23 November 2013

Grayson: Haly Origins Trailer

On his latest “Fatman on Batman” podcast, Kevin Smith led Paul Dini into rapture over the preview for the Batman: Arkham Origins videogame. In a short series of animated scenes, the “trailer” traces the early life of Bruce Wayne from happy spoiled kid to Dark Knight.

That got me wondering what the equivalent might be for Dick Grayson. Right away I decided that a wordless video about Dick would require more movement. And this is the series of shots I came up with.

1) A fanfare from a pipe organ. Bright lights illuminate the back of a preteen boy’s head and shoulders: black hair combed and sprayed into barely acceptable neatness. The boy leaps up and forward, then plunges down and straight away from us viewers on a trapeze, swinging in an arc up and out of sight in the distance.

2) As the boy is off screen for two or three second, the pumping music is drowned out by oohs and ahhs and applause. The boy comes swinging back toward us, face front and grinning infectiously, and comes to a halt in the foreground where he began.

3) The boy moves out of the frame to the left, and a woman’s back appears from the right. She, too, swings down and then up and out of sight on the trapeze.

4) The music suddenly cuts off and the crowd gasps. The trapeze swings back into the foreground, empty with one rope broken. The bright lights fade as the broken trapeze swings away again. There is one second too long of emptiness.

5) From the distance the Batman swings down on his rope and up into the foreground. He comes to rest and moves out of the frame to the right.

6) The boy’s head appears again, his hair not so tamed and his shoulders now draped in yellow. Batman and Robin swing away into the distance on twin ropes.

7) Batman and Robin swing back into the foreground in parallel arcs. Batman now has a yellow oval around his chest emblem. Dick is a year older and smiling as before.

That’s enough for an origin. But in the interest of completeness and loyalty to the pre-New52 universe:

8) Batman and Robin swing into the distance. Robin is another few inches taller. Swinging slightly behind Batman, he takes advantage of the privacy to curl upside-down on his rope.

9) Batman and Robin swing back into the foreground on their ropes. Batman is serious. Robin, now in his mid-teens, looks grumpy.

10) The teenaged Robin swings away, alone.

11) Robin the Teen Wonder swings back, once again smiling, flanked by Wonder Girl and Starfire in flight.

12) Dressed in a high-collar outfit with light blue highlights, Dick as Nightwing kisses Starfire as she carries him into the distance.

13) Encouraging a new, pants-wearing, and not quite as graceful Robin swinging forward on the rope, Nightwing glides in from the distance, using the aerodynamics of a new outfit with yellow highlights and wings and an unfortunate haircut.

14) Nightwing swings away to the distance, now handsomely coiffed and in a sheer black outfit with blue highlights all the way down his arms. Another second passes.

15) Batman swings in from the distance, coming to rest in the foreground as in shot #5. At the last instant, Batman cracks the same smile as the preteen boy in shot #2.

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