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View Full Version : Writing Challenge 7: Ends on 6/27


Steven Forbes
06-06-2015, 07:33 AM
It’s time for another writing contest!

This time, though I’ve decided to do this a little differently. There are going to be five of them.

These will all be no longer than five pages. Check the individual threads for what the particulars of those challenges will be.

Here’s the twist: if I can get five scripts in all five challenges, then I’ll write a script per challenge myself.

Why are you still here? Get to the others!

Challenge 4: Silence

There can be no copy at all here. Sound effects are okay, but no dialogue, monologues, captions—no copy.
A ball must be an object (take that as you will)
One page must have at least 12 panels in it

Alyssa
06-11-2015, 10:07 PM
I'm taking a crack at this one.

crognus
06-12-2015, 01:44 AM
May do this one...I'll try to come up with some ideas in my free time. Why do all these 5 page prompts give me ideas for terrible final page plot twists though? Feel like I'm turning into a bad M. Night Shyamalan.

Hathor422
06-15-2015, 12:58 AM
What about signage or the screen of a cellphone?

Steven Forbes
06-18-2015, 01:24 AM
I can get behind that, Ronnie.

Thanks.

SDS
06-18-2015, 09:44 PM
very rough draft. Please excuse formatting and spelling errors: I'm still getting used to my dictation system. All crits and comments are welcome.

Robin A quiet first-grade student, she has a gap toothed smile, long braids, and a large forehead.

Heath & Forest Twin pre-schoolers, both of their heads shaved. Heath has a juice stain on his shirt from the car ride over. Forest has a scar on his knee that extends partway past the end of his shorts.

Rosa A large-framed, fat woman in her mid-thirties, she has no chin and a thick neck. She wears several gold bracelets, chunky earrings, and a turquoise necklace.


1.0

1.1 The children's section of a Macy's-type department store: Robin sits in a pastel-upholstered chair, scanning a book on a small tablet computer. Heath sits on a couch behind her to the left, playing a game on a system similar to a 3DS; he is sandwiched between a pile of clothes - still on their hangers - and his mother's purse - almost as tall as him, taller with the straps. Forest is deigning to allow Rosa to pose him in front of a triptych mirror in a church outfit.
Title Cowbird


1.2 Forest is melodramatically exaggerating the effort it takes to drag his exhausted body back to the dressing room: his gait suggests he's stomping like he's wearing lead shoes, swaying his whole body to work up the momentum to move his feet.


1.3 Robin is setting her tablet into her mother's purse with one hand as she holds a dress from the pile beside Forest with the other.


1.4 Robin, having already changed, is working towards the triptych mirror with a spring in her step. Forest sits atop the clothing beside Heath, liberated from the outfit he was modeling, and thoroughly enjoying a game on the tablet; he is moving his whole body to turn the tablet, as if shifting his weight will help him move faster in the game.


1.5 Robin, standing before the mirrors, is rubbing her ear. Rosa is adjusting the hem of the dress Robin is trying on. A cigarette-burn shaped bubble of static sits in the upper right corner of the panel. The bubble, though in the field of the mirrors, does not appear in any of the three reflections.



2.0

2.1 The family is leaving the clothing store, and entering the rest of the mall. They are on the second floor. Forest is carrying a full bag, drawing it up to his chin, while Heath is accepting a bag from Rosa. Rosa is fishing in her purse with her free hand. She still has bags hanging on both of her elbows. Robin is following behind all three of them: she's carrying bags in both of her hands and rubbing her ear with her shoulder. A bubble of static remains on the panel, though it has shrunk from its previous size. [From this point on, the individual spots of static may expand and contract, but they will consistently increase in number and together cover a progressively greater area of every panel.]


2.2 Forest has hit Heath with the bag he was carrying. Heath has braced himself against the leg of an elderly woman using a walker who was trying to pass them by. Rosa is facing forward, away from the boys, with a concerned and slightly surprised expression on her face as she holds her cell to her ear.

2.3 Robin has closed her eyes and shaking her head. She is lagging behind the rest of her family and obstructing the path of other shoppers.


2.4 Rosa has turned to glare at the boys as Forest receives a retaliatory bag to the face. Rosa is pressing her cell to her ear with her shoulder. Robin is looking towards the ceiling with a furrowed brow, as if she is searching for the source of an irritating noise.


2.5 Heath is indignantly pointing at his brother, who is taking advantage of the distraction to lean back and prepare to hit Heath again. Robin is leaning forward and complaining about her ear. The elderly woman is staring back at the scene disapprovingly.

2.6 Rosa has raised her hand to her eyebrows in a very forceful had-it-up-to-here gesture, as shown by the momentum in her bracelets and earrings.The children have cringed back in surprise. The family has attracted the attention of a handful of disapproving shoppers.

2.7 Rosa is covering her eyes with one hand and has raised the other to gesture loosely towards a location and off screen.The children have relaxed somewhat. The shoppers are no longer paying attention.


3.0


3.1 The boys, chastened, are following Rosa with their tails between their legs. Rosa is still on the call. Robin, her nose crinkled, sniffling, is following behind, careful not to create too much of a gap. The family is entering the food court. The static has engulfed the majority of the background and has begun swallowing up the characters.

3.2 The boys are eating junk food sedately at the table, while Rosa is trying to pay attention to this phone call. Robin has some fries in her hand, but she has tilted her head toward something away from the rest of her family. More of the background is visible, as the static is receding, but it appears much more dimly lit than in the first page.

3.3 The static has completely disappeared. There is a white nimbus around Robin's head. A black EEG line (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroencephalography) stretches from her ear to an object off panel. The background is not as dim as it was previously.

3.4 The line stretches to a 16-year-old version of Robin, eating at a table by herself, dressed in a very fashionable skirt and military jacket, with the same white nimbus around her head. The background is not as dim as it was previously.

3.5 The background is not as dim as it was previously. It is nearly as bright as the first page. Robin's elder doppelganger has risen to leave.

3.6 Robin is leaving the table to follow her doppelgänger while her mother is distracted cleaning a new stain on Heath's shirt.


4.0

4.1 Robin has left through the mall exit; a Crown Vic sits at the curb. Her doppelganger is holding the rear passenger door open.

4.2 A 32-year-old version of herself is in the rear seat behind the driver.

4.3 Memory: (all memories are POV and slightly fuzzy at the edges)the 16-year-old he is looking at herself in her bedroom Mirror, dancing.

