WC Animation Fan Project Script (Need Critique and Assistance!)

Cam

Spaceman
Hey folks. Having a bit of writers block here. I'm aiming to get my script completed before schoolwork picks up again next week, and I'd like to have my script done by this week so I can begin some preliminary animatics and previsualization.

To all those storytellers out there, maybe you can lend me a hand?

I'm trying to make it sound as militaristic and serious as possible too. I've had comments on the starting introduction to the first two characters as cheesy/cliché, so I will rework that part.

Right now, I currently am trying to think up an ending to my script. Currently it's unfinished and needs an ending. That's where I need help on, but comments and critiques on the rest of my script is also welcome.

If you are to suggest endings, bear in mind that I would like to have the two main characters the heroes of the battle, saving the cargo ships and what's left of their escorts. I would like to keep the number of ships as low but realistic as possible. The Kilrathi are pirates and (hence the name) raiders, therefore they're not there to blow up the cargo ships, only to disable them so they may be gutted.

My aim is a 3-5 minute fully animated video.

My script is at http://www.theartofwu.ca/raiders.doc.
 

TC

SubCrid
It's 5:00am, so I'll read it again tommorow (er... today?) when I'll actually pick up some useful items to mention... Here are the first things that popped to mind though... They're mostly things that don't actually matter and most wouldn't care about, I just thought I'd point them out anyway!

How many Kilrathi fighters are there... extra ones just seem to appear from nowhere... were they powered down in the debris field... do you want to have a shot to explain this?

You may want to have the Vampires slightly further away than 600 klicks, considering they afterburn at 1500 kilometers per second and have a max speed of 530 kilometers per second with the default power arrangement... The fighters in Wing Commander just end up slowing for combat due to [random speculation here].

You know Tyr's Border World territory, right? You may either want to put it in a different system, or explain why Confed military units are being used in their territory... it seems slightly odd...

8 Excaliburs sure seems like a large force to repel raiders... Half a squad for one small convoy seems excessive... I mean, transports got, like, two fighters for escort through front-line systems during the war :)

I look at it again tommorow...
 

Phillip Tanaka

Swabbie
Banned
Ending? Oooohhhhh, how about the characters fight off the Kilrathi in a futile effort to save their lives? Haven't read the script yet, like TFC it's late (early morning) for me, so I'm not sure how it'd work. I'll go through it in a little bit and tell you what I think.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
It's worth noting that you've already got more than 5 minutes of animation in there, going by the ever-reliable 60 seconds/page method of script-timing. Not that that's a bad thing ;). Also, as my lecturers keep saying again and again, you should have a new scene heading anytime you have a new camera shot... but I don't think that's really a big issue since you're writing a script that you're going to "shoot" yourself :).

Anyway... I would suggest reworking things a bit from the point where we first see the Vampires. Have them take a bit longer to get to the battle. Intercut shots of them flying on afterburners with shots of the convoy getting hammered, to build tension; add some increasingly-desperate calls for help from the convoy, with the Vampires (or the nest) responding once or twice. About what TC said in regards to the distance... I'd cut out any numeric references altogether, because they're just going to be trouble.

I'd be quite happy to provide re-writes for some of the lines that need changing, if you like. In the meantime, the ending... the problem you've got is that the audience knows just how good Vampires are. So, unless you've got a really large swarm of Kilrathi fighters (which will get very repetitive), there just won't be much tension once they arrive. I would suggest throwing in an additional Kilrathi fighter type that could pose a challenge even to Vampires (the Jrathek from Armada would be ideal, especially since the Vampire pilots may not even know what it is). Two or three of these could come out of the wreckage after the Vampires arrive. They'd kill one of the remaining Excaliburs, damage a Vampire, and then they'd be dealt with in appropriate fashion.
 

Aries

Vice Admiral
8 excaliburs that can't handle cats? I'd cut it down to 4. make the vampires further away. give the convoy a call sign, instead of Bravo 2 calling "convoy, convoy". as for an ending, mabye the cats run for home, the vamps follow them back to their base and call in a bomber strike
 

Cam

Spaceman
TC/Aires: Well the convoy is quite large. There are going to be two or three transports and the first two Excals get jumped and blown up in the first minute of the animation... :)

And I can put it in a different system easily. That's no problem, I just have to change one word. :D

Quarto: You hit it right on the money. I was considering adding in a part where a couple of cloaked Strakhas with torpedos decloak and fire on the lead transport's engines, in order to disable it. One of the Vamps would go in to take out the incoming torpedoes, while the other Vamp would have to desperately fend off the fighters who would try and take him down.

And I'll take your cinematography advice under advisement. That's not what I had in mind originally but it's similar. ;)
 

Aries

Vice Admiral
well, with the convoy size, in the WC4 novel, there are 3 transports being escorted by 4 hellcats. But i'll let it slide and give you 6 excals--2 for each transport. I wouldn't recommend any more than that. that way the first 2 can die, then 1 or 2 more before the Vamps get there and still have some left to sit sidelines for the Vamps. and the Strakhas part would be kick ass!!!
 

Viper61

Spaceman
Since you didn't leave a n email address, here is two pages of notes that I'll just post on the message board :)

Too many ships for an escort, as noted already in the CIC chat zone. 3-4 should be sufficient (also helps in animation)

Talking about scene 2 - Bravo 2
very cliché but also very funny in a campy sort of way, I would omit the ‘they said’s though. Also, changing Space Forces to Confed might be better for non-Wing Commander audiences. Also, there aren’t many aliens in the WC universe (as far as the games are concerned – WCATV is another story), you might consider changing this line.

