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Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything - Gwendolyn Day Mayberry
Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
Gwendolyn Day Mayberry 
Monday, February 16, 2009, 03:45 PM - Life
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
A week ago, on a gusty and bright Friday afternoon my girl and I signed the lease to our new apartment. It’s a cozy little space in the middle of Mesquite, a mere 5 minutes from work. We weren’t even supposed to look at this unit; only a serendipitous gap in our touring schedule prompted us to think, “Well, lets see if they got any availabilities, maybe we could tour it later?” For what it is, it really couldn’t be more perfect. They even allowed us to paint the walls any color we wanted. Japanese Maple for the kitchen, Flat Gray for the TV wall, and Spartan Stone for the bedroom, while it’s not 100% finished, it looks amazing. As we finish un-boxing and moving in our stuff, it really is starting to feel like our home.

For the last month, something about her had been a little odd. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first, but evidence was subconsciously building. Trouble holding food, a disproportionate outburst over my shoddy craftsmanship (I really suck at painting trim), and when she came home last Monday night, with this glow and nervous look about her, I knew. When I couldn’t stand her nervous squirming any longer, I finally asked, “Okay, so when are you going to tell me what’s on your mind?” She tried to make me guess, but after an hour of stubbornness on my part (I insisted that if she was this worked up over it, that she had better tell me, that my guessing what I was ready to guess would be of poor taste if guess incorrectly) she finally whispered her news.

It may be too early for medical science to tell us for sure, but there is no doubt in our hearts that after 7~8 short months, it will be a girl. Perhaps a month after we started dating we stayed up late one night, talking about the future. She told me of her dream, a young mother and daughter in the loveliest white sundresses, tending a garden before a picture-perfect home. She told it well enough that when I closed my eyes, I could almost smell the flowers. Gwen would soon visit my own dreams, as if to validate of our love.

Elated might be an understatement. So jovial was my reaction to her whispered announcement, that she was nearly sickened to death. Her sister had built up an expectation that I would fly off the handle and become quite irate. I think I might have made her more comfortable if my reaction had even a hint of anger or anxiety. I’ve heard of fathers-to-be reacting so uncouthly, but it just seems unnatural to me. Maybe I’m just too addicted to life, but I truly can’t help but feel overwhelmed with… joy. She swore me to secrecy until she was ready to tell other people. I made it to Thursday and I told her, “you’re already starting to show (Not to a strangers eye, but parents would notice right away), and it would probably be better to give them warning before we showed up for dinner one night with a basketball under your blouse.” We made the rounds Saturday, and not a single member of either family had anything but smiles, tears, and well wishes. Guess I’m not the only one with a sweet tooth for life!

I still have some phone calls to make, and friends to tell, but this rare chance to blog (I am sans-internet for the time being) must be taken. When dreams come true, the literal betwixt the figurative, I feel it’s important to let the world know, that yes they can, will, and do come true.
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Hail. 
Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 09:20 AM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
I had exactly one day to play this month, when the tears dried I had this:


Hail. from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.

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Combining the Elements 
Friday, January 30, 2009, 03:33 PM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
Lets make a short list of your favorite movies, say, the top 4 or 5. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.

Done?

Cool, what do you have?

Here’s what I came up with:

5) Indiana Jones (1-3)
4) Nausicaa
3) Jurassic Park
2) Seven Samurai
1) Big Trouble in Little China


There’s a clear trend in the movies I picked, they’re ripe with adventure and a bit of otherworldly awe. Not for everyone to be sure, but these movies somehow combine all of the elements of cinema to present to us a seamless alternate reality. I think just about anybody could walk away from these films and “get it.” They might not go and buy the DVD, but for 2 hours they’ll have believe in something more than the uncomfortable seats, stale popcorn, and blurry screen laid out before them. They will have become a part of the world presented to them. Why?

Indiana Jones isn’t just a film that stars Harrison Ford, no, no, no! It’s an authentic adventure that by the second act has you fully acknowledging the existence and even the perils of the good Dr. Jones. And by the closing scene of Nausicaa, you’re so captured by Miyazaki’s world, that you’ve even forgotten that you’re watching an animation.

These are perfect examples of films that took great pains to reach out to us, to lure us in, and make us believe in them. Each frame, every scene, and even the selection of actors are taken into account by the filmmakers. They know if they don’t hit each detail just right, that the audience will not accept the world they are trying to create.

Now for a side by side!

Lets take a look at Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, both are most excellent actors who often co-star in films; films which often make a great deal of cash monies at the box office.

