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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Scripts  /  Someplace Nice and Dark
Posted by: Don, July 5th, 2005, 4:27pm
Someplace Nice and Dark by Robert G. Newcomer (bert) - Short, Horror - A young delivery boy calls on a strange old man harboring a shadowy secret. 9 pages - pdf, format 8)

Posted by: Mr.Z, July 6th, 2005, 10:40am; Reply: 1
I really liked this. I can see that you avoided giving camera directions, like in "The Farm", and that was good. It was a fast read.

Some little problems wich caught my attention:

"Each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation."
Sounds nice, but cannot be recorded on camera.

"Pinto checks the windows.  They are all boarded up. Strange."
Don´t tell us what Pinto thinks, show us instead. Does he scratch his head? Does he say "What the hell..." to himself?

The highligtht of this script was the "man escaping from his shadow" idea. I really liked that and caught me by surprise, because my first thought was that the old man was a vampire. Maybe you could develop this into a lenght feature. Just a thought. Good luck.
Posted by: TC Taylor, July 6th, 2005, 11:04am; Reply: 2
Friggin' Sweet LOL  I've lived in a trailor park and there is always one old guy who lives alone in the dark, I'm freaked now!  Good thing we dont live in a trailor anymore LOL  House now.
Posted by: bert, July 6th, 2005, 11:33am; Reply: 3
Thanks for the first comments, guys.

Z:  This will never be a feature.  I have had (and loved) this idea for years, but it stubbornly refused to flesh itself out.  There was some backstory with gypsies and the idea of a curse that passed from person to person, but I always kept returning to this stripped down version, which I like best.

TC:  This trailer park was not a product of my imagination.  I know exactly where it is...
Posted by: TC Taylor, July 6th, 2005, 11:40am; Reply: 4
Bert you creep me out dude...keep these tales coming dude.  :-/
Posted by: Martin, July 6th, 2005, 12:18pm; Reply: 5
Wow, Bert. This is great. I think you've got just the right length here. No need to extend it.

I enjoyed The Farm but I think I like this even more. As Mr. Z mentioned, it's a quick read and much better without the camera direction.

"Each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation."

I don't have a problem with this line, I think it would a give a director a good sense of how you want it to look and the mood you want to create.

You really have a way with words, the descriptions draw me right into the scene.

"Diaphanous tendrils of smoke curl themselves through the slivers of sunlight."

nice :)

I think you've got a really creepy short on your hands here. I honestly think you needn't change anything.

I look forward to reading more of your work.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), July 6th, 2005, 2:59pm; Reply: 6
Bert, I thought this was a really good idea and you told it really well.  You kept the whole thing simple (which is always good).

Mr. Z's comments regarding direction are are true.  Describe things only as they can be shown on the screen.

I would flesh this out another page or two, adding a little bit about why the Old Man's shadow is out top get him.  Don't tell everything, just a hint more.  Perhaps he was the last person to speak to the one who gave it to him (which would explain why Pinto now has it).  You could also just have the two talk.  The Old Man must be lonely.

Once again, I liked it.

Posted by: George Willson, July 7th, 2005, 6:12pm; Reply: 7
I finally read this one. Wow. Well done. Really freaky. If you ever get the Farm produced, this short could preceed it, like an old featurette. Or be a bonus on the DVD or something. I don't know if any more info is needed. The mystery is enough. Making it a feature would require big explanations and beating the monster. Shorts don't have such a requirement; just an "it's out there and can get you too."

Primo job.
Posted by: bert, July 7th, 2005, 6:34pm; Reply: 8
Man, I am so glad you guys seem to enjoy this as much as I had hoped.  Thanks for taking a few moments to let me know.

I had never done a short and was a little anxious about putting one out there.

So, anyway, at the bottom of my desk is this small spiral notebook where I keep my horror ideas. Maybe I'll just rip out another page...
Posted by: Antemasque, July 7th, 2005, 6:37pm; Reply: 9
I saved this Bert and i will give it a read and a review tomorrow morning.

Posted by: jcahill, July 7th, 2005, 8:16pm; Reply: 10
I really wish I could read there a generic windows program that will open this?
Posted by: bert, July 7th, 2005, 10:26pm; Reply: 11
Gee...I thought anybody could open a Word document.  That's why I blew off PDF.  It is an RTF file, but I ain't even sure what that means, really.

I am no computer whiz by any means, and swear I didn't do anything special to it. As far as I know, my computer is as generic as it gets :-/
Posted by: Oney.Mendoza, July 7th, 2005, 11:06pm; Reply: 12

    I really liked this, pretty creepy and the pacing was perfect. Great follow-up to THE FARM, keep the good writing techniques! Good luck with any other projects.

Posted by: Higgonaitor, July 7th, 2005, 11:07pm; Reply: 13
Wow, this was, so good, like, wow.  A few thoughts, the less important one first:  please don't use the word "kooky"  Pinto says: "thats kooky talk"  I wanted to reach into the amazingly detailed movie you painted in my mind and slap him.

and just forget the other thing I was gonna say.  Just get rid of the word Kooky.  ANd keep up the excelent work.
Posted by: TC Taylor, July 7th, 2005, 11:15pm; Reply: 14

Quoted from bert
Gee...I thought anybody could open a Word document.  That's why I blew off PDF.  It is an RTF file, but I ain't even sure what that means, really.

I am no computer whiz by any means, and swear I didn't do anything special to it. As far as I know, my computer is as generic as it gets :-/

RTF- Rich Text Format
Posted by: Impulse, July 8th, 2005, 12:45am; Reply: 15
Wow! I really liked this. It was creepy and the ending was great. Very descriptive -- uh -- descriptions ;) Very quick read and I could see it happening really easily. Bravo!
Posted by: Antemasque, July 8th, 2005, 12:21pm; Reply: 16
With an 8 page short this could easily be a hit or miss. After reading this i would say it is a hit. I enjoyed it for what it was and i do think it would be a great idea to put this into a feature length.

There are some parts that i can remember that you told us what the character was thinking i believe. That is something that can not be shown on camera and you should change that. My two cents would be to read over the script and take out everything that could not be shown on camera. Instead add something that can be. You may even need to extend the scene a little more.

Overall i really enjoyed it. Minus the mistakes and i all i would give it a 8/10.

Good Job  8)
Posted by: Old Time Wesley, July 10th, 2005, 10:00pm; Reply: 17
This was an easy read. No real spoilers within.

Each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation. - You can't show this.

The sun is low.  The sky is red.  It will be dark soon. - This reads a bit like you telling us we're all stupid, the fact that you had to tell us the facts of the sun ha-ha

He returns the old man's butt. - Nothing wrong with it just makes me laugh that you left a line like this in and didn't even think somebody would read it the way I did.

Isn't it weird that these trailer park weirdo's are so common in all types of screenplays... I have one in 2 different screenplays and here you have one too.

I get it; it's like a curse that's passed down from one to another. I don't know if the 8 pages do it justice though, it feels incomplete in places.

It's solid but I think you should take a chance to make it longer; this was like a scene... Maybe you can write a collection of these supernatural thrillers and throw this in there. Those types of collections work well, especially if it's someone like yourself who has come to gain a following.

Oh, the ending I kind of seen it coming, is that good or bad? It was really obvious once he started talking. I'd honestly like to know how this guy came to find out about his little curse ha-ha intriguing to say the least.

Overall their isn't much to say beyond it's solid and in a short I guess the most you can ask for is solidarity and the start of something storywise that would hook you and it does that.
Posted by: bert, July 11th, 2005, 11:20am; Reply: 18

Quoted from Old Time Wesley
Each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation. - You can't show this.

Several readers have burned me on this line, but darn it, I am gonna stand by it. Some trailer parks are kinda' nice, and some are pretty crappy. This line is telling the location scouts that they need to find the latter, you know? That's my thinking, anyways.

Thanks for the additional comments, Wes, but fleshing this out any further gets tough. It's kind of a one-note scare, and additional details eventually become silly as opposed to frightening, you know?

And if the word "butt" still makes you laugh as an adult...well...I can't help you there :)
Posted by: Martin, July 11th, 2005, 11:44am; Reply: 19
I think sometimes people can be a little to picky about the 'show don't tell' rule. In certain situations, a little "tell" can give the director a better idea of how the writer envisions a scene. Obviously it should be used very sparingly, and I think that's what Bert's done here. To me, it's perfectly acceptable.

Some examples from produced scripts...

"A piece of an old Buddhist temple, under a sulky moonlight now in
a state of decay, the jungle surging to engulf it."  - Platoon

"The City of Tomorrow:  stark angles, creeping shadows, dense, crowded,
airless, a random tangle of steel and concrete, self-generating, almost
subterranean in its aspect... as if hell had erupted through the
sidewalks and kept on growing.  A dangling fat moon shines overhead,
ready to burst." - Batman

Both are vivid descriptions yet both contain description that cannot be shown directly on screen.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), July 11th, 2005, 11:46am; Reply: 20
It's a great line, Bert, but it doesn't belong in a screenplay.

Posted by: Mr.Z, July 11th, 2005, 4:57pm; Reply: 21

Quoted from Martin
Both are vivid descriptions yet both contain description that cannot be shown directly on screen.

