Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Door of Fear Movie Poster
Wow.. so much as happened since the last blog entry. I wrote and directed another film, which was a horror called “Door of Fear”. It’s still in the final stages of post production and was shot back in April. It will be released, but had a lot of issues to be dealt with. We shot on the 2.5k Black Magic Cinema Camera, which altered our entire back-end workflow. It should be ready for film festival submissions by Oct. 2013.

Now, the sad updates: My father passed away of cancer in May after a long battle. I was able to return to Texas for a week for the memorial, but was not able to make it back in time to see him alive. The last time I saw my father was 3 years ago. The next month in June, I lost my family to divorce. In August my temporary video contract job ended, so I’m just a full-time filmmaker/actor now. I feel like such a walking tragedy.

With my house slated to be sold soon, I’ve got nothing left in Arizona other than a successful acting career and a large number of new friends. So I’ll be moving to the LA area in November to pursue both my film and acting careers to their fullest potentials. I’m thinking, to help others out, I might like to post regular blog updates about my transition out to LA and post helpful advice and just give my story. Before I leave Arizona, I do want to shoot one last film a romantic comedy short called “Rejection”. I’ve got a good key crew lined up and need to finalize the screenplay and cast for the roles so I can shoot in Oct.

This is just a quick summary update of everything that’s happened this year up to this point. There are tons of things I should be adding here acting wise, but I’ll save that for my new actor’s archive page, as this will become my personal actor site as well.

Ring of Time Movie Poster


You would think after making a film after 5 years since my last would be enough, but nope, it was a new month and I made another film. I entered into this year’s A3F 48-Hour Film Challenge here in Phoenix, AZ. Our entry was a short 5-minute film called “Ring of Time“. Our line of dialog was “I can’t believe it worked”, our prop was a ring, and our theme was “Something magical”. We were 1 of 55 teams to enter, 1 of 47 that turned out film in on time under the 48 hour limit, and unfortunately, only made the top 30 films getting an Honorable Mention, but not screened at last night’s event with the top 20. Really, surprised me on that, as I thought we did quite well and it was my most ambitious 48-challange film to date out of 6. I really appreciated the cast/crew I had on this project and thought they all were amazing. It was funny to grow from having 2 actors and 1 crew member the night I signed LJR Productions up as a team and how on the day of the shoot that number grew to 26 people. Starting on this project, I only knew 5 of the 26 people I worked with, so met a lot of new faces.

I had recently announced on my Facebook page that I was done making short films and focusing only on feature films. Well I learned I shouldn’t make statements like that, because last night at the A3F film screening for the top 20 films, I listen to a call from the event organizers of the Jerome Indie Film & Music Festival asking for more horror films. Now that it’s March and another month in 2013, I may be doing a short 10-minute horror film.


Script Frenzy 2012

   Posted by: Jon

Well… I’ve finally decided and dedicated time for next month’s Script Frenzy 2012 ( It’s similar to the NaNoWriMo event I did some years back where I wrote a 50,000 word Fantasy novel. Except, this time it’s 30 days, 100+ page screenplay, all within the month of April. That means by the end of April I’ll have a completely original and new feature-length screenplay. Yesterday, I also picked up a program I discovered call Celtx ( It’s similar to Final Draft, but more like a striped down version with goodies. I got the paid Plus version for the PC and the mobile version, but it’s also available for free with less goodies. So far, I’m really impressed and liking it more than my older version of Final Draft.

I haven’t really decided what genre of script I’m going to write yet, but I have a large list of movie ideas I’ve been building on for the past couple of years. I may draw something from that list or do a comedy, horror, Sci-Fi with Fantasy elements. I really want to do a fantasy screenplay, but if I do, I will end up wanting perfection and will need more time to develop the story. Which is why I’m going to have fantasy elements in whatever I do, but will no go full on force high-fantasy like I would like. This way, I can hope to complete a feature length screenplay, once and for all. It all starts April 1st. Check back for updates on how the writing and story development is going.

Fantasy Adventures Concept Art. Tonight, I decided to rough out some concept art for an animated cartoon series I’m thinking of starting up called “Fantasy Adventures”. The cast of classes from left to right are Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue.

The King’s Road through The Dark Forest. A scene taken from my novel Gorp: Goblin Janitor. For this drawing I used a #2HB pencil, eraser, and shader. In post I did some blur work to give the forest an unearthly haunted look as well as lower the brightness and adjusted the gamma to give it a darken look. The color tint was done in post as well.

I decided today to work on two projects at once. Since I’m worldbuilding my original world known as “Agrobathe“. I decided I would draw one of the creatures I have created for my fantasy world, the Mushmen. For this one I avoided the #2H pencil this time and instead went with an F, B, B4. I also used the shader and did a little post work to give it the yellowish tint. Scanning the image in as Greyscale kind of pixelated my work, so I had to smudge the face area a bit to get the desired effect. I will be including these guys in my later fantasy novel series based in Agrobathe.

Towards the end of 2010, I was wondering what I should focus on in 2011. I remembered the old saying from art school that the more you practice at drawing and art the better you become. So for 2011, I decided to start a personal project I call, “Drawing A Day“. Starting today January 1st, 2011, I will try to draw something each of the 365 days of the year. On 12/31/2011 if I haven’t missed any days, I should have a portfolio of 365 drawings. The rules I have given myself at quite simple:

  1. The artwork must be original in the sense that I drew it or took the picture. No traces, copies, and using other people’s work.
  2. Drawings can be hand drawn, colored, black & white, digital, or photo manipulation (as long as I took the photo).
  3. There is no limit to style or subject matter. (Personally, I will try to keep it Sci-Fi or Fantasy.)
  4. I must try to scan and post the picture the day it is drawn if possible. If I’m sick or have to travel I suspect this may not always be the case, but if I can I should make every effort to update my blog each day with a new drawing.
  5. Finally, the main rule is: Create a new work of art for each day of 2011.

