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MW Annual 2017 - peer feedback


#85

Hey man, thanks so much – excellent, excellent feedback, really detailed and much appreciated. Truth be told, I originally read the brief as requiring us to tell a story that fits into and illuminates Mark’s story; the idea that it has to focus on a particular aspect of Mark’s story (i.e., the eponymous character) was something I only found out after reading a mod comment on the submission thread! I tried to hide wiggle out of this by framing my synopsis as “The President comes to understand Nemesis and thus gains an insight into his character,” and while that’s kind of true it was mostly slight of hand. Now that the results are in there’s no point me continuing to keep up pretenses – yep, I totally fucked up!

Great to know that the internal monologue worked – I spent ages on it, watching videos about hostages and reading interviews or news articles, trying to write down my visceral reactions. Then I rewrote and reworked it and rewrote it and rewrote it, and after I submitted it I thought, “Bah, this is shit!” Good to know that it worked on the level I was going for, and that I hit my mark in that particular, at least for someone.

Thanks again for the detailed notes – I really love this stuff. Cheers.


#86

I think your script was a fun story. The secretly brilliant Roddy was one of my favorite characters in the whole crew. And the thought of Roddy Diesel going to the time and expense to develop and build time travel tech just to fight someone famous is pretty hilarious.

I think if I were to critique it structurally, I think too much page space is used up by Roddy talking into the camera. It’s a fun gag but in the end it takes up space that could be better utilized pushing your story forward. Maybe stremline to Panel 1 Roddy tries to act all masterpiece theater Panel 2 Roddy gets impatient rips off the smoking jacket, Panel 3 Talks about how awesome he is powers wise, Panel 4 mentions his degree and how he built a time machine to make history.

That tiny bit of editing gives you that little extra room I think this one really needs to push the Roddy/Sammy dynamic and introduce the Bruce Lee fight, which are the important parts of your story here.

The last thing I have to say really comes from my own over-cautiousness to stay away from legal stuff. Bruce Lee is a historical figure that comes with a line of legal baggage. He’s reached the level of fame where there are multiple entities in the world claiming exclusive worldwide rights to his name, likeness, mannerism, etc. He’s right up their with Elvis as being a potential headache if the wrong person comes across your story. Regardless of whether you’re inside your rights for fair use/parody/ etc.

For instancet recently there were lawsuits filed during production of Ip Man 3 which ended up blocking the film from using a CGI stand in for Bruce Lee in fight scenes. (He still appears but is portrayed by an actor)

I’m not saying this last thing had any bearing whatsoever on this contest since I wasn’t a judge.

Again fun story. I really like the concept of Time Machine Fight Club. I wish I’d thought of it to be honest.


#87

Roddy’s scientific excellence when he was assumed to be a hired thug is a great joke in Supercrooks but I did feel a few scripts took that and essentially delivered a Chrononauts story in disguise.

That’s always tempting and I said last year I was surprised Chrononauts wasn’t the most popular entry as it allows such enormous scope across all of time but it’s important for all to remember the core theme of each of the books and Supercrooks is a superhero Oceans 11, not a time travel buddy book.


#88

Hi there, Chris! First, thank you for taking the time out to read. It’s humbling and rewarding, being a music critic by trade, to have the tables turned and have my own work scrutinized. I really appreciate your in-depth commentary and I thank you for the nice words. I did immerse myself in Huck’s world because I didn’t want to insult Mr. Millar by presenting anything less than the world he conceived.

That being said, I feel your insight validates what I flagged in retrospect as a weakness. I took the prompt of being a simple story perhaps too much for granted. My other scripts, I usually come out swinging, be it with action, conflict or prose. It comes down to the marketing ethos that you only have “x” amount of time to make an impression.

An impressionistic version of Huck is what I suppose I came up with. I was looking to honor Mr. Millar and the character by celebrating what it is about Huck that makes him special outside of his powers. I wanted the focus to be purposefully minimalist so we could establish what a kind, grateful soul he is, and then clout the reader with an action-packed finale, which is tough to execute within 5 pages, but of course, a pro tackles this challenge with ease.

I think the points you bring up are on-point, but with the limited pages, I ended up (wrongly) targeting the soul of Huck as a prelude to the events already established. I ended up writing more of an homage, so I get why my entry was passed. I agree with you about the missing person scene, and I sat on the fence about it through the first few drafts, but then I (again wrongly) decided to give us insight as to why he would just go find a missing person i.e. the events penned by Mr. Millar. I wanted a similar scene to justify his rationale, rather than revel in what was already created prior to.

I wanted the conflict to be about him finding that next big good deed so that new readers could see he is not only compelled, but honor-bound and dutiful to do this. I was thinking in terms of showing new readers what a gentle, kind man Huck is, which makes his powers and explosive rescue more impactful. I realize perhaps the conflict should’ve hit earlier, thank you for pointing that out.

Thanks again for your comment, man! I will return the favor later in the day.

Cheers…


#89

Thank for the feedback. You are right on point that part of what makes Supercrooks is the “crooks” part of it. I could have had Roddy stealing something or engaging in some other form of mischief. I was a little hesitant to try and fit all the characters in four pages, but you are right - there are ways it can be done. Thank you again - this really helped out!


