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MontesMayhem
04-06-2013, 10:46 AM
Hello,
I'm looking for some constructive criticism for a 5-page script I wrote. I've always loved comic books and writing. So I figured, what the hell, and try scripting a mini comic. I've only done short stories before. Any help/advice that anyone can give, would really be appreciated!

The "layout" under each page is how I would plot the design. I found it easier (for me) to specifically draw the outline of the page, rather than try and describe it.

Also, I won't mention what the concept or idea was behind the story. Hopefully I get it across and it won't be lose in translation.

Thank you all so much in advance, and I hope you like it.
- Nick

"FATHER KNOWS BEST?"

PAGE ONE
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/FGwFVHf.jpg?1 (http://imgur.com/FGwFVHf)

1- Dad 1 (White Guy/Carpenter) and infant son walk up to playground.

2- Dad 2 (Black Guy/Suit) and infant son walk up to playground.

3- Kids placed in sandbox with toys

4- Fathers approach bench in playground.

PAGE TWO
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/EeToFul.jpg?1 (http://imgur.com/EeToFul)

1- “Father Knows Best?” Logo

2- Front view. Both dads sit on a bench. Look tired

3- View of dads from behind bench. See kids playing.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Long day?

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
More like week. I’d kill for a beer and a ball game.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
I hear ya brother.

4- Front angle view of dads. Dad 2 (Black / Suit) is closer.

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
Eh, the amount of people I’m in charge of, the deadlines I need’ta meet,
all the hours I put in…
It’s just real tough. Not sure if anyone can really understand.

5- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) his head looking skeptical and annoyed

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Oh really…

PAGE 3
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/TxYAN2q.jpg?1 (http://imgur.com/TxYAN2q)

1- Dad 2 (Black / Suit) close-up

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
It takes a toll on ya. Mentally and physically.
Something not many understand.

***Cell phone ringing in Dad 2’s pocket***

2- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) with arm on top of bench. Can see dirty / callused working hands. Talking sarcastically.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Oh yeah. Pushing papers must be a real bitch.
Someone that puts dry-wall up 12 hours a day could never understand.

***Cell phone ringing off panel in Dad 2’s (Black / Suit) pocket***

3- Dad 2 (Black / Business) acts defensive and is annoyed

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
Take it easy man.
It’s not a pissing contest.
I’m just saying…Ugh…I need to get this call.

4- Old beat up flip phone. Says ‘work’ on I.D.

5- Big emphasis on extremely adorable infants. One is playing with a toy. The other is mesmerized by it. Doesn’t act jealous nor tries to take it. Just looks astonished. Dads still shown on bench in background. Dad 2 (Black / Suit) is on the phone.

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
Hey Scott. Is there a problem with the…Scott…you there?
I can hear you now. Wait, now you’re breaking up.
Scott you there? I have one stinking bar.
Scott. Sott you there…aaahhh Dammit!

6- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) shows brand new iPhone.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Got to keep with the times man. You need something
Dependable like this when you’re in charge of so many people.

PAGE FOUR
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/IVC4Mmt.jpg?1 (http://imgur.com/IVC4Mmt)

1- Dad 2 (Black / Suit) angry close-up.

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
You have a problem with me?

2- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) sarcastic medium shot.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Me? Nah, you wouldn’t understand.

3- Kids look at each other. One sees how the other is astonished by the toy. Shares toy with other kid.

4- Dad 2 (Black / Suit) blowing up. Close up.

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
You better watch your lip little man!

5- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) angrily yelling back. Close up.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Like you know what’s it’s like being a real fucking man!

6- Front view of the dads yelling at each other. Kind of nose-to-nose. Lower view from the bench (almost from a toddler perspective).

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
LISTEN MOTHER FUCKER!

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
NO YOU LISTEN!

“DAD 1 & 2”
Word bubbles clash with expletives & random words.

X X X = Two screams coming from the babies.

7- Both dads quickly turn heads towards kids. Faces pale and visibly shaken from the screams. Can be same view as 6 or whatever angle that makes it look more dramatic.

PAGE 5
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/7iZUocj.jpg?1

1- Two kids are screaming and playing at the top of their lungs in the sandbox still. Second kid (who was astonished before) is now playing with that amazing toy. Other kid is clapping and enjoying watching his amusement.

2- Medium shot of two dads exhaling in relief.

3- Wider shot than 2. Dads look at each other, kinda laughing, and have a look as if they’re thinking, “what were we just mad about?”

4- Shot from behind. Elevated from Dads. Can also see kids playing.

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
So you think Jeter will bounce back?

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Oh yeah. He’s gotta keep those super model girlfriends happy.
It’s good motivation.

THE END

Clockworm
04-16-2013, 02:27 PM
Hi Nick,
Here are some notes on your script.

