As this will probably be my last blog of the month, I thought it might be best to recap what’s gone on in the last 4 weeks and the progress that Random Stoat has made. Compared to previous years we’ve had a pretty good month, all told.

The main project throughout January has been a wedding video, the first paid work we’ve done and I think the edit has worked nicely. It’s certainly given me thought for doing that sort of thing again as the day itself was great and the editing work afterwards not too taxing. The main focus for this project was to capture as much as possible for the bride and groom – as the final product is intended for them and not a vanity project on my part then there was a lot of focus on ensuring the finished product was suitable for them. Thankfully that appears to be the case, and I’m now putting the final touches to the DVD for them. A demo reel of the day itself will be up on our YouTube channel shortly.

Around my time editing the wedding footage I’ve also been working on scripts for two audio series – first, drafting a Buck Rogers-esque audio series that I first wrote in 2009, and the usual work on Trent Samuels. Whilst I haven’t yet finished writing 6 series this month as planned, I do have solid stories for all of them and the recording process will probably take a day, maybe two, and then the editing process begins. The recording dates have slipped from February to April, which gives me time to work on more material. So while it’s likely my original planned release schedule will slip back a couple of months, once material starts going out it should be a reasonably continuous stream from that point on. I think they main thing is to not release too much too soon, but release enough to keep people interested. Based on that, we’ll probably be seeing a mixture of audio and video productions throughout the year, with 60 Second Gamer running almost continuously from February onwards.

On that note, we’ve also resumed work on 60 Second Gamer and have a load of material going up on the site soon. I discussed possible changes to the format and the style last week, and that will carry on being a work in progress until we hit mega viewing figures (a pipe dream, perhaps). I think the video and audio quality is at its best for now (until we can capture footage in HD), my next plan is to improve the quality of our cheap little sketches so they’re not the quick throwaway things they are now. They deserve more, in my opinion, so that’s why we haven’t rushed into filming more and just churning them out. I’d rather be happy with our output at this stage than what we did before. Yes, it’s always a work in progress, but at the same time we’ve been improving in every other area but the sketches remain a little basic. Once we have a gag in place for the game I’m doing basic storyboards and then we’ll record it. Doing it properly for a change! I’m also looking into buying a better microphone for the camera – I own a cheap imported shotgun mic which works well enough but doesn’t really work as a shotgun mic – it picks everything up rather than what you’re just pointing it towards.

And just to wrap things up nicely, we had another email request for more PS2 reviews in our retro podcast. When we were recording our last batch of podcasts yesterday we realised how many games we still have left to review – as far as retro is concerned we’ve barely touched anything from the Dreamcast, the N64 or anything before the PS1. I think our plan this year will be to cover a broader range of games and to get as many reviews up as possible (same as every year). So far 2012 hasn’t been too productive on the 60 Second Gamer front, but over the last 2 weeks we’ve prepared podcasts for 26 episodes. All that’s left now is to quickly film the sketches and then it’s onto the next batch – there’s a lot of more recent games on our list as I think I’ve previously mentioned, but based on the feedback we’ve had recently I think a nice selection of budget games for the older consoles will also go down well. My next task over the coming weeks is to try and find even more games released by Blast! Entertainment on the PS2, as they seem quite popular. A brief search on Amazon has pulled up a load of licensed tie-in games from Blast! that look hideous. I think a small Amazon order may be at hand… I found one by chance on my last trip to Birmingham city centre – Beverly Hills Cop on the PS2. Absolutely terrible game from what I’ve played, but the review should be fun, and it gives people a chance to see games they would never in their right mind consider playing. Random Stoat – taking the video gaming bullet so you don’t have to.

January has also been quite productive for me both in reading and watching movies (if you can call that productive). By my count I’ve got through four novels on the Kindle and I’ve lost count of the number of films I’ve got through since 01 January (maybe I should have kept a list…). I think I’m averaging about 5 movies a week at the moment – as it happens I’ve watched 2 while prepping and writing this blog (Saw 5 and Young Guns). In fact I should probably start blogging the reviews of said films after I’ve watched them. But then that would make sense wouldn’t it? Suffice to say at this rate my Lovefilm subscription will be done and dusted before I know it. My Netflix subscription will continue regardless as I’ve not had any complaints about it and there’s plenty on there, newish and old to keep me busy. That and the price, which is incredibly cheap.

So all things considered it’s been a good month – I’m hoping that progress is just as positive by this time in February.