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Thread: TPG: Week 37- Barri Lang

  1. StevenForbes Guest

    TPG: Week 37- Barri Lang

    Hello, everyone! Welcome back to TPG! This week's Brave One is Barri Lang, who seems to just love the punishment. I don't know why. I think he's a masochist. Anyway, let's see how much he gets kicked around this week. I'm going to call this one a total loss. A backslide of the worst order. You'll see what I mean. Let the bleeding begin!

    Issue 2

    Page 1

    Panel 1
    Medium shot. Dalgleish standing in the abandoned warehouse from issue 1. It’s night but an eerie pale light from an unseen full moon lights the scene. He’s alone and wearing just a pair of boxer shorts. (important note… No gun on him at this time) (Nice note. However, I didn’t read the end of the last issue. Is he cold as he stands there? Hot and sweaty? Out of breath? Holding himself? What’s his body language say? Is he happy or sad or defeated? A little more direction here, please.)

    Dalgleish
    Whu? (Nothing about his stance says that he’s questioning.)

    Panel 2
    Close shot from a low angle looking up at Dalgleish, his face a mixture of shock and horror. (he’s looking at the body of “Bear” who lies on the ground) (Why isn’t this reflected in the previous panel? What you’ve done here is made the first panel totally irrelevant, because you’re trying to pad the panel count for this page. Yes, I called it padding, because that’s what it is. What’s that panel doing that this panel isn’t? Not a damned thing. You can establish the scene and have a better, more immediate impact all at once.)

    Dalgleish
    GUH!! (Hopefully, this “dialogue” leads somewhere.)

    Panel 3
    Medium shot from behind Dalgleish looking down and past him to what caused him to recoil. On the floor is Bear, he’s as we saw him in issue 2, deep wound on his neck bubbling blood. The blood is everywhere. (Nope. Cut panel 1 in totality. Combine panel 2 with this panel. Make this into a splash. That’s how you open this story. And thank you for it. This is a first for TPG: a second issue beginning. You want to start out strong, and there are few things stronger than a well-put splash page. Depending on how you left the last issue, this suggested opening would be the way to go.)

    Bear
    gurlch! sluch!

    Panel 4
    As above but we view the scene from behind Dalgleishs hips, a gun and holster at his waist. His hand brushes against it. Bear looks at the gun his hand reaching out for it. (Move the rest of this page to the second page, and we begin to get even deeper into the mystery of how that happened with the magically delicious gun. If you add something like panel 2 to this new page, and then have this panel right after it, it should drive home the point of the gun very nicely.)

    Bear
    glurchhh!

    Panel 5
    Medium shot of Dalgleish, shocked at the gun on his hip. (It wasn’t there before) (Add something to make this new P2 really kick, and this would flow very nicely. Overall, the page how it is now doesn’t work for me. It’s badly constructed and padded out. You just may want to think about adding some real dialogue, instead of grunts and sound effects. Two pages of that isn’t going to work well.)

    Dalgleish
    Huh!

    Page 2

    Panel 1
    Large wide shot looking towards Dalgleish. He’s slumped on the ground next to Bear (Bear in the F/G, then Dag, then silhouettes), his gun resting in his hands his head is hung. In the B/G a line left to right of people are stood silhouetted. (THIS is how you should end my proposed P2. It would work wonderfully there. Maybe add a single, silent panel for a beat, showing the silhouettes getting closer, and then this panel, and then the next. Yes, dammit, I’m reconstructing your pages so that they read better. Yes, this also means that most of the page here gets shoved onto P3.)

    Dalgleish (whisper)
    I’m sorry mate.

    Panel 2
    As above but Dalgleish has twisted slightly to look behind him at the crowd.

    Dalgleish
    Huh?

    Crowd (Various voices from various points)

    Voice A
    Kill ussss!

    Voice B
    Save ussss!

    Voice C
    Do it!

    Voice D
    Kill ussss!

    Voice E (this must emanate from just off centre as it will be revealed to be Helen)
    Rhysss, pleassse.

    Panel 3
    Looking towards the crowd (Dalgleish O/P). One of the silhouettes has approached closer than the others. Obviously a woman’s form (this will be Helen).

    Helen
    Rhysss

    (Add a couple of panels to this, MEANINGFUL panels, and you’ve got yourself a P3. As it stands, this page right here is better than your opening page, but it would be a much more visceral experience with my suggested changes.)


    Page 3

    Panel 1
    Pull in closer to the woman and reveal it to be Helen. We see her from her naked shoulders. Her hair falls over her shoulders. Here eyes full of pain. Tears streak down her face. (If we know it’s Helen, why are you labelling her as “woman”?)

