In films and on television, director and former stuntman Jeff Mosley has received countless punches, fallen down thousands of stairs, scampered underwater wearing more than 100 pounds of equipment and been pinned between colliding cars.
Now, the Concord dad is playing mini super-action hero to the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.
"Chasing Rodriguez," the live-action, locally-filmed feature movie he has been promoting, producing and is now releasing, is aimed at the very large target of public education in a struggling district.
"Twenty-five percent of the net proceeds of the DVD sales go the MDUSD," Mosley explains, after the DVD's Sept. 14 launch on Amazon.
It's a tiny drop in a very large bucket, he is quick to suggest, before ramping up his rally call.
"People need to step up," he says, sounding very much like the Jeff Mosley who, in 2009, vowed to fundraise and contribute whatever he raised to the district.
More than $4,000 went to MDUSD, but Mosley wasn't done.
Three years and 15 turbocharged days of filming later, he and starring actor Vince-Anthony, a 16-year-old actor from Newark, are pumped.
The 90-minute indie action film, supported through crowd funding, local business sponsorships, individual donors and featuring locations like the Brenden Theatres and Todos Santos Plaza in Concord, and Scott's Seafood Restaurant and Milner's Jewelers in Walnut Creek, is a reality.
"I've always had this feeling of wanting to try new things," Anthony says.
He smiles, revealing camera-loving dimples, and pivots in his chair with the graceful physicality of the soccer, volleyball, cycling, basketball athlete that he is.
In the movie, this first-time film actor sparkles; underneath, there's depth arising from lessons learned at home.
"If you start something, you put 110 percent into it. If you don't like it, you finish it off. You're part of the team," says Martin, his father.
Although Mosley agrees that Anthony is hardworking and respectful, his composure and his ability to pass the Mosley litmus test -- be able to deliver lines clearly, even with a train running by and while chewing gum -- earned him the most points.
"He was the only actor who asked for a moment to concentrate, before the audition," Mosley recalls.
Getting him to holler and fling his arms skyward, on the other hand, was nearly impossible.
"It took me a while to get through that," Anthony laughs. "Eventually, I think we settled with what we had because it was all that was coming out."
ABC7 News anchor Dan Ashley appears as a TV reporter and offered his home for the first two days of filming.
"It was a terrific experience because of the incredibly dedicated and professional nature of the entire cast and crew," he writes in an email. "I would love to be involved in a sequel as long as I get to wear a cape and have some kind of superpower in the next one!"
If Mosley wasn't already hoping to make a second film, that might be enough to convince him. He is still astounded by the contributions of people in the community.
"I always led off with who I was and my 30 years in film and doing it to benefit the schools," Mosley explains. "Once I got one (donation) in place, they all fell in line."
Even the car, which roars through East Bay streets and parking structures in the film's opening scenes, dropped serendipitously into his lap. Still lacking a vehicle one day before filming, Mosley saw two women approaching a black car parked on the street.
"I walked up and said, 'We're filming a movie tomorrow and need a car. Can we use yours?' They pretty much said 'yes" right away."
To make it easier for schools and other groups to "say yes" to purchasing the DVD, Mosley has set up a CreateSpace option (email email@example.com). Qualifying organizations can establish a fundraiser that will allow the $3 per DVD to feed directly to their school, bypassing the MDUSD general fund where profits from regular Amazon sales will be directed.
Hollywood (and now the Bay Area) turns fantasy into reality, Mosley suggests. He plans to build a cadre of actors and hopes to produce one film per year.
He doesn't expect to fix the district's problems, but like Superman's answer to The Sphinx, when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object there's only one option: surrender -- and reach for the dream.
To purchase the DVD of "Chasing Rodriguez," go to Amazon.com.