"All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal." -Fran Lebowitz

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Play due tomorrow

I've been toying with writing something along these lines for awhile. Since I'm alone this Christmas, and Christmas is the time for reflection and derivative homages to Christmas works of the past, I'm gonna buy some Jameson, drink it in moderation, and pull an all-nighter, writing this play tonight.


(BILL, 47, sits in the living room watching football on television. The TV is muted, however; Taylor Swift plays softly on the stereo. Bill wears an L.A. Kings hoodie and cargo shorts. He eats white cheddar popcorn straight out of a bag. He drinks Jameson Irish Whiskey out of a 7-Eleven coffee cup. Three cats (gray WALTER, orange LOUIS CK, and black VICKY) mill about. Pause. Suddenly! WHOOSH! A FLASH of BRIGHT LIGHT. A loud POP! A BOY (17 years old) appears in the living room. He wears khakis, a blue Oxford, a red knit tie (poorly knotted), and an ill-fitting blue sportcoat. He looks at BILL.)
BOY: Jesus Christ.
BILL: Jesus Christ!
BOY: ...not as fat as I thought, I guess.
BOY: ...still fat, though. Jesus Christ.
BILL: Jesus Christ!
(The BOY loosens his tie and retucks his shirt in his khakis.)
BOY: Nope. Right day. Wrong story parody.
BILL: What?
BOY: Merry Christmas.
(BILL finishes his cup of whiskey.)
BILL: Jesus Christ.
BOY: Nah. Not him. (quote fingers) Not "Him."
BILL: Not him.
BOY: I'm you.
(Boy looks around.)
BOY: Sorry if I woke everybody up.
BOY: Where's your family?
BILL: Billy?
BILLY: (nods) What tipped you off, the nose? Noses can't get fat, I suppose. Unless you're an alcoholic, I guess. Wait - you better not be an alcoholic.
BILL: You're me - Billy?
BILLY: I'm serious, you better not be-
BILL: I'm not an alcoholic-
BILLY: SWEAR you're not an alcoholic.
BILL: Hey, shut up. Definitions are constantly changing.
BILLY: Asshole.
BILL: How old are you? Am I?
BILLY: Where's your wife? It's like midnight. Shouldn't you guys be putting gifts under the tree for your kids and cutting each other down, like our parents-
BILL: How old are you, me?
BILLY: 17. Hold up. Where's your tree?
BILL: This isn't my house. I'm housesitting.
BILLY: You're housesitting with your wife? With your family? That's weird.
BILL: I don't have-
(The orange cat, LOUIS CK, ambles through the room. He ignores both BILL and BILLY and moves to the kitchen. Pause.)
BILLY: (evenly) Fuck, is that.
BILL: Louis CK.
BILLY: (evenly) Fuck, is a Louis CK.
BILL: He's a comedian.
BILLY: That, is a cat.
BILL: No, he's NAMED after a comedian, named Louis CK. You're gonna really like him.
BILLY: I don't like, CATS.
BILL: You like comedians.
BILLY: But I don't like, CATS. You're not housesitting. You're CAT-sitting.
BILL: Well, you will gain an appreciation for some things you didn't use to like as you mature, Billy.
(BILLY wanders around the living room, checking pictures, looking.)
BILLY: ...gain the expense of what? A wife? A family? Dignity?
BILL: Well-
(BILLY holds up a hand, quieting BILL. He points to the ceiling)
BILLY: (re: stereo) Fuck is this?
BILL: (pauses) Taylor Swift.
BILL: You gain an app-
BILLY: I'm going to murder you.
BILL: She's good-
BILLY: I'm going to murder YOU, so I can put ME-
BILL: No, seriously, she's pretty-
BILLY: -out of MY misery. OUR misery.
BILL: You don't even know her-
(BILLY holds up a hand, quieting BILL. Pause.)
BILLY: You and I need to talk.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

OHO - GoFund Me Campaign update

Last night we held the cast/crew wrap party for ONE HOUR OUTCALL. It's tough to coordinate everyone's schedules during the holidays, and so being held on a Tuesday night, it was a somewhat sedate affair. But it was great to get most of the people who worked on the film in the same place one last time for a while - the next time perhaps will be when we screen the film. Everyone who worked on the movie was terrific, but especially the cast, who each brought amazing talent, energy, and professionalism to the project. They made ONE HOUR OUTCALL what it will be...

...and they all are getting paid. Though it may seem like a small thing, I'm very proud of that fact. I'm trying to make ONE HOUR OUTCALL as professional as I can for a guerilla, independent, ultra-low-budget film, and to me paying the cast is part of that. Actors in L.A. work so very hard on so many projects, and often they're doing it gratis - so I tried my best to make sure their work got rewarded here.

