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Time For An Update…

It’s been awhile since I visited, much less posted on my own blogsite. I’ll be ramping things up shortly on this end.

Here’s what’s going on since:

One of my short scripts, Forced Donation, has been filmed. It is currently in post and will be finished soon. It filmed late last summer. The same folks behind this are also considering another short of mine ‘Mystery Of Mister Y‘ Matt Reilly and Kristian Steel are the first folks to interpret my brainwaves.

The Servant.
Things have changed a bit since the last post regarding this some time ago. While I am in contact with the previous party that was interested in this, another party has since stepped in – they even tracked me down – and they are doing most of the pitching at this time. As of now I cannot publicly say who they are due to contract (it’s not a ‘public announcement’) but I’m convinced this will happen someday in some sort of format.

The Clean Up Crew and Breaking Eggs are on the back burners for now. They are question marks.

Spring Comfort a short, has gotten some interest. I’m rewriting it to mold into the filmmaker’s needs. If it happens, it will be part of an anthology, and that’s all I can say about that at this time.

The Find
I can talk about this one a little bit. Hopefully, prep and pre-vis will happen in early 2013. The script originated as a entrant in a DVX userfest with an ‘Alien’ theme. The version at DVX is slightly different than the version on Simply Scripts – the latter more ‘Heavy Metal’ if you will. By ‘Heavy Metal’ I mean like a CG version of the ’81 cult film and/or graphic novel-fantasy magazine and not the Headbanger’s Ball. In any case, shortly after I posted the longer version on SS, someone from the Art Insitute Of Pheonix read it and made me an interesting offer. While payment is credit and a bag of mints, the script has a strong chance of being some sort of project over there. Cross your fingers on that.

When I’m not writing, I’m usually peer reviewing at Talentville or Simply Scripts. Or hanging out at Movie Snitch (formerly Reel Time)



Source Code Ending Debate

Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga and Jeffery Wright in Duncan Jones' 'Source Code'

Source Code is one of the best reviewed films of 2011. There is a lot of twists, turns and drama in this sci-fi thriller where if it were just that alone, it would be fine. But director Duncan Jones (Moon) and writer Ben Ripley go an extra mile and make a decent drama out of it too. It is a must-see film if you haven’t seen it already.

It’s also a layered, non-linear film of sorts, that is so smart and sharp that it went over the heads of some viewers, as the film underperformed at the box-office. Some wonder if Jake Gylenhaal is leading actor material, since most of the films he’s been in tanked. I’m not one of those who buy into that, because I have yet to dislike his work in the films he has done since Donnie Darko. In fact, I think it’s a shame that the masses avoided ‘Moonlight Mile’ many years ago, and ‘Jarhead’ also deserved a better fate as well, and not because my fellow high school alum Ammar played the Iraqi tower guard either.

But I think folks avoided ‘Source Code’ due to early bird viewings in regards to the film’s last five minutes.

Beware all ye who read further! This discusses the ENDING of the film and SPOILERAGE is afoot!

About the ending. If it was me personally I would have chopped it right at the freeze frame moment as Goodwin decides not to pull the plug, but to reboot him and erase the memory. This way, in Steven’s mind, he did save the train and stop the bomber. He’s seen and expierienced death countless times (even the first time around, noticing the character’s “war condition” which may also play in mental truama) More importantly, he “talked” to his father for the last time. (Note: I found out this this was a bit of an Easter egg, as his father was voiced by Scott Bakula. That was a nice touch!) That’s not a real Hollywood ending, but since his mission was to identify the bad guy, and said bad guy was “caught” he still saved countless lives. If the film ended right there, it would be outstanding.

I didn’t outright hate the ending we are given, with one exception.  Because of the ending, the film blinks and becomes less than perfect. The insert shots of Chicago landmarks from earlier I feel are afterthoughts in an editing room to cover some butts. It doesn’t work for me, and I think it violates the story. Here’s why:

Steven has been in the machine for at least two months. When the train bombing happened, The Source Code project was put into effect.  Steven could only go in for eight minutes. When Stevens saves the passengers at the end, and the time unfreezes after eight minutes,it should be Sean Fentress – who we seen in the mirror and on the driver’s license. Instead we see Stevens.  While the message was sent BEFORE the eight minutes were up, it is quite alright for Goodwin to get the message in the changed reality. But the last bit of the message “is Source Code works and for her to tell him the truth when the next ‘mission’ happens.” is incorrect, given the premise of the movie and the ending itself by itself.

