“At the beginning it always felt like life or death.”
One of the keys to becoming a successful indie filmmaker/creator is to build an audience that is willing to support your work. BTS (or behind-the-scenes) photos are one of the easiest and most obvious ways to connect with your audience, it’s pretty much filmmaking 101. At minimum you should be remembering to whip out your cell phone every once in a while. At best you’ll be putting some planning into it and be strategic in your BTS photos and videos.
Lately I’ve been using my personal Instagram account to drop some hints about my next project. As development continues and we move into fundraising, the opportunity for photos only increases. Instagram is great because it’s fast, easy, and free – all important components to the shoestring indie project.
In this final episode, we spend a significant chunk of time discussing Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli. While I haven’t had a chance to dig in and read Asterios Polyp yet, it was fascinating to flip through the book as we were recording. When we started this journey, one of my primary goals was to uncover a story that could only be told in comic form. Asterios Polyp is one such story, where everything from the art style to the lettering change throughout the book in order to to tell the story.
The show notes are shorter than usual, mostly because we spend the majority of the episode discussing the art and deeper meanings that can be found in comics. Think of the notes as guide posts for the conversation.
(By the way, when ABC is airing a Star Wars / Marvel crossover TV series Chewie and The Beast [aka Hank McCoy] in a couple years, just remember that you heard it here first).
What starts as an explanation of pull lists quickly morphs into a conversation about comic book stores. So far, I’ve been to three different comic book stores and the general vibe towards anyone who was obviously not a seasoned veteran was…less than welcoming. It’s a problem that plagues the comic (and geek) culture. Unfortunately, there won’t be any drastic improvements until people start to recognize there’s a problem and become more proactive in making n00bs feel at ease.
Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to read comic books? Yeah, I didn’t either until last year. I’m working on widening my appreciation and understanding of different types of storytelling, and I thought comics would be a good place to start.
To get started, I enlisted to the help of a couple of comic aficionados – who also happen to be two of my best friends – Nick Lane and Lauren Williams. Listen in as we discuss how to read comics for n00bs like myself, as well as which books you should read first and which ones to save until you’re more experienced.
“The truth is that story is an art, a craft, and a trade. Only when all three aspects are in perfect harmony do you get a classic.” – Robert McKee.
I’ve been preparing a 3-week podcast series on how to read comics for the uninitiated (aka n00bs like me). It turns out that picking up a comic book isn’t always as easy as it looks, particularly if you have years experience of reading “regular” books. The first episode goes up this Friday, March 15th.
There comes a point in every creative project where you hit the proverbial wall. It might be writer’s block, designer’s block, or an unexpected problem. When you hit the road block you have a couple of choices. You could continue to fight until you break through the barrier. Or you could try hitting the pause button for a while instead.
One of the projects I’m currently developing is a feature-length documentary film that I’ve been calling The Quilting Thing (no, that’s not even a working title). In the early stages it was all research. Everything was zipping along with positivity and sunshine. However, when it came time to turn research into a treatment and a business plan, the storm arrived.
Every time I looked through my notes my frustration increased. It looked like a mess of information that went in ten directions with no connecting threads weaving everything together. Nothing to serve as a foundation for the story. No story? No film.
I’ve watched this video from Kid President several times since I first saw the link on Friday. I love it for many reasons. It’s well constructed, the music selection is solid, Kid President’s delivery is magic, et cetera, et cetera. However, the thing that keeps me coming back is the message.
“What will you create that will make the world awesome? Nothin’ if you keep sitting there.”
One of the most difficult parts of Creating Things™ is releasing the thing into the wild. Sure, you could keep the thing all to yourself, where it’s safe. But that defeats the purpose of you creating the thing in the first place. Creation is meant to be shared.
Usually when inspiration strikes, it only offers a small part of what a project could become. As you work and create, you collect more pieces until you have fully formed project. But sometimes, inspiration gives you the whole vision in one glimpse, leaving the details to be filled in later. I had one of those visions when I returned home from spending Thanksgiving with my family.
While I was gone, my roommate made a beautiful Christmas wreath. As soon as I saw the wreath on the front door I knew how we were going to decorate our apartment this year.
My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.
- Neil Gaiman