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Bovy
07-28-2014, 08:17 PM
Hello friends,

I recently submitted this script to a magazine only for it to be rejected. I need script feedback.

What do I need to work on?

My girlfriend says the script needs to be punchier. Is that all? How do I turn this into Killing Joke? Nemesis? Hell, Kick-Ass?

Thanks, in advance.


SCENE 1. EXT. BILLINGDON ESTATE GARDEN. DAY.

PAGE 1.

1. GERRY MASON and CHUCK MORGAN have escaped from a prison van. Handcuffed together they have stumbled across the BILLINGDON ESTATE, as stated by a large sign. This house is owned by MARY MURRAY, it is a large country mansion. The architectural style is a cross between 1930s and modernist. We see the silhouette of the handcuffed escapees in the foreground, who are heading in the direction of the house, inviting lights coming from the house. Both characters are dressed in prisoner's attire. GERRY MASON is broadly built, with a large bulbous face. CHUCK MORGAN has weaker facial characteristics and sports a spiv's pencil moustache. The duo could be described as jive conmen.

NARRATIVE VOICE
BOX: I GUESS I'M WHAT YOU'D CALL AN ECCENTRIC LONER.

BOX: MY LIFE'S REALLY NOT EXCITING, THERE ARE NO SHOWBIZ PARTIES, WELL, NOT AFTER HANK DIED.

2. CHUCK MASON is around the back of the house, he makes a noise by putting his foot through a knee-high glasshouse.

BOX: IS WAITING TO DIE REALLY SO EXCITING?

BOX: WATCHING ALL YOUR FRIENDS PASS BY UNTIL YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE LEFT?

SFX SMASH!

3. GERRY MASON and CHUCK MORGAN stand outside MARY MURRAY'S bedroom and watch her put her pearls into her wall safe.

BOX: BUT ALL I DESIRED WAS COMPANIONSHIP.

GERRY MASON: THEM PEARLS THE SIZE OF EGGS, BOY.

CHUCK MORGAN GEE WHIZZ.

4. GERRY MASON cuts his hand busting open MARY MURRAY'S study window.

BOX: FRIENDSHIP

GERRY MASON: GOD DAMN.

CHUCK MORGAN GERRY!

5. CHUCK MORGAN takes a paper clip from the writing desk and unlocks the handcuff lock.

BOX: I GUESS THINGS DON'T ALWAYS WORK OUT THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO.

CHUCK MORGAN: LITTLE TRICK I PICKED UP IN THE PEN.


PAGE 2

1. GERRY MASON and CHUCK MORGAN spy on MARY MURRAY who, in her living room, paints a portrait of her dog. They are in the hallway.

BOX: I NEVER SAW THEM COMING, SO COULDN'T HAVE IMAGINED WHAT THEY'D PUT ME THROUGH.

GERRY MASON: SHH...

2. MARY MURRAY discovers the men in her house.

BOX: IN MY YOUTH, I WAS A SOCIAL CHAMELEON, A LOVER OF CONVERSATION.

MARY MURRAY: WHO'S THERE? COME OUT I CAN HEAR YOU.

3. GERRY MASON and CHUCK MORGAN rush into the living room. CHUCK MORGAN pins MARY MURRAY to the floor.

BOX: HANK ENCOURAGED ME TO EXPLORE THE ARTS, TO FOLLOW MY DREAMS.

GERRY MASON: GRAB HER!

CHUCK MORGAN; YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE LADY.

4. GERRY MASON takes a commanding position in the living room.

BOX: WE WERE CONSERVATIVE WITH A SMALL C.

GERRY MASON: WHERE ARE THE DAMN CAR KEYS?

MARY MURRAY: I...I...IN THE KITCHEN....

5. GERRY MASON peers into MARY MURRAY'S face, with big threatening eyes.

BOX: I ATTENDED CHURCH, FUNDRAISED FOR THE COMMUNITY.

GERRY MASON: WHERE'S YOUR SAFE KEY? WE KNOW YOU GOTS ONE.

MARY MURRAY: HANGING UP IN THE BASEMENT, NEXT TO THE BOILER.

PAGE 3. INT. BASEMENT DOOR. DAY.

1. GERRY MASON opens the basement door, and is barged by PORKER, a massive pig in a tutu.

BOX: SO, AT WHAT POINT DID I DECIDE TO DRESS A PIG IN A TUTU?

SFX: REEIK!

GERRY MASON: MY GOD.