    Woman
    Rhysss… Pleasssse, kill me.

    Panel 2
    Profile of Dalgleish and Helen as they face each other (Dalgleish on the right looking left and Helen on the left looking right). Their faces showing love for one another. Dalgleish reaches his right hand up to her right cheek. (This might need to be rearranged, because in Forbyworld, this is now P4. However, you’ve got to move it. You don’t want to slow it down too much. If the pace doesn’t pick up soon, you’ll have to do something to jazz it up. And not slow jazz, either.)

    Dalgleish
    Helen?

    Helen (weakly)
    Please…

    Panel 3
    As above but Dalgleish has begun to recoil from Helen. He’s stumbling back reflexively pointing his pistol at her. He has it in a “quick draw” position at his waist. The slide back signifying there’s no ammo in the weapon. Helen’s hands are pulling the flesh from her body, any naughty bits already having had the beast beneath revealed (no boob then as the fur underneath has been revealed. (Just when I tell you to pick it up—presto! Good work. Now, this panel layout isn’t going to work. It’s going to be pulled out some in order to get everything you need in it. And the SFX need to go close to the gun. You need to do that on the SFX line to make it clear for the letterer. Just a little something to help them do their job.)

    SFX – CLICK CLICK CLICK ClLICK

    Dalgleish
    Helen? NO!

    Helen
    Save us Rhys! Save us all!

    Panel 4
    The now nearly fully wolf Helen is bearing down on Dalgleish about to take a BIG bite.

    Dalgleish
    I can’t…

    Page 4

    Panel 1
    Scene change. We’re in Dalgleish’s bedroom. A lamp on the beside table provides the light in an other wise dark room. Dalgleish is sat up in bed, his hands out in front of him protecting from the attack that did not come. (That was just a dream, just a dream…am I losing my religion? I think I’ve said too much [I haven’t said enough…])

    Dalgleish
    NO!

    Panel 2
    Close shot of Dalgleish. Looking towards him, his hands in the F/G open and empty (palms facing him as he studies them), a look of relief on his hands.

    Dalgleish (whisper)
    Bloody hell!

    Panel 3
    As above but we’ve pulled out wider. Beside Dalgleish in the bed we can see Helen lying peacefully. Dalgleish is looking down at her, a small smile on his face. She’s sleepily talks to him.

    Helen
    You ok baby?

    Dalgleish
    Fine, hun.

    Panel 4
    Looking towards the couple from the foot of the bed. Dalgleish is sitting on the edge of the bed reaching his arm back brushing Helens outstretched hand with hers. Dalgleish’s bedside table has a phone and an alarm clock on there as well as the lamp. The alarm clock shows 05:30 and the phone is pointing off the right hand side of the table (this is so we can see the caller ID in the next panel)

    Dalgleish
    Just a bad dream.

    Panel 5
    Close up of the phone. It’s in the in extreme F/G. It’s ringing, it’s display illuminated showing the name “Stewart” as the caller ID. In the B/G Dalgleish looks at it.

    SFX – DuH DuH DO DOO

    (See the amount of notes that I’m making? Light notes, of course, mean that you’re doing well. This page? Not so much. It’s slow again, and this isn’t my idea of a good page turn. Remember, this is now P5, in Forbyworld. You have their attention. Keep it! Don’t fall down HERE, fall down around P11. Make it so that they have no choice but to continue reading, because everything else is so interesting.)

    Page 5

    Panel 1
    Both Dalgleish and Helen look at each other. The phone O/P continues to ring.

    SFX - DuH DuH DO DOO

    Dalgleish
    Couldn’t make me a brew, could you? (Comma.)

    Helen
    Sure.

    Panel 2
    Helen is walking out of the bedroom. She stretches and yawns. She’s wearing a cosy looking dressing gown. (you might call it a “Bath Robe”, basically a big towel coat)

    Helen
    Yaaaaaawn!

    Dalgleish (o/p)
    Yes, Sir. I’ll be there right away.

    Panel 3
    Helen stands at a counter holding a mug of tea and a slice of toast. She has a scowl on her face. (Okay, you’re starting to fall down a bit. Where is this? The kitchen? Say so.)

    Helen
    It’s the bloody weekend!

    Dalgleish
    No rest for the wicked. (And he came from where? He’s not listed in the panel description, so since you don’t put him off panel, he’s magically delicious.)

    Helen
    You’re a security guard for Christ sake, not a slave!

    Panel 4
    Dalgleish is at the front door to the apartment, his left arm reaching out and grabbing a jacket that hangs from a coat hook. (And you did it again. Now Helen’s the one who’s magically delicious.)

