|03-31-2009, 06:03 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Revised Practice Script
Here is my third attempt at this idea, and I think I may have nailed it.
But please tell me your thoughts, any feedback would be appreciated, and same as before, don't be kind.
Here we go again...
Okay, here we go...
Layout of four panels: a single page-wide one, then another one, then two square.
A view of a sparse desk set-up whelmed in shadow: just an old, rustic-looking wooden table with a black laptop on it, the main light-source being the screen-saver of Paris by night with the Eiffel Tower lit up, or perhaps the floodlit Arc de Triomphe, in fact put fireworks in the background for New Years Day, maybe of the Millennium Celebrations or of Bastille Day- or maybe of livid lightning-strikes perhaps hitting the top of the Eiffel itself with flags, streamers and so on from the previous night still strewn all around in the day-time or moody Monday morning- the precise details are up to yourself.
There is a little pop-up box visible in the lower quarters of the screen, with text in (maybe an old fashioned black screen with green lettering, it would look old, low-budget, just the right look for this sequence I'm thinking) That's the screensaver providing the main light and focus for this panel, except maybe for a small candle or two in a mug or an upturned jar-lid to suggest this isn't a proper office but just an improvised work-station set up on a table in an abandoned stable (I rhymed) and also with a few other items in view:
an improvised ashtray much like the candleholder (if you put one in);
a pair of handcuffs;
a 500 ML can of Russian beer with a large orange or red star-shaped sticker over the front which displays the letters RUR with the first R reversed, and with a strike or two through them, thus denoting 'discount' (the ruble abbreviation and signage is off, but its a slightly tenuous reference to Rossum's Universal Robots, which has a little relevance to the story arcs ahead)- there may also be another sticker under the first, slightly overlapping (appropriate that it looks like a little cartoon explosion effect).
The only other thing on the table apart from these is a large jar holding what looks an unpalatable root vegetable but is in fact the supposed severed and pickled penis of Grigori Rasputin stolen from an erotica museum- I'll send you a photo-link of the thing (no need to thank me, really) but the jar shouldn't be the main focus, nor does it have to be immediately clear what's inside it, as that will be revealed shortly. And also an unmarked plastic folder in the right-hand corner, in the shadows.
That's the desk, and in the foreground, just in view to the right and facing left on a chair loading a double-barreled break-off sawn-off shotgun is a well-built figure whose face we can't yet see, but possibly in silhouette: MIKHAIL TARASOV; he's a good looking but forgettable face, and has a shaved or closely cropped hairstyle.
That's how I picture this shot- if you have any other ideas or suggestions then great, but do please let me know first.
FX (small, from laptop): PUH-PING
MIKHAIL TARASOV: Now I know how Joan of Arc felt...
TARASOV: Now I know...
Closer view of that pop-up on the laptop screen, and maybe of the surrounds so we can see some of Tarasov as he looks over at it- maybe we can see his the reflection of some of his face in the screen, just his eyes or mouth. The text on the screen reads:
> HOUR DRAWS NEAR. ALL IS WELL. HERE ARE FINAL OUTER SECURITY CONFIGURATIONS:
TARASOV: Is it true, what they are calling me? The Mad Monk..?
Closer view of the text, as Tarasov single-handedly types a response that reads:
>ACKNOWLEDGED. ALL IS WELL. BE WITH YOU SHORTLY. MERRY CHRISTMAS, BISHOP.
TARASOV: I like that.
TARASOV: I might use it.
FX (small): taktak-taktaktak-tak
View from same angle, but Tarasov is visible in extreme close-up in the shot, just his grey eye, temple and bridge of nose as he gazes to the left. We need to see the text as well, so try and fit it but lose Tarasov if necessary.
The text on the screen reads:
TARASOV: Are you still alive..?
Overleaf- layout of seven: two square panels, then two more panels, then three -and we turn to see...
