Mar 01 2009

Tom’s Review Forum

Published by at 11:56 am under Review Forums

What I’m writing

This is a script for an action-comedy cartoon show about four teen superheroes that fight crime to defend their city.  I know, totally original.

Target audience

I’d guess that my show would be mostly for pre-teens, but I know kids younger and older will like it.  I think there’s enough here for both genders to enjoy.  Obviously boys more so than girls, but I don’t see why girls wouldn’t like it.  If anyone likes Teen Titans, they’ll probably like this.

Notes for reviewers

I really appreciate it when you point out flaws so that I can fix them.  But I wouldn’t mind the occasional pat on the back for doing something well.  :D

214 responses so far

214 Responses to “Tom’s Review Forum”

  1. Tomon 14 Mar 2009 at 4:35 am

    Hmm. I see how this works now. Thanks! :D

    Before I post any scripts, I need help with the names of my characters. Some of you may remember a while ago that I asked for help with the names.

    So, I have three characters to rename, a boy who can shoot fire and ice, a girl with no powers (at first), and a mad scientist with telepathy and telekinesis.

    1. The boy was originally called ‘Elemental Boy’, but I think I’ve come up with a much better name, Frostburn. What do you guys think?

    2. The girl was originally called ‘Mighty Girl’, (don’t worry, I always intended to change this!) but I decided to name her after a Greek goddess, since she has a story arc involving the Greek gods. I named her ‘Astraea’, who is a minor Greek goddess of justice. (get it? Crime-fighter? Justice?) What do you think?

    3. The mad scientist was originally called Professor Psychic, and I still like that name, but the problem is that my main character is called Psykid, and I think the two sound too similar. Psykid vs. Professor Psychic? You’d spit so much you’d fill up a spitoon.
    I haven’t thought of a replacement name for him yet, I only know I want to keep the ‘Professor’ part of his name as a kind of spoof of the ‘Doctor’ cliche. I’ve only ever seen two supervillains who are professors. Professor Princess from Transformers Animated (don’t ask… s/he is a really bad villain. I say s/he because it’s unclear which gender s/he is). And the other one is, of course, Professor Dementor from Kim Possible. That means that Professor is still an unused title. Oh, and don’t worry, he is actually a professor at a university. Or at least he was.
    So I wanted to call him ‘Professor *word*’. As to what that word would be, I don’t know. It wouldn’t be his real name (Victor Von Doom? Yes because he totally wasn’t destined to be evil), it would be a pseudonym that he thinks up on the spot.

    Help please! :)

  2. B. Macon 14 Mar 2009 at 5:47 am

    I like Frostburn. Astraea is ok. I’m not very fond of Psykid.

    If Professor [name] is supposed to be some sort of spoof, I’d recommend taking it over the top. It should probably be wacky and farcical.

    Incidentally, Scarecrow (at least initially) and Sherlock Holmes’ archenemy are professors. Still, I agree that it’s far less common than Dr.

  3. Tomon 14 Mar 2009 at 5:56 am

    You don’t like Psykid? That’s the only name I was sure of! I know these days using things like ‘Man’ and ‘Boy’ and ‘Kid’ aren’t too popular but it’s not Psychic Kid, it’s Psykid, a portmanteau of the words. Portmanteaus aren’t used often.

    I want the Professor to be a spoof, but still a spoof we can take seriously. So nothing OTT like ‘Professor Destruction!’ but something mildly silly. Professor Proton, for example.

  4. B. Macon 14 Mar 2009 at 6:05 am

    Frostburn is much better than Psykid. ;-) For a slightly groan-inducing alternative to Psykid, what would you think about Esper? The character can explain that he attempted to copyright his name as E.S.P.er, but the registry couldn’t handle punctuation or irregular capitalization.

  5. Tomon 14 Mar 2009 at 6:17 am

    Is that the problem with Psykid, that it’s an awful pun? Wow, I never thought that was a problem! I guess I just have an unusual sense of humour. God, changing Psykid’s name would involve a lot of changing to my story. (Okay, not that much, but I’d have to change the title)

    Although I have to say, I kinda like Esper now that I think about it. It reminds me of the Pokemon called Espeon, and that guy in that one episode of YuGiOh called Espa Roba.

    And also, if I change Psykid, I can keep Professor Psychic.

    You’ve almost convinced me… *ponders*

  6. Tomon 14 Mar 2009 at 7:19 am

    I’ve just had an idea. What if I call the bad guy ‘Professor Esper’? I must say I am very attached to the name Psykid. Plus my show would be mostly for pre-teens, so it wouldn’t really matter too much.

    Thanks for the idea though! Should I go with ‘Professor Esper’?

  7. Ragged Boyon 14 Mar 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I like Professor Esper. I’m not feeling Psykid either, but if it works, by all means keep it.

    In your short description you said four superpowered teens. So far, I only count three. Who’s the fourth?

  8. Holliequon 14 Mar 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I don’t think Psykid will be a big problem for pre-teens, although I agree with B. Mac and RB.

    I’m not feeling Professor Esper. I don’t really like the double ‘er’ sound. However, that might just be me.

  9. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 4:49 am

    @ RB: Yes, there is a fourth superpowered teen, the only reason I haven’t mentioned him is because he doesn’t have a secret identity. But when I post my scripts he will be there. I’ll leave him as a surprise. ;)

    Anyway, Psykid (I’ll be stubborn and go against everyone’s advice), Frostburn, Astraea vs. Professor Esper. Now I need to go and change those names in the script I wrote!

  10. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 7:17 am

    Right, here’s the first part of the first episode of my first ever TV show! I know I haven’t formatted it properly but this is just to convey the narrative. Oh, and I wrote all of the actions, shot descriptions and voice directions in italics in Microsoft Word, and I’m not going to every piece of italics and re-italicising them.

    Episode 1: Psykid
    Establishing shot of a suburban house, slowly zooming in. Cut to another establishing shot inside the house, more specifically Sam’s bedroom. Cut to various shots of the walls and floor, the walls are covered with posters of various superheroes, we catch glimpses of the likes of Spider-Man, Batman, etc. The floor is littered with comic books, with more superheroes on the front covers. Cut to a shot of Sam, sleeping in bed, then an extreme close-up of his alarm clock, which reads 6:59, after turning to 7:00 it starts to ring, Sam’s hand enters the shot and turns it off. Cut to Sam getting out of bed. His mum can be heard calling from off-screen.
    Mum: Sam, get up, Helen will be waiting for you.
    Sam: I am up.
    Cut to a very long shot outside the house, Helen is indeed waiting for Sam, who bursts out of the door. Cut to a two-shot of them.
    Helen: What took you?
    Sam: What, would you rather I went to school in my pyjamas?

    Establishing shot of a school, then a shot of a playground. Cut to mid-shot of a scared-looking Lennie, who is walking backwards, scared. A figure walks into the shot from behind the camera and blocks our vision completely, cut to a shot of him.
    Bully: Well, well, if it isn’t Lennie Newton.
    Lennie: What do you want Carl?
    Carl: Your lunch money sounds good.
    Sam: (from off-screen) Oh, come on, at least try to be an original bully.
    Carl: (turning around) Oh look, it’s Sam Harrow and Helen Olivers, the lovebirds.
    Cut to a two-shot of Sam and Helen, both looking very cross.
    Sam: (blushing) We’re just friends.
    Carl: (sniggering) Whatever you say.
    Sam: Well, whatever we say, we’re no friends of yours.
    Carl: Is that meant to be a threat?
    Helen: Err…umm…nope! No threats here! He’s just acting a bit off today. (whispering to Sam) What are you doing?
    Sam: (whispering back) Standing up to the bully, I read it in a comic. (to Carl) And what if it is meant to be a threat?
    Carl: (cracking his knuckles) Then I’ll just have to threaten you back.
    Sam: Y’know, you’re a really sad person. The only way you can get pleasure is from torturing other people, you can beat me up if you want but you should really ask yourself what you’ll get out of it.
    Carl: You said it yourself, (really menacingly) Entertainment.
    Sam gulps. Cut to a shot of Carl, he walks towards the camera until he completely covers it, creating a fade to black.

    Lennie is looking up Sam’s nose.
    Lennie: I think it’s stopped bleeding.
    Sam: Thanks Lennie.
    Lennie: No, thank you, you tried to stand up for me.
    Helen: Wait, you two know each other?
    Sam: Of course, we both work for professor Stewart Young.
    Helen: Ah yes, the neuroscientist who lives and works on our street.
    Lennie: He’s a really nice guy, and really smart.
    Helen: I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that he’s been shunned by the scientific community for doing dangerous experiments in a pseudo-scientific field with questionable ethics.
    Sam: (he has no idea what she said, long pause) ………He’s a really nice guy.
    Bell rings.
    Lennie: Well, better get to class, see you later.
    Sam and Helen walk off one way, Lennie walks off another way.

    Sam and Helen are walking down their street, a large moving van is parked. They are walking past it, and as they look at it they bump into a kid who can’t see where he is going because he’s carrying numerous boxes. They are all knocked down.
    Helen: Oh, sorry! Here, let me help you pick those up.
    Sam and Helen help the kid to pick up boxes.
    Kid: It’s okay. I should’ve looked where I was going. (pause) I’m George.
    Sam: I’m Sam.
    Helen: Helen.
    George: Nice to meet you.
    Sam: Hey, are you moving into number 35?
    George: Yup.
    Sam: No way! I live at number 37!
    George: Then I guess we’re neighbours!
    Helen: Right, because your old neighbours won the lottery!
    Sam: Yup, they’ve just moved into a mansion. I hear they’re loaded.
    Helen: Can we help you move all of your stuff into the house?
    Sam: Oh, I’d love to, but Stewart wants me and Lennie to come over after school. He says he’s got some kind of revolutionary experiment running…again…
    George: Who’s Stewart?
    Helen: (picking up a box) I’ll tell you in a minute. Come on.
    Helen and George carry boxes into his new house, Sam walks towards the professor’s house. Camera zooms into a parked car, the windows are blackened, all we can see from them are two silhouetted figures sitting in the front seat. Cut to inside the car to reveal the two figures. One is short and thin, the other is large and slightly obese.
    Thin one: (talking into a walkie-talkie) Target sighted, the kid just entered the house.
    Close-up of the walkie-talkie, a voice comes from it.
    Voice: Excellent Fire, I trust you and Ice know what to do?
    Fire: We sure do, don’t we?
    Ice: Let’s do it.
    Voice: That kid’s parents just won the lottery, and they’ll pay a lot for the return of their precious son.
    Fire: I…just said we knew what we were doing…
    Voice: Oh, right. Umm…carry on.

    Establishing shot of Stewart’s house, Sam walks inside.
    Sam: Okay, I’m here, now what?
    Stewart: Now what? I’ll tell you now what! An experiment that will revolutionise science as we know it.
    Lennie: If it works, which I highly doubt.
    Stewart: No one needs your negativity Lennie.
    Sam: What exactly is this experiment?
    Stewart: When it succeeds-
    Lennie: (interrupting) If it succeeds.
    Stewart: Right, if it succeeds, I will obtain the power of telekinesis!
    Sam: Which is…
    Lennie: Telekinesis, noun, the power to move something by thinking about it without the application of physical force.
    Sam: I see.
    Stewart: Oh, that, and telepathy!
    Sam: Lennie?
    Lennie: (sigh) Telepathy, noun, communication between minds by some means other than sensory perception.
    Sam: Interesting.
    Stewart: Right, so, let’s activate the machine!
    Lennie: Umm, I don’t think that’s such a good idea, I mean, we haven’t tested it yet and-
    Stewart: (interrupting) This is the test! Start it up!
    Lennie: If you say so.
    Lennie walks over to a console and presses some buttons as The Professor steps into what appears to be a converted shower cubicle, he attaches wires to his head and straps his hands into a metal clamp which secures them in place. Sam watches from the sidelines.
    Stewart: Activate the machine!
    Lennie: I still think this is a bad idea.
    Lennie presses a horribly clichéd big red button. A loud humming sound is heard, and the lights in the cubicle turn on. A current passes through the wires and into Stewart’s head. Stewart starts to cry out in pain.
    Lennie: (shouting over the humming) Are you okay?
    Stewart: (shouting back) Turn it off!
    Lennie presses the big red button again, nothing happens, he presses it again, still nothing, he rapidly presses it numerous times and still nothing.
    Lennie: Err…Professor…
    Stewart: IT HURTS! AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!
    Sam: Do something!
    Lennie: I’m trying! It’s not working! You’d have to unplug the wires manually.
    Sam runs over to the cubicle.
    Lennie: Wait! I didn’t mean actually do it! It’s dangerous!
    Sam grabs a wire, it flails in his arms and accidentally attaches to his forehead. Sam starts crying out in pain too.
    Sam: Lennie, do something!
    Cut to a shot of the outside of George’s house. Fire and Ice burst out of the front door, we can see inside the house his parents tied up. Fire and Ice are holding George and carrying him down the street. Helen bursts out after them and chases them.
    Fire: (turning around) The girl’s chasing us, run!
    Fire and Ice run, still holding George. The hand Fire’s holding George with begins to glow red hot. The hand Ice is holding George with glows white.
    George: Ow! That hurts! Let me go!
    Fire: No way kid, with your parents’ lottery money, we’ll be made for life!
    George: Lottery? Oh man, you have the wrong guy!
    Cut back to the lab, Sam and Stewart are still in pain.
    Lennie: The machine’s overloading!
    Stewart: It’s gonna blow!
    As he says that, Sam manages to pull the wire out of his forehead, he then runs behind the console next to Lennie. Sparks begin to fly from the machine, some of them hit Lennie, knocking him down. A small explosion comes from the cubicle, freeing Stewart’s hands from the clamp, he runs out of the cubicle, but as soon as he does, the entire thing explodes, throwing Stewart forwards. Sam drags Lennie and Stewart over to the door. A section of the ceiling crashes in front of the door, just in front of them.
    Lennie: (weakly) The whole house is going to collapse!
    Sam: We’re trapped! The doorway is blocked!
    A larger blast comes from the cubicle, damaging the walls. Some debris flies over to the three of them, but just as it’s about to hit a piece of debris from the ceiling flies in front of them and blocks the other debris from hitting them. Cut to a close-up of Stewart’s face, then an extreme close-up of his eye. Cut to a shot of the street outside, Fire and Ice are running in front of the building just as a huge explosion rips apart the entire house. The explosion forces Fire and Ice to the ground, a strange glow comes from their hands just before they let go of George. Fire and Ice quickly get up.
    Fire: Forget it, this isn’t the kid!
    Fire and Ice run back to the car and drive off. Cut back to what’s left of the house, the piece of debris is still floating next to Lennie and Sam, it had protected them from the debris, however Stewart is missing.
    Helen: Oh. My. God.

    This isn’t a whole episode, just part of it. I know that a real episode would be about 22-24 minutes long.

  11. B. Macon 15 Mar 2009 at 8:13 am

    Here are some observations and suggestions.

    1. The opening shot is ok, but I’d like to get a stronger impression of what this kid is like before the dialogue starts. Is the bedroom messy? Is he late for school? Is there anything particularly flavorful about him? What are his defining traits?

    2. We don’t know much about Sam when the dialogue starts. Almost instantly, his mother appears and introduces a third character, Helen. The only thing we learn about her right away is that she’ll be waiting for him. So she’s also a bit of a cypher.

    3. What’s interesting about the relationship between the mother and Sam? Right now, it feels like she’s only in this scene to foreshadow Helen. Usually, a cartoon kid protagonist doesn’t get along that well with his parents. They’re nice but don’t get it. (For example, Jake Long’s dad is an accountant that doesn’t know anything about magic and his mom is aware of magic but super-involved in a regular job). For example, if we were trying to suggest that Sam is a regular kid but that his mom is too perky, we might have him woken up by his mother pulling the mattress out from under him. “Rise and shine!”

    4. The dialog is probably too bland. I don’t feel like I know anything about these characters or what they’re like. This is problematic because kids are not the most discerning viewers and cartoon writers typically exaggerate so that it’s easy for kids to pick up what you want them to pick up.

    5. I like the fade to black. “I think it’s stopped bleeding” is pretty hilarious.

    6. Professor Stewart Young should just be Professor Young or (more likely) Dr. Young.

    7. Helen knows way too much about Dr. Young. She says “I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that he’s been shunned by the scientific community for doing dangerous experiments in a pseudo-scientific field with questionable ethics.” I’d recommend rephrasing that to something shorter, like “isn’t he that guy that works in the creepy lab down by the docks?” Then you can Sam deliver an amusing response like “It’s not creepy, it’s mysterious.”

    8. The conversation between Sam, Helen and George doesn’t seem very stylish.

    9. I would recommend cutting to the mysterious figures doing the stakeout in the car sooner. They sound interesting.

    10. “I just said I knew what we were doing.” That’s a funny way to hang a lampshade. Otherwise, it would be awkward to have them explain what they’re doing to the audience.

    11. Sam pretty much disappears when Lennie and the professor start talking. Given that he is presented as the main character (we see him first, he’s alone, etc) that could be problematic.

    12. The main shortcoming is character development. Once the characters have more going on, I think the dialog will pick up for you.

  12. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 8:29 am

    Thanks for the input, I’ll get to work on that. One question though- with point number 10, is it a good or a bad thing that I did?

  13. B. Macon 15 Mar 2009 at 8:31 am

    I liked it.

  14. Holliequon 15 Mar 2009 at 8:40 am

    I also liked what you did in #10. I thought it was pretty funny. :)

    Also, is Lennie supposed to be a walking dictionary? He didn’t strike me as particularly intelligent before this scene. The dictionary definitions sound more like something that would come from the scientist (and, at first, I actually assumed they DID).

    Sam seems like a bit of a joker from this bit here. He also strikes me as more likely to help out George than Helen. Do you think Sam offering for the both of them to help George, and then leaving Helen to do all the work because he has to go see Stewart would give more interesting dialogue? It might be worth a try.

  15. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 8:51 am

    Oh, it’s a good thing you liked that, I’ve just realised I do that lampshading thing a lot.

  16. Stefan the Exploding Manon 15 Mar 2009 at 9:18 am

    Just picking up on what Holliqu pointed out, your characters don’t really sound like teenagers. Helen and Lennie both use words and expressions that aren’t usually used in spoken conversation.

    The use of “neuroscientist” and “I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that he’s been shunned by the scientific community for doing dangerous experiments in a pseudo-scientific field with questionable ethics”, for example, seem very awkward. I agree with B.Mac’s suggestion for a rephrasing of the latter, for a slightly different reason.

    The dictionary definitions likewise have to go, unless you want to make Lennie a really cliche nerd, in which case maybe he should talk like that more often?

    Also, about the scene in when Fire and Ice attack, I cringed a bit when Fire revealed his plan to the main characters. Could you consider showing this in a different way? It would be more believable if Fire and Ice realise their mistake in some other manner. It seems pretty naive of them to believe George like they did. And I don’t get why they run away from Helen.

    There’s also lots of expository dialogue, and a lot of telling as opposed to showing. For example, “We’re trapped! The doorway is blocked!”. Unless, of course, you’re going for a very campy feel, and that was kind of the feeling I got from the Big Red Button. In that case, this is fine.

    I also enjoyed point 10 very much. Fire, Ice and Sam seem fairly strong characters and I say keep working on them in the same way.

    Sorry for all the negative feedback. I thought this had its merits and I think you have a knack for the storytelling and the interweaving of the two main stories, which a TV series needs.

  17. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 11:20 am

    Okay, thanks for the advice guys, I’ve made some changes to the script. One problem I had is that I really struggled spicing up the Sam/Helen/George introduction, I made it marginally better by making George more silent, but it’s still fairly bland. Oh well!

    Should I post the new version?

  18. B. Macon 15 Mar 2009 at 11:32 am

    Yeah.

  19. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 11:59 am

    Oh, one more thing, I know it’s not important for a script, and I don’t think I have, but please point out any grammatical or spelling errors I’ve made here or in future posts. I’m really pedantic when it comes to that.

    Episode 1: Psykid
    Establishing shot of a suburban house, slowly zooming in. Cut to another establishing shot inside the house, more specifically Sam’s bedroom. Cut to various shots of the walls and floor, the walls are covered with posters of various superheroes, we catch glimpses of the likes of Spider-Man, Batman, etc. The floor is littered with comic books, with more superheroes on the front covers. In fact, the floor is so covered in comics it’s hard to see the floor. Cut to a shot of Sam, sleeping in bed. His mum can be heard calling from off-screen.
    Mum: Sam… Sam… SAM!
    This wakes Sam up.
    Sam: (shouting to her) What?
    His mum enters the room.
    Mum: I have been calling you for half an hour, if you don’t move it you’ll be late!
    Sam: Half an hour? What are you talking about? It’s only, like, 7:00…
    Sam looks at his alarm clock. It reads 7:30.
    Sam: Oh.
    Mum: Now move it, Helen will be waiting.
    Cut to a very long shot outside the house, Helen is indeed waiting for Sam, who bursts out of the door. Cut to a two-shot of them.
    Helen: (looking at her watch) If this happens again I’m not waiting for you.

    Establishing shot of a school, then a shot of a playground. Cut to mid-shot of a scared-looking Lennie, who is walking backwards, scared. A figure walks into the shot from behind the camera and blocks our vision completely, cut to a shot of him.
    Bully: Well, well, if it isn’t the brain box Lennie Newton.
    Lennie: What do you want Carl?
    Carl: Your lunch money sounds good.
    Sam: (from off-screen) Oh, come on, at least try to be an original bully.
    Carl: (turning around) Oh look, it’s Sam Harrow and Helen Olivers, the lovebirds.
    Cut to a two-shot of Sam and Helen, both looking very cross.
    Sam: (blushing) We’re just friends.
    Carl: (sniggering) Whatever you say.
    Sam: Well, whatever we say, we’re no friends of yours.
    Carl: Is that meant to be a threat?
    Helen: Err…umm…nope! No threats here! He’s just acting a bit off today. (whispering to Sam) What are you doing?
    Sam: (whispering back) Standing up to the bully, I read it in a comic. (to Carl) And what if it is meant to be a threat?
    Carl: (cracking his knuckles) Then I’ll just have to threaten you back.
    Sam: Y’know, you’re a really sad person. The only way you can get pleasure is from torturing other people, you can beat me up if you want but you should really ask yourself what you’ll get out of it.
    Carl: You said it yourself, (really menacingly) pleasure.
    Sam gulps. Cut to a shot of Carl, he walks towards the camera until he completely covers it, creating a fade to black.

    Lennie is looking up Sam’s nose.
    Lennie: I think it’s stopped bleeding.
    Sam: Thanks Lennie.
    Lennie: No, thank you, you tried to stand up for me.
    Helen: Wait, you two know each other?
    Sam: Of course, we both work for Professor Young.
    Helen: Oh, of course, the mad scientist.
    Lennie: He’s not a mad scientist! He’s just a little… eccentric…
    Helen: Oh no? Then why is he doing his research from his house? I’m pretty sure normal scientists work at universities.
    Sam: Professor Young is- Okay, he’s a bit mad. But, it’s a decent part-time job, so I’m not complaining.
    The bell rings.
    Lennie: Well, better get to class, see you later.
    Sam and Helen walk off one way, Lennie walks off another way.

    Sam and Helen are walking down their street, a large moving van is parked. They walk past a car with tinted windows, we can just see two silhouettes inside. Sam and Helen are walking past the moving van, and as they look at it they bump into a kid who can’t see where he is going because he’s carrying numerous boxes. They are all knocked down.
    Helen: Oh, sorry! Let me help you.
    Sam and Helen help the kid to pick up boxes.
    Kid: Thanks.
    Awkward silence.
    Helen: (Trying to break the ice) I’m Helen. This is Sam.
    Kid: What? Oh, I’m George.
    Another awkward silence.
    Sam: Hey, are you moving into number 35?
    George: Yeah…
    Sam: Well I live at number 37!
    George: Oh, cool.
    Sam: I heard the guys who lived there before won the lottery. They’ve just moved into a mansion. I hear they’re loaded! (he laughs as he says this. No one else does so he awkwardly stops laughing)
    The three finish picking up boxes.
    Helen: Can we help you move all of your stuff into the house?
    George: Umm… No need. I’ve got it.
    Sam: Yeah, I’d love to, but the professor wants me and Lennie to come over after school. He says he’s got some kind of… how did he put it? ‘Revolutionary experiment’ running…again…
    George: Professor? What?
    Helen: I’ll tell you in a minute. And I’m helping you. Don’t bother arguing.
    Helen and George carry boxes into his new house, Sam walks towards the professor’s house. Camera zooms to the tinted windows car, and the two silhouetted figures sitting in the front seat. Cut to inside the car to reveal the two figures. One is short and thin, the other is large and slightly obese.
    Thin one: (talking into a walkie-talkie) Target sighted, the kid just entered the house.
    Close-up of the walkie-talkie, a voice comes from it.
    Voice: Excellent Fire, I trust you and Ice know what to do?
    Fire: We sure do, don’t we?
    Ice: Let’s do it.
    Voice: That kid’s parents just won the lottery, and they’ll pay a lot for the return of their precious son.
    Fire: I…just said we knew what we were doing…
    Voice: Oh, right. Umm…carry on.

    Establishing shot of Professor Young’s house, Sam walks inside.
    Sam: Okay, I’m here, now what?
    Professor Young: Now what? I’ll tell you now what! An experiment that will revolutionise science as we know it.
    Lennie: If it works, which I highly doubt.
    Young: No one needs your negativity Lennie.
    Sam: What exactly is this experiment?
    Young: When it succeeds-
    Lennie: (interrupting) If it succeeds.
    Young: Right, if it succeeds, I will obtain the power of telekinesis!
    Sam: Which is…
    Young: Telekinesis, noun, the power to move something by thinking about it without the application of physical force.
    Sam: I see… kinda…
    Young: Oh, that, and telepathy!
    Sam: Professor, I’m not a dictionary.
    Young: (sigh) Telepathy, noun, communication between minds by some means other than sensory perception.
    Sam: (pause) Okay yeah…
    Young: Right, so, let’s get started!
    Sam: Aren’t you supposed to test these things first?
    Young: (interrupting) This is the test! Start it up!
    Lennie: I think Sam has a point there. (pause) But if you say so…
    Lennie walks over to a console and presses some buttons as The Professor steps into what appears to be a converted shower cubicle, he attaches wires to his head and straps his hands into a metal clamp which secures them in place. Sam watches from the sidelines.
    Young: Activate the machine!
    Lennie: I still think this is a bad idea.
    Lennie presses a horribly clichéd big red button. A loud humming sound is heard, and the lights in the cubicle turn on. A current passes through the wires and into Professor Young’s head. He starts to cry out in pain.
    Lennie: (shouting over the humming) Are you okay?
    Young: (shouting back) Turn it off!
    Lennie presses the big red button again, nothing happens, he presses it again, still nothing, he rapidly presses it numerous times and still nothing.
    Lennie: Err…Professor…
    Young: AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!
    Sam: Do something!
    Lennie: I’m trying! It’s not working! You’d have to unplug the wires manually.
    Sam runs over to the cubicle.
    Lennie: Wait! I didn’t mean actually do it! It’s dangerous!
    Sam grabs a wire, it flails in his arms and accidentally attaches to his forehead. Sam starts crying out in pain too.
    Sam: Lennie, help!
    Lennie stands at the console, tense, but frozen to the spot, unsure of what to do.
    Cut to a shot of the outside of George’s house. Fire and Ice burst out of the front door, we can see inside the house his parents tied up. Fire and Ice are holding George and carrying him down the street. Helen bursts out after them and chases them.
    Ice: (turning around) The girl’s chasing us, what do we do?
    Fire: No point wasting time fighting her, just run!
    Fire and Ice run, still holding George. The hand Fire’s holding George with begins to glow red hot. The hand Ice is holding George with glows white.
    George: Ow! That hurts! Let me go! Why are you taking me?
    Fire: We don’t need to tell you anything.
    George: Well… can you tell me anyway?
    Fire: (he sighs) We’re kidnapping you, then we’re gonna hold you for ransom.
    Cut back to the lab, Sam and Professor Young are still in pain.
    Lennie: The machine’s overloading!
    As he says that, Sam manages to pull the wire out of his forehead, he then runs behind the console next to Lennie. Sparks begin to fly from the machine, some of them hit Lennie, knocking him down. A small explosion comes from the cubicle, freeing Professor Young’s hands from the clamp, he runs out of the cubicle, but as soon as he does, the entire thing explodes, throwing Professor Young forwards. Sam drags Lennie and Professor Young over to the door. A section of the ceiling crashes in front of the door, just in front of them.
    Sam: (trying and failing to push the debris in the way) We’re trapped! The doorway is blocked!
    A larger blast comes from the cubicle, damaging the walls. Some debris flies over to the three of them, but just as it’s about to hit a piece of debris from the ceiling flies in front of them and blocks the other debris from hitting them. Cut to a close-up of Stewart’s face, then an extreme close-up of his eye. Cut to a shot of the street outside, Fire and Ice are running in front of the building just as a huge explosion rips apart the entire house. The explosion forces Fire and Ice to the ground, a strange glow comes from their hands just before they let go of George. Fire and Ice quickly get up.
    Fire: (scared) Umm…forget it, let’s just go.
    Fire and Ice run back to the car and drive off. Cut back to what’s left of the house, the piece of debris is still floating next to Lennie and Sam, it had protected them from the debris, however The Professor is missing.
    Helen: Oh. My. God.

