Thursday, December 24, 2009

News: Some videos, holiday cheer

'Sup.

Machinima put a little Arby 'n' the Chief sketch that I wrote for them that can be viewed here.

People think I'm "psychic" because of the Arbiter's line "ten bucks says this video will cause a heated religious debate in the comments underneath."  I'm not psychic.  I'm just good at predicting human behaviour.

It was supposed to be a funny observation and get people NOT to get into a heated religious debate, but that's people for you.  Some people will always find a way to unleash their wrath on each other.

Also, Hard Justice S2: Episode 12 is available and can be viewed here.

By the way, there's not gonna be a Christmas special or anything, contrary to what I once thought.  All I'm doing over the holidays is some script writing for the future episodes of Arby 'n' the Chief in LA.  Sorry if you were expecting something.

 Merry Christmas!
Jon

P.S.  Check this out.  It's awesome.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

News: New Hard Justice on its way

Hey,

So I'm currently halfway through the production of Hard Justice S2: Episode 12.  The finale is here.  I consider episodes 12 and 13 (coming later) to be two parts of one finale.

Season two of Hard Justice failed pretty hard in the middle/last third, collapsed on its ass mainly due to piss-poor story structure.

However, I've always had a very good vision of what the finale was going to be ever since the first episode of season two.  This upcoming episode, episode 12, is what I consider to be the best episode of Hard Justice I've done yet.  Shit really hits the fan, and it's very action heavy.

Episode 13 I plan to make just as compelling, except it will be very dialogue heavy instead.

So yeah, stay tuned for episode 12 this Saturday.  If you gave up on the show halfway through this season, I don't blame you, but if you've ever even remotely enjoyed the show at all, give this episode a shot.  It's one I'm actually proud of.

Oh, and watch the end credits.  About a third of the way in I put the coolest music ever.  Personally, it reminds me of Sonic CD.

Thanks,
Jon

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

News: Writing for ANTC

Hey.

So yeah, as I said before, Arby 'n' the Chief is now in the hands of a new production team, but I'm going to be in charge of the writing and voicework (not the subtitling though), and over the past couple of weeks I've really been working at creating a compelling season outline for the remaining 10 episodes of this new season (13 in total, first 3 are already out but don't follow a season outline), and that means following the formula for story structure as close as I can.  An inciting incident, the turning point, the midpoint, the low point, the climax and the plot twist, all a lot harder to lay out than people think.

I've also written a little Arby 'n' the Chief sketch for Machinima.com's upcoming mini Christmas montage, probably no more than thirty seconds that you might get a kick out of.

For the upcoming fourth episode and each one after, I'm also working with the production team via e-mail to get it as close to the original show as possible each time.  Don't think I haven't caught on to the millions of little things wrong with the first three.  You'll probably notice a big difference in the fourth episode, most noticeably a slower pace and a 24FPS cinematic film framerate.

Also, this new outline will be introducing some new characters (hopefully), so stay tuned.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: One Life Remaining S1: Episode 7

Yo,

Episode 7 of One Life Remaining's first season is available and can be viewed here.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, December 5, 2009

News: Arby 'n' the Chief: in LA S1E03

Episode three of Arby 'n' the Chief: in LA is out, and can be viewed here.  All I've done for this one is the writing and a little advice with the editing, though the script itself was a bit rushed as I was asked to whip it up in an evening for a quick shoot the next day, before I really had a chance to develop a story outline for a season.

I'm not going to regularly link to these in my list as I'm still not quite satisfied with the way they're turning out.  I notice a million little problems in it, even though that makes me sound like a turd who thinks fucking "Arby 'n' the Chief" of all things was an untouchable masterpiece (it's not).  But it at least my older episodes had some humble charm in it.  This one... not so much.

I thought the script would save it kind of, but it really doesn't.  A script is only half of what a film needs (obviously).  The script dictates what is said, and the filmmaking determines how it is said, and both are equally important.  One without the other is a failure.  That's why you can never have a good series without both a good script and a decent production.  All the great ones had both, like Seinfeld.  Not only was it superbly written but it had the right minds working behind and in front of the cameras who had incredible, bubbling chemistry - Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, if just one of those people were taken out of the mix the show would collapse.  It's all a delicate balance.  Like I said a while ago, you just have to cross your fingers sometimes when it comes to filmmaking.

Like that one Seinfeld episode where they see the pilot they wrote airing on NBC, with alternate George, Elaine and Kramer with the butler sentenced to clean Jerry's house.  If Seinfeld had that cast instead, would you have laughed as much?  Less laughs = less ratings = less success, the example has nothing to do with the writing.

Not that I'm claiming I know shit about working a camera, but I do believe I had a little knack for it to make my stuff stand out.

However, the improvement does not end here.  It's my job to executive produce and write this entire season, and I will be working with Machinima.com to improve each episode one after another in an effort to match the original feel, so feel free to stay tuned for the fourth episode to see if there's any improvement.

Thanks,
Jon

Thursday, December 3, 2009

News: More stuff, Arby 'n' the Chief production info

Yo,

Today alone, I've received a ton of e-mails of concern and sympathy from fans regarding my last, lengthy blog entry, and I found that really touching.  I don't have the time to respond to them all, so I figured I'd respond to them all at once here.  I've read each one, and I'd like to thank you for taking the time to type out what you all had to say (some of you really went all-out).  To those that relate that have a similar condition who found some hope and/or comfort from what I had to say, I'm really glad.

Also, regarding Arby 'n' the Chief in LA, since I couldn't make it to the US, I will not be filming or directly... directing... the show.

I will, however, be handling all the writing and the voices.

So here's the deal I worked out with Machinima: I took over the story creation aspect, and I'm creating a season outline for the show.  I'm also handling the writing of each script.  Not only that, but I'm also handling the synthetic voices of the Arbiter and Master Chief (many of you must have noticed how the voices in the first two ANTC in LA episodes sounded fucked).

When I am done with the script and the voices for an episode, I send it to Machinima, and a film crew handles the production.  Filming, editing, subtitles, music, credits, all that shit.

After that, I will be given a rough cut, basically their version of a finished product, that I will examine and hand back with notes on how to tweak it (for example, if a certain scene needs to be a few seconds longer or shorter, if there needs to be a longer or shorter pause in a conversation, if a particular scene needs to be re-shot, etc).

Once the film crew and I are happy on both ends, the finished product will be released on YouTube.

So hopefully, this will mean a dramatic increase in quality in the coming episodes starting from the upcoming third episode, and will come extremely close, if not match the show you've all known and loved (or hated).

So yeah, for some of you, that should be some great news.  I will be the writer and executive producer of the show now.

I have to say I'm looking forward to it, too.  Not having the production side of shit to do, I can focus much more on the writing and try to make it as funny as I can and not get bogged down and worn out from overwork.

Stay tuned, and thanks again for your kind words!

Thanks,
Jon

P.S. I made the blog text larger, as requested by some of you.  Don't forget that you can also hold CTRL and roll your mouse wheel up and down to manually change the text size on the blog, or for any web page for that matter.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

News: About me, and other stuff!

Hey.

You may have noticed there's a stunning lack of creativity in the titles of my blog entries.  I hate having to come up with witty little titles for every one of these, especially since I'm trying to update this blog a lot more frequently now and actually make it worth visiting for a change.

