View Full Version : Script for artist. First five pages.

Steven Hutton
08-14-2006, 07:43 PM
I've recently been asked by an artist to make an attempt at a script for an idea that she had. It's not finished yet (I was going to run to page 8 or 9) but I figured I'd show what I've got so far here before I passed it on to her. The dialogue is clunky as hell and it's pretty verbose nevertheless I hope you enjoy it. C&C are, of course, most welcome.

Page 1 (1 Panel)

Panel 1: Full page spread of Tatum in her dorm room at college. She’s leaning far back, slouching, in a chair with her feet up and playing some kind of hand held video game. Her expression should be one of extreme boredom/bemusement. To the left of the page is her bed and next to it (behind Tatum) is her desk. Behind the desk is a window, which the sun would be pouring through if it weren’t for the fact that the blind is down filling the window with a pale pastel orange rather than a circle of blinding gold. There is a small skull shaped ornament prominently displayed on the desk and other skull paraphernalia scattered around the room. I wanted to squeeze as many skulls into the opening sequence as possible. Colour-wise this whole scene should be cast in shades of grey or in muted pastel colours; as will the rest of the scenes in the “Real World”. I wanted to give this opening shot (and all of the scenes in the “Real World”) the feeling of being insubstantial or not quite real to mirror Tatum’s perception of the world as inconsequential. I didn’t know much about Tatum as a character, except what she looks like from your deviant art page, so I more or less just ran with something that fits into the general journey to another world idiom. Anyway, I hope you like my interpretation.

Title: Into the Grey.

Page 2: (6 Panels)

Panel 1: Simply a close up shot of Tatum laying the games machine down on her desk, face down and switched off. We can just see her hand placing it down and, if there’s room, her wrist with her bracelet with a little skull ornament hanging from it.

Tatum (Off panel): *Sigh.*

Panel 2: A smaller version of page 1 panel 1 this time showing a view further to the right, so that the desk is partially off panel to the left and we can see the wall of the room to the right of the panel. There is a mirror on the right hand wall and this new perspective allows us to see a wall clock on the rear wall. The clock reads 5pm. To the left of the panel Tatum is either getting out or already out of her chair and is moving towards the mirror. This panel also marks the beginning of Tatum’s internal monologue captions, which need only be recognisably different from speech bubbles. Otherwise how they is looks is fairly unimportant.

Cap: I didn’t go to class today.

Panels 3, 4, and 5: Three panels of equal size, showing more or less the same perspective below the last two panels. The all show Tatum in front of the mirror doing whatever it is that girls do when preparing to leave the house. Combing her hair and whatnot. I’m sure you get the idea and know better than I do what to put in there.

Cap (Panel 3): Or yesterday.

Cap (Panel 4): Or this week.

Cap (Panel 5): Or this month? Shit. I’m not even sure how long it’s been now.

Panel 6: Long panel covering the whole bottom of the page. This panel shows a different perspective on Tatum’s room. To the left of the panel the mirror hangs on the back wall (formerly the right-hand wall) and to the right of the mirror Tatum has more furniture - Have we had a chest of draws/dressing table yet? Just right of the centre of the panel (although far enough to the right that it doesn’t appear Tatum is living in a tiny little box) the panel is divided by a cross-section of wall/door. Beyond the door Tatum is walking away towards the edge of the panel. I imagine her sweeping, wistfully out of the panel. In fact maybe she’s already half out of shot. Whatever works. In the mirror there is reflected the very, very faint (almost unnoticeable) outline of a shadowy figure.

Sound Effects (SFX): Clunk. The sound of the door closing.

Cap: I know that’s bad - I'm probably fucking up my whole life - but for some reason I just can’t bring myself to care.

Page 3: (4 Panels)

Panel 1: This page is a straight-line zoom on Tatum as she walks down the street. The background is a row of shops with big windows displaying their merchandise. She’s walking from the left towards the right. The first panel starts far enough out that we can see Tatum’s full profile (down to her feet). In the background we can see some shop windows. There should be room for two shops in this panel roughly dividing the panel in half. Tatum should be slightly to the left of centre just passing the divide between the two stores. It’s not really important what is in the first window but the second window is filled with TV’s.

