Review of: Lucidity 

reviewed by AlCielo on 02/05/2012
Credited Review
AlCielo
Review of Lucidity Credited Review
​Lucidity is an engaging fantasy with great potential.

​To succeed as a fantasy, a script has to be translated from the author's private world to the audience's. Too many fantasy / sci-fi screenplays I've read here create vast, overblown worlds that never draw the reader in. Fortunately, your story uses the theme of bravery overcoming personal fears as a means of making the protagonist's struggle universal and appealing--a rare achievement.

​Now there are some weaknesses, and I'm going to focus on them, in the order I believe you should work on them in the next draft.

​The first flaw is, in my opinion, fatal--as far as audience involvement goes. When Cid tells Frank at the end of Act 1 that if he fails he will simply return to his previous world, you lose your audience for the rest of the movie. No one wants to get caught up in a story that can return to square one at any moment (even in Groundhog Day, each return is incremental, and it's NEVER to square one).

Think about Back to the Future. If Marty fails, he doesn't return to the present, he annihilates his existence. Immediately, create a disaster scenario if Frank fails (the worst of all possibilities). Then when Frank accepts the challenge, we'll be on his side till the end. Every now and then, remind the audience (and Frank if necessary) of the potential for doom. (Behind all the fun and games in the Harry Potter series, Valdemort is always lurking.)

Flaw 2: I appreciate what you do with the Audrey private demon, but Isabel is too undeveloped, both as a symbolic alternative and as a character. It's nice that she's sarcastic, but why is she? And (most importantly), why is Frank attracted to her?

Flaw 3: The break from Act 2 to 3 (and from the second demon to the third) is too abrupt. You did introduce the giant earlier, but there's no THEMATIC reason for his sudden appearance. Here's a pushy suggestion: you could make the third challenge a renunciation. In order for Frank to save Madison, he (apparently) must sacrifice his challenge and suffer the dire consequences, though it turns out saving Madison WAS the third challenge. That will really put the audience on his side and when it matters most.

Flaw 4: The epilogue is 10 pages long--audiences expect a much briefer final scene--a minute or two at most. I understand what you're doing, but starting the epilogue with Frank and Isabel at his parents' house waiting for Madison would accomplish the same thing (be careful not to overload the dialogue with expo).

Flaw 5: Speaking of dialog, most of the speeches are wordy (even though they're under 4 lines in most cases), and many are unnecessary. Sluggish dialog with no subtext and no omissions makes reading a script a chore--it's the most noticeable weakness. But don't trim / polish dialog until you've fixed the above structural flaws. That conversation may not show up in the revised draft.

Miscellaneous flaws: The "medieval" English is inconsistent among medieval speakers (I understand that Billy and others from Urth will sound more modern). The dialog can't sound like Middle English (Chaucer) or even Early Modern English (Shakespeare, the King James Bible), so why not adopt a plain style with no contractions or modern slang)? Also, the medieval setting never captivated me as much as it could have (and the cost of this setting could make your spec a difficult sell unless there's a really compelling payoff). You might watch some time travel films to see what works. Finally, the nanobot stuff put me in a tech mode, but there was never any explanation for why technology was necessary.

Although I've focused on the problems, your script has many strengths: a sympathetic protag with a mission, a credible set-up / premise, an appropriate use of the 3 act structure, an audience-pleasing ending that is earned by the protagonist. You've done the heavy lifting, and if you continue in this direction you will accomplish your own mission. Not as a fantasy but a proud reality.


​Although I've focused on the problems, your script has many strengths: a sympathetic protag with a mission, a credible set-up / premise, an appropriate use of the 3 act structure, an audience-pleasing ending that is earned by the protagonist. You've done the heavy lifting, and if you continue in this direction you will accomplish your own mission. Not as a fantasy but a proud reality.

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