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Mccalliste40
02-05-2015, 12:56 AM
These are the first pages from an ongoing series I'd like to pitch once it is more developed. I mention that because this is my second try at creating an interesting starting point and I'm not sure how interesting it actually is. Anyway, I'd really appreciate as much feedback as you all can give me.

Cheers,
John

P.S. I couldn't get the formatting on here exactly how I like it but it should be easy enough to read.

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“Michael & Aubrey: part one”
John McCallister
Second Draft

PAGE ONE

Interior of restaurant with window in background. Michael is sitting at one end of table and the seat opposite him is empty. Angles could include profile of Michael and table with waiter facing POV. Also, angle more with empty chair in the foreground for emphasis. This is a nicer restaurant and so the waiter is dressed accordingly and so is Michael.

P1.1
Establishing shot-wide panel of the outside of the restaurant.

1.) Waiter (caption): Are we still waiting

P1.2
Wide panel—profile of Michael sitting at table with empty chair across from him. He looks dour and anxious. The waiter is standing at the table, facing the POV.

2.) Michael: That’s what you do for a living, isn’t it? You should be better at it.
3.) Michael (caption): I'm not really one of the good guys...

P1.3
Close on waiter who is clearly offended.

NO COPY

P1.4
Medium-wide—angle from below table level with empty chair in the foreground. Michael is looking at the chair, now a little disappointed in himself and the situation.

4.) Michael: I’m so sorry…

P1.5
Close on Michael.

5.) Michael: …really…she should be here soon. And I’ve got to be the last person in the world who can criticize someone for what they do for a living.
6.) Michael(caption):…but I’m trying.

P1.6

Wide on Michael now sitting back in his chair. He is slightly in the distance and we see him from over the shoulder of some stranger who is facing Michael.

7.) Michael (caption): It’s not always easy though. This town is full of creepy assholes and they’ll change you into something awful if you let them.
P1.7

Very close on strange man who is ravenously consuming his dinner while staring at Michael.

8.) Michael(caption): I can’t shake the feeling that there is something familiar about this particular creep.
P1.8

Medium close on Michael and waiter, who looks a little perplexed, from behind. Stranger in background still staring at Michael.

9.) Michael: Would you send Charles Manson over there a drink from me? Tell him to pretty please sit the other direction.
10.) Michael(caption): Kill’em with kindness, right?

PAGE TWO

Speech bubbles may work instead of all the captions.

P2.1
Medium-wide of Michael walking toward his first floor apartment at night. He’s carrying a grocery bag full of stuff down at his side.

1.) Michael(caption): My ex left me six months ago.

P2.2
Small panel looking over Michael’s shoulder as he is unlocking his front door.

2.) Michael(caption): I knew something was wrong before I even opened the door.
3.) Ex-girlfriend(small, from other side of door): I gotta go, he’s here.

P2.3
Close on Michael rolling his eyes.
4.) Michael(caption): Six years together and she had never gotten off the phone with her crappy best friend because I was home.

P2.4
Medium-wide of Michael on the couch. His ex-girlfriend is off panel but we see her speech. Michael is drinking a beer and eating potato chips while watching television off panel.

5.) Michael(caption): I had never been more content in the relationship.
6.) Ex-girlfriend: I’m not happy…

P2.5
Similar to last panel but now we’re closer on Michael. He is reacting more now, looking down, being generally gloomy.

7.) Michael(caption): But almost all of that contentedness came from us not seeing each other very much. I had been spending a lot of time reexamining the Momus Murders again, and committing more to work.

P2.6
Similar again, but now we’re even closer, and Michael is getting even more depressed.

8.) Michael(caption): This conversation had happened many times before. I was proud of her for finally following through. She was a lot braver than me.

PAGE THREE

In the present once again with Michael at the restaurant.

P3.1
Close on cocktail being placed in front of Michael.

1.) Waiter(from off): While we wait…The gentleman at the other table ordered it for you.

P3.2
Medium wide of Michael and waiter. Michael is holding the drink up and inspecting it. The waiter looks on smiling.

2.) Michael: …thanks.
3.) Waiter: No worries. I wouldn’t ruin a drink that good by spitting in it.

P3.3
Medium wide of stranger moving to the seat across from where he had been (now facing away from Michael). He has a large grin and he is holding his drink up in a mock toast.

