If you have always been noticed as the ‘different’ one, it’s time to own it! It is certainly better to be a nerd, than to be just like the rest of the herd! If you are dreaming of changing the world, with just a couple of dimes in your pocket, you’ve joined the right troop. It’s not about cheap services here, more like offering a hand to those with a low-budget trying to do big things for the world.
There was a time that we searched around for people who trusted in our projects and looking back, I wish I had someone like me, to help me. Please don’t ever forget, alone we can do so little, but together we can achieve so much!
I am heavily experienced and educated as a scriptwriter, I’ve been writing scripts since 2000. Making movies since I was a kid and wrote my first 300+ page manuscript when I was thirteen.
the full story:
okay, stay with me…
I was 11 and I was learning BASIC on an emulator for a BBC Micro on my family Acorn Archimedes computer. I typed out a few games and started creating my own boxing game, which I got bored with and used the boxer’s heads for a game of pong. (I had made my first short movie on my dad’s vhs video camera about a monster under the bed – I was the monster, DOP, Writer, Producer, Director, Editor. I was four.) Around the same time I was learning my first coding language, I was also writing a rulebook for a pen-and-paper rpg, and designing a ball game.
Fast forward two years. In High School, around the same time I got the school’s high score in algebra (98%), I made a card game mod and wrote a short story that got a good mark, read Stephen King’s It again while on holiday at a beach bach (hate how that’s spelled, it doesn't look right.) And decided to write my own epic fantasy inspired by King’s world. 300pgs.
Dropped out of high school 2 years before graduating – depression made me reject maths as a course of study. got supremely bored riding around on a truck – to keep me out of trouble, didn’t want my life to be like that.
Decided I wanted to be an artist, rediscovered video movie-making, video editing, creative writing and film analysis. and did another year of High School to get into Uni at 17.
In 2002 I rewrote my first novel as a 200-page short novel. after 3 university programs – including a degree in screenwriting and a grad dip in art direction and cartooning, by 2013 I failed repeatedly to learn programming and decided I wanted to develop micro-budget creative projects with friends, having made 5 short movies without funding.
I also wanted to get involved in community art, nerd culture and events infrastructure. so that’s what I do now.
I have written 9 manuscripts and had poetry published. I’ve been mentored by four published authors and a professional screenwriter. I’ve also been involved in the 48hrs filmmaking festival as lead story writer and co-script writer (uncredited.) And I was Associate Producer and helped with writing on an indie adventure video game with a massive map that was not completed – as the team (undergrads) disbanded.
I’m interested in creative development in the areas of: producing with my team and nerd culture ambassador duties, solo content development on micro-budgets, writing solo projects, making cartoons and game art, design, blogging and consulting as a freelancer.
Imagination is a powerful force; once wrangled can birth tremendous discovery and perspective on the lives we experience. Through understanding the best and the darkest moments that force themselves upon us, brilliant and believable solutions can be spun. The characters and the worlds I create come from this imagination, practiced by a history of writing since childhood and a lifetime of world travel — traversing the globe four times over.
As a disciplined and tenacious writer, my work has spanned screenplays, stage plays, non fiction, novels, animation and short stories— having realised first-hand the benefit of writing as a recovery and healing process, I take regular involvement in the mental health community; which has welcomed me as a friend and supporter for years.
In addition to a formal degree in creative writing, one of my manuscripts has won a mentorship with the New Zealand Society of Authors.
Harnessing my creative ambition and desire to learn & produce I am an active member of the open source software/hardware community. I have backed over 65 projects on Kickstarter®. Using writing as a medium, I contribute to Tripadvisor as a travel blogger and offer my expertise and guidance directly to those in need by writing game content, design documentation and design feedback.
Wishing to foster creativity within my ever expanding community, I have dedicated myself to helping people better articulate their ideas and raise awareness for creativity as a whole— organising entertainment events, producing micro-budget video, collaborative game projects, graphic novels and NZ-made toys, social software and affordable websites, and constantly exploring new mediums in which to express creative direction.
