Ok a bit of a divergence from my normal methodology. I like to stay away from established franchises for a couple of reasons. Reason one is infringment. I don’t want to step on toes legaly by using brand names and getting in trouble for it. Having said that I am making no money off of this and even if I did start to make some money due to advertisment it would be for my blag as a whole and not any particular brand I was using. Of course if I did make some money I’d be using original stories and give full credit to any companies and brands associated with the material I was using. Reason number two as I have mentioned before there is a thin line between fan fiction and a script using established brands and intellectual properties. The basic definition is that fan fiction is done for the pleasure of the fan(s), and the script is done for the general population and not intended soley as self satisfaction. along these lines when a franchise is already established and going strong it’s hard to argue that your script, or in this case scenes, are not sinply fan fiction. For instance it would be tough to do a Marvel’s Thor(c) when it’s already got a strong franchise currently running. Doing Marvel’s Daredevil(c), however, would be more appropriate because, despite the fact that a netflix adaptation is in the works nothing is currently out, therefore you can write a scene/script with the intention that it’s something you’d like to see in that franchise with out it seeming like a second guessing of what is already well established. Keep in mind that it’s best to stay away from things even in just the planning stage, as it can still be too close to exsisting material to be taken as anything but self serving fan fiction. So I decided that since one of the biggest reasons I started to get into script writing was exsiting franchises that I thought could either be done better (As in flops or failed tv productions, not critisisms on successful franchises), or needed to be done in the first place. Case in point, Dragon Ball Z(c). A franchise that had a failed attempt at Theater market penetration. This has lead many to believe it simply can’t be done. I believe there is a way to do it and make it a good movie. Of course as with most adaptations you need to suit it more to the medium your using.
Keeping in mind that I am moving into a slightly different direction with the inclusion of previously exsisting franchise material, there are the right ways and wrong ways to do things. I’m not sure if I have explained this before, but this seems like a good place to go over it again. Think of a story like a planet. If you divide the plant up in very basic peices, you get two. Now this can be any planet so atmosphere is not always a component but can be, in this case it isn’t. The two basic peices are the crust we exist on and the inner core. This is obviously an over simplification, but for these purposes it works best. Now what we see the most and recognize mostly as the exsisting material is the crust. This contains such things as names, places, specific events, artistic identitiy (Ie: Clothing, building arcitecture, vehical design, etc.). Things that most people argue is the whole entity of the story. In other words if you say the heros name is now Hogrus, he lives on Mindar, and he is a lizard man. Thats simply not Goku. You’d be right for the most part. The thing is you can change a number of those things and still have essentially Goku. The deeper core is actually the “Spiritual” essence of the story. What I mean by this is the very heart of the story, the reletionships, and what it brings out in the audience who enjoys it. This is the one thing you need to keep in tact depsite the logic of it being the crust. If you keep in mind the Vegeta, Goku rivalry, and the character archs they have, you can change any number of specifics about it, whilst keeping with the real impact of the core relationship between them. When writing for an established franchise the best thng to do it take the crust completly off the planet and keep the core only. Then build the crust back peice by peice as needed for the story you want to tell. Keep in mind that a franchise normally encompases many mediums and source materials and the planet sized story your transfering too might be a lot smaller. So by attribute you may in fact be forced to get rid of a lot of that crust simply do to a lack of room on the resized core. The good thing about the core is it resizes easily. The essence may become a bit more potent in smaller portions which may have to be worked on script wise in order not to force things that might have worked out well in the original franchise, but the essence can be condensed as long as you change the facts and figures to adapt.
Keeping all this in mind I give you a scene from a script I have been working on for a while on a broader level. This is a script for Dragon Ball Z, but due to the many changes I have made to it, the title would have to be changed. The current working title for the first film is “Wrath of Brothers” in this scene which occures rather early in the film I’ll give you some exposition which highlights some of the major changes I implemented to the story in order to adapt it better to a movie going audience and an audience less inclined care about a direct Anime/Manga association.
Ext – day
Crater created by Raditz ship, his vessel still resides at the bottom of the crater (Aprox 5’D x 15’W(Cir))
In the middle of a grassy field in Japan ouside a small town at the foot of a small mountain range.
Goku – 30M Sayin (From the planet Sayia) lookes completly human (No tail) in modern traditionaly inspired japanese clothing
Gohan – 9M Half Sayin in similar clothing to his father Goku both hand mud on thier pants cuffs from fishing just minutes ago
Raditz – 33M Sayin (Also no tail) in Sayin Armor (Armor with a bit of a space aged look to it) and a scouter* over his right eye hooked to his ear.
*Scouter is a thin peice of metal the display is ovbiously holographic and no button on the side for activation gives RTD (real time data)
Goku and Gohan come running out from the tree line towards the crater, having seen what looked like a meterorite landing in a near by field. They see Raditz rising out of the crater as he walks up the side of the divit looking around a bit then focusing in Goku and Gohans direction. Goku and Gohan stop about 15 feet from raditz
Goku: Are you alright?
