Devil's Ink by Michael Elsey | Script Revolution

Devil's Ink

Type:

Status:

Page Count: 
91pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Logline: 
A centuries-old demonic war comes to Earth when a repressed art restorer receives a mystical tattoo that transforms him into a supernatural warrior that must battle a fallen angel and his demon army.
Synopsis/Details: 

Tattoos have been around for centuries, but for the brash, brave or fated, to be inked holds the
key to the darker forces of the supernatural. Legends speak of men and women with demon
blood tattoos that allow them to transform into terrible demons intent on destroying both
heaven and hell. And the earth is in the way.
Devil's Ink is written with the supernatural-infused action of Underworld and the family first
code of honor of The Fast and Furious.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

SUBMITTED TO Nick Clement AUTHOR Michael Elsey
SUBMITTED BY Michael Elsey
READER Nick Clement DRAFT DATE Unknown
LENGTH 92 pages TIME PERIOD Present Day
LOCATION Contemporary USA with
otherworldly elements

BUDGET (High,
Medium, Low)

Medium to High
(depending on various
factors…)

GENRE Horror/Sci-Fi/Action SIMILAR

PROJECTS/INSPIRATIONSLegion, The Prophecy,Percy Jackson

Admittedly, this genre is not really “my thing.” I’m not interested in dragons and
demons and orcs and Lord of the Rings and CGI. It’s just not where I’m at as a
movie-goer. But, when it comes to writing samples, and seeing what OTHERS might
enjoy, I like to think I’m a good judge of talent. DEVIL’S INK is some cool stuff all
around. I’ve never seen a fantasy epic quite like this one, and the descriptive
imagery was at times startling; I read this one twice because I ended up getting
wrapped up in the world and rules and imagery the first time around, which sort of
distracted from the story and characters. Not in a manner that would suggest you
have a lopsided script or that you need to make wholesale changes because overall
I don’t think that’s the case – I just think that for some readers, especially those like
myself who think in nearly purely visual terms – you have painted on a huge canvas
that invites the audience to be sucked in.
I can appreciate when ANY writer takes ANY script seriously, regardless of the genre
and if it’s one of my “favorites,” and it’s abundantly clear that you have been
thoughtful in your choices and ideas with DEVIL’S INK. Simply put, I’ve not read
anything like this before, and I can’t really think of too many films that have
trafficked in this sort of imagery. The climactic battle is totally wild and not a simple
rehash of earlier set-pieces, and you have action literally popping up at nearly 10
minute intervals (Joel Silver eat your heart out!), while not skimping on interesting
characters or presenting a narrative with plot-holes you can drive a Buick through.
Also, at 92 pages, you’ve done the smart thing in that you’ve taken into
consideration just how LONG some of this action would take to play out on-screen;
this is some elaborate business, and because of that and the fact that you haven’t
padded the script with nonsensical filler, the narrative moves at a fast yet still
coherent pace, and wouldn’t become ass-numbingly long like some of the more
bloated blockbusters of the last few years.
From a character standpoint, you’ve got a bevy of memorable beasts, heroes, baddies, and
everything else in between. And I love how everything POPS off the page – everyone is fully
described, and is fully individual, which when it comes to creating otherworldly creatures,
can be a challenge in terms of keeping them all as specific as possible. All of the beasts
have edge, menace, and danger associated with them, and I loved reading the action beats
because you really got down and dirty with what they’d be capable of as entities. And in
terms of balancing the human element within the confines of something that otherwise
skews very much into the realm of fantasy, it all feels grounded enough so that it can be

taken seriously. The tattoo artist element also gives the script further dimension, and I
loved how integral that world was to the entire piece – it wasn’t just a gimmick to advance
some cool special effects moments, but it helps to serve the entire story.

Submitted: May 16, 2020
Last Updated: July 3, 2020

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The Writer: Michael Elsey

Michael Elsey is an educational consultant and director of digital media by day for a nonprofit educational organization based in Chicago. He carves out hours of his night to write. Then time also has to be made for Netflix, The Criterion Channel and Hulu. His scripts have won a variety of screenwriting contests. His self published novel With or Without Pulp is available on Amazon. He is a member of the WGA West Independent Writers Caucus. He is currently finishing a second novel and fleshing out a treatment for another screenplay. Go to bio

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