"The Orvuds" is a series that began in early 2008 as just a bunch of ideas and tiny little stories, it was never really planned to be anything more than that. However, that all changed thanks to a few messages over social media. Ryan first contacted someone in the New Jersey area and began gathering a cast of people to help him organize what he saw as a serialized anime series all based on his initial works. During this time, he met several voice-over stars and even two music icons from the 1980's. It was also during this same time that he was able to make more connections all across the country and solidfy a strong following and interest in the series.
"I started out with a few local people to help me, but I knew I needed someone who knew the animation world better than we did. I found this lady on Facebook and went from there, but gradually my local group fell away and pursued their own goals. I don't hold it against them, this was never something I expected anyone but myself to ever have to deal with, especially when I found out how long it takes. It was fun, meeting all of these different people. I was never really a social person until I started scouting talents for my series, there are a lot of cool people out there. Meeting people from the shows I watched when I was little was fun of course, so was bowling with them. I think about that a lot, being too friendly with people. I may have been seen as some care-free kid with big ideas rather than taken seriously, that was always the case when I was little. Then again, I read some people wrong from the jump...".
However, all the fun and excitement was soon blown away when on May 16th, 2011, a fire broke out in Ryan's home while he was at work and by the time the flames were out, it was a total loss.
"My uncle called me at work, we weren't close and still aren't, but I thought he was just trying to get under my skin. Then I called my aunt and she was there at the house, confirming my worst fear. I don't remember much of the ride to the house, but I remember seeing the plume of thick white smoke rising from the hill as we got closer. I didn't know how bad things were, it looked like the place was still together but I could see the flames in the attic. I had some pet reptiles and a ferret inside the house and it's thanks to my great uncle and my neighbor that the lizards survived, but my little ferret was in another room and she didn't survive the disaster. They told me the fire started from a wire in the basement that had apparently been sparking for several years and gradually burning a path into the master bedroom, it spread so fast, they said it may have even been burning as I left the driveway to go to work. I never smelled any smoke or anything, but the night before I remember there was severe interference on the telephone line. The burning wire was right beside the phone line apparently, I never even though to go to the back of the house and check on anything. One of the ladies who works across the road from the house told me that my great aunt heard the call on her radio first but didn't realize the address was ours, at that time it was something we never really remembered, we just knew we lived across from each other. When she went to see where the fire was, she screamed so loud that people over the hill heard her and came running to help. That day will haunt me forever...".
Unfortunately, high interest brought many unwanted problems as well. Production groups failed to handle the project due to their inability to handle a project this size and instead of being honest, tried to plug along while grasping at straws and ultimately led to a two year span of no progress. As a result, a great deal of interest was lost and many began to wonder what the future of the series was going to be.
"I remember people kept asking me what was taking so long, and all I could really tell them was what my production team leader was telling me. I didn't understand the process at that time, so it's entirely my fault it went on for so long. Had I known then what I know now, I could have easily seen through the deceit and moved on much sooner. Thank God for Ilse, meeting her on that little trip to Iceland is what saved me from carrying on through development hell."
Following the failure of two teams given the task of moving the series forward, another blow was dealt as one of the primary stars attached to the project turned out to be an impersonator. Afterward, there was a great deal of confusion and misinformation quickly made its way around, leading to the departure of several veteran supporters.
"I remember that phone call, I wont ever forget it. The biggest name in the film industry that I had, was nothing more than an impersonator who had gone so far as to forge everything from agent and manager emails to personal documents. Just like all the others, I'd connected with this person on social media and everything seemed legitimate at the time, there wasn't really any indication of foul play. That's what I get for trusting everyone I connected with, I guess. The ones that left after all that happened I don't miss though, some had been with me for years at that point and should have been able to discern fact from rumor. I don't think it was all based on that though, I'd had a feeling for a while that some were looking for any excuse they could to disconnect from the series since it was taking so long. Despite the things they said, I still remember the better times even as their faces have faded from my memory one by one."
