Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Noirvember - Free Lunch - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - Randall and Charles are sitting on the curb near the restaurant.  Randall has one hand in his inside jacket pocket, reaching for something; he holds a mostly eaten piece of bread with his other hand.  Charles looks attentively.


2 - Randall pulls out another piece of bread.  Charles looks disappointed, if not surprised.


3 - Randall cautiously offers the bread to Charles.  Charles hangs his head in disappointment, not looking at Randall.


4 - Charles puts out his hand to accept the bread, although he continues to hang his head.

CHARLES: You don't have the money you owe, do you?

5 - On the sign to Chez Edgar.  Neither Randall nor Charles are visible.

RANDALL (off-panel): Not as such, no.

Next page.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Noirvember - Free Lunch - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - The waitress stomps away, unimpressed with Randall's miserly behaviour.  Randall looks towards the entrance and gives a big, happy wave to his friend Charles, who is still off-panel.


2 - Randall is up and out of his chair, heading towards Charles, who has not made it to his table yet.  Randall takes the napkin from his collar and puts it on the table.  Charles looks a little confused.  Some of the other diners may look up from their meals to see what the fuss is about.

RANDALL: Thank god you're here!

3 - Randall puts his arm around Charles' shoulders and steers him towards the entrance of the restaurant, heading out.  Randall looks pleased as punch; Charles is a tad bewildered; the waitress from before looks on from the background, seething.

RANDALL: I was worried I was going to have to order something

4 - Randall and Charles stand outside the restaurant.  Chez Edgar is on the ground level of a block of buildings in a gentrifying neighbourhood.  There are other stores and restaurants about and apartment buildings above these storefronts.  Charles stops and looks annoyed.  Randall reaches into his jacket, a knowing look on his face.

CHARLES: Wait, why did you even want to meet here if we weren't planning on staying?

RANDALL: Are you kidding?

5 - Close on Randall and Charles.  Randall has pulled out a dinner roll from his jacket and takes a big bite out of it; Charles looks even less impressed than before.

RANDALL: Their bread is unreal!

Next page.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Noirvember - Free Lunch - Page 1

We open on four small panels, showing off different scenes in a fancy restaurant.

1 - A couple - who are dressed to the nines - share a laugh at their well appointed table.


2 - Close on a wine bottle being opened by one of the wait staff.


3 - Close on a menu that one of the patrons are perusing.  The restaurant's name "Chez Edgar" is written in embossed letters on the front in fancy type.


4 - A waitress walks towards a table holding some sumptuous looking plates of food.


5 - Move to an establishing shot of the restaurant interior.  It is very chic, with mood lighting.  The bar may be visible in the background.  Either way, every table is full.  Every table, that is, except for the one that is the focus of the panel.  Randall, dressed in a shabby suit with a loosely done tie (which is hidden by the napkin he has tucked into the collar of his shirt to from a temporary bib) and questionable facial hair, sits alone at a table for two, munching on a dinner roll as he lounges about.  A half drunk glass of water and dinner roll basket sits on his table.  The waitress from the previous panel has come up and is trying to take an order.

WAITRESS: Sir? Are you sure you wouldn't like order something while you wait for your friend?

RANDALL: Naw, I'm good with the water, thanks.

6 - Move in closer to the pair.  Randall pops the last of the roll into his mouth and reconsiders the waitress' proposal further.  She continues to stand at attention.

RANDALL: Well, now that you mention it...

7 - Close on the empty dinner roll basket.  Randall has picked it up and shows it to the waitress.

RANDALL (off-panel): Could I get some more of this bread?

Next page.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Noirvember - Paint the Town - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - Alyssa stands outside the door to her house, struggling to unlock it in her panic.  She's looking around, trying to see if anyone has followed her.


2 - Alyssa is inside, leaning against the door she has closed behind her.  She finally relaxes a bit.

ALYSSA: Warren?  You here?

WARREN (off-panel): In the living room.

