Donavon Warren

Shines a Light on Fear with his New Movie Vampire Apocalypse.

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Donavon Warren is an accomplished actor, screenplay writer, prominent movie director, high-profile producer, and relentless businessman. His new movie “Vampire Apocalypse” goes into production this summer.

April 2022 // Vol. 001

Paradox Magazine

The World’s Distinguished Luxury Lifestyle Magazine.

Donavon Warren Shines a Light on Fear with his New Movie Vampire Apocalypse.

Donavon Warrren Movies

When you think of Hollywood, you think of glitz, glamor, fancy cars, and star wagon trailers. Donavon Warren doesn’t come from that world. The relentless actor is blazing a path through Hollywood by putting in the time and effort eight days a week. He wakes up at 3 am, works until 10 pm, and has a work ethic that knows no limitations. He aggressively works every day to climb higher up the ladder as a Hollywood star director, producer, writer, and actor. In Warren’s case, it’s not a matter of if, but when. This is the crazy story about the time I met Donavon Warren and how he ultimately changed my fear of failure.

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be Will Smith from Men in Black. He used all these high-tech gadgets and saved the world from aliens. I thought he was the coolest person on the planet. Like any kid who grew up watching action movies…I wanted to be a movie star. I wondered what it took to get there. I imagined it took a tremendous amount of work. The process of becoming a movie star involves putting yourself out there for auditions and constantly being in the public eye. The largest deterrent was certainly the fear of failure.

While the fear of failure scared me, I decided to look into what it took to become an actor. Maybe I would find out if it was my true calling or if there was a spark. I had to do more research to find out. I searched for some of the biggest sacrifices actors made for their roles. This is how I came across Warren and his 2014 film “Wheels.” As an actor, Warren transformed himself into a wheelchair-bound heroin addict. He did this by losing 50 pounds, on a diet consisting of an apple and a can of tuna per day. I was floored by the film, with Warren’s performance being the standout. He was not only stellar as the lead, but I found out that he also produced and co-directed it. He signed up for medical testing and sold his car. The stories were legendary and I needed to find out more.

After looking up Warren, it was a genuine surprise that he is nothing like the character he portrayed in Wheels, which is a testament to his acting ability. I found an actor dedicated to his artistry and not only that, he can seize any role necessary in making a film: writer, director, producer, and on-screen talent. It seems like he could do it all. I even found out that along with his production company Loaded Dice Films, he operates a supplement company that manufactures the nootropic brain supplement Iso Brain. He also owns and operates a digital agency called Loaded Media. Even better, he was working on his next movie, “Vampire Apocalypse,” which places Warren in the middle of a post-apocalyptic world overrun with virus-infested vampires.

I decided to take a chance to meet him once I figured out that he operates in Los Angeles. I pitched the idea to my editor, who happens to be a huge vampire fanatic, and he was all for it. He also said that if I did a great job, this would be the cover story. It was definitely a shot in the dark as I knew he was supremely busy but I contacted Loaded Dice Films to see if he was available for an interview. To my surprise, he contacted me later that afternoon. He came across as super positive and kind, saying that he’d love to meet a fellow writer and journalist. I was somewhat nervous but definitely excited to learn from someone so accomplished.

He came across as super positive and kind, saying that he’d love to meet a fellow writer and journalist. I was somewhat nervous but definitely excited to learn from someone so accomplished.

He came across as super positive and kind, saying that he’d love to meet a fellow writer and journalist. I was somewhat nervous but definitely excited to learn from someone so accomplished.

My editor suggested we set up the interview and photoshoot in Malibu. I happily obliged because I was excited to cruise down PCH for the first time. In every direction, the scenery and views were amazing under the beautiful California sunset.

There wasn’t a better time to roll down the windows, turn the music up, and enjoy the drive. I was equally excited to meet Warren as well, which fed into the moment.

When I got to Paradise Cove, I was blown away. The ocean was beautiful and the sun was shining. It was like something off of a postcard. I noticed Donavon Warren immediately. He was finishing up the Paradox shoot right there on the beach. I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting a glimpse of what Hollywood life feels like. Even some of the waitstaff were looking on and whispering to each other.

When I walked up, he quickly smiled like he knew who I was. He asked the photographer for a moment then jogged over and greeted me with his billion-dollar smile. He reached out to shake hands, it was strong and sure. He radiated a magnetism that everyone in the area felt. He told me that he would be done with the photoshoot in just a moment and that he was looking forward to learning more about me. It was a surprising and refreshing gesture. I was not used to this kind of interaction from high-profile personalities.

We walked over to the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe patio, just a few feet from where the shoot was. Being right on the water, this place was known for its fresh, local seafood. Our waitress introduced herself and handed us our menus. Warren glanced at the menu and ordered the iced seafood sampler without hesitation. A moment later, she delivers a platter the size of a bathtub to our table. It was loaded with shrimp, clams, crab, sashimi, mussels, lobster, and every kind of seafood imaginable. Sitting on the beach, eating seafood, and enjoying the view almost made me forget that I was doing work.  After digging in for a little bit, I decided it was a good time to discuss Vampire Apocalypse and gather some insight into his life.

