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Archive for December 5th, 2019

David Schaub is a writer and Academy Award ® nominated Animation Supervisor working in the film industry for more than 25 years. In 2019 he produced and directed the audio adaptation of SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD.  He also developed STORY COMPASS® smartphone app for screenwriters (www.moviemethods.com) in 2017.

Schaub received Oscar nomination for animation in Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Disney), along with nominations for BAFTA Award, Saturn Award and Critic’s Choice Award, and won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Visual Effects for his team’s work on the film.

HEAD ANIMATION on Sony Picture’s SURFS UP – recognized with two Annie Awards among its ten nominations including Academy Award nomination and four Visual Effects Society (VES) award nominations.

ANIMATION DIRECTOR on AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 (2014), CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (Disney), I AM LEGEND (Warner Bros.) and LEAD ANIMATOR on STUART LITTLE 1 & 2, EVOLUTION, CAST AWAY, GODZILLA, PATCH ADAMS and more.

ANIMATION DIRECTOR – Universal’s award-winning JURASSIC WORLD EXPEDITION (2019) VR EXPERIENCE. Exploring cinematic potential of virtual reality.

Website → https://www.dschaub2.com/

https://www.dschaub2.com/other-projects

Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/dschaub2writer

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19662596.David_Schaub

Roger Vizard is a writer and self-taught artist. He was accepted into the animation program at Sheridan College in1987, then worked at Sullivan Bluth Studios in Ireland, then as an animation apprentice on “WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT” at Richard Williams’ studio in London.  He later became Williams’ assistant animator on “THIEF AND THE COBBLER.”

After several years working in Europe at studios like Gerhard Hahn in Germany and A-films in Denmark, he moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to work as a story board artist on the first season of Sonic the Hedgehog, then rolled back into animation again after that.  He successfully made the transition to from 2D to CGI on “STUART LITTLE 2” in 2001, and since that time have worked non-stop at animation/VFX studios in Los Angeles.

Website → https://www.rvizard.com/

 

Inside the Audiobook


Title: Spirits of the Western Wild
Authors: David Schaub & Roger Vizard
Publisher: Independent
Genre: Adventure / Mystery / Comedy

This mystical adventure follows a young adventure-seeker named Luther McCleron on a westward journey to learn more about his Grandfather. A series of fateful missteps take Luther far from his destination to a disheveled little town under the tyranny of a crooked sheriff named Big Willie. It’s here that Luther comes face-to-face with the legendary ghost of Monty: a curmudgeonly ghost who refuses to believe he’s dead. Luther just wants to get back to his quest, but Monty thwarts his plans by using Luther to take out his vengeance on Big Willie.

Through a catastrophic string of events, Luther and Monty find themselves hopelessly entangled in a combative partnership that escalates to the breaking point. Only by reconciling their differences are they able to uncover the profound connections that weave their fates together.

A mysterious book of premonitions, an ominous crow, and ancient Indian drive the mystical tone of this world; conjuring spiritual forces to help steer Luther on his journey through this western “twilight zone.”

All the loose ends resolve in a satisfying story of redemption, loyalty and ascension while exploring the mysterious nature of fate and destiny. Was all of this a coincidence? Or are we guided by ancient “spirits on the wind” that nudge and steer us along our path to assure that we arrive safely at our intended destination in the end?

5 out of 5 stars

 A fantastic and Immersive adventure for everyone. 

What a wonderful audio book and what a pleasure it was to be on this journey. Not only the adventure was captivating but also everything around it. The sounds effect and voices really bring it all together, you almost feel like you are right there witnessing all this first hand. The production quality is something I have never heard before. Very well done and I highly recommend it.

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2qsxtKC

Audible → https://adbl.co/2OjjleM

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Since I am not writing every day, I think the answer would have to be no.  With so many different projects underway, writing is just one part of the equation that plays into the larger picture from one day to the next.

For me, writing is more of a means to an end.  It’s a vital creative step toward manifesting some end result… whether it’s a fully executed screenplay, game narrative or just a troublesome scene where the dialogue needs to be rewritten.

