Monday, October 20, 2008


Moving forward is fun. Its so much better than moving backwards, unless you're being Michael Jackson in Billy Jean, but then you have to deal with the children.

What was I talking about.

Oh yes. Moving forward is fun. Most (in fact, all) of the moving forward that I"ve been doing this week has concerned my dear old thesis project, entitled Rain.

Note that I say "moving forward" and not "moved forward and done and now we're doing some actual work on the project."

I'd have a finalized version of the project by now if I didn't continually get it into my head to run it by a few trusted friends of mine and getting suggestions that blow my mind in how perfect they are.

So the script and screenplay you all saw last week, or whenever the hell I last posted here has been demoted to a v0.5 and v1.0 is still to come.

I've lashed together a storyboard out of the rotted wood and metal that is the now-v0.5 and there's an animatic ready as well, but one thing at time, hey?

Here, have a storyboard:

More to come, soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So some people have asked me "Patrick, you lovely ultra-desirable piece of beautiful man-meat, where do you get all of your ideas?" Well I'm glad you asked that, Timmy. Now shut up and sit down.

The big example I'm going to to be blathering about in particular this time around is my thesis project. My big final opus of one minute and eight (was it eight? or was it nine?) seconds that will become the culmination of all of my efforts as a New York University SCPS student.

So, Rain, basically, the project I've been going on about for a little bit by now.

My primary inspiration for Rain doesn't exist. I cannot and could not say that there is one thing that inspired me to make this project the way it is, with the exception of my previous project, which takes place in a similar futuristic-sci-fi-dystopian-city-with-a-dome-over-it setting, Euphoria Inc.

But like so many fliers for shows that I'm never going to go to, picked up off of the ground outside of a club in midtown Manhattan, my inspirations came from all types of things.
For example, the story itself, or rather the style and attitude of the story itself. For all two (Timmy doesn't count) of you who remember, most of my previous projects have revolved around two attitudes: surreal horror and film noir. Adagio, Hellhounds, Royal and Manchester, Anathema, The Laboratory of Doctor Aken, they all generally fit into those two categories.

As much as I love these two categories like a fat man loves his chocolate, I felt it was about time I did something different. Just to tell myself, yes, I can do something different...after all, nothing's worse than realizing you're a one-trick pony. But what to write?
Now for the past five or six months I've been regularly (and by regularly I mean irregularly) dropping into the Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Union Square to read through Neil Gaiman's magnum opus anthology, The Sandman.
Four months and five books later, I was officially a fan of the way Neil Gaiman tells stories. Not necessarily the actual stories, which range from phenomenal to "meh", but the way he tells them.
WIth that on my mind and thesis season encroaching, it was only a matter of letting the right two brain cells rub against each other for me to attempt to do something similar.

Now how about the characters? Kryssi in particular comes from a bunch of different places, and has probably mutated the most over the course of the development process.
One thing that has not changed in the least is her underlying attitude, which is directly inspired by the female leads of a few webcomics that I read and still read regularly, Dresden Codak and Gunnerkrigg Court. In particular, they are quiet, observant and incredibly resourceful gals (each in their own way), with strong tendencies towards not only thinking outside of the box, solving their own problems, and not being afraid to go after what they want, when they get it into their head to do so.
Her appearance, however, has shifted all over the place. She started off as a spunky ten year old girl named Anna, then turned into an not-entirely-emo mid-twenties woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders, also named Anna, then back into a spunky ten year old girl, except this time with a smaller head, still named Anna.
It didn't really click with me though. It'd do in a pinch and a half, sure, buuut it stilll really wasn't something I felt was -there- yet.
It wasn't until I took a page from my previous Euphoria Inc. project that I settled on something I could really go with. You see, almost all of the characters from Euphoria Inc. are inspired by people I know in life. A friend, a lover, an acquaintance, some shmuck that I happened to live down the street from, its their stories that I try to tell, in my own way, and their personalities that drive their counterparts in the graphic novel.
It turns out that trying to come up with an entirely new character for such an unfamiliar means of storytelling was exactly what my problem was.
And so she went from being Anna to Kryssi. She's based on an old friend and romantic interest of mine from a long time ago and who I've long since parted ways with and who's insistence on deviating from the norm, no matter what it may have been, was responsible for drawing me to her in the first place.

