Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

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Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 15 Aug 2011 - 19:32

Boethius, the last Roman, wrote of the Wheel of Fortune in his
Consolations of Philosophy - the crushing mechanism that grinds a scar
across mankind to this very day. In an ancient land, the same story is
told once more - but who turns the wheel?


Act One

Act Two

[DeviantArt mirror to follow]

Well, guys, I'm officially insane. So commanding a presence has Gunslinger Girl taken in my mind that I'm now writing screenplays in anticipation of the day that I get the call from ASCII MediaWorks to produce the third season of the anime.

The fairies, they're so pretty.

Still, this was a fun project to work on that I greatly enjoyed visualising, lending itself to plenty of movement in my mind, although some might say that these scripts are a just a way of skimping on description and passing it off as 'style'. Hopefully it evokes action and activity in you also, though.

This script was written on the basis that it would reintroduce new viewers to the Social Welfare Agency - while Il Teatrino also told an original story in its opening episode, I felt that the delivery was hamfisted and relied too much on a couple of expository monologues book-ending the action. Has this one done better in establishing the GSG scenario for an uninitiated viewer, in a way that's still engaging and avoids infodumps?

While asking for comments, I'm also aware that I haven't been doing much reviewing myself lately - now that this is in the can, though, my schedule is clear (I still need to go back to and finish "Next-Gen" but that's in planning and won't be ready for a while yet) and I will be catching up on my reading from now on.

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Re: Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 15 Aug 2011 - 22:46

I'd watch it.

To me, this feels more like the opening scenes for a feature length (still animated) GsG film than an episode. I think opening up with the "Croce Incident" works better in that format.



More complete thoughts to come...

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Re: Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 15 Aug 2011 - 23:02

Professor Voodoo wrote:To me, this feels more like the opening scenes for a feature length (still animated) GsG film than an episode.

Or an OAV series. Reads like it could benefit from a 40 minute runtime instead of 20 (as a TV series episode).

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Re: Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Robert Frazer on Tue 16 Aug 2011 - 19:09

A fair criticism to make, really. One thing I haven't done with this is timecode it - in that sense it's more an adaptation of story idea than it is a locked shooting script. If it was an OVA I suppose you could make it as long or as short as you wanted, and wouldn't have to worry about ad breaks. It would probably be easier to fund as well, as there'd be no network production committees to deal with.

It's a castle in the air, but it's a picturesque one, with intact plumbing a nice landscaped garden that the tourists pay to walk around in the summer.

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Re: Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 23 Aug 2011 - 12:28

EPISODE ONE – "THE WOMEN OF TROY"
ENRICA
Sofia, I just want to say that I'm—
The car explodes.
It may be way out of place relative to its placement in the manga but as a 3rd season or movie opener this works. The anime audience was given clues to the Croce family's fate in Il Teatrino (particularly the OVA) but you can't string them along on breadcrumbs forever.
A mike is being held underneath SPECTATOR A, a young woman with stinging red eyes who blinks back tears and is nearly overcome with emotion.
To me, one of the most striking panels in the manga was Enrica's school friends attending the funeral (Chapter 71 page 109). While these characters have not been introduced including them in this scene would be a fitting reference to the manga.
ACADEMIC
What we must understand is that from the fall of Rome to Garibaldi's Risorgimento, Italy was a threadbare patchwork of states and dominions – really, this modern unitary republic is an aberration...
TERRORIST
The Italian government is an imperialist oppressor and we require the withdrawal of all occupational forces from the free state of Lombardy or they will drain out through bloodshed...
We go straight from the background exposition on the Croce affair into the exposition on the various warring factions. I can see that you're trying to establish a link between the two but it feels like you're trying to get too much done too early. Maybe providing the "brewing situation" information in snippets spread out over the first episode would work better.
Changed into walking gear and carrying a rucksack, ANTONIO walks from the entrance to his apartment block and enters an inexpensive but decent car. The GIRLFRIEND, dressed in ordinary casual clothes, follows him out.
B.G. – HENRIETTA and JOSE, examining the sculpted cornices of a neighbouring building.
Introducing the main characters as pieces of the background is clever.
PROFESSOR
True, child – but what will our descendants think when they see that our ruins collapsed in on themselves? That they were designed to fail? Concrete rots, steel rusts, glass breaks but stone...
PROFESSOR pats the rock on which he's sitting reverently.
PROFESSOR (CONT'D)
...stone lasts as long as the mountains.
This is an interesting character...so much so that you might consider saving him for later, doing his introduction once all the primary SWA characters have been presented.
PROFESSOR (IN GERMAN)
(interjecting)
That may be true, sir, but with their defeat in the Gothic War the barbarians illustrated that they lacked the discipline to suitably dignify those august – they were wearing clothes that did not fit them.
With his somewhat inflated & nationalistic sense of Italian grandeur this guy might get along with Avise.
CHIARA, SYLVIA, and BEATRICE – all dressed in cheap, scruffy clothes – are loitering with a suitable air of juvenile delinquency on a doorstep beside the entrance to the alley.
If it were within my power to fund & produce this I would do so just to see Beatrice playing the role of the juvenile delinquent.
Part two on the way...

