day 4 of production

I’ve made a lot of progress on the Admiral byrd animation, which is where most of my time has gone. I’ve also developed an exciting new idea for an ongoing youtube program which I hope to share with you soon. I’ve been relentless with my time and unfortunately have found myself unable to post here as much as I’d like. Above is a video summarizing the challenges and highlights of production.

The Strangest Conspiracy You’ve Never Heard Of

Admiral Richard E. Byrd was a Navy Admiral, medal of honor recipient, and American hero credited with developing American interests in Antarctica and the North Pole. In 1904 Richard Byrd entered the Virginia Military Institute as the youngest cadet. He was quarterback of the Navy football team at Annapolis until he suffered a career-ending ankle injury in a game against Princeton.

During World War 1, Byrd was recalled to duty and trained with the Navy’s primitive air squadrons. In 1926 Admiral Byrd made his first attempt at pioneering. He sailed from New York to Spitsbergen, an island off the coast of Norway 800 miles from the North Pole. He succeeded in becoming the first man to fly over the North Pole on May 9th, 1926.

“You have started a dangerous and inconsequential career,” his father advised him.

Byrd would serve again in World War II and receive two awards of the Legion of Merit. In 1946 James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, appointed Byrd as Officer in charge of Antarctica Developments project. Admiral Byrd’s fourth Antarctica expedition would be code-named “Operation Highjump”, supported by 13 US Navy ships, 6 helicopters, 2 seaplane tenders, and 15 other aircraft. While on the USS Mount Olympus, Byrd conducted an interview with the Chilean Newspaper “El Mercurior”. The article was written by American journalist Lee Van Atta but was never published in English.

The article stated:

Admiral Richard E. Byrd warned today that the United States should adopt measures of protection against the possibility of an invasion of the country by hostile planes coming from the polar regions. The Admiral explained that he was not trying to scare anyone, but the cruel reality is that in case of a new war, the United States could be attacked by planes flying over one or both poles. This statement was made as part of a recapitulation of his own polar experience, in an exclusive interview with International News Services. Talking about the recently completed expedition, Byrd says that the most important result of his observations and discoveries is the potential effect that they have in relation to the security of the United States. The fantastic speed with which the world is shrinking – recalled the Admiral – is one of the most important lessons learned during his recent Antarctic exploration. I have to warn my compatriots that the time has ended when we were able to take refuge in our isolation and rely on the certainty that distances, the oceans, and the poles were a guarantee of safety.’

The significance of this article, its printing, and its allusion to danger pertains to a journal entry that would later be discovered and attributed to Admiral Byrd, which will rapidly become the most ridiculous conspiracy you’ve never heard of:

I must write this diary in secrecy and obscurity. It concerns my Arctic flight of the nineteenth day of February in the year of Nineteen and Forty-Seven.

There comes a time when the rationality of men must fade into insignificance and one must accept the inevitability of the Truth! I am not at liberty to disclose the following documentation at this writing …perhaps it shall never see the light of public scrutiny, but I must do my duty and record here for all to read one day. In a world of greed and exploitation of certain of mankind can no longer suppress that which is truth.

0600 Hours– All preparations are complete for our flight northward and we are airborne with full fuel tanks at 0610 Hours.

0620 Hours– fuel mixture on starboard engine seems too rich, adjustment made and Pratt Whittneys are running smoothly.

0730 Hours– Radio Check with base camp. All is well and radio reception is normal.

0740 Hours– Note slight oil leak in starboard engine, oil pressure indicator seems normal, however.

0800 Hours– Slight turbulence noted from easterly direction at altitude of 2321 feet, correction to 1700 feet, no further turbulence, but tail wind increases, slight adjustment in throttle controls, aircraft performing very well now.

0815 Hours– Radio Check with base camp, situation normal.

0830 Hours– Turbulence encountered again, increase altitude to 2900 feet, smooth flight conditions again.

0910 Hours– Vast Ice and snow below, note coloration of yellowish nature, and disperse in a linear pattern. Altering course foe a better examination of this color pattern below, note reddish or purple color also. Circle this area two full turns and return to an assigned compass heading. Position check made again to base camp, and relay information concerning colorations in the Ice and snow below.