4.4 memory: she is sailing on a small private boat: she is adjusting the rigging.

4.5 Memory: she is sitting on a city street in the 20s, playing with a ball and cup.

4.6 In the car: A 56-year-old version of herself is in the driver's seat.

4.7 Memory: she is dragging a hoe in a field as a biplane flies overhead.

4.8 Memory: she is attending and 80s dinner party where everyone is exceedingly well dressed.

4.9In the car: A 96-year-old version of herself is in the front passenger seat looking over a map spread on the dashboard.

4.10 Memory:she is crossing the stage towards a College dean at a 90s graduation; the banner overhead says congratulations class of 99.

4.11 Memory: in the 30s, she is walking in the park with a lover dressed in the style of the time.

4.12 Memory: she is holding a balloonand holding hands with and 88 year old version of herself. Her 48 year old version of herself is beside the elderly woman and looking around nervously.


5.0

5.1 In the mall food court: Rosa, now cleaning Forest's face, looks over to Robin's seat.

5.2 Rosa has twisted around in her seat to survey the rest of the busy food court.(note: Rosa will get increasingly agitated and distraught as a page progresses)

5.3 She drags the boys into the women's room.

5.4 Overhead view: the stalls are all empty as Rosa calls out for Robin.

5.5 She has emerged, and is speaking with a security guard, offering a picture of Robin on her phone.

5.6 In the sedan: Robin's plotting coordinates on the map now resting on her lap, still linked by EEG lines to the rest of her selves.

Kiyoko, Rin
06-26-2015, 09:14 PM
Whitewash – By Rin Kiyoko

NOTE, FOR EVERY PANEL ON EVERY PAGE: No copy

Page 1 (5 panels)

Panel 1. Subjective point of view of a clown (“Clown” – male, 6 foot something, age indeterminate due to costume and make up) in full body shot on a sparsely populated city high street in full sunlight. He has a gleeful expression as he leans forwards, index finger upright over lips pursed in the “shh” gesture. His shadow, instead of being black, is white, and whatever it falls on should be blank white space.

Panel 2. Subjective point of view. Clown has one hand down his pants, reaching into the crotch area. His expression is sinister; his teeth show.

Panel 3. Subjective point of view (but we don’t need a full, or even half, body shot anymore. If we’ve zoomed in, it may be because the clown has walked towards us). The clown, grinning evily, is holding forth a Polaroid of a teenage girl (“Daughter”). She’s in full body shot, but as most of the Polaroid’s off panel-bottom, we only see her terrified, gagged face.

Panel 4. Subjective point of view, with a pair of hands reaching out to throttle Clown. Clown, facing panel right but looking at us from the corner of his smug eye, is lustily licking the Polaroid. Most of Daughter is covered by his tongue / slobber, but we should be able to see a naked limb or two, tied to a chair.

Panel 5. Elevated long shot. A bystander stares in concern as struggling, furious, shouting “Father” (late thirties, dressed in a suit) is being subdued by two goon types, while another goon is tying his hands around a lamppost. At panel right, a laughing Clown waves goodbye as he’s getting into the back of a mostly off panel car. To give this panel and the next some sort of timestamp (without using copy…), consider putting a Jumbotron in this panel.

Page 2 (9 panel grid)

Panel 1. Father, in the foreground, sprints towards us looking frantic with worry. In the background, a crowd – including the bystander from the last panel – are gathered around the lamp post. Someone holds the severed rope. If you included a Jumbotron in the last panel, the image it shows should be different from the last. If no Jumbotron, change the angle of the shadows, have Father’s clothes soaked through with sweat… anything to imply that a significant amount of time has passed.

Panel 2. Close up of a phone. Give it a large display screen, have a bell icon with blare lines exuding outwards / have blare lines the handset to indicate ringing. Either in this panel or the next, include a framed, family photo that includes Father, “Mother”, and Daughter.

Panel 3. Mother (early 30s, dressed in office clothes, with an obvious resemblance to Daughter) has the handset between her shoulder and ear as she types. Her demeanour should be one focusing on something else as she takes the call.

Panel 4. Father in his car, shouting into his mobile phone as he drives. The background is blurred – he’s really gunning the engine.

Panel 5. A horrified Mother holds the handset in one hand, the family photo in the other.

Panel 6. Inside a school classroom. A concerned secretary with a cordless landline (not a mobile phone) to her ear, stands in the doorway looking in. The teacher and other school girls (in uniform, all around Daughter’s age) stare at a conspicuously empty desk.

Panel 7. With his top-of-the-range Mercedes (or any brand you think implies wealth) parked haphazardly behind him, the door still open, Father is running towards a large detached house in an exclusive neighbourhood.

Panel 8. Interior of the lavish home. We’re looking from the top of the stairs, through the balustrade, as Father, one hand having slammed the door open, the other cupped to his mouth as he yells. Possibly include shout / blare lines.

Panel 9. Inset. A desperate Father holds his mobile to his ear.

Panel 9. Inside a police station. A uniformed desk sergeant holds a phone to his ear and writes on a notepad, his expression grave. If space permits, include an arrestee being escorted by a uniformed cop, to reinforce the location.

Page 3 (7 panels)

Panel 1. Night time inside the family home. In the foreground, Mother, her hands clasped, leans anxiously over the landline. Father’s hand hovers over the phone; his other hand holds a pen above a notepad. He doesn’t need to be in frame, just his hands. In the background, the TV shows a newscaster reading the news. Daughter’s picture is on the right hand corner of the TV.

Panel 2. Day time. Inside a designer kitchen. Mother and father look tired, unkempt and unshaven at the breakfast table, dressed in the same clothing as before. A milk carton in the foreground has Daughter’s picture on.

Panel 3. Exterior of the house at night. Two police officers stand outside the open door, looking apologetic and shrugging. Mother and Father sag, deflated, against each other.

Panel 4. Father, in day time, has pressed a yellow flyer towards another flyer-hander-out-guy on a busy high street. Flyer-hander-out-guy is surprised. People in the crowd hold either a yellow or a red flyer, depending on which way they’re travelling. A telegraph pole in the background has a poster with Daughter’s face on it.

Panel 5. Father, still holding out the untaken flyer, is angry. Flyer-hander-out-guy has offered his own red flyer out towards Father.

