Sunday, December 23, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E07: "One Love"

Hey guys,

Well, here it is.  As this season of Bytes has been cut short in favor of production in advance of the remainder of the seventh season of the main storyline, this Byte -- "One Love" -- can be considered the finale of its kind:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E07: "One Love"

I realize the release of Halo 4 is kind of old news now, but this short was in fact created very shortly after the game's release, and its airing has been delayed since late November.

As more content won't be seen in a while, I'd really appreciate the leaving of comments.  Let me know what you think of the short if you have the time.  I hope you enjoy.

Happy holidays!

Cheers,
Jon

Friday, December 21, 2012

News: "One Love" This Weekend

Hey,

So after some back-and-forth, I've been told that "One Love" will go up this weekend.  Whether it goes up on Saturday or Sunday I'm still not sure of, but I believe they're leaning towards airing the Byte on Sunday -- for whatever reason.  At least it's going up, right?

Keep your eyes peeled for it, and have a merry Christmas.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, December 15, 2012

News: New Programming Plan

Hey all,

There's a lot that's happening with the company right now, lots of growth and team changing, and it's taking forever for me to get concrete information from my management in regard to the plans for the airing of the rest of the show -- but here's what I've gathered so far.  This can be considered either good news or bad news depending on your amount of patience, which I know is dwindling.

With the green-lighting of the second half of season seven, it's clear that the company sees value in the show, and they want the remaining episodes to go hand-in-hand with a strong promotional campaign to make it succeed.  Unfortunately, promotion isn't compatible with the main story's slow air rate of once every three or four weeks.  The gaps are too wide, and interest isn't held strongly enough.

It's still in discussion among management (I should know more on Monday), but the plan they're strongly leaning towards involves the following negatives:

- The Bytes will end.  "One Love", if I can even get programming to air it, will be the last of its kind; at least until the story season is completed.
- The story season won't resume until March, possibly April.  No new content will be seen from me until then.
- Episodes will be shorter than usual, hovering around a running time of ten to fifteen minutes; no half-hour episodes (could be a positive for some).

And now, the positives:

- The number of episodes of the seventh season will increase from thirteen to sixteen.
- When the season does resume airing, the episodes will be released back-to-back, one per week.  No gaps.
- The company has a solid, completed line-up of programming to take advantage of from a promotional standpoint.
- I can use the airing period to work ahead on a new project.

I think being given lead time to produce the entire remainder of the season is great, but its timing is very unfortunate as you've all endured my creative hiatus already.

I'm currently fighting to at least get "One Love" uploaded for Chirstmas, but my management is being resistant.  They'd prefer to release all of my content within a solid block of time, and not tease people with a short out of the blue and deprive them of content again until March/April.  While I understand the logic, it seems silly to have a completed short that I worked hard on sitting around doing nothing in the company inbox, and I feel bad for not giving you guys something small for the holidays after being so patient.

When I know more, you'll know more.

Cheers,
Jon

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

News: Production resuming

Howdy,

So production of the show should proceed as normal.  The aforementioned situation was apparently the result of a miscommunication.

The problem lies with the Happy Hour programming line-up breaking off into its own channel, and the executive decision to remove my show from that line-up and air it under what I assume to be the one of the company's more primary channels, due to the fact that my show's been a staple of the company for so long; that as well as the fact that the company is adopting revised payment and submission methods, and in order to be incorporated I have to migrate to a new contract.

I've been told that the remainder of season seven has been greenlit.  Whether or not it will resume this week I'm not yet sure of.  I will update when I know, which shouldn't be far off.

Thanks for your support.

Regards,
Jon

Saturday, December 8, 2012

News: "Issues" Update

Hi guys,

In regard to my previous post, and in light of some of the hostile comments I've seen posted on YouTube since the post was published, as well as a number of received e-mails from concerned and supportive fans (which I'm immensely grateful for), I feel that I must stress that there's no real reason for concern among the fan base just yet.  I have not heard any official negative news from the company's administration; in fact, things are looking positive at this point, as the individual among the administration I have spoken to did not seem aware of a problem in the first place, told me the situation would be looked into and apologized for any confusion.

The recent delay of my content since two weeks ago remains unexcused and I apologize, but please set aside your worry and hostility, should either be present.

I will update when I know something.

Cheers,
Jon

News: Issues

Hey, guys.

So there's a good chance that the next Byte won't air this Saturday either, I'm so sorry; and I don't want to alarm anybody as nothing is concrete yet, but I've been hearing worrying talk very recently from the programming team that handles my content that my position among the company is being re-evaluated due to a lack of viewership of my show, I assume in comparison to their other Happy Hour content (and the million-high figures of my show throughout the first three seasons).  I'm guessing this has been the real reason behind the recent hold on the airing of my stuff (they've had my latest Byte since Thursday, November 29th).  I could be axed, which would mean the stopping of the show's production and season seven being left only half-complete, and I'll need to find another gig.

Again, I don't want to cause worry among the fans just yet.  I've been stressing out and trying to get to the bottom of this for the past few days, and I'm hearing conflicting stories from staff of varying levels of seniority.  One person says there is a problem, another says he wasn't aware there was one.  It's all left me very confused and dumbfounded as to what to tell you all, who have been incredibly patient with me.

If I don't know something this weekend, I should by Monday.  And as soon as I do, I'll let you guys know what's up.

Thanks again, guys.
 Jon

Saturday, December 1, 2012

News: Return From Hiatus

Alright, here we go.  First of all, thank you very much for your patience.  Despite the odd fellow calling me a lazy dick-sucking cunt and demanding that I die in a fire, I've noticed that the majority of people have been understanding of my time taken off, and quite supportive.  I'm grateful for that, and your e-mails.  Even the death threats, they're sweet.  They tell me that you care.

Here's my director's commentary for the mid-season finale of Arby 'n' the Chief, "Two Point Zero", which was released several weeks ago, in case you missed it:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E07: "Two Point Zero" Director's Commentary

Sorry for milking my hiatus a little longer than expected.  I didn't believe that getting ahead in writing for the show throughout the time would be as difficult as it proved to be.  School kept bombarding me with assignments and long days on film sets in various production roles, which really got in the way.  There was also the pressure of making a strong comeback following my absence and firing on all pistons.

Though I've noticed that many people have dismissed the possibility of work getting on top of me and instead embraced the obligatory conclusion that I died in a horrific car accident.  Again.  Why is it always a horrific car accident?

Yes, as I was driving along the highway operating the steering wheel with my teeth while giving handjobs, footjobs and receiving anal sex from a carful of naked men, I swerved clean off the road and my vehicle flipped over nine thousand times until slamming to a halt at the bottom of a ravine.

I spat blood as I clawed at the dirt and dragged my twisted body out from my car's mangled and burning chassis.  "The fans ... the fans ..." I kept shouting as I choked for air; "I can't let down the fans ... the show must go on."

A few days ago I updated the blog's video queue and wrote that the next Byte, titled "One Love", would air today.  The episode's air date has now been pushed to the 8th of December instead.  I apologize.  The episode was actually completed and submitted on Thursday evening and ready for air today, but I've yet to be sent a confirmation that it was received, which is routine.

I inquired about the lack of confirmation, and apparently the programming team that handles my content specifically is snowed under managing content for the Machinima Interactive Film Festival that's currently running.

I resolved to create a realistic schedule and stick to it to the best of my ability upon returning from my hiatus and I've fucked up before I've even started.  Go me.

