Tim Fulton 00:08
Welcome to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. We are a weekly Columbus centric podcast focusing on the civics, lifestyle, entertainment, and people of our city. I’m your host, Tim Fulton. This week, how much of ourselves should we put in our work? Today’s guests, longtime host, writer, comedian and filmmaker, Dino propodus. Has a creative journey that is uniquely his own, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Our conversation here takes on an eagle eye view of his career path, the value of being a multi hyphenate creator, his approach to creativity, and the importance of authenticity. You can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast.com. Enjoy the interview. Sitting down here with host, actor, writer, director,
Dino Tripodis 01:11
filmmaker, filmmaker, I would I would love to direct at some point creator, creator. Wow. Dean Atropos. Creator sounds pretty creator.
Tim Fulton 01:22
Dino Tripodis 01:24
Good, Tim, how are you?
Tim Fulton 01:26
I’m good. Full disclosure. Before we get into things, you and I have known each other. I’m not going to say for how long? But since I was in high school, yeah, I went high school with your daughter. You did? And I remember you could
Dino Tripodis 01:44
be my son. I am old
Tim Fulton 01:45
enough. young enough to be your son. Yeah, absolutely. How are you? What’s going on? Good son. How are you? Good. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How do you introduce yourself to the rare I imagine the folks outside of Columbus that don’t know you? How do you describe yourself?
Dino Tripodis 02:05
How do I describe myself? Yeah, I joke when you say the Creator, but you know, it’s an interesting word. Yeah. Simply stated, just a guy who loves to do just that. I love the create whatever the medium might be. 24 years in radio, and then a little break. And now I’m back have created of various films, both short and feature length one, which we are currently engaged in, which we’ll talk about a little bit later. Yeah, stand up for a lot of years. I still, I still get ideas for jokes. I still have a notebook, and I still write ideas and I still perform. You know, I’ve got some, a couple of benefits coming up. I did something a couple of weeks ago. So I still like to keep my foot and stand up. Love to write and I call myself The Reluctant actor as well. Okay, I did a horror film up in Meadville, Pennsylvania, a few months ago. A sag project sag after a low budget horror film called pig Hill. Okay. And I got to play this really, completely out of my element. Broad, loud, nasty character, Giovanni Vendetti, the king of pig Hill. Okay, so it’s just as a lot of fun. Yeah. So sometimes if you can draw me out of that shell, then I’ll embrace it. But you know, when I say why don’t you be in it? And like, Yeah, I’d rather write it and you do it? Well,
Tim Fulton 03:38
and there’s a certain amount of like, so again, full disclosure, your daughter and I went to theater school at specialized, like vocational theater program did. And what I’ve since discovered, since not being in theater that yeah, I don’t I’m not necessarily interested in being the guy on stage, if it’s not me on stage anymore. But there’s almost I now have an eight year old daughter, and you sort of see as soon as you can convince them, you are behind this, this veneer, whether that be a costume or makeup or whatever, the ability to take that on as a lot easier. Right? And I don’t know if in your sort of, even in hosting, right, that you you walked in here today, and it was a little bit like, Hey, how you doing? Whereas like when I see you, in your home, it’s always like, Hey, what’s going on? Like, what are we working on? And like you’re almost waiting for the microphone. I am trying to talk to you a little bit about your creative process and how you pull yourself out.
Dino Tripodis 04:48
Well, when I walked in here, you know, this is your world. So I you know, I was walking in quietly and respectfully fairs because I don’t know. Other than you know Hmm, who am coming up in meeting and so forth and so on. So, you know, I, I try not to enter a room and be on. Okay. I don’t like to be on, but
Tim Fulton 05:11
we both met those guy. Yes, right. Yeah.
Dino Tripodis 05:16
But I can definitely when I see that, okay, now I gotta be on. I can, you know, this is what they want. Yeah, I can I can switch in and I find that a lot in radio with appearances and radio and and definitely stand up you know, they they people have an expectation sometimes yeah and of theirs who you think you are and what you are and what they think you are and what you are. And sometimes the two don’t always mesh. So you’ve got to say, Okay, well, they think I’m this way, and that’s probably my fault.
Tim Fulton 05:50
And it’s kind of okay, it’s okay. Because this turn it on. It is an
Dino Tripodis 05:54
extension of you. And it is an extension of you. So it’s fine. Yes. And walking in here today. Hey, you know, just coming into Tim’s world and let me guest on his podcast. He’s not on my podcast, which we forgot to mention the podcast, please. Whiskey business?
Tim Fulton 06:08
Yes. And how did you start it? I want
Dino Tripodis 06:12
to just just wanted to, I think doing a podcast would be fun. We’ve done it for now a little over seven years. Okay. So you know, it was the time when when there wasn’t a million podcasts. But there were a decent amount of podcasts. And we still like to do it. And I love to do it. And we’re not getting rich or famous off of it. But we are being satisfied creatively by doing it. We love to do it. And I think that’s that’s part of the fun of it. Absolutely. It’s on. It’s on the Evergreen podcast network now at a Cleveland last couple of years. So that’s helped boost our presence and get more subscribers. So yeah, I still we don’t do we should do weekly. Okay, very aggressive. But now we’re doing about two a month because everybody’s so busy with every other thing that they’ve got going on. So
Tim Fulton 07:03
yeah, absolutely. I mean, and I the thing that I have told other people who are like, I want to start podcasts, what do you what do you what do I need to know? Or what do I need to do? And the biggest thing is like you can Google anything, everything like it’s super, it’s not difficult, but consistency is absolutely key. The key we are maybe this is my Mia culpa to my listeners that I went dark sort of from like, the last episode was in like, April, but really the last episode was like November of 2020, to jump back in with all those city council candidates and the mayoral candidates, and now you I think are the will be the third episode after that, but only the second guests like and trying to get back to
Dino Tripodis 07:51
and not a candidate and not a candidate that you’re not running. You know, it’s funny that over the length of time I’ve been in Columbus, I have been approached, uh huh. At certain times for certain things. And I said, No, no, another story another time. Yeah. Okay. But no, not not my thing. I don’t spend definitely not these days.
