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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Scripts  /  The Bridge
Posted by: Don, April 5th, 2012, 7:06pm
The Bridge by Jordan Littleton (nomad) - Short, Horror - There are over 600,000 bridges in the U.S. alone.  Four friends discover the horror that lurks beneath one of them. 8 pages - pdf, format 8)
Posted by: Forgive, April 5th, 2012, 7:38pm; Reply: 1
Okay - I think that this is the first script you've posted here - pretty good - tension built up well - I really liked the way you had Shawn running across the bridge - it was something about nothing - that's okay - and there was no resolution, but I liked the way you came into it - and you didn't go soft at any point - so for a dark piece of work - there isn't much underlying it it - but there's really - IMO - plenty of potential here - good stuff.
Posted by: Nomad, April 5th, 2012, 10:28pm; Reply: 2
Thanks for the review SiColl007.  Right now I'm using the feedback I get from Shorts to improve my Features.  

I'm working on putting more of a story into my Shorts, but when you say "it was something about nothing", you're absolutely right.  This was more of a mechanical exercise, but I'll try to make you care about the Protag in my next short.

This is my third script on here.  "Restroom", was my first, and "The Stone Within" was my second, which was for a OWC.
Posted by: Dreamscale, April 6th, 2012, 11:52am; Reply: 3
Hey Jordan, nice job here, bro...nice job.

It's refreshing to read a script that works in so many ways that the writing issues on display don't overshadow it, and bring it down.  You've created real and serious mood, tone, tension, terror, and even uncertainty, while creating likable, "real" characters, who come off as real people, based on the well written dialogue.

This is the kind of review I wish I could write more.  The kind where the first words out of my mouth are positive, the highlights, as opposed to what's wrong and why it just kills the read.

And it should serve as a great example of what works, why it works, and why the less than positive issues don't drag it down into the abyss of pisspoor scripts.

Simon mentioned that this is "something about nothing with no resolution". I disagree with this.  It is exactly what it is and what it's meant to be.  And the col thing is that it succeeds at what it sets out to do - nothing more, nothing less - a good lesson for many writers to learn.  If you think about it, the standard storyline for horror could fall into the "something about nothing with no resolution" category.  I don't see it that way at all.  It's a full contained story here that leaves things open for our imagination to ponder.

The GOODS - Tension is well done.  It starts out slowly with action taking place in the B.G. - fleeting, quick scenes, leaving unsure of what just happened...or why.  It grows so that we know damn well is "out there".  And it culminates in a well conceived chase for survival.

Dialogue is well done.  The kids actually seem to know each other and be friends, which I rarely see.  There are some funny lines, which always shines in a dark horror script.  Good dialogue creates good characters, IMO.

Concept is well done.  It's simple but it works and you brought your own spin to a tried and true simple setup.

THE NOT SO GOODS - Numerous writing mistakes on display.  Let's look at them in a little detail that will hopefully help going forward.

You open with an orphan.  What's worse is that this orphan is also repetition of your Slug.  I always say to try to avoid using your Slug in your opening line underneath it, as it's repetitive and unnecessary.

I think you should have provided some detail as to where this bridge is, what it's named, etc, but that's just a personal opinion.

Your 4th passage consists of 2 sentences, but the 2nd one is a fragment that should be attached to the first with a comma. IT would read and look much better.

Notice that you committed the exact same mistake following your 2nd Slug as you did with the first one - an orphan of a word from the Slug.

I like the "TINK, TINK" sound effects, but IMO, a sound effect that you feel is important enough to CAP, should rest on its own line, thus drawing more attention to it...making it stand out, on its own.  I'd do it this way each time you use it.

Keep in mind that in dialogue, pretty much every time you use a name, it needs to be set off with commas.

Bottom of Page 2 - Some issues here - The line, "Shawn and Billy argue back and forth." doesn't work for me, as it reads like an "ad-lib", and I'm very against them.  And the last line on the page is also an issue.  It should be 1 single sentence and it should be reworked, as it's awkward as written, IMO.

The line on the top of Page 3 is also an issue, pertaining to what I just said about the ad-lib thing.  It's unnecessary.

Page 4 - "trying to pull him under the bridge." - basically, this is an unfilmable, but more importantly, it's just unnecessary.

"A third claw appears from behind Billy and sinks itself into Billy's shoulder. His hands slip away." - "Billy's" should be "his". Try to avoid repetition when possible.  This will also make the line read much better.

"Shawn stumbles back and falls down in the middle of the bridge." - Another orphan and another one that's so unnecessary.  Now, don't get me wrong, you only have a handful of orphans on display, which is no big deal, but every single one so far has been the word "bridge".  We know we're on the bridge, so the word is unnecessary.

Page 5 - "rings in his ears" and "His heart races." are both novelistic unfilmables.  They work fine here, IMO, but understand that they're both unnecessary.

"The squat form of the creatures, silhouetted with each flash." - This sentence doesn't work on its own, and especially not on its own line.  It should be connected to the sentence above it with a comma (but it will need to be reworded a bit).

"100'" - You can't use ' for feet in a script.  I wouldn't even use 100.

"He looks down..." - This is an awkward line, IMO.

"In a frenzy..." - This is also awkwardly phrased, IMO.

I have an issue with the untie his shoes to get away thing, but I guess it's no big deal.

I also have an issue with some of the writing as the creature gets closer.  It's definitely suspenseful, but using lines like, "The shadow is almost upon him." then "The shadow is mere feet away." really isn't fair, IMO.  It works here, but...

Page 6 - The line about the oblong shape of the creature's head is great, but since it's mere feet away, I would hope he can make out everything about it.