The other characters, at least the ones with legs and sentience, consist entirely of the three hazmat suit workers who chase Kryssi through the city, and who are the first to discover, after Kryssi, the harmlessness of the falling rain outside.
Since they are almost entirely defined by the appearance of the hazmat suits, I made the decision to design the suits in a fashion that would outwardly express the terror that is contained inwardly, towards the rain and the environment in general that exists outside of the safety bubble of Los Cielos' dome, and where better to look for expressions of terror than Edvard Munch's Scream:

So to sum up, my inspirations have been pulled from a highly successful and lucrative author, a person who exists in my life, and an impressionist painter.

How's that?

Previsualizationerarium Update (aka about fcuking time)

Ok so.

The project is called "Rain."

No wait, we've already been over that.

Here's the update, I've finally got a script and screenplay that I really like, and that I'm almost 100% confident about whether or not I'm going to be able to actually pull it off.

Its just a matter of tweaking and dusting and punching it in the face until the kinks, which I'm positive are there, are worked out, like those annoying gas bubbles that always end up in your hummus and make you pick up less hummus every time you scoop. You know what I mean.

So yes...SCRIPT and SCREENPLAY...a moving Oscar-award winning film about a script and screenplay who move to Africa and embark on a journey to find themselves in the midst of...a lot of Africans. Also the meaning of twoo wuv.

More to come, summarily. SUMMARILY, so says I. This is shaping up to be cool. But first, I gotta get something to eat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Yes, this is exactly what I shouldn't be doing. I'm running my process under the big heavy tuesdaytuesdaytuesday wheels of dragged time.

But its how it'll happen.

Gimme a second.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


RE: Thesis

I finally have an idea I can truly be excited about. More on this soon.

PS: eu-fucking-reka

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Did I ever mention that I don't have enough to do?

Have I ever in the past...two...three years of doing a shit job at maintaining this blog with any sort of regularity ever give the impression that I didn't have enough projects on my plate to wrap my teeth around, like some goddamned animal trying in vain for some ungodly reason to devour a beach ball?

But I'll be fucked if I don't think otherwise. I've got yet another new project that's slithering out of the works, and its gonna be a doozy, and by a doozy I mean not so much so.

Its about birds. Its for a "contest", the stakes aren't very high as its for the Digital Arts Network, a club formed entirely out of NYU and in spite of all its charms could better be termed "NYU CADA Fan Club". But that's why I love them.

Anyways, the contest is about birds and digital art and that's it. Make some digital art thing that expresses the idea of birds. Simple.
Deadline for the contest is somewhere around the end of October, or the middle, I'll be arsed if I can remember anything I didn't take the time to scrawl on the screen in big black marker.
That's anywhere from half a month to a month to pull some amazing out of our collective asses.

I'm pumped. So pumped.

I think its coming along nicely.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Some color references for what I'm thinking about.

This is more of a "kinda like this" than an "it is this" because its not exactly what I want.

For example, the reference I'm using takes place in the withered, poisoned ruins of a dead city, and my actual story takes place in a fully furnished condo with running water, clean not-utterly-destroyed walls and a shuddering similarity to a furniture catalog targeted towards young urban professionals.

This is from "Post Nuke," a webcomic about...well you can guess what.

The sun. The fucking sun.

Speaking of young urban professionals, here's a piss poor shot of the furniture from Fight Club. I'll have a better one once a wrangle a copy of the movie.

Put Something on the Something or Other

Oh, what the hell am I trying to do here.

Oh yeah.



I revised the story a little bit. But like any good suicidal, after looking down the edge of the precipice, I'm having second thoughts.

