A new film school grad fresh off a six-year Air Force Reserve commitment, this time of life was alive with possibilities. I was in love with a girl named Beth — 15 months later we married, and at this moment, we’re approaching our 16th anniversary. With that solid foundation and a lot of experience, I ventured into the “professional” world of filmmaking. On Feb. 25, I interviewed for the job of Second Assistant Director with a DGA First A.D. on an indie “no-budget” feature. Landing the unpaid job, which also involved me handling product placement and serving as production office coordinator, it absorbed three full weeks of my life, and left me very hard-pressed to pay my April rent. Happily, it also was an immensely positive experience for my self-confidence, my industry relationships and my reputation. The way it hit within a flurry of sustained efforts, though I didn’t realize it, those hard days on “New Walden” paved the way for my career in film production. It just took me another handful of pro-bono production jobs, and a summer of grunt A/V gigs at Orlando area hotels, before I landed a real job on a big feature.
But on Feb. 22, a Friday, in between a day job where I did word-processing for an engineering firm, and a night job babysitting the A/V needs of the Downtown Orlando Marriott, I dropped off an original short script I’d written for my friend Bill Waxler to consider directing. Bill had expressed interest in an idea I had for a story about an aging man who has an epiphany after awakening from a nap one afternoon. My freshmen year of high school was spent in Greenville, Illinois, and near the relatively small school, there was an old gas station, operated by an even older gentleman named Hap, who had been selling snacks to kids there since my father first went to the same school 20 years earlier. It was definitely Hap I was thinking about, but in the script, he’s named Daniel Casey. I hope you enjoy it — you can download the script on the Bumper Crop website.