March 2019: Goals

Straight to the point, I’d like to accomplish a few goals this year and beyond. Those goals changed in scope after I demoted Filler Street from a regular series, but not in spirit.

  • Grow the YouTube channel: A pretty obvious one. I’d like to primarily work toward increasing average view counts on each video as well as the number of subscribers to the channel.
  • Publish content regularly: My original goal was to publish either weekly or twice per month. But having decided to cut Filler Street’s original plans, that is completely unfeasible now. I do want to publish content regularly still, so maybe once a month? Potentially difficult, but realistic if I’m not constantly working on Filler Street anyway.
  • Present content professionally: You’ll notice all my 2019 videos feature my new logo as well as as a new end screen with cards linking to other videos. I’ve also made new custom thumbnails for all videos to improve first impressions. This should hopefully help with the first goal.
  • Improve my animation skills: I’ve become more than proficient with editing (as The Dust of Ormiin shows wonderfully), but my actual animation skills have plateaued for a while and need improvement. While my number one focus will always be stories themselves, I’d like to improve their presentation as much as reasonably possible.
  • Experiment: Try new animation and editing techniques. Without Filler Street as a regular series, this goal shifts to the shorts I put out this year.
  • Have fun: What’s the point if I don’t enjoy every second of this?

I want Starstreak Media’s 2019 to be great for all of you, and for myself as well. As nice as weekly or twice-monthly content would have been, shifting to monthly at most will ensure the best quality I can give all of us.

-mysteriouspi

Director at Starstreak Media

February 2019: The Sudden Filler Street Problem

This is something that last year I considered possible but shrugged off at the time. Perhaps I should have given it more thought, because here we are. Filler Street already trended low as far as view counts went, but “How to Fight your Dragon” hit a new low. “Not even 24 views in 24 hours” low. It’s made me reconsider a lot of things.

While Filler Street was partly meant to experiment, it was also meant to provide easier-to-produce content that I could put out regularly. The ultimate goal there was to grow Starstreak Media as much as possible before Feature Film 2’s announcement and release. But I’ve seen the opposite response, as the subscriber count stalled for several days around the time both Filler Street episodes went up. I don’t mind that I’m losing some subscribers—it’s expected given my year and a half of inactivity—but it was much more pronounced there. Combined with the lack of views, it became clear people didn’t care about Filler Street. So the question became, did I care about it?

I haven’t mentioned it before but I’m a huge fan of Nintendo’s Metroid franchise. Coincidentally, the day “How to Fight your Dragon” was the same day Nintendo announced that they were restarting *Metroid Prime 4* from scratch. The game wasn’t meeting expectations, so rather than push out a poor or mediocre product, they chose to delay development so they could publish something they were proud of.

I’m not proud of Filler Street the way I am about Last Stand or Knightrise or The Dust of Ormiin. It existed to provide content, but it was content that neither viewers nor myself cared enough about. With that in mind, I think it’s time for Filler Street as it was originally intended to end.

The production I’ve already completed won’t go to waste. My new plan is to film the end of the Cold Trail story arc and then produce all remaining Filler Street content as a single video. That way it’s just one more video for people who don’t care about it to skip over and it doesn’t dominate content on my channel. This does mean that two+ videos per month is no longer feasible. One each month is the best I can see happening at this point. Unfortunate, but…

YouTube channels are defined by the majority of their content. And if the majority of my content is filler, what’s the point? I would rather make every video a quality piece worth clicking on instead of mediocre content worth skipping. And without the pressure and time commitment of a new video every week, I can shift the effort and energy that would have been given to Filler Street into short films and Feature Film 2.

Sorry Paul Brickman, but I have bigger fish to fry.

-mysteriouspi

Director of Starstreak Media

January 2019: We’re Back, Baby!

It’s like those multiple other times I said Starstreak Media would relaunch, except it’s actually happening. But of course it’s early in the year and only one video is up yet. So what’s the difference this time?

