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Joseph Scarbrough launched what he called "The Scarblog" as a way of cataloging his work over the years, as well as going into greater detail of things on his mind (known as "Unfinished Thoughts").

Monday, June 17, 2019

Steve to Have His Second Live Stream Aug 9

In spite of the minor technical difficult that was experienced the last time we attempted a live stream with Steve (the matter of Facebook chat comments not working in real time), we're attempt a second live stream with Steve again this August, since it will be his fifteenth anniversary live stream!

Here's Steve's big announcement:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

MORON LEAGUE, SEQUEL!: The 10th Anniversary

When I finished and uploaded my very first YouTube video in December of 2007, I honestly expected it to garner a lot of hate, given how incredibly shoddy it was, not to mention it was basically a parody of (and a tribute to) a rather popular show from my generation's childhood . . . I didn't think that it would not only end up garnering over 20,000 views (which was a big deal, way back when), but that it actually became popular, and that people actually wanted more. It seems only fair to give the people what they want, doesn't it? After a couple of months of putting it together, May 30, 2009 saw the release of the anticipated MORON LEAGUE, SEQUEL!

The sequel was undoubtedly less shoddy than its predecessor, but like its predecessor, it clearly has not aged well. At all. Then again, you have to keep in mind, this was during a time where the tools that I had to work with were even more limited. Although I was just finally beginning to get a grip on Movie Maker by this time (which I have, thankfully, moved on to Adobe Premiere Pro since then), there was still the matter of actually shooting this thing, and happily, this ended up being my very last videotaped production: like the first entry, shooting on videotape meant having to shoot the whole thing in-sequence/in-order, in a linear method, before the entire footage could be digitized for the Internet.

It's not so easy to munk yourself.
Unlike the first entry, however, I did not also perform this live as I was shooting, because I really couldn't. Luckily, by this time, I had downloaded and installed Audacity for sound recording and mixing, so rather than do the voices while shooting, I could record and mix the entire soundtrack for the production separately and sync it up with the video footage in post[-production] (which ended up being something I had to do with almost every production of mine up after this, up until I got Adobe Premiere). The biggest challenge was having to do a squeaky voice for the sequel's guest star, Brittany Miller of The Chipettes. The technique of doing squeaky chipmunk voices pioneered by Bagdasarian Productions, the company that owns the Alvin and The Chipmunks franchise, seems simple enough: record your dialogue at half-speed, then speed it up afterward, creating the familiar squeaky sound that The Chipmunks and Chipettes are known for. Turns out, it's actually not quite that simple, nor as easy as it seems . . . granted, they had decades to perfect this craft to make the characters' voices, inflections, mannerisms, and tones sound natural and believable . . . when I attempted it for this short, it resulted in an unintentionally stilted, disjointed, and robotic sound, much like The Chipmunks infamously had in their earliest years from the late 50s and even into the early 80s.

This was probably my first production where I really had to approach the project from more of an actual film making perspective. Unlike the previous entry, or even most of my Steve D'Monster videos up until this point, more work went into the shooting besides just simply framing shots - this was a(n ever-so-slightly) bigger production featuring a larger cast of characters of varying sizes, which meant more attention was paid to things such as composition: the use of foreground and background space, angles, and focus, among other things. While the composition, as well as the overall cinematography wasn't really that spectacular (the fact that several shots and sequences evidently lacked a tripod to keep the camera steady), it's something that I've put more effort and attention into ever since . . . I like to think that I've improved quite a bit since then; especially since I've gotten an HD camera.

Just some of the "incredible" sets that were put together
The main thing I wanted to avoid this time was having this entry be another straight-forward parody of the source material that inspired it, ACTION LEAGUE, NOW! - instead, this entry featured actual settings and scenery . . . albeit very, very cheaply done. So much so, in fact, that a majority of the Downtown Scarburg street that opens the entry was simply a Fisher-Price SESAME STREET play set, with only one other additional building constructed specifically for the street - out of cardboard, no less. Another major set in this entry was a cave that three Yoshi's were keeping Brittany in: all of this was just crumbled up brown paper set up for cave walls, and rocks scattered around the shooting area. Brilliant, huh? This is another reason why this hasn't aged well at all, but I really wanted to put the characters into an actual world they would fit into (in more ways than one) and not just repeat doing another ACTION LEAGUE, NOW! parody; this is a tradition I'm continuing even into the current production of MORON LEAGUE 4 (which, I promise you, will have much better-looking, detailed, intricate settings than the previous two entries).

