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    #21
    Senior Member MrKilloran's Avatar
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    Good work, nice use of suspense and good detail. A great ending also.

    Quote Originally Posted by thartley View Post
    This was a hard script, technically, for me to write. No only did I have Sophie going into a meditative state while still interacting with the doctor, but later I had the flashbacks. .
    Organization is a big part of it but yours worked. Hard scripts are always a good way to learn, just fine tune your skills and you'll be ready for the next one. Keep it up.


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    #22
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    I can see how this would be tough technically--I think you did an OK job, though it did take me a second look-through to get to the point where I think I know what you meant.

    The unanswered question I had was, why is Sophie's "other" personality male? That one kinda threw me...

    But, overall, a good read.
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    #23
    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    Ha Ha. Very Nice. Really enjoyed that. Good tension. Nothing constructive to say really. Solid script. Good job.


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    #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Pierce View Post
    I can see how this would be tough technically--I think you did an OK job, though it did take me a second look-through to get to the point where I think I know what you meant.

    The unanswered question I had was, why is Sophie's "other" personality male? That one kinda threw me...

    But, overall, a good read.

    Yeah....this whole thing started because of a conversation I overheard at breakfast about past life regression. It was the most bizarre thing I'd ever heard, about how past lives can be male or female, and that subsequent lives are usually spent in contact with the same people, in some version or another, in similar conflict, until that conflict is resolved between the two. So I wrote a very short synopsis and went from there.

    Most past lives do not overlap in consciousness, so there is a lot more to this story and is one I hope to develop further to pitch. Quite gruesome, really, and based in fact.


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    #25
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Maybe add END NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE. I kept reading thinking the nightmare was still going.

    This ...

    I will guide you into a
    much deeper relaxed state where I
    will gently guide the regression

    You use 'guide' twice.

    STORY

    Great story and easy to follow up to about 5 3/4. Page 6 had some great stuff going on, but I'm sure what was happening in what order. Kinda lost me there. My thought is the entire thing was just a passing thought - but I'm wrong 80% of the time.

    Enjoyed the read a lot.

    a


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    #26
    Senior Member arroway's Avatar
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    i thought it was great. i like how you split up her in the classroom and her in the dr's office at the end...very cinematic writing.

    i didn't understand the irony of the line you said was ironic and the very end with the voice from beyond the door whose name is sophie...didn't make any sense to me, whatsoever.

    all in all, very good.


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    #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Arroway View Post
    i thought it was great. i like how you split up her in the classroom and her in the dr's office at the end...very cinematic writing.

    i didn't understand the irony of the line you said was ironic and the very end with the voice from beyond the door whose name is sophie...didn't make any sense to me, whatsoever.

    all in all, very good.
    Thanks...that splitting up drove me NUTS on how to technically format it. I was freaking out at the number of scenes it looked like I was writing. I dont know enough about script writing yet to make things very clear.

    The ironic line....ugh. Its something my daughter told me to leave out. She actually groaned when she read it. But the irony is that the doctor's name is Dr. Freedman, and thru the doctor's botched regression of Sophie, this male alter/past life persona has been freed... thus the irony of "Thanks doc, I'm a freed man"

    Maybe I should have listened to my daughter, but I thought that line would either be a subtle clue that a male persona now inhabits Sophie's body...or it would be a club over the head with the obvious. But I can see where it would be totally lost on some, too.



    I can see I need to do A LOT of work on this piece, but in the regression, when Sophie goes into the room to confront the nightmare to deal with it, she inadvertently switches places with the killer from her dreams. He takes over her body while Sophie becomes trapped in the subconscious mind. The killer, while in control of Sophie's body, first kills the doctor who will be the only link to knowing or having an inkling of what happened and then in the last page or so, the Killer-Sophie has settled into Nice-Sophie's life and no one seems the wiser. Killer-Sophie is itching for a kill and smells fresh meat in all the kids there in the classroom, but Nice-Sophie has also figured out that if the killer could torment her from beyond for so long, then she will become his personal nightmare now and act as a subconscious thorn in his side to prevent his further killing and maybe exact a little revenge of her own.

    I've got loooong character backstories written on Killer-Sophie and Nice-Sophie and even an explanation of who and how Dr. Freedman fits into it all and why she is killed right off. Hopefully, if I can learn enough, I can develop this idea into something great.


