Quest for Light, Adventure of the Magi
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Rating: 3.2/5 (3 votes cast)

Quest for Light, Adventure of the Magi

Drawn by an unusual star, three warrior priests from Persia battle bandits, struggle with evil and nature, and are challenged in their faith, until they are transformed by God on their way to Bethlehem.

Monologue: Pages 90, 92


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  1. banderson says
    December 7, 2012, 12:40 pm

    For those of us who receive negative comments on your scripts on this site, don’t be discouraged. I submitted my script to a half dozen competitions and thus far, I won the Adventure category at the Illinois International Film Festival, the Action/Adventure competition at Query Pros, and I was just notified that I am a finalist at the Fillmakers International Screenwriter scompetition. Comments on this site may be helpful but don’t take them as representative of professional reviewers

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  2. Profile photo of normanwilliam
    October 26, 2012, 1:28 am
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    Potential huge. Lacking in character and arc but otherwise a script I would love to see made.

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    jusork says
    October 12, 2012, 8:57 pm
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    I think JJ gave a good review but I’ll add my version.

    The first few scenes haven’t pulled me in at all. I feel like I should have a better understanding of what the king feels is so important so I can go along with it. They’re taking a two year journey just to find out the meaning of this star? I find it hard to understand the meaning in their desire and need to take this journey. What exactly makes them feel so pulled to this cause? I think you could illustrate better that this star can only be seen by a select few. Show how do they know this?

    Your dialogue is often wordy and overly poetic, even nonsensical at times. For example “a piece of the sun has taken its place in the sky.” What does that mean? Also very dense and wordy.

    What exactly our main character’s believe is is unclear. Looking it up I see that it is Zoroastrianism. Perhaps you could make it clear somehow? Because otherwise I have little understanding of this world. I have little understanding of their Evil One and what we are supposed to expect from him. Basically they just blamed him for stuff. Even though that’s kind of the idea behind religion, it doesn’t make much use in the story.

    Some of their actions seem unlikely. People jump out of their chairs and exclaim then sit back down calmly. It seems unnatural to react like this.

    How old is Tizran? We don’t even know how old his son is.

    You have a character named Nekdel speaking, apparently Balthazar’s son, but you never introduce him. He had one son that we know of who stayed behind I thought.

    Not much drama. They basically just meet a lot of people and run into some bandits. Their confidence in the star never falters. Might spend more time on King Herod.

    There is a lot of useless dialogue, especially during moments of action with characters describing the tactics they are about to employ or just stating what they are about to do. Some of your dialogue needs to be streamlined. For example, you had a warrior say something to Balthazar at one point, Balthazar says ‘what’ and the warrior just repeats himself. And when Huton tells his men the plan to attack the pursuing riders, he gives them this lengthy plan which they apparently already know, and then we proceed to watch them carry it out basically as planned. Again, unecessary. Have Huton give a basic signal for the plan which we watch get carried out in full. Basically a lot of discussion about information that isn’t storyline information. I get the impression that you’re trying to express cultural facts through your story but you should only have them talking about their beliefs in a way that works with the storyline. Why they want to follow the star would make sense for a lengthy discussion that you never have except for short instances with pretty much every person they meet. But having them say how they bury their dead for even one sentence isn’t necessary. Another is when Jangi tells them the perils of traveling along the narrow path of the hill. Then you have a whole little scene where he tells them they better go one at a time. Then we watch them do so.

    You have tons of quite useless solitary scenes too. You might consider combining more. Such as when they ask why Hutan returned. There’s one line of dialogue that isn’t really important enough to have its own scen. He speaks and then it suddenly ends. In one scene, Balthazar yells out what I assume is the name of the next city? Ustunawand. But then you cut to them riding up to Rhage. So what’s the point of the first ride up? Just to tell his son some info about their religion’s people. You could do this with some longer scenes, too. It seems you have a lot of scenes where nothing happens except dispensing of information that could be dispensed in another scene.

