Hello to everyone, it's been a bit. I haven't been around for a while, I can give a million excuses, and it's interesting to see how this website has evolved. Even in 2020, Newgrounds can still be is relevant as it was when I first knew of it in 2000. Wade, Tom, and everyone involved, have fostered a community for users to come to not just to socialize, but collaborate and build content. As someone who has collaborated with other users in the past, I can tell you, I love what we pitch together and create.
You could say that the events of 2020 have influenced me to make this post -- as I am working from home right now. I can be frank and tell you I have been in the business I am working in for years and I don't like it, but I do great work and make great money. However, I have always known that what I do best is create stories and tell them--and it throws me that not any of my Flash animations or my past creations really tell a good story or anything, when I know that some things I haven't shown anyone are very strong and powerful. On Newgrounds, I never really had confidence that people would dig my animation style (it sucks ass) and appreciate the story along with it, so I never made anything, and it wasn't anyone's problem but my own. I'm not looking to change that with animation, but I am looking to change that when it comes to a physical medium, as I would like to be producing live action productions, both short and long. I wish to transition into this, but at that the same time, not wanting a lavish life filled with money and things. I'm not Kim Kardashian, but I do a great impression of her.
As the events of this year have unfolded, a lot of creative ideas have sprawled. A lot of ideas have also come from my Mother's death in August 2019, something that rattled and shocked my world to its core, only to find that half of a year later my life would be rocked again by a pandemic. It's been a really rough time for me (and I'm sure everyone else right now), and watching the situation with the world go down has had me wondering at times "what is the point of my existence?" As strong as the feelings are to just give up at times, I desire more to live, but I think everyone can share the same feeling at times when we ask ourselves "what the fuck kind of world are we living in?"
Right now I am still living in Utah, but instead of living right by the northern border by Idaho in country towns, I am living in the Salt Lake City area. Right now the Coronavirus situation is brewing exponentially in our area. We've known people who've gotten it, however the mortality is so low here that not many people are dying, and I only know people who know of people who have died so far. But nonetheless, it is devastating and absolutely horrible. What is frustrating to me is that some of the people don't understand & go out to protest the science and nature of this virus, and it's going around like a wildfire. This is the thing I worried about happening in March in Utah, only to see it hit NYC very, very hard, and it was because the behavioral change that occurred in NYC that they were able to get the pandemic under control. That is not the case in Utah.
I'm not here to debate anybody or get into fights, but I will say this much: I'm concerned with the lack of response from a good amount of our currently elected officials, and just wish we could all get along so we could control this virus. The politicization and polarization of the pandemic has left a lot of people convinced that nothing is wrong, and they are going about their lives like the pandemic doesn't exist, and it is terrifying to me.
My father has decided to remarry and was holding a ceremony this coming Friday, and I was supposed to be best man. However, I talked to my father and warned him of the dangerous consequences of this virus. He listened very carefully, and he discussed it well with the rest of my siblings, and it was all agreed that there would not be any gatherings after the wedding, and that the wedding would be incredibly slimmed down. I, the best man, am no longer attending in person. Am I upset? Sure. However, I will not let my father die in 2020 after my mother died in 2019. I am only 33, and I haven't had enough time with my father--I never had the best relationship with him until I moved to the city, and now after my mother died, I consider him my best friend.
Anyway, this is a lot to unpack for me because it has been so long, so I will get to the point.
Ever since 2007/2008, I have been thinking of creating a television series that spans 6-7 seasons long. The series is about a person who returns overseas after serving for the military of the country, to find that a collective of mafia-like figures have killed his family (and this is the reason why he returns home), and he embarks on a dark path of revenge. The father had dealings with elected officials in the government, and as the story goes along, deep betrayals occur, and the fight turns into a systemic one as one of betrayers come to power with a misinformed army by their side. The end-game of the series changed with the events of 2020, as I try to channel and question “where are we headed with civil unrest?” The story was never intended to be ended with civil unrest for the longest time, but the events of this year have made it no question to me any longer. The story I am looking to tell is about the devastating consequences of the most impulsive of our decisions, which is a message that needs to be warned on right now, as that is a lot of what we are seeing. If we are not careful, I am concerned that the future I imagine for the fictional world I am looking to build could become an the actual one. It is indeed odd how I can think of such a story, have it make me anxious, but continue to think about it, because it is important about where we’re headed next, and where we will go if we’re not careful.
The working title I have for this story is called "Vengeance".
A lot of the music that I have listened to along the sequences I am looking to create have been very deep, raw, and emotional, and one of those songs in 2019 after my mother died that was on constant repeat was "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. When my mother died, my musical and creative world became a lot darker and more wide, and when COVID hit, the effect was amplified even further. Then when George Floyd was murdered, it was apparent that the world was either becoming or approaching darker places than even the most macabre of dystopian fiction.
"Vengeance" is not the only series I have thought of.
Around or shortly after my initial ideas for the early seasons of "Vengeance", I had thought of another series I wanted to work on, and this series is named "Midnight".
"Midnight" was to be set in a post-apocalyptic world within the first few episodes. The story then changed to the apocalypse happening later in the first season. Then, I tried to think of where the future seasons would bring the story. I could get to a season 4, but the story was no longer interesting enough to me and very hard to grasp in my head, for during the time of me trying to conceive the story, the more I was concerned of turning the filmic realism into unbelievable spectacle. To speak on the realism of nuclear war--my sequences of a nuclear holocaust would be relentless and unforgiving, because that is nature, but a nuclear explosion is too powerful for it too be shown over a 20 mile radius over the span of 1 minute. By 1 minute, the blast wave of the nuclear dentation would have far surpassed a 20 mile area, and would be destroying things with the forceful winds several more miles away. In our past deprecations of nuclear wars in media, the fires and hotness of the explosion last for too long. While people experience tremendous and unbelievable pain when a nuclear bomb explodes when they are not killed right away, the amount of time they have left is only a matter of seconds. Where I live in Salt Lake City, I would be vaporized by a nuclear explosion above downtown in under 2 seconds, if not immediately. Nuclear war is spectacle in itself, but a story about nuclear war is about what causes it, and the harsh and brutal ending it leaves in its wake.
The story of "Midnight" has also changed as of recently, because a nuclear apocalypse would be final for the human race and so many other species. The devastating effects of a nuclear winter and a completely disorganized society would certainly come true, and after re-watching "Testament", "Threads", and "The Day After" many times, I can say that even these wonderful pieces of fiction are softer than the actual reality would be, even as biting as they already are. The films are hard stomach, sad, and incredibly devastating, but they were also incredible to the effect that the productions convinced world leaders to thwart potential future nuclear war.
Unfortunately, as of recently, the real "Midnight" according to The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists may have them saying that we are getting closer to midnight on the Doomsday Clock, and that we are on the brink of worldwide chaos and societal disruption. My story is indeed the consequences of that, but it is unbelievable that in the real-world, we are approaching the very things that could create those consequences. For example, what will happen in absence of a peaceful transition of power? That's when I understood that the reality of my series would be about the devastating and ignorant consequences by specific people, and the societies of people that rationed with them. Not only that, but it would now be a limited series, due to the finality of a nuclear war. Only one season would be produced, and the story would end, with no possibilities of any stories being left to be told. That is the bleakness of nuclear war.
2020 has woven very many more dark stories into my head. My messages may be very political and disliked by many, but each month this year has had something significant and unique with it that can't afford to be ignored by civilized society. We are each experiencing our own stories right now, and perhaps this could bring about the strongest collaborations. But how do we do it in a real-world setting as I would like with COVID in play?
With that said, I have decided over the next month, I am going to do my best and document everything I experience with this election, so I can tell my nephews and nieces and their grand children with visual context what the world is like, so we can all learn and understand what we need to avoid to achieve peace. Many creations about nuclear war in the 80s did this, which subverted The Cold War many times until Chernobyl (ironically a nuclear accident) was the nail in the coffin for USSR Russia. I find that it is more important than ever to tell our stories of 2020. These stories are important for history to understand where mankind needs to head next, otherwise the unwise people who lead us will never be influenced to understand what mankind really needs. As some of us already know, some people who lead us don't care what mankind needs and are only out for their own self-interests.
Let me also be clear--I have no desire for post-election violence. Unfortunately, the world turns in wicked ways, and I'm afraid for America, we are very much headed in that direction this year. I hope I look back at this post a month from now and find things are not that way, because I have been worried a lot since March where things would head, only to find myself watching things I worried about come true. The night we went into lockdown in Utah back in March was a dark one, I remember thinking about people possibly becoming violent over pandemic, division getting sewed between us even further, only to see it come true in ways I could have never imagined. In a sense, I was right--and I am not proud of it, it does not stroke my ego, and I do not want anything I've thought of recently to come true as well.
For this month, I have been thinking of doing a recording of myself each day to detail how I'm doing and what's going on with the world, and how I am being impacted by it. I think it is a more important time now than ever, because if we remain silent and don't tell our stories, the world will never understand us to want to make a change. Sometimes I worry that we're running out of time before it's too late to tell our stories. Sometimes I even worry that telling the story won't make any difference. But, there's giving up, and then there's trying, so I think I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.
I have a YouTube channel here that I will start posting things on as time goes along to show my progress. I hope everyone stays well and stays safe during these hard times.