Posts Tagged ‘The Complex’

 

The Brutal Old West PS3 Style – 5. April, 2010

Okay, okay, okay… this looks pretty f**king cool.

Now before you start asking “when the hell did this turn into a video game blog” I should mention a few things. First, the PS3 is my first game system since the original NES so I’m going through my “infatuation” stage. Second, I’m writing like crazy but can’t really share what I’m writing so there isn’t much to blog abut there. Third, I’ve been working so many hours at both my jobs, on my freelance career, my feature, my web series and my writing that the blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. I’m sorry about that. I’m struggling to get ahead of the curve and feel like I’m failing but I think that’s what struggle is supposed to feel like.

Enough bitchin’. Back to work.

Posted in Off-Topic

March 2010 Goal Check – 1. April, 2010

25% of the year is over so it’s time to check in on those goals again.

Finish My Feature FilmMy editor finished a cut and it looked pretty good. Obviously, I had notes but we are definitely on the same page and it feels fucking awesome to move forward. Now I just need him to export a QuickTime so I can obsessively watch it at home in High-Def. You’re asking how I’m gonna author & burn a Blu-ray from my Mac, right? Wrong. I’m gonna export the HD Quicktime to play on my PS3. Stu, you’re a hero.

Write Another TV Spec – I am WAY behind on CHUCK and FRINGE but I’m still determined write for one of these shows. I think I’m gonna take a day off, hook up the computer to the TV and just plow through the second seasons of both.

Get Hired to Direct – No bites yet.

Get My Web Series Up & Running – So I had three formal pitches and about a dozen “tell me what you’re working on” while waiting for the elevator and the response has been overwhelming. Most people love it and the rest get a right hook to their prudish sensibilities. No, seriously, one woman yelled out “oh God!” in reaction to one of our randier jokes. Awesome! Also, I’ve cut together some character vlogs and need to do more but I’ve also been writing the first season. Christ, this is really happening. Also, you’ll see that I no longer use the “T” word because it resulted in my getting spammed by those interested in this “T” word.

Write A Feature Script – I started an outline but got sidetracked by the web series and, well…

As for other goals I still don’t have a sport, a class, an acoustic guitar, a way to defy death, a way to invest and I’m still trying to finish GLUE but I did go to SXSW and I had a fucking blast so that counts for something, right?

Must See Web TV – 24. March, 2010

Okay, time to get off the SXSW high (but the new Frightened Rabbit album is still on repeat play on my iPod) and time to get back to the creative grind.

That means time to get my multi-platform web series back on track but first, allow me to take a look around the playing field. According to Mashable, these are among the most watched (and therefore the best, I guess) web series around.

I’ve mentioned The Guild before and am excited to see that I can watch episodes via Netflix streaming on my PS3 (when I’m not playing BORDERLANDS or GOD OF WAR 3).

What would the web be without violent cartoons?

Here’s a fairly typical “high concept” web idea.

Wait, you loved BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, right?

And this is the most watched web series out there.

No, seriously, 8 million people have watched this. EIGHT MILLION?!?!?!

Let me be honest and say that I don’t get the mass appeal of most of these. I’ll forgo skewering the technical shortcomings and simply point out that most employ terrible storytelling and awful acting. I can see why the internet has given “sketch” a bad name.

But I digress… back to grind stone… after a little more GOD OF WAR 3.

Posted in Industry

So I Pitched that Project – 10. March, 2010

So last week I pitched that multi-platform project… I’m no longer calling it the “T” word because I was recently flooded with spam all related to this other, very similar “T” word.

The pitches went well. Obviously there are a few things I’d do differently but that’s a lesson for me. Let me tell you about a tool that helped me greatly.

I created a 2-page cheat sheet. Here are the sections:

  • Logline – Two sentence that told them about the project.
  • What We’re Offering – We listed what was completed [and how far long it was] and what was immediately on-deck. I didn’t list what we hoped to do here because I wanted to show them that we were serious enough to get the ball rolling on our own.
  • The Audience – We told them exactly who was gonna watch this.
  • The Platforms – As this is a multi-platoform project, I listed each medium and how we were going utilize it. This is where I looked to some cool things we’d like to do in the future (very pie-in-the-sky)
  • Who We Are – This was a quick bio of how we all got together and created this project.
  • The Executives – Not only did I list who they worked for but everything I could find from Google, from hobbies to friends in common.
  • What We’re Looking For – As we were pitching to three different executives, I wanted them to know that 1) we knew exactly who they were and 2) we knew exactly how they could help us.
  • Other Project – I had a logline for one more project in my back pocket.
  • Pitch Structure – As I was pitching with a partner, I broke down who answered what kind of questions, who pitched what and timed it out.

Sorry that I’m not including specifics but my partners want us to play our cards close to the vest, especially as we could still go out and pitch this project.

On an unrelated note, I’m sick again so my blogging this week might be inconsistent.