With that in mind - there are a few days left in this GoFundMe campaign, and if you're inclined to contribute, it sure would help us get ONE HOUR OUTCALL to the finish line. We're almost there. I understand that it's the holidays and, like free time, cash is hard to find for everyone. But any amount would assist us in making the film the best it can be, and as professional-grade as it can be. Thanks for considering it. -billy

Friday, December 9, 2016

OHO - Principal Photography Update

It’s over.

Well, it’s not over, of course. It’s not anywhere near being over. There are many, many steps left before ONE HOUR OUTCALL is finished. We’ve got to edit the footage, color correct, fix sound issues…not to mention when that’s over, actually go out and try to figure out a way to get people to actually see the thing. So no, it’s not over. There’s an argument to be made that it will NEVER be over, not totally…

But production is over. Principal photography for ONE HOUR OUTCALL is over. And it feels good.

During the shoot, I got a lot of ribbing for seeming uptight, for not relaxing, for rarely smiling. It prompted me to post on Facebook one night, “Yo, I smile when things get done, yo.” It’s true; part of my notion of having fun is getting things done. I can appreciate that perhaps I need to lighten up a bit (or considerably), but part of the enjoyment for me is the notion that things are moving forward, that I’m making progress, that a creative project I’m involved in is coming to fruition. That’s not to say I have ZERO enjoyment of the process; I do. But part of the pleasure for me is knowing that I’m making my way towards actually finishing something. After so many years of merely talking about stuff and not doing much, now it’s become not only about doing much but finishing much.

ONE HOUR OUTCALL was shot over twenty-three days. Twenty-three days to shoot a 138-page script, 100 of those 138 pages shot in fourteen days. Twenty-three days with a fantastic cast that gelled quickly, knew their stuff, and brought the talent and insight to the script. Twenty-three days, most of which with a crew of the great, award-winning director T. Arthur Cottam, his (and my) right-hand man Jim Eshom, and makeup artist Shayna Madison. A 140-page script shot in just over three working weeks with a crew of essentially three.

That is amazing. It would be amazing even if the product DIDN’T look great. But with T., Jim, and Shayna’s work, along with the work of on-set editor Sam Hook who was cutting and assembling as we went, we think the final product WILL look great. The trailer Sam cut certainly looks great:

If you haven’t taken a look yet, please do and consider making a contribution to our GoFundMe campaign:

Because while production is complete, of course we’re not done, and we could use your help. ONE HOUR OUTCALL is shaping up to be a unique, intriguing film. I’m extremely proud of it already. Even if it’s not done.

Before he left the night we wrapped, T. looked at me and said, “Now the hard part begins.” He’s right. It’s not over. But it feels good and feels better with each new step forward.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

OHO - Mid-Point Update

Today was a day off.

Yesterday we completed the second week of shooting on One Hour Outcall. We’ve done six-day weeks, in one location in downtown Los Angeles, just me and my co-star in a funky church-turned-apartment. We’re shooting day-for-night, so the windows are blacked out. The neighborhood where we’re shooting is, to put it charitably, a dystopian nightmare, so when I emerge outside after each day’s completed, it’s dark and spooky and depressing. The scenes we shoot melt together, the election seems light years in the past, and I’ve lost track of what time of day or even what day it is. During the day, it doesn’t seem like it’s tiring work. Then I walk outside to the car after the day’s wrapped, and I’m exhausted. It’s a good kind of fatigue, but it’s fatigue. 

But today was Sunday, and a day off. Technically, a day off. Because when you’re making a micro-budget independent film, relying on a crew of four, without a car in L.A., even days off are not days off. I spent the day walking around the Valley, running errands, picking up props, sending emails, preparing for when we move to the next location. Our time in the church/apartment ends Tuesday, and though we’ll be off for essentially four days through Thanksgiving, we’re in a restaurant next Sunday night. Independent film production seems like laying down train tracks as quickly as you can before the locomotive runs off into the sand. So even Sundays aren’t Sundays.

What I realized, however, was that we’ve shot 12 days. We’re scheduled to shoot 23. That means theoretically, principal photography for One Hour Outcall is more than halfway complete. Which amazes me.

We’re getting there. And we’re having fun doing it. Now, I’ve made a conscious decision that no one needs my neurotic ass looking at the footage as we go, so this isn’t first-hand knowledge, but our director, line producer, and on-set editor seem to be pleased. I feel more comfortable every day, and my co-star and I are connecting, professional, and efficient. It will be interesting next week, when the rest of the cast joins us. A different dynamic, perhaps, but more people to enjoy the fun.

