Posts tagged ‘TV’
September 15, 2015
Apologies for the sparse posting this summer, my friends. Work, travel, and Life got in the way (as they so often do), but I intend to hop back on the blog-horse for regular features and updates over the next 6 months at least. As always, your patience with my scheduling weirdness is infinitely appreciated. And speaking of weird…
In my creative and my personal life, I see patterns.
Something as seemingly random as a rush hour commute with all-green-light intersections takes on prophetic business meaning. Pairs of butterflies circling the deck every morning for a week becomes a relationship omen. Monthly jolts awake after the same bonkers dream, only to see the same goddamn numbers glaring back at me:
(And the less a superstitious double-Gemini says about the thrice-annual shit-show of Mercury Retrograde, the better — back up those files and don’t sign contracts for a month, kiddos…the pattern of ‘Karmic fun’ starts tomorrow!)
Sure. It could just be my monkey brain’s way of making some desperate sense out of absurd, everyday, garden-variety chaos. But what fun is that? Especially when some of the greatest creative and scientific minds in history were/are ardent believers that recognizing patterns and potential connections between objects and events was the key to attaining higher knowledge and artistic excellence???
And that brings us to today’s topic: MEMOS from the MUSE.
Over the past six months or so, a common theme has reared its strange and fantastical head in the stuff I’ve been working on, as well as projects I’ve been brought in to help shape: the WHIMSICAL. The damn term keeps popping up in personal writings, in random conversations, highlighted in reference material, or even blurted out during conference calls. And it always came, it would seem, with the same qualifier: DARK.
How can you NOT smell a pattern like that? If the Muse keeps tickling your brain-balls, then it only makes sense to hear Her out over rib-eyes and a nice cab-merlot, amirite?
So I do what I like to call ‘tracing it back‘.
Follow the breadcrumbs of influence. Find the Alpha of the thought that’s recurring, which might help you predict the Omega of the path that you’re on — IE: the end result of the pattern — what it’s been trying to tell you from the start.
I recalled the shows and movies and books I loved as a kid.
I pondered the stuff I’m drawn to, and the tales I’m now driven to tell.
I revisited the last studio gig I agreed to, and the direction I gave to the team:
The music on that Hellboy 2 short is by my genius composer cousin, Tobias Tinker. We’d been making musical magic together for 7 years…and then that was that. I went off on walkabouts. He made more cool shit.
Last month, I flew my weary ass to his home in Berlin to see if our mutually-creative fires could be rekindled. It only occurs to me now that another 7 years had passed since our last big jam. And there we were, discussing the score on a massive (and massively daunting) audiobook project…
‘What’s the vibe you’re after?’ he asked.
‘Dark, of course,’ I said, ‘but there’s something else…’
I sat up, and I think I felt the ghost of a gear click into place as I spoke the word. And then, in one afternoon, we built the following piece around our masterful narrator‘s silky boom:
A pained music box. Flourishes of harp. Mysterious choir. Moody strings.
A month later, I couldn’t help but smirk when discussing part of a (secret = SHHH!) reality TV project’s score with its producers. There was a scene near the end that needed a special sonic touch — ‘heavier’ than the rest of the program, but still retaining a hint of playfulness and ‘hope’. I referred the editor to a section from Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring.
You can probably guess what two words were exchanged. ;)
That brings us to just last week. A designer on a seriously epic (and another SECRET!!!) game thingie asked me for input on the soundtrack.
Let me say this — if you were privy to the IP in question and what these cats have planned for it? Then you’d barf up the same goddamn tags I’ve been chucking since springtime. But that might mean very little to someone not lost in the vortex of signs and symbols…you know…like yours truly.
Thankfully, since I’d been bashing my head on this whimsy trip for months (nay, a lifetime!), there was an easier way to communicate. To share the PATTERN, whispered long ago through the Chaos by the Muse…
To be useful in this moment.
Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away = bombs of whimsy, yo!
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen = fanciful theatricality and fairytale decadence to legendary excess!!
The Dark Crystal = ground zero for ‘dark whimsy’ from my childhood!!!
What are some of YOUR dark and whimsical favourites?
And what patterns have played a role in YOUR creative and personal lives?
Sound off in the Comments…right below the kitten in a top hat…
June 3, 2013
The Red Wedding hurts because it’s real.
We know what should happen. The Hero’s Journey archetypes have conditioned us into comfort and expectation.
Yet our lives have shown us, too many times, what will happen.
We see the evil in men’s hearts.
We learn that ‘good guys’ rarely win. That honour no longer holds sway in the world at large.
