Friday, May 29, 2015

Number 500


500 posts... Holy crap.

Who would've thought I was capable of talking for so long about so little?

Well, probably most people who know me... Whatever, screw those jerks. 500 posts, people! That's a hell of a lot of yammering on my part. Five hundred! It's a nice round number, too, isn't it? Full. Complete. Milestone-y. And you know what else? It's also the perfect time to do a little something I haven't done in awhile.

That's right...


What am I up too? 
How have I been doing? 
What are my future plans? 

Excellent questions, my dear friends and dedicated readers, truly excellent questions. Let me assure you, for the remainder of this post, I will endeavor to do my utmost best to answer them.

Read on!

So, yeah... the last few days have been a flurry of me posting the remaining Short Films I had in the queue. I'm sure you long-time readers might have noticed that I've been gone from the blog for a little while. I know, I know, it's not exactly an unheard of occurrence around here, but this time it wasn't due to just my being lazy... for the most part, at least. This time, my absence was more because The Wife and I took a little vacation all the way across the Pacific to the Mysterious Island Nation of Japan. How was it, you ask? It was pretty much just like this...

Ichi, Ni, San!! Let's go!
Yeah!

I took a bunch of notes.

I plan on posting all about The Wife and I's Magical Japanese Super Fun Time Adventures starting some time next week, so keep an eye out for that. Spoilers... it was a super fun time. I also intend to start posting over at the Scribblerati blog--that's the shared blog of my writing group--a little more regularly, too. Basically, I'm on a writing kick again. I'm aiming for doing at least some type of creative writing daily, but I'll settle for every other day. Aim high, but give yourself some wiggle room, right? Right.

And just how is the writing going, you ask?

In short, I'm pleased.

Agatha Ironhand, a Post-apocalyptic, Sci-fi/fantasy, Dirty Dozen versus a dragon adventure

Agatha Ironhand--the 2nd Draft/Rewrite of the book once known as Monsters--is humming right along. It's a full re-write, so it's almost like starting over from scratch, and yet, kind of not. I've changed my main character, I've cut some parts out, streamlined more, and re-envisioned others. I know my ending pretty well now (as well as how it will affect a possible sequel, but that's neither here nor there at the moment), and at this point, I also pretty much know how I'm going to get there too, but much like the ending voice-over of T2... large sections of the story, once so clear to me, have become like a black highway at night. I'm in uncharted territory now, making up the story as I go along... which is always kind of exciting, right? This book will be the main focus of my writing efforts for the next few months. Can I have a finished draft by the end of Summer? Mmmm... probably not, that sounds a little overly ambitious, but I think Fall is definitely do-able.

New Goal: Done by Fall!

As for my First Chapter Project, for the moment, it's done, and mostly successful too. Not only did it help jumpstart my creativity/writing habit, but three of the four ideas I had turned out pretty well. They are currently written up and saved in multiple places for possible future use. The fourth is still being a little stubborn, we'll see on that one, maybe it won't work, maybe it will. I suspect some of what I was aiming for is actually going to appear in Agatha Ironhand, so.. we shall see...

I have one short story called Past Present Future One, and that one is done, but I'll give it a new draft or two before sending it anywhere. I also have... three... give or take... three-ish other short stories to flesh out when I have the time. Basically, when it comes to short stories, I'm hoping to have a couple of them ready to send out by the end of summer.

Although... yeah... that might be a little ambitious...

I've also got a pair of old Flash Fiction pieces I plan on going over again to see if there's something there, and if there's somewhere I can send them. They're not a priority, but they're sitting there, waiting. I'll get to them eventually. Those two, plus about a half dozen other ideas for eventual books/short stories/who knows what... all just waiting their turn.

Speaking of waiting their turn, I'm ready to Fifth and Final Draft Gunslingers of the Apocalypse at any time. However, before I can start that, the question of "why should I even bother" would first demand some consideration, what with the Zombie Zeitgeist being pretty much fully dead now, so that project is currently in the maybe, maybe not column.

