General Thoughts

I’ve got 20 minutes to write this before I attend a work required class. Not enough time to do anything of significance but maybe I can get something out there.

I hate watching days pass as I continue to work on my current project. As I’ve noted throughout, the belief in what I’m doing for the current episode is based in what it may provide for me in the future. I came to a realization that frequency and quantity of content is a better predictor of success than quality alone. If you make a perfect song as a no name artist, you may not have anyone to give it a listen. Pop stars, on the other hand, will have their bullshit replayed over radio waves until even the non-complicit listeners know the words. Film and novels are no different – there are tremendous stories out there that nobody has ever heard of, and maybe never will.

I think about Van Gogh a lot. We all know he was an insanely talented and tormented artist. But what amazes me most about Van Gogh is his inability to sell a painting. He lived in his mind, constantly improving his craft with a non-stop output of material. But his personality was abrasive which I believe led to a lot of personal rejection. I believe Van Gogh thought that strangers would see the magnificence of his work without having a personal relationship with him. Today’s “influencers” are the polar opposite – they don’t produce a product, they’re personality is the product. For me it is proof that the majority of people value social status over the invisible truths – beauty, love, faith. Today Van Gogh is universally praised as an artistic juggernaut because it is the accepted social norm of a view. In his day, I’m certain the common man would respond to his name with a “Who?”.

All this is to say I believe in my current project because it should enable me to produce more content faster in the future. I can return to making music and include a new track in each episode. I can reuse the characters I have already designed, programmed, and replicated in multiple perspectives. The show itself is about ambulance workers – so I don’t see why each episode shouldn’t include an ambulance and a hospital for 75% of the runtime. That means I can reuse backgrounds, which again promotes efficiency.

The lag I have experienced is related to this repeatedly. Reusable background are created in multiple perspectives, as are the dynamic assets within them (passing vehicles, phones, chairs, desks, etc.). But why design one vehicle in 3 perspectives, when you can simply change the color and create 10 vehicles in 3 perspectives? This same thinking applies to everything. Why create a picket fence for the scene at hand and not save it as a PNG with alpha to be reused later? It’s millions of small tasks like this that drain the day. I do not enjoy any of it but stand by my philosophy.

A few days ago I ordered some studio monitors (aka speakers). Last week I purchased a new focusrite interface that will allow me to mix in surround sound. I am extremely excited about this possibilities this provides. Even if I should start mixing other filmmakers work, that might produce better long term results than spending more hours at the job I currently have, which is unrelated to any of this.

Any way, it’s time for me to head out now. Hope all is well and you find joy with your day.

General Update

I know I began a short story last week, and I intend to continue that as soon as possible. But today I just wanted to provide a brief update.

I’ve spoken here often about improving my own time management. I am constantly working on something, but different projects require different amounts of time. For instance, editing a film, mastering a song, or molding a story are tasks that can be done in a day or a year. A great example that demonstrates this trend is the song that I’ve been working on for the past month. No matter how much I try to recreate the emotion through synthetic instruments on Ableton it has not matched the emotional impact it provided when I first played it on acoustic. I have to practice the song on a real guitar, stay true to the tempo, and learn the same chord progression in the key of Bb major. All the work I’ve put in through Ableton has been wasted, though I have created some unique synthesizers in the process.

Regardless of your aim in the world of creativity, a simple step back allows you to view the reality of accomplishing your goals. I fundamentally disagree with the longing to “get discovered”. Carving out a sustainable career is a result of a relentless effort to master the skills required for a specific profession. Eminem constantly references Dr. Dre for discovering him and exploding his career. Though he no doubt became a breakthrough artist thanks to Dr. Dre, Eminem was the one honed the skills that unlocked his meteoric rise. He needed a platform for what he was selling – but the product was already top quality.

I am trying to quantify the steps that I must take to produce a feature length film that will prove a profitable undertaking. Whether that means making more short films, knocking on doors, or building a large online following, I am game. I am certain I must have a completed script before I can be taken seriously in any avenue. Before that is completed, however, I am attempting to identify daily habits that will continuously bring me closer to my goal.

The two most obvious are daily writing/research specific to the story I am developing. The second obvious step is to educate myself on film financing.

