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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2K16 One Week Challenge  ›  The Deathcap Skull - OWC
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  Author    The Deathcap Skull - OWC  (currently 1478 views)
Don
Posted: October 15th, 2016, 12:21pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Deathcap Skull by Carl Young

The lonely daughter of a mountain couple seeks to transform herself with the help of her lover's skull.

Short Pyschological Horror based on The Girl With the Skull


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Warren
Posted: October 15th, 2016, 6:56pm Report to Moderator
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I didn't know anything about this tale so I read the source material.

So this isn't to much of a retelling, it's really more of a telling in script format. You haven't changed much at all.

The writting needs work. The slugs are all over the place and occasionally it wasn't clear to me what I was seeing.

I didn't enjoy the story as a whole in either the original format or this one unfortunately.

Good that you went with something out of the box though.

Pass from me.


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Nomad
Posted: October 16th, 2016, 12:29am Report to Moderator
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As I go:


  • Never mind.

Skimming...

This was all over the place for me.

I wasn't sure what was happening exactly.

There was something about a boat and a train and a skull that talks and a girl that gets hit on the head.

Then the people who hit the girl on the head come and eat dinner with her later and die from eating bones and mushrooms?  I think.

Maybe it's the beer I'm drinking or maybe it's the script, but I didn't understand this one much.

Jordan


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Equinox
Posted: October 16th, 2016, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
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This was a bit too much fairy tale for me. Stuff happening in fairy tales doesn't often make sense, so I guess it's okay from that point of view. It's a quick and easy read, but it didn't really catch me. I like stories which unfold bit by bit, giving small clues about following events. This was just like a fairy tale, after all, with one out-of-nowhere-miracle after the next one.

I'm sure some people will like it, and I think it's not bad for what it is, it's just not my cup of tea.

Something I didn't really get - what happened to Trina's parents? Did they drown in the sea and come back like the guy? Did they run away from the demon and returned years later? That part didn't make much sense to me, but maybe I just misread it.


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StevenClark
Posted: October 16th, 2016, 2:08pm Report to Moderator
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Writer,

This is very well written and was a pleasure to read. At first I thought there were way too many characters, but none overstayed their welcome and all seemed to lend to the story. Only issue I had with this is that it ended quite abruptly, with Merke entering the scene and helping Trina dole out justice. Just seemed a little too quick, and thought the burning of the skull and that part could've used some more time and explanation, though I understand we were all on page counts.

Anyway, very good job, fine easy writing and style. A strong consider, possibly a Rec from me.

Steve


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MarkItZero
Posted: October 16th, 2016, 8:25pm Report to Moderator
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This is extremely confusing. I tried very hard to get through it but I'm completely lost. I'm gonna go through in detail all the potentially confusing things just from the first couple pages:  

He kneels to uncouple the flatbed but stops when he sees
TRINA, black skin, who stands by a sawdust pile across
the yard. She wears a knife belt, holds a burlap sack.

PEANUT
I still ain’t seen him, Trina.


**Still ain't seen who? Is he talking to Trina? Because she's standing across the yard so he'd have to be shouting at her from a distance.

He turns back to the flatbed.

DRESSLER
I told her to quit coming up here.


**So now Dressler is talking to Peanut in reference to Trina (who apparently now can't hear them). Why does she never respond or acknowledge them? If she just lurks there on a daily basis without talking, how are they all on a first name basis? Once again, who is she looking for?

LATER - WOODS

Dressler tamps the ground with the back of a shovel, spreads
leaves on top.


**You just established Dressler couldn't give two craps about this dead guy. He was relieved to learn a bear probably mauled the guy to pieces cuz it meant he wouldn't have to file a report. I doubt he's burying it for sentimental reasons... so he's hiding it from people? Why can't he just toss it in the woods?

NOOMY
Trina? Did you find Puffballs?


**You just established Trina was looking for him, a person. Now Noomy is suggesting Trina was actually searching for mushrooms.

Charles walks around. Trina comes out again.

TRINA
No.

Charles shakes his head.

CHARLES
Nommy, she wouldn’t know a Puffball
mushroom from a Deathcap. I’m
keeping her tomorrow.


**Keeping who, Trina? Keeping her where?

INT. HUT - TRINA’S ROOM - NIGHT

A tallow lantern casts gray-yellow light. Trina sits
cross-legged on a bed mat, the sack in her lap.

She removes the SKULL, places it at the foot of the mat.

TRINA
I thought you had gone, left me.


**So she was looking for the skull? That's not a him, unless if it's possessed by a human spirit or something I supposed it could be referred to as him. But if this is *him*, and Dressler knew she was looking for *him*, why didn't he just give her the skull directly?