Regarding my last post about my experience at Vancouver International Airport with US Homeland Security, I've been getting numerous heartwarming e-mails from Americans feeling for me and hoping I don't hate them.  I don't hate Americans at all.  I hate stupidity.  It's just unfortunate that many Americans seem to fall into that category of stupidity -- but don't worry, you cool Americans know who you are, and I love you.  You're great.

There's not really a central purpose for this entry, or probably every entry from now on, other than to get a few little things off my chest.

Hard Justice sucks, seriously.  I mean, there's a few episodes here and there I'm proud of, but seriously, looking back on it, it's such shit.  Most of the reason lies in the fact that I'm given so little time to plan out an interesting season's worth of events and develop the major plot points of the episodes that make up that season.  Before season two of Hard Justice started, I had most of the season's events summarized and I figured when the time came when I actually had to write the episodes following those events, I'd come up with some clever shit, but that really just didn't happen.  I'm now stuck with the events I previously planned and I've just gotta plow through 'till the end with mediocrity because I didn't do a good enough job planning.  Thankfully it's almost over, and I have a few good ideas for the last episodes that'll make them worth a watch.

One Life Remaining I'm pretty proud of so far, I think I've showcased some of my best writing on it.  It's also very much from the heart, as I base Anthony's character and the scenarios he's placed in very much on my own life.  Things that happen to him have more than likely happened to me.

It's just a shame that it's all done in Halo, really.  Even in the comments for the episodes, I noticed some people are curious as to why the show isn't a live action show, and they're right; I think it should be, and it would be much more effective.  However, the fact of the matter is, I work for Machinima.com, which consists of... drumroll... machinima.  Plus, machinima is just flat-out a lot easier to produce than live action.  It's a quick and efficient way to tell a story.

A lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration.  I'll tell you, but it's nothing magnificent.  In fact, it's rather grim.  All my life I've lived with depression -- and not "boo hoo I'm depressed pay attention to me" depression, I mean "near-suicidal punching holes in the walls in tears" depression.  Most of the time it's tolerable, but there's some days where it's fucking horrible.  It has gradually made me a very pessimistic and cynical person, which, on the tiny bright side, has helped me develop an ability to find humor in just about anything, because without laughter, I'd have probably shot myself by now.  That, combined with my above-average English skills, has made me a half-decent writer, and my quite literally constant daydreaming growing up developed an ability to visualize great and dramatic camera angles, which explains my cinematographic skills.  Sounds kind of lame, but growing up (especially throughout school), I'd always daydream and imagine myself as some kind of superhero, saving the day or saving whoever girl I had a big crush on at the time, and so on, kind of like the TV show Doug where Doug imagines himself as a superhero saving Patty Mayonaisse from Godzilla or whatever the fuck, except I'd take it a step further, imagining an entire feature length film's worth of scenarios.  It's a bit childish and embarrassing, but there you have it.

Depression is very misunderstood.  Personally, I think people who don't have it have no idea how bad it really is, and it makes me uncomfortable to talk about it among my peers because I'm afriad they'll come to the conclusion that "I'm just a pussy" or I'm just not "sucking it up" enough.  Sitting alone in silence can be a depressive's worst enemy -- thinking about every single moment you've been embarrassed or wrong, feeling like you're being taken advantage of, except magnified many, many times, to the point where things going on around you are drowned out by bubbling, screaming despair and rage until the only thing that can get rid of it is breaking something with your fist.  So I always try to keep myself occupied and do my best to turn it in my favor, writing down shit that really pisses me off and deriving humor from it, which has led to most of my success.

I used to drink in an attempt to get rid of it.  Heavily.  Jack Daniels, unmixed, straight from the big bottle.  Did more harm than good; it's not something I recommend.  However, doing nothing made me punch a cupboard door off of its hinges one night, so I was on anti-depressants for a while, Cipralex to be specific, 20mg, but it made me feel dizzy every morning and sometimes like throwing up.  The side-effects of the drug were also ridiculous, and due to an eventual hatred for the horribly corrupt pharmaceutical industry, I eventually weened myself off of them.

I then began taking something else that so far, has done an incredible job of keeping my depression at bay.  I'm not really comfortable with saying because I'm not quite sure of the implications it can have if it's laid out in the open, but let's just say I'm glad there's a reason Vancouver is nicknamed "Vansterdam".

I am NOT condoning the use of drugs in general.  I'm merely announcing my methods of handling a bad mental condition.

So yeah, for those wondering how I am where I am now, I hope you've gained some valuable insight, and if you think you've got what it takes to do what I do, fucking go for it, at least give it a shot.  The world sucks balls and writing can be a great job and a creative outlet than can make you happy.  As a joke, I might often say that I hate kids' shitty machinima, but the truth is, I have a great appreciation for kids' willingness to tell a story to entertain others, there's something about that that's really, really cool to me.  It's how I started out too, so I'm really bashing myself whenever I joke about it.

I gotta get some sleep, so I think I'll leave things there for now.

Also, you may have noticed the blog has been revamped and cleaned up a bit.  Hope it looks cool and it's easy on the eyes.  I'm not sure if the text is too small on other people's computers, but if it is, someone drop me an e-mail and I'll get it fixed up.

That's another thing, I hope you don't get offended if I don't respond to your e-mail.  The truth is, I don't respond to like 80% of them.  Sounds bad, but I just fuckin' don't have the time.  I'm sure some of you know how it is.  However, I do read each and every one.  If you have ever e-mailed me, your voice has been heard, so at least know that.

A lot of the e-mails I get though are just flat-out stupid as fuck, which is why I don't respond to those ones at all in particular.

So yeah, to all fellow depressives out there, stay strong, you're not alone, and for the rest visiting here, thanks much for checking out my shit and supporting me one way or another, I greatly appreciate it, even though it seems like I don't most of the time.  I do.  High five.

Peace,
Jon

Monday, November 30, 2009

News: Change of plans!

Hey.

As I said in my previous blog entry, I was supposed to fly to Los Angeles today to help a small film crew film the third episode of Arby 'n' the Chief in LA.  That's not the case anymore as I was refused entry to the United States and questioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for three solid hours, all because I didn't have a work permit.  As a Canadian citizen, I am not allowed to work on U.S. soil and, quote, "take the job of an American citizen" (translation: terk their jerbs).

...Which is fundamentally retarded as that's exactly what I do working from home in Vancouver anyway, so it's legal to do what I do where I am, but once I'm in the same country as my employer, then it's illegal.  Awesome world we live in.

As soon as I told Homeland Security that it was a business trip, I was flagged and directed to the "deep examination" room, told repeatedly to sit down and to stand back up and answer questions for a sworn statement.  Three fucking hours.  I've never raged so hard in my life.

Unfortunately, if you don't want to get arrested, you have no choice but to bend over and take it in the ass from these people.  There I was, sitting with other poor, inconvenienced travelers, waiting for the all-clear.  A wheelchair-bound British woman was also sent to the same area, and she was in tears because she missed her flight due to the fact that she was flagged by customs agents.  She was then "consoled" by an immigration officer; the conversation went like this:

Woman: (sobbing)
Officer: Ma'am?  Ma'am?  Do you want the privilege of entering the United States of America?
Woman: (wiping tears away) What?
Officer: I said, do you want the privilege of entering the United States of America?
Woman: Of course, I'm supposed to be meeting my family in Tampa--
Officer: Then you need to calm down.
Woman: But I've missed my flight because of this!
Officer: That is irrelevant.

