I recently discovered an amazing anime animator that is seemingly unique: he’s a young Austrian kid who works for Japanese animation companies remotely!
He got his start screwing around making crazy gifs that were so impressive he eventually got jobs animating for Shinichiro Watanabe ( Cowboy Bebop).
Take a look at the gif that got him all the attention:
The extra cool part about Bahi JD is that he doesn’t use any crazy expensive gear or tools. He doesn’t even use a Wacom Cintiq…he sometimes just uses the cheap Bamboo drawing tablets! He also works exclusively in Flash, but not in the way you think. He doesn’t use any traditional Flash animating short cuts – everything is frame by frame. He describes his style as “limited” given that sometimes he draws on “4’s” but theres so much dynamic movement in his work that you’d be hard pressed to ever call it “limited”.
If you’re interested, take a look at his Tumblr page that is truly inspirational.
A lot of people talk about what is and isn’t an ARG (augmented reality game).
Traditionally “ARG” videos series involve a significant amount of problem solving or puzzles designed to incorporate audience interaction. The logic being that WITHOUT those interactions a video series is simply a “web series”.
I disagree however. My series “Fantastic Daily” was a simple web series with the addition of a have emphasis on YouTube comments that drove the emotional part of the story forward.
Interaction with the audience can occur in any number of ways to push the story forward and the classic interaction method of puzzle solving doesn’t need to be the only acceptable method.
If a story is on rails and an audience’s opinion and interaction with the story through characters or puzzles does NOT affect the story in some way then, yeah, I’d agree that it isnt an ARG. (And there’s nothing wrong with that). But if the audience can interact with the story and NEW story is generated from that interaction (even as much as receiving replies or obtaining new info via those interactions) I’d say it constitutes an ARG.
The trick moving forward is to discover new methods of interacting with audiences and new surprises built into those methodologies. We should all be on the lookout for new techniques and new venues to tell our stories in interesting and engaging ways that audiences haven’t even contemplated yet.
Last post I discussed taking street photos as often as possible to stay sharp and I should mention I’ve been doing them with my iPhone more and more. I’ve always loved my iPhone but it never felt “professional” enough. I’ve written about how I’ve purchased SO MANY cameras in an effort to find the one that suits me the best but none of them have ever stuck. (The one I’ve enjoyed the most was the Sony A7s with 40mm Voightlander M-mount lens).
I keep coming back to the iPhone. Ever since I upgraded to the iPhone 8Plus I’ve found myself taking some of my best photos with this camera. It doesn’t hurt that I also do all my photo editing on the iPhone using VSCO. I’m a member of VSCO X and I find their film emulations to be indispensable.
Almost everyone already has a smart phone in their pockets and the quality in both photo and video (4k video with slow-mo!!!!) is so good, I really dont think many of us NEED another camera.
Photographers have been saying for years how “the best camera is the one you have on you” and the iPhone is ALWAYS ON YOU.
Any professional anything needs to stay sharp. Athlete, writer, chef, no matter the profession, practice makes perfect. Creative fields need you to flex your muscles continuously. Some writers like Stephen King profess to sit down and write a certain amount every day (even if they end up throwing that work away). Developing creative patterns and staying sharp allows you to be ready when actual inspiration strikes.
But what if your think is filming or making webseries? How do you “practice” that? Its a good question. My mindset has been to just stay creative regardless of the format. For me, I love street photography as a mindless side project. It allows me to flex my visual muscles. Framing, color, even performance getting my subjects to pose. Walking around and shooting photos of things every day keeps me making. What are some easy creative outlets you can try to flex your mind on a daily basis?
I’ve talked before about keeping the ambition high while simultaneously keeping your project scope as small as possible.
I even made a video about it:
As I spin up new creations I’m constantly asking myself how I can make the idea smaller and easier to pull off because experience tells me that complexity can destroy a project. Large scale projects feel great to dream about but they have hidden dangers and pitfalls waiting to fuck you up. That’s why most large scale construction projects (bridges, buildings) are over budget and behind schedule. Shit goes WRONG.
Find a way of insulating yourself from any unknown issues by striving to keep your project at a manageable size. Everyone’s idea of a manageable size is different (and therein lies a trap) so try to be conservative. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
It seems like I’m arguing to not dream big but I’m not. The talent lies in doing both. Managing your resources towards a project you can actually accomplish while always striving to make the best, most impactful work you can dream up.
Before we get too deep into 2018 I think its time I talk about my yearly ritual of creating a bucket list.
Orson Welles once said that the hardest thing in life is actually understanding, in your heart of hearts, what you WANT in life. A bucket list for the year can help you identify those wants.
My yearly bucket list is my DREAM list for everything I would like to accomplish in 2018. It doesn’t need to be exclusively filled with creative projects either. If you wanted to buy a house, I’d encourage you to include that too.
Last year I included:
– grow my Fantastic Daily Youtube channel to 25k subs
– create an animated film
– read Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian
– a few other secret ones I can’t share here
Over the course of the year I would check in on the bucket list when I was bored or listless and remind myself that I should do these things. In some cases I wasn’t quite successful (Fantastic Daily only got up to 20k subs). I never did read Blood Meridian (its on this years list too). But in other cases I knocked it out of the park by creating an animated film for the first time.
So what do you want to do this year? Write it down. Nothing is too crazy. If you want it, actually typing the words out will make it more real. You’ll be that much closer to actually getting it. Try it, you’ll see.
What’s on my list this year? I’ll give you some sneak previews:
– I want to make a web comic
– I have an amazing idea for an iOS game
– I have a new YouTube channel that I’m building (and need to grow)
– And I still need to read Blood Meridian
That’s just a sample. Go make your list. Aim high.
Recently Nightmind shined a light on “Hiimmarymary”, a great web series that was existing in the shadows for far too long.
The series documents a girl who is seemingly trapped in a her home or possibly a duplicate of her home with no way of escaping. She doesn’t remember who she is and isn’t sure what is going on. She can’t interact with the outside world at all. The internet seems to be abandoned except for her.
There’s so much cool stuff going on in this series, I thought I would take the opportunity to point out some of the key things that make it such a compelling story.
1. The hook is fantastic. A girl stuck in her house is one of those great ideas that could go anywhere. Hooks are important because an audience’s imagination can run wild with the possibilities and drama can unfold in the viewer’s mind before they even watch the first frame.
2. The logic behind why and how she’s filming and uploading becomes unimportant very quickly. When a hook or premise relies too heavily on the logistics of how the series gets made, its a sure fire way of destroying the audiences immersion. HIMM somehow overcomes this problem through a kind of abstract and surreal style. After less than a full episode, I no longer care about how or why she’s recording. I just want to see more.
3. It’s legitimately scary. The creator goes out of her way to actually build in scares and a deep sense of dread while the main character roams the deserted home. This is much easier said than done. The combination of onscreen text, lack of dialogue and foreboding mood gives the viewer a hesitation to look around any given corner with the main character.
4. The actress is incredibly believable. Unlike other webseries **cough slenderverse shows cough cough)** the main character doesn’t have much dialogue. Just the occasional line under her breath or a scream. The lack of requirements from her as an actress make the entire situation seem more real. Bad acting is a cardinal sin and the masterful decision here is to essentially avoid as much acting as possible.
If you haven’t checked out Hiimmarymary, please take a look and you can also read the creator’s behind the scenes Tumblr page here where she discusses some of the intricacies behind the making of this unique series.