3 - Alyssa walks along the hall towards the living room.  Maybe she keeps a hand to the wall to help balance herself.

ALYSSA (1): Oh, God.  It was awful--

ALYSSA (2): I took the shortcut.

4 - Warren and the serious looking gentleman sit on chairs in the middle of the living room, calmly looking towards the reader (and Alyssa, who may or may not be visible in the panel's foreground).  Like in the garage, the living room light kind of spotlights the serious looking gentleman (and also Warren this time) and a number of figures stand in the periphery, slightly obscured.

WARREN: I know.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Noirvember - Paint the Town - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - The serious looking gentleman stands over the body of the now dead man, blocking most of him from the reader's view (although not all).  A tire rolls into frame from the bottom of the panel.  One of the figures on the periphery points towards the door.  The serious looking gentleman turns (as do others) to look in the same direction.

FIGURE: What was that?

2 - On the entrance / corner where Alyssa had been spying on them.  She's gone, leaving a knocked over pile of tires as evidence of her presence.

FIGURE (off-panel): Someone's here!

3 - On Alyssa, running in the alley between buildings towards the back of the lot.  Maybe frame from above, with the buildings as part of the gutter (or an addition to).


4 - Alyssa is up and climbing over a chain-link fence.


5 - Close on a hand grabbing Alyssa's ankle.  Maybe don't have any background to emphasize this moment.


6 - Alyssa kicks the person grabbing her ankle in the face, causing them to let go.


7 - Alyssa runs off.  Frame so the fence is between the reader and her, leaving the chain-link pattern covering the whole panel.


Next page.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Noirvember - Paint the Town - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - Alyssa, walking along the open yard, looks towards one of the garages as some indistinct words come from it.
LETTERING NOTE: Have a wavy word balloon with unreadable "text" to signify that whatever's being said can't be heard.


2 - On Alyssa, who has crept up to the corner of the garage and peeks in.  There is a pile of tires in front of her that she might use for support / cover.  From the framing, the reader cannot see inside yet.
LETTERING NOTE: The balloon is still coming from within, but it's now legible.  Perhaps consider providing a visual cue that it's still hard to hear (e.g. greyed text, etc), but it's not strictly necessary.

VOICE (from within): Please. I can make it right.

3 - Inside the garage.  A serious looking gentleman holds a gun to the head of a desperate looking man who is kneeling in front of him.  The lighting kind of spotlights the two, obscuring the other figures who stand around on the periphery.

GENTLEMAN: A little late for that.

4 - Close on Alyssa's face.  Still peeking around the corner, she closes her eyes and flinches at the pull of the trigger.
LETTERING NOTE: I could go with a big BLAM! taking up a lot of the background behind Alyssa or a smaller, more subtle one.  Whatever you think works best.


Next page.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Noirvember - Paint the Town - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - Alyssa sits on the stoop outside of a shawarma place, holding a shawarma in one hand while she talks on her phone with the other.  It's still late; there don't seem to be any cars around.

ALYSSA: Yeah, pick me up at Eglington and Yates.

2 - Alyssa sits on the same stoop, but her shawarma is done and the shawarma place is closed.  If anything, the street is even more abandoned now.  Alyssa looks annoyed (and more sober), looking down at her phone.

ALYSSA (1): This is ridiculous.

ALYSSA (2): Uber it is.

3 - On Alyssa's phone screen.  It reads "0% battery" with an appropriate graphic.


4 - Alyssa is trudging along the sidewalk as she walks home.  She does not look pleased.  If we see any of the background, the streets are as empty as before, but she's moved into a more industrial neighbourhood.


5 - On Alyssa from the side.  She has stopped walking, her attention grabbed by something off-panel (and in the reader's direction).  She cocks her eyebrow as she considers what she sees.