Established within the New Zealand creative community, I look forward to hosting local business-powered creative drives, outdoor drive-in film marathons, and general fundraising…fostering the creativity, community, and culture of my world.
What problems do I want to solve with my career?
Let me help you/Check out our stuff
My life’s ambition is to look back at a massive body of work – stories, visual works and designs.
And to also create something that never existed before. My approach toward this goal, is heavily influenced by Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma. To bang out fresh ideas constantly, except in addition to this: with attention to detail, strong craftsmanship, innovation and thoroughly sophisticated intellect – but as many works as humanly possible – to stimulate the gears in my head, and provide momentum for my career.
As I see it, cartoons are the most flexible medium of creativity in existence today. They simultaneously release your inner child, and refuse to censor your grownup NSFW fascinations.
the intersect of art and intellect
Strengths – arrogant/confident, can muster “blind faith” and leap in the face of wild odds.
Optimist – rather build a shield to protect myself from getting bogged down by what I’m afraid of.
Daily routines + time/energy management.
Ideal of 5 hours – which I many times do not reach, I write intensely, “attention span of a gnat” + then I’m tired. And throughout the day I’m thinking about problems, but I don’t count this as work time. I try to work for at least 3hrs in one go – which could be a combination of a few hundred words of new script (comic or game treatment) or new novel pages, blog for 1hr and study/research/coding/free sketching or storyboarding. And a 4th hour of messing about with Adobe software or a game engine.
But I’ll usually do 7pgs of rewrites around lunch time as well. This is a productive day.
Troma-esque vast body of work + to create something that didn’t exist before.
dream type of work:
Epic, fantastical, sci-fi AND grounded in deep thought, post-modernism, minimalism and restrictions.
– called “intellectual snob”. Good thing? “I’m fine with it… until it becomes a problem then I guess I’ll tone it down” = I won’t. “tone it down” = lowering self for others. “Compromise is a dirty word”
Standing your ground, staying true to yourself, despite expectations and level of others = courage.
How do I shrug off other people’s opinions with such conviction and grounding in my self-belief/belief in my art? I’m not impenetrable to criticism, I often am forced to work through depressed periods. I value the work, most of my feedback has confirmed that belief, even if they didn’t end in a sale. I believe that what I’m trying to express and create has value – as art, as entertainment and as motivational/functional tools.
Graduate critique – she got me. Huge push forward to keep going + rewarding to get such valuable feedback.
a study of itself
Felt really different. Proud, because it was different to anything I’d done before – mostly done fantasy + turning reality into something morbid/humorous/both.
Doing something really different is… hard, and doesn’t always happen.
WAY I’VE GROWN THE MOST: Learned to be more patient. HARD for creatives – all the ideas, rush all the pages.
How to be more patient? You get the benefit after you’ve learned it. You have to just by sheer force of will figure it out. Learn to be better and you see it makes the work better, it shows up in the work as I don’t like to rush the pages – seeing the improvement in the work makes it easier to force yourself to be patient.
PROJECT WHERE I GREW THE MOST: fantasy novel started at age 13 (300pgs) – every time I rewrote it, I found how bad it was before, noticed how much I’d grown as a writer each time.
At first, it wasn’t arrogance – I was naive and foolish, and struggled to get people to understand what I conveyed
I tried hard to learn to communicate AND express (truthfully) at the same time – difficult challenge
Now? It’s arrogance – too arrogant to submit
“Who are THEY to decide what my writing should be?”
If failing too much, I may consider “selling myself” – functional skills + functional member of society + functional, unglamorous gigs – the Einsteiner, without the day job
What is perfection?
To master at least 4 x creative mediums of expression – add another 2 skills (got: game design, writing) – working on cartooning, producing.
And to help beginner writers and become an ambassador for progressive nerd culture.
FUNCTIONAL – for the designs, to create them. For the writing, to get published.
– “So, I think what you mean by “functional” is “in the world” – to make the art into reality in the world, to take the creations beyond the page” (Amanda)
Publishing = meeting expectations/standards of others (the gatekeepers)
“Who are THEY to decide what my writing should be?”
