An indecisive man seeking love finds a magical "choose your own adventure book" which may lead to a bad ending
HOW IT RATES
A young Korean American woman moves to South Korea with her family and the vengeful ghosts from its past.
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During the WWII invasion of Iwo Jima, Americans and Japanese band together to survive a zombie infestation.
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Reviews of The Pearl Diver 12
by sethlarsen on 08/05/2008This genre is not my cup of tea – mostly into comedies or dramedies – so take my comments with a grain of salt, but I do have a couple of overarching comments as to the marketability of this one. You’re clearly a descriptive, solid story teller who conjures interesting imagery, but I think you are missing some basics that most successful movies have… most importantly, a Protagonist... This genre is not my cup of tea – mostly into comedies or dramedies – so take my comments with a grain of salt, but I do have a couple of overarching comments as to the marketability of this one.
You’re clearly a descriptive, solid story teller who conjures interesting imagery, but I think you are missing some basics that most successful movies have… most importantly, a Protagonist to root for. Maybe I’m too dense, but I wasn’t even 100% certain who the main character was until around page 70, and that should never be the case. I mostly assumed that Heaven was the main character (in part because she was in the opening scene), but at times wondered if Jacob was, or Sun. It should be clear within the first 5-10 minutes WHO the main character is, WHAT their key flaw is, what they WANT and NEED (physically and emotionally) out of life, and what the OBSTACLES to their Wants/Needs are. From the beginning, we need to know what the Arc is so we know if they succeed or not in the end. After all, this is what keeps us reading/watching. In this case, I’m not clear what Heaven's needs are (what would complete her, etc), so I don’t know what to be rooting for (beyond “does she live or die,” etc)… and it’s also why I wasn’t even certain who the main character was. One approach would be to really make it clear that she wants to know if her father killed the boys or not; another would be to drive home the point that she hasn’t found the meaning of her life and what she should do… later, she realizes her meaning is to become a shaman.
Since we aren’t really clued in to the characters internal needs and what makes them tick, this seems to inform the dialogue, which is pretty spot-on… people saying exactly what they’re thinking. Usually on-the-nose dialogue means that characters are lacking in depth, and I think this is the case here.
Also, this story is a bit slow. I don’t think you could call this a thriller. Kind of a cerebral, artistic mystery. I know some folks enjoy that, unfortunately I’m not that guy. The key question is, are there a lot of people out there willing to fork out $10 to see this on the big screen? I’m not sure. But I do think there are ways to keep me more consistently interested than I was, and that is by giving the characters more depth, and scene-by-scene, really focusing on what they’re trying to accomplish both internally and externally. I present a fairly typical scene (pp.42-43), in the kitchen between Sun and Val. Besides the information download that we as an audience receive, what is to be gained from an emotional standpoint? What are the obstacles in the scene? Besides giving information, what is Sun trying to achieve emotionally? Besides receiving info, what is Val trying to achieve emotionally? It’s really just two talking heads sitting in a kitchen sharing info, not much of interest to me either visually or emotionally. I think you can infuse more of this background info into more proactive scenes or situations.
As for the good stuff, I really liked the intercutting scenes when Isaac was being executed and Sun/Jacob/Val/Heaven/Ethan were performing the exorcism stuff with Jacob’s twin brother and the others. Some good parallels about spirits simultaneously passing over from one world (or life) to another. This was the point where I became more interested, but unfortunately it’s happening very late in the game.
I realize these notes are quite broad, but at the same time, I think the problems you’ll have in getting this movie made are broad and basic. I hope I’m wrong – and on that front, I genuinely wish you the best of luck.
p.s. I overlooked the occasional typo, but here’s one I made note of just because I believe there was a case of a typo that created the opposite meaning that you intended:
on page 65, Yong says, “There is nothing less admirable.” I think you meant MORE admirable. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 07/29/2008Well that was fun. Enjoyed the read thoroughly. I fully understand the sentiment in the production notes. You can tinker with one project endlessly, sell it, than be told to rewrite it again. I think you got what you wanted. But, I still have a few thoughts on the subject. They're random impressions mostly. It feels like a Korean movie. I'm sure you must have extensive knowledge... Well that was fun. Enjoyed the read thoroughly. I fully understand the sentiment in the production notes. You can tinker with one project endlessly, sell it, than be told to rewrite it again. I think you got what you wanted. But, I still have a few thoughts on the subject. They're random impressions mostly.
