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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Industry Review Package, Fund Raising and Creative Activity

You may have read elsewhere that the Industry Review Package is being constructed as a digital document. It contains what I call "The Core Creative Materials". At this point, it only contains enough of those materials as may be required to raise working-capital. There are discussions on that subject on IMS Producing Partners.

In brief, the package currently consists of the e-Storybook, Libretto, portions of the Business Plan and a Biographical Essay pertaining to myself as the creator of this project.

Engagement of other personnel is wholely contingent upon fully capitalizing the project, based on the Core Creative Materials.

("fully capitalizing" means; capitalizing stages of operations based on a budget that consists of sub-categories that function as self-contained "ancillaries" within the overall production management scheme. Full Capitalization of the entire project cannot occur until the assorted budgets are crafted and refined for each of the sub-categories and achieving that is contingent upon sufficient capital, Front Money or other means ie: Options, not bank loans.)

The portions of The Business Plan which are not included in the package are those elements which are of such a nature as to constitute the Operations Manual and the in-depth contract materials. I expect that I may include enough of the organizational structure to provide an overview, but that will have to be an abridged version, as the terms connecting operations and the hierarchical production management structure becomes rather complex. So those aspects are, by necessity, reserved for internal operations, leaving refinement and implementation for the functions of The Board of Directors.

Well, these discussions are really for IMS Producing Partners, but I wanted to post something on The Gnomes of New Hope.

So in terms of Creative Activity; I'm very interested in acquiring the capabilities for 3D printing. I think that would be most advantageous in a number of ways. Principly, I feel that the work of puppetry, figurines and animation will benefit most. But also production capabilities will gain advantage as well. In particular, I am thinking about "Gnomes in a Gnutshell". Producing the Acorn for that product line may be one use. Another valuable use for that capability is tool & die.

I have machinery in the studio's shop which would benefit from that capability. It is exciting to realize how 3D rendering will also advance our cause in Animation & Puppetry.

That's all for now.  AG

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Business Plan and Contracts

With the Storybook and Libretto now integrated as a companion set, so a comparison can be made as to how the story interprets on the stage, certain contracts are under review and refinement. Most specifically, the Front Money Agreement. My immediate goal with Front Money is to raise 150k. We need to finish the artwork for illustration and I want to upgrade some equipment.

Although these producing activities are critical to advancement, I have concluded that my focus of attention needs to be on refining the studio environment. The Studio is the foundation of our producing activities and the assorted work areas and resource management elements need to be as refined and functional as possible to meet any demand that we generate. So rather than push for external production activities, I am focusing on internal activities. I expect to employ, or partner with, other producers who will supervise the assorted external production in accordance with the range of venues that we will be approaching.

From my point of view, there are a few primary areas of attention in regard to internal activities; 1) product development/prototyping of animatronics 2) little theatre production, which may utilize puppetry and animatronics 3) preparations for a parade presentation, also utilizing puppetry & animatronics 4) animation/claymation and puppetry for cinema. 5) redesign of the larger show for smaller venues and a Premiere at the Bucks County Playhouse leading into a tryout tour.

There are casting issues with the show as a whole. I have always been concerned with how to convey the Gnomes using live actors. Besides a very delicate casting in terms of size and shape, it is difficult to add the performance abilities required in terms of musical theatre. So that being the case, I believe that a film production should be mounted simultaneous with the stage presentation. In this way we will be able to capture the performances for film, when we do find a suitable cast, before the ultimate and inevitable decay of the production activities will occur.

In this way we can capture the freshness and enthusiasim of the first (fully balanced) production company. It is possible that waiting on the film might produce better results, but I am leery about that. I'd like to avoid having it become stale or loosing momentum.

In my mind, the full range of production activities benefits from interacting on a synchronious basis, if for no other reason than that the risk is amortized, but also because the marketing elements are not only shared, but also retain their effectiveness and support multiple markets.

So to address the Business Plan; the plan calls for four organizations. Presuming this project isn't sold outright, the organizations are as follows; 1) Image of the Mind Studios; development/manufacturing 2) The Elder Gnomes Joint Venture; finance/management supervision/implementation 3) IMS Management, Incorporated; logistical support across the board 4) The Gnomes of New Hope Productions; theatrical/cinema/television/media production implementation.

The details of all these activities and review of the Core Creative Materials requires a signed Restrictive Covenant Agreement, which I believe is posted on IMS Producing Partners blog. I always invite serious investors or producers to visit the studio to discuss this, as I expect this will be the only way to engage, since I am up to my ears in work to do there and I am not planning on doing much road work for the foreseeable future.

I'll try to post more definitive information on IMS Producing Partners, but for now I am building an internal server which is required for improved management of that blog site as a tool for communicating with our investors and principle personnel. So more detailed information will most likely, if not certainly, wait until that server is up and running.

