Director's Commentary
by Kory Schaubhut

This week the Fictional Universe feature at FTTW shifts from being exclusively an online comic to a broader multi-media format. That means that in the future sometimes you’ll see comics here, sometimes videos, sometimes illustrated stories, and maybe even a few audio dramas.

This week I have a video for you (at the end of this column), which calls for a little bit of an explanation and also for a few sordid confessions on my part.

Let’s start with the explanations:


In the Fictional Universe the Internet stretches beyond the confines of the Planet Earth and many fictional and real life characters have more conspicuous online personas than is the case in our universe. This video is one example.


The video (below) is an animated message from “Skeletubby Land” addressed specifically to a YouTube user named John Reagan. YouTube, in case you didn’t know, is a web site that hosts user-created videos. It’s become very popular recently and I’ll even go out on a limb and predict that YouTube is the future of television (if you can still call it “television” once the social evolution cycle gets far enough along). Anyway, John Reagan, under the guise of a character named “The Unidentified Man,” is the host of a video review show that’s gradually gaining a following. reagan.jpg
His show is called “Good YouTuber/bad YouTuber.” In it he wears a censor bar to cover his eyes.

Now for the sordid confessions:


The Skeletubby video wasn’t originally intended for publication on FTTW. Actually, it was just intended in exactly the same way as any other YouTube user response, except that I experimented with some limited animation techniques (notably a Skeletor-style mouth) and made it a cartoon rather than just a stereotypical web cam type monologue. I originally intended to kick off this “Director’s Commentary” feature with a B-Movie FX intense live-action Star Trek parody that features talking hot peppers and to conspicuously include a credit to FTTW in the video.
I still will do that, but the original material I spent all of this last Saturday creating was destroyed in one moment when a massive cup of coffee was spilled (not by me) all over my laptop. I’m hoping that the files on that computer are recoverable, as it looks like perhaps they will be.


While the animation in the Skeletubby video isn’t (in my opinion), too hard on the eyes, it’s laden with cheap limited animation tricks that made it pretty easy to make. I developed a formula for these animated video responses, which is pretty easy to make out if you browse further into our YouTube account and view the other one. Basically I introduce the setting, have the weird character enter the frame so that you see he has a body, then gradually close in on his face. Animation is kept to a bare minimum, consisting mostly of eye blinks and a single mouth movement cycle that repeats when the character speaks. Any remaining sense of movement comes from use of constant sound and frequent cuts, pans, and zooms.


The fact that the YouTube user I responded to with this video is the host of an online show that reviews YouTube videos didn’t completely escape me.

That’s about it for this week. I promise you that next month’s installment will knock both of your socks off. That’s in comparison to this installment, which probably only knocked off one of your socks. Also, if you’re into YouTube, then check out John’s videos. If ever there was a guy who put pulse on the finger of YouTube, it’s John! And if you’re not into YouTube – get into it now!

Kory lives in Germany. We're pretty sure that's an explanation for something....



Of course it has to be a You Tube post today ... one I can't view while at work :(

Oh well, later today.


This was awesome.


Thanks! I'm still fuming over the coffee incident, tho... :((


It was excellent. Very well done!

Sorry about the coffee, man.


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