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

CDI Charting the Course for 2023/2024: Period Films On Deck

Happy Sunday morning to you all. I was surprised to see upon opening my blog site that we’ve been flooded by new readers from around the globe. Readers were up 300% and I’m not sure if that is from releasing on a Monday because of the Cleveland, Ohio 27th Indie Gathering International Film Festival or some other reason. But to put a cap on last weekend, it was so nice to slow down and enjoy the success of one of the projects. In this case it was BEST YEARS GONE, but 2022 has been one of the busiest release years I’ve had since maybe 2005. I want to thank the hardworking staff at the gathering and again express my surprise and appreciation at winning the fest ‘Best Actor’ award.

It was also special to have another Michigan film ASH & BONE playing on the same day with some of the same talented folks involved. So Congrats to Harley Wallen and his hardworking team also. If you have not watched these two films BEST YEARS GONE is streaming and on DVD now and ASH & BONE releases in December I believe.

THE PATH FORWARD

Navigating the world in our business and trying to make all the right moves in challenging. That is some of the things we talked about last week. Many do not know all that goes into the business of the movie business. Learning to create the art is only part of the battle. Often the art has to flow with the business or no art can be made.

HOT ROD LOVE – This is a perfect example. This project has been in on-going negotiations with primary locations which include a drag racing track. Fighting the economy issues we’ve secured only a partial budget. We at CDI only move ahead when we have 100% of the funds. It only takes a burn or two to learn this lesson. We were in active development and we’re moving it to passive development over the winter. Aside from the two ongoing issues of location and not full funds, we still have two major releases ahead this year with FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH, our history of grappling documentary, currently working to lock in a theatrical premiere date. But the streaming date is 10/4/22 with DVD to follow soon after. And we have our WW2 Christmas film SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, premiering in December, both in Iowa and Michigan. Furthermore, we already have theatrical chains coming on board. We have business with various national sponsors and product partners, so the end of the year will be full.

The other developments factoring into the move of HOT ROD LOVE to passive development is the advancement of our next period-epic HARSENS ISLAND REVENGE, being green lit. It will shoot late Summer/Fall of 2023 but will require the full CDI development. This year and over the winter we’ll be locking in the key cast, crew and location scouting.

This is followed by a soon-to-be announced writing and producing endeavor for 2024. I’m working out the paperwork now and I’ll be excited to share this news. But what it means is that following the release of our WW2 period film, we’ll have two more historic-based dramas to follow. I’m extremely excited to be starting another script in the beautiful fall. We have some specialty casting on this film so we’ll be looking into that very early on.

I had to see the busy 2023 and 2024 that was ahead of us and realize that we need to devote this final part of the year to not only finishing SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, but giving it the push it deserves. A new theatrical trailer starts being worked on this week which we hope to run in certain theatrical chains in advance of our run. We still might have a couple of event showings for BEST YEARS GONE.

We’re debating about releasing SMOKE & MIRRORS, our fun and spooky short concept film, in October. This might be on the CDI Youtube to get more folks to ‘Subscribe to the Tribe‘ and embed it in the CDI website. We need to get BEST YEARS GONE updated and the SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA page up. Updates for the new year and beyond.

HOT ROD LOVE, WILD FAITH: Hastings – and all the ‘in development properties’ will keep advancing on the chess board. I had many great meetings this week and we’ll be using the time to re-organize and streamline many things. You have to always try to improve your work flow. It was nice to connect with several old industry amigos and find out what they’re working on. It is a great cycle of artistic creation. There is no one way to do anything but a multitude of paths that can achieve a wonderful spectrum of results. I had some great compliments last week from one of our longtime celebrity friends. What I received was a