It feels like a Korean movie. I'm sure you must have extensive knowledge of the culture and the setting. I imagine you might have been stationed there at some point.
I'm not sure if you're marketing this as a Korean film or not. If not, I'd suggest that you think about it. Translation is easy enough and while the market is humble, it is large enough to support something of this budget. Old Boy and JSA have done very well on the world market.
I love the setting. I was blessed with the opportunity to visit South Korea last year and was very taken by the people. I was also amazed that the ocean front property wasn't over-run with rich people and mega-compounds. It was refreshing.
Gotta admit I cringe a little every time an American soldier is depicted this negatively. Makes me think you were gearing towards a foreign audience. Won't get into the whole point-of-view diatribe. It works. It just makes me knash my teeth a bit.
Only real story issue I have is with Jacob's transformation at the end. I don't think it works very well. As a movie goer I wanted Jacob to remain redeemed. I didn't think that Val's death was enough to tilt him. I also don't think that he'd that negative of a view of Sun's shamanism after undergoing an exorcism of sorts. I do think he should die so as to leave Heaven on her own, but I (personally) would rather see him die somewhat heroically. Buying her some time or something to that nature.
One argument for the redemption of Jacob: By having two generations of males geared towards evil (both Jacob and his brother), what am I supposed to believe about the future of Ethan?
Other than that I thought this movie was cool as hell. Couple typos. I know it's lame, but they're there so I figure I'd point em out.
Page:8 I think Brown should be brow.
Page: 64 Yong stats that there is nothing LESS admirable. (in reference to Heaven becoming a shaman.) I think it was suppose to read: Nothing MORE admirable.
Page: 85 Yong goes to Issac in the character slug. When to this point, Issac speaking through Yong has been slugged as YONG.
That's it congrats on a great story. Hope to getting around to reading Unmasked soon.
by jennic on 11/15/2007I must say I enjoyed this supernatural script. It held my interest from start to finish. I believed the story; it was this well-written. I also think this writer has a Korean background or really did his homework in presenting the culture and some of the beliefs to make it very interesting. I think the characters were very strong--especially, Sun--I almost thought she was... I must say I enjoyed this supernatural script. It held my interest from start to finish. I believed the story; it was this well-written. I also think this writer has a Korean background or really did his homework in presenting the culture and some of the beliefs to make it very interesting. I think the characters were very strong--especially, Sun--I almost thought she was stronger than Heaven--be careful not to switch heroines midstream. There were several twists/turns in the story and it kept this reader on the edge of her seat.
I must point out the areas where I feel need work. You have to watch your use of adverbs: nervously, excitedly, thoughtfully and adjectives: stoic, handsome, pretty, frantic, aggressive. You must allow the DIRECTOR of the movie to decide what actions/characteristics he wants in the scenes. Sometimes you switched to story-telling, rather than screenplay writing. Example: David giggled 'like a hyena' which is totally unnessessary--the audience can decide what the giggle is like. Sometimes you neglected to say who you are referring to and using pronouns instead of names; i.e. 'Jacob puts his arms around her (?who...there are other females in the room). I also think you have too many INT/EXT which aren't necessary--i.e. EXT. PATH, EXT, RIVER, EXT MOUNTAIN, etc. I think EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE or something like that would suffice.
In one spot, you forgot an EXT, and made it look like a Reporter (V.O.) was actually in the house.
Be careful, as I said, not to give too many descriptions as you would in a short story for example; the audience can't 'see' that Val can't hear grunts and moans - it's not an action; same with curtains (we can't 'see' silent/wispy; same with 'almost imperceptible'-used twice; transfixed/staring (one is redundant)). I think you spent too much time worrying about textures, expressions, etc. Leave some of it up to the director--this is very important.
There were a few spelling or tense problems, but not enough to detract from the overall screenplay.