But, then you use the same line again, "the shadow is almost upon him" - You see what I'm saying?  It's like, fuck, man, I know the damn thing is almost upon him - it was almost upon him 6 lines ago!!!

Personally, I frown upon using exclamation points in description.  For me, it works exactly the opposite the intent.

"to avoid having his feet shredded" - unnecessary.  This is an aside or unfilmable of sorts.  See what I'm saying?

"He gets a cut on his right foot. A slash on his left. They get bits and pieces of him but he continues to run." - This is a poor passage, IMO.  The word "cut" just doesn't fit at all.  The whole thing is unnecessary to me.

So, then we get the countdown stuff, using 75 feet, 50 feet, 25 feet, and finally, 10 feet.  You know, this works on some levels for sure, but it doesn't "look good" or read well.  We'll see what others have to say about it, if anything.

"Claws pop up through the decking in front of him, every inch covered, nowhere safe to step." - I really dislike this line.  I don't buy it and I don't like how it's worded.  It's such an important part of the script at this point.  I recommend reworking it and trying to come up with a better visual that makes more sense - is more believable.

The final stuff is both good and not so good, IMO.  Sometimes explicit, graphic detail is great, and sometimes it's both unnecessary and overblown.  It's a thin line.  Trust me, I love graphic violence and the balls it takes to write it the way you want it seen, but in the same breath, this may be a little overblown.  You do leave us on a nice visual, though.

So, Jordan, I like this for sure and think it's a great effort.  My crits are only meant to help and make this even better.  Good job, bro!!



Posted by: Nomad, April 6th, 2012, 3:48pm; Reply: 4
Thanks for the review Jeff.

I used some of your suggestions in the rewrite.  It's ALOT tighter and reads more smoothly.

As far as the novelistic lines, "His heart races", and "rings in his ears", those are more audio cues.  The thump of his heart, and a reverberating ring of the TINK TINK is what I was going for.

I'll clean up the, shadow moving closer, lines to keep from over doing it.

Jordan
Posted by: jwent6688, April 6th, 2012, 4:04pm; Reply: 5
Jordan,

Don't think I've ever read anything from you, but this shows promise and creativity. It doesn't stand too well on its own as a complete story. It feels more like an opening scene for a horror feature.

A good opening scene, though. I'd read on to see where it goes from here. What these things are and the back story behind is intriguing.

You did a good job with the tension as he races towards the end of the bridge. I liked how you counted down the footage to go.

Mark and katie were disposable characters. I think this would actually be creepier with just Shawn and Billy. Maybe give Shawn a little more time alone on that bridge after Billy dies.

My only formatting gripe is that you don't double space your slugs. Should be able to fix that in your software.

All in all, fine work. I enjoyed it...

James
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, April 6th, 2012, 4:19pm; Reply: 6
Hey Jordan,

Glad to return the read.

You have detailed feedback above so I'll just my impressions.

I felt like I wanted to know why they were on the bridge, how they got there
I wonder whether the bridge could have a name that eludes to what will happen - during and after
The action got going fast didn't hang about which kept the tension
The picking off of the characters worked and added to the impending doom
I do agree with the impression that it is a scene of soemthing larger rather than a story in itself

What if the last one escaped, but saw all the creature disappear? How would he explain it to the police? Would he go back and check?

All the best.
Posted by: Nomad, April 6th, 2012, 4:25pm; Reply: 7
Thanks for the review James.  

I'll heed the advice of Captain Morgan and double space my friggin slugs.

An opening scene is exactly what I had in mind while I was writing this.  

I like to get some feedback to see if I should even continue with a story, or if I should just abandon it.  

I'm glad you liked it.  If I make it a feature, I'll be sure to send you a copy.

Jordan
Posted by: Forgive, April 6th, 2012, 6:20pm; Reply: 8
Yeah - you could definitely do further work with this - I think it's a great opener - but you'd just have to be clear in your own mind where you felt you would go with it? It could end up being just a slasher - or have you got something more intriguing in mind??
Posted by: Dreamscale, April 6th, 2012, 7:47pm; Reply: 9

Quoted from Forgive
Yeah - you could definitely do further work with this - I think it's a great opener - but you'd just have to be clear in your own mind where you felt you would go with it? It could end up being just a slasher - or have you got something more intriguing in mind??


Simon, what's wrong with a Slasher with a cool angle and a unique take?  And, BTW, at least as far as I'm concerned, Slashers do not involve creatures...ever.

Get your genres straight, bro.
Posted by: Forgive, April 6th, 2012, 8:09pm; Reply: 10

Quoted from Dreamscale
what's wrong with a Slasher with a cool angle and a unique take?

nothing - that's exactly what it needs - like I say - something unique - as opposed to 'just' a slasher.

Quoted from Dreamscale
And, BTW, at least as far as I'm concerned, Slashers do not involve creatures...ever. Get your genres straight, bro.

Okay - not going to argue with you on this one - but didn't Freddy borderline this? I mean like - are we meant to think that he was human? And to some extent, the creatures could mimic a slasher? But this area ain't my strong point - I can see you laughing while I'm flailing. Maybe alien creature slashers, peed off at the existential trajectory of modern youth? Yeah I'm talking crap.  ;D
Posted by: Dreamscale, April 6th, 2012, 8:20pm; Reply: 11
I'm not trying to be a dick, Simon.  I'm really not.

It just bugs me how the standard feeling is that Slashers or horror in general is lowbrow, or inferior to other genres.

It's not.  It's just that it's so damn easy to write a shit horror script and shoot it on a dime.  The vast majority of horror movies and scripts are downright awful, and it gives the genre a bad name and has killed it for the most part.

A cool take, with "smart" characters, good dialogue, rational action and decision making can go a long way, be made on the cheap, and make a fucking killing at the BO.

And to the others here who have commented on wanting to know the back story of the creatures, why this group was here, etc., I say...c'mon now.  Who cares?  Give me creatures, graphic violence, T&A, horror, suspense, terror, and a half dozen hot nubile young nymphs and I'm golden.   ;D ;D ;D  OK, you better throw in a bottle of good vodka, some Jagie and a comfy sofa, big enough for us all to squeeze in together.
Posted by: Forgive, April 6th, 2012, 8:33pm; Reply: 12

Quoted from Dreamscale
you better throw in a bottle of good vodka, some Jagie and a comfy sofa, big enough for us all to squeeze in together.

;D ;D ;D

Posted by: Forgive, April 6th, 2012, 8:38pm; Reply: 13

Quoted from Dreamscale

A cool take, with "smart" characters, good dialogue, rational action and decision making can go a long way,


Yeah - but this is really true, not just in horror, but maybe more so in horror - it's got its bad name from too many lacking in just this. You hit the nail.
Posted by: Nomad, April 6th, 2012, 8:52pm; Reply: 14

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

I felt like I wanted to know why they were on the bridge, how they got there
I wonder whether the bridge could have a name that eludes to what will happen - during and after...

...What if the last one escaped, but saw all the creature disappear? How would he explain it to the police? Would he go back and check?

All the best.


Thanks for the review Bill.

They were on the bridge because they were heading to a party.  I guess I could fit that in somewhere but I didn't think it was necessary.

I don't think the last one will get away.  I'm thinking that the police find another car with flat tires and missing people.  Then someone puts it all together and discovers the creatures.

The bridge I imagine looks a lot like the Dump Hill Road Bridge in Pennsylvania.



Posted by: Nomad, April 6th, 2012, 8:59pm; Reply: 15

Quoted from Forgive

Maybe alien creature slashers, peed off at the existential trajectory of modern youth?


Either you write it, or I will.  I smell Oscar.


Quoted from Dreamscale
OK, you better throw in a bottle of good vodka, some Jagie and a comfy sofa, big enough for us all to squeeze in together.


That's going to be a big sofa and an awkward night.
Posted by: Dreamscale, April 6th, 2012, 9:09pm; Reply: 16

Quoted from Nomad
That's going to be a big sofa and an awkward night.


Come to think of it, fuck the big sofa.  A big bear skin rug, some bigass fluffy pillows, the aforementioned alcohol, and we're good to go.  As long as I can kick 4or 5 of their asses out before morning, I don't see any awkwardness.

Posted by: stevie, April 6th, 2012, 9:55pm; Reply: 17

Quoted from Dreamscale


I fuck the big bear ass



Posted by: Pale Yellow, April 6th, 2012, 10:05pm; Reply: 18
<<<< Has a bear skin rug :)

No creatures that go TINK TINK allowed though :)
Posted by: Pale Yellow, April 7th, 2012, 7:51am; Reply: 19
Hmmm the pictures of that rusted bridge make the TINK TINK work for me. :)

All teasin' aside, this little tale was creepy(in a good way). It was short, a bit scary and tragic.

Formatting gave me a lil bit of a problem. I'm not sure ..but don't think you need all the different sides of the bridge slugged. There are lots of format guys in here though and it probably has been pointed out.

It gave me that sense of trolls under the bridge ...the flat tire thing was a lil cliche but after that part the story read fast and got to the point really quick, picking them all off one by one.

I can't say I had a feeling for any of your characters in this. And the story didn't wow me but it was very easy to read and had the scare factor so I kept on going to the end.

In the pages you gave it, I think you did pretty good. Look forward to reading more of your work.
Posted by: Nomad, April 7th, 2012, 11:52am; Reply: 20

Quoted from Pale Yellow
...I'm not sure ..but don't think you need all the different sides of the bridge slugged.

...the flat tire thing was a lil cliche but after that part the story read fast and got to the point really quick, picking them all off one by one.

...In the pages you gave it, I think you did pretty good. Look forward to reading more of your work.


Thanks for the review, pale yellow.

I had all the different slugs because that's where I saw different camera positions.  I use a new slug if I think the camera has to change position.

The creatures slashed the tires as they drove onto the bridge.  That's why all the tires are flat.  Cliché?  Perhaps.  This was more than just a random flat tire though.

I'm glad you liked it.  I need to work on creating characters that people identify with.  I'm fairly new to screenwriting so I'm working on my mechanics right now.  I'll flesh out my characters in my next script.

Jordan

Posted by: Dreamscale, April 7th, 2012, 12:33pm; Reply: 21
I agree with you here, Jordan, on several issues raised.

First of all, because the entire script took place on the bridge - 1 unique setting, it definitely helps to break it down from there, much like you would if you were in a house.  So many times, you see a writer use INT. HOUSE, when in reality, the scene is in a certain room, inside the house.  Or, if you're in a forest or on a mountain, does that mean once you set the scene with EXT MOUNTAIN, you never use another Slug?

I think people have a hard time with the phrase "cliche".  It is hard to explain exactly what a cliche is and why whatever example being used is, indeed, a cliche.  But, here, I agree with you 100% that these flat tires were far from cliche.

Finally, the characters.  Well, you had, what...7 pages or so here?  4 human characters, many non human Antags, and you also had both the bridge itself as well as a feeling/tone of tension that works as a character all its self.

You know, I see what peeps are saying in that no single character stands out or is memorable, but I don't think that matters here.  The bridge itself was memorable.  The atmosphere itself was palpable, and very memorable.  And the creatures were memorable as well, even though we barely ever even saw them full on.

