As I said last week, I did, in fact, spend this week doing housekeeping on the site.
Since developing the Kenobi portfolio page I really fell in love that design. I think I mentioned that.
As a result, I upgraded all the other pages to the same standard. There was a lot of new art to create for that process. Some of the pages turned out really nice, some others are good but not great. That’s one of the the bad things about being a screenwriter in the age of social media. Since you are only producing the blueprint of the film you have nothing to show off what the final product may look like. I have to rely on art and images from the internet for that. I do my best to credit everyone (including links). Any art I use is credited in the copyright area at the bottom of the page. If their work is featured in any of my materials, they are credited there as well.
Reformatting Poster Art
With the portfolio pages done, I tackled reformatting my poster images. At the top of every portfolio page is an image that features some sort of visual and logo related to the screenplay. I create them in Photoshop in 4K. I save JPEG or PNGs of the image in 4K and 2K. This allows me to have access to a set of assets for use around the site and other venues. Recently I’ve taken to Instagram and I’ve introduced soundtrack albums via Spotify and I’ve been using the same art there. The problem with Spotify and Instagram is that that they aren’t native for widescreen images. I want to be able to use the same art across any platform without producing a ton of variants.
To do this I had to reformat all the images, which meant resetting them in the original photoshop file. In order to make one, universal image for each film I had to edit the key elements to fit inside a square “safe area.” This shifted all the important content to the center of the image while still having widescreen aspects. After, when I post the image, it looks widescreen, but when I post to Instagram, Sportify or another venue with square images, the image automatically crops to a square without loosing vital information. This saves me a ton of work.
I have eight main posters for the first two phases. I had to redo each one and then export both 4K and 2K images for each too. Because that changed the posters, I had to change all my thumbnails and all my slate images too. Fun times.
After that, I moved onto the PDFs. All of my projects feature PDFs, but several, like the television series in particular, have booklets, look books, and bibles that emphasis visual direction and inspiration for my ideas. I put a lot of effort into those booklets, building them in a page layout program from scratch, writing the copy, building the images, and then exporting it all to PDF for digital distribution here on the site. Because I make them as booklets, I include a lot of two page spreads for visual impact. But, because of that two page format, viewing them on the internet can be a pain in the rear.
Before, I had to give a warning on each portfolio page explaining that there was a certain configuration your viewer must be set at to see everything correctly. But, I just found out you can set the PDF properties to open up in two page spreads without the end user having to configure anything! This feature is probably common knowledge, but discovering it was a life saver and a critical component of moving over to the new portfolio design. Finding that meant I could take down all of my “for proper viewing” warnings and simply deliver content without the reader worrying about why and how the booklets may not look right.
I also cleaned my white boards with some alcohol. But, that took about twenty minutes.
Now we move onto Mutant Chronicles.
I retrieved everything I had done to take an inventory of my previous work. I printed out all the documents I had on my computer and pulled out everything from my file folders. After reviewing everything, I had a complete nine page outline of the pilot, three partial screenplays of the pilot, each adjusting the structure of the opening scene. Two feature an opening on our main character and the third has a cold open featuring the antagonist. Lastly, there are six double sided pages of hand written notes explaining various plot points and story elements.
Note: About thirty minutes after I published this, I found two dozen more notes.
As a result I’m going to outline the entire story again and rebuild it all from the ground up. Geez, that’s becoming a tired phrase around here… I wrote the story many years ago, so I’m certain that it needs a facelift and modernization.
Ok, fam. See you next week and we’ll see how far I got with Mutant Chronicles.