I’m not quite sure why, but when I write a script that’s influenced by, or attempts to be my version of, an Asian ghost story, I think of Doug Draper. Maybe it’s the delicacy of his lines, his soft brushwork, or the sense of time and place his work conveys.
Whatever it is, he’s always a great fit for these stories – as he proved on Termites in Your Smile.
For a new story – ?Last Caress – Doug is tackling a tale set in the world of high-fashion modeling agencies. Should be fun! You’re going to see Last Caress in early 2011, most likely.
Script excerpt after the jump.
1/ We open with a close-up view of a modeling photo. It’s being held at a slight angle and we can see a bit of the hand holding it (this hand belongs to our main character, Sybil, who we’ll fully meet on the next page; we’re seeing much of this page, and much of the story, through her POV). In most respects this is a fairly standard modeling shot: a tall, thin, white woman gazes vacantly out of the photo while striking a languorous, sexy pose.
But there’s something very, very strange here: Though the woman’s body is beautiful and her clothes are fashionable, her face and skin are tremendously ancient. (Check out this site for some sense of how very old this woman looks, and how odd this should be. Warning, this is kind of creepy stuff involving old-person nudity: https://www.ask.ne.jp/~yamanaka/gyahtei-e.html – definitely NSFW – I’m envisioning mostly lifting just the wrinkles and skin texture from these photos, nothing more). It’s important to note here, though, that it’s just the model’s looks and skin that are old ? in all other respects, she’s in her early/mid-20s.
This effect ? the very-old-person view ? will be repeated throughout the story, as this is how Sybil sees the world. It’s important to note, too, that anytime Sybil is looking at herself, she sees herself as ancient, too, so where her body parts show up from her POV on this page, she’s wrinkled.
SYBIL (OFF-PANEL): I’VE SEEN THIS A DOZEN TIMES.
2/ Same kind of shot, this time of a different photo: a modeling headshot of a black woman. Though she clearly has excellent bone structure, again, she is ancient. Her skin is deeply wrinkled and her hair is thinning in large patches.
SYBIL (OFF-PANEL): WHERE DID YOU FIND THESE PEOPLE, THE PORT AUTHORITY?
3/ The hand that we’ve seen looking at the photos suddenly turns its wrist towards the viewer to show a thin, stylish, extremely expensive-looking watch (remember, Sybil looks old to herself, so her wrist will look old, too). The watch reads 10 minutes of 11. On the desk below is a pile of model photos and headshots.
SYBIL (OP): I’M LATE FOR AN APPOINTMENT BECAUSE OF THIS GARBAGE. I’LL BE BACK IN AN HOUR —
4/ SYBIL, a thin, white woman in her 40s, rushes out of her office, her back to us. She’s wearing chic, stylish clothes and her office is a heavily minimal affair. As she rushes out, an expensive handbag and scarf trail behind her. Next to the door, her two ASSISTANTS are sitting on a low-slung, minimalist couch, shocked at what’s just happened. The assistants are young ? in their 20s ? both women, one white, one Asian.
SYBIL: — AND YOU WILL HAVE BETTER CANDIDATES WAITING FOR ME.
5/ The ASSISTANTS eye each other cautiously, hardly feeling safe to even look at each other directly in the wake of Sybil’s outburst.
ASIAN ASSISTANT:?WHAT IS SHE LOOKING FOR?
6/ We go close on the photos we just saw, this time with the assistants looking at them. We’re seeing the first photo ? the full-body shot of the white model ? and things are very different now: now, instead of an ancient woman, we see a young, beautiful woman (basically, the shot we’d expect to see in the first panel).
ASIAN ASSISTANT (OP): ?I MEAN, LOOK AT HER. SHE CAN’T SEE THAT?