  20. B. Macon 15 Mar 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Grammar and punctuation are not major problems for you, but sometimes your characters use words that aren’t necessary. (For example, starting sentences with “well” and other empty interjections).

    I’m still not feeling the mother character. She could probably be removed from the opening scene.

    I like that there’s a bit more conflict between Helen and Sam. “If this happens again I’m not waiting for you.” There should be a comma after again.

    “If it isn’t the brain box Lennie Newton.” Comma after box. “What do you want Carl?” Comma after want.

    We don’t need the last name for Sam or Helen here. It’s sort of awkward for the bully to address them by their first and last name.

    I think it’d be more interesting if Helen attempted to deny that they were a couple.

    “Well, whatever we say, we’re no friends of yours.” First, the word well is probably unnecessary here. Second, this is an awkward transition from the previous point about whether Sam and Helen are dating. It’s not really related to the previous point, so it might help somewhat if Sam makes this point and Helen makes the previous one.

    “Is that meant to be a threat?” I’d recommend making this a bit more direct and threatening. “You’re about 50 pounds out of your league.”

    “Wait, you two know each other?” If I were reading this very closely, I might wonder why she concludes that. I didn’t get the impression that they knew each other. I don’t think that this will be a major problem for kid viewers, but adult readers might get annoyed. (It’s sort of telling rather than showing).

    “Oh, of course, the mad scientist.” This could probably be shortened to “The mad scientist!?!”

    During this conversation, I’d recommend working in some details about why we should think of him as a mad scientist. For example, “Professor Young isn’t mad! He’s working on [something really strange.]” Helen gives him weird stares. “Okay. Maybe he’s a bit mad. But it’s a decent part-time job.”

    “Well, better get to class, see you later.” First, “well” is unnecessary. Second, you don’t need to spell this out so much. This could probably be shortened to “Dang! See you later.” Since your viewers are students, they’ll know why he has to leave them when the bell rings.

    Lennie’s voice feels inconsistent. Is he a really smart kid that sounds like a dictionary or someone that sounds pretty casual? (“Better get to class, see you later”). Personally, I’d recommend playing him consistently as a fairly nerdy guy. You don’t have to make him sound as strange as, say, Steve Urkel or Agent Orange, but making the geeky voice pretty strong will help you keep the characters sounding different. (It will also reinforce that the character is very smart).

    I’d recommend thinking about spelling Lennie as “Lenny.” That’s more familiar to me, at least.

    “I heard the guys who lived there before won the lottery. They’ve just moved into a mansion. I hear they’re loaded!” I’d recommend shortening this to something like… “My old neighbors moved away after they won the lottery. Now they own a mansion!” I cut out “I hear they’re loaded” because I don’t get what it adds.

    “And I’m helping you. Don’t bother arguing.” I get the impression that you want to show that she’s assertive (maybe a bit pushy) and helpful/friendly. If so, I would recommend adding some details that suggest that he needs help but isn’t willing to ask for it. For example, maybe these boxes are clearly too much for him but he’s too proud to ask or worries about what they’ll think if he asks for help. That will help accentuate that she’s being friendly rather than intrusive.

    “I’ll tell you in a minute. And I’m helping you.” Awkward transition.

    Sam is noticeably absent when Helen and George are carrying boxes. This is particularly notable because volunteering to lift the boxes is used by the show as a sign of friendliness. Also, lifting heavy things is something that a guy typically does for his girlfriend. This scene may inadvertently give the impression that Sam is lazy/ungenerous/kind of a jerk. One way you could help avoid that is to have him suddenly realize that he’s late. After all, we’ve already seen that he’s a bit bad with time (see the alarm clock scene). That’s an acceptable reason to explain why he has to run off.

    “Excellent Fire, I trust you and Ice know what to do?” I think this needs to be two separate sentences. Something like “Excellent, Fire. You and Fire know what to do.” I’d also recommend taking out the rhetorical question because it makes the voice sound less authoritative and competent, which in turn makes him less of a threatening villain.

    “That kid’s” could probably be replaced with “his.”

    If you’re submitting to an American station, I’d recommend spelling revolutionize with a Z rather than an S.

    How important of a character is Lennie? How important is Sam? It seems like Lennie takes a much bigger role in the Lennie-Sam-Young scene.

    LENNIE: “If it works, which I highly doubt.” YOUNG: “No one needs your negativity, Lennie.” I think Young’s line could be rewritten for more humor and character development. For example, if you wanted him to come off as arrogant and wildly competent, you could have him start polishing a medal on his neck squeaky clean and say something like “What’s that? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my Nobel Prize.” If you wanted him to come off as eccentric and unreliable, but mostly friendly, you could have him say something like “It took Thomas Edison 200 tries to make a light bulb. I’ve only tried 100 times to do [whatever] and already I’ve gotten [wacky outcome Y] and [wacky outcome Z].”

    “I didn’t mean actually do it!” I think the word “to” is missing here.

    “Fire and Ice burst out of the front door, we can see inside the house his parents tied up.” This is awkward. I’d recommend “Fire and Ice burst out of the front door. Through the door, we can see the parents tied up inside.” Mmm. If he’s trying to rob the parents, why doesn’t he take them too? It might make more sense if they’re not home when this kidnapping goes off, or if the kidnapping happens far enough from the house that the parents don’t see. (For example, they wait for him to get another box from the van and then grab him from behind).

    They’re just randomly running down the street holding on to the kid? Hmm. It might look a bit strange to show that. These definitely aren’t skillful criminals… Is he at least tied up?

    “No point wasting time fighting her, just run!” I’d recommend changing this to something like “I’m not gonna torch a girl!” Alternatively, you could have them fire blindly as she chases behind.

    “George: Well… can you tell me anyway? Fire: (he sighs) We’re kidnapping you, then we’re gonna hold you for ransom.” This lamp-shading doesn’t strike me as effective. First, the audience already knows this information. Second, it doesn’t really matter if George knows what they’re doing with him. I’d recommend having him gagged and maybe shoved in a sack at this point to pretty much take him out of this scene. (That’s cartoony, but it’ll probably fly in a cartoon for youngsters).

    I’m not that familiar with TV shows, but I think a script would allow spaces for commercial breaks. Namely, these usually come after cliffhangers (to keep the audience hanging on to the edge of their seats).

    “We’re trapped! The doorway is blocked.” This is probably a bit redundant. We should be able to see that the doorway’s blocked, right? You can probably remove that detail from the dialog.

    Just to clarify, Fire and Ice are superpowered before the accident, right? If they get their superpowers as a result of the explosion, I think that would be contrived.

  21. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Gaah, a lot more in depth than before! There’s some good advice right thar! *goes to fix script*

    Oh, and the advert break would probably come after Helen’s ‘oh my God’ at the end.

  22. Ragged Boyon 15 Mar 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Here’s some observations I’ve made on your script so far. I apologize if this isn’t very organized.

    The story is sorta bland in the beginning. I think what your missing is that before everything goes wrong, you have to develop the characters enough for us to care. Early on the most interesting interaction is between Sam and The Bully.

    Here’s what I’ve learned about your three characters so far:

    Sam- Brave, foolish, friendly, and likes superheroes. So far he’s pretty generic.

    Helen (the least developed)- Friendly and helpful

    Lennie- Nerdy, weak, and analytical

    I’m not sure how much personality pre-teens need in a character, but I think the main trio could do with some interesting personality traits, especially Helen.

    Up top you wrote “sniggering” I think you meant “snickering.”

    Also, revolutionize is spelled with a Z, not an S.

    I’m kind of confused on the time progression. Sam rushes to school, he has his encounter with the bully, the bell rings and they leave school? They never even go to class. Lennie says he has to go to class, but goes to Professor Young’s house. I’m pretty confused. Here’s some questions I have:

    Why do Sam and Lennie split up if they’re going to the same place?

    Where is Helen going? And why was she upset about having to wait for Sam if they aren’t going to the same place?

    Why don’t Fire and Ice just use their powers to stop Helen from chasing them?

    Also, I think its a bit contrived that the plug just happened to land on Sam’s forehead. I think you could substitute this by having him be shocked by the psychic electricity when he attempts to pull the cords out.

    I think you should add a very basic description as to why Professor Young’s machine will give him psychic abilities. Something like through negative repulsion of the brain’s electricity in the cerebral cortex, the machine can allow one to project their brainwaves allowing them to move things with their mind (telekinesis) . Additionally, it can allow one to pickup and send brainwaves between people (telepathy).

    Sorry if this comment sounds a little harsh. I’m only trying to help :) .

    What do you think?

  23. Holliequon 15 Mar 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Revolutionise can be spelt however you want it. I’m rather fond of our odd British spellings. :D

    I also think RB has gotten confused about the time-scale. To me it seems pretty clear they head off to class, and then it skips the school day. You could clear this up by adding a note in the script, I think.

    Anyway, I can’t think of anything nobody else already got to, except that “manages to pull the wire out of his forehead” gave me a really bad mental image.

  24. Ragged Boyon 15 Mar 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I had assumed that it skipped the school day, but I wasn’t sure. Definitely add a note on that.

  25. Tomon 15 Mar 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I love how I didn’t even mention that Fire and Ice have superpowers, but you all came to the same conclusion. I’d like to believe that my script is that clear and explanatory, but I guess you figured that out from my comments at the top, and can clearly see where this is going.

    Thanks for the input. Wow, this is really helpful!

  26. B. Macon 15 Mar 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Well, umm, the names Fire and Ice sort of sound like names that sound like they belong to supervillains. I’m not sure that they actually are superpowered when they start off this episode, though. That’s problematic for a few reasons.

    1. It would be horribly contrived for someone named Fire and someone named Ice to randomly develop fire and ice-based powers.

    2. It’d be fairly contrived for them to just happen to wander by the Professor’s lab just as the super-experiment was melting down. It’d probably be smoother to alter the plot a little so that the criminals are doing something related to the Professor. Maybe one of the Professor’s rivals has hired them to sabotage the experiment. And that’s what causes the meltdown. Etc.

  27. Tomon 16 Mar 2009 at 10:37 am

    What? That’s ridiculous! I totally didn’t make it a complete coincidence that they happened to be walking past as soon as the house blows up…




    I’ll fix that when I introduce the man behind the voice…

  28. Tomon 16 Mar 2009 at 10:55 am

    Hokay, let’s try this again!

    Establishing shot of a suburban house, slowly zooming in. We can hear an alarm clock buzzing in the background. Cut to another establishing shot inside the house, more specifically Sam’s bedroom. Cut to various shots of the walls and floor, the walls are covered with posters of various superheroes, we catch glimpses of the likes of Spider-Man, Batman, etc. The floor is littered with comic books, with more superheroes on the front covers. In fact, the floor is so covered in comics it’s hard to see the floor. Cut to a shot of Sam, sleeping in bed. He slowly wakes up.
    Cut to a very long shot outside the house, Helen is waiting for Sam, who bursts out of the door. Cut to a two-shot of them.
    Sam: Hey Helen.
    Helen looks very upset.
    Sam: What’s up?
    Helen: What time is it?
    Sam: I don’t know, quarter past seven I guess.
    Helen: More like quarter to eight. If we don’t hurry we’ll be late for school!
    Sam: (still sleepy) Oh, whoops. Sorry.
    Helen: (looking at her watch) If this happens again, I’m not waiting for you.

    Establishing shot of a school, then a shot of a playground. Cut to mid-shot of a scared-looking Lennie, who is walking backwards, scared. A figure walks into the shot from behind the camera and blocks our vision completely, cut to a shot of him.
    Bully: Well, well, if it isn’t the brain box, Lennie Newton.
    Lennie: What do you want, Carl?
    Carl: Your lunch money sounds good.
    Sam: (from off-screen) Oh, come on, at least try to be an original bully.
    Carl: (turning around) Oh look, it’s Sam and Helen, the lovebirds.
    Cut to a two-shot of Sam and Helen, both looking very cross.
    Sam: (blushing) We’re just friends!
    Carl: (snickering) Whatever you say… (pause) What do you want anyway?
    Sam: (adamantly) Leave Lennie alone.
    Carl: Don’t even try and threaten me, kid. My left arm weighs more than you.
    Helen: What? Don’t be crazy! He’s not threatening you! Nope! No threats here! He’s just acting a bit off today. (whispering to Sam) What are you doing?
    Sam: (whispering back) Standing up to the bully, I read it in a comic. (to Carl) And what if it is meant to be a threat?
    Carl: (cracking his knuckles) Then I’ll just have to threaten you back.
    Sam: Y’know, you’re a really sad person. The only way you can get pleasure is from torturing other people, you can beat me up if you want but you should really ask yourself what you’ll get out of it.
    Carl: You said it yourself, (really menacingly) pleasure.
    Sam gulps. Cut to a shot of Carl, he walks towards the camera until he completely covers it, creating a fade to black.

    Lennie is looking up Sam’s nose.
    Lennie: I think it’s stopped bleeding.
    Sam: Thanks Lennie.
    Lennie: No, thank you, you tried to stand up for me.
    Sam: Anything for a friend.
    Helen: Wait, you two know each other?
    Sam: Of course, we both work for Professor Young.
    Helen: The mad scientist?
    Lennie: He’s not a mad scientist! He’s just a little… eccentric…
    Helen: Oh no? Then why is he doing his research from his house? I’m pretty sure normal scientists work at universities.
    Sam: Professor Young is working on a field of science no scientist has ever dared to expl- Okay, he’s a bit mad. But, it’s a decent part-time job, so I’m not complaining.
    The bell rings.
    Helen: Anyway, nice meeting you Lennie, see you later!
    Sam and Helen walk off one way, Lennie walks off another way.

    Skip to after school. Sam and Helen are walking down their street, a large moving van is parked. They walk past a car with tinted windows, we can just see two silhouettes inside. Sam and Helen are walking past the moving van, and as they look at it they bump into a kid who can’t see where he is going because he’s carrying numerous boxes. They are all knocked down.
    Helen: Oh, sorry! Let me help you.
    Sam and Helen help the kid to pick up boxes.
    Kid: Thanks.
    Awkward silence.
    Helen: (Trying to break the ice) I’m Helen. This is Sam.
    Kid: What? Oh, I’m George.
    Another awkward silence.
    Sam: Hey, are you moving into number 35?
    George: Yeah…
    Sam: Well I live at number 37!
    George: Oh, cool.
    Sam: Guys who used to live there, I hear they won the lottery or something. It was in the local paper.
    The three finish picking up boxes.
    Helen: Can we help you move all of your stuff into the house?
    George: Umm… No need. I’ve got it.
    He tries to lift more than one box, but simply cannot. Helen picks up a box.
    George: Really, no need. I promise.
    Helen: Oh drop the tough guy act. Don’t even pretend you can lift both of those.
    George: Go on then.
    Sam picks up a box but quickly drops it.
    Sam: Oh snap! The professor wants me and Lennie to come over after school. He says he’s got some kind of… how did he put it? ‘Revolutionary experiment’ running…again…
    Helen and George carry boxes into his new house, Sam walks towards the professor’s house. Camera zooms to the tinted windows car, and the two silhouetted figures sitting in the front seat. Cut to inside the car to reveal the two figures. One is short and thin, the other is large and slightly obese.
    Thin one: (talking into a walkie-talkie) Target sighted, the kid just entered the house.
    Close-up of the walkie-talkie, a voice comes from it.
    Voice: Excellent Fire. Now, I trust you and Ice know what to do?
    Fire: We sure do, don’t we?
    Ice: Let’s do it.
    Voice: That kid’s parents just won the lottery, and they’ll pay a lot for the return of their precious son.
    Fire: I…just said we knew what we were doing…
    Voice: Oh, right. Umm…carry on.

    Establishing shot of Professor Young’s house, Sam walks inside.
    Sam: Okay, I’m here, now what?
    Professor Young: Now what? I’ll tell you now what! An experiment that will revolutionise science as we know it.
    Lennie: If it works, which I highly doubt.
    Young: Oh I’m sorry Lennie where’s your PhD in neuroscience?
    Lennie: (under his breath) At least I’m not a maverick.
    Sam: (quickly so Professor Young can’t respond) What exactly is this experiment?
    Young: I’m glad you asked. When it succeeds-
    Lennie: (interrupting) If it succeeds.
    Young: Right, if it succeeds, I will obtain the power of telekinesis!
    Sam: Which is…
    Young: Telekinesis, noun, the power to move something by thinking about it without the application of physical force.
    Sam: I see… kinda…
    Young: Oh, that, and telepathy!
    Sam: Professor, I’m not a dictionary.
    Young: (sigh) Telepathy, noun, communication between minds by some means other than sensory perception.
    Sam: (pause) Okay yeah…
    Young: Right, so, let’s get started!
    Sam: Aren’t you supposed to test these things first?
    Young: (interrupting) This is the test! Start it up!
    Lennie: I think Sam has a point there. (pause) But if you say so…
    Lennie walks over to a console and presses some buttons as The Professor steps into what appears to be a converted shower cubicle, he attaches wires to his head and straps his hands into a metal clamp which secures them in place. Sam watches from the sidelines.
    Young: Sam, your job will be to look at the numbers on that computer over there. Any massive increase in the number and you tell us. (as he says this Sam walks over to a computer and looks at the screen, it is currently blank) Now, Lennie, activate the machine!
    Lennie: I still think this is a bad idea.
    Lennie presses a horribly clichéd big red button. A loud humming sound is heard, and the lights in the cubicle turn on. A current passes through the wires and into Professor Young’s head. He starts to cry out in pain.
    Lennie: (shouting over the humming) Are you okay?
    Young: (shouting back) Turn it off!
    Lennie presses the big red button again, nothing happens, he presses it again, still nothing, he rapidly presses it numerous times and still nothing.
    Lennie: Err…Professor…
    Young: AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!
    Lennie: Sam, what numbers do you read?
    Sam: Umm… 200, 201, 199…
    Lennie: That’s about 100 times what it should be, why didn’t you tell us?
    Sam: It started like that, I thought that was meant to happen! Now can’t you do something?
    Lennie: I’m trying! It’s not working! You’d have to unplug the wires manually.
    Sam runs over to the cubicle.
    Lennie: Wait! I didn’t mean to actually do it! It’s dangerous!
    Sam grabs a wire, it flails in his arms and sends a huge current through his body. He finds himself unable to let go. Sam starts crying out in pain too.
    Sam: Lennie, help!
    Lennie stands at the console, tense, but frozen to the spot, unsure of what to do.
    Cut to a shot of the moving van. Fire and Ice carry a tied-up George from the van down the street. Helen chases them.
    Ice: (turning around) The girl’s chasing us, what do we do?
    Fire and Ice run, still holding George. Fire creates fire from his hands and shoots it at Helen, she dodges it. Fire keeps shooting but she keeps dodging. Eventually, Ice shoots a beam of ice at Helen’s feet, freezing her in place. The hand Fire’s holding George with begins to glow red hot. The hand Ice is holding George with glows white.
    George: Ow! That hurts! Let me go!
    Fire: Would you please shut up?!
    Cut back to the lab, Sam and Professor Young are still in pain.
    Lennie: The machine’s overloading!
    As he says that, Sam manages to drop the wire, he then runs behind the console next to Lennie. Sparks begin to fly from the machine, some of them hit Lennie, knocking him down and sending a shock through him. A small explosion comes from the cubicle, freeing Professor Young’s hands from the clamp, he runs out of the cubicle, but as soon as he does, the entire thing explodes, throwing Professor Young forwards. Sam drags Lennie and Professor Young over to the door. A section of the ceiling crashes in front of the door, just in front of them. Sam tries and fails to push the debris in the way. A larger blast comes from the cubicle, damaging the walls. Some debris flies over to the three of them, but just as it’s about to hit a piece of debris from the ceiling flies in front of them and blocks the other debris from hitting them, it looks very unnatural, as if someone had moved it directly there to protect them. Cut to a close-up of The Professor’s face, then an extreme close-up of his eye. Cut to a shot of the street outside, Fire and Ice are running in front of the building just as a huge explosion rips apart the entire house. The explosion forces Fire and Ice to the ground, a strange glow comes from their hands just before they let go of George. Fire and Ice quickly get up.
    Fire: (scared) Umm…forget it, let’s just go.
    Fire and Ice run back to the car and drive off. Cut back to what’s left of the house, the piece of debris is still floating next to Lennie and Sam, it had protected them from the debris, however The Professor is missing.
    Helen: Oh. My. God.

    Gaah, this is only the first few pages aswell, the entire thing is 10 pages, and that’s only part 1 of the origin story!

  29. B. Macon 16 Mar 2009 at 1:09 pm

    –I like the detail about the floor being so covered in comics that it’s hard to see the floor. However, I’d recommend cutting the phrase “in fact.” It gives the narrator a voice, which can work in novels but generally not in scripts.

    –To help us immediately see that he’s late, I’d recommend having him do something interesting with his alarm clock. You could work in a bit of comic exaggeration. For example, he hits it the first time. Then we cut to it ringing again and he hits it harder. The third time he just pounds the heck out of it and it keeps ringing.

    –Comma between Hey and Helen. Generally speaking, when a line addresses itself to a character’s name, the character’s name will be separated by commas. “If I have to remind you to leave your guns at home, Cadet Davis, I will beat you with my pencil case.”

    The lines between Sam and Helen could probably use more style.

    Comma between Thanks and Lennie.

    “Professor Young is working on a field of science no scientist has ever dared to expl” could probably be more specific and wackier. I think that this situation has comic potential but this line doesn’t make good use of it.

    “Nice meeting you Lennie” is a nicety. Could it be removed?

    “I hear they won the lottery or something. It was in the local paper.” This could probably be shortened drastically to something like “They won the lottery.” I don’t think you need to explain how he knows that his neighbors won the lottery. He is, after all, their neighbor. Also, the phrase “or something” introduces doubt, which is probably not helpful.

    “Oh snap!” Hmm. Take this with a grain of salt, given that I’m a few years too old to have been in school when this phrase took off. However, I’ve never heard a male use it. It sounds kind of girly. I’d recommend replacing it with something more generic like “Shoot!” or something more stylish.

    “How did he put it? Revolutionary experiment running again…” I think this is an awkward way to work in the professor’s voice. If you’d like to work in the prof’s voice, I’d recommend having him call Sam to see where he is.

    Forms of the word revolution (revolutionary, revolutionise, etc.) have been thrown around a few times. It’s sort of an unusual word, so I’d recommend coming up with synonyms to avoid repeating the word.

    “Oh I’m sorry Lennie where’s your PhD in neuroscience?” Commas after Oh, sorry, and Lennie. This is a funny line.

    “At least I’m not a maverick.” What would you think about “at least I’m sane.”

    When Young starts talking like a dictionary, it feels very unusual. I’d recommend just having him say something like “The power to move something by thinking about it.” For telepathy, I’d say “mind-to-mind communication.”

    Lennie seems like a smart guy, but he seems noticeably daft for getting annoyed at Sam for not mentioning that the reading has gotten so high. He has no idea what a high reading is, and as far as I can see there’s no reason to believe that he should know what a high reading is. One way you could smooth this out is to have the professor deliver a dense and incomprehensible bit of instruction and then show Sam spacing out.

    I think that the revised action sequence (with them icing Helen’s feet) is much smoother.

    “a strange glow comes from their hands just before they let go of George. Fire and Ice quickly get up.” I don’t understand what this glow is. If this is to foreshadow something, I’d recommend giving us a sentence of explanation. (“These two characters are eventually going to merge, and this is the first suggestion that something is terribly wrong.”) Something like that.

    “Oh. My. God.” I’m not that familiar with UK shows, but at least in the US “God” is sort of a taboo word for children’s programming.

  30. Tomon 16 Mar 2009 at 2:09 pm

    A taboo word that I’ve heard being used on rare occasions. Although now that I think about it it was on established shows so I probably shouldn’t be taking risks by including it (I once heard the word ‘Hell’ twice in one episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but I guess Lucasarts gets a free pass for that kind of stuff due to its… size). I guess ‘Heck’ works just as fine (I always found it more insulting than ‘Hell’ or ‘God’ because it’s a mix of ‘Hell’ and ‘F**k’!)

    And yeah, the glowing thing is foreshadowing, but I’m thinking of removing what it foreshadows now, so I’ll just drop it.

    *gets to work*

  31. B. Macon 16 Mar 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I hope that it’s just a coincidence that heck and f*ck end in ck. Haha.

    On the other hand, the dictionaries I have on hand note that the word “heck” derives from the 1850s, so it’s chronologically possible that it was inspired by hell and f***, which are both much older. Incidentally, there’s a few urban legends around the origins of the f-word. If you’re interested, you can see Snopes debunk them here, but be forewarned that they actually spell out the word in question. I mean, go figure that a writing site for teens has to wuss out on profanity. Sigh. In real life, I’m fairly profane and vulgar. I figure that there will be kids present at virtually any speaking event with a comic-book theme, so I might as well teach myself how to turn it off now.

  32. Holliequon 16 Mar 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Haha, I taught myself to turn off the swearing when I started to visit my younger cousin/brother more. It always makes me laugh that things targeted at teenagers (pre-teens even) are supposed to contain minimal swearing. Have these people ever met a teenager?! Haha.

  33. Ragged Boyon 16 Mar 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Very true. With my circle of friends it’s all profanity and sex jokes…TONS OF SEX JOKES. It gets tiresome after a while, but at least we’re always laughing.

  34. B. Macon 16 Mar 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Many adults are really protective of kids when it comes to mature content, particularly profanity. Also, there is considerably more leeway when it comes to violence or romantic situations than profanity (or drug-use, for that matter). It takes an incredible amount of violence to get a movie up to rated-R, but it only takes two f-bombs.

    Violence is mostly ok in children’s cartoons– you might even be able to get away with killing characters on-camera if you show it from behind. But profanity in a children’s cartoon is just completely unheard-of.

  35. Tomon 17 Mar 2009 at 11:01 am

    I know, it’s totally ridiculous! It’s not even about protecting the kids, it’s about appeasing the parents. I don’t think any kid would mind if Helen’s line was ‘what the f**k?’, but every single parent in the world would bombard the poor channel who airs it with complaints.

    Oh, I forgot to do this when I started, can you cut+paste it into the place that currently says ‘see comments below’?

    1. What are you trying to write?

    -A script for a TV show
    -Action/comedy/well…superhero!
    -Four teenagers with superpowers fight crime to defend their city. I know, totally original.

