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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Armor of Belial Moderators: bert
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  Author    Armor of Belial  (currently 5484 views)
Don
Posted: April 1st, 2006, 10:13am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Armor of Belial by George Willson - Adventure - A slave places his family at risk when he discovers an ancient weapon and tries to overthrow the cruel leader of his world. 119 pages - pdf/rtf, format


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bert
Posted: April 1st, 2006, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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Yeah...he kinda' makes me sick that way....


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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George Willson
Posted: April 1st, 2006, 5:23pm Report to Moderator
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Special thanks on this one to Martin (aka Dr. Mabuse) for our pre-posting script exchange. He went over this one for me after I went over his Open Your Mind script.

I wrote a good portion of this one using the questions in the Screenwriting Palette just to see how well they would do for me. As a result, I am very happy with the way this one turned out. If I may be permitted a conceit, the third act turning point contains one of best lines I've ever written and even (and forgive me my conceit) one of the best I ever read or heard. Feel in rare form there.

Enjoy this and I'm always open to reading other people's stuff.


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Antemasque
Posted: April 1st, 2006, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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I'll be getting to this soon George. This isent really my type of movie and all but ill give it about 20/30 pages and see how it flows.

Andrew
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tonkatough
Posted: April 2nd, 2006, 4:53am Report to Moderator
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I'm sucker for fantasy high adventure. As soon as I saw the logline for this script I was keen to read.  This is a fun story with a soild structure and a plot that moves fast.  The idea of the Armour and how the hero takes full advantage of it to set right everything he deems wrong is awsome and pushes the story foward to its conclusion.  

I loved the villian. Not only is he just plain bad arse (willing to kill an unborn baby) but he is also flawed by his misguided belief that a great wrong has been done to him. This is top stuf and makes your  villian well rounded

I just have one question regarding the story that I found unclear. What happened to the armour at the climax of this story? Why did it behave like that when the hero touched it? Did it respond to love? Is it sentient? For me it just didn't add up.  

I enjoyed this and I hope to read more of your work as you post it on this site.


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George Willson
Posted: April 2nd, 2006, 12:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from tonkatough
I just have one question regarding the story that I found unclear. What happened to the armour at the climax of this story? Why did it behave like that when the hero touched it? Did it respond to love? Is it sentient? For me it just didn't add up.


Thans for reading, tonka. Glad you liked it.

One of the ideas behind the armor is that it responds to strong emotion. I did my best to setup exactly what the armor does when certain people with certain ideals interact with it. When Vargus first finds it, it attaches to him. When he goes unconscious, it drops off. Alatyr is easily able to tote it around without any kind of response from it. In the legend, Belial is defeated by Illian when Illian touches it, and Illian was said to be beyond reproach. When Vargus dons it again, Alatyr knocks it off of him with a touch, stating that love is stronger than hate. The armor responds most dramatically to those two extremes.

Throughout the story, I wanted to make that one point as clear as possible so that when we hit the two most crucial points of the story, the way the armor responds makes perfect sense.

Now, if you're looking for an explanation as to why the armor responds this way, it is never really explained. It was made for Belial by an unknown person, and that person was, unfortunately, not important enough to be passed down through the ages. We know it is enchanted somehow, and its enchantment makes it do what it does. If specifics are needed in these areas, I'll certainly look into adding them.

The easiest way to find everything I've posted is to go to the main site and searc for my name. I've got 30+ scripts on this site. The Fempiror Chronicles under series is oft considered to be a hgh point. You think this script has some backstory...


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tonkatough
Posted: April 3rd, 2006, 3:37am Report to Moderator
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Hmm, very interesting. A suit of armor that reacts to emotions. When you explain it like this it makes perfect sense. So my guess was right about the armor responding to love. So your set up of that one crucial point in the story was spot on as it steered my thoughts in the right direction to where you wanted it to be. This is good script writing as you don't force feed that idea to me rather than let me come to my own conclusion. I just wasn't sure if my conclusion was the right one.

I just wanted to hear your version as it is your idea.

Oh yeah, your basic idea of having a hero having a powerful artifact latch on to him was brillant.  Your story reminded me of a Graphic Novel called Creature Tech by Doug Tennapel. It shares the same basic idea with your script. If you get a chance, check it out. It's a blast.

      


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Mr.Z
Posted: April 3rd, 2006, 4:16pm Report to Moderator
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Just finished this one, George. Got tons of comments, with

SPOILERS

I liked the idea behind the armor and its sensitiveness to human feelings; it felt like another character in the script despite being an object.

Yet, the role of the armor didn´t came up as hinted early in the script: its evil could consume the wearer, according to Alatyr. But I didn´t see much development of this evil angle; Vargus kicks some @ss with it but to free his people. I would suggest to develop Vargus’ “dark side” a bit more or not to hint it at all.

