It was designed to give us a good indication of the artistic stage the artist was at in their personal development and could serve as a start point for those who really wanted to become comic book artists. From the time we gave this story to artists we met, they had two weeks to complete it and get it back to us. If you take this 5 pager on, follow that directive and have some fun. GOOD LUCK!
The Tryout Story
Written by K. L. Willams
Worm's eye view of an assembly of towering skyscrapers. The afternoon sun ascends behind he imposing structures, whose mirror glass veneer seems to offer the heavens a glimpse of itself, as the crystalline skies, scarcely scattered with satiny, white clouds reflect off of the towers' surface.
CAPTION: New York.
STANTON (Voice Over): "We've put a great deal of time and money into this expedition of yours, Frederick. I would hate to think we did so, only to gain nothing from it."
Medium down-shot of Stanton's expansive office -- a unique mesh of black leather, chrome and smoke colored glass. Stanton, seated in his high-back leather chair; lounges comfortably behind his smoked, glass-top desk. He remains unseen, as his back is turned to both Frederick and the reader; his attention directed out of the large panel window which runs almost the entire length of the wall it's set in and offers a stunning panoramic view of the cityscape. Frederick, dressed in a well-tailored black suit; also has his back turned to the reader as he attentively stands between two black leather chairs, purposefully set on the opposite side of Stanton's desk. To the right of both Stanton and Frederick is a black lacquer wall-unit housing a twenty-six inch monitor, a CD-Stereo system, a modest collection of CD's, a myriad of books and several antique figurines.
FREDERICK: "I've traveled to Bahrain myself, Stanton. I've spoken with the local people. People who've seen…"
STANTON: "Even still, I find it very hard to justify this project based on what could very well be nothing more than indigenous folklore".
Close-up of Stanton, finally revealed; a man in his early to mid forties with hard; chiseled features. His hair and mostauche are primarily dark gray with sprinkles of white. Frederick looms in the back drop, as he leans against Stanton/s desk; firmly braced by his hands.
FREDERICK: Please, sir. All I'm asking is that you allow my team to investigate this matter further. What if he Arabian people are telling the truth? Can we really ignore what these people have seen? Can we pass up the opportunity to have that kind of power firmly within our grasp?!
Medium profile of Stanton, still gazing out of the window. We are now provided with a glance of Stanton's attire: gray tweed slacks, black leather tie-ups. a white shirt and gray paisley tie. His hands are clasped beneath his chin as he ponders Frederick s words. In the backdrop, the reader is offered a better view of the wall unit to the right of Stanton. NOTE: Refer to Panel #2.
STANTON: "Very well spoken, Frederick. And you are quite right. If the stories from Bahrain are true, it is ndeed a prize worth the risk."
Extreme close-up of Stanton's menacingly hooded eyes, which appear to be darker than we first perceived them.
STANTON: "But, tell me Frederick,... You're certain your team can locate this child? This,... Messiah?"
Medium shot of a sloping rock-face. It is somewhat obscured due to the fact that an unrelenting sandstorm is raging about. Six darkly outlined figures are barely visible as they scale the side of the elevation.
CAPTION: Bahrain. Off the coast of Arabia.
Close-up of a gloved hand reaching up onto one of the landings etched in the side of the rock ace, struggling to find purchase. Sand continues to be stirred about by piercing winds, making for difficulty in finding a firm hold.
Medium shot of a heavy-set man pulling himself up to the rock face. Mohammed, 31 years old. He's shrouded in olive drab BDU's (standard military apparel complete with black combat boots) which billows with the wind. His head is adorned with a white, dingy turban. A gray scarf wrapped about his mouth and nose, allows him to breath freely and goggles protect his eyes from the destructive winds and sand. It's virtually impossible to make out any distinguishable features.
Now standing, Mohammed squints to see through the tempest, his gaze directed upwards, towards the slope's peak. He knows they don't have much farther.
