Alien Covenant Review

Warning : SPOILERS ALERT

Finally had the opportunity to watch ALIEN COVENANT this past month and I must say it was a little disappointing. Following Alien franchise since the beginning, the storyline is important to me. My first outburst of the movie was on Twitter :

“Saw @AlienAnthology #VFX astounding but #storyline upsetting. Astronauts have strict protocols. What happened, shouldn’t #AlienCovenant”

Let me explain :

NUMBER ONE

Any one hand-picked for a mission responsible for 2000 colonist, heading for distant planet Origae-6, would (in my mind) be highly trained Astronauts with strict protocols. Their responsibility is the welfare of colonist and not some rogue beacon on an unknown planet. Life-form or not, the DAVID android would make note-of-it, sending a electronic message back to earth through MUTHUR (MUTHUR is the Starship’s on-board main A.I. pronounced M-O-T-H-E-R).

If we were on Star Trek, Mr. Spock would definitely say,” It’s NOT logical. To make critical errors in judgment, threatening 2000 colonist is indeed unlikely.”

BUT – it’s a movie, meant to add precarious irrational decisions, causing complete havoc with no return. That’s what makes a movie exciting.

Screenwriters are trained to follow a specific Screenplay Outline, as are Directors. But Directors have the freedom to change whatever they want, as long as it makes a substantial profit at the box office. Here’s a quick layout :

1. ACT ONE – Establishment | Setup | Inciting Incident | Contemplation | Turning Point

2. ACT TWO – Acceleration | Enter Obstacles | Dead Centre | Crossing the Rubicon | Raising the Stakes | Crisis

3. ACT THREE – Prepare for Confrontation | Climatic Conflict | Aftermath and Resolution | Dissolution and Farewell

See HERE for in-depth detail.

The point is, there must be some kind of conflict and a series of mistakes to add tension to the movie, or else it would be pretty boring. For example, the real events and mishaps of Apollo 13 turned into a good movie, because the astronauts and NASA had to solve real problems in a dangerous environment. The iconic words, spoke the urgency…

“Houston, we’ve had a problem…”

It was indeed a life or death defining situation, where the whole world followed in their survival and safety back to earth from the moon.

That said, it’s vital the storyline makes sense or it becomes a jumbling mismatch puzzle with incoherent timelines, making us viewers grasp for reality. Knowing all to well Ridley Scott is a master Director, it seems ludicrous he wouldn’t tell a good storyline. After a little research, it wasn’t long before I realized the editing process of cutting scenes from Alien Covenant, proved to be the culprit. Ridley Scott’s creativity was hacked by removing crucial scenes by the editors involved. As a director I would be biting my upper lip, as scenes were eliminated.

Curiously, Ridley Scott still has full control of his movie.

So why did he approve of the Covenant crew making so many mistakes? Is it just a Hollywood ploy, to make fans see AWAKENING in order to get all the answers?

To me, this is how I would change the scene to make it work :

It would make more sense if android DAVID caused the INCIDENT, where he sent a deadly beam of energy disrupting the starships point-of-origin. It would be better then a random wave of CME ( Corona Mass Eruption) from a nearby star, as it happens in the movie. The scenes from that point would still hold true ; waking up the crew and killing their captain, due to a malfunction of his pod. In my mind, the burst of energy could have crippled the Starship to no return, causing it to crash on the planet where David is patiently waiting to carry out his deranged assault on the crew still alive. Crash landing on this planet would have made for a gripping terrifying scene.

NUMBER TWO

I love the fact Alien Covenant continues 10 years after my beloved movie Prometheus, so well executed by Ridley Scott. Personally watch Prometheus a dozen times to pick up eastereggs* I may have missed.

ON THAT NOTE :

To me I really don’t understand the backlash of Prometheus from fans. I realize the original ALIEN was basically a B-movie horror-slasher, but with its strong storyline and well executed ( pun intended ) actors, Alien did well at the box office. It was like this secret little gem waiting to be opened. That said, it’s my belief the fans of Alien, Aliens and so on, expect a horror slasher unconcerned about the science-fiction, the actual science and the clever plots Ridley Scott placed into Prometheus. It’s clear Ridley Scott caved to the wishes of its ALIEN fans, giving them the blood thirsty slasher ALIEN COVENANT.

