Don Takano grew up in rural Mississippi. He moved to Chicago in the summer of 2001. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003 with a useless English degree. He spent the next few years being broke, working shitty jobs, writing 2 or 3 failed screenplays, and being really angry at the world. In 2006, he started doing viral videos. A year later, he got pretty good at them, although he attests that out of the 20 videos he’s made under the moniker “Ape Warfare”, only 3 or 4 of them are actually any good or worthwhile.
In 2008, he traveled to New York City to film the mockumentary Steinjive: The MC Steinberg Story with his friend Brett Davis. Steinjive tells the day-in-the-life story of MC Steinberg, a 19 year-old nerdy rapper who is homeless and loses his job at the Dollar Store, only to anticipate a “big show” that night where he will supposedly open for Morrissey and Cat Power. The film featured many talented people in the roles: Davis himself played MC Steinberg; Jared Whitham (“The Jared Whitham Show” of Brooklyn/Los Angeles) played manager Jimmy Stutz. Steinjive also starred Jackie Clarke (UCB, “Glenn Martin DDS”) Jake Fogelnest (Sirius XFM DJ, VH1’s “I Love the 80’s”) Julie Klausner (How Was Your Week podcast, I Don’t Care About Your Band) and Nathan Rabin (Onion AV Club, author of The Big Rewind and My Year of Flops).
2009 was one of the worst years of his life. He was flat fucking broke and he also wasted nearly a year of his life writing Hardnose, a detective screenplay that he stopped writing at page 70 because he had no idea how to end it without making the story look stupid. Also in 2009, Takano shot a day’s worth of footage for a never-finished short film called Roomin’ With Jeffrey, a darkly comic short film that was going to be a period piece about an ambitious young man moving to Milwaukee 1987 and being roommates with Jeffrey Dahmer.
In 2010, Takano wrote the horror screenplay Night Prey, based on a story he developed with his friend and production partner, Zac Davis. Night Prey is inspired by naturalistic horror films of the 1970’s, particularly The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the little-seen Charles B. Pierce film The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Night Prey involves a survivalist murderer in rural Florida who crosses paths with a group of college students en route to Key West, and the carnage that ensues. Also in 2010, Takano directed the official video for “Power Glove” from the Chicago-based rock duo White Mystery.
Takano relocated to Los Angeles in December 0f 2010, where he currently works full time for peanuts, performs standup comedy to half-empty rooms full of uninterested people, and is writing screenplays. In October 2011, he finished Mad Science, a labor of love script that takes place in 1989 about a young boy who pretends to be a mad scientist as his parents’ marriage falls apart and a child murderer terrorizes his Chicago suburb town.
In 2012, Takano will devote more time to his podcast, Hyperchuckle FM, and his comedic blog writing. Also, there will be more comedy videos and screenplays abound.
Viral Videos (2006-Present):
Takano has directed/shot/edited several viral videos which began in 2006 and still continue now, albeit at a more broken pace.
Noteworthy videos include: “Metal Woodstock“; “The World’s Deadliest Negro” (featured on SuperDeluxe.com’s home page); “Gleason Apathetic Motors” (featured on SuperDeluxe.com’s home page); and “Assaulted By Nintendo” (his personal favorite video made during the short time he made videos with Serial Killing Rainbow)
Film (Short and Long Form) (2006-present)
Quick Buck (2006)
Short film (shelved); Director, Producer, Editor, Director of Photography (as Walt Unger)
Excretory Rockefeller (2008)
Short film (shelved); Director, Producer, Actor, Editor, Director of Photography (as Walt Unger), Music
Was screened February 14, 2008 at New Filmmakers Series in New York City; Winner of 4th Place of Best Experimental Short at the Cleveland-based The Indie Gathering.
Feature film; Director, Writer (with Brett Davis) Associate Producer (with Zac Davis), Editor, Director of Photography (as Walt Unger)
Winner of a Silver Ace Award for Documentary (Honorable Mention) at Las Vegas Independent Film Festival (2009)
The Clapping Club Presents: Hair Camp (2010)
TV Pilot (animated/live action); Creator (with Trenton Willey); Director; Writer (additional material); Producer; Actor; Animator; Editor; Director of Photography
Power Glove (2010)
Official Music Video for the band White Mystery; Director, Producer (with Zac Davis), Editor, Director of Photography (with Zac Davis), Additional Animation
Chunklet: Issue 20 (2008)
Contributed jokes throughout certain areas of the issue (as Michael Higginbotham)
Chunklet Presents: The Rock Bible (2008)
Contributed jokes (uncredited in the book)
Steinjive: The MC Steinberg Story (2009) – Comedy/Mockumentary
Screenplay and Story (with Brett Davis)
Night Prey (2010) – Horror
Screenplay; Story (with Zac Davis)
Chunklet: The Indie Cred Test (2011)
Uncredited; contributed the Bon Scott joke in the section “Acceptable Reasons to Quit Drinking”, in addition to a number of fake classified ads in the very back section of the book.
Mad Science (2011) – Drama/Horror
Screenplay and Story
Fast Men (2012) – Racing Drama
Screenplay and Story