A webseries co-written by Alan Steadman (Squidbillies, Revenge Academy) and starring Ashly Burch (School of Thrones, Borderlands 2)
Across the seven celestial spheres there is no mage more feared, no wizard more reviled, than the ruthless necromancer Lycra Bloodstone! ...Or at least that's how she'd like to be known. Instead, despite her best efforts, Lycra constantly finds herself the subject of good publicity. Killing planets, pirating trade ships, eating pets; nothing works! There are always unintentional positive consequences to her actions.
But now, with news of a scared object unearthed in the farthest reaches of space, she sees her chance to at last gain the notoriety she craves as well as power over life and death itself! Set in a swashbuckling universe of squid ships, cannon balls and powerful sorcery, "Buccaneer Galaxy" will deliver incredible action, insane personalities and a unique blend of old school visual effects.
INFLUENCES and OBJECTIVES:
In the tradition of this blog, I'll take a moment to talk in depth about the inner workings of my process. It's all astoundingly pretentious, so if it gets to be too much please keep in mind that I am the kind of person who freely and enthusiastically puts poop jokes in their films.
For me, I find a project by triangulating three main components: Aesthetic, Theme, and Content.
So there's four main aspects of the show's aesthetic: the CGI environments, the live action actors, the 2-D magic/flourish effects and the stop-motion/puppet creatures. The motive behind utilizing all of these techniques is not to create a look reminiscent of a particular era of film or genre, but rather evoke a particular kind of imagination. My goal is to have the audience achieve a state of mind similar to that of child playing with toys, creating a makeshift fantasy with whatever they have on hand. Though potent in its own way, I think no visual effect that convinces you something is ACTUALLY happening can possibly have this particular power.
That's the thrill I get when I watch:
Holy Flame of the Martial World
Jason and the Argonauts
The Fabulous World of Jules Verne
Also it will prevent anyone for taking anything they see too seriously. No more tone/aesthetic dissonance.
Unlike my previous films, I don't want a prior understanding of a particular aesthetic to be required to fully "get" the choices being made.
Production design influences:
Primarily the production design will stem from the artwork of modern fantasy artists, specifically:
Rodney Matthews, his work particularly will be felt in the diamond jungle and Tower of Azathoth. His work on Gerry Anderson's Lavender Castle is an obvious touchstone for this weird sci-fi by way of fantasy universe, even though the show's execution is a little clunky today.
Stephen B. Grimes for his his work on Krull.
And mostly the work of Mike Dubisch, who will be doing the concept design work for "Buccaneer Galaxy".
This is where the real synthesis I'm going for will take place. I'm want to counter the barrage of artifice with immediate, free, flowing camera design. The vast majority of the film with be shot on steadi-cam to subliminally put the viewer into the "room" with fantastic elements on display. I used haphazard handheld in "Frank Dancoolo" to cheaply enhance the frenetic feel of that film, then I locked the camera into dolly/gib moves exclusively on "Doctor Glamour" to hone my compositional skills in the hard light of gentle static shots. "Buccaneer Galaxy" will sit somewhere between. Alive and willful enough to feel the human hand of the camera, while not shaky or desperate enough to distract or obscure. And crash zooms, reverse and otherwise, will abound, because, come on, crash zooms!
I deliberately went into writing "Buccaneer Galaxy" as pure candy entertainment. Hopefully it still will work primarily on that level. However, themes emerged whether I wanted them to or not. All of them are centered around Lycra and her journey. Lycra is a character who has lost her faith and is scrambling for identity. She's on a quest of self actualization, as she's not just on a quest to destroy the universe, but to be free of that universe. But ultimately, if she'd just stop being so selfish, mopey and stubborn, she could save the galaxy. If she stopped trying to be someone else and accept who she is, she could affect far greater change. The dramatic irony of this is where a lot of the humor comes from. So then, what's the theme that emerged? To boil it down to an axiom: Be true to oneself. BORING, but that's what it is.
For all my formalist tap dancing and grandiose statements about imagination, the content of the show is stupefyingly derivative of the following:
The Spelljammer Campaign setting for D&D from the early 90s
and most importantly: Black Adder
That's all mixed up well of a lifetime of silly fantasy tropes, cartoon logic and my penchant for the works of HP Lovecraft.