction than from where I thought it might have gone.  Gave it a darker edge, that they know a worse fate than dying of exposure could await them.  John's sacrifice was a nice touch -- better yet only revealing it from a distance.  Gives us a sense of helplessness.    

Dialogue felt natural.  I wanted to know more but I got a sense of what had happened to the world and why this mission was so important.  In the end I knew enough to fill in the blanks.  The story did it’s job -- kept me engaged and ended with a (grim) twist.  They're lured in by the prospect of a food source only to find they themselves are the ones to be eaten.  

A few thoughts:

Maybe a slower reveal of the bear during the tent sequence.  Heighten the tension by having them not quite know where it is at first.

p.8 -- is there a time jump between the ‘lets get moving’ and the box picking up the signal?  Seems like there should be.

Best of luck with it.


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