Series Finale - My Take

Discussion in 'Misc. TV Series' started by RakuMon, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    This was originally posted in the TWFS thread but kinda got lost in the shuffle of a HWSNBN debate :D!

    So I thought I'd give it its own thread so I could get some more feedback. Again, it's only the teaser, but lemme know what you all think!!

    _________________________________________________________________

    I've been tossing around this idea for a while.
    Basically, since WB isn't going to make a Superman theatrical film with the SV cast, I decided that the series should end with a bang. SO I've started scripting what I think the series finale SHOULD BE.

    Appreciation goes to triplet for showing me some examples of how a Smallville script is done. Mind you this is my first ever attempt. And all I have is the teaser. So apologies if it sucks!

    With that, I give you:



    “BIRTHRIGHT”
    Adapted from a story by Mark Waid and Lenil Francis Yu

    TEASER

    FADE IN:

    WHITE TITLE ON BLACK: Three years later…

    EXT. A DUSTY TOWN SQUARE — DAY

    The words dissolve to reveal a hot African sun beaming down onto a SMALL RALLY of cheering people. On a small stage in front of the group stands a man older than his age would suggest. His charisma shines through a pair of small glasses as beads of sweat drip down his brown skin.

    He is KOBE ASURU, leader of a small democracy movement in WEST AFRICA.

    KOBE
    We GHURI have long been subservient to the neighboring TURAABA Tribe. Thus, we have raised a generation of children who spend their days steeped in Turaaba culture while their own is marginalized.

    The crowd is transfixed on every word.

    KOBE
    That is what we must change… WILL change! When we lose pride in ourselves, we lose ourselves.


    The audience cheers loudly. Kobe beams from the stage. At that moment, gunshots ring out. The crowd disperses and scatters as panic sets in.

    Another gunshot.

    As the bullet screams toward Kobe, we see the leader as he realizes his fate is upon him. His wide eyes close but a RED & YELLOW BLUR races into frame faster than the speeding bullet.

    BLUR (O.S.)
    Get down!!!

    Kobe is knocked to the ground, unscathed as a small car screeches away. The blur is REVEALED as a dark-haired young man, his back still to the camera, he holds Kobe’s head, checking to see if he’s okay.

    KOBE POV: The bright sun obscures the mysterious man’s face.

    MAN
    Mr. Kobe Asuru?

    KOBE (stammering)
    I — I am… But who are—?

    MAN
    Later. I need to follow that car!

    Asuru’s bodyguards surround the mysterious savior, guns drawn.

    BODYGUARD
    No! Move and we will shoot!

    With his hands up, the figure turns around and the CAMERA REVEALS that

    IT’S CLARK.

    Looking much more mature and seasoned since last we saw him. Clark is without question a MAN. Confidence exudes from his being.

    CLARK (smiling)
    That really won’t help anybody.

    BODYGUARD
    Who do you think you are?

    CLARK
    I’m Clark Kent. A friend. (beat) I’m here to help.

    OFF this revelation…

    FADE OUT.

    END OF TEASER
     
  2. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    So what? No feedback?
    :(
     
  3. triplet

    triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    I already said I liked it in the other thread.... :D


    Beautiful! Brilliant!

    (Is that better?) ;) :D
     
  4. Serene

    Serene Registered

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    So did I. But I am glad that you gave it its own thread. It'll be easier to find. Are you going to continue?
     
  5. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    I dunno.
    It depends. But it was fun coming up w/ the teaser.
    In order to continue, I'm gonna have to work at reconciling the continuity of the show with the events of the book. I have a couple ideas. But look for more to be posted once I work it out.

    I'm on Act One right now!
     
  6. triplet

    triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    I dunno if you realized this, but the last few eps (Lucy and Sacred for sure, maybe even Krypto) were five acts just like Lost and Desperate Housewives, instead of the usual four.

    Personally, I can't change my spec to meet the new five act structure, it would take some major changes to it to make it fit, but it might help you if want to use it.

    There was a study that proves people are more prone to stick with a show if the commercial breaks are shorter so they put more in so they could sell as much time, so most shows will be moving to five acts starting next fall. And that's why ABC Family has been splitting up the fourth act on the Smallville repeats.

    A lot of the older shows (ER, Law & Order) have stayed with four, but I guess we'll see if they also go to five acts.

    So, instead of 8-10 pages an act, you'll need 5-8...

    I'm not sure how that works, whether the last act is called an act or is a "tag" (that's a term I've seen being used lately) where they just wrap up... I haven't seen an example yet.

    FYI
     
  7. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    Since I'm doing it all on Word, would the page count translate the same?
    I'm currently writing in Courier New 12 pt font.
    In that format, the teaser takes up two pages.
     
  8. triplet

    triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    You're teaser is kinda short, but sometimes they are. Usually around 4 for the teaser....

    Yeah, about up to 55 pages per hour at max. If you're still doing a two-parter, that would then be about 110 pages total.

    The cliff-hanger between the end of the first part and the beginning of the second better be a good one, too. I can't for the life of me think of what that would be in Birthright... maybe when the "kryptonian army" shows up?
     
  9. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    That's the thing. In order to condense Birthright while fitting it in with Smallville's continuity is taking the most time. Also, understanding it's ostensibly for television, I don't know if I'd even do the Kryptonian army thing.

    But I do have an idea of how to structure each hour. ;)
     
  10. triplet

    triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    Yeah, I guess the army would have to go...

    You put in killer act break cliff hangers and you've won half the battle. The middle stuff (as everyone knows) can often just be filler! ;)

    :D
     
  11. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    Here is Act One.
    Just as a warning, it's SIX pages long.

    Being that this is the SERIES FINALE, presumably coming at the end of SEASON 5, I have made a few assumptions. And therefore some of these may not be addressed in the script.

    1.) By the time of Birthright, Clark and Lex have already parted ways and have not seen each other in years.

    2.) Chloe is gone, though not necesarily dead. Lionel is dead, however. Presumably at the hands of Lex.

    3.) After High School, everyone went their seperate ways. Clark travels the world and already able to fly.

    4.) Lex has destroyed the Luthor Mansion, (that's how Lionel died) and is now only in Metropolis. He is the sole head of LuthorCorp after permanantly disbanding the board. He now has all the power and influence he's always craved. Though he has forever forsaken Smallville, he is, however, still obsessed with unlocking the town's extraterrestrial mysteries...

    If there are any other questions, just ask.
    Remember, I'm still forming a lot of this in my head, so I may not have all the answers! ;)
     
  12. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    ACT ONE

    EXT. METROPOLIS — DAY — TO ESTABLISH

    The city is a glowing beacon of perfection. Its glass and metal buildings sparkle like jewels in the day’s sunlight. Its largest gem is the…

    LUTHORCORP BUILDING.

    INT. LUTHORCORP OFFICE — DAY

    The CAMERA PANS around the computer monitor on the desk to reveal the recently anointed KING OF METROPOLIS, LEX LUTHOR. He is intently reading something on the monitor. Something in his eyes tells us this is not the same benevolent Lex we’ve come to know in SMALLVILLE.

    LEX’S POV: Through the giant glass doors comes a stunning young woman with golden hair cropped close to her face and a barely-there skirt that reveals legs that go on from May to December. She is holding a parcel the size of a large book.

    WOMAN
    Mr. Luthor. The package you’ve requested.

    She tosses the parcel onto Lex’s desk.

    LEX
    Thank you. I believe you know the way out, Mercy.

    CLOSE ON PARCEL: As Lex rips open the packaging, the parcel’s mysterious content is revealed as a metallic tablet. LEX SMILES as he fingers the delicately inscribed KRYPTONIAN SYMBOLS.

    SMASH CUT TO:

    INT. SMALL CAFÉ — WEST AFRICA — DAY

    CLOSE ON TWO GLASSES CLINKING: Clark is sharing a drink with Kobe. As they toast to TRUTH and JUSTICE, a woman is eyeing the both of them closely.

    CLARK (raising his glass)
    To the Ghuri Tribe.

    KOBE
    But not to TRIBALISM.

    CLARK
    Defined as? I didn’t think racial barriers existed here.

    KOBE
    They don’t; therefore, in the absence of racism, man — sadly — tends to find other ways to discriminate. Divisions are drawn; battles are fought…

    CLARK
    Is that what that shooting was about?

