Monday, January 21, 2019

NOVEL TO SCRIPT REVIEWERS COMMENTS

I submitted my screenplay adaptation to TableReadMyScreenplay.com  and received a six (6) page evaluation with detailed information on what is good or needs to change and improve.

For the screenplay, I had in mind a movie like AVATAR. 

Was going to publish the entire evaluation however it is six pages (6) long but decided it would be a bit much. So, to give those interested a sample of what reviewers provided I am posting the first paragraph, two middle ones, and final comments.

I am willing to share the entire document but for that please put a request on comments.  

Title: The Sylph's Tale AKA Ayekah the Damned Writer: Marta Weeks Genre: Fantasy

(First paragraph)

The Sylph's Tale made for a most unusual read. It's very rare for a script to try something quite as experimental as this. The choice to format the story more as a series of vignettes from a creation myth than as a linear narrative made for an attention-grabbing opening. There is a certain charm to the way much of its dialogue and description is handled, as well as a lot of potential in the underlying themes of the story. Fallen angels appear in many stories, but it's far less common to see through the angels' own eyes.

(Two middle paragraphs)

The script rarely seems aware of the potential advantages offered by a film script, and so it also loses many of the opportunities for efficiency afforded by a script. Unlike conventional prose writing, the script never makes it to the audience in a direct sense. Description, for example, insists on referring to real-world locations in abstract terms when it could simply describe them as what they are. Since the audience won't ever see any of the material in the descriptions anyway, "ancient Egypt" can be referred to as such. This would free up more space for The Sylph's Tale to pick one of these locations, in particular, to ground key moments-- Ayekah's heartbroken flight around the world while carrying Haya's forever-preserved corpse, for example.

This compounds worse issues, such as the Salamander sequence. The idea in itself is a strong one, but it's repeated so many times that it loses all semblance of impact. And while it does provide some background on Ayekah's initiation into human lusts and desires, it's impossible to justify this when so many of the script's components are underdeveloped. The ideas of the salamander and the river are present nowhere in the later script. Thematic abstract imagery can work without directly fueling the plot's later events, but this is usually done in much more focused, personal stories. Ayekah and Haya's story should ideally convey this, but it doesn't. Aside from the many stylistic concerns mentioned above, much of this comes down to characterization.


(Final comments)


There's plenty to love in The Sylph's Tale. It's marvelously inventive with small touches, has strong ideas to work with, and strives to present a little-used humanizing take on the old idea of the Nephilim. This script has the potential to go to fascinating places, but it needs a lot of fine-tuning, refocusing and careful adjustment for film industry conventions before it's ready to take wing.


Here's the information for Table Read My Screenplay

I can also be contacted on my Facebook author page: martacweeks.com

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