It might not have been a massive viral hit - frankly, the eps are probably too long for that - but I'm very, very proud of it. It's my favourite thing I've ever done - by far.
I really hope you've been doing your best to piece together the story, along with the weirdness and funnies... but if not, don't worry. Next week's episode explains everything, and though it's part of the series - and will reward those who've been watching closely - it's also designed to be standalone, so new viewers can check it out. I think it might just blow your mind...
Anyhow. Enough waffle. If you wish to discuss the episodes, I suggest you head over to Facebook, where the Brannigan's Vortex group share their theories as to the greater conspiracy. Or post a comment below.
SPOILER WARNING: Do not read on unless you have watched Goujon Day!
Here's a thing: part of the reason that Xenoxxx slap their logo on everything is my way of telling the backers that this is what we've spent their money on, that it's not just some stock footage; see? We really went to some effort!
Also, one of the themes of the series is the power of symbols and iconography. That might've got a bit buried, but it has always been there in my mind. Whether it's Jesus Christ, Adolf Hitler, Steve Jobs, a crucifix, swastika or Apple logo... there's a massive power to what a symbol represents, a visual short-hand saying "This is what I believe in, this is what I get behind..."
And power, of course, is open to abuse.
It's weird the way this series has worked. So much of it only really came together in my head once I had the footage - or, in this case, the photos. Something about the faces of our handsome backers made me think "German lessons". It isn't even a conscious process that I can explain; much of Found Footage, when I'm editing, is me just switching off and going on instinct. The process is as mysterious to me as it must be to you.
Incidentally, go and check out Goujon John's website. You can now play the game for yourself!
I'd been similarly appalled by recent reports that Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles had also been accused of sexual harassment, which is why this song is kind of a mash-up of the two of them - but really... it's about anyone who uses his power and leverage over women.
I despise so much of the way Hollywood operates (though, of course, this isn't an issue that's confined to Hollywood). These predators get away with it, because movies are given such currency in our society that victims of abuse - or those with knowledge of the abuse - are too terrified to say anything for decades because of the fear that it might damage their careers. It makes me so angry. It's almost like we've all been brainwashed into thinking that movie stars, directors, and producers are somehow better than us (many of them are certainly richer than us). No one person should have that much power over another.
I got quite emotional writing this; I've known far too many women who've been abused, and though it has never happened to me... in writing it I ended up tapping into feelings of being bullied as a kid, and times I've felt that somebody had power over me. Too often I've bowed to somebody who didn't deserve it because I wanted to pay my mortgage.
The thing I'm finding most disturbing about these reports is the way they're making me question people I know, and ask whether they have it in them too. Or whether, given sufficient power, they would allow it to corrupt them. My conclusions upset me.
These might not be the best words ever, and maybe they don't really add anything to the dialogue, but they are sincere. I'm glad I kept it in the episode.
And, again, it kind of taps into the themes of the series; about how power abuses, and it's ordinary people who suffer most, how we're all forced to bow and scape to favour the powerful. And, of course, the most powerful human being on the planet right now is a man who was part of that Hollywood system, who is also - more likely than not - a sexual predator.
It also gave me the confidence to really push the boat out with a cinematic finale, which was crisp and HD enough to show off all our hard work. Plus, this was the point at which the directing bug bit; I'm desperate to do more.