I’ve been working as an animation supervisor in production for over two decades now, so I really came in the back door on this writing thing.  I spent years working with writers, directors and producers – fully immersed in that world.  And when you are around those forces for long enough, it has a tendency to rub off.

I’ve broken down hundreds of screenplays (for cost estimates and bidding purposes), and through that process became fascinated with the mechanics of story.  I was exposed to some really great material, and some not-so great…  and developed my own instincts for what works and what doesn’t work in a story.

A few years ago I was convinced that it was all about story structure, and developed a smartphone app called STORY COMPASS ® (www.moviemethods.com) for screenwriters to keep at my fingertips as I write.  I also did a white-board animation that makes a case for story structure without being formulaic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=EyCeOfw4N-w&feature=emb_logo

Given the nature of how SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD evolved, we really only used the app during the rewrite-phase.  With all of the broad strokes and creative elements in place, the app actually helped us fit together the larger puzzle in a way that ebbs and flows with a natural story rhythm.  We were able to dial in those structural nuances in the end, rather that fixating on the up front where it can block the creative flow.

What was your inspiration for SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD?

It was Roger [Vizard], my story partner who pitched me the idea for a buddy film with a young cowboy and a crotchety old ghost who refused to believe he was dead.   It was mostly a character premise with some great drawings and situational gags.  We kicked ideas around between ourselves about where the story could go, and ultimately decided to join forces to see if we could shape it into a fully executed screenplay that would sustain itself as an animated feature.  It was the characters that inspired us, and that’s what drove everything down the story path.

How long did it take you to complete the screenplay?

I’ll confess to about five years.  Crazy… right?  But keep in mind that this project evolved during our downtime between larger productions that we were both involved in.  Another obstacle was that our schedules and production commitments didn’t always align.  But for us, this was a “passion-project” that helped us maintain some level of sanity while working on some grueling visual effects shows.  The fact that we were just chipping away over time was enough to keep both of us sane.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

No, I am not very disciplined.  Neither is Roger.  Writing is hard, and I require a heavy dose of inspiration before I’m compelled to sit down and execute.  I’ve also discovered that if writing comes easy, then it means I’m not digging down deep enough.  So with that in mind, I’ve got to be good and ready for some level of pain and suffering ahead!

The good news is that when inspiration strikes, I am unstoppable.  Obsessively compulsive might be a better description.  I can remain focused for HUGE stretches of time, and those stretches can go for weeks, or months at a time.  There’s usually very little sleep involved, and it’s not a very healthy routine.  But it’s all in the interest of capturing lightning in a bottle during those times of intense focus.

Sometimes the marathon sessions pay off… other times the result is just a heaping pile of crumpled paper.  Same as any writer, I suppose.  I’m often overwhelmed at the endless possibilities and self-imposed forks in the road.  Of course, I feel like I need to go down all those dead ends to see if there’s anything lurking in the dark before turning back empty handed.   I hate that nagging feeling that I might have missed an undiscovered treasure down that darkened alley — especially if I feel I might have missed it because I was just too lazy to go look.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

As I mentioned, we started with some fun characters, but no sense of a real beginning, middle, or end from a story perspective. Definitely not the best starting point for the goal of a tightly woven screenplay!

I have to say that starting from that premise, the process of dredging up a meaningful story out of nothing was a grueling, soul-searching process.  I lost count of the rewrites. But those rewrites were absolutely necessary for us to find the story that was buried down much deeper.

Through that process, the characters became real to us.  So much dialogue had been written that we really began to understand their personalities and motivations.  From there, the characters just kind of spoke to us.  Then our job was to chase them on this adventure, getting them into deeper-and-deeper trouble as they went.

Ultimately, of course, we had to reel in that adventure and focus on structure, theme, and all that… But that came much later, where STORY COMPASS ® helped us fine-tune the beats.

Usually the process is done completely in reverse — first the story, then find suitable characters to people the story.  But finding the story with only characters as a premise was probably the most ridiculous challenge.  But the upside is that it resulted in a story that we would never have conceived of had we gone the traditional outlining route.

What do you love most about being an author?

Turning over that final page… fade to black… the end.

There’s nothing like the joy that comes from completion.

It’s from here that we have the potential to convert it from a stack of paper into a real thing.

