View Full Version : ScriptFest XIV: HolidayFest: How Do You Celebrate It?

12-15-2012, 02:43 AM
I'm still writing it, and it's a found footage - very hard for me. I'll try to finish it today.

A teenage boy bothers passers-by in attempt to expose them as hypocrites.

I imagine my logline is very bad.

Here's the link. I'm still making changes, so please don't start reading just yet.


12-15-2012, 04:25 AM
Does the link work though?

Egg Born Son
12-15-2012, 04:34 AM
Tried it, didn't work.

12-15-2012, 04:47 AM
What about now? --If you copy paste the link in your browser?

Egg Born Son
12-15-2012, 06:23 AM
Still no. Do I need a client for IE to recognise the link?

Reef dreamer
12-15-2012, 07:52 AM
mine wouldn't work either so i have embedded the link into simply scripts and this works, so instead of a direct link to the script, you go to SS, then follow the script link.

do you have a "what i have written" section at SS, if so this would help.

if all else fails email me the script link and i can add it, for now, to my script section. in case my email is;


12-15-2012, 09:32 AM
Thanks, Bill and James!

Let me try one more time:


I think this time it should work.

Reef dreamer
12-15-2012, 09:53 AM
works for me - will try and have a look tomorrow

12-15-2012, 10:05 AM
Yesss!!! Thanks!

Egg Born Son
12-15-2012, 05:05 PM
That worked.

Reef dreamer
12-16-2012, 07:35 AM
Hi khamanna

i'm not really a ff fan, not sure why, maybe it's because some seem really forced, but I liked your central idea. Simple. A boy, a school project and one question.

One or two things need a little tidy, not much, but from memory the phraseology around Henry's house was one. The camera seemed to be on the boy one second then the man. Again a classic ff issue. How about the man takes the camera and films the boy at this point? This is an aggressive act which we the see through the fear in the boy. What's going to happen?

i think the boy needs a suggested back story as to why he is bothered by the answers. Why he keeps going and doesnt just film and then stop. Separated parents? You dont have much to play with but I think you have enough to flesh that out.

i like the tension of his the man joking or real at the end. Could you possibly suggest that the wife is sinister as well, or maybe that the man hides something. A line like, see you around, could be the last thing the boy wants to hear, but we have to remember that it is unlikely that a person with dark motives would reveal them on camera and let him go.

Just thoughts.

All the best.

Anthony Todaro
12-16-2012, 12:08 PM
Damn. Your writing has improved MEGA since the last thing of yours I read. Nice going. Hey, I dug this story a lot.
It's really bent. I think the ending needs to be more of a homerun.

The gag that Henry is just a whipped hubby. It's funny.
I think you could improve it with more of the audibles and visuals revealing stuff. Like maybe after we think it's his building and he reveals he's kidding, a bird poops on him, an old lady comes out of 32B and tells him to keep it down or she'll call the cops... something visual that says... oh, he was full of s*%t.

I felt the tension and also really thought Henry was a monster! Nice development in such a short time. Super quick read and easy to follow. I think if you layer this a bit it will get optioned no prob.

I didn't see a party in here anywhere so I guess you just tossed the theme out the window. It happens. Lol. Nice job K.

1 You have both New Year's with an apostrophe and New Years without. I think the first way you have it is correct.

1 If the screen goes black, I think the GIRL's dialogue be (O.S.) If we see her going in and out, I'm not sure... lol.

1 by THE sound of rushed...

2 Since we hear Robert's voice on page 1, even though it's O.S. I think you should describe his voice as being an adolescent. We are confronted with it so soon, we will know his age. You could almost do the intro to him there, but at very least, I think you should mention the age of the voice. The reason I say it, is because I was thinking it was an older guy, but if you're watching it, you already know it's a kid, etc.

2 It back to... < That's weird. Maybe say something like "the rear of the bulding faces..."

4 I like where this is headed... Thinking back to earlier, I like that Robert asked Henry is he 'hunted'.... This could get ugly...

5 ...can be told that... > Sounds weird. Just say "Robert's hands shake profusely" or something simple.

5 Oh, you are twisted. Love that.

6 Enough of talk < sounds weird, maybe 'Enough of THE talk' or simply, 'Enough talk'

6 Puzzled by the ending, but you built some decent tension. You need an 'ah ha' moment though.

12-16-2012, 01:16 PM
@Reef - thanks! I'm not a fan of FF, don't know what made write this. One thing for sure - it was very hard to write it and to make it good, clearer, I'll have to put much more effort into it.

I agree it should be somewhat deeper. Maybe I'll rewrite it sometime in the future... Not for the next 3 months - suddenly I'm busy with other screenwriting stuff:) which is such a good thing!!!

