Maximum Snuggles

There is some actual significant news week.   The past few weeks was starting to make me feel like I was writing Zeno’s Blog, chronicling our quest to reach the end of production, but never reaching it.   But here we are, by the time the next blog post goes up the first scene, will have been released.  And while that is the biggest mile stone of all, except for possibly releasing the last scene, there were still some important mile markers we hit this week.

         We completed the last of the reshoot work!

         We updated our Facebook page.

         And most importantly we released a trailer.

 I finished watching it myself just a short while ago and I have to say, if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I like sanity, but I could go for a little less” Then this trailer is definitely for you.

 I myself have reached my personal goal of successfully interviewing all four founding members of Stage Left Studios.  And while I do feel… some measure of satisfaction at having reached this goal, it is still less satisfying than say, catching all the Pokémon.  It also has the downside of requiring me to actually think about new sources of content generation.  It has been suggested that now I have finished interviewing those magnificent Olympianesque founders who created this studio with all its counterintuitively pointing arrow glory, that I go through and start interviewing the various: drudges rabble and peasantry that populate the remainder of the studio.  However I am uncertain that this is the best path to take.  My main doubt comes from the fact that choosing to interview the others would undermine my ability to pretend to be indecisive and host a fake poll in the comment sections to decide.  And since Max went through all the trouble of setting me up with a comment system, consider yourselves extorted into using it.  Vote now for the upcoming content of, A. Interviewing the remaining members of Stage Left Studios including, at some point, myself.  Or B. Writing odes to the majestic navels of all the founders.

 But first, the interview with Max:


Three Founders interviewed and the final interview stands before our very eyes. There are those who said this day would never come, what are they to say now? And that’s not just rhetorical, that’s your first interview question. Because that’s all you’re good enough for. Stupid. Shallow. Vague. Rhetorical questions. Go on, answer the terrible questions like the scum you are.

 Those who said this day would never come will have been silenced by your unerring diligence and perseverance. Despite my insistence to the contrary, Todd told me “Naw, man, Soren won’t make it more than a single post in before he gives up. He’ll never create comic likenesses of Stage Left founders and frame them in humorous lights. He’ll just give up and start recounting some kind of tween girl fan-fiction.” Well, sir, these words on your computer screen are proof positive that Todd, Tina, and all of the ocelots should have listened to me when I told them to bet on 22 black on the Stage Left Studios roulette wheel.

And I don’t know about you, but with the release of Hamlet right around the corner (MONDAY), I’m also feeling like 22. And I know that everything will be alright, as long as we all keep sticking together. But anyway... that’s not why we’re here! You don’t know about me, but I know you want to, and like I said, everything will be alright, so let’s keep up the interview!


What would you do, if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?

I’d lend you my ears and join in your song, and try really hard to fix your key. Then we might be a little high, but we’d get help from our (other) friends. Then you’d get it right with (a lot of) help

from our friends. (And) then we’d try to sing the song well with our friends.


What you gon' do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk?

Well, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that my vehicle is filled with beverages. I intend to host a rather celebratory affair in which we get (x4) you to have a good time. I plan on inviting Daniel, Grant, and all of my other Stage Left “brothers” (and sisters!) to the event such that they have a good time as well. Hopefully, at least one of them will remember to bring me some ice...


 He was a boy, She was a girl, Can I make it any more obvious?

Oh! Todd and Trisha! He’s been crushing on her, like, forever, but EVERYONE knew she wasn’t gonna have any of it. I mean, she’s always so preoccupied with whether or not her ballet friends approve of her dates, and, like, can you think of anyone ballet dancers would hate more than a guy who enjoys skateboarding?

If you ask me, it’s great that he got rid of her. That new girl he’s seeing now is so much better. I hear she’s even part of a band!


Now that I’ve gotten that abuse out of the way, would you believe that was merely to break through your callous exterior, to reach your soul for a more in-depth interview, and not merely for schadenfreude?

Not at all! I figured it was some kind of ice-breaking exercise where you were asking me about various completely non-fictional events in our lives that our loyal followers would be interested to hear about.


Very well. Tell us about yourself, what you do for Hamlet, or possibly what you don’t do, as I suspect that might be the shorter list.

Considering that I’d have to list things like “casino bookie”, “racetrack architect”, and “nuclear scientist,” (among a number of other strange and eccentric job titles) under the category of roles that I didn’t perform for the project, I’ll stick with what I actually did.

My main role for Hamlet has been as the Line Producer, which is a shadowy and vague term that essentially means that I keep everyone on task and make sure that our day-to-day artistic progress lines up with our overall artistic goals correctly, and on time. Ergo, I spend a lot of time in Microsoft Excel. Additionally on a day-to-day basis I functioned as Lead Cinematographer, where I headed up the recording of footage within the game with our animation team. Also, I was the Sound Supervisor, where I recorded the voice tracks and worked with the actors, edited those voice tracks, worked with Vicente, our composer, and layered all the audio assets into the final product. Oh, and I played Laertes at some point in there...


By process of elimination we already know how all of you met each other, but just for the sake of science; let’s hear your version of meeting your co-founders.

*Looks at previous interviews* Hm... I met Daniel in class... yeah, that’s right. Emily only talked about meeting Daniel? Gee, thanks. And... I met Grant in a past life as a small mollusk? No, no, no...

You know about Daniel and me. That one’s boring.

Emily and I met shortly after Daniel and I met through a mutual friend, in another class—“The History and Civilization of Classical India.” We then discovered our mutual enjoyment of theatre, I dragged her to the rush for my (co-ed) fraternity, and since we thereafter spent so much time together, it was inevitable that we would become good friends.

Grant got brought into my life the summer I started experimenting with Dungeons & Dragons. I was running a game as a DM over the summer where we were all working for the Heritage Theatre Festival out of Charlottesville, VA. My game started as a 4 player game, and kept growing... by the height of the summer it was up to 12 people—one of whom was Grant, who played a chaotic-neutral (twisted) assassin named Cyrax. Cyrax ended up giving into the dark powers that were clamoring for a sliver of his soul and then got sucked into a dark dimension never to be seen again. As far as I know, Grant escaped Cyrax’s fate, sometimes it’s hard to tell though.


What future project that you kind of sort of can't talk about are you most looking forward to?

Those who know the specifics of that game I met Grant during might remember Snowflake. I’m excited for the thing that is loosely is related to Snowflake. And I might insist that Snowflakebe involved. Everybody loves Snowflake. Or maybe Table-Wolf....


Correctly match Timon and Pumbaa to their corresponding personalities of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Failure to answer correctly will result in the slaughter of... well not necessarily your family, but a family.

In all of our character analysis of Hamlet’s friends, we generally decided that Rosencrantz is the one who actively tries to plan and get things done, while Guildenstern is more along for the ride. He certainly talks and has his own thoughts, but he doesn’t think about the big picture as much (even if Rosencrantz’s “big picture” might not extend that far, Guildenstern’s is smaller). This is primarily based on the fact that Rosencrantz talks more than Guildenstern, and is responsible for more dramatic beat changes than Guildenstern. Ergo, I would have to say that Rosencrantz is Timon and Guildenstern is Pumbaa. This is despite the fact that Alex Rafala, our Guildenstern, sounds more like Nathan Lane than Ernie Sabella.


And finally, what happened August 27th, 2004?

Willie Crawford passed away. Crawford was a major league outfielder who played mostly for the Dodgers, but also the Cardinals, Astros, and Athletics over his 12 year career. He played in two World Series games, one where the Dodgers won in 1965 and one where they lost in 1973. He had a career batting average of .268 and a career on-base-percentage of .329.