(Picture by Curtis Schultz)I am a director! Wesley Alley the director and this is my blog.
There are so many ways to start out this blog, do I tell all of my family and friends who have supported me over the years thank you? Do I introduce myself for people who don’t know me? Or an even better question, is anyone actually going to read this? Friends, family, loyal supporters, strangers, anyone? Lets start out by saying this. On August 16th I turned 30… Thirty years old.
(My lovely wife's birthday decorations)
I want to be a movie director. Ever since I was a kid I have always wanted to make movies. I remember a time sitting on my dads lap watching “The Goonies” My parents had just got divorced, and I was sad, I didn’t understand why my Dad couldn’t be around all the time, why we only got to see him every other weekend and 4 weeks out of the summer, all I knew is that while sitting on his lap watching that movie, everything was fine. For years after that every time something was wrong, I would escape to “The Goonies”. I escaped to other movies as well, and over the years watched more movies with my dad then most people watched in their entire lives. That’s what we did, we watched movies. Every time he picked me up, we would go out to a movie, or everyday when he came home from work, he would bring a rented movie home with him. No matter what, my dad and I connected through movies he was my movie buddy, and while we were watching those movies, everything was perfect. That’s what made me want to make movies. I made the decision of that is what I want to do for the rest of my life, and my mom and dad both supported me from then on helping me in anyway they could. They are amazing parents! I grew up in small town Idaho. Yes, potatoes. Not Iowa or Ohio, but Idaho and yes they are very different.
(Picture I took of an Idaho sunrise this summer...)
I started the industry as a young actor. I acted in everything that I could; local theatre, school plays, a few local commercials, I even became my High School Drama Club President. I graduated high school, and like my parents always told me to do, I went to college. I moved 8 hours away to University of Idaho, and met a lot of great friends, directors, actors, musicians, great artists but alas I was dating a girl who was still back home, so after the first semester I moved closer to her. I started school at Boise State University (smurf turf and proud). Went to school there for directing and performance, and then got the only job I could, Bartender… I then moved across the country and went to film school, graduated with a bachelors degree in Film and Television Production and then went back to school for my Masters degree in Business. And now, I work as an IATSE 728 Lighting Technician and sometimes gaffer. Don’t get me wrong I love lighting and my job is awesome, but after all my schooling and $200,000 in student loans its time to follow the dream.
I recently had the opportunity to work with Kevin Smith on his talk show Spoilers. He is a great guy, and super inspiring. He gave me a copy of his book “Tough Shi*t” which even further inspired me and gave me fantastic advice. One of the things in his book inspired me to make this blog, I am a director I just need to get others believing in me as well. Check out his inspiring book and other stuff on his blog.
Another thing that inspired me to write this blog is a few months ago, I ran across a blog by this guy that graduated Harvard Business school, and had $101k in student loans that he paid off in 10 months (or something like that). He obviously did things with his life and bills and stuff that I cant, I live in LA, which is more expensive then where he lived, I have a wife, and we already have made a ton of the cut backs that he made. It still inspired me, and made me think that its possible to get the student loans off my back before I retire, so I can enjoy life. It inspires me to see that people are paying off their huge amounts of student loans, and fast even. I want to talk about that in my blog to keep me focused on taking care of them. They are a huge part of our life right now and seem like they will continue to rule my life for a long time. This blog inspired me to write a blog.
I also am an avid reader of Darren Lynn Bousman’s blog. He went to the same film school as I and with out any connections he made it to become a director, a fairly well known pretty talented director, and we share a lot of mutual friends. In his blog he has a section called, “What they don’t teach you in film school.” It is all about his struggle to make it, and become a director after he graduated. It is very inspiring, and full of knowledge. It’s a great read that I whole-heartedly recommend.
These people, books, blogs, experiences, etc. and many, many more have inspired me in my life and struggle, and I wish to chronically my journey and struggle so that I remain more focused, work harder, and help to build a following around me. From now on, once a month I am going to make at least one entry into this blog explaining what I am doing to help make head way against my struggle in this impossible journey to become a professional director.
Did I mention that I turned 30 last week? And I have $200,000 in student loan debt? I also don’t know anyone in the industry, I don’t have a mom or uncle, old friend, or anyone who is a producer or director I am just a guy from Idaho who is struggling all on his own. Well me, my lovely wife, and our awesome puppy Ruby Doo. So it’s going to be a big struggle… Stay tuned to read all about the follies, success, lessons learned, inspirational tales, good comedy, etc.
(Me and Whitney Alley My loving, supporting, beautiful wife!!! Picture by Steven Shea)
(Me and Ruby Doo. I named her like Scooby Doo, but the lady version... Picture by Curtis Schultz)