Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Renee Montoya - Noir As Heck - Max Barnard

The Premise:.... I like noir stuff. I like Renee Montoya. Noir has clichés. Renee Montoya is a lesbian... That is all.


Page One - 7 Panels

1-- Renee (in a tank top, trilby, cargo shorts and sizeable boots) is sitting at a desk in a very cliché P.I.'s office, with her booted feet up on the desk. I'm talking the works, old style wood panelling in a sparse, cheap, small room, with basic lamps in some corners, and blinds on the windows. If you need any reference check just about any classic hard-boiled detective film made more than... let's say... 30 years ago. I'm not kidding, it's always the same. Heck, I think the detective's office in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" had that typical look. Anyway, the desk (and subsequently Renee) is facing the door, which is slightly ajar as a long leg draped in the lower parts of a glittering red dress is making its way through the gap. If the connected foot fits into the shot we should see some ruby-red stilettos with a very long (but not ridiculous) pointed heel.

NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA - I knew as soon as she entered my office that she was nothing but trouble. The kind of trouble that can never lead to anything good...

2-- The woman (who for the sake of scripting will be referred to as "Lady In Red"), a redhead with skin as white as ivory and made excessively tall and leggy by the aforementioned heels, has entered the office, leaning in a sultry pose against the doorframe, with one arm raised to her head, holding a wide-brimmed floppy red hat, with a large ribbon trailing off of it down her body. As for said body, it is covered by the previously alluded to long ruby-red sparkling dress, with a chest cut from the shoulders straight down to the navel. At that point there is another extravagant ribbon, that trails down to her heels. Her eyes are obscured by oval sunglasses with -what else- deep red lenses. Her lips are a bright red pout, alluring yet revealing nothing of her emotions. In the hand not leant against her head is a small (RED) handbag/purse dealio. A hell of a design job, but drop-dead gorgeous and *ahem* Noir As Heck.

NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA - Not that trouble has ever stopped women like these being worth every second in front of your eyes.

3-- We're now looking at Renee's face, trilby raised, surprised and ever-so slightly slack-jawed expression on her face.


4-- Renee is now leaning back in her chair again, trilby covering her eyes as she tries to maintain a blank expression. This, however, doesn't distract from the facts that her cheeks are now quite red.


5-- We're now viewing Renee at her desk from the doorway, with the legs and arse of the Lady In Red in view as she struts sexily towards the desk.

SPEECH BUBBLE/LADY IN RED - Oh Ms. Detective, I've come to you with quite the dilemma, a real pulava, a what-to-do and a great big mess I need you for.

6-- Viewing the scene now from just over Renee's shoulder, the Lady In Red is now leaning over the desk towards Renee, back curved so that her rear is raised above the curve itself, thrusting her cleavage at Renee's face with no real subtlety, yet still maintaining a pose by pushing her breasts together with her arms, which themselves are pushed against the desk.

SPEECH BUBBLE/RENEE MONTOYA - Whuff. A problem, you're saying? Well I'm the right person for the job, toots. And it's Renee, by the way.

7-- A close-up of the Lady In Red's face, wherein she is perching her sunglasses on the edge of her nose, looking up through her carefully shaped eyebrows at Renee with -again, what else- red irises. She is now slyly grinning.

SPEECH BUBBLE/LADY IN RED - Oh wonderful, I'd hoped ever so much that you'd be just the person I was looking for. Let me tell you about what's causing such a stir in me, making me all a-twitter, all flustered and bothered...

NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA - Some Dames are worth all the trouble in the world and this one... Well, she could cause three world's worth of trouble and I'd still be putty in her hands.

[author's note: this is my FAVOURITE script I've ever written, and probably the most specific I've ever been with a script. Partly because I was going for a strong theme for "Lady In Red"'s style (hint: it's red!) (also points for anyone who can tell who she's an analogue for), and even more so because I'm bloody mad for clothing on ladies. It can be magical stuff. This first page is a Wednesday Comics/Elseworlds combo in my mind, something that would bridge out to Renee dealing with L.I.R.'s problems and encountering other characters in this strange universe who are themselves analogues of other DC characters. I WILL return to this in the future (i hope!) simply because I've wowed myself on this one. Which for any long-term readers/close online friends will know is pretty impossible.]


