Archive for September, 2008

September 24, 2008

machines entering deep REM states

I’m currently cleaning up and organizing: everything.

listening to an interview with the smart guy behind “the design of everyday things” (and a series of related books that i was unaware of. oop)
http://www.core77.com/broadcasts/src/core77_broadcasts_norman.mp3
a lof of good/interesting “big picture” thoughts about humanity’s relationship to technology.

I quit smoking a week ago. then went camping over the weekend. I’m now entering that shakey period where i think i’ve weathered the worst of it, and it’s time to start re-entering my normal activities. Yesterday i got a call in the early morn (well, 9am) asking if i could have storyboards finished by 5pm. And I was like “hello? wha? who is this?” got it done. but it was yet another curveball.

so now, to get back on track. i’m cleaning up everything. organizing each individual piece of paper in the three separate 10 inch stacks that have been on the floor at the foot of my bed for months. downloaded and ran CCleaner and SpyBotS&D to try and speed up my computer. the first cleaned out 8 gigs of wasted space. the second found nothing. sooo. hmm.

anywho. the only thing i really wanted to post was this: three random ideas from recent camping trip (which will no doubt be lost for years, in my drawers of random story ideas):

1-surfing haunted waves.
2-short film about “never turn your back on the ocean” warning sign. father plays with son, and keeps eying the ocean nervously. it seems that tiny sneaking waves are the worst of his troubles. until a giant tree washes up at 60 mph, and totally gores him to death.
3-i’d like to see a short “sciNow” movie about resolving a traffic skirmish with tech. ie, reckless driver cuts off our hero on some winding country roads. Our hero’s passenger takes series of flashy photos, sends them to cops. blares warnings of impending legal over loud speakers atop hero car. reckless driver goes from living life like a soulless video game, to seriously fearing for the repurcussions of his actions.

ra.

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September 17, 2008

life: grow up

Just a quick update on life stuffs.

Flew up to seattle on Monday to meet the team (of dudes i’m making storyboards for). I’ve been highly stressed for days, leading up to this meet. Now i am left a little down, brain dead, and eager to attack projects.

Feels like i’ve been spending all my free time on everything EXCEPT what i need to be focusing on: VidHero.

So i’m sitting down tonight to lock the script and roughs for issue two of vidHero. I’ll be doing it in a word document table, because i’m still in this corporate-storyboard mindset. Excited to put this bitch to bed, and move on to fresher stories. Though i should probably endeavor to make this bitch fresh again… Just not sure how. hmm.

Anywho. Also need to get the &#%!ing shopping cart up. although it seems pointless, because i can’t see anyone actually visiting this site and deciding to buy something. must do it anyway. because i gots shits to sells. and maybe 10 to 20 friends will buy things. and it’ll be a good learning experience. … i am writing all this down to try and talk myself into doing it. urgh.

anywho. Not much else to report. Not sure what i’ve already reported. which is a sign that not much has changed in the last week or two. sooo, i’ll leave off. sign off. shove off. for now.

September 17, 2008

review: Kick Ass – a comic book you should go buy right now

Hey there fellow crits,

I just read through the first few issues of “Kick Ass” and was totally blown away. I cannot recommend this comic book highly enough. go buy it right now.

– Written by Mark Millar, who is supposedly well known (meh?). I don’t know the guy’s work, but the dialogue, situations, humor, and pacing all remind me heavily of the old Preacher comics (which is high praise). It’s like something garth ennis would write if he could drop the scotchirish obsession, and focus in on modern teen drama. The first issue perfectly sets up the dream (for a modern person, based in our reality, to decide to put on a costume and try to fight crime. Just because it sounds bad ass). In the first couple pages it shows you why you wouldn’t want to do this with two loveably gross examples, then it settles back into establishing the character. It’s possible i’m too easy, and these examples are a little too pop culture (the “that’s not me” trick seems a lot like something out of Powers. The “this is me. suffering… but i’m getting ahead of myself” trick feels like KissKissBangBang, or FightClub.). mayyyybe. But even if the snooty connoisueueueurr wants to call the writer out on these story telling tricks, they efficiently serve to ground the comic in a certain style. that i happen to adore.
I’m digging the writing mostly because: having read 4 issues, it occurs to me that i’ve really just spent a lot of time watching a kid have some teen problems. But i didn’t notice this while reading. nor was i bored. because the ultraviolence that punctuated each issue was so plausible. And i didn’t have to read a lot of text to feel like i’d spent a lot of time with the characters. And because it felt like a great indie movie, except with characters who really stood out from the cliches i’m used to.

– Drawn by the legendary John Romita Jr. Need i say more? he’s a personal hero (drew a lot of the x-men comics that hooked me hard as a kid). And it’s heart warming to see just how polished and amazing his style has become. I read some spider man comics a couple years back, thinking initially “aw shucks this guy is still working?” but was ultimately left thinking “Holy shit, this guy has become better than any other artist i’ve seen in years. wow.” and that spiderman run was mostly just people sitting around talking and having dramazzzz.

– Kick Ass is also mostly about small time reality probs in high school. drama (a four letter word for me. it sounds like the name of a drug when i read it).

