Tag Archives: Marielle Woods

Arcas – Sample 4

© Art by JC Thomas from ARCAS

Below you’ll find the pages 6-8 of the upcoming graphic novel Arcas. These pages correspond to roughly the second half of the script pages from Arcas – Sample 1, and are in progress pages. Minor amendments to copy are still pending, but the art begged to be shared. Enjoy.

Arcas page 6, illustrated by JC Thomas
Arcas page 6, illustrated by JC Thomas
Arcas page 7, illustrated by JC Thomas
Arcas page 7, illustrated by JC Thomas
Arcas page 8, illustrated by JC Thomas
Arcas page 8, illustrated by JC Thomas


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Arcas – Sample 1

© Art by JC Thomas from ARCAS

Below you’ll find the first writing sample for ARCAS. These are pages for the original short film from which the comic is being adapted. Enjoy!

ARCAS

By

Chris Hutton

Story by

Marielle Woods and Chris Hutton

FADE IN:

INT. STORAGE ROOM – DAWN

A CIRCULAR HATCH dominates the ceiling above a built-in LADDER, the rungs just visible in the pre-dawn light. Down the ladder, stowage strapped in, covering every inch of the cramped room.

The only exception: an open doorway.  Barely audible sounds of MIRTH carry in hints of life.

INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Smooth walls.  The architecture resembles a boat interior – hidden compartments in floors and walls – all items secured on brackets, lipped shelves, etc. Very smooth. Unadorned.

The hall branches. From one path the sounds heighten: LAUGHTER? We flow from room to room following the source.

INT. MESS ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Yes, definitely LAUGHTER. It echoes in this, the first open space – a vast and empty dining room. Wide and clean with an air of comfort, drowned in loneliness.

More LAUGHTER sounds, then… a voice? Too QUIET to tell.

INT. COMMON ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Another large room. In one corner: an in-wall video console and chairs bolted down. A second corner holds shelves of books and stowage, and yet another, exercise equipment, including a few WEIGHTS, all secured.

The final corner: a games shelf, a card table, and a glass-topped FOOSBALL table. The CLATTER of a Foosball game mixes with the LAUGHTER.

For all its mirth, the room is still empty. Finally voices:

XU (V.O.)

GOOAALLL!

INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Back in the same hallway, but further down. The voices here are louder. At the end of the hall…

… an open doorway. Massive and metal. All the doors, even those camouflaged to be normal, hint at a solid build with air-tight seals.

COMMANDER SITWELL (V.O.)

You cheat!

XU (V.O.)

You lose poorly.

Halfway to the open door, another room viewed in passing.

INT. VIEWING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

REVEAL: A vast window displaying a vista of Jupiter and its many moons.  Empty chairs hold a silent vigil over the expanse of space. Still the voices sound.

XU (V.O.)

You’re up.

INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Continuing down to the final open door.

SAM (V.O.)

I’m busy.

XU (V.O.)

Too bad. Time for R & R, Gant.

INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS – CONTINUOUS

True dawn now, as if a sunrise peaks within the bunk style sleeping quarters. All empty save for two beds.

XU (O.S.)

(half asleep)

Gant.

SAMUEL “SAM” GANT – late 20s, athletic, with close cut hair – perches on the edge of a bottom bunk over a monitor. Possibly a quarterback or young marine, definitely the all-star.

ON MONITOR: Security footage. On it —

— SAM leans over a console in the COMMON ROOM. XU JINHAI – Chinese, early 40s – beckons from the Foosball table. Wiry and gruff, he’d appear jaded if not for the joy in his voice.

XU (ON MONITOR) (CONT’D)

The printers can wait five minutes. Schooling you…

SAM (ON MONITOR)

(turns to XU; all grin)

Schooling me, my ass, XU.

XU (O.S.)

Gant.

BACK ON BUNKS: Sam pauses the video.

SAM

Right there, I turned. That’s the moment. Printer 12 threw a glitch —

XU (O.S.)

Gant!

— a PILLOW SLAMS into Sam from above.  “Edith Hamilton’s Mythology” flies down with it, a photograph fluttering out.

