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stew1426
08-14-2014, 11:45 PM
I plan on submitting this piece to 2000AD as a Future Shock short story. I'd love some feedback before I submit it so I can make it as tight as possible and increase my chances of publication. Thanks!

PAGE ONE Ė FIVE PANELS

PANEL ONE
Ext. Outer Space. Establishing shot of a tense standoff between a single, small, highly maneuverable spacecraft and an entire fleet of large ships. There is a large command ship at the head of the fleet. Part of a blue planet is seen in the lower left corner of the panel. The fleet is situated in the right of the panel. The small ship is between the planet and the fleet.

1. WINTER (from in small ship): Iím bored.

PANEL TWO
Int. cockpit of the small ship. Medium shot of WINTER in the pilotís chair. He leans on the arm of the chair with one elbow, his face resting on his fist. He dangles a necklace from his other hand. There is a pendant on the necklace. Winter studies the necklace halfheartedly. His hair is disheveled. He looks disinterested, bored. There is a photograph of Winter holding a little girl, his 4 year old daughter, taped to control panels to his left. They look happy. Both the necklace and the photograph are important elements to the story.

2. PRATT (from radio): Excuse me?

3. WINTER: Iím bored. You bore me. All of this bores me now.

PANEL THREE
Full shot of Winter. He is more animated. He looks astonished. He leans forward in his chair. His arms are extended outward. The necklace is still clutched in his hand. He looks astonished.

4. WINTER: I used to love my job. It was exciting. It made me
tingle in all the right places.

5. WINTER: And now? Nothing! What happened?

6. WINTER: Maybe itís age. You sound oldÖ

PANEL FOUR
Int. Blockade Fleet control ship. The bridge. Medium shot of ADMIRAL PRATT who is annoyed and angry. Pratt is center panel, looking directly into the camera. He yells into the handheld communicator, which resembles a CB radio that hangs from the ceiling. There are control panels and screens in the background. Two crew members sit at their stations.

7. WINTER (from the radio): Do you still tingle?

8. PRATT: Sir! I will ask you one more time to state your name
and business!

9. WINTER (from the radio): Nah, donít like youíve tingled in a long while.

PANEL FIVE
The camera pans around, behind Pratt. His arms hang at his side and he slumps hopelessly. The communicator dangles from the ceiling. A wall sized screen in front of him has lit up with a mug shot of Winter and his rap sheet. The light cast by it silhouettes Pratt. The various crimes listed on the rap sheet can be partially blocked by Pratt.

10. WINTER (from the radio): Nameís Lucas Winter.

11. SCREEN READS: Lucas Winter. Crimes include: murder,
dismemberment, smuggling, larceny, public intoxication, urinating on government property.

12. PRATT (muttering): Donít need this today.

13. WINTER (from radio): Once proud pirate of the stars. NowÖ  

PAGE TWO Ė SIX PANELS

PANEL ONE
Ext. Day. Crowded marketplace with stalls of goods for sale. Overhead shot of LADY walking through the marketplace and Winter following after.

1. HANGING CAP: YesterdayÖ

2. CAP - WINTER: I donít know what I am.

3. LADY: Donít have any money for you.

4. WINTER: Yeah, but, see thatís not how business is done. I provided a service. Now, you pay for it.

PANEL TWO
Two shot of LADY in the foreground, walking toward camera and WINTER following after her, just off her left shoulder. Lady looks unconcerned by Winter. Winter looks annoyed and frustrated. A food stall near the foreground has very little to offer, and what food it has is rotten and swarming with flies. The people in the background are emaciated and starving.

5. LADY: You smuggled in three crates of apples, Winter.
Bring me some explosives and weíll talk.

6. WINTER: There were some oranges too,
butÖsmugglingís hungry work.

7. LADY: Blockadeís killing the planet. Wanna do
something worth something? Blow a hole in it so our traders can get through.

PANEL THREE
Medium shot of Winter. He yells to Lady, who has walked off panel, into the foreground. Lucyís hand has reached up, into the panel and tugs on Winterís sleeve.

1. WINTER: Iím a smuggler! Without the blockade, I have no
reason to smuggle!

2. WINTER: The hell am I supposed to do with all these apples!?

3. LUCY (OP): Mister?
PANEL FOUR
Full shot of Winter and Lucy. Winter still looks off after Lady. He has not seen Lucy yet.

4. LUCY: Iíll take some of them apples.

5. WINTER: Beat it, kid. Have your mom fix you a snack.

6. LUCY: Maís dead.

7. WINTER: And Iím broke. We all got--

PANEL FIVE
Winter looks at Lucy for the first time. His jaw hangs open. He is caught off guard by her resemblance to his daughter.

8. WINTER: Troubles.

9. LUCY: Yeah, well, I also got two little brothers at
home need feediní. PlusÖ

PANEL SIX
Winterís POV, looking down at Lucy who strongly resembles his daughter from the photograph in his ship. She looks up at the camera. She holds up the necklace that Winter held on Page One.

