Hi, Johnn here. Just a few words so you know what’s going on. A few years ago I had a website on this domain, and I kept a little blog which meant a lot to me at the time. I’ve decided to keep as much as I can from the original content, including descriptions, explanations, and jokes. Some are really cute, some are just beautiful memories from right after I finished college and I had no idea what to do with my fresh new life in England. Now I live in Romania, for the record, cause things have happened in the past three years, but I have most of the same aspirations and pretty much the same personality, so everything still applies. Down at the bottom, you can find the original text from my old website.
Stuff I like (besides film):
Guitar: I’ve put this on the My work page too because I’m quite serious about it but even if I don’t end up doing it professionally in any way, it will always be one of my biggest hobbies.
Favorite musicians: The Beatles, John Mayer, Metallica, Ed Sheeran, Scorpions, Tchaikovsky, Paco de Lucia, B.B. King, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Bob Dylan, Green Day (I know, pretty weird combination).
Chess: I was a member of the chess club in college and I got to learn a lot from some masters and I even got to play Anis Giri in a simultaneous event. Pretty cool. I don’t get to play that often anymore because I don’t really like to do it online and most people around me find it boring.
Football (soccer): I’m a huge fan of FC Barcelona. I don’t think I’ve missed 15 of their games in the last 12 years. In 2019, right before the pandemic, I got to finally visit Barcelona (probably the best city in the world) with my wife and we watched the Champions League game against Dortmund from the stands of the magical Camp Nou. We also trashed them 3-1.
Fencing (saber): Fencing was once the biggest part of my life. I did competitive fencing for a while as a teenager. I quit for some six years but I came back in college and I had a wonderful spell that ended in 2019 because of a ligament tear in my left ankle. I am still unable to fence even just for fun and there is and exactly zero chance I’ll ever compete again, considering my age. I guess coaching will always be a good safety net, who knows…
Cycling: I used to cycle a lot more before the injury but I still do sometimes. I have a nice little race bike I’m really proud of.
Other sports: I rarely refuse a good soccer game and I’ve been spotted playing basketball, tennis, table tennis, and even rugby.
Horse-riding: Well, I can’t afford it too often but I think it’s one of the best things I could do at any given moment.
Cars: I really like cars and driving. I’ve never had an expensive car yet but driving (unless there’s traffic) is one of my favorite activities.
I was born on July 2nd, 1996. I grew up in a family of three, in a dusty neighborhood in the south of Bucharest, Romania. I attended the same local school as my younger siblings and we all engaged in the same kinds of activities: touring the streets on our bikes, playing cards in the park, breaking the record for the most 20-cent ice-creams eaten in a day (me, that was me… 21…), occasionally going to the mall to watch a movie or play pool. Of course, my brother and I played tons of football. Our sister didn’t.
At 14, I decided to attend the Orthodox Seminary instead of a regular high school. Yes, for a while, I wanted to become a priest. It was an interesting four years I can’t say much about for liability reasons (no but it really was a transformative experience and one that I still kinda treasure in some weird way). In my second year there, I got really good at the study of the Ancient Greek Language. There were these national contests they organized every year and I liked going every year and collecting first prize – cause didn’t mind the attention. In a way, that ended up costing me because in 12th grade, although I was pretty sure I wanted to be a filmmaker, completely void of confidence, I decided to apply to Warwick University in the UK, to study Classical Civilisation. And I got in. I attended Warwick for three years and it was amazing. Despite basically not doing what I actually wanted to do, I had a marvelous time there. I lost weight, I picked up fencing again and I just lived a kind of life I had never experience before, completely on my own, with limitless possibilities. I can’t imagine how great it would have been if I had also been studying what I really wanted.
Well, actually, I have no way of knowing that. I don’t know if the pedantry of the academic environment wouldn’t have spoiled my passion. And quite frankly, the implications are deeper than that. After I graduated with a decent upper-second class degree, in July 2018, I decided to stay in England and find a job, while trying to get into the theatre industry. I still wanted to do film, but theatre seemed more reasonable and down to earth so I decided to start there. For a few weeks in July, I tried applying to companies like Tesco and McDonald’s, to get a basic job while I was writing my play. It made sense to me. Living 100 miles away from London at least gave me a chance. 1200 miles away, Bucharest seemed like a completely different world. The problem was that nobody wanted to hire me for basic jobs. I tried store assistant, fast-food cashier, janitor, gym coach, assistant kindergarten teacher, the front house at a local theatre. I had a degree from a top university, I thought they wouldn’t mind having an educated guy working for them even for a short while. I also had professional career advice provided by the university, so I know my CVs were fine. To this day, I have no idea why I got rejected by every single one of them. But it really was the single best thing that ever happened to me. Cheesy or not, it’s true.
