Hello Interwebs! This October saw some notable progress on multiple fronts, so read on to learn more about that…
You remember when I said we had “notable progress on multiple fronts” this month? Pre-production wasn’t one of those fronts… I admit it: our team accomplished next to nothing across the board this October (for pre-production). Oops. BUT there’s other stuff to share this time, so don’t bring out the pitchforks yet!
I all but promised you last month that I’d finally make the time for a new sketch… and I did! You heard me right: Thought Plane Media actually FILMED something. And we can realistically complete it in decent time too? How novel! I don’t aim to overhype it or anything. I’m just excited to have new video content I can discuss with you today.
I settled on Phil Blye the Education Guy to be our first sketch for a few reasons: 1) I lacked the props to do anything else on my list; 2) Justin and I come up with this concept all the way back in 2017 and I wanted to FINALLY do it; 3) Playing such a wacky character seemed fun.
Phil Blye is essentially Bill Nye the Science Guy, but Phil’s a tad creepier and makes lots of accidental innuendos. For the purposes of this sketch, Phil teaches us all about “electricity”– yet somehow makes the subject dirty. You’ve just gotta watch to see how he pulls that off…
Filming this sketch was a new experience for me! I’ve never filmed anything all by myself before– not even my earliest projects. But I was excited for the challenge! Phil Blye took me 6 hours to film. It only took me so long because this sketch wasn’t intricately planned. I didn’t bother with storyboards or shotlists, and had the vaguest ideas what I’d do on camera. Sometimes it’s fun to make things up on the fly. It brings me back to my roots as a filmmaker. Only difference is nowadays I have more expensive equipment and better handle on my craft.
This relative lack of planning led to some funny gags I hadn’t anticipated. For example, I decided Phil Blye would spin a globe in one shot. But when I filmed the scene, my spin was too powerful and the globe fell over in front of me. It was a lot funnier than the original idea though, so I left it in. Going with the flow instead of rigidly adhering to a plan often yields superior results.
One major aspect I made up on the spot was my portrayal of Phil Blye himself. I’ve had a rough idea of how to play him for 4 years but the character didn’t really come to me till I put on that suit and booted up the camera. I liked the idea that Phil was excited by his subject matter, so his eyes practically bulge out of his head and he’s almost always smiling. Phil is a friendly enough guy but perhaps ignorant of how his presentation style comes across (sorta like Charles Boyle on Brooklyn 99).
Right now I’m hard at work on Phil Blye the Education Guy. The rough cut is actually finished now. I’ve just gotta clean things up and add a lot of wacky sound effects!
The hardest clip in the sketch is one shot where I open a door… “Why is that hard”, you might ask? In the scene– a door opens up to see me sitting on the other side of the room. But since I’m alone, I couldn’t exactly have someone open the door for me. I had to open the door to an empty room, then set up a new shot where I’m sitting in the room, then combine the 2 for a neat visual effect.
This October Matteo bought himself a drawing tablet. That may not seem like big news but it’s actually a HUGE milestone for our Graphic Novel endeavours. He’s said almost from the start that he wants to do the comics digitally. Now we can!
Matteo just has a learning curve to overcome… Earlier this month, he shared his experience with me: “I definitely have a much greater appreciation for professionals. It feels like learning to draw again. I think my personal biggest hurdle is the stylus itself. It’s easy to reset and connect lines (or hide flaws rather) on paper. Like with the jump that movies had to HD, it looks much better, but your flaws can be much easier seen.” I say he’s doing pretty darn well so far. Check out some of his recent work:
Be sure to sound off some encouragement for him in the comments! The sooner he masters (or at least becomes comfortable) with this new skill, the sooner we can release new material for you to enjoy.
GUILD OF GALLANTRY:
I didn’t accomplish any actual scripting this October but I did brainstorm a tonne of new ideas! There’s an ever-growing list of characters, plotlines, and lore to the GoG universe. In my eyes, it’s shaping up to be something special. I can’t wait to share it with you!
October saw Thought Plane Media’s new website become “fully operational” (said in Palpatine’s voice). I’m still in the process of transferring our old articles to the new site. I’ve gotta go one by one… It’s a real pain. But I’ve got less than 10 to go!
Speaking of articles: I recently doubled my output. From this month forward, I aim release 2 per week– sometimes 3 if I’m very fast. Most of these articles will be movie/ TV reviews (ideally released on Saturdays and/ or Wednesdays) but I aim for Monday to be Analyses, Warm Takes, Stories, Lists, Essays and News. I can’t promise consistency with the weekend reviews insofar as time of release, but you’ll get a review of a new movie at SOME point every weekend.
This has been TPM’s October news. 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 time