Many have emailed, left comments, tweeted, left facebook messages and more. Many have wondered, what the hell is going on with Gates? Well, you’re about to find out. If you’re in LA, you can even find out in person!
Join me on 7/15/13 at the Digital LA – Digital Comics, on Monday from 7-9:30p at WeWork Hollywood, 7083 Hollywood Blvd.
Parking: Recommended at the LA Fitness/Fresh and Easy garage, one block east, enter via Sycamore just north of Hollywood.
I’ve been very, very busy since my last Journal Entry a few months ago.
Gates is evolving…again.
Just a short few months ago, I began keeping a Journal of my journey as I explored new ways to tell stories and expand the Gates universe that launched here on this very website on 01.01.11.
This is going to be my last entry for a while. I’m going off the grid to get creative as I’ve stumble upon some wonderful ideas that I am excited to begin executing.
The Serpent Seed is alive.
THE SERPENT SEED:
The Serpent Seed is a Full Spectrum Narrative and in this universe, Gates was story number one. When I created Gates originally, I always envisioned it to be the gateway to a world that would lead into the past, present and future and intermix with real and fictional events.
That time is now. I have begun working on all of the multiple platforms that will allow Gates to evolve into a multi platform storyworld called the Serpent Seed.
The Serpent Seed is an evolving universe that is told across multiple media platforms and is designed to exponentially grow with little to no repetition. Unbound and untamed by any media.
The Serpent Seed ise alive…and more on what the hell the Serpent Seed is in due time.
For now, I bid you farewell.
I’ll be updating my website from time to time as things evolve. HAL HEFNER dot com
It’s been a while…and I’ve been busy cranking away on the follow up to Gates. I wanted to stop and share some fun insight into what’s next…A world of complex villains. A world of SOLOMAN.
When dealing with the villains in Gates, the comic presented by Heavy Metal Magazine, I had an obvious villain in the ConGenement. This was on purpose to set the beginning story arc in motion so that they established themselves as the overlords of Dystopian doom in story number one…they are the great government evil that represents the current disdain many Americans have for our leaders.
BUT, they are not the only villains here, in the Gates universe…there is another. The universe that Gates belongs to is a large universe that spans across time, space and beyond in true Sci-fi fashion. I have a more complex villain here in the world that is philosophically someone who can actually be shown empathy, from a certain point of view. That villain is SOLOMAN.
In the promotions for Gates you may have seen images of Soloman, a tentacled creature attacking a woman. (see image to the right). This image was just a preview of what Soloman really is.
Soloman is the byproduct of plant based organic technology, corrupted by human greed and given life by otherworldy technology. Soloman is the technology that starts off with good intentions but is manipulated by human greed, much like I discussed in talking about the Mohawk Indians (human destruction/greed).
Soloman is a character I have painstakingly developed over the last ten years. Soloman is inspired by many themes in the real world such as Monsanto, GMO foods, Drones and other technology used for monitoring as well as the global, environmental issues.
INSPIRED BY PETER MURPHY:
Back in 2005 I was getting really close to creating Soloman. I had started off calling the character Moloch but that was not flying with me anymore. I was struggling with the concept of Soloman and how I could encapsulate all of the ideas I wanted to into the character. Then I went and saw one of my all time favorite bands at the Wiltern theater–Bauhuas.
For those of you that know Bauhaus, you know that they are fronted by Peter Murphy, a talented vocalist with a haunting voice. The concert came at a time when I had hit a creative wall with the development of the Soloman character. So when I went to the show it was a nice distraction. As the show kicked in I remember it specifically, listening to, In the Flat Field. One of my favorite songs by Bauhaus, In the Flat Field gave me an amazing visual of this field in the middle of nowhere, a field just like I grew up with in upstate NY. In this field I envisioned a factory, but not just any factory, an ORGANIC factory. This factory was made of plant materials and was green and solar powered. It was alive.
Then the song, God In An Alcove played next and in my mind I saw the innards of the factory, “in the flat field.” Inside was a pulsating mish-mash of wires, vines, circuit boards, nanotechnology and chlorophyll. I saw a body arise from this mess…a humanoid body, green in color and thin and Peter Murphy like in form. Right then and there I knew I had something special, the new Frankenstein for a modern world–inspired by Peter Murphy.
After that concert, I bought the double disc CD of the show. I went home and began crafting the drawing that would become the painting below.Soloman was born and a big thanks goes to Bauhuas and Peter Murphy.
(above image inspired by the music of Bauhaus)
Is your Bible really holy? If not it should be.
Now I’m NOT talking about the BIBLE…Yeah, that one–the book of morals, prophecy, wisdom and suffering written by several authors, interpreted in many ways and used as tool for good and evil throughout human history. Not that book.
I’m talking about a story bible!
When I create a world, I create a Bible…first and formost.
My story bible is the book of knowledge I create that tells me everything I need to know and then-some, about the story I’m working on. Whether it is a comic book, short story, novel, screenplay etc…I always make a bible in one form or another.
I have almost finished building my Bible for I Never Sausage A Place, the sequel to the comic book, Gates–that you can view for free on this website.
A PITCH BOOK vs A BIBLE: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Below is a video of the pitch book I made for the Gates comic book. This is basically a nicely designed representation of my bible with major edits and the inclusion of new chapters used to sell whoever reads this on the world of Gates.
Pitch books are used to pitch your idea and are an abridged and more advanced form of a bible. They typically have more imagery and are much more geared at selling the awesomeness of your universe to others.
A story bible is a collection of information that allows me as writer to have every secret and detail of my universe, plotted out so that I may write my story.
So here’s a little info about it for all of you folks that are curious as to how I prepare and create a story bible.
HOW I BUILD A STORY BIBLE:
I love to build the bible for my universe. It is the most fun thing that I do because I get to combine all of my favorite create juices into one collection. And by creative juices I mean my art, design and writing skills being used to bring forth my vision.
Now for someone who doesn’t draw or design, just writes, your bible may look different. That is cool. Your bible is a reflection of what you need to get your project completed. Every bible is different…not one are the same. It is the culmination of all of your exciting ideas you are going to be using for your project. Now mine just happens to be a transmedia eBOOK, with art, imagery, video and of course, pros, so it’s got some interesting additions…and it is pretty large.
You have to take into account that the length and complexity of your story idea will usually dictate the size of your bible.
So in building my bible, one must first have the ingredients to cook up their creative masterpiece.
THE MAIN CONTENTS OF MY BIBLE:
At this stage in the game, to me, nothing is sacred in terms of ideas so I will always be editing BUT the bible helps you commit to some ideas more than others as you know they are the backbone of your story. The bible for me is a psychological conquer for my story as it gives me the first semblance of a solid foundation. In my opinion, my bible keeps me from unnecessarily changing things. Sometimes, it is an easy trap for writers to fall into in terms of changing things just for the sake of changing things.
So here are the contents of my bible for my transmedia project, I Never Sausage A Place.
1) Brief Synopsis:
My bible begins with a brief synopsis. For my current needs right now, I have a nice four paragraph (one page) synopsis that summarizes the story of I Never Sausage A Place as well as I need it to be. As This is what I lead off my bible with.
2) Detailed Synopsis/Outline:
Next section is where I take the synopsis and expand it…I write something of hybrid synopsis and outline. These are the major plot points of my story, flushed out in clear fashion. It is here that I have the bones and the guts of my idea, laid out clearly so that I may use them as my guide when I write the story.
This is the ultra detailed version of my character descriptions. Along with my character descriptions, I always include an image. I would prefer to use my art for the images but if I don’t have the artwork completed, I will use some kind of representation of who I think would be a great actor or person in my life, that could play the part of that character.
4) Source Material:
This is usually the biggest chapter of my bible because it contains all of the background history about the setting of my story. For this section, I have a ton of collected articles, wikipedia entries and other resources I have found online that comprise all of the information I need to make my setting consistent. This is the research I need to keep my story entrenched in my world. These are details I need to write fearlessly and educated on my topic.
WORSHIPPING MY BIBLE:
So now I have my bible…what do I do next?
I get old school…and I print it out!
I just print all the four sections I just outlined above and punch holes in them, and place them in a three ringed binder.
Now I have a physical specimen of my ideas in my hand, advancing the psychological foundation of my ideas, even one step further.
Cherish your bible and be grateful that you have completed it because now you are on to the next magical journey…WRITING YOUR STORY!
And remember, you are the GOD of YOUR BIBLE and the creator of your world and all of its’ inhabitants.
1) You can never have to much information when creating a bible for your universe.
2) Specifically in my source material section, when editing out info that I may not need, taking a conservative approach to deleting was a smart move. I feel like the more I have, the better because even if I never use it is there to support me.
3) A synopsis is there to be edited. But get it to a good point and move on. There will be lots of time to edit your synopsis.
4) The psychological power of having completed a bible I can hold in my hand is incredibly strong.
5) Be organic with the contents of your bible. This is all about what I need to create my story. Period. Everything I need is here at my fingertips so I can write unchained.
FOLLOW HAL HEFNER’s JOURNEY INTO THE HOLY BIBLE OF 1987–I NEVER SAUSAGE A PLACE!!!!
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WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP IT WAS:
I just returned from an 8 day journey with my two daughters as we traveled into one of the coolest parts of New York, that people in other states know little about. This was a three pronged trip that was vacation+ work + party.
My goal was to get:
1) Photos: to use in the book to use as is or to paint over and manipulate in Photoshop. I can also use all of these photos in videos and as inspiration for all of the additional transmedia elements that go along with the I Never Sausage A Place Property.
2) Videos: I needed to get some great authentic footage of everything from farmlands, to people.
3) Inspired: I needed to get inspired, informed and engulfed by the Mohawk Valley, the woods, the climate and the people.
I needed all three and I got them all.
eBOOK PRODUCTION ON LOCATION:
I was born in a a small town called Ilion, NY, located in the town of German Flatts. I just got back from an 8 day adventure (7 days in New York + 1 day of travelling) in this area of upstate NY, as my crew and I took over 1600 photos, shot hours of video and went on endless journeys of adventure in the outdoors.
Any good writer will give you the advice to “write what you know”. Well I know this place well–Mohawk NY. I know the people, the philosophy of the old, middle aged, young and dead. I know the waterways, trash dumps, woods, forests, caves, sports fields, water towers and oh so much more. I know it’s soul and it knows mine.
Mohawk is named after a tribe fo Iroquois indians that once dominated the area. Some say the name Mohawk menas “people of the flint” others say it was “people of the crystal” and some speculate the word Mohawk is Algonquin for “eaters of flesh”, which is my personal favorite.
Welcome to the town of MAN EATERS! I have always loved these man eating spirits. As a kid, I could feel the spirits of the Indians when I would walk in the woods by myself. There was a smell of olden times in those woods that was in harmony that can only be seen or felt from a child’s eye in such pure form. My goal is to write an ass kicking science fiction book to bring that feeling to all of you in I Never Sausage A Place, the prequel to the Gates comic book.
So I went back to rekindle those senses, memories and realizations once again.
Mohawk is an old, historical area that was integral in the revolutionary war. It is the area in which the Last of The Mohicans took place, in the book by James Fenimore Cooper. The small town of Mohawk is located in the Mohawk Valley. After my recent trip I can honestly say that it is loaded with love, goodness and naivety while also full of evil, mystery, fear, hatred and negativity. And energy.
It was good to go back in the womb and see my roots for inspiration. Inspiration for the ebook I am writing, I Never Sausage A Place.
THE PRODUCTION JOURNEY:
Going back home is an emotionally draining journey that always leaves me feeling cheated that I didn’t get to see enough of this person or that person. Family can take up a lot of your time and then when you add in the friends factor that eats up a lot too…on top of this I was also trying to get a bunch of work done. For the most part, I achieved what I wanted to accomplish but there is more stuff I could not get done. But that’s okay, I have enough to work with for sure.
It was a hell of a ride but one I will never forget and file as one of the most awesome experiences of my life. With some really great people, I experienced the greatest and most puzzling pieces of Mohawk Valley history as I could in seven days.
I felt like I died and rose from the ashes of my corpse while I was there. Just like old times.
To start with, it was hot as hell and I was on the road most of the time hunting for the bizarre, dilapidated, timeless, natural and quintessential staples of the Mohawk Valley. In some places, 1987 is the same, just a little more withered.
MANY THANKS TO MY CREW:
A big thanks goes out to all of my family, friends and acquaintences that helped me on this journey of retrieval.
Nobody helped me more than one creative dude named, SEAN BERRIE . To me he is the THE PHOTO/VIDEO WARLOCK.
This guy was a one man wrecking crew of knowledge and photo and video wizardry. He knew where to go to get what I needed and he was available at all hours of the day and night. We had one hell of a trip and I look forward to our next journey.
SNEAK PEEK: HERE ARE SOME OF THE COOL IMAGES I GOT ON THIS TRIP -
(no explanations–sorry you’ll have to read the book!)
WHAT I LEARNED ON THIS TRIP:
1) BE PREPARED: Do as much as you can to prepare, even if you never need it. The fact that you have it, will help you tremendously.
2) BE ORGANIC: No matter how much you prepare, schedule or hope when laying out plans for production, you always have to consider other factors that will throw a wrench into the inter workings of your design. Whether it’s the weather, or some sort of natural happening, be prepared to be organic and flexible.
3) DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF: Things will go wrong. ALWAYS. So don’t piss and moan about it, suck it up and move on. Focus on the good and the things that went right.
4) IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT, FIND SOMEONE WHO DOES TO HELP YOU: Just common sense. Throw down your ego and ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help.
5) FRIENDS and FAMILY are invaluable. Respect and love thy friends and family. They will be there for you in your darkest nights and brightest days.
FOLLOW HAL HEFNER’s VOYAGE THROUGH THE TRASH HEAP OF HIS SOUL
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