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"The Pitch", 12 days ago, 8:46 PM #1
GMan003
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Welcome to The Pitch.

Webcomics may be (mostly) a field of independent creators, but venture out into print comics, or virtually any other medium, and you'll end up working with, if not for, a publisher. They'll solicit proposals for a new comic, or film script, or whatever. They'll ask for a sequel to an existing story - or a prequel, or interquel, or spinoff, or remake, or reboot, or some other sort of adaptation. They'll have requirements and guidelines, and if you want the job, you have to deliver a pitch that meets them.

Doing this well is a skill all its own. It's an important one if you want to leave the indie world - and even if you're perfectly happy working on your own ideas on your own dime, it can be a fun creative muscle to flex. And so that's the skill this game is designed to exercise.

Here's how it works:

Every week, I'll post a "pitch request" - a prompt to focus the week's responses (for the foreseeable future, this will be an existing character or setting - nullifying any potential issues with ideas presented here being stolen). You go off and come up with your take on it - a continuation, an adaptation, a reimagining, whatever you think is best. And then you post your pitch. Doesn't have to be much - it can be longer than a simple "elevator pitch", but it's still a loose summary of the main points. What makes it good, what makes it exciting, what makes it unique. A rough outline and synopsis is enough. Some concept sketches or snippets of script, if you really want to go wild.

While I expect most pitches to be for comic series, given the nature of CF, if you think your idea would work better as something else, go for it! Pitch a movie, or a TV series, or a novel, or a classical opera, if you think it fits your pitch better. The only rule is to stick to the topic. That's restriction enough.

There is no formal competition aspect to The Pitch. I decided it would be too messy, especially if people hop in and out often, but we can revisit later if people really want to go head to head against each other. For now, just try to do the best you can, and have fun with it.

Don't know the subject that well? Go for it anyways. "Able to quickly grasp the core ideas of a character" is also a good skill to develop, and a broad-strokes pitch shouldn't get into any details that can snag on continuity. I've got a list of prompts ready, and most of them I'm only passingly familiar with. I'll still be competing as often as I can.



Without further ado, the first challenge:

SUPERMAN

We're starting with the big one. Others may have him beat in terms of readership these days, but Superman remains the most iconic comic-book superhero, and one of the most recognizable characters of all time. Created in 1938, Superman has had it all. Eight decades of comics, three TV shows, a long-running radio show, at least seven movies, a Broadway musical, innumerable cartoons, and one of the worst video games of all time.

His precise backstory has gotten rewritten a few times, but the core concept has always remained the same. An alien born on the planet Krypton, sent away as a baby to escape an imminent catastrophe, raised in the town of Smallville by the humble farmers who discovered him. He develops a vast array of superhuman powers, which (at his foster parents' advice) he uses for the benefit of humanity, fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way as Superman, the costumed vigilante. By day, he remains quiet old Clark Kent, journalist for a newspaper in the big bright city of Metropolis.

His supporting cast includes fellow journalist (and frequent love interest) Lois Lane; friend and photographer Jimmy Olsen; and a whole host of Super-People. His enemies include Lex Luthor, evil genius; General Zod, a Kryptonian imprisoned before the planet-ending catastrophe; Brainiac, an alien cyborg with vast mental powers; Bizarro, an evil but flawed duplicate; and Darkseid, an alien dictator with near godlike powers.


My First Pitch:

Normally I'll be posting mine later on in the week, so as not to unfairly start in the limelight, but for this first one I'm putting mine up front so people have an example of what is "expected" of their own pitches.




And so the challenge begins! I can't wait to see what you all are able to come up with.
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8 days ago, 8:14 PM #2
GMan003
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Huh. I'd gotten a fair few replies when I floated this idea in Med Av, didn't expect it to be super popular but I thought at least a few people would give it a shot. Are people just taking their time on their pitches, or is nobody actually interested in the game?
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8 days ago, 10:21 PM #3
borzoiteeth

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It's a fantastic idea. I absolutely love it. However unless one is already familiar, it is difficult to get started in mental exercises like this. Managing to pull this under a week is too short, I feel.

I take it you started with Superman thanks to that report that DC Films has no idea how to sell Superman to modern audiences?

I have watched/read some Superman works (heck, this might be you've gotten many likes but no responses- lack of Superman fans to help give better critques). Sadly none of the good ones I've been told. Which is likely why I had next to no interest in the character aside from his historical impact on Americana comics (well, that and little interest in the superhero genre to begin with). Because of that I wonder if I'll be mentioning stuff that has likely been addressed in a comic (someone do tell if so!).