    2. Do you have a target audience in mind? This will help readers offer better-aimed feedback.

    -I’d guess my show would be mostly for pre-teens, but I know kids younger and older will like it.
    -I think there’s enough there for both genders to enjoy. Obviously boys more so than girls but I don’t see why girls wouldn’t like it.
    -If anyone likes Teen Titans, they’ll probably like this… God I love Teen Titans…

    3. How thick is your skin? This will help reviewers offer thorough and polite criticism.

    -Mostly point out flaws when commenting so I can fix them, but I wouldn’t mind the occasional pat on the pack for doing something well. :D

    Anyhoo, I think we’ve assaulted section 1 of episode 1 enough. Should I post the next section or should we give it one final beatdown?

  36. Holliequon 18 Mar 2009 at 9:49 am

    I think most of that works. If you make any changes you want and get back to us with parts you feel are problematic, we can sort them out quickly.

    If you’re happy with it, I think it’s safe to move on.

  37. Tomon 18 Mar 2009 at 10:38 am

    Okay, this part will need a lot of sorting out.

    Shot of the street, outside the now completely collapsed house. There are numerous police vans and cars, and an ambulance. Several policemen are interviewing the kids and their parents, Lennie is not with them.
    Sam: And then… and then… and then BOOM! (he makes a large hand gesture to signify an explosion) And then we turned around and he was gone!
    Policeman: You should count yourself lucky, you could’ve been killed. We promise we’ll do everything we can to find Professor Young.
    Camera pans over to George and Helen, who are talking to another policeman.
    George: …After the explosion, they just ran off.
    Helen: I think they realised they had the wrong guy.
    Policeman: Don’t worry, we’ll find your crooks.
    Helen: Is Lennie going to be okay?
    As if to answer the question an ambulance slowly drives into the street and pulls up next to her. An ambulance worker gets out.
    Ambulance worker: Who are the parents of Lennie Newton?
    Lennie’s parents walk up to him.
    Lennie’s mum: That would be us.
    Worker: Can I talk to you for a second?
    Sam: What’s going on?
    Worker: The CAT scans revealed that the accident caused major reconstruction of several parts of the brain, mostly areas associated with thought and memory, but also a part connected to movement.
    George: What does that mean?
    Worker: See for yourself.
    He walks over to the back of the ambulance and opens the doors, Lennie exits, sitting in a wheelchair.
    Lennie: Hey guys.
    Lennie’s mum: Oh my- What…what’s wrong?
    Worker: His legs have been permanently paralysed. He’ll never walk again. I’m sorry.
    The worker closes the doors, gets back in the ambulance and drives off.
    Lennie: Mum, dad, it’s okay, I’ll be fine.
    Mum: But you’ll never walk again.
    Lennie: It’s alright, I never did like P.E. anyway. (he laughs) Hey, can you get my jumper? I’m cold.
    His mum and dad oblige and leave.
    Lennie: Now that they’re gone, there’s a bright side.
    Helen: Oh?
    Lennie: Yeah, in the accident, my brain chemistry was altered, I now have five times more neural pathways than an average human, not to mention the fact that their efficiency has been improved tenfold.
    Sam: How do you know all that?
    Lennie: Because, I have five times more…oh never mind (to himself) like talking to a three year old (to Sam, in a mock stupid tone) I’m smarter.
    George: Smarter?
    Lennie: Yes, but not just smarter, I’m…I’m…oh how should I put this in a way even you can understand? I know, I have (he air-quotes) ‘super-intelligence’.
    Cut to a close-up of Sam’s face, camera zooms in as his eyes light up with joy.

    Very long shot inside Sam’s room. Sam is focusing on a comic book on the floor.
    Sam: C’mon! Move!
    He puts his hand out in front of the comic and concentrates.
    Sam: I know I can do this!
    The book starts floating in mid-air.
    Sam: I knew it! I did move that debris with my mind! I have tele…tel…that thing!
    Sam opens the cupboard door with his mind, the comic he lifted then flies into the cupboard. There is a knock on the door.
    Sam: Who is it?
    Helen: It’s me.
    Sam: Umm…just a second.
    Sam lifts up every comic on the floor with his mind, then makes them all fly into neat piles in the cupboard. He then runs over to a mirror, checks his hair, and runs over to the door to open it.
    Sam: (opening the door) Hello Helen… (he sees that she’s brought George and Lennie along too) and George…and Lennie…
    The three of them go inside.
    Sam: Umm…come in?
    Helen: George wanted to tell us something, but he said we had to wait until we were all together.
    Sam: What is it?
    Helen: George?
    George: It’s not telling you something, I need to show you something.
    Sam: Great, and I need to show you something!
    George: I asked first.
    Sam: (pause) Fine…
    George holds his palm open in front of him, suddenly, a flame appears out of nowhere just above his palm.
    Sam: Whoa… you can-
    George: (interrupting) Wait, there’s more!
    George walks over to the mirror, puts his finger on it, and it immediately frosts over.
    Sam: How did you-
    George: I’ve had those powers for about a year now. I was in a museum and there were these two crystals on display. As a joke I touched them. When I went home that night I discovered those powers. (as he says this a montage of shots detailing his story appear to illustrate it)
    Sam: That’s… that’s so cool! You have superpowers! I don’t believe this!
    George: It’s no big deal.
    Helen: So why are you telling us?
    George: Because you guys were nice to me. Ever since I got these powers I’ve been laying low. I think you deserve to know.
    Helen: So, Sam, what did you want to show us?
    Sam: What? Oh, right! Check this out.
    Sam turns to the cupboard, focuses on it, and the doors fly open. Comics from the neat pile then fly out and circle the four of them, before returning to their place in the cupboard.
    George: What on earth?
    Sam: The experiment worked! I have tele…tel…
    Lennie: (it sounds echoic) Telekinesis you idiot!
    Sam: Alright Lennie, telekinesis, no need to call me an idiot!
    Lennie: But I didn’t say that out loud, I thought it.
    Sam: Then how did I hear that? Oh, wait! I have that other thing too, Tele…tel…
    Lennie: (in his head) Telepathy!
    Sam: Telepathy!
    Helen: This is incredible! You all have superpowers!
    Sam: This can’t be a coincidence. We’ve been brought together by something, maybe fate, or destiny, or karma, or the Force, or anything, but whatever it is, it wants us to join forces for a cause. So what should we do?
    George: Become professional wrestlers and make millions?
    Lennie: Solve the energy crisis?
    Sam: How about, fight bullies?
    Helen: What, like superheroes?
    Sam: Exactly.
    George: (looking at the posters on the walls) By any chance, do you read comic books?
    Sam: Why yes, yes I do.
    George: There’s a surprise(!)
    Sam: Don’t you guys get it? Finally, after years of reading comics, I can be like the characters in one. After years of suffering at the hands of bullies, I can do something about it. Finally, I can be a superhero… But first I need to think of a secret identity! (the others stare at him with confuse looks) Let’s see… I have telepathy and telekinesis…Teleman! No, that’s lame. Move-Stuff-With-His-Mind-Guy! Nah.
    Lennie: How about instead of telekinesis, work with the word psychic. It can have a similar meaning.
    Sam: Right. Psychic…Psy…Psykid! That’s it! I can’t believe how much this is working out! Now it’s your turn Lennie, think of a superhero name!
    Lennie: No thanks, I don’t want to go out fighting crime, besides, I’m disabled.
    Sam: Suit yourself. George?
    George: So, that’s it, we’ve decided we’re being superheroes now? We’re not going with the wrestling thing?
    Sam: That’s right!
    George: (pause) Yeah, why not? Well, I’ve obviously considered the superhero thing before, and I came up with a name just in case.
    Lennie: Well, what is it?
    George: (shyly) Frostburn.
    Lennie: Hey, I like that!
    Sam: Then it’s settled!
    Helen: Hey, what about me?
    Sam: What, so now you want to be a superhero?
    Helen: Well if it’s only fighting bullies, why not?
    Sam: But you don’t have superpowers.
    Helen: Neither does Batman but he still fights crime.
    Sam: Yes, but he has martial arts expertise.
    Helen: So do I. Black belts in Karate, Judo, Kung-Fu and even Tai Chi.
    Sam: ……Batman has loads of cool gadgets.
    Helen: Well, you got me there!
    Sam: Well how do we name you if you don’t have powers?
    Helen: What about… Astraea?
    The boys look at her, totally confused.
    Helen: What? She’s a minor Greek goddess. Goddess of justice… (they continue staring) What? I’m a mythology buff…
    Sam: Okay… (pause) Now that that’s settled, let’s get to work on superhero costumes.
    Sam turns to face Helen
    Helen: Why are you looking at me?
    Sam: Can you sew us costumes?
    Helen: Oh, what? Just because I’m a girl I know how to sew, is that it?
    Sam: No, just because I know for a fact that you can sew.
    Helen: (long pause) Just give me the designs and I’ll sew them.

    Montage of shots, including shots of Sam drawing designs at a table, Helen sewing, George trying to shoot fire and finally a shot of Lennie looking up at the old tree house in Sam’s back garden.
    Helen: There, all done.
    Sam and George try on their costumes, expressions like ‘wow’ and ‘cool’ are randomly spurted out.
    Sam: What about your costume?
    Helen steps out of the room, then steps back in with her costume on.
    Helen: What do you think?
    Sam stares with his jaw hanging.
    George: Pretty cool.

  38. B. Macon 18 Mar 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Here are some initial thoughts. I’m kind of running out the door right now.

    –Lennie is much more condescending after the accident than before. The change feels too marked.

    –Lennie’s parents seem unnecessary here.

    –“His legs have been permanently paralyzed” is redundant with “he’ll never walk again.”

    –Right now, it looks like you have a double origin. George got his powers in one random event, and everyone else got theirs because of the lab accident. That’s mostly unsatisfying and problematic. First, it’s contrived that the superpowered kid just happened to move so close to the place where a superpowered accident was about to happen. Second, if he has superpowers, why couldn’t he beat off the goons? As far as I could tell, he didn’t even put up a fight.

    –“How about, fight bullies?” Since he’s a comic book fan, I’d recommend just having him say “Become superheroes!”

    –“George: (looking at the posters on the walls) By any chance, do you read comic books? Sam: Why yes, yes I do. George: There’s a surprise.” I don’t get what you’re trying to suggest about the Sam-George relationship here. Be clearer. In particular, what are we supposed to think about George? It looks like you’re trying to suggest that he’s more serious and realistic than Sam. But keep in mind that George’s first suggestion was that they become masked wrestlers.

    –It seems implausible that Helen would have even one black belt, let alone four. She’s a high school student, right? Also, if she’s a black belt, why didn’t she stop a random bully from beating on Lennie and her boyfriend?

    –I don’t think it’s plausible that she comes up with the name Astraea herself. She hasn’t been established as that well-read. Lennie might suggest it to her, or you could suggest that she reads a lot.

    –The conversation between Helen and Sam about the costumes falls a bit flat for me. I sympathize—I tried something similar last year and I don’t think it worked.

  39. Ragged Boyon 18 Mar 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Here are my thoughts on Part Two, on mostly things that B. Mac couldn’t get to in his post.

    -Generally, I think the dialogue is a lot better. The conversations are more interesting, and I’m getting a better grip on Sam’s personality. I think Helen is still lacking in that field a little though, I’m getting a tough girl vibe from her. Was that intentional? And I’m guessing George is a shy guy?

    -I like Lennie as more slightly condescending, but you need to establish that he is this way a little earlier.

    -Are there portable CAT Scan machines? I doubt the plausibility that Lennie could receive one on the spot instead of in a hospital. You could just put him in a wheelchair now and have the paramedics tell him that they will need further testing at a hospital to determine his condition. Then he could request that he stay there with his friends instead of go with ambulance. If Lenny is able to diagnose that he has more neural pathways, I’m guessing it’s plausible that he could tell his friends he’ll never walk again.

    -I think it would be better if George somehow got his powers from Fire and Ice. Maybe as the explosion went off Fire and Ice’s hands radiated against George’s body again, then when the building blew up near them some of those crazy psychic sparks hit them, not enough to hurt them, but enough that they transferred both Fire and Ice’s abilities into George creating Frostburn.

    -Sam masters his powers a little too quickly, I think a gradual progression would work nicely. George still hasn’t mastered his powers and he’s had them for a year, so I think Sam need to progress a little slower to level the playing field. Alternatively, you could use this as a way to add competitiveness to Sam and George’s relationship “I bet I’ll master my powers before you!” If you’re going with gradual, maybe at first he can only lift a few things at once, but by the next episode he is much better with training.

    -Helen seems a lot less talented than she actually is. She has four black belts, is a mythology buff, and she’s sort of a master seamstress, designing and making an outfit, let alone a costume, is a very tedious process. However, I think the costume thing can slide, I doubt many people think about how long it takes to make clothing. I suggest you show some of these skills earlier. If she’s a master of martial arts, how come she doesn’t help Sam when he gets beat up by the Bully. If she can’t stop a middle(?) school bully, how can she stop supervillains with powers?

    -I think you could make the costume conversation more interesting by having Sam make suggestions for costumes that are ridiculously similar to his favorite heroes. Helen could then show some personality in protesting to his ideas.

    -What is Lennie’s role in the team now? I suspect he’d be like Richie from Static Shock, not having a super identity and working behind the scenes.

    What do you think?

  40. B. Macon 18 Mar 2009 at 3:21 pm

    For better or worse, I think that the average 10-15 year-old guy will find it plausible that Helen has enough sewing talent to pull off a costume. “Of course she can. She’s a girl!” Having never been a 10-15 year-old girl, I’m not sure what they might think. I suspect it won’t be a huge problem.

    On the other hand, I think it’s sort of unusual that Helen (who is talented bordering on the level of a Mary Sue) just randomly decides to go along with this. She’s apparently had heavy-duty martial-arts training and now she’s doing costumes? Also, she generally doesn’t sound excited about Sam’s superhero fantasy. (Remember, she’s the one that tried to bail him out when he intervened on Lennie’s behalf). I think that he should have to do something to convince her. Your call what that is, but it should be something that Sam finds extremely uncomfortable. (Show us that he’s willing to do anything to become a superhero).

    Here’s a thought for a comedic tangent. You know how female superheroes typically wear extremely skimpy bikini-style clothes? Sam announces that he’s finally designed her clothes, and Lennie and she look at the drawing. Lennie says something like “I’ve never seen a bikini that small.” Helen glares at Sam and announces that he’s been fired as head designer. ;-)

  41. Tomon 19 Mar 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the advice, I have a couple of issues.

    -First, George’s powers. At first, his origin was that he got the powers from Fire and Ice in the explosion as RB suggested, but I changed that after realising it was a little contrived. But I’ve now changed it so that he already had his powers. You may think that’s just as contrived but I have an explanation for that, a person who can see the future fixed it so that George moved in next to Sam so they would fight crime together (I know that’s a little complex, later on I’ll have them fight that person, it’ll be a pretty cool episode). And there is a reason his powers don’t work on the goons. I probably should’ve made it clearer that he was trying to use his powers on them though, I’ll change that.

    -I’m 16 and I’ve had a black belt in Karate since I was about 13, so it’s not that unrealistic, though I’ll grant that four black belts seems a bit much.

    -Yes, Lennie will occupy the same role as Richie (thanks for reminding me of his name, I’d forgotten it after all this time). It wasn’t a ripoff though, I thought of his before I saw Static Shock. (he was probably subconsciously inspired by Wade from Kim Possible!)

    -I had honestly not thought about Helen fighting the bully! It totally slipped my mind. How can I fix that?

    *goes to fix bugs I can fix*

  42. Holliequon 19 Mar 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I’m pretty close to a 15 year-old girl, and I think it’s absolutely plausible that Helen could make clothes. Some people in textiles are doing that right now (I don’t take textiles, but if I did I’m sure I could well). I think she’s probably able to make them a bit quickly, but since this is a TV show I don’t think anybody will be too bothered by that.

  43. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I didn’t think it was implausible; I’ve seen 6 year-olds make clothes. I was just saying to make to full body costumes takes time. Afterward, I said this didn’t really matter because I’m the only person I know who would be worrying about the fashion.

  44. Tomon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Also it’s worth noting that all she sews is t-shirts with patterns on them, since their costumes are jeans, t-shirts and masks that only cover the eyes. How plausible is it that teenagers have access to spandex, or would want to wear spandex at all? I think the time has come for superheroes who don’t wear spandex, and I think a lot of people here will agree.

  45. Holliequon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I don’t think any self-respecting teenager would be caught dead in spandex (though Sam might be so into superheroes that he suggests it, and everyone immediately overrules him).

  46. Tomon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Ha, I am SO adding a joke along those lines in.

    I think I have a solution to the Helen not fighting the bully problem. She’s afraid of retribution from a larger gang of bullies. This is good because it explains her willingness to fight him when she’s in disguise. What do you think?

  47. Holliequon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Hmm. That does sound plausible, especially since the retribution would probably be against Sam too.

  48. Tomon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Hooray! *does the Zoidberg dance*
    Woop woop woop!

  49. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Hmm. I think the bullies will struggle to present a dramatic challenge as soon as the characters have superpowers. (Unless the bullies attack in a scene where the characters cannot use their powers because they’re caught in their secret identity).

    As an alternative to fear of retribution from bullies (which seems pretty weak), there might be something about Helen that makes her afraid of getting in trouble with the school authorities. For example, if she were really academically motivated, she might be worried about what colleges might think. Maybe her parents would flip if she had been getting in fights. Or maybe her parents are martial arts instructors and would get really annoyed if she had been abusing her arts by using them on people that never had a chance. Or maybe her parents are very, very pacifistic and would freak out if she had been getting in fights. Etc.

  50. Tomon 20 Mar 2009 at 11:22 am

    Hmm… those are good ideas, I think I’ll do something along those lines.

  51. Tomon 20 Mar 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Right, here’s the first revised version:

    Shot of the street, outside the now completely collapsed house. There are numerous police vans and cars, and an ambulance. Several policemen are interviewing the kids and their parents, Lennie is not with them.
    Sam: And then… and then… and then BOOM! (he makes a large hand gesture to signify an explosion) And then we turned around and he was gone!
    Policeman: You should count yourself lucky, you could’ve been killed. We promise we’ll do everything we can to find Professor Young.
    Camera pans over to George and Helen, who are talking to another policeman.
    George: …After the explosion, they just ran off.
    Helen: I think they realised they had the wrong guy.
    Policeman: Don’t worry, we’ll find your crooks.
    Helen: Is Lennie going to be okay?
    As if to answer the question an ambulance slowly drives into the street and pulls up next to her. An ambulance worker gets out and approaches Sam, George and Helen.
    Ambulance worker: Are you friends of Lennie Newton?
    Sam: Yeah…
    Worker: Can I talk to you for a second?
    Sam: What’s going on?
    Worker: See for yourself.
    He walks over to the back of the ambulance and opens the doors, Lennie exits, sitting in a wheelchair.
    Lennie: Hey guys.
    Helen: What the…what’s wrong?
    Worker: Well we’re not sure why at this point but we think the accident affected his nervous system. The way it looks now he’ll never walk again. I’m sorry.
    The worker closes the doors, gets back in the ambulance and drives off.
    Lennie: Guys, it’s okay, I’ll be fine.
    Sam: But you’ll never walk again.
    Lennie: It’s alright, I never did like P.E. anyway. (he laughs) Besides, there’s a bright side.
    George: Oh?
    Lennie: Yeah, in the accident, my brain chemistry was altered, they were right, the accident caused major reconstruction of several parts of the brain, mostly areas associated with thought and memory, but also a part connected to movement.
    George: What does that mean?
    Lennie: Well, besides the fact that I’ll never walk again, I now have five times more neural pathways than an average human, not to mention the fact that their efficiency has been improved tenfold.
    Sam: How do you know all that?
    Lennie: Because, I have five times more…oh never mind (to himself) like talking to a three year old (to Sam, in a mock stupid tone) I’m smarter.
    George: Smarter?
    Lennie: Yes, but not just smarter, I’m…I’m…oh how should I put this in a way even you can understand? I know, I have (he air-quotes) ‘super-intelligence’.
    Cut to a close-up of Sam’s face, camera zooms in as his eyes light up with joy.

    Very long shot inside Sam’s room. Sam is focusing on a comic book on the floor.
    Sam: C’mon! Move!
    He puts his hand out in front of the comic and concentrates.
    Sam: I know I can do this!
    The book starts floating in mid-air.
    Sam: I knew it! I did move that debris with my mind! I have tele…tel…that thing!
    Sam opens the cupboard door with his mind, the comic he lifted then flies into the cupboard. There is a knock on the door.
    Sam: Who is it?
    Helen: It’s me.
    Sam: Umm…just a second.
    Sam lifts up some of the comics on the floor with his mind, then makes them fly into the cupboard. He then runs over to a mirror, checks his hair, and runs over to the door to open it.
    Sam: (opening the door) Hello Helen… (he sees that she’s brought George and Lennie along too) and George…and Lennie…
    The three of them go inside, careful to avoid any comic books still on the floor.
    Sam: Umm…come in?
    Helen: George wanted to tell us something, but he said we had to wait until we were all together.
    Sam: What is it?
    Helen: George?
    George: It’s not telling you something, I need to show you something.
    Sam: Great, and I need to show you something!
    George: I asked first.
    Sam: (pause) Fine…
    George holds his palm open in front of him, suddenly, a flame appears out of nowhere just above his palm.
    Sam: Whoa… you can-
    George: (interrupting) Wait, there’s more!
    George walks over to the mirror, puts his finger on it, and it immediately frosts over.
    Sam: How did you-
    George: I’ve had those powers for about a year now. I was in a museum and there were these two crystals on display. As a joke I touched them. When I went home that night I discovered those powers. (as he says this a montage of shots detailing his story appear to illustrate it)
    Sam: That’s… that’s so cool! You have superpowers! I don’t believe this!
    George: It’s no big deal.
    Helen: So why are you telling us?
    George: Because you guys were nice to me. Ever since I got these powers I’ve been laying low. I think you deserve to know.
    Helen: Wait, why didn’t you use your powers on those goons?
    George: They weren’t working. I have no idea why. I don’t get these powers sometimes.
    Lennie: So, Sam, what did you want to show us?
    Sam: What? Oh, right! Check this out.
    Sam turns to the cupboard, focuses on it, and the doors fly open. Comics then fly out and circle the four of them, before returning to the cupboard.
    George: What on earth?
    Sam: The experiment worked! I have tele…tel…
    Lennie: (it sounds echoic) Telekinesis you idiot!
    Sam: Alright Lennie, telekinesis, no need to call me an idiot!
    Lennie: But I didn’t say that out loud, I thought it.
    Sam: Then how did I hear that? Oh, wait! I have that other thing too, Tele…tel…
    Lennie: (in his head) Telepathy!
    Sam: Telepathy!
    Helen: This is incredible! You all have superpowers!
    Sam: This can’t be a coincidence. We’ve been brought together by something, maybe fate, or destiny, or karma, or the Force, or anything, but whatever it is, it wants us to join forces for a cause. So what should we do?
    George: Become professional wrestlers and make millions?
    Lennie: Solve the energy crisis?
    Sam: How about, fight crime?
    Helen: What, like superheroes?
    Sam: Exactly.
    Helen: (uncertain) I don’t know…
    Sam: Fine, just bullies like Carl then.
    Helen: (still uncertain) Well, if it’s only against bullies…
    George: (looking at the posters on the walls) I wonder where you got that idea from…
    Sam: Don’t you guys get it? Finally, after years of reading comics, I can be like the characters in one. After years of suffering at the hands of bullies, I can do something about it. Finally, I can be a superhero… But first I need to think of a secret identity! (the others stare at him with confuse looks) Let’s see… I have telepathy and telekinesis…Teleman! No, that’s lame. Move-Stuff-With-His-Mind-Guy! Nah.
    Lennie: How about instead of telekinesis, work with the word psychic. It can have a similar meaning.
    Sam: Right. Psychic…Psy…Psykid! That’s it! I can’t believe how much this is working out! Now it’s your turn Lennie, think of a superhero name!
    Lennie: No thanks, I don’t want to go out fighting crime, besides, I’m disabled.
    Sam: Suit yourself. George?
    George: So, that’s it, we’ve decided we’re being superheroes now? We’re not going with the wrestling thing?
    Sam: That’s right!
    George: (pause) Yeah, why not? Well, I’ve obviously considered the superhero thing before, and I came up with a name just in case.
    Lennie: Well, what is it?
    George: (shyly) Frostburn.
    Lennie: Hey, I like that!
    Sam: Then it’s settled!
    Helen: Hey, what about me?
    Sam: What, so now you want to be a superhero?
    Helen: Well if it’s only fighting bullies, why not?
    Sam: But you don’t have superpowers.
    Helen: Neither does Batman but he still fights crime.
    Sam: Yes, but he has martial arts expertise.
    Helen: So do I. I have a black belt in Karate, second Dan.
    Sam: ……Batman has loads of cool gadgets.
    Helen: Well, you got me there!
    Sam: Well how do we name you if you don’t have powers?
    Helen: What about some kind of Greek goddess?
    The boys look at her, totally confused.
    Helen: (unusually shyly) What? I like Greek mythology…
    Lennie: Well there’s several choices for Greek goddesses, you could go for a major goddess like Artemis or Athena, or some of the minor ones like Astraea, Nemesis, Hestia-
    Helen: (interrupting) Wait, go back, what was that one… ast… as-
    Lennie: Astraea?
    Helen: Yeah.
    Lennie: Well she was a goddess of justice.
    Sam: Oh, I like that one! It’s clever!
    Helen: It’s not bad… Okay, let’s go for it!
    Sam: Great, now that that’s settled, let’s get to work on superhero costumes.
    Sam turns to face Helen
    Helen: Why are you looking at me?
    Sam: Can you sew us costumes?
    Helen: Oh, what? Just because I’m a girl I know how to sew, is that it?
    Sam: No! (pause) Kinda…
    Helen: For the record, I do not know how to sew!
    Sam: Great, now how can we make the costumes? Does anyone here know how to sew? (to himself) Why did Spider-Man never have this problem?
    Lennie: (typing at Sam’s computer) I may not know how to sew, but the internet does!
    The four gather around as Lennie searches online for a ‘how to’ for sewing.

    Montage of shots with a Rocky-style tune playing. First Sam drawing designs at a table, then showing a design for George’s costume made of spandex. George laughs in his face, Sam comically shrinks away. He then shows Helen an idea for her costume which looks really skin-tight. Helen glares at Sam, who shrinks away the same way as before. He comes to her again with a slightly less revealing costume and Helen smiles. He then returns to George with the same design, but in T-shirt form, not full-body spandex form. Shot of Helen practising Karate moves by herself on a training dummy. Then a shot of Sam trying to sew but pricking his thumb, he adds a plaster to a hand full of plasters with cartoonish tears coming from his eyes . Then a shot of George trying to shoot fire, another shot of Sam sewing, this time trying to sew with one hand, since the other is covered in plasters, then a shot of Lennie looking up at the old tree house in Sam’s back garden, then back to Sam sewing, this time telepathically since both hands are covered in plasters.
    Sam: (panting, he reels back from the sewing machine) There, all done.
    Sam and George try on their costumes.
    George: Not bad, not bad! (to Helen) What about your costume?
    Helen steps out of the room, then steps back in with her costume on.
    Helen: What do you think?
    Sam stares with his jaw hanging.
    Sam: (stuttering) Umm… great! Totally great!

  52. Tomon 21 Mar 2009 at 8:42 am

    Okay, I’m pretty sure I read a rule somewhere that says you’re allowed to remind people to come to your review forum once per day. So here’s today’s reminder. :D

  53. Asayaon 21 Mar 2009 at 10:43 am

    Pretty good! The funniest part in my opinion, was when he ended up sewing psychically cause his hands are cut/ pricked up. But also, the part where they are told Lennie won’t walk again seems a bit sudden. Maybe they visit him in the hospital?

    Oh and Tom, since I’ve added a password to my forum, I’m gonna e-mail it (the password) to you so you can give me some tips on my story. Give me a couple days to set some things up. Thanks.

  54. B. Macon 21 Mar 2009 at 11:21 am

    Hmm. If George has a separate origin story from the other three kids, I’d recommend bringing him in as a superhero in a later episode. It will be easier for readers to digest then, and it will seem less cheesy when we know about the future-predicting person.

