The most viewed post on this blog is from last year this time. I did a round up of 10 of my favorite movies to watch for Halloween. That being the case, I thought I’d take a stab at a Halloween challenge my favorite horror blogger of all time, Final Girl (Stacey Ponder), undertook. She sat down and watched a horror movie series in its entirety and blogged her reviews between films. I thought I’d do the same thing with vlogging. Since she already did Friday the 13th and Halloween, I thought I’d start with the Nightmare series. It was a lot of fun.
Archive for October, 2012
The last part of PoPS episode 6 just went up. It’s the part that has the most time consuming VFX shots in it. I keep saying that the last 2 minutes took us 4 months and I’m pretty sure I’m not exaggerating. But it’s not my intention to rehash my time-consuming VFX diatribe that I spend most of my post production blogs rambling about in a roto’-fueled daze. I’m here today to talk about the comments section.
The comments on today’s upload followed the usual stages:
Stage 1: The early commenters, pointing out that they’re the first to comment on the video, the fact that they’re part of the under-300 club (YouTube has a thing where the view counter stops at a number between 301 and 307 views on a day when a much-watched video goes up and just stays there for between 8 to 12 hours, catching up after that), and saying generic niceties to prove that they were one of the first commenters without actually saying it, but commenting well before they’ve had a chance to watch the video.
Stage 2: The hardcore fans. The hardcore fans show up to check it out and wait to comment on the actual content. Their comments are really generous, supportive, and about the thing that they just watched. If they can’t think of anything else they quote their favorite line in the segment and leave it at that. If they have criticism it is always constructive, balancing the things they liked with the things they didn’t, giving real weight to their criticism and making me actually consider if I can defend my directorial or authorial position. Needless to say, these are my favorites.
Stage 3: The cold-blooded critics. These guys are the ones that come out to just say what they hate about what you do. There are very few of these guys in our comments section. I’m very grateful for that, considering what some of the messageboards I see look like. Mostly they’re folks who show up when Craig mentions us in his videos or we get an outside mention from another website. They drop in for an episode part, criticize things without any sense of context, and take off. It’s a hit and run thing and it’s an internet staple. Some of these folks have watched all of the show though, I see their usernames pop up on several segments and even a few updates. They tell you what’s wrong with each episode part as they go on and it’s interesting to see how this has evolved.
In the beginning of the show we were a very easy target. The footage and effects looked awful, the actors were just starting to establish their characters and get their feet under them, and the tone of the first episode is a little more slap-sticky than I’d like. The stage 3 guys had it easy: “This show sucks.” “The acting sucks.” “This looks like s***.” You get the idea. But as the stage 3 guys started getting under my skin today, I had a really awesome realization. When your cold-blooded commenter resorts to pointing out that a bad guy shot an unrealistic amount of rounds from the clip of a mac 10, you’re doing pretty good. When all they come up with is that the ricochet behaviors of bullets from different guns were “pretty convenient,” than your show has evolved to a pretty sweet spot. And when they start debating whether the characters in the show would behave a certain way, you’re doing friggin’ awesome. If the audience thinks they know the characters better than the cast and the actors, than you’ve pretty much brought them to life. The stage 3 folks made me feel pretty good today.
Oh, yeah. Stage 4 is the last stage. It’s pretty much a grab bag of people discovering you after the initial launch, so it’s a pretty wide selection of points of view. In old industry terms, stages 1 through 3 are like opening weekend feedback, stage 4 is like when your thing has made it to video stores. We’ve gotten to a place where even fresh eyes without context are getting fairly complimentary, so I take that as a good sign.
Thanks for reading.
There’s going to be a break in the updates coming up. Any time I’ve made that statement before it’s just been because I was tired of doing them. This time, not so. The break is happening because I won’t be working on PoPS. After episode 6 is done going up, I would ordinarily hop right into working on episode 7. Episode 7 is even shot in its entirety. Hopping into post would be the easiest thing in the world, but I’m in debt. Not financial debt—well, sure, we’re in financial debt too, but nothing we can’t handle. I’m talking about favor debt. I’ve had two videos sitting around for ages that I owe people and I haven’t had any time to work on them because of my dedication to PoPS. One, a concert video for my friend Suede, who also plays the main villain in PoPS and does some of our composing; it was a three-camera shoot that’s been shot and unedited for almost a year. The other is an intensive tour of an amazing private art, furniture, and architecture collection, of which I have about 20 hours of raw footage that needs putting together. I hoped I would have time during the uploading of 6 to get them mostly done. Didn’t really work out. Between the SAG paperwork I had to complete for episode 7, the updates, the Indiegogo campaign video (soon to be two), and our awesome trip to England, I’ve only gotten a rough draft of the concert video done. That needs to be polished before I can set in on the art collection video. So while I work on these two projects, there will be no PoPS progress happening and therefore no reason to do any updates. Hopefully it won’t take me long to get through the videos, but with 20 hours of raw footage…well, here’s hoping I see you guys soon. It’s not happening right away, and I doubt it will make much of a difference for anyone, but I’m going to be disappearing for a little bit. Before I go though, there are a few more updates through the release of 6 and the end of the Indiegogo campaign, and a fun Halloween experiment video, which, if successful, may become a yearly tradition.
Thanks for reading.
As a guy who makes a show for the internet, my conversations with our audience obviously occur primarily as a text back and forth in the comments section of our videos. So here’s what I’ve found out about meeting the audience in person. For a few hours before hand I start getting very quiet and worried about how it’s going to go. What if nobody shows up? If somebody does show up, what are we going to talk about? Are they going to be disappointed with the reality of me as a person? I get very edgy about it. When it gets down to ACTUALLY MEETING PEOPLE though, it’s great. Everyone is very nice (obviously), we pass a notebook around getting names, emails, and YouTube channels, and we just talk. The first meet-up was in London at the Prince Albert Memorial, 7 folks showed up, and the second was in Bristol in a cool movie theater/café/bar called The Watershed, 8 folks showed up. It was exactly like hanging out. Except with a little more staring and picture taking. Both times I got to points where I thought, Oh no! I’ve run out of things to talk about! And then questions would happen. Each meet-up had kind of an unofficial moderator who showed up to get the questions going anytime conversation slowed. It was amazing. The London moderator was Joe and the Bristol moderator was Ben; if you guys happen to read this, thanks for taking the reins.
The questions everyone asked, aside from just the sheer gratitude I felt that they wanted to know anything about our show, also lead me to considering things I hadn’t realized before. Like the fact that my favorite character to write is our villain, Damon. Every scene with that guy is just fun. The conversation at the Watershed led me to that realization. I can’t thank everyone who showed up enough and I appreciate that you all took time out of your lives to come hang out with us, it was amazing.
I’ll be discussing our next meet-up in more detail in the next video update, but it’s also a screening, which I think makes it even better. It’s Friday, October 26, at an event space in Chicago called Catalyst Ranch. At 6pm is a meet-and-greet, kind of networking whatever. At 6:30 the screening starts, we’re doing episodes 4, 5, and 6 back to back, which should take a little under two hours. Then we’re doing a Q and A. Not sure who all will be there yet, but I know it’ll at least be the main four—Craig, Carlyn, Eliza, and I. And our German VFX dude Leo has RSVP’d as well. Tickets are 10 bucks, but all of that money will go into the episode 7 fundraiser and the people who attend will get thank yous on the website in accordance with the 10-dollar level donation on our Indiegogo page. It’s going to be awesome. Here’s a link to the page where you can buy tickets:
Thanks for reading, everyone.