NO COPY

P3.4
Close on Michael sipping drink apprehensively. Straight ahead angle, very close.

NO COPY

P3.5
Medium wide of Michael and waiter. Michael is turning his head to the side with an expression like he has something sour in his mouth. The waiter looks on approvingly.

4.) Waiter: Amazing, isn’t it?
5.) Michael: Brandied cherries dusted with sugar, a mixture of Angostura bitters and Lemonhart 151 rum,ignited to caramelize the sugar. Flames doused by gin, rosewater and lime...A little too sweet for me.
6.) Waiter: Then you’ll have another?

3.6
Panel of empty chair.

NO COPY

3.7
Back to Michael looking very melancholy.

7.) Michael: Absolutely.

PAGE FOUR

P4.1
Wide panel of Michael sitting at a bar drowning his sorrows, yadda yadda yadda.

1.) Michael(caption): Gradually, after she left, I drank more and more, dived deeper into obscurity. I gave up my day job and became a fulltime cliché.
2.) Michael(caption): It wasn’t that she wouldn’t be around anymore, it was that I would probably have married a woman I couldn’t stand and that she was the one with enough integrity to end it.

P4.2
Wide panel of Michael walking down the street looking like a real sorry S.O.B.

3.) Michael(caption): And yes, I was completely alone in a city that was disintegrating, and it sucked. Never in my life had I been so desperate for actual love and also so horny I was losing my mind.

P4.3
Panel of Michael looking at a soda machine (as an example. Could be something else.)

4.) Michael(caption): I was falling in love with inanimate objects I saw in my periphery.

P4.4
Close on female methhead picking at the sores on her face. This is an actual interaction on the street.

5.) Michael(caption): And I was a grown man beating my dick so hard that it looked like it had been smoking meth for the last 20 years.

P4.5
Aubrey and Michael at a party together, both clearly inebriated and having a good time.

6.) Michael(caption): And then, just a week ago, I met Aubrey at a party and must have been accidentally charming because she agreed to have dinner with me.
7.) Aubrey(caption, with quotations): I’m so sorry I’m late…

PAGE FIVE

P5.1
Angle from behind Michael. Aubrey is taking her jacket off preparing to sit down.

1.) Aubrey: …this whole day has been a mess and I don’t think anything has gone right and my phone died and…

P5.2
From what would be Michael 1st person POV we see Aubrey is now sitting down looking at him still manic as she explains herself.

2.) Aubrey: …I didn’t have a charger and of course it was Dr. Patina’s birthday and I was the only one who didn’t get him anything and…

P5.3
Close on Michael, from Aubrey’s POV, who now has a huge grin on his face.

3.) Aubrey(caption, with quotations): …for the first time I can remember the alarm on my phone didn’t go off but Michelle, god bless her, was ready before I even stepped in the shower, anyway it pushed everything back and here I am in my work scrubs and…
4.) Soundfx: clinkclunk (? I really suck at these)
P5.4
Wide from the side of Michael and Aubrey, we’re looking directly at the waiter who has just sat a tray with drinks on it in front of Michael.
5.) Waiter: Did you need anything to drink, ma’am?

P5.5
Looking up at Michael with a excess of assorted drinks like a skyline in the foreground. Michael has an embarrassed grimace on his face.

6.) Aubrey(from off): Umm…just a water.

P5.6
Close on stranger who is looking over his shoulder at Michael’s table smiling. Eating ribs.

P5.6
Like 5.2 but Aubrey looks a little concerned.

7.) Aubrey: Is everything all right?

P5.7
Close on Michael pointing at the drinks smiling, but still clearly embarrassed.

8.) Michael: I didn’t actually order all of these…You see I was kind of a jerk to the waiter earlier and…yeah…that guy over there was staring at me and we sort of got into it but I was really trying to avoid confrontation…

PAGE SIX

Goes back and forth between a party in the past and the present.

P6.1
Back on Aubrey. She’s holding one of the shot glasses up.

1.) Aubrey: Generally I stick to wine, but after the day I’ve had…why not?

P6.2

Both of them from profile taking a shot together.

NO COPY

P6.3
Back on Michael. He has a grimace still on his face from taking the shot.

2.) Michael: I’m really glad you made it, Aubrey.

P6.4
Back on Aubrey with a smile and flirtatious look.