There’s actual material ready. Lots of videos and lots of WIP videos. Of course that raises another question: why make you wait? Why not release the currently ready videos now?

My major goal for Starstreak Media this year is to build momentum: I really want to try a regular upload schedule for once. In general it’s a better growth strategy than releasing videos sporadically, and I want to see where that takes us this year. I’m starting with a video each week (yikes) for a while and will eventually transition to 2/month once 1/week is no longer feasible. Videos will release Fridays 2:00 PM EST, and only on the first and third Friday of each month once uploads slow down. I’m “guaranteeing” (outside of something catastrophic happening) 1/week videos through March. Whether that will continue past this depends on how many videos I have ready and my rate of production during the first quarter of this year.

So what can you look forward to in the coming weeks?

  • Jan 4: New channel trailer (already online, check it out below!)
  • Jan 11: My THAC XVI entry, made in only 24 hours
  • Jan 18: Filler Street Episode 3
  • Jan 25: Filler Street Episode 4
  • Feb 1: A brand-new short film (teased in the new channel trailer…)

I’m very excited about the last of these as I believe it’s my best work yet. Hope that gets you anywhere near as excited as I am! See you again soon,

-mysteriouspi

October 2018: The Purposes of Filler Street

Let’s talk Filler Street more. If all goes according to plan, it will comprise the majority of Starstreak Media’s output in 2019 (and some time past that). Two episodes were uploaded last year but I took a big-ol’ break after finishing Knightrise Part 13, so it’s been a while.

Filler Street fulfills three purposes:

  1. To provide regular content while I work on larger and more serious projects in the background. Knightrise is an excellent example of how long a large project like a film can take me. I don’t want to spend so much time on large projects but provide nothing in the meantime. Just look at the series’s name: Filler Street will act as filler between large projects. My largest current project still has at least a year before filming starts, so thats’ plenty of time to build a backlog.
  2. To provide a testing ground for equipment and techniques. While I can test with more important projects, I’d rather not if I don’t have to. Filler Street provides a good testing outlet for film techniques and camera settings by comparison. If it doesn’t go well, not a big loss.
  3. To serve as my comedic work. All of the bigger projects I have planned are essentially dramas. They can have funny moments but are not primarily written in that vein. Filler Street is therefore an outlet for my rather…interesting sense of humor. I think they’ll be funny to the majority as well, just not in the same way as other content typically on YouTube.

Don’t misunderstand: Filler Street is not something I’m throwing together just for the sake of having content. I want it to be enjoyable like any other content I put out there. It will even have an overarching plot. But it’s not the main event for Starstreak Media. More grandiose projects will always hold that spot.

Still, I look forward to showcasing new episodes next year. Until next time,

-mysteriouspi

September 2018: 10K and The Rebranding

This all happened months ago before I resumed communication so you’ll have to forgive me for the delay in announcement. Starstreak Media reached 10000 subscribers as of May 23, 2018. Personally that’s nothing short of incredible. I remember getting excited about 100 back in 2011, and then 1000 back in 2013, so this is huge by comparison. I’m excited that so many people want to see more work from Starstreak Media. Thanks to each and every one of you.

As for rebranding, I changed the name of the YouTube channel from “mysteriouspi” to “Starstreak Media.” It reinforces the name of the company and is frankly less annoying to remember. Very shortly after I updated the logo everywhere. Previously it was a photoshopped picture of a galaxy, not terribly original. The new logo stands out as unique to Starstreak Media. Check the website or the YouTube banner to see! There’s even an animated version that will play at the beginning of more substantial videos in the future.

How’s video progress? Filler Street is going quite well. I didn’t cover what my progress was in the previous update, so here’s where I’m at overall since uploading the first two episodes in 2017:

  • Episodes 003-014, 016-017 filmed.
  • Episodes 015, 018-031, 033, 036-037, 039, 042, 045, 048, 051, 054, 057, 060 written.

