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The format, and the use of language, are very competent -- but at the same time, they are somehow foreign and unfamiliar. I am almost certain that I have not read anything by this author before. Hmm...
* The boys are great. Obviously written by someone who actually knows a few kids. You can always tell. * Great conversation between Sid and Jason during the chess game. And Sid gets his ass kicked. That's good, too. * A chupacabra? Now wait a minute. Wasn't this a movie on the SciFi network a few weeks ago? I thought it sounded like a Taco Bell menu item then, too. Seems kinda weird that Chuck is such an expert. * I do like where you go with this angle, though. Very much. But once we hit the museum, Chuck is starting to sound a bit like an encyclopedia.
And it ends well. The kind where you smile. Ain't nothing wrong with that. Nice work on this one. Very well written, with characters that I grew to like -- particularly the brothers. I'll be very curious to see who this story belongs to.
As with almost all of these shorts, the characters are really quite good. This has a nice slow rise to a satisfying conclusion, and it's the kind of thing that would leave you with that creepy feeling watching it alone at night.
Whoever wrote this is very good with dialogue and character interaction. Chuck and Jason were written in a very natural way and were extremely believeable as brothers.
Your narrative needs a little bit of work. Several times, you describe things in ways that can't be shown on film. Examples of this include describing the brothers as 'hyper, outgoing and altogether troublemaking boys.' We really can't see this when they're sitting in the van. On page thirteen, you wrote, 'Jason gets offensive.' I don't know what that means. Everything should be described visually.
A problem I had with the story concerned....
...bringing up Chupacabra. Are you telling me that no one knows what a dead dog looks like? Even after all these years, anyone seeing Serenity on display wouldn't go, "Isn't that a dog?" Wouldn't Nanny, as a girl have seen or heard about it. She read thte newspaper article. Wouldn't she look at the photo. You described it as the splitting image of Serenity.
I think if you fix this problem and tighten up the narrative, you'd have a really good story on yours hands.
Isn't Chupacabra Spanish for 'goat sucker'. Anyway, I agree with Phil that it's a little strange that they wouldn't recognise it as a dog. I also thought it was weird that they had a museum in such a small town.
All that stuff aside, I enjoyed this. The characters were well drawn, especially the kids. Their interaction is very natural and entertaining. The story as a whole worked well for me although you possible spent a little too long setting things up.
Overall, good characters, good dialogue and a satisfying conclusion.
This is one that went into my pile and got buried. Sorry for the delay.
Overall, I like it. It’s very well written and I particularly like the family aspect of it. I enjoyed spying on the boys and their adventures. I think this author would be very good at writing a family flick or an adventure centering around kids.
The only real liability in my opinion was the chupacabra thing. I, for the life of me, simply could not accept the notion that people would mistake a dog (or dog bones) for the legendary Latin American beast blamed for countless goat deaths.
I also could not understand why Nanny would not have, during her lifetime, pointed out that it was Serenity in the museum.
Other than that one thing, which I would consider to be a crippling plot hole, I thoroughly enjoyed this writer’s style.
There has been much written at this site about how many poorly written scripts there are and, in my opinion, not enough about the quality ones. Personally, I would like to see more of the poor scripts by non-serious writers go ignored and the better written ones receive more attention.
This script has only a few minor things to be addressed and is otherwise very well done.
This is a new draft to the script I submitted for the Halloween writing thingy. Fixed up some things, added a line here and there, and altered the chupacabra bit. Enjoy. By next week I hope that my barrage of work will be over and I can get back to reading on a consistent basis.
This was a pretty enjoyable read. You have a nice touch for writing kids. You convey their obnoxiousness very well but still manage to make them seem real and not like charicatures. Nice. The ghostly bits were very well done also. Very subtle as suiting for gothic horror. Very few problems here except for on page 4, you say Jason was named after a dog named Jessie. You mean Jason, I think. Also, Chuck talks Jason into breaking the glass pretty easily. I think Jason'd have more sense in that. Chuck could be a little more persuasive but it's not a big deal. All in all, a nice little ghost story. Good job.
