Hello Interwebs! Welcome to TPM’s April news update. We’ve been busy since last I checked in with you, so enjoy this latest progress report.
This month Justin hit a patch of writer’s block with our short film Below Zero. Feeling he has little left to offer the story at the moment, he determined that I should take the reins on that project for a while. So I’ll work on BZ for the foreseeable future while Justin moves on to something new.
Another month, another lockdown. Though Covid-19 is terrible for a myriad of reasons, and the recent stay-at-home order is a heavy weight to bear, I try to see the silver lining: I’ve got tonnes of time to indulge my creative side. Though I can’t get together with my crew to produce anything (and I have no idea when I will be able to), I don’t want to let that little road block stop Thought Plane Media altogether. I aim to power on through!
Within the next few months, I hope to create a series of sketches made exclusively by me (perhaps written by Justin and/ or Matteo if they desire). They’d just be little projects to keep my film-making skills sharp and release some content to our YouTube channel. Truth be told, I haven’t made the time for that undertaking yet. But be on the lookout!
Throughout the month of April I’ve edited exactly 4 seconds worth of run-time for Retribution Isle. Isn’t that fantastic? Wait. You think I’m joking, don’t you? Yes, I only completed 4 seconds of the movie (one solitary clip) but that undertaking took me over 60 hours!
See, here’s the problem I’ve been trying to solve: RI’s story calls for its characters to be on a solitary island, only accessible by boat. But the cottage where TPM filmed our initial scenes wasn’t exactly isolated. Multiple people vacationed in the area that weekend. And some of our shots have those people’s boats in the background (or even the people themselves in some cases). That can’t fly. So I’m experimenting with CGI to remove the unwanted objects/ people and replace them with hand-drawn backdrops. Thankfully I don’t need to replace entire backgrounds, but it’s still a tonne of work, hence the dozens of hours I’ve dedicated thus far.
I wish I could say it was exciting stuff, but it may be the most tedious work I’ve done in my life… At least it looks better than I thought it would! Hopefully none of you notice my work when you actually watch the film. That’s the goal, anyway. Sounds weird to dedicate so much time to something I don’t want people to notice, but that’s film-making for ya.
GUILD OF GALLANTRY
I spent the month of April plotting yet another Guild of Gallantry story– this time about TPM’s classic hero, Seagull-Man! If you’ve never seen our SM videos before, check out this article for a run-down! This Guild story, titled “Wax Feathers in the Sun” explores the early career of our lovable but inept hero alongside his excessively brutal partner, the Brawling Buckaroo.
Matteo fleshed out multiple concepts of his own for the book. The first centres around a hero called John Power: AKA The OG (Original Guardian): a down-to-earth man with a background from the mean city streets. This first story will explore what it’s like to be a superhero inspired by culture from decades ago, when cultural ideas and identities have changed significantly since he first donned his costume. Is he still relevant? Or just an outdated idea? Matteo came up with the idea partially in response to sliding timescales in comic books, where heroes created decades ago require periodic updates to stay current.
Another story of Matteo’s concerns an alien known as Xinthar. Though one of the most powerful heroes in the world, he’s also the most horrific to look at. People fear him as much as they should love him. Will Xinthar get the respect he deserves? Matteo describes him as “the galaxy’s greatest defender [and] Earth’s premiere champion. He’s done it all, and asked for naught in return, he’s… got tentacles for a mouth and four arms? He’s Xinthar: the unsung champion of the universe.”
Spinning off from Matteo’s fantasy world about an Orc named Skog, we have the young Paladin who calls himself Senwyn. In Matteo’s words “He’s planted himself like a tree next to the river of truth. He’s as sturdy as an oak and half as clever. He’s a simple half-elf in complicated times. He’s Senwyn of the Southern temple of Justeron; the young paladin of the Errant Swords.”
Last month I reported my intention to treat TPM as a day job (until I find full time employment, that is). Thus far, I’ve maintained my new work schedule quite successfully! According to my logs, I’ve put in 120 hours for the month of April (as of the time I write this). Here’s to another month of progress! At least, that’s the plan…
This has been TPM’s April 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