“Anybody know who Joe Gillis is?”

-Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), The Player

Joe Gillis in "9 Items or Less"
Joe Gillis in "9 Items or Less"

For many, the name Joe Gillis conjures up the image of a dead man floating in a pool from the opening of Sunset Boulevard. You know, that film from 1950 featuring Norma Desmond (played by the amazing Gloria Swanson) saying “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.” Yep, my name is the same as a movie character who is a down-and-out screenwriter that obviously has things take a serious wrong turn (floating dead in a pool, and all).

Just like William Holden’s Joe Gillis, I’m a screenwriter—and my beginning was tied to silent films, too. My first film, 9 Items or Less, was a silent comedy that I starred in, wrote, produced, and directed—and just like Sunset Blvd., was shot entirely on glorious black and white film. That’s right, actual celluloid film. Am I a film snob? Nope, I love film, and even ran a few different motion picture theaters back in the 90s. If you would have asked me about digital back then, I would have said it sucked (it was the 90s, so it did), but digital can now produce absolutely phenomenal results, so I’m a big fan of both.

After adapting the play Voices from the High School by Peter Dee into a feature film, I moved into the world of television as a Producer, Writer, and Editor on HGTV and DIY Network shows including Turf War, Yard Crashers, House Crashers, heck, all the Crashers shows, and America’s Most Desperate Kitchens, as well as public broadcasting experience (AKA PBS) on America’s Heartland and California’s Heartland.

As a lifelong technology/comic book/science geek, it was only a matter of time before I would combine my knowledge of television production into my true passion of all things geek, and create Beyond Geek.

My career has gone full circle now. I moved from just being behind the camera, to doing both again that and being onscreen again, joining Beyond Geek as a host.

So I have much in common with Billy Wilder’s character Joe Gillis: I’m a writer… check. Silent films played a pivotal part in my life… check. Well, that one’s a reach since Gloria Swanson was the silent film star. But I am ready for my closeup… the writer part of me just hopes for a different ending.

Film and Television Credits: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1345214/