Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Captain's Blog: "We were on a BREAAAKKK!!" Update

...and still am...

Just dropping a note to those who read the tripe I scribble on here and have passed on their good wishes, and those who have mailed me over the last few weeks inquiring about how I'm getting on and so forth; hearty thanks to those goodly folk for your thoughts and support; it's much appreciated.

So, an update... where are we?

Still in the Slough of Despond, I'm afraid!  Life is mad as a brush right now, so I still don't have the time to sit down and write or film or practically anything right at the moment.

Following the estate sorting issue I had to contend with (which left a bitter taste in my mouth and is something I could really have done without; family... jeeeez), there came a mass of stuff from out of left field at work, coupled with trying to find a new job so I can move (as some of you may know, my missus and I have been trying to move back to the North West (my home region) for over a year and, as the wife has already been working up there for a year while I've been trying to get myself something that pays at least as well as my current job (not easy in the current economic climate), we've had precious little time to spend together and the whole thing has been taking it's toll), as well as outside work I've taken on to give us more "pin money", as well as my PC gasping out it's last and being now practically fit only for propping up the shelf in the corner, it's been an irritating and taxing couple of months.

I've made commitments to people for lines for projects they've started (some quite a while ago, mentioning no names... :P), which I'm honouring, along with lending my weedly skillz to Team Wartechnica where I can again this year, but other than that I'm not in a position either time or technology wise to do any animation work or take on any extra "work" outside of what I've already got.

As far as projects go, everything on my side has come to a screeching halt until the situation improves; no time for writing means no further scripts for Odyssey at the moment (and, if I've got no time for writing, I damn sure can't sit down and try to string a movie together right now), so we're still on hiatus.

I do try to drop in here and there when I have a spare few minutes, but I literally have very scant time free at the moment, so if you're wondering why I haven't posted or responded to emails, that's why (when it comes to emails, right now I'm wading through a ton of stuff I haven't had a chance to catch up with in my "general" mailbox, as well as my "personal personal" mail and that's a ton of stuff to go through!)

Because of the lack of free time and the general slow down at this time of year, the Ollies has also gone into hibernation this time, unfortunately (as if you hadn't already guessed :P).  It does mean that, given the extra time, we'll hopefully bring it back next year in a leaner, meaner full-fighting trim (look on the bright side!); although it's fun, it's bloody hard work for all involved behind the scenes, and I just haven't got the time to take on what is effectively an extra full-time job this year with everything else on my plate.

So, there we have it.  I'm not around right now and for the foreseeable... annoying, especially when I was approached about Eldritch considering being shown at Dragon*Con this year (which was a massive surprise, an honour and a tribute to Mac's scripting and the acting talents of Bezzer, Mac, KV and Tom).  Once things settle down, I'll be back with a bang... or a whimper, dependant on whether I stub my toe or not!

Aloha; auf wiedersehen, adieu, fare thee well, etc until next time!

UPDATE: Eldritch IS being shown at Dragon*Con this year :)  I'm immensely proud of the this fact, more for Mac's work on the script and Mac and Bezzer and KV and Tom and the wife for their work on the voices than anything else; congrats, guys!

If you happen to be there, it's being shown in the block between 10:00am-12:30pm on Saturday, September 3rd at the Sheraton Hotel (MMO Track room - check the program booklet for exact room).

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

I'm taking a break

Real life crashed in this morning in the form of a phone call with some bad news, meaning I'm taking a hiatus from movie making and community involvement for a while in order to sort it out.

I won't have the time to do half of what I had slated and this couldn't come at a worse time for me, for a variety of reasons.  I'll try and do lines for anyone that I owe them to, but even that might be a stretch time-wise, I'm afraid.  Sorry if this causes an inconvenience to you, but that's how it is, I'm afraid.

I'll be back when I can; in the meantime, in the words of Bill and Ted, "Be excellent to each other!"

Ciao for now...

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Captain's Blog: The Sunday Show... with K and K :)

Yes, I succumbed to a huge bribe (well, it was more of a small bribe... ok... it was a teeny-weeny bribe... ok, it was a barely veiled threat, but still...) and the mission I chose to accept was co-hosting duties with Big Ken White tonight on The Sunday Show on TMOA.

Tremble in your boots, all yea who read...

Actually, it should be some fun, as we are kicking off the first full "Knights of the Round Table" discussion this evening (hopefully with those movie maestros Gabe (AKA Animatechnica), JosephKW (Star Recruit, et al) and Harb40 (he of the Passion Competition which, I have to say, is shaping up to be bigger and better this year than ever before)).

