Saturday, 21 May 2011

Bite-Sized Chunks - Day 3 - deliberate vagueness

Chronoligically, my calender tells me this is not day three of this project. However, it is the third update. So...

I sent a press release to the Falkirk Herald and a story about the webseries appeared in the paper on Thursday. I've had one response directly from that by someone who wants to be in the series. I've had a few responses on facebook, too. Unfortunately, the story doesn't appear to be on the online version of the paper.

We ran into some location problems, but I used my diplomatic skills to sort things out. I never even knew I had diplomatic skills. Making a webseries, even just planning a webseries, is on the one hand such an awesome cool thing that I'm having the most fun ever, and on the other hand, I'm learning so much so rapidly.

One of the things I never considered at college that I'm learning now is set design. For the series to work the way it needs to, certain things need to be included in the set design. Tiny things that the viewers most likely won't notice the first five times they watch it. But by including them, the entire thing will be so much better.

I'm being deliberately vague here, because I don't want to give away spoilers. This show could seriously be ruined by spoilers. So vagueness is required.

Anyway, since I've been considering set design, I've had to look into set design. It's such a totally interesting concept. Unfortunately, we have a limited budget, but I can really understand how hard it would be to start with an empty room and furnish it for a big production.

It says something about the character who lives in a house if he has a painting on the wall. An original Van Gogh says something different to a painted portrait of a loving family which says something differnt to a run of a mill print they bought in Tesco's for £15. If the picture is hanging squint, it says something about the character.

And you have to do that with every item. All the time.

I might do a later post just on set-design. It's a totally fascinating subject.

Other things that have been happening: we're hammering out an overview of the series. Although it's about survivors of a zombie apocalypse, it's more of a psychological horror than a gore fest. Don't be expecting The Evil Dead because those types of films haven't influenced this at all.

I'm not going to mention what films have influenced it, but right now me and Fiona are making a list of all the films and episodes of TV shows which are in someway similar to what we're doing. At some point these may need to be watched, just so we can be totally familiar with how other people have presented the things we need to present. We'll consider carefully what works and what doesn't, and how we can adapt what has worked for other people to work for us.

It's really interesting in that college taught me the basics I need for doing this, but doing this has taught me so much more than college ever did. And will continue to do so...

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Bite-Sized Chunks - day 2

It's 1:05 pm and I thought I better update my blog. I've done a few things already that I want to share on here. I find it utterly fascinating, but then I'm fascinated by marketing and the like so that explains why.
Firstly, I rolled back the minimum donation on my IndieGoGo fund raising campaign to just $1. So, that's like 50p. If I can raise £500 it pretty much covers equipment and props for the shoot, so if everyone donates $1 I'd be really ecstatic. Truthfully, I'm not expecting to reach £2000 in forty days.

Secondly, I updated profile on Twitter, and spent an hour on Twitter friending people and making comments. I was using Twitter religiously by the end of last year. I'll be completely revamping and re-using Twitter from here on out.

Thirdly, I updated my profile on Linked-in and spruced it up a bit. It's looking nice.

Fourthly, I put out a call on facebook last night for musicians who'd be interested in having their work in my webseries.

And fifthly, I researched product placement. Unfortunately, I really don't think product placement will happen on Bite Sized Chunks. You need to approach your chosen company with viewing figures and basically show then how including their product in your series will impact on them. So to do that, you really need a series already done. However, if Chunks is successful, product placement may well happen for my planned next programme, Saltire, which will be filmed in October.

And it's only just hit lunch-time :)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

New Project - Bite Sized Chunks - Day One

Okay, first of all, my writer's block is gone, and it's 50% done to a blog post by Mars Dorian: writer's block is for pussies!

And 50% done to the fact that I'm AWESOME.

So, I'm back, and I'm working on something fantastic, and I'm gonna go straigt ahead and tell you all about it.

I'm making a webseries.

I'm making a freaking webseries.

Yeah, that's right, not a novel this time: a ten episode webseries called Bite Sized Chunks.

I'm not doing it alone. Oh no, I have a fantastic partner-in-crime. Fiona Rix is one hell of a talented camera operator, she has an excellent photographer's eye, and she's really talented. And not just for a girl. She's easily as good as a guy.

She's on facebook but I'm not guaranteeing she'll accept your friend request. When you friend her, send a little message that it's about the webseries, and she might accept.

Bite Sized Chunks

10 episodes, each one less than 5 minutes in length, but what's it all about? Well, that's simple: it's the story of a group of desperate people who have managed to survive the country being overrun by zombies.

Boring. Zombies are done. There's nothing new to do with zombies. Zombies are pish.

No they aint, kid. Trust me on this one. Bite Sized Chunks is not your typical zombie story. It's more psychological than gory. It's more about the survivors desperately trying to survive than the horrorific monsters that share their world.

It's new, different, edgy and dark.

So What's Happening Right Now

I've written an episode guide. Fiona's adding her own ideas to it, and we'll pound it out until our creative vision meshes and we're happy with the outcome. Then we'll write the scripts for each episode.

Fiona lives in Edinburgh and I'm just outside Falkirk so we're corresponding by text and sharing files through and I totally intend to do a future blog post on this joint writing thingy and how bloody useful is.

We've got our character ideas nailed. There are 5 characters and I'll do a blog post on them as well.

I launched our fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo and we're trying to raise £2000 in 40 days to pay for equipment, props, and meals during filming. We're not making any money out of this and we have a £0 budget currently. We're considering hiring equipment from Pilton Video.

I've secured the main location for the film shoot, we've settled on the date that shooting can begin (23rd June) and Episode 1 is written.

I wrote a Press Release and sent it to my local newspaper, the Falkirk Herald - not sure if they'll take it anywhere or not, but it's worth trying. I've put a call out on facebook for cast and music and a call on media muppet for cast.

And I sorted out my new website and updated it with info about Bite Sized Chunks. You can find my website here.

Not bad for day one of my project.

This blog will be regularly updated with progress and, when we have them, images.

It's all go from here... :)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Not so Hard

So, I've not been blogging much. And I've not been writing much. I can't even say I have secret things I've been working on... well I could but that would be a total lie. I've got a kind-of writer's block the now. I've pretty much had it since I separated from my wife in November.
I used to write every day. I used to write because writing relaxed me and made me feel better about everything. But in some small way I think I blame writing for my marriage breaking up - I was on my pc far too much. I wasn't just writing, and there was far more to the break up than that. And I'm not going into it in anymore details because it's personal.

I'm into sharing. But I'm not that into sharing.

So, I figured I'd force myself to write a blog. And then tomorrow or in a few days I'll force myself to write another one. And maybe eventually I'll get back to writing novels.

But what to blog about? I could blog about my life I suppose. The thing is, right now, I know so many secrets it seems to be what my whole life revolves around. There are small secrets and big secrets, secrets that could cost people their jobs or their marriages, secrets that would only cause embarrasment or anger, and secrets that would break people's trust in me.

It makes blogging hard.

I'm in a good place (in my head) the now, actually. It's a strange feeling, but I feel kinda at a turning point. A few months ago I was the lowest I'd ever been, pretty much the lowest its possible to be. And I've been going up since then. Had to, really, couldn't possibly go down.

And now I'm doing pretty good. I won't say I'm great, still really need to find a job and a house. But good enough for now. Happy-ish.

There, that wasn't so hard after all.