Sometimes you have to make a complete change in order to make change. The path that I have set upon to see this vision come through has made me look deep within. When someone decides to make a film with no previous knowledge of how it is done, many wonderful lessons await!! I actually thought you could make a no budget film after reading about some college kids who dropped out and made it happen....worked well for them...but me??? No...not the business. All I ended up doing was pissing off some really talented people, creating a handful of minor enemies, and soiling my not so good name!! But I learned so much, especially from the talented friends I did make, I kept the best of the crew and a couple of actors from my second stint at producing the film.
Why have I put myself through this? Most films cost millions to make...some cheap ones (CHEAP???) are around $250,000. Well...for a first time writer...I was shocked when I was offered $35,000 and 10% of the film. Looking back...if I had taken that money, I could have made a name for myself and been onto the next project. The film would have been shot and I wouldn't be spinning my mind for financing. But that's not my nature...I come from the old school hip hop world where we don't "Sell Out". How many of us 30 plus ex-hip hop artists wish we would have sold out now when we gotta wake up at 5 a.m. to go to some bullsh*t job to provide for our families and our baby mommas household? But I am off track with that...
I figured once someone else saw value in my film...then I should be able to figure it out myself. Im one of them cats you saw in your community college class engaging the teacher in a deep lecture or taking detailed notes...not registered for the class..just visiting my homeboy. Self-educated. So...I spent months in libraries, bookstores, online...reading everything about film-making. To be honest..I did take some classes at the Art Institute...had some training and a show on public access (Check 1-2 Seattle Hip Hop Underground)...and a class at a non-profit called Media 911. But I had no idea what I was getting into...
In Seattle I had my first ever casting call...exciting...but I didn't hit the underground acting scene...so the talent was no where near what I needed to shoot even a B-Film. As history shows...I ended up leaving Seattle...I was no longer doing Hip Hop shows...I had around 2 1/1 true friends...and was going in circles...
When I landed in Boise...yes Boise Idaho...the place that has the blue football field for its major college team. I witnessed a motivated group of young film makers, shooting all types of shorts...mini film festivals were lively events...I had never been around such hungry artists....my only issue was the lack of diversity. Cant shoot a hip hop movie in Boise Idaho.
If you didn't know...the Phoenix Firebird is a symbol of rebirth...it rises in flames and burns out into ashes..only to rise again and again...Arizona is the polar opposite of Seattle. Grey skies nine months out of the year as opposed to nine months of Blue Sky..wait...make that eleven. A total change in my disposition took place...I myself had always been driven and motivated...but this big orb in the sky had an effect upon me...hope, joy...ambition...I stayed positive for days. Slowly my spirit and mind became one. (ok...enough mystic stuff)
Sooooo.... I decided I would dust off this great script and go for it again...and that brings us back to the last failure...well like I said, I am self-learned...that means I read all types of stuff so I understand that most of the worlds greatest minds had many...many failures before they had success. Its what you do with your failures that matter. Good thing is, I learn from them...I get up when I fall.
This past fall I did something different. I fully trusted in God and myself...I decided I would not go to work for anyone else...I left a job and purposely sat on unemployment and looked deep into myself. Was I really cut out to make films...did I have the discipline to see it through...what about raising money? Well looking at who was still by my side, my confidence was high...I am surrounded by people who have finished projects...who believe in my story...and got my back.
So I dove in...made moves...added more talent to the pot...and was blessed with great ideas to make this thing happen...visualization...prayers...belief...action....all have brought this project to the doorstep of success. So I felt now...the last day of this year...is a perfect time to call this the Beginning of the rest of my story.
Thanks to my wife. my kids..Aaron..Kenjo...Colten...Chris...D Hodges...Bill...and all the people I have met along the way who encourage me to keep dreaming...keep reaching...keep living life on my terms...my ship is coming...and there is room for dreamers like me.