We'll be chewing the fat over some of the subjects suggested in the TMU Forum thread, along with whatever else we segue into or is thrown at us from the baying hordes in the chatroom, so come along and join the fun!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Captain's Blog: Eldritch - Apocalypse Then (Part Two)

Eldritch is on the trail of the mysterious girl. A meeting with Rafferty leads to a dangerous encounter...


Chris Ollis

Contains occasional swearing.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Captain's Blog: goes live!

Yes, at long last Gabe (Animatechnica to the iClone community, Gabe to those who have the pleasure to work with him, and "Foul Pornographer" to Ken ;)) has put up the official Nobbit site, replete with piccies, soundtracks, info and more stuff than you can shake a stick at!

We can only hope this means that "The Nobbit: Part Three" isn't far from release :)

Check it out HERE; you won't be disappointed :)

Friday, 13 May 2011

Captain's Blog: Odyssey: Interlude One

Season Two Interlude One
The first of several "side trips" that showcase other characters and areas of the Odyssey universe, shedding more light on the backstory of the arc of the Odyssey series.
In this instalment, secret meetings take place, and two familiar characters discuss the current situation...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Captain's Blog: The Chronicles of Humanity Redux

Don't forget (or, for those who didn't know in the first place!), Damien Valentine's re-imagining of his excellent The Chronicles of Humanity series is being premiered tonight on Indytheatre.  Originally shot in The Sims, Damien decided with Season Two to switch to Moviestorm.  In doing so, he made the decision to go back and redo the first series in the new platform as well... and tonight, the results of those endeavors will be available to view!

Showing times are 8:10pm PST/11:10pm EST (that's 4:10am in old money for us Brits).

Unfortunately, I can't make the live premiere (4:10am is a little too late in the wee hours for me over here in the UK), but I would urge any of our transatlantic cousins who can make it to go and show Damien your support for this top-class series.

And, to wet your whistle for the showing, here's the trailer he released recently...

...if that doesn't get you making "squee" noises, here's the cast list...

Starring: Elizabeth Cameron, Charlie Allen-Wall, Gabrielle Pugliese, Richard Grove, Ingrid Moon, Kim Genly, Damien Valentine and Felicia Day (yes, THAT Felicia Day ;)).

Come on; if the trailer didn't make you squeak with excitement, and the voice cast didn't make you want to either, I don't know what will!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Captain's Blog: Eldritch - Apocalypse Then (Part One)

is now available on TMU or direct from Vimeo... or even here, if you prefer :)

Part One of Eldritch - Apocalypse Then
Meet John Eldritch, London's Night Hunter; a man whose destiny is to defend the night against the Dark.

Might want to watch full-screen, as most of this takes place at night and is therefore a little dark :)

Part One of a new mini-series, written by Macwemyss from an original idea by Killian.
Credits for Part One:-
Killian - John Eldritch
Macwemyss - Gabriel
Bezzer - Zack
Written by
Killian and Macwemyss
Mods by
Squirrelygirl (Mods 'N More)
Chris Ollis (Moddingstorm)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Captain's Blog: Eldritch - A Production Blog (Part Two)

Part Two: The Rebirth
When last we left our intrepid blog, the idea of Eldritch had languished for a good while in the dank, dark recesses of my brain...

Recently rewatching the delightful Strange series (starring Richard Coyle, better known to some as the legendary Jeff Murdoch in the UK version of Coupling (still one of the classic comedy series, and written by none other than Steven Moffat, latterly of Dr Who fame, but enough sidetracking...)), the idea of Eldritch resurfaced.

Whilst the idea itself isn't original (mix up equal parts of Constantine, Buffy, Angel, Legion, Prophecy and throw in a tad of Kolchak, a pinch of detective-noir and a soupcon of  any other supernatural TV show you can name), hopefully it'll be entertaining.  In any event, the main thing is (as ever) for me to have fun with it and if others like it too, it's a bonus :)

A while ago now, I'd passed the stalled initial script to the talented Mac to see if he could jumpstart it, and for various reasons, neither of us had done much about it.  However, I've recently gotten back into Moviestorm in a big way (mainly since the increase in quality mods being released, starting with Chris Ollis' excellent Moddingstorm packs).  After playing around with it a little last year (which ended up with Strange Worlds and Strange Worlds: The Beast of Eastbourne for the annual TMU Roger Thong contest (which reminds me; where's my damned thong, Ken?!?), I decided after the latest Odyssey episode to sit down and play around with it some more.  And quickly realised that Eldritch stood a good chance of now being able to be made.

