New blog? Check.
Writer to fill it in with entries and hopefully entertain, rivet and thrill...umm. Check. I think.
Horrible title for first entry? Definite check!
Welcome to my new blog. I've been meaning to get this sucker rolling since I brought the Kagagi site live, but time..she's been a very difficult lady to get ahold of lately. I'll talk more about everything that's been going on the past few later. For now, this is like our first date, as it were. I want to make a good first impression, if at all possible. And you know, if the title didn't completely ruin that possibility.
If youre new to the site and to my stuff, my name is Jay Odjick. I write and I draw and sometimes I do both of those things on the same project. Such is the case with the project that bears the title of this site, Kagagi. Kagagi is Algonquin for raven - I wrote, drew and self published a comic series called The Raven a few years back and brought the concept and character back in a Motion Comic DVD and 80 page OGN shipping in May, I believe, thru Arcana Comics.
I wont get us too bogged down in the details of the project itself - if you want to see some of the video, you can at our Main page here, and that says it better than I could here with words. The production itself was produced and animated by my friend Jason Brennan's production company Nish Media. See, I'm from an Algonquin reservation named Kitigan Zibi. My co-writer on the project, Patrick Tenascon is as well, as is Jason.
Part of why KAGAGI: The Ravenm means so much to me, is because of the individuals who put work into it. Overall, thats a lot of people - Elise Cote, our lead animator did TREMENDOUS work, as did everyone else, from our sound technician, the help I brought in with visuals, including the immensely talented Fernando Granea, our voice actors, and everyone else.
But I had this dream of getting as many creative people from K.Z together as possible - not out of nepotism, but because I wanted to try to do just a little bit to show how talented and awesome people from my community can be. To that effect, a musician and close friend named Lance Cote - Tenasco wrote the theme and I think did a beautiful and incredible job capturing the feel of the work. For the voice of the lead character, I had an idea of something I wanted to try that maybe seemed strange to some, but I think paid off very well.
We had an INCREDIBLE cast of professional, talented performers - I brought in another friend Brett Kelly, an Ottawa based director, actor, producer and all around renaissance man to do some work and to help me cast the production; which the man did in spades. We brought in Trevor Payer, Anne Marie-Kelly and Jody Haucke to portray the Windigo and they all did fantastic work. I cant believe how smoothly things went when we did their voiceover work at Nish's studio and how pleased I am when I watch the DVD.
But for the main character, the lead guy, the main man - I went with a rookie. Sounds crazy, right? Probably, maybe, kinda, but the thing is, I had a guy in mind. A guy who I had heard do all kinds of impressions and voices, who I knew could capture Matthew's youth and innocence and at the same time rock the Kagagi / Raven voice that called for a bit of a cocky edge, the anger and firy temper of the hero in his transformed state. I think it presented a challenge to capture the dual role and make them both feel real and whole, and for that I looked very close to home.
I cast my younger brother, Joel Odjick. Okay, I know - nepotism there, right? Not at all. Biased as I may be, Joel did an incredible job with both roles; Kagagi has a deep, distinct voice thats entirely separate from Matthew's while at the same time sounding enough like the same guy that it isnt jarring to the viewer.
Now that the whole thing is done, I look at the overall production and experience and ask, how blessed am I? There's no way to answer it. All I can do is thank everyone involved in the production, completion and work of this project from start to bottom. Cliched and corny as this may sound, it really was a joint effort and I hope everyone involved in it is as proud of it as I am. Thanks for helping me achieve a longstanding dream of mine - to get a First Nations super hero on screen.
Thanks to everyone who bought it, watched the Youtube clips, came and checked out this site and are reading this blog now. I don't know what will come next; I have hopes and goals that I'll try to make reality, but we never really know.
All I do know is this - if we put our minds to something and we sacrifice, work hard and commit - and yeah, maybe we get the odd lucky break, we can get some tremendous things done. Sometimes it feels hard, sometimes it feels like we're all trying to do this alone, which is incredibly daunting. But let's try something with this creed in mind: if we are all in it together, none of us are truly alone. Let's all start working at those dreams, goals, missions, hopes and somedays together. Share them with each other, forward links, Tweet them to each other, pass em around like trading cards on Facebook, all across the net.
Let's show each other what we can do!