You may know him from KBFT Season 18’s critically acclaimed series, “CB Conspiracy Theories”, or maybe you have seen him on campus, rocking the most elaborate spirit day outfits, or perhaps in the George Cunningham Performing Arts Theater starring in multiple plays and musicals. Wherever you know him from, one thing can be agreed upon: […]
You may know him from KBFT Season 18’s critically acclaimed series, “CB Conspiracy Theories”, or maybe you have seen him on campus, rocking the most elaborate spirit day outfits, or perhaps in the George Cunningham Performing Arts Theater starring in multiple plays and musicals. Wherever you know him from, one thing can be agreed upon: Bill Rockas (’21) is an icon to the Christian Brothers community. But what many are unaware of is his love for filmmaking. I spoke with Bill and other CB community members to uncover the mystery that is Bill Rockas.
Beginning his career in film in the fourth grade, Bill collaborated with friends using his old Halloween costumes to draw inspiration for the story he wanted to tell. Additionally, Bill is an avid reader and finds that in studying stories, he can better create his own.
Although originally starting as a fun hobby, film has become Bill’s passion and he hopes to continue this into the future, “Ultimately, what I really want to do is make great films,” he says.
Bill shared that Dan Harmon, the writer and creator of Community and Rick and Morty, is one of his biggest inspirations. He admires both of these series’ structures and comedy and tries to imitate them in his own works. Through following the Dan Harmon Story Circle, Bill crafts his films, taking his characters on humorous adventures.
Much like his inspirations, Bill also enjoys the comedy genre and works on perfecting this craft. “I like that in comedy, you have to have a compelling story on top of having insights about what it means to be human or truths about everyday life,” he shared.
When he came to CB, Bill knew that he wanted to be a part of the award-winning KBFT program to further his media and writing skills. “It was a passion that I had to keep pursuing, so KBFT was the outlet that I really found myself coming back to doing something I really liked,” he shared.
KBFT program director, Mr. Brendan Hogan ’95, shared that Bill’s talent, maturity, and humor make him a great student to have. “Some kids watch movies, but then there are the kids who really watch movies. Bill is just one of those kids who has watched a lot of films, so when we talk about the techniques, he already knows what I’m talking about before I get there. You know how some people are well-read; well ,Bill is a well-watched person,” Mr. Hogan shared.
Additionally, Mr. Hogan praises Bill’s comedic ability. “Not only does Bill actually resemble Andy Samberg, but he also takes on the persona of being a comedy writer, and he’s just going to be a massive hit.”
For Bill, there is no predicting when creativity will strike, so he frequently jots down whatever ideas he has in his notes. “When I get something in my mind, I put it in my notes, and I have paragraphs and tomes and declarations of all of these different things,” Bill shared enthusiastically. “I will have fragmented sentences because I know what I will need when I come back to it.”
From half-ideas and various stories in his notes, Bill then goes back to the Eight-Point Harmon Circle to give his stories some structure and ensure that his characters go on a journey and return with newfound knowledge.
“I plot [the story], and then I just write, and then I hate it, and critique it, and stare at it, and cry about it until it’s better.”
Of the many impressive films in Bill’s arsenal, “Overkill Bill Volumes I & II” is his favorite. Originally an assignment for Advanced Media Arts, Bill decided to take his revenge film a step further by creating two revenge films.
Will Tuschinski (’21) would describe his friendship with Bill as “more than a best friend, almost like a brother,” and that Bill is “unbelievably creative.”
“Having a vision is one thing, but being able to execute it just as well is unbelievable. I can’t fathom what goes on in his head,” Will says. “Bill has talked to me before about how he wants to be a writer, but I have a feeling he will be doing more than that. He can just do anything, and he’s going somewhere big.”
Mr. Hogan also recognizes Bill’s versatility in film-making as both a writer and performer. “The question is will he come out and be in front of the camera and be the star or is he going to stay back and screenwriter and write jokes.”
As for what the future holds for Bill, he plans to study screenwriting in college and create his own great films. No matter where he ends up, though, he will always have support from his CB family.