Talking about scene 2 - Bravo 1
space scum is too cliché and wouldn't be used by a professional, just use pirates or renegades or something of the sort.

Talking about scene 19 - Viper and Merlin
'I got the Dralthi' just doesn’t sound right, ‘got’ is not a very descriptive word. ‘I’m enaging the Dralthi’ or something of the sort would be better. Also, ‘other guy’ isn’t very professional. Name the craft (Darket).

And now my long-winded view of the ending
Ending –
Writers prerogative withstanding, here’s my point of view on how this should end. The Strakhas would be a good touch, but I would go ahead and let one of the torpedoes hit home, crippling the transport, but not destroying it. Actually, it would be even better if one of the Excaliburs gave chase to the torps got one of them and blasted the other one too close to himself for his own good. The torp goes off, crippling the fighter as it spins toward the transports engine, destroying the fighter and the Engine on impact (escort defends transport and ejects?). This would leave one relatively undamaged escort (from my original four) to help the cleanup. One strakha should cloak and escape while the last of the other raiders are dealt with (ominous ‘they will return’ quality). Merlin would offer to go after the cloaked fighter, but Viper (my callsign :) ) would bring him back, talking about the remaining convoy escort they will have to fill and the salvage operation that must commence (and ejected pilots to rescue - maybe the one from the torp explosion and the 2nd Excalibur to be shot down running from the raiders) and that the raiders can wait. The Vampire breaks off, coming back to the convoy.
Movie ends with the same newswoman as before picking up later in her report (maybe something about even though the Kilrathi homeworld is toast and the Nephilim incursion stopped, Kilrathi, Nephilim and Human pirates are still a very dangerous lot. Stopping them seeming impossible), as we watch the salvage operation (some tractor beam equipped tugs or something). The scene fades away as she finishes her report on the pirate activity. She begins another report (In other news, the Confederation president . . . fade her voice out before she relates any details) as we see another convoy in the distance (we can make out 2 pelican transports and 2-4 very-small-from-this-distance escort fighters). A beat later 2 strakha decloak right in front of the camera and accelerate off towards the convoy (huge afterburner screams) and an attack force of Kilrathi raiders (Vaktoth, Dralthi, whatever) scream after them.

Kindof a not-winning ending, but very 'the fight must go on' cinima-esque, don’t you think? :)

C-ya
 

TC

SubCrid
Originally posted by Viper61
Also, there aren’t many aliens in the WC universe (as far as the games are concerned – WCATV is another story), you might consider changing this line.

We know of a good 20 different types of aliens... only three that I can think of come specifically from the cartoon.

Talking about scene 19 - Viper and Merlin
'I got the Dralthi' just doesn’t sound right, ‘got’ is not a very descriptive word. ‘I’m enaging the Dralthi’ or something of the sort would be better.

It's quite obvious that he's calling his target... I don't see a problem with it...
 

WildWeasel

Spaceman
Originally posted by Viper61
Talking about scene 19 - Viper and Merlin
'I got the Dralthi' just doesn’t sound right, ‘got’ is not a very descriptive word. ‘I’m enaging the Dralthi’ or something of the sort would be better.

"I'm on the Dralthi!"
 

Viper61

Spaceman
Originally posted by TC
We know of a good 20 different types of aliens... only three that I can think of come specifically from the cartoon.
Really? I thought we knew (from the games) only of Human, Firekkan, Hari, Kilrathi, Nephilim, Mantu and Double-Helix.

Originally posted by TC
It's quite obvious that he's calling his target... I don't see a problem with it...
Yeah but 'got' is not a word smiled upon by grammar and english teachers. 'On the dralthi' flows much better, WW.

C-ya
 

TC

SubCrid
Originally posted by Viper61
Really? I thought we knew (from the games) only of Human, Firekkan, Hari, Kilrathi, Nephilim, Mantu and Double-Helix.

The Mopok and Steltek are both mentioned in the games as well... the remaining races are mentioned in various books.
 

Aries

Vice Admiral
Originally posted by Viper61
Yeah but 'got' is not a word smiled upon by grammar and english teachers. 'On the dralthi' flows much better, WW.

since when does everyone speak in perfect English with perfect grammer and everything. long as you get your point across, it shouldn't matter.
 

Phillip Tanaka

Swabbie
Banned
Oh believe me they'll bitch and moan about it. In University, you write a report that has a word like got instead of recieved, you'll fail. No joke.
 

Cam

Spaceman
Wow, some enthousiastic responses to my post! FINALLY!!! :D

I like your suggestions Viper!!! I may incorporate some of them into my upcoming script update... ;)

As for their grammar... I think it's fair to use "got" just because these are pilots we're talking about, not english professors. They won't necessarily speak with perfect english, in fact, I may mess up their grammar just to give them some more personality.

Viper: I like the sense of closure with the idea that the newswoman who starts the vid also ends it. I think it's great. Moneypennee agreed to do the voiceover for the newswoman a while ago when I asked her on the IRC channel, hope she's still up for it. :)
 

Aries

Vice Admiral
Originally posted by Phillip Tanaka
Oh believe me they'll bitch and moan about it. In University, you write a report that has a word like got instead of recieved, you'll fail. No joke.

what the hell you mean in university. my juinor and senior english teachers in high school were like that, and my college english prof. passed me when i didn't do half the shit i was assigned :D
 

TC

SubCrid
Originally posted by Phillip Tanaka
Oh believe me they'll bitch and moan about it. In University, you write a report that has a word like got instead of recieved, you'll fail. No joke.

You have stupid English teachers... 'Got' is a perfectly legitimate word that has it's proper uses.
 
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