0910 Hours– Both Magnetic and Gyro compasses beginning to gyrate and wobble, we are unable to hold our heading by instrumentation. Take bearing with Sun compass , yet all seems well. The controls are seemingly slow to respond and have sluggish quality, but there is no indication of Icing!

0915 Hours– In the distance is what appears to be mountains.

0949 Hours– 29 minutes elapsed flight time from the first sighting of the mountains, it is no illusion. They are mountains and consist of a small range that I have never seen before!

0955 Hours– Altitude change to 2950 feet, encountering strong turbulence again.

1000 Hours– We are crossing over the small mountain range and still proceeding northward as best as can be ascertained. Beyond the mountain range is what appears to be a valley with a small river or stream running through the center portion. There should be no green valley below! Something is definitely wrong and abnormal here! We should be over Ice and Snow! To the portside are great forests growing on the mountain slopes. Our navigation Instruments are still spinning, the gyroscope is oscillating back and forth!

1005 Hours– I alter altitude to 1400 feet and execute a sharp left turn to better examine the valley below. It is green with either moss or a type of tight-knit grass. The Light here seems different. I cannot see the Sun anymore. We make another left turn and we spot what seems to be a large animal of some kind below us. It appears to be an elephant ! NO!!! It looks more like a mammoth ! This is incredible! Yet, there it is! Decrease altitude to 1000 feet and take binoculars to better examine the animal. It is confirmed – it is definitely a mammoth-like animal! Report this to base camp.

1030 Hours– Encountering more rolling green hills now. The external temperature indicator reads 74 degrees Fahrenheit! Continuing on our heading now. Navigation instruments seem normal now. I am puzzled over their actions. Attempt to contact base camp. Radio is not functioning!

1130 Hours– Countryside below is more level and normal (if I may use that word). Ahead we spot what seems to be a city!!!! This is impossible! Aircraft seems light and oddly buoyant. The controls refuse to respond!! My GOD!!! Off our port and starboard wings are a strange type of aircraft. They are closing rapidly alongside! They are disc-shaped and have a radiant quality to them. They are close enough now to see the markings on them. It is a type of Swastika !!! This is fantastic. Where are we! What has happened? I tug at the controls again. They will not respond!!!! We are caught in an invisible vice grip of some type!

1135 Hours– Our radio crackles and a voice comes through in English with what perhaps is a slight Nordic or Germanic accent! The message is: Welcome, Admiral, to our domain. We shall land you in exactly seven minutes! Relax, Admiral, you are in good hands. I note the engines of our plane have stopped running! The aircraft is under some strange control and is now turning itself. The controls are useless.

1140 Hours– Another radio message received. We begin the landing process now, and in moments the plane shudders slightly, and begins a descent as though caught in some great unseen elevator! The downward motion is negligible, and we touch down with only a slight jolt!

1145 Hours– I am making a hasty last entry in the flight log. Several men are approaching on foot toward our aircraft. They are tall with blond hair. In the distance is a large shimmering city pulsating with rainbow hues of color. I do not know what is going to happen now, but I see no signs of weapons on those approaching. I hear now a voice ordering me by name to open the cargo door. I comply. END LOG


From this point, I write all the following events here from memory. It defies the imagination and would seem all but madness if it had not happened.

The radioman and I are taken from the aircraft and we are received in a most cordial manner. We were then boarded on a small platform-like conveyance with no wheels! It moves us toward the glowing city with great swiftness. As we approach, the city seems to be made of a crystal material. Soon we arrive at a large building that is a type I have never seen before. It appears to be right out of the design board ofFrank Lloyd Wright , or perhaps more correctly, out of a Buck Rogers setting!! We are given some type of warm beverage that tasted like nothing I have ever savored before. It is delicious. After about ten minutes, two of our wondrous appearing hosts come to our quarters and announce that I am to accompany them. I have no choice but to comply. I leave my radioman behind and we walk a short distance and enter into what seems to be an elevator. We descend downward for some moments, the machine stops, and the door lifts silently upward! We then proceed down a long hallway that is lit by a rose-colored light that seems to be emanating from the very walls themselves! One of the beings motions for us to stop before a great door. Over the door is an inscription that I cannot read. The great door slides noiselessly open and I am beckoned to enter. One of my hosts speaks. Have no fear, Admiral, you are to have an audience with the Master…

