Sunday, August 12, 2012

News: Delay explanation

Hello again,

I noticed a little bit of bad blood brewing in the recent video comments regarding the story episode delays.  A relatively small amount -- most people are being cool about it (though still peeved, I'm sure) -- and I'm aware that the internet has a knack for magnifying bad feelings beyond their proportion, but I dislike annoying people to any extent.  In an attempt to smooth things over, I thought I'd explain myself regarding the longer time between story episodes since season five.

During season five's production, I was cranking out full-length episodes once per week.  Looking back on that time, I'm not quite sure how I pulled it off.  I can justify my current schedule until the cows come home, but regardless I can understand how people would still turn their noses up when they were at one time given a new episode once a week and are now forced to wait five weeks for the next part of the story.

What's the difference between then and now?  The bulk of my days are still dedicated to the show, if you can believe it, but now I'm much better rested.  I was barely sleeping on my old schedule.  My social life at that time was stone-dead.  I barely took the time to eat or shower.  It was quite a pathetic routine from an outsider's perspective, quality of the show aside.  Nowadays I'm also taking the time to hang out with friends that I've made at school.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that, opposed to slipping from a busy schedule to a lazy schedule which I gather is the conclusion many people are reaching (which makes sense), I believe that I'm slipping from an extreme schedule down to a busy (and comfortable) one.

"Still though, five weeks?" I hear you ask.  It's true, for the past couple of weeks I've been dedicating less time than usual to the screenwriting process.  I've been spending the spare time constructing the plot of the remainder of the season -- all work that, unfortunately, isn't immediately beneficial to the viewers, but will be in the long run.

As of today, I now have the vast majority of the plot of the remainder of the seventh season constructed, scene by scene.  I don't know the explicit details of each scene, but I know what must happen in each scene and what the grand purpose of each one is, from now up until the last shot of the finale.  I now feel immensely more comfortable about writing the scripts for the season's remaining episodes than I did a couple of weeks ago, when my plot outline was much more fragmented.

I have every scene logged on a digital index card on my laptop, which include the scene's location, characters involved, and the critical story beats.  I recently bought a massive cork board and placed it up on my wall where my much smaller cork board and my whiteboard were originally (which I used pretty much exclusively to draw cocks).  I'm now in the process of writing out real index cards containing that info and pinning each onto the cork board in an effort to have a complete physical timeline of the whole season.  The purpose of this is to strengthen my ability to structure stories, to build up to major events as organically as I can to make them shocking and satisfying.

Season six I'm more or less happy with, but the one story beat that really bugged me was when the Chaos Theosis members have the opportunity to ban Arbiter and Master Chief in the TOSERS hub server and they don't take it.  They instead indulge the old "Let's kill the good guy later for no reason" routine and it doesn't make much sense.  I included a little bit of exposition in the episode that followed to cover up the bad logic a bit, but I don't think it really took.

That was bad story-building on my part.  I didn't think far enough ahead of the event and had written myself into a corner, and I took the only route I could find at the time to progress with the rest of season six (the remainder of which turned out quite well I think, thank god.  People really seemed to dig the finale).  That was the sort of mistake I didn't want to repeat in season seven.  I wanted to use season seven to discipline myself in that area of story development.

That, unfortunately, comes at the cost of your patience.

You may still think I'm a cock muncher for dragging this out, and that's fine, but I hope that you understand my side of things a little more at least.

As tomorrow is Monday and staff will be returning to the Machinima offices, chances are that the episode will pop up sometime during.

And I'm not sure how Machinima's airing system works exactly, but try not to hate on them.  Hate on me, it's my fuck-up in all likelihood.

Thanks again.

Regards,
Jon