[SPOILER ALERT FOR PROMETHEUS]

NUMBER THREE

If you followed Prometheus, you would be familiar with our lovely character Elizabeth Shaw, the last human surviver, along with David. We know Elizabeth doesn’t trust David, but she needs him to fly the Engineers Starship in order to answering the burning question she asked the Juggernaut,” Why did YOU (The Engineers) change your mind? What did we do wrong? Why do you want us dead?”

If I were Elizabeth, my trust in David would be nil. After fixing David and his ability to set course for Engineer’s HOMEWORLD using one of many alien Derelict spacecraft 🚀, I would immediately place David in stasis before doing the same myself. Any kind of tampering of my hyperbaric sleep chamber, would immediately set off an emergency alarm with instant release from stasis. So, in effect, Elizabeth would still be alive when Alien Covenant crew arrives, meaning a whole chain of events could take place.

I love the FINAL LOG of Dr. Shaw :

Elizabeth’s Final LOG, last survivor of Prometheus :

“The ship and her entire crew are gone. If you’re receiving this transmission, make no attempt to come to its point of origin. There is only death here now, and I’m leaving it behind. It is New Year’s Day, the year of our Lord, 2094. My name is Elizabeth Shaw, the last survivor of the Prometheus. And I am still searching.”

JAMES MONTANA’S FINAL LOG :

In conclusion, overall Alien Covenant seems to have gain support by the majority of fans, and in the end, that’s what really counts. 21st Century Fox covered the production budget cost of $97 million (reasonable, considering other scifi movies) making $238 million in sales.

Not bad, not bad at all.

I’m sure Ridley Scott was relieved he hit the mark for fans and certainly Fox must be pleased too. As a long time fan of the Alien Trilogy, can’t wait to see the release of Alien: Covenant sequel AWAKENING, apparently starts production in 14 months. If I had a choice of Directors for my Scifi BLACK ANGELS, Ridley Scott would be on the list. However, there’s a growing list of great Directors suited for my proposed film/pitch.

Bari Demersscreenwriter Read more of my stories and articlesEASTEREGGS*- Here are some neat (yup I used the word neat…sorry) little eastereggs you’ll find throughout the ALIEN TRILOGY.

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Free Americans from Donald Trump – Documentary 

Free Americans from Donald Trump - Documentary

FILM : FREE AMERICANS FROM DONALD TRUMP

Logline: A Documentary of the implications to Americans with Donald Trump as President

Type : Documentary 

Genre
: Human Rights 

Filming Locations
: Kelowna and Vancouver, BC , Ottawa, Ontario, New York, San Francisco 

Synopsis

A documentary about the implications to all Americans with Donald Trump as President, including the possibility of Americans fleeing United States to avoid the wrath of the TRUMP empire. The reality complications arising from entering Canada. 

OVERVIEW 

In preliminary written discussions with Michael Moore to collaborate project, here in Canada and United States. A comical but dark satire of its true troubling reality. 

Intro concept : Sales pitch announcement by News Media across the world, introducing policy changes for Americans entering Canada under the new revised visa applications by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Meanwhile we follow the TRUMP empire as freedom we so dearly pride ourselves as a democratic society, crumbles before our eyes.  You see as Trumps family take on leading roles, abolishing laws, reducing healthcare and attacking the system for the people.  United States slowly transforms into the fictional warlord on “Back to the Future“, Biff Tannen.   Biff Tannen‘s greedy conquest has taken over America on the backs of Americans. 

Please join us in the Collaboration.

UPDATES IN PROGRESS

Type : local_moviesDocumentary Feature
Location Headquarters : Kelowna, BC, Canada
Genre label : Human Rights
Dates: today Dec 1, 2016 – Sep 30, 2017
Open Postions : N/A at this time

We are in Conceptional mode, drafting out screenplay, location shots and possible further discussions with Mr. Michael Moore. Release of draft script in March 2017. Announcement in May 2017. We are also closely following President elect Donald Trump including Instagram follow-ups under the heading #notmypresident
If interested in supporting this project, please contact Bari Demers 

We may start a Kickstarter campaign to further funds.  

Celebrities , Directors and Producers interested in funding this documentary project to further increase the awareness of how Donald Trump will destroy democracy, removing the rights from women, African- American and the Constitution of America, please contact Bari Demers. 

The goal of this documentary is to increase the awareness NOT only in America but across the world. Please direct your thoughts, ideas or help, to me directly on LinkedIn or here on WordPress, in regards to producing this important documentary film.

