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Old 08-20-2018, 06:20 AM   #1
Adeimantus
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Looking for fresh eyes on a TV Pilot

This piece has been on the burner for two years in various forms. It's a collab, and I believe we're in the end game as far as revisions go (20+ major revisions).

Any feedback would be appreciated. I'd consider a script swap if that would be of interest. I do prefer comments to be posted here publicly, however. I've found one of the best tools to learn the craft is to read critiques not only of your own work, but of other's as well.

This is a one-hour TV serialized pilot episode.

Title: Tears of the Angels
Pilot Subtitle: Fuego y Oro (Fire and Gold)
Genre: Fantasy/SciFi
Pages: 58
Log line: Homeless, orphaned, and wanted by corrupt ICE officials, a young woman seeks refuge in the remote, eccentric town of Lagrimas de Angeles, New Mexico. Sensing the magic in her blood, the long suffering locals can’t decide whether she’s been sent to


Muchos gracias!

C

Last edited by Adeimantus; 08-23-2018 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:53 AM   #2
directorik
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I read it to the end of act one. I will read the rest. I liked it.
Good writing, compelling characters.

A couple of easy fixes; stay in the present. Everything you write is
what will be seen on the screen. “Her Mother, who had been
holding Abby...” show her holding Abby, don't tell us that she had
been holding her. And don't put actions in the parenthetical. The
parenthetical under dialogue is used to clarify the way the line is
to be understood.

“FAR BEHIND THE PRIEST” in not a location, it is a camera angle.

Be constant with minor characters; “ONE OF THE MEN” is later listed
as “MAN” - are those two different characters? If I were covering
this script I would note two different characters. I do not believe
you need to introduce a bird in uppercase as you do a character.

More personal: I really don't like uppercase to point out sounds or
actions or props. It pulls me from an easy read. And you do it far
to much for my tastes.

I think you do a great job if being visual without using camera
angles. As a reader I see the visuals, as director I can see what
you're after.
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:43 PM   #3
Adeimantus
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directorik,

Thanks for reading and the feedback. I appreciate it. I agree on the main points.

With regard to the uppercase words, I have to say I've watched your valiant fight against them for eight years since I started on this forum. I'm with you and agree. But I think we've lost the war. My writing partner on this project is a savvy and talented young writer. When I did a rewrite of one of her scenes and de-capitalized her numerous BOOMs, CRASHes, EXPLODES, etc., she promptly sent me links to about ten episode scripts from some of the top shows around, including HBO, Netflix, AMC, HULU, Amazon, and so forth, where uppercase emphasis abounds and runs free like a pack of BARKING and BAYING hyenas, and I had to admit it's now industry standard. In a collaboration, one must know when to compromise, and when to fight. This wasn't a fight I was ready to make, so we got BOOMS in the script. So it goes.

Again, thanks for the kind words. It means a lot that you enjoyed the read.

best,

-Charles
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:03 PM   #4
UneducatedFan
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I read the entire pilot.

It's interesting for the setting and the immediate introduction of the supernatural witch/warlock mythos into American Latino immigrant communities.

There's a lot attempted with the various characters. Drug Addict Priest who's romantically involved with the Black LEO. The eccentric yoga practicing head witch/bruja who flies a bi-plane. And the two just past teen girls, one a witch, who come together. La Migra as a front for some other bad group. And tamales. And drugs.

The "this isn't Kansas anymore" is revealed right at the beginning where Gabby's hands catch fire but don't burn right after her mother instructs her to go find a witch. I wondered if that was the first time she noticed or exhibited supernatural abilities? I'm assuming no since she references it multiple times later asking for the Bruja for help.

I wasn't sure why the cop went to the church to search out the Priest but I may have missed why.

A few questions I had. Why did Gabby's mother run back into the fire instead of escaping out the window with Gabby? I could see if maybe the roof collapsed on her and she was trapped or something like that but she could have escaped with Gabby out the window but didn't. Wasn't sure why.

The conversation between the cop and priest repeated a few things multiple times. I need you. The town needs you but didn't really explain why the town needed the priest. What's his value behind that statement?

There were some odd cast of characters that were introduced (American flag lady that gets burned but doesn't speak, etc.).