We’re getting there. And it’s exciting. And it’s worth “working” on Sunday. Though I’m not going to lie, four days off for Thanksgiving aren’t going to be bad, either.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

OHO - Project Update 11.05.2016

Autumn, 1986. New York. Early into my senior year, I was walking east on 86th Street one day after school. I walked past a movie theater.

I can’t recall where I was going. I was on the north side of 86th, so I wasn’t headed towards the Lexington Av. subway station. I wasn’t on my way home. Maybe I was in search of a slice, a gourmet hot dog at Papaya King, or perhaps I was in search of an Upper East Side bar with a progressive attitude towards carding teenagers. Who knows? After three years of high school, I had finally gotten over feeling intimidated by New York City and would wander when I could…

The chances are excellent that as I passed the theater, I was listening to the Beastie Boys’ “Licensed to Ill” on a Sony Walkman the size of a dictionary…*

*Nah,checking Wikipedia, that seminal album wasn't released until November. Suspend your disbelief for the purposes of this essay, please. Ooh, ooh, let's say I was listening to their pre-"Ill" single "She's On It"! That works!

Anyway, as I passed by the movie theater (United Artists? Those are gone, yes? That one is, I know) on 86th just west of Lex, I noticed a television mounted on a tall stand playing in the outside foyer. On it was a tiny, black man wearing a Georgetown Hoyas tank top, gargantuan Cazale glasses that made his eyes seem huge, and a bicycle hat, bill turned up. He was sputtering patter rapid-fire. “Do you know? Do you know? Do you know?” the man repeated, bobbing his face close to the camera lens. It was a commercial, a minute or so long. I watched it again; the man’s name was Mars Blackmon. He was promoting a movie. Mars was a character in the movie. The film, like the commercial, was in black-and-white, the footage crisp, Mars’s patter braggadocios and hilarious. It was 1986. I was a suburban white kid. It’s fair to say I had never seen anything like what I was watching on a loop. I watched it three or four times. I decided to go in and check out the movie the man was selling.

Ninety minutes later, I emerged from the theater with a new dream.

The man hawking in black-and-white was Spike Lee. The film I saw was SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. And the dream was that perhaps one day I too could make a movie.

After I had seen the movie three or four times at that same theater, I read up on SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. Spike Lee made the movie for approximately a nickel and a dime and with fifteen cents spawned the independent film boom.

SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT was like being shown the world was actually possible to me. Up until then, movies were either summer blockbusters with spacecraft and Muppets or abstract puzzles inaccessible to me that starred David Thewlis. SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT was different. It was a beautiful, funny film about people who you didn’t see in movies back then. It’s revolutionary in that respect, and I recognized it at the time. More importantly to me, though, it was about things I could relate to, things I was interested in, made by someone who liked what I liked. 

As a teenager, I somehow felt I might want to be an artist someday, but wasn’t positive I had the resumé. Artists were from exotic lands with tortured backstories. Artists were Truman Capote or Edith Wharton or Ralph Ellison or Pablo Picasso. I figured artists weren’t kids who grew up in suburban New Jersey following college basketball and whose biggest pain was having parents who didn't believe in Atari.  

I wasn’t sure I had PERMISSION to be an artist.

The Beastie Boys began to change that assumption in my mind. They made funny lyrics about TV reruns, Budweiser, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. They created art that was entertaining, significant, GOOD, and they did it with material that was pedestrian and every day and LIKE ME. “Licensed to Ill” holds up today; it’s undeniably revolutionary*. It’s a classic piece of art that talks about things that existed in my world. (goes to iPhone, puts on “New Style”)

*Except “Fight for Your Right (To Party)”. That song sucks and always has.

SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT doesn’t quite hold up for me now. I watched it a year or so ago, and it’s still funny but the performances aren’t great and it's a little retrograde with some of its ideas. (I understand the same could be said about “Licensed to Ill, ” but people who do are ignoring the parody aspect of it, and should kindly shut up) In 1986, however, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT not only entertained me but gave me the notion that a typical guy with common interests could create art that showed those common interests in a meaningful way. The photography is fantastic, the subject matter is one I’d never been exposed to in 1986, and it is still funny. The movie is cinematically unique and groundbreaking, but it also has a scene where people play Scrabble and another where two characters argue about the relative merits of Larry Bird. I played Scrabble. I hated Larry Bird (in 1986, I did).

Wait, I asked myself at seventeen-years-old. Were you allowed to create art about that shit?

It’s not a stretch to say that Spike Lee and the Beastie Boys somehow gave me the permission I needed to WANT to be an artist.

