Overall Recommendation:
3.6 stars
(5)
5 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
4 Stars:
60.0%
(3)
 
3 Stars:
40.0%
(2)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
3.5 stars
(4)
 
Story structure:
2.8 stars
(4)
 
Character:
4.0 stars
(4)
 
Dialogue:
3.5 stars
(4)
 
Emotion:
3.0 stars
(4)
 
 
1-5 of 5 reviews
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0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Brilliant characters steal the plot

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
February 05, 2012
You have great characters and an awesome fantasy world established here, but to me the story gets lost in the dialogue and structure.

Look more closely at your inciting incident, where is it and what is it? Could it happen a lot sooner? Get Diana together with Carnigan and Yul within the first 20 pages. A plot point that requires them to get her from point A to point B. Maybe at first they take her along on whim, but are soon wrapped up into the action, something they cannot simply walk away from. Janus discovers they are helping her, and maybe they do walk away at first and are hunted by his people anyway? They are left with no choice but to protect her and see her to safety. The higher the conflict and stakes, the better.

Name all your small parts. Some character flavor, even just in the name, helps enrich everything else. Even just ‘Fat Bandit’ ‘Skuzzy Bandit’ or something. It also will make the read a lot faster if the reader can distinguish between characters.

These characters will soar when the adventure starts like the strike of a match and keeps going until it burns our fingers. Our focus is on the flame (Carnigan, Yul, and Diana) so the climax can/should be both surprising and mind blowing. These two guys are probably the most unlikely pair to protect Diana and save the world from evil. I wanted to see them thrown into that right off the bat, the story being an unstoppable rollercoaster with Carnigan and Yul there for the ride, throwing around banter and pointless conversations in the middle of life/world threatening circumstances. They continually get by purely on luck, instinct, and fighting skills. The main characters can have a different pacing than the overall plot, but the plot cannot stop for their conversations/arguments.

What if Diana is part of the same lineage as Janus, maybe even his daughter? He has no choice but to hunt her down?

Also in terms of the screenwriting format, be careful of density. The goal is to have as much white as possible showing and still vividly portray the story at hand. There are instances where the descriptions get heavy. I still think that’s the hardest part of screenwriting, presenting the pictures you want to present in as few words as is possible. No small task. Think of action in terms of the shot, something we can see. Trust that with the story you're telling, there are enough clues for the actors to figure out the character's motivations and gestures.

I think there is a great story in here Brandon. Find the arc and take the characters you've created on a wild journey. There is room for something that looks like a mainstream film, but has a flair and perspective we rarely see. That's where your story is and I think that's how you can craft something that will be both marketable and distinctly unique.
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Fun action story but the story needs more focus

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
January 18, 2012
Here are my thoughts, following along as I go:

I think the dialogue in the first 6 pages is great, really well done! However, I would try to break it up – this is six minutes of almost straight dialogue! For a movie, in the opening, that seems a bit much. Maybe if they’re doing something at the same time? Something exciting.

Then we get to page 7 and I see your action in big chunks of black – try to break these up a bit, so the reader sees more white-space and doesn’t get scared. For example, the first big paragraph could be broken apart by just starting a new paragraph with ‘The archers all…’
The flashforward on page 8 confuses me – a flashforward? Why show this stuff in the past? Are we going to cut back and forth? If so, why? Then on Page 10 we flashback – to when? To the same time as before, or some other time?
At the beginning of page 11 I still see action boxes that are too long, but then the action starts around the middle of the page to get broken up – this looks and feels much better!
Page 12 – it is not the screenwriter’s job to write ‘slowmotion’ – though you can hint at it.
Page 14 – When she speaks, why is this not done in dialogue? Earlier in the page we hear a ‘crying baby’ but then down below the baby is coming – I am confused.
Through Page 17 - I am not quite sure what the inciting incident is, but I like how you transitioned to the death and the god speaking – very interesting and intriguing! Is the inciting incident the god urging him on for revenge? Seems more like ‘the debate’ to me.

Page 17 – ‘Through the glass’ it says, but no period an no saying what is through the glass.

Page 20 – Cool stuff with the flame dagger!
Page 24 – I’m not so sure I like the ‘SUPERIMPOSE’ way you did the dialogue here – can’t you just say ‘subtitles’ in parenthetical?
Page 29 – Where does Diana go? I imagine we’ll find out soon, but why does Carnigan grin?

By Page 33 I am thinking there are a lot of fun scenes, but I still don’t really follow the story. Where is it going? As a viewer, I would have to know this by now or I’d be getting frustrated.

Page 34 – you have the ‘HALLWAY’ slug on the same line as the action. Again on page 36 with ‘CAMP.’ This happens a few times – I’ve never seen this in pro scripts, have you? You also keep putting ‘TRAVELING’ after your carriage sluglines, which doesn’t seem right.

