Atrophy is the end result of any muscle that doesn’t receive sufficient exercise.
With this realization coupled with the fact that my existence benefits from some manner of loose routine, if only to provide additional irritation when life causes deviation, it’s only natural that I’m consistently instituting a scheduled regimen that keeps the words committing themselves to paper on a regular basis. Ambidextrous helps naturally, keeping a degree of the creative juice flowing, but progress is best measured by pages in the notebook often at my side coated in black ink, offering conclusive proof that if dreams fade into nothingness, it won’t result from lack of effort. You’re only as good as your last idea, and I like to keep things fresh, harnessing the manic state of development that accompanies the latest concept, providing life until something else more interesting comes along to occupy the consciousness.
The frantic pace at which an idea gains form differs from one notion to the next. The Syndicate dominated my attention for nearly four weeks in some shape or form, constituting of character sheets, issue summaries, and a few pages of script. Alternately, Rush, the story of the boy who never wanted to save the world, only kept me busy for about a week. It’s controlling this random circling of the attention span that inspires unease. Some weeks I’ll put five pages into the notepad…and other weeks’ progress slows to a trickle as life intrudes and inspiration fades.
The point of this lengthy diatribe is meant to clarify the reasons that as of April 25, 2002, I promised to myself to write at least one page of script per day. The subject matter was un-important to me…only the end result. One night I would write a page that had absolutely nothing to do with any concept in development, existing as somewhat of a one-page story, followed the next afternoon by something chronicling a conversation between Batman and Robin that’s been in my head recently.
The fruits of my first week’s labors are presented below, with commentary that explains exactly where this stuff is coming from. Also check out my slightly re-formatted scripting technique that’s a hell of a lot cleaner and straightforward than previous attempts that relied on bizarre centering and justifications that only served in distracting the reader from the story itself. At least…that’s what I thought when I changed it.
There’s some cool stuff in here…take a look and see if you agree.
April 25- “Downpour”
(1) Full page splash. A man looks up at the gun firmly placed on his temple by an unseen party as a violent storm forces water into his pores. The look on his face conveys a sense of utter exhaustion and loss that suggests the bullet soon to explode from the chrome barrel will provide a welcome conclusion to this very bad day.
CAP: …AND I HONESTLY DON’T GIVE A SHIT.
CAP: NOT ANYMORE.
CAP: NOT AFTER HER.
April 26- “The Accident”
(1) We’re in Wayne Manor. Shot of the grandfather clock in Bruce’s living room/study that doubles as an entrance into the Batcave.
(2) Maintain shot as the clock begins to swing open.
(5) Panoramic shot of the Joker standing in front of the immense picture frame that contains the prized portrait of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The portrait has been ripped from the frame and lies at the Joker’s feet, alongside an unconscious Alfred. Joker is pissing on the canvas nonchalantly.
JOKER: “PLEASE STICK TO THE RIVERS AND THE LAKES THAT YOU
JOKER: HEH. HEH. HEH.
(8) Close-up of Bats as he chokes the life out of the clown.
One more thing…I’m sitting next to my other roommate while scribbling this thing down and I say, “Mike man…I’m writing this page where Joker is pissing on the picture of Batman’s parents. The one is his living room. What’s the Joker saying? Is he singing? What you think?”
“He’s singing Waterfalls.”
“Hmm. How does it go? Wait I got it. That’s cool. That’s cool.”
The next morning the internet is buzzing with news of the untimely demise of TLC member Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, killed in a car accident overseas. Spooky.
April 27- “Generation Gap”
(1) Close-up of the Batman
BATMAN: ROBIN…WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
BATMAN: DON’T MAKE ME STOP YOU.
ROBIN: BART…SOMEPLACE WARM.
(6) Impulse arrives back on the scene.
IMPULSE: WHATAREWEGONNADOMAN? THEY’RETHEJL—
ROBIN: I DON’T CARE. I DON’T CARE. WE PUSH THEM ASIDE. ANY
ROBIN: ANY MEANS.
so vehemently, that the kids throw punches to make their point. The catalyst for these events would revolve around a few dead teammates on YJ, taken out violently and torturously by a corrupt government agency. The JLA wants to advance carefully in bringing the G-men to justice, and the kids disagree, sparking a war with a segment of the government, with the JLA finding themselves caught in the middle. YJ, believing their mentors too hesitant in taking on “the man,” and too stupid to realize they should be, strike out of their own, even securing a piece of Kryptonite to handle the big guy in the red cape. How long would Young Justice last against the JLA? Longer than you think.
April 28 – “Widescreen I” (Syndicate pg.3)
(1) Panoramic shot of Cameron Ricks as he abandons his hiding spot and limps across the dock, bullets spraying in every direction.
(2) Pan shot. Another man appears literally from nowhere brandishing a rocket launcher.
(3) Pan shot. A shell is fired and travels across the panel.
(4) Pan shot. Extreme close-up on the eyes of Ricks as they widen in shock.
April 28 – “Widescreen II” (Syndicate pg.4)
(1) Splash page as a massive explosion propels Ricks through the air and into the waiting arms of the water below in typical Michael Bay fashion. This is a still from an action movie, a visual that will instantly sell a summer blockbuster when included on the trailer.
Commentary: Two pages of script from the first issue of the Syndicate, which spotlights Cameron Ricks and begins on the set of Ricks’ latest blockbuster Annihilation. The first five pages don’t include any copy and are framed in a style imitating the widescreen format found in your local cinema and special edition DVDs. I wrote two pages this day because, as you can see, they were fairly short.
April 29 – “First Person”
Every shot is viewed from a first-person perspective that puts the readers in the shoes of the main character.
(1) A large man dressed in the uniform of a security officer and wearing a name tag saying “Walker” stands before us.
POV: YEAH, YEAH…I’M SORRY…
WALKER: YOU’RE LATE.
POV: YEAH MAN, MY CAR…
NO ONE GIVES A SHIT WHAT YA NAME IS.
WALKER: THREE ‘REDS’ AND YOU’RE OUT.
WALKER: GOT IT?
POV: YEAH, YEAH. COOL.
WALKER: AIN’T SHIT COOL ABOUT IT.
On April 30, I wrote one last page of Syndicate script before the regimen fell to pieces in the approaching shadow of graduation. Any day now it will begin again for an undisclosed amount of time…