REVEAL: Xu glares down from a top bunk.

SAM

(tosses back pillow)

I missed the warning on truss twelve’s printer. I should’ve —

XU

— should’ve nothing. People make mistakes – even you. Watch it one more time, I’m deleting that log.

SAM

But had I —

XU

— No. With Sitwell lunar-side I’m the ranking officer and I order you to let me sleep.

SAM

Yes, sir.

(makes to leave)

One more thing.

(re: Xu eyes him)

You’re so purty when you’re sleepy.

XU

(pillow smothers himself)

My god! Let me sleep or so help me, I’m going to kill you!

SAM

Aye, aye, captain.

Sam hands Xu the mythology book stuffing a picture of Xu and his YOUNG SON back among the pages. As Xu takes the book, Sam flips a button and Venetian-like slats close over two false windows blocking out the artificial dawn.


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Support Networks

Marielle Woods on set – one of the many creatives I admire and encourage you to support

          Last week I wrote about the value of partnerships in writing, from the partnership between a writer and a reader, to partnerships with editors, collaborators, and co-writers. This week I want to look at a similar topic: supporting the arts, which in itself is another type of partnership – a network of supporters partnering with a creative to help spread awareness for, and enable, their creative endeavors.

          While I address this network from the perspective of a writer I would argue that is equally applicable to any type of artist be he or she a musician, a painter, an illustrator, a writer, a director, a photographer… the list goes on. That being said, for ease I will primarily reference this type of network in so much as it supports writing since that is the perspective from which I have derived my experience with it. No offense to other creatives is intended.

          Often as a writer I find that I want to buckle down and write that next manuscript and push everything else to the periphery. That next work of fiction, that next story, dominates all else. The thought of investing my limited time to supporting others, diverting it from that primary focus of creation, can be easily cast aside as a luxury for another day. It is not that I do not want to support my peers so much as it is that I want to write and it is easy to forget all else while in that drive, especially when I also hold another full time job, am raising a young daughter, and, like everyone else, am simply juggling the typical responsibilities of everyday life.

          Currently, even with that drive to create, and multiple original stories battling for my attention, the majority of my writing time pours into blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, and other brand strategy documentation (a necessity to be discussed later). In other words, at the moment my writing is dominated by the business side of writing – building an audience, planning, proofing contracts, and prepping pitches and cover letters in attempts to be read. It is disheartening when so much valuable and often meager writing time is invested in the these necessities of what it is to be a modern writer instead of working on that latest work of fiction that is pounding at my skull demanding to burst forth and be heard. I imagine that many, if not all creatives, struggle with this balance.

          To cut to the chase (since I’ve already spent way too long in the build up), writers and other artists can easily get lost in the struggle for time and neglect supporting their peers.

          To my fellow artists and creatives, I urge you, don’t do this.

          Just as you might be struggling to get your work read, your music heard, or your film financed, so are your peers. We are all in this battle together and without our mutual support of each other the world will be robbed of many deserving voices fighting to be heard. We must support each other.

          This is easy advice to give, and likely to hear. It is much harder to live by it. Admittedly I have neglected this responsibility for many years, providing some support, but rarely with the fervor it deserves. Yet there is good reason to try to curb that tendency, to reach out, to network, and to prop each other up.

          Maybe that is simple to see, but I’ll sketch out a few of my quick, if verbose, thoughts on why we should make this effort.

1) Firstly, it comes back to last week’s discussion on the value of partnerships. As John Donne wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” We do not operate, nor benefit from the delusion that we operate, in isolation. We are better for the whole of our networks, our peers, our partners. These relationships challenge us, improve us, and make our work better. Our writing has little, if any, meaning, devoid of partnerships, of readers with whom we share our ideas. If we don’t support our peers, if we don’t build and encourage those connections, then we deprive ourselves of the benefit of those partnerships.