If I'm being honest, I'm relieved to have a little more time before the release of the next full-length story episode, what with upcoming final exams and the Christmas holidays, but I'm disappointed that I won't be able to read what you guys think of the latest Byte; titled "One Love", as I've said, and I consider it to be one of the best that I've produced.

Sorry that the next story episode, "Broken", won't be released until January.  I'm going to be heading out of town to visit family mid-December for the Christmas holidays, and I need to produce the Christmas and New Years' specials, which will air on the two Saturdays throughout that period, before I leave.  That leaves me with no time to get the next story episode out before Christmas, which I was initially aiming for.  I wasn't anticipating this Saturday's Byte being pushed.

I'm really pleased with the script for "Broken" (originally named "Black" and changed due to alterations in the structure of the season's story).  It's the point in the season where things start to get creepy.  Then in the following episode, "In Memoriam", shit starts getting real.

Thanks so much, everybody.  Hang in there.

Cheers,
Jon

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bytes S02E06: "The True Fan"/production hiatus/"Two Point Zero" director's commentary

Hey all,

First thing -- here's the link to the latest Byte, which I missed my deadline for:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E06: "The True Fan"

The next video that I'll be putting out is a director's commentary for the latest story episode, "Two Point Zero", which I also missed my deadline for.  Sorry for the lack of professionalism.

Why all these late submissions?  Work on the show in combination with school work has simply been getting overwhelming; which leads me to the next item of discussion.

I've asked to take a temporary hiatus from producing the show.  A few weeks, at least.  Not a vacation, but a writing break -- a chance to take a breather, recharge my creative batteries and get ahead on script writing without the pressure of having so many deadlines, which have been having a paralytic effect on me lately; I've been handing in not only my videos for Machinima late, but some school assignments as well.  I don't want the show or my grades to deteriorate because I (stupidly) bit off more than I've found that I can chew.

So consider "Two Point Zero" as a mid-season finale, and production will restart in a little while.  The commentary that is to be released soon will further explain my situation.

I'm also running dry in regard to ideas for the Bytes, which I'm sure hasn't gone unnoticed.  This is because I've had zero time to play any new games and soak in what the gaming industry's been offering these days, and thus have no material to play with.

Thanks for being so patient, and please stay tuned.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, September 29, 2012

News: New Byte on Monday

Hey guys,

Man, the past couple weeks have been crazy.  I've hit the ground running in my second year of film schooling and work hasn't been letting up.  Lectures and film shoots to attend, always an assignment that needs doing, which forces me to do my work on the show during the latter half of the week.  Barely enough time to sleep.

Unfortunately, I missed the upload window to have this week's Byte up today.  Instead it'll probably be uploaded on Monday.

Sorry I'm not able to keep up with expectations.  I've gotta figure something out.

Please stay tuned.

Cheers,
Jon

P.S. Here's the link to the latest Byte:

Arby 'n' the Chief S02E05: "Rustled"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Video: "Two Point Zero"/"Horsin' Around"

Yo,

Here are the links to the fourth Byte and the latest story episode (a monster of one, at just over thirty minutes):

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E04: "Horsin' Around"
Arby 'n' the Chief S07E07: "Two Point Zero"

Please leave comments if you can spare the time, particularly on Two Point Zero.  I think it's some of my best work and want to know your thoughts on it.

And thanks again for your patience with the delays.

Cheers,
Jon

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

News: "A Pirate's Life, "Two Point Zero" delay, e-mail of interest

Hey guys,

First, here's the link to the latest Byte, "A Pirate's Life":

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E03: "A Pirate's Life"

Not the most visually stimulating episode, I realize, but I liked the way the script turned out.

Second -- I've gotta push the release of the next story episode, "Two Point Zero", to the 15th of September.  I know, sorry.

I don't want to keep apologizing and risk sounding like a broken record, but I really hate having to do this.

Similar to the case with "Ashes", I was set to release "Two Point Zero" this Saturday and would've done so, had there not been another scheduling conflict at home base.  I tried limiting the chance of the  re-occurrence of this by submitting the script for the episode a week in advance (hence the extra Byte last week), but upon collection of the lines of a remaining critical voice actor early this week it was discovered that he won't be back at work until the week after.

I'm again faced with the decision of either going ahead and producing the episode and cutting the actor's scenes, and thus having to make major adjustments to the episode and the timeline of the season's remainder, or push the release until I can get the voice-overs I need for the show's benefit.  I find the former very unappealing.

So I think I'll be putting out one more Byte this Saturday, then "Two Point Zero" will air on the 15th.  I'll work at making the short extra funny.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but this also works as a bit of a blessing in disguise for me, if I'm being honest.  I've just started my second year of film school and my body's gone somewhat into shock from the shift in my scheduling.  Tired as hell.

On another note, I received an interesting e-mail from a man named Jeff not too long ago following the release of the latest Byte ("A Pirate's Life").  It was lengthy, but his point basically was that, given the stupidity of Master Chief's character that has been seared into the minds of the viewers, I should be careful about presenting two sides of a controversial subject (eg. internet piracy) in the form of an argument between the toys as there's a good chance that one side, Chief's, will be immediately dismissed with little consideration.  "Oh, he's stupid, so despite perhaps having a point, Jon's actually trying to say that we should shake off his opinions".  I think Jeff is absolutely right, and to my pleasure he figured that it wasn't my intention to make a one-sided statement on piracy.  He's also right about that.

I still think of Chief as a stupid character, but not nearly as stupid as he was at the beginning of the series.  I like to think that he has evolved somewhat, and can now hold his own in an argument on occasion (if you ignore the horrendous grammar and spelling).  I no longer consider Arbiter as a complete insert of myself, and I don't consider Chief a representation of everything that I hate and is wrong.  So now when I use the toys to explore a controversial subject, my intention is to shed light on both sides.  In "A Pirate's Life", when Chief asks why it's so ludicrously easy to download if the government doesn't want it happening, that's me talking.

Instead of Arbiter representing the side of right and Chief the side of wrong, as was the case long ago, I like to think that Arbiter represents the Ego and Chief the Id, both with positive and negative attributes.

Anyway, that's all for now.  Sorry again for the balls-up and thank you for your e-mails and support, you're all a very patient and appreciative bunch.

By the way, "Two Point Zero" I think is coming out great so far and I think it'll be enjoyed more than "Ashes", so please stay tuned.

Cheers,
Jon

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E02: "Suspense!"

Hey guys,

The latest Byte, "Suspense!", is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E02: "Suspense!"

This Byte is sort of a parody of the heightened drama of episodic show event recaps and previews.  The recap and preview in this episode are meant to be jokes and won't be recurring or anything.

Also, the next story episode, "Two Point Zero", will be airing on the 8th of September, meaning there'll be one more Byte between then and now.  I've just recently finished the script for it (35-40 pages, another long episode), and I need to give the guy in charge of collecting voice-overs some lead time, I keep putting the poor guy under the wire.  I hope you understand.

Enjoy, and stay tuned!

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E01: "The Great Evil"

Hey guys,

To fill in the gaps between the last half of the story episodes of season seven, I've started a second season of the Bytes mini-series, the first episode of which is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E01: "The Great Evil"

Chief playing the role of an outrageous minister struck me as a funny idea, but I knew it would come at the cost of sparking a religious comment war.  No matter what your beliefs, try to remember that the target of the episode's joke is gaming fanboyism, not religion.  I noticed a handful of people have already pointed it out in the comments, thankfully.