Panel 6. Flyer-hander-out-guy looks serious. He is holding the yellow flyer upright and turned towards us; he’s pointing at Daughter’s face.

Panel 7. Flyer-hander-out-guy looks serious. He is pointing at his own red flyer, which he’s holding upright and turned so we can’t see what’s on it.

Page 4 (9 panels)

Panel 1. Night time on a field. We’re looking past Father’s face as he holds the red flyer up. We can see the image on it matches exactly with the one-person, purple circus tent in the background that has gold roping. Put mystic symbols on the tent if you want. There are other circus stalls, but hardly any people.

Panel 2. Inside the purple tent. “Mystic” (female, 50s, wears robe and charms), sitting behind a small table with a crystal ball on, is looking up at Father, who has thrust the yellow flyer towards her, as well as a stack of cash.

Panel 3. Mystic looks deeply into the crystal ball.

Panel 4. Front on view of Mystic, her face lowered but looking up at us from beneath her lashes. Her expression is guarded; use shading to give it ominous gravitas.

Panel 5. Front on view of Mystic. She is surprised. Father’s fist is before her face, offering another stack of cash.

Panel 6. Looking past Father as he faces the tent entrance. Mystic is off panel, outside, but her hand is extended through the opening, her finger crooked in a “come here” gesture.

Panel 7. We’re outside the tent. Mystic points towards a trailer in the background. Father stands next to her. We can’t see their faces.

Panel 8. In the foreground, Father is mostly off panel as he walks towards us. Mystic, in the background, looks ominous.

Panel 9. We’re looking past Mystic as she holds a mystically delicious Walkie Talkie (not a mobile phone) to her ear. The phone is coloured whatever the predominant colour of Clown’s costume was on page 1. In the background, Father walks away from us.

Page 5 (12 panels)

Panel 1. Father a short way off the trailer. There should be something off about the trailer – the door’s almost at the rear (panel left), not the front; its geometry is as treacherous as an Edward Hopper painting. There needs to be a window to the left of the door, hinges on the outside of the door (it opens out) and the door handle on the left side.

Panel 2. Close up of Father, sweating, uncertain, apprehensive. (You can replace this panel with an aerial shot that reinforces how alone and small he is, and that he’s in the middle of nowhere, if you prefer.)

Panel 3. Father has his mobile to his ear. He’s agitatedly biting his lip.

Panel 4. Vexed, Father holds his mobile aloft. (In order to convey that he can’t get a signal, feel free to replace panel 3 with a close up of his phone screen, and a “No Reception” icon.)

Panel 5. He is peeping through the window, but as the blinds are 99% shut, we only see thin beams of light.

Panel 6. He has his hand on the trailer door handle.

Panel 7. He has opened the door. The interior is pitch black, save for pure white space across the inner threshold, widening as it goes rightwards.

Panel 8. Seen from the outside, Father leans, and rests one foot, inside the trailer, looking to the right. Whatever part of his leg is being touched by Clown’s shadow has been erased by white space.

Panel 9. Inside the trailer. Front-on close up of Father’s horrified face.

Panel 10. Close up of a body part (you choose which), severed and bloody.

Panel 11. Subjective view of Clown’s hands holding a garrotte (or a knife, your choice) out towards Father, whose back is to us as he hunches forwards, sobbing over the scattered pieces of Daughter.

Panel 12. Black panel, with a thin red line (if you drew a garrotte) or a red bloodstain (if you drew a knife).

Hathor422
06-27-2015, 01:05 PM
Reality of Dreams


Characters

Jesse: 21, Asian, College student.

Little Boy: Human, 8, any nationality.

Mother: 30, Human. Same nationality as the son.

Woman: Early 20s, any nationality.

Alien: Design is up to the artist, as long as it is humanoid, and not the typical, Grey. It should be about the size of an average human.

Alien Parent: Same as the offspring, but larger. Upwards of ten feet in height.


Page One (5 Panels)

Panel One: It’s a bright day and we're on a college campus looking at a angled, profile view of JESSE as he walks away from a library door. He’s got a backpack slung across one shoulder, and is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. We can see a sign off to one side that serves as a directory. Jesse is holding a white folder containing a report, and on top of that his smartphone. He is looking down at both as he walks.

SIGNAGE: ● HORTON MEMORIAL LIBRARY
< SUSAN BANKS GIRL DORM A
> SUSAN BANKS MALE DORM B
^ FOUNDERS HALL

Panel Two: This is a closeup of Jesse’s hands. On the report we can see the title, as well as his name and his grade. On the screen of his phone we can see that he has just sent a text.

REPORT NAME (TOP RIGHT CORNER): Jesse Woods

REPORT TITLE: Alien Abductions: Fact or Hollywood Induced Mass Delusions

REPORT GRADE: 100%

CELLPHONE SCREEN TEXT: Jesse: Mom, nailed my Psych report. Ttyl.

Panel Three: We are looking at past a rear view of an alien that is seated at a large, holographic control panel. Before it are multiple, surveillance style images, each on showing different people as they go about their lives. We can’t make out any of the images that clearly because there are so many, except for one. In the center of the collection, larger than the others, is an image of Jesse. We are looking down, over his shoulder and can just see the title of his report.

REPORT TITLE: Alien Abductions: Fact or Hollywood Induced Mass Delusions

Panel Four: We are looking at a bust view of our alien. It has one eyebrow raised, and its mouth is open, as if it is thinking, “what the hell?”.

NO COPY

Panel Five: This is a close-up of the alien’s hand as one finger touches a bright red button on the control panel.

NO COPY


Page Two (6 Panels)

Panel One: Slightly angled, profile. This is a waist-up view of Jesse. He has his head slightly lowered, and tilted to one side. His eyes are tightly closed and he has a hand pressed to the side of his head as if he is in pain. There are a few small jagged lines near the back of his head to give the impression of pain, or him being zapped with something.

NO COPY

Panel Two: We are looking at an angled, rear view of the alien. It has its fingers laced together and is pushing his arms away from him, palms out. We can see Jesse on the screen as he walks. His head is still lowered and he is shoving his phone into the pocket of his jeans. We can see someone with long hair approaching him, but we can’t make out the gender or facial features.

NO COPY

Panel Three: Profile view of Jesse, mid-stride. His head is still lowered, with one hand pressed to his forehead. He is holding his report at his side. We can see the person has just passed him. While the person has long hair, the facial features are unmistakably alien.
*Note to Artist: Please use a distinctive border whenever someone appears as an alien to help convey that Jesse is hallucinating.

