RIP Bill McKinney – Appreciate the Artists
So I want to start my post this morning honoring a great actor whom I had the pleasure of working with on our Lionsgate western “Dean Teaster’s Ghost Town” (Comcast On Demand, Netflix, Amazon). This actor is Mr. Bill McKinney famous for many roles in great films such as “Deliverance,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and of course my favorite playing my father in GHOST TOWN. I recall doing producing paperwork at Robert Bradley’s home and on TV I’m watching Clint Eastwood and Bill verbal spar on-screen. I remember thinking “tomorrow is my turn” to play with this great actor. Our 1st day together was shooting the father/son stable scene and it is currently one of the 1st scenes on my reel as I believe it reflects some of my best work. Bill felt the scene because of not always seeing eye-to-eye with his own son and God knows my father and I have also had our disagreements. So the scene really worked and we had great respect for each other from that first day. I have been looking forward to the next time we would work together but yesterday I got word that told me I would just have to appreciate the time we had. Bill McKinney passed away from throat cancer. His family said two weeks earlier he was shooting a commercial for DORITOS which doesn’t surprise me as the man was a battle axe. I hope the commercial is for the Superbowl because that would be a fitting send off. To work with Bill was to work with true greatness. It is why I will continue to be a fan of working with the aging vets of our industry despite what some casting folks say about BUZZ, HEAT and FLAVOR OF THE MONTH type B.S.. When the goal is to make a good film go to the old pros! They will add so much depth to your roles, your film and they are doing it for the love of the craft! So I want to give my on-screen dad a heartfelt send off. I only hope that I can be part of a string of hit films like he was. When it comes to intensity he could stand toe to toe with ANYONE. Cheers to Bill!
This week had me working film sales, development on no less than 4 different films and discussing acting roles in a few other movies for 2012. I did read a cool script the other night and I’m in discussions on that film. I’m told another director wants me to look at a role in a Michigan film so I expect to take another read soon. I’ve been doing a bit of writing on a script I’ve had upstairs in the nugget for quite a while so that has been enjoyable. I’ve also been sending paperwork around on the upcoming studio films I’ve got moving down the line. So overall it has been a very busy week. Thankfully I’m almost back to feeling myself again. I had a hard time with jet lag and came home just slightly sick.
We do have some casting calls slowly rolling out. You can seek out the COLLECTIVE DEVELOPMENT INC. Facebook site as they are posting there first. The first call was for a very experienced actor of Indian (India) background/look. Those who know me can attest how much stock I put into reels of previous work. Cold auditions suck and never yield the same results as seeing the actor in the real deal. So if you’ve been slacking on putting a reel together or getting your footage of past work – do so.
We’re also going to be posting at the CDI Facebook site to see if any female TRIPLETS that have that country girl “Daisy Mae” sort of vibe exist in Michigan or the surrounding states. I also heard that some of the Michigan film incentives were going to be back in action for 2012 so that is good news!
On the personal level I asked for some beautiful snow and boy we sure did get some. Almost eight inches of the white covered everything in the Lansing area. I’m going to have to do a little clean up as the heavy snow brought down a heavy tree branch on a portion of the garden fence. Not a problem as fences can be mended and now we have some more kindling to burn in the fire pit.
I will leave you all with the plea that next time you work on a project with a group of artists truly appreciate that opportunity because as the wheel of life turns we will lose friends and peers. On the CDI Facebook site there is also an album that honors many of the fellow artists that have passed on. Remember and respect those artists who made their mark and passed on. Appreciate the artists and the moments spent with them. They are your history and part of your mythology.