I step inside and my eyes adjust to the beautiful coloration that seems to be filling the room completely. Then I begin to see my surroundings. What greeted my eyes is the most beautiful sight of my entire existence. It is in fact too beautiful and wondrous to describe. It is exquisite and delicate. I do not think there exists a human term that can describe it in any detail with justice! My thoughts are interrupted in a cordial manner by a warm rich voice of melodious quality, I bid you welcome to our domain, Admiral. I see a man with delicate features and with the etching of years upon his face. He is seated at a long table. He motions me to sit down in one of the chairs. After I am seated, he places his fingertips together and smiles. He speaks softly again and conveys the following.

We have let you enter here because you are of noble character and well-known on the Surface World, Admiral. Surface World , I half-gasp under my breath! Yes,” the Master replies with a smile, ‘you are in the domain of the Arianni , the Inner World of the Earth . We shall not long delay your mission, and you will be safely escorted back to the surface and for a distance beyond. But now, Admiral, I shall tell you why you have been summoned here. Our interest rightly begins just after your race exploded the first atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki , Japan. It was at that alarming time we sent our flying machines, the “Flugelrads “, to your surface world to investigate what your race had done. That is, of course, past history now, my dear Admiral, but I must continue on. You see, we have never interfered before in your race’s wars, and barbarity, but now we must, for you have learned to tamper with a certain power that is not for man, namely, that of atomic energy. Our emissaries have already delivered messages to the powers of your world, and yet they do not heed. Now you have been chosen to be witness here that our world does exist. You see, our Culture and Science are many thousands of years beyond your race, Admiral.’ I interrupted, ‘But what does this have to do with me, Sir?

The Master’s eyes seemed to penetrate deeply into my mind, and after studying me for a few moments he replied, Your race has now reached the point of no return, for there are those among you who would destroy your very world rather than relinquish their power as they know it… I nodded, and the Master continued, In 1945 and afterward, we tried to contact your race, but our efforts were met with hostility, our Flugelrads were fired upon. Yes, even pursued with malice and animosity by your fighter planes. So, now, I say to you, my son, there is a great storm gathering in your world, a black fury that will not spend itself for many years. There will be no answer in your arms, there will be no safety in your science. It may rage on until every flower of your culture is trampled, and all human things are leveled in vast chaos. Your recent war was only a prelude of what is yet to come for your race. We here see it more clearly with each hour..do you say I am mistaken?

No,’ I answer, ‘it happened once before, the dark ages came and they lasted for more than five hundred years.’

Yes, my son, replied the Master, the dark ages that will come now for your race will cover the Earth like a pall, but I believe that some of your race will live through the storm, beyond that, I cannot say. We see at a great distance a new world stirring from the ruins of your race, seeking its lost and legendary treasures, and they will be here, my son, safe in our keeping. When that time arrives, we shall come forward again to help revive your culture and your race. Perhaps, by then, you will have learned the futility of war and its strife…and after that time, certain of your culture and science will be returned for your race to begin anew. You, my son, are to return to the Surface World with this message…..

With these closing words, our meeting seemed at an end. I stood for a moment as in a dream….but, yet, I knew this was reality, and for some strange reason I bowed slightly, either out of respect or humility, I do not know which.

Suddenly, I was again aware that the two beautiful hosts who had brought me here were again at my side. ‘This way, Admiral,’ motioned one. I turned once more before leaving and looked back toward the Master. A gentle smile was etched on his delicate and ancient face. Farewell, my son, he spoke, then he gestured with a lovely, slender hand a motion of peace, and our meeting was truly ended.

Quickly, we walked back through the great door of the Master’s chamber and once again entered into the elevator. The door slid silently downward and we were at once going upward. One of my hosts spoke again, We must now make haste, Admiral, as the Master desires to delay you no longer on your scheduled timetable and you must return with his message to your race.

