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    500 days of ARGH!
    #1
    Member mookid's Avatar
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    update: august 31
    project finished.
    new log line: Creepy hobo crashes a party in the woods.
    Last edited by mookid; 08-31-2009 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Final Update


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    #2
    Senior Member MrKilloran's Avatar
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    I don't think the title works with the story.

    At first I was worried it was just gonna be a crazy hobo but at the end it becomes some weird creature that, for some awesome reason, sucks the eyeballs out of people's skulls! That was cool.

    Not sure I understand the moment where [spoiler] he's back at Nasa and told he won't be on the mission and it was all an act to test his personality. It's weird or just unclear because you have more come after it where the old man is inside the cave and then on the hill. Did he inject some weird hallucinatory drug into Mike where he visualized he was back?

    Besides that it was some good work and
    you have some great visual nuances:
    appalled by a myriad of WRITHING MAGGOTS POURING FROM THE CRACK IN THE SKULL...

    He turns his trembling head to reveal EMPTY EYE SOCKETS, clotted blood on his cheeks.
    It was easy to see and reading the script was smooth and clear up until the twist(s).


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    #3
    Member mookid's Avatar
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    thx for the review.
    Your interpretation is correct.
    The last scenes were intended to feel weird and ambiguous. I wanted to recreate the feeling of movies like Jacob's Ladder or Session 9. The protagonist feels the strangeness but can't decide what is real and what is not. When he finally wakes up I want the audience to connect the clues and realize that this NASA experience was just his own subconscious remorse and wishful thinking during a dream in the cave.
    I definitely ran out of space on the last page, adding unwanted confusion. But I tried to make it as clear as possible. After dozens of revisions I know the text of this last page by heart.

    The title is just an artefact of the old story idea I had. Couldn't change the thread title so I sticked with it. I'll write a bit more about the story after the voting is over. Until then everybody should explore the story himself.


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    #4
    Senior Member DarkElastic's Avatar
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    Hi Moonkid, thanks for the entertaining read.


    Now, overall I really liked it, but there are areas that could do with a bit more work, just to make them clearer... Obviously, you know what is happening, but you just need to make it clear and sit down and map out everything and everyone. Obviously, 6 pages has made your script jump, especially when he is making out with someone and then awakes to mayhem.
    I got the hallucination, dream vibe. I thought you had gone for the 'this was just a test' ending, but was happy when you pulled us back into the story. Mainly, your structure was very good and it made it easy to read.

    Overall, a good fun horror short. Just could do with a bit more work and it will be very good.


    Marshall Dean

    Writer/Producer


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    #5
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    Yes, I can see the title was playing off the '500 Days of Summer' name, but I really can't see how it fits.



    Spoilla'



    Can add much, but I really love the trippy twist ending. I love movies where the monster wins.
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    #6
    Senior Member Tim Joy's Avatar
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    It kinda makes you think- What if Mike hadn't hit the old man over the head....? Would they still all be dead? I liked that aspect to it.

    So was the majority of it a hallucination? I didn't quite get when exactly the hallucinations started.

    When you transition with an unfinished sentence to a new scene heading, I would put a dash or ... to let the reader know you didn't forget to write something. The first one threw me for a second.

    The ending was cool.
    Descriptions could be tighter, specifically with the cell camera picture part. Maybe if you called the old man, Wrinkled old man, when he came back you could simple refer to him as that, rather than saying, "the man from before..." Minor thing, but it will save you space and speed up the read.

    One line stood out as wrong to me. When the old man runs off with the phone, I think it needs a reaction in there like.. WTF??!! That's kind of a random and surprising thing to happen, so it seems to jump my thought process to go right to, "let's kick his a..."

    Overall, it had some clarity/ brevity issues in the descriptions that slowed me down at times, but the story is pretty good, especially the end. Good job.


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    #7
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Joy View Post
    When you transition with an unfinished sentence to a new scene heading, I would put a dash or ... to let the reader know you didn't forget to write something.
    Actually, not that I've read a lot of scripts, but I've seen this done before, in pretty much the same way mookid does it. Joe Straczynski did it all the time on B5 (and he wrote a scriptwriting book, so it must be right! ).