    I don’t understand how the magis understand their belief system in light of Judaism. They believe the star and they believe there is a real messiah coming that isn’t of their religion, so how do they reconcile this real messiah. I realize that this is based on scripture, but you should take some more liberties into how they may be thinking.

    Try toning it down with the exclamation points. If you want someone to yell or call, put it in parentheticals.

    On 67 you say “Hutan and Pulan return.” Where did they return from? I wonder if you need to actually add more in your action descriptions to clearly show more of what’s going on. Especially when you need to establish who else is in the scene. Sometimes you’ll say someone rides up and then starts talking to someone else who isn’t described. I think it’d be better to say who they are approaching.

    On page 83 you have Zinawar finding something I assume. I don’t know what he does but he suddenly screams and then you cut to bodies lying in the sand. There’s a slight disconnect here because he screams and we could afterwards assume he screamed at the bodies, but why have him scream if you don’t describe the circumstances. I find this a lot here where things weren’t fully detailed. If you’re going to have an action, describe what’s necessary.

    You could add more detail to your descriptions. For example, Melchoir’s kidnapping goes by in seconds. He’s tackled then on a horse tied up and within a few lines, the battle is done and over. And why do you describe Gasper being attacked and bound when he isn’t the one being kidnapped. The events before the kidnapping are also no described. I didn’t know what they were doing until you say in dialogue that they were having a ceremony. Why not show the ceremony so that’d we’d be interrupted with them. You also refrain from saying details that are later mentioned by character’s, for example one character say that the king seemed strange and his face became red, but we didn’t see any of this when you described him, only a very nice king.

    The ending almost hits me over the head with the “three kings” myth. Why do they pick that house? What are Mary and Joseph thinking? “hey, how you doing, wanna come in?” Seems forced.

    Thanks for posting though. Very informative even though I learned pretty much all of it through my own research while reading.

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    jjcj3113 says
    October 4, 2012, 1:06 am
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    Let me start off saying I have been criticized on this site for given harsh reviews and not saying anything positive. So I will start with the positives and then give my opinions which I hope are taken the right way. My goal is to give information that will help with future rewrites, if that is what the author intends to do.

    The positives:

    The story was written well in terms of grammar and very few typographical errors if any.
    The format was done very well, proper use of slug lines, no camera direction, etc.
    I can see that the author had a very deep understanding of the subject matter and there was a lot educational information within the story.

    The areas that need attention, in my opinion:

    Although I understand the journey the 3 Magi were on, there needs to be more conflict. There should be conflict in every scene. A lot of the scenes throughout the script were more or less the characters talking, conflict was not always present. I feel the author should amp up the conflict in each scene, have more opposing wants with each of the characters. If you have two characters in a scene give them each a want that is opposite of the other and find a way to bring more drama into it. This will make the story more of a page turner. There should always be some type of opposing force, if that makes sense.

    I felt like all of the characters sounded alike and it was hard to distinguish between each of them and there were quite a lot of characters throughout the script. A good thing to do is find a unique voice for each character, and then read the dialogue not looking at who is speaking and see if you can tell the difference in the way they say things and how they say things.

    There needs to be more twists and turns in the story, although there were a few obstacles along the journey none really seemed to intensify, they were all easily overcome. Things once again just need to be amplified, keep the reader on the edge of their seats. Make things almost impossible to overcome. This has to do with the structure.

    Be a little more descriptive when you introduce a new character, a lot of time you just listed name and age.

    I think you have an interesting concept that is a different approach to the birth of Christ by telling the journey of the 3 wise men that we all have heard about. I don’t recall ever seeing a story told from this perspective, which is a good thing.

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    • banderson says
      October 4, 2012, 8:12 pm

      Your comments are very helpful. I adapted the screenplay from my novel and I now realize that I did not capture enough conflict to hold the viewer’s attention. Thanks for taking the time to provide thoughtful comments.

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    jusork says
    September 24, 2012, 10:07 am

    The link to your script is no longer active.

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    • banderson says
      September 27, 2012, 7:32 pm

      Do you have any idea how I can activate the link?

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      • banderson says
        October 2, 2012, 1:54 pm

        My link is finally fixed. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

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