Finally, after nearly eight years of hard work, Ryan was able to begin releasing the series in book form starting in August of 2016 thanks to the help from his international contacts and illustrator.
"I was happy that I could finally show off what I'd been working on all that time, and with not a single detail left out. I think turning to books as the first method of release was a very good move, I had the freedom to do everything I wanted. The story was mine, without interference. Much of the original idea was the same, but the characters and their stories evolved so much and I was really able to connect with each of them in some way, even the worst ones. It was also great not being limited to any sort of time limit for each chapter. Some are short and some are really long, but all of the content is very important. I enjoy linking things together across each book, allowing old mysteries to be solved and new ones to appear."
Roughly three years after the release of his first book in the series, Ryan has once again begun to consider the possibility of an anime adaptation.
"You can thank my little brothers for this one. Logan has been encouraging me for years to go for an animated series, and my adopted brothers whom I've only known for a few months feel the same way as well. The three of them mean the world to me, I'm not about to let them down or have them think that you give up when you are the only one left standing on your own idea. I did that the first time, I wont do it again. I don't know how things will go, I don't make any promises for the outcome. But I'm going to try. I've never put much faith in anyone who has ever put me down about this sort of thing, but I admit that I remained silent when things weren't working the first time. I was a timid person, afraid of having anyone upset with me. I've been like that since I was little. However, that's a piece of me that has been slain. I'll do my best to accomplish what I set out to do, I've no interest in the easy path."
ABOUT THE CREATOR
Name: Ryan F.
Birthday: February 12th
Primary Language: English
Secondary Language: Russian
Other Languages Spoken: Italian, Icelandic, Japanese, Romanian and 31 others with varying proficiency.
Favorite Character: Alta Hideva
Least Favorite Character: Commander Williams
Status: World traveler
Ryan is a somewhat difficult person to describe, as he keeps to himself and keeps his circle of close friends relatively small. However, through a few seldom interviews we've been ale to piece together a short profile of the man behind the world of "The Orvuds".
Growing up, he hated to write and his average grade for English classes was never higher than a C, much better than his Math grades. Excelling at History and Science, not many of his family members expected him to take a career path in literary works and so it came as a surprise when he revealed to them what he had been working on.
"I didn't really know what I wanted to do after I graduated, really my focus was just on being with family. I didn't want to waste my life doing absolutely nothing and that's what I saw four years of college adding up to, it served no point for someone without a set goal in mind at the time. Some people didn't like that view of mine, but then again, I've never really cared much about what people think of me or my views. I hated school, I was an outcast. I didn't have any friends that I hung out with outside of school and I didn't stick with one social group, I just sort of talked to anyone and tried to make them laugh if I could. I didn't even go to my high school graduation ceremony, I took a road trip out to Arizona instead."
Traveling the United States by car is what began his interest in writing short story ideas and designing characters, though still he had no interest in pursuing a career with it at the time. By his senior year of high school, Ryan had visited all of the Lower 48 states by car and had been to every major city in the US, as well as traveled on every major interstate.
"I used to hate going places on long drives, it seemed to take forever and I never knew how far we were from where we were going, so I got irritated a lot. I remember my first trip out west was more like just a long detour from Virginia to get to Minnesota where my family was, it was somewhat miserable but also exciting. We pretty much just started driving west across the Great Plains and right into Los Angeles before going up the California coast into Oregon and Seattle. Once we got there, we just made a straight shot across the Pacific Northwest into North Dakota and Minnesota. We didn't really stop to see much and we only slept a few hours a day, sometimes we'd check in to a hotel at 2am and leave by 6am. Other times we just pulled into a rest area, slept for five minutes and then started driving again. We went from Virginia, to California, to Washington, to Minnesota all within the course of a week. There were more trips later on but they were far more organized, I'll never sleep in the car again, that's for sure. The 48th state I visited was Kansas, so it was pretty exciting to get that achievement even though I was always afraid to go there when I was little because of the tornados."
