Category Archives: Blather

But First: Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond Two Souls Jodie

The past few months have been all over the place for me. I’ve oscillated between busy and not-busy so fast that there’s a serious danger of whiplash. I’m sure I’ll go into more detail in future posts, but right now I wanted to offer my thoughts on a game I played recently called BEYOND: TWO SOULS. You know, the latest and greatest 1 from Quantic Dream?

Here’s the synopsis of the game. In a nutshell you’re Jodie and you have this special connection to an entity, which gets exploited by the Government in some pretty messed up ways. Depending on how you enjoyed the previous games from Quantic Dream, your mileage here may vary. Personally, I loved the game. There were a lot of nitpicks I had while playing and some of the ending didn’t quite sit well with me, but I really latched onto the ambition in the storytelling. One moment I’m playing a young Jodie about to be handed over to a Government agency by her parents and then not thirty minutes later I’m sneaking through a devastated lab to find and close a rift in reality. Before I can say, “shit, bro, that was intense,” I’m playing a homeless Jodie trying to break into a small supermarket to keep from starving. Don’t even get me started about the VERY end.

While some people were left cold by the QTEs and “non-gaming” aspects, I thought they were great. These elements allowed me to focus on the story and not get too bogged down with points or skill trees or some of the more “traditional” mechanics of gaming.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Just wanted to put this out there to get back into the habit of writing as well as share my thoughts on a fun game.

  1. debatable in some circles..

No Superheroes Today; But Some Musings On Gender

I don’t have a post about superheroes chatting it up in a cafe today. The majority of you probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but for the two who do, apologies. Instead, I’d like to link to someone’s breakdown of Iron Man 3 and how its portrayal of Pepper Potts might not be as progressive as in the prior films.

Here’s the link: Is Pepper Potts No Longer the “Damsel in Distress” in ‘Iron Man 3’?

Some points made in the article:

* When Pepper puts on the Iron Man suit, it’s not of her own volition.
* Archvillian Aldrich Killian kidnaps Pepper and ties her up, using her as bait to lure Tony and blackmail him.
*Tony and Killian make all the decisions for Pepper. She doesn’t make any for herself.

Obviously, I’ve condensed the points down to an obscene degree. You’ll want to read the article to get the full gist of what the author is saying. Personally, I think she’s on point with a lot of her criticisms, and it’s a little frustrating that the film kind of backslides from what has been set up before. You get the sense that Pepper is an equal to Tony in every way by The Avengers, but here she’s getting captured and rescued by him and not showcasing any of the agency she was previously given.

Except for a few little moments here and there, which the author points out. Even though Tony rescues her throughout most of the film, she’s the only one who can defeat the villain. And while that doesn’t disappear the tropes she’s mired in throughout the rest of the film, it’s encouraging to see and it tells me that we might be in a transition period of comic book films evolving from a boy’s club to something that both boys and girls can enjoy and be inspired by.

Maybe.

And then there’s good ol’ DC, who hasn’t been able to get any kind of Wonder Woman film or show off the ground. They keep trying, but nothing seems to come of it. Perhaps it’s not only the filmmakers who are to blame and that maybe we as an audience need to start demanding stronger female characters. There’s already a lot of us requesting this, but in the grand scheme of things that might not be enough.

A Post About Specificity, Specifically

Been learning a lot as I trudge along in my screenwriting career. I say “trudge” because it’s a slow climb. I’m not writing the big blockbusters, nor am I cashing those fat checks. I’m not even stacking that coin. What I am doing is writing smaller shows for colleagues and developing my voice as a screenwriter. I’m trying things out to see what works and what doesn’t work. In screenwriting terms: total n00b. One of the major things this n00b has discovered is that specificity is important. No, seriously. I mean it. IMPORTANT in all-caps, bolded, and underlined. May seem like this is a no-brainer, and it kind of is a no-brainer except for the fact that the “generic stuff” still makes its way out into the hands of readers, execs, and even two prolific screenwriting podcasters. A recent episode of theirs made me think about specificity and how to get back into the mindset of putting things on the page boldly and with purpose.

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Wonderful Ball of Feminine Badassery, AKA My Daughter

Karina Sleep

There’s a rule in blog-land that you aren’t supposed to take continued hiatuses and then pop in every now and again with a “wow I haven’t posted here in FOR-EV-ERRR” type of post. Well, whatever, dude. I’ve actually got a decent excuse this time around; I had a daughter. Now, your mind is probably blown to smithereens right about now. First I get married and then I up and generate spawn?

