Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Heroes Of Commerce

Oh man, not blogging for a while feels weird! I miss this! I miss you guys! You know what I don't miss? Asian-character-based spam comments! What's up with that stuff? I'm being hit with it like crazy! Anyways, that's for me to worry about. In the meantime, some updates for ya:

1) In case you haven't noticed, my blog has undergone a pretty significant redesign! What does everyone think? I'm pretty excited about it. And yeah, even though I haven't post anything in the past few weeks, I did actually a blog-post worthy amount of time (probably moreso actually) tweaking the blogger upgrade to my liking. Too many options makes for an indecisive blogger.

2) The spec script I mentioned that I'd be working on in my last post is coming along nicely. I actually wrote two outlines for two different episodes, and I'm about 75% of the way through writing the first one. Harder than it sounds, believe it or not. I pictured sitting in my room typing on my laptop for about 20 seconds followed by a moment where I realize I've been transported into a room from the show with all my characters, where they speak their lines totally in tune with my imagination, and I watch an exciting plot - MY exciting plot! - unfold before my eyes until I'm brought back into my room and I see the script completed before my eyes. That did NOT happen.

3) I'm employed again, which is truly fantastic news.

4) I had a fit of COUPON MADNESS the other day. Now, while I'm normally a pretty thrifty person (my wallet, Timberlands, and one of belts are all at least 10 years old and showing it, and I wear or keep each of those things on me regularly) I don't usually play the coupon game. But early last week I saw this post on Kotaku for a deal on Blur (a new MarioKart-esque racer) and it got me VERY excited:

"Best Buy and Kmart have Blur marked down to $39.99 from June 20 to June 26. Combine with the $20 off manufacturer's coupon ([www.blurgamepromotion.com]) for a $19.99 copy of Blur. Combine with Best Buy's Reward Zone $10 off Blur coupon (also available on June 20.) for a $9.99 copy of Blur."

A $59.99 game, less than a month old, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed the Multiplayer Beta for and was planning on buying at some point? Hells yeah! So I went online, printed the manufacturer's coupon for $20 off, the Reward Zone coupon for $10 off, and I ran to the nearest Best Buy to find the last $39.99 discounted copy in stock and I walked over to the register with my nervous, sweaty fingers crossed. It seemed to good to be true. Plus, all the coupons had warnings like 'NOT TO BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER' written on them, so it seemed unlikely to work. Except it did!

Huzzah! $12.65, down from $65.31 (with tax) - that's over 80% off for a game less than a month old!

Maybe you don't buy games a lot. Maybe right now you're going "ok Matt, you saved approximately $52.66, I make that much in the time it takes me to read this blog entry." First of all, it's called modesty, and you should really learn some. Secondly, it was less about the price and more about feeling like I was getting away with murder, getting a deal that good. So if you're having a hard time empathizing with me here, imagine that you've murdered somebody - by accident or not, it's irrelevant in this scenario - and you just found you've gotten away with it, scot-free! Pretty amazing, right?

So yeah, that was exciting. Apparently more exciting than actually playing the game, since I haven't done that yet. I've been too busy hunting down more coupons and deals. I'm hooked! Anyone find an iPhone 4 for 80%+ off?

Well, time to get back to work. I'll be posting again soon - probably after Fireworks Day and my trip to Great Adventure tomorrow, which will almost certainly be good times. If anything goes wrong though - expect to see a post about it. Or an obituary, I suppose.


Currently Playing - Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, which you see pictures of above and below. Such a fun game - a great, interactive battle system, a vibrant, playful world to explore (including both the inside and outside of King of Koopas), and some legitimately hilarious story and dialog, which is almost as rare as SAVING OVER 80% ON A BRAND NEW VIDEO GAME!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scripted TV Comedy Writing 101

When I was a kid I loved writing out elaborate plots for my Legos, Thundercats, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (sometimes all involved in the same storyline). I probably spent more time setting up these ridiculous stories than I did actually enacting them - which usually involved all the toys standing around and discussing who was going to defeat who, a journey across the entire living room, kitchen and bathroom leading eventually to a climactic battle in my bedroom, and then some brief action figure on action figure fisticuffs that inevitably ended in Snarf dying. Not just because Snarf was lame and deserved to be killed off (something the actual producers of the show never realized, but maybe they will now), but because I understood compelling drama.

I've started to work on my aforementioned spec script for Community, and it's been great so far, though I still have plenty more to go. In following these instructions step by step, I've found myself really getting into breaking down each of the character's relationships to each other, as well as noticing little things like how many scenes a B story takes to full resolve - like Troy realizing he's the 'Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind'   (edit, just kidding, I've been told it's actually Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting - do'h!) - of plumbers. Or how character arcs resolve themselves in an episode but also don't to allow for future issues to be exploited. I'm also excited to start inserting my own personal experiences from college, which for better or for worse was a truly fascinating time of my life.

Apologies in advance if the blogging slows to a crawl over the next few weeks (its exciting, and then of course very sad to see blog traffic spike and then slowly fade away to nothing with every post). Just know that I'm still writing, just on something not entirely public for once.

Wish me luck!