SKULL
No, I’ve come for you.


**Okay, the skull is talking. Are its jaws moving or is sort of like a mystical telepathic connection where she's hearing the voice in her head? Because that's two very different visuals.

TRINA
You have?

SKULL
Yes.

Trina giggles, places a red cloth cap atop the skull.

TRINA
Perfect!

She removes her dress, displays her breasts.


**??????????




That rug really tied the room together.
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Gum
Posted: October 17th, 2016, 1:01pm Report to Moderator
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Well, I had a gander at the original and, I’m afraid to say this is just a retelling of the same tale almost verbatim. Well, not entirely true… it did put me in mind of ‘Welcome back Kotter’: “... the names have all changed since you hung around,  but those dreams have remained and they're turned around…”

So there’s a deeper moral/metaphor within that’s still not showing us any true scenes of horror, not to justify the genre or theme really, unless killing your parents in some covert way is horrific, then maybe.

So the parents abandon the girl simply because she was neurotic, or maybe psychotic because of the voices she heard from the skull telling her what to do. Maybe for the best though. Here’s what her mother had to say in the original…

(cut n’ pastie)

"Oh, oh, oh, horror! horror!  What has become of our daughter? How very strange! Our [quite] unmarried daughter has become a ke´l, she has become an abomination, an object of fear.  Oh, wonder! what is she now? Not a human being. In truth, she is a ke´l."

The footnotes state: Keke´ is an interjection of fear, used by women.

So, it’s apparent that (at least Mom) is totally freaked out that she resides with an abomination and, couldn’t pack the boat fast enough to get the hell out of dodge.

Then, Trina resolves her issues of abandonment by burning the place to the ground, yet, in a strange twist of fate, brings forth from the ether a husband… looking for her? Who is he? Why was he looking for Trina? Most importantly, why would he be obliged to help Trina whack her parents in the end? Her mom, after all was trying to reconcile…

NOOMY: We made a bad mistake leaving, Trina. We thought you had—

Obviously Trina wasn’t buying into her bullshit and, just wanted to get revenge on the ones who left her for dead.

Perhaps ‘Irony’ is the theme and could be summed up as: Her parents abandon Trina because they believe she is evil, when they return a year later and try to reconcile… she kills them. Ironic, yes, but I’m not getting any sense of this being adapted outside of the original version.
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 17th, 2016, 1:33pm Report to Moderator
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The source material is very strange and hard to follow.  I wonder why someone would choose is as the basis of their script?  Hmmm, well let's see...

Hmmm...writing is actually quite good, but this is very hard to follow the way it's structured...and written.

Page 3 - Trina exposes her breasts.  Huh?  WTF?  Why?  For the skull to see?  No clue what's going on here, sorry to say, but I'll read on.

Well, as I said, the source material was tough to get through and so is this.  Is it just the same thing, written as a script?  I don't really know, but I do know two things - the writer knows how to write, but for some reason, that talent isn't getting through to the readers.

Well...not sure what to say.  In some ways, i like it.  In others, I don't know if it's anything new or a simple retelling in script form.

Grades

Challenge parameters - B-

Script/Story/Execution - B-


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2016, 2:26pm Report to Moderator
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Probably one of strongest one I have read so far. Nice handling and pace. But...

Story wise, and I appreciate there is a fairytale to follow, it was a little lacking. I didn't really get much of the girl, her past, her problems, her fears etc which would lead her to be like that.

Further, the parents and the skull seemed sudden.

Actually the more I think about it, the more I think this needs some work.

Needs a few more pages, but the underlying story has something


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ChrisBodily
Posted: October 17th, 2016, 11:46pm Report to Moderator
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I wasn't familiar with the original story. Unfortunately, I'm surprised I didn't have an aneurysm trying to read it! So confusing, atrocious English. Took me out of the story. I'm fully expecting my reception of the source to color your script.

Here we go.

"Curs"?? Google defines it as "an agressive dog" or "a contemptible man."

"Bear musta" should be "Bear must've".

"Accident report." Funny line.


Quoted Text
LATER - WOODS


When were we in the woods? Your first slug was "EXT. MOUNTAINS - SAWMILL YARD - DAY".

If we're in a different location, change it to:


Quoted Text
EXT. WOODS - DAY*


*Since you said "LATER," I assume it's still day?


Quoted Text
LATER

Trina sits by the creek edge. She cuts and scrapes pieces of flesh from the head [...]


This is how you use a LATER slug, not the earlier "WOODS" slug I pointed out above.  And, what head? Is this the titular skull?


