A Thoughtful Pawz

Good morning! Happy Monday!

Okay, well, anyway, it’s Monday.

Above is my entry in the Xtranormal Film Festival. As you may know, I postponed this week’s episode of The Smith Family Chronicles so that I’d have time to make this short. What I didn’t know when I did that (by which I mean when, at the end of the last SFC episode, I had the narrator say “Tune in two weeks from now [instead of the usual ‘next week’] for another episode of The Smith Family Chronicles”) was that making this movie would take me about one-tenth as long as it does to make an SFC episode.

On the off-chance this won’t bore you to death, lemme share why.

You see, for this contest (the theme of which is “decision making,” since it’s sponsored by Microsoft’s bing, see), Xtranormal set up a special way to make movies. (Hey! Wake up!) And that way excluded some options that users of the site’s online movie-making tools usually have at their disposal. Namely, camera angles (typically, making an Xtranormal movie means choosing which of the ten camera angles available to you you’ll insert, and where), and the ability to actually see the movie before you publish it. A huge part of making Xtranormal movies is timing the movements (you have a selection of a bunch of movements you can insert into the script wherever you want) with the dialogue. If as they’re talking the characters gesture too soon or late, it ruins the effect. You have to get it just right. A big part of making the movies is timing out the syllables of what the characters say so that their movements perfectly coordinate with their words.

But for this contest, you can’t watch a proper preview of your movie; you just have to hope that you’ve placed the gestures correctly. My solution to that problem was to play it safe by using as few gestures as possible.

It’s certainly fair, because everyone has the same restrictions—and I’m sure the Xtranormal folk did it in this way so as to avoid the crush on their servers of 10,000 people all trying to render/preview their movies at once.

Oh–and for the contest each movie can’t be more than two minutes long.

So there we have it! That’s how I got what I got!

As I yesterday indicated on the Smith Family Facebook fan page, I’m increasingly pulled toward writing a novel based on the SFC characters. My wife (Catherine, doncha know) and I have already planned to take a whole week off in May together so that we can work on the plot, characters, scenes, etc. for that novel.

So, yeah. That’s on. That’ll be my next book.

Onward, wot?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • WOOT indeed!

  • Matthew Tweedell

    The British-Rationalist-Bear-Self reminds me of Richard Dawkins.

  • typoqueen

    Winner, winner! Chicken dinner!

  • Susan in NY

    I smell first prize!

  • Mindy

    I wish my inner Brit would have spoken up a few more times in my silly life, let me tell ya . . . .

    I love it. Nicely done, sir!

  • What pals. Thanks, you guys! From your mouths to … well, the ears of the folks who’ll choose the winner for this contest.

  • Don Rappe

    It’s a good thing no one can hear my inner rational voice but I. It sounds like an angry and excited Guinea baboon. By the time I get it toned down to where people don’t want to fire a shotgun at it, the point is sometimes hard to find.

  • Suz

    This is great!

    Sometimes I have trouble letting my emotional side speak; should I cultivate a British accent?

  • I like the British accent and I like the…. existential nature of this? is “existential” the right word?

    My own inner “emotional side” seems to talk quickly – kind of a racing, impulsive personality, sometimes panicky, sometimes enraped in a sense of “whee!,” while my “rational side” is one I imagine as a total deadpan snarker – sarcastic and world-weary.

    *Imagines the bears split into four doing a “Herman’s Head” thing.* – I can’t believe I remember that show.

  • Ninetailedfox

    Too Cute!

  • whitefox

    That is just terrific! It’s interesting to see inside a man’s head when he is in love and the conversations he has with himself. LOL I think you should win the prize! I loved – “then she must be solid skin; I go blind just looking at her.”

  • denver

    I love it, especially the ending. 🙂 When do you hear about who won?