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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  A Dark Reflection - WT3 Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    A Dark Reflection - WT3  (currently 1479 views)
Posted: June 17th, 2019, 9:50pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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A Dark Reflection by Reinhold Messner - Death isn't always the worst thing that can happen to you. - Short, Horror

Visit for what is new on the site.

You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Posted: June 18th, 2019, 12:38am Report to Moderator
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I had trouble following your descriptions sometimes, and some parts I found funny. Like when Mae exits the lavatory and when the ghost questions her living self. I really enjoyed the twist ending and surreal story.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: June 18th, 2019, 12:46am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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I struggled a bit with some of the descriptions. I'm not sure the words you used always meant what you thought they meant.

There was a fun little twist at the end, though it kind of made the script redundant at the same time. The sheer lack of care Mae took over such a dangerous item also made it highly unbelievable.

I'm kind of middle of the road on this one.
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ghost and_ghostie gal
Posted: June 18th, 2019, 5:42am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

A helluva long way from LA
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Not bad.  Anyway I like the setup, even if it feels familiar. Can't argue with any of what's been said above.  On the plus side, the ending will be one of the more memorable ones.-Andrea

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Posted: June 18th, 2019, 11:34am Report to Moderator

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Great premise... confused descriptions.... Interesting twist !!  
Lots of potential... Could have been one of the best script.
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Posted: June 18th, 2019, 5:09pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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This script makes me feel stupid... cause I just don't understand what happened. I'm sure it's in there, I just can't see it.

So, I'll circle back to this one for another read in a day or two. If I still don't get it, hopefully someone will explain it to me here.

I'll be back.

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: June 18th, 2019, 6:11pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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A Dark Reflection

Oh, damn, I don't think to completely get it, which is a shame because I liked a lot of it. As I see it, she may have had the agent in herself because she got in contact with his blood, well, but why then this whole fever dream scenario when she should already been dead for 10 hours, as the doc says. Is she in another realm?? Or have that been the unspoken side effects they talked about? Also the characters' situation wasn't clear in the early parts; how are they truly related...

I liked the mystery vibe on the plane but the execution feels stuck in development yet.

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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 18th, 2019, 6:59pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Second time at writing this as I lost it when I submitted the first time.  Got all the criteria check marks, so good there.

The opening and ending are pretty interesting, especially with the twist at the end.  But the twist raised a lot of questions for me.  If she had been dead for 10 hours, how did no one else on the flight notice? Or better yet, how did she even get on the plane?  And because she was dead that entire time, that means none of the stuff on the plane actually happened, right?

So everything between the beginning and ending confused me.  I'm hoping after the challenge that this gets explained.  The writing's not bad, just needs some structure.

Best of luck,

Some of my scripts:

Bounty (TV Pilot) -- Top 1% of discoverable screenplays on Coverfly
I'll Be Seeing You (short) - OWC winner
The Gambler (short) - OWC winner
Skip (short) - filmed
Country Road 12 (short) - filmed
The Family Man (short) - filmed
The Journeyers (feature) - optioned

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Posted: June 18th, 2019, 8:29pm Report to Moderator

The Great Southern Land
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Count me confused as well.

I'm sure the story is clear in your head but it suffers from  clarity. Don't worry I've been guilty of this in the past where the story doesn't quite translate to the page from the writer's noggin.

Another entry with poison in the sanitizer, right? But the biomedical stuff was too obscure for me.
Plane,  sanitizer - check. Horror, hmm, yep.

Terrific ending. Dead for hours, short flight. Kudos on that.

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Posted: June 19th, 2019, 6:11pm Report to Moderator
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You tried to tackle some fancy structured story telling. I was confused somewhat.

Your writing kept me engaged .

Dialogue seemed decent.  

What kind of New Image appeared?

The type of story your telling is no easy task. I’m glad you tried. It’s never a fail unless you quit.  A lot of people love movies or shows that make them use their brain. Keeps you on your toes . Kind of like if you miss a certain scene , you won’t get the rest of the movie.

Keep on Truckin’

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: June 20th, 2019, 8:09am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Shakespeare's county
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*Spots all the reviewers stating they are confused - Cracks his fingers and neck in preparation, opens up the script determined not to be confused..."

Hello Writer!

I'm confused.

Quoted Text
The 50-passenger plane cruises over a darkened land. Most
windows are dark; a few ghosted by yellow light. The ENGINE�S
DRONE is a lonely sound in this vast blackness.

How poetic of you.

I was on a plane recently and watched a thunderstorm in the distance - It was fascinating and eerie as the same time - so you have some good visuals there.

Quoted Text

No need to specify "... in cabin" - by the very nature of BACK TO SCENE we go back to the scene we were in before we got pulled out of it by the POV

Quoted Text

How do we know it's 10 hours before - in the mirror? are we watching a flashback in the mirror? well, that's different - does that need a new slugline? I don't think so but I have never played out a scene in a mirror before so God knows.