True, and you can surely find a lot more of such descriptions in other produced screenplays. But beware. Many of those scripts are written by the Big Boys. For example, both of the screenwriters of Batman, had work produced before that movie. Rules do not apply to established writers in the same way they apply to those asking for feedback in the "unproduced scripts" section of this site. A screenwriter with an extensive network of friends in the entertainment industry, active representation, etc, etc, can dance around the golden rules much more than a new, unknown writer. The scripts from the unproduced/unknown writers end up in the desk of a producer who will be looking for one reason, just one reason to throw said script to the trash, and move on with he hundred others he has yet to read. It isn´t wise to give him such reason.

Posted by: Shonagh, July 11th, 2005, 6:05pm; Reply: 22
Really enjoyed this Bert. Very creepy and atmospheric, you've done a fantastic job of setting the scene.

I don't think I want to know any more about the who, why, where of the evil shadow though, it works well as a short sharp shock.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), July 11th, 2005, 10:53pm; Reply: 23
I disagree with you Shonagh.  While I wouldn't want a full explanation as to the shadow-thing, I would thtink that a hint is in order.  Maybe the old guy can tell Pinto what he knows about the shadow (which is up to Bert to decide how much that is).  Perhaps, as I said earlier, the shadow follows the person who sees it kill its host.  Perhaps it's a local thing that haunts the area.

As the saying goes, you feed a horse enough to know it's hungry.  Bert should do that.

Posted by: Martin, July 12th, 2005, 4:49am; Reply: 24

Quoted from dogglebe
 Perhaps, as I said earlier, the shadow follows the person who sees it kill its host.  

That's pretty much what I gleaned from it myself. I don't think that part needs explaining.

The trouble with ideas like this is that, once you start explaining them, or dropping hints, they can lose their credibility. I'm not interested in details of the shadow man, I just like the overall creep factor of this short. If I found out that shadow man had taken the lives of countless townspeople over the years and is believed to be an ancient indian curse or whatever, I think it would kill it for me.

Posted by: bert, July 12th, 2005, 8:41am; Reply: 25
I alluded to the brevity of this tale in earlier posts, and welcome the opportunity to discuss it a wee bit further.

This story is the bare bones of something longer, but the longer versions never really worked.  It's a gypsy curse, stemming from an earlier episode of infidelity and, ultimately, murder. The old man (who was once a young man, of course) lost control of his shadow gradually, over time. In the original tale, the shadow was a "character" of sorts, that had to evolve into what it has finally become.

Are you sure these type of details make the story stronger? I pondered this question for a long time, as it would mean taking a pretty hefty axe to my own work. But ultimately, my answer was, "No. Not really."

This single episode, ripped from the story and standing alone -- answering absolutely nothing -- always seemed to carry more punch.
Posted by: Martin, July 12th, 2005, 9:28am; Reply: 26
I totally agree. It carries more punch the way it is. I think the best kind of supernatural horror is the kind that allows you to draw your own conclusions. After reading this, I was left wondering how the old man had ended up that way, how long he'd been locked in that trailer, what would happen to Pinto. This is as a good thing. If you try to provide the answers to these questions, people may end up disappointed.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), July 12th, 2005, 11:54am; Reply: 27
That's why I'm saying to only drop a hint.  At one point, have the old man say something about gypsies.  Maybe something along the line of:

OLD MAN:  You expecting a tip, boy?

PINTO:  Yeah.

OLD MAN:  Here's one.  Don't piss off gypsies.  They can screw with your life.

PINTO:  (beat)  I thought you meant like a few bucks.

The old man laughs.

It doesn't explain anything.  The problem with this gypsy-curse-theory is that there is no reason why Pinto would get the curse after the old man died.

Posted by: greg, July 13th, 2005, 12:48am; Reply: 28
This script could have gone sour very easily, but you went the right direction and you've created a very straight forward, and overall CHILLING short.  So many times have I seen shoddy homes or creepy trailors and have always wondered what lay within.  Your description of the visuals was simple but got the point across, just amazing.  And thank you for spacing the descriptions rather than bulking them together, that made for a much better read.

A Winner All The Way!
Posted by: bert, July 13th, 2005, 1:45am; Reply: 29
Well, I'll think about your point, Phil.  I guess I can see both sides of this.

And thanks, Doc.  That makes my night, man.  Maybe tomorrow, too.
Posted by: Andy Petrou, July 14th, 2005, 4:59am; Reply: 30
Bert, absolutely brilliant hon, I loved it. I read it before work today and was totally creeped out by it, really. I do believe this to be truly original and although it's only 8 pages long, I think it's fitting to the story as it's so well told.

I thought your description was right on the money and totally made it easy to visualise and it set the mood well. Your characters were very well written too. I can't really find any flaws here to be honest, you did such a great job.

I would love to see this filmed! You've managed to turn a simple concept of one's shadow into a really creepy little tale. I was sad that it ended so soon actually. Could have lost myself in it for a while longer, but wouldn't want you to flesh it out just for length, it's perfect the way it is.

Well done  ;D
Posted by: Nixon, July 19th, 2005, 5:36pm; Reply: 31
This is great, a real original idea and I loved it. One question, what was your inspiration for the boy’s name? The Car? A baby mustang? Anyway, really good.

Posted by: CurseScripts (Guest), July 22nd, 2005, 3:27pm; Reply: 32
I had a very 'even' opinion on this screenplay.

The dialouge - personally, I thought was great.

The storyline was kinda weird - and I found some of the ACTION kinda hard to understand.

The old guy just creeped me out!

Good and Bad nevertheless! 3/4

Posted by: greg, July 22nd, 2005, 6:23pm; Reply: 33
You gave this a lower rating than "I've Come For You"?  What in the name of Kevin Revie is going on here?
Posted by: bert, July 22nd, 2005, 7:05pm; Reply: 34
Ha!  Thanks for that, Greg.

Hey Curse, your opinion is as valid as the next guy's, and that's cool -- but you have me curious about "the action that was hard to understand."  We're all about trying to improve here, you know?

If you could give me some specifics on where I lost you, as a reader, it might help me to prevent doing it again.
Posted by: CurseScripts (Guest), July 23rd, 2005, 12:59pm; Reply: 35
Bert.. Sure, let me just find it!


1. Pinto stares at the door.  It is the revolving type, like the kind photographers use for their darkrooms.  It looks pretty weird attached to this trailer. (This might sound kind of dumb...But I didn't know what kind of door you meant!)

2. Pinto takes it and does.  He coughs a bit, but he can smoke.  He returns the old man’s butt.  [What do you mean 'the old man's butt'?]

3. The old man takes another long drag. [Do you mean as in smoking from the cigarette?]

4. The old man’s laughter echoes in Pinto’s ears as he peers at the shadow of his bicycle.

Just his bicycle.  With no rider. [I didn't understand this bit. What did you mean?]

Hope that helps - It might just be me :)
Posted by: bert, July 23rd, 2005, 2:58pm; Reply: 36
Thank you for taking the time to do that, Curse.  And yes, it does help -- it lets me know that maybe I am using too much slang.

Yeah, they are smoking, and some people call a cigarette a "butt", and one does take a "drag" from a butt.  Good for you for NOT knowing this stuff :)

The door -- well, you've seen one or you haven't (so it certainly does not sound dumb).  You'll just have to trust me that it would look mighty strange.  And perfect, too.

[major spoiler here]

And the final scene -- he is sitting on his bicycle, but the shadow he sees is JUST his bicycle.  His own shadow is...unaccounted for.  Does that make it creepier (I hope).
Posted by: CurseScripts (Guest), July 23rd, 2005, 4:37pm; Reply: 37
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I see now!

Thankyou for verifieing *or however you spell it* that with me!

Now I know what all those things mean *for future referances* lol. *My spelling is so off today!

I haven't seen the door no, so i'll be on a look out! rofl

I understand the bicycle thing now - and well... That is creepy!

Now that I understand - I change my rating to 4/4


Posted by: Dreamlogic, October 25th, 2005, 9:34am; Reply: 38
Hey Bert. Love this screenplay! You were probably hoping for some constructive critisicm but there is nothing i didn't like or understand. The only thing i can think of was that i couldn't picture the revolving door. But that comes down to my lack of door knowledge :P Was refreshing to read something so original. Loved the description of the old man, makes us think about what his past could have been like.

"the man is now revealed as a shirtless, skeletal albino.  His hair and beard are completely white, and both extend to his waist."

Looking forward to your next screenplay! Im off to read the farm.
Posted by: Balt (Guest), October 25th, 2005, 9:58am; Reply: 39
Sup? Anyways, I read it... it's decent. It's not great, though. I like some of the dialogue, it seemed natural and then at times you'd throw us something like this --

Not mine.  My shadow wants to
kill me.  Pete.  I think it
wants my soul.  Can you imagine
such a thing?

I don't buy that. It just didn't sound right and really took me out of the story.

I thought your descriptions were good. I could tell what was going on and what you wanted us to see or feel. You did your job well here.

I didn't find the whole dropping of the cig and all that convincing at all. That was just absurd. I think the old guy wasn't so scary. He kinds seemed pathetic to me. Like someone who just needed a friend. Maybe that's how you wanted him to be, though.

Anyways, I like the story. It just needs more work. I should say, I like the concept... something to do with shadows is a very interesting venture. One I'd like to work with myself, should I find something to put a shadow to.

