Tuesday, 23 June 2015

'Very Strange Things' - Pilot Overhaul and the immediate future (23/6/15)

And now that I've had my time to mourn Keith, who will be very, very deeply missed, I'm doing what he would most wish me to: get off my backside and back to work! And, as you've gathered from the title, it's quite a doozy...

The Town of Miracles, along with the original second episode, Coney: Island of Secrets, have been scrapped as the openers for V.S.T. The decision was not made lightly or without hesitation, as a lot of work went into both and I had a great deal of enthusiasm and hope for them. However, upon re-evaluating them, as well as weighing up my present options for trying to get them produced, or at least pitched, in some capacity, they just don't cut it. Subject matter wise, they may be a little too dark for children (the first episode deals heavily with death, medical care and resurrection, while the second deals with underhanded property development, vagrancy and, as you've guessed from the name, freaks), as well as the American locale of the second episode being a bit of a betrayal of the series predominantly British setting and roots.

This is not to say I want to dilute or dumb down the series: my mission statement was to create a kids show with an edge, a 'meat' lacking in a lot of the more light, bright and zanier shows on the airwaves right now. I still want a show to both excite and even unsettle the young audience a little, but I feel Town and Coney are no longer up to the job. I currently have a few ideas and outlines tossing about as replacements for the two, which should not only prove to be superior, but more appropriate and viable.

Also, it's not all doom and gloom: aside from the fun and challenge of retooling the show again, my good bud Luke Ceranic is currently working on more concept art for the series, which will be posted up here in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

I made a promise to Keith, before he passed, that I would see this project through to the bitter end, and I can assure all of you reading this entry, that my resolve has never been stronger or more determined. If you want a dream, go out and get it.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

'Very Strange Things' - A Tragic Loss (20/6/15)

Today, my creative project, and the many who have helped shape it, were dealt a sudden and terrible blow with the death of my premiere collaborator and all around good guy, Keith Matthews (1960-2015). He was found in his flat this afternoon, departed from our world.

He was a hard working man with an infectious sense of humour and a strong, determined voice, never afraid to speak his mind on anything or about anyone. He ran the Kentish Town Oxfam bookshop like the smoothest ship imaginable, always being kind and courteous to staff and customers, while still making time for friends, many of whom shared his passion for the arts. He had enjoyed a life in the theatre, working up as an assistant and runner back in places like Notting Hill Gate and Edinburgh across the 70s and 80s, and had over the years acted and directed in an assortment of plays in a variety of styles and genres. He also wrote a one off BBC Radio comedy series, produced within the bookshop itself, called S.O.S, as well as his own nonfiction book detailing the history of popular radio series Just A Minute. Heck, he even got to meet the likes of Peter O'Toole and Kenneth Williams over the course of his life.

Heck, he even made it into local news with a landmark find concerning the HMS Titanic. See for yourself here:

He was a tremendous inspiration for me, helping me get over my many nerves and doubts as a budding creative and always pushing me to go out and pursue my dreams, no matter the odds. He was greatly invested in this project, and my one regret, no matter how successful V.S.T. ends up becoming, will be to not see him enjoying the sight of it or being a part of it. As of now, the audio recording is disbanded, and a beacon in my life has gone out.

Rest in Peace you silly old git. You deserve it.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

'Very Strange Things' - Rewrites and New Avenues (14/6/15)

Hello all you wonderful people out there. I apologize for the lack of updates in some time, but like many things, it's been a slow burn with regards to the project (plus I've just graduated University and my brother is due to have a child soon, so that has been something of an time occupier). However, I am really, really happy to report some good news with regards to future plans for V.S.T.

First, the readthrough is more or less on track, now that Keith has been able to conduct individual readthrough with the demo cast, so fingers crossed, we should have a complete cast read set up within the next month. He's been working tirelessly on this, and I cannot be prouder to have him as a collaborator.

Second, having sat down for a heart to heart, I can now begin to look into exploring alternate options as to sending out V.S.T to potential companies, as well as conducting any additional rewrites on the pilot. Initially I didn't want to as I felt that if I did try and pursue other potential options and offers, it would diminish and even insult the contribution of Keith and his actors. However, his attitude could not be further from the truth, and he wholeheartedly encouraged me to keep my eyes peeled, having the audio version more ass a backup in the event that other plans feel apart.

And third, my good buddy and budding animator Luke Ceranic (killb94 on Deviantart, as you recall), who contributed the concept art you've seen on this blog, finally has some free time from his other commitments and has expressed interest in whipping up some more artwork, so I greatly look forward to what he has in store for me.

So, looks like fortune may be smiling on me at last! Stay tuned to this blog, because excitement is just around the corner...