THE BROADCAST: Anatomy of a Scene, Part 1
This week I wanted to give a behind-the-scenes look at how Noel and I collaborated on THE BROADCAST.
Below I’ve attached a small script excerpt that takes place near the beginning of the book’s second act. I’d love to tell you this is the first step in the creative process, but I’m just not that good. The truth is, this is what my scripts look like after endless outlining, note-taking and re-writing.
You’ll notice I use a sparse writing style, and it’s a very deliberate move on my part. While I usually have an idea how a panel should look, the truth is I try to give the artist as little description as possible. After all, he’s probably going to have better ideas on how the story should be told visually — why am I going to handcuff him with a list of things he “HAS” to include?
Emma and Sharon share a couch in the Shrader living room, three children crammed between them.
Tom sits calmly behind his desk as Jacob and Dawson try to plead their case.
Jacob is in a chair. Dawson stands. The old man’s fingers are steepled in front of him.
DAWSON: PLEASE, TOM. YOURS IS THE ONLY HOUSE WITH A STORM SHELTER FOR TWENTY MILES.
TOM: THE CHURCH IN TOWN HAS A CELLAR.
JACOB: AN’ IT’S FILLED TEN TIMES OVER BY NOW.
Tom leans forward.
TOM: I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU TWO WANT, I DO. BUT UNTIL MY DAUGHTER IS SAFE NONE OF THIS IS OPEN FOR DISCUSSION.
Jacob fights to keep his anger at bay.
JACOB: BUT MY DAUGHTER’S HERE.
TOM (off panel, softly): I KNOW THAT, JACOB.
Dawson’s talking to Tom but has his eyes on Jacob as he does. He wants to make sure Jacob doesn’t lose his cool.
DAWSON: CAN YOU LET US DOWN FOR NOW? AS SOON AS KIM SHOWS, WE’LL…
TOM: IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THAT EASY.
Jacob slams his fist down on the desk. It catches everyone off guard. They jump back from the outburst.
JACOB: GOD DAMN IT, SHRADER!
Tom comes out of his seat, enraged and ready to let Jacob have it.
Dawson comes between the two as Tom rounds the desk. He has a hand up to each man, hoping he can stop them both.
KIM (off panel): DAD!
All three men turn to see Kim coming into the room.
TOM: OH, THANK GOD.
Kim and her father embrace.
KIM: IF I’D KNOWN…
TOM: I KNOW, SWEETHEART.
Jacob looks over at Gavin and Eli who just appeared in the doorway. He doesn’t look happy.
Fuming, Jacob storms out of the room. He eyes Gavin and Eli as he goes.
JACOB: YOU TWO JUST REMEMBER WHO GOT HERE FIRST.