WELCOME TO HOLMES INC. with notes

Full Script and layout-

PAGE ONE (4 panels)

Panel 1

Establishing shot.  Ext. Day.  A sunny afternoon on Baker Street in London.  Shoppers wander back and forth through a large corporate plaza reminiscent of the Toronto Science Centre’s.  An intricate interactive water fountain is on the right of the plaza, a curious sculpture composed of rings and pipes on the other.  In the foreground, a life-size bronze statue of Sherlock Holmes is moored in a concrete plaza, gazing serenely, pipe in hand and cap on head.  The plaza seems to be carved right out of a different place and time from the rest of Baker Street.  The other uniform four storey buildings press in on it.

In the background, at the back of the plaza, Holmes Inc. looms.  It is a ten storey modern/futuristic skyscraper nestled in the heart of busy modern-day Baker Street, A large professional corporate signage of “Holmes Inc.” is anchored to the top of the building.

Next to the large and ornate corporate entrance of Holmes Inc. is a small shop with a sign marked “The Sherlock Holmes Museum.”  Any other text is notably absent.  This is not our world’s Holmes Museum.  It is the museum of the real person, maintained by those who loved him as an epitaph, not as a cheap money maker. It looks as if Holmes Inc. was built over top of the little shop, an intermarriage of past and future.

ELIZABETH (OP, from Sherlock Holmes Museum)

“Welcome to the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street!”

Panel 2

Int. Day.  THE SHERLOCK HOLMES MUSEUM.  A cramped living room is full of curios and furniture from the 1800s. A close up on ARTIE, a lanky 18 year old who wears a black HARD DRIVE t-shirt and black jeans.  Slung over his back is a small backpack large enough to fit a laptop and some other small toys.   Artie peers intently at SHERLOCK HOLME’S MAGNIFYING GLASS, an old single lens on a stem.  The magnifying glass is in a protective glass case against a wall full of photographs that range the 1800s.  In the background, ELIZABETH, early 30s, fair haired and freckled speaks to a crowd of TOURISTS.

ELIZABETH

My great-grandfather, Doctor John Watson, wrote most of the stories you all read…

ARTIE (thought)

Stealing Sherlock’s magnifying glass right under the Holmes family’s nose should prove I’m smart enough to join their little club…wait!

ARTIE (thought)

The glass hasn’t aged.  It’s fake!  Where would they hide the real deal?

Panel 3

An over the shoulder shot:  Artie looks at Elizabeth as she gestures at a HOLMES FAMILY PHOTO on the wall beside her as she speaks to a small group of tourists.  The photo shows EDGAR 1 (referred to as OLD MAN from now on), NUMBER 2, EDGAR 2 (referred to as EDGAR from now on) and TREY staring nobly into the camera.  They pose behind a large antique desk in an oak paneled office.   The tourists are busy taking photographs and gawking at the various pieces of history.

ELIZABETH

This recent photo shows Sherlock’s descendents, who built Holmes Incorporated, the premiere international detective agency, based on his techniques…

ARTIE (thought)

The old man’s office!  It’s a good thing I’ve studied Holmes Inc.’s blueprints…

Panel 4

A close up on the Holmes family photo.  In the photo, on the desk blotter rests SHERLOCK’S MAGNIFYING GLASS.

CAP (ARTIE)

…I’m going straight to the top!

PAGE TWO (six panels)

Panel 1

Int. Holmes Inc. lobby, day.  Artie runs up to NUMBER 2, a late 50s Basil Rathbone in a sweater vest.  Number 2 regards him kindly but patronizingly.  Artie holds up a TOY reminiscent of a viewmaster mashed together with a game controller.

ARTIE

Excuse me!  Sherlock Holmes the Second, sir?

CAP (ARTIE)

“Number Two here runs the day-to-day for Holmes, Inc. but his old man still has the big office.”

NUMBER 2

What can I do for you?