Tim Fulton 08:17
What? political climate?
Dino Tripodis 08:19
I mean, this political climate in general, yeah. Okay. So you know, I can I can, I can deal with the political climate on my own and have my own opinions and have my own thoughts and get involved in my own debates. But to step into that role right now, and if that sounds like well, you don’t want to make a difference. You don’t want to make a change? Yeah, I do. That’s why I don’t want to do it now. Because I find it it seems virtually impossible to evoke any type of serious change right now and things just, but that don’t even know why we’re going down this route.
Tim Fulton 08:56
And we hope that it’ll get better, of course, yeah, of course. Let’s go back a little bit to and we can talk about because you’ve had, again, a multi hyphenate sort of career rain. But I think what most people know you for is your time at Sunday. 95. It’s the biggest amplifier that you’ve had. Right, right.
Dino Tripodis 09:17
For sure. Yeah, none of this other stuff, I would think would have come into play. If it weren’t for Sunday. 95. And that was a happy accident. And I’ve told you personally, that story before I was a stand up comedian. I was a guest on the show. I would make frequent appearances there. And then one year they when I was living out in LA pursuing my my stand up career, they said would you like to be the co host with Bob Simpson, a guy who I had popped on the show with who was hosting the show? And I said no, like three times. They finally wore me down and I decided you know what, speaking of my daughter who was turning 13 years of age at the time, I thought this might be a good I bet on the road. Living in LA, it might be a good time, a good year to come back and be closer to my daughter work. add something to the resume. And when it doesn’t work out, you know, Okay, nice try go back to LA but I’ll have this year of bonding with my kid. Because it was a contract, right? It wasn’t there was kind of a contract. Yes, it was a contract. But you know, the contracts, still to this day are always in favor of the radio station, you sign a four year contract, but if they want to dump you after year, one or two, they they can find cause that’s just the nature of the beast, okay. And after the first year, this show didn’t fly that I was on it was Bob Simpson and company and was actually creatively a great show
Tim Fulton 10:46
it just you are not on the marquee. To be clear, as Bob Simpson
Dino Tripodis 10:49
and CO I were part of CO you were the CO I was part of the CO and Bob was let go. And we were left myself, Stacy McKay, Mike Elliot, who now is with I heart and program director. He was our producer at the time, Clark Donnelly. And we all just said, You know what, they’re probably gonna, that was in October, the following year, and I said, they’re probably gonna get a new Morning Show in January. So let’s just pretend like every show is our last one and have a blast. Okay. Okay, we did that. There was some chemistry there. The ratings went up. And in January, when we got pulled into the general manager’s office, I was, I was waiting for the thank you for this sorry, this experiment didn’t work out. And then they offer a four year contract for Dina and Stacey and the rest as they say is is history
Tim Fulton 11:42
and for and so then 23 more years of that 24
Dino Tripodis 11:45
more years in different and different because Stacy left and Stacey got Stacy got a surprise, you know, pregnancy Lake life and she wasn’t expecting that. And she took time off to do that. And then she left and went to another station then came back. And then I left and now I came back and and so yeah, but this is definitely this one. This is it. There’s no more anybody leaves now is going to be gone. They’re gone. Gone gone at this point. But yeah,
Tim Fulton 12:15
and do you? I don’t necessarily want to get into a conversation about the industry as a whole. And I’m going to have to figure out at some point one of my first podcast interviews ever was with Johnny D Loretto.
Dino Tripodis 12:28
I love Johnny.
Tim Fulton 12:29
I do too, talking about what what it’s like being in that field, because TV, Morning News and morning radio are not that different. Are they
Dino Tripodis 12:39
only in that, you know, you actually have to be presentable for morning TV for morning radio, if you have you if you’ve, you know, whatever you’ve done the night before, and you want to sleep an extra 20 minutes and roll out of bed and Yeah, put on a hat and go you can
Tim Fulton 12:54
write Yeah, but there is this constant feeling of like, oh, the hammer might just come down today. And I guess my my question is, do you think the Columbus market is any different in terms of how its how its dealt with or what you think you dealt with?
Dino Tripodis 13:15
I can’t speak to television, but I can tell you in respects to radio, it’s one of the few markets where there seems to be a deep seated loyalty. I mean, there are more longer running entities of hosts in this market than I’ve seen in others. It’s not uncommon for a gig and radio to last three or four years and then something happens and then they move on. You’ve got guys like Jerry Elliott who have been at QFN for 30 plus years woody it was at you know that CLL forever and a day the morning zoo Dave and Jimmy longtime established entities myself 24 year run at Sinai those are those are to have that many entities of a show from a host perspective last that long in some way shape or form is well sane and then went in especially in one market let alone you know have have one of those people be a long long standing entity is one thing but to have like three and four different radio stations that have this longevity, it’s nuts.
