I haven't posted a blog entry in a while, so I figured I would write one on my current big project.
In addition to working two jobs and maintaining this site, I'm also a member of a new company, Exit Reality Entertainment. Our core project is a film series, The Red String Theory, but we also are building a YouTube channel and pursuing contract work. Our first movie, Remote, is reaching the end of pre-production.
I think it has a very promising storyline, but before you say anything, no, I'm not the writer. My role is President/CEO and my primary responsibilities on this project are planning, finance/funding, contracts, website design, marketing, and distribution. You think that's a long list? You have no idea.
Anyway, I want to share what I can about the project and the story. Our primary writer and founder is pretty damn secretive about the whole thing. Our movie, Remote, is a psychological thriller in the greater "universe" of the The Red String Theory.
The movie follows the character Daniel Grey as he discovers a series of unsolved cases and unsettling events in his search for his missing brother and friends. The movie chronicles the events leading up to their disappearance, which ultimately lead Daniel to believe the disappearance all involve a mysterious - even malevolent - organization.
Here's a little better summary of the project:
What really gets me excited, though, is the rest of the universe of The Red String Theory.
Everything you’ve done - everything you believe - is a result of the choices you’ve made in the past. This is the undeniable truth. But is everything you believe a result of actions within your control? Is it possible that the choices you have made - the choices that have brought you down this path to where you are today - were designed and intentionally placed in front of you by an unseen person, one with a hidden agenda? What if every choice you’ve made has been designed and orchestrated. Not predestined, but predetermined, calculated, implemented.
The Red String Theory follows three families through stories of hidden political agendas, power struggles, military conspiracy, global affairs, and the manipulation and control of human experience.
These interconnected storylines revolve around the concept of predetermined circumstances. After three generations of these families, three young individuals discover that their very existence is due to events that took place framed within this illusion of choice, and that they should not be there at all. As this discovery is made, a dark plot unfolds to transform the entire world that they know into something different.
Pretty cool, eh?
We're pretty far along on Remote, but like any project this big, we're hitting roadblocks.
We have a full cast and crew (upwards of 30 people), which of course leads to scheduling conflicts. We have a number of locations nearly secured, but getting the paperwork finalized is difficult. Funding has also been a huge issue. We had to seriously reexamine what we could do with a limited budget after missing our Kickstarter campaign's goal. We ended up massively reducing the shooting schedule to cut costs and relaunched in Indiegogo. I'll be glad when the campaign's over.
Over the next two weeks we're going to drill down on the funds we've secured on Indiegogo, and rip apart each department's budget, reducing it to the true essentials. Everything else will need to be compromised or come out of pocket. With luck, the latest version of our shooting schedule will work.
We are dividing filming for Remote into at least two segments, with principle filming starting in about three weeks.
Holy hell that's coming up fast.
So that's what I've been working on for the past year.
If interested, you can follow the project on our Facebook, or get a better overview on our campaign page.
I'll probably make another post about the project after filming's complete.
Pardon my ramblings.
Holy hell!! Last time I blogged here was November 2007. Wow, brings me back - I was still in high school! Figured I'd wrote a post to clear my head.
So I've been enrolled in college since my last post here. I went to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois on 2008. I eventually transferred to ISU for a year, changed my major from Marketing to Political Science, then transferred back to Bradley University last fall and finally changed my major to Entrepreneurship. The year at ISU cost me an extra year.
Writing-wise, I've stopped writing poetry and fiction and have moved mostly to non-fiction essays and song lyrics. I hope to further develop these areas of my writing to something that'll get published, but I also miss fiction and hope to get back to it in the near future.
