The suck-thing about being a student is you’re constantly looking to the future when you need to be focused on the here and now (save it, Yoda).
For example, today I met with one of my professors to discuss my resume. We discussed how it would be best to focus on my education, computer skills, work/projects, work experience…and so on. The good news is that we realized I have developed quite a few marketable skills, but the bad news is that there is still quite a ways to go yet.
So today I thought I’d tell you about where I am and where I plan on going in the next 12 months.
I’m less than 21 days away from marrying the greatest woman on the planet, Laura Ann Fisher. We’ve been living together for almost 8 months and it almost seems like we’re already married, but I still cannot wait to make it official. We have two great kids, Cameron and Tommy, who I hope to adopt soon after. We have six children if you count Chance “McPants” and Stephen King (our German Shepherds, two guesses on who named the latter) and Oscar & Moose Kitten. And there’s eight if you include Chester Rabbit and the fish(es?), but I don’t. Fish aren’t really family members. F@#$ you if you’re a fish (I know you slimy bastards can read, it’s just no one will turn the page or scroll for you, so if someone is doing that for you now then they should be ashamed of themselves. Human traitors! Close the page!).
FrogFish is about family. My family. Me, Laura and the kids. We are a unique bunch with strong opinions, likes and dislikes, but we’re very compassionate and easy-going as well. We love everyone on principle alone, but we realize not everyone feels the same way about us and, for the most part, we don’t lie awake at night crying over that (Stephen King is a bit of a neurotic). FrogFish will not be for everyone. It’s not that we don’t want everyone to like us, it’s just that there are way more of you than there are of us and no matter how friendly we try to be, some of you are going to take offense. We can’t waste our time worrying about that. We want to tell stories. Scary stories. Funny stories. Stories that entertain first, and cause conversation later (“You mean like how George Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ was really about consumerism, but I was too busy trippin’ out on the zombies to realize that the first time I saw it?” Yes, observant reader. Just like that). Stories for you to take and do with as you like. Like using as an excuse to hate us.
I’m cool with that (but seriously, don’t make stupid threats. I don’t respond well to stupid).
I am currently in my first semester at Indiana University – Indianapolis (IUPUI) as an undergrad in the Media Arts & Science program. Because of my previous BA in Liberal Arts (English), I do not have to take a single course outside of my program, but I still have to take some seemingly meaningless prerequisite courses like:
- N100 – Foundations of New Media: It’s the marijuana to the school of Informatics’ hardcore drugs of Media Arts and Science. It gives the student just a little taste of what to expect should they pursue the degree, specializing in areas like Storytelling Fundamentals, Gaming, Web Design and Development, Programming, Audio/Video or 3D graphics. This blog post, right here, is actually part of my assignment for this class. It’s free too. But the next one will cost you.
- N101 – Multimedia Authoring Tools: This class is all about Adobe Dreamweaver CS6. There is a lecture/lab component of the course and I enjoy both. This is the class that will help me develop the website for FrogFish.com (the end-zone to this hail-mary pass of a career). I also use Lynda.com to support my lab work. It’s free to Indiana University students and I will be using it the entire time I am a student. The entire time. I’m using it now. And always.
- N102 – Digital Media Imagery: Adobe Photoshop CS6. Same as N101 just different software. IU and their campuses love to let the students know that this software is free to them. I love them for that.
- N199 and N299 – Directed Study I & II: How to use your education to find a job. It’s very helpful to freshman straight out of high school. It’s a good aid to those entering the job market. It’s a good tool for those starting their own company while using a school program as their main resource (do we know anyone like that?).
Next semester I hope to take N202 – Digital Storytelling, N256 – Digital Composition, N261 – Storyboarding for Multimedia, and N300 – Digital Media Production. Some of those may change. One of the biggest obstacles in having a set goal and a clear path is that there are other drivers on the road, and sometimes construction, and things do not work out as planned (which is why you will often hear me say, “God willing”). By the end of the semester I should have a stronger portfolio and, God willing, I will have not only my own projects to work on, but some friends who need a strongly opinionated, intelligently compassionate writer/production assistant/storyboard artist/cinematographer
While in school I have had several projects completed thus far. Here is one of them:
Student work with lots of room for improvement, but I’m proud of it.
