Wile E. Coyote:  My Filmmaking Hero

Wile E. Coyote

Copyright Warner Bros.

When I am asked to speak to a group about filmmaking, I usually wear my favorite t-shirt with my hero on the front:  Wile E. Coyote.  I think all those Warner Bros. cartoons are brilliant but I really connect with Wile E. Coyote.  In fact, as a filmmaker, I think I *am* Wile E. Coyote.

Another failed plan

Copyright Warner Bros.

Wile E. Coyote is starving.  He wants that roadrunner more than anything else.  He doesn’t resort to eating bugs or lizards, but instead pursues that bird relentlessly.  He comes up with incredibly ridiculous schemes and contraptions to catch that bird.  The ACME rockets or shoes with springs sometimes actually get him close to catching the roadrunner.  But usually, he ends up blowing up, falling off a cliff or crashing into a train.  After being flattened by a boulder, he walks off and starts the next crazy plan.

Filmmakers are Starving Coyotes

That describes filmmaking.  I’m a filmmaker:  I’m starving.  I want that filmmaking dream to come true and will try all kinds of schemes to make it happen.  I’m not going to eat bugs such as wedding photography or corporate video, I want the roadrunner:  narrative filmmaking.  Spec commercials, short films, documentaries, etc. have been the crazy filmmaking contraptions I’ve made to catch that meal.  And like Wile E. Coyote, it seems my contraptions always blow up.  Family members and friends telling me to get a “real job” are the anvils that keep falling on my head.  Film festival rejections are like painting a tunnel on a rock that the roadrunner still goes through.  An agent saying my filmmaking style is “hokey and Midwestern and you’ll never work in this town” is definitely falling off a cliff.  But I keep thinking of new story ideas and am always inspired to make new films.  If you have the hunger, it just doesn’t go away.

Adonis is an ACME Rocket

Filmmaker Rocket

Copyright Warner Bros.

Adonis is my latest ACME rocket.  Adonis has been in the works for a very long time and has faced many obstacles.  However, I have never given up on it.  Now that Adonis is finished and starting to receive film festival acceptances, it feels like I’ve lit the fuse.  It’s very early on but Adonis was accepted to the Athens International Film and Video Festival in Ohio and it just won Best Short and Audience Favorite Comedy Short Film at the Riverside International Film Festival.  The next stop on the Adonis World Tour is the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at Cannes.  The Adonis rocket is firing now and sometimes it seems I can see the roadrunner’s tail feathers getting closer.  That bird better not take a turn and lead me straight off the cliff.  

Can Wile E. Coyote actually catch the roadrunner?  Despite the terrible odds and exercises of futility, filmmakers have to have hope and not let explosions or crashes stop them.  Filmmaker:  species Hardheadipus oedipus