Sorry, Yoshis. Our princess is in another cave.
As far as the overall story goes . . . I think this was even more random, non-sensical, and off-the-cuff than the original! Perhaps not entirely off-the-cuff. I don't quite remember after all of these years, but I'm fairly certain when I did the original entry, that I practically just made it up as I went along . . . this time, however, I at least had inspiration, if you can call it that. I had been watching Let's Plays of different Super Mario games on YouTube, which also lead to watching Let's Plays of Yoshi games, such as YOSHI'S ISLAND and YOSHI'S STORY . . . somehow or other, this apparently inspired the plot of having my BD&A Yoshi beanies (just Green, Red, and Yellow, because I never was able to find Blue) "save" who they believe to be a princess for Mario; but, as the Nerdlucks point out, Brittany is no princess (though Brittany says she totally should be).

And, of course, MORON LEAGUE, SEQUEL! carried on the tradition of being shot in the animation/puppetry hybrid style developed for ACTION LEAGUE, NOW!, Chuckimation, so it was really ramped up in this one; so much so, that crashing the Moron Airship became a running gag.
Where did these guys learn to drive, anyway?
Unfortunately, this entry did not get a proper ending scene. In 2009, YouTube still had a rather strict 10-minute time limit on almost all video uploads, and this entry - completed as is - almost clocked in at exactly ten minutes. An ending scene was planned, but ultimately never coordinated and shot, in which the Nerdlucks get into Brittany's concert for free for saving her, but as she's performing, they can't stop talking shop about how successful their mission was, disrupting the concert for others, and getting thrown out of the venue as a result. More than likely, I would have used an actual Chipettes song for the concert (probably "Diamond Dolls" since it's a personal favorite of mine), which would probably result in the entire video receiving a copyright claim from Bagdasarian Productions for the use of the song, thus removing it from YouTube - so, it's probably best that the ending was never included either way.

There you have it; the story behind MORON LEAGUE, SEQUEL!, on this day of its tenth anniversary. Of course, you can see it for yourself anytime on YouTube, but you might want to take a moment to watch it today:

Friday, April 5, 2019

CelebrityTube

Kickstarter seemed like a really good idea from its inception: a way of allowing ordinary people and average joes out there to raise funding for whatever projects they're working on bringing to the mass population - whether that project was a film to be produced, a book to be published, or even card games for charity - if the campaigns sounded promising, backers could donate however much amount they wanted to, and help those who launched said campaigns raise the funds they needed to make their projects a reality. Then guess what happened? Celebrities ruined it. The likes of Zach Braff, Kristen Bell, Spike Lee, and other celebrities began taking to Kickstarter for their newest projects, and people across the internet were not happy about it. Why? Simple: Kickstarter was launched for average joes needing funding for their projects, so of course well-known celebrities are going to earn more money for their Kickstarter campaigns, because potential backers know who they are, and are more likely to contribute to their campaigns than the unknown joes out there. Plus, celebrities like them already have more money than probably any ordinary person who launches Kickstarter campaigns even have in their bank accounts - they're at a point in their lives where they should be donating money their money, not asking for more . . . or, at the very least, that's what the backlash over celebrities using Kickstarter is.

Now, we are experiencing a deja vu: more and more celebrities are beginning to flock to YouTube. You know what? This obviously isn't the first time I've written rants about YouTube on Scarblog before . . . in fact, I have quite a few of them, as you can see:


All of this continues to be a problem for little guys on YouTube, for certain, but in addition to all of this, the fact that already-famous celebrities - some of them big-time A-listers at that - are now flocking to YouTube is making the problem even worse. Kevin Hart is one of the most prominent comedians of our time, he's had TV specials and movies . . . so why does he need to be making YouTube videos where he engages in sports with other celebrities like Anna Kendrick or Kourtney Kardashian? Will Smith has a decades-spanning career, from his humble beginnings as rapper-turned-TV-star Fresh Prince, to being one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood . . . so why does he need to be a YouTuber? Mayim Bialik is a huge television star thanks to being a regular castmember on one of the worst shows ever produced, THE BIG BANG THEORY . . . so why does she need to vlog about divorce or house cleaning? And those are just three specific examples of big-time celebrities now flocking to YouTube; even more have followed suit recently, such as Jeanette McCurdy, otherwise known as the Sam half of the failed Nickelodeon series SAM & CAT.