3.) Aubrey: I was really glad you called.
4.) Michael: That’s a relief…

P6.5
Flashback wide-panel of the party they met at. The two are similarly positioned here as they were during the profile panels (6.2) at the restaurant except they are standing and clearly quite drunk. Maybe also have them taking shots like in that panel, too. In these few flashback panels it is important that the stranger at the restaurant appear in at least one of them. That panel will be used again later in some form.

5.) Michael (caption w/ quotes): …because I wasn’t really sure what kind of impression I might have made.

P6.6
Another panel from party of the two of them now clearly being rowdy.

6.) Aubrey (caption w/ quotes): You were probably the only fun I was having that night.

P6.7
Another panel from party with the two of them acting even more rowdy.

7.) Aubrey (caption w/ quotes): [/U]Between my little girl and working sixty hours a week, I don’t get out much. I haven’t had a good time with other adults in a while.

PAGE SEVEN

---------
Thanks again!

gmartyt
02-05-2015, 02:19 AM
First things first: Time of day. You need this. The artist needs it.

The first page has eight panels. Half of them are wide. That might not fit on the page very well.

The captions. First, since all of them are a character's dialogue, they should all be in quotations. Second, I don't like them. (I don't really like captions in general.) Your character is literally telling his life story in the captions. Does the reader really need all of this information? Do they need it right now?

As for whether it's interesting or not, the stuff about the strange man has potential. If this man is what's going to make your story happen, you should give it a little more attention.

Hope this helps.

edit: I realized my caption comments might not be entirely helpful. What I meant to say is that right now they are doing a lot of telling rather than showing.

Kiyoko, Rin
02-06-2015, 12:59 PM
Interior of restaurant with window in background. (Don’t put us inside the restaurant when the next panel takes us outside, and the panel after that takes us back inside.) Michael is sitting at one end of table and the seat opposite him is empty. Angles could include profile of Michael and table with waiter facing POV. Also, angle more with empty chair in the foreground for emphasis. This is a nicer restaurant and so the waiter is dressed accordingly and so is Michael.

P1.1
Establishing shot-wide panel of the outside of the restaurant.

1.) Waiter (caption): “Are we still waiting?” (Punctuation. Also, I’m note sure the reader would Know it was the waiter saying this.)

P1.2
Wide panel—profile of Michael sitting at table with empty chair across from him. He looks dour and anxious. (Can these expressions be shown simultaneously?) The waiter is standing at the table, facing the POV us.

2.) Michael: That’s what you do for a living, isn’t it? You should be better at it.
3.) Michael (caption): I'm not really one of the good guys...

P1.3
Close on waiter who is clearly offended.

NO COPY

P1.4
Medium-wide—angle from below table level with empty chair in the foreground. Michael is looking at the chair, now a little disappointed in himself and the situation.

4.) Michael: I’m so sorry…

P1.5
Close on Michael.

5.) Michael: …really…she should be here soon. And I’ve got to be the last person in the world who can criticize someone for what they do for a living.
6.) Michael(caption):…but I’m trying. (Not sure a caption that trailed off in panel 2 can be coherently completed in panel 5 when there’s been intervening copy.)

P1.6

Wide on Michael now sitting back in his chair. He is slightly in the distance and we see him from over the shoulder of some stranger who is facing Michael.

7.) Michael (caption): It’s not always easy though. This town is full of creepy assholes and they’ll change you into something awful if you let them. (if the stranger is relevant to this story, consider reversing the camera – go over Michael’s shoulder to have the stranger as the focus. That way, we can put a face to the label “asshole”. Might be more effective.)

P1.7

Very close on strange man who is ravenously consuming his dinner (if the stranger is relevant to the story, specify what’s on his plate. A character is defined by their choices; something weird on the plate can tell us loads about his character, particularly if he’s eating something unusual) while staring (consider a more powerful verb – “ogling”, “glaring” “scowling” etc) at Michael.

8.) Michael(caption): I can’t shake the feeling that there is something familiar about this particular creep.
P1.8

Medium close (one or the other. Medium OR close up) on Michael and waiter, who looks a little perplexed, from behind (Who is perplexed and how can we tell from behind?). Stranger in background still staring at Michael.

9.) Michael: Would you send Charles Manson over there a drink from me? Tell him to pretty please sit (face) the other direction.
10.) Michael(caption): Kill’em with kindness, right?