Tim Fulton 14:26
Well, I don’t know this is that there is a bite you been? You have worked under like a new owner before and there’s there’s some been some consolidation of that market. Right?
Dino Tripodis 14:41
We are saga communications, right. We’ve always been saga communications. We’ve never been bought out by anybody. The CEO of our company had Christian who started the company passed away last year. But you know, the mantle has been picked up and taken and run with to keep saga communications saga. Okay. Columbus is one of their bigger markets for SATA communications, Columbus, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Virginia, they don’t have big stations in New York or right or Chicago, and they’ve done well with that, you know, being middle market, a middle market radio station entity. You know, saga communications is one of the few radio entities is actually still trading well on the stock market. So, okay, so there you go. They’re doing something right. My background,
Tim Fulton 15:34
at least from a journalism perspective is in print. And there’s been such a consolidation there, right. It’s in print. Yeah, yeah. It’s basically going to, at least for what we experienced here in Columbus, and I guess I had assumed maybe that there was some consolidation happening in the media in other forums. That is happening to an extent, right, like QFN got bought it so
Dino Tripodis 15:59
that we don’t care if you have QF.
Yeah. Okay. We
Dino Tripodis 16:02
bought qfM. Okay, so yeah, when you say and that respects Yes, we have picked up some smaller stubble kingdoms on a smaller station. QFN was one of our, our bigger purchases, we have Q FM, sign 95. Rewind and mix. Okay, we have four stations. So in that respect, yes, there has been consolidation and grabbing other other entities to put into your, your bundle. Yeah, a better word, just like I heard has, you know, the station, this station, this station, this station and this station? They they’re, they’re huge. Well,
Tim Fulton 16:32
they’re the beasts, right. I mean, they’re the ones using David, Jimmy and disseminating their voice across market. Right, right. Right. Right. Right. Do you think it’s important for? And I think I know the answer to this question already. Right. Do you think it’s important to have local hosts personalities folks, doing not only morning shows, but also just the content throughout the day?
Dino Tripodis 16:59
Yeah, I do. I do. I think I think it at the end of the day, which I hate that expression, but I’m gonna use it anyway. I think local is important. You know, let’s be honest, people can get music, wherever and however they want, anytime they want. So in especially in respects to morning shows. I still think there’s a local element, but it’s getting harder. I mean, yeah, you know, there’s with so many choices being out there. I mean, you got to work a little harder and a little a little longer in order to keep to keep yourself in the game. They have options. So but some people still still like identifying with a morning show. And some people longtime listeners who have been you know, they, they were very gracious when I left and sad. They were even more gracious when I came back. And I had a that amazed me, that amazed me because, you know, it’s it’s, I’ve never understood people who thought that they were the they were it. Okay, okay, you know, sitting on top of a mountain, you know, I am, I am the king and No, you go away people forget you. I mean, it’s just like it. That’s and I’ve always believed that to be true. You know, you’re gonna be here forever. You’re like, no, no, I’m not, you know, I’m not the Martha King. There’s no king. I just happen to be sitting on this particular throne for a little bit. But I could easily be knocked off and forgotten. And when I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m just saying it’s the nature of the beast. They go, Oh, he’s gone. Ah, I’ll never listen to radio again until next week, right? And the next person comes in and they go, I love the new guy. I love the new guy. And that’s just the nature of the beast. So if you think that you’re nobody can replace I hate that. Nope. Nobody else will be replaced. Sure you can. Yeah, sure you can be replaced.
Tim Fulton 19:06
Let’s switch gears a little bit still saying in the radio space. What time do you have to get up in the morning in order to do morning show?
Dino Tripodis 19:14
We used to start at five in the morning and that was brutal. Okay, now we started six, which I know it’s only an hour difference, but it’s amazingly different. Okay, I happen to live about if I catch all the green lights, three and a half minutes. Okay, station, so five and a half if I get a couple of reds. So for 15 Our first alarm goes off at 415 Okay, I can get up at 415 I have another one goes off at 430 and then, you know, final warning for 45. You know that’s if if that’s your rushing alarm, know the rushing alarm is that there’s, there’s there’s there’s a 12 minute drill. I’ve got it down to a 1212 minute drill. All right at 5am At 5am There’s a 12 minute drill I can I can go in brush my teeth, wash my face, maybe not get a shower, but as if there’s a 12 minute drill where I can gulp down in espresso coffee, boom, boom, boom, and be out the door by 515. There you go. Yeah. Now I don’t like the five the 12 minute drill, but I know it’s available to me. 45 as the as the cut off as far as leisurely time, you know, a little more rushed. Yeah, but there’s a 12 minute drill.
