2015

I moved across the country.
I lost weight, and gained it back.
I read twenty-three books.  Not one of them was the one I promised to read.
I literally, “leaped for joy,” upon learning of my wife’s pregnancy.
I starred in a movie and made several.
My son taught me how to be a triceratops.  I taught him about bacon.
I was unemployed. “Sorry, we’re going in a cheaper direction.”
But, then I got a job.
I wore a tuxedo, and cried at a wedding.
But then my baby died.  I held him in my arms, only once, for fear I wouldn’t let him go again.
We put him in the ground, and I held my wife.
And, then I went to work.
I made new friends.
I tried new food.
I cried a lot. 
I began working on my novel again.  We’ll see how it works out.
I have not visited his grave.
Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of year.
All I want is for it to be September 8th, and for him to still be here.
But time is a constant.
Thanksgiving was good.
I’ve whispered “I love you” into my son’s ear, on a consistent basis.
I’ve watched Star Wars twice.
I’ll see it again, soon.
I don’t like resolutions.
But I will promise myself, this:

I will not stop.  I will continue.  I will learn how to breathe again.
I will make him proud.
I love you, Isaac.

Indiana – Hollywood Part Deux?

So, here I am on the set of another movie in so many days. Today I’m playing Nate, the affable best friend of Michael, who is consoling his friend as he deals with girl problems in “Sparks Fly.” Short films are fun to make; the commitment isn’t huge and it helps to exercise your acting muscles.

I’m feeling good. I was cast late last night, as a last minute replacement. Thank you, Elaine Gardner, for dropping my name. There’s nothing like playing make-believe to keep you young. It is, however, par for the course that I am helping the crew out.  I just love being on a movie set and can’t stop myself from asking “what can I do” whenever there’s a break from my own duties. Today, the back of my head gets to play an extra and I get to help move cars for the producers because my scene had to be shuffled around due to an uncooperative sun.

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The more I’m doing this the more I’m learning my lines faster and faster. I can’t wait to see where I am a year from now. My brother and I are slowly putting together a feature film to shoot at his home in South Carolina, and my Star Wars Fan Film has been granted an additional year of pre-production due to an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign (a blog post about this will be appearing here in the relative future, but suffice it to say I’m not bummed and I think it will work out for the best this way). So, with the new job granting me quite a bit of freedom to shoot, and the 60 Hour Film Challenge in 2 weeks, my Indiana-based Hollywood career is taking off quite well.

Anywho, I’ll write a real blog post here shortly, but for now I have to pretend like I’m drinking the associate producers coffee again.

“Action!”

Moving Forward…

The snob in me wants to wax verbose about how the breeze feels across my neck, but I think that part of me died two weeks ago. I’m sitting here in Garfield Park in Indianapolis on a Saturday evening, getting ready to crew the pick-up shoot for Dark Ground, a feature film I had the pleasure of starring in shortly after moving back to the heartland, and I’ve been hit with a horrible revelation: I might survive this.

My second son, Isaac Joel Brown, was born six weeks early on September 8th, 2015. He was 18.5 inches long and weighed 5 lbs 9 ounces. He died the night before in his mother’s womb, and the moment that should have been overwhelming in its joy was instead filled with sorrow as I saw my son for the first time, a corpse.

Now, I’m a spiritual man, and I believe Isaac to be in Heaven right now and in that moment as well. He left a warm and happy place and found himself in an even better one. This does not comfort me much. I would rather replace this knowledge with the memory of his laugh, smile, cry, touch, smell or any of the other events that might have been had he survived. I look at my oldest son and know that Isaac would have had the best older brother and that not only was his family denied his presence, but he ours.

It’s very easy to look at the horrible things that life throws at you, and simply “throw in the towel.” I could lose faith. Saying “everything happens for a reason” not only sounds stupid in times like these but cruel as well. What reason could be good enough to kill my son?

Dwelling on thoughts like this is the path to the dark side of the force. I will not search for blame. Fear leads to anger, anger to hate, and hate to further suffering. We’ve suffered enough. I have an Isaac sized hole in my heart as proof of that.

So I continued. I continued to take job interviews, work on film projects and I have not stopped writing. This Friday I was offered and in turn accepted a full-time job. I have also begun working on three different film projects and began prepping a fourth (for the 60 Hour Film Challenge).

I make time for my wife. She is suffering as I am suffering. I have hobbies though. I’ve never prayed in a blog post before, but I pray now that God place his healing hand over all of us. Things won’t change over-night, but one day, one minute at a time, we will get through this.

So, Internet, here is my vow: I will not dwell in sorrow and anger, I will not deny them, I will feel them for as long as I must, and I will let them go. I will make this life the best one I can live and I will remember Isaac Joel Brown. I will remember him as he should have been, beautiful and alive. For he was beautiful, and according to his mother, one heck of a kicker!

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I love you, Isaac.

Now, it’s time to make a movie.

A Lovely Day on the Fury Road

A Review of “Fury Road.”

I don’t like statements like “adrenaline-fueled ride” or anything that uses the word extravaganza to describe a movie. That, usually, doesn’t paint an accurate picture. But I just saw “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and I have to say that Geoff Pevere of Globe and Mail nailed it on the head when he called it “a double-barrelled shotgun enema straight to the senses.” The Fury Road is an adrenaline-fueled, non-stop action, oil painting that is both beautiful in its color palette, and filled with some of the craziest, and dangerous car stunts you will ever see. I loved it.

George Miller may have gone off the deep end with “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome,” but after a few decades of producing family films he stepped back into the world of Max Rockatansky and delivers a film that both honors the first two brilliant installments of the series, but also reminds us that action filmmaking can be more than just explosions, and violent deaths; it can be art.


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