NO COPY

Panel Four: This is a profile, bust view of Jesse. There are three images, two faded and one solid. One faded shows his head lowered, with droopy, half-closed eyelids, one shows it raised, with surprised eyes, and the solid shows he has turned to look back, as if he is questioning what he saw. Use motion lines to convey the actions mentioned above.

NO COPY

Panel Five: Rear view of the passerby. She is looking back with a frown on her human face.

NO COPY

Panel Six: Front of view of a confused Jesse as he continues on, with one hand across his eyes as if he is rubbing them .

NO COPY


Page Three (7 Panels)

Panel One: Rear view of Jesse as he walks along the sidewalk. He is reaching back to put his report into his backpack. Ahead of him we can see a open field that has a few shade trees here and there. Under the closest tree there is a woman seated on a blanket as she reads. Close to her there is a small boy, no older than 8. His appearance should be totally human. There is a soccer ball on the sidewalk and the boy is on his way to get it.

NO COPY

Panel Two: Profile view of Jesse bending over to pick up the ball.

NO COPY

Panel Three: Angled-front view of Jesse as he holds out the ball for the boy to take. His eyes are wide with terror.

NO COPY

Panel Four: We are looking directly at the boy, who is holding the ball to one side. Instead of human, he looks like a Grey, the big-headed, big eyed, grey skinned alien that is the most common description of aliens. He has one, hairless eyebrow cocked as well as the corner of one lip, his expression saying, “Huh?”

NO COPY

Panel Five: Angled-front view of Jesse as he opens his mouth to scream, but nothing comes out.

NO COPY
Panel Six: We are looking directly at a waist-up view of Jesse, who is holding his throat with his mouth hanging open. He looks puzzled.

SFX (ABOVE JESSE’S HEAD): ?! ?! ?!

Panel Seven: We are looking past a close-up of the boy, who has turned his head to look at his mother. His mother has lowered her book and is looking at the boy with surprise. There are a few jagged lines above her head to help convey her surprise.

NO COPY



Page Four (12 Panels)

Panel One: We are looking at a headshot of the boy. He looks human and has both eyebrows raised.

NO COPY

Panel Two: Profile view of the mother as she runs, her mouth open in a scream

SFX (ABOVE HER HEAD): !!

Panel Three: Profile bust view of Jesse, who is holding his throat with one hand and pointing down in the boy's direction with the other.

NO COPY

Panel Four: Profile view. The boy has a smirk on his, now alien, face.

NO COPY

Panel Five: Profile view of the Jesse. His head has been knocked back, and his arms are thrown up as he tries to keep his balance. The soccer ball is coming toward us. Use motion lines to show that it was thrown, and bounced off of his head.

SFX: BOOINK

Panel Six: We are looking at the now human boy, who is standing in a taekwondo, front stance.

NO COPY

Panel Seven: Headshot of Jesse, who is holding his bleeding nose. Both eyes are wide, and he looks like, “Why me?”.

NO COPY

Panel Eight: Angled profile view of the boy, who now looks alien, and has kicked Jesse in the balls with a front kick.

SFX: WHAACK

Panel Nine: Bust view of Jesse, who has spun around, only to get punched by the mother. We can only see her fist connecting with his jaw. Use motion lines to convey the actions.

SFX: BAAP

Panel Ten: We are looking at the furious mother, who is standing with her hands on her hips. Behind her we can see a few onlookers. Everyone appears human.

NO COPY

Panel Eleven: We are looking at Jesse, who has fallen to his knees and is covering his head with his hands, as if to protect himself. There are motion lines around him to show that he is shaking.

NO COPY

Panel Twelve: We are looking at a rear view of the mother and son. She has one arm around his shoulder as they walk away. She is looking back at him and appears alien. The boy also appears alien and has his ball under one arm.

NO COPY



Page Five (6 Panels)

Panel One: Profile view of the alien at the control board. Its head is leaning forward after being smacked on the back of it. We can see its parent’s hand in the air. Use motion lines to convey the action of the smack.

SFX: WHAP

Panel Two: Profile view of the alien and its parent. The much larger parent has the alien by its arm and is pulling it away from the screens.

NO COPY

Panel Three: We are looking at the screens. Jesse’s screen is still the largest. He is spread eagle on the ground. His eyes are bloodshot with tears in them. He has blood coming out of his nose and ears.

NO COPY

Panel Four: We are inside a silver room. There are rows and rows of human-sized domes inside, as far as we can see.

NO COPY

Panel Five: This is a close-up of the bottom of the dome as begins to lift away from the floor.

SFX: SHOOOP

Panel Six: Largest panel on the page. We are looking past Jesse’s dead body. He is in a slick, futuristic chair, wearing only black underwear. His arms are hanging at his side, and his body is limp. There is a headset on him, covering his head from the nose-up. There are tubes running from various parts of his body to the chair. Some are filled with blood and the others, liquids of various colors. The alien and its parent are standing behind the chair. The alien has its head hung, as if it is ashamed of its actions. The parent has its arms folded across its chest and looks angry.

NO COPY

SDS
06-27-2015, 10:44 PM
Cowbird
Log line : A young girl is abducted by her true mother: a brood parasitising hive mind.

Characters
Robin A quiet first-grade student, she has a gap toothed smile, long braids, and a large forehead. She is casually dressed in a longsleeved striped shirt, khakis, and flats.

Heath & Forest Robin's current brothers. Twin pre-schoolers, both of their heads shaved. Heath has a juice stain on his shirt from the car ride over. Forest has a scar on his knee that extends partway past the end of his shorts.

Rosa Robin's current mother. A large-framed, fat woman in her mid-thirties, she has no chin and a thick neck. She wears several gold bracelets, chunky earrings, and a turquoise necklace.


