Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Gospel as High Concept

A few years ago I went to a writers conference here in Dallas. One of the sessions, an incredibly popular one, was about the idea of something being high concept. You know, a story where the essence can be boiled down into a few words. Often it's done as a "What if ..." concept. Or it can be something like "X meets Y." For example, one reviewer has described Chasing Filthy Lucre as a "cyberpunk Fight Club." That, at least to me, is a high-concept way to describe that book.

High concept is something that's a little bit criticized. Mainly, at least from what I can tell, because what's high concept to one person isn't high concept to the another. That's one thing that I do remember from the class at the writers conference. People would throw out high concept pitches and the rest of the participants were asked to vote as a group if what was just pitched was high concept. It was the rare pitch that got approval. Most were getting mixed reviews.

That actually is good for me and this post. I ran across this tweet today and thought, "Wow. The gospel as high concept." Now, you may or may not agree on whether or not it's high concept. I still like it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mini Movie Monday: Cloud Rise

It's a cold Monday here in Dallas. I know this will get me no sympathy from my East Coast friends, but we are getting our first winter weather event of the season. It's mostly been a mild winter. Temperatures have regularly been in the 60 and 70s. We have, a couple of times, gotten close to 80. We are still going to the park across the street in little more than jackets.

Today, though, we have sleet and freezing rain coming down. It's coating the streets, making my commute basically impossible. I decided last night that I'd probably work from home. My decision was confirmed this morning when I looked at the backyard and it was covered in sleet. Gina's school is closed. Ellie's daycare is too. So I'm going to be working from here with a house full of family. There are worse ways to spend a chilly Monday.

If you are caught in any of this kind of weather, we have another selection for Mini Movie Monday. This one is an animated piece called Cloud Rise. Hope this can help you stave off even just a few minutes of boredom.

Cloudrise from Denver Jackson on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mini Movie Monday: Yellow

This week my worlds collide. Our Mini Movie Monday feature is something called Yellow. It was made by Neill Blomkamp, the guy behind District 9, Elysium, and the coming Chappie.

Yellow was created as part of Addidas' Adicolor campaign. So, essentially, it's a marketing piece. And that's how my worlds are colliding. I market by day, and I fiction by night.This is a much, much cooler version of what I do everyday.

And, after seeing the trailers for Chappie, this reminds me a bit of what movie seems to be.



Carl (Feb. 9, 2015)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mini Movie Monday: Carl

Something I never thought I'd learn with a 2-year-old: YouTube is a vast and deep wasteland.

We have an iPad that Ellie likes to use sometimes, and what she likes to do on the iPad is watch YoutTube videos. Some of them are educational, things about colors, numbers, etc. But a lot of it is just dumb. Now, she's 2. I don't expect her to have an incredibly refined taste. Still. There's so much junk on YouTube.

Ellie seems to really enjoy three types of videos. The first are of adults opening surprise eggs. Some of the eggs are home made. These adults will take the plastic eggs many of us use at Easter and will fill them with cheap little toys and figurines. Then they film themselves opening the eggs. Thrilling. Other eggs are chocolate. They are wrapped in foil and come with toys inside.

The second type of video she likes are adults opening toys out of the box. That is exactly what it sounds like.

The third video type is the weirdest. Adults will play with toys, creating elaborate stories with all the different characters. And they don't care if they mix characters from different shows. Peppa Pig will play at Daniel Tiger's treehouse. And what really gets me is that these videos ore popular. Some have tens of millions of views. It's baffling.

So, to prove to myself that there are things worth watching on YouTube, I went looking for stuff I'd like. On Mondays for the foreseeable future I'm going to share what I find here. We'll call it Mini Movie Monday, because alliteration. First up is a short animated film called Carl. Hope you like it.