Tuesday, January 14, 2020

From the Graphic Design Studio: The Sovereignty Branding Images

Welcome too, or back to, the Gauntlet of Balthazar for the last part in a series of posts dedicated to multi-nominated and award-winning Nevekari Enterprise's new episodic hard-sci-fi series "Sovereignty".

Now I know what you're thinking - "Where can I see the first episode of this awesome new show you're telling me about?", and you'd be right in thinking that. But what many people outside of the creative fields are not aware of is that the average series you end up binge watching on Netflix took on average nine years to go from concept to debut - and those are often coming from teams that are already established from previous series.

Obviously, for a small company such as ours it would require a lot of money to shoot something like Sovereignty. However, I must confess that even if our bank account was suddenly filled with endless magical cash, and we soon popped out a self-financed project, it is still highly unlikely that it would be picked up by an outlet of note, as they might never hear of it's existence without a notable producer, and an agent with "oumpf" involved.

From my years at the screenwriting, development, filming, etc., gig I think in a nutshell the "agent quandary" can be explained as this - A creator needs an agent to get their beloved projects made and distributed, but an agent will not take on a creator as a client unless they already have a "hit". Thus, this catch twenty-two puts the onus on the creator to create on a smaller scale, and to self-promote him, her, or themselves, in the hope of being noticed by a lesser agent, and to eventually get stolen from that lesser agent by a "big fish" who already possesses the connections required to make these sorts of projects "take off".

Vexing, no?

Anyway, the way we've gone about it, at least up to this point, is pretty simple, and I'll lay out the creative process step by step, in case you're curious, or are starting out on a similar path and want to understand part of what you're up against.

Firstly, an idea is born. Many times this idea can be quite old. In Sovereignty's case, some of the characters and universe building goes back about twenty-five years. Other elements are about ten years old. Regardless, at some point, I believe in 2015, my partner and I realized that his old premise for a novel, and a short story I had laying around were actually built in more or less the same universe, and so it quickly went onto the "to do" list.

Combining the elements was not the problem, nor was the scope of the potential future we decided to depict, and in this case the challenge was how to imbue more emotion into the story-line. And so, an outline was hatched. Invariably, I find that laying out an outline, by act and scene, really aids in establishing the infrastructure of a piece of literature, of any kind. Still, scenes were added, scenes were changed, even character attributes were tweaked, and in the end, the original script for what was at one point called, "The Journeyman Circuit", was finished, and, shocker...it was a train-wreak!

Sometimes things just sort turn out good, other times they're average, but as award-winning screenwriter's we looked at the document, and just couldn't figure out what the hell was wrong with it. Something had to be changed, but then again, we had other projects we were writing and filming, so it just sat, and sat, and sat - until, that is, some time had passed and we had some distance, and we tackled it once again, in 2019. This time just by deepening some of the relationships, raising the "trauma" bar a little higher, changing the order of events slightly, and ergo, some dialogue, not to mention the title, Sovereignty suddenly worked.

And so, with the pilot script copyrighted I started working on prototype score to use in a trailer video, and soon ended up with a 4-Track EP, the trailer, and graphic design images we could use in various media to help promote the project. Needless to say, we're still vexed by the "agent quandary", but at least if someone does take a look at our homepage, our YouTube channel, our facebook page/s, or the 391 & the Army of Astraea Bandcamp page, Sovereignty appears as holistically developed as it is. Therefore, while I focused on the website page, the video, and then the music in the last three posts, this time I'd like to pin the three still images that have come about in the evolution of the graphic design concepts of the project.

From top to bottom throughout this post, the first, (the video still and Soundtrack EP cover) was taken from a composite of NASA (and other) images of Mars created in a number of overlapping 2-D layers. The second is a 3-D CG still (created in DAZ) that adorned the top of the page dedicated to the series on our website (and the first article in this series), but now marks the main page chevron / link to the page. The third, and last, design is the replacement of the previous image. It is a 2-D image that started life as a gratis download from Pixabay by a contributor named Richard Reid (reidy68). I've changed it pretty severely from the original, and as you might imagine, it under- went many dozen permutations in Adobe Photoshop CS6 in order to reach it's current state.

Anyway, I believe that for the most part the came out fairly well, and as far as development goes, I think that the first few episode scripts, the series bible, these images, the video clip, and album / EP are quite enough. I hope that in the long run they will aid us in at least appearing coherent to you the viewer and listener, other creators, and ideally, the all too elusive gatekeepers.

So, keep rooting for us - like, subscribe, follow, etc., and please feel free to communicate your feelings about these images, music, or regarding any other content that appear here.

Till next time.

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