But it’s paced punchy, and littered with pop culture (youtube, new york’s gay prostitutes, blah blah). And then each issue squirts in an excessive amount of blood and gore, for loveable shock value. I love how RomitaJr draws blood thick, like play-doh. I love how an eight year old girl can show up and be disturbingly dangerous (delivering some grotesque violence while calling her victims cunts).

it’s just very alive.

In many ways, it’s everything i want to be doing with storytelling. so i’m very excited.
(and terrified about all the ways i’ll need to change the direction of my own comic, and step up my game, so I won’t be seen as a bad rip off).

hmm. anywho. Apparantly it’s very indie, despite some of the big names involved. And supposedly a movie deal has been signed? fuck. (the whole thing overwhelms me with envy. It’s a triumph. right down to the excellent name).

So i hope you’ll support it, either for the “support indie” angle, or for the “get in on this hip shit before everyone else” angle.

more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kick-Ass

September 9, 2008

hmmm. where is the track

Soooo. what did i do today? um. bought some comics. picked up some cash to hold me over until my new check card arrives (i cancelled my current card during PAX, when i thought i’d lost my wallet). spent all this cash on groceries. cleaned up parts of the kitchen. i’d swear i did some actual work work in the morning, but can’t remember for the life of me.

in the afternoon, just before bundling up our comcast modem and taking over to a friend’s house (since he moved out last week and needed the modem to setup his new internets), i blew a bunch of time reformatting my initial storyboards into a word doc that could be edited by my employers. looks great in open office, so i hope they can actually edit it in the word97 export. hmm.

just now i spent a couple hours sorting a big backlog of emails that have been hovering for months. (reducing my hotmail inbox from 190 to 30).

it seems like there is much to do. but I’ve only just come out of the haze of last week’s insanity, and haven’t regained the trains of thought that were piled up before.

occurs to me i need to refine at least 5 story boards, which were basically sloppy stick figures. shouldn’t wait for the employers to call me on them. hmm. but i’ve been kind of mystified by their lack of communication so far. hmm.

also need to work on the “fun funeral” flash game, so i’ll have something to show at the next meeting. came up with an idea on how to circumvent the over-long intro animation (for now). hmm.

but really, i feel like i should be working on vidHero #2. because i’d planned to have it finished by september, and here we are. EEK. i keep thinking about it. at least 3 different times during every day, for a week or three now. many strange conflicting thoughts about goals (dumbed down. action packed. reinventing the flashback. obsessively true to downtown portland building layouts), and arbitrary rules (beginning and ending each flashback with words that cover the transition. handling each moment of violence with at least 3 buildup and 2 aftermath frames, to improve the pacing/reader-thrill. working in more bullet holes that show last and next page artwork).

and part of me recalls jotting down many different specific notes in text files and on artwork and binder paper, while i was cranking out the first issue. i’m kind of dreading the process of digging all of these up and seeing how they all work together (or conflict). In general, the whole idea was just to make the second issue tell the story of a climactic violent fight, and fuck around with flashbacks to work in more “boring/funny” scenes that i cut from the first issue. It doesnt’ do much to sum up my thoughts on joey shoemocker though. which became the point. at some point. hmm.

anywho. that is where i am today. just thought i should post for posterity.

September 6, 2008

the insanity will continue until morale improves

SUPER INSANE-O-PANTS!

sooo, i’m out of my mind with busy. Monday a friend suggested his team might need me to do some story boards for some videos they’re handling for a big corporation. I worked hard all day tuesday to deliver some flash mock ups for the local video game making project. then wednesday i sat down and cranked out a sample storyboard sequence to try and land the job. I got the job. then thursday i sat around mostly fretting over how not to make an ass of myself (while also doing my finances, and spitballing various concepts to convey the video’s proposed message), and then got a call to head downtown and discuss the first video in detail. Today, er, yesterday- friday – I spent alllll day cranking out the first official boards. then i realized i was out of time, (the guy wanted them asap, to show the client), so i skipped polishing them and made up a sequence with the raw pencils.

a questionable move. hoping i didn’t make a mistake there. ehhhh.

but now i find myself beyond exhausted. too many hours without enough breaks. if you figure i made 20 drawings on wednesday, and 59 today, that’s like making 3 pages of a comic book in one day, spending the next day feeling sick with nervous idiocy, then making 10 pages the following day. 10 fucking pages is insane. I usually feel great if i can manage one page in a day. INSANE! not to mention all the focus/stress of trying to juggle concepts and storytelling/editing and vectors in your head. there is no room left in my head. i can’t remember what i was going to do this week for vidHero. ugh. though i do feel like i’m battering myself into a faster working methodologgygygygyg

ANd in theory, i should sit down first thing tomorrow morning and start polishing the drawings, for max professionalitytytytytyt,y.

but. geez. i dunno. i’m lightly hoping they’ll be thrilled with the raw pencils. though they seem embarassing to me. though i’ve underestimated people’s enjoyment of my rough work before. though. ugh.

anywho. it’s late. time for sleep. just noting the news.