The only thing left now was the script. All I had to do was to expand the 48 minute pilot into 90 minutes.
After a story session with a half dozen friends and writers, it was decided to trash the script completely and start fresh. The reasoning was that the show had evolved over the years and was no longer the origin story that I wanted it to be.
The original concept of the script was to introduce the world of The Hunted through the eyes of a newcomer named Gary. But after years of online episodes featuring myself in the leading role, it made sense to everyone else (including myself) that it should be the origin story of my character.
So now I finally had the money and momentum to make a film, but no script. And I believe that above everything else, you need a solid script. Unfortunately, I was way too close to the story to start from scratch. I needed to delegate and I needed to think waaay outside the box, so I called my friend Tex Wall who lives outside the box on a daily basis.
Tex had written several spec scripts and had gobs of time, whereas I had virtually none. Together with Andrew Helm and more than a few late night story sessions at IHOP, we went through four drafts which took us about a year.
During that time, I worked like a dog on VFX jobs to save up enough money to take time off to shoot the film. Unfortunately, every time our start date got pushed because of rewrites, I would have to find another job, which would in turn interfere with the rewrites.
I also wasn’t clear on an exact start date or how we were going to shoot the film. I originally thought we could do this over a span of eight weekends, but keeping a cast and crew together that long could be problematic. No, we had to run this like a regular show, over the course of several six day weeks. And we needed to choose a start date and stick to it.
July 23, 2012. It seemed the perfect time when everyone was free, locations were available, and Jess wasn’t teaching. About that time I also decided that I was going to direct the film and Jess was going to produce (which she had never done before). And on top of everything else, Jess and I were married that May…
…so this was going to be an epic year one way or another. I called it “the year of scary”.