Tim Fulton 20:30
What else don’t folks know about that process they’ve seen at this point folk video of folks sitting at a desk and doing their thing and read and I don’t remember what they’re called. But reading the the interstitial, like the house ads and all the sponsorships and reshare traffic doing that. But what’s the what do you find that people are sort of surprised by when they hear about doing morning radio, when
Dino Tripodis 20:57
people come in? And actually we have guests that come and visit? Sometimes they go through and they’re always amazed that it’s not scripted. Yeah. You know, that what we’re saying is not scripted that like, you know, oh, my gosh, you guys just you know, and what I tell people all the time, is it’s, it’s harder than you think to make it look and sound that easy. Yeah. Okay, like, Oh, what do you do you talk for three and a half minutes, and then you play a song. And the job’s easy. Okay, well, you know what, you come in, day in and day out, and do it, you know, Monday through Friday, and come up and have you know, and come up with thoughts and ideas and be fresh and be original and and continue to do that day. Yeah, you. You go ahead
Tim Fulton 21:47
and join. Also you are pushing right. So forgive me for folks who may not have been in Columbus very long and have not listened to Sunday 95. It is in my head, the radio station that your mom listens to in the minivan in terms of content most of the day, most
Dino Tripodis 22:04
of the day, but that’s not necessarily true anymore. I mean, that was probably when you were when you were in high school. Is it still called Hot AC? It’s Adult Contemporary. Okay. Adult Contemporary vixen. A little bit of hot AC in there. I mean, you know,
Tim Fulton 22:18
we’re playing. is Amy Grant Still in?
Dino Tripodis 22:22
She is not. Okay. That’s a fair question. I That’s a fair question. Because you’re not going to hear there was a sunny at the time where Amy Grant and Celine Dion and Michael Bolden and that that world was sunny and it’s gotten a little bit more progressive as far as the music
Tim Fulton 22:39
got. So it’s not so but I will certainly if I listened for an hour, I will hear Michelle Branch. No, okay. Okay. No, that is me, miss. Okay. No,
Dino Tripodis 22:50
you will not know you will hear if you listen for an hour. You will hear Miley Cyrus. Okay. You will hear
Tim Fulton 22:59
but I’m hearing wrecking ball. I’m not hearing hearing flowers. Okay. Okay.
Dino Tripodis 23:05
Actually, you’re hearing flowers a lot.
Because that gives the people what
Dino Tripodis 23:10
they want. Yeah. You hear that in rotation quite a bit. There was a throwback, a little bit of a throwback on Sunday 95 In the last year, so we’re Delilah came back. And love socks with Delilah came back at nighttime. And we that was a staple at Sinai for a long time. Indeed.
Tim Fulton 23:28
I’m sorry. You just unlocked the core memory.
Dino Tripodis 23:32
Of she’s back at nighttime broadcasting from the farm. Okay, are they Oh, she does it? I don’t know. Well, she syndicated Yes. indicated.
Tim Fulton 23:40
But was she gone for time? We certainly wasn’t subscribed, I
Dino Tripodis 23:46
suddenly was subscribing God. And then she came back. Yeah. So Okay, a little bit of a throwback to back in the day. That
Tim Fulton 23:52
is the Car Talk Adult Contemporary. It’s just okay.
Dino Tripodis 23:59
Tim Fulton 24:03
There you go. What I was trying to get to was, I have always been impressed with your ability to treat that audience as such a way that you’re able to sort of like walk up to the lie, right? You’re able to be like, Hey, I’m the you know, I might be your brother. I might be the guy you want to date. I’m a little bit I’m saying things that you certainly aren’t going to say. But I’m not offending you at all. No.
Dino Tripodis 24:34
And it’s it’s a type of thing where the, when you’re walking up to the line and the parents in the car and they’re laughing because they get it they know how close I’ve come to the line. Yeah, and if there are children in the backseat, you know, they don’t know that there’s been a line and they definitely don’t know that something’s been crossed and right. And if anything, they’re saying Why are you laughing? Mom? Yeah.
Tim Fulton 24:53
What it’s not even like the Shrek jokes, right? It’s not even the like I’m saying something that goes Over the kid’s head, right? You’re doing the ones that the 13 year olds does that.
Dino Tripodis 25:05
I tried to do. And yeah, but I know what the I know what the line is. And I remarkably remarkably have not. It’s a Hone skill, the crush, right and you know, being fined or fired because I said the wrong thing. Yeah, but, ya know, that’s nobody more surprised than myself. Said, I don’t know I gotta I gotta do something. I got to do something. I don’t jinx myself. And tomorrow morning, I’m gonna say the wrong thing. And I’m gonna be damaged. Tim.
Tim Fulton 25:39
He walked me up to it. Talk a little bit about your other endeavors. We’ve talked about the podcast we talked about Sonny. I do credit you with giving me an IMDB credit. How so? You? It was in? Funny, man. Oh,
Dino Tripodis 25:58
my very first short film. That’s right. Yes. That’s right. I
Tim Fulton 26:03
am in one of your films. Oh, my God. You
Dino Tripodis 26:05
are you are? Oh,
Tim Fulton 26:07
you are not sorry. Oh, it’s okay. You’re not the only film that I have. I think you are actually my second and most recent credit, meaning I only have two credits, I MIB but talk about your first of all, how you got into film. And where you find your sweet spot in it now okay.
Dino Tripodis 26:30
Yeah, that’s fair. I, my very boy, funny man was the first short film they ever did. And just to show you how naive and not stupid but just you know, it’s a 42 minute short film that’s not a short film. A short film is 15 minutes. 20 minutes. Okay, a 42 minute film. At that point, we just should have made a feature film. Yeah, and moved on. But I still liked the funny man for some of the elements that are in it. I liked that I liked the the story behind it. It was presented to me by someone else gave me the story. And I said I’ll do this, if you let me rework it a little bit. Because the concept was there, he wanted to do something about a comedian who was kind of, you know, in the throes of it and you know, not just hadn’t had missed that boat too big success. And yeah, I mean, was and was capitalizing on the other parks that the job would bring you and respects to women and drinking and so forth, and so on. So in that respect, I’m proud of it that way. And there’s still a great, there’s still a great scene in that film with Jennifer Schaaf and myself at the bar, talking about the definition of the one romantically speaking, which I honestly think and I’m, you know, me, Tim, I’m very critical of everything I do. I think that particular scene can hold up just about anywhere as far as the dynamic between two people talking about love and the one I think it’s, it’s by far one of my favorite scenes.
