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"Shadow of Light" by JeanPierre Chapoteau

Rewrite: 1/24/2011 12:00 AM

Logline: A wealthy man suffers the consequences of contributing to a "good" cause.

Genre: Drama - Horror

Cast Size: 3

Production Status: Available (Please contact the author to negotiate the rights)

Contest: A Thousand Words (May. 2010)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent

Comments Made During the Contest

Brian Howell (Level 5)

I think this is a little too ambitious for a five pager. This would open a feature nicely, but as it is it's a little confusing. I think your writing style lends itself to the story well. There were some minor wording issues, but nothing too major.

I'm really struggling on how to vote on this one. There aren't any glaring problems, but nothing that really takes this to another level.

I'm voting GOOD for now, but I'll take another look before the month is through.

Brian Mark Churchill (Level 3)

Well, this is a nicely written story. Cannibalism. It does keep interest alive, and a feeling that something is going to happen. Nicely written horror fiction. I wonder why didn't Leon kill Crisolla? He had the chance? The conflict is weak: as Leon really doen not try too hard to fight the battle. Moreover, the association or meaning of the 'photograph' in the story is weak. The presence of the photograph does not convey any special meaning in the story. Apart from this, a nicely written horror script.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

This was written, formatted and paced very well.

I thought the first 95% of this was just awesome, but then I got to the end and it confused me. Why would humans watch cops devour a guy if there was some big infection going on? Or was everyone on the street infected? If so, that doesn't seem to coincide with what she was saying about their being enough of them to start a war. If they make up enough of the population that everyone on the street is infected, the war is probably over before it even begins. If they aren't infected, why would they just stand there?

Anyway, overall, I really liked this script. Cool, dark, zombie-type story. Nice work!

Write on!

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

I thought this was very good although it ended rather abruptly.

A few notes:

He confusingly peers back. - I don't know what this means. Is he confused or is it confusing the way he peers?

Bently - Bentley

shyly, slightly, confusingly, suddenly, slowly, finally, frantically - too many adverbs, Try to use more descriptive verbs.

creeks - creaks

Stop funding the Z Relieve, - I have no idea what this means.

what do you eat?! - that's Facebook or blog punctuation.

site - sight

Leon's face slowly withers away? I thought it was a list of names.

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

I really like this story, especially how it begins - like all is pretty much normal. It is a bit confusing, are the people in the cage "evolved" and prisoners or not evolved and food? Also, at the end you say that Crissola is looking at a list and Leon's face withers away - where is his face, on the list?
I also noticed a couple of misspelled words that were a little distracting, but not enough to take me out of an otherwise engrossing story.

Nice job.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This is an intriguing story. There is so much going on here.

I like the twist ending even though I'm not quite sure I understand it all. I think if this had a few more pages to play out, it would flow a little more naturally. As it is now, it feels a little rushed.

Still, I enjoyed this story and I really want to know more about these characters.

Cool title.

David Birch (Level 5)

the biggest problem with the story is that the premise needs more than 5 pages to deliver an effective doesn't make sense that you have crisolla say "there are enough of us to start a war...but we don't want that."...then have them pounce on leon like a school of piranhas...that doesn't jive without some more explanation...other than that, everything else was done pretty well...nice job...

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

This genre never appeals to me but, the format of the screenplay is very good. I got confused with the first two slug-lines: CARRY OUT. Later in the screenplay I understood that this was the name of a restaurant but, on the first read, all it did was confuse me. Suggest you rename it THE CARRY OUT RESTAURANT. Just a gugestion.

One page one, Leon says: “How about we take that togo?” Togo should be to go. (two words)

How do we know it is over? There is no FADE OUT or THE END.

Herman Chow (Level 5)

I enjoyed it quite a bit. At first I thought this is just a normal couple in a fancy restaurant, but my perception changed completely when they got outside the streets with soldiers and barricades. Then we see the cage with people and this is actually about zombies! Good job on giving us the unexpected.

The rest of the story flows pretty well. I thought it would be better to know what Crisolla was trying to do. I don't get what she was doing in her bathroom with the ice bathtub and the burning of her photo.

The last two pages finally gave us the essential information as to what was supposed to be going on all along. Some of Crisolla's speech here sounds too rigid and not as conversational, probably due to the need for exposition.

