Copyright Notice

This is to proclaim that all materials posted on this blog are property of and copyrighted by Image of the Mind Studios/Arthur Greisiger .
These materials may not be reproduced or copied without permission. They are posted here for you personal review only.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Product Manufacturing/Distribution (updated)

        Attention was focused on bringing the manufacturing aspects of "Gnomes in a Gnutshell" into alignment with the practical realities of assembly, production and inventory. This involved production line methodology, which for the most part has been refined down to the point where assembly procedures have proven to be workable and efficient enough that the product can fall within the anticipated price schedule and still allow for a reasonable margin with some latitude. 

       This assumes the price point is at the maximum* amount the market will allow for a product of this nature and not discounted for the sake of expediency, or some presumed competitive pricing sought by wholesalers who strive to turn more quantity at lower cost.

*Note to suppliers: this maximum pricing cannot be the basis for manufacturing and supply costs because the window for this pricing structure is too small for a sustained position. This introductory price structure provides a surge of influx to open the markets and accommodate for tooling production.  The price structure will inevitably settle down to a lower margin as production/distribution increases and demands for discount markets come into play. Further discussion on this subject will take place.

   Clearly more quantity will aid in gaining a stronger presence in the marketplace, by the visual impact and presentation of the product, but devaluing the product will not serve the greater need to recoup the very large investment in the core product or generate the capital required for implementation in the costly production arenas of the theatre and cinema. So discounting the product will be avoided as long as possible.

       Discussions of Film & Theatre Production Management will continue take place on the IMS Virtual Studio rather than here.

Details of Production Line Logistics

       These thoughts (when written) referred to e-Storybook, but may also be applied to the hard copy book as well.  Releasing the product, involves meeting the inventory needs of both raw materials and finished product - before promoting the ability delivery the product to meet demand.  I am seeking a minimum of 1k units in stock (ready to deliver) with a production line growing toward the capability of producing 5k units per month.  Greater quantities may require subcontracting, but thus far I seek to keep assembly, inspection and packaging in-house, unless another advantageous arrangement can be made. These are issues under consideration.

       So "in a Gnutshell" the actual release of the product and promotion of such, is still under the restrictions of financing, the development of suppliers, production line logistics and inventory requirements.  Facilities are becoming an issue as well, as the dynamics of the studio space are changing, in large part due to cash flow and the large expenditure require for development of this product. I discuss this subject on the IMS Virtual Studio blog.

      Other factors effecting the release of the product are; the simultaneous implementation of the hard copy volumes, assorted registrations with professional organizations, and more importantly - improvement and supplementation of the artwork for Volume Three.

    In addition to Volume Three, there have been appendixes added which refer to The Gnomic Tales, which would be most advantageous to illustrate, but at this point the time and cost of implementing those illustrations are both prohibiting factors.

       It would be safe to say that available resources as well as other logistics are slowing the forward momentum of this project.  So one solution to this; is to accept pending orders, which helps to identify the outlets which seek to distribute this product, as well as the quantities which might be expected for production. I have outlined certain parameters in that regard below and am continuing to develop the components required, not only for our production line, but for the distributors specifications and I am striving to strike a balance in that regard.

       If you are a partner in this project; I recommend backing up any e-mail communications with a hard copy sent to Image of the Mind Studios, 1325 Industrial Boulevard, Southampton, Pennsylvania 18966. I say this because of changing circumstances and possible relocation of the studio.  I do not expect this occur with immediacy, but options in this regard are under serious consideration and may have a bearing on production activities. This is relative to the facilities conversations mentioned above.

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Quick Note

I'm archiving the older posts in this blog because with the approaching release of the e-Storybook renders those facts irrelevant. 
If for some reason you need to examine some of the history of our process by seeing these posts, 
let me know and I can provide those archived items.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

IMS Publishing

I posted some thoughts on the IMS Virtual Studio that concern The Gnomes of New Hope. You might check that out.  There is also a Facebook page for Image of the Mind Studios where I discuss some of this

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

iPad Tests

Well, I have to report that the e-Storybook looks SO INCREDIBLY GOOD that I can't believe it!  The layout looks better on the pad than it does on my computer. I am amazed! And it works great in Kindle's App as a PDF e-book.

I am currently reconfiguring the file structure and the encryption layout, so it won't be long before the entire three-volume set will be available to the industry. There are more illustrations required before I am willing to release it to the public, because I want every page to be as rich as the first two volumes.  As it turned out I have created another volume in the form of an Appendix. The files which are part of the History of Gnomanity, basically the Gnomic Tales, have been separated out of the story which is conveyed in the Libretto to the stage musical. So the number of pages in this three volume set is pretty high.  I am up to Scene Eleven out of Nineteen and my page numbers are approaching 400. So I expect this will be an epic tale in  terms of an Illustrated Storybook.

