TJ Fixman on becoming a game and movie writer (Tomorrow Daily 356)
42:56

TJ Fixman on becoming a game and movie writer (Tomorrow Daily 356)

Culture
On today's show we deep dive into smart toothbrushes and whether or not they are really necessary. Racing drones with the power of your mind. And a plant spear that will probably kill us all. Then special guest TJ Fixman stops by to tell us about writing for video games and movies, it's fun.>>We also have a very special package about drone racing, the drone racing league is here. It is really cool and producer Logan got to check it out, you do not want to miss that. Don't miss it!.>> [INAUDIBLE] [MUSIC] Greetings citizens of the internet. Welcome to Tomorrow Daily, the best talk show in the known universe. I'm Ashley Esqueda. And I'm Jeff Cannata. My gosh, it's my favorite part of the week. What a week. It's my favorite part of the week, it's my favorite part of the week, we get to deep dive. I know. I wish we could do an hour every day, but it would be really hard to book guests. You guys. Genghis would have to be our guest three out of four days of the week and he is not very talkative, so I don't think that would work out, but we've got a lot to cover in this episode. We've got a lot of really cool stuff. Definitely, 100% stick around for all the things we have in store. Let's hit the headlines. [MUSIC] Okay. Break it down, Ashley. Let's discuss GumPlay. GumPlay, turning your mouth into a playground. Is that not what they call themselves? That should be the Tagline if it's not, you guy's can have that one for free. Look how much fun this guys having. Look, he's smiling, he's brushing his teeth, he's playing an instrument. Is that the weirdest way to hold a toothbrush you've ever seen? I mean, I have never seen anyone hold a toothbrush like that, but ok. So this is an attachment, a smart attachment, an [UNKNOWN] attachment that you stick on the end of a toothbrush, any toothbrush that will fit the attachment. Looks pretty standard there [CROSSTALK]. Look at that. So easy. And then you sync it up to an app, and the app has three different things on it mouth bands- mouth bands, mouth news, mouth monster! Yeah, yeah. So mouth band you play a little musical instrument, like kinda cool, I say yeah I'm gonna play the drums and then it's like as your brushing- Look how much fun he's having. Yeah he really is not, he's It doesn't even look like he's pushing down that hard. And then there's mouth news where it's like three minutes of customized news. And then there is Mouth Monster, which is one where you fight against your cavities and your plaque and all that stuff. The question here is, and you guys have a lot to say about this. Honestly, I think maybe the most feedback we've ever gotten about a story. In a long time, it's a lot. This way isn't that hashtag, HTV. Yes. What are some of the comments. Well, we asked the question in the episode on Monday, does everything need to be smart? And why you guys really. Be adamant about your answers. I am too adamant about my answer. Me too, yeah, we're gonna get into that. Jeff might actually go on a rant, so stick around. [LAUGH] Arsene wrote in and said smart toothbrush seems like it'll target children users and parents. It'll make daily brushing fun for the children. Okay. I don't disagree with that. I don't disagree. I think any way you can get kids to actually sit there and brush their teeth is a good thing. Derrick wrote in and said, I want to play Star Wars Dental front, There you go! shooting up evil imperial plaquetroopers and facing down Darth dentist, dark lord of the drill. That plaque's too powerful for blasters! True. I like John's answer. He said Gum Play could be a great way to get my four year old to brush. See similar idea on America's Greatest Makers. Use the floss luke. [BLANK_AUDIO] [LAUGH] Come on! [LAUGH] I'll laugh at that. I'll give you that one. Gavin wrote in and said, not everything should be smart. Who would want smart toilet paper? Nobody. I want my toilet paper to be as dumb as possible. Yeah, I think so. And then Bedjam wrote and said, I definitely don't think everything should be smart. There's something about using your own brain that makes you feel Human. And I thought that was interesting. Not makes you feel right, makes you feel human. I really liked that choice of words, so good point there. So the idea here is that we are not willing to brush our teeth unless there's some sort of game or entertainment happening. Or gamifying it, gamification is a big thing. There's the life RPG. Right. Where you can do your whole, all your habits. I get that, I like games. I'm a big fan of games. I like gamifying stuff and turning things into games, but by the way, could they not get single person that knows how to hold toothbrush in these commercials? Well, maybe that's how they hold their toothbrush in Japan. Maybe that's how they teach you, I don't know. Is that a culture is it. Might be a cultural thing. Is toothbrushing a culture divide? Guys, send me your phontography and show us how you hold your toothbrush. This might seem. Brushing his teeth [LAUGH] We're gonna change it right now. No we're not. [CROSSTALK] Are you in favor of this, Ashley/g> Are you pro-toothbrush games? Okay, I'm gonna say this. I am pro-toothbrush games because I think people don't realize how long you have to brush your teeth for If you actually sit down and put a timer on brushing your teeth and you haven't ever timed it, you're probably not brushing for as long as you need to. True. But, I have a real problem with wanting to connect everything because it's so clanky. It's If you're gonna do it, I mean, I know that we have to go through all this awkward phase of internet of things not all communicating with each other, but it's like if you're gonna do it, I don't know. I do like that it's sort of an attachment, so if you don't want to use it, you can just take it off, it's fine. But I say no, don't make everything smart. Because