Freedom Is For The Birds

Jodi Sutherland JMSutherland@FIFTB.ca 1020808659003

ACTION ADVENTURE FAMILY DRAMA

2000s

JM Sutherland

Logline

A riveting, heartwarming saga of animal fiction that follows a family of red-tailed hawks, who are unaware they are the key to the fate of their kingdom.

Genre

Action,Adventure,Family,Drama

Short Summary

K'Lar and D'Ree fly along the mountains arriving in Alberta, finishing their spring migration north. The pair, however, find their valley has been destroyed by humans, and they face a future ready to their clutch eggs but with no nesting site or hunting territory.


At the Naming Ceremony for the juvenile hawks, K'Lar and D'Ree's male offspring, K'Mal, rallies the entire hawk assembly, against an attack by D'Ral and his gang of misfit hawks. Just before King D'Nar, dies right after the attack, he names K'Mal the next King.

Setting

Outside - Canadian Rocky Mountains, US dessert and Grande Canyon, and then into Mexico.

Based on a True Story

Yes

Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Happy Ending

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: K'Lar and D'Ree - parents

Age: adult hawks

Gender: Other

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Modest,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful

Additional Character Details

Name: Kmal and Kmin

Age: juveniles

Gender: Other

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Clumsy,Confident,Desperate,Engaging,Heroic,Insecure,Naive,Underdog,Modest,Obedient,Selfless

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

Live Action Animation Feature This riveting, heartwarming saga of animal fiction follows a family of red-tailed hawks, who are unaware they are the key to the fate of their kingdom.

About The Author

An independently published, award-winning, Canadian author, who's a passionate advocate for animal rights.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+,7-12

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

wildilfe enthusiast, animal and nature lovers, families

Publishing Details

Hard Copy Available

No

WGA Number

Information not completed

Genre

DRAMA, ACTION

Brief

A young, red-tailed hawk must find his way back to his family after a life-threatening injury. On his journey to find them in time for their ritual Naming Ceremony, he discovers the dangers of coming into contact with humans and what it means to be a caring friend. Upon finding his family, he learns that he is imbued with special abilities that make him eligible for the throne, only it’s being contested by another family member.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

SCRIPT

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: FAIR

Structure: FAIR

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile makes the story seem like it has to do with humans destroying natural habitats, but that concept only plays a marginal role in the plot. To improve, the script profile should be revised to better reflect the entirety of the script.

Draw of Story

There is no clear hook from the start, which made it difficult to find something to draw me into the story immediately. It seems to start as a social commentary on environmental degradation, but then quickly becomes a very different story. As soon as the story shifts, it’s unclear what the actual north star of the narrative is, and I got lost.

Possible Drawbacks

It is unclear what the writer is trying to say because there is no clear plot that runs through the script. The beginning leads the reader to believe the story will be about how humans are destroying habitats and pushing animals out of their homes. This plotline is quickly dropped for the adventure plot line of a child trying to reconnect with his family. And in the last few pages a completely new plot line is introduced about an evil hawk conspiring to take over the throne of the hawk king, with a metaphysical component. The jumping around of the story made it difficult to keep my attention. To avoid that, it would be helpful for the writer to choose a clearer through line and not introduce and then drop different plot lines.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

There is no clear hook from the start, which made it difficult to find something to draw me into the story immediately. It seems to start as a social commentary on environmental degradation, but then quickly becomes a very different story. As soon as the story shifts, it’s unclear what the actual north star of the narrative is, and I got lost.

Fanbase Potential

As written, it is unlikely for the film to have a large fanbase. This is because it is unclear what the script is trying to say and so unsure who it would appeal to. It is also difficult to determine exactly who the audience for this would be. The simple dialogue and premise seem like it is targeted towards young children, however there are a number of traumatic and violent occurrences that do not play to children. However, there are comparable animated films that are beloved and have a large fanbase. With significant changes that tighten the story, if executed well, it could garner loyal fans who like animation and animal stories and care about the environment.

