TPM’s Nifty November News Update (2020)

Hello Interwebs! It’s time again for TPM’s monthly company update. A hearty welcome to all fans and newcomers alike. Be sure to read ahead for some fun behind-the-scenes stories, pictures and project updates!  

Retribution Isle Set Stories

Our latest film, Retribution Isle, continued its production this month. The Thought Plane team only found time for 1 shooting day, but progress is progress, right? If you’re questioning how that one day went, I’ll tell ya: we suffered for our art, as any self-respecting filmmakers ought to (on occasion).

Matteo and I went solo this time. Unfortunately Justin couldn’t make it. We began at our usual location, following a morning of rain. That left the area nice and muddy for us! Suffice it to say our hike through the forest was harder than it had to be…

All work and no play makes Matteo a dull boy…

Eventually we reached our shooting spot which, as usual, necessitated dragging our expensive equipment down a steep hill. Why not find an easier spot you ask? I hope you appreciate the choice when you see it. Sometimes frustration and a little danger pay off in the long haul… Still, I wish we could wrap up our scenes here sooner rather than later because I don’t want to go back.

Without Justin, Matteo and I could only work through my lines (we did all of Matteo’s a previous day). We were filming the big finale too, so Matteo and I were more particular than usual about getting my delivery right. Matteo embraced his inner acting coach and found unique ways to encourage my performance. In the process, we realized he’s awesome at this job! I look forward to seeing him hone this newfound skill. In any case– I believe I performed well. You’ll be the judge, I suppose.

We also had pull off a practical special effect here, which made me nervous. My father and I spent most of the night previous developing a portable rig to accomplish the thing. I’m being vague because to discuss the effect would mean to spoil a major plot point. I can, however, note that it’s one of those things you only get one shot for. Unfortunately it didn’t go off as smoothly as I’d hoped. But it wasn’t a wasted effort either. Twas’ worth a shot!  

What ever could this be for?

To enhance the drama, rain began pouring on us right when we were about to finish. I guess that helps line up with some shots we took at the cottage a few months back but it wasn’t pleasant… It was still better than what happened later though.

From the forest, Matteo and I visited our next shooting location and attempted a few more scenes. Of course it had to start snowing right before we set up. But Matteo and I are troopers. We don’t let a little weather slow us down (even though both our costumes are T-shirts, and he had to wear shorts as well). I’ll be frank: we froze our asses off (literally, of course). We got the necessary shots though.

TPM’s original plan was to get Retribution Isle finished in one weekend. When that plan went out the window (basically on Day 1), we decided to finish the outdoor scenes by winter. That plan didn’t work out either. Justin, Matteo and I have officially decided to call it quits for RI’s production this year and pick up again in the spring.   
Though RI is finished for now, that might not be our last project of 2020. Justin, Matteo and I have been brainstorming a few select skits which we might work on, time permitting. We haven’t put pen to paper on any of them yet (or fingers to keyboard) but I’ll attempt to work on some in December.

In other news: Justin is still in the process of writing that short film, Below Zero. I’m afraid he’s had a busy November, so he hasn’t got any new details to share, but we’re hoping to begin production before Spring 2021.  

Post-production Projects

As I mentioned in last month’s update, Justin and I are building a new computer. Post-production on all films is still halted due to this project.

SIDE NOTE: I lied… Justin’s the only one working on the computer. I’d just slow him down.

Finally, after many months of unforeseen delay (see, procrastination), I recently sent the files for Planet of the Beavers 2.5: Manimal Food to an audio guy for finishing touches. Hopefully we’ll be able to release that video for the new year! What’s Planet of the Beavers you might ask? To quote a line from Part 2: “An old thing. People loved it”. (Get it? It’s been a ridiculously long time since we released a PoB publicly)…   

Graphic Novels

My graphic novel Champions has taken a back seat this month. I’m just throwing this news up top to get it out of the way.

Matteo’s Tales of Sesom book, meanwhile, is expanding more and more each day. Matteo has already built a deep lore for the world of this story. I believe fantasy fans will appreciate the care with which Matteo avoids falling into genre cliches and tropes. He’s gone out of his way to make this story a little different. Matteo has sent me tonnes of incredibly detailed notes already, and what I’ve read has me excited to see more! I’ll be happy to share details with you as this project advances.

Last but not least– I’m proud to announce a new graphic novel project! This one’s a joint effort between Matteo and I (he’s doing all the art while I’m doing most of the writing). It’s a comedy anthology titled: The Guild of Gallantry. Here’s a potential advertisement for the Guild to give you a good idea of what it’s all about:

What if being a superhero was a day job? You put on your spandex uniform in the morning, defeat the forces of evil all afternoon and punch out at 5:00. This is daily life in the Guild of Gallantry. Modern America is a wonderland of aliens, magnificent technologies and godlike beings. But not all powers in the world are forces for good. Some people even use their abilities for nefarious purposes! The Guild of Gallantry exists to combat such folk and maintain order in a fragile world. The GoG is a government run-program, only slightly harder to join than earning a driver’s license. Guild members are judged by power level and sorted into various tiers ranging from Level 0 (complete weaklings) to Level 7 (reality warpers/ walking deus ex machinas). Sign up and embrace your inner hero today!

Concept art for the GoG’s top hero: The Sentinel (and his civilian alter ego)

The GoG graphic novel will be an anthology of loosely related stories about superheroics and the people who perform them. Many of the characters are parodies on beloved heroes, like Superman, Batman and Captain America, whereas other stories will feature wholly original creations. We hope you will join Matteo and I as we create this satirical yet accessible foray into the superhero genre.

This has been TPM’s November company update. 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.

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