Your future may count on it!

By Bari Demers scifi screenwriter and freelance writer 

NOTE : All comments are monitored, please restrict from any kind of profanity. That includes you Donald Trump. 

The Problem with Scifi Genre 

  

Who doesn’t love Scifi- right? 

Well, the reality of writing science-fiction for any screenwriter, is the fact, they are doomed before the words even hit the pages. 

So – What’s the problem with scifi genre ? 

Everyone is excited about writing one, not realizing their science-fiction thriller is the norm in today’s society.  With successful movies like the Alien trilogy’s, Prometheus, Total Recall, Logan’s Run, ET, The Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar, 2001 Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes and my favourite, Blade Run, it’s very hard to compete or even get noticed at all.

You can say we ARE in the age of space exploration.

Daily headlines read about the space race to Mars or back to the moon by the famous Google Lunar X-Prize.  Our enthusiasm to explore our solar system, should I say, is in our blood. 

For writers and screenwriters, Scifi makes it difficult to be recognized for Three Main Reasons: 

1.  Everyone is writing Scifi genre

2.  Producers already know how expensive it is to make

 3.  Script Scouts and Agents will say,” Oh no! Not another Scifi” 

So, what is a Sci-fi Fan suppose to do? 

A. You can produce it yourself by funding on KickStarter or other fund raising websites.  Problem – very difficult to raise money for any high budget film, unless you’re already well known in the film industry.  Even then, it’s almost impossible.

B. A markable hook –  the LOGLINE grabs everyone’s  interest.  Its talked about on social media, going viral.

C. Produce a low budget screenplay.

D. Begin with a 20 – 30 page short film, Scifi, horror or comedy, introducing an unexpected twist at the end. 

Don’t give up on your dream, just put it on the back burner.  This is exactly what James Cameron did.  Before his career took off, he always had Avatar in the back of his mind. It wasn’t until 1994, he decided to write a 80 page treatment.  But, according to him, the technology wasn’t available to make his film believable.  Finally, after years of showing off his credibility, in 2006 his idea became reality.  The high budget film, Avatar was approved for production at $237 million.  Production companies, Lightstorm Entertainment, Dune Entertainment and Ingenious Film Partners backed him up, along with distribution by 20 Century Fox.

So, as they say.

In the end, Scifi genre is a hard sell.  Especially when you’re a promising screenwriter starting out.  The film industry is tough, not only for screenwriters, but actors and a whole bunch of film crew scrambling to get a paycheque. 

But.

Never give up. That’s my motto. 

Keeping my life HAPPY is the key.  Screenwriting and writing articles like this one, is an enjoyable process, which never seems like work. To me, screenwriting is FUN.  

I will keep writing, socializing, collaborating and submitting my screenplays, until one day, an agent, producer and/or director will notice one of my low budget scripts, ready to suit their needs.  I will even volunteer my time on a film making set.  

The more you know, the richer in knowledge you become.

Until then, the high budget BLACK ANGELS is on the back burner, waiting for its day as a successful blockbuster film. 

Today, I met a new friend.  His name?  The famous film maker, Adam Scorgie of  documentary acclaimed,” Culture High“.  

And in conclusion:

The key to any success is to keep close to your dreams and just maybe it will all click-in one fateful day. 

By Bari Demers 

RESOURCES

Avatar – Wikipedia 

Google Lunar XPRIZE 

BLACK ANGELS

Bang2write 

Score G Productions  

  

Missing Up North – Bloody Survival

Missing Up North – Bloody Survival

LOGLINE: Young Hunter goes missing deep within British Columbia’s rugged wilderness, only to be hunted by an 800 lb Grizzly.

My screenplay “Missing Up North – Bloody Survival” is based on a true story around the mis-adventures of 20 year old Hunter named Rivers, who went missing in the wild mountainous Chilcotin region by Williams Lake, B.C. for over 16 hours, hunted down by a savage Grizzly.

Darkness comes early during the cold winter of November, racing against time and the savage hunger of a 800 lb Grizzly. What happens next is almost unbelievable…

This incredible story is one of courage, stamina and desperate determination to stay alive against all odds. Rivers bloody story brings a whole new meaning to the word,” Survival”

This isn’t the TV series SURVIVAL, It’s MISSING UP NORTH – BLOODY SURVIVAL

Screenplay written By Bari Demers [James Montana Scripts]

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Indie verse Blockbuster Films

Indie verse Blockbuster Films

As a freelance screenwriter, my writing tasks require working on more than one script at a time.

