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ASHES, BESTSELLER, 40 NIGHTS and WASTELAND Updates

I’m up nice and early sipping on my favorite coffee. It has been a great adjustment back into work flow here in Michigan. I’ve really just been tightening my focus on what needs to be done and eliminating distractions. We have been wrapping up the last of the loose ends on “40 Nights” which has about run its course. The ship is docked and the cargo unloaded and now the film is being assembled. It signed worldwide distribution prior to shooting and that is a welcome change. No shopping just finish and deliver. We are excited about what is going to happen with this film. It is the 1st in our 3 picture deal with Lightworx for biblical era content.

Additionally this new relationship opened a new opportunity for “Ashes of Eden” our inspirational crime drama. We were on a path to a domestic release but recently had additional theatrical interest in the film and in the wake of “40 Nights” worked a new deal for worldwide distribution with Lightworx. Lightworx Entertainment is ran by my friend/associate who was a VP formerly at Pureflix overseeing films such as “God’s Not Dead” with their marketing and distribution roll out. ASHES is in great hands with Lightworx and I think this expanded deal is well deserved. Congrats to the entire cast and crew.

“Bestseller” – Now this project is exciting as we get to the end of the post production road. It was a unique project in how we at CDI became involved. What previously could have been a loss for the Michigan film community has turned into a great relationship with an amazing author. He’s going to get a watch through on the final film towards the end of the month. Music, FX and sound work has been solid and we will be showcasing this to the media May 9th prior to the May 23rd screening which will be the 1st public premiere showing in Chris Knight’s (Chris Wright/Johnathan Rand’s) home town. We’re excited that this story has translated so well to the screen and look forward to his additional stories that lie waiting to be told on the big screen. We’re also locking the 1st theatrical dates now and DVD’s will be for sale alongside the theatrical releases. Congrats to the cast and crew of this fine film.

“Wasteland Tales of the Desert Part 1″ – I’m told this film is DONE. This 1st part will travel the festival circuit and be used to show the other investors. If all flows – the other segments will get cast and prepped to shoot. I’m excited to see it with all the music, sound and FX in place.

Yesterday I had some talks over a few more movies in the CDI library going to TV. It could be as many as 4 with additional high interest in “Ashes of Eden” and “40 Nights” but those deals will have to be made by our new distributor.

Lastly, I will return to script writing here soon. I’ve got two personal scripts to finish up. One or both could film this year. I am also planning my next biblical era film to write and produce for Lightworx likely to shoot in Jan. 2016. So I will enjoy the approaching Summer and oversee the flow of content. It will be a great year and I again appreciate all of you.

Happy Saturday!

DJ


Easter Sunday and Several Updates

It is Saturday morning and I’m back in Michigan sipping the hazelnut coffee and enjoying the comforts of home. Living from a hotel for several weeks can get to the best of us. But that said, we were granted major hospitality. I had so much work on my plate that time actually clipped by relatively quickly. Yuma, AZ was a wonderful place to film and I think we will return again when it is a tad cooler. Our director Jesse Low has been reviewing footage and we are about to start editing on Monday. Production “wrap out” is almost complete and so full speed ahead into post production. “40 Nights” will be a joy to watch come together.

In other news – THE TERRORIST is complete and has released a 1st trailer

Also BESTSELLER’s musical score is closing in on an hour being complete. It will finish in the next week or two. Color correction will be finished this coming week and we will be prepping to get that film ready for the May showings. Premiere is May 23rd. Media premiere May 9th.

Some exciting developments for ASHES OF EDEN are also underway. The development could have us delaying the home video release as we add more theatrical play dates. This could come with some new exciting announcements but it looks like we’ll have to wait until next week to give you the news.

I’m trying to get the theatrical release dates for WICKED SPRING which may also delay its home video re-release so that more theatrical play can take place.

This week ahead I will be following up on a slew of TV and foreign sales. I’m proud that the CDI library keeps reaching further and further. We are looking ahead at new projects this year and so that will be a fun process.

I hope this Easter finds you all enjoying this special time with your family and friends.

