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

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Eggs, Advice and Updates from a Snowy Michigan

I’m sitting by the fire and sipping the hazelnut coffee. We had to get a new grinder as the last one started failing in its duty. We had a few days of snow falling and the temps have been bitter. I’ve been so happy reading about all the smiles we’ve put on faces with the showing of SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, that is reaching towards a hundred cities. Now most of our fans of this film are slightly older with an appreciation of history. As the rave reviews, festival invites, booking agents and more reaching out to align with this film, I knew the attention seeking haters were looming. Often it is someone who was passed up on a role, position or what-not. A company, filmmaker, screenwriter who has not earned their opportunity and so they are angry. Sometimes it is one person having a grievance with a person on the cast or crew, but they lash out at an entire groups work. This film when at the prime of its run will be seen by tens of millions. So far we’ve presented to thousands of people in theaters. We’re opening into many new cities/screens this week and more in the weeks to come. I’m excited that next Sat Feb 4th we’ll be premiering at the NCG theatre in Owosso, Michigan the hometown of our director, DP (Camera) and young lead Curran Jacobs. It will be the first showing for many of my own family. They will have a 4:00 show and a 7:00 with an afterglow after the late show.

To get back at the negative feedback, from negative folks. They are trapped in a cloud, a filter, that effects everything they do, watch, see. I normally care very little about the stones thrown but do wish all the beautiful comments we’ve received through various social media, communication platforms, could be seen by all. The stories forgotten and recalled of grandparents struggling at an earlier time. So if you want your review known – please go to http://www.imdb.com and search ‘Silent Night in Algona’ – on that page you can VOTE with 10 being the best and lastly + ADD A REVIEW- where you’ll be able to express all the wonderful feelings this film invoked. This will help in some avenues of distribution – we are also seeking any of you professional reviewers also. Please do reach out if you’ve done or wish to do an official review for your site, blog or vlog.

Enough with all that- I’m extremely proud of all the amazing feedback and that is causing the film to grow, grow, grow- in the marketplace. IF YOU WANT THE FILM IN YOUR AREA– a handful of calls to the local theatre manager asking them to have their booker reach out. They can reach out to our FB page and that is how it has expanded so well, because of you all! We are starting to look at a few select festivals in America, UK, Germany. The home video deal will likely finalize next month and we have some great plans in motion for that. So if you get a chance to see it on the big screen – do it. It will roll out to DVD and streaming on the run up to the holidays this year.

Harsens Island Revenge – On Friday, I was working on casting breakdowns. We’ve landed on our production dates which are after Labor Day. We are about to do some PR on our director announcing the project and possible with a teaser poster. The paperwork for the project is being drafted and in about two weeks we’ll move into official pre-production. This film will be shot in Michigan and we’ve got some great things lining up. WW1 vets versus the Purple Gang mafia – it’s gonna be exciting. Already a few departments are prepping. We will start sitting down with others from our past crews to see if they want to go on this adventure. I’m excited to do another scout trip soon.

SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE – The script for this powerful story is under review for historical adjustments. There are always conflicting recollection of events. We are making historic fiction not doing a biopic, but guidance is always helpful. I have a meeting this coming week to take this to the next phase of development. If this all goes well, I’ll have a lot more to discuss. We are targeting a 2024 shoot if we stay on our timeline.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH 2: Battlefields – This next step in our martial arts series that focuses on grappling and the art of Catch-Can. The project will again be produced by the Red, White & Blue Project Inc. non-profit and Collective Development Inc. Once again Curran Jacobs will direct and host the second installment. Adam Towner is onboard to again do post edit work. They will soon start talking to previous donors to see if they want to travel deeper into the study and history of this art used in life and death combat situations. Many new and exciting guests are planned for this new installment looking to roll camera in the Summer.