Tim Fulton 28:13
What aspect of that though? What are you talking about the writing? Are
Dino Tripodis 28:16
you talking at the end them and the acting performances? Yeah, there was just the two things you were fully in control? Yeah. Yeah. And I didn’t direct it. Mike McGregor directed that but I was, you know, there’s, there’s the when you’re making film, there’s a lot of deliberate three lines and cut. And you know, with this, this was literally one shot for eight minutes in, you know, that’s uncommon. Yeah. Where we didn’t move and cut away from something else. And it was so it was very unique in that perspective. So you could actually feel like you were in that moment. And the funny man, but yes, that was the very first film that I actually wrote and produced and, and put out there the very first film I ever did, I thought would never come to the light of day. Okay, as filmed in 1988. Okay, was a horror film. And it’s called heartland of darkness and it languished in obscurity for 30 plus years. And then somebody finally got it together because in the horror genre, there was a woman by the name of Linnea Quigley called Queen of the screams. Okay, and this is the type of this is this is the type of horror film though they call them Satanic Panic films. Okay. There’s a genre there’s a world Yeah, and this film fit in that world. And after 35 years, it was unearthed and brought out on Blu ray and DVD and streaming as we speak. And you can see a very young, young in his 20s denature proteins No, maybe 29 Yeah, okay, it’s not good. And yet I’d then again you’re always amazed like, oh my god, i This is the worst possible thing could happen to me. And then you read these reviews from critics in that genre. Yeah. And they’re
Tim Fulton 30:18
in that genre. They’re great. They’re
Dino Tripodis 30:20
complimenting you. They’re, they’re, they’re, they’re finally I’m like, you know, all I see is that you know, the there was this script and the end of the time. Nothing but earnest. You were in LA at the No, no, it was shot here. It was shot here was shot in Grandville. Ah, Granville Granville, doubled for copper tin, Ohio. Okay, were there a string of horrible satanic murders? And so yeah, my my. I’ve dabbled with film, but then and now to where we are now. Yeah. Four years ago, we did the street where we live, which was a labor of love. Streaming now streaming now as we speak on Amazon and Tubi. And a bunch of other things. Very proud of that movie. One best feature at the glass City Film Festival up in. Was Detroit or Toledo. Okay, okay. Anyway. Um, yeah, and as has been expanded to a bigger audience via YouTube, I think YouTube has something where they can get movies, and that expanded it to a whole new audience, very proud of that film. I co wrote it, produced it, and I’m in it. As an actor, reluctant actor, I play Ben, and I’m very proud of that film, which leads us to where we are now. With down to the felt, which is by far the most ambitious and biggest thing I’ve ever been involved with, as far as a independent film goes, okay. That starts shooting in April of 2024. And we are currently raising the funds for it as we speak. We have a big fundraiser November the 15th. At Central grip, which is a great facility that that is going to be part of our our family. Okay, start making the film. It’ll be a shoot location or Yeah, it well, the their, their equipment, their people, their gear, their their talents, I wouldn’t ever know. It’s, they make movies, they make movies, they make videos, they do projects, and well, now the name grip makes sense. So they’re, they’re in the mix. That’s where we’re having the actual fundraiser on November the 15th. And and it’s for investors, it’s for investors in the film, we’re great. We are we are still looking for investors to finish off our $1.5 million budget. I’ve never had a $1.5 million budget. And this film initially was written with the idea of just to sell the screenplay and move on. Yeah, so that was our plan. Yeah, I wrote it during the pandemic, because we were so stifled creatively with nothing to do during the pandemic, that my friends, Ralph Scott, and John was back brought this concept of this. It was the I think their working title was two minute warning. Okay, talking about how the last two minutes in any game of sports is the most exciting, you know, football Two Minute Warning for the Kentucky Derby. Two minutes. Yeah. So for the last two minutes or a basketball game, you know, why bother watching an entire basketball game, it comes down to the last two minutes. And it was kind of the basic premise of this. And I liked the idea because the initial character was a computer geek, who got involved in some gambling issues. Okay, once again, I don’t know why I keep doing this. But yeah, I liked the idea. But can we and we started changing it and adapting it to where we are now, which is still a compulsive gambler, but that’s what he is. He is a compulsive gambler, and he is on a bad roll. In the beginning of the film, he loses the downpayment on a house for him and his fiancee in a poker game. He gets fired from his job, he doubles down on a basketball bet he loses that, you know, so now he’s in deep deep and rather than be you know, take the chance of being killed by the mob since he can’t pay his debt. Whatever the case might be. Yeah, he has a happy happy accident or meeting with a psychotic but devout Jewish hitman. Okay, and the hilarity ensues. So it’s a comedy, it’s a dark comedy, there’s comedy in it a lot of action. It’s called down to the felt and the heat and a drunken stupor but not completely drunk and he makes a deal with the Hitman you. You kill me in two weeks. So I am legitimately dead and my mother can get my insurance money, but I want two weeks to take it down to the felt. This is what I got left in my kitty. I want two weeks to take a run at it. You know if I win, yay, more money for me. Um if I lose she still gets the insurance my
Tim Fulton 35:02
some some very and certainly I’m not saying it’s not an original story but to picture it it’s some variation of uncut gems and Leaving Las Vegas shore
Dino Tripodis 35:13
a little break a leather you know you draw from all kinds yeah it’s an especially in Mississippi Mississippi grind was a was another game of Rounders there’s comparisons galore lucky aces I can’t
Tim Fulton 35:27
remember love Rounders and it’s much under appreciated.