then it'll just make us dumb. Yeah, maybe. I don't want to do that. Don't make us dumber. Because If you enable people to not take care of themselves, like if they rely on a machine to take care of themselves, that is a slippery slope, it ends badly I think. Yeah, can I have two minutes of my life where I'm just doing the one thing I don't have to be multitasking? Is that okay? Exactly! It's like man I get it. Like sometimes I like to read while I'm eating. But just focus. I dont' know. I mean I like the idea of motivating kids to brush their teeth longer. Sure. But But, you know what else motivates kids to brush their teeth longer? Brush your teeth longer. Beatings. [LAUGH] Beatings will continue until Heathens. morale improves. Yeah, I mean, I'm just, there's just certain things about Self-discipline and have to. RIght, exactly. Just do it. Right we need to teach people. There is a self-discipline aspect here that is very important and I think that. Not everything's fun. Yeah, not Life is hard. This is the most important thing we're gonna teach you on tomorrow daily is that life is not always fun. Sometimes life is hard. I mean, listen we get to have fun here, 45 minutes. [CROSSTALK] And then the rest of our lives are terrible. But a lot of work, hard work that is not necessarily fun in the traditional sense goes into making this part of the show. We have 45 minutes of doing the show, literally every other minute of our lives is just brushing our teeth. That's all we do. It's just [UNKNOWN] You think you can get on camera and not have brushed your teeth for 17 straight hours? That's all we do. Every person that you've ever seen on television Brushes their teeth the majority of their day. All the time. But yeah, I think that, that's all I can say to you guys. Sometimes life isn't fun and you have to learn that through things like brushing your teeth and being bored out of your skull. I'm sorry. Also, tomorrow or tonight when I brush my teeth I'm going to try to- Hold it very beautifully? It sounds like very delicate. It's something very delicate. Okay,really quickly let's touch on racing drones, which are my. I was not here, I was filming Tabletop. That's right, I'm excited to see that episode. I'm a guest on Tabletop Season 4. Very excited about that. Played Codename, which was very exciting. Great game. But, you got to talk about this, which is really cool. This is a whole bunch of students that were able to race drones with the power of their mind, with their brain waves. Yeah, how cool is that. They focus on making it go forward, and it goes forward. Yeah okay, so they're looking at this little object on a screen, Yeah. And then basically it's like okay focus on making the object go forward and they sort of animate it moving forward as you're thinking about it and the software recognizes what parts of your brain are firing while you're thinking of that idea and that's how they use it to control the drone. Yeah, and this is all this kids, this is Ender's Game, all this kids are then They didn't realize they were actually fighting in the real intergalactic war. No! Yeah I just spoiled it in this game for everyone by the way. I know. But it's okay. Spoiler alert! 30 year old spoiler alert! [LAUGH] Yeah, no, I thought this was really cool that they're developing this. I know that there were a couple of people who just briefly just looked at the headline. And it was like, well that's dumb. Racing drones with your brain seems really stupid but. The goal is and this is the important part, if they can get people to be able to control things like drones with their brain waves, they can also get people to control things like prosthetics. Tooth brushes. Tooth brushes, wheel chairs, robots holding tooth brushes to brush your teeth with Yeah, it actually could be a very powerful tool for people with disabilities, which I think all this sort of expanding it out, getting large data sets, getting lots of different people to wear these things and try them out, now, it's funny how this relates to the first story we talked about, because this is a way to use fun as a method to sort of gather large data samples, get people to do a thing You know seeing there concentrating on a thing on a screen, is not fun. But if you make it fun, Yeah. Now all the sudden, you're in sent device to do it. Now, maybe we're backtracking a little bit on not everything. It should be fun cuz this actually seems like it should be fun at first. Toothbrushes. It really is. Drone brush. Drone toothbrushing. It really does. [NOISE] I like that we're tying this all together and becoming hypocrites in the process. So our last story that we wanted to talk about is Ecology in urban areas. Yes. Through Hortum Machina V, which I think is amazing. . Yeah. Thank you. This is a bunch of architecture students. And they basically created this cybernetic- It's a plant ball. Geodesic sphere, which looks like playground equipment. Which it is. Yep. You see those at playgrounds. And then inside it has these panels that have plants on them. And then yeah, you can see how it expands and stuff and the plants can go to the edge or it can retract all the way in. And so it can move. It's got actuators in it that change- That's not gonna scare anybody. It sort of reminds me of, for some reason, as I was watching this, did you ever see the movie Rubber? The tire that kills people? No. But I want to now. You've never seen Rubber? What? Okay. It's [UNKNOWN] This is terrifying. If I saw a giant ball of plant roaming around on its own. This is what this needs, okay, it needs a microphone and a speaker inside it, to where the person inside it can be like, hey, what's up, man. Yeah. Or, feed me, Seymour. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I mean I would love it if it played music, like beautiful, relaxing music as it rolled around town, that's what I want to see. I actually think this is a really cool concept and an idea of making plants. Taking the idea of technology and organic and kind of fusing them together into something really new. I think it's really cool. The end result- Is a little terrifying and weird. Well, it's really big. Very big. So I think that that's a thing, but I like the idea of nature moving around in the city, just like people. Do you? [LAUGH] Yeah. Because the thing is is, okay, if I'm in a city Usually, there's some gardens that you could go see. Or there are places you could go to see plant life, or ecology, or something green to relax, to remind you of being in the outdoors. But I like this because at any given moment of your day, you could be pleasantly Pleasantly surprised by- Crushed by a rolling garden. No, you go right through it cuz there's holes in it. Good. So it'll roll right on you, just slide, and then it'll keep going. Just have like leaves in your hair and you're like whoa, what happened? Yeah, I was just ambushed in a wonderful way by plants, and now I'm- You know what that is? It's Katamari Damacy. It is, it's like a plant Katamari. Yeah. Love it. I love it. [UNKNOWN] wrote in Use #heytd and said not sure who's going to take over humans first, robots or giant plant balls? Man, I don't trust the giant plant balls. I don't know. I don't. I don't know either. First, they come for our toothbrushes. It's true. Then they come for our brain-powered drones. Then they come for everyone. [UNKNOWN] us all. They were all just inside the plant. You know. No, we become the plant. That's the end of the Twilight Zone episode we're gonna write. You are the plant ball. I think we just wrote an episode of the Twilight Zone. We did. I'm pretty sure we just wrote- The episode is going to be called Balls of Plant. Plant Balls. Plant Balls. We are not good at titles. [LAUGH] Really bad at titles. We should not. Maybe somebody can think of a good title. That would be great. By the way, breaking news, Alicia Vicander's going to play Lara Croft. In what, the new New Tomb Raider. Movie or tv? Alicia Vicander. I think it should be a tv show. I agree with that but I mean they like the movies and it's a really big franchise. It's a really big franchise but it feels so, I love the idea like episodic Adventures that Lara would be going on. Yeah, I agree. I'm kinda shocked. I thought Daisy Ridley was a lock for it, so Alicia Vikander. Alicia Vikander was in Ex Machina, she played Ava. Eva? Yeah, Eva. Eva. I was like, Ava, that sounds wrong. Eva. Yeah, that one. Yeah, great stuff. So that is it for our headlines, we will be, there's a tweet that I was looking for that I, he didn't tag it hey TD- Well see>> and he tweeted it at both of us and I said I'm going save this for Thursday's show ->>No>> and I'm so sorry ->>Let that be a lesson to you.>>Person I promised that your tweet would be on the show I don't know where it is, I couldn't find it. But there's no HeyT hashtag, you may as well have just been rolled up in a plant ball and rolled down the street cuz, we're not gonna find. And rolled off the edge of the earth. Because. We're not gonna find it again. Flat, yeah exactly. So, that is headlines. I really enjoyed that. That was great. As did I. [INAUDIBLE] We will be right back, we have TJ Sixman. So fun. Is gonna come in and he has written [INAUDIBLE] games, hes writing the new Popeye movie. He's got a whole bunch of stuff going on guys. Whole bunch of stuff- Stick around. And he's gonna talk to you about writing video games and movies. So yes, as Jeff says, stick around. [MUSIC] Welcome back to the show. Our guest today is a real life paid Hollywood writer. Not just some rando in a coffee shop working on his magnum opus. You might know him from such games such as Rachet & Clank. and he's also a creative consultant for Hasbro. We are excited to welcome T.J. Fixman. Thanks for being here man. Thanks for having me. So good. So okay, A lot of people out there, first of all, love video games. Many, many people love video games, love Ratchet & Clank and you've written Ratchet & Clank games. How many of them? I'd have to go to IMDB to be sure, but I think it's either seven or nine, bu it's up there. It's up there. How great is it that Ratchet & Clank is back at the top of the charts again? With an amazing installment. Yeah. I think people that are playing [CROSSTALK] weren't even alive when the first one came out. I think there. I think the first one came out in 2002 so yeah. And this is one is sort of a reimagining of that first one. So it's very. Very cool tape. And it's phenomenal, I mean I am loving it. I just got my jet pack. Nice. I got a my jet pack on gas bar. So, And you have a film, there's a film? Yeah. That's right. [UNKNOWN] are big and back and ready to rock. This weekend the movie Comes out. But, I want to, a lot of people really wonder what it takes to be a video game writer? Mm hm. So, I think that's sort of job that has a lot of mystery surrounding it. Right, yeah. [LAUGH] Because, in early days of gaming, there was just sort of like. Well, let's just have our producers kind of come up with something, we'll have our programmers come up with something, we'll just have sort of a basic thing, and you ended up with the end of Ghosts and Goblins. No-one got to the end of Ghosts and Goblins. That's true, nobody ever did that. But now, we're seeing very much so in the last 10 or 15 years of video games Scene really, screenwriters, people who are actually invested in story structure, formatting, things like that, coming into gaming, you got into video game kind of in a really weird way, and it's one of my favorite stories of starting in that industry, and can you tell our viewers? Because I think they'll enjoy it as much as I did. Yeah sure. I mean I came out to. I came out to Los Angeles with a degree in 3D Animation and hopes of writing and the 3D Animation was very much my safety fallback because I know the odds of becoming a working writer. Plan B. Exactly, exactly. They're astronomical. So I ended up out here simultaneously writing and trying