It's been sometime since I've updated the blog portion of this site. I'll do my best to keep you posted regularly these next several months. Along with a site redesign I'll be updating the videos section with updated material and genres of content. I also spoke at VidCon in June, I'll create a separate post about that experience later in the week. With all that out of the way, you may be wondering what I've been up to. Long story short, I'm creating my very own TV documentary pilot.
How in the hell did this happen? You may be asking yourself.. or at least I'm asking myself that. You see just about every short film or narrative video I've created stems from a single word or concept (e.g Imagine, Parallel, Cure, etc.). I keep that word in my mind throughout the process of fleshing out that singular word. I was editing a side series of videos for my YouTube channel titled "Rath Weekends" where I took the camera around with me going about my daily life and tried to create a story out of it during playback. After a few episodes I wasn't real keen on the title "Rath Weekends" and was looking to reboot it with new branding.. but as I chose the new title, I realized that specific word had a lot more meaning to me personally. I didn't want to just throw that word away for a YouTube vlog series.
Over the course of May 2016 I kept thinking about this specific word and it eventually grew into a much larger vision. I wanted to really discover what this word was trying to tell me. As May came and went I was left with this idea for something much more than a YouTube video, short film, a feature film, but I had an idea for a recurring story I wanted to tell, but at the same time multiple stories within this story and it all started with a single word in my head.
I saw that Microsoft and Skype were hosting a contest to hear innovative pitches that would be inclusive in the future of media. This idea I had a month ago was all of that. Without going into great detail yet, this concept would aim to portray people with disabilities, including myself, accurately in the media, yet still be an engaging, entertaining experience for both people with disabilities and abled-bodied viewers.
The day after VidCon I had a single day to enter this contest hosted by Skype. I made a pitch video in less than an hour at a length of 52 seconds and just hoped for the best. After not hearing for a little while after the contest had closed I assumed I didn't win and moved on. I was still very dedicated to making this idea become a reality but would just seek out other potential opportunities that may come along.
On the night of July 21st, 2016, an exact year since I permanently moved to LA to pursue filmmaking, I noticed I had received an email earlier that morning. I had completely glanced over it the entire day while reading and replying to emails.. (hashtag blind problems) It was an email from Microsoft saying that I had won and the pilot of this idea would be funded. I almost pulled an all nighter out of excitement and shock from what I read. It truly sunk in that only after a year of being in LA I'm being given this truly blessed opportunity to direct/star in my very own TV pilot.
Skype has arranged industry meetings for me with the producer of HBO's Game of Thrones, Oliver Butler, rapper and actor, Ice-T, and social media influencer YesJulz. As of writing this I've only had one meeting thus far, not including ones I've had with Skype personally. The first meeting was with the Game of Thrones producer. It went extremely well, and Olly is an incredibly insightful man. It was flattering to hear how surprised he was when he found out right before the meeting that I was only 20 years of age, and how much confidence he has in not only the project but in myself.
Thank you Skype and Microsoft for helping to take a single word that lingered in my brain one days a few months back, into something that will be truly new and original in this space. Please stay tuned to my YouTube Channel as I'll still be posting weekly videos as I begin this incredible journey of creating my very own pilot.