Currently in pre-production from LightWorkers Media
Writer(s): Brian Egeston
Director(s): Sean McNamara
Producer(s): Roma Downey, Mark Burnett, Autumn Bailey-Ford
Starring: Dennis Quaid
Plot Synopsis: After a small-town pilot dies unexpectedly while flying the plane, passenger Doug White is forced to land the plane safely in order to save his entire family. Based on an astonishing true story, On a Wing and a Prayer follows one man’s harrowing journey to save his family from insurmountable danger.
Jack Stone was dealt a bad hand as a foster kid, but he decided to strike out on his own and not let it get him down. With hard work and determination, he completed law school and passed the bar before landing himself a lucrative job at a top law firm. He always abided by his list of goals, and one of them was to start a family, so once he finally found the woman of his dreams, they become frustrated when they cannot have children. But one day a miracle occurs, yet Jack consistently puts his work first. Eventually, he will have to face the ultimate choice of what is important in his life.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
The List unfortunately had a limited budget, as most startup films do. There is shaky camera work and one too many dark lighting scenes. Audio quality is seemingly inconsistent, including a loud soundtrack. Sets and locations are fairly realistic. As for the editing, there are too many awkward cuts and transitions in pursuit of cramming tons of content into this film. However, it seems like more money was given to the second half of the film, as the production quality overall improves as the movie goes on. With that being said, it might have been better to make this film shorter so that money was saved and used more wisely. In the end, this is an average effort and is commendable for a pilot.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
It was very difficult to concisely summarize the plot of this film above because this story tries to cover so much content all at once. Beginning with a collection of unexplained and random scenes, The List grows and changes as the story jumps all over the place with no continuity. In an attempt to be an epic, all focus and purpose are lost in pursuit of covering ground and making time pass. There are also too many failed attempts at comedy and other wasted scenes that do nothing to build characters. Things just randomly happen and the empty and mindless characters are swept up in them. They need much more development and deepening through better dialogue. The only thing that keeps this plot from being a zero is the good message that is hidden somewhere in here. With this, there are loads of untapped potential that make for a disappointing watch.
Acting Quality (1 point)
As a slightly amateurish cast, sometimes the performances here can be lazy and goofy. At other times, the cast members seem robotic and overly coached. Thus, emotions are sometimes hard to connect with and lines are sometimes delivered awkwardly. But there are also good aspects to this cast as they show some potential for the future.
Epics are very hard to make and should be seldom attempted unless there is a really good (and probably true) story for the plot to build on. Characters must be developed even though time is passing quickly, and this is a difficult feat to pull off. If the creative team is not prepared to make an epic perfect, it can easily become a huge failure. Sometimes it’s better to stick with small ideas, especially if you are still trying to hone your film making skills. However, this team has potential for the future and we look forward to what they have planned next.