2. GERRY MASON lands on his back in the hall, PORKER readies himself for another attack.

BOX: HAD I LOST MY MIND?

BOX: YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES I HAD TO ASK MYSELF THAT VERY QUESTION.

3. GERRY MASON runs into the kitchen.

BOX: I GUESS MY FRIENDSHIP WITH PORKER STARTED AS A JOKE, I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUNNY TO DRESS HIM UP.

4. GERRY MASON arms himself with a kitchen knife.

BOX: BUT AS TIME WENT ON, MY RELATIONSHIP WITH PORKER BECAME ONE OF NEED AND DEPENDENCE.

5. PORKER charges at GERRY MASON.

BOX: THEN HE BECAME A SYMBOL OF MY LONELINESS.
PAGE 4. INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

1. GERRY MASON is knocked into the display cabinet, displacing ornamental plates, which smash and shatter abundantly.

BOX: PERHAPS EVEN, A REPRESSED FRAGMENT FROM MY UNCONSCIOUS MIND.

2. CHUCK MORGAN rushes in to help GERRY MASON, with the fire poker.

NO DIALOGUE.

3. CHUCK MORGAN is butted by PORKER

NO DIALOGUE.

4. CHUCK MORGAN is knocked out cold.

NO DIALOGUE.

5. GERRY MASON gets to his feet, MARY MURRAY scampers into her bedroom.

BOX: THEY CAME AND BROKE THE SILENCE.

PAGE 5. INT. MARY MURRAY'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

1. GERRY MASON brandishes the poker at MARY MURRAY.

BOX: BUT WHAT WAS IT THEY REALLY WANTED?

2. GERRY MASON has taken a step towards MARY MURRAY.

BOX: WHAT LAY IN THEIR COLD HEARTS?

GERRY MASON: GIMME THOSE PEARLS BEFORE I BASH YOUR HEAD IN.

MARY MURRAY: MY PEARLS? W...WHY WOULD YOU WANT THEM?

3. GERRY MASON has grabbed MARY MURRAY, she is on her knees, the poker centimetres from her eyes.

BOX: WHAT HAD THEY SEEN AND DONE?

GERRY MASON: 'CAUSE I SAY SO GRANDMA.

4. MARY MURRAY pleads with GERRY MASON.

BOX: AT WHAT LENGTHS WERE THEY WILLING TO TRAVEL?

MARY MURRAY: THEY'RE PLASTIC, MY HUSBAND GAVE THEM TO ME.

MARY MURRAY: I KEEP THEM IN THERE FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS.

5. GERRY MASON reels back in horror. Fate has conspired against him and his accomplice. The sound of police sirens fill the night, as the SFX choke the panel.

BOX: HOW FAR WERE THEY WILLING TO TRAVEL INTO MADNESS?

GERRY MASON: YOU WHAT?!

SFX: WHEEE!!

THE END.

Steven Forbes
07-28-2014, 08:36 PM
There is a TON wrong here.

I suggest you submit this to The Proving Grounds. There's a link to the ComixTribe site in my signature. I also suggest you read a few of them first, so that you have a very good idea as to what you'd be getting into if you submit.

LukePierce
07-29-2014, 10:29 AM
First off. Format.

This is bloody impossible to read!

Ditch the 1. Scene. Ext bit, this can be used in the script.

I'm only going to rewrite the first panel so you can see the problem. You're not introducing stuff in a logical order. You call for a silohuette, when the artist may have drawn everything in detail, only to find that it's not needed. You're saying this is a day scene, but the lights are on at the house. You're describing the characters, but a character reference sheet will do. How can we see the details of the characters running towards the (seen) house?

This is what I picked up and I'm not even professional. Steven, on the other hand, is. I would seriously suggest that you look at the format of your script, the manner in how your characters speak to each other and retool how you do your panel descriptions. Sure, this will stop Steven having a bit of "fun" in completely tearing your script apart, but it will be utterly soul destroying.

Anyway, have a quick look at my rewrite, see if you agree with it or not and, even if you don't agree with it, have a look in how you can actually re-write it.

Also, Steven doesn't like saying it, but I will: Ensure you have page breaks!

Page One of Five
5 panels

Panel One

EXT. BILLINGDON ESTATE GARDEN. DAY.

GERRY MASON (character sheet 1) and CHUCK MORGAN (character sheet 2) are handcuffed together and are running across the grounds of the BILLINGDON ESTATE as stated by the large sign that they are running past. GERRY is on the left as we see them and CHUCK on the right.
In the background is a large country mansion, constructed in a late 1930s and modernist style (ref?) and is owned by MARY MURRAY (introduced later).