And that’s what’s bugging people. It’s implied that his conciousness is still in Fentress. Fentress should – should have his body back. It would have been neat if Fentress has “memories” of Stevens, and, I think, playing by the rulebook. THEN have the flashes of landmarks, meaning that those are Fentress’ memories, Not his.

So…when Stevens goes on another mission, his conciousness is transported into another person, right? Wrong! Because he’s in Fentress! The only other wild possibility is that “Fentress” is in Stevens body, but that’s not what Stevens says. In addition, Fentress’ spirit cannot be dead since he /Stevens/ saved the train. Hence, Fentress didn’t die.

But…there was that mention of being an alternate timeline, as flimsy as it is (in which case, Rutledge was also correct) and since in the “real” timeline, Rutledge stopped Goodwin from pulling the plug…

Either the ending is one big lie (the last “happy” memory of Stevens before his memory is stricken) or Ben Ripley and Duncan Jones bungled.

The filmmakers suggest that the ending is a new reality, and that everytime Stevens was sent back, a new one is created. But those alternate universes only had a span of eight minutes; the result is unavoidable. It can also be said that Stevens’ time span in “the real world” (his mind capsule) is only seconds from the time he comes back. Eight minutes are in the past, not the future. But there’s another problem with that phone call. It’s made that morning as Stevens has saved the train. Which can’t really happen, since he wasn’t sent back after he saved it
I would have been fine with it if it wasn’t for the line of ‘tell me the truth’. That one line, and the fact that Stevens is still in Fentress (did he just steal Fentress’ girl in one morning!?) does cast a big cloud over the film. Still, I can’t entirely condemn it. It gets people talking in debates. That is big accomplishment in today’s film-land.

Vampires, vampires and more vampires! One of these days, I hope for a Moonlight movie...

There are a few new places which I am roaming around on the ‘net, and lucky for me, none of them are MMOs. Yes, I do my share of online games, but not as much as a few years ago. They are, for the most part, too time consuming and when I step outside to get the snail mail I feel like a Morlock. In any case, since The Movie Blog is defunct for me, I decided to add to the links ‘Reel Time Movie’ Blog’ which is what the old ‘Movie Blog’ used to be. (re: IQ). Most likely I’ll be joining back up with those folks sometime soon. The link to that will be up when it goes live.

But since I was updating the links section, I threw in one more. That’s the Castle Dracula Podcast which recently started up on Talkshoe. For anyone who has visited places like NowLive LA, it’s kind of like that: a call in Podcast and live chatroom. Castle Dracula is hosted by “Sword of Dracula” author Jason Henderson, “Halloween Man” creator Drew Edwards, “Clockwerx” manga creator Tony Salvaggio, and Julia Guzman.

It just so happens that at this time I’m expanding a short script of mine ‘The Servant’, which deals with Vampires, Vampire Hunters and one unusal Ghoul. The concept is simple: if vampires can be updated and re-invented, why not the hunters? Why can’t the Ghouls? So listening to this podcast helps me in a few ways by getting into the ‘vampire mood’ if you will. Yes, I could pop in DVDs of ‘Near Dark’ ’30 Days Of Night’, ‘The Lost Boys’, ‘Shadow Of The Vampire’ the ‘Blade’ films and the ‘Moonlight’ TV series to get some styles in mind. It always helps; when wanting to write action films, shouldn’t you watch action films to study structure and what’s been done? When I want to write Horror, I’m not going to watching three of my favorite films, Lawrence Of Arabia, Star Wars and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Know what I’m saying? Okay, maybe Jaws. But I’m most likely to watch Stephen Kings’ Salem’s Lot – both the one with David Soul and the one with Rob Lowe. Or at least a film-noir thriller like ‘After Dark My Sweet’ or ‘House Of Games’ (a different kind of vampire: a con artist)because I do find that film noir can lend itself rather easily into a vampire horror.