All in all, I enjoyed reviewing this, my first screenplay, on Triggerstreet. Jennic read
by gordonkris on 10/15/2007This has a very interesting concept. I like the way you set everything up quickly at the beginning and got the family over to Korea. The characters are generally well-drawn, believable (I liked Issac least at first, seemed a little cartoonish – then he grew on me). I wonder about their odd Biblical names though (especially Heaven)– that was a little distracting. Korea seems... This has a very interesting concept. I like the way you set everything up quickly at the beginning and got the family over to Korea. The characters are generally well-drawn, believable (I liked Issac least at first, seemed a little cartoonish – then he grew on me). I wonder about their odd Biblical names though (especially Heaven)– that was a little distracting. Korea seems a little loosely described, almost Medieval. Give it a modern touch first (like at the airport) then make the drive to the coast long and arduous. I think maybe ten old women still dive for pearls in Korea and they live in the extreme south. Isaacs involvement with Joo-Eun doesn’t really ring true as detailed. Why would she be involved with him?
Setting a script in a foreign country has always seemed problematic. How do you get enough English to be spoken? How fluent do you make it sound? (I think Aunt Sun’s is a little too “native” sounding). Who will the audience be? (are Americans that interested in Korea/ Korean movies right now are better than American, will they want to watch this?)
As a horror movie, this moved along fairly predictably. I do think evil children, especially babies, are worth some extra points on the scare-o-meter. Usually the twin stuff has been done to death, but you had some interesting imagery. The Shaman info was quite interesting but the many explanations slowed it down, took away from the scares. It lacked the momentum it needed to work as a horror flick.
I guess it doesn’t matter, but your portrait of Korean is a little naïve. Very very few people believe in shamans anymore – since a majority of the populace in now Christian, most likely, even in the countryside those who still practice shamanism would be shunned and ridiculed (even Buddhists are often mocked there now…)
P1 - Is she Korean or Korean-American?
P6 – what kind of Asian symbols – hangul, kanji, yin yang?
P9 - wipes his sweaty brown – this typo made me laugh
P11 - SUN
Welcome home, then. I speak good enough
English until you learn Korean. Jacob
has written that you are a teacher as
well. What do you teach? – sounds perfect to me
p20 - SUN
Then let us get a few more lobsters to
celebrate my new haircut – nice line
p24 - Heaven and Sun stand in a small patch of overgrown grass.
A simple, rounded gravestone looks out onto the ocean. – traditional Korean graves are big grass-covered mounds
P44 - She comes face to face with the bloated, rotten corpses
of two Caucasian women. – how does the audience know they are Caucasian
p47 - VAL
You can’t! You need to go to Seoul,
otherwise we moved here for nothing! – don’t get this line
p59 – this was scary – nice work
I’m sorry about the no phone situation
out here. – no cell?
Also – Heaven is in high school, right? How old is Yong?
P72 - HEAVEN
What? That wasn’t my father I saw that
night? – some of the dialogue seems a little stiff
p80 – the scene where Isaac takes over Yong’s body is cool, but the reason for it is unclear. As is Val’s death. When it becomes clear, it’s a bit of an eyeroller. There’s just a big hurdle of believability. Namely, how do bad people become intimate with good people? How do evil fathers have angelic daughters?
P85 - ISAAC
My old shell’s gonna be cremated!
There’s no blood left in this world to
anchor me, Sun. Nothing! – Isaac or Yongl?
