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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2019 One Week Challenge  ›  Belgian Spring - OWC Moderators: Zack
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  Author    Belgian Spring - OWC  (currently 564 views)
Posted: April 20th, 2019, 12:27am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Belgian Spring by Anonymous - Short, Horror - Escaping the invading German army during the Battle of the Bulge, a small infantry company must evacuate civilians to safety in the midst of snipers and V-1 buzz-bombs. 12 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  April 20th, 2019, 12:32am
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Posted: April 20th, 2019, 2:12pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Tucson, AZ
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Second read and second WWII story - Yeah, Baby! Let's see how you did...

Um, WTF is 'xxxxxxxxxxcivkxxxxx'? Perhaps you meant to look something up and to fill it in later? Oops!

Interesting that there is no German dialog. Maybe they whisper between each other?

Much of the dialog seemed a bit clunky. Very conversational for being under fire. You might want to scale that back.

Kudos for getting an entry in for the challenge. Good job.
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Posted: April 20th, 2019, 6:39pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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How odd, two WWII scripts, next to each other in the list and bot set in 1944... there was a one entry only rule?

Anyway, this take on WWII suspense horror with a vehicle...

First scene looks partly set in a vehicle so may worth a new slug, and as above xxxxxxxxxxcivkxxxxx ???

a hardened soldier with a hardened babyface - one too many hardened.

A snow system sounds like a convient inconvenience, and implies winter which I'd not picked up in the script up to now.

Also I'm on page 9 and I've got vehicles and an element of suspense but no Horror whatsoever (apart from the obvious war is horrible).

So decent enough war story, I think the dialogue is a little too formal and stilted and doesn't portray the pressure they are under, so I'd revise that some.

Afraid for me though this is outside of the remit, or my intepretation of it, as it's not in the Horror genre.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 5:09pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Always CAP 1st intros of characters - SOLDIERS, TROOPS, etc.

"xxxxxxxxsxxxcivxxxxx" - WTF?

Why is there no dialogue?  You're saying there's talking going on, but we don't hear any of it?  Not good.

I skimmed.  Absolutely ZERO horror or any attempt at horror.  Sure, those that have fought say war is Hell, horror, but not in a script that's supposed to be horror.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 5:20pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Vancouver, BC
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This is very prose-heavy. I'm guessing someone new to screenwriting but not new to writing.

Quoted Text
The soldier finds the nearest GERMAN CAPTAIN and reports the

This works in a novel, not on screen. What we see is a soldier talking to a German Captain. How can we possibly know what is being said? If it's meant to be visual, then say the soldier speaks to the Captain and points, or some action to replace the dialogue.

Quoted Text
Yeah, I'm sure. Some officer was
grinnin' at me like some goddamn
cat eyein' a cage full of
canaries. Better tell Cap.

How much cooler would this have been if we saw it instead of Jake telling us about it?

The action isn't frenetic enough. Too many beats, too much dialogue slowing the pace down, not in a suspenseful way. And the one-liners in the middle of the firefight really hurt the tension.

Did you introduce Medic Tim before he's suddenly in the Captain's jeep? If so, I must have missed it. You have an awful lot of people being introduced for a short. And is it Medic Tim or Tim? Be consistent.

Quoted Text
Captain is at a crossroads.

Be careful with lines like this. It's a visual medium, I thought he was literally at a crossroads, not just faced with a dilemma.

Man, the Germans really have it out for the civilians...

I'm really lost in where the action is taking place. I have no idea how many jeeps we started off with, it just seems we jump from jeep to jeep to jeep without any sense of where they are or who's in them until they get there.

It ends as if the attack suddenly stopped, like they were safe. That doesn't make sense. There's no hint of the Germans withdrawing or anything.

Good effort. It could use more suspense, and there really isn't any horror. Work out the geography, choreograph it, walk us through it better, and make it much more visual and less talking.

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Posted: April 21st, 2019, 6:22pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Orlando, FL
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The opening sequence with the Germans spotting the troops and jeeps moving through the nearby farmland is written more like a page from a novel.  You have the German Soldier addressing the German Captain who addresses other German characters without a single word of dialogue or secondary character introductions.  

You can use Google to translate just about anything in any language.  I believe I've seen film scripts write out the foreign dialogue in boldface and/or italics and then follow it up with the English translation in regular font.  

Here is an article I found on the subject:


I loved this passage of dialogue:

CAPTAIN Corporal, we are the fish in this Belgian barrel of farmland.

GABE That we are, sir.
CAPTAIN I'd prefer it was a barrel of beer on a Belgian Spring day.

GABE With a Belgian girl or two for a little bit of company?

CAPTAIN Sure, why not? If we're still around by Spring.

GABE You're pretty invincible, sir.

CAPTAIN It's not me, it's you guys. Cheatin' death like you're cheatin' your old man outta five bucks. Do you boys play poker with Satan himself or something?

This is chock full of witty banter.  It rang true to me.  This was the strongest element of your story by far.    

That being said, it's very hard to pull of a prolonged action sequence like this without confusing the hell out of the reader.  

Too many POW POW! and BUZZ BUZZ!  and BOOM! BOOM!   It becomes multiple characters firing multiple weapons and getting all jumbled up and lost in the mix.  But then again, that's war for you.    

Being a short film it's hard to differentiate your characters because we haven't established who is who or created any personalities to identify them as individuals.  

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Posted: April 22nd, 2019, 12:05am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Hmm this reads more like a Shakespeare play - certainly some of the dialogue was rich and poetic.