I am also busy sculpting the puppet heads, integrating the mechanics of the eye movements with the sub-structure of the skull/chassis.  We are getting ready to construct the bodies over the chassis for the puppets, as I have concluded that the mechanical design for the manual puppets will be essentially the same as that of the animatronic chassis.  I have discovered an interesting method of creating the epidermis for the faces, so I am moving forward to finish a few prototypes in that regard.

My thinking in terms of the e-storybook is to look more for a partner who has the marketing and distribution channels already open so that we can achieve deep saturation in the market. If this is an arena you are involved in, I am open to discussing this, but in lieu of hearing from anybody in this regard, I do plan on moving forward with a marketing and distribution plan. My focus of attention, however is on other theatrical support activities, such as the parade float and a staged presentation of the puppetry for marketing in small venues (such as bookstores & libraries).

For the time being I am preserving the distribution of the e-book to work in conjunction with the distribution of the hard copy, so whoever jumps in on the hard copy will benefit from that marketing effort, at least until I move forward without the hard-copy.

The formula for Gnome Gnog is finished and I am moving forward to locate a supplier for the powdered mix. The song "Gnome Gnog" has the lead sheets and the piano adaptation finished, so we could move forward to record and create an animation to market that product if I cut a deal for the distribution of that product line.

Also, I am looking at setting up an injection molding operation to support the prototype runs of the toy lines and the marketing plan for  "Gnomes in a Gnutshell". So there's a lot going on.

That's all for now.  AG

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Archive: Older thoughts on various subjects

This Week's Thoughts  (9/1/14)

The work on "Gnomeville" for the past few weeks has moved slowly forward as I have been creating a piano adaptation and lead sheet in four part harmony for one of the larger choral numbers in the show.

My recent thoughts have been toward releasing the e-Storybook as other preparations are being made to create a deliverable PDF of that e-Storybook and on that front - my thinking is that I will withdraw the Front Money Offer once the e-Storybook is released.  The way I see it - once I begin to create the expected cash flow from product sales, I intend to derive all growth from those sources and not so much from investment.  Of course these plans are apt to change depending on the needs, circumstance and actual resources available. Part of the plan is to prepare a Limited Partnership, even if (hopefully) it becomes unnecessary.

So if anyone wants in on the Front Money Investment offer, I suggest you take advantage of it while it is still  on the table. I see no need to pay high rates of return if I don't have to. If you need more details on that offer, I have posted it on this blog, the IMS Virtual Studio blog or send me an email at and we can open a dialogue in that regard. Of course, you can also broach the subject with me personally.

My primary goal at this point it to replace/upgrade all my computer/cinema systems and programs which will be required for our rapid advancement of this project.  I am also looking for talented producers who want to be involved with different aspects of this, including Gnome Fest. But I want to be very clear that being a producer means bringing in production funds not simply managing production activity and the invitation is to produce under the banner of IMS.

Other than additional artwork for the e-storybook Volume III, all the creative materials are ready for advancement into production in an assorted number of arenas. My focus of attention is moving to equipment and facilities, so inviting other producers/organizations in for production is now on the table. I want to be clear that at this point, I am inviting association with the game plan I already have laid out and been progressing with, but I am not unreceptive to an outright sale to another larger and more capable organization under the right conditions.


Last Week's Comments

After having spent the last week or so working on the Piano Adaptations for Act II, I have concluded that this will be the focus of attention until all music for the show has been converted to Lead Sheets and Piano adaptations.

No further recording, composition or scoring will take place, no work on puppetry, illustrations or animation, and no further development of cinema, product design or packaging for ancillary markets.

Hence forth, all activities, in any arena,  will be contingent upon significant investment  with defined goals for those funds.  Any investment must also support the general operating expenses of the studio as well as the specific needs of the production arena, as we are not implementing into the marketplace  to create cash flow until all corners of the production are firmly established and we are able to meet the demand which will occur with release of the product to the public. We will not release the product in bits and pieces. We are seeking a contiguous (preferably international) marketing effort across the board.

In the past I have had investors who have wanted their investment to go for one thing and not something else. This will no longer be the case, as the investment will encompass the overall operation at my discretion which will include specifically defined goals for the production.