DJ

One of the teaser posters for CDI's "40 Nights"

One of the teaser posters for CDI’s “40 Nights”


Wrap, Distribution & What’s Next…

Yesterday we wrapped yet another motion picture. The term “in the can” doesn’t apply any longer but “on the drives” or some term would. We rolled in here three weeks ago from Michigan and with the collaboration of many artists both sides of the camera we once again did what we do.  We finished on budget, on schedule and with this particular film the distribution deal is signed. “40 Nights” will be distributed by Lightworx Entertainment. The faith-based company is operated by Randy Maricle, the former VP of Operations & Marketing at Pureflix. I got to know him over the last few years and I was impressed by how he helped push “Gods Not Dead” into the marketplace. We had a couple of offers on “40 Nights” and while Lightworx not only offered the best deal – they also sweetened the pot. They have entered into a deal for me to write and produce two additional biblical era movies. I think I already know what the second one will be and have a few ideas on the third. But one step at a time. This film will immediately move into post and we have an aggressive release schedule ahead. Our distributor made a trip to the set on one of our big market days and got to see all the extras at work plus the animals. It is the kind of film that both my grandma’s would have truly loved. I think this film will find its way into the hearts of many and be a favorite for years to come. It is EPIC. A002_C003_0316QN

So now we wrap up the circus. We are having a wrap cook out today provided by the community who has been extremely supportive of our efforts. I think they saw the magic of what was happening. This film is the second I’ve had shot in this area and I think when it gets cold in the Michigan this might become a destination. I also saw a few great locations for our westerns. So I’m certain that we will be returning to film here in the future.

BESTSELLER music should be getting close to done. I can’t wait to return home to do a watch/listen through that film and get ready for our 1st showings in May. May also looks like it will be the month of the special WICKED SPRING showings in Grand Rapids, Michigan. May is also the National release of ASHES OF EDEN. This stretch into Summer is going to be busy with film releases and premieres. I also heard that DEAD QUIET is making its way through post production looking at fall showings.

We have a commercial project to shoot when I return and otherwise just overseeing all this film flow will be the focus. I also had a couple of acting offers present themselves. Right now I’m thinking about home, family and my own bed:) I’m also in negotiations to write a script for a company later this year so that is always fun. I like writing – just me and  my coffee on the patio.

So that is the short recap. I’m very proud of the hard work by all our cast and crew here. Only a pair of longer days due to the desert sun which was our biggest monster. I think when we shoot here next time a month or two earlier will allow things to run even smoother.

Stay tuned for lots of more exciting updates in the weeks ahead!

DJ


New “40 Nights” Website and more…

For the first time in many moons I have missed my Saturday blog. We are filming “40 Nights” a biblical era drama in Yuma, AZ. It has been a wonderful shoot but also a taxing one to my body. Shooting up in the mountains on uneven ground wearing sandals. Temps that peak around 90 degrees mid day and lots of dialogue to put forth in character. I’ve been behind on PR releases that are prepared and ready to roll out. I’ve had day after day of great scenes working with friends old and new. Here is the new .com website for the film

http://www.40nightsthemovie.com

We will be announcing the distribution for this film very soon. We had multi companies wanting this movie and we settled on the deal we wanted. We’re excited about everything surrounding the project. The movie is slated for a 2015 release.

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The post on BESTSELLER is finishing up for its May premiere. It looks as if we’re going to have additional ASHES OF EDEN theatrical showings in AZ before the national home video release in May.

Lots of new developments on releases and upcoming projects but I have to wait for the PR releases to fully announce. So I’m going to hop off here and jump onto those releases. One more week to go on this project with lots of talented artists participating.

Keep clawing your way to the middle:)

DJ


Updates from Yuma

It is a glorious sunny Saturday in Yuma, AZ. Last week our pre-production team on the upcoming feature film “40 Nights” flew in. Working with our Yuma based team we quickly got our departments underway. I’m so happy with how everyone has just been peacefully moving through their days doing what needs to get done. Morning meetings followed by work, work, work and post day meeting and meals. The people here have been so nice and we are getting huge support from the community. Once again I’m super proud to have the Collective Development Inc. name out there. Not only do we produce films in our home state but other states and countries.

Today secondary crew is starting to come in as we build towards the first day of principal photography. We had an amazing day of camera tests yesterday in the desert that yielding some amazing B Roll footage. I also got to see my character in full garb existing in the world we are creating. Budgetary reasons had us bringing in some keys and also using some west coast production folks. New family joins with the old family and as I said prior – making me proud.

Also the same goes for talent. Today Mr. Rance Howard came in with his wife. It has been a few years since I worked with Rance and it was a pleasure. We had a nice lunch and we’re running lines for a few before he has a wardrobe fitting.

I have many old friends coming in with the cast and I’m looking forward to meeting a few new artists.  The last week flew by and I’m sure with me working every day these two weeks of shooting will also fly by. We will also have some exciting news in regards to distribution very soon. We had multiple parties interested in this film. I’m sure audiences will enjoy it. Also official .com website going up this weekend.