I'll address this via what I do know. The biggest struggles the Superman works I've seen is the same problem lots of shounen have- powerscale. But worse because there is no progress of being weak to strong for Superman. What "weakness" there is for Clark is simply learning/understanding how to use these powers. Many writers only consider that kind of power as the way to solve problems in their work. Not that this is a bad thing, I honestly enjoy lots of works that end with one guy out stronging the other guy.

However, with Superman, that angle destroys his unique element. Physically he's a god. However, mentally, he's very human. Syncs very easily into the human culture and society. Society which has so many problems which cannot be solved with magic god muscles- at least, unless he wants to sacrifice the normalcy he loves. Because once he makes himself take that responsibility he's not going to be allowed to be Clark Kent.

So I'd propose, as a short series either comic or show- a slice-of-life Superman story. Clark just trying to live life he wants with many mundane situations that can't be instantly solved with muscle/lasers. This would allow the moments of when he is forced to be Superman all the more jarring.
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8 days ago, 10:39 PM #4
LeRenardRoux
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Ooh, I'll be starting on a pitch! I never did see this thread. I think it got buried among all the SmackJeeves hubbub.

e: It might be good to have "forum game" somewhere in the title
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8 days ago, 11:48 PM #5
GMan003
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borzoiteeth:It's a fantastic idea. I absolutely love it. However unless one is already familiar, it is difficult to get started in mental exercises like this. Managing to pull this under a week is too short, I feel.


I'm generally going to be sticking to well-known franchises, stuff that most people will be familiar with just from pop-culture osmosis. I think the deepest cut I've got from comics is some Image series. But yeah, accounting for the fact that not everyone will see it right away, lengthening the period is probably justified.

I'm going to keep posting new prompts weekly, but I'll leave "submissions" open for two weeks, so there will be two prompts active at any one time.

(I mean, it's not like there'd be any real consequences for someone doing one from months back, it's not like there's an actual competition going on that demands you post within a certain time. But having a deadline, even a fake one, always helps the creative juices flow.)

(Why no, I'm not doing it this way just so I don't have to redo my schedule of how I neatly lined up certain prompts to cover relevant holidays. I would never do such a thing and I am shocked - shocked, I say! - that I would be accused of such slander.)

borzoiteeth:I take it you started with Superman thanks to that report that DC Films has no idea how to sell Superman to modern audiences?


I actually had this in the works well before this, and had already picked Superman to start with for the simple reason that he's so friggen iconic. Everyone knows Superman, if not from the actual stories than from the countless parodies and homages. He's the mold from which all others were cast.

It was simple coincidence that the DC Films thing hit the interblags just before I posted this. (To be fair, "DC Films has no idea what they're doing" is like, a default state of things.)

borzoiteeth:I have watched/read some Superman works (heck, this might be you've gotten many likes but no responses- lack of Superman fans to help give better critques). Sadly none of the good ones I've been told. Which is likely why I had next to no interest in the character aside from his historical impact on Americana comics (well, that and little interest in the superhero genre to begin with). Because of that I wonder if I'll be mentioning stuff that has likely been addressed in a comic (someone do tell if so!).

I'll address this via what I do know. The biggest struggles the Superman works I've seen is the same problem lots of shounen have- powerscale. But worse because there is no progress of being weak to strong for Superman. What "weakness" there is for Clark is simply learning/understanding how to use these powers. Many writers only consider that kind of power as the way to solve problems in their work. Not that this is a bad thing, I honestly enjoy lots of works that end with one guy out stronging the other guy.

However, with Superman, that angle destroys his unique element. Physically he's a god. However, mentally, he's very human. Syncs very easily into the human culture and society. Society which has so many problems which cannot be solved with magic god muscles- at least, unless he wants to sacrifice the normalcy he loves. Because once he makes himself take that responsibility he's not going to be allowed to be Clark Kent.

So I'd propose, as a short series either comic or show- a slice-of-life Superman story. Clark just trying to live life he wants with many mundane situations that can't be instantly solved with muscle/lasers. This would allow the moments of when he is forced to be Superman all the more jarring.


A slice-of-life might be interesting. So the conflict is (basically) "Superman retires, wants to live normal but SHIT KEEPS HAPPENING and threatens to drag him back in"? Or is it more of a double-barrel plot, like there's a low-stakes slice-of-life story that occasionally cuts to a Superman throwdown?

