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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  May, 2020 Challenge  /  Virus-99 - May OWC
Posted by: Don, May 16th, 2020, 12:37pm
Virus-99 by Magic Marker Eyes - Short, Horror - The quarantine for a deadly virus is over, but the trouble has just started for a man keeping his bizarre family on permanent lockdown.  6 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: eldave1, May 16th, 2020, 5:02pm; Reply: 1
Didnít see any reason to have Ericaís dialogue O.S Ė it added nothing really. I would just do it straight up.

Iím confused here:

Quoted Text
We're coming over there now to show you. Get you outta there...
She was introíd in the opening so she is there. She is O.S for most of the dialogue Ė but now Ė she is coming over there. I got lost. Isnít she there?

Other than the confusion early on re: Erica's whereabouts, the writing is real fine.

I liked this one. Nice job.  
Posted by: spesh2k, May 16th, 2020, 7:08pm; Reply: 2
This was interesting, albeit a little rushed at the end... which is understandable given that there was a 6 page limit. I think the Apollo 13 story drags just a little bit... I'd maybe cut a 1/3rd of that part out. After the phone call, I'd cut to the kitchen mid-conversation as he's in the middle of that story.

The writer does a good job of making us believe that this man may be very mentally ill... and then the ending, ala "Frailty" reveals that the crazy one was, indeed, telling the truth. At least about this, in particular.

Nice work, I enjoyed this one.

-- Michael
Posted by: _ghostwriters, May 16th, 2020, 9:17pm; Reply: 3
I liked it.  Easy to read, visual, a bit of sleight of hand trickery with William there. No suggestions other than to scale back parts of the dialog.  It did seem to drag a bit.  Overall, I enjoyed this one.-A
Posted by: khamanna, May 16th, 2020, 10:19pm; Reply: 4
Lol, this is something.
I didn't understand the ending but I think it's better like that.
Overall, it's screaming fun. I wish there was no fire at the end, so someone could film it right away.
It could have been placed under a comedy too.
Really nice job!!
Posted by: MarkRenshaw, May 17th, 2020, 7:34am; Reply: 5
Wasn't sure if he'd set himself on fire or what at the end but it was a good example of the craziness out there at the moment.

The Apollo story could be cut shorter to make this read smoother but apart from that, a good job and fits the criteria, although I wouldn't recommend anyone setting fire to things with a blowjob in their home.
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, May 17th, 2020, 12:47pm; Reply: 6
Meets the criteria and Should be easy to film

IMO it needs some work, but I like it. I rather like the manís gone insane and their will be consequences.

It seems to fit the idea that the world seems dangerous, risky, ominous etc That the menu lurks at the door and you canít trust anyone, anymore.

It could also work, like some scripts have done, over a period of time to show the decent and difficulties.

Best of luck
Posted by: Gary Howell, May 17th, 2020, 2:16pm; Reply: 7
This was certainly an interesting read.  Over the top paranoia -- or is it?  Still trying to figure out that ending and whether his sister was at the door, or if, as he claimed, was a deep fake.  But it appears that he got whatever was going around.  Just surprised it could kill him with instant exposure.

And one small nitpick -- Apollo 13 was 1970 rather than 1969, but otherwise it played pretty well into his paranoia.

Pretty well-written and enjoyed the twist at the end.  Best of luck with it.
Posted by: ajr, May 17th, 2020, 2:22pm; Reply: 8
I liked this one... especially the twist where it's revealed that the conspiracy theorist is finally proved right.

I guess the part missing for me is the why - "what" is the conspiracy and why are they liquidating people after the pandemic is over?

Otherwise, well-done, I liked the twist, and I liked the banter about Apollo-13, especially when we of course find out that William is a no-moon-landing guy.

Well done!

Posted by: Arundel, May 17th, 2020, 3:42pm; Reply: 9
Interesting one. Didn't quite get the ending. Why set fire to the pillow-case Danny? As a torch - for what? A weapon?

Writing was good. Especially action lines like this:

A door forced open. Muffled shouts.
Pleas. Cries. Crashing. Coughs. A scream...
Footsteps. Slow. Unsteady.

Enjoyed that. Gets the job done.
Posted by: LC, May 18th, 2020, 12:40am; Reply: 10
I liked this one a lot.

Great visuals that would film nicely, and self-contained location.

Danny? Is that an ode to The Shining?

I liked William confiscating Danny's toastie - nice bit of humour.

A couple of awkward descriptions: A low, sad sound grumbles from deep down. Sounds like he's got stomach problems. :)

The Apollo bit didn't drag so much for me, I was along for the ride, but I did find the ending a bit haphazard and a bit of an anticlimax. I'd work on that a bit in another draft. I'd also work a tiny bit on your opening dialogue too. I think in your effort to make things obscure re the virus it wasn't quite apparent, for me at least, what was going on to begin with. I actually jumped to the conclusion at first that they were lovers and she was saying 'it's over' between them. Perhaps if she were more soothing, slightly condescending to begin with - telling him, it's okay now, everything's okay.

Anyway, great job.
Posted by: Fais85, May 18th, 2020, 5:47am; Reply: 11
Liked it!

The crziness, paranoia, conspiray and the pay-off, everything was set-up vey well. Any actor woud love to play William.

Well done, writer.
Posted by: JEStaats, May 18th, 2020, 7:46pm; Reply: 12
Loved it! Great dialogue and set-up. This would make a fantastic shoe-string short. Well done, writer!

I'm pretty sure I know who wrote this ;) Nicely done. Not much else to say....
Posted by: Spqr, May 19th, 2020, 1:02pm; Reply: 13
A pretty good slasher flick. In this case, the enforced isolation and conflicting stories and advice in the media are responsible for cracking a fragile mind, rather than abusive parents, school bullies, or an evil presence. However, it might be good if we had some inkling as to what his mental state was before the lockdown. Maybe meds for mental disorders in the medicine cabinet, or phone messages from his psychiatrist.
Posted by: PKCardinal, May 19th, 2020, 7:24pm; Reply: 14
For me this was 5.5 pages of spot on and .5 pages of didn't quite get there.

I'm kinda slow, so I'm not exactly clear what the ending is intending to say.

The breakdown started for me at:

       William takes the knife in one hand and the burning Danny dummy in the other and rushes toward the door.

       Before he goes, he plants a soft kiss on Wendy's cheek.

Why not turn that around, so the reader doesn't have to back up mentally? He plants a soft kiss on Wendy's cheek, takes the knife... etc. etc. -- just flip the order.

Honestly, I didn't like anything after that. But, I LOVED the first 5.5 pages.

I'm pretty sure I like the way you intend it to finish... I just didn't like the execution of it all. (Obviously many others did, so the problem could just be me.)

Still... an excellent script. "Long story short: They lived." Absolutely laughed out loud. What a great character.
Posted by: Dreamscale, May 20th, 2020, 12:48pm; Reply: 15
Not sure why you're using a double hyphen all the time.  Personally, it's a turnoff for me.

Erica is not "OS", she's "VO".  And then, she's neither?  HUH?  Maybe you just missed a few of these.  Hell I've done it myself in these challenges.

The "stuffed" family is a great idea, and could be a powerful visual, but your descriptions are poorly written.

The end.  Listen, I really like what you've come up with here, but it's foiled by your writing.  Your descriptions, IMO, are poorly written.  Stilted.  Way too many asides and the like.  Some may enjoy this and that's cool, but for me, the writing really brings this down.

But, hey, it's an OWC, right?  It's a rush to get something down on paper and maybe the writing issues were due to time constraints.  I have a feeling that's not the case, but I'm going to let it slide, as what you came up with is very, very strong.

Good job!


Posted by: Grandma Bear, May 20th, 2020, 8:39pm; Reply: 16
I thought this one was okay. I liked the idea of the stuffed dummy family members. I thought the Apollo13 story went on too long. Why? Because I think most people know that story and movie, so it was predictable and felt redundant. Maybe have William mess up the story somewhere so a reader/audience will react with a , hey that's not what happened! Something more than what is. I enjoyed Williams antics of the telling though. A bit rushed at the end, but good job still. Better than some, but not in my top five.
Posted by: Dreamscale, May 20th, 2020, 9:34pm; Reply: 17

Quoted from Grandma Bear
...I thought the Apollo13 story went on too long. Why? Because I think most people know that story and movie, so it was predictable and felt redundant. Maybe have William mess up the story somewhere so a reader/audience will react with a , hey that's not what happened! Something more than what is.

YES!!  Brilliant idea, Pia.  That would really add to William's nutsoness!

Posted by: khamanna, May 23rd, 2020, 3:09pm; Reply: 18
Just want to let you know that I keep rereading it in voices. I'm the main guy, not Erica. I even thought of the ending to be filmable. I have a really long corridor in my apartment and he would walk it forever. Like he stuck in it, but he's moving forward.
Too bad I'm lazy. And I'm not a filmmaker altho I did make a couple of movies in my life.
So, this one made me want to grab my camera again.
Great job I guess.
Posted by: LC, May 24th, 2020, 12:48am; Reply: 19
Great job with this one, Rob!

Short horror is always popular with filmmakers and this'd make a great lil' film imho.
The stuffed dummies etc. Nicely macabre.
Posted by: Rob, May 24th, 2020, 10:09am; Reply: 20
Thank you to all for the kind words and suggestions.

Any filmmaker who has some extra pillowcases or bed sheets could pull this one off, I think.
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