Comments Made During the Contest
Ashley Croft (Level 3)
Maybe, it's just cause I'm sick of people dying in stories and ending up at graveyards but I just thought it was too hackneyed in huge parts, some nuances though were very good and I wish you would've had more of that uniqueness.
Audrey Webb (Level 5)
I'll confess I'm not entirely sure what happens in this story. It's very dramatic, with lots of atmosphere, and it's very well described in terms of characters and some of the action. I just got lost in the "double ghost" segment...if Cathlin went to the cemetery, then she's there only because Clyde is dead, right? But he's not? I'm not sure that anyone would pick up that it's him calling her on her cell phone at the end there, if that's what indeed happened. Maybe some more clarity would come out of filming, but there were just a few lingering questions for me here.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
This was well written and paced. I didn't notice any typos. Good description conveying a ghost story without coming right out and saying "Ghost Clyde". The story was pretty cool and kept me engaged throughout. Nice work.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
I can see why you were asking about Film Noir now :)The scene up to the tequila shots built up beautifully and visually. My problem with the VO montage (if that's the correct terminology for it) was - how do we KNOW it's the boss, the ex, the shrink, tenant, mother? Perhaps there are enough clues in the speech? Maybe. I'm not sure.I think it would have been good to mention in the first running across the alley scene that he was holding the picture. It wasn't clear. Sure , he unfolded it, but then BLACKNESS.This was brilliant, visually. Very Edgar Allen Poe too, in its way. And I got a sense of their love, which, in many of these scripts, I didn't.
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
Wow, I got confused in the middle with car accident. I then picked up the ghost story. I didn't believe the love lost feelings, especially if they just met. However, the ending with the cell phone ringing was chilling. I couldn't imagine a better ending.Nitpicky Stuff-Remember to keep action blocks active by avoiding words ending in 'ING'-Extra prose is nice, but sometimes distracting-I can't imagine a rose tattoo on a woman's face being attractive (I told you they were nitpicky.)-Need a double space before your scene heading
Chris Messineo (Founder)
This is fantastic.It's amazing how much story you pack into five pages and how much you are able to do with images and without dialogue (always a plus). The opening, in particular, with the broken light is phenomenal. I love all the twists and turns, especially when Cathlin is revived. Your style and descriptions are wonderful, like poetry, although at times you might want to pull it back a bit, at moments it can feel a little like prose .About the only complaint I have (and it's a small one), the title feels like an after-thought, a requirement for a contest. :)
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
This was a very moving screenplay for me to read. Some of the writing was a bit staccato but, perhaps, is needed for the subject matter. Great imaginative approach to a subject that has already been done.
John Brooke (Level 5)
The concept of two lonely artists sending drawings and messages to each other is a super creative idea, brilliant in my opinion. I found the opening very confusing but the flashback seems to me to be the real love story. I think that all that ghostly stuff would be happier getting together in one place. Maybe I’m missing something?Packed with ghostly pathos and a surprising lively ringtone kicker at the end. Good unbelievable love fantasy.
Jose Batista (Level 5)
Nice story. Not so much in the love department, but maybe a good example of love at first sight. The ghosts meeting up at the scene of death and hers disappearing as she is resuscitated was an excellent scene. However, the story starts to drag a bit from there as the scene in the cemetery reveals her suffering, but nothing else is resolved. She gets a call at the end, but the script already points out that he’s incorporeal and cannot co-react in our material existence, so the suspense is meaningless. The writing is sharp and the descriptions are excellent. The script has very little dialogue, yet it manages to convey their attraction at the beginning with excellent screen shots. However, the love aspect is somehow still missing from it all. Overall a very well written script and an enjoyable read. Good connection with the title element.
Kirk White (Level 5)
This is my favorite script so far this month! I think you can probably trim some of the description down and make it read less like a short story...but it's a solid, visually striking piece with a superb ending! Make this sucker!
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)
What can I say? We creative geniuses all pick the same element!I wonder about the rules of the afterlife that were set up in the script. Although the ending is interesting, it may end up as obscure for the viewer, since it's not normal for a dead person to call a cell phone. Without a prior hint that dead people can access phone signals, that could look confusing on the screen.Also, why does his spirit wake up in an alley around the corner from his death scene? Although it provides interesting visuals with the blackouts, it doesn't seem to make any sense. In fact, Cathlin's spirit appeared to already be at the scene, so why was only he somehow randomly transported? That appeared contrived to me.That being said, it was an enjoyable read, if somewhat depressing in tone.
Lewayne White (Level 4)
Decent ghost story as well as a love story.
Loraine Mcbarron (Level 3)
A well-crafted storyline with a twisty ghost line.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
I love your opening. The only thing I'd change there would be the line "BLACKNESS - the wind howls its cry." It would read a bit better to end it at 'howls.'The only VO in the bar scene that I'd change would be the mom's, and only if you really want her to be "the mom." If you do, give us an audio cue to her relationship to Cathlin.This was a wonderful story.Very Good
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
This was really good. I love the way you wrote it. You did it so well it wasn't hard to follow. My only issue was I thought it went on too long. At the end of page 4 when she yells "Clyde" I thought that was the end...and I was satisfied. but then there was a whole other page left.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
You handled the jumping in time really well. I also liked the inter-cutting. The part where the memories are cut off by drinking was also good. The mysterious opening threw me, but enjoyed the irony when she lives, and has to be separated from him. Once criticism I would make is that the two characters don't have much time to know each other properly. Their romance began with the drawing, and obviously more went on then what we saw, but they didn't really talk to each other that much.
Martin Lancaster (Level 4)
I’ll eat my hat if Matias didn’t write this and I’ll eat my shoes if it doesn’t place in the top 3.This is one of the best 5-pagers I’ve ever read. Your writing style is flawless. Scenes are perfectly paced. There’s a boatload of great ideas in these five pages, not all of them original, but the execution makes it fresh. I love the brevity of your exposition, the tequila shots and the echoes is brilliant shorthand. The drawing is a great visual touch, communicates so much without a word spoken.My only criticism is that you should have ended on page 4. That’s where the story ends for all intents and purposes. Although the final reveal is cool, and it leaves some hope, the preceding scene with angel wings felt like it belonged to another story.Excellent work though. My advice is to quite writing 5 page shorts and go take Hollywood by storm.P.S. If you’re not Matias, take the above as a compliment.
Matthew Phillips (Level 4)
If this doesn't win..... man..... I don't know what you'd have to do! Awesome, well written. Cleverly paced and perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. I especially love the shot of Clyde with the wings. This is beautiful!
Mike Cobb (Level 2)
This was pretty good story you got here:) One of my main complaints really is the 2 and a half pages of description you got at the end of piece. Obiovusly that needs to broken up or trimmed down immensely, cause description doesn't need to be to over the top for the reader to get the point. Some other aspects of this is that I actaully liked the story point when they both meet when they die, I actually think that would be much mroe intersting to flesh out then Cathlin when Cathlin goes to the grave mourning Clyde, that was a neat little twist which in my opinoin would lead to a far more interesting love story then the one that was developed. So, thats all i got good story:)
Mike Dominguez (Level 3)
Really nice work. Great job transitioning between the flashbacks and present time. I loved the ending with the phone call - it really makes me want to read more to see what will happen next.Only thing I'm not sure about is how Clyde ended up so far from the scene of the accident at the start.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
I like this, I was suprised by it, really wasn't expecting him to be dead. A quirky little ghost romance. Nothing more to add. well done.
Neal Barringer (Level 0)
I was mesmerized, intrigued, engaged the whole time. the twist in the middle totally surprised me. the suspense kept building when Cathlin left Clyde to return to the living. Had great imagery. Loved the writing style. trying not to make a short review, but there's not much else I can say about this piece. Great job!
