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Old 11-15-2013, 06:09 PM   #1
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TPG Week 151: When Dialogue Doesn't Pull Its Weight


Welcome back, one and all! We've got Brave One Frank Martin entering The Proving Grounds once more! This week, we have the gregarious Samantha LeBas in purple, and I'm forever alluring in Red, and we see how Frank deals when confronted with



Horny Death



Horny Death (5 Pages)(This title is ridiculous. God, I hope this is a comedy.)



Page 1 (5 Panels)



Panel 1

An overview/establishing shot of a large, grassy field in the middle of the day. The stereotypical scene is a meeting of two leaders before a gigantic medieval battle. On either side of the field rests two cavalry armies on horseback standing ready for battle. In the middle of the field are two figures meeting one another also on horseback. The shot is far enough away to distinguish what is going on, but not close enough so that we can see details from the characters, just their silhouettes. (You need to give us some idea about how we might be able to discern one faction from another visually, and you should probably tell your creative team who these fellows are. Which army is on the left/right of panel? You’ve done all right here; time and place are accounted for, camera position mentioned, we even have an idea of the era in which this takes place, but we need more. Place your characters, define them visually, and flesh out the scene.)

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Old 11-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #2
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Thanks, guys. Couple things and I'm going to talk in generals as opposed to the script.

When I'm taking part in a 5 page comic, either as a writer or a reader, I feel that regardless of how bad the comic is, the reader is going to be committed to see it through to the end. With a 22 page comic, I can understand the need to keep the reader engaged in the first couple pages. But when the comic is only 5 pages (and takes someone less than 2 minutes to read), I feel that the person reading is going to finish no matter what (like I said, I feel that same way as a reader). That said, it's no excuse to write something uninteresting. But I feel the mind set to "keep the reader turning the page" is kind of different for a 5 page script as opposed to a 22 page script. Any thoughts?

Secondly, it seems Sam is very keen on panel descriptions and wants to make them as descriptive as possible, which I guess is a good thing. But on the other hand, artists are often told that the script is merely a guide and they can change things depending on how they think it would look better. So I would hate to flesh out a panel exactly how I see it in my head, then have an artist change it. I would (and have) found that pretty frustrating. Where does the balance lie?
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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Hi Frank,

I think this idea starts from a sound place. Something about cute my little pony unicorns actually being frenzied killing machines. I recommend having another go at the idea, but doing a different angle. What about a penniless squire joining the army on the back of a be-eyelashed unicorn? Everyone laughs until he and his Tame Dragon/Great White/deletc as applicable prove themselves the equal of any other?

With regards to your question on panel descriptions: tough! Write them out detailled. If you get an artist who is inexperienced, they will value the guidance from you. If you get an old pro, they may well deviate from your words, but... on the bright side... you got an old pro drawing your story.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappy View Post
Thanks, guys. Couple things and I'm going to talk in generals as opposed to the script.

When I'm taking part in a 5 page comic, either as a writer or a reader, I feel that regardless of how bad the comic is, the reader is going to be committed to see it through to the end. With a 22 page comic, I can understand the need to keep the reader engaged in the first couple pages. But when the comic is only 5 pages (and takes someone less than 2 minutes to read), I feel that the person reading is going to finish no matter what (like I said, I feel that same way as a reader). That said, it's no excuse to write something uninteresting. But I feel the mind set to "keep the reader turning the page" is kind of different for a 5 page script as opposed to a 22 page script. Any thoughts?
Here's my thought process: is it worth the aggravation and ill-will of the reader to finish a story they don't find worthwhile because the writer was lazy in their storytelling? I don't think so.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and even though I may finish a very short story, I'd skip it upon subsequent readings. I'd also look upon other stories by the writer unfavorably.

But that's just me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappy View Post
Secondly, it seems Sam is very keen on panel descriptions and wants to make them as descriptive as possible, which I guess is a good thing. But on the other hand, artists are often told that the script is merely a guide and they can change things depending on how they think it would look better. So I would hate to flesh out a panel exactly how I see it in my head, then have an artist change it. I would (and have) found that pretty frustrating. Where does the balance lie?
To my mind, it is always better to write what you "see" in your head. By doing this, it is much easier for everyone else to see what's in your head, too, and they can work accordingly.

Take, for example, the unicorn army. You mentioned the riders hardly at all, and so I'm forced to ask myself what the riders are doing. This is what the artist is going to ask, too.

Knowing what information to give and what information to leave out will always be a fine line to walk. When it comes to this, I believe in erring on the side of clarity. While I like brevity, brevity isn't always clear, and being unclear is the enemy to comic scripting.

Hope that helps.
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