Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More screenshots

Here's a screenshot of another new character... likely to appear in episode six.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Coming Soon to a Google Video Link Near You

As you've probably surmised, there is no new episode today. Sorry, thems the breaks, you got two last week.

Fear not, however, as a new video is nearing completion and will likely be completed and uploaded some time in the next 24 hours. Not a formal episode within the series, but nonetheless related. New characters too...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Ever Growing Audience

I'll have exact numbers for opening weekend tomorrow morning when Google updates their reports. Suffice it to say the size of the audience has been nothing short of astounding. Episode Two was approaching 1,000 views only six hours after its release (almost purely through word of mouth, as this blog and www.whatisthekochtopus.com had registered barely over 100 views combined by then).

Then, of course, Lew Rockwell blogged us yesterday and interest really exploded. That's generated a ton of new traffic not just for the videos embedded in the blog entry, but for the official site as well. Indeed, it even generated dozens of views for Koch Hit 1 and 2, and a handful of downloads of the audio commentaries thereof (which can be found here).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Late Night Double Feature

Episode One:

Episode Two:

Two episodes with one blow?

As I mentioned before, episode two is completed...

Rather than staggering them out, I think I'm going to put them both out at once tonight.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A little bonus

I made a bonus Koch Cycle wallpaper file. You can get it below:


An Update

Just thought I'd check in and let everyone know that Episode Two is officially completed... so we're on schedule to start releasing. Episode One hits this Friday, so be sure to check in nice and early. Episode Two will hit the following Friday. I'm still hoping to get Episode Three done in time to keep it going on a weekly basis. The last two are shaping up to be pretty long (though they're on hold now that I'm working on three), so there's definitely going to be at least a one week gap there, maybe two (which for symmetry's sake makes more sense, then we could re-release 4 one Friday and 5 the next Friday).

Right now though, just assume there is no firm release schedule past episode two... I think I can get three done in time, and I'll update when its firm, see you guys on Friday for Koch Cycle Episode One: Rothbard Rising.

In the meantime, why not watch the trailer again?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

On the Koch Cycle

As those who have visited the official site already have discovered, my prequel project has gotten a bit more ambitious. Instead of a single movie, we're going to have 5 (actually 7 if you count the two Koch Hit movies).

Koch Hit will henceforth, at least in the context of the broader series, be known as Koch Cycle Episode Four: A New Hope. KH2 will be Koch Cycle Episode Five: Wrath of Koch. Episode one is virtually all finished, but given so many people are busy with ASC I'm leaning towards waiting until next week to put it out there. Its not just that though, I want to make sure Episode Two is finished too so I can put it out in a timely fashion. Episodes One and Two are very episodic, and it just won't do to make you guys wait too long after a cliffhanger ending.

Optimally, I want to put one out every Friday. Realistically, I might need to take a week off between Episode Three and Episode Six, though I might put together an Episode Four Director's Cut for that week with the deleted scenes restored. Maybe I'll toss in a teaser/trailer for Episodes Six and Seven as well...

Six and Seven are what I'm really looking forward to making. I've got rough outlines for both all written, and I think they'll be a good cap for the series. The prequels... they're fun, and its a good chance to fill in backstory for the uninitiated, and put a more cinematic spin on some of the events we're all familiar with... but you guys basically know what happened.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Trailer

Below is the new trailer. The website mentioned therein, http://www.whatisthekochtopus.com/ is going to have all sorts of details soon, but I'm not going to have time to get to that tonight. Still, no reason you can't watch the trailer now.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Screw Side Projects

I guess I'm going to just go headlong into the prequel since nothing simpler is coming to mind and I'm actually starting to piece together in my head where I want the prequel to go. I created a brand new character, even shot some preliminary footage (no hints yet).

I have no clue how long its going to take to make or whether I'm making one prequel or two (I have two titles in mind and probably more stuff than I could practically put in a single episode). Since its been so long since I've done anything and people are starting to forget (I'm sure they'll remember if they snag a copy of the DVD) about the whole thing I'd really like to toss a teaser/trailer out there sometime in the middle of shooting. You guys like teaser/trailers, right?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Limitless Possibilities

Sometimes the ideas come faster than you can type them, other times you can sit here for hours and nothing comes.

Lately I'm having a hard time deciding on a next video. Its not that my head is totally empty... indeed, I've had one idea that's been running through my head all day.

Here's the problem: its totally undoable in my present setup, and totally unrelated to libertarianism. Its more something one would do with a proper animation program like the one I bought last month. Sadly, I'm still fairly early in the tutorial stage of that, and nowhere near ready to tackle something that complex.

