OKLAHOMA CITY -- He's up way before Wall Street's opening bell.
"The alarm bell goes off at 5:30 a.m.," says Al Mertens.
As a financial advisor, he needs to be aware of potential market swings as the workday begins.
But there are quiet moments, even on the busy days, when his thought turns to dialogue; the spoken words conjured from fictional characters in his head.
"Seeing other people interpret words that began up here," says Mertens, pointing to his head, "and just kind of pored over and adjusted, putting their spin on it. That's kind of an amazing thing."
One of those conversations takes place in a full-length motion picture called 'Lord Finn'.
Mertens wrote the screenplay and directed it. It's not his first screenplay either.
Fifteen years ago, he was just another number cruncher, but he wrote a eulogy for a friend, started blogging, then took a screenwriting class at Oklahoma City Community College.
"Boy!" he says. "That was just kind of a whole new thing and the kind of writing I wanted to do."
He's got a half-dozen movie scripts to his credit these days. Two of them are published as paperbacks on Amazon. It's possible to watch them too.
'Lord Finn', which wrapped more than two years ago, made the trip to Indonesia for the Asia International Filmmaker Festival for 2019.
"Since then I've written three full-length screenplays," he says.
'Lord Finn' is one of those multi-story tales told from a lot of different character perspectives.
Its screenwriter can tell you all about them, their story arcs, and maybe even their investment portfolios if they actually had them.
He is a man of letters and numbers all at one desk.
"They both seem to co-exist pretty well."
Al Mertens is a financial advisor for HiIlltop Securities in Oklahoma City.
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