There's an official title for such officers: cocksucker.  Specifically, one that swallows.

It was fucking heart-breaking.  It was like Children of Men Lite.  Nice to know the direction in which the world is headed.  Won't be long now before we're all Clive Owen, evading the authorities.

It always seems to be U.S. immigration officers too that are the assholes, I never have as many problems with Canadian officers.  Fucking pricks getting off on power trips, strutting around with their handcuffs and mace like they're hot shit.  News flash, Homeland Security: everyone you talk down to at the airport thinks you're a total fucking shit-eating faggot.  Think about that next time you head home after a hard day's power trip and masturbate furiously.

George Carlin said it best, God rest his soul: airport security serves no purpose other than to make stupid white people feel safe.

So yeah, I don't really know what's happening now, but when I know, I'll try and make an update.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video: Hard Justice S2: Episode 11

Yo.

Hard Justice S2: Episode 11 is now available and can be viewed here.

Yes, I know there's an error in the credits; a time and location text overlay appears during the end credits and I realized it was there as soon as I submitted it, I know it's unprofessional and it looks like shit, which is annoying considering the last minute of this episode is some of my favorite work I've done so far.  So yeah, to all those Sherlocks out there, it's there, it's lame, I know it's there, so there's no need to e-mail me (I've had a couple already).  We've already got a Sherlock Holmes this Christmas, Robert Downey Jr.  We don't need another one.

Thanks,
Jon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

News: Helping produce next episode of Arby 'n' the Chief: In LA

Yo.

Guess what I get to do?!

Thanks to the fantastic reviews that the premiere episodes of Arby 'n' the Chief: In LA have been getting, I have to travel all the way to Los Angeles next week and help them produce the third episode in order to give the new crew a running start.

FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

This will probably mean that I'll be writing and directing, and sitting with the editor making sure it's cut right, etc.

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say exactly how I feel about having to do this, but you might have an idea.  So yeah, now you'll know what to expect in the coming weeks.  New Hard Justice this Saturday, gotta fly out pretty much right after that, and the third episode of Arby 'n' the Chief: In LA will come out... whenever it usually comes out, I don't even know.  So hopefully it'll be worth checking out if I can save it, and hopefully the crew will pick up on how to do the show successfully after this episode.

After THAT is the Christmas holidays, so I'll probably end up doing another mini two-part Christmas special again, so yeah.

Thanks,
Jon

P.S. Keep in mind that I still do not consider the show mine anymore, my job is just to assist with this one episode and hope that the new crew can take it from there afterwards.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

News: Bunch of updates and shit

Hey guys.

I myself don't think much of my blog, just a higgledy-piggledy collection of links and lately I haven't been going out of my way to update it, and to those people that actually frequently check this place for updates because they find something entertaining about it only to find nothing, I apologize.

What got me thinking about that was reading all the comments on Machinima.com's premiere episodes of "Arby 'n' the Chief: in LA", most of them defending me, which most people probably wouldn't be doing if they didn't actually see my blog update stating my non-affiliation with the show.  Thanks for that.  As for my opinion on the new show, I don't want to be dissing the company I work for, but I'm sure most of you guys have a pretty good idea.

Not that the Arby 'n' the Chief thing is like a prized possession of mine that I'm scared to hand off, as if it was my child, I really just don't give a shit.  They were an amusing method of getting my voice heard and saying some shit I thought was funny, and that's it, really.  There's plenty of different ways of offering the same thing.

I'm not really sure what's gonna happen once I finish this One Life Remaining series and this latest Hard Justice series, maybe there'll be another one of each if Machinima want them; otherwise, I'm not sure.  Preferrably I'd like to have just a straight writing job, no production, as it's such a pain in my asshole now.

Sure, a job where you work from home and make your own hours sure has it's perks, but once I finish a script, it's tedious as fuck.  First, you tend to want to "lessen" what's in your script when you know you're gonna have to build it all and act it out as well, then after that, I have to build the Forge sets, plug in four controllers, move all the players slowly and carefully for hours and hours, going straight into Theatre, looking around with the camera, getting every shot just right, making mistakes over and over again, always having to rewind...  Argh.  Then when I get all the game footage onto the computer I have to fucking trim it all and shit, cut it exactly right, clean the sound, add the music, the text, every week.

I mean, whenever it gets overly tedious, I only have to take five minutes to remind myself what the alternative is: working retail in the electronics department of a large store, blabbering on and ringing in items mindlessly, stripped of my individuality for a paycheck that I would blow entirely on video games and other dumb shit that kept me sane throughout the job and high school.  Then the work tends to become a bit more bearable.

Back to what's coming, more than likely there'll at least be a second season of One Life Remaining.  Nothing guaranteed, but that's probably what's gonna happen.  I still have a wealth of fresh ideas for One Life Remaining.  Hard Justice, not so much, hence it's decline in season 2 so far.

I'm not sure if it's heartwrenching to hear an author diss his own fiction that you might enjoy, but I hope you're cool with that, it's just how I roll, you know?  I'm usually never pleased with anything I do (other than a few gems), and if I have a problem with something I've done, then I think other people should know about it, know what's going through the mind of the author.

Tragically, any time I write something I'm proud of, I just go, "Well, that's it.  I probably won't write anything this funny ever again."  Every.  Fucking.  Time.  It's an irritating feeling, and I'm almost always wrong about it thanks to last minute inspiration.  It's stressful.  Not that I'm comparing the stress to the level of suffering from panic attacks, but the writing process is metaphorically similar to suffering a panic attack every week and each time, thinking "This is it, I really AM going to die this time."

I think one of the keys to writing is having a fresh pair of eyes.  I like to write rough drafts early and look at them closer to production time, then it's almost like you're reading somebody else's because you don't quite remember it clearly enough, and thus you can be effectively critical on it and change what needs to be changed.  For example, episode five of One Life Remaining was a script that sat around for two weeks, then I read it just before production and realized it sucked shit so I completely re-wrote it in a few hours and produced the new script.  Seriously, writing's weird.  The requirements for a hit or miss script are so fucking vague, most of the time a script's success is just a stroke of luck I think, really.

Sometimes a shit scriipt can be a good movie with the right actors and the right crew, sometimes just a shitty crew and bad camerawork can ruin an entire movie, sometimes it's a great script and the actors suck terribly, and sometimes those movies get bad reviews, sometimes they get good ones.  Everything is so all over the place, the entertainment industry is weird.  When you make a movie, you just gotta cross your fingers and hope that all the people involved in production had just the right chemistry to get along and work hard.  In fact, that's really all it comes down to: human interaction.  People.  And you can't fuckin' trust people, man.  Human brains.  Complex patterns of brain synapses that create a persona, patterns so prone to failure and the law of randomness.

...Anyways!

Thanks again everybody for keeping up with the blog and all my videos and shit, even when they're crap or not funny or whatever.  I appreciate it.

My job aside, I'm probably gonna be founding a little video production company and creating pure live action comedy shorts with some good friends, which I hope gets going once I get a few pieces of equipment.