Close-up shot of Mohammed legs spread shoulder-width apart, from between his legs, we see another climber struggling to haul himself up to the landing. Cutter, 27 years old. Cutter's attire is similar to Mohammed's save that his BDU's are khaki in color and Cutter opted to forego the turban in exchange for a black toweling scarf. He digs his fingers deep into the earth in an attempt to gain leverage, and in the same token; lifts his left leg over the ledge. Alas, the second climber is unable to tow himself completely onto the landing.
CUTTER: "Uhhh,… I know the view must be fantastic, but would y' mind givin' me a hand here, Mohammed?"
Medium dead-on shot of the landing buffeted by the persevering sandstorm as Mohammed has kneeled down to assist Mohammed's right arm is locked under Cutter's shoulder as he lifts Cutter onto the landing. Directly underneath Cutter, are the four other climbers preparing to surmount the landing.
Down shot of the expedition party gathered on the landing, as if from the peak of the slope as heir attention is focused up at the reader. One of the climbers has shaded their eyes with their hands in attempt to gain a clearer view of the apex. The frame is again, slightly distorted by the sandstorm.
CAPTION: Shortly after,...
Climber: "How much further is it? I mean, maybe we should take a break or something."
Full body profile shot of the climbers, all visible to the reader. As it turns out the climber to make such a suggestion was Lopresti, 25 years old and the only female member of the expedition party. She still shields her eyes with her hand, although her goggles seem to do a fair enough job of their own. Lopresti's attire mirrors that of Mohammed with exception that see bears a medium sized knapsack on her back. Lopresti is closest to the reader in this frame. Beside Lopresti, is Cutter; bent forward with his hands rested on his knees. Then there is Pritchard, 35 years old. Pritchard unlike the others, wears a pair of tattered denim jeans(the legs tucked inside of his combat boots), and a thin-lined Navy flight jacket; zipped up to he neck. The wind rips through Pritchard's hair as he has nothing to cover his head. One wouldn't know hat his hair was actually a nice shade of brown for the fact that sandstorm deposits have left it with an ugly gray coat. Not totally the fool, Pritchard does take care to wrap a scarf around his nose and mouth, insuring non-difficulty in breathing. Pritchard also carries a knapsack. Next is Raghib, crouching in front of the others; his gaze directed upward. The 29 year old sports a blue New York Knicks baseball cap positioned with the brim to the back, his goggles firmly holding it in place. Like the others, Raghib has a scarf covering he lower part of his face. Accustomed to the unpredictable climate of this particular sector of the world, Raghib is decked out in more nonsensical garb: A short-sleeve, V-neck football jersey with a long-sleeve mock turtle underneath; khaki Docker slacks and construction boots. Last of the expediters is Anover, a tall; lanky individual of 23 years of age. His attire is exactly that of Mohammed and Lopresti.
Raghib: "It should only be a li'l bit further. 'Sides there's no way we can stop here. I say we keep going."
Pritchard: "I agree."
Medium shot of Mohammed, from over Pritchard's shoulder. Mohammed has already begun up he slope. His glance is cast over his shoulder at the others.
MOHAMMED: "Then let us dally no more. The sooner we reach our alleged destination, the sooner we may return to camp."
Medium profile shot of Mohammed leading the rest of the others up the incline. He is closely followed by Glover and Raghib, while the others dawdle on the landing.
GLOVER: "You talk as if you don't believe in the stories, Mohammed."
MOHAMMED: "Mine are a foolish people, Mr. Glover. They cling to idle children's stories as if they were real. It offers them a symbol of faith,... a symbol of hope."
Medium close-up of Mohammed as he reaches the top of the rock face. He closely regards the positioning of his hands and feet as he pulls himself up. He doesn't notice the sandstorm subsiding.
MOHAMMED: "I, my friend; am no fool!"
close-up of Mohammed as he attention has been grabbed by what awaits the expedition on the other side of the rock face.
CAPTION: For a non-believer such as Mohammed, the words fall oddly from his lips; yet.they manage to sum up what many words could not.