I liked the imaginary world you created and the whole setting in which the story takes place. My only trouble in terms of originality was with the Overseers. The scene were Tristam explains its origin to Vargus seemed very similar to the scene when Lama Su explains Obi Wan the clone making process, growth acceleration and artificial alteration of their independence.

While –I must admit- I never met with a producer myself, after reading lots of articles by professional screenwriters and readers, I´m under the strong impression that at the beginning of any script, FADE IN is the only thing a producer wants to read. Quotes, production notes, dedications, maps, photos, FAQ´s, or any other additional material, seem to be a huge no-no. So I suggest removing your pronunciation list, at least when showing this to someone outside your simply fanbase.

Considering a Flashback as “A literary or cinematic device in which an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological order of a narrative.”, you can´t begin a script with a flashback since this can´t be an “earlier event”; it´s the first event, the only event so far. The first scene is alright, but I wouldn´t call it a “flashback” since technically it isn´t one.

P.1 They do not talk to each or anyone else in the line. In fact, no one in the line is talking at all - merely focused on getting to the tent one at a time.

IMO, three lines of action is way too much just to state  that the slaves are silent.

OVERSEERS, genetically engineered clones of exceptional strength whose only differences lie in their ages and scarring, walk up and down the line, coldly watching their charges.

“Exceptional strength” isn´t something visual enough to be recorded by the camera. Maybe if one of them is lifting a heavy object or kicking an enormous slave´s @ss, you could make the audience get this idea right of the bat.  

Same problem in P.10 when you describe  Alatyr as Tristam´s “trusted advisor”.

P.37/38
I wonder why didn´t you use a montage to tell the story behind the armor; it would fit perfectly in that scene. You´ve got other IMAGE and SERIES OF IMAGES scenes later, which also look exactly like typical montages, yet you formatted them differently.

P.45
After a hard struggle Tristam can convince Vargus to rest; he´s exhausted and will need the energy. I was expecting them to spend the night there or at least a couple of hours. Yet, after Tristam tells his story, they move on. Because of this, the resting break seemed a little bit pointless. If you want them to rest, have them rest for a relevant amount of time. If not, Tristam could tell his story as they move along.

P.55 Sthennix wants the armor badly, yet he seems reluctant to give Pratosh the resources he needs. After finding out the location of the armor, I would expect Sthennix to give Pratosh full cooperation, or take full control of the search mission and send a huge amount of Overseers himself.

P.63 I liked the personalized password idea.

P.71 “…they cannot stand against the wearer of the armor”. Alatyr´s faith in the wearer of the armor seems sudden and contradictory. Remember that during his first encounter with Vargus he tells him that “Sthennix is not so easily defeated, or even weakened”, that the armor´s evil will consume him, and that Belial´s dependence on the armor led to his doom.

P.57 ½ to P.72 ½ .
15 pages in which the protagonist doesn´t  appear. This can´t be good. I think Vargus should have a more relevant part to play than sleeping.

P.79 Why wouldn´t Pratosh think that the insurrectionists escaped through the forest instead of going back to re-search the caves? Maybe he could dispatch one search patrol to the forest and another one to the caves, to cover both fronts.

P.89
I liked the idea behind the pregnancy scene but it felt a little bit forced. I expected the ship´s medic to do a very precarious check to Ertaf (i.e. breathes, talks, doesn´t have open or infected wounds = she´s fine, whip her a bit more). It surprised me that the medic was able to find out an early pregnancy.

Pratosh says “There´s nothing. She´s an outcast. She has no one” but how would he know that? He didn´t question the two hundred outcasts at the caves, so as far as he knows, she could have someone back there.

P.91/92
Vargus and Tristam are surrounded and outnumbered. Yet the overseers take Tristam prisoner, and leave Vargus (and the armor) alone. This kept me wondering: What was Sthennix´s exact plan to get the armor back? He keeps doing nasty things to people to know about the armor´s location, yet when his men has the wearer surrounded, they leave him. Even if Vargus could defeat them all… shouldn´t they stay and watch him from the transports? Call for backup? Ask Sthennix for instructions?

Instead on focusing on the armor they bring Tristam to Sthennix so he can question him about the armor; doesn´t make much sense. I suggest working of the villains actions and motives a bit more.

The only reason I can imagine to make the overseers forget about Vargus and focus on Tristam is if Vargus escapes from them, and disappears into the forest. Even then, a search party should look into the forest while Tristam is interrogated.

P.93
IMAGE: A 5-year-old Sthennix happily living with his mother and father, doing as happy families do.

I suggest to be more specific here, much more specific. What is this family doing in this particular scene? I guess it should be a happy moment, but I can picture hundreds of those. You, the writer, should choose the most suitable one.

