Thursday, August 11, 2005

Reaction to 1st set of questionnaires.

Hello everyone! I read over the first set of reviews and just wanted to post some observations here. In general, I was quite pleased with them. They were very enjoyable to read.

Right now I am led to believe that we really have some great characters, and most of them were well if not wonderfully recieved. This is rewarding since the characters were something that we really strove to get right. There are some contrasting opinions on some of them (e.g. Sylvara), but the differences seem to be more on whether or not the reader "liked" the character rather than whether or not the character was believable.

Although, there were a couple of points brought up (by different readers) about certain characters being put in certain scenarios. Specifically, someone mentioned Denora--a mentally unstable angel--being given the responsibility to command other angels in battle. Someone else mentioned having an issue with Elodie--who is very child-like and acts somewhat immature--also being given this same responsibility. Keep in mind I am not expressing a personal negative opinion on these characters (and neither were the readers, I believe); I really like both characters. But, I just want to point out that this is something that I brought up before, as some of the women (Sylvara and Elodie, for example) just seem to be "in the way" during the battles.

The major problem plot-wise--and I agree with this--seems to be the lack of a central conflict that gets some closure. Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about here: If we look at Star Wars: A New Hope, we see a major conflict around which the story is centered. The rebels have to stop the Empire from destroying Alderran (sp) with their ultimate weapon, The Death Star. The conflict gets more or less resolved and the characters change because of it. Luke moves from farmboy to force-wielding space pilot. Han moves a little from selfishness to taking responsibility. You get the idea.

Our story doesn't really have an overall conflict going on. Well, it actually does--Good angels versus Bad angels--but the nature and resolution of this conflict is, admittedly, unclear to me personally, so I don't expect the readers to be any better off. Some of my own questions have been echoed by the readers: Why do the angels fight each other physically, and how does that translate into influencing humanity? Why do they want to influence humanity to begin with? What is so important about the President's Mansion? What is so important about the Beefeaters (I don't really know much about what goes on in that scene)? And honestly, the London/Desert battle scenes are pretty... vague in regards to clearing up plot points. I have said this before and I'll say it again: There is a LOT of potential here for some interesting angel-human interaction, but that really has not come together as well as I would have hoped.

The way I see it we have:
-Untapped potential wrt human-angel interaction
-Angels who are weak in battle but have strengths in "social" interaction: Sylvara and Elodie come to mind. Micah is also a good candidate, although not particularly useless in battle.
-The need for an overall conflict that gets resolved. Presumably influencing humans would be at the center of this.

These puzzle pieces look to fit together extremely well. What would need to be done is to flesh them out.

I have "radical" ideas: Scrapping the incident between Tavram, Sylvara, and Jynderra as being the focal point for Tavram's switching to the other side. I think his switch should center around whatever conflict we might decide to come up with, or even around A'dessa's death. If we don't do that, we could push that scene to early in the next movie (continuing the love triangle) and have him switch sides then. This would compact the first movie some and give us ample room to elaborate on more human-angel interaction.

Clearly, doing any of this would would mean that we aren't as far along as we thought we were in the first movie. However, it could mean that the second movie already has some parts written. And obviously, I'm not the one doing the writing so it's easy for me to suggest this kind of thing. Anyhow, just thought I'd get these ideas out there.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Final Angel Strata for Second draft

This is what we ended up going with:

least: JACK They don't really exist. Maybe they were made originally but failed or something





MAUL The lowest of the animals. They would be mostly just shadow and light





FANG These would be more substantial beasts



FIRE The workhorses



ARCHER It sounds weird, but as often as "Lieutenant" was spoken, I needed something
that sounds good



KNIGHTS/NIGHTS Our peeps. Not sure how to "tell" the audience that the Adashar at "Nights"



STORM speaking to them, they are "Storm-Lord"



CROWN the generals. This is who Janus is speaking to in the Forbidden Room



BLOOD the top. Only three exist in this category


then there is the most dangerous angel of all...