Now. It took a long time from wanting to be an artist to putting in the work, discipline, confidence, and tenacity to BEING an artist. Perhaps the jury’s still out on that one. I still struggle with saying, “I’m an artist.” I’ve written some plays and a novel, and periodically I catch myself and say, “Oh, yeah. I’m a novelist.” During that progression, however, my inference from Spike Lee and SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT has been borne out. Being an artist doesn’t mean having to have some esoteric, exotic background or any one-in-a-million heartbreak and pain. Any background can be mined for art, and any heartbreak or pain will do. I’ve written some things, I’ve acted in some things, and I’ve written some more things. I like to think I’ve developed a voice, and a style, and a skin tough enough to endure the invariable heartbreak that continues when you put your art into the world. But I’d never tried to make a feature film.

Monday morning I begin production on ONE HOUR OUTCALL, an independent feature film whose screenplay I wrote. I am co-producing it. I will also be acting in it. I would argue that this is coming way too late in my life if there is such a thing. But for whatever reason, be it laziness, fear, distraction, I’m trying to do it now. I’m nervous, anxious, terrified, and convinced that any expression of confidence would be hubris. But I’m also excited.

We’ll see what happens. ONE HOUR OUTCALL may not work. It may never be finished. It may be finished and then disappear. Whatever. I love the cast and crew we’ve assembled, and I enjoy doing the work. It’s hard. It’s often frustrating. It feels right, however.

And while I wouldn’t be opposed to one day hawking it on a television commercial outside a theater, it’s enough to me now that I feel permitted to try to do it at all.

Wish us luck.

Friday, November 4, 2016

OHO - Project Update 11.03.2016

T-3 days until principal photography on ONE HOUR OUTCALL begins.

Spent the morning negotiating and facilitating my receiving Signatory Producer status from the SAG-AFTRA mafi- er, Union, where I've come to realize that "deposit" kinda means "interest-free loan".

Spent the afternoon being dressed by our fabulous wardrobe person Rebecca, whose eye for fashion and budget will make my character more stylish than I ever could be by a factor of four.

Spent the evening poring over the budget and schedule, and working lines. So many lines. Whose idea was that?

Natalia, the star of the movie, asked me recently if I was excited. I said I was excited for Monday because that would mean we were actually doing it. That now I was worried. It's like the S.A.T.s. You worry about the S.A.T.s as they approach but not once they start- 'cause then you're TAKING them...

Three days.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

OHO - Project Update 11.02.16

Less than a week to go. I'm jacked.

The main locations have been secured. The production is insured. The lines of the screenplay have become blurred as I go over my lines again and again. One Hour Outcall begins principal photography next Monday, and while my head is still spinning with everything in my mind and my hands are still juggling all the things left to be done before we start, I can’t help but feel very, very excited about what’s to come.

The first two weeks are basically my co-star and me trapped in an apartment together, going through a vast range of emotions, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of acting. I’m confident that those two weeks will get the production kicked off, and that the two of us will have our acts together enough to put One Hour Outcall on rails as we move through this 23-day shoot. The crew members we’ve assembled are not only talented and experienced but enthusiastic about the project itself and eager to help in any way they can. Their excitement and faith in the project only help my own.

We’ve raised most of the budget needed, and now comes the final push to get us over the hump so that we can make One Hour Outcall the best film it can be. So if you’ve been contemplating contributing, now is the time. Contact me directly at or on Facebook to let me know, and I’ll direct you. If you’ve told me you’re down for the cause but haven’t sent your check to me, now is the time to follow through. We need your help. Any amount helps. Any amount will turn the dream I’ve had my entire life of making a movie into a reality. Any contribution will make One Hour Outcall better.

So please consider contributing. Please continue to follow the progress on the blog - I promise I’ll start posting daily updates once we start shooting (though they’ll be brief). Follow @OHOthefilm on Twitter for further updates, pictures, news, etc. Tell your friends, spread the word as the production progresses, so by the time we wrap, we’ll have built a following ready to see what’s brought forth.

Thanks again.

Friday, October 28, 2016

OHO - Project Update 10.28.16

Today in ONE HOUR OUTCALL news...
-Rehearsal for much of the cast this afternoon, working the last act.

-We'll also be doing makeup tests and wardrobe measurement-type stuff. I am eager to find out how our makeup person plans to obscure my tattoo...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

OHO - Project Update 10.27.16

So, apologies for not posting updates for a while. I’ve been joking that if I manage to produce an independent feature film in Los Angeles without a car, in the year 2016 with only an iPhone 4S, I would deserve a Nobel Prize. Well, for the past few weeks, tack onto those obstacles me being sick. Since the beginning of October, I’ve been tagged with the same vague, crappy cough, nasal congestion, and fatigue that seems to have afflicted half of this city. Combined with dieting to lose weight, walking everywhere, and a general stress level that comes with trying to make One Hour Outcall, I’ve been pretty run-down and thus trying to conserve my energy.