1.0

1.1 The children's section of a Macy's-type department store: Robin sits in a pastel-upholstered chair, scanning a book on a small tablet computer. Heath sits on a couch behind her to the left, playing a game on a system similar to a 3DS; he is sandwiched between a pile of clothes - still on their hangers - and his mother's purse - almost as tall as him, taller with the straps. Forest is deigning to allow Rosa to pose him in front of a triptych mirror in a church outfit.
Title Cowbird


1.2 Forest is melodramatically exaggerating the effort it takes to drag his exhausted body back to the dressing room: his gait suggests he's stomping like he's wearing lead shoes, swaying his whole body to work up the momentum to move his feet. Behind him, Rosa is admonishing him to be careful with those shoes (she is considering getting him a different pair.)
NO COPY


1.3 Robin is setting her tablet into her mother's purse with one hand as she holds a dress from the pile beside Heath with the other.
NO COPY


1.4 Robin, having already changed, is walking towards the triptych mirror with a spring in her step. Forest sits atop the clothing beside Heath, liberated from the outfit he was modeling, and thoroughly enjoying a game on the tablet; he is moving his whole body to turn the tablet, as if shifting his weight will help him move faster in the game.
NO COPY


1.5 Robin, standing before the mirrors, is rubbing her ear (she is starting to lose her hearing. This is visualised on the page with a bubble full of TV static that sits in the upper right corner of the panel. The bubble is small and irregularly shaped, like a cigarette burn. The bubble, though in the field of the mirrors, does not appear in any of the three reflections.) Rosa is adjusting the hem of the dress Robin is trying on.
NO COPY



2.0

2.1 The family is leaving the clothing store, and entering the rest of the mall. They are on the second floor. Forest is carrying a full bag, drawn up to his chin, while Heath is accepting a bag from Rosa. Rosa is fishing in her purse with her free hand. She still has bags hanging on both of her elbows. Robin is following behind all three of them: she's carrying bags in both of her hands and rubbing her ear with her shoulder. A bubble of static remains on the panel, though it has shrunk from its previous size. [From this point on, the individual bubbles of static may expand and contract, but they will consistently increase in number and together cover a progressively greater area of every panel (up to 30%.)]
NO COPY


2.2 Forest has hit Heath with the bag he was carrying. Heath has braced himself against the leg of an elderly woman using a walker who was trying to pass them by. The elderly woman has reached out to brace herself against the railing that prevents her from tumbling to the first floor. Rosa is facing forward, away from the boys, with a concerned and slightly surprised expression on her face as she holds her cell to her ear.
NO COPY


2.3 Robin has closed her eyes and is shaking her head. She is lagging behind the rest of her family and obstructing the path of other shoppers.
NO COPY


2.4 Rosa has turned to glare at the boys as Forest receives a retaliatory bag to the face from his brother. Rosa is pressing her cell to her ear with her shoulder. Robin is looking towards the ceiling with a furrowed brow, as if she is searching for the source of an irritating noise.
NO COPY


2.5 Heath is indignantly pointing at his brother, who is taking advantage of the distraction to lean back and prepare to hit Heath again. Robin is leaning forward and complaining about her ear. The elderly woman is staring back at the scene disapprovingly.
NO COPY


2.6 Rosa has raised her hand to her eyebrows in a very forceful had-it-up-to-here gesture, as shown by the momentum in her bracelets and earrings.The children have cringed back in surprise. The family has attracted the attention of a handful of disapproving shoppers.
NO COPY


2.7 Rosa, still sandwiching her phone between her shoulder and ear, is covering her eyes with one hand and has raised the other to gesture loosely towards a location and off screen. The children have relaxed somewhat. The shoppers are no longer paying attention.
NO COPY


3.0


3.1 The boys, chastened, are following Rosa with their tails between their legs. Rosa is still on the call. Robin, her nose crinkled, sniffling, is following behind, careful not to create too much of a gap. The family is entering a large, bustling food court. The static has engulfed the majority of the background and has begun swallowing up the characters.
NO COPY


3.2 The boys are eating junk food sedately at the table, while Rosa is trying to pay attention to this phone call. Robin has some fries in her hand, but she has tilted her head toward something away from the rest of her family. (The static has receded somewhat. More of the background is visible, but is much more dimly lit than in the first page.)
NO COPY


3.3 The static has completely disappeared. There is a white nimbus around Robin's head. A black EEG line (link) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroencephalography) stretches from her ear to an object off panel. The background is not as dim as it was in the previous panel.
NO COPY


3.4 The line stretches to a 16-year-old version of Robin, eating at a table by herself, dressed in a very fashionable skirt and military jacket, with the same white nimbus around her head. Aside from the older version of her having gained weight, she just looks like an aged up version of Robin. The background is not as dim as it was in the previous panel.
NO COPY


3.5 The background is not as dim as it was previously. It is nearly as bright as the first page. Robin's elder doppelgänger has risen to leave.
NO COPY


3.6 Robin is leaving the table to follow her doppelgänger while her mother, still on the phone, is distracted cleaning a new stain on Heath's shirt.
NO COPY


4.0

4.1 Robin has left through the mall exit; there is just a strip of sidewalks separating her from a Crown Vic that sits at the curb. Her still-linked 16-year-old doppelgänger is holding the rear passenger door open.
NO COPY


4.2 A 32-year-old version of herself is in the rear seat behind the driver. (All doppelgänger are linked and have nimbuses.) (This triggers a flood of memories that will overwhelm her psyche and synchronise Robin with the rest of the hive mind.)
NO COPY


4.3 Memory: (all memories are POV and slightly fuzzy at the edges: they blur together at the border) the 16-year-old version of herself is looking at herself in her bedroom mirror, dancing.
NO COPY


4.4 Memory: she is sailing on a small private boat: she is adjusting the rigging.
NO COPY


4.5 Memory: she is sitting on a city street in the 20s, playing with a ball and cup.
NO COPY


4.6 In the car: A 56-year-old version of herself is in the driver's seat.
NO COPY


4.7 Memory: she is dragging a hoe in a field as a biplane flies overhead.
NO COPY


4.8 Memory: she is attending an 80s dinner party where everyone is exceedingly well dressed.
NO COPY


4.9 In the car: A 96-year-old version of herself is in the front passenger seat looking over a map spread on the dashboard.
NO COPY


4.10 Memory: she is crossing the stage towards a college dean at a 90s graduation; the banner overhead says "Congratulations Class of '99".
NO COPY


4.11 Memory: in the 30s, she is walking in the park with a lover dressed in the style of the time.
NO COPY


4.12 Memory: she is holding a balloon and holding hands with an 88 year old version of herself. Her 48 year old version of herself is beside the elderly woman, casting a nervous glance at something off panel.
NO COPY


5.0

5.1 In the mall food court: Rosa, now off the phone, holding a reluctant Forest's face still so as to clean it properly with a napkin, is looking over to Robin's empty seat.
NO COPY


5.2 Rosa has twisted around in her seat to survey the rest of the busy food court. She is calling out for Robin, with a fairly frustrated expression on her face.
NO COPY


5.4 She is dragging the nervous boys into the women's room as another woman exits.
NO COPY


5.5 Overhead view: the stalls are all empty as a distraught Rosa calls out for Robin.
NO COPY


5.6 Now outside the woman's room, shaken and desperate Rosa is speaking with a security guard, offering a picture of Robin on her phone.
NO COPY


5.7 In the car: Robin, in the rear passenger-side seat, is plotting coordinates on the map now resting on her lap, still linked by EEG lines to the rest of her selves (these lines can extend off panel: the other selves need not be pictured.)
NO COPY

(Please disregard the previous script. Again, all crits and comments would be appreciated.)