    Helen
    Jacket!

    Dalgleish
    Thanks!

    Helen
    Love you!

    Dalgleish
    You too!

    Panel 5
    Small panel showing Beth on a mobile phone (cell phone). Her eyes are hard. (See, where did this come from? I don’t know. Magically delicious, isn’t it? I don’t know where this is, or who’s talking to whom, because you didn’t set it up in the panel. You were doing SO WELL! However, if this is the biggest mistake aside from pacing, I’ll take it! This is a nice page turn! Just describe things in this panel correctly!)

    Helen
    The mic’s place.

    Voice (from the phone)
    Good. Come to the office and we’ll see what we get.

    Okay, let’s run it down, and see what we have.

    Today is Barri’s Graduation Day. I want everyone to notice, and to congratulate him.

    What we have, Barri, is a badly paced beginning, but one that is easily rectified. Your panel structure is generally sound, but your placement and sense of drama need a little work. That will come with practice.

    You were doing DAMNED well with everything, too, until the very last page. You picked things up when necessary, you dragged them out, and then you gave a nice way to turn the page AND end the scene there. And you did it in six pages (using my numbering). Nice work.

    I can’t say anything about the dialogue. It’s definitely serviceable, what little there is of it. That’s not a dig—I’d like a little more, personally—but what’s here I really wouldn’t change (except the first page). Good work.

    Barri, I must say, you’ve come a long way. You’ve been putting in the work, with each script getting better. You went from bad panel descriptions, horrible punctuation and spelling to a different sort of punctuation problem, to not having any punctuation or spelling problems that took me out of the story you were telling.

    You went from horrible panel descriptions to ones that are generally tight, tell the story, and move well. You’ve gone from bad to decent, and I’m damned proud to see you make the improvements.

    As you’ve noticed, there wasn’t a lot of panel work done here. My notes were geared more toward storytelling, which is a GREAT thing. This is what editors are looking for, folks. They don’t want to have to deal with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They want to deal with the story, as I did here.

    And THIS is why it’s Barri’s graduation day. He did the work, studying, getting rid of all his glaring mistakes (for the most part) and getting to a place where I could just concentrate on the story itself and how to make it better. I went from having to slap him upside the head on mechanics to showing how to improve his story for the greatest impact, which is the job that editors get paid for.

    I want you all to do what I did: go look over all of his submissions, and watch the progress. The notes I made on his scripts were consistently less and less, and the notes here were finally geared toward structure/storytelling than giving him a ration of shit for simple mistakes.

    You did the work and it paid off. Congrats. As soon as you learn to self-edit in order to present the most dynamic story possible, I’d say you’d be ready to start submitting to companies, if you choose to go that route.

    Good work. You continue to work this hard, you keep NOT making the mistakes you made in the beginning, and learn to present your scripts in the most dynamic way possible, and you’ll be able to start landing writing gigs.


    That's it for this week. Everyone congratulate Barri, see the list for who’s next, and let’s discuss this.



  2. JohnLees Guest

    Congratulations, Barri! It's great to see how you've improved with each submission to The Proving Grounds, and right now you should be proud with the progress you've made.



  3. CalvinCamp Guest

    Congrats on the graduation, Barri. You made Steven sound like a big ol' softy this week.

    Now to disagree with Steven a bit (big surprise I know)...

    I don't think you should change the first page to a splash page. And don't turn the first three panels into one panel either. It'll screw up what you're doing with those panels. You've got a good progression - In the first panel, Dalgleish is back in the warehouse, alone, with no gun, puzzled at finding himself there. Then, next panel, something shocks and horrifies him, what is it? Then, next panel, Bear appears (where he wasn't there before). Later, the gun appears. It's a very surreal, dream-like progression, and I don't think you should throw it away.

    And I don't think putting a splash on the first page is anything all that special, in itself. In this case, I really think it would be a mistake. Splash pages, no matter where they fall, are for dramatic moments. Unless you botch up your progression, it isn't one. If you want a splash page, do it on page 2, with Dalgleish slumped by his dying friend and the silhouettes looking on. THAT is a dramatic moment. The others are just the build-up to it.

    Now to agree with Steven a bit...

    The "gurlch! sluch! glurchhh!" does get old fast. I'd say use some of the actual word's you did when the real scene took place. You can still break them up with the choking sounds, for a more gruesome effect.

    I don’t...
    >gurlch<

    >sluch<
    wanna come...

    ...back.
    >glurchhh<

    Something like that, anyway.

