Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Introducing: John Howard

Great news! John Howard has kindly volunteered his time and expertise to help us redesign our robot costume. Previously our robot was a hack job of random parts, including shin pads, juicer parts and a plastic box all glued or strapped together. This started falling apart in our promo shoot for the campaign and after a while, more time was spent repairing the robot than filming; not to mention the costume was only fit for a contortionist. This is why we need John. 
John in his studio.

John is a professional special effects and make-up artist with several films under his belt, including Crackheads; which won 'best self-funded film' at the New Zealand Film Awards last year. He also has over 15 years of experience in fibreglass moulding. This means that our new robot costume will be durable, comfortable and even more awesome than ever before.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Scriptwriting Basics: Part 1

We've just started the writing process for the pilot episode. Scriptwriting when done properly is quite a long process, and for the writers, this starts a 2 month process of scriptwriting.
A re-enactment of what went on in our first meeting.
For those interested in our process, here’s a little explanation on what is going on.

Step 1: The Brainstorm
Ideas, ideas, ideas. This stage is all about playing with scenarios, exploring character types and mulling over back stories. During this period, we write anything down that you think would be a good idea. This  lasts for as long as time allows. When we come together in a group, we would then spend a good full day just trading, combining and discussing ideas/scenarios/characters in front of a whiteboard. All this becomes ammunition for the next step in the process.

Step 2: The Framework
We believe a story should be constructed by first setting out a start point and an end point. These are, some of the most important parts. By filling in the middle afterwards, the plot would naturally push itself forward, not sideways or in loops. The ‘meat’ of the story is one of the hardest parts. If the brainstorm is done right, filling in the framework should not feel like rocket science. It is important to make sure this framework adheres to any constraints, such as length, estimated budget, time, intended audience etc.

Step 3: Treatment
After a decent framework has been completed, the treatment needs to be written. This treatment is basically a short story based on the framework. This is when character personalities start coming to life. Through the treatment, the voice of the writer becomes apparent. Make sure to show your vision of how things will look, describe dialogue, actions and emotions. Keep the writing concise.  A well written treatment should engage the reader, be clear and easy to understand and detailed enough that anyone can pick it up and enjoy the story.  If this is not the case, the story is probably, badly paced, poorly written or just bland. To detect these issues, we peer review our treatments.

Peer Review One
Peer reviews are the bread and butter of making a script better. Whether it’s a friend, an experienced writer or even yourself; peer review. No first draft is perfect and it takes many revisions to get even close to perfection. Of course, how close you get to perfect is all down to time constraints and who you are writing for. The treatment stage is best for reviewing and revising as it takes much less time to write a short story than a script. A treatment can be easily reshuffled and parts rewritten. Be a ruthless here, make sure anyone who looks at it is prepared to tear you a new one. This will clear your future script of most structural issues and will allow future script revisions to be more focussed towards readability and the all-important dialogue.

We’re only halfway through. There are three more stages to go through before a finished script comes out of the other end. Watch this space for the second instalment which focuses on writing  the script.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Collaborating with us to help make Oddballs the bestest thing out there.

Submissions have now closed.
For more information on what's happening go to: or visit our facebook page

Oddballs isn't just about good entertainment. It’s also about getting people involved in the process of making something awesome. We want to involve you and your skills and ideas to help add some spice to this series.

Calling everybody from everywhere! You don’t need to be involved in anything film to help out!

We don’t care if you're an industry professional, pushing papers nine to five, a student, an astronaut, a CEO or turning dung heaps for a living. We believe everybody has a skill in something. We’re looking for songwriters, composers, artists, writers, poets, academics and even people who have interesting jobs and stories to tell. Hell, even the time you changed the toner cartridge in 12.5 seconds beating the office record is relevant enough.

So if you can read this sentence you can collaborate!

For more information about the series, click here.

So how do I get started?

That’s easy. All you need to do to submit material/offer your skills is to fill in the forms below. There are two different forms for two categories, skills and creative material.

Here's more details on the categories.

Skills are pretty much anything that allows you to create new things or help us out. As a general rule, anything that isn't already created is a skill (do apply common sense though). For example music composition is a skill, but your death-metal-opera-pop soundtrack isn't.

Here is a non-comprehensive list of skills we are looking for:

Visual Effects
Creative Material
Keen to help with anything

Creative Material
This is basically anything that has been already created. This may include music you have created, paintings, sculptures, stories and any ideas that you have. This material will be used to help create our sets, funk up our background music and pimp up our script etc. So even if you think what you have isn't relevant, send it to us anyway.

And here’s a fabulous list of what we are looking for:
Visual design
Story ideas
Work experiences (from anything, even oil riggers are game)
Personal story
Other (get creative, anything goes)

I want to submit dammit, where do I go?

There are two separate forms for each different category. Click the one you which is most relevant and follow the simple and friendly instructions.
If you are unsure about what each form is for, click here.

Click here to offer your skills
Click here to submit creative material

Okay I've done that, what now?

We will personally go through all of your creative material and if we can use it we will contact you. If we decide to use your skills, we'll get in touch as well. If we use your material and/or skills we will credit you.
You will still own the creative rights to whatever you create and contribute to. All you have given us is permission to use your stuff in the series and its promotional material.