Production Diary Volume Two

A column article by: Ace Masters

It is time to update what has, and hasn’t, happened in the last month since Volume One of this production diary.

Trying to get projects off the ground - comics and more - is never an easy task. So if you complete a project, realize that you have already achieved something. But don’t pat yourself on the back too long before moving on to the next step.

For me, this has been an EPIC month on the writing front (despite a rough week this past week). Why? I had four writing projects I wanted to work on this month, and I complete all four by the 15th! Two weeks early!

These projects are Smokes (a short film), Only the Dead are Free (comic book), Things To Do in 90 Minutes (humor book) and Midnight Store (screenplay). Granted a couple of these are just first drafts and will need to be re-written done the road, but just getting that done is something.

I also have a brand new project in the works, which I will mention below in New Projects:

Completed Project (s):

Did I Do Good: Unfortunately, there is no change on the status of my short film. I have heard back from two film festivals in the past month and they both passed on it, for reasons unknown other than "competitive field." Not a big shock, as I always expect more rejections than I do acceptances. Plus, there are still more than twenty-five films festivals to hear from.

On good note, Did I Do Good has been submitted for the 2012 edition of Sundance.

Midnight Store: This is an original feature screenplay of mine, what I think is a unique concept and twist on "creatures of the night." The first draft of the screenplay is done, and took me about a week to write. Come January I am going to shop it around and try to see if I can raise fund to produce this myself.

Only the Dead are Free: Not truly finished, but the script for this comic book one-shot is completed and edited! It is now in the hands of Irapuan, a trusted friend and artist, and hopefully will be done by year’s end.

Smokes: This is a local Short Film I am attached to as writer and director. I wrote the treatment and screenplay for this project in a couple of days and hope to shoot it in December. However, I am not in control of that, the Producer will make the final decision. Once I know more, I’ll post that.

Things to do in 90 Minutes: This is a humor book I have written with a local editor and good friend Debbie J. Jones. In the last two weeks we polished off the "list" of things to do and wrote the book proposal/business plan - about three pages long.

We are currently having some artwork done to go with the list and plan to submit it to publishers starting in January.

I will share the book proposal/business plan at a later date.


Dragon’s Spear: This is still going strong and Malacai has delivered a few more pages. By the end of the year the title should be complete. Then we can move to the next step.

So you can see the progress of this project I have included one page with this column.

Only the Dead Are Free: This is listed twice. Once above because the script is finished and here because the physical art is going into production!

I will update more next month.


My other comic book project, Down the Road, Salvation, has hit a small snag. The story isn’t working out and doesn’t feel right or natural. For the moment I have put this aside with about sixty percent written.

Business Plans:

Okay, in order to get the writing projects I have gotten down this month, I put the business plans aside for the second. That said, on November 1st I am going full bore into the business plan and spend November and December working on these plans.

My goal is to get the plans completed and to start searching for investors in January.

While I have not been writing my business plans, I have still been studying and researching. A large chunk of my research involves two books I suggest to everyone: Getting the Money by Jeremy Juuso and Filmmakers and Financing by Louise Levison.

Both are excellent books with lots of great information. Yes, both are books on developing business plans for films, but the info in them can easily be adapted to other fields as well.


I have made a conscious decision to delay submission until the New Year. The reason for this is because I want to focus on polishing of a few projects and getting them as perfect as possible. I am gearing up for a big push on my writing, and other things, come January 1st.

New Projects:

Have you been in the Humor section of a book store lately? Or Amazon? There are a lot of survival guides out there. While doing research for publishers of humor books, I saw a lot of them. However, I believe there is a missing survival guide... or two.

I plan on filling in the gaps in survival guides I believe exist. Of the course of the rest of the year I am going to work on two humor book survival guides. I plan to have one finished and out to agents and published in January/February, then work on the second one.

For the moment I do not want to name these projects until I am sure they are worthwhile projects. However, I think they are something the readers of Comic Bulletin will like.

Until next week... Have fun.


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