Bathysphere script


[size=2]I am working on this CG short. I finished up a second draft of the script, and need some critique. Here it is:[b]

The Film opens as both Baz and William are walking down the long dock towards the bathysphere, the chain lowering mechanism suspended above the hatch. The shores of the city are hazy but visible in the distance. A tiny, old shack sits on an outcrop on the dock, where William and Baz have set out the plans for the journey. As they walk down the dock, William looks nervous, as he is the one who will make the descent. Baz holds a newspaper, and he is the first who speaks.

B: Cheer up, for god’s sake, Will! Their talkin about us in the papers! (Points frantically at the headline, which reads, visible to the viewer, "Rumored Mission to the Ocean’s Depths Planned by Local Explorers.) First man to the Sea’s deepest waters!

W: Sighs I know, Baz. It doesn’t make sense to be so nervous after a year’s planning… But, we don’t even know what’s down there! It’s all been blind speculation until today.

B: Laughs That’s the point of all this remember! To discover?

W: Looks at the bathysphere with a sickening fear Scientific discovery is only exciting to a point, and I intend to finish this as quickly as possible… Let’s just get on with the preperations. Looks up at the sky, which is mostly overcast It’s gotta be almost noon already.

B: Chuckles lightly again I’ll get the radio warmed up. You just get inside the sub and wait for me to do all the real work.

W: Chuckles back Will do.

Baz walks into the shack to gather the tools and turns on the radio. William opens the bathysphere hatch and climbs inside. The hatch has a thick glass window, through which William can now see Baz bolting the hatch closed. William reaches over to his left and lightly turns a small red valve, and a light hissing spreads through the compartment. When Baz is gone from the hatch, his voice comes over the radio hanging from the Bathysphere ceiling.

B: Okay. Are you reading me?

W: Reading.

B:Tanks at optimial pressure?

William glances at a gauge, then turns a small red valve to his left.

W: Yes. The cabin is at stable condition, and we are ready for descent.


The shot goes to Baz outside the sub, where he flips a large lever. The chain cable unwinds from the spool on the dock, lowering the sub into the water. The shot comes back to Will, where the sea comes up to cover the hatch with water. Will flicks on the light at the top of the sub and fish begin to flicker around the hatch. After a few seconds, Baz speaks.

B: Air pressure at constant?

W: No ruptures.

B: What about tank pressure?

W: Holding steady on both sides.

B: Good. I’ll bring descent up to full speed.

The sub lowers more quickly.

For a while, Will studies the animal life in awe, as the sub is lowered.

B:Oh. That’s the end of the line. You seeing anything amazing down there?

W: It’s all just mostly black down this far. But, I’m taking notes. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

B: That’s the spirit. I’m gonna check on the pressure gauge on the winch, make sure everything’s stable.

The shot cut’s to Baz as he walks to the winch and looks at the controls. We see the newspaper on a small table in the Shack, with the headline, "Adviser to the throne says “Threat of War is Imminent.” The shot comes back to Baz. The sound of the sea fades and the video slows as the camera pans to the sky. Baz looks up and shouts as he sees three warplanes screaming towards the dock. The shot cuts to Will. He hears loud gunshots through the radio, and Baz screaming frantically. Then, silence.

W: Baz! Baz! … Are you still there?! Baaaaz!

Will stays near the radio in hope for a moment, and looks up at the ceiling in dismay, as he falls down in panic.
The shot fades to black as we see the oxygen gauge slowly tipping downwards.

The shot fades in as the oxygen is further down. Will is panting and coughing now. The light above flickers out, bringing the scene to black for a few seconds. A blue light swells over the hatch, and the shot is now at Will’s eyes, which look absolutely astounded. Jump shot to the hatch, were an enormous blue glowing eye is watching Will. The shot fades to black as Will passes out.

The camera comes back at the dock at night. The shot is of the lever being turned back up. The face of the man remains out of frame as we see the chains being reeled in. As the chains are reeled in and the sub comes above water, the camera pans to see that the man is a soldier, holding a gun. He grabs the box of tools still on the dock and unbolts the hatch, to see Will lying apparently dead inside. As the camera cuts to black, we see Will catch his breath in a cough.



so far …so goood…
do you making in 3d …?


so far …so goood…
do you making in 3d …?


so far …so goood…
do you making in 3d …?


um… Yes. It would be done in 3D. I plan on rendering in HD as well.