A swift PM or two to Mac, and the wheels started turning again.  Within a few days, we had thrashed out the basic premise (updated somewhat since I acquired Chris' excellent Castle, Horse and Peasant mods, which necessitated a change in some of the flashback sequences, but made it much more visually interesting as a result) and, whilst the redoubtable Scot hammered away at his keyboard, I started blocking out some scenes and generally fiddling about to start to put the initial vision together.

I had Mac in mind for a main role anyway, and was lucky enough to get the talented Bezzer on board to play another of the recurring characters in the story, Zack (his interpretation of the part and his great voice, although initially somewhat different from what I expected, actually fit the character really well, as I'm sure you'll agree when you see the first part of the story).  My old pal Norrie was a shoe-in for another pivotal role, which I'm glad to say he agreed to play, and with LewisQ aboard, Fospherous and that talented bloke KV, the cast began to fill out with some quality Brit actors.

The main female role was never going to go to anyone other than my lovely wife (who, after all, brought the original character so vividly to life as we sat around the gaming table so very long ago, it now seems), and she was (and is) very excited about this project; more so than anything else I've done upto now.  I might even be able to convince her to write for it, which would be very cool.

And, naturally enough with me being the director and all, I wanted to do the part of Eldritch myself.

So, whither the future and the direction of Eldritch?  I've got more ideas bubbling away (after all, there are 2 years of twice weekly game sessions to base stories off, and the characters themselves have rich backstories that I'm aiming to leak tidbits from as the series progresses) and, as a "side project" to Odyssey, it's nice to be able to lay aside sci-fi from time to time and stretch my wings a little into a different area.

Well, that about wraps it up for the initial blurb about the mini-series.  The script is still in development, but expect the first part to debut very soon... very soon indeed...  Keep watching TMU and you might be surprised... and hopefully, you'll enjoy the first installment of Eldritch - Apocalypse Then!

In the meantime, here's a few screenshots to be going on with...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Captain's Blog: Eldritch - A Production Blog (Part One)

I thought that I'd post my thoughts and feelings about the creation of "Eldritch" as release of the first part grows near.  Bear with me, as it's a little self-indulgent in places (and definately wordy!), but hopefully it'll serve as a "raison d'ĂȘtre" for genesis of the production, the roots of the characters, how the story has evolved from it's beginnings as a tabletop roleplaying campaign, and where it's hopefully destined to head.

So, without further ado...

Part One: Genesis of Eldritch
Despite sounding like a decidedly ropey 1970's Doctor Who story title, the genesis of Eldritch began about 7 years ago, with a tabletop campaign based on Eden Studio's Unisystem rpg.  The main characters were a human male descended from an angelic bloodline (who fell to the side of darkness in Roman times and cut a swathe through early Britain, before "seeing the light" and embarking on the road to redemption that led him to modern day Los Angeles) and a human female, whose past was decided dark, twisted and f@#ked up!  As a result of various plot devices (which I won't reveal here, as they will be used as the basis of the main female character in the series), she became enpowered with the ability to do pretty much anything she could imagine... which led to some extremely dire consequences for the two of them as the game progressed; let's just say control of what she could do wasn't on the list of abilities she had to begin with!

Lifted pretty much wholesale from the Buffy/Angel TV series (which the gaming group were all big fans of), the adventures of these two, and a fully realised cast of non player characters played memorably by our larger-than-life GM, Gareth, the "Faithful Dawn" campaign turned into an epic story of redemption, love, betrayal, comedy, drama, and pathos, at least twice weekly for far too many hours and sometimes whole weekends, surrounded by dice, books, the detritus of marathon sessions where we lived in the skins of these people, bringing them to life round our dining room table in a small, 1 bedroom flat in Plymouth.

And we loved every second of it.

The characters grew, knew loss, love, defeat and victory at the hands of our GM, who pitted us against werewolves, cthuloid monstrosities, vampires, demons, vengeful ghosts, succubi, mythical beasts and immoral mundane foes aplenty, whilst all the time the characters were finding our more and more about each other and their not-so-two-dimensional companions.  Eventually, however, despite barely surviving some horrendous odds and trials and tribulations galore, the characters became far too powerful to continue "believably" doing what they had been doing for nearly 2 years, and were retired, to make way for another campaign with other characters (which also turned into a corker, but that's a half-orc warrior raised by a human knight and an exiled elven princess of a different colour!)