“Your excuses are your own,” you’re most likely saying. And indeed, you are correct. I wanted to document the process of making this film not only for myself but for those of you who support me, so now that I’m feeling pretty much 100% again, I’m determined to post more often and keep you informed of One Hour Outcall’s progress. I'm going to start trying to give brief, daily updates here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. So keep checking this blog.

And there has been much progress. As there would have to be, as principal photography starts on Monday, November 7th. In other words, in ten days. Ten days. Yikes. Over the past couple of years, my concept of time has grown muddled - a day passes and immediately hyper-spaces into the distant past. So as filming approaches, a day comes and goes and disappears, as I try to focus on the here and now, and what things I can accomplish at that moment. So the progress doesn’t feel so much like progress as knocking things down, checking things off my list, then forgetting about them as I move on to the next to-do item. The list never seems to get smaller, however.

But the checks next to the to-do items are growing. Two weeks ago, we held our “table read” of the script with most of the speaking cast. It went quite well. I’m quite impressed with everyone in our cast, and am excited to continue to watch them work. I believe we’ve cast the primary characters perfectly, and each of them has cool stuff to say. The actors are all engaged, enthusiastic, and professional. A talented bunch.

Last week, we held specific rehearsals between the female lead and me - four straight days of work, going through half of the script. Again, this went quite well. As her character and mine are locked in an apartment waging verbal battle for half the movie, it’s imperative that the two of us work well together. After a week of rehearsing, I’m just hoping I’m able to keep up with her. She’s a charming, gregarious, actor full of questions and insights on her character. It’s going to be a challenge to hold my own as we conduct our apartment battle.

As for the apartment, well, we have it! I’ve been stressing getting this primary location for a few weeks now, so it was a huge check-off when we finally nailed it down last week. It’s a funky space in downtown L.A., a character in the film itself, and I’m excited because now we have both major locations, the apartment and the restaurant. We also have beads on the other, lesser locations. Check, check, check.

We’re crewing up nicely. People have expressed enthusiasm about the script, and are already growing passionate about this project. It’s heartening to have people, both known and unknown to you, agree to participate in helping bring your work to fruition alone, let alone offer to pitch in and help for little tangible reward. Trying to produce a micro-budget independent film is a challenging ordeal, so any and all help from anyone in any form is a godsend.

Which brings me to my gentle nag, for which I apologize in advance. Though we’ve raised a considerable amount of the budget, we still need your help. We’re going to get One Hour Outcall made in the best form we can, and to do so, we could use any and all assistance. If you’ve expressed interest in contributing, now’s the time to deliver. Please contact me, and I’ll explain how to proceed. If you’ve not expressed interest yet, please take a moment to consider it. Any contribution would be a welcome help, a step towards getting us over the hump, a movement towards making One Hour Outcall a reality.

Ten days until principal photography. Although I won’t deny that stress inhabits most of my brain, I have to confess, excitement and joy are starting to rent space there too.

I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, September 30, 2016

OHO Update - September 30, 2016

If I had to list the ten things in life that give me joy, I’m not sure what those ten things would be, or if I could even reach ten things. I know, however, that sitting around a circle with a group of actors listening to them speak my words for the first time would be on the list. Probably somewhere on the list below “sex” yet above “espresso gelato.”

I love table reads. They're relaxed, but also official. They're the first chance for everyone to look around the circle and say, "This is the team that's putting this together." It's printed scripts, highlighted roles, cold reading. It's the first time the script is "up on its feet." It's the first time the script comes to life, even if it's a casual way - with the cold reading being cold...

Next Tuesday will be the first two table reads of One Hour Outcall. In the morning, the read will be the actor cast to play the female lead and me. Given that the two of us go head-to-head for half of the script, it makes sense to have a separate read with just the two of us reading those scenes. So that’s not quite a circle, but still, something that I’m eager to experience. I’m nervous about matching up with the actor’s talent, excited to see how the story flows and intrigued as to whether or not I can write “straight” dialogue, as with One Hour Outcall I challenged myself to write without relying on witty banter. 

Tuesday afternoon, the entire major cast (and most of the full cast) will arrive, and we’ll do the whole script. That’s the circle part. While I’m always nervous about how the words sound out loud for the first time, and confident I’ll hear a thousand things I want to rewrite, the circle part is always fun. Always fun.

Yeah. Definitely on the list. Maybe I'll celebrate with gelato.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

OHO Update - September 24, 2016

I am pleased to announce that all the major roles for One Hour Outcall have been cast. It's a very, very talented group of artists with only one weak link - the dude who wrote the script.

Hey, that's me! Uh-oh.