    Overall, some good, creepy stuff. Up until page 4 & 5. Then you dropped the ball. Honestly, I think Steven went a little easy on you - especially on page 5. What the heck happened there? It was like you weren't even trying. You didn't describe anything. I couldn't even tell if that last panel (with Beth) was supposed to be a scene change or not. I'm guessing it was and it was actually supposed to be Helen's voice that was coming from the phone. Or maybe the person talking on the phone, with hard eyes, was supposed to be Helen, not Beth, and Beth was supposed to be the phone voice. Total confusion. I know you can do better than that.

    Pacing-wise, the main problem I see is that the last two pages are padded, and it's slowing the story down. The elements you actually need for that scene, to get your information across and move the story along, could probably fit in a single page.



  4. BarriLang Guest

    Thanks Steve. It's sad to think that this is the last edit I'll have from you. That being said I'm glad I didn't **** it up.

    Now page 5 was a bugger. Over page 4 and five I was trying to slow it a little but mostly I wanted to show

    A) Dalgleish wasn't being truthfull with Helen about what he does (I throw a comment in on page 20 about this too.

    B) Show that Helen isn't kosher herself.

    It jumps around on page 5 because I was trying to give the feeling Dalgleish was rushing to get to work and I was trying to get a good page turn out of Helen on the phone saying she'd planted a microphone. Perhaps I should use an extra 2 pages and do it right... or I could up the panel count.



  5. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang View Post
    Perhaps I should use an extra 2 pages and do it right... or I could up the panel count.
    Why would you want to make it even slower? Page 5 isn't confusing because you jumped around, it's confusing because you didn't describe what you were doing.

    Going to one page might be tight (I'll grant you that's cutting to the bone, even without wanting to play up the betrayal some more). But if you stick to the two pages you have and just trim some fat in the earlier panels, it would give you the room for a couple extra panels to give weight to Helen's betrayal for the page turn. If you add another page to extend the scene, and still try to keep the betrayal on a page turn, you're going to be padding the hell out of it. You don't need to add, just reorganize.



  6. BarriLang Guest

    Looking at Steve's recommendations, by adding a page earlier on I can get by with adding a page to the end, keeping the page turn (but maybe ramping it up a little) and then move on.

    Here's an edited version of page 5.

    Page 5
    Panel 1

    Both Dalgleish and Helen look at each other. The phone O/P continues to ring.

    SFX (from the phone) - DuH DuH DO DOO

    Dalgleish
    Couldn’t make me a brew could you?

    Helen
    Sure.

    Panel 2
    Helen is walking out of the bedroom. She stretches and yawns. She’s wearing a cosy looking dressing gown. (you might call it a “Bath Robe”, basically a big towel coat) In the B/G Dalgleish watches her leave. (he needs to look a bit shifty, try and convey that he doesn’t want her to hear the conversation)

    Helen
    Yaaaaaawn!

    Dalgleish (whispers)
    Yes, Sir. I’ll be there right away.

    Panel 3
    Helen stands behind a kitchen counter. The kitchen cupboards behind her a kettle on surface. She’s holding a mug of tea and a slice of toast. Dalgleish is behind her his head over her shouder, touching his cheek to hers.

    Helen
    It’s the bloody weekend!

    Dalgleish
    No rest for the wicked.

    Helen
    You’re just a security guard for Christ sake, not a slave!

    Panel 4
    Dalgleish is in the B/G, at the front door to the apartment, his left arm reaching out and grabbing a jacket that hangs from a coat hook.

    Extreme F/G is Helen. She'll be clipped mostly out of the shot (head and soulder in frame). She's looking towards Dalgleish so she has her back to the reader.

    Helen
    Don’t forget your jacket!

    Dalgleish
    Thanks!

    Helen
    Love you!

    Dalgleish
    You too!

    Panel 5
    As above but Dalgleish has left the shot. Helen has turned and is speaking into a mobile phone (cell phone). Her eyes are hard.

    Helen
    The mic’s on his jacket, I’ve got a good signal.



  7. BarriLang Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenForbes View Post
    You were doing DAMNED well with everything, too, until the very last page. You picked things up when necessary, you dragged them out, and then you gave a nice way to turn the page AND end the scene there. And you did it in six pages (using my numbering). Nice work.
    My query about the new page numbers (and the answer may alter the way I look at page turns) is.... If I work off that page 1 starts after the cover then every page turn would fall on an odd numbered page. 6 pages mean the scene end and page turn would fall on an opening page so it would lessen the impact of the page turn...as the reader would just have to look right to find out what's next. (next is a scene change)

    Would you still recommend adding the page at the start only or would you also then add a page to the bedroom/breakfast scene to draw it out a little (guilty of padding then I'll admit) and have the page turn or trim some off?



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