It’s been to 28 May to 3 June 2017.

Gag writing AMITS over the week has given me a bit of fun material to work with, but it feels too much like I’m stalled again. I’ve given the project a month and it’s in a far better place now, but I’m getting bored with it again and I want to work on something a bit more spontaneous.

So I’m starting another interim project this weekend and giving myself until the first weekend of October to finish it off. It’s another step along from the abstract freeform happy times of RYGCBMK◯ towards the more structured story of AMITS.

Just like RYGCBMK◯ there’s a set of rules for me to follow, key among which is that I am to make all of it up as I go along, scene by scene. No planning ahead is allowed. If I try to work out an ending in advance, I’m instantly barred from actually using it.

Felix Colgrave wrote “straight ahead” and got the amazing short Double King, so I figure it’s worth a try.

A moment in the sun Journals Music & Synthesisers Stuff I made

Happy Pointy saves the day

It’s been 21 to 27 May 2017. National Reconciliation Week has just begun here in Australia. Most of my week was taken up with synthesiser-building. The last three nights I’ve been burning the midnight oil building and troubleshooting a Bastl Instruments Noise Squared. It’s all working now and I feel very accomplished. 🙂
A pin diagram of the MCP6002 linear op amp. Not shown: capriciousness.

AMITS is showing signs of life too! It’s helping a lot that I’m much less uptight about whether it’s going to turn out “good” anymore. RYGCBMK◯ has been useful for that: there hasn’t been much in the way of interest and that takes the mental pressure off. The positive reactions I got from RYGCBMK◯ have encouraged me to tap some of that same merry energy for AMITS. I feel like it’s better for me to just have fun with this and get that fun up on screen.

I drafted a new story pass in note form last Sunday and it’s looking promising! Pointy’s upbeat personality is so much nicer to work with than his previous stupid/mean incarnations. His new attitude means the story flows more straightforwardly, the pace is swifter, the energy level is higher, the humour is spread across both action and dialogue… it’s a good start!

The middle section of the movie sees Pointy meeting a “laser robot”. Pointy’s nerdy excitement for all things laserly and robotic becomes disappointment as the robot turns out to be a malfunctioning dud. Accordingly, I’ve been coming up with unimpressive stuff for the robot to do all week. The ideas so far are unusable, but that’s ok – experience has taught me that usable ideas come from unusable ideas and I just have to keep pushing through it patiently without falling in love with any single gag too much.

The goal here is to create a large pool of ideas then select the ideas which fit together the best while maintaining the tone I want. Having a solid grasp of the movie’s tone removes a major source of indecision for me, and indecision is a big part of why this isn’t done yet.
Here is the metaphorical pool of ideas I am trying to create. Starfish pattern optional.

That’s all for now. Time to catch up on the last of the soldering before the next salvo of Eurorack kits get here…

A moment in the sun Journals Stuff I made

Same Sun, different Pointy

It’s been 30 April to 6 May 2017 and A moment in the Sun: Robot is back in development again.

I drafted a new synopsis this week with a fresh take on Pointy as an utter geek for robots as long as they have lasers. I like this new arrangement of two upbeat characters in a situation as opposed to an upbeat character versus a grumpy character.

If Pointy’s seeking out Gronky for his cool robots, as opposed to wandering through the desert aimlessly, there’s much less to introduce and set up, which means the pace is sped up considerably and there’s less movie to make. It also fits together more organically as a story – Gronky’s job of burying stuff in the desert stays the same and even has some relevance to why Pointy meets up with him.

Not much else to cover this week – the day job has been super-draining – so please enjoy this Australian comedy sketch featuring cult favourite Milo Kerrigan (played by Shaun Micallef) attempting to cook a chicken and destroying both the set and the script in the process.

A moment in the sun Journals Stuff I made

A light in the ongoing rough patch

Time to recap 12 to 18 February 2017. This week I’ve focussed more on getting well than making stuff.

I got the pitchamatic for the second and third part of the movie cut together and put it in front of a couple of reviewers. The feedback I’ve got is that things are weirder than before but still funny. Funny-weird is fine by me. 🙂

After months of not having the story in video form, it’s great to see the characters up and moving again. Even from that I’m getting new insights into where the characters come from, and the kind of story I’m telling is much clearer. Hopefully that clarity will assist with the tricky task of writing the introduction.

Alas. Job stress, anxiety, lack of restful sleep and other stuff have made it hard to maintain a clear creative vision of what I want. My brain is just too unsettled and preoccupied to really focus. It’s far from ideal.

Figure 1. What it’s been like on the inside of my head lately.

Without a good sense of what I’m aiming for, I’m liable to get stuck in endless tweaking and trying other things. (“Do I like this? How about this? Do I like anything?)” Even with that vision, I could be super attached to a particular idea one day, then dump it for a new idea which makes the story more concise and interesting but gives me more work to do. (“Did it really need to be changed?”)

Anyway. Instead of floundering and tweaking and getting nowhere in a cloud of self-doubt, I’m writing down prospective in unstructured point form as an idea bank. I know I have particular plot points to hit – points like “Gronky meets Pointy”, “Pointy is lost”, etc – but it’s more pragmatic to bank interesting little ideas that I don’t have to commit to rather than trying to piece together something bigger (or tweak something that already exists), especially without a strong notion of what I’m aiming for.

Little things I can do. Big things will just have to wait until I’m feeling up to it.

A moment in the sun Journals Stuff I made

Navigating a rough patch

It’s been 5 to 11 Feb 2017. It’s a quick entry this week by contrast to last week’s 19th Century Russian novel!

I was working on the introduction again this week. I had an outline I liked. I scribbled thumbnails down one side of it on Sunday (see header image) and I was feeling really good about it. I even tweeted that I had it. I let it sit for the mandatory day or two and – surprise surprise – it’s not where it needs to be.

Getting carried away with early drafts happens, but it doesn’t help that I’m also going through a rough patch right now. I’m dealing with way higher stress levels at the day job than normal; I’m staying back late at work much more often. Even figuring out how to make the new employment arrangements work effectively has been a challenge, let alone getting work done. It’s severe enough that I’ve been in counselling for anxiety for a few weeks – it’s helping, but there’s a lot to work through. Unseasonably winterish weather here in Perth with record low tempeatures and rainfall isn’t helping matters either, since I’m very much a summer person.

So with all that’s been going on, I’ve been especially wiped out and it’s made me super indecisive. So instead of getting bummed out with aimless tweaking work on the introduction, I’m going back to the layout images I already have to create a pitchamatic (narrated storyboard video). Seeing the second part of the movie unfold in video form should give me a much more tangible sense of what I need to introduce and how, and it’ll be encouraging to see Pointy and Gronky do their thing again. 🙂

See you next week!