Monday, June 27, 2005

STRATA NAMES

The more that I think about it, the more that I think that JACK will actually refer to a strata that doesn't really exist (or maybe it once did, but no longer does). In other words, we won't see the JACK strata.

Above them will be the animals. I'm leaning toward two levels, but am okay with one. I'm not quite sure what they should look like. That will be the very last change in the screenplay, because I was hoping for more input than I have thus far received. I have no preference as to what to name the animal strata.

Above the animals, it's still up for grabs, until we get to our people, who will be KNIGHTS, unless anyone has a huge objection.

I figure the Guardians should continue to be the Guardians.

With the colonels, I'm leaning toward STORM. Above them, ARCH angels would be fine, and I like the idea of a group even above them: Blood angels (with perhaps only three members).

Other than that, I'm completely open. Aryn suggested she like elemental names, but I don't have a lot of them, so feel free to suggest some. Erica suggested stick with singular for all of them, which is fine by me.

Other names we have at the moment:

HOUSE; LAMB, SPEAR; DRAGON; GARDEN; SWORD; SUN; FIRE; CROWN; GOLD; GHOSTS; PROPHETS; SOLDIERS; KILLERS; BEASTS; STONES

Other non-strata names that need to be decided.

For PreHeaven, I think we're pretty solid on AFYRIA (or AFFYRIA, but leaning toward first spelling)

For Hell, we have JURACHENAL

For Heaven, we have CELLERDEN or CELLENDOR, or any of a host of others. No firm decision yet.

For Earth, nothing yet. We actually don't have Earth named in the first screenplay, and we don't have to, but I'd like to put it in.

Animals:

We are giving TALEN and SYLVARA pets (Elodie used to have a cow, but she's not alowed to any more after the Mrs. O'Leary incident).

TALEN'S pet is a Firrel. it's name is FIRREL. Not sure if it will be named or not in the movie.

For SYLVARA, she has a black falcon. The two names are either FIERO (fierce, violent) or ALATO (winged). input on this one is appreciated.

Exit Questions

This is pretty much finalized unless you have objections. If you do, make them NOW!




Rank your overall enjoyment of the story on a scale of 1 to 10. Did you enjoy the story and did it hold your interest? Why or why not?

Please comment on the clarity of the story. Was it generally clear? Could you follow the plot even if you did not know everything that was going on, or were you bothered by all the secrets?

Did you want more explanation of anything? Why?

Did you want less explanation of anything? Why?

Was there anything that came as a surprise to you, and how did you respond to it? Were you satisfied or shocked by the surprises?

What scene did you like the most? Why?

What scene did you like the least? Why?

How did the prologue (the President’s mansion) and the first scene (the first Conclave where it has been determined that Chi is missing) work for you? Was it easy or hard to become immersed or “get into” in the story?

What do you think of the characters? In the spaces below, please comment on each character individually. What, if anything, did you like about the character? What, if anything, bothered you about the character? Was the character believable? Why or why not?

Eldashar

Janus

Horish

Jynderra

Rioske

Elodie

Raphael

Talen

Adashar

A’dessa

Micah

Tavram

Sylvara

Azariel

Ajjaria

Denora

Who was your favorite character? Why?

Who was your least favorite character? Why?

Which character did you want to see more of? Why?

Which character did you want to see less of? Why?

What would you change about the screenplay if you could? What did you want more of? Less of?

How did the movie's angel mythology match or gibe with your own perceptions, experiences, or beliefs?

What are you looking forward to most in the second movie?

Stained Glass Angel


Stained glass angel

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Triangle


I made this one myself. I was thinking for the Guardians or something

Talon


I just think this is cool

X


I like both the X and the traditional cross, and woulnd't mind combining them into one. I know that sounds simplistic, but that's probably what we want to go for.

Navajo


This is more of a Navajo design (I made the colors myself)

Celtic Design #2


this could be separated as well, or just for one group. We don't have to (and possibly even can't) use any of these, but I wanted to get you thinking

Celtic Design #1


This is a Celtic Design. I like the two colors, and if would be cool if we could separate them so that one was Eldashar and One was Adashar (with appropriate colors)