While it pales in comparison to the original, that does not mean Jaws 2 is a terrible film.

As much as I love the original Jaws (1975) I think that it’s sequel, Jaws 2 gets a bad rap. Sure, we don’t really get any memorable characters like Hooper or Quint, but we do have returning characters/actors and a handful of the production team of the first film. It must count for something. But there are three main reasons why I love Jaws 2, and several minor reasons.

Part of the magic of the first film is that, due to production challenges, there was a choice not to show too much of the killer shark. It gave us a unique lesson in film in that sometimes less is more. It also suggested that it is not always wise to always show your monster right away, but tease the viewer with glimpses. Granted, this is not an absolute. There have been effective thrillers and horror pictures where the threat is in the open and in front of you. But that’s usually reserved for “individual” monsters and killers, be it Chucky from ‘Child’s Play’, Freddy from ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ or the demonic car of ‘Chistine’. The ‘Jaws’ formula of not showing the ‘monster’ too much is more like Greg McLean’s ‘Rogue’, about a killer crocodile.

The success of the ‘Jaws’ structure did not follow up in the sequel; the shark is seen early and often. But one of the added bonuses of the film is that when Brody (Roy Scheider) has reason to believe that a new shark is picking up where the previous one left off. While additional safety measures have been added in between both films – most notably a shark tower- Brody has become the new Quint in a matter of speaking. He is obsessed with finding his foe once again. When Amity’s polititians fire Brody, it is with good reason. It isn’t that Brody may or may not be right. It is the mere fact that he himself caused a (well meaning) panic, drew his gun and fired in the water. We know there’s a new shark out there, He knows there’s a new shark out there. Maybe the city council is in denial. But they also know Brody is a paranoid loose cannon. The taking away of his job as Sheriff is a nice character blow. Added to that, we know he’s right, and so are his superiors.

Hello and GOODBYE!

Yes, the family and character moments in Jaws 2 do have some depth to them, and when Brody pretty much goes it alone, he’s got almost no support aside from his wife and his deputy (now called ‘Jeff’ instead of ‘Leonard’ for some reason) who are left behind when the third act kicks in. The events leading up to that third act is what makes this film. It’s a given, isn’t it? Gimmie a sequel and I’ll give you more shark. But what a bonus! See folks, it’s really simple here. We have got, in disgise, a Dead Teenager Movie. The teens rebel, sneak out, must pay the price for lust, and will sacrifice themselves for friends or a young kid. The death toll is a bit higher, and we got four memorable demises. One is really stupid where, after Mr. Shark snaps away a water-skier he goes after the person in the boat. That person, for some oddball reason, pours gasoline all over herself (although in a panic) and indirectly causes the boat to explode. Luckily, she also scars up the shark a bit as well. Later we find that woman’s burned up body as Brody faces (again) his fear of water. Another is Eddie, but only because of the aftermath when his girlfriend Tina is severely traumatized. This makes us have some feeling for the poor kid. The next best “death” is that of Marge, who dies heroically. (Even if,in the days of my youth and HBO at my friend’s house, this was actually a stupid way to go, although not as dumb as gas can woman) But there is THE HIGHLIGHT of Jaws 2, where in the few years after viewing on cable, me and my friends actually thought the shark lept out of the water and clamped down on the heliocopter. Yes it did chomp down, but it didn’t shoot up like a dancing dolphin either. By today’s standards, this event is not as interesting as, say, what would have the attack on the Killer Whale might have been. It also was a lame way to go overall (a deleted DVD scene shows the pilot becoming the sandwich) but back then in the late 70s/early 80s? On the box? Golden moment, folks.

The teens pray to God, and vow never to sail near dangerous underwater power lines again.

