Comics Creators

The Millarworld Writers 'International Research Thread'


As a writer, a ridiculous amount of my time is spent on research. One of the hardest parts of that research is getting authenticity in the tiny details when putting across places, that you may never have been to, in your story telling.

For instance, right now I’ve spent the last four hours trying to find out exactly how someone would say a horse has 20/1 odds in the American odds system.

I can read how it works but I don’t know how you would ‘say’ it in conversation and trying to find that out can be tiresome and time consuming. So, American Millarworlders, any of you know how you would say that if you were at a race track?

This thread can be used by other writers needing to know the same sort of info. I, for instance, can tell you all about authentic UK alcohol and swearwords.

Ask and answer, share and share alike :smiley:

Write Off 2: Parents. Pick a winner!!!

Good idea, I think a few people could have made use of this before submitting their contest entries.


It would certainly save me having to watch Richard Dreyfuss vehicle, Let It Ride, at 6am in the morning because I’m too obsessive to sleep before finding out. It’s not even a sure bet I’ll get the information I need.

Now, I love Richard Dretfuss and seeing him letting it ride - who doesn’t? - but I also like to get some sleep, if possible.


Brilliant idea Parker. And sorry, I can’t help with this particular problem.

I am of course happy to take any questions about how Irish people (particularly in the South) speak. Having lived through Chris Claremont doing Banshee’s accent in the X-Men, I would consider it a public service. So I would, so I would. Boyo. :slightly_smiling:


I’ve never bet on horses or anything else for that matter but I would say something like, “Odds on that horse are 20 to 1.” I’m not sure if there’s some special speak though. You may need to know what the odds are for, to win (1st), place (1st or 2nd) or show (1st, 2nd or 3rd), as I do know you can call out each one.


Not sure that it’s terribly different. Unless I’m woefully unaware that it’s said differently in the UK.

The horse would be at 20 to 1.

Or at the time of the race “going off at 20 to 1”.


Found this that might be helpful.


As a small variation and depending on the context, you could “twenty to one against” as in “The odds of Tyson going a full twelve rounds these days are twenty to against”. Very rarely do you say “odds on” unless it’s to clarify the favourite. “Even money” is self explanatory. :wink:

BTW, if there’s anyone looking for information on either sub-equatorial Africa or the Middle East, I’m happy to assist, being that I am a native of the former and currently reside in the latter.


Thankyou all.

From Let It Ride plus this other info I’ve surmised that it’s very close to what we would say here in the UK and Ireland, though there are a few extra context terms. In the context I already had written (I’m doing a final work-thru before editing) it seems to work perfectly, though I’m going to double check in the ‘dummies’ link @RonnieM put up before I sign off on it.

First query in the bag already… This thread is going swimingly thus far. I deem it a success!


Great idea!

Having lived in the American Southwest, one of THE WORST things i see in comics is artists use the wrong type of cactus and landscape elements to depict the desert region. There’s a huge difference visually between Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The idea of a “desert” also is a very diverse thing. They all share the same dirt, rocks, and cactus, but it all looks very, very very different. Those cactus types are often the most telling, as that default three pronged one you always see only exists in a very specific region. Also, the entire southwest DOES NOT look like monument valley.

Also with California ,the state is 3/4s of the West coast. Has a very diverse landscape. There are no friggin Palm trees in NorCal. haha


The weirdest thing for me is when I see bullets coming out of guns with their cartridges still on them.


Usually with the cartridges still somehow being ejected from the gun at the same time.


If anyone’s looking for something related to Brazil, I’ll be glad to help if I can.


IF you need info about Italy I’m here, guys. And more than willing to spread first hand info that goes against stereotypes so often associated with my country… :sunglasses:


The only info I need to know about Italy is if they’ll ever let me return and if so, can I stay forever?

However, if anyone needs any info about Long Island, New York or the horrible creatures that inhabit this landmass stuck to the ass of Manhattan, I’m your guy.


Well, it depends what you did last time you were here… :wink:
If you wanna stay forever, please be sure to already have a job. The situation’s here shitty…


Hey, so I submitted a story to the most recent write-off, and I was wondering if someone wouldn’t mind taking a look at it with an eye toward UK authenticity. It’s not that I’m going to be doing anything else with the script, necessarily – just wanna see how I did/maybe learn something for a future project. I don’t expect to have nailed it, and I’m not going for extreme specificity (it’s not a setting-as-character type of story) – I mostly just want to know if anything is irritatingly off.

@SimonJones – whose submission I heartily recommend – suggested this thread, so I thought I’d give it a try. And of course, feel free to use me as a resource in future: American, Jewish (in my youth, at any rate), Californian with a few years spent in Chicago, filmmaker, bartender.

Thanks much! Here’s a link: Write Off 2: Parents. Pick a winner!!!


Ok, I’m not sure where to put this question so I’ll put it here, I’m not quite sure what terms to google and I have limited time this afternoon.

I think @steveuk is my best bet but others may know.


How easy on editing software is it to do the type of split screen effect where you would see the same person twice?

I’m wanting to work out if I can do a shot where I’m sitting in the middle of a sofa and the camera pans from one end, where my friend Mal is sitting, across me, to see mal sitting again on the other side of me.


Depending on how quickly you pan, are you able to get Mal to run around the back of the camera? :slight_smile:

(I’m only half-joking, by the way. That was how some of the similar shots in Eternal Sunshine were achieved: )

[quote]What is your relationship like with director Michel Gondry?

Michel is just a creative genius, I think, but people really haven’t discovered him on a mass level yet. He comes in every day with something that just kind of spins you around and makes you go, “Wow, somebody’s thinking, man! Thank you! This is great! Somebody’s bringing something to the table.”
He comes in and asks me to do things that are impossible.

There’s a scene where I come into Lacuna in my memory and I’m screaming at the doctor, and I’m in two different places in the scene. It’s not split screen - it’s not any of that - it’s Michel coming in and saying [in a French accent], “You’re going to run around the camera and you’re going to put the hat on and take it off and put it on and take it off!” So, that’s me going back and forth behind the hand-held camera in the dark.[/quote]


I had thought of this initially, but it has to happen in quick succession as it’s refering to two lines of a song one after another. It’ll be using a camera phone so I am thinking I could manage a ‘blur’ through the speed of the pan and hide a cut in it, but I would prefer it to look more like magic if I could.