    CUT TO:

    The woman emerges from her corner booth. In a flowing dashiki, her dreaded locks of hair are wrapped tightly into a ceremonial head wrap. She is ABENA, Kobe’s sister.

    ABENA
    Probably. But the real threat is more insidious. In the end, who we are is all we are. Which begs the question, Mr. Kent… who exactly are you?

    KOBE
    HA! Abena, MANNERS!

    CLARK
    It’s okay. I don’t blame her for being suspicious. I’ve been traveling the world for the last three years. Freelancing for different newspapers on different continents. To be honest, this is my biggest assignment yet! The Ghana paper sent me here to profile Kobe, maybe investigate the rash of assassination attacks…

    KOBE (smiling)
    And dive in the path of bullets.

    CLARK
    It’s a living.

    KOBE
    That’s what the other one said. What was her name? Lois something…?

    CLARK
    LANE? LOIS LANE?

    KOBE
    As I recall. She too came through here last spring. Filing a story for the DAILY PLANET, I believe. Do you know her?

    OFF Clark’s flustered look…

    CUT TO:
    EXT. TALON — NIGHT — TO ESTABLISH

    The once bustling coffee house has now become a dusty house of memories…
    LUTHORCORP LOGOS are visible emblazoned on the shop's boarded up windows.


    INT. APARTMENT — TALON — NIGHT

    The studio apartment above the coffee shop has not changed, save for a buildup of dust. Sheets are draped over the furniture. Boxes piled high against the walls. The doorknob rattles, and the door opens to reveal…

    LANA LANG.

    Lana has returned HOME, to SMALLVILLE. Venturing into the world to find her place, the prodigal daughter has returned to her roots. Finally, she has come to accept this strange leafy little hamlet as her home.

    She approaches an open box filled with old photo frames and old friends. In one, Lana, CHLOE and LOIS are mugging for the camera.

    Lana smiles.

    In another, Clark has his arm around Lana. They are smiling, broadly.

    LANA (whispering)
    Clark… Whatever happened to you?

    SMASH CUT TO:

    EXT. WEST AFRICAN PLAIN — DAY

    A low rumbling can be heard. In the distance, what looks to be a small dust storm swirls as a herd of zebras makes its way across the plains.

    Above them…

    CLARK KENT ZOOMS BY…

    Hands out at his sides, he clearly revels in this liberating ability to be free of earthly constraints. His hair and the pockets on his red back pack flap in the wind.

    A sense of peace and contentment is on his face.

    He is enjoying this. With that, Clark angles his body past the camera, speeding toward his destination…

    CUT TO:

    EXT. CAPITAL STEPS — GHURI TRIBE RALLY — DAY

    Where we find CLARK is now taking notes as KOBE delivers another emotional speech. At that moment, ABENA frantically makes her way through the crowd of reporter, looking for Clark.

    CLARK (concerned)
    Abena, what is it?

    ABENA
    CLARK! Clark, the village… They… They’re back!

    CLARK
    “They?” Abena, calm down. Who are you…

    ABENA
    It’s the Turaabans! They’re burning us to the ground!

    CLOSE ON CLARK’S EYES: As Clark listens to Abena’s pleas, his eyes grow narrower, concentrating as he focuses his vision clear across town.

    CLARK’S POV: THE CAMERA ZOOMS through trees and houses to reveal a group of militia men opening fire on women and children.

    CLARK (whispering)
    Oh my god!

    ABENA
    We must tell Kobe!

    Clark wraps his massive arms around the sobbing woman.

    Clark (comforting)
    No! That’s exactly what the Turaabans want: to send your brother running home. Abena, please. Let me handle it.

    Clark drops his notepad and camera, and SUPERSPEEDS out of frame…

    OFF Abena’s look of AWE…

    CUT TO:

    FIVE MEN in MILITIA GARB surround Kobe on the steps, guns drawn. The audience is murmuring…

    SMASH CUT TO:

    IN CLARK TIME: He races at full speed to the GHURI village. Clark’s face has never been so determined.

    Once he arrives, he grabs a car full of militia men and in one motion, tosses it with ease.