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    SCRIPT REVIEW - part 1
    #28
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    This …

    NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE

    Dark images of passion and violence flash, a pulse speeds to a climax and suddenly stops except for the labored breathing of one person, then abrupt silence.

    I’m going to pick on this ING verb (breathing) just to demonstrate a few points.

    This one is on the fence with me. Had it stopped at breathing, I’d have moved on. However, since it is followed by more information, having to pronounce the ing somewhat trips up the tongue. Say ‘labored breathing of one person’ to yourself a few times, then again without the ing. You drop a syllable and smooth out the read.

    Writing has many layers to consider, and RHYTHM is one of them. Does the action read choppy, or like silk? Can you go ba bump ba bump ba bump, or is it ba ba bump ba bump? Yes, rhythm matters.

    And to get way off course here …

    Rhythm in your writing should match the action you are describing. If a particular scene happens in one fluid move, then write it that way. If it happens in fractured movements, then write it that way. For example …

    The mounted knights stand at the ready. Steam pumps from the nostrils of their agitated horses. Hooves stomp. A signal is given. The knights ride down the hill with a menacing clamor toward a distant village.

    Very choppy, but it may well be the feeling you want. And drawing attention to details by way of isolating them between periods is a sneaky (but acceptable) way of doing a little on-page directing.

    If we rework this …

    Mounted nights prepare for battle atop their agitated horses. A signal is given, and the knights race down the hill toward a distant village, their armor glimmering and clanging.

    Here I use the ING to reinforce the ‘continuous’ action.

    Point is, do you want to build up the preparation, or the attack? Both maybe?

    In the film First Knight, the cinematography of scenes like these was brilliant. Watch it, then figure out how to translate that imagery and rhythm into words on a page.

    Moving on …

    You are using scene numbers. These are tools a director will use to set up shot lists, etc. It’s really only used in a working document, such as a shooting script.

    In a straightforward script, scene numbers are a distraction and clutter.

    This …

    NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE

    Good, but you give no indication when the nightmare sequence ends.

    This …

    DR. IMA FREEDMAN(40’s)is a new age psychiatrist.

    For a good set designer, that’s probably enough information and they will add the set visuals to reinforce the image. However, maybe give one clue to your reader.

    This …

    DR. FREEDMAN
    You’ve been coming here for months
    and therapy alone just isn’t
    working. Your leave from teaching
    is almost up. Are you sure you
    won’t consider light medication,
    just for slee—

    This is too much ‘on the nose’ information. This is our fist intro to the character, so make it count. Also, you intro the characters as sitting in chairs. No looks of concern or resignation, no slumped shoulders or twirling pens. Do these two have any kind of idiosyncrasy? Haunted kinda works, but feels incomplete.

    Let’s rip this apart …

    INT. PSYCHIATRIST’S OFFICE-DAY

    DR. IMA FREEDMAN(40’s)is a new age psychiatrist. She sits in a chair opposite SOPHIE(20’s). Sophie is thin, meek with a haunted look.

    DR. FREEDMAN
    You’ve been coming here for months
    and therapy alone just isn’t
    working. Your leave from teaching
    is almost up. Are you sure you
    won’t consider light medication,
    just for slee—

    To …

    INT. PSYCHIATRIST’S OFFICE-DAY

    Eclectic and comfortable. Eastern philosophy and esotericism influence the décor. Soothing music and incense.

    DR. IMA FREEDMAN(early 40’s), simple top and drawstring pants, sits at a desk, jots a few notes. She then looks across the desk at SOPHIE (late 20’s), her features drawn and eyes distant.

    DR. FREEDMAN
    Aren’t you feeling restless to get back to your students?

    Both use the same amount of lines. 13. And - very important!!!!!!!!!!!!! - the environment of the office is now in stark contrast to the nightmare, as it is in real life. Make that happen on tha page as well, and make your reader 'feel' the two realities Sopie is experiencing. It's called 'juxtaposition'.

    Dr. Freedman’s single line infers Sophie is a teacher, and has been away for some time without actually saying it. Good dialogue avoids stating the obvious or going into exposition as much as possible. The line about the drugs can also infer there has been an ongoing disagreement. Like this …

    Instead of …

    DR. FREEDMAN
    Are you sure you
    won’t consider light medication,
    just for slee—

    SOPHIE
    No! Waking up’s all that saves
    me. If I can’t wa—

    Try …

    SOPHIE
    I don’t want to take the sleeping pills. Waking up is all that saves me. If I can’t wake up …

    Then follow with

    DR. FREEDMAN
    Dreams can’t hurt you, Sophie.
    It’s just your mind working through issues on a
    subconscious level.

