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Lesson 6: The Script

N
ow that you broke down the storyLoading... into panels, it is time to consider breaking it down into pages. For that, you need to consider how big you want the comicLoading... to be, and how you want to publish it.

On the first page, you might want to also make room for the storyLoading... title and the credits.

You will want a cliff-hanger at the end of each page, to get the reader to turn to the next page. Try to have a panel at the end of each page that makes the reader want to turn the page.

A comic scriptLoading... is a letter to the artist.
When pairing up panels into pages, consider that panels with more detail — like the establishing shots — need more space.

Also, small panels read quicker, large panels slow down the reader, which you can use for pacing.

Slow down to large panels in places where you want the reader to linger, and switch to short panels in high-octane action sequences.

For this assignment, take the panel descriptions you wrote yesterday, and try to combine them into pages in a natural way.

This is also the moment to add dialogue.

Formatting

Formatting is not very strict. A comicLoading... scriptLoading... is a letter to the artist. If you finish this course, you will be your own artist, which means the scriptLoading... has to make sense only to you.

Generally, you write out what will happen on each comicsLoading... page. The page will start with PAGE and pagenumber, and then follows a list of panel descriptions, PANEL 1, PANEL 2, et cetera.

For each panel, you describe what you see on that panel, what is happening on that exact moment that time is frozen.

You also add the lines of dialogue with each panel. If Jack says something in that panel, you may write JACK: and then the line he says. If the person is not visible, you can specify that by using (OFF-PANEL) or (O.P.) If there is a box with narration, you can mention it that way, NARATION:.

Why should you write a scriptLoading... first? Because it becomes much, much harder to change the storyLoading... if you have already started drawing. A scriptLoading... is just text, and it can be changed quickly and rapidly.

Don't over-think it. It's just a draft. You will make revisions later. In fact, I still change the scriptLoading... considerably as I start planning out how to draw the pages. Just write down the first draft. All the first draft needs to be is written. You can go back in and fix things later, preferably after you spent some time away from it so you can look at it with a fresh pair of eyes.

You can see the first draft of the scriptLoading... for my short comicLoading... below, as an example.


I will do this course along with you, and here is my scriptLoading....
(I decided to make each act play out on one page. I consolidated some panels to have a lower panel-per-page count and made the panel descriptions more passive.)


Page 1 (Act 1)

Panel 1: Establishing shot, the interior of an airport.

Panel 2: JACK, in his 40s, stands at a bar you find before the check-in at an airport. A carry-on suitcase is standing next to him.

Panel 3: Jack is about to take a sip. His eyes glance sideways. He is being distracted by something that is off-panel, something that is vying for his attention.


Page 2 (Act 2a)

Panel 1: LINDA, 20s blonde, this stunning woman in a red pencil dress.
........JACK (OFF-PANEL): Care to join me for — oh.

Panel 2: Linda is turning and leaving with a teasing smile.

Panel 3: Linda is in the distance now. She is walking away. Jack is looking at her.

Panel 4: Jack is looking down. Shock on Jacks face. (If possible, a television in the background is tuned in to a news channel and they are talking about a criminal who has just been arrested.)
........JACK: Goddamnit.


Page 3 (Act 2b)

Panel 1: Jack's hand tries, in vain, to grab the carry-on suitcase. But it is now gone. He is looking up, trying if he can see the carry-on.
........JACK: My suitcase!

Panel 2: Jack is rushedly tossing cash on the counter as he is leaving.

Panel 3: Jack is standing in the hall, where many travelers are walking in all kinds of directions. Military personnel walk around too, for security. Jack is frantically looking around, but he doesn't see what he is looking for.


Page 4 (Act 3)

Panel 1: Establishing shot, outside the airport. Linda is walking out of the airport wearing a long raincoat covering her red dress. And she is wearing a big hat and glasses, which cover her face somewhat. A guy is walking next to her. He has Jack's carry-on suitcase. A guy is whispering into a mobile device as he is looking at Linda and her companion.

Panel 2: Police cars are screeching to a halt before Linda and her accomplice.

Panel 3: Jack is flashing his badge, a smile on his face.
........JACK: You're under arrest.

Panel 4: Linda and her accomplice are being cuffed behind their back. Jack is walking away with his carry-on.


Congratulations! You wrote your scriptLoading...! The next parts deal with drawing the comicLoading....

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