The Making of the Venice Walk, part 1


I was having the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Finally I had created a working environment where I was producing a project that I had written, was directing and also performing in. It parallel the theme to one of my favorite films of all time; François Truffaut’s “Day for Night”. It is Truffaut’s , journal of a filmmaker as he battles against the forces of nature and man’s innermost primal passions of survival and self-destruction. His cinematic journey swings like a pendulum in a tornado. In the end, he completes his film. Not like he envisioned. For a film production takes on a life of it’s own. So it was with The Venice Walk.

By the summer of 2006 I was flush with enthusiasm for a new life both personal and professional. No longer would I stand by and tolerate having to be given permission at making a living in the field of study and the profession I had earned my college degree in. Acting. Wrting. Directing. The arts. Empowered by more faith than fact, I was willing to pay my dues all over again. I set out with a reckless abandon to do today what I accomplished is mercurial speed in the early 1970’s as a hippy upstart actor fresh out of college. I was going back to basics. Working for the love of the work. And not for the “lighting can strike again, or, I got a horse get-rich-quick racetrack mentality” that drove me nearly insane with resentment for over 20 years.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the opportunities I created for myself in series television. Two award winning series; one a comedy and the other drama. You bet. I was blessed. And I was cursed. Blessed for the education and on the job training I received. The equivalent to getting a PhD in Television & Film Production. And then I was cursed for the sense of entitlement I developed as if I were special. No longer a member of the ensemble, I lost track of simply being a worker amongst workers.

What had stood in the way between me just rolling up my sleeves and getting into action was my sense that “they” would save. Me. The Studios and Executives would see the error of their ways and hire me and I wouldn’t have to start from scratch. Endless, delusional waiting for “them” to do it for me I thought I needed “their” approval. I lacked confidence. It wasn’t always like that. I just let them beat it out of me over the years. Like the kid who gets tired of going to the playground because he’s taking a pounding, I learned you don’t get hurt if you don’t try and play. How sad. How revealing. Where I grew up, I used to beat up the bullies and then found that I was the kid taking a beating.

Next I had to get my head around how could I make a movie, or in my case, a pilot for a series, without all the trappings: dressing rooms, caterers, union crews, permits, video tap, makeup, hair, wardrobe departments, art designer and the helicopter for my incredible opening shot? Wow, was I full of myself! No wonder it took me so long to get off my ass and make something happen for myself. I was all hung up in appearances. It wasn’t until I let go of the way my production was suppose to be and just let it happen {a no-budget, everyone’s on waiver, deferment or just along for the ride production} that everything started to happen. And happen beyond my most delusional, wildest, self-centered dreams!
Coming soon: PART TWO, Deferments, Waivers and Heart Attacks!


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Robert Hegyes

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