I agree with you on not wanting to make this any longer. It doesn't need to be. A short is where this would thrive.

So in closing. I like the concept. The dialogue was a little weak. Strong descriptions made for a good read but a weak ending and main guy/thing/beast made the whole story seem contrived a bit.

3 out of 5 ~ I'd put more flesh on these bones.
Posted by: bert, October 25th, 2005, 10:19am; Reply: 40
Thanks for taking a look, D.L.  This one has always been my favorite, even though it is pretty short.  There was a longer version with some of this guy's past (talked about this in earlier posts on this story), but it always came out more silly than scary.  At least to me.  This is the bare bones of the story, following deep cuts.

And Balt, thanks for the surprise read.  I honestly expected that you would like this one better, but it's also cool to be able to count on you to speak your mind, I suppose.  It helps to keep a writer grounded, in a sense, so they don't get too inflated about their own stuff.  And I guess that's a good thing.

And I am sure you could do some fine work with shadows...
Posted by: Helio, November 18th, 2005, 9:14am; Reply: 41
Wow! I did try to acess your script many time, now I've succeed. A long, long time I've not seen a simple and enjoinble reading. 8 easy pages and nice concept! With time I'll read The farm!
Posted by: The boy who could fly, February 23rd, 2006, 10:54pm; Reply: 42
cool script, kinda weird, but I liked it, I actually liked Salvage more, but this one was still good.  I like your descriptions and some of the dialog, I was a little bit confused at first with the whole shadown coming out of the wall, but it made more sense latter on.  keep up the good work.
Posted by: James McClung, February 24th, 2006, 1:01am; Reply: 43
Good stuff, Bert. Nice reversal on a typical horror convention. The light's where the monsters are in this one. Cool.

And BTW, I think you can lose the plug at the end now. I think everyone and his cousin's read The Farm. That thing's a monster (in the best sense of the word).
Posted by: bert, February 24th, 2006, 9:35am; Reply: 44
Oh, crapp....I had completely forgotten that "shameless plug" was there!  :B

Yeah, this was written when I was still struggling to get some reads for that larger work, but you are can certainly go by now.  Thanks for reminding me that was there.  Really.

And thanks for checking it out, Drex.  A couple of people have complained about being a little confused.  I'll have to re-examine the descriptions one of these days when I get around to removing that silly plug at the end.  Maybe flesh the story out a little bit, too.
Posted by: Heretic, March 6th, 2006, 5:20pm; Reply: 45
Hey Bert,

Um...I don't really have any problems with this at all.  The ideas are great, the writing is great...

I will say that that one line that Balt quoted is a little out of place, in my opinion.  It could be re-tooled to sound a little less over the top.
Posted by: bert, March 8th, 2006, 10:21am; Reply: 46
I missed this, Heretic.  It got buried under all that silliness from DOM, I suppose.

But thanks for taking a look.  Now I get to bump both of my shorts together!  What fun.

I know exactly what line you are talking about -- and reading it now, after some time has passed -- it does give me kind of a cringe.  You (and Balt) are quite correct.

It's the tipping point of the story -- where it goes off in its new direction -- and really does deserve something better.  I'll get to that one of these days.

Thanks for the read-over.
Posted by: James Fields, June 1st, 2006, 9:03pm; Reply: 47
Bert, I just read your script. It wasn't as good as the Farm, but still had that creepy feeling like my shadow realy was trying to get me. I really like the ending even though I predicted it, but this wasn't all about twists and turns I'm guessing.

Your plot is thick as metal, your formatting is right on, and no grammar errors anywhere that can be seen by the naked eye.

I love your scripts Bert, and can't wait for you to release a new script that is even more spookier than 'the Farm' or this one where I post a review right now. Muahhahahahhahaha...

4/5  (Only because it was predictable...)
Posted by: bert, June 2nd, 2006, 1:11pm; Reply: 48

Quoted from James Fields
...and no grammar errors anywhere that can be seen by the naked eye.

Thanks, James.  Are you implying that my script is riddled with microscopic errors in grammar?

You must have dug pretty deep to find this one, but I appreciate the read.  It is one of the first short scripts I ever wrote -- based upon an idea I found in the Weekly World News.

I may expand this one someday -- this thread contains some good ideas for that -- but I kind of like it the way it is, too -- a very thin slice of story.

But predictable, huh?  Most people thought it was a vampire thing and were surprised when it didn't go there.  Maybe we think alike or something...
Posted by: thegardenstate89 (Guest), June 15th, 2006, 3:09pm; Reply: 49
I really enjoyed this one. You were able to perfectly paint an image into my mind of what kind of neighbrohood Pinto lived in.

"Each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation."

I see Phil's and many others point about how this doesn't fit, but for me it gave me clearer image of what the setting was like.

"It looks pretty weird attached to this trailer."
If I had one nitpick it would be that line. It's not needed. I think  your description of the dark room revolving door on a trailer gives us an idea that it would look pretty weird.

I'm pretty happy with how much you wrote. There's definately a little more you could put in, particularly it's origin. I agree with others that it fees just like a scene rather than a short if you don't. give us any idea of how that guy got that shadow.
Otherwise I think you did a fantastic job, Bert.
Posted by: bert, June 15th, 2006, 7:19pm; Reply: 50
Thanks, Tony.  Despite the length of this thread, the argument regarding that line you quoted (and other lines like it) was never definitively resolved.  It just boils down to a matter of personal tastes.

As for this:

Quoted from thegardenstate89
There's definately a little more you could put in, particularly it's origin.

That has also been touched on a bit, so I dug it up:

Quoted from Me, from before
It's a gypsy curse, stemming from an earlier episode of infidelity and, ultimately, murder. The old man (who was once a young man, of course) lost control of his shadow gradually, over time. In the original tale, the shadow was a "character" of sorts, that had to evolve into what it has finally become.

But it just gets kind of silly after a while if you try to flesh it out too much.  In my hands, anyways.  But at least now you know haha.  Thanks again for the look and your thoughts.

Posted by: michel, June 16th, 2006, 3:18am; Reply: 51
Hi Bert. I just loved your screenplay! It made think of Twilight Zone best episodes.What can I say after all those "constructive critisicm". By the way, what is the revolving door?

Anyway, keep writing with your heart and do not listen too much to the others. Nobody's perfect, isn't it?

I'll try to have a look on the farm this weekeend.

See you

Posted by: bert, June 16th, 2006, 12:57pm; Reply: 52
Hey, thanks for the read Michel.  What a nice surprise.

You know, you are not the first to wonder about this door.  Seems like you have either seen one or you haven't, and some people are confused.

Here is a dude using the door I've described.  No light gets in at all.  Imagine this door attached to the old man's trailer:

Posted by: George Willson, June 16th, 2006, 2:42pm; Reply: 53
That's a strange door. Makes me wonder why anyone would have such a thing. What kind of place normally uses a door like this?
Posted by: bert, June 16th, 2006, 6:04pm; Reply: 54
Like (*ahem*) the story says, it is for darkrooms, where photographic work is done.

Or anyplace else where it is important that people can enter or exit without letting any light into the room.  There is an identical opening on the opposite side that opens into another room.

I'm surprised how many people haven't seen these.

Perhaps there is a lesson there about using things in your script that might be a little too obscure for the general population.
Posted by: Pard, June 18th, 2006, 1:13pm; Reply: 55
Hi there bert, this script was really good, it had an old school horror tale feel about it, which is something I really dig. Very creepy and detailed.

I have also written a short about the horrors that lurk in the shadows.  I'll get to submitting that ASAP.

I must admit that I wasn't sure what type of door you meant, but now that I do it's a nice addition.  I want to say that I've also read ALL-Mart which i found to be equally creepy and entertaining. Both scripts had me hooked form start to finish and I like the endings to both.  

Creepiness is something you seem to do well. Keep it up.
Posted by: bert, June 19th, 2006, 11:39am; Reply: 56
Thanks for looking Yohn (your name reads like a typo haha) and for the words on All-Mart as well.  I still haven't quite figured out what I'm gonna do with that one.

I like to look at most of the horror that goes up, so I'll be sure to take a gander at your shadow story as well.  And probably Luxuria in the next coupla' days.

And another person who hasn't seen that door, huh?  I should have put that picture up months ago, probably.
Posted by: CindyLKeller, July 5th, 2006, 11:10am; Reply: 57
Hey bert,
Script of the day  :).
I remember reading this one a long time ago, but since it was script of the day, I figured I'd read it again.
I looked to see what I posted back then the first time I read it, and couldn't find a post... Hum... but I read your replies about the shadow being some sort of gypsy curse, so I have some thoughts about that, and some other remarks, and questions as well...

These are only my thoughts.

Is the old man in the trailer a gypsy or just a man who was cursed with an evil shadow?
I was wondering because I have a park by me that only has gypsies in it or so I was told. You might want to add in the name of the park, Maybe something with gypsy in it if it is. ???
If he wasn't in a gypsy park, and only had an evil shadow, then you might want to have the man tell Pinto when he first noticed his shadow take an evil turn. Was he in the wrong place at the wrong time just like Pinto at the end or did he, himself, evoke something that he couldn't get rid of?
I think you could do that right after he asks Pinto what he should do because I think the fire happens too quickly there.
Another question...
What happened to Pinto's shadow? Was it taken by the evil shadow?
If it was you might want to show the two shadows fighting, and becoming one, then moving toward Pinto????

