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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Horror  /  Grave Men - May3
Posted by: Don, May 28th, 2021, 4:56pm
Grave Men by Yuvraj Rajwanshi (Yuvraj) writing as No Noyce - Short, Drama - A dilemma in a man's personal life makes for an opportunity for a dangerous group of people. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: MarkRenshaw, May 29th, 2021, 4:36am; Reply: 1
I was thrown a few times here by the camera angles ON COMPUTER, ON JEFF etc. I thought he was typing these in and it took me out of the story.

Overall a good piece of work. A dark drama that would make a good Black Mirror episode I imagine. The reader/audience has to accept there is a group of people out there doing random internet searches with a specially designed app just to help people get vengeance on those they hate, but if you can get past that (as I did) this is an interesting concept. A kind of a Purge by request.

It would be good to know why Jeff typed Ryan in to begin with. Did he suspect his friend? He didn't seem to from his response.

Great job.
Posted by: Gum, May 29th, 2021, 12:49pm; Reply: 2
There are a few breaks in the logic here that throws out the overall message, I think, or cadence. First being they (GM) smack Jeff upside the head with a crowbar, possibly giving him an irreversible contusion, but in the end welcoming him to the clan as one of their own without further ado; maybe being knocked unconscious is part of the hazing ritual. Perhaps chloroform, or a black bag over his head to traumatize him with fear would be less intrusive if they want him to justify his true revenge on another individual by being coherent enough to murder, and ultimately join the Grave Men. Just thinking out loud.

But then thereís Ryan, Jeffís friend that he seemingly Ďcaresí if harm comes to him as in trying to warn him via a phone call but does a 180 when he finds out heís banging his olí lady and then shit-kicks/murders him. I donít know, seems all over the place with ideas that are not truly concrete as of yet, but the structure is there.

I truly like the concept of these Grave Men but might seem more plausible if found on the Dark Web, maybe Jeff was on the Dark Web, donít know, but itís a cool idea to play with, it could definitely be expanded and taken to another level if scripted into a feature.

Unless super imposed over the screen, Iím not sure (earlier) and (present) are entirely necessary, the time-line distortion is understood the way you scripted the events, at least to me it is. I found it engaging when the pop-ups started, it gave me a consensus that nefarious activities were afoot, and the appearance of the Grave Men brought it to the edge of ghoulish fun and lends credence to the warnings people always speak in the IT threadsÖ stay the f*ck away from the Dark Web. Best of luck.
Posted by: eldave1, May 29th, 2021, 1:16pm; Reply: 3
Well done for the most part.

I got a little lost in the timelines.

Most importantly, I didn't quite understand how the opening scene related. Jeff is conked in the head by the GM dudes - because???

Good effort - enjoyed the tale
Posted by: MarkItZero, May 29th, 2021, 5:33pm; Reply: 4
Okay so dark web revenge squad, that's cool. I can get behind that. And him joining them at the end was a nice touch. That was pretty solid all around.

One nitpick - Jeff falling asleep after believing he's marked his friend as a target was an odd way to end the scene on pg. 4. How about he paces around the room, then grabs his stuff and races out the door? You'd have to change the first scene too, maybe have the masked men waiting outside his door when runs out.

Overall, nice work.
Posted by: Spqr, May 31st, 2021, 5:02pm; Reply: 5
I liked this story a lot. The premise is clever, but the text on screen interface seems a little slow for today's attention-deficient viewer. Maybe Jeff gets a "wake-up call," from an Alexa-like head on his computer? And I don't understand why the three GM beat Jeff up and dump him outside. Is undergoing a little pain himself the "payment" for having the GM hurt one of his enemies?
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, June 1st, 2021, 7:19am; Reply: 6
Hi Writer

The giant machine roars through the woods? can't be many trees in these here woods lol

Quoted Text
A search progresses between the two split screens. A dialog
box shows - Searching for correlation. Please wait.

That was a cool addition.

Quoted Text
He sits on his bed. Tense. Dreaded.
Eventually, he dozes off.

How long are we watching him sit on his bed? Seems to fall asleep quick considering he was just petrified for his friend lol he could be suffering from Narcolepsy I suppose...

