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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

IMS Producing Partners

I'm working more on production facilities and I am posting more thoughts on IMS Producing Partners. We need to be raising production funds, so I'm focusing more on that page, which deals more with management issues.

Also the Industry Review Package is almost ready so since that is directed towards build our team of vested partners, those discussions will be there.

I'm posting more from my phone, but that doesn't always work, so my posting dates and the order of what I am posting is somewhat out-of-whack.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Preparing the e-Storybook

  Doesn't that sound simple? Well it's not! There are so many issues that it is mind boggling. After weeks of prep, I now have to go back and redo the page backgound. Issues of alignment and color management between the linked files are driving me nuts. I think I have a grip on it, but now I am faced with needing to upgrade all my equipment and programs, so that the product goes through the final prep with the absolutely latest operating protocols. I keep going with the resources available to me, but I sure could use a substantial influx of capital. The dilemma is that util this e-Storybook is functioning properly and is "flawlessly consistent" there's not much I can do about it. I simply cannot release a flawed Product, even if it is only the Industry Review Package.

I know some folks have been waiting and watching, wanting to see this. The best I can do right now is to invite you to visit me at the studio, if you need to see more than I've already posted.

On another front, Contract activity is beginning to pick up. If you are interested in Licensing or Options, that is a good way for me to fund the finishing development and other work required for finishing the Illustrations. I will be addressing those issues on IMS Producing Partners. If you have a contract scenerio which you've found works for your operation, let me know, or submit those contracts, as I will be composing specific contracts in the near future, after the e-Storybook is finished for the Review Package.

I'm thinking that selling an Option for distribution might be a good way to go. Of course that option needs to be substantial enough to support a good chunk of production in that specific arena.

As it stands now, I have not signed with an agency, so all your inquiries will need to be direct. It may stay that way, simply because my concentration will remain in the non-union arenas. I expect to job out the union operations, since I don't want to deal with that.

That's all for now.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

e-Storybook Notes

      I've been attempting to post occasionally from my smartphone, but I am not confident about that posting properly to these blogs. I know that the phone works well with Facebook, which I think works better than Linkedin, so from the phone I prefer to post updates to the Facebook page. So I suggest you check there from time to time.

      I have been preparing the e-storybook for release to selected individuals and organizations. What that means is that the entire layout needs to be correct and functional as a PDF based e-book. I am finding that the files I used to publish the hard copies of the books are different because of the size differences of the books. The Big People's Book is based on letter sized paper, with only minor trimming. While the Gnome-sized Book will yield eight pages from the same size paper. Now on the hard copies, the pages need to have right & left gutters, so the page numbers are on the outside border. While the e-storybook uses one background page and places all the page numbers on the left hand side.

    So, preparing the e-storybook has been a matter of changing the page background on all the files. This is because, while publishing the Gnome-sized Book, I made small changes to the layout that helped to make the smaller books to have a bit more punch and clarity. Of course, those changes were made only on the Gnome-sized Book, which had different specifications than the other editions.

   After finishing the Business Plan, which really needs more attention, but is sufficient for present requirements, I moved to working further on the Score. That aspect of this project requires quite a bit more work, but a great deal has already been done in that regard. Because of the intensity of that type of work, but also because of the demands of other work that is progressing, I shifted off of the score in lieu of finishing the e-Storybook.

    Even though the Illustrations for the Storybook are not yet complete, a large part of the entire set of books is illustrated. So, I decided to advance all other aspects of the publishing work, setting up, both the published books and the e-Storybook to be ready for production and release, with only placement of the illustration panels needed to be done. The space has already been allotted for the illustrations, by defining the panels within the page layout.

   I thin this is a good approach to finishing the publishing, hard copy and digital, because moving forward with the illustrations is also moving forward with the animations, and having the publishing mechanicals out of the way is a good thing.

   Now, addressing release of the e-storybook; I need to be able to implement DRM and lock the files so that they cannot be copied, printed or disseminated in any unauthorized fashion. The last thing we want is to have the materials distributed on the internet for free. It has cost a small fortune to develop this material and we need to recoup those expenditures and then some. Producing the show will not be inexpensive and we need to assure the value of the project and create income. SO that is an issue in releasing the e-storybook. But I have to say that it looks really great, both on a smartphone and an e-pad.

    As it stands now, I doubt that we will be able to distribute the product by way of a download. You would think that wouldn't be a problem, but the files are rather large because they are heavily laden with artwork. I've tried compressed files, but they don't look nearly as good as the larger files.

   I believe that the digital product will be primarily distributed as "Gnomes in a Gnutshell"  because the Micro SD is a good medium for delivery. It works really well with most phone & pads, with the exception of the Apple i-Phone and i-Pad, because they don't us a Micro SD. If you ask me that is a serious flaw in the Apple products.

   So we are getting close. I am reformatting some of the components and trying to develop a method were multiple files will work continuously in synchronization, without difficulty for the end user, while allowing for upgrades. It's not easy.

   That's all for now. AG

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Mobile Update​

As I mentioned elsewhere, I seem to have trouble with mobile postings. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. That results in a somewhat choppy account of activities. I apologize for that.

So the most recent activities have been in regard to preparing the full set of books to go to press. Even though more artwork is needed, the mechanical layout work still needs to happen for the remaining volumes. Book One of the set ran through a series of prototypes and I thought the layout was finished. Well I have found out otherwise.

Bacically, I changed the layout while printing the Book One prototypes and those changes did not get carried over into the balance of the books. They were small graphics changes to improve the end product. So I need to cross reference those changes and implement them in the remaining material, the layout for the remaining books.