But there’s something more for me than all this and just the classic tagline (“Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water”) and that is those days of geek youth. Sure, we loved Star Wars, Rocky, got into Conan a little bit . But then there was Jaws, and specifically, Jaws 2. I still recall my best buddy Shawn, in front of the TV and the HBO box, proclaiming with every shark snack…

Bye, Bye, Bab-eeeeee

and it was tough not to get a smile. And yes, we all thought the death of the shark by electric cable was nothing short of badass. In passing years, I love the first Jaws more and more, as I think it has aged better than Jaws 2. But while not every filmmaker will follow the ‘less is more’ guideline, there is one thing I would love to see filmmakers take from Jaws 2. A Dead Teenager film that has dead teenagers we not only care about – but having the main protagonist be someone who faces problems and who knows a little more than the kids do. That’s not a bad thing folks, if that character has thier best intrests at heart.

An era is at an end. As of August ist, ‘The Movie Blog’ has been uncermoniously been taken over. Even Rodney Brazeau, who has been with The Movie Blog since its humble beginnings, has been locked out. In the last number of months, Rodney, Anthony White and myself were the only active posters on the site, although Hollywood Slinky and Ian would come around time to time. But we kept it alive.

It wasn’t as popular as when John Campea and Doug Nagy were there, I know. People do miss the podcasts. However, when Rodney was posting up the MSN Film Fan feeds, there was a question posed. If folks wanted MSN FF to continue, that’s great. If not…it was hinted that Rodney would do a few mini videocasts of his own in regards to upcoming weekend films, or something to that effect.

That slight glimmer of hope is now off the landscape.
While things change, and the owners of the site (who are nobody who I mentioned above) can do what they want, I think it would not have been too much trouble to let at least Rodney, the senior editor of TMB, to know what’s going on. You can still say “adios” if you like, but at least folks know you waved goodbye. Follow me? The regular and loyal readers of TMB will catch on soon, I’m sure. There is, however, something of note : the owner’s new writer, Erik, DID NOT write a post/headline that announced the changing of the guard.

My. my, aren’t we sneaky?

Seriously, wouldn’t that be a nice thing to do? I mean, okay, you lock all the writers out, including the senior editor, but you don’t let the readers in on the transition? It may be a shallow deed indeed but at least one can create an illusion of grace.

Does it matter that much to me? That’s a tough question. I’ve migrated off and on over sites for almost ten years now. I like doing most film discussion and film reviews, but on the plus side not blogging about news on other sites does allow me a little extra time to work on my screenplays. I’ve also had to say goodbye to some of those sites for one reason or another. But what bugs me is this…mantra. I haven’t a clue WHY people do this nowadays. You would *think* with the e-mail, skype, Facebook, twitter, everything under one’s fingertips – people can communicate and talk to each other.

Yes, folks can do that. They could also go by dinosaur tactics and thinking by remaining silent and waiting to stab you in the back. No warning. No heads up. No class.

The Clean Up Crew

Coming soon to a Film Fest near you?

Okay, it seems like Breaking Eggs may not be the first short script of mine to roll before a camera after all. It’s still going to happen, as far as I know, but something else has happened. Unlike Eggs which is intended for a student film, The Clean Up Crew is another matter. This one, like Eggs, was found on the Inktip short script listing. The “pay” is still about the same (peanuts, almonds, copy of film and a written by credit) but…

Hello Darren,

I really enjoyed reading The Cleanup Crew. I loved the fact that it was a new take on a ghost story. What are you looking for in the matter of having this made? Although I don’t have money to offer up for short scripts; what I can offer is getting the project up on to IMDB, and once it would be shot, sending it to various film festivals around the country. I’m searching for a couple of scripts that I will be producing and having them either directed by me or one of my filmmaking partners. Anyway, let me know your thoughts. I love the script and I hope we can come to some type of arrangement to get it made this coming year.

(November 9th, 2010)

After a response from me which theses two words-

======HELL YES======

pretty much sums up my response, I heard back from Zachary soon after, and he already has reached out to an FX makeup artist and an actress he knows. The expected shoot date is between December 2010 and February, depending on availability of cast and film crew. The IMDB page will go up sometime during or just after post. IMDB is “cracking down” on various “announced projects” simply because many of the announced films (feature and short) fizzle out but remain on the site for extended periods of time.