I love wordpress and the audience that I can reach. It is the one task I can complete while I am at work. I also intend to return to creating youtube videos, but I need a more regimented system. Oftentimes I will write a script in a day, film it the following day, then require 2 weeks to edit all of the footage and music together. I’m considering creating videos where the focus is scene analysis on films that I’ve enjoyed. I feel I can come out with one of these each week. The most important aspect of creating youtube videos would be to dedicate no more than 30 minutes each day over the course of a week to create the video.

I am still waiting to find my film “Doctor with the Red Houseware” on Xumo. Once it is featured I will be happy to advertise it. As it stands, I have not released the film for free viewing on youtube. This week I am going to take steps to market the film again and set up for a free release online. I can do this by posting regularly to instagram and creating videos detailing the struggles encountered throughout the production process.

Anyways, hope all is well and to write again tomorrow. I do intend on further exploring the short story I began. It is a story I loved and one that I would consider producing. Because I have many ideas that I love I realize in my lifetime I will be unable to tell them all unless I sacrifice a little of the production quality in order to simply tell them. Have a good day.

Moving In – 7/11/20


Can you even imagine living here?? I can’t either, because I will never be able to afford a place like this. But my new place is ok.

The apartment is virtually a lock, as I’m just waiting for the leasing office to open on Monday and have the papers ready for us to sign. As soon as we move in I’ll be updating you with pictures. After that, the fun starts – we get to furnish it. I realize how effeminate that sounds now that I’ve written it. I suppose some context could help – in the foreseeable future I will use our place as a repeating location for short films. That means I get to apply a little bit of knowledge to the layout of the land. Ideally I’m going to add wallpaper, christmas lights, and some rustic looking furniture. Basically I’m going to create a shooting set for mountain cult, Kelly just doesn’t know it yet.

But along with that we will have to purchase: A couch, a big screen television, a kitchen table with chairs, and a balcony table. Then to top it all off I get to purchase my future writing/editing desk, which I’m really excited about. It’s also a 3rd story apartment which will give me and my camera an excellent view.

Besides that, I’ve been spending the night trying to learn more about photography. I’m finally starting to grasp some of the basic concepts – more specifically the relationship between aperture, ISO, & shutter speed. I figure as long as I’m not filming I can at least build up my knowledge of the tools.

Actors access has been going alright, I got one audition that was due last week. It required me to participated as a couple, which I actually talked Kelly into doing. The problem was me and Kelly only had 2 days off together last week, and the deadline for the audition submission arrived on day 1. We wound up getting drunk and watching sharktank together instead.

For my next role, I have the opportunity to do some voice acting impersonating Elvis Presley. I’ve never done anything like it before so I’m excited to try it out. I’ll try to post pictures this week as we move in, but for now it’s back to checking out online furniture.

Certified DGA – 11/30


Vernon Time

Saturday night I had the honor of playing a villain in the ongoing web series Vernon Time. It’s a really dark, unique show that features incredible cinematography.

That’s right, contrary to popular opinion based on the shitty POS I posted on Saturday, I’ve decided to go ahead and take acting a little more seriously. This has always been a back-burner dream of mine, but something I’ve occasionally wanted to do. It beats the shit out of the accounting homework I’ve been doing all day, tell you that much.

One of the great benefits of being involved with film productions(regardless of the size of their audience) is that they allow you to connect with a group of people working toward a common goal. Many of us love to write because it allows us unlimited freedom and independence. Unfortunately, this also makes the journey to traditional publication/high volume of sales extremely difficult. For instance, when I set out to write I never imagined I would:

  1. Spend 2 months learning the rules of grammar.
  2. Type like Melnyk plays piano.
  3. Post in a bible forum where I thought I might find readers for a particular story.
  4. Steer clear of that bible forum from that day forward
  5. Spend a full day learning the game of “Go” for a scene where someone looks in a window and sees two people playing Go.
  6. Make so many changes to my query letter I found myself pitching a novel that was 10 times better than the one I’d actually written.
  7. Get an “A” in my English Composition course.
  8. Discover that most pompous asses who use big words to sound smarter than the general population are actually committing felonies while on the run from the grammar police.
  9. Realize that using big words to impress people is a great way to practice abstinence and isolation.
  10. Second guess myself every time I claim to have DGA (decent grammar awareness) because I swear there’s so many intricate little rules you could spend your whole life studying them but the first time you write “It’s been a pleasure” some little imp will pop out of the nearest bush and say, “Oh, really? It is been a pleasure? I bet you you can write good, too… moron.”

Below is the first episode of Vernon Time.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Author of Master