to develop like a 3D animated show by myself, one person in a room which is well, I say because it's impossible. [LAUGH] It's a lot of work, yeah. I'm not saying well it's impossible to do. Wow. So after two years I got almost nothing done. And I was working at Insomniac Games as a QA tester and this was back was the Fall of Man days, back when the PS3 had just come out and my contract was wrapping up, I had sort of finished the game and. And I was ready to leave. And I didn't have any job lined up afterwards. I had an agent, I'd been taking meetings. I'd been trying to get my scripts out. But nothing was hitting. So I was looking at my bank account. And I had $250 left in my bank account. I had no backup plan. I don't think that people realize as a QA tester, in gaming, like you don't stay at the company when you're done testing that particular game. You're on a contract and when that game is done being tested you are also done. Yeah it's a contract job and you know that going in. And so So I finished the game and it was very much time to say so long and thanks for all the fish. Sure. And I'm out. And I was packing up my desk and I was unaware at the time, but the writer that was on Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction at the time, for whatever reason, it wasn't working out between him and Insomniac, so they were gonna part ways, but he had somehow Read some of my scripts. And we had talked in the halls but I didn't show him anything. The just scripts started to get around om this town. And he's like I'm sorry I didn't work out but I read that guy's stuff and he's really good. These are film [UNKNOWN]? Yeah. A prospectus that I'd written. And apparently he'd read some of them and he recommended me. So as I'm packing up my stuff, the HR director came up to me and asked if I would come back on Monday and interview for the job as a writer. I spent that entire weekend unemployed, $200 in my bank account, talking to my parents about how I'm going to [INAUDIBLE] Have to move home and figure out my next move back to New Jersey. I couldn't even afford to move. So I wasn't even sure how I was gonna do it. And Monday I came in and interviewed for it. And they gave me the job. And I think I started it on Wednesday. That's incredible. And you've been a working writer ever since? yes, ever since. I'm knocking on wood when I say that. But yes, yes, ever since. And I stayed at Insomnia for a good long time. I think it was like seven or eight years. And then I moved on in 2013, and now I've been sort of contract, mostly doing feature work, but doing of course, the Hasbro stuff as well. So what is the difference between writing for interactive entertainment as opposed to writing for films and TV? I mean, it's a totally different ball of wax. And it's super interesting. I always tell writers who are coming in, if you ever want to Sort of see what you're made of. Boot camp is, [INAUDIBLE] writing is boot camp essentially. Wow. Because imagine hiring everybody at once, the director, the actors, the production team without a script ready, just saying everybody go. Right. Ready, set, go. [INAUDIBLE] catch up. Exactly. Yeah. So, you're laying down the tracks basically as the train is coming through. Wow. So, it teaches you to be agile, it teaches you not to be precious which is a big. It's tough for a lot of writers today. The idea that they don't just submit a script and it's just made. Yeah. Right. [UNKNOWN] script I never finished. But I think it's more it's more so in video games where you can write the perfect [UNKNOWN] twist in [UNKNOWN] example I was using [UNKNOWN] twist and a designer can come up to you and be like Buddy, I'm so sorry. We just cut that level. Yeah. Can you just make it work? I'm like, yeah, sure. I'll just write another scene. No, we don't have anymore time scenes. Just make it work. Just find some way of sort of tying it together. My question to you about that, because as a player you feel that, right? I wonder if you feel like games need to get to a place where That is more valued like the narrative experience is more valued and there's a shifting of priority at as far as how video games are made. Right. Say like this is a great script, let's make it into a game. Yeah. Like it's a great game Script or great you know, sort of synopsis or log line for a game, like let's make that. I think there are, nowadays there are studios that are getting more and more story conscious. Like if you look at Irrational with Ken Levine or whatever. Bioshock, if you look at what A. B. Hennon did with the Uncharted series. There are more and more suitors who are adopting that philosophy, but production is always against us. There's always gonna be something. And this happens in features, too, and to a smaller degree, except this starts with this is the story that we wanna tell. Yeah. Starts with the script, yeah. But with video games, it's always gonna start with the tech. So if a video game studio realizes that they can do zero G really well, Well, guess what kind of a game you're writing. You're writing a space game. It doesn't matter if you have a great zombie game sort of locked and loaded. That's so interesting to me, about this, well, we developed this really great technology, let's craft a game around it, and it's like you said, a mechanic, something we've developed and it's like, man, we have to use this in a game, Let's make that work, it's so interesting. Look at Portal, though. Portal is the best example of that. Portal had one mechanic. And it was an amazing mechanic, but they built this amazing story around it where it was all set in one location with one antagonist and it was amazing. So when you lay it out, it doesn't like the ideal way to work, but it's very much the way that the entire industry operates and to a small degree features, and you just learn to deal with it. And that's you need to learn as a writer, regardless whether or not you go into video games, you have to learn not