Before I start, if you haven’t already, PLEASE PLEDGE! Don’t wait. Don’t “keep as new,” or decide, “I’ll get to it later.” No. Just do it. Seriously, this project does not happen without you!
(**UPDATE: Obviously the Kickstarter campaign is long over, so ignore these requests.)
Okay, so I promised to tell you the long and torrid history of this sweet little project called RUN LIKE HELL. Yes, this is going to be long. Yes, this is going to be detailed. This is why I decided to break it up into smaller parts, because otherwise it’s just too long of a ramble. So here we go with the first section.
Needless to say getting this book out there has been a lot of trouble. In a way, it’s been a reflection of my career out here in Hollywood. The story of Run Like Hell’s beginnings are also definitely the story of my own out here in the city of glitz. It’s been a beacon, reminding me of everything that can go right, and suddenly wrong, within these crazy industries. Whether it’s the comic or film industry, both are wrought with similar land mines. *Bear in mind, in some places within this little blog history, I’ll be able to talk about specifics; in others, due to either legal reasons, or career suicide, I’ll kind of have to gloss over it a bit. But don’t worry, there’s still quite a bit to discuss…
EARLY YEARS: IT ALL STARTED IN COLLEGE.
Like most of my projects, Run Like Hell started as a film screenplay. In fact, I started the initial version of the script for Run Like Hell as far back as college. Yeah, THAT long ago. I was prepping for a move to Los Angeles from my sweet little town in Utah and I wanted to get some work under my belt. After writing my first script just before, which was far more commercial, I decided to really show what I could do with my warped imagination. It was essentially an experiment on my part to just write something balls-out crazy. I wanted to show who I was, and what I was capable of. I wasn’t thinking about “what the business is looking for” or “what’s selling in the market right now” or anything like that. I just wanted to do something fun, original, and completely nuts (which is actually how some people describe me). So yeah, that’s exactly what I did. I started to write a project about a guy in Hell, who worked for Hell, who wanted to escape Hell. It was essentially Logan’s Run (one of my all time favorite movies), set in Hell. Have I said Hell enough? Okay, one more time. Hell.
Now, I normally don’t like people reading anything of mine until it’s finished. But because I was toward the beginning of my career, as I churned out pages, I shared them with numerous people for notes. What was astonishing to me was that no matter what walk of life I shared them with, everyone really enjoyed them. Everyone was hooked and wanted to know what came next. Remember, at this time I was still in Utah, so when staunch Mormons are telling you that they loved your seriously twisted script set in Hell, you know you’re on to something. Finally I got a draft complete, and that’s when I moved to Los Angeles. Oh boy.
CULTURE SHOCK: THE MOVE TO LOS ANGELES.
As anyone knows who’s moved to this city, a move to Los Angeles is NOT an easy thing. There’s an adaption process to say the least. Especially for me, because I was a walking cliche. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have a place to live. I literally packed my car and moved out with nothing but a dream in my head, a Hollywood Creative Directory in my hand, and a friend’s couch to sleep on. What an idiot. But dammit if I didn’t cold-call every single place in that HCD, from A to Z. After a few failed places, I ended up lucking out at Jersey Films, all based on a simple phone call. See kids, tenacity does pay off! Well, long story short, while I was toiling around in the business side of things, the script for Run Like Hell (as was all of my writing) was forgotten for almost a year.
While I was happy to finally be working in an industry I had worshipped all my life, I had to deal with the reality that I wasn’t writing. At all. Anyone in the business knows how all consuming it is. So finally, after working mainly as a runner and producer’s assistant, I decided I had to leave the business side of things to focus back on the creative, which was why I came out here in the first place. So I quit, ate my farewell cake, brushed the dust off Run Like Hell, and was ready to truly test the waters of Hollywood with my script. This was the reason for moving to Los Angeles. I had to dive right in. This was going to be a first. I was scared as shit.
Through a bizarre channel, I was able to anonymously submit Run Like Hell to a producer named Warren Zide (producer of the American Pies and Final Destination movies, among many others) who read it and loved it instantly. I didn’t have any connections over there or anything. It was all based on the writing alone. Their company contacted me and I went in for a meeting. This was the first time I had ever submitted anything and it clicked! SUCH a rarity in Hollywood. I was still SO new at this, I had no clue what I was getting myself into.
At the meeting, they told me that they had a management side, called ZIDE/PERRY, and they wanted to “hip-pocket” me on the project and send it out to a few places. A “hip pocket” situation is where a management company reps you solely for one project, sometimes as a test, but don’t actually rep you as a client. I didn’t care. I was jazzed. This was amazing and new. A real Hollywood company had taken notice of something I had actually created. Wow. It can only go up from here, right?
To Be Continued… with PART TWO