This is just good news all around. I have generally kept the news low profile, because I also don’t want to jump the gun too much. I also want it as a bit of a surprise for some of my relatives, spring it on them next week during Turkey Day, or perhaps Christmas. (Probably the former; someone’s going to blab, I’m sure of it)

Anyway, for those curious, The Clean Up Crew deals with a haunted hotel, with one unoccupied room in particular. It’s nothing that jumps out and goes boo; but rather a paranormal mess of blood and ectoplasm left behind in the bathroom. A ghost named Sam, who was a homicide detective from the 1940s, cannot go outside of the bathroom. The after hours cleaning crew, Gus and Rick,having to go to the same room on a regular basis, is thought to be slacking off. Cassie tags along to supervise. However, Cassie’s no-nonsense approach ignores the rules that the two men are familiar with, as only one person can enter the bathroom to clean it. A disregard or these rules results in a bigger mess to clean the following night, Cassie is left to clean up the blood all over the bathroom. Rick and Gus can only observe, play cards and watch late night TV. Sam helps by talking Cassie through it- although Sam is mildly sexist in personality.

Alba Doesn’t Read, She Guesses

So why did you take the leads in 'Awake', 'Into The Blue', 'Good Luck Chuck'; and 'The Love Guru' again?

Of all the film news this week, I don’t think anything comes close to the recent comment from actress Jessica Alba, where she is quoted from Elle :

“Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say,”

The result of the soundbite has some fallout. Leading the anti-Alba campaign, so it seems, is screenwriter John August, who on his blog hopes that Alba was taken out of context. Given the fact that Jessica Alba is not a good actress and she’s aware that she has mostly been cast as eye candy, the comment is suspect. I put in ‘so it seems’ because even though other writers have made comments on it, August is better known. So the media picks up on it. Not just the boneheaded Alba quote, but August’s response to it.

In a few days, folks have played well into Elle’s little trap. Elle knew the quote was (or sounds by itself) airheaded. They knewit would cause a fuss. They are going to sell some extra issues because of it. They know that too. But the quote is odd, because Alba’s lead roles to date haven’t been in good movies. In supporting roles she seems okay – but I don’t think she had that many lines in Never Been Kissed and of course Sin City– a film which unlike many of my fanboy peers I didn’t care much for- she was eye candy. She was horribly miscast in The Fantastic Four films (in terms of age, not ethnic background) and my sister liked Honey I thought it was nothing more than an hour and a half music video. In fact, the smoking gun can be seen in the extras on that DVD- ALL the music videos are actual movie scenes. Not clips. Scenes. I will admit, however, to having a mild liking to The Eye– but the remake with Alba does not hold a candle to the original Pang brothers’ fiilm.

I wondered about the ‘good actors’ she mentions. Who is she talking about? Okay, Mike Myers comes to mind, he’s been known to stray off the page- but he’s also been known to write (or rewrite) some of his stuff too. I’m sure she didn’t mean Terrance Howard, Bruce Willis or Michael Chikilis . Are they bad actors because they hit the marks? For the films in which she has been the lead- is Dane Cook a good actor? Hayden Christensen? That’s a lot of speculation. But I have a bigger question.

If you are offered a project and you think the script is not to your liking, why do you say yes? It could be possible that some of Alba’s films- even Idle Hands looked great on paper. It’s been known to happen – good scripts not translating well onscreen or getting mangled in a development process. It’s possible. Or perhaps a film like ‘Awake’ was a great script and the two lead actors felt otherwise so they didn’t follow the script and messed up the movie.

I wonder now if Alba was a good actress on the TV show Dark Angel. Remember that? That’s when folks REALLY discovered her. Did she tick people off and do her own thing or did she read off the page?

I’m sure she’s a smart cookie. But y’know what, You talk like an airhead, you act like an airhead, within time, the general public will treat you like one. Your mantle is being passed to Megan Fox, so there may be a day where this problem can be solved.

I will admit to having a guilty liking to 2006’s Silent Hill which was based on the video game. I didn’t go to see it because I’m a fan of the game. I went because it looked like a good horror film at the time and due to admiring director Christophe Gans’ Brotherhood Of The Wolf a great deal. Silent Hill, however, was trashed by critics overall. The response from the fanbase was “if you follow the game you’ll understand” which was an insult to my own intelligence because I actually though the film was effective as a horror film overall and yet, I never played the game. So if I didn’t play the game and still liked the film, what does that say? Not to mention that good horror doesn’t need to be all explained anyway. The more you reveal the supernatural and throw away the mystery, the fear of the unknown loses punch. Also, it is adaptation.

