Monday, May 18, 2009


A couple of people have asked me what's going on with this project, so here's the latest:

Stareater has been put on the back burner. I think there still might be something salvageable there, but I'll need some distance before I can come back to it.

Jiyoung told me that one of the things she's noticed in talking to Americans is that we all have "personal projects." I hadn't realized this tendency defined us until she pointed it out. Everybody is writing a screenplay, working on an album, putting together a portfolio. I don't know what this says about us.

In Korea, people don't have personal projects, they have hobbies. I was really confused about this at first. Right after they ask you how old you are, they ask, "what's your hobby?" What does it mean, that they have hobbies and we have projects? I feel like there must be some revelation there. I should mention that when Koreans pursue a hobby, they go all-in. If they say "Salsa dancing," assume they are better than anyone you know. If they say "yoga," they mean they can touch their nose to their tailbone. And if they say "Starcraft," well...

Well, Stareater was my perennial personal project. A refuge from ordinariness. A thing I could point to and say "I'm not really that guy in that dead-end job -- that's just my Clark Kent mode."

Such a project won't stand on its own merits because it isn't really a project at all -- it's a therapeutic device. Sure, it lets me think of myself as an artist, but it won't be of interest to anybody else. 

So what's next? Well, I still have nine months. There's a new story idea -- one that I think will be stronger because of the trials of the last three months. There's also a new plan, and it's a lot more practical. I still want to make a movie, but I've realized that the animatic may not be the most direct means of getting there. After all, what would I have done with it? Could I have shown up at a movie studio with a black and white slide show and gotten somebody to actually sit through 90 minutes of amateur voice acting?

So it's going to be a comic. It's going to come out in 24-page installments. I'll write it at first as a feature-length screenplay, then break it down Scott Pilgrim-style. And when (if) it's all done, I'll have something finished in my hand, something that sells itself.

Thanks to my friend Ray for providing the spark for this change in direction. I feel like I'm doing the right thing now.

The new story has robots.