The new WICKED SPRING website is also up now. http://www.wickedspringfilm.com

ASHES OF EDEN and DONORS will be having more announcements as they move towards release.

BESTSELLER composing has begun and the 5.1 mix is complete. Color correction is 95% done and the FX have all been completed. May premiere!

Speaking of FX the work on WASTELAND our Sci-Fi is also completed and that film should finish up this month.

THE TERRORIST is completed and I’m hearing great stuff about that film and so I’m excited to see the final version.

I know I’m missing a few things but I have to get ready for my read so I will say goodbye for now.

Happy Saturday!

DJ


ACTOR ADVICE, ARIZONA BOUND & OTHER

One of the locations for the upcoming CDI feature "40 Nights"

I’m enjoying my second coffee indulgences of the day. I’m almost packed for my trek into the world of “40 Nights”. The pre-production crew is heading in to finalize locations and get the ship ready to set sail. I’m excited to go tell this story and return home in time to see spring enter. We are all anxious in Michigan for warmth to return. We all love the yard, gardening and landscape fun tooling about on weekends. The animals also miss being outside for long, lazy days. I plan to bring the warmth back to Michigan with me.

This week I’ve been so happy as the team prepared what was needed to be done in advance of our arrival. We’ve got 99% of the cast and crew in place. Michigan will be represented heavily. While I love shooting in our state you have to be loyal to your story. We’re going to once again go do what we do as artists- tell stories in moving pictures. I can’t recall if I shared this last blog or not but I found myself pondering this next role. While many of my characters were created in the minds of a writer(s),  this next role is based upon an known person. His doings are as disputed and varied in descriptions as many known figures. Think George Washington, Gangis Khan or Buddha. But whenever people have a set idea in their mind’s eye you always run the risk of going against that grain. I just sat that all aside and I’ve given into the script, the story, the role and the words. I think as an actor, that is all you can ever do.

I’m the first to point out that EVERY film I’ve done has had some negative critics. A sizable portion of that feedback can be jealous actors, writers, producers, filmmakers, old associates, people who don’t like your face or someone you failed to hire.  Or just maybe they sincerely didn’t connect with a film or character. I’m still always amazed at what lengths some people will go to bash a performance or a film. I think EVERY film has audience members who just didn’t like it.  But someone who writes extensively about it often has other issues at play.

EXAMPLE: Sorry Will:)

I watched (I use that term loosely) ANCHORMAN 2 recently and my point – I didn’t take a half hour plus of my life to write a  thesis on how bad a film it was. To be fair – I like some of Will’s movies (Step Brothers, Talladega Nights) but that sequel seemed to be a “cash in” on the original. Well…they got my money:)  The  long-short is that I’ve never really concerned myself with what people think. I’ve always just done my thing the best I can and let it go. This role made me pause because of others excitement and expectations. But I say that at the end of the day – same method. “Be the Ball Danny! Be the Ball!”

So I’m a person that loves to be ultra prepared. I always feel I owe that to be fellow cast and crew. We have about 80% of the business done. We’ll have almost all the other business prep done in the first couple of days of on-location pre-production. From there much of my duties are to study lines (Several of them) and get tan. What?

I’m not much of a “get a tan” type anymore but it does fits the role. So perhaps I will soak up the Vitamin D and work on more line prep. As talent I work every day on this one. It’s been a short while since I’ve been 1st billed and had to do the bulk of the scenes.  I’m been a happy co-star to let other actors do the heavy lifting for a change in terms of scenes, lines and days. Well, rest time is over. I’m back to the front line but I’m good. I love this stuff. It’s just like when as kids we would recreate our favorites TV and movie scenes. The difference now is that my scene comes from our script. We’re shooting in supremely beautiful locations and I’m have fun with friends old and new. Bottom line – I’m ready.

Other great developments.

WASTELAND is about done with the edit. Music is being considered although we may score it in Michigan. I saw a peek at some FX work. Overall – very good stuff. David Gries as a bad ass – he’s that good. I have always seen him friendly and smiling. Little did I know what was just under the surface. The small teaser released a week or so back doesn’t do the film full justice. I think the finished film will be playing festivals this fall.

BESTSELLER – Color correction is happening as we speak. The FX are all laid in. Dennis Therrian just did a complete system upgrade for this film and the ones ahead. Yes. He will be doing sound design and score on “40 Nights” so excited to have the upgrades. Stay tune for details about the May media and public premieres.

I’m waiting to hear how test screenings of THE TERRORIST went. That film has been polished up and I’m happy that it’s finally going to roll out to audiences.

