Notes from the Manager
Related Strips: #755: Fast Forward
Late, again. :( Grad school, of course.
Some of you will be excited, though, that one of the reason I am swamped is a project for my Game Design class:
I am designing a Multiplex-based card game where you play the manager of a movie theater, competing against the other player(s) for the coveted regional manager position.
The deck has 120 cards, with roughly 90 original illustrations in that. Most of the art will be by me, of course, because it's Multiplex, but about 50 of the cards are "film stills" from various (fake) movies, and I am hoping to farm out some of these films to generous friends and artists and such. They are small pieces — 4.25" x 2.55" (200% printed size), but they do need to be full-color, and they do need to look like film stills (NOT posters, NOT pin-ups) and should not use any existing intellectual property or celebrity likenesses. I would like the artwork in layered Photoshop files, ideally, but since you can use whatever illustration technique you want (er, except for photos), I realize that won't always be possible.
If you are interested in helping contribute artwork to this game, please e-mail me a portfolio (links/websites, please, not attachments) and let me know some genres of film you might be interested in doing. I need the art by
Thanksgiving the end of the November — so it's a quick turn-around! Please do not volunteer if you cannot meet OR BEAT this deadline or follow directions, because I won't be able to use your art and you will have wasted your time, and I will feel badly about it, but that's just how it is. (If you're interested in doing more than one, that would be awesome, too, but we'll take it one at a time.)
I cannot use everybody, of course. As a graduate student, there is a minimum level of drawing ability that I need to require for this artwork — it has to be professional looking. And there are only so many adventure and action movies to go around, so you might be good enough, but just not suitable. If I don't contact you with a movie (or some options), please don't take it personally.
Lastly, and this is the shitty part: there is no pay involved at this point, because it is purely a student project at this point — but obviously you keep your copyright. I may end up publishing this game somewhere (very far) down the road, though, and would potentially pay to license the artwork for that. So there's that.
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Saturday, October 4, 2014
Written and directed by James Ward Byrkit.
Starring Emily Foxler, Hugo Armstrong, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen, Lauren Maher, Alex Manugian, Lorene Scafaria, and Maury Sterling.
A new Patreon backer at the $50 level opted out of the usual reward of a plug in the “Become a Multiplex Patron” box (above, on the website), asking instead for me to plug the 2013 indie science fiction filmCoherence (with which he is not affiliated). I was happy to oblige, and so “A fan of Coherence” — a.k.a. The Patron, as I’ll refer to him from here out — is, for the duration of his patronage, among Multiplex‘s supporters. (And, yes, I will review just about any movie a $50 backer asks me to.)
What really got my interest in the film (aside from being asked very nicely to see it) was that The Patron compared it to Shane Carruth’s Primer, one of the best no-budget sci-fi movies ever made. I can definitely see the comparison: both are decidedly low-budget films with small casts and a science-fictiony premise. I feel like seeing the film fairly blind is probably the best, so I won’t summarize the plot beyond the premise of eight friends having a dinner party when a comet passes over and Strange Things Happen, but I don’t think I’m quite as enthusiastic as The Patron.
Unfortunately, the “go in as blind as you can” suggestion means I feel like I need to be pretty vague. Some clunky (and largely unnecessary) exposition gets spat out early on, which tried my patience a bit, but it gets fun as the plot gets rolling. And the plot is definitely the star of the film, not the largely forgettable cast of affluent, Southern California white people or the dialogue, which often feels improvised (in that it neither pushes the story forward nor reveals character, as good dialogue ought to).
Despite some genuinely terrifically creepy or suspenseful moments in the film, a handful of contrived plot points hold it back from being much more than a fun genre flick for me, but I found myself wondering what would happen next — almost up to the very end. A late turn in the film got more of an eye-roll from me than the shock that I think it was supposed register. As always, your mileage may vary, but the film’s merits make it well worth a viewing, particularly for science fiction fans suffering from blockbuster fatigue.
Here’s the trailer! If it piques your interest, please do check it out. It’s available for rent from Amazon Instant Video or for purchase from its official website, among other places. (I never recommend reading YouTube comments, but definitely on’t read the comments if you want to stay away from spoilers.)
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