Heels: I Saw an Indie Movie

Some of you probably know that I have a day job. And if you didn’t, you do now. I work for The Vindicator, our local newspaper in Youngstown, Ohio as the Multimedia Web Specialist. Just fancy talk for a media tech.

For part of my job, I get to Livestream Louie B Free’s radio show, Vindy Talk Radio, to The Vindicator’s Facebook page. On Friday, June 30th, 2017 I had the pleasure of Livestreaming Louie’s show with him interviewing Ryan Bottiglieri.

Who the Heck is That Guy

Most of you probably have no idea who Ryan is, and if you do know who he is, you’re probably wondering why a game developer is writing a post about a movie director.

Ryan is from Warren, OH which is a neighboring city of Youngstown and is part of our tri-county area, which means he grew up in my area of Ohio. Our high school football teams probably played against each other. Anyways… He left to go make his own movies in California. From what I’ve learned from him, he worked very hard during the day to pay bills and it paid off because just last year he released a movie called Heels“.

heels movie ryan bottiglieri

Heels. Okay… I have Questions.

Heels is about two adopted brothers who are searching for a way to save their father’s restaurant and legacy. Their father had passed away from cancer, but the treatments had cost so much that their family had to sell the restaurant, piece by piece to pay for it. Their still living father, younger adopted brother and sister, and the two brothers work extra jobs and do what they can to save up money to buy all of the pieces of the restaurant back.

The story focuses on the two older brothers and their jobs as wrestlers. Their manager pays them to be a heel, which in wrestling is a term for the person who is paid to be the loser. For a little extra cash from their manager, they do fetish cross-dressing boxing together because it pays more.

During their journey, they learn about accepting change, accepting themselves, accepting their past and working for a better future.

The movie is worth it to go see, for sure. I laughed and I cried a little. Although, I still cry when Mufasa dies in the stampede of Lion King, so yeah. I felt for the characters and, overall enjoyed seeing the movie.

Ryan’s Wife is a Saint

Ryan attended the movie screening. Before the movie started, he thanked everyone, like anyone would. Parents, siblings, aunts uncles, etc. But what really stuck out was how he thanked his wife. He didn’t just thank her, he basically stated that without her, it would not have been possible.

On Louie’s show, Ryan talked about how she was his “life producer” and without her, everything would fall apart. She was his high school sweetheart, which means that through all of his start-up fun, drama, sadness, stress and all of that; she was there to support him. I feel for that, because I, too have my life producer who wants my dream to come true. And I just wanted to point out how wonderful it is for the two of them to support each other so much.

Seriously. Why is This a Game Dev Blog Post?

Now, back to the whole point of writing this blog post. Indie game dev, indie movie director, indie musician. These are all independent artists of sorts, trying to make a living at doing what they do best, and hoping that others will enjoy what they are so passionate about. I am an indie game dev.

I am an indie game dev. I work a day job to pay my bills and for computer software and equipment to make my indie games and attending shows and expos. All just so I can have a chance at sharing my dream with others, and maybe, just maybe if people enjoy my dream, I’d get the chance to do my dream as a day job.

Ryan is an indie movie director, from Warren, Ohio, who went out to fulfill his dream. He worked hard, and still has plenty of work to do to become the next Spielberg, but he is only in his 30s and already winning awards and making a name for himself.

His story and the success of his movie is inspirational to all types of indies and I wanted to share his story. I guess I hope that his story will motivate other indies in the Youngstown – Warren area of Ohio that you too can do anything if you’re willing to put the effort and time into it. This was not something that was handed to him on a silver platter. This was his dream, and he worked hard to achieve it, and is still working to continue his dream.

Congrats, Dude.

Good luck to Ryan and his fam and congratulations, you deserve it. Maybe my “life producer” and I will see you and yours in California at E3 to show you my next big indie game.


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