Page 1 of 2
1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: TPG: Week 13- John Lees

  1. StevenForbes Guest

    TPG: Week 13- John Lees

    Welcome back to The Proving Grounds, everyone! Hope your week has been fruitful.

    This week, our own John Lees has decided to step up and pit a story of his against my prowess. Let's see how he does!

    The Standard

    PAGE ONE (4 PANELS)

    Panel 1. We open on a black-and-white medium shot of The Standard, grinning proudly, hands on hips in classic superhero fashion. This is from his younger years, presented in classic Silver Age style. (Okay, right out the gate, where is this? When is this? You’ve given me a white void. Remember, you have to provide WHEN and WHERE in addition to WHO. Not the most auspicious of starts, John. On a different note, it would have helped just a touch to know this is a superhero book, and the title is eponymous.)

    CAP: THIS IS THE STORY OF A HERO…

    Panel 2. We draw back to a long shot of The Standard, full body, and now see his young sidekick, Fabu-Lad, standing by his side. Fabu-Lad emulates The Standard’s pose, adopting a similar grin. (Again, WHEN and WHERE. And really, Fabu-Lad? Are all the good names really taken? They can’t be. And really, Fabu-Lad sounds gay. If he is, that’s fine. If he’s not…)

    CAP: AND THE BOY WHO WOULD BECOME ONE.

    Panel 3. We draw further back, and realise this is a black-and-white photo, in a frame, sitting on a cabinet littered with pills and empty beer cans. (Nope. We suddenly realize it’s b/w? Where is that information in the previous two panel descriptions?)

    CAP: ORDINARY PEOPLE, JUST LIKE US.

    CAP: ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO LIVE EXTRAORDINARY LIVES.

    Panel 4. Going back further still, we have an over-the-shoulder shot of an unknown figure, staring up at the picture. On the wall behind the picture, we see various awards and accolades. (If it’s framed, you have the opportunity for a decent shot of seeing the figure’s face as a reflection in the previous panels. And you still haven’t said where this is. The artist is going to need to know whether or not to draw the wall of a house or to draw the wall of the Fortress of Solitude. When and Where, John.)

    CAP: FOR LET IT BE KNOWN, BOLD READER, THAT THE GREAT DO NOT ALWAYS CHOOSE GREATNESS. (I have words, but they're not kind.)


    PAGE TWO (1 panels)

    Panel 1. A full-page shot of the new-age Standard sitting on the floor, his head in his hands, drawn in your darker, sharper style. This is the child sidekick from the photo, now an adult in his 40s. Scattered on the floor around him are the upper half of his costume, his mask, more bottles and pills, a needle containing a bright green liquid, and a photo of an 8 year old girl. (Interesting, but I still don’t know where this is. And how are we supposed to know this is the grown up Fabu-Lad?)

    CAP: SOMETIMES, GREATNESS IS SIMPLY THRUST UPON THEM.
    Title. THE STANDARD………….. CHAPTER 1: LEGACIES


    PAGE THREE (6 panels)

    Panel 1. We return to a Silver Age art style here, as we see a handsome man recognisable as a slightly younger version of The Standard from the photograph, busy experimenting with chemicals in a laboratory. (Switching back and forth in time is getting me confuseled. Are we talking about the original, or grown up Fabu-Lad? Tell the artist, so they know to draw accordingly. And yes, this can be part of the problem with legacy characters. And is this gent in uniform, or wearing something akin to a lab-coat? Clothes are only important when differentiating from costume/uniform to civvies. Let’s take Spider-Man. When writing a panel description that has Peter doing something in his civvies, you’d call him Peter. But if he were in uniform fighting the Lizard, you’d call him Spidey. Same person, clothed differently, and the artist knows instantly which way to draw them.)

    CAP: SUCH WAS THE CASE FOR YOUNG SCIENTIST GILBERT GRAHAM, WORKING LATE IN HIS LAB ONE NIGHT…

    Panel 2. Night-time outside, we see a meteor headed straight for the secluded coastal observatory where Gilbert’s lab is located. (Finally! When and Where, with a What thrown in for good measure! Too bad it took 3 pages.)