All my personal resources and efforts will now be going toward facilities and equipment for IMS as a whole, and not into The Gnomes, other than to improve the production capabilities.  The exception is that of the time required for me to establish and refine internal production management structure as it pertains to the overall operation (and consequently the Gnomes) and complete the refinement of the core product for The Gnomes, which at this point is only the lead sheets and piano adaptations.  Once that is done other marketing activities will take place.

When the entire package is filled in with those items, and the presentation package is completed, my attention will be turned wholly to other unrelated matters, unless I find sufficient investment partners to allow complete attention to both the Gnomes and those other matters. That means that I may shift to other (theatrical/cinematic) projects which were pushed aside  for the sake of the Gnomes.

I have been working virtually full time on The Gnomes of New Hope for more years than I can count and have diverted all my resources and time to the development of this one project. Continuing to do this will create undue burden on other areas of need, which happen to also be required for advancement with the Gnomes.  So it is now time for me to return to those other matters which are in great need of attention.  I loathe risking the decay of the momentum on the Gnomes, but attendance to those other matters requires it because they are getting in the way of advancing as rapidly as I would like.

Hence, the core materials for the Gnomes is almost as complete as it can be at this point and further forward momentum is wholly contingent upon significant further investment, to a degree that is beyond my immediate and relatively insignificant resources.

This also implies that advancement of the Gnomes of New Hope: Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure  may be more viable in the hands of a Theatrical Agent while I am focusing on other matters.

Until that changes, this may be the last post on this blog for awhile. If you peruse the postings in this blog you will gain all the information you will need to perceive the magnitude of this project, short of the core material, story-line, and contracts, which items are only available to our investors and creative partners.

The most I expect to do on this blog in the near future is to post more artwork along the side panels.

For future updates refer to the IMS Virtual Studio, which will now be receiving my attention.   AG

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gnome Gnog

I was talking to Gnuthead the other day and he said:
I have discovered the formula for Gnome Gnog ! 
 Of course the ingredients are somewhat different than those 
shown on this proposed label, but it's pretty darn good! 

That's Gnuthead kneeling down. He invented Gnome Gnog
and that's Gnomus standing up,
he's Gnuthead's business partner at
The Gnot Hole, Gnomeville's Famous Eatery.

We've tried numerous formulas - but this, the most recent one, is quite good.  There are some variations we need  to try because of the different markets we will be wanting to approach with this beverage, but when we are 100% satisfied that it is right, I will be looking for a company to produce the product in a powder form.

We will be offering Gnome Gnog as a concession item at the shows, as well as marketing it in supermarkets and presenting it to a brewery for a brewed version. So I want to have slightly different versions of the Flavor for the packets sold in the "hot chocolate" market and that sold in the beer market.

In addition to the beverage, we have Gnog Logs for the cookie/candy market  and Gnome Gnuts for the cereal market. There are a few other items in the works too.

If you are a company engaged in these markets and you want to be part of out product line as a licensee, do let me know.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sortagnomic Furniture

One aspect of our marketing for
 The Gnomes of New Hope is 
The Gnomeville Art & Craft Guild

We have been developing a catalogue of products, 
putting together a showroom and an exhibition area at the studio  
and building the prototypes for a number of our products. 
Here is one of them.
Some story-line elements have changed from what you see here.
The Gnomes refer to humans as Big People.

I like to think the flyer is self explanatory. 
There is an order form below. 

At some point I hope to inventory 25 -50 of these chairs, 
so they will be ready for shipment at any time.  
So far I am still in the prototype stage with this 
and I am trying to work out the shipping box 
as well as some other hardware components.
 This chair will be sold as a kit.

 If you would like to purchase any number of these kits, do let me know.  
I would like to have a distributor buy a couple of hundred
 so I can get the production up to speed. 
I will take order for any quantity. 

Delivery is not fixed as yet
but the manufacturing process is almost refined.
there  is a price listed  on this copy of the order form
but that price will need to be confirmed.
I will proceed with that if you contact me.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Love Song Duet

Here is a link to the First Love Song we recorded hopefully it works for you.

a love song duet
Zach & Ferny

Sung by
Nathan Odhner & Justine Buss

Here's an Illustration representing the Finale of the show.

A (not so) Quick Note on various points

Regrettably, things are slowing down for me on this project because my computing power is becoming increasingly insufficient for this project.  The e-Storybook is quite large now, even without the videos installed in the layout.  Of course I do not yet have more than the one video (which is posted here) but it is clear that I will need a great deal more computing power than I currently have. I am working around that problem as best I can, but clearly I need to drop some serious bucks into new systems and programs in order to implement this as fully as possible. I am trying to get a grip on DRM and how to best implement that, but it is clear that I will not be able to do that with the current equipment.

