Tag Archives: Video

Happy Birthday to W.H. Pugmire, the Queen of Eldritch Horror!

For those of you not in the know, W.H. Pugmire is one of the premier writers of modern “weird tales” and a lot of fun on YouTube. His collections of short stories and the setting of Sesqua Valley both do justice to the specter of Lovecraft and push the boundaries of “acceptable” interpretations of reality (as any good weird tale should).

Horror writer W.H. Pugmire

Head over to any of his links or take a look at his YouTube channel and wish this scribbler a happy birthday

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAsKAv9o_OA&feature=related&w=480]

And check out his incredible fiction:

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You can also find his work on the awesome Lovecraft Ezine, edited by Mike Davis.

So from me to you, Wilum: Happy Birthday! Can I get an ia ia ftagn, people?

5 Incredible Superhero Fan Videos You’ve Never Seen

One of the most exciting examples of new media is the video revolution. Thanks to cheap technology and social media sites like YouTube, it is possible for people to create and distribute shorts, movies, and even full series as compelling as anything on mainstream television or in the theaters. A lot of the people involved in the projects get recruited by agents and headhunters, but even for those that don’t get “discovered”, this is a great way for independent scriptwriters and other creatives to see their vision come to the screen.

There are some amazing talents at work in these videos, and because of how much information is out there, a lot of it gets lost in the shuffle. Everyone has seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, but some comparable writing (with admittedly lower budgets) slips through the cracks. Most superhero films made by amateurs are just mashups of other movies, but these five are real winners, created (almost) wholly from scratch.

Enjoy!

Grayson

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQyfQ7RMOXs&w=480]

Batman is dead and Dick Grayson, the original Boy Wonder, is investigating his murder. With appearances by heroes and villains from all over the DC universe, including Green Lantern, Batgirl, and Superman, this trailer to a great comic book movie that never got made is a testimony to how far an idea, a little cash, and some serious costuming can go. This is some especially fine scripting because so much has to be conveyed with no real dialogue. As anyone who has tried to write a play or script can tell you, having to convey your story in images and motion is very difficult. Grayson is an amazing piece. It will never get made (Robin in a movie is a hard sell since the nineties), but we can hope. A few scenes in Grayson fall flat because they were poorly executed scenes (Commissioner Gordon for the intro was a risky choice, I would have gone for Alfred) but overall it works very well.

World’s Finest

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtXD2HR5jgw&w=480]

All you comic fans out there know exactly what that title means: Batman and Superman, together. And that is exactly what you get. This movie probably will get made; it’s just too good to pass up, and it will make a killing in the theater even if it is awful. Until then, this trailer is pretty damn good. There is a lot more dialogue in this one, and it’s important to note how the writers used characterization in dialogue to empasize and bring out the minor characters while allowing Batman and Superman to work off of their costumes and movements. Every moment Lois is in a scene she is talking, and they manage to throw in her nickname for Clark Kent (Smallville) without it seeming forced. While the scene choice and physical work is not as heavy as in Grayson, World’s Finest certainly makes up for it in dialogue and direction.

Green Lantern

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIyx09htG8U&w=480]

This one actually is getting made right now, but this video is not related to the movie. Here we have no dialogue at all and it was mostly done with 3D modeling and bits of footage from movies, so the creator had to imply his tale through his choice of images. We see that he deals with this by creating tensions and quickly switching from one establishing shot to another; anyone familiar with the Green Lantern comics and cartoons will be able to put together a possible plot just from the imagery of the Guardians of the Universe and Sinestro alone.

Son of Batman

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFScW8zvIM0&w=480]

This one is a little dark. OK, it’s a lot dark. The next one is funny, I promise. As far as the writing…you aren’t going to get much better; this scene is taken from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. For those who haven’t read the book (you should), it takes place in a dark, dystopian near future where Batman is old and tired, Superman is a tool of the government, and a gang of vigilante punks have taken up the cowl…in a fashion.

Batman Gets Pwned

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks8PZ8X6Yo8&w=480]

Told you the next one was funny. Respect the funny…writing funny is hard.

Suggestions

If you make videos or can recommend good videos, I want to see them. They don’t have to be about superheroes, but it helps!

What is the “New Media”?

When people ask what I do, I tell them I’m a writer. Then they ask what I write, and I say I mostly write online. They then look at me quizzically, like they understand the words but don’t comprehend their meaning. They always ask, “like what?”

Like what?

Like the internet isn’t mostly text, and that the text and content they interact with daily doesn’t have to be written by someone. Like all the content, from the longest essay to the smallest lolcat didn’t have to be created by someone.

Now, I know that inside, deep inside, in the cockles of their hearts, they know all of this. I also realize that this is just an updated version of the treatment writers, artists, and thinkers have always gotten about what they do. This is normal.

What bothers me is when writers, people who should know better, still don’t get it. They just ask if I ever plan to do any “real” writing. As if what I do here and else less real than other writing.lolcat

When I have these conversations, I try to make my point.

me: Do you read?

them: Yes, of course.

me: Do you mean for news, entertainment, and information?

them: Yes.

me: Do you read about those things in newspapers, magazines, and books?

them: Oh, no, I do all that online.

Now, if this were a story, I would go silent and wait a beat, then they would go “Ohhh” with a look that showed their comprehension. Like the professional tale-spinner I am, I try to do this in real life, but it never works. They just wait for me to go on, and I stand there looking increasingly stupid.

The point is, what is this that we do? What is the “new media”? What is so different about writing for the new media that I made my blog about it? Is it the same as writing in other mediums? Well, obviously I would say no. I would say that the “new media” is a developing form of art in itself, a platform for literature and creativity impossible before the internet. It’s a new game with new rules.

So, the new media is all forms of media that exist through the internet primarily or only. Web-shows and podcasts, fanfilms and blogs, videos and playlists. The odds are that you probably have already contributed to the new media by talking on forums or commenting on articles, and never even realized it. We are all a part of this online creation. We exist in it and we help create it.

If you want to make writing your career, you have a choice to make. You can go the route of writers of prior generations and hack away at your novel and snail-mail it off to publishers, waiting for editors to get around to your corner of the slush-pile. Or you can get online, go into business for yourself, and pursue writing in the new media. Whichever it is, you need to be able to write, but to write in the new media you need some other skills and tricks as well.

For the next few posts, I am going to talk about the craft of writing itself, and how writing for the new media is different than writing for print. I have some topics I plan on covering, but I want to put out a call for questions from other writers and people getting started:

Do any of you have any questions or issues you would like to discuss?