• The next Sentient mailout is due in July.

  • The reason given for this award was: Test

  • Craig Delahoy was just issued the ‘Valued contribution’ award 3 weeks, 1 day ago


    Craig Delahoy was just issued the ‘Valued contribution’ award, worth 100 Hero points! Awarded to those who have made a valued contribution to the community. With thanks .

  • The reason given for this award was: Test

  • The reason given for this award was: Test

  • Test post Wp upgrade

  • test post WP upgrade

  • By Dr Davin Eastley and David Steinhoff

    Index

    Origin
    What are they?
    Objective
    Precedents
    From instinct to conscious choice
    Context – Eating their way out of the cake
    The problem with […]

  • The reason given for this award was: Balance points Draft four

  • David Nerlich was just issued the ‘Sentient Scriptwriter’ award 1 month ago


    David Nerlich was just issued the ‘Sentient Scriptwriter’ award, worth 500 Hero points! Awarded for writing unique script assignment (based on 5 pages). For elements rewrite Draft Four Australia with thanks .

  • David Nerlich was just issued the ‘Sentient Scriptwriter’ award 1 month, 2 weeks ago


    David Nerlich was just issued the ‘Sentient Scriptwriter’ award, worth 500 Hero points! Awarded for writing unique script assignment (based on 5 pages). Bonus for work done so far on finding the unique alien.

  • The journey of the Sentient 
    The journey of the Sentient is to learn what it is to become truly human.
    Friendship and betrayal, desire and loss, love and hate, hate and revenge.
    They have a mission but their […]

  • The reason given for this award was: Balance points for D4 review

  • David Nerlich was just issued the ‘Sentient Script reviewer’ award 1 month, 3 weeks ago


    David Nerlich was just issued the ‘Sentient Script reviewer’ award, worth 500 Hero points! Awarded for the read, review and recommendations for a work of up to ten pages . With thanks for review Pilot Draft 4.

  • Have your say
    Now that you’ve read the ‘Sentient’ Pilot script (left), we’d like to hear your ideas on casting. 

    Who would you cast in the roles mentioned below? 

    Email your suggestions, along with th […]

  • Our guide for the trip through HMAS Penguin was former RAN Clearance Diver, Hugh ‘Obi’ O’Brien. Obi also served with TAG EAST, Australia’s Tactical Assault Group, (our web-footed, door-kickers) and is the […]

  • Sentient – Australia – Draft Four – Just published. Have your say.

    Sentient Australia – Pilot – Draft Four

  • Introduction 
    The Pilot is the show’s calling card.
    Fine-tuning is critical to ensure every relationship and conflict is properly set up for the rest of the season. 
    I have created five different Teaser A […]

    • From Dr Dowd – Original Investor
      I’m excited about this. It has a real energy to it. Becomes quite electric towards the end of Act 5. Interesting how real that red storm feels after this summer’s bushfires. I really like the tension, and the dynamic between the hero and the bitter ex is palpable.

    • Excellent!

    • Received a review from Screencraft . Their critique came down to this. They want to see both Dowd and the Alien immediately reveal their objectives and go after them in conflict from the beginning.

      My gut is telling me that is the wrong choice. It would remove the mystery component of this story and make it hack. In TWD, RICK GRIMES doesn’t immediately seek out zombies and start a killing spree. YES, he does go after his family, that’s his anchor.

      The reviewer said that Dowd should spend the pilot trying to save his son. I saw that in a Sci-fi epic movie where the lead did this but it was not engaging.

      I feel that the Pilot of Sentient creates a family around Dowd, being Teicher, Amiri and Hunt. This is his circle. The next episode allows him to go for TOBY his son, who is in hospital but if I was watching it as a viewer and I saw a Navy officer drop everything, his duty, his responsibility and go to attend his family, I would be very much disappointed.

      What is your view on this?

      • I forgot all about Toby, so it didnt seem a problem, until you reminded me of him. Oops. So the objective needs to be there and he i is frustrated from it by his duty and also the immediate threats. Even if he does defer his wish to save Toby, it cant just be forgotten. He should be visibly taking it into account and making plans.

      • You say above there’s a patterm emerging. This is like the results of an experiment being reproducible. It’s evidence from multiple observers. I agree a sense of what every charcter wants and is trying to do is where engagement comes from. How you get mystery back into it is to keep undermining whats been set up so one is then engaged by whether their original perception was right or whether there’s more going on and we want to find out what. But if we have no idea what is going on, thats not engaging.