Guilty pleasure as it may be, needless to say I wasn’t holding my breath on a sequel, and when the sequel plans fell through a few years ago, I felt that was it. Most video games adapted to films don’t do all that great for some reason. Either the filmmakers overestimate the fanbase and make that film “for the fans” without doing much of a headcount and therefore alienate the majority of the average film goer or they will aim for the average filmgoer and alienate to fans who want it to be “just like the game”. You can’t win. It’s more fun to play video games as opposed to watching them. This year’s Prince Of Persia wasn’t too bad, until the final reel anyway. But back to Silent Hill. What about it? It’s getting a sequel!

The The Escapist reports:

British film maker Michael J. Bassett has signed on to write and direct the sequel to the 2006 Silent Hill movie. Bassett’s previous work includes writing and directorial duties on World War I horror Deathwatch, and last year’s Solomon Kane.

The movie’s working title is Silent Hill 2: Revelation 3D, which will hopefully change before it gets to theaters. The movie will follow 18-year-old Heather Mason, who, along with her father, has spent her whole life fleeing from something that she doesn’t understand. After her father goes missing, she learns that she isn’t who she thought she was, a revelation that threatens to trap her in Silent Hill forever. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s basically the plot of Silent Hill 3, with a few tweaks here and there.

Radha Mitchell in 'Silent Hill'.Interesting that they pick another director who has a film widely talked about but not seen in the States theatrically. Gans had Crying Freeman before Brotherhood– and now here’s Bassett, whose biggest film to date is Solomon Kane, which sits on a shelf, despite some UK exposure.

However, it is also the 3D angle that has me a bit concerned. The folks behind Hill are the same behind the moderately successful Resident Evil franchise, the fourth film of which was in 3D- and made the film a big yawn. If anything, it might inspire rival studio Warner Bros to re-release The Matrix films with a 3D conversion (why not? everyone else seems to hop on the boat) or New Line with a 3D version of John Carpenter’s In The Mouth Of Madness, which has A LOT in common with the first Silent Hill film in terms of a gateway into a hellish dimension with Lovecraftian like overtones, minus Laurie Holden’s hot leather pants. One thing is for sure: the sequel to Silent Hill does have one strike already against it.

No returning cast members that we know of.

Does anyone really care about a Silent Hill sequel anyway?

They are watching. They are everywhere. You'll need special glasses to see them...

The plan was to catch the immature morons with video cameras who, for some reason, still think it’s okay to take video cameras into movie theaters. A nice effort, I can’t say I’m against it. But it seems more bright ideas have come to pass, and now…the concept of catching morons on camera filming theatrical films has expanded to average movie -goers as well. It isn’t just about crime anymore, or seeing which nitwit whips out a cell phone and chats during a movie. No, this is something a bit more dumb.

From Torrentfreak:

Besides traditional CCTV cameras, Aralia Systems offers elaborate piracy tracking devices. One of their products is an anti-camcorder system that projects infrared light beams onto a cinema audience. These beams are reflected back off camcorders and will trigger several alarm bells.

Basically, it comes down to extracting as much information from movie goers as possible, by adding analytics software that can read people’s physical reactions as well as their emotions.

According to Dr. Abdul Farooq from Machine Vision Lab, the project should make it possible to record and analyze the public’s emotions. These emotions will not be used to track down camcording pirates, but will serve as a market research tool for the movie industry and advertisers.

So let me get this right. The executives want audience reaction to the movie being shown for marketing purposes. That’s it in a nutshell. Now, there is some good that could come out of this. Advertisers can finally take note that the majority of commercials that play before movies (not trailers) are under the wrath of many patrons. I personally boycott any product I see for a month. If I already own the product, I won’t use it for a month. Commercials before movies are an annoyance. Reaction to movie trailers can REALLY be helped by this idea though. Maybe they will hear a moviegoer say “You buttheads! You just gave away the twist ending!” or at least the “oohs” and the “aahs”.