THank you - exactly my thoughts after I wrote it. I wanted to rethink but the deadline came too soon...

@Anthony, hey, glad to see you here!
Will read and comment on yours too:)

12-17-2012, 11:29 AM
@Anthony, thanks for the detailed review!

I've already changed the ending and am planning to get to the rest of them. Very in depth - what a treat.

I remember you reviewing few of my other entries. You know what happened? - the one about crawfish got an HM (Honorable Mention). The one about the surprise party came second on MP (moviepoet.com) and you already know about the other surprise entry. So, you give great comments I guess!! :)

Anthony Todaro
12-17-2012, 11:52 AM
Busy is good. It's certainly paying off. Keep it up.
I just call it like I see it, glad it was helpful.

alex whitmer
12-19-2012, 07:12 PM
I can't open this one.

12-20-2012, 12:05 AM
Thanks, Alex, for looking it up!

Have you tried to open it through this thread? Because I copypasted the link to the other thread (the top thread) and you tried it though that one...

alex whitmer
12-20-2012, 07:01 AM
I tried all the links I could find. Nothing worked. Maybe you can email me the script?

12-20-2012, 07:34 AM
I'm trying to find your email address and can't:(

12-20-2012, 07:42 AM


Niether works? I couldn't find your address and can't see how to link the script to a personal message.

alex whitmer
12-20-2012, 08:23 AM
first one worked. I'll read it today!

12-21-2012, 12:45 AM
We are leaving today, so if you leave a comment I will see it but may not be able to respond in couple of days:)

01-01-2013, 09:52 AM
Okay, I didn't like this one. I'm not sure why. I think the interaction on the last couple pages were fine, the opening seemed a mess. At the end I wasn't sure if he was still a killer or this was a joke with the knives icing on the cake. Overall I think it was rushed like mine. If you spent some time with it I think you could give it some solidity of theme.

alex whitmer
01-06-2013, 03:34 PM
First off, I have no idea what FF means.

Okay, this …



A young GIRL (18) squints into a camera lens.

Not sure I would title an 18-year-old as young girl. I think you could just say GIRL (18). Also, if GIRL is your character’s name, then don’t use an article before it.

This ...

What did you say you need it for?

First line of dialogue is nice. Opens with curiosity, made me want to read on.

This ...

The image zooms in on her face.

I think the POV camera stuff need clarity. She is already squinting into the camera, so how much more can it zoom?

This ...

School project.

Okay. Well... I stay home on New

Girl's response seems non-sequitur. I assume that whatever they are talking about (the camera) is avail because she’s staying home?

This ...

Why? They don’t let you go out with
friends or something?

No. Not that. Hmm. I have a curfew.

She’s hesitating, but why? Doesn’t like this dude?

This ...

So, you’d rather be with friends,

I think this should be ‘But, you’d rather …’

This ...

They have a curfew too.

Okay, by now I get that Girl doesn’t want to be with Robert, nor wants him hangin’ around with her circle of friends. But why? Need to read on.

This ...

Which means they would rather go
out on New Years as well.

The Girl pulls a classic “Talk to the hand” moment. The
screen turns black for a moment.

Her you use ‘moment' twice in a short stint, and this can make for clumsy cadence. You could streamline like this …

Girl gives Robert a ‘talk to the hand’.


See ya.

She would be OS at this point.

This ...

The image jukes and jumps as the girl pushes the camera and
strides away.

She pushes the camera? I’m not visualizing that. Do you mean she turns it on? Also, need to FADE IN again from your black screen.

This ...

Wait. Oh, s*%t.

Distorted image supplemented by he sound of rushed footsteps as Robert chases the Girl. Next, the Girl hits the lenses. The camera flickers off. Then it comes back to life.

Hits the lens? By accident or what? This is all pretty messy. For sure the hardest thing in writing is taking some you see clearly in your head, and making it clear in a reader’s head, especially small details like this.

If I think I have it figured out …


ON GIRL’S FEET as she strides away, video camera jumping and juling.

Wait! Oh, s*%t!

The sound of rushing footsteps. Video camera all over the place – sky, pavement, feet.


A tap and a thump.


ROBERT (15) his acne-scarred face framed in the video camera. He adjusts …

Along those lines, keep out the clutter and don’t be shy about using transitionals if they help keep thing clear.

This ...

ROBERT (15) directs the camera on himself. His acne stricken
face fills the screen. He adjusts it until the image is good and clear and his face
is in the center of the screen.

Okay, here is where the rest of the story - and the main story - picks up. What I’m not getting is what does Girl’s apparent avoidance of Robert have to do with his new mission? He assumed she stays home with her family because she has a curfew, not because she wants to? It was not really spelled out. For sure your dialogue needs to reinforce Robert’s actions.