Seriously, filling the final primary role was a thrill, and definitely has me excited for what's to come.

There are several other roles still left to be cast, however. So if you're an actor looking to participate in One Hour Outcall, keep paying attention to this blog for more information and updates.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

OHO Update - September 22, 2016

A brief update on where the production's at...

Pre-production continues apace on One Hour Outcall. We are still finalizing the cast, which is shaping up to be terrific. The final major role should be set by week’s end. We are in the final stages of breaking out my script and establishing a schedule. We are working on obtaining locations and raising the funds...

…which brings me to my next plea to you folks. We have begun assembling contributions for the budget, and things are going well. But we still need your help. People have fretted that their contribution is too small, which is silly. No contribution is too small, and any donation you make towards this film touches my heart. Everyone has been so supportive of the quest to make One Hour Outcall a reality that I’m genuinely moved and thankful for everyone’s faith in me. 

So if you want to help, please contact me directly at I appreciate your even considering it.

Also, since we’re an independent production and could use any and all the help we can get from any direction, I wanted to let everyone know about the two primary locations we need, so if anyone has any suggestions, get in touch with me ASAP. The locations are:

An upscale, urbane apartment - something that is sophisticated and large. It doesn't have to be huge, but it can't be small. An open loft would be perfect. We would need the location for two weeks in November.
A restaurant - again, something upscale. Doesn’t have to be ’21’ but can’t be Denny’s. Preferably with a bar area as well. We would need this location for one week in November.

If you have any ideas, contacts, suggestions - shoot me an email.

Things are moving. If you’re reading this, you’re supporting us already. So thanks.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

OHO - September 8, 2016 Update

One Hour Outcall wrapped up its rounds of auditions on Friday and Tuesday. First off, T. and I want to thank all of the people who came in to read for a role. Everyone was so prepared, professional, and talented. In my limited experience holding auditions, I’m comfortable with them quickly running behind and turning into a cluster. I’m uncomfortable, however, with everyone being so tolerant with me when such inefficiency invariably happens. My biggest fear with auditions is that no one will show up. My second biggest fear is that people will storm out when things run late. Despite my fretting about keeping people waiting, I had a lot of fun. It was terrific to begin hearing the script read aloud by people other than me. However, I always manage to hear all of the bad writing I’ve perpetrated as a cacophony in my ears, and mentally noting all of the mistakes (513 and counting!) that I want to fix.

Aside from my own neuroses, it’s a pleasure to see how actors interpret my work. It was also my first chance to do some acting opposite potential scene partners, and no one threw anything at me unless their character was actually supposed to; it is meant to happen occasionally in this story. So that was fun. Memorizing lines, and the knowledge of how many I still have to memorize as things proceed - (sigh).

T. and I have some tough choices to make, but we’re committed to making them soon as we move forward. We’re hoping to have One Hour Outcall cast (all right, mostly cast) by early next week. No doubt having a cast more fleshed out will increase the momentum we’re building during pre-production, and I’m especially excited about all the talented people who are going to join us. Check back here for updates on that, and if you’re one of the actors who join the cast, be sure to start directing your people here and spreading the word about the project on social media.

Reminder: the film's Twitter handle is: @OHOfilm. Be our third follower!

Fundraising continues. People so far are very generous and supportive, but we’ve just begun and we've got a way to go, so if you’re interested in contributing, please let me know on Facebook, via email (, approaching me on the street, or however to let me know and we can talk about it. Please accept my thanks for your patience in hearing my pitch. Any contribution would help. Any help would help. It would mean a lot to me, not only for this production but as a sign that you’ve enjoyed my work in the past and like the voice I’ve been creating.

I’ll update you again next week, hopefully introducing you to some cast members, letting you know some prop/location assistance I could use, and announcing that the increased lack of sleep is affecting me only moderately.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

OHO - Update and Job Opportunities

Pre-production continues apace for One Hour Outcall. Auditions are set for this Friday, September 2nd, and the slots are filling up fast. If you’re interested, please read below posts for more information and contact me directly to make an appointment.

Fundraising for the project is ongoing, and people have begun graciously contributing. We’ll need all the help we can get to bring One Hour Outcall to fruition, so if you’ve got a mind to assist the project, by all means, let me know - any financial contribution would be welcome. I’ll be continuing to ask for your assistance, and I appreciate your consideration.

