“(At the end)… we will understand that what seemed accidental was essential, we will perceive the pattern wrought by our character, we will be free to sigh or mourn. And then we can go home.”—David Mamet, Three Uses of the Knife
“You take a knife, you use it to cut the bread, so you’ll have strength to work; you use it to shave, so you’ll look nice for your lover; on discovering her with another, you use it to cut out her lying heart.”—Huddie Ledbetter, also known as Leadbelly, on drama. In David Mamet’s Three Uses of the Knife.
We all have a myth and we all live by a myth. That’s what we live for. Part of the hero journey is that the hero has to change her understanding completely, whether through the force of circumstance or through force of will. The hero must revamp her thinking about the world. And this revamping can lead to great art.
… We correctly identify the advent of this phenomenon as a “midlife crisis” and strive to live through it so that we can return to our previously less troubled state.
”—David Mamet on the second act, in Three Uses of the Knife.
I was reading David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook, and there’s a passage in there where he points out that there’s this convention amongst top-flight chefs: they are all expected to offer their own personal take on two basic standards: bread service, and an egg dish. These foods are so neutral in flavour and so dependent on technique that you can use them to analyze the difference between chefs as artists.
And I reflected on what that would mean for game designers. I decided that we should all make our own versions of Pong (which is eggs), and chess (which is definitely bread).
I would strongly recommend it as an exercise to anyone in a creative field—figure out what the bread is, and what the eggs are, and then give them your best shot. It’s a great way of figuring out your own identity as a creator.
“Sometimes I’ll just stare out my studio window for hours trying to come up with a good idea… It’s hard to convince people when you’re just staring out of the window that you’re doing the hardest work of the day… But strangely enough most of my ideas come simply by sitting here at my drawing board and perhaps doodling around on the little pad of paper.”—Charles Schulz, on where he got his ideas (as reported in Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.)
“Try to capture the way your mind organizes events, memories, and flights of fancy. Let the stories structure themselves, unfettered by formulas or preconceived notions. Only the most officious pedant uses an existing blueprint. A story creates its own blueprint as it unfolds.”—Ivan Brunetti, Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice
“It developed organically as I worked on it; though that might seem like an excuse to improvise, it wasn’t. I’d been drawing comics long enough at that point to realize that letting stories grow at their own momentum was was a more natural and sympathetic way of working than carpentering them out of ideas and plans. And the images suggested the story, not the other way around. I believe that allowing one’s drawings to suggest the direction of a story is comics’ single greatest formal advantage.”—Chris Ware on the “semi-improvisatory” approach he took in writing Jimmy Corrigan, as reported in Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.
“When he needed a piece of wood for some job, he chose it carefully, looking at it as though asking who it was, examined its grain, and looked for suggestions from the wood itself. For me it was a lesson to be taken as a rule of life: never do things by chance, never exaggerate needlessly, as when one gives too much importance to a person, or too much love, or an excessive tip.”—Saul Steinberg talking about the carpenter Sig Lomaky, quoted by Ivan Brunetti in Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.
“We can liken drawing a comic to creating a miniature reality on the page, or, as Chris Ware has said, “dreaming on paper.” Let us consider the dream: is it autobiography or fiction? On the one hand, dreams are leaps of imagination, evidence of the plasticity of the information stored in your brain, recombining in sometimes fantastic, startling ways that you could never imagine in waking life — thus a form of fiction. At the same time, that fiction could come only from your own particular brain and the stimuli it has processed and retained. Every character in your dream is basically… you. Or an extension of you. The dream is all about you, its unconscious author. In the end, autobiography and fiction are not a dichotomy but a polarity, a continual tug and pull that can never be precisely pinned down and measured.”—Ivan Brunetti, Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice
Each episode of Adventure Time takes about nine months to produce and begins in a writer’s room with series creator Ward, producers Adam Muto and Kent Osborne, and staff writer Jack Pendarvis. From that meeting, they generate a barebones, two-page outline.
Those outlines are handed over to one of four storyboard teams who have two weeks to visually outline the episode. “They’re basically directing,” says Osborne. “They’re writing all the jokes, editing the outline, picking all the camera shots… what the episode is going to look like.”
The storyboard teams then pitch their outlines to Osborne and each other where they get notes and another two weeks to address those notes. “That is about five weeks.” Osborne said. “Then there’s a couple weeks where the board is sent to the Network for notes and it’s being prepared for a voice record.”
When the network notes and voices are ready, the storyboards are assembled into an animatic where the cleaned up drawings, poses, and shots appear along with dialogue which takes a few more weeks to build. “There’s layout design and background design and color design going on,” says Osborne. “This is all to prepare for sending it overseas to Korea.”
“Entitled Baskets, Galifianakis will play Chip Baskets, a man who dreams of becoming a professional clown, but after a failed attempt at attending a fancy Parisian clowning college, he takes the only clowning job he can find, working at a local rodeo.”—Zach Galifianakis Is Heading Back to TV — Vulture