    “Several policemen are interviewing the kids and their parents, Lennie is not with them.” Comma splice. I’d recommend replacing the comma here with a period or adding “but” before Lennie.

    “You should count yourself lucky, you could’ve been killed.” Comma splice. Two independent clauses can’t be held together with just a comma. A period would probably work better here.

    “Hey guys” should be “hey, guys.”

    “The way it looks now he’ll never walk again.” Comma after now.

    “Well, we’re not sure why at this point but we think the accident affected his nervous system.” That could be shortened to either “The accident affected his nervous system” or “We think the accident affected his nervous system.”

    The worker could probably be cut from the Lennie-Helen-Sam conversation where Helen and Sam learn that he’s crippled.

    “Guys, it’s okay, I’ll be fine.” “It’s okay” is probably redundant with “I’ll be fine.” I’d recommend getting rid of “it’s okay.”

    “Yeah, in the accident, my brain chemistry was altered, they were right, the accident caused major reconstruction of several parts of the brain, mostly areas associated with thought and memory, but also a part connected to movement.” This is a very long and complicated sentence. I’d recommend cutting it into 2-3 separate sentences. For example, “They were right. The accident transformed several parts of my brain, particularly the areas associated with thought, memory and movement.”

    Lennie kind of snaps at Sam, even though Sam’s not being particularly stupid here. If you want Sam to come off as stupid, I’d recommend replacing “What does that mean?” and/or “How do you know all that?” with some inane observation.

    “How should I put this in a way even you can understand?” This is so condescending that it may compromise Lennie’s likability. You could play this more subtly by having him put his head in his hands like he’s really exasperated.

    I’m not sure how I would fix this, but the transition between Sam’s face lighting up and Sam focusing on a comic book could probably be smoother.

    I don’t get why the plot keeps coming back to bullies. I guess they’re ok as a minor antagonist (sort of like Brad on American Dragon), but after we’ve already seen some pretty epic stuff in the first episode they’re going to feel pretty tame.

    I feel that George’s character is still inconsistent. He comes off as a serious foil to Sam with “I wonder where you got that idea from…” but he wants to become a masked wrestler. I think this conversation would be stronger without George. You can use Lennie as the serious foil to Sam; he’s already been established for that role.

    “second Dan.” My guess is that is martial-arts lingo. I’d recommend scrapping it because the average audience member will probably have no idea what it means.

    Referring to Batman (and later Spiderman) will be legally complicated. You could get the same point across by making up your own version of him. For example, the Black Knight instead of the Dark Knight, etc.

    “Helen: Oh, what? Just because I’m a girl I know how to sew, is that it?
    Sam: No! (pause) Kinda…” Haha! I like that a lot.

    Spiderman never had that problem because Mary Jane knows how to sew! See Ultimate Spiderman. Also, I’d recommend having Sam refer to the same superhero as before. Introducing two of his favorite comic book characters will probably make this unduly complicated.

    I don’t feel like this is very urgent. In contrast, if George were still kidnapped, then these heroes would have something to shoot for.

    SUGGESTED CHANGES
    1. Introduce George’s superpowers and origin story in a later episode.

    2. When Fire and Ice escape from the lab-explosion, I’d recommend having them escape with George. This will make it more urgent for Sam, Helen and possibly Lennie to band together to save the day. Also, I think the Sam-Helen-Lennie conversation will be smoother with three participants.

  55. Asayaon 21 Mar 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Yo Tom! Uh, to rephrase my earlier comment, since I’ve put a password on my forum B.Mac instructed me to only give my forum password to certain people. Since you were one of the first people to comment on my storyline, I’d like to receive your continued advice on the story I am working on. If you help me with my stuff, I’ll do the best I can to, you know, help you with your story.

    If you want my forum password I’ll have to get your e-mail address as B.Mac had told me so I can give the pass to you, so just lemme know if you want to.

  56. B. Macon 21 Mar 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Ack, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make it sound like you had to keep a really tight lid on your password. Give it out to whomever you like. I just suggested a few people that I knew would be discreet.

  57. Stefan the Exploding Manon 21 Mar 2009 at 9:55 pm

    When I read the first bit of your script, the feeling I got was that these wouldn’t be your average spandex-clad teen heroes. I imagined them being slightly more practical, wearing outfits rather than costumes, if you know what I mean. The feel of this script is more Static Shock than Teen Titans. I like it.

  58. Tomon 22 Mar 2009 at 7:34 am

    You want me to introduce George later? Gaah, I’d have to change a lot. Is it really that bad that I have a double-origin story?

    Also, I add urgency in two scenes time, when I introduce Professor Esper.

  59. Tomon 22 Mar 2009 at 7:59 am

    Also, Stefan, I take that as an insult, Teen Titans is my favourite show of all time! :P
    Kidding BTW, that’s exactly what I was going for. A superhero show that mocks the superhero genre a bit. Spandex being the #1 crime to mock.

    But I still love Teen Titans.

  60. B. Macon 22 Mar 2009 at 11:12 am

    “You want me to introduce George later? Gaah, I’d have to change a lot. Is it really that bad that I have a double-origin story?” You don’t have to introduce George later. You’d just have to introduce that George has superpowers later.

    As for the double-origin, I think that it will present a problem to an adult editor evaluating this episode. On the surface, it appears horribly contrived that George (who has superpowers on his own) randomly moved into the same neighborhood as the lab-accident that will give everyone else superpowers. You have an explanation that will justify the apparent contrivance, but I don’t think you can really get into that explanation until the episode where you introduce the seer. So I’d recommend holding off George’s superpowers until you can explain the contrivance.

    “Also, I add urgency in two scenes’ time, when I introduce Professor Esper.” My impression is that we’re probably 5-10 minutes through the first episode and nothing’s at stake right now. I don’t think that your audience (or editors reading on behalf of this audience) will be inclined to wait.

    Also, a bit of urgency will make the kids seem more heroic. Right now, it sounds like they just want to become superheroes for the hell of it.

  61. Matton 22 Mar 2009 at 11:22 am

    This seems pretty good so far but I have one really minor problem with it. Sam’s obviously a superhero fan, so it seems odd that he doesn’t know the terms for fairly common powers like telekinesis and telepathy. It’s a really minor point, but for some reason it bugged me.

    Other than that, it seems very interesting, but I agree that keeping George kidnapped would be an good way to add pace, especially if you introduced a minor antagonist in the form of police officer. Here his role would be to assure the kids he’d find the friend (perhaps making him a bit useless by losing his keys or something would help inspire the kids to look for George themselves and add some comedy value) but later he could investigate whatever crimes etc. the kids are preventing and come close to discovering who they are.

    I realise that would require a major rewrite and you’re perfectly entitled to stick to the way it is. Either way, I’m interested to see where it goes. :)

  62. B. Macon 22 Mar 2009 at 11:42 am

    Good point, Matt. I think that most comic book fans know what telekinesis and telepathy are. However, there are a few reasons Tom might want to keep Sam in the dark here.

    1. To establish that Sam is not that bright.

    2. Because the typical 10-year-old viewer won’t know what telekinesis is. This is a fairly painless way to define the term.

  63. Tomon 23 Mar 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Hmm… you’ve convinced me, I’ll get started on that BRUTAL re-write… tomorrow…

  64. Stefan the Exploding Manon 24 Mar 2009 at 7:06 am

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Teen Titans too. It’s just that your story seems to be set more in the real world. Comparatively real, that is, because you can’t really call teenagers with superpowers real. Good luck on the rewrite.

  65. B. Macon 24 Mar 2009 at 8:57 am

    I agree with Stefan. Teen Titans, like most other stories about a team of superheroes, really discounts the alternate identities of the superheroes. The best counterexample I can think of is X-Men: Evolutions, and even that focuses on the X-Men at Xavier’s high school for mutants. It’s not exactly an everyday setting.

    Because your story gives your characters origin stories and alternate identities, the story will probably take on a more realistic tone.

  66. B. Macon 24 Mar 2009 at 9:06 am

    I wouldn’t say it’s a brutal rewrite, heh heh. Changing the role of George to accommodate your later episode is a hassle, but it could be much worse. For example, let’s look at some of the first reviews of my Superhero Nation novel chapters.

    1) Your protagonist, Lash, is entirely boring. You don’t seem to appreciate this, but everything interesting in this story is about Agent Black.

    2) Lash is way too black.

    3) The characters are mediocre, but the plot is awful. I’d recommend scrapping the obstacles/goals and starting over. Also, get a new villain.

    4) Is this supposed to be a comedy?

    5) Agent Orange’s lines need to be totally overhauled. The underlying idea– a highly exotic government agent that speaks badly stilted English– is not nearly as funny as you seem to think it is.

    6) Lash never says or does anything that makes him feel like an authentic African-American. Speaking as an AA myself…

  67. Holliequon 24 Mar 2009 at 11:36 am

    I like that you were told that Lash is both “way too black” and “not black enough”.

  68. Ragged Boyon 24 Mar 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I’m black and I’d like to know what “an authentic African-American” says and does. Does he have to sag his pants and hate white people. Does he have to be ignorant and speak in ebonics. Black people don’t understand that when they say things like that it only demeans our own race.

    People just can’t wrap their heads around the concept that “black is a skin color (if that), not a personality.” Speaking as an “oreo” myself…

  69. Asayaon 24 Mar 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I agree.

  70. Stefan the Exploding Manon 25 Mar 2009 at 6:59 am

    Yes, the reviews on the pages with the excerpts from Superhero Nation were sometimes confusing. I don’t understand why some people expect to be able to tell someone’s race by their actions or dialogue. Readers shouldn’t expect caricatures from the ethnically diverse characters. It’s an attitude that borders on offensive.

  71. B. Macon 27 Mar 2009 at 9:44 am

    Hello. I sent you an e-mail.

  72. Tomon 28 Mar 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Okay, I’m re-writing the script, and I’m not sure if this order of events works. Feedback? (sorry it’s taking so long, was busy this week)

    Currently here’s how it goes:

    -Lab accident.
    -Fire and Ice kidnap George, he uses his powers to try to escape but they don’t help.
    -George is taken to the man behind the voice, who accidentally reveals he wants to absorb George’s powers to power up Fire and Ice.
    -Sam and Helen decide to become superheroes to save George.
    -Sam and Helen go to villain’s lair on the bus, hilarity ensues.
    -Epic fight scene.
    -Sam and Helen beat Fire and Ice, they are losing to the villain (whose name I’ll keep in the dark for now) when George saves them with his powers.
    -Exposition of how George got his powers.
    -Cliffhanger which I’ll leave as a surprise also.

    Will this work?

  73. Ragged Boyon 28 Mar 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Hmm, it may reflect poorly on Sam and Helen’s competence if they can’t save themselves and are save by someone who can hardly use his own powers. I recommend reworking this to show that Sam and Helen have some skill in combat.

  74. Tomon 28 Mar 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Oh don’t worry, they beat up Fire and Ice first in a cool fight scene, so they’re not totally useless. I’m just concerned about the narrative pattern. Like, should scene x go before or after scene y? Did I reveal twist z at the right time?

  75. Holliequon 28 Mar 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I think it’s much better to reveal George’s powers before he has to save Sam and Helen. It would feel a bit contrived otherwise.

    Hmm. To make Sam and Helen seem more competent, I would recommend that George just uses his to make some sort of escape/slow the villain down temporarily. Or did you have this in mind already?

  76. B. Macon 28 Mar 2009 at 5:22 pm

    If the heroes know where the villain is, why can’t they go to the police?

  77. Tomon 29 Mar 2009 at 10:05 am

    Maybe I should just post the new script… (warning- LOOOOOOOOOONG)

    One quick note before I start, the car Fire and Ice were in is now a van. This just proves how bad I am at logistics. When I had George get away there was no need for me to think ‘how did Fire and Ice intend to actually capture him?’, now that he’s being captured I needed to think about that, so the car became a van.

    Here goes:

    Cut to a shot of the moving van. Fire and Ice carry a tied-up George from the moving van down the street. Helen chases them.
    Ice: (turning around) The girl’s chasing us, what do we do?
    Fire and Ice run, still holding George. Helen is very close to them, almost catching up. Fire creates a small ball of fire from his hands and shoots it at Helen, she dodges it. The fireball lands pathetically on the ground. Ice then grabs Helen’s arm and suddenly it’s covered in ice. The ice travels down until her feet are covered, sticking her to the ground. Now half of her body is frozen.
    George: Let me go! (George struggles, contorting his face so much he appears constipated, as if he is trying to summon supernatural powers to help him, yet nothing happens) Why won’t it work?
    Fire: Would you please shut up?!

    (lab accident bit, it’s unchanged so there’s no need to re-post it)

    Cut to a shot of the street outside, Fire and Ice are running in front of the building just as a huge explosion rips apart the entire house. From there we see Fire and Ice stuffing George into the back of the van. They then get inside and turn on the ignition and begin driving.
    Fire: Is he secure back there?
    Ice: (turning around) I think so.
    Cut to shot of George struggling. The ropes that are tying him up suddenly burn away and he is freed.
    Fire: What the-?
    George pounds on the window separating him from his captors. Then he puts his hand on it and freezes it. Then he rams it, but it doesn’t budge. He then goes over to the door and tries the same thing, still nothing. He continues ramming.
    Fire: (speaking into walkie-talkie) Hey boss, when you said we had a kid to kidnap you forgot to mention he was superpowered!
    Boss: That was need-to-know only. And you didn’t need to know.
    Ice: (sadly) Why don’t you trust us boss?
    Boss: I don’t trust anyone.
    Cut back to what’s left of the house. Sam walks out of the house, dragging Lennie. He then gives up and collapses on the street.

    Shot of the street, outside the now completely collapsed house. There are numerous police vans and cars, and an ambulance. Several policemen are interviewing the kids and their parents. Lennie is not with them.
    Sam: And then… and then… and then BOOM! (he makes a large hand gesture to signify an explosion) And then we turned around and Professor Young was gone!
    Camera pans over to Helen, who is talking to another policeman, whilst being thawed out with portable hair dryers.
    Helen: …Then they stuffed him in a van and took him away.
    Policeman: I’m sorry. Have you known him long?
    Helen: No, I just met him.
    Policeman: We’ll do everything in our power to get him back.
    Helen: (pause) Is Lennie going to be okay?

    (Apart from that bit, the only things I changed in this scene was giving George’s lines to other people, since, obviously, he’s not there. Again, no need to re-post it

    Okay, I’ve changed most of the rest, you’ll find some familiar lines but it’s mostly different.)

    Establishing shot of a street with an Underground sign above it. Cut to a derelict Underground station, with peeling signs and wallpaper, and a boarded-up tunnel. Fire and Ice are dragging George down the stairs. They shove him onto the ground then quickly close the door to the stairs. A buzzing sound plays as the door electronically seals itself.
    George: Who are you? What do you want?
    Boss: (off-screen) You. Just you.
    George turns to face the man behind the voice. He is tall, in his mid-to-late-thirties. He has incredibly spiky hair, like a victim of a Van De Graaf Generator. He is wearing a spandex costume, which is white and covered in pictures of lightning bolts.
    George: (laughing) And who are you supposed to be?
    Boss: Call me…Thunderstorm.
    George: Okay, ‘Thunderstorm’, who are you? Why have you kidnapped me?
    Thunderstorm: I never tell anyone more than what I need them to know. My associates are proof of that.
    Ice: Associates? I thought we were friends!
    Fire: Friends? I thought we were lackeys.
    Thunderstorm: Enough! George, you have something I want.
    George: My powers.
    Thunderstorm: Precisely.
    George: But why? How do you know about them? What do you need them for? Your ‘associates’ have the same powers as me.
    Thunderstorm: What did I just say? Fire, Ice, please grab him.
    George: Fire and Ice? Those are your names? Seriously, you couldn’t think of anything better?
    Fire: (as he’s walking towards him) Like what?
    George: I don’t know, something like… Burn… and… Frost…
    Fire: So what does that make you, Frostburn?
    George: Well… hey that’s not a bad idea actually…
    Fire and Ice grab George. He struggles to access his powers, but they don’t work.
    George: C’mon…Why won’t they work?
    Thunderstorm: Because of Fire and Ice. Neither you nor they can use your powers on each other. Why? Because they all come from the same source. These. (he holds out two crystals, one orangey-red and the other very pale blue)
    George: Those are the crystals I got my powers from!
    Thunderstorm: You have no idea what you’re involved in. I need your powers so I can make their powers whole. Right now all three of you are very weak with your powers, but if I can extract your powers and give them to Fire and Ice, their powers will become stronger.
    Fire: Hey, how come you told him everything?
    Thunderstorm: What do you mean? (pause) Oh shoot! I did tell him everything! You’ve got me monologing! Anyway, strap him to the chair and let the extraction begin.
    Fire and Ice drag him over to a chair with arm rests with straps on them and a weird helmet above it.
    George: Let… me… go!

    Camera fades to another close-up of Sam’s face, this time he is concentrating, and in his room. Sam is focusing on a comic book on the floor.
    Sam: C’mon! Move!
    He puts his hand out in front of the comic and concentrates.
    Sam: I know I can do this!
    The book starts floating in mid-air.
    Sam: I knew it! I did move that debris with my mind! I have tele…tel…that thing!
    Sam opens the cupboard door with his mind, the comic he lifted then flies into the cupboard. There is a knock on the door.
    Sam: Who is it?
    Helen: It’s me.
    Sam: Umm…just a second.
    Sam lifts up some of the comics on the floor with his mind, then makes them fly into the cupboard. He then runs over to a mirror, checks his hair, and runs over to the door to open it.
    Sam: (opening the door) Hello Helen… (he sees that she’s brought Lennie along too) and Lennie…
    The two of them go inside, careful to avoid any comic books still on the floor.
    Sam: Umm…come in?
    Helen: So what is it you wanted to show us?
    Sam: Check this out.
    Sam turns to the cupboard, focuses on it, and the doors fly open. Comics then fly out and circle the four of them, before returning to the cupboard.
    Helen: What on Earth?
    Sam: The experiment worked! I have tele…tel…
    Lennie: (it sounds echoic) Telekinesis you idiot!
    Sam: Alright Lennie, telekinesis, no need to call me an idiot!
    Lennie: But I didn’t say that out loud, I thought it.
    Sam: Then how did I hear that? Oh, wait! I have that other thing too, Tele…tel…
    Lennie: (in his head) Telepathy!
    Sam: Telepathy!
    Helen: So the lab accident gave both of you superpowers?
    Sam: I know! It’s the most overused origin story in the history of comic books, but it really happened!
    Helen: Wait a second, origin story?
    Sam: Yeah, for superheroes.
    Helen: Superheroes? Where did you get that idea from?
    Sam: Well, me and Lennie have superpowers, I figured the three of us, you included, need to become superheroes now. I’ve even thought of a name for myself, Brainwave!
    Helen: We need to become superheroes?
    Sam: Of course, with great power comes great-
    Helen: (interrupting) If you finish that sentence I will knock you about so hard you’ll need to use telekinesis instead of your limbs!
    Sam: But it’s true! We need to use these powers to help people, don’t we Lennie?
    Lennie is just about to speak when Helen interrupts him.
    Helen: Oh no, not you too, surely Megabrain over here can see how stupid this is.
    Lennie: Actually, it might not be a bad idea.
    Helen: Lennie!
    Sam: C’mon Helen, don’t you want to save George?
    Helen: That is a matter for the police.
    Sam: You saw what happened, the guy who abducted him froze you to the ground! He had superpowers! And it’ll take someone with superpowers to beat them, not the police! Oh, and it would help to wear masks and have cover identities so they don’t know who stopped them. In short, it’ll take superheroes.
    Helen: But-
    Lennie: (interrupting) Helen, you don’t have to help if you don’t want to, but Sam and I are going to find George.
    Sam: C’mon Helen, we could use your black belt in Kung-Fu.
    Helen: Karate Sam, I’m a black belt in Karate.
    Sam: Whatever.
    Helen: Well I… I mean we can’t… but it’s silly really… but… but… oh alright, we’ll be superheroes. But just to save George!
    Sam: Yes! I knew you’d see the sense in it! Lennie, can you use your super brains to find out where they took George?
    Lennie: I’ll see what I can do. But I’m not going to help you fight. I never was a good fighter, and I don’t think I can think my opponents into submission.
    Sam: That’s fine, you can be our… umm… tech support guy!
    Lennie: That sounds good.
    Sam: Now all we need are superhero names. Let’s see… I have telepathy and telekinesis…Teleman! No, that’s lame. Move-Stuff-With-His-Mind-Guy! Nah.
    Lennie: How about instead of telekinesis, work with the word psychic. It can have a similar meaning.
    Sam: Right. Psychic…Psy…Psykid!
    Helen: Psykid?
    Sam: Yeah, y’know, psychic kid?
    Helen: Oh I get the pun, it’s just not a very good one.
    Lennie: Yeah, you’re hardly going to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies with that name.
    Sam: Well, I like it, so I’m keeping it!
    Helen: (thinking) Sometimes I wonder why I hand out with that guy…
    Sam: Hey, I heard that!
    Helen: Sorry, just a stray thought…
    Sam: Anyway, what do you want to be called?
    Helen: What about some kind of Greek goddess?
    The boys look at her, totally confused.
    Helen: (unusually shyly) What? I like Greek mythology…
    Lennie: Well there’s several choices for Greek goddesses, you could go for a major goddess like Artemis or Athena, or some of the minor ones like Astraea, Nemesis, Hestia-
    Helen: (interrupting) Wait, go back, what was that one… ast… as-
    Lennie: Astraea?
    Helen: Yeah.
    Lennie: Well she was a goddess of justice.
    Sam: Oh, I like that one! It’s clever!
    Helen: It’s not bad… Okay, let’s go for it!
    Sam: Great, now that that’s settled, let’s get to work on superhero costumes.
    Sam turns to face Helen
    Helen: Why are you looking at me?
    Sam: Can you sew us costumes?
    Helen: Oh, what? Just because I’m a girl I know how to sew, is that it?
    Sam: No! (pause) Kinda…
    Helen: For the record, I do not know how to sew!
    Sam: Great, now how can we make the costumes? Does anyone here know how to sew? (to himself) Why has no other superhero ever had this problem?
    Lennie: (typing at Sam’s computer) I may not know how to sew, but the internet does!
    The three gather around as Lennie searches online for a ‘how to’ for sewing.

    Montage of shots with a Rocky-style tune playing. First Sam drawing designs at a table, he is drawing his suit, which is totally spandex. Then a shot of Sam showing a design for Helen’s costume made of spandex. Helen laughs in his face, Sam comically shrinks away. He then shows Helen an idea for her costume which looks really skin-tight. Helen glares at Sam, who shrinks away the same way as before. He comes to her again with a slightly less revealing costume and Helen smiles. He then returns to the table with the same design for his costume, but in T-shirt form, not full-body spandex form. Shot of Helen practising Karate moves by herself on a training dummy. Then a shot of Sam trying to sew but pricking his thumb, he adds a plaster to a hand full of plasters with cartoonish tears coming from his eyes . Then a shot of Lennie typing at a laptop, another shot of Sam sewing, this time trying to sew with one hand, since the other is covered in plasters, then a shot of Lennie looking up at the old tree house in Sam’s back garden, then back to Sam sewing, this time telepathically since both hands are covered in plasters.
    Sam: (panting, he reels back from the sewing machine) There, all done.
    Sam tries on his costume.
    Lennie: Not bad, not bad! (to Helen) What about your costume?
    Helen steps out of the room, then steps back in with her costume on.
    Helen: What do you think?
    Sam stares with his jaw hanging.
    Sam: (stuttering) Umm… great! Totally great!

    Back in Sam’s room, the two of them are gathered around Lennie, who is typing at a laptop.
    Lennie: I invented a software to search for the van, then hacked into the city’s CCTV systems, then ran the software through the footage to find the van. Here’s what I found.
    Shot of street camera footage of an old derelict underground station with the van parked outside.
    Sam: That’s it! That’s the van! Let’s go!
    Sam runs towards the door.
    Helen: Wait!
    Sam stops halfway through a stride, frozen in mid-air, he turns to face Helen.
    Sam: Yeah?
    Helen: Do you know where it is?
    Sam: (pause) Haven’t a clue!
    Helen slaps her forehead with her palm.
    Lennie: I’ll draw up a bus route for you.
    Sam: Bus? Superheroes don’t take the bus! I’ll levitate myself there!
    Sam rises up into the air, clearly struggling to get off the ground.
    Sam: See? No… problem…
    Helen: Great, now how do I get there?
    Sam: I’ll levitate you too.
    Helen: You can barely lift yourself!
    Sam: Well… I’ll just… but I can… (pause) Fine, we’ll take the bus…

    Back in the underground station. George is strapped into the chair, the two crystals are ‘plugged’ into the helmet. It is making a loud humming noise and George is crying out in pain. Fire and Ice are supervising him, and holding his arms so he can’t use his powers.
    Thunderstorm: It’s not working! Why isn’t it working?!
    Fire: It took a while for us to absorb the powers. Maybe it’ll be the same for him.
    Thunderstorm: No, for him it’s different. He took the powers just by touching them. And remember that one time you just touched the crystal and you lost your powers?
    Fire: It was as if the fire wanted to go back into the crystal…
    Thunderstorm: Exactly, so this should be simple.
    Ice: We’ve been at this for hours! Can’t we take a rest?
    Thunderstorm aims his hand at Ice and bolts of lightning spark from it and fly towards Ice, giving him a mild electric shock.
    George: Whoa! That’s why they call you Thunderstorm!
    Thunderstorm points at George now and the lightning hits him, he cries out in pain.
    Thunderstorm: You’re getting on my nerves…
    Suddenly, Thunderstorm is lifted into the air
    Psykid: (off screen) Whoa, hey, Sparky, cool down would ya?
    He is thrown across the station onto the tracks.
    Thunderstorm: What the- who did that?
    He turns to face his foes. Standing in front of the broken down door are Psykid and Astraea.
    Thunderstorm: Who the heck are you?
    Psykid: I’m… (he telepathically projects his thoughts to Astraea, he is now thinking) Oh crud, I didn’t think of this…
    Astraea: (thinking to Psykid) Think of what?
    Psykid: (still thinking) My introduction!
    Astraea: What are you talking about?
    Psykid: I need a witty one-liner to introduce myself!
    Astraea: Oh Sam don’t be ridiculous, this is a rescue, not a comedy gig!
    Psykid: But all superheroes have good one-liners!
    Astraea: Don’t be stu-
    Their thought-conversation is disrupted by Ice throwing a punch at Astraea. She dodges, then lands a punch right in his stomach. As this happens Fire runs towards Psykid, hands blazing. Psykid stops him with his mind and throws him backwards.
    Thunderstorm: (getting up) I’ll repeat myself, who are you?
    Psykid: (thinking to Astraea) I’ll get it right this time! (out loud, to Thunderstorm, as he says it a dramatic background flashes behind him) We’re real-life superheroes! (background fades, thinking to Astraea again) How was that?
    Astraea: (thinking to Psykid) Not bad, could’ve been better.
    Thunderstorm: Well, I guess that makes me a real-life super villain!
    He pushes both his hands out in front of him, as he does this a strong wind begins to blow from behind him, it takes the heroes by surprise and knocks them back.
    Psykid: You’re a light bulb and a fan? I don’t suppose you’re a telephone too?
    Thunderstorm: Very funny. Minions, attack!
    Fire: Oh, so now we’re minions!
    Thunderstorm: (he goes into a thinking pose and pinches his forehead) Just… just get them.
    Ice keeps trying to hit Astraea, but she keeps dodging. He forms a block of ice in between his hands and throws it at her, she dodges. He forms a block of ice on his hands and begins punching again. She does a Karate block and goes into a punch. This time he reels over onto the ground, writhing in pain. Camera pans to Psykid and Fire. Fire is trying to ram Psykid with a flaming shoulder, but Psykid keeps holding him back with his powers. He throws him backwards again. This time Fire is knocked out.
    Thunderstorm: So you beat my goons…
    Fire: (he struggles to speak) Goons?
    Thunderstorm: Please just drop it! Anyway, so you beat my goons, but can you beat ME?!
    He causes a large gust of wind to blow Astraea to the wall, she is stuck to it by the wind, then he shoots lightning at Psykid whilst laughing evilly, he falls to the floor as he is electrocuted.
    George: (off-screen) Dude, kudos for the Emperor style lightning, but… game over.
    Thunderstorm turns to face George. He is standing behind him, holding the two crystals, both of which are glowing, and a swirling gas is inside both of them. He squeezes them and the glow is transferred to him. He drops both of them and shoots a fireball at Thunderstorm. He is knocked backwards. He then shoots a beam of ice, totally freezing him. Ice gets up and tries to make ice. Nothing happens.
    Ice: Hey, you took my ice!
    George: Really? Oh, sorry. You can have it!
    George shoots an ice beam at Ice and he is frozen too.
    George: My work here is done.
    Psykid: Oh sure, he can think of all the one-liners he wants!
    George: (walking up to the heroes) Thanks for saving me. Who are you guys?
    Psykid: George, it’s us.
    George: Seriously, who?
    The three of them start walking towards the exit.
    Astraea: We’ll tell you on the way home.
    Psykid: Oh, do you have enough money for a bus ticket?
    Camera pans up and fades to black. End scene.