Horror's a different genre and the "rules" don't always apply.
Posted by: B.C., April 7th, 2012, 4:13pm; Reply: 22
Good stuff here. Paced really well. Good use of the old 'less is more' when dealing with the  creatures. Really like that it ONLY takes places on the bridge and you kept it interesting. Nice.

The stuff that goes on in the background etc could be written more smoothly, but as Dreamscale has pointed out, it doesn't spoil the read (and such complications usually kill a script stone dead). This means you nailed the atmosphere well enough that it didn't matter.

Just a note about dialogue. Mainly this --

"You're slipping! Billy! You're slipping!"

Read real cheesy. I don't mind cheese in a cornball horror comedy. But this is good enough to be straight faced, brutal and pretty awesome if filmed...my advice would get all the dialogue nailed.

Really cool though. Well done.  

This would go great in a Stephen King-type horror anthology.
Posted by: Nomad, April 7th, 2012, 4:36pm; Reply: 23

Quoted from B.C.

Just a note about dialogue. Mainly this --

"You're slipping! Billy! You're slipping!"

Read real cheesy.


I agree with you completely Basket Case.  I changed that line immediately after posting this.  I need to heed my own advice and re-read and re-read and re-read, over and over and over until I'm happy with everything.

The nice thing about this site is that you all provide another set of eyes on my scripts to find the problems that I'm just too close to see.  Thank you very much.  

Thanks for the review Basket.  I'm more than happy to return the favor.

Jordan
Posted by: Nomad, April 7th, 2012, 5:06pm; Reply: 24

Quoted from Dreamscale

The bridge itself was memorable.  The atmosphere itself was palpable, and very memorable.  And the creatures were memorable as well, even though we barely ever even saw them full on.


You're right, Jeff.  I tried to focus on the bridge more and less on the characters.  This scene is intended to be the opening scene of a horror feature, and in most horror movies, there's always a group of expendable people.  What's important here is the bridge.

Jordan
Posted by: Ryan1, April 8th, 2012, 5:19am; Reply: 25
I liked this for the most part, but as a few others have pointed out, it felt more like a scene mid-way through a movie.  That pic of the bridge you posted looks like a perfect setting for a horror short.  But I think it would help it you took a couple more lines to detail the bridge, as it really is a character in this story.  You don't really tell us much other than "rusted."  Tell us about the faded gray paint, the corroded grating and even the warning signs around the bridge.  Set the image and then have the headlights approach.

So, instead of starting with the car already immobilized, I think it would work better if we see the car rolling onto the bridge, the we hear the POP of a blown tire.  

"She looks over the rail, a dark patch of water flows by."

I assumed you were talking about bodies with these dark patches, but realistically when you look down a bridge at night into a river, all you see is blackness.

"He turns to face Mark and Katie.  They're gone."

We already know this.  

As for the creatures, I had a hard time picturing them.  We know they're metallic, so are they robots?  Are they some mutant spawn of the bridge itself?  You use phrases like "squat form" and "oblong head", but that didn't help much.  I never got a grasp of their size.  I sorta pictured some kind of metallic crabs skittering along the deck, but maybe you had something entirely different in mind.  I think hinting at their origin would help.  Maybe there's a local urban legend about this bridge?  Some curse or...barge carrying radioactive materials crashed into the bridge(just spitballing there).  The thing is, it felt very random, like this attack happened without rhyme or reason.

I like how you didn't skimp on the gore at the end.  But, there was no resolution or real meaning to the story.  As I said before, I felt like I was missing an explanation for the stuff that was happening.  But I think this could be a great scene in a bigger, more fleshed-out tale.
Posted by: Baltis. (Guest), April 8th, 2012, 5:52am; Reply: 26
Here is your 1st page in a nut-shell and what you need to do to fix it up.  

-- You can get rid of your orphan in your opener by not making an amature mistake of overwriting for the sake of overwriting.  

How do you do this you ask?  By wording your 1st action slug like this.

A late 70's Mercedes Benz blocks the right lane.

Now, I know you're gonna say "but right lane of what?"  Well... if you look at your scene header, you'll know of what.  Why write it twice?  


--  2nd passage:  Again, your second action slug is just as over written as the 1st.  You don't need all your "the's" man... Any of them.

Try this...

Hazard lights flash into an otherwise pitch dark forest ahead.


No "the" anywhere.  Easy.


-- I get the flashy nature here... and it's alright, it is.  But there's no need to be so novel about it.  Try something like:

Glassy waters reflect a full moon through various slats in the bridge.


Only one the instead of two.


-- Your introduction of Billy needs work.  

Billy, 18, exits the driver side, his breath clouds the air.  
He checks the front passenger tire -- FLAT.


I'd put the flat in all caps to show us, the reader, that it is the focus of the shot.  


-- You are very general with a lot of what you're saying.  "picks up the keys"  "Throws the keys"


1. Billy tosses the keys to Shawn.

2. Shawn snatches them up, heads for the trunk.



Things like that.   Keep the in between exchange, the bouncing and all that -- just spice it up a bit.


-- Your characters are all confined to a small car... mid sized at best.  You're acting as if they have no idea what's being said or what's going on.  I'd change this all around.


I enjoyed the script, but it's got some writing problems going on.  The story itself isn't anything new and the characters are bumbling about like they should in a movie such as this... It's give and take.  I'd love to see it on an anthology-like flick though.  Just work on your delivery more.
Posted by: Nomad, April 8th, 2012, 2:36pm; Reply: 27

Quoted from Ryan1
...I think it would help it you took a couple more lines to detail the bridge...

