Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Delta Zulu Chronicles: One - My Quarter Life Crisis

" Dude, you're crazy." - Stephen Brou, friend and Co-Star in Delta Zulu as Dwayne Tanner 

When you have a mid life crisis you begin to see things for what they really are, and most people make the choice to change something in their life to make themselves happier; the experience can be quite impressive. A quarter life crisis is about a quarter as impressive, yet your young naive ego manages to convince yourself that it is the most important moment of your life.  My first quarter life crisis was towards the tail end of the Summer of 2010. I made the decision that I was going to live out of my car,  because that's what all the cool kids do. The lease on my apartment was up and I was at a crossroads in my life where I had no clue what I wanted to do next. I sold or gave away almost everything I owned and decided that I was going to spend an indefinite amount of time living in my little blue Toyota Rav 4 until something happened, and at the time I had no clue what exactly this 'something' was. After canceling an unfinished web series only six episodes in and sitting on a pile of half finished scripts, I decided to use this new chapter in my life to start with a fresh clean slate. I like clean slates, and for some inexpiable reason moving into my car was wipe of the slate. A lot of people felt sorry for me, thinking I had no choice but to live out of my car and I was offered couches and guest bedrooms on a daily basis; they couldn't understand that I made the choice to do this. There were those who thought I went crazy and became a nomadic recluse and they were probably right. I spent most of my free time at the beach and parks in the morning and at coffee shops and bars at night writing alone. It was during the moments of solitude when I was with my pen and paper that I felt like my life had a purpose. I wasn't depressed or going through some sort of quarter life crisis, I was on a journey to write, and I would soon find out what exactly I was looking for out of this quest.

For the longest time I wanted to write a post apocalyptic, military, zombie movie but I found myself saying "It's been done before".  In my quest to write something different I wrote treatment after treatment finding nothing that I could ever settle on. It wasn't until one night that an idea would seem to spark out of no where. I actually remember this moment very clearly considering the amount of alcohol I consumed. I was drinking the cheapest beer on tap in a cheesy sports bar that I am now embarrassed to admit was the birthplace of Delta Zulu. I don't remember why I walked into this bar in the first place; it wasn't a creative place at all, in fact I think I went into the bar to get away from a long day of writing and maybe chat it up with one of the scantly clad waitresses who wore sexy referee uniforms. The imagination has no prejudice, your next big idea can come in any environment and you'd be a fool to not write it down. I immediately started penning down the mental vomit that was spilling out of my head and onto a napkin. Five beers and ten napkins later I had Delta Zulu..

When a good idea hits you, you know it. If you've ever felt the immediate sensation of burning instinct run through your nerves then you know it.  Nothing else matters except putting the pen to the paper and putting the words on the Final Draft document. I wrote up a general treatment, I flushed out a couple key characters that would tell our story, and when I thought the time was ready I brought the idea to my 4 closest friends who also happened to be filmmakers. This team of four would sit at the driver seat of my first feature film idea. Now try to imagine a bus being driven by four drivers at once, horrible idea right? Being a loser living out of his car this seemed like one of the best ideas ever.