My SyFy Experience with Director Jim Wynorski

The Wrap

If you haven't seen a SyFy Original Film, you aren't living. They're some of the best/worst pieces of entertainment you will ever see, having become infamous thanks to loyal fans.

These films exploit every cliché, trip over hundreds of illogical outcomes, fall into every possible ridiculous scenario, yet somehow they are just so damn fun to watch. Apparently, according to many fan sites, the only real way to get the full effect of these films is to watch them in a large group where audience participation is mandatory.

Also read: Hollywood's Disabled React to NBC's 'Ironside' Casting: Give Us a Chance, Too

I've been lucky enough to work on two Syfy films so far: "Camel Spiders" and "Piranhaconda" -- both of which have made many "worst/best" SyFy titles ever and both directed by the great man himself, Jim Wynorski.

Jim is a 25-year veteran in the Hollywood exploitation field, has over 150 film credits and is the subject of one of the best documentary films ever: "Popatopolis." To understand Jim you just need one quote: "I love big tits, who doesn't. If you don't, who wants to know ya." 

Jim is frank, upfront, blunt, honest, what some might consider crude, and most of all he is blind. At least, he is blind to those categorizations we as a society see far too often.

He doesn't care if you are old or young, what "race" you are, a man or a woman, disabled or not. He didn't care at all that I am an amputee. He didn't think, "Ah, Kurt can't play a hero type because he's disabled" or, "He's missing a limb so let's stick him in a hospital as a military veteran" or, "His disability might be a liability on set so let's not hire him."

He didn't bother with that line of thought. He saw me as an actor, read me for a role, saw me as that role and cast me.

See photos: 20 Physically Disabled Characters Played by Able-Bodied Actors

He didn't consult with the writers to add in a part for my leg to be exploited or change the character to being "disabled." He didn't worry about me when I slid down two flights of stairs in "Piranhaconda" or ran across a 150-foot-tall gangplank in "Camel Spiders." He didn't see anything except the man I am.

Yes, Jim is "blind." He casts actors with disabilities into roles that don't call for the character to have a disability. He auditions actors with disabilities for non-disabled roles.

He is unable to see those perceived limitations, and he's blazing a trail so that others might see.

He is a good man, with flaws like the rest of us, but he doesn't see my disability, why should you?

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