Let your blood remain! It ties you to
this world! Anchors you! – this doesn’t resonate – it’s a way to kill Isaac based on words, not logic – you need a stronger, more obvious way to destroy the evil old bastard
I thought this was nicely written. Very informative and interesting. Not exactly realistic in its portrayal of modern Korea. I wanted it to be more frightening, less pedantic. Late in the script I had the idea it all might work better if it was set in an earlier time period like the 80’s when the country was just opening up to the west from dictatorship. But it’s far better than most scripts I’ve read here. Thanks. read
by davidpurcell on 10/11/2007This baby was masterfully written and it grabbed me with its black aqueous claw and never let up. I can’t find a damn thing wrong with the structure or execution, and there are some truly chilling moments in this piece. My comments are going to veer a lot more toward my personal peccadilloes than most of my reviews, so here they are for whatever they’re worth (avast: there... This baby was masterfully written and it grabbed me with its black aqueous claw and never let up. I can’t find a damn thing wrong with the structure or execution, and there are some truly chilling moments in this piece. My comments are going to veer a lot more toward my personal peccadilloes than most of my reviews, so here they are for whatever they’re worth (avast: there be spoilers ahead):
For the first two-thirds or so, the story chugged along beautifully, unfolding its sinister mysteries seductively. My main trepidation was worry that this was going to be one of those “let’s up the ante by putting kids in peril” stories like Poltergeist or Jurassic Park. Welp, it turned out my fears were totally founded. Again, my personal bias, though I’m not sure I’ve ever seen kids in peril in the face of such pure evil and then seen the evil take such a huge toll. I think that’s my biggest beef with the story. I just can’t shake the crummy feeling of that final big scene. Okay, I could have dealt with Jacob being evil all along, and maybe Sun biting it, but Val, too? Sheesh!
I can’t think of a whole lot more to offer except that Ethan sometimes came off as a little too goody-goody with his heartfelt precious comments like “you are stronger than you think you are.”
Anyhow, tremendous work. Glad I got to read it. Good luck with your writing! read
by JSANHUEZA on 10/09/2007First off, your command of prose is very good. All of your scene descriptions read very smoothly and easily and create a vivid picture.... perfect! That being said, the problems I had with the script have to do with the story and characters.. I found the story to be pretty boring throughout. I understand where the ghosts came from, who the villains are, who the good guys... First off, your command of prose is very good. All of your scene descriptions read very smoothly and easily and create a vivid picture.... perfect!
That being said, the problems I had with the script have to do with the story and characters.. I found the story to be pretty boring throughout. I understand where the ghosts came from, who the villains are, who the good guys are and what everyone's relationship is to each other.. I understand this because in the course of the story, everyone says exactly what they are thinking.. this is BAD. Real people in real life do not dictate their true emotions(99% of the time, and only when the stakes are severly high for them to do so... usually against their will). But the dialogue in this seemed to push the story along where you wanted it to go, and that's all. Dialogue should also serve to create deep, interesting and complex characters, and for humor... you missed the last two completely.
Also, the tone you were going for I think is more of a psychological horror/suspenseful drama.. in order to create that tone you need mystery. There was none. Like I said above, everyone says exactly what they are thinking, and you set up the bad guys as bad guys and the good guys as good guys and aside from the momentary possession of Yong, everyone sticks to that criteria... I would say the same of Jacob, except it is assumed(since he was charged with a double homicide and Heaven's own beliefs) that he is a bad guy.. then he dupes the family for a very brief moment to believe his innocence, but then flips to bad again.
Also, there are no great dramatic and suspenseful twists in the plot.. twists are created through specific actions of characters and I can't really say any of the characters actually DO anything to get what they want(except the villains) The protagonists need more drive for SOMETHING.. ask yourself what it is they want in life(and remember that all humans are inherently selfish.. so world peace is not an option, I would suggest Heaven wants to prove her dads innocence to the mother, Sun wants Heaven to be a shaman and take over her gig, against the wishes of Val, who wants her daughter to marry a rich guy... or something, and remember they can't flat out say what they want.)
Also, why a PEARL DIVER? Is that really integral to the story.. or just kind of an extra side fact to get some underwater scenes in the story, because if it is, it will be cut quick as filming in water is a pain in the tail as well as expensive.. If you need it, make it more of a necessity, if not, cut it and change the local and occupation.
Another thing that kind of bugged me was everyone's unnatural reactions, from seeing odd ghostly behavior, to the FORCED relationship between Yong and Heaven.. people don't fall in love by staring at each other for uncomfortably long moments.. they usually talk and argue and joke and find chemistry. Which shouldn't be a hassle to create.. it's fun. Think about how you've fallen in love in the past and 'cut and paste' so to speak from your own experiences! It works!
All in all, your script was easy to read which is good. It means you will hold the attention of the reader, you don't feel lie you are jumping all over the place, and I feel like I did get what you were trying to say.
Sorry if I missed anything, but its been a long day. I'm out!
