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Tu es Partout

 So, I wrote this script basically as a means of refining my stroke as a comic book writer. At the time I wrote it, I had no plans for it other than to practice writing full script in comic form. During this process I had a lot of fun sending it over to my childhood friend Becky Cloonan for notes and some direction.
    Most comic fans will immediately recognize the name, but for those unfamiliar with Becky's work, allow me to humble-brag about my friend. A quick look at Wikipedia will tell you about how she was the first female artist to work on Batman for DC Comics. Beyond this Becky has amassed a huge body of work, and has collected a number of awards, not the least of which being the Eisner Award just this past year. Having Becky on hand to direct me a bit really has given me access to an insider who is used to getting beautifully written scripts by industry giants including Brian Wood, Gerard Way, and Scott Snyder.
    Needless to say, there were a ton of notes. I felt a bit like I was undergoing a form of Samurai training, and I did my best to take it all in, and adapt my approach to create a script that was both effective in storytelling, but one that would make sense to an artist. Throughout this process I always pictured Becky providing the art, and I tried to capture in the panels some of the elements I love most in her work. 
    Becky manages to straddle the line between technique and sheer artistry. Writing with her in mind was simple because she is very much a "can do" artist who is capable of saying a lot, even in silent panels, as well as in ones containing foreign language. On Becky's phenomenal self published works (Wolves, The Mire, and Demeter) she has developed a voice as a writer that is of huge inspiration to this story. I tried to tell a story of sadness, both due to the sting of a broken heart, as well as the fear that my Alfred must live with everyday as his surrogate son does battle with Gotham's worst elements.
    The song Alfred listen's to, Edith Piaf's "Tu Es Partout" is utterly heartbreaking and worth a listen. I considered including a translation in the script, but I really liked the idea of putting the reader on a mission to, with any luck, find the translation and to listen to the song.
    


“Tu Es Partout”



PAGE 1


Series of small panels


Panel 1-  In one of the main rooms of Wayne Manor, Alfred pulls the chain on an antique lamp in his other hand is a dust rag, to indicate that he has just completed cleaning the room.


SFX- clink


Panel 2- From the doorway Alfred turns off the light, his eyes scan the room to assure it is left in proper order.


Panel 3- In the hallway outside of the room (now dark) Alfred reaches toward his pocket watch.


Panel 4- Tight shot of the watch, the face of the has an old Wayne Industries logo on its face, the time reads 12:01 AM.

Large panel to take up the rest of the page, a vertical panel may work well here

Panel 5- Alfred ascends a spiraling staircase to the second floor.


Caption: THESE ARE THE NIGHTS I FEAR MOST.


Title at the base of P5, nothing too flashy, “Tu Es Partout” in delicate cursive, credits below.




PAGE 2


Series of  wide screen panels:


Panel 1- A shot over the shoulder of Alfred. Down the hall a door is ajar, a large silhouette stretches across the dark hallway illuminated by a light in the room.


Panel 2- Reverse the angle, in the room Bruce is wearing the Batsuit, sans the cowl, which he holds in his left hand hanging limply at his side. Bruce’s head hangs, with his right hand over his face. Behind Bruce Alfred can be seen standing in the doorway. The room is spacious, with a Victorian décor, lots of wooden cabinetry and tall bookshelves.


Caption: THESE ARE THE NIGHTS THAT KEEP HIM GOING OUT, BUT IN THESE MOMENTS…


Alfred- I WILL BE RETIRING BRIEFLY MASTER BRUCE. I ANTICIPATE YOUR ARRIVAL IN THE SMALL HOURS.


Caption: …I CANNOT HELP BUT FEEL IT‘S GRIP.


Panel 3- A tight shot on Bruce’s face. The angle does not reveal much of his face as it is mostly from the rear, but it is clear that he had been crying. Cast in shadows, we see a small slice of a grim expression, gnashed teeth, and a furrowed brow, eyes glinting wet from tears. A Wayne family portrait hangs on the wall. Thomas and Martha wear fine clothing of the era, and hold baby Bruce.