Front shot of ANTON CIHANOV, formerly successful operative of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki) or SVR, a hard-bitten man in his late thirties dressed in outdoors-ish gear, now tied to a chair having been overpowered, disarmed and severely beaten up several hours before. He's as much angry at this as he is frightened, and he needs a doctor. He is illuminated by candles, but its very dim.
ANTON CIHANOV: You want to know... what they call you?
CIHANOV: You son of a bitch..?
View of the scene from further back, and Cihanov is in the center of a modest disused stable with about six or seven stalls, lit mainly by a few candles on top of a stack of old empty crates, and the light from the laptop. There is also a smaller stack of two or three crates beside the deks with a large tub like for coleslaw or mayonnaise in a professional kitchen on top of it, next to the desk. Tarasov is sat before the laptop and is just mainly a silhouette against the light- remember we haven't quite seen his face yet -and he is closing the breech of the sawn-off shotgun.
FX (from shotgun stock): k'n'k
CIHANOV: You're a dead man...
CIHANOV: You are dead, don't you understand that? By your very actions now- dead!
View of Tarasov as he turns away towards the wall facing Cihanov where a dartboard hangs, its face chipped and scored by many knife-point blows and with a double-edged knife like a basic dagger embedded in the bullseye. We should only be able to see this in the prevailing shadow but illumined by the light of the laptop screen, and the knife is visible by its shadow cast across the board like a sundial; Tarasov likewise is in silhouette as he reaches for the knife, but maybe he is partly highlighted by the fuzzy light. He is dressed casually but formidably in a tight sleeveless T-shirt, trousers/pants, and boots- all his clothes in shades of black, grey or charcoal. Also pinned up on the bare wooden wall, not right next to the dartboard but spaced around a bit, are a few small cuttings from documents and scientific journals, no larger than A4 in size, with one journal cutting visible as reading: SKAI Activé
TARASOV: So I'm told.
TARASOV: One of the first things I learned, working for the Bezopasnosti, was never to believe your own press.
Cihanov looking grimly anxious as Tarasov stands before him with the knife, though Tarasov should be looking away from or over Cihanov to suggest he is thinking of something other than killing him with it, which he is.
TARASOV: Surely they taught you the same thing, working for 'Foreign Intelligence'? What would you call that- a 'misnomer' is the word, no?
TARASOV: I know a better one...
Cihanov looks more serious and anxious, almost desperate but not quite, as Tarasov stands by the food tub on the smaller crate stack beside the desk- he is opening the lid and fishing something out with the knife, but we may or may not see that's what he's doing, however you want to show it.
CIHANOV: Listen to me- I can help you now, I alone. Whatever you're going to do... its not too late-...
Close view of Tarasov as he holds up a piece of raw bloody liver from the tub on the point of the knife.
TARASOV: I'm afraid...
TARASOV: Things are rather out of your hands now.
Close, close up view of the bottom of the door of the nearest stall, worn and chipped, and through the wide drafty gap we can see the nose of a brown dog, a German Shepherd, pressed close to the gap and its teeth bared angrily, maybe drooling slightly.
Layout of seven panels, two, followed by three, followed by two.
Tarasov is in the act of flinging the meat from the tip of the knife through the air and into the closest stall, where the dog is penned.
TARASOV: While I appreciate the offer...
TARASOV: I've placed my faith in something a little higher than you.
Close up view on/from the table, the corner in particular, where Tarasov has just embedded the knife point down in the wooden table-top- his hand, arm and most of all the knife in view all in silhouette, so the knife looks rather like a crucifix in shadow -and we can see Cihanov directly beyond it, looking intense and perhaps even more grim.
TARASOV: My sights - likewise.
Tarasov is walking away slowly towards the wall with the journal cuttings and dartboard.
TARASOV: As for what I'm going to do, its... rather complicated- I suggest you make yourself comfortable.
TARASOV: Read much, Cihanov?
View of Tarasov, or ostensibly his hand as he pulls out the plastic file-folder we saw earlier in the right-hand corner of the desk.
TARASOV: And I'm not talking about Police files and dossiers...