    Next scene is in the station, but at night. Cut to close-up of Thunderstorm, still frozen. Suddenly, sparks begin to appear from him, and the ice begins to melt.

    Establishing shot of an abandoned warehouse, then inside we see Professor Young asleep on some old cardboard boxes. He slowly rouses from his sleep.
    Professor: Wh…where am I? (he holds his head) Ow, my head. What’s going on? (he gets up)
    He looks around. Suddenly, he hears voices. Then, he sees four silhouetted figures enter the warehouse, talking to each other. As they get closer he can see they are just random guys in plain clothes. They are carrying bags. They stop as they see Professor Young.
    Guy 1: Who the hell are you?
    Professor: I was just about to ask the same thing.
    Guy 2: I’ll bet he’s an undercover cop. (he gets a gun out and trains it at the professor)
    Professor: Underco…no, no, no, I’m nothing like that.
    Guy 1: Then what do you want?
    The professor focuses on the first guy.
    Guy 1: (thinking) He’s probably just some bum. But we can’t risk having witnesses, we just pulled off a major heist, can’t afford to get sloppy now.
    Professor: Your thoughts. I can…hear them. (pause) It worked.
    Guy 2: (still holding the gun) You better tell us what you want.
    Professor: What’s in the bags?
    Guy 1: That’s none of your business! And you’re not in a position to be asking questions.
    Professor: Jewels.
    Guy 1: What?
    Professor: That’s what’s in the bag. Jewels.
    Guy 1: How did you-
    Professor: (interrupting) Your friend told me (he points to the second guy).
    Guy 2: I swear, I didn’t say nothing boss.
    Professor: He didn’t need to. I read his mind.
    Guy 1: Yeah right…
    Professor: How else would I know that you’re wanted in seven countries for crimes such as theft, fraud and assault, the only woman you’ve ever loved is called Susie, and last night you had fast food for dinner? Tell me that, Bill.
    Guy 1 (Bill): How…how…
    Professor: Those jewels, I want them.
    Bill: Forget it.
    Professor: Let’s see if I can…
    He focuses on Bill, and suddenly he begins to rise up.
    Bill: (in mid-air) What the-? What’s… Don’t just stand there Fred, shoot!
    Cut to Guy 2 (Fred), who shoots a bullet. The camera shot holds for a few seconds. Then cut to a long shot showing Fred and Professor Young, the bullet is suspended between them.
    Professor: You’ll need to do better than that.
    Bill: Who…who are you?
    Professor: Call me…Professor Extrasensory Perception? Umm… no. Professor ESP? No, that’s lame. Call me, Professor… Professor Esper. (to himself) Yeah, that works.
    Cut to a close-up of Fred, who looks terrified, then to the two un-named guys, both looking scared as well. Cut to Professor Esper, who grins menacingly. Cut to a close-up of Bill, who is still terrified. Fade to black.

    In the next shot, the four guys run out of the warehouse, screaming.
    Professor: (shouting after them) And don’t come back. (to himself) Losers. Now, let’s see, (he opens the bags) jewels, jewels, and look! More jewels. Fantastic. I love my new lease on life. Those stupid morals were getting in the way of the fun things in life, like causing pain and suffering. I think it’s time to make the world a worse place. This will do for a base of operations, I just need to spruce it up a bit, maybe add a supercomputer or two. Hmm…I think the experiment made me smarter as well. An excellent side effect! Right, now I need to get to work.
    Cut to a very long shot of the inside of the warehouse.
    Professor: But first I really need to stop talking to myself.

  78. Tomon 01 Apr 2009 at 11:50 am

    Okay, one per day reminder thingy.

  79. Holliequon 01 Apr 2009 at 12:44 pm

    The Professor’s last line made me laugh. I love that. However, I think his sudden turn into a villain is jarring. “Stupid morals getting in the way”? This is the first indication we’ve had that the character is anything close to evil. Eccentric, yes, but definitely not evil. At first, I thought he was going to go good-guy and turn the jewels into the police.

    If the experiment made him insane, and that’s the reason for his sudden change, then I think you need to make that more obvious.

    On the other hand, if he’s had evil inclinations to begin with (but didn’t act on them), I think you should go back and change some of his lines – perhaps by making him more demeaning and sneering.

  80. Tomon 01 Apr 2009 at 1:11 pm

    The accident made him evil, I was going to explain this in the next episode when Sam confronts him, but you’re probably right, this should be revealed from the start.

  81. Tomon 01 Apr 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Oh, and if you thought he was going to turn the jewels in to the police, then I’m doing something wrong. I was going for Sylar-esque evilness with those lines. Or maybe the lines are fine and it’ll be clearer when spoken with a menacing voice.

  82. Holliequon 01 Apr 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Well, this was before he broke into “stupid morals” rant. :P I miss things sometimes, but I’m more observant than that, haha!

  83. Tomon 04 Apr 2009 at 8:30 am

    One per day reminder thing.

  84. B. Macon 04 Apr 2009 at 10:15 am

    “Boss: That was need-to-know only. And you didn’t need to know.” It feels like the boss is holding an idiot ball here. I was under the impression that the boss thought (incorrectly) that this kid was the son of the family that won the lottery? If he can’t even get that basic detail right, how could he know something like whether the NEW family’s kid has superpowers? Finally, it seems horribly idiotic of the boss not to tell his minions.

    I don’t feel like the conversation with Fire, Ice, George and TS is working all that smoothly. The story bends over backwards early on to tell us that TS doesn’t trust anyone with information, and at pretty much the first opportunity he blabs to his captured enemy.

    I don’t feel like anything’s at stake for George. It feels obvious that he’s not going to lose his powers.

    I think that the new conversation between Sam-Lennie-Helen smoothly addresses why it’s up to them and not the police.

    The S-L-H conversation generally feels a lot more satisfying than the G-F-I-TS conversation.

    “Sam stares with his jaw hanging.” What’s the impression we’re supposed to get here? Is he ogling at her?

    The villains seem badly incompetent.

    “We’re real-life superheroes!” …”Not bad, could’ve been better.” Doesn’t feel smooth. I think his initial line is pretty bad. It doesn’t have any of the style I’d like to see or the tackiness I’d expect to see from this character. A tacky pun might help.

    “Emperor style lightning.” I don’t get this.

    “We just pulled off a major heist.” I’d recommend showing this visually as you describe what the character is thinking. He’s wearing a cat-suit, he looks like he’s up to no good, he has a few bags lying around, the prof sees that there’s money in one of the bags, etc.

    Professor: What’s in the bags? Why does he need to ask this? He can read their minds, can’t he?

    I’m not sure how things are in the UK, but US cartoons really like to avoid guns. I’d make sure that your station doesn’t have a problem with it.

    “the fun things in life, like causing pain and suffering. I think it’s time to make the world a worse place.” This feels too cartoonish.

    “But first I really need to stop talking to myself.” I like that.

  85. Tomon 04 Apr 2009 at 10:19 am

    Hmm… Nice input. I’ll go fix the problems.

  86. Tomon 04 Apr 2009 at 11:44 am

    About the gun thing. I know it’s a bit of a taboo in the US, it’s the same here too (but here we’re more worried about knives). But recently I’ve seen fewer restrictions. Spider-Man’s been shot at numerous times in The Spectacular Spider-Man, and most cartoons have guns in them. (just most of the time they shoot laser beams instead of bullets, apparently that makes them okay…)

    I think that would be an issue for later in the production than scriptwriting. And of course, if the station doesn’t like it it can always be changed.

    Oh, and the joke you didn’t get was supposed to be a Star Wars reference. I know, it wasn’t very good. It wsa referring to the whole E’mperor shoots lightning at Luke as Vader watches’ scene. I’ll just cut it out. Hopefully the visual clues will be enough for people to get the Star Wars reference.

  87. Tomon 06 Apr 2009 at 5:39 am

    Okay, I’ve changed the initial bit with Fire and Ice in the van. I dropped Thunderstorm’s line where he says ‘his parents won the lottery’ so there’s no confusion. And as a result, Fire and Ice knew beforehand that George was superpowered. And here’s the final two scenes again (well, technically it’s four, but you get the idea).

    Back in the underground station. George is strapped into the chair, the two crystals are ‘plugged’ into the helmet. It is making a loud humming noise and George is crying out in pain. Fire and Ice are supervising him, and holding his arms so he can’t use his powers.
    Thunderstorm: It’s not working! Why isn’t it working?!
    Fire: It took a while for us to absorb the powers. Maybe it’ll be the same for him.
    Thunderstorm: No, for him it’s different. He took the powers just by touching them. And remember that one time you just touched the crystal and you lost your powers?
    Fire: It was as if the fire wanted to go back into the crystal…
    Thunderstorm: Exactly, so this should be simple.
    Ice: We’ve been at this for hours! Can’t we take a rest?
    Thunderstorm aims his hand at Ice and bolts of lightning spark from it and fly towards Ice, giving him a mild electric shock.
    George: Whoa! That’s why they call you Thunderstorm!
    Thunderstorm points at George now and the lightning hits him, he cries out in pain.
    Thunderstorm: You’re getting on my nerves…
    Suddenly George cries out in pain. Then the crystals begin to glow brightly. After a few seconds they dim, but they still glow faintly, and coloured gases swirl around inside them, a red gas in the red crystal and a blue one in the blue crystal.
    Thunderstorm: It worked! It worked!
    Suddenly, Thunderstorm is lifted into the air
    Psykid: (off screen) Whoa, hey, Sparky, unplug for a second wouldya?
    Astraea: (off-screen) I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
    Thunderstorm is thrown across the station onto the tracks.
    Thunderstorm: What the- who did that?
    He turns to face his foes. Standing in front of the broken down door are Psykid and Astraea.
    Thunderstorm: Who the heck are you?
    Psykid: I’m… (he telepathically projects his thoughts to Astraea, he is now thinking) Oh crud, I didn’t think of this…
    Astraea: (thinking to Psykid) Think of what?
    Psykid: (still thinking) My introduction!
    Astraea: What are you tal-thinking about?
    Psykid: I need a witty one-liner to introduce myself!
    Astraea: Oh Sam don’t be ridiculous, this is a rescue, not a comedy gig!
    Psykid: But all superheroes have good one-liners!
    Astraea: Don’t be stu-
    Their thought-conversation is disrupted by Ice throwing a punch at Astraea. She dodges, then lands a punch right in his stomach. As this happens Fire runs towards Psykid, hands blazing. Psykid stops him with his mind and throws him backwards.
    Thunderstorm: (getting up) I’ll repeat myself, who are you?
    Psykid: (thinking to Astraea) I’ll get it right this time! (out loud, to Thunderstorm, as he says it a dramatic background flashes behind him) We’re… (background fades) Oh forget it. I’m Psykid, this is Astraea, we’re superheroes, we’re here to save the kid.
    Thunderstorm: Well, I guess that makes me a super villain!
    He pushes both his hands out in front of him, as he does this a strong wind begins to blow from behind him, it takes the heroes by surprise and knocks them back.
    Psykid: Whoa! You’re a light bulb and a fan? I don’t suppose you’re a telephone too?
    Thunderstorm: Very funny. Minions, attack!
    Fire: Oh, so now we’re minions!
    Thunderstorm: (he goes into a thinking pose and pinches his forehead) Just… just get them.
    Ice keeps trying to hit Astraea, but she keeps dodging. He forms a block of ice in between his hands and throws it at her, she dodges. He forms a block of ice on his hands and begins punching again. She does a Karate block and goes into a punch. This time he reels over onto the ground, writhing in pain. Camera pans to Psykid and Fire. Fire is trying to ram Psykid with a flaming shoulder, but Psykid keeps holding him back with his powers. He throws him backwards again. This time Fire is knocked out.
    Thunderstorm: So you beat my goons…
    Fire: (he struggles to speak) Goons?
    Thunderstorm: Please just drop it! Anyway, so you beat my goons, but can you beat ME?!
    He causes a large gust of wind to blow Astraea to the wall, she is stuck to it by the wind, then he shoots lightning at Psykid whilst laughing evilly, he falls to the floor as he is electrocuted.
    George: (off-screen) Hey comb-head! Next time, make the straps strong enough to hold a fourteen year old!
    Thunderstorm turns to face George. He is standing behind him, holding the two crystals, both of which are still glowing, and the swirling gas is still inside both of them. He squeezes them and the glow is transferred to him. He drops both of them and shoots a fireball at Thunderstorm. He is knocked backwards. He then shoots a beam of ice, totally freezing him. Ice gets up and tries to make ice. Nothing happens.
    Ice: Hey, you took my ice!
    George: Really? Oh, sorry. You can have it!
    George shoots an ice beam at Ice and he is frozen too.
    George: My work here is done.
    Psykid: Oh sure, he can think of all the one-liners he wants!
    George: (he picks up the crystals and starts walking up to the heroes) Thanks for saving me. Or at least… helping me escape… Who are you guys anyway?
    Psykid: George, it’s us.
    George: Seriously, who?
    The three of them start walking towards the exit.
    Astraea: We’ll tell you on the way home.
    Psykid: Oh, do you have enough money for a bus ticket?
    Camera pans up and fades to black. End scene.

    Next scene is in the station, but at night. Cut to close-up of Thunderstorm, still frozen. Suddenly, sparks begin to appear from him, and steam rises from the ice.

    Establishing shot of an abandoned warehouse, then inside we see Professor Young asleep on some old cardboard boxes. He slowly rouses from his sleep.
    Professor: Wh…where am I? (he holds his head) Ow, my head. What’s going on? (he gets up)
    He looks around. The warehouse has some mattresses, bags and money lying around. Suddenly, he hears voices. Then, he sees four silhouetted figures enter the warehouse, talking to each other. As they get closer he can see the guys wearing all black with black hats on. They are carrying bags. They stop as they see Professor Young.
    Guy 1: Who the heck are you?
    Professor: I was just about to ask the same thing.
    Guy 2: I’ll bet he’s an undercover cop. (he gets a gun out and trains it at the professor)
    Professor: Underco…no, no, no, I’m nothing like that.
    Guy 1: Then what do you want?
    The professor focuses on the first guy.
    Guy 1: (thinking) He’s probably just some bum. But we can’t risk having witnesses, we just pulled off a major heist, can’t afford to get sloppy now.
    Professor: Your thoughts. I can…hear them. (pause) It worked.
    Guy 2: (still holding the gun) You better tell us what you want.
    Professor: Jewels.
    Guy 1: What?
    Professor: That’s what’s in the bags. Jewels.
    Guy 1: How did you-
    Professor: (interrupting) Your friend told me (he points to the second guy).
    Guy 2: I swear, I didn’t say nothing boss.
    Professor: He didn’t need to. I read his mind.
    Guy 1: Yeah right…
    Professor: How else would I know that you’re wanted in seven countries for crimes such as theft, fraud and assault, the only woman you’ve ever loved is called Susie, and last night you had fast food for dinner? Tell me that, Bill.
    Guy 1 (Bill): How…how…
    Professor: Those jewels, I want them.
    Bill: Forget it.
    Professor: Let’s see if I can…
    He focuses on Bill, and suddenly he begins to rise up.
    Bill: (in mid-air) What the-? What’s… Don’t just stand there, Fred, shoot!
    Cut to Guy 2 (Fred), who shoots a bullet. The camera shot holds for a few seconds. Then cut to a long shot showing Fred and Professor Young, the bullet is suspended between them.
    Professor: You’ll need to do better than that.
    Bill: Who…who are you?
    Professor: Call me…Professor Extrasensory Perception? Umm… no. Professor ESP? No, that’s lame. Call me, Professor… Professor Esper. (to himself) Yeah, that works.
    Cut to a close-up of Fred, who looks terrified, then to the two un-named guys, both looking scared as well. Cut to Professor Esper, who grins menacingly. Cut to a close-up of Bill, who is still terrified. Fade to black.

    In the next shot, the four guys run out of the warehouse, screaming.
    Professor: (shouting after them) And don’t come back. (to himself) Losers. (he picks up the bags) Now, let’s see, (he opens the bags) jewels, jewels, and look! More jewels. Fantastic. The experiment worked better than expected, not only did the desired effects happen, but it altered my personality, my desires, my interests. Suddenly, hurting people seems like a fun idea. Anyway, this will do for a base of operations, I just need to spruce it up a bit, maybe add a supercomputer or two. Hmm…I think the experiment made me smarter as well. Another excellent side effect! Right, now I need to get to work.
    Cut to a very long shot of the inside of the warehouse.
    Professor: But first I really need to stop talking to myself.

  88. Tomon 08 Apr 2009 at 4:32 am

    *waves hands around frantically*

    Over here!

  89. B. Macon 08 Apr 2009 at 6:21 am

    Cartoon companies regard lasers as much, much more kid-friendly than guns.

    I feel there’s a lot of exposition in the George-Fire-Ice-TS conversation. I kind of get the feeling that the story derails here. Personally, I just don’t care about George. Pretty much the only thing I know about him is that he’s the new kid and that he’s been kidnapped. When he speaks with Helen and Sam, I’d recommend foreshadowing that he’s hiding something.

    I don’t think kids will be able to follow the exposition. There’s a lot of it. It doesn’t feel necessary.

    Thunderstorm: It’s not working! Why isn’t it working?!
    Fire: It took a while for us to absorb the powers. Maybe it’ll be the same for him.
    Thunderstorm: No, for him it’s different. He took the powers just by touching them. And remember that one time you just touched the crystal and you lost your powers?
    Fire: It was as if the fire wanted to go back into the crystal…
    Thunderstorm: Exactly, so this should be simple.
    Ice: We’ve been at this for hours! Can’t we take a rest?

    “we’re here to save the kid.” “The kid” is unusual here because he calls himself Psykid.

    “I don’t suppose you’re a telephone too?” I don’t get this.

    “Very funny.” This feels to me like a laugh-track.

    I’d recommend showing us a bit of how George escapes. At the very least, show him struggling with the straps and slipping out. If he just gets out because the goons were idiotic, that will not seem too satisfying. If, on the other hand, he escapes because of something he does, that will help.

    “Ice: Hey, you took my ice! George: Really? Oh, sorry. You can have it!” This feels way too quippy.

    Where is Professor Young, and how did he get there from his lab? He doesn’t seem remotely close to the nice neighborhood where his lab used to be.

    The professor sounds way too self-conscious and unconcerned about the change in his personality. I’d recommend having him show that his personality has changed in the conversation. For example, when the guy threatens him with the gun, he should just blow it out of his hand or threaten back.

  90. Tomon 08 Apr 2009 at 7:31 am

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how the Professor got from his house to the warehouse. I know there needs to be a reason, but I never thought of one. I needed him to be away from the scene of the accident, and elsewhere until I needed him.

    Do you have any ideas for reasons why he’d end up where he did?

  91. B. Macon 08 Apr 2009 at 7:40 am

    Teleportation of some sort, I imagine. Alternately, you could just have him wonder how he got there. It seems plausible to me that he is badly disoriented. That seems like it would go along with personality change quite nicely.

  92. Tomon 08 Apr 2009 at 7:58 am

    Teleportation? I’d like to steer clear of it for now.

    Yeah, that second one sounds good.

    lol, Teleportation reminds me of when I first thought of the idea for Psykid, back when I was about 11 or so. Obviously back then I didn’t get story much, and I didn’t even try to pretend it wasn’t self-insert. But the point is, back when I made him up I gave him billions of ridiculous powers like healing factor, intangibility, invisibility, teleportation, precognition and mind/memory control/alteration. I tried to justify it to myself that they all fall under the term ‘psycic’, but they kinda don’t… Maybe the fact that the psychic-type Pokemon Kadabra could learn the moves Recover, Teleport and Future Sight had something to do with it. And the intangible/invisible thing probably came from Danny Phantom.

    Anyway, later on I decided that this guy was ridiculously overpowered, and limited his powers to telepathy and telekinesis, and almost totally changed his personality so he wasn’t… well… me.

    Anyway, thanks for the help, I’ll go fix the problems!

  93. Tomon 08 Apr 2009 at 9:03 am

    Oh, one more thing. You mentioned how before you didn’t care about George. How can I fix that? How can I make the character more sympathetic before he gets kidnapped? Should I add a scene beforehand introducing him? Or is there something more subtle I can do?

  94. Tomon 09 Apr 2009 at 4:24 am

    Right, instead of reposting it, I’ll just tell you what I changed, since I didn’t change much.

    1. Got rid of the exposition you quoted, replaced it with one line to the tune of ‘this should be working! This doesn’t make sense!’
    2. Changed the word ‘kid’ to ‘guy’.
    3. Changed the telephone line to ‘what other household appliances are you?’
    4. Changed the ‘very funny’ to ‘grr… shut up!’
    5. Added George escaping by making the chair fall over on its side and then grinding the strap onto the ground.
    6. Removed the ‘ice’ gag.
    7. Added Professor saying how he must have telekinetically lifted himself (which will henceforth be known as levitating, easier to type) to the warehouse.
    8. Added Professor seeming surprised as to his sudden change, saying something like ‘that’s odd, I don’t normally say things like that, oh well!’.

    Couldn’t fix the whole George-Fire-Ice-TS conversation problem, not sure how.

    That would be the end of episode 1, I’ve also written episode 2 as episode 1 is kind of a cliffhanger. But I’ll need to change it a bit now. Is it worth going over that aswell, or are you sick of Psykid by now? :P

  95. Tomon 09 Apr 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve been encouraged to re-do the Mary-Sue test. I judged it REALLY harshly (e.g. I considered telepathy/telekiensis to be a bad trait :P )

    Here’s what happened:

    Sam: 11 (yay!)
    George: 5 (awesome)
    Helen: 11
    Lennie: 22, but I think I might have done some things wrong or judged it too harshly.
    Esper: 15

    About Lennie, I’m not sure about this question:
    Is your character physically disabled, and has nothing to make up for it?

    wow, I never expected Lennie to be the most Stu.

  96. Holliequon 09 Apr 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Lennie doesn’t come across as very Stu, so I think you’re safe there. :) I would say that his intelligence somewhat makes up for his disability, in case you’re curious. It doesn’t come off as Stu-ish though.

  97. B. Macon 09 Apr 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I don’t have much concern about his Stu-ness, but the potential is there. He has a lot in common with Professor X, who definitely is a Marty Stu. However, one aspect that I like about Lennie (rather than Professor X) is that he isn’t set up as the team’s moral compass. He’s slightly condescending towards the dim-witted Sam, which I find a bit refreshing. I wish Batman would treat Superman like that.

  98. Tomon 10 Apr 2009 at 3:30 am

    Sometimes Batman does, but not enough!

    I guess Lennie was more Stu because his main character trait is ‘super-intelligence’. Any by super I mean SUPER. Like, smartest guy in the world super. I’m sure at some point in the series there will be a ‘he’s the smartest guy in the world and he couldn’t figure this out?’ issue. Also, he gets his super-intelligence instantly. He was quite smart beforehand, but not THAT smart (e.g. he knew all the Greek goddesses a few hours after the accident. His IQ increased, not his general knowledge).

    Sometimes I fear Lennie is more of a plot device than a character. Where’s the villain’s lair? Ask Lennie. What’s the one weakness of this guy? Lennie will find out. What’s the answer to the devious riddle set up by the fiendish foe? I don’t know, but I’m sure Lennie will!

    I might address this at some point in the series. Maybe I’ll even make him turn evil. See how they do without his help. See how they do fighting against someone who knows them as well as they know themselves. Someone who can be 3 steps ahead at all times. That could be very interesting…

  99. Ragged Boyon 10 Apr 2009 at 5:43 am

    I thought Lennie was going to become the team stuff-maker. He’d make gadgets for Astraea and then communicate with them via, communicators that he made. Similar to The Oracle.

    I always found an interesting question in: “How can you write a super-intelligent character if you’re not super-intelligent?” I know it can done, but I still think it’s a good question.

  100. Tomon 10 Apr 2009 at 6:07 am

    Well, it helps that I am super-intelligent. :P

    In all seriousness, it’s not that difficult for me because I’ve always been a bit of a brain box. I’m not necessarily the smartest person in the universe but people refer to me as ‘the smart one’, so I know how it feels to be the ‘I dunno, let’s ask that guy’ person.

    And yes, he would be similar to the Oracle (I actually thought of him before I found out about Oracle), with communicators and whatnot. I think I’ll call their communications devices the ‘Faber’ device, as a small reference to a book I enjoyed.

    Gadgets? I never even thought of giving her gadgets. I was going to rely on her martial arts expertise. Originally she had superpowers, but I scrapped them, they added nothing to the story.

    Anyway, I think episode 1 is ‘done’. Do you guys agree?

  101. Ragged Boyon 10 Apr 2009 at 6:30 am

    I don’t know how much a 15(?) year-old can do with a black belt, but I doubt it’s much. She seems like she may have to rely on Sam or George, because she’s underpowered compared to them. For example, my character, Porcelain, uses a technologically advanced clutch bag to even the playing field against actual superpowered individuals. I think a minor gadget or weapon may help.

  102. Tomon 10 Apr 2009 at 6:39 am

    That’s a good point actually. She does get one thing early on, a diamond she wears on her wrist. She could use it as a Wonder Woman-type power bracelet, but not to the same bullet-stopping effect WW does.

    Which means I still need to give her gadgets… Hmm…

  103. Ragged Boyon 10 Apr 2009 at 6:45 am

    I’d recommend an extendable staff. Or maybe a staff with a few tools in it. Or with a built in stunner or taser.

    Something simple would work. Porcelain’s clutch would probably fall into the Batman category. It has a rappel gun, a regular gun, smoke bombs,and a taser built into it. And an assortment of make-up and it’s as hard as a brick.

  104. Tomon 10 Apr 2009 at 6:47 am

    So a Teen Titans Robin style thing? That could work.

  105. B. Macon 10 Apr 2009 at 7:18 am

    I don’t like the idea of turning him evil all that much. You’ve already turned one of their friends into a villain (the Prof). You could pretty easily do an episode where Lennie is dealing with a family emergency out of town and they have to deal with a situation back home without him. Any situation where Lennie’s absence really hurts could work.

  106. B. Macon 10 Apr 2009 at 7:24 am

    I feel like the diamond is probably too similar to WW’s bracelet; Helen is already pretty similar to WW. (She’s a superstrong female scrapper that’s been named after a character in Greco-Roman mythology, etc).

  107. B. Macon 10 Apr 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hey, R.B. I just wrote a post about how you can write a superintelligent character even if you aren’t. What do you think?

  108. B. Macon 10 Apr 2009 at 8:30 am

    “Anyway, I think episode 1 is ‘done’. Do you guys agree?”

    I feel pretty comfortable with the plot, except for maybe the George-TS-Fire-Ice scene. However, I think that you should go back and add flair/style. Tighten up the lines and play up the character traits. Then I’d recommend doing a timed reading of the script, factoring in the extra time you would need to work out the nonverbal sequences (like a chase scene). That will help you figure out whether you’re close to your air-time. I’d recommend shooting for 22 minutes. (Hopefully UK cartoons are as long as US cartoons).

