The blog of a person....yeah that sounds good.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The mouth is a primitive hole that will soon be phased out

As some remember earlier this year me and my friend Gerkinman finished a music video for the band, The Basics. Seen here:

One of the things Gerk worked out with the band was that we had the rights to enter it into film festivals. So for the last few months, since Gerk is a busy guy, I've been leaping deep into the festival circuit.

And I have to say I think the film and animation festival circuit is perhaps one of the most antiquated and inefficient processes I've had the misfortune of flailing through.
First things first most film festivals have an entree fee. Most of them have a fee that hovers between 40 to 80 dollars. Some are more. A few are less. A very scant few allow people to submit for free. Obviously the fees are there for a reason. These festivals are only sometimes sponsored and have to make money SOMEHOW. Although the ones that are sponsored by friggin T-Mobile and Nike and Universal really dont need to be charging fees. Regardless. Its their festival and they can charge whatever they want.
Your common independent filmmaker (particularly any fresh out of animation school) really doesn't have ye olde cash to be plopping down 50+ dollars on an animation festival. Particularly due to the fact that he or she will also have to mail a dvd (which also costs money) to the festival.

The only way to enter ALOT of these film festivals (and also one of the only ways to get a small discount on entree fees)is to use the Withoutabox service. Withoutabox is nice in a way because it cuts down on all the frivolous pointless paperwork that accompanies films as they go to film festivals. And packages them all into a press kit that I can only assume sends itself to the film festival you paid for.

However here is where the process breaks down. Alot of these festivals want you to submit your film as an expensive NTSC dvd through the mail. I cant really get why this is necessary in this day and age of digital media. Recently the nickelodeon animation festival got with the times and allowed people to upload their films via the internet. Which is a more efficient process for everyone involved. Unfortunately not all festivals are clear about this.

Some festivals claim they allow online submissions. And Withoutabox doesn't question it. However after you've plopped down a rather hefty sum of money to enter a festival that claims it allows online submitting, you are greeted with a NEW message previously unseen:

SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS:
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BLAH BLAH BLAH FILM FESTIVAL
BLAH BLAH BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90004
USA


Oh great! After one has plopped down a nice pile of cash just to be eligible for this prestigious festival, now one has to get a DVD burner, and a DVD, convert the film in software one does not have, make a dvd, and then pay to have it shipped all the way across the country.
Wouldn't it be great if information like this was readily available on the festival's page at Withoutabox? But it's not. And now this festival got some free money. And theres no way to get it back.

Ever.

However, recently Withoutabox added a new function to their site. You can UPLOAD a film to their site which they claimed in their email would allow you to send the film to whatever festivals you needed to.

"wow" I think. This sounds like a great addition to the site. Sadly, like the previous dilemma, almost no festivals are compatible with this new thing Withoutabox added. And the few festivals that claim they ARE compatible with it? Guess what happens when you get to the confirmation page:




SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS:
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BLAH BLAH BLAH FILM FESTIVAL
BLAH BLAH BOULEVARD
YOU'LL NEVER GET YOUR BLAH BLAH MONEY BACK, ASSHOLE




Anyway after losing a small fortune on this complete bullshit I've decided I am giving up trying to break into the festival and film bracket.

I dont get how the people who run these things can sit around and wonder why most filmmakers are choosing to release their films on the internet in venues like Atom, youtube, vimeo and such.
Sure, festivals sometimes have cash prizes. But most of us have no chance of ever getting anywhere near that prize.

Its a choice between spending your own hard-earned cash to get a film into a festival that only art snobs will see. (money wont be made)

Or

Paying NOTHING to put the film somewhere online (or if you're really fucking fortunate, getting it sponsored) and having everyone in the world being able to see it. (money probably wont be made).

There is no purpose to wasting money on an old outdated and frustrating system.

Its an easy enough choice to make.

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Boy it feels good to rant against something stupid again.
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Obviously I dont think of myself as some high and mighty authority on all that is wrong with the film industry. I am but a flea on the hair on the crotch of the sub-media that is the internet. Very few people know who I am or give a shit. Which is great. And I certainly dont think myself "too good" for film festivals. I mean, hell I spent years giving crapholes like Newgrounds free cartoons. I will never be 'popular' nor will I ever be good enough to work at Disney or Blue Sky or Pixar. I'll never be good enough to even be a decent art teacher. And I could spend my entire life trying to make something ANYWHERE near as good as this and I could never do it. I'd never come close. I dont have the skills. I'm 24 and have been doing this since forever and I just dont have those skills. I am forever relegated to making films on the internet.

And I'm fine with that. Its sad in a way, because god knows, the internet is a shitty shitty terrible place filled with an ever-growing festering pile of hacks, thieves, children, and morons. But, it grants me the ability to do and say whatever the flying fuck I want. I can make my cartoons about whatever the fuck I want. And to top it all off I even have a job making cartoons for a VERY nice website and a VERY nice employer.