Cap: It’s like my whole life is happening to someone else.

Panel 2: This panel is closer than the last showing Tatum from the waist up. She has moved on down the street and most of the background is filled with TV screens of various different sizes, which show an idyllic forest scene or basic greenery if there’s not enough space. On one of the smaller screens (behind Tatum) we again see the shadowy cloaked figure.

Cap: The people I meet all seems as phoney as characters in a TV show and the TV shows all seem real.

Panel 3: Closer again for this panel and it’s another transition panel. However, rather than just being a transition of the background this panel marks the beginning of Tatum’s transition to the fantasy world. As in panel 1 Tatum stands in the middle between two shops dividing the panel into two. The left hand window is filled with TVs and like the rest of the “Real World” setting so far is coloured in muted pastels and mostly light colours. The right hand window however is almost wholly dark and contains an almost empty display, heavily draped with rich, purple velvet. - If we can see the name of the store either above the window or written on it then it is called “Wonderland otherwise it’s no big deal. - Behind the display in the shop window an extremely thin and ancient man is preparing the display. He is holding something in front of himself in both hands but Tatum is in the way and we can’t see it.

Cap: I feel like I’m watching my whole life through six inches of glass…

Panel 4: Final panel. Closer still this time all we can see of Tatum is her head and shoulders although they shouldn’t fill the entire panel so that they look too large. Behind her the old man has turned and is now obscured by the object that he is holding out in front of himself to place in the window. Around the same size and height as Tatum’s own head the object is a full size silver-looking replica of a human skull.

Cap: Or watching someone else’s life, like a dream.

Page 4: (6 Panels)

Panel 1: Three panels more or less the same size run across the top of this page. This page opens with a smaller panel. Changing perspective the viewpoint now shows Tatum from the front and slightly to the side. We’re now looking down the street and Tatum is walking towards us. Behind her a line of store fronts trails away into the distance. Tatum is leaning away from the shop window that she is passing obviously startled by the skull from the last panel. She is crying out in shock. Not much else of interest here, perhaps some other people on the street behind or ahead of Tatum.

Tatum: Aa!

Panel 2: Another smaller panel next to the first. This panel shows only the skull sitting on its platform at the centre of the purple velvet display. The skull should fill most of the panel and be as striking as possible. It is sitting on a box, which is beneath the thick velvet sheet which covers the display so that it appears as though the skull is sitting on top of a small plateau rising out of the wine coloured landscape. In contrast to the dark of the cloth the skull is very light, almost white in colour but metallic and reflective although the colours it reflects do not appear to be the same as the colours that surround it.

Tatum (Off panel): Whoa.

Panel 3: Back to the same perspective as panel 1 Tatum outside on the street. Leaning down to take a closer look at the skull.

Panel 4: A larger panel below the top three running across the whole width of the page. This panel is from Tatum’s perspective showing her reflection in the store window overlaying the skull within so that it looks like the skull is Tatum’s and we can see inside her head. Her eyes, nose and other features should match up with the corresponding features (or lack thereof) on the skull.

Tatum (Off Panel): Cool.

Panel 5 & 6: Two panels of equal size filling the bottom third of the page.

Panel 5: Back, once again, to the viewpoint used in panel one but wider this time showing the door of the shop as well as the window. Tatum is walking towards the shop door. This store, unlike the others, is cast in much stronger colours. The brickwork is a rich, fiery red and the shadows are almost black rather than the washed out greys and pastels of the rest of the real world.

Cap: I bet this stuff is all stupidly expensive.

Panel 6: Much closer to the shop front. Tatum is cautiously pushing open the door and entering the shop.

Cap: But… What the hell? It’s free to look.

Page 5 (8 Panels)

Inside the store, it’s dark and dusty, the only light is from the window and while the sun is obnoxiously bright outside, leaching the colour from everything, from inside it’s clear that the glass is tinted, casting the interior of the shop into murky shadow. The inside of the store is rich brown wood walls and floor with miscellaneous shelves and tables scattered around haphazardly and filled with all manner of seemingly occult paraphernalia. Black candles, horned statuettes, blood red pentagrams, crystal balls, leather bound books, jars with a variety of organic looking oddities pickled inside, you get the idea.

