Life Event Achieved!

One thing I have always told myself, is that I was going to be fully transparent on my blog. About Cosmic Rage, about production and just things in general. I’ve also strived for consistency over the years with getting posts up and letting you all into my world a little more. Well the time has come for me to fill you in on some of the inconsistencies of the blog. I’ve missed a few posts here and there and also missed some video postings to Facebook and Instagram too. Unfortunately, I am not yet in the position to have someone handle the social media side of things so I do the best I can ­čÖé

Anyways, after a little bit of a creative burn out, I was ready to dive back into Cosmic Rage for episode 2 and wrapping up some of the outstanding pieces for the e-book.

However, there was one thing I recently had to take care of. Quite frankly it was probably a bit overdue. I got engaged to my spectacular girlfriend. I proposed at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD. We went there on our first date. ­čÖé

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She has been a solid foundation for helping me stay sane while working on the project and going back to school over the last year. She has supported so many of my decisions and has helped me stay on track when quitting would have been the easier thing to do. I don’t say that lightly, give that I rarely quit and sometimes will do impossible things just because someone says I can’t do them.

The only other thing that has come close to the mental challenge of creating Cosmic Rage was hiking Mt Fuji at night, without a light, in shorts… True story.

We don’t have a date scheduled or anything. In fact, we have actually started to look for a house here in Sioux Falls, SD.

Cosmic Rage will continue, don’t you worry about that. I just wanted to share this with you all, the side that you don’t see as much.

Production Update 180: SoDak Wrap Up

700 miles logged in a road trip over the weekend and it was worth it! As you may know, SoDak Con was this past weekend, which was actually my first time attending it. Over the course of the weekend I held my History of CGI in Anime panel and also had a screening for Cosmic Rage. I had an awesome time at the con. The staff was incredible and the guests were very friendly. I enjoyed my first SoDak con and the convention had a very friendly vibe to it. I hope it is the first of many more.

My panels went really well. I always love sharing the history of CGI in anime, most people haven’t seen some of the older applications of CGI in anime. It’s a blast seeing the crowds reaction to some of the early uses.

The screening of Cosmic Rage went off really well too. It is always humbling to see people show up to learn about the project and watch it. Especially when there was such a good line up of panels throughout all of SoDak Con.

A huge thank you to all of the SoDak staff and to all of the new friends I made at the con. I hope to see everyone again soon!

Now, it’s dive into the production side. I wrapped up the rest of my art grant paperwork, so that will get sent in and be cleared. While filling out the paperwork, it was sort of nostalgic seeing how far the project has come in the last year. I also spent some time on freelance work.

This week I am getting back into the production side. I am going to be working on something special for my next convention, Tokyo in Tulsa! The e-book cover is still at the top of the list for this week to get wrapped up as well.

Another update will be up Wednesday!

Production Update 179: Sketching

I started working on sketching the e-book cover. I have things roughed out right now so this week I am going to refine it and hopefully get it inked so I can color it in the car on the way to and from SoDak Con! The original plan was to try to finish up the cover, but I picked up a freelance project so I was working on that over the weekend outside of class. My plan is to use the freelance project to help cover the cost of VO for the second episode. I am currently still pushing forward on the script, but it has taken a little bit of a backseat to the e-book cover so I can get that into the iBooks store for people to see.

Outside of that, photography class has been going pretty well, I believe I have about 6 weeks left until I am all done with school. My grant paperwork will be in the mail later this week. Once again, I need to thank the South Dakota Arts Council for their support in Cosmic Rage. This past year has been an amazing ride and the grant has helped me so much with getting the first episode wrapped up.

Finally, I have been spending a bit of time in our garden this week getting caught up on weeding and just unplugging for a bit. Our weeds were getting a little out of control, but we had to let the plants grow so we knew what a weed is and what isn’t. Hopefully we get caught up on weeding this week as well.

Next week I’ll have a recap from SoDak Con!

Con Appearance: SoDak Con

I will be at SoDak Con on June 24th-26th. On the schedule is my panel on the History of CGI in Anime for Friday at 5PM. We will be looking at the first uses of CGI in anime and how it has progressed over the year from a technical and also a usage standpoint.

On Saturday, I will be screening the first episode, Convergence, of Cosmic Rage at 8PM. I am excited to be screening the first episode on the other side of my home state.

This will be my first year at SoDak Con. I am ready to do this!

Production Update 178: Next Stop, E-book

I know. I know. I have been writing the past few weeks about how my goal was to get the e-book cover or the script to the second episode written but I have a confession. The past couple months I have been creatively burnt out. I didn’t want to admit it and I thought it was just a week long funk but it turned into a good month to 6 week session. The good news, I honestly feel like I am coming out of it.

While I had some traveling this past week and some school work to do, I did start moving the ball on more Cosmic Rage items. First off, I have a rough sketch of what I want the e-book cover to be like. I spent some time in the car working on some rough layouts and working through some of the elements on I wanted. I feel like I have come to a very good solution and I am hoping to get into that this weekend! I have the lofty expectation of getting it wrapped up this weekend. (My Patreon supporters will get to see these sketches, if you are interested in supporting Cosmic Rage, check out my Patreon page)

I also need to get my grant paperwork filled out and sent in as well. I made a lot of notes and I need to flesh out to areas yet and that will be off of my plate as well.

