The World in Review


Do you ever get the impression you're juggling too many projects at once? Maybe you're the kind of person with a focused mind that knows that the only way to get to Point B from Point A is to not randomly go off on a side-road on the search for Point C.

Yet this seems to be happening to me, like, all the time. Which is why, despite every natural instinct in my body, I'm going ahead with this short film I'm writing, despite something in my brain egging me to ditch it and write a short-form web-sitcom. Because if there's one thing I haven't tried and abandoned yet, it's web sitcoms. I'm also plowing ahead with the webcomic, slowly but surely. I kind of blame the vlogbrothers, especially Hank Green, for this. There's something about their amazingly varied careers and mix of projects - vlogbrothers, Crash Course, SciShow, 2D Glasses, VidCon, that made me want to do everything. I wonder if envy is a good motivator.

But, here, on the horizon, a new project appears! It's called The Asian Cinema Critic, and it's essentially just a review site for films from East Asia. There's not a whole load of content on there yet but I do want it to be a hub for all kinds of films from the region. It sprang up when I was looking for a review of Police Story 2013 and found only one or two. Now that one of my favourite asian cinema review sites, Snowblood Apple, is down (and has been for some time), I thought I'd jump on it. It's a bit barebones at the moment, but I'm hoping in the future to include essays and editorials, if it gets big. Right now, it's just a place for me to put down my thoughts on films as I watch them. It's fun and it's helping keep me writing and analytical with film - two things that I need to keep up to date with.

Oh, that and drawing. Tried my hand at a 100 Days of Drawing thing, but bailed out at around thirty. Not that I couldn't, just more that I was having the hardest time actually finding something to draw, and then drawing it to the point where I liked it enough to upload. Didn't have the highest standards by any means, but a lot of them were awful and never made it online. A few can be found below. Most were either Final Fantasy or Discworld themed.

They say that talking about your goals is the worst thing you can do to achieve them. Only now I've just written a bunch of words about it, and frankly, I don't want to delete them all and write a whole new blog entry. That sounds difficult.

The Re-Productivitising


Well, this has been a tiring few weeks. A short while ago I had a meeting with Michael Wakelam, director of a small studio called Anthem, in Ealing, where started working on a little no-budget animated short he's been working on, called The Life of Bri and Chris.

It's about these two lizards who share a flat and one of them is a bit of a goofball, a wannabe actor. The other is the straight man, who goes along with what's happening. It's a fun little project and I'm enjoying it quite a bit so, given it's a no-budget short animation, I don't mind working on it for nothing. Maybe I'm being naive, but I don't think so.

It's also the first proper Maya project I've worked on since Thick as Thieves (yeah remember that?) so I'm happy to be back with an animation-y focus. Plus I'm working on just animation, so it's a fun break from any responsibility of writing or design, or being in charge - which was probably the toughest thing about Thieves. Controlling a team (even one as small as the one I had), making sure everything was going to plan, on time and resembling even remotely the initial idea was incredibly hard. It's nice to do grunt work.

And a few days after my meeting with Michael, I met with Byron Barrett of Live Vision studio with whom I arranged a possibility of some work placement or internship. He seems keen, and I took a look around their studio and we started talking shop, that I'd like to be there during shoots to see how professionals do it, but I haven't heard from him since. So who knows, although I have a lot on my plate as it is, what with Bri &Chris and my new job.

Yeah, I started a new job, at a newsagents, to sustain myself during these moments of unpaid creative work. The shops are pretty nice places in and around Canary Wharf so it's not terrible at all, if a bit too ... stand-up-y. The shifts are long and kind of erratic in hours, so I've heard, but I've had much worse jobs before and from the first day I had today, I actually quite like it. It's not as sit-down-and-go-on-the-internet-y as my work experience at the library, but I unfortunately couldn't stay there. As is the way with work placements.

And on top of that I have to move house by April because our landlady wants to have work done on it and sell the place. So there's that I have to be thinking about too. It's a wonder I have time for anything else, and, actually, I don't. I can squeeze in a bit of drawing - for example, I've been working on a fan-poster for the Infernal Affairs trilogy lately - but other than that I'm beat.

This is the latest compiled version. As people aware of the film series might be aware, there are still a few major characters missing.

That's not how they're going to be posed in the finished poster, but more a showcase of who I've done so far, and then he were have the younger version of Andy Lau's character, played by Edison Chen which I started today.

And now, I'm beat. Going to watch more House of Cards, which is, as you have more than definitely heard from everyone else, fantastic.





I think I've had enough of storyboards to last me a lifetime, having finally finished all 62 of them and then scanned them into the computer, before fixing them (because they all scanned in lopsided. Thanks, Wilson's scanner..) and changing the levels and stuff on them, and then finally cropping them into individual files.

It means I can get started on my animatic very soon. Once I have a rough video from the boards I'll send them over to the guy I've got composing music, and he'll make me a sort of haphazard music file which will play over. It'll then be refined later as the short is made, to fit in properly with what's on screen, seeing all expressions and most of the tone of the film will be in its soundtrack.

I'm also writing more than I thought I did. All in all, this has been incredibly productive lately. They say your third or final year goes incredibly fast, but it doesn't, really. You get so much stuff to do that your day just can't fly by like it does when you sit on the couch and watch films all day (like what most of our work consisted of doing last year).

There's another project which needs to be done, which I've barely even started on. It's a special and visual effects project where we need to hand in a video of real life live-action footage interacting with a 3D, CGI element as realistically as possible, which is being taught through lectures and tutorials. I'm still not entirely sure what I'll be doing, but we also have to include a 4-page write up on it and a visual effects trick of our choice (woo).


I've been wanting to do a huge landscape-ish picture but I can never find the time now. However, here's a cool picture I did of Colin Mochrie and Ryan Styles based off this Whose Line clip.