I said nothing. All of this was almost beyond belief, and once again my thoughts were interrupted as we stopped. I entered the room and was again with my radioman. He had an anxious expression on his face. As I approached, I said, It is all right, Howie , it is all right. The two beings motioned us toward the awaiting conveyance, we boarded, and soon arrived back at the aircraft. The engines were idling and we boarded immediately. The whole atmosphere seemed charged now with a certain air of urgency. After the cargo door was closed the aircraft was immediately lifted by that unseen force until we reached an altitude of 2700 feet. Two of the aircraft were alongside for some distance guiding us on our return way. I must state here, the airspeed indicator registered no reading, yet we were moving along at a very rapid rate.

215 Hours– A radio message comes through. We are leaving you now, Admiral, your controls are free. Auf Wiedersehen!!!! We watched for a moment as the flugelrads disappeared into the pale blue sky.

The aircraft suddenly felt as though caught in a sharp downdraft for a moment. We quickly recovered her control. We do not speak for some time, each man has his thoughts….

ENTRY IN FLIGHT LOG CONTINUES:

220 Hours– We are again over vast areas of ice and snow, and approximately 27 minutes from base camp. We radio them, they respond. We report all conditions normal….normal. Base camp expresses relief at our re-established contact.

300 Hours– We land smoothly at base camp. I have a mission…..

END LOG ENTRIES.

March 11, 1947. I have just attended a staff meeting at the Pentagon . I have stated fully my discovery and the message from the Master. All is duly recorded. The President has been advised. I am now detained for several hours (six hours, thirty- nine minutes, to be exact.) I am interviewed intently by Top Security Forces and a medical team. It was an ordeal!!!! I am placed under strict control via the national security provisions of this United States of America . I am ORDERED TO REMAIN SILENT IN REGARD TO ALL THAT I HAVE LEARNED, ON THE BEHALF OF HUMANITY1111 Incredible! I am reminded that I am a military man and I must obey orders.

30/12/56: FINAL ENTRY:

These last few years elapsed since 1947 have not been kind…I now make my final entry in this singular diary. In closing, I must state that I have faithfully kept this matter secret as directed all these years. It has been completely against my values of moral rights. Now, I seem to sense the long night coming on and this secret will not die with me, but as all truth shall, it will triumph and so it shall.

This can be the only hope for mankind. I have seen the truth and it has quickened my spirit and has set me free! I have done my duty toward the monstrous military-industrial complex. Now, the long night begins to approach, but there shall be no end. Just as the long night of the Arctic ends, the brilliant sunshine of Truth shall come again….and those who are of darkness shall fall in it’s Light..FOR I HAVE SEEN THAT LAND BEYOND THE POLE, THAT CENTER OF THE GREAT UNKNOWN.

Admiral Richard E. Byrd United States Navy 24 December 1956

Admiral Richard E. Byrd was a Navy Admiral, medal of honor recipient, and American hero credited with developing American interests in Antarctica and the North Pole.

Admiral Byrd’s fourth Antarctica expedition would be code-named “Operation Highjump”, supported by 13 US Navy ships, 6 helicopters, 2 seaplane tenders, and 15 other aircraft. The following is believed to be an authentic journal by Admiral Byrd detailing one nearly unbelievable experience during that expedition.

“Secret Diary of Admiral Byrd.” Galnet Wiki, galnet.fandom.com/wiki/Secret_Diary_of_Admiral_Byrd. Accessed 22 June 2022.

The Mynerthins – Part 2

Read Part 1 Here

Brent returned to work but had a difficult time concentrating. Durk had expressed relief that Assistant Plethor was dead. It was wrong to feel this way, as Assistant Plethor was an appreciated instructor who always kept the Mynerthins hard at work. Plethor made certain they did not deviate from their assigned informative discussions. As a matter of fact, Brent felt he achieved more when Assistant Plethor was actively encouraging him to complete his duty faster!

