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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  One Night
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Don
Posted: July 8th, 2019, 9:40am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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One Night by Ben Tucker - Short, Horror - A man. A girl. One night. 5 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Arundel
Posted: July 9th, 2019, 4:10pm Report to Moderator
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You don't have a slug line for your first scene when the main character is in the car. All the others do, i.e. INT. MOTEL, etc. It's obvious the man was up to some nefarious business, and you might key the reader in ore to what that might be. Doesn't have to go into great detail, but perhaps a little more to make the story ore interesting.

Instead of having the girl say, "I heard the last person who stayed in this room..." just have her say, "The last person who stayed in this room..." more direct. Also right after that it says the girl keys a room door. Didn't seem natural. Just have her go around the corner (just my opinion).

It's short and there are two characters. Give them names. It's easy to just say the guy/the girl, etc. but we don't have to know their backgrounds and it helps the writer visualize and the reader identify.
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MikeK
Posted: July 9th, 2019, 5:03pm Report to Moderator
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Cool premise. Two things. In your last slug line drop the "That". Just  'INT. MOTEL ROOM - Night' works.

Also, I'd have the Man say "must have been seeing things" to himself. Better establishes him shaking it off/downplaying it.

Keep at it though, that was fun.


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bjamin
Posted: July 9th, 2019, 8:31pm Report to Moderator
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thanks for the notes, guys. i'll make those switches. 'preciate ya.


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: July 10th, 2019, 6:11am Report to Moderator
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Hi Ben

It's best to put contact details on the title page so anyone who is interested in producing this can get in contact with you - unless ofcourse you plan on making it yourself and don't want to be contacted.

"Late day" feels like an odd way to describe it - Evening, perhaps?

The writing is overwritten for my liking, you can rejig some of these passages to read more fluidly using less words.


Quoted Text

EXT. MOTEL'S PARKING LOT

A small child, a GIRL, eight or nine years old, bounces a
blue rubber ball off the pavement. She looks completely out
of place in the sketchy environment.

The man steps back out into the parking lot holding a room
key.

He quickly spots the girl and her blue rubber ball because
she’s bouncing it directly in front of the driver door of his
car - blocking his path.

The man reddens, but again keeps his cool and attempts to
shimmy around her instead. But the bouncing ball accidently
clips the tip of his shoe, shooting it across the parking
lot.


So here, you have some double information, and really use a lot of words to describe a short piece of action on screen


Quoted Text
EXT. MOTEL - CAR PARK

Next to the drivers door of The Man's car stands GIRL (,
her bright clothes in stark contrast to the grim motel. She
monotonously bounces a blue ball.

Man steps out of the reception and heads to his car.

Frustrated, Man tries to squeeze past the girl but the ball
bounces off his shoe and across the car park.


Not saying my version is great - just trying to emphasise that you can re-work some of your passages to convey the same information and feelings but with less words and give the read a better flow.


Quoted Text
OUTSIDE THE WINDOW

We are on the top floor and the walkway is on the other side
of the room, door side, so there is no way someone just walk
by his motel window - must have been seeing things.

He looks down over the parking lot and parked cars - happens
to catch a blue rubber ball bouncing up and down, up and down
on its own in the parking lot. He closes the curtains but
gets spooked by a teddy bear NOW sitting at the edge of his
bed.


The above is a bit awkwardly written and not immediately clear - Could just be me, but I had to reread to get what you meant - Clarity is king


Quoted Text
THROUGH WINDOW

No walkway - no way someone could have walked past
this window.

In the car park below, the blue ball bounces of its
own accord.

MOTEL ROOM

Man quickly closes the curtains, turns to his bed- stops short

Staring at him from the edge of his bed- the Girl's teddy


Note: we go to his room ealier in the script, so you should establish then that his room is on the second floor - not this late in the script.

You also have a mini slug taking us outside the window - but you don't have a slug bringing us back into the room.

Again i'm not saying my version is great - I've probably gone the other way and not used enough words - anyway, just to highlight that you can rejig these sentences to make the read flow better and hit some key beats within the scene.

Oh and give the man a name, just makes things easier.

The story - at the moment it doesn't appear to be a fully rounded story, more like the kind of ghost tales I used to tell around the camp fire as a kid.
As a short movie it's a little unsatisfying for my taste - I don't know who this guy is, why he has a duffle bag in the car, or what's inside - no idea what the conversation he had at the beginning was about.

The Girl is some kind of poltergeist - Horror seems to be able to get away with not explaining why these supernatural forces are here - but in my opinion, the better horror movies do - so some clue as to how or why this Girl came to be might be nice.

The very brief scene with the receptionist is pointless - does nothing - the receptionist is also remarkably normal considering she works at a place where guests are murdered - give this scene something - maybe she tries to queitly warn him not to stay here, but she spots the girl through the window and, with fear in her eyes, tells him to "have a nice stay" -- something to give purpose to the scene and also push the plot forward
as it stands, there's no inclining of horror until the very last moments.

You have the basis here for a nice little horror short - it just needs some extra layers in my opinion.

Good work so far and best of luck with it


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bjamin
Posted: July 10th, 2019, 4:46pm Report to Moderator
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thanx for the read   

I'll work on whittling it down some, tighten it up more.


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