Thread: Spin the bottle

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    #11
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    Finished, although needs a Last fine tune.

    Humm, not sure. It's ok, reasonably tight and I have worked hard to keep it low budget, easy to produce, but almost feels like the start of something longer. Time will tell.


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    #12
    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Some of the formatting seems a little non-standard but I'm just making a note of it, not a criticism. It reads clearly so it works. This script reads really well. It flows and is clear and functional at all times. Well done.

    The Father's dialogue needs work. You have to commit to writing as it sounds or not. In this case it adds a lot to the atmosphere so you should keep it. I liked his colloquial language and spellings but it was extremely inconsistent. In particular you switch between you and ya constantly. In some places you have him dropping words that he uses in other lines. The voice switches between different vowel pronounciations. You aren't carrying through the incorrect pluralisations (if you're going to say 'sees ya' you need to says 'tolds ya') throughout his speech. You need to get his voice right in your head then sound it out.

    E.g.
    Now sees here Hannah, ya knows I'm not s'posed to visits, am I? (maybe even 'is I?')
    But I hada sees ya. Knows that old tre'sure I tolds ya 'bouts? We's close bub, real close, diggin' hard. (hada/hadsta?)
    I gat you sumthin girl, found near t' graves. Dona know why, but s'mysterious, likes me li'l girl.
    etc, still needs a polish but you seem to write comfortably so you should be able to work out what to do from this.

    Also that a man such as him could have impregnated a woman that produces a daughter with Hannah's personality seems unlikely but the imagery is great so I say lets suspend disbelief and let movie magic do it's work.

    Other than these points this was great. Definitely fits the horror theme. The other characters were well drawn out in dialogue and action. The events were clear, easy to picture and the pacing spot on. The script was focussed and delivered it's point without distraction. Only the second entry I've read so far but a clear contender at this stage.
    Last edited by Egg Born Son; 09-11-2012 at 06:48 AM.


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    #13
    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    As far as the story is concerned, I think you're perfectly fine. It's interesting. It moves along. It's definitely horror. All good and enjoyable. Excellent work!

    For me, the formatting and the way you broke up your action elements was really distracting. The separation of lines--
    for emphasis or--
    location changes really made this a difficult and jumpy read for me. This is partially a personal preference issue, but I feel that you've really gone a step beyond typical scriptwriting format, and were this script in front of a producer I think that would be game over for you. No matter how great the story is, most people who would be reading the script with an eye towards production would dismiss it on these grounds alone. When you're writing action you want it to be clear and concise, but most importantly you want it to READ like a MOVIE. This reads like a bullet point list.

    The only other comment I have is sometimes you describe things that can't be seen. You're writing for a visual medium, so lines like:

    the dark, cold air contrasting with the intense, warm saturated atmosphere in the apartment.

    Is perfectly fine for a novel, but you're writing for a visual medium. As a director how would I film the cold air contrasting with the warm atmosphere? I guess I could put fog in the scene, but at that point your script should just say "The fog rolled in."

    This is a tough balancing act, and one that I struggle with as well. How do you keep your script concise and on target without completely stripping away all of the personality of the writer? Good question. I don't have an answer, but I wanted to point this out because it merits thought, and in my experience once you successfully walk that tightrope your writing improves to your eyes and everyone who reads it.

    I hope I didn't come of harsh. Part of the reason for my specific critiques is that I really did enjoy your script and I think you can improve it greatly with just a small amount of work.

    Thanks for entering and letting us read this!


    Chris Johnson


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    #14
    Senior Member Bill Clar's Avatar
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    You have a distinct writing style. I've never seen action paragraphs broken up with dashes except to indicate a sudden change. Great way to break up shots.

    A mysterious bottle and a gothic gal. Great setup.

    Why would Veronica be oblivious to having her ears ripped off? If it's an effect of the bottle then that makes the story even better. They'll kill each other slowly without even knowing it.

    That's brutal. It's one thing to torture someone, it's another to make them like it. Very graphic and brutal. Great job!

    I don't see Hannah grabbing the bottle on her way out, yet she has it in the street.

    Great story. My only criticism is Hannah's motivation. What possessed her to kill the others? Veronica is obviously a friend and the two party guys were tools,
    but didn't show any grudge towards Hannah. Unless maybe the bottle possessed her too?
    So, you hate your job? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYONE. We meet at the bar at 5:00.


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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egg Born Son View Post
    Some of the formatting seems a little non-standard but I'm just making a note of it, not a criticism. It reads clearly so it works. This script reads really well. It flows and is clear and functional at all times. Well done.

    The Father's dialogue needs work. You have to commit to writing as it sounds or not. .
    Thanks for read, err... Egg.

    I decided to have a play with the style (stolen off a recently bought spec script which i fancied copying but didn't do it as well) and to be honest i didnt like it when finished, my wife didn't like it and all the reads so far have confirmed what i thought. Its too harsh, but as this was a bit of fun i thought why not.

    I haven't written a horro script before so why not try it out at the same time?

    I'm writing my next movie poet script at the moment and have resorted to my previous style but the experiment has been worthwhile as, on occasions, the abrupt -- style can be effective.

    Re the father speech - yeah fair point. to be honest i only had a couple of days on this as i was on holiday with the family and this aspect needed some fine tuning.

    cheers for the comments


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    #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by krestofre View Post
    As far as the story is concerned, I think you're perfectly fine. It's interesting. It moves along. It's definitely horror. All good and enjoyable. Excellent work!

