Could I get some feedback on a story?

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Hello Everyone. I know that this is probably not the right place to share the following and ask for feedback, but. I've been on and off of this community in the past and I felt it would be better to ask in a place that I am more familiar with. My apologies in advance.


In class we are working on plot scripting, it is not a film making class by any means. Now I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to give some feedback on my own. The short film is supposed to be 45 seconds and made on Source Film Maker. There is no need to tell me that "the dialogue sucks". I am aware of that. The boy is 11 and that is not the point of the story. The story is conceived from metaphors and symbolism in concept of the world around him. To foreshadow the depressing out come. 


In other-words the theme of the story is a boy being unaware of the situation of his reality. He is unconscious in the real world, but in his mind. He is alive. His surroundings  is a part of his subconscious. ie. Lilly get's hit by a car but in reality it was Miles who was in a car accident a week ago. His subconscious replays the events in his head from a third person point of view. He gets headaches because in reality he has an occurring "head injury" so to speak. In the end he closes his eyes to embrace unconsciously embrace reality as he "lets go" and come to terms with the reality with life fading and death embracing.


The reason I ask this is because my teacher says there's no theme, moral, or pay off. I strongly disagree because the theme is stated above, and the payoff is in no way meant to be happy or beneficial. A bad accident for an 11 year old boy would likely result in death after sustaining injuries that lead to a bleeding brain. The pay off is realistic and is to simly "let go". The story takes place in his mind like a dream. As for the moral of the story. Perhaps he is right. I do not believe that every story needs a moral, but needs an effect and reaction. There are plenty of films that do this. I also feel what is being taught goes against what I have learned in my English and drama courses.


So what I am asking is the following:

- How does this considerably short story make you feel?

- Could you relate? Did you feel sorry for the boy, element of surprise, shock, or any emotion?

- Were the metaphors and symbolism clear? (this is hard when it's scripted and not in film)

- Do you feel the theme was sufficient and the "pay off"so to speak, felt "real"?

- Do you feel that 45 seconds is far too short to create a connection between the viewer and Miles to build up to the conclusion and contain a sense of impact? (Understandable if this is the case)


Don't worry. There is always room for rewrites and/or creating a new story. Feel free to tear it apart. I encourage this.Making a 45 second clip is tougher than it sounds and I'm more adjusted to a full course meal or short story. So any help is truly grateful and appreciated. If it sucks, please state why and I'll get back to work. ;)

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The problem here may lie that your own vision of the story is already biased toward the metaphorical result you wish to obtain, but such perception might not be clear for the rest (this is something that every visionary struggle with). Just by simply looking at the script, if you ask me, it looks like you're trying to explain the dangers of schizophrenia rather than whatever symbolism you might be trying to cast there.

A story doesn't really need a pay off, but just like your teacher, I'm struggling to find one here. Fourty five seconds are more than enough, but maybe the perspective of a "car accident" doesn't really fit it. Why not simply have Lilly whisper to Miles ear "time to let it go" and have her close his eyes? Why the need to show an accident at all? I've always valued more being suggestive over being graphical, and maybe trying to focus more on that "lilly getting overrun'd while Miles hold his head in pain" doesn't make the cut.

Its very interesting but I want to say that the monsters and leaf blossoms are too deliberate unless that is what you are going for.

What exactly are we saying caused Miles injuries? Depending on how this is shot, it could be portrayed that Lilly only exists in his head and he was just reliving his own accident. We could also take that to mean that he is experiencing her pain. Her floating up to the sky at the end could mean that she died. A third perspective paints Lilly as the enemy, trying to kill her friend so that she could be with him again. I could go on. interesting story though.

I dont really feel much of anything for miles....
and 45secounds isnt long enough to really impart the feelings you want onto the viewers.

1 scene with him playing tag, isnt going to be enough for anyone to bond with him.
Your assumeing people will identify with the character without any depth to him, and sure its a kid in a hospital after a accident but without any emotional investment from the audience it wont have nearly the effect your thinking it will.

Your going to need 4-5 minuets probably.
Theres this really good edit of "Pixars Up" that shows Ellie and Carl's relationship through time... and its just heart breaking.

Whats done so we ll with Carl & ellie is you see:
Them as silly kids, where carl has a crush on ellie. Big enough to follow along with all her silly plans.
You see her falling for him, them getting married, the wacky house drawing she drew as a kid, they buildt & painted together, the silly mail box accident with his unplanned handprints on them ect.
Then the music changes and you can feel & see the loneliness in him after shes gone, and the realisation that he never forfilled her dreams of exploration.... its just heart breaking.



** suggestion:

Take things down a really screwed up path instead. Those demons he sees, the hair of the girl turning black.... that all says HORROR! to me.

Why give him the rosey white cushioned & cheap ending? he just fades into white.


Give him a nightmare like state more than just 1 scene (maybe showcase some error he commited that resulted in the car crash? basically the demons tormenting him with his mistake that maybe killed his intire family?), and in the end impart the little sucker is going to hell or some such.

Would be much more impact full.

Teacher is kinda right.. You'll have to make Lilly into something meaningful.. She should be a better metaphore.. Now it looks like she died and he goes after her.. That isn't right.. Make Lilly more the anchor of the real world.. The story now doesn't even acknowledge that Lilly is actually someone in the real world


Face the future.. Gamecenter ID: nikkom_nl (oh no he didn't!!) 

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"In other-words the theme of the story is a boy being unaware of the situation of his reality"

I wouldn't call this a theme or rather, it's too elaborate for its own good. Most other themes can be summarized in one word: love, war, friendship, revenge, corruption, etc.

Thanks a lot guys. It was a lot of help. For those who it seemed unclear to. The point in the end is that the world fades away as Miles is dying. His consciousness is fading because of his brain hemorrhage. Lilly is just a figment in his imagination and a reflection of his happiness. Sometimes people believe a subconscious lie to make themselves feel better in a situation. Lilly is an extension of Miles. She fades away in the end because in reality, it is Miles who is dying (fading) as a result of a prior car accident. This is why she was hit, a subconscious memory within Miles.

The pain in his head is from the hemorrhages, but he doesn't know the cause. The monsters, everything turning to dark is a symbolism of the "lights going off". Essentially like a final good night. Death creeping up on him.
As the title is named "Summers of Arcadia" it is a representation of his perfect ideals. One that, like the perfection of Arcadia, does not exist. It remains in his head like a child's fantasy.

The problem seems to lie with my suspicion and Wright provides great points to this. My intentions for the story is not very clear and the symbolism is too heavily relied on for everyone to simply just get it. Everyone thinks and views things differently. More substance is needed so people can relate with it. 45 seconds indeed is too short to make you care for a character like Miles in this situation. The pathetic thing is... I know how to make it work for a hour and half film. More story, details, foreshadowing, and fleshing out the answers that lead up to the revelations and the finally "let it go". also love the idea of Lilly shutting Miles's eyes in a caring matter as Write also said.

I will definitely need to do some re-writes or come up with something more simplistic. On the flip-side. This may be a little too complicated to make in SFM fora first time school project.