Hey… kinda cool :slight_smile:

  If it were me, I'd consider putting them on a control ship... like a research/surface support vessel. That way, you can render it without showing the shore... and there's more of a lonely feeling for Will because not only is his support vessel alone on the sea (in all directions, just ocean), he's alone in the sphere in the blackness of the waters.
  Also, that puts it further out to sea, which means you could have the planes and bullets above, but also show Will an enemy submarine passing by down below... that shows more of an all out attack rather than just a squadron flying in.
  Perhaps the squadron or the submarine sinks the support vessel... and we see an orange flash and feel the shudder from inside the sphere with Will. He doesn't know what's going on until the submarine passes him... then the hull of the support vessel sinks to the ocean floor in front of him... (kind of like that ominous scene in the Abyss when the cable begins falling, coiling on the ground outside the station window).
  I also don't think it's necessary to show the sphere returning to the surface. It's fairly obvious that he's in a dire situation if his O2 is low, he's passing out, and his surface support is dead.
  My 2 cents. Good luck with it!


Thanks. I’m doing some revisions now, and I’ll take all that into consideration. I guess a control ship could be done. (The idea of the dock in my head is one that’s VERY long, though. One that stretches almost all the way to the horizon, and rests on floating bouys over the deep ocean.)


Hi There,

I’m not sure if there’s any real emotional engagement for me with these characters. I think that the long opening suggests that there’s something going to happen between them - and it doesn’t. It really is a story of "some bad luck that happened to some people in a time of war - a little like “he was washing his dishes when BANG! a bomb fell, and he died.”
What you have currently is opening minute or two of a feature, but it’s not a short film. The questions that you are asking “Who were the killers?” “What of the king?” “What of the war?” “Why was their research important?” “Who has now captured Will?” all remain unanswered.
The only way you could resolve all this with the current script in my mind is to do some kind ofpremature burial. To do this, Baz has to betray Will, and Will has to figure out the mechanics of his betrayal at the last minute, before he dies. Much like Jeff Bridges character in the excellent, paranoid flick Arlington Road, or the situation of Jack Nichloson’s character Jake at the end of Chinatown.
By doing this, you are able to use the misenscene of the bathysphere, with all of its “I leave my life in your hands” power, and keep the meaning of the war, and question the nature of freindship and betrayal in war, and do some nice, creaking, creepy steampunk stuff in a meaningful (ie plot-directed) way. Your two characters could hint at the coming conflict in their post title chat, you could show some uneasyness of Will as he’s “beginning to put it together” - you could have him see a pin, a button, a headline, an accent, a giveaway, etc. You will have to learn a bit about writing whodunnits, or spy or ‘slow realization’ stories, but it’s a relatively simple matter of using the muguffin to good effect.
Good luck.


Great idea for a script. I like it a lot, it has great potential.

I have little experience writing short scripts, but longer ones I have experience in. Some tips I picked up along the way:

1 page is equal to about 1 minute of screen time. There is exceptions to this like Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was only 118 pages and the movie is longer than that.

Some scripts not all are broken up into Act I, II, and III. Some are some aren’t, depending on your teacher in college. ACT I, The Beginning is also known as the Set-Up. Basically you set-up the story, establish your character, set your premise or whatever the story is about.

ACT II Confrontation-Obstacles the main character encounters. What gets in the way of the main character. What stops him in completing or achieving his goal.

ACT III Resolution Resolution does not mean ending. What is the goal of your screenplay? Does your main character live or die? Does he escape. What does he do before he passes out? That is one way of looking at it.

I have also had a teacher discuss a 5 ACT approach, or a write how feel approach. The write how you feel approach teacher didn’t like the ACT structure and stated life does not mimic 3 Act’s. Either way, I hope that helps.

Since you are doing the story, concept, and everything else you can write it out how you feel. What helps us in writing stories is to write a small treatment. Write a summary of what your story is about. Then take your story and develop your ending. Meaning; Know your ending. You do not have to write the specific ending or how it ends exactly. But know the Resolution to it.

Remember everything I explained is for feature length films. Television is set up differently and Shorts, to be honest I am not sure. Good Luck.

Two software packages that work great: CELTX is free or Final Draft 7 which is $230.00

A good beginner book is Syd Field Books “Screenplay or The Screenwriters Workbook”. You can also try



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