ARTIE

I have this puzzle game… I was hoping…

Panel 2

Number Two peers through the viewmaster lenses, pressing buttons with his thumbs.

ARTIE

…maybe Holmes Inc. would endorse…

NUMBER TWO

Solved it.

CAP (ARTIE)

“Caving to Daddy gives him a bit of an insecurity…”

Panel 3

Number Two tosses the game back to Artie’s open hands without looking at him, in the process of walking away.  Artie looks crestfallen, completely straight-faced.  This is a feat of self control, as Number Two now has raccoon eyes in the shape of the viewfinder eyepieces.  It is the classic telescope and ink gag.

NUMBER TWO

You’ll have to create something more challenging if you want our endorsement.

CAP (ARTIE)

“…that can make him dismissive.  A trait easy to use.”

CONTINUED, NEXT PAGE
PAGE TWO, cont.

Panel 4

Artie walks up to an open ELEVATOR, grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

CAP (ARTIE)

“Solved that a bit quicker than I expected.  Hope it worked.  Retina scanners are impossible to fool…”

Panel 5

Artie presses the viewfinder up to a RETINA SCANNER in the elevator.

CAP (ARTIE)

“…unless you get a good scan of approved eyeballs as they stare into a retinal recorder!”

RETINA SCANNER (elec)

Scan complete.  Welcome back, Number Two.

ARTIE

Why, thank you.

Panel 6

Int. Elevator. Day.  Artie faces the POV, the partly closed doors of the elevator are behind him.  Beyond the elevator doors, the lobby is visible.  Artie presses the Penthouse button on the elevator as the doors begin to close, oblivious to the fact that he has been spotted.  In the lobby, EDGAR approaches the elevator at a brisk clip, pointing at Artie.  Edgar gives the impression of James Bond in his off hours, with slicked back hair, but v-neck shirt under a business jacket and slacks.

SFX (elevator)
Ding!

EDGAR

Security!  Shut down that elevator!

CAP (ARTIE)

“Uh-oh.  Edgar is like genius James Bond.  This could be trouble…”

PAGE THREE (5 panels)

Panel 1

Int. Holmes Inc. Lobby.  Edgar leans over a SECURITY GUARD who sits at the security desk.  Both of them stare intently at a television MONITOR that shows Artie stuck in the elevator.  Artie has a sour look on his face as he glares up into the camera.

ARTIE (elec)

Edgar Holmes, I presume?

SECURITY GUARD

Who is that, sir?

EDGAR

I intend to find out. Keep the doors sealed until I say.

Panel 2

Int. 10th Floor elevator lobby.  An over the shoulder shot of Edgar as he holds his cell phone to his ear and approaches an ELEVATOR BANK.  There are three elevator doors.  The middle one, that Edgar is approaching, is opening a crack.

SFX (elevator)

Ding!

CELL PHONE (elec)

Careful, sir.  He monkeyed with the elevator cameras.  I can’t see him.

EDGAR

I’m a trained MI:6 operative. I can handle a pissant teen.

Panel 3

Edgar stands in the empty elevator, the cell phone against his ear. He looks up at the ceiling, confused.  A ceiling trapdoor hangs open.  The doors are quickly closing.

EDGAR

It’s empty.  Are you sure – –

SFX (elevator)
Ding!

CAP(ARTIE)

“Edgar gets a little too confident sometimes. A simple hack overrides the elevators and security…”

CONTINUED, NEXT PAGE
PAGE THREE, cont.

Panel 4

Arthur walks out of the elevator just to the right of the one that Edgar walked into.  He is pushing buttons on the CELL PHONE in his hand that he stares down at intently, a wry grin on his face.

CAP(ARTIE)

“…and send pretty boy up and down the elevator at high speeds!”

SFX (cell phone)

Beep boop beep!

