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LukePierce
11-04-2014, 10:27 AM
Good day to you all. I'm currently working on a new script for submission to TPG, just to see if I'm getting my lessons correct (and to get writing to a better standard than I'm at now).

I'm redrafting an old idea of mine called Love Reaper, which is a story about a Grim Reaper who causes people to fall in love, rather than send them onto the next world, so to speak. This whole idea literally came from a three word sentence.

The original script was a collaboration, with the intention of me drawing it, but the final script itself was something that really didn't catch my imagination too wildly. It started too slow, leaving an incredibly rushed ending. So I'm taking the lessons learned from my last two attempts from the Proving Grounds and seeing if I can adapt this into something better and more submittable in the near future.

For the time being, I'm only going to show the first two pages, mostly because I'm still working through the script itself and trying to fix the problem of the big lull of the original (I can send a copy to anyone who does wish to see it), but also by trying to better set up the story with a bit more "punch".

So here it is:

LOVE REAPER
Script for 22 Pages
Luke Pierce

Page 1 of 22
5 Panels

Panel 1

Tall panel. NIGHT.

Setting: Southlake Town Square: http://www.grapevinetxonline.com/southlake-town-square/
This is supposed to be small town America, however I realise that Southlake isn’t exactly a small town and is a shopping district. But this style of buildings, surrounding a small park, is exactly what I’m envisaging here.
The park itself has a few trees, but is generally quite an open space to allow families to have some fun together.

AMY BRIDGES is crouching on top of a flat-roofed building, almost Batman-like, with her cloak and hood concealing most of her features. All we can see, as a reader, is the lower portion of her face.

1 CAP (AMY): Cool, dark and mysterious.

2 CAP (AMY): This is what I believe I need to do to succeed.


Panel 2

Panoramic panel.

We have now shifted camera angle to see JASMINE HUNNYBUN and HENRY PARKER standing next to one of the trees in the park. In the background, we can see the building (ANGELO’S BAKERY) where AMY is crouching and watching from.

JASMINE has a fairly neutral expression, as she has no interest in what HENRY is saying to her (Body language: Arms crossed, no engagement, that kind of thing). HENRY has an arm outstretched, indicating the parkland.

3 HENRY: Doesn’t seeing this make it all worth it, Jasmine?

4 HENRY: Like how a perfect date should end?


Panel 3
Close up of JASMINE. Her head is turned away from the reader (as if the reader were HENRY), but her eyes are looking towards us. She has an uncomfortable look about her, as she’s going to be breaking some bad news.

5 JASMINE: Look, Henry, this – this is hard…

6 JASMINE: You need to cool it off…


Panel 4

JASMINE is leaning slightly against the tree, her back to the reader. Ahead of her, HENRY now has both arms outstretched (like trying to encourage JASMINE to just cuddle him).

7 HENRY: Cool off?


Panel 5

JASMINE is angry/defensive.

8 JASMINE: Don’t you get it?

9 JASMINE: I only agreed to tonight to tell you to leave me alone afterwards.

10 JASMINE: You’re a creep, Henry Parker, and I wish I didn’t have to see your face!

END PAGE 1

(Page Break)

Page 2 of 22
4 Panels

Panel 1

Tall Panel.

AMY is in the midst of leaping down from the rooftop, her cloak pretty much following her body form. Again, this is quite Batman-like.

1 CAP (AMY): I just have to keep calm. Everyone has a first time.


Panel 2

AMY has landed in dramatic style, her legs splayed out and the left arm slightly forward to help cushion the landing. Her right arm is outstretched and the outline of a Scythe can be seen (although still mostly see-through) and this is to indicate that AMY is literally summoning the Scythe from thin air.

2 CAP (AMY): But I’ll never be a superhero.


Panel 3

HENRY has closed the gap between JASMINE and himself. He is using his extra height to intimidate her further.

3 HENRY: You don’t wish to see me? Fine.

4 HENRY: I can arrange that.


Panel 4

This is our impact moment.

HENRY has pushed JASMINE against the tree and using it to help him push his forearm into her throat. JASMINE is reaching towards his arm, but her hands are nowhere near close enough.

5 JASMINE: Hhhhk!

6 HENRY: You can just die.


End Page 2


Hopefully you'll like what's written so far, however, I am thinking something might be missing. I do have character reference sheets and this was the first thing that was done (if wanted, I'll post them up). I don't know if I'm trying to think "too cool" or if I'm now second guessing myself while writing this. Any help would be massively appreciated.