10. LUCY: I can pay.

11. CAP Ė WINTER: Iím ainít a good man.

PAGE THREE - FIVE PANELS

PANEL ONE
Int. Cockpit of Winterís ship. Winterís POV. He holds the necklace in front of him the same way Lucy held it in previous panel. He looks past the necklace at the photograph of him and his daughter.

1. WINTER: Never have been.

2. WINTER: Even when I had reason to be.

PANEL TWO
Full shot of Winter in captainís chair. He slumps in the chair, still holding the necklace.

3. WINTER: And thatís what made me so good at my job.

4. WINTER: But a while back, I started gettingíthis cold ache in
my gut that takes all the fun out of it.

5. PRATT (from radio): Power down your ship, Mr. Winter. I
accept your surrender.

PANEL THREE
Full shot of Pratt. He has turned away from the large screen and speaks into the communicator.

6. WINTER (from radio): Surrender? You telliní jokes, Admiral?

7. PRATT: Surely, you donít intend to surrender? Youíve
announced yourself. Youíll never get through the blockade.

8. WINTER (from radio): Donít mean to go through youÖ

PANEL FOUR
Ext. Outer Space. Winterís ship races straight toward the camera. The thrusters have fired. The blue planet has shrunk a bit behind it.

9. CAP -WINTER: I mean to go straight into you.

PANEL FIVE
Int. Winterís ship. The camera is all the way in the tail end, the cargo hold, looking straight ahead, down a corridor into the cockpit. Winter is only partly visible. The cargo hold is full of crates, stacked to the ceiling. A mushroom cloud symbol and the words ďhighly explosiveĒ are spray painted on the crates.

10. WINTER: Itís amazing what folksíll trade two crates of apples
for when theyíre starving to death.

PAGE FOUR Ė FIVE PANELS

PANEL ONE
Int. Blockade Control Ship. Pratt looks out the large observation window on the deck of his ship. Winterís ship is seen heading straight for him.
1. PRATT: Someone take that ship apart! Open fire!
2. CREW: Itís moving too fast, sir! We canít get a lock!

PANEL TWO
Int. Winterís ship. Medium shot of Winter as he places the necklace over his head.

3. CAP - WINTER: Always believed if youíre heart ainít totally in itÖ

4. CAP Ė WINTER: Then it ainít worth doiní.

PANEL THREE
Ext. Outer Space. The moment just before impact, just before Winter crashes into the Blockade Control Ship.

5. CAP - WINTER: So, I guess itís time to move onÖ

PANEL FOUR
Close, right profile shot of Winter. His eyes are closed. He has a content look on his face. The picture of him and his daughter is seen on the panel to Winterís left, just an inch away from his nose.

PANEL FIVE
Ext. Planetside. Day. Low angle shot. Lucy looks up at the massive explosion in the sky. Her brothers sit on the ground with their backs against a crate of apples. They eat ravenously.

6. CAP Ė WINTER: And try doiní something worth something.

Schuyler
08-15-2014, 03:04 PM
On page one, panel three, you say that he looks astonished twice. I think astonished is not the right word. Maybe all you need is "more animated". That part seems to describe what I think you want better. Maybe I am wrong.

In panel 4, Winter says "Nah, don’t like you've tingled in a long while."

That sentence does not make sense. I know winter and the street people are talking a little slangy. But the sentence above comes across as "No, do not like you have tingled in a long while." It could be fixed and still be slangy if you add the word seem.

"Nah, don’t seem like you've tingled in a long while."

Page 2, panel 6, a similar thing happens. Winter says "I’m ain’t a good man."

That translates to "I am are not a good man." Easily fixed. Of course, ain't never translates well, but...

"I ain't a good man."

I found your format easy to read. Pacing seems nice to me. I am okay with the dialogue as well except for the things I said above. The story seems interesting. The only thing truly lacking, is your panel descriptions. There are only a couple of scenes so you could have them fully described in another document, but if not, they need more.

Good luck on your submission!

Austin
08-16-2014, 05:58 AM
I'm a little confused about Winter's motivation here. On the planet, he is very Han Solo-esque; he's a smuggler, who sees himself as having no upstanding moral duty. The beat then seems to be that seeing the girl changes his mind, but I get no sense that he's at the end of his rope because everything else he says and does is so casual. The decision seems rash and out of character. And because of his interaction with Pratt, I'm left wondering if he is bored, or saddled with regret and thus deciding to redeem himself. It reads as both but the mix is odd.

The decision also strikes me as unnecessary. LADY mentions that apples are useless, but that she could use some explosives. Couldn't he then just trade the apples for explosives and bring them to LADY? His decision seems desperate and completely suicidal in this light. It would be different if ONLY he could make the explosives useful, but it's implied by LADY that she could do something with them.