Hopefully, a real thing worth producing!

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

We went in the back door on the publishing side as well.

This project was crafted as a screenplay, with no intention of publishing as a book.

When Roger moved onto another animation gig, I decided to keep chipping away at the next steps toward production.  I had the crazy idea of producing it as an audiobook to make it super-easy for studio execs to absorb on their commute.  No reading required — just straight-up entertainment for the listener.

Self-funding the film wasn’t an option, but since I was looking for something to direct, I figured I could certainly produce an audio drama!  It was also a great opportunity to demonstrate my directing chops with actors, bringing it to life in a way that the written page alone could never achieve.

Once the audio was completed, I was informed by Amazon that a print (or Kindle) version had to be released before the audio version could be approved.  So that put me into another tailspin…

Unfortunately, Kindle doesn’t offer a solution to display screenplays in their native format, which is a strict standard by industry definition.  But I came up with a formatting solution that seems to work pretty well.

Now that the Kindle version is out there, I’m happy that it is.  Not only can you follow along with the audio version, but you also get a first-hand account of how the audio adaptation evolved from the written screenplay.  It’s also a convenient way to share some of the artwork that Roger and I have collaborated on along the way.

We are going to keep kicking this project down the road, with the goal of eventually making this film.

I started an Instagram feed for anyone interested in following that journey:

https://www.instagram.com/moviemethods/

I thought it would be entertaining to post the twists, turns and writing inspiration as we go. I’m sure there will be lots of discoveries, insights and takeaways on the bumpy road ahead.   Please FOLLOW – and enjoy the ride!

 

 

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Katie focuses her mind, trying to keep another anxiety attack at bay. The victim’s long brown hair is slick and wet, her body rigid in the grass. She looks more like a mannequin than the woman Katie had spoken with only yesterday, the woman she had promised to protect… 

When a cold, naked body is discovered by a couple on a jog through the lush woodlands of Pine Valley, California, new recruit Detective Katie Scott is stunned to discover the victim is Amanda Payton – a much-loved local nurse and the woman at the heart of an unsolved case she’s been investigating whilst getting a grip on her crippling PTSD.

Weeks earlier, Amanda had run, battered and bruised, out into the headlights of a passing patrol car. She claimed to have just escaped a kidnapping, but with no strong evidence, the case went cold. The Pine Valley police made a fatal mistake… 

Katie is certain the marks on Amanda’s wrists complete a pattern of women being taken, held captive and then showing up dead in remote locations around Pine Valley – and she won’t let someone die on her watch again.

But then a beautiful office worker with a link to the hospital where Amanda worked goes missing. With only days before the next body is due to show up, can Katie make amends for her past by saving this innocent life?

Totally gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Nothing will prepare you for this nail-biting roller-coaster ride…

Readers adore Jennifer Chase!

THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS PUTTING THIS BOOK DOWN!!!!!… I was literally holding my breathI HAD TO KNOW!!!!! As for the explosive ending WOW definitely not what or who I was expecting.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

I was really wowed by itI couldn’t put the book down and was trying to read as fast as I could so I could find out who the killer was. The ending took me by surpriseI was literally gasping for air… I would definitely recommend.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow what an absolutely amazing fantastic read. I was hooked almost as soon as I started this book. I am still trying to pick my chin off the floor. I loved it from page one and couldn’t read the pages quick enough. I did not see the end coming…Awesome.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

If you read one police thriller this year make sure that it is this one… it will grip you from the start and will drag you into the story trying desperately to work out who the killer is but I promise you that you will not be able to figure it out.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A great way to start a new series! It’s a wonderfully written roller-coaster ride. A must read!Book Obsessed Introverts, 5 stars

Wow!The hairs on my head stood up with this one!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://tinyurl.com/yxdmmftw

