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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, August 11, 2014

Top 5 Failed and Unrealized Projects

I'm sure a lot of creators will tell you they have a number of different projects that they were unable to get off the ground for one reason or another. With myself on the other hand, it honestly seems like virtually every other project that I come up with seem to never come to fruition - either that, or I only get so far, and some kind of complications arise, resulting in the project ultimately being shelved. I can't even begin to tell you the frustrations and the headaches that come with trying hard to create something, put it out there, and then it turns out it was all for naught, but it's even more aggrivating when it seems like it just keeps happening over and over again in some kind of a vicious cycle; and it has happened all throughout my so-called career.

This post is a countdown of five of what are, arguably, some of my more ambitious and elaborate projects - or projects that have had some significance to my creative streak - but were not meant to be.

During my high school years, one of the electives that I chose was Flash animation (back in the Macromedia days, before the Adobe buy-out/takeover, when Flash wasn't the norm in the animation industry), mainly because I've always loved to draw, and I've had a history of doing comics and cartoons all throughout my childhood; Flash animation sounded like a great elective to take. I had two years of Flash: my sophomore year, and my senior year - my first year of Flash really only covered the basics, but I really took to it quickly (for the record, that year, I did three little mini ED, EDD N EDDY animations). My second year of Flash was a lot more involved, as we really delved deeper into creative processes for cartoons, including storyboards, character designs, script writing, etc. For my animation project, I decided to revive a concept I had since middle school: a humorous little sci-fi short about a planet of super evolved space bunnies.
To backtrack, Video Production was an elective I took in middle school, and we worked on a variety of different projects, ranging from just basic slideshows, to taping and editing the footage in iMovie, and claymation; following NICK & ZUSE [sic] (a claymation short I helped a classmate with), I decided I wanted to do a claymation short of my own, and this was the idea I came up with. I don't quite remember why it never happened (it may have been lack of supplies available, I'm not entirely sure), but during my second year of Flash, I resurrected the idea and ran with it.

This was my class project for that year, and I did end up working on the short for just about the entire school year, but something happened: burn out. At the time, I was also still doing my own comic strips on a regular basis, between that and the grind of working on this animated short (and a bout of depression, anxiety, and paranoia brought on by governmental acne medication - another story for another day), I had it. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to stop. I got as far as I did with BUN for the school year (and I did get graded for it), but after graduation, I swore off cartoons forever (VAMPIRE GIRL is a special case of an exception): I just didn't have the patience for it.

The reason why this is at the bottom of the list is because, all things considered, it is mostly finished, just not completely; in fact, you can view what has been completed of the short on YouTube:
This is actually a film project that I just shelved a few months ago. So, what is this all about, then? Well, those of you who know me know that I've moved a lot growing up, and for some reason, I had this wild idea of doing a "road movie" where I drive around town, and document all the different places I've lived over the years. Why I thought this was such a great idea, I have no idea, and looking back on it in retrospect, it really doesn't even make any sense to me why.

The reasons why this project ended up getting shelved are... well, pretty ridiculous: the weather would not cooperate with me. There, I said it; the weather would not cooperate with me. In my opening introduction (which is among the only footage I actually got filmed), I say that I took a day for myself to do this... however, realistically, it would have taken more than one day to film all that I had to. I wanted cloudy weather. Not rain, not thunderstorms, just cloud cover. There's two reasons why: 1) For my own personal preference; I actually like cloudy days, I find them to be soothing and relaxing, and I'm not particularly a fan of driving, so if the weather is cloudy, that would certainly help keep my nerves calm; 2) With the camera I use, sunny conditions would not be ideal: driving around, sun shining through the windshield would certainly cause unwanted glare, and depending on the angle, the sunlight would wash out the picture. So basically for two months, the weather was either completely sunny, or completely rainy (and the few just plain ol' cloudy days there were were on days when I was busy with other things to do). Finally, I was fed up, and scrapped the idea.
Notes and outline for ANYWHERE YOU LIVE IS HOME. The road movie was to also include musical time lapse sequences for lengthy drives throughout the communities of Knoxville.
This is also further down on my list, mainly because, as I say, I honestly don't even know why I thought this was a good idea. Nobody would want to watch this anyway.

#3. Untitled Ella the Elf Christmas special

You know what recently occured to me? Ella the Elf is a lot like Corporal Klinger in a way: on M*A*S*H, Klinger was intended to be a one-shot character, yet became part of the show's regular cast for all eleven seasons. It's kind of the same with Ella: she was only intended to be a one-shot character for STEVE'S INEFFICIENT CHRISTMAS (itself would probably fit on this list, but it doesn't need to be, you are familiar with it by now), then a year later, she suddenly popped up again in the entry, "Jingle Jangle All the Way," in which her jet pack conks out at Steve's place, and needs to fix it to continue on her flight route.
So, what's the deal with this special, then? Well, I was once in discussions about bringing STEVE D'MONSTER & COMPANY to television, and during those discussions, the offer was presented that I could also do holiday specials, if I wanted to. I toyed with the idea, and thought perhaps Ella could carry a special of her own - since she's already been established as Santa's Head Elf In Charge Of Stuff, I thought the basic plot would involve how she actually got the job in the first place (long story short, the previous Head Elf In Charge Of Stuff retired, and Santa hired Ella for her efficiency, work ethic, determination, and seriousness).
Other elves conceived for the special, each the head of their own separate departments at Santa's Headquarters
The biggest problem, however, was no matter how much I worked on the story, the whole thing just screamed trite and cliched: Ella gets the job, she lets her new position go to her head, she has a little power trip that causes the other elves to walk out on her, she has to learn her lesson about teamwork, and they all must work it out before Santa has to leave for his Christmas Eve flight. As quick as the idea sprang up, that's how quick I decided this special really didn't need to happen, so it never saw the light of day.

#2. Untitled Steve D'Monster anniversary special.

Yep. Here it is, 2014, it's Steve D'Monster's tenth anniversary, as you may have already heard. Wouldn't it be great if there was a special we could exploit from all of this? My thinking was to have a mock celebrity roast special, with Bethany Crystal as the Mistress of Ceremony (or, would that be Monstress of Ceremony?), and a retrospect, ranging from clips of Steve's early days at ETPBS, to fan-favorites of Steve's YouTube series (including specific clip selections from MONSTROCITY NEWS entries and Steve's 2012 presidential campaign), and, of course, Steve's hosting duties for PUPPET POWER. Maybe even have Steve do a couple of show-stopping numbers. Wouldn't that have been an awesome special? But, alas, twas not meant to be.

#1. Anything. You name it.

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