The Tragicomic Tale of the Knightlaser Project: Part 1
Part 1? Yeah, there’s more coming soon.
The Knightlaser project wasn’t always intended to be just a soundtrack. When I was originally hired, it was to be, in my opinion, the greatest unintentional comedy of all time.
Wait, Rob, so, wait… what?
You are looking at one of my handmade concept art pieces that became the cover of my new album, the Knightlaser: 2042 project. It was indeed supposed to be a movie. I was initially hired by a company dubiously titled “Epic Spacelaserface Productions, Inc” to create a soundtrack and score for the Knightlaser film. Since my first album was not exactly a gold record, I was excited at the prospect of some paid work, and the project sounded legitimately funny. I mean, “Epic Spacelaserface”? They couldn’t be serious.
But they WERE serious!
They were, indeed, deadly serious. The script, such as it was, covered every trope in the 80’s sci-fi action movie canon. Extensive, but incorrect use of scientific and astronomical terminology, misogynistic cardboard characters, people in ducts, sinister androids… I managed to diplomatically backpedal when I got caught in an email exchange saying how funny I though the project. was- Remember, I needed the work, I’ve still sold literally 19 copies of The Hollywood Version on iTunes. Believe it or not, they hired me to do even more work. They clearly had no idea what they were doing, and to be fair I went to film school…
The Dumbness Increases
You’d better believe I sent over contracts. Better safe than sorry, right? More on this in part 2, where Epic Spacelaserface Ltd SUED ME.
First, it was the just the score, I agreed to be paid a unfathomably inexpensive $500 for the entire film. Contract signed, they asked me to do concept art, $100 bucks more, but their script was only 9 pages long, and had only 6 sets, so I thought this would be relatively easy. Then, after further discussion with I-don’t-know-who, they decided their script WAS, in fact, ridiculous, and that I (why me?) should re-write it as a comedy. New contract, I was to be paid another $100 for this- YES, I know my fellow artists think these pay rates are damaging to professionals everywhere, but I must remind you that The Hollywood Version has still to this day, sold 19 copies. So, I re-wrote the script, and I made some art on my iPad.
Yeah, then they wanted it feature length. So far, I hadn’t been paid a cent, they wanted me to take their 9 page script and make it ten times longer, and they’d changed their minds again: It was back to serious now. They informed me they had switched funders, and their new funders backed their original vision. Let’s be super real here: Their original funders were some government thing, and I suspect their new funding agency were their unconditionally generous parents. So, I wrote the rest of the script. I knew I was writing garbage, but I had to get new winter AND new regular tires this year, plus my rear brake pads were wearing, and my bold keyboard died- Who was I to say no? The budget had ballooned too. My new take was $962 for the score, the concept art, the script, and I got suckered into agreeing to do location sound “temporarily”.