PROJECT-SHJ – My meeting over the supernatural thriller went extremely well. The biggest issue to discuss was schedule. Now that we have the Harsens Island Revenge dates solid we can look to lock something here. We talked budgets and production duties in our associated collaboration. I was happy with these discussions and we even discussed a slate of films. One is a script we collaborated on many years ago. Another would be a sequel to our maiden endeavor, which would be written by me. I’ve had a good idea for a sequel for many years and so I pitched it. Another story to eventually be put to paper. Yes, I use Movie Magic but once done. I like paper to read and memorize.

HOW DO YOU DO THIS STUFF? A common question

A lot of dreamers have the idea and passion but it must be tempered and focused. Many are great dreamers and talkers and poor at execution. Outside the sight of others they get lazy or disorganized doing what they want to do versus what needs to be done. Truth nuggets here. If you can KNOW THYSELF enough, if you have WILLPOWER – you can dictate. Before you go (Random fun place) you are going to get that proposal written. For many who struggle with willpower I always say, do what you need to do but don’t want to do first, when you have the most energy. Do not wait until you are nearly depleted to tackle the task you dread most. Often it is not as bad as your mind has built up. Once completed and feeling productive the lesser items seem even easier to tackle.

Everything is steps. Order of business. But brainstorming and dreaming is the start. I have many of those sessions weekly with the CDI Tribe. Ideas are tossed about until one shines brighter. No egos. The mutual conversations birthed options and ideas. Ideas are put to order. Execution of each step of order, like a battle mission. Knights around the table reporting, recapping, refining their plans. Have fun. I cannot stress this enough. Have FUN when you work on and through these things. As a camp counselor we use to have team challenges. In martial arts – fighting with a partner at your back. The beer that flows after a soccer match in victory or loss, because you’re living and playing the game. Life is a game of time. Many spend huge amounts of time chasing symbols of currancy and recognition of doings by way of fame. I want my work done to be appreciated but be known for what I’m doing in the present.

I’m an artist in the present. I work with wonderfully, talented people. I laugh and enjoy the mutual victories, obtained by artists who care. We humbly present our work, to which many have and will continue to praise the story. But there will be those who are enraged by others doing what they dreamt of but did not apply themselves in the right way. In the right direction. With the right people. It is hard people. Most famous bands make their best music in 10 years and break up. We are moving towards three decades as a company of storytellers and now we have multiple generations of CDI artists. To me that is success. EVERY FILM is handcrafted like my beers, wine or- you get the point. No formula Hollywood here. I go to the Detroit art museum and I don’t LOVE everything I see. I actually see a few things taking up space but that is subjective. I don’t get it but someone else is weeping because of the brilliance of it all. I don’t get all music these days. Beastie Boys were and still are often my jam. To someone else- Lame. I get it. I think if people spent as much time acting off their positive good filters versus time spent acting off their negative filters, they would find an improvement in their own lives. Negativity is a poison. When said, written or even thought- you ingest it. Start replacement that with KINDNESS, LOVE, COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING – and please do not draw lines. No exceptions. You want a sweeter life, feed, give, share the honey of life and not the bitter arsenic of negativity.

I’m out to refill the coffee cup and eat some bacon and eggs. People laughed at chicken land at first but whose laughing now? Just kidding. Actually, it has been a good experience. Until next week my friends.

Coffee Cheers,

DJ

NEW Theaters, Director’s Screening, NEW Development 2023

A beautiful light snow is falling in Michigan. I’m sipping on my hazelnut coffee and reflecting upon the past week. Again, a kind lady, a friends mother that I’ve known since I was 5, passed away. She was 94 and did many great things in her time with her family being her pride. Her son who was one of my oldest friends, passed away unexpectedly when I was out filming THE CHRIST SLAYER. It was nice to see so many people I’ve not seen in many years. It is sad that is often takes a tragedy or loss to bring some folks together. I was happy to hear all these beautiful comments about the films we’ve done. The lady who passed really loved Man’s Best Friend. Several talked about The Quest Trilogy (Our three part biblical adventure). Many wanted to know what the latest and greatest was- that is SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA. Some saw it in our home town but the film was extended for two weeks and we were not told. We could have promoted the added two weeks more had we known. But the film did quite well, hence the extended screening.