6 - Establishing shot of a garage / used car lot.  The place looks kind of menacing, both because it's night time and there seem to be a lot of wrecks all around the lot.  There are a couple of buildings that are back from the road.  There are piles of tires, parts, and the like scattered all about.  A fence seaprates the building from the road, with a prominent "NO TRESPASSING" sign visible.  The entrance is two swinging fences that are locked together, but there's enough room for someone to slide between them.  Alyssa has done just that and walks along the open space in the general direction of the buildings.


Next page.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Noirvember - Paint the Town - Page 1

1 - Alyssa and Warren are walking along a city sidewalk after a night out partying.  Alyssa looks to be a little further gone than Warren, hanging precariously from his neck.  Warren's attention is taken by his phone getting a text (either vibrating or giving off a little tone).

ALYSSA: This was a great evening, but I cannot wait to pass out at home!

2 - Warren looks at his phone intently.  Alyssa is annoyed at what he says, pushing him away and pouting a bit.

WARREN: Actually, it looks like the boys are having a nightcap. Meet you back at our place?

ALYSSA: Whaaat?! Don't make me walk home alone! It's sooo far!

3 - Alyssa pauses, putting a finger to her lip in thought.  Warren looks up from his phone with a start, giving Alyssa his full attention for the first time this page, his eyes wide.

ALYSSA: I guess I could take that shortcut you showed me...


4 - Warren comes back to Alyssa, taking her hands in his and giving her some money.  Alyssa is confused by this action.

WARREN (1): No, no, no. It's way too late for that.

WARREN (2): Here, I'll pay your taxi.

ALYSSA: Okay...

5 - On Alyssa's hands as he holds, like, two hundred dollars worth of bills.

ALYSSA (off-panel): But I think this might be too much.

Next page.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Noirvember - Lost and Found - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - Vanessa and Troy are walking out of the woods onto a parking lot-type thing.  There is a single car in the parking lot (theirs).  A cop car is driving by along the connecting rural road.  Vanessa sees the car and tries to get its attention.


2 - Long shot of Vanessa and Troy running down the road after the cop car.  Its brake lights flare.


TROY: Stop!

3 - Repeat the long shot.  Vanessa and Troy have caught up with the cop car and stand beside the driverside window.

VANESSA: Out in the woods! We saw--!

4 - Close on Vanessa and Troy.  They both look terrified and sick.  The cop car roof is visible, but not the interior.

VOICE (from within cop car): The woods?

5 - On the cop car driverside window.  The bad dude from earlier is sitting in the front seat, wearing a cop uniform.  He leans on the (lowered) window, a jovial expression on his face, although whether it's from being in a good mood or recognizing Vanessa and Troy is unclear.  This panel could be done so as to leave space for title credits and the like, if desired.

BAD DUDE: ...what did you see?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Noirvember - Lost and Found - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - On the bridge, angled so the bottom of the dry riverbed isn't visible.  Troy is peeking out from the edge of the riverbed next to the bridge, looking around.

TROY: I think he's gone

2 - On Troy as he climbs out of the riverbed.  He looks back behind him in concern towards Vanessa.

TROY (1): We should do the same.

TROY (2): Van?

3 - Vanessa is still sitting next to the bridge (where she was at the end of the previous page), her arms wrapped around her knees, still stunned.  Troy has come over and crouches in front of her, hands on his knees and a warm (if tired) smile on his face.

VANESSA: How did you know he wouldn't find us?

TROY: Remember when we were talking hide and seek?

4 - Vanessa and Troy exchange a hug, holding each other so tight they might never let go.  Whether they're still on the ground or are now standing is up to you.

TROY: I never snuck off when you were it.

Next page.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Noirvember - Lost and Found - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - Close on hands searching through an open jacket.  It might not be initially clear to the reader, but this is the bad dude searching through the dead guy's clothing.


2 - Close on one of the bad dude's hands as he pulls out a police badge from the clothing - have the hands holding the badge in a way that there's no doubt it's a cop badge, although details like department, name, etc aren't important.