So my solution to that will have to be selling some ancillary rights to fund those upgrades. We are working on a number of product lines including the Garden Gnomes (of the characters), refining the formulas for Gnome Gnog (a beverage) Gnome Gnuts (a snack food), and Gnome Gnuggets (a cereal) and an assortment of toys (including figurines & a game board) as well as ephemera.  What this means is that - I will be pursuing this means of financing a bit more aggressively.  Therefore I seek to communicate with organizations I know of, to discuss this and to set up these markets to synchronize with the release of the film, television and theatre projects ( those markets are also open for discussion).

So if anyone is interested in discussing the purchase a license for these (or other) items, or other thoughts on partnership, and wants a leg up on it, please do contact me in this regard.

Understand that I am pursuing development of these markets internally as best as possible, but that I prefer to license manufacturing & distribution in exchange for production funding. We are very close to being able to release this to the public, but it will be necessary to develop that associated industries before we attempt to do that. So, that being the case our first release will be to those industries and I would hope that someone seeing this who likewise sees the potential will be inclined to contact me.

I would rather not impair the any of the markets by attempting distribution of any item in-house, until I am certain that I will need to do so, and so I am also seeking relationship with an Agency who can negotiate for me on numerous fronts. Thus far, nothing is contracted.

Therefore, distribution of the three volume e-storybook, which would be the first and most important product, is available to an organization of substance who can guarantee international distribution of both the e-storybook and the hardcopy editions. I certainly could distribute the e-storybook in-house, but I'd rather offer that advantage to the organization who will take charge of producing and distributing the hardcopy.  Of course the layout is already done, so it is mostly a matter of printing or possibly expanding upon some of the illustrations. To do that would involve further engagement of my Illustrator.

To reiterate: I prefer to focus my attention on the theatrical aspect of this from the Director's standpoint. As far as producing goes, I prefer to stay in the Little theatre environment, because producing for a first class house is more complex than I care to deal with at this point.  After all the creative work is done that may be different, but right now the level of concentration required for development of the core product (story & characters) and creation of the music and the technical design elements is about all the brain power I have.

Because of this, I seek to license out the First Class Stage production to another producer who has significant experience with running a successful Union show in NYC. But just to be clear, the Ancillary Rights do not go with that (unless that market is bought into) Producing in the Union environment is not something I care to get involved with, although if, everything else is done and  I am forced to do it, I will.

We are advancing with our work on puppetry and are developing a prototype animatronic puppet to tie into our computer MIDI systems. My focus of attention is this, as opposed to mounting the live production, as I intend to produce the animated/puppet version of this in my own studio first. This puts less burden on me for travel and logistics and will allow me to stay in the studio to produce the animations and television product. I am building a stage space with a green screen for this. I currently have 10K sq ft to work with.

That's not to say the live version cannot proceed, or that I will not work on that, but that is contingent on additional producers and financing being part of that process. The development of the live production will take place in my studio in Southampton Pennsylvania, unless other more advantageous circumstances arise.

Well that's all for now. AG

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I have made the determination to shift my attention to preparing the eBook for publication and distribution through this site.   As you can see below, I have produced a sample video, which I intend to include as part of the eBook.

The film below uses the artwork we produced for the Illustrated Storybook as a backdrop for the lyrics to the instrumental song. I feel as though this format works well as a sing-a-long product and so, I intend on producing such a film for each of the lyrical songs.  Now there are a total of seventy songs in the show, although that count includes the instrumental backdrops and scene change bridges, so there wont be seventy films to make, but there will be over forty.  I'd say that will keep me busy for a long time.

Of course the intention is to move this show into production as a legit stage production as soon as that is both possible and appropriate, but the truth of the matter is -  I have determined to continue producing the products that are ancillary to the stage show and feature film which I can produce in my studio and not to concern myself with pushing forward  as a live stage show until the resources to do so are fully available.

Of course the effort to make those resources continues, but the larger operations that fall into union operations impose parameters on a production that, if entered into prematurely, can impair the forward momentum (as a whole) if sufficient resources are not available to maintain consistent operations and growth.

So in the context of producing an end product that will sustain positive forward momentum, there are many aspects that can be drawn together, while remaining within the confines of the studio operations.  Hence, introduction into the market place of the larger product will be implemented in an appropriate fashion based on my immediate resources.

Should other organizations step up to be involved by providing additional resources, then the implementation may be accelerated and under the right circumstances that is the most desired route to hope for.

