Thread: Scarred Cross

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    #11
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    hehe well its good to blether about scripts and yours certainly is - tell me mon amie are you thining of producing this and if so - do you think you would take it down the pulp direction or somewhere else?

    I think there has to be more to be said than evil priest meets his consequences (ya know?)

    Im speculating a bit but the trick i sometimes think, is to take the cliches or cultural expetations of our audiences and pervert them (i am perverse!)

    If you don't mind a bit of discussion - lets look at the father/priest character. Now, lets face it - if he believes in God - (and catholic consequences of sin...) then he surely wouldnt sexually abuse so recklessly - unless either he was mentally ill, or 'evil' - but even within that evil he couldnt all be evil.

    The power of redemption within any character can be powerfully touching - and having our girl come for his confession is pretty intense (but we lose that as our father acts like a buffy vampire might!)

    I would consider experimenting a bit, what if the priest ends up or dies in the midst of redemption and the dog is in fact evil. Rather than the big blonde cuddly retriever God would be - maybe its an oppressive force in the dream at the start, who knows.

    Black dogs are like cats synonomous with eevviil and are a cliche unto themselves too. None of this cliche stuff really matters if we're playing with comic pulp (then its one liners and head-shots that razzle the crowd hehe) But if your aiming for something loftier then theres so much room for something a little deeper and unusual.
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    #12
    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    Nektonic - I look forward to your review.

    lawriejaffa - I have no plans to produce it myself, as the option is not really available to me at this time. As far as it staying in the Pulp realm, I'm not really sure. It would probably stay as Pulp as it is now, but maybe with an expanded story. It might end up as a mix of genres.
    Yes I agree there is more to be said than Priest meets consequences and there is quite a bit of backstory(especially between, Father, Sister Rose,Mel and Mark) I had in mind when wrote it.
    Most 'villains' do tend to be more interesting if they are more than just evil and you can give them some more layers and depth.

    As far as Priests sexually abusing children recklessly, that doesn't seem all that unbelievable, given the history of some. But I believe the Father in this case became a cult within his own Religion, believing that he was so close to God that he was nearly one himself. Until his mortality was upon him.

    As far as the dog turning out to be evil, thats an interesting idea. But would definitely change quite a bit of the story as it is now.

    But I appreciate the 'blether" was it?
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    #13
    Senior Member preston's Avatar
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    hey (this is a little off topic, forgive me)... how did you attach your .pdf to the first post? i thought i knew how, but i can't find the "attachment" icon anywhere.


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    Senior Member CallaghanFilms's Avatar
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    Very interesting concept you have here - and an original approach to boot.

    No one can say this isn't "pulp"...it is as fine an example of "modern pulp" as you‘ll find.
    (Riding around the outskirt perimeter of Taboosville)

    I feel that the action to dialogue ratio was fairly teeter-tottered in the wrong direction.

    I also saw the upper-hand gotten a little too often by the opposing sides.

    That being said, I think you are on to a hot property here.

    (Can you say "graphic novel"?)


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    #15
    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    Preston - No problem, I'll send you a pm.

    Callaghan - Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm happy to hear that you found the concept interesting and original.

    I was hoping it would came across as a take on modern pulp, so I'm glad that it came through for you. As far as it being on the outskirts of Taboosville, the backstory I have in mind for the characters is probably in the heart of the ville

    I'll admit writing dialogue pretty much scares the hell out of me and my first two short scripts were fairly heavy on the action as well. So it is something I definitely need to work on.

    As far as the opposite side getting the upperhand to often, I can see a place where I could get condense of one such incident at the end and I think it could still work.

    Thanks again and for the complements

    Graphic novel, didn't think of it, but I like the idea.
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

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    #16
    Senior Member jasonthewho's Avatar
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    Hey, great work on this. Really thought out and specific script. Lots of great imagery.

    One technical thing that I guess is a matter of preference. You go back and forth between calling characters two different things, i.e. Father/old man and Sister Rose/the nun. I find it more clear and easier to read if you stick to one name throughout after they've been introduced.

    Here's a few assorted thoughts:
    I'd like more with Sister Rose. She should get her comeuppance, or get away, but I'd like to find out which.
    Along with that, I'd like to see April again, at the end. She's waiting for them to come back so they can go to the parish. Perhaps we could cut to her at the end, convinced that they've left her again (not sure of backstory here) only to have one of those motorcycle slowly appearing over the hill moments. Happy reunion, fade to black.
    Killing the dog would be more depressing but more emotional too. Would remove one western cliche, while still being a religious image (the dog dying so that they can live, he takes her place on the "cross"). Imagine Mel rubbing the dog's ear as it passed away.
    I agree with Lawrie that Father needs more depth. This story is just too rich for him to be so one-sided.
    Interesting about him being a cult leader within the church. Perhaps he belongs in a more resplendant house/building, with followers in matching clothing, instead of the common thugs he has now.