So the original story for those one and half of you (Billy the Torso only counts as half a person) was about a girl who was trying to find rain outside of her domed, air conditioned shithole of a city. It was a big, fat, complicated idea that involved getting her favorite umbrella and trying to leave by car and then by train and then plane and then space cannon and nothing works, until she decided to say "fuck it" (not really, she's ten) and walk, which turns out to be what takes her out of the city and into the rain.

Possibly a bit much for six months for one man. But only because I want it to look pretty.

So I threw that into the "I don't want to throw you away because you're still an adorable halfway decent sploo of an idea but you're just too big and heavy and i'm not really ready for a committment right now baby but maybe a graphic novel in the future or something" box.

Its not a very big box.

The new idea keeps the girl and the city and the rain, except now the girl is in the room, is about eight to ten years older and never leaves the room, because in the room THERE ARE NO DOORS OR WINDOWS no, its a room in a condo-like flat in a skyrise building in the condo-district of the city.
The dome and the air conditioning over the city (aka a lot of production work) are gone, and have been super-shrunk into snowglobe size in the form of a...well, a snowglobe, on a table that the girl is now sitting at. Its not quite a snowglobe however, as instead of snow that falls every time you shake it, its rain. Impossible? Yes. But this is the future.
So the girl (let's call her Anna) is sitting at the table (one of those round breakfast tables), chin in her hands and is staring at the rain falling in the little globe and sighing wistfully. As is expected, the sun is bright, yellow and blaring outside through the glass-pane double doors behind her. For added effect, all the furniture in the room has that plasticine yuppie bought-off-that-catalog-that-was-in-Fight-Club look to it, there's a pot of eye-stabbingly red plastic flowers near the door, there's a calendar with a picture of a girl standing on a balcony smiling into rain falling on her face, with a checkmark for each day its been sunny (every day since the 1st, as far as we know) and there's a little figurine of a girl dancing in the snowglobe.
Everything I just mentioned will be strictly peripheral, as they'll be in scene, but the camera isn't going to give us any sort of up-front eyeful of them, because it'll be too busy focusing on Anna and the room at large, EXCEPT for a shot of the girl in the dome. A confrontational sequence of shots, as it were.
Anna is busily being wistful and casting longing gazes out the glass pane door behind her and generally looking like she wishes it were raining when....lo and starts raining outside.
Anna jumps up from her seat and runs over to the door, presses up against it, looks out and smiles.

Then she reaches over and presses the button (remember, future(is that stupid? that might be stupid)) to open door, and the door stubbornly refuses to do just that. She buzzes it again and again until she notices the words "EMERGENCY DANGER LOCK ENGAGED" glowing above the button and then looks outside again.

Outside is a potted plant (not so sure...its something she left or put out there at some point, like a book or a puppy, or a firstborn child) and the camera focuses to see little holes being burned wherever the droplets of rain falls on it.
Anna sees this and backs away from the window, then sits back down at the table and, with rain pouring outside, goes back to looking at the rain globe. Hopefully this time it'll feel more like she was wishing more that she was the girl dancing in the rain rather than just wishing for the rain.

Cause she sure got that.

So that's my new idea. As you can see I kind of took a machete to it. The only thing that's remained consistent so far are the overall attitude towards civilized society (aka its dirty, fake, depressing and pointless and weeee) and the color scheme, which is mostly yellows, browns, and some more yellows, with blues and greens thrown in during the rain.

It might be too much? Maybe I just need to man up and go wrangle the first idea onto its knees so that its a little more manageable.
I could be utterly fucking myself if I try to take that leap of faith, or it could be good.

Its hard to know what the right decision is, sometimes.

After all, its quite a drop.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Singing the Statment Blues

I have a new project if I don't have enough thousands of fuckin' projects on my plate and in my planning books already.

Its called "Rain."

Its a 3D animated short about a girl who wants to find rain.

More to come, fellows.

New Kids On The Borough

I'm surrounded by Hasids. And I couldn't be happier.

Let me clarify.

I'm living in a neighborhood full of Hasids, and I couldn't be happier.

