In Marjoram

In Marjoram (shorts)

Originally pitched as a series of short-form animations about a girl (Lark) traveling across the land of Marjoram & collecting stories from the people she meets to preserve the memory of her hometown that was being forgotten. It would've been a silly & surreal adventure for kids without resorting to a lot of the hyper-silly things or talking down to it's audience while remaining whimsical and fun. Unfortunately, it wasn't what studios were looking to pick up so, I created a few rough shorts myself with the help of some friends, revised and simplified the idea a bit more than initially pitched, & put it out into the world. I even created this meta-narrative about it being a long lost show from the 80s & the videos were VHS recordings of episodes that someone uploaded to the net. It was a fun to work on & if I ever get the time (& maybe some proper backing), I'd love to return to this project because I've got plenty of stories to tell in this world.
 

Original Storyboards

The original doodles that composed the storyboards for a more anthology-driven version of the project. Each story would’ve been a short with an intro to the story then Lark & whomever she was with or met would tell the story with bits of banter between the characters interspersed. This was my first go at doing storyboards so I basically made a big comic. It may have been hard to follow, but I have it all mapped out in my head.

Zodie’s Contact

An early mini-comic that was the first story for ‘In Marjoram’. It’s the story of how Zodie, a dog-star, took a detour in space and crash-landed in Chambray’s backyard. The story follows Chambray, her friend Ferris, along with Baron Rye & IFNO Mk. II on a journey to Puff Summit, where they meet a band of Pigeon monks, to return Zodie to her family & home amongst the stars. It was designed to be very much like a children’s story and I would’ve loved to have actual kids narrate the story Peanuts-style if I would’ve gotten the chance to have it animated.

Related Materials
Some of the physical objects I mailed out during the pitching process, including: a copy of the musical cassette that formed the early origins of the project, a mini-comic, a comic with story ideas & character information, personalized mailers, a business card, and a postcard with a bit of a letter written on it. There were other In Marjoram related things created such as magnets & stickers that were bundled with the cassette release.

Misc. Doodles/Promo Art

I continued working on things related to ‘In Marjoram’ for a bit and even before it was officially a thing, I was doodling ideas. The character designs evolved a tad and ideas have shifted, but I still think that this is a worthwhile idea that I’d like to develop further someday.

Soundtrack

The anthology format allows different forms of music to be present throughout the series, but the core of the sound would have been a blend of electronic music and bedroom pop.

In Marjoram (Radio Drama)

InMarjoram-Season01-take2-smaller.jpg

At the end of 2018, I got the itch to do something else with the “In Marjoram” concept. After talking to my friend Adam we thought it would be cool to revive it as an old school radio drama. We decided to continue with the anthology theme and we planned to write new stories weekly. That was until regular life slowed the project to a crawl and we decided to put the project on hold until we had more time/resources to dedicate to it. A revamped theme song was created and I doodled artwork for the first (only) episode. I would’ve followed a similar visual motif for the upcoming episodes. The first story followed a redesigned Lark on an adventure to the front of a rainbow. Since we wouldn’t have time to properly produce it, we’re posting it here as a short story/spec script of sorts.

Where The Rainbow Starts

written by Desmond C. Simmons & Adam S. LeRoy

[Opening Theme Music]

Announcer:

[Opening music continues under announcer]

With ocean levels rising, some business men spend hours trying to navigate flooded highways and angry pirates. But smart business men know your own personal marine mammal is the key. Yes, dolphins are the safe, modern mode of travel. And with Big Doug Baker’s Dolphin Brokerage Service dolphin purchasing has never been easier! Simply download the app, pick your genus, and set sail. That’s right—Big Doug even let’s you pick the genus. Unlike other dolphin brokerage services, Big Doug won’t try to sell you a porpoise. Put a new sparkle into your commute today! That’s Big Doug Baker’s Dolphin Brokerage Service—we won’t try to sell you a porpoise.

And, now, this week’s installment of “In Marjoram”.