The first thing I asked about was the sudden change in genre between Wheels and Vampire Apocalypse. Warren mentioned that while he started Wheels as this dark, edgy idea of playing a heroin addict, he always had a deep admiration of the sci-fi genre, which Vampire Apocalypse is. Though the title suggests horror, the story has major sci-fi action elements and will focus on a character-driven story.

The story will feature quick and bloodthirsty monsters, born out of a mysterious virus. Warren will be playing the hero as Winston, a father tasked with finding medicine to save his daughter’s arm from amputation.

A group of survivors, including his wife and daughter, have to leave their tropical island home to go to the mainland in search of a cure. Nothing like the beautiful tropical setting we were in right now.

What sets the movie apart from any other post-apocalyptic storyline is Warren’s writing, which will focus on the love story between the husband and his wife Dorothy. Their love and struggle is the main focus as we journey through this post-apocalyptic vampire world. Combined with the fact that everyone’s lives are at stake, including their daughters. The pandemic was also a huge influence on the writing for Warren. With the pandemic taking so much away from people, it fueled his inspiration to write this story.

Warren had a history of turning around bad situations… From making his movie Wheels with no money to writing a story inspired by Covid. I was impressed by the way he was able to turn a negative into a positive. From the businesses, to the acting, to the writing, he also did everything with such ease and confidence. This was something I wanted more insight into.

I decided to put myself out there and mentioned that confidence was something that I was lacking recently. He genuinely wanted to help and commended me for being open and honest. He told me that confidence was something that was earned and not given. He said people get confidence by facing their fears head-on. It is not something that is natural or comes easy. It is earned through hard work and challenging your fears.

We had been talking for a while and the sun had gone down by this point. As we were on our way out, our server had warned us to watch our step as it was dark and they were laying down a new brick pathway. Suddenly, Warren’s demeanor lit up like he had an epiphany. He kindly asked if we could borrow a marker and take one of the unused bricks. She was puzzled but didn’t see the harm in doing so. I was as confused as she was.

I decided to put myself out there and mentioned that confidence was something that I was lacking recently. He genuinely wanted to help and commended me for being open and honest.

I decided to put myself out there and mentioned that confidence was something that I was lacking recently. He genuinely wanted to help and commended me for being open and honest.

He leaned over and picked up one of the bricks. He dusted it off and handed it to me. I still didn’t know what was going on and was more stumped than ever.

He said it was time to face something fearful. My heart started beating, what had I got myself into.  He gave me the marker and told me to write only one phrase that encapsulates what was holding me back.

I wrote “FEAR OF FAILURE.”

He nods in an affirming fashion and pats me on the back. He then instructs me that we’re going back to the beach, going into the water and throwing the brick in the cold ocean. Mind you, it’s pitch-black out and the water is freezing in the middle of December. This whole idea seemed ridiculous. I didn’t want to do this and it was not something I signed up for.

It was now 59 degrees outside when we arrived at the shoreline. God knows what the temperature of the water was, but it was freezing. As we walked in, I could already feel my legs numbing from the cold. We ventured out to the sea and all we can hear are the waves and our involuntary oohs and ahhs. We swam out further to where the water is just under our chins. It’s unbearably cold. I thought of the scene in Titanic where Jack dies, but I knew it wasn’t that cold. I just knew I didn’t want to be out there anymore. I couldn’t take it and started retreating back to shore.

Even though he was feeling the same kind of cold, Warren reeled me back and told me we were almost there. He said he was rooting for me and it was clear that I needed to follow through with this. He asked me to swim a little further. He said let’s just swim a little bit more, then go underwater and it will be done. We swam until I was exhausted. I had gone past what I thought was possible and could not believe how far out we had gone.

We counted to three, submerged our heads underwater, and I chucked the brick as far as my frigid muscles can muster. It felt like a weight was lifted from my whole body. All the self-doubt was gone at that moment. Maybe Warren was on to something. As crazy as this was, it was exciting and I actually did feel better. I felt like I had actually faced a fear.

The Realization of Freezing Cold

After that, the realization of freezing cold swept back into my body. We made our way back to the car as fast as humanly possible to crank up the heat. My legs were full-length icicles at this point. It was just us laughing, recovering, and regaining feeling in our shocked bodies. The swim was over and it was time to warm up.
Although the brick-throwing can only be described as a frantic dash to get back to warmth and safety, the aftermath brought a sense of salvation and euphoria. I bid my farewell to Warren as I was driving home down the coast, this time only guided by streetlights. With only my thoughts, I processed what I have just gone through. Not only did I learn about the sheer determination in controlling your destiny, but I have learned to let go of what no longer serves me. Forgiving myself for misgivings and moving on cannot be simply done by this one gesture; however, it’s a step in the right direction.
After giving it more thought, it’s clear that acting is not my calling. Instead, I found a real purpose and passion. That purpose is for interviewing, writing, and engaging with others…And sharing stories like this with the world. Making that connection with Warren also made me unafraid to push my limits and face my fears, regardless of the outcome. I got to drive somewhere new, meet someone I never thought I’d ever be in contact with, and do something as ridiculous as throwing a brick into the ocean. All in one day.
I can see my future unfolding right in front of me and I’m ready to take the plunge.
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