Just finished up this short script, based off a short story I wrote in high school. Comments? Critiques? Etc? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
By Brendan Hykes
NOTE: All of the story will be told at night, except the last panel on the last page.
PAGE ONE (eight panels, panels 1-3 will go across the top of the page, and are of a dream of two people making love)
Panel 1 – Very dark, shadowy, everything in silhouette. Can make out two people, locked together, very close up.
I had dreamed of you.
Panel 2 – Still in the dream, still very dark and shadowy. Slightly wider shot, can make out a bit more of the two.
Panel 3 – Wider shot, still in the dream. Can see the two, the woman has very long, almost supernaturally long, jet black hair.
I had always dreamed of you.
Panel 4 – Smaller panel, shows the MAN sitting up in bed, looking startled, waking from the dream. Youngish, mid-to-late twenties. Stubble, short, messy hair. Generally unremarkable appearance.
Panel 5 – POV looking down to the end of the bed. The WOMAN sits at the edge of the bed, smiling shyly. She is beautiful, pale skin, long black hair, long black dress.
And then you were there.
Panel 6 – Medium shot of the man, sitting up in bed, no shirt, just the blanket, looking confused.
How did you…?
Panel 7 – Medium shot of the woman, looking back at him.
You invited me…
Panel 8 – Small inset panel. Very close shot, just of her mouth.
With your dreams.
PAGE TWO (seven panels)
Panel 1 – Wide shot across the top of the page, showing the entire bed, the Woman to the left of the panel at the end of the bed, the Man to the right at the head of the bed. They’re staring at each other.
I told you…
Panel 2 – Another close shot of her, smiling at him sadly.
You invited me.
Panel 3 – Close shot of him, staring back at her apprehensively.
Panel 4 – The Woman again, still sad, no longer smiling.
Panel 5 – Same shot of the Man as in panel 3, only now he’s looking down.
Panel 6 – Close shot of his hand, laying on top of the blanket. Her hand is on top of his.
Your skin was warm. Not like in my dreams.
Panel 7 – Overhead shot of the Man and Woman in bed together, under the covers. She’s curled against him.
You came to me nearly every night after that.
PAGE THREE (eight panels)
Panel 1 – Night time. Shot of the Man walking down a city street. Far enough away that we can see most of his body. He’s wearing a coat, hands stuffed in the pockets, and we can see his breath, it’s clearly cold out. He’s sort of hunched against the cold.
I hadn’t seen you in days, I had to go looking.
Panel 2 – From behind, he’s turning into a small alley.
I felt like I knew where to find you.
Panel 3 – POV from in the alley, looking back at the man. His face is dark, shadowed, as the only light source comes from behind him, but we can make out an astonished look on his face.
It was like I could feel you.
Panel 4 – Shot from the Man’s POV, looking into the alley. At the end we see the Woman, crouched over a body on the ground. He looks back, stunned. Her eyes look wild, and blood runs down her chin.
Panel 5 – Two small panels, one on top of the other, both tight close-ups, on his and her face respectively. He looks surprised, speechless. She looks hurt, like a child caught with a hand in the cookie jar, but also wild and frightening.
Panel 6 – Tall panel, looking up the building at the end of the alley. There’s a fire escape. Have three images of the Woman, one of her jumping to the fire escape, one of her climbing, cat-like, and one of her at the top, jumping over the edge of the roof.
Panel 7 – Medium shot of the Man. He’s looking up at the roof where’s she’s just vanished. He’s got one hand out of his pocket and is reaching out for her.
Panel 8 – Shot of the body lying in the alley, a middle-aged man in a suit, torn open. Blood pours from his neck. His face is deathly pale, a look of shock and pain left on his face. He is clearly dead.
PAGE FOUR (eight panels)
Panel 1 – Shot of the Man, sitting in his small, dimly lit kitchen, eating some kind of pasta dish alone. We can see that the kitchen and living room are practically the same room, the edge of the couch creeping into the right of the panel behind where he sits.
I didn’t see you for a long time after that.
Panel 2 – Shot of him sitting on a bus, overweight man on one side, small old woman on the other. He has an empty, defeated look on his face. It’s dark out.
Panel 3 – Overhead shot of the man lying in bed, alone, staring emptily at the ceiling.
I thought maybe I’d never see you again.
Panel 4 – Night time. Shot from behind of the Man approaching the door to his apartment building. He’s carrying a bag of groceries in one arm. A shadowy figure can be seen standing by the door, though he hasn’t noticed it.
But I was never afraid…
Panel 5 – He’s at the door now, and the shadowy figure, which we can now see is the Woman, looking extra pale and emaciated, is falling into his arms. She is barely conscious.