Money's tight, but I can't complain. I've got big plans for the future, I just need to finish school and get some start-up capital. I've been into web development and internet marketing on and off. My problem is I take on too many projects, leaving even the ones I love to suffer (http://www.livefreeordie.com). This made me focus solely on WF, and I plan to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Upgrading WritingForums.org to Xenforo was well overdue, and I'm glad I finally made the transition. When we moved from vBulletin 3.8 to vBulletin 4.0 it was unhealthy for the site - we saw a drop in traffic, participation, posts, drops all around. I know that Xenforo will restore us back to where we were, and then some. I have big plans for the future of WF. I just need to learn to prioritize and stop focusing so much on the details.
So glad it's almost the weekend. Ugh. it's 5:55 a.m.
Last night I pulled an all-night; I don't know why, perhaps because I'm foolish. I left with my brother to go to circuit city around 4:30 and got there at 5:00, when they opened. I originally planned to show up at 4:00, but that didn't work out.
The line wrapped all the way around the building, spanning two sides of the structure. It took over an hour to get in; this in itself wasn't horrible. What was horrible was that it was freezing. I couldn't feel my fingers or toes, and in my ignorance I didn't dress for the occasion.
I ended up getting into the store around 6:15 and got out before seven. I was very impressed with the Circuit City staff - while the lines were long, I couldn't have waited in one for more than ten minutes (to checkout).
What I was seeking was a 1 Terabyte Western Digital harddrive. After rebates I would save $100 or so.
I was nearly disappointed - there were only three left in stock and they were misshelved, probably from customers. I'm glad I managed to get this, as I will use it for my movie, music, and photo library. Hopefully I'll never run out of storage space.
I also ended up getting some DVDs, including House (seasons 1 & 2). I also intended to get a few additional things, including addtional TV series, a webcam, DVD+Rs, an All-In-One Printer, and more - unfortunatley all these items were sold out.
This was quite an experience. I'm just glad I didn't wait outside Best Buy since 8:00 PM on Thansgiving to be the first one in the store, like a friend I know. That baffles me.
In addition to posting about the things I look for in an entry, I'm also going to post about what I actually do to select the story.
Firstly, I'll wait until the contest is closed to new entries. I don't read any of the stories until the contest is closed. After that, I'll print off all the entries and read them that way. I've found this to be more convenient and easier to read than on a computer screen. As I'm reading, I'll take notes on negatives of the story, relevance to the contest theme, and positives of the story, as well as anything else that stands out. After finishing each individual entry, I'll rank it on a five point scale. After I've read, commented, and ranked all the stories, I'll go back through them and remove the lowest ones and set aside the highest ones. Typically there are only a few with low "scores" and a few with high "scores." If those with the high score is below the number necessary, I'll go back through the middle "ranked" entries and make selection that way; this is done usually be reviewing my notes and re-reading segments of the story.
This method isn't used 100% of the time, but it's generally how I plan to go about things. After selection I'll make sure the finalists I've selected fit the contest theme and are appropriate. Then I'll open the voting.
I hope that gives a little more insight as to how the selection process actually works.
We run contests periodically. After the contest closes we'll have a voting booth with the top ten contestants. I decided to write this brief blog post to let you know - for future reference - what might increase your chances of making it to the top ten.
1. Plot and Characterization
The #1 thing I look for when reading through the contest entries is a good story. I want something that will capture me; I want to read something unique that is simply well written. Be creative and innovative. Write something that hasn't been written before. Make the characters real.
The second thing I look for is good spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Nothing will hurt your chances in one of our contests more than a (grammatically) poorly written story. To be more correct, I don't look for grammar errors - they seem to find me. Proof read, please. This will increase your chances exponentially. Look for misspellings and missed punctuation. Make sure the formatting is also well structured.
3. Paint me a Picture
Among other things I look for, one thing is imagery and description. In this "stage" I'm not only looking for a good idea or good grammar, but simply good writing. Writing style and flow are important. Use colorful description. Change up your wording a bit. "He said she said," said I, gets tiring.
There are obviously other things I look for when reviewing, but these are the big three.
Remember - I don't want you to write "just another story." I want you to write something I will remember.
Separate names with a comma.