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Thread: TPG: Week 45 - Jeffrey Haas

  1. drgerb Guest

    Is the issue here how the scene is being described Calvin?
    We run into that all the time, and I agree with how you interpret both of those, Chris. When Steven Forbes was the editor, him and Calvin would spend endless summer night arguing back and forth about what is motion and what isn't... And there really is a fine line between the two quite often. And I would agree the above, here. Quite often when one person sees one description as a moving panel, the writer or someone else can view it entirely different. In these situations, you, as a writer, just need to clarify. Be direct.

    If Jeff wants the child to appear screaming up at the skies, with his fists clenched in anger, then that's what he should have wrote. The same for his mother motioning to him (what I read as, holding her hand out towards the character, with her palm slightly pointed upward). The catch is, as aspiring writers, we all see an image in our head but we all go about describing it with different terms, different words. And that's where the misunderstanding comes from. What you gotta strive for is being as clear and precise as you can, for the sake of your artist not drawing something wrong, for the sake of the book, and so you come off like you know what it is you're looking for.

    Page five, panel three. Pluralize hand! Woot.

    but have one of the motherís hand motioning towards her son,
    Page six, panel two. I'm nitpicking here, but this should be in dark red font, Calvin. Come on, get on the ball!

    You need to describe the crimson vehicle here,
    Page six, panel three. ThAn.

    but more aerodynamic and sleeker then any other.
    Okay, okay. I said 'a few' but it was closer to two (leaving your unfortunate miscoloring mishap out of it).. Bleh coulda swear once I saw 'there' instead of 'their' or something like that. Maybe I'm just mistaking the then / than part.

    And yeah, there'll always be spelling errors until it gets close to publication (and maybe some will even survive through that).. Everybody catches different things when reading a script. But yeah...

    Other than those few, I totally agree with everything you said previously. While I was looking at the bright side, saying how I read through the whole thing, and there are some interesting images in there that'd be fun to draw, or just to see in a comic book... There is a lot of room for improvement. And the idea of having the entire first issue (or near it) act as just an introduction is a major let down. If this isn't heavily rewritten, your series will be canceled after nobody buys the first issue. That little bait you've got in the beginning is nice, but you gotta come back to that much sooner, after reading what Calvin mentioned. Netting the reader that soon with a couple lines of dialogue, then waiting another 18 pages to really do anything more with that won't work. I dunno how long you see this project being, but if you're insistent on keeping some of the first 18 pages, I think you'll somehow have to reveal more within those 18 pages... Or push some of the slower stuff back in the story. Say, if it's a miniseries, put some of the slow stuff into the beginning of issue two, following a hook. That might totally mess up the order, the time, all that.. But again, I have no idea what your plans are or anything. But if you bait the reader that soon with a line from the future, you gotta move forward in time much faster than you are currently. Either that or do something special, or go out of the way to keep the present interesting. In my opinion. Bleh.



  2. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisLewis View Post
    I do have some comments about the static images vs. moving panels discussion, particularly because I'm guilty of the same things and would love to get this figured out before my review is up on the 24th.
    The answers are pretty much what D. Roberts said. It's mostly an issue of clarity.

    I guess it's wrong to assume that the artist will know exactly what this means, but wouldn't we all naturally see this as the mother holding her hand out to her son? Her hand is frozen, as this is a static image, but it's not as though she would just be holding her hand out with no previous motion. Don't our brains put this previous motion into the picture, creating the image of motion?
    The problem is that the artist might naturally see this as something other than what the writer naturally sees. So the writer needs to clarify what sort of sort of motion he's talking about. If she's supposed to be reaching her hand toward her son, just say she's reaching her hand toward her son. Don't leave the artist in a position where he has to guess or make assumptions, or you may not get back what you intended.

    I called moving panel on this one primarily because I didn't know what the motion was, and there are motions she could make toward her son that couldn't be shown in a static image (like one of those patting-the-air "calm down" motions some people do). If the description had been, "She's reaching her hand toward her son," I wouldn't have called it a moving panel.

    This would also be up to the artist, but I imagine two fists raised into the air.
    I could imagine that too. But, again, you shouldn't be making the artist guess, assume, or imagine what you mean. You should be telling him what you mean.