Dino Tripodis 35:31
So those are elements about it, but yeah, but but the characters are and then he meets a woman, Scotty Thompson is on board from NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy and blacklist and she’s done a ton a ton of stuff. salvus Kusa will be at our fundraiser. A lot of people. If I say salva scusa like who journeyman actor who has been around forever starting with the 70s taking a Pelham 123 Okay, and more recently allow crocodiles for his his voice talents. He’s been in Spaceballs. He’s been a character actor on television forever. Okay, he was this this shows before your time but for some if anybody my age, as I said there was a show called soap. On two Yeah, back in the day. He was he was the the priest on soap. So he was a main character of that. And he was also the voice on the loudspeaker in mash. No kid, no TV show. Anytime you heard the loudspeaker announcements. That was him. That was him. And he also played several parts, character roles on mash throughout different seasons he played he played different things well, and certainly journeyman actor right. Yeah, like I said, He’s guys who’s been around since the 70s. He was part of our table read. We did this this massive table read that Colin Douglas, our producer in LA put together with actors from New York, Atlanta, Chicago, LA. We all came together to this big zoom read. So we want because we as the writers wanted to hear what it sounded like. So Colin put this together. And it was Colin, by the way, who convinced us that you guys shouldn’t sell this game? You should make this movie. Okay. Okay. Now we’re into deep we have to, but sow was one of the actors on that Zoom read. And as soon as we got done with that script, he called Colin immediately and said, I’m throwing my hat in the ring. For Anthony he plays he plays so sounds playing Anthony the bookie in his film, the good book, he I call him the good book. He’s like a mentor to
Tim Fulton 37:35
the Jewish bookie with the heart of gold. Now
Dino Tripodis 37:37
he’s an anti Jewish hitman, just Jewish. The Jewish Hitman does not have a heart of gold, very devout Jew, who also has a death wish. But he can’t kill himself because if he does, he won’t be able to be buried with the righteous. You see where this is going? I assume now so so our guy our lead has a death wish the Jewish Hitman has a death wish he’s open, he comes across a strong enough adversary to take him out. So that he can be buried with the righteous but he can’t kill himself. He could kill himself anytime, but he’s not gonna be able to bear it in Jewish cemetery. It’s very, very conflicting.
Tim Fulton 38:09
It’s a film, right? It’s a lot it’s supposed to be. Yeah, I guess my question is hearing this. And this is a new thought. So apologies. No
Dino Tripodis 38:17
Tim Fulton 38:18
Why do you keep writing yourself into movies?
Dino Tripodis 38:21
Why do I keep writing myself in
Tim Fulton 38:23
the movies? Because the so because I’m not in this movie? Well, I know that I’m sorry. I’m not You’re not writing yourself as an actor and right but like you’re also not a computer geek. No. And you were like, Let’s make him a gambler. Right and I sorry, inside knowledge you know how to gamble. Gamble, right? Yeah, you like to do that also funny man. About a comedian who didn’t like you are successful in your own right. But you were not successful in saying no comedy?
Dino Tripodis 38:52
No, I wouldn’t I the funny man is like, yeah, that was like an inside purge, if you will, because there was an opportunity. There was an opportunity it stand up to go to the next level. You know, I always make the comparison when I did my first national TV appearance on comic strip live on Fox. Uh huh. You know who was on that show that that night? I can tell you who is I actually no idea. I can tell you, please. It was it was denature POTUS. Uh huh. All right. Sarah Silverman. Okay, Louie CK. And David Tao.
Tim Fulton 39:30
Uh, hi. And I know David tell. Most people do but Louis like the least known of those.
Dino Tripodis 39:37
Louie CK, sir. So men have gone on to amazing careers. Yeah, yeah. It’s
Tim Fulton 39:41
David tell you to be clear. Yeah. By all means. Yeah.
Dino Tripodis 39:44
And notoriety and yeah, some good things, some not so good things. And that was that was the choice I made when I decided to take that four year contract with Sunny 95 and not go back to LA. And I remember to this day, here’s a little insights to or that I haven’t told a lot of people. Okay. The the weekend before I was starting at Sunday 95 back in 1994. Okay, Bob Simpson, who was the host of the show, came out to the funnybone. At that point, comedically speaking, I was a well oiled machine. I mean, I knew what I was doing because that is a muscle that and you’re doing
Tim Fulton 40:21
it on a regular basis that actually get into the muscle part of like, right hosting and do.
Dino Tripodis 40:27
But I was doing my show is headlining at the funnybone, the weekend before I started saying 95. And after the show, Bob Simpson comes up to me. And he says, Don’t do it. Go don’t do what he says don’t take the job.
Tim Fulton 40:43
He was he fired at that point? No, no, no, no, no, he hadn’t even been fired yet. We
Dino Tripodis 40:46
were starting our show. Okay, our that we were embarking on day, one of the year that would be our show.