AG

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Quick Note

Busy composing and reviewing The Business Plan in regard to Production Management, Finance, and Contract Materials. All discussion on these matters will take place out of my studio location in Southampton. Until that brings about major changes, I will be continuing to prepare the production materials and refine the studio space to accommodate production. All this activity is non-union. When it comes to Union activity I will be jobbing that out when the time is right, but for now we have a lot of Development and pre-production work that needs to be done. The focus of attention will be on fund raising and I am reviewing the Front Money Agreement to assure that all the terms & conditions are properly represented. Anyone who has already invested  using the Front Money Agreement will not be in any way adversely affected by the updated agreement, in fact the new Revision is better. The basic terms remain the same, the only additions are benefits that tie into the other production agreements for a quicker and more secure payback.

Anyone interested in providing Front Money can contact me. The minimum investment is 10K and it is a phenomenal 300% return. I am looking to raise at lease 150K to complete the Core Creative Materials and set up for production of the published goods. I am looking to put a printing press in the shop, so that cost is not included in the 150. Check out IMS Producing Partners for other discussions about investment. I do not have an extensive selection of postings there because I'm also too busy to manage these pages right now. but those discussions and details need to take place personally at the Studio. That includes discussions with theatrical agents and producers, so if anyone sees the potential and wants to consider availing themselves of it, you will need to come to me. I know I said that before, but I am reiterating it, because I keep getting more and more busy and simply cannot get away from the studio, there is too much to be done. AG

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Industry Review Package

  Well, as you can see from recent postings, I've been concentrating on the functionality of the e-Storybook. There are issues of DRM and file size, which have frustrated me, even as I have been advancing toward completion.

   Today I had an epiphany. Rather than concerning myself with the Retail aspect of the e-Storybook, I now believe that integrating the e-Storybook with the Libretto and the Score as an overall production tool is the best approach.

   In order for the e-Storybook to be ready for public release, there is a significant amount of artwork that needs to be finished, anyway. Although relatively speaking; there is much less than has already been done.

   So, in this context, I will be shifting the e-Storybook into a reference document for the stage and film productions. This seems most appropriate, since the timing of the release of all product lines needs to be intricately linked. My intention is for Licensing and Options to pay for the support of facilities and the production costs (of both the published products and further advancement the media products).

   I do intend on putting a printing press in the studio, since that seems to me to be advisable for on-demand printing and control over the design elements. This will also allow us to maintain (at least) minimual capabilities to meet demand, while retaining control over inventory and distribution. For the most part, that will keep billing and such idiosyncracies down to a minimum, and also simplify contracts in terms of outside vendors.

    Of course, for the right price & terms, I would be willing to sell the publishing rights, but nonetheless I am putting a press in the shop, since there are another five stories attached to The Gnomes of New Hope as The Gnomic Tales, in addition to at least a half a dozen other scripts/projects which would avail themselves of that capability, not to mention other publishing product lines, which exist in the files of Image of the Mind Studios.

   So the composite of the Industry Review Package will be more specifically oriented toward funding the overall project without the presumption that income from retail will be directed towards production.

    It is true that the e-Storybook is designed to support the other products at a foundational level and I have designed the book products (both digital and hard copy) to be fully refined for the marketplace, but there is an issue with file size of the digital product. It is heavily laden with artwork and that increases the file size, even after compression. So until I can figure out how to surmount that problem, for the sake of efficiency and expediency, I need to focus the energy to the most productive use of resources.

I am pleased with this (somewhat) new perspective, so long as it produces the desired results. Even if it does not produce the immediate result of funding operations, it is required to bring to production activities the most efficient tools for advancement.

That all folks!  AG

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October Update

Work this month has been entirely focused on two primary aspects of the e-Storybook.

The initial effort was to assure the technical functioning of the digital book. Since this is an illustrated book, it is very heavily laden with artwork. That fact has made the total size of the digital files quite large, at least that was the initial situation, until I compressed the files. Well, before I discovered that I could reduce the file size, there was a a problem with buffering when the file was loaded into an e-pad or smartphone. So my solution to that problem was to divide the files into smaller segments. This meant that the files needed to be linked so that they function seamlessly. Other than the requirement that one must click on the link to keep moving forward or backward between sections, that works wonderfully.

   But this brought another issue to light. The background page design.

(I'm posting from my phone, so graphic examples do not post easily. I will add them when I am at a desktop computer)

   Well, I added a design element to the cover pages and it looked so good that I added it to the preface and appendix pages, which amounted to maybe a total of thirty or so pages for the three volumes. But the, unfortunately, the body of the book, nearly eight hundred pages, looked unfinished. So I basically had no choice but to add the new background to the entire e-Storybook. There were alignment issues as well, so I basically had to redo the entire book as it pertains to the background page. There are still some minor alignment issues, because I added the new background to each individual file separately. Now that I think about it, I should merge the book into one file, change the background, and split the file up again, that will eliminate the alignment issues.