My own family has not seen the WW2 drama which is marching all across the midwest as people request the film and bookers are reaching out. We’re heading into Nebraska and soon Minnesota – also in the director’s hometown of Owosso, Michigan we’ve secured a run with the NCG theatre. We are pushing to get it into N. Lansing at the NCG in February. Dates TBD. We’ll be starting the Owosso, NCG run on Feb 4th (Sat) with screenings at 4:00 and 7:00 and the film will play until Feb 9th playing at 4:00 and we’re trying to get a second show during the week for those who work. The photo banner will be up on the 4th and our director Anthony Hornus will be welcoming folks to both shows. After the 7pm show we’re going to go to Romas next door to meet and greet with guests. I’m giving the advanced notice here and on Monday we’ll start releasing PR about the showing.

It doesn’t matter what state you are in – contact the managers and request their bookers bring it in. We’re having classrooms of kids, retirement home trips and church groups, all going to the film. Many are seeing the film more than once and we’re getting lots of requests for DVD and streaming which will be 4th quarter of the year after we’ve marched around the country doing screenings. We are trying to get it to a major military base theatre in Germany and are looking at select festivals to play.

BEST YEARS GONE – This is our previous comedy drama and we’re looking at some comedy fest and also a few cool marketing ideas. I still want to look at sponsoring a race – The Gilles Cup:) If you haven’t had a chance to watch this film, please do. I think you will laugh and find some sweet moments in the film.

DEVELOPMENT

Harsens Island Revenge – is in full on development and will go into pre-production next month for a post Labor Day shoot. Cast and Crew discussions will begin soon. Location scouting has already begun and another scout trip will be in order soon.

For the Love of Catch: Battlefields is the second collaboration in a series of doc films focused on the grappling arts. We’re in the budgeting stage and talking to potential donations as the project is produced through the Red, White & Blue Non-Profit with CDI supervising the production. If you or your company have interest in supporting this project via donations please reach out.

SHJ – The meeting for the in association film went really well. The biggest issue is schedule which needs to land after Harsens Island Revenge. This film is an action mystery thriller with a supernatural twist to it. I’ll have follow up meeting this week to iron out more details but things are looking very promising.

SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE – The first draft of the script is done and I had a select group looking it over for historical tweaks. It is not a biopic but historical fiction. If the script gets approved, I’ll fine tune the budget and we’ll look at the builds we need done this year before 2024 proposed shoot. The key is not too many cooks in the kitchen. CDI is excited to tell another Iowa-based story. I will be looking to see how many 1800’s cabins exist still in the Algona, Iowa area. Stay tune for more updates.

WRAP UP

This week I will continue to feed our accountants the information they need to do end of year taxes. I have started working on personal taxes and will have that material pulled together very soon. I know that the CDI website is about to get a few updates to it. If you haven’t visited our website – http://www.cdiproductions.com

We are going to be discussing merchandise for the lead up to Christmas 2023 but SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, posters could become available for sale in Feb if things go right. They might be for sale at the Owosso, MI afterglow. What CDI merchandise would you like to see?

Lastly, we’re moving towards a SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, final film to deliver to the home video distributor. It’s now like a 4 piece puzzle that needs to be put together. On the big screen we were able to see a few polishes needed either to the color, VFX and subtitles, in a few places.

In addition to all this – I do have a few writing projects I’ll be returning to. One is a comedy and one a Sci-Fi piece, I do love writing. I’ve got many sponsors to touch base with to discuss the home video release of SNIA and also discuss them coming on board Harsens Island Revenge. I’m going to have some company later so I’ll be getting the wood stove roaring. I hope you all have a recharging weekend and prepare for a productive week ahead.

Coffee Cheers,

DJ

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