The Encampment Diaries – All Falling Apart

All Falling Apart

04/08/2020

 

I mean…

Nothing can go right, right?

 

It’s been weeks since I last opened up any project related to Encampment. Or thought about it, or mentioned it to someone. It’s impossible to want to create in this world. Usually the impetus was to escape, to make a better world, but boy when the world keeps shovelling so much utter shit into your inbox even thinking about a better place becomes a task the fractured, unending brain of a lockdown locked out human could never begin to try.

 

Ingesting films, tv shows, podcasts, music, writing, just trying to find what others do, make, create, to inspire or distract is all I have been doing but that becomes a numbing expedition after a while, everything in moderation means it all requires a break between. When there’s no where to put the punctuation mark then every part of life becomes the kind of confusing run-on sentence that multiple youtube ads would demand you change through the use of something like ‘Grammerly’ which appears to be an aid to those that don’t care to actually give writing a try, rather demand someone else, or worse some computing system, tell them how to write better than what’s in their heart, their head, their fingers, so ultimately it all becomes a blur that matters not and when even the small things that are there to give you boosts in the dark can’t make things matter then what else matters?

 

I’d like to say that during August things will leap up, and maybe I’ll finish the voice editing on each scene, before of course looking to sound effects, then drawings and ultimately music, but I cannot. The weather doesn’t help, sitting in rooms when the sun turns the world to over 25 degrees means computer screens get hotter and the whole atmosphere stops being conducive to thinking, working, surviving. But then, that’s just one excuse. There’s more a sense of being a sole figure trying to do something so self-indulgent purely because there’s no way to convince other humans to join the creation and help make it. If there were more people involved I’d have the energy, the drive, to bring this to fruition, and possibly have a lot more fun, everything’s better with others, but being so very isolated in this world, in a medium about building together, co-operation, feels so broken.

 

I feel so broken.

 

Nothing is right, nobody ever cares, and I do not know how to make anything matter, which means why even push to make anything if it doesn’t matter? Every ounce of strength in this world should be towards forwarding good, and hope, and love, and making the world and life better for everyone. But not for me. That’s where one must draw the line, making something for yourself and nobody else, why bother? Who could care?

 

Not I, I guess.

The Encampment Diaries – June? No.

June? No.

30/06/2020

I don’t know if anyone is aware but the year 2020 A.D. is kinda a shit show. It’s sorta fucked in every conceivable way. Having worked backwards on a calendar I have realised it has now been over 100 days of locking down.Even with the brief flirtation with stepping out the front door to grab shopping from a family member’s car, this is over double any other at-home-no-trips-outside experience of my life, and whilst I’m not in any unique position, the mental decomposition is one that is both frightening and breaking. We’re all in this situation to some degree, yes. We’re all in this scary horror human existence where nothing makes sense and everything’s getting worse. But trying to find reasons to get out of bed, to type, to perform, to be creative whilst never leaving 4 walls is tough.

Not impossible, thankfully, as in the past few months I’ve managed to start work on one script, work on a few outlines and show bibles, and prep/plot and draft out a short with some friends. That’s, at the very least, something. But then there’s the foreboding situation of the film that’s sitting in pieces on a hard drive. I’ve yet to push my ability in art to a place I’m happy with, I’m scared to touch the assets already existing, and the dread of ‘what’s the point’ looms large.

 

What is the point? To complete a creative endeavour, alone? Film is meant to be a communal creative experience. One person becomes two, four, twenty, fifty, one hundred people with their minds and hearts putting in ideas and thoughts and fingerprints to evolve a concept into a beautiful reality that at once can explore and enhance humanity. Art as a singular experience is wank. To share, to explore, is the point. And sitting at home, wanking, is not what I ever want to be doing, certainly not for over 100 days. I must push to do more. But others, I wish, would strive to include more. I’m alone. I’m lonely. I’m beyond broken, and I wonder if this should ever end, is this irreversible?

The Encampment Diaries – This Is 30

05/05/2020

This Is 30

 

Well shit fuck balls cock wank, here it is.

 

Midnight striking on my birthday, the end of my third decade alive and… I didn’t achieve either key goal.

I wanted to finish a film by now. Haven’t made much headway.

I wanted to have a new script ready to perform a live reading for my birthday party, didn’t finish it.

And I’m not having a party because……… Pandemic.

 

Absolute awfulness, a failed waste of space year, where things went from bad to worse, where hope depleted, where ideas flittered away, where being able to do anything became actually impossible if not downright illegal.

