19
Jun
11

X-Men Scripting Test

Some years back, an editor at Marvel Comics was impressed with script samples I sent. As a result, he asked I take a “scripting test.”

I received a Plot—the writers of Marvel Comics often write in plot summaries—and Artwork, and it’s my job to add Dialogue.  He informed me he liked what he saw…just before leaving Marvel forever (honestly, I can’t recall if he left or was laid-off or what).

Below are pages from the comic, sporting its ACTUAL script, accompanied by MY SCRIPT TEST pages. I was told to pick any scene or scenes I wanted to write, up to five pages 10 pages (see the other X-post for clarification).

The Xmen 70 covermain difference between comic books and picture books is that the latter merely describes what’s on a page (“See Jane Run!”; “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”), while comic books give INSIGHT into the images. So, when we see Peter Parker swinging over the city (i.e., Jane running), the caption might say “As our wily web-swinger careens across our fair Metropolis…” but then there’s insight: “…he wonders about his battle with the unscrupulous Scorpion!” Which, you know, is not shown visually. It’s usually in a thought bubble.

I mention this b/c I found the ACTUAL final script, while quite a capable piece of writing, does the “story book” take. It also seems to be awfully wordy IMO, often covering a great deal of art (w/out which, you might as well write a novel). Having not seen the actual comic when I took this test, I did what I believe comic scripts are meant to do—push the story, and characters, forward. I also believe, if your characters have CLEAR personalities, they don’t have to say much. I probably have 1/3 the dialogue of the final script. I also believe EACH character must have a very DEFINITE VOICE. I believe I achieved that.

But you be the judge. . .

X-MEN Script Test

by Keith

NOTE:
I’ve color-coded my script, to show, visually, how  I extrapolated info from the plot.
BLUE TYPE = LINES DIRECTLY FROM STORY PLOT

WHITE TYPE = COMPLETELY NEW LINES BASED ON CONCEPTS IN PLOT
RED TYPE = LINES SIMILAR TO THOSE SUGGESTED IN PLOT

 PAGE ONE

(1)

1 CAPTION:       OVER THE REGAL WOODLANDS OF SALEM CENTER…

2 CECILIA:       BOBBY DRAKE, GUH-GET US D-DOWN IMMEDIATELY!  IT’S TOO D-DARN COLD!

3 ICEMAN:        AW, C’MON, DOC, MY ICE-SLIDES ARE A GOOD WAY TO COOL YOUR JETS AFTER ALL WE’VE BEEN THROUGH.*

Note: * indicates notation for “Zero Tolerance” to be added per editorial.

4 ICEMAN:        …AND NOW THAT THE HEAT’S OFF, IT’LL BE GOOD TO KICK-BACK AT THE OL’ X-MANSION.

5 MARROW:        (small, all bold [or maybe in a heavy balloon], she IS speaking through gritted teeth) FFFFASTER! C’MON, ICEMAN! FAS! TERRR!

6 CAPTION:       …IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK.

(2)

7 CECILIA:       (SMALL) BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE…DON’T LOOK DOWN…BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE…THIS IS PERFECTLY SAFE…BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE…

8 ICEMAN:        YOU’RE TOO TIGHT, YOU’VE GOT TO RELAX.  HEY, I HEAR A GOOD THING FOR THAT’S AN ENEM–

(3)

9 MARROW:      PUNCH IT, FREEZE-POP — LET’S SHIFT THIS RIDE INTA’ HIGH GEAR, HUH!

10 ICEMAN:       YOU GOT IT, BONESY!

11 CECILIA:       OH I DON–

(4)

12 CECILIA:      D-D-DRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!


PAGE TWO

(1)