Yet again another one that needs a SUPER this time with the year and location in Europe. Ok I know when or what the Battle Of the Bulge was but most peeps wouldn't lol.

This was ok but it had too much action going on, no horror and the vehicle aspect was very slight. Also I'm pretty sure that V-1s were only used against England - fired across the Channel - and not like general artillery on the front line? I could be wrong though...

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Posted: April 22nd, 2019, 10:53pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Quoted Text

Whatever that is.

Anyway, another WW2 themed script. Outstanding!
Not so outstanding is the early bits of dialog. Jake starts off with  looking through his binoculars twice and stopping Hank with more information when the information should come right after he says they been spotted. He also wouldn't say "in fact". Either his report is right or it isn't. He is stating a fact. Anyway, as it happens, we don't need Jake. If you got rid of Jake, Hank could simply jog up to Captain Grady and give the report. He says pretty much the same thing.

Note: Hank is out of breath when he catches up to O'Grady. Then for some reason after repeating what Jake told him, jogs back. Why? That makes no sense.

I'm not sure the American soldiers would be telling jokes at this point. The enemy is close, even if they aren't actively in pursuit. (BTW, why are the characters all given first nmes in Character Slugs but Captain is just CAPTAIN. Something wrong with Tom? O'Grady?

Quoted Text
"Captain squints into the trees, concerned.

A bit awkward.

Look, I know the OWC asks to go easy on carnage. Yet, sniper fire, in rapid succession (!) only aims for the tires. Not a juicy target like...say a high ranking officer? Note that soldiers are walking alongside the jeeps (typo p4,BTW) and not one of them gets even a bullet in the leg. It isn't until a page or so later where we see an injury and a casualty. The Hank's shot in the head....but still alive (?) Later, Tim gets shot in the legs (about time)...

Quoted Text
Captain gets the attention of Jake, Hank, and PRIVATE BILL
QUINCEY (19) who hide behind the rear jeeps.

Remember, Hank was out of breath running what seems to be a three- to four car length.
Come to think of it, how many snipers are there? You imply there's only one, but the sniper fires shots left and right.

Quoted Text
No medics are around.

But MEDIC TIM is. You not only confirm this a moment later, but a moment before.
Again, how many snipers are there? Cap kills one. But there's another, firing from the same position.  Soon you make this correction. But it's confusing in the read.

Quoted Text
The corpse falls dead.

I'll let you contemplate what';s wrong with this line. You'll see it soon, it explains itself.

Okay, I'm getting annoyed with the sound effects. Just write WHIRR or BUZZ or BOOM. That'll be fine.

I'm hard pressed to find horror in this piece, unless you were thinking 'horrors of war' which isn't exactly what the OWC asked for, but hmmmm... alright. Horrors of war. Yeah, that's scary enough. Interesting, out of the box interpretation. Wish I could dig the story though. Feels lie a swing and a miss. But what a  big swing it was.

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
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Posted: April 23rd, 2019, 11:27am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Some decent  writing on display here and it had an authentic feel to it but I donít see even a glimpse of horror. This was a wartime drama. Some nice suspense, which was a little spoiled by the amount of chatter going on during the fighting and the overuse of the classic Batman style POW WIZZ BOOM!

Didnít meet the criteria for me, sorry.

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Posted: April 24th, 2019, 6:17am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

Another WWII script. Hope you can surprise me.

Quoted Text
As he talks with his superior

There is no way we could really know this. It would probably be fine to say As he talks into the radio.

Quoted Text

A really bad typo?

Quoted Text
The German captain gets his final orders and shares them with
the incredulous soldier. The captain explains more and the
soldier agrees, returns to his village patrol.

Some of information would be really hard to convey on screen. How do we know they are final orders? How do we know the soldier is incredulous?

Quoted Text

It's a personal thing, but I've never been a fan of comic book sound effects in a script.

So this is just a war script. Whats the horror aspect?

In terms of the OWC this doesn't get there, sorry.

All the best.

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My Website


Shaka Comic Book

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Posted: April 24th, 2019, 6:29am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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Pow-pow... haha! Sound effects rarely work. This is a very long 12 pages. Even with skimming it seemed to take forever. 'Where did we go wrong? Where?' A large dollop of melodrama for good measure - might as well end on a high.

I like war stories... but prefer gritty realism over patriotic fantasy.

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Posted: April 24th, 2019, 3:45pm Report to Moderator

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DQ for me. No attempt at horror and too light on use of vehicle.

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: April 24th, 2019, 11:37pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

A helluva long way from LA
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I almost didn't get through this. I thought this read more like a short story or novel than a script. I kept seeing things described rather than shown.  A couple of things struck me. For one, it's not a question of whether or not you can write because you can.  It's definitely a little too prose-y here and there for my tastes but that's nether here nor there.  Second, I'm no historian but most of the dialogue seems authentic.  I'd consider trimming some of it.   Overall, I can appreciate the hard work you put into this but personally I did not think you met the parameters.

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: April 25th, 2019, 8:14am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Shakespeare's county
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Going to be a D/Q from my side - No attempt at horror and so would be unfair to judge alongside others who have tried.

The dialogue was a difficult read, felt very forced.


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Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

Not in Britain
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I'm not a fan of war movies and I started skimming at page 6 because not much was happening, just a lot of talking and war lingo, no suspense and no horror so it doesn't check off the OWC boxes for me, sorry.

Well written though so grats on that.

Producer/Director of The Dollmaker by Matias Caruso
Producer/Director of So Pretty/Dark by James Williams
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