I have been working on this project since 1990. Sometimes I feel like I'm all Gnomed -out. Other times I'm very excited about the progress and depth of this project.

So ... onward and upward. AG

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Samples of The Illustrated Storybook

 For the sake of our partners who have had faith in the project 
by investing time, money and resources to help us prepare this material, 
and for the sake of those who have been considering being involved,
I am posting samples of the book product which is almost ready to go to press.

The Hard Cover Book will use a sleeve.

The images do not interpret as well as they actually print
as they are rather dark and not nearly as clear.

When the files were converted to a lower resolution JPG
for use here, a great deal of clarity was lost.

But they do  print wonderfully
 are quite and vibrant & readable

I will replace them when I can adjust the exposure
but these show the basic look.

Here is the Front Cover 

This is the 
Inside Front Cover Flap

I opted for a more artistic use of the text.

This flap describes the artists involved.

This is the Back Cover

I wonder if the back cover is busy,
but I do find that 
the variety
has the effect of
 being enthralling
as one studies it 
and this is something
which I think we want 
for the kids.

This is the 
Inside Back Cover Flap

While this flap give a brief history 
and defines some other 
aspects of the project.

And below are three pages from Volume One

These pages show the full bleed and trim marks
(in the form of a notch in each corner)

The background is reversed on the even pages, 
although it is not reversed here.

As you can see above,
artwork is interspersed within the text
on some pages.

While on other pages,
scenes have been composed 
within backgrounds.

There is a wide variety of 
page compositions

and the text uses 
a variety of sizes and shapes 

to emphasize the the inflections intended.

Collectable Trading Cards

Here is a glance at one of the prototype trading cards.
The design has advanced somewhat since this edition
but this is a copy I happened to have 
on hand at the moment.

The rear of the card will have pertinent information 
about the characters or whatever the image is
and I am thinking through a numbering system
to make them more collectable

As with everything else 
this is an ancillary market 
available for licensing

Gnome Gnog 
bubble gum?

Inter-active Storybook

Initial Discussion

An interesting concept came to me as I was working on the Layout for the Illustrated Storybook.  I am planning on advancing into creating a Powerpoint version of the Storybook, which as you can understand, has numerous applications for marketing the over all project.  However that leads me to want to create an edition of the storybook that will be designed for an iPad, or other hand-held devises of that nature.  Essentially, that means creating an App that will access the storybook electronically.  Well, since the plan is to move forward into an animated film, I think the interim stage of getting there will be to create an animated storybook. Of course the animations used for that storybook will be limited versions of what will be used in the animated film.

My plan has been to narrate the story, once the illustrated volume is completed. The text for this illustrated storybook is complete, however I am finding that I am altering the text to accommodate the variations on the illustrations, which I am creating in order that each page of the storybook has an illustration.  As it turns out, in order to have that many illustrations, I am dividing them up and using close-up, middle & long shots. This really expands the usability of the illustrations. I am also finding that I can create assorted body positions of the characters with photoshop, so this is leading me into the foundations of the animation. I have a program called Poser, but have not yet learned how to use it, so at some point that may come into play as well.

  Of course the narration of the existing text will be part of a companion CD with the music. I have had numerous requests to narrate this myself, being told that my voice inflection really brings it alive. So as soon as I am satisfied that the prepress publication mechanicals are right, then I will move into doing that narration.

  As it stands now Volume One has sixty pages, of what I expect to be around ninety, that are finished.  I may have said this before , however, Volume Two now has seventy-eight pages complete, which takes us up to scene five (of nineteen) in the Libretto.  Act One of the Libretto has nine scenes, so those seventy eight pages seem to represent about one half of Act One/Volume One. However, scene seven in the Libretto is the longest scene in the play and that may take up a bit more pages in the Illustrated Storybook. I have found that in the storybook, I have expanded upon certain portions of the story which are not revealed in the Libretto, for reasons that have to do with the limitations present on stage.

The approach I've taken in layout out the storybook is to include the lyrics from the Libretto as part of the Storybook text. Since the story on the stage is told largely in song. For the storybook, I have built a larger story around the one presented on-stage, meaning that I've expanded upon aspects of the story that cannot be presented on-stage due to time and spacial limitations. So the storybook is more extensive in that regard.