NARRATIVE VOICE (WHO??! Mary?)

BOX: I'M AN ECCENTRIC LONER, I GUESS.

BOX: MY LIFE'S NOT EXCITING; NO PARTIES, AT LEAST NOT SINCE HANK DIED.

Morganza
07-29-2014, 11:30 AM
Your GF is right, this is boring, especially for a comic book.

The two criminals just escaped? I'd be looking for transportation to get the fuck out, not looking to score pearls. These guys seem really stupid, which makes them very uninteresting.

The pig in a tutu was a nice touch, more random elements like that would punch this up.

Mary seems boring, I can't tell if she is narrating the story, all the narration ends up being pointless. I wish there was something about Mary that made her more important to the story.

Two thugs break in to steal fake pearls and get caught, while the narrator is lamenting about something, what was the point of this story? What were you trying to achieve?

Scribbly
07-29-2014, 10:24 PM
I see you that did start very abrupt with no previous setting of the story. You are using the first page for telling us about too many things at once. The narrative is very jumpy.
They did escape, they are in the house they are to going to kill the loony woman for her jewels.Ready to kill her. The jewels are fake. Police arriving? End.
No back story, no surprising twist at the end.

The problem is that you are not telling this to the reader with images. All your descriptions here are for the artist and not for the reader.
Also, how can the artist represent they are in BILLINGDON ESTATE and running away the police with representative images? Just by that large sign in the first panel?
In the second panel they are already over the house with no chance for show the location or where they are.

The characters description is also very vague. Your description of the mansion style is also very vague and inaccurate : The architectural style is a cross between 1930s and modernist.
There are no modern style houses in that area of Oxford. Unless you can provide a photo reference.
From my basic online research:
Bullingdon is a Rural District in Oxford, where manors, farms and small houses are old and many are been refurbished. There is in fact an old prison nearby. This place is also the setting for the TV serial "Downtown Abbey", show that depicts the lives of upper class people with old money.

Briefly: All the elements in your story have good potential. What you need here is to rearrange these elements someway for a better timing and pacing of the story.


"WHAT IF":
Dusk. BILLINGDON ESTATE.
Woman narrator in off.
We see two men dressed as inmates running in the forest. Steve Buscemi and Jack Nicholson as reference.
The two men are handcuffed together. SFX dogs barking behind.
We see them crossing a small river. Exhausted, sitting in the ground they see far away a mansion with some lights on. Trespassing, they are now in a small barn or garage next to the main house where they find the tools that help them to take off the handcuffs. They spot a big old car. They need the car's keys. Piano music. Now bursting in the house, they find this old woman, the owner of the house, playing the piano. They have a cordial welcoming from this deranged woman who lives in solitude remembering old times. By only company she has a pet, this old and massive pork dressed in a tutu.
The woman is not seeing these two men as a menace, instead she treats them as they were expected guests arriving.
The two escapees are starved and the lady in her delusion is mistaking them by some of her old fancy and rich friends. After some flirtatious chatting, she kindly invites them to share dinner with her. Strange and smelly piece of meat, few roots. She is pouring liquor in the glasses, filling the room with her loony chat.
After seeing her big necklace and jewelry each men start plotting on killing her and take over.
But before this happen, greed makes them to start a fight with each other. As result, one dies, the other with a big cut on his stomach is dying slowly.
He lives longer enough to learn that the old lady's necklace and jewels are fake and that he and his friend soon will be feeding her and her big, massive pig. END.


My two cents.

johnjohn
07-30-2014, 02:16 PM
Some great tips and direction for improvement there.

One thing that came to my mind was the names of the characters.
They didn't really stand out, which may seem like a stupid thing but if you want to give them an identity you want it to be memorable.

Every name had M in it, and as you say the names they all have the same sort of inflective ring.
Doesn't stand out, so even before you begin reading the script you already don't care about the characters as they don't really seem to have individual personalities from their introduction.

Comics Commando
08-01-2014, 04:42 PM
Been a while since I posted on DW.

Here's a guide to comics script format for those interested.

http://www.mediafire.com/view/dg4cdb6xwgy5cec/Comics_Script_Format_101_2011__.pdf

There's a special section on mistakes we see too often in non-pro scripts. Avoid these and your script will be better for it.

Kurt Hathaway
khathawayart@gmail.com