For those that aren't sure, the term "casual" refers to casual gamers, meaning gamers who pick up games designed for the instant gratification of the masses and play them "for fun" (often their words) or to socialize with friends online moreso than mastering the mechanics of the game and building their own skill ("hardcore" gamers).  Chief, as usual, uses the term horribly incorrectly as it is much more fitting for him to be labeled as a casual gamer than Arbiter is.

Thanks,
Jon

Monday, August 13, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E06: "Ashes"

Hello,

Bam, here it is:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E06: "Ashes"

I've read your comments and I'll work at getting my shit together and sticking to my schedule.  Sorry again for the cock-ups.

I'd really appreciate it if you could leave a comment.  Tell me what you liked and what you didn't like, or just leave a couple of words, hearing feedback is what makes all this worthwhile for me.

Also, everybody has my permission to call me a cock muncher in the comments if they so wish, but try not to factor your ill feelings regarding the delay into your critique, if you can.

Hope you enjoy.

Thanks,
Jon


News: Arby today

Hey guys,

I've spoken with those in charge of programming and was told that the newest episode would go up today.  Sorry for making an arse of this.  Keep an eye out for it.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

News: Delay explanation

Hello again,

I noticed a little bit of bad blood brewing in the recent video comments regarding the story episode delays.  A relatively small amount -- most people are being cool about it (though still peeved, I'm sure) -- and I'm aware that the internet has a knack for magnifying bad feelings beyond their proportion, but I dislike annoying people to any extent.  In an attempt to smooth things over, I thought I'd explain myself regarding the longer time between story episodes since season five.

During season five's production, I was cranking out full-length episodes once per week.  Looking back on that time, I'm not quite sure how I pulled it off.  I can justify my current schedule until the cows come home, but regardless I can understand how people would still turn their noses up when they were at one time given a new episode once a week and are now forced to wait five weeks for the next part of the story.

What's the difference between then and now?  The bulk of my days are still dedicated to the show, if you can believe it, but now I'm much better rested.  I was barely sleeping on my old schedule.  My social life at that time was stone-dead.  I barely took the time to eat or shower.  It was quite a pathetic routine from an outsider's perspective, quality of the show aside.  Nowadays I'm also taking the time to hang out with friends that I've made at school.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that, opposed to slipping from a busy schedule to a lazy schedule which I gather is the conclusion many people are reaching (which makes sense), I believe that I'm slipping from an extreme schedule down to a busy (and comfortable) one.

"Still though, five weeks?" I hear you ask.  It's true, for the past couple of weeks I've been dedicating less time than usual to the screenwriting process.  I've been spending the spare time constructing the plot of the remainder of the season -- all work that, unfortunately, isn't immediately beneficial to the viewers, but will be in the long run.

As of today, I now have the vast majority of the plot of the remainder of the seventh season constructed, scene by scene.  I don't know the explicit details of each scene, but I know what must happen in each scene and what the grand purpose of each one is, from now up until the last shot of the finale.  I now feel immensely more comfortable about writing the scripts for the season's remaining episodes than I did a couple of weeks ago, when my plot outline was much more fragmented.

I have every scene logged on a digital index card on my laptop, which include the scene's location, characters involved, and the critical story beats.  I recently bought a massive cork board and placed it up on my wall where my much smaller cork board and my whiteboard were originally (which I used pretty much exclusively to draw cocks).  I'm now in the process of writing out real index cards containing that info and pinning each onto the cork board in an effort to have a complete physical timeline of the whole season.  The purpose of this is to strengthen my ability to structure stories, to build up to major events as organically as I can to make them shocking and satisfying.

Season six I'm more or less happy with, but the one story beat that really bugged me was when the Chaos Theosis members have the opportunity to ban Arbiter and Master Chief in the TOSERS hub server and they don't take it.  They instead indulge the old "Let's kill the good guy later for no reason" routine and it doesn't make much sense.  I included a little bit of exposition in the episode that followed to cover up the bad logic a bit, but I don't think it really took.

That was bad story-building on my part.  I didn't think far enough ahead of the event and had written myself into a corner, and I took the only route I could find at the time to progress with the rest of season six (the remainder of which turned out quite well I think, thank god.  People really seemed to dig the finale).  That was the sort of mistake I didn't want to repeat in season seven.  I wanted to use season seven to discipline myself in that area of story development.

That, unfortunately, comes at the cost of your patience.

You may still think I'm a cock muncher for dragging this out, and that's fine, but I hope that you understand my side of things a little more at least.

As tomorrow is Monday and staff will be returning to the Machinima offices, chances are that the episode will pop up sometime during.

And I'm not sure how Machinima's airing system works exactly, but try not to hate on them.  Hate on me, it's my fuck-up in all likelihood.

Thanks again.

Regards,
Jon

News: Sorry again

Hey,

Really sorry that the new story episode isn't making an appearance, I thought it would have by now.  There's nothing more I can do on my end, I've submitted it and it's up to the programming team to make it available.  Ultimately it's probably my fault, but I've submitted videos a little late on Fridays before and they've made it for air on Saturday -- I don't know what's up.

There's a chance it could still appear this evening, but if it doesn't, it can't be very far off.

Thanks again, guys.

- Jon

P.S. Hope you like the Blog's new look, I needed to change things up for myself.  I was getting sick of the old style.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

News: "Ashes" probably to air tomorrow if not later tonight

Hey guys,

Title says it all.  No more week-long delays on my end -- the newest story episode, "Ashes", is completed and submitted.  I did, however, submit it rather last-minute on Friday evening.  It was a big job (episode is about twenty-one minutes in length), but ultimately the late submission was caused by my own error in time management.  I've had five weeks to work on the damn thing, after all.

So I apologize that the episode has yet to air, but Machinima's programming team does have it and it's only a matter of little time before it's available.  It might be too late in the day now for there to be a chance that it'll be uploaded today, which means it'll probably be uploaded sometime tomorrow.

Thanks again for your patience.

Best,
Jon

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E13: "Growing Pains"

Hey all,

So the finale for the first season of Bytes is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E13: "Growing Pains"

This Byte definitely stands out from the rest and might catch you off-guard at the end of it.  What happens isn't intended to be a regular thing for the shorts, but I wanted to do something a bit different as it was the finale.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for your patience with the story episode delays.

Best,
Jon

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

News: "Ashes to Ashes" delay

Hey guys,

I've hit another speed-bump in production unfortunately and I can't submit the next story episode this upcoming Saturday.  I fully intended to up until an hour ago -- the script is finished at just over thirty pages (and I'm quite pleased with it) and I'm well into production on the episode, but I've been informed that the performer for a major character featured in the episode will be absent from the office for the remainder of the week and the earliest that I can have his voice-over work is on Monday.

I instead plan to release the finale for the first Bytes season this Saturday and save the next story episode for next week.

I realize that waiting five weeks for new episodes is pretty inexcusable.  I'm not sure what else I can do other than make major alterations to the script or push the character in question's scenes until a later episode, but I've done that earlier in the season and I can't really afford to do that anymore.

Really sorry about this, and I hope you aren't too sore about it.  Thanks again for your patience.

Best,
Jon

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E04: "Terminal" Director's Commentary

Hey guys,

Here's the link to my director's commentary on "Terminal":

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E04: "Terminal" Director's Commentary

Sorry again.  Check out the blog post below this for the script/music track download mentioned at the end of the commentary.  I appreciate your patience.

Thanks,
Jon

UPDATE: I've been reading that a few people have been having trouble downloading the script/music ZIP file from the download link that I posted.  Can anybody recommend a non-suck quick file hosting site?  Or has anybody already re-uploaded it to a better one?  I can post that link on here.  Thanks.

Friday, July 27, 2012

News: "Armor Deep"/Story Episode Delay/Director's Commentary/Goodies

Hey all,

First thing -- here's the link to the latest Byte, "Armor Deep":

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E12: "Armor Deep"

Not as deep as the title might suggest, but I thought it turned out alright.  I liked the idea of doing an 80's-style training montage in the vein of Rocky.

Anyway, I'm sorry to ask for more patience on your part as I will be pushing the release of the next story episode for another week.  I need extra time to work on the script for it, it's still a bit of a mess at this point.

So instead of a story episode, for airing tomorrow I've submitted a director's commentary on the fourth episode of the seventh season, "Terminal".  I'll be talking about a lot of things about the show on a broad level though, not just things about that episode -- I chose it because it had the longest run-time.

To say thanks for your patience, I've also created a little zip file with some goodies: a screenplay from one of the bytes, a screenplay from a story episode, and music tracks that I've been working on to use throughout the season.  Keep in mind that I'm by no means a music producer; I realize that it's a whole other realm of artistry that I know little about.  However, I do enjoy dabbling in it, and I like to create simplistic tunes to help sell certain feelings that I'm trying to convey through the scenes that I write, if I can't find a professionally-produced track that I can purchase a license for.  And I know people have been asking for this season's soundtrack as I did the same thing for season six previously, so here it is:

VIRUS.EXE

Alternatively, you can use this less-intimidating download link:

Arby 'n' the Chief Season 07 Goodies

Some of the tracks I think are alright, overly-simplistic as they are.  But that shows you what I know about the field.  I have little doubt that they'll make real music producers facepalm.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E11: "Premium Club"

Hello boys and girls (just kidding, no girls on the internet),

The newest Byte is now available -- a promotional video for Master Chief's latest attempt to extort you all:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E11: "Premium Club"

Remember, join or you're a faggot.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E05: "Heat"

Hello,

The new story episode of Arby 'n' the Chief, "Heat", is here:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E05: "Heat"

I don't mind so much if people don't comment on the Bytes, but I am very curious as to what people think about the story episodes as they take much more time and energy to write and produce.  So if you have the time to spare, please leave a comment.  Tell me what you liked or didn't like.  It'd be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E10: "Sold Out"

Hey guys,

The new Byte is here:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E10: "Sold Out"

Again, as I posted last night, if you're squeamish and found the last shot of "In the Pudding" disgusting, you might want to give this Byte a pass.  It's like, ten times worse.

Try to enjoy.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, June 29, 2012

News: Warning about tomorrow's Byte

Hey guys,

I don't normally do this, but I just wanted to give a heads-up about tomorrow's Byte.  If you thought the last shot of "In the Pudding" was disgusting, you might wanna pass on tomorrow's Byte (titled "Sold Out").  If I thought I was going overboard while writing a scene, why would I keep it in the video, right?  However, the final product ended up coming out considerably more gross than I initially intended it to be during development, if you can believe it.

Maybe that might work in the video's comedic favor?  I'm not sure.  However, I believe the context, as usual, to be key.

I don't mean to condescend, of course.  I realize the net-savvy audiences of today can handle pretty much anything that's thrown at them, for the most part.  Two Girls, One Cup jokes are pretty much mainstream.  But I recall a few comments reading that the last shot of "In the Pudding" made users gag.  That's no good.

That's all.  For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy the Byte tomorrow.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E09: "Divided We Stand"

Hello,

The newest Bytes episode is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E09: "Divided We Stand"

And I don't think I need to remind you what not leaving a comment would do to the state of my jimmies.  Please, think of the jimmies.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E04: "Terminal"

Hello all,

The latest story episode, "Terminal", is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E04: "Terminal"

I apologize that the video has the wrong thumbnail (it has the thumbnail used for the Bytes shorts) and the fact that occasionally the videos are placed in the wrong "season" YouTube lists.  Decisions like that are out of my hands I'm afraid; I just cut the videos together and submit them.  I've just sent an e-mail asking if the error could be corrected.

Either way, if you're a fan of the show you should come here for the correct episode listings.

Please leave a comment if you have the time, even if it's just something small.  I worked really hard on this one and I'd like to read what people have to say.  I'm glad the "likes" are so high but it's not really interesting to look at, there's nothing to absorb from it.

This episode marks the end of the first act of the season, according to my outline anyway.  Others may interpret the pacing of the story differently.

I realize the last scene featuring Master Chief in this episode may confuse people, but I believe all will become clear in episode five.  Something major happens.

Thanks,
Jon

P.S. Chief's scene in the bathroom is my personal nod to Breaking Bad, the most bad-ass show ever and the style of which is a major inspiration for me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

News: Jon Graham Rises From the Dead/Bytes ("In the Pudding", "Number One Fan")

Alright, no more putting this off, gotta get this done.

Here are the links for the two latest Bytes:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E07: "In the Pudding"
Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E08: "Number One Fan"

Regarding the "In the Pudding" Byte, you can all relax.  For the last shot, I certainly didn't swing my fist down on a hand soap dispenser sitting off-camera, raised to the appropriate height atop a small stack of DVD cases, and I definitely didn't replace the banging sound with audio of soaking wet tissue paper lightly splatting on the surface of my desk.  I assure you that I was naked just out of frame and busted an authentic nut.

Truth be told, I hate updating this thing.  Nothing personal, of course -- I always enjoy reading what people have to say about my stuff.  I've just been so busy writing the story episodes and the Bytes that most of the time I can't be arsed to sit down and churn out a blog update, that's all.

Also, I have to admit that the rumor of my death, which I found quite amusing, factored into the absence of a recent update a tiny bit.  I had a childish desire to keep quiet for a little while just to see how much more ridiculous the rumor would get.

I laughed my ass off reading some of my video comments:


"No. Jon died :'("

"Guys, Jon didn't upload a new arby n the chief to machinima and he hasn't updated his blog in a while. Jon died :'( Thumbs this up so ppl can see.
RIP Jon."

":'( saw ur comment man... how did jon die exactly... X:("

"everyone! Jon has died in a car crash while heading home from e3 because of this there will be no more arby n the chief RIP Jon Grahm"

"WHAT JON IS DEAD... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :'O how did he die... I need to know man how...HOW... if it is true... then rip jon... YYYYYYYYYYYYYY X:::::::::::::O"

"R.I.P JON GRAHAM :´( A TRUE FRIEND TO ALL OF US!"


It's comforting to know that, when I actually do die, I'll have you guys to whip up some memorable eulogies for me.  Great job.  Is this what eulogies are eventually going to devolve into?  Strings of repeating letters and symbols and sobbing sad faces?  Thanks, using a string of semi-colons to indicate a flood of tears really captures the feeling of despair.  I'm touched. 

Where do people get this shit?  I wasn't even at E3.  I'm fucking awful in front of the camera and talking to people anyway, watch my E3 stuff from before to see how terrible I am.  They're like live action renditions of Socially Awkward Penguin.  I don't think anybody wants me back there, and I'm personally not really interested in going back either.  Too crowded.  Not as much of a gong show as PAX, but still too populated for me to be very interested.  I'm happy watching game coverage from the comfort of my PC.

Apparently a lawyer sharing my name had died somewhere, and the fact that the guy's name was spelled John (with an "H", unlike mine) wasn't enough to prevent people from confusing the poor fellow with me.

I'm not dead.  I'm twenty-four -- I've still got a good few years left.

Anyway, last thing: I know in my last update I told you I'd try to get the next story episode out a week earlier than usual.  I failed you.

However, when it does come out (this upcoming Saturday), it will be an extended episode.  The script ended up being thirty pages, which roughly translates to twenty-three minutes of video, give or take.  It also consists almost exclusively of live action sequences with the toys in the apartment, save for the last scene.

Please leave comments on the Bytes, hope you enjoy them, and stay tuned!

Thanks,
Jon

P.S.  I really did die in a car crash returning from E3.  My restless spirit is typing this.  I'm like Bruce Willis in the Sixth Sense, I'm just refusing to accept my death and move on to the spirit world.  The only way to appease my spirit and set it free is to leave comments.  'Kay?  'Kay.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E03: "Massive Damage"

Hey-oh,

The newest story episode is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E03: "Massive Damage"

Comments, plex.  If you have the time; even if it's just a few words.

For additional information regarding this episode and episodes to come, please see my previous post.  I hope you like it.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, May 25, 2012

News: Upcoming Episodes

Hey, guys.

So, here's what's up: the next story episode will be available tomorrow -- but it won't be quite as long as I promised earlier, nor will it have the major plot point I initially thought it would.  The reason for this is that when I finally finished the script for it, it turned out to be forty pages.  Since I've been producing episodes so far with scripts consisting of fifteen to twenty pages, it would be absurd to make one episode from a forty page script as opposed to splitting that script into two episodes, which is exactly what I did.

That's not to say that this upcoming episode doesn't have some important plot advancements, just not the "big" one I had initially planned to include (that will now come in the episode after).  And despite not being quite as long as I implied that it would be, it is still the longest of the story episodes so far by a minute or two, so technically I wasn't completely full of it.

The episodes have also been renamed: the one coming tomorrow is called "Massive Damage", and the one that will come after it is called "Terminal" (that one could be subject to an additional change).

I realize that I'm by no means a shining example of professionalism when it comes to this stuff, and I apologize.  However, to make up for this, I will see if I can get the following episode, "Terminal", out a bit quicker than usual.  Maybe just one Byte in between.  I'll let you know how it goes.  I hope you enjoy.

I hope people aren't growing bored of the story season so far and stick with it.  I know it's been a bit of a slow burner, but I'm setting up pay-offs that I think will be quite satisfying.

Thanks for your patience!
Jon

P.S.  Here is the link to last Saturday's Byte, "Blockheads":

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E06: "Blockheads"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Steaks, Taters and Hairy Ticks"/"Ultimate Destiny" Delay

Hey, guys.  So, first thing's first, here's the link for the latest available Byte, "Steaks, Taters and Hairy Ticks".  I'm very pleased with the way this one turned out, probably one of the funniest I've made, in my personal opinion of course.

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E05: "Steaks, Taters and Hairy Ticks"

And the other thing -- I'd like to ask for your patience and would like another week to work on the next story episode, "Ultimate Destiny" (the title is subject to change, too).  In it's place (originally airing this upcoming Saturday), I'd like to produce and air another Byte episode.

I don't like to do this as I feel many people are undecided at this point whether they like this new season so far or not.  Especially since it's in this third episode when things start to get a bit interesting, I think.  The episode following it, for sure.  But I do have a number of reasons.  One, that last Byte, Steaks Taters and Hairy Ticks, took up a good bit of time producing, relatively speaking.  I said from the beginning that the Bytes would be two or three minutes long, so that was basically two Bytes in one.  Second, I'm having a hard time keeping down the length for the third story episode.  I was aiming to have each of them have scripts about fifteen pages in length, and this is already twenty-two and still not quite finished.  So the week after next week you'll have an episode a bit longer than usual, at least.

But I do have another funny Byte lined up, and you guys are digging them, right?  I'm so pleased with the receiption of the last one, I'm glad people liked it.

Hope people aren't too sore about it and stay tuned.  I'll be sure to make the next Byte not suck as much as I can.

Thanks,
Jon

Monday, May 7, 2012

Video/News: Bytes - "Doggy Style"/Mass Effect 3's Ending

SPOILER WARNING: I explain my position on Mass Effect 3's ending in this post, so don't read on if you don't want the game's outcome ruined for you.

Hey guys,

Here's the latest episode of the "Bytes" series of Arby 'n' the Chief shorts, titled "Doggy Style":

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E04: "Doggy Style"

People seem to be enjoying these Bytes and, in general, not regarding them as nuisances between story episodes, and that makes me really happy.  I'm glad people are enjoying this one in particular; I realize it was a little bit of a gamble having the short's punch-line completely obliterate the show's fourth wall.  However, I personally found that the gag too amusing to omit, and I felt that I could get away with it in a Byte since I had said previously that the events within the shorts take place in a universe parallel with the story season's.  I wouldn't do a gag like that in season seven.

I do see, though, that -- based solely on those who have commented -- not many people agree with my position on Mass Effect 3's ending.  That's okay, I wasn't expecting much different, given how controversial the subject is; the controversy is what attracted me to the subject in the first place.

I do believe I'm being misunderstood, though -- and I realize I have nobody to blame but myself for that.  I could have had Arbiter explain his position in much further detail in the short, but then I might as well instead have asked each of you to bang your head off the table corner nearest you as hard and as many times as you can -- it would accomplish the same objective of rendering you comatose, probably a bit faster, and could land you a comfy hospital bed and some free ice cream to boot.

So, what's my opinion on the game's ending, you ask?  I believe that it was poorly executed.

When I first beat the game, I was a tiny bit annoyed with how the ending had unfolded, but I still didn't understand the massive backlash against Bioware.  Not until I was informed by a friend of mine that the other two endings of the game I hadn't yet seen were visually identical to the one I had received, save for the color of the force of energy that consumes the galaxy following your end-of-game decision.  I then understood the disgruntlement of the fans a lot more.

Sure, if you view each ending in conjunction with its context depending on the choice you made, they do imply different fates in the long run for mankind and the other species -- but this isn't enough to help me shake off the fact that the endings, purely from a visual and technical standpoint, are nearly identical.  It feels like a corner that was significantly cut.  It's like cheering on a champion track runner with a speedy, magnificent stride who leaves a blazing trail of fire, then groaning as he becomes too puffed out on the last lap and buzzes up to the finish line on a Segway.

And being a writer myself and given how much difficulty I have with the task, I have a tremendous respect for anybody else who takes it on, so I've become a very forgiving person when it comes to games and movies and stuff.  There's a lot of things I let slide that others probably wouldn't.  So, normally, Mass Effect 3's endings wouldn't bother me nearly as much as they do, if it weren't for the fact that they exist in direct contradiction to how the game was advertised as well as what the entire trilogy is about: making numerous difficult decisions that ultimately shape the outcome of the overarching story.

Even the back of the game's box reads "Groundbreaking interactive storytelling drives the heart-pounding action in which each decision you make could have devastating and deadly consequences".  Well, there's not really any "could" about it; the player is indeed faced with devastating and deadly consequences, regardless of his or her decisions.

Another reason I didn't care for the ending is the plot holes, one of which, of course, being the destruction of the entire Mass Relay network rendering everybody throughout the galaxy stranded wherever they happen to be.  This leaves many species on planets which have no sustenance required for their survival.  I also didn't understand how Joker ended up fleeing the destruction at warp speed, or how the fuck Liara ended up on board the Normandy considering that she was in my squad while fighting in London.  But you've heard all of these before on the many web articles written on this subject.

So whether or not you agree with me, don't think that I don't understand the problems the fans have with the game.  I'm pretty confident that I do.

Then why am I ultimately speaking in Bioware's defense in the short?  Because, given how fantastic I consider the other 95% of the game to be, the flaws of its endings are so apparent and confusing in comparison that it seems obvious to me that they stem from time constraints rather than creative decisions, which is what I have Arbiter say.  I could be wrong, of course.  After all, what do I know?  And I don't say that with any kind of sarcasm, I mean that I really don't know how the development process went down.  I wasn't there, obviously.  But I consider it unlikely that the game's ham-fisted ending was planned from the get-go.  The game's writing team is obviously very talented, why would they make it their objective to fuck up the arc of the trilogy within its last ten minutes?  It seems logical to me that they weren't given the extra time they needed to flesh out a solid ending and so they cobbled together a functioning product to meet their deadline.

Again, I could very well be wrong about that, but if that's indeed the case, then I don't believe Bioware is who should be being attacked.  And I refuse to jump on the hate bandwagon and spit on Bioware after they delivered to me sixty hours of quality gameplay and/or storytelling (I say "and/or" because I wasn't particularly fond of the first Mass Effect's clunky gameplay, but the story was so compelling that I tolerated it).  And I say sixty hours because I'm referring to all three games -- it didn't take me sixty hours to beat Mass Effect 3.

I'd have a beef with Bioware if they deliberately set out to make a poor ending with the intention of pissing off gamers across the entire planet, but that conclusion strikes me as far too retarded to jump to.  Yes, Mass Effect 3's ending peeved me, but I'm convinced that it was business elements that factored into the ending and not creative ones, and if that's the case, there's not much that can really be done unless the companies truly responsible for such elements get their shit together.  The video gaming industry is riddled with problems, but it's only as good as it is.  The world is a lot bigger, uglier and more complex than the living rooms of self-entitled gamers and their Tali/Shepard make-out fantasies in their heads.  I constantly think about things in the context of a much bigger picture, and thus I refuse to act like a little bitch over a poor ending to an absolutely magnificent game well worth my sixty dollars overall.

I am indeed one of those people that believes that gamer entitlement is an ever-increasing problem.  The reason for this is that I believe nobody's entitled to a damn thing in this world.  You could get hit by a bus on your way to your local game retailer to pick up Mass Effect 3.  Would you deserve it?  Probably not, but life doesn't give a flying fuck what you think you deserve.

All sorts of games are plagued with underwhelming endings, and people pay the same price for those games.  Why is it all of a sudden a major problem with Mass Effect 3?  The reason is obviously that Bioware, through some stellar and unmatched work, managed to get a large part of the gaming community very emotionally invested in their series in particular, so it's natural that a poor ending would sting much more.  This harsher sting has resulted in mass hatred of Bioware, which I feel is undeserved considering how much amazing work they performed.

I shall leave you with a video.  If you'd like a better understanding of my overall outlook, check it out:

Louis C.K.: Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E02: "Barbie 'n' the Chief"

Hey all,

The next story episode of Arby 'n' the Chief is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E02: "Barbie 'n' the Chief"

Hope you enjoy, and please take the time, if you have it, to leave a brief comment and say what you liked or didn't like about it, it'd be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Jon

P.S.  Don't search for anything you hear mentioned in this episode, trust me.  I realize everybody's first instinct following my saying this is to immediately search for whatever it is, but don't, seriously.  I also realize I'm just fueling the fire by further steering you from the path, but don't.  'Kay?  'Kay.

P.P.S.  Honestly, just don't, you're better off.  It's disgusting and absolutely inappropriate, it just sucks.

P.P.P.S.  The Guy Fawkes mask isn't in the first shot as some dumb "herp-we-are-legion" statement by the way, I include it because it's there in my room and I feel it represents something in the story of this season.  Not hard to guess what, I wouldn't think.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E03: "Memeland"

Hey guys,

The new Bytes episode is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E03: "Memeland"

Enjoy!

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E02: "Day One Cookies"

Hey guys,

Here's the second episode of the "Bytes" season of shorts, "Day One Cookies," which was scheduled to come out yesterday:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E02: "Day One Cookies"

I also know why it was delayed.  One line of dialogue was removed from the video that aired, in which Chief shouts "There my cookies, faggot!"  (Yes, I'm aware that it should be "they're", it was meant to deflate Chief's argument as usual).  I'm not a big fan of censorship, but I believe this decision was well warranted.  I do make very liberal use of the word "faggot", to the point where it could be (and probably is) considered childish, and I understand the concern not to associate such a negative word with the subliminal subject in the sketch which Chief represents (watch it for yourself and you'll probably see what I mean by that).  I've been using it too often lately anyway.  But I hope everybody knows that I never use the word out of any genuine hatred or homophobia.  As I've had Arbiter say a while ago, it doesn't make sense to me that anybody could be condemned or condemn others for things outside of their control.  I use the word frequently because the communities of online gaming I depict in my subject matter use it so frequently, and I keep feeling the urge to use it purely for the sake of authenticity.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and please leave comments!  Comments, comments, comments.

Thanks,
Jon

P.S.  I ate all the cookies immediately after the shoot and, despite their appearance, them shits was fucking delicious.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

News: Delay

Sorry about the delay, guys.  I was under the impression that the second episode of the "Bytes" season of shorts, "Day One Cookies" was scheduled to air this morning.  I've submitted it, it's just a matter of what programming does with it now.  For all I know, it could be out in a few minutes, or it could be out tomorrow instead.  Please stay tuned.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E01: "Reapers"

Yo,

The seventh season premiere of Arby 'n' the Chief, "Reapers", is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E01: "Reapers"

I know I sound like a broken record saying this over and over, but it seems to make quite a difference every time I do: please leave a comment on the video.  Tell me what you liked about it or what you didn't like.  As I've said, reading what people have to say is one of the few incentives I have to produce the show.

Hope you enjoy.  And stay tuned, crazy things will happen this season.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E01: "Well Hung"

Hey guys,

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E01: "Well Hung"

Here's the link to the first episode of the first season of "Bytes", of which two episodes (one to three minutes long) will air in between the story-driven episodes.  This is not the first story episode.  I believe that's what many thought initially when the video came out yesterday morning and reflexively mashed the "dislike" button until their mice burst into flames.

Also, if you're a follower of Jon CJG on Twitter or Facebook or something or have been communicating with a Jon CJG via e-mail, please take note of my blog post below regarding impostors.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, March 30, 2012

News: Impostors

O hai.

I've been receiving an escalating, and frankly alarming amount of news via e-mail and from people I know in person of people impersonating me online -- through e-mail and instant messaging conversations, Twitter, Facebook and the like.  Most of these impersonators do it merely to draw attention to themselves.  Some do it to exploit people, which really isn't cool.

A few weeks ago I was sent an e-mail by somebody accusing me of the theft of dialogue and plot elements from a story he had supposedly written in private collaboration with both a friend of his and "me" (it wasn't me).  I told the sender that was impossible.  He said he had proof.  I said I'd sure as hell love to see it.  He sent me a number of desktop screenshots which proved a little less than jack shit, but one of the images displayed his e-mail inbox which was filled, quite eerily, from top to bottom from somebody named "Jon Graham".  A couple more of the images revealed the sender's conversations with Bizarro Jon, who was indeed pretending to be me, giving his opinions on "his" own work and offering advice on writing.

I was then sent the story itself that I had supposedly stolen from.  I quickly went through it, and the dialogue in two relatively small sections of it were ripped directly from season six's second last episode, Severance (Kylie's conversation with her bodyguards on Spire, and her and Arbiter facing off on Zealot).

As I clearly remember both where I was when I wrote those scenes and the strain I was under trying to get them written down (which made this news particularly irritating), what must have happened was somebody watched Severance, pasted them into a document and took the time and energy to weave a completely alternate narrative around that pasted material with the intention of either blackmailing me or just pulling my pisser.

The sender of the e-mail also told me that he had been talking with Bizarro Jon frequently for months.  Some of these impersonators are disturbingly dedicated.  I felt bad, but I think a lot of blame lies with the sender for thinking Bizarro Jon's wacky, numbery (and, on my Blog,  unlisted) Yahoo e-mail address was legitimate.

To those people, get a life, seriously -- and I don't even mean that in a colloquial and derogatory way, I mean literally, get your own life.  I'd like to draw your attention to the lack of any sort of reward for drawing attention to yourself when it's completely unearned (besides a little social interaction, in which case go the fuck outside), not to mention the ill reasoning of trying to take the life of somebody who doesn't even have one.

There's currently a Facebook fan page with five thousand or so members which I'm completely unaffiliated with.  It has been under the administration of several users throughout its operation, I believe, and a couple of them have used it to extort people; posing as me claiming that my Xbox is busted and that "I" need donations for a new one to keep the show going.

If any impersonators attempt to extort you like that in any way, that should be your first clue that they're not who they say they are.  I'm never gonna be asking anybody for money or shit like that.

A few people I know in person have been following "me" on Twitter for months.  How surprised they were when I told them I don't even have a Twitter account.

Yes, that's right.  I don't have a Twitter account.  I know some of you may have been following somebody who is supposedly me for some time now, which is going to make it difficult for you to swallow the fact, but it's true.  I don't have one; I never have.  If you're following a Jon CJG on Twitter, it's not me, no matter how much the impostor tells you otherwise (and some unsheath their claws and really fight back if their guise is threatened, desperate to maintain the flow of attention they're getting, and will say anything to convince you).  Tell them to get fucked.

If you're receiving any sort of communication from somebody posing as me and the sending address or account or profile or whatever isn't listed on my Blog, don't believe a fucking word of it.

That's all for now.  Hope you enjoy tomorrow's short.

Thanks,
Jon

P.S.  Haha, just came across a much, much older blog post of mine after writing this one saying how much Twitter sucks, for no reason.  I was such a cockmuncher.  Although I still don't have a Twitter account, but that's only out of laziness.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief: Season 7 Trailer

I really ought to stop putting this shit off.

So, yeah, season seven.  I recently put out a trailer for it, which can be viewed here:

Arby 'n' the Chief: Season 7 Trailer

And while I'm posting links, I forgot to post the link to the last short I made which came out near the end of the sixth season's run.  Here's the link for that:

Arby 'n' the Chief Short #5

I like how that one turned out.

So what can you expect from the seventh season?  Not much improvement in the technical side of things, still working with the same barely-functioning ghetto hardware setup; no high-def content in glorious screen-muddying and migrane-inducing 3D or anything.  What you can expect, however, is improved, tighter writing; funnier gags, more intensity, better character development, and my placing just as much importance on cinematography as I ever have, which I personally think I've always done a decent job on.

I'd like to ask people not to judge this upcoming season solely on the trailer, because I think I suck dick at making trailers.  Please reserve your judgment for when the first episode comes out.  The trailer consists entirely of footage from the first episode, but there's a ton of gags and supporting dialogue that was removed.

I haven't really taken a break since cutting and submitting the season six finale, other than I haven't had to submit any content for the past four weeks.  Pretty much as soon as I put out The Reunion I hit the ground running on the outline for season seven.  I was collecting ideas for it even in the middle of producing season six.  I feel like I've got a decent story at the heart of this new one; that I'm not forcing a story to simply keep the show alive.

While I'm aiming to make this season funnier than the last, it also ventures into much darker territory than before.  This will be a very character-driven season, and largely follow the toys' interaction, physical degradation and corruption.  I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say one thing; don't expect the sugary sort of ending that season six had.

For those who aren't aware of it, here is the season's synopsis:

A few weeks have passed since Greg the spider and the long-lost Cortana found their way back to Master Chief and the Arbiter. Chief and Cortana are constantly at each other's throats and hurling insults and dishes at one another, and -- like Chief -- the Arbiter finally begins to deteriorate and is confronted by his mortality. Meanwhile, a merciless clan of trolls led by Halo addict Eugene Black, and co-moderated by fellow high-schooler Tyler King and homebrew software engineer Colin Hunt, become notorious throughout the network for their offensiveness and cruelty in the relentless pursuit of "the lulz". One fateful night, the Arbiter crosses paths with Eugene online, and a relationship forms that will cause the toys to question their values and embrace their darker selves -- which may eventually lead to their destruction.

And now, for a bit of bad news: story episodes are currently scheduled to air every three weeks, starting on April 7th (yes, not the 4th of July, sorry for the mix-up).  The scripts for the episodes will also be more condensed, resulting in shorter episodes running from ten to fifteen minutes.  I can't do twenty minute episodes every two weeks anymore, sorry.  I've got too much shit to do, and never enough time for myself.

However, I will be using the additional time to focus on the writing of those episodes to make them as entertaining as I can.

I know the trailer makes this new season look like more of the same from season six, but it's going to be building to, in my opinion at least, some pretty wild shit.

In addition, it might also put some at ease to know that I have almost every episode roughly outlined already, and I already know what the final scene and final camera shot of the season's last episode will be.  I'm really trying my best to make this season worth sticking with until the last second.

No promises, but I will consider adjusting the season's production schedule and releasing the story episodes more frequently later on, providing that I find the time to spare.

So, yes, the story episodes are currently scheduled for release every three weeks, and in between those episodes I plan to release more Arby 'n' the Chief shorts in the form of a new season subtitled "Bytes".  These shorts will be two or three minutes long and revolve around the same characters, but within a parallel universe.

I'm also playing with the idea of doing another "viewer mail" string of shorts, but instead of the toys reading out mail, they'd play recorded voice messages from fans and answer their questions.  Let me know via comments or e-mail if you're in support of the idea.  I know Hypermail was very hit-and-miss among the fanbase, so I'm really not sure.

I also can't help but feel disappointed in the view count for the trailer so far, but I guess that's my own fault for being too much of a lazy shit to update this blog.  Oh well.  I hope it picks up and people stick with the show and enjoy it, 'cause I'm feeling pretty good about this season.

And if you're one of those people with an overwhelming desire to see me "let this show die already", as if I'm Ed Harris in The Abyss and the show is the drowned Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, I'd like to remind you that the internet's a big place with plenty of detours towards content you might find more suitable to your needs.

Thanks guys, and stay tuned.

- Jon

P.S.  Then a skeleton pooped out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

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032412

- Jon

Monday, February 20, 2012

News: Aftermath

Hey, dudes.

Just back from a weekend's hibernation and feeling alright again.  You can tell how much the edit for The Reunion fried me in the fact that the oh-so-ominous countdown timer miraculously jumps from ten minutes to twelve minutes.  I raged so fucking hard when I caught the error the next morning that I poured myself a second bowl of Cheerios.  Completely neutralizes the tension and makes the scene retarded, so I'm sorry about that.