Some Thoughts about Production

As you may be aware, building a show and gathering the resources necessary to succeed as a theatrical production can be a complex endeavor. Even with 40 years of experience in theatre, it is a daunting task to move forward to do this.  So with that degree of complexity in coordinating the resources and personnel in mind, I have decided to continue with the development of other materials which will offer the greatest degree of support for the core product and keep us moving forward in the studio environment without excessive  external outlay.  My feeling is that I need to continue to move forward as much as possible internally before risking external activity which might cause undue strain to the overall operation and water down the market place impact.

Obviously, I need to get a product into the market place to develop a cash flow. But I want the most advantageous product that will require the least amount of outlay on my part. That leads me to consider the electronic medium.

What this is leading up to is this - We have a good amount of artwork, which is being adapted for a larger presentation of the story, there is more to be done in that regard, but the material we already have is sufficient to develop a solid structure for storytelling in various mediums. Although the hardcopy storybook is nearing completion, I would like to move into the digital medium - before I release the hardcopy storybook, or at the least simultaneous to that release. My feeling is that full revelation of the core material without deep saturation into an assortment of markets would be a mistake. So that is what I am striving for. Now I am completely willing to partner with other organizations to achieve that saturation, so long as those organizations are on-board with the overall marketing plan. That is yet to be seen, but for those who may be reading this and might be considering involvement, there is an overall game plan for market saturation that does not necessarily involve a flood of publicity to achieve that end. Certainly that kind of publicity is welcome at the appropriate time and as evidenced by other product that gained success by that method, but from my point of view, making those expenditures is most appropriate when the adjacent markets have sufficient inventory to meet the demand which will result from such publicity and marketing. So that being said, I am striving to set up those markets to meet that demand either internally or externally. Frankly I will continue to work internally in the absence of external impetus, but I am striving for a balance between the two.

The Electronic Medium

Now this  Electronic Storybook could possibly be interactive with links and such. I have not thought this entirely out yet, because what has to happen is that: this needs to be income producing and not just a free ride on the internet. So with that in mind, I would like to discuss this with an internet savvy partner who can assist in setting up the App and the sale of this electronic book as an online purchase. I want the book to be isolated to one devise and not be able to be copied or transferred between parties. So the person who becomes involved as a programmer needs to be able to do this. I am not currently able to do this, mainly because I do not have the time to learn a new trade such as this.

The other aspect of this is that the electronic book will contain the music from the show and animated clips in each scene.  So in essence this will be a merging of a limited animation of scenes with the illustrated storybook with narration, available on any hand held devise anywhere via the internet.

Any individuals or companies savvy to this who may like to be involved are invited to write to me to discuss this.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The Tailors 
a Barbershop quartet with Gnomettes

Here's another image by Jency... see any familiar faces?

I was thinking that 
is something that I we will offer to our investors 
and other creative partners. 

Since there are a lot of Gnomes living in Gnomeville
if you'd like to be Gnomefied,
 let me know
(and put up some coins to keep us moving forward)

Storybook/Animation Update

Well, clearly the the concept of a Three Volume Set has settled into reality. When I started to pursue that idea, I wasn't quite sure how that would pan out. Some months ago I decided I had to get down to it and finalize the book design. It is difficult to do all this without a very positive cash flow, so a product in the market bringing me in some decent working capital is critical. Hence the storybook. Of course that was always the plan, but you know, it's time to get the show on the road , as they say.

So as I advanced into the first volume I realized that there needed to be an introduction of sorts and as it turned out the entire Volume One became an Introduction to "The Gnomes of New Hope".  So quite naturally, I reserved the following volume for "Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure". Well fortuitously it just so happens that Zach & Zebby had their adventure in two acts, thus two volumes - Volumes Two & Three.

So this is the format for the three volume set of the Illustrated Storybook. Now there was a criteria which I was rather trepidatious about and that was - an illustration on every page. That is a lot of illustrations!  Of course Jency had been working for about five years, on and off as the resources were available, so we have a good body of work from which to draw, but not really enough.  I have to say I have been able to create a pretty diverse collection of illustrations by accessing the drawings in numerous ways.  Using close-ups, clippings and a general rearrangement of drawings and components in various compositions has increased the usability of what we do have at least five-fold, if not ten.  So I am very happy about that, but as I progress with the more extensive work of illustrating all three volumes, I worry about redundancy.

In that regard I have determined to move forward with the material we have anyway and if I find that any particular scene is redundant to an unacceptable degree, I will be marking that illustration for reworking, but be using the material to fill the required space.

At first I thought I would skip over illustrating pages in order to expedite the completion of the storybook, but when I attempted to do that I found that I was very uncomfortable about doing so and it felt like it would be a mistake. So even if a page has a simple small illustration (that will possibly be referenced in a greater detail  elsewhere) at least the artwork is represented to some degree on every page.  Since this storybook also represents a storyboard for the film, then using as many illustrations as I can muster is appropriate.