Panel 1: From inside the store we see Tatum framed against the window set into the door. The window in the door is not tinted glass and daylight streams in framing Tatum within a square of the bleached white colours of the outside world. Tatum, for her part, appears nervous and uncertain for the first time in the story. Which is understandable given that she is, symbolically, taking her first step into the other world.

Tatum: Uh. -- Hi, could I get a closer look at-

Shopkeeper (off panel): The skull?

Inset into this panel is a smaller square panel in the top-right showing a close up of the small bell hanging above the door.

SFX: Jingle, Jingle.

Panel 2: 180-degree switch. This panel is from Tatum’s point of view showing the counter running across the back of the store, the various gewgaws and trinkets along the counter and the more expensive items (from gnarled staves and stereotypical witches brooms to medieval weapons or whatever else takes your fancy) behind the counter and out of reach. On the left of the counter is the cash register and to the right of that is the shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper is a pale, emaciated and extremely old man who’s features would probably be obscured by wrinkles if it weren’t for the fact that he doesn’t seem to have enough flesh on his bones to make it possible, nevertheless his skin is deeply scored by time. Completely bald His facial features seem to be huddling together for warmth in the centre of his face. His suspicious, beady eyes – unnaturally close together – make it seem like he has no nose. Worse, his nose is short and upturned but spread out wide giving anyone shorter than him (which is almost everyone due to his height) a view of two huge triangular nostrils, which dominate his face. His mouth, like his nose, points straight up. The angle is so sharp that his bottom lip can’t keep up and his front teeth show all the time making it appear as though someone had carved a large capital “A” into his face. He’s completely chinless. Extremely tall he gives the impression of having been pulled upwards by his head leaving him with a very narrow frame. “Spindly” is the colloquialism where I’m from. The point is that he’s very, very creepy, almost inhuman in appearance.

Shopkeeper: Go right ahead.

Panel 3: Third and last panel in this top row showing Tatum once again from the perspective used in the first panel. By this point Tatum is really starting to appear unnerved.

Tatum: Uh, – – O.k.

Panel 4: A small panel, once again from Tatum’s P.O.V. but this time looking down at the display in the window from which the skull is conspicuously absent.

Panel 5: Another small (or more accurately narrow) panel like the last one; something for the reader’s eye to pass over quickly. Just showing a close up of the upper part of Tatum’s body as she looks over her shoulder with a quizzical expression on her face.

Panel 6: This panel is wider, stretching across the rest of the width of the page after panels 4 & 5. Once again we’re seeing things from Tatum’s point of view and once again we’re looking at the old man behind the counter. The shot is more or less the same as the one in panel 2 except pulled further back so that the shopkeeper appears smaller. The important difference, however, is that the shopkeeper is holding the skull out in front of himself at arms length. His long, bony fingers wrap almost all the way around the skull so that his dirty, broken fingernails encroach on its “face”.

Panel 7: A large panel filling most of the bottom of the page. Side-on we see Tatum standing in front of the old man. He’s holding the skull out towards Tatum and she’s reaching towards it. Tatum’s weight is all on her back foot and she’s leaning away even as she reaches out, hesitantly towards the skull. For it’s part the skull is the centre of the panel and the one light object in the dingy store.

Panel 8: A smaller panel perhaps inset into panel 7 showing a close up of the skull in the store keepers hands and Tatum’s hands reaching towards it. She’s shaking, scared or reluctant as far as it’s possible to convey that with someone’s hands.

Phew! End for now. There is of course more to come after that. If I get a reaction to this (any reaction either positive or negative) I'll probably post more.

08-15-2006, 12:32 PM
I think you cut off right when the story was going to get good. I think you had an interesting use of colours but I was having difficulty envisioning them.
I am a person who talks to himself quite regulary and I can assure you the dialouge you use needs just a little work. I would suggest making it sound more casual, and no one uses the phrase this yesterday at least I hope not

Steven Hutton
08-15-2006, 06:33 PM
"this yesterday" Heh, that was a typo. Not sure how that got past me.

And yeah, you're quite right. That really is just place-holder dialogue 'til I come back round to do it right.