Paul Williams (Level 5)
Good twists and revelations towards the end. This is the first script out of 15 that has a surprise at the end, good job with that. I wouldn't be surprised if this got high marks or even placed this month.So, was it just a random car accident that crashed into the bar? I suppose it fits the theme of "the randomness of life."I overall enjoyed this, but just one thing came to me- Clyde and Cathlin (never saw that name before) have only known each other for, really, a few minutes. Now, I guess I can be a romantic and believe in love at first sight or soul-mates, but it was hard for me to believe that Cathlin and Clyde would lovingly pine for each other for eternity in their separate plains of existence.Very good screenwriting, no typos detected.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
The V.O.'s don't quite work for me as we don't see those characters and it'll be hard to pay attention to figure out the context each is said in relation to the person saying it.The ghost story twist is a nice take on the genre, but the overall story is a bit heavy on thriller sequences as well.But what amazing visuals and sequences. It's stylish and smooth, gliding effortlessly from scene to scene. But I need some breathing room to digest the information before you take off again.In retrospect, how did he end up in the alley, in the first place? My ghost story mythology tells me it is usually an immediate out of body experience and the person takes some time to come to terms with his/her death. I don't have a problem with you playing with your own established myth but I want to know how he ended up in the Alley, unconscious?Can ghosts fall unconscious?The cemetery sequence seems a separate part from the established two thirds of the story and seems more as an afterthought and feels disjointed. Like you wanted to reinforce the love theme.Great style but a myriad choices of motivation and plot left me to savor too much of everything on my plate, when just one simple elegant train of narrative would be enough.You have everything it takes to write damn fine scripts but this one doesn't hit the mark for me.Dazzle me next time.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
Wow I felt like I just got off a roller coaster! I really loved this, the story just keeps moving forward at breakneck speed. The characters are wonderful and the whole visual feel of it is very well done.Your characters really jump off the page. The style of writing is lean and just right.Well done.Concept Very GoodCharacters ExcellentStory Very GoodDialogue ExcellentTitle Good
Sasha Clancy (Level 4)
Good story. You have a lot of complicated things going on and you handle it well. You tell the important things and leave out the rest. You paint pictures with your words and descriptions that are very easy for me to see in my mind. I like how you keep your sentences short and don't have too many of them bunched together. Good job. I like your take on soul mates. I like to think that it's Clyde calling her in the last scene but I like it even more that you didn't tell us who it is. To me, that makes the ending work.
Shane Shearer (Level 4)
Well done. It's some pretty heavy, dramatic stuff. But it's done well. I've no problems with the script, at all. The story leaves a little something to be desired; all they had was a drawing together. His ghost forever haunts her after a mere matter of minutes? I wish love was that quick, I'd have been married five times by now. Maybe a time lapse of a year later at the same bar for all of this to go down? I'm not saying it isn't possible they met and fell in love right away... I don't know, it just kind of gives it a "I don't really care about the characters" vibe. That's just me though, don't take me on my word. I loved the use of the drawing as the connection between then, in life and in death. Good work.
Stephen Brown (Level 5)
Fantastic writing and imagery - brings up a certain name as the likely writer haha. I really enjoyed the read and think that it would play out even better on the screen.I mean you even have the poster for it - Clyde in the graveyard with the statue wings.I can't fault this at all. It was super ambitious and brave to go for some of the techniques that you went for, so well done for that. The story in itself isn't all that unique but at the end of the day what is now? There's nothing completely unique, just different takes on old formulas.I thought your take on this was EXCELLENT. Great job!
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Richly descriptive, well drawn imagery. I liked the visuals and film noir-ness of this script in spite of heavy-handed use of VO and flashback jumpiness that I found a bit jarring. That made it harder for me to visualize and I would have liked to spend more time with the characters, less time with the voices in their heads.
Teo Gonzalez (Level 4)
Good story. It seems like it could be hard to pull, but you did it.
Tommy Merry (Level 4)
A great neo-film-noir vision was painted in my head immediately by your words.Took me a second to figure out that both Clyde and Cathlin were both hearing voices in their head while drowning their sorrows - Sweet!!I really loved the world of your screenplay, I was there, i could taste and smell it, i WAS there!The end disturbed me a bit though.. Did Clyde call her from beyond the greave on her cell phone?It suddenly lost me after a great build upI think I would have preferred here getting hit by lightening and then suddenly being able to see him :-)Good craft and good use of the element!