  109. Tomon 10 Apr 2009 at 9:09 am

    I tried the read-through thing once, but I don’t think I did it right. I’ll try it again.

  110. Tomon 12 Apr 2009 at 7:46 am

    Okay, I did the read-through thing. It came to just under 24 minutes, which I found absolutely amazing. It’s perfect! Spot on! And I talk really quickly. It’s good that it’s longer than it should be, I know this is common in TV, they always film (or animate) more than they need to so they can be sure they have enough material. The fact that I’m probably just over is ideal.

    Oh, and for the record, Cartoon Network’s shows are typically 22-24 minutes, whereas Nickelodeon’s are typically 24 minutes. Why? I have no idea. I just know from watching shows from both channels online.

    One more thing, I need an episode title. I was thinking of ‘The World’s Most Original Origin Story’, but it’s a bit long winded. Any suggestions?

  111. B. Macon 12 Apr 2009 at 8:07 am

    It wouldn’t surprise me if CN and Nickelodeon’s shows were a bit longer than cartoons for a network like WB. They’re cable networks, so I’d imagine they don’t have to rely as heavily on ads.

    “The World’s Most Original Origin Story” will probably miss your target audience. It’s too much of an in-joke; I think only high school students and older could appreciate it. I’d recommend something more wacky. In particular, I think Pinky and the Brain did a good job of writing comedy that younger viewers could appreciate.

  112. B. Macon 12 Apr 2009 at 8:11 am

    I have two logistical questions particular to cartoons.

    1. How many episode scripts will the station want to see?

    2. Have you thought about your concept art yet?

  113. Tomon 12 Apr 2009 at 10:02 am

    1. I have no idea. I’m still at the stage where I’m looking for a station to accept my work. I’m looking on both sides of the Atlantic, and keeping my options open. I have three scripts written, but the other two are in desperate need of a re-write.

    2. Way ahead of you on that one. My dad knows a lot of artists thanks to his line of work, and one of them drew some character designs for me.

    Anyway, I need to keep thinking about that first episode title. Currently it’s a placeholder, ‘Psykid’. How about something like ‘Real Superheroes!’?

  114. B. Macon 12 Apr 2009 at 10:08 am

    Hmm. I did some Googling on variations of “pitching a cartoon series.” I have no idea whether this is accurate, but Screenwritersdaily.com says that you’ll need one fully-scripted episode and a “bible” explaining what you have in mind for the first 13 episodes.

    As for your episode title… Real Superheroes doesn’t capture the tone of the show or episode. It makes it sound like the show’s defining trait is realism, which does not strike me as accurate. (For example, the main character’s name is Psykid, the heroes wear gaudy costumes, the villains feel like cartoon characters, the characters are genre-savvy, etc). I’d recommend going with a title that’s funny, particularly something with a wacky angle. I think that will draw the studio’s attention to your zany sense of humor, which is your main asset. A studio that reads this script expecting it will be a more realistic take on superhero stories will probably be disappointed.

    Many cartoon shows do episode titles with bad puns. Even Lois and Clark had an episode titled Fly Hard. I was probably 9 when I saw it, and I was really proud that I got the Die Hard reference.

  115. Tomon 12 Apr 2009 at 10:32 am

    I already have several episode ideas planned, and I came up with really good titles for some of them, and so bad they’re good puns for the rest. For example, a possible episode where Sam gains the power to manipulate minds (note: POSSIBLE episode) would be called ‘Control Alter Destroy’. (Get it? Get it?) And an episode centered around a helmet that amplifies psychic powers is called ‘The Helmet’.

    Usually I can come up with good names. But for some reason the name of the first episode eludes me. Mostly because it’s the origin episode. How do you name that?

  116. Tomon 13 Apr 2009 at 3:55 am

    I’ve got it. I’ve thought of a name. ‘Mind Over Matter’. What do you think?

  117. B. Macon 13 Apr 2009 at 4:53 am

    Umm… maybe I’m missing something. When you write your pitch to a studio, which traits are you going to emphasize?

    For example, if I were doing a pitch on Superhero Nation, I’d say something like “this is an eccentric comedy about supernatural cops that will play really well among upper teens.” Then I’d want my episode titles– particularly the pilot’s title, because that’s the episode they will have in front of them– to reinforce that. So, for example, if I wanted to do a pun for a pilot episode that explains how a random video gamer* becomes a secret agent, I might name it something like Patriot Gamers.

    The episode’s title is one way to cue to viewers “this is a zany comedy” or “this is a dramedy” or “this is pure action” or whatever. Most of the pitch is written for producers and executives; the episode title is the first thing they will see that you’ve written for your kid audience. If I saw an episode named “Mind Over Matter,” I’d wonder why that would appeal to a fairly young target audience. I suspect that this isn’t a make-or-break issue, but I think you’ll go farther if the title shows how well you can write for kids.

    *The comic book’s protagonist is an accountant in his mid-20s; I imagine that the TV studio would make the character a teen video-gamer or something else that’s more relatable to a high school audience. There aren’t too many adult superheroes on TV, and they tend to be extremely well-known DC and Marvel characters. /tangent

  118. Stefan the Exploding Manon 13 Apr 2009 at 6:54 am

    I love “Control Alter Destroy”. Maybe “How We Became Psychic” for the title of the origin episode?

  119. Tomon 13 Apr 2009 at 7:10 am

    Point taken B. Mac.

    @ Stefan: They’re not all psychic. ;) Plus first person ‘we’ implies there’s some kind of dramatic equivalent of a first person perspective there, whereas it’s more closely linked to third person.

    I’ll keep thinking.

  120. B. Macon 13 Apr 2009 at 8:13 am

    I agree that How We Became Psychic raises issues about who “we” is. I suppose you could somewhat address that problem by replacing Psychic with Super.

  121. Tomon 13 Apr 2009 at 9:18 am

    How about ‘Gone Horribly Wrong’?

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoneHorriblyWrong

  122. Holliequon 13 Apr 2009 at 9:31 am

    ‘Superheroes Gone Horribly Wrong’? ‘Comic Books Gone Horribly Wrong’?

  123. Tomon 13 Apr 2009 at 9:37 am

    Referring to the lab accident. It’s a ‘Stock Phrase used whenever that nasty old “science” inevitably messes up royally.’ according to TVTropes.org

  124. Holliequon 13 Apr 2009 at 9:43 am

    Yeah, but ‘Gone Horribly Wrong’ strikes me as a weird choice for a first episode. I’m not sure if your audience would get the joke.

  125. B. Macon 13 Apr 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Tom said (in the Open Writing Forum): “I’m probably at the stage where I can go to a production company and ask for a chance to pitch, I’m just struggling to find someone to pitch to. It’s very difficult for a nobody to even find a way to contact production companies.”

    I sympathize. One of the only ways in which publishers are distinctly friendly is that most publishers (except for the exceedingly large ones) accept unsolicited submissions and provide helpful advice about what they’d like to see. In contrast, I would imagine that a TV station does not have to. A TV station will take on far fewer shows in a given season than a publisher will take on novels… do TV writers typically use agents as go-betweens?

  126. Tomon 13 Apr 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I honestly don’t know. I don’t really understand the question.

  127. B. Macon 13 Apr 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Professional novelists often submit a query to a literary agent, who is then responsible for selling the manuscript in exchange for 15% of the eventual proceeds. The agent serves two main purposes: 1) negotiate aggressively with publishers on the author’s behalf and 2) provide credibility to the author and his project. (First-time authors pretty much need an agent before a first-rate publisher will even consider the proposal).

    Do TV writers take on agents? If so, an agent might help you reach the decision-makers.

  128. Tomon 13 Apr 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I have no idea. I’ve never seen an example of one. I’d imagine there aren’t any, since, as you said, networks produce so few new shows each year that there wouldn’t be much market for a TV agent. It’s understandable for authors, since there are thousands (if not more) of them every year, so the market has ample space for agents.

  129. Tomon 15 Apr 2009 at 2:56 am

    I suddenly remembered the name I thought of a few nights ago then totally forgot.

    ‘Damsel in Distress’

    I could work a line like that into the episode too.

    Psykid: We’re here to save the damsel in distress!
    George: Umm… hello? I’m a guy!
    Psykid: It’s just a figure of speech…

    Or I could always call it ‘Dude in Distress’ if that doesn’t work.

    What do you think?

  130. B. Macon 15 Apr 2009 at 6:57 am

    I kind of like Dude in Distress.

  131. Ragged Boyon 15 Apr 2009 at 7:04 am

    Haha. Dude-in-dis-dress. :-)

  132. Tomon 15 Apr 2009 at 7:12 am

    Phew! Glad that’s over with. Dude in Distress it is.

    So, I have now successfully renamed the characters who need renaming, re-written the script into something…better… than what it was before and renamed the episode into something decent.

    Now I’m back to the ‘finding a production company to produce this’ stage.

    Damn…

  133. B. Macon 15 Apr 2009 at 7:30 am

    I’ve got no ideas. However, Ezine recommends that you put together a character bible and a 3-5 minute teaser before talking to animation companies and TV stations. “It is also entirely possible for you to approach an animation company or TV station with just your character bible without your teaser, or even without a full bible. It has happened before, but the success rate declines dramatically with the lack of each marketing tool.”

    The bad news is that I expect that putting together a 3-5 minute teaser seems like it will be prohibitively expensive, unless I’m missing something. Harry Partridge, for example, charges about 6000 pounds ($7500) for a two minute colored clip at the quality of Saturday Morning Watchmen.

  134. Tomon 15 Apr 2009 at 7:34 am

    Teaser will be totally impossible for me. Bible I’ve already half-done. Would concept art for each of the main characters be sufficient when combined with first episode script and bible?

    Although at this stage all I care about is finding someone to pitch to. Be it Warner Brothers Animation, the BBC or anyone, I can worry about providing them with concept art after I’ve found someone to provide it to.

  135. B. Macon 15 Apr 2009 at 7:42 am

    “Would concept art for each of the main characters be sufficient when combined with first episode script and bible?” I’m really not the best person to ask about this. The impression that Ezine gives is that eschewing the teaser could work, but that the teaser is a major asset. “The success rate declines dramatically with the lack of each marketing tool.”

    Good luck on the pitch. I’d recommend looking at television stations that have run superhero shows near you; I suspect it will be easier to get a show on at a small station.

  136. Holliequon 15 Apr 2009 at 9:05 am

    Hmm. If you can’t put together a teaser, do you think putting together a 3-5 minute storyboard would help? Even if you had to hire an artist, that would be much less than a whole animation.

  137. Tomon 16 Apr 2009 at 3:33 am

    Okay, honestly, what do you guys think of my work? Is it possible that if, by some miracle, I get the chance to pitch this, someone will like it? Is it possible that this will get made into a TV show?

  138. Ragged Boyon 16 Apr 2009 at 7:53 am

    I think it’s pretty good. My main concern is that it’s lacking wow-factor. It seems like a pretty generic superhero story.

    What your edge? What’s going to make me say I want to watch this show?

  139. B. Macon 16 Apr 2009 at 8:33 am

    My impression is that the edge (what separates it from other superhero stories) is the sense of humor. (In your pitch, you would get more specific than that; what’s your sense of humor like? What are some comparable comedies that did well among this audience?) However. My concern is that sometimes the humor falls flat for me because the characters are too genre-savvy, too aware that they’re characters in a TV show. I feel that that has weakened your villains in particular.

    Also, I’m not sure what the target audience will think. Judging by the age of the characters, I’d say that the target audience is probably 10-14 (usually the viewership is as old as the main character). I just don’t feel that viewers of that age will get the humor. (This might be an American vs. British thing, though. I’m used to American cartoons, which tend to assume that kids are idiots).

  140. Tomon 16 Apr 2009 at 8:46 am

    The flaw of Thunderstorm is his flaw alone. Don’t worry, subsequent villains will pose more of a threat, leading to more interesting fights. Especially the Professor. This is why I intend to script the next episode, to provide an example of the serious side of the show, where they have to fight a very potent threat.

    I’m not 100% sure what pre-teens will think, all I know is that it’s the same kind of humour used in The Incredibles, which had many jokes along the lines of ‘you got me monologing!’, and was a film I thoroughly enjoyed as an 11 year old.

    So yeah…

  141. B. Macon 16 Apr 2009 at 8:55 am

    Hmm. The Incredibles sounds like a good point of reference.

    However, hmm… The Incredibles came out in 2004. If you watched it when you were 11, you’d be around 16 now. I suspect that would complicate your pitch… if it’s hard for a young novelist to convince a publisher to invest ten thousand dollars into publishing him, I imagine it would be very difficult for a young TV writer to convince a studio to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more).

    At the very least, if you’re younger than 18, I would try to tackle that early on. I suspect you will have a very limited window of opportunity to establish your credibility. My uninformed impression is that the executives will be as cold to you as the judges were to Susan Boyle.

  142. Tomon 16 Apr 2009 at 9:08 am

    I like to imagine that’s part of my appeal as a scriptwriter, that I’m a teenager writing for pre-teens and that this is good somehow.

    Key word-imagined. I realise the reality of my situation.

  143. Tomon 16 Apr 2009 at 9:08 am

    Wait, how old did you think I was?

  144. B. Macon 16 Apr 2009 at 9:09 am

    Mid-twenties?

  145. Tomon 16 Apr 2009 at 9:16 am

    I’m flattered! :D

  146. B. Macon 16 Apr 2009 at 11:50 am

    Hmm. I’m trying to think how I would recommend that a sixteen year-old handle this sort of situation. Here are a few things you might consider.

    –Get relevant job experience, like an internship or something. This will help show that you’re serious about the industry. (It may also help you identify what producers like to see and how the decision-making processes work).
    –Try publishing the story first as a comic book or novel. I suspect that a publisher will be more open to working with a minor than a TV station, because much less money is involved. (Also, I suspect that it would be easy to adapt your episode into a 32 or 24-page comic book issue). If those sell reasonably well, then you’ll have more evidence that the story can sell. (Also, you’ll have more writing credibility).
    –Umm, maybe think about having someone older there for the pitch? (Even if it’s only the guy that did your concept art, my uninformed impression is that it might help).
    –Platform. Get an audience any way you can. At this point in your career, the only platforming opportunity I can think of is to start blogging. I suspect that a slightly successful cartoons website might give them a reason to consider your proposal more closely.

    Umm, yeah. My impression is that breaking into the industry would be difficult for anyone. I expect it will be preposterously hard for you at this time. In addition to the usual obstacles a prospective writer faces, I suspect that being young will raise credibility issues of its own. (I sympathize; no one wants to buy a how-to guide from a 21 year-old). Lastly, there may be child labor laws involved.

    This is where platforming or publishing in another medium might be essential; it shows that you’re serious, a skilled writer, and that the ideas you’re working with are marketable. It also gives you the added advantage of having a built-in audience.

  147. Tomon 16 Apr 2009 at 11:58 am

    Wow, thanks for the advice! Funnily enough I am going for an internship in a post-production facility this year. I don’t think blogging will help, since I doubt any pre-teens will visit it. It’s fine for you since teens and adults are your TA, and teens and adults are the ones visiting the site. I don’t think I should get someone else to pitch, I have a horrible feeling they’ll miss out a cruical detail or not really get the essence of the show.

  148. B. Macon 16 Apr 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Well, actually, my target audience is guys between 18-25. I haven’t taken any surveys of my audience, but my limited evidence suggests that most of our readers aren’t that old. Around ten readers have revealed their age here, and none are between 18-25. Of the ~ten, eight are younger (including several that are much younger), and two are older.

    So, if you’d like to write for kids online, I think that could work. (I suspect that you’d need to put more thought into site-design, though).

  149. Ragged Boyon 16 Apr 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I thought Stefan, Fitz, and many others were older than me. I was flabbergasted to find that they weren’t. Geez, 17 is old here. :-)

    No one better call me Grandpa!

  150. B. Macon 16 Apr 2009 at 7:08 pm

    “Geez, 17 is old here.” That is true of our commenters, but please keep in mind that only about about 100 or 200 visitors– less than .1% of our readership– have ever left a comment here. I’m not sure whether we can draw any conclusions about the age of our total audience from such a small portion of it.

    My impression is that regular commenters tend to be young because participating in a website takes time and generally the young have more free time. For example, I pretty much stopped leaving comments elsewhere because I decided that I would be better off doing my own website.

  151. Tomon 17 Apr 2009 at 4:25 am

    If I wanted to change this script into a script for an issue of a comic book, how much would I need to add to it or remove from it? I haven’t had much experience with comic books.

  152. Holliequon 17 Apr 2009 at 6:18 am

    I think you’d need to add panel descriptions for an artist. Also sound effects. Actually, I don’t think it would take that much work, although it might take a bit of getting used to. I think if you write scripts you’re pretty good at visualising things anyway; that seems important for a comic book.

    I think you definitely have enough material to work with. Maybe a bit too much, actually.

    This is just my impression and I’m no comic book genius. RB or B. Mac could probably be more helpful. :)

  153. B. Macon 17 Apr 2009 at 6:30 am

    Yeah. The main thing is that it would need to be split into a set number of pages (either 24 or 32) and then further into panels. There are also a few things related to sound: sound effects, different varieties of speech bubbles and texts, etc.

  154. Tomon 17 Apr 2009 at 8:37 am

    Okay, but what I meant is, if this were the plot for the comic, would it be too long for one issue?

  155. Stefan the Exploding Manon 17 Apr 2009 at 9:07 am

    It depends. It may not be a good idea to reproduce your script faithfully into comic book script form. Some of the dialogue or action may not work the same way in a comic book, for example. Western comics tend to use less decompression in their story telling than manga and can fit more plot into less pages, so depending on which style you’re going for, one issue may or may not be enough.

  156. Holliequon 17 Apr 2009 at 9:32 am

    I think you could definitely fit the overall plot of the first episode into a comic. I’m not sure about a faithful adaptation, but I think there’s enough room for “get superpowers, decide to become superheroes, rescue George”.

  157. Tomon 17 Apr 2009 at 9:42 am

    The reason I’m a bit nervous to go into comics is because I have very little experience with them. It’s not like cartoons which I know like the back of my hand. (cartoons practically raised me, it’s a small wonder I don’t dress up in spandex and a mask and fight crime myself) But as for novels, I don’t think I have the skill to write a full-length novel. It requires different skills to scriptwriting (most notably the ability to do descriptive writing), skills I don’t have. This is pretty much the only medium I feel confortable in.

    So yeah…
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SoYeah

  158. B. Macon 17 Apr 2009 at 9:52 am

    Well, I think the good news is that comics and cartoons have a lot in common. Novels and cartoons, not so much. I think you could probably turn your cartoon script into a comic book script in a day, if you wanted to.

    I am pretty sure that you will have 24 pages worth of material here and you could probably draw it out into 32 pages. Could you post a full version of the script from start to finish? That would help me measure how many pages I’d allot for each portion.

  159. Tomon 17 Apr 2009 at 10:17 am

    It’s 13 pages of size 12 Times New Roman font if that helps.

    Is there some kind of spoiler tag option on this site? This is long:

    Establishing shot of a suburban house, slowly zooming in. We can hear an alarm clock buzzing in the background. Cut to another establishing shot inside the house, more specifically Sam’s bedroom. Cut to various shots of the walls and floor, the walls are covered with posters of various superheroes, we catch glimpses of the likes of Spider-Man, Batman, etc. The floor is littered with comic books, with more superheroes on the front covers. The floor is so covered in comics it’s hard to see the floor. Cut to a shot of Sam, sleeping in bed. He presses the snooze button on his alarm clock. It continues ringing, he presses it again. It doesn’t stop. He slams it in a comically exaggerated way. It continues ringing. He tries again in an even more exaggerated way. It continues ringing. He gets out of bed, picks it up and turns it off.
    Cut to a very long shot outside the house, Helen is waiting for Sam, who bursts out of the door. Cut to a two-shot of them.
    Sam: Hey, Helen.
    Helen looks very upset.
    Sam: What’s up?
    Helen: (arms crossed, foot tapping the ground) What time is it?
    Sam: (dopey) I don’t know, quarter past seven I guess.
    Helen: More like quarter to eight. If we don’t hurry we’ll be late for school!
    Sam: (still sleepy) Oh, whoops. Sorry.
    Helen: (she sighs) If this happens again, I’m not waiting for you.

    Establishing shot of a school, then a shot of a playground. Cut to mid-shot of a scared-looking Lennie, who is walking backwards, scared. A figure walks into the shot from behind the camera and blocks our vision completely, cut to a shot of him.
    Bully: Well, well, if it isn’t the brain box, Lennie Newton.
    Lennie: (sigh) What do you want, Carl?
    Carl: Your lunch money sounds good.
    Sam: (from off-screen) Oh, come on, at least try to be an original bully.
    Carl: (turning around) Well, well, if it isn’t Sam and Helen. What do you want anyway?
    Sam: (adamantly) Leave Lennie alone.
    Carl: (laughing) Don’t even try and threaten me, kid. My left arm weighs more than you.
    Helen: What? Don’t be crazy! He’s not threatening you! Nope! No threats here! He’s just acting a bit off today. (whispering to Sam) What are you doing?
    Sam: (whispering back) Standing up to the bully, I read it in a comic. (to Carl) And what if it is meant to be a threat?
    Carl: (cracking his knuckles) Then I’ll just have to threaten you back.
    Sam: Y’know, you’re a really sad person. The only way you can get pleasure is from torturing other people, you can beat me up if you want but you should really ask yourself what you’ll get out of it.
    Carl: You said it yourself, (really menacingly) pleasure.
    Sam gulps. Cut to a shot of Carl, he walks towards the camera until he completely covers it, creating a fade to black.

    Lennie is looking up Sam’s nose.
    Lennie: I think it’s stopped bleeding.
    Sam: Thanks, Lennie. And (sarcastically) thanks, Helen, your amazing martial arts skills were so useful.
    Helen: I could’ve beat him up, but I don’t think my Sensei would’ve approved of it.
    Sam starts to say something.
    Lennie: (quickly, before Sam can start to argue) Anyway, thanks for trying to stand up for me.
    Sam: Anything for a friend.
    Helen: Wait, you two know each other?
    Sam: Of course, we both work for Professor Young.
    Helen: You mean the mad scientist?
    Lennie: He’s not a mad scientist! He’s just a little… eccentric…
    Helen: Oh no? Then why is he doing his research from his house? I’m pretty sure normal scientists work at universities.
    Sam: Professor Young is working on a field of science no scientist has ever dared to explore, it’s called… (he makes an exaggerated hand gesture and a flashy background appears behind him) parapsychology! It will change- (background returns to normal) Okay, he’s a bit mad. But, it’s a decent part-time job, so I’m not complaining.
    The bell rings.
    Helen: Anyway, nice meeting you Lennie, see you later!
    Sam and Helen walk off one way, Lennie walks off another way.

    Skip to after school. Sam and Helen are walking down their street, a large moving van is parked. They walk past a smaller white van with tinted windows and the words ‘Normal Plumbers’ printed on the side. We can just see two silhouettes inside. Sam and Helen are walking past the moving van, and as they look at it they bump into a kid who can’t see where he is going because he’s carrying numerous boxes. They are all knocked down.
    Helen: Oh, sorry! Let me help you.
    Sam and Helen help the kid to pick up boxes.
    Kid: Thanks.
    Awkward silence.
    Helen: (Trying to break the ice) I’m Helen. This is Sam.
    Kid: What? Oh, I’m George.
    Another awkward silence.
    Sam: Hey, are you moving into number 35?
    George: Yeah…
    Sam: Well I live at number 37!
    George: Oh, cool.
    Sam: Guys who used to live there won the lottery.
    The three finish picking up boxes.
    Helen: Can we help you move all of your stuff into the house?
    George: Umm… No need. I’ve got it.
    He tries to lift more than one box, but simply cannot. Helen picks up a box.
    George: Really, no need. I promise.
    Helen: Oh drop the tough guy act. Don’t even pretend you can lift both of those.
    George: Go on then.
    Sam picks up a box but quickly drops it.
    Sam: Oh snap! The professor wants me and Lennie to come over after school. He says he’s got some important experiment going.
    Helen and George carry boxes into his new house, Sam walks towards the professor’s house. Camera zooms to the tinted windows van, and the two silhouetted figures sitting in the front seat. Cut to inside the car to reveal the two figures. One is short and thin, the other is large and slightly obese.
    Thin one: (talking into a walkie-talkie) Target sighted, boss. The kid just entered the house.
    Close-up of the walkie-talkie, a voice comes from it.
    Boss: Excellent Fire. Now, I trust you and Ice know what to do?
    Fire: We sure do, don’t we, Ice?
    Ice: Let’s do it.

    Establishing shot of Professor Young’s house, Sam walks inside.
    Sam: Okay, I’m here, now what?
    Professor Young: Now what? I’ll tell you now what! An experiment that will revolutionise science as we know it.
    Lennie: If it works, which I highly doubt.
    Young: Oh, I’m sorry, Lennie, where’s your PhD in neuroscience?
    Lennie: (under his breath) At least I’m sane…
    Sam: (quickly so Professor Young can’t respond) What exactly is this experiment?
    Young: I’m glad you asked. When it succeeds-
    Lennie: (interrupting) If it succeeds.
    Young: Right, if it succeeds, I will obtain the power of telekinesis!
    Sam: Which is…
    Young: I’ll be able to move things by thought alone.
    Sam: I see… cool!
    Young: Oh, that, and telepathy!
    Sam: Professor, I’m not a dictionary.
    Young: (sigh) I’ll be able to read minds.
    Sam: (pause) Also cool!
    Young: Right, so, let’s get started!
    Sam: Aren’t you supposed to test these things first?
    Young: (interrupting) This is the test! Start it up!
    Lennie: I think Sam has a point there. (pause) But if you say so…
    Lennie walks over to a console and presses some buttons as The Professor steps into what appears to be a converted shower cubicle, he attaches wires to his head and straps his hands into a metal clamp which secures them in place. Sam watches from the sidelines.
    Young: Sam, your job will be to look at the numbers on that computer over there. Any massive increase in the number and you tell us. (as he says this Sam walks over to a computer and looks at the screen, it is currently blank) Now, Lennie, activate the machine!
    Lennie: I still think this is a bad idea.
    Lennie presses a horribly clichéd big red button. A loud humming sound is heard, and the lights in the cubicle turn on. A current passes through the wires and into Professor Young’s head. He starts to cry out in pain.
    Lennie: (shouting over the humming) Are you okay?
    Young: (shouting back) Turn it off!
    Lennie presses the big red button again, nothing happens, he presses it again, still nothing, he rapidly presses it numerous times and still nothing.
    Lennie: Err…Professor…
    Young: AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!
    Lennie: Sam, what numbers do you read?
    Sam: Umm… 200, 201, 199…
    Young: (struggling) That’s not right, there’s too much power. I must’ve added too many cells to the pulse core, oh but then the inhibitor must be malfunctioning.
    Sam: Look, dude, I’m not a brain surgeon, I don’t get the science, I just read the numbers. Lennie, can’t you do something?
    Lennie: I’m trying! It’s not working! You’d have to unplug the wires manually.
    Sam runs over to the cubicle.
    Lennie: Wait! I didn’t mean to actually do it! It’s dangerous!
    Sam grabs a wire, it flails in his arms and sends a huge current through his body. He finds himself unable to let go. Sam starts crying out in pain too.
    Sam: Lennie, help!
    Lennie stands at the console, tense, but frozen to the spot, unsure of what to do.
    Cut to a shot of the moving van. Fire and Ice carry a tied-up George from the moving van down the street. Helen chases them.
    Ice: (turning around) The girl’s chasing us, what do we do?
    Fire and Ice run, still holding George. Helen is very close to them, almost catching up. Fire creates a small ball of fire from his hands and shoots it at Helen, she dodges it. The fireball lands pathetically on the ground. Ice then grabs Helen’s arm and suddenly it’s covered in ice. The ice travels down until her feet are covered, sticking her to the ground. Now half of her body is frozen.
    George: Let me go! (George struggles, contorting his face so much he appears constipated, as if he is trying to summon supernatural powers to help him, yet nothing happens) Why won’t it work?
    Fire: Would you please shut up?!
    Cut back to the lab, Sam and Professor Young are still in pain.
    Lennie: The machine’s overloading!
    As he says that, Sam manages to drop the wire, he then runs behind the console next to Lennie. Sparks begin to fly from the machine, some of them hit Lennie, knocking him down and sending a shock through him. A small explosion comes from the cubicle, freeing Professor Young’s hands from the clamp, he runs out of the cubicle, but as soon as he does, the entire thing explodes, throwing Professor Young forwards. Sam drags Lennie and Professor Young over to the door. A section of the ceiling crashes in front of the door, just in front of them. Sam tries and fails to push the debris in the way. A larger blast comes from the cubicle, damaging the walls. Some debris flies over to the three of them, but just as it’s about to hit a piece of debris from the ceiling flies in front of them and blocks the other debris from hitting them, it looks very unnatural, as if someone had moved it directly there to protect them. Cut to a close-up of The Professor’s face, then an extreme close-up of his eye. Cut to a shot of the street outside, Fire and Ice are running in front of the building just as a huge explosion rips apart the entire house. From there we see Fire and Ice stuffing George into the back of the van. They then get inside and turn on the ignition and begin driving.
    Fire: Is he secure back there?
    Ice: (turning around) I think so.
    Cut to shot of George struggling. The ropes that are tying him up suddenly burn away and he is freed.
    Fire: What the-?
    George pounds on the window separating him from his captors. Then he puts his hand on it and freezes it. Then he rams it, but it doesn’t budge. He then goes over to the door and tries the same thing, still nothing. He continues ramming.
    Fire: (speaking into walkie-talkie) Hey boss, the kid’s powers are strong!
    Boss: Relax, he’s not strong enough to break that window, or those doors. I designed them myself.
    Cut back to what’s left of the house. Sam walks out of the house, dragging Lennie. He then gives up and collapses on the street.