IMAGE: Sthennix and his parents live in a small shack, freezing and hungry.
Not visual enough for a screenplay, IMO. How do I know they´re freezing? Are they shaking? How do I know they´re hungry? Are they dividing an already small piece of bread into three even smaller bits?

P.99
STHENNIX
Imagine. You can have everything you´ve ever wanted, at the cost of everything you ever had.


In this thread you referred to a particular line of which you were very proud. If I had to guess, I would say this is the one. If not, well, just wanted to say I liked it a lot.

P.97/98
Vargus tells Sthennix he´s going to kill him… three times. One should be enough, IMO. Specially considering that we already know Vargus wants to kill Sthennix, and Sthennix already knows this as well. Besides, it doesn´t look good when characters say exactly what they think or plan to do; I would liked the scene better if you showed this idea more visually (i.e.Vargus steals some kind of weapon from a overseer and strides towards Sthennix).

P.99/100
Nargoth seems too cruel with his son who moments ago sacrificed his life in exchange of his family (which includes Nargoth as well). It didn´t feel real.

P.101
I´m not sure if you need this flashback scene. If I understood this correctly, the scene is repeated footage from the opening, and doesn´t give any new information to the audience. At this point we already know what happened in the mine, and is easy to connect the character´s dialogue with this event, without need of showing it again.

P.111/112
The deliberation about how they were going to take the guard felt too long; it´s just a guard after all. Of course this move should require some planning, but it´s not necessary for the audience to experience the previous deliberation. And I think it would be more surprising to show directly the three of them charging towards the overseer, without giving details about this beforehand.

And how does Nargoth knocks the guard to the ground exactly? Does he hit him with something? Maybe he has a Reez Wand?

P.115
I knew Sthennix would be defeated the same way in which Belial was, even before they started fighting. And I don´t belong to “the smart ones” of the audience, so this could be a bad sign. The climax seems logical but not unexpected.

I wonder if it was a wise move to tell Belial´s  *whole* story, so early in the script. You´re giving away your ending by doing this. On the other hand I´m well aware that you need this plant for the pay off to work.

You could establish early in the story that Belial was defeated; his armor “betrayed” him, but no one knows why. It adds a little more tension to Vargus’ quest; the armor could abandon him at any moment, he´s always at risk even when wearing the armor. You could even have some scenes in which the armor does “fail” him, but we don´t know why, although the reason is hinted.

When Vargus’ confronts Sthennix in the final showdown, he knows he can defeat him but he doesn´t know how (and more important, the audience doesn´t know either). While getting his @ss reeze wanded, Vargus does the math and figures the armor´s weakness. If this is possible and how is possible belongs to the author´s territory; I just hope this rant is thought provoking for you.

Despite these things I commented, it´s always a pleasure to read a script which shows that the author worked hard on it.



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Mr.Z  -  April 3rd, 2006, 4:31pm
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George Willson
Posted: April 3rd, 2006, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
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Mr. Z, thanks very much for the read and thorough commentary. I figured there'd be stuff in here like what you mentioned primarily because some of this was written a year and a half ago and some was written 2 months ago. Consistently, I get more comments on the old stuff while the newer stuff is left almost as is. It also seems like there are plants remaining in the script from actions the characters used to take, such as the rest stop where they don't rest. In the first draft, they spent the night there because there was no havens yet.

It seems also that some of the flashback issues you mention with Sthennix are still the first draft "placeholders" that I never went back and redid to some more proper description. Thanks for catching those.

The Overseers were probably the last thing conceived of. Originally, the idea was that they're the nomads that took in Sthennix, but I migrated to what's there now. I can alter the backstory a tad so we're not re-watching Attack of the Clones. The identical army is not original by any means, even to Star Wars. Need I mention the recent Oompa Loompas? However, I may return to my original idea just to escape the comparison.

And yes, you found the line. I tooled over that one for awhile. Still proud of it.

Again, thanks very much.


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Mr.Z
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You´re welcome, George. I´m glad I helped.


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tonkatough
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The overseer clone idea is a rip off of Attack Of The  Clones.  Yeah I noticed this straight away but shrugged at it. So what? It's only a small detail.  The basic idea of a magical artifact latching onto a hero is hardly original.  In the Wizard of Oz, poor Dorothy gets stuck with the Ruby Slippers, the same slippers that the Wicked Witch wants and so hunts down and tries to destroy Dorothy.   It is what George does with this idea that makes his script so exciting.  Imagine if Dorothy could tap into the magical powers of the Ruby Slippers and smashed and bashed her way across the land of Oz and was equal in power to the Wicked Witch. How cool would have that been?  