Also, you’ll notice something new on my sidebar. I’ve listed my PS3 trophies. I know it’s uber-nerd of me but as I’ve started talking about video games here I thought it only right of me to fly that flag. I really wanted the trophy card that showed you the last game I trophied in but that one wouldn’t fit in my sidebar. Solution: redo my blog design.

(I’m embracing my inner nerd)

Posted in Industry

Good News Then Stress – 24. February, 2010

Good news.

That Transmedia pitch DVD worked. It opened a door and now I get to pitch to 4 web/new media executives… but they moved the pitches up by a week… to next week.

Yikes!

Also, a friend is going in to meet with a genre division about directing one of their properties and he wants to take a couple other projects in with him. He asked me for one of my scripts so now I gotta punch that up before he meets with them… next week… the same time I have to do my webseries pitch.

I’ll sleep when I’m dead, right?

Question for ya: what should I prep for a 10-minute webseries pitch? Would love some expert advice.

Posted in Industry, Writing

Pushing Through The Pain – 16. February, 2010

Apologies that I haven’t been blogging. I got the flu and it knocked me out. Hard. Then I had to work because I was the only guy that wasn’t away for the weekend. Yup, I got no wife, no girlfriend, no significant other, so, sick as a dog, I had to trudge into work.

And then I had to prep a DVD pitch of my transmedia project. Thankfully I had a couple of colleagues step up. One put together a great PowerPoint and the other helped me slug through the 6 hours of footage in record time.

Why should you care? Because I now am much closer to having this project up and ready to share with the world. But first I’m getting back in bed so this flu can finish kicking my butt.

But I promise to blog regularly this week.

January 2010 Goal Check – 1. February, 2010

Okay, time for an exercise in masochism.

At the start of the year I laid out my goals, some professional, some personal. I mentioned the importance of reevaluating them at least annually. Well, how about if I check my progress every month?

Gulp.

Okay, let’s go.

Finishing My Feature – This month I met with my editor and we put together a new schedule that has me looking at a cut soon. I’ll be checking-in with him to make sure we’re still on track to meet our deadline.

Write Another TV Spec – I’ve been consuming episodes of CHUCK (with 7 votes, the clear winner in my online poll which can be viewed on the right of the landing page) but I’ve also been catching up with FRINGE. I’d like to do both specs this year. Also, I’ve added MODERN FAMILY to my Hulu. Why? Cause I’m fucking Colombian and I detest some of the lame Colombian jokes they give Sofia Vergara. Baby, I’m coming to your rescue.

Get Hired to Direct – Yeah, that’s taken a backseat this month.

Get My Transmedia Project Up & Running – I’ve digitized 3 of the tapes we’ve shot and I’ve learned that using “Log & Capture” to convert HDV to ProRes takes 1h45m for every 50 minutes shot.

Develop a TV Pilot – I’ve thought about it.  Had a tiny breakthrough with the webseries idea.

Write a Feature Script – I’ve started outlining this bromance/romcom (can I shoot myself after using those terms?) that’s been brewing for a while. My goal is to start writing the script this month.

As for my other goals, I’m still looking for a sport, a class, a way to defy death, an acoustic guitar, a way to invest but I did pick up GLUE by Irvine Welsh and I’m hoping to finally finish it this month.

New Goals 2010 – 4. January, 2010

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions but I find it important to have goals and reevaluate them at least annually. Last year I had many goals and like a lot of folk I enjoyed some success and some failure. I know that’s not a very American thing to admit but if you work in the entertainment industry rejection is a fact of life. That’s okay. You just have to take another whack at that piñata. Maybe you’ll hit it dead center, maybe you’ll just graze it but you always gotta take another swing. That’s success. Plus it’s important to bite off more than you can chew.

But enough of the aphorisms, let’s get back on topic. What are my goals for the new year?

Write Another TV Spec – Last year I managed to successfully write a TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES spec. It placed in the Austin Teleplay contest, was strongly considered for writing fellowships at both Warners and ABC/Disney and a management company is considering me for representation so only good has come of it (plus it was incredibly fun to write). That’s why I want to write another TV spec. I was planning a DOLLHOUSE but now that it has been canceled I’m down to a couple of options. I feel confident that I could write a strong FRINGE or CHUCK. I have to catch up on watching the 2nd season of both but let me get a show of hands from my readers. As you’ll see on the sidebar of my blog’s homepage, I’ve created a poll asking you which I should write. I’m looking forward to your vote. Also, a free beer to anyone that can draw a tie between those two shows (why is it that I feel I can write either of those particular shows?).

Finish My Feature – It’s embarrassing but my first feature has just been sitting there. Yes, it was a hard 2009 and a personal tragedy late in the year really rocked my world but if I don’t do this I’ll only beat myself up more and that yields no good. Besides, finishing this thing is one of the keys to taking the next big step in my career…

Get Hired to Direct – I don’t care if it’s another person’s project or my own, I gotta make this happen. I have to hustle this up for myself. This is mandatory.

Get My Transmedia Project Up & RunningThis is another project that’s just hung in limbo. I now have the HDD I need so there’ll be few excuses for me to not get editing what we’ve shot… but we also need to set up our web presence and strategize our development, following a model similar to THE GUILD (BTW, using “we” just now was not a mistake).