By the way, here's the videos I missed:

Arby 'n' the Chief: Endgame (Full Movie)
One Life Remaining S1: Episode 5
Hard Justice S2: Episode 10
One Life Remaining S1: Episode 6

They're all accessible in the menu on the left.

Thanks,
Jon

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

News: Unaffiliated with Arby 'n' the Chief continuation

Yo,

If you've checked Machinima.com's latest videos, you might have seen a teaser trailer for a continuation of the Arby 'n' the Chief series, "Arby 'n' the Chief in L.A.".

This is not my series.  Machinima.com has taken it over.  They handle everything from the writing to the production to the post-production; my only job is to merely look over their scripts and provide a few helpful notes.

Thus, any e-mails regarding this spin-off series should be directed to the Machinima.com staff as I have next to nothing to do with it anymore.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, October 30, 2009

News: "Child's Play" charity auction

Yo,

A friend of mine is running an auction of Halo-related goodies for a community-based charity organization named "Child's Play" (the website of which can be found here).  For a list of items that are available for auction, you can check out my friend's eBay page here.  All proceeds go to the charity.

Thanks,
Jon

Monday, October 26, 2009

Video: One Life Remaining S1: Episode 4 & Hard Justice S2: Episode 9

Hey,

Episode four of One Life Remaining's first season and episode nine of Hard Justice's second season are now available.  The former can be viewed here, the latter can be viewed here.  Also to celebrate Halloween, a stand-alone Halloween special featuring characters from both One Life Remaining and Hard Justice will be available this Saturday.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, October 16, 2009

News: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is awesome.

After I wrote my negative Halo 3: ODST review I received numerous nerd rage e-mails from butthurt Halo fanboys about how I was wrong, that ODST really was good and I was just "unappreciative" or some stupid shit like that.

To reinforce my stance, have a look at Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the PS3.  Now THAT, friends, is a good fucking campaign experience.  Breathtaking action sequences, decent gameplay, and on the story side of things, quality writing, near-perfect line delivery from an excellent cast and amazing character animation create likeable, human characters that draw you in and get you emotionally invested in the game.

Play the two games' campaigns side-by-side and the difference in quality is unquestionable.  It's official now, Bungie is greatly falling behind in quality next to its competitors and needs to shape up.

Props to Naughty Dog.  The PS3 finally has a killer app.

- Jon

Saturday, October 10, 2009

News: Portfolio page created

Hey,

I've just created another blog that acts solely as my online portfolio, keeping things short and sweet and displaying the highlights of my work thus far.  It can be viewed here.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief: Endgame (Part Six)

Hey all.

Well, that's it.  The final part of Arby 'n' the Chief: Endgame is now available and can be viewed here.  A full version of all six parts in one video has been submitted and should also be available eventually.

Part six can be viewed here.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief: Endgame (Parts Two, Three and Four)

Hey,

Forgot to post the links to part two, part three and part four of Endgame which are now available, part five being available next week. You can view part two here, part three here and part four here.

Thanks,
Jon

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: Halo 3: ODST

Normally I don't do reviews, but I'm bored and I figure I can make an exception with Bungie's latest game, Halo 3: ODST.

Before I begin however, if you're one of those blindfolded Bungie supporters that get in the faces of people with conflicting opinions (that are backed up with legitimate reasoning) by saying things like "try playing on legendary" or something equally hollow and retarded like "go back to Call of Duty 4 then", instead of sending me a crude e-mail, just attach your dick to the railroad track of a speeding train with a big nail gun and shut the fuck up you douche.

I'll start with Halo 3: ODST's campaign mode, which I found to be very underwhelming. I began on two player split-screen with a friend and got to the third or so stage, then eventually realized that Halo 3: ODST is one of those games where the campaign is much more enjoyable when played solo (unlike most, e.g. Gears of War 1 and 2), and so restarted and played the campaign from start to finish myself, and I was still underwhelmed.

I found the gameplay in campaign to be extremely repetitive, for reasons specific to the game and also the fact that the typical Halo enemy formula is simply getting old now. A couple grunts and a brute, the occasional chieftain or hunter to mix things up... yawn. Most of the game is spent watching Phantom after Phantom come down to drop off ground units.

I love the new pistol in Halo 3: ODST, and that's really one of the only few good things I can say about the campaign. Getting headshots with the pistol is quite satisfying, unfortunately not enough to save the campaign though.

Always keep in mind that I'm just another guy with another opinion on the game, but it honestly surprises me that so many people commend ODST on its writing and voice acting (I realize I'm not really one to talk here but bear with me). Much of the dialogue is cheesy and overdone, and the voice acting never seems to be great, it's always executed with either not enough emotion, given the line's context, or simply overdone. Am I honestly the only one who laughed when Buck, in the first cinematic sequence, said ". . . GET SET . . ."? And if I lived in a world where principals of schools walked into classrooms during fire drills and said "You know the music, time to dance", I'd shoot myself in the fucking head.

Another thing that bothers me is the animation style in the game, which is simply too dated now. All the characters are so damn bouncy that at times I feel like I'm watching Madagascar 2: Back 2 Africa. Most games nowadays utilize motion capture technology to make characters move in a believable way, but for some reason Bungie refuses to hop aboard this train, which is cool in a way since hand animation is more traditional I suppose, but ultimately lame since to me, all the cutscenes look ridiculous. Watch ODST's first cinematic sequence, then a cutscene from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Overall the campaign seems very uninspired. When Buck and Dare walked in and started bitching at each other, I thought I was watching the Abyss with Ed Harris and that chick, can't remember her name. Not to mention their relationship was just totally uninteresting, partly due to the fact that Dare is an ugly bitch. Sorry.

SPOILER ALERT:
Also, don't get me started on Buck and Dare's kissing scene near the end of the game, which was taken almost word for word and shot for shot from the movie Chicken Run. Don't believe me? Watch this video and skip to 7:57.

One thing I'll give the campaign is the music, on which Marty O'Donnell did a wonderful job (except for the parts with the saxophone, seriously, what the fuck is that), but the only problem is that there isn't enough of it. The music seems to just stop and restart at the oddest moments, leaving epic fight sequences with no orchestral backing of any kind.

I like what Bungie attempted with the rookie character at night in the desolate streets of the "hub" New Mombasa, where lengthy and lonely treks from one end of the map to the other are accompanied by haunting piano melodies sounding suspiciously similar to Resident Evil's "safe room" tunes, but also, the problem with this is that it just isn't entertaining long-term and ends up becoming rather dull as it carries on. A little after halfway through the game, I was literally thinking to myself "Oh great, I'm gonna beat this level and have to go back to that fucking boring-ass city and find the next weird flashback-generating object like a used dildo or rubber fist or something". Yeah, the audio clips that you find on your journeys through the empty city are a nice touch, but not enough to keep me wanting to go back to it.

Halo 3's campaign was much more enjoyable and well-executed, and ODST's campaign felt like nothing more than a cheap, uninteresting and forgettable sub-plot due to dated technology, unrealistic writing, flawed line delivery and lack of music (but what was there was good at least) that was more of a chore to finish than a joy.

