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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  Tree Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: March 22nd, 2019, 10:54pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Tree by Lukas Rozkovec - Horror, Ghost, Mysterious, Supernatural - After visiting an energy healer to treat his psoriasis, a college student learns the illness was caused by a curse cast upon him. 83 pages - pdf format

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: March 27th, 2019, 5:33am Report to Moderator
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Lukas, hello

I've only read the first 10 so my notes only pertain to that. And a disclaimer, I am an amateur, so I am not saying my notes are right/wrong, just my opinion

Obviously, you are writing in a second language, with that in mind the English is very good, but not quite there yet - If you are serious about this script, and you are going to keep it in the English language, it might be worth trying to find someone who can go through and fix those things that aren't quite right.

Setting the scene - Setting up a scene is important, not only for visual purpose but it also sets the tone for what's to come. It's about striking a balance between too much and too little information. Your opening scene is set in a classroom, but I know nothing about it, is it a tense scene? I feel it should be since they are going into an exam

A note on introducing characters - even none important characters should be introduced with caps (I think) so "Two FEMALE EMPLOYEES sit behind..."

Show don't tell - The very very first thing we read after the slug is "it's springtime", this is telling us information - Don't tell if you can show - Springtime is so easy to show, flowers bursting into bloom, lambs in fields, baby birds in nests, be imaginative - it also makes for better viewing, this is a movie after all.

Camera direction - This is one of those things where you will find a divided opinion on their use. The general consensus I have found is to not use them in a spec script unless absolutely necessary - I get why you have used it here, you want to draw attention to the characters name on the register - BUT, you can do that without using the CLOSE UP: - if you just tell us, in normal action, "She scans the list, ticks off the name Leighton Reinhart" - that is already putting the camera where it needs to be without using camera direction formatting - make sense?

Slugline secondary location - The hallway scene, I am assuming is still in the University. Here I would use secondary locations in the slug "INT. UNIVERSITY - HALLWAY - MORNING" so we know we are still in that primary location.
Going further, if the action is continuous in that primary location, you can just use a mini slug "HALLWAY" - research those if you don't know about them.

Parentheticals - I do not know the "proper" rules on the action in them. I don't like it personally, looks horrible, action should stay in the action blocks IMHO.

You have a lot of characters coming at me who don't do a lot and it is becoming very disorientating about who is who.
Leighton Reinhart
Loren O'Shea
Diana Reinhart
Mark Snyder
Andy Reinhart
Jack Maer
John Reinhart
Kate Reinhart
Mia
Not to mention the unnamed characters - I was getting a bit lost with them. Part of the problem may be that you are using their full character names every time they talk - I would just use their first names. It creates more white space on your page, it's easier to read and follow as I won't keep seeing the repetition of "Reinhart" during conversations.

Psoriasis - This is important to your story, but again you just tell us this information (that the protag suffers from this) instead of showing us. It would be much more impactful to show us him suffering from this skin condition. You also don't need to tell us everything straight away, hint at things, keep our interest - for example in the message from the dad, he doesn't have to mention the condition by name, instead just hint at it. "I have a solution to your condition" - now as an audience, we are thinking "Oh, what condition does he have? let's find out"

That's all I hav time for now. I hope something is useful for you.

All the best

Matt


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