One thing however is that Zoe and Gabby are physically described as different but they speak or have a similar voice. Maybe that was intentional as they are of the same mentality but I wasn't sure.

It's an interesting pilot centered on latin american witchcraft as real and normal, immigration and recreational drugs.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:25 PM   #5
Adeimantus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UneducatedFan View Post
I read the entire pilot.

It's interesting for the setting and the immediate introduction of the supernatural witch/warlock mythos into American Latino immigrant communities.

There's a lot attempted with the various characters. Drug Addict Priest who's romantically involved with the Black LEO. The eccentric yoga practicing head witch/bruja who flies a bi-plane. And the two just past teen girls, one a witch, who come together. La Migra as a front for some other bad group. And tamales. And drugs.

The "this isn't Kansas anymore" is revealed right at the beginning where Gabby's hands catch fire but don't burn right after her mother instructs her to go find a witch. I wondered if that was the first time she noticed or exhibited supernatural abilities? I'm assuming no since she references it multiple times later asking for the Bruja for help.

I wasn't sure why the cop went to the church to search out the Priest but I may have missed why.

A few questions I had. Why did Gabby's mother run back into the fire instead of escaping out the window with Gabby? I could see if maybe the roof collapsed on her and she was trapped or something like that but she could have escaped with Gabby out the window but didn't. Wasn't sure why.

The conversation between the cop and priest repeated a few things multiple times. I need you. The town needs you but didn't really explain why the town needed the priest. What's his value behind that statement?

There were some odd cast of characters that were introduced (American flag lady that gets burned but doesn't speak, etc.).

One thing however is that Zoe and Gabby are physically described as different but they speak or have a similar voice. Maybe that was intentional as they are of the same mentality but I wasn't sure.

It's an interesting pilot centered on latin american witchcraft as real and normal, immigration and recreational drugs.
Hey, Uneducatedfan

Really appreciate the read!

A few explanations and answers. Mother runs back into the smoke to be with her husband, and realizes she is fulfilling a prophecy, and must submit to it. The Sheriff visits the Priest to check up on him. Just a social call, as well as an opportunity to "speak to God" in her little confessional soliloquy. You're right that perhaps the two teenage girls have a similar "voice," although I doubt you'd think they have similar personalities. Gabby's all fire and brimstone, hellbent on revenge, and Zoe is laid-back, druggie, philosophical and mellow.

We're nearly finished with the Bible. Here's the introduction, which might give a better feel for our intention:

"Our intention is for TEARS OF THE ANGELS to be an eight-episode, five-season series with the easy potential to extend it beyond. Tears is an ensemble piece, character-driven and infused with powerful elements of magical realism. The origin of the magic in Tears is drawn from both Aztec and Mayan mythology, and cultural legends and stories common to Native Americans in the Southwest United States, as well as Latinx sources. The pantheon of Mayan and Aztec gods (as well as regional indigenous mythology), demi-gods, angels and demons is huge, and represents a vast reservoir of tropes, symbols and thematic metaphors that can be embodied and resurrected in individual characters, and is a powerful engine to drive the story forward through many seasons and almost limitless variations of dramatic storytelling.

"Tears’ sometimes offbeat and iconoclastic characters are infused with equal measures of pathos and humor, the kind of surreal and droll response to life’s struggles found in so many oppressed and long-suffering people. While the primary thrust of the story is traditional fantasy/drama, tonally there are dollops of black humor throughout.

"Our target audience is young adults, tolerant of cultural diversity, of which there is much in Tears. The core concept of Tears banks off the “super-powered kid” trend that has become so popular in recent television - but does so in a way that we believe is utterly fresh, surprising, and genre-breaking. While our mission is to tell a good story, and without being in any way preachy, we hope to touch on current social and political issues wherein threads of mysticism are woven through topical explorations of poverty, exploitation, immigration policy, racism, and misogyny.

"Finally, while we freely admit that Tears is intended to appeal to an ethnic audience, we believe our primary (and universal) themes of redemption, fate, revenge, and faith, when presented with flair and freshness, will cross all ethnic lines and easily garner an enthusiastic and wide audience. "


Again, I appreciate immensely your read!
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