Scouting for Artists At MOCCA Fest 2016

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As scripts for our Eco-Friendly Horror tale Beth are nearing completion, I decided to wander through the Mocca Fest this past Saturday to see if I might just stumble onto the perfect artist that could help us pull this crazy story off. 

A show like the Mocca fest is really a treat to behold.  Every single artist presenting their wares were vastly different from whomever sat at the tables to the left, right, or anywhere around them. 

Every voice I heard was original and sincere.

Every story was a story that the creator truly needed to tell.

Simply put, it was the most optimistic group of people at a Con I had ever met. 

At the more massive Mega Cons like NYCC, C2E2, SDCC, etceteraCon, its more difficult to meet and converse with creators, because its really just a million square feet of fans queuing up to watch a preview of the Walking Dead (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that) which makes networking difficult.

At Mocca Fest however, there was no problem striking up a conversation, getting to the heart of why they do what they do, discussing hopes and dreams for projects, and as a result I find myself in a quandary.  I met too many artists with too much talent for me to possibly wrap my head around this.  Some would bring an ironic style to the book, a realistic style, or even a 1980's cartoony style.  I met an artist that did amazing sequential water colors. I love watercolors!

Fortunately, I grabbed a very large stack of comics and corresponding business cards to refer to. 

I guess it is time to get reading.

A small example of my Mocca Fest 2016 research haul

A Feature Length Comedy is in the works for 2016

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A Feature Comedy is in the works for 2016!  I guess you could call this a thematic sequel to For the Love of Pudding and the Independent.  All I can tell you at this point is the title, "Happy Birthday America!" If we got Steve Carell for this film, it would make about a billion dollars!

The Independent

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The 2006 Senate election.  Control of the Senate was for the taking with 33 of the 100 seats being challenged.  Balanced hinged on one independent.  This is Senator Ronnie Pudding's campaign commercial as seen in the upcoming series, "The Independent," a political mocumentary starring Joseph Small, Cynthia Foster and Kimberly Robertson.

Directed by Robert and Apryl Lee, written by Apryl Lee

Finding the Time to Be Creative, a Parent, and still Provide for my Family

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scene cardsAs a semi-new parent (my son just turned 2), I’m constantly faced with a dilemma; how do I find the time to pursue my creative endeavors while I have a 9 to 5 job which pays our bills and I want to be the best dad I can be?  The answer(s) are never really simple, but the following are a few fairly obvious tricks I use to continue to live my life in a creative manner.

1. Talk to your spouse.  Let them know that this is important to you.  Work with them to find the time, because if you are happy with yourself, it will be evident in your parenting, your marriage and will undoubtedly rub off on your child.  The act of pursuing goals that are important to you will encourage your child to be optimistic, happy, and pursue their own dream.  Facing challenges head-on will make you an inspiration to your child.

2. Give up sleep :)   If you want to be there for your child and take part in their life, then you can’t be on the iPhone, tablet, or computer during the soccer games, the school concerts, or the doctor visits.    That would be cheating.  You might as well not go if you’re not going to pay attention and cheer your child on.  You need to be present in whatever you are doing.  When you are parenting, be a parent.  Leave the project at home.  When you are creating, do that.  Sit at your desk.  Go to your workspace, your garage, wherever it is that you do what you do, and go create.  I’ve found that the time that I can sit for the longest period of time and really immerse myself in my work is when everyone else is asleep.  So, if you can handle the vampire life, and you don’t need a lot of shuteye, you could work nights on your projects.

3. Find motivation in your life – The day I decided to write a comic was the day my son was born.  I’ve always enjoyed the medium as a fan.  I had been assembling a library of my favorite books inscribed by their creators with words of encouragement to my son about embracing creativity in life.  I began the collection a few months before he was born, but when I saw him face to face I realized it wasn’t enough to gather words of wisdom from other people.  I want to impart those words, so I decided I’ll create a comic specifically for him.

4. Avoid distractions – Twitter is fun.  Facebook is good for keeping up with friends.  You can tumble through tumblr all day, but don’t.  Social networking can be a great tool for exactly that, networking.  Just don’t let it suck you into never-ending conversations about the social ramifications of an individual scene in the latest Star Trek film.  You may feel the need to get your two-bits out there into the twittersphere, but just do it and get out.  There is an inherent danger in social networking; it never closes.  It’s not like a bar that shuts the doors at eleven.  It’s always open, and there are always conversations to join, but you don’t have to.   You have a choice.  You can argue about Game of Thrones, or you can go write your own Fantasy epic.

These are simply a few of my techniques.  I need to be inspired, an inspiration, a loving dad and husband, sleep deprived, and wear social networking blinders.  Maybe you agree.  Maybe not.  Maybe you have very different ways of going about it. I’m going to go write something now, and leave you with a fun two panel comic example of how my son and I like to have fun and be creative together.

Darth Yoga
(This was also posted at my film criticism blog

What's Next? The 2015 - 2016 Pipeline

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Poecat has a few projects nearing various stages of completion and development, and the following is a quick update:


Beth is Poecat's eco-friendly comic pitch telling the story of the eponymous Beth, and how she has been chosen by the Goddess Gaia to be her newest vessel on Earth.  Since the formation of the Earth, Gaia has protected the planet by channeling her voice and actions through a hand-picked woman.  Until now Gaia's methods have always been that of a caring mother.  However, she has watched the way in which mankind has spoiled, poisoned, and taken advantage of the Earth, so she has decided on a more aggressive approach. Beth, a junkie from Detroit, who doesn't care for anybody, will be granted amazing powers by Gaia, so she can wage war against those that would hurt the planet.

Our comic, Make Believe, is nearing the art phase.  Issues 1 - 6 are scripted and we are currently in talks with a few artists to bring it to life.  Make Believe is a multi-versal spanning story of superheroes and toddlers, and their conflicting ideas about how to save reality from itself and each other.  It is intended to be an "all-ages" graphic story that is suitable for children but still entertain adults as well, in the way that a Pixar story appeals to the whole family.


Also on the burner is the Sci-fi feature film script Fantastica!  which explores the true nature of celebrity, and what it takes to be famous in this brave new world of ours.  This tale tackles the concept of "Nature vs Nurture" as it applies to celebrities.  Are you born with "it?"

Happy B-Day America, is a comedy script in the Docu-Comedy style of the Office.  Happy B-Day is a hilarious take on how one family celebrates the 4th of July with a surprise guest, The President of the United States!

And lastly, an Untitled horror script is in early development, which will bring Poecat's version of a modern vampire tale told through the eyes of a man that abandoned humanity for a year, only to return finding that the world he left behind is overrun by Vampires.  He travels by day and hides by night as he assembles a band of survivors.  Stay in the Light!

So, It's going to be an exciting few months as these projects come to life in various mediums.

Check back here for further updates as they happen!




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Plushy is a story for anyone who has ever felt alone, or loved their teddy bear.

This is the trailer for our short film starring Joseph Small and Cynthia Foster. Festival Screenings: Short Film Corner Festival de Cannes, NewFilmmakers at Anthology Film Archives, The New Hampshire Film Festival, The Nolita Film Festival, The BIG Mini-DV Festival.  Directed by Apryl and Robert Lee, written by Apryl Lee.


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Wishbone is about bank robbers and magic, and this is just the opening scene. Our external hard drive got zapped in a power outage, so now we have to harvest the movie off the only DVD we could find. 

Here is the lesson: turn your external hard drives off. And number 2) BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP everything - every week. That is all.

Produced over one weekend for the 48 Hour Film Project. It won BEST EDITING.  Directed by Robert Lee, Written by Apryl Lee, Edited by Apryl Lee