..."She looks over the rail, a dark patch of water flows by."

I assumed you were talking about bodies with these dark patches, but realistically when you look down a bridge at night into a river, all you see is blackness...

..."He turns to face Mark and Katie.  They're gone."

We already know this...

...As for the creatures, I had a hard time picturing them.  We know they're metallic, so are they robots?  Are they some mutant spawn of the bridge itself?...



Ryan,

Thanks for the review and notes.  I'll follow your advice and add more description for the bridge in the next draft.

The creek below is shallow enough to see the rocks and sand at the bottom.  With a full moon, you'd be able to see a dark patch of blood flow by.

As far as saying, "They're gone.", I did that to show an empty bridge.  We, the audience know that there's nobody there.  I needed to show Shawn learning that there was nobody there.

The way I see the creatures, they have claws that are similar to those of a sloth, except they're metal.  They also look like a sloth but they walk upright and have a larger head, kind of like Stewie from Family Guy.  I hate to spell out exactly how I see the creatures, because I don't want to ruin the image the readers create.

Jordan
Posted by: Electric Dreamer, April 9th, 2012, 10:35am; Reply: 28
Hey Jordan,

Nice to see some heat on your thread here...
So, I thought I'd join the SS masses and check out your pages...

Right off things are reading fairly smooth.
Some spped bumps have already been mentioned...
But they're not derailing my read.

Though I think showing the tires getting popped on the bridge is much better.
You could go with something like this...

Start with a description of the bridge, gives us some visual details...
Perhaps shifting shadows, whispers, etc. Something indicative of activity.

Then the car approaches... a flash of metal claws/whatever pops all the tires.
I prefer the visual action to just starting static on the bridge.
But that's just me. ;D

P. 5
I dig the yellow eyes through the metal grating.
I wish we had more visuals like this throughout the script.
As written, I don't have a good sense of space or bridge dimensions.

P. 5
If something was holding onto your feet, you'd know.
Now, there's potential for a shock beat when they GRAB Billy.
But him just looking down to secured feet strains credibility for me.

Finished. Read pretty well save for the aforementioned stuff by other SS members.
Kinda reminds me of the ooze segment from Creepshow 2.

I could see kids trapped on the bridge all night... Like say...
On a bus heading back from a football game. Mmm, cheerleaders. ;D
Coach and driver will cover the adults quota nicely.
Can use the school bus to establish character drama, like they just lost a big game.
The protag could likely be the reason for the loss, due to personal angst.
All that can play out in a contained horror on a bridge all in one long night.

Yup. That's a movie to me. ;D

And your script plays like an opening grabber, not a short story.
So, I'm assuming you're testing the waters here before you write the feature.

Clean up your pages a bit and this'll read pretty well.
Hope this helps. Keep writing and rewriting!

Regards,
E.D.
Posted by: Nomad, April 9th, 2012, 11:32am; Reply: 29
Thanks for the review Baltis.

The orphan is there because I needed to describe the bridge as being rusted.  I'll fix the orphan by giving him some brothers and sisters.

I didn't want to put RUSTED in all of my slugs so I just put it in the first description.

I can remove the first "the" from the second passage but to say, "Hazard lights flash into an otherwise pitch dark forest ahead." doesn't convey the feeling I'm going for.  "Illuminating" is the correct word for what is happening and the word "black" has a more sinister connotation than simply "dark".

I like the way the third passage is written.  The word "below" indicates something is under the bridge, and if I said, "various slats", that would indicate more of a wooden bridge, which this isn't.

I agree with you about the description of Billy.  Jeff had some good ideas on how to fix that.

I don't think I'm being general with what I'm saying about Billy throwing the keys at Shawn.  Billy is a dick.  He didn't TOSS them to Shawn.  That would be too nice.  He didn't HURL them, or CHUCK them to Shawn.  That would be too mean.  He didn't even throw them TO Shawn.  He threw them AT Shawn.  It may appear that I didn't put too much thought into how Billy got the keys to Shawn, but it's there.  You just have to be able to see it.

I'll add a little spice to how Shawn picks up the keys, but I didn't want to use the word "trunk".  Not everyone in the world calls it a trunk.  Our British and Australian friends call it a boot.  I try to write as universal as possible.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say I'm acting as if they have no idea what's being said or what's going on.  Katie and Mark are dating so they're in the back of the car making out while Billy and Shawn are talking.  They're not exactly aware of the problem until they get out.

Thanks for the review.  I'd be happy to return the favor.  All I could find was an OWC of yours from 2010, Kline Manor Pledge.  I'm sure your skills have improved since then so I won't go over the problems in that script.  If you have anything new that isn't sold, optioned, or in production, and you would like some input, feel free to send it my way.

Jordan
Posted by: CoopBazinga, April 11th, 2012, 12:37am; Reply: 30
Hey Jordan,

Owed you a read buddy so here I am but I feel so late to the party…never mind.

This was good, definitely entertaining and my type of story with great creatures slashing up some teens on a random bridge. This felt like more of an opening to a movie rather than a standalone short, wonder if you have something bigger in store for this pesky creatures.

The action although tight, could be tighter but others have already covered this base so won’t go there. I thought the dialogue was excellent and played out well, gave these teens life even though they wasn’t around for long so good job on that.

Also think you created some good tension throughout, liked the way they getting taken one by one but we never really saw what was taking them.

The bridge could do with more description at the beginning as it’s so important to the story here, it’s basically a character in itself.

I would have personally cut down on all the looking by Shawn at the end as his eyes were basically shot to shit right but that’s just me? Otherwise, all in all a great little tale and I’m intrigued to continue reading if this is expanded into a feature?

