Locals Only: Meet Rick Gott

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
October 13 will be a dramatic day on the Sacramento film scene.

That’s when Natomas Charter School teacher Rick Gott and more than 150 many notable Sacramento artists, actors, and film crew (even city Councilwoman Angelique Ashby) will make their online debut in a new project titled “Dark Pool.”

This conspiracy, thriller and science fiction web-only series filmed entirely in Sacramento and is rooted in Natomas.

It looks big budget because we have banded together as a community to make something great,” said Gott, whose vision to bring the local art scene together in a creative new way inspired “Dark Pool.”

Gott is no stranger to the Sacramento acting scene. He taught as an outside professional at Sacramento High from 1987 until 1991, when a serious accident sidelined his acting career and left him unable to walk for six months. The accident helped Gott realize “teaching acting was my principal way to communicate to the world.”

Gott went on to teach acting at American River College and later developed “Cyber’s Web,” a television show for children for a network called CTVN. In 1998, Gott made the move to the Natomas Charter School’s Performing and Fine Arts Academy where he currently teaches acting, directing, acting for the camera for the school; he also offers private acting classes for adults.

Creekside resident Gott and his wife, Karen Pollard run the Natomas Charter School drama department together.

Once a student in a class taught by Gott at Sacramento High, Councilwoman Ashby said he “makes you believe in yourself. His attitude towards life is completely open to the possibilities.”

Twenty years later, Gott and Ashby are friends and neighbors. She believes Gott “is an amazing man, neighbor, teacher, friend and role model.”  Ashby herself has a cameo role in the first five “Dark Pool” episodes.

For many years, Gott watched his students graduate high school with high-level skills and talent, but nowhere to land. He decided to create the “Dark Pool” web series as a way to mentor film students of all levels and bring seasoned professionals into the community to work.

By writing, filming and producing episodes for the web series, Gott hopes local professionals and artists will develop connections and keep the local film scene – including Natomas – flourishing. Participants in the project get to make professional level productions on the cheap, he said, and have a great time doing it.

Gott said he has already seen the magic which happens when a group of professionals, apprentices and students get together to make something new – and he’s thrilled.

Dark Pool is about sharing this connection, this collaboration with the world,” he said.

Dr. Ting Sun, founder and executive director at Natomas Charter School said Gott has a “great idea using the Internet to develop a web series and explore a new venue in film development that’s broadcast online entirely.” The school supports the “Dark Pool” project and Sun even plays a small role in one episode.

Dark Pool” is scheduled to premiere on YouTube in less than a week. In the first episode, viewers will meet Jim Krall, a man whose life has just been upended. His 6 year-old daughter is kidnapped and no one, including his wife, has an appropriate response.

With help from a small army of friends, family and other connections, Gott plans an online “flash mob” when the first two episodes in the series debut. The goal is to draw attention – and possibly funding – to the project from companies which track online popularity using the number of hits on You Tube.

Dark Pool” debuts Oct. 13. Find out more on the series’ Facebook page by clicking here.
THE NATOMAS BUZZ profiles Natomas residents making a difference in their community. To nominate someone for our “Locals Only” feature, get in touch at [email protected].

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