Intro to PROJECT GLOOM

I’ve been in development on a horror anthology comic series over the last few months. Keeping it close to the chest, so let’s just call it Project Gloom for now.

I have gravitated towards the horror genre off and on for years. I checked out collections of horror stories from the library in 3rd grade. Middle school was a fascination with Japanese horror like THE GRUDGE, Edgar Wright’s SHAUN OF THE DEAD played on repeat in high school, but I kept revisiting DONNIE DARKO again over all else. I guess I like my horror to have a psychological Sci-Fi twist to it. Netflix’s STRANGER THINGS was pretty awesome, right?

Anyway, I’m grateful for Project Gloom since it allows me the opportunity to work with twelve sequential artists on just as many short stories. I’ve found about half of these collaborators so far which gives me plenty to work on in the meantime. One of these artists is Gabriel Fobert, a recent graduate of UNC Asheville’s New Media program. Find his Instagram at @crypt_crow and linked below with a piece of early concept art from our collaborative efforts.

#sketch #doodle #art #spooky #hag Another design idea for the night hag

A photo posted by Gabriel Fobert (@crypt_crow) on

TRUMP comic by J. Rutland

In August, I struck a deal with J. Rutland to assist in the promotion and distribution of his one-shot comic book TRUMP: THE ART OF MISDIRECTION AND CAPITALISM’S AMAZIN’ CHAMPYUN. The book has 24 pages, all written and hand water-colored by the artist, on sale for $5.

TRUMP can be found in various comic shops around the Asheville area, including Comic Envy, Haywood Comics, and three shops I landed through my own persistence: Orbit, Hero Hunter, and Downtown Books & News. I expect J. Rutland may upload the PDF to his personal website in the near future for online viewing once the prints have run their course.

The timing couldn’t have been better because Donald J. Trump himself came through Asheville on Monday 9/12 and spoke at the Civic Center. I would have seized the opportunity to distribute additional copies to unsuspecting Trump supporters if I hadn’t been working, though that was probably for the best. No doubt it was a lion’s den.

I agree with documentary director Michael Moore’s statement earlier this summer, “Satire is what will bring Donald Trump down.” I saw it on full display when naked Trump statues appeared in city centers across the country and when John Oliver’s “Donald Drumpf” episode broke HBO viewing records. Proud to support the cause.

SUB ROSA short film // UNBECOMING

SUB ROSA is the fifth and final short in the dark comedy anthology film UNBECOMING, written and directed by Chris White, produced by Paris MTN Scout. The film was shot on October 7th, 2015 at a beautiful mansion home in Tryon, North Carolina. I helped out on set as a Production Assistant, mainly in the production design and lighting departments.

The film starred notable actors Michael Forest (The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Ronald Reagan cowboy movies) and Patti D’Arbanville (The Sopranos, Law & Order, New York Undercover), both of whom have legendary resumes and were wonderful people to work with, almost as great as the live goat we wrangled into running around the house.

The story involves a retired U.S. senator with a dark secret who claims the CIA would kill him should he ever reveal it. He shares the truth with a frantic farmer who wanders onto his property in search of her goat Maggie.

12th Level Intellects on TEEN TITANS

Over the last year, I’ve been heavily involved with the WATCHTOWER DATABASE, a specialty YouTube channel focused on the DC Animated Universe, a series of interlocking television shows that ran from the early 1990s with BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES to the mid-2000s with JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED. The DC Animated Universe (or DCAU, if you will) is notable for being one of the first major shared universes, a concept only recently made popular by Marvel Studios. The DCAU remains dear in my heart to this day thanks to its mature storytelling, top notch direction, and stellar A-list voice talent.

12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS, a term from the DCAU used to describe some of the smartest people in the universe, is also a series of podcast discussions by myself and webmaster / editor James Strecker where we nitpick certain hot topics from the DCAU. Most of the time, this entails dissecting fan theories. Around the end of July 2016, James and I were joined by Mattie Washburn, who is known for his comprehensive DCAU Timeline Tumblr page, for a special installment of 12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS where we discussed whether the TEEN TITANS animated series belongs in the same universe as the rest of the DCAU.

Despite differences in animation and whatnot, there was evidence on both sides of the argument. Though to be fair, we definitely entered the conversation planning to debunk the theory from the start. The three of us spoke for nearly an hour and a half, yet somehow James was able to dissect 15 minutes of compelling conversation into an interesting and highly informational video. At the time of this post, the discussion has gathered nearly 1000 views over the span of a week. Not too shabby for a such a niche YouTube channel!

SUMMER IN THE CITY // short film

Last year, I had the pleasure of participating on the set of SUMMER IN THE CITY, a short film written by Eddy Gudakov and Adam Rudd about a young man taking care of his aging father in the loneliness of the country. The film stars actors Nico Sexton, Blaque Fowler, and Victoria Springer. SUMMER IN THE CITY was shot in late April 2015 at an old country home in Tryon, NC.

We were lucky to have an all-star crew onboard consisting of filmmakers MJ Slide (1st AD), Max Gudakov (DP and Editor), Justin Robinson (1st AC), Tyler Wade (Sound Recordist), Bessy Adut (Script Supervisor), and Latia Curtis (Makeup) with Production Assistants Chaz Scovel, Fray Forde, Peter Donahue and myself.

SUMMER IN THE CITY recently screened in Los Angeles over the weekend of August 12, 2016 at two prominent film festivals: an official selection at Marina del Rey and Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.

SUICIDE SQUAD Podcast Review

Last month, I was a guest on JTS Entertainment‘s “Pleasantries” where I discussed SUICIDE SQUAD, the newest entry in DC Entertainment’s budding cinematic superhero universe featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Will Smith’s Deadshot, Jared Leto’s Joker, among an assembly of all-star actors.

