Workshop Wednesday

The Follower

We'll continue on with the episodes next week, but this time I wanted to showcase a partial script I never finished. This was originally started as Episode 3 for the series, but part way into writing it I just felt like it didn't have what it takes. This happens sometimes on a project, I'll start in on a script, get a good chunk of the way in, and then realize it really just doesn't have what it takes. Sometimes I can salvage it, edit it over and over until I polish it up into something halfway not-terrible. Other times, like this, I get a certain way in and abandon it simply because I know I can do better.

So why share it? Because I think it's probably helpful to show anyone aspiring to be a writer that sometimes ideas don't always pan out. You have to sit down and write, but it's not a bad thing to get a certain way in and realize, "you know what? This is total crap." When they happens, when you hit a point in a story where you just can't think of where to take it, or how to salvage it, or what have you, it's sometimes a good idea to set it down and move on to other projects for a spell, give yourself time to think on it and maybe see if what you had was really that bad. Maybe, after some time off, you can get inspired to rework what you wrote, or write something else that replaces in. I came back eventually and wrote a different episode three for the run, and this was just the first step to getting there.

Not matter what, don't just delete something because it isn't working. Save it, set it aside, and come back later. Sometimes you'll be able to get something from it, and other times you'll just be able to look at it years afterwards, laugh at how bad it was, and post it to a random blog site as bonus content. It's a win-win any way you look at it.

This incomplete script is posted as I wrote it, with no further editing. Enjoy it, and Follower returns properly next week.

The Follower: Episode 2, Bonus

An Incomplete Adventure

Scene open. The three heroes are sitting around their apartment. Looks like a cleaned up dorm apartment from college. While there is little junk littered around, the main room has obvious hand-me-down furniture, with no decorative theme or style. A couple of movie posters hang on the walls, and it's plainly obvious most of the money these guys make, they sink into their entertainment center, which is well stocked and fairly close to state-of-the-art.

The guys are watching a space show. The "bad ships" are attacking the "good ships", and then one of the bad ships explodes in a fireball. The speakers resonate with the explosion. Then we go to commercial

Obvious: See, this is what irritates me about most sci-fi today. It's unrealistic. If that had occurred in space, there would be little or no fire, and certainly no noise.

Follower: That doesn't sound very exciting.

Obvious: It'd be more realistic. I mean, we watch action flicks, and you guys complain as much as I do when the action looks fake or staged. This is the same way.

Follower: Yeah, but, the average person doesn't know any better. Likely they'd just get bored by the fact that everything in space was quiet and there weren't big budget explosions.

Obvious: Still...

The TV switches to the news. We get the derivative TV News theme and the "snappy" opening, and then we open on a news studio decorated in blues and silver. A big "WWTE 7" stands in the background.

Barry Jones (On TV): Welcome to the 7 o'clock news. I'm Barry Jones. Our top story, (standard picture in picture of Marsha Steingarden pops up) The kidnappers of Marsha Steingarden have sent a Ransom note-

TV is turned off. Apathy throws the remote on the table.

Obvious: Eventually, we may want to start actually watching the news.

Apathy: I get bored easy. Sue me. What's the plan for tonight.

Follower: Tonight!

Apathy: Wait, lemme guess. Patrol.

Follower: It is what we should do.

Apathy: Yeah, well. Least I can see how the new van handles. Take it out for a spin.

Scene cut to the evil hideout, interior shot, goon hangout. Bruise and a couple of goons (Mel and Steve) are staked out around a table.

Bruise: We really need to get that van back. I'm having trouble covering for the loss. Sooner we find it the better.

Mel: We got any jobs ta pull?

Bruise: I'm considering running a holdup if we can get the van fast enough. The other vehicles are dedicated to the big job.

A goon comes in from the "prison" area and signals Bruise. He and the two goons that were with him go to see what's up.

We get a shot of Steingarden and the assistant in the cell decorating. They've currently disassembled everything in the cell and are taking stock of their new "inventory."

Steingarden: We have enough fabric for some lovely throw pillows... about two I think.

Assistant: Two throw pillows, check.

Steingarden: And these curtains will make a wonderful rug.

Assistant: Rug, check.

Steingarden: If only I had a sewing machine, we could rebuild this wood frame into a couch and make a proper covering for it. Well, we'll see what I can come up with. Mark down a couch.

Assistant: Couch, check.

Bruise: She's looks busy.

The guard (Derek) that signaled Bruise walks over.

Derek: Yeah. She and the girl have been drawing blueprints for some lounge or something.

