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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Thriller Scripts  /  Buried Secrets Optioned x2
Posted by: Don, June 10th, 2018, 6:49pm
Buried Secrets by P.H. Cook - Short, Thriller - A young couple follows a trail of buried clues to the fateful conclusion of a long-ago child disappearance.  8 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: stevemiles, June 12th, 2018, 5:48pm; Reply: 1

Like the idea, tightly written and to the point.  The mystery of the maps/boxes kept me fully invested.

The ending felt a little abrupt.  Itís not the murder itself, more that Josh suddenly goes from remembering nothing to everything and the only way out is to therefore kill Emma on the spot.  Though I respect this might not be an idea that needs to be dwelt on too deeply, so take this with a pinch of salt.

My reading of it was that Josh was some kind of child psychopath.  Was that somehow connected to the death of his parents and the crash?  Kind of feels like it could be.  In some ways tying those background elements together makes the memory loss less convenient.  I respect that comes at the cost of exposition.

Anyways, itís entertaining enough.  Good luck with it.

Posted by: Grandma Bear, June 12th, 2018, 10:31pm; Reply: 2
Thanks for checking this out Steve!

This one was written in one sitting. I'm not real proud of it, but I like the premise. That's why I asked for feedback. I will do a rewrite based on any comments from here.

I agree with you about the ending and Josh's change. That needs to change for sure. You are correct about the assessment of Josh as a child.

Thanks again and let me know if you want me to read anything.  :)
Posted by: eldave1, June 13th, 2018, 3:38pm; Reply: 3
Hey, Pia - gave this a read while killing time at the airport.

Overall, good bones for a story. There were places where I felt the dialogue was a bit pedestrian - a bit unnatural. Suggestions:

Quoted Text
Well, lets get on with it then
before it starts raining

Emma looks at the darkening shy.

We don't have much time.

Quoted Text
What is this, Josh? Do you know
that boy?

Too formal for husband and wife.

You knew that boy?

Quoted Text
No. Iíve never seen him before.

Just have Josh shake his head as he stares at the contents. Then:

You sure?

Quoted Text
I donít recognize his name or his
face. Probably just something that
was happening at the time.

To much detail. Just

Yeah...Probably just something that
was happening at the time.

This kind of struck me throughout - they didn't seem to have the shorthand type dialogue one would expect from husband and wife.

Quoted Text
No! I donít. I spent years in
therapy trying to remember my life
before the crash. It didnít work!

This was a little too on the nose for me.

Plot point - so you have this "crash" that somehow wipes out Josh's memory and I presume - it happens fairly close to when the murder took place. I get that you need some plausible reason for Josh losing his memory.  But it doesn't have to be a coincidental accident/crash. Could be from suppression (PTSD) related after he killed the boy.   Or - it doesn't have to be a forgotten memory at all if Emma is the one leading the exploration. Anyway - just struck me is too convenient - he kills a boy and then just happens to have an accident that eliminates his memory.

Would have liked you to make more of Emma' pregnancy somehow. As it is, it's irrelevant. She doesn't struggle as she walks, they have no conversation about their upcoming parenthood, etc.  i.e., the story doesn't change at all whether she's pregnant or not.

The ending is a bit fast - I want to see the changes in Josh's face, the transformation if you will as he remembers what happened. I want to see Emma see that - the panic as her husband becomes someone she doesn't recognize. The fear on her face. Hope that makes sense.

Just spit balling - but as an Alternate ending you could have him go back and kill the man who brought him the box as a result of some fear Josh had that maybe the man knew the real story.

Best of luck with it - hope the notes help
Posted by: Grandma Bear, June 13th, 2018, 10:58pm; Reply: 4
Thanks for the comments Dave! Much appreciated. Especially since my stuff is usually something you avoid.  :)

I agree with your comments and I will do a rewrite. Like I said earlier to Steve, that's why I asked for feedback.

I think what I was trying to do is that Josh slowly, with each new discovery starts to put his past together and realize that he did it. So, the ending is definitely to fast. The pregnancy, to me, was for Emma to slowly start to realize that her baby's father killed someone and he's a psychopath. How will that affect her kid.

Need to do some thinking, but very much appreciate your comments.  :)
Posted by: eldave1, June 13th, 2018, 10:59pm; Reply: 5
My pleasure
Posted by: Grandma Bear, June 23rd, 2019, 6:56pm; Reply: 6
Just to prove how awesome SS is, I'm bumping this since it has now been optioned twice. One is shooting this coming week and the other in July.  8)
Posted by: Zack, June 23rd, 2019, 8:13pm; Reply: 7
That's awesome, Pia. Congrats! :)
Posted by: eldave1, June 24th, 2019, 12:12am; Reply: 8
Awesome - congrats
Posted by: LC, June 24th, 2019, 12:28am; Reply: 9
Brill! Congrats, Pia.  :D
Posted by: _ghostwriters, June 24th, 2019, 3:03am; Reply: 10
Congrats as well, Pia.  Good Luck with this.
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, June 24th, 2019, 3:34am; Reply: 11
Posted by: Dustin, June 24th, 2019, 3:41am; Reply: 12
Congrat's Pia... hopefully, they are both great productions.
Posted by: Philostrate, June 24th, 2019, 9:57am; Reply: 13
That's awesome. Congrats, Pia!
Posted by: Warren, June 24th, 2019, 10:43pm; Reply: 14
Congrats on the double.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, June 25th, 2019, 7:25am; Reply: 15
How exciting - well done
Posted by: Grandma Bear, June 25th, 2019, 8:43am; Reply: 16
Thanks everyone!

Both of them found the script here at SS, but it's one of my most downloaded scripts at SR as well. It's still available since neither one of them wanted exclusivity (paying for it). Funny how some scripts you work so hard on and no one cares and other times an idea hits you and you write something in one sitting and it becomes very popular with filmmakers.

Quoted from Dustin
hopefully, they are both great productions.

It's a crapshoot. You just never know.  :)
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