Quoted Text
Jeff in his work clothes, stands by the counter. He eats a
bowl of oats. His phone rings. It's Cathy. He picks it.
Hey, hon. Look, I still got a shit
ton of work to do, so I'll come
late tonight.
No problem.
I'll come as soon as possible.
I'll wait.
Love you. Bye.
He hangs up, looks at the phone screen for quite a moment
then shakes his head. Sighs.

To me that is a pointless scene that doesn't further anything, we already get that she is his wife and she's cheating on him, we don't need the above.

Cool ending, joining the GM and announcing the next victim.

The GM's already had the dirt on Ryan, so why are they asking him for a name in the beginning? What if he had said someone else lol the ending makes the opening attack seem strange.

Your writing needs a bit of work, a lot can be reorganised and rewritten to both condense it and make it flow better (look at page 2 and how many sentences begin with "He")

The story was pretty cool, but it's one of those where the ending muddies the beginning a little bit for me.

Well done

Posted by: mmmarnie, June 1st, 2021, 2:56pm; Reply: 7
I like the idea here, and the Grave Men are interesting villains. I admit I was a bit confused in parts. Maybe I'm just a dope. But I think in the end I got the overall gist of it. Possibly try to speed it up a little. I think that's why I got a bit lost. You have a few unfilmable descriptions throughout. Like a heart skipping a beat, Ryan acknowledging his surroundings....

Solid entry though. Nice work.
Posted by: spesh2k, June 1st, 2021, 3:40pm; Reply: 8

Quoted Text
The giant machine stops at a distance from the men. A blur
outline of a person is seen on its wheels.

Not sure what I'm looking at, here.

Overall, this was decent. I liked the classic "Saw"-esque setup. Not sure if I liked the premise as is. So, these Grave Men were looking out for Jeff? How would they know to follow Jeff's life before Jeff hits that "Yes" popup ad? Were they looking to recruit him this whole time? I think the premise of this secret group needs more clarity.

Good effort.

-- Michael
Posted by: Cacutshaw, June 1st, 2021, 4:11pm; Reply: 9
Nice job.

I do wonder why Jeff searched Ryan if he didn't know about the affair. It seems odd that he'd choose him as someone he hates.

Other than that, an engaging script. Nice job.
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, June 1st, 2021, 6:52pm; Reply: 10
I liked the ideas in here but the internal logic didn't work for me... he accidentally picked Ryan, regretted it but then found out he was having an affair... way too convenient.

But the writing was solid, though a few typos need tidying up e.g. He plummets his face with punches. should be pummels?

Decent effort
Posted by: LC, June 2nd, 2021, 9:24pm; Reply: 11
The writing needs tidying up a lot, and a few of the finer details need clarifying - him discovering the affair being one, and deciding to have a kip at the crucial point he does -

He sits on his bed. Tense. Dreaded. You want something like: face full of dread, not dreaded.
Eventually, he dozes off.
Okay, you've only got six pages and needed a segue.

A tiny bit too long getting to the actual 'Ryan' search result he wants? Perhaps think about editing/speeding that up?

Engrossing story nonetheless, great dark vibe and atmosphere. Loved when he hit the computer keys to negate his actions and he was stuck with what he set in motion.

Black Mirror-esque for sure.

I can see this getting picked up.
Definitely up there for me.

Great job!
Posted by: Geezis, June 3rd, 2021, 1:31pm; Reply: 12
A tale of accidental revenge leading to murder. Writing for me is a but chunky at times but overall a good story.
Well done.
Posted by: JEStaats, June 3rd, 2021, 6:38pm; Reply: 13
Yep, pretty cool premise and great title. It's always the 'best friend', right? A little revision and clean up, you've got something here. Good work.
Posted by: stevemiles, June 4th, 2021, 6:32am; Reply: 14
Not sure the shuffling sound over black adds anything.

You lose the urgency going from Jeff being tense and trying to call Ryan to simply drifting off.  Needs more work there to hold that urgency otherwise it feels like a false beat.

Where does this popup originate from?  Wouldnít it be a website of some sorts?  I think we needed more logic behind this aspect to make it more believable.  Maybe better if Jeff suspected something between Cathy and Ryan and work the idea from there with Jeff idly searching for a means for revenge that gets out of hand.  Otherwise itís too coincidental.

