“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ― Sun Tzu

Posts tagged “dead

Summer Saturday Random Ramblings

Okay here we are and it’s later in the day versus when I normally publish. I was lost in the day and I got to see many of the people I hold most dear. It was a simple day with no thought to the cost of a rain out on the day of pick ups. Yes. Since November when we had to bypass a series of scene shots due to conditions. What conditions? COLD. And we have action involving water. Long short was that from Nov until last week we worked away but knew we had left a man behind. That’s right – one of the story telling pieces was still needed/wanted? Either way we wanted to go that extra little mile for maybe an extra “Ohhh” or “Ahhh” to the viewers. I have to say that it ran smooth like clockwork. We had a skeleton crew about 1/3 the size. We all missed the other crew being there but this was the shuttle crew being sent down with a mission. Well mission accomplished. AND we might have gotten some great footage for our opening title sequence. So in a nutshell it feels good to have gathered that missing piece. Now with task completed and my onscreen character officially purged (Save any ADR if required) I felt and still feel great because when a project succeeds it directly benefits a slew of the artists involved. I think when you associate with quality and demand quality from yourself this opens you up to more quality opportunity. I see many people devoting high amount of energy to things that are improbable at best and more often impossible. I’m for all this growth. I’m happy when I get to work with young people who embrace both the arts and business. Many of the friends I had early on in the business fell to the road side or now reside in places of standing. Be kind to one another.  Business… they can never take the art from you. But to survive as artists your work or the collective work must set you apart and create a demand. This leads me to again how proud I am of the “Ashes of Eden” crew. After an extended theatrical run in Lansing and ongoing in Grand Rapids we will soon be announcing Detroit area locations and perhaps a few other cities. We have started to have some contact from theater owners asking about our film.

“Supermodel Showdown, Costa Rican Adventure” shows 1-3 launched on Indieflix.com’s Afterdark Channel. Because the hot tropics might be too much for a few of you. I’m told we have an 85% approval rate and so the bikini angle worked:) Thank you all again!

A few other films we have moving through post production. The previously mentioned “Bestseller” should be assembled at month’s end and ready for final music and sound design. We did watch a rough cut and I think – well I think, it will scare people. Frightening movie my mom with probably not like it:)

“Dead Quiet” is sure to scare some folks. I’ve been trying to wait patiently for a trailer and my only guess might be they are targeting Halloween.

Also my man Jon Osman should be getting “The Terrorist” about complete. It is a slick film and I also think audiences will truly enjoy this NYC thriller.

“Donors” might be playing a festival or two this fall while we talk to distributors on that film. If you get a chance to come see Doctor Savior – please do:)

I will also leave you with this news – FACT – Some of the CDI library may be heading towards new releases. FACT – Jeff Kennedy, DJ Perry and Michael Walton have all had recent talks about KNIGHT CHILLS. Remake? Sequel? A TV Series? What is HAPPENING?

I’m actually excited as an actor that I don’t have any set obligation at this moment. I had talks on a few things but just not the right fit. I have to truly be inspired by the story and the character. So I’m enjoying the weekend. Don’t forget to give yourself a break once in a while. Enjoy those around us.

DJ

 

 

 


Rock & Roses & Ashes of Eden

A beautiful Saturday for drinking coffee, eating some peanut butter toast and organizing my communications from the previous week. It was a week of many happenings – first it started with me finding out about the loss of one of my close friends and business mentors. It continued with some great meetings over “Ashes of Eden” which officially announced this week as well. It is a CDI associated film teaming with New House Entertainment and Ahptic Productions. We’ve been in the scheduling, key casting and crewing stage as well as locking locations. We’ve had some resume’s and reels coming forth and will be announcing some of the first attached cast very soon. I will be playing a supporting character named “Donnie” in the film and that led to a newer shorter haircut as I find the character within.