Richard Garfield, Magic the Gathering inventor: “I so admire how he was able to create something there was no roadmap for + whole domino effect of other creations” – He invented a completely new breed of game. Love to be able to do that; change the game.
Lynda Chan-wai Earle, Graduate critique – she read, understood and really got me and what I was trying to do.
STEPHEN KING’S THEORY: monster = 3 archetypes. I thought about how each of the 3 represents a drive, in us.
1: Vampire > feeding, thirst, sexual/lust, survival
2: Werewolf > we are all animals without our conscience. All of us, are. “We need to be tamed, by ourselves”
3: Frankenstein’s monster > the most interesting. GOD motive – to punish the creator for creating him, for going against God’s law. Represents God’s wrath.
Alien/s = my perfect Frankenstein monster film – weapon discovered by humans, turned against humans to punish them for greed (the company). Greed made them arrogant, pride made them ignorant. Therein did lie their mistake. They underestimated the weapon.
AI, robots + virtual reality = the nightmares of Frankenstein’s monster turning against us, God’s law.
And then I further speculated that the monster is merely a tool; for – in the horror, materialising our fear/s, – in the thriller, creating consistent tension and teasing with the implied.
Horror is defined as an intense sense of discomfort, panic and loathing. King goes on to mention the chronology of the Horror method: 1 = terrify; to terrorise them by bringing up something they viscerally cannot handle. If that doesn’t work, 2 = horror (or shock – because it’s all horror; to surprise them). If that doesn’t work, 3 = gross out, take it further than they can handle.
Mechatronics: learned about communication – artist produced something not quite in my head. I was fascinated – many different ways to design how something can REACT to you.
REACT: God’s law? Making the next machine to react > learn to react > turn against? Am I Dr Frankenstein if I finally create something that never existed before = breaking God’s law? “I don’t think I’ll care by then” – Q: why not? A: the struggle for achievement seems worse than the idea of God’s wrath.
Maybe I’m building Jane from Speaker for the Dead (Ender’s Saga – novel series).
MONKEY + ORANGUTAN: needed to explore:
1) more than physical
Created characters that are – part of him, not him, and not fictional either.
REPRESENT: all artists have (and need) the critical analyst/the inner critic AND the sounding board.
“If you don’t have these around, you need to invent them in your head”
We love the idea of isolation for creative focus.
Cosy spaces – from Danish “Hygge” concept. Isolating yourself can be positive. Feel isolated, when travelling, even with people.
Home? It has always been a fantasy to be a hermit, live on an isolated beach, but with a dairy/some convenience.
When I first arrived in New Zealand, and then 4 x round the world – fantasy and stories were safe haven away from fears.
As a kid – “terrified of everything”: dark, monsters, serial killers, axe in night – thought it was normal (it is a bit).
Started writing at 4, turned to fantasy away from rural/boring life.
Believed in magic and the impossible, made things more interesting and exciting.
Enjoyed school UNTIL it got serious + boring. School was supposed to be about learning not discipline.
And then I grew up – you discover the demons in you are more scary than anything outside. “Totally, that’s my life!”
WANT TO WRITE: epic horror of the demons within me – more on that in my work.
The threat – “real fears put magical demons to shame”
Amanda: “Well, maybe the magical heroes are enough to overcome the real fears.”
But I don’t write about heroes – that’s too happy.
COMMUNICATION: SECOND TO EXPRESSION (core concept)
Graduate critique: “Is art about communication? He’d probably say no” – passionate NO scream!
“I think communication is a lesser beast to expression.”
If it is to affect expression, it should suffer.
Expression: pure form, truth VS Communication: meeting someone else where they are – language, expectations…
What can I do to bring my creativity beyond the page without needing to interact heavily with people?
Learn to code so I can make indie video games.
Write novels and screenplays consistently and submit to places with the hope of becoming published/produced.
Earn some money from freelancing so I can produce micro-budget video movies.
Get good at painting miniatures and meet other nerds and help us as a group have access to more fun resources and venues.
Produce some small and personal micro-budget doco feature movies and fiction feature movies on video.
Keep consistent on my blogs, to increase my essay/review output.
Invest time in new hobbies.