Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lonely Island - All Work - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Interior shot of a factory assembly line, with men and women in matching drab uniforms posted all along it.  Maybe have one figure's uniform be slightly different to help them stand out - maybe a bandanna to keep her hair up.  This is Rosie, our protagonist.  It's not clear what is passing on the conveyor belts, but it looks to be small and metallic.

CAPTION (ROSIE): I've never liked working in a factory.

2 - Close on Rosie.  She is tired and sweaty from exertion.  From this distance, it's clear that the belts are conveying bullets.

CAPTION (ROSIE): The days are long.

3 - Rosie has scooped out some bullets and is loading them into a magazine by hand.  Those nearby are doing the same.

CAPTION (ROSIE): The work is mindnumbing.

4 - Focus on a window in the factory wall.  Below in the foreground, Rosie has paused in her loading to look towards the window.

CAPTION (ROSIE): But there was one thing that always helped me get through it all.

5 - Our last panel is pretty much a dead ringer for this week's photo, except the building is still in active, non-degraded condition.  The important thing is to emphasize its isolation among the waves.

CAPTION (ROSIE): You got to go home at the end of the day.

Why Lonely Island?

No, no, I'm not referring to Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone's comedy trio (although their music and bits are well worth doing so if you're unfamiliar with the group).  What I'm wanting to draw your attention to this week is the picture you see below:

You can find this image on most any "abandoned places" list you'll come across on the internet, but if you start doing any amount of digging, its actual provenance is murky at best.  Variously listed as a "Soviet naval testing station", "Eighth factory shop", "marine weaponry test facility", "Dagdizel", and "Dagdiesel", it does not lend itself to easy discovery.  If you google those latter two terms, most of the hits are for a defunct soccer team or a Russian engineering firm.

Trying to dig deeper into its backstory, the island facility seems to have been built in the Caspian Sea near Makhachkala, a Russian city I'd never heard of that apparently has a population of over fine hundred thousand souls.  It might have gone up during the Second World War.  Or it might have been built later than that.  Either way, it hasn't been used much of late and its web presence is frustrating, to say the least.  Its latitude and longitude are apparently known, although Google Maps, nefariously terrible at water, does not help you actually see it.

The above mystery was a nice bonus when it came to digging into the picture's origins, but the image itself is what really grabs me.  This is a building erected on water.  As far as it appears, there was not any actual land for it to be built upon.  Huge amounts of effort must have gone into the endeavour, and yet, for whatever reason, it was ultimately decided that abandoning the facility was the only acceptable course of action, leaving all that hard work to rot.

Maybe your interpretation is different than my own.  Maybe its mysterious origin is what speaks to you.  Either way, I want to see what this inspires in you, because it's inspired quite a lot in me.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ghostbusters - Mr. Underneath - P. A. Nolte

1/ All four Ghostbusters, from behind, firing at a giant shadow in the corner of a young girl's bedroom.  The shadow is stretched out from under the bed and up to the ceiling, taking up a significant portion of the walls.  It is mostly black, with long, spindly fingers and sharp green eyes.  A similar green glow comes from its mouth, backlighting rows of tiny, pointed teeth.  The girl's bookshelf, closet, nightstand, bed, and the walls behind them are all riddled with flaming lines of destruction from errant proton streams.  The shadow itself doesn't seem too harmed.

Erin (Cap): Why beds?  And why children?  It's just like--

Abby: Hey, Erin!  I think it's using kids' theta waves to breach dimensions!  Just like--

Erin: Just keep blasting!

2/ In profile, all four continue to fire.  Holtzmann's face is the only one we can see completely, and she is grinning from ear to ear with a child's maniacal glee.  Bustin' makes her feel good.

Patty: What is this thing again, Holtzmann?

Holtzmann: It appears to be a Class 7 Repeating Corporeal Entity!

Holtzmann: We might get to break out some new toys for this one!

3/ A hand flips a light switch.

SFX: click

4/ The hand is connected to Amy's father.  He and Amy's mother are both standing in the doorway.  Tired and angry.  Amy Pierce, the little girl who's hired the Ghostbusters with all the money in her piggy bank to help with Mr. Underneath, the man who lives under her bed sometimes, is rushing to her mom and dad, trying to explain the situation.  If anything can be seen of the room behind Amy, Mr. Underneath is long gone.  Escaped to terrorize another time.

Amy: Mom!  Dad!  You gotta see!  The Ghostbusters came, and when Mr. Underneath crawled out from under my bed, they started blasting him with their--

Mr. Pierce: I know who they are.  And I think it'd be best if they left.

Mr. Pierce: Now.

5/ Close on the Ghostbusters, all four wearing angry or disgusted looks, maybe brandishing their neutrona wands like they'd enjoy using them to smack this guy around a little.

Mr. Pierce (OP): How many times do I have to tell you, Amy?  There is no such thing as ghosts.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ghostbusters - Rogue Busting - Perry Kent

Panel 1
Egon, Venkman, and Winston stand by the car as red lights flash through the Ghostbuster's station. Venkman shouts back into the depths of the station.

1. VENKMAN: Come on Ray! We got a call!

Panel 2
Ray shouts back with a look of confusion on his face. He is standing next to a completely emptied locker and is in only his underwear and white tank-top.

