Real Marines study “Starship Trooper”

Well, of course they do. No; I mean, they really do.

To be more specific, they have decided it’s a good idea to read Mil-S/F in general to look for ideas on tech, trends, and doctrine, to see what they might possibly need to prepare for, look for, procure, and teach. It makes sense. You read history to find out where we’ve been, what’s been tried, what’s worked, what’s failed, etc. Reading Mil-S/F to find scenarios that some other smart people have already thought about, maybe even thought through somewhat rigorously to see how it might play out, how it might be used or countered. Obviously some things like FTL or space-aliens might not fit directly into anything going on now – but some hard-science things with sensors, ways of thinking, computers, etc., might be quite relevant.

That’s part of the reason I like Mil-S/F: it makes me think about history, what is, and how people act and react when the SHTF.

H/T to Instapundit.

Ilk Acting Call, and wait! There’s more!

While Michael Neal (of swords of insurgency) and I work out the details on the contract, it’s looking likely that we can work together to bring some or all of TSCB to the screen. After talking on the phone with him for an hour or so, I think we are pretty much on the same page with a lot of things. So now we need actors and locations and visual things.

Michael is in Virginia, so the actors / actresses should preferably live in VA or nearby. Extras are usually easy to find, as they don’t normally need any particular specifics, but we might need some of those, too (more on that later, perhaps; drop me a line if you’d like to play an expendable low-brow prison/mine guard and could look the part if dressed appropriately). If you have read the book, you have met the characters, but at this time we are trying to get actors for these main characters who actually fit the parts if possible.  Some comments, and then the people needed in no particular order: Continue reading Ilk Acting Call, and wait! There’s more!

Kickstarter movie prospects

I was looking at some of the Kickstarter stats for movies, as of 28 Dec 2016. Just looking at the “film & video” stats, I observe the following:

Of the 59,966 projects attempted, 21,995 hit their funding goal (37%).

Of those 22k projects funded, 14,987 (call it 15k, about 68%) were under $10,000 raised. 3,200 had between $20,000 and $99,999 raised, and $20,000 is about the bare minimum for a decent quality short segment, say one of the easier chapters with not a lot of f/x. On the higher end of that range, much greater quality, or a much longer segment or one with more interesting parts and f/x, could be produced. The whole book has ~16 hours worth of material or more, as is, and if done as a proper half-season of  TV it could easily be fleshed out to more than that to show the developing relationships and such-not. A reasonable quality segment that would be a two-hour movie (say, the first quarter or so, up to where the ship start flying and you get the idea there is more to the ship than a hull) would cost more than a $100,000, and only 325 (~1.5%) have been funded to that level. Some scenes need a set created, but once that set is made the marginal cost of shooting on it is relatively trivial. To do anything like the whole thing at basic TV quality would likely be in the million-plus range, for which only 6 have made it. Can we dream to make it seven?

But even a decent 20-minute short might have potential to generate enough interest to raise funding and investors to create the whole series and turn a profit based on syndication, Amazon (they allow self-publishing for videos now, much like kindle books!) or Hulu sales, etc. So it will be interesting to see what a real producer can put together WRT budget estimates, timelines, costs, profitability, investor versus donor options, etc.

Movie deal in progress…

Currently starting to work out the details on a movie deal. Not the whole thing, at least not at first. Currently exploring the idea of pitching a scene with two or three different budget funding levels depending on how much can be raised for it, with various “extras” depending on interest, etc. If only a shoe-string budget gets raised, we aim for more “proof of concept” and a short version of the scene. With more money we get more length, better location, better costumes, better actors, and especially the special effects improve. With enough money, perhaps enough of a Tajemnica set and F/X modeling can be built to allow for shooting a number of additional scenes at minimal extra cost.

Still early in the negotiations, but the fact that it’s being seriously considered by someone in the industry is exciting. Once something like a formal agreement has been made, pitch and production budgets outlined, and proper right option signed, I can post more, along with links to product demo reels from the people involved, where to go for fund-raising donations, etc.

Script to movie?

I’ve exchanged a couple of emails with Michael Neal, an indie movie-maker, and he’s reading TSCB now. He came this way via comments on a post at Vox’s blog about the latest Star Wars flick. He’s not a big-name media-mogul powerhouse in a big-name studio, but he’s got connections, currently working on Swords of the Insurgency (FB link). (trailer here, episode here, series website here). The first foot in the door is always the hardest one. No idea if anything will come of it, but even the potential prospect of getting the story on the screen is a exciting.

Given that the latest Star Wars episode appears to be more aimed at the Chinese market than the American one, making a movie aimed at the American market is due, especially after the election and ascension of The God Emperor (yes, that’s said tongue-in-cheek).

1+1 Sale, Today Only (now expired)

A shameless plug of self-promotion post. Today only (14 Dec).

Castalia House is running a 1+1 Christmas sale: buy one physical book (hardbound or paperback) and get one free Castalia House e-book (details at the link). In fact if you want to buy more than one physical book, you can get an equal number of e-books without limit (well, other than the number of titles they have out, of course). Since Back From The Dead (the first half of The Stars Came Back) is now out in print it’s an eligible item. So if you are a reader, or know readers and are looking for a gift, here’s an opportunity.

A good-sized list of books, and I have yet to read a bad Castalia House product.

Election day

One of the themes in TSCB is that elections only work with informed, intelligent voters. If they are ignorant, either by choice of by gaslighting, delusion, illusion, sloth, or any other reason, then bad people can gain power. Democracy isn’t a panacea. At the end of TSCB, Taj, Helton, and the crew were sending out an information blast that couldn’t be ignored, a massive and targeted information dump to enlightened the abused.

I’ve been following this election for a while – being unemployed has given me a little extra time to watching things – and I’m of the opinion that such an information blast would be unlikely to work. It’s too much, too fast, too big. It presents too much of a change in world-view. People pull back from a hand extended to help them if the hand being put forth is too big, gnarled, and dangerous-looking.  Short of divine interventions, people don’t react well to paradigm shifts; they don’t do so well even with divine intervention. They need to be brought around slowly, shown things a bit at a time, things they can buy into, things they can believe, from people they find credible, to slowly build a foundation.

Two weeks ago, Alex Jones of Info Wars was some conspiracy nut-job. Now? I’m not so sure. In fact, I’m sure he’s right about some things. Yet I talk to people and they simply assume that because the FBI didn’t get the DoJ to press charges, there must literally be nothing but a witch-hunt there in any of it, and Hillary is a dream candidate. They look at each little billow of smoke, for years and years and year, and see no possibility at all of any fire because they see no convictions. If you try to cut straight to Satanism and child trafficking, they laugh at you. If you even try to point out Ortel’s take-down of the Clinton Foundation, they just dismiss it saying “if it’s so bad, why are there no charges filed?” They can’t even entertain the possibility of the DoJ, the FBI, and a few high-ranking politicians being in the scheme together. It’s not possible, they say, “checks and balances” they cry, when it’s more “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” You can’t reason them anywhere.

They will not believe until there is not just blood in the streets, the blood will need to be on THEIR street. It’s amazing how closed minded “open-minded” people can be. And while that presents a lot of opportunities for plot-lines, it also makes for some real dilemmas in real life.