        So everyone is asking the same question and that should be taken seriously. However I’m totally with you in rejecting this answer. Producers etc who can see problems rarely provide the best solutions. I find most instances of the perennial save-the-family motivation very weak. Theyre strong on motivation logic but weak for audience engagement because the audience doesnt care about the family. It’s not the audience’s family. The audience’s family is the characters they come to know and care about. If we know nothing about Toby I think he’s more useful as a source of guilt for Dowd at the outset, or even a character flaw. But whatever it is, you have to decide and make it felt.

        ps if we’re going to care about Toby, whats he doing to save himself?

        • So, as a genre add on there is a mystery in play here. What’s happening becomes clear when we see an alien. Why they survive is the bigger mystery which they explore in act four. We don’t answer the Q but we hint at it by using biblical references.

          We leave a gap that the audience can fill themselves.

          Episode 101 will see us get to Toby with Sam and deliver the message, I AM YOUR JUDGEMENT, I AM YOUR GIFT.

          It is a reveal and yet also another mystery.

          There is another pattern emerging from reviews. Readers really like the Abrahamic style prophecy or biblical reference. Not the US readers. Locals. I believe strongly, that the global market would respond positively to leaving that gap open for them to leap in and interpret. Don’t think the TICK BOX readers from the studios get that. My gut tells me, this is the right choice.

          • Things to interpret is what you want. I think there’s one thing to interpret in the pilot. “Why have we been spared?” This is our first glimpse of what the aliens are up to. They’ve made a DECISION. We wonder why. (this is apart from the decision to conqer the earth of course, but its a given aliens come to do that unless indicated otherwise).

            • Ok so, if we mention that the Israelites were spared when the Angel of death killed all the firstborn children, as a punishment visited upon Egypt and Pharoh, and given we have just seen humanity vapourised, can the viewer not be satisfied that we were spared for a reason? Teicher even states we were PAINTED. Saying we were spared for X reason removes all speculation and that speculation is the source of a great deal of conflict in the first season. That gap enables the viewer. Allows them to make up their own mind until the plot surprises them.

            • We had some off-site discussion about this but yes dont give the reason. Advance/deepen the question if possible, and show it, dont have Teicher tell it.

    • A very interesting pattern is emerging from OS studio reviewers. They want to see the aliens straight away and they want to know the hero’s and the alien’s objective straight away. You see, that’s not what happened in LOST (for example) but it is the favourite of a MARVEL COMICS generation.

      • Thats ok if u want to reveal it later you establish a false answer to the question, ie at the beginning we think they want X, then its revealled woah they really want Y then right at the climax of the series, Z!!

        • Hi David,
          Thought about the idea of the aliens together in a scene revealing their plot but it just doesn’t fit within this sub genre.

          The closest I can get to an announcement of intention is to slap a SUPER on black at the front end with the words, I AM YOUR JUDGEMENT, I AM YOUR GIFT.

          Sam and Dowd’s son TOBIAS were meant to do the reveal on that but I could put it at the front as a question mark.

          That still won’t give the LA readers what they want, a Sci-fi were the Alien says, ‘We are here to conquer.’

          I strongly believe they are wrong. Your point, DN, was that they are in chorus so it should be paid attention to but I believe they are in chorus as they are working to a TICK BOX formula.

          The same formula applied to say a work like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, would get a review that the good guy needs to get the money and kill the bad guy. They are not going to get what is happening in that kind of work or this kind of work because they are 22 fresh out of uni.

    • You say above there’s a pattern emerging. This is like the results of an experiment being reproducible. It’s evidence from multiple observers. I agree a sense of what every charcter wants and is trying to do is where engagement comes from. How you get mystery back into it is to keep undermining whats been set up so one is then engaged by whether their original perception was right or whether there’s more going on and we want to find out what. But if we have no idea what is going on, thats not engaging.

      So everyone is asking the same question and that should be taken seriously. However I’m totally with you in rejecting this answer. Producers etc who can see problems rarely provide the best solutions. I find most instances of the perennial save-the-family motivation very weak. Theyre strong on motivation logic but weak for audience engagement because the audience doesnt care about the family. It’s not the audience’s family. The audience’s family is the characters they come to know and care about. If we know nothing about Toby I think he’s more useful as a source of guilt for Dowd at the outset, or even a character flaw. But whatever it is, you have to decide and make it felt.

      ps if we’re going to care about Toby, whats he doing to save himself?