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George Willson
Posted: April 4th, 2006, 10:21am Report to Moderator
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Well, the term "rip-off" has come out, so it would apparently be prudent to return to the original idea I had for the Overseers. This little clone idea did not exist in the draft immediately prior to the one posted here; I only added it as a detail that I thought would work in the context of the world since Martin commented that the Overseers had no description...and actually it was after watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so my most immediate inspiration was the Oompa Loompas, rather than Lucas' clones.

That being beside the point, however, they'll be the first to go, and the Overseers wil return to being the humble nomads that brought Sthennix to power in the first place, so let's have no more talk about the "rip-off" clones. I know there are no truly original ideas, but I certainly don't want any blatant comparisons spoiling some mearsure of the originality I do have here.

And yeah, Dorothy blasting through Oz knowing about the power of the slippers would have been wild. Same thing if Frodo had any idea how to use the Ring. Or any number of other fantasy shows where someone had something powerful and didn't know what to do with it. Instead of the dramatically clueless route, I took the video game clueless route of "I've got something cool, let's kill someone with it!" Vargas doesn't know anything about the armor, but he knows he's strong with it, and does what anyone with sudden power does: abuses it.


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W
Posted: April 4th, 2006, 1:22pm Report to Moderator
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Spoilers...


Finally got around to reading this, I hope my review can be useful to you.

Vargus is a boy of about 14. Shouldn’t you be more precise? I have always heard people say must give their exact age, maybe they were wrong but I thought I’d ask nonetheless. (You do it a lot throughout but that was one example)

The one thing consistent with all screenplays is that people always find a way to use their characters names ASAP and you know for some reason it makes that point of the dialogue annoying for a reader/watcher. In The Crow: Wicked Prayer they do it so much in three minutes that the reason I disliked the film frankly was that.

Now that I said my piece about that, I will say at least it’s what the industry demands so it’s not wrong per se.

On page 7: Nargoth – If daddy doesn’t listen togrampa… You need a space.

These modern jet-ski things remind me a bit of Fempiror, coincidence or are you borrowing from yourself?

The fact that we know Vargus survived makes the scene with his father and Sirena almost pointless because they are doing the fantasy cliché of thinking he’s dead but hoping he’s not (Lord of The Rings, Star Wars and Dune all did this.)

On page 36 – 37 Tristam grabs his and pulls him back down. – Did you forget a word or use his instead of him?

This Pratosh following thing, is it meant to seem a lot like LOTR?

On page 66 The break through the wall into the hollow within. – Simple and easy to fix.

On Page 71 The unchain him and lock him in – Simple again.

Here’s what I don’t enjoy about them being locked up, it seems that bringing the children along hurts the section of the script. I just think it’d work better without the kids since this way unless they torture the children the “bad guy” looks like an idiot because he doesn’t even act like they are in the scenes.

When Ertaf revealed she was pregnant, I felt as if you were trying to tell us that Tristam is going to die. He doesn’t but it feels that way.

Nargoth comes off as a dick, at times I wish you’d kill him. If he was meant to come off that way, good but if not that’s a problem for me.

I enjoyed Tristam, Sthennix and Vargus they were all strong and near perfect characters. You actually made the bad guy human and not many films do that, they usually give the bad guy some stupid reason or unreal death but you keep it real and actually make it interesting.

The story has it’s been there done that moments but at the end of the day I think you’ve breathed new life into the adventure genre, before you released this and Fempiror only Red Phoenix stuck out in my eyes as something people would want to watch in theatres.

You should think about extending this. I feel as if you had more to tell but wanted to keep it short. Peter Jackson makes three-hour films and the general public loves to watch them.

I read this in two hours (The approx. length) and it was a real page-turner, sometimes I get bored while reading and do not finish for days. Good job and I hope you stick with this genre because it may be your key to a successful career beyond the unproduced realm.


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George Willson
Posted: April 4th, 2006, 2:29pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the review, Wes. Again, all good stuff I'll be keeping in mind when I go back over this for a rewrite.

And I'm finding that adventure stories are my thing more than horror or anything else. I enjoy the big epic tales and all that. I have another idea I'm cooking right now that is on the sci-fi side, but at the end of the day, it's just an adventure story with a sci-fi slant (i.e. starts out in space with some space ships involved in the story).

And really, this was intended to be a complete story. Maybe there's more to tell here, and I'll find it in my rewriting. As for Jackson, he's proven people can sit through 3 hour movies, but who's going to produce something longer than 120 pages for an unknown? Oh well, we'll see how the rewrite turns out when the reads on this one die down.


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FilmMaker06
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I'm reading this right now. I'll have my lame excuse for a review compared to those guys posted with in the next few days.

So far, its awesome! Another great epic. Be proud...you're one of the greats.
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