1 CAPTION:       PROFESSOR XAVIER’S SCHOOL FOR GIFTED YOUNGSTERS.

2 ICEMAN:        THERE WE GO, KIDS.  SAFE AND SOUND.

3 CECELIA:       AND STILL FUH-FREEZING.  I’LL GET EVEN.  WAIT TILL YOU WAKE UP ATTACHED TO A CATHETER.

4 ICEMAN:        WHAT’S THAT?

5 CECELIA:       JUST DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR BACK IF YOU’RE SMART.

6 CAPTION:       HOME TO GENERATIONS OF X-MEN.  MUTANTS.  POWERFUL HUMANS FIGHTING FOR HUMANKIND.

7 MARROW :       (small) THE MANSION!…

(2)

8 MARROW:        (thought bal.) FROM THE CRUSTED TUNNELS UNDERGROUND TO THIS.  THE PLACE THAT MAKES YOU AN X-MAN.  MUTANTS LIKE ME, MORLOCKS, AIN’T SUPPOSED TO GET THIS FAR…FINALLY, THE HOPE OUTWEIGHS THE PAIN.

9 MARROW:        BIG PLACE.  GOT CABLE?

(3)

10 ICEMAN:        CABLE?  MARROW, OUR BORROWED SHI’AR TECHNOLOGY GETS CHANNELS MOJO HASN’T SEEN!  WE’VE GOT WALK-IN FRIDGES, WALK-IN CLOSETS, HIGH-TECH SECURITY, EVEN A BIDET…WHAT DO YOU SAY, CECILIA?

11 CECELIA:       IT’S EXTRAORDINARY, BUT, UM…WHO’S MOJO?

12 ICEMAN:        HANG AROUND AWHILE…YOU MAY JUST FIND OUT SOME DAY.

13 MARROW:        THIS PLACE’S JUST MORE UPWORLDER ARROGANCE.  I’LL TAKE THE TUNNELS.

(4)

14 ICEMAN:        THEN TAKE ‘EM.  I’LL CHOOSE OUR FIERCE DANGER ROOM OVER RATS, ALLIGATORS, AND WHATEVER LEAKS OUTTA’ THOSE PIPES ANY DAY!

15 MARROW:        TRY CRAWLIN’ THROUGH THOSE PIPES– THAT’S DANGER!

16 CECELIA:       WHAT’S A “DANGER ROOM”?

(5)

17 MARROW:        HOPEFULLY SOMEPLACE I GET T’ KNOCK THE STUFFING OUTTA’ YOU– CANDYSTRIPER!

18 CECELIA:       OOOF

19 CECELIA: HEY!

Xmen 70 Page 3

PAGE THREE

(1)
1 CECELIA:       THIS DOCTOR, MARROW, CAN TAKE YOU DOWN WITH ONE SWIFT SWIPE OF A SCALPEL.

2 MARROW:        YOU TRY IT.  AND THEN WE’LL TEST TH’ LIMITS OF THAT LAUGHABLE FORCEFIELD O’ YOURS, HM?

3 CECELIA:       GIRL, YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH ME?!

4 MARROW:        YEEAHH.  I’VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH ALL TH’ SPINELESS, SELF-LOATHING MUTANTS I MEET–

(2)

5 MARROW:        –YOU JUST GET UNDER MY SKIN…MUTIE!

6 CECELIA:       WHY, YOU OBNO–

7 ICEMAN:        ENOUGH, GIRLS!  LET’S RETRACT THE KITTY CLAWS!

(3)

8 CECELIA:       (thought bal.) IS THIS WHAT I LEFT THE HOSPITAL FOR?  JOIN THE X-MEN AND FIGHT WITH A MISFIT WHO’S GOT A SERIOUS ‘TUDE, DEAL WITH “ICEMAN,” A SHOW-OFF WHO PREFERS TO ACT HIS SHOE-SIZE?…

9 CECELIA:       (thought bal.) WHO DO I HELP BY BEING HERE?  NOT ME, THAT’S CERTAIN!

(4)

10 MARROW:        HURRY IT UP, ICE-BOY, THE SOONER WE’RE IN, THE SOONER I TAKE OFF FOR A PLACE MORE SUITIN’ T’ ME– AFTER A FEW DAYS’ REST OF COURSE.

