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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
This is very prose-heavy. I'm guessing someone new to screenwriting but not new to writing.
The soldier finds the nearest GERMAN CAPTAIN and reports the sighting.
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.
JAKE 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.
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.
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.
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...
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?
"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)...
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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."
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.