Tim Fulton 40:54
And he tells me from the jump, the start
Dino Tripodis 40:57
to lay tells me the Thursday after I’ve moved myself back to Columbus, Ohio from LA and I’m starting at St. If I’m gonna he tells me Don’t do it. This is what you should be doing. And that was always been a crossroads. For me. That was a choice that I made. I did take the job. And I did go back to LA on a regular basis and perform at the Comedy Store. Yeah, my sets at the Improv thinking that this experiment and radio wouldn’t last. It did. So they made it. I made a conscious choice. I have no don’t feel sorry.
Tim Fulton 41:31
I don’t feel so
Dino Tripodis 41:32
don’t feel sorry for me that I did that. I did not become a complete comedic giant. I don’t it was my choice.
Tim Fulton 41:38
No, but it’s the you know, the theory of core memories of like, their things happen. And you’re like, I’m always going to remember this. And you don’t know that you will write. But sometimes you do. You do. You will. And you drove home that night after him seeing you. And you had a minute. I did? I did. You had a minute and you weren’t just just to sort of like, I think this context is kind of important here. You had come back. Partly, let’s say all credit to Danielle. Sure. Call it 45% For your daughter, but 55% for like this is steadier and still perform. Right? Right? This I’ve already made the choice to be in LA, I’m making the choice to be back.
Dino Tripodis 42:29
I didn’t leave and I didn’t leave la I kept everything there. Exactly. Okay. So
Tim Fulton 42:33
there’s, there’s all that you’ve got that going and there’s this person saying a person I assume you respect, saying, Hey, don’t come and do this. Yeah. And, and and guess what? A year later, he was absolutely right. But but then you over the course of a couple of months, were able to convince the powers that be I wasn’t trying? Well, but you were saying fuck it, you are literally saying like AI, whatever, I want to do my
Dino Tripodis 43:06
work. It’s just having fun and trade and present like he chose our last there’s a result that spontaneity and that enthusiasm carried through.
Tim Fulton 43:14
And I guess the point I’m trying to get to here is that creativity finds a way. Right, right. It’s
Dino Tripodis 43:20
like water yet or always finds a way in it. Is
Tim Fulton 43:25
because I want to ask functional questions about like, what is where’s the 1.5? Go? Like? Is this about how much money? Or sorry? Is about the amount of money that each actor gets? Is this certain production? Is that guy in LA? Who’s your producer getting a cut it and what? What are the potential payoffs for investors? All super important? Well, super
Dino Tripodis 43:51
important for a podcast. There is a there is there’s a document and a pitch deck. Yeah. And an explanation of the ROI the return on investment for anybody that does get invested in Yeah, there. We are seeking investors, we’re also we have Fiscal Sponsorship with wildgoose creative and so if people are looking to do a tax deductible donation, that can be that can that can come back to us, but also help themselves out as well. You know, that there’s all kinds of options available. I want to go back around because I took the very, very long way around to your question you asked, Why do I put myself Yes into these worlds? One. There’s a very simple rule of writing, which is you know, write what you know, and then write who you know. And when I said when I suggested we changed the world of this situation and put it into this gambling world with and different types of relationships. It’s a world that I know. So when I write those words, or when we wrote those But we you know, we all contributed we all like, you know, when when you talk about the like, we all contributed to the script, but there were certain parts that I got this. Yeah. So everybody’s you
Tim Fulton 45:12
didn’t believe you could believably right. computer nerd who is I probably
Dino Tripodis 45:18
could have? Yeah, probably couldn’t because it could it could because it wasn’t about his job. Okay so much because his job this guy’s day job that he gets fired from is working for a produce company. Okay, okay. Yeah,
Tim Fulton 45:29
but so you call, but you make sure this is part of the writing process, right? Make sure like, hey, does this technically checkout like, what is this reasonable for this person to say in that opening scene where you see him not doing great at his job? Does that make sense? Right, so that you’re not making basically a shitty film? Right? That one part that folks can’t get over? Yeah,
Dino Tripodis 45:53
yeah. Everything about it is very believable. The characters are very well drawn out. And, and that’s, that’s the one thing that everybody has, fortunately, and thank you, as common as is that the dialogue seems authentic. And real. You know, it. It’s what you want in a movie. It sounds like people talking, which is I know, ridiculous to say. But you watch movies where
Tim Fulton 46:24
I constantly am watching. Like, we’re in the spooky season right now. Right? And so I’m watching the Halloween movies. And I’m like, that’s bad acting. And I’m like, that’s bad writing, right? That’s not like they’re doing fine. But they’re doing what they were sold.
Dino Tripodis 46:39
And that’s when everybody on the Zoom. And then when we did the Zoom read all these actors were so complimentary, I said, but they also said, You guys made it easy, because the writing was so good. So yeah, you’re right. They do go hand in hand. You know, actors can do great things. Yeah. With with good writing. And I am proud of this, this this writing. And I want to mention John Kazbek and Ralph Scott. John is our director. He’s going to be directing it Ralph is producing it and has written it along with myself and John. Colin Douglas is our producer in LA. He’s the one who, who changed the rankled, you have changed our way of thinking and has been remarkable. Yeah. He’s also an actor as well. Okay. He’s, he’s, he’s been on a ton of stuff. In fact, he’s got I don’t know when this drops, but he’s on an episode of Quantum Leap, which is starting back up on NBC. He’s upcoming
Tim Fulton 47:32
isn’t new episode a new episode? Well, I’m an originalist.