Ryan's traveling would later expand to a global scale, starting with Iceland in 2014.
"Okay, so you come from a small town in the countryside where everyone thinks the rest of the world is this dangerous place with people itching to kill Americans. Now, originally me getting a passport was just something I needed in order to meet up with Ilse in Reykjavik, I didn't plan on going beyond Iceland to anywhere else in the world. However, visiting that tiny island nation changed my mind entirely. Seeing how different that fascinating country was from my own made me realize that there is an adventure in traveling abroad, and I began calculating trips the moment I got home. That same year, London, Paris, Zurich, Rome, Venice, Istanbul, Berlin and Amsterdam were chosen and my first big adventure in Europe began! There were times when I regretted my choice to visit certain places, but I'm glad I went to all of them. As a first-time in Europe, I didn't really know what to expect. I was on such a tight schedule though, I had to see all of Paris in a single day just to keep up with everything else I had to do business-wise."
With those first few destinations in Europe locked down and ready, it was only a matter of time before the next trip was planned and put into action less than a year later.
"Russia... When I was a kid, this was one country I wanted to go to. I don't know if it was the vibrant colors of St. Basil's Cathedral or what it was, but I knew I wanted to go. New contacts in Europe meant I was able to coordinate more effectively and visit these places with more time than what I had on the last trip. All business aside, I enjoyed every minute of it. Russia was a totally different world. Ukraine was an unforgettable experience, especially Chernobyl. Learning about the mysterious death of Neuschwanstein Castle's king in Germany's Bavaria region and the Church of Bones just outside of Prague. That adventure was one of my favorites, I regret that I spent more time working than exploring, though."
The arrival of 2016 brought with it a new set of goals and destinations as well, expanding Ryan's interest to a total of five continents.
"Okay, people called me crazy for this one. 'Colombia!? Egypt!? China!?', people asked me with great concern and confusion. While places like Mexico and Japan were expected with my success, people didn't seem to understand why I chose to authorize operations in those other countries. I didn't understand their confusion entirely. Sure, those places have some issues and have had some problems in the past, but so has the US and virtually every other country I have been to. I can honestly say I felt safer in Cairo than I do just walking around my own town. Part of my agreement with the international contracts is that I'm given one full free day for each day worked, so now I'm able to do a decent bit of exploring while I'm abroad. After all, who goes to China without seeing the Great Wall? I have learned so much more traveling than I ever did in school. Did you know that if you clap your hands in front of the Chichen Itza Pyramid in Mexico it mimics the sound of the Quetzal bird's call? That's the sort of thing I love to discover. I love that I've gotten to visit these places where history has left relics of times past, the Pyramid of Giza, Pompeii, Himeji Castle. I always get these mysterious feelings when I visit places like that, it's hard to explain really, but you do feel something inside of you when you place your hand on a stone at the Pyramids or walk under the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin."
With his series finally available to the public after so long, we asked Ryan one final question about what he will do now that he has accomplished a major goal.
"Obviously there will be more stories, certainly more Orvuds. But right now, there's only one thing I'm focused on and that's my little brother. He's just turned seven this year and I'm going to spend as much time as possible with him, we have a really strong bond and that matters a great deal to me. I always want to be there for him and be someone he can look up to and talk to about anything. He's my best buddy, after all. I'll still be traveling of course, I already have a schedule set for next year. I do wish I could take him with me to some of these places, maybe when he gets a bit older he will, but I'm in no hurry for him to grow up."
"Three years later, I'm still traveling! All six of the books for "The Orvuds" are completed, but only the first two are on the market for now. I'm turning focus toward the anime version. I now have three little brothers that I love to death. Logan is still the best little brother anyone could ever ask for and now I'm blessed with Ethen and Carsen as well, who have made a major impact in my life as I have theirs. They all want me to take them to Japan, which I plan on doing when they're all old enough. I've begun to realize that a major point of my existence is to be someone in the lives of these three who can inspire, protect and encourage them in their lives. I love being a big brother, that's all there is to it!"