But I know a stupid system when I see it. I've had to work extremely hard to accomplish what tiny things I've managed to do for myself. And it has made me very paranoid and very scrupulous and thankfully above all else made me very cynical and cautious. And particularly it has taught me the value of the almighty dollar bill. And those qualities (if we can call them that) are why I wont be spending one more dime on something as scammy as Withoutabox.

Thank you and Good fucking Night.
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Anyway changing gears for a second, if you're still awake after reading that long and ill-tempered objurgation, then I have some NICE things to talk about in this blog post as well.


My co-worker at the video store, and my favorite manager, and a good friend, is a guy named Ben. Ben is actually one of the few people who knows as much useless obscure pop culture as I do. He and I joke about things like Miracle Man, Tag & Bink Are Dead, and most of all, comic books, science fiction, and such. Ben looks alot like Kevin Smith. Its kind of scary, actually. Hence he dresses up as Silent Bob at halloween.
But anyway, Ben loves comics. Alot. He can also draw. And just for some spur-of-the-moment thing he drew me some linework and asked if I could color it.

So color it, I did.

Yes I meant to post a thumbnail. I'm not going to post the full sized one. Ben is using it for something. I dont know what yet.

But he seemed pretty happy about the coloring job I did on it in the email he sent back to me:

"I've often read/seen interviews with comic book artists praising their colorists. They claim that they always make their work better than it looks. HOLY SHIT!!!! I am completely blown away!"


Stuff like that makes my day.
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If you have any interest in video games at all, then you've probably heard about the new Disney videogame coming out called Epic Mickey. Its a wii game that captured the internet's attention because it looks really dark and gruesome. And its starring Mickey Mouse! Which is great. I think most people would agree they love seeing Mickey kick ass.

Hence why Runaway Brain is such a cult classic.

In the old Disney comics, Mickey used to kick quite alot of ass. So did Scrooge and Donald. Scrooge especially.


So the internet has been all aflame with news on this. The concept art has been friggin AMAZING. Seriously. Go to google images and look up Epic Mickey.
I hope this game is all hand-painted like muramasa the demon blade. Either way, news is coming out that the makers of this game are giving Mickey an update to his character design.

This could mean alot of things and no pictures of what Mickey looks like have come out yet.
So, judging by what developers tend to do when they 'update' characters like when Sega updated their mascot Sonic the Hedgehog to make him seem more extreme and cool, even though he was WAY PAST COOL already, by giving him a redesign with long limbs and big green eyes and huge floppy spikes which is how he still looks now, or like how a few years ago the arcade character Frogger was given a redesign to make him look like a complete retard.

Bearing all this in mind I tried to sketch what I imagine the NEW Mickey Mouse may end up looking like. I hope I'm wrong.

Originally I made this image for the hell of it. Sent it to some friends. And its slowly spread around with some thinking its official. Which made me laugh until tears came out my nostrils and boogers came out my pupils.


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As of late I have only been playing one map in Team Fortress 2. It is called Balloon Race.

It is perhaps the silliest yet most fun custom map I've played thus far.

Red Team and Blu Team each have a small blimp. It is powered by having someone stand on the front of it, where the steering wheel is. The more people who are at the front, the faster the boat blimp gets to its Max speed, (5/5). Whats amusing is even at Max Speed, the boat blimps chug along rather slow, and most people can outrun them. But thats not the point. The point is to keep the blimps going by staying on them and then capturing the capture points which pass by underneath which sit on plateaus.
The teams shoot pretty much nonstop at each other both on and off the boats, trying to kill enough enemies to slow the enemy blimps progression through the level.
There is a small cabin in the back of each blimp which houses a dispenser which gives back health and ammunition (both of which get wasted aplenty as the balloon bobs along the beautiful briney sea).

However as long as you are hiding in the cabin, the boat doesnt register your body, so you dont help push it along. SO if you are a BABY COWARD who wants to hide back there, you aren't being a credit to your team.



Its a very fun level. The only real flaws (if we can call them that) is that due to the balloon boat blimps creeping along so slowly through the various valleys, the level is VERY sniper friendly. Snipers can just wait far on the outskirts of the level doing nothing (like most TF2 snipers do) and pick people off at their leisure. Alot of headshots.
Its also not a good level to be an engineer or spy in because both classes are so niche, they end up pretty useless.

I actually got a nice compliment the other day while playing. Which usually never happens because my framerate is so low and my ping is so high that I'm terrible at any class that really requires aiming.

I tend to play music over the microphone while I play. Music that fits the current situation of the map. Ambiance, I calls it. Black Betty for when our team is fighting for our lives, the theme to Little Miss Sunshine when our balloon is so far ahead that we're all just standing on the blimp waiting to win, Taps when we are failing miserably.

"thats the best mic spam I've ever heard" someone said to me the other night.
Made me all warm and fuzzy inside.
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Tonight I bought the best mustard I have ever tasted.
Jalapeno Mustard from Germany.

Mein gott.

It is good.
I must buy 1000 weenies to slather it on.

2 comments:

Sir Thomas of Binkleshire said...

78 awesome points for mentioning muramasa the demon blade

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