Quoted Text
EXT. RIVERSIDE CAMP - DAY


This is the best slug you've written so far, which isn't saying much.

"Puffballs"?? Had to Google that; they're some kind of fungi/mushroom.


Quoted Text
CHARLES
Nommy Noomy, [which one is it?] she wouldn't know a Puffball mushroom from a Deathcap. [...]


Apparently, neither would I. Had to Google "deathcap."

You're getting better with your slugs.

Had to Google "tallow."

"I thought you had gone, left me." "Gone." "Left me." Pick one or the other.

So far, it flows better than the original story, which isn't saying much; you seem to have a better grasp of (fluent) English.

Any reason why she flashes the skull? Why does she undress at all? Just because it's a horror?

"The Demon -- No, no, no, no, no!"

I would remove "The Demon" (Too OTN!) and possibly the whole thing. Just screaming would be fine. Myabe one or two "No's" maybe a long, screaming "Noooo!" So far, I'm not buying Noomy's reaction.

"Trina has brought the Demon to our house. It hides in her room!"

This is a better fit for the "Demon" line. And we already know it's in her room. Viewers (and readers) aren't morons.


Quoted Text
TRINA
No, I am all alone. They left me!


No need to recap what we just saw.


Quoted Text
SKULL
I came for you. I am with you.



Quoted Text
TRINA
No, you are nothing.


Okay, never mind.

How did the Skull get to the doorway?


Quoted Text
LATER

A truck [...]


Are we still at the doorway?

"Mr." should be "Mister."

Who's this Merke guy anyway?

...

"I came for you." Wait a minute! You mean he's...? Either that or he's a big Manfred Mann/Springsteen fan.

I used to think anything in SUPER: needed quotation marks; I guess I was wrong.

Had to Google "clapboard house."


Quoted Text
TRINA
I'm Tempted, [B]ut the light on the river today is just right. I want to finish my painting.


Trina's "OLIH" should be capitalized.

Surprisingly good writing, considering the source and its obviously-not-native-language English. But not a whole lot of horror, other than a skull/demon.

Ooh! I spoke too soon.

"Adam's apple" should be capitalized.

Original story: C
Challenges/Parameters: B
Script/Story/Execution/etc.: A-/B+

A consider.


FADE IN:
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Cam Gray
Posted: October 18th, 2016, 1:14am Report to Moderator
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I'm sure there's some good elements in there, but the way in which it was written is hiding them. The pacing is absolutely all over the shop, and to be honest I really struggled to get through it.

Anyway, I did make it through, but it's a pass from me.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: October 19th, 2016, 2:43am Report to Moderator
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I skimmed through quite a few old fairy tales while trying to come up with ideas and the common problem I found with a lot of them is they don't make much sense, are all over the place and end abruptly, usually with, 'And everyone dies'. Back in 'YEE OLDE DAYS' I'm sure that was fine but there's a reason any such adaptation is changed and modernized.

I think that's what this script needs. The writing is fine and I found each scene easy to visualize but the story is all over the place and doesn't make much sense. It ends abruptly and predictably, just like a lot of fairly tales do.  

For me when I'm reading these scripts I'm expecting the story to be given a new twist of life and the horror levels raised to modern expectations. I didn't see that here so I'll have to pass.

-Mark


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Nolan
Posted: October 19th, 2016, 7:21pm Report to Moderator
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I started to read the source material on this, but gave up halfway because I found it hard to follow.  Or maybe because the TV was on in the background.  Anyhow, I read the script and I liked it.  I like your writing style, everything was very easy for me to visualize.  I went back after the script and read the source material, and did note that it was very similar.  I personally don't have a problem with that at all.  

I would probably give this one a consider at the very least.

Nolan
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PrussianMosby
Posted: October 19th, 2016, 7:25pm Report to Moderator
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Mysterious title here

Another one with a pretty unique atmosphere. I liked the second half better than the first.

Some pictures felt a bit complicated, not in a bad way, more as if they're parts of a literary narrative. The settings and scenarios were partly so jumbled that I felt this story might be better as a short story where fantasy can deviate differently.

Promising substance.



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AnthonyCawood
Posted: October 20th, 2016, 9:51pm Report to Moderator
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The first couple of pages completely confused me... who is she waiting for? Why is there a train been attacked by dogs? Why is there a skull jammed under there - it's the least likely bit to get stuck...

I did however get a general sense of where it was going so I could keep up more or less.

The second half was easier to follow but the conclusion seemed abrupt, and again didn't;t make a lot of sense.

However there was something about the general tone of this I liked... nice try.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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