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Friday, February 27, 2015

Visual Aids

My recent discussions have been taking up some space here, so I want to point out that there is artwork and video materials posted further on in the blog. I've linked the B&W image of Constable Warren in the sidebar (over to the right here) to the video of his first song. That way you won't need to look for it. I hope to post some more of the artwork in the sidebars too.

In regard to videos- looking at this particular one on YouTube is WAY better than the way appears here. The quality there is far superior to this one, but this is OK if you don't use the full screen function.

We recorded an VERY nice duet called "Completely". So far, I haven't figured out how to post music on this blog without a link to another site, but if I do It will also appear in the sidebar and so identified. I expect that that song will be our next video and so when we start up again with the illustrations, I expect to do the illustration work for that film with animation in mind. This other one was simple a collection of stills that rather emulates an animation, rather than being designed for that. In that regard, I am also looking for a television producer to begin development of a series. AG

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Discussion of Business

Breifly, in terms of the Creative Material- I am focusing on establishing the page layout and numbering of Volume III, by inserting text panels which describe the artwork required on the remaining pages. Volumes I & II are fully illustrated and  Volume III is currently up to page 489 at the end of Scene 10. There are 20 scenes, but S.10 numbering includes the Appendixes, which outline the back-story, under the title The Gnomic Tales. Understand that the Storybook, although it follows the sequence of events in the stage musical, has a very expanded view of the characters, events, and back-story. The idea being to give interested parties, a broader view of Gnomanity.  So, at this stage of the process,  rather than engage Jency (or other artists) to continue with the artwork, I've concluded that I need to finalize the page numbers of the Storybook and identify both the required artwork for the illustrations and the space that those illustrations will take up. It really is The Gnomic Tales that throws a snag in the illustrations, because the previous work we did in terms of illustration did not include those back-story elements. So once I move into S.11 I have a good amount of artwork to use for the panels, although I have expanded the descriptive nature of the text, so we will need more illustration panels than originally anticipated. I've taken the approach of describing the illustration panels because, although that was not the way we developed the illustrations before, I now think that is the most effective step which needs to included in the process.  I can do that myself without incurring the additional expense of engaging anyone else (ie: artists) and completing this step will (not only) expedite the illustrating process (including creating material for animation), but it will also allow me to continue on the path to finalizing the entire layout in terms of the e-book and the hard copy layout.  In this way, I will only need to replace the scenes (pages) in the layout with the newer revisions which have the illustrations. So, basically I am moving the illustration work further into the process and putting a priority on the other aspects of the layout. This will also better serve the packaging requirements of presenting the project to the industry, because the panel descriptions represent the storyboard sufficiently and also allow me to pitch it to potential partners in the assorted fields of endeavor- publishing, film, theatre, etc.  I admit that I am a little concerned about how large this has become, because that may prove to be prohibitive in regards to publishing the hard-copy, but that could work to our advantage in marketing it as an epic tale.

Now in terms of the Business Structure- I've come to the conclusion that the most effective direction, in which to proceed, is Executive Management. I have decided that we need to build an Executive Producing Team which will consist of seven Executive Producers. Each producer will be delegated a different aspect of the project, which I've begun to define. I will discus those arenas of delegation in another posting, after I review my notes, but basically each Executive Producer will need to buy into the project, because all parties to the Joint Venture will need to be vested. My terms as writer are ten percent of the budget and ten percent of the gross. Those seven producers will be responsible for gathering the budget in each of their respective fields and providing that ten percent to me, as their buy in. This is only a buy-in for the writers share. There are other terms pertaining to music rights which need to be addressed separately, as well as the various ancillary markets, which are all separate markets operating under their own specific terms.  but all of those terms are to be developed & refined by the producing team under the Joint Venture as a collective endeavor based, on outlines and basic premises which I have already developed. There are also other categories of investment which are managed by the producing team and which, are subservient to the JV.  Those other categories allow for other producers to be engaged under the various appropriate titles, such as Associate, Supervising and Managing Producers. They may or may not be responsible for gathering funds, depending upon what they bring to the table.  The other aspects of the management structure will not be discussed here, but you may find some comments on that subject at IMS Producing Partners or the IMS Virtual Studio.