Iím on board with the idea of a shadowy organisation that helps you get rid of someone you donít like.  But it needs a lot of groundwork to make for a believable scenario and for me this is too big a leap of faith to accept these Grave Men would simply approach you online in such a manner and away you go.  Interesting idea and I like that Jeff then inadvertently becomes one of them; Iím just not able to suspend my disbelief enough to be fully invested in it.
Posted by: Lono, June 4th, 2021, 9:54am; Reply: 15

This was well done, and  good use of the insert! Doing graphics for film, I always hate the insert on computer screens cause it makes my job so much harder lol but this I think would be fun to do, and with your description of the screens you'd make my job easier. :)

A really awesome concept, like if Fight Club got on the net as a revenge service. You handled the narrative well. He was very quick to go for blood with Cathy at the end though, a little unbelievable for me. He's upset but is he really a cold blooded psychopath? He could be. I would expand on this, I think you have something great with the concept.

Nice work!
Posted by: Rob, June 4th, 2021, 12:03pm; Reply: 16
This is a solid script. I like that Jeff is offered a mask at the end and takes it. I also like the funny little detail of Jeff pulling the plug on his computer to escape the situation. I am trying to figure out if Ryan knew about the infidelity when he typed Ryan's name. I assume he says Cathy at the end because she is next.
Posted by: Zack, June 4th, 2021, 12:11pm; Reply: 17
On the first page, you have 7 consecutive lines of prose that begin with the word "He". It's very repetitive and hard on the eyes. Mix it up a bit.

Solid concept, but this needs a good rewrite.

Good effort. :)
Posted by: FrankM, June 4th, 2021, 3:52pm; Reply: 18
The audience can't see the sluglines, so you'll need some on-screen way to show the time to make the sequence clear to viewers. There are also some formatting glitches like a BACK TO SCENE referring to an INSERT in a previous scene. Looks like it was

In the forest
> INSERT on Man #1's phone
>> Flashback to kitchen
> Looking at Man #1's phone again
Back to the forest

That would make it a flashback inside an insert, which might look very interesting, but that's not how it's formatted.

Nice to see an on-screen phone conversation end with both parties actually saying "bye" :)

I have to wonder why he picked Ryan if he didn't already know.

That's a hell of an initiation ritual.

Very good effort!
Posted by: Yuvraj, June 12th, 2021, 3:59am; Reply: 19
Thank you guys for reading and commenting.
Posted by: Yuvraj, July 9th, 2021, 5:03am; Reply: 20
Didn't really change much. Just a little a formatting issue so submitted an updated version.
Posted by: Zack, July 9th, 2021, 4:19pm; Reply: 21

Quoted from Zack
On the first page, you have 7 consecutive lines of prose that begin with the word "He". It's very repetitive and hard on the eyes. Mix it up a bit.

This issue hasn't been addressed.
Posted by: Yuvraj, July 10th, 2021, 6:25am; Reply: 22

Quoted from Zack

This issue hasn't been addressed.

I see no valid reason to address that. Jeff is the only one in the scene, it is fine. Besides, there is no glaring issue with using a pronoun consecutively.

Regardless, I appreciate you putting your point forward once again.
Posted by: Zack, July 10th, 2021, 1:17pm; Reply: 23

Quoted from Yuvraj

I see no valid reason to address that. Jeff is the only one in the scene, it is fine. Besides, there is no glaring issue with using a pronoun consecutively.

Regardless, I appreciate you putting your point forward once again.

No problem. Good luck. :)
Posted by: LC, July 10th, 2021, 7:43pm; Reply: 24

Quoted from Yuvraj

I see no valid reason to address that. Jeff is the only one in the scene, it is fine. Besides, there is no glaring issue with using a pronoun consecutively.

Regardless, I appreciate you putting your point forward once again.

There is a valid reason if it becomes boring and repetitive, imho.

Thankfully Yuvraj, you've enough action and a terrific core idea to carry this script, but don't dismiss Zack's advice out of hand.  You might want to bear in mind that mixing it up for a reader adds to the readability and entertainment of a piece. You don't want to be an average writer, you want to make an impression.


He feels unsettled now. He looks for the close tab but finds

Unsettled, he searches for a close tab. Finds none.

Before that you have:
He is a bit nervous now.

Unsettled, nervous - pretty much the same thing.
I'd be guessing he might be frantic at the point he's looking for the close tab.

Just suggestions. Take or leave.
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