3 - Switch to a close shot of Vanessa's face.  She is peeking from around a corner of the bridge (the side opposite where the bad dude came in, natch).  She's barely around the corner - maybe only half (or less) of her face is visible.  She is shocked at what she sees, her eye(s) and mouth going wide.


4 - Back on the bad dude from the direction where Vanessa and Troy are hiding (so the "back" of the bridge, if the body's legs are at the "front").  The bad dude is kneeling over the body, holding the cop badge out in front of himself.  He snaps his head to look towards Vanessa and Troy's position (and by extension, towards the reader), expression a mix of suspicion and anger.  The panel should go the width of the page to emphasize the pause in time.  We should be far enough back to see most of the area under the bridge, but not far enough to see the corner where Vanessa and Troy are hiding (or whether they can be seen by the bad dude).


5 - Another page wide panel.  Both the bad dude and Vanessa and Troy are visible, with the bad due on the left side and Vanessa and Troy on the right.  The bad dude is getting up and heading away towards the "front" of the bridge, absentmindedly tucking the cop badge into an inner-pocket in his jacket.  Vanessa and Troy are just outside the under-bridge area (tunnel?) and around the corner.  Vanessa lays in a heap on top of Troy, clear evidence that he hastily pulled her out of the bad dude's sight (maybe Troy has a hand around Vanessa's mouth to make sure any surprised yelp would be muffled).  Vanessa and Troy both look terrified and spent - the close brush with danger is taking a lot out of them.


Next page.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Noirvember - Lost and Found - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - Under the bridge, looking out on the riverbed.  Troy stands outside, looking uncomfortable and scared.  Maybe have him purposefully looking anywhere but under the bridge to help hit this home (said bridge could also be used to help frame him in the panel).  The actual body does not need to be visible.

TROY: Anything we can do to help?

2 - Under the bridge, Vanessa kneels near the body.  She holds one arm, feeling for a pulse.  She also looks uncomfortable and focuses her gaze down and away from the body itself.  We still don't need to focus on the body, but maybe show it's battered to some extent (like on the arm, for example).

VAN: I think we're too late for that...

3 - Change angle to focus on where Vanessa is looking - there's a still somewhat fresh pool of blood next to the body.  Vanessa looks horrified, maybe putting a hand to her mouth to keep from being sick.  (This could also be reversed to a pseudo-worm's eye view from near the blood pool looking up at Vanessa's horrified reaction.)

VANESSA: But - oh, god! I think this happened recently!

TROY (off-panel): Van...

4 - Troy has come under the bridge, crouching to keep from bumping his head.  He touches Vanessa's shoulder; she looks to him in response.  He looks worried (being sure to focus on Vanessa and not the body); Vanessa still looks a little green around the gills.

TROY: Do you hear something?

5 - Under the bridge, looking out again (like in panel 1).  A bad looking dude peeks around the corner, looking under the bridge itself.  He looks suspicious (and mean).  Maybe he has a busted nose (or some evidence of recent physical altercation).


6 - Switch angle to look underneath the bridge again.  The body is there, but Troy and Vanessa are nowhere to be seen.


Next page.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Noirvember - Lost and Found - Page 1

1 - Establishing shot of a teenage couple, Vanessa and Troy, walking along a stone bridge (the type with waist-high walls on either side) in the woods.  They are holding hands and sharing lovey dovey smiles.  Troy helps Vanessa up onto one of the stone bridge's walls.

TROY: Remember when we were kids and we'd come out here to play hide and seek?

2 - Vanessa walks along the bridge wall, holding Troy's hand (more for the sake of holding it than out of necessity).  She looks down at him and he up at her.  She might hold her opposite arm out for balance.

VANESSA: I remember that whenever I was it you would all sneak home.

3 - Focus on Vanessa, who after going a bit off-balance, has let go of Troy's hand and flailed her arms out to help stabilize herself.  She ends up leaning over the side of the bridge and looking down.  Her expression changes to a mix of puzzlement and shock.

VANESSA: I'd look for ages, but I'd never find any...