I'll now jump to ODST's other feature that everyone's raving about, and that's firefight, which I have to admit really can be quite a blast and in my opinion is the sole reason anyone should consider buying this game. My one complaint about it is that the "catch" skull (which causes enemies to throw a shit ton of grenades) should have at least been moved further down the queue towards the end so it's not encountered for a while, or perhaps even just taken out altogether, because it's annoying as fuck. Otherwise, it's a solid, polished and enjoyable multiplayer mode where you join up with three other players and hold off hordes of A.I. and rack up points. However, one can't help but feel that the feature is cheapened by the fact that it was so transparently taken from Gears of War 2 (Horde mode), but ODST did it better and that's what counts I suppose.

Unfortunately, all the good things about ODST seem to have one niggling flaw that prevents them from shining, and firefight mode is no exception to this rule, with the omission of matchmaking. In other words, in order to fully enjoy firefight mode, you must have three people on your friends list online at the time and get into a room together, you can't simply play a "quick match" or search for random players.

I mean the technology for matchmaking is there, in Halo 3 multiplayer, and fully functional. I'm no programmer so I don't want to be naive and say "why not just copy and paste the matchmaking code to ODST" and assume it's easily fixed, but even if it wasn't, shouldn't Bungie have gone the extra mile and included firefight matchmaking in an effort to justify the $70 people are paying for an expansion?

ODST also has the theater mode feature, which is kind of nice. I have no use for it, but better that it's there than not I guess.

ODST's final feature is the included second disk containing the Halo 3 Complete Multiplayer Experience, wherein there lies a massive logical error. It's a safe assumption that those that buy ODST, an expansion of Halo 3, have up until now played the shit out of multiplayer and kept up with the map packs. So what the fuck is the point of selling Halo 3 fans a disk with everything that they already have?

It's pretty obvious that the guys at Microsoft sat around trying desperately to come up with a way to justify selling ODST (an expansion, keep in mind) for $70, and then one of them said "I know, let's just throw multiplayer in on another disk with all the add-ons and sell Halo 3 multiplayer to our piss-poor public again.

Firefight is nice, but Halo 3: ODST just plain isn't worth $70.

I believe Bungie has now essentially gone down the same path as Rare, where they perpetuate an unjustified aura of mysticism and epicness around them while currently generating mediocre product, deluded due to "that one game" they have under their belt (Bungie: Halo 1, Rare: Goldeneye 007/Perfect Dark 64). In this day and age, I believe companies like Infinity Ward and Epic Games deserve much more attention, along with a few others.

So there. That's my review.

Graphics: 4/5
Campaign: 2.5/5
Firefight: 4.5/5
Theater Mode: Whatever/5
Multiplayer: Already have it/5

Overall: 3/5

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Story: Halo 3: O.R.B.I.T.A.L.D.R.O.P.S.H.O.C.K.T.R.O.O.P.E.R.S.

Blinking terminal lights illuminated the meeting room of the O.R.B.I.T.A.L.D.R.O.P.S.H.O.C.K.T.R.O.O.P.E.R.S. (Obnoxious Redneck Bastard Inbred Transvestite Anus Licking Diarrhea Rushing Odor Poop Shoot Happy One Poop Shit Having Osteoporosis Cock Krunching Tranny Riding Oh Oops Poop Everywhere Rolaids). The unnamed hero of the story was napping stereotypically with his helmet on as the story progressed in the background during a conversation regarding their imminent drop onto New Mombasa.

"Generic mid-conversation military statement", said corporal sergeant sarge, leader of the team.

"Just sayin'" said the black guy that's obviously gonna die first like in every movie, with an overdone, twisted expression of shock. Orbital Drop shock. Trooper.

Suddenly the doors to the meeting room opened revealing Buck, sporting the combover of the millenium, and his love interest that simply refuses to put love before the mission. They bounced through the doorway like hand-animated bouncy Dreamworks characters and started arguing like a married couple, kind of like Ed Harris and that chick in the movie The Abyss directed by the same guy that made Avatar that's coming out soon in theatres, not to be confused with M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender which everyone is looking forward to because Shyamalan's movies are so good (not).

Buck shoved a sniper rifle into the black guy's grasp, because black guys are really good with guns because they're always committing crimes and running from poh-leese.

"Check your mouths, find your chairs... and GET SEEETTTTT... and dance because you know the music" said Buck with really good voice actingnothing short of amazing as verified by IGN, cleverly referring to the act of gearing up in response to an alarm instead of just realistically saying "Let's gear up because it's time to start the mission" or whatever.

The unnamed, helmeted hero was then rudely awoken and shot towards Earth, but things went terribly wrong when a Covenant ship did a slipspace jump so they could go back in time and play Halo 1 again and mull over what went horribly wrong in the series' progression.

The hero's pod's electric thing that operates the thing then exploded, causing the pod to spiral out of control towards the incredibly dark cityscape that requires you to put your TV's brightness and contrast to maximum, and then it crashed into a Brute gay bar, and they were all pissed off.

To be continued?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief: Endgame (Part One)

Hey.

Sorry for the delay but part one of Endgame is now available, and part two is on its way, but it's a little short, for which I apologize in advance. Either I end a part of the episode at one scene at a length slightly below average, or I include a whole second scene that would be a large workload, or I just cut away from that second scene halfway in, which would suck and throw off the flow. Some of the other parts will be longer, stay tuned.

Part one can be viewed here.

Thanks,
Jon

Thursday, September 3, 2009

News: "Endgame" on its way

Yo,

So the Arby 'n' the Chief series finale episode will be called "Arby 'n' the Chief: Endgame" and the first part of five or maybe six should be available this Saturday. It's a little short but keep in mind that since it's just a part of a bigger episode that at just above 6 minutes, there's not much credits at the end, plus I've been moving and this week's been really stressful, not to mention I need to head off to Seattle for PAX literally hours after I type this. I hope you enjoy.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, August 29, 2009

News: Expectations from next Arby trailer

Yo,

For those thousands of people who are wondering why the fuck a trailer for Arby 'n' the Chief doesn't even have Arby and the Chief in it and it's just a couple of douches fighting for twenty seconds, it's because at the time I was asked to provide a trailer, I only had the live action scenes captured and edited. I had done no Arby 'n' Chief subtitles or even voices at the time.

The clips are from a few action scenes that amount to very little in the actual episode which is probably gonna be like 35 minutes long or something.

The more you know.

Thanks,
Jon

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

News: Stop e-mailing me about the DEM parody

Yo,

Stop sending me e-mails about the Deus Ex parody, I'm already aware of it as I had to approve its release and I don't give a fuck.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, August 22, 2009

News: Arby 'n' the Chief series finale coming next

Hey,

I apologize for not updating my blog in a while, but I've been busy, and I'm also moving to a new place, meaning I have to basically tear my house apart and pack everything in time for the move on the 31st of August.

Thus, this following week, I will not be releasing an episode of any of my series', but rather a minute-long trailer for the new Arby 'n' the Chief that's coming. I'm not sure how long it is but the script is about 38 pages long, and it heavily relies on live action.

The new Arby 'n' the Chief will be released in segments given how long it is, and the first part may come the week after the trailer, but I'm not quite sure yet. It's not up to me.

