View Full Version : Gathering Souls

09-04-2012, 10:49 AM
A desperate man is pushed to sell his soul to the Devil

Reef dreamer
09-04-2012, 11:41 AM
Hi kamisk,

I can't lecture anybody, and I mean anybody, on loglines but this feels to me that it needs the next part, what ever that is ie the irony eh ...sells his soul to the devil, but is surprised at the price offered. Ok - rubbish, but you get the idea.

However, ever since seeing the seventh seal and with one of my favourite pieces of music being the Danse Macabre, I love devil/death stories - lots of potential, self discovery and mystery.

Looking forward to reading this.


09-04-2012, 11:57 AM
I see you liked my title so much you used it. ;)

09-04-2012, 02:54 PM
Dear Kham,

This sounds very scary. But how did you ever get the rights to Chris Keaton's life story?


09-05-2012, 01:35 AM
Hehe, David. I used a lot of "his" in my story:) - I'm a grabber!

Bill, thanks, I'll have to think about my logline, I know. I wish my script is better than that - I always like when the script is better than a logline. It's like unwrapping a candy you don't want to eat and suddenly discovering it's dark chocolate with hazelnuts instead of a fruity caramel.

And I know the theme calls for games. I started with a "bet" but didn't go that route. Posting it anyway.

09-05-2012, 11:42 PM
And I know the theme calls for games. I started with a "bet" but didn't go that route. Posting it anyway.

Okay, I fixed it - it was bothering me - requirements are requirements and we must comply I guess. So it's about a game now!

Egg Born Son
09-06-2012, 01:59 AM
I always like when the script is better than a logline. It's like unwrapping a candy you don't want to eat and suddenly discovering it's dark chocolate with hazelnuts instead of a fruity caramel.

I like it

Russell Moore
09-06-2012, 12:17 PM
Desperation and the Devil is always a good mix. I have to say your posts about the script first being about a bet and now changing to a game have me even more interested to see how it turns out.

09-07-2012, 11:59 AM
I have to say your posts about the script first being about a bet and now changing to a game have me even more interested to see how it turns out.

Oh, the pressure!

Egg Born Son
09-11-2012, 07:32 AM
I enjoyed this. I can't quite put my finger on what it was but I found it refreshing. I was reading it thinking I should be finding this corny but it isn't (even before all became clear). Maybe I'm tired, I've been reading and reviewing for almost seven hours straight now. Tried going to bed but couldn't sleep for thinking about these stories so I got up again.

I particularly liked the way you both embraced and subverted the conventions of the 'deal with the devil' plot. The twist was satisfying and it got me. It was clever how his punishment for asking a question still fit with his wording of what he wanted. The notion that the devil has a need to be believed in as much as God was a pretty cool subtext as well.

Definitely horror, affordable and limited location - both available to anyone. I had more comments, criticisms and logical flaws of the story but they were pretty much all dispelled by the twist (told you that you got me with that). I'm too tired to do you justice if I have another go at it tonight so I'll read it again tomorrow and see if I've got anything more for you. Doubt I'll find more than a spelling/grammar mistake or two. Story pretty solid.

09-11-2012, 08:54 AM
I liked this one a lot. The only way I think it could be improved is if you painted Aiden with as much desperation as you tell me he has. In fact the only way I know he's desperate is because the other characters tell me he is. His actions show me that he's kind of nonchalant and expects everything to work itself out. If you showed me some desperation then the whole script would be even better.

09-11-2012, 12:34 PM
I really liked this one, nicely written. I would have liked a little more at the Crossroads, I suppose, just shy of Aiden asking a question. The Faustian- like pact here is hard to really see as 'horror'; I guess maybe after the roof falling on Aiden I would have liked to see a few nasty looking demons coming to collect or something. Maybe it's just me. As to the game itself, I would have also liked to see more of a challenge/duel or some mind game-loophole that have Aiden "beat" the devil. Even Johnny played the golden fiddle against the devil, in that famous Charlie Daniels song. Script was good, but it seemed something was missing. Can't quite put my finger on it.

Reef dreamer
09-11-2012, 01:11 PM
Hey Khamanna,

Didn't realise it was you - we cross paths at SS as well as MP. Back to story;

Copyright 2010 ?? old script - surely not, didn't you write a new one? gosh, i only had a few days

p2 bad smoky etc - seems a little off, could just do with, SMOKY!!
p5/6 i like the idea but something seems a little off about the fact it is the brother of the wife who just happens to talk and know about selling your soul and aiden take notice?
p7 poor smoky
nice twist with marlene at the cross roads although predictable he would fail and it go wrong

yeah, nice feel to this. simple premise, soul collectors. it does raise the issue of why they have to do it that way if they have such power...and...poor smoky

good work.

09-11-2012, 04:50 PM
Comments as read-

***13 pages - long short. I know the rules allow 20.
Pg 1*** The numerous roof leafs make for a difficult low budget short. Unless you know of an abandoned house you can destroy.
Pg 3 ***Just struck me on page 3 they are in an apartment with roof leaks. So does he own the building? A tenant?
Pg 4 An uncle! *** Or rather I'm going to be an uncle!
Pg 5 You believe in Satan? ***If there are married wouldn't he know what she believes? "Who are you?", implies this is out of character. Seems in character to me.
Pg 6 ***So far a lot of dialouge. I think these six pages may have been condensed to 1-2 pages to read and film better.
Pg 7 ***A little action starting way out on page 7. Still, over use of dialouge. Example - "Don't forget - you can't ask the
man any questions. Do this and you'll be alright." Wouldn't this screen better as "Remember - no questions."
Pg 10 searching for the signs of insanity. ***novelistic. How shown?
***Roof falls in killing him. Low budget? Maybe in After Effects with a skilled editor.
***lies or lays.
***Randy? Didn't know he was there.
Pg 11 ***covered in blisters. More difficult low budget effect.
Pg 12 ***Opps. not 13 rather 11 - blank plus title.