PAGE TWO

Speech bubbles may work instead of all the captions. (Stress that this is a flashback so your colourist can adjust accordingly. Your artist may also want to alter the panel borders.)

P2.1
Medium-wide of Michael walking toward his first floor apartment at night. (Are we outside, or inside an apartment complex?) He’s carrying a grocery bag full of stuff down at his side.

1.) Michael(caption): My ex left me six months ago.

P2.2
Small panel looking over Michael’s shoulder as he is unlocking his front door.

2.) Michael(caption): I knew something was wrong before I even opened the door.
3.) Ex-girlfriend(small, from other side of door): I gotta go, he’s here.

P2.3
Close on Michael rolling his eyes.
4.) Michael(caption): Six years together and she had never gotten off the phone with her crappy best friend because I was home. (So #3 should go before #2, yes? He can’t Know something is wrong before the wrong thing even happens, unless he has telepathic / clairvoyant powers or his captions are being narrated from the future.)

P2.4
Medium-wide of Michael on the couch. His ex-girlfriend is off panel but we see her speech. Michael is drinking a beer and eating potato chips while watching television

5.) Michael(caption): I had never been more content in the relationship.
6.) Ex-girlfriend (OP): I’m not happy… (lol.) (This would work better if you gave Michael a reaction to #6. The picture should match the last thing said in the copy.)

P2.5
Similar to last panel but now we’re closer on Michael. He is reacting more now, looking down, being generally gloomy.

7.) Michael(caption): But almost all of that contentedness came from us not seeing each other very much. I had been spending a lot of time reexamining the Momus Murders again, and committing more to work.

P2.6
Similar again, but now we’re even closer, and Michael is getting even more depressed.

8.) Michael(caption): This conversation had happened many times before. I was proud of her for finally following through. She was a lot braver than me.

PAGE THREE

In the present once again with Michael at the restaurant.

P3.1
Close on cocktail being placed in front of Michael. (You should probably specify what cocktail and just exactly how the glass is decorated - umbrellas, fruit, straws, cream, sparkles etc. it gives us insight into character.)

1.) Waiter(from off): While we (We?) wait…The gentleman at the other table ordered it for you.

P3.2
Medium wide of Michael and waiter. Michael is holding the drink up and inspecting (Use a stronger verb - I need to know more about Michael’s reaction. Genuinely touched? Suspicious?) it. The waiter looks on smiling.

2.) Michael: …thanks.
3.) Waiter: No worries. I wouldn’t ruin a drink that good by spitting in it. (lol)

P3.3
Medium wide of stranger moving to the seat across from where he had been ( now so he would be facing away from Michael). He has a large grin (what’s his general demeanour? Does he still look creepy? Affable?) and he is holding his drink up in a mock toast.

NO COPY

P3.4
Close on Michael sipping drink apprehensively (good! An adverb!). Straight ahead angle, very close.

NO COPY

P3.5
Medium wide of Michael and waiter. Michael is turning his head to the side with an expression like he has something sour in his mouth. The waiter looks on approvingly.

4.) Waiter: Amazing, isn’t it?
5.) Michael: Brandied cherries dusted with sugar, a mixture of Angostura bitters and Lemonhart 151 rum,ignited to caramelize the sugar. Flames doused by gin, rosewater and lime...A little too sweet for me.
6.) Waiter: Then you’ll have another? (This response jarred until I read #7.)

3.6
Panel of empty chair.

NO COPY

3.7
Back to Michael looking very melancholy.

7.) Michael: Absolutely.

My two cents. There's nothing majorly wrong with this (imo) - providing the stranger becomes important later. If the stranger's irrelevant, then you have a pacing problem, with too much time being spent on something that isn't important to your story.

Hope this helped.

Mccalliste40
02-06-2015, 03:50 PM
You were very helpful. Thanks for the detailed feedback.

SamRoads
02-10-2015, 10:45 PM
I don't recommend mixing caption narration and dialogue. It's very hard for a reader to process. Works a little easier in films than it does in comics.

I do recommend practising more precision and more detail. Don't do things like 'yadda yadda'. Just write clean efficient sentences that describe what the artist needs to draw.

A comic script will only be read by your fellow creators and they'll thank you if it is precise, simple and gives sufficient detail. Practise will help with this.

A lot of these panels are talking heads. Try to have stuff happening, maybe create movement through your protagonists physically moving.