Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why Captain America?

If you haven't heard, a film came out this week by a little-known company called Marvel, staring one Steve Rogers. He's not a mutant. He wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider. In fact, he doesn't have any powers what-so-ever! He's just an average guy, who wanted to do his part in the war... but couldn't. He was a runt; a weakling. This didn't stop him trying, however, and his determination caught the attention of a special program the military was running. Steve was chosen to become a Super Soldier, and so was born Captain America.

So what's so special about this guy? Well, when it comes to heroes, you don't get much more heroic than Steve Rogers. A defining trait of a hero is altruism, and Steve has that in spades. He is always willing to give himself up for his country and fellow man, no matter the cost. Oh, and did I mention he has a pretty kick-ass shield?

Before I let you go and get those creative juices flowing, however, there is one other thing I should mention. Being that we are tying this week's character to Captain America: The First Avenger, we feel that it's only fair that all pages should also be based in the setting of World War II. Enjoy!

Captain America created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

15 comments:

  1. PAGE 1

    1.1

    OPEN ON: CAPTAIN AMERICA, his back to CAMERA. He's standing on the crest of a trench, surveying the battlefield.

    He's wearing his World War 2 era costume, the infamous shield on his back. Dawn is rising and artillery barrages have already begun to sail through the sky.

    Around him, just below the lip of the trench, sit a squad of bedraggled looking G.I's.

    CAPTION: Things are different now...

    1.2

    CLOSE UP on one of the nearby G.I's-- PRIVATE HENDERSON. He's nineteen with brown hair, pale blue eyes and freckles. He glances nervously in Cap's direction.

    CAPTION: Mutant's and God's walk the earth.

    1.3

    WIDE PANEL: From Cap's POV looking across the battlefield.

    In the distance a monstrous looking factory rises up from behind an imposing barbed wire fence, watchtowers at every corner. Chimney's protrude from the roof reaching towards the sky, spewing out thick black smoke.

    In front of the factory, charging through the smoke of the artillery barrage towards CAMERA and Cap's position is a Hydra Mecha-Gorgon (http://www.writeups.org/img/inset/Mechagorgon_h.jpg) and hordes of Hydra soldiers.

    CAPTION: False idols if you ask me.
    (link)
    He's the real deal.

    1.4

    CUT TO: Cap, turning towards Henderson/CAMERA and offering a hand out. He's smiling slightly. Confident.

    CAPTAIN AMERICA: I need your help Private...

    1.5

    CLOSE UP on Cap's hand as it grasps Private Henderson's, helping him to his feet.

    CAPTION: Not because he was brave and strong.

    CAPTAIN AMERICA: I can't do this by myself.

    1.6

    CUT TO: Cap, Private Henderson and the rest of the squad charging towards CAMERA. They all have their guns at the ready (Cap, his shield) and their war face on.

    CAPTION: But because he showed us we could be brave and strong.

    1.7

    ZOOM in on Henderson's face. No fear.

    CAPTION: Every G.I was a super-soldier to him.

    1.8

    CUT TO: A CLOSE UP of Henderson today, aged eighty-five. His pale blue eyes are unmistakable and he smiles broadly. He wears a wool jumper and slacks and sits on a sofa surrounded by pictures of grandchildren and a life well lead.

    HENDERSON: I'm still trying to live up to that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dan - not a bad script at all. Very Saving private Ryan in emotion, and i dig that.

    You use HYDRA so you know that's points in the bank, for me. The Machagorgon is always going to be the coolest!

    My major, and only, issue would be the amount of panels. Though, you don't vlog the page with dialogue and I could see someone like Sean Phillips drawing the hell out of this page. He'd pack the panels in, he'd sell the spectacle, he get the emotion across. It could definitely be done.

    However, I'd scrap Panel 7 and I'd condense Panels 1+2 into one wide establishing shot to set up the great next panel of the mechagorgon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cheers Ryan.

    Yeah, I knew I'd use HYDRA from the get go (the Steranko run on Cap is a favourite) and then the Mecha-Gorgon just made sense.

    The suggestions you make for the panels are great! One of those head-slapping "Why didn't I think of that?" type deals.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Man, it's been a while since I've done one of things, but I really need to get back into the swing of it. Hope you like!

    “Always Wanted To Do This!”

    PAGE (--) :

    PANEL 1: Captain America is running down a cramped, castle hallway, disembodied voices yelling about him. He’s mostly in shadow, but he’s huffing and puffing. These first four panels should be small and tight, to feel the claustrophobia and tension in Cap’s chase.

    NAZI (off-panel): He’s here!
    CAP: huff
    CAP: huff

    PANEL 2: Profile shot of Captain America, a big cardboard cylinder containing the plans in his hand. We see sweat and cuts and bruises on his face and his suit is dirty, after just coming out of a fight.

    NAZI (off-panel): He’s stolen the plans!
    CAP: huff
    CAP: huff
    CAP: huff

    PANEL 3: Cap’s POV, sees a wooden oak door on the other side of the hallway.

    PANEL 4: Cap slams into the door, causing it to break from it’s hinges, bits of wood and metal flying forward.
    CAP: Graaa

    PANEL 5: Large, widescreen shot, taking half the page. We’re behind Cap, inside a massive office, with a huge open window for Cap to escape through. But, that's not what Cap sees at first, rather, it's Adolph Hitler standing behind the large mahogany desk, wide eyes and open jaw.