So, I post these subjects for those of you who are far enough into this aspect of the industry, that you might end up becoming one of our Executive Producers. It is my belief that posting these discussions will give you an idea of how I plan on going about this project and if you are onboard with my thinking in this regard, then we might possibly move toward coming to some agreement or working together. I assume that some of the more savvy individuals I have known, or will meet in the future, may be watching the progress of this project. But I also want those of you who have contributed and are continuing to contribute to be appraised of the progress and our overall methodology.

The more detailed information, that may be considered classified, will be available on the subscription site IMS Producing Partners. AG

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

CG Animation

  I've been getting a fair amount of comments about how incredible the Gnomes would be as a CG Animation, like some of the products Disney and a few other larger companies are producing. I tend to agree, but this is not an arena that I have enough expertise in to believe that I could implement a quality product in CG. I've been studying some of the work, particularly "Tangled" and "Frozen" and it is quite impressive, but I have to be honest and say I wonder about the number of people in the credits. It seems like too many cooks in the kitchen, although the meal was excellent, albeit, formulaic.

    I was also recently reading a blog about hand drawn animation. The writer seemed to imply that it was a dying art form. Well, I'm afraid I have no other choice but to use hand drawn animation. So that is what I intend to pursue, but I am thinking of it as part of the developmental process for packaging, rather than a finished product.

   I certainly do think that The Gnomes would be an excellent CG project, if it was to be done right. As I think about the story line and the embellishments which I have written into it, it is ripe for the picking in that regard.

    Well, in order for me to have moved the story forward in terms of a stage production, I needed to skip over certain details, which are generally required in film. But interestingly enough, as I am finishing up the third volume of the Storybook, I realize that I have been filling many of those details in the Storybook.  I've been consciously thinking of it primarily from a literary/illustrative point of view, for the sake of a book, but as it turns out, that point of view is essentially a storyboard for the film. So I guess that, in part because I have been a (sometimes) filmmaker for so many years, I think in cinematic terms.

     As I continue to define the illustrations which are still required, I've been looking more deeply at the circumstances which have been set up in the overall story.  In a number of scenes, there are instances where there is definitive drama occurring in the forefront, which is supported by implied activities or characters around that drama.  I'm thinking that - taking that backdrop drama and putting it into a cinematic environment will be a lot easier than I originally thought and that - that will really give the overall picture substance.

  For the stage, there are a number of elements within the scenes that inherently are dramatic, but which need to be "selectively" skipped over due to time and space constraints. Those elements can only be referred to in such a way as to advance the overall story, as it fits into the theatrical boundaries of a stage show, but they are still there none-the-less. I have made certain that those elements were not overlooked.

    An interesting comment was that the Gnomes is better because it doesn't depend on magic to bring the story to a resolution. It's true that some stories are so disjointed that the only way to solve certain circumstances is to use some sort of magical power as the answer to the question. I have consciously worked to avoid that as a solution in the Gnomes and fortunately, I think that works on our behalf.

    It has become apparent to me that the cinematic sense is inherent in the story, because I was aware of that as I was writing.  But it is true that the cinema was only able to come forward periodically;  because first the stage show, then the literary presentation and finally the cinematic aspect have been the order of priority. Interestingly enough, the structure is more refined in regard to cinema than I thought, particularly after studying these other films.

   So that being said, I am even more enthused about opening a dialogue that will lead to active production of a CG product.  I do think that this would be the right direction to go in and I do think that such a product could support the theatrical presentation, although it is still a question as to which format should go first.  Of course, because of the magnitude of this project and the amount of work over 25 years that has gone into it, that dialogue will need to take place with a well established and substantial organization, something I am not sure how to bring about. So in the meanwhile, I will continue along my path doing what I can.

Unfortunately, the talents and resources to do a CG Animation are beyond me right now, so it seems the inevitable that the first outlet, I will be able to approach, will likely be the book products along with some basic animations using the illustrations.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Most Recent Game Plan

As you can see from the various posts here, the subjects move around to the assorted arenas which are in need of attention. This has the net effect of nudging the overall project forward in a collective fashion. Over the years this has been an effective approach, but of course is has taken years to get this up to where it is.