Panel 6 – Small panel, close shot of him looking down at her in surprise.
Panel 7 – Wider shot inside his apartment. We can see that he’s in the kitchen, looking through a cabinet drawer, with the light on. She’s laying on the couch, looking unconscious. The living room light is off.
Panel 8 – Small panel, close shot of the Man in the kitchen. He’s holding a fairly large chef’s knife. His has a placid look on his face.
I swear I was never afraid.
PAGE FIVE (eight panels)
Panel 1 – Close shot of the knife blade pressed to the Man’s wrist. A small line is seen, indicating that he’s cutting down his wrist, small beads of blood forming along the cut.
Panel 2 – Show the Woman’s face, eyes sunken, still unconscious, a few drops of blood on her lips.
Panel 3 – Shot from very low, looking up, so we can see her face as well as the Man, sitting next to the couch, holding his wrist close to her mouth, so the blood drips over her lips.
Panel 4 – Split into four small shots going across the width of the page, each will be the same shot, very close on the Woman. All we can see is her face and his wrist. In the first shot, her tongue is just out licking at the blood on his wrist. In the second, she’s moved just enough that she’s sucking at the wound on his wrist. Her eyes are opening just a sliver and she already looks a little less sickly. In the third her eyes are nearly half-open and she got her hands on his wrist, sucking greedily at the blood. In the fourth, her eyes are open wide and she’s stopped sucking the blood. We can see her lips are red and wet, and she has a shocked look on her face.
Panel 5 – Shot from her POV at the Man, on the floor, leaning against the couch, looking passed out.
Panel 6 – Medium shot of her on the couch, legs up as if she’s trying to push away from the Man. His head lolls at the bottom of the panel. She has a look of sheer panic on her face.
Panel 7 – Shot of the Man, waking with a start, alone in his bed.
Panel 8 – Small inset panel, showing his wrist, the wound has been expertly bandaged.
PAGE SIX (eight panels)
Panel 1 – Shot of the Man sitting on the edge of the bed, fully clothed, bandaged wrist visible. He’s looking down at the floor.
I knew you would come that night.
Panel 2 – Same shot, only now he’s looking towards the left of the panel.
How is your wrist?
Panel 3 – The Woman is standing by the open window. Her hair, and the curtain, are moving in the wind.
Panel 4 – Close shot of his face, looking back at her.
Panel 5 – Wide shot of the room, her standing by the window, looking down at the floor. Him sitting on the bed, looking at her.
Panel 6 – Close shot of the Woman, looking toward the Man, tears welling up in her eyes.
It’s… what I am.
Panel 7 – Back to the Man.
Panel 8 – The Woman again, tears flowing freely.
I can’t… I don’t want to do this anymore.
PAGE SEVEN (eight panels, four equal rows, top and bottom rows are one panel going across, middle two rows are three panels each, going across)
Panel 1 – Night time. Wide shot of a sloped rooftop. The two of them sitting on the rooftop, he’s got his arms around her. They’re both looking off into the distance.
Panel 2 – Very close shot, just her hand in his, pressed to his chest next to her head.
Panel 3 – Close shot of his face, looking down at her. He looks worried.
Panel 4 – Close shot of her face, looking out into the distance. She looks content.
Panel 5- Less close shot, just wide enough to see both of their faces, both of them looking into the distance this time.
Will it hurt?
You’ll be fine.
Panel 6 – Same shot as panel 5.
That’s not what I-
Panel 7 – Shot of the sun just coming up over the horizon.
Panel 8 – Morning now. Same wide shot of the rooftop. The Man sits, alone now, staring into the distance.
I like it. Nice story, and I like the ending. There a lot of panels on each of those pages though, especially as one panel is split into four separate images on an 8 panel page! I think you might struggle there (it's something I struggle with too); you can get away with it a bit more when you are depicting close-ups, but showing (for example) that a kitchen extends into a lounge takes a bit more space. Maybe you could try doubling the amount of pages? It's either that or being a bit more economical with your panels.
Oh, and the English teacher part of me doesn't think you should use the past perfect in the first panel (I had dreamed of you), a simple 'I dreamed of you' would suffice, and give extra weight to the words in the next panel.
I always feel like a bit of a dick criticizing people's work (particularly grammar), but there is nothing more annoying than empty flattering is there? It is a great story, and I like how economical the dialogue is (nice visual story telling). Keep it up!
Thanks for the crit. Really, don't feel like a a dick, especially when I asked for it. I def noticed the panel counts were getting high, I guess when I can see the page in my head it doesn't seem as bad. Something to work on. And I hadn't even thought of the grammar aspect.
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