My script, “Black Angels” is a SciFi horror genre great for anyone who loves CGI special effects, a strong storyline, action-pack thriller and makes a perfect fit for the movie screen.

Making Black Angels is without a doubt a costly adventure, bringing it to the large screen, hopefully as a Blockbuster.

The reality in producing film today requires a strict budget, making Indie Films the most probable choice. Too many times lately you hear of a large budget film going bust. It’s an eye-opener to the film industry.

Steven Spielberg predicts an “implosion” of the film industry quoting,” …you’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln.”

The competition verse Indie Films and Blockbusters are turning the movie industry upside down. Indie Films are not new, with Robert Redford’s Sundance Film festival just celebrating 30 years featuring thousands of successful films.

In order to be competitive within the film industry, screenwriters are pushing out as many short scripts as they can. The format scripts for screen are roughly between 20 – 100 pages long (one minute screen = one page), depending on story.

FORMAT

Each screenplay has three sequences, beginning with introducing the Protagonist,( the hero),who displays some kind of flaw. You have to explain their world they are live in and the dramatic situation.

Towards the second sequence, you let the viewers know the predicament, which leads the MAIN Antagonist, (the villain). It gets to the point where your hero must make a “life or death” decision ; turning back is not a option. The hero must now head forward with his choices, good or bad.

The stakes are high and the viewer is glued to the tension, ready to go overload.

The third and last sequence of your storyline, ” What must the Protagonist sacrifice? ” Will it end well or in complete disaster ? And is there any twist to end your story ?

The ending should leave your audience in awe sending the story viral.

INDIE FILMS

Indie films are budget conscience and viewers love seeing them. The stories are short with a meaningful strong message.

The “Indie buzz” at Film Festivals is apparent amongst actors, directors and producers. It’s becoming too oblivious, too many “movie goers” are falling short, due to competition with your local cable provider, including Movie Central and the Internet.

The competition will change the way we view movies; it’s a new era in film.

MY SCRIPTS

One of my scripts I’m working on lately is based on a true story, called,”Missing”. It’s about a young Hunter, up in Williams Lake, B.C. who went missing for over 16 hours in the wilderness, only to be hunted by a 800 lb Grizzly.

It’s an intense “action-drama” screenplay where the viewer wonders the fate of this young Hunter. It’s perfect as an indie film.

If you’re looking for a big blockbuster film ?

Then look no further than, “BLACK ANGELS

LOGLINE:

War Hero Commander Cardin is forced to re-colonize on a new planet, BLUE EARTH, before their species is destroyed along with a darker threat, BLACK ANGELS.

SUMMARY:

100,000 years ago, the SIRIANS began its journey,changing life on Earth, forever. Escaping their dying planet SIRUS 5, King Osiris order his elite Emperor Guards under General Jason’s command to take on the mission only referred to as BLUE EARTH.

Leading the way is seasoned War Hero Commander Cardin who is torn between his duty and the recent loss of his brother. Complicated by his irrefutable love for Karen and their savage fight against rivals, the JOTUNN’S (Savage Reptilian-Humanoids) and an unknown creature lurking the planet, only known in folklore as BLACK ANGELS.

Whatever is your fancy in films, I believe I have what you are looking for.

By Bari Demers

The below photo is a picture of a Grizzly my daughter took, while in Banff National Park in Canada. Myself, I have come up close and personal with a Griz, not by choice. It was indeed one of the most scary ordeals of my life.

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Go With Me

Go With Me

It’s official, “Go With Me” has started filming in Enderby, British Columbia, by Enderby Entertainment.

This past weekend, Sir Anthony Hopkins was discovered in my hometown Vernon, B.C.

Local Vernonettes couldn’t believe their eyes when they noticed Hollywood Star, Anthony Hopkins getting a coffee at Starbucks in the Village Green Mall, while his wife was shopping. At first, like my sister-in-law figured, it must be just a look-a-like.

But sure enough, it was indeed Sir Anthony Hopkins!

On Nov 2 2014, the Morning Star discovered, not only will Anthony Hopkins be playing the role as an ex-logger, but he’s also one of the producers. Joining him is no other than the incredible actor, Ray Liotta along with American starlet, Julie Stiles from the Bourne Ultimatum.

Of course all three actors have played many roles throughout the years, but who can’t forget Ray Liotta playing as the gangster in the movie,”Wise Guys” and Sir Anthony Hopkins as the evil character, Hannibal Lector from “The Silence of the Lambs.”

It was just in 2012, where actress Nicole Kidman and her husband, Country Star, Keith Urban were discovered enjoying a hockey game with the Vernon Vipers.

And just last year, around August of 2013, George Clooney was also seen in the Okanagan Valley, shooting the film, “Tomorrowland” by Walt Disney Pictures.

Seeing Hollywood Stars in the Okanagan is fast becoming a hot spot and we hope this kind of excitement doesn’t stop too soon.

But at the same time it’s important to give these professionals a little breathing space, so they can concentrate on their roles. I’m sure, like most Canadians, we will be polite in doing just that.

Pacific Northwest thriller, “Go With Me” is an action-drama directed by Swedish director, Hans Daniel Björn Alfredson, known for Millennium Trilogy.

The film will be based on the book by Castle Freeman Jr.

The storyline begins with a young woman returning to her hometown, who ends up becoming harassed by a crime boss. Anthony Hopkins is the ex-logger willing to help out the distressed woman.

It hasn’t been mentioned as of yet, but I’m going to assume Ray Liotta is playing as the crime boss.

It’s also humoured, the cast and crew will be filming around the small logging town, Lumby, which is the gateway to Shuswap Falls.

Growing up in Vernon, we commonly passed through Lumby heading for our fishing and hiking expeditions around Shuswap Falls.

Each filming project is a costly one, to be sure. So it wasn’t a surprise to hear about the company, Electric Entertainment will also be co-financing the project, selling international rights.

It’s my hope, with all this excitement throughout the Okanagan, screenwriters, like myself, who grew up in Vernon, B.C. will get a chance to showcase his screenplay to a famous producer or entertainment company.

Well, one can only hope – right?

As a matter of fact I’m working on a screenplay called, “Missing” based on the true story of a young hunter, up in Williams Lake, B.C. who went missing for over 16 hours in the wilderness, only to be hunted by a 800 lb Grizzly.

Just guess who the hunter was?

We have a wonderful selection of celebrities who would fit this troubling young hunter, along with a small cast of six actors.

Like all screenwriters already know, your screenplay had better be good, because, if they do come calling, it could be your first and only chance. So make it good!

Make it exciting!

Good luck to the cast and crew of ” Go With Me” including founders Rick Dugdale and Daniel Petrie, Jr., of Enderby Entertainment.

By Bari Demers

P.S.

For all those who lived in Vernon, my mom owned and operated the Spudnut Shop. My mom still resides in Vernon,B.C.

Follow me on Twitter @JRobbMontana: My neck of the woods #Okanagan #filminglocation @ENDERBYENT #GoWithMe. It’s gonna be a HIT for sure! #film #SirAnthonyHopkins #RayLiotta #JulieStiles

The photo below was taken during the Vernon Vipers game showcasing Nicole Kidman and her husband, Country Star, Keith Urban.

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What About Black Angels?

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What’s my Screenplay About :

Black Angels of Sirus 5 takes place over 100,000 years before mankind ever had a foothold on earth. It’s about an intelligent civilization desperate to find a suitable planet before their Sun Star, Sirius C becomes a “Red Giant” destroying home planet Sirus 5.

A highly trained elite military force of six women along with six men and two androids. The story focuses on the accomplishments and relationships of the women with their political male counterparts.

It brings to light the relationships between the women, such as Corporal Karen Jefferson and Science Officer Gill Christopher. How their secret past intertwines, complicating the overall mission on the new found planet,” Blue Earth”.

The women are the backbone with revealing twists throughout the thrilling horrifying plot of Black Angels of Sirus 5.

The men think they’re in charge, but it’s really the women who control the outcome of the storyline.

What the team doesn’t know turns into a horrifying experience, sure to change the fate of mankind forever!

My screenplay is based on past theoretical stories, where it has been said, man was visited by an intelligent species. At a time when mankind hadn’t yet evolved from “Ape-man”, but suddenly took a giant leap into the development of our evolution. It’s believed mankind was genetically crossed with the “Gods of the Heavens” known as the Sirian race.

Check out my Synopsis for more info

If you enjoy science-fiction movies and behind the scenes, join me on twitter @JRobbMontana

By Bari Demers
My photo above was taken by me in Mexico during sunset.