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We're still rolling full steam ahead with the story narrative. Legal documents are in play as well - just waiting to get them under wraps and then we can officially start talking about the film. Sorry we have had to keep it hush hush this long - and I hope you find it worth the wait when we reveal it to you.

I had a very good writing week while working on the narrative. Got act 1 all laid out and I will be working on act two this weekend.

I'll be on TechVibe Radio next month talking about the future of zoetifex and, pending we have all of the legal stuff wrapped up on the movie, I'll be talking about that too. TechVibe Radio is a radio show produced by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and airs every Saturday at Noon on 104.7 FM here in Pittsburgh. You can listen to it live on iHeartRadio and at http://www.wpbg.com - so there is no excuse to miss the show :)

Skype creative sessions will resume the first week of August. Will keep you posted on the progress.

Cheers all!

Just playing catch up right now, but so far Pre-Production is going amazingly well. I will be posting the progress of our first animated feature film here, which is exciting enough. However, I really wish I could share with you what the project is but I can't right now for legal reasons. If we could just find that attorney to work with us who is not such a flake, we would be miles ahead by now. Anyways, we want to take you along the journey with us and give you an insight to our progress.

Our first two meetings were on Skype and they were merely brainstorming sessions. Day one consisted of us just trying to get to know each other creatively. There were five of us in the session (names will be given later) and these are some of the most creative people you could want to meet. We started by going over the original treatment of the story by the author (who was in on the session) as well as my own treatment of the story. We then began to throw ideas out there of what could possibly be going on, to make the a very compelling story to tell to everyone. My focus was on the ending of the movie. I figured that if we can leave people at the end of the movie saying "Holy cow, I can't believe that happened!" then we could say that we have made an effective movie. Our main focus for this is on story. We want the beautiful animation to attract people to the theaters, but it has to be the story that keeps them in their seats and the story that gets them talking about this to their friends so that they go and see the film.

Anyway, I put forth my vision of what the ending should be like - not knowing how to get there. After some loose ideas were thrown out there, the winning idea was put forth by the author and he nailed it. Actually gave me chills. So I really hope we can work it in properly so that others might get the same reaction. At the end of the session, I came away feeling like we were very productive and was re-energized about the project.

The following week we talked about the characters. We wanted to open them up and see what we had. The original story did not really dive into the characters, and we had to do that for the movie's sake. I think a lot was accomplished there as well. There are four main characters to the story and we pretty much put a lot of great ideas out there to get a good idea of who they really are. But so far all we were doing was throwing some great ideas around. We still did not have a story to tell. So the script writer and I agreed to meet the following week to start working on the narrative of the story.

That catches us up to last night (week 3) where the script writer and myself got together to talk about the story. This was the first time we were working together and I have to say that I think we were gelling pretty well together. One of us would start an idea and the other would finish it. Or we would put an idea out there, we would tear it apart and realize it was not going to work. Or we would lay something out there that was a springboard to the final idea. There were good ideas, bad ideas and fabulous ideas. The bottom line is we came away (after 4 hours) of feeling a real accomplishment. The story is really starting to take shape and we can finally visualize what it's going to look like. Of course I say this now, but we have not yet presented it to the rest of the creative team yet :)

Our next step is to put these thoughts into a cohesive document that gets distributed to the rest of the team, set up our next Skype meeting and hash it out. Until we get our legal issues worked out, we can't bring in any funding. But at least we can still be productive and keep moving forward and that's just what we are doing. Stay tuned for more updates. Don't worry, they won't be as long as this one as I just wanted to get everyone caught up.

Cheers!

One of the most common questions/comments I get is "Look at all of the great animation shorts out there. Why aren't those companies doing more and what makes you think you can?" Wow, there's a lot in that but I can answer that with one simple, hyphenated word: short-sightedness. These companies spend so much time working on a beautiful piece of animation that they either lose sight of the big picture, or they are just incapable of achieving the goal. And that is to create great characters with an interesting story-line that can hold people's attention for 90 minutes. I get sent links to dozens of great animation work like The Lady and the Reaper or Pigeon: Impossible (which has the potential to be more) and The Passenger which took the guy 8 years to develop. Now, I give Chris Jones all the credit in the world for his dedication. But why not spend that time developing great characters and a captivating story-line that can be turned into a wonderful movie. Or, why not do what Stateless films did with A.D., a soon to be made animated zombie movie. They poured their resources into making a trailer for a movie that hasn't been produced yet. It's wonderfully done and shows the potential for what the movie could be like. They get it - but then again, these are film makers and not an animation company.

Now, I'm not saying that there is no place in this world for animated shorts. They win awards and they can be very entertaining. But as long as that is all that a company is interested in doing, then that is all they will ever be. I also really enjoy these animated shorts and hope that these independents don't stop making them. They are wonderful pieces of animation and most of them are very entertaining. In some cases, they lead to bigger and better jobs for the animators themselves, so they are not without just cause. And a lot of these animation houses are just fine with that. They are getting awards and notoriety. But zoetifex Studios has it's sights set a bit higher. We intend to not only do award winning animation, but to entertain the masses in the theaters as well as TV and other venues. It's a pretty high goal - sure. But when you ask me what the difference is between us and them - my response is: We are looking at the "Big Picture"!

Cheers!

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