There was another issue that ended up consuming a fair amount of time. For those of you preparing your own layouts, let me give you this advise - number your preface and appendix separately from the body of your text, especially if the body takes up more than one volume, or is marketed in numerous formats. That way you can change your preface to match the edition/market without effecting the numbering system in the body of the text. I just learned this the hard way and spent a good amount of time renumbering the pages, more than once!

So, in terms of publishing, I am focused on making the entire set press-up, even though I still need to insert the artwork into the layout, basically replacing descriptive panels with the actual art they describe.  As I'll mentioned elsewhere, I need to raise the funds to finish the artwork. A possible release of the first three books may achieve that, but I'd prefer to withhold release until all seven books are fully illustrated. As I've also pointed out elsewhere, that means 348 more illustrations. So not only will that cost over $50k, but that will take time as well.

That's all for now.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Preface to Book One

I wanted to post the Preface to Book One, but so far I haven't figured out how to post a PDF.  I embedded a song in the file, but that doesn't seem to work once I upload it. I've got to figure these things out. I'll post this on Facebook too so we can talk about it there.

Here's a link. The file seems to be too large to function properly, which is one of my concerns about providing the e-storybook via the internet. I will try to rectify this problem. This is only the 7 page Preface. You can imagine how difficult 800 pages (with more extensive artwork) would be. Hopefully it will open for you. AG

Preface to Book One

I seem to be having problems with posting the e-Storybook PDF Files. It seems I will need to convert them to JEPGs. Too bad, that rather complicates matters. So as you can see, I need to develop an IT department to implement distribution of the product via the internet. The one thing I do know, is that this Gnomes of New Hope e-Storybook is illustrated on every page and that complicates delivery via the internet, being that the files are very large. I may need to consider dividing the collection into manageable downloads. We'll see. AG

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IMS Publishing

The focus of attention in this regard is to confirm the final layout for printing. There have been a few snags, but they seem to be worked out. So now the files are being confirmed as ready to print. The first book in the series has been produced, but now the remaining six books need to be conformed to the layout. This is in process. I am now looking at putting printing presses in the studio, as I want to have full capabilities in house. Anyone who wants to provide printing services should contact me. To my way of thinking, having printing capabilities in-house is preferable. SO that is the direction I am moving. If the funding becomes available or  cut a deal with a major publishing house, who can guarantee deep saturation in the international markets, then that may change.   AG

7/6/17 update

The publishing materials are being conformed so that the entire set of books will be ready for press.  I spent the last week or so trying to find the layout files, only to discover that the primary layout accidentally got saved as a PDF. So after an extensive search I relocated the components and rebuilt the Master File. So now the entire collection needs to be conformed to the latest mechanical layout, which should not be too difficult... but I've said that before. Oh well, upward and onward.

I'm beginning to get more deeply into theme park activities and I'm trying to figure out how to make a presentation of The Gnomes of New Hope in that context. I can't present Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure in that medium, so I think it will end up being Gnome Fest, taking place in the center of Gnomeville.

That's all for now. AG

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Most Recent Thoughts

As I may have mentioned, my concentration has been on gathering all the appropriate files into a collection of four DVDs. The last part of gathering those files is the Storybook. This has been a long and difficult job, primarily because I made so many back-up files and spread them out over numerous discs. While we were working on numerous aspects of this project, the music, the art and the storybooks, I have more than one hard disc fail, which set me back more than once. So I started saving different revisions of all the files and spread out duplicate across the many discs I use for file storage. Well, even though this seemed like a good idea to protect the material, it is challenging to make sure that the files are actually the latest. So for the past month or so (more like a few months) I have been cross referencing the files and saving all the latest revision under a new heading. One of the things that has been frustrating has been correcting the page numbers. I've had to do that at least four times over. I won't explain. But now that the Storybook disc is almost finished, I've discovered that I my print files are many different versions of the first book. This was a result of numerous set-up files to accommodate the variations of the printing presses. Unfortunately I did not address the first book before the remaining books, because I assumed that was correctly finished. Well it is, but the remaining collection of six books are different, since they have not been set-up for hard copy printing yet. The interesting, although somewhat distressing fact is that I included the Preface as part of the numbering of the pages. I discovered too late that it would have been advisable to number the preface and the appendix with separate page numbers than the body of the book. Well I have done that for the remaining books, but the preface in the first book takes up numbers I'd rather they didn't. I may change that, but that is not as easy as it sounds with the way I produce the mechanicals for the layout.

So with all this attention on the Storybooks, I think that my focus will shift to locating a large publishing house or distributor to pick up the project. I will however continue to publish all the books that are ready and finish the print layout on the full collection, including the ones that still need artwork. My objective here is to raise the 50-100K that will be required for completion of all the illustrations. I know I've discussed this elsewhere, so I won't reiterate. I will say that I expect to be making more effort to locate the right literary agent. I guess it's about time for that.

In terms of production activity, I remain concentrated on refining the studio space and making sure we are prepared to initiate set construction in the shop, but also experimental film-making with a green-screen and motion control. I still need to set up the array and Final Cut Studio, so I'll be working on that too. In terms of set-design, I'm beginning to redesign the show to fit into the Bucks County Playhouse and other smaller theaters in the anticipated touring circuit.

I've had a number of people expressing their desire to work on this project, but I need to develop both the methodology and budget for HR. So Producing Partners will need to understand the magnitude of the resources which need to be gathered for that purpose.

All these things are progressing slowly, but that may change, depending on who ends up joining the effort. Some discussions are taking place, but nothing definitive... not yet.

I'm releasing the first book to people who visit the studio and proved to be on board with the project. If you are one of those folks I'm there 9-5 M-F.

That's all for now.  AG