Dino Tripodis 47:37
But I want to watch it because Collins at it. Yeah. Yeah. So he, he’s great. He’s great. And he, he was the first one that said he was, you know, with the script, like, he did it. He read it as a favor. For him and Ralph were friends for years. And he read it as a favor. And you know, like, okay, he even says he admits it. I’m gonna read it, because that’s Ralphie. And then he read it like, we’re okay. Yeah,
Tim Fulton 48:05
but isn’t a little bit. Sorry. I don’t know what a script sells for. Do you have a concept of
Dino Tripodis 48:10
that? Can sell for anything from you know,
Tim Fulton 48:13
what’s the low end like, Hey, we’re taking not even like, taking control of it. But like, yes, we intend to produce this at some point. That’s the
Dino Tripodis 48:21
point. That’s the funny thing about scripts, I got friends who are screenwriters that live here locally, who have sold the same script repeatedly? Because a studio will take a script, and they will buy it, and they will option it and then back then and and, and it expires, the spire expires expires. And so somebody could take that that writer can sell it that screenwriter can sell that script again,
Tim Fulton 48:41
what are they selling that script for ours? No, sorry, the script that your friends have written, just as an example of this one down to the felt no, sorry, a script that they have sold. I don’t know what a script so I don’t know. I don’t know. I
Dino Tripodis 48:56
don’t know what they’ve made. But but they’ve but they’ve managed to pay the rent or the mortgage, and stay comfortable. There you go with by selling certain scripts. And, and some scripts have been purchased by by studios, because they don’t want the script out there. And because they have another simply have a very similar type of project that maybe maybe isn’t as good of a script who’s good as a film. So the by this film,
Tim Fulton 49:21
and they can incorporate some things in if they want, they just want it off the market. Okay,
Dino Tripodis 49:26
they don’t want anybody else to make this script because they have a film just like this. So there’s all kinds of fun, and that was the goal. Let’s just write this great script but sell it and then we’ll start with good we have other ideas in the pipeline, which we do. Okay, but now we’re now we’re making a movie. So in April where you’re going to shoot for 24 to 27 days and and and see what the hell happens.
Tim Fulton 49:45
There you go. I have so many more questions of I know, but I wanted that production process.
Dino Tripodis 49:50
I do and I want to I want to be a little bit of a whore if I if I can be leased for just a moment and and hang on a second and and tell people if they are interested. And being a part of this fundraising event, you can go to info at big deal. pictures.com I
Tim Fulton 50:10
end every interview. Yeah, by asking two questions. Sure. And this is going to diverge hugely for I hope, from what we’ve talked about. What do you think Columbus is doing? Well, and what do you think Columbus is not doing? So well.
Dino Tripodis 50:26
I think they’re doing an excellent job and continuing to grow. Culturally, creatively. And socially, I think this is a great place to live having been here since you know, back cemented back here since 1994. And able to watch the growth and and watch it not only grow but not necessarily stagnate, you know, just continue and when something does seem to be a little sluggish you don’t see him given up on it just yet. You know, you see neighborhoods over the years that were dismissed and and then seemingly written off being rejuvenated and brought back to life so that’s what I think Columbus continues to do great on a regular basis is grow and prosper. And and don’t let if something burns down to the ashes don’t just leave it ashes that something rises some sort of nice Ohio Phoenix rises from his ashes and I think it’s great yeah.
Tim Fulton 51:39
What is it not doing so well?
Dino Tripodis 51:41
What is it not doing so well? Win in any hockey games
Tim Fulton 51:53
fair. That’s fair.
Dino Tripodis 51:56
They’re not Where did that he’s deadly cuffs. No, that’s that’s that’s one particular entity. I want blue jackets matter. I had tickets for 10 years. season tickets for 10 years and the club level I languished I you know, and I still go from time to time but ah, yeah, it’s frustrating when you see a new team like, like the knights in Vegas that have been hockey for an hour and they have a Stanley Cup. Yeah. So what I think that the what was the original question to get what
Tim Fulton 52:29
is Columbus not doing so well as long as as a community as a you know, as a city?
Dino Tripodis 52:37
Mm hmm. Not doing so well. I boy that’s a tough one for me, because there’s things that I bitch about. Yeah. You know, our infrastructure. But, but then I also see them attempting to fix that. I would like to see the one thing I really would like to see them do better and really get on is a rail system. Okay, I would like to see that rail system come to be I would like to get on a train and go to Cleveland or Cincinnati, or even Chicago from here. I would like to see that rail system come to come to beat because I’ve heard talk about it for decades upon decades. And that’s the one thing that you know, I haven’t seen come to fruition. Do it before I die. Let me get on train. Let me go choo choo. Let me go choo choo. before it’s all said and done. All right. All right.
Tim Fulton 53:35
Dino. Thank you know, Tim, thank you. record that one more time because of that. Dino, thank you know, Tim,
Dino Tripodis 53:42
thank you. Thank you
Tim Fulton 53:55
Thank you for listening to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. Again, you can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast.com Please rate subscribe, share this episode of The confluence cast with your friends, family, contacts, enemies, your favorite filmmaker. If you’re interested in sponsoring the confluence cast, get in touch with us. We can be reached by email at info at the confluence cast.com Our theme music was composed by Benji Robinson, our producers Phil Cogley, I’m your host, Tim Fulton. Have a great week.