critique High-Octane Thrill-Ride, but grounded in reality. Feedback welcome.

There's so much I want to say, but I don't want to overwhelm everyone with large blocks of text. If there is interest, I will happily provide more information. I am open-minded and welcome constructive criticism.

Frederick L. Raleigh is a young and naive college graduate who still lives with his parents and works for the family business but doesn't drive his own car. One day, Fred's uncle in another state passes away and his next-of-kin are throwing out or selling all of his old possessions since the uncle never made a will. Among these possessions are old project cars, many of which are not in running condition or are not particularly valuable, so the uncle's immediate family wants them all hauled off. Fred makes a deal with his aunt to buy one of the cars (an old Ford Thunderbird) over the phone, so he scrapes together the money he needs and makes travel arrangements. To his dismay, Fred discovers that his aunt forgot about their deal and the car he wanted to buy had been hauled to a scrapyard mere hours before he arrived to purchase it. Even though Fred tracks down the junkyard that has the car, he is unable to persuade the man in charge to sell him the car since it has already been "entered into the system" and thus, wasn't worth the aggravation. The vehicle will certainly be crushed in less than 48 hours.

Emotionally compromised, Fred steals the car under the cover of darkness and retreats to his home state. One thing leads to another, and Fred finds himself living a double life where he hides the fact that he stole the car from his friends and immediate family while he is constantly on the run from the police who are closing in on him. So, Fred is forced to move out and ends up working various odd jobs in small towns where nobody knows (or cares) that he may have stolen his daily driver. Fred basically lives out of a suitcase and sleeps in the back seat of his car, since he can't afford an apartment. Eventually, Fred accidentally sees something he wasn't supposed to, and he winds up forming an uneasy alliance with an unsavory group of organized criminals who heavily compensate Fred (and let him live) in exchange for his driving services. All the while, parts on the Thunderbird keep wearing out and Fred pours nearly all his money into keeping it running until he can figure out a plan to get himself out of the massive hole that he dug for himself.

I can keep going, but I want to hold back and give people a chance to ask questions and to critique what the first two episodes of my series are essentially.
The series will heavily revolve around the Thunderbird and will hopefully appeal to car guys.
Thanks for reading.
-Rick Leuce
Hello everyone,

I know I made a similar post earlier (that nobody replied to) so I am starting a new one that perhaps does a better job of providing background information and giving a more accurate idea of what I am shooting for.

I’m sort of new here, but I have a concept for a series (kind of like a TV series) that I would like to start making soon. It will be realistic fiction, so all the events and exchanges that occur will be plausible, albeit highly improbable, in a real-world situation. While my series is fictional, I don’t want everything that happens in it to be completely fake. It occurred to me that this series may even have some “educational” value in it. For example, I want my character to demonstrate his skills and knowledge by fixing cars, driving a manual transmission, signaling with Morse Code, using a first aid kit, communicating with Sign Language, and operating all types of equipment properly. I’ll do my best to depict everything as accurately as possible while providing an interesting/exciting story. I’ll even challenge some of the clichés we’ve all come to know and groan at by putting a realistic twist on them (like shooting a propane tank and nothing happening). I love movies to death, but I’m tired of fake unrealistic crap that seems to get perpetuated; this series is for people who don’t mind watching something without CGI or any big actors but who may enjoy seeing a movie where real people interact within a real environment and everything that happens is actually possible and could be recreated.

I do not currently have a script, but large chunks of the story are planned out. Obviously, some things are subject to change and I want to allow myself some wiggle room, but here is some background information of the series that I want to make:

The protagonist: Frederick L. Raleigh III, is not a particularly outgoing person and still lives with his parents after graduating from college. He is an Eagle Scout and a straight-A student, but he has no real work experience and very few friends.

The setting: Present-day North Georgia. Fred’s home, commute, and everything in-between will be North of Atlanta. Out in the country where there are farms, back-roads, and small towns where the folks know you on a first-name basis.