    Now all together …

    NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE

    Dark images of passion and violence flash, a pulse speeds to a climax and suddenly stops except for the labored breath of one person, then abrupt silence.

    END NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE

    INT. PSYCHIATRIST’S OFFICE-DAY

    Eclectic and comfortable. Eastern philosophy and esotericism influence the décor. Soothing music and incense.

    DR. IMA FREEDMAN(early 40’s), simple top and drawstring pants, sits at a desk, jots a few notes. She then looks across the desk at SOPHIE (late 20’s), her features drawn and eyes distant. Nervous fingers tug at her clothing.

    DR. FREEDMAN
    Aren’t you feeling restless to get back to your students?

    SOPHIE
    I don’t want to take the sleeping pills. Waking up is all that saves me. If I can’t wake up …

    DR. FREEDMAN
    Dreams can’t hurt you, Sophie.
    It’s just your mind working through issues on a
    subconscious level.

    The original uses 30 lines, and this version uses 30 as well.

    Using subtext such as this allows you to create back story and establish all kinds of details without having to spell it out, and putting your reader to sleep with so much minutia.

    TBC
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 08-23-2008 at 11:23 AM.


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    continued
    #29
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    This …

    SOPHIE (CONT’D)

    This is more a personal style thing, but …

    I think (CONT’D) is overused. More often than not it’s painfully obvious, and I don’t see the need for it. Just more clutter. If, however, two pieces of related dialogue by the same character are separated by a few action blocks, say maybe 9 to 10 lines, then maybe it makes sense.

    I say ‘related’ dialogue, meaning the character is following a single train of thought. If the two pieces of dialogue are unrelated, even over a chunk of action, I’d leave it off. But that’s just me. It’s this …

    SOPHIE
    Dialogue.

    She puts out a cig.

    SOPHIE (CONT’D)
    More dialogue.

    … that really has no need to state the obvious.

    Other good use is dialogue split over two pages.

    This …

    DR. FREEDMAN
    Well, there is another
    option---regression can get us deep
    into your subconscious to the root
    of your nightmare.

    Was this never brought up before? Seems it would have been. Maybe she could ‘remind’ Sophie of the other option, instead of introduce it for the first time.

    This …

    Sophie is asleep but restless. The nightmare is the same as
    before but more violent.

    Okay, she has just left the office. Maybe set up some kind of departure, and use the opportunity to introduce the door. Again, you want to show similarities in both worlds. Sophie is afraid to go home, afraid to go to sleep, so when she leaves the serenity of the Dr.’s office, we see her fear. Along these lines …

    DR. FREEDMAN (CONT’D)
    But it will work best just after
    you experience the dream, when the
    energy is closer to your consciousness.

    Sophie stands, offers her trembling hand to Dr. Freedman. A shake. A nod. Sophie opens the door and steps through.

    INT. SOPHIE’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

    Sophie bolts up in bed, screams. Her eyes search the darkness for danger. Hands shake as she fumbles to turn on a lamp and grab the phone.

    Here again you are putting the two worlds side by side for maximum effect.

    Grammar note: Trembling hands is a gerund, where an ING form verb acts like a noun. Not to be confused with ‘her hands are trembling’.

    Skiing accident, I enjoy swimming, etc., are gerunds.

    This on page 2

    Sophie reclines in a chair

    Why not on a sofa, or a fainting couch as they used to call them.

    This …

    Dr. Freedman closes the drapes at the window overlooking the city.

    You could stop at drapes. Window would be the obvious place for drapes, and what is outside that window doesn’t appear to effect the story one way or the other. Now if Sophie jumps out that window in a later scene, then this would matter.

    This …

    DR. FREEDMAN (CONT’D)
    If you’re ready, we can begin. Just
    relax and focus on my voice and
    directions. I will guide you into a
    much deeper relaxed state where I
    will gently guide the regression.
    It’s important that you listen to
    my voice and focus on my
    instructions, okay?

    I feel like I’m the one going into a deep, relaxed state just reading all this. You can lose half or more and still get your point across.

    This …

    Nods her head in agreement.

    Nods is enough. The rest is understood.

    TBC
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 08-23-2008 at 12:56 PM.


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    #30
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    Alex-

    That's what I'm talking about.



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