So that has been the approach thus far.

As it stand now Volume One has sixty pages finished and it looks like it will be ninety to one hundred pages. Volume Two is up to around forty-eight pages which represent two scenes of the nine scenes in Act One of the stage show. Now those two scenes are greatly expanded upon in the storybook because out of necessity the details were overlooked in the stage show. I certainly do not expect to treat the remaining scenes with as much detail, although I could if it was clearly appropriate to do so.  But to do that would require much more illustration work on Jency's part and would expand the size of the book quite a bit.

 So at this point I want to stay on track for a three volume set that is not too large.  What I described here does not yet take into account Volume three which is the additional nine scenes of Act Two.  But the entire Two Volume set of Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure does include all the lyrics from the musical, because the musical tells the story in song. The total songs, including instrumental bridges and backdrops is seventy songs. I am not certain how many of them are lyrical but I am sure there are some where around forty. (You'd think I would have counted them... I did, I just don't know what it is.)

We've developed a point-of purchase display for this series which essentially looks like a bookshelf.  Well, as I began preparing the Gnome-sized edition of this storybook, I thought it out as a package to the retailer - thirty-six units shipped in a point-of-purchase display. But then as I started to finalize the book layout and cross reference it to the stage musical, I realized that the thirty-six volumes are not thirty-six copies of the three volume set, rather the thirty-six volumes are individual volumes addressing different aspects of Gnomanity and the Citizens of Gnomeville as well as other aspects of the Gnomic Tales.  So there is a huge amount of material which can be further developed as part of this franchise.  All of these additional Illustrated Volumes are contingent upon us moving forward with the Animated film, because this is how we will derive the illustrations, killing two birds with one stone, so-to-speak.

Well, that's enough for today. I've got to get back to work on finishing this layout.  If you're a money person and you want to jump in for a 300% gain let me know, I could use the coins.  AG

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Illustrated Storybook, status report

I've been on the layout of this for weeks, after switching off of doing scoring. The design is very encouraging and I'm trying to assess the paper weight as it pertains to the thickness of the editions and binding.  The Storybook will be a three volume set. There is at least one illustration on each page not including the backdrop. Volume One is currently between 90 and 100 pages. At some point I will post a sample page here along with the book sleeve.  The first prototype will be a hardback and I will post photographs of that when it is done. I am setting op a binding operation for our in-house publishing capabilities. I have a potential outlet for the product we produce which looks like I will need to be able to produce 50k units. I rather have a major publisher produce 500k with all the marketing support, but I'll move forward anyway if that deal doesn't come to the table.

In the absence of a major publisher who can guarantee international distribution and offer a beneficial income package to IMS, then I will be initiating IMS Publishing as the distributor. If I attach an IBSN to the project then that will be the case. In any event Signed Limited Editions will reside with IMS.

Volume One is an introduction to The Gnomes of New Hope, Volume Two is a narrative version of Act One of the Libretto and Volume Three is essentially Act Two of the Libretto but will contain a Prequel titled The Stone of Wisdom.

I will make this available to our business partners and investors on DVD and I invite serious interested parties to consider a visit to the studio in Southampton, Pennsylvania.

I need to support a 40k sq ft industrial building and a 20k sq ft studio operation and all that goes with that, so if you are serious about being involved, don't waste my time with trivialities and (for lack of a better term) BS.

More Later...  AG

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Release of the Story-book The Gnomes of New Hope

The final designs and layout for Volumes One and Two
are almost ready to go to press.
I would prefer to have a major publisher take up this project,
so I can focus on other theatrical production details. 
A prototype run of  hard bound books will shortly be ready for review and 
 made available to industry professionals upon written request to:

Image of the Mind Studios,
1325 Industrial Boulevard,
Southampton, PA 18966

This will be the case until further notice. 

IMS Publishing will be producing a Signed & Numbered Limited Edition
of this storybook and purchase of this can be made by sending 
a written request for more information and to reserve a copy.

Expect to see more information here in the future.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ancillary Markets

I had a discussion about Ancillary Markets on Linked-in and some crazy from Hollywood started giving me the noise about it, so I dumped the discussion. However, I may carry on that discussion here where nobody can throw in their two cents.

I have been pursuing some of the companies who deal in the merchandise which I anticipate we will be using to promote this show.  I have suggested that Licensing the Ancillary Rights is something we will want to be doing to raise production capital. So if you are a company or individual who might like to consider buying some rights, let me know.

