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

“The Beast” Casting Call, Michigan Woes and More…

My mornings are still coffee but my days have been water and cold green tea. We’ve been going through gallons and gallons. I just went out to water the garden and even at 10:00 am it is HOT! I use to think as a young man I did well with the heat but I think it was because heat always brought the sexy girls out and about in their sundresses and bikini’s. Now I have to say I enjoy the cool temps more. I can always throw a sweatshirt or coat on and boy do I have a collection of coats. I guess I have a sickness like women and their shoes.

The entire week save a few meetings have been watching Daphne recover from her surgery (Going great) and getting organizational work done. Many deals that have been being worked are looking to be close at hand. Let’s explore some of that but first I want to talk about MICHIGAN. The Woes of Michigan…

I am without a doubt a huge fan of Michigan. Born and educated here and full of pride. I like to think we are known as industrialist folk with a direct friendliness. Our film industry was forever at the near bottom of any lists for productivity in film. Than we had the incentives and that was a rush as the larger entities took an interest in our State. Many rushed to suck upon the teat of the new industry. A big complaint is that local talent on both sides of the camera was not respected. I think that lack of respect is even heavier when it comes to MICHIGAN talent. Now I want to be very clear that as talent I’m national, I’m international BUT because I choose to live here among my lifelong friends and family some use that to try to reduce my value. I work more out-of-state or country unless it is usually a CDI project. As someone who communicates daily with entertainment folks from other states/countries, I often try to raise up our image. I know I can speak for our teams of people in saying that we are a unified team and we work towards a unified goal. I see that many casting people here in-state don’t fully recognize and respect the talent. This leads to insecurity in talent that manifests in bad egotistical ways. Agents also are so afraid of rocking some boat that they don’t push or sell their talent. They are playing a numbers game to try to steal crumbs from the floor. It seems the term working smarter vs harder is not in the vocabulary around these parts. I work in production and I know the in’s and the out’s of this business. The worst deals I ever make are in our own state because again some people don’t realize that one bad talent can tank a scene. Sometimes it can be worked around in post and often it cannot. It has even happen in our films before and you learn. I respect the people who are artists seeking longevity versus 15 minutes of fame. I have to say the last few years the Michigan scene has been very disappointing. I can say that! I am Michigan through and through. I’ve spent countless hours self teaching/studying the business. I’ve taken on mentors and picked their brains for insight to their success and failure on endeavors. It is horrible when I encounter people who are working in positions that are clueless to the process they are expected to execute. Michigan has a long way to come and I’m not surprised many people from other hubs were brought in. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have talent it is the fact that the talent (both sides of the camera) are not being packaged and sold properly. DP’s reduced to 2nd AC’s, AD’s working as production assistants and  talent grouped together and sold as a one size fits all. Until these internal workings are corrected the industry will still stumble. In this pool of understated talent I see many struggle for pecking order in this small pond. These are all just observations and opinions but I think I’m about to use a pair of terms in talking about Michigan that I’ve NEVER used. Lazy and Uneducated, it hurts to even say them. I damn well know that is NOT everyone and if it doesn’t apply to you – you know. And you have the work to prove it. I did say WORK not No# of LIKES or BS popularity STARMETERS. Work! Show me the movies! We at CDI cast off reels and most producers do. So next time you hear “They don’t want to see reels”…OK. Red flags! I cast and get casted and it is almost always off REELS.

Speaking of reels, CDI is entering into its 2nd associated project with GPI in the Philippines entitled “The Beast”. GPI is doing a National casting for one of the American female leads. I was the male star of the previous film “Darkest Night” and I count it as one of the best experiences of my career. Here is an article and the rules to submit. HINT! Get your reel ready!

http://alienbee.net/gpi-is-holding-open-casting-for-the-beast/

Some BIZ BULLET POINTS

– The “Benjamin” premiere in NYC was a big hit and if audience reaction is an indicator we may have a hit. A MI showing may also be upon us.

– “Deadly Renovation” can now be pre-ordered on amazon.com for an August release so GET IT NOW!

– We are looking at distribution offers on “Locked in a Room” and “Darkest Night”

– “7 Stones” is back in for audio re-mix

– We have several projects in development that might be moving into PRE-PROD.

– I’ve gotten a verbal deal on a film shooting at month’s end playing a rogue with a good heart. Paperwork should be all signed up this weekend. I will discuss more at that point.

– I’ve had a few scripts I’m reading that come with offers. The possibility of filming in France in August is getting more likely. Not sure how the end of the year will roll out but stuff is starting to really roll now.

I hope that everyone out there is taking the steps to beat the heat. Whoever said Global Warming is all myth should maybe take another look at that stance. I understand corporations wanting to squeeze more dollars by dodging EPA but come on! I loved a story I saw today whereas 90% of landfill garbage can be used in a plasma process to create energy. There is not an issue with profit just align it with something that benefits mankind. OK. I’m off my soapbox:)

Be safe and enjoy the weekend!

DJ

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