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critique Post your films story here to receive feedback

Hello! I’m making this thread for us to share film stories of our movies.
For:
-Feedback on plot
-Ideas of what types of locations to use
-Styles of acting
-Other General advise

Complicated terms and tech speech welcome.

(Vague summary of my feature plan)

The film begins by telling the story of a man. A man who wanted to make a difference in the fantasy world of Verdas. (Setting for film is ancient times, swords, spears, armies.)
His goal was simple, make a difference and make his life “mean” something. However soon his goals failed, again and again he failed, he lost his family, was betrayed and beaten by all his friends. At one point he was locked up by a cult of sorcerers and tortured. Soon he couldn’t take it anymore, escaped and embraced a solitary life. For years the world thought he was dead, not even that, they had forgotten him completely. Then, out of nowhere, he emerged. Now with the name of Soulor the Void wielder. (Another name for sorcerer.) He came with a great following, deceiving many, conquering, spreading his empire. For he would stop at nothing to “make a difference” and would never give in. Even if it meant going to the furthest means.
Few would escape his attacks, and fewer would survive.

This is where Arcaydes, the main character comes in. He is a survivor of his destroyed village, all his family and friends killed. He wanders in the wilderness surviving without point. In this scene he contemplates suicide putting his wooden spear against his chest. But for some reason he resists. He wants to find Soulor, to discover why Soulor destroyed his life before taking his revenge.
Arcaydes is 15-16.
So he searches and searches, listening in secret to travelers whispers, following the trail of destroyed villages that Soulor had left in his wake.
Then, he finally meets Soulor, in the woods. But when he sees him he trembles with fear, all thought of revenge or even talking to the tyrant had escaped from him. Instantly Arcaydes flees but Soulor follows.
(The audience never sees Soulor from the front, they only see his cloak, boots, and when Soulor attacks it’s from Soulors perspective. This leaves his face or front to the audience imagination.) So Arcaydes runs and Soulor follows. Suddenly a hand grasps Arcaydes and pulls him over behind a large tree. A figure with a red cloak and a helmet covering his face speaks to Arcaydes.
“Do not be afraid of me! I will hold him off! Now go, flee to the ruins of your home village! I will talk to you there!” The mysterious figure says.
Suddenly the leaves and trees start turning pale. “Soulor is nearing....there’s no time for trusting me or distrusting me! Just GO!”
So Arcaydes, scared and confused, runs.

Arcaydes arrives at the ruins of his home village after some days of traveling. The graves of his mother and father are just outside the ruins of their old house/large wooden hut shelter.
He kneels before their graves, telling them about what he had just experienced, and the pain of not having his mother and father around.
While he speaks of the attack he remembers the sounds of the battle, then he decides to sleep.
At night he remembers his old life, the fun and good times with his friends and family. Building cubby houses with friends, hugging his father and walking in the woods with his mum sometimes. Climbing trees as well and his old dog, happy times.
However then his dream is interrupted, his mind suddenly opens up and he is standing on a large grassy field.
There is mist in the air, a fog, and the sun is just rising in the dream. Then he hears the voice of the guy who saved him.
After some talk he learns he is called Afiseron, and is Soulors brother.
Afiseron disagreed with his brother Soulors goals and had been gathering other orphans, afflicted people, sonless fathers etc together.
Then suddenly in the dream the sky turned into stars, 7 large planets were in the sky.
“These represent the 7 ages. 7 times this world will transform into another version. The continents will shift and change. It is Soulors goal to force the transformation. He wants to control all 7 ages, these 7 worlds you see in the sky. Soulor needs to make a huge sacrifice to trigger the transformation.” Afiseron explains.
“The killing, the conquering, it’s all so he can remake the world to his liking?” Arcaydes asks.
“Yes. But you want to know more, you want to know...why. Meet me at the sacred waterfalls of Ashtothia...there I will reveal the truth to you.” Afiseron says. Then the dream ends.

So Arcaydes travels and meets Afiseron at the waterfall. There Afiseron reveals a sword to Arcaydes.
“This was your fathers sword...the Voidicus...it has the power of visions...now...kneel and close your eyes.” Afiseron says.
“Don’t worry I won’t cut your head off.” Arcaydes then smiles.
So he kneels before the great waterfall and Afiseron places the sword on Arcaydes shoulder.
In the vision it shows Soulor, decades ago as a young man. Helping the poor, feeding them, killing bandits, protecting villages. Soulor was once a good man wanting to bring justice, order, honor and stability to the world of Verdas. However the vision also showed that after he would bring justice to any area, wickedness would soon return later. This greatly annoyed Soulor that all his hard work constantly would be undone. Then his followers and friends and family turned on him. Beating him and handing him over to a cult to be tortured. Soulor couldn’t take the failure and so he went into Solitude. Learning the ways of the Void power. His new goal was to recreate the world, to force the tansformation into the 2nd world out of 7. That way he would be able to ensure stability and his work wouldn’t be undone. To him that was the only way.
So he began his conquest.
The vision also shows great battles on fields and sieges of castles that Soulor would lead.
The vision ends.

