My First Film, When John Cleese Backed Out.

Several years ago I become consumed with film writing. After several interviews of anyone semi successful around me, I basically received the same advice from everyone. Just create. Make something. Pull whatever you can together and just do it, and keep doing it. The advice also included submitting your stuff to as many film festivals as you can.

I am an idiot. I took this advice to heart, but for some reason – maybe call it my background as a poor only child from a single parent home with some need to validate myself or whatever – but I felt I needed a big name involved with my first short. It is a comedy piece, but also should make people think a bit. The whole thing is narrated. So I picked my top five favorite comedians that I thought would do a good job at narration, and I tried to reach out to them.

At the top of my list: John Cleese.

I am an ultimate Monty Python fan. It’s a long long story, and I have the whole thing written out somewhere, but I’ll summarize for today in saying that John agreed. It was a very exciting moment. I assumed this meant I had found my destiny. Well, after many discussions with agents and lawyers, John backed out. I was not Hollywood enough. In the period of 7 months I went from an ultimate creative high, thinking I was going to work with a comedy god and someone I really admire, to an ultimate low. I then got a bit pissed off, but also realized that it was dumb to need a big name to validate anything. Though it is still nice to think that John Cleese assured me he liked the script but bureaucracy got in the way. So I wrote something else. It is not a comedy, again because I was in a bit of a low place. I have a masters degree in marriage and family therapy, and through those studies I learned about professional burn out. Basically when a therapist doesn’t have his own crap in check for whatever reason, and they start becoming more of a detriment to their clients than helping them. Ultimately a counselor may end up needing counseling themselves, which is an ironic, sad, and kind of funny outcome.

So – I wrote a piece about that. I took all the advice I had received: I pulled together some friends and acquaintances, and made my first short film Burn Out. It was truly a wonderful experience. Elwon Bakly and Mitch Hall are phenomenal actors. The energy in the room with these guys was so thick I was breathing it in. It is such an amazing feeling to be there on a set, and feel like the words you wrote are coming to life, but also that it’s a real circumstance and you are just a ghost in the room watching. So cool.I am really proud of this film for my first effort. We finished this thing years ago, but I have not released it until now. Primarily because there are some things about it that really suck. Above all, I learned what all film makers must learn, which is the importance of killer audio. I really wish that we had lined up some better audio for this video. I have thought about doing ADR (automated dialog replacement) but it has not panned out.

Since shooting this film I have gone on to be apart of many other projects, and I have many more things in the works. But for now, I figured it was time to dust this off and show it to the world. Thanks so much Clark, Elwon, Mitch, Aaron, Sid, and the hot secretary for this great experience! Check it out here:


For the Country!

My brother and sister in law had just sadly had a miscarriage. I tried to find anything I could say to them that would be worthwhile, but everything sounded quite stupid smothered in IReallyHaveNoIdeaWhatYou’reGoingThroughButHeySorry sauce. Well, if you’ve ever tried it, then you know, this sauce sucks. Even if its basted on a nice chubby bearded man like myself (I just winked). So I sat down, and in about 20 minutes I was laser grenade face attacked with one of the best songs I have ever written. It was meaningful, and it had all the stuff a good song should have. It said everything I would ever want to say, and a lot more. When these magically created sparkly magic songs come out of nowhere, it’s almost like I am just a participant in some bigger equation. I am just along for the ride. Almost like I can’t take full credit for the song.

I have written somewhere in the range of 250 songs, and only about 5% of the songs fit the description above. Recently, I had the same experience when I wrote a song about the condition of the United States of America. It came out of nowhere, and it might be one of the best songs I have ever written, both musically and lyrically. Keep in mind there is no boasting here. I am only comparing myself against myself. My best songs might be the crappiest things you have ever heard.

Anyway – there is really something magic about this tune. It’s called For the Country. I’d be honored to have you check out the music video, and share it HERE. If you care to know more about my feeling regarding this tune – read on amigos!


The lyrics and music presented themselves to me, I am guessing in part because of the current political climate. I have a family member who is on the verge of divorce because of how polarized they are with their partner regarding Donald Trump. I am highly considering opening a Trump Counseling Clinic (TCC) – because I could make a fortune! I have not seen such a discord in my lifetime at a macro level in the country nor at a micro level with how this stuff is affecting the people around me. We haven’t even hit the 6 month marker of this blokes presidency.

Seeing these circumstances, along with so many other close friends having troubles with employment –  it got me thinking about the country. All I know is something feels different. I can’t fully explain it, I don’t know what it means, or how to fix it – but don’t you agree with me? I know times change and that’s just life, but isn’t there a way to somehow hold on to the fabric of what makes this country great? It feels like someone soaked the fabric in gasoline, lit it on fire, threw it in the toilet, and we are now trying to see who can pee on it the hardest. It’s up to us to figure out how to fix it.

As I mention in the song, my belief is our country is much bigger than two political parties debating crap. People get so bloody stuck on the labels of belonging to a group that I feel like we miss the big picture at times of what it truly is to be American, and what this country represents. I feel such urgency to get involved, while at the same time trepidation – because I don’t have any answers. I’m sure some people will rail on me for this song and the fact that I say I am not impressed with our representatives. I am sure there will be those that will say “why don’t you go try to be a politician and see if you can do a better job.” Well, I am writer – so the best thing I can do at the moment is write a song about my perspective on things. I believe in our country – but it just feels feels weird right now. Does President Trump have some responsibility? Yes, a ton. But, so does every single one of us. I am in the process of figuring out what I can do to take a more active role.

As the song kicks off I am writing from the perspective of a solider. Perhaps a solider who has been out in the thick of battle, has bled with his friends and enemies. I was thinking about life (and probably the Marvel franchise) when I wrote this and wondering if there really are super heroes out there. Naturally the military came into mind. They are super men and women. Then I thought about how some of those soldiers might feel about what was happening at home. Are they proud to be fighting for the government as it stands today? Are they fighting just for the government itself, or something bigger? Are they happy to see political parties rarely working together for the greater good of the country? Are they happy to have a man like Donald Trump as president?

So there it is. I wrote a song about my current feelings about the United States of America. I have never written a song about such a serious and broad topic. I hope my song can help inspire someone out there to get more involved than ever before in their community and country. I pledge to do just that. I am eternally grateful for all the amazing and honest people who sacrificed so much in order have our country. Simultaneously I am ashamed of those who have been dishonest and selfish who’ve played a part in our country. I hope we can all work together before everything this country was built to be fades away.

For the Country

I am nothing less than your superman
I fight for freedom not the government
I bled in the streets with them
Can you see us Mr. President?
Because here I am, and we’re bigger than all your rants

I still believe in this country
but I aint impressed, with our representatives
Can you bring it back to me
How it used to be?

Stand up, come with us and be Americans
Don’t give up your independence
Cause if you want to be free
then you better believe in something bigger
than two major political parties and all their crap

I still believe in this country
but I aint impressed

I am free
I do this, not for you, not for me
For the country

I still believe in this country
but I aint impressed, with our representatives
Can you bring it back to me
How the country used to be?

Moxie – more than just a killer word

Moxie. Yeah man Moxie. Moxie is my motto for 2016. Moxie moxie moxie. Pop quiz – do you know the origin of the word “moxie” without looking it up? Vigor, stamina, determination, a go-getter, a little bit of umph. These are but a few of the words that define moxie for me. It’s a killer word. Turns out it was injected into the American english language from a freaking soda! (Apologies if I’m the only person in world who didn’t know this already, none of my friends did. Ok I only asked one, but he is an important friend. He’s like the lord of friends. Lord Friendy – I’m gunna start calling him that. K bye)

The drink has been around since the late 1800’s! While the soda did not grow in popularity like Coke or20160101_004410 Pepsi – no one is ever going to say, “I am going to live life full of Coca Cola.” Well maybe somebody said that, but they are probably really fat and unhappy. At least if your only plan is drinking Moxie until you die, you can say “I am going to live my life full of Moxie” – and everyone will just think that you have some new found confidence and not that you’ve given up. So… Yeah – I am going to rock up 2016 full of Moxie! The soda or the ideology may you ask? No. No you may not. 😉

Soulbook – Come On Eileen

My wife is somewhat obsessed with the old tune Come On Eileen. Part of me is like “Come on Wifeen, really – this song?” Shortly there after the violin hits and I’m losing my mind jumping around the room with her.

For the purposes of today’s writing I am going to collectively give western society the name of Eileen.

I was out on a job recently where I spent over 12 hours with people I had never before worked with, seen, or ever heard of. Because of the type of work, we were forced to be together in a number of different circumstances. Eileen was showing herself in some varied colors. One trend I noticed I find a little troubling.

I’m a fairly social dude, and with my psychology background – I am interested in people. I am interested in what makes people tick, how they find happiness, and how they endure challenges. I don’t walk up to people and say “Hi, my name’s Wes, I like Cheetos and Art. What makes you happy?” I do however try and be polite, and talk to people. Nothing weird here, just your everyday courteous conversations.


