One of the most exciting examples of new media is the video revolution. Thanks to cheap technology and social media sites like YouTube, it is possible for people to create and distribute shorts, movies, and even full series as compelling as anything on mainstream television or in the theaters. A lot of the people involved in the projects get recruited by agents and headhunters, but even for those that don’t get “discovered”, this is a great way for independent scriptwriters and other creatives to see their vision come to the screen.
There are some amazing talents at work in these videos, and because of how much information is out there, a lot of it gets lost in the shuffle. Everyone has seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, but some comparable writing (with admittedly lower budgets) slips through the cracks. Most superhero films made by amateurs are just mashups of other movies, but these five are real winners, created (almost) wholly from scratch.
Batman is dead and Dick Grayson, the original Boy Wonder, is investigating his murder. With appearances by heroes and villains from all over the DC universe, including Green Lantern, Batgirl, and Superman, this trailer to a great comic book movie that never got made is a testimony to how far an idea, a little cash, and some serious costuming can go. This is some especially fine scripting because so much has to be conveyed with no real dialogue. As anyone who has tried to write a play or script can tell you, having to convey your story in images and motion is very difficult. Grayson is an amazing piece. It will never get made (Robin in a movie is a hard sell since the nineties), but we can hope. A few scenes in Grayson fall flat because they were poorly executed scenes (Commissioner Gordon for the intro was a risky choice, I would have gone for Alfred) but overall it works very well.
All you comic fans out there know exactly what that title means: Batman and Superman, together. And that is exactly what you get. This movie probably will get made; it’s just too good to pass up, and it will make a killing in the theater even if it is awful. Until then, this trailer is pretty damn good. There is a lot more dialogue in this one, and it’s important to note how the writers used characterization in dialogue to empasize and bring out the minor characters while allowing Batman and Superman to work off of their costumes and movements. Every moment Lois is in a scene she is talking, and they manage to throw in her nickname for Clark Kent (Smallville) without it seeming forced. While the scene choice and physical work is not as heavy as in Grayson, World’s Finest certainly makes up for it in dialogue and direction.
This one actually is getting made right now, but this video is not related to the movie. Here we have no dialogue at all and it was mostly done with 3D modeling and bits of footage from movies, so the creator had to imply his tale through his choice of images. We see that he deals with this by creating tensions and quickly switching from one establishing shot to another; anyone familiar with the Green Lantern comics and cartoons will be able to put together a possible plot just from the imagery of the Guardians of the Universe and Sinestro alone.
Son of Batman
This one is a little dark. OK, it’s a lot dark. The next one is funny, I promise. As far as the writing…you aren’t going to get much better; this scene is taken from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. For those who haven’t read the book (you should), it takes place in a dark, dystopian near future where Batman is old and tired, Superman is a tool of the government, and a gang of vigilante punks have taken up the cowl…in a fashion.
Batman Gets Pwned
Told you the next one was funny. Respect the funny…writing funny is hard.
If you make videos or can recommend good videos, I want to see them. They don’t have to be about superheroes, but it helps!
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