    Shot of the street, outside the now completely collapsed house. There are numerous police vans and cars, and an ambulance. Several policemen are interviewing the kids and their parents. Lennie is not with them.
    Sam: And then… and then… and then BOOM! (he makes a large hand gesture to signify an explosion) And then we turned around and Professor Young was gone!
    Camera pans over to Helen, who is talking to another policeman, whilst being thawed out with portable hair dryers.
    Helen: …Then they stuffed him in a van and took him away.
    Policeman: I’m sorry. Have you known him long?
    Helen: No, I just met him.
    Policeman: We’ll do everything in our power to get him back.
    Helen: (pause) Is Lennie going to be okay?
    As if to answer the question an ambulance slowly drives into the street and pulls up next to her. An ambulance worker gets out and approaches Sam and Helen.
    Ambulance worker: Are you friends of Lennie Newton?
    Sam: Yeah…
    Worker: Can I talk to you for a second?
    Sam: What’s going on?
    Worker: See for yourself.
    He walks over to the back of the ambulance and opens the doors, Lennie exits, sitting in a wheelchair.
    Lennie: Hey, guys.
    Helen: What the…what’s wrong?
    Worker: Well we’re not sure but we think the accident affected his nervous system. The way it looks now, he’ll never walk again. I’m sorry.
    The worker closes the doors, gets back in the ambulance and drives off.
    Lennie: Guys, it’s okay.
    Sam: But you’ll never walk again.
    Lennie: It’s alright, I never did like P.E. anyway. (he laughs) Besides, there’s a bright side.
    Sam: Oh?
    Lennie: They were right, the accident changed several parts of the brain, areas associated with movement, but also a part connected to thought and memory.
    Helen: What does that mean?
    Lennie: Well, besides the fact that I’ll never walk again, I now have five times more neural pathways than an average human, not to mention the fact that their efficiency has been improved tenfold.
    Sam: How do you know all that?
    Lennie: Because, I have five times more…oh never mind. (deep breath) I’m smarter, but not just smarter, I’m…I’m…(to self, very quickly) oh how can I condense immensely complex neurological processes into a few words? I know, (to Sam and Helen) I have (he air-quotes) ‘super-intelligence’.
    Cut to a close-up of Sam’s face, camera zooms in as his eyes light up with joy.

    Establishing shot of a street with an Underground sign above it. Cut to a derelict Underground station, with peeling signs and wallpaper, and a boarded-up tunnel. Fire and Ice are dragging George down the stairs. They shove him onto the ground then quickly close the door to the stairs. A buzzing sound plays as the door electronically seals itself.
    George: Who are you? What do you want?
    Boss: (off-screen) You. Just you.
    George turns to face the man behind the voice. He is tall, in his mid-to-late-thirties. He has incredibly spiky hair, like a victim of a Van De Graaf Generator. He is wearing a spandex costume, which is white and covered in pictures of lightning bolts.
    George: (laughing) And who are you supposed to be?
    Boss: Call me…Thunderstorm.
    George: Okay, ‘Thunderstorm’, who are you? Why have you kidnapped me?
    Thunderstorm: That’s for me and my associates to know.
    Ice: Associates? I thought we were friends!
    Fire: Friends? I thought we were lackeys.
    Thunderstorm: Enough! George, you have something I want.
    George: My powers?
    Thunderstorm: Precisely.
    George: But why? How do you know about them? What do you need them for? Your ‘associates’ have the same powers as me.
    Thunderstorm: What did I just say? Fire, Ice, please grab him.
    George: Fire and Ice? Those are your names? Seriously, you couldn’t think of anything better?
    Fire: (as he’s walking towards him) Like what?
    George: I don’t know, something like… Burn… and… Frost…
    Fire: So what does that make you, Frostburn?
    George: Well… hey that’s not a bad idea actually…
    Fire and Ice grab George. He struggles to access his powers, but they don’t work.
    George: C’mon…Why won’t they work?
    Thunderstorm: Because of Fire and Ice. Neither you nor they can use your powers on each other. Why? Because they all come from the same source. These. (he holds out two crystals, one orangey-red and the other very pale blue)
    George: Those are the crystals I got my powers from!
    Thunderstorm: You have no idea what you’re involved in. I need your powers so I can make their powers whole. Right now all three of you are very weak with your powers, but if I can extract your powers and give them to Fire and Ice, their powers will become stronger.
    George: (snickering) You used the word ‘powers’ like 10 times in that speech.
    Fire: Yeah, and… you just told him everything.
    Thunderstorm: It doesn’t matter, after we get what we need we’ll dispose of him.
    George: (laughing) Yes because that logic has never failed before, has it?
    Thunderstorm: (pause as he stares at George with irritation) Strap him to the chair and let the extraction begin.
    Fire and Ice drag him over to a wooden chair with arm rests with straps on them and a weird helmet above it.
    George: Let… me… go!

    Camera fades to another close-up of Sam’s face, this time he is concentrating, and in his room. Sam is focusing on a comic book on the floor.
    Sam: C’mon! Move!
    He puts his hand out in front of the comic and concentrates.
    Sam: I know I can do this!
    The book starts floating in mid-air.
    Sam: I knew it! I did move that debris with my mind!
    Sam opens the cupboard door with his mind, the comic he lifted then flies into the cupboard. There is a knock on the door.
    Sam: Who is it?
    Helen: It’s me.
    Sam: Umm…just a second.
    Sam lifts up some of the comics on the floor with his mind, then makes them fly into the cupboard. He then runs over to a mirror, checks his hair, and runs over to the door to open it.
    Sam: (opening the door) Hello Helen… (he sees that she’s brought Lennie along too) and Lennie…
    The two of them go inside, careful to avoid any comic books still on the floor.
    Sam: Umm…come in?
    Helen: So what is it you wanted to show us?
    Sam: Check this out.
    Sam turns to the cupboard, focuses on it, and the doors fly open. Comics then fly out and circle the four of them, before returning to the cupboard.
    Helen: What on Earth?
    Sam: The experiment worked! I have tele…tel… that thing!
    Lennie: (it sounds echoic) Telekinesis you idiot!
    Sam: Alright Lennie, telekinesis, no need to call me an idiot!
    Lennie: But I didn’t say that out loud, I thought it.
    Sam: Then how did I hear that? Oh, wait! I have that other thing too, Tele…tel…
    Lennie: (in his head) Telepathy!
    Sam: Right Lennie, Telepathy!
    Helen: (incredibly cynically) So let me get this straight, the lab accident gave both of you superpowers?
    Sam: I know! It’s the most overused origin story in the history of comic books, but it really happened!
    Helen: Wait a second, origin story? Comic books? Where did this come from?
    Sam: Well, me and Lennie have superpowers, I figured the three of us, you included, need to become superheroes now. I’ve even thought of a name for myself, Brainwave!
    Helen: We need to become superheroes?
    Sam: Yes, because with great power there must always come great-
    Helen: (interrupting) Please, PLEASE don’t finish that sentence!
    Sam: But it’s true! We need to use these powers to help people, don’t we Lennie?
    Lennie is just about to speak when Helen interrupts him.
    Helen: Oh no, not you too, surely Megabrain over here can see how stupid this is.
    Lennie: Actually… it might not be a bad idea.
    Helen: Lennie!
    Sam: C’mon Helen, don’t you want to save George?
    Helen: That is a matter for the police.
    Sam: You saw what happened, the guy who abducted him froze you to the ground! He had superpowers! And it’ll take someone with superpowers to beat them, not the police! Oh, and it would help to wear masks and have cover identities so they don’t know who stopped them. In short, it’ll take superheroes.
    Helen: But-
    Lennie: (interrupting) Helen, you don’t have to help if you don’t want to, but Sam and I are going to find George.
    Sam: C’mon Helen, we could use your black belt in Kung-Fu.
    Helen: Karate Sam, I’m a black belt in Karate.
    Sam: Whatever.
    Helen: Sam Harrow in the ten years I’ve known you this is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. Okay, not THE stupidest, but it comes pretty close.
    Sam: Helen, please.
    Helen: I… I mean we can’t… but it’s silly really… but… but… (deep sigh, resigned) oh alright, we’ll be superheroes. But just to save George!
    Sam: Yes! I knew you’d see the sense in it! Lennie, can you use your super brains to find out where they took George?
    Lennie: I’ll see what I can do. But I’m not going to help you fight. I never was a good fighter, and I don’t think I can think my opponents into submission.
    Sam: That’s fine, you can be our… umm… tech support guy!
    Lennie: That sounds good.
    Sam: Now all we need are superhero names. Brainwave?
    Lennie: I think it’s copyrighted.
    Sam: Right, let’s see… I have telepathy and telekinesis…Teleman! No, that’s lame. Move-Stuff-With-His-Mind-Guy! Nah.
    Lennie: How about instead of telekinesis, work with the word psychic. It can have a similar meaning.
    Sam: Right. Psychic…Psy…Psykid!
    Helen: Psykid?
    Sam: Yeah, y’know, psychic kid?
    Helen: Oh I get the pun, it’s just not a very good one.
    Lennie: Yeah, you’re hardly going to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies with that name. But at least it’s original.
    Sam: Well, I like it, so I’m keeping it!
    Helen: (thinking) Sometimes I wonder why I hand out with that guy…
    Sam: Hey, I heard that!
    Helen: Sorry, just a stray thought…
    Sam: Anyway, what do you want to be called?
    Helen: Hmm… What about some kind of Greek goddess?
    The boys look at her, totally confused.
    Helen: (unusually shyly) What? I like Greek mythology…
    Lennie: Well there’s several choices for Greek goddesses, you could go for a major goddess like Artemis or Athena, or some of the minor ones like Astraea, Nemesis, Hestia-
    Helen: (interrupting) Wait, go back, what was that one… ast… as-
    Lennie: Astraea?
    Helen: Yeah.
    Lennie: Well she was a goddess of justice.
    Sam: Oh, I like that one! It’s clever!
    Helen: It’s not bad… Okay, let’s go for it!
    Sam: Great, now that that’s settled, let’s get to work on superhero costumes.
    Sam turns to face Helen
    Helen: Why are you looking at me?
    Sam: Can you sew us costumes?
    Helen: Oh, what? Just because I’m a girl I know how to sew, is that it?
    Sam: No! (pause) Kinda…
    Helen: For the record, I do not know how to sew!
    Sam: Great, now how can we make the costumes? (to himself) Why has no other superhero ever had this problem?
    Lennie: (typing at Sam’s computer) I may not know how to sew, but the internet does!
    The three gather around as Lennie searches online for a ‘how to’ for sewing. Cut to the computer screen where there is a webpage titled ‘So you want to Sew…’.

    Montage of shots with a Rocky-style tune playing. First Sam drawing designs at a table, he is drawing his suit, which is totally spandex. Then a shot of Sam showing a design for Helen’s costume made of spandex. Helen laughs in his face, Sam comically shrinks away. He then shows Helen an idea for her costume which looks really skin-tight. Helen glares at Sam, who shrinks away the same way as before. He comes to her again with a slightly less revealing costume and Helen smiles. He then returns to the table with the same design for his costume, but in T-shirt form, not full-body spandex form. Shot of Helen practising Karate moves by herself on a training dummy. Then a shot of Sam trying to sew but pricking his thumb, he adds a plaster to a hand full of plasters with cartoonish tears coming from his eyes . Then a shot of Lennie typing at a laptop, another shot of Sam sewing, this time trying to sew with one hand, since the other is covered in plasters, then a shot of Lennie looking up at the old tree house in Sam’s back garden, then back to Sam sewing, this time telepathically since both hands are covered in plasters.
    Sam: (panting, he reels back from the sewing machine) There, all done.
    Sam tries on his costume.
    Lennie: Not bad, not bad! (to Helen) What about your costume?
    Helen steps out of the room, Sam and Lennie then steps back in with her costume on.
    Helen: What do you think?
    Sam stares with his jaw hanging.
    Sam: (stuttering) Umm… g-great! Totally great!

    Back in Sam’s room, the two of them are gathered around Lennie, who is typing at a laptop.
    Lennie: I invented a software to search for the van, then hacked into the city’s CCTV systems, then ran the software through the footage to find the van.
    Helen: You made this?
    Lennie: It was easy. I just created a code for software that would scan footage for a certain image. It’s okay, you don’t need to understand. Here’s what I found.
    Shot of street camera footage of an old derelict underground station with the van parked outside.
    Sam: That’s it! That’s the van! Let’s go!
    Sam runs towards the door.
    Helen: Wait!
    Sam stops halfway through a stride, frozen in mid-air, he turns to face Helen.
    Sam: Yeah?
    Helen: Do you know where it is?
    Sam: (pause) Haven’t a clue!
    Helen slaps her forehead with her palm.
    Lennie: I’ll draw up a bus route for you.
    Sam: Bus? Superheroes don’t take the bus! I’ll levitate myself there!
    Sam rises up into the air, clearly struggling to get off the ground.
    Sam: See? No… problem…
    Helen: Great, now how do I get there?
    Sam: I’ll levitate you too.
    Helen: You can barely lift yourself!
    Sam: Well… I’ll just… but I can… (pause) Fine, we’ll take the bus…

    Back in the underground station. George is strapped into the chair, the two crystals are ‘plugged’ into the helmet. It is making a loud humming noise and George is crying out in pain. Fire and Ice are supervising him, and holding his arms so he can’t use his powers.
    Thunderstorm: It’s not working! Why isn’t it working?! This doesn’t make sense!
    Ice: We’ve been at this for hours! Can’t we take a rest?
    Thunderstorm aims his hand at Ice and bolts of lightning spark from it and fly towards Ice, giving him a mild electric shock.
    George: Whoa! That’s why they call you Thunderstorm!
    Thunderstorm points at George now and the lightning hits him, he cries out in pain.
    Thunderstorm: You’re getting on my nerves…
    Suddenly George’s hands begin to glow. Then the crystals begin to glow brightly. After a few seconds they dim, but they still glow faintly, and coloured gases swirl around inside them, a red gas in the red crystal and a blue one in the blue crystal.
    Thunderstorm: It worked! It worked!
    Suddenly, Thunderstorm is lifted into the air
    Psykid: (off screen) Whoa, hey, Sparky, unplug for a second wouldya?
    Astraea: (off-screen) I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
    Thunderstorm is thrown across the station onto the tracks.
    Thunderstorm: What the- who did that?
    He turns to face his foes. Standing in front of the broken down door are Psykid and Astraea.
    Thunderstorm: Who the heck are you?
    Psykid: I’m… (he telepathically projects his thoughts to Astraea, he is now thinking) Oh crud, I didn’t think of this…
    Astraea: (thinking to Psykid) Think of what?
    Psykid: (still thinking) My introduction!
    Astraea: What are you tal-thinking about?
    Psykid: I need a witty one-liner to introduce myself!
    Astraea: Oh Sam don’t be ridiculous, this is a rescue, not a comedy gig!
    Psykid: But all superheroes have good one-liners!
    Astraea: Don’t be stu-
    Their thought-conversation is disrupted by Ice throwing a punch at Astraea. She dodges, then lands a punch right in his stomach. As this happens Fire runs towards Psykid, hands blazing. Psykid stops him with his mind and throws him backwards.
    Thunderstorm: (getting up) I’ll repeat myself, who are you?
    Psykid: (thinking to Astraea) I’ll get it right this time! (out loud, to Thunderstorm, as he says it a dramatic background flashes behind him) We’re… (background fades) Oh forget it. I’m Psykid, this is Astraea, we’re superheroes, we’re here to save the guy you kidnapped.
    Thunderstorm: Well if you’re superheores, I guess that makes me a super villain!
    He pushes both his hands out in front of him, as he does this a strong wind begins to blow from behind him, it takes the heroes by surprise and knocks them back.
    Psykid: Whoa! You’re a light bulb and a fan? What other household appliances are you?
    Thunderstorm: Grr… S-Shut up! Minions, attack!
    Fire: Oh, so now we’re minions!
    Thunderstorm: (he goes into a thinking pose and pinches his forehead) Just… just get them!
    Ice keeps trying to hit Astraea, but she keeps dodging. He forms a block of ice in between his hands and throws it at her, she dodges. Whip pan to George still tied to his chair, he struggles, then tries to use his powers, which are now gone. He jumps around and makes the chair fall over on its side. He then begins rubbing the strap against the ground. Cut back to Astraea and Ice, who forms a block of ice on his hands and begins punching again. She does a Karate block and goes into a punch. This time he reels over onto the ground, writhing in pain. Camera pans to Psykid and Fire. Fire is trying to ram Psykid with a flaming shoulder, but Psykid keeps holding him back with his powers. He throws him backwards again. This time Fire is knocked out.
    Thunderstorm: So you beat my goons…
    Fire: (he struggles to speak) Goons?
    Thunderstorm: Please just drop it! Anyway, can you beat ME?!
    He causes a large gust of wind to blow Astraea to the wall, she is stuck to it by the wind, then he shoots lightning at Psykid whilst laughing evilly, he falls to the floor as he is electrocuted. Cut back to George, who has now escaped and, holding the two crystals, sneaks over to Fire. He kneels next to him and makes Fire hold the crystal.
    Thunderstorm: Children! (he stops what he’s doing to Psykid and Astraea, they fall to the floor, then struggle to get up) How could mere children be so troublesome? (he shoots more lightning at both of them, they cry out in pain) Well, let’s see how troublesome you are with 5,000 Volts pulsing through your-
    George: (off-screen, interrupting) Hey comb-head! Next time, make straps strong enough to hold a fourteen year old!
    Thunderstorm stops electrocuting Psykid and Astraea and turns to face George. He is standing behind him, holding the two crystals, both of which are still glowing, and the swirling gas is still inside both of them. He squeezes them and the glow is transferred to him. He drops both of them and shoots a fireball at Thunderstorm. He is knocked backwards. He then shoots a beam of ice, totally freezing him. Ice gets up and tries to make ice. Nothing happens.
    Ice: Hey, you took my powers!
    George: Yup, and I must say they’re pretty cool!
    Astraea: I think I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that too.
    George shoots an ice beam at Ice and he is frozen too.
    George: My work here is done.
    Psykid: Oh sure, he can think of all the one-liners he wants!
    George: (he picks up the crystals and starts walking up to the heroes) Thanks for saving me. Or at least… helping me escape… Who are you guys anyway?
    Psykid: George, it’s us.
    George: Seriously, who?
    The three of them start walking towards the exit.
    Astraea: We’ll tell you on the way home.
    Psykid: Oh, do you have enough money for a bus ticket?
    Camera pans up and fades to black. End scene.

    Next scene is in the station, but at night. Cut to close-up of Thunderstorm, still frozen. Suddenly, sparks begin to appear from him, and steam rises from the ice.

    Establishing shot of an abandoned warehouse, then inside we see Professor Young asleep on some old cardboard boxes. He slowly rouses from his sleep.
    Professor: Wh…where am I? (he holds his head) Ow, my head. What’s going on? (he gets up) How did I end up here?
    He looks around. The warehouse has some mattresses, bags and money lying around. Suddenly, he hears voices. Then, he sees four silhouetted figures enter the warehouse, talking to each other. As they get closer he can see the guys wearing all black with black hats on. They are carrying bags. They stop as they see Professor Young.
    Guy 1: Who the heck are you?
    Professor: I was just about to ask the same thing.
    Guy 2: I’ll bet he’s an undercover cop. (he gets a gun out and trains it at the professor)
    Professor: Undercover…no, no, no, I’m nothing like that.
    Guy 1: Then what do you want?
    The professor focuses on the first guy.
    Guy 1: (thinking) He’s probably just some bum. But we can’t risk having witnesses, we just pulled off a major heist, can’t afford to get sloppy now.
    Professor: Your thoughts. I can…hear them. (pause) It worked.
    Guy 2: (still holding the gun) You better tell us what you want.
    Professor: Jewels.
    Guy 1: What?
    Professor: That’s what’s in the bags. Jewels.
    Guy 1: How did you-
    Professor: (interrupting) Your friend told me (he points to the second guy).
    Guy 2: I swear, I didn’t say nothing boss.
    Professor: He didn’t need to. I read his mind.
    Guy 1: Yeah right…
    Professor: How else would I know that you’re wanted in seven countries for crimes such as theft, fraud and assault, the only woman you’ve ever loved is called Susie, and last night you had fast food for dinner? Tell me that, Bill.
    Guy 1 (Bill): How…how…
    Professor: Those jewels, I want them. Wait, what? Why would I say that? I don’t want to steal anything! (pause) (menacingly) Or do I?
    Bill: What are you talking about?
    Professor: Give me the jewels.
    Bill: Forget it.
    Professor: Let’s see if I can…
    He focuses on Bill, and suddenly he begins to rise up.
    Professor: (to self) So that’s how I got here. I carried myself.
    Bill: (in mid-air) What the-? What’s… Don’t just stand there, Fred, shoot!
    Cut to Guy 2 (Fred), who shoots a bullet. The camera shot holds for a few seconds. Then cut to a long shot showing Fred and Professor Young, the bullet is suspended between them.
    Professor: You’ll need to do better than that.
    Bill: Who…who are you?
    Professor: Call me…Professor Extrasensory Perception? Umm… no. Professor ESP? No, that’s lame. Call me, Professor… Professor Esper. (to himself) Yeah, that works.
    The Professor telekinetically lifts the gun out of Fred’s hands, then throws Fred across the room and slams him into the floor. He then telekinetically lifts up Bill and slams him down a couple of times. Cut to a close-up of Fred, who looks terrified, then to the two un-named guys, both looking scared as well. Cut to Professor Esper, who grins menacingly. Cut to a close-up of Bill, who is still terrified. Fade to black.

    In the next shot, the four guys run out of the warehouse, screaming.
    Professor: (shouting after them) And don’t come back. (to himself) Losers. (he picks up the bags) Now, let’s see, (he opens the bags) jewels, jewels, and look! More jewels. Fantastic. The experiment worked better than expected, not only did the desired effects happen, but it altered my personality, my desires, my interests. Suddenly, hurting people seems like a fun idea. Anyway, this will do for a base of operations, I just need to spruce it up a bit, maybe add a supercomputer or two. Hmm…I think the experiment made me smarter as well. Another excellent side effect! Right, now I need to get to work.
    Cut to a very long shot of the inside of the warehouse.
    Professor: But first I really need to stop talking to myself.

  160. B. Macon 17 Apr 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Sam and Helen before they go to school. 1 page, maybe 2.
    Sam tries to intervene on Lennie’s behalf and gets clobbered. 3-4 pages.
    Sam and Helen walk home and meet George. There’s a moving scene. We’re introduced to Fire and Ice. 1 page, maybe 2.
    Sam-Lennie-Young at the prof’s lab. Accident happens. 2-3 pages.
    Fire and Ice abduct George. Helen pursues. 1 page, maybe 2.
    Sam drags Lennie and Young back. (Umm, I’d recommend having Young get separated here by falling rubble. That will help explain why they lose track of Young here). 1-2 pages.
    Cut back to Fire and Ice and George in the van. 1 page.
    The aftermath of the accident. 1-2 pages.
    George meets Thunderstorm. 1-4 pages. (This was a really long conversation, I felt).
    Sam convinces Helen and Lennie to become superheroes. 1-2 pages.
    Costume-designing process. 1-2 pages.
    Lennie discovering where George is being held. 1 page.
    Sam and Helen break in and free George. 3-5 pages—this is the climactic battle.
    Professor Young comes to and has his villainous origin story. 2-3 pages.

    In all, I’d estimate that comes out to between 18 and 35 pages. Since publishers pretty much only publish in increments of 8 pages, I think 24 pages would be pretty easy but 32 is also doable. 32 would probably force you to draw out the conversations, though.

  161. Tomon 17 Apr 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Interesting. This is doable after all…

  162. B. Macon 19 Apr 2009 at 7:17 am

    Bookgasm just did a book review for Get Animated! Creating Professional Cartoon Animation on Your Home Computer. You might find it useful.

  163. Tomon 19 Apr 2009 at 9:49 am

    Hmm… interesting.

  164. Tomon 21 Apr 2009 at 10:36 am

    I’m considering making it as a webcomic. I am currently looking for an artist to work with. I’ve looked at your appropriate articles, is there anything else I should consider?

  165. B. Macon 21 Apr 2009 at 11:38 am

    Cost, probably. A professional comic book requires $300-500 worth of start-up costs (freelance art for a five-page sample). After you’ve spent that, you have enough to pitch it to publishers. In contrast, there’s no end-line for a webcomic. Your money comes from readers, not a publisher. Usually, it takes a long time to find readers. (It took me a year before our readers spent more combined time on this website than I did, for example).

    So a comic book is a sprint to the point where you can publish; a webcomic is more of a marathon. Even though a webcomic’s art will probably be lower-quality (read: cheaper), I expect that you’ll probably need more startup money to cover the costs. However, you may have a friend that’s really good at art and is willing to work for free. The good news about webcomic art is that the standards are much lower. See 8-Bit Theatre, etc. Also, art is pretty much your only expense.

    In terms of formatting and scheduling, I’d recommend releasing a comic book page twice a week. Be punctual, and have as many pages ready to go as possible. Having many pages will help you stay on schedule. Please see Dr. McNinja for an example of a webcomic that is formatted like a comic book.

  166. Tomon 21 Apr 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I’m reading Dr. McNinja now, aside from being hilarious it’s a good indicator of what I should be doing.

    Thanks!

  167. Anonymouson 24 May 2009 at 2:57 pm

    What station are you script writing for?

  168. Tomon 24 May 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Currently, none. I’ve written the script and I hope to find a station to send it to.

  169. Tomon 27 May 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Alright, me and my friend were having a discussion about Twilight, and we came up with a brilliant idea for a novel.

    Space Vampire

    Space Vampire is about a Vampire… IN SPACE! called Tim. Tim has a habit of getting girls to obsess over him, then killing them at the time that is supposed to be the highlight of their life. He also enjoys making explosions, riding through space on his motorcycle, jetpack or both and fighting the evil ninjas that threaten to destroy the universe.

    Instant bestseller.

  170. Ragged Boyon 27 May 2009 at 2:50 pm

    You sir…

    ARE A GENIUS!! I wish I had thought of that. Now you’re going to make millions and probably get a movie proposal. Remember me when you’re looking for actors for the movie.

