Workshop Wednesday

I apparently have a lot of random stuff I've written over the years and you're going to get to see it all eventually. Today, from my archives, we're digging into an old idea I had for a superhero team. Started as a joke way back when, this little team of heroes -- The Follower, Apathy Man, and Master of the Obvious -- grew into a whole series of ideas I wanted to pursue. They still reside in my brain, waiting for a day they can come out (either as an animated series as I intended, or a video game, or something). While I continue to fail to do anything proper with them, you can at least my first attempts at scripts for the series.

The Follower: Episode 1, Part 1

"Pilot Heroes"

EXT: THE CITY, HIGHWAY, DAY:

Scene open, comic book landscape, downward shot of a city. The comic style fades to a more "natural feel," and the episode begins. Camera moves in slowly, going at an upward angle. We can see many streets and the tops of buildings from as far up as we are. We hear a radio show playing as we slowly move in closer.

RADIO D.J. (V.O.):

Today is looking quite nice outside, not a cloud in the sky. Temperature is expected to drop to only 75 this evening, so I'd suggest taking a little time to enjoy it. It's rare we get weather as nice as this in the summer. We now return to a long set of smooth jazz...

SFX: Radio static

By this point we've zoomed in far enough to pick out details on specific vehicles. One in particular is what we are zooming in on: a 60s style VW van (the type modeled similar to the "bug") painted black with white top and trim. A black symbol, like the pedestrian road sign symbol, is painted on top of the van.

APATHY MAN (V.O.):

(sounding bored) This music sucks... how can you listen to it?

FOLLOWER (V.O.):

(confused) Obvious picked it... And I wasn't really minding...

OBVIOUS (V.O.):

I like it.

APATHY MAN (V.O.):

(sighs)

SFX: Radio static

MUSIC: Heavy grunge

The camera zooms in till the van fills most of the screen, then it shifts around the vehicle till we are beside the van, looking in.

APATHY:

That's more like it.

APATHY goes back to eating a half-chewed slice of pizza.

OBVIOUS:

This music is not jazz.

FOLLOWER:

I think that's why APATHY likes it.

EXT: CITY BANK, DAY.

Four guys come running out of a bank, all carrying guns and bags of money. Three of them are dressed in "basic street thug" while the fourth, THE BRUISE, is dressed from head to toe in leather bondage gear. The four men jump into a nondescript car just as the bank alarm goes off.

SFX: Police sirens, quiet at first but getting louder.

The car speeds off.

EXT: THE CITY, FOLLOWER VAN ON HIGHWAY, DAY.

APATHY off the pizza part of the slice and throws the crust out the window of the vehicle.

FOLLOWER:

APATHY, didn't we talk about not littering? What if your crust hit someone?

APATHY:

(sigh)

EXT: CITY BANK, DAY.

SFX: Police sirens, quite loud.

Three cop cars pull up (marked "TCPD"). We see a couple of bank employees already outside, and they motion in the direction the car went. Two of the cop cars speed off, while the cops in the other car get out and start talking to citizens.

EXT: THE CITY, HIGHWAY, DAY.

We get a bird's eye view of the nondescript car speeding down the highway. We watch as it shifts in and about traffic at very dangerous speeds.

SFX: Police sirens getting louder.

As the camera slow pulls out to show more and more of the scene, we notice a couple of cop cars slowly catching up to the bad guys.

INT: FOLLOWER VAN, DAY.

APATHY is already working on another slice of pizza.

APATHY:

Where's the place?

FOLLOWER:

Up ahead. I only have to make this one stop, then we can call it a day.

APATHY:

I assume you're gonna wanna go on patrol again tonight?

FOLLOWER:

Of course. We're superheroes. We have to patrol to keep the city safe!

SFX: Police sirens, steadily getting louder, although still hard to hear over the music.

As we watch, the camera shifts around till we are looking through the van to what's behind. From this angle, we can see in the distance, but catching up quickly, the nondescript car driven by THE BRUISE, and further back, the cops.

APATHY:

Dude, how long have we been doing this?

FOLLOWER:

Doing what?

APATHY:

This superhero gig?

FOLLOWER:

Four months now.

APATHY:

And how many criminals have we caught?

FOLLOWER:

(pause) Well there was that one...

APATHY:

Exactly. Just one, and I don't think he even counts.

OBVIOUS:

It does not. He was released without charges.

APATHY looks down disgusted at his pizza.

APATHY:

Bleh... cold.

APATHY rolls down the window. By this time, the nondescript car is quite close behind the van.

APATHY:

Do you think we actually do any good?

APATHY throws the pizza out the window and it splats on the windshield of the nondescript car. The car swerves, then hits a light post before smashing along the highway divider and flipping. We watch as THE BRUISE jumps out and runs off.