Anyway, just my thoughts...

It was a creepy story, but I'd like to know how the old man's shadow became evil.


Posted by: bert, July 5th, 2006, 2:00pm; Reply: 58
Script of the day?  Really?  Let me go check -- wow, and so it is.  Neat.

Quoted from CindyLKeller
I think the fire happens too quickly there....

I think you are right.  There is room in this story for a flashback or two.

I've heard it before -- maybe I needed to hear it one more time -- but this story probably could benefit from a little backstory.  And you've kind of given me a good place to put it.

That'll go on the to-do list for this one.  I'm pretty sure of that now.

Thanks for your thoughts there, Cindy.  And for letting me know about SOTD -- I'm sure I would have missed it otherwise.
Posted by: tomson (Guest), August 28th, 2006, 2:53pm; Reply: 59
Hey Bert,

I really, really liked this one!
This one was good. May even be the best script I've read under 10 pages.

I read this sitting in bright daylight by the window in my office, feet up on the desk and a diet Red Bull in one hand and your short in the other. Not the best mood enhancing situation for something scary in other words, but it still worked.
This was a very creepy little story and I for one would've liked for it be longer.

I could picture this very easily in my head and trailer parks are everywhere where I live and most of them look exactly the way you described it here.

Your style certainly has changed in the last year. Your scripts read much more professional now, but the story and the telling of the story was still great.
8) 8)

PS. I love the title.
Posted by: MonetteBooks (Guest), October 8th, 2006, 12:29am; Reply: 60

I really liked this. Didn't see anything needing change. It's starkly simple, and straight to the core.

The visuals capture like a painting. I've seen many trailer parks of that description and haunted quality, while traveling much of the U.S.

The creepy old man almost foreshadows Yoder in appearance and disposition--like they're related.

Pinto was an efffective character. Using the word "kooky" seemed true to him.

Natuarally, in a short piece, you don't need backstory or explanations. It leaves one curious as to what the old man did to draw the demon to him in this way. If it ever unfolds itself to you, this could grow into a possible 85 page feature.

Your way of expressing, often resonates with how I like a thing told. That's always a pleasure to find. I plan to finish all the ones you have up, eventually.

Posted by: bert, October 8th, 2006, 2:17am; Reply: 61
Hey, thanks for digging this one up, Monette.  I wrote this right after Farm.

And I can't believe this one never occurred to me...

Quoted from MonetteBooks
The creepy old man almost foreshadows Yoder in appearance and disposition--like they're related.

That gives me a fantastic idea.  Thank you for that one!

Quoted from MonetteBooks
Your way of expressing, often resonates with how I like a thing told.

I noticed the same thing with Winter Boy.  Where did that one go, anyway?

Quoted from MonetteBooks
I plan to finish all the ones you have up, eventually.

Wait!!  Oh....I see you've already looked at Paramour's....  ::)

I was going to suggest you skip that one haha.  DO NOT read Better Days, OK?  That one will not be for you.

Next time you're looking around the boards with some time to kill, I think you might get a kick out of Starbuck Starr -- kind of a new twist on the "old school" adventure story.

Posted by: MonetteBooks (Guest), October 10th, 2006, 1:53am; Reply: 62

So glad to hear my suggestion helped! Love it when that happens :-)

It was a grabber when Yoder mentioned the "foul ground" (or similar term). This seemed to lock with the other old man's  curse of unforgiven sins idea. Good meat in those two linked  concepts, which go back to ancient times.

I took "The Winter Boy" down for a tune-up. The ending has emerged more clearly to me now. There tends to be a "wind bag" factor in my DNA for overwriting and for prolonging endings of a piece. It's like they all want to be a generational saga, like my Cap'n Squint series. One mega-epic like that is enough! Yet it's like a genetic battle to overcome making everything a giant opus.

That revolving door of the trailer is a cool idea, but it seems to be shooting you in the foot. It may have to go for this reason--though that's regretable.
Posted by: Seth, October 13th, 2006, 5:27am; Reply: 63
The writing, for the most part, was spot on - precise.

The story itself unfolded in a way that kept my attention. It presented questions that, at least for this reader, demanded answers. For example, why is the trailer equipped with a revolving door?! Why are the windows boarded? Why doesn't the voice accept deliveries during the day?

A great build up - when Pinto, finally, stepped into the trailer, I was, I think, as creeped out as he was, if not more so. I know I like something if I imagine myself in it - vicariously. And I did.

The diologue was good. It didn't, for the most part, sound forced or too expositive. I was a bit surprised that Pinto cared to know any of the the old man's secrets, the situation being so creepy. But, the more I thought about, it makes sense. Pinto probably imagines the old man to be lonely and, thus, placated him.

I noticed a couple of comments regarding the following line: "Each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation." This, imo, is photographable. It's visual. That said, when I read it, I saw it.


Posted by: bert, October 13th, 2006, 10:32am; Reply: 64
Hey, thank you, Seth.  I was hoping some of my horror shorts would get bumped as Halloween approaches.

Quoted from Seth
This, imo, is photographable.

And thank you again for that comment.  I thought so too, darn it.  But this debate -- and others like it -- will probably never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  It's all a matter of style, I suppose.

I appreciate your thoughts on this one.  There are a few stumbles in the dialogue, IMO, but it's nice to hear nothing made you cringe.

Seems like there is lots of stuff going up lately.  When you finally toss something up, be sure to call a little attention to it so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), November 6th, 2006, 3:03pm; Reply: 65

Okay, jumped right over to this script, since I enjoyed Salvage so much.

I like this one, too.  To my mind, it's a little more obvious...and a *little* less brilliant, but very, very good nonetheless.  

As with salvage, I like your descriptions - and personally think that you should keep the trailer park description in the script.  Doesn't matter to me if you can't show it, it just adds that extra bit of class to the reading, which I enjoy.

I do agree with a previous reader that you need to throw in some sort of a hint as to why the shadows transfer to Pinto.  Otherwise, the ending comes out of left field, and doesn't quite work.  One other it possible to come up with a less demonic manifestation of the shadows, something creepy but not quite as "monster-like?"    I just tend to find monsters and claws corney....something sinister but amorphous might have more emotional impact...!
Posted by: Zack, June 6th, 2007, 1:26am; Reply: 66
Okay Bert, I'm gonna try to give you a good thorough review.

First I will start by saying I liked this alot. Your ability to tell a story really shines here.

I wasn't too fond of the first page. It moved very slow, even for one page.

Also, I didn't unerstand one of your descriptions on page 1.

-Each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation.-

Maybe I'm just stupid. Anyways, once the dialogue started the pace of the script picked up.

You're dialogue was snappy and real.

Pinto seemed like a real person to me. The Old Man was an interesting character, but I wanted to know more. How did he come to have a demonic shadow? I understand no explantion is needed, but you can't stop me from being curious.

I liked how you used the trash around the trailer to bring the demise of the old man. It was simple, yet suspenseful.

Overall, I'd say this is a good script. Very well written and thought out.

Posted by: Mr.Ripley, June 6th, 2007, 4:47am; Reply: 67
Hey Bert,

This is really good. Reminds me of the Twillight Zone. I liked alot.


I only ask wouldn't Tony not inform Pinto or the grocery people about the Old Man's request to recieve groceries in the night?

Also for the fire, why couldn't the old man help to put out the fire? I know he is old but if he feared the shadow so much why didn't he help?

I would like to learn more about the Old Man's history in obtaining his demonic shadow. i think its essiential since it passes on to Pinto or Pinto's so afraid that he believes in it.

The characters seemed real. Story very interesting just missing the Old Man's history to make it perfect. I gotta read the farm. lol



Posted by: bert, June 8th, 2007, 12:53am; Reply: 68
Zack & Gabe:  Thanks guys.  I know you two haven't read the whole thread -- and it's certainly not expected -- but Zack, if you go back to the first coupla' pages, you will find this one line...

Quoted from Zack
...each new trailer a fresh testament to abandoned dreams and quiet desperation...

...was discussed ad nauseum haha.  Detractors and supporters, but no real resolution.  It's a matter of taste, and I intend to keep it.

And Gabe, this was also touched upon in the thread, if you go hunting:

Quoted from Gabe
I would like to learn more about the Old Man's history in obtaining his demonic shadow.

It's a gypsy curse.  That's the short answer.

This story used to be a lot longer, but it just got silly (to me, anyway).  This one little segment here -- ripped from the larger story -- is all I kept.

Quoted from Gabe
I gotta read the farm. lol

Man, I really need to get rid of that plug in the script.  It’s kind of embarrassing now.  This is an old story, back when I was still struggling to get readers for my feature.  I’ll take care of that one of these days.

Thanks again, you two.
Posted by: mcornetto (Guest), November 12th, 2007, 5:18am; Reply: 69
I got tired of waiting for your new short so I decided to read this instead.

Good story, characters, and dialogue.  Quite satisfying. The only thing was that it left me wondering about the man's story.  Circular stories always do that to me, they leave me wondering how it all started in the first place.

