Another year…

And thus is begins. Another year here at Mary Washington (I was tempted to say Hogwarts). I’ve been able to get most of the classes I want with the exception of one class time. My schedule now consists of (in no real order):


  • Arabic
  • Astronomy
  • Spanish
  • Intro to Film Studies
  • Design Principles


  • So why Arabic? I dunno, it seemed like a cool thing to learn. Not many people know it, and if I ever wanted to throw away my current chosen career and take up international relations, I’d be pretty set. Or maybe if I make a movie about the Middle East…

    Am I glad to be back? Yeah, def. Sure, I miss the summer, I miss all my friends and the music-making/movie-watching/adventuresome shenanigans, I miss TiVo, I miss my family, and my little dog Fred, but Fredericksburg is great and like my second home. So there’s your answer to your unasked question. Now I gotta run, take a shower and head to my 9:30 class…

    Happy Trails,
    Sam.

    Beach + Busch Gardens

    I just got back from a family trip to the beach and Busch Gardens. I wish I had pictures to share, but sadly I was just caught up with enjoying myself. Having a hotel room facing the beach was awesome, and Busch Gardens was much better than I remember it being. Did you know Busch Gardens was sold to the Sea World company? I had no idea! Anyways it was great, even with the predicted 104 degree heat index.

    For the past few months I’ve felt rather devoid of good film ideas. We’ve talked over ideas for different web video series and such, but haven’t come up with anything solid. Even the Samuel Michaels mini-unfinished-story I worked on last semester was a stretch for me. And so we’ve just been filming more McGrimmy episodes. I guess Meet the McGrimmy’s has kinda become our semi-permanent fallback idea. My official excuse: after Will and I worked on the terribleness that “is” Island Wars for so long, I felt imaginarily drained. Not to mention how bad Island Wars as a whole was, which was discouraging.

    Moping aside, I’ve been reinvigorated! Last week I ran across an old edition of “The Rebellion,” which was a book in an unfinished fantasy series I was writing as a 6-7 grader named “The Union of the Chosen”. I had forgotten how many great ideas I had, and how amazingly cool the story was. I had a whole history worked out, I had drawn maps and researched fantasy creatures, I had even written poems and songs for different groups in the fantasy world. And thus the light bulb was turned back on in my head. No, not in terms of fantasy writing, just ideas in general.

    So I was hoping a trip to the beach would help clear my mind and start the creative process again. And whaddayaknow? As soon as I got home tonight I wrote down the five best ideas. I don’t want to say too much right now, but I definitely want to base a separate project off each of them eventually. Surprisingly, only two of them are sci-fi based, while the others deal with topics from suicide to neo-morals, even religion. Meh, I probably sound like a snob talking as if my projects are making an impact on the morals of our time. Don’t worry, I’m not a snob in that regard. However, I have already talked to Will about one of the projects and he loves it, so we’ll most likely start working on that one first. That is, unless we really do re-film Island Wars (which is currently being discussed). Yes, it was that bad.

    So basically I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide, with only the information that more information is to come!!



    Happy Trails,
    Sam.

    Nic Cage and the Cages

    There are some other projects happening at the moment here in the [tentatively titled] Super Best Friends group. Personally I am working on a new homepage for chasinglilly.net, which at the moment is disgusting. I am also working on a solo album, which so far has a total of zero finished tracks. As a group we are working on a revamped, more professional version of the McGrimmy’s, as well as a few spoof movie trailers. The movie series’ we’re going to make fun of with the trailers include National Treasure and Twilight. Will and I recently started writing a script for the National Treasure trailer, “National Treasure 3: Book of Secrets 2″.

    It’s going to be great! And though the script isn’t finished yet, I got carried away and started making graphics for it. So below is a still frame of what the Nicolas Cage credit may look like. It’s based mainly on what I thought the credits in the past two movies’ trailers looked like, and it was made completely in After Effects. (click to enlarge)




    Obviously it’s not done, but it looks much better in motion. Though the font annoys me a bit… Or maybe it’s just what the font says. Either way, the trailer’s gonna be awesome. So get ready…! Well don’t get ready too soon, we’re still in the scripting phase.



    Happy Trails,

    Sam.

    Island Wars, meet McGrimmy’s

    Haven’t posted anything on any of my webspaces much since Lost ended. :-( Sorry for the lapse in typing, but Sam the Awesome Blogging Man is back in action, and this time with a new-found fervor and a love for truth and justice.

    So let’s talk film.

    Don’t say it! No… NO… don’t! Stop it! I know you were about to say it. Don’t even think it! Don’t ask about when Island Wars is coming out. It was a piece of crap test film Will and I started making after ninth grade. It was a terrible idea that we ran with once people accidentally found out about it and loved the car chase. And the school newspaper coverage didn’t help either. Basically Will and I went to go finish the movie yesterday. Yes, that’s right, finish it. So we went into Pinnacle (the worst editing program in history) and began compiling the edited scenes into one huge movie file. But we ran into a problem once we realized whole segments of the movie were missing. In fact entire finished segments of the movie (including the car chase scene) are now missing. In the time it would take to find everything and edit it again we could easily start a better film project, something real. For Will and I, this was the last straw, and the final message from God that this project just isn’t meant to be.

    So that’s what we’re going to do. I may look for footage on and off when I’m bored, but we’re not finishing the terribleness that is Island Wars. Don’t be surprised if in a few years I do find all the footage and begin posting segments on YouTube, though.

    We are looking forward to producing the new post-apocalyptic drama next Fall. But for now, we are going to start producing the McGrimmy’s as our main thing. Except we are completely restarting and revamping the series to engage a broader audience. Mel Kobran is also gonna help us out with filming, so that should make things work about 2.7 billion times more smoothly. We’ll start releasing them to the internets before Summer ends. In fact, we actually have a mini sort-of production team including more than just me and Will to complete these two projects. Whether we’ll keep the name Umbrellaman Studios remains to be seen.

    Happy Trails,

    Sam.

    A short Island Wars clip…

    Yeah, it’s been a pretty lazy start to the summer so far. However I do have quite a bit I want to get done. For one, we’re FINALLY going to finish Island Wars. And don’t you dare say “yeah, that’s what you said last summer” unless you want to receive a virtual punch to the groin right this second, because we ARE going to finish it. For those of you who don’t know what Island Wars is, go check out the blog at islandwars.blogspot.com and watch the two trailers and the few clips that are up on YouTube. It’s a home movie project three years in the making. Though we view it more as a “practice run” or a “crash course” in film making. As such, there are some extremely well-produced segments along side some completely terrible ones. In fact, Will and I wish someone *hint hint* wouldn’t have told everyone so that we could have kept it as a practice round and moved on.




    Enough with the excuses, the point is we are finishing it and showing it this summer. Anyone who follows either the Island Wars or Umbrellaman Studios blog has probably seen the screenshots taken from a quick graphics test I made, and I figured I’d give you just a short little clip of it. And yes, I mean short. So enjoy the 15 second graphics test with nonsensical sound effects:


    Island Wars Space Test #3 from Sam Rodgers on Vimeo.






    This week’s Dark Territory LOST Podcast will be up either later today or early tomorrow. More later…

    Happy Trails and Namaste,
    Sam.