A great post from my friend Laurie.

Learning from Sophie

Yesterday I watched the news in horror as yet another mass shooting took place in America. Immediately I felt like I was being sent back in time to March 1996. The day in school we sensed something was wrong, and I returned home to see the news and my Nana running to hug me…my shrieks as I realised that it was the school my friend and her sister went to, and phoning my Dad to check if he knew they were safe. That weekend my friend was pictured in the paper tears streaming as she laid down flowers outside her primary school.

When evening comes and light is fading
And your heart is heavy from the tears
Lift up your eyes and look to heaven
For 17 new stars have appeared
They shine their love down upon us
And the message of their love is clear
Lost familiar voices softly…

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Sundown: Interactive Graphic Novel hits virtual newsstands

Sundown CoverWell, it has finally arrived. After over a year of my own time and even more prior to my involvement, Sundown: Part One – White Birch, has been released to the public.

I first got involved with Sundown around May of 2011 when it was being designed as a fairly bog-standard motion comic – i.e. it was a single panel per page, self-propelled video format production. After a few months of working on that, and two or three other titles under development at the time, the pause button was pressed and everything came to a grinding halt. After some review, revision and restructuring, the project was redesigned as an interactive book with a new layout much more akin to printed comics. This was in no small part due to our discovery of an iPad app created in the same tool we eventually adopted, CIA: Operation Ajax. Since then till now, I have been pretty much buried in layout designs, artwork appraisals, animation and building interaction to create a digital reading experience which, whilst maybe not 100% new and original, hopefully stands out in the crowd as both innovative and entertaining.

I know, at the very least, this project has help to push the development of the tool, The Active Reader, which we have been using. I think we have had to upgrade the tool 6 or 7 times over the course of production to be able to have some the things we were doing work. It has been a lot of hard work which has, at times, driven me to edge of madness – the sound won’t play, or that font failed to load, again, or that layer of art simply doesn’t show up anymore (Thank you everyone at Tall Chair for helping me through). But, as with most creative endeavours, its completion and now release brings a special kind of satisfaction. All that’s left is to panic over whether anyone will read it and, more importantly, like it.

The book has been published by Motion Works Entertainment, based on an original concept from the creator of The Crow, James O’Barr and features original artwork from the same, with additional art created by Space Goat Productions. The build, animation and effects work were undertaken by myself, here at Dancing Fish Productions, using San Francisco based Tall Chair’s Active Reader tool. The book also features the music of Godflesh along with original music and effects created by AK Audio & Design.

Go download it, and let me know what you think.

Sundown: Part One – White Birch can be downloaded from the App Store:

Sundown Icon
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sundown-part-one-white-birch/id582521118?mt=8