Seeing Shadows

It has been a very long while since I’ve posted here, and in the last several months we’ve all been through some extremely strange and unsettling times. I’ve put together another brief behind-the-scenes video I hope you’ll find interesting, but before we get to that, there are some things to say…

For the record: I am still deeply in love with this story and despite the ridiculously long production timeline, I remain committed to completing my film so I can share it with all of you. That passion has carried me through some unforeseen and unimaginably dark moments, and sustained me during the murky, frustrating periods when progress has slowed to a crawl and the obstacles seem too great to overcome.

Many of you have maintained that same passionate ardor for The Price and continue to make your feelings known (sometimes even in angry, militant ways). Whether you’ve shared kind, encouraging words or felt that giving me a sound scolding might be the best way to go about seeing the movie sooner rather than later, I sincerely appreciate the time you have taken to reach out at all – it’s evidence that you love Mr. Gaiman’s wonderful story in the same way that I do!

When so much time has passed and I haven’t put anything up on this site, I feel guilty and anxious. This leads to stressing over what to post – if I need to just let people know I’m still alive & kicking, or come up with something more substantial to share. The end result is that more and more time goes by without any word whatsoever…and a vicious cycle has begun yet again.

It’s frighteningly easy to become overwhelmed by all of those shadows, but in the end, we see what we want to see.

For me, it means all that’s left is to get back up and try one more time, so here goes:

About Xtopher

Director of The Price, and Owner/Creative Director of Silver Fish Creative, LLC.
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30 Responses to Seeing Shadows

  1. vicmorrowsghost says:

    I’m always delighted when one of these updates pops up in my in box. Some things just take time. I hope you never give up on it, even if it takes a few more years to finally be done.

    I do some 3D myself, and I’m familiar with issues with shadows. But OH MAN that check box would mess me up. I use 3DS max and that’s exactly the OPPOSITE oh what usually causes problems in 3DS. Raytrace would let the light pass through a transparent object while shadow mapping would treat the glass like an obstruction and cast a shadow. Well done tracking it down. You’ve gained a little wisdom today.

    • Xtopher says:

      Thanks for the validation my friend — you can easily pull your hair out looking for those proverbial needles in 3D haystacks, right? Actually, I usually just mess my hair up (unknowingly) until I look like a mad scientist when I eventually stagger-forth from my creative dungeon. :)

  2. Sally says:

    That was absolutely fascinating, thank you for sharing the process.

  3. Jordi says:

    Love seeing this update. While I have no experience with 3D modelling, I know how a small thing somewhere can cause unexpected results. I was writing some code a while back and tried something which I know should work — and it does work, 99% of the time. This time, it didn’t. Every step seemed to be okay until I found a very tiny toggle that changed how it interprets the implied order of an array… toggling that solved it, and I learned what that function I must have seen thousands of time and ignored, actually did.

    I also understand the hesitance to post when you feel you have nothing new to say. But even a small note here and now ‘hey, I’m still here’ can be enough — although I definitely prefer beefier updates that show some of the progress like this!

    “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes…you’re Doing Something.” – Neil Gaiman

    • Xtopher says:

      Thanks Jordi; it’s reassuring to know you can relate to dealing with that type of minutiae! Again, I apologize for not communicating better; thank you for not giving up hope. Also, I appreciate your sending that particular quote — I look up at it every day to keep going!

  4. Lorena says:

    I’m always happy to hear that you are still around and still working on this project. Videos like this are a great bonus though. I love learning about your process, and I’m just as excited about this project as ever.

  5. Jon Schjelderup says:

    At last, an update!! :) Happy to hear you’re still hard at work on this, and still passionate about it. Obviously, so am I. And I understand all too well about dark and troubling times. I mean, the money I used to back this project was part of my settlement of selling my childhood home, after my dad died. Or, well, it was at the time I pledged it.
    Hope for brighter times ahead for us all, and please, keep the updates coming a little more often than every 18 months or so. :)

    • Xtopher says:

      Wow John, that is humbling to say the very least. Thank you for believing with me, and I promise to keep you updated much more frequently.

  6. Lynne Taylor says:

    It was exciting to see this update. It is disheartening to go so long without information, thinking that the project might have been abandoned. Besides Neil and I aren’t getting any younger!

    • Xtopher says:

      I am so very sorry Lynne; I’m not getting any younger either as you can tell from that video (it’s great that cameras keep getting better and better, but unfortunate how that literally translates to “High-Definition Wrinkles”). I won’t ever give up until this film is finished, and it will be such a joy to finally be able to watch it with you!

  7. Liz M says:

    Thanks for sharing this update! It’s great that you’re still learning new things as this project goes on, and the end result will be even more amazing because of it.

    • Xtopher says:

      I really appreciate that Liz, and the “learning new things” element of creative work is definitely one of its great perks.