2) Secondly, pure and simple, we all need support and need to provide that support. Partnerships improve our work and that network brings in the value of being part of a larger whole, but even aside from being a part of that network, we can’t just act parasitically upon that relationship. For one, that type of behavior will be quickly noticed and the network will fall apart, but two, if we want our own creative work to reach an audience, we need to support the work of our peers, become a part of the larger network, and in so doing not only will we help our peers, but we open ourselves up to them, encouraging that support back. We become a part of the larger, we expand our audience, our reach, and we strengthen our relationships. With that strength support will come.

3) Again, along the lines of avoiding using your network parasitically, supporting that network also must come from a place beyond our own desire to feed off of it and benefit from it. I live by the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I don’t come to this from a religious place, it just is the heart of how I believe people and society should act. It is a moral commitment. If you appreciate the support of others to your own work, if you desire that support, how can you ask for it, or even deserve it, if you’re not being that positive change in the world and providing that support yourself without the expectation of it in return. Find people whose work you value and support it just as you would wish others would do for you.

4) My personal odd morality aside, it just feels good to help. Sometimes we can forget that. Perhaps you get bogged down in your work, you isolate yourself, and you forget to help your fellow creatives. It happens to all of us, but even just sharing a friend’s work, buying something they’ve written, or supporting their crowd-funding campaign, at least for me, invariably brings about a good feeling, a joy in the knowledge that you tried to help in whatever small way that you can.

5) As an added bonus, as you help more, as you give more without expecting, ironically enough you might just find yourself building future collaborations. That is the byproduct of a strong network, and those collaborations can lead to many exciting journeys. But if you don’t try, if you don’t immerse yourself amongst your peers, if you try to hide in your writer’s cave, you’ll miss out on all of those opportunities.

          So, anyway, hopefully I’ve made some sense amidst this rambling. Now get out there and support your peers. Maybe some karmic return will come your way, maybe it won’t, but at least you can feel good for trying.

          And on that note, it would be silly to discuss support networks without offering out some support of my own. So, here are some of my friends and colleagues whose work I admire greatly, that I encourage you to check out (legally (no torrents) – a matter that deserves its own blog at a later date), and hope that you enjoy.

Let’s go show some support for others trying to bring the world quality entertainment.

Collin Kelly:
          An amazing writer whom I had the pleasure of meeting many years ago in college, Collin Kelly writes with Jackson Lanzing, and together they created and contributed to numerous quality comic properties over the past few years. Please check out their work including:

Hactivist Vol. 1 & Vol 2.
Joyride
And work on various DC properties including Batman & Robin Eternal and Grayson.

          Like their work? Please follow Collin, Jackson, and their frequent collaborator, the excellent artist, Marcus To on Twitter: @cpkelly, @jacksonlanzing, @marcusto

JC Thomas
          JC is a comic artist with whom I have the pleasure of collaborating. I am ecstatic to have his support as an artist, and am constantly thrilled with his work.

Ninja Mouse
The Gates of Dawn
Twitter

Kiran Deol:
          Writer, Actress, Comedian, Documentarian, she is powerhouse talent, whose sharp wit and candor is always appreciated. If you can catch her stand-up, please do. Otherwise, follow her at the links below.

Twitter
Facebook

Marielle Woods
          Marielle is a talented producer and director, with whom I worked many jobs ago back in my reality television days. She is currently working on fund-raising for a short film, Do No Harm, examining the dilemmas of a combat medic attempting to hold onto his humanity while facing the dilemmas of war.

Indiegogo campaign
Vimeo channel
Twitter

Michael Shaw Fisher
          Michael Shaw Fisher and I attended the same writing program at USC, sharing many classes together. His writing has always proven to be brilliant, and he has since gone on to prove himself an amazing playwright and actor, whose productions have won awards year after year in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. If you ever have the chance to witness his work on stage, take it! His current production is SKULLDUGGERY: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet, which will run in Los Angeles September 30 – November 5, with previews September 23rd and 24th.