MOHAMMED: "By Allah…"
Wide shot of a lush oasis amidst the barren of the desert. A small lake centers the fertile plains, as surrounding plant and animal life flourishes in every corner of the desert oasis. A flock of birds sail over head, their flight un-impeded since the sandstorm does not rage here. Quite obviously, this does not belong.
GLOVER: "Pay dirt!!! Idle children's stories, huh; Mohammed?!"
Long shot of the expedition party gathered on the peak of the rock face, which on this side; is covered with untamed wild grass.
MOHAMMED: "It's not possible! The desert cannot sustain plant life, particularly not of such magnitude!"
ROB: "Y'think maybe it's a mirage or something'?"
PRITCHARD: "Only one way to find out."
Medium close-up of Raghib struggling through a sea of vines suspended from the nearby trees, mammoth Redwood trees; usually found in California. No longer having to contend with the sandstorm, Raghib has pulled his scarf and goggles down around his neck, allowing us to finally see his face. His complexion is dark, normal for people of the African and Middle Eastern cultures. Following closely behind Raghib, the others have as discarded their apparel. Glover, white male; blond hair, yuppie haircut. Pritchard, white male, his curly hair falling around his neck. Lopresti, white female, long auburn hair, looks very young. Mohammed, Arab, very dark in complexion, short afro and a mustache, very dark features. Cutter, rugged white male, reddish brown hair, beard stubble, sports a crewcut and shades. Despite them selves they all cannot help but be awe struck by what has presented itself as a modern-day "Eden".
Up-shot of Cutter as he gazes up into the trees at a family of Rhesus Monkeys playing amongst he greenery, oblivious to the human intruders.
Medium shot from over Raghib~s shoulder of two Red Deer fawns skirting across the expedition's path and disappearing in the shubbery.
Close-up of a Bald Eagle soaring through the open skies. Underneath him, we see the expedition venturing out into a grassy clearing.
Close-up of Raghib as his lips part to utter words that fall by the wayside. His eyes widen with amazement. Lopresti, looking over Raghib's shoulders, mirror Raghib's expression, only she does manage o find the words.
Wide shot of the prairie-like clearing hosting a sparkling lake along with wild animal-life. Respective bands of wild horses, Red deers, Timber wolves, Bengal Tigers and Mountain Lions cool themselves by the lake side. Some sipping from the unadulterated water, while others recline on the banks.
CUTTER: "What's troubling you, Pritchard?"
Medium profile of Pritchard as he runs his fingertips through his hair. Cutter looms in the back drop, full frontal shot as he gazes out over the clearing.
PRITCHARD: "The variety of animal-life here. Benqal tigers, Timber wolves, wild horses. Even the plant-life!"
CUTTER: "I'm just a grunt, Pritchard. I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking' about."
Medium shot of Lopresti, her backpack now dismounted from her shoulders as she produces a 35mm camera from it. A grove of majestic Redwood trees loom behind Lopresti.
LOPRESTI: What I believe Mr. Pritchard is trying to say is that none of these animal species are indigenous to this area of the world, not even the plant life.
Medium shot of an awe-struck Raghib, as Glover towers behind him; his glance focused on Lopresti.
GLOVER: "Well, if what you say is true then how in the hell did they get here?"
Close-up on a tribe of Bengal tigers reposing under the cooling shade of the forest lining the shores of the lake. Several cubs darting about in idle play, the mothers keeping close eye on them. What strikes us more, almost imperceivable, is a small unclothed boy crouched on all fours, frolicking amongst he young cubs. The small boy is of dark complexion, perhaps he is of African descent.
Medium close-up of the boy as his eyes snap towards the expedition party. At closer glance, we see the boy has very distinctive features; usually attributed to the populace of the African continent. His expression is one of calmness, although it is quite evident that "foreigners" have invaded his home. Oddly, as if mimicking the child's movements; the surrounding tribe of Bengal tigers have also turned their attention towards the expedition.
CAPTION: How, indeed?