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Tag: entertainment

How Do You Make A Graphic Novel?

Hey guys, sorry for disappearing for so long. I’m really trying to get myself in a place where I can get published. However, now I need your help.

While focusing on my short stories, I have decided to pursue a side project (eventually, I don’t have time right now). I want to start a graphic novel series meant to teach children (at the middle grade level) about history. I really hope I can actually pull this off.

First, I have a question for you guys: What is inappropriate for a middle grade reader? What level of violence is too much? I know this is completely subjective, since some people are fine with a 10 year old playing GTA and others won’t let their 16 year old read the Hunger Games. But I want to know what you guys think.

Now, here’s what I need: Graphic novels are generally large projects put together by multiple people. Have any of you guys actually put a graphic novel together? If so, how did you go about doing it? Does anybody have any advise as to how to get a group together to pull a graphic novel off (I’m thinking it would likely be a self-publish thing)? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Not the Satanists! Anything But the Satanists!

Why are the evil cultists in movies always satanists? The satanic panic was 20 years ago people! It’s time to stop pretending that satanists are actually a threat. After all, it’s not satanist cults that have been killing people. Every time we hear about a cult killing people it is a Christian cult. So why are there no horror movies about Christian cultists murdering people? I mean, we have documentaries about it, but even recent horror movies choose to demonize satanists.

Who Cares If Artists Are Liberal?

The other day my fiance and I were talking about how artists tend to be liberal. I seem to keep coming across comments along the lines of “look, this writer/artist/actor is a conservative Christian, isn’t that wonderful?” It has gotten me thinking about the trends that different groups tend to follow. I doubt many people would be surprised by my saying that artists tend to be more liberal than not. It’s pretty much expected. But I don’t understand the comments of “look, this person is conservative.” Of course there are conservative artists! It would be weird if there weren’t any. Artists tend to be liberal because of the type of personality that is generally attracted to the arts. Artists tend to be more empathetic and emotional, two traits that make it very easy to be more left-leaning. I myself am a very left-leaning person. But that doesn’t mean that artists can’t be more right-leaning.
Likewise, artists tend to be somewhat religious. I think the same personality that leads artists to be more left-leaning also leads artists to be more religious. I myself am not religious, and I’m not the only not religious artist out there. Again, it would be weird if I was.
Does it matter if artists/writers/actors tend to be more left-leaning?
Does it matter when artists/writers/actors defy this norm?
Should attention be drawn to artists/writers/actors who defy the norm?

Which Holmes Brother is Truely More Intelligent?

Lately I have been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I go through phases when it comes to various story lines where one month I will want to absorb everything about a character and then I’ll forget about it for a year. So I guess this month it’s Sherlock (sadly there was about a three year gap of me caring on this one).

Anyway, while going through the stories, I noticed something. It is canonically accepted that Mycroft is smarter that Sherlock. In one of the books, Sherlock says as much, and he and Mycroft say as much in the BBC show. However, it is never actually obvious who is smarter. Sherlock and Mycroft assume that Mycroft is smarter, but Mycroft is also 7 years older than Sherlock. Growing up, they had no reference point for who was smarter because of the age gap. And Sherlock would have always looked up to Mycroft as his big brother. As adults, they seem to have kept that perception without having anything to go on. We don’t know what kind of grades either got, or how well they did in school, or even much about what Mycroft general excels and fails at (other than politics). When we do see Mycroft using similar skills to Sherlock’s, they are generally comparable. As such, we can’t actually say who is smarter, we can only say that both Sherlock and Mycroft believe that Mycroft is smarter, which is very different.

Left Behind

I just went to the movie Left Behind and I have to say it was horrible. It was based off an old book series that is basically Evangelical Christian propaganda, so I didn’t expect it to be written very well. However, the person who made the script could have done a better job with the script. The lines were awkward and there was a lot of useless scenes. It could have been an hour and a half long rather than two hours easily. There was also too much shifting between characters for any of them to be very sympathetic. I have to say, I really didn’t care about any of them.

Add the music to the poor writing and the movie gets that much worse. All of the music was the worst possible Christian music they could find. The sound track sounded like it came straight out of the 90’s. I understand that they wanted to use Christian music, but they really should have found better music. They also should have made the music match the scenes better. The movie was about the end times, but the music made it sound like we were watching a coming of age story. It was hopeful and happy, but we were watching mothers scream and cry about their children being missing. We were watching a story about people who had not been saved. The music should have been deeper, lower, and more like a warning.

For those of you planning to see this movie, I’d suggest just watching the Kirk Cameron version. It’s about as good.

Screenwriting Is Hard

I finally began doing some screenwriting. I have to say, it’s more difficult that I thought it would be. I’m trying to find the best way to begin dialog, and how to place my descriptions, but it is very different from what I’m used to.

I’ve had to remember how to write a story after years of only academic writing. I had some background in story writing, so figuring it out wasn’t too bad. Figuring out the dialog was the hardest part. But screenwriting is significantly different, and it’s not something that I’ve ever done before.

That said, I am learning. And I’ve found both The Hollywood Standard and The Screenwriter’s Bible to be very helpful. Hopefully I’ll pick this skill up quickly and be able to create a decent screen play should the need ever arise 😉 .

God’s Slave

I finally went to a film at the film festival! It was called God’s Slave and it was amazing. It was about a young man whose family was killed by terrorists. He was then trained to be a terrorist himself. He was literally raised to be a suicide bomber. The movie showed his struggle between his belief and his desire. It also showed the fight between Muslim terrorists and the Israeli state. It did a great job at painting both sides in a negative light while making the main character sympathetic. I would definitely recommend this movie.

Uncanny Valley

I’ve been thinking a lot about uncanny valley lately. Well, that and just weirdness in general. It’s funny how the little things can be far more irritating and problematic to us than the big things. Giant aliens with long, smooth black heads and sharp teeth are creepy, but a perfectly human looking creature that doesn’t emote properly (as humans are used to) is far more unsettling. Why is this? Is it because the unknown is just too difficult for us to properly understand? Or is it simply because we expect more of the second one so it breaks our understanding more?

I’ve heard a lot that you’re supposed to avoid uncanny valley whenever possible, but some people use it quite effectively as yet another story telling tool. So when should you use uncanny valley? And who would you say uses it well?

What kinds of weirdness do you like in film? What kinds do you hate? Personally, I’m a fan of weird.

Why Do All the Cool Things Have to Happen When I’m Busy?

I just found out that the annual film festival is going on in my city. It apparently opened yesterday (or, since I haven’t gone to bed yet, today). I’ve never had the opportunity to attend the film festival before (it happens in the beginning of the school year, so I’m always busy), but I’m hoping to go to a few films this year.

I’ve always been a fan of independent films, and I’d like to see some local films. The movie industry in my city is growing, so I’m hoping to see more attention heading our way soon. I also think going will be good for my current project of trying to learn how to write a screen play.

But right now this is just a pipe dream: school has to come first, so I don’t know if I’ll have time to watch anything. I may go this weekend, but I’ve already got a fairly full schedule. Oh well, I guess I’ll see what happens…

Screenwriting Tips

I have been doing some research into screenwriting (finally). Here are a few great websites that I’ve come across for those of you interested in trying to do some screenwriting.

For those of you who have done screenwriting in the past, what are your favorite sites (or books) for writing tips?

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