March on the Horizon

There are only seven days left including today in the month of February; we feel each hour of those days! With cooler weather signaling Spring right around the corner, the Kickstarter we will launch is running up to meet us.

A rough early model of  The Crew's  house that will be in the Kickstarter preview this Spring.

A rough early model of The Crew's house that will be in the Kickstarter preview this Spring.

In March, we are planning on having our four principal characters locked and will begin casting for minor and reoccurring roles. As many of you already know, we have a podcast that comes out every Tuesday which gives you an opportunity to learn more about who we are at Arte Fact Production and to follow the progress of our animation, The Crew. As we announce cast members we will create profiles for them and we also plan on featuring them on the podcast. We are excited to have them as future guests and for our supporters to get to know what interested them in The Crew!

As we briefly touched on in our latest podcast, we will have another listener giveaway in the coming weeks and all it takes to be entered is a fan art submission. Once you tweet us your piece, we will feature it on our website's gallery. Aside from the main characters, your entry can be any of the new roles we create in our live stream concept art session. Have fun and enter for your chance to win!

Be sure to join us this Thursday again on YouTube at 7:30 CST to catch our hour long live stream concept art session and to get a glimpse of new characters you can expect to see on The Crew. To watch last week's stream click here and don't forget to subscribe and share with friends! Tune in a couple of minutes early and watch the new Mo Chibi drawing join Matty along the bottom of the wait screen.

 

The Crew - Assembling The Crew

Hello, and welcome to the continuation of last Friday's blog post, The Crew - Humble Beginnings.

Now, where did I leave off? Oh yeah! So, this is Myles...

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Myles and I have an interesting relationship. Ever since he knew what he wanted to be, he's said he wanted to be a filmmaker. Being the (much) older of the two, I used to take him to see movies, talk to him about cameras or VFX techniques, and at family get-togethers we'd hang out and discuss current theatrical releases. I once took him to a midnight screening of The Room, a movie neither of us had seen at the time, and it was an amazing experience I'll never forget. (SPOON!) As time progressed, Myles and I, for whatever reason, kind of drifted apart. We'd still talk about movies when we saw each other, but life had somewhat changed us as we'd grown up.

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It was a bit disheartening when we first presented Myles with the idea for The Crew and he didn't immediately jump on board production, pledging unwavering loyalty for eternity. Myles was entering his last semester of college, and along with that he was moving across country to L.A. Catalina had decided to throw him a sort of going-away party with just the three of us, and during this party I let her know that we should try presenting the idea for The Crew to him. In my mind I knew that Myles was amazing at writing dialogue; we'd once entered a 48-hour film race, and watching him produce a script from just ideas was very impressive. We didn't win, and we didn't even get to have our video screened thanks to a rendering issue, but it really showed me where his strengths lied. The going-away party was really fun, but in the back of my mind I was trying to find the right time to broach the topic with him. Eventually a lull in festivities came, and when Catalina and I told him about the project, he laughed at the idea and story we'd presented, but didn't really have the desire to commit. Looking back on it now, there was simply too much on his plate to even consider working on the project. Nevertheless, he said he would take a look at the script and maybe work on it remotely.

A month or so passed, and Myles made his great trek across the U.S. During this time, I really had no direct communication with him. From what I understand, he had gone to L.A. and the program his college had placed him in really showed him what "the industry" was like. He became disillusioned with the prospect of spending more time there than he felt necessary, and came back earlier than expected. Continuing this series of life-altering events, shortly after arriving back in Texas, his long-term relationship ended; needless to say The Crew took a back seat during this time. Myles and Catalina spent quite a while working through things and really reframing the future he had set in stone. It was a very difficult time for Myles, and I don't presume to speak for him – I'm just glad he came home to be with family and with P-Dog (our dog Precious).

2016 was wrapping up, we were entering the holiday season, and to take all our collective minds off things we decided to present him once more with the idea for The Crew. He reluctantly agreed to help, at the promise of future riches. It was a cheap ploy on my part, but not a false one! I wholeheartedly believed then and now that The Crew will be a phenomenon – just wait and see! For a while, we would write and not a lot would get done. That's not to say that we weren't trying, but it was grueling work. Sometimes we would spend hours trying to write one or two lines. This was by no means a representation of our talents, but instead it was reflective of our or collective mental states. Thankfully, as time progressed, Myles became more comfortable with Catalina’s and my writing style (VERY improvisational) and one night it all came together! After a particularly productive evening I remember Myles texting Catalina and telling her that he had read over the script and he thought it was not just good, but he thought it was great! He said it was unlike anything he'd ever seen on TV! This was the moment I'd been waiting for – not just the confirmation that he saw what we had seen in The Crew, but that he was now a part of it! He was now responsible for helping us make something completely unique and transformative, and no one would be able to take that away from him.

I realize now that this is very Myles-centric, but it had to be; the things that came after this have really seemed like a whirlwind. Everything has moved so fast, changed so much, and we're still only at the beginning! Seeing these old photos of Myles and I make me glad that everything that has happened, has happened. I feel like we're becoming a family again, and to me, that's more important than any amount of money, fame, or notoriety.

Next week - Trouble in Paradise! Our first major fight and the completion of the script! While you're waiting for that, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! There you'll find our weekly Podcast and Live Streams! Also remember to follow us on Twitter and Instagram as we'll be having a new artist giveaway starting at the end of February! Finally, remember tomorrow I'll be uploading a new image for Sketchy Saturday, a weekly fan art drawing I do just for fun. If you have a suggestion on who/what I should draw, tweet us and let me know! #SketchyStaurday

-Joey

The Crew - Humble Beginnings

It’s hard to describe what this past year has meant to me. If 2017 is the year of building The Crew, 2016 was the year its foundation was laid. Unemployed, depressed, and directionless, I was looking for anything to occupy myself with. Working on my personal art projects felt tedious, as the work was beautiful but not fun. I wanted something different than I'd ever done before, something light and carefree to take my mind off my circumstances.

If memory serves, I had called my sister Catalina into my room and showed her this image. I remember saying something like “I have this idea about a group of scumbag heroes! What do you think?”

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She told me then what she would continue to tell me throughout the year - “There’s something there, but it’s not there yet.

Don’t get me wrong – I can clearly see this is just a rough concept, but she was pointing to something deeper. I never really considered that this would be the beginning of our working relationship, let alone that she had just stated the mantra that we would continue to use when we would hit a brick wall. At the time I wanted The Crew to be a web comic I could quickly publish while I worked on more “serious” projects. Regardless of how I saw the project, I took her feedback, made some alterations, and about a month or so later I returned with an updated line up and new backstories for each character.

Again, it ended with a “There’s something there, but it’s not there yet.” And so it continued...

Days, or sometimes weeks, would pass before bringing the project up again. With every revision, the project and The Crew would come into clearer focus. While initially The Crew was just something we would joke about, it quickly became apparent that there was something of substance here. Every joke led to a scenario, and every scenario to a scene, until one day the world just came alive. By this point, it was obvious to me that the comic format of storytelling fell short of what our story demanded; to properly translate the idea of the The Crew it would need to be an animated show. This was only confirmed the day Catalina explained that this would be a show that she wanted to watch, and as the old adage goes, make something you'd want to see. We said farewell to the comic format and never looked back.

I enjoyed brainstorming with Catalina so much that I asked her to officially help me write on the project. While my strengths lie in story structure and visual arts, Catalina has a natural intuition about comedy and personality dynamics. Sometimes we may just be watching a commercial, but she is always keen to pull inspiration out of the most mundane, though characteristically human moments. Over the first three quarters of the 2016, we chipped away at this mountain of ideas until we’d eventually taken the project as far as it could go. We had written quite a bit, but really the work had been done establishing the world of The Crew. We had always worked with the idea that once we knew our characters inside and out, we'd be able to place them in any scenario and have them write themselves. While we could have moved into production at that point, the words we repeated so often now caused me to look for the flaws I didn't know the project had. "There's something there, but it's not there yet." I had began to listen to my intuition and my intuition was pointing me in one direction...

That's it for this week folks! I hope you enjoyed my first blog post, as we'll continue our behind the scenes look at the The Crew! If you haven't seen it yet, we hosted a live Concept Art session last night on Periscope and we'll continue holding them every Thursday at 7:30pm CST.

Remember to enter for a chance to win the Nicolas Cage mask from Alamo Draft House! Just tell us your useless super power on Twitter or on Instagram and don't forget to add #TheCrew #CageFace

-Joey