But like the Kickstarter fiasco, this is further ruining YouTube for the little guys who have been trying to use it as a platform to share their creativity and originality, and gain exposure for what they create, when they otherwise might go unnoticed . . . and with everything I've ever previously written about, now topped with this, the little guys are virtually going unnoticed on YouTube. The little guys are virtually non-existent on YouTube, and it's all because of this: people aren't seeking out originality or new things on YouTube, they're going to check out what these celebrities have to say, or what the big partner channels are vlogging about - things they're already familiar with.

YouTube as it was originally created is now virtually completely dead. There's pretty much absolutely no point for the little guys to even keep trying to express themselves and their creativity on YouTube anymore, because nobody is even going to see it. In all the eleven years I've been producing content for YouTube - whether it's Steve D'Monster's antics, MORON LEAGUE, or other specials or shorts - I have never had to struggle to find and maintain an audience until Google took over and allowed all of the above-mentioned things to happen; my best and most rewarding years were from my beginnings in the tail-end of 2007, up through 2009 - back when YouTube really was just that: YouTube; not BigPartnerTube, not CelebrityTube, YouTube.

This would be the equivilent of film festivals across the world deciding to start shooing out the indie filmmakers with their shoe-string budget shorts, and instead host Hollywood blockbusters with A-list casts.


STOP KILLING THE LITTLE GUYS!!

EDIT: Now Ryan Reynolds has jumped on board this gravy train. Look, I know he was once a little guy himself: he started out appearing in a bunch of indie and made-for-TV movies, and gradually had to work his way up into becoming the mainstream, A-lister he is now (DEADPOOL probably did more for him than anything) . . . but the fact is he's been a mainstream A-lister for a number of years now, and again, YouTube is not the place for such big-time celebrities: if you want to make videos about your work on DETECTIVE PIKACHU, save 'em for the DVD release as bonus features.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Online Premiere of SNOWTH & NOODLE!

Due to the overwhelmingly popular demand, today marks the online premiere of the brand new children's musical adventure series from Scarbrough, SNOWTH & NOODLE!

SNOWTH & NOODLE follows the exploits of music and adventure-loving pals, Snowth and Noodle, as well as their Tiny Poodle Schmoodle, who live in the town of Moodle, and must battle the Evil Zoodle who attempts to rob all the town of its boodle. The big-budgeted, full-scale production features endearing characters in a lush, hyper-realistic British world, and your children are sure to love sitting on the edge of their seats as the follow along for a wild ride full of suspense, thrills, and lavish musical numbers!

Be sure to subscribe to the Joseph Scarbrough YouTube channel so you'll never miss the adventures of SNOWTH & NOODLE; news episodes premiere every Monday at 6:00pm EST/5:00pm CST!


Thursday, February 14, 2019

You Can't Force Someone to Fall in Love

This is probably the most off-topic and also the most dead-dog serious Scarblog entry I have ever written, but this has, frightfully, become such a hot-button issue in our country these days that I feel it necessary to address it from my own perspective, and share my story and experience . . . after all, today is Valentine's Day, and what better time to address the topic of being in love?

In recent years, there's been an rise in incidents involving young men (and, arguably, boys) going berserk when a girl they are obsessively fawning over reject them, turn them down, and want nothing to do with them. The real frightening thing is in many of these cases, the boys will respond by bringing harm upon the girls for rejecting them: some boys harass and stalk the girls, some boys bring about physical and/or sexual harm to the girls . . . and in some cases have even killed the girls. What's even more frightening is that in most of these scenarios, the boys felt their actions were justifiable, and worse still is that a lot of them were enabled by their own parents, guardians, friends, or whoever had influence over them to take such actions; I know there was at least one scenario in particular, where a boy stalked a fast food cashier on social media, and when he tried to ask her out in person, the girl told the manager, who had the boy arrested by the police . . . after the boy's father bailed him out, the father actually had the gall to suggest the girl couldn't recognize affection and that she wasn't good enough for his son because of it.

Growing up, I would get crushes on girls I went to school with from time to time; that's normal for just about everybody. Always the cycle was the same: if the girl found out I had a crush on her, she would immediately hate my guts for it and avoid me at all costs, then that would "cure" me of the crush, and life would go on. The last time I found myself have a crush on a classmate was during my high school years, and by this time I had learned my lesson: I never spoke to her. At all. Of course, if you've been following Scarblog - or my work in general - you'd know that Steve D'Monster's gal pal, Bethany Crystal, was named after her (again, same first name, different gem for the last). At the same time, I personally was never interested in the dating scene; I never really thought I needed a girlfriend, nor was I interested in going out with a number of them in some sort of an elimination process to find what I'm looking for in a girlfriend . . . and I certainly could do without the typical drama that tends to come with relationships, like crazy, jealous exes, or anything like that. Conversely, I have also been open to the idea there might be someone out there for me . . . and if there is, I'd just as soon find that someone, and that be the only relationship I ever have to concern myself with, even though I never thought I would ever actually fall in love.