Good job, I enjoyed it. :)

Steve
Posted by: alffy, April 11th, 2012, 3:51am; Reply: 31
Jordan, just read over this and I rally enjoyed it.

I don't really have any negatives, so that's good...

Good tension building and a great gory ending.  While reading I imagined the scene from 'Troll Hunter' where the Troll fights Hans in the moonlight.  Really liked this, good stuff.
Posted by: Nomad, April 13th, 2012, 1:37pm; Reply: 32
Thanks for the review E.D.

I like the idea of the bus being trapped on the bridge.  The majority of the story could play out on the bridge, which would make it pretty easy to produce.

I didn't even think about the Ooze short from Creepshow 2.  That story was originally "The Raft" by Stephen King.  I do see some similarities though.

Jordan
Posted by: Dreamscale, April 13th, 2012, 2:22pm; Reply: 33
I dislike the bus idea a great deal.  It was done in Jeepers Creepers 2 and that was a shithole of a movie, wile the original was excellent.
Posted by: alffy, April 13th, 2012, 3:30pm; Reply: 34

Quoted from Dreamscale
It was done in Jeepers Creepers 2 and that was a shithole of a movie


Ha Ha. Jeff, you certainly don't beat around the bush with your opinions.
Posted by: Nomad, April 13th, 2012, 4:37pm; Reply: 35
Jeepers Creepers 2 is an American  classic.  It ranks right up there with Battlefield Earth and Glitter.
Posted by: Nomad, April 13th, 2012, 5:06pm; Reply: 36

Quoted from Dreamscale
I dislike the bus idea a great deal.


I like the idea of being trapped in a seemingly harmless place, with freedom/safety just out of reach and fighting for your life.  The bus isn't necessary.  Maybe an RV.
Posted by: Oney.Mendoza, January 16th, 2013, 2:54pm; Reply: 37
Hey Jordan,

I’ve seen you pop up around the boards reviewing so I thought I’d bump up one of yours.

I think it was you who wrote on another short’s thread that this is a great sequence that needs to be in a much longer script.  The same can be said about this one buddy.  It feels like an opening scene and I loved it.

The tension is almost immediate and it never lets up throughout your entire seven pages.  It was crazy atmospheric.  I also loved how you went full on out describing your gore and what the creatures have done to Shawn… some people don’t take the time so hats off.

Some suggestions:

Maybe get rid of Mark.  He had, I think, three lines.  I feel like maybe instead of having Mark around, a few extra lines could’ve went to Katie just to expand her for the hell of it.

Lines like this didn’t work for me:

SHAWN (CONT’D)
You're slipping. Billy! You're
slipping!

I don’t know… to me I don’t think people would speak like that.  Maybe “You’re slipping!”  sounds better personally.  Just nitpicking because I didn’t really find anything else wrong within the script.

SHAWN
What the fuck is going on!

Ehhh.. lol.  Again, nitpicking.

I personally didn’t find anything wrong with your writing style but anything that can be commented on has been done already by Jeff and Balt.  Anyways, fun read man.  You really should expand this.  Like these little creatures haunting a little Midwestern town or something.  I don’t know, I liked it.  

Cool photos btw.  Nice visual.

ONEY
Posted by: DV44, January 16th, 2013, 3:51pm; Reply: 38
Hey Jordan,

I'm glad Oney bumped this one back to the top, I missed it the first time around. I thought the script was kick ass. Awesome job. I loved the intensity throughout. Nothing negative from me + Jeff and others have already pointed out the little issues for you so there's nothing I can add to it.

Overall very cool and best of luck with future scripts.

- Dirk
Posted by: Nomad, January 16th, 2013, 4:40pm; Reply: 39
Thanks for the reads, Oney and Dirk.

When I wrote this one, I wasn't all that confident in my abilities.  I didn't want to spend that much time writing a feature, just to have it suck ass, and torture anyone who attempted to read it.

I agree that this could be expanded into a feature.  I'm just trying to find a unique angle on the story, that hasn't been done a million times already.  I'd want it to be something deeper than, "Monster under bridge.  Ah.  Run.  Ah.  Hot girl takes a shower.  Everyone dies."  Granted, that doesn't sound like a horrible movie.  I'd just need to add a couple more shower scenes.  Then it would be an amazing script.

I agree that the dialogue should be revised.  Shawn's line, "What the fuck is going on!", reminded me of, Poltergeist, where the oldest daughter is standing out front, yelling, "What's happening!", but I couldn't use that line because it reminds me too much of, Born in East L.A.

Mark is definitely the most expendable one of the group, but I needed him to build the tension.  If I just started with Katie getting ripped over the side of the bridge, that would be too sudden.  With Mark disappearing, the reader wonders where he went.

If I turn this into a feature, I'll be sure to take everyone's notes into consideration.  I greatly appreciate all of your comments.  Thank you.

Jordan
Posted by: Dreamscale, January 16th, 2013, 5:01pm; Reply: 40
Yes, more shower scenes.  That sounds perfect.  How about setting it in a hot springs where all the female characters constantly bathe...in the buff.
Posted by: DV44, January 16th, 2013, 5:12pm; Reply: 41

Quoted from Dreamscale
Yes, more shower scenes.  That sounds perfect.  How about setting it in a hot springs where all the female characters constantly bathe...in the buff.


I second that!
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, January 16th, 2013, 5:19pm; Reply: 42

Quoted from Dreamscale
Yes, more shower scenes.  That sounds perfect.  How about setting it in a hot springs where all the female characters constantly bathe...in the buff.