For Day 1, I have just completed my first hand drawing of a Wizard. I wanted to do something old school so I just used a #2 pencil and colored the image with colored pencils. Something I’ve not done much in past.

Day 1 Drawing

So far I’m off to a good start as I have my first drawing. I drew a cartoon looking wizard as my first image and have him thinking about what is to come of this. 364 more drawing to go before I am complete. In the middle of all this I will also be writing a feature length screenplay, working out weekly and doing a lifestyle change to eat better. As well as, building a Chicken Coop and getting more Organic Backyard Gardening projects done. I’m setting to order everything for this year so that I at least have a game plan. At the end of 2010, I took a trip to visit family all over Texas and got to play a LARE (Live Action Role-playing Entertainment) game that I’ve been wanting to do for 5 years now called “MagiQuest“. I took a few pictures and will be posting a blog solely dedicated to my first experience playing the game in Grapevine, Texas. Keep checking back each day this year for a new pic each day. Most new updates will be posted towards the end of the day or whenever I’ve completed a new drawing.

All the images for this project can be found in the Drawing A Day 2011 Gallery from the link at the sidebar.



   Posted by: Jon Tags: , , , ,

Since finishing my novel, I’ve just been Minecrafting it the past week. Great to finally just game instead of working about word count. But my rest is only for this month, for next month / next year, I will begin the Re-Write of Gorp: Goblin Janitor. I’m not sure at this point what parts I’ll keep in or get rid up, but I’ve got some major work to do and will most likely cut and shorten the training chapters.

I’ve also officially joined up for next year’s Script Frenzy in April. 30 Days to write a 100 page feature length screenplay. I haven’t decided what genre of film I’ll write, but I will most likely write something that I can then Direct. That being the case I made do a Horror as they are more forgiving and seem to do better at the American Film Market, which is where I’m focused now on making feature films for. I’m looking to create a few feature films to sell there and get distribution deals for. As I build that up, I’ll eventually try to do bigger and bigger movies until I can do a proper Indie Fantasy Film. In the meantime, I hope to start back on my world-building of Agrobathe. Once I have more content there, then I will begin my epic novel series “Agrobathe” based in the world of the name of the books. I’m planning write 100,000+ word novels for publication. Gorp was just to get my first novel out of the way and to learn from the experience, which I have. However, after all this writing, I’ve really started missing the filmmaking process and miss being in the Director’s chair. I’m hoping to get back into film soon than later.

A few games coming out next year that I’m really looking forward to are: Homefront for the XBox 360, getting Kinect and a few games for that system, and Sims Medieval(it’s been a long time coming).  Time for sleep, as I actually get to sleep at closer to normal hours again since NaNoWriMo.

That’s right, the image over there to the right says it all. I won the NaNoWriMo 2010 challenge when at 12:30am tonight I completed my fantasy novel Gorp: Goblin Janitor at 50,023 total word count!! I’m so glad to be done with this and the best reward of all now that this is done is I can finally sleep again. I have work tomorrow so I will be brief here, but it feels great finally finishing my first novel. I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it or not and I really pushed through there at the end. Last night I and 30 minutes of this morning I wrote just under 6000 words, for me that was an epic push after having a full workday before hand.

Now that I’ve finished the first draft, I plan to give it a rest and enjoy some Minecraft for once without the worry about word count or my novel’s story. Then sometime early next year I will begin the re-write process where I will go back over my 1st draft and fix the story, characters, and setting issues. At this point I’m thinking I will remove a lot of the slow boring parts of the training and add in more explorations of the dungeon levels by Gorp and Drut and flesh out their characters a little. I also expect my novel size to grow a little as I expand on my antagonist a little. I won’t give the ending here, but I’m glad it finally ended and ended in a way I can write about and be happy with the result. And now.. for that most well deserved rest….zzzzzz


NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 28

   Posted by: Jon Tags: , , , ,

I find Mt. Fuji to be a fitting image to use for today’s blog post. Why you ask? Because of all the days of writing for NaNoWriMo, today was the big push. My today word count for today alone was 7176 words!  Going into the holidays I had planned to reach 50k words by tonight and be done with this novel, but that did not happen. I broke down somewhere between Friday and Saturday from burnout. But, I continued to write and haven’t skipped a day since two Fridays ago (according to my NaNo calendar). Too much to cover for 7k worth of words story wise, but basically Gorp got captured by adventurers and a lot of fight scenes ensue. I’m currently at 44,214 words right now so I missed my goal by 5,786 words. Even my Friday revised goal of 45k by the end of tonight was missed by 786 words, but I’ve come a long way and am soooo close to finishing this 50,000 word novel. As tired of writing as I am, I’m looking forward already to the rewrite of this novel sometime 1st Quarter of next year. Even if I were not to make the deadline this Tuesday at midnight, I’ll still finish the novel so I can say I completed it. I did do it afterall within 25 days instead of the 30 that others had. Time to write 786 words before I can go to bed and work in the morning.