I completed the sound mixing Saturday night and rendered the video and audio together yesterday. There are a couple of minor sound adjustments I will make but it is completed. I may add a title animation in the beginning and something at the end. I don’t have a credit scroll as I literally did everything but I would like to add something for the outro music.
I plan to make the episode available free for viewing in 2 weeks, and of course will host a link here. Leading up to that I intend to release short clips and some comics to showcase a few of the main characters. This will be low effort but valuable for generating traffic.
With episode 1 completed I am excited for what the future may bring. Having created an entire set of characters and backgrounds I anticipate future projects using these elements will be 10x more efficient. I will enjoy writing, animating, and mixing again, but more importantly I will be able to steer myself in a specific direction.
It does not require money to produce an animated story, only time. I’m going to treat this series as though it is the foundation for my filmmaking future. By recycling assets I have already created I will be able to distribute content more regularly and grow an audience. As my following increases so will my monetary avenues toward financing a live action film.
I should begin putting together the short clips but won’t be animating anything today. Instead I hope to make a song because it has been far too long since I’ve gotten to work with music.
Hope your week has started strong and you remain courageous in your trials.
I only have a few minutes to write this so I’ll keep it brief. I have 3 remaining scenes to animate and then it is on to audio. I did wind up deciding to purchase 3 additional speakers, I will have the option to mix the episode in surround sound. I intend to use splice for sound effects as they’re sounds do not inhibit monetization or commercial use for a reasonable price.
I greatly miss creating music and working with anything other than animation. The good news is I have been able to turn out a scene in a day or two lately – meaning recording the dialogue, animating the characters, and mixing them in with a background. The countless assets I created are working great, especially the vehicles and background characters. I am very excited to be done with this project soon.
I am still determined to put out short scenes but have not yet begun recording them. Once I am done animating the episode and take up work on the audio I will routinely create short 1 minute clips in the hopes of promoting the launch of episode 1. I hope all is well and you have a great day.
I’ve got 18 minutes animated for episode 1 and am nearing the finish line. I’m apprehensive about what the future holds as I still have to do the audio, sound effects, and music. My major new year’s resolution will be delegating jobs to others and disciplining myself to tight deadlines. In the meantime I’m going to accept that creating anything from scratch will always require more time than dragging and dropping the same asset in the future. I’ve enjoyed making these comics and have established a customized template. I intend to create one of these a week and devote no more than 30 minutes to the task. Hope all is well.
Just a quick update – finished animating a major scene that features the above. It was a real pain creating all the background characters. The nurses were a special challenge, as I plan to feature them regularly. 5 different head positions and 4 separate body views is no quick task. I hope to make some major progress in the coming weeks and have this episode wrapped up shortly. One of the major philosophies driving the project is the belief that I will move faster in the future and do not wish to return to fix anything. In other words, animate main characters right the first time, then grab and load the asset in each subsequent scene. Anyways hope your Thanksgiving went well and will try and have more here soon.
Story is one of the most complex yet simple art forms in existence. It isn’t until you attempt to tell one that you realize how difficult it is to keep an audience interested.
I often think about the natural growth of a story. The more you focus on a single character and dramatic incident the more clear and concise your story will be. At our core we turn to story to learn about the world around us. Despite the human mind having the ability to understand great complexities and details, it will always require extra effort to do so – effort your audience isn’t looking to produce when they are seeking to be entertained. The more your story is packaged in a centralized question the more digestible your story will be.
My favorite thing about screenwriting has been the impact and significance required for each line. There is no place for waste, laziness, or meaningless repetition. Because screenwriting requires more dialogue than description, I have a bad habit of “hearing the conversation” and writing according to how I imagine it might play out. This isn’t a fundamental error, as it improves the natural flow, but it becomes easy for a character to repeat themselves and shine a spotlight on their personality rather than the problem that is being overcome. Furthermore, the natural progression of a conversation does not incorporate any character change or overwhelming obstacles. The most memorable and impactful moments of any story are the actions your character performs that betray what their former self would do. How common is it for a parent to be petrified of their child drinking, smoking, or using drugs? Yet the origin of that fear often comes from knowledge of our their own experience and how it affected their lives. That is a character change.
I do feel our most fascinating ideas and concepts should always reserve page space in what we write. One of the most entertaining shows of the last 20 years is South Park. It is easy to watch this show, enjoy it, and feel it is nothing more than an escape from the pressures of the world. But in reality South Park incorporates a 3 act structure, a climax, and a theme. One item that differentiates South Park from other comedies that fail to hold our attention is the constant comedic gems. Family guy, on the other hand, is all comedic gems with no importance given to the story. I am convinced each episode of South Park is guided by an absurdist idea that brings the writers to crack up laughing. They know their idea is hilarious and find a way to make it a staple that falls within the necessity of the story requirements.
I feel there are far too many suspense, mystery, and action stories that stray so close to plot points that they lose sight of what keeps viewers interested in the first place. Your audience will never be a soulless academic who marks off a story-checklist with each page that they turn. You’ve got to include the good stuff that makes your audience uncertain about how they would handle a similar situation. Such is the conflict that produces an intriguing premise.
On top of writing this morning, I am hoping to record the content for another YouTube video. I return to work tonight and will be preoccupied with the daily grind for the following week and a half. I am eager to make the major changes to my script today in order to begin casting the roles and finding my locations. Enjoy your own daily pursuit and make the most of the hours you have been given.
If you’re curious about Cheaters Prosper: I have to contact the actors and actresses to find out who is available weeknights this week. I need to purchase a legit poker table, because the majority of the remaining scenes require one.
If you’re curious about Just Leasing: My friend from Berkeley is available this Monday and Tuesday. So is Catrina. I have to call Jordan tomorrow and find out if she is up for filming on these days. I haven’t contacted a cameraman/woman, and am currently leaning toward filming this sitcom-style episode on my smartphone. This project is not nearly as important to me as Cheaters Prosper, and therefore I do not intend the finished product to be as cinematic-ally catching. My goal is for it to be funny, and I don’t think people have the same expectations for an episode of comedy as they do for a dramatic pilot.
In a previous post, I mentioned how the 2 girls who pushed me to write a sitcom episode hadn’t been getting back to me. Yesterday my worst fears were confirmed when Catrina called and informed me they were opting out of the project. This really bothered me, but I got back on the horse today.
While driving to get a cup of coffee and planning to look for new ways to break into the screenwriting community, I decided to take a giant leap out of my comfort zone. I looked up “Stand up comedy open mic” on my smartphone and found a bar offering just that not too far away.
I drove over and took the initiative to meet a few of the stand-up comics before they performed their sets.
The main person I talked to was a comic by the name of Brian Mathews. I asked him a variety of questions, and as I had hoped, he led me in the right direction.
I learned that it is typical for a new stand-up comic to bomb during their first 6 months of performances (a lesson I would confirm a short while later). More importantly, he informed me that it takes, on average, about 2 years before you start getting paid to perform.
Even then, the pay is not great – 25 bucks for a set is the standard rate, while a full 45 minutes of material may net you $75. While this may sound like a great hourly rate, it’s easy to overlook the fact that such a long set would take hours and hours to prepare.
Nevertheless, I’m happy I got to talking with him. One of my biggest goals for the new year is to meet more people with similar aspirations to my own. Networking has always been an area I’ve avoided, but I’m convinced it is necessary if I’m going to make any sort of career in the entertainment industry.
Posted below is a short clip from Titus Jones’ set. He was hilarious and kept the crowd laughing the entire time he had the mic. Check him out and tell your friends.