This synopsis for the new Arby 'n' the Chief might tide you over, and help you make sense of the weird trailer that's coming out for it:

Arby 'n' the Chief (Self-Titled)
Things are heading downhill at the apartment. During a game of Halo 3, the Arbiter disovers he's falling to pieces and begins suffering from a mid-life crisis, and he along with Master Chief begin examining their lives. On top of that, Jon's failure to pay rent has forced him to rent out his spare room to another tenant, specifically Scott, a disgusting douchebag with a giant black afro to match the blackness of his heart who, unbeknownst to Master Chief or The Arbiter at first, is wanted for hacking on online games in addition to smuggling cocaine between Canada and Russia for sixteen years, and is also being pursued by a Russian agent of the KGB determined to settle a personal score with him.

That's all for now, stay tuned.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: One Life Remaining S1: Episode 3

Yo,

The third episode of One Life Remaining's premiere season is out and can be viewed here.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: Hard Justice S2: Episode 8

Hey,

Sorry for the delay but the eighth episode of Hard Justice's second season can be viewed here.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Video: One Life Remaining S1: Episode 2

Hey,

The second episode of One Life Remaining's first season is now available and can be viewed here. I think people will get a kick out of this one.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, August 7, 2009

News: New OLR on its way

Hey,

I know I haven't updated in a while, but whatever, it's not like there's much to say. The second episode of One Life Remaining should be up on Saturday and I hope you get a kick out of it.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was immensely fucking retarded, by the way.

Oh, one other thing, I'm not really one to make a fuss over view numbers, I don't care at the end of the day, but I think more people should check out the CJG@E3 coverage, I know the first episode is pretty shit which is probably the reason why people refuse to continue watching further, but it does kinda get better as I explore the main show floor. Give 'em a look-see on the menu on the left, episode one to six.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, July 25, 2009

News: On my way back

Yo.

So I'm just at Glasgow airport heading back home now. It's funny, I get a lot of people from Scotland e-mailing me saying I have a very British sense of humor and I'd "fit right in" in Glasgow. I am a Canadian citizen, but I was born in the heart of Glasgow and came to Canada when I was four.

I regularly visit Scotland because the majority of my family is there.

So there, just a bit of history for you for those that are interested. NahwhatImeen, by the way? Aye ye do, ya wee bawbags. Aye that's right, I called you's wee bawbags, got a problem wi' that? Ya better no', or I'll gi' ye a right doin', tossers. No' half! If ye got a problem, go cry to yer ma', ya wee fannies.

So yeah, normal production should resume next Saturday, the 1st of August I think.

Thanks,
Jon

P.S. Go Celtic, fuck Rangers! (I don't actually care by the way, it's hilarious how big a deal the UK makes of it though. I have some Celtic-supporting relatives and Rangers-supporting ones, and they'll litereally refuse to drink from a mug that has the opposing team's logo on it. It's fucking retarded).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Video: One Life Remaining: Episode One

Hey.

You can view the pilot episode of my new series here.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, July 12, 2009

News: Promo trailers

Yo.

I'm currently on vacation and only intended to post the links to the promo trailers for both my new series One Life Remaining and the next Arby 'n' the Chief, but I'd like to point out that contrary to the title of the Arby 'n' the Chief teaser, it is not a trailer for an entire fourth season. It's simply a large episode very similar to Arby 'n' the Chief: The Movie split up into four parts, give or take.

You can view the One Life Remaining teaser here, and you can view the next Arby 'n' the Chief teaser here.

Again, don't let the melodrama of Arby 'n' the Chief's teaser fool you, I'm sure the full episode, when it's done, will please all.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, July 3, 2009

Game: Day of the Living Phalluses

Yo.

Here's my game.

lol.

Thanks,
Jon

Thursday, July 2, 2009

News: Upcoming videos and imminent vacation

Yo,

So I'm going on Vacation for about two or three weeks beginning tomorrow. Here's a heads-up on what to expect until I get back and am ready to submit new material:

1. A trailer for my new series, "One Life Remaining". Nothing special, very brief.

2. A teaser trailer for the next Arby 'n' the Chief. Again, very brief, and don't let it fool you, the teaser is somewhat on the melodramatic side but plenty of lols will be had when the full episode is out, I'm sure.

3. The full-length pilot episode of "One Life Remaining", which Machinima.com is planning to launch on the 18th of July.

4. A director's commentary of "King", the third season finale of Arby 'n' the Chief.

Once I get back, I will begin submitting new stuff as usual.

Thanks,
Jon

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Video: CJG@E3: Episode 1 - 6

Hey,

My CJG@E3 mini-series has finally been uploaded. I don't wanna post all six links to the episodes again in this post, so just follow the links on the left under "CJG@E3".

Am I completely full of shit in these episodes and just acting like a total dick for the camera, or am I serious? GUESS YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO FIGURE THAT OUT FOR YOURSELF, HEH HEH HEH.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Video: Hard Justice S2: Episode 6

Hey,

The sixth episode of Hard Justice's second season can be viewed here.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, June 20, 2009

News: Twitter sucks.

Yo.

Twitter sucks, and so is all that cutesy lame-ass terminology associated with Twitter such as "twittering", "tweeting" or whatever else.

Also, I don't use Twitter, so anybody that appears to be me using a variant of my name such as Jon CJG, Jon CJ Graham or whatever else is a creepy douche regularly keeping up with my blog and updating his imposter Twitter page accordingly.

That's all.

- Jon

Thursday, June 18, 2009

News: Episode 6 of Hard Justice season 2 on it's way

Hello,

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up and say that episode six of Hard Justice's second season is now complete and being uploaded, and should be available this Saturday if all goes according to plan. Stay tuned.

Thanks,
Jon

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

News: A bunch of announcements

Hey.

So, I've got a number of big announcements to make.

1. A new comedy series of purely Halo 3 machinima entitled "One Life Remaining", revolving around a gamer and financially struggling university graduate who moves into an apartment in the city with a deadbeat roommate who never has money but curiously has many connections within the video game industry, allowing the starring character to be hired by various game developers. A collection of other characters will also be featured but more details on that later.

2. A multi-part Arby 'n' the Chief series finale. Note the words "SERIES finale" indicating this upcoming extended episode will be the end-all-be-all of the series. A script has yet to be written but the ideas are there. More details on this later as well.

3. Apparently the reason CJG@E3 is taking its sweet ass time to come out is because since the entire coverage is live action, the heads of programming at Machinima.com are hesitant to release the series since their company revolves around machinima and there's no machinima in the coverage. Next week we'll be figuring out a way to remedy the situation and hopefully push out the episodes ASAP, so stay tuned.

That's all for now.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, June 14, 2009

News: CJG@E3 miniseries delayed for reasons unknown

Yo,

So I was under the impression that each of the six episodes of my E3 coverage miniseries were going to be released once a day all last week, and since I've yet to see even the first episode go up, I'm currently looking into what their programming line-up is like and when they're actually due out.

Sorry I didn't update and say this earlier, I thought the first episode would just go up eventually this week but still nothing, so as soon as I know when they're coming out, I'll let you guys know on here.

Also, if I'm right, Hard Justice should be uploaded next Saturday as usual, but I could be wrong about that too. Just sit tight.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, June 7, 2009

News: CJG@E3 mini-series on its way

Hey.

Well, E3 was a gong show and I was too pressed for time to get any editing and submitting done while I was in Los Angeles, so post production had to wait until I arrived back in Vancouver.

All this week I'll be editing the episodes and if all goes according to plan, submitting one daily, meaning a new one will be available every day this week. Next week my regular weekly schedule will resume, sans Arby 'n' the Chief.