      • Toby is a big character.
        Dying of cancer.
        A Mensa genius.
        Encouraged by V Admiral Frank, he studied and speaks Hebrew.
        SAM the young girl brings him a message which she speaks in Hebrew.
        He interprets, ‘I AM YOUR JUDGEMENT, I AM YOUR GIFT.’
        This goes somewhere, somewhere big but it’s not MARVEL.
        The struggle re TOBY is between his mother and Dowd. Dowd realises that the lifeforms can heal TOBY. His mother, the Commodore, forbids it.

        • I’m sure there are many answers to many questions. But what needs to be in the pilot?

          • Change the synopsis

            Here is another angle.

            I could just change the synopsis from;

            A Navy Diver wakes in a recompression chamber to discover Sydney engulfed in a terrifying red storm and an alien lifeform preparing to invade.

            to something like…

            When an alien apocalypse wipes out most of humanity, the survivors wonder why they were spared and what the intention of this lifeform is for them?

            Now that’s crap presentation but I could take it to something like that.

            My argument goes that the synopsis and the mystery is fine. Get them into the passion of the story and the viewer won’t care.

            It’s like, I am going on a date. Do I wear the blue shirt or the white one. OK, that may have an impact but if the other person is into you, once the passion starts, no one cares what colour the shirt is.

          • I keep going back to LOST.

            The SMOKE MONSTER didn’t leave his card and say, look, I will be terrifying you guys for the rest of the series and we’ll spend an entire season explaining who I am. All we knew is that they had crashed, they were waiting for rescue and that thing turned up. It didn’t kill everyone. We bought it cause it was a cool premise and the characters were OK, like JACK.

            Sentient, we know there has been an apocalypse, we know some have been spared. We know aliens have arrived. We don’t know why.

      • Further on the business of indicating the alien intent, as I wrote via email we can place a SUPER on blackscreen after the TITLES and before ACT ONE stating, ‘ I AM YOUR JUDGEMENT, I AM YOUR GIFT.’

        It would be in HEBREW and would transition to ENGLISH. I have sought clarification regards the best choice of NOUN in Hebrew to cover the word Judgement and the translation is not literal and there are a few options.

        Hopefully, this will pique the reader’s / viewer’s interest and indicate something of the alien life form’s intention.

    • Had another conversation with Dave Nerlich today on Skype about creating a unique alien that hints at intent and that the alien is not wholly malevolent.

      DN Mentioned the Act One and Act Four interaction with the aliens as an opportunity to do so.

      What if the BETA was somebody that Dowd knew and recognises him? What if that changed their behaviour to Dowd.

      I argued that right now we need to see them as a threat and Dowd as acting against that threat.

      The other issue is POV tracking. If we swap POV to the aliens, that may take the audience away from Dowd’s journey.

      If there was a was to fix this, I would do it, but I know if I attempt to introduce anything that takes us away from Dowd’s POV or to address later elements or to link the aliens to the leadership theme when in fact they are the catalyst for addressing it, we will dilute the Pilot.

      I get it but I can see nothing yet that would benefit the Pilot yet by taking that journey.

    • Mystery component of genre. Reference – LOST.
      One thing that really stands out to me is, people are not getting this is a mystery.
      I’m going to have to SLAP THAT GENRE GUIDE on each page because I am getting feedback like the work is meant to be full circle completed by the end of the pilot.

    • David Nerlich provided some key advice re Toby, Dowd’s son. The idea was to make Dowd’s choices re Toby more heroic, saving his son ETC. There was other advice received regards adding Toby to the Pilot. The feeling is that it would make Dowd more touch-base. We did add Toby to the Teaser but the readers felt he needs to be embedded into the pilot.

      There was also critique re the new teaser that it is not immediately relevant to the Sci- fi genre.
      To address this, we could go back to the BEACH – discovery of the alien and Sammy Teaser and follow through with the China crisis, add a dive scene, show the disaster underwater then have Dowd wake in the compression chamber.

      Then we find Toby in the CD office with Dr Teicher.

      See my summary notes in the review about for a better explanation.

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