Friday, December 30, 2011

Trying Not To Write

Beware. Abrupt subject changes lie ahead.

I'm trying not to write tonight. It's Sabbath. But when my mind's a whirl (as it is now), it's hard for me to do anything but. There can be no rest. There can be no relaxation. There can be no idle hands. Because try as I might to push the fear far from mind, I can't help but fret that an idea that's not written down is an idea that's bound to be forgotten -- and I don't subscribe to my wife's notion that "if I forget it, then it wasn't worth remembering." I am convinced I have lost entire Dickensian novels for lack of a piece of paper.

It's the holidays. Tomorrow is the last holiday of 2011 (and the last day of the entire year, for that matter). It's been a bittersweet holiday season (much like most of 2011, for that matter). My grandmother moved into assisted living last month and we went and visited her in San Antonio the week before Christmas. As surreal as it was to see her so small and frail, I really hope to have what she has. She has lived a long and rich life and has created for herself a large, warm, and caring family. I don't know how she views her life, but I do know that she thanks God for it every night. The Fogg family has had its share of bumps and rattles in its travel down the road of life, but I believe we are richer for the journey and I hope she does too.

2012 can't get here fast enough. I believe in 2012. I believe it's going to be a big year. As I said on Facebook recently, I expect big things from 2012, so expect big things from me.

Loren's and my podcast is going strong. Spinning out of that podcast is a new podcast which Dean Trippe and I are currently planning and trying to iron the logistics out on. Season 1 of The Ruffians went well and I'm trying to figure out what a season 2 might hold . . . You Being You also hasn't gone away, despite there not being a new video in some time. I'm still looking for subjects and if you know someone (or are someone) who you think has something to share, drop me a line! I'm also in production on a children's book, which we will be shopping around (I'm guessing) in early 2012. I'd love to see that in book stores.

I've grown weary of the world's negativity and cynicism. I'm currently outlining a story that I would like to use to combat some of that negativity. Only problem with this story is I need a comic book artist to help me see it into fruition. Expect to see me on the lookout for one of those in the near future.

Sigh. I should probably go to bed. But Michael Giacchino's exquisite score for Up is only half-finished and I haven't the heart to turn it off. I'll see it through to the end and see how I feel then.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Great McKay Finds

New promo video I put together for McKay. It's pretty self-explanatory. I had a different idea at first, but when the information I needed for that didn't come through, I turned to Twitter!

And Twitter saved the day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why The Ruffians

Three days before we shoot episode 3, I thought I'd sit down and explain why I'm telling The Ruffians' story. But I'm not interested in releasing this information right away, so I'm post-dating this blog entry to be released on my 31st birthday.

Most people know me as a giant dork. That's the aura that surrounds me. It doesn't take long, though, to cut through the layers of Doctor Who and Superman to discover what makes me tick. The people who know me best know me as a left-leaning Christian who belongs to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church who has found his calling as a writer. Any time I sit down and write something, it comes from a place of deep moral responsibility to our fellow man and our Creator. Which is why, on the surface, The Ruffians has some people scratching their heads.

Very simply put, The Ruffians comes from the same place Remnants, Nighthawks, Berashet, and Martyrs came from. But while each of those had elements of hope and beauty intertwined with them, The Ruffians is my view of the world, my view of society, as it tries to distance itself from God.

Before we even get to the characters themselves, it's a show about hitmen -- people who are paid to kill other people. The hitman has been glamorized in a multitude of television shows and movies, but I couldn't think of a more perfect metaphor for the toxicity and selfishness of man.

My characterization starts with SOFIA TOWNSEND, as played by Rachel Komorowski. Sofia doesn't want any responsibility. She wants to show up, do her work, and go home. The less she knows, the less she can be held accountable for. In trying to compartmentalize her life, she seeks ways to excuse herself from the bigger picture.

ALEXANDER GREENE, as played by Corey Newmyer, is the post-modern man. He, like Sofia, doesn't want to be held accountable for his actions. He is beholden unto no-one but himself. But he has this nagging voice in the back of his head telling him that he's wrong, or that something in his life is wrong (personified by Tenika Dye). And he doesn't like that. He wants to silence that voice, so he labels it and mocks it, which allows him to distance himself. Doing this, however, creates a void in his life that he has to fill. He refuses to feel guilty for his actions, and so he places a higher premium on his friendships and his relationships. If he's going to feel guilt, it needs to be over something tangible and important to him, not something moral, metaphysical, and intangible. This will continue to haunt him for some time.

It's easy to call CHARLIE HAMMOND an idiot. That's very nearly how I play him. But he represents society's desire to live in (and only for) this moment. He quickly forgets yesterday (and the lessons learned) and he doesn't think or worry about tomorrow. He doesn't stop to wonder if what he's doing is going to harm him or his friends later. He's exceptionally short-sighted, which often makes him look uncaring. He's deeply emotional and has a fairly sanguine temperament. Every single minute of every single day is either the very best thing or the very worst thing that could possibly be happening. He lives as if there is no tomorrow, as if there are no consequences and when tomorrow rolls around and those consequences show up, he doesn't understand why these things are happening to him.

Rick Hardaway plays JACOB WALLACE. At one point I toyed with making him the personification of Atheism, a cruel and unforgiving creation that boasts freedom and free will, but as the story unfolded, I found him a far more compelling devil than anything else. He lets our "heroes" believe what they want, for it suits his purpose.

The other characters and the victims live in this same world. But less time was put into their being. They are intended to reflect, magnify, or contrast the mindsets and philosophies of Charlie, Alexander, and Sofia.

MARLENA, specifically, was created to illustrate the continuity of time and the consequence of actions. While Charlie lives his existential life, Marlena exists slightly above that. She's first introduced as an idea. We simply hear she exists. She exists before the show began. Then we see Charlie calling her. Then finally, he's reunited with her. Marlena unifies Charlie's existence and makes yesterday as important as today and tomorrow. His belief in her is the closest thing to a spiritual life Charlie has. Her existence makes "the sherpa" moot and vapid. It is (and will be) Marlena that is most directly effected by Charlie's short-sightedness. She's making the most of her life, but deep down, she knows that it's all for naught. Their victory over Jacob Wallace will be short-lived and temporary at best.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Except not really. I love conversations on these topics, so drop me a line or pull me aside. I'd love to hear what you think.

Monday, December 5, 2011

On Turning 31

Here's to the listeners.
Here's to the silencers.
Here's to the rebels.
Here's to the followers.
Here's to you that supported me, encouraged me, and pushed me forward.
Here's to the people who reminded me of my limits.
Here's to the wild ones.
Here's to the tame ones.
Here's to the people who didn't laugh at me.
Here's to the people who laughed with me.
Here's to the church.
Here's to the world.
Here's to you who helped me spot a good idea (and a bad one too).
Here's to the Whovians.
Here's to the Batman fans.
Here's to the majority.
Here's to the ones without faces.
Here's to the children of the world.
Here's to the ones who haven't been born yet.
Here's to the lost.
Here's to the found.
Here's to the seekers, the searchers, and the explorers.
Here's to the builders, the fortifiers, and the protectors.
Here's to me.
Here's to you.
Here's to my friends.
And here's to the ones I haven't met yet.

Thank-you for being you, whoever you are. You helped define me. You showed me what I wanted to be and what I didn't. You made me laugh, you made me cry. You made me want to be a better person.

And with perseverance, God's grace and a smile on my face, some day I will be.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Behold the Lamb of God

Just cut this together for Tenika, who's adaptation of Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God" opens this weekend.