TPM’s Affable August News Update (2021)

Hello Interwebs! Welcome to TPM’s August news update. Before beginning, I’d like to acknowledge and celebrate one whole year of regular articles! Thanks for joining us and supporting our work. It means a lot. Onto our news…

Pre-production Projects

Thought Plane Media plans to focus our efforts on Below Zero‘s pre-production in the comings months. Ideally, Justin will complete the script by late fall, we’ll cast the thing soon after, and our team will start filming in the new year! “Ideally” is the key word there. Who knows what might derail our plans? Covid-19 probably tops that list though… Gonna keep positive thoughts though!

Justin recently finished building himself a desk to complete his office re-design. Now he has an optimal working-space to animate “The Night Hunt” (his web series about a monster hunting talk-radio host)! Have you ever tried drawing pictures without a desk? Or on some surface so low you had to hunch over the whole time? It sucks. Don’t try it. We value ergonomic designs at TPM.

As for me– well, I jotted down further ideas for my Ross Poutine sketch. I also thought of ways to pair down/ rework my script for Cut It Out. That short film ballooned out of control a long time ago and I was stuck on how to fix it. The thing was projected to be over 20 minutes!

Speaking of long running movies– the TPM team recently decided that it would limit all future video projects (for the time being) to less than 20 minutes run-time. This idea started after we combed through our backlog of films and wondered: “why haven’t we ever finished a film over half an hour?” Well– because anything that long is a huge drain on us.

Nobody pays Justin, Matteo and I to make these films. They take a lot of effort and eat up our free time. So– as fun as filming is– the longer we have to work for a project, the less enthusiasm our team has by the end; and with less enthusiasm we make less time for the work; and when we make less time for the work, we don’t get it done. That’s largely why Planet of the Beavers 5 is still incomplete after 5 years. And as for Retribution Isle

Production Projects

It is with a lightened heart I announce the abandonment of Retribution Isle. Here is our reasoning:

  1. It’s been a year since we started, so we’ll all look different on camera. And I, for one, am sick of easily avoidable continuity errors. You deserve better and we can do better.
  2. The story was supposed to be set in an isolated cottage cabin but we no longer have access to one. Our only alternative would be to film in our parents’ suburban basements. And part of the appeal for this film in the first place was its unique shooting location.
  3. Even if we could theoretically find a shooting location, our crew couldn’t get enough days off work in a row to do our necessary scenes.
  4. The cracks in our story have become more evident with time. Our script was rushed and structurally weak. And we wouldn’t be able to fix it short of starting from scratch.
  5. Finally: we’re not even halfway done. So, for all the above reasons, it’s better for us to cut our losses than dedicate time and resources to shooting a movie for which we’ve long since lost excitement.

If you’ve been reading my last few monthly updates, you could probably see the writing on the wall.

However, our team is still proud of its work and we don’t want to waste it. In that spirit, Retribution Isle will be continuing in two separate projects (tentatively).

Project 1: A pieced together version of the film we started. Using a combination of our footage, voice-over recordings, and Matteo’s storyboards, we may show you a rough cut of the film which could have been. Because we filmed out of order, there are many full sequences throughout the story which are live-action. Our storyboards will fill gaps in the middle (of partially-complete scenes or between live sequences).

NOTE: No further special effects work will be completed for our live-action clips. Only one scene will noticeably suffer. But if you care to watch an incomplete short film anyway (just for curiosity), I hope it won’t make a real difference.

Project 2: An all-audio drama with a drastically altered script. This version of the story will be longer, feature more characters, and add some much-needed substance to our plot. This is the story we’re most excited to share with you! We have no timeline on recording. It probably won’t be for a while yet. But Retribution Isle isn’t completely dead, so that’s the good news.

In other news: I’m moving into a new house next week, so I aim to film and post original sketches soon! I’ve only been teasing these plans for months… We’re closer to the goal now, I promise!


Regarding Retribution Isle‘s pieced-together-version: I’ve spent the last week scanning all of Matteo’s storyboards (which is essentially our footage). I’ll be editing that together in the coming weeks. 

Graphic Novels

Branching off of last month’s shift in business model (see– July News Update), I began to build long-form character arcs for my Guild heroes. I might be over-planning, but I wanna have the rough trajectory of my stories laid out before putting pen to paper. Do I need to be thinking 50 issues ahead? Technically no, but also kinda yeah.

At this time– I don’t want The Guild of Gallantry universe to be like Marvel or DC’s superhero worlds. Our main group characters will all have set beginning middle and end points before the next generation takes over. And not every hero’s story/ titles will go on infinitely. I want strong long-but-limited runs with pre-planned character arcs. There’ll be room for flexibility but that’s my rough game-plan for now.

Matteo and I also came up with a few fun heroes and villains this month. They’ll be more supporting characters than big deals. Helps give the world some variety, in any case. Matteo’s concept made me laugh out loud when I read it, so I consider that a good sign!

Enjoy some of Matteo’s concept art!

Barbarian Skin Changer Chief
Dareem’s Angelic Form

In other comic news: Matteo spent August brainstorming some new Graphic Novel ideas. We don’t want to announce any of them yet, but they have us excited!


You may have noticed I’ve shifted TPM’s website content to mainly focus on movie and TV reviews this month. I promise to get some other content back in circulation. I just saw a lot of new entertainment in August and got behind in my writing. But the reviews have driven a solid amount of traffic so I plan to keep them at the forefront of content output. I like the essays and warm takes and analyses, but if reviews bring more consistent engagement I ought to turn primarily in that direction, no?

This has been TPM’s August 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

Joe Morin

By Joseph Morin

Joe's passion for film and entertainment began at 7 years old when his younger brother demanded to watch Duel of the Fates every day for weeks (on DVD). Joe admired the sequence so much, he decided to dedicate his life to film-making and storytelling. He has a degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. Joe loves DC superheroes (especially Superman), the first six Star Wars movies, and arguing about media with anyone who will listen.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *