Multiplex 10 production update for August

My arm is recovering slowly but surely. I’ve been saying this a while in the Kickstarter updates, but I’m at about 4 hours per day most days. If I get too excited about feeling good and exercise or work too much one day, invariably the arm will be extra-sore the next day, and I’ll only get a couple of hours in. So it’s a tricky balance to figure out.

But, still, I’m making progress again, which is great.

Earlier this week, we had a pick-up session for a few of Melissa’s lines, and while I think I want to redo a couple of Jason’s lines, I can do that any time — so, essentially, all of the dialogue is now recorded! Huzzah.

At this time, Acts 1 and 3 are completely designed. I’m nearly finished with designing all of the characters and elements for Act 2. By “designed,” I mean I’ve drawn a still like the featured image or the one below, with all of the characters, background elements, and props. Act 2 takes place in the lobby of the Multiplex 10, so it has a lot of background elements — cars in the parking lot, movie posters, video game screens, a trailer playing on the TVs… And some customers will be added into these backgrounds, as well, once I’ve designed everything else.

So in the next few days, I should be about 2/3 of the way through the design process. I expect Acts 4 and 5 will go fairly quickly, though; their backgrounds aren’t especially complex.

I am moving to a new apartment in a week, but the moving process should be relatively painless (with my shoulder, I won’t be lifting any boxes myself), but by this time next month, I expect to be animating some of these shots.

Multiplex 10 production update for July

Progress on the Multiplex 10 short halted for a few weeks this month due to a medical situation. As Kickstarter backers and Patreon patrons are already aware, I had a rotator cuff injury earlier this summer and, apparently, while continuing to work on the short with it, my elbow and wrist needed to work overtime to compensate for my shoulder’s diminished state. Over time, this taxed my whole arm a lot more than I would have expected, and eventually the pain got to be a bit too much.

A doctor’s visit, painkillers, and a few sessions with an occupational therapist (so far) have me back to work, at last, but I do need to take it slowly still, or I’ll just end up re-injuring my arm.

At this time, though, nearly all of the dialogue is complete. A couple of characters need a couple of pick-ups, and I’m back to working on the final backgrounds and character designs, as well as building out the (polished) animatic, which is basically a roughly animated version of the entire short. This is the most time-consuming stage of the animation process.

Because of this unanticipated delay, the short will likely be completed in late October instead of the planned September date (although, again, it will not necessarily be available for purchase or rent to the general public, because we need to explore our distribution options, in order to have a better chance of pitching a Multiplex 10 series to investors and such).

Don’t forget — although the Kickstarter project has closed to new backers, you can still support the creation of the short by becoming my patron over on Patreon or by making a one-time donation via PayPal.

(Pre-)production update for June

In the last few weeks, we’ve solidified the script and begun recording final dialogue for some of the characters. (Recording will take place over the next few weeks, because the cast is scattered all over the country.)

Backgrounds, props, and the last remaining characters are now being designed. The above still is from the first scene, which takes place at Flickhead Video, the video store two doors down from the Multiplex 10 Cinemas. This scene has some of the more complex backgrounds in the short because of the number of DVD cases and cars visible in them.

Since I’m an independent animator and work almost entirely on my own, I’m a little fuzzy about where the line between pre-production and production officially sits. But once all of the animation assets have been drawn and all of the final dialogue has been recorded, I’ll put together a polished animatic, and then jump into the final animation.

Listen to me talk about Multiplex and other things with Amy Guth

I made a cameo appearance on Chicago’s own WGN 720AM’s Saturday Night Special with Amy Guth on Saturday. You can now listen to that here: http://wgnradio.com/2017/06/04/saturday-night-special-6-4-17-comic-books-superheroes/

It’s a great show; although I didn’t get my filthy webcomics stink all over them, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction were also on the show, as were Third Coast Comics’ Terry Gant (as a special co-host) and the AV Club’s Katie Rife. For my part, I talked about Multiplex the webcomic, some of the good and bad things with digital publishing/distribution, and a tiny tiny bit about Multiplex 10.

Ms. Guth (Amy if you’re nice) recently come aboard the Multiplex 10 short film/pilot as an Associate Producer, along with her production company Strangewaze. She’ll be helping get the word out about the project and (fingers crossed) helping secure distribution for the short and/or financing for additional episodes of Multiplex 10 in some format or another. Amy is a brilliant, multi-talented force of nature, and I’m thrilled to have her on the team.

And with that, I’ll get back to working on the animatic…

Come meet me at Wizard World Philadelphia (June 2–4 only)

Hello! If you’re in the area, come meet me at Wizard World Philadelphia with Phil Kahn of Guilded Age. We’ll be at Booth 1702. NOTE: I will only be there from June 2–4. No Thursday preview for me. (Here’s a floor plan for your planning pleasure.)

Learn more at the official Wizard World Philadelphia site! If you use the coupon code GUILDED, you can get 20% off your advanced ticket orders.

I will have copies of the brand-spankin’-new, not-even-officially-released Multiplex: The Revenge (Book Three) in tow, draw sketches (for monies), and if my iPad has any juice in it, I’ll show you some behind the scenes stuff from the Multiplex 10 short, too.