NIGHT CLUBBING (in progress) with SOME notes

script by Kathleen Gallagher – thumbnails by Eden Bachelder.

Night Clubbing


Ryan Crawford – 18 years old. A gangly 5’10” tall. Messy blond hair and chunky glasses. He’s a film student at NYU, so his look could best be described as “tweedy hipster.” He thinks he’s big man on campus, but is out-classed intellectually by the Holmes kids. Don’t make him too geeky. He wears a messenger-type bag, which has various magazines and newspapers sticking out of it.

Alexi “Hammer” Harkov – 34 years old. 6’3”. Burly mixed martial arts fighter, and former Russian covert ops agent. Closed cropped brown hair, with rugged Russian features.

Sofia Janko – About 24 years old. 5’7” Attractive Eastern European woman. When we first see her she is in disguise, wearing large sunglasses and a black wig. But she actually has medium length blond hair. She also has clubbed thumbs. Example:

Matvi Janko – Sofia’s dad, who died at about 50 years of age in 2000. Average-looking Ukrainian politician. He also has clubbed thumbs.



——————PAGE ONE (3 panels)——————————-

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EXT. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – NIGHT  (We are outside MSG in New York City and can see posters advertising a mixed martial arts event. We can see a head shot of Alexi Hammer somewhere on the poster. Poster should read something like: “Tonight: MMA Tournament! Hammer vs. Richards”)




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

INT. NIGHT – MSG DRESSING ROOM. (Dressing room, post-match. Big splash panel. Trey has an MMA fighter in some kind of headlock or submission pose. The fighter is struggling to free himself. A group of about 3-4 dangerous-looking fighters are watching the demonstration, suitably impressed. Ryan stands off to the side, taking a picture of the scene with his iPhone.)




(Con’t next page)


Once I applied a little pressure right here, he was finished.

Then I gave the all clear to Her Majesty and Prince Charles.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Trey has let the fighter go. Ryan approaches her, looking at his watch.)




Trey, this is great. But I was hoping we could spend some time, uh, alone?



————PAGE TWO (5 panels)————————————————–

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

INT. NIGHT – HALLWAY (Hallway outside of dressing room. Trey and Ryan stand just outside the door. As he talks to her, she straightens her clothes and hair a little.)


I’m not sure what else there is to discuss, Ryan.

I’ll talk to Two about your documentary proposal about the family.


But I really enjoy talking to you.

That’s why I asked you here tonight. It’s why I came up with the film concept.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Continuation of previous panel, as they walk down the hall. Trey looks a bit uncertain. Ryan is clearly smitten. He pulls a newspaper out of his bag.)

    Oh. Thing is, I’ve got an early flight on the Deerstalker tomorrow morning.
    We’ve got a briefing in London.
    Just a few more hours? I read about this great retro malt shop in Brooklyn.
    Have you ever had an egg cream?
    Eeeek! Someone call 911!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EXT. NIGHT – ALLEYWAY (An alleyway outside of MSG. It is well-lit and there is a security camera over the door, looking out at the crowd. A crowd of autograph seekers are shocked, as the fighter Alexi Hammer lies dead on the ground. Trey and Ryan are emerging from the doorway, pushing their way through the crowd.)


It’s the Hammer! He just keeled over!


Said he couldn’t breathe. I think he’s dead!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Medium close-up panel, as Trey hunches over the body, checking his vital signs and looking for clues.)


Swelling around the airways and tightness of the muscles are consistent with a powerful poison. Most likely Thanarycin, injected somewhere like…

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FIVE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Small panel, extreme close up of the side of the fighter’s right palm. There is a small welted puncture mark. It should be slightly green in colour.)


Aha! Looks like not everyone was a fan, Hammer.



———PAGE THREE (5 panels)————————————————–

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Wider shot, revealing Arthur leaning against in the doorway, looking cool.)


I’ll admit his range attacks were uninspired, but I doubt that’s what got him killed.


Arthur! What are you doing here?

(Con’t next page)


Just another Canadian getting my MMA fix when I can.

C’mon, security is cueing up the CCTV footage of the alleyway.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

INT. NIGHT – SECURITY OFFICE (Med-sized establishing panel. On the wall is a bank of TV screens, showing various locations around the arena. There is a large control panel with various dials and a keyboard. Basically, it should look like the control centre of a TV studio. Trey sits down to the far left, looking intensely at the screen.  Ryan stands just behind Trey, leaning over her. Arthur stands to the right, and pulls the newspaper out of Ryan’s bag.)


If we can crack this before leaving for London, I’ll be well chuffed.


