Friday, November 22, 2013

Back From the Dead

Howdy-ho.

The razor-sharp detectives among my fan base have been careful not to jump to conclusions and effortlessly deduced that, should my blog not be updated within a week’s time, it means that I’ve been mangled in a horrific car accident.  As I haven’t updated my blog since August, I have in fact been mangled in just shy of a dozen accidents.  The proof is irrefutable.

These accidents have unfortunately left my entire body in a hilarious and irreversible pretzel shape.  I have to walk on the tips of my fingers sideways like a crab, and I’m typing this now with my eyebrows and small toes.

My absence, for me, has been both busy and theraputic.  I found some relief in distancing myself from the show for a change, and finally focusing on live action projects.

With aspiring directors among you I share a valuable insight; don't make movies.  Watching moves kicks ass, and making movies sucks dick.  Give up on your dreams, go home and never set foot outside and face any challenges.  While you're at it, just have yourself placed in a chemically induced coma and supplied with nutrients intravenously forever.

These are what I’ve churned out so far as film school assignments:

Film and You: A Filmmaking Instructional Video
Moment of Reflection
Black Hole

Not only have I been busy, but I’ve been experiencing somewhat of a paralysis in getting my new satirical game review show rolling.  Run-of-the-mill paranoia; “My writing isn’t funny anymore.”  “I’ve lost objectivity, the show’s gonna suck, and everybody’s gonna think so.”  “I’ve had my fifteen minutes, and they’re long fucking gone now.”

People have called me a good director, which is very kind -- but I’m not.  What it means to be a director of film encompasses so much more than knowing where to place the camera, or knowing exactly how far to push the analog stick of a controller to make an actor walk.  It takes sharp people-skills, information processing and articulation -- all attributes that my relatively pathetic ‘bedroom’ work curiously hasn’t sharpened.

I figured that my ending to my show about talking toys wouldn’t sit well with everybody, but it seems that I underestimated the discontent.  That upsets me.  I can’t, however, say that I don’t still stand by the ending I chose.  Maybe my perspective on life is just twisted beyond repair, but I actually thought of the ending as a positive one.

Spoiler alert.

I don’t mean that it was positive in the sense that it glorifies suicide.  Suicide is a tragic decision, regardless of circumstance.  Unless I’m forced to eat cauliflower; in which case, suicide would be a fucking delight.  However, I think it’s fair to say that the show’s characters were a product of quite note-worthy circumstance, enough so that their demise at least poses one or two interesting, albeit broad questions about life in general.

I had to close the show.  The figurines were falling apart; I had already incorporated the fact into previous seasons of the story.  I figured that I had to show the characters go by the end in order to make an impact.  They were either going to take their own lives or deteriorate.

I considered the latter option, but given the logic I’ve established within the story of the characters’ absurd existence, it struck me as less satisfying than the former.  In my mind, the characters would’ve reached a point at which all of their limbs fall off, and they’d simply be completely immobile heads lying on the floor, retaining a conscious for who knows how long until it fizzles out.  That seemed too cruel to end on.

I also considered an ending involving a slow camera pull away as the characters sit next to each other bickering while playing video games, but not only did it seem too tame and ambiguous in regard to their fate, but it also felt as though the characters lacked significant developmental arcs as a result.

So I decided to have them die in a gas explosion, and I think that much more important than the ‘what’ is the ‘why’.  The Chief made a rash decision to rig the oven to leak gas and strike a match not out of cowardice of his future, but rather due to a lack of a future.  The emotionally taxing situations that the final season placed him in resulted in him finally growing bored of playing video games and shouting obscenities at people through his microphone within the modest confines of a constantly and curiously vacant apartment.  He’s ready to check out; there’s nothing to stick around for.

The Arbiter’s in the same boat -- he said it himself -- but he didn’t make the initial decision to destroy the apartment.  He did, however, allow Chief to do so, despite having an opportunity to stop him.  Chief tells Arbiter that he’ll strike the match if Arbiter makes any sudden moves, but I think that Arbiter could’ve easily snatched it out of Chief’s grasp with time to spare.  I think that he used Chief’s warning as an excuse to, in his mind, render himself a victim of circumstance rather than his own executioner.

In seeing the death of the characters, the audience can assume that they’ve slipped into simple non-existence and, at the very least, escaped their prison of boredom, if not transcended to some superior plane of existence.  In the characters’ case, I find that comforting, and I hoped that the fans would feel the same.  I really wasn't trying to piss everybody off; a theory that a few rabid trolls who consistently lurk the comment pages to this day seem to have adopted.

Sorry if you didn't enjoy it.  I realize that, despite the show's direction being entirely in my hands, that I have a certain degree of responsibility to satisfy the fans, and I might have failed that task.  I'm unsure because those who have a problem with something tend to speak up considerably more than those who don't, but I've also received very positive and insightful feedback regarding the ending.

Onto my new show, the pilot episode of which Machinima is now in possession of.  Here’s the details:

- It’s called ‘Chemotheraplay’.

- It’s a satirical video game review show.

- The host is called the Chemotheraplayer, and played by me.

- He’s horrendously biased and delusional.

- He has a boiling, venomous hatred of fanboys and casuals, despite being a textbook example of each.

- He wears a white, expressionless face mask and refers to himself as the ‘cure for the cancer killing gaming’ and ‘a white cell within the circulatory system of the industry’.

- Each episode revolves around beloved games, ranging from retro to modern-day titles.

- The host tears the shit out of each of them with twisted logic.

- Each episode consists of a tag, title sequence, review segment and tag, with jokes relating to the game weaved throughout.

- The show is heavily focused on rapid-fire joke writing.

- The subject of the pilot episode is Dark Souls.

- Currently, the show has only been greenlit for one episode.  Additional episodes will likely be ordered based on the pilot’s performance in terms of viewership.

- The subjects of following episodes would include Resident Evil: Director’s Cut (PSX), Minecraft, The Last of Us, Sonic 3 & Knuckles -- whatever game I can think of jokes for, really.

I’m really hoping that it performs well, but I acknowledge that it’s a longshot due to my evidently dwindling view figures.  If it doesn’t, no worries.  I should be able to pay this month’s rent if I suck a few dicks in the alley outside.

I’ll let you know when I’ve received an air date for the pilot from Machinima, but it should be out pretty soon -- assuming that it passes through quality assurance without any hitches.

If you’re not sensitive to offensive jokes and have an account on Twitter yourself, I encourage you to follow mine.  I tend to write quite a bit on there.

Those of you who continue to follow me, thank you very much.  I’d love to have a beer with the three of you sometime.  Stay tuned.

Cheers,
Jon