    CAP: UNAWARE OF THE METEOR THAT HAD MADE ITS WAY INTO OUR ATMOSPHERE! (If this is supposed to be told in a golden/silver age style, then this is fine. Otherwise, I just want you to know I'm going crazy over here.)

    Panel 3. An explosion, with the silhouette of Gilbert at its centre.

    CAP: THE IMPACT DEVASTATED THE LABORATORY, DOUSING GRAHAM IN CHEMICALS AND METEORIC PARTICLES. (Prince has a song on his Purple Rain album...)

    Panel 4. Gilbert rises from the wreckage of the observatory, his clothes in tatters, carrying a huge chunk of stone wall overhead.

    CAP: BUT FROM THE ASHES… A HERO EMERGED!

    Panel 5. Now free from the wreckage, Gilbert looks down at his unharmed body with a concerned expression.

    GILBERT (thought): I SHOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THAT BLAST. BUT THERE’S NOT A SCRATCH ON ME! I FEEL… STRANGE ENERGIES COURSING THROUGH MY VEINS! (Okay. Silver Age. I'm no longer going crazy. You can put the Prince soundtrack away now. However, if you change later, I'm going to call you on it.)

    Panel 6. Graham is holding a truck in the air with one hand, while he strokes his chin with the other hand. At least, this is the image I have for this panel, but thinking about it, how do you convey the scale of this onto one sixth of a page? If you have any ideas for getting around this – perhaps some creative way of having the truck jut out onto another panel - I’m all ears. But I’m reluctant to take another page on it, as I want the exposition out the way quickly so we can get onto the action ASAP. If it comes to it, just keep the tip of the truck on-panel. (Nice! I like how you told the artist that you’re not fully seeing it in your head, and if need be, to do something different. Very nice. Do this as necessary, John. The only thing is that this is a weak place for a page turn.)

    CAP: THE NEXT DAY…

    GILBERT GRAHAM: CRIPES! NOW I HAVE THE STRENGTH OF A HUNDRED MEN!


    PAGE FOUR (6 panels)

    Panel 1. Early morning, the sky bright and clear. Gilbert flies through the air, a few birds on either side of him. His eyes are closed, and there is a big smile on his face. As if flying brings him utter contentment. (Again, finally, where and when. What happened in the first two pages?)

    CAP: DR. GRAHAM HAD GAINED INCREDIBLE POWERS.

    Panel 2. Profile shot of Gilbert standing in front of a makeshift firing-range, made up of cans and various other disposable objects. Gilbert has his hand outstretched, and is firing a blast of energy from it, blowing up his target. (I’d ask for something about range here, or at least a note saying it’s unimportant. Knowing the range is important because it’s going to tell the artist what will and will not fit in the panel, composition, and camera angle. However, if you don’t care, say that.)

    CAP: WITH PRACTISE, HE LEARNED HOW TO CONTROL THEM.

    Panel 3. Gilbert stands in a makeshift home lab, surrounded by various beakers and cylinders cluttered around him. He speaks into a handheld recorder.

    GILBERT: THE CHEMICALS THAT DOUSED ME DURING THE EXPLOSION MUST HAVE REACTED WITH PARTICLES OF THE METEOR AND FUSED THEMSELVES TO MY BLOODSTREAM. MY BODY HAS CHANGED ON A CHEMICAL, NO… A STRUCTURAL LEVEL!

    Panel 4. Gilbert sits on a chair by a fireplace, smoking on a pipe. He is wearing a decidedly unfashionable woolly turtleneck sweater, still speaking into a recorder. (What does the rest of the room look like?)

    GILBERT: I HAVE ATTAINED A NEW PINNACLE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION, AND SO I MUST GIVE MY FELLOW MAN SOMETHING TO ASPIRE TO…

    Panel 5. A close-up of Gilbert’s face, as he adjusts his mask.

    CAP/GILBERT: "…I SHALL BECOME A PROTECTOR OF THE INNOCENT, AN INSPIRATION TO OTHERS…"

    CAP/GILBERT: "…I WILL SET A NEW BAR FOR HEROISM…"

    PANEL 6. A shot of The Standard from behind, as he strikes a heroic pose.
    CAP/GILBERT: "…A NEW STANDARD!"