You’ve Got Mail. If you remember this film at all, it’s likely because you saw the original with James Stewart and wished they had let a good thing be. This is not a horrible movie, not by any means. You could sit down and watch this thing and have a great time. But you know you’re just watching a movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. There’s nothing else to it. There’s no magic, no spark, and that attention to the cinematic presentation is lacking and the elements do not combine.

Now take a look at Joe vs. the Volcano. Same actors, basically the same love story, but by the end of this particular feature, you’re genuinely touched! You feel empathy for Joe Banks and his quest for… holy shit, did you see what happened? I just called Tom Hanks Joe! I don’t even remember what his characters’ name was in You’ve Got Mail!

Where do you pinpoint the difference? I would love to say it was the simple fact that I enjoy adventure flicks more than regular romantic comedies, but there’s a lot more to it as Sleepless in Seattle can attest. So what makes a movie good? Memorable? What is it that the audience wants to gain from your work?

I believe that it’s trust.

How do you gain trust from anyone? You have to work for it, you have to present yourself clearly and consistently, you must never waiver from your promises, and you must always give more than you take.

For filmmakers, that means you have to trust your audience first. Trust them to be able to enjoy your film regardless of it’s medium, to understand the plot and dialogue. So you must never dumb it down for the lowest denominator! You will want to leave plenty for those folks to chew on, but never hold their hand. They don’t wash them after using the toilet you know!

So, is skillfully combining the elements something that can be taught and learned? Or do you have to be born to ride? I don’t know for sure, but I’ve seen people grow, and artists evolve. Perhaps, as so long as you truly wish to believe, and trust in your own films… “if you build it, they will come.”

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Movie Night! 
Monday, January 12, 2009, 02:45 PM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
After a bit of a nudge (shove, really) I started digging around my collection of videos, new & old, and started uploading them to Viemo! Something that's been far too long on that old todo list. Far too long...



Machinima
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Rise. from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Diet Cola from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Fake Science from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Retro Cop vs The Living Dead from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.

Student
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Freakin' Zombie Samurai from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Alien Eyes from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


The Money Case from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.

For Fun
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The Miss-Adventures of Thudman from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Slither TV Spot from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Yard Wars from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


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Telling you so, right now. 
Friday, December 19, 2008, 12:18 PM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
Back in November at the Machinima Expo, Ricky Grove tried to explain to us his ideals on the difference between professionals and armature filmmakers. Mike and I exploded into a fury of behind-the-scenes discussion about how many of the filmmakers in the audience with us were never going to achieve any sort of mainstream (Youtube, DVD, TV, or otherwise) success. It lasted all night.

Why? They could really give two shits about all that. They were making Machinima for themselves, and they really truly could care less if you loved it or hated it.

Mike and I were flabbergasted. We had just spent an entire summer with Barriccus fine tuning and crafting a script that we had hoped would rival the likes of popular animated sitcoms such as Futurama, Family Guy, and The Simpsons. We spent hours re-tooling a single joke comparing a characters drunkenness to a bevy of pop-culture celebrities until we finally settled on one that had us rolling in sicking fits of laughter. We pulled those all-nighters for one reason, and one reason only: To make the best damn episode 1 we could. One that would be hailed and accepted by a large audience. One that we could be proud of as entertainers.

Some time next year, Machinima.com is going to release new shorts by established comedic writers, professionals that worked on those shows we took our own inspiration from. These shorts are going to be insanely popular, and those directors Mike and I were so flabbergasted by are going to be looking around, asking, “Where the fuck were all these viewers hiding? Why weren't they looking at my stuff?”

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Machinima community, we're about to receive a royal kick in the ass by the very establishment we vowed to beat from the other-side. (Don't kid yourself, we've all secretly wished for it!) They're going to sweep in, with years experience for writing for an audience, and snag a viewership that we could only dream of. These viewers will be so hungry for this material, that servers will crash when new installments are released. These viewers will create fan pages, leave comments, have fights, spam inboxes, and in short, be enthralled.

And there's NOTHING you and I, or any of us can do to stop it.

But what we can do is learn from it. Watch the shorts and listen to their viewers. Discover which outlets prove most worthy, which formats gain most praise, and perhaps, even learn a new directorial trick or two! This kick in the ass, ultimately, will be swift and not last too long. It will sting, but it will not maim or cripple us. We are a force, we are creative, we are established, and we are brilliant. We are Machinimators, Filmmakers, Animators, and Story Tellers. We have paved the way for these clowns, opened the eyes of the world, without us there would be no stage for them to dance upon. They will come with a routine of moves that will be loved and remembered, but that does not mean they will dominate the floor forever with their Disco.

Watch and behold the difference between us Ammetures and the Professionals on the same playing field.

Fear not, my comrades, for this is not a fight, this is not a war. This is a lesson to be learned.
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