Scary Bird

Scary Bird
Bird at Castle Howard - photo by Jeremy Fiest

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Guns, Cigarettes, and Depression

Okay. So. Here I am. I'm blogging. Awesome.

This is something I've been interested in for years, but like many others, I was too fucking lazy to get around to doing it. Well, like I said, here I am. And, I have to say, it feels...good. Natural even.

Right. Enough with the witty intro thingy. I'm here for one purpose: I want to write. And...I want others to read what I write. Right? Right. If I didn't I would write all my thoughts down in a journal, hide it in the floor for 500 years, and then pull it free from its dark chamber and use it for toilet paper. Why? Because I finally came to terms with being a failure as a writer. A failure because I refused to share my ideas with the world, no matter how lame they actually were (yes, at 528 years old, I intend on living forever). Anyway, I'm not saying that one should expect to fail as a writer if they don't do a blog - most great writers didn't blog or even have the option - but it should greatly improve one's abilities at getting their thoughts down on paper (or computer) and into the hands (or screens) of those who would care to read them.

That's you.

Maybe.

For now, let's make a deal. I'll do my absolute best not to put on some kind of cool guy blogger act, and you try and show up every now and then to take a glance at what I'm rambling about, if it even means anything to you.

What will I be talking about? How about everything that interests me, and maybe some things that interest you, too. I'm an aspiring comic book writer and independent filmmaker, so those will be the focus of my posts. I love anything movies or comics related, and I tend to have strong opinions about them. And we'll get to the details of said opinions later, I suppose. For now, let's start with a little (or a lot of) back-story.

As a kid, my father would take me to see movies on the weekends, and I'm sure the quality time with my father had something to do with the admiration I now feel for the cinema. Into my early teens I picked up a camera and began making short films. They started as comedies because that's what came natural. Plus, my mother was my primary audience, and she thought everything I did was hilarious. Go figure. So, it was then I learned what it was to make someone laugh - to make someone actually feel.

Years later, that childhood hobby turned into an obsession. I wrote my first screenplay at 18-years-old. It sucked. Most of my early writing sucked. Hell, it may still suck. But I know for a fact that it has greatly improved over the years, and for that, I am both proud and grateful. It was around this time that I began writing my first screenplay that I met up with artist, Ray Dillon, who to this day, is my greatest collaborator.

John Johnson, Jeremy Fiest, Ray Dillon

At the time, my best bud John Johnson (Yes, that is his real name) was also a major collaborator of mine, and would continue to be for the years to come. John and I eventually met a producer living out in L.A., and as soon as we were able, we moved out west and started work right away. It was tough at first, but the jobs started rolling in after - luckily for our bank accounts - only a short period of time. John started working for Warner Bros. on a TV show, and I began work on a film called UNKNOWN that was eventually distributed by the Weinstein Company. I directed the behind the scenes documentary for the film and had an amazing time in the process.

Peter Stormare, Jeremy Fiest, Mark Boone Junior

Check it out on IMDb: Unknown

Oh, rewind: I forgot to mention that straight out of high-school I got married, and in the following years before moving to L.A., I had two sons. That's big. Sorry. Today, Christian is about to turn 9 and Keagan has just turned 8. They are everything to me, and the reason that I could only stay in Los Angeles for a short time. Eventually, I decided that I could no longer go without them, so I moved back to my home-town in Kansas. John came with me. Once we were back, we decided to raise enough money to make our own film. In the back of my mind it seemed impossible, but we went ahead with it anyway. We brought on friend and co-creator, Jordan Gray and the three of us were, in fact, successful in raising 20k, and producing the feature film, COMMON, that I directed, John produced, and Jordan wrote and edited.

Jordan Gray, Jeremy Fiest, John Johnson

See here on IMDb: Common

Rewind again: Before John and I went off to the City of Angels we worked with Ray in producing that first screenplay I was working on. Remember the one? If not, read up. I'm new at this. Anyway, we began by creating a comic book of the film we intended to make, and it was there that I became interested in the art of writing comic books. It was amazing to me. I could satisfy my visual side, and also find new ways to challenge myself with the dramatic stillness of the comic book narrative.

For the next couple years I worked very closely with Ray and we developed many creator-owned books that ended up not going very far. Why? We were both still green at our trades. We had plenty of ambition, but lacked the skill to see it through. We started up a company called Golden Goat Studios, Inc. and began helping other creators just like us find jobs in the comic book and film markets. At this, we were rather successful on many occasions. We used our ambition to help others get a step further in the business, and it ended up being an amazing learning experience for all of us.

Fast forward: Today, I attend school at the University of Kansas, majoring in English and Journalism, paying my way through school writing comics, and seeing my boys on the weekends. I love it. To tell you the truth, over the past few years, while I've been working on Common, I've had no time for comics, and it's always bothered me. However, now I'm back in the saddle, as they say, and I'm interested in getting as much done as possible to further my career.

Stay tuned. I will be back soon. And I hope, in some extremely small way, I can inspire others take their next step by learning from both my experiences and mistakes, all of which will be discussed in this blog. I'm not here to tell any lies to impress you; I'm not here because I think what I have to say is the greatest thing since that gum that changes flavors when you chew it (seriously, have you tried it? It's amazing); and I'm definitely not here because I expect anything from any of you as my potential reader; I'm here because I'm a humble writer who wants write, and I want to give others the chance to read what I have to say before I'm 528 years old.

And that - yes, that is why I am here. 

Thanks for reading. I know this may be somewhat discombobulated, but I promise that my future posts will be shorter, more focused, and easier to follow. 

Maybe.

Best,
Jeremy

5 comments:

  1. I liked the part about me being the greatest collaborator in the world ever.

    The rest was rubbish

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  2. Glad to know you haven't given up...I was beginning to wonder.

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  3. This is great, Jeremy! Keep it up :)

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  4. You have a pretty talented pen. Keep on keepin' on. :)

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