I see that the French film “Man in Wood” made an IMDB appearance and I hope to have some more details on that film in the weeks to come. On the acting subject – I had an actor who has been touching base over the last year or so contact me upon reading about our next film. I asked for a reel of his dramatic work and he responded by saying it was in the works. I looked back and saw that a previous message had that  same reel “in the works” from December 11th, 2011. Anyone who knows me or reads my blogs understands that REELS are the way we like to work. Show me your “game footage”!! – As talent myself, I hate “reads” and seldom do them. Sometimes a producer wants to see if you can play some nuance of a character that isn’t displayed in your reel. But if you’re out there saying “Why can’t I get any work” – yet your materials are lacking… SIMPLE – If you don’t have a reel you go to the back of the line. IF we watch EVERY reel link submitted for a character and cannot find the right actor we may go to cold reads. So I cite that as an example to help you all out there. Also a past associate messaged me with interest in a department – I said send over a resume. It has been 3-4 days and nothing yet. We are likely hiring that key position next week – so again not being ready will likely get you bumped. So if your career is lagging look first to your materials. Check your coverletters, resume, reels, websites…control what you can control.

This week also saw the national release of “Deadly Renovations” and I’m proud of the team. I had to give a notice to some of them stepping up on the stage with their art for the first time. See I’ve found that you NEVER will make everyone happy. Don’t try. Have a glass of red wine, fire up a steak and toast the success of job well done. There will always be a slew of unhappy actors not hired (check those materials:) ready to throw their frustrated opinions.  Also aspiring directors, producers and writers who so far cannot get their projects produced, script sold or what not. They often see someone else doing what they want and they see green and red. Jealousy and Frustration- a misplaced anger that can lead to troll activity. I say, ignore their frustration and count them amongst your fans. What is Lex Luthor without Superman? I’m just saying, don’t waste your time in a back and forth, defending your art. While someone is trying to rip down your deeds you are developing new projects. You’ll end up getting yet another leg up and those same folks unfortunately get even more jealous and frustrated. Vicious circle of negativity those people live within. I just wanted to awaken some of the team to the rocks that will get thrown along with the roses. That is how some get attention by going against the grain. “AVENGERS” – Hulk smashes Loki – “it was okay – I didn’t really dig how…” WRONG! Scene kicked ass:) Move on.  So I thank all of you that have sent roses and to the rock throwers – I sincerely hope to one day create something that you really like. If you find yourself spewing a pattern of hate, hate, hate…maybe it is your filter/eye and not so much the project. Just a thought…:)

We should have film festival dates soon for “Darkest Night” making its first non-distributor festival appearance in the USA. “Benjamin” looks to wow audiences in NYC again after its first festival showing. Distribution talks worldwide continue on these two projects and so they will find their way to audiences in the near future. “Donors” and “7 Stones” still in post-production and “Locked in a Room” is polishing up for distribution. There will be an official announcement on this in the coming weeks from At Risk Ent. CEO Larry Simmons.

I’m looking forward to making a few exciting announcements on a few biblical era films looking to follow-up on our very successful “Book of Ruth” film. Also looking for some good news on “Long Road Home” so stay tuned for that as well.

OK. I’m going to get back to my Saturday. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

DJ


Actors – Doors Open & Doors Close

Welcome one and all to the Sat. ramblings of “Clawing my Way to the Middle”!!! All of us here in the Michigan are ready for Spring to come and despite the chill it is starting to look like Spring is coming. I have been looking at acting projects while we continue to develop new CDI projects. I will speak on ACTORS and try to give a few new updates.

Actors – for some production companies/producers/directors the talent is not given the respect it is due. This is the other-side of the coin from whereas I came down hard on Diva-like attitudes with actors. Many actors are artists willing to fully commit and bring a character from the page. I’ve seen lately whereas many production teams focus on all the other elements of the film and lastly – Oh! Yeah! The talent. I’ve seen where productions are more than willing to spend a few extra dollars on production costs but will skimp on talent needs or basics. I work both sides of the fence and I know about costs but if the performances are bad the film is bad no matter how well it is lit, edited or shot. The other factor that plays in is distribution. If a production would spend that extra to get names that are of appeal and interest to distribution that is a responsible choice for investors and at least gets the film into the market. I can name a dozen films off the top of my head that were made and never got distribution. You can collect festival cheers but that doesn’t assure distribution. I just think when choices are being made on where to cut cost it should not always come from talent. As for talent – don’t accept scraps. Sometimes it is best just to say no to such offers that really just press upon the talent. I had a deal that was in talks not long ago and the artist and businessman were in conflict with one another. The artists wants to wear the role and bring it to life and the businessman pays the bills. On this one deal we were coming from two different places and after the plug was pulled – a new script/offer came in two hours later. Sometimes you have to let it go despite what the artist says. Sometimes this door close is what will allow that new door to open. You can than move on to a project where you are appreciated and never look back. It just might be meant to be.