What I really like about this is that you wasted no time at all setting up the story. I get a sense of the situation, and what's at stake, and a setting. It's funny because when you write these four page humdingers, you will feel like it is inadequate even after 20 drafts, but often times you can do some pretty cool stuff.

The motivational thing is just something I'm hung up on, and I have no constructive suggestions as to how to deal with that (if it even is much of an issue), so take it with a large, coarse grain of salt. As for the LADY issue, that is sort of bugging me, but you could easily fix that by having her scoff, just as she does, but to change the line such that she doesn't suggest that she could make any use of explosives.

The only other thing I'm worried about is the shock factor, but, at least for me, the scripts aren't ALWAYS good indicators of how a shock will play on a page, especially in such a short story.

Also, good job on trimming down the panel descriptions. I'm not convinced that many of them need to convey much more information, and keeping a four page submission trimmer than not seems prudent.

crognus
08-16-2014, 11:02 AM
[QUOTE=stew1426;1832518]
PAGE ONE – FIVE PANELS

PANEL ONE
Ext. Outer Space. Establishing shot of a tense standoff You can't visually convey an intense stand-off. They are just a bunch of ships sitting around. You need to use words to let the reader know what they are looking at. I suggest adding the line, "Please state your name and business NOW!" to the first panel. Otherwise they won't understand the tension. Winter is bored, let's make sure the reader's aren't. between a single, small, highly maneuverable spacecraft and an entire fleet of large ships. There is a large command ship at the head of the fleet. Part of a blue planet is seen in the lower left corner of the panel. The fleet is situated in the right of the panel. The small ship is between the planet and the fleet. I think you should just tell the artist whose ships these are in the description, instead of just letting him/her infer from the dialogue.

1. WINTER (from in small ship): I’m bored.

PANEL TWO
Int. cockpit of the small ship. Medium shot of WINTER in the pilot’s chair. He leans on the arm of the chair with one elbow, his face resting on his fist. He dangles a necklace from his other hand. There is a pendant on the necklace. Winter studies the necklace halfheartedly (redundant, you say his expression later). His hair is disheveled. He looks disinterested, bored. There is a photograph of Winter holding a little girl, his 4 year old daughter, taped to control panels to his left. They look happy. Both the necklace and the photograph are important elements to the story.

2. PRATT (OP, Electric): Excuse me?

3. WINTER: I’m bored. You bore me. All of this bores me now.

PANEL THREE
Full shot of Winter. He is more animated. The term animated is very, very amibigious.He looks astonished. Really? His dialogue makes me think he should look annoyed and exasperated.He leans forward in his chair. His arms are extended outward. The necklace is still clutched in his hand.

4. WINTER: I used to love my job. It was exciting. It made me
tingle in all the right places.

5. WINTER: And now? Nothing! What happened?

6. WINTER: Maybe it’s age. You sound old…I would cut this line. First of all, it's a shift in tone of voice, but you can only convey one facial expression visually per panel. Second, it's a confusing line. "It" refers to Winter's feeling of boredom, which makes it unclear if "you" refer's to winter or Pratt. Is he calling himself old, or Pratt? If it's Pratt, what does Pratt being old have to do with Winter's feeling of boredom?

PANEL FOUR
Int. Blockade Fleet control ship. The bridge. Medium shot of ADMIRAL PRATT who is annoyed and angry. Pratt is center panel, looking directly into the camera. He yells into the handheld communicator, which resembles a CB radio that hangs from the ceiling. There are control panels and screens in the background. Two crew members sit at their stations.

7. WINTER (OP, Electric): Do you still tingle?

8. PRATT: Sir! I will only ask you one more time to state your name
and business! I would bold "one" instead of name and business. You want to emphasize urgency.

9. WINTER (OP, Electric): Nah, doesn't sound like you’ve tingled in a long while.

PANEL FIVE
The camera pans around, behind Pratt. Camera's don't "pan" in comics. That's a moving panel. Just say it's behind Pratt. His arms hang at his side and he slumps hopelessly. The communicator dangles from the ceiling. A wall sized screen in front of him has lit up with a mug shot of Winter and his rap sheet. The light cast by it silhouettes Pratt. The various crimes listed on the rap sheet can be partially blocked by Pratt.

10. WINTER (OP, Electric): My name’s Lucas Winter. Best to include personal pronouns, so the reader knows for sure it's Winter talking. Not the computer system telling Pratt about Winter's background.

11. SCREEN READS: Lucas Winter. Crimes include: murder,
dismemberment, smuggling, larceny, public intoxication, urinating on government property.

12. PRATT (Small Dialogue/Large Balloon): I Don’t need this today.

13. WINTER (OP, Electric): Once proud pirate of the stars. Now…

Using the word "Now" to lead into a flashback is confusing. I would suggest changing it to something like, "And my business? Well..." (Page 2: "...I was once a proud pirate of the stars.")