SDS
06-30-2015, 06:39 AM
Whitewash Rin, you have interesting visuals, from the crystal ball (which was a creative interpretation of that requirement) to the final panel, and the story proceeds clearly and logically to a fitting ending. That said, the story seems to lack a clear theme or a compelling motivation for the villain (or at least, countervailing or complicating details that would have made it more engaging.)

The protagonist is being toyed with, but this kind of play doesn't reveal enough to help clarify the character of either the tormentor or the tormented.

It's clear that there is an overarching plan, demonstrating a malicious intelligence, but we don't get enough beyond "playful cruelty" to make this villain distinctive.

The hero is persistent, but he doesn't have enough substantive interactions with other characters to give us a sense of who he is, beyond being devoted; he mostly allows himself to be led by the nose. His wife is a non-entity: she neither furthers the plot nor adds an emotional dimension that the protagonists own reaction does not provide.

This may be a matter of taste, but the gore did not add, so it ended up subtracting.

The goons also seemed out of place. It probably would have made the villain more compelling if he was able to subdue the protagonist himself.

Also, do people still have missing person ads on milk cartons?

Kiyoko, Rin
06-30-2015, 12:37 PM
Whitewash Rin, you have interesting visuals, from the crystal ball (which was a creative interpretation of that requirement) to the final panel, and the story proceeds clearly and logically to a fitting ending. Cheers!That said, the story seems to lack a clear theme True or a compelling motivation for the villain To quote Adam Warren's Gen 13: Grunge The Movie "I'm a bad guy; I do bad things."(or at least, countervailing or complicating details that would have made it more engaging.)

The protagonist is being toyed with, but this kind of play doesn't reveal enough to help clarify the character of either the tormentor or the tormented. True again, but they're not really characters. They have no names; I couldn't find a way to organically fit their names in without using copy, so I used archetypes instead - Father, Mother, Villain, supporting cast.

It's clear that there is an overarching plan, demonstrating a malicious intelligence, but we don't get enough beyond "playful cruelty" to make this villain distinctive. I disagree. If I'd've read this without being the writer, I'd've been interested in the shadow that swallows background detail. Perhaps I didn't explain the shadow enough in the script.

The hero is persistent, but he doesn't have enough substantive interactions with other characters to give us a sense of who he is Yep. But how to achieve that in 5 pages with no copy?, beyond being devoted; he mostly allows himself to be led by the nose. His wife is a non-entity: she neither furthers the plot nor adds an emotional dimension that the protagonists own reaction does not provide. True. She could be cut.

This may be a matter of taste, but the gore did not add, so it ended up subtracting. Second script in a row where someone thought I was too gory. Maybe I should have entered the horror challenge...

The goons also seemed out of place. It probably would have made the villain more compelling if he was able to subdue the protagonist himself. You're right again.

Also, do people still have missing person ads on milk cartons? Speaking as a Brit, no one in the UK is put on a carton, and they never were. I took this from American culture; it it's an anachronism then I don't care. It serves a very useful shorthand for "missing", no matter how outdated.

If no one's said this before, SDS, then allow me: Welcome to the forum!

I don't particularly believe in critiquing the writing challenges, as I view them as an exercise in meeting the criteria, not producing Eisner award winning work. That said, I appreciate the time you took and, in the spirit of "do as you would be done by", I'll critique your scripts later.

SDS
06-30-2015, 12:49 PM
Thank you, Rin.

Now that I'm aware, I'll respect your preference in the future.

Kiyoko, Rin
06-30-2015, 03:13 PM
My 2 cents...

Cowbird
Log line : A young girl is abducted by her true mother: a brood parasitising hive mind.

Characters
Robin A quiet (no kidding!) first-grade student, she has a gap toothed smile, long braids, and a large forehead. She is casually dressed in a longsleeved striped shirt, khakis, and flats. (Bearing in mind all the Robins there will be in this script, I’d give Robin’s face a scar. That way we’d have more chance of connecting all the Robins as one person.)

Heath & Forest Robin's current brothers. Twin pre-schoolers, both of their heads shaved. Heath has a juice stain on his shirt from the car ride over. Forest has a scar on his knee that extends partway past the end of his shorts.

Rosa Robin's current mother. A large-framed, fat woman in her mid-thirties, she has no chin and a thick neck. She wears several gold bracelets, chunky earrings, and a turquoise necklace.


1.0 (Better to say “Page 1”. “1.0” might be seen as an empty inset.)

1.1 The children's section of a Macy's-type department store: Robin sits in a pastel-upholstered chair, scanning a book (is she using her tablet as a scanner, or does scanning here mean “skim reading”?) on a small tablet computer. Heath sits on a couch behind her to the left, playing a game on a system similar to a 3DS; he is sandwiched between a pile of clothes - still on their hangers - and his mother's purse - almost as tall as him, taller with the straps. Forest is deigning to allow Rosa to pose him in front of a triptych mirror in a church outfit. (Move these last 4 words to follow “Forest”. Otherwise, it reads like the mirror wears an outfit.)
Title Cowbird


1.2 Forest is melodramatically exaggerating the effort it takes to drag (1) his exhausted body back to the dressing room: his gait suggests he's stomping (2) like he's wearing lead shoes, swaying (3) his whole body to work up the momentum to move (4) his feet. (1+2+3+4 = Moving panel.) Behind him, Rosa is admonishing him to be careful with those shoes (she is considering getting him a different pair.) (Her intentions cannot be drawn.)
NO COPY


