David had a way of making everyone feel like he was your best friend, but not in a way that was disingenuous. I'd never call myself David's best or closest friend but he went out of his way to make me know he cared. He might well have been the warmest, most caring person I've ever met in my entire life. I've never met a person with a bad thing to say about him.
I met David working on the film Killer at Large, we hired him to do a bunch of different things on the film, as well as act in it. David was a hell of an actor. His work on stage or screen was powerful and soulful and for Killer at Large we shot a number of scenes from Neil LaBute's play Fat Pig, with David in the lead. It was incredible to see such a commanding performance that was almost entirely private, for our eyes only. I'm looking to see if I can find the footage and edit so it can be shared.
We spent the next years working with David from then to now, calling him every time a film project came up. He'd call me every time there was something I could help with. We helped each other get some incredible projects off the ground.
He was an incredible influence in our writing groups and script-readings. We used to have them monthly and David's advice on writing and outlook on creativity was not only appreciated, but valued and cherished.
I am a better artist for having known David, and the entire world is poorer for his loss.
He was unique and was incredible at whatever he set his mind to, whether it was brewing beer, acting, writing, or playing music:
Seeing his band, Mushman, play at a small venue in Sundance a few years back was a highlight for me. Not just because I was able to see David perform, but for the beers afterward and the always-wonderful conversation.
David inspired me as a creative person, as he inspired many, many others. More recently, I've been working on a screenplay based on one of my short stories and had over the last year been bouncing ideas and spitballing the structure back and forth with David and he was invaluable. His intelligence, knowledge of story and enthusiasm made you feel like anything could happen. We had plans to eventually make the movie when I finished the screenplay. David Fetzer was always going to be a part of that.
I found out last night that David passed away unexpectedly, mere hours into his 30s.
I can't say how devastating this is to me, or to the entire film and art community that knew him. He was a great light that went out far too early. He had so many plans for the future, for art, for creativity, and we all had plans that included him. I couldn't imagine wanting to put together a film project and not make David the first person I planned to call.
I'm going to miss him, and I'm going to keep all the encouragement and advice he ever gave me alive. Both personally and creatively. His dreaming was an inspiration, his advice was invaluable, and I hope that with him gone we can all carry on his dreams, both for himself and for us. He always saw the best and brightest in those of us he worked with, it's my sad duty to live up to that without him around.
It hurts. And I'll miss him.
I always will.