Tuesday, November 16, 2010

False Dawn #11-Comic Book Script Format

False Dawn #11 : Crossing Over
Part One of Four: Reunion
Comic Book Script—Plot for 22 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels

The crew finally crosses into Skadoia to find Connor and Addy, but what they get isn’t necessarily what they want.

1—Close up on a young Ral (five-ish) with his hands over his eyes. Complete darkness surrounds him. Important note to colorist—Ral’s hair must be blonde.
WARRIOR (off): You belong here.

2—Ral shakes his head. He doesn’t open his eyes.
WARRIOR: Instinctively, you know that.
RAL: …no.

3—A black tentacle caresses the boy’s cheek.
WARRIOR (off): Yes.

4—Ral shies away from the tentacle.
WARRIOR (off): You cannot fight forever.

5—A hand brushes back Ral’s bangs, and his eyes flutter open.
WARRIOR (still off): After all, you were born of shadows.

1—Full page spread—Shot of Skadoia—the castle, the medieval village about it, and the dark abyss on which the castle sits. We’re looking down from just above a cliff, on which Ral, Casia, and Lance are standing. They’re looking down at it, too.
WARRIOR (no pointer): Welcome home.
LANCE: Well, guys, welcome to Skadoia.

1— Now we’re in the corridors of the castle. Ral ducks a tentacle.
NARR: Okay, I admit it. I’m afraid of the dark.

2—Small cell—Ral clicks open a lighter in his left hand.
NARR: I wonder if there are support groups for that type of thing.

2— The temporary flame sends a Skadoian Warrior back, but behind him are another set all ready lunging toward Ral.
NARR: I wasn’t always, but when you travel through a dimensional gateway and land in a realm where darkness is light and light is darkness, you tend to collect phobias like iTunes.
LANCE (off, shouting): PAGE! DUCK!

3—Ral ducks as a mace flies over his head. It hits the warrior behind him, who’s all shadows.
NARR: Great. They’re like a million against the three of us. Odds don’t look good.

4—The mace goes through the warrior, and his tentacles wrap about Ral’s body.
NARR: Huh. My eighth grade algebra teacher was wrong. I AM good in math.

5—Ral looks over his shoulder, where Lance is using a torch of orange fire to keep the warriors at bay.
NARR: I look for help, but none is coming.

1—A flare of blue fire dowses the orange fire, and the blue fire continues up Lance’s arms, burning his jacket.

2—A shadow warrior smothers the flames and Lance. Behind Lance, we can see Casia’s entire body is a flame.
NARR: Our own warrior falls.

3—A Skadoian warrior claps his enlarged hands together, and the gust of wind steals her flames from her body.

4—About Casia’s body against the wall, warriors surround her. (Perhaps a shot of her on the floor and we’re looking through the warriors’ legs to see her)
NARR: And even the strongest of us doesn’t stand a chance.
OFF: Evans, LaCroux, Child. You were foolish to come here.

1—Lance stands, held by the warriors.
LANCE: Ah, Lasantra. I didn’t think I’d be seeing you so soon,
LANCE (linked): After all, how long was it before? A millennium? Maybe two?

2—She slaps Lance hard across the cheek.
LASANTRA: If you wish to LIVE, I suggest you COOPERATE.

3—Close-up on Lance. Blood’s tricking from the corner of his mouth. He’s angry, maybe even a little hurt, but he doesn’t say anything.

4—Lasantra stares back at him, disappointed and just as angry.
NARR: The look in Lasantra’s eyes....I can’t read it.

5—Lasantra turns away, her cloak slapping Lance’s face. She’s heading down the hall away from them. The warriors are bowing—even those that are just shadows.
LASANTRA: Guards, take them to the KITCHEN. My lord will wish to deal with them personally.

1—Warriors walk beside Ral, Casia, and Lance as they travel through the corridors. For reference: Lanterns burning with blue fire “light” the hallways, casting shadows that every warrior seems to disappear into when the pass through. The granite walls glimmer with flickers of orange and blue. Black and azure curtains hang across the entrances to balconies while pictures of dragons line the walls between curtains.
NARR: The castle is like GRACELAND on ACID.

2—The group walks down a staircase made from black diamonds. Ral’s mystified.
NARR: for the second time in the twenty-three minutes I’ve been Skadoia, I really need to slap myself across the face.