I wonder if it would make sense to expand this to include the man telling his story to the boy - though it would probably increase the cost of production.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Well done!  
Posted by: bert, November 12th, 2007, 10:24am; Reply: 70
Yowza.  A double-bump.  What a nice surprise on a Monday morning.  Thank you, cornetto.  Maybe this is gonna be a good week after all haha.

Quoted from mcornetto
I got tired of waiting for your new short...

Yeah, I am one of those “slow writers”.  Always have been.  It’s a dreadful combination of obsessing and getting busy with other stuff and being too easily distracted by reading the stuff on these damn boards haha.

I really envy those guys that can just churn stuff out.

Quoted from mcornetto
The only thing was that it left me wondering about the man's story...I wonder if it would make sense to expand this...

Expanding the story has been debated on this thread.  In its original form, this actually was a smaller segment of a larger story.

There are pros and cons both ways -- but I found the premise of this story just gets a little silly if you try to carry it too much further.  At least, in my hands it does.

I appreciate your looking, cornetto.  And it's timely, too.

If everything goes as planned, there should be a very unconventional rendering of this story at some point in the future from one of our favorite board members.

But I will keep their identity secret to avoid undue pressure.  They know who they are... :P

Posted by: Toran, December 3rd, 2007, 9:03pm; Reply: 71
Just read this bert, creepy atmosphere, and a great story.
Posted by: bert, December 3rd, 2007, 11:49pm; Reply: 72
Thank you for letting me know you liked it, Toran.

Odd that you should look at it now -- I've actually been asked to rework the script this week.

Same story, but a different locale.  It's an interesting challenge.  We'll see how it goes.
Posted by: Toran, December 3rd, 2007, 11:57pm; Reply: 73

I was bored... and I felt like reading this.
Posted by: rc1107, January 6th, 2008, 4:49am; Reply: 74
Hey Bert,

Pinto better go and find someplace nice and dark to hide.  His boss is going to be pissed he never collected the $23.50.


I did like this a lot.  It was a neat little story, and I think very original.  Just when I thought you were going to go with the same old 'He's a vampire' theme, you pulled a whole three-sixty and took it a totally different direction.  (Wait a second.  360 is a circle, isn't it?  Maybe I meant 180.)

I think the writing was concise and clear, yet still creatively descriptive and beautifully worded.  Never thought anybody could beautifully describe a crappy trailer park.  (And no, I'm not trying to blow smoke up your arse*.)

I glanced at a couple other people's comments and noticed that it was a gypsy curse.  I think it's better you don't say that in the story.  Like I said, you have a clever and original concept, and it being a gypsy curse, well, you know, there's been a lot of movies and stories that have copped that excuse before.  It would take away something from the story, at least for me, if you had mentioned it.

I will be getting to your other stuff very soon.  I'm going to be laid up for a while and I love reading, so expect me to be a 500+ posts member before long.  :-)

- Mark

* - Yes, I know it's a British term and I'm not British, but it's just so damn catchy once you hear it a few times.
Posted by: bert, January 7th, 2008, 10:35am; Reply: 75
Thanks, Mark.  I was off the boards for most of yesterday and almost missed this.

Quoted from rc1107
I glanced at a couple other people's comments and noticed that it was a gypsy curse.  I think it's better you don't say that in the story.

Cheers for checking out the comments.  I like to do that, too.  And I appreciate having another "shorter is better" vote, as that kind of stuff really helps when you are getting mixed signals on a story like I often get for this one.  

Quoted from rc1107
I love reading…so expect me to be a 500+ posts member before long.

Just be careful not to let it become an addiction.  It quickly becomes too easy to read a script instead of writing one -- and since you still feel sort of productive giving comments, it is a particularly insidious form of procrastination.

I just noticed this morning (a comment from Pia on "Meladori") that you have a nasty Western up with female protagonists.  How funny.  I got one, too.

I will have to check that one out -- and when you find yourself in a reading mood -- I will recommend Pia’s “Savage Frontier” and my own “Paramour’s” as a quick (both are shorts), amusing double-feature for you while laid up.

Posted by: Abe from LA, January 12th, 2008, 8:07am; Reply: 76
Vintage Bert.

This little horror romp has some bite.  I loved it.
You do well in painting a nice setting -- and that little descriptive passage in question is OK by me -- set up some realistic characters with crisp dialogue and lead us into a pretty disturbing world in the form of a run-down trailer.

If handled correctly, you could go up One Page and be good. But I enjoyed what you have here and pretty much got everything intended.

Dude, you completely nailed that revolving darkroom door.  I read that and thought, "Whoa."  After spending many years in and out of darkrooms, I knew exactly how this kind of entry way adds to the story's creepiness and the old guy's dilemma.  

My favorite part was the flashlight scene.  I wasn't sure where you were going, and I wasn't one of those who was thinking "vampire."  I wasn't trying to guess anything really, just felt like letting you lead guide through the dark.  

Okay, now that I've gushed all over the place, I wouldn't be me if I didn't slam you with some WTFs.  Actually nothing that bad at all, just some thoughts.

First, where the gypsy is the Smoke?  The place is on fire.  I gotta see some smoke, hear some coughing.
After entering the trailer, maybe Pinto trips.  Maybe his eyes haven't adjusted to the dark trailer and he kicks a stack of newspapers.  Setting up the burning ashes scene.

Phil mentioned a hint at something, perhaps involving the gypsies.  I got to thinking that along with the clutter are cultural or religious artifacts.  If the kid doesn't get his tip, maybe he pockets something.
Pinto's got enough presence of mind to stop and watch the old man get his, so I thought that he might also steal something on the way out.  Thus carrying with him the Curse.

When the place goes up in flames, I wanted the kid to be amazed at what the inside of the trailer looks like. As if the whole place comes to life in the light.  I actually envisioned a big painting of the sun standing in a corner.  Like this guy missed the sun so much, he had to have a painting of it. Ha.  Well, that's just me.  Maybe you like it as is.

In one line of dialog, I think it could be clipped a bit.
When the old man asks, "What's your name, boy?
I thought Pinto should just say, "Pete. But friends call me Pinto."

Finally, I'm not complaining about the Old Man laughing at the end of the story. However, I was wondering if his words should be more of a warning?  Anyway, the visuals on that kid peddling out of there works for me.

Nice job.  I don't know where I'd rank this one, it's pretty close to "Salvage." That means pretty darn good.

Posted by: Zombie Sean, January 12th, 2008, 1:11pm; Reply: 77
Well Bert, I've never actually read something by you besides the OWCs, and I was thinking of starting out with this.

You seem to be very good at screenwriter (psh, we all know that), so I don't think I have to comment on your descriptions and dialogue and stuff like that, since it's good enough.

The only thing I had a problem with is that this made me chuckle more than creeped out, I guess. I don't know. I imagined the whole scene with the shadow growing into a demon and what not, and I thought it'd look funny if it were filmed. Same with the hand scene. But I tried to hold back from letting out anymore chuckles. Don't get me wrong, though, they're pretty cool scenes. And I really liked the ending.

Posted by: Souter Fell, January 12th, 2008, 7:27pm; Reply: 78
Hey Bert,

Read it after seeing it on the simply recommended thread. I really, really enjoyed it. After 6 pages of comments, you've heard about everything you can on it so I'l keep it short. It was crisp, quick, self-contained and frankly had a Twilight Zone type feel to it. It helped me appreciate some of the humor and quickness. Kinda like how me and my girl saw "The Mist" and had differing opinions. Alas, after I told her to pretend it's "The Twilight Zone Presents: The Mist" she really appreciated it.

Anyway, good show!
Posted by: bert, January 13th, 2008, 2:31am; Reply: 79
Wow, where did all these reads come from?

Thanks, you guys.  I have actually been excited about this one lately, as there has been some credible interest in it.  It was rewritten to a different locale, but they kept the door and most other aspects intact.

Quoted from Abe
Dude, you completely nailed that revolving darkroom door.  I read that and thought, "Whoa."  After spending many years in and out of darkrooms, I knew exactly how this kind of entry way adds to the story's creepiness and the old guy's dilemma.

Thanks for letting me know.  It is frustrating, because I sometimes wonder how many people actually "get" that part.  Some readers will ask about it, but I suspect there are also plenty who just give a confused shrug and let it slide.  But I just know it would look great.

Quoted from Abe
Pinto's got enough presence of mind to stop and watch the old man get his, so I thought that he might also steal something on the way out.  Thus carrying with him the Curse.

Excellent.  This is the comment speaking to me the most, Abe.  I do not know if it should be some sort of amulet or something more subtle, but some tangible method of passing on the curse is an excellent thought.  I am going to think on that and pass it on to guy looking at this.

Quoted from Zombie S.
The only thing I had a problem with is that this made me chuckle more than creeped out...I tried to hold back from letting out anymore chuckles.

I am completely cool with that, Sean.  I think a lot of hardcore horror aficionados find humor in horror.  During the kill scenes, there are people who gasp, and people who laugh and cheer.  I know which camp you belong to, so it’s all good.

Quoted from Souter Fell
It…had a Twilight Zone type feel to it. It helped me appreciate some of the humor and quickness.

See?  There is somebody else who sees humor.  Thanks again for the looks, guys, and for taking the time to drop some thoughts on this after you read it.  I appreciate it.    
Posted by: Abe from LA, January 13th, 2008, 4:44am; Reply: 80

Yeah, for some, the revolving door might be a tough one on the page.  But they will think it's cool once they see it in action -- on screen.  What I love about this type of door is that it reminds me of a portal.  It spins and you have know idea who or what will come out.  Or vice versa.
It don't have the same safeguards as a standard door.