LukePierce
11-04-2014, 11:07 AM
And I still continue to type Lover rather than Love. I think the Cornish West Country is embedded into my soul...

Schuyler
11-04-2014, 01:05 PM
Hey Luke,

You seem to have your act together and the story is going places fast, which seems good.


1 CAP (AMY): Cool, dark and mysterious.

2 CAP (AMY): This is what I believe I need to do to succeed.

The second caption does not match the first. Is it supposed to say
"This is what I need to be to succeed."

We have now shifted camera angle to see JASMINE HUNNYBUN and HENRY PARKER standing next to one of the trees in the park. In the background, we can see the building (ANGELO’S BAKERY) where AMY is crouching and watching from.

This is not really a critique as much as a suggestion. Remove the mention of camera angle from this panel description. It would look like this.

"We see JASMINE HUNNYBUN and HENRY PARKER standing next to one of the trees in the park. In the background, we can see the building (ANGELO’S BAKERY) where AMY is crouching and watching from."

I feel like it says the same thing but faster. Just a suggestion.

Schuyler
11-04-2014, 01:11 PM
I like Panel three on Page one.

Close up of JASMINE. Her head is turned away from the reader (as if the reader were HENRY), but her eyes are looking towards us. She has an uncomfortable look about her, as she’s going to be breaking some bad news.

It took me a couple times of reading it to truly get the image, but I think it will look good.

AmitMosheOren
11-04-2014, 03:50 PM
I really really liked it. There were a couple of panel descriptions I didn't understand, however it's may be because my english is not that well. Henry's dialogue in the final panel of page 2 was kind of unnecessary, i think. Maybe it's just me, but I would keep the panel silent except for the choking sound effect, of course. It seems like the story is in a great pace, and you know how to build tension. If I'd just read the first two pages of this one-shot (correct me if I'm wrong) in a comic book store, then I would buy that. Liked the beginning, liked the concept. Great job, Luke!
I'll be more than glad to read the rest of your story.

LukePierce
11-05-2014, 05:48 AM
First off, Gents thank you for having a look and giving the script a once over. The second caption does not match the first. Is it supposed to say
"This is what I need to be to succeed."


Good point, I've rewritten the third page partially, intending for one of the panels to explain Amy's comment, but it still doesn't work in that context. I've switched it to read:

"I believe this is what I should be."

I really should have included the character reference sheets, as Amy is doing this on her 16th birthday and is her first foray into the world of Grim Reaping. So she's second guessing herself like a teenager does.

She also has a slightly stilted way of talking because she's trying to emulate her parents but, with the way things are, she's not really a typical Grim Reaper; she's much "shorter" in relative terms for a start.

But yeah, point taken and the line has been revised to work better.

This is not really a critique as much as a suggestion. Remove the mention of camera angle from this panel description. It would look like this.

"We see JASMINE HUNNYBUN and HENRY PARKER standing next to one of the trees in the park. In the background, we can see the building (ANGELO’S BAKERY) where AMY is crouching and watching from."

I feel like it says the same thing but faster. Just a suggestion.

Again, good point. I'm going to revise the panel description again, but most likely once I've sorted out the rest of the script. I've also realised that I didn't give a type of shot on this panel, because there's about three different ways it could be done. It should have been a medium shot though.


I like Panel three on Page one.

Quote:
Close up of JASMINE. Her head is turned away from the reader (as if the reader were HENRY), but her eyes are looking towards us. She has an uncomfortable look about her, as she’s going to be breaking some bad news.

It took me a couple times of reading it to truly get the image, but I think it will look good.


Thank you. It does suggest that I may need to re-write it though, if it took a couple of times of reading to get the image. I'll definitely have another look at that.


I really really liked it. There were a couple of panel descriptions I didn't understand, however it's may be because my english is not that well.

If there's some panels you didn't understand, please feel free to let me know! If you can spell unnecessary correctly, you have a better command of English than a lot of native speakers (I think I can be backed up on this).


Henry's dialogue in the final panel of page 2 was kind of unnecessary, i think. Maybe it's just me, but I would keep the panel silent except for the choking sound effect, of course.


I wanted to show just what a nasty piece of work Henry is, but you're right. The dialogue is really unnecessary and pushes Henry into the realms of the cartoonish villain. All he really needs to do after that is to kick a puppy and drown a few kittens to prove how evil he is. So it's gone.


It seems like the story is in a great pace, and you know how to build tension. If I'd just read the first two pages of this one-shot (correct me if I'm wrong) in a comic book store, then I would buy that. Liked the beginning, liked the concept. Great job, Luke!
I'll be more than glad to read the rest of your story.