Trey, I know these cameras. You can increase resolution if–


Beat it, Chuckles. This isn’t the NYU film lab.

Here, why don’t you check the listings? I think there’s a Stooges retrospective downtown.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (Small panel, a freeze-frame of the security video. It shows a woman [Sofia Janko in disguise] clasping the hand of Alexi Hammer. Trey points to the screen.)


Right there, see? She clasps his hand tightly so she can better inject the poison.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (Small panel. Another freeze frame of the video, seconds later after Sofia has released Hammer’s hand. We can see she has a large, distinctive copper ring. And clubbed thumbs.)
    It’s the ring. It has some kind of point on the inside.
    Yeesh, what’s up with her thumbs?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FIVE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (Trey turns to Ryan, as Arthur plugs in his PDA to the control board.)
    Brachydactyly type D, better known as “clubbed thumb.”
    It’s a genetic trait.
    Got the goods on our victim.
    Had to do some digging through the FSB to get it, too.
    (To Ryan) That’s the Russian security agency for benefit of the peanut gallery.



——–PAGE FOUR (5 panels)————————————————–

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (Med-sized panel. A dossier on Alexi “The Hammer” Harkov is on-screen. We can see the back of Arthur, and Trey’s head as they study the information. Ryan still holds the newspaper.)


    The Hammer was a busy guy. Real name: Alexi Harkov.
    M16 links him to several high-profile wetworks ops.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (Med-sized panel. A variety of snapshots of Matvi Janko, Sofia’s father, on the screen. These images are from the mid to late ‘90s in a variety of business type situations. Shaking hands, giving speeches, etc. He also has clubbed thumbs.)


Including the death of Ukrainian banker, Matvi Janko, 10 years ago.

Seems he was mixed up with some Chechen dissidents.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (Trey is scanning the screen. Arthur peers over his shoulder to taunt Ryan, but Ryan has begun to leaf through the newspaper in an attempt not to notice. Ryan rolls his eyes.)


    Here’s a clue even Encyclopedia Brown over there could notice: Janko’s got stubby thumbs too.


    Brilliant, Holmes. How do you do it?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (On screen is a series of newspaper clippings of the aftermath of the car accident, obituaries for the Janko family, etc. Nothing too detailed. The main focus of the panel is Arthur and Trey who are really firing on all synapses now. Meanwhile, Ryan has taken a sudden interest in the newspaper.)


Janko was killed after his car’s brake lines were cut and it skidded into the ocean.

The only survivor being his teenage daughter, Sofia.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FIVE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Arthur is typing furiously. Ryan looks smug.)


Let’s see what I can dig up on Li’l Orphan Annie.


Or we could go downtown and ask her.



—–PAGE 5 (5 panels)————————————————–

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Trey and Arthur look to Ryan, stunned. Ryan holds up an article from the newspaper with a sly grin. There is a picture of the grown-up Sofia Janko holding some kind of traditional Ukrainian jewellery.)


Excuse me?


Says here there’s a travelling showcase of Ukrainian art treasures, curated by a Sofia Mazaylo.

Different name, same thumbs. Wouldn’t you say, Artie?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Arthur grabs the paper and races out of the room. Trey turns to Ryan.)


Opening gala is tonight. Let’s go.


You can come along, but these things can go pear-shaped fast. Your choice.


Count me in. I’m seeing this through to the end.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

INT. NIGHT – ART GALLERY (Interior of a chic art gallery on the Lower East Side. There are a variety of jewellery and pottery in cases around the room. Some of them should look vaguely copper-ish. Everyone at the gallery is painfully hip and pretentious. Sofia Janko is the centre of attention, looking radiant. She wears a lovely gown, with long gloves. She holds a drink in her hand, as she chats with guests. Security guards stand off to the side. )




Thank you so much for coming. New York has been so kind.

ARTHUR (off-panel)

Miss Janko?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Trey and Arthur, with Ryan following close behind, shove their way through the crowd to confront Sofia. Sofia is trying to hold it together, but she’s gripping her wine for dear life now.)


Holmes Inc. We’re investigating the murder of Alexi Harkov.

Where were you earlier this evening?


I’m sorry, I think there’s been a misunderstanding.


Doubt it. You’re shaking like a leaf.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FIVE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Trey grabs Sofia’s right arm, and pulls off the glove. We can see that her right ring finger is stained green from the ring.)


Thanarycin causes copper to corrode.

That’s what happens when you mix modern poisons with ancient murder weapons.



———-PAGE 6 (4 panels)————————————————–

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Sofia backs away from Trey in terror, toppling over an exhibit in an attempt to hinder her capture. She shouts towards the security guards.)