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Re: Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 24 Aug 2011 - 15:42

To me, one of the most striking panels in the manga was Enrica's school
friends attending the funeral (Chapter 71 page 109). While these
characters have not been introduced including them in this scene would
be a fitting reference to the manga.

Yes, Enrica's schoolfriends could be one of the shots backing the reporter's voice-over before cutting to the vox-pop scene.

Maybe providing the "brewing situation" information in snippets
spread out over the first episode would work better.

I take your point, it would be a rising tide of unsettling unease which creeps on you so steadily you're drowned before you realise it; given how the script is structured though, with the unfolding of the Padanian plot occupying most of it, I think that this episode would need a complete rewrite if I was to take that approach. My thought for this segment was to get the scene-setting out of the way so that new viewer's patience wouldn't be tried by having exposition taking up most of episode one. While my version is a lot slower and less lurid (to say the least!), I took the opening credits to the new Dawn of the Dead (which creep me right the gently caress out, incidentally) as a stylistic cue.

This is an interesting character...so much so that you might consider
saving him for later, doing his introduction once all the primary SWA
characters have been presented.

Writing more scripts is at the bottom of the priority list right now, but I have a notion of the professor only being the tip of the iceberg, and the "Camerata" series following a story arc where the Agency crosses the country battling Padania's student union. The professor can always be busted out of jail if he needs another airing... Wink

With his somewhat inflated & nationalistic sense of Italian grandeur this guy might get along with Avise.

Hmm, the Professor is more of an atavist than a nationalist, holding modern society in contempt.

If it were within my power to fund & produce this I would do so just
to see Beatrice playing the role of the juvenile delinquent.

Well, she's got the sullen pout down pat, throw a hoodie over her and I'm sure no-one could tell the difference.

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Re: Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 24 Aug 2011 - 20:35

Moving on to part two...gotta say, I really like the setting.
HENRIETTA (CONT'D)

Erm... I'm really sorry... but I got sort of lost and I'm trying to find my dad...
A permutation on the classic "Henrietta manoeuver"?

show TRIELA gripping MARTEN from behind and sawing through his neck with her bayonet.
Can we get away with sawing?

Triela: Hey, sometimes you just can't hack through a neck in just one stroke!

TRIELA

(irritated)

Darn it, I only had this hand installed last week!
Funny, and effective at conveying the routine, almost humdrum nature of the girls attitude toward work. A little off the point but such an attitude is probably a great part of the reason Triela was so rattled by losing to Pinocchio. "I didn't know that could happen!"

GREGIO leans around to look down onto the street. As he does so, CRASH ZOOM past his shoulder, rapidly flicking past through gaps in Pompeii walls and rooftops until it quickly brakes when confronted by an EXTREME CLOSE UP of RICO looking down the sight of her Dragunov.
This (and the subsequent shot) is a sequence I'd love to see. Something similar was done in the opening sequence of the Nicholas Cage film (about an illegal arms dealer) Lord of War.

RICO

(excitedly)

Jean, Jean, look, Jean! A headshot, threaded through all that!
I like the bubbly, excitable Rico you put forward here, but it does sort of go against her "mission persona" up to this point. If Yu had presented her this way from chapter one it would have provided terrific counter-point to the grim & dour Jean.

BERNADO

Well Beatrice, any joy?

BEATRICE

(level)

That way.
Speaking of a fratello of opposites...this is a pair that deserved to be explored more. Of course, we say that of every character don't we?

MARCO

Damnit, Angelica, stop screwing around! Get after the other one!

ANGELICA's eyes are open in shock, her anger instantly wilting. Why is Marco shouting? Isn't she doing well?
Good job playing up Marco's insensitivity toward Angelica...I thought Il Teatrino went a bit soft on that, which detracts from his eventual catharsis (if they ever get to that in anime form).

ANGELICA doesn't so much run after BENITO as flee MARCO's displeasure.
Contributing to the same point; great way to put it.

