Something like six or seven years ago on a snowy Winter night, my closest friends and I decided to take a walk in the woods behind Andy’s house. He had scoped it out a few times and found a nice trail to take us along, so naturally the adventurer in all of us was awakened. We were already pretty far into our drinks at that point, and it must have been at least 10 or 11 at night, from what I can recall. It was at that point that we first gave life to the myth of the Orogoro, the monster that lives in the woods.
Every Winter, we would follow Andy across miles and miles of wooded area, hunting this mythical beast we created. We would carry weapons with us to fight the monster should we see him, that in reality were no more than simple garden tools we found in his garage. We would cross fallen logs and rope swings across running water, encounter families of deer, roll down hills and even cross two busy highways to go on our journey. It was the one major thing we all had to look forward to in Winter.
After I had moved back home from Chicago, I was jaded from the film industry as a whole. I didn’t feel like I wanted to be part of it, and for a long time I felt as if my childhood dreams of making movies as finally dead. It was the Orogoro who first brought me back to the craft I fell in love with as a child.
We decided we would make a monster movie series that would explore the idea of this creature we invented. It was a major learning experience. Even though I had spent so much time in college learning how to be a filmmaker, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
To start, the plan was to have Ben film every episode and I would be a character on screen with Andy and Kristin as well as direct. That plan was scrapped right after that as soon as Ben accepted a job down in New Orleans. Minus one camera guy.
In school my specialty was writing, editing and post-production audio. I had some directing experience and loved doing it, but it isn’t what I studied. But now I had the difficult task of figuring out what to do about a camera guy – could I man the camera, direct and act all at the same time? I didn’t really like the idea, nor did I have confidence enough to try.
Five months later, after an Orogoro hunt, we decided to do just that (the beers we drank are implied here, in case you didn’t figure that part out.) Andy’s roommate Danny who I had just met around that time seemed interested in being a part of it as well, so we were going to give it a shot.
We jumped right into it and as I look back now, we were pretty quick at getting some of the earliest videos finished. We were interested in getting the videos out as quickly as we could, so we could tell a story, but our storytelling definitely fell short sometimes. I know there’s one video in particular that Andy hates, because of the way he acted in it. He can blame his director for that one though, because that’s how I told him to act. If you watch the series you’ll quickly figure out which one he hates.
By May we had essentially stopped all production on Orogoro as well as any other videos. I liked to blame life getting in the way, but that’s another story for another time. The truth of it all is that I wrote myself into a corner. I didn’t like the ending. I threw around dozens of ideas of how we should wrap it all up, but I ultimately didn’t like it. What’s worse, it seemed that the craft I love so much was once again not on the agenda.
Those of you who know me know that life was a bit rough for me at that time and I lost my identity for a long time. But when I finally regained control of my life, I decided that I really wanted to get back to my greatest passion.
On March 2015, Fiesta Studios, the studio I started before I ever took one class on how to make a movie, was reborn.
The goal for Fiesta Studios for 2015 was not to make money or turn it into a job. It was much simpler: make one movie every week and post it on YouTube all for the love of doing it. Along the way, I also learned an incredible amount about the craft that I never could have learned in a book. We succeeded in those goals tremendously.
Now that Fiesta Studios is being taken to the next level, I want to make sure that I give the series that first rekindled my interest in film the ending that it deserves. I had a few problems that needed overcome, but I managed to rewrite the ending to include one of the major twists I was always hoping to put in there, as well as adding a lot of thematic elements that really rounded out the amateur series as best as I could hope to.
Filming on the series wrapped on March 4th, 2016 and as of today we are well under way preparing to get these out to those few who actually followed the series this whole way with help from Joey Leal and Amir Hussain.
I can’t thank the Orogoro enough for what he’s done for all of us. I really believe the ending is what I was hoping for, and I can’t wait to show all of you.
For now, if you haven’t already, feel free to sit back and watch the story so far. The exciting three-part conclusion to the story will be here very soon.
[button color=”#F7FFF9″ background=”#343434″ size=”large” src=”https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7ADEA9BAB0BA1749″]WATCH THE OROGORO NOW[/button]