4 - Focus on Troy.  He kept walking while Vanessa caught her balance and has gotten a bit ahead of her.  He stops and looks up at her over his shoulder, the same lovey dovey smile on his face.  Vanessa has completely regained her balance and stands straight.  She's still looking down over the side of the bridge, but perhaps frame the panel so we don't see her upper body (due to focusing on Troy and Vanessa being higher up).


TROY: Van?

5 - Switch to a bird's eye view, looking down on the bridge and the couple.  Vanessa is still looking over the side of the bridge; Troy has turned around completely to look at Vanessa, his smile replaced with a look of concern.  The riverbed below is dried up, devoid of water.  However, there are some legs lying in the riverbed, coming from underneath the bridge itself (which presumably hides the body's upper-half).

TROY: Everything okay?

Next page.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Noirvember - The Beaten Path - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - On Carson and Stephen standing at the edge of the cliff, looking down towards the lake (which is not visible).


2 - Pull out and up (like a aerial shot moving away) to show more of the cliff face, although the water is not yet visible.  Carson has already turned and is walking away.  Stephen is still at the cliff edge, but looks towards his partner.

STEPHEN: What do we do now?

CARSON: Only thing we can.

3 - Continue pulling away.  The lake is visible now (although Ronnie's body is not).

CARSON (tailless): Tell the boss we had car trouble.

4 - Far enough to show the entire lake.  A little beyond it, a road / truck stop / piece of civilization is visible - Carson and Stephen were not as far away as they may have thought.

CARSON (taillless): ...and that we never did find Ronnie.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Noirvember - The Beaten Path - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - Establishing shot.  We're looking onto a big lake in the middle of the forest.  Trees line its shores, including a small cliff / escarpment coming off the water.  The sun is starting to rise; the night is ending.


2 - Stephen and Carson are still in the forest (they're near the cliff edge, but that isn't necessarily obvious from this panel).  Stephen has paused to wipe the sweat from his brow.  He's put down Ronnie's feet to do so.  Carson stands, still holding Ronnie's torso up.  He looks far more tired and frustrated than Stephen.  His eyes go wide in anger at Stephen's remark.

STEPHEN (1): *phew!*

STEPHEN (2): The boss is gonna be real mad at us.


3 - Carson is enraged.  He throws the body away from him in anger, sending it tumbling.  Stephen hops back in surprise and mild fear.

CARSON (shouting): There is no "us"!

4 - Carson grabs Stephen by the shirt with one hand.  Stephen's eyes go wide in fear.  He points in the direction that Ronnie's body went, although Carson pays it no mind.

CARSON: You crashed the car!

STEPHEN (quietly): Carson...

5 - Carson raises the other fist high, ready to deck Stephen.  Stephen continues to look and point towards where Ronnie's body went; Carson continues to not pick up on this.

CARSON: You shot Ronald!

6 - Carson unleashes a vicious haymaker, taking Stephen off his feet.

CARSON: And you "knew a shortcut"!

7 - On Stephen on his hands and knees on the ground (maybe he's coughing some blood or at least bleeding a bit).  Carson can be seen looming over him, but the panel cuts him off around the waist or so.  Stephen looks at something off-panel with great interest.

CARSON: I honestly don't know how you could make this any worse.

STEPHEN: Well...

8 - Switch to the edge of the cliff.  There are some shrubs whose branches have been knocked away / off from Ronnie's body rolling through them.  Open air lies beyond.

STEPHEN (off-panel): You could throw Ronnie off a cliff.

Next page.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Noirvember - The Beaten Path - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - On the crashed car from page 1, but from the opposite side (looking from the forest).  There is a police officer standing next to the car, peering into the driver's seat.  He might have a flashlight.  His cruiser could be visible parked on the side of the road behind him.

CARSON (off-panel, tailless): Shit.

2 - Carson and Stephen stand in the forest clearing, vaguely hiding behind some trees / branches.  They look frustrated.  Stephen reaches for where he put away his gun.