In addition to the budget, we are starting to crew up the film. We’re looking to form a tight unit to create a real guerrilla independent film, so we need people who have enthusiasm and energy. This is a script I’m quite proud of, and I feel can really be an interesting project on which to work. Regardless of your experience, if you’re interested in working with us in any of the below positions, email me directly at

The positions currently open are:

-Director of Photography
-Sound Designer
-Hair & Makeup Artist
-Boom Operator/Grip
-Production Assistants (including anyone who can begin work during pre-production, who may serve as a grip and/or be able to cook)

Again, this is an independent film and we’re looking for a can-do attitude, initiative, and energy. Production is tentatively slated for late October through mid-November. If you’re interested, shoot me an email, and please pass along to anyone you feel might be willing to work with us. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

OHO - Auditions Set

Auditions for One Hour Outcall are now set! 

The dates/times:

Audition: Friday, September 2, 2016 from 10a - 4p
Callbacks: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 from 10a - 4p

Hollywood Casting and Film
6900 Santa Monica Boulevard (at Mansfield)
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(310) 331-8730 (their phone #, not mine)

If you’re interested in auditioning, please check out the breakdown of the different roles in the post below, and email me directly at with any questions regarding actor’s submission or if you’re interested in scheduling an audition.

Any questions, please let me know. T. and I are getting excited; hope you are too.

Monday, August 15, 2016

OHO - casting breakdown

One Hour Outcall is a feature film directed by award-winning filmmaker T. Arthur Cottam and written by William Norrett. The breakdown of available roles is below. We're hoping to have audition info (date/place) finalized by week's end. In the meantime, if you are interested, please contact Bill - hey, that's me! - at Please note:

1. Auditions will be held in late August/Early September.
2. Production will take place in late October/November. If you are not available for this period, please do not submit for this project.
3. We are attempting to make One Hour Outcall as a SAG ultra-low budget feature - with all that entails. If you’re not cool with that, please do not submit for this project.
4. Please make certain you read the breakdown of the role in which you are interested. If you’re uncertain about whether or not you can do what the role will ask from you, please do not submit for this project.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Ana/Esmeralda - lead. Female, 22 to 27 years old, Hispanic.
A lead role; the piece is considered to be "her film." By day, Ana is an intelligent, self-confident, and gregarious senior at a prestigious university. By night, "Esmeralda" is a powerful, sophisticated, and sexy high-class escort. No matter when it is, she's personable, sharp, and always in control.This is a complex lead role giving the actor cast an opportunity to show a wide range of emotions and verbal dexterity.

Graphic sexual situations and nudity. This is NOT a pornographic project or exploitation film, this is a serious film by an award-winning director who has years of experience with provocative subject matter. The production is committed to making all actors feel safe and comfortable. However, if you are uncomfortable with nudity and sexual content, please do not submit for this project.

Shannon - featured. Female, 22 to 27 years old, white.
This is a challenging role for an actor who's required to remain sympathetic while doing unsympathetic things. Shannon is a smart, opinionated, and edgy college senior whose relationship with her father has been estranged ever since he divorced his mother when Shannon was 12. Gregarious with her friends but slightly cold with her father, Shannon is capable of being a young adult, or an oversized child.

Stacy - featured. Female, 42 to 52 years old, white.
This role requires charm, wit, and wisdom, with the memory of a failed marriage suppressed beneath the surface. Stacy is an intelligent and ambitious professional woman celebrating the college graduation of her daughter, and dealing with seeing her ex-husband for the first time in over a decade.

Gabriel - featured. Male, 21 to 27 years old, Hispanic.
This role requires an actor with personality and charm. Gabriel is a college junior tagging along with his girlfriend to her graduation dinner. Relaxed, charming, and intelligent, he's unintimidated by the prospect of meeting her parents for the first time.

Ellery - featured. Male, 21 to 27 years old, white.

This is a role for an actor with a sense of humor and attitude. Ellery is an intelligent, goofy, and self-entitled college junior who doesn't cow-tow to anyone, a boyfriend tagging along to an uncomfortable dinner with parents he's never met before.

OHO Update - August 15, 2016

Greetings, everyone! Thanks for taking a look at the first update on the ongoing production of One Hour Outcall. Check back here as things move forward; I’ll be posting progress reports, diary entries, and various other sundries to keep you all informed.
Things have officially kicked off, and my mindset constantly bounces back and forth between “We have time,” and “Oh, crap, we’re running out of time!” There are a lot of moving parts to independent film production. It feels like I’m trying to herd several different animals in a line so that no one gets left behind.

Many of you received the initial announcement last week. As mentioned, I plan to raise $40,000 to see us all the way through submitting for festivals, so if you’d like to help, please get in touch with me. Know that your contribution will go towards creating a dynamic, unique independent film, and a further building of my creative voice. It’s my most ambitious project to date. I will need all the help I can get.

T. Arthur Cottam, One Hour Outcall’s director, and I met last week for a terrific “kitchen sink” pre-production meeting, which means we talked about everything, and then I realized fifty things that we forgot to talk about five minutes after I drove away. We’ve talked again since. T.’s busy this week breaking down my script, with an eye towards production taking place between late October and November.