    PAGE FIVE (4 panels)

    Panel 1. The daytime skyline of Sky City, a towering, futuristic metropolis densely packed with skyscrapers. (Consistency, John. You give where and when here. Make sure you do it whenever you change locations. Keep the artist in the loop.)

    CAP: SKY CITY. (Period.)

    CAP: 30 YEARS AGO. (Period.)

    Panel 2. The same skyline, but now a giant robot has emerged from behind it, taller than all the skyscrapers. A radio transmission emits from the robot, though from outside the speaker cannot be seen. (And giant robots?! YEAH!)

    ZARTHOS: ALL WILL BOW BEFORE ME! FIRST SKY CITY, THEN… THE WORLD!

    Panel 3. Inside the control panel of the giant robot, a bald man with a curly moustache, dressed up like your classic mad scientist – Zachary Zarthos - prances around gleefully, hooked up to a headset as he broadcasts his rants. A young woman – Caroline Cole - lies tied up on the floor nearby.

    ZARTHOS: I HAVE BEEN MOCKED AND IMPRISONED FOR THE LAST TIME. HERE BEGINS THE ULTIMATE CONQUEST OF ZACHARY ZARTHOS!

    CAROLINE: OH, HELP! SOMEBODY SAVE ME!

    ZARTHOS: ARMED WITH MY DESTRUCTO-BOT, NOTHING CAN STOP ME! HE-HEE! HE-HEE! (Okay, John. You got me. Now I'm having a good time!)

    Panel 4. High in the sky, so high the head of the robot only pops up at the bottom of the panel, The Standard and his sidekick – Fabu-Lad – hover in the air, looking down at their opponent. (And then you fall down. I said I was having a good time, and then you go and disappoint me. Here’s what you’ve done: you set up The Standard, which is fine. Got his origin right out of the way. Then you having him don the uniform for what seems to be the first time. Then, the robot, which makes it seem like he’s going on his first adventure. I’m following all of this with no problem. Then, Fabu-Lad comes out of nowhere. I’m no longer having a good time. Where did he come from? You’ve just wrecked your timeline and put a frown on my face.)

    THE STANDARD: NOTHING? YOU MUST HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOUR ARCH-NEMESIS… THE STANDARD!

    FABU-LAD: AND HIS TRUSTY SIDEKICK, THE MINIATURE MARVEL, THE FANTASTIC… FABU-LAD!


    And really, I’m going to stop there. Why? Because we go into another scene, and I like to do a full scene if possible, and not go over 10 pages. Doing the second scene would have taken me over that.

    There are technical problems here, but it’s the same problem, and easily overcome. That technical problem? Where and When.

    Like I’ve said before, as a writer, your primary job is to tell the story. Part of telling that story is making sure you give us a location and a time of day. It’s simple mechanics, and like I said, easily overcome.

    I was going crazy with the dialogue at first, and then realized it was supposed to be bad. That’s when I stopped going crazy and just sat back and started to enjoy it. It works.

    I want you to watch your timeframes. Fabu-Lad comes from nowhere in these pages, and that’s not good. Honestly, besides that and not giving an actual location, I really enjoyed this script. With good artwork, I’d pick this up. (Yes, I read the entire script. A first.)

    Make sure your panel descriptions are just a little more clear (yes, it follows throughout the entire script), and I’d call this one a winner. Congratulations.
    This is how it’s done, folks. A few problems, sure, but nothing that’s not immediately fixable.

    A little disclosure: John got in contact with me about this script a few weeks ago, wanting to know if he should send it right then, or if he should first read all of the B&N columns I had up at the time. I told him, in no uncertain terms, that it would be his choice. He decided to wait, and read all of the columns before he submitted his script.

    No, I’m not saying that I’m “right” with my columns. What I’m saying is that John did his homework before submitting his work, and it shows. If I had space to go more into the script, I’d tell him to watch his pacing a bit with the flashbacks, but without specific examples, that info is nearly useless. However, as an overall effort, this is VERY nice. I look at scripts all day long, mine and other people’s, and this is one of the few that I sat down to read all of because I wanted to know what happened. (And now I want to know what happens next!)