Rising action (pilot episode): Fred has been shopping around for his first car but hasn’t found the right one yet. One day, Fred’s uncle in North Carolina passes away but he never took the time to make a will. Since the uncle owned several cars and his immediate family wants them gone, Fred reaches out to his aunt and arranges to buy his late uncle’s Thunderbird. To his dismay, Fred discovers that the aunt forgot about their arrangement and decided to sell the Thunderbird for scrap metal mere hours before Fred arrived. Fred then tracks down the junkyard that the Thunderbird was sold to and tries to purchase the vehicle from the owner with cash in hand, but the owner refuses. Emotionally compromised, Fred decides he is going to sneak into the junkyard under the cover of darkness and try to steal the car. With a tool kit in hand, Fred brings the Thunderbird to life and makes a quick escape. Unfortunately, a police car happens to be patrolling nearby and a chase ensues. Fred and the rickety Thunderbird barely outpace the police car and he narrowly escapes by driving across a railroad crossing moments before a train approaches.

The main conflict (over several episodes): Fred must now conceal the fact he stole his uncle’s Thunderbird from his family and friends. It’s only a matter of time before Fred’s immediate family discovers the secret and Fred is out on his own and on the run from law enforcement, who are closing in on him. Fred must now live out of a suitcase and work various odd-jobs in small towns where nobody knows (or cares) that he may have stolen his daily driver. Eventually, Fred accidentally "sees something he wasn't supposed to" and winds up forming an uneasy alliance with an unsavory group of organized criminals who heavily compensate Fred (and let him live) in exchange for his driving services. All the while, parts on the Thunderbird keep wearing out and Fred pours nearly all of his money into keeping it running until he can figure out a plan to get himself out of the massive hole he dug for himself.

Recurring themes/issues: Fred is trying to gradually take on more responsibility and is just starting to embrace the idea of becoming more independent and self-reliant. The caveat here, of course, is that Fred has largely been sheltered from the harsh realities of life, so he often makes hasty decisions without fully understanding the potential consequences they could have.

Automobiles and car-culture play an important part of this story. There will be action, but it won’t be Fast and Furious nonsense (I say this series is a "high-octane thrill ride" because the car literally requires premium fuel). Fred must also learn new skills and make new friends in order to keep his car running.

Fred cannot just drive anywhere he wants whenever he wants in his uncle’s Thunderbird. There are some parts of town that Fred cannot safely take his Thunderbird during the day, so he parks it somewhere discreet then must find alternative means of transportation until it is safe to drive the Thunderbird again.

Fred cannot afford to live in a house or apartment (without a roommate) so Fred is forced to sleep in the back seat of the car except when he occasionally decides to spend a night in a cheap hotel. He even tries living in a warehouse unit.

Fred is deeply embarrassed about this mistake and does not want to face his family again until he can correct it. However, Fred must first break away from the organized crime group without getting caught (by the cops or the criminals).

Fred wants the Thunderbird but can't have it. I'll need to go more in depth on this one (particularly in later seasons) but Fred just can't bring himself to let the car go (even though he knows he should) because he keeps thinking there is a way he can keep it. There is a big twist I am trying not to spoil (basically the entire second season) on what Fred goes through in order to keep driving his uncle's Thunderbird.

I have omitted some details on purpose to keep this post from going on too much longer and to leave some elements of the story to the imagination. Feel free to make suggestions and ask questions.

-Rick Leuce


IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
I'm going to merge them for you. Hoping you get replies this time, usually critiques are popular threads. ;)


IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I didn't respond initially but I get how frustrating it is to post
something and get nothing.

I don't really understand what you need. Sounds like you have a
concept you really like. Do you want people to brainstorm other
ideas? I know others love to make story suggestions so I hope
they jump in.

I don't have any questions. The only suggestion I have it to write
the script. A lot of what you're planning could be difficult to pull off.
Your challenge is to make it all work. An exciting part of writing.


Staff Member
Looks interesting. As Director Rik said, time to start writing.

Figure out how long you want each episode to be. Outline the first season, so you know exactly what you'll include in each episode. Then start writing the first episode.

Good luck!