And to see this on a trailer is too funny.  Cool at the same time.  This old guy has done his homework regarding light-proof doors, Haha.

It's like the "new" elevator door.  Open and shut case.

Posted by: stebrown, May 5th, 2008, 12:33pm; Reply: 81
Thought I'd check this one out as it's on the recommended thread. Really good atmospheric short. It kind of reminded me of the scene in 'Scent of a Woman' when Charlie first meets Frank Slade - That's a great scene if you haven't seen that movie by the way.

I guess I'm bound to repeat most comments here so I'll keep it short.

It would be possible to make a good feature length script from this, but I like it how it is. Just enough mystery for me.

I don't really know what the revolving door would look like, but if this was to get made the director could easily find out if needed. So that's no biggy.

Well done and good luck with it Bert.

Posted by: bert, May 7th, 2008, 9:00am; Reply: 82
Thanks for the look, Steve, and good to hear that somebody is looking at the "SimplyRecommended" thread, too.  There are some real gems on that underutilized thread.

But it looks like production on this one might have petered out haha.  Too bad.  I just have to wait and see.

Quoted from stebrown
I don't really know what the revolving door would look like..

Check out post #52 on this thread.  There is a quick animation showing the door in use.
Posted by: sniper, May 8th, 2008, 6:36pm; Reply: 83
Damn, Bert, I missed another one of yours.

This had a nice Twilight Zone'ish feel to it. Actually it reminded me of an episode from The X-Files where a guy has a shadow that acts like kinda a black hole that just disapears anyone it comes into contact with.

Anyway, great visuals in the opening scene, they sure set a good tone but it got a little wordy after a while if you know what I mean. It worked but it dragged the opening out a bit.

Like you say in the script, the revolving door looks pretty weird attached to the trailer...I'll say. That door is a bit of a stretch - you really have to want to believe it to buy that some bum has a revolving door attached to his beat up trailer. Surely someone must have said, "Gee, that's peculiar. Let me check that out". It ruined it a bit for me cos' it lost some of its believability.

Great back-and-forth between Pinto and The Old Man. I really like that whole scene especially when The Old Man reveals his "problem". Again, great visuals. Kudos.

Then the fire starts and it sorta came apart for me. First the dropped cigarette and then the whiskey flamethrower. I didn't like that too much - it was just too easy, almost deus ex machina like. The aftermath saved it a bit though (not that I didn't see it coming) but the visuals of the rider-less bike combined with The Old Man's rant made it really creepy.

Even though this story doesn't look like SK's Regulators, I somehow got that same creepy claustrophobic feeling I got when I first read Regulators.

Overall, it was good but you took the easy way out a couple of times imo.

Quoted from bert on July 8th 2005
Gee...I thought anybody could open a Word document.  That's why I blew off PDF.

Hehe priceless

Posted by: Grandma Bear, December 26th, 2010, 6:19pm; Reply: 84
A bump for this excellent creepy little short by Bert that is today's recommended script on the home page. I would encourage everyone to read it. Even if you don't like horror. It's very well written and put together.

Bert, sorry I never did anything with it. I got sidetracked by "bigger" things.   :'( :B
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), December 26th, 2010, 6:30pm; Reply: 85
This script is probably my favorite on the boards.  Every now and then, I'm reminded of it.

Posted by: Mr.Ripley, December 26th, 2010, 6:40pm; Reply: 86
I remember this story. I think I was one of those people interested in learning the backstory to this guy. As much as I would like to know, I think the mystery behind him is satisfactory enough like those 80s horror movies. Sometimes it's best to not know.

Posted by: _ghostwriters, December 26th, 2010, 7:49pm; Reply: 87
Well let me pay my respects Bert... nicely done.  I can offer no value nor would I try.  This is a classic.  Hats off.

But since someone decided to dig this up... you thought about putting it in PDF?  Just saying.

Posted by: bert, December 26th, 2010, 8:54pm; Reply: 88
Oh,'s the 12 days of bert coming home to roost....

Quoted from Grandma Bear
...sorry I never did anything with it. I got sidetracked by "bigger" things.

No worries, Pia.  At least you weren't as bad as that guy who made me rewrite the whole thing as an "inner-city" piece -- and I never heard from him again.

You know how that goes.

Quoted from Phil
This script is probably my favorite on the boards.

Holy crap.  Those who know, know that these don't come cheap.  Thanks, man.

And you, too, Gabe & Ghostie, of course -- very appreciated, but Phil's comment really caught me by surprise.

Quoted from Ghostie thought about putting it in PDF?

This is still in word?  Haha...that tells you how old it is.  I really should correct that soon.  Thanks again, guys.
Posted by: Mr.Ripley, December 26th, 2010, 9:10pm; Reply: 89
When it comes from phil, its good. Why don't you enter this into contests? You should have some awards under belt especially with this script for instance.
Posted by: Grandma Bear, December 26th, 2010, 9:53pm; Reply: 90

Quoted from bert

No worries, Pia.  At least you weren't as bad as that guy who made me rewrite the whole thing as an "inner-city" piece -- and I never heard from him again.

You know how that goes.

That's why I feel bad about it. I hate when that happens to me, yet I've done it myself to you and two other writers. Sometimes things just don't play out the way you envision it.  :-/

PS. don't get too excited about Phil's comment. I had to pay him to say that.   :P

Posted by: Electric Dreamer, December 26th, 2010, 11:37pm; Reply: 91
Seasons Greetings Bert,

Good choice for a dusting, Pia.
All I can say is that it works and nothing stands out as a detriment.
Solid visual storytelling with crisp dialogue.
A pleasure to read.
Methinks there's a feature in the works about independent shadows and debauchery.  
Thanks for the read!

Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), December 27th, 2010, 12:48am; Reply: 92

Quoted from Grandma Bear
PS. don't get too excited about Phil's comment. I had to pay him to say that.   :P

She paid me in gum!  New Trident layers!

Posted by: frXNtier, December 27th, 2010, 8:46am; Reply: 93
Very nice.

I was going to offer some criticism but then I noticed you had written this over 5 years ago, so I thought that may not be warranted as you may well have no inclination to come back to this masterpiece again.

This needs to be on a screen.

Posted by: bert, December 27th, 2010, 12:46pm; Reply: 94

Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Seasons Greetings Bert,

Methinks there's a feature in the works about independent shadows and debauchery.

And Happy Holidays to you, E.D.  Thanks for looking, but as stated elsewhere -- in one of those loooong threads you sometimes find around here -- any attempts to stretch this much further quickly became silly as opposed to scary.

Gypsy curses and whatnot -- eventually the whole thing just got trash-canned haha.

Quoted from frXNtier I thought that may not be warranted as you may well have no inclination to come back to this masterpiece again.

Yeah...I have kind of dabbled with it off and on.  Like I told Pia, at one point a fledgling director asked for an "inner-city" version -- so I do have that rewrite floating around somewhere.  But nothing ever came of it, as is so often the case.

I really do need to put this up as PDF.  Will do that soon.  Maybe both versions, if I still like the other one when I go to look at it again.

Thanks for looking, guys.  It is fun to have the old stuff bumped up from time to time.
Posted by: 05c4r, December 27th, 2010, 2:22pm; Reply: 95
After seeing all the comments I had to read this Bert, I mean, I won't put more butter on the bread, but you write very good. Now I know I got to look more on your work to improve myself. Very intriguing story and catching all the way!

Notice you wrote it five years ago? And not produce or anything?

If I'm going to mention one thing about this is just the dialog of Pinto, you should cut it more, I know you wrote him as a black boy, but when I read his dialog I just see a white kid. But that wouldn't be a such a deal when a actor grabs this and makes it to his own words.

All in all, very good!:D
Posted by: jwent6688, December 27th, 2010, 7:27pm; Reply: 96

Word? Wtf? Amateur....

Felt the opening was a bit novelish for a short screenplay. Too much description for my tastes.

I couldn't get a visual of the door on the trailer. It revolves? Photographers use it? I just kept picturing a huge revolving door from an office building.

Meh, one of these days I'd like to take a big hot steaming turd on one of your scripts. This ain't the one. I loved it. Woulda like a bit more back story about the shadows and why they are there. Also, why it seemed Pinto inhereted them at the end.

Anywho, it had me gunning to the end. Great stuff Bert.

Posted by: bert, December 28th, 2010, 8:14am; Reply: 97
Thank you, Oscar, and I do appreciate your thoughts, as I have not looked at this for so long.  When I go over this one again for a long-overdue PDF submission, I will certainly take another look at some of the dialogue.

You, too, James.  Thanks.  I did get called out for wordiness with this one, and maybe enough time has passed that I can look objectively for some cuts.

Quoted from jwent6688
I couldn't get a visual of the door on the trailer. It revolves? Photographers use it?

Check out post #52 on this thread.  I thought they were common, but lots of people were confused.

Quoted from jwent6688 of these days I'd like to take a big hot steaming turd on one of your scripts.