"FATHER KNOWS BEST?"

PAGE ONE
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/FGwFVHf.jpg?1
(Useless you're drawing this yourself, leave the layouts to the artist. The artist is there to take your script and run with it. Don't chain them to the start line. You needn't describe the layouts in your panel description, either.)

1- Dad 1 (White Guy/Carpenter) (How about you give him a name? Also, how does him being a carpenter affect his appearance in anyway while out of work?) and infant son walk up to playground. (On top of being a moving panel, this is extremely sparse. What playground? Where? What time of day is it? Where in the world is this? What's the camera angle? Throw the artist a bone.)

2- Dad 2 (Black Guy/Suit) (Same again. Give him a name.) and infant son (The same infant son as the previous panel?) walk up to playground. (Where did Dad 1 go?)

3- Kids placed (Who's kids? Who placed them?) in sandbox with toys (Full stop. Again, this is VERY sparse. Help the artist help you.)

4- Fathers approach bench in playground. (Expressions?)

This is a terrible start. Four barely described panels and no dialogue make for a very fast read. There's currently nothing here. Nothing you can call story, anyway. I realise that this is a set-up, but it needs more. Add one or two more panels (the average page holds 5-7) and get some dialogue in there. As this is, there's no hook. Nothing that grasps me. Nothing to make me turn the page.



PAGE TWO
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/EeToFul.jpg?1

1- “Father Knows Best?” Logo (What is this? Is this something you've designed before hand? Will the artist know what this is? Also, where is it? Shouldn't it be a title caption on an actual panel?)

2- Front view. Both dads sit on a bench. Look tired (Think in static images. You can't show someone sit down in comics. It helps to use the past tense e.g. the dads have sat on the bench. That's what the artist will draw.)

3- View of dads from behind bench. See kids playing. (You can just about get away with this one. Still, this could do with more. You've yet to make mention of other parents/kids in the area.)

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)” (Name them. These tags are just too unwieldy. You could also describe them on a separate page so that when you reference them the artist knows who and what to draw.)
Long day?

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
More like a week. I’d kill for a beer and a ball game.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
I hear ya (Comma.) brother.

(Formatting you dialogue with quote marks may be misleading. I suggest this; DAD 1 (WHITE GUY/CARPENTER): Dialogue here.


4- Front angle view of dads. Dad 2 (Black / Suit) is closer. (Closer to what? The camera? How so?)


“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
Eh, (Ellipsis instead of a comma.) The amount of people I’m in charge of, (Another ellipsis instead of a comma.) the deadlines I need’ta meet, (Ellipsis instead of comma.)
all the hours I put in…
(Break the next line into another balloon.)
It’s just real (Cut that 'real'.) tough. Not sure if anyone can really understand.

5- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) his head looking skeptical and annoyed (His head looks skeptical and annoyed? Strange wording here. Also, what's the shot? Medium close up? Face shot?)

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Oh (Comma.) really…

Nothing much is happening. Combine pages one and two. That'll both speed up the story so we can get to something interesting more quickly, and give page one more meat.


PAGE 3
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/TxYAN2q.jpg?1

1- Dad 2 (Black / Suit) close-up. (How close up?)

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
It takes a toll on ya. Mentally and physically.
Something not many understand.

***Cell phone ringing in Dad 2’s pocket*** (This should be formatted much like dialogue e.g. CELL PHONE (ELEC): Ring. That or a sound effect e.g. SFX (PHONE): Ring. Either would suffice. The ELEC tag tells the letterer to use a jagged balloon to indicate an electrical source.)

2- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) with arm on top of bench. Can see dirty / callused working hands. (This needs to be described in a character description page, or when we first saw him.) Talking sarcastically. (How can the artist visually represent someone talking sarcastically? Cut this in favour of a drawable expression.)

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Oh (Comma.) yeah. (Ellipsis.) Pushing papers must be a real bitch.
Someone that (Change 'that' to 'who'.) puts dry-wall up 12 (Don't put numbers in dialogue. Spell them.) hours a day could never understand.

***Cell phone ringing off panel in Dad 2’s (Black / Suit) pocket***

3- Dad 2 (Black / Business) acts defensive and is annoyed. (How does he act defensive? Give the artist something to draw.)

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
Take it easy man.
It’s not a pissing contest.
(Break.)
I’m just saying…(Space.)Ugh…(Space.)I need to get this call.

4- Old beat up flip phone. Says ‘work’ on I.D. (Where did this come from? Who's hand is it in?)

5- Big emphasis (How do you want the artist to achieve this emphasis? Close up? Big panel?) on extremely adorable infants. (Where are they?) One is playing with a toy. The other is mesmerized by it. Doesn’t act jealous nor tries to take it. (Why give instructions on what isn't happening?) Just looks astonished. Dads still shown on bench in background. (Doing what? Looking at the children? Describe more.) Dad 2 (Black / Suit) is on the phone.

