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Ahhh, Valentines, a holiday that was created by capitalism.

Yep. St Valentine had no link the concept of Romantic love. In fact, very little is known about St Valentine. Valentine’s day, as we know it, was started in the early 20th century through the sales of greeting cards.

Still, what is sad about this day is it really is an opportunity for single people to look for a little romance, but becomes a day where if you’re single… it gets rubbed in your face by all the couples of the world.

Well, if you let it. ๐Ÿ™‚

This year, I’ve decided to have a pretty quiet day and just relax at home. It’s been very refreshing.

Having been single for a long time, mostly my own doing (I am a fussy guy), I often find Valentine’s day a time where I think back on why I haven’t found the one yet. I’ve had five guys I thoughtย were the one, but clearly – I was wrong.

Love is such a fiddly thing to comprehend. Like so many feelings, it has so many nuanced levels and stages. There is the love for family. There is the love for someone you are sexually attracted to. There is the love for someone you admire. And then there is the love for friends.

It’s all the same core feeling, but it elicits different needs and responses based on who it is that you love.

I do sometimes wonder if I will fall in love again. I haven’t had a particularly impressive track record down here – a lot of false starts and little else. But you can’t write the future. There are still a good 6 billion people I haven’t met yet. ๐Ÿ˜€

The other thing on my mind today is Fallout 3ย – mostly because I completed it last night. Wow.

What a crap finish to a great game.

The game ended with a situation that provided a binary solution, despite there being a hulkingly obvious third option standing next to me at the end of the game. And yet, I couldn’t take that option.

How freaking stupid. Then there was the lazy vignette of pictures at the end with a voice over that tried to imply the result of my decision without actually showing how the story ended!

It really pisses me off when game designers do this kind of thing. It’s sloppy and lazy.

As was pointed out by someone on a recent thread, it is important to end your story well – otherwise people will hate you for it. An audience will forgive a lot if you end your story well. The same goes for games. If you cop out at the end, then expect people to be pissed – no matter how well you told the story to that point. Conversely, you can write a particularly average story but have such an amazing ending, people will forgive the shortcomings.

The art of a good ending is a challenging one. Heck, I’ve always found final scenes a tough balancing act. Even now I wonder if The Winding City’s first season ending is up to scratch. (I think it will be)

Yep… that’s all for now. I’m going to go sort out my lunch now.

Conan

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Volunteer projects are an exercise in frustration. One of the greatest issues that you face when you try to take on a project without having funding to pay people, is that you can’t guarantee that everyone shares the same vision or level of priority on the project.

It is a real struggle and exercise in self-discipline to keep from becoming too cynical about people in general when you are trying to get a show made. Consider this – for me, the WC Project is a life-changing project. It is a career making exercise for me that is not just about learning new skills, nor is it an amateur weekend project for the heck of it.

I am doing this because I want to break out of what I’m currently doing and into making shows – be it for film, television or web shows. That makes it my number one priority – it supercedes my roleplaying, my other activities – it even informs my decisions at work. If an opportunity opened up at work to move to another country and a better paying job, I am likely to turn it down because I have placed that much effort and focus into this project.

But consider the people who have volunteered to help out on this project. They will have differing levels of commitment. Some are professionals seeking to grow their work CV, some are interested in film – but have other commitments that they place over it, some are helping out of interest in learning about the industry…

Now I can go to these people and lay down the law like I do at work. They are not getting paid, and so I don’t have much authority on the level of priority they can place on this. I have to compromise and not let the frustration overwhelm me or make me get cynical.

Yet I have been fighting that frustration recently because I’m scheduling the rest of the shooting for the series – and there is a delicate balance required between pushing to get the project in the can, and not pushing too hard that the cast adn crew get burnt out or refuse to continue with the project.

It’s at times like these that I fight both the urge to just give up, and the regret that I didn’t fight to keep things simpler as I had originally planned with the project. As the series has developed, it has continually gotten more and more ambitious – to the point that the series is still toned down from what I would really like to do, and yet it is already a case of the odds stacked against us.

One of the issues I’m facing is that there is pressure to take longer with the shoot – yet I have so much more work ahead of me once the series is shot that I want to get the shooting done as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

  • Firstly, we have a number of professional actors on the project. They have other paying commitments, and I need to get the show done while I have them available. Once they get more work, that can lead up to MONTHS of delays.
  • I have a considerable amount of work to do once the show is shot. My work really begins then.
  • The longer we take to shoot the show, the increased chances that it will never be completed. From my experience in freelance writing, the more you push back deadlines, the higher the probability that the project never gets completed. Because eventually other things arise.
  • Simply, continuity. The four episodes I’ve written occur over the course of about 10 hours maximum. The longer we take to shoot, the greater the chance that we will have increase continuity errors.
  • This is not a film. This is a web project. In the event that the series will lead into a second season – the second season is going to require a tighter turn-around on episodes otherwise interest in the show will disappear.

My current plan involves an actual advertising campaign around Wellington, media packages for TV companies and newspapers directing them to the website, developing a website for the series that will discuss the universe of the series as well as the cast and crew, the writing and planning of the bonus material for the eventual DVD release (one of the key marketing plans for DVD releases of webshows is to have exclusive DVD material…) which will take time to organise and develop as well.

So it can become very frustrating when I get told I can take time with this. But then there is the joy of looking at the finished project after all the compromise and work – and it is the promise of that elation that is keeping me still working on this.

Currently I have re-worked the schedule into something that I think will get closer to a compromise. I look forward to getting the show in the can soon – even though it means that my work will REALLY begin.

It was quite refreshing to have someone at work say to me that after this is all done I will be well and truly trained to handle anything Project Management throws at me. ๐Ÿ˜€

Conan

So here I am in Orkland, currently typing from a cybercafe because Mum’s place has no wireless or reliable internet connectivity for my laptop. (GASP HORROR!)

Yesterday was a great return to the land of Orks – we went to Newmarket, did a little shopping and had ย very nice lunch at Cafe Massimo on Nuffield Street. (I recommend the spicy chicken and bacon burger…)

That evening, a nice walk to Pearl Garden restaurant (an old haunt for us, and still one of the best Chinese restaurants I have ever been to) where we enjoyed a delicious dish known as Bang Bang Chicken.

Aaaaand that’s about where the good times ended. Last night convinced me why I prefer living in Wellington – the humidity and heat. I simply don’t remember Auckland being so insanely hot. I was roasting in my bed – and kept waking up due to there seemingly being no respite from the humid heat. I swear it was close to 2o degrees in there! At night!

At least at home if I throw off the covers, I can get some sleep and cool. But last night, with the window open and the covers off – I was cooking!

I can’t wait to get home for a decent night’s sleep.

Other than that, though, it is great to be visiting the old haunts and places I used to hang out… although some terrible news… Oporto appears to have closed down!!!!!

F*&*k Nandos – Oporto did the best chilli chicken burgers I have ever had… but fear not, gentle readers, I will keep hunting to see if it simply moved… ๐Ÿ˜€

Conan

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