OKLAHOMA CITY – It might look like a regular business office but follow Jeff Robison and Casey Twenter around here for a few minutes and they show us what’s going on behind the scenes of a major motion picture called ‘Rudderless’ shooting this spring in Oklahoma.
Jeff points to one office wall covered with notes. “This is our shooting schedule,” he says.
“During the day does this place get loud and crazy,” a visitor asked.
“It’s fairly businesslike,” Robison said. “It hasn’t gotten too crazy yet but you might have to ask some of the people in here.”
He moves on to introduce our one man crew to his multi-person, movie making team.
These are the people director William H. Macy hired for all kinds of different jobs, to get props ready including what the crew calls their ‘Hero Book’.
“It will be shown in the film a lot,” Jeff said.
Jeff and Casey have the run of the place, including the director’s office while he’s away.
So how did a couple of local movie buffs get such great access you ask?
Well, it helps that they wrote the script.
Jeff said, “We feel like we’re part of the process.”
OK, so here’s where we flash back for a little perspective.
Jeff grew up in Mustang. He went to college at OSU. He always loved movies but chose another career path.
He deadpans, “Yeah. I knew really, really early on that I wanted to so something in movies which is why I became a teacher.”
Casey grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.
He ran track and cross country at UCO in Edmond then ran into an advertising career.
“Like Jeff, I didn’t think film was a viable option,” he said.
Then one day 11 years ago these future collaborators met doing something else entirely.
“We met playing fantasy football,” Robison said.
Jeff and Casey started trading ideas and critiquing each other’s scripts.
Even now they’re working on another project.
Right now it consists of hundreds of post-it notes and Sharpie scribbles for plot points.
Five years ago ‘Rudderless’ was in a pile of screenplays that William H. Macy picked out.
Jeff quit teaching English. Casey quit his advertising firm.
“This is what we want to do,” Jeff said. “Time will tell.”
“This is what we’re both doing,” Casey said.
“Yeah. We’re doing it right now,” Jeff said.
There is a ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming’ aspect to their current lives.
They get to go on set for quick script re-writes.
They get to hang out with the cast and crew.
They even got a couple of friends hired to help out.
The best part is that the story they wrote is coming to life right in front of them.
Not bad for two Oklahoma ‘movie guys’ who each had the same dream, and who are managing to live it right here.
‘Rudderless’ is shooting in Oklahoma City and Guthrie through the month of May.
Jeff and Casey are planning to direct another of their own films this summer.