  1. I see what you mean about this being your best work, Max. This was fantastic, excellent use of noir tropes, and, well... okay, I'm a huge sucker for noir stuff. So I was sort of hooked from the get-go.

    One thing is, the "I mean DAYUM" really pulled me out of the story. I think it's how you wrote it out -- she might say it like that way, but it doesn't read well. Same goes for the second time, too.

    And I get where you're going with "quite the dilemma, a real pulava, a what-to-do and a great big mess I need you for" but it's pretty redundant, and can easily be condensed (take out "I need you for" and one or two of the phrasings for "dilemma", maybe).

    Don't get me wrong, I love this page, which is why I am going to such an effort to critique. Because I want it to be perfect.

    (As an aside: L.I.R. reminds me rather of Kate Kane. Intentional?)

  2. Max, this is pretty cool, though your fetish for women's clothing knows no bounds. So long as you just like seeing them on the ladies, I think we'll all be just fine.

    Interesting that in a terse noir piece you've written your longest script ever, ha.

    Towards the end I was going to say that this doesn't feel like the normal Renee, it felt a little off, but then you explain it's an Elseworlds tale, so for that it fits pretty damn well, you give yourself wiggle room to breathe.

    I can see why you made LIR repetitive, I could hear her voice in my head, the only problem was...I hate that voice. She sounds like a squeaky New Yawk dame, I keep picturing Brittney Murphy's face, though I can't remember what flick she did this voice in, but it doesn't work for me. It's too cutesy, too put on, far too stressed and I think we're past that trope.

    I also found DAYUM to be a scene breaker. It's one of those words that you want to keep in, you think about, you tell yourself it'll work anyway, but then it just kind of doesn't. It's a perfect example of having to kill your darlings, as they say. Something else would have worked better.

    I like the set up, though, and would love to see who Renee has to go up against. I figure this is Kate Kane as well, though Jessica Rabbit does come to mind.

    You should definitely continue this at some stage and put up on your site. That'd be cool.

  3. you both get bonus points for identifying the Kate Kane connection. She would be personally identified as such but she's... well, she's not. just close enough to make the connection, but kept seperate to avoid comparisons

    As for the Dayum... yeah that's probably the one thing I went back and forth on. originally it was teh outrageous phonetic just for the inner monologue, but i kept flitting back and forth for the speech bubble.

    And Ryan, I could worship the ground you walk on, because you get the ultimate bonus points for hearing the correct voice and finding it to be put on. There's more at play there than you'd think. which hopefully you'll see in the future... when I get my laptop working again.

  4. Yeah, figured old love just felt forced, glad it's part of the tale. The trouble is, you hear a girl like that but because of how she looks you can still ignore that voice. We're such a cliche, sad pathetic puppies.

  5. All I could think of through this whole thing was "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"... not that that's a bad thing. I used to love that film : )

    I have to say, the "DAYUM" thing threw me as well. Because it's a word I don't know, I found myself wondering if it was the LIR's name, and Renee was shocked to see her or something.

    I don't know who Kate Kane is, but after seeing this picture (of Kate and Renee), it all made sense : )

  6. [I submitted a comment not that long ago, but it appears to have vanished, so I'll try again...]

    The whole time I was reading this, all I could think of was "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"... which is certainly not a bad thing as I used to love that film : )

    The whole "DAYUM" thing threw me as well, not for the reasons the others have mentioned, but, because I didn't recognise the word, I found myself wondering if it was the LIR's name and Renee was shocked to see her there.

    I had no idea who Kate Kane was, so looking her up, I found this image of Kate and Renee, which I guess fits well with your script : )

  7. While I'd agree with the reservations James and Ryan express, I still enjoyed the heck out of this, Max. I'm not familiar with Kate Kane, but I kept getting flashes of Frank Miller (drawing this - not wearing the dress!)


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