    Keep an eye out for John Lees, folks. He’s going to be going places.


    Okay, a little bit of rearrangement. Mark McMurtrey should have been up a long time ago. He got lost in the shuffle. So, it's going to be Mark, then Patrick Brushnan, Calvin Camp, Tom Brownell, and Dayv Gerberding. Five weeks, ladies and gents. Let me know if I'm missing anyone.

    Okay, let's discuss this.



  2. JohnLees Guest

    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    Wow, I can't believe it! I've been SOOOO scared ever since my name first popped up in the column's radar two weeks ago. I was worried that Steven would really hate the thing, and advise me to think about a career in accounting. So to know that he not only was able to sit through reading the whole script, but actually LIKED it... that does a whole lot to boost the "self-worth" discussed in the latest Bolts & Nuts.

    And to echo what Steven said, reading all of Bolts & Nuts and The Proving Grounds before submitting my script was invaluable. I know I'm still lacking in "where and when" in my panel descriptions, but I'd say that's because it's still new to me. Before learning about its importance through those columns, where/when was practically non-existent through the whole script. Much of it was added in redrafts on the back of Steven's notes on other scripts. Though I'm annoyed at myself for not rectifying its absence in the opening.

    Thanks a lot for your comments, Steven. You don't know how much I appreciate positive feedback from you. I know you're not one to sugar coat flaws you notice, so knowing that you enjoyed my writing has really boosted my confidence. I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the script as a whole, but I know you're busy, and won't pester you about it. Maybe drop me a PM when/if you're up for talking about it?



  3. beans Guest

    List of upcoming

    I think I'm missing from list of upcoming five?

    Jeff Beahn



  4. LiamBradley Guest

    Nice work John
    Steve, is there such a thing as giving too much information about a caption? if the information doesn't contradict each other?

    cause while I'm doing my panel description it just feels as though I'm giving too much to read.



  5. StevenForbes Guest

    True!

    Thanks, Jeff. You're before Dayv.

    So, it's Mark, Patrick, Calvin, Tom, Jeff, and Dayv.

    Am I missing anyone now?

    And John, look for an e-mail from me.



  6. LiamBradley Guest

    Steve, answer me haha.



  7. AdamH Guest

    I would definately echo John's thoughts here concerning reading The Proving Ground and Bolts & Nuts. After reading both of those columns I caught so many errors in my own scripts.

    Now to get one of those scripts transferred from paper to computer, then get it submitted...



  8. Marrrrkie Guest

    Good work John, i really enjoyed what i read.

    I'm kinda nervous for getting my script ripped apart.
    haha.
    I know i used way too much dialogue and probably screwed up lots of punctuation.



  9. LiamBradley Guest

    Me too! My punctuation is awful!



  10. tiggerpete Guest

    that was good, I wanted to keep reading



Page 1 of 2
1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Archive Forums (For Archive Purposes only): General Comics Discussion, Original Works, It's Clobberin' Time, Respect Threads, P'wned, General Chat, Beat Down, The Champagne Room (Mature), Marvel News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Archie News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here), Comics Are For People (See the latest columns here), Comics & Cinema (See the latest columns here), Comics Pro Prep (See the latest columns here), Bolts & Nuts (See the latest columns here), Seb-Standard (See the latest columns here), Webcomics You Should Be Reading (See the latest columns here), Development Hell (See the latest columns here), The Proving Grounds (See the latest columns here), Pixels Per Inch (See the latest columns here), Bargain Bin Gold (See the latest columns here), Dead Tuesday (See the latest columns here), Have You Considered... (See the latest columns here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here)
Project Fanboy is now Fanboy Buzz.
Fanboy Buzz is home to Comic Book News, Comic Book Reviews, Comic Book Columns, Comic Book Forums and Comic Book Podcast
Check out some of our past podcast hosts doing podcasts at GonnaGeek.com. Sci-Fi, Tech, Gaming, Comics and More!