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SpaceCadet
05-23-2014, 07:32 PM
Hi all,

New to the forum and ComixTribe, and I gotta say there is some impressive stuff here. TPG is a bit brutal, but you all really know what you're talking about.

That being said, I'd rather get my stupid beginner mistakes out of the way as much as possible before submitting to TPG. This is my first time writing in this format, so I have a lot to learn.

Right now, I am more interested in format and panel descriptions. The overall story will have its time, but my concepts mean nothing if the technical side of it isn't there.

My script is part of a mini series I would like to write about personal demons. This first story in the series is about a girl whose parents are murdered, and she lets her hate for the murderer take over her life.

I will submit two pages for now so as not to be a burden. I look forward to any feedback.

Page Two (Five Panels)

Page Two, Panel One

High angle, this panel is an establishing shot of a funeral ceremony taking place in a modern day cemetery. Two dozen mourners are gathered, standing in a semi-circle around two coffins. We cannot make out any distinct facial characteristics, but there are three children at the front of the group: One an older teenage female aged 17-18, one slightly younger male aged 15-16, and one young girl aged 11. They are more pronounced than the other mourners, both by being in the front of the pack and by color contrast.

Caption: We all experience loss.

Page Two, Panel Two

Three-shot behind and slightly above the children. They are standing in front of two gravestones which read "Beloved Mother" and "Beloved Father" in large letters. The three children mentioned above stand in front of them, but we can only see their backs. The older girl and boy stand next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, while younger girl stands in front of the boy. The boy has his hands on the little girl's shoulders.

Caption: Death is a natural part of life, but the loss of a loved one is difficult to cope with. We all deal with it in our own way.

Page Two, Panel Three

Close up on the little girl. Her face is wet with tears and her eyes are closed, clearly distraught. We can see the brother's hands on her shoulders, but not his face.

Caption: Most of us react with sadness.

Page Two, Panel Four

Close up on the brother. He is clearly upset, eyes are red, but has a more stoic appearance than his sister. Beyond his eyes, there is little emotion on his face. We can see the top of the younger sister’s head, and the right shoulder of the older sister. These panels should be separate but also fit together like a puzzle if they were cute and overlapped.

Caption: Some stay strong for others.

Page Two, Panel Five

Close up on the face of the third child, the older daughter. She has a look of pure hatred on her face. A tear or two, but she is clearly more angry than sad. Again, we see part of the brother, his left shoulder, but the focus in on the older sister.

Caption: But some let something darker take over.

---------------Page Break (I have this actually formatted in Word)----------

Page Three (Six Panels)

Page Three, Panel One
Focus a gavel hitting a sound block, the end frame of a judge swinging the gavel. The torso and robes of a judge can be seen in the background. Sound lines are coming off of the sound block. A wooden judge’s bench is along the bottom of the panel.

Judge: Not guilty, by plea of insanity.

(Note: Having trouble finding what is actually said when entering a plea of insanity. That'll be a placeholder for now.)

Page Three, Panel Two

Judge's POV wide, this is an establishing shot of the courtroom. On the left side of the panel, the older sister remains in her seat, arms crossed and head down on the left side of the room (plaintiff), in the very front row of the gallery. The family’s lawyer is standing behind the plaintiff’s bench with his hands on his briefcase as if to close it. The two other siblings are in the aisle, facing towards the doors, heads lowered and away from the camera. On either side of them are a man and a woman with one arm on a child’s shoulder (Older man, right hand on boy’s right shoulder, boy, girl, older woman with left hand on girl’s right shoulder). Some other in the gallery can be seen in the background leaving the court room.

Page Three, Panel Three

Four-shot reverse angle of the two younger siblings and the two adults with them. The girl has her head facing towards the floor. Her eyes are red and her face is wet with tears. The boy’s face is also wet with tears, but his face is pointed towards the girl. His right hand (left-most hand in panel) is outstretched towards the young girl’s left hand, but not quite holding it. The older man and woman have their torsos facing towards the doors (towards camera) but are looking at each other, the woman with a tissue to her nose, and the man with a stoic expression. All four have one foot ahead of the other as if walking.

Caption: Loss can be its own demon, one that leaves an empty space within us. With time, these wounds can heal.

Page Three, Panel Four

Over the shoulder of the older girl, still seated on the right side of the room. Part of the jury box can be seen on the right. The family lawyer stands in front of the girl on the left side of the panel, one hand on the bar which separates them, the other holding his briefcase. The back of the older girls head is in the foreground. Her head is pointed towards the left side of the panel, presumably where the murderer is.