Don't you start getting all deep and meaningful now, just doesn't sit right ;D

Posted by: Nomad, January 16th, 2013, 5:37pm; Reply: 43
How about a movie where some creatures eat all the clothes in the world, and the only way to keep them from eating through your skin is to shower every 30 minutes.

The creatures also decimated the male population, leaving only a handful of men alive on the planet.  The only reason these lucky few survived is because they had Jäegermeister and Red Bull in their blood stream.  However, high levels of Estrogen, negate the effects of Jäger Bombs, making the shower the only safe haven for women.

Now this group of men must stay buzzed on Jäger Bombs, while they travel the world, repopulating the planet, one showering girl at a time.

I smell Oscar.
Posted by: Nomad, February 19th, 2013, 11:58am; Reply: 44
Due to popular demand, I'm rewriting 'The Bridge' and turning it into a feature.  Here are a couple storyboards I had drawn up from the short.  Wes Huffor is the artist who drew these up.  He was really easy to work with and he got me the storyboards quickly.  If you're looking to have some storyboards drawn up, I highly recommend him.

Thank you, Brett, for collaborating with me on this.

Posted by: Oney.Mendoza, February 19th, 2013, 12:53pm; Reply: 45
Yesssssssssss.... cannot wait to hear the progress on this one and eventually read the feature.


Good luck, bud.

ONEY
Posted by: DV44, February 19th, 2013, 1:22pm; Reply: 46
Congrats Jordan,

The storyboards looks great. Very cool. Can't wait to read the script when you finish.

Good luck,

Dirk
Posted by: Gary in Houston, February 19th, 2013, 2:52pm; Reply: 47
Geezus Jordan--those are freakin' awesome.  Best of luck on bringing this to completion!
Posted by: Mr.Ripley, February 19th, 2013, 4:12pm; Reply: 48
Hello Jordan

First time reader. Got to read this out of curiosity. I like this but, as some have pointed out, it reads more of an opener than a short. Definitely expand this into a feature since this is something interesting to explore.

Can't wait to read the feature.

Gabe
Posted by: Nomad, February 20th, 2013, 1:27pm; Reply: 49
Thanks for the encouragement everyone.  I'll keep you posted as I go.

Jordan
Posted by: alffy, February 20th, 2013, 2:45pm; Reply: 50
Hey Jordan, the storyboard looks fantastic, he's done a grand job there.  
I remember this short, and I remember it being pretty cool.  It will be interesting to see how you develop it in to a feature too.
Posted by: Electric Dreamer, February 21st, 2013, 2:02am; Reply: 51
Hey Jordan,

Love the quality and enthusiasm here.
Looking forward to exploring that dangerously nifty world.
Heck, I even lined up another feature producer request for it today! ;D

Onward into the next great adventure!

Regards,
E.D.
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, February 21st, 2013, 7:18am; Reply: 52
Hey Jordan, impressed with that.

Best of luck.
Posted by: Colkurtz8, March 22nd, 2013, 10:43pm; Reply: 53
Jordan

This was a solid little piece, nothing we haven’t seen before but it works as an attention grabbing, effective eight pager nonetheless.

Your writing is good for the most part however I found when the suspense and tension levels rose as the beast began to pick off each person, some of your phrasing and word choice to convey thes events suffered a little. Not sharp and punchy enough to depict the racketing up of events, instead becoming rather clumsy and laboured. For example:

“Billy holds on to the lower railing with a death grip.”

- Could be punched up by phrasing it as something like:

“Billy, frantic, grips the railing, hangs on precariously.

“Shawn stands in the middle of the bridge, looking in all
directions for Mark and Katie.”

- Reads a bit awkwardly, how about less padding and more relevant and visual description i.e. Shawn’s facial expression. Such as:

“Shawn stands frozen, breathing quickened. His eyes dart in all directions,”
I like how you don’t reveal the monster until the right time giving us little clues like the metallic “TINK TINK TINK” and metallic hands reaching through the decking, had me engaged and wondering what the hell was under there.

“Shawn stands up.”

“He looks down through the metal deck and sees a dozen shadows
moving around.”

- Maybe it’s just me but after what’s just happened I would be freaking the fu?k out! Shawn on the under hand seems relatively together with his wits about him after the ordeal. Again, I would include a facial expression or some indication of body language to highlight Shawn’s reaction to the situation. As its written he appears to just stand up, say a very coherent line without any difficulty and look through the bridge out of curiosity. Once again, if it were me I would be losing my sh?t big time and not hanging around to find out what’s under this bridge.

"Their claws shimmer in the moonlight like deadly
diamonds strewn all over the road."

- Good description.

To your credit, besides the lack of references to Shawn’s expressions the writing does work better when the creatures begin to bear down on him and he has to make a run for it, the feet-to-go countdown is a nice touch. The action lines flow better as you seem to get a firm grip on how to accurately and succinctly depict the increasingly perilous situation for Shawn.

Pretty graphic ending you got there with the gory details of the damage inflicted by the creatures on Shawn. For a moment there I thought he was gonna escape since he had taken all the slack from Billy earlier but no you ruthlessly kill him off too!

Overall, not a bad effort if a tad pointless; Group of four get a flat tire over a bridge, monster lurking underneath proceed to kill them all one by one, not much left for interpretation, not that this is mandatory in all scripts and as an action filled short with lots of blood and danger hiding beyond the shadows it works well.

Col.
Posted by: Nomad, March 26th, 2013, 2:40pm; Reply: 54
Thanks for the review Col.  I really appreciate it and I agree that this needs to be rewritten.  

You're absolutely correct with the writing not being punchy enough.  I like some of your choices, but "Precariously" may be a bit much, though I definitely like the direction you took it.

I'm in the process of fleshing this out to a feature.  I'll keep you posted.

