The Making of Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland

Man dressed in post-apocalyptic clothing with an atomic explosion in the background. Text: Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland. Who knew the end of the world could be this much fun?
Man dressed in post-apocalyptic clothing with an atomic explosion in the background. Text: Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland.


Welcome, Wastelanders, to a peek behind the story of Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland!

Man with long hair and a beard smiling broadly in a soundproof booth, holding a green stress ball with a smiley face, near a microphone and pop filter.


Let’s talk about the elephant in the room… the super small elephant…

So he’s talking to a tennis ball? Yes, that he is. If you didn’t catch it in Episode 1, Joe doesn’t do well on his own. He very much needs companionship. He had that with Maya and Sanjay, and to make matters worse, he used to fill up his free time by watching movies—and those are now gone, too.

Now he’s been alone for who knows how long, and something deep down inside of him knew he needed a companion since he was going to be stuck down there for a long time. I decided on a tennis ball because it was something that already helped him in the real world, and also linked him to his friends.

Even though Maya would always get mad at him for bouncing it on the wall, it became a fun thing for him and Sanjay to joke about. So I felt he would have had those good memories tied to the ball. Plus, he was bouncing a tennis ball against the wall most of the time he thought about them, so there was that.

Not only did I use Bally as a coping mechanism for Joe, but I also used him as a way for his subconscious to reach out to him with things he knew he needed to do—like lock down the facility and turn off the lights so no one could overtake him.

Another thing they joked about was Cast Away, which I’m sure you figured out already, but Wilson is very much the inspiration for Bally. Yep, Wilson and that guy Tom Hanks played, AKA Chuck Noland, played a huge part with how Joe managed to stay sane (if you can even say that) after finally realizing he was most likely going to be alone for the rest of his life.

It might sound silly talking to a ball, but think about how often you talk to yourself or how kids have imaginary friends to play with—and that’s why I don’t think that Cast Away or Bally are too far-fetched. Then again, this is a sci-fi comedy, so I guess it really doesn’t matter how far-fetched it seems.


I have always been fascinated by the Roswell Incident. What really happened back in 1947? Who knows? There are those who believe what the government said about it… well, the second time, when they said it was a weather balloon, and there are the other people who believe that it was a government conspiracy to cover up a UFO crash… which was what was originally reported—well the UFO crash, not the government conspiracy.

Well, I totally get where both camps are coming from, but I’ve got to say that it’s hard for me to buy that anyone in the military could mistake a weather balloon for something that they thought was a UFO. In all fairness to the government, UFO does stand for Unidentified Flying Object, which doesn’t necessarily mean it came from outer space.

Obviously, it makes for a way better science fiction story to have the government conspiracy angle.


I can finally share the true origin of my idea that became Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland. It was originally going to be a film called Clone Alone about a nobody stuck alone during the COVID-19 lockdown that decides to create a clone of himself so he can have some friends during lockdown.

It began with him being let go after being told that he’s a non-essential employee during the COVID-19 lockdown. Nobody wants to hang out with him due to the worries of COVID, so he ends up with his own Wilson. The TV he’s watching becomes bad versions of shows featuring him. That’s when he realizes he needs someone real to talk to and comes up with the plan to clone himself. He watches some videos online and builds what he needs to make a clone (or he orders an “At home cloning kit”). The clone isn’t everything he was hoping for, and he quickly realizes he made a huge mistake after the clone comes to the conclusion that there can be only one of them. And a battle begins to try to kill each other.

Obviously, a lot has changed since then. The nobody became a somebody named Joe. COVID-19 became a nuclear apocalypse. And the DIY cloning idea became The Genesis Machine.

It evolved into another idea before it became Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland, but that story will have to wait until later when we reach that point in our journey.


This experience is probably the most personal out of all the things I shared. The hearing problem Joe has, spending a year in Special Ed, and the Superman doll story were all things that came directly from my life.

I’m not sure what my hearing problem is really called because all they ever called it as a kid was a hearing problem. It’s very much like how Bryan describes it in the story. But since they now have names for everything, I decided to see if I could figure out what it was called, and I think what I have is auditory processing disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic, auditory processing disorder, also called APD, is a type of hearing loss caused by something affecting the part of the brain that processes how you hear.

I normally don’t tell people I have a hearing problem until after they make fun of me for how I pronounce something. That’s when I inform them that I have been made fun of for my whole life and ask that they don’t do that because it will eventually trigger me to blow up at them, you know, since I have literally been made fun of for it for nearly half a century and all.

This was also what stopped me from becoming an author earlier in life. I spent years being knocked down by many of my English teachers—some of which told me that I would never be able to be a writer. To add insult to injury, I nearly failed English every year until I hit college where they removed the spelling test aspect. But even though I got great grades and did well in my English classes in college, it’s hard to overcome years of negative reinforcement and decades of being made fun of.

Eventually I did become a paid writer by hiding my written words behind the screen and coming out of someone else’s mouth.

After over a decade of being a paid writer, that led to me finally gaining the confidence to throw my stories out into the world in written form with Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland. And I went full in by reading it out loud, too—which brought up a whole other set of problems since I struggle to pronounce many of the words I write.


Implanting skills directly into your noggin isn’t anything new in sci-fi. Do I think it’s feasible? Yes, and that’s why I threw it in my story. The brain operates much like a computer—it’s basically a bunch of on/off switches, and it’s the combination of switches turned on/off and the pathway that gives you the info or tells the body what to do.

I think the hard part would be actually mapping the memory or skill. Heck, if you could do that, then remapping it in the brain wouldn’t seem that much harder. Of course, I’m sure that there are scientists out there that would totally disagree, but there was a time where washing hands didn’t make sense to the science community, so maybe it’s just about keeping an open mind.

Who knows where the future will take us? I do believe as we integrate tech into the body, that we’ll get closer to figuring out how to do something like this. And maybe this same tech could be used to help cure things like Alzheimer’s or dementia…


Well that brings us to the end of another Episode, but don’t you worry, there is more Post-Apocalyptic Joe headed your way. This was only the third of six episodes that make up Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland Season 1.

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