[Opening theme end]

Act 1: I Saw Her In The Rain

[scene: 5pm, crowded outdoor shopping plaza, lightly raining]

Lark is absent mindedly walking while browsing & humming to herself. She's making her way through the crowded plaza until she suddenly bumps into a stranger

Mysterious Woman:

Oh, excuse me young lady. Are you -- ?! [She stops mid-sentence]

Lark:

[startled & slightly confused she gasps] It's you!

The woman runs away and before Lark can catch up, the mysterious woman vanishes amongst the crowd.

She’s—she’s gone…

Lark:

[still in shock] That couldn't have been... It just couldn't have been... her...

Lark while fighting back tears runs back home

[scene: 5:45pm, Lark's home]

Lark flings open the door, runs through the house frantically

Lark:

Sis! Sis! I saw her!

Nette:

Who? You saw who?

Lark:

Grandma! She was at the shopping plaza!

Nette:

C'mon, Lark. That's not funny. You know grandma's not…with us anymore. It must've been somebody that just looked like her.

Lark:

No, it wasn't it! I'm sure it was her.

Nette:

Look, calm down. I miss her too, but that couldn't have been her. [Nette deeply sighs] Maybe you should head to your room and relax a little.

Lark:

[frustrated, but knows she's not getting anywhere in the conversation] Fine... but, I know what I saw. I know who I saw at the plaza & I'll find her again.

Lark walks off to her room & slams the door behind her. She pulls the chair from underneath her desk, sits down, and looks over to a picture of herself, Nette, & their grandmother that she kept there.

Lark:

[thinking to herself] Just wait grandma. We'll meet again soon.

And with this thought in her mind, Lark begins drifting off to sleep.

Lark:

[sleepily mutters] Grandma...

Act II: Come Morning

Morning comes fast after unexpectedly falling asleep. It's a very typical early-Summer morning with sun beams drizzling into Lark's room from a nearby window and birds chattering about in the distance.

Lark:

[sleepy eyed & yawning] I must've dozed off. [her voice slightly strains as she stretches] I should go see how Nette is doing. I know I must've sounded nuts yesterday, but I swear it really was her. Before I head down though; [Lark taps the center of the large bow she wears in her hair] Hey, Sine - what's the weather looking like for today?

After a chippy boot sequence the a.i. assistant in her bow wakes up

Sine:

[yawns] Morning, Lark. Today's forecast is mostly sunny with a 90% possibility of a late afternoon shower.

Lark:

Thanks, bud! Alright, let's get downstairs.

Lark races downstairs

Lark:

Hey, sis - you up?! [caught a bit off guard & in an almost repentant manner mutters out:] ..Oh...

Nette:

[attempting to hide the fact that she'd been sobbing] Oh.. Oh, hey. [sniffles] What's up?

Lark:

I.. um.. I was just coming to see how you were. I would've come out of my room sooner, but [nervously laughs] I kinda fell asleep. What were you doing?

Nette:

[returns the same nervous laughter] It's cool. I figured you did. I, uh.. just came across an old picture. Nothing really... [wipes her eye and sniffles as she tries to act as if nothing's wrong] So, what's the plan for today?

Lark:

Going for a walk around the park for a bit. I, um.. heard there's a new Juke-bot there and figured I'd check it out. Wanna come with?

Nette:

Sounds fun, but somebody's gotta run the shop today so, you go enjoy yourself. I'll see you when you get home.

Lark:

Ha, yeah... Alright. I'll see you when I get back.

Nette:

Yeah, sure thing, but before you go. One thing:

Lark:

Yeah?

Nette:

You should probably brush your teeth. Not even a Juke-bot would be able to take your dragon breath! I think I smelled you before you got downstairs. [begins laughing]

Lark:

[breathes into her hand to test her breath & seems shocked at the results] Whoa! Point taken. [Lark joins in on the laugh even if it is at her expense]

Lark leaves home and strolls through the tree lined park until she comes to a clearing where a small crowd has gathered around a new Juke-bot that's playing a song they've never heard before. Lark hears the crowd and the muffled sound of the music. She pushes her way through the crowd to get a better listen & look at the show the automaton is putting on.