Then Afiseron grants Arcaydes the sword of his father.
Afiseron tells Arcaydes of the secret village where others like him are and they start to travel.
They travel for a few weeks together. Arcaydes learns how Afiseron was a close friend to his father.
When they come close to the village Afiseron stops for fright, smoke rises in the distance.
“The village....Soulor must have found it!”
It cuts to a field where some young teens are running, smoke behind them from the forest.
However Soulor with his powers kills them all, then he impales all the children. Making sure to get the blood of their hearts onto his sword.
Arcaydes and Afiseron arrive.
“Soulor! This was not apart of the original plan! Trust me! End this! You are blind! Just open your eyes and see what you have done!” Afiseron urges.
“So your saying I’ve Conquered the world with my eyes closed!” Then they fight.
I’m planning to make the fight as spectacular as I can for this climax.
Anyhow, Afiseron ends up wounded and in pain. Arcaydes as well is wounded, Soulor looking down on them.
“You know...I am sorry for all of this...the killing...the murder...but it’s necesary. The world must see the sun fall...before it rises again.”
Soulor says, then leaves.
Afiseron, in pain speaks to Arcaydes as Arcaydes is taking his helm off.
“No...leave it on...” Afiseron says, lying, slowly dying.
“End the pain...Arcaydes...give me a quick death.” Afiseron asks for death. Arcaydes resists for a while, trying to drag Afiseron away to a place where the wound can be healed. But he can’t.
“Your like family to me now...even though I haven’t even seen your face...I don’t know.”
“Shhh...it’s alright Arcaydes....in one way or another....we will meet again.” So Arcaydes takes his sword and gets Afiseron to sit up, placing his sword onto Afiserons neck. Then he closes his eyes and pushes downwards. The sound of flesh cutting and the short, painful breath from Afiseron filled his ears as the sword went down his bad, through his heart and stomach. Then he pulled the sword out and Afiseron fell down, dead.

The scene cuts to Arcaydes wandering through the wilderness, depressed, and alone again. Places he previously travelled with Afiseron by his side, now he travelled alone once more. But he also took Afiserons red cloak and now wears it.
He went and rested in a shelter in the woods. A sign out the front saying “shelter for the weary.”
So he slept, in his sleep he began having many visions.
“Arcaydes...this is only the beginning...You will face many enemies, fight in battles, journey through space and overcome your fears...
You may lose the battles in your life...but never lose the battle....for your Soul.”
Arcaydes wakes.

Now in the last scene there are many nature shot types. Such as a timelapse of the sun rising over a river, grass blowing in the wind and Arcaydes walking with his cloak out to the river. There he sits beside the river.
Contemplating over what had happened.

-Soulors goals failed, he turned into a tyrant and conquered, killed, not accepting his failures
-Arcaydes family destroyed, he survives and then is saved by Soulors brother Afiseron
-Afiseron reveals secrets and helps Arcaydes out, leading him to a village where he can meet other orphans and people
-Soulor destroys the village and wounds Afiseron
-Arcaydes kills Afiseron to end his pain
-Arcaydes is alone again

He feels sorry for Soulor, how he lost everything and snapped, becoming a tyrant.
“I will not snap.” Arcaydes says.
He then decides he will be like Afiseron, to find and unite others who have suffered, to fight against Soulor.
“I may lose the battles in my life...the battle of my soul tho? No...I will win the battle of the soul.”

Then the movie ends with a cliff hanger.

So what do you guys think?

I have a budget of $2000, and years of pre-production planning. I’ve also filmed some test shoots.
Do u guys think it could be a successful film? My goal here is to (launch) the series with this first film.

The film will be called THE KINGS WORLD | Battle of the Soul.

I’d love any feedback or ideas but just remember the budget is $2000.
 
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wow! That is an adventure. I think the 'real' fantastical element here though, is your budget!
I'd love to see this in fruition, but, to be brutally honest, I'd be very very surprised if you managed half the first paragraph within your budget.
This is not a critique of your story, which is perfectly acceptable (I've worked on many far less 'thought out' productions) but my advice would be to splurge that £2K on a tight, slick promo/trailer, then put in the 'leg work' and take it to, and get it in front of every possible interested party... and get them to give you some money... a lot of money!
 
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Your right the budget is very small. So I’ve had to make some change ups. Instead of being a feature now it is like a 15m short film.
The story now is somewhat similar
-The first paragraph about Soulor wanting to make a difference and then turning evil is the same, but in the form of a well-hand drawn animated intro sequence, soughta like the one in the first Kung-fu panda movie. So basically free of charge.
-Arcaydes is introduced as a survivor from his destroyed village and trying to find other survivors in the wild. But every village he comes across is destroyed. So the goal of finding Soulor changed to finding other survivors.
-One day he returns to his ruined village and basically with sound affects remembers the battle, audience can tell it was destroyed by the ruins of it. There are some flash backs of swords clashing and fire but nothing else really.
-He then at night dreams about his mother and father when they were alive and they give him a motivational speech and stuff then he wakes and they are gone. Alone once more.
-There is a song sequence about suicide and going on, Arcaydes continues traveling and this short sequence follows him climbing cliffs, goin thru swamps etc but still hopeless
-The last scene is Arcaydes on a mountain top, bruised, injured, and close to death after years in the wild. He begins to think that he is the last person left in the world somehow. That maybe everyone killed each other from war.
But then he sees a cloaked figure approach and the film ends