Bruise: Well, report if she tries to dig her way out.

Steingarden: Why would I do that when I have this project I have to finish.

Bruise (to Mel and Steve): You two come with me. We're gonna scope out the streets, see if we can find our van.

Scene cut to Follower Opening 1.0

We get the comic book panel opening on the evil villain hideout. The art shifts from comic illustration to the shows normal artwork, and the animation begins. The heroes pull up in the Follower Van, and park in the usual spot, which ironically is right out front of the evil hideout. Apathy pulls in behind in his new van, and all the heroes get out and head off down the street. We ignore them though, and stay focused on the front of the hideout. Soon enough, Bruise, Mel, and Steve come out.

Bruise: All right. I'm gonna take the north side. Mel, you hit the docks and the west side. Steve, get the South, and check round the police impound. Let's see if we can find this van quick.

Steve: Uh, Boss?

Bruise: Come on man, the instructions are simple.

Steve: Boss. I found the van.

We all turn and stare at Apathy's "borrowed" black van. We sit and stare for a couple of seconds, then they wander over to it. Bruise pulls out a spare set of keys, and sure enough, the keys work.

Mel: What about that van? (looking at the Follower van)

Bruise: Leave it. Too conspicuous.

The three get into the van and start it up. Rock comes blaring on the radio as the three drive off... in the direction of the three heroes.

Scene switch to the heroes further on down the road.

Obvious: About the only show that treats space travel with any real thought to the actual science of space is Firefly, and we see where that show ended up.

Apathy: Why does it really matter? We all know if the show sucks, no attention to detail, scientific or otherwise will rescue it.

Obvious: Well, Firefly was good, but yes, in general, a bad show will be a bad show no matter what. More attention to detail, though, could help lift an otherwise decent show to greatness.

At this point we hear rock music, and the van with the goons drives past them at a decent clip.

Obvious: Apathy? Wasn't that-

Apathy: My van. Yeah.

Follower: Let's go get it!

The three heroes turn and start walking back towards their van.

Follower: It's times like these I wish we had a cool computer system installed on the van. Then I could push a button on my key chain and the van would come to us.

Scene shift to the van with the three goons. Bruise turns the music down a little so he can be heard.

Bruise: Okay guys, this is your basic bank job. Murray, our weapons man, will meet us at the Fifth City Bank within 10 minutes of my calling him. We just need to get to the pay phone near the bank.

Steve: How many guys are we takin in?

Bruise: Just us three. Murray is gonna remain outside as our wheel man.

Mel: Sounds risky.

Bruise: Not any more than a regular bank job, and if we do it now, late in the day as it is, we should be able to get in with less of a crowd. Quick in, quick out. Just hit the registers and move on. If we don't try for a huge score, we aren't in the bank as long.

We pan out of the van and move on down the road towards the Follower van. The three are driving on down the road at a decent clip.

Apathy: Anyone see it yet?

Obvious: Are we even sure we're going the right way?

Follower: It's best to just go this way. When in doubt, pick a course of action and follow it. Likely they're somewhere nearby, and all we have to do is keep going straight.

Obvious: Why would they steal the van?

Apathy: Why not. I kinda did.

Obvious: True.

Follower: Well, they're still thieves. As heroes, we must stop them.

Apathy: I'm not arguing. I liked that van.

We pan back out of the van and shoot back down the street towards the villain van, through the van, and out the front of it (cool CG effect like), so that we have a nice shot of the front of the van. They turn down a side street, and are drive out of view. We watch the heroes drive up and continue on straight where the villains had turned off. We then turn down the side street and go after the villains. The camera pulls up beside the van as the van slows down and parks in front of a rather ratty looking warehouse. The villains get out and go inside.

The warehouse doesn't look a whole lot better on the inside than it did on the outside. What could be a spacious interior is cluttered with old wooden crates, some of which look like they should have been replaced by new wooden boxes a few decades ago. Cobwebs seem to be the accent item for decoration, and most spaces not decorated by cobwebs have dust.

Mel: Boss, what are we doin here.

Bruise: Gotta get the plates and registration on the van changed. Don't need any hassles with it, in case the guys that had it report it stolen. I got a guy here that can do the changes for me in a couple of hours or so.

The villains walk to the back of the warehouse. Bruise pushes a box around, and reveals...

End Episode 2, Bonus:

He reveals nothing because I never got that far. Bruise just stands there, with a crate, in limbo, waiting for an action to take. Thankfully we wipe this all away when the real Episode 3 starts up. That happens next week. Same Follower Time. Same Follower Channel.