   So there are also DRM issues. DRM is Digital Rights Management. I have designed the e-Storybook so that any attempts to copy it will destroy the files. I did not spend the last 27 years (and a huge amount of time & money) developing this project to have it given away over the internet or copied by people for free.

   I wish I could give it away, but this happens to be an investment in my "retirement" (a concept which, to my mind, occurs when a person becomes old enough that their mind and body begins to want and they need to have sufficient resources to take them to the end of the parade).

   So, there are a number of factors contributing to the functionality of the e-Storybook. But as it stands now, it looks and works great. I'm beginning to think that I can merge some of the files back together, since, as an example, when I compressed a file that was close to 500 meg, it dropped to around 10 meg! After I test a few various files for buffering delays I'll know better in that regard.

   Another ongoing issue is proof-reading. Even after proofing this thing, literally hundreds of times, I have still found mistakes that need to be corrected. It's crazy! And now that it is in the final stages of assembly, corrections are more difficult and complex, involving multiple applications, versions files, imbedded information and operating protocols. Yikes!

  As I said before, we have more artwork to do. But since the layout and technical structure for The Industry Review Edition is essentially finished, other than assembling the package to include the Business Plan, it's time to focus on the art department.

I'll address those activities on the IMS Virtual Studio blog; www.imagemindag.blogspot.com

That's all for now. Still kick'in. AG

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Quick Note

The Industry Review Package is almost ready for release. I require a signed Restrictive Covenant Agreement before I will release this Intellectual Property to anyone for review. If you would like to receive a copy of that Agreement via email send me a request (image.of.the.mind.studios@gmail.com)  or look on IMS Producing Partners to see a copy.

The next version of the e-Storybook will be an edition formatted for HDTV and that edition will eventually include videos of each scene, but for starters will have music videos for each song. All of this will take time, but that is the direction we are going, so if you are an investor, that is what we will be raising money for. If I release the e-Storybook to the public, then it is my hope that book sales will fund the CG Animation and puppetry for film.

Once the Industry Review Edition is released and begins to be distributed to potential partners, Licensing and Options are on the table for funding purposes.

Check out IMS Producing Partners and the Facebook pages for both Image of the Mind Studios and The Gnomes of New Hope, since I also post there from time to time. As it stands now, I intend to keep production activities limited to my resources and the studio space in Southampton. If someone has other ideas, let me know. I am open to all possibilities, but I am not holding my breath for someone else to do much of anything in terms of production. One thing I will not do is to go out begging. Been there done that. The extent of the development in this project is such that I can only handle managing the affairs from my studio at this point, since the bulk of the materials reside in the studio and we need to start off by working out of my location.

AG

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September update

The major focus of attention has been on the e-Storybook for some time. Proofreading is driving me crazy! Since the e-book is based on a PDF format, whenever a correction is required, there are a number of other programs within which those corrections must be made. It all becomes rather complex. I've needed to restructure the book numerous times because of page numbering issues or errors. The most recent issue is file size. This e-Storybook is designed to function on your phone or e-pad. That means that I need to keep the file size at a level that will function rapidly when it loads into the memory of the devise. That sounds simple enough, but when the product incorporates artwork, complex artwork on every page, the file sizes increase substantially. So now that the functionality, in general, is working pretty well, I am reviewing the scenes to be certain that they load easily and do not jam up the devise.

Now an ongoing issue, that has delayed the release of the product to the public, has been DRM. Oddly enough, there are digital distribution outlets who have stated specifically that they will remove any DRM or Copyright information from the files they distribute. I find that appalling! I've worked on this project for 27 years! I'll be damned if I'm going to release this under any condition where people can copy it and/or distribute it for free over the internet. So one of the things I am working on is to assure that if any attempt to copy the material is made, the files will be erased. As it stands now, attempts to copy the files will destroy it's functionality and all the links which control the e-book will no longer work. But what I really want is for any attempt to "save as" to result in the complete erasure of all files. Unfortunately, I feel as though these measures are necessary because people do not respect the copyrights of authors and others who need to be paid for their work.

So that's where things stand with the project. As always, I am continuing to seek funding and participation from industry partners and others who are interested in taking advantage of the opportunity. I continue to preserve and protect the product line for the sake of it's overall value, but I do invite inquiries from professionals. As stated elsewhere, the Restrictive Covenant is required and that is posted on IMS Producing Partners blog.

It's tough that this is taking so long, but nothing good is quick and dirty.

AG