Archive for the Hypothesis the 5th Category

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 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.

PoPS video update 74-Ep5 Tomorrow!

Posted in Hypothesis the 5th on July 31, 2011 by PoPS blog

Down to the Wire

Posted in Hypothesis the 5th on July 27, 2011 by PoPS blog

By this time next week, 3 parts of episode 5 will be live for public scrutiny. I’ve reached the point in post production where I come home from work and go straight into the little office to work on the show. I surface for a meal, and a kiss from my wife, and then go back to PoPS-work until I absolutely have to go to sleep or suffer the entire next day at the work-what-pays-me. This is just how it gets before a release. The only time this kind of bothers me is on Whedon Wednesdays.

Every Wednesday night my wife and I have a few fine folks come over and we watch stuff. It started out with Buffy and Angel screened in the order in which they aired (Our first time doing it that way). The focus on the work of the great Joss Whedon warranted the name Whedon Wedenesday. But lately, because of the release of Burn Notice season 4, we’ve been having Westen Wednesdays, and this week, while a bunch of people that I like sit in the adjoining room having a Whedon Wednesday, I’ll be in the little office having a Work Wednesday. But when the release date is August 1st and it’s July 27th, that’s just how it’s going to be, little series creator. I know, wise interior voice.

My deadline this time is actually a cast and crew screening on Friday night. I got all of the effects shots Ryan was working on from him last night, I’m getting the 3D effects shots from Leo in Germany tonight after work, and I’m also getting the locked scores for Act II and Act III back from Suede tonight before he goes out of town tomorrow. Somehow our composer, Suede, is never in town for the cast and crew screening. Sad times. A lot of cast and crew are turning out to be out of town, so it might be a smaller screening than I thought. Also sad. But I’ll be pleased to see the episode done, and it looks like it just might work out.

Despite my desire to denoise every shot in the episode, the slow-ass denoiser workflow makes that impossible before the launch date. Further more, my fundamental misunderstanding of how to color correct means that even less shots will end up denoised because I have to re-color correct the ENTIRE EPISODE TEASER before the opening credits, which had previously been denoised. Denoised no longer. Sometimes I wish I had some more post production professionals in my inner circle. A dedicated color corrector would be a good person to know and exploit for their talents.

Since I’ve been embedding a lot of extraneous videos lately, here’s one that I thought was just outstanding. Jon Favreau has been conducting Dinner for Five-style–casual, insider, professional-to-professional– interviews with a bunch of the amazing people that he worked with on Cowboys and Aliens.. Not only does it get me more geared up to see Cowboys and Aliens, but listening to two guys I look up to talking about working with the guys that they look up to is just really cool. Especially Favreau’s “…and you were…in it.”

And can I just mention how insane it is that my weekly updates get more views than that video. What’s wrong with everyone? That’s it. I’m mentioning it in this week’s update.

Thanks for reading, guys. Episode 5, coming right up.

Jarvi out.

PoPS video update 73-One Week Left

Posted in Hypothesis the 5th on July 24, 2011 by PoPS blog

Recycle: Give the Internet What it Wants

Posted in Hypothesis the 5th on July 20, 2011 by PoPS blog

I think about the internet and the nature of internet content a lot. Obvo, right? And by and large a lot of stuff that gets passed around and discussed isn’t original. It finds an already devout audience and gives them something fun to link to each other. It’s basically fan-fic (short stories written by fans involving the characters they love, often involving odd romantic pairings; Sawyer and Jack on LOST, Edward and Jacob in Twilight). There’s great stuff like Ironbaby, around the time Ironman 2 gets released. There are spoof songs that take top 40 hits such as “Like a G6” and rewrite it for the Potter-core “Like It’s Quittich.” FreddieW is one of the most subscribed people on YouTube and his videos are amazing and filled with great VFX, but they consist of mostly video game and Star Wars in-jokes. He does fantastic looking live action representations of Mario Kart and Katamari or fun sketchy stuff about Jedis who are a-hole frat boys doing ridiculous things with lightsabers. Speaking of, the sheer amount of lightsaber stuff on YouTube is unbelievable and some of it is really well executed. Ryan vs. Dorkman 2 (story-free lightsaber battles) got enough money to hire a composer and actual orchestra, and Ryan ended up working VFX on Heroes. People want the internet to confirm that other people like the same kinds of things from TV, movies, video games, and books that they like. It’s a lot harder to become one of the things that they like if you originate on the internet. That’s because anybody can do it, and a lot of it isn’t any good. I’d have a much larger following making a show about four super heroes that people already know–Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Black Widow (3 DC and 1 Marvel, I bet I know who’s going to feel left out)—All living in an apartment together, as opposed to 4 unestablished 20-somethings and their quirky rise toward becoming heroes. One of the most rabidly followed web series is Red vs. Blue, which was created using the characters from Halo and hacking the game, manipulating the characters and camera, and adding original dialogue over the top. It’s hilarious and was a brilliantly executed idea. But again, they stood on the shoulders of the Halo zeitgeist and fan fic-ed their way to the bank. Sometimes people even prefer fan fic stuff created by amateurs to those little internet webisodes created using the real actors and sets. There’s a YouTuber called ItsJustSomeRandomGuy who found his viral video niche by doing spoofs of the Mac vs. PC commercials with Marvel vs. DC characters, pitting the characters of the movie franchises that are being released that summer  against each other (look at that, combining two independent creative properties—computer commercials and super hero comic book movies—with excellent original dialogue and the kid rakes in millions of views. Dude only edits with iMovie too). His spoofy send up of True Blood vs. Twilight probably saw way more traffic than those weird True Blood webisodes that they bundled onto the season 3 DVDs. Did you watch those? I love the show immensely, but those webisodes were weird. They felt like they were written by the writer’s room intern.

Basically, all I’m saying is that the internet would rather cop established industry content than rally around something new. I’m not even asking them to go that far out of their way. Super powers are awesome no matter how you dice it and our show is solid. It can be a little disheartening.

It reminds me of something cool that Stephen King does though. He does this thing called Dollar Baby Films. A number of his short stories have never had the film rights optioned. So anyone—mostly film students, but I think anyone can do it—can apply to get the rights to adapt them into short film. The cost of the short film rights is 1 dollar, on the condition that it’s never shown for profit. You can put it in film festivals and on your demo reel but that’s it. So a Dollar Baby wouldn’t work if you wanted to get some attention on the internet, but film festival programmers are probably more interested in watching a short film based on material by Stephen King than by Joe Blow the amateur scribe. Stephen King’s so cool. With that in mind, two links this week; the first is a list of all of the stories that can be made into Dollar Babies.

Stephen King’s Dollar Baby Stories

The other is an extremely long interview that the “Paris Review” did with King in 2006. A few years old now, but I just think that guy is really fascinating.

Epically Long Stephen King Interview

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Jarvi out.