I survived a brain tumor, made a movie, and planned a world anime and comic con tour to promote it! But someone forgot to tell the Covid-19 pandemic.
When my distributor Random Media decided May 12, 2020 was the day to release my new film “Fame-ish” on digital platforms across the world, no one could have foreseen the lockdown that was about to grip the planet. So there I was on the night it premiered, my dream of directing a movie finally coming true, and I’m not at some big viewing party with the cast and crew and all our friends. I’m in my apartment, under quarantine, all alone.
At first, I was almost jumping up and down with excitement when I saw “Fame-ish” appear on my television’s iTunes. I wanted to yell out loud with joy, but I knew my neighbors at 9 PM on a Monday night wouldn’t appreciate it, so the best I could manage was texting “wahooo” to a friend. I had no one there I could hug, so I threw my arms around myself and squeezed! I thought I should walk to the corner store and get some champagne, but the thought of drinking it alone was depressing. It wasn’t quite the premiere I had hoped for.
A buddy texted congrats, and reminded me that in a few days, May 18th, 2020 would be the three year anniversary of my brain surgery. It was a scary night back in 2017 when the massive headache first struck, but if you can believe it, I got lucky. I didn’t know I had a brain tumor, and if it didn’t start hemorrhaging when it did (causing the headache), doctors told me I could easily have died undiagnosed. The very thing that was killing me, warned me of its presence, and saved my life. How’s that for a miracle?
Let me tell you, a near death experience will jump start your bucket list. And number one on my bucket list was to make a feature film. That film, which was to become the romantic comedy set at an anime con, “Fame-ish,” never would have gotten made if it weren’t for a series of miracles that followed.
The story of making “Fame-ish” is probably better than the film itself. The day we arrived to shoot in Madison, WI, they experienced the biggest flood in their history. They closed the airport right after we landed, and closed the roads right after we safely arrived at the hotel. Miracle timing! And then miracles started happening left and right. The next morning the roads and airport re-opened just as we needed to shoot there, and for other cast members to arrive. We, as a cast, and crew, and extras, and convention staff, and hotel staff, all pulled together in one direction to pull off an incredible feat of shooting 80 percent of the movie in just 6 days. You may not realize how hard that is, but to make it look and sound halfway decent, you usually need about 2–3 weeks or longer to pull that off on a micro-budget like ours, and that’s not taking into account we were also attending a live anime convention while filming there!
So the fact we even completed “Fame-ish” was a miracle. The fact it turned out as good as it did was a miracle! Don’t take my word for it, just look at our reviews. Under all the constraints of money and schedule, we pulled off a miracle and made a real movie we’re all so proud to show! And it’s especially a miracle a movie this size received such a huge International Distribution deal! It’s playing on so many On Demand platforms I lost count!
So, yeah, being on lockdown for the premiere was a major bummer. But I’m so grateful to be alive, I have no time to wallow. I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make “Fame-ish.” And so grateful people are getting a chance to see all our hard work. The fact that 3 years ago I was on my death bed… and now I can turn on my TV and buy or rent my own movie… From tumor to iTunes in 3 years. That’s the biggest miracle of all.
Originally published at: Medium (Reprinted With Permission, Under License)