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

Developing your Movie – Suggestions

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….We were out of my favorite hazelnut coffee creamer so we had to do the whole pour some milk in the bottle deal. BUT after a trip to the store we are back in business. It is funny how the small things in life are what give us that inner peace. Old Spice aftershave is a guilty pleasure. I think the smell brings back memories of earlier days. O.S. is another product I want to have as a sponsor. Their commercials are great as well. Especially the Bruce Campbell ones…funny.

So on the subject of products. We’re about to sign some business that will have us getting involved with a national/soon-to-be international product. Once signed I can let the cat out of the bag but it is something that I myself would use:) I had a meeting with a few of our new sales folks last week and it went well. I have a handful more meetings and I think by years end we’ll have a good team of folks.

I talked with our director of “Resurrection” in Las Vegas and I’m trying to work the dates to line up with “Darkest Night” overseas. I’ve been starting to look at the character in “DN” and find those unique aspects of his character to bring onscreen.

Busy week of shopping and development this past week. I had talks with executives at a couple major TV networks over what we have going on at CDI. A few are looking at scripts and proposals now and with a little good fortune good things could be forthcoming.

We have a strong CDI development slate that will take us well into 2012/2013 working with our CDI favorites and also some exciting new talents as well. I’ll explain a little development from my/our point of view at CDI. First it may take a few years to get a project off the ground especially if you’re not going total run-and-gun. Star castings, schedules, distribution arrangements and budgets over a million dollars are not an easy thing to raise. If it is call me and let’s make some films:)  It was funny watching Kevin Smith at Sundance talking about ONLY having 4 million dollars on his last film. Okay, if you’re a filmmaker out there how many of you would feel let down if you were ONLY given 4 million dollars to make your film. When Kevin was raising money for CLERKS or earlier, I’m sure he would have been giving high fives over 4 million dollars.

OK. Back to topic…sorry Kevin. IF I have production money (and it is often connected with a set director) but let’s say it’s not for this example. You cannot expect me to put big money behind someone who’s not battle-tested. Now folks who have a little money and want to have partners with experience (good and bad) to help guide them and assure distribution we’re that partner. I still pick and choose projects very carefully because I have to SEE that spark in them. The process is a long one and so you better all respect and get along with one another. While the work can be hard it should be fun otherwise why do it? I tell people I’m 100% confident I could make more money doing something else but in 25 years who would remember when I sold X amount of widgets. It is the process and final product that drives me. You do have to pay to play. Look at the cars of early filmmakers. They don’t usually have pimped out rides because they are always trying to buy this or that for their film. Or pizzas for that barely paid crew and cast. You have to pay to play. Be it blood, sweat and tears it is always combined with a little bit cash.

I remember when I got my 1st credit card checks with a $3000 balance.  I financed the “In The Woods” trailer for $2,500 and started my producer career. After what seemed like forever pitching investors with concept art, biz plans, etc… I realized that not everyone has a highly developed imagination. That sometimes a picture has to be painted. I just thought everyone could see movies in their head from just words. NOT TRUE

So be it myself or someone else, I would advise if you have a little money for a modest budget seek out a more experienced producer/entity and offer them part of the pie for their experience. That experience can mean the difference between the film dying after a few festival showings or going on to distribution in various parts of the world market. You will still benefit from the solo experience but be ready to write  the money off as the cost of an education.

In summary look to http://www.cdiproductions.com for upcoming announcements on these new CDI associations. The world is getting smaller, I wrote to a Pakistani filmmaker this morning. And I want to be part of that crossover that exposes the world audiences to brilliant storytellers from around the world. I personally want to be one of those actors known throughout versus just America. I want to be the bridge that helps some US audiences experience these common theme stories told with a style and tone that is new and exciting. The Asian horror explosion in the US is a fine example.

Know that in very distant places around the world, under the very same sky, are storytellers with cameras doing the same thing you’re doing.



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