Raditz: Never better little brother
Gohan: Dad whats he talking about?
Goku: No clue son
Raditz: yeah I had a hard time believe it at first too, your way too scrawny for a true Sayin warrior, but scans confirm it, your kakarot
Goku: Look I think you may need a doctor or something, I’m Goku, you sure you didn’t hit your head or something?
Raditz: Goku, eh. Is that the name these pathetic peoples have given you?
Gohan: You mean humans? were human and were not pathetic
Goku: Cool down gohan it’s ok, the guy is obviously confused
Raditz: (sigh) Yeah thats what I thought, looks like you hit your head pretty hard when you were younger. That explains your lack of memory
Goku: Of when I was younger? Yeah Grandpa Gohan found me like that in the mountains near here, well he was more a father then a grandfather, but he was a bit on the old side so I always called him Grandpa.
Raditz: Whatever you called him, he was an usurper
Goku: I don’t know what that is but it doesn’t sound very nice
Raditz: He hijacked your mind Kakarot. Your a Sayin warrior sent here to prove your metal
Gohan: My Dad’s name is Goku and he doesn’t need to prove anything to you
Raditz: (laughs) Your fathers name is Kakarot, at least thats what father named him. Fathers name was Bardock by the way, if you were interested
Gohan: Dad were not going to stand here and listen to this are we?
Goku: No Son were not. Look Mr. I’m glad your ok, but we really need to get going I’m sort of late for something, it’s been fun
Raditz: Pathetic as you are, I’m sure we can train you up Kakarot, Our entire species was almost erraticated by a rogue planet collision. I’m taking you back, your people need you.
Goku: Look I wish I could help but I’m not Kakarot, I’m just Goku, now if you’ll excuse us
Goku and Gohan start to leave. As their near the edge of the treeline the trees in front of them explode with a red flare of energy, splintering the trees and throwing the Father Son duel on thier backs. Goku and Gohan look cack to see Raditz with his right hand clentched into a fist and red flame like energy wafting up from his closed hand.
Goku: Hey no Ki attacks, we didn’t come here to fight you. (Turns to Gohan) Son I want you to get our fishing gear and head back to the house. I’ll meet you there and we’ll head to the party from there
Gohan: No way Dad I’m not goi-
Goku: Now son, no questions just get out of here
Gohan swallows and nods, then takes off into the woods. Goku turns towards Raditz as another red energy ball comes flying towards him. Goku puts up his forearms in a cross pattern and blocks the incomming attack pushing him back a foot. Raditz has advanced to normal speaking tone distance.
Raditz: I didn’t give permission to your little brat to leave
Goku: You don’t have permission to tell my son anything, even if you really are my brother
Raditz: Such a shame, your little brother Prince Vegeta would be ashamed of you
Goku: Oh so now I have two brothers and were princes
Raditz: Same mother different fathers from us, we are not princes, he is.
Goku: But if she is married to the King?
Raditz: Just trust me on this, it doesn’t work that way. Lucky for you, or instead of being sent here, you’d be dead for such a low power level at birth
Goku: Yeah just throw away the weak is that it? I’m glad I’m not one of you. I save life, I don’t kill it
Raditz: And what little brother is what makes you weak. Fortunatly I can help you with that I just need you to come with me
Goku: I already told you
Raditz: Yeah I know, I know, I’m going to have to be a bit more persuassive
Raditz pulls back his right hand and it infuses with the red flame energy and begins to shine brightly. Goku again takes a blocking stance as Radits Lunges for Goku. Out of camera a green shape flys through the shot. Next shot is Raditz Rolling accross the ground several feet then springing to his feet and looking over at the new stranger.
Raditz: Who the … Oh a Namekian. I see, what are you doing here?
Piccolo: I don’t know what a Namekian is, but I live here, and as soon as I get rid of Goku I’ll rule here
Raditz: I’m Almost convinced to let you, but I still need him and I’m not sure I can use him yet
Piccolo: Oh don’t worry about all that. I’m going to take you out, then I going for Goku
Raditz: (Laughs) You’ve out classes in every way Namekian
Goku: Piccolo what are you doing here?
Piccolo: Ensuring the longevity of my futur Empire, don’t want to be the ruler of cinders. Besides if he beats you, then I just have to beat him anyways
Goku: Good point, I’m glad to see you either way, I could use the help
Piccolo: I noticed
Raditz: Enough of this. I’m ending this now
Raditz clentches both fists and bright red light streams from his hands. Goku celntches his fist and a bright blue light streams from it. Piccolo Clentches his as well with a bright purple light. Camera moves to just outside the tree line where we see Gohan hiding behind a tree and watching as the battle begins
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