By C. Derick Miller, Sr. Writer/Jr. Producer
Since the moment I had the epiphany to become a professional writer, all I ever wanted was to see my name in the credits of a film. This is finally happening after fifteen years of short stories, novels, and songs but in way I never imagined. A film about teenage suicide is quite a stretch from the monsters and ghosts who fill my other works…or is it? Not at all. This is reality, and it’s much worse than any werewolf or demon who’s inhabited my pages before.
I showed up to the studio on audition day resembling one of my cherished idols. No, it didn’t involve a suit, tie, and dark glasses like you’d expect from years of watching what Hollywood wants you to believe. I was decked out in a hockey jersey like Kevin Smith prior to his fateful heart attack and massive weight loss. I’m a big fan of powerful dialogue, and no one writes it quite like he does! I don’t think any of the young actors knew what to think about me. Trust me, the feeling was mutual.
The thing which surprised me most regarding the auditions was the fact that almost everyone wanted to try out for the bullies in Warning Signs. I pondered this mystery repeatedly throughout the auditions and beyond. Why in the world would so many young people want to portray a couple of turds in a film? My initial conclusion toward the attraction was that it’s the ‘new’ human nature fueled by modern pop culture to want to prey on the weaker character in the movie. Everyone loves a villain, right? From Darth Vader to Scar, you can’t invent a powerful hero without a powerful villain. I’m a good enough person to admit when I’m wrong.
My ultimate decision came to me in my sleep (where so many of my ideas come from) and I personally believe it to be true. When an individual spends so much time representing one side of the coin, they often desire to experience the other. Perhaps most of the young actors I met had endured so many confrontations with bullies that they were dying for the chance to live as the other, if only for a moment? If you’re reading this passage as an adult, do you believe your current status in life is a result of the negative, personal challenges you’ve faced from your past? I know I do!
It saddens me to imagine what all those talented actors possibly endure at the hands of real-life ghosts and villains littered throughout our society. I can relate. If you take a moment to reflect on your childhood, I know that everyone else can as well. That is why we’re making this film. Thanks to all involved, both current and future, for allowing us this chance to teach others. We’re making a difference.