‘Garbage Man’: Independent Film Features American Idol’s Doug Kiker

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Where does former ‘American Idol’ star Doug Kiker hope a new film project will take him? The sigh he heaves as he ponders the answer says as much as his words. It’s so quiet that it seems to be part of his internal conversation, not something intended for other ears. It is heavy.

“To bigger and better things,” he finally said. “Hopefully that will get us to a place where we don’t have to work every day, all day, every day, just trying to do one move, two moves. Hopefully that will make it a bit easier things. “

“Garbage Man”, an independent project produced in the mobile area, became available for rent or buy via Vimeo.com Wednesdays (a rental costs $4.99). This will be the most fans have seen of Kiker since his brief run on “Idol” in early 2020.

In a nutshell, the raw potential of his voice wowed the judges during the show’s season premiere and his humble blue-collar demeanor resonated with many viewers. But the lack of polish and stage experience hurt the singing scavenger as the competition wore on. It was cut during the series’ Hollywood tour.

Since then, Kiker has struggled to capitalize on the exposure. He performed locally and gave fans new music on social media, but there was no album release. He posted some weak moments (and some rebounds). His biggest flash of public notice, unfortunately, came when he was convicted of a misdemeanor harassment charge.

For Bobby Ray Hamilton, the main movement behind the film, even that had its sunny side. “The good news is TMZ picked it up the next day,” Hamilton said. “So we feel like we still have some relevance with him, if that makes sense.”

It’s indicative of the sunny energy Hamilton brings to Kiker’s situation. He works daily in medical sales, but has long had a passion for songwriting. A few years ago he was writing songs for a well-known local rock band, but over time he felt that neither the band nor himself respected their relationship.

“It was hard for me, I was pushed around,” he said.

He started writing movie scripts in his spare time, thinking he could sell them. Then he ventured into film production, partnering with people who had the technical skills and learning about the process along the way. He found that his film projects could be used to pursue his songwriting aspirations.

“Here’s the thing, a lot of local artists, they think they have the best songs in the world and they don’t want somebody else writing for them,” he says. “So it’s always been a disconnect. Once I started putting people in movies, they bought into it. So I have rappers, who really don’t do other people’s songs, rapping all these songs that I wrote.

It’s in “Special,” a hip-hop-themed film that was the first project he completed, but will be released after “Garbage Man.” Late in the process of filming “Special”, Hamilton’s crew was filming crowd scenes at a club. Kiker introduced himself, Hamilton said, and asked if he could sing a little while he waited for filming to begin.

Hamilton had wanted to work with Kiker for some time and told him he had a script that could be modified to suit him. There’s clear potential for a win-win situation there, with Kiker’s name recognition boosting the film’s profile and the film finally putting out new music for Kiker.

But in Hamilton’s vision, this is just the beginning. In “Garbage Man”, Kiker plays a version of himself, a bouncer at a club where a singing contest is being held. Hamilton wrote the songs performed by Kiker and two of his co-stars, singers Rainy Day and Tearrah Nyree. The trailer credits Hamilton as director and says the film was shot by Max Scoville and Gary Scoville and edited by Knuckles Da Ace.

“We want to tap into Doug’s people in that market to sell the film,” Hamilton says. “But we also want, because my passion is songwriting, we want to release the final three contestants in film and all the original material that I’ve written, we want to release it at a record company that we’re going to to start. “

“Thanks to Bobby, my songwriter/producer/etcetera, I feel like I can do anything as long as I keep my head straight,” says Kiker.

It’s a big vision. The popular nature of “Garbage Man” can be seen in the trailer, but the clip doesn’t reveal just how much the film’s score will carry. Kiker hopes this will help him make up for lost time.

“I’m still getting there,” he says. “It’s been two years and I feel like we should have done more.”

“He wants to show people that he’s not just a country singer and he’s not just a pop singer, he’s something in between,” Hamilton said. “He has a width to him. That’s why one of his songs is called “Don’t Put Me in a Box”.

“I think he’s struggling to figure out what his day-to-day career is to feed the family and how he’s going to embark on his biggest career ever,” Hamilton said. “And that was his fight.”

Kiker says he feels blessed to have the fan base drawn to his “Idol” appearances. It’s a diverse group. He thinks they’re attracted to him because “they just enjoy my voice and the reality that comes with it or…the pain, really.”

There is still that sigh.

“The struggle is real. Those words don’t even sum up the situation,” says Kiker. These days, he’s been doing an indefinite night job at Citronelle. a parking lot outside a club where he and the other “Garbage Man” main cast were scheduled to perform at a launch party a few days later.

“I’m not perfect. I try,” he says. “I just want to do so much for so many people. I hope I get that chance.

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