SKULLDUGGERY
Orgasmico Theatre Company

Michael Meinhart
          Michael and I became nemeses, and close friends, working on numerous marketing projects together between 2010 and 2013. He has a passion for his music and visual art that cannot be rivaled, and is the lead singer, songwriter, and frontman for Socionic. They are currenty finishing their Orenda Rises tour and will be playing again in Los Angeles at The Whiskey A Go Go on Saturday, October 15th.

http://socionicband.com
Facebook
Twitter
Youtube
Instagram
http://socionic.bandcamp.com

Nadjib Assani
          Nadjib and I attended the same undergraduate program at North Carolina State University where I was lucky enough to witness some of his early work on his passion project, Legends of Onile. Working in both comics and sculpture he is crafting a beautiful tale worth your support.

Legends of Onile

Nate Ruegger
          Nate and I attended college together at the University of Southern California. He is a talented writer and director and I am always thankful to have him as a reader. He is currently in pre-production to direct a short horror film, Trust Me: A Witness Account of the Goatman. Learn more at:

https://nateruegger.com
Trust Me: A Witness Account of the Goatman
Twitter

Happy Writing, All!

Why Go It Alone?

          For about six years I strove to make it as a writer virtually on my own. One could make an argument that it was a much longer stint than that if you count my college years (which is a different discussion entirely), but then one would be a real ass. Plenty of people spend nearly a decade in college and aren’t doctors. Seriously let’s not pick at this one.

          The point is I spent the majority of the past decade writing and sending my work out into the ether with no real luck, and that is if I found an avenue down which I could submit my writing at all. The hardest part of writing for me is, and likely always will be, getting my writing into someone else’s hands.

          You see that is the real crux of it. Many writers like myself like to believe that writing is a solitary thing, some dark art conjured forth in our hermit caves where the light of day is never seen, and the outside world plays no role. Unfortunately (or otherwise… I’m still debating on this one), writing is far less solitary than one might want to believe. At the very least one core partnership must exist: the writer and the reader.

          At the start that reader is likely a close friend, a significant other, colleagues in a writer’s group, or some combination thereof. But beyond the reader, a good editor is a critical partner for any writer – a partnership we often overlook to our own detriment. Add in the numerous partnerships necessary to realize one’s writing as a comic, a film, or television series, and the truth is that very few of us write completely alone even if much of the core work is done in isolation.

          With that being the case, why is it so many writers resist partnerships? I wish I had an answer. Maybe if I did I would have realized the value in partnerships a long time ago.

          Suffice to say, after years of working on solo projects, a few years back I finally opened up to the idea of partnerships. My colleague and friend, Marielle Woods, came to me with an idea for a near-future, science-fiction short. The amazing director that she is I knew that working together we could create something wonderful.

          I worked on outlines and drafts, collaborating with Marielle until we had a polished script ready for the festival circuit. We entered the script in a small sample of competitions for testing and while the script did not advance to finals it did catch the interest of a reader who later approached me regarding adapting the script into a graphic novel. Now, our script, Arcas, is being illustrated and published by the talented JC Thomas. This is not only a fortuitous outcome in that it helps us realize our story and distribute it to an audience, but also in that it is the start of another great partnership, one in which plans for subsequent adaptations are already being discussed.

          Flashing back to just a month after Marielle and I began working together, I started a direct writing partnership with my friend Jonathan Fischer, working on a separate science-fiction piece. We built a massive world full of beautifully rich characters and alternate histories, and he, with a talent for networking that has ever eluded me, began pitching the idea.

          And we were shot down.

          But, that pitch peaked interest and led us to developing five separate one-hour drama pitches, formalizing a legal writing partnership, and has paved the way towards pitching our multiple series’ ideas. Where it goes from there I cannot yet say, but I look forward to finding the answer.

          None of this is to say, ‘Look at me, and look at what I’m doing – isn’t it amazing?’ – at least not on a conscious level. The goal of this rant is simply this: years of going it alone may have honed my writing some, but it did little to progress my career. No one is a master of all trades. In particular, I am a shambles when it comes to networking and getting read. But partnerships, good partnerships, compensate for your weaknesses with the strengths of your partner and create a force greater than the sum of its parts.

          So if you’ve been trying to go it alone for a little too long, maybe it’s time you look to your friends and your colleagues and see if there just might be a future collaboration in the making. So far, I have no regrets.

          Happy writing!