FOLLOWER:

We're heroes! Of course we do good.

EXT: THE CITY, HIGHWAY, DAY.

The van drives off. We watch as the three goons, rather injured, crawl out of the nondescript car. The two cop cars pull up.

SFX: Tire squeal

The goons freeze as the cops pile out of their cars, funs drawn.

EXT: THE CITY, FOLLOWER VAN ON STREETS, DAY.

The van slows down and then pulls up to the side of the road in a residential area.

APATHY:

Whatever... just saying...

The "heroes" pile out of the van. FOLLOWER digs around in the back and pulls out a pizza warming bag, full of fresh pies.

FOLLOWER:

The city needs us! Now, just wait here while I deliver this pizza.

DRAMATIC CARTOON INTRO!

FADE IN

INT: FOLLOWER VAN, NIGHT.

FOLLOWER is fiddling with his costume, trying to get it to fit right (a la Capt. Picard). OBVIOUS sits in back, reading a book. APATHY has his feet up on the dashboard and looks asleep. FOLLOWER looks up, his eyes darting.

FOLLOWER:

I can feel it...

APATHY half-opens his eyes.

APATHY:

What?

FOLLOWER:

Evil. I can feel it.

APATHY closes his eyes.

APATHY:

Is it sticky?

FOLLOWER:

No, seriously, evil is out there. I can... sense it. We must be off.

FOLLOWER opens his door and steps out. APATHY sighs and follows suit, with OBVIOUS being the last out, once he's put his book away.

EXT: THE CITY, SEEDY COMMERCIAL AREA, NIGHT.

The heroes stand around, awkwardly, waiting for FOLLOWER to figure out where to go.

APATHY:

So, where are we wandering today?

FOLLOWER closes his eyes, raising his hands as if sensing evil.

FOLLOWER:

Our patrol shall take us... This way!

FOLLOWER points in a random direction and then starts striding off. APATHY and OBVIOUS wait a beat, and then FOLLOWER comes back into frame, going in a different direction. Now APATHY AND OBVIOUS follow him and they all head off down the street. The camera, however, doesn't go with the crew, instead remaining focused on a single, seedy looking nightclub with very bad moral character, a storefront the heroes had literally parked in front of.

INT: NIGHTCLUB, DANCE FLOOR, NIGHT.

We see people in various S&M suits drinking and laughing with other people dressed in superhero cosplay. A couple of guys that look more like henchmen wander past the to an office at the end of the hall.

INT: NIGHTCLUB, BACK OFFICE, NIGHT.

The camera sits behind the shoulder of a man, obviously the BOSS figure. The office is rather drab with little decoration to hide the dinginess of the establishment. The henchmen we just saw open the door to the office and walk in. Behind them walks in THE BRUISE. He walks through the group of henchmen and stands halfway between them and the desk the BOSS sits behind.

BOSS:

I am very disappointed.

BRUISE:

I'm sorry, BOSS... I dunno what happened. I was driving and-

The BOSS raises a single, immaculately manicured hand, stopping BRUISE mid-sentence.

BOSS:

BRUISE, it is I who should be apologizing. Quite obviously you weren't up to the simple assignment I had given you.

BRUISE:

(sad) I know boss... I can make it up to you.

The BOSS waves this away.

BOSS:

Unnecessary. Any punishment that would make me feel like you had learned better would place the blame on you. You shall not be punished or made to pay retribution.

The BRUISE oddly seems disappointed by the lack of punishment. He goes to stand with the rest of the henchmen.

BOSS:

No, this whole robbery was an experiment. I was testing our organization. We have not been up and running for very long, and today's events confirmed my thoughts.

BRUISE:

Whazzat, BOSS?

BOSS:

We are simply not capable of the kind of operations I want to attempt. So, I have taken the only steps I can to try to remedy the situation. I have brought in an outside consultant.

The BOSS waves a hand at one of the henchmen, who then opens the door. We open on a fully dressed bondage queen, THE ENEMY.

BOSS:

She is going to make this the biggest criminal gang in the City!

BOSS begins laughing, a light, regal laugh that slowly descends into madness.

FADE TO BLACK.

COMMERCIAL BREAK.

End Episode 1, Part 1:

As with Van Helsing Syndrome, we're going to be telling these episodes in parts, largely just so I don't overload any one page with too much content. These scripts can get pretty long if I dump them on a page all at once. I think breaking these episodes into three parts is pretty good and nicely mirrors actual TV shows with a couple of "commercial breaks".

Follower and Apathy already come into focus in this first part, but I can't remember if we really get to learn about Obvious in any of the episodes we have written. He started as a joke but, in my head, eventually evolves into a deeper character. I hope we get to explore that before I run out of material here.