1.3 Robin is setting her tablet into her mother's purse with one hand as she holds a dress from the pile beside Heath with the other.
NO COPY


1.4 Robin, having already changed, (if she’s wearing the dress in this panel you may need to mention what she was wearing before) is walking towards the triptych mirror with a spring in her step (aka “bounding” or “skipping”). Forest sits atop the clothing beside Heath, liberated from the outfit he was modeling, and thoroughly enjoying a game on the tablet; he is moving his whole body to turn the tablet, as if shifting his weight will help him move faster in the game. (This panel feels prosey and bloated. Your artist will probably want it streamlined so it’s easier to read.)
NO COPY


1.5 Robin, standing before the mirrors, is rubbing (You may need motion lines to avoid this being a moving panel or looking like she’s pinching it) her ear (she is starting to lose her hearing. This is visualised on the page with a bubble full of TV static that sits in the upper right corner of the panel. The bubble is small and irregularly shaped, like a cigarette burn. The bubble, though in the field of the mirrors, does not appear in any of the three reflections.) Rosa is adjusting the hem of the dress Robin is trying on. (First page down. The static could be an intriguing hook IF you make more of it. Tucked away in the top right corner, there’s a chance it may be overlooked, or not seen at all. I think you need another panel to draw attention to it. Otherwise, it just seems like kids dressing up.)
NO COPY



2.0

2.1 The family is leaving the clothing store, and entering the rest of the mall. They are on the second floor. Forest is carrying a full bag, drawn up to his chin, while Heath is accepting a bag from Rosa. Rosa is fishing in her purse with her free hand. She still has bags hanging on both of her elbows. Robin is following behind all three of them: she's carrying bags in both of her hands and rubbing her ear with her shoulder. A bubble of static remains on the panel, though it has shrunk from its previous size. [From this point on, the individual bubbles of static may expand and contract, but they will consistently increase in number and together cover a progressively greater area of every panel (up to 30%.)]
NO COPY


2.2 Forest has hit Heath with the bag he was carrying. Heath has braced himself against the leg of an elderly woman using a walker who was trying to pass them by. The elderly woman has reached out to brace herself against the railing that prevents her from tumbling to the first floor. Rosa is facing forward, away from the boys, with a concerned and slightly surprised expression on her face as she holds her cell to her ear. (98 word panel description. It can be reduced.) (This seems a busy panel even before the static covers everything.)
NO COPY


2.3 Robin has closed her eyes and is shaking her head. (Without ghosting, motion lines or multiple stages, this is a moving panel.) She is lagging behind the rest of her family and obstructing the path of other shoppers. (The first sentence implies a close up; the latter, a long shot.)
NO COPY


2.4 Rosa has turned to glare at the boys as Forest receives a retaliatory bag to the face from his brother. (Playfully? Maliciously? If his drawing the bag up to his chin in the last panel was a windup to this, then you should have stressed his expression last panel to foreshadow.) Rosa is pressing her cell to her ear with her shoulder. Robin is looking towards the ceiling with a furrowed brow, as if she is searching for the source of an irritating noise. (Have her cup her ear. Readers needs all the cues they can get.)
NO COPY


2.5 Heath is indignantly pointing at his brother, who is taking advantage of the distraction to lean back and prepare to hit Heath again. Robin is leaning forward and complaining about her ear. The elderly woman is staring back at the scene disapprovingly.
NO COPY


2.6 Rosa has raised her hand to her eyebrows in a very forceful had-it-up-to-here gesture, as shown by the momentum in her bracelets and earrings.The children have cringed back in surprise. The family has attracted the attention of a handful of disapproving shoppers.
NO COPY


2.7 Rosa, still sandwiching her phone between her shoulder and ear, is covering her eyes with one hand and has raised the other to gesture loosely towards a location and off screen. The children have relaxed somewhat. The shoppers are no longer paying attention.
NO COPY


3.0


3.1 The boys, chastened, are following Rosa with their tails between their legs. Rosa is still on the call. Robin, her nose crinkled, sniffling, is following behind, careful not to create too much of a gap. The family is entering a large, bustling food court. The static has engulfed the majority of the background and has begun swallowing up the characters. (The crowd or the family?)
NO COPY


3.2 The boys are eating junk food sedately at the table, while Rosa is trying to (Not sure that can be drawn in one panel. She’s either listening or not) pay attention to this phone call. Robin has some fries in her hand, but she has tilted her head toward something away from the rest of her family. (The static has receded somewhat. More of the background is visible, but is much more dimly lit than in the first page.)
NO COPY


3.3 The static has completely disappeared. There is a white nimbus around Robin's head. A black EEG line (link) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroencephalography) stretches from her ear to an object off panel. (Good, interesting visual.) The background is not as dim as it was in the previous panel.
NO COPY


3.4 The line stretches to a 16-year-old version of Robin, eating at a table by herself, dressed in a very fashionable skirt and military jacket, with the same white nimbus around her head. Aside from the older version of her having gained weight, she just looks like an aged up version of Robin. The background is not as dim as it was in the previous panel.
NO COPY


3.5 The background is not as dim as it was previously. It is nearly as bright as the first page. Robin's elder doppelgänger has risen to leave.
NO COPY


3.6 Robin is leaving the table to follow her doppelgänger while her mother, still on the phone, is distracted cleaning a new stain on Heath's shirt.
NO COPY


4.0

4.1 Robin has left through the mall exit; there is just a strip of sidewalks separating her from a Crown Vic that sits at the curb. Her still-linked 16-year-old doppelgänger is holding the rear passenger door open.
NO COPY


4.2 A 32-year-old version of herself is in the rear seat behind the driver. (All doppelgänger are linked and have nimbuses.) (This triggers a flood of memories that will overwhelm her psyche and synchronise Robin with the rest of the hive mind.)
NO COPY


4.3 Memory (Use the word “flashback” instead. It’s more industry standard.): (all memories are POV and slightly fuzzy at the edges: they blur together at the border) the 16-year-old version of herself is looking at herself in her bedroom mirror, dancing.
NO COPY


4.4 Memory: she is sailing on a small private boat: she is adjusting the rigging.
NO COPY


4.5 Memory: she is sitting on a city street in the 20s, playing with a ball and cup.
NO COPY


4.6 In the car: A 56-year-old version of herself is in the driver's seat.
NO COPY


4.7 Memory: she is dragging a hoe in a field as a biplane flies overhead.
NO COPY


4.8 Memory: she is attending an 80s dinner party where everyone is exceedingly well dressed.
NO COPY


4.9 In the car: A 96-year-old version of herself is in the front passenger seat looking over a map spread on the dashboard.
NO COPY


