The Dead End of Story Endgame

My problem is that all I’ve ever been interested in is telling the story. I want to play with characters, plot, sequence, device, and expectation in service of entertainment and maybe a little something more. That’s not the real problem. The real problem is that I never took the time to develop the skills to do this in a large scale way. Every week I spout my indie-life diatribe here; I talk about “doing it” because that is what I know how to do. What I don’t know how to do is develop it, package it, pitch it, and sell it. That’s how large-scale storytellers “do it.” Maybe they started out doing it themselves, but in a way that proved they could handle the medium. A full feature film that looked great or was particularly relevant to a moment in time. A rough sketch with proof of a voice or an eye. Seems like most voices come from character-based indies, most eyes come from commercials. All a web series is going to do for you is give you full creative control to tell your story on the smallest scale around. Maybe I’ll get some reel elements out of it, but that’s probably it from a professional perspective.

On a personal level, it checks off a lot of my storytelling goals-wishlist, and that’s why I’m so passionate about it. But that’s been what’s weighing on my mind lately. When I started, the PoPS endgame was “getting discovered.” That’s been my philosophy forever. If I just keep making these things, upping the quality, upping the scale, eventually someone will just open a door and invite me in. That’s never how it’s been. If Hollywood is a party, I’m standing on the front lawn screening PoPS on my iPhone. Holding it up in the direction of the house in case somebody’s bored and looking out the window. So, it’s really the test of whether the story itself is enough. The idea of the initial endgame doesn’t play anymore. It’s not an industry conveyor belt. Is finishing the story enough of an endgame? Does a completed story arc have enough intrinsic value to merit it’s completion? Another 18 to 24 months of my life for the two remaining episodes? I’d have to say so. It’s all I know how to do.

People are putting insane things online. This guy devinsupertramp is one of the biggest YouTubers and this week he put out an extended video game commercial using parkour and actually shutting down major intersections in downtown Chicago. Check it:

That’s huge! That’s the stretch of road where they flipped the semi in The Dark Knight! There are network TV shows that don’t have that kind of scope. Dude does most of his action on the glide cam and makes everything feel really intense. He’s the king of the YouTube chase scene. It’s awesome. And that’s Craig from our show playing the only cop with lines.

Josh Hartnett has been doing a lot of thinking about opportunity versus desire lately too:

What’s the goal and how do you make it happen? Josh Hartnett is going to fund his passion projects with high profile studio stuff. devinsupertramp is going to use his glide cam action shooting skills to move from parkour talent show videos into more narrative-based action content for brands that can pay for it. What am I going to do? Is the endgame simply telling my stories? ‘Cause if it is, I’m there already. If the endgame is working in the bigs, than I have to backburner the storytelling and build the pitch-package skills.

Thanks for reading.

-Jake

 

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