I just learned that my friend David Scheve died Saturday morning. I'm not quite sure I've processed it yet.
If you've seen any of my posts on facebook in the last few years, then you've probably seen David's name in the comments. He was an up-and-coming filmmaker who'd recently started his own series, Hard Knock Rock. Animated shorts that took the style of Schoolhouse Rock and combined it with modern topics, David's work used humor to mask the seriousness of the subjects he was discussing.
But years before all that, he was a salesperson at the 57th and 5th Warner Brothers Studio Store, selling animation art with a borderline obsession for the art form. I was just a college kid at the time, and my similar passion for all things comic books instantly gave us something to talk about in between trying to get tourists to buy portraits of Bugs Bunny. But it was our similar sense of humor that made us friends.
One of my fondest memories of David was when the two of us went to see the remastered version of The Exorcist when it hit theaters years ago. There weren't many people in that particular daytime screening, which was probably for the best, as David had decided to add to the script here and there. Now normally I'm a stickler for complete silence during a movie, but there wasn't much I could do to curtail David's impulses, and to his credit, he only chimed in now and again.
At one point during the movie, there was a scratching, shuffling sound coming from the family's attic. David leaned over to me and said, "I think it's Jawas." We started laughing and for no reason whatsoever, so did the rest of the theater. And during the unique scene when the main character is repeatedly stabbing herself in a very sensitive region with a crucifix, David shouted, "Oh no she didn't!" instantly turning a disturbing moment of film into a excerpt from The Ricki Lake Show.
David and I lost touch for a while, but had reconnected over facebook in recent years. He was incredibly supportive of my career, and I don't think I repaid the favor as much as I should have. The truth is, I was always proud of David, and enjoyed watching him do the very thing he set out in life to do. It was clear he was just getting started, which makes this whole thing all the more frustrating.
If you're interested in seeing some of David's work, you can watch one of his movies here. Warning: it's very much not safe for work. But neither was David.