Insert Panel 4- Close up of Alfred’s face awaiting a response.


Caption: THESE ARE THE NIGHTS I FEAR HE MAY GO TOO FAR.

Alfred: …I WILL BE IN MY CHAMBERS.




PAGE 3


9 Panel Grid

Panel 1- Alfred, now in his room, wearing a plain white tee shirt and some gray flannel pajama pants. Alfred is in the process of hanging his jacket in the closet.


Caption:  ONE WOULD THINK DEATH BECOMES EASIER TO COPE WITH THE PASSING OF TIME, ALLOWING SOME MERCY ON THE HEART OF A MAN.


Panel 2- Alfred has paused on an album called “Tu Es Partout” by Edith Piaf while going through some LP’s


Caption: BUT SOMETIMES DEATH BECOMES A STICKY BALL OF PAIN. AS TRAGEDY BEFALLS US IT GROWS, ADDING MORE WEIGHT TO THE HEART.


Panel 3- Alfred places a Beatles (Rubber Soul) record onto the turntable of an old phonograph style record player. .


Caption: SOMETIMES IT IS A SONG, OR A TURN OF PHRASE,  A FAMILIAR SMELL IN THE NIGHT AIR…


Panel 4- Alfred pours himself a bit of high end scotch into a highball glass, neat


Caption: …A FEELING, WASHES OVER LIKE A CRUEL TIDE…

Panel 5- The shot pulls outside of the room, through the window we see Alfred drain the glass.


Caption: …GET’S IN THE GUTS OF A MAN, SITS LIKE A LEAD PARASITE.


Panel 6- Alfred holds a full highball glass of scotch, mournfully staring at it.


Caption:  ONCE IT IS IN YOU…


Panel 7- Close up of Alfred’s mouth as he pulls down the glass of scotch.


Caption: THESE ARE THE NIGHTS I FEAR THE PARASITE HAS WON.

Panel 8- The shot pulls back, Alfred is pouring another class. A small speaker on the wall buzzes.


Speaker: <ARRIVAL>


Caption: OH THANK GOD!


Panel 9- Alfred knocks back the scotch.


Caption: …NOT TONIGHT




PAGE 4


Panel 1- Page-long vertical panel shot from above. Bruce lies on a gurney in the Batcave. Bruce remains in the Batsuit, again his cowl is already removed. We can see that he has a black eye, a number of superficial scrapes, burns, and a horrible gash on his eyebrow. Bruce’s hair is mussed up and sweaty, flecks of blood cover his face, hands, and chest. Alfred stands next to the gurney with a dolly.  Alfred is wearing scrubs, and is pulling on latex gloves. Atop the dolly are a number of tools,  surgical scissors,  sutures, bandages, gauze, and a variety of other items.


Alfred: I TRUST THINGS WENT WELL TONIGHT MASTER BRUCE?

Bruce: IT WENT WELL, HONESTLY I SHOULD HAVE BEEN BACK MUCH SOONER, BUT I TRIED OUT SOME OF THE NEWER EQUIPMENT WITH MIXED RESULTS. SCHEDULE A NINE O’CLOCK SO THAT I CAN GO OVER SOME OF THE DETAILS WITH THE LAB.


Alfred: THAT LEAVES VERY LITTLE TIME TO REST…


Bruce: I KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS ALFRED.


A series of smaller panels, energetic slashing angles.

Panel 2- A shot of Batman descending from on high, hand extended forward with a Batarang being launched breaking the border of the panel. The angle on this should be low, a real hero shot of Batman.


Bruce Caption: TONIGHT WAS FAIRLY ROUTINE. I WAS AWARE OF A SHIPMENT OF GUNS COMING IN, LOWER QUALITY SMALL ARMS FROM EASTERN EUROPE.