Travis DeStein (Level 5)
Original but the ending felt cheap to me. It was creative and all but maybe you tried too hard. It's shown that the guy can't touch/communicate with anything but he can still use a phone? The whole story was so dramatic and deep, but then the ending came out of nowhere to me and was a little too much cheese.
Wes Worthing (Level 5)
Well the "Neon" scripts are doing quite well so far. They are going to great lengths and drama to get back together, so I'm only thrown off a bit by how genuine their love may be on their first meeting, and being drunk. Visually exciting piece.
William D. Prystauk (Level 5)
This is loaded! You squeezed a multitude of elements into five pages. Most importantly, it reads fast and doesn't let up. The beginning and ending are phenomenal and gripping. My only problem were the cliches: Gothic cemetery, angel wings, lightning and rain in the graveyard. If you can keep that Gothic horror interlude as fresh and potent as the rest, this will be completely amazing. With such a mysterious start and one "Holy crap!" of an ending, I wanted to give this an "Excellent", but the whole cemetery scene is tired and almost comical. Sure, Poe did it - and did it brilliantly - but once he nailed that style and essence, everything else is either a cheap imitation or a tired homage. And since you write beautifully, forget the homage and let your own style and essence shine through as you did with the rest of the script.
William Dunbar (Level 5)
This was really good. If you had a little more space, I'd like to see there be some meaning behind the car crash, rather than just a random coincidence. But it would have been hard to fit much more into 5 pages. Likewise, their true love that lasts even beyond the grave seems a little much for two people who just met in a bar. With more space it would be nice to see more about why they are so destined to be together. Good job.
Comments Made After the Contest
Stephen Brown (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2008 12:23 AM
Great script again Z. There were two things I was almost certain of after reading this; that it was you script and that it was another win.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 12/1/2008 7:42 AM
I loved this one as well. Very powerful with fantastic visuals. Your scripts are always so much fun to read.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2008 7:57 AM
Thanks everyone for your reviews and comments. They’re helpful and I really feel like I learnt something this month.A little update on this one: It’s been sold to a Canadian filmmaker who told me “Clyde” has already been cast.I’ll post more updates when I have them.Thanks again.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 12/1/2008 7:59 AM
Congratulations! I'm not surprised at all.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 12/1/2008 8:31 AM
Congrats Matias! And that is exciting that it's been sold already!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2008 10:59 AM
Congrats! You've certainly got the magic touch. :)
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 12/1/2008 11:53 AM
Matias, is this slightly longer?I got that feeling after I read it.Your fingerprint's all over this piece. But you know my favorite of your scripts. ;)
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 12/1/2008 12:15 PM
I can't wait to see this on film. I didn't get to it during the contest, but as I was reading it just now all I could think of was: this is a really good script, but it would be freaking FANTASTIC on the screen. The visuals you offer are breathtaking.I'm emailing you right now so check it and don't ignore me.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2008 1:43 PM
Thanks, much appreciated."Matias, is this slightly longer?"Pages are like heroine: the more you give me, the more I use. :)Erich: Thanks. Emailed you back.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 12/1/2008 2:32 PM
Been reading too much of the "hollywood roaster", are we? :)
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2008 3:15 PM
Ha! I'm an addict. I also can't get enough of Script Cops (Pia posted a link in the forums, check it out)
Ashley Croft (Level 3) ~ 12/1/2008 3:28 PM
I wasn't a big fan of this one, I've read other works from this person and liked them but this one was just average to me.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2008 4:26 PM
Hey Matias, how d'you sell this one already? Can't wait to see it, it's so very visual.And have you written any features? When are you hitting Hollywood???
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/2/2008 7:13 AM
MJ - Thanks for asking. I'm working on a feature. If it turns out decent, probably I'll submit it to one of the big contests next year.
Paul Williams (Level 5) ~ 12/9/2008 2:33 AM
Hey Matias, let me know which contests you enter it in next year so I won't waste my money submitting mine!Anyway, great job with "Neon," it was one of my favorites this month.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/9/2008 7:45 AM
Ha! Don't worry about that, Paul. And thanks for tagging this one as favorite. It means a lot.Thanks.