ANGELICA... wipes her brow – but with her injured arm. She squawks and looks horrified as she realises that she has just smeared blood over her face, and begin frantic scrubbing with her other sleeve.
Classic! To first time viewers the contrast between Beatrice's apathy about being awash in blood and Angelica's dismay could be confusing but I'd hate to see either scene disappear.

HENRIETTA punches the amphora and shatters it mid-flight,
As an archeology buff that must have been difficult for you to write. It gets me thinking about a new scene of my own...a battle in a museum or store room where the enemy fights without reservation but the girls, remembering admonishments from their handlers not to damage anything, struggle frantically to keep the artifacts from harm while keeping up the battle.[/quote]

ANGELICA is picking up spent casings ... emits a cute squeak of dismay and begins floundering after them,
Cute image. I'm picturing her in her pink dress from Teatrino, although it would probably be better to give them all new outfit designs for the new series.

ALESSANDRO (O.S.)

Got a light?

In fact, never mind, I prefer a lighter over a match anyway.
This is an interesting way to introduce Alessandro. When I fist saw his name I guessed you were deferring the Petrushka origin story to flashback but since she does not appear here I assume his introduction to Petra/Elizabeta will follow?

JOSE

(laughing gently)

Well, it wouldn't be much of a reward if we gave it to everyone, would it now?
What fun is having a cyborg if you can't wind her up now and then?

ALESSANDRO

(whispering conspiratorially)

"Twisted my arm"? Wrapped around her little finger, more like.
You'll find out all about that soon enough...

JEAN

(stern)

Lieutenant Croce! Don't encourage them!
Not sure that really fits. Jean left the M.P. behind even before Sophia died...I really don't think he's the type to refer to his brother by his old rank.

Alas, unless we were to fund it ourselves (and my kidneys are not worth that much, even on the black market) I fear a third season of the anime is a pipe-dream. A fun pipe dream though...

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Re: Camerata - Episode One, "The Women of Troy": A Screenplay

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 27 Aug 2011 - 7:37

A permutation on the classic "Henrietta manoeuver"?

It's assuming a lot to make Maria fall for it, really - why doesn't Maria just knock the girl out and take her hostage too? After all, she is a witness? I justified it to myself by saying that a screaming girl would be heard and lose the Padanians the element of surprise (although I'm massaging a reality a lot to make sure that the noise of their fighting with the cyborgs isn't heard too); this mission wasn't going to be the most discreet one so one girl getting away wouldn't provide investigators with too much information. Also, even if Maria was more suspicious, she'd still have to get fatally close to capture Henrietta in any case.

Speaking of a fratello of opposites...this is a pair that deserved to be explored more. Of course, we say that of every character don't we?

I wouldn't have minded a couple more story arcs before this final showdown with Dante, really - it's one of the unfortunate consequences of needing to motor the plot along for a serialised title that there isn't always opportunity to mark time and look about us. For instance, have Olga and Petrushka exchanged so much as a word in the manga?

Ah well, even if the manga does look like it's coming to an end, we can always drag Yu back for side-story spinoffs, hopefully on the back of Camerata's smash-hit prime-time million-viewer DVD-bonanza success.

Good job playing up Marco's insensitivity toward Angelica...I thought Il
Teatrino went a bit soft on that, which detracts from his eventual
catharsis (if they ever get to that in anime form).

Also highlighting the strange dislocation of Agency life. They've built her to go absolutely medieval on an enemy, but here that's actually an inconvenience.

This is an interesting way to introduce Alessandro. When I fist saw his
name I guessed you were deferring the Petrushka origin story to
flashback but since she does not appear here I assume his introduction
to Petra/Elizabeta will follow?


This is from when Alessandro is still in Section One (or only new in Section Two and still a prospect handler) and before Petrushka was created, yes. I've been putting the story somewhere inside the four-month timeskip that happens in the middle of the Pinnochio arc.

Not sure that really fits. Jean left the M.P. behind even before Sophia
died...I really don't think he's the type to refer to his brother by his
old rank.

Even if it's not quite accurate, I saw it an expression that would be more clipped and authoritative, curtly reminding Jose of his position, as well as a last hint to the viewer of the strange situation that prevails at the Agency.


Alas, unless we were to fund it ourselves (and my kidneys are not worth that much, even on the black market)

But you're in oil, Voodoo - and it's only getting more and more valuable the more finite it becomes. Cash in your stock options at the sweet spot shortly before the pipes start sputtering, and we'd be able to fund an entire series with money to spare! Wink

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