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What's Next?

In the past, thinking ahead would always put me in a mode of stagnation. I would think too far into the future and not focus on what I was currently working on, creating this cycle of never actually getting anything done. That is an issue I believe that I have overcome. Completing the the first feature, the first goal I ever had, the hardest obstacle I've had to overcome, has fundamentally changed my creative mindset. Obviously I've known that getting things completed one at a time was the only way to finish anything, but putting that into practice on the largest scale that I've ever attempted really put that knowledge I had into tangible perspective. Currently I have two large projects in full swing; Pick-Up or Delivery and What the Light Brings. Another feature will be on the way after I get these two finished.

Pick-Up or Delivery is an altered and modernized version of a show I wrote about 10 years ago called The Assassin of Youth. My life is different than it was when I wrote that show. My focuses have changed and my outlook on life isn't as absolute as it once was. That being said, there were a lot of elements from that show that I still love to this day, so after I wrote and shot the first episode of Pick-up or Delivery, I had that realization that it and The Assassin of Youth were kind of companion pieces. My take on a similar subject matter from two different points of my life. So that is how I intend on continuing the show. Keeping the same feel and essence of the ideas that made Pick-Up in the first place, while picking The Assassin apart like a vulture to enhance this new iteration.

At it's core, Pick-Up or Delivery is a show about roommates who are friends (not simply just roommates out of necessity), who happen to be drug dealers. My intention is to make the aspect of drugs and drug dealing a very minimal part of the show. I don't have an issue with drugs fundamentally, but the drugs are not what the show is about. It's simply just a narrative vehicle to have a revolving door or people in and out of the story, while maintaining the idea of main character growth and insight based on their interactions with individuals they encounter. The show is about friends. Despite the fact my best friends are cast in the main roles, this isn't as autobiographical as The Assassin of Youth was. It's just an excuse for us to hang out for a couple hours and then have something I can edit.

What The Light Brings is a 30-35 minute visual album by Etherium. I've been making 95% or so of all of the music I've used in my stuff for about 8 or 9 years. That being said, I feel like Jason Segal's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where he's a composer, but he jokes that he just puts together tones, that it's not really music. That's how I identify with it, because I'm not a musician, I just have fun with sounds on my computer. I started this out of necessity because royalty-free music never has what I'm looking for. That being said, I started making the scores for my stuff and always had the thought to make a visual album, but never have, until now. Etherium is a name I've always liked. Originally that was the name of a Twilight Zone-esque show I was going to do many years ago, but never did. With BRAINROT, I used that name under the music credits and once I put that name to the music, the visual album made sense to me.

It is based on a book I started and never finished of the same name. A mythological Bible with heavy sci-fi overtones. It was my story of how the universe came to be. That's why I stopped writing it, once I got to the difficult stuff, I didn't have the prose know-how to actually write it. While this visual album is going to be the most direct reference to that book that I've made, it's not a narrative retelling in a different medium, it just has the most direct references. The most appealing aspect of making this visual album is that, by design, I can do everything to complete it by myself. I love working with my friends, but sometimes it's hard to schedule a shoot. By having this project, until it's finished, I have something that I can always work on. All I need is the energy and motivation, which has been a definite problem in the past, but not so much recently.

While I'm working on these two projects, I am trying to figure out what the next feature will be. I'm wrestling between three different ideas, but there are a lot of factors that are keeping me from making a solid decision. I want to do something completely different from BRAINROT and I want to challenge myself. The problem mainly lies with wanting to do something different. Two of the three ideas are completely different. The third, while not the same as BRAINROT, and presenting many new challenges, is a sequel called, The Man From Another Dimension. It doesn't act as a direct sequel, but more of a progression of the state of the world BRAINROT presented.

Another possible next feature is a film noir called, The Hot Sting of a Cold Bullet. I've always wanted to do a film noir. The first feature I tried to make was a film noir, but it didn't work out. This story has nothing to do with that original idea (there are elements in The Man From Another Dimension), but it would be very fun to try this out. Not sure if it would be black and white, filled with exaggerated color, or a mix. I don't know. The main challenge for this feature would be access to locations. I have very little as far as reach goes, and I want to use the green screen as little as possible. I've thought about shooting it all on a green screen and making it super stylized like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, but I don't think I'm that proficient in Photoshop and After Effects yet.

The other contender I've been wrestling with for a second feature is a story that is more grounded in our reality than anything I've ever made called, Attaboy. It isn't really autobiographical, but it has elements of myself and my interests put into a character that is navigating their daily life. I'm opposed to doing this because it seems like it would be the hardest (despite being the most technically simplistic) because I wouldn't be able to rely on abstraction to convey emotion. I know I'm looking for a challenge, but this project could very easily turn into typical independent filmmaker, masturbatory schlock.

So right now I'll focus on the two projects I have going and keep the second feature in the back of my mind. I'll think of something for any one of those feature ideas that will make everything click and my mind will be made up for me. That's how it works for me, so I'll just keep moving forward. Even though nobody is reading these posts, it has felt pretty good translating thought into word. I'm not sure if it's helping me organize ideas yet, but it's been fun.

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