to be precious. Well, I think your work with Hasbro is Probably from the same vein cuz you start with an IP, right? Pre existing. You start with a concept and you have to build a world around that. Exactly and that's something that I love doing the most. When people ask me if I'm a writer I always sort of say yes I'm a writer but I'm also a world builder because There's something fun about not just building like, a three act story but saying here's how the world works, here's how the characters act with each other. That's really, really fun so we get to go into Hasbro who has all these amazing [UNKNOWN] like Transformers and GI Joe and Macronauts and get to sort of play around with it and figure out how it can all connect. Like, that's That's really cool. I feel like Tom Hanks in "Big" with the toys and games and movies. Yeah, you get to tie them all together. Yeah, it's cool and you know they give me lots of toys which is always a plus. Mr. Zircon is I think one of my favorite Yeah. Evil robot. Yeah [CROSSTALK] I have many favorites. A lot exactly. [UNKNOWN] [UNKNOWN] I have really do I love evil robots. And HK-47 I mean I just really love them in gaming. And so Mr. Zircon also a favorite. But it can be really difficult. I remember we were talking about this the other day. And it's really difficult to continue to come up with these one liners. Yeah. He has to constantly have these quips in the game as you summon him. And they can't be too repetitive. Yeah. So over the course of however many, 7 to 9 Ratchet and Clank games, how many lines of Mr. Zurkon would you say you've written? Easily 500. Wow. Easily, but probably closer to 1000. I'm just trying to think of what made it into the game. Right. And the funny thing with Mr. Zircon was that when we first started him, he was just like a little bot that would sort of fly around you and he didn't look like he did now, he looked like what we call a consumer bot, just one of the bots that sort of fly around the level that you can smack with your wrench, and I have to give credit to Brian Aguirre for this, because Brian Aguirre, my creative director, was like you know something? We can give Personality to this thing. So let's give it a name. Let's call him Mr. Zircon. We're gonna overhaul its looks and like what would you do with it and I thought what if he just thought everything was stupid. What if he [LAUGH] What if he talks in third person and he trash talked but it was just in the most obvious sort of Chuck Norris style. Yeah, yeah. Or like Mr. T like you know Mr. Zircon is bored. Exactly. Or like Mr. Zircon doesn't need nanotech to survive. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] Fear of others. Yeah, yeah, [INAUDIBLE] punch you in the face with bullets. Yeah. [LAUGH] Some real zingers in there. Yeah, he will give you a concerto, suffering it. [LAUGH] That way, you write it, it looks dumb and when you record it you're like that sounds dumb. But somehow when you get in the game, you're like that's actually [INAUDIBLE] It just works. It works and it's really funny and it became this fan favorite ever since, so it [INAUDIBLE] I. I take it as a source of great pride that it's become this big weapon in the game, I don't think they would do a Ratchet and Clank game without one. It's kind of like the Groovotron now, people just expect it. They associate it with the characters, yeah. Yeah, because it adds personality. So you came into the industry in such a roundabout way. What would you say is your advice to people who wanna get it. Start in Q & A and then just hang around. [LAUGH] Secretly drop scripts next to the writers [UNKNOWN] [CROSSTALK] I did. The thing that people Do incorrectly is they go to school and get like a degree in game writing. And they apply for, and they look for game writing jobs. Game writing jobs really aren't advertised online. Maybe that'll change. And I've seen a couple pop up here or there but really Really, game studios they hire from within or they'll reach out to people who have representation, that have an agent, or have done a lot of samples. But either way the trick is to have a lot of samples ready to get a degree or Some sort of experience inside a game studio or a computer animation degree, let's say. Right. Or a design degree because I think one of the reasons why game studios lean in towards producers or people who have game experience or animation experience is cuz they understand What the other departments are up to. Right, they understand that process. Yeah, and also very complicated. Like process with tons of departments all working 60, 70 hour weeks to get this game released. So like I think when people just sort of get a degree in writing and just expect to go in there and pitch a game idea, well that doesn't do anything for a game studio because game studios are not [UNKNOWN] it got plenty of their ideas you can find people and convince them but what they need is somebody who understands the different departments so if you have even a design degree, if you have even an art degree or an animation degree you're gonna be ahead of where someone with a writing background is. But if I had just been a writer and didn't have the background in computer animation I don't think I would have gotten a job because while I was doing Resistance: Fall of Man They needed somebody from Keyway who could handle collision or who could handle what they call nav meshing, which is sort of mapping out where enemies could walk. Today they've got programmers that can do this automatically now. But back in the day- Yeah. You had to have somebody- Yeah. Sit in an office- Yeah. Until four in the morning [INAUDIBLE]. Make it work, yeah. So I think while I was doing that, I was sorta proving to the people who I worked with, okay He's not just a writer, he also understands- He gets it. Yeah, he understands what the other departments are up against. So you're not just sort of coming down from your ivory tower, saying here is my script make it so. Well, and also there's an understanding that as you're writing you can keep other departments in consideration, where you say, if I'm writing something like How are they ever going to program this? This is not realistic. You can actually edit that down in a way that a writer not experienced in the games industry would not be able to do. Absolutely. That [UNKNOWN] to animation as well, because there's things that I'm dealing with on Popeye now, cuz I'm writing Popeye for Sony Animation, where if you know what's an intensive animation scene and what's Not, the production people will love you for it. Right. I know that I can't, write all crowd scenes because. Right. Yeah. Take a backseat. That's really tough. It's tough, it's expensive, it's time intensive and pisses animators off and then they come for you with the torch. Lots of one on ones in Popeye. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Exactly and that's the thing you could write and just say, hey reaction shot, well something happened off. Off camera it's like people will say, okay, you understand that it can't just flow from your head. Yeah, it's being considerate. You're being considerate of the people you work with, in a narrative way, which I think a lot of people don't really A lot of people don't grab onto that as much. You see things where people go why didn't they just write a scene like this? They didn't want to. Yeah, and it's like you see armchair quarterbacks online that go they should have written this scene, and it's like, you have to consider all of the different departments that would have had to contribute to that scene. Scene and how expensive it would have been and is that part of the budget and is it this and there's usually a good reason for why something didn't exist. Yeah, we live with these games from anywhere between one years and three years, so we've had many many meetings about Every single possible iteration of a scene there can possibly be. Sure. But I remember seeing one comment where someone was like why aren't Ratchet and Clank sequences more like Final Fantasy? Because Final Fantasy will have 100 person team on the game. [LAUGH] Yeah, yeah. Whereas everything at Insomniac was done in house, which is And very rare. Yeah. Yeah. So yes, there are certain things that we wanna do, but it's always about picking your balance and saying, okay, what is this story really about. Is there something that we're putting in just for the sake of flash, or is there something that That we think we're saying. Really matters. Yeah, yeah exactly. [CROSSTALK] I'm excited for a Popeye movie. I'll tell you that. I am too. That's great. I mean I haven't seen ever since the Robin Williams one I've been like when are they. When am I gonna get an animated Popeye. This one. This one's fun Yeah. I'm excited about that. Well, we'll wrap things up, we'll let you go. You are a very busy man. Very busy, yeah. I've been trying to get you on this show for like two months and you're like I have so many meetings, I'm so sorry, I can't. And we appreciate it. But we're really excited, you can check out Ratchet and Clank: The Movie, it drops in theatres this weekend, which is cool. You wrote First draft for that. And then also, you can, of course, check out Ratchet and Clank the game, which Jeff and I have been greatly enjoying. And it's really, really fun. And if you've never met Mr. Zurcon, well just let me tell you, you're in for a treat. And then, you can follow TJ on Twitter. Right? That's right. Just @TJFixman. @TJFixman. And thank you so much for coming on the show. [CROSSTALK] We'll be right back with an amazing Package about drone racing that producer Logan put together, so stick around, it's Tomorrow Daily. [MUSIC] Welcome back friends. Hey that TJ fella's sure pretty fun. What a delight. Yeah. He's like a big old bowl of ice cream. [LAUGH] That's so great. So we had the enormous Speaker 1 :Pleasure and honour of attending drone racing. Speaker 2: I'm so jealous I didn't get to go there. Speaker 1: You were out of town for this, Rogan and I went to the drone racing league the third qualifying race in Los Angeles called LA apocalypse and pretty if put together Just spectacular piece. So rad. So take a second and watch the drone racing piece that he did. [MUSIC] SPD drone racing is already a huge hit among RC hobbyists. And as the sport continues to grow in popularity, so do pro circuits. The Drone Racing League, or DRL, is trying to take the sport to the next level with awesome looking racetrack designs, innovative tech and some of the coolest looking equipment we've ever seen. This is DRL's first official season and we got to go to their second qualifying event, Level Two L.A.POCALYPSE, set in a real abandoned shopping mall near Los Angeles. URL, CEO and founder Nicholas Horbaczewski give us a walking tour of the enormous post-apocalyptic track. This is a very cool setting for a drone race because it allows us to use the full 3 dimensional elements of racing. The drones go up, they go down, they come around. And those drones aren't just flying up down in simple hoops VRL worked with Hollywood special effects company Legacy effects to create a one of a kind environment. Their experience working on films like Jurassic World, Iron Man, and Pacific Rim really shows in this elaborate course design. Not only does DRL have to consider how pilots from all over the world will fly through the track, but also how spectators will be able to see the drone, which will travel over 80 miles per hour at times. Do this they borrow a cable system called the Bat Cam which follows along and even gets ahead of the action. The Bat Cam is a cable cam that runs over the length of the course, it can go 100 miles an hour. You know you got a 100 mile an hour camera chasing an 80 mile an hour drone. So it's pretty exciting when they're both going full speed. Since Raches require constant video signal from the drone's SPB camera, to see where their quadcopter is