What the hell are we doing? I don’t know.

But it’s all shit.

31 is the new 30.

The Encampment Diaries – Lockdown

03/04/2020

Lockdown

 

I intended to do an anniversary post, on the 13th of March, a look back, despite the ensuing threat of COVID-19, and my previous post, but ultimately things just… Well…

It’s hard to feel compelled to get out of bed, to sit down, and to focus. Always has been. Any distraction from illness, from depression, from the life that is unable to be lived, has been the only way to survive each and every day. And now, when it’s taken to its fullest extreme, with the whole world experiencing the Andrew Jones style of life, well, it’s been more a game of balancing spinning plates of friends’ mental and physical health, and being there for others rather than ever giving myself a time to be me.

 

I’ve sat at a screen every day, sometimes distracting myself, sometimes distracting others, and sometimes finding that juice to write, or draw, or play a little something in a creative world, but holy shit is it so hard right now.

I’m here listening to Nirvana and with Adobe Audition open, a whole slew of audio files needing editing into scenes, into pieces to turn into animated segments later, the part I still feel so broken about my artistic abilities about that, man, I don’t think I can do this.

But then I know I have to. Because only I can. Nobody else ever will, ever cares, ever inputs. So it’s just one lone loner on a laptop, trying to be themselves, trying to free themselves, in a world where freedom is only artificial, virtual.

 

And then I look to the future, now ever more uncertain, will this go anywhere? Will we ever go anywhere again? What is creating? Writing? Cinema? Drama? People, do they give a shit? Do they just want to escape, or do they not want creation, over real life ‘characters’? I’ll never understand the masses, they who leap to something for a day or two, then the next thing, brief distractions that don’t satisfy more than an immediate itch, don’t dwell on thought, feeling, just pure empty hollow moments for the moment. Is making something more worth it? Will folk ever care for things beyond the brief flash of an idea?

 

I’m not making anything for anyone except myself. And that idea sickens me. I’m far and away the opposite of a narcissist. I am compelled to create things not to make myself be seen as something, but because I love to find worlds, people, ideas that can be explored, lived in, experienced. The only one I don’t like to explore is the world we’re currently in. Unlike drama, there is no structure, no runtime, no understanding of tone or climax.

The Encampment Diaries – Diseased

09/03/2020

Diseased

 

We’re in dark times now, of course we are, it’s classic humanity. Things go from bad to worse all the time, sometimes you get brief respite with joy, or hope, or a glimmer of light, but things never stay that way. Nothing stays in any way. Status quo is an impossible achievement that would only become lamented after time spent within it, looking for the next lawn of greener grass down the road, that’s human nature.

Since last writing these posts, it’s been a strange amount of static meets crumbling.

I finished recording the main 4 characters’ dialogue, all other lines have been farmed out with about 50% of them completed too, and I feel like my performances are strong for scratch, which ultimately the end result will be.

Sadly I began constructing character templates and location images and, for the first time in a few decades, focussed on drawing things. My artistic nature, which was fine enough to have character, has fallen quite a lot. Consistency and strong character choices were hard to etch on paper or digitally, and for the past month it’s put a dark internal spin into everything. Can I even make this project happen? It’ll never look as it does in my mind, will it feel like it does in my heart? Can I somehow still transport viewers into the world I concoct? Or is this just destruction writ large?

 

But I must forge on, to not even finish a race is worse than hurting yourself until you’re dragging across the line, right?

It’s hard to figure that stuff out, you go in so deep things get blinding. I only wish I were further along this thing, I only wish I felt able to do things. I only wish I could have people to push me, to build me, to prop me up whenever I fall. But that’s not what happens. There’s no group, no collective. This is entirely me, misguided and self-serving, self-destructive, a sole goal to attempt to achieve because the real world doesn’t work anymore. Because the real world is broken. Because the real world is falling into disarray and I’m as alone and empty as I was before people started avoiding contact.

At least I finished writing an episode of a project that I began in September. I wrote two episodes between July and September, and the weakness and brokenness led to a prolonged fuck-up in that. Now it’s this. This and other things. Things that are entirely me. That don’t require others. That don’t expand to others. That nobody wants to be a part of.

It’s so much easier, stronger, better, healthier to work in a group.

Or so it seems.

Not had much chance.

Probably never will.

The Encampment Diaries – Who Cares? Just Me

21/01/2020

Who Cares? Just Me

It’s been a weird road of doubt, uncertainty and aggressive self-destruction, making something on your own, asking people for help and getting much less of a response than you’d hope for. Bridges tirelessly built, favours done, kindness offered, friendships that turn out to be weighted to one direction. It’s drained me of everything, sitting around, alone, nobody to offer a kind of creative back-and-forth, a build, a drive, an exploration on a frequent basis. So much pent-up conceptual brilliance farted off down the road of life.

 

Today I walked out of a film that was a director spinning around the same things for the fifth time in a decade, offering no additional concepts or nuances or interests beyond setting it in a real life situation. I was annoyed that the last 4 films didn’t tell me not to go, that for months others called this one a return to form, that people paid for this, agreed to this, didn’t stop a man on a tearaway. But then, it must work for people, the singular art of one person speaks to many others out there. Maybe creating something on your own will one day open the doors to the world, finding kindreds, likened folk. The fear, of course, for me, is engaging others in discussing my works. So narcissistic. Come, listen to stories I want to tell, feelings I feel, and maybe join me in making MY work. Not yours, you must join MY world.

 

But, MY world can be so great, and offer so much to others. Otherwise why do I feel so connected to other works? Kindred.

 

I returned home to discover a project I spent months on a year and a half ago finally surfacing online, a small documentary I edited together, remembering as I watched the finished piece all the endless notes I took, breaking down the rushes into thematic moments, and cobbling it into the shape and structure that was more than ‘person talks’ and ‘person performs’. A film. I can make things.

 

I finally shoved my shit to the side today and recorded the full dialogue for 2 out of the 4 prominent figures in the script that I haven’t managed to get others to perform for me. The ones I didn’t have cemented voices for already, accent-wise. I think I brought it tonight, good performances. Tomorrow hopefully I’ll turn around and record the third, the other two have much more, and a lot of anguish, pain, full journeys to build vocally. Then onto, I dunno, designing the bloody things. Maybe I can still meet that May 5th deadline?

 

I hate myself, but I’m my only fan.

The Encampment Diaries – Year 2

01/01/2020

Year 2

We’ve gone past a milestone, we’ve lost another year, and what have we learnt? A mess, dear boy, a mess indeed is on our hands.

More pain and more irritations and constant failures and nothing close to a glimpse on the horizon to grab hold of, a spiral downwards like some sort of Nine Inch Nails album.

The more I watch films released recently, the more I realise we’re in a bad state, the more I wish I could be involved with making something with other people, create, build, inspire and be inspired, as it stands everything feels off, questionably off, like there’s a world going on adjacent, and that’s not being seen by the likes of me. What is it? Where is it? Is it?

 

I’m 30 in a few months, and charting what I’ve done is insane, whilst also no where near satisfactory when it comes to normal human lives. I shouldn’t look to others as a balanced assessment of my status, but to not examine the status quo against yourself would be to live in some fantasy world in your head, and that’s a dangerous precedent, losing track of reality means losing track of humanity. A writer who doesn’t clutch on to humanity cannot offer insight, only distraction pieces.

 

I am hoping to kick-start all my shit in the coming weeks, a mind-over-matter situation given the pain and strife that occurs and expounds every waking moment, some inescapable, some built on regrets of living life incorrectly as a youth (again, based on metrics of others). I have so much I want to do, NEED to do. Stories to tell, characters to bring to life, worlds to explore, but sitting at home writing is a lonely experience. Sitting at home, building a movie, is even lonelier. I miss others, even as an introvert there’s a limit. Creativity and inspiration stems from others and ripples beyond too, in a small bubble nothing conducive can happen. I wish to be with others, to create with others, to inspire and be inspired. This, sadly, does not seem like something a city like London can offer, especially as the world has gotten desolate thanks to confirmation by a small-minded mass of humans.

The Encampment Diaries – Damned If You Do…

30/10/2019

Damned If You Do

 

Goddamn. Frak. Frik. Balls. Crap. Shoot

I try not to use expletives in writing, script or prose, because, well, it’s just grotesque. In person I abuse the curses, but audio can flitter away into thin air, into the night. Writing is semi-permanent. Writing can be read, Writing can be mis-read.

Anyway, I feel like swearing a lot more than usual these past weeks.

I’ve had two pressures on me this year, a heavy depressive funk that strangles me, and a skin condition that disables me. In the past few months both of these have flared up so brutally that I’ve been broken in every manner and hidden from the world for the majority.

Maybe in this time I could try and build, create, work on projects, right? That’s what friends have said when I mention all this ‘time off’ I’m fortunate to have.

I’ve been in no shape mentally or physically to do anything but find quick distractions to stop both forms of pain take over my entire living nightmare.

 

At the end of September I went on my annual trip to a film festival in Norway. What this gave me was a weekend of friends, films and freedom. The brief respite, however, brought a bevvy of bad cinema (This year has been crushing for me as a fan of the artform, offering little in distraction, inspiration or reward) and whilst it was great to reconnect with people, it has now been a month since returning home and since then I’ve seen not a single non-family human with the exception of one person…

My skin condition has been put into the ‘trying out some experimental drugs’ stage, and so I’ve had a nurse every few weeks stab me with medicine. As a full-on needle-phobe this has been hell, and the promise that ‘this is not a fix, this will be ongoing treatment, every fortnight, forever’ is…. Well, my mental state has broken into pieces.

 

I stare at a laptop, where a healthier, stable human might create a world, invent, build, succeed. And I just fail. I stop. I struggle. I ache, I hurt. I can’t.

I’m looking at the deadlines I set for myself, and how each one has sailed by without any movement, only increased pain, and I stare at myself. I’m a mess. I’m a broken, bruised piece of shit.

 

And nobody will care anyway.

 

Nobody ever truly cares.

The Encampment Diaries – Two Roads Diverging

10/07/2019

Two Roads Diverging

Another long hiatus, health problems keep destroying, be it mental or physical, which are intertwined… It has been a weird year, as I look to the next, and the start of another decade, I’m worried I’ll never achieve anything. And trying to make things happen always falls apart.

 

In the time since I last wrote, I have just returned from a week in another country, mostly spent with my writing partner painstakingly beating out scene after scene in a theoretical miniseries that I have much higher intentions of than he, aspirations, dreams, are things I hold close. I like to write, but I prefer knowing I can put something out there. Self-indulgence, yes, but it’s my sole egotistical vice.

 

With regards the film, I feel so fucking fucked right now. Talking to actors, the ones that do respond, makes me depressed. They don’t have time, and I get it, it’s barely paying and it’s such a blip on the radar for not-me people, but to me it is the world and seeing it crushed so frequently with so little care has put me through five different ringers, laid out side-by-side by some sort of lazy Rude Goldbird.

 

This has made me think that, like EVERY OTHER TERRIFYING PART OF THIS EFFORT, to make something happen I’m going to have to actively step in where none of my expertise lies, and hurt the project to see it completed. Better a flawed finished film than strands of ‘almost-was-but-never’.

 

My self-belief is low, my headspace is completely broken, my hopes for the future are pretty devoid, and all I can do is write, think and write, and provide jokes for others whilst I die inside. Things are going so well.

 

Maybe by the next post something would have happened. Positive something, let’s not shake another beehive.

The Encampment Diaries – Those Bad Days

02/06/2019

Those Bad Days

 

It’s been a while…

Oh lordy has it been a while.

 

The thing about making something by yourself is that you have to be proactive and ready to do things. The thing about me is my mind is in a constant battle to try and do things, when it also wants to hide away and do nothing because it is nothing, and my body is in a constant pain to boot, making everything so fucking hard to get out of bed, let alone try and make things.

Distractions bring small, fleeting relief, but the long game is still yet to be figured out. I’m a fucking mess, I hate it, and it sucks. Is this permanent? Probably. Should I figure out a successful way to keep fighting things? Of course. Will I? Blowed if I know.

 

Thankfully between times I have recorded a third of the protagonist’s voice lines, my lead actor has devoted some time to help out, thank goodness for that. And I briefly met my other lead actor, snippets of progress.

 

My mind has focussed on other projects, not only a release of a stupid-big Star Wars script made as a joke to a friend, but with real commitment, no bullshit, and a weekly podcast where I get to unleash the most Andrew things. Prepping for a writing holiday in the summer with a co-writer on a project has also been a bit of a pickle, but has got me back into working on another script. And then some back-and-forths with former writing teams on Facebook has stupidly started up a new endeavour. I’m never short of concepts, just the agony and the ecstacy is pretty brutal a balance.

 

It’s tough to make things that are intrinsically you when you hate everything you are, but who else are you making stories for at the end of the day? If you don’t come from an honest, earnest place, everything is hollow and devoid of reason, it’s something that exists, but doesn’t live, and a storyteller wants their work to live, to rise, to react and create into others something deep.