Overall - a good base premise, but the dialouge dragged it out. Would make a good 4-6 pager for a one day film. Get out the editor scissors! :)

09-11-2012, 11:12 PM
I'll get on with my reviews first before answering you all. Just want to say thank you to all. I read your reviews - great stuff.

@Reef - I wrote it for this challenged, just used the old template. I don't even copyright:) Good of you to mention - I'll pay attention to that in the future.

09-12-2012, 09:30 AM
I liked the concept very much. Very creepy that Marlene turned from the good, pious wife to the devil's disciple.

I had major problems with the telling of the story. The dialog felt forced and un-natural, as if these people didn't really know each other. The talk was too expository. Show, don't tell comes to mind as I read this script.

The characters, the way they talked and acted didn't seem grounded in reality. I think the ending would be much more powerful if we liked the characters a bit more, felt for them. As it is, they seemed like unformed figures moving through the story without any real emotion.

It's Mark, not Marc in the bible passage.

You could cut this down by half and have a better, tighter script. Great concept, but a bit awkward in the telling.

Russell Moore
09-12-2012, 11:34 AM
I like the premise of the story and your blocks are short, descriptive and move me through the story well.

It seems Aiden doesn't know his wife very well and even though he is skeptical he seems to go along with takes your cat in a sack and go to a crossroad a bit too easily. Possibly if their situation were more desperate.

Ah Marlene appears at the crossroads...well didn't see that coming. Nice work.

I think a bit less dialogue and more dire circumstance would help build some intensity.

I really liked the idea of them collecting souls, going from one person to the next to do so. Didn't see the twist coming, that's not easy to do, as in shorts I'm usually expecting a twist. Nicely done!

09-12-2012, 05:56 PM

This was a nicely written short.

I liked the idea of two soul collectors cruising the church for potential victims. Sort of the extreme opposite of the old TV show "Touched By An Angel." Very nice.

I think someone mentioned about a leaky ceiling in the apartment. The ceiling wouldn't leak unless they are in the attic, or someone above them has bad plumbing.

Also not familiar with the book of Marc. :)

I like the issues you bring up about how desparate a man has to be to even consider asking the Devil for help.
Just wondering if Aiden was that desparate? And isn't the power of prayer more powerful?
Maybe if you added a scene where Aiden prays for help but feels that his prayers have gone unanswered for too long.
Aiden feels abandoned by God and feels he has no choice.

The scene at the crossroads was a surprise. Nice. Wasn't sure if the Devil appeared as Marlene or if Marlene was the Devil himself. You explained later.

The ending was good. Nice twists.

As always, very nice job!

09-12-2012, 11:52 PM
Once again - thanks to all the feedback! All (absolutely all!) of it much appreciated.

The main consensus here is to play on Aiden's desperation - and I'm thinking of the better way to do it. An abundance of dialog - duly noted:) --will work on dialog in general to make it better.

Few other things:
Marc will become Mark, be sure of that :)
And, yes, this is a house! - I'll amend that as well.

@Darren, thanks for the ideas - that's nice and scary.
@Reef - the soul collector wants to have him diverted. Not just steal his soul, but have Aiden come to him on his own will. That was the thought at least:)

Thanks to all!

Bill Clar
09-13-2012, 12:14 PM
I like the Marc 13:15 sign. It's meaning or interpretation has piqued my curiosity.

It may be a typo, but you specified the setting as an apartment. If so, why is the couple fixing the roof and dealing with leaks? That's the landlord's job.

Page 3, I expected more of a reaction from Aiden when he found out he's going to be a father.

I like the religious debate between Aiden and Randy. It's something I can connect with.

I like the idea of selling one's soul but Randy's reveal could use more build up. I'm hooked with his line "Havenít you told him yet?" but I'm quickly given the punchline seconds later. There's no time for it to sink and let me consider the possibilities.

Page 5 typo: "if you believe in God you bound"

Marlene's the person in black? Nice twist. Interested which turn your story takes next.

Good ending and twist. I like that Marlene and Randy have done this for a while.

You have strong story with a character in Aiden that every man can relate to. He wants to provide for his family which makes for a tragic end.

I think your biggest area for improvement is pacing. Hook the reader and let the suspense build. Don't be so quick to reveal Marlene as the lady in black. Conceal her face with a cloak or hood and let Aiden figure it out after some back and forth.

09-15-2012, 12:48 PM
This is an interesting religious type tale. I think the horrifying moments went by too fast. And the build up was pretty slow for a short. It was all the way to page 5 and the midpoint that he is introduced to the thought of selling his soul. The dialog and writing in general were fantastic as usual. I see a few points where the characters say 'you' when they meant 'you're'. But that's about it. Good job.

09-17-2012, 04:12 AM
Thanks Bill and Chris,

You both spoke of the pacing. It's something I didn't like about this myself and thought of changing but was short of time.