So now the overall thinking is along the lines of aligning the various components to work in concert with one another and this is within the grasp of actually taking place. There are sufficient pieces of the puzzle categorized into groups and partially assembled that the overall picture and how it fits together can be clearly seen.

This brings us to the next focus of attention. Even though the arenas which are identified in other posts remain active goals and are being pursued in the context of the overall picture, there are other areas which still need to be identified and developed. Budgeting is a significant aspect of production management which needs to be addressed and of course that is tied to a plethora of other issues (as any producer knows). From my point of view budgeting for the larger productions is currently outside my scope of attention and that will require my partnering with other producers who are more accustomed to that level of production.

So, I am currently pursuing, the final establishment of the progression out of the printed page into the simple theatrical presentation into the more complex. What this means is that a simple presentation is a Storytelling event with two puppets (and some exhibition embellishments) to the little theatre, and then onto a developmental regional presentation (with more than one production management structure) and then onto the higher level productions which lead toward a first class production.

The presentation in cinema and television take very much the same pathway and is coordinated with those efforts, not so much as an individual production, but more so. as it is meant to be a support mechanism for the overall production objective, which includes all markets and merchandizing. Yes the larger cinema production is a goal, but the smaller work required for experimentation and marketing support, particularly as it pertains to installations in the e-Storybook, also serves as a foundation for the larger cinema and animation work. So this smaller work is being pursued in conjunction with the remaining illustrations for the storybook. There are discussions about that in other posts, somewhere on this blog.

So each of these arenas has some degree of development going on which are coordinated with one  another and thus affect release and distribution.

Certainly, you can see that entering into a retail market such as toys (for example) involves a significant investment, as does publishing, distribution, and support of those markets. Relatively speaking the investment in those markets is miniscule in comparison to the film and theatre expenditures required to bring this fully into the public eye.

It is my position that dribbling this out into the market, because I am anxious to do so would be a profound mistake and so I am continuing to develop the smaller aspects of the entire scope of the markets into which this product can reach, simply because that is within the scope of my resources.

Of course this all implies that I am actively seeking associations with individuals and organizations who can contribute resources that I simply do not have, as I have spent the bulk of my years and attention involved in development. That's not to say that the 350 plus productions I have been involved in do not serve me well in terms of conceiving not only the structure and scope of the production, but also the aesthetic elements required for success.

Those are my most recent thoughts. AG

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Core Narrative Materials

     (Some of theses thoughts are already outdated in the context of more recent events)

    The most recent activity taking place, in regard to finishing up the publishing layouts for The Gnomes, is to continue on laying out the page spacing; as if the illustrations are complete. To explain what I mean - although Volumes One & Two are complete, Volume Two needs a few more illustrations and Volume Three is still devoid of many of the required illustrations. Advancement with the illustrations could take place with further funding, but until then it will be stalled.

    So in order to move forward and establish the actual page numbering for publishing purposes, I have chosen to continue working on the layout by inserting text panels in lieu of the actual artwork. These panels are sized accordingly and contain descriptions of the artwork that is required, for that space in the Storybook. Approaching it this way establishes the position in the layout, the size of the illustration and instructions to the illustrator. So I have determined that this it the best way to advance, particularly with limited funds, which now seems to be the case.

    There are many changes occurring around this project, changes that involve the working space , the art department, the offices and the shop.  My stability in this regard is somewhat erratic and hindering the progress. So this leads me to believe, and quite justifiably, that the single thing which would solve these difficulties is funding.

    It has gotten to the point where I have to buy my own time... or someone else might do that by buying into the project. The point being that my resources to advance this project are extremely limited right now. So, if you are reading through this blog keep that in mind, because this appears to be the most important element that is needed, even though - I have tried to avoid selling any of the project off, other than to back up the investments already made, I'm afraid that we may have to do that.

   So this consideration is on-the-boards right now. Either selling interest in the stage musical, book publishing, or film projects or selling interest in Image of the Mind Studios (as a restructured business endeavor) (added 2/6: understand that these thoughts are essentially me thinking out loud about what the options may be and are not necessarily any definitive course of action)

   As I mention numerous times, I am seeking representation for The Gnomes of New Hope: Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure, or preferably funding - which I  hope and believe will expedite  entering into the appropriate marketplace with  product lines, which include film & television versions of the show.

That's all for now, it's late. AG