Oh, I've got one for you -- but I'll never point anyone towards it -- and it is buried deep.  I have no idea what Don is selecting for his dirty dozen, but I do hope he takes a pass on that one...
Posted by: Colkurtz8, December 30th, 2010, 12:13pm; Reply: 98

Half way through this I anticipate it was heading towards derivative Vampire territory...but it turned into something a lot more interesting and imaginative than that.

Great concept here, original too, at least as far as I'm aware. It would make a great horror feature length idea if one was to develop it in such a way. Some lovely prose also, particularly when describing the morphing shadows.

Funny that it’s in word format, or is that you flipping the bird to conformity.

I loved the “shameless plug” at the end, that’s is a new one...and sure why not?!
Posted by: bert, January 3rd, 2011, 3:58pm; Reply: 99
Hey, thanks Col!

Quoted from Colkurtz8
Funny that it's in word format, or is that you flipping the bird to conformity?

No, I was not flipping convention so much as this was a very early work, back in the days when Word files were not that uncommon around here.

I did not want to respond until I had submitted the updated PDF -- kind of goading myself to actually get it done, you know?  If anybody was waiting for that, it will be up soon.  It has been scrubbed and tweaked, but is essentially the same script.

Quoted from Colkurtz8
Half way through this I anticipate it was heading towards derivative Vampire territory...

The misdirection was not intentional -- but I did notice it while writing, and kind of thought that it helped the story when it veered somewhere else -- when you are expecting one thing and get something else.

Quoted from Colkurtz8
I loved the "shameless plug" at the end, that's a new one.

Oh, lord; I keep forgetting that is there.  I thought it was clever at the time, but I am kind of embarrassed about it now.

Again -- back in the day --  there was a time I couldn't even buy a read on Farm haha.  So yeah, the plug has also been removed from the PDF update.

Thanks for the kind words, Col, and glad the prose did not put you off.  It is a habit I work to break, but one that I hate to lose completely.  Always searching for that middle-ground...
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), February 20th, 2011, 1:25am; Reply: 100
Wow - really good script!  Clean, beautiful descriptions.  And (as someone else on the thread mentioned) just the right length.  Though, honestly?  I could also see this working as a feature.  And it'd be a nice change of pace from the uninspired torture porn that's usually out there....  (Like another reader, I completely thought I saw a vampire twist coming, and was prepared for the worst...)
Posted by: leitskev, February 21st, 2011, 2:16am; Reply: 101
Loved the story. Seemed to me that the story represented the idea that everyone has a dark side.
Posted by: screenrider (Guest), February 21st, 2011, 4:00am; Reply: 102
Diaphanous tendrils of smoke curl themselves through the slivers of sunlight.

Can I borrow that line for one on my scripts?  

Very creative.   Very Twisted.  

Great job.
Posted by: leitskev, February 22nd, 2011, 12:01pm; Reply: 103
For some reason I found myself thinking about this story this morning. The story succeeds, since it lingers in your head. But there is a fundamental aspect to this story that I personally would change, and I want to mention it because for me it is an opportunity to talk about the way I think stories should be done more.

Everyone remembers the great stories from their childhood. Every kid tells stories, and in every group of kids were those one or two kids that were able to tell spooky stories that everyone listened to, and that left a powerful impression. Think for a moment on what made those stories work. Even when you're a kid, you're smart enough to know the facts of a scary story are unlikely. But if the story is told in such a way, there is a part of your mind that says, "well, maybe." And that's what scares you.

As an adult, the voice in your head that says, "well, maybe," grows weaker. But there is a part of us that still wants to hear that voice. Maybe it connects us to our childhood. Maybe it's something else. I don't know, but even as adults, we want to be able to say, "well, maybe."

So for a spooky story, one is looking for that balance between scariness and believability. Hard to achieve.

And here's another thing to consider. A story about a goblin or witch in the woods, or a ghost in an abandoned house only works to entertain as long as the woods or the house remain at the end of the story. You want to imagine the witch or ghost still there, waiting. Burn down the forest or demolish the house, and the story loses its power.

So I think for me this story is better if it does not end with the trailer burning down, or the old man dieing. When I hear a rightfully creepy story about a creepy old man whose fate it is to live in darkness in a run down trailer stalked by his own shadow, when the story ends I want to imagine that trailer and that man somewhere, and say, "well, maybe."

When the trailer burns and old man dies, and the shadow affliction is somehow spread to the boy, two problems are created. First, now we really need to know what this shadow thing is. What is its history? How did the old man contract it? It was easier to avoid those questions before, but now asking them cannot be contained. Also, the believability factor became stretched dramatically, and it became harder to say, "well, maybe."

If the story ended with the boy leaving the old man miserable and confined to his fate, that would have a real nice spooky factor. The boy, and hopefully the audience, will never look at his own shadow the same way again.

Another advantage to doing this way: yesterday someone posted a link to an award winning short film about fairies. What that movie achieves it does with no budget for special affects. The same could be done on this short. The shadow cuts into the old man, wounding him. Easy enough.  There could be some problems filming something that dark, but not necessarily.

I also think if the film maker was looking for something with more of a theme, this could be developed here too. A lot of things can be done with the shadow, and this would also be an opportunity to explain some of what caused this creature to exist. Shadows are symbolic for different things, and that could be used to give a bit of a moral to the story. Hell, I really think it would make a great little film.
Posted by: bert, February 22nd, 2011, 5:30pm; Reply: 104
Hey guys, thank you taking the time to comment on this one, and sorry about the less-than-timely response.  Busy weekend.

Quoted from Wonkavite
Like another reader, I completely thought I saw a vampire twist coming.

I am not sure that would even be a twist at all, you know?  And as discussed previously, I am just not sure at all this idea has legs for a feature.

Nice to see you back around, Wonka, and good to know there is at least one person in your household with a little taste.  :)


And thanks to SR -- who apparently was not kidding about that line, and even had the courtesy to ask haha.


And leitskev -- I very much enjoyed reading your breakdown on what worked and might work better.  It may interest you to know this has gone through options a couple of times, without ever reaching production for whatever reason, and with everybody wanting to do something a little different.

There is an inner-city version (without any trailer at all), and last I heard, somebody else might be considering at least a slightly elongated version.

I have kind of reached the conclusion that this one is a director's piece.  By that, I mean I can spin my wheels and change things up all I want, but in the end, it is probably better to wait and see what the guy behind the camera has in mind before rewriting too much.

Everybody wants to do something slightly different with it, and I seem to be the only one completely happy with it the way it is haha.

Not to say I do not appreciate the thoughts, and I will certainly return to them should somebody decide to actually pursue that route.

Thanks again, guys.  I appreciate all of it.
Posted by: leitskev, February 22nd, 2011, 6:34pm; Reply: 105
It's very good the way it currently is, and the urban version sounds pretty cool. I was also thinking today, if you wanted to attach a theme, the shadow could be a metaphor for the soul, ones past, even one's conscience, or a subconscious current to the old man. Just throwing ideas out there. I can see where the story is intriguing enough to get people wanting to play around and have some fun with it.

One other thing: albinoism is a genetic condition. Not sure if the old man has that, or just has come to resemble an albino.
Posted by: Jahon Bahrom, January 30th, 2012, 1:59am; Reply: 106
Hi Robert
Enjoyed your story alot actually. Good job. Will read more of your work.

take care
Posted by: bert, January 31st, 2012, 1:55pm; Reply: 107
Thanks, Jahon, for letting me know that you liked it.

That is always nice to hear -- particularly on these really long threads where you sometimes wonder if anyone is even looking anymore.

You will find that most of my short stuff is horror, if that your bag.
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, January 31st, 2012, 4:29pm; Reply: 108
Hey Bert,

Always nice when someone else does the leg work and digs up a decent "old" script.

This is a touch of class but you know that by now. So what did i like;

1] simple set up of boy, gave me enough image without lingering. Good images.
2] kept focused - it was largely a talking heads of two people in a caravan but kept to this and didn't try to be anything more. it kept suspension by having episodes; before entering; before the reveal; after the reveal - each different, even in a short.
3] dialogue - good crisp words, short punchy sentences, the right phrases at the right times
4] simple premise - we could all follow it. Some may wish for an explanation, and normally i do, but not this time. Can't fully say why, but it did work.
5] nice final finish - a touch of menace. There was something circular about it. At first you wondered if the man was the devil object, then it was his shadows, then it drifted back to him again, as a shadow. A curse that has to carry on.

Not much on the downside but a few phrases that some may jump on if i put them forward e.g. "It will be dark soon". It does add to the written feeling but it can also be deduced from the sun setting in the line before.

I do enjoy your writing.

all the best.

Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), February 1st, 2012, 10:23am; Reply: 109 favorite of Bert's short scripts.  Though if you like this one, Reef, check out Salvage...
Posted by: Galactic Sausage, February 2nd, 2012, 9:05am; Reply: 110
What's with the hype over this complete rubbish?

Racistm, sexist, ageist. The list goes on.

As Jesus once said:

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Learn from Jesus and his followers, you pathetic coward. Pinto was weak and bullied at school it appears. Why else would you go down to a traveller camp?
Posted by: Forgive, February 2nd, 2012, 10:09am; Reply: 111

Quoted from Galactic Sausage pathetic coward.

Mark 12:30-31: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus said lots of things. Let's not cherry pick. I've been guilty of this myself.


Posted by: bert, February 2nd, 2012, 10:51am; Reply: 112
Thanks Sausage!