Stay tuned for Episode 1 which will hopefully be released on Monday.

Thanks,
Jon

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

News: More E3 updates

Hey.

I've learned a bit more about what I'm doing at E3, so I'll tell you what's up. I'm currently in the lobby of my hotel in Los Angeles waiting for a ride to the offices so I've got some time to kill.

I'll be in front of the camera for the first time, and rather than just have boring static shots, I'll actually try starting outside with a microphone and camera following me and I'll lead the camera into the building and past all the different booths in an attempt to make the experience as immersive as possible for those who've always wanted to go to E3 but can't make the time or get the money together, 'cause no doubt it's expensive.

My objective is to basically tear through all the fail of E3 with comic relief, etc. and analyze the games on display that are actually half decent.

It'll be like a mini-series for this week, so the first episode could come a lot earlier than Saturday, in fact quite possibly within the next couple days as I'm going to be filming the first part later this afternoon.

So yeah, stay tuned and I hope you dig it. This is my first time doing this kind of thing so I've got my fingers crossed in the hopes that I don't bomb this fucking thing.

Thanks,
Jon

Monday, June 1, 2009

News: Covering E3

Hey.

I'm heading to Los Angeles in a few hours for E3, and if things go according to plan, will be covering the event in my own unique way. Basically tearing it a new one since 90% of the content at E3 is fail and the golden age of gaming is dead.

So yeah, not sure exactly how it's gonna be or exactly when it's gonna be released as it's not something I have FULL control over from a post-production standpoint, I'll have my own cameraman probably and stuff, but stay tuned anyway. I'll have my laptop with me in L.A. and I'll be able to post important updates.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S3E13: "King"

Yo,

Here's the season, and possibly series, finale of Arby 'n' the Chief.

Hope you enjoy.

Thanks,
Jon

Friday, May 29, 2009

News: Big ass Arby season finale on it's way

Yo,

I don't want you to get used to these lengthy videos, but unfortunately the script for the Arby 'n' the Chief season three finale was really fucking big, and I wasn't able to cut the video up into adequate parts, or even at all since I'm only allowed to have thirteen episodes per season, so get ready for a super jumbo Arby 'n' the Chief episode this Saturday.

At eighteen minutes long, it's the longest episode aside from the movie.

I really had to bust ass on this one, so I hope you dig it.

Is this the end of Arby 'n' the Chief? There's a very real possibility that it could be, but you never know. I might get some inspiration to do a bit more, but no guarantees.

Here's the episode synopsis to tide you over:

"A matchmaking game of King of the Hill on Guardian mysteriously breaks down due to an unknown error, and as Master Chief, the Arbiter and six other players refuse to leave because of fear of losing experience points or other personal reasons, they are forced to mingle with one another. Tempers shortly flare though as each player has a different favorite machinima director and ends up designating a portion of the level to himself, and it's up to the Arbiter to put everything right."

Thanks,
Jon

P.S. Those who have been pissed off because of the plot hole involving Todd, Travis and Cortana will most likely be pleased with this upcoming finale.

I HATE FINALES.

FUCK.

Friday, May 22, 2009

News: New Hard Justice longer than expected

Yo.

So I just finished the fifth episode of Hard Justice, and as I took the liberty of milking all the drama I could from Bernard's current terrible predicament, the video ended up being about eleven minutes long in total. So I hope you guys enjoy this Saturday.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S3E12: "Evil"

Hey.

So here it is, the second last episode of Arby 'n' the Chief's third season, "Evil". You can view it here.

By the way, I see people saying stuff like, "Glad Jon's making these episodes long again". Stop that! Consider the video being ten minutes long a bonus because the script just happened to be that long, there were a lot of long shots, etc. Keep in mind that the standard length is between 6 - 8 minutes. Keeping videos at 10 minutes once a week is hard man.

Thanks,
Jon

Thursday, May 14, 2009

News: "Evil" comes hither

Yo.

I've just finished the second last episode of Arby 'n' the Chief's third season, "Evil", which most have already guessed is based on Resident Evil 5 and the controversy generated by it's supposed "racist" content. It's an issue that's been hammered into the ground and been blown over already, but this episode presents a slightly different take on the issue.

It's also longer than a usual episode, specifically just over ten minutes in total, and also contains well-lit and stable live action shots. Overall it's really well put together and I'm confident it will take its place in at least one of the top five episodes of the series. Hope you guys dig it.

Stay tuned.

Thanks,
Jon

Monday, May 11, 2009

News: ...Dude.

Hello.

After just watching the season five finale of House, I can safely say that I have been astronomically mindfucked. They actually TOPPED season four's epic finale!

FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

- Jon

Saturday, May 9, 2009

News: Mothers day, new video by Lemur

Yo.

Wish your moms a happy Mother's Day and tell them I said "thanks for last night".

Heh.

Also, Lemur "D Laz" Gimmick uploaded a special Mother's Day video which can be viewed here.

Happy Mothers Day,
Jon

News: Star Trek!

Srsly,

Go see Star Trek. It's fucking incredible, and I'm talking Dark Knight incredible. Perhaps even... dare I say... better?

Serious, even if you're not much of a Star Trek fan, go see it anyway because it kicks major ass. Upon entering the theatre I was only somewhat familiar with the old show and it's characters, and the new Star Trek movie is like now one of my favorite movies ever. J. J. Abrams really knows his shit.

Gyeah,
Jon

Video: Hard Justice S2: Episode 4

Yo,

Hard Justice S2: Episode 4 is now available here.

You'll probably enjoy this one, doesn't suck as hard as the last one did.

Thanks,
Jon

Sunday, May 3, 2009

News: BLAAAARRRRGHLARGHLARGH...

...CAN'T... TYPE...

...SWINE FLU*... KILLING... ME...

Click here for friendly advice on how to combat swine flu*.
Click here for a dramatization of what COULD happen if said advice is not followed.

Swine flu* failed to consume the world in 1976. Now it's back...

...with a vengeance.

*NOTE: Could be horseshit (eg. global warming)

- Jon

UPDATE: If swine flu, global warming, SARS, bird flu, Y2K and all other global threats had a musical theme, this would be it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

News: Updates and stuff

Yo.

So yeah sorry for the abrupt ending to Hard Justice S2: Episode 3, I had a bunch of shit to do that week including visiting my mom for her birthday and I had to cut the last scene out to get the video delivered on time, it was a scene with Max and that new guy, which I'm going to have as the intro for episode 4 instead.

I see that the latest Arby got very mixed reviews as usual. I don't want to sound like a prick and say that perhaps poor writing on my part didn't factor in, but I honest-to-God thought I wrote a half-decent script for "Company (Part Two)", relatively speaking of course.

I think the thing about Arby 'n' the Chief is that the fans have such a mixed bag of expectations for all the episodes, and it's all so evenly divided that there's always some majority party that ends up not liking it. There's the people who wanna see the live action stuff, there's the people that wanna see more machinima, there are those that appreciate the Arbiter's zingy dialog, there's those that like Chief's antics and then there's those that simply like hearing stupid words spoken by Microsoft Sam. There's not enough time to cater to all those people in a single episode so thus I always end up disappointing a few groups.