I am really relieved that you think that the pacing is going well and the tension is building (hopefully the twist will meet up to it). The story has also always been intended as a one-shot, there are definitely stories to be had here and there will be questions that I fully intend on leaving unresolved as the story is primarily about Amy, plus you kind of have to leave things open enough to be able to come back.

I'll resolve to get the story finished, post up to Page 10, then hopefully I can find an artist who will do a better job than me at illustrating this.

I aim to try and keep meeting expectation now and thank you again for the kind words.

Also, Steven, Sam and Liam, I know you'll be reading this, so thank you for giving me the kick in reinvigorating my writing style again.

Steven Forbes
11-05-2014, 06:20 AM
Also, Steven, Sam and Liam, I know you'll be reading this, so thank you for giving me the kick in reinvigorating my writing style again.

I've read nothing, and I've done nothing.

I've done so much nothing that I haven't even written this. You're having a visual illusion.

LukePierce
11-05-2014, 06:58 AM
TPG.

It made me have a good hard look at myself and effectively start over. These two pages took a week to write as I wrote and re-wrote again, looking at the motivation, tightening up the panels and trying to ensure that the script is professional as I can possibly get it.

Yes, it's a bit slow, but I really want to submit something to TPG that's actually worthy of the time and effort that you all put into it. I mean, that second re-write of the more things change and the ass-tearing it needed and deserved, plus the disappointment you had in me as a writer really has made me buck my ideas up.

So yes, you, Sam and Liam do deserve a thank you at the very least.

LukePierce
11-05-2014, 10:36 AM
And moving onto Page 3:

Page 3 of 22
6 Panels

Panel 1

AMY has the scythe drawn back, ready to strike.

The town background is still here, however it needs to be drawn slightly fuzzy in order to suggest the otherworldly situation that is about to happen.

1 CAP (AMY): Just need to remember what Mom told me…


Panel 2

The panel should be surrounded by black in order to suggest a flashback.

We now see ALICE BRIDGES (MOM) for the first time. As is usual for her, her expression is blank and difficult to read (see character notes).

2 ALICE: Just do it.


Panel 3

AMY has passed her scythe through JASMINE. AMY is looking away from JASMINE (or rather her hooded face should be looking away from the action).

JASMINE still has her neck being pushed by HENRY’s forearm; her eyes are wide open, suggesting that HENRY has finally killed her.

3 CAP (AMY): Sage advice as ever.


Panel 4

Panoramic panel.

JASMINE has landed on the floor, her eyes still wide open. Her body looks quite stiff and, underneath, small dust clouds have formed from her landing.

No copy


Panel 5

Full body shot.

JASMINE remains in her frozen state and lying on the floor. Near her head and looming over everyone is AMY (Reminder: She’ 6’4” and the tallest character in this scene). Her right hand (left as we see it) is outstretched and the scythe is now an outline again (So much like before in Page 2, Panel 2). To Amy’s left (our right), HENRY is bent over slightly, horror in his expression and body language.

4 CAP (AMY): That went easier than expected.

5 HENRY: Jasmine - ?

Letterer note: Henry should have a smaller font size than usual in this scene and with a “wobbly” word balloon. This should suggest his horror and upset.


Panel 6

HENRY is crouched over the unseen body of JASMINE. His face has a panicked expression and his hands have grasped at his face.

6 HENRY: Oh god, what have I done?


End Page 3

Steven Forbes
11-05-2014, 11:03 AM
Wait.

You mean you don't believe in the visual illusion?

LukePierce
11-05-2014, 11:21 AM
Wait.

You mean you don't believe in the visual illusion?

I believe. I believe in everything until I'm told otherwise. This is the military way.

Luke Noonan
11-05-2014, 01:16 PM
Wait.

You mean you don't believe in the visual illusion?

Wait, believing in "the visual illusion" means you accept it's an illusion and not real, right? Otherwise you're just believing in what you can see?

I believe. I believe in everything until I'm told otherwise. This is the military way.

You're being told otherwise: question everything.

LukePierce
11-06-2014, 04:34 AM
Wait, believing in "the visual illusion" means you accept it's an illusion and not real, right? Otherwise you're just believing in what you can see?



You're being told otherwise: question everything.

Steven knows what my day job is, hence the joke about the military.

Kiyoko, Rin
11-07-2014, 10:36 PM
I like it. You've set up a fast pace, you've had your characters verbally introduce themselves to the audience, you've set up conflict - both the external conflict of crime / things happening, and the psychological conflict of whether or not the main character's doing the right thing. Well done.

