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DAAAMN!! Looking back, I can't believe how far I've come with this year!
I started a new job as a temp at a healthcare payments company in February, and at the same time quit animation completely. There were a few reasons for that... for one, I'd gotten myself stuck in the marketing/social media loop cycle, and so I felt more like a marketer than an artist, which I hated.
Then there was the fact that I'm Mr. Optimization, and lip syncing literally took me weeks to do for each 3 minute video and didn't actually add THAT much quality to my crappy little animations. So the time and effort put into it wasn't worth it for such crappy videos.
Those annoyances made me quit animation for almost the full year.
Then my job moved me from temp to permanent and I got back into the whole soul-sucking corporate America groove again, and so the artist inside me was just begging to be unleashed.
I couldn't make short live action films anymore (which was my original calling- I went to film school to become a world famous movie director and apprentice to Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino. Don't judge, it was a totally realistic dream!!) because I was working full time and so were all my friends who I made movies with. So getting people together for hours and days at a time to film ninjas killing each other in the woods wasn't realistic anymore like it was in high school.
That left animation, which I could work on in my spare time without needing to corral 10-15 friends to finish. Even better, I found a free trial for an After Effects plugin called AutoLipSync which somehow proclaimed to magically sync lips to audio. I figured that was too good to be true, but what the hell, it was a free trial, so I downloaded it and created a short little animation called Dungeons & Dragon Kings to test it.
Turns out, AutoLipSync works exactly as advertised. Suddenly, what took me hours upon hours to do was now taking me less than 10 minutes.
Now THAT was something I could get behind. I could work on my animations at like 10x the speed I was doing previously, so any ideas I had could be made within a day or two, or a week at most if it was really ambitious. That was an exciting prospect. This sentence is an easter egg, first person to tell me they read it in the comments gets a prize. And since I had already created some charaters for my little D&D video, I figured I might as well use them again in a sequel and have them kill the Dragon King they talked about in the first video.
But then the ideas just started flowing. And flowing. And they didn't stop. I came up with 17 scripts, showing our foul-mouthed little heroes getting sucked into a game, finding these scattered sword shards, saving their Dungeon Master, and getting sent back home.
But THEN even more ideas came. I couldn't just leave these guys after 17 episodes- that would only be the first story arc.
So as it stands now, there will be 8 major story arcs before I call it quits and put Crypt Shyfter to rest, wrapping up the adventure with a nice little bow. If each story arc is around 17 episodes, that'll be 136 episodes. And if I'm putting out one episode each week, that means the series will go on for about 2 and a half years.
That's pretty fucking ambitious, and I'll be floored if I can actually pull off all that bullshit I'm spouting, but I'm working myself into a really nice groove now- Crypt Shyfter has become a normal part of my day, same as eating and brushing my teeth.
Episode 14 just posted this week, and Episodes 15 and 16 are finished and patiently waiting for their posting dates to arrive. Tomorrow I'll start animating the "season 1" finale, and then 2017 will start fresh with season 2! (Well you guys won't see season 2 until Jan. 22, 2017, but it's coming!)
I'm so glad I rediscovered animation and Newgrounds this year. You guys are all awesome, and I really love browsing the forums and watching your videos. I'm super pumped that I won 3 trophies this year- that definitely helps keep me going. I've also watched as Crypt Shyfter episodes went from 3 stars to now getting 4 stars more often, so I'm hopeful that means I'm on the right track!
Thank you to everyone who's stuck with the show for so far, and if you've never seen it, check it out! You can binge watch the first 14 episodes right now. And I promise, there is a LOT more awesome shit to come.
Here's to a kickass 2017 everyone- Happy New Year!