In 2001, area native Daniel Dotterer moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Since that time, he has appeared in a number of TV shows and movies and has worked as a scriptwriter for the animated features "The Lorax" and "Despicable Me."
Born and raised in Lamar, Dotterer said his family has lived in Northcentral PA for generations.
"My mom's side of the family is from the Muncy-Montgomery area but she was born in Lock Haven, and my dad is from Lamar. I grew up in Lamar, but we still have lots of family and friends in Jersey Shore, Avis, Montoursville and Williamsport."
Dotterer said the move from Lamar to L.A. took some getting used to.
"It was very different going from a small farming community to one of the biggest cities on earth. Things like locking your house and not knowing everyone definitely took some time getting used to. One of my favorite parts is all the different food that is available here. It's almost like you can travel the world restaurant by restaurant."
Dotterer studied vertebrate physiology at Penn State University and had plans to attend medical school but decided to give acting a shot before committing to a career in medicine.
Dotterer has appeared on TV shows and movies such as "The Jay Leno Show" (2003), "Freaky Friday" (2003), "Old School" (2003), "Lizzie McGuire" (2004), "That's So Raven" (2005), "Strong Medicine" (2006), "Brush Off" (2007) and "Got Home Alive" (2011). Dotterer has also appeared in TV commercials for IHOP, Ford and Samsung.
In terms of his screenwriting career, Dotterer was in charge of the story and scripts for "The Lorax" and "Despicable Me." "I handled all aspects related to the script which included helping to structure the story, working with the head writers, setting up the recording sessions for the actors and handling script and story aspects with Universal Studios," Dotterer explained.
Dotterer said he had to juggle several responsibilities as part of his job. "Since it was a brand new company we had to do lots of jobs. One of the other areas I helped in was the marketing department."
According to Dotterer, screenwriting is often a collaborative process. "Writing a script for our company is very much a group effort. We had our head writers, but our producers were very involved as well. We also brought in comedy writers to punch up the humor."
By the time he's finished with a project, Dotterer said he basically knows the script by heart.
"I've seen the movie 80 or 90 times in multiple different versions before it's released to the public," he said. "These projects take years to complete and after eating and breathing them nonstop, I can pretty much quote the movie to you."
Even with all the time put into to the script, Dotterer said you can't be sure of the final product.
"You can never be sure exactly how a movie will be accepted," he said. "You do your best and put it out."
When he's not acting or working with a team of scriptwriters on a movie, Dotterer runs his own business, Boastcards.com. Boastcards, which began in July 2010, is a website which allows customers to upload photos, edit them on the site, create a postcard and mail it anywhere in the world for a $2 fee.
"I came up with the idea after a 6-week 10,000-mile trip through the western United States and Canada," Dotterer said. "I started making my own postcards to send to family and friends. That gave me the idea."
The company already has orders from 15 countries and is getting ready to launch its iPhone and iPad app at the end of the month.
I asked Dotterer how he juggles running his own company with acting and screenwriting.
"It keeps me busy, that's for sure," Dotterer said. "Fortunately, I work from home so when one thing is slow I work on the other. Actually, things are never slow and it's more like bouncing from one project to the other. There always seems to be one thing that needs my immediate attention."
About his next movie project, Dotterer couldn't say much.
"Unfortunately, I can't talk specifics about the current project I'm working on. The studios and networks understandably want us to be pretty tight-lipped about things in development. What I can tell you is that I've crossed over into TV. I'm really enjoying the differences between making a movie and putting together a TV show. I'll be able to say more in about a month or two when it is announced."
Until then, Dotterer will have plenty of things to keep him busy.