Lawyer: I'm sorry. I know that didn't turn out how you wanted. That man deserves life in prison.

Page Three, Panel Five

Shot from the jury box perspective, profile view of the girl in her seat on the left side of the panel, the lawyer standing with his hand on the bar on the right. Both heads are facing away from the camera towards the defendant’s table. The murderer can be seen in the background with his head tilted towards the floor, still in his seat.

Girl: That man murdered my parents.

Caption: But sometimes we fill that emptiness a demon of our own creation.

Page Three, Panel Six

Close up on the older girl’s face. She has the same look on her face as the cemetery scene: pure hatred.

Girl: He doesn’t deserve life.

(Note: Does this panel belong on the following page for suspense? Or does this statement create suspense for the next page?)

paul brian deberry
05-23-2014, 09:17 PM
interesting way to format your script, i like it.

I normally go 1.1, 1.2, and ETC.

As for the script I'm not going to nit pick things.

The main issue is you're getting to wordy with your panels. Each panel is a single shot in time. Think of a single picture. You can get details, emotions in that picture but you can only have one individual action take place.

Steven Forbes
05-23-2014, 11:22 PM
Hi all,

New to the forum and ComixTribe, and I gotta say there is some impressive stuff here. TPG is a bit brutal, but you all really know what you're talking about.



Hey, Space Cadet.

Glad you made it!

Just a point of clarification, though: this place is Digital Webbing. The owner of the place, Ed Dukeshire, was kind enough to host our forum here. So, while the links in the current articles lead back to the ComixTribe portion of the forums, we don't own this place. We're boarders (forgive the play on words).

Just wanted to clear that up. Thanks again! Hope you get what you're looking for, and submit to TPG.

(Also, do more homework. At least one of your labels for things are wrong. I've written a lot about writing comics in my Bolts & Nuts (http://www.comixtribe.com/columns/bolts-nuts/pouch-of-nuts/) column. There's a lot of information on how to write comics in there. Hope it helps!)

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 12:17 AM
interesting way to format your script, i like it.

I normally go 1.1, 1.2, and ETC.

As for the script I'm not going to nit pick things.

The main issue is you're getting to wordy with your panels. Each panel is a single shot in time. Think of a single picture. You can get details, emotions in that picture but you can only have one individual action take place.

Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to read what I have written as well as respond.

I actually borrowed the format from a BKV script of Y:The Last Man from a comic script archive site. I looked at a couple different scripts and thought I would try it out. I was very surprised to discover there was no one format. However, listening to creator podcasts and blogs, I think that the creative process is so different that there really shouldn't be just one.

If you are referring to the dialogue, I would be happy to hear any criticism. It isn't that I didn't want feedback on the, I just didn't want it to be ALL about the dialogue. You pointed out the wordiness in my panel descriptions already which I appreciate.

When editing my script I noticed I was doing a lot of moving panels. I think I got rid of most of that. To be clear, are you saying that I have moving panels or that there is simply too much going on in the panels for there to be a focus?

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 12:23 AM
Hey, Space Cadet.

Glad you made it!

Just a point of clarification, though: this place is Digital Webbing. The owner of the place, Ed Dukeshire, was kind enough to host our forum here. So, while the links in the current articles lead back to the ComixTribe portion of the forums, we don't own this place. We're boarders (forgive the play on words).

Just wanted to clear that up. Thanks again! Hope you get what you're looking for, and submit to TPG.

(Also, do more homework. At least one of your labels for things are wrong. I've written a lot about writing comics in my Bolts & Nuts (http://www.comixtribe.com/columns/bolts-nuts/pouch-of-nuts/) column. There's a lot of information on how to write comics in there. Hope it helps!)

Thanks for having me! I look forward to learning from (and hopefully contributing to) this group.

Ah apologies for that. The link was directly from the website so I just assumed. But you know what they say about assuming...
Thanks for the clarification.

I have been looking at those columns and you're not kidding, there is A LOT of information. I have been doing my best to take it all in, but there is a lot so I am sorry if I miss anything that should be obvious. I've already read a dozen TPG scripts to see what I could be doing better. Again, I wanted to post in this section so I could try to get basic rookie mistakes out of the way. I'm sure I will still make some if/when I submit to TPG, but hopefully I will make less. I will look into this and see if I can try to determining which label you are referring to.

Appreciate the help.

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 12:27 AM
Steven,

I don't expect you to do the work for me and point out directly which label you meant, but is there a particular Nuts and Bolts article that I should be looking at? 178 is quite a bit.