It seems he was hoping to get the camera for a school project anyways, but somehow this exchange made him change his original plan to the one we have here: interviewing strangers about what they do for the holidays. (New Years?)

This ...

No one wants to be with their family
on New Years. No one. These people
are cheaters in a way - they pretend
they are family people, but they are
not. Hypocrites. Let me ask around
some more and then I’m done.

Then I’m done? Done with what? Holidays? Family? The project? What was preceded by this as concerns the project? Had he already begun something and this was the last bit needed?

I think almost this entire dialogue bit can go, and push your story forward with some more of the curiosity you opened with.

Like …

No one wants to be with their family on News Years. Let’s find out why.

From there pop into your first interview, and the whole OTN of telling us what he’s going to do, then doing it can be avoided, and you can keep the quip/clip moving.

More soon …

alex whitmer
01-07-2013, 08:54 AM
This ...


A middle-aged WOMAN stares into the camera.

To kill the article here you can use WOMAN (mid 40s) stares into the video camera. I’m thinking since you have two cameras going here – the set and the prop – address the prop as video camera so not to confuse a breaking of the 4th wall.

This ...

How do I celebrate New Years? I go
out with my friends.

What about your family?

My parents are in Kentucky.

So, you’re not married? Man...

Okay, so middle-aged and no beau or kids, at least that she’s admitting to. This is good.

This ...

The woman scoffs and hurries away.

Again, kill the articles.

This ...



You could drop in a montage here of various types of folks being interviewed, and a variety of reactions from scowls to friendly pats on the back. Mix it up with maybe 4 or 5.

This ...

A few people straggle by. One is a well-dressed middle-aged man, HENRY. The camera zooms on him, as Robert rushes after him off screen.

I think if the video camera is on Henry we wouldn’t see Robert, or at least give us a POV VIDEO CAMERA as Robert approaches.

Why is Robert rushing after Henry? Is Henry trying to get away?

This ...

Hi. I’m making a documentary for a
school project. May I ask you a

Henry smiles to the camera, but keeps moving. The camera
moves along with him. Is anyone named Henry anymore?

'The camera moves along' is redundant.

This ...

Sure. Go ahead. School project
can’t be bad.

How do you celebrate New Years?

What do you mean how I celebrate it?

Like with who you celebrate it,
like your family, your parents...

Who should be whom (not that anyone uses it anymore)

This ...

Actually my friends and I rent a
room, and we party.

You don’t have a family?

I do, why?

You said, you go out with
friends... Are you married?

Yes, as a matter of fact I am. But
my wife never objects. I’d much
rather stay with my family, you
know. Let me tell you a story...

This is convoluted, or did I miss something? His wife doesn’t object to him going out with friends, but he’d much rather stay with her?

This ...

They enter a shady area - narrow streets, no people.

I like the way this moves Robert away from what might be considered as a safe environment – separate him from the pack, like a true hunter. Well done.

This ...

What kind of story? A New Years Day

Yeah. I tell my wife and family I
go with friends, but I’m a quiet
man. Instead I stay in a cabin I
own, at the outskirts of Austin. I
find something to kill, I skin it—

This pretty much telegraphs what’s coming, but not in a bad way.

This ...

You hunt?

They enter a quite but dated apartment complex. It back to a neglected bayou and the front of it is well-fenced.

Actually they are not entering at this point, they are approaching.

This ...

Henry opens the fence and they walk through. He doesn’t close the fence.

Use the indefinite article a or an when introducing something for the first time. Should be ‘a fence’.

You follow with using ‘fence’ again, and it is correct to use the in this case, but using fence twice does jumble the cadence, so stick with the pronoun IT.

Like this …

Henry opens a fence and they walk through. He doesn’t close it.

And, actually, he opens a gate, not a fence.

More soon ....

01-08-2013, 02:47 AM
Oh, Alex, this is really nice - thank you. I'll study all that in detail.

It's a Found Footage script (that's what FF stands for) - my first attempt at something like this and a rather messy one. I did spend time on this but too hard.
And thanks for the stuff in blue - I read through, really helpful.

@Chris, sorry you didn't like it. But, what can I do:) Pretty straight forward - I like that:) Hey, maybe it's a good thing. Maybe what you don't like has a chance of something... Let's see.

--gniddik (kidding, okay)

01-08-2013, 07:16 AM
Hey, there are a lot of things that I don't like that are perfectly acceptable to others. I think I don't like FF in general, so it may not be all your fault. :tongue:

01-08-2013, 12:01 PM
Hey, there are a lot of things that I don't like that are perfectly acceptable to others. I think I don't like FF in general, so it may not be all your fault. :tongue:
Hey, don't feel bad for not liking it. I'll write another... someday.