View of Cihanov looking a little calmer, maybe morose and tight-lipped and sweating visibly perhaps and gazing at the floor or toward the desk as Tarasov stands before him with the opened folder.
TARASOV: No? You're missing out. Let's make up for lost time...
Now we see inside the folder, specifically the right-hand page of its contents some way in, as the left one shows a creased blank A4, the back of some document or other; the right page is an A4 photo-reproduction of the title page of a 19th tome of supposed demonic philosophy/poetry/magical formulae called Somnio Procrustes [Dream of Procrustes]. The page should look old and worn, quite plain in design, with just the single illustration of a broken sundial or clockface beneath the description below the title, this as its meant to be ambiguous, but if you think a border or more detail would look better, here is a description of the original book, please use this when doing the border or cartouche or something: this book is one of the only nine copies whispered to exist as obscure supposed heretical grimoires and philosophical tracts and known to have been translated from Latin into English in the form of hendecasyllabic verse (yep, it is inspired by Lovecraftean fictional literature like the Necronomicon, in particular the King In Yellow and the Book Of Azathoth) aside for a few rumours, but if want to illustrate the title page of this, it might have a somewhat Gothic, Romantic look to it, with a Rococo or similar styled cartouche around the title, a decorative border around the page etc, with kind of a Greek or Greco-Roman look to it, with stuff like leaves, ivy, and kind of ambiguous details of Tragic and Comic masks, Baroque-type faces etc; any figures shown might be robed and hooded, sinister, or curiously benign, and in the details may also be broken or shattered sundials and clockfaces, and cogs, pulleys and early mechanical, automaton-type details, which is all a slight clue as to the nature of the book. But it can draw on and reflect influences from any and all styles and sources mentioned above, the precise details I leave to you. This is a product of the Hellenism movement in the 19th century, a strange and slightly macabre one written by a Lord Byronic-style occultist who we'll get to in just a moment. Anyway, the page should read as follows:
|04-01-2009, 08:35 PM||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MA, USA
I'm going to suggest you take a look at some of the articles on:
There's some good information about comic script formatting and typical conventions. Your panel descriptions seems to wildly fluctuate between extreme amounts of detail to being unsure of what you want. Like the first panel, if you want a computer with a sceen saver of France at night... just say that. Or pick a scene and run with it. Then on page 2/panel 3, your taking about the exact size of journal clippings on a desk in the background. I think you need to find more of a balance. Let the artist know what needs to be in the panel, but you don't need to go too overboard on the details (unless they're really imprtant).
|04-01-2009, 10:58 PM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Thanks for the link, there's a lot of info on there- I'll definitely look through it when I have more time.
I see what you mean on the balance- I am big on details, as I mainly write prose, and some of the little stuff is very relevant to the story, but at the same time I'm keen to give the artist some space to interpret and vary things, so it is a fluctuation. I also think I may be trying to do both at once, like with the first panel... so I'll definitely work on that too. Thanks for the feedback.
How about the pace otherwise, cause that's the bit I was most unsure about? What do you think about the dialogue?
And in general, as an opening does it make you want to read page 4? Any more input would be appreciated.
|04-02-2009, 09:10 AM||#4|
aka: Calvin Camp
Join Date: Sep 2004
I think you're showing an awful lot of detail in the surroundings for a space lit by a lap-top screen and a handful of candles. That's really not enough light to clearly see all the details you're looking for, certainly not to read the writing on clippings tacked to wall, not unless the candle is held quite close to it. So, while I can see an old stable not having electric lights, you still might want to add some sort of brighter general light-source, like a hanging kerosene lantern or two.
The story looks interesting. I'd turn the page to see where it goes.
|04-03-2009, 10:00 PM||#5|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Thanks again for the input- I see what you mean about the lighting, I'll rectify that.
As for page 4, I'm glad you liked it, and as I've submitted it to Steven Forbes' Editorial Proving Ground on the Project Fanboy forum, with luck you can see more in a few weeks or so.