The only thing I would say: remember to keep placing the camera. You detail panel types, but occasionally forget to give what point of view / angle we're looking from. A couple of your panels could be drawn from the front, rear, or side, so the artist's end drawing might surprise / disappoint you as it might not be from the perspective you imagined (but didn't specify). Also, constantly stressing the camera placement might clarify the scene in your own mind - in the opening panel, for example, you say all we can see is her lower face, yet you've also specified she's on the roof...

(And don't worry about the Westcountry "R". I'm from Bristol, where they think the slide children slide down in playgrounds is called a slider.)

LukePierce
11-19-2014, 06:52 PM
I like it. You've set up a fast pace, you've had your characters verbally introduce themselves to the audience, you've set up conflict - both the external conflict of crime / things happening, and the psychological conflict of whether or not the main character's doing the right thing. Well done.

The only thing I would say: remember to keep placing the camera. You detail panel types, but occasionally forget to give what point of view / angle we're looking from. A couple of your panels could be drawn from the front, rear, or side, so the artist's end drawing might surprise / disappoint you as it might not be from the perspective you imagined (but didn't specify). Also, constantly stressing the camera placement might clarify the scene in your own mind - in the opening panel, for example, you say all we can see is her lower face, yet you've also specified she's on the roof...

(And don't worry about the Westcountry "R". I'm from Bristol, where they think the slide children slide down in playgrounds is called a slider.)

Rin, you definitely have raised some decent points there, I do forget camera angles at times.

Also, definitely do see the logic in calling the slide a "slider", but I hear it spoken as West Country!

SamRoads
11-20-2014, 03:08 AM
I think this is good Luke, and like you, I like to try and submit something to the Steve/Liam/Sam gestalt which won't result in any drowning of sorrows with whisky, or a story from childhood. :)

However, may I recommend that you think good and hard about the film noir narration?

1 CAP (AMY): Cool, dark and mysterious.

2 CAP (AMY): This is what I believe I need to do to succeed.

This is the first thing anyone will read. Is being cool, dark and mysterious relevant? Does it matter later in the story, when her ability to be cool and dark saves a batch of iced coffee? Is it any kind of foreshadowing? Does it reveal her character?

Who is she talking to? Narration always makes people lean back. Dialogue makes them lean in.

****

Is she invisible to Henry? It seems so, in which case why hide and leap down? And why is she wearing a cloak?

Good stuff.

LukePierce
11-20-2014, 07:15 AM
I think this is good Luke, and like you, I like to try and submit something to the Steve/Liam/Sam gestalt which won't result in any drowning of sorrows with whisky, or a story from childhood. :)

However, may I recommend that you think good and hard about the film noir narration?

1 CAP (AMY): Cool, dark and mysterious.

2 CAP (AMY): This is what I believe I need to do to succeed.

This is the first thing anyone will read. Is being cool, dark and mysterious relevant? Does it matter later in the story, when her ability to be cool and dark saves a batch of iced coffee? Is it any kind of foreshadowing? Does it reveal her character?

Who is she talking to? Narration always makes people lean back. Dialogue makes them lean in.

****

Is she invisible to Henry? It seems so, in which case why hide and leap down? And why is she wearing a cloak?

Good stuff.

Many thanks Sam, I like reading the insight you have on things and I have picked up some very useful stuff from your critique of other scripts.

In answer, it does become relevant literally on the fourth page (which I still have yet to post) because she's acting how she thinks a Grim Reaper to act. Her parents are quite different to her own personality (which does get explained), so she has that awkward feeling of isolation that most teens have but, with her heritage, she has it quite literally. She's trying to be something that she really isn't and the narration is trying to allude to that. I actually already have the ending down, so the narration does actually tie into that, it's just not clear until the end.

I'm not really a fan of caption boxes personally (Actually I despise the buggers), but after the last two TPG submissions (including an attempt to be too damn clever in not using a caption), I recognise that they are a very necessary evil so this is my attempt at trying to use them properly. I'm trying to use it as a form of prose to help drive the story along, which would otherwise waste too many pages within a 22 page one-shot book.

I don't know if that makes sense at all, but I hope so.

SamRoads
11-20-2014, 11:29 AM
How kind!

I think you're right to dislike caption boxes, but if you think they're necessary, I still ask the question: to whom is she speaking?

In my first graphic novella, I had an interrogation bookending a flashback. Not exactly the structure I wanted, but at least it gave me someone for the narrative to be talking at. Not just narration because.... it's a story innit.