    As D. Roberts noted, different people will likely have a different take on what is and isn't a moving panel. Steven and I have disagreed a number of times, because his interpretation of what makes a moving panel is actually stricter (when it comes to how it's worded) than mine. I just try to look at the description and decide if it's a motion that is both clearly understood, and can be captured in a static image.

    And you're right that, in many moving panel situations, the artist could sort it out. They can re-interpret the description, or even add an extra panel if necessary, and he can even contact you to ask what you're looking for and negotiate a solution. But the less your artist has to do that, the more he'll appreciate it.

    Is the issue here how the scene is being described Calvin? That Jeff wrote "gesturing," which implies motion, instead of something like, "his fists are raised in defiance"?
    Exactly. Look for the frozen moment, and then describe it clearly and simply. It'll be hard to go too far wrong with that approach.

    But don't get too carried away worrying about it, either. There are worse crimes than a moving panel. I've seen people write themselves in circles trying to avoid a moving panel, and end up with a description that's confusing and harder to sort out than just describing the motion - even when describing it straight out wouldn't have been a moving panel in the first place. So, I guess what I'm saying is... keep an eye out for it, but don't get paranoid about it.

    EDIT:
    Hey, D. Thanks for spotting those errors. Good job.
    I fixed the color formatting for clarity's sake, but I left the rest for posterity.



  3. drgerb Guest

    Hah. Nice behind the back save on the coloring. Jk. Anyway...

    One last thing I'd like to mention to Chris, or anyone reading it... One thing I remember reading (I don't recall if Steven said it, or if I read it elsewhere) is one of the FIRST things to understand, when writing comics, is that EACH panel is a single split second in time.

    You gotta go about writing your scripts, KNOWing that every single panel is only a snapshot of a scene. You can't fit any more into any panel EVER. Every single panel will always be one exact moment in history. It cannot move. And I think this is where we touch on the movie industry. EVERYbody loves movies, everybody watches their own favorite television shows. But the truth is, every single comic book panel EVER will only be ONE single precise moment in time.

    And if you go about writing your script with that in the back of your mind, then hopefully your panel descriptions will show that. It's so easy to lose yourself, to end up talking about more than you had originally planned. But if you keep that idea in the back of your mind, that every single panel in a comic is a split second in a scene, then you'll be find. Don't let your mind wonder. Peace.



  4. ChrisLewis Guest

    Thanks for the info! Now if I promise that I understand it, will you go easy on any moving images in my script?



  5. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisLewis View Post
    Thanks for the info! Now if I promise that I understand it, will you go easy on any moving images in my script?
    Nope.

    Just kidding. I'll still point them out, if I find any, but I'll try not to beat you up too bad over it. Maybe I'll do what Steven did to me, and have you tell me why they're moving - that's always a good exercise.



  6. StevenForbes Guest

    Hey, folks.

    First, I haven't read the script. No pearls of wisdom about that. Just thought I'd get that out of the way.

    I'm still here. Just poking around, really. Just looking through the comments.

    Moving panels: I have very specific ideas about them, as most of us know. Why am I so specific? Because I don't want new writers to get into the habit of thinking in not-static images. Know what you're doing FIRST. Know the rules, and then you can know when they can be broken.

    Besides, conversing with Calvin is always fun!

    Anyway, I promise to make comments on the next script that isn't mine. I'd like to keep my hand in the water, if Calvin doesn't mind.

    Keep up the good work here, Calvin. And I'd like to see more people giving their thoughts on the scripts, as well. If it's peer-review, where are the peers?



  7. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenForbes View Post
    I'd like to keep my hand in the water, if Calvin doesn't mind.
    Mind? I hope you're kidding. You built this place. As far as I'm concerned, you're always welcome here. And it's not like these guys are going to keep me in line all by themselves.

    Keep up the good work here, Calvin. And I'd like to see more people giving their thoughts on the scripts, as well. If it's peer-review, where are the peers?
    Thanks, Steven, I'll try.

    And I agree. I'd like to see more people jumping in too. A couple have been, but everyone should feel free. I can't possibly be spotting everything, and different viewpoints are always worth hearing about. I don't know about the rest of you, but I always learn more from a debate or comparison than I do from a lecture.



  8. BarriLang Guest

    Debate is good... Silence is golden.... or is it?



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