The ending where Leon is devoured fits the tone of the script. The last scene where Crisolla crossing out names of prestigious men can be cleared up a bit more. So she was sent by some organization to wipe out those people? Actually, how can we tell those names are prestigious?

Overall, I liked it. Writing is very good but spotted a couple of typos.

I think I know who wrote this, JeanPierre, is it yours? If not, then Brian with all those zombies ideas?


Jayaram Sanaran (Level 2)

This had a glum and dark feel to it right from the begining...And a good surprise in the middle.... The good thing about this was as a reader it made me have a strange feeling about Crisilla from the start.. keep it up ! nice one !

Joel Davis (Level 5)

Nicely told, but some of the details seemed a bit sketchy. For example, if he's funding the antidote, why does he have to ask what she eats? I didn't entirely follow the evolved thing, is she a special class of zombie that can pass for human?

Well told and good pacing but the plot needs a little clarity. It would be nice to know what Crissolla was after in the beginning.

Jon Hill (Level 4)

I liked your story but to me it seemed a little disjointed, like it was part of a bigger story.

My personal opinion to telling a sci-fi story is to set the scene early on. If you're going to have fantasy elements like zombie-vampires and z-relief -- set your stall out early.

When I was reading your story, it started of with a couple talking, then some-kind of warzone story, then vampire-zombies squeezed in at the end. I think it would be better if from the get-go you had the sci-fi element on display -- grab the audience from the start.

I also found the background information lacking -- who exactly are Z-relief? How does that Soldier know Crisolla? How did the infection happen?

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)

I see - she needed the picture to make herself look the way she looked before when applying the make-up - to look herself before she became one of them.

togo - I looked it up in a dictionary then understood that it must be "to go" :)

So if it's not there in four minutes she's going to eat a human?

I don't know how "leon's face withers away" - it was just his name on the list and she was burning the list.

It's eerie.

Was a little tough to follow for me. Good short, but I think the idea is more suitable for a feature not for a short.

KP Mackie (Level 5)

Good description in this visual zombie tale. Crisolla's "undressing" in the bathroom condo is well written. Particularly gruesome and visual scene of "the officers devouring Leon" at the end.
Seems to be a lot of physical direction of the characters that could be tightened. "Crisolla sucks her teeth," Leon "confusingly peers back...soldier peers at Crisolla...eyes Crisolla...She shyly smiles...soldier slightly frowns...straightens his face." Might condense some of it to what furthers the story; the actors would take care of the rest. Crisolla's comment to Leon, "You must be broken" isn't clear and Leon's "I'm a primary donor to the cause..." dialogue could be trimmed.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

Two problems with this word: "continously". First, it should be "continually". Check out the distinction at Second, adverbs shouldn't really be in your script at all.

"sucks her teeth" I haven't read this description since The Hardy Boys original hardback books. It brought back many fond memories.

"He confusingly peers back". I'm not sure what this means. Is he confused? Or is his expression confusing? The crux of the issue is that this is another needless adverb.

"togo"? Do you mean "to go"? Or the island nation?

"We know each other from mutual acquaintances." This is another awkward line. It doesn't sound like something someone would actually say, nor is it grammatically correct.

I'm not going to list out all the fixable issues in this script, simply because there are too many. I'd suggest handing your script to someone to proofread before submitting.

The plot is fairly interesting. I'm not sure why Crisolla says "You don't understand" at the end, though, because clearly Leon did understand: he gets eaten by infected people. It's clear that Crisolla wants to help humanity somehow, but I'm not sure what makes Crisolla better, or more compassionate, than her infected colleagues. What is her motivation?

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

This was really good. I knew something was coming, but I expected a vampire story.

You have a few usage errors - "togo" instead of "to go," "He confusingly peers back," etc. Nothing major at all.

Very good work.

Marla Brecheen (Level 4)

Love the title. It tells you the light of the story. I like how you used the picture as a way of making herself look alive again. Very unique way of making a zombie story which means that I like the twist. Great storytelling and could see the entire script in the projector of my mind. This is something that is worthy of being made. GREAT job!

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

I was a bit thrown off at first because I wasn't sure when the story was set. It seems as if that vampires (or the next evolutionary stage as Crisolla calls herself) have taken over society, and there's a military program trying to fix it. I like that idea, and it would make sense that they would take private investments as well from rich people looking out for their own interests. I enjoyed the wide scope that this world was, once I got into it and understood it.