Brent paused his typing. Something was terribly wrong, he realized. For some reason, Brent was feeling more happiness at Assistant Plethor’s passing than he was supposed to. For the second time that day he wondered if he should seek out a medical evaluation. He searched the room and found the two men with dark sunglasses staring back at him. They approached.

“Brent,” the tall, slender one said. “Come with us.”

Brent followed the two men out from the main work area and into a compact, dimly lit private room. The shorter of the two men secured 2 bolts and a padlock after they shut the door. Brent noticed Steve placed what was called a “handgun” beside himself on the table. Brent had never seen a real one before.

“Call me Steve,” said the tall one, before thumbing toward his stockier, mustached counterpart, “This is Horatio. Do you’re know why we brought you here?”

“Yes,” said Brent. “Director Limely informed us you would help us engage and sort out our feelings toward Assistant Plethor’s death.”

“Great! Now let’s get started.”

Horatio clicked a pen and prepared to scribble notes on a piece of paper. Steve pressed a button on a recording device and a light began to blink red.

“It is a tragedy and something worth feeling sad about,” said Brent. An unsettling image flashed through his imagination – it was Assistant Plethor, only he was screaming and had the head of an axe wedged into his skull.

“It certainly is,” Steve finally said.

“Assistant Plethor always helped us get a massive amount of work completed. He was one of the best at ensuring our productivity.”

Horatio spoke with a chunky, burly voice. “I figure Assistant Plethor won’t be barking orders at you anymore. You must feel good about that at least, huh?”

“Yes,” said Brent. “Yes I think that is relief that I feel. How did you know that?”

The AC vent hummed as Steve scratched his chin. “What were you doing last night around the hour of 2200?”

“I took a shower and went to sleep.”

“Before the shower,” said Steve.

“I was either reading or writing.”

“Which was it?” said Horatio.

Brent thought about it for a moment. “I believe writing. I have been doing that lately.”

“About?” said Steve.

“I journal every night. It’s supposed to help organize my thoughts and feelings.”

“Did you murder Assistant Plethor?” said Steve.

Brent burst out in laughter and pounded the table with his fist. Sarcasm was a rarely acceptable form of communication for the Mynerthins, but one that he secretly enjoyed. It was believed to be a reflection of negativity and passive aggressive attacks, but Brent always found it to be more of an intellectual inflection.

“No, I did not murder him. Would you like to see my journal?” said Brent.

Steve leaned heavily onto the table as he tapped his fingers against his cheek. His eyelids squeezed together as he kept his gaze firmly trained on Brent. “Are you lying to us?”

The smile disappeared from Brent’s face. Being honest and truthful at all times was the most important virtue of the Mynerthins. Their purpose to human civilization was centered on the knowledge that they were the truth-tellers, provided with the authority to correct wrongful thoughts and dangerous opinions. A Mynerthin that was a known liar was better off dead.

“You have disgraced me,” said Brent. “You have not relieved my grief but sorely aggravated it. Assistant Plethor’s death was a tragedy and worth feeling sad over. I beg you to perform a lie examination on me and grant me the opportunity to redeem my integrity. I demand it.”

Sometime went by before Steve finally exhaled a heavy sigh.

“Horatio, go with Brent to his quarters. Check out his journal. And take pictures. I’ll bring in the next grief-stricken warrior.”

Horatio smiled as he stood. “You’re a natural therapist.”

“I demand a lie detector!” said Brent.

“You’re not getting it,” said Steve, before turning to Horatio. “The title’s Grief counselor, and you’re goddamn right I am.”

Brent felt as though his face were boiling as he watched Horatio unclasps the locks.

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.

The Mynerthins – Part One

Brent couldn’t take his eyes off his own reflection. His mind felt as if it were a bouncing water balloon.

Dirt, sweat, and blood – From his forearms to his forehead. And his muscles – fatigued to the point of instant cramping. Brent washed himself off thoroughly then went to bed.

Breakfast was served – 2 eggs, toast, and a slice of bacon.

“Good morning Brent,” said Keira. “Did you sleep well?”

“Good morning Kiera,” he responded. “I did, how did you sleep?”

“I slept well also,” Kiera said, than held her bacon up.

“No,” said Brent. He scoped the room – nobody else had seen the gesture.

The bacon was the size of his pinky finger. It was Brent’s favorite part of his meal. He often wondered what eating must’ve felt like in the old world. Meat was consumed at a gluttonous rate before the world became uninhabitable. Not every Mynerthin ate meat – in fact it was considered a weakness.

The fluorescent lights above increased to full strength and the Mynerthin’s took their place at their desktop computers.

“Good morning everyone,” said Director Limeley.

There was a strange look about the director as his eyes swept around the room. Two men with dark glasses stood at his sides. It was rare to see anyone from a parallel dwelling, but always a source of excitement.

“Assistant Plethor has died,” said Limeley.

A rush of disbelief overtook the room. Brent turned to Kiera and shared her confused expression. “Plethor’s dead?” he said.

“I’m sorry to inform you at the start of your day,” continued Director Limeley. “We have received two grief counselors to speak with each of you. My hope is that you will communicate them honestly about your feelings and answer whatever questions they may ask you. Please do not discuss this matter amongst yourselves.”

Brent took his place at the computer desk and began his humble obligations. With limited communication between dwellings, many other communities looked towards his group to provide informative discussion that could help prepare civilization for a return to dirt and grass.

At lunch time Brent spotted the available seat beside Kiera. He continued onward due to the inherrent dangers of sitting beside the same person for two consecutive meals. Unfortunately for Brent, the only remaining seat was beside Durk.

“What do you think happened to Padley?” Durk said.

Brent eyed his own bowl of rice. “I believe Director Limeley urged us not to speak it.”

Durk nodded and shoveled a scoop of rice into his mouth.

Brent wasn’t hungry. This was odd, as he hadn’t eaten much at breakfast, either.

“I do feel it is a tragedy and something worth feeling sad about,” Brent finally said.

“I agree,” said Durk.

Brent took a sip of water. Rice was a good meal and one that he was grateful to receive. He wondered if he required a medical evaluation.

“But Plethor will never instruct us again.” said Durk.

“It is awful,” said Brent. He stared fiercely back at Durk. “We should not speak of it any further.”

“Yes, it is a tragedy and something worth feeling sad about,” said Durk.

The two men returned to eating in silence. A song played through the overhanging speakers just loud enough to overcome the chewing. It was a positive song that evoked feelings of joy and happiness. The Mynerthins used many tools to maintain a positive work and life environment.

“But I’m glad he’s fucking dead,” said Durk.

Brent searched the room and found nobody staring back at them.

The urge to eat suddenly returned. Brent took a bite of rice.

Film Finance, Tax Credits, and Securities Laws

Today I want to get a bit boring. I’ve discussed vapid dreams and ambitions here for quite a while now. But as I set out to begin a new project, I must prepare to deal with an element that I haven’t encountered before – raising money.

In the world of art the dollar symbol is nearly a curse word. There is so much joy throughout the creative process that the financial burden is completely ignored in favor of fantasized recognition. The irony is that a person who loses a quarter of their income on a poor financial investment will be more angry than an artist who pisses away half their lifetime on a masterpiece that’s never fully realized.

I’m making a commitment to myself to learn more about film financing. I cannot make legitimate films without an external source of income. Today I’m going to summarize a few of the key points from the video series I’ve been viewing, with links to each. I want to add that I have no connection to Sky Moore and am citing his videos specifically due to the wealth of information he provides in each. If you enjoy his videos, I encourage you to “like” them and subscribe to his channel. My summaries simply recite the main points that he provides.

  1. Basics of Film Financing –

Sky Moore urges us prioritize learning inner workings of the film industry over all other aspects of filmmaking. He states that 80% of films that are made lose money. Moore informs us that studios make money primarily through distribution. They often acquire films that were financed by a third party, get the film to a distributor, and take a cut from that. The principal distinction between film studios & independent studios is that Independent Studios will often collapse after one film failure. They do not have deep enough pockets to cover a major loss. Studios control distribution – Independent Studios do not. Never invest in your own film.

2. Equity & Security –

Moore tells us that if we violate the securities laws, we go to jail. We are also at risk for being held liable for any losses incurred. Security laws apply anytime a person is paying money with an expectation of receiving money back. You can comply with the security laws by filing with the SEC (a headache) or by filing for an exemption. Rely on Rule 506 – All investors must be credited investors: (investors with net worth over a million (excluding their homes), annual income above 300k, or an entity with over 5 million dollars of gross assets. They must meet one of those requirements and also sign a document stating such. Congrats, you got yourself a credited investor! Now file form D with the SEC and don’t do advertising (not sure why).

You have an obligation to disclose all material facts to your investors through a Private Placement Memorandum. (A summary of script, projected budget, distribution plan, your background, etc. Can be short but must meet the burden of meeting all material facts.)

3. Tax Financing –

There are 3 different ways to use tax subsidies for film financing:

1. Foreign (tax shelters) – Sale/lease back model. Sell your rights to a foreign entity. They license the rights back to you. You recover 10% of your budget.

2. US – Section 181. Deduct the first 15 million dollars of the cost of a film produced in the United States. Realize it’s not a credit. It accelerates the deduction by a year. It doesn’t work and ya goofed.

3. State tax credits – This one does work. There are two different models.

  1. Assignable – Receive tax credit based on producing in a local jurisdiction. Sell the credit to a buyer (taxpayer) within that jurisdiction. Some states will give a credit of 20-30%. Spend a million on your film, receive a credit as high as 300k.
  2. Refundable – The state will refund the amount of your credit. You may not be able to sell it but you can borrow against it. You can pledge it to a bank and monetize it (use it to raise money for your film).

I hope these videos and summaries were helpful to you. I know very little about film financing but am motivated to educate myself. I stumbled upon these videos online and found them immensely helpful. I share them with the hope that someone else can find them as invaluable as I have. Once again, I have no connection to Sky Moore.

Have a good one.

Moore, Sky. “1_ Basics of Film Financing – YouTube.” Www.youtube.com, Sky Moore Attorney, 3 Aug. 2017, youtu.be/Qyf97tFxUEE.

Moore, Sky. “3_ Equity & Security – YouTube.” Www.youtube.com, Sky Moore Attorney, 3 Aug. 2017, youtu.be/zkt2EvkSvDg. Accessed 15 May 2022.

Moore, Sky. “4_ Tax Financing – YouTube.” Www.youtube.com, 3 Aug. 2017, youtu.be/2vFJLztFQwc. Accessed 15 May 2022.

Writing Genre Specific Fiction

Each genre of fiction incorporates specific nuances. Comedy must be ripe with jokes, thrillers constantly elevate the stakes, drama evolves conflicts, and horror unleashes fright. The best writers do not compress their stories to fit within the limitations of a single genre, but often utilize elements that will enhance their own story from parallel genres. When a song is composed it is written with a specific key in mind – but elements of the song will inevitably transition to other keys – relative minors, fifths, parallel minors, etc.

I have yet to write a horror story but look forward to utilize the elements of dread, terror, and shock. I am also certain mystery will be the engine that keeps the viewer captivated. I recently rewatched Pirates of the Caribbean (action) and was shocked to find just how frequently mystery was used to carry the story through each act. Major reveals catapult the first and second act into the third – the pirates on the Black Pearl are all dead, Will Turner is the son of a pirate, the gold medallion is valuable because an Aztec curse was placed upon it, and Jack’s seemingly garbage compass actually works precisely as its supposed to.

These captivating reveals are never dumped as information but occur as payoffs. In the beginning of the film we see Will wearing the medallion but do not know its significance. We know there is a supernatural aura regarding the pirates from the skepticism villagers display. Still, we have no reason to assume they are immortal. Jack Sparrow’s compass appears to move erratically – but he studies it as if its telling him something.

I feel that unfolding a story in this way requires the writer to know the secrets before they are revealed. That may seem obvious, but I remember another show where I am convinced the writers had no idea what the hell they were talking about. That show was “Lost” – where an airplane crash lands onto an island and everyone on board struggles to survive as they encounter supernatural phenomenon. The mystery that jaded me the most was the numbers – 8,16,32,64… something like that. I swear they spent an entire season talking about those goddamn numbers, including a flashback where a character won the lottery with the exact digits. Anyways, I finished the whole series and never found out why those numbers were so important. That left me unfulfilled and quite honestly resentful.