Awards Potential

As a relatively simple animated or live action children’s story, as is, it is unlikely to have Awards potential. However, with a relatively small number of animated film contenders every year, if the script is tightened substantially and with much additional work, especially if it has a clear social message, there could be some possibility for the film to have Award potential.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

FERNGULLY, LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS, FINDING NEMO

What’s New About the Story

The interplay between the hawks’ perspective and the humans’ perspective is an interesting part of the story. However, this tactic is only used briefly at the beginning, and there isn’t a consistent human character who we come back to or learn anything about. Telling the story of environmental degradation through an interplay of the perspectives of animals and humans throughout the script could make the story more unique.

Lead Characters

KMAL, the juvenile male who is the main character of the story, shows a lot of empathy. His care for HECTOR, the dragonfly, models a kindness that is refreshing. We do not get to know the other main characters well enough to identify anything that makes them stand out. However, something that makes the characters stand out negatively is that all the main characters are male.

Uniqueness of Story

This script does not offer anything new and has a lot of premise and structural problems. The plot needs to be more focused and decide if it’s a story about hawks and humans as the beginning makes it seem or hawks against other hawks as it ends up in the end. The main character, Kmal, does not have a true character arc, because at the end, he repeats the same action of not listening to the hawk guards and going off on his own as he did at the beginning, of not listening to parents and going hunting on his own, that got him injured in the first place. He doesn’t seem to have learned and grown from his journey. The dialogue is very stiff, expository, and at times awkward, like, for instance, when the parents refer to their children as offspring. And lastly, it’s difficult to tell the audience for this film, because it comes off as very simple and PG, but then has surprising instances of violence that seem out of place for the cadence of the rest of the script. Working on those issues will help to improve the script.

Possible Formats

Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, Film - Indie

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

There are a lot of elements of the script that still need to be worked out. Right now, it feels like three different stories rather than three acts of a screenplay. Once the plot is defined, the writer will be able to strengthen the other elements of the script that still need work, like the character development and the dialogue.

Tips for Improvement

Whether it’s the story of hawk families displaced from their homes by humans or hawks battling with each other over power over their kingdom, the premise needs to be clearer and we need to understand what it is the writer is trying to say. The characters need to be more nuanced rather than serve mostly as devices, and ideally there would be more substantive female characters that don’t just fall into stereotypical female roles (T’Nal, Griffin, Allen, Hector, the King – none of these need to be male). The dialogue would need to sound more like the way people talk. It should be clear who the audience is for the film. Ultimately, it would need a major rework in order to consider recommending.

Logline

A riveting, heartwarming saga of animal fiction that follows a family of red-tailed hawks, who are unaware they are the key to the fate of their kingdom.

Short Summary

K'Lar and D'Ree fly along the mountains arriving in Alberta, finishing their spring migration north. The pair, however, find their valley has been destroyed by humans, and they face a future ready to their clutch eggs but with no nesting site or hunting territory.


At the Naming Ceremony for the juvenile hawks, K'Lar and D'Ree's male offspring, K'Mal, rallies the entire hawk assembly, against an attack by D'Ral and his gang of misfit hawks. Just before King D'Nar, dies right after the attack, he names K'Mal the next King.

FEEDBACK

Live Action Animation Feature This riveting, heartwarming saga of animal fiction follows a family of red-tailed hawks, who are unaware they are the key to the fate of their kingdom.

About The Author

An independently published, award-winning, Canadian author, who's a passionate advocate for animal rights.

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Characters

Main Character

Name: K'Lar and D'Ree - parents

Age: adult hawks

Gender: Other

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Modest,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful

Character 1

Name: Kmal and Kmin

Age: juveniles

Gender: Other

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Clumsy,Confident,Desperate,Engaging,Heroic,Insecure,Naive,Underdog,Modest,Obedient,Selfless