This is the theory, anyway. Saturday, Feb 23 2008 

I try to allocate my time resources according to a scale of achievableness. I should really allocate all my time to writing because that’s where I know I can get work done in. But I need to do something else to draw attention to what I write, and these something elses tend to provoke a lot of procrastination and a lot less actual doing. Usually there’s a lot of initial enthusiasm followed by rapid loss of enthusiasm.

But if I keep trying, maybe I’ll eventually strike upon some project that’s as easy for me do as writing and also has the viral quality I’m looking for.

My latest idea is a mockumentary of me (or someone very much like me) trying to produce a webcom. What I like about this idea is that I don’t have to make the webcom very good. For DYWTSTU I wanted it to put a lot of effort into the appearance, and I think that’s what slowed me down – my ambition was too great. I wanted it to look cheap, but I still wanted it to look really good.

With a mockumentary it would work better if the look of the webcom was rather naff, and for all the behinds the scenes stuff I’d just wear my ordinary clothes. So all I’d really need to do is write the script and shoot it. This is what I’ll try to do next week, to at least get some shooting done, and if I still can’t get anything accomplished, maybe I should seriously think about Selling Out. I’m not sure what that entails, but it’s usually a useful step towards success.

Thursday, Feb 14 2008 

I don’t seem to have made as much progress in DYWTSTU as I had anticipated. I can’t figure out how to do the spaceship interiors. Everything I think of is too expensive or too complicated or I don’t like the style. I’ve been trying to think of really cheap and simple ways of suggesting the inside of a spaceship.

My latest idea is to spray stencils onto large sheets of white paper and stick them on my bedroom wall. So I’ll have stencils of things like number pads and laser guns and scanners and little round windows and the words ‘DECK 17’ and I’ll rearrange them on the wall to suggest different locations. It’ll be hyper-naff but at least easy. I’ll compensate for the lack of a set with good dialogue and lighting and acting and costumes and ambient spaceship sound effects and stuff.

Pie! Thursday, Feb 7 2008 

So I’ve been doing my lego stop-motion ship-building thing. I’ve done maybe about a third. I bung what I done so far in Final Cut Pro to watch it in motion and it wasn’t too bad. The camera shakes a bit because my tripod was $14.90 rather than $90.00 but I think wobbliness is okay under the circumstances. I move the light around for each frame so it’s all flickery anyway.

The first 23 seconds of Mad Pierrot by Yellow Magic Orchestra is the perfect theme. If you don’t have that music on your computer it’s the one in the background here. It’s grand yet cacophonous.

I’m going to go buy a pie and then work on the next third. I’ll try to upload the opening when it’s done but I may not be that clever.

More ships, badly photographed. Wednesday, Feb 6 2008 

I like writing because writing never seems like work. Everything else seems a bit like work. Even building things out of lego can be worklike sometimes. Sad but true.

This is a moon base. Or possibly an asteroid base, I’m not sure. Anyway, the opening sequence of DYWTSTU will be a montage of the spaceship getting built on that red patch.

base.jpg

I redesigned the ship because the first was a bit too big – the smaller it is, the less I have to work on backgrounds and stuff. This one ended up being orange and blue and white. I didn’t really like red and blue and white because those colours are a bit too patriotic.

I purchased a teeny tiny tripod to hold the camera in place while I do the montage bit. So while these photos are a bit crap, at least I only had to shoot them once. Usually I shoot each photo about five times by hand and just use the least wobbly one.

ship3.jpg

ship2.jpg

ship1.jpg

Thinking out loud. As usual. Monday, Feb 4 2008 

Writer’s block. I’m not used to writing dialogue that’s intended to actually be read out loud. I think it’ll be easier once I decide what the characters are like. I hope. Usually when I’m writing I just let the characters invent themselves.

Or maybe the problem is that I want the dialogue to have a sort of unscripted, authentic, uncontrived quality. Written in the style of something that is improvised. If that makes sense. Definitely improvisation will be encouraged, within certain parameters. But at the same time there’ll be bits that are carefully scripted. It’ll be a bit of a mish-mash.

‘Bit of a mish-mash’. Doesn’t that sum up my entire creative style?

I should work on the technical aspects for the time being, starting with what I’m going to film and how I’m going to do it, and whether the bit with the miniature people on the desk is actually filmable at all with my current budget. I suspect it is not.

I can think about script while I’m painting backgrounds and shooting lego miniatures and stuff. I tend to have ideas pop into my head while I’m doing physical stuff like that, rather than when I’m staring at a blank page.

I’ve been trying to find popular examples of amateur ‘webcoms’. One of them was ‘Ask A Ninja’, which is like live-action Sbemail for ADHD sufferers.

Holiday. Sunday, Feb 3 2008 

I have one more day of work and then I’m on holiday for seventeen days. Seventeen days can be a lot of time when used correctly. I’ll work the entire time on the first part of my DYWTSTY internet serial thing. I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it but hopefully I’ll get far enough that all I have to do is edit it.

Also if I can paint the backgrounds and build a set for shooting lego miniatures it’ll be a lot easier to make future episodes.