Sunday, 24 June 2012

A venture into screenwriting

My all-time favourite computer game, King Arthur's Gold (KAG for short), has provided me with an intriguing opportunity: working with my brother Toby (as co-produces/directors/writer/etc.) for a web mini-series based off of a group of 'average' KAG players (like RvB it'll be done in-game).

Currently we're looking to get the technical/logistical side of this straightened out, but I've already got the kernels for 17 episodes nutted out. We'll be starting with short runs leaning towards the gag-of-the-week side of things, but hopefully as we get a feel for things we may be able to branch out into some actual story arcs. This is my first attempt at anything like this (I've written loads of stuff for textual consumption, and I've done a decade of drama, but not anything tv-esque) so I get the feeling it's going to be a huge learning curve--here's hoping I have something decent to show for it!

I'll probably post up episodes as we finish them.

Okay, it's 3:40 pm and Imma ready for breakfast. Current TODO list for the web series:
  1. Flesh out the first episode's script, making sure the jokes aren't totally lame.
  2. Poke Toby about getting his KAG server up and running so we have somewhere to film.
  3. Recruit some friends to be hapless extras.


A change in direction

So, I've dropped out of uni.

There are a variety of reasons why this is so (some of which I will not go into here), but two major reasons are as follows:
  1. Over the past 4 years of study I've experienced a growing disquiet with how education is managed in Australia (and, for that matter, much of the rest of the world). I've known for a long time that the methods of most educational institutions leave a lot to be desired and for years it was a driving goal of mine to change the status quo first chance I got. But it's only recently that the other shoe has dropped and I've finally come to terms with the sorry truth: they [being those who run the whole education scene] wouldn't change for the better--even if they could (which I doubt anyway). To cut a long story of me raging at the educative establishment short: I decided I don't want to be banging my head against a brick wall for the next 10+ years of my life.
  2. Way back in December, while visiting my wife's lovely family, I got to participate in a blacksmithing workshop entitled A Taste of Blacksmithing run by the excellent Carl West of Prospect Hill Forge. I loved it. Everything from managing the fire's heat to deciding exactly how I wanted my S-hook to look, to the mediative nature of beating hot iron seemed good and right and natural. After the workshop I was told that I seemed to have some natural flair for the craft. Fast forward half a year and I find myself contemplating the idea of becoming a blacksmith with no small joy and (comparatively) considering being a 'Teacher' as my daily occupation with resignation. Not that I don't enjoy teaching (I do), but the thought of working in the systems set up for teachers gives me an overwhelming UGH! feeling
At this present time I'm looking for work and investigating how one might become a blacksmith without leaving Canberra (if that's at all possible--we'll see). It's a crazy jump to the left, step to the right, and I'm not entirely sure where things will end up; but I'm excited to be on a new road--one that will (however it turns out) be invariably better than the one I've left behind.


The possibility of a Christian culture?

Somewhat related to my thoughts on Christian philosophy is the idea of a Christian culture.

I was wathcing The Last Samurai a few weeks ago and (during a scene when spoiler the protagonist, while beginning to come to terms with his captors, notes how everything the samurai do [work, play, study, prayer, etc.] is deeply imbedded in the surrounding culture of their community /spoiler) I realised that I wanted that to be true of me also! (Those not looking at the spoiler just keep reading and it should make sense. Hopefully. Also go watch the damn movie already!)

Just think: to have no dichotomy between what the individual practices and what the wider group expects; and not because of coercion, but simly because societal mores and the philo/ideo/theological leanings of individuals are in balance, each forming and informing other. That would be wonderful!

In the West we live in a Post-Christian, Humanist society with Individualism and Subjectivism as its dominant cultural flavours--as long as you affirm the worth of humanity; don't question anyone's "beliefs" or suggest they could be wrong; and are happy to double-think your way through life you're all set. Understandably this poses a problem for someone who knows that humanity is tragically fallen; holds that the only salvation worth having comes from one (and only one) source (Jesus); and is called to conform their every thought, word and deed to the singular reality of Christ. How can a Christian reconcile the two; external culture and internal conviction?

In todays culture, in probably most cultures through out history, I don't think they can. They can try to come close by employing a certain level of  duality: living along with the casual mores of society while professing to follow 'another way'; but, honestly, the best they'll ever get is close. Why? Because mixing non-Christian culture and Christian convictions is like trying to mix oil and water: you can stir as long and hard as you like but, soon as you stop mixing, the two start to separate again.

Clearly my first 'short' post isn't all that short, so I'll cap it here. Next time I address this topic I'll be comparing the 'mix' of Shinto/Buddhist culture & practice vs. the 'mix' of non-Christian culture and Christian conviction--and why one 'works' and the other doesn't. After that, I'll begin to explore the role of community in mixing culture and practice.

[this is a boomerang --> i.e. I'll get to it when I'm good and ready and haven't forgotten]



Not that many would notice, seeing as not many read/know of this blog, but I've not really been near here in the last 2 months. In fact, I've not only not posted here, but I've seemingly done very little elsewhere. Life has been interesting these past few months and as a result I crawled inside my cave and hid. To the outside observer I've been sitting on my arse looking pretty for the past while. Which is a misnomer, because:

I haven't been idle.

I've been having numerous things (books, games, films, philosophies, projects, poems, songs, a watercolour, etc.) broiling away in the back of my mind like mad--all continuously fueled by a steady stream of odd thoughts, introspective musings, fantastic leaps of imagination, acute observations and the like from myself and others around me. In fact, looking over these past two months I would have to say they been incredibly fertile. Like a grub that's fed up with being a grub I cocooned myself away from the world, not realising that doing so can lead to turning into a butterfly. Maybe. It's also possible that someone might come along and poison you so they can use your cocoon to make a silk handkerchief, but them's the breaks I guess.

Which is why I'm writing now. I don't know if I'm a colourful bug with a penchant for messing with the weather, or a doomed contributor to someone else's prom dress; but I do know that if I want out of this chrysalis I have to begin moving, shaking, striving to break out of where I find myself.

I've a lot I want to write down before it fades back into the aether, before I lose energy again, and so what follows are a series of short, short posts about things I've been cogitating on in my cave. We'll see how many I can get down before I get hungry enough to remember to have breakfast...