Yep.

I’ve tried to write this post at least a dozen times, waxing poetic about how this wonderful ball of feminine badassery has blessed my life to the nines, and each time I’ve hit “delete” and started anew. There’s just not a lot of words that can accurately express how I’ve felt from day one in the hospital to now, almost two months later; I say this as someone going into writing as a profession. So instead of delving into the understatement of the year territory, I’m going to give you some relevant stats about my daughter and deluge you with adorable pictures. Sound like a plan? Good, because it’s happening!

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Directed and Edited By Me, Sausage School Behind The Scenes

Tom Is Happy - Sausage School BTS

Howdy, y’all!

Haven’t written a blog post on this site in ages! I’d come up with some New Year’s resolution to rectify that, but chances are it won’t stick. Not a lot of my resolutions do, to be honest. I’ve decided to break my laziness-led blog silence because I want to show off a video that I recently directed for a rather awesome up-and-coming YouTube Channel. It’s a behind-the-scenes featurette for the show that I write called Sausage School.

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Stuff Happened In January

I’ve been a very bad blogger lately. The most I’ve written is a little blurb about some of the things I did in 2011, and even then that barely equated out to a page. In fact, I think that post was mostly a list-post and involved very little of what anyone would call “writing.” Truth be told, I’ve been quite the busy bee. In late December my then girlfriend and I decided to get married, something we had been discussing for a little while. To make things interesting, we scheduled our wedding for January, giving us relatively little time to plan. Surprisingly, everyone was gung-ho about the idea.

The wedding day came upon us pretty fast and before I knew it I was standing in front of a crowd of friends and family, watching my bride-to-be walk toward me down the aisle. It’s kinda crazy how everyone else seemed to fade out of the picture when Jandy took my hand; I’m sure the pictures of me can attest to that.

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My 2011 In Film

I don’t really remember when I began challenging myself to watch more films each year. It may have started when I was going to school in Chicago, or it might have been during my earlier days back in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Each year I would keep a general idea of the films I had seen and try to best it, whether by a few or by a wide margin. One year I decided to see all the Oscar contenders alongside of the films I was currently watching, something that took my movie-watching goals to the next level. The next year I added films that weren’t in my genres of interest. The year after that films during a certain decade….

I think you kind of get the idea.

Fast forward to 2011, the year I decided to keep a running tally of all the films I had seen. I had been watching my wife populate her movie list for quite some time and had wanted to do something similar, if a little less strict. What I came up with was my 2011 in Film page, where I put the posters up for all the films I had seen in 2011, dividing them by New Releases or New to Me. I also divided them up by Loves, Likes and Dislikes to give anyone who perused the page a basic idea of where I stood on the film.

Fast forward even further to the present and we’ve got this post: My 2011 in Film. I saw A LOT of movies last year and there were a few that REALLY stood out to me.

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It Was Kind Of A Big Year

Oh boy.

A lot happened in 2011. I’m still in contemplation mode, which is why I haven’t really done anything akin to last year’s Top Ten in ’10 post series. Not only that but it’s insanely difficult to come up with a clever blog series name that fits with The Year 2011. Also, a list of 11 things is kind of stupid. But I digress. I think for now I’ll just write up a list of some of the things I did this year and call it good.

THE STUFF I DID IN 2011

-Started writing for Flickchart Blog.
-Read two books (World War Z & A Game of Thrones)
-Started doing bar trivia with a bunch of my former Columbia College alums.
-Met my girlfriend’s parents.
-Left my work-from-home job to go work for a little company called TOMS Shoes.
-Saw Broken Social Scene in concert.
-Took a road trip with my girlfriend to Oregon to meet the family for the first time.
-Got into AFI Fest 2011 with a press pass.
-Moved into a new apartment with this fella and this lady.
-Cut cable out of the budget (good riddance)
-First Christmas away from my family, stayed with my girlfriend’s family.
-Joined the dark side and got an iPad 2.
Saw a total of 103 films, 57 of which were in theaters.
-Got engaged to my girlfriend.

What did YOU do this year? Sound off in the comments. I’d like to share in the tears and the triumph and stuff…

50DMC – 15 – Biggest Movie Character Crush

50DMC filmcrush kimpine

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.

TODAY: Who is your biggest movie character crush?

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