This is an archive of how Plankhead.com looked before 2014 when it was still Zacqary's personal website. Please go to Zacqary.com for his personal blog and page.

Why We’ve Been Silent About YFIAS For Months

Around the beginning of last year, in anticipation of the Your Face is a Saxophone Kickstarter, I started acting differently online. I became less candid, less talkative, and more worried about how the things I said would be interpreted. I was trying to seem professional. That was a mistake. It didn’t actually make me look like a more trustworthy person to throw your money at, and it only made me, personally, more anxious.

No more. Total transparency time.

Production of Your Face is a Saxophone has stalled. We haven’t made any progress on it since April. The reason for this is that, at this stage of production, all the onus is on me. I’m the only one with the hardware, software, and resources to animate this thing. There’s also a little bit of dialogue to record, and many of Dave Lanz’s lines need to be re-recorded, but I haven’t scheduled the time for that. I’ve been out of commission, and I haven’t had the motivation and drive to do any of this.

Now, for people who’ve given me money with the expectation that it would translate into hard work, “I don’t have the motivation” isn’t an acceptable excuse. I know that. So if you don’t want to hear any more of it, you can stop reading after this: I still plan to deliver more episodes of YFIAS, but if anyone who has donated to Episode 3 would like a refund, I will offer it. A lot of the money has been spent, so I won’t be able to fulfill that refund immediately, but if you want it, you can have it.

If you’re still with me, I’ll explain what’s behind all this.

First of all, the reason the money’s spent is because the fundraising is meant to pay my bills, so that I’d be able to work full-time on YFIAS instead of finding a “real job.” At this stage, there aren’t any costs associated with the project other than my ability to eat and stuff, because starvation is a severe impediment to animation. Fortunately, I’ve been able to eat and find a place to live without needing donation income, but there are still expenses beyond that. It’s a fact of life that everyone needs to spend money. I haven’t been spending it on Ferraris, I promise. I’ve been living as frugally as I possibly can, simply because it’s necessary.

Anyway. The motivation bullshit. The end of April was when I had planned to start getting into the swing of animating Episode 3. Then the end of April began some family troubles, which culminated in me having an uncertain living situation. Most people would be able to compartmentalize these things. Unfortunately, I’m a nutcase.

I’ve been clinically depressed for the past few months, and I’m currently on medication that’s sorta-kinda helping not really. Behind all this is something going on with my brain which causes me to have dissociative episodes which my doctor initially thought were panic attacks, but on further study it turns out they’re atypical. It’s never a good sign when your doctor looks at you with utter fascination twinkling in his eyes, like he’s an astrophysicist and you’re a newly-discovered planet that appears to be orbiting 16 different stars at once.

So, TL;DR, health problems. That’s why I haven’t been animating. That’s why I haven’t updated anything. That’s why I’m still dawdling with opening the source files for Episodes 1 and 2.

As you can probably tell, though I like to refer to “we” when talking about Plankhead and the YFIAS team, a lot of it rides on me. I don’t like that. I work much better when I’m collaborating with someone, because it makes me feel accountable. I’d venture to say the only reason Episode 2 actually got finished is because I had Erica Frohnhoefer sitting in the room with me, day in and day out, also animating.

To rectify this, I’ve decided I’m going to use Blender entirely for Episode 3. I figure if I’ve taken this long to actually start animating, I might as well take a little longer to get used to Blender. Since many more people have access to (and expertise in) Blender than do Apple mother-skull-fucking Motion, that potentially enables a bunch of people to work with me, if not physically then at least remotely. It also eliminates proprietary formats from my workflow, and frees the project from the shackles of OS X.

I’m also going to start local meetups for artists and creative people who want to collaborate on each others’ projects, as a way to start turning Plankhead into a movement. I’m not going to trademark the name or logo of Plankhead. Anyone who wants to start a local Plankhead chapter, do it. Anyone who wants to release work under Plankhead branding, do it. All I ask is that this work be CC0 Public Domain or equivalent. Obviously there’s no way I can enforce that, other than the hope that Plankhead becomes ubiquitous enough that people automatically assume if it says Plankhead, then it’s public.

I will start doing all this as soon as I’m ready. To all our fans and producers, I thank you for your patience and your continued support. Life is hard, and challenging the way that art is made is hard, but I plan to keep on doing it. I hope you’ll all stay with me.

    • http://azkware.wordpress.com/ Carlos Solís

      So… no plans to port the first two episodes to Blender, either? (Says the lad who has just stood waiting six months until some VAs come to dub this to Spanish)

      • http://plankhead.com Zacqary Adam Green

        Unless there’s a way to extract animation data from Motion files, that would basically be a complete remake of both episodes. It’d probably be a good thing to do (and maybe improve the animation in many spots), but not a priority for me right now.

    • Ifritx111

      I’m wif you fox

    • gaiapunk

      I love your honesty, I love blender, I love YFIAS, and I love whatever you want to do and will probably continure to support you with my $urplus resources in the future via flattr, but please make sure you’re putting your health first.

      cheers

      ~evan

    • Harrison Salzman

       A refund, you say? I’m sorry, but I can’t do that.
      http://youtu.be/8QfSzgV1q5g

      (And I hope you get a break from the stress for awhile!)

    • http://twitter.com/JeremyKellerman Jeremy Kellerman

      Refund? Absolutely not! Admittedly, haven spoken to you via email, I knew a bit of your situation already. But besides that, I knew from the beginning that Plankhead is very much in the “humble beginnings” stage, not something with an army of workers behind it (as of now) and the use of the money for everyday expenses was made clear from the start.

      As others have said, put your health first. Pay your bills. Do what needs to be done, and then get back to making the stuff that delights me so much.

      YFIAS is a great series, and Plankhead is a beautiful dream, and I want to support you in completing both. Monetarily, I’ve done all I can (I’m finally in the process of…probably losing my job, something I was worried about as far back as July/August; it’s a long story) but in the future, if I can contribute in other ways, just shoot me an email. I’m not much of an artist and frankly I’m borderline technologically illiterate beyond basic computer functions, but I can write well (if I do say so myself) and I’ve wanted to try my hand at voice acting for ages (and I have probably too much good audio equipment for that purpose) so if you want some non-local collaboration in those areas in the future, let me know, and I’ll do what I can. No promises of course, as life has its way of re-arranging circumstances, but feel free to ask and I’ll help to whatever degree I’m able at the time.

      I do have one idea to share before I wrap up another one of my typically loquacious posts: since you’re hoping Plankhead will be a movement rather than a single centralized entity, how about a list of “Plankheads,” either groups/collectives or individual artists who share the Plankhead ideals?

      Maybe at this point there simply aren’t any. But I more or less resolved to reject copyright and use CC0 for basically everything I create prior to even finding Plankhead, even though I haven’t got around to labeling it all as such yet (mainly due to Youtube not giving the option, and most of my work currently online are videos; my eBook is clearly labeled that way, though) so I wouldn’t mind listing The Jeremy Kellerman Advice Hour Archive and other projects as “Members/Affiliates of Plankhead” or what-have-you.

      Anyway, just a thought.

      Once again, feel better soon, keep on truckin’ and I shall look forward to the day when more YFIAS is released, whenever that may be. 

    • http://twitter.com/ZirconBirdbrain Karasu Gamma

      This bird is always behind you.

    • http://voodothosting.com/23/ Lorraine Lee

      Is CPL more or less equivalent to CC0? I like the way it’s stated, with spunk.

      • http://plankhead.com Zacqary Adam Green

        It’s basically equivalent, but I don’t know if it’d hold up in court internationally, whereas CC0 was designed by lawyers specifically to do that. The reason I like CC0 is because I feel like it doesn’t grant permission so much as deny the legitimacy of permission in the first place.

    • http://www.AncientBeast.com/ Dread Knight

      Glad to hear you’re serious about blender after all :-)
      I know what you’re going through overall, hopefully there will be better days for us soon!

    • Brantley

      All is forgiven. I’m just glad to hear YFIAS shall return.

    • http://crazyrayeandco.tumblr.com/ Raye Jasper

      Hey man… I’ve been wondering what was going on with YFIAS. I’m glad you let us know. …I’ve been through some depression stuff, too, lately, so I know what you mean. But I’m glad you’re back in the real world. I am ALWAYS here for you, And I will be here when you’re finally back on your feet and need a Leora. Or anything else. Much love

    • OneSupporterGuy

      Thanks for the update on the situation.
      Put your health first!
      All the best to you, Plankhead, and YFIAS.
      And no, I’m not taking a refund :)


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