Adventures at Windycon 42

This is a cross-post from

Hello Ten Wing flock! Last weekend at Windycon 42 we held our most successful convention screening of Citizen in the Temple. The excellent con staff gave us a ballroom and an hour to show the movie and hold a Q&A. If you’re reading this and you were there, thanks again! It was very encouraging to hear the comments. We loved making this movie and we look forward to further building The World of Eolan. As I mentioned in the Q&A, The World of Eolan is now a setting chapter in Lester Smith’s D6xD6 roleplaying game. You can check out the core book on drivethrurpg here or the Eolan setting chapter here.

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It still surprises me that we don’t see more filmmakers at cons. Our art requires visual artists, sculptors, costume designers, prop builders and writers. They’re all at conventions and the enthusiasm and willingness to discuss ideas is always really high. So if you’re a filmmaker and you’re reading this, hit up a sci-fi con and enjoy.

Overall, Windycon was super productive. Chad Burns and I worked on a script (details must remain a mystery for now) and had a great development meeting with a well-known author. Again, details must remain a mystery. I know, it’s all so vague! I’m sorry! I’ll just say we’re busy in the best way possible and now I have to get back to it. Thanks for reading.



Writing About Video Games so They Don’t Feel Dated

Today on io9 the authors of the short story anthology, Press Start to Play, shared their thoughts on how to imbue video games in fiction with a timeless quality. I thought I’d do the same…

I don’t feel like the technology that runs the game needs great detail unless it’s a focal point of the story. The gear is what will most likely make the game feel dated. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how we’ll interact with technology. Finger and thumb controllers may be retro at some point. So I guess, much like the other authors I would suggest avoiding the specifics and use the details to serve the story.


Indie games are becoming more popular and easier to produce but they run on popular consoles or computer platforms of the time. Could a story feature an indie game that runs on a rogue or subversive platform? Could the old consoles provide a new gaming experience in a world that has moved past them? It is worthwhile to examine how people interact with other technology in the world because that could influence the way the characters interact with a game. That said, I think reality simulating, full-immersion settings like The Matrix or New Cap City in Caprica will always have a safe place in science fiction.

All of this is fun to think about but if you want a vision of what video games will really be like in the future, look no further than Rick and Morty.

P.S. Did you guys know that former NFL Minnesota Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe, is now a sci-fi author? He wrote one of the stories for Press Start to Play. Neat!

Here’s a Creepy Thing

When working at a medical university you never know what you’re going to see.


In other news, we’re working on a new music video this weekend! Hooray!

New Interview: Citizen in the Temple


Check it out! I was interviewed by Film Buzz out in Utah about Citizen in the Temple. The interviewer made it to FilmQuest where the movie recently screened. I got to talk about making the movie, The World of Eolan and the plan is going forward.

Click right here for that interview!

Speaking of festivals, Citizen in the Temple has shown up at a few. It’s playing in the film program at the upcoming 73rd Annual Science Fiction Convention / Sasquan August 19-23, 2015. Wish I could get out to Spokane. I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest and I feel like it’s something I should do. You may or may not remember The Drone played at the 70th World Con in 2012. Citizen also won “Best Special Effects” at the 2015 Indie Incubator Film Festival here in Chicago. That’s a big gold star to Ken Hertlein (practical fx), Scott Richard (matte artist) and Michael Fernandez (visual effects).

Until next time. Thanks for reading this!

It’s the 3rd Annual B-Movie Marathon!

It’s that time of year again, folks. On June 12th we are going to lock ourselves in a room and marinade our brains in 24 hours of B-movie madness. Will we survive? What will the room smell like after 24 hours? Check out the film list below as well as details on how you can join us! Personally I’m looking forward to Samurai Cop and Miami Connection and I’m TERRIFIED of Little Bigfoot.


Scare A Rom Com

The other day my friend, jttebo wanted to come up with horror spins on romantic comedies. I dunno about you but I’d see most of these.

scarearomcom - Twitter Search

Citizen in the Temple & Staying Sane

At the last Citizen in the Temple screening someone asked me what my favorite part of the filmmaking process is. This time, right now, is one of my favorites. After all the work, years in this case, it’s a blast to screen Citizen in the Temple and talk about it with people. So if you’re reading this, thank you. Aaaaand time for me to shamelessly promote for a minute. We have Citizen in the Temple DVDs and digital downloads over in the Ten Wing Media store. If you want to support our indie film cause, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks to everyone who already picked up a copy and to everyone who attended a screening so far. The bits of interaction, the “likes” on Facebook and the Q&A’s go a long way. “A long way toward what?” you ask. Why keeping me sane of course!

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Director Statement & A Cartoon Called Blackstar

Now that Citizen in the Temple is complete and my M.F.A. diploma is in hand (woohoo!) I’m turning my attention to film festivals and Indiegogo fulfillment. Backer materials will go out soon!

I listed the project on Withoutabox and FilmFreeway. I’ve always considered WAB to be a bit clunky though necessary to get that IMDB listing. FilmFreeway has a more user-friendly layout but because some fests are listed on one and not the other, I’m monitoring both. I’ll post any fest news as I hear about it. The press kit on each site calls for a director statement so I whipped one up for Citizen in the Temple. I thought I’d share that here.

I’ve lived with the sci-fi and fantasy genres my entire life. My first memory is of running in circles during TV commercials then sitting down to watch Blackstar, the predecessor to He-Man. I spent a ridiculous amount of time gaming in my teens and twenties when a person can do that sort of thing. What attracted me to gaming was the sense of adventure and the ability to create worlds so making sci-fi movies feels like a natural fit.

Citizen in the Temple is set on the fictional planet Eolan, in the city-kingdom of Nok Tiris. Society teeters on the brink of destruction. Hyper-regulated citizens live in constant fear of their shadowy rulers known as The Consortium. Jennon Ril is one of the very few citizens with the courage to envision life a different way. It is a story of defiance and the consequences of straying from society’s expectations.

Though the environment of Nok Tiris is exaggerated, issues of government regulation, individual privacy, class separation and the abuse of technology are very close to home. I’ve always been interested in these themes and I’m excited by the opportunity to explore them in Citizen in the Temple. I have a lot of stories in mind for this setting so I hope you enjoy the first glimpse!

Does it work? And yeah… Blackstar. Anybody remember that? John Blackstar was like He-Man with black hair. There was a thing called a Trobbit. That is… a hobbit that lives in a tree.


Thanks for reading this and if you haven’t seen the trailer for Citizen in the Temple yet, you can fix that right here.

FOUND: How to Construct Great Interviews with Alex Blumberg.

I’m not a fan of long, wintery commutes. The bumper to bumper can grind on a person’s mind, right? Make them do…crazy things… To combat the frustration and boredom, I’ve been listening to more podcasts. The other day I found one with a valuable discussion on interviewing. This is from Tim Ferriss’s blog and in the show he interviews Alex Blumberg from This American Life and a few other smash hit podcasts. I think this info could be valuable to anyone who needs to conduct narrative-style, probing interviews, not just podcasters. Cultural anthropologists or documentary filmmakers might find it useful too. There’s also a great bit with Mr. Rogers talking about how he’d address tension in a rough neighborhood.

This is the second part of a two-part series. You don’t need the first part to enjoy it. So here’s the link. If you want Tim’s whole blog post with both parts, click here. Thanks for reading this.

I Should Share More

My MFA film, Citizen in the Temple, is now complete. A little while ago I sent it off to my MFA committee at DePaul University for review. They’ll need some time to watch it and take notes. Then comes the defense where we meet to discuss. If it’s approved (fingers crossed) I’ll be able to set up screenings.

I just finished a book called Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon. One of the central topics is the value of teaching your art and sharing little bits of your process (mostly via social media) as you create. This (ideally) creates engagement and tells the audience the backstory of your work. I admit for a long time I was more in the “keep it secret, keep it safe” camp. I shared a lot more early in the production simply because there were a lot of new images each week. I slowed down once we got into post. On the next project I’ll work to release tidbits a little more regularly throughout.

While I wait for the thesis defense I plan on putting together a bunch of behind the scenes stuff. I probably have 2,000 photos. I’ve got an interview and music video for the song Chris Connelly did for the movie. I’ve got behind the scenes clips from the shoot, scouting/urban exploration videos of The Dixie Square Mall (think Blues Brothers) and The Colombia Yacht Club. I also have video of our High Templar, Iris Kohl, in full make up chatting with an enthusiastic street guy outside Starbucks. I never really pointed this out but the first trailer had no finished color, sound or vfx…so I’m working on a new one. Maybe I should have released all this throughout the process but hey, technically we’re still in the process so there’s a lot of good stuff to come. Hopefully you’ll enjoy seeing a bit about how the movie came together and all the awesome people that were involved.

Got an idea where I should screen the movie? I’m all ears…eyes…I’m reading. The Logan Theater has been suggested and I plan on checking that out. Citizen in the Temple runs about 35 minutes so I might pair it up with The Drone to make an hour program. Two movies. One universe. Fun times! Thanks for reading this!


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