That One Time I Used To Do Stuff

As much of a movie person as I am I can’t say I ever had aspirations to direct, act, or really be involved seriously with film. I have an awful memory, I am not a leader, and I can barely balance a pencil so forget a movie budget. I am a film voyeur, not participant. I will say though that there was a time when I loved making movies. From about seventeen to nineteen some friends and I would make the most ridiculous and (in retrospect) offensive movies and we loved it. My main friend and I were movie geeks who lived and breathed films and loved to quote to one another from them. When he got a PXL 2000, the world changed. It was a device put out for kids which allowed them to film for up to five minutes in black and white on a cassette tape. It still blows my mind. They were crude but there was a beauty to the device and the magic it could create and we loved it. We made about half a dozen films with it, all horror and all lost now, and my friend even knew how to do blood effects in black and white (good old choco syrup!) and for the first one we did together he even did the fishing line tied around things to create ghost effects. It was incredible to have a sleep over and shoot all day and night and have something finished to look at when we were done.

We graduated from PXL to VHS when my folks bought the family a camcorder which I became the sole user of, which I think was expected. Now we could shoot in color and time was no constraint. We made improv comedies that ‘borrowed’ from our favorite films, mostly Scorsese’s urban dramas, which, though oddly charming, were way too long in their run times. When I was seventeen I was desperate to get into a horror film class at the local community college and jumped through the appropriate hoops to get into it. The final project for the class was to write a paper or make a film. I am pretty sure you know which one I went with. We made a strange film about a young guy who meets a serial killer and they become the best of pals. It was weird, silly, and it was totally us. I was but an actor this time around and was wholly awful due to my having to remember lines, but we had an amazing time, came away with some interesting stories, and I made one of the best friends I had as a young adult. Alas, the film wasn’t finished in time for the class and I took a WOMP which I had to make up.

My filmmaking days ended in my early twenties. The friend that I made all of those films with exited my life and I just didn’t have friends that either wanted to make movies or who I wanted to make movies with. I turned my focus to writing and here we are.

Only…it’s funny how the wheel comes back around from time to time.

Around the end of 2014/Beginning of 2015 a simple idea brought me back to my teen years in the best of ways. A friend made a proposal – he had some extra cash and thought – what better way to use it than for us, three of us friends who do a podcast together, to make a film together. We talked and talked and the idea became – let’s do an ANTHOLOGY together. That was the match that lit the inferno that has lead us to where we’re at, two and a half years later – two of the three shorts finished, one gearing up to shoot and another, a last-minute addition, moving towards the cameras. I never expected to get back behind the camera, let alone in front of it, but that’s where this brought me. There’s more to tell about my film itself, and more for me to say, so I’ll leave that for another post, but it’s been an incredible journey. I love that the spark to all of this came from a friend and that I got to work with friends on the film. I got to be a part of one friend’s film and had another friend (as well as many others) to be in my film. I love that I got to craft my own process for things and to find my way through it. More than anything I love that I stuck to it, even when I wanted to quit, I couldn’t because I owed it to the people who had worked on it to see it through.

I can’t say anyone will like the film, nor whether the people who gave their time and talents to work on it will be happy that they were involved but I am happy with what I have, I am shocked to see it done, and I am anxious to see what happens next.

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