No filmed episodes have been completed yet because I haven’t yet done voice acting for any of them. I intend to sit down and marathon voice recording for as many as possible sometime this month.

Filler Street is set on the sidewalk of the Modular Buildings line. I only owned Detective’s Office way back when I conceptualized and filmed the first two episodes (this was in 2015) but the next 10 also feature Pet Shop and Palace Cinema. I’ve had up to three others (Parisian Restaurant, Brick Bank, and Downtown Diner) for a while but never replaced their tiled sidewalks with studded plates, which makes it much easier to animate minifigures. I finally took the liberty of ordering the parts to do so in August and got them into the rotation starting with episode 014. They’ll bring a lot more color than the shades of blues and browns from the other buildings.

Until next time,

-mysteriouspi

August 2018: What do you mean it’s not January 2017?

Look over there, it’s that thing that happens to 99% of people. You know, that thing where they say they’re going to do a bunch of stuff but it doesn’t pan out for one reason or another (usually multiple) and it’s not even the first time this has happened.

The past year has been relatively rough for me. Nothing tragic or anything, but a lot of my personal struggles, many of which I was outright ignoring, have come to light. I’ve done a lot of self-discovery and have focused on improving myself these past months. It’s helped a lot and I’m thankful for those who have supported me through it then and now.

This is the main reason behind my inactivity thus far this year. Didn’t capture a single frame for months. My lack of motivation to do—well, anything—was even affecting my film projects. Again I’m getting a lot better, but there will always be room for progress.

Do I want to tell you I’ll publish 2 videos every month in 2019? Absolutely. Can I guarantee it’ll happen? Not right now. The good news is that I’m currently way more than on track to deliver just that; progress has been awesome. But I’ll have to stay diligent to make this a reality. No more grandiose claims until I can 90% back them up.

…ok, just one grandiose claim: the waiting will be worthwhile. Filler Street isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s still enjoyable. That short I mentioned in October 2017 is 99.9% done (for real!) and will be coming in February 2019. Right now I think it’s my best film yet. And of course, there’s another project in the works that won’t see the light of day for years. But oh am I excited to reveal it.

Thanks for hanging in there.

-mysteriouspi

October Update: Behind the Upload Button

I won’t sugarcoat this, Knightrise burned me out pretty bad. Part 13 released in mid-March (whoo!), but I made the mistake of immediately starting a new short film. Spent nine days doing nothing but set building and filming, followed by several weeks of editing. At which point I realized: I’m not enjoying this. I need a break.

And so a break I took. Healthy for me, perhaps, but not for the channel. Trust me, I really really want to put out content for you guys. Stop motion is unfortunately time-consuming and so breaks really space content apart. I kept telling myself I’ll upload more videos by the end of the year, but at this point I think I’ll start up again in January.

Here’s what you have to look forward to in 2018:

  • New channel trailer. With Knightrise complete, I think it’s time to update this. Who knows, maybe there will be hints to new content.
  • New short video. Like I said, I’ve worked on this one a while. Pretty proud of most of it, but it still needs a lot of work. Will drop it when it’s ready.
  • A whole lot of Filler Street. A lot of episodes are nearly ready to roll out, actually. There’s one problem: I originally wrote several female characters, but as I am the only one voice acting for this, that was a mistake. A few episodes (including 3, the next one) need to be reshot with male characters. Not a ton of work because these are so short; just something that needs to get done. My goal is to reestablish the two-videos-per-month plan I set for this year (oops) and Filler Street is the easiest way to do that. In the near future I will post a blog about Filler Street and why I am undertaking it.

I apologize again for my absence. Fear not, for Starstreak Media will return. I’ll post Knightrise Part 13 below for your viewing pleasure in case you haven’t seen it. Make sure you watch the rest of the film first, because otherwise this won’t make much sense.

Thanks for sticking with us, we really appreciate it. Until next time,

-mysteriouspi