Well, another month behind us, and another month ahead.
April has been a pretty productive month and I’ve been super busy, however, I woke up at 10am this morning, I played video games all night last night and I’m actually writing this blog in my underwear….
That’s right y’all,
I’M ON ANNUAL LEAVE!!!!
Now, it’s only for 8 days, but because of the combination of the Easter break, public holidays and my rostered days off, I only needed to take 3 days from my annual leave pool and it. feels. GREAT!
My back has been healing (somewhat). I still have to attend regular physiotherapy, but I’m starting to manage and strengthen it.
Things at my full-time job have been going really well, and I have been feeling amazing.
I think the only thing I really want to work on is my fitness and weight. By no means am I overweight, but I definitely have some love handles I’d love to get rid of. My back injury has certainly slowed my progress at the gym, but it’s something I’d love to get a hold of.
Anywhoozles, enough about me and my personal life…let’s get into the MillEx news!
Okay, this is a massive announcement (at least for me) to make.
THE DEMO REEL IS COMPLETE!!!!!
Earlier, I received the very last image from Elmer and rendered out the final cut.
As excited as I am to finally have this finished, it was a bitter-sweet moment.
I started the Millennium Exile project back in 2009, however the demo reel only began production mid 2015.
That’s 4 years….
4 years of designs, story-boards, research, scripting, networking, sleepless nights and careful planning.
I went from having no plans to release a demo reel, to having the idea suddenly dropped in my lap.
As the suggestion had come from someone much more accomplished than myself, and currently working in the entertainment / anime industry - I would have been a fool to ignore this advice…so I needed to get to work.
I spent months analyzing demo reels from games, movie pitches and other animation productions.
I watched, took notes & carefully considered how realistically viable some approaches would be -given my current resources.
Then, once I settled on a basic direction and layout, it was time to start planning and story-boarding.
I opened the project up to donations through direct PayPal and I was moved by how many answered the call.
Now with more funding to work with, I had to tackle the most daunting part, networking….not just with other artists, but voice actors!
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Kyle Herbet’s voice as Vincent.
To be such a fan of someone, and then to hear that actor, reading your script and acting as YOUR character…
It put a lump in the back of my throat and brought tears to my eyes.
An image appeared in my head, one all too cliche’d in Anime today.
It was an image of all the people now standing behind me and supporting the project.
I realized then, that there was absolutely no turning back.
Regardless of how much pain, loss or failure stood before me,
I was seeing this through and I would continue to move forward,
One foot in front of the other.
Over time, more accomplished voice actors joined the project and read my scripts.
Before long, the entire cast of the demo had been professionally dubbed by some of the biggest names in Anime.
My fan base had also grown too, with more and more of you offering support. Even people who once rolled their eyes and scoffed at my dream, were now some of the biggest contributors. My father, who had repeatedly urged me to reconsider in order to spare my feelings of disappointment when I failed, was now bragging about me at family gatherings and to his friends.
It’s really been an amazing ride.
And while the journey is still far from over….I could not have done it without you.
Friends, family and fans of the project who have all had my back, offering support in one shape or another.
I love you all and thank you.
The final cut of the demo reel will ‘not’ be going public, I have addressed this in earlier posts on social media, but now seems like a good time to explain. The Millennium Exile demo reel is split into the following sections.
1: Introduction to the world and lore.
2: Vincent’s story.
3: Hype Trailer
The first two thirds (sections 1 & 2) can already be found on the main page of the website, however the Hype Trailer contains scenes from various parts of the Millennium Exile story. Think of a movie trailer…. showing scenes from all throughout the films run-time.
Also, many of the agreements I have with the voice actors involved, are for pitch only purposes.
As such, section 3 will not be uploaded to the Internet.
Although the demo reel is completed, there is still much work to be done!
The art-book is still in development, with more character releases still being pumped out.
I’m actually going to be sending Elmer over to assist in this to expedite the progress.
Furthermore, I’m considering adding an armory section to the book…in which we would have illustrations and detail information for all the Grails, Relics and Celestial-grade items that appear throughout the story.
What do you think?
Earlier this week, I did a mass Patreon dump of demo reel imagery that had been completed over the past few weeks.
These images are all from Section 3 of the demo reel, and will not be uploaded to the Internet in any other capacity.
Patrons of the project have access to the FULL images, so please consider signing up if you want to check out some of this seriously cool and exclusive artwork by Elmer Damaso
Also, here’s a WIP of the image from the last scene of the demo reel.
It’s already been completed and handed in earlier, but I wanted to give you all a little teaser :)
This months character release is a special one…..mostly because it’s to celebrate a member of the Millennium Exile community!
James Salhani has contributed to the project for a long time, and has to be Millennium Exile’s biggest fan.
Through his generosity, James has often made contributions to the project - despite my best efforts to stop him.
”That’s enough James, you’ve done plenty”
These words mean nothing to this guy, as every month another generous amount would find its way to the MillEx PayPal.
He even joined the Patreon when it launched, and continues to support the project to this day.
When I was invited to appear at my first Anime convention to promote Millennium Exile, I had a banner made up.
It’s much smaller than the ones I use now, but I figured as a way of giving something back, I gave the banner to James.
Well, in a truly “James” moment…he visited me at my job last week to show that he had the banner custom framed!
So…to thank James for being such an avid supporter, I created a character in the Millennium Exile world based on James.
Further details on this character to follow upon full release, but here’s Hary’s WIP:
Well, that’s it for this “Month in Review”.
Be sure to stop by next month for future updates, please also consider following the project on the various social media platforms (Links at the bottom of the page).
As always, I'd like to thank the following amazing Patrons from the bottom of my heart:
Master of Elements (Tier 1)
Dual Wielding (Tier 2)
Calculated & Dangerous (Tier 3)