Between myself and the host, James Strecker, being fans of the source material, we spent a lot of time nerding out over what was faithful and what wasn’t. It’s a lengthy conversation with a silly intro skit but fun times all around. I gave the film a 7/10 because I left the theater with such a sense of enjoyment, though as someone with an eye for cinema, I’ll be the first to admit there were problems with character development and pacing that deserved the scathing reviews it received from critics.

Personally, I suspect I’m too invested with the DC Universe to approach their characters objectively and without bias. For 2 hours and 10 minutes last month, I was simply happy to be alive in a world where I get to see characters like Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, and Katana on the silver screen rather than the funny pages.

Pokemon Go – The “Official” Drinking Game

In late July 2016, the Pokemon fad returned in the form of mobile app game Pokemon Go. Jeff Alexander, an Asheville based Actor, had an idea to cash in on its popularity by making the “official” drinking game and what would hopefully become a viral video.

Madeleine Richardson took on the bulk of the work as both the Director of Photography and Editor. Brittany Jackson and Catherine Wityk also assisted with camera work and had cameo roles with me in the drinking games. I also helped with the script content, used my Pokemon Go profile for some of the game footage, and came up with the idea to spoof classic character Professor Oak for the intro segment.

Spoiler alert: at slightly over 200 views, the video definitely didn’t go viral but the short was still a lot of fun to make and a great excuse to do a little bit of day drinking.

UPSTAGED // 48 Hour Film Project 2016

Earlier this summer, I participated in the Asheville 48 Hour Film Project as Writer, Producer, Sound Recordist, and Team Leader for F-Stop Fitzgerald.

I was joined by an amazing team of filmmakers including Actress Catherine Wityk and Editor Madeleine Richardson who both worked with me at Social Construct Films. We were lucky to meet Rome Widenhouse a few weeks prior who came onboard as our Director. On-screen talent consisted of Actors Jacob Stephen, Bjorn Goller, Erich Reinhard, Jeffrey DeCristofaro, and the aforementioned Catherine Wityk in addition to many extras. The lovely Brittany Jackson was our Gaffer for light design, Jack Fleming helped as an Assistant Editor, and the one and only Tony Mozz provided sound mixing and an original soundtrack.

We were given two days to write, shoot, and edit the entire short with three elements that every team were required to include: 1) glass of milk as a prop, 2) comedian Andy Stirling as a character, and 3) the phrase “Worst case scenario…” This was all in addition to fitting into a predetermined genre. We received the choice of either Romance or Fable and decided on the latter.

When Jim is scorned by Natalia in a comedy club, he strikes a dangerous deal to win her back. Please find Team F-Stop Fitzgerald’s entry below, entitled UPSTAGED.

Greetings & Introductions

Hello and welcome to my corner of the internet! I’m Ted Kendrick, a content creator based in Asheville, North Carolina. You may know me from my work in writing, film, and music. Though I’ve dipped my toes into many creative ponds over the years, I never had a central location to keep everyone informed on what I’m currently up to. My hope is that this personal website and blog— Artificial Ink— will become that outlet.

Artificial Ink began as a concept nearly two years ago when I was selecting interesting domain names for a personal website. I purchased www.artificial.ink thinking I was ahead of the curve by ditching the traditional .com or .net ending. While that may have been true, here we are anyway at www.tedkendrick.com. Go figure. I’ve kept Artificial Ink as a pseudonym for my freelancing work because I like how it inspires thoughts of digital art, both created through computer-based software as well as online collaboration, which I personally believe is the future of media and entertainment.

Not only will I keep this site updated as a place to share my ongoing work, but as a platform to develop my voice and hone my writing skills. I’ve felt more confident and passionate about my work lately than ever before, slowly chipping away at a wall of artistic anxiety. This has appeared in the form of filtering my voice out of fear I may accidentally offend someone or be laughed at for my efforts, as well as simply keeping things close to the chest.

In the past, I’ve attempted to hold onto my creative work until I was absolutely certain it was perfect, but I’ve come to realize that approach is both unhealthy and unrealistic. My final products would usually just get cast aside to gather dust and never see the light of day. Creation in all forms is an intensely personal experience, but I believe once the piece is released, it’s no longer a fragment of my own self but a new entity to be judged individually on its own merit. This requires me to take a step back, acknowledge that I have done everything I can, and relinquish any further urge for control.

I’ve found there’s a beauty in artistic spontaneity and embracing mistakes as part of the process. Ultimately I had to ask myself, what’s the point in making any art if I’m too afraid to share it with the world? My hope is that people will respond positively to my material, but I cannot take things as a personal jab to my character if they don’t. This train of thought is the only way I’ve been able to arrive at this junction, now prepared for absolute transparency in my creative life, ultimately the underlying purpose behind Artificial Ink.

One of my favorite writers, Warren Ellis, has a newsletter called Orbital Operations which has greatly inspired the creation of my blog. He uses funny codenames to discuss projects that haven’t been officially announced yet. I plan to take a similar approach, though I have signed a few contracts that prevent me from mentioning proprietary materials. It’s a case by case basis, but I have enough on my plate like Project Voltage, Project Pyramid, and Project Scrambled Eggs to keep things interesting for awhile.

A few projects are already listed under the Creativity page, and you’ll learn more about the above work sooner than later. I invite you to drop in from time to time and check up on the blog. I’ll share each and every new post on my various social media profiles with Facebook and Instagram being the primary channels. Please find links on the sidebar and follow me so you don’t miss out on any updates.

If you’ve read down to this point, that means you care. Thank you for that. I hope you’ll find as much to love and enjoy in my upcoming artistic endeavors.