Where it began – for Otto, anyway…

Never bet on another man’s tricks

I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a life rich in growth and understanding. I have traveled many roads, large and small in my life. I find myself now on an enchanted lane, with life unfolding as I move ahead.

I have worked as a landscaper, mobile phone installer, greens keeper, dishwasher, cook, mechanic, welder, guitar salesman, guitar teacher, magazine merchandiser, ornamental iron fabricator, race car builder, truck driver, hay baler, RV repairman, U-Haul Service manager, custom van builder, industrial ghost writer, web designer, website administrator, RV service manager, studio musician, oil Industry steel fabricator, oil industry machinist, aerospace machinist, R&D designer, CNC programmer, CAD CAM designer, toolmaker, movie dolly operator, camera operator, sound operator, editor, casting director, actor, director, screenplay writer. More than one at a time usually and I probably missed a couple of them. Autodidacts see it, learn it, improve it, teach it.

Until I took the Mensa test I never knew why I was always able to do this. My big fat head was my gift in life. Jam-packed with thinky-bits.

I don’t feel special, I feel lucky and I feel guilty for not having done more with my life.

While working as an R&D designer in 2016-2017 I was still doing acting work and discovered after several projects that most indie feature films seem to never get finished or distributed because someone fucks someone else out of some investment money and it usually doesn’t happen until late in filming or in post production, because you would not believe the number of projects that are shot before a contract is signed.

In March 2018 I had been cast in two projects the first three days of the month. This was awesome, because I had just completed work at the best job I ever had at a racing wheel company, but always knew it was temporary, about 18 months. I was designing parts and tools that would enable a wheel factory to go about 90% robotic. I was priceless while it was going on and useless after the factory was automated, as I always knew would be the case.

I went down to do a table read for the role in San Diego that I had seen the script for, in which I would play a sidekick to a private eye. When I got to the table read, I found out that the main writer of the printed story who was the guy who contacted me, had quit doing the video writing and had given it to the ‘mostly 20 something, mostly female’ cast to write because his personal life had changed. I wish he had told me before I blew 20 bucks on a haircut and shaved my beard off.

My part, which had been 4-5 pages was now one line and a chuckle. I did the table read in a pleasant demeanor, but called the writer when I got home afterward saying that I didn’t appreciate a day of my life wasted with a bait and switch in which the number two character in the episode had become furniture. I was told there could be a spin-off. I have still never seen more than advertising about that series and BTS shots.

The other role which has perpetually been ‘about to start shooting’, had the stench of bullshit on it from the start. It is true life tragedy, in which the director cast me as a sheriff. But I could tell he was full of crap by following him on Facebook and seeing what kind of stuff he was posting. We are from different tribes. I have never told him to go screw himself and he has never said it was recast, but I have also never seen a casting call. Because there isn’t one, I am guessing. I wouldn’t do it now for any price. Two years of bullshitting the public about starting filming doesn’t bode well.

Anyway, by some stroke of luck, I knew right then, the day I got back from the table read, that I wasn’t young enough to wait for the perfect role to mosey along, too determined to give up and that as a lifelong autodidact, I would just ‘git ‘er done’ myself. And ladies and gentlemen, I am probably 95% there. All shooting, except OTS that has to wait on the rest of the editing, is done. Most all video and audio editing is done.

The bands in this movie soundtrack are awesome. Nearly every scene is full of Easter eggs about literature, cinema and my personal life.

The picture on top of this page is a still from the absolute first piece of video I shot for Otto. Nobody in the entire universe knew a thing about Otto at this moment, except me. In my head, I was thinking these things;

“How will I do this? I can’t become a failure this late in the game, Jane is too special too lose. She can’t hang around with some old man who is doing nothing with his life. Will she understand that I can do this? Can I get anybody on board with this thing? Will they be able to act? Will I be able to direct? How will I learn all the editing stuff for this? How can I make a film and never step off my property? Will my last two paychecks be enough to finance this project, along with my income tax return?

I had decided, ‘What the fuck. If I fail I am sure I will be in good company. But if I even just finish this movie I will be in remarkable company.’

The needlessly complex story poured into my head within minutes of shooting this piece of footage and I went to Facebook to run my mouth, to force myself to commit.

I got a friend to come and went over the story with him. It really hasn’t altered from the original concept. I am clocking incredible hours on this project but it is almost as if I am watching a guy do this at times.

I found out that a lot of people were listening when I asked for a hand.

It turns out that Jane believes in me the way I believe in her. Totally.

How lucky can one man be?