3—Warrior slaps Ral across the back of the head.

4—Ral looks at the warrior in disbelief, his head in his hand. This guy is one to remember. He’s handsome with black hair that’s cut neat but hangs just above his shoulders. He’s aged, probably in his forties, and built like a swimmer. He has crystal blue eyes, and a smile that’s almost kind in a snarky way.
WARRIOR: You were thinking too loud
NARR: They have telepathy?

5—Close up of the warrior.
WARRIOR: Not all of us. It runs in families.
NARR: Okay…he’s creepy.
NARR: And his smile reminds me of a gothic Brad Pitt on crack.

6—Extreme close-up.
NARR: I like I said—creepy.

Panels 1-3—Each character gets a third of the top two-thirds of the page. Each has his/her hands chained above her head.
1—Focus on Ral.
NARR: My arms are asleep.
RAL: You can’t me this is going according to plan.

2—Focus on Lance.
LANCE: What if I told you it was?

3—Focus on Casia.
CASIA: Try that on someone who doesn’t know you.

4—Room from Ral’s POV—Three out of the four walls are made of the black stones, but the last one across from us looks like a black screen.
NARR: Looks like the inside of my mom’s oven after she burned something.
SFX: Grrrr…..

1—Lance and Casia glare at Ral.
RAL: Hey, totally not me, guys.

2—The warriors guffaw as they leave the room.
WARRIOR: No, that is our little pet.

3—As the door clunks shut, Lance whirls to Ral.
LANCE: Where’s Connor?
RAL: Uh…what?

4—Casia’s hesitant.
CASIA: Lance—

5—Lance is unremitting.
LANCE: Ral, now’s not the time for playing around. YOU have to find Connor.

1—The growling thunders fiercer now as all three blink at the darkness. Two yellow orbs float in the wall like eyes.

2—Ral glares at Lance.
RAL: How am I supposed to find him?
RAL: This is the first time I’ve been here. Same as YOU.

3—Casia’s eyes burn a low blue flame.
NARR: Her eyes remind me of the lanterns.
CASIA (shouting): LANCE!

4—Lance still stares at Ral as he screams at Casia. Flames dance on the edge of her body.
LANCE (shouting): DON’T BURN!

1—A snout of a dragon comes straight for Ral.

2—The snout touches Ral’s stomach.

3—Extreme close-up on Ral’s eyes, screwed shut.
OFF: Oh, dearest Connor, you don’t understand, do you?

4—Ral now looks at the small cell, and he’s back in Connor’s (in the corner). Lasantra stands before a beaten Connor, who’s doing his best to breathe.
LASANTRA: There is no hope. Not for you and not for your sister, ADELINE, or any of the CROSSING GUARDS.

1—Connor finds the energy to smile smugly.
CONNOR: Oh, sweetie, you only wish I didn't have hope. If I’m still here, then that means Addy hasn’t given into you. And if she hasn’t, then I sure as hell won’t.

2—Lasantra is now close to Connor.

3—Now Lasantra whispers seductively in Connor’s ear.
LASANTRA: Why do you continue to deny me, Connor? We will find the Crossings eventually. Why go through all this pain?
CONNOR: Better me than someone else.

4—Lasantra turns her back to Connor as his face clenches.
LASANTRA: Yes, like your NEPHEW, correct?
LASANTRA (linked): Or perhaps you’d rather we take the were-phoenix again or that disappointment you call a—
CONNOR: Touch them, and I’ll—

5—Lasantra turns to challenge. Connor’s confused.
LASANTRA: You’ll what? Spout empty threats? Choke out sarcasm? Why don’t you at least give into your desires?
CONNOR: And what might those be?

1—Then she grabs Connor by back of the neck and slams her lips into his.

2—Ral pulls Maiden’s Glory and lunge.
RAL: Get away from him!

3—Lasantra pulls herself from Connor and chucks a shadow spear toward Ral.
LASANTRA: How did you get in here?

4—Ral deflects it with his sword.
RAL: Don’t tell me the Shadow Lord’s afraid of us?

5— Connor grabs his chains and lifts himself up, kicking Lasantra away.
CONNOR: Ral, get out of here!

1—Ral rushes forward.
RAL: Too late!

