Angel of Anywhere: The Genisys
Right, so where did this movie come from and how did it even happen? (A 5 minute read lol)
Let me just preface this story by saying that this whole thing was a scary ass proposition. It was going to be expensive, time intensive, demanding - but above all, it meant I was going to have to put myself out there. I could invest so much of myself into this and it could turn out really fucking bad and in so many ways. I was determined to make this happen so I can show "Hollywood" that I was serious about this. I knew I was going to have really exhaust myself on sending out this little Hail Mary and just cross my fingers and hope it produces something.
But let's back up one moment.
So why, then, even bother? The reality is: I got tired of waiting. And seeking permission to be an actor. I wasn't getting into any doors, presumably because I had no real material of any kind. And I decided that I had to do something, ANYTHING, to get in front of a camera, do my thing, and hope to fucking God it's watchable and I am not terrible and I can, at the very least, say to people, "Hey, I did this thing..." But also, I wanted to just fucking act. And not just a scene or something simple. Something for real. And you guys have NO idea what the come up as been like. No. Fucking. Idea. And call me a Millennial or whatever, but I was anxious and hungry and ready to create my own opportunities. The reality is, I should have known to do as much, because my entire life has been me, going out there, trying to make shit happen. Most of the time, I am not successful, but every now and then I get exactly what I want.
Right, well. It turned out, finding people who would be able to help me with this was going to be quite the challenge in and of itself. But could I blame anyone? Don't most people say they're going to do something and then not follow through? I am not that kind of guy, not usually anyway. And for months I tried to exhaust resources finding people who had experience with an "indie." It was also a little demoralizing and frustrating. With so few contacts, and no one responding to my rando emails, I didn't really know where else to look.
I get an email. The Atlanta Film Festival was coming back in town. I had gone the year before and had a blast - and I loved what I saw. And I thought, well, wouldn't that be a great place to find someone? My logic was that these people have experience making things, on relatively low budgets, and making them good and watchable. So I decided I was going to invest in a VIP Pass, go to every function/showing I could, and *try* to network. Notice I said try. I'm not a very smooth talker and I am awkward as hell and have a little social anxiety, so the prospect of trying to meet people and saying, "Hey, let's make a movie!" was terrifying. But I go. Let's just say, I met a lot of very distant people. But I did meet one person - and as the saying goes, all it takes is one - who would give me his contact info and then agree to meet for coffee at some point in the week. His name was James Kicklighter and he would eventually become the director of Angel of Anywhere.
We meet for coffee and I briefly tell him my journey as an actor, the challenges I've had, and what I'd like to do next. I can tell that initially, he wasn't very interested. In fact, the night I met him, I introduced myself by telling him I wanted to make something and he replied with, "Shoot on your phone." Still, he was in front of me, and I had an opportunity to convince him. And I guess I eventually said enough because after speaking for a while, he reached out to two of his friends who are writers back in LA and they started working on the script for Angel. Now, i've never produced anything before this, so I had no idea just how involved the process really was. And I think it's fair to say, I learned a shit ton about how this business runs. It can get really rough and tumbly and FAST.
Well, after months of rewrites, back and forths, etc. came time to start casting. I brought a friend from class to play a part but James and the other producer, Beau, used their connections to contact actors they've worked with. And honestly, I thought the cast was fantastic. In many ways, it was a little intimidating. I mean, was it going to manifest on that screen that I am the least talented one in this thing and I am supposed to be lead? These were all experienced actors with real credits - I mean, Briana Evigan (who I will forever adore for doing this with me) was in the wildly popular Step Up movies! We shot 19 pages in 2 days. I'm told that's a lot of work. I lost my voice by the time we wrapped and everything. But it was a fucking amazing experience. Getting to work with so many talented actors was such a gift and I had a riot being there.
So. How'd the movie turn out? Well, right now it's currently in post. Which means, I don't know. And the plan is to get it into some film festivals, which means I likely won't have it streaming in the wild for some time until it premiers. But you can rest assured that I monitoring this situation with eagle eyes. Likely, I will update the dedicated page with more info on what's going on with this little movie. I am told I did well, but... You never know, until ya know, ya know?
The truth is, I'm scared as hell.