Also, is it possible for me to change my screen name after registering? It is occurring to me now that it would have been helpful for me to use my real name.

Steven Forbes
05-24-2014, 12:37 AM
Give Week 8 a shot... :)

As for changing your screen name, I can't help you with that, but I can point you in the right direction. Val Staples or Ed can do it.

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 12:42 AM
Thanks! Don't get me wrong, I plan on getting to them all at some point, but I shove in the right direction is helpful.

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 01:00 AM
Now I did notice you referred to what I called "narration" as "captions". I am only part way through the article (did I mention there is a lot of information on CT?) so perhaps I will find that it is something else.

If this is in fact what you were referring to, I do have a question:


Why do we allow all sorts of formats for scripting, but not terminology? I am new to writing comics, but it does seem a bit arbitrary to allow for a loose format but keep a strict usage of the word "caption".

Steven Forbes
05-24-2014, 01:14 AM
Now I did notice you referred to what I called "narration" as "captions". I am only part way through the article (did I mention there is a lot of information on CT?) so perhaps I will find that it is something else.

If this is in fact what you were referring to, I do have a question:


Why do we allow all sorts of formats for scripting, but not terminology? I am new to writing comics, but it does seem a bit arbitrary to allow for a loose format but keep a strict usage of the word "caption".

Great question! Here's the answer:

It's vocabulary, so that everyone knows what you mean when you say something. As long as everyone agrees with what you're saying, then communication is achieved. But as soon as you put any barriers in the way, communication becomes less effective.

Comic book scripting has a vocabulary. It isn't that deep or hard to learn, but it is very effective in conveying information.

Besides, there are different types of captions. It isn't all internal monologue.

Does that help any?

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 01:19 AM
Absolutely. Thank you for the help.

Does this mean I have to specify as to what kind of caption? By that I mean, do I need to specify that it is a narrator (non-character)?

Steven Forbes
05-24-2014, 01:44 AM
Nope.

If you have only one type of caption, then it isn't needed.

There are a LOT of permutations as to why things happen and when, but there's time. Just keep learning and pushing. You'll get there.

It's a tough road, but as long as you keep going and growing, you'll be there before you know it. Hopefully, the articles at the site will help.

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 09:16 AM
Steven,

I appreciate the patience as I learn the ropes. I am sure that it is frustrating reading the same mistakes over and over (but let's be honest, editor is an inherently masochistic position, so you're asking for it at least a LITTLE bit), so thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

My next step will be to read the Panel Description article and cut down my descriptions to be less busy. I will post an edit (24 hours after my original post of course) with the new panel descriptions.

Thanks again, I am learning a lot already.

SpaceCadet
05-24-2014, 08:41 PM
Questions and Edits


Establishing Shots (Tyler James)

- On Page Three, my establishing shot is actually the second panel of the scene. Being that the first panel is a close up of the judge's bench, can this actually be considered an establishing shot? However unlikely, for all we know it could be an insane man who brought a bench to the desert and sentences cacti to death, yes? The second panel makes it clear that we are in a court room. Must I make the first panel establishing shot? Does this count as a time when it would make sense to break the rule? Or is the first panel really the establishing shot as a logical person would assume we are in a court room?

B&N Week 9 - Panel Descriptions and Camera Angles

-I erred on the side of wordiness rather than sparseness. I can tell my second page is a bit longer in panel descriptions than the first. I am having difficulty deciding what is important and what is not. If anybody could point out a sentence or detail that could easily be removed, and why, I would appreciate it.

- I changed my camera angle to more universally accepted terms such as "high angle" and "wide".

Misc. Question

-Are sound lines an effective way to convey the loud noise coming from the gavel hitting the sound block? Should these be written in the panel description as they are not a written word?

Steven Forbes
05-24-2014, 09:39 PM
Questions. I love 'em!

Who wants to answer this before I weigh in? (Otherwise known as I'm at work and about to leave, and will answer when I get home.)

Schuyler
05-25-2014, 01:06 PM
Questions and Edits




-I erred on the side of wordiness rather than sparseness. I can tell my second page is a bit longer in panel descriptions than the first. I am having difficulty deciding what is important and what is not. If anybody could point out a sentence or detail that could easily be removed, and why, I would appreciate it.

- I changed my camera angle to more universally accepted terms such as "high angle" and "wide".

Misc. Question

-Are sound lines an effective way to convey the loud noise coming from the gavel hitting the sound block? Should these be written in the panel description as they are not a written word?