For those of you who don't know what Hasids are, they are orthodox jews. Their collective group moniker translates roughly into "righteous", and they follow a strict doctrine of behavior so that they may place themselves in favor of the big glowy man in the sky.

Let me zoom out a little further.

For the length of last year I was living in a neighborhood of Brooklyn stammeringly named Bedford-Stuyvesant. I'd call the name a little odd, but its an hour or so's train ride away from another neighborhood tastefully named Flushing.
The Bed-Stuy is a shitty fucking neighborhood.
Its dirty, its noisy, its serviced by one of the most infamously terrible trains in the five boroughs, and its full of crime. The only reason I even lived there was because its bloody cheap.
I could say I was too busy being all doe-eyed at living in New York City for the first time to notice, but as it turns out, I continued not noticed for nine months straight.

That all came to a gloriously reality-checking halt when I walked out of my room one late night/early morning to find a guy I've never seen before standing in my hallway.

The little shitstain had already taken almost 600 dollars worth of stuff and passed it out the window that he came in to his friends.

The police arrived in the nick of time, fifteen minutes after the man had lost all of his nerve seeing me and taken off down the street.

The next month and a half after that before I moved out was a whirl of paranoia, wild parties, late nights and missed plane tickets, half fueled by my recent escapades into the business end of petty crime and half fueled by the imminent end of summer.

At that point, we installed bars on the windows and kept everything under lock and key. It wouldn't have been quite so bad if the same nuts hadn't attempted to break in two or three more times after that. How did I know? They left their greasy handprints on the window from trying to shove them up from the outside.

So Bed Stuy was a little late to the welcoming party. Nine months late, in fact. But the Hello Crew came in and did their job, and as a result, I moved. Sometime in the swirl that was the last month I pulled a place out of the ground in South Brooklyn, helped my roommate clean up the old place the best we could, then got the hell out of dodge.

My new neighborhood is fantastic, in every safe sense of that word. And not safe as in conservative, but safe as in safe. Its a family neighborhood. There's a jewish school across the street, and Bramsonort College a handful of blocks down 20th.
As a result, the place is also kind of boring, in terms of social scene. As in, there is none, unless you count going to a 24 Hour Grocery being social.
But its safe. After a few months of tearing my hair out, and going to sleep uncertain of whether I'd find the window broken when I woke up, I can rest easy.

Its Shabbas, and a few Hasids just walked down the street.
I'm freaking surrounded by them in this neighborhood.
And I couldn't be happier.


Look at all that time that's gone by. I can't even begin to imagine how long its been since I've set foot here. Its all just a matter of time isn't it?

As it is, I'm going to start spilling about my final project ideas here on occasion, or as its called in the annals of NYU CADA, "thesis".

A whole year, spent on one project, that's what thesis is. One semester for previsualization and another semester for setting in motion the plan laid out in the previous semester.

That's a lot of time to matter through.

Its to be expected. Its the final huzzah-house, the grand finale, the last big show of "holy fucking wow" that's supposed to make every money-stuffed executive and recruiter say "oh my god I want to hire you right goddamned now yes right goddamned now and I hope you take massive sacks of cash".

So we'll spend some time on it.

I really do wonder about what I'm actually capable of pulling free from the soil that all of my ideas crawl around in. Each of the Royal and Manchester micro-episodes, or "micro-sodes" as I've been calling them for the last four and a half seconds, were done in one semester, from pitch to print.

Maybe I'll pull off something amazing, a 3d animated opus that will brand itself in the leathery side of NYU's cowhide to be remembered for all eternity. Or I'll huck out a ten second shit of an excuse for a project and be told to never work in this town ever again.

Maybe I'll come out with a project that I'll love working on so much I'll just dive eyes first into it and swim around in work like a diver swimming around in a pool made of pure happiness. Or I'll hate it.

Who knows. Either way I'll have something at the end of all this. Something big, something fancy, and something that, hopefully will look good.

I don't quite know what it is yet.

But I will.

Its only a matter of time.