-Best Regards read
by Debbster on 09/27/2007The Pearl Diver gives us a rich tale of death and magic set in a Korean village. The concept of evil moving from person to person is a classic storyform. Characters are just what they should be. One exception is that Valerie seems a bit too gullible for an educated woman. She is actually living with Jacob. She doesn't seem to ask enough questions. Dialogue. This is the... The Pearl Diver gives us a rich tale of death and magic set in a Korean village.
The concept of evil moving from person to person is a classic storyform.
Characters are just what they should be. One exception is that Valerie seems a bit too gullible for an educated woman. She is actually living with Jacob. She doesn't seem to ask enough questions.
Dialogue. This is the area I think needs the most attention:
Kid at the swimming pool- "I'm not defenseless" doesn't make sense since he just harmed her.
Newscaster- "divided community" They look pretty unified to me. If there is some controversy, what is it?
Sun- "good enough English" But then she goes on to use idioms and very good construction.
Valerie- curricula not curriculums.
Story. The tatoos make a great marker. The oil does too, but why is it on the grandmother's headstone since she was not evil? Why do we need to know about won? Why isn't it just money? The oyster flashback with Sun and her sister shows the sister finding the oyster first and then giving it to Sun secretly. How would Sun remember something she had not seen? Also, once an oyster is open, no one would think it was still unopened. In the scene in the house, clarify that no one sees the transformation in Yong. As it is this is confusing.
Technical. Several character names at page-bottoms. p.19 Heaven's name is missing - all the lines are Sun's.
Using fans to "wind themselves" should probably be "cool themselves" since winding oneself meeans to tire oneself out.
Overall: Nice, spooky and mysterious. I liked it very much. read
by Brengunner on 09/26/2007OK, Peter first off, great job! I really really enjoyed this screenplay. I think it is very close to being a major winner. Most of the notes below are technical and will only require some minor shifts to fixes if you choose. I will give you my overall impression at the end. Page 1, “She stops swimming, removes her goggles and wades.” Consider simply, :”She stops, removes...
OK, Peter first off, great job! I really really enjoyed this screenplay. I think it is very close to being a major winner. Most of the notes below are technical and will only require some minor shifts to fixes if you choose. I will give you my overall impression at the end.
Page 1, “She stops swimming, removes her goggles and wades.” Consider simply, :”She stops, removes her goggles, and treads the steaming water.” (Or something along these lines…) Makes the sentence active tense. Additionally, consider changing all the “wades” to “treads”, as treading water creates a greater sense of danger than wading. Wade implies she is walking on solid ground even while in the water. Metaphorically, treading water has a sense of disconnection, life sustaining physical effort, and implies the possibility of drowning/death. At the same time it shows Heaven’s innate strength, a comfort in her “other” element, and a displays a sense of self-guiding destiny. (Phew, reading a lot into a simple act, but then again this is cinema- and it’s the all important first page!)
Page 2,” Without seeing the black…” consider, “unaware of the black…”
“Across the street, a small crowd of people holds picket” no “s” in hold.
Genesis 9:5-6 -Very nice usage of this particular scripture… for your consideration: http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/?action=getCommentaryText&cid=18&source=2&seq=i.1.9.2
Bottom of page 2 push the character title to next page.
Page 3, “The judge pounds his gavel as the bailiff pulls the tearful, enraged woman back from Jacob.” Should enraged woman be capitalized since it is a character name???
Page 4. “The tumultuous crowd sees them from across the street. They erupt in screaming and yelling.” Or consider possibly, “The tumultuous crowd spots them from across the street and they explode in a furious pandemonium.”
“Jacob turns, wraps his arms around his family and continues to walk away.” Or, “Jacob turns, wraps his arms around his family and walks away.”
Page 7, “She hangs up the receiver, then walks out, leaving the picture of her children on the cubicle counter.” Vs. “She hangs up the receiver, stands, and walks away. On the cubicle counter the picture of the children mutely remains.”
Page 8, “Jacob trudges down the hall, following the voice/sound.” Consider, “Jacob trudges down the hall, he follows the voice/sound.”
” Disoriented, he wipes his sweaty brown and gathers his Surroundings.” Vs. “Disoriented, he wipes his sweaty brow and recognizes his son’s room.” (Either way, it’s brow not brown.)