I am also a rookie but perhaps have a little more under my belt than you. I think my panel descriptions are worse than yours. However, I will give you some advice that I find helpful. Think about what it will look like as a static image. Then organize your panel description to describe the image left to right, foreground to background. I find after describing the image in this fashion I can get rid of extra stuff.

In answer to your question about sound. I believe that anything that makes sound inside the panel that does not come from a character is considered a sound effect. It would look like this,

SFX:
pow

I recently learned that you are not supposed to capitalize sound effects, nor are you supposed to put an exclamation point.

Please correct me if I am wrong on any of these points.

Schuyler
05-25-2014, 01:16 PM
Questions and Edits


Establishing Shots (Tyler James)

- On Page Three, my establishing shot is actually the second panel of the scene. Being that the first panel is a close up of the judge's bench, can this actually be considered an establishing shot? However unlikely, for all we know it could be an insane man who brought a bench to the desert and sentences cacti to death, yes? The second panel makes it clear that we are in a court room. Must I make the first panel establishing shot? Does this count as a time when it would make sense to break the rule? Or is the first panel really the establishing shot as a logical person would assume we are in a court room?


I am not quite fit to answer this question, but I have some of my own.

Your first panel is small because it is a close up, right?

The second panel is large because it your establishing shot.

How will it work on the page? Will the first panel sit in the top left corner of the second panel?

I believe that if you decide how the panels might fit together on your page you will have answered your own question.

SpaceCadet
05-25-2014, 07:10 PM
Schuyler,

Thanks for the advice.

I actually did that foreground to background in a couple panels, but I will try to apply that to my longer ones.


Yeah my thought was to have the gavel panel as the first panel as a single panel. The establishing shot would essentially be two panels wide, but only one panel.

Schuyler
05-25-2014, 08:00 PM
I am not sure if I am picturing it correctly.

The first and second panel are on the same horizontal plane, and the first is a vary narrow panel and the second wide. Is that right?

I actually try not to decide panel placement because my artist likes to decide that. The reason I asked the question was because I was wondering if you already had an idea of how it might work. It seems like you do. That's the most important thing. Does it make sense to you, and can you defend your logic when asked why you did something a little different.

I reread the part we are discussing and I personally think the two panels will flow nicely together so long as the first is not totally squished to the left side of the page. I think the gavel hit should be from the POV of the judge as well, though. Please take my advice lightly but I think it would be more clear if the second panel zoomed out on the first panel.

Anyway, good work. I feel like the clarity is better than what I am producing, and the idea is strong.

Good luck on your endeavors,

SpaceCadet
05-25-2014, 10:11 PM
I am not sure if I am picturing it correctly.

The first and second panel are on the same horizontal plane, and the first is a vary narrow panel and the second wide. Is that right?

I actually try not to decide panel placement because my artist likes to decide that. The reason I asked the question was because I was wondering if you already had an idea of how it might work. It seems like you do. That's the most important thing. Does it make sense to you, and can you defend your logic when asked why you did something a little different.

I reread the part we are discussing and I personally think the two panels will flow nicely together so long as the first is not totally squished to the left side of the page. I think the gavel hit should be from the POV of the judge as well, though. Please take my advice lightly but I think it would be more clear if the second panel zoomed out on the first panel.

Anyway, good work. I feel like the clarity is better than what I am producing, and the idea is strong.

Good luck on your endeavors,

In my mind yes, but I intentionally left that out for the reason you just described. I want to give the artist enough information to get the job done, but not constrain them. When I get to the point of art, and the artist says they want panel placement, I will include it.

Wow, actually that is a really good thought about the judge POV. I'm going to have to think about that one. I really like that though.

Have you produced any full work with an artist?

Schuyler
05-26-2014, 11:30 AM
Have you produced any full work with an artist?

No I have not. My artist and I have reached the five page mark on "Mystiker, Master of Walls and Ways". The little logo that goes above my name is the cover.

The other gentlemen, Steven, that has been answering questions is my editor. I buckled down and payed for him to edit my first script. It helped me a lot.

Learn as much as you can before you do your TPG but in the end don't count on any praise. They say the point is to find out what's really wrong with your work and fix it. But TPG is useful for something else. You get to see what the editor does with your work. It helps you to decide who's style best suits your current needs. Then you can try and hire them.

Schuyler
05-26-2014, 11:33 AM
I have been meaning to ask. Where is page 1?

SpaceCadet
05-26-2014, 11:38 AM
I look forward to seeing your completed work. What's the plan after it is finished?