11 ICEMAN:        OKAY, X-GALS, FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS–

(5)

12 ICEMAN:        (small) AS I FREEZE THE LOCK TO A BRITTLE TEMPERATURE.

13 ICEMAN:  –AND PLEASE ENJOY THE SPACIOUS COMFORT, THE LUSH QUARTERS, AND THE, UH, LEARNING EXPERIENCE OF X-MEN HQ…

(REMINDER:
BLUE TYPE = LINES DIRECTLY FROM STORY PLOT
WHITE TYPE = COMPLETELY NEW LINES BASED ON CONCEPTS IN PLOT
RED TYPE = LINES SIMILAR TO THOSE SUGGESTED IN PLOT)

PAGE FOUR

(1)

1 ICEMAN:        …YOUR NEW–

2 ICEMAN:        –DIGS?!

3 CAPTION:       GENERATIONS OF MEMORIES.  ERASED.  ALL SIGNS OF LIFE, SOMEHOW STOLEN.  ALL SYMBOLS AND TRINKETS OF BROTHERHOOD, OF KINSHIP, DEFEATS, VICTORIES…

4 CAPTION:       GONE. AS IF PROFESSOR XAVIER, AND THE FELLOW STUDENTS BOBBY DRAKE GREW UP WITH, WERE NEVER HERE.

5 CAPTION:       GONE.  DASHING THE HOPES OF A LONELY, ANGRY MARROW ON THE HARSH GROUND OF REALITY.

6 CAPTION:       GONE.  CONFIRMING THE DOUBTS, RESERVATIONS, AND FEARS OF THE WOMAN WHO LEFT THE LIFE OF CECILIA REYES, MD.

(2)

7 ICEMAN:        I– I…DON’T UNDERSTAND.

8 ICEMAN:        (thought bal.) IT’S LIKE THE TWILIGHT ZONE, AND EVERYTHING I REMEMBER OF MY LIFE WAS IMAGINED, OR A DREAM, OR– OR…

9 MARROW:        NICE PLACE, ICEMAN.

10 MARROW:        (thought bal.) I’D FEEL SACRILEGIOUS STEPPING ONTO THE FLOOR.  THE SUN ALMOST MAKES IT LOOK… ETHEREAL.

11 CECELIA:       (thought bal.) NOTHING?

12 CECELIA:       EMPTY?!…

(3)

13 CECELIA:       (thought bal.) HONEY, WHEN WILL YOU LEA-EARN?!

14 CECELIA:       WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!  WHY DID I FOLLOW YOU!?  I’M GONE… (LETTERING TRAILS OFF)

(4)

15 ICEMAN:        CECILIA!  HANG ON A SECO–

16 MARROW:        GOOD, X-MAN, REAL GOOD.

17 ICEMAN:        SHOOT!  THIS ISN’T MY FAU–

18 MARROW:                                           NO, IT AIN’T…

PAGE FIVE

(1)

1 MARROW:        BUT YER NOT EXACTLY PUTTIN’ ANYONE’S MIND AT EASE HERE EITHER.

(2)

2 MARROW:        I’M GOIN’ FOR A WALK!

3 MARROW:        CALL ME WHEN YOU’VE GOT THE HERO THING FIGURED OUT.

(3)

4 CECELIA:       (thought bal.) ONCE THOSE “SENTINELS” DISCOVERED MY POWER AND EVERYONE AT THE HOSPITAL FOUND OUT…

5 CECELIA:       (thought bal.) SIGH.  MY– MY…LIFE, EVEN MY SUPPOSED NEW LIFE…IS OVER.  I’VE– I’VE GOT NOTHING NOW!

(4)

6 CECELIA:       (thought bal.) ‘CAME FROM NOTHING, FOUND  NOTH–

SFX:           (builds to next panel) WHOOOOOSHHHHOOOMMM!!

(5)

7 CECELIA:       –ING?

8 CECELIA:       HOLEEE–!

That’s it!

I wrote TWO sets of pages for the test.

Will post the next set soon!

-Kp

Advertisements

0 Responses to “X-Men Scripting Test”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: