Watch in HD on YouTube! Follow the film on the production blog grassmanmovie.wordpress.com. It’s the reason we’re not at Sundance right now. Well, that and the fact that no one invited us…

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Time for a serious posting.  I had an interesting conversation with Tyler the other day.  It was shortly after I had spent the better part of an hour working on a new posting entitled “It’s called social media, and that is why we fail” which never got posted. It never got posted because Tyler hated it.

We began to argue about the posting, which delved into the current state of the internet and the use of it for promotion of what we do. And how I felt that we were not performing online as we should because it had become a social environment, and we suck at social stuff.  Well, I do anyway.

Tyler said that it sounded 1) like we were whining, 2) that we were trying to compare ourselves to shit like Chocolate Rain or Fred, 3) that we were failing to recognize the accomplishments we had made to this point, and 4) my point was bullshit.  With regards to the 3rd item, I may have understated facts about things to make my point.  Fine.  But, I did not feel as though it was whining.

Until I read it over again.

The point I thought I was making was somehow lost in the mess of words and clever turns-of-phrase. And, Tyler was right: the point was bullshit, anyways.  It would be fine, Tyler said, if we are trying to become “internet celebrities.”  But we are not.

We are filmmakers.

And it is the film we are working on that is important. Not how many hits our blogs or site get. Not whether or not anyone comments on our YouTube videos. Not the number of “friends” or “followers” we have on MySpace or Twitter. Not whether or not we do a podcast.

All of that stuff may, at some point, prove valuable. But it should not be the focus by any stretch. It should not consume effort or energy away from our film. The film is the thing.   I seemed  to have lost sight of that to some extent.

I attribute it to what I call post-writer malaise: the time immediately following the completion of a writing project where I feel creatively lost. The script is complete, and even though I know I must begin producer duties, the writer in me is going “okay, now what?”  I drift along, aimless, looking for anything to work on.  It can go on for weeks or months. Or years.

In this case, I began to work on the blogging and the twittering, to study the social media sea of madness and attempt to make sense of it, to make it work for us. It became my focus, somewhere to direct my creativity.  And, eventually, my frustration.

So, now, after getting Tyler’s feedback, I have come back down to earth. There is a film to be made. We are 97 days from shooting it and it must be the place where every bit of our effort is directed. Because, if we fuck it up, then no amount of blogs, twits, or podcasts will help us sell it.

As Tyler put it “If we make a great film, people will find us. Let the work speak for itself.”

Duh.  He’s right.  I hate when he’s right…

Making a feature film is hard work. And after a long hard day of script revisions, director pampering, and costume ass-judging, I like to sit back, relax and drink whole bottle of El Toro Tequila.  It’s distinct style, snazzy packaging, and tequila-esqe flavor make it the perfect ending to day of failure, futility, and self-doubt.  By the time I reach the bottom of the bottle, not only are my worries forgotten and replaced with only health-related ones, but I no longer shiver at the taste and could give a shit about updating a site nobody reads.

The sombrero means it's authentic!

The sombrero means it's authentic!

El Toro Tequila: When life doesn’t suck enough, look for the red sombrero.

Want more Monkey Ltd nonsense? Check us out as we flail across the world wide web:

Monkey Ltd’s first animated, and first HD short, is now available for the world to see!  Written, directed, voiced, and animated by Tyler Meyer.  So, you know it is the shit!  Too hardcore for SXSW! Check it! 

NOTE:  Monkey Ltd will soon be entering the snack foods business.  Look for Snackios™ soon at a grocer near you, next to right next to Meaty Meat, the treat for your mouth™.

No, it’s not the title of a pot-heads in search of Tommy Chong road movie, or a National Geographic parody porn.  What I am referring to is the fact that 2009 will usher in a new era for Monkey Ltd in the form of our first feature film, titled The Grassman (which, as far as you know right now, is either one of the previously mentioned ideas).

2008 was a productive year for us.  Script competition successes, new short films completed, the expansion into the world of social networking, surviving the power-outage apocalypse and madness-enducing  promotional website images.  We did all right.

But, 2009 is going to be bigger, better, and more all right than ever before!

In addition to at least 2 new short films debuting on YouTube and the festival circuit, and more submissions of the Consumed script at competitions, there is that little thing I mentioned before called a feature film.  Yeah, that’s right. We got one of those.

We are into pre-production on The Grassman, and I am feverishly working on rewrites.  Well, not feverishly… but I am cursing a lot.

And you can look forward to following along  as we embark on that foolishness.  In the next two weeks, we will unveil our podcast, Jackasses Make Movie, which will provide unprecedented access into the inner workings of Monkey Ltd and, specifically, insight on how in hell we are trying to pull off our first feature.  I bet you just can’t wait!

So, a lot to look forward to.  This year, Monkey Ltd is going to hit you in the entertainment crotch with our steel-toed boot of juicy movie goodness.  And you will like it and beg us to do it again.

And we will.

The MonkeyLtd.com site has been full of lots of crazy this past year, enough crazy to make it difficult as hell to figure out what is really going on around here.  So, here is a brief rundown to help you out.

First of all, Tyler has been hard at work on two brand new, never-before-seen shorts. Both projects were written, directed, shot, and edited by Tyler and are perhaps our purest realization of what I call Tylermedia.

The first short, Richard, is being plugged on our homepage as we speak. The image used was at the center of a controversy within Tyler’s own mind, that resulted in his latest insane posting rampage on the site (documented here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and the controversial conclusion). It’s a updated retelling of a short that Tyler did in his youth.  It is getting some final tweaking, then it will be cut loose upon the world.

The second short is entitled Night of the Invisible Man and is about exactly what the title says.  The special thing about this little gem is that it will mark a couple of firsts for us: 1) it is our first digital “animated” film, and 2) it is our first fully HD short (full 1920 x 1080).  So, stay tuned for that one, which is in the ending stages of post-production (a lot of rendering going on with this one).

As for myself, I have one short in pre-production.  Titled Applied Science, it will be my first directorial effort in 5 years.  The script is done and storyboarded, the actors are ready, and many of the props are chosen.  I need to finalize the location and to determine how to do some of the mechanical effects.  It was put on hold for a big when we planned to work on a feature this fall (see below).  But, I am eager to work on it and, time and money permitting, it will be shot in the next 3 months.

As mentioned above, we had planned on filming (guerilla-style) a low budget action/horror/thriller feature film this fall.  We took some time to deliberate on the story, and, once settled on, I began outlining & writing.  Anyone who follows or has seen the Monkey Ltd Twitter or my Facebook knows that I am still working on this script. So, obviously, we are not shooting yet.  Suffice it to say, I am nearly as anal about my writing as Tyler is about his editing (it is a wonder we get anything done).  But, I am well on my way and we hope to shoot in the spring.

Should we not decide to shoot the feature, we have one other short film that I have written. This short is a indirect tie-in to our other feature-in-progress, Consumed.  Consumed is a dark horror/thriller set in the 1800s, and the script has been recognized in two screenplay competitions (Slamdance and BlueCat) with excellent critiques from both.  The short deals with similar subject matter in the same time period on an abbreviated scale.  Asside from being a good, scary story, it would also serve as a demonstration of what the vision for Consumed is.

In addition to all of that, we have both been working in various ways to promote Monkey Ltd online and get a handle on this wonderful techno-fad known as Social Networking. Blogging, RSS Feeds, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and anything else we can get a hold of, are all being used and abused to the best and worst of our abilities. We have even talked about doing a regular podcast, which would be hosted on this blog (which is meant as a supplement/link farm for the parent site).  Anything that will bring us closer to our fan, and hopefully allow us to someday use that word in the plural.

So, between working our grown-up jobs and doing normal human activities, we are managing to entertain ourselves if nothing else.  So, if you like our brand of madness, stay tuned: there is more to follow.