One Man Guy got its start in the year 2000, when I started writing it as a screenplay. I was in a long-term relationship that I’d been abivalent about nearly from the start, and was trying to figure out what I wanted. I came up with a funny, sad story about a man trying to move on from a tough situation and spare himself grief, but ending up simply running in place. It wasn’t until I’d ended the relationship and gotten some distance from it that I realized I was psyching myself up to break up. One Man Guy is ultimately about moving on from a relationship that’s over, while still acknowledging the value of it, and getting on with your life.
At first I started writing it as a project I could submit to an agent or film studio, but the more I wrote, the more interested I was in trying to film the project myself. I’d done a bit of video and film work when I was in art school, and I’ve never been one to think twice before taking on difficult projects. This one was going to be a doozy.
After being laid off from my advertising job in late 2000, I buckled down and finished the screenplay (which weighed in at about 70 pages or so… probably an hour when filmed and edited, though I was hopeful it would end up more like an hour-and-a-half with the music performances ) and set about casting it and planning filming.
By that time, I’d just moved out on my own and was anxious for something to occupy my time, so for about four months I devoted nearly all my time to shooting One Man Guy. I reserved (and paid for) several locations and filmed about half the feature, editing as I went, culminating with a concert scene at Chicago’s Hideout featuring my musician friends Pistol Pete and Popgun Paul. After that, I was completely worn out, and decided to take a break and head out to San Diego for Comic Con. I’d been working on a comic book concurrently with One Man Guy (called Captain Kinetic), and was armed with a handful of ashcan books to dsitribute.
When I got back, I discovered my momentum was completely gone. I gave myself some slack, telling myself I didn’t need to rush back into finishing the film until I was ready. I wanted to bring someone else on to help me get organized, and maybe even co-direct, because I just didn’t have the energy to keep it moving on my own. This feeling persisted a whole year, though, and by the time I was bringing completed Captain Kinetic issues to Comic Con 2001, I hadn’t touched One Man Guy at all.
I’d had some limited communication with the actors during this period, and they were generally open to getting started again, but they had all naturally moved on to other things and had limited availabilities. And one of the locations I’d used (for the apartment of the main character) was no longer available, as the couple I knew who lived there had moved out. This meant that I might have to reshoot several scenes I’d already shot and edited. The longer I waited, the more unlikely finishing the project seemed, and I eventually accepted it.
Fast forward to 2002. Comic-Con time again, and this time I had issues 1 and 2 of Captain Kinetic done, and was starting to realize that beginning one’s comic book career with a superhero comic book, especially one that is something of a psychological deconstruction of the genre, would be a hard sell. The market was “saturated,” I was told by Diamond Distributors, so though they praised the work as good, they weren’t willing to list it in their catalog. I was a more than a little disheartened.
When I was thinking about other projects I could work on, it hit me that I had a completed script for a project that I still thought was really good, and I’m sure you can guess which one I mean. I’m still looking for an ongoing collaborator on the project (I worked with Colorado-based artist Lucius Romero on the first issue) so if you think you’d be a good match, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.