Jordan
Posted by: trickyb, March 28th, 2013, 8:59pm; Reply: 55
Hey Jordan,

Nice little piece you've written there.

To me this reads like an opening sequence, and if you plan on adding to it, would benifit greatly from trimming it down to bare essentials. e.g. cut all dialouge for effect, maybe have them in the car to start with, radio cuts in and out, car heater stops working etc etc. bring in more emotion for the characters and concentrate on ambience and setting the scene.

In its current form you have done a good job in building tension and here are a couple of points that in my view just let it down a bit.

elaberate a little more a rusted bridge - in my mind the rusted part was just the framework and not the decking. its not until page 5 we learn its a metal deck.

Page 1 - MARK and KATIE ,  move the comma back a space.

you should only need the one slugline - EXT. BRIDGE - NIGHT, you can set which part of the bridge someone is on during the action lines.

when kate gets ripped over the side in the background we don't know by what?  Same with Billy, if something is yanking them over we need see what.

100' away? is this feet or meters?we dont find out until a page later , also if you can't see a number on screen spell it out.

As stated earlier this would be a great opener and because this is how i've viewed it I really want to know what happens next- so welldone on creating a piece that encourages a reader to keep going.

Good luck with whatever you end up doing with this script and I look forward to reading other works from yourself.
Posted by: Nomad, March 29th, 2013, 12:45am; Reply: 56
Thanks for the review, trickyb.  This is definitely an opening sequence.  

I agree that it can be trimmed down a lot.  I loathe reading my older work and seeing places where I should have cleaned it up.

I think you're right about elaborating on the bridge.  It's the main character in this sequence, so I should give it the description it deserves.

I don't want to show exactly what rips Katie and Billy over the side because I don't want to reveal the creature until the right moment.

The whole "100' " thing is an amateur mistake on my part.  It should have been, "one hundred feet" or "100 feet"

I'm happy that you want to know what happens next.  That means I'm doing something right.

If you have any scripts you'd like me to review, feel free to send them my way.

Jordan
Posted by: Colkurtz8, March 29th, 2013, 8:44pm; Reply: 57

Quoted from Nomad
"Precariously" may be a bit much,


- Really, would you not classify hanging off a bridge that houses bloodthirsty, otherworldly beasts underneath to be a fairly precarious situation! ;)
Posted by: Nomad, March 29th, 2013, 11:11pm; Reply: 58
Col, I think that the word "precariously" is perfect to describe the situation, it just doesn't flow with the other words you used.
Posted by: Colkurtz8, March 29th, 2013, 11:55pm; Reply: 59
Fair enough
Posted by: Grandma Bear, April 11th, 2013, 12:41pm; Reply: 60
Thoughts on your script while I read.

Is the year and make of car important to the story?

It would help to see the scenes better if you have on more empty line before the slugs which is customary. That way the sluglines don't blend in with the rest of the text.

Page 3. If they have four flat tires, how are they going to fix that with one spare?

Page 5. His heart races? Is that something we should hear? If so, you need to mention it's a sound.

Okay, I thought your "action writing" there on the last few pages were pretty good. The story as a whole though, felt a little unsatisfactory. There wasn't any payoff or twist or anything. Four kids get flat tires on their car at a bridge. One buy one they get taken by some monster under the bridge. Maybe because we don't really get to know anyone in this story, we don't really have any emotional investment in them and therefore we don't care that much when they die. I would suggest dropping one or maybe even two characters from this story.  Mark and Katey would be my choice. Instead let us spend more time with Billy and Shawn. Develop their characters some more. Maybe Billy and Shawn are squabbling on the bridge and they hear that TINK TINK sound and let it go from there. Mark and Katey's disappearances didn't add much, IMHO.

Hope this helps.  :)
Posted by: Busy Little Bee, April 13th, 2013, 6:30pm; Reply: 61

Good intro, we get a sense of your characters through a disagreement/argument between Shawn and Bill. Small cast, single location. There situation increase in there severity one flat tire to four flat tires, Mark missing… Nice use of sound to induce suspense and fear with the TINK, TINK.

Quick read, lots of white space and action words. Technically if we are on Katie, and she's close enough to hear the argument shouldn't we as well, at least bits and pieces, then again I guess not because her POV is focused somewhere else. First, three deaths where rather quick, but the finale was well worth. I hate stubbing my toe, so envisioning running over sharp glass makes me squirm. I couldn't wait to see if he'd get over the bridge if for nothing else to see if the creatures could only attack those on the bridge, which it sounds like that might be the case.

Pleasant read.

BLB
Posted by: Busy Little Bee, April 13th, 2013, 6:31pm; Reply: 62
I was going to say this could work well as a feature, and on the cheap too. Gotta love that.

Nice work pushing forward on this

BLB

Posted by: Mr.Ripley, May 20th, 2017, 2:48am; Reply: 63
Hey Jordan,

Read the short and I thought it was pretty cool. I figured that they ran over those creatures' buddy and, the creatures were getting their revenge on them. That's my interpretation any way so I could be wrong lol. I would advise to add a scene before the crash so we can get a sense of the characters. In addition, a ending scene of a news reporter saying kids went missing.

Hope this helps,
Gabe
Posted by: Nomad, May 20th, 2017, 3:18am; Reply: 64
Wow, Gabe.

Thanks for digging this up.

I like the idea of a scene in the car getting to know the characters.

This is the opening to a feature that I've been working on for...um...a while.
Even though these characters are expendable, I should still treat them with love.

I'm a believer in signs, and I think you've shown me where I need to focus my effort on the myriad of scripts I have in the works.

Thank you.

Jordan
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