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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  The 2019 Writers' Tournament  /  Deities of the Apocalypse - WT4
Posted by: Don, June 24th, 2019, 11:41pm
Deities of the Apocalypse by Matthew Taylor (Matthew Taylor)  writing as Mr. T Card - Short, Action, Comic, Animation - In a post-apocalyptic world, an intriguingly skillful mother battles new and strange religions in return for the life of her daughter. 6 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Gary Howell, June 25th, 2019, 10:08am; Reply: 1
First one out of the gate, letís see what we have here.  

Okay, itís a interesting opening, but then we start getting into the expository voice over stuff. Doesnít really clarify things a lot for me other than some apocalyptic event occurred, religion was destroyed, but new religions arose worshiping trading cards. Okay, but why?

Okay, Tera is a killing machine apparently bent on saving her daughter from a religious leader out to eliminate all other religions. Culminates in a big fight scene and her daughter gets offed anyway.

Besides the writing being a bit wobbly in places, overall, you did a decent job with the challenge, but the biggest problem for me is I have no understanding who Tera is or why the religious leader took her daughter in particular to achieve his goal.  Is Tera some warrior goddess?  Was she a fighter in the pre-apocalyptic world? Seems she (and consequently we, the readers) are just thrust into this without any background on the protagonist, and that makes it difficult to care one way or another for her.

Still, you used the cards effectively and you created a fairly interesting world for the challenge, so decent job here.

Best of luck,
Gary
Posted by: jayrex, June 25th, 2019, 12:56pm; Reply: 2
I enjoyed this one.  Quirky, interesting, a nice creative touch on the theme.  It certainly meets the criteria, more than mine for sure.  Easy to read and a decent story to boot.  The title was quite apt too.  I guess this one would be filed under the church of Mr. Blonde.
Posted by: Dustin, June 25th, 2019, 2:11pm; Reply: 3
You open with action, which is good.

OK. I have to buy into this comic-book world you've created  - and done so well, in so few words. The writing has issues, definitely. But there's an appeal here story-wise. Let's see where it goes.

I skimmed through much of the action... but, yeah, this is decent. On screen, I'd watch to the end. Nice job.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, June 25th, 2019, 4:28pm; Reply: 4
Deities of the Apocalypse

wrong title page

A 23 year-old has a 15 year-old daughterÖ?

Okay, it stumbles in places but I enjoyed the ride. You created an inventive world with a nice main character. The mixture of a light comedic and ironic tone, the violence, and a good SF fantasy atmosphere worked fine with me. Good job.
Posted by: Warren, June 26th, 2019, 8:39pm; Reply: 5
Hi writer,

Animation, I like it already.

Why would you change the title to red, surely you can see how bad that looks? Anyway, no points off for it.


Quoted Text
ELK PRIEST,
draped in elk pelt


At the moment it's unclear if the priest is an Elk draped in elk pelts or if he's called Elk Priest because heís a human that wears elk pelts - hence the name.


Quoted Text
Feathered worshippers


Covered in feathers or actual birds? I think this could be clearer, same as with the elk.


Quoted Text
Tera smashes a
baseball bat off the heads


Not sure what I'm meant to be seeing here.

I think the montage could be formatted better, having A, B, C turns it into a list which takes me out of the read. It is obviously a list of sorts but no need to label it the way you have.

Now we have Bear Priest, itís a better description as I can tell he is human wearing a bear pelt. The fact that you called this animation and then started this with ELK PRIEST, I immediately saw an Elk as a priest.

All the #1,2,3,4,5 is terrible. Give them a trait or something to distinguish them by.


Quoted Text
worshipper #4 closes in, she pulls the
knife from #3 foot and throws it, it sticks in #4 neck.


Just not fun to read in any way. Doesnít make it feel like a story. It's cast member numbers on a page.

I think there is a seed of an idea here but at the moment it doesnít quite work in 5 pages.

I'm not sure how some parts of this story link together, but it wasnít bad for what it was.

All the best.
Posted by: LC, June 27th, 2019, 11:28am; Reply: 6
Well, points for creativity and ingenuity, even if at times I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking at.

There was method to the use of the cards, and the church (or churches, in this case) weren't purely abandoned - could have been anywhere -  and backdrop, as with a lot of the other stories.

Tera stumbles her way to her daughter, pulls her in close. A
mix of tears, snot and spittle leave her face as she cries
out in pain- emotion takes over.


I didn't care for the 'tears, snot, and spittle'  final description - leave her face reads awkwardly imho, and it took away from the emotional component, although on screen we may not see the spittle etc., quite as explicitly written, so....

Call me old fashioned but with her Sarah Connor-esque heroism I'd have liked to have seen Tera save Elsie. Eight years between mother and daughter?

Animated, I could see this work with a few key plot lines and visuals cleaned up a little.

Unique entry, given the difficult challenge and parameters.
Good job.

P.S. I know she stashed them on her body earlier but this line: pulls the knives from her body, read to me as if she'd been stabbed repeatedly until I re-read and realised she was just retrieving them.
Posted by: ReneC, June 27th, 2019, 1:08pm; Reply: 7
Very well done! Sure, there are a few writing issues, but nothing that couldn't be cleaned up with a rewrite and more time.

I love this world. The religions are wonderfully imaginative, and it's easy to see how they would have come to be. I got a 300 vibe from the montage, it would look cool on screen. Everything about this would look cool.

