Archive for August, 2011

Writing episode 6 (week 2)

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on August 31, 2011 by PoPS blog

I still don’t know how much of our donation money is going to go toward postage on sending out all of these donor prizes, but we just wrote addresses on a ton of envelopes and they’re from all over the world (not kidding, like Japan to the Netherlands to Australia to all over North America and countries I was previously unfamiliar with), so I’m guessing A LOT. We’re trying to rethink our approach to raising funds for episodes 6 and 7 so that the prizes can be sent via download or something. Anyway, anytime I think about the money side of our little storytelling endeavor I start to flip out, so enough about that.

The first draft of episode 6 is going to be huge. We’re finally gearing up into Act 3 for all of the storylines but I’m already on page 37. Keeping in mind that the Episode 5 script was 47-pages for a 34-minute episode, I think we’re going to have to do a little chopping on this one. But I’m REALLY LOVING all the plotlines. So much fun. And careful inspection of the hours I spend behind the keyboard puts my current new-material output at about 2 pages an hour. It’s a little slower than I’d like.

I was thinking about the nature of our show and how we don’t have enough money to even pay people scale. I’m still waiting for the day we become successful enough for the Screen Actors Guild to try and fine me for acting in a non-signatory show that I created, write, direct, and produce, and then I have to just hand over my SAG card and say, ‘Sorry, no one was hiring me to act, but it’s fun.’ It’ll be sad to see those initiation fees and years of dues go down the drain, but I won’t regret it for the show that we’ve made and the characters we’ve created. All of that aside, I was thinking about the way it is for people who are eager to be a part of the process:

Phase 1: You do it strictly for the love of it. You work on any project that sounds fun and you do it for nothing, because it’s what you love to do.

Phase 2: You work in any project that you can get hired onto as a paid professional. You’ve got a marketable talent or craft that you use to make money in the industry you love, regardless of the content. You’re a gun for hire and you work on what pays you. If you happen to like the project, bonus, but usually unlikely.

Phase 3: You’ve become successful enough to get paid to make projects you’re passionate about. Maybe they’re marketable, maybe they’re not, but you believe in the stories you’re telling and the characters that take you there, and your track record is such that you get paid well to do it. This phase made me think of Helen Mirren for some reason. Classy lady. Very good actress.

Then I thought about where I am with The Platoon of Power Squadron. Obviously, phase 1, right? However, I keep turning down phase 2 gigs so I have more time to devote to my phase 1 gig, which means I’m treating my phase 1 as a phase 3, without there being any kind of financial bonus. This is crazy right? The look in my wife’s eye every time I turn down a paying video gig makes me think it might be.

In other news, I found a website out of South East Asia called BuzzPOP that’s kind of syndicating PopS episodes. They’re doing it from the beginning, putting up a new YouTube part every Tuesday for their audience, so they’re only on Episode 1 part  4. I think that’s pretty cool.  They’re kind of GeekTyrant-ish and they made a kickass banner for it from posters that Carlyn made. Check it out:

BuzzPOP PoPS page

Damn, that was a long one. Thanks for reading, guys.

Jarvi out.

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PoPS video update 77-DVDs

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on August 28, 2011 by PoPS blog

Writing episode 6 (week 1)

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on August 24, 2011 by PoPS blog

Still working on writing the script for episode six. Over the last week I’ve only been able to put seven hours into it, so I’m only 13 pages in, but I’m liking what I have so far. I think I should be able to do a little more damage to it this weekend, when we’re not traveling through a few states.  I had a difficult time starting Act 1 this time. I flew through the 5-page teaser, which I’ve been thinking about for awhile, but then I came to Act 1 and I was all…Where to start? 3 major storylines and a fun little D story were all primed for the episode and set up in the teaser, but I wasn’t sure which one to start with. I actually just sat behind the keyboard for about 25 minutes without hitting a key, tracing various plot threads in my head to see how’d they play as a beginning, but I eventually just had to pick one and go, letting the others threads fall in behind it. I think that’s ultimately how a first draft has to happen for me. Just write. If things need to be re-structured later, that’s what subsequent drafts are for. Despite my structural struggle, the characters just fall into place without me even having to think about it now. I really like them a lot.

Two fun things this week. I was googling our show, as I often do and–in addition to the fact that I’m finding a lot more blogs that mention us (which is AWESOME) and that someone has started a Wiki page about us (categorized: ALSO AWESOME)—I found two really fun things.

1: Someone (who isn’t the greatest at spelling, but whom I adore) has created a “Witch Platoon of Power Squadron character are you?” quiz.  Follow the link to find out whom you most resemble, personality-wise.

Take the PoPS personality quiz

I took the quiz—answering as honestly as I could—and, what do you know, I got Jonas.