Lastly, I had a rough outline for the second episode completed. I can now say that I have officially started on the script! While it isn’t close to done, I have begun writing out the first few scenes and I am very excited to build onto the world.

I really appreciate your patience, as much as I try to be transparent here, I really underestimated the amount of burn out I had. But I will leave you with one of my pictures from this past week in photography!

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Anime Review: Persona 4

I was able to get Persona 4 watched what seems like a long time ago now. I honestly don’t even recall around what time it was. So this is a little overdue, but I wanted to share it anyways, because I thoroughly enjoyed Persona 4.

For whatever reason I decided to give Persona 4 a watch. It was one of those franchises that I heard a little bit about but nothing major. I never played any of the games but regardless, I came cross the series for a pretty cheap price on a RightStuf sale and decided to give it watch.

The story starts out with our hero, Yu, moving in with his uncle and daughter while his parents are away for work and there is a rash of murders in the small town. Over the course of the first several episodes, Yu starts to build friendships and his alliance is built for the series. The introductory episodes are quite nice and do a pretty good job of giving each character some background.

My only complaint with the series from a story perspective is I feel like it loses track a little after the midway point. The first half of the series mixes these character introductions with some comedy but we also get a nice progression to the case to finding the murderer. The second half of the series seems to wander a little until we get to the final third or so of it. The story at that point starts to string together some solid episodes and brings a resolution to the series. At a story perspective, when Persona 4 stays on track with the main plot, it is a pretty engaging series that mixes action, comedy and character development since all of the characters are forced to confront their insecurities or things they don’t want people to know about them. But when the series starts to wander just past the half way point, it leaves you wondering. What could have they done if they took out a handful of the “wandering” episodes and replaced them with more impactful episodes towards the end of the series or even for the build up to the ending?

The art of Persona 4 doesn’t offer anything special. There are some fun and impactful animations when the characters are in the TV world, but if you are looking for new types of animation or something unique, you aren’t going to find it here. Which isn’t a knock on the series, because it is animated about the way you would expect. Not every show will be done in a certain studios style or risk-taking venture.

If you are a fan of video-game series or the perhaps the slice-of-life type series, Persona 4 may have enough of a cross over to find it appealing and worth a watch.

Personally, Persona 4 has introduced me to the franchise and I have been slowly starting to check out more areas. Most recently, the manga and one of the video games, Arena Ultimax. After I get my “to watch” stack watched more, I would like to check out the follow-up Persona 4 the Golden Animation.

Production Update 177: More Submissions and Another Schedule Screening

I made the journey to Texas this past week in anticipation for Akon 27. I was going to go to Akon solely as a fan, I didn’t have any panels this year since I presented the History of CGI last year. However, I actually didn’t make it to Akon this year as I had initially planned.

Friday night I started laying out my itinerary and there wasn’t enough going on that I felt like I had to go. There content was a lot of costly panels, which I don’t do. Plus some of my friends from out of town didn’t make it to Dallas since we are planning on all meeting up at Tokyo in Tulsa, so I decided to bail on Akon at the last minute. I also had another matter to take care of, which I will share with you all very soon. I do regret not going to get some autographs at Akon, but I know I will be back next year and looking forward to checking out the con.

Outside of that, I submitted Cosmic Rage to some more animation festivals this week. I have caught up on the submission front so I shouldn’t have to worry about submitting to a few for a couple weeks, since I submitted to the ones that have deadlines in June, I should ┬áhave bought some time for a few weeks in terms of applying for animation festivals.

I also got word and panel times for the next convention I will have a panel at and a screening as well, Sodak Con in Rapid City, South Dakota. Friday night I will be sharing the History of CGI in anime and on Saturday I will have a screening for Cosmic Rage!

Finally, I started my photography class this week as well. It is the last class I need to get my graphic design degree! Here is a pic from this past week.

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Production Update 176: Race Against Time

Forgive the lack of posting recently I have been in a little bit of a race against time. So last week I was planning on posting up a review of Persona 4. However, we got notification last Monday that we could start planting our community gardens. The forecast the entire week was scheduled for rain but the storm shifted and we spent every night after work in the garden putting the fences up and getting the ground worked and our seeds and seedlings planted. So everything is in the ground now and doing pretty well with the exception of a few plants. Last week we didn’t get home until later and I forgot to get the blog posted, so it will be pushed to next week.

I also am writing the production update today because of the holiday weekend. So time to get you caught up to speed!

I spent some time last week working through some planning for the second episode. I have an outline done and need to flesh out the dialogue next. I am traveling for Akon later this week so I will have some plane time to hopefully start writing. Over the holiday break I spent time uploading new files and submitting Cosmic Rage into animation festivals. I will do my best to share any information on these submissions with you.

This week I am starting my photography class so I will have some homework for the next couple months. I still need to get into some drawing and start roughing out some covers for the e-book. I also have to finish off some end-of-the-year grant paperwork too.

Another update next week, post-Akon!