STEPHEN: What do we do now?

CARSON: Only thing we can.

3 - Close on the cop.  He looks up from the car, a look of surprise / concern on his face.

COP: Hello?

4 - Smash cut to Carson and Stephen carrying Ronald's dead body through the forest.  Stephen holds the legs, walking forward; while Carson brings up the rear, holding the head / arms awkwardly, trying the balance the briefcase on Ronald's torso.  Carson is not having much success and looks like he's struggling.


Next page.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Noirvember - The Beaten Path - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - Carson shoves Stephen in the shoulder, putting Stephen off-balance.  Carson looks disgusted; Stephen looks confused - this frustration has put him off-balance figuratively as well.

CARSON: "Shit"? You've just taken this man's life, and that's all you can manage?

STEPHEN: ...what?

CARSON: Ronald may have wronged our mutual employer, but what gives you the right to enact so final a judgement on him?

2 - Carson crouches down next to the open case, picking up muddy wads of cash and piling them back into the briefcase.  He has a frown on his face.  Stephen stands in the background, looking stunned and sheepish (he could also be putting his gun away absentmindedly).

STEPHEN: You're not being serious right now, are you?

3 - On Carson as he closes the suitcase with a shove - the money hasn't been piled nearly as well and it's overfull.  Carson scoffs dismissively, a slight grin on his face to show that his little speech was in jest.

CARSON: Fuck no.

SFX: clik!

CARSON: Ronnie was an asshole.

4 - Bird's eye view looking down from above at the scene on the forest floor.  Carson is up, wiping some dirt and mud off his pants (for what little it's doing him), turned away from the body and case.  Stephen pauses above the body, looking down at it.

CARSON: But it would have been a lot easier to get him back to the car if he could walk.

5 - Carson is already walking away - perhaps even partly off-panel.  The focus is on Stephen, who is still looking at the body.  Maybe he's looking a little ill / uncomfortable.

CARSON: Come on. I've got a hacksaw in the backseat.

Next page.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Noirvember - The Beaten Path - Page 1

I had a blast last year penning If On a Winter's Night for Noirvember, but recognizing I didn't have the time for another 30-page script, I'm scaling down for a series of 5-pagers throughout the month.  We start this evening with The Beaten Path.

Those who have been following along at home will notice a striking resemblance to InkTober's Miscalculation.  I hope you can forgive me building something larger from that original page.

1 - On a car crashed into a tree of the side of a lonely country road in the middle of the night.  The front of the car is crumpled, the trunk is open, and so are the driver and passenger doors.  The car's interior and brake lights are still on.  No one is around.  A line of tress is visible in the background.


2 - Within the forest, there are signs that a number of people have hastily moved through this area - broken branches, muddy tracks, and evidence of slipping and tripping. Once again, no one is visible.


3 - On an open briefcase sitting on the ground, overflowing with money. Some of it is in the mud, other bills have mud on them. There is a handcuff link around the briefcase's handle, the chain leading off-panel.


4 - On the opposite handcuff link, which is around a man's wrist (also lying in the mud). Not much more than the hand and wrist are visible, but it's clear the man is wearing a suit and that he has taken some injuries (cuts and bruises, etc).


5 - Reveal. The man who is handcuffed to the suitcase of money is lying dead in the forest. The cuts and bruises on the hand were just the beginning, as this guy was in sorry shape, but the bullet wound in the guy's chest looks to be a pretty clear cause of death. Two crooks, Carson and Stephen, stand on either side of the dead man, staring down at the body.  Both also wear rumpled suits (with evidence of mud on their knees, elbows, and the like from the chase), although it must be said that Carson's is in much better condition, both because he was more careful and because he takes better care of his suit.  Jones holds a smoking gun in one hand, still aimed in the direction of the fallen man.  Both have expressions that are somewhere between neutral and shocked.


6 - Repeat panel.  Carson closes his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration.  Stephen glances down absently at his gun, turning it to look at its side.


Next page.