2: This awesome new drawing which wasn’t sent to our Facebook, but which I posted there anyway as soon as I found it on SheezyArt.

Thanks for reading, guys.

 Jarvi out.

PoPS video update 76-On the Road

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on August 21, 2011 by PoPS blog

The Week Off

Posted in Hypothesis the 5th on August 17, 2011 by PoPS blog

It was so amazing to end up on Geek Tyrant the day after we finished uploading. I get a lot of my movie news from them, so to have our show validated in that way was absolutely nuts. I had sent out some emails to Joey Paur who runs geektyrant.com when we were getting ready to upload Ep5 and also the day we put up part 1. I don’t think I really expected him to respond. I’ve been trying to figure out ways to get some kind of attention from places outside of YouTube, which has a wonderful community but can feel very closed off from the larger world—tons of audience interaction, no industry feedback. Eliza and I were in the car when I got the email saying that he had put us up on the site. When I’m driving, Eliza is nice enough to read me any incoming emails and as she read the email it sounded like the usual nice complimentary messages I get from YouTube watchers, so I was nodding along like—Oh, that’s nice. Then she got to the sign off and said, “Joey Paur, Editor-in-Chief, Geek Ty—“

“YES!!!” I screamed and hit the steering wheel. She must have jumped a foot in the air; I’m surprised she didn’t smash her head. There was a shocked moment of silence and then we both started laughing. It was awesome. It was what I had been waiting for.

This week off has been awesome. I’ve watched so many movies and had a couple good nights of watching TV shows too. Some of the highlights were “4 movie Saturday”: Predators in the morning, Final Destination 5 3D at the theater (even though we had blackouts that shut the projector down twice and we missed a death), Super (a surprising mess of a movie except for Ellen Page), and Ip Man (amazing); and “Terminator Tuesday”: Terminator 1, 2, and 3 back to back from 6:30 pm to 12:30 pm. I’ve also been able to catch up on a bunch of work at my day-job. The only bad thing about it only being a week is that I just get accustomed to the habit of coming home and taking it easy when it’s time to start getting back to work again. So this week I need to buckle down and get to work for the scripts on episodes 6 and 7. This blog will be a good marker of how long it takes me. I’m going to try and keep a better record of my hours this time around. We estimated that it took me around 40 hours to finish the Ep5 script and that was 47 pages. If that’s true, and each one of these scripts takes me 40 hours to complete, I’ll be done in about 4 weeks, since my after-work work schedule usually has me working a minimum of 20 hours a week. The end of summer can get kind of life-busy sometimes, especially in the Midwest, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

I saw this awesome montage of steadicam shots from a whole bunch of movies yesterday, so I thought I’d include it here:

We’ll see how much progress I’ve made by next week.

Thanks for reading, guys.

Jarvi out.

PoPS video update 75-Wrapping up 5

Posted in Hypothesis the 5th on August 7, 2011 by PoPS blog

Upload week!!!

Posted in Hypothesis the 5th on August 3, 2011 by PoPS blog

This is a crazy week. After months and months of work outside of “work” hours, all of the episode parts go up day after day for a week and audience feedback comes in fast and furious. It’s nerve-wracking, it’s exciting, it’s everything. It’s all of the things. ALL of them. It’s an entire flow chart of human emotions, which work their way down to a single conclusion: This is why I do this.

People are REALLY involved in the show. It’s so awesome. LOST-esque theory discussions have been popping up in our YouTube comments sections. Like, “I bet this is why this is happening” type stuff. Just like on all those LOST boards I used to frequent. It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted to happen. People are involved with these characters and storylines now the way that I’m involved with all the shows that I love. AND they’re digging the comedy. It’s a dream come true. And it’s entirely new feeling for content creators as of the last decade. Complete creative control and direct contact with a ravenous audience. It’s amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are assholes. But there are always going to be. My wife was the voice of reason on that particular subject last night and she was absolutely right. The second part of episode 5 had over 800 “likes” before the first “dislike” rolled in and then everyone in the comments went crazy about, “Who would dislike this? WHY?!” That sort of thing is really encouraging and really cool. Three of the five episode parts are up now and so I think I’ll just put those up here and leave it at that for this week. The first video is a “previously on,” recapping the first four episodes in 60 seconds. The three which follow are the first three parts of episode five—our first episode shot with the glory of DSLRs—and if you double click on any of them you’ll end up at the video page on YouTube where you can peruse the pages and pages of what people are saying.

I won’t be stopping in next week, because I’m taking an entire week off of everything before diving in to write episode 6. But I’ll see you two weeks from today! Thanks for reading, guys!

Jarvi out.