Good News And Bad News

Several days ago I had a major software crash. No permanent damage to the software or my laptop, but I lost more than two weeks of work on my latest machinima project. As both a writer and a pathological talker, I find myself utterly without words to express my level of frustration. The sets, the characters, the animations. . .just gone. Corrupted file, irretrievable data.

What really sucked about the ordeal is that I did have a backup file. I almost always do. But whatever it was that caused the corruption had been saved into it, too, therefore–like the original file–it would no longer open. Lesson learned? Save in stages. Make backup copies of a project at every step of the way. This takes up a lot of space on the hard drive, so use an external storage device if necessary. But back up in duplicate. In triplicate. And make a fresh backup every time you add something new to the scene.

I’ve almost recovered now, both psychologically and in terms of progress. But it was a setback I didn’t need. Authors waiting for their trailers have been very patient with me. Voice actors eager for another credit to put in their portfolio have been patient with me, also. But everyone has a limit. I fervently hope I don’t learn where anyone’s is because of this.

On to brighter news: many of you know I’ve gotten involved with a snowballing movement called “The Independent Author Project.” This is a coalition of independent authors (those not represented by agents or publishing houses) who are determined to level the playing field when it comes to marketing and sales. I won’t go into all the details here, as they are clearly defined on the main website. The Independent Author Project

Everyone is welcome to join—traditionally published or self—but the focus is and always will be helping the independent writer achieve success. Various skills germane to editing, publishing, and marketing are offered for exchange or for a fee, and strong emphasis will be placed on elevating the reputation of indie books in general. This will require a shift of attitude on the part of many independents as well as a very focused, very driven effort to improve quality and put forth the best product possible.

One thing some indies are doing to create interest in the movement and promote their own books is a raffle and giveaway. You can find more information about it here . This site shows you the books offered as prizes and tells you a little more about the purpose of the giveaway. I’m a little surprised there isn’t more information about the books themselves or their authors. Still, a free prize is a free prize.

Happy raffling!


4 responses to “Good News And Bad News

  1. I know how you feel. I had a harddrive crash once and lost 80% of a film I was working on. Learned very quickly to have an external drive as a backup.

    As for your writing, I love the stories you come up with. Just wish more authors would set their stories to film (either themselves or by contracting someone to do it). I love reading but being able to visualize something lends more depth to a story. Placing a prop or character in a certain place or position can say more than 1000 words can.

  2. CRAIG!!!! Omigosh. . .I had no idea you follow my blog. (Mouth drops open and jaw just hangs there.) I want you to know that you have just officially made my day. And then some!

    I nearly died when I realized what I’d lost. I’ve been chomping at the bit to finish the Nibelung project, but I have stretched myself sooooo thin that a setback like this one is just devastating. Turns out I’ll actually have a better scene because of this–I went ahead and bought some low poly avatars for Edith and Francene’s crowd scene (their book trailer for Wind Over Troubled Waters) and I will be able to use them for the Nibelung machinima, too. So in the end it’s all good, but man–that feeling when you realize you’ll never get into the scene you just spent two weeks developing. . .thank God I didn’t lose all the custom content, too.

    For everyone reading these comments who might not know, “Harb40” is one of the most influential and well-known artists in the machimima community. He hosts a rockin’ competition every year, and many of its winners (and other entrants) go on to compete in the Machinima Expo. He has an audience with Sony, Reallusion, and many other companies and is able to procure prize packages for the winners that are ten–twenty–times better than any I’ve ever seen advertised for a literary contest. I am a huge fan and supporter. Craig, thank you so much for commenting to let me know you’re here, and for the kind words. 🙂

    And as a quick postscript, I do believe we’ll start seeing more and more book trailers (animated and live-action) as well as other dramatizations of novels in the near future. Maybe even motion-graphic novels. Wouldn’t that be cool?

  3. I have seen a few people experiment with the motion-graphic novels and other forms, like Kate Fosk (kkffoo) and Shirley Martin (squirrelygirl). One of the better directors from the old TMO (The Movies Online) days turned his attentions to graphic novels. Although those are great, I still think animated or even live action trailers for books and stories would help the authors out quite a bit.

    As for your very kind words about me, I disagree that I am that influential but, thank you. I do my best to help others in the community either continue their hobby with better tools or persue their dreams of venturing beyond the amatuer status and work in the game design or film industires. I do it becasue it feels good and I can give back to all those who helped me out by viewing my films and lending voice talents and advice.

    I would love to run a storytelling contest involving film, graphic novels and other mediums alongside the Passion Competition. I might look into that if I can find the time.

  4. I knew. . .just absolutely KNEW. . .you were going to get all modest about the things I said. Don’t listen to him, folks! He is indeed everything I accuse him of being. LOL!

    I agree with every point you made in the above post, down to the letter. And the concept of book trailers does indeed seem to be taking hold. I definitely want to do my part in making it the industry standard for every novel to have one. I’m completely enamored with the idea of bringing novels to the screen even if they’re never turned into feature-length Hollywood films. We have so many visual tools at our disposal these days. . .the possibilities are endless.

    As far as running a sister contest, please know that I’m available to help facilitate this in any way. The nature of a “storytelling” contest creates significant overlap into areas where I might actually have a little influence myself. 😉 Just off the top of my head I can think of several authors/filmmakers who might wish to enter, and I can certainly cross-promote the contest in communities that might not hear of it otherwise. Just my two cents, but I think it’s a great idea!

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