Here is what I noticed as I tried to engage in conversations this day: People are very happy to talk about themselves. No one seemed bothered by picking up a conversation with me at all, in fact – many people talked my ear off. Which was great. It made the day go by fast, and I got to learn.

However, in all of discussions I had with many different people that day, not one person asked me anything about myself. Not one person in over 12 hours! Now, I don’t offend easy – I don’t really care that no one asked me. It is however a troubling trend.

I fear that our Facebook/social media culture is getting us in the habit of demonstrating as follows:

Look at what I eat
Look at what I don’t eat
Look, I’m on the beach
Look I have freaking cute kids
Check out all the weight I’ve lost
I am so fat
LOL I just saw Daniel Radcliffe at Starbucks
I am unfriending all the haters in my feed
I am so tired right now. I totally forgot to post something about myself because I am so tired, so I’m going to tell you that I’m tired. Ha I’m funny when I’m tired.


Could social media be effecting our already self-centered society for the worse? I sure as crap think so. The name says it all – FACEbook. Other variants: VAINbook, MEbook, Ibook (Don’t get me started on Apple products 😉 ). Really, shouldn’t it be SOULbook? Soulbook would focus on others. Isn’t it funny how the best way to improve the health of your soul is to take the path of selflessness? It’s hard to be selfless when combined with a cell phone addiction and relentless posts about yourself.

Maybe my day with strangers (all folks perfectly happy to talk my ear off about themselves without a care in the world about the stories of those around them) is not indicative of Eileen in her entirety. But, my gut guess is we are far more self-centered than we used to be. Technology and social media can help spread goodness – but it can also easily and naturally take you down a life of “I”. So not much else to say other than Come On Eileen!! We can do better.

Carbonated Waters – A Chubby Mans’ Tale of Defeat

I’m a big dude. Take the copious quantities of calorie-containing-caffeinated-carbonated-concoctions (CCCCC), mixed with fried bread, pizza, and other processed delights out of the picture and out of storage from my body – I’d still be a big dude. Don’t tell me I am using the “I’m big boned” ideology as a crutch either here Sally. My feet for example are size 13, and they are so bloody wide I can’t fit into most shoes. Isn’t this interesting? No – no it’s not. But, this is one of the rare occasions I am going to use this public place of writings as a way to take some accountability over my life and set in stone some certain decisions I’m making right now. Maybe it can help someone out there take charge of some aspects of their life along with me.

So now – lets set the tone. Take off your pants and get comfy. Or don’t and call me a pervert.
Like most everyone, I can’t claim to remember much of my very early years. I do however think my family followed the jacked up mentality prescribed in this picture:

Do yourself a real favor – don’t listen to messages from advertising.

The few early memories I do have consist of my grandma and grandpa each having a can of pop a day. Well, my grandpa had “secret” stashes all over the house. His accurate count was probably more like 4-5 cans a day, and the numbers increased with age because he forgot that he had already drank 15 cans previous to the next and so on.
Mmmm. Bubbles. Cold delicious sugary bubbles. I am so hard wired to love soda I can’t even explain. I can feel my brain turning on sexy jazz music when I hear the sound of the carbonated glory hitting the bottom of a ridiculous over-sized American cup. (Which by the way being American according to Carl’s Jr and Pizza Hut means putting hot dots into unholy places. Being an American is disgusting apparently. I’ll probably try these monstrosities anyway. I don’t want to be considered un-American after all 😉 )
I’ve stopped drinking soda a quarter of a billion times in my life. I’ve quit for ten minutes, all the way up to my longest stretch of about 2 months. Why stop? Because in reality its sugar crap poison bubble water. You know it’s true – and you can tell yourself what ever fabrication you want about it – I’ve probably said the excuses more times than you ever will. Doesn’t matter if its diet or not. All sodas are full of chemicals and junk that I doubt we were genetically fashioned to be consuming. I make this assertion while looking down at my stomach which is at least 65% soda generated. “Wes you’re an idiot. Everything is fine in moderation.” That might be true grumpy lame-o, but I don’t do soda in moderation, and really even if you can do the “one can a day” thing – do you really want 12 ounces a day of crap in your body? This leads to a much bigger discussion about why you would even care about your body and take care of it, but let me tell you why I care.
My biggest motivator right now are my kids. The reality of my life right now is this: My wife is hot, and if I were to die it would be hard on her – but she’d be ok. She is very talented and she would make it. Taking care of the kids would be hard without me, but again she’s great. But my kids! Holy mother of England. My kids, especially my 3 year right now – if I were gone it would be awful. They need me, and I want to be there for them more than they will ever know. Maybe you don’t have kids or loved ones to think about? Then do you love yourself? Another big topic – but hopefully you can at least get along with yourself a little bit to realize you are of worth. People have inherit worth. Otherwise why would murder be such a big deal? You have worth, no matter how sucky you think you are.
Drinking_glass_00118So this is what I am trying to do – when I am tempted to do something terrible I ask myself something like “do I love this Dr. Pepper more than my family?” Obviously the answer is clear! I am at the very beginning of this journey – but so far so good. This is a one step at a time health change. First step – kill cussing soda out of my life. However I gotta be realistic too.  We are talking about over thirty years of a lot of sexy jazz music bubbles. Sugar is this generations most addictive drug. So here is my plan and my commitment: On special occasions, say my Birthday – sure I’ll rock up a Mt. Dew. The rest of the time I simply do not drink soda (or booze) :). However I will be drinking a hoover dam’s worth of plain carbonated water everyday (I dig it with a squeezed lemon wedge).
Go do the research, plain carbonated water is just as hydrating as regular water – and the only real side effect for some people is becoming a gas pot. I can deal with farts – I have children. In fact I lik.. never mind. This gets rid of all the sugar and crappy chemicals and believe it or not, it is also telling my soda brain that I got what I am hardwired to need. So there is my first little health tip. Maybe my last, because writing about health makes me feel all weird. I really think saying adios loser soda will stick this time, but just in case ask me in a month. Thanks! Cheers