Because on the 2nd of August I packed two suitcases with whatever fit and booked it home, back to Romania. It was supposed to be for a few months, while I finished my play (never mind what play, it’s somewhere in a drawer, it ain’ no good). But just as I was getting ready to wrap things up, in early Fall, and start applying to some serious jobs in England, I got to catch up with my high school sweetheart. By October 1st, we were a couple, by March 29th, we were engaged. On September 8th we got married. June of 2020, our son was born. Last July, in 2021, our daughter came along. It was quite incredible. And if I had been accepted to any of those jobs, I would not have come home. This fact is set in stone. And probably would have never married my wife. So, I can’t complain.
For the past three and a half years I’ve been living in Bucharest. The first two I spent doing anything but film. At first, it was fencing. Since I’ll never be young again, I thought I’d do as much competitive fencing as I could. It ended way earlier than I expected, with the injury in March of 2019. Immediately after that, I got a pretty good job teaching Latin in a vary good local high school. I also published a few translations for a Romanian publishing house. In June 2020, the contract with the school ended and I didn’t want to renew. I had already managed to write my first screenplay, Orchid Sea, that spring, during the first big Covid lockdown and once I knew I had it in me to finish something like that, I didn’t want to hear about anything else. Ever since, I’ve been studying film full-time, by myself. I’ve written more screenplays, I’ve seen about 1000 movies, and I’ve been living like a film student on steroids 16 hours a day (… metaphorical steroids… I’m actually really out of shape and kinda fat).
I’m really just madly in love with this thing. I think it’s the most complete art form. Whenever I have an idea, it always takes up movie form. I just can’t imagine doing anything else.
Aaand update from January 2022, I’m enrolled in a part-time film course at a private film school in Bucharest. It’s a one-year course covering most of the basics of what filmmaking is about. I’m mostly there for networking but there’s also quite a lot to learn and I am – of course – high-tailing through it in sixth gear, trying to make the most of every piece of information I can get my eyes on.
The original text:
Born in 1996. Bucharest. Romania. Eastern Europe. Fabulous place with a terrifying government. Same old story.
There’s something about young people writing that sometimes puts people off, but there you go. I guess, statistically, a writer’s greatest quality is being dead. I am not, though I’ve been trying to improve with sleepless nights and wagons of caffeine.
In 2018, I graduated from Warwick University.
As I’ve said many times, any biographical details other than the above will interest nobody.
About the Website
I built the website in anticipation of the work I am going to be doing over the next years and I will use it as a hub of information to gather all my projects. Until those gather up, I’ll mainly be updating the blog. See below.
About the Blog
This is the third version of an introduction I write for the blog. I just find it hard to even motivate creating a blog these days. I don’t have financial advice to give, or some stock market or sports betting predictions to share, so it will be tricky to keep it updated.
Anyway, the first motor for wanting to make a blog was to have a pretext to put the rest of the website on the air. I bought the domain in June and it’s just been sitting there. Secondly, there is a lot of stuff I write, besides my main projects, that won’t make it into a serious book or play because it’s either trivial or just not interesting enough. But I reckon that my day-to-day observations and stories can turn out to be read-worthy in a casual environment, such as a blog. And thirdly, I’ve always needed some published reference for every time somebody asks me: “So, what do you do?” “Uhm, I’m a writer” “Unemployed?” “Writer…” “Rye…?” “Writer, with a W” “What have you published so far?” “… Nothing…”. Yeah, sometimes unemployed is pronounced writer, sometimes it’s pronounced salesman, it really depends on the region. So, because I am not really googleable (yet?), and I find offering to send some of my work to people myself to be in bad taste, I thought that giving them the link to a blog would be a good first move.
And if anyone will like to send me a message, some positive vibes, negative vibes, neutral vibes, antimatter vibes, or any other sorts of energy, I will be providing an email address somewhere on the website. Just don’t send gamma radiation, for obvious reasons.
Yeah, so that’s what I wrote in 2018. Kind of fascinating to see how I’ve changed. Well, fascinating to me, anyway. Back then, my goal still was to become a playwright. I didn’t think filmmaking was a realistic option. I was a long-haired, linen-wearing, guitar-playing, bike-riding, life-loving kind of writer. Now I’m still that, except none of my linen clothes fit cause I’ve gotten a bit fat, and I change about 100 percent more diapers. And I’ve actually written something usable.
The website’s main focus will still be the blog. It’s a more complex version with more mature articles – for better or for worse – and will be updated quite regularly, at least until I get too busy with filmmaking.