Heady days indeed... so heady, in fact, that when I was searching my twisted brain for further machinima projects about 3 years ago, that was one of the first things that popped into my mind.  Morally grey characters, trapped between two sides which can be seen as equally as bad as the other, surrounded by enemies both supernatural and mundane... what's not to love about that as a starting point?

I was determined to make it a "UK" based series (no disrespect to our American cousins, but you get all the cool shows, except for Doctor Who and Being Human, of course ;)) to give good old Blighty a couple of heroes of our own for once (even though the original characters were pretty much "USA-ified") and that, coupled with the long and oft-times dark history of our own sceptr'd isles, seemed like a good starting place.

I initially toyed with the idea of doing it with The Movies (as I have done with Odyssey), but the limitations of that engine (god bless it; 6 years old and still capable of turning out quality movies in the right hands, even today) scuppered that relatively quickly;  I wanted to be able to show emotion, move actors where I wanted them and do a lot more than TM was capable of portraying.  So I looked elsewhere.

iClone looked like a contender, until I saw the horrendously complicated user interface it had at the time, and the sheer lack of computing power I had (and still have presently) at the time put the mokkers on me using that.

And then I clapped eyes on Moviestorm.

Easy to use, free (at the time) and constantly updated with cool new features, it seemed ideal.  The quality of the work that was capable using it (see what the likes of Sisch, Kate and Sherwin, Kibishipaul, KV, Iceaxe and so on have produced with it and you'll see that I mean).

However, the big snag came when trying to get the visuals to look how I wanted; the ability to "set the scene" just wasn't there at the time.  Not enough mods to convey the right atmosphere and do what I wanted existed back then, and I wasn't prepared to "compromise my artistic vision" (to use an old, dried up and overly hackneyed turn of phrase), so the initial steps along the path to Eldritch' realisation stumbled to a halt.

2 years passed... and the script for Eldritch languished in my brain, peeking out at inopportune moments to wave and say "hi" to my forebrain, just to let me know it was still there and make sure it wasn't being totally forgotten...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Captain's Blog: Eldritch - Apocalypse Then

Renewed interest in this over the last month or so, coupled with grabbing some much needed proppage from the likes of Chris Ollis (of Moddingstorm fame, without whose props I would never have been able to even think about getting this project started), KV, Squirrelygirl and PapaG over at the MS forums (special thanks to the latter two for a special modding job for a crucial scene!), has enabled me to get cracking on this project in between Odyssey episodes.

For the curious, this is the project I did the casting hint thread about on the TMU forums a while back... all is now revealed!

The backstory of this is something else that sprang out of an RPG tabletop campaign that ran for a looooonnngg time, and covers another genre I love and wanted to have a crack at; horror/adventure.

Macwemyss is beavering away on a script that will sink the Titanic for the mini-series/pilot (and you thought I was the only one who wrote scripts that were longer than the Bible!), based off the few notes and first few pages I scribbled a long while back... and it's a corker!

So, what's it about, you ask? Well, if you remember in the dim and distant past the original teaser I put up about a year ago, it's a dark, gritty look at the secret war going on between the forces of Light and Dark... and the man caught between them both.

I already have some great VO talent lined up (Mac, Bezzer (who turns in a great performance as one of the regular characters), Norrie, LewisQ and KV, with a couple more still to respond (hopefully positively!)), and the first test shots came out pretty well, even though I say so myself!

No firm release date yet, but it's likely it will come out in multiple parts, mainly because the first 15 mins or so rendered out at 250mb on it's own!

And, as always, the main thing is I'm having immense fun producing my first lengthy Moviestorm project, so it's all good!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Captain's Blog: Doctor Who Series 6 Prequel Teaser


Unfortunately, if you are outside the UK, you might not be able to see this as it's an embed from the BBC website... sorry!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Captain's Blog: The Roger and Ken Show (Sunday 6 Mar 2011; 8-12 UK time)

Selfish self-promotion time; if you have nothing better to do than listen to a Brit gabbling for an hour about Odyssey and stuff, tune in to the Roger and Ken Show on TMOA tonight (from 7-12 UK time) and listen to me whittering on.  If nothing else, it's guaranteed to leave you comfortably numb :)

You can tune in through one of the links provided HERE on the showthread via TMU.

And, who knows?  If you ask Ken or Roger nicely and it's a reasonably sensible question, they may even ask me for the answer (provided it's not the one about where babies come from, how many beans make five or which Australian marsupial would win in a fight between a wombat and a platypus... I mean, it's clearly the latter, despite what that Biggstrek bloke would have you believe!)

