People I have shown the online workshop I’m working on tell me that I should just turn it into a book, since the content is so comprehensive. I don’t know if I want to do that. It’ll be a huge undertaking, as a full-blown book would require a lot more work, and if I’m going to spend that long on a project, I would prefer to be telling stories and work on my screenplays, novels, and multimedia web project. What the hell is a multimedia web project, you ask? It’s an idea I’ve had for years now, where a narrative can take on any form (or hybrid of)–be it prose, graphic novel, animation, animated storyboards, illustrations, music…etc, as long as it is a persistent and continuing narrative, and the presentation does the specific scenes justice in execution. I don’t know if it’s an idea worth investing time and energy in, since I don’t think it’s ever been done before (and perhaps that’s good reason to not do it). I have a story I’ve been developing for many years now that I think will be perfect for that approach.
I work on so many different ideas that it’s real problem, and if I don’t buckle down and concentrate my time and energy on just one or two ideas, I’ll never get anything out there for the public to experience. It’s really both a blessing and a curse. I see so many people in creative forums talking about how they can’t come up with interesting ideas or find inspiration, and I could never relate to that because ever since I was a child, my head has been exploding with ideas left and right. I have boxes full of story ideas, screenplays, novels, short stories, treatments, episode synopses…etc I’ve accumulated since puberty, and I still continue to come up with new ideas all the time. Often an idea will pop into my head in the shower and I’ll hurry and finish up so I can type the idea up, or in the middle of the night when I lay in bed with my mind wandering, an idea will pop into my head and I’d get up to type it out before I fall asleep and forget. The downside is that with so many ideas, which one do you pick to concentrate your time and energy on? This is a problem that’s plagued my life ever since puberty, when I decided to be first and foremost be a storyteller above everything else, and that all other creative endeavors I’m involved in will ultimately serve the storytelling–be it art, photography, novels, music, animation, graphic novels, or film. One thing I have noticed is that some ideas will stand the test of time–even years after I originally wrote them they still excite me, while other ideas I lose interest in with time. I suppose eventually I’ll figure it out–the ones that stood the test of time and haven’t been done by someone else already–those are the keepers to further develop. Commercial potential won’t be the deciding factor, as I’m only interested in ideas that I can spend a lot of time with–likely years–and not get tired of. If the projects get enough attention, then the commercial aspect will come on its own, so I’m not going to worry about it.
The current candidates competing for my attention are:
1) A psychological thriller/drama in the form of a novel (you can read an excerpt from it in the Writings section of the site–it’s the one titled Silent Storm).
2) A post apocalyptic zombie novel written with a literary slant that explores human nature and personal demons (I mentioned this in a past blog entry).
3) An epic sci-fi story (can’t give away any more than that) that could be executed in various forms–from animation, novel, graphic novel, to live-action. Since it’s an idea that’s very versatile, I thinking it should be the one I use for the multimedia web project.
In a way I miss the old days when I wrote and Illustrated Enchanted, my own comic book series (this was back in mid to late 90’s, published by Sirius Entertainment). I worked on it full-time and it was a good feeling to be completely immersed in the universe you have created. I still get fan mail every now and then from old Enchanted readers wondering if I’ll ever continue the series, and the truth is, I toy with the idea now and then. I keep reminding myself to scan in the complete published issues and post them on the site so new readers and get into the series. Maybe I’ll do that first and see where it takes me.
I don’t usually get hooked on browser-based games, but my friend Jason Sereno recently got me hooked on Mafia Wars
on Facebook. I don’t know if I’ll still feel the urge to continue after I finally get that casino though. I probably will since there are many more advanced jobs that are currently locked until you reach the highest levels. The great things about these browser games is that they don’t take up much of your time, and they are free. The last browser-based games I got hooked on were Urban Dead and Vector Tower Defense–both I no longer play since replay value just isn’t there for me. If Urban Dead adopted a more adventure game approach with ongoing narrative, then I would probably still play it.
I’m right in the middle of Dead Space on the Xbox 360 right now (chapter six), and I’m really enjoying myself. It’s one of the most polished and fun games I’ve played in a while, despite the derivative nature of the game (elements taken from System Shock 2, Bioshock, Doom 3, Prey, Half-Life 2, Resident Evil 4…etc). My brother Dennis loves it too, and he’s pretty picky about games like I am. I’m at the part where you finally find Nicole in the flesh and have to fend off the creatures attacking her as she operated the controls. That was pretty intense–my heart was in my throat. Gameplay involving protecting someone you care about always gets me–I’d feel guilty as hell if I couldn’t save the people I care about.
Quickie movie reviews:
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – Bill Murray is always awesome. This is my second Wes Anderson film and I have to get caught up on his small body of works. If you like quirky, wry, dry, and kitchy humor, you’ll like this film.
These Hills Have Eyes 2 – Entertaining enough if you enjoy these slasher horror/action films. Not much of a story–you just watch characters get picked off, then you watch them fight back, and then you watch them escape. All these films are essentially the same
Live From Baghdad – A good film about journalistic integrity, and it’s one of those films where there isn’t anything to complain about, you enjoy yourself, but you’re not blown away. An interesting note is that the score by Steve Jablonsky totally ripped off the score Hans Zimmer composed for Black Hawk Down. One cue was so similar it almost sounds like a remix of the same cue from Black Hawk Down. I wonder what the story behind that is. Maybe the director chose Zimmer’s cue as a temp track, then later requested Jablonsky to just rearrange the piece since he likes the temp track so much?
Friday Night Lights – I watched the first season of the TV series before I watched this film, and the TV series was so much better than the film that I was very surprised. In comparison, the film didn’t really have likable characters or simply characters you empathized or connected with, and the film also wasn’t nearly as entertaining as the TV show. The character of the coach in the film was so underdeveloped that you didn’t know who the hell he was or what he felt, nor do you give a shit about his family. You don’t get to know any of the players on the team very well either, so you don’t give a shit about them, or whether they win or lose. That leaves you with no one to give a damn about, and when you don’t care about any of the characters in a film, it’s time to pop in another DVD–namely the TV series version.
Reservation Road – A good film in general, but I think the film could’ve used a bit more edgy execution–an approach that dives deeper into the psyche of the two lead males. I think my overall feeling is that it’s too safe of a film–I’d be curious to see what someone like Stanley Kubrick, if he was still alive, would’ve done with the same material.
Hot Fuzz – I’m a fan of the Brit TV series Spaced, and then subsequent Shaun of the Dead, so I just had to see this one. Overall I thought it had some good moments, but as a whole I felt it wasn’t as funny as I had hoped, and some of the gags got a bit old after a while.
Alien Raiders – It’s a low budget film, and one that could’ve been a lot better than it is. The pacing is not very good–some parts that shouldn’t have dragged on were trying my and Elena’s patience, and parts that should’ve been very intense were sort of glossed over. The score also wasn’t very good–some spots actually jumped out as being inappropriate or just badly executed. It hurts me to say it since I kind of know the guy who composed the score as he frequents the same composer’s forum I do and I always enjoy his posts. Funny enough, I actually liked the bonus material of the video tapes of the medic and the spotter more than I enjoyed the film.