going at all times, DRL had to create a lot of the tech they use. The drone racing league has designed and built our own radio frequency equipment from the ground up. And it allows us to put [INAUDIBLE] on a scale, that's never been seen before. [UNKNOWN] Each drone is also built from the ground up by [UNKNOWN]. This is our second model drone. It's called the Racer 2. It's all carbon fiber and it's designed for speed and maneuverability. But also for visibility for the audience. You'll see it's covered in these LED lights that when they're on are brightly lit and each in a different color. So you know which pilot is flying which drone. [UNKNOWN] provides its own drones for pilots. Because of that, racers can push the limits of their quad copter and compete on [UNKNOWN] pilot skills as opposed to technical enhancements. We're always taking chances. We wanna go as fast as we can and you know get that adrenaline rush that's what we need to do. So we live [UNKNOWN] pilots. We often say to pilots if you're not crashing, you're not making [UNKNOWN] Watching drone races feels like you're in a science fiction film, and if a race comes to your area, get a ticket. You won't be disappointed. Aah! I wish that I'd been part of that. We didn't know. When you guys got invited to this, we were all like "Is this thing going to be lame?" Yeah. That was awesome! The way the broadcast cameras, I mean they really are gunning for a Super high quality experience, and I think that they've achieved it. I can't wait for the day where, unfortunately because of laws that dictate. [INAUDIBLE] Drones flying, and stuff, they have to be indoors. Yeah. So, I think that they're got to be, the one thing that I wish they had. It's kind of cool, like, I love that it's indoors. I agree. We love the abandoned mall, and it's a real abandoned mall. It's amazing, we got to walk around in it. I think that the one thing they really need is, cuz they do have the glasses that you can sort of check out and then you put them on and you can watch from the drone's point of view, which is really cool, but I think they need some kind of like Jumbotron or big screen to sort of switch. We need somebody live switching those qualifying matches to get the crowds really pumped about it. And not so much, you know, cuz they're kind of watching and then it's like you can kind of see some stuff going on. They do have a screen but it's not the same. I kind of want this to take off and become a bigger thing. I think people would. I was super skeptical when I first heard about it but it really looks like a fun spectator sport. It's way more exciting than I thought too. We got there and I was just super I was really shocked at how excited I was and how much I was into watching the drones race and really brilliant of DRL to put special LED lights of every color for each pilot. Yeah, for sure. It's really, really cool. So thank you to the drone racing league for letting us Go do that, we really appreciate it, and we can't wait to check out what the finals are. Before that, I think they did their first qualifier was inside an abandoned nuclear plant. My gosh. In Upstate New York, they said there was one in Miami. Wow. And that was very slick and futuristic and colorful and stuff and then they did LA Apocalypse. They'll have I believe six races this year. So if they end up coming to town near you you should definitely check out what they have going on. So that is just about it for the show. Do you wanna talk about Intuit though. Let's do it. All right. [MUSIC] Just what are you into? I'm into a movie this week. We are on the precipice, ladies and gentlemen, of the summer blockbuster season. Civil War looms as the official kickoff, I would call that the official kickoff of the summer blockbuster season. I think so. I think so. But before you get excited about that, and you should be excited about that There is a small movie that I think you should watch. Now this is a very rated R, very violent, very intense movie but if you are a person that likes those kinds of things I cannot recommend Green Room higher. This is the same that directed Blue Ruin. If I told you Ashley what if? Quentin Tarantino got to write a Die Hard movie. Would you be excited about that? I'd be into that. This is kind of like that. Basically it's the idea of these kids that are part of this punk band and they get a gig at At a neo nazi club, like this underground neo nazi club, and then things go real bad real fast and they're ->>As they tend to do at neo nazi clubs, I think they're probably never [INAUDIBLE] And they're kind of trapped there And it's like, what are they doing, how do they get out, what's going to happen to them. It is, Patrick Stewart is in it. He plays a video nazi. I've never seen Patrick Stewart, It's hard play a villain like this. No! It is one of the most intense, one of the most thrilling, one of the coolest movies I've seen all year. It will certainly be in my top ten at the end of the year. It is that good. Wow. I was on the edge of my seat exclaiming at some of the things that would happen. The violence comes out of nowhere. It is Intense and awesome. And the coolest thing about this movie and my favorite thing about movies that are kind of like Die Hard is the characters are smart. Yeah. They handle things in a very smart way and you love that. When you feel like you're in the This situation with these characters, you're like my gosh, what would I do there? I always feel like, that was a really smart thing that they did. Great, great movie. Wow, I'm getting sort of Walter White vibes off of. Patrick Stewart in this? Yeah, yeah. He definitely Breaks Bad in this. I wouldn't say Walter White, I'd say Heisenberg, again, like Heisenberg vibes off of Patrick Stewart in this. Yeah. So, yeah, that looks really good. It's awesome. I'm into a video game this week. Ooh, tell me more. So as we all know, I love indie video games, love small video games. Little anecdote before I tell you what