Page 85 – ‘Dartin’s body lay lifeless.’ Should be ‘lays.’

Page 89 – Woah this action paragraph I sway too long!

Page 98 – “His mohters” should be “His mohter’s”

Page 105 – You seem to do a lot of camera direction, i.e., “Flames up close.” Remember, that is the director or someone else’s job, not the screenwriter’s.

Page 109 on – Good action! I like the shadow whip.


Around page 40 is where I see the story starting – is there a way to make this earlier, say between pages 12-17?

Overall, while I get the characters are supposed to talk too much… It is too much. It slows the story, and the story already feels slow (not the action, but the story). This is throughout, but one good example is on the 70s pages.

The story seems fun, great humor and fun action, but it is too jolted. There are too many side line things going on, and it seems hard to follow the through line/ keep the feeling of suspense going.

As for characters – great! I thought Carnigan and Yul were hilarious, and Janus is truly an interesting beast of a man. Now if you can keep that but tighten up the story…
 
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

A humorous bloody fantasy adventure

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
January 09, 2012
It was an interesting story with very good scenes and some funny dialogues. I really enjoyed reading it, but I have some considerations.

As all my reviews I have the unique goal of show how, in my opinion, it could be a better movie not for me, but for the general audience. It’s only my point of view, so please discard what is useless and try to consider what could be helpful.

Premise:

The originality of premise mainly resides on its mix of comedy with a bloody fantasy adventure, but this is a very hard task and becomes a problem to insert the audience in this universe.

It reminded me Peter Jackson’s Spirits, lost between comedy and horror(not a bad film at all, but transmitted me some “weird feelings”).

Story Structure:

I’m confused until now by the initial scenes with Janus and his son. The flashforward/flashback/vision structure wasn’t clear and slowed my immersion in the flow of the story.

The intense scenes involving Janus contrasted so much with the Carnigan and Yul ones that disconnected me all times I got immerse.

I also missed the middle of the story, it couldn’t feel a growing arc, seeing only its start and end.

Characters:

The characters are very good.

I loved the relationship between Carnigan and Diana and liked the Carnigan and Yul brotherhood, but I think they could have more distinct voices, personalities and actions. For instance, both seem invincible in any kind of combat: bow, sword and hand-to-hand combat.

In the Dartin death scene, he could really reveal that was a combined fight to get money from the others.

Janus was a very interesting one, loveable father and husband, but a cruel and merciless foe.

The “pleegelee” were fantastic creatures and I’d like to see more of them, maybe they could return and aid the heroes in the final battle. I missed other imaginative creatures like these.

Dialogues:

I think the opening dialogue scene does works fine to the general audience. First, some can have some fun with it but others could be bored. Another problem with this scene is it has an overall tone that doesn’t fits with the rest of the movie.

The incessant using of f*** by the main characters may be somehow funny to some people at the beginning, but it can displease the audience after so many times.

However, the dialogues involving Carnigan and Diana are great. I think its tone is almost perfect and the “pleegilee” scene and their first kiss one were my favorite moments in the entire story, fully supported by the dialogues.

Emotion:

As I wrote, I liked the Carnigan/Diana scenes and they bring some emotional moments in which you get involved. Janus/Tanner scenes also have an emotional appeal, in the opposite direction.

Yul singing of Disgrace Before the Pyre over the village attack was great.

I’d like to see the final scene needs to be more intense (and tense) and Janus death more climatic. Andrea’s death could be more heroic and not to be only to discard her.

Final thoughts:

It was a pleasant reading and the story has a good potential, mainly with Carnigan and Diana scenes. I think Yul could be a more secondary character and the focus be on the “romantic” couple. Some Yul’s scenes seemed to be done only to give more importance to his character, like him beating the “bad husband” and Cargul (about Cargul I’d change his name – it sometimes, in a split second, referenced me to Carnigan and even Janus). Tanner and Trynn names can cause some minor crossed references too.

If you don’t mind it’s PG-18 rated, a hot scene with my favorite couple could be welcomed.

In my opinion, it doesn’t work really well as a comedy, but it could work well as a dark fantasy adventure with some humorous dialogues.

I hope my review can be somehow useful.

Best of luck to Carnigan and Yul, and Diana!
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

This is a tough one...

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
No rating
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
January 05, 2012
THE IS A REVIEW OF JUST THE FIRST 15 PAGES

Before I read the script, I decided to watch some of your pitch movies. I'm glad I did. I could totally get where you were going with your characters and how funny they could be (and already were). The Javier Bardeem bit was priceless, by the way.

It is because of this that I'm giving you 4 stars... I like the way you think and I get where all the comedy is going to come from. It'll be good. I think you just need to work on translating more of your PERFORMANCE into CHARACTER and STORY on the page.

