Life Behind the Camera
At age 8, I see The Making of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on Disneyland TV and decide to become a movie director. Age 16, I film 20-minute action stories using my father's 8mm camera. Age 18, my father buys me a used 16mm Bolex camera.
I film a 30-minute color action movie titled Trapped and it wins the Berkeley Film Festival. I start taking karate to be like James Bond. My Sensei introduces me to samurai movies.
Seeing the action with great film techniques of the Japanese directors, moves me into martial arts movies, even before the TV show Kung Fu. I go to San Francisco State University making more 20-minute karate stories and placing 3rd in the next Berkeley Film Festival. I graduate with a BA in film.
I join the Air Force movie department and film space launches for NASA. I take leave to film my first feature Draw Swords in 35mm black & white Techniscope. It's about 3 Samurai going to England to enter a fencing tournament. I use all my cash, credit cards, loans and refinance my car.
I get out of the Air Force, after four years, and return to San Francisco unable to sell my movie. I promise myself if I get another break, I will make a color movie that is so commercial the distributors will have to buy it.
I meet karate tournament fighter Ron Marchini who hires me to re-edit and sell his Philippine produced movie Murder in the Orient.
Ron again hires me to write and direct Death Machines. To be commercial, we write a cop/gangster plot with big action scenes in a karate dojo, bar and police station. We also blow up a piper cub airplane, all filmed in 35mm Techniscope.
The movie is immediately picked up by Crown International Pictures with big advertising. It opens in 50 theaters in LA making it a #14 top grosser. However, I still can't raise the money to produce my own movie, so I direct a sequence for Sesame Street.
In a bookstore, I pick up a copy of The Million Dollar Secret Hidden in Your Mind by Anthony Norvel. I attend his classes for 3-months in Los Angeles and then return to the San Francisco. In 10 days, I raise the money to produce and direct Weapons of Death. The panavision film plays all over the USA breaking a house record in a New York theater.
Next, I produce and direct the comedy-action feature Ninja Busters. This was followed by the cops and gangsters movie, One Way Out.
Next came writing & directing Omega Cop starring: Adam 'Batman' West, Troy Donahue and Stuart Whitman. An actress from Weapons of Death hires me to produce a travelogue in Phuket, Thailand, proving you never know what contact will end up getting you movie work.
I write two novels in hopes of getting them produced as movies. When many people ask me "How do you survive as a freelance?" I write How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle. http://amzn.to/zRroY9
In 2003, I produce my novel Rock Star Rising as an audio-book narrated by Rod Taylor, performed by Russ Tamblyn, George Chakiris, Robert Culp, James Darren and Kevin McCarthy. It has full effects and music, making it an "audio movie" of sorts.
In 2006, I write, prooduce & direct the largest production in audio-book history, McKnight's Memory. Narrated by Frank Sinatra Jr., it stars Robert Culp, Nancy Kwan, Don Stroud, Henry Silva, Alan Young, David Hedison and Edd Kookie Byrnes. It's about a CIA agent who loses his memory and is on the run with 'the ultimate woman'.
In 2007, I direct Edd Byrnes' My Casino Caper audio-book. It's Edd's memoir of being stalked for his 3-million dollar Las Vegas win, with Alan Young, Henry Silva and David Hedison playing themselves, recreating the incident that happened in 1977. Michael Callan plays the part of criminal that stalked Edd.
In 2008, I direct Barbara Leigh's The King, McQueen, and the Love Machine audio-book. Her memoir of being a top model involved with Elvis, Steve McQueen and MGM president Jim Aubrey at the same time. Joe Esposito introduces it and plays himself in the dramatizations.
In 2012, I produce the updated kindle verson of the James Bond Lifestyle.
In 2013, I release three stories in one book 3 Wild Thrillers. It includes a free download of Edd Byrnes' 77 min. audio-book My Casino Caper.