View Full Version : Too much gore...
08-23-2005, 06:13 AM
Hi everybody –
Is it possible for a script to be regarded as too graphic and rejected as a result? I mean, there are obviously “no-go” zones and all that and I’m certain that I haven’t crossed the line but I can’t help thinking that the nature of some of the scenes is such that a reader/producer would reject the work… I’m not sure… perhaps I’m paranoid… I look at films that I feel are graphic and try to measure mine up with those… but I’m still at a loss.
08-23-2005, 06:36 AM
I would concentrate on showing as much gore as it's necessary to tell your story most efficiently. As far as too much graphic images are concerned, I think that a lot of them is the director's decision of how much he/she cares to show on screen.
08-27-2005, 04:56 PM
I would concentrate on showing as much gore as it's necessary to tell your story most efficiently.
08-27-2005, 05:07 PM
You can definitely go too far.
I read one on Zoe that was... ick. I like violent movies and all, but there's a point where it's too, too, too much to be something you could possibly want to read or watch.
Still, I don't think a writer should be afraid to push that line as far as they have to in order to tell their story and move the audience. Irreversible pushes it, as does the "curbing" scene in "American History X," IMO. But it works in both stories.
I think that, if it's over-the-line, it's usually violence for violence's sake, which isn't being true to your story.
Just tell the story, the way it needs to be told.
08-27-2005, 05:24 PM
I used to work as a script reader for a production company in NYC and also read scripts on Trigger Street. I don't mind reading gore in a script (or writing it for that matter) but you can go too far. I recall one script which a woman wrote which is basically about a woman falsely accused of killing a movie star couple's baby and is subsequently sent to prison where she is brutalized for nine tenths of the script. I've seen plenty of violent prison movies but this is brutal and it was made all the worse by the fact that it was happening to a woman. The character was raped with sharp objects, forced to eat feces and maggot infested food and various other things that I can't imagine an actress being willing to play much less an audience (outside of the snuff movie crowd) who would be interested in seeing. I wrote back to the woman and told her to tone it done because it made THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST look like CINDERELLA by comparison. Reading that script, I actually felt like I was going to vomit which was a first for me. So yes you can go too far and it's best not to make people want to vomit.
In regard to how much gore you should go into in your script, you can write it in such a way that it could go either way - either tame PG or all-out gorefest. It's a tricky line than it easily crossed but it is possible to write those kinds of scenes without making people sick.
That script you described sounds pretty sick – mine doesn’t have anything that bad… as I mentioned – I know when to draw the line… I would never write anything that made me sick because then I would know that there is a chance of making the reader sick.
However, my most recent script has some moments… but they’re designed to make the audience fear for the protagonist’s love interest by showing what “could” happen… plus, I wanted to write gore that I hadn’t seen on the screen before, stuff that would be cool, albeit quite gory – but certainly nothing too sick.
08-27-2005, 05:42 PM
It's all in the description.
The key is to tell us what is happening, without going into loving detail about the gore (which makes you look psycho).
Here's a scene from one of mine that has gotten enough outside interest that I'll probably make it myself:
Stanley tries to stop peeing, but his bladder won't cooperate.
Come on, come on, come on.
Finally, the stream stops. He zips his pants quickly, spins around.
In time to see the creature spring out of the grass at him!
The strange half-man half-gator springs at him. Jaws open.
The beast tears off his arm, then lands in the tall grass... disappearing.
Stanley grabs his stump and tries to run through the tall grass, run back to the mansion, run to get help...
But the grass erupts and the beast pounces on him, teeth tearing into his neck. Stanley pushes it off of him...
But now his neck has turned into a geyser of blood.
He presses a hand into the warm stream to stop the flow. Staggers further into the tall grass.
Weaker, you can barely hear him.
A sound from the left.
A sound from behind him.
Then the beast erupts from the grass again, jaws clamping onto his head and pulling him down into the grass.
Screams from the tall grass.
Sounds of flesh being torn from bone.
Sounds of blood gurgling.
The grass sways like a hula skirt.
Not alot of details about the torn off arm - you can imagine it as gross as you want. How much blood is in the spray? You imagine as much as you want. The key is to be evocative.
I used the peeing to build suspense and dread - you are vulnerable with your fly open, and you can't just shut the danged thing off once you've started. Before this passage is a suspense sequence where he tries to pee faster as the grass rustling gets closer.
I used the grass to create the unknown - you don't know where the creature is or where it will spring from, the grass masks its location. The unknown and dread are two of the keys to horror - I have a whole class on CD about horror.
08-27-2005, 05:51 PM
I'm just glad he got his zipper up in time.
Sheesh... That would've been painful. :eek:
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