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
Hey (Comma.) Scott. Is there a problem with the…Scott…you there? (Put a space after an ellipsis.)
I can hear you now. Wait, now you’re breaking up.
Scott you there? I have one stinking bar.
Scott. Sott you there…aaahhh Dammit! (This chunk of dialogue is painful. Cut this down to a sentence or two.)

6- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) shows brand new iPhone. (Shows? Who to? How? What?)

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Got to keep with the times man. You need something
dependable like this when you’re in charge of so many people. (Cut 'of so many people'.)

This is painfully boring. What's the point to this story? What's it about? Whatever this is, get there more quickly.


PAGE FOUR
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/IVC4Mmt.jpg?1

1- Dad 2 (Black / Suit) angry close-up. (Face shot? Medium shot? Something else?)

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
You have a problem with me? (Whoa? He only recommended he get a different phone. It wasn't much of a direct insult.)

2- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) sarcastic medium shot. (Sarcastic shot? What is that?)


“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Me? Nah, you wouldn’t understand.

3- Kids look at each other. One sees how the other is astonished by the toy. Shares toy with other kid. (There's several actions in this panel, all undrawable and moving. Focus on what's important, the child handing the other child the toy.)

4- Dad 2 (Black / Suit) blowing up. Close up. (Blowing up? What does that mean? How can that be drawn?)

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
You better watch your lip (Comma.) little man!

5- Dad 1 (White / Carpenter) angrily yelling back. Close up.

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Like you know what’s (That should be just 'what'.) it’s like being a real fucking man!

6- Front view of the dads yelling at each other. Kind of nose-to-nose. Lower view from the bench (almost from a toddler perspective).

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
LISTEN (Comma.) MOTHER FUCKER!

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
NO! YOU LISTEN!

“DAD 1 & 2”
Word bubbles clash with expletives & random words. (Don't make the letterer do your job. Put those words in.)

X X X = Two screams coming from the babies. (I don't know what this is. What babies? Where? What do those X's mean?)

7- Both dads quickly turn heads towards kids. (Moving panel. Have them already turned.) Faces pale and visibly shaken from the screams. (No expressions though?) Can be same view as 6 or whatever angle that makes it look more dramatic.

Finally, something's happening! I like the dichotomy between the parents and kids. It's a nice thematic message. Shame that it's buried under so much bad writing.


PAGE 5
Layout = http://i.imgur.com/7iZUocj.jpg?1

1- Two kids are screaming and playing at the top of their lungs in the sandbox still. (Yet you have no dialogue indicating the screams?) Second kid (who was astonished before) (This is where you need names. Name these people, even if it just for the artist.) is now playing with that amazing toy. (What actually is this toy?) Other kid is clapping and enjoying watching his amusement.

2- Medium shot of two dads exhaling in relief.

3- Wider shot than 2. (Huh?) Dads look at each other, kinda laughing, and have a look as if they’re thinking, “what were we just mad about?” (How is the artist going to draw that? That's maddeningly complex. How can you get that long line of conceptual thought from a static facial expression?)

4- Shot from behind. Elevated from Dads. Can also see kids playing. (Vague. More description.)

“DAD 2 (BLACK GUY / SUIT)”
So you think Jeter will bounce back?

“DAD 1 (WHITE GUY / CARPENTER)”
Oh yeah. He’s gotta keep those super model (Supermodel is one word.) girlfriends happy.
It’s good motivation. (Cut that last line.)

THE END (This should be a caption.)


Right. Let's run it down.

Format: A few hitches which can easily be solved. Your punctuation, however, needs work. Learn to use commas and end your sentences with a full stop.


Panel Descriptions: They need work. A lot of work. More description all round. Offer up a camera angles and actually say what the characters are doing. Terms like 'playing' etc. are vague. Don't just give us 'what'. Give us 'how'. Remember to give your characters expressions. Act them. How else are we supposed to connect?

Due to your minimalism, the artist isn't going to want to work with you again, as they're going to be doing most of your job.


Pacing: Bad. There's a lot here you can cut. The first two pages can be combined for instance. You lost me after three pages of absolutely nothing. Condense.


Dialogue: There needs to be more. The first page had none. Dialogue is interesting. It draws us into the story. Use it. What you had was overwrought. Cut it down.


Content: This need more. A lot more. You have the basis of a nice little thematic story, it just needs work. I can't help but thinking this would be more effective if the kids actually got into real danger, and the dads had to work together to help them, forcing them to toss their differences aside.


That's all I've got for now.
I hope my notes help you to better this story and your writing.
Let me know if you have questions.

Found this critique helpful? I'm available for editing work! (http://www.lhcomics.com/editing)
Cheers
Liam