Script Doctor: Patient Zero

As a fan of genre films, I am fascinated by the challenge of extending these storyworlds into sequels. When a seemingly one-off picture becomes a success, studios often find themselves scrambling to produce followups that justify extending a premise or storyworld. As much as I revere these movies, I sometimes wish their scripts had another polish. So I’ve decided to hire myself as an unsolicited script doctor to some of my favorite genre sequels. My intent is not to disparage the original creators but to recontextualize their work outside the pressure and timeframes in which it was created.

My plan is to approach each film as if I were hired by the producers to punch up scripts shortly before they are filmed. I’ll be identifying what I perceive to be weaknesses with the story structure and character arcs, then I will follow up with a revised story treatment that addresses these concerns. I will not be addressing casting decisions, actor availability, soundtracks or location choices. I consider these elements “locked in.” I will also try to keep my revisions within the final film’s budget.

For my process, I will be reviewing the theatrically released versions; I acknowledge this incorporates a level of foresight as many films contain reshot material that would not be represented in a pre-production script. When available, I will also familiarize myself with alternate cuts, novelizations and ancillary material to help create a total problem-solving draft.

I’ll be breaking the work into two columns. The first week I will be identifying my concerns with the script in an examination. In the second week I will be prescribing a treatment that corrects my concerns.

The point of this is to have fun and to play in the sandbox of my favorite franchises. It is more or less fan fiction and a problem solving exercise on my own part. If you do not agree with my suggestions, I have fantastic news; the original films aren’t going anywhere.


The Script Doctor's first patient? Halloween II (1981). 

 

RATTLER best OGN of 2016?!

Multiversity Comics has complied their best graphic novels of 2016. It's a tremendous selection of books featuring the third volume of John Lewis' MARCH series, How to Talk to Girls by the powerhouse trio of Neil Gaimen, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Bra, Longest Day of the Future from Brian Salvatore, GHOST the latest book from NYT best seller Raina Telgemeier and to my great surprise, THE RATTLER from Greg Hinkle and myself. 

Being mentioned in the same breathe as any of these books would be enough to humble me but somehow THE RATTLER ended up on top of that list as their pick for best OGN of 2016. I came across the news via a Twitter badge on my phone. I took a quick glance at the article and went back to work, filing it away as a trick of my imagination. It was only later when it was forwarded to me again did allow myself to think,  "Oh wait, this is a real thing."

I spend 90% of my time in a dark room, surrounded by masks, staring at a screen and mumbling to myself. It's extremely gratifying to know that my work is continuing to be discovered and appreciated. Many thanks to Leo Johnson and Multiversity Comics! 

 

 

iFanboy covers The Rattler

The iFanboy crew delves into The Rattler with an extended review and conversation.  Always great to hear how folks interpret the book and if they think there is a super natural element to the story or not. I have known iFanboy's Ron Richards since High School, I use to torment him for reading the X-Men, so his insight into my work will always be a little more personal.

http://ifanboy.com/podcasts/booksplode-16-the-rattler/

 

I'm going to miss old whats his name...

Brief update! 

I have decided to take an extended break from social media and other sources of aggravation and distraction. I have too many projects that need my focus and attention right now. That said, I'll probably come crawling back when I have a project to announce. 

Until then, I will leave you with this semi drunken rant from years past.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/monkeygongcom/e/storycraft-podcast-jason-mcnamara-37571395

The Storycraft podcast is rerunning an interview I originally gave in 2013. Recorded over a six pack in San Francisco Duboce park, Kraig Rasmussen and I reflect on our first decade in comics. It's both amusing and horrifying to hear where my head was at in that moment.  We complain, gossip and generally shit talk our way through an amusing 90 minutes. Which, if I'm being honest, is more time than even I'd like to spend with my own thoughts but to each their own.

Kraig and I are currently collaborating on a graphic novel and I can confidently tell you, if nothing else, it will be gorgeous to look at.