  8. Lovely to hear from you! I think anyone that’s ever used a computer for anything substantial can relate to this kind of troubleshooting, 3D artist or not. Satisfying to get it right in the end. Keep the faith, great to see your face!

    • Xtopher says:

      Hey Michael — so good to hear from you as well! I feel awful for not reaching out sooner, and am always grateful for your encouraging support. I sincerely hope you are healthy and happy and finding success in your own endeavors, my friend!

  9. Marion Rehm says:

    I just thought about this project the other day – and here comes an update! Thank you! Sending good vibes for the process.

  10. I wish we could get some of these more often. Also, it’d be wonderful if we knew how far into the project you are. Is it 20%, 50% (just a rough estimate) or less, or more? We all know that things like this take tremendous amounts of time and you’re basically doing this on your own. Still, not hearing anything at all is worse than hearing things are delayed because it always contains the possibility that something has happened to you that forced you to or made you drop the project. I for my part, will not be angry. Things take as long as they take. But a little update here and there will make me wait with less worry.

    • Xtopher says:

      I hear you very loudly and very clearly, Katharina, and I will do much better with these updates moving forward, I promise! What’s hard about estimates is that they don’t give an accurate projection on when The Price will be completed or even properly reflect the amount of effort and time that has already been expended — there are just too many variables. I will say that I’m able to put more time and resources into production now than I have for a long while, and expect to make substantially more progress in the coming months.

  11. Perry says:

    Thanks for the update! I work with computers for my day job and I learned long ago that the more something doesn’t make sense, the more I have to listen to that little voice that is saying “try this obviously unrelated thing to see if it makes any difference” :)

    • Xtopher says:

      I am glad you can relate, Perry! I’ve never really been a “tech” guy, so having to learn to manhandle these machines in order to create has become something of a necessary evil. :)

  12. Hugh Eckert says:

    That was interesting, thank you for the update! As a software developer, I often find myself in the same situation; there’s so many moving parts that fit together, that interact in often hard-to-predict ways, and it’s impossible to keep it all in my head. Sometimes problems have an obvious fix, sometimes it’s just a slog… and sometimes I tweak something simple (seeming)… and voila!

  13. Sioux says:

    Amazing! I’m so pleased you’re pushing through the blocks. I watched the Gaiman documentary on Netflix (I think) during the lockdown and saw some of your work from The Price there. I did wonder whether you would leave it at that or that perhaps you got some royalties to press on with the project. I hoped it was the latter.
    Also, like a previous commenter, I was thinking about your project the other week because (and don’t feel bad) another project I recently backed is getting a lot of trolling on social media by a new generation of backers…”I’ve never had to wait 9 months for a product in my life!” etc. Haha. I hastily posted my comment about ‘you really don’t understand how kickstarter works do you!’, fondly thinking of your film and Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother doll that I backed (…6ish years in the end I think)
    Tbf, it doesn’t feel like 12 years. But on a positive note, think of all the new fans there’ll be for your work now that the Sandman series is coming out and turns more people onto Neil’s work! Maybe this timing and series of events was meant to be.
    And ditto the previous sentiments. Any updates are good updates. Even if you want a break and talk us through your collectibles that always sneak into shot, lol. We’re all nerds here.
    Keep on keeping on Chris!! x

    • Xtopher says:

      Sioux — so great to hear from you! You always bring light & lightheartedness in equal measure with your comments and observations, and this particular remark made me laugh out loud while re-reading it to my wife! (We are indeed all nerds here, and proud of it!) And no, I won’t give-up this particular race until that finish line has been crossed, so thank you for always cheering me on! :)

  14. Michela says:

    Thanks for the interesting update, looking forward to more details and to the final version! In a way, it’s good to always have this thing in the future to look forward to!

  15. Ira Pearson says:

    I’m going to be honest, Christopher. I had 100% given up on this project and just assumed it was long dead and buried. But I am ecstatic to see that you haven’t given up and that I assumed incorrectly.

    I saw your bit about angry and militant backers and I am so very sorry that happened to you. They were inappropriate. Don’t let them get to you. The internet is filled with angry, inappropriate people. I could never be that angry at your lack of progress or communication because it’s been fascinating and fun watching the progress you have made over the years. Someone said twelve years, it can’t possibly have been that long, right?

    Loving this new video. Like some other commenters, I also work with computers on a daily basis, as a technician and programmer. So I too know very well the intense frustration of something not working exactly the way you know it should.

    Good luck. Don’t stay away too long next time.

  16. Kathy Meidell says:

    Excellent entry and example of how things go. If anything, the length of time this project has gone, it’s ups and downs, has endeared itself to me more and more. I”m with you 1000 %. Thank you for your heart, persistence and candor. Carry on.

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