    The other soldiers begin turning their guns on Clark.

    CLARK (forcefully)
    LEAVE! NOW!

    SMASH CUT TO:

    EXT. CAPITAL STEPS — GHURI TRIBE RALLY — DAY

    Kobe is being hauled away in a throng of supporters, militiamen, and reporters. There is a lot of commotion.

    CLOSE ON: A hand in the crowd reveals a small knife.

    ASSASSIN
    Senator Asuru…

    CLOSE ON: Kobe’s frightened face.

    ASSASSIN
    …Shut up.

    He lunges forward.

    SMASH CUT TO:

    EXT. GHURI VILLAGE — DAY

    Clark, his shirt now ripped to shreds from thousands of bullets, scans the village.

    CLARK
    That’s the last of them.

    The villagers, still in shock from witnessing Clark Kent’s SUPERHEROICS, talk amongst themselves.

    Suddenly a scream is heard, though it is only audible to Clark’s ears.

    CLARK
    Oh, god. Kobe…

    Clark superspeeds out of frame…
    FADE OUT.

    END OF ACT ONE
     
  13. triplet

    triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    This is great!


    A couple of nitpicky notes...

    The OFF direction is for a reference to an object when it's not directly mentioned in the dialogue. As in this parenthetical:

    CLARK
    (off kryptonite)
    I'm allergic.

    Most features use the (re:<object>) instead but using off instead is getting more popular.


    But when it's used as a direction, it indicates a reaction shot, like this:

    OFF Clark's shock, as Lex turns to leave....



    So, you had an "OFF Clark's question..."

    That doesn't really jive with how they use it... It's a camera direction.

    FYI.

    Other than that, no complaints.

    :up:

    I can't wait to read more!

    I loved the flying scene with the Zebra, one of my favorite frames from the book too!

    I like how you described that.
     
  14. Zo Knows

    Zo Knows Registered

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    Oh dear God, as an aspiring writer I would hope to all that's dear and holy you didn't mean a fraction of an iota of that statement. :(
     
  15. Zo Knows

    Zo Knows Registered

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    Oh, and kudos to you lokmon for your undertaking, but unfortunately pretty much NOTHING in Birthright jives with Smallville canon past Clark's time with the Ghuri (and that's moreso because that whole snippet is more of a self-contained tale not really related to the mythos). In order to make your script work, there'd have to be some pretty heavy re-writes, and besides the Africa stuff, I think about all you could actually keep consistent would be Lex's master plan of the staged invasion. Otherwise, your script would be more "inspired by" than "based on", you know?

    Further proof that Mark Waid had no intention of referencing Smallville at all in Birthright (Yu's art may be another matter). Which is why it confuses me to no end when folks make the claim that Birthright was DC's attempt to fit Superman's continuity in with Smallville's version. WHAT??? :confused:
     
  16. triplet

    triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    I was teasing...

    That's why I had the winky. ;)
     
  17. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    How would you describe that? Instead of "OFF Clark's question"?


    Thanks!!

    You're right, this is fun!
     
  18. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    It's actually rather easy reconciling events of Birthright with SV's continuity. Only subtle tweaks are necessary (the Lana/Talon scene; Lex with the mysterious tablet, for example). Those scenes are not in the book, but belong in a series finale for Smallville. My working script is very much based on Waid and Yu's work. Hell, a good chunk of the dialogue is ripped straight from those pages!
    FROM THE INTRODUCTION TO THE HC:

    ...when the day finally comes to say, "That's a wrap," it'll be nice to be able to look to innovative comics like SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT and know the legend will never die.

    -- Al Gough & Miles Millar
     
  19. Bruce_Wayne29

    Bruce_Wayne29 Registered

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    Have you guys read Lex Luthor Man Of Steel (nº1) ?
    I've read it and have come to think for a week now that maybe a good ending for the show would be to have Lex talking in his soundproof building about Superman and how he sees him and have it end by revealing Clark/Superman looking directly at him suspense in the air from the other side of the building. Having them make their vows (Lex to destroy him and Clark to always be there to stop him) and end it with an epic music, maybe even the Kryptonian theme song from Williams they used in the end of Rosetta...