So yeah I’ve had to shorten it down and so far I’ve actually filmed 8 mins of it. I’ve had it reviewed so far and is close to filming the rest. I’m really going for quality that’s why I’ve shortened it down and lots of the scenes are filmed in New Zealand. So big mountains, fantasy landscapes and all that jazz. Basically traveling all over NZ and some of Australia too.
So yea do u reckon that shortened down story would work to starting off a bigger series of features?
 

CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
Your synopsis makes it all sound like the story has already happened, and this is the final part.

You skipped all the good bits, and only relive it through flashbacks and visions of the main character.

I don't think that is a good strategy.

I understand, this is a small part in a larger story... But why skip all the interesting bits of that world? The 7 planets, the wars, the murder/mayhem. I get you have a low budget, so you may be trying to save your film by cutting out all the fighting, and using sound FX instead... But even with $2,000 you are going to go through that VERY fast. That won't be enough to cover the ancient armor/weapons/props and FX you are going to build in addition to the film gear/crew.

Unless you already have all the crew/gear you need? And all that money is strictly for locations and building the world props?

If you aren't that prepared, I would save your story for another time, when you are a little seasoned and know EXACTLY what the story you are trying to tell. You built characters, a history, and a world... But you don't have an actual story in that world in your synopsis, just an aftermath. All that plot seems to be doing is explaining why things happened.

Now from a Producer side of things, save this story for later. Don't even touch it yet. Instead, plan out a fantasy fight scene. Make two character from your world duel eachother. Really work on creating an engaging micro event in your world. Don't have too much dialogue, don't have too many scenes. One scene, one location, one set, two dueling characters.

This will hone your style/look/feeling of the film. Focus on only that with your $2,000 budget... And see what you personally think about this story. It removes excuses, and shows you how serious you are about realizing this world.
 
Your synopsis makes it all sound like the story has already happened, and this is the final part.

You skipped all the good bits, and only relive it through flashbacks and visions of the main character.

I don't think that is a good strategy.

I understand, this is a small part in a larger story... But why skip all the interesting bits of that world? The 7 planets, the wars, the murder/mayhem. I get you have a low budget, so you may be trying to save your film by cutting out all the fighting, and using sound FX instead... But even with $2,000 you are going to go through that VERY fast. That won't be enough to cover the ancient armor/weapons/props and FX you are going to build in addition to the film gear/crew.

Unless you already have all the crew/gear you need? And all that money is strictly for locations and building the world props?

If you aren't that prepared, I would save your story for another time, when you are a little seasoned and know EXACTLY what the story you are trying to tell. You built characters, a history, and a world... But you don't have an actual story in that world in your synopsis, just an aftermath. All that plot seems to be doing is explaining why things happened.

Now from a Producer side of things, save this story for later. Don't even touch it yet. Instead, plan out a fantasy fight scene. Make two character from your world duel eachother. Really work on creating an engaging micro event in your world. Don't have too much dialogue, don't have too many scenes. One scene, one location, one set, two dueling characters.

This will hone your style/look/feeling of the film. Focus on only that with your $2,000 budget... And see what you personally think about this story. It removes excuses, and shows you how serious you are about realizing this world.

Thanks for your feedback. I would try to make a $2000 fight sequence but the issue is that 8mins of the short film has already been filmed so I think the best thing would be to finish the job. I really like what you said about why leave out the 7 worlds, war and mayhem bit however. And how the movie is more like a flashback your right. Thanks for that feedback adding a scene about the 7 worlds, maybe shortening any flash backs so the film doesn’t seem like it’s all just showing the past is a good idea. I guess more world building would get the audience more exciting for a following film.
Visually this film is similar to the style of that of Lord of the rings. Mostly filmed in New Zealand locations in 4K so visually it should be well received. Story wise if I take what you said about more world building-bring back the things like 7 worlds legend-I’ll attempt to put in some more mayhem into it and less about the past and flashbacks. Then the story should be well received as well as the visuals. Audio as well I hope.
Thanks for your feedback.
 

CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
Oh, I didn't realize the project already had been filmed. I watched the trailer you made of it, and I definitely think you need to add some action in there. Try to find a choreographer, or other folks in your area making action films. Work with them to realize your vision. I would also get a different cinematographer if you can. They may have access to better gear and a drone, which could be really useful to establish a grand adventure aesthetic similar to LOTR.
 
Yeah I might get a diff cinematographer for NZ. This film is more like a prelude, lol it could even be a trailer in itself for the feature film I’m planning to make 2021. If people think the story has potential, the background lore and the world if they like it then I’ll go through with it and invest more money into the next film. Thx a lot
 
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