Hello Interwebs! 2021 is at an end– and with it another year of creative enterprise. Let’s close out December properly with a recap of the TPM crew’s greatest accomplishments!
Kicking things off: a breakdown our goals from the 2020 End-of-Year Roundup. How did we stack up to the expectations of our past selves??
2020 NEW YEAR’S GOALS
1. Finish and release Retribution Isle.
We cancelled the project altogether. So fail!
2. Get something in a film festival.
Not even close. Fail!
3. Release Manimal Food.
No progress whatsoever. Fail.
4. Release Planet of the Beavers 5: The Good, The Bad, and the Aesthetically Impaired.
Still working on it. But it’s not done. Fail!
5. Film new sketches for YouTube.
Phil Blye and Poker in the Pandemic! Pass!!!
6. Continue releasing weekly articles.
Also Pass! And we’re up to 2 a week on average now.
7. Include occasional articles by Justin and Matteo.
Justin did an article this year, so I’m calling this a pass as well.
8. Finish all the writing for at least 1 graphic novel (and some art).
This goal was maybe a bit ambitious. We’ve got some art, and a lot of writing. But nothing done. So technically a failure but a solid effort!
9. Maintain a somewhat consistent film schedule.
I’m gonna give this a pass considering I’ve managed 2 sketches in 2 months (and will hopefully continue with one per month).
10. Expand our network of regular collaborators.
I thought about people to include in our network, though haven’t successfully reached out. So fail.
TOTAL: 4/10 successes in 2021. Not fantastic… But we didn’t do nothing, so I’m gonna cheat and say 2021 was good. ‘Cause we may not have completed everything we wanted to do, but our crew worked hard on tonnes of other stuff!
2021 continued TPM’s perennial trend of brainstorming more ideas than we actively develop… Each of us came up with a whole wack of concepts which won’t see the light of day for YEARS (in all likelihood). Although a couple of these things you may see sooner than later, so keep an eye out. I’m being vague, I know. Don’t wanna spoil anything too far in advance is all.
As for actual pen-to-paper work: Matteo further developed his passion project Coming of Age; Justin chipped away at Below Zero‘s script and production logistics. He also bought himself a drawing tablet and studied animation techniques for his story The Night Hunt. And he finished a treatment for a short film called Capture the Moment. Meanwhile, I completed the first Draft for Cut It Out and turned my script-writing focus to sketch comedy– penning multiple shorts for Youtube, including my next: Group Therapy for Movie Quoters.
Justin and Matteo each had busy years with their day jobs. Their personal lives were hectic as well. So 2021 didn’t leave them much time to get out and film– not that we had much prepared to shoot anyway. Seeing as I spent most of the year unemployed, I would have had no excuse if I had NOTHING to show for 2021. So for the first time in my amateur filmmaking life, I attempted to shoot short videos all by myself.
A couple problems: I hadn’t so much as picked up our camera for a year, and I had to work around a new set of limitations (not having a camera operator). I had to teach myself new techniques for accomplishing my vision as a solo artist. That journey still continues. Though I’m proud of my first two products of this “system”: Phil Blye the Education Guy Teaches Basics of Electricity, and Poker in the Pandemic. I learned a LOT making these! Here’s to 2022, where I hope to push my skills further.
I admit: TPM had an abysmal showing here… But I’m gonna blame Retribution Isle for that. I dedicated many dozens of hours to that project, only for TPM to scrap it. I don’t wanna make it sound as if I’m the victim of this story though. I was the first of us to suggest pulling the plug (because I saw more footage than anyone else and knew for a fact it wouldn’t come together adequately). It wasn’t a waste of time though. I learned a tonne of new editing techniques– mainly for special effects! Hopefully I’ll be able to use those skills for something you’ll actually see.
One thing I realized: TPM has a lot of raw footage from our old films which we never used. So, in some spare moments from other work, I’ve begun compiling these clips into blooper reels. These things are for you, but they’re also for our crew. It’s nice to remember the fun times from set. That helps us put the stressful moments into perspective. In any case: be sure to subscribe to our Patreon page for those when they release!
Wouldn’t you know it? PoB 5 is STILL in post- production hell (alongside Manimal Food). The TPM crew is probably more annoyed than you are that these films aren’t out yet. But we recently concocted a plan to complete them. If things go our way– the PoB saga will finally get an ending by next summer.
This was arguably TPM’s most productive arena in 2021. Matteo is, quite simply, a machine. The man generates ideas at a rate which I’ve never seen– not even in myself. My job is to filter them and help refine the best ones (especially for the projects which we write together). Matteo gives me a flurry of text every couple weeks, building out his story worlds with fresh concepts– mainly for Tales of Sesom and Skog. For my part: I completed multiple first and second drafts for various Guild of Gallantry stories.
One big step up in productivity: Matteo bought himself a digital drawer and practices regularly. So between his output of art and my consistency of writing, we ought to complete SOMETHING by the end of 2022. I hope…
Lastly– TPM hashed out a rough business plan to release our comics. The original concept Matteo and I had was flawed at best. Justin convinced us of a better way to go– so that’s what we’ll do when the time comes.
-TPM set up an official Patreon account, and already have one subscriber. Special shout-out to MrWalruss!
-We closed-captioned many of our old videos (and continue to work at it).
-I bought a green screen, so we can do more creative projects.
-Thoughtplane.ca shifted its focus to film/ TV reviews.
-TPM successfully experimented with advertisements on Facebook Business.
-Justin invested in this new and improved website (plus a fancy new domain name) to give our company legitimacy.
-TPM desires to produce audio dramas in the coming years.
-Justin and myself decided to focus more on behind-the-scenes work, less on acting in the future. Especially Justin. He appears to be retired from the acting game altogether. Matteo and I will still show up in sketches.
-I jotted down notes for PoB: the Video Game. (LINK JAN)
TPM’s primary achievement this year is consistency. Between our crew, we probably worked on SOMETHING almost every day of 2021. Let’s keep up the good work for 2022 team! And that brings us to our final matter:
THOUGHT PLANE MEDIA’S 2022 GOALS (In no particular order):
1. Finish and Release Manimal Food.
2. Finish and Release PoB 5: The Good, The Bad, and the Aesthetically Impaired
3. Expand our network of regular collaborators.
4. Maintain a one sketch release per month.
5. Get SOMETHING in ANY film festival.
6. Earn advertising revenue from this website.
7. Complete two first drafts for short films.
8. Begin an official treatment for Planet of the Beavers: The Video Game
9. Complete 1 issue of any comic book series.
10. Complete a script for an episode/ story of any Audio Drama concept on our list.
NOTE: There will be no new Monday article next week , but I will still post a movie/ TV review (or maybe multiple?) sometime in the week.
FINAL NOTE: Thank you so much for supporting us through another year! We truly appreciate that you’re willing to spend any of your time with our work. And we aim to give you more going forward! I hope to see you in 2022.
This has been TPM’s 2021 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,