IndustryCentral ScreenWriters Exchange: Action/Adventure: The Key
A hot, southwestern sun rises on an arid landscape. As the morning's rays touch the face of the cliff, mysterious images, of a long, dead past, are awaken. The mind wonders at the sight of this ancient Indian ruin. Who created the Pueblos and why? Modern archeology does not understand them, to this day. That's why Professor Sams decides to take his summer school class to these sites to unravel their mysteries. Age old mysteries as old as time, and newer ones that are about to be unearthed.
As the excavation begins, a student finds what appears to be perfectly, carved steps hewn out of the rock floor. Sams and his dedicated students follow the trail of these steps. They lead to an entrance that has been buried for centuries. Upon opening the door and entering this cave, Professor Sams and his class come face to face with a find of unbelievable wonder.
The cave contains geometric designs and colors that assail the senses. Sams orders his second in command, George, to oversee the cataloging of all scientific data, as he proceeds further into the cave. What he finds further on into the cave is an object of technological wonder that shouldn't be buried in this cave. Sams uncovers "The Key" but, to what? And to whom does "The Key" belong? Sams seeks guidance from his Indian guide, Eddy Two Feathers, as to what the object could be. Learning from Eddy and his Grandfather, the local Medicine Man, Sams begins to get an idea as to what he holds in his hands. The old man tells him authentic Indian tales to help Sams understand. Upon opening the cave did Sams unleash a terrible menace that the Indians believe to be "Where the Monster is shut up"? After learning that he might have desecrated a burial ground, Sams decides to close the dig down and take "The Key" and Eddy with him back to Los Angeles.
As they leave the Pueblos, Eddy notices that a black car is following them. In the car are two government agents working to undermine Sams and his discovery. As they arrive, Sams notices that his study has been ransacked. That puts them both on alert. Knowing that their lives could be endanger, Eddy decides to informs Sams that he's next in line to be chief and that he's working on his doctorate in anthropology. He also notifies the professor that when they do discover what "The Key" is, then he will claim it as an Indian relic.
Working against Sams and for the government agents, George, decides to pump Sams for information as to why they left "the discovery of the century", to come back to LA Eddy, sensing that George isn't what he seems, has Sams lay a trap for George. He falls for it and the two know that George could be mixed up with the ransacking of Sams' study and the men in the black car.
George, being torn apart by spying on Sams, decides to call off his surveillance and becomes a murder victim. The agents setting up Sams for George's murder think they can trap Sams and retrieve "The Key". Eddy outsmarts the agents, rescues Sams and takes him back to the reservation. Looking over the two fugitives are shadowy figures that help to control the damage brought on by the agents.
Unknown to Eddy, the agents have killed his grandfather, while intensely questioning him. Eddy comes back to find out he must now face "the ritual of fire and water", to become the next chief, find his grandfather's killers and unlock the secrets to "The Key". Can he and Sams do it before the agents get them?
124 Roma Ave. Buffalo, NY 14215
THE KEY, while colorful, seems a collection of too familiar elements. The government agents, in particular, seem to move without legitimate motivation. They are characters we have seen in last year's television shows.
Richard_Anthony, you seem to have a flair for showmanship. Your stories have imagination and suggest excitement. Next time, try to dig a little deeper. Don't write the first thing that comes to mind. First thoughts usually are cliches. Throw away your first thoughts and examine your characters. Who are they? Why do they do the things they do? Let your stories grow out of character rather than arbitrarily pushing characters into familiar patterns.
I don't mean to discourage you. But screenplays that sell usually have fresh characters or fresh story directions - or both. Audiences are getting more and more sophisticated. They simply won't accept more of the same.
What exactly is "The Key?"
Good luck to you!
Critique by Alan A. Armer
|-- WARNING --
|Protect your work|
The US Copyright Office has Free Forms
|Protect your work
First Register your screenplay with the Writers Guild of America