For instance, the opening discussion about breakfast goes on for 7 pages, and while it is funny because I can hear your voices in my head doing it, on the page it doesn't come off as well. I don't really know who these guys are. I don't know what this movie is about. I don't know what themes it will explore.

Instead, I might start with the action sequence as a teaser...

MAJOR BATTLE

EPIC UNLIKE ANYTHING WE'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE

IRON AND BLOOD

GOOD vs. EVIL

THE WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

WE THINK JANUS HAS TRIUMPHED, BUT THE SPECTRE OF EVIL REMAINS

This is your inciting incident. Then move forward in time to the present, where the story takes place.

INTRODUCE US TO CARNIGAN AND YUL

SHOW US THEY'RE THE GREATEST ARCHERS IN THE LAND - SOMETHING SPECTACULAR.

EXPLAIN WHY NOBODY ELSE IN THE ARMY LIKES THEM, AND HINT AT A BIGGER STORY AS TO WHY THEY ARE INSEPARABLE (this will pay off later)

THE EVIL HAS RETURNED, AND JANUS WILL CONFRONT IT.

HE GIVES C&L THEIR ASSIGNMENT TO PROTECT HIS WIFE

THEY ACCEPT, AND NOW WE GET A LITTLE MORE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND BANTER.

I know you have the talent to make this sing. Give yourself a rock solid structure and storyline to help lead the way and you won't have a problem writing two very memorable characters.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Good revision, but needs another edit

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
January 01, 2012
First, I’ll share the notes that I jotted down while reading your screenplay. After these notes, I share my overall thoughts.

NOTES WHILE READING SCRIPT:

* The title of the screenplay doesn’t grab me. I suggest something catchier that alludes to the SciFi elements of your script.

* Page 4: I found myself double-checking the rating you gave this script (17 and older) after several f bombs. The language is going to land this film an R rating, which may limit your audience. If some of the f bombs were cut, the rating could be lowered to PG-13. Not sure if that is what you want, but my understanding is that it’s harder to find financing for R rated films. Just something to consider.

* Page 7: While the arguing between the characters is amusing, I think 2 pages could be shaved off. When Janus appears, that’s the inciting incident (the event that makes this day unlike any other day for the characters). It should occur by page 5.

* Page 7: Why is “Disgrace Before The Pyre” being superimposed on Page 7, during the inciting incident? I know it’s part of the script’s title, but I don’t see the connection between Janus and this subtitle. It struck me as out of place.

* The characters’ dialogue is flowing so far. It’s lively and witty at times.

* Page 16: My apologies – I’m confused. Why is Tanner dead? Who killed him – his father? Did Carnigan and Yul fail to protect them? Janus meeting up with Carnigan and Yul was the inciting incident of the script. How does the inciting incident connect to this major plot point?

* Page 18: I’m confused again. At first, I assumed Diana was Janus’ wife. But the wife is dead. Who is Diana? Why is she running? Had she been living in the house with Janus’ family? How is she connected or involved with his family or their deaths?

* At this point, I’m wondering who killed everyone in the village and why Janus isn’t more upset. He’s very calm. Is he possessed by an evil spirit? Or is a god talking to him? Not clear.

* Page 19: I thought the wife was dead. Now she and Janus are making love? Confused. Is there going to be an evil baby as a result of this union? That’s my immediate thought.

* Page 21: The reader is told that it’s been 7 years since Carnigan’s been seen. Confused. Has 7 years passed since the inciting incident? How will the viewer “see” this passage of time? Perhaps you need to superimpose “SEVEN YEARS LATER.” Otherwise that passage of time will not be clear to the viewer.

** Has it been 7 years since Janus’ wife and son were murdered?

* Page 21: Diana’s name doesn’t need to be in CAPS. She’s already been introduced as a character.

* Page 22: Remove CAPS for Carnigan’s name. He’s already been introduced.

* Page 33: Remove CAPS for Yul’s name. (I won’t make this note again, but just double-check to make sure you’re only using CAPS when introducing a character for the first time in a script or highlighting a sound.)

* Page 36: I’m confused. Janus is dragging his dead son’s body. Wasn’t he killed 7 years ago? I’m not following the timeline of this story at this point in the story.

* Page 42: Just learning that Janus is going to pursue Diana. Why? It feels as if this plot point should happen sooner. If every page represents a minute of screen time, it’s taken 42 minutes to learn this. I’m wondering if this should be revealed by the end of Act I (around page 25).

* Page 50: I’m confused. Wasn’t Diana just with Carnigan? When did she and Carnigan part? I feel as if I missed something. Confused.

* Page 54: Carnigan says he’s saved Diana’s life twice that day. The day has lasted almost 20 pages in the script. Need to trim.

