High School's kind of a dumb thing (2024)

Well. All two (maybe three) of you that will read this. I am finished with High School. And while I said I swore off of animating in my last news post (almost a year ago), I have animated once again. Not because I wanted to, mind you, because it was necessary.

Anyway, not that I am out of high school and no longer need to do grade-based flash bullcrap, I really won't be touching flash to make movies, unless i suddenly get really good at drawing. It's just a huge hassle every time.

This last video, here, Reach for the Sky, was the final product of our senior project. The product fell preposterously short. The process, however, was, for the most part, a success.

Last summer, Sam and I decided that a good idea for a senior project would be a 15-minute long sci-fi flash animation. We really couldn't think of anything beyond that. I just knew I wanted a stretchy character. Anyway, we presented the idea to Cody, our dedicated "idea-thinker".

The next day, he had a main character, a whole cast of bad guys, several space ship designs, and little planetoid colony designs. We continued brainstorming from there.

Eventually we had a story outline, and we realized to make this video look GOOD, we'd have to recruit a bunch (read: at least a couple) of people to help us out. The problem was that the three of us were the only people in our school (of about 200) who knew ANYTHING about Flash. So we decided the main part of our senior project (basically, a little more than the first half) would be to get a group of students together and teach a class. Hell yeah, suck it.

So basically we tried teaching a weekly after-school class, but interest began fading FAST. So we had to come up with some other plan. Our school has this stupid thing throughout January that they call "J-term", where basically you get a break form school but you still have to go to school every day. We usually just refer to it as "a big waste of time". However, we were able to get permission from the school staff to teach a half-day class every day for the month. We wrote up a basic curriculum and then I went off to do a 1-month internship at a radio station and had a blast.

Sam and Cody were in charge of teaching the curriculum alongside two real tteachers who were teacing a completely different subject. It blew, apparently. Everyone could tween, and insert sound, but beyond that, most of the class really just didn't care.

There were two kids, though, that wanted to keep on helping us out, and their names were AJ and Adrion. AJ went on to teach himself some crazy actionscript coding stuff, and Adrion went a little nuts about the possibilities Flash offered.

So we got our lines recorded, and I began dividing them up, and passing scenes around, all while trying to manage them attempting to create some art style that everyone was supposed to try to mimic, all while being yanked around by nearly every teacher in the school over 3 separate OTHER projects whose deadlines were very VERY close to ours. On top of that, we were promised we'd have time during school where twice a week for an hour and a half at a time where all five of the team members could sit down and animate. We never got that time.

Eventually, our project became far too overwhelming for our "students" and they had to drop out of the project. We tried to push on, but there were so many outside forces bogging us downthat we were only able to move at a snails pace.

Finally we decided screw it, we're going to cut this down to a trailer, and then THAT got cut down. Our final product is the trailer that you see has been uploaded today.

There were really two of us who were interested in Flash, and we managed to bring two Freshmen up to our level of Flash "prowess", thus giving them a headstart. Hopefully, they'll make a bigger impact on our four-year-old school with Flash than we did. Either way, it was a crazy process, mostly thanks to our school's inability to manage time. Ah well.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why predetermined deadlines are pretty dumb most of the time.

Anyway, as far as the future goes, I'll be uploading a few audio-only scenes from Reach for the Sky to the Audio Portal over the next few days. I just uploaded two today.

I've bought my own microphone, a Blue Yeti. It's a fantastic little device. Expect something after I get the RFTS scenes uploaded.

Other than that, I've got a few little tiny projects in mind, and I'm looking to collaborate with others in the future. If you're looking for a voice actor, you know where to find me.

Until next time.

- Matt

High School's kind of a dumb thing (2024)


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