Thursday, May 23, 2013

"In Memoriam" to air June 1st

Hey guys,

I'm sorry to say that the next episode of the show, "In Memoriam", is being pushed forward a week, and will air on June 1st.  I do realize that I said, before the second half of season seven began airing, that its episodes would air weekly with no gaps in between, hence the apology.  However, I've had an unusually hard time with the episode's script and had to replace some computer hardware.  Plus, work on the show's been non-stop since "Blast Radius", weekdays and weekends, and I could use a quick breath of air.  I still intend for the remainder of the episodes to air back-to-back, I just need a week.

Thanks, and please stay tuned.  Marking the end of the second act, the next episode's a biggie.

Cheers,
Jon

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Twitter: @jcjgraham

Yo,

So, I've finally decided to sign up for a Twitter account:

@jcjgraham

I was resistant to it for a very long time, wishing to draw my social networking line at Facebook.  I'm not nearly as fond of or secure about the idea of being digitally connected with the world as plenty of others seem to be.  It kind of freaks me out, actually.  However, I've recently been learning the potential value of at least having an account on Twitter.  For one, it eliminates the problem of others posing as me using the service, which has been creeping me out.  It also lets me keep followers of my Blog a little more up-to-date, as I barely have the patience to update the damn thing.  I can see myself sending out quick, short tweets on occasion; show updates, stupid jokes and what-not.  And should I ever be required to make a statement publicly in response to something, I have an effective method.

If you're a fan of my bullshit, feel free to follow me.  And know if that there are any different users on Twitter claiming to be me, this is the authentic one.

Really hoping this works out well.

Cheers,
Jon

UPDATE: Twitter widget added to the right.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E15: "Crush"

Hey, guys.

Here's the latest episode, titled "Crush":

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E15: "Crush"

Breaking Bad fans are bound to have realized that the past couple of seasons of this show have been heavily inspired by it in terms of execution, such as sound design and the ways in which episodes open and close (i.e. cold opens, silent cuts to black and the executive producer credit).  This episode's no exception.  I'm a Baking Bread freak.  I think it's totally tits, because out of the shows that I've watched, for me it's consistently suspended the greatest amount of tension across the greatest amount of time while remaining acceptably grounded and plausible throughout; and the way it's cut, minimally and skillfully scored, and its writers' repeated execution of the "less being more" principle are all incredibly effective.  It's a near-perfect formula, pun intended.  If you're gonna emulate something, emulate the best, right?

There's something that's been bothering me for a while; on occasion I'll stumble across a comment written by somebody who feels short-changed, because they feel that the show has strayed so far from its lighthearted comedic roots.  This is a point that I feel I can't argue.  It was that lightheartedness that helped me obtain an audience in the first place, and some of those long-term fans feel that they aren't getting what they want from me anymore, which is very unfortunate.  However, what I will say is that the evolution of the show has felt natural to me.  I don't feel as though I've forced drama into the show where it wasn't welcome (at least not currently, I'm definitely guilty of that in the earlier seasons, during which I was really struggling to find my footing and voice, and develop a style).  I chose to have the seventh and last story season revolve around the physical and moral deterioration of the toys not deliberately in order to upset old-school fans, but because it felt like a logical progression.  Not addressing those aspects felt like refusing to mention elephants in the room.  I write for the toys as if they were human characters, so why wouldn't they be faced with human conflicts?  Feelings of isolation and confinement, the questioning of their fundamentally illogical existence, coming face to face with mortality -- they all struck me as interesting obstacles for the toys to overcome, particularly because they're all obstacles that everybody faces constantly, and I feel a need to express that through what I feel is a perfect opportunity.

The fact of the matter is that, though I find great pleasure in writing both drama and comedy, at the moment I'm more creatively driven towards drama writing.  I love writing jokes, but solely writing jokes bores me quickly, I suppose because I feel that it doesn't establish many deep and memorable emotional connections and primarily serves as quick, disposable gratification.  Another fact is that I've always viewed the show as a tool to develop my ability to write, above all else, in terms of structure, pacing, and the execution of various dramatic storytelling devices.  I don't consider myself a great dramatic writer, but I'd certainly like to be one, and I think that the only way I'll become one is to practice.  Might as well use my Saturday programming slot, which I'm very lucky to have.

However, I'm doing my best to continue to inject humor into the show.  I'm just fearful of detracting from the sense of Arbiter's moral decay, which I feel is vital to the season.  I have the entire remainder of the season outlined, and there's some decent gags to come.

Please leave feedback on this latest episode if you have the time.  I soak up every comment that's written on each of my videos.  I hope you enjoy it and that you stick around until the bittersweet end.

Cheers,
Jon

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hey guys,

Here's the latest episode:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E14: "Spiraling"

You may have noticed the significant increase in pending episodes.  I apologize.  I'm really not trying to draw the story out longer than it needs to be, in fact I'm working at moving the plot along as quickly as I can without rushing it and ridding it of any room for jokes.  It's hard.  Although a lot of the remaining major story points have remained the same since the season's start, keeping each script around ten pages has forced me to do a lot of restructuring.

Bear with me, because I think people will really find it interesting by the end.  To give you a clue of what's to come, the first episode of the third act opens with another flash forward, this time live action and from the very last episode, which I think people will find quite shocking in comparison to what they're accustomed to from the show.

Stay tuned.  Like I said, I'm working at compressing the plot if it's doable.  You may see the number of pending episodes dwindle slightly in the coming weeks.

Cheers,
Jon

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E13: "Dead Weight"

Yo,

Here's the next episode:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E13: "Dead Weight"

I realize, at approximately eight minutes, that its running time is modest.  However, it's a very visual episode, with lots of action and minimal dialogue.  These kinds of episodes take much longer to produce.

Had a rough day getting this one out.  Worked on the episode all morning and afternoon of the day before yesterday, left to attend a year-end film school project screening that I felt I couldn't afford to miss, came back, then cut the episode for sixteen hours, from one in the morning to five in the following evening.  I was coincidentally dealing with some emotional shit on the phone at around one in the afternoon, the time when I still had a mountain of footage to sift through and my production manager was wondering where the hell the episode was.  I felt so stressed out that I froze for about ten minutes, all the while knowing that precious seconds that could've been spent getting the job done were steadily ticking away.  I haven't felt like that during production of an episode for some time, not since the season five finale.  That was balls.

So, I hope you enjoy.  I'd particularly enjoy some feedback on this one.  I don't respond to comments, but I read all of them.  I regularly click "All Comments" on all of my episode pages and go through the whole list.  I like it when people acknowledge and comment on little details that they find and appreciate, it makes me feel a lot better, which benefits the production of the following episodes.  I also like it when people point out plot-holes, which I might even be able to fix as I develop the scripts.  Of course, if you didn't like something, it's good to mention that too.

Thanks for the continued support, hope you enjoy.

Cheers,
Jon

UPDATE: A curse word is bleeped out in the episode, due to the fact that it's on the network's list of banned ones.  However, keeping the curse word in the first place was a creative decision on my part because I thought the bleep and the censor bar made the moment funnier.  No need to give Machinima shit for it.