* Page 55: Diana apologizes for vanishing on Carnigan earlier that day. I don’t recall reading that happening. Is this something she’s telling him now, so the reader knows why they separated earlier that day? Or did we see this disappearance on screen? This disappearance needs to be seen, not told to viewers. If it was shown earlier, I don’t remember that scene, so it needs to be made clearer what happened.

* Page 63: It’s been over 20 pages since we learned that Janus is now after Diana. There has been a lot of amusing dialogue, but I feel more action needs to be taking place. The end of Act II is approaching (around page 75).

* Page 65: Janus and Cargul are reunited. Should happen sooner.

* Page 70: Typo: “This pardon is,” not ‘This pardon if.”

* Page 70-71: Finally start to learn what happened to Janus’ family. Who slaughtered them? Up until now, I’ve been wondering is Janus was possessed and killed them.

* Page 72-79: Example of too much dialogue vs. not enough action. Diana says “I need your help” and then we have 7 pages of dialogue before she enters the carriage. This happens when Act II should be wrapping up, with an “all is lost” moment. That’s not happening right now in the script.

* Page 80: Typo: “The image of them gets closer,” not “get’s.”

* Page 89: “He gets closer….” Not “get’s.”

* Page 90: Carnigan learns Janus is after them. Should happen before an hour and a half of the movie has passed.

* Page 98: Typo: “His mother’s,” not ‘His mothers.”

* Page 104: We learn that Janus prayed to the gods and only Trynn answered. This revelation should come sooner.

* Page 105: Janus explains his actions, that he’s fulfilling his end of the accord. So I’m assuming that Trynn wants Diana dead, and this is why Janus is after her? This should happen sooner, near the end of Act II (around page 75) or at the beginning of Act III (around page 76-80).

* Nice set up for sequel. But I am wondering why Carnigan and Yul are being treated as the main protagonists in this film when Diana has emerged as the hero with a conflict – not them.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING SCRIPT:

You have an ear for dialogue and a way with character. My comments are going to focus on story. This is the area that needs tightening in the script. The timeline confused me at times in this screenplay. At the beginning of the script, Janus asked Carnigan and Yul to protect his wife (and soon-to-be-born son) while Janus went off to battle. Does Janus blame them for his wife and son’s death, which occurred 7 years after this request?

I also didn’t understand Diana’s relationship to Janus and his family. Had she been living in their house or just in the same village? Was Janus after her because Trynn wanted her destroyed? Why was Trynn after her?

Diana felt like the protagonist in this script, with Carnigan and Yul serving as amusing supporting characters. This story was about Diana’s battle with Janus. The focus was not really on Carnigan and Yul’s journey. They supported Diana in HER struggle.

In the logline, you refer to a “mage.” I assume that’s a term you created for this world. You may want to use another term to describe Diana, like “mysterious fire creature,” in the logline. When I first saw “mage,” I thought it was a typo for “image.” Something to consider.

The battle sequences and special effects are going to be very expensive for whoever makes this film, which will run over 2 hours at 123 pages. You could cut witty but not relevant dialogue from the script and focus more on action/story. In a novel, you can take more time exploring character and witty dialogue. But films are visual – more about showing than telling.

About the script’s structure….

With the exception of moving up the inciting incident, I thought Act I was fairly solid in your script. Act I is usually 25–35 pages long in scripts.

The issues started in Act II for me. It can be helpful to think of Act II as two parts – Act 2a and Act 2b. Act 2a is usually about 30 pages long. This is the part of the film where your protagonist is “reacting” to the pressures of their changed world. Janus, our antagonist, reacted to pressures. That was clear. Diana emerged as our protagonist, with Janus as her “pressure” – not Carnigan and Yul, which is a problem because their names are in the title. They supported Diana as she faced pressure from Janus. That makes them supporting characters.

Act 2b is usually short, about 15 pages long. Act 2b begins when your protagonist’s worst fears nearly come true and ends with a false victory. That doesn’t happen in your script right now. Diana is just revealing to Carnigan and Yul that she needs help around page 79. This needs to happen much sooner.

At the beginning of Act III, your protagonist should undergo a huge setback, an “all is lost” moment. Diana, Carnigan, and Yul do not experience an “all is lost” moment around page 76-80. After this “all is lost” moment, your protagonist typically should receive some new information that will help him/her race toward the resolution of his/her journey. I don’t recall Diana, Carnigan, or Yul learning anything that helped them defeat Janus.

I think you’re on your way with this script, but (in my opinion) it needs another edit.

You could start off by simply opening your script to page 25 and seeing if that’s the end of Act I; and then turning to page 75 and seeing if that’s the end of Act II. That should help you pinpoint areas that need tightening. Act II, for me, is where the script gets confusing and off course in terms of storyline.

I hope this helps. Good luck with everything!
 

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