game it is, but when I got my Playstation 4, it was at launch, and And there wasn't a whole lot of launch titles I was super interested in. Yeah. But there was one game on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Plus that was free and it was Resogun. Great game. And my PlayStation 4 was legitimately a Resogun machine. Sheen for about four months. Yeah. Housemarque, the developer who made Resogun, made the game I'm into this week. It's called Alienation. Mm. I don't know if you've seen anything about this. I have, yes. I just got a review code last night. I asked, I begged, I was like, please just give me a review code. I didn't even, I was like, I'm begging you, please. It kinda reminds me of Diablo. Mm-hm. Kinda reminds me of Helldivers. Right. In that sort of, it's a dual stick shooter, kind of like that three-quarters top-down look to it. But it's so colorful, which is unlike a lot of the top-down shooters we've seen like Helldivers, very desaturated. Yeah, this is neon, look at that. Diablo, desaturated. This is full color craziness I mean unbelievable action going on. You can play with your friends, it's online co-op. You can do all the things. I just dug into it last night, but I'm really into it right now, I can't wait to play more. I'll be splitting my time between that and a certain major triple A game that will be dropping an May 10th that shall not be named. That we can't be talking about yet, but yes. That might rhyme with Blunt Blarded. Yeah, that. Smoo Smarted. [LAUGH] I'm going to be splitting my time because this game looks super fun and I did the tutorial and the first area last night. I really really like it and I'm really into it. So how smart So far so good. Really looking forward to playing more and digging deep into Alienation and I think it's 15 or 20 bucks. Very very cool. Those are some good intuits to keep you excited over the weekend. keep you Keep you tided over until Civil War next weekend and then you're gonna see that over and over and over. [LAUGH] Exactly. [CROSSTALK] We're all gonna be doing together. All right. So as is tradition on Tomorrow Daily, tradition, so weird, let's talk about our phonetographer of the day. [MUSIC] This is where we do our regular ritual. Get out the candles. [CROSSTALK] THe chanting will begin now we'll talk about our phone-tographer. Our phone-tographer of the day today is Andrew, our very last of monuments, places of interest, landmarks. Shot this on his iPhone 6S and said this my photo at Capliano Park in Vancouver BC, thank you for having your talk show on CNET. By the way, I took this photo on my iPhone 6S camera. You have permission to use it. Very nice. He did all the right things. Gorgeous picture and the reason why I picked this is because I felt this was a great argument for vertical photo taking. I was just gonna say that I wish he had done it landscape. No, but I think the verticality of the trees really lends itself to a vertical photo and that's why sometimes a vertical picture Is better. And I think the framing of this is so good. I think the framing of this is so good. The bottom third is the river. Then you got the middle third with trees. Top third is the sky. It's great photography. This is great photography. I'm not gonna argue that that's not a great picture. And I'm really pleased that he sent it in. But team landscape til I die, team landscape. High five for me. I say landscape unless you can get a better More beautiful ratioed picture and that would be It's a lovely picture. And you can have your picture on our show as our phonetographer. All you have to do is send it to tomorrow@cnet.com Yes. And make sure you do these great things. Tell us how to pronounce your name if it's a difficult name. Which. Most names are for us. Assume we're not bright, is what we're saying. I think they already do. Tell us just how to pronounce your name. Second, give us permission to use your picture on the show, cuz we need that. Also tell us a nice little story about your picture. Even if you made it up, we just like stories. It could be fiction, we're not saying it has to be true. And the last one is of course tell us what device you took it on because it is phonetographer's day and we wanna know what phone you took it on. Four little things you gotta do. Also next month Theme we decided is spring. Spring. So any spring-y pictures you wanna spring on us we'd appreciate it. Yeah, and interestingly enough Yianni wrote an email to us and has said that- Yanni? Yi, Yianni. Not Yanni live at the Acropolis. That would be amazing if Yanni was like Guys, you have no idea what we're talking about and that's okay. I once went to Halloween as Yanni. Wow. Yeah, it was amazing. Can you bring that picture in next week? I will actually. Amazing. I'm looking forward to that. Guys, look up who Yanni is and then you'll be ready for that picture. Yeah. Did you have a glorious mustache. I did. I did have a glorious mustache, long hair, and vests that had like hearts and guitars all over it. It was amazing. [LAUGH] I can't [INAUDIBLE] And I had real open shirt like open white billowy shirt. Of course, you have to cuz that's that is. Yanni. Our viewer Yianni. Wrote in and said why don't you do like blooms or flowers.>>That's nice>> Everything's in bloom where I am- Spring>> and so and I said congratulations we actually picked exactly that thing. It's spring, so send us your favorite pictures of blooming flowers and all of those other great things, or you know slinkys that'd kind of a spring->>Hey, Heyoh! Spring Whatever you want. Your creativity will be appreciated, that's all we're saying. Yes, that is it for today's show, we will be back next week. I think you're gonna be off for the first couple days next week. Yes. but, beyond that, we will be back with, future tech, science fiction, science fact, all the great. Stuff that you like from us. Indeed. But until then. Be good humans. Bye guys. [MUSIC]

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