    PANEL 6: Portrait shot of Hitler from his hair to about his shoulders. We see more clearly the wide eyes and open mouth, sweat starting to pour profusely from his face--he’s scared out of his mind.
    HITLER: Captain
    HITLER: America?

    PANEL 7: Portrait shot of Cap, from his head to his waist. He’s extending his arms forward, fingers entangled, popping his knuckles.
    CAP: Mister Hitler.
    CAP: You know, I’ve been wanting to do this since I saw you on the news-reels.

    ---

    Of course, after this would be a double-page spread of Cap punching Hitler square in the face and then leaping out the window.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jared - a fun idea but you should have started from Panel 3 or even 4. It would have tightened up the page and really given the art, and Cap's mild glee, and Hitler's worry, room to breathe.

    But, you've inspired me so I'll script the following double splash.

    1. Double splash. We are looking at the castle from outside but from close. It's gothic, the sky is dark with lightning on the horizon. Cap is leaping out the window, plans in his hand, and behind him (through the window and into the room) we see Hitler holding his jaw while dark blood runs pretty openly from a broken nose. His eyes water. He's been punched, alright.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I get ya--I thought that whole sequence could work, since I did a layout of it. Looking back on it, it was kinda a pain to fit even little circle-and-line figures, but I just took that as me being a bit of a crap artist at present.

    Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dan - love the "every G.I was a super-soldier to him" line. Ryan's right, you probably went overboard on the panels, but that line's a killer. Watch those grocer's apostrophes though - neither "mutants" nor "Gods" would need one.

    Jared - cool, kinda a prequel to my own script. That really is an iconic moment... though I admire your restraint in not actually writing the punch page.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks! Yeah, I figure that moment deserves a double-page splash, and I only had one page and wanted to practice some action-y stuff.

    It is an iconic moment...I almost want to write another page, though, because afterwards I thought up a funny sequel to it. :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Dan - Your script does a great job of illustrating what Captain America symbolizes. The captions and dialogue build off each other beautiful, working slowly up to the present day reveal. Maybe a little busy for one page, but I can see it working.

    @Jared - I like this. Although there's a lot going on, I admire your choice of depicting the scene in between the major action pieces (after a fight and before the punch). I also think the first four panels could work really well lining the top row of the page, setting the scene for the discovery of "Mister Hitler". Cap's last line seals this for me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Captain America – A Mile In His Shoes – Shaun Richens.

    One Page.

    The page is made up of four equal page long panels.

    1. At the side of the panel are allied forces tents. We can see far off into the distance. It’s raining and the sky is grey and over cast. A small-silhouetted figure can be seen in the centre of the panel.

    2. Same as the first panel. The figure has moved closer. We can now make out some details; the figure appears to be carrying someone in his arms.

    3. Again the panels are the same as before. The figure is now nearly fully in view. We can clearly see that it’s CAPTAIN AMERICA. His costume is torn up and ripped. He has wounded arms and is dirty and bleeding. In his arms he carries an allied soldier who is unconscious and also bleeding.

    4. We pull in tighter on CAPTAIN AMERICA and the SOLDIER. CAP has dropped to his knees. The SOLDIER lies in front of him. CAP is soaked from the rain his clothes are dirty and bloody.

    CAPTAIN AMERICA: MEDIC!

    ----

    Just a simply idea. Any thoughts or comments would be great.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Captain America – A Mile In His Shoes – Shaun Richens.

    One Page.

    The page is made up of four equal page long panels.

    1. At the side of the panel are allied forces tents. We can see far off into the distance. It’s raining and the sky is grey and over cast. A small-silhouetted figure can be seen in the centre of the panel.

    2. Same as the first panel. The figure has moved closer. We can now make out some details; the figure appears to be carrying someone in his arms.

    3. Again the panels are the same as before. The figure is now nearly fully in view. We can clearly see that it’s CAPTAIN AMERICA. His costume is torn up and ripped. He has wounded arms and is dirty and bleeding. In his arms he carries an allied soldier who is unconscious and also bleeding.

    4. We pull in tighter on CAPTAIN AMERICA and the SOLDIER. CAP has dropped to his knees. The SOLDIER lies in front of him. CAP is soaked from the rain his clothes are dirty and bloody.

    CAPTAIN AMERICA: MEDIC!

    ----

    Just a simple little idea. Any feed back would be great.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Shaun - a simple page but I like that the silence makes that single word at the end really count. There's some atmosphere on that page I know I would have cluttered with some captions.

    Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ryan thanks for your comments. Glad you liked the page. I wanted to do something that was a simple scene but hopefully highlighted the harsh nature of war but also the heroics of men during it.

    My original draft opened with a caption in that first panel that gave a date and location. However I ended up ditching it realizing that those details weren't what was important. It was the men that were.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice visual page, Shaun. I can picture that clearly in my head and it carries some weight and power. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Jared-- a good page with some nice action on it. Like my script though it could have perhaps done with some tightening in terms of the panel count (yes, I'm a hypocrite haha).

    @Shaun-- sparse in text and all the better for it. An atmospheric page that packs a great punch at the end of it.

    ReplyDelete

Feedback is what every good writer wants and needs, so please provide it in the white box below
-OR-
If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.