Page 9, “He rises, squints and rubs his temple before he whips the curtains closed” missing a comma between - squints, and rubs his temple…”
“Val, Heaven and Ethan are waiting for him. Val and Ethan are smiling ear to ear.” Vs. ”Val, Heaven, and Ethan sit at the kitchen table. Val and Ethan smile ear to ear at the sight of Jacob.”
Page 10, “SUN, 50, a short, stocky Korean woman, approaches them. Her clothing is loose and comfortable looking while her hair is wrapped neatly in a small bun.” Vs. “SUN, 50, a short, stocky Korean woman, approaches them. Her clothes are loose and comfortable, and her hair is wrapped neatly in a small bun.”
Page 11, top of page, have an unnecessary line between JACOB(CONT'D) and his dialogue.
“Val smirk.” Should be, “Val smirks.”
“Sun’s small, yet comfortable looking house is on an earthen ridge, next to a cliff overlooking the ocean.” Would you consider? “Sun’s small, yet comfortable house sits on an earthen ridge next to a cliff, it overlooks the ocean.”
“A larger, dilapidated house rests ominously under the thick leaves of a copse of trees. It’s foreboding aura stands in stark contrast to Sun’s warm, welcoming home.” Or possibly… “A larger, dilapidated house perches ominously under the thick leaves of a copse of trees off in the distance. Its foreboding aura stands in stark contrast to Sun’s warm, welcoming home.”
Page 13, “The distant, almost imperceptible sound of a BABY CRYING can be heard emanating from inside the old house.” Vs. “From the distant, an almost imperceptible sound of a BABY’S CRY emanates from inside the old dilapidated house.”
“She spins around to see her father staring at her.” Or, “She spins around and finds her father, who stares at her intensely.”
I’m going to stop pointing out passive tense, however, consider doing a search for words ending in “ing” and see if you can word these sentences in a more active tense.
Page 15/16 Sun’s character line should be pushed to the following page.
Bottom of 15, Pyjamas should be Pajamas.
Page 16, “She kisses him on the forehead, covers him with the blanket and quietly climbs out of bed.” …is missing a comma after blanket.
“In the far distance sits a massive mountain that demands much of the beautiful…” consider replacing demands with dominates of commands?
Ok, is it me? Or does it appear that you have an extra blank link at the top of each page? Check your formatting???
Page 19, ”She twists and rolls her ankles, then stretches her back, neck and arms.” Missing a comma after neck.
Page 20, you wrote…
Heaven holds up her hand, which has a death grip on a clump of slimy, green seaweed.
Sun breaks out in laughter.
Heaven glances at the seaweed one more time before she cracks a slight smile.
Then let us get a few more lobsters to celebrate my new haircut!
Consider moving the, “Heaven glances at the seaweed one more time before she cracks a slight smile.” Line below Sun’s dialogue, reading thus:
Heaven holds up her hand, which has a death grip on a clump of slimy, green seaweed.
Sun breaks out in laughter.
Then let us get a few more lobsters to celebrate my new haircut!
Heaven glances at the seaweed one more time before she cracks a slight smile.
This way you get a better transition shot. Heaven’s hand full of seaweed -> a handful of seaweed goes in the boiling pot…
Page 29, I’m not clear why Sun and Heaven decided to go to the abandoned Isaac house?
Page 39, bottom of page extra lines between action block and final Jacob line.
Page 41, I think you can ratchet up the tension more if Jacob gives a little less reasonable logic of renovating the Isaac house. A reason that is more cryptic and a touch more sinister might be a stronger choice. Consider and see what you think?
Bottom of page 42, SUN character title should be pushed to next page.
Top of 44, extra line between SUN (CONT’D) and actual dialogue.
Page 63, the broken Val dialogue should have (CONT’D) and the third one has an extra blank line.
Bottom of 66, YONG character title should be on next page.
Same again on bottom of 68.
Page 72 SUN (CONT’D)…
I think everyone accepts the situation a little too easily. Maybe Sun walks Heaven through a flashback where she sees that it really isn’t her dad, but the evil spirit burning the clothes?