[musical intermission]

Lark:

Sine, can you please add this song to my list?

Sine:

Yeah, of course, Lark. [beeps] Feeling any better?

Lark:

Oh…I guess…it’s just—

Sine:

You’re still sure its her?

Lark:

Can you play back yesterday afternoon?

Sine:

Sure. [in the background, the scene from yesterday begins to replay] We were out just after the big storm. You were just closing the store for lunch. It was still raining a bit, but just a little. You were looking at the rainbow. Then, that woman was going to ask you something and—

Lark:

--and why did she run away? And how can I find her again?

Mr. Mossback:

Oh, hey there Lark.

Lark:

Hi, Mr. Mossback. Enjoying the new Juke-bot?

Mr. Mossback:

Oh yeah…say, did I tell you about the first time I saw a Juke-bot?

Lark:

[without excitement] Uh, no, Mr. Mossback I guess not…

Mr. Mossback:

Oh, I suppose it was aught-4…no, maybe aught-7. No, aught-seven was when my brother Beamers--

Lark:

--Beamers?

Mr. Mossback:

Yeah, poor guy had eyes big as a pair of headlights. Anyway, started a factory to make cars made out of candy.

Lark:

Sweet idea.

Mr. Mossback:

Eh, not when it rained. Darn things dissolved. All that was left were some jawbreaker hubcaps and the scent of peppermint. Had to close up shop in aught-6.

Lark:

I thought you said he started in aught-7?

Mr. Mossback:

Well, Beamers was always ahead of his time.

Lark:

Ah…

Mr. Mossback:

…course those were the days of rainbows. ‘Spose you kids don’t know much about that. Well, good to see you Lark. Sine.

Sine:

Bye.

Lark:

Sure, good to see you—hey, Mr. Mossback, please…what do you mean by that? [nervous laugh] Rainbows and stuff?

Mr. Mossback:

Eh, what’s that now?

Lark:

I mean, did you ever see someone that wasn’t supposed to be there?

Mr. Mossback:

[laughs] I think you need to meet Beamers.

[musical interlude]

Announcer:

“Oh my,” they’ll say. “It’s lovely!” they’ll gasp. Yes, imagine the shocked guffaws and congratulations from neighbors as you sail across the lead-filled waters- and into your driveway--on your new dolphin. And it won’t just be any dolphin—it’ll be a Big Doug Baker dolphin. A name that is the industry gold standard. Other brokerage services simply can’t bring you dolphins of this quality. Our sellers guarantee dolphins that have sonar capable of detecting the pirates. Don’t forget: that’s Big Doug Baker’s Dolphin Brokerage Service—we won’t try to sell you a porpoise.

[theme music]

Act 3: When the Rain Comes

Lark:

I probably should meet him, but how? where? I've already got one person I'm searching for & have no clue how to find. Not sure if I can take on another right now. A little clue on where he's at would be swell.

Mr. Mossback:

Well, ol' Beamers only hangs out all around. Says the wandering is the only remedy for curiosity. Trouble with that is that he gets inspired by that curiosity and that leads 'em to more wandering. So, to answer your question - he's 'around'. But, a good place to start looking for him would be the grounds around the clocktower. They say he's been known to walk the grounds in the opposite direction of the clock hands. He has some kinda theory about time-space or something.

Lark:

Alright. Guess I'm off to see Beamers. Yo, Sine - map the quickest route to the clocktower.

Sine:

[beeps] Roger! Calculating... Map-ulating... Ok, Lark. The D-Train is leaving in 15 minutes. It passes by the clocktower on it's route.

Lark:

Thanks, Sine. Well, Mr. Mossback I've gotta run if I'm gonna catch the train in time. Thanks for the tip.