We face the heavy truth that Love is ill-equipped to ‘conquer all’.
We endure. We accept. We transform.
Bad things happen every day. Terrible things. And all that we hold dear is eventually taken from us. Parents. Lovers. Friends. Children. Beloved pets. Each are destroyed by the selfish, frightened, power-mad hands of another. Or the ravages of Time.
It’s how we react to these tragedies that defines us. How we are shaped by them. Bettered by them. Like I’ve said a thousand times, if I’ve said it once:
We are taken to the forge, battered and burned and beaten some more…thrust in the flames to the point of dissolution…
…until we become a Sword.
Do not weep for the Starks on this day.
Do not curse the gods, or abandon all hope in the unseen engines of Fate.
Instead? Say a prayer for the survivors. Send them strength, so that they may emerge from their pits of suffering and sadness. With fire in their bellies, courage in their hearts, and minds sharpened like unholy razors.
Winter is coming.
And, may the Seven have mercy on any soul who has been marked for Her wrath.
June 6, 2012
TIMELINE: Oct 2011 – CURRENT
PLATFORM(S): Graphic Novel / TV Pitch / Web
CLIENT: 3Brane Entertainment
Collaborating with established producer and IP creator Nastasha Baron (Kingdoms of Grace) to package her exciting new sci-fi graphic novel project, and capitalize on its transmedia potential. With two completed issues (available in print and digital), we focused on the following strategy to get the property ready for the spotlight:
- Working from existing bible outlines, breaking out a story arc that would clearly showcase what an initial ‘season’ of television would look like. This would be then be adapted to a ‘stand alone’ graphic novel, comprised of five acts/issues.
- Building a ‘tastemaker’ presence on Tumblr, employing daily genre posts (focusing on mainstream projects with similar themes and appeal) to engage her core audience. In less than 6 months, her ‘geek oasis’ has received countless post reblogs and likes, with regular mentions of Grey Seal increasing brand awareness well ahead of any official release.
- Consulting on all aspects of packaging including: logline, series summary, comparative analysis, broadcaster pitches, indy fundraising, and long-term transmedia strategy.
- ADR direction of Tamoh Penikett (BSG) for the Grey Seal motion comic trailer.
Lt Commander Trevor Jones. US Navy Seal. Decorated veteran….and paraplegic. A man trapped in a sweeping conspiracy on this world — and a puppet for forces from another. Follow his struggle to uncover the truth behind haunting flashes of ‘missing time’, a powerful alien artifact, and the mind-bending possibility that he’s much more than human: he’s the GREY SEAL.
TIMELINE: 2010 – 2011
PLATFORM(S): Web, Videogame
GENRE: Animated Children’s content (stop-motion)
CLIENT: Karma Film
I was contracted to implement a ground-floor imagining of the design, interactive narrative, production management, and creative direction for a multi-pronged digital experience for this beloved Gemini Award-winning stop-motion animated children’s series.
- Designed user experience and overall media campaign strategy
- Produced/directed all in-studio production, technical assets, and audio/visual contributions
- Steered marketing strategy and ensured overall project timeline/budget adherence
- Secured additional national funding for ‘PHASE 2’ of the web experience: a Mariokart-inspired videogame, featuring hundreds of unique series characters and assets.
- Designed, produced and directed the game – Wapos Racerz – to completion with my recommended development team.
- Consulted on production and design for the Wapos Bay iPAD experience, now available!
Experience the heart-warming world of Wapos Bay HERE. (Flash required)
July 26, 2010
Stuck behind a desk?
I will think of you fondly
as I play with dolls
May 24, 2010
As most Geminis tend towards, I’m of two minds regarding the LOST finale. After 6 years and 100+hrs of direct viewing investment – not including discussion forums, fan films, ARGs, and more than a few diluted attempts at transmedia extension of the property – we the audience craved Resolution. And now, on the DAL (Day After LOST), a lot of the show’s Followers (Christian Shepherd, indeed) are of similar mind:
“Intellectually disappointing…yet emotionally fulfilling.”
And I agree with this to a certain extent. It nagged at me throughout the broadcast, this ever-present specter of Unanswered Questions. The canyon-sized plot holes of tail-eating logic. The long-dangling threads of era-splintering Mythology. Big Moments – imbued with seeming importance for many seasons – now dissolved like so much dirt in the glowing heart of the Island Washing Machine. My rational mind – my scientist – kept pursing his lips and shaking his head and scoffing at cracks in the Design.
But then came the Sum of all things…