Much of what we discussed had to do with casting, of course. If I do say so myself, One Hour Outcall has several challenging, meaty roles for actors - especially for women. We’re shooting to have auditions by month’s end, and I will post the breakdown of available roles later today. When I do, please take a look (please read carefully), pass along to anyone you think might be right, and if you’re interested, please email me at

Our social media’s beginning to grind. If you’re not following on Twitter, the handle is @OHOfilm - follow, RT, all that jazz. If you haven’t “liked” the Sophisticated Rogue Media page on Facebook already, get on over there and do so. I'll strive to make One Hour Outcall’s presence known on social media so we can build momentum as production approaches.

Okay, that’s it for now. My split brain continues to battle itself.

“We have time.”

“Oh, crap, we’re running out of time!”

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sophisticated Rogue - Summer Update & an Announcement

Hello, fan(s) of Sophisticated Rogue-

I hope this summer finds you well, or at the very least, not yet melted into a pool of viscous, human goo. Thanks for checking in; I’ve always appreciated your support. I know, I know. Since my trip ended last year, I’ve been sporadic in my postings. Believe me; I have my reasons!

Hence this post! I wanted to give you a quick update on my artistic endeavors. Rather, one update and one announcement.

First, the update: I’ve been working hard on a memoir detailing that trip I took, the one where I visited 27 countries around the world from July 2013 - April 2014. If you’re a reader of this blog, you know the one: I wrote a bunch of playlets about getting yelled at by immigration officials and posted a bunch of selfies of me smirking in front of Great Wonders of the World.

Yeah, that one. The memoir is tentatively entitled Forget the time.

Now, I’ve been writing-

(Yes, I know you capitalize words in the title of a book. Yes, I know titles of books don’t have punctuation. Yes, you should infer from the lack of capitalization/inclusion of a period in my tentative title that I'm literarily rebellious. Now-)

-I’ve been writing steadily, putting down a lot of words, and growing more and more pleased with how the memoir is developing. It’s been great to re-live the journey, having memories both good and bad sparking the writing and proving to mean something significant even after my return.

I expect to have a finished draft within 2-3 months and am hoping to publish the finished book sometime in 2017. Please check back here for more updates, including when you can pre-order and other such stuff. Seriously, I grow prouder of this book each day I work on it. I believe Forget the time. (the title will make sense, I promise) will be funny, poignant, and (dare I say it) inspiring? If you enjoyed following my postings during those months, or you’re curious about international travel, or you’re just looking for Eat, Pray, Love for dudes, I predict you will enjoy Forget the time

(Relax. The title’ll grow on you.)

Now then, the announcement. Having conquered the world of theater and fiction, and in the process of vanquishing the world of memoir, next up is cinema. I want to let you know about my upcoming feature film project, One Hour Outcall.  A sophisticated, sexy drama, One Hour Outcall deals with the relationship between a high-class escort and her customer who meet every Thursday from 8-9 p.m. over the course of an entire year. Tensions increase when it’s revealed that the college roommate of the escort is the client’s estranged daughter. One Hour Outcall deals with guilt and power and unfolds in a unique, non-linear style.

Award-winning filmmaker T. Arthur Cottam has signed on to direct. Cottam’s films have screened at over 100 film festivals around the world, including AFI Fest, Austin Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival and Milan Film Festival.  His latest feature, Pollywogs, is currently playing on Amazon Prime.

Production for One Hour Outcall is scheduled for October 2016. I have established a $40,000 budget which will cover (but is not limited to): salaries for cast and crew, equipment rental, location fees, costumes, props, editing and other post-production costs. A subsequent campaign to find distribution and release through festivals and other avenues will ensue.

I believe One Hour Outcall is an excellent script to make a fresh, independent feature film. I’m proud of my writing in this piece. I’ve challenged myself to write something edgy, dramatic, and meaningful. I’m determined to execute an inventive idea within a reasonable budget, and I am excited to find an audience using every method available to a filmmaker today. 

I plan to update this blog with a One Hour Outcall diary of sorts, posting once a week or so about the progress of the production, from raising funds, to casting, through shooting and post-production. I’ve wanted to produce a feature film ever since I was a teenager, so as we move forward, I’m going to be writing about my attempt to fulfill this dream. Also, as we’ll be trafficking in the world of micro-budget filmmaking, I’ll be reaching out to anyone and everyone for help in all sorts of ways. If you’re interested in how to help, my email for the production is, and the film’s Twitter handle is @OHOfilm.

So, there you go. Consider yourself updated, and announced. Thanks again for supporting my work, and check back here as I become less sporadic.