#90

Thank you for this great feedback! You are right that less time with Roddy “on camera” would have opened up space for more Roddy and Sammy time and I really felt like that was one part of the story that could have benefited from extra time. I had not considered the legal side of using Bruce Lee - that would definitely present a whole slew of problems potentially. Perhaps if I used a Roman gladiator or some other type of character associated with combat, that would have done the trick.


#91

That is so true. I definitely fell into that trap and forgot the core of what “Supercrooks” is all about.


#92

I really liked the punchline :slight_smile:


#93

Sorry, I just found the time to read your reply.
I think you’re absolutely right, the structure of the pages and the panles it’s just too much and reflects some major defect in my writing: I find it difficult to tell a story to the point, it’s my curse.
"Maybe is too much, maybe I should give up the boxes or this dialogue’’ was a constant thought while I was writing the script.

Thanks for reading and thank you very much for the feedback, I really appreciate it :slight_smile:

I promise to read all the other scripts, I just have to find the time between my job and the exams :slight_smile:


#94

Yes, I still hugely regret the first and last page, maybe I just tried too much :stuck_out_tongue: I should work more on the structure of the pages and panels, in any case I have to work more.

Thank you for the feedback and for incouraging me :slight_smile:


#96

If it helps, I totally over-engineered all the story beats in my Starlight entry last year - after seeing the stories that made the annual, I worked hard to simplify and refine my ideas across four pages this time round. There’s lots more work for me to do, but it’s all about consistent improvement!


#97

Thanks for reading, @strychnine5. Agree the dialogue could do with a rework and it feeling natural, especially when it comes to teenagers chatting. Although I don’t think the two girls are falling at the point of that line.

In terms of yours, I must admit I’ve not read Huck, but the Everyday Hero fable came across well. It’s a feel good story with a smart payoff. The panel descriptions and script structure need a little tightening, however an enjoyable read and I like you’ve tried to show something behind the superpowers.


#98

Chris, what I liked about your script was the punchline. I also like you trying to retain a sense of innocence to Huck, even in the face of a come-on.

I would say this story is a bit lowbrow, and I’m not convinced this girl would ditch her jughead bf for Huck, even in the face of an over-the-top rescue. Her transition from one guy to the other is a little awkward and the stuff of hetero male fantasy. With Huck having a diverse audience, Alisha’s a bit too trashy and one-dimensional, which nobody will relate to, other than wanting a quick shag since she’s apparently a loose cannon. I do see where you were trying to emulate the scene in the miniseries where Huck feels clumsy and awkward being propositioned at the banquet.

I do think your conflict is well-timed, but a little too Ka-Zar or Johnny Quest for this story by having gators.

Another positive I can hand you is your opening sequence, which is on-par with Huck’s nature, pun intended. I love how you described to the artist his zealousness to get into action against the gators, and also his compassion for the gators themselves. Also, the swimmies on the jughead had me roaring.

Keep at it, brother.


#99

This was really fun, and it was fun to see you working each of the characters into the plot (Though I’m not sure if I missed it, or it’s not there, but I have no idea what Kasey’s job was in the heist)

It looks like it’s already been mentioned that it might have been a good idea to include some kind of complication the crew has to overcome. And I’d agree things run a bit smooth during the heist.

I did note you called for name tags for the Johnny Bolt led crew, but not for the crew stopping the clock. My preference would have been for both squads to get the name tag treatment.

I’m not sure this is even a valid criticism or not, as I’m never sure what judges are looking for in these contests, but one of the things I couldn’t shake while reading this. I was able to keep up with your story and understand the logic behind the characters. BUT I’ve read Supercrooks a number of times recently. If I was coming to this property cold, and your story in the annual was my first exposure to it I’m not sure I’d have been able to keep up as easily, or thought as highly of your script as I did. Mainly because the context is lost without a thorough grasp of the previous material.

Again that might have had zero bearing on things, since it could also have been assumed anyone reading the forthcoming annual has at least a minimum familiarity with the properties on display. I’m honestly not sure.

All in all super clever caper the crew worked up, and the naked Sammy gag at the end was legitimately funny.


#100

Hey All, my Empress submission is linked below, if anyone has the time or inclination. I’ll, of course, try to offer feedback on a script or two. Thanks.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5y2vBze0BFUUmhtdGxQWnRCaUE

Oh, and I should add that the script presumes familiarity with Empress (in retrospect, maybe not the best idea…)


#101

My pleasure, man. Your script was a joy to read, and you certainly have the chops to make a go at this professionally! You definitely hit it on the head when you said you ended up writing an homage to the character. That’s exactly what it felt like, and in that way, it was a success. For a new reader, having no prior knowledge of Huck, this would have been a great entry.


#102

When I read your scripts, I feel mine reads more like a movie script (psted above). Is it good or bad, well, I have no idea. But I feel it helps setting in a mood.


#103

Lol thanks. That was my favorite part also!


#104

Not sure I understand the question. Can you elaborate?


#105

Ah, nothing. Forget it.

I like how you used camera angles in your Empress script, btw. Think I learned something.