Maybe she could be at the gravestone of her mentor/familymember/friend and telling them all about her life?

LukePierce
11-20-2014, 11:39 AM
I forgot to answer the question.

We don't see it, but she's actually making diary entries.

LukePierce
11-20-2014, 03:24 PM
Hopefully this little section will answer a couple of questions, but I have gone up to "page" 6. One thing I have picked up is that I'm not Americanising spelling all that well...:slap:

Page 4 of 22
5 Panels

Panel 1

JASMINE’s hand has grabbed HENRY’s shirt, causing him to look really frightened. All we can see of JASMINE is no more than her forearm.

1 HENRY: AAhhh!

(Letterer note: Maybe we can talk about a more realistic scream than this? I’m getting flashbacks of old war comics)


Panel 2

We’re now looking at JASMINE in a close up (like the reader is HENRY), the back of her head is still resting on the floor. Her cheeks look rather flushed, her eyes half closed in a sultry fashion. In short, looking really rather turned on.

2 JASMINE: Henry?

3 JASMINE: Can you do that again?


Panel 3

Wide Shot.

Moving from left to right. We can see a small part of HENRY’s back at the bottom of the panel (JASMINE is obviously underneath him). AMY has pulled off her hood with her left hand, her face twisted in faux-teenage rage. Her right arm is pointed at the (mostly) unseen couple.

Artist note: Because of the style envisaged, this should be exaggerated as much as possible without looking too stupid.

4 HENRY: Are you sure?

5 JASMINE: Oh yes.

6 AMY (Screaming): WAITAMINUTE! YOU SHOULD BLOODY WELL BE DEAD!


Panel 4

Medium shot of Amy, she holds her hood with both hands. She is biting her bottom lip and her eyes are looking to her left. She’s understandably looking quite nervous.

7 AMY: But… no-one will miss this, right?

8 AMY (Crossing into Panel 5): Maybe…


Panel 5

Medium shot.

We’re watching the back of AMY as she walks away from the unseen HENRY and JASMINE.

9 AMY (connecting balloon to previous): I’ll deal with it later.


End Page 4



Page 5 of 22
5 Panels

Panel 1

Tall panel. Exterior Shot. Night.

The BRIDGES household is a detached family house from the suburbs. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Suburban_tract_house.JPG

The only real difference here is that the house would, naturally, be coloured a bit darker.

1 CAP (AMY): Thankfully home is close by anyway.


Panel 2

Tall panel. Interior.

AMY is entering the kitchen (all we can see is part of the fridge), with her left hand on the door handle (door opening from left to right as we see it). She has a slightly apprehensive look on her face.

2 CAP (AMY): Plus, my parents should be out, so I can at least think –

3 PARENTS (O/P and cutting into the caption): Surprise.

Letterer note: Both the parents have the emotional depth of a puddle, so their general manner and speech is intended to be as flat as possible. Amy is a lot more animated, so this should be the apparent first clue that something is “wrong”.

Panel 3

Medium shot.

This will be a profile view of ALAN and ALICE BRIDGES staring at the reader much in the same way as the famous painting of the Farmer and his Wife http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grant_Wood_-_American_Gothic_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg except, in this version, ALAN is on the left of the panel and ALICE the right
Both have blank expressions and are still wearing the “uniform” of the reapers (Cloak, with the hood worn down).
ALAN is wearing a party hat on his head, whilst ALICE is holding a plate with a piece of cake topped with a classic Grim Reaper model.

4 ALAN: Well done.

5 ALICE: You have reaped your first soul.


Panel 4

Close up of AMY. She has a smile fixed in a grimace.

6 AMY: Um, yes?


Panel 5

ALAN and ALICE are fixedly staring at their daughter. In this panel, their respective height differences should be fairly obvious.

7 ALAN: You should not smile.

8 ALICE: Emotions are bad for Reapers.


End Page 5


Page 6 of 22
4 Panels

Panel 1

Tall Panel.

AMY is looking down at her feet like she's being told off.

1 AMY: I know.

2 AMY: You keep on telling me.


Panel 2

Panoramic Panel.

We see the top of AMY, from her shoulders up. She has a pleading expression on her face (it's a conversation she's had many times, so she's tired of hearing about it).

3 AMY: I love you guys, but I'm tired.

4 AMY: I wanna sleep. I just want to rest tonight.


Panel 3

ALAN and ALICE (still holding the cake on a plate), look ahead with a blank expression.

SFX: Click.


Panel 4

Repeat of previous panel.

5 ALAN: We should eat the cake.

6 ALICE: Yes.


End Page 6