Mr. Mossback:

No problem. And, hey - if you see ol' Beamers tell him, I'd like to get the egg timer and laser pointer back that he borrowed last week. Darn fool & his experiments..!

Lark:

[already making her way to the train station, turns back] Ok, will do. See ya, Mr. Mossback!

Lark arrives at the platform just as the final announcements are broadcast across the P.A. system.

Announcement:

Now departing: M-Train, F-Train, & D-Train. Now departing: M-Train, F-Train, & D-Train.

Lark:

Whew! Just made it!

Lark boards the mildly crowded train. Not many people travel all the way out to Outer-Knoll. She's a bit nervous about meeting this eccentric genius, but feels that he could be the only one that can help her out. To kill a bit of her anxious energy she has a chat about nothing with Sine & mostly asks odd trivia questions.

Train announcement:

Now arriving at Outer-Knoll. Now arriving at Outer-Knoll.

Lark looks out of the window before the train comes to a complete stop and sees a figure in the distance.

Lark:

Sine! It's him! Let's move!

Lark rushes off of the train and runs in the direction of the figure that she saw.

Lark:

[huffing as she runs] Why could he be somewhere closer to the platform? Geez...!

Sine:

Maybe somehow he knew you needed the exercise? According to my bioscan, you've been napping a lot more than enjoying a healthy amount of cardio. Also...

Lark:

[cutting him off before he continues the statement] Sine! [huff] Let's table [pant] this [huff] 'til a bit later [pant] Ok?

Sine:

Roger. [disappointed beep]

Lark makes it to the clocktower and sees a path worn from constant tredding around the area. She looks around and sees no one. A few beats later a figure is rounding the corner.

Lark:

Heeeey! Mr. Beamers. Heeeey

Lark runs toward the figure. The figure stops stunned and confused. Lark gets closer to the figure and sees who the figure is.

Lark:

Beamers?!

The figure comes into the light and has come into view. A familiar voice speaks.

????:

Uh... Nope, but I know where he is.

Lark:

Nette! What are you doing here?

Nette:

A little birdie told me that you'd be heading this way to meet up with Mr. Beamers so I decided to come out here to see if I could find him myself. I saw how serious you were about seeing her so, I wanted to get to the bottom of it all too.

Lark:

Sis... So, where's Beamers? Did you find him?

Nette:

Yeah, look over there.

Nette motions toward a nearby tree. Beamers has climbed to the top and is studying the clock face.

Lark:

Um, he looks... busy.

Nette:

Yeah, he said he almost had 'it' figured out. He told me a story about what you might've saw

Story is told in Beamer's voice

Beamers:

Everything is energy. Energy can't be destroyed. It can be dispersed. It can change shape, but it can't ever totally go away. They say that the energy of the ones we miss can be found at the front of a rainbow. I'm not sure who 'they' are, but enough of 'them' have said it so, I lean toward believing there may be some truth to it. [giggles]

A light rain begins to drizzle.

Lark:

When I saw her... It was right after it stopped raining. There must've been a rainbow in the area!

Nette:

Maybe, but we can't predict where a rainbow will be...

Sine activates

Sine:

[alert beep] Judging but current atmpspheric conditions and solar positioning, there will be a rainbow originating at the West-edge district.

Nette:

One question: Does that count as the front or the back of the rainbow?

Sine:

[deflated beep] ..... I can't tell

Nette & Lark:

Thanks, Sine...!

Lark:

Let's head to East-edge! If it starts in the West and goes East, I'd think that it's 'headed' east because nobody ever 'butts' anywhere right? Who leads with their butt?

Nette:

[skeptical/confused but kinda gets it] I guess that makes 'some' kind of sense... Sorta... Let's go.

Lark:

Will we have time to catch the next train? Sine, what's the train schedule departing Outer-Knoll?

Nette:

[interrupts before Sine can chime in] We don't need the train. I rode the shop's delivery moped. Enough blabbing, hop on!