What do they mean? Nobody knows. Not even the writers.

It’s easy to write a mystery when you don’t know the answers to the questions you are presenting. Imagine a rabbit starts eating a treat out of a box then suddenly disappears. Ya, obviously there is motivation for you to keep you reading, but the explanation is the pay off. If I tell you that the treat was a magic invisibility pill I’d wager you’d put the book down. But if that rabbit ate a genetically altered carrot that included a chemical composition discovered at MIT by 3 first year engineer majors, and that same composition is theorized to accelerate redox reactions by electrons, you might believe me. It’s incoherrent bullshit, but at least there is a method to the madness. You’d rightfully anticipate a legitimate explanation to how the rabbit disappeared and why that matters. I feel “The Prestige” is a great example of this specific comparison at work. The payoff was worthwhile, despite remaining unrealistic in accordance with real world science.

So as I begin my course with this story I must choose the information the viewer will receive early and the information that will be delayed. But more importantly than that, I must figure out the elements of fear that will make this story a horror. If I fail to find ideas that are terrifying and disturbing than I am better off writing a science fiction thriller. And those scares must occur repeatedly throughout each scene. Dread, however, is an awesome area, as it basically suspense with the anticipation of terror.

This is the end of my post. One day I will discover the correct way to end them.

Returning to the White Pages

I’ve been largely absent from this blog this year. That’s in large part due to my interest in music. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about music theory, production and sound design. After completing “Doctor with the Red Houseware,” I needed some time before I felt ready to tackle another project.

I have a terrible habit of overthinking details. This results in the phenomenon of “Analysis leads to paralysis”. I’ve flirted with several premises I would like to develop but have yet to take the plunge and commit to any of them. There are a few main reasons for this – but the greatest pitfall has been the almighty dollar.

I feel filmmaking is somewhat unique to other branches of entertainment. If you are a great musician, comedian, actor, or even writer, your number one asset is yourself, your number 2 asset is exposure. The creation of a film has much less to do with talent, ability, and skills, and much more to do with budget. You can create an outstanding film with less, sure, and you can use your problem-solving skills to tackle obstacles that pose a risk to production. But at the end of the day, you’re going to need money if you intend to create a film that can rub shoulders with major box office productions. You will want the best camera, best sound, best effects, and most famous actors you can afford.

Acquiring that money is the obvious challenge, but of course there are unlimited strategies to accomplish that. From watching interviews with other filmmakers online, I’ve arrived at a variety of potentially successful avenues. The common thread for soliciting investments, however, tends to involve having a product worth selling – so obviously you must begin with a completed script.

As any writer knows, each project requires an overwhelming amount of time, effort, and anguish to complete. The major salt on the wound for writers is finding a single reader is even more of a challenge.

Part of the joy I’ve experienced in filmmaking has been the knowledge that I would produce and shoot the scripts that I wrote. As I begin work on a new feature length script I can’t help but confront the obvious – I am going to need external financing to complete a 110-130 page story.

I have developed several daily habits that require 30 minutes or less. I find that the more I limit my time the better I manage it. I’m actively considering ways in which I could post a new video to youtube each day. I feel that developing a fanbase could help me reach my goal in more ways than one. I also fear, however, that I will be tempted to devote more time to each video.

Another habit I am considering implementing has to do with knocking on doors. By routinely networking with other producers, distributors, and production companies, I can greatly improve my odds of having an ear open for me when my story is ready to pitch. I can begin to immerse myself in the business of filmmaking rather than hiding in the fantasy of it all.

I would like to return to the idea of crowdfunding the film. Of course, before I can launch a kickstarter campaign I will need to have the script completed and a sizzle reel shot. The sizzle reel is something I can take care of without any hefty investments. This would include a single location with legitimate actors that provides the overall tone and promise of the story I would like to tell.

Just wanted to share some thoughts today. I hope to do so again tomorrow.