2. VENKMAN (OP): Let's go!

3. RAY: All my gear is missing!

4. VENKMAN (OP): Ask the intern about it!

Panel 3
A small framed Ghostbuster zooms through traffic on a white motorcycle. The figure is wearing the proton pack and has a white full-face motorcycle helmet with the classic Ghostbusters symbol on the side.

5. SFX (motorcycle): vvvrrooomm!

Panel 4
The motorcycle pulls to a stop outside of an apartment building, with the classic screech of the tires.

6. SFX (tires): sssccccccrreeeeeeech!

Panel 5
Full reveal of the Ghostbuster intern, as she stands in front of the motorcycle the nuetrona wand in hand. The white Ghostbuster motorcycle helmet can be seen in the background on the white motorcycle.

7. INTERN: Let's go bust some ghost butts. 

- END - 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ghostbusters – Ghostbusters: Chicago Heat – MK Stangeland Jr.

(Set in the same universe as the original Ghostbusters movies, but with a branch that has been established in Chicago [In contrast to the New York ‘Home Office’ where the original team is still located] with a new team of characters.)

(4 Panels)

Panel 1: Two GHOSTBUSTERS-style vehicles, with license plates labeled ECTO-5 and ECTO-6, charge down the streets of Chicago during the late hours of the night, complete with blaring sirens.

SFX: WEE-do! WEE-do! WEE-do! WEE-do!

SCHMIT (1): (From the driver seat of ECTO-6) Hey guys, remember when I said how cool it would be to have car-mounted Proton Beams?

SCHMIT (2): (From driver seat of ECTO-6) And you were all ‘No, Charles, that’s a stupid idea!’?

Panel 2: SAMANTHA McCAIN emerges through a hatch on the top of ECTO-6, armed with an oversized proton pack gun, the kind designed to be mounted on a turret.

McCAIN (1): Yes, we get it, Chuck.

McCAIN (2): We got it the first five-hundred thousand times.

Panel 3: ECTO-5, driving just ahead of ECTO-6, with NORMAN HULTZ in the drivers seat and LEE EVRITS poking out the top with another oversized proton pack turret, much like McCAIN.

EVRITS (1): For the record?

EVRITS (2): I still think they’re a stupid idea.

HULTZ: They’re only stupid if they don’t do their job.

Panel 4: A team of ghosts rushes from out of a nearby intersection, it would practically run ECTO-5 and ECTO-6 over if it were physical and wasn’t flying; it’s an entire team of an old-school, horse-drawn fire truck, complete with four firemen and four horses pulling it through the sky.

SFX: [Horse Whinny of some kind]



Monday, July 25, 2016

Ghostbusters - Ghost in the Machine - Grant McLaughlin

1 - On Abby, looking down at her phone worriedly.  Erin and Jillian lean in from either side to try to see what's up.

ABBY: Girls...

2 - Outside of Ghostbusters HQ.  Ecto-1 roars out of the garage and takes a tight turn towards the situation.

CAPTION (ABBY): We've got a situation.

3 - On Ecto-1 racing through the streets of New York, sirens blaring.

PATTY (from within): Where exactly am I headed?

4 - Inside Ecto-1.  Abby leans forward and places her phone within Patty's field of vision (without blocking her ability to see the road, of course).  Perhaps have Patty's eyes go wide in surprise (but not absoultely necessary).

ABBY: Here.

5 - On Ecto-1, its breaks bringing the car to a screeching halt.


6 - On Abby's phone.  It's opened on a tweet that reads "Ghostriding all up on the East Side!!".

PATTY (off-panel): Abby, you really need to keep better track of popular culture.

GHOSTBUSTERS: "Ghost Hunt Busters" -- David Press.

1.1 WIDE SHOT: A black van sits in front of a house that has its front door open and looks like no one has been in the place for years. The VAN has a yellow LOGO on the side of it saying “SAPS”.
I’ve always been a fan of those shows  “Ghost Adventures” and “Ghost Hunters” where people wander into abandoned buildings and take photos of shadows with their infrared cameras. So think of the people in the “SAPS” crew being those types of ghostly spelunkers. They are about to have an encounter they are never going to forget!

CAPTION [Location]:            Watertown, NY. 23:01pm.

1.2: Four people walk up the jagged stone path towards the house, carrying cases and backpacks filled with equipment. KRIS, is bald-headed with a goatee; JIMMY has long black hair—kind of a grungy dude; JANELLE has jet black hair and glasses; and FRANK has a shaved head and a neck tattoo because he’s that sort of dude.

KRIS:                                      Can’t believe they call these houses “Zombie houses”.

1.3 INTERIOR: THE SAPS CREW are setting up cameras, laptops, and printers, checking flashlights and all of that sort of thing.

JANELLE:                              From what I understand these houses are left abandoned when folks can’t pay the mortgage.
JIMMY:                                  Or is it something else?!

1.4: The GHOST HUNTER team wonders into a dark hallway.

JANELLE:                              Well let’s hope there aren’t any actual zombies in here.
FROM OFF:                            You don't wanna go in there.

1.5 CUT TO: The voice. We’re looking up at the GHOSTBUSTERS [from the recent movie]. As stand looking triumphant, JILL HOLTZMANN is holding up the trap. 

HOLTZMAN:                        Spelunkers! Go play in your parents’ basement!
PATTY:                                  Yeah! Leave this to the professionals!