I have been building the showroom at the studio and slowly pulling together prototypes of some of the products we expect to produce. One of the products which has been bugging me for some time is the Game Board. Well I think we have the basic premise for it, although the details will still need to be hashed out.

I'll get back to this subject later, because I have to sign off.

Score, Illustrated Storybook and Staging facilities

Well, I thought I'd give you an update on this front.

For months I had been working on preparing the score for publication. As for that project, I have two 3" binders that are filling up quickly with the printed music. There are actually 70 songs which need to be scored, so I produced a worksheet which when completed will help out the maestro, but it also gives me a clear view of how many pages for the Conductors Score and all the parts as well. But that is a huge task and I sort of burned out on it for the time being.  I've been concentrating on the piano reductions and creating the Lead Sheets for the Lyrical Melodies. In terms of the Choral parts, I've split up the parts which are called for, trios, quartets, quintets & sextets. I am preparing a few numbers for different people who have expressed a desire to sing some of the material.  While doing this I find that for one song "The Gnome of The Yard"  I am creating a divisi for T1, T2 B1, B2, but that's doubled because we are really looking at two parts in each section (ie: T1a &T2b).  I split the parts into 3rds & 5ths (or thereabouts but I really didn't do any interval work in that regard.  I spoke to Shawn about that and after I am done with the divisi, we will look at interval variations. Chris Simmons and the Sons of Art will give that song a shot when we get it done.

Illustrated Storybook
I spoke to Jency about doing more illustrations, so when we have the budget to do that we will advance in that direction, but in the meanwhile, since we have literally hundreds of illustrations already done, I am structuring the Illustrated Storybook around what we have. Interestingly enough, I thought I would follow the story-line presented in the Libretto, since I thought that would be the best way to build familiarity for the audience, however, I made an interesting discovery.  As I proceeded to reevaluate the Storybook layout I already had done I ended up creating a new layout. It was sot of a matter of necessity, because I wanted to create a rather generic backdrop for the layout, something that would eliminate the inconsistent behavior that came with changes in the previous layout.  So really what I did  as a test was to create a watermark which would serve as a temporary backdrop.  Surprisingly enough that worked great!  As it turned out, that eliminated  the page variations that were giving me a headache.  So I buzzed ahead pretty quickly integrating the illustrations with text... but the text is not a verbatim reproduction of either the Libretto or the Storybook text which I had written is a pseudo-novel format.

What this means is that the current storybook has taken on a new dimension. Without going into great detail about it, the new format opens the door for many volumes, many collectable volumes, so that is the general direction that I am going with this.  We have a point-of-purchase display designed as a unit which will hold approximately 3 dozen units, but now instead of three dozen of the same unit, there will be three dozen different units. Obviously the set-up will have numerous options, but it's a good deal. With the format I am using, we can produce on-demand, in-house, so that is good.  But if I get an order for 10K units delivered in a month, then I've got a printer lined up.

So, we are moving ahead really nicely with the Story-book and I am very excited by it. I am nearing completion of the first volume and before I move into the second volume, I will be producing an Audio Book Edition and I will be using Powerpoint to create something useful, I'm not sure yet, but I think that will be more for promotional purposes.

If you really are interested in the direction this is taking, then talk to me about it.  Basically I am building a new and more expansive atmosphere around the components that make up the story "Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure". What this does is to set up the foundations for the other six stories that already are sketched out or partially written.  So there's a lot of potential here.

Staging Facilities
I've recovered my Art Deco Theatre Seats and will be moving toward restoration of those seats.  84 seats out of the 128 I had survived, the rest we too far gone by water damage. That's got me hot on the idea of building a Log Cabin style theatre up in the Poconos. So that's kind of in the picture for the future.  However, in the mean while I am still working toward setting up the scene shop and staging facility. I'm looking at the green screen supplies and expect to match the paint to the clothing. Thats part of the plan for an endless cyc. (In case you're interested- if I decide to do service work the rate will likely be 250/hr, 4 hr minimum, labor extra, insurance wavier required)  We have the film/video to implement some degree of production once the shop and stage are set up.  I'm building a costume shop, because after we finish building the puppets we will need costumes for them. We also want to build our drops.  I'm debating about what we need to build, but as it stands now were going for a 20' proscenium.  If we have to, we can trim the wings, but I suspect that that version of the show will be designed for Little Theatre. Even if that version of the show never goes out on the road, we can use it to film the show for television. So that's the direction we are going in.

That's all for now.  AG