I try to produce the show as if it were to be broadcast on television, that's the quality I aim for (other than resolution of course, for more practical reasons.  I mean more in terms of shooting and editing); but that really clashes with the fact that I work almost entirely solo, there's an infinitely larger margin for error.  When I mess up, it really stands out.

But hiccups aside, for the most part, people seem to be really digging the finale, and I'm really happy about that.

I know the episode fucks you in the face with exposition, poor planning on my part.  I'll try and be more clever about it in the content to come.

One issue I've noticed is that some people are upset by Cortana's return, due to the fact that in season three it was established that Cortana, Todd and Travis were abducted by a homosexual alien (which looked suspiciously like my chin upside-down with little paper eyes) and carried aboard its ship millions of lightyears into outer space.  The alien, having no interest in women, proceeded to shoot Cortana into the center of a sun and then ass-rape Todd and Travis endlessly from that point on.

A few of these people that are upset by the plot hole seem quite up in arms about it, claiming that I've done a major "disservice" in butchering the timeline for fans of the early seasons.  Seriously, guys?  I mean I'm sorry if it really is disturbing for you, but I think it's obvious that that particular plot point was a joke for the most part, and was written before I started taking the timeline very seriously.  At that point in time, Arby 'n' the Chief wasn't much more than strings of cock gags.  Without intending to offend fans of the show, in my opinion the show didn't start getting substantial until the latter half of season four.

In fact, from my perspective, I felt I was doing you guys a service by disregarding such a ridiculous event and instead tweaking the timeline in order to ground Cortana's absence and return in a much more acceptable way, particularly in the relation to the tone of the sixth season up to that point.  Not to mention that I find the humor of the show is so much more effective if the characters, environment and events are treated with as much authenticity as possible.

I can only take that so far though, it's obviously implausible for a toy spider to crawl across the city and mail himself back in a box, and for the delivery man not to ask questions about Master Chief and the Arbiter's voices and the fact that they refuse to open the door, but, all things considered, I think the suspension of disbelief is at an acceptable level.

Obviously, it's only a small portion of the viewer base that has any major problems with the episode so far apparently.  I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thank you very much for your hits, likes, comments and e-mails, as well as allowing me to let the show grow in its current direction.  I believe it to be best.

Is this the end?  We'll see.  A bad habit I have is speaking early about things, and then failing to meet expectations.  I need to work on that, and speak about things when I know for sure they're happening.  I don't know what's ahead quite yet, but please stay tuned.

I also finally have some time to myself now, which feels so, so nice.  The end of the season has coincidentally fallen on the start of my school's reading break, so now I can perhaps finish off Dark Souls as well as work on some side projects.  I posted a small excerpt from a Sonic the Hedgehog script I was working on some time ago, and I'm still working on that.  Some might be interested in the fact that I'm working on a full half-hour spec script for the pilot of a Sonic cartoon series, but I'm not expecting that to actually happen.  I'm just writing it for practice and personal enjoyment.  I'll probably put it up on here when I get it finished, let you guys read it over if you want.

Thanks for watching!
Jon

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S06E13: "The Reunion"

Hey gang,

Phew.  Here it is.

Arby 'n' the Chief S06E13: "The Reunion"

Enjoy.  And please leave comments!  Make my grueling sleep-deprived week worthwhile!

Thanks,
Jon

News: Finale should be airing today

Hey guys,

So I've literally just finished up the finale.  Excluding the time it took to write the 52 page script (ended up being much longer than I initially planned), I've been working on production of the video for the entirety of this past week, and the last two days have been all-nighters.  I am so fucking fried, man.

It has a 35-minute runtime, and has just been sent to Machinima.com, who should have it before 10:30 AM today.  It's another question though whether it's still going to air at that time, and if there's going to be somebody at the offices to get it in the YouTube programming queue, with it being Saturday and all.  There have been people in the past that have uploaded my last-second submissions, so I'm assuming it'll be okay, but expect a delay of a couple of hours at least.  It might not even air today, but I'm hoping that's not the case.  But who knows, it might actually air exactly when it's supposed to (though it's unlikely).  My point is expect a slight delay at least.

I hope that paragraph made sense, I can't self-edit right now, I'm too exhausted.  I need to sleep.

Keep an eye out for the finale, and I hope you enjoy it when it airs.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, February 10, 2012

News: Finale delay

Sorry to do this again, guys.

I thought I'd have the time this past week to finish the finale, but I haven't.  I'm just finishing up the script now, which will be about forty-two pages once it's done.  And that's after I had cut a few scenes out of it.  It's a biggie, about a third of a feature film in terms of script length.

I will, however, be producing another short for air this Saturday.  I hope that doesn't instill too many groans in people, but I do think it's pretty funny.  Haters can hate but give me some credit, I don't entirely leave you out to dry.

I've had about nine hours sleep for the past three days, I'm so chocolate fudging tired.  :(

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S06E12: "Severance" Director's Commentary

Hey guys,

The director's commentary for "Severance" is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief S06E12: "Severance" Director's Commentary

Sorry.  Please stay tuned, the finale's coming.

Thanks,
Jon

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

News: Finale delay, submission links

Hey all,

Here are the latest video submissions:

Arby 'n' the Chief Short #4
Arby 'n' the Chief - Hypermail S01E13

Sorry again for the lack of updates.  Work is starting to pick up for me again at school and sleeplessness is beginning to crawl its way back into my nights.

Which is also the reason that I have a bit of bad news for you: the release of Arby 'n' the Chief's sixth season finale will be delayed, airing not on the 4th but on the following weekend, on the 11th.  On the 4th I'll instead be releasing another director's commentary, this one for the twelfth episode, "Severance."

I know, sorry.

It's not from a lack of trying, though.  I'm working at it, I'm twenty-six pages into the episode's script, but I still have a couple more scenes to write and I need more time.  And with this being the finale and all, I'd rather not half-ass it.

Thank you for your patience, and I'll try to make the commentary entertaining.  I know that's impossible with my monotone voice, but I'll attempt the feat nonetheless.  And remember, if anybody offers you robot porn, just say no.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S06E12: "Severance"

Hey guys,

It's been a while but the newest story episode, "Severance," is now here:

Arby 'n' the Chief S06E12: "Severance"

Like I said in my previous post, I believe this is one of my best episodes to date.  Very action packed.

There is an issue with it I didn't notice until later on, however -- the way the shots are cut when Kylie's bodyguards are introduced establishes which voices belong to each player, but at some point in the editing I got mixed up and switched the voices belonging to the bodyguards.  The character voiced by Ian speaks first so we cut to his avatar first, but afterwards it starts cutting to the other guy every time Ian speaks.  I hope it isn't too noticeable or confusing.

I can also see why people might be a little annoyed with a certain plot point in this episode.  All I ask is that you perhaps reserve judgment until the final episode, there's still a couple of surprises in store.

And comments, comments, comments.  Please leave them.  I want to hear what everyone thinks!

Thanks,
Jon

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief New Year's Special 2011/Behind the Scenes Part 2

Hey all,

Here are my latest submissions:

Arby 'n' the Chief: New Year's Special 2011
Arby 'n' the Chief - Behind the Scenes: Part 2

Sorry again for the delay.  I've been hard at work on the next story episode, Severance, which is finished and should air around 10:30 AM today.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and thanks to the extended period of time I had to work on it, I believe it's one of my best episodes to date.  There's a lot that happens.  I hope everyone's pleased with the unfolding of events.

Thanks,
Jon