    For me, the formatting and the way you broke up your action elements was really distracting. The separation of lines--
    for emphasis or--
    location changes really made this a difficult and jumpy read for me. This is partially a personal preference issue, but I feel that you've really gone a step beyond typical scriptwriting format, and were this script in front of a producer I think that would be game over for you. No matter how great the story is, most people who would be reading the script with an eye towards production would dismiss it on these grounds alone. When you're writing action you want it to be clear and concise, but most importantly you want it to READ like a MOVIE. This reads like a bullet point list.

    The only other comment I have is sometimes you describe things that can't be seen. You're writing for a visual medium, so lines like:

    the dark, cold air contrasting with the intense, warm saturated atmosphere in the apartment.

    Is perfectly fine for a novel, but you're writing for a visual medium. As a director how would I film the cold air contrasting with the warm atmosphere? I guess I could put fog in the scene, but at that point your script should just say "The fog rolled in."


    Thanks Chris, all useful comments and not too harsh at all. Indded, as mention to Egg above this was an experiment for me on two fronts, namely;

    style - too harsh for my lying but i gave it a shot anyway

    horror - new to me

    The "un film able" outside - yeah hands up, didn't spot that one. Easy to resolve as you say but fair point. i try very hard to keep present and visual with my scripts, alas only a few days for this one.

    Glad you liked the idea.

    cheers

    bill


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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Clar View Post
    You have a distinct writing style. I've never seen action paragraphs broken up with dashes except to indicate a sudden change. Great way to break up shots.

    A mysterious bottle and a gothic gal. Great setup.

    Why would Veronica be oblivious to having her ears ripped off? If it's an effect of the bottle then that makes the story even better. They'll kill each other slowly without even knowing it.

    That's brutal. It's one thing to torture someone, it's another to make them like it. Very graphic and brutal. Great job!

    I don't see Hannah grabbing the bottle on her way out, yet she has it in the street.

    Great story. My only criticism is Hannah's motivation. What possessed her to kill the others? Veronica is obviously a friend and the two party guys were tools,
    but didn't show any grudge towards Hannah. Unless maybe the bottle possessed her too?
    Thanks Bill.

    The -- approach has "some" advatanges, but what i gathered from test driving this style, is that it affects the read. Too harsh, but at the right time, can push the action along clearly.

    Glad you liked the reversal of reaction - it was my underlying core to the horror element, a disturbing change of normal.

    Her motivations? yeah, without making the script too long i tried to get across;

    she's weird, reclusive
    very possessive, to an unnatural degree, with her bottle which is in itself a mystery
    pissed off with the others and angry at being belittled and mocked and generally used as an excuse and her flat being used
    then falls entranced with her beloved bottle to a degree she accepts what it says

    i aimed for this to be about what the others do to themselves, thereby distancing her from it, which could remove some essence of blame, an added element of unnatural behaviour etc

    hopefully with the right images this could be enough

    Thanks for the read

    cheers

    bill


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    #18
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    - Your action blocks are kinda non-standard and it was hard to follow initially, but I totally forgot about it as the story went on.

    I didn't really get the pay off of the flashback, so it looked extraneous or something that could've been handled by a line of dialog. You gotta think of budget. As for the budget, this would be a mess, so that could be costly. I do think it had a problem a lot of horror stories have, it seemed to be just about the shock. I don't think the whole thing is devoid of story, but it's not what you would consider a regular 3-act structure. We move scene to scene without much motivation and then are tossed into a gore fest. I think this may be more solid if we see a more concrete relationship between the Genie and the Girl. And an idea of the danger, so when these guys want to play spin the bottle we know some bad s*%t is going down. The writing was good and overall a good script.
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    #19
    Member dtroop506's Avatar
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    Bill,

    Pretty gruesome stuff. Certainly fits the horror genre.

    I like the idea of an object having power over a person to the point of contoling their will and actions. Whether the object is possessed by an evil curse or a demon, or the person imagines receiving commands from the object they must obey...all great horror movie fodder.

    Maybe a little too graphic for an indie film. Moderate special fx, nothing too costly. But definately scary.

    Just was wondering what was the motivation or deciding factor in choosing the victims. Is Hannah out to punish her sexually promiscuous girlfriend and their dates because she is more reserved? Also, when she is in the presence of the hookers and pimp, she is ready to strike again.



    Overall, I liked it. It has a good mix of horror, sex, and weird s*%t.


    Cheers!

    As for the formatting, it was a step outside the norm, but not too distracting. Although I agree some professional readers might see a red flag.


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    #20
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    Bill,
    Comments as read.
    Ok. So 8 pages. Great - to many long shorts. 8 is a push for a one day shoot.
    Pg 1 "--" I know it is stylistic, but the numerous use of hyphens doesn't quicken the pace for me. It actually causes me to stumble reading.
    I like the opening visuals of the spider and demon book, which sets the mood. If you're not going to use that book, however, send it to me and I will.
    Human faces in a bottle - has some heavy duty After Effects work.
    Pg 4 Think you can take something off me? ***Might be language based, but I have no clue what this means except literally.
    Pg 6 Catherine Wheel - no clue what this is. Looked it up - a firework.
    Pg 7 Whoa - the biting. I know - horror genre.
    Pg 8 floor of the street?

    Overall - I'm not sure who the audience is for such. It's not my genre.
    I guess I am missing something big about the sisters part. Her dad gave her the bottle. Why are they sisters?
    So the bottle possesses her? Why? What's the bottles angle or background?
    Pretty gory visuals - uh yuk. Well most features are horrors.
    You ruined spin the bottle for me which involved he'ing and she'ing when I grew up. ;)


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