Panel 3- Batman dispatches a  man in dramatic fashion throwing an elbow to his jaw. The man wears Carhartt style work gear, boots, gloves and the like. They are surrounded by wooden crates that have been off loaded onto a dock.


SFX: CRACK


Bruce Caption: ASIDE FROM THE HICCUPS WITH THE NEW GEAR, THE SMUGGLERS OFFERED LITTLE RESISTANCE.


Panel 4: Batman uses two hands to smash an unfortunate fellows face into one of the crates.


SFX: THUNK


Panel 5- Returning to wide angle, back in the Batcave, a tight shot of Bruce’s face, he has a slight smile on his face. Alfred’s hand’s are in the shot applying a number of stitches to the cut on Bruce’s eyebrow. A number of patches have already been applied to Bruce’s face over the smaller wounds.


Alfred: IN ADDITION TO THE ABRASION ABOVE YOUR EYE, YOU HAVE A DEVIATED SEPTUM THAT WILL NEED TO BE SET. YOU HAVE BROKEN THOSE THREE RIBS AGAIN, WITH THESE INJURIES, BREATHING WILL BE AN ISSUE… TONIGHT MIGHT-


Bruce: SET MY NOSE, AND I WILL GUT IT OUT. NOTIFY THE OFFICE THAT I WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR VOICE CONFERENCE THIS AFTERNOON.


Alfred: AS YOU WISH, MASTER BRUCE.




PAGE 5


Panel 1- Wide panel shot Bruce stands shirtless behind Alfred as he wipes items and places them on his dolly. Bruce is cleaned up and is covered in bandages, his rib cage has been tightly bound to secure his ribs. Alfred has a distressed look on his face.


Alfred: I DON’T MEAN TO BE INTRUSIVE, BUT, WHAT NEW EQUIPMENT WERE YOU USING TONIGHT? IT HAS BEEN AGES SINCE I HAVE SEEN YOU IN SUCH…


Bruce: JUST THE ALLOYS. I TESTED THEIR ABILITY ABSORB THE SHOCK WHEN RECEIVING FIRE.


Panels 2-4 are essentially the same size as P1, but they are cut into 3 panels. Once again, use slashing skewed borders to the panels.


Panel 2- Batman takes a shotgun blast to the ribs where the bandages have been placed


SFX: KA-KOW


Panel 3- Batman rises back to his feet after the first shot, cast in shadows, a wicked smile splayed across his face, he receives another shot very close to the first location.


SFX: KA-KOW


Panel 4- Batman is shot nearly point blank on the crown of his head with a 40 cal. handgun.


SFX: KAK


Panel 5- A wide panel shot, 3/4ths view from behind Alfred who has turned and is now facing Bruce. Bruce again has a wry smile on his face.


Alfred: I UNDERSTAND THAT AT SOME POINT THESE NEW MATERIALS WILL NEED TO BE TESTED PRACTICALLY, BUT CERTAINLY YOU CAN PUT SOME FAITH IN THE LAB. YOUR APPEARANCE THIS MORNING IS GHASTLY-


Bruce: YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I DO THAT I CANNOT AFFORD TO BE CAUGHT WITH MY PANTS DOWN OUT THERE.  I NEED TO KNOW, FIRST HAND, WHAT TO EXPECT.


Alfred: WELL, I AM JUST GLAD THAT THESE ITEMS PASSED YOUR “TEST” MASTER BRUCE.




PAGE 6


Panel 1- Close-up on Bruce, a stern look on his face.


Alfred: WELL, ARE YOU READY?


Bruce: YES.


Panel 2- A long shot as Alfred prepares to set Bruce‘s nose. Alfred and Bruce are backlit, by a variety of computer monitors. Alfred has both hands on Bruce’s face.


Panel 3- A tight shot of Bruce’s face one of Alfred’s hands on the side of Bruce’s head, one gripping the nose. Indicate motion expressing Alfred having adjusted the broken nose.