4.10 Memory: she is crossing the stage towards a college dean at a 90s graduation; the banner overhead (I have her walking from left to right not from the audience to the stage, so I’m struggling to see why the banner would be put on sideways where only people in the wings would see it.) says "Congratulations Class of '99".
NO COPY (Banner writing is copy)


4.11 Memory: in the 30s, she is walking in the park with a lover dressed in the style of the time.
NO COPY


4.12 Memory: she is holding a balloon and holding hands with an 88 year old version of herself. Her 48 year old version of herself is beside the elderly woman, casting a nervous glance at something off panel.
NO COPY


5.0

5.1 In the mall food court: Rosa, now off the phone, holding a reluctant Forest's face still so as to clean it properly with a napkin, is looking over to Robin's empty seat.
NO COPY


5.2 Rosa has twisted around in her seat to survey the rest of the busy food court. She is calling out for Robin, with a fairly frustrated expression on her face.
NO COPY


5.4 She is dragging the nervous boys into the women's room as another woman exits.
NO COPY


5.5 Overhead view: the stalls are all empty as a distraught Rosa calls out for Robin.
NO COPY


5.6 Now outside the woman's room, shaken and desperate Rosa is speaking with a security guard, offering a picture of Robin on her phone.
NO COPY


5.7 In the car: Robin, in the rear passenger-side seat, is plotting coordinates on the map now resting on her lap, still linked by EEG lines to the rest of her selves (these lines can extend off panel: the other selves need not be pictured.)
NO COPY

(Please disregard the previous script. Again, all crits and comments would be appreciated.)

SDS
07-01-2015, 12:35 AM
Rin, thank you very much for being so conscientious. I really appreciate the time you put into this.


Robin (Bearing in mind all the Robins there will be in this script, I’d give Robin’s face a scar. That way we’d have more chance of connecting all the Robins as one person.)
Initially, I gave her a port wine stain, but decided against it. I thought it might have been too obvious, but clarity is key; I think an artist could put together a set of cohesive character designs without a facial mark, but that is certainly a tool in the toolkit to consider.


1.0 (Better to say “Page 1”. “1.0” might be seen as an empty inset.) I had not considered that possibility: thanks for the heads up.


1.1 (is she using her tablet as a scanner, or does scanning here mean “skim reading”?) Just reading: I will go back and clarify that. (Move these last 4 words to follow “Forest”. Otherwise, it reads like the mirror wears an outfit.) I had not considered that this sentence could be parsed that way, but that's easy enough to clarify.


1.2 Forest is melodramatically exaggerating the effort it takes to drag (1) his exhausted body back to the dressing room: his gait suggests he's stomping (2) like he's wearing lead shoes, swaying (3) his whole body to work up the momentum to move (4) his feet. (1+2+3+4 = Moving panel.) Does this read as a static pose: "Forest melodramatically has swung both his arms in front of him and has also leaned shoes upper body forward to exaggerate the effort it takes to lift his foot to drag himself back to the dressing room."? (Her intentions cannot be drawn.) I put things that cant be drawn in parentheses when I think it would help the artist to understand what it is that's going on in the characters minds.


1.4 (if she’s wearing the dress in this panel you may need to mention what she was wearing before) (aka “bounding” or “skipping”) Her regular close are mentioned in the character description. Skipping is the most appropriate description. (This panel feels prosey and bloated. Your artist will probably want it streamlined so it’s easier to read.) YMMV: if the visual information can be comfortably conveyed in the panel, then I can cut any extraneous language as the artist needs, no problem.


1.5 (You may need motion lines to avoid this being a moving panel or looking like she’s pinching it) Again, something simple to clarify, or something else I should have thought of. (First page down. The static could be an intriguing hook IF you make more of it. Tucked away in the top right corner, there’s a chance it may be overlooked, or not seen at all. I think you need another panel to draw attention to it. Otherwise, it just seems like kids dressing up.) Okay, prominently displayed, but not obstructing the view of any of the characters.


2.2 (98 word panel description. It can be reduced.) (This seems a busy panel even before the static covers everything.)
The section from "The elderly woman" can be a separate panel.


2.3 (Without ghosting, motion lines or multiple stages, this is a moving panel.) (The first sentence implies a close up; the latter, a long shot.) And motion lines, and clarify a long shot.


2.4 (Playfully? Maliciously? If his drawing the bag up to his chin in the last panel was a windup to this, then you should have stressed his expression last panel to foreshadow.) Heath is not on this panel, just the bag: something else to clarify. (Have her cup her ear. Readers needs all the cues they can get.) I don't think that would work, because she's trying to figure out what's wrong, not straining to hear something quiet. I need to find another visual clue that the problem is with her hearing other than rubbing her ear or covering her ear.


3.1 (The crowd or the family?) The family.


3.2 (Not sure that can be drawn in one panel. She’s either listening or not) "She has one finger in her opposite ear, and she is looking down at the table, trying to concentrate on what she is hearing." That should work, yes?


4.3 (Use the word “flashback” instead. It’s more industry standard.) Noted.


4.10 (I have her walking from left to right not from the audience to the stage, so I’m struggling to see why the banner would be put on sideways where only people in the wings would see it.) (Banner writing is copy) Yeah, that shouldn't have been in there in the first place.


Thanks again!

SDS
07-01-2015, 12:47 AM
Hathor422 Are you interested in crits?

Hathor422
07-02-2015, 10:25 AM
Sure.

SDS
07-13-2015, 01:24 PM
Reality of Dreams The central conceit has promise and the setup is effective in terms of priming the audience for what is to come; you created an expectation and provide an atmosphere ripe for comedy. However, a similar version of this story has been executed to greater effect elsewhere. (http://www.avclub.com/article/invader-zim-creator-keeping-his-absurdist-humor-gr-221693) I think the key is to make the greatest possible use of your resources: if you have, essentially, a skeptical mortal and a capricious/malicious god, you could have created a much more intimate and specific personal hell for the protagonist or delved deeper in to absurdist comedy. The physical humor is the weak link: it is too generic and leaves too much on the table considering that this is a virtual reality environment.