"The faint site of the officers devouring Leon" should be "sight".

I did guess way in advance that Crisolla was a vampire but it still kept me interested.

Very good.

Matias Caruso (Level 5)

There are some interesting elements in here.

The scope seems too ambitious for a five pager. Crisolla's quest and ultimate goal was a bit murky.

At first, the presence of troops in the streets confused me. Then I thought they were there to keep the monsters at bay. But then in the last scene, Leon is eaten by some police officers, so I'm not quite sure about the role of the authorities here.

Once the challenge is over, you could expand this and take your time to establish the rules and the main players of this world you created.

Good luck.

Matthew Fettig (Level 5)

The title is good but a stretch for me to tie it nicely to your story.

This got off to an odd start. A few places you explain things instead of telling us what we see - Leon sits "uncomfortably"; he "confusingly" peers back - how do we see those things?

The dialog doesn't feel natural.

Conceptually I have a hard time understanding or following the story. We're led to believe that Leon has a great deal of money which would make us think that he has connections in the bizarre setting. However, he's completely unaware of what's going on around him. And further, it's hard , to imagine a person of his position hasn't spent the night yet with his date. For him not to know who or what Crisolla is strikes me as unbelievable.

The genre will appeal to many I expect, but this one didn't really work for me. I gave you a good because you got it put together fairly well, and I think you developed a good mood with your story, but the introduction of Z Relieve and the ending were too simplistic.

Michele Menditto (Level 1)

I liked the imagery especially the box "the veil flutters." However, I am not sure whether Crisolla was human and then "evolved" by eating "the living" or if she was always an alien. What is the couple's demeanor and does it change because Leon is a wealthy man or contributor to the cause? I think the story has a great platform for a sci-fi project.

Millar Prescott (Level 3)

Well, it had a beginning, middle, and end. And some conflict and tension. However, as written it falls short. Hinting at Leon's 'situation' much earlier in the story could definitely ramp up the tension. That would make his date much more interesting to the 'viewer'. The dialog is weak and could definitely benefit from 'less is more'.

The story was pretty good, and with some hard work and rewriting this could actually be a good one.

Paul De Vrijer (Level 5)

I love the style, I was absolutely immersed and I love the setting (Comes really close to my own mind), but I don't get the all.

The plot is great, the story shallow. There are a lot of unanswered questions, not because of the greatness of the world, but because of what the characters say. They could be talking in code for all we care.

The mysteries should come from the world, wanting to know what's under the veil for instance, not from the dialogue. Code-talk never works. Z Relieve is some kind of Zombie relieve I suppose? Shit this is close to my entry ;)

Don't really like the title either. Love the concept, don't like the execution.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

I liked this one. I think I followed everything that's going on here. This was unique amongst the other submissions this month and I appreciate that.

Your screenwriting is good, maybe a little bulky in spots. Format overall is in order. There are some typos throughout.

Very Good!

Rich Keel (Level 4)

I thought this was going somewhere else so when it went this direction I kinda lost interest. It is not a bad story but to me it just seemed like an unatural turn. Like she cared about him...but then didn;t and quickly orders more food? I think it would be better if she gave him one warning and that was it or did not care for him at all and was trying to lure him in...I dunno.

You had a couple typos at the beginning but that was really about it.

Good luck to you this month.

Ryan Lee (Level 3)

Interesting story. Cleanly written, good formatting and structurally sound. A bit confusing as to what was actually going on here. Mutated humans who disguise themselves as regular humans, or at least I think. A lot of unanswered questions in this one, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, I still would have liked a clearer grasp of what exactly the Z Relieve was.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

I'll give you a good, because while this is weird, it shows a lot of imagination. The last part seems to just pop out of nowhere, I mean, here we are having a nice casual dinner on pages 1-3, then all hell breaks out on page 4-5 LOL. I wasn't expecting it at all.

This seems like a bigger story, maybe take this five page script and lengthen it to a twenty minute short. You'll be able to add more detail so that it's a little clearer. You have a great start. Even though I don't like stuff like this, I think you did a good job on it.

Scott Merrow (Level 5)

I'm not sure what the story is here.

Crisolla is some kind of monster. (A zombie?) I pretty much knew that from Page 1, when she "chews on a steaming rare steak", and "dabs at the blood dripping down her cheek". So, no surprise there.

