It was January of 2000 when I departed the seminar teaching, to much dismay of the managing director. Thing is, I had discovered a talent for sales, especially since I was building the entirety of the courses from scratch (my poor printer). I had to survive somehow though. My personal life was a mess (no, I never slept around… just got in a very messy relationship), my family had its own troubles and the last thing they needed was trouble from their rebellious son. So, I utilized the contacts I made throughout my previous years of working and studying at the university and landed a job at a major company.
It will never evade my memory… the strictness of the place. Though I do remember when I was given my first assignment for VR. It was to build a temple in two months, which I finished in 10 days and for the most time I had to wait for an open slot with the texture artists.
When asking for additional assignments, the answer I always received was “we have nothing else at the moment”… and there I was, sitting at a Silicon Graphics O2, without internet, with just one 3D application on it. Standing up was forbidden. Talking to others was forbidden. And there was only so much I could rotate the building round and around (for the fear the president would do a surprise inspection), before I would actually fall asleep with boredom! At some point I started remote “hacking” other Unix stations and playing various audio files for the fun of it. One of them was an old actor yelling “Get out of here! You’re fired!”… causing a bit of a shock to other rooms and cubicles, until the second part of the audio came in saying “where are you going? Get back here.”
Finally, it happened! One guy left for Sweden and I got to sit on a PC. The perfect opportunity to unleash the knowledge I accumulated after years of being broke and hungry (yes, I invested all my money in learning my craft). Soon I took over all the company’s TV spots and several visuals in documentaries. Eventually, after our chief saw what was possible, the order was given and I shifted the entire infrastructure of the department – literally giving nightmares to our hardware suppliers! No more two months for assets. Everything went down to two weeks. Plus, nobody had any headaches any more (yes, I made them buy expensive flat screen monitors). However, since I was a lowly artist, others took the credit. No matter, I moved on and ran my own department not long after.
Excited with the prospects of a smaller (and riskier) company, being surrounded by big suites (Avid, Flint, Inferno etc.) I finally had the freedom to shoot up. After modernizing the CG infrastructure, in two years, the “small shop” became a multi-awarded company of the year (twice, mind you). I’d return back home at 10pm and start practicing my screenwriting until 4am. Having worked in endless commercials, several TV series and feature films by that time, my path started to become clear. In short, I had to reach all the way to the end to head back to the beginning: the blueprint of a project… the script. I have to admit, when I look at my first writing efforts back in 2006, I’m laughing really hard. Hey, I had to start somewhere!
My initial “Oblivion” took a turn and became “Deus Passage”, incorporating more and more research from travels, interviews, scripture reading and extensive research – which at some point took me to areas better left untouched. In any case, I had what I needed to continue. Though the crisis hit and I had to divert my attention to my outside-of-work life, especially with the company shutting down and suffering two deaths (among many others) in my family. A time I remember as “the years of darkness”, that eventually made me leave Athens for a smaller, nearby place. My departure automatically burned several bridges and brought me before a crossroad. For a while I was working with corporations abroad, but it was evident that this wasn’t going to last long.
At that point, I picked up my massive research notes, half-finished stories and data… to give birth to Mortal Guard. A science fiction action-thriller franchise that dropped a few international jaws per its massive scope and multiverse-building capacity. Since I took the helm, alongside some great team members all over the world in 2014, I’ve learned more about business, contracts, negotiations and legalities never thought possible. Now, we have a set of 10 pre-developed and intertwined feature film scripts and 7 TV series that bridge the films in one extensive epic story-line. In addition, there is a novel in the editing room as we speak. The intro to all the above. A creation inspired by ancient and pre-ancient history, mythology and philosophy from various civilizations that connect the human psyche to the fabric of the very cosmos itself. Finally, I know my calling & am working on it as hard as I can.
The reason behind it? Besides the wonderful feeling of creation, when growing up I was lucky enough to receive valuable lessons of ethos and morality from a much older show. So, with Mortal Guard, it is my intention to give something back in a form that will inspire and entertain everyone.
As my team and I keep on fighting for it, I will be around here, passing on news and valuable wisdom that may help you out. Taking the long route to this journey has drawn a very rich image of humanity. It has helped me to understand our world tremendously. Its ups, its downs, its hopes and its fears. As much as I dreaded it in the beginning, the lessons were and are invaluable.
Once we’re successful to bring this audiovisual design forward, you will have an idea of its origins & why it was done in the first place. Mortal Guard is not merely a dream, it’s a “thank you” project. One with the potential to stay around for some time.
Until next article!