It might also have to do with the fact that it's so popular now and there's people who stay up all night just to tune in as soon as it's uploaded and have such great expectations; it's kind of like if you bought a DVD set of a show you really like and you watched all the episodes, and even if one particular episode wasn't that great, you'd probably say to yourself, "Hey, that was okay" because you knew you could skip straight to the next episode after it's over, and you'd end up looking at the series as a whole and judging it that way instead of on a per-episode basis.

When a show's coming twice a month though, people may tend to hype it up in their heads and even if the slightest gag wasn't funny, the time spent waiting and the time they know they'll have to wait for the next one amplifies their irritation and makes them go, "I waited all this time for this?"

That's just my two cents. Anyway I hope at least some of you enjoyed it.

Regarding my flash game, it may take longer as expected since I've basically scrapped the first version and am building a second version. The first version was a very static sidescroller where jumping was animated and not scripted, and the levels didn't scroll.

This second version I'm working on now lets you jump for real, as in altering your Y value up and down, and there's also gravity and friction that factor in, and the level now scrolls past you now, resulting in a great platformer feel.

For those who want a little more detail about the game, you play as a little bald pre-schooler who's town has been infested with giant dick monsters. You're armed with a handgun, the power and magazine capacity of which can be upgraded using a money system. You can also upgrade your maximum health capacity, defense, speed and jump height. WASD to move, Q for your upgrade/status menu, E to interact with objects, R to reload your gun and F to fire.

I guess that's everything for now.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S3E11: "Company (Part Two)"

Hey,

The new Arby 'n' the Chief is up and you can check it out here.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: Hard Justice S2: Episode 3

Hey,

You can view the third episode of Hard Justice's second season here, sorry it took me forever to post this.

Thanks,
Jon

Thursday, April 23, 2009

News: Hard Justice episode three of season two on its way

Yo,

The third episode of Hard Justice's second season is on its way this week but some might find it a tad short in more ways than one, mainly due to the fact that my mom's birthday was right on its due date which messed up my schedule. Hopefully you'll get a kick out of it anyway. Stay tuned.

Regards,
Jon

Monday, April 20, 2009

News: Bad-ass Sonic the Hedgehog remixes

Yo,

If any of you dig old Sonic the Hedgehog tunes (BEFORE Sonic sucked and was actually awesome, during the 2-D era), you should check out my audio portal favorites on my Newgrounds profile page. I've been going to Newgrounds for a long time now and have known about its audio portal for years, but only recently have I been digging through it and it has a surprising amount of bad-ass remixes and original pieces, it's the next best thing to OCRemix.

Seriously, if you haven't already, go to the audio portal and search for like, you're favorite game, and you'll most likely find a sweet remix of a tune from it.

Not big news or anything, I know, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to make more casual posts, what with the new blog and everything.

Thanks,
Jon

Saturday, April 18, 2009

News: YouTube/Viacom shit.

Hey,

Please stop with all the fucking e-mails regarding YouTube's partnership with Disney and all that and linking that same video over and over that's circulating around the internet, I GET IT.

Thanks,
Jon

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S3E10: "Party"

Hey,

The new Arby 'n' the Chief, "Party", is now available.

As you may have heard previously, this episode is special because it uses annotations to tell its story in the form of flashbacks. During the "main" spine video of the episode, four times you'll be greeted with the opportunity to click a thought balloon that leads to a flashback segment, the end of which you can click to return to the spot in the main video that you left.

If that didn't make sense, just start watching the video here and you'll figure it out.

Oh, and by the way, whoever picks up the old video game reference in this episode, you get a cookie. Also... you nostalgia, you lose.

(Don't actually e-mail me asking for a cookie. Your prize for spotting the game reference will simply be good old golden-age-of-video-gaming nostalgia).

Thanks,
Jon

News: New blog site!

Yo.

I decided to shake off my stupid "DigitalPh33r" alias and create a new blog page that was not only easier on the eyes, but one that also allowed me to show the world more of my art through different mediums, such as Macromedia Flash. I am currently developing a Flash game called "Day of the Living Phalluses" which is sure to bring a few lulz to those who play it sometime in the near future.

Let's face it, I was a hypocrite to diss people's gamertags in Arby 'n' the Chief with a retarded name like "DigitalPh33r".

This new page feels a lot more personal and more right. I don't wanna be associated with JUST Halo anymore, though undeniably it IS the medium through which I show most of my talent. So far.

You may have noticed certain video links are not present in the list of my machinima productions, such as the infamous Deus Ex Machina, and let me explain. Deus Ex Machina sucks. I don't like it. At the time, I did enjoy making it, I had fun editing it and trying cool camera shit and playing with dramatic effect, but the writing is BAD. BAD, BAD, BAD. TERRIBLE writing. I apologize to those that are fans of the series but honestly, it's bad, and it's my work, so if I wanna critique it, I will.

So I've decided to list only the machinima to the left that I've made that's STILL FAIL, mind you, but just... not TOO fail.

I hope to one day get into live action productions professionally, and personally elevate myself and be one hundred percent proud of my work. The reason I've done machinima so long is that it's quick and accessible.

I have a lot of ideas, a little bit of talent, and very little patience, and those aren't things that go well together, especially when you're a one-man production team. For the time being I'm gonna stick with machinima because it's a relatively quick way to bring some of my story ideas to life, but no way does it hold a candle to professional live action film.

This site will kind of work as a portfolio for me too, a place where all my work can be viewed, machinima or otherwise.

So yeah, I hope you dig the new layout and colors and everything, I believe it's better than staring at pure white (ala the old blog).

Those who follow the old blog should start following this one as I'm not going to be posting on the old one anymore.

Thanks,
Jon

Notice: F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Last Updated: April 10th, 2010

Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Jon Graham, and I'm a film student currently working for Machinima.com as a writer/producer/director/editor/composer/voice actor.  I make stupid little movies with either toys and a home-grade video camera or in the video game Halo 3 using its real-time engine that are put on the internet.  I am known best for my work on Arby 'n' the Chief, a machinima/live action hybrid series.

Q: What is machinima?
A: Machinima.com is the organization I work for, and the term "machinima" refers to cinema created using a computer-generated real-time engine, most commonly in video games.

Q: What hardware/software do you use in your routine and how is your equipment set up?
A: I'll go through this step by step:

1. With Final Draft, I write a short screenplay (usually around 8 pages).
2. With Goldwave and a Sony F-V220 microphone at my computer, I record the lines from the script.
3. With Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, I place the voice files on the timeline appropriately (creating all the conversations of the video, but without an image yet).
4. With Halo 3, an Xbox 360, and 4 controllers, I create film sets in Forge mode and body act all the actions of the script in split-screen games.
5. With Halo 3, an Xbox 360, 1 controller, Pinnacle Moviebox, and Pinnacle Studio 12, I enter Theatre mode and record footage using the game data from body acting, coming up with camera angles on the fly.  I don't storyboard (although as good practice, I should, but there's little time for it).
6. With Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 again, I'll cut my footage and place the appropriate video over the conversations I laid out with my voice files previously.
7. With FL Studio and East/West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra and Stormdrum 2 instrument packs, I compose music for the video.

It should be known that I hate Pinnacle.  Their software is sketchy and every piece of hardware I've purchased from them has eventually crapped out.  However, I stick with them because there's no other products around me that are more reliable and do what I need them to do.