Book Excerpt

A heavy evening mist clung to the windshield of the police car, obscuring the view of the forgotten neighborhood. In the few occupied houses curtains were drawn tightly leaving only thin cracks of light seeping around the edges. Some homes even had bars across the windows. This small rural community had been ignored by the rest of the lively, growing town around it for too long. It was in desperate need of attention and restoration.
Deputy Stan Miller flipped on the wipers to clear his view, only to smear streaks of dirt across the windshield. He let out an annoyed sigh and turned the wipers to a higher speed—making it worse—and then off again.
“Now you’ve done it,” said Deputy Karl Windham beside him, and Miller laughed in spite of himself after a long and uneventful night shift.
“You’re going to criticize me?” Miller joked. “Me? The guy who has your back?” He sat up straighter, sucking in his waist and adjusting his seatbelt; it was no use pretending he hadn’t put on a few extra pounds recently.
“It’s the kiss of death out here tonight,” complained Windham watching out the side window as the mist turned to light rain.
“I bet it was Sheriff Scott’s idea to double us up, with all those recent ambushes on cops around the state.”
“It probably has something to do with the mayor’s office. Who knows? You know how they don’t tell us anything, even though we’re the ones putting our asses on the line every shift.” Still gazing out of the window, he watched a dark figure dart around a garbage can and disappear into the darkness, then he turned his attention to a skinny cat scurrying along the sidewalk, nose close to the ground tracking something.
The rain got heavier as they drove deeper into the Basin Woods Development. There were no other vehicles on the road. No lights in the distance. Only darkness.
“You hungry?” asked Miller.
“I wouldn’t turn down a cup of coffee,” replied Windham.
“Me neither.”
Deputy Miller took his eyes off the road for a moment to check the time and looked back just in time to see a slender woman stagger into the road ahead of them. She stopped still in the headlights. Her long hair, wet from the rain, was plastered against her head and around her face. She wore only a pair of panties and a tattered tank top. She looked terrified, dark eyes pleading in the glare of the lights, her mouth forming words they could not hear.
“Hey!” yelled Windham to his partner. “Stop!”
Miller jammed on the brakes, making the patrol car bounce to a stop inches before hitting the young woman. Weak and unbalanced, she fell to her knees. In the glare of the headlights, both men could clearly see the dirt embedded on her face and neck, the blood seeping from wounds on her hands, elbows, legs, and feet.
Deputy Miller turned to his partner with wide eyes. “What the…?” Jamming the vehicle into park he picked up the radio. “Dispatch, this is 3741, we have a possible 10-16 at Lincoln and Travis. Will keep you updated. Copy.”
“Copy that,” replied Dispatch.
He nodded to Windham who swung open the car door and ran to kneel beside the woman. “Miss…” he spoke gently. “Are you alright?”
She shook uncontrollably. Her head and shoulders drooped as her mouth tried to form around a word.
“Can you tell us what happened?” Windham said.
He gently touched her shoulder and she flinched away from him. “It’s okay. You’re okay now,” he reassured.
“Truth… truth… the truth… you don’t understand… otherwise…” she finally managed between gasps for breath. “I told the truth…” she muttered.
“What truth?” asked Deputy Miller who had retrieved a blanket from the trunk and now stood a few feet away.
She stopped speaking and slowly looked up at the deputy, her eyes filled with fear. Then she whispered, “I told the truth… I told the truth… told… the truth.”
Both deputies carefully helped the woman up and gently wrapped the blanket around her.
“What’s your name?” asked Windham.
“A… Aman… Amanda,” she said slowly.
“Okay, Amanda. We want to help you. Can you tell us what happened?”
“I tried…” she whispered. “It was…” Her voice trailed off.
Deputy Miller opened the back door to the patrol car as his partner gently guided her to sit down in the backseat. Miller handed her a small bottle of water and, after a few moments, her eyes focused on the officers and her breath began to steady.
Deputy Windham kneeled down to her eye level and asked, “Amanda, can you tell us what happened to you? Do you remember what happened? Anything?”
She shook her head as more tears welled up in her eyes.
“It’s okay.”
“A blue door with white trim,” she said quietly. “A big box…”
“What else, Amanda? Can you remember anything else?”
“There was a fantasy tree…”
Confused by the description, the deputy tried to make sense of it, pushing gently to pry out any more details from her. “Can you tell us what happened?”
Taking a couple of deep breaths, she finally spoke: “I was k-kidnapped.”

About The Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

Website → https://authorjenniferchase.com/

Twitter → https://twitter.com/JChaseNovelist

Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferChase/

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