Sunday, March 23, 2014

Four more years

Although the actual "anniversary" of the first upload was on the twenty-first, I am now taking a bit of time to commemorate the date. Our project (and as of yet, most prominent piece of digital media which is live) EverymanHYBRID is four years old.

And the journey continues...
We have met countless incredible people and have seen some things that could blow minds. There have been plenty of mistakes along the way, both in terms of the technical production and on interpersonal levels. We are still here, though, and we are still breathing, and that sure as hell counts for something.

When we started this project, Evan, Vin, and I were all good friends, but not nearly in the same capacity that we are today. The saying is, "Don't move in with your best friends" -- typically dispensed when a young person is either going to college or moving out for the first time. Then we did just that. We, more or less, have lucked out. Evan in particular used that word precisely -- lucky -- and I have to agree. Almost every aspect of my life in this moment is in a state of influence directly relating to a group of college boys buying a lackluster digital camera and throwing together a story. I will always love and hold a place in my heart for my friends from home, but this experience has cultivated a family and a network of people that have been there for me, for each other, through the highs and lows. I fondly recall, months or even years ago at this point, receiving a message from a viewer (and friend) that went something like this: just realize that today, a person in Australia ran to their bank before it closed, in order to be sure that they could help out so-and-so in the states. Without too many details, one of the viewers was going through a rough-spot, and the HYBRIDs stepped up and helped out. No, not us, the onscreen cast, but this loving circle of people. The occasional anonymous message bearing a message that claims that we have saved lives or helped relationships makes it all worthwhile. 

Far too often, communities, both online and tangible, fall into negativity when their carrying capacity is reached. For those involved in the social media sites tied to these communities, we are no strangers to the "drama" -- and the incessant and ever-existing posts promising that someone is "done" or finally fed up with it and "leaving" -- and yet they either remain silently or are there, week after week, complaining. My HYBRIDs are a family that fosters positivity and laughing in the face of nonsense.We deal with enough filth in the breathing world, why take it to places of humor and solace? As such, and as always, I have always been a fan of labeling the drama as what it is (rubbish) and moving on. Block digital users who bother you. Come to our circle of viewers and friends. There are always listeners -- (and a big shout out to HornetCon and its administrators for hosting a healthy ongoing chat). 

But this is not a treatise on the health of online communities. Perhaps those thoughts are purely the unconscious administration I felt the need to address after being here for four years. Plus, we mustn't let petty people and their problems hinder a celebration, eh? Heh. 

The memories continue to be written and stories we will inevitably bore future friends and family with continue to flow, even if the seasons feel wont to ebb. In the occasional downtime between production, I must restrain myself from compiling and editing together some of the behind-the-scenes follies, as there are many. But, in every ounce of silliness, there is the possibility of spoiling certain plot-points. Not to mention, we have made it this far without releasing out-of-game content (in a great capacity, at least) and should just stick to our guns in that realm. As for an end-game, and as many have speculated, of course it is approaching... and I will continue to give a non-answer for a date or time-frame. All it leads to is disappointment. Would it bother you to know that I speculatively gave an end-date as "spring 2012" at one point? Oh, dear... the potential post-game conversations there are to be had. The hydra-head web of possibilities for the story that were discussed years ago are plenty and we regard them with that nostalgic and haunting sensation of a relationship never manifested, of the date never met, of the chance never took -- but are quickly lifted by what we have created and what we still have in store.

It has taken us longer to complete this project than it did for me to graduate a four-year college and I say that with a smile and with the utmost lack of disappointment. We could not have done this without one another -- and I thank you two, Vincent Caffarello and Evan Jennings for your patience, wonderful skills, and friendship. I thank everyone else, friends and family, who have put up with our silly Internet videos and the five-am interruptions that have resulted from them. You will be credited and fully listed in due time. Thanks for the laughs, moments of trust, and most of all, your fear, HYBRIDs -- and here is to many more. [J]

Enjoy some photographs from a recent trip to our beloved Baldpate Mountain. Notice that the old barn and coop are demolished and nearly wiped from history.