DEAD QUIET is supposed to reveal a trailer at some point. I only worked it a few days but enjoyed working with those folks. I’m curious to see how that all turns out.

We’re also going to have a film marketing summit over WICKED SPRING, ASHES OF EDEN and DONORS with our distributor while out west. They release May, June and July with rapid fire release dates. The last time I had a trifecta release like this was AN ORDINARY KILLER, JUDGES and The 8th PLAGUE I do believe. I’m ready to get these films out to the fans. Thank you out there for all the emails, messages and notes of encouragement and anticipation. I encourage fans of one film to cross over and see the art of the other artists I’ve worked with. I’ve got a large film family.

TV and foreign sales continue and we’ll be seeing some new announcements soon. I can also say the same about theatrical. We’ll have updates on that front likely starting with a May showing of WICKED SPRING (Civil War film) in Grand Rapids and perhaps Lansing. We’ll also be working on dates for BESTSELLER theatrically in June/July.

When I return from out west we’ll get “40 Nights” into post. I do have a CDI commercial job we’re overseeing. Yes. We do take on larger commercial projects. Additionally,  I have an offer on a script writing project coming. I’m also finishing up two personal scripts one of which IS “Knight Chills 2″ the follow-up to our 1st role-playing film (Dungeons & Dragons like) we shot back in the late 90’s.

The back half of the year I would enjoy acting in one studio film and maybe do a guest spot or two on TV shows I like. My management has been working down that path and things are moving into alignment. I’m going to close this down as I still have packing and want to spend some family time. By next week we should have even more new exciting announcements from on-location. Maybe a distributor announcement on “40 Nights” ??? Maybe :)

Have a great weekend everyone and keep clawing at those dreams.

DJ

One of the locations for the upcoming CDI feature “40 Nights”


“40 Nights” and Other Film News

DJ Perry as Jesus in 40 NightsHappy Saturday everyone. The sun is out but the freeze it still in full force here in the Michigan. As many of you now know we announced the next film “40 Nights” shooting next month. For fans of the biblical/drama films like “Book of Ruth,” ‘Ashes of Eden,” or “Wicked Spring” you will enjoy this news. If more intense films are your cup of tea you will have “Bestseller,” “The Terrorist,” and “Dead Quiet” coming at you later this year.

I’m excited about “40 Nights” because it takes a very simplistic look at a very complex character. I can say that I don’t think any other film has approached this story in this way. Behind the scenes we’ve had a lot of excitement and interest. So we’ve been making strides in development for a while now and finally everything has lined up. So next month we are going out west to tell this story. We are taking some of our keys but unfortunately can’t take the entire army. We will be joining with artists out there. Several artists that I’ve worked with previously on projects. The issue is that only so many cast and crew and I’ve worked with a lot of talented people. If I’ve worked with you before and had a positive experience you are always considered. Sometimes with talent I’ve submitted you to our director and you don’t even know it. Often when you get a call from out of the blue offering a role that is exactly what happened. I also sometimes feel at blame if people don’t get a role but truth is that either the role didn’t fit or the creative director had a different idea. But that said, I do love all my co-stars and always put you forward when I see a right role. We are mostly cast save a few smaller roles and one of those is a child actor. If you like these kind of films the good news is that we have been approached about doing several. So we will focus on this story for now but in the future many more of my friends and associates could be getting calls.

“BESTSELLER” is sounding great as we get ready to start the score with the amazingly talented Dennis Therrian. We just had our Director of Photography in town and had a great color correction discussion to get things rolling. We saw almost all the FX work placed into the film and I can say great work by DNA Design. This film is being slated for 1st showings in May around author Christopher Knight’s stomping grounds. From there it will start playing various locations theatrically.

I’ve seen the artwork on “Donors,” “Ashes of Eden” and “Wicked Spring” as we prepare to release those films this spring and summer. “Wicked Spring” is looking at getting some Michigan theatrical play before the Blu-Ray and PPV/On Demand release in June. Happy Birthday month to me:)

This coming week will be FULL of final off-location prep work and packing to leave for our home away from home.  Our destination has been between 72-83 degrees so that will be a nice change. On-going sales discussions on the CDI library are continuing and possible projects are lining up. I may take on a script writing assignment when I return. I’m finishing a few personal scripts as we speak.  We also have a commercial project that is in the works to do this spring. Aside from all the work I’m ready to pour my everything into this next role and after that…outdoor SOCCER SEASON!

I hope you all have a great Saturday!

DJ


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