    I’m so stupid, I should have come up with that.

  171. Tomon 27 May 2009 at 3:16 pm

    It’s so obvious. Twilight is every girl’s fantasy of what a vampire should be like. Namely- the perfect boyfriend. So naturally, Tim has to be a subversion, he just pretends to be Edward Cullen to get in their pant-necks! Their necks… And the explosions, jetpacks, motorcycles, ninjas and IN SPACE setting are just thrown in for good measure.

    Basically, it’s a male version of Twilight.

    Interesting how vampires are almost never female…

  172. Ragged Boyon 27 May 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Rub it in my face, why don’tcha!

  173. Tomon 31 May 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Okay, I’m thinking of an idea for a new character I’m considering introducing later in the series, a Distaff Couterpart ( http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DistaffCounterpart ) of Psykid. I want her powers to be similar to Sam’s, in that they can be classified as psychic, but I don’t want them to be identical. I also don’t want the ability to see the future.

    I want her to have two powers, a power that can be used in battle (like Sam’s telekinesis) and out of battle (like his telepathy). Can anyone think of two powers I can give her?

  174. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Possession.
    Bodyswapping. (Cliche, but probably workable).
    Forcefields. (It works much better on TV than in comic books or novels).
    Psychic weaponry.
    Heightened senses.
    Short-term future-prediction. Like the ability to anticipate which move someone is going to try on her. This is a variation on danger-sense.

    What do you think?

  175. Tomon 01 Jun 2009 at 5:21 am

    Hmm… Out of those, psychic weaponry, heightened senses and short-term future-prediction seem the most appealing. Maybe not heightened senses. What do you mean by pyschic weaponry? Is that similar to the Green Lanterns’ powers?

    Also, how do you feel about clairvoyance?

  176. Ragged Boyon 01 Jun 2009 at 7:23 am

    I think by psychic weaponry he mean the ability to consturct psychic energy into the shape of weapons. Like Psylocke from X-Men. It’s similar to GL’s powers.

  177. B. Macon 01 Jun 2009 at 8:23 am

    Like the ability to make a sword out of psychic energy. It’s much more limited than GL’s ability, so it’ll be easier on your artist and will induce less second-guessing from the audience. Also, it’ll distract the audience less. (Usually, writers give villains simple powers to limit the amount of explanation… there are usually far more villains than heroes).

    I’m not a fan of clairvoyance. (Which I take to be the ability to see or sense something that’s happening somewhere else, like using a crystal ball). It’s not a particularly satisfying way for the villain to find out important information. There are so many alternatives that can make the villain feel more competent and impressive. For example, maybe she’s a shrewd detective or tracker. If she’s psychic, she probably knows how to really work people for information that could lead to what she’s looking for. Interrogations and interviews are much more interesting than crystal balls. ;-)

  178. Tomon 01 Jun 2009 at 8:43 am

    Hmm… I don’t like the psychic weaponry thing. Feels a little cheesy. For her attack power I think short-term future prediction works. Which means I still need an out of battle power.

    Perhaps a limited form of clairvoyance? Rather than her being able to see whatever she wants, she can only see places she’s been (so she’d have to find out their identities to spy on them) or she can only see things, not hear them, or she can only hear things, not see them, or it only happens when she’s sleeping.

    As long as clairvoyance isn’t just a magic crystal ball that tells her everything, how can I limit it to make it work as a good power?

    Also, how did you know it was a villain? I never said? :P

    Kidding, BTW, she is a villain.

  179. B. Macon 01 Jun 2009 at 8:54 am

    “Also, how did you know it was a villain? I never said?” I’m psychic, of course. Also, I analyze data for a living. It’s my job to make sure I don’t suck at it. ;-)

    In this case, the main issue was clairvoyance. It makes a lot more sense for villains than it does for heroes. The only advantage of clairvoyance is that it give the writer an easy way to fill plot holes without wasting too much time on the character. But that’s only an advantage if the character is a villain. In contrast, the writer has a lot more time to let the hero investigate, so he doesn’t need a deus ex machina.

  180. Tomon 01 Jun 2009 at 11:13 am

    Okay, I think I have this character sorted.

    Name: Claire Voyant (bear with me here…)

    Origin: Born Miranda Bennet, she was adpoted by Professor Esper to be his sidekick (think Terra from Teen Titans, only without the Face Heel Turn at the beginning). When she was adpoted he put her through a recreated version of the experiment that gave him his powers, and changed her name to Claire Voyant (hence the meaningful name).

    Powers: Mild future-sight and mild clairvoyance. This means she can see a couple of seconds into the future to predict and respond to attacks. Her clairvoyancy allows her to see events even when she’s not there to see them, but this power does not extend to hearing events (which, interestingly enough, would be called clairaudience) and the events must be in places she’s familiar with. Not just places she’s been to, but places she can vividly imagine in her mind, which requires familiarity. As a result of this limitation, she has been going through memory enhancing and lip-reading training, but she is still quite unskilled in these aspects.

    What do you think? Also note this is a minor character to come in a lot later in the series.

  181. Ragged Boyon 01 Jun 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I’m still doubt how practical it would be to be able to see the future in battle. I’m sure you could dodge melee strikes, but how does seeing the future protect her from a psychic blast or being thrown psychically. I’d recommend giving her the ability to resist other psychic’s power and possibly a weapon.

  182. Tomon 01 Jun 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Hmm… being able to resist psychic attacks will be very useful against Psykid for obvious reasons.

    So… her powers:

    -Mind future sight
    -Mild clairvoyance
    -Ability to resist telepathy and telekinesis

    Oh! Here’s an idea! Professor Esper stole the idea for Astraea’s super gloves and boots and gave them to Claire. Giving her fuel to fight Sam and Helen! Poor George, he’ll feel so left out.

  183. B. Macon 01 Jun 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Claire Voyant is a character that’s been inherited by Marvel Comics.

    I think the ability to sense things a few seconds into the future would be interesting, particularly if her reflexes are good enough to do anything with that knowledge.

    I’m not feeling the power-gloves angle. It doesn’t seem to mesh all that well with her psychic abilities. Maybe you could give the power-gloves to a different villain?

  184. Tomon 01 Jun 2009 at 1:49 pm

    The name’s taken? Damn… Have to rethink that. And I thought I was being so clever too…

    Yeah, power gloves was just a stray thought. but good idea, I have another villain in mind who could benefit from them.

    So I think that’s this girl settled, now I just need to think of a name… I was kinda intending to give her a normal name that’s still strong enough to stand out as her ‘villain name’ among Professor Esper, Thunderstorm etc. Hence Claire Voyant.

    What if i spell it Clare Voyant? :P

    *goes to think this through*

  185. Tomon 04 Jun 2009 at 10:37 am

    Okay, I am really stuck for a name. As I said, I wanted a name that would also work as a villain name, but I can’t think of any. I’m tempted to go with a colour name, kinda like Wings’ Scarlet. Any ideas?

  186. B. Macon 04 Jun 2009 at 11:09 am

    Does she have any distinct personality traits? I think that would help me come up with an appropriate name.

    I’m not a fan of bad puns. However, if you are, you could do something with Miss or Anne. “Miss Anthrope, please take care of these fools!” Or, if you’re really into awful puns, Anne T. Thesis. After all, she’s the antithesis of the protagonist, right? Groan.

  187. Tomon 04 Jun 2009 at 11:26 am

    Well I am into awful puns… *ahemcoughpsykidcoughahem*

    Haha, I’m not THAT bad.

    Hmm… distinct personality traits… Well, she’s not pure evil for the sake of evil like the Professor, but when he adopts her he basically says ‘you don’t need to worry about consequences any more’ and she kinda goes with it, and she basically begins to emulate the Professor in how he acts. That is to say, she becomes evil for the sake of evil. So I’d say similar to the Professor.

    Also, she’s first introduced when she befriends Helen and subsequently George, Sam and Lennie (remember she can block his mind-reading). When she’s introduced she appears to be a bubbly, cheery, constantly happy girl bordering on cloud cuckoolander (Tropes), like Starfire, but not as… ditzy. But as soon as she’s revealed, she becomes nasty.

    And when I say nasty, I mean she gets… creative with her evil schemes, more so than the Professor.

    I think I kinda rambled on a bit there. I don’t know how much of that will actually be applicable when it comes to actually making her as a character.

  188. B. Macon 04 Jun 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Hey, Tom. I found something you might like to see. JibJab, one of my favorite political comedy sites, did a behind-the-scenes take on the stages of production for one of its cartoons here. (Well, that’s just Animatics, but they have the other stages as well).

  189. Tomon 05 Jun 2009 at 3:34 am

    Hmm… that’s quite interesting.

  190. Tomon 07 Jun 2009 at 2:42 am

    Okay, on the subject of names, what about a precious metal or stone? Like Ruby, or Silver, or Pearl, or Crystal, or Sapphire.

    What do you think?

  191. B. Macon 07 Jun 2009 at 3:07 am

    I’m not fond of names based on gems. Ruby and Pearl feel really old-fashioned, and most other gems and precious metals would probably feel weird as a name. Crystal is ok, but it isn’t very interesting.

    If you really wanted to use a metal or stone, I’d recommend incorporating it into the last name. For example, Goldwater or Silvermane. Adding something beyond the gem/metal will probably make it more interesting, I think.

  192. Tomon 07 Jun 2009 at 3:46 am

    Okay, then I have no idea what to do for a first name. I wanted something like Jean Grey or Emma Frost, that works as their normal names, but fits alongside Cyclops, Beast, Rogue etc.

  193. Tomon 14 Jun 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Hokay… I think I’m going to file Sam’s distaff counterpart’s name under ‘to do’ and move on.

    I don’t really feel like going through another script here, I kinda want to go with what I learned from going through the first one here and try to improve the second one myself.

    What I do want is to talk about characters. Naturally, I have many more characters in mind than the ones mentioned here, several villains and even some other heroes. So if it’s alright I’d like to post some short descriptions of some characters and see if you can help me improve them.

    But not just characters, concepts, places… those minor things.

    I’ll start Professor Esper, since I never really developed his character a lot here.

    The main idea for Esper’s character can probably be embodied with the trope ‘for the evulz’.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ForTheEvulz
    The accident altered his mind, he now gains extreme pleasure from causing the misery of others. His motive isn’t greed, or lust for power like Thunderstorm, it’s just the desire to hurt people, as an antithesis to the desire ‘to help people’ that seems to sum up the motives of many superheroes. This means he’s a man who cannot be reasoned with, similar to the Joker, but without the (hilariously!) insane mannerisms.

    Esper is also the opposite of Thunderstorm in that he is genre savvy. He knows where many villains went wrong and seeks to avoid those mistakes, he may have read the ‘Evil Overlord List’ and work by it.

    But that doesn’t mean he’s above petty crime! He loves robbing banks and jewelery stores to fund his doomsday devices. But with petty crime he lives by Doctor Horrible’s philosophy ‘it’s not about making money, it’s about taking money! Upsetting the status quo’.

    His backstory is that he was a university professor who was obsessed with parapsychology and was shunned by the scientific community (as mentioned), so continued his work in private until the accident, as mentioned.

    As a side note, he is tall, with dark hair, in his mid to late thirties, and wears as lab coat to signify his status as ‘Mad Scientist’.

    tl;dr version: Forget the deep, troubled villain with the Freudian excuse who viewers are meant to feel sympathy for and understand their villainy, Esper’s sole purpose in life is to hurt people.

  194. Tomon 16 Jun 2009 at 1:59 am

    Okay, I think I’ve finally pinned down the name for the distaff counterpart. The Rouge Rogue. It’s not particularly meaningful but it sounds catchy! It’ll also be accompanied by numerous gags about typos, with newspaper headlines reading ‘Rogue Rouge Strikes Again!’ with a smaller article saying ‘Typo Epidemic Sweeps Nation!’ as a throwaway gag.

    As for the real name, since it’s a changed name I can go all out on the meaningful names, Rachel Redford anyone?

    What do you think?

  195. Bretton 05 Jul 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Throwaway comment: Most modern superheroes/villains don’t have alliterative names like “Clark Kent” and “Lex Luthor” anymore. “Rachel Redford” and “Rouge Rogue” might feel corny or antiquated, but it’s purely a stylistic choice. On the other hand, if you’re making a throwback to the golden age of superheroes (maybe with an atmosphere reminiscent of the opening of Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles), then none of this applies, so long as your audience gets the joke.

  196. Tomon 24 Jul 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve been told that a brief outline of as many episode ideas as possible would be a good idea. Fortunately I have enough ideas for at least sixty episodes. Sixty being the number of episode ideas I have typed up. I intend to post some here to get feedback. Question is, which version do you want? I have eight-line summaries of each episode’s plot, and I have brief synopses of the plots which give a vague outline of the episode plots but don’t reveal anything about them.

  197. B. Macon 24 Jul 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Eight-line summaries are fine. I’d recommend focusing on the episodes within the first season, though.

  198. Tomon 25 Jul 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Sorry for the delay. Internet decided to be annoying just before I posted it. Here’s episodes 2-6. (Do you really need episode one?)

    S1 Ep 2. PhD in Pain
    Sam, George and Lennie are using their newfound abilities for trivial things like invading privacy. Helen objects to being superheroes again, whilst Sam and George decide to continue. Sam and George encounter Professor Esper and are defeated by him. He then sends them a message saying he intends to blow up the university he used to work in. They go to the place. George tries to find the bombs whilst Sam fights The Professor. Eventually Helen arrives and turns the tables in their favour. They defeat The Professor and stop his plan. Helen then decides to join them in crime-fighting and Sam decides to stop using his powers for trivial purposes.

    S1 Ep 3. The Enigma Stone
    George tells Sam, Helen and Lennie that he is unhappy at the school and wishes to change schools. Meanwhile, a man called Samson Perkins escapes from a mental institution whilst being treated for split personality disorder. He tries to steal a valuable artefact called The Enigma Stone from a museum. After being stopped by Sam, George and Helen he retreats. The curator then gives the stone to Helen to protect until Perkins is put behind bars. The curator then tells her that the stone has some kind of riddle in it. After solving the riddle Helen sees a vision of the Greek goddess Athena, who claims the stone is important and she should keep it. Perkins returns to the museum to fight the heroes again, but this time they defeat him and put him behind bars. George decides to stay when he meets his love interest, Daisy.

    S1 Ep 4. WHO?
    A representative from the UN organisation the WHO asks the kids to come to a meeting. The representative then reveals himself to be a man called Mikhail Gagarin, formerly the future-seeing superhero Precog. He then reveals that the WHO is secretly a front for the World Heroes Organisation, a UN group dedicated to making a superhero and supporting existing ones, then offers them membership. He reveals himself to be the one that brought them together based on a vision from the future. They initially accept his offer but later they find out that Gagarin has been selling secrets to the Insetto crime family for years. They stop him and his son Nicolas takes over, but they decide not to join the organisation in the end.

    S1 Ep 5. Feral
    Fifteen year old Lance Cooper is a bully. When he is held back a year he befriends Carl Paulson and starts to antagonise Sam, George, Helen and Lennie. Professor Esper, wanting an apprentice takes an interest in Lance and gives him an experimental forula to enhance strength. The formula turns Lance into a mindless, werewolf-like beast bent on destruction. He proves himself too strong for them since everyone is trying new techniques, strategies and gadgets out, but they are proving ineffective. The heroes eventually figure out how to defeat him by using his instinctive fear of police sirens as a weapon.

    S1 Ep 6. Psykid’s Sidekick
    Sam’s little brother Alan discovers Sam is Psykid, and decides to become his sidekick. Sam tells him no for obvious reasons. Alan drags his friend Timmy to the site of the accident from episode one to try and get superpowers. Alan gets none, but Timmy gains super-intelligence without Alan realising. When they play a game where Alan is a hero and Timmy is a villain, Timmy makes a real doomsday device. Alan asks Sam for help but Sam doesn’t believe him, so Alan has to take down Timmy, The Tiny Twister, and his doomsday device. Note- this is a ‘breather episode’.

  199. B. Macon 25 Jul 2009 at 3:36 pm

    I think I’m good on episode 1. However! When you print this up for decision-makers, include the synopsis of episode 1 even though they have the script. (The synopsis provides the big picture).

    Episode 2.
    –I don’t see the connection between privacy invasion and the rest of the plot in this episode. Also, it’s kind of creepy (see Superman Returns). Could I suggest focusing on other kinds of trivial behavior, like using a bit of telekinesis in gym class or whatever? I think that kids could relate to that more easily. After all, I think a lot of kids can appreciate what it’s like to lose in gym class and why Sam might want to cheat in gym even though it’s a bit risky. Having him suck it up and get beat every day in gym class could be a mark of character.

    –I like that Helen objects. It helps create continuity with the previous episode.

    –”He then sends them a message saying he intends to blow up the university…” Unless you’re really strapped for time, I’d recommend having the kids deduce what his target is. That’ll give them a chance to investigate, which is probably the smoothest way for them to learn the backstory about how much he hates his former colleagues. (Also, if they talk with people on-campus, you could easily work in humor as you describe the wacky things Esper got fired for and what else they remember about him).

    –I like the episode title a bit even though it’s a bit over-the-top. You might also find it humorous to work Ph. D into the episode. For example, Sam might conclude that it’s something evil if Esper has one. (He is a bit dim-witted, right?) Lennie may have to clue him in that the P does not, in fact, stand for pain.

    Episode 3.
    –Umm, the inclusion of Athena strikes me as a bit inconsistent with the setting. I feel that gods rank even higher than magic and talking apes on the weirdness scale.

    –I think this episode would be higher-stakes if we had some idea of what the Enigma Stone did upfront. Why can’t Samson be allowed to take the stone? (If you’d like to use it in a later episode, you can give it a second use in another context. For example, JK Rowling’s Philosopher’s Stone creates gold but with the right magic it can also create a fountain of youth).

    –I’d recommend being careful with the idea of a split-personality disorder guy. Making him generically crazy (a la Joker or Mad Hatter) might be more kid-friendly than giving him a specific disorder.

    –Is there a connection between George/Daisy and the Samson angle?

    Episode 4.
    –Using UN might be legally problematic. It might help to make up a thinly veiled copy. For example, I think Justice League used the Global Assembly in the arctic attack episode.

    –Umm, the WHO is the World Health Organization in real-life. I think that many adults would know it’s a real-life UN body. I’m betting that you used WHO as something else intentionally, but I’m not exactly sure what the goal is. I’m not sure that kids will get the joke? Also, if it is a joke, how do you plan to use it?

    –The corrupt boss is deposed and his son takes over. Yep, that sounds just like the UN. (Do you know who Kojo Annan is?)

    Episode 5.
    –I don’t think that we need Lance’s last name. Or Carl’s, for that matter. (In contrast, I think it makes more sense for Mikhail Gagarin because he’s introduced to the protagonists/viewers in a far more formal setting than school).

    –Who is Carl? Why is he worth mentioning in the synopsis?

    Episode 6.
    –A somewhat different approach could be something like this. Alan finds out and accuses Sam of being Psykid in front of the parents. Sam gets very defensive and he has to spend the rest of the episode somehow convincing the parents (and maybe Alan) that Alan is obviously mistaken. Ideally, the villain would be one that is well-suited to PK’s powers. (So the team will really miss his absence if he decides to lay low). If you wanted, you could leave Alan permanently eager to prove that Sam is Psykid at the end of the episode. That could raise the stakes on his secret identity.

    –For a breather episode, this one leaves a lot of loose strands lying around. At the end of the episode, Alan knows PK’s secret identity, Timmy still has superpowers, and it looks like the source that gave Timmy his powers is still in play. In particular, the secret identity one is one I’d recommend avoiding so early in the run. Finding out the secret identity should be a special moment, I feel. I’d recommend reserving it for a particularly notable enemy (or, in a solo superhero story, perhaps a close friend).

    –”The Tiny Twister” suffers from the same perspective issues as “Psykid.” It feels like they’re being named by someone that is bigger and older than they are. I don’t think that children think of themselves as “kids” or “tiny” even though they are.

    Anyway, these are generally pretty good. Although the plot synopses don’t feel as, umm, distinct as they would for an episode of something like Invader Zim or Kim Possible, I’d be surprised if they didn’t at least glance at the first episode’s script.

  200. B. Macon 25 Jul 2009 at 4:00 pm

    PS: I had a humorous misreading.

    ACTUAL VERSION: “Sam’s little brother Alan discovers Sam is Psykid, and decides to become his sidekick. Sam tells him no for obvious reasons. ”

    WHAT I READ: “Sam’s little brother discovers Sam is Psykid, and decides to become his sidekick. Sam tells him for no obvious reasons.” I wrote 50 words explaining my concerns about an “idiot plot” before I realized that there was a different kind of idiocy going around. Haha.

  201. Tomon 26 Jul 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Episode 2
    -I like most of those suggestions, I’ll work with that. As for Professor informing them about his crime, there is a reason for it. To the Professor, the whole thing is a game, and the main reason he plants the bombs is to have a bona fide superhero/villain fight, not for revenge.

    -He learns his lesson after they kick his butt and decides that telling them about his plans beforehand might not be such a bright idea. :D

    Episode 3
    -Good point on the stone, I’ll up the stakes a bit.

    -I didn’t explain it there, but his split personality isn’t a mental condition. He really is two different people. That is, two people were involved in a lab accident and ended up sharing a body. And for deliberately unexplained reasons whenever a personality takes hold his whole body changes.

    -The George/Daisy thing is pretty much just a throwaway gag at the end of the episode, but it does set the stage for a large subplot concerning the two, to be expanded upon later.

    -Ha, talking apes. Oh DC universe, you sure are kooky. On a serious note though, this isn’t a throwaway appearance. I actually have plans for a story arc involving the Greek Gods (ending with Astraea fighting the REAL goddess Astraea). Is the inclusion of them THAT bad? I do have an explanation for their existence.

    Episode 4
    -Yes, the WHO are based on the real World Health Organisation, my intent was that the backstory was that the Health Organisation was setup as a front for the Heroes Organisation when the UN first started. I was afraid there would be legal issues but I wasn’t 100% sure. I thought since the UN aren’t a company there would be no reason to sue. Plus, the WHO is a charity. I thought that would affect it. I suppose I was wrong. I’ll think of an alternative.

    -I don’t know who Kojo Annan is. Did something like that happen in real life? Wow, I honestly had no idea. Seriously. I swear.

    Episode 5
    -Good point, I’ll remove the last names.

    Episode 6
    -I’ll change Tiny Twister

    -My idea with this episode was that Sam’s little brother had to save the world because his friend took their game of superhero a little too far. Now that I think about it, the episode could still work without Alan finding out Sam’s identity. And I think I’ve just thought of a way to make this work without the need for super-intelligence. I’ll change it.

    Overall-
    Thanks for the feedback! I’ll make the necessary changes some time soon. What did you mean by ‘distinct’, by the way? I’m just curious.

    Also, Invader Zim? Dear God that was a funny show. Freakin hilarious. Shame it was cancelled early. I suppose it was the right thing for Nick to do considering how adult it was.

  202. B. Macon 26 Jul 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Regarding #4, it’s funny that the deposed-corrupt-father is replaced by the son at the UN. I’d recommend keeping it. (By the way, I mentioned Kojo because it was an example of the crazy nepotism at the UN, not because it’s a problem… it isn’t).



    I don’t think gods fit into this story very well. For one thing, none of the protagonists have magical/mystical/religious origins, unlike Wonder-Woman or Raven. Also, my impression is that the episodes where a mostly nonmagical team takes on a magical or mystical foe tend to suck because the villains don’t feel real. Remember the JLU episode where Wonder-Woman has to go to Hades? Ick.

    In contrast, an earthly villain can resonate even if he’s totally off-the-wall (like The Dark Knight’s Joker).


    I like your ideas with regards to #6.

    Regarding “distinct.” It just feels like some of these plot concepts are maybe a bit bland for a comedy? Kim Possible, Pinkie and the Brain, Invader Zim and many other comedies threw in wacky, wacky plots from time to time. Area 51 gets attacked by a giant poodle, Kim Possible gets attacked by “Embarrassment Ninjas,” Tokyo gets attacked by two giant lab rats trying to stop Lollyzilla, etc. I’d recommend throwing in a few episodes that make the reader think “kids are going to find this show hilarious.”

  203. Tomon 26 Jul 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Regarding #4: I still don’t know what you’re taking about but okay! :P

    Maybe I could make the gods humans and use some Applied Phlebotinum to make them appear godly?

    Also, I think I’ll play devil’s advocate and bring up the episode of The New Batman Adventures where they meet the demon Etrigan. It was a terrible episode in what is considered one of the greatest cartoons of all time (well, Batman The Animated Series was but TNBA was just BTAS with a different artstyle). Point taken, magic episodes don’t mesh well into non-magical shows.

  204. B. Macon 26 Jul 2009 at 12:55 pm

    “Point taken, magic episodes don’t mesh well into non-magical shows.”

    Yeah. (Magical MacGuffins like artifacts are mostly okay, though. I’d say that it’s magical characters– particularly villains– that are killer).

  205. Tomon 26 Jul 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I understand now.

    This reminds me of The Ultimates 2, where they discover that Thor isn’t really a Norse god, but part of the Swedish (or Finnish, I can’t remember) Super-Soldier project and is under the delusion that he is the son of Odin.

    Spoiler: Turns out he really IS the son of Odin, and his half-brother Loki, the trickster god, set up that lie to get the rest of the Ultimates to distrust him. Leads to a hilarious ‘I told you so’ moment.

  206. Tomon 02 Aug 2009 at 6:22 am

    I just had another one of my random thoughts for ideas for a superhero story: Superman in reverse.

    Two brothers, a cop and a scientist are teleported from Earth to an alien planet that’s smaller than Earth. Thanks to the planet’s low gravity they can leap tall buildings in a single bound and they’re more powerful than a locomotive. Notably NOT faster than a speeding bullet. They fight crime. Additional powers: mild super-speed, top speed 40mph approx and super-hearing due to less dense atmosphere. Their main villain is a criminal who was teleported with them and thus has the same powers as them.

    Okay, I lied, I thought of this months ago.

  207. B. Macon 02 Aug 2009 at 9:03 am

    I just tried randomly generating some “They Fight Crime” combinations.

    “He’s a fast talking Republican househusband with a robot buddy named Sparky. She’s a strong-willed snooty femme fatale with a flame-thrower. They fight crime!” Hmm. I’d pay $10 to read that.

    “He’s a morbidly obese skateboarding rock star gone bad. She’s a man-hating Buddhist stripper who can talk to animals. They fight crime!”

  208. Tomon 02 Aug 2009 at 9:32 am

    Dear god that website is fun.

  209. Michael Lezaon 15 Oct 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I know the website likes to eat formating (like what happened to me), do your scripts have proper show formatting in your documents?

    I highly recommend checking out some tv show and film scripts to get an idea of what they’ll be looking for.

  210. B. Macon 15 Oct 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Hey, Michael. If you register and log in with a registered name, you get access to HTML in comments. (Registering is free and I don’t sell e-mails). Please see the most recent post for more details on how to format your comments.

  211. Lighting Manon 15 Oct 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Oh my god, I never even knew that registering for this web site existed, it’s like wandering around aimlessly makes awesome stuff happen.

  212. B. Macon 15 Oct 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Well, it’s only as of today that registering actually DOES anything ;-) . HTML formatting, baby!

  213. Tomon 10 Mar 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Ok, so I’ve officially decided to exist again. Hello everybody! I’m back… with an entirely new idea. And by that I mean a COMPLETELY new idea. Like, new review forum worthy idea. The new idea is for a ‘book’. And by the inverted commas I mean that 1) it’s not a full length novel and 2) that I don’t intend to try to publish. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want it to be good. If it gets any sense of completeness to it I might release it online as something of a web serial, since my intention is a series of short stories akin to episodes of a TV show or issues of a comic book.

    So… I guess I’ll be needing a new review forum. I’ll tell details there.

  214. B. Macon 10 Mar 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Sure. I’ve set it up here. Good luck!

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