This, basically, is the chunk of story that I was working with for this screen:
The office was a shabby little room, with handwritten notes on the walls about smoking (none in the rooms) and checkout times, and dusty posters of desert island vistas and palm trees on beaches-neither of which were anywhere near this place. There was no-one behind the counter, but we could hear the TV playing in the back room. We rang the bell.
I remember the feeling that hit me when she walked out. Her face was like a painting I had seen once and stared at wondering. Nick started in on her instantly--I recognized that look; his face went a little white, and his smile came out, wolfish, charming.
She smiled at us. She was short, with black hair, pale skin, her face a little round. She had glasses on with thick frames that made her look young, poor, and smart all at the same time. She was pretty, but not in a California way. She was wearing a blue knee-length dress and a black faux-fur coat.
"Hi," Nick drawled. "We need a room and some gas." He leaned over the counter and nudged me in the shin (my signal).
And here is how I converted it to script format. I made a major change, and decided to use a film noir technique of heavy foreshadowing here. I want the reader to know that some of the characters are doomed, but just be wondering how . . . and more importantly, who will survive. Not as extreme a technique as D.O.A or Sunset Boulevard, both films which start with dead narrators, but I wanted Zuda readers to know up-front that there would be a bodycount.
Screen 4: Divided horizontally again. One widescreen panel along the top, then two panels below.
Panel 1: The office is a shabby little room, with handwritten notes on the walls about smoking (none in the rooms) and checkout times, a chipped formica countertop, and dusty posters of desert island vistas and palm trees on beaches. Happy people in ‘50s bathing suits grin out from the beach photos on the walls. The shot is from behind the two men, with the Narrator still on the driver’s side, slightly frame left, Nick to the center, ringing the old fashioned bell.
Caption: There was nobody behind the counter, but we could hear the TV playing in the back room.
Panel 2: Medium shot of Laura, coming from the back room. A pale face with a scattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose, hair in a bob with bangs, and thick-rimmed glasses that look out of place on a face this classically beautiful, in an old-fashioned way. She is wearing a thrift-store faux-fur coat and a dress with a lace collar.
Caption: She was pretty, but not in a
way . . . she had one of those faces that you find yourself staring at in wonder, like a painting that catches you in a gallery. California
Panel 3: Counter-shot, Nick’s face with a wolfish grin on it.
Nick: Hiii . . .
Caption: He started in on her right away. I’d seen it before – this sudden shift in him, an alertness that came into him like a dog hunching its shoulders.
Caption: Suddenly so alert . . . it was hard to imagine that by dawn his blood and brains would be all over the cement floor of some lonely garage.
If that doesn't get the reader's attention, I'm not sure what will . . .
Cesar thumbnailed the scene out like this . . .
And from that, built these excellent pencils, which you can see after the jump . . .
And this ink. he captured Laura exactly as I wanted her -- like someone out of another era.
Here's the scene lettered in black and white, after the jump . . . but see if you can spot the difference between these panels and the final panel up at Zuda. I'll give you a hit: evitcepsrep
To see the full color final panel , come visit us at Zuda Comics, where we hope you'll cast your vote for us. And don't forget to add us to your favorites list, rate our comic, and say hello on our message board. We'll be waiting for you . . .