Monday, 28 February 2011

Captain's Blog: Season Two and Beyond

Well, Episode One is out and, despite a couple of glitchy moments and a weird sound rendering issue that made the balance go a bit wonky in places, it seems to have been received pretty well so far.

In an effort to try and expand the "screen time" of some of the subsiduary characters (especially with so much changing since the end of Season One and the start of Season Two), I'm embarking on a series of short "Interludes" to shift focus to other strands of the arc as it edges it's way into the light.  The first of these should debut soon, bringing an old face back into the Odyssey fold ;)

In addition, there are three other writers having a bash at Odyssey scripts this season (which helps immensely); Episodes Two, Three and Five are all being tackled by outside writers, who will hopefully inject some fresh perspective into the developing story of Odyssey.  I'm already better able to see where the final season will head and have a developing idea that (if all parties agree) could be a real corker if it can work; but that's at least a year away yet, so we'll see how things grow between then and now...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Captain's Blog: Odyssey Season Two Premiere Launched!

Yes, it's finally out!

 Two days of struggling to get the bugger out meant the sound went a little wonky on the render, and there's a graphical glitch with a few rogue frames near the end, but hopefully that won't ruin your viewing experience too much!

Anyway, here it is; hopefully you'll enjoy it, and massive thanks, kudos and other praises are heaped upon the incredibly talented cast; Goofparade, Sisch, JosephKW, thebiz, Kwistufa, Lanna and Marine101 from the regular cast, and Alonzo11208, Bella, dear Dulci and the evil Jase180 for their guest starring roles!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Odyssey: Season Two Trailer Three

The final teaser trailer for Odyssey Season Two....

Episode One, "...Together We Stand" will be launching soon... Stay tuned to the TMU Forum Production Thread for more information!

Monday, 31 January 2011

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Captain's Blog: Writer's Block? Try this as an exercise!

The Wolf and Dulci Show (Mondays at 10pm EST, 9pm CST on TMOA Radio) has another of it's Audience Participation Events (or "APEs" as they are known in the venacular ;)), and this one is a good 'un for writers.

The premise is easy enough; "watch the video HERE, then write a screenplay (minimum 5 minutes in duration) that follows the theme of the video news broadcast posted.

In essence, the news broadcast is meant to "set the stage" for the screenplay. The actual story can be anything surrounding this broadcast i.e. events leading up to it, events during it or after it. Comedic, dramtaic, romantic, action, thriller, horror - all types are acepted. The only caveat is that the screenwriter must include a female lead role for Dulci to play. Other than that, it's fun and frivolity time.

Winning entry (as determined by Dulci, myself and a handful of other judges) will be produced in an iclone movie as well the writer will receive the equivalent of $100 USD worth of my iclone content. We look forward to everyone's participation."

A 5 mins+ movie with a good starting point that could go anywhere? Surely a godsend for an aspiring screenwriter!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Captain's Blog: The Nobbit (Part 2) goes on General Release

That's right, folks; if you missed any of the premieres over the last week, you can now watch "The Nobbit: Part 2" in the comfort of your own living room at a time to suit YOU, the casual viewer!

I'm inordinately proud of the work the mammoth cast did and especially Gabe for putting it together; yes it's juvenile, yes it's not exactly high-brow entertainment and yes, no doubt some will really not like it.  But I had a blast sniggering over lines, rasping my throat out (in more ways than one; all I can say is, be prepared for at least one more singing performance in Part 3!) and being involved in this.

But then again, it's no surprise, really; Gabe is a sickeningly talented git and I hate him! *

Anyway, enough brown-nosing to the boss; go and watch it HERE. There's something for everyone... well, most people... well, anyone who likes juvenile humour and a load of grown men and women making arses of themselves in the name of entertainment, anyway :)

* Please note: parts of the preceeding paragraph may not actually be true...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Captain's Blog: Return to Middle Earth with The Nobbit Part 2

The second part of Animatechnica's magnum opus, The Nobbit, will premiere on Monday January 3rd at 8:00 pm Pacific right after the Wolf n Dulci show, 11pm Eastern, 12pm Taiwan and repeats again on Sunday January 9 at 4 pm pacific after the Ken and Roger show. 

As always, after the live viewing, the movie will go up the normal channels so keep an eye out for them. Work continues on the third and final installment, and when done will make The Nobbit Animatechnica's first full length (90 minutes) machinima movie made with iClone.

Those of a nervous disposition, under 18 years of age or anyone with a sense of humour bypass should not attend the premiere, or watch!

In case you somehow missed this, the first part is available to watch on Youtube, Vimeo or at TMUnderground here.