Review of: Principles of Buoyancy 

reviewed by rmahler on 12/13/2008
Credited Review
Uplifting Credited Review
Overall, this was a well-wrought script. The goal is clear cut from the start and the obstacles are well constructed for the protagonist to overcome. One minor mistake is that you attribute Ode to Joy to Bach (it's from Beethoven's 9th). I do have a few things that I think need addressing. First of all, I think you set up a very good conflict for Albert, but in a way he never has to make the hero's decision. His mother dies (not that it's easy on him), but it's a convenient way for the plot to make the choice he couldn't. He never really has to come up with a solution to his main problem. I also had a minor issue with the light-hearted tone of the people's escape attempts. It could work I guess if treated properly, but I couldn't get around the fact that these almost comical moments ended with people in dire agony in barbed wire. Yikes! It was as if you wanted to give it a light-hearted feel to alleviate the drama, but the reality is a little too gruesome. Not sure how to handle that one, but wasn't sure if it would play right. The other problem I have (and it's also a minor gripe) is that I think that things actually work out a little too well for Albert. Yes, he spends years yearning to be reunited, but he doesn't seem to suffer much on screen. His ordeal at the butcher is solved for him, his mother dies and makes the decision to leave an easy one, he gets a job offer to become a clown, then a huge offer to go to the one birthday party enough balloons to carry off his plan. While in the air, other than a minor wind shift, all goes according to plan. Albert needs to be in peril for the entire last third of this script, battling against all odds to reach the other side of the wall. He needs to have his dreams dashed again and again, only to dig down and come up with a unique solution (you have the solution, you just have to have him work for it). Basically, I think your images are phenomenal, but the circumstances seem to drive the story more than Albert's determination. Does that make sense? I actually think the story would be stronger if the ending came as a sudden revelation to Albert at the party. What if he had another plan in mind all together, and it gets foiled? Then he suddenly gets the idea to use the balloons at the end and (although he gets shot at, and al sorts of unexpected things happen in the air) he manages to get over the wall. I think it would really ramp up the excitement in what is already a great concept. Just my two cents. You're an excellent writer and to me this has HUGE potential. Just need to raise the stakes to make it really sing.

Best of luck. I actually read Father Max about two years ago I think so I know that you're an excellent writer who can take this story up a notch or two.

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