    Anyway, this script got me thinking a ton, and that's a great thing. This could be a fantastic film.

    Very nice dialogue in this. You may be scared of it, but you write it well.

    Your writing is excellent, as always.


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    #17
    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    Jason - Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    On the technical side , it was a conscious choice on my part to use two different things to call Father and Sister Rose. I thought it would sound redundant if I didn't, but on the other hand I don't want it to be confusing either. This gives me food for thought, my first concern is to make it an easy read.

    I have some stuff in mind for Sister Rose and Father that could give them more depth and round the story out. There is a lot of backstory that is only barely hinted at in the script. But even if I kept this a "short', I agree with fleshing out Father and Sister Rose's story.

    I like the scene suggestion of April waiting for them to come back , this would actually work well to uplift the story a bit, if the dog died.

    Speaking of the dog, the end seems to have people divided and I felt the same way when I wrote it. But I kept it the way I had originally thought of.

    I've heard good reasons on both sides to keep it the way it is or change it.
    But your reasoning and the image that you created, has really given me a lot to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonthewho View Post
    Killing the dog would be more depressing but more emotional too. Would remove one western cliche, while still being a religious image (the dog dying so that they can live, he takes her place on the "cross"). Imagine Mel rubbing the dog's ear as it passed away.
    I really like that image, it makes sense and fits well in the story.

    I'm glad to hear that the dialogue worked for you.

    As always, you have some great thoughts and ideas. I appreciate the kind words, thanks again.
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

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    #18
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    Hey there Conlan - certainly I think you should consider more than just 'backstory' for the father in particular but also his 'purpose' not just in the plot but in the purpose of the story if you know what i mean.

    Okay we have sexual abuse going on here (If im right) with the priest conducting it and the sister casting a blind eye. Thats heavy stuff - and it being so will bring far more scrutiny than say clint eastwood as the man with no name firing off against some bandits hehe.

    Where that purpose can come in is with the development of the priest character. It makes the larger story a question of faith? Of sin? Perhaps even of Heresy.

    Thats where im interested in seeing this story expand to - as if you can clinch what your really trying to say (even in a more or less action script like this) then i think the characters of the priest etc can get real credibility. But id certainly suggest not seeing it as merely fluffling the pillows as it were - these villains need real purpose - a purpose that must be partially seductive too - even corruptly so if these villains are to be an ounce more than a dismissed caricature.

    It would be great if your up for it Conlan for you to post your expanded works on the script!
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    #19
    Senior Member nitramlehcar's Avatar
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    This definitely would've been in my Top 5. Great script, conlan. You really grabbed my attention from the beginning. Nice visuals. ;)
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    #20
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Techie stuff first ...



    This opens with quite a bit of reading. Zero dialogue. I’d do some tweaking so that dialogue at the top of page
    two ends up on the bottom of page one. Just lightens it up and helps the reader turn the page.


    Here for example you have a total of 13 lines including the spaces to intro your two main characters.

    DREAM SEQUENCE - INT. OFFICE – NIGHT

    Dim. A big archaic office. Shafts of light peek through
    the curtains of a large window and fall over a large desk.

    On the desktop , a woman lies on her back. MEL, 29, the
    toughest pretty girl you've ever seen, her long hair is in
    pigtails. She wears a pink cotton nightgown with rainbow
    print and clutches a stuffed dog, she fervently rubs one of
    it's ears between her thumb and two forefingers.

    A MAN'S head is between her legs. He wears a crown of thorns, has long brown hair, a mustache and beard.
    Mel CRIES out. The man pulls away from her inner thigh and leaves the deep imprint of a bite.


    What if …

    Large and archaic. Shafts of light peek through the curtains of a large window.

    MEL, 29, pigtails, the toughest pretty girl the world has ever seen, lays on a large desk, clutches a
    stuffed dog. She fervently rubs one of its ears between her thumb and two forefingers.


    MAN, a crown of thorns on his head, pushes up her pink nightgown. He leaves a deep bite on her inner thigh.

    13 lines down to 10 … 114 words down to 70.

    A few thoughts here …

    Opening line mentions office in the action line but you already have it in the slug. That’s gone.

    Too much character attributes in Mel’s intro so I split it up – which brings up a question since I have not read ahead – how important is it Mel has a pink gown with rainbow prints? Is it imperative info to the story? That with pigtails and the
    stuffed animal, I get she is like a young girl, which you could just wrap up in a few words.


    How important is the Man’s hair and beard? Imperative?

    Much of the info, like ‘on her back’ and ‘pulls away’ is just superfluous fluff and is inferred anyways. Leave it out.

    More coming.


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