Monday, November 30, 2009

News: Change of plans!

Hey.

As I said in my previous blog entry, I was supposed to fly to Los Angeles today to help a small film crew film the third episode of Arby 'n' the Chief in LA.  That's not the case anymore as I was refused entry to the United States and questioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for three solid hours, all because I didn't have a work permit.  As a Canadian citizen, I am not allowed to work on U.S. soil and, quote, "take the job of an American citizen" (translation: terk their jerbs).

...Which is fundamentally retarded as that's exactly what I do working from home in Vancouver anyway, so it's legal to do what I do where I am, but once I'm in the same country as my employer, then it's illegal.  Awesome world we live in.

As soon as I told Homeland Security that it was a business trip, I was flagged and directed to the "deep examination" room, told repeatedly to sit down and to stand back up and answer questions for a sworn statement.  Three fucking hours.  I've never raged so hard in my life.

Unfortunately, if you don't want to get arrested, you have no choice but to bend over and take it in the ass from these people.  There I was, sitting with other poor, inconvenienced travelers, waiting for the all-clear.  A wheelchair-bound British woman was also sent to the same area, and she was in tears because she missed her flight due to the fact that she was flagged by customs agents.  She was then "consoled" by an immigration officer; the conversation went like this:

Woman: (sobbing)
Officer: Ma'am?  Ma'am?  Do you want the privilege of entering the United States of America?
Woman: (wiping tears away) What?
Officer: I said, do you want the privilege of entering the United States of America?
Woman: Of course, I'm supposed to be meeting my family in Tampa--
Officer: Then you need to calm down.
Woman: But I've missed my flight because of this!
Officer: That is irrelevant.

There's an official title for such officers: cocksucker.  Specifically, one that swallows.

It was fucking heart-breaking.  It was like Children of Men Lite.  Nice to know the direction in which the world is headed.  Won't be long now before we're all Clive Owen, evading the authorities.

It always seems to be U.S. immigration officers too that are the assholes, I never have as many problems with Canadian officers.  Fucking pricks getting off on power trips, strutting around with their handcuffs and mace like they're hot shit.  News flash, Homeland Security: everyone you talk down to at the airport thinks you're a total fucking shit-eating faggot.  Think about that next time you head home after a hard day's power trip and masturbate furiously.

George Carlin said it best, God rest his soul: airport security serves no purpose other than to make stupid white people feel safe.

So yeah, I don't really know what's happening now, but when I know, I'll try and make an update.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video: Hard Justice S2: Episode 11

Yo.

Hard Justice S2: Episode 11 is now available and can be viewed here.

Yes, I know there's an error in the credits; a time and location text overlay appears during the end credits and I realized it was there as soon as I submitted it, I know it's unprofessional and it looks like shit, which is annoying considering the last minute of this episode is some of my favorite work I've done so far.  So yeah, to all those Sherlocks out there, it's there, it's lame, I know it's there, so there's no need to e-mail me (I've had a couple already).  We've already got a Sherlock Holmes this Christmas, Robert Downey Jr.  We don't need another one.

Thanks,
Jon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

News: Helping produce next episode of Arby 'n' the Chief: In LA

Yo.

Guess what I get to do?!

Thanks to the fantastic reviews that the premiere episodes of Arby 'n' the Chief: In LA have been getting, I have to travel all the way to Los Angeles next week and help them produce the third episode in order to give the new crew a running start.

FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

This will probably mean that I'll be writing and directing, and sitting with the editor making sure it's cut right, etc.

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say exactly how I feel about having to do this, but you might have an idea.  So yeah, now you'll know what to expect in the coming weeks.  New Hard Justice this Saturday, gotta fly out pretty much right after that, and the third episode of Arby 'n' the Chief: In LA will come out... whenever it usually comes out, I don't even know.  So hopefully it'll be worth checking out if I can save it, and hopefully the crew will pick up on how to do the show successfully after this episode.

After THAT is the Christmas holidays, so I'll probably end up doing another mini two-part Christmas special again, so yeah.

Thanks,
Jon

P.S. Keep in mind that I still do not consider the show mine anymore, my job is just to assist with this one episode and hope that the new crew can take it from there afterwards.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

News: Bunch of updates and shit

Hey guys.

I myself don't think much of my blog, just a higgledy-piggledy collection of links and lately I haven't been going out of my way to update it, and to those people that actually frequently check this place for updates because they find something entertaining about it only to find nothing, I apologize.

What got me thinking about that was reading all the comments on Machinima.com's premiere episodes of "Arby 'n' the Chief: in LA", most of them defending me, which most people probably wouldn't be doing if they didn't actually see my blog update stating my non-affiliation with the show.  Thanks for that.  As for my opinion on the new show, I don't want to be dissing the company I work for, but I'm sure most of you guys have a pretty good idea.

