This was probably inevitable.
This interesting concept appears in an otherwise horrifying NZ Listener article called The Art of the Pitch which is about selling your ass wholesale, but not in a way that disappoints your parents. It’s quoted by workplace guru Dan Pink, who sounds like an equally fascinating and terrifying person to be stuck in a lift with.
If you Google “Pixar pitch” it comes up with videos of eager young things convinced they have the next Finding Nemo swilling around in their bright sugar-crazed noggins. And maybe they do! (They don’t). Luckily it was one of those viral things from June to September last year (as ever, I’m late to the party) and originated with Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats as part of her Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling (presented as a nice poster here).
All of the rules are useful for writers, but the Pitch is #4, a kind of Mad Libs framework to describe a film storyline, with blanks for the details:
Once upon a time [__________].
Every day, [__________].
One day [__________].
Because of that, [__________].
Because of that, [__________].
Until finally [__________].
Neat, isn’t it? If you’re writing any story, from a screenplay to a comic script, and if you can summarize it in six sentences, you’re doing well.
(EDIT: The New Yorker is even later to the party and strongly begs to differ.)
I’ve just discovered (after they’ve been up for a year or so) that Salient has an incomplete set of issue covers on their Facebook page, including the eleven issues I designed in 2007.
It’s interesting looking at them again after so long. I think they stand up well, considering the circumstances under which they were produced. I was far too ill to be angry at the time, and I never wanted to blame other people for my problems, especially because I’d seen firsthand what happens when someone is victimized, but unable to move beyond their identity as a victim, relieving them of the responsibility of ever acting to improve their own life.
Of course, I didn’t know that the consequences of those intense five months in the Salient office would still blight my every waking moment six years later.
So yes, today for the first time in awhile, I’m a little angry.
This is one of those cartoons I’ve done every couple of years where the dialogue is made up of the more unusual show titles from the NZ Fringe Festival, which opens on Thursday. No-one ever gets this joke, so this year Jaimee is prominently holding a Fringe brochure which has ‘Spot the show title!” on the back.
I might be in trouble, not for the rudeness of the titles (Put It In My Blowhole, I’m looking at you), but for leaking this onto Twitter two days before it appears in Capital Times. Naughty Grant!
January rolls by fast, doesn’t it? I still haven’t worked out what this year is going to be like news-wise – there’s no World Cup, election or Olympics. There must be some big distraction, or else people might start paying attention to what’s going on around them, and that wouldn’t be good for our leaders at all.
Many people have asked me, “Why Otaki?”
Wellington is an expensive place to live. House prices. Rentals. Rates. There’s a reason everyone with a car motors out to the suburbs to do their weekend shopping. New World runs a monopoly in the CBD, charging a premium for supermarket basics. It’s a great city if you can afford it, but it’s also blatantly obvious that Lambton Quay is geared for the comfort and expectations of a very specific sector of society, and if you aren’t part of that sector, then life is a lot harsher than it should be.
Wellingtonians are often accused of being oblivious to the problems of the rest of New Zealand. Auckland is indifferent – it’s nothing personal, it just doesn’t need the rest of the country. Christchurch has serious problems of its own. Wellington has a cosy self-absorption coupled with vague contempt for people who are less educated or wealthy, or, horror of horrors – people who work with their hands and vote for John Key because he seems like a good bloke.
I didn’t deliberately chose to move 70km to a community with no bookshops or single women between the ages of 20 and 40. I saw a great-looking converted bach on Trade Me, and went for it. If I wish to stand on a staggeringly beautiful beach which extends to the horizon north and south, I just have to walk down the road. I can sit on my deck and listen to a dozen different types of native birds fighting. I can work at my drawing board in my lounge with my ranchslider open.
I can spend an entire day researching and drawing Jitterati by methodically reading Wellington online news – an activity which, thanks to low journalistic standards, widespread unashamed shenanigans, and the fact that I have a fucking analytical brain in my head, leaves me wrung-out and physically nauseous every week. For the sake of a four-panel cartoon.
Yes, there’s no-one to talk to, and that’s hard sometimes, but there’s no-one else to annoy or let down, and that’s what I need right now.
Available in six varieties (although I’ve only ever seen four at once) and very nice. They’re made with Swedish spring water and come in sturdy dark-brown 500ml bottles which make the drink look far more manly than it really is. The bottlestore in Otaki regards them as a bit avant-garde and stocks them reluctantly, but I believe they’re quite popular in Wellington.
There’s the usual pear and blackcurrant varieties, which are okay if nothing special, and then the more specific mango-raspberry and strawberry-lime flavours. Disappointingly, the label doesn’t tell you if it’s real fruit or not, and if so, what it’s doing in Sweden. I haven’t tried their winter cider, which is apple-cinnamon-vanilla flavoured, but it sounds fun. Half a litre (at 4%) is a bit much in one go, so they’re best consumed in the sun slowly with ice and no ambitious plans in the immediate future.
The website is as orderly as you’d expect, and includes a hilarious Beautifully Swedish section with suitably austere snapshots of a land where the trees are photogenically bare, it’s always overcast, and the women are eleven heads tall.