Posts Tagged ‘jill golick’

Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol – Finally

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol is now online and available for the world to see and share. You can even watch it here:

It would help a lot if you go to the YouTube site to Like and Comment on the show. That kind of audience engagement – *cough*buzzwords*couch* – really does make a difference.

We’ll also be posting it to our channel and a bunch of other sites very soon – as in: as soon as I can get my shit together to do so.

I promise to write a whole bunch more about how we made it, with photos and clips, and what our next steps will be for the Ruffus project – but for now you can check out what other people are saying by checking out their posts and leaving comments:

Please share this show with as many others as you can. It’s our gift to everyone for the holidays.

Download links will be posted soon – and if you want to watch the earlier Ruffus episodes you can find them on the official Ruffus web site.

And if you really really like JP Houston’s song “Merry Merry” you can find it on our Bandcamp site as a free download. It’s an immensely catchy tune and deserves to be heard over and over again. Enjoy!


P. S. Comments here are also appreciated. Tell me what you think of the show – I’d really like to know.

UpDate: Yo Mills, What Are Ya Doin’?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I’m at the cusp of a very busy time which, of course, means I am procrastinating wildly (like writing this blog post) in a nonsensical effort to kick away all the tasks I have set for myself.

Silly monkey.

The editing on the Ruffus The Dog project continues. Our version of The Christmas Carol is nearing completion and the work of promoting it is already gearing up in anticipation of our December 17th release. We’re even planning on having a theatrical screening here in Toronto to mark the occasion and celebrate with everyone who worked on it. I’ll post more on that later.

Also as part of the overall Ruffus Project we’ve been working on a series of illustrated graphic novellas based on the original shoes. These are going to be really cool and colourful publications for young readers. Sort of a mix between Classics Illustrated comics and Fractured Fairy Tales – but with a dog in the middle of it all.

Another part of the Ruffus Project is the beginning of a new web series based on the original episodes called Ruffus Rhymes. These are going to be similar to the original fairy tale episodes we’ve been posting online, just as silly and irreverent, but shorter and using classic nursery rhymes from around the world as fodder for our fun.

The Rubber Chicken Players is another web series we shot this summer. It originated from the minds of Jim Taylor and Fred Stinson and then snowballed into a collection of movie, book and theatre parodies featuring – yep – rubber chickens. The full edit on that won’t begin until the Christmas Carol work is completed but some preliminary episodes have been cut together and they are incredibly stupid – which is a good thing. When that is ready to come out I’ll be sure to holler.

My wife, Karen Valleau, has her own web series in development, a delightfully sweet project called My Kitteh! for young audiences. It’s entirely her project but I’m acting as the tech monkey for her vision.

My pal, Fred Stinson, is diligently working on his own web series with Alyson Court called Fuzzy Bunny. It’s definitely not for kids but it is all sorts of juicy, dirty, goofy fun. Fred’s writing all the episodes. I’ll be directing. I think we might be shooting next month; I’m not sure – ask Fred.

All of the above work is pretty much self-financed, with the exception of The Christmas Carol that has been partially funded through the generous support of our Indie go-Go donors – so while it takes up the majority of our time it doesn’t provide a pay cheque. You win – you lose – it’s all good. By the way, we’re going to start another round of financing through Indie Go-go to ensure the timely completion of our Christmas Carol. More on that later.

So what is it with all these fucking web series?

Hey, I’m not the only one.

Toronto boasts a very large Web Series Community creating shows like Jason Leaver’s Out With Dad, Jill Golick’s Ruby Skye P.I. – both award winners – and many others including: Tights & Fights, Microwave Porn, and Pretty In Geek. What we’re doing with Ruffus and our other projects are just a small part of a growing seachange in the development, creation and distribution of entertainment within the interwebs, spearheaded by (among others) Felicia Day’s phenomenal success with her own production The Guild.

I’ll be blathering on more about that when I have time to collect my thoughts. Eventually, as I alluded in earlier postings here, I want to redesign this site – and even change the URL – so this blog becomes a combination news aggregator and creative space with an extra little corner for the occasional rant. I know what I want it to be and how I want it to look, I just haven’t found the time to sit down and code the new pages yet. Soon.

Meanwhile, I’m going back down to the basement to work on Ruffus and take the occasional break to work on my separate adult graphic novel project, that long overdue feature screenplay I want to shoot next year and a batch of pitches for television series my agents hopes I get finished before anything else. I didn’t mention those? Yeah. More stuff.

Silly monkey.

P.S. The other thing I have to do is find a paying gig so I can continue to finance all this work and deal with the bills that are piling up. Maybe I’ll buy another lottery ticket. Yeah. That’ll do the trick.

Silly monkey.

Happy Birthday John

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

John Lennon’s 70th birthday was celebrated yesterday.

I had hoped to write up my own post here to add my thoughts but was too busy with all those things that happen when you’re busy making other plans.

In lieu of my contribution, head over to Jill Golick’s blog where she has assembled a noteworthy collection of videos posted by others, wishing John – the spirit of his life and his message of peace we carry with us – a very Happy Birthday.

It’s not too late to add your own video by going to YouTube where you can post your own message of peace and thanks.

Imagine Peace.


Talking Trans-Media With Jill Golick

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

The ever generous Jill Golick, who’s currently held in thrall with the production of her new web series Ruby Skye P.I., took some time during their shoot to hang around outside and talk with an old fat guy a visitor to their set about Trans-Media and some obscure online kid’s show called Ruffus The Dog.

Our friend, Mark Achtenberg, shot this outside the Dragon Academy where Jill’s series was shooting. He used his spiffy new Canon Eos 5D Mark II camera and all I wanted to do through the whole interview was yank the delicious bundle of tech from his hands and dash off down the street. Fortunately for all concerned I was too preoccupied talking with Jill and helping to prop up the building behind us.

Big thanks to Jill and Mark for the coverage and promo on Ruffus. Be sure to check out the ongoing work on and release of Ruby Skye P.I.


WGC Spot On Broadcast vs. Cable

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Found this over on Jill Golick’s Running With Eyes Closed site. It’s a great bullshit cleanser from the Writer’s Guild of Canada for the debate between the cable and broadcast companies in Canada who are arguing over who should pay for Canadians to receive local programming.

Yo – fuck heads – the airwaves are ours.

I’ve been watching the repeated showings of the self-serving ads the cable companies and the broadcasters have been running and every time they make me froth at the mouth with rage over their insolent arrogance. They need to have their heads knocked together. The CRTC needs to act on behalf of Canadian citizens and not their fat cat media cronies. Will that happen? Not likely. That’s why the CRTC should get fucked. Maybe if we all say that – really loudly – they’ll get the idea, get scared for their jobs and end up inadvertently doing the right thing.

Fuck ‘em.


Will Copyright Laws Stifle Creativity?

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

There’s been a lot of bullshit happening in Canada as the Harper government does its best to look pretty whilst wearing the brown lipstick of the U.S. media industry. You can find out more about the pitiful shenanigans of the music industry, blatantly stacking town hall meetings to discuss copyright reform, and the suppression of alternative voices at these so called “open and public discussions”, on other blogs like Michael Geist and Jill Golick or and BoingBoing. I’ve ranted and raved about it before – and doubtless will again – but right now it’s the weekend and I’m lazy and I’m gonna go lie down and read a cheap mystery novel.

In the meantime, here’s a short video of Prof. Lawrence Lessig giving a talk this past February at the New York Public Library (along with Steven Johnson and Shepard Fairey) addressing the very real concerns that our copyright laws are being hijacked by dying media industries to support a failed and archaic business model and in those efforts to stem the inevitable tide of technological and cultural progress they are stealing our voices, stealing our right to speak and hear about our world.

Will copyright laws stifle creativity? If the major media companies are allow to corrupt our elected officils and subvert our democratic processes to assert their right to define what culture is – as in: whatever they sell us and nothing else – then Yes the laws of copyright are a threat to creativity and freedom of speech as well as freedom of thought.

Make noise. Kick these fuckers in the nuts.


P. S. Actually the mystery novel is not cheap, it’s Dashiel Hammett’s classic “The Big Knockover” – in case you were wondering.

Teh Saga Of Pinky – Continues

Friday, July 24th, 2009

This is a cool video Cory Doctorow posted over at BoingBoing. It’s just some neat footage of a neutrally bouyant balloon that is placidly hovering in a room.

A pink balloon.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for some time will know where this going.

Last year, over the Christmas holidays, I posted here (and on Twitter) about the plight of a small, homeless pink balloon named – appropriately enough – Pinky. I can’t replay the old blog post here because when I fucked up my blog it disappeared into the ether of the interwebs along with 2 to 3 years worth of mental gems and turds – but if anyone can find it for me I’d appreciate it. Nor can I lay out the original tweets – entitled Teh Saga Of Pinky – which inspired the blog post in the first place because apparently time to Twitter is like the flat Earth or the simulated reality of the button-eyed freaks in Gaiman‘s Coraline. Twitter Time is only visible within a limited distance after which it simply ceases to be and all sense of history drops over the edge into a timeless abyss and is lost forever.

But I digress.

Here’s what I can recount:

We had a small pink balloon show up on our doorstep in the midst of winter. It lingered there but we (myself and my immediate family) being heartless cretins, left it there – just to see what would happen.

Teh Saga Of Pinky - Coda

It was a loyal balloon that stayed true to its desire to find a home with us until finally I could take it no longer and posted a series of tweets that ended with this picture and asked the question:

“Should we bring Pinky inside & offer protection from the elements – or should we let nature take its course?”

Note: For the record – TwitPic has all my photo posts still archived. Perhaps I should stick pictures with all my tweets from now on.

The response to my Twitter question was an undeniable “Yes! Rescue Pinky!” – and so I did.

Pinky Teh Rescue

In my original post I also tucked in a bit of blather about how human beings like to anthropomorphize things, imbue them with character and feelings, and all too often bestow our care and affection upon objects more than we do on other human beings in our midst. We are all some really fucked up monkeys.

While my original Twitter posts and blog entry have vanished forever I did manage to dig out of my email files this late night drunken missive I wrote to myself on the couch with my iPhone as a nudge to make the blog post the next day about Pinky:

For what is a balloon? Any balloon? It is but a container – a vessel of a moment in time – the encapsulization of the breath of life. And here we have this feeble artifact, this minor player in the grand theatre and parade of life – a lowly, singular, lonesome sagged pink balloon – a vessel of the breath of life constrained, held back, diminished, neglected, buried – and yet persevering against all odds, unrelenting in it’s obdurant determination to not just survive but to also be noticed, to be made note of, to be recognized, named and accepted. Each one of us may only play upon these doorsteps for the most brief of times and yet we are most definitely here and not to be neglected nor discounted nor, worse still, ignored – we are here – as in Horton Hears A Who – we are here, we are here, we are here!

One balloon serves as a rather frail and tepid metaphor for all the many things each of us may ascribe to the story. But it serves well enough -that lone sad semi-deflated rubber sack of air is all of us; it is what we are, how we are perceived and what we yearn to be.

One little balloon – on a doorstep – in a snowstorm.

What a wonderous world this would be when we are finally capable of setting aside the metaphors and allegories and heart warming images to clearly see that all of these stories – that all stories – are about us – about you and me – about us all.

Perhaps one day.

Until then we shall have to be content and find solace for our hearts in the tales of the trials and tribulations of a small pink balloon on a snowy doorstep.

Shortly thereafter my friend Jill Gollick also had an encounter with a pink balloon. She had been away for the holiday season but, via Twitter, got my posts about Teh Saga Of Pinky.

When she got home this was waiting at her doorstep:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

I didn’t put it there.


While Jill’s tale of Pinky The Second ended in horrible tragedy, our Pinky lived happily ever after.

God Bless Us, Everyone!

But this whole errant pink balloon thing is starting to get on my nerves.

First me.

Then Jill.

And now this hovering version of the same.

Where are these balloons coming from? What do they want? Where is all this leading?

Perhaps time will tell.

But not Twitter time, of course – that’s too short.

Should you or anyone you know have any pink balloon stories to share with us please be sure to let me know.

In the meantime, here’s some balloons who don’t need rescuing.


In Teh Toobs – Coverage

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Jill GolickIn the shameless self-promotion and recursive blog reference department I give you the post from Jill Golick’s Running With Eyes Closed blog wherein she heaps praise upon my efforts with In Teh Toobs.

I’ve known Jill for about 25 years now since we first worked together on Canadian Sesame Street. Since that time her work as a writer in series television and as an active member in the Writer’s Guild of Canada has been exemplary. More recently she’s been wading into the same trough of cultural chaos I’ve been wallowing in, pursuing the various forms of storytelling and narrative emerging across and throughout the interwebs.

Jill also organizes the Writers Watching TV events held each month at the Camera Lounge, the last one being a Web Creators Show & Tell where I got to show off the first bits and pieces of my work on In Teh Toobs.

Be sure to check out her Story2Oh web series and her most recent venture Hailey Hacks – which is a really cool intro to web wizardry for and by our young digital natives.

Thanks for the promo, Jill!


In Teh Toobs

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

At long last I’ve opened up the web site for In Teh Toobs – a new weekly web series featuring the intrepid but hapless canine Cmdr. Riley aboard his trusty and rusty spacecraft, the STFU-1138, as he journeys through the interwebs.

This isn’t a full episode – just a prelude:

Tonight I’ll be at the Camera Lounge talking about In Teh Toobs and other projects for the Web Creators Show & Tell evening organized by Jill Golick. It’s part of a larger series of monthly events Jill has put together under the auspices of the Writers Guild Of Canada called Writers Watching TV.

Also participating tonight are Scott Albert and Christopher Guest with their web series Team Leader and Jill will talk about her new web series Hailey Hacks.

Should be a fun night. If you drop by please be sure to say Howdy.


P. S. I’m trying out a number of different video hosting options for the In Teh Toobs site and while although pretty much set on I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to see the quality of the YouTube post:

Maybe it just looks better on the YouTube site. Let me know what you think – I want to be sure I’m making the right choices.