William J. Orendorff, an acclaimed actor, director, photographer, illustrator, graphic artist and writer, is notably known for Proper Villains, The Notice, 2 White Kids with Problems, voicing numerous animated characters and Hello GOD, to name a few. Bill has been the driving force behind numerous productions in both California and Texas, in both creative and management roles.
Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself.
I grew up the son of a social worker and a pawn broker in Texas, so I had a habit of studying people at an early age. I’m a bit of an odd ball, which is what leads me in so many different aspects of film making. Acting has always been something I enjoyed and appreciated the process of breathing life into someone or something, but my creative behind the camera work seems to be almost an addiction for me. I enjoy the hell out of, and get a sort of tunnel vision while working on a project I believe in. My interests are wide spread and I seem to have an A.D.D. approach to what I consume artistically when not on a project, which isn’t very often these days.
How do you get inspired?
Inspiration is a tricky subject, there is never a simple answer to that one. Inspiration for some projects or roles pop out of thin air like hearing a piece of music or just daydreaming and it just starts flying and
then other times it’s just about putting in the hours writing on a story page after page in an arduous push till all those pages start to pile up then “bam!” all the blunt pieces of a project are in front of you and you spot the figure in the stone. Then you just start chipping away (smiles).
Talk to us on your Indian projects “Roaring Silence” and “Lingaa”.
I have a few India based Projects and look forward to many more.
The first is a project I am behind as a writer and a producer brought on by Uzma Xina Kang and have taken on producer responsibilities called “a Roaring Silence”, which I am incredibly passionate about. I can’t wait for this film to go into production which seems like we are not too far from. The film is a story about an Indian Girl adopted in the U.S., who finds an opportunity to explore her Indian origins and discover her roots accompanied by her American born mother. The two discover the details that brought her into this world and the struggle that got her to the only world she has ever known. The story was inspired by the works of Dr. Harshinder Kaur.
The other is a film I am very excited to be cast in called “Lingaa”, which stars Rajnikanth. I have been a huge fan for a while. I am incredibly excited about this one, thanks to casting director Dinesh Nair who
found me through my involvement in American films and my love of Indian film. I was officially contracted in March and my visa came through in early April. I sat in Houston for a week waiting for my ticket to fly out and have just been waiting ever since. Can’t wait for this project to start.
What would you consider as your one best achievement thus far?
Honestly I don’t have an achievement I really find as a defining moment. I’ve written and produced and acted in many films and shorts, I’ve won a few awards. I’ve directed and co-starred in a zero budget film
called “Proper Villains” with J-M Specht (who honestly deserves all the praise), which has been a very interesting process with much positive praise for the film and its story. It’s a very proud achievement but there have been many small projects I have worked on in minor roles I have found very satisfying and unique. Like “Back pack picnic” I’m sure it is probably a strange thing to hear that an actor/Director worked as a key grip on a project with René Pinnell, Mitch Baker, David Bewley, and Shannon McCormick but I found it to be a much more satisfying experience, and honestly in the crew of small bizarre random projects is where I have found the majority of crew whom I truly respect.
Any upcoming projects or initiatives you would like to discuss?
There is a rock and roll horror comedy Ive been tagged to direct in Texas called “BAD TATTOO”, which should be a lot of fun with Proper Villains Alum Karl Anderson. I’m writing on a Picture for ZODIAC PRODUCTIONS which should be the beginning of an interesting series I am Co-Writing with Robert Calder and a great series I am executive producing and developing with writers Alex Cope and Will Zech called “Creepy Pasta”, about a couple of teens who suddenly find themselves sorting out the universe at large. I’m also co-directing an animated short I wrote and have an incredible passion behind that that along with a series of short animated webisodes should prove most interesting.
I would also love to promote a number of charities like als.org, st.judes, austinecho.org, and a thousand more who I have and haven’t functioned as a spokesman for. Also would like to find something a million miles away and reach out and do more good there too.
What are your leisure time activities?
I jog, I love a good hike with my dogs. I enjoy riding the same Honda Rebel motorcycle, I’ve had since I was fifteen years old. While writing I find jumping on some random carpentry usually settles my conflicts, I also enjoy design, Photography and basically all the things I do for a living I also use as a way of keeping myself from exploding, I also find it … you know I also find relatively relaxing.