But as for the film itself? It is a waste of time. Why? Isn’t that what “test screenings” were for? Not only that, but if a film is already released, it isn’t going to help (or hurt) the marketing of that film. I’m sorry—but people don’t go to movies because one dude picks his nose. One person laughs at a joke on the west coast. Another yawns at the same joke on the east. Does that help? No.

And what about my pet peeve regarding First run films showing up on VOD? It won’t have any effect on those films.

If you want to use the tech to catch pirates in the act, fine. If you want to use the tech to catch a knucklehead texting and talking on a cell phone in the middle of a movie and alert an usher to ask them to cease, fine. But targeting John and Jane Doe to see them how they slurp up soda or do some necking in the back row? Come on now.

Forget the distractions, and find the fools with the camcorders in the multplex. Because you want to see what “others” are up to, suggests that you aren’t that serious about piracy in the first place. Hey, you never know. John and Jane Doe making out in the back row might be more interesting to see on a viral site that another poor pirated version of SAW 3D.

Breaking Eggs

Could this be the first filmed? Only those Down Under might know...

Over the past year (2010) I have joined up with another review hub, Talentville which some of my peers there encouraged me to list some of my short scripts on the Inktipsite. I’ve used Inktip before, listing my full length scripts from time to time, but I never bothered with short scripts. But I took writing short scripts as a challenge. One day I got an Inktip newsletter in the email. Someone was looking for a horror-thriller that featured a “Killer Nurse”. I did not have a horror-thriller script with a “Killer Nurse”. I have heard, seen, or know of horror films that involve crazy doctors, or a killer loose in the hospital (Halloween II, Visiting Hoursand then there’s ten minutes of Sly Stallone’s Cobra if you want to count that) and the only ‘crazy killer nurse’ that really comes to mind is Annie Wilkes, the stalker fan in Stephen King’s Misery and the movie based on it.

Now, there is a slight bit of truth being scared of nurses. When you get sick and have to go to the hospital as I did in late 1995, you are pretty much at the mercy of those on the graveyard shift. That said, they are there to help you. There’s nothing too spooky about a person trained to help save lives. It may be not the best of situations, but your fears are directed elsewhere. In any case, I have respect for those in the medical field. So writing a script about a “Killer Nurse” isn’t going to be easy. After giving it some thought, I decided to write a short script anyway. I made myself a general outline, and guides for myself. I need those guides in writing a short script. If I don’t stick to them, it is all too easy for me to plan a 10 page script and wind up with 100 pages. I’m always into fleshing out, expanding both character and story.

So I chose these parameters:

    – Mental Hospital.

This would take care of two characters. A central protagonist who is close to being released, and a central antagonist who releases herself. The latter will be a threat and dress up like a nurse on her night of terror. The former could be witness to some of these events and thus calls for help might be taken with skepticism.

    Nobody goes outside

I want only interiors. If someone films this, if they want an establishing shot, that’s up to them. I don’t write establishing shots in my scripts. I consider them a waste of time. I also want to be flexible.

    Focus on suspense, not blood

A lot of horror today has gone splatter-heavy. I don’t mind a few of them, but it’s gone way over the top. Also, in movie theaters, people may not be eating chicken soup or pizza, but they are still eating popcorn and Goobers. A short film might not be in a multiplex; it could be at a film festival or show up online. Folks by the computer still got a box of Cheez Its somewhere. I don’t want them to gag it up with the root beer. It’s not a pretty sight.

    Throw in a little bit of realism while keeping the surrealism

Yes, I did a small bit of research. I came across an odd fact. The majority of people in mental institutions…aren’t crazy. They are recovering addicts, usually drugs. I could use this background for the protagonist. The antagonist would also drug her up at some point as well.

However, I still want my dramatic license. Many people who watch films today, even those who are “sophisticated” should not be so stiff as to enjoy a few minor details in regards to suspension of disbelief. That said, I chose to write my script accordingly, and have it take place in one day and night. Day to introduce us to the heroine. Night to unleash her adversary. It’s still a slippery slope, I think I can get away with it.

So what now…?
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