Someone, help! These people are deranged!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Fight scene. Arthur and Trey scuffle with 3-4 security guards. The guards are no match for them, obviously. Some of the artwork is knocked over or damaged. Ryan races after Sofia.)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Fight scene con’t. Ryan calls Trey & Arthur from the doorway.)


She took off in a grey Honda heading south! Got the license plate.


Nice work!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EXT. NIGHT – OUTSIDE THE ART GALLERY. (Trey, Arthur and Ryan race out of the art gallery and jump into the Holmes’ car which is parked nearby. It should be a convertible of some kind with the top down.)


Are you interrogations always so blunt?


I didn’t want to be there all night!



———-PAGE 7 (5 panels)————————————————–

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EXT. NIGHT – THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE (The Holmes car has easily caught up to Sofia. Trey whips out two swords and stands up. Ryan is filming the action on his iPhone, grinning like a madman, with Kleenex in his bloody nose.)


Here’s a sneak peek for your producers, Ryan. Hang on.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PANEL TWO ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Trey slashes the tires of Sofia’s car in dramatic fashion and it skids to a halt.)


She struck down the Hammer with a shake of the hand

Noble gesture obscuring her murderous plan

Now I strike for justice, and rule of law

Behold, my blades! They will leave you in awe

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EXT. NIGHT – BROOKLYN SIDE OF THE BRIDGE (We can see Manhattan skyline in the background. It’s the aftermath of the car crash. The NYPD have arrived to arrest Sofia. Sofia addresses Arthur, who can’t seem to spot Trey and Ryan…)


When I saw the poster with that monster’s face, I had to act.

I had a flight home in the morning.

I thought the police would be too slow.


We made good time on this, but it’s about 20 minutes off my personal best.

NYPD can take it from here, Trey. Uh, Trey?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Med-sized panel, close on Try and Trey. They sit on a bench off to the side of the crash scene. He’s got his iPhone out, showing her some footage.)


You surprised me, Ryan.

Most of my dates end when a dead body turns up.


Are you kidding? This was incredible.

But I suppose you need to get going.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FIVE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Pull back from our previous panel, where we see the two of them are sitting under the Brooklyn Bridge, similar to the iconic shot in Woody Allen’s Manhattan.)


The plane will wait. One of the perks when you own the jet.

Now, I believe you owe me an egg cream…



(research links below)

First off, I’ve already told Kathleen I’m delighted with the story.  She’s written a couple of things I’ve read, for projects I’ve been involved with, and tends to construct stories quite well!

Eden:  The storytelling is perfect, as always, and I like that you’ve left room for the dialog, something not everyone is doing as well as they could be.  I have a couple of notes:  Make sure you establish the carry-bag with your male character, I don’t see it in any of the panels.  Make a point of establishing the security cameras outside the doors in the alleyway, I don’t see them.  And on both the alleyway and the security offices downstairs, could you BRAND the area with Madison Square Gardens posters, or signage or something to re-enforce the location.  It’s not as clear as it could be, and don’t ask folks to assume what you can show them.

And one overall note:  Though you’re pretty good about giving me at least one “head to toe” character per page, I feel you could vary the distance of the “camera” to the image a bit more.  Maybe pull out a few yards back from the alleyway opening scene, or pull back a couple of yards in some of the wider shots of the security offices.  There’s a mild sense of characters always being in the middle ground more than they should be.

Otherwise, it’s terrific, and stop being so worried about the crowd scenes.  Think of the crowd as a shape first, and then a flowing river of limbs and bodies SECOND.  I’ve done tons of crowd scenes, and though they can be slightly time consuming, they’re actually fun, as you get to create little moments between the people in the mob.  All good.


Research links:

  1. Kathleen
    June 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks for these, Eden! They look great and I can’t wait to see the rest. Ty, I was reading Maddy’s story and realized it also features a scene where our hero rips off the villain’s gloves to reveal a stain. Maybe we should adjust this so the villain isn’t wearing gloves? I think only a slight change in the art would be necessary and maybe a tweak in the dialogue.

  2. June 14, 2010 at 4:32 am

    I don’t have a specific degloving moment — just a post-degloving wrist grab, so it would be easy as cake (which is, let’s face it, easier than pie) for me to simply not draw the glove in Trey’s other hand. Whatever works!

  3. Rae Wells
    June 15, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Actually, there was no de-gloving moment in Maddy’s story, and it didn’t occur to me to draw one in. The antagonist (she’s not really a villain per se) has a crisis of conscience and reveals herself without needing the stained hand to be out on display.

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