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Thread: Style Has Substance

  1. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery View Post
    Oops. I meant to type
    So it was a smiley face (mad, actually) icon typo?

    Okay, back to business, folks.

    Any other contributors want to see if you can write the same page three different ways?

    I'll come back to a question that got passed by, "Why is this so hard for you?"

    I've shared my theory, but I am interested in your own opinions.

    Thanks.

    --Lee



  2. DaveHughes Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post
    I'll come back to a question that got passed by, "Why is this so hard for you?"

    I've shared my theory, but I am interested in your own opinions.

    Thanks.

    --Lee
    Here's my thought, based on myself only.

    It's hard sometimes to remember that, no matter how much you get out of a comic page when you read it, the script was most likely not nearly as complicated as you would think it was.

    Every comic writer started out as a comic reader, and let's face it...when you're reading a comic, you tend to "fill in the blanks"...you infer things that aren't actually there, making the action "flow". And then, when you decide to take the plunge and write...you try to write like you read.

    The first time I ever wrote a script, I actually banged my head on the table when I read it. I had directions such as "He has his hand stuck 3/4 into his pocket, then removes it to place it on his hip.' Why? Because that's how I had pictured it. It didn't have ANYTHING to do with the story, but I was trying to fill in every single detail.

    It took finding some actual scripts online, reading them and comparing them to the finished product to figure out that writing for comics is like doing yard work.

    No, seriously. You don't cut every individual blade of grass...you use broad strokes with a lawn mower. Of course, at times a broad stroke won't do what you need done...that's when you bring out the weed eater to trim around the trees and edge the walk. And every once in a while, you have to get down to a very personal level and pull a few weeds by hand.

    Doing each and every blade of grass on your lawn individually will work, but it won't be any fun, it will take forever, and you'll still wind up missing some.

    I learned to paint a broad picture (mower), then specifiy the details that are important (edging), and finally work out dialogue and specific actions and moments that are integral to the plot (pull the weeds).

    Am I right? No freakin' clue. But that's how I've come to look at it.

    Thoughts?



  3. harryd Guest

    Well, another weekend, and another attempt at a creative writing exercise. As to which style I prefer, I think I typically write Full Script with occasional Camera Directions. I think it would be interesting to try a Plot Method sometime, but so far the couple of artists I have worked with, who have expressed any sort of preference on script format, have said that they prefer a more detailed style. Anyhow, here is this weeks attempt:

    Typical Unrealistic Gunfight

    Plot Method:

    Sam and Max, staring daggers at one another, sit on opposite sides of a table in an otherwise empty restaurant. They both pull out a pair of handguns, and proceed to blaze away at one another. Despite blowing away most of the scenery, neither manages to hit the other before the run out of ammo.

    Full Script Sans Camera Directions:

    PANEL 1. Sam and Max, staring daggers at one another, sit on opposite sides of a table in an otherwise empty restaurant.

    PANEL 2. Both men have leapt up, knocking the table over onto its side. Sam is pulling revolvers out from inside his vest, while Max is drawing his guns from his belt.

    PANEL 3. The wall is riddled with bullet holes as Max, firing away with his guns, runs to the right.

    SFX:
    Blam! Blam! Blam!

    PANEL 4. Sam, firing away with his guns, is running to the left. The wall to his right is riddled with bullet holes.

    SFX:
    Blam! Blam! Blam!

    PANEL 5. Sam and Max stand on opposite ends of the restaurant. The walls are riddled with bullet holes and the tables have been shot up. Sam has dropped his his right arm to his side and has his left arm raised to aim at Max, who has dropped his left arm to his side and has his right arm raised to aim back at Sam. Both guns click uselessly, as they have run out of bullets.

    SFX (small, Sam's empty gun):
    Click. Click.

    SFX (small, Max's empty gun:
    Click. Click.

    Script with Camera Directions:

    PANEL 1 (TOP TIER - WIDTH OF PAGE). A long shot of Sam and Max, who stare daggers at one another as they sit on opposite sides of a table in an otherwise empty restaurant.

    PANEL 2 (2ND TIER - WIDTH OF PAGE). A tighter long shot, zooming in towards them, in which both of men have leapt up, knocking the table over onto its side. Sam is pulling revolvers out from inside his vest, while Max is drawing his guns from his belt.

    PANEL 3 (3RD TIER - 1/2 THE WIDTH OF THE PAGE). A medium shot of Max running to the right and firing his guns toward the camera. Bullet holes riddle the wall behind him.

    SFX:
    Blam! Blam! Blam!

    PANEL 4 (3RD TIER - 1/2 THE WIDTH OF THE PAGE). A medium shot of Sam running to the left and firing his guns toward the camera. Bullet holes riddle the wall behind him.

    SFX:
    Blam! Blam! Blam!

    PANEL 5 (4TH TIER - THE WIDTH OF THE PAGE). A long shot of the restaurant, where the walls are now riddled with bullet holes and the tables have been shot up. Sam and Max stand on opposite ends of the room. Sam has dropped his his right arm to his side and has his left arm raised to aim at Max, who has dropped his left arm to his side and has his right arm raised to aim back at Sam. Both guns click uselessly, as they have run out of bullets.

    SFX (small, Sam's empty gun):
    Click. Click.

    SFX (small, Max's empty gun):
    Click. Click.
    Last edited by harryd; Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 12:43 AM.



  4. LeeNordling Guest

    Harry's grade:

    PASS with a GOLD STAR.

    Nice work.

    BTW, for others, Harry's plot method was especially nice, not too detailed, but the intent was perfectly clear. For those of you who wrote a LOT to try to capture the page in a paragraph, take a good look at the economy of this paragraph. It shows how less is more, and you don't have to write everything to capture what's important.

    --Lee



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