Warren the Nerd

General | Jul 31, 2017 | Carlos Castillo

Warren Mardos is a fictitious name for a guy in my first-semester film production class at City College of San Francisco in the early 1990s.

He was a nerd, plain and simple. Limited social skills. Probably running the world somewhere. But back then he was garden-variety geek.

I liked the kid.

He sat near me and rarely said anything. He was always doodling in his notebook.

One day our teacher gave us an assignment to shoot a film. One of the things he emphasized was that we collaborate, that filmmaking was a team sport. To make his point, the teacher made collaboration mandatory.

This made Warren the Nerd apprehensive. All filmmakers have at least a little nerd in them so I could feel the vibe. I tapped Warren on his shoulder and proposed that we team up. He was relieved and agreed.

Soon thereafter, I went to Warren the Nerd’s flat, I think it was in the Richmond District. He lived with his parents. We adjourned to his room and proceeded to spend hours on his stop-motion animation project, which was all the rage back in the day.

It was very boring to me. I’m not big on animation. But I was there to serve the director, Warren the Nerd. We finished. He and his dad thanked me and I left.

My project was next. I had given him ample warning and he agreed to the day and time. I was doing this homage to “Taxi Driver.” I had an actor and even borrowed a friend’s muscle car. If I recollect correctly, I had one other crew member besides Warren the Nerd.

Day of the shoot. Everybody’s there—except the nerd. My phone rings. It’s Warren. He can’t make it. Something came up. Sorry. Bye.

The show went on and we completed the project despite the bare-bones crew. Of course, I wanted to stop-motion Warren’s ass, but I didn’t. I ignored the weasel, who didn’t even explain his absence at our next class together.

Why am I telling this mundane tale? Don’t be a Warren the Nerd. Don’t expect people to read your shit, shoot your shit, watch your shit, listen to your shit, buy your shit, promote your shit if you don’t reciprocate. That’s called being a selfish dick; don’t be one.

I’ve been a selfish dick at times, so I speak from experience. Especially when we’re young, we’re the most prone to caring only about ourselves and our projects. Getting a wife, then a dog cured me of that. So did the experience with Warren the Nerd. I’m still a selfish bastard, but not quite as bad as before.

Reciprocate, people.


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