Write a Feature Script – I’ve been working on an idea for a while, now it’s time to develop the outline and then crack open Final Draft.

Develop a TV Pilot – If I’ll be writing another TV spec, I need to have a strong idea for a new show. Here’s where things get a bit tricky. That feature film idea I just mentioned, I think it’d also work as a television show, maybe even be better as a TV show. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about developing a TV show treatment/pitch and I feel like I owe it to myself to do the feature version first. And heck, if it doesn’t work then I can revamp it as a show ala GLEE. Maybe I should start with my web series idea and just practice serialized short-form storytelling. Maybe you’re wondering why I don’t develop this into a TV pitch? Because it’s raw, crude, funny and skirts the law. How bad to do you want to see my web series now?

And like the rest of the world, I have a laundry list of personal goals. Last year I was rather vague but how about I get specific? This year I’d like to…

  1. Take up a sport.
  2. Use my passport to leave this hemisphere.
  3. Jump out of a plane.
  4. Take a class that isn’t related to filmmaking or computers.
  5. Buy a new acoustic guitar so I can start playing again.
  6. Read four books that have just been sitting on my shelf.
  7. Invest my savings more aggressivly.
  8. Finally go out with Micki.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more but that should occupy my January.

😉

And you? What are your goals?

Where Is That Webseries? – 11. November, 2009

In a world where the buzzword “transmedia” gets manhandled and tossed around like the proverbial drunk girl at a frat party, every major conglomerate has staked a claim in the digital frontier with a web channel. I’m not talking about reappropriated television shows or their web spin-offs. I’m talking about content created specifically for the web like ANGEL OF DEATH by Crackle or SQUEEGEES by Stage 9.

So why write about Fox and their 15 Gigs? Because of this image:

Ashley-the-Wise-15-Gigs.jpg

It’s from a still-in-development web series from the creator of BURN NOTICE and already I’m dying to see it.  It makes for one hell of a poster but where is the logline and trailer?

But why do I REALLY write this?  I do so because I have a couple of web series ideas but haven’t done much with them. Christ, one idea already has material in the can.

Why tell you? Because I consider public harassment and humiliation a potent form of motivation. Really, it’s inexcusable that we don’t have 1) a website and 2) a PayPal donation button so we can raise the money to buy a RAID so I can edit the stuff we’ve shot. Yeah, that’s all that stands in my way. Lame? Don’t I know it. Am I trying to do something about it? Yes. Therefore, coming soon.

  1. A website
  2. A PayPal donation button
  3. Some videos

Oh, how I love that feeling of pushing myself over the edge. Bring on the gray hairs.

Mini Meetings – 8. October, 2009

Wondering about the radio silence? Yes, I am back from all my travels but I’m also attending the Filmmaker Forum by Film Independent this weekend. It’s a 2-day seminar on the current-yet-always-evolving state of independent film.

I know, I know, you’re saying “attending a seminar shouldn’t preclude you from blogging regularly” but I also I signed up for their IndieLink. Normally an IndieLink is a moderated meet-and-greet between two groups of up-and-comping professionals. For example, they regularly have ones where directors and producers get together with composers.

For the Filmmaker Forum, they’re a bit differnt. This time around they’re 10-minute meetings with industry professionals. I sent in my preferences expecting to maybe get one meeting but probably get shutout.

Imagine my surprise when I scored four big meetings. This Saturday, in the space of one hour, I’m meeting with a distributor, a creative executive, an agent and a hybrid distribution consultant.

Therefore, I’ve been doing my homework for the past few days. I’ve been studying up on the kinds of films they package/sell/distribute. I’ve also been trying to figure out how I want to spend my time with them and how to make their time with me, at the very least, pleasant.

In ten minutes, I have to tell them how awesome I am without coming off as an arrogant or clueless jerk. I also have to tell them about one rad project I’m working on, a project that will prove to them that I’m a filmmaker they should want to track.

I think I have a strategy.

  • For the distributor, I can talk about my recently shot feature, ask what kind of distribution is typical for a film of its size and how I can best position my film (as is) for niche distributors.
  • For the hybrid distribution consultant I can also talk about my feature but I also have a multimedium project (aka, transmedia) that I can mention. I’ll be sure to ask about the possibilities/realities of generating revenue for such a project through non-traditional streams, how to maximize social media exposure and the possibilities of sponsorships (I keep thinking Nerve or Match might be a good fit for my feature).
  • As for the CE, I can talk about my feature as well as these two scripts I’m cooking up; one a twist on the bromance genre and the other a haunted house/possession story.
  • As for the agent, I should cover the aforementioned projects while also talking about my recently completed TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES spec and the CHUCK and/or FRINGE spec I’ll write next… but of course I’d rather be directing those shows.
  • I have to engage these people, get their advice and expertise, while pitching myself (and my works, both current and future) without coming off as a desperate creative.

    So, is there something I’m missing? Am I misguided in my logic and approach? What’s your advice?

    Posted in Education, Industry