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

Friends, Food, Father’s and Future Castings

Ah…drinking hazelnut coffee and writing to all of you on this fine Sunday morning. Very productive week both personal and professional. On the personal the deck got stained, the garden planted, the lawn mowed and even some repair work done over on the fort. We won our soccer match last week and this week will bring some good things. First, I have a Bday this week and so another trip around the sun is a CHECK!

I signed paperwork on another CDI associated project entitled “7 Stones” with director/writer Tom Norton and his 3rd Coast Film Partners. It is a story about a couple of POW’s and yours truly is playing one of the co-stars. It is a great script and will be a wonderful challenge. My clean face from “Darkest Night” is being replaced by an unkept beard of a man who’s spent time in a 3rd world prison. The most exciting news is one of my co-stars may be a monkey. No. Terry Jernigan isn’t playing a monkey:)

Speaking of Terry Jernigan, we’ve been in talks for him to direct a prequel to “The 8th Plague” entitled “Soul Eater”. Talks on this film with Two For Flinching is going very well. Also in 2012 will be the “Secondary Hero” shoot with my old friend Stuart MacDonald directing. We will be posting some casting info on http://www.cdiproductions.com soon for this 2012 shoot.

Those who have acting reels get those ready! Despite how Michigan thinks casting works the 1st thing most producers I know want to see  is a reel of previous work. It shows 1) What you look like during game time with good cameras and lights. 2) It shows someone else put money at risk to cast you. 3)  Various clips shows you likely have a good off camera attitude that gets you cast more than once.

See…producers talk and if you are a problem on one set that can really black mark you.

Be NICE! Always and to everyone!

Most actors do not have reels prepared and agencies are more willing to withhold reels versus pushing them because a majority of their talent does NOT have reels. So while playing the numbers the most experienced actors don’t get pushed forward. And we wonder why we mostly get only extra and under 5 work here in Michigan.  So if you want to get priority casting with CDI get those reels ready!

Next week we might see the “Darkest Night” website and 1st trailer! I’ll keep you all informed and you can subscribe to the film’s Facebook site under the same name. The next picture on this Philippine slate GPI/CDI is “Shadow of Death” with director Noel Tan again directing from a Russ Williams script. This is slated for summer 2012.

Interesting developments this week – one person I’ve known for quite some time, I’ve hired before and stayed in touch with over the years finally got their current project up and running. The forces that be can all crash in at that point and some people fold under all that pressure. For them it becomes what they can or can’t do. I understand the casting game and I look out for people when I sincerely feel they are right for a role. Long short is that a script and character I had interest in for years suddenly dropped out once funded. The friend took the stance of – I had no control here. I’m not petty. I firmly believe that the universe presents a storyteller with the stories they are meant to tell. I just occasionally get disappointed like everyone else not just in a lost role but realizing a bond isn’t as strong as you thought.

We’ve all failed here before I’m sure so I’m not throwing rocks just illuminating a point.

In the past I’ve  also had a good friend take some money from myself and a friend. Not a lost investment but taken money. Honestly, I wasn’t as upset about the money and chances are had he asked I would have shared what I could have. The sad part is that a value was placed on the friendship. Now maybe I too could be farther along on my path if I played selfish and stepped on whomever to get where I wanted to go. I’m not that person and to me it is not worth getting ahead by putting others down.

My story has a happy ending – so I reconnected with an old friend who was actually my 1st manager ever. She was well-known for placing models in big agencies. She eliminated her acting division except myself back in the day because she said I was out there working so hard to help myself. From her I got to go on trips to NYC only to be escorted from offices and treated basically like a pair of shoes all those years ago. Those early hard trips helped to define me – I either had to GIVE UP and be happy OR come out and KICK ASS. I choose the latter.  She is now a casting agent and is working a deal to have me on her current project. We both knew people on the film and that led to the reconnect. The actions she has taken just go to show CHARACTER. All these years have gone by and yet our friendship and respect still exist. Why? How? Because it existed in the 1st place. Look at yourself. Look at those around you. Know who you want to be and be it. The road might be longer but the person who arrives will be a better person. I promise you that.

August may have me on another period drama for a few days.  Promotional plans on “In Our Time” have begun with a phone meeting last week. Those wheels are slowly starting to move now and I’m excited to start moving that project along. Also at a CDI meeting this Monday we’ll see where we are with projects and if CDI can get one or two off the ground for the back half of the year. I’m also still trying to get street dates on some of the other CDI titles to release 4th quarter so stay tuned.

My father is on vacation but if you still have your father with you go spend some time with him.

Have a great weekend!

DJ

 

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