Hey Greg, you´ve managed to come up with a decent storyline based on a very challenging premise: gothic horror at a dog-run if I recall correctly.
Your strongest point was characterization; all your characters felt real people. Specially the two brothers, those two had me chuckling a couple of times.
My only problem was with the progression of the story; I found it was a bit forced in some parts. In the chess scene, Jason makes some strange questions to Sid. His lines felt more like the writer moving the story forward than a kid speaking naturally. I felt the same in the dog run scene after Chuck finds the newspaper; suddenly Chuck seemed to know too much.
Another part that felt a little bit forced was LIL´s 'It started getting foggy right before she died.' Why would she link a relative´s death to a weather change? I would, because I´m reading an horror script. But she isn't.
Format was great except for a couple of minor details:
You can perfectly tell this story without any camera directions; I guess you know that the inclusion of these scream 'amateur'. The reader will only 'see' what you describe, nothing else; including INSERT and BACK TO SCENE is a waste of space.
Is up to the director to decide which scene transitions (CUT, DISSOLVE, etc) to include, so you don't need the FADE OUT in the middle of the script.
Stick to present tense. 'Exiting the van is MIRANDA CARPENTER (33)' can easily become 'MIRANDA CARPENTER (33) exits the van'
Don't repeat information. In the first page you've got a SUPER to establish location followed by an INSERT of a road sign which basically gives the same information. You can keep the sign and loose the SUPER.
It's ok to give relevant information, like establishing this is a small town with low population. But it doesn't seem relevant to know that this town is located '100 miles south of Monterrey' Maybe it was in the previous draft which I didn't read? If it is still relevant, I missed it.
Overall, and despite the previous comments, this was a good read for me. Well done.
Hey Greg, I just read this one. I have a couple nit picking things... the "ing". I noticed a couple of them... The boys are washing their hands, Jason is now standing in the center of the room. Easy fix, the boys wash their hands, Jason stands in the center of the room.
I liked the boys. My favorite line was one by Chuck when his brother told him he saw his great grandmother's ghost. Chuck came back with, "Cool. Did she give you money?" LOL Cute!
Now about the "mysterious bones". I agree with the others that people would know what dog bones looks like...
Suggestion: You describe the coast, and the house being next close to it. Also the next town is very far away... Why don't you play off of the coast. Turn these young boys into adventurers who scope the area, and find the dog bones hidden within the rocks somewhere. Maybe have the grandmother guide them toward the discovery, and when they find the bones. She could show them what happened, take them to that exact moment of when the dog is in trouble, and her yelling for the dog in the distance. Maybe the great grandmother had a neighbor who didn't like their dog and did something to it, either threw a ball over the cliff, and the dog followed it over or maybe the neighbor was a trapper, and caught the dog in a trap somewhere. The newspaper that the grandmother kept could be about the neighbor dying. That's why the grandma kept it... She hated the creep.
I liked the ending when the fog was lifted. All in all an enjoyable read. Cindy
Award winning screenwriter Available screenplays TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
Hey Cindy, thanks for the words! I do like your suggestion alot. There's alot of detail about the coast and the ocean and fog and stuff so working off that would probably move the story along alot smoother. I'll definitely consider that!
Mr. Z, sorry! I just noticed your review here. Thank you for your words as well. I think I'm going to start eliminating the INSERTS from my writing. Using quotes helps things flow better I think.
this was a pretty good short, I thought it flowed nicley,and you wrote the kids quite well, but I think Chuck agrees with Jason a little to quickly near the end, through out the script he is always bugging and teasing him about how Nanny's ghost is just make believe, but then in a line or two he's like, okay I beleive you, I think there needs to be a little more to convince him.
there are no page numbers, but near the end Jason says "no, I mean, what if the master still looks for them" didn't sound right to me, maybe "no, I mean, what if the master is still looking for them"
in the end this was a solid read, especially considering this was one of those 1 week thingys(when are we gonna have another one of those, they were pretty cool)