In high school, I suddenly became interested in making films. At that time I made my debut film, Duel in the Park, writing the script and recruiting my high school friends as actors. After that I made a few other films but they lacked the cohesiveness of that initial foray into the art form.
I thought about going to college for film, but didn’t understand financial aid at the time, so eventually I abandoned that plan. Later, when I did finally go to college, I chose Speech Communication for my major; after playing around with radio, TV, and film, as well as theatre, I settled on theatre as my preferred medium of expression.
Then, years later, somebody asked me, “What would make you happy?” I thought about that and decided that the response was: making films. Having stated that, I decided to buy a good camera and lighting equipment, good microphones, etc. I also began mining the huge backlog of scripts that I have in my filing cabinet.
When I look at my YouTube channel, there are many, many videos. I would only count a few of these as actual films, however. Some of the ones I am more proud of are linked and described below.
I had the idea for Wash Hands, Save Lives? for several years, ever since those signs began appearing in every washroom. So I made this film in an afternoon—but who knew how relevant it would become during the pandemic? I entered it into a variety of film festivals, with these accolades:
Official Selection, Indo-American International Festival of World Cinema.
Special Mention, Global Shorts International Short Film Competition.
They’re Among Us is the third of a tetralogy of scripts about aliens, the first two being Aliens! 3 Miles, Turn Left and Abducted (see Plays page).
Hitching A Ride contains one of my favorite aphorisms, from playwright Jose Rivera: “Listen only to those people who have a vested interest in your future.” Oddly enough, people have found this idea controversial, but for me it means find people who have your best interests at heart and don’t want to exploit you.
Rapture Comedian looks like a trailer for a longer film, but is just a short idea. It examines what comedy might look like after the Rapture. They said comedy was dead after 9/11; what about this?
This is my version of Aliens! 3 Miles, Turn Left, starring Dennis Thompson and Al’len the Alien who has been with me since the original stage production in 1994 (though with a new cycling suit and helmet).
I like the realistic interior of the film, and was happy to keep the original ambiguous ending. Dennis has also commented on how I was able to schedule a real storm for the background audio…
The Tale of Sherry Gale was an experiment, seeing if I could tell a story with photos, in the manner of La Jetee.
Karaoke began as as online collaboration back in the 1990s; someone was to write the music, and I would do the visuals. I based the idea on a Berkeley street performer who played an orchestral track on a boombox and then accompanied it with a violin.
Here I created the music in GarageBand, and then filmed the action with a friend in Second Life.
There are more to come! Check out my YouTube channel for all the other quirky shorts.