Hello Interwebs! Here we are: the end of 2020. What a year it was! We had tremendous lows and… some good things too? Maybe? Let’s not dwell on it too long. We’re here to break down all the things TPM accomplished this year, international disasters aside. Up top, I want to thank everyone who supported us and our content in 2020! You all make the effort worth it.
We at TPM had somewhat of a creative explosion this year. All that time in lockdown got us thinking up new projects. For each goal which fell through because of Covid-19, we probably came up with 3 more exciting things to do in the future!
Still, some of those failed goals stung… For one thing, the crew was excited to produce a film for entry into festivals. For us, acceptance to film fests is a mark of legitimacy which we would love to associate with our brand. Such milestones potentially bring about opportunities for bigger projects, or more contacts, or simply more exposure we wouldn’t otherwise get. Of course we love making stuff for entertainment and the pride of artistry, but TPM doesn’t want to confine our professional goals to YouTube. To have the potential for a new creative outlet snatched away overnight was disheartening.
What were we planning to do anyway? Well, between January and June, I wrote a treatment for a short film and also created a first draft script for TPM’s first feature! For the record, those projects were Cut it Out and Programmed to Please, respectively (both announced in the TPM September update). Since then Justin has begun a treatment for Below Zero, and Matteo has continued work on Coming of Age (and yes, Matteo, I know it’s not spelled that way but this is a family-friendly blog…). So, I’d say we accomplished a lot in terms of pre-production this year!
Since August, our crew has filmed more than we have in the last 2 years! Retribution Isle is the film which helped the team overcome its collective burnout on film-making and instill healthier habits for production. Our old model of working was primarily to cram our shoots into 8-10 hour days and rush through as fast as possible. Such a model worked because of our busy schedules and drive to accomplish our work, but it also came at a terrible psychological price. 8-10 hours of work per day is a lot to ask of a crew when none of them are being paid. Though we all enjoy film-making as a hobby, it felt a little too much like work without any noticeable reward (the pleasure of a completed product wasn’t good enough).
Most of that was, admittedly, my fault. But now we’ve reached terms which I believe all of us are satisfied with, and we’ve accomplished a lot more as a consequence. Our journey to solving TPM’s longstanding production problems was detailed in my article: Don’t Be Like Me: A Control Freak’s Perspective on the Creative Process.
TPM didn’t accomplish all the production goals we had for RI this year, but we managed to do a fantastic amount! The majority of outdoor location shoots were completed. We look forward to continuing this project once the snow starts to melt and Covid-19 is (fingers crossed) no longer a concern.
Alright, we kinda sat on our hands for this one in 2020… Most of the year we had footage for nearly-completed films which we did basically nothing with since Spring. However, I finally got one of the films sent off to be processed and completed. So fingers crossed (again) that one can release sometime in the new year!
We also recently finished building a new editing computer. So here’s hoping post-production won’t be as much of a hassle as it used to be. Before recently, we only had one computer capable of efficiently running our editing software but, now that we have 2, the team can more easily pass files back and forth to work with.
Matteo and I have wanted to produce graphic novels for many years now. But 2020 is when we finally buckled down and started in earnest on a few projects. Matteo has multiple fantasy epics in the works. In addition, we’re collaborating on various sci-fi stories. When will we get those done? Who knows? But I’m about to start the first draft for a story in our anthology book. I recently completed a treatment for said story, so there’s an update right there!
Perhaps TPM’s most successful endeavor in 2020 are these articles I’ve put together for you! They’re the only project this year which we as a company have accomplished consistently and been able to release. I’m proud of the work I’ve put into them, and I thank everyone who’s read along. Your support means a lot! I’m gonna take a break next week for the new year, but after that look forward to new essays, warm takes, how-to’s, analyses, and reviews for 2021!
2020, though grim in many ways, has been a creatively rewarding year for TPM. We’ve planned a significant amount of future stories, put pen to paper on more projects than we have in a long time, filmed a record number of days, produced consistent content, and prepared ourselves for a potentially great 2021.
To finish off the final article of the year, I want to leave you with some goals for the next annual roundup. It’s very possible I’ll come back here in 365 days only to report we accomplished none of these, but I want to set the bar anyway. We can never clear the wall of expectations if we never build them, right?
THOUGHT PLANE MEDIA’S 2021 GOALS
1. Finish and release Retribution Isle
2. Get something in a film festival
3. Release Manimal Food
4. Release Planet of the Beavers 5: The Good, The Bad, and the Aesthetically Impaired
5. Film new sketches for YouTube
6. Continue releasing weekly articles
7. Include occasional articles by Justin and Matteo
8. Finish all the writing for at least 1 graphic novel (and some art)
9. Maintain a somewhat consistent film schedule
10. Expand our network of regular collaborators
This has been TPM’s 2020 roundup. If you have any questions about what I’ve written today, or have something you’d like to see addressed more in-depth in next month’s update, let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any ideas for future articles, or any general questions, let me know that as well. Be sure to like this article on Facebook and share if you enjoyed!
Till next year