ARTHUR

No, Mr. Holmes.  I expect you to enjoy the ride…heh heh heh…

EDGAR (OP, from the elevator as if coming from a long way down)

Oooaaaaaahhh!!!

Panel 5

Int. Holmes Inc. corporate lunch room.  Lunch tables are set up at various points around a room with a brilliant view of London from floor-to-ceiling windows that cover two of the three walls.  TREY attacks Arthur from behind, leaping at him in mid-air like a ninja.  Trey wears a jump suit and has her long hair in corn rows.  She wields two short swords, one which slices across Arthur’s backpack, the other stabbing into Arthur’s cell phone.  Sparks fly from the impact.

ARTIE (burst)

HEY!

CAP (ARTIE)

“Holy crap!  Trey is only fifteen years old, but she’s smart and crazy.  She won’t kill me…I don’t think…”

CAP (ARTIE)

“…but she might not have a problem with chopping off a limb or two!”

PAGE FOUR (six panels)

Panel 1

Arthur wheels around to stare accusingly at Trey, who points her sword at him aggressively.  His backpack lays on the floor, cut in two.  He still holds pieces of his cell phone in his hand.

ARTIE

You killed my phone!  You…you’re such a…

TREY

You call me any name but Trey and I

will give my Mister Pointy chance to thank.

Panel 2

Arthur disappears through a swinging door with a porthole, running like mad.

TREY

It’s over. Give it up, you stupid boy.

You’re not a genius.  Just a cocky punk.

CAP(ARTIE)

“She destroyed all my tech in one slice.  And…she’s speaking in iambic pentameter?  Show-off.”

Panel 3

Int. Kitchen.  Trey walks cautiously through the swinging kitchen door, scanning the room, her swords at the ready.  To her left, a WALK-IN FREEZER door stands open, the door swinging away from the POV.  Artie hides behind the freezer door, but the viewer does not see this.  To Trey’s right, an INDUSTRIAL GAS OVEN sits along the wall.  Her head is turned as she stares at the oven, which glows a bright red.  The wire controls on the top of the oven are hastily yanked and wired haphazardly.

CAP(ARTIE)

But I think on my feet too.

SFX (oven)

Ping!

TREY

Oh bollocks…

CONTINUED, NEXT PAGE
PAGE FOUR, cont.

Panel 4

A FIREBALL from the oven knocks Trey back into the open freezer door.  Trey’s arms are in front of her face protectively, the swords falling out of her hands.

SFX (fire)
FWOOOSH!

CAP (ARTIE)

A quick rewire of a gas stove regulator and timer.  Not an elegant hack…

Panel 5

Int. Kitchen.  Artie slams the freezer door shut, locking Trey in by stabbing one of her swords into the lock.  The last bits of fire sputter from the open oven.

CAP (ARTIE)
…but effective.

SFX (freezer door)

SLAM!

TREY (OP, in freezer)

You wanker!  Let me out! It’s cold in here!

Panel 6

Int. Kitchen.  Identical to panel 5, except that Artie is no longer in the frame.  The door to the freezer is solidly locked.  The oven is no longer on fire.

TREY (OP, in freezer)

Hmm.  Must be an ice lolly in here somewhere…

PAGE FIVE (five panels)

Panel 1

Arthur strides down a hallway towards a pair of imposing OAK DOORS, a concerned look on his face.

CAP (ARTIE)

“This is getting out of hand.  I want to prove I’m smart enough to join their elite little family…”

CAP (ARTIE)

“…not get murdered!”

Panel 2

Int. Hallway. Artie peers through a crack in the doors.

CAP (ARTIE)

Excellent!  No one is in the old man’s office.

Panel 3

INT. OLD MAN’S OFFICE.  DAY.  In the background, Artie swings open the door to the office triumphantly as he walks towards the POV.  In the foreground, the magnifying glass looms large on the desk.

CAP (ARTIE)

And there it is.  Just like in the photo.

Panel 4

Artie stands at the desk, staring at the magnifying glass, frustration and anger on his face.