Not that the Arby 'n' the Chief thing is like a prized possession of mine that I'm scared to hand off, as if it was my child, I really just don't give a shit.  They were an amusing method of getting my voice heard and saying some shit I thought was funny, and that's it, really.  There's plenty of different ways of offering the same thing.

I'm not really sure what's gonna happen once I finish this One Life Remaining series and this latest Hard Justice series, maybe there'll be another one of each if Machinima want them; otherwise, I'm not sure.  Preferrably I'd like to have just a straight writing job, no production, as it's such a pain in my asshole now.

Sure, a job where you work from home and make your own hours sure has it's perks, but once I finish a script, it's tedious as fuck.  First, you tend to want to "lessen" what's in your script when you know you're gonna have to build it all and act it out as well, then after that, I have to build the Forge sets, plug in four controllers, move all the players slowly and carefully for hours and hours, going straight into Theatre, looking around with the camera, getting every shot just right, making mistakes over and over again, always having to rewind...  Argh.  Then when I get all the game footage onto the computer I have to fucking trim it all and shit, cut it exactly right, clean the sound, add the music, the text, every week.

I mean, whenever it gets overly tedious, I only have to take five minutes to remind myself what the alternative is: working retail in the electronics department of a large store, blabbering on and ringing in items mindlessly, stripped of my individuality for a paycheck that I would blow entirely on video games and other dumb shit that kept me sane throughout the job and high school.  Then the work tends to become a bit more bearable.

Back to what's coming, more than likely there'll at least be a second season of One Life Remaining.  Nothing guaranteed, but that's probably what's gonna happen.  I still have a wealth of fresh ideas for One Life Remaining.  Hard Justice, not so much, hence it's decline in season 2 so far.

I'm not sure if it's heartwrenching to hear an author diss his own fiction that you might enjoy, but I hope you're cool with that, it's just how I roll, you know?  I'm usually never pleased with anything I do (other than a few gems), and if I have a problem with something I've done, then I think other people should know about it, know what's going through the mind of the author.

Tragically, any time I write something I'm proud of, I just go, "Well, that's it.  I probably won't write anything this funny ever again."  Every.  Fucking.  Time.  It's an irritating feeling, and I'm almost always wrong about it thanks to last minute inspiration.  It's stressful.  Not that I'm comparing the stress to the level of suffering from panic attacks, but the writing process is metaphorically similar to suffering a panic attack every week and each time, thinking "This is it, I really AM going to die this time."

I think one of the keys to writing is having a fresh pair of eyes.  I like to write rough drafts early and look at them closer to production time, then it's almost like you're reading somebody else's because you don't quite remember it clearly enough, and thus you can be effectively critical on it and change what needs to be changed.  For example, episode five of One Life Remaining was a script that sat around for two weeks, then I read it just before production and realized it sucked shit so I completely re-wrote it in a few hours and produced the new script.  Seriously, writing's weird.  The requirements for a hit or miss script are so fucking vague, most of the time a script's success is just a stroke of luck I think, really.

Sometimes a shit scriipt can be a good movie with the right actors and the right crew, sometimes just a shitty crew and bad camerawork can ruin an entire movie, sometimes it's a great script and the actors suck terribly, and sometimes those movies get bad reviews, sometimes they get good ones.  Everything is so all over the place, the entertainment industry is weird.  When you make a movie, you just gotta cross your fingers and hope that all the people involved in production had just the right chemistry to get along and work hard.  In fact, that's really all it comes down to: human interaction.  People.  And you can't fuckin' trust people, man.  Human brains.  Complex patterns of brain synapses that create a persona, patterns so prone to failure and the law of randomness.

...Anyways!

Thanks again everybody for keeping up with the blog and all my videos and shit, even when they're crap or not funny or whatever.  I appreciate it.

My job aside, I'm probably gonna be founding a little video production company and creating pure live action comedy shorts with some good friends, which I hope gets going once I get a few pieces of equipment.

By the way, here's the videos I missed:

Arby 'n' the Chief: Endgame (Full Movie)
One Life Remaining S1: Episode 5
Hard Justice S2: Episode 10
One Life Remaining S1: Episode 6

They're all accessible in the menu on the left.

Thanks,
Jon

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

News: Unaffiliated with Arby 'n' the Chief continuation

Yo,

If you've checked Machinima.com's latest videos, you might have seen a teaser trailer for a continuation of the Arby 'n' the Chief series, "Arby 'n' the Chief in L.A.".

This is not my series.  Machinima.com has taken it over.  They handle everything from the writing to the production to the post-production; my only job is to merely look over their scripts and provide a few helpful notes.

Thus, any e-mails regarding this spin-off series should be directed to the Machinima.com staff as I have next to nothing to do with it anymore.

Thanks,
Jon