2—Connor jumps before Ral, out of his chains, a hand out to stop his nephew from engaging.
CONNOR: Don’t tell me.
RAL: Yep.
CONNOR: You NEVER listen to anything I say.
RAL: That’s a lie.
CONNOR: Not really.
RAL: Oh, please—

3—Lasantra throws out a tentacle.
LASANTRA: —don’t forget to say good-bye!

4—Connor slaps his hands, creating a ball of white light. Ral’s behind him. The light disintegrates the tentacle.
NARR: Never seen him do that before.
NARR: Cool.
CONNOR: Where!
RAL: Some place called the KITCHEN.

5—Connor whirls and Ral’s blinded by the white ball of light.
CONNOR: Got it!

1—Ral’s POV—we’re now staring into the eyes of the dragon. It has pitch black scales that blend into the abyss, candle-light eyes. If we’re Ral, he’s right in our faces, ready to devour us.
RAL: It has a mouth that could swallow me and the entire Facebook community in one gulp.

2—Casia looks at Lance.

3—Lance smirks.

4—Casia’s body bursts into flames. (Her chains haven’t melted away.) It keeps the dragon at bay for a moment.

1—As the dragon turns it attack from Ral to Casia, a warrior breaks the dungeon door as he comes flying through.

2—Connor stands in the doorway, throwing a spear.
CONNOR: I spy with my dragon’s eyes—a TOOTHPICK!

3—The spear sticks in the dragon’s eye, causing the beast to shriek and fall back into the darkness.

4—Connor slices through the crew’s chains with Maiden’s Glory.
CONNOR: Hey, kiddo, long time no see.

5—Outside the room, Lance snatches his sword from an unconscious warrior, while Casia does the same with her specter. Unconscious warriors line the hall. Connor’s on the right side of the panel, perhaps in silhouette closest to us.
LANCE: Okay, so where’s Addy?

1—Three-fourths-page—Connor pulls Ral into a hug. BTW, Connor is shirtless, though he has on sneakers and ripped jeans. He’s still pretty bad off, Bruises decorate his face and arms, and he has at least one black eye. He’s been whipped, so he has some scars, too. Blood is splattered on his chest and jeans.

2—Connor slaps Ral up the back of the head.
CONNOR: You’re idiot!

1—Three-fourths page—Connor then grabs Casia and Lance in a hug.
NARR: It hits me—right then and there. Since this whole fiasco started, I’ve seen Lance and Casia as my “parents.”

2—Connor slaps Lance like he did Ral but tugs playfully on Casia’s ponytail.
CONNOR: You two—you’ve never learned survival skills, have you? Always looking to kill.
CASIA: It’s what Lance does best.
CONNOR: I wasn’t talking about HIM. I’m talking about ME. You two always try to give me a heart attack. I swear.
NARR: I mean, they fight like husband and wife, and they look out for me like a big brother and sister.

1—Connor pushes back Lance’s bangs.
NARR: But that’s exactly what they are. MY siblings.

2—Connor checks Casia’s bruise.
NARR: They’re his kids, too.
NARR: And Connor’s known them both longer than he’s known me.

3— Shot of Ral. He’s hurt, perhaps feels a little betrayed, but happy for the three.
NARR: WAAAAY longer.
RAL: So can we get Mom now?

1—The crew dashes down the hall.
CONNOR: Of course. Yes. Addy. Come on!

2—Group runs up a flight of stairs.

3—Group comes to a massive, ornate doorway, bejeweled with diamonds, blue crystals, and black marble. It has dragon claw scratches across its front.

4—Connor puts his fingers to his lips.

5—Connor slices through the door’s lock.

1—The group enters the chambers, which must be from a high-ranking official’s with gold crown-modeling, accents on curtains, and even splashes on the marble floor. Blue also dresses the chairs and couch in the sitting area while blue fire burns in the mantle. A door leading to another room—perhaps the sleeping area—is closed.
LANCE: Who lives here? The Shadow Lord himself?
CONNOR: No, one of his many acolytes.

2—Close-up on Casia, whose looking at the blue fire in the mantle.
CASIA: Why are we here, Connor? Where’s Addy?

3—Connor stares down from the balcony.
CONNOR: There.

1—Full-page—Down the garden area there are blue, silver, and purple flowers among trees of gray leaves, green fruit, and a red trunk. In the middle of the garden rises a silver statue of a woman dressed in a medieval gown with tears trickling from her eyes, down her body, and into a small pool surrounding her.
OFF: Mom?


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