ARTIE

Made in Taiwan…

CAP(ARTIE)

This isn’t Sherlock’s magnifying glass!

OLD MAN (OP)

We buried my grandfather with his favorite glass.  A family secret.

CONTINUED, NEXT PAGE
PAGE FIVE, cont.

Panel 5

Int. Old Man’s office. Framed in the open double doorway to the office, their backs to the hallway.  The entire Holmes Family stands in dramatic pose.  They look pissed, glaring directly at the POV. It is a classic “team pose” pinup.  In the centre, the OLD MAN steeples his hands and looks menacing.  To his right, Number Two glares, his eyes still rimmed with black ink.  Next to Number 2, Trey, sword drawn, snarls.  She has frost in her hair and black soot smudges on her face.  She is noticeably cold and shivering.  To the Old Man’s left, Edgar stands a bit wobbly, his hair mussed up.  He points a gun towards the POV.  Next to him, Elizabeth crosses her arms.

EDGAR

Can I shoot him now?

OLD MAN

There are less dramatic ways to contact us, Arthur.

TREY

Grandda, you know this guy?

PAGE SIX (five panels)

Panel 1

The old man motions to a PAINTING of Sherlock and his older brother MYCROFT that hangs on the office wall.  Number Two stands beside him, putting a finger to his forehead as if he has a headache.  Artie stands in the foreground, tense.

OLD MAN

I’ve been studying our geneology.  Holmesian intellect was passed down through Sherlock’s older brother as well. Mycroft’s descendents.  Arthur Holmes.

ARTIE

I prefer Artie, actually.

NUMBER TWO

Mycroft?  Ugh.  Fabulous.

Panel 2

Edgar and Elizabeth glare at Artie. Edgar still has his gun drawn and trained on Artie.  Artie looks sheepish.

ARTIE

Listen, I’ve been bored my whole life.  Not a lot of geniuses to chat with, you know?  It’s boring.

ARTIE

I thought…maybe… I could join you.  Fight masterminds…

ARTIE(small)
…Solve crimes.

Panel 3

Trey laughs, throwing her head back. Elizabeth stabs her finger in Arthur’s chest.

TREY

You did all this as a bloody job interview?

ELIZABETH

No.  No way, you little delinquent.

CONTINUED, NEXT PAGE.
PAGE SIX, cont.

Panel 4

The old man settles into his chair behind the desk, looking old and tired.

OLD MAN

No more argy-bargy.  Arthur, you have intellect and cunning as well as a knack for troublemaking. But you’re impulsive and a lack of foresight. I’m afraid…

CAP (ARTIE)

I’m boned.

Panel 5

A close up of Artie, looking queasy, as if he’s receiving his last rites.

OLD MAN (OP)

…I have no patience for aspiring arch-villains.  We are already plagued with madmen with Moriarty delusions.  I have no choice…

CAP (ARTIE)

Oh, man.  They’re going to kill me…

PAGE SEVEN

Splash Page

The Old Man, his back to Elizabeth, Artie, Edgar, Trey and Number Two, smiles secretly at the POV, hiding his amusement from the family separated across the desk. Arthur pumps his fist in victory.  Number Two rubs his hand over his head in perplexion.  Trey raises her eyes to heaven in exasperation, as if to appeal to a higher power. Edgar narrows one eye and puckers as he tries to get a bead on Arthur.  Elizabeth crosses her arms and glares at Arthur jealously.

OLD MAN

…but to adopt you in a trainee capacity.

OLD MAN

Let this serve as a reminder that we’re not the only geniuses in the world. We have a responsibility to encourage others.

OLD MAN

You’re hired.  Don’t let me down.  And Arthur…

TITLE

“…WELCOME TO HOLMES, INC!”

  1. June 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    PAGE ONE: Nice. Give me something to connect the inside of the building to the outside. At the moment, the establish doesn’t connect. Is there a lobby window to spot something on the outside?

    PAGE TWO:
    We don’t have the moment where Number Two has the raccoon eyes, at least I don’t see it in the layout. That’s the most important beat on that page, so don’t sell it out.

    PAGE THREE:
    1) You give me two shots of Edgar without ever giving me his face. I can’t tell who he is from behind.
    2) I can’t tell that Artie is getting out on the same floor that Edgar has just been on. A sign saying FLOOR TEN or something instructive would help. ALSO: consider the corridors from the design pack…with display cases showing something specific. The more details you add to a background, the more we can follow the story.
    3) You need a panel before panel four and panel five to get Artie from the Elevator area to this lunch room. The jump between locations is too much to go over the gutter. Perhaps you need two panels, one to establish Artie going into the room, one to establish him hearing a noise and turning…as is the page makes no sense to a reader.

    PAGE FOUR:.
    Is nice. Just give me a hint of Trey in the foreground frame of panel two. Her sword or a silhouette will do.

    PAGE FIVE
    Is also nice. Give the office A LOT MORE SPACE and GRANDEUR, though. What you’ve drawn is the office of a man in middle management at a paper company in Scranton. I want you to draw me the office of the head of a multi-million dollar spy agency that often meets with kings and presidents in this office. THINK BIGGER.

    PAGE SIX:
    Pull out a bit in panel three, give the figures some room to breathe in the environment or else all the panels on that page are somewhat middle shots. (Remember, you want to try to find at least ONE full figure head to toe shot per page if you can manage it. PLUS you want that establishing shot once per page as well…)

    PAGE SEVEN:
    Move the girl on the left over a bit, you don’t want the pointers from the word balloons going over her face.

    OVERALL:
    Some good story telling, but you do that well anyway. I have some small concern that you’ve done EVERY page as full bleed, which limits its impact if you do it all the time. I’d save the bleed panels for when you need ‘em. ALSO: You tend to do every page with square panels, in a tiered system of design. That also limits you from so many modern layout possibilities…no exits, no open panels, no tall thins, no widescreen sequences…it’s a little more staid than it could be. Don’t forget the CLOSE UP, MEDIUM/ACTION and ESTABLISHING SHOT once per page rule, you’ve got a few pages that are missing one of the three.

    And last note: Add some dynamism to the poses. There’s a lot of up and down to the way the figures occupy space. The image where they open the door and the family is pulling guns on him is very static, when you could easily deal with the outstretched limbs of the gun toting hands as a design element. Think of the bodies as more fluid in two-D than you have them.

    A great start, though. It needs one more pass and tweak.

  2. June 10, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Hey Chris! Looks good! A couple of comments:

    Page 1
    I like the size of panel 1, and the layout for panel 3 is great.

    Panel 3/4 – Make sure to add enough detail to both panels to make it clear that the magnifying glass in the photo is the one in the close-up.

    Page 2 Panel 1
    I pictured the lobby as a big open circular space with the elevators around the circumference. It’s tough to get the context here as to where he is. Can a bird’s eye view work, in order to establish the security desk, maybe Edgar II in the background, a linking entrance between the Holmes Museum and the main lobby? Think as if you were on a balcony on the third floor looking down at the scene.

    Panel 3 – Try having #2 walk towards the “camera” with Artie in the background?

    Page 4 Panel 3 – Where is Artie hiding in this shot?

    Page 5 Panel 5 – Can you tighten in a bit more on the family while still keeping Artie in the shot? Think those X-Men “big villain reveal” shots where the villains loom over the hero who is just barely visible in the foreground. Make it dynamic…and make it aggressive. Try to convey a feeling of threat and dread on Artie’s behalf.

    Page 6 – Again, try to convey menace through body language. Great expression on Artie’s face in the last panel, by the way.

    Page 7 – Nailed it!

  1. June 9, 2010 at 6:44 pm

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