I wrote "The Bootyguard" back in 1999 when I saw a photo of Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman working as a security guard on a film set. I had a public access show at the time and was making dozens of short films, but "The Bootyguard" was my first "complete" film (with a beginning, middle, and end).
I read that Gary Coleman used to make $40K an episode on Diff'rent Strokes and wondered what happened to all the money he made (Gary's parents took most of it and he sued them when he turned eighteen). Gary looked funny in his security guard uniform and I thought it was a movie that needed to happen. So I wrote a short script called the "The Gary Coleman Story" about Gary getting a job as Jennifer Lopez's bodyguard.
It was not until 2002 that I decided to make the script and renamed it "The Bootyguard." I called in all the favors I could ask and didn't work for an entire year. The internet was still emerging at the time so I made the entire movie using Macromedia Flash (now called Adobe Flash).
When I look back at it now, working on "The Bootyguard" was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I didn't get the job or career I wanted from it, but it helped me become a better drawer and taught me that animated violence never gets old.
Below is the film (***I cut about two minutes from it so I could enter it into film festivals).
HERE ARE FEW THINGS I CREATED WITH MY BARE HANDS:
(***If you're going to steal any ideas, please be a professional and don't tell me):
PRESS / REVIEWS
Hollywood Reporter (Article)
"Carlos Runs from
CARLOS RUNS FROM THE LAW
This was taken from a public access show I made called "Reading Leprechaun," a parody of the popular PBS children's show "Reading Rainbow."
In each episode of "Reading Rainbow" host (and "Star Trek Next Generation" star) Levar Burton would read an entire book and then discuss the book's themes and morals. At the end of the show three kids would recommend books that had similar themes as the first book.
The theme for my public access show was about the consequences of running from the Internal Revenue Service. For the show I wrote a children's book called "Carlos Runs from the Law."
I shot the book using crude stop motion (pressing the record button on and off quickly on a Hi-8 video camera). The story is about a young Latino boy who escapes the gangs and violence of East L.A. After amassing a fortune selling Grade-A junk bonds, Carlos finds himself in a whole new world of white collar criminal activity.
CHINO HILLS, CALIFORNIA
This was the first public access show I did in Chino Hills back in 1998. It's based on a 1961 French documentary called "Chronicle of a Summer" by sociologist Edgar Morin and anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch. In the film they interview people off the street and ask them "Are you happy?" with the intent is to see if people act sincere and genuine in front of the camera since the camera is the great truth teller.
Since "Are you happy" is such a polar question, I changed it to "What makes you happy and why?" to get more of a response. We also asked people how they liked living in Chino Hills, CA which at the time recently incorporated into a city and was less than a decade old.
Who would have foresaw 20 years later Chino Hills as one of the most talked about cities in the world because of resident LaVar Ball and his Big Baller Brand.