And then I fell in love.

Having never actually been in love before, the feelings were completely new and alien to me - it was nothing like having an innocent crush on some cute girl from science class, this was far more intense than that. So intense in fact that I could hardly handle it . . . mainly, because I didn't know how to handle it. Pardon my French, but the only way I describe the feeling of being in love with somebody is an absolute mindfuck. The feeling of being in love absolutely consumed me, it was all I could think about day and night, and it messed with me like nothing I could have ever imagined - it clouded my judgement, rationale, and senses. . . . Top that off with deep internal conflict, my heart and head were constantly at odds: my head knew there were too many factors that would have made a relationship incredibly difficult, implausible, and impractical . . . but my heart refused to accept any of this; it was a wonder those nice young in their clean white coats didn't come to take me away, ha-ha. I was an absolute mess. It also didn't help that my love went unrequited, as I would watch from afar while the girl I loved went through one sour relationship after another. I knew I needed to say something, and the very few close friends I confided in knew I needed to say something, but I also didn't want to rock the boat and make waves . . . I didn't want to make any big sudden moves and say anything until I felt like the time was right. And when I felt that time finally came, the outcome was both expected and unexpected. The unexpected part being that she had me figured out all along - that absolutely floored me, my jaw almost hit my lap! The expected part was that she did not return my feelings - even she knew what my head knew what my heart would not accept . . . and now it had no choice but to accept it.

Truth be told, I wasn't surprised by the response (except for having been figured out all along), though I was a little hurt and even heartbroken. I said what I needed to say, I got my answer, and that was that. I didn't go on a rampage, hunt her down, stalk her, beat her to a pulp, or open fire; I took the answer I was given, and that was the end of it. And you know what? Nobody had to tell me this. Nobody had to explain any of this to me. I just knew that you can't force somebody to fall in love - it's unrealistic, senseless, and I would have been a fool to think or act otherwise . . . my judgement and senses may have been clouded by love, but they weren't clouded enough for me to know that when somebody says no, the answer is no, and there's nothing to do about it.

Why am I sharing this deeply personal story from my life (and knowing nobody is going to read it anyway)? I feel the need to speak out about this, as I have the misfortune of being part the generation known as "Millennials." Yes, despite being nearly thirty (as of this writing), born at the tail-end of the 80s, grew up in the 90s, I'm actually lumped into the same group who are considered by society to be lazy, spoiled, and entitled kids (one of the main reasons for my great disdain for this label) - and it's those lazy, spoiled, and entitled kids who are committing all of these absolutely henious and horrific acts against these innocent girls whose only crime was rejecting the boys who were lusting after them - some of them even paying with their lives. What bothers me as well is I don't believe many of these Millennial boys even have any actual clue what it means to really be in love with somebody, let alone a real grasp of the concept of romantic love and meaningful, longterm relationships. Or, maybe they do, but like me, the experience of being in love is a mindfuck for them as well . . . but unlike me, they're probably undisciplined and irrational enough to lose their minds and snap like this . . . again, even though such thoughts and actions never entered my mind, I still felt like I probably needed to be committed at one point or another. Still, there's a problem, and I know part of it is young people today, in many cases, actually are spoiled and entitled - they can't or won't take no for answer. As noted above, part of the problem is also other people enabling this kind of behavior, encouraging them to continue to pursue and/or go after those who told them no in the first place; that isn't right, and it shouldn't be the message we send to the younger generation. Young women shouldn't have to face the possibility of a bullet to the face for saying no to a young man who wants to go out with her, and young men should be able to accept rejection with unwavering maturity. Yes, rejection hurts, but the hurt passes; it's not the end of the world, and the world must go on.

That's my touching little love story on this Valentine's Day. As for myself, I look back on the experience and am amazed I didn't do anything irrational or crazy . . . but thankfully, I have since moved on, and am pretty much back in the same mentality I was before: I still have a lack of interest in dating or looking for someone, though I also don't particularly feel as strongly as I once did about the idea that there may actually be someone out there for me - though it's hardly a concern of mine anyway. As for other love sick Millennials . . . somebody needs to knock them down a peg . . . or ten.