They watch Isaac traipse across the room? Although semantically accurate usage of the word traipse… I would reconsider using it here as it connotes a light hearted dancing, even though Isaac is apparently more than willing to ride the tiger the word took me out of the read.
Bottom of page 82, JACOB Character title needs to be pushed to next page.
Top 94 YONG (CONT’D) extra line between title and dialogue.
Over all I think this has awesome potential to being a thinking person’s horror tale, more in the classical line than the Slasher type.
My only suggestions would be a few inter-cut scenes of Jacobs’s crimes (a dark figure sucking out the ki of his victims, but done so that we can’t see it is him. Thus in the end, we might buy into Heaven believing in her father and empathize with her when we find out that we as well as her have been fooled.
I also think you can develop the ending a little bit more as I felt it wrapped up a little too neatly. You might consider ending with a dark note, i.e. they sit down to soup, all smiles, and than we see a black slime creeping through the floor board under the table – slam cut to black… just a thought.
Otherwise, I think this is a clean, well written piece. Good characters (the Occam name snagged me a bit as every time I read it the whole Occam’s razor thing went through my mind.), clever story, well structured and really entertaining. Thanks for a good read. Good job and good luck. read
by mlambush on 09/25/2007This script had everything I've come to expect in your work: great visuals, efficient writing and interesting characters. There were some great, creepy scenes and the shaman rituals were very compelling. Looks like you did your research. I found some of the small details very rewarding: you show Aunt Sun's scars but don't explain them (which I think is great), and... This script had everything I've come to expect in your work: great visuals, efficient writing and interesting characters. There were some great, creepy scenes and the shaman rituals were very compelling. Looks like you did your research.
I found some of the small details very rewarding: you show Aunt Sun's scars but don't explain them (which I think is great), and then you hint about their origin when Heaven obtains a wound of her own. I also found the parallel structure between the pool scene in the beginning and the scene in the boat at the end also worked well.
Dialogue was good. My one major suggestion is on p. 38. Take out the Heaven line "And I need to tell you something....", that just seems like a too-easy way to create suspense, because we know at some point she's going to have to tell us. I think it'd be better to have her say nothing at all, but to look like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders -- which Sun would easily pick up on.
My only other suggestion would be to put a few more scares into the first half of Act II. Maybe have the twin boys scare the bejeezus out of Ethan one night when he's sneaking down to the kitchen for a snack. I was also hoping that Heaven would try to go into the old house by herself at least once before she goes in their with Sun. You might also want to stave off all the explanations about Isaac until later on in the story, so Heaven has more of a mystery to uncover.
And three things I was not sure about: 1) What is Isaac in jail for? Maybe it doesn't matter, I don't know. 2) Who were the two twins Jacob killed and why did he do it? Did Isaac have some other kids we don't know about? 3) HOw/why were Isaac and Jacob working together? To score some Ki's? I wasn't sure why Jacob was going along with dad's evil schemes.
A few random notes and typos:
p. 2 -- you should probably cap LAWYER
p. 2 -- JUdge's dialogue is cut off by the dreaded (MORE). This happens quite a bit in this script. You've only got 95 pages here, so you should probably just throw in a few extra hard returns and make sure no dialogue gets broken up by page breaks.
p. 3 -- FOREPERSON should definitely be capped, as he/she has a line. BAILIFF, too.
p. 9 -- YOu called it JACOB AND VAL's BEDROOM on 8, so you need to do it here. Also you need to add DAY to the slug
p. 23 -- SUN'S HOUSE - GRAVE - [DAY?]
p. 26 -- I don't think you need RETURN TO SCENE and PRESENT DAY. I think one or the other is acceptable.
p. 27 -- "performs some cryptic hand symbols" I was unclear on this. You mean gestures? Or signs?
p. 30 -- You only need one space before a mini-slug like LATER
p. 34 -- "Are YOU okay?"
p. 39 -- "smiling" needs a period after it. ANd that big space needs to be deleted.
p. 53 -- You should put descriptions between Sun's dialog blocks. I know it's redundant, but as it is now it looks kinda odd.
p. 63 -- Delete extra space
p. 69 -- comma after "it" and before "boys?"
p. 77 -- "let go [OF] the ripped sheets."
p. 77 -- I'm not a big fan of "begins to"
p. 85 -- commma between "eh" and "Sun"
Hope these proofreading notes help with any future revisions. This was a very stong piece of work and I really enjoyed it. Good job, man. read
by Rachel Stevens on 09/23/2007Such an accomplished writer. This is a near-perfect suspense/thriller very reminiscent of Steven King, creepy, chilling, and thoroughly engaging. Principally set on the Korean coast, with Korean and Korean-American characters, incorporating Korean shamanic practices, this is a remarkable acheivement. The story is intricately woven, richly and hauntingly atmospheric, and... Such an accomplished writer. This is a near-perfect suspense/thriller very reminiscent of Steven King, creepy, chilling, and thoroughly engaging. Principally set on the Korean coast, with Korean and Korean-American characters, incorporating Korean shamanic practices, this is a remarkable acheivement.
The story is intricately woven, richly and hauntingly atmospheric, and masterfully crafted. The characters are distinct, authentic and engaging. I was particularly drawn to Sun and Heaven (ya gotta love the names), the twin protagonists. I got chills on the mountaintop and again when Heaven faced off with the soggy, slimy spirits. I was totally caught up when Heaven's powers became full-blown and was anxious to witness her triumph over the forces of evil in that final showdown. I was a little disappointed, however, when Yong (Isaac) slipped away, unscathed. At the same time, I really liked Heaven's return to the sea, which, to me, is a very powerful and scary spiritual setting. It felt a little like two separate climaxes, both good, but I'd really, really have liked it if they could have been brought together somehow.
I didn't fully understand how it was that Isaac's/Yong's bloodletting exorcised Isaac's evil spirit, but I'm confident that's my failure, not the writer's. And I had this odd feeling about Isaac's twisted, evil words coming out of sweet Yong's mouth. It almost seemed a little campy to me, but then I had to remember "The Exorcist" and that it certainly worked for Linda Blair.
I would have liked to have seen some suggestion as to the reason for the murders, other than, perhaps, the undiluted evil that resides in both Isaac and Jacob (Again, ya gotta love the names), specifically, the two women, the twin boys and Jung. It was obvious that Isaac was a sexual predator of some kind, which, I suppose, would explain the two women. But why the twin boys? Was this Jacob's acting out of some dark legacy? And why Jung? I probably just missed it. I have a vague feeling that Jacob was somehow in cahoots with his father in "escaping" execution, which would be great, and perhaps that in some way explains Jacob's actions, but it's just a vague feeling I have. Probably nothing to it.
There are a couple of places where INSERT's might be of use: the prints and photos of the Native American ceremonies, and the tattoo in the book.
And there are a couple of places where the spacing is off, but I'm sure that the writer is well-aware of that.
I love the setting. The sea can be such a spooky place, and having the story play out in Korea, which is itself surrounded by mystery, at least to those of us on this side of the ocean, while incorporating the lore and practice of shamanism . . . well, that was inspired. Micmacmoviemaker is clearly an exceptional screenwriter. "The Pearl Diver" is yet another outstanding example of his mastery.
- Writer: Peter Scott Vicaire
- Uploaded by: micmacmoviemaker
- Length: 95 pages
- Genre: foreign, horror
- Bio: I was born in Squatney, east London and at the age of six, my father gave me first guitar, a Sunburst 'Rhythm King.' My life changed when I met David St. Hubbins and we began jamming together in a toolshed in his garden. We quickly wrote our first song, "(Cry) All the Way Home." My hobbies include screenwriting, collecting guitars (particularly noteworthy is my Sea Foam Green six-string Fender Bass VI with the tagger still attached). I also play mandolin, piano, and provide backing vocals for my band but ultimately my solos are my trademark. I'm currently writing a classical piece which I feel combines the musical characteristics of both Mozart and Bach, a "Mach piece," if you will. It's part of a musical trilogy in D minor, which I always find is the saddest of all keys. For now, it's entitled "Lick My Love Pump." If I wasn't writing screenplays or in the music industry, I'd like to either enter the field of haberdashery or become a surgeon. I like surgery.
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