It's..... The happiest blog on earth

Here's an inspiring story. A part-time cameraman for the news (and commercials) at a local TV station in Texas was hired in the 1970s to start filming NCAA football games. Eventually he was filming NFL games and even part of the Olympics in Mexico City. But Steve Rash had a dream. And he spent the next five years raising money to make it come true.

Don McLean's song "American Pie" had made Rash want to film a movie about the life of a famous rock-and-roll artist from the 1950s, Buddy Holly. (The song describes "The day the music died," which was the day Holly died in a plane crash at the age of 22.) Unfortunately, 20th Century Fox was already filming a movie about the singer, and had exclusive rights to the life story of three members of Holly's band. When that production was cancelled, Rash hired the actor who'd been playing the band's drummer -- Gary Busey -- and cast him as Buddy Holly himself.

Gary Busey eventually did all of his own singing for the role, and was nominated for an academy award. The movie was nominated for two others, and soon Rash found himself sitting between Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda at the 1979 Oscars ceremony. "None of this was planned..." he'd remember in an interview 30 years later. "To a Texas kid, Hollywood was not even my dream; I just wanted to shoot. So I did."

When the movie premiered in England, he sat between Paul McCartney and Keith Moon. "Keith irritated me throughout the screening, getting up every ten minutes to visit the loo," Rash remembers. "He died later that same night."

Throughout the rest of his life he made only a handful of feature films, and (judging from various web pages) he also directed a lot of music videos. Last year he was interviewed by a web site called "Straight to DVD," which noted that recently he's filmed sequels to popular franchise films which were never released in theatres. "You've done two Bring It Ons, the first American Pie direct-to-video sequel, and now a Road Trip direct-to-video sequel..." they note.

"Few grownup films get made anymore..." he replies. "The only sizable domestic movie-going demographic is under twenty-five years old. I like character and dialogue, so I make movies for young people today.

"Thank God I love teens!"