They hop on the moped and speed off. Beamers watches them speed into the horizon & wishes them luck before returning to his research. The rain gets heavier as they race toward the East-edge district. As they approach the area they both hear a familiar voice urging them on.

??? Voice:

Lark. Nette. I can't wait to see you again. It's been so long.

Lark:

[yelling over the sound of rain & the moped's engine] Nette. Nette!

Nette:

[yelling back] What?

Lark:

You heard her right? I think we're heading in the right direction.

Nette:

Yep! Let's kick it into high gear. [speaking to the moped] C'mon, girl. Just a little more. We're almost there.

They finally arrive in the East-edge. The rain begins to taper off and the rainbow is in full view. They scan the landscape looking for some sign that she's there.

Nette:

What gives? The rainbow is right there. We made it to the front of the rainbow and what did it get us? Nothing! I knew this was a waste of time. Why did I let myself get caught up in all this?!

Lark:

Sis, relax! You said you heard her too when we were on the way here, so she's gotta be here somewhere.

Nette:

No! I mean... yeah.. No, I don't know what I heard but I know I don't see her here right now.

As Nette finishes her sentence a disembodied voice comes from the rainbow.

Voice:

Give an old lady a break. I don't move as fast as I used to, y'know?

A familiar silhouette emerges from the light.

Voice:

So, now that I'm here - how's about a hug?

Lark & Nette:

Grandma!

Both rush over to her open arms for a big hug.

Grandma Belle:

Girls, listen. I don't have a lot of time, but take this jar. The treats inside are special.

Lark:

Huh? I don't get it.

Grandma Belle:

Don't sweat it, kiddo. You'll figure it out. When you get home, do granny a favor & have one. It'll make me happy.

Lark:

[sniffles] Ok, grandma. I will..

Grandma Belle:

Hey, Nette.

Nette:

Yeah, grandma?

Grandma Belle:

You're in charge of things so, be sure to keep the shop running while I'm away & help yourself to a treat whenever you like.

Nette:

[Nods in confirmation with teary eyes] Right! Will do!

Grandma Belle:

Now, why don't you head back. I think Lark could use a bit of rest. I can too.

Nette & Lark:

But...

Grandma Belle:

Girls. Get going.

Lark & Nette nod and turn away to go back to their vespa as their grandmother requested. The rainbow begins to fade away and so does Grandma Belle.

Grandma Belle:

See you, girls.

Grandma Belle disappears as they pull away and the sun washes over the damp landscape.

Epilogue: Sweet Memories

About a week has passed since their rainbow encounter. Nette & Lark are closing up the shop. They bid farewell to the last customers of the day and wrap up the final chores & tasks. They breath a sigh of relief at the ending of another work day & take a look around the shop. Their eyes trace the structure - every wall & every shelf until their gaze lands on the jar that their grandmother entrusted them with.

Nette:

So, in the mood for a snack?

Lark:

Snack? Yeah, I can go for one.

Nette takes the jar down from the nearby shelf and unlids the jar. A sweet aroma meets their noses as their peer at the colorful treats inside.

Lark:

Which one? They all look so good.

Nette:

How about this? We'll close our eyes and take one each at random.

Lark:

Deal.

Nette:

Alright. You go first.

Nette holds out the jar as Lark closes her eyes and reaches her hand in. After Lark chooses her's, they swap positions & they repeat the ritual.

Nette:

Ok, ready?

Lark:

Yep.

Nette:

Alright. On the count of three.

Lark:

One.

Nette:

Two.

Lark & Nette:

[both stuff the treats in their mouths] Three!

As they bite into the treats something magical happens: Lark is transported back to a birthday when her grandmother gave her Sine & taught her how to modify it. Nette is whisked back to the weekend when Grandma taught her to power drift on a vespa. Then with a final bite of the remain bit of their treats, they're zapped back to present day.

Nette & Lark:

Whoa!

Nette:

What the flip?!?!

[Closing Theme Music]

To Be Continued...