LeRenardRoux:Ooh, I'll be starting on a pitch! I never did see this thread. I think it got buried among all the SmackJeeves hubbub.

e: It might be good to have "forum game" somewhere in the title


I mean, I put it in the forum titled "Forum Games", I would have thought it was obvious. But I guess if you just look at the index you wouldn't have known.
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One week ago, 12:18 AM #6
LeRenardRoux
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I mean, I put it in the forum titled "Forum Games", I would have thought it was obvious. But I guess if you just look at the index you wouldn't have known.

Yeah, I don't really go digging. The forum's not usually busy enough to straight-up miss stuff from the index.
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One week ago, 12:20 AM #7
borzoiteeth

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GMan003:But yeah, accounting for the fact that not everyone will see it right away, lengthening the period is probably justified.


Yes. As LeRendard mentioned, likely got lost in the SmackJeeves smackdown. I also like the idea of having 2 prompts at a time. That will help those who are interested to find something they can latch onto.

GMan003:(To be fair, "DC Films has no idea what they're doing" is like, a default state of things.)


A common thing DC fans have told me is that the animated films are fantastic. So some people in the company know what they are doing.

GMan003: A slice-of-life might be interesting. So the conflict is (basically) "Superman retires, wants to live normal but SHIT KEEPS HAPPENING and threatens to drag him back in"? Or is it more of a double-barrel plot, like there's a low-stakes slice-of-life story that occasionally cuts to a Superman throwdown?


A double-barrel plot for sure. As far as I understand the character- there isn't a "retirement" for him. Part of his claimed struggle is living a double life at all times. It would be nice to see how he manages to keep that under control in more common mundane situations with, as you mentioned, moments where he must let go of being Clark and has to address a situation as Superman. The only work I've ever enjoy the character is in the fanwork, JL8. Its missing the whole "hiding other self to protect yourself" element, but all the struggles are actually felt, as most can't just be punched away.
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5 days ago, 9:04 PM #8
GMan003
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It's Monday, and that means a new prompt for your pitches! I'm going to reformat the OP when I get a chance, probably tomorrow, but for now, you can get cracking on:

CHALLENGE #2: SAILOR MOON

American superhero comics might be the current darling of the silver screen, but there's loads of other genres and plenty of other national comics traditions. Japanese manga have been popular abroad for decades now, such that even their influences are hard to escape. And today, your challenge is to take a spin at one of the early pillars: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, probably the most well-known shoujo (female-targeted) manga of all time.

(As always, this synopsis is going to be a very, VERY high-level overview. I cannot do all your research for you. Hell, all I'm doing is condensing the Wikipedia summary down to only a few paragraphs.)

Originally a manga (published in serial format), it has been adapted into two anime series (the original and Sailor Moon Crystal), three spinoff animated films, a stage musical, a live-action TV series, a trading card game, two tabletop games, a theme park attraction, and a whole slew of video games.

The story stars Usagi Tsukino, a high-school girl who, with the help of a talking cat named Luna, discovers her identity as the titular Sailor Moon, a Sailor Soldier (sometimes translated as "Sailor Guardian"), a magical warrior destined to save the Earth from evil. The cast expands to a whole team of teen-girls-transforming-into-magic-warriors: the shy and bookish Sailor Mercury, the aspiring musician Sailor Venus, the alternately serious and fiery Sailor Mars, the strong but domestic-minded Sailor Jupiter, the frail and pensive Sailor Saturn, the tomboyish Sailor Uranus, the elegant and artistic Sailor Neptune, and the lonely and mysterious Sailor Pluto. Rounding out the "allies" roster is Mamoru Chiba, a male student who assists them from time to time (often mysteriously) as Tuxedo Mask, and Chibiusa, Usagi's and Mamoru's daughter from the future. They fight a surprisingly broad range of villains, over the course of several arcs: the Dark Kingdom, the Black Moon Clan, Shadow Galactica, and more.

The story heavily focuses on ideas of reincarnation and destiny - the Sailor Soldiers are reincarnations of the protectors of the princess of an ancient lunar kingdom, known as the Silver Millennium, with Usagi and Mamoru being the reincarnations of the kingdom's Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion. And there's strong elements of both transformation (the iconic, lengthy transformation scenes) and personal growth. But, it also focuses as much on the mundane daily lives of teenage girls, as it does on the grand cosmic battles they often find themselves in. Balancing these elements should be a core component of your pitch.
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