    Anyway, great job, Lokmon.
     
  20. triplet

    triplet KryptonSite Reviewer

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    Well, the way I see it you have to have the "OFF Whatever" be something the camera can see. The camera can't see a question.

    Maybe "OFF Clark's confusion... " Or "OFF Clark's puzzleed look..."

    Something like that.


    Hey, writing my spec was some of most fun I've ever had writing. I really gotta try another one, maybe for Medium or The Dark Zone...

    It's funny but MR said in his Zap2it interview that TV writing is hard, but that wasn't true for me. It was probably the easiest something has ever come to me, I wrote the first draft in about 10 days which is fast for me, but I only wrote the one so what do I know? ;) :D :p
     
  21. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    I see. I know how to fix it. I've edited that bit above.



    To be honest, I believe he meant being able to churn out 22 quality episodes every year w/o a clunker is difficult. Individual eps, especially for pros, are less difficult.
     
  22. Zo Knows

    Zo Knows Registered

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    Which probably will not be the case once you make it past Africa. Trust me, man, if you examine it critically, there are very few similarities between the two aside from dealing with a young Superman. Every single character is portrayed differently, character dynamics are portrayed differently, motivations are portrayed differently, etc. In fact, if you were to use a majority of Waid's dialogue, it'd probably be a little off in the context of the Smallville characters.

    Shudder. He's talking about the legend of SUPERMAN, not the legend of Smallville. I have the hardcover, have read it multiple times, have read Mark Waid's notes, and have seen every episode of Smallville. The only relation between the two, other than Superman, is the physical appearance of some characters.

    I'm not trying to say you can't write a dynamite script, just pointing out that Birthright was never conceived to be and never has been related to Smallville and its mythology. That seemed to be how it was marketed for a time, but the content says much much differently.
     
  23. AgentPat

    AgentPat Squeaky wheel

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    Scan

    Excerpts:

    "Between the classic Kingdom Come and his Superman: Birthright maxi-series (influenced to some degree by television's Smallville), writer Mark Waid has continued to revel in his fascination with the Man of Steel...

    Waid was essentially asked by DC to come up with an updating of the character for a 21st century audience and a definitive origin of Superman, much as John Byrne had done in 1986. "Just as it made whatever tweaks and adjustments it needed to make in 1986 to be more of the time, what can we do along those lines rather than continuing to be enslaved by the past?" he muses of the concept that in many ways can be looked upon as the next step in Clark Kent's journey following Smallville.

    We ALL know there are differences between Birthright and SV, but to say that "the only relation between the two, other than Superman, is the physical appearance of some characters" is patently ridiculous. BOTH stories are ABOUT Superman. BR made Jonathan and Martha younger for example, something that had NEVER been done before to my knowledge outside of SV. And while Lex growing up with Clark isn't a new concept, it was out of left field for general audiences as well as newer comic book readers, many of whom to this day still believe the friendship was created FOR SV.

    Regardless of the intent, marketing, dialog, character motivations (you name it), many fans DO see parallels between SV and BR. If the financial backing and audience demand were there, not to mention the willing participation of cast and crew, they could EASILY adapt BR for a continuation of SV, either in serial form, for a TV movie, or even a feature film. Would certain aspects need to be tweaked and changed? Sure!!! But it is my opinion that SV has more in common with BR than it does with... oh... I dunno, a 27 year-old film.
     
  24. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    BTW Pat, I've been hoping to hear some of your feedback on what you've read so far. I should have Act Two finished over the weekend.
     
  25. RakuMon

    RakuMon Registered

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    Here's the cast list for Birthright:

    Clark Kent - Tom Welling
    Lana Lang - Kristen Kreuk
    Lex Luthor - Michael Rosenbaum
    Chloe Sullivan - Allison Mack
    Lionel Luthor - John Glover
    Martha Kent - Annette O'Toole
    Jonathan Kent - John Schneider

    FEATURING
    Lois Lane - Erica Durance
    Kobe Asuru - Joseph Marcell
    Abena Asuru - Sophie Okonedo
    Perry White - Micheal McKean
    Dr. Hamilton - Joe Morton
    Jor-El - Terrence Stamp
    Lara - Sarah Douglas
     

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