We're in some kind of future world, I guess after "the big infection", and the population is divided into regular people and zombie-like people-eaters. Crisolla is infected, but she's a zombie big-wig. She's going through some kind of list of regular-people big-wigs to try and establish a truce. But it's not working. Leon's her last chance, but he doesn't work out either. So zombies eat Leon.

First of all, I'm not sure how the photo is "central to your plot", as per the contest rules. But, no matter.

A bigger issue, though, is the story. It's the same old zombie (or zombie-like) story that we've heard a million times. Zombies overrun the world. Okay. Why is this story better (or at least different) than all the other zombie-ish stories out there? The one shred of difference is that the zombies in this story aren't mindless, and some of them want peace with the non-zombies. But that part of the story comes and goes in the blink of an eye. And all we're left with is -- zombies. Same ol', same ol'.

I'd recommend identifying the original ideas that are buried in there and focusing on them. Give the story a fresh spin. Otherwise it's just more of the same.

My score: GOOD.

Stephen Brown (Level 5)

I was a little confused by this at first but read it again and I think it cleared most things up. Quite a clever idea.

I think we need to know a little bit more about what these people are. Vampires? Intelligent zombies? Some sort of hybrids? A few more hints would have helped me.

I liked the way this really felt like the human race was near extinction. Good sense of impending gloom.

Overall, really liked it and very well written but would have liked to fully understand what sort of creatures were behind this.

Taylor Roberts (Level 2)

The biggest issue for me with this was clarity. I liked the ambiguity at first since I didn't know if it was a script about an actress,a vampire or someone obsessed with her looks. When I found out it was about zombies (essentially), I was pretty surprised but was glad it had built itself up to be that. By clarity I mean I'd like to know a bit more about the world that they're in. I'm still not sure I fully understand the tub of ice reference, nor do I understand the significance of the pictures that she burns after killing(infecting?) them. Is she a sort of hit(wo)man for zombies? There's definitely an intriguing world that is hinted at and I suppose I'd like to see more of that unfolded in a clearer manner.

Teo Gonzalez (Level 4)

Your story starts well. The Scene in the bathroom is intriguing.

I don't understand what happens in the resturant. What do you mean when you say that Leon looks "confusingly" at the couple? And when Crisola says "you must be broken" to him? The rest of trhe scene escapes me just the same. What is that "one" that Leon flashes to Crisola?

The scene with the soldier is also good, keeps the intrigue going. But I think that Leon's last dialogue could be improved.

Another good scene at Loen's condo, although I think it could be a bit more visual if you tried to work it. What does "my fillet must have been dropped" means?

I think you need to revise the tub scene for typos and such. I also think that your writing could be a little more active if you replaced a few words.

The next scene at Crisola's condo, it might just be my taste, but I think it could be nice if you had shown her having the intention to call Leon over. Its' good the way it is now, but I think that such detail could add some more solid continuity.

In my opinion, Leon's dialogue "what do you eat?" is weak. I find it to be too on the nose and leading.

I also don't get Crisola's dialogue "and if it isn't here in four minutes, just don't bother." Why four minutes -instead of three or a more round number such as five? Is she palning to eat the person that brings the food?

Tim Ratcliffe (Level 4)

Ok to start with, I had no idea what Carry Out was. It turns out it's some kind of restaurant but I didn't know that so I'm reading it trying to figure out what is being carried out or whatever. Why not just have restaurant instead? Not sure what you mean by she sucks her teeth. How can a rare steak be steaming?

These sort of zombie stories or whatever is going on are not really my thing so I won't comment too much. Not sure why she ran away when kissing him, or why she didn't tell him any of this when he was at her place. Basically the whole story world was foreign to me so I didn't really connect with it. I suspect people who like this genre will appreciate it more than I did. The writing was decent though, so good job.

Wes Worthing (Level 5)

This is one of the few stories this month where the picture doesn't seem to be a definite integral element. You have a setting along with a variety of shots that could really look great on screen. You've also established a mysterious tone; I was wondering what was happening through most of it, and at the same time compelled to keep reading. The dialogue explaining the antedote seems a bit expositional and it might be better to leave out Crisolla saying she is still hungry -- it gave too much away and made the ending lighter. Still a solid effort and the writing itself stands out. Great job.

Comments Made After the Contest

Herman Chow (Level 5) ~ 7/1/2010 12:15 AM

See, JP? I knew this was yours!

I want to say that I liked the setting very much.

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