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

Observations From the Captains Deck

It is funny the little life observations you note when you bring many artists together. We are just shy of two weeks in and I have to say the only issues we are truly having are food related. First as someone else noted – you would not work another job whereas you would be consuming calories constantly. Yes. Folks do make stops at a break rooms or maybe they even fudge with a donut or sweet here or there, but this is Man Versus Food stuff going on.

We have had two meals per day on this current film and a craft table that often has dips, 2 kinds of chili, chicken noodle soup and other various  spreads. We’ve replaced our craft table once with a different person more organized to the task and pace. We’ve had extra dishes coming in from all sides yet still a few of the crew are not pleased. I will start by saying that those folks do seem to fit the Michigan profile. By that I mean overweight – yes we excel at that in this state. We  seek to put protein, healthier calories and use a system of gift thermal cups and large jugs of water, lemonade, teas and such as well as coffee and hot teas. This is a green choice and one based upon the countless times that I’ve accounted for 3 sip bottles that get left, discarded and wasted. Also brand wise with soda or whatnot that we don’t provide – you will never please everyone. This is a small budget film being done in a professional manner. We have been discarding food since we improved on week two with the craft/catering. After seeing homeless in our own state and in other countries I’m really quite ashamed of these few individuals. We’ve negotiated good deals to allow this cast and crew to eat well. But, it doesn’t satisfy all of them. Give A want B – give B now want C – an unending game.  I almost feel like giving them their few dollars for the day and be done with it. If I want fancy French Sparkling water and some exotic brand of smoked almonds and the craft table doesn’t have it – you go buy it. No Sun Chips and you must have them – buy it. Dr. Pepper addict – go buy it. A few of these crew guys have recently worked on in-state studio projects and told me how much these personal Michigan based projects mean to them. Yet, if this isn’t SCREAM 4’s craft table – complaints. WOW! I mean I’ve had a $900 dollar bottle of wine and $200 steak dinner where the cow must have been raised as a king to demand those prices. But I still love a good Michigan hot dog. I can eat Mac N Cheese without a complete system shut down. Now to remind you this isn’t diva talent. This is a few select crew guys and all in the same department. I can say that at CDI we don’t roll like that. Respect!  It is also interesting to note that as the food portions increase the speed of the crew decreases. Just a truthful note. So as my LA friends say, if craft is your biggest issue – you are doing great. Man Vs. Food Vs. Productivity.

I hope those few continue to make it in the big game because that attitude is not welcome on either side of the camera. Nuff said:)   On the other side of the coin I’ve seen many, many folks that I will be using again in the very near future on Michigan CDI projects. The footage we are getting looks amazing. We have distribution folks interested and this will be a solid story that shows some MADE IN MICHIGAN pride. IF any of those complaining people read this blog, note my professionalism in not calling you out by name. Put your feet back on the ground and be the great artist we brought in – without all the extra B.S. please. You can add all that lost weight back on over the holidays. Ho! Ho! Ho!

I think we have a handful of new films about to launch. Dean Teaster’s LONG ROAD HOME was in talks in Chicago this week on financing. We are supposed to do back to back biblical era films and speaking of…BOOK OF RUTH now in Meijer stores for Christmas. I’ve also heard that it is at Wal-Mart but have not seen it there yet.

I’m still being told “7 Stones” completed by years end but we will see. I have no control over that particular post process. I also saw a rough cut of “Realizism” and was quite happy. “Benjamin” is playing Big Apple Festival tonight in NYC at the Tribeca theaters. “Darkest Night” and “Deadly Renovations” working some foreign deals and “Locked in a Room” delivered to the distributor and should make its announcement soon. Post music deal is signed on “Donors” and that will get underway around the 1st of the new year.

I will have the old personal office officially closed on Monday. The new office has my stuff in it but all centered up as the walls are still being covered. It has been quite the journey. This year will soon come to a close and I will regroup for a great 2013. This was a good year so far with more ups than downs and so I can’t complain.

I had the French director Ian contact me about his film and I need to make some time for international communication which is usually on very off hours. I will Ian I promise:) Some great projects on the horizon. There has been talks of helping another friend produce some films and we’ve got our own associations so 2013 will be busy for sure. As for now I’m getting ready to work on pre-payroll stuff. There is just so much work that goes into this films especially if you don’t have Hollywood studio budgets to throw at the small things. All that doesn’t assure a good film as we all know. I just want one more week from this crew of giving their best and keeping their gripes to a minimal. I wonder if those few will give their mom’s, grandma’s, girlfriends and wives shit over not have enough Thanksgiving dinner to feed them despite an abundance of food. Note – I didn’t include any women in the whining:) Score for the ladies! Buck up! The ship docks in a week. This is a war ship not a cruise line with 24/7 buffet:)

Have a great weekend. Damn I’m hungry now. Karma:)


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