Writings, Christmas, Film4, stuff

An assortment to things to write about this evening while I render out 30+ VFX shots for Guinod, a martial arts opera I’ve been helping a friend finish off. It premieres in a couple of weeks at Norwich’s Cinema City, so I’ll be sure to say how it goes. Bulk of my work on it is done, I just have to render all the bits and pieces – a process that is considerably fiddlier than it should be due to a few quirks in the compositing software I’m using.

Which brings me to a broader question of my involvement with filmmaking: currently it’s taking up more of my time than I would like, in the process reducing the time I have to focus on my writing, be it novel or journalism or simple blogging. Go back a decade and I had the time to fit everything in, such is the life of a single student. Now, though, I have to juggle many more things (which I don’t mind doing at all, because¬† they’re all good things) and have no real choice but to specialise to a degree. The question is simple: do I want to be a writer, or a filmmaker? They’re not mutually exclusive, of course, but my current resources are finite.

Writing requires one thing: my own skill as a writer. I’ve yet to really have that proved one way or the other but there is at least the potential of it reaching a truly professional level. Filmmaking, on the other hand, is a vast process requiring coordination between many people and disciplines. Even with the best will and effort the results can easily be disappointing when working at an amateur, unfunded level. To progress to where I want to get would require investing in new equipment and new software which I simply can’t justify given that it’s essentially only a hobby – I no longer have any illusions about turning it into a career.

Which isn’t to say I can’t write film material for other people. I’d happily work on scripts for other people, as long as they have a sensible creative process that focuses on quality. Otherwise, though, 2010 is currently looking like the year in which I’ll try to become a professional, published writer. I can’t wait to see if I can pull it off! I’ve got two nearly finished novels almost ready to go, after all.

In other news:

  • I was quoted in a Film4.com article, having moaned yet again about the woefulness that is Gamer. Here’s the Film4 article, and here’s my Spiffing Review podcast in which we gave our glowing commentary on the movie.
  • Christmas is happening next week. For the first time we’re holding it at our place, which is both terrifying and exciting. We have lots of sparkly, glowy things hanging all over the place.
  • Left 4 Dead 2’s scavenge mode is fantastic.
  • Played Trackmania for the first time in years on Friday. It’s still genius.
  • Finally watched Speed Racer. Might have to give it a special section on the next Spiffing Review. It’s fabulous.
  • This article over at the Guardian really pissed me off. It undermines both gaming and the plight of women suffering from violence by using an astoundingly illogical argument which turns bait-and-switch and strawman tactics into a new artform. Looks like quite a few other people were a bit miffed, judging from the 700+ comments. I haven’t had time to read them all, obviously, but many of them seemed to offer far more intelligent and coherent views on the genuinely important and interesting topics. It’s great that Jaqueline Hunt has an organisation like Equality Now, but she’s never going to get anywhere if she focuses on scapegoating an entire artistic/entertainment medium rather than going after the genuine societal problems.
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