TPM’s Spectacular September News Update (2020)

Hello Interwebs! It’s time again for another installment of TPM news. We’ve had a busy month, so read ahead for some fun behind-the-scenes stories, pictures and project updates!

Retribution Isle Set Stories

Beginning with our most exciting news: in the last two weeks, the crew has braved another two days of production for our new film Retribution Isle. Even though said production days were only a few hours each (for the reason why, be sure to read Don’t Be Like Me​ article), that’s still more progress than we’ve done in 2 years on anything else. I notice a distinct difference in the mentality of the crew now that we’re working fewer hours. Everyone is more positive, stays on task better and overall seems less miserable (myself included). This has also translated into everyone finding more time in their schedules for production, resulting in the above-mentioned progress for our film.


On that note: it feels great to be creating again! Our list of projects is a mile long, but I’m glad we’re chipping away at it, even if we’re not finishing anything quickly. That said, I’ve got some bad news: in my last update, I mentioned that Retribution Isle was set for a tentative Halloween release date. That’s not gonna happen… Sorry about that. And I don’t think I’ll be able to offer a further update on this for a while because even I don’t know. Sorry about that too. 


In any case, we’re having fun in our production. These last few weeks have led to a few standout moments I’ll relate to you (in the vaguest terms possible so as not to spoil anything). For one thing, we had to perform a stunt where a tree was dropped near someone. Having a budget of $0 and no stunt coordinators, we had to improvise a little– but that describes basically everything we’ve ever made, so we’re used to those circumstances. We achieved this particular stunt by finding a tree that had already fallen, dragging the end piece into position, lifting it up and dropping it in front of our stunt performer. Add in some sound effects, quick cuts and some reaction shots and BOOM– tree falling stunt. However, our stunt performer still unfortunately took a minor injury. They were supposed to fall back on the ground, but ended up slamming their head off a rock in the process… Though the moment was painful, they were ultimately OK. Unfortunately, even seemingly simple stunts can go awry– especially on a crew of 3-4 people who often make these things up on the spot (this stunt was conceived and planned on set).

The same day, we hauled a heavy weight (with sharp objects tied on it) up into a tree. Just rigging this one set-piece up took us over half an hour. We all thought Matteo would be the one to impale himself on the sharp things, but it was actually me (who nearly hurt myself multiple times)… I’m fine, thanks for asking! Everybody told me the sharp things were overkill. Maybe they were right, but the spikes still looked cool on camera. They were admittedly a bit of a hazard but, thankfully, we didn’t have to walk around them much. 

“Does this look dangerous to you?” – Patrick Star

See, we employees of Thought Plane Media go onto set fully aware and accepting of certain dangers. The film-making process isn’t always safe and cushy. Believe it or not, we’ve done a lot worse over the years… Those are stories for another time though…

Both of our filming days took place in this amazing and picturesque area which we spent a bunch of time exploring after we wrapped. The place is primarily a hiking trail, but if you go off the path you can find walls of rock, caves and even a couple small chasms. We’ve actually used this area for shooting before (not in anything we’ve released though). Hiking to some of these spots wasn’t exactly easy, but definitely worth it for the experience!

Uh oh! What’s going on here??

Post-production Projects

Anyway, that’s what we’ve been doing on set, but what about everything else? Well, Planet of the Beavers 5 and Manimal Food are still in “post-production hell”. To be frank, the later one needs a lot less work, but my own procrastination is getting in the way of its release. I’ll take the blame on that… In short: Planet of the Beavers is no further along than last month. In my previous update I discussed the company’s issues with the continuation of the PoB story, and since then TPM has come up with a solution to solve said concerns. I ought to be vague about this, so I’ll just say that our decision is in the interest of making the best possible version of a product we have a strong fondness for. 

Pre-production Projects

On the pre-production side of things, there’s been a tonne of planning on what will be our next project following Retribution Isle. I’ve been writing a feature film called Programmed to Please (a dark sci-fi-romance story) and a short film by the name of Cut it Out (a disorienting psychological experience). Matteo is in the process of writing his passion project, Cumming of Age (an absurdist comedy about the adult film industry). Meanwhile, Justin is starting work on a project called Below Zero (a short film about survival and self-destruction). The later of these is most likely to be our next film, and will hopefully be submitted for entry into film festivals!  

Graphic Novels

Though there hasn’t been much real work put into this next point, I would still like to mention it: Matteo and I plan to create a line of graphic novels in the hopefully-not-too-distant future! He and I are longtime fans of the medium and have plenty of original tales we want to tell. There are some stories either too complex or too high-concept for our films, so this how we’ll still get to make them! Matteo is a lifelong artist and I’m a lifelong writer, and our combined talents are sure to produce something we can both be proud of. Matteo also has some concepts he would like to produce under our banner as a solo writer/ artist, so look forward to those as well!

This has been TPM’s September 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 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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