SFX: CRACK


Panel 4- The shot has drawn back, Bruce’s nose is bleeding now, Alfred hand is in the panel passing over a cloth, but Alfred is out of the panel.


Alfred (OP): YOU WILL WANT TO PROTECT THAT NOSE WHEN YOU GO OUT TONIGHT, HONESTLY I AM SURPRISED YOUR NOSE IS AS STRAIGHT AS IT IS.


Panel 5- A close up of Alfred furrowing his brow.


Bruce (OP): I AM SURE IT WILL BE FINE , I AM MOVED BY THE FACT THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT MY GOOD LOOKS!


Panel 6: A shot similar to Panel 1, this time with gauze being shoved up into the nasal passage, Bruce seems unaffected by the intrusion.


Alfred: I SWEAR, SOMETIMES I THINK YOU ENJOY THIS TREATMENT.


Panel 7: Much like Panel 7, the other nostril gets the treatment. Bruce is smiling wide now


Bruce: OH ALFRED, YOU ARE MY JOY, YOU ARE MY SUN!



PAGE 7


Panel 1- Alfred has turned away, wearing a pained expression. Pulling off his gloves, Bruce stands behind him, arms slightly spread, hands wide open.


Bruce: ALFRED, YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T WORRY ABOUT ME, I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING OUT THERE…


Panel 2- Alfred, still holding his gloves has turned to face Bruce, pointing at him as he speaks.


Alfred: MASTER BRUCE, I TRUST YOU IMPLICITLY, BUT… SEEING YOU EARLIER… I…


Panel 3- Bruce has an expression of irritation, or shame, waving his hand,.


Bruce: I WILL HEAR NO MORE OF THIS, I WAS JUST COLLECTING MYSELF BEFORE HEADING OUT.

Bruce: NOW GET SOME REST, I CAN SMELL THE BOOZE ON YOUR BREATH.


Panel 4- The shot has pulled back wide angle, Alfred is walking away from Bruce while tossing his gloves onto the dolly. Mostly backlit. The men appear small in the Batcave.


Alfred: AS YOU WISH, I WILL SEE TO IT THAT YOUR SCHEDULES ARE ADJUSTED .


Insert Panel 5- Bruce stands dumbstruck by the gurney and the dolly. A look of sad concern on his face.




PAGE 8

Panel 1- Alfred is now back in his room, back in his tee shirt and pajama pants he pulls the “Tu Es Partout” album seen earlier, a photo falls from it.


Panel 2- Shot from the ceiling as Alfred picks up the photo, the LP can be seen on the phonograph next to him playing.


Record player- NOUS NOUS AIMIONS BEIN TENDREMENT…


Panel 3- A low shot of Alfred as he looks at the photo, still not visible, Alfred looks distraught.


Record player- JE TE VOIS PARTOUT DANS LE CIEL…


Panel 4- Tight of Alfred’s hand holding the photograph. Black and white, this clearly old photograph is a portrait of a dark haired beauty, not dissimilar to Audrey Hepburn in her prime. Dark hair cut in a flapper style, a headband with a lace flower, and smoky mysterious eyes.


Record player- TU ES MA JOIE ET MON SOLEIL…


Panel 5- A shot similar to P4, but closer, we see “Tu es partout car tu es mon coeur. Tu es partout car tu es mon bonheur” written is soft cursive on the back of the photo. Alfred’s fingers obscure the signers name, only an M is discernable.


Record player- MEME LA VIE NE REPRESENTE QUE TOI…

Panel 6- A close up of the highball glass being filled, the record player is seen in the background.


Record player- MES YEUX TE CHERCHENT SANS ARRET…


Panel 7- Alfred stands, holding up the glass, staring at it. Alfred is shot from low once again, the shot has moved a bit to the side.


Record player- TU VERRAS LA VIE SERA BELLE


Panel 8- A close up of Alfred, tears in his eyes


Panel 9- A shot from outside, through the window we see Alfred’s silhouette in a stance similar to that of Bruce shown on page 2.