Yeah that's exactly what I want to do. I'm not saying I won't still get torn apart, but at least it will be for more important mistakes than what I could have fixed in ten seconds like the narration versus caption.

I'm struggling with what I want to do with page 1. If you read my post in Creator Community" about a limited series as standalone stories, I mention that I am not sure how I want to start the series.

I could either move 2 and 3 to 1 and 2, or use page one to set the stage for the series. I need to make that decision soon or the suspense between beats is going to get thrown off because of the pages.

Steven Forbes
05-26-2014, 02:44 PM
Okay! I'm not at work, I'm rested, and I'm awake! Here we go!

Questions and Edits


Establishing Shots (Tyler James)

- On Page Three, my establishing shot is actually the second panel of the scene. Being that the first panel is a close up of the judge's bench, can this actually be considered an establishing shot? However unlikely, for all we know it could be an insane man who brought a bench to the desert and sentences cacti to death, yes? The second panel makes it clear that we are in a court room. Must I make the first panel establishing shot? Does this count as a time when it would make sense to break the rule? Or is the first panel really the establishing shot as a logical person would assume we are in a court room?

If the first panel is a close-up, it cannot be an establishing shot. Remember, an establishing shot answers four questions: Where, Who, When, and What. This can happen over a couple of panels, but it has to happen. Do you have to do an stablishing shot as the first thing? Not at all. Just as long as it gets done in time to make the location relevant to the story. Sometimes that's in the beginning, the middle, or at the end of a scene. It all depends on you and the story you're trying to tell.



B&N Week 9 - Panel Descriptions and Camera Angles

-I erred on the side of wordiness rather than sparseness. I can tell my second page is a bit longer in panel descriptions than the first. I am having difficulty deciding what is important and what is not. If anybody could point out a sentence or detail that could easily be removed, and why, I would appreciate it.

- I changed my camera angle to more universally accepted terms such as "high angle" and "wide".

Misc. Question

-Are sound lines an effective way to convey the loud noise coming from the gavel hitting the sound block? Should these be written in the panel description as they are not a written word?

Remember the format. Page number, Panel Description, Character Dialogue, and SFX.

Don't be lazy when it comes to sound effects. This is your job as the writer to sound out the sfx you want the letterer to put on the page. It isn't the letterer's job to hunt for it and then sound it out for you.

Hope that helps.

Steven Forbes
05-26-2014, 02:48 PM
In answer to your question about sound. I believe that anything that makes sound inside the panel that does not come from a character is considered a sound effect. It would look like this,

SFX:
pow

I recently learned that you are not supposed to capitalize sound effects, nor are you supposed to put an exclamation point.

Please correct me if I am wrong on any of these points.

Wrong? No, ot really. It depends on what you're going for.

9.9 times out of 10, your SFX are going to be capitalized. I don't know where you got the "not supposed to capitalize them" from. It doesn't matter if you use sentence case or all caps, in the overwhelming majority of the time, your sound effects are going to be all caps. Sometimes you'll have an exclamation mark at the end, sometimes not. It depends on what you're doing.

Schuyler
05-26-2014, 05:06 PM
Wrong? No, ot really. It depends on what you're going for.

9.9 times out of 10, your SFX are going to be capitalized. I don't know where you got the "not supposed to capitalize them" from. It doesn't matter if you use sentence case or all caps, in the overwhelming majority of the time, your sound effects are going to be all caps. Sometimes you'll have an exclamation mark at the end, sometimes not. It depends on what you're doing.

I read it on an article at Blambot.com. I don't think the writer of the article was trying to say that they would not get capitalized in the final product. I think he was saying not to capitalize them in your script. Why? I don't remember that part...

Schuyler
05-26-2014, 05:21 PM
Okay. I looked for the article but could not find it.

However, the website does tell you not to capitalize your dialogue, and thus I think they want the SFX in sentence as well. They also specify that SFX do not have exclamation points. This is obviously the taste of one letterer but I bet his reasons are logical and therefore apply to many letterers.

Steven Forbes
05-26-2014, 05:35 PM
I read it on an article at Blambot.com. I don't think the writer of the article was trying to say that they would not get capitalized in the final product. I think he was saying not to capitalize them in your script. Why? I don't remember that part...

Nate's a great guy and knows what he's talking about. If he said it, he said it for a reason.

SpaceCadet
05-28-2014, 05:05 PM
The thing is though, my SFX isn't a traditional onomatopoeia. Does it have to be?

Steven Forbes
05-28-2014, 05:31 PM
Have to be? Not at all.

It's easier if it is, though.