Quoted Text
Unfucking believable. The cops will
blame the fall for his death.
They�ll still run a toxicology
ZR23 is undetectable, Mae.
Famous last words, James

You gotta explain this to me when this round is over - He is pissed the cops will blame the fall for his death, what does Cockrell want them to blame? the hand sanitizer? - he just said that it is undetectable so, even if he hadn't hit his head, they still wouldn't blame the hand sanitizer... I feel like I am being stupid and need someone to help me lol

Oooooh - shes going a bit crazy because she has been mildly poisoned by the hand sanitizer (it got into his blood stream, then she touched his blood as it is on the bottle) *Fist pumps the air* Fuck yes, i get it!.... I hope lol.

Wait, the ending... dead for much longer than the flight? how is that possible?... Bollocks, I don't get it.... why would you do that to me?

OK - you gotta expand on that in the short because it is intriguing as hell, how can she be dead much longer than the flight? must be the hand sanitizer, what does it do? does it animate people? if so, why!!..... or, maybe the sanitizer is to confuse medical examiners about how long a person has been dead, so you could set up an alibi, go and kill someone with this stuff, and get away with murder.... bloody cunning that is.

Alright - you have tried some brave and complicated things here - I have tried writing in a way that messes with reality and it's not easy - people can and will get confused. I commend your bravery in this.
It's also a clever story, I really like it, it just has a clarity issue - I just need to know what the ending was about lol

This was one of the more intriguing entries I've read



Two steps to writing a good screenplay:
1) Write a bad one
2) Fix it
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Posted: June 20th, 2019, 8:14am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Posts Per Day
On vacation this week, hungover most days, not helping me follow things. I'm a bit confused by events here. They've designed this killer substance meant for weaponization, but they're deploying it with hand sanitizer? And they don't seem to secure it very well.

So does her flight experience amount to a trippy delusion before death?

I'm not in favor of this type of flashback. She's already apparently some kind of zombie and she looks in a mirror and sees the memory...really, just so we can see it. I think these challenges are a cool place to experiment, so it was worth the attempt, but I don't think that technique worked in this instance.

Also there is the issue of consistency within the rules of the story. Hilton dies immediately on contact, she becomes a zombie that "lives" for 10 hours. Yes, that can be explained by different levels of contact or different body reactions, but in a story consistency is preferable, especially in a story like this that already makes the reader/audience work to figure out what's happening.[[just realized: he only died quickly because he hit his head]]

I'm still not sure how the hand sanitizer got in the purse. Yes, the bloody prints, but he was dead on the floor.
Why did they kill Hilton? Because she was sleeping with Cockerall? Why didn't he travel with her? Or was it him that put the sanitizer in the bag? If it was.

Ok, sorry, I think I figured this out, Jeesh, took me long enough. She was contaminated by touching his blood, not by the sanitizer. Then the agent worked its way into her body, killed her, and she continued on as a zombie. Presumably Hilton would have ended up the same way if he had not hit his head.

Glad I cleared that up. My hangover is worse though, thanks!

Back to the same old problem in too many of these stories. The need to make the object so essential results in stories where things are done that don't make sense. Some company develops a lethal agent to be used as a WMD. They wouldn't use it to kill off a partner they wanted to be rid of by putting it in sanitizer. Especially if the agent does not kill right away, but leads to a zombie state for several hours. I can try to spin what's going on in several ways, but none of them make sense to me. Maybe when the writer chimes in it will be clear. Once again, I fear the object criteria has resulted in a convoluted plot and I spent way too much time having to figure it out.
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Posted: June 20th, 2019, 8:27am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Posts Per Day
Posting again because my last post was a ramble. Sorry.

So they killed Hilton so she could steal the WMD agent, which is in a hand sanitizer. But in retrieving it from his pooling blood, she got infected. It turned her into a zombie, and eventually killed her.

Still some loose ends. What is the stuff supposed to do? It's apparently not supposed to kill right away. Did Hilton have a bad reaction to it?

And again the main question is why use hand sanitizer? I still can't figure that out. Every time I think I understand what happened it falls apart like sand in my mind. lol Sorry.
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Posted: June 21st, 2019, 12:16am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

Straight out the gate the writing is a little awkward. like:

Quoted Text
Then MORE LIGHTNING FLASHES are born and quickly die.

Quoted Text

If this information is import, I'd put it in a SUPER.

Quoted Text
we SEE the

Generally a better way to write than using "we see", it serves only to pull me out of the read.

Quoted Text
a room designed to please an
unsophisticated man.

I love a good aside or unfilmable, but this one doesn’t work on any level.

Quoted Text

No need to say this, we will know he address him the minute the dialogue starts. If you really feel it needs to be there for clarity use a wrylie (to Cockrell), I don’t think clarity is an issue here.

Quoted Text
Mae stands and walks toward us

Any time you address the reader it takes them out of the story. You’re also using a fair bit of space to write in 'fancy' transitions. This is literally just a transition:

Quoted Text
MIRROR GOES BLACK for several beats, then the IMAGE OF THE
LAVATORY is reflected back in the mirror.

Quoted Text
Bloody finger smudges have dried on it. Hers.

How would we know they were hers on screen?

Quoted Text
The perplexed Detectives

I'm perplexed as well. I think the writer may need to explain this one after the round ends. I don’t quite get it.

The writing need some work all round.

All the best.

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Posted: June 21st, 2019, 10:40am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Posts Per Day
Okay, this confused me and I struggled to follow it - which may be me not you!

But, clear use of sanitiser and in a horror setting.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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