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critique "Project Dragon": Plot Feedback

I've long been obsessed with the concept of fighting, be it in real life, movies, or video games. I'm a martial artist myself, and a huge fighting game fan. This passion has influenced a lot of my story ideas, and I've even written plots to my own video game concepts. However, I'm no programmer. And so, film is a much more accessible outlet to express this passion and bring my story to life. If any of this piques your interest, please look over my plot synopsis and character profiles below. Any and all feedback is appreciated:

"Project Dragon" (working title) concerns the seemingly disconnected lives of various fighters going about their individual business, who are slowly drawn together by outside forces. Chief among these forces is Crimson Lotus, a Nazi splinter group formed post-WW2 and headed by an occult researcher obsessed with harnessing "Ki" or life energy, as a means to advance human evolution and create utopia. The organization is funded by front conpanies and criminal operations, and has ties to various crime syndicates across the globe. When martial artists start dropping off the map and reappearing as attack dogs for Crimson Lotus, events are set in motion that will draw the ideal candidates for research into a violent tournament, hosted by a deposed prince-turned-puppet of the organization. The true purpose of the tournament is known only to few, and will be but the first step in a campaign for global conquest.

Main Characters:

Shinsei - a Japanese martial artist who's spent the last six years living at a church in rural Romania, he has only fractured memories of his past. When hints of the truth point to the tournament, that past will come back to haunt him.

Taepung - a Korean business tycoon and champion fighter bored with the lack of challenge in his life. The reemergence of a familiar face springs him into action - and violent insanity.

Veronica - a mysterious woman with centuries of knowledge and strange vampiric powers, she may hold the answers to many mysteries.

Mei-Liang - an Interpol agent working undercover both to bring a terroristic war criminal to justice, and to uncover the truth behind a deep government conspiracy.

John Thratta - a US Navy Seal mourning the loss of his CO and best friend, he attends the tournament when his friend's killer is revealed as the contest's host.


I'd be glad to answer any questions about the project or hear any advice. Thank you for your time!
 
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I think it sounds great, It reminds me of when I was a kid and Enter The Dragon was released, which is a good thing.
My only real comment stems from my own lack of confidence.
You have quite a few very interesting characters, each one deserving of it's own treatment, and there are, no doubt, many other non major players. My fear (again if this was my project) that I couldn't carry that many heavyweight personalities without some of them not getting full development.
 
Thanks for your reply. Yours is a reasonable concern. In a story that hinges on a large cast of characters set up to fight each other, it's almost inevitable that some are going to get more spotlight than others. This will hopefully be mitigated somewhat by my episodic format, which gives individual characters focus prior to the main events, and has loose thematic connections to each other. A few episode ideas I had don't involve any combat, just exploration of the characters. I want to establish my characters as people an audience will care about before setting them on each other.
 
I am a huge fan of fighting games too. The story bears a strong resemblance to street fighter I don't know if that's intentional or not. I could swear you wanted to say "M. Bison" instead of Crimson lotus 😆. But character wise I think all these characters work. They seem interesting enough. Personally for me, whenever I decide to watch a fighting movie I wanna see a cool choreography ( Sadly an extremely rare aspect in today's martial art movies). The story as long as it's not that bad to catch me off guard, doesn't concern me that much. But I believe that "harnessing Ki" element can give you a lot of swing with the premise and it's twist which is ultimately a good thing, it shows potential. In fighting movies the the 2 most important aspects in my opinion are : 1. characterization 2. fighting choreography.
 
The resemblance to Street Fighter is quite intentional. Various Street Fighter materials focus on the aspect of brainwashing fighters, a concept I thought worked perfectly in the animated movie. No installments since then have captured the same feeling I got from that particular film. Its quality to me is matched only by the live action "Assassin's Fist", which proved to many that a fighting game movie/TV adaption could work. In many ways, my project is an homage to Street Fighter among others (Tekken, Blazblue, etc), in particular these two installments, combining the elements of both that I thought worked. Granted, this is all on a much smaller budget. The characters are probably the most fun for me to develop. As for choreography, I want each fight to capture the style and personality of its respective fighters. In the trailer I'm currently working on, a sumo wrestler attacks a vampire (that sentence is ridiculous, but bear with me) - the sumo employs a "heavy" style focused on grappling, rapid fire slaps, and focused palm strikes, paired with sheer brute force. The vampire on the other hand relies on agility and finesse, employing swift kicks and animalistic claw strikes. Playing styles like these off of each other and imagining the outcome is a real treat.
 
Honestly, I have yet to see a decent adaptation of a fighting game or anime( with the exception of Rurouni Kenshin). None of the adapted movies I've watched so far do the original game justice or feel satisfying to watch in the least, the choreography is garbage, the characterization lacks authenticity and deviates a lot from the source material, fighting scenes and sets are so poorly designed, all the fights lack the necessary clout ( cgi, intensity, editing, choreography,..) I believe certain ideas should not be executed with a low budget. Fighting genre is one of them. I watched an indie movie recently about a monster slayer without ever showing one single monster or monster fight in the entire movie . It may seem smart to some people, but for me it was a huge turn off. One of the most boring experiences I've ever had with a movie.
 
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I believe certain ideas should not be executed with a low budget. Fighting genre is one of them.
Pertinent observation :thumbsup: and one with which I would agree. Although I have no interest in "fight movies" there's a lot of overlap with dance, which does interest me, and which suffers from the same defects when filmed without a huge amount of preparation, rehearsal and as much choreography on the part of the camera crew/production team as the performers.

On another very recent thread, the low-budget producer is proposing to film a (choreographed) martial arts scene using ... a camera on a tripod. :eek: As someone who needs good video of (choreographed) dance for the promotion of a trad music-and-dance festival, and is regularly disappointed by the dance footage captured by a pro team using drones, gimbals, sliders and POV cameras (not to mention the thousands of hours of awful smartphone clips uploaded to YouTube :cry: ) this is one area where I don't believe there is much of a grey area between low-budget=bad and megabucks=(might be) good.

Having said that, I do hope to find (eventually) common ground between my principles as a performer and the challenge of creating an authentic representation of the dance on a restricted budget.
 
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None of the adapted movies I've watched so far do the original game justice or feel satisfying to watch in the least, the choreography is garbage, the characterization lacks authenticity and deviates a lot from the source material, fighting scenes and sets are so poorly designed, all the fights lack the necessary clout ( cgi, intensity, editing, choreography,..)

If you haven't seen them, the two adaptions I mention - Street Fighter 2 The Animated Movie, and Assassin's Fist - avert these problems. Both are very true to the characters and spirit of the source material, and have very intense, well-executed fights. The animated film group consulted real martial artists to get the look of the combat right, the characters all feel like they have weight and physics, and their styles are all distinct and capture the game's asthetic and feel. The latter adaption is an exploration of Ken and Ryu's training days, interwoven with their master's past. The characterization is excellent, the fights are, again, well-choreographed, and the show is sprinkled with a liberal dose of fun little references long-time fans will appreciate attention to. I would definately reccomend checking both these features out.

Right now my budget is low, but the important thing to me is to get the ideas on film - do what I can now, and build up resources to do the pricier things later. I'm looking into crowdfunding as a way to cover cost, but I want to have something I can put out there first to build interest in the project.
 
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