It's a shame it comes with a down ending. I guess it should be expected, you don't make a deal with the devil without getting stabbed in the back, but Tera is so capable and clearly a survivor, I would have expected her to ultimately win, even if it's short-lived.

There are a few head-scratching moments. The ages, for sure. Tera should be older, at least ten years older, not just because she has a 15-year-old daughter but because she's awfully young to have learned how to fight better than literally everyone else. But maybe that's a byproduct of being born to this world. The world is set 150 years after the apocalypse. The world is long-established, and Tera and Elsie grew up in it. So Elsie should be capable of some kickassery as well.

The fact that cigarette trading cards are the only remaining "literature" is crazy weird, like they're the whole point of the apocalypse or so far removed from God's plan that they weren't factored into it. It's so unbelievable it's hokey.

Is Beelzebub so weak that he has to resort to coercion to eliminate the competition? It doesn't seem like a game he's playing to make Tera dance for him, so to speak, he really seems like a common thug. And he's killed so easily. He is a demon, right? Like, the big bad demon Beelzebub? But the way he whines about being respected over the radio...he's a farce, it was way too comical, not comic-like.

I like this one a lot, but it does need some smoothing out to make it work. Really good entry though, and the criteria is front and center throughout. Well done.
Posted by: Spqr, June 27th, 2019, 7:42pm; Reply: 8
Plenty of improbable action, as befits an action script. Great story. Tera was very good as the action hero. The fight scenes were well-written, with the heroin emerging victorious, despite common sense telling us she should have died six or ten times.
Posted by: Pale Yellow, June 28th, 2019, 11:52am; Reply: 9
Cool title and logline.

TERA (V.O.)
A A stands for 'after
apocalypse'... in case you were
wondering.
**Ballsy in here but I love it... love stuff like this!

I am a fan of voice over, especially in these apocalyptic type stories BUT I think your voice over needs work..

This is what I'd have loved to see AT The beginning..
TERA
Fuck you. One more to get and then
I'm coming for my daughter.

By page 3 I am getting tired of Tera slashing and killing worshippers. Almost irritated. AND there is no conflict... set up the conflict... either you get these ten cards or she's dead.

This one has goals and has some good stuff in it.. premise of getting rid of all religions so one would be left is good.. saving her daughter that's good.. I just feel like it needs more work.

Good job writer.
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, June 28th, 2019, 2:42pm; Reply: 10
I liked the use of cigareette cards, imaginative though a stretch that it was the only literature left, but I like it so will go with it...

She had her daughter when she was eight? That needs a tweak...

The world you set up seems a little off kilter, but I guess it is hell and it felt odly appropriate too - fit th action.

Yep, easy fun read, decent effort.
Posted by: PKCardinal, June 30th, 2019, 12:48pm; Reply: 11
Mixed opinions for me on this one.

I absolutely hated the first voice over. Took me straight out of the story. Turns out it was also the first instance of a pattern that developed. I'd be getting into the story, starting to really feel it, then you'd hit me with a bit of humor or a comic visual. I'd be right back out of the story. You'd work me back in... take me back out again.

Personally, I'd have liked this better with a more even tone. No comedy. Drop the breaking of the 4th wall. Remove the clowns, etc.

The world here is great. Very much a graphic comic feel to it. (I'm thinking I know who this is.) Tera is great, though not without her faults, and the central idea surrounding the religions is excellent.

I look forward to seeing this on HyperEpics. :)
Posted by: FrankM, July 4th, 2019, 3:19pm; Reply: 12
Nonstandard formatting on the title page. No points off, but why do people do this?
Slight capitalization and punctuation errors throughout, but not enough to be really confusing. (Why is "Ruffed" capitalized, no dot after "A.A" and so on?)
Tera speaks with a distinct voice. Beelzebub comes off wooden.
You don't get extra criteria points for including six churches and six trading cards :)
I don't see how Beelzebub's worshipers could get in the way of those knives at the end, but it'd make for a neat visual.
The world here doesn't make any sense whatsoever, which means it'd be right at home in the action genre.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, July 7th, 2019, 10:11am; Reply: 13
Oh lord - the character ages!! I'm an idiot.

I added the daughter late in the process but forgot to change Tera's age to accommodate it. Silly me

I had so much fun writing this it was unreal. As soon as I opened up the comic book world I just let loose lol glad some of you enjoyed reading it. It's a world that I'm deffo going to expand and do something with.

Who would have thought that trying to put trading cards into a script would have been so fun

Posted by: ReneC, July 7th, 2019, 3:44pm; Reply: 14
It was obvious you had fun with this. I really liked it, it was 3rd in my scoring. The ages were a simple mistake, could happen to anybody (ahem...round 1 six pages...).
Posted by: PKCardinal, July 7th, 2019, 4:15pm; Reply: 15
So, I was wrong about who wrote this. But, you should definitely consider adapting this for HyperEpics. It really feels like the type of story they feature regularly.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, July 7th, 2019, 5:08pm; Reply: 16
Thanks Rene - I wish it was only you voting as you seemed to have liked my stuff so far lol I also wish Dustin could vote cause I think he's liked most of it too (I think)

Paul - yeah I saw that you thought this was from JEstaats (which i take as a compliment). If HyperEpics get wind of this script then they can help themselves (with credit, of course  ;))

I also think it could work as live action with kind of a The Warriors feel, who knows, but I'm sure as hell excited to expand on it
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