    One odd thing I did notice, though, is that you seem to have an extra blank line between the end of a scene and the next scene heading.

    I love the line:

    At present we don’t send assholes to Mars.
    Always a good idea to keep their options open for the future.

    Maybe this was your intent, but it kind of seems like Mike gets screwed over here for no good reason. Dude steals his cell, he's originally against kicking his ass, and only changes his mind when the hobo turns into a monster and tried to bite him. I think bashing the hobo with a rock is a fairly justified response at that point. (For that matter, technically, Mike's going to Mars, his Blackberry isn't going to do him a hell of a lot of good there, I hear the coverage in the Valles Marineres is really awful. )

    The other thing about Mike is that he doesn't really come across as astronaut material. Not because he's an asshole, but because he just seems to meekly follow Danny along and make out with his girlfriend when Danny inexplicably decides to ignore her in favor of a "pudgy girl." This Mike and the one who charges into the woods after his cell phone (or the one who can hotwire a car later--but why hotwire? didn't they drive there?) don't really seem to be the same guy.

    I think DarkElastic said it pretty well: it seems clear that you're seeing this all pretty clearly in your head, but not all of that is making it to the page. (Just one example: at the very end, you mention blood running upward over Mike's forehead, and then in the next scene he's hanging upside down, but are his eyes gone as well now? Are the "APATHETIC PEOPLE" the others from the party? For that matter, is it just the four of them there at the party or is there a larger group?) On a more positive not, I also agree with DarkElastic that it was a nice bit of misdirection to hint at the "it was all just a test" twist before re-twisting back away from it.
    The Plinkett Equation:

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    #8
    Member mookid's Avatar
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    thx for the reviews.
    Yeah I tried to cram too much into six pages so that there are some incongruencies and an overall jumpiness. I will have to keep it simple in future shorts. Jaffa's review was kinda devastating because I didn't expect my story to be misinterpreted so easily.

    The Idea for Mike's character was that he had studied hard, knew his theory but that he would make wrong decisions under pressure and therefore "fail". He is too awkward around girls and is happy to finally gain some prestige at NASA. The hobo incident would be a bad detail in his resume so he just leaves the injured hobo behind, hoping that it would have no consequences for his future.

    He didn't hotwire his own car. They were walking towards Mike's or Danny's car but the monster changed their plan. So Mike broke into another car that they could reach without alerting the monster. there was no time to search the tents for keys.

    The farther the story goes on, the more ambiguous I tried to make it so that it isn't clear in retrospect when exactly the hallucinations began.

    The hallucination is caused by the poison of the monster. This poison keeps his victims alive for about 500 days, so their bodies stay fresh for consumption. This idea had to be thrown away together with the other monster-mythology in the final draft because there was not enough space to explain every detail.

    The fluid transition between action and the heading of the next scene was an idea that I saw in some unproduced specs and produced scripts for full length movies (for example "bourne identity" and "killing on carnival row") and it's probably just a question of taste.

    I used the default settings in the final draft program, didn't check if they were different from the usual layout rules. Thx for the observations about the spacing.
    Last edited by mookid; 09-21-2009 at 07:28 PM.


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    #9
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    I personally like the fluid transitions, even though I somehow seem never to use them.

    It's interesting that you mention the poison keeping the victims alive for 500 days; one thing I'd considered saying in my last post was that (in a longer script) it would be interesting to say that the trip to Mars would take about 500 days, and Mike would spend it having a nightmare about what happened that day and night each night of the trip, and then when he got to Mars all kinds of crazy stuff could happen.
    The Plinkett Equation:

    TOS16 + TNG5 + DS94 + VOY11 + ENT 8
    __________________________________________________ = History is changing every 23 millionths of a second

    F649 + Alp987 + Bet934 + Gam764 + Del837 * 100,000,000,000


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    #10
    Senior Member seansshack's Avatar
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    Not a big fan of the title, but like the story. One of my favorites of this fest.

    Not much to complain or suggestion, outside of the action on the last page - jumped from mostly "vertical" style writing into long paragraphs. But to be honest only worry about this sort of crap if entering into contests or pitching to people - so what the hell and well done.


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