Glad you liked it -- though I have have far worse transgressions to offer, and encourage you to seek them out given your enthusiastic endorsement of this one.


bert (pathetic coward)
Posted by: bert, February 2nd, 2012, 10:59am; Reply: 113
Reef!  Sorry, man -- just realized you had a read in there, too -- and I missed it given the heady excitement coursing through my veins after such fawning and gushing by my newest fan, Sausage.

"Class" is a word seldom used in conjunction with my scripts, but I thank you for your thoughts.

I will be sure to return the read as time permits.

bert (still a pathetic coward)
Posted by: Ectoplasm, February 2nd, 2012, 12:29pm; Reply: 114
I liked this a lot, probably my second favorite short I've read so far. Oddly enough, I was also thinking of doing a horror with shadows lately, but this is much better than what I was imagining. Fantastic job, good horror is not an easy thing to do.
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, February 2nd, 2012, 6:42pm; Reply: 115
Hey Bert

Since i fainted whilst giving blood today i deserve the PC award. Its mine, all mine....
Posted by: Shelton, February 2nd, 2012, 7:26pm; Reply: 116

Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Hey Bert

Since i fainted whilst giving blood today i deserve the PC award. Its mine, all mine....

I hereby dub you "Best PC of 1977".

Posted by: bert, February 4th, 2012, 1:21am; Reply: 117

Quoted from Ectoplasm
I liked this a lot, probably my second favorite short I've read so far.

Second??  What the hell is wrong with you?

Did you not just read how much Sausage loved this script?

Thanks, ecto -- just kidding -- but I gotta' know -- what is at the top?

Quoted from the man
I hereby dub you "Best PC of 1977"

Posted by: Ectoplasm, February 4th, 2012, 2:12am; Reply: 118

Ha, if only we could all offer such amazing insight as Sausage. The name of my favorite escapes me at the moment, but it was a supernatural, monster in the closet type horror short I read awhile back. I'm a sucker for horror, shame not many people understand how to make them without loads of gore and lack of story.

Posted by: Britman, February 6th, 2012, 9:30pm; Reply: 119
I really liked this script, and story. It sort of gave me a Stephen King vibe when reading, not sure if that was mentioned elsewhere in the comments or not. I just wish it was longer! This would make a great 30 min Tales of the Crypt episode. Thinking of it visually, I would maybe set the trailer off the beaten track a bit. I could imagine Pinto having to cycle down this dusty, lonely track to find the trailer in some gloomy, spooky place and away from the other trailers and out of sight. Anyway, I loved it!
Posted by: bert, February 7th, 2012, 1:35pm; Reply: 120

Quoted from Britman
I really liked this script, and story. It sort of gave me a Stephen King vibe when reading, not sure if that was mentioned elsewhere in the comments or not. I just wish it was longer!

Thank you, mrl.

As mentioned elsewhere on this very long thread -- which you are excused from reading haha -- lengthening this story just doesn't work.

At least, not in my hands.

Any attempts to drag this story further out just became kind of silly as opposed to frightening, and I kind of abandoned that idea some time ago.

I do appreciate your thoughts, though, and any mention of King always makes me smile -- although I do know I am miles and miles away from away that guy...

Posted by: CoopBazinga, February 7th, 2012, 2:11pm; Reply: 121
Hey Bert,

I could be wrong but I think this is the first piece I’ve read from you. It’s a good tale, reads super fast and the dialogue comes of natural. Shadows, interesting concept and when this was originally written not much had been done involving shadows apart from an Alec Baldwin film I remember, maybe there had been but I hadn’t seen them.

There’s not a lot to complain about here, couple of personal nitpicks or questions if you like. Always good to ask a more experienced writer a question if you’re unsure.

In dialogue, you say “$23.50” have been reading that it should be “twenty three fifty” words instead of numbers. Does it matter how it’s done?
                 OLD MAN
           You smoke? Pete?

Thought this would read better as one question. “You smoke, Pete?”

Like I said, nitpicks and questions, this has had a lot of feedback and it’s difficult to fault this.

I love some of your descriptions, this line I particularly liked for some reason.

“The dying sun bullies its way between a few cracks in the boarded up windows”

Also the glowing cigarette in the darkness, gives a great visual to the reader IMO.

As I say, it’s a brilliant short and I for one enjoyed it. Just interested, how many drafts have you done of this over the years?

Great work! :)


Posted by: bert, February 7th, 2012, 11:05pm; Reply: 122

Quoted from CoopBazinga
I could be wrong but I think this is the first piece I've read from you.

Hey, coop.  Not sure I have read you, either, now that you mention it.  You should link your work in your sig space.  There are surely plenty that owe you a look.

Quoted from coop
...when this was originally written not much had been done involving shadows apart from an Alec Baldwin film I remember, maybe there had been but I hadn't seen them.

Alec Baldwin?  I have no idea what you are talking about haha.  There is a recent film called "Vanishing on 7th Street" -- decent, but not great -- and the paranoid side of me always wonders if some writer somewhere looked over my little script here before carrying it forward to something larger.

Quoted from coop
In dialogue, you say "$23.50" have been reading that it should be "twenty three fifty" words instead of numbers. Does it matter how it's done?

I doubt it, quite frankly.  I mean, in a practical sense for 99% of readers.  Somebody obsessed with all the technical details might tell you different, though.

Quoted from coop
Thought this would read better as one question. "You smoke, Pete?"

You think?  I was trying to insert a beat without really inserting a beat.  At least, that is what I was thinking at the time -- that you would read it with a beat.

Quoted from coop
Just interested, how many drafts have you done of this over the years?

Just touch-ups to this version once or twice.

There is another "inner-city" version I wrote for one guy with an old crack house instead of a trailer.  Nothing panned out from that, though, except a lapsed $25 option haha.

Thanks for looking, and again, big congrats on the newest addition.  Drop me a PM if I can look at something for you (and you, too, mrl72).
Posted by: Roadrage Dude, February 8th, 2012, 1:33am; Reply: 123
I shouldn't have read this in the night...A nice brisk story- well done
Posted by: LuisAnthony, June 12th, 2013, 4:35pm; Reply: 124
I really enjoyed this short, it sounds to me like it could be extended to a nice feature film. I enjoyed how you kept things nice and suspensful till the last couple of pages. Good work there. I also really liked the tone and the atmosphere in this short. Keep up the good work!
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), June 12th, 2013, 7:07pm; Reply: 125
Luis -

Glad to see you've read this one!  Honestly, one of my favorite shorts on this site. (Bow to Bert - and ducking Phil's resulting wrath...)  :)
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), June 12th, 2013, 7:13pm; Reply: 126
This is one of my favorite scripts on the boards, if not my favorite.

I'm still gonna punish Janet for her heresy.

Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), June 12th, 2013, 9:57pm; Reply: 127
Uh, don't you mean "heresy"?  :P  (Love you, Bert!!)  And Phil.
Posted by: the goose, June 13th, 2013, 6:46pm; Reply: 128
As I've said before I don't normally read shorts but I had a look at this. Very nice, creepy little story - would slip nicely into an anthology film and would also serve up as a good short story. Plenty of scope for descriptions and similies.

There's nothing wrong with a bit of flair and 'over' description in a script. The better the scene is painted the easier the director can see it in his mind. Plus for all the other people in the creative process such as the costume designers/set designers it makes their job a little easier - and also as some of us writers are quite controlling beasts who don't like seeing their ideas knocked about too much - a bit of over description gives us more control of the final piece. But anyway I digress...

It's a really creepy idea this, almost wish I'd had it myself, there's something spooky about shadows, especially as a kid. And the bit of dialogue where the old chap explains what's happening with his shadow is very well done, nice bit of characterisation there.

I see you've struggled with making the transition from a short into a feature with this. But it's such a creepy little idea that you should really try and make the transition. What appeals most is it wouldn't require too much of a budget and also wouldn't require too much OTT gore or CGI - two of the things that (along with bad acting) often make low-budget productions nowhere near as good as they could have been.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), June 13th, 2013, 7:05pm; Reply: 129

Quoted from wonkavite
Uh, don't you mean "heresy"?

Geresy:  girl heresy.  It's in the Bible!

Posted by: bert, June 14th, 2013, 3:52pm; Reply: 130
My ancient short has more reads.  Yay!  Sometimes these obscenely long threads get so lonely haha.

First, thank you Luis for your thoughts:

Quoted from LuisAnthony
I also really liked the tone and the atmosphere...

Sometimes I feel the descriptive work here may be a bit much, and it has actually been cut back from its original form.  But yeah, that is where the tone really comes from, so I appreciate the comment.

Quoted from goose
There's nothing wrong with a bit of flair and 'over' description in a script. The better the scene is painted the easier the director can see it in his mind.

I am of the same mind, Goose -- but it is easy to carry it too far, and difficult to know exactly where the line should be drawn.  I do think this piece strikes the right balance for most readers, though you will never please everyone, of course.

And to both Luis and Goose -- no feature haha!  You just gotta' trust me that this creepy little idea ain't got the legs for it.

Also, quick thanks to Phil and Janet.  I will not cheapen the sentiments by wrapping a big quote box around them, but please know they are appreciated -- particularly coming from authors that I, myself, already hold in high esteem.

That is just about the best stuff you can get  :)
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