Filmmaking / Directing : Shameless Self Promotion and Introduction by Jacob O'Neal

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Jacob O'Neal

Shameless Self Promotion and Introduction

My name is Jacob O'Neal, co-founder of Robot Vampire Productions, and I am a movie addict. I have been since childhood. Between having a voraciuos appetite for movies and having an overactive imagination I was born to do something in the industry. When I was roughly around nine years old my family and all went to see the Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell movie Overboard. After we left the theater my mom turned around from the front seat of the station wagon (I wish it was a Wagon Queen Family Truckster) and asked me what I thought of the film. I replied, "The movie was okay but the cinematography was a little weak." My mother looked at me with an odd expression I have grown used to over the years. The expression said, "I have no idea what my son is talking about but I'm going to nod politely and pretend I do so he doesn't explain it." I explained anyway. As time went on I discovered that it was smarter to follow writers and directors I liked rather than actors. Sure, actors are great but unless you're Daniel Day Lewis you take movies to pay the bills, not because you really love the movie. Or an actor signs on because the script is great and then the director they hire turns out to be Michael Bay. Next thing you know your reputation goes down because people associate your face with giant metal testicles (John Turturro, what were you thinking?). So I started really looking at who made the movies I liked and who made the ones I didn't. I began to discover that if I saw the name Renny Harlin I should stay away. If I saw Joel and Ethan Coen I needed to see the movie. It was simple really. Then, thanks to Danny Elfman whom I loved when he was with Oingo Boingo, I started really paying attention to music score and that led to sound. I discoverd how sound and music could affect mood in a story. By the time I was 19 years old and working in a video store I could tell the customers and other employees just about everyone involved in the making of a film. I knew long before that what I was meant to do. but that was when I first started to actively follow my dream. I enrolled in college and started taking cinema classes. That's when real life got the best of me. Suddenly I was faced with a choice, continue following my dream or grow up and get a real job as my mother put it. So I followed her advice. I got a real job. Then I got another real job, then another, and another, and another...well, you get the idea. My mm didn't know what it was like to be me. I was never going to be happy as a saleman or doing airport security. I wanted to write. I wanted to direct. Movies and television weren't just something I watched. They were things to be studied and picked apart to see what worked and what didn't so I could lean my craft. I wasn't going to be comfortable in a regular job. It just wasn't for me, at least not until I tried to do what I love. If I tried and failed then fine, I settle down and pour myself into it. I decided a couple years ago that I needed to start trying again. Too much time had passed sitting on my thumbs and not doing a thing. I was working for a Rent-To-Own company. It was a small one so we could operate with a bit of autonomy. I convinced my boss to pay for a booth at a horror movie convention in Tempe, AZ. I was amazed when he said yes. Honestly, I wasn't there to sell. I was there because I wanted to network. And network I did. I met a local director whom I hit it off with very quickly. After talking off and on over the course of the day I started forming ideas in my head. There was one I had been kicking around with my roommate about two friends in a post-apocalyptic world. I had the opening scene figured out already and went home to talk to my roommate about pitching the idea to my new friend. We did. He said he liked it and wanted us to write it. That got me following my dream again. Things didn't work out with that director for reasons I will not go into here. Needless to say, we decided we would try to figure things out on our own. After a year of frustration and constant let downs we decided that rather than keep pushing our feature on people we would focus on other things. We began writing a few other features when it hit us both that we needed something to showcase our talents. We wrote a couple short films over the course of a few days. "Lepus", our first short film, is set to shoot the third week of October. My writing partner handed a copy to a mutual friend and he loved it and wants to help us make the dream a reality. At first I thought I would just be directing a small thing with a few friends and family members, a way to show what I could do as a director and writer. After I cast all the roles I could with people willing to do it I still had 7 or 8 roles sitting wide open. That's when I turned to and sent out some messages to people I had network connections with. Between that and few people I got in touch with thanks to Stage32 member and actor Tyler Gallant I now have around twenty people coming out to audition for the roles. I have to say that I am truly grateful and feel very blessed to have met so many great people in the last couple years that have been supportive of my dream. I'd also like to say another quick thank you to Stage32. This has been an amazingly helpful site to getting me on my path. Jacob O'Neal Robot Vampire Productions Go "like" us on Facebook at

Dan Solo

Nice one Jacob... Definitely looking forward to seeing the Film when it's done. Here's my shameless promotion... Sign up for a free account which you will be able to use to distribute and in the not too distant future fund your film. Cheers Dan

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