This week had many good meetings on projects of ours that are developing. Feel free to look at http://www.cdiproductions.com and look at the new updates that took place last week. I’ve been reading scripts and I’m still not caught up yet. I’ve been reading projects shooting in the April-May time frame. This month I’m not sure if I’ll go back in front of the camera but I will say I’ve got the itch. I’m looking for that exciting script, perfect character that just speaks to me and comes with the right deal.

I want to give a shout to friend Amy Poggi who started an essential oil line called Aziza World Fragrances – another sponsor to CDI. Next week more press releases will come out on “Deadly Renovations” which is primed and ready for its debut at the Hong Kong film market. Russ Williams is overseeing the final stages of “Darkest Night”. Same situation with “7 Stones” and I’ve seen a peek at the “Donors” film site that will launch soon. It looks great! I’m still waiting on details for the May Michigan “Locked in a Room” screening(s).

I hope you all have a great day.

DJ


Mother Nature and a Week in Review

WOW! Mother Nature is showing who the boss is and it is not the tiny ants fondly known as human beings. I was having a great conversation yesterday with a friend of mine who is Native American. The topic was about taking environmental issues serious. Now global warming scientists may not have it all correct but certain actions won’t help the issues. Many choices are all about financial and lower EPA rulings to better exploit valuable resources. When out of the norm storms wipe out the child home homes of some of these lawmakers maybe they will look at things differently. You can’t lobby mother nature or buy your way out of the path of a storm. Again it brings me back to what I use to teach at the Ebersole Center (A nature camp for city kids) about Chief Seattle and the web of life. Basically it talks of how everything is interconnected and the balance is vital to our continued existence. Well I feel very bad for all the folks out there dealing with such destruction.

Today I want to try to oversee some changes to the CDI company site. We’ve got so many good things moving and grooving and I’ll try to hit on a few major updates here.

- “Ghost Town in the Sky” the location of our “Ghost Town” western is set to re-open after a mudslide caused issues a year or so ago. So go check out the locations and get your special edition release.

- CDI Co-Production “Deadly Renovations” will be heading to the Hong Kong film market this month and we are awaiting a new sales trailer from our international distributor.

- CDI Co-Production “Donors” is now in post and has been getting some good PR buzz out there including distributors coming at us early.

- I’ve been working on a few Corporate programs for CDI product one with a major beer company.

- We know that New Video is releasing some of our titles (Figure in the Forest, Heaven’s Neighbors, An Ordinary Killer) late 2nd quarter and I’m working on hard dates now.

- The sequel to “An Ordinary Killer” is packaging with an updated “Race to Judgment” formerly known as “A State of Hate”.

- CDI The highly anticipated Co-Production “Darkest Night” is getting a lot of press and fellow producer Russ Williams is now in the Philippines overseeing the final post for the theatrical cut. Screening for distributors in LA will likely happen in April.

- Development on “Secondary Heroes,” “Soul Eater,” and “Long Road Home” continue as well as a handful of associated CDI projects

- CDI Co-Production “Locked in a Room” has announced a May 3rd Michigan showing.

- CDI Co-Production “7 Stones” is in final post polish and is slated to be done this month and several festivals are targeted.

On a personal acting level I’m waiting to see if a deal happens this weekend on a film in NYC. I also am waiting on a 2nd project that if we agree would film in Texas in April. I also have a project in June that I’m awaiting my deal memo on as well. The snow is starting to fall here and I’ve been a hint under the weather. I will likely do some reading and perhaps bottle the “Green Goblin” our batch of Green Tomato wine.

That is enough of an update for today. I wish safety to all those in the path of these great storms. Have a great Saturday.

DJ


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 788 other followers