In short, here's where I'm at writing-wise: I feel like I've got plenty of projects ready and rolling and on-deck, but not as many opportunities to fully dive in and work anymore... how unique, right? In the months ahead, I'll mostly be focusing on carving out some kind of regular Writing Time.

Any other questions?

500,
Jon

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Rise and Fall of the Globosome






Written and Directed by Sascha Geddert, The Rise and Fall of the Globosome is a 6 minute animated short film whose title should be somewhat self-explanatory as to its contents.

But just in case... Here's the synopsis: In the vastness of space, there’s a a small speck of rock inhabited by the most peculiar lifeforms: Dark little "Globosomes" that start to replicate fast and begin to show signs of intelligence. The film tells the story of the rise and fall of these little creatures.

Sounds ambitious, let's take a look.


Pretty. Very pretty, really. The animation is excellent. The message is pretty apparent, pretty quickly, and maybe a little obvious, but I did like how the inevitable and irresponsible destruction of the planet by the indigenous population of bouncy balls is balanced by the idea that hope blooms ever anew, and life goes on. Of course that could be extended to say that we are doomed to destroy ourselves over and over endlessly, but why taint that last little gleam of light, right? Right. In the end, this short film is all right, I enjoyed it, but it's really more of a novel distraction, than story, y'know? If you've got 6 minutes, check it out.

Well-drawn,
Jon


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The OceanMaker







This is The OceanMaker, a ten minute animated short written and directed by Lucas Martell, who apparently has done some behind-the-scenes work on a few movies I've seen, but as far as I can nothing otherwise quite like this short film. At least, at a glance, I didn't look too hard. Anyway, the bulk of The OceanMaker was reportedly made during a seven week Artists' Retreat in the Caribbean. I assume they mean "written" when they say "the majority was made..." because as I understand it, animation is a somewhat arduous task. Either way, seven weeks in the Caribbean? How does that kind of shit happen? I think I need to have stern talk with my writing group, The Scribblerati.

So what's the film about? Well, the synopsis for The OceanMaker is short and sweet, and actually kinda awesome sounding: After the seas have disappeared, a courageous female pilot fights against vicious sky pirates for control of the last remaining source of water: the clouds.

Sounds good, right? Let's watch...



I liked this. I mean, it's generally short on any kind of real deep narrative, but it was still fun and exciting and pretty well-paced. It looked good too, and the tech--from the planes to the water-gathering equipment--was all interesting. I really liked the two different sets of Air-Pirates and what the main character's distinct interactions with them revealed about the greater world. That was well done. It still kind of suffers from the "sudden ending" feeling you often get with short films, but maybe that's generally unavoidable. This is worth the watch.

Future Air Pirate,
Jon


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Burnt Grass




Burnt Grass is a short film written and directed by Ray Wong. I don't know much about him or his work, so there's not much else for me to say here. Let's get to it then.

From the official synopsis: a dramatic short film about a young couple, Sally (AlexPaxton-Beesley) and Jack (Christopher Jacot), who discover a strange phenomenon in their backyard that duplicates organic life. Sally, obsessed with this idea proceeds to make a duplicate of herself. 

Huh... Well, all right, let's watch...


Not bad, kind of cool, but there's not too much really going on, either. I liked some of the ideas, but at the same time, it feels like they kind of pulled back, only tentatively exploring some of the issues they bring up. All in all, it felt like they didn't go far enough to justify the turn at the end. There was some good set-up, sure, but it just sort of fades out. I was left wondering what the whole thing was trying to say. Did it say anything? I don't know, maybe I missed it, or maybe it didn't, and that's the fault of the filmmaker, or maybe that's just the curse of the short film. Still, eleven minutes ought to be enough for you to tell a full story, right? I'd think so. Anyway, this was generally well done, I think, but in the end, it didn't quite stick the landing.

Also, bad name choice. I know why they chose it, but it still wasn't a good choice.

Just me, no duplicate,
Jon