It’s hard to believe that this all happened ten years ago. Ten freaking years ago I was sitting in a Burger King fast food line in Atlanta, eager to get my “Big Kid’s Meal”. While this set up seems completely irrelevant to anything significant worth talking about, you’ll just have to trust me that it does. We pull up the window, my mother pays, hands me my food, and I go digging for the toy. I find it, pull it out of the bag, and look at it. “What the heck is this stupid toy?”
This toy at first impression was dumb. It looked like this dude in a dress with long blonde hair. The toy didn’t have any twisting or turning parts it was just a statue like toy. Didn’t move, didn’t talk, didn’t shoot anything out of it’s eyeballs. It did however come with a base. I placed this lady dude looking toy on the base and realized the toy would light up when placed on it. “Wow, cool.” I turned to my older brother who was sitting next to me and said “What the heck is this?” He looked at the plastic bag and replied “Oh this is from ‘Lord of the Rings.” Little did I know that this stupid plastic toy would spark an interest to a universe I would soon call my own.
My brother would tell me about this story and then insist that I read the books. That same very night, being the spoiled get anything I want kid, I had my parents take me to the closest Books A Million. I ran (RAN) inside and found this already specific section featuring all the books. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien grabbed my eye. I snagged it AND a book mark with a nice little dangly golden ring on it. This seemed like the coolest stuff a kid had ever seen. A solid month before the movies hit theaters I became the biggest fan. Page one. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Obsessed doesn’t describe what I became. I read the books then I saw the trailer. OHHHHHH MYYYYYYYY GODDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!! This seemed like the coolest thing these baby blue eyes had ever seen ever. I watched the trailer a gazillion times. I had to see this now. I bought everything. Every toy I could find, every bookmark, every thing that had LOTR on it I begged for it. After a month of reading, obsessing, craving, the day had come. The Fellowship of the Ring was now playing at my local theater.
3hours and 15minutes. The longest movie I had ever seen was also the greatest movie I had ever seen. The scale of it, the insane special effects, the shots, the soundtrack, the creatures, The movie was epic. It was in my opinion the single best movie ever made. My jaw had to be scooped off the floor. I left the theater anxious to see the sequel. I left the theater and thought; I want to do THAT for the rest of my life. In fifth grade, ten years ago, I decided that I wanted to make films.
I was now known as the kid who obsessed over Lord of the Rings. If people wanted to know something they asked me. I was the go to expert of all things Middle Earth. I lived in this world. When the DVD’s came out and I saw the special features, the making of, my mind was blown. This looked like the most fun job on the entire planet. Peter Jackson became my favorite person to walk the Earth (second only to Jesus).
These movies became a part of who I was. No, I didn’t go around speaking elvish to my friends, but I could recite the entire movies start to finish. These were and will always be my favorite movies. These introduced me to the world of Film. After Lord of the Rings there was no turning back. I now researched films instead of just watching them. Imdb became my best friend. If there was a new movie coming out that I was dying to see I would see what movies the director had previously made and go and watch them. I become the movie nerd of my generation. I became the walking encyclopedia. My name was no longer Devon, it wasDevon: The Movie Loser. For some reason I accepted that name.
In High School I had the choice to go to the school with all my friends or go to a school where there was a film program. I made the “mature” choice and said the one with the film program. That was how committed I was at a young age. I invested myself in making the goofiest shorts. Really random stupid stuff. This is what I would do all through High School, make really stupid random stuff. The first actual film I made was called “The Golden Gift”. I registered for a film contest and we realized we had a deadline to give in our story. We had no story so I very quickly came up with a plot. Guy buys grandma a pineapple for her birthday, guy places pineapple on the back of sports car goes down to tie his shoe, sports car drives off with pineapple, guy chases pineapple across town, guy finds out it’s his grandma driving the sports car. The end. That was the random crap I was making.
I now am constantly helping out with films. I am the Assistant Director for FCR creations run by my friend Freddy. We make magic films if I wanna be a little cocky. We have won tons of film festivals and even compliments from the wizard known as Christopher Nolan. Yeah, we rock.
It’s funny to think that ten years ago a toy from Burger King changed my life but ain’t that the silly truth. Because of that toy I now have a calling to film. I feel like there couldn’t be a more appropriate fit for a career. More specifically I wish to make Christian films, even MORE specifically GOOD Christian films, cause let’s face it movies about God almost always suck. I hope to one day inspire a whole new generation of young film makers the way that Sir Peter inspired me. Maybe I’ll win an Oscar and be able to say…”This all started at Burger King”, and then just walk away saying nothing else. That’d be one for the books. I suppose the moral of this story is that Fast Food is IN FACT good for you. It can change your life.