Actor ● Author ● Filmmaker

It’s Been a Year…

As the title says it’s been a year since I’ve been able to find the time to update anything here. I’ll ignore that half of last year was wasted building projects for some I shouldn’t have. It’s probably also a bad thing that I’m a very hands on type of person who happens to be a bit OCD when it comes to my own projects.

I just can’t bring myself to grab someone else’s templates for web designs, or use stock photos for book covers and design projects. It feels like cheating to me, and trying to use someone else’s work as my own. Although I’ve also noticed that in everyone’s rush to get things done quickly, the quality of certain things is not something I’d feel comfortable using.

With that said, my new years resolution for 2015 was to stop working for free. It’s hard enough balancing time when you’re doing your own projects without payment and hoping they’ll pay off at a later date. It’s a risk creatives and entrepreneurs all take with their time.

For the last few years, I’ve taken those risks with time, but on projects other than my own. This not only put me further and further behind on finishing my own projects but I’ve also come to realize that for the many that ask others to invest their time, there’s very little incentive for them to put in any work of their own as they have their steady jobs with paychecks coming in. If the project fails, they’re still secure in their living. For those like myself though, the feeling’s completely different in ways I’m sure one can imagine.

With that said, here’s what’s been completed since I made that resolution, and what I have planned for the coming months:

Books and Writing

I finally finished the second Bewitching book at the end of January and I’m about to start the third book. I’m hoping to have the third book finished by the end of this year. So that’s the great news on that front, along with the fact that the first book is about to break a million reads. From what I’ve heard I also have both Bewitching books, and possibly my French Riviera story featured on Wattpad’s new After Dark app.

Hopefully I can also find the time to go through the first two books and re-edit them, fixing typos, etc. I’m really crossing my fingers that by the summer I can have them both cleaned up enough that I feel confident in self publishing them on Amazon.

I also had a few webisodes I’d like to write, which falls into the acting and filmmaking categories too. The one I’m most excited about an idea called On Set, and the second is a web series entitled Singlesville. I’m still bouncing around ideas for both, but I have a general concept in the direction I’d like to go with them. The biggest limiting factor though is knowing who’ll show up and who I can rely upon for shooting them. That makes them a bit difficult to write but I’ll figure it out….somehow.

Web Design and Programming

I’ll likely be removing the web design and programming categories from this blog. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the more creative stuff. I’m thinking the best option will be to move them over to the BlackDoorMedia domain I own. While I’ve rethought the idea for that domain over and over again after some setbacks, I think it’d be best to go with the original concept I had for it. That includes offering video, photography, and web design services, along with tips for optimizing websites and building plugins. I’ll still be cross posting some of that here, but most of the programming information will be posted there.

Since I’ve finished the second Bewitching book back in January, I have used the break from writing to code a few plugins of my own. Anyone that’s frequented this site will notice the new share links. I removed Shareaholic share buttons due to the massive amount of code they used which slowed the site, along with a few other issues I had with them. The share buttons now are ones I created, that load along with the page. They’re also integrated with the Yoast plugin I use for images when shared to networks. Anyone sharing from here will notice the large images it now grabs for Facebook, Google+, etc. And best of all, it’s all written where one line of code will integrate all the files into the template once the folders loaded.

I’ve also taken the time to redo the SEO on this website and update it to HTML5, which I’ve held off on doing for a while. Finally, the largest part of the last month or two was spent building a slide show plugin for WordPress. While I liked a few of the plugins I had set up, some contained poorly written code, or were extremely bulky in the code they added. I’m hoping to turn the one I integrated directly into the template for this site into a plugin that uses multiple templates for other WordPress users after I work out a few small bugs.

On the “to do” I have to find some time to update The Bewitching website. Designing a nice looking, dark website is not easy, and I’m really not happy with how the current one looks. I’ll be doing that while also building the Black Door Media site.

Finally, I’d like to finish the Fit and Fashionable I started last year. The majority of the programming is done and uploaded, and there are several other updates already finished on the localhost. This is another one I’m looking forward to seeing finished, especially since it means I can interview some of my favorite Wattpad authors and friends.

Film/Acting and Photography

As I mentioned in the writing section, I have a few ideas for web series. I had already written several episodes of Singlesville a little over a year ago and then lost a bunch of the scripts when the computer I was using was stolen along with the backup drive. I’m kind of on the fence about trying to rewrite them, although I also have a few new ideas for it should I choose to pick it up again.

What I’m more excited for is writing On Set. I picture it being similar to The Office, but based on an indie filmmaker team, making it easy to switch out different actors for each episode each week depending on what they’re shooting. I had a great talk with someone last week about funny ideas, and that talk not only inspired a few more episode ideas but also a nice way the web series could be used as a marketing and advertising tool. Being shot like The Office would also make the work in post go a bit quicker.

I think the biggest obstacle I’ve come across with shooting any of these ideas tends to be getting people together to actually shoot the scenes. This also makes it difficult to write because you don’t want to write a significant character into the script and find out the person you’re thinking of casting can’t be relied upon. In which case I tend to start trying to limit who’s important in the story, and by the end the story feels so watered down that I lose interest. I’m hoping to find a nice, small group of people who maybe that won’t happen with so I can have several episodes on tape by the end of the summer.

For filming, I would also still would like to get the trailer shot for The Bewitching. Still waiting for schedules to clear up for that, but again crossing my fingers that it’ll be soon since the scripts already done.

Which leaves just the photography. I’ve already got several photo shoots edited which should be uploaded in the next week using the WordPress Slide Show plugin I designed. I wouldn’t mind shooting more during the year, particular themed shoots with costumes. I’ve always heard photographers make better filmmakers due to what’s learned with using the camera during the photo shoots. While photography isn’t what I’d like to solely focus on, I’ve definitely worked with some great models and would like to continue doing shoots between the rest of the things I’ve got planned.

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Martin Douglas
About the Author

Martin Douglas

The author of the novel The Bewitching. Besides writing, Martin Douglas, also spends his time acting, making films, and working on graphic design and video FX. When he’s not working on the creative and fun stuff he can often be found in a Coffee house. His other talents include web design and several programming and scripting languages.

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