I’ve worked on a few other projects since my first school stint. You can find them through my imdb.com page. I give lots of credit to the Indiana Filmmakers Network and cool people like Zack Parker, Veronica Diaz, Brian Pearce, Joshua Hull and Jim Dougherty for those opportunities (my first “thank-you-speech” and I’m sure there are those who feel left out…damn!). I look forward to working more with IFN and a new group I just met called Quadrivium Media; fellow Media Arts & Science students focusing on Video/Audio.
Some of the projects I am currently working on are…
- Short Films – Next semester I will begin adapting several short stories into films. My first three our adaptations of Ambrose Bierce’s short stories: “The Death of Halpin Frayser”, “A Watcher by the Dead”, and “The Suitable Surroundings”. I’d also like to take a crack at Arthur Machen’s “The Gread God Pan”, M.R. James’ “The Mezzotint” and H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Tomb”. I think there are a lot of stories that audiences today don’t even know exist or the version they know is far from the original author’s intent. Whether my adaptations are faithful page-by-page renderings (and they’re not) or completely new imaginings (and they’re not that either) I hope they lead audiences to the source material that I fell in love with.
- Graphic Novels – I use the term graphic novel here because I am not writing an ongoing series comic (yet) and the project has a limited run. The story is called The Wet Grave and is an action, horror story that explores what we are willing to do for safety, security and freedom. It’s set in 1750 New Orleans between the clash of the French, African and Native American cultures and is about a young slave girl who reanimates her murdered lover to seek revenge on her oppressors. I have found a talented new artist to bring the webcomic to life (she’s working on the FrogFish logo as we speak…I said, “She’s working on the FrogFish logo as we speak!”…so, I’ll be premiering that soon). I am writing the second issue right now (literally, I have four hands typing). I will reveal more soon, but this is something to look for next summer.
- Feature Film Screenplay – I am working with my good friend and sometimes reluctant witness, Eric Anderson on a horror comedy. The only thing I can say about it right now is that it is actually a two-parter, so the sequel is already built into the original. At this time, we intend to market the project to other producers when it is finished (thus “Screenplay”), but you never know. It could be the first Corn Bred/FrogFish collaborative production.
- Others – Far too many to name here, and most are in the synopsis/outline stage (come on people, I’m a full time student, part-time employee, part-time SAHD, I can only give so much), but there has been a recent leaning toward 2D animation. A series in fact. I love animated horror. And this Halloween animatic at Horror-Movies.ca (one of the BestF@#$ingWebsitesEver that I will be talking about next week) got my heart racing like it did when I took Shakespeare a few years ago and decided creative performance was my true passion (and politics, yeah…you might want to avoid me on Facebook). There is also a lot of Feature Films (God willing, my senior capstone will be a feature film project), more comics, more shorts…and that’s just the stuff I’m working on. Laura has got stuff for AsteriasMedia (the Fish side of FrogFish). We’ll be publishing new, talented horror writers on our site. In fact…there should be a call for submissions coming up soon. Yeah…soon.
So there you have it. An eye on the future and a leg in the present with thoughts in the past and limbs in an alternate universe and…damn this was a long blog. What was I talking about? Hit me up on the comments to let me know. Follow me on Twitter. Find me on Facebook. Visit me in Indiana. Stalk me from the other side of the fence (remember, two German Shepherds. They’re sweethearts…when I have their leash). Until next week.
- REVIEW: Scalene (Blu-ray) (kdvr.com)
- Be Afraid, be very afraid: Jarv looks at the Censorship of Horror (moonwolves.wordpress.com)
- The Cabin in the Woods: Meta-Slasher and Security State Satire (musicians4freedom.com)