The Wildlife Ride

Once and awhile it is clear – there is some kind of element in the world pushing people to amazing opportunities. Call it whatever in the love you want: God, the force awakening, karma, fate, destiny, kismet, serendipity, luck, or your mom. Or don’t call it anything, I don’t really care. 🙂

The point is – I believe in it. There is something more, something bigger than my mind and my personal circumstances out there. A quiet guide waiting for us to listen and calm our thoughts enough to jump and take chances. These opportunities could be as simple as a new friend that changes your life, an amazing opportunity tied to your passions WildlifeCannes(in my case my biggest passions being family/friends, philanthropy, and raw art), or the chance to finally show the world a part of your heart (if you care about that kind of thing).

Why do I believe in such hokey nonsense? Most recently it’s a little thing called Wildlife and its creator Whit Hertford. Actually it’s a big thing. It is a deep and personal story crafted by Whit, and made into a short film by a killer team. How I stumbled on this project is nothing short of strange. From the moment I heard about it – I had an enormous pushing feeling that I had to get involved. I could not make the feeling go away, until finally the stars aligned and I became a part of the Wildlife pack.

All the opportunities I mentioned were a part of this one experience – new lifelong friends, being a part of my favorite kind of unprocessed real art (Everything anti-Michael Bay, I still can’t get over the new TMNT – my ultimate favorite as a kid turned into crap that I couldn’t even bring myself up to seeing), and now the chance to show off this art to the world. This is Whit’s heart, and everyone’s heart that “invested” in Wildlife.

This chance to show the world being (drum roll) Wildlife’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival!

There are so many amazing artists that never get the chance to share their craft on a large stage, but this time – Whit freaking made it! And holy mother of England does he deserve it. As does Ryan, Connor, Erich and the whole team. Congrats guys, and thanks for the Wildlife ride. Whit you’re a genius, that’s it man. Excited for all the rides to come.



Done better see some live music son


If you are a music fan, particularly a live music fan then you must have your reasons for forking over $20-200 to see a group play. Now keep in mind when I say “live music” I don’t consider New Kids On The Block, or any other group where the lyrics say things like *”I’ve been waiting for you to get naughty” and song titles like **”Sexify My Love” as music. My next door neighbor is a die hard “Block” fan, so without trying to bash her or the group too much – for the purposes of this discussion lets focus more on live rock music and move on from talking about lame kinds of groups before I get into a rant.

Why would you want to go see a group play live? For me nothing can beat the experience of watching a musician pour out their craft in a live setting – blowing your mind, melting your face, and busting your guts. To be a part of the process of art, whether its watching a painter make something amazing out of what was before just a white canvas and colors on a pallet, a dancer practice, actors on a stage, or a choir rehearse – it solidifies the art and makes it more personal. If you can’t be with your favorite bands when they wrote the music and recorded it in the studio, which is likely – then the closest you can come to the raw art is going and seeing them live. Plus if the band can wail live  it will just make you love them even more. If they suck, oddly it still provides some sense of satisfaction that at least you now know they are only any good in the studio. It is simply just cooler to be a part of the process instead of only having the end product – the finished painting or the studio CD.

So go see some live music! The next time one of your favorite groups is coming to town save up and go see them!

*Actual New Kids On The Block lyrics
**Actual New Kids On the Block song title