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On the Hunt for Jim Groom

I feel like Michael Corleone (and actor AL Pacino) in the Godfather Part 3: living in a tired retread of a better past. They’ve pulled me back in.

I set up an agency. I finally found success on the coattails of my worst enemy: failure. I learned that failure was my muse. Failure, in fact, is the muse of all creativity. Thus we have FOM Talent Agency, where we understand that failure isn’t the end. For Failure is Our Muse.

But things have quickly turned sour. Famed author and referential humorist, Jim Groom, has gone missing. I’ve long been concerned over his relationship with a sketchy character who goes by the name of “Gonzo.” Back in my days of roaming the streets, I traced Gonzo back to a host of rather shady international criminals notorious for high-profile kidnappings. I tried to tell Groom, but he wouldn’t listen to me. This Gonzo figure had befriended Groom and worked his way in his life. What Gonzo was unaware of is that authors such as Groom won’t fetch a high price on the ransom market. Especially authors that rely on outdated Monty Python references for their humor.

Thus I am concerned for Groom’s life, and as one of the few people in the world with some knowledge of his disappearance, I have no choice but to return to my alter-ego, Jack Settig Neff, to track him down. I’ve posted a notice on the FOM webpage about his disappearance and what to expect. Myself, along with my agents, will post daily updates on our progress over the coming week. As well, I will keep an audio log which I will periodically update. Once I’ve made concrete progress on Groom’s whereabouts, I will post a video update to guide our freelance detectives further.

For now, I am on the lookout for Groom. I will update you all soon on my progress. Remember, friends, even when failure clouds our search, it is not the end. Let failure be your muse.

-Jack (Settig) Neff

FOM Agents

Visit my new agency webpage, FOM Talent Agency. At FOM, Failure is Our Muse.

Jack Neff Web pic

The one and only Jack Neff

Greenlund pic

Co-founder Jerry Greenlund

Pablo Pic

Senior Agent Enrique Pablovez

Harrison Slade Pic

Junior Agent Harrison Slade


Week 11 Summary

First, and most importantly, was the launch of my agency’s new website. There remains work to be done in filling out all of the necessary content, but I’m liking the aesthetic approach thus far. Failure, Our Muse, FOM Talent Agency, looks like it has a bright future ahead of it.

I turned to the mashup assignments with the new found freedom this week and completed a movie mashup between the Matrix and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s a bit more obvious than I would have liked, but it’s still funny.

I had way, way, way too much fun, and spent all too much time on Inklewriter writing a baseball-themed choose-your-own adventure/interactive game. It’s not even close to finished. I had too much ambition and didn’t realize what I was getting myself in to. This could be really, really cool if I find the time to finish it all out. The variables and different scenarios make it tough to go very far, even with multiple days worth of work.

I begrudgingly, and somewhat embarrassingly, posted my resume online for all to see. Yeah, I know, I know. I haven’t had much job experience for my age. Still. I’m finally finding some kind of success now with this agency, so eat it.

Finally, I wrote a quick, short story blurb using ten pre-selected words. It was kind of a pain in the ass. The words locked me into something pretty sad. Does that say something about myself?

I Have to Use These Ten Words?

This is the short story with random words and animals assignment worth 3 points.

Being a life-long writer, this seemed quite the enjoyable exercise. Then I saw my selection of words: cruelty, humanlike, align, hotly, water, regret, helicopter, dope, cursed, decade. Great stuff, right? Tough to make something like that very funny. Anyway, here’s my sad little short story.

A Glass of Water

“Am I cursed?” the little girl asked her father.

“Of course not,” he answered. “It’s just the decade we’re living in, honey.”

“I wish we could just get in a helicopter and fly away from all this,” she meekly replied.

For such a young girl to witness these atrocious acts; the cruelty of the Gods sees no end.

“I regret taking you here, little girl. I’m sorry. I’m a dope.”

“Don’t feel bad, daddy…” she said, drifting off in sleep. She quietly murmured, “Water, please?”

The father smiled. “Of course, baby.”

He wandered downstairs, thinking to himself with incessant guilt. The shadows from the stair railings bended across the room in eerie, humanlike patterns. Walking into the kitchen, he opened a cupboard and pulled down a glass. He turned to the sink, lifted the handle, and aligned the cup under the pouring faucet. The glass overflowed in the man’s hand as he stood there, thinking to himself staring hotly in the distance with anger and despair. The sink continued running, the man continued staring.

“Are you coming, Daddy?”

InkleWriter Baseball: Pressure Pitch

This is the create and host an interactive story using Twine assignment worth 3 points.

You can find the story here.

I changed this a little bit. I don’t really love Twine. I prefer Inklewriter, depending on what I’m trying to accomplish. I decided to use that for this assignment instead, which may or may not be worthy of its own, unique assignment. Maybe I’ll create that! Anyway, I’m a baseball geek and I got extremely caught up in writing this thing. I was way, way, way too ambitious with my initial plans. Some of the story threads end rather abruptly, others go on for a good bit, but finishing this thing would take at least a dedicated week or so. There are just too many variables to account for. I’m sure there are a number of mistakes here and there. If you play and want to help fix it, let me know! I still think it’s a fun mix between a game and a choose-your-own adventure. Enjoy!


Movie Mashup

This is the “this doesn’t belong here assignment” worth 2 points

Matrix Thompson mash

I love movies, and I love comparing movies. Naturally, then, I would love to mash movie images together, no? Well, it was quite a bit of fun, though my particular choice perhaps isn’t as subtle as the assignment calls for. I played around quite a bit with Johnny Depp’s head to try and render it a more similar color to the washed-out palate of that shot from the Matrix.

Week 10 Summary

Another fun week with video, this time delving much further into my character, Jack Neff, than I had in the past. A number of the assignments from this week, especially the interview, started to flesh him out a bit more and make me understand him. I won’t lie, I like that the weird Nixon/Hunter S. Thompson/Rod Serling voice I’m doing helps me differentiate myself from my character, but it gets damn tiring and its hard to keep consistent. I’m noticing that radio show Jack sounds a lot different than the video Jack I’ve been doing. I should have gone with the Todd Sprinkle voice for my character. That was just too funny. Anyway, stuff from this week:

Of course, Jack Neff was interviewed by Jim Groom, who may have received a flesh wound for his Monty Python references.

I used some crazy filters for the narrative ambiance assignment where I used a monologue from the opening of the video game Alan Wake. That whole thing is pretty creepy, but the palm tree does kill it a bit. The lighting just looked too cool with that filter to pass up.

I added visuals to the collaboration song I did with Spencer’s character Donnie Rawley, called “Donnie’s Zen.” I’m still in awe of that first shot. It looks so damn cool.

The I am me assignment was another great way for me to flesh out Jack. I twisted up a little-know folk song from Sufjan Stevens to be more in line with the character, and even wrote an alternate verse for it. The visual effect going on in the video is pretty cool too, as the colors slowly fade in and out. I had fun with this.

Then in a bit of a funny how-to video, Jack teaches everyone how to properly pour a craft beer. He’s a bit of an alchy, so its not the sort of thing he takes for granted!

I made my choice to work alone for the final unit.

Daily Creates: One, Two, Damn…