So I sit here... writing dialogue, sketching character models, on something I might never get around to making. And yet, I can't bring myself to put the idea aside for a minute to make more of the machinema style videos that are what's getting me my audience. At least I got the DVDs out the door before I ran into this block.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring some better ideas for a short video I can make. I'd really like to dive into some actual production this weekend, which is something I haven't gotten to do in quite some time. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Finally Finished

DVD production really takes forever. Thank God for the DVD label applicator I got off Amazon.com. I finished this morning though, now I can finally get back to making new movies. Probably I'll do another side project before tackling the prequel headlong.

Hopefully it'll get more positive reaction than Universalizability did. Though part of me wants to be a total contrarian and make Universalizability 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So much to do

There's really an amazing amount of work involved in the creation of a DVD... this in spite of the fact that 99% of the content going on it was already created. Seriously, I don't recommend it as a hobby and I don't intend to tackle such a task again unless I'm damned sure its warranted.

But its nearing completion. All but a couple of the videos have been cleaned, exported, and the layout for the DVD itself is designed. I still have to pick out a song for the menus, but I've narrowed it to just a few choices. The big task remaining is to burn however many discs I plan to send, try in vain to get my five year old inkjet printer to spit out some labels that will actually work, and get all this over to the post office in a timely fashion. Sometimes it seems like I'll never make it!

Oh, that picture up there is from one of the deleted scenes. I spent the better part of the afternoon getting those cleaned up (and finishing one which was only partially shot). I'm really starting to regret that I didn't include those scenes in the original Koch Hit, because they look better than I remembered them.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Presidents Day Bonus Content

Wrath of Koch with Directors Commentary

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A "shame-on-me" weekend

I felt really uninspired this weekend, so other than a little work on the DVD labels I didn't accomplish much. Still plenty of time to get this thing finished I guess.

As I mentioned on the commentary track I uploaded on Valentine's Day... I recorded a track for Koch Hit 2 as well. It sort of got interrupted by a phone call but I managed to cobble together a half-way decent version. I'm still debating whether to use that or record a new version... but I guess there's no reason to keep this version a secret at any rate.

Not sure when I'll get time to upload it, but keep an eye out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day Bonus Content

Koch Hit: With Director's Commentary

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Actually (Movie 1 - I Can't Drive 55: The Stephan Kinsella Story)

It was exactly one year ago today Anarcho-Pacifist Films was born. To celebrate, here's one of those movies very few people have seen... the first in the series. We've sure come a long way.

A very busy week

I did some recording today... I'm really hoping to have some Valentines Day bonus content up, nothing special just a little something... but its really predicated on my having time somewhere in the next 48 hours to get it together.

Still working on research for the prequel, there's tons of great stuff out there, I'll talk more about that when I have some time.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

As the excitement dies down

The number of views for Koch Hit 2 really surprised me. While the first one started off really slow and sort of spread around over the course of a week or two, the sequel seems to have created a stir over its opening weekend. It does seem to have quieted down now though, and so its time to start looking forward at future projects.

There's lots of stuff I'd really like to do, obviously the promised prequel has to be written, new characters designed, etc. I'm also putting together some other stuff that hopefully will take less time. Keep an eye out for updates.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Lots of Views

In the 36 hours since the release of Koch Hit 2, we've got something in the realm of 1600 page views. The bulk, I'm guessing, came from the LRC blog posting.

And don't forget, we've still got the prequel coming... yes, it'll include more Murray, yes, it'll also have some new characters. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Koch Hit 2: The Wrath of Koch

Update: Here's the first one, in case you were having trouble finding it.

Miracles can come true

There's nothing like being trapped under a foot and a half of freshly fallen snow to give you plenty of time to finish up a major project. So yes, Koch Hit 2 is done... it'll be uploaded tonight, and released tomorrow.

15 minutes long... so set some time aside for it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Movie That Will Not Die


He found some great pictures, actually several of those are the same pictures I used to model the characters in the first place. Not sure if I'm going to have anything ready for this Friday (the movie definitely won't be ready yet)... my own fault for not realizing my computer doesn't have an audio-in. And I'm snowed in now, so the odds of getting to a store or anything are pretty low.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Topping Ourselves

There are two desires running headlong into one another lately: the desire to have fresh content available on a timely basis and the desire to make something epic enough for people to say "wow".

I mean, sure, I could make a 3-5 minute movie every week with a minimal cast doing something vaguely silly. That's tempting too because people like regular release schedules. On the other hand, I've made a couple of movies that approached the 10 minute mark, had big casts, so the ability to create such things is out there. So if I make a 3 minute movie about Karen deCoster beating up Ben Affleck now, people will go "sure, that's cute, but its no Koch Hit".

And at the end of the day, I'm a publicity whore. Sure, I hide it behind a near-transparent veil of anonymity, but what I'm really seeking is some validation. Seriously... I want to see people I don't know blogging about this shit, discussing it, people all over the world, discussing it in foreign languages like "look what those Americans are up to now". That's fun, and its damned tough to attract any attention to those shorter films. The Andrew Sullivans of the world must be satiated, and that necessitates epic sequels.

At this point, I have no clue how long Koch Hit 2 is going to end up being. Longer than the original, I can tell you that much. I also don't have a firm street date for it, not this week though, unless something miraculous happens. I've got an idea for a little interim content that might placate the impatient. Stay Tuned!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A long day of shooting

8 hours of editing, 6 minutes of actual video.

The movie's really starting to take shape, its about halfway done. Not sure how much time I'll have to work on it over the week, but I'll keep updating as I progress.

Friday, February 1, 2008

This probably doesn't even need saying, but...

No movie this week... I've finished the script for Koch Hit 2, and have shot some preliminary scenes, but its still a long way from completion. No estimated street date yet, but I'll keep you updated. Right now it looks like I'm going to introduce two new characters for the sequel, one of whom will have a major role in the prequel as well.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Scoring a Masterpiece

Today's going to be about two inevitable things: Audio and Taxes. I was going to make a character for the prequel movie, but last night I finally got my last 1099, so I really want to get my taxes mailed in and out of my hair for another year. In addition, I got the aforementioned assets to create the sequel. Seems sort of silly to worry about the third movie when I've just barely started on the second one.

I'm going to try to do something that I'm liable to regret, push the envelope on The Movies yet again. God willing it won't be any longer than the original, but I'm going to use Garage Band to compose my own score for the movie. Most of its probably going to suck, but by god... one scene will knock your socks off!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do animated libertarians dream of e-gold?

I know a lot of you haven't seen the bulk of my movies, but I've been asked a lot "does X character appear in any other movies"? Here's a comprehensive list, through movie 8, of who appears in what.

Stephan Kinsella: 1, 3, 4, 5, *, 6, 7, 8
Karen deCoster: 2, 5, 7
Walter Block: 3, 4, 5
Tom Palmer: 3, 5, 7
Lew Rockwell: 7, 8
Anthony Gregory: 5, *, 7
Hans Hoppe: 3, 8
Charles Koch: 7
Ron Paul: *

* - denotes the trailer for Open Issue, as seen at the end of Movie 5.

No decision yet on who all is going to be in the Koch Hit sequel and prequel, I do have one character I'm working on now though, and I'll show him to you tomorrow if he's done.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A do nothing weekend

After releasing so many movies in a row, sometimes its good to just take a weekend and not do anything.

Actually I didn't do entirely nothing, I bought a copy of "Anime Studio Pro", which seems like a really promising animation program, and did some tutorials for it. I'm sure its going to take awhile before I'm comfortable enough with that program to release anything using it, but it should eventually open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Not that I'm abandoning the old format just yet... there's still work being done on those Koch trilogy films, I'm waiting on some external content that's going to be integrated into the sequel. No firm release dates yet, so stay tuned.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Should Be Done By Friday

Just putting the finishing touches on Movie 8. Should be up sometime tomorrow (no promises for it being in the morning like the last one). Looks like it'll be somewhere in the 4-5 minute range.

Sorry about the lack of post yesterday, I got sort of caught up making a decision on a new animation program (more on that over the weekend).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Koch Trilogy?

Movie 8, tentatively set for a Friday release, will not be a continuation of the "Koch Hit" storyline that I know a lot of people are hoping for. Rather, its a short self-contained story more in the spirit of our earlier works.

That doesn't mean the Koch Hit story arc dies here. Instead we'll be turning it into a trilogy. Details are still sketchy, but we're leaning towards putting the original story in the middle, making a sequel, then following that up with a prequel.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Best T-Shirt Ever, Ever...

I had nothing to do with this T-Shirt... no, seriously...

This was just sitting on Amazon.com, waiting for unsuspecting people to come along.

It did get me thinking about some merch of my own though... how about a "Anthony Gregory was double-crossed!" t-shirt?

That's probably putting the cart before the horse, but maybe at some point I'll look into getting some vanity soda company to release some Rothbard Cola with their trademark slogan from Movie 4. Though I'd personally rather have some Mises Ginger Ale.

Update: While that T-Shirt up there is pretty silly, I guess I can sort of see it. Maybe you're really into Brawny Paper Towels or Lycra Spandex or something. But these guys have another T-Shirt, no picture this time, and its just completely batshit insane. Seriously, unless Mr. Koch is the Wilt Chamberlain of the libertarian movement, how could there possibly be a big enough market to warrant putting this on Amazon.com?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hitting the big time

OK, so getting that mention in the Liberty & Power Blog was pretty cool.

But as Karen DeCoster points out, the new movie is getting attention in other circles, more than I'd have figured certainly.

I mean, you certainly wouldn't expect to see a link to my movie smack dab in the middle of serious coverage of the Republican primaries. But there it is.

He seems to have gotten it from Reason Magazine's Julian Sanchez, where it is probably a welcome diversion from all the bickering over the Ron Paul Newsletters.

Sort of a busy day at work, so I have no commentary beyond pointing that out. I'm hoping to have a release of some form by the end of the week, now that it seems like I've got an audience. I'm not sure what yet... it'll come to me though.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Whence Anonymity

I've been asked this a few times: why keep my identity a secret (and a poorly guarded one at that, as yesterday's debauchle showed)? Am I someone of serious political or philosophical import who doesn't want to associate this with my more serious work? Am I deeply ashamed of what I have done (and if you've seen the production values in my first two movies, you know I have every reason to be) and fear repercussions?

Nothing of the sort. The real reason I keep up the facade of anonymity is for you, and by you I refer to the 5 or so people who've come across my work, actually wondered about who made it, and unlike Lew Rockwell, weren't able to discover my identity within a couple hours of presumably none-too-vigorous searching.

Not knowing in this case is much more interesting than knowing, trust me. If you don't already know that I made these films, its highly unlikely the answer is going to mean anything to you.

My identity was never a secret, it really wasn't. I put these movies out under my own name the only place I actually put them, and for a long time Google Video actually identified me as the uploader. Somewhere along the line, that changed, google removed the names of people who put up unlisted movies, and somewhere after that, Dr. Long stumbled upon my third movie and blogged about it, with no idea who actually made it.

That struck me as sort of funny, so I thought I'd play it up a bit, as though my identity was closely guarded from prying eyes. It seems like the sort of thing I'd find really interesting, not knowing who did something. If someone ever told Dr. Long who did it, and they may well have by now for all I know, the answer probably didn't mean anything to him. The question though, that probably was worth at least a couple minutes of interesting speculation.

I thought it might be even more fun when movie 7 came out, with new characters and all. Someone forwarded the video the Lew without the identity of who did it. Less than 3 hours later, I get an IM from work saying Lew had inquired about who I was. Less than 3 hours. That's resourceful. I mean, thank God he liked the movie and wasn't offended or something, that would've been kinda awkward.

Of course, the answer probably wasn't terribly interesting to him. Lew had no idea who I was, though a quick google search led him to where I work. That might've been vaguely interesting. What I'm hoping was even more interesting though, was the wondering, and the search.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Up and Running

The early reviews are in, and movie 7 is it hit. So maybe its not fine art, but it gets asses in the seats.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Too Damned Long

In the end, we decided anything over 10 minutes was too damned long.

With a little judicious cutting, we've gotten the film to a crisp nine and a half minutes. We may eventually release a "Richard Donner Cut" with all the extra crap in it that weighs in at 14 minutes or so if there's interest... not any time soon though, this episode is henceforth part of established canon.

And its uploaded: just waiting for Google to process it, stay tuned.

Running Long

Yes, tomorrow's the big day, the movie will be finished either late tonight or early tomorrow, with a release some time tomorrow afternoon.

We did, however, underestimate the length of the film by quite a bit... we're probably looking at well over 10 minutes now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Still on Target for Friday

God willing and the creek don't rise, Friday will be the release of Movie Seven. Not much more to be said, but it looks like its going to weigh in at about 9 minutes, which will make it our longer single production ever.

But the real question is: 2D or not 2D... our present films are created as 3D machinema and as we mentioned before we're looking to make a change in platform. Replacing this with a robust 3D rendering system looks not only expensive, but complicated. Maybe that's something we're looking into someday, but we're not Pixar or anything. Anyhow, there's something really appealing about tradition 2D animation, and for the time being we're going to be looking into options for this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pushing the Envelope

Its no secret that Anarcho-Pacifist Films has been using the custom scriptwriter option in The Movies to create our work. That's been getting increasingly limiting... and since the 4th movie we've been going post-production in iMovie HD to create deeper, longer films. But even then, its not hard to see we're hitting a wall. That's going to become even more apparent when our seventh movie is released, tentatively this Friday.

Lovingly crafted Lew Rockwell avatars and off-beat scripts are good for a laugh, but with the same couple of dozen generic sets and ready-made scripted actions, its almost impossible to avoid repeating ourselves. 10 minute films are no small achievement when one is using the built-in machinema option tacked on to the video game, and as each of our first five movies was markedly longer and more complex than the last, and movie six was a marked pullback because frankly, trying to shoehorn complexity onto this model gets tiresome. Movie 7 will be approximately as complex as Movie 5, maybe slightly more... it is not, as some have suspected, the eagerly anticipated "Open Issue" movie that we promised before, that's temporarily shelved until the expansion pack enables some of the more complex stunts we need. But its rapidly becoming time for a change.

I'm not saying we're gone with The Movies, because its still a nice application for simple films, and there will no doubt arise occasions when its a perfect medium. These characters are popular, and took a long time to create, we're not ready to retire them just yet. Simply put though, its not enough by itself anymore.

In the upcoming days, we'll be making some decisions regarding what direction to go with future projects, and of course putting the finishing touches on Movie 7. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Hack Job

There are fewer things lower on the food chain of film-making than the Star Wars parody. Seriously, every joke has been done so many times that they're instantly recognizable. We here at Anarcho-Pacifist Films would like to say we're above that sort of thing. We'd like to promise that
we'll never go to the LucasFilms well for cheap laughs.

But who are we kidding, huh?

Instead, we're going to get all those jokes out of the way in film seven, and hopefully we won't be tempted to do so again for a good, long time.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Character Design: From Inception to Filming

Though it may not look like a tremendous amount of time is invested in the design of a given character, that is not always the case. While some characters are indeed slapped together, or in many cases just plucked from the randomly generated actors available in program, creating a recognizable character based on a highly recognizable figure is no small task. Even if much of this work is not obvious to the end user of the trimmed down Google Video version of a given film, there is quite a bit of detail put into the creation of this fellow on the right.

This does tend to lengthen the time a film takes to produce, but how can you put a price on a lovingly crafted Lew Rockwell? All we need to do now is slap some vaguely tinted glasses on him, put him in a suit of some sort, and he's off... ready to strike terror into the hearts of his enemies.

So what sort of adventures will the intrepid paleo-libertarian find himself in next? That would be giving away too much, but rest assured Lew will make his debut appearance in an upcoming work, to be released very soon.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Language of Love

So it would seem, the French have discovered our work.

Given the indelible charm of Messieurs Kinsella and Block and those lovable rascals H.H. Hoppe and T. G. Palmer, it is not unreasonable to expect that Anarcho-Pacifist Films will sweep the French nation, much as Jerry Lewis did before us.

Of course, this inevitably brings up the question of fansubs. Not every Frenchman can successfully translate "Homestead his Misery" into his native tongue. I'm frankly unaware of a French verb equivalent to "to homestead" (is prétender used?), but we here at Anarcho-Pacifist Films are quite confident that the trademark French resilience will carry you through.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A rapidly expanding hit

In addition to the aforementioned publicity coming to our humble third movie, I now I have it on good authority that the movie has also been forwarded to a mailing list for libertarian scholars (not by anyone affiliated with the film, I assure you).

So we can now officially say that there is interest in the film from PhDs in both hemispheres, truly a global phenomenon.

There is not much content on this blog yet, but please bear with us, we'll have something new every day, and we're going to keep this up as long as its funny, and probably a few weeks afterwards just for the sake of completion.

Who knows, 20 years from now you may be saying "I remember that Anarcho-Pacifist Films thing when it was just two blog posts and a bunch of unlisted Google Movies no one seems to be able to find... look at them now".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The 'Outing' of Anarcho-Pacifist Films

Because you've got a lot to live, and Anarcho-Pacifist Films has a lot to give...

The internet's best kept secret is a secret no more, it would seem. Intrepid Internet blogger / editor of the venerable Journal of Libertarian Studies Dr. Roderick T. Long is hot on our trail, as his posting in last week's widely read Liberty & Power shows.

Actually, what he found was only the third in the series
. He "didn't succeed in locating the first two". Little does he know he didn't succeed in locating the last three either. As of today, there are actually six videos in the series.

Dr. Long won't admit to finding the video funny. However, in the Gandhian tradition of 'being the change we wish to see', we at Anarcho-Pacifist Films will admit that we find the attention this blog post has generated for this video and the others completely hysterical.