View Full Version : The Zero Islands -- pmark23

05-02-2008, 07:15 PM
7 minutes long, intended to be done as a DVXFest entry.

The story examines the interrelational dynamics of a group of survivors during a nanobot plague that wipes out most of the population.

It's written to take advantage of effects that are easy and quick to do, but look impressive. (I'll go over how I thought the effects could be done if anyone wants.)

The locations are easily obtainable -- a hill overlooking a city, a cluster of buildings, and the inside of a lab (such as a local University or even highschool lab), and a cabin or even tent.

That's all just secondary to the story though.

The story is an examination of human dynamics under stress. The characters, representing different life-philosophies, react to the death of their friend in their own ways. There isn't much time to cover it, so the dialogue briefly touches the beats like a rock skipping across the water -- actors should really enjoy playing these roles, and there's a lot for them to bring to the character.

This was fun to write!

05-07-2008, 02:36 PM
Nice. Phil is a good A-hole. Good characters, good mood, good setting. When the jar breaks and phil starts to itch I expected him to be like "ahh just kidding". His demise was very abrubt though. Guess he deserved it that A-hole.

Doh, the ending felt unfinished. A sequel in the works I guess. I thought this was written well. I really got into this one. Thanks for sharing.

05-10-2008, 12:32 AM
Thanks. The original idea is feature-length, and that scene in the lab is the middle of Act II.

Captain Pierce
05-10-2008, 06:48 PM
Once Sarah's voice on the recorder tells them that heat is the key, shouldn't somebody dive for the heater and turn it the heck off? :)

Contrary to what I've said about a lot of the scripts in the Fest, I almost think yours goes on too long. I think it should maybe end just after Bob says, "We have to get out of here. It will spread." As a stand-alone short, I don't think anything after that really adds anything.

05-11-2008, 05:47 PM
Thanks. The heater bit was rewritten several times to get the proper balance. It's something they don't clue on to until too late. Maybe needs another look...

The "bookend" shows the end of civilization -- the ultimate conclusion!

05-13-2008, 08:37 AM
I liked this script, particularly the story. Though it did feel like it was a snippet of a larger story than just a short. The scene you picked was great in terms of it being tense and frightening. The one thing that I didn't like was some of the dialog. It felt awkward, particularly the I love her part and the part Phil yells bitch and no-one seems to react. Just felt out of place or not something people would say in that situation. It felt as if the dialog only touched upon the surface of what they were feeling. Normally this would be great but in this case we don't know these character for that long and don't know the back story therefore what they say, at least to me, seemed odd. Maybe in a longer script we can get a better understanding of these characters and therefore have a better understanding of their motivations.

Overall, I liked the story and would love to see this play out in a feature.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-13-2008, 11:03 AM
Pretty good. I'm not sure if I liked the scene where they were cutting off Phil's arm. Could be the dialogue at that part, not really sure.

Pretty good overall. Could make for an interesting flick.


05-13-2008, 05:53 PM
Thanks guys.

Russell Moore
05-14-2008, 09:52 AM
I like the idea behind this script. But like other's stated it just doesn't feel like a short , but a snippet of something bigger.

The dialogue sounded a little stiff in areas. (This is something I'm working on myself) But you did a good job of creating three seprate characters that were interesting.

Sarah mentions that "they" need oxygen to live. But we all need oxygen to live. Maybe you could change this to another element or maybe that they need high levels of oxygen to spread, grow, morph. I know this is just a small element, esp. since it turns out to be heat anyway. But it just struck me when I read it.

Overall, I like the idea, the setting and the characters you created.

05-14-2008, 10:56 AM
The thing that confused me is that they need heat, but when the cast walks into the laboratory they comment on how cold it is. It seems to me like the setting should have stopped the nanobots, instead they seem to be OK. Maybe if they walked in and Phil was like "Geez, why is it like an oven in here?" or something, then when he breaks the glass we have more of a connection that we can make between the setup and the events.

05-14-2008, 05:54 PM
It IS a small part of a bigger idea. Truth be told, I was hoping to film this as a short in order to sell the idea of a larger project.

The nanobots need warmth and high oxygen to live, which forces humanity to flee to the high mountains to survive (which the last third of the future-film would deal with). I agree it could be made clearer.

Incidently, I thought I was soooo clever in coming up with the title which refers to the tops of frozen mountains as "islands" of civilization -- and then found out that it's old slang for Alaska! Doh!

05-16-2008, 06:35 PM
I like the world you're creating, and I agree that this definitely feels like part of a larger piece.

One thing that stuck out is the age of your characters. I just thought that three characters in their twenties seemed young and a little arbitrary. I feel like if you make them older, and flesh them out so that they don't all fall into that general twenties category it could add a little weight to them. I just don't picture the character Amy, in her twenties and working in a laboratory.

I know you're trying to deal with characters representing different life philosophies, but from what I read and what's on the page that felt like an intellectual idea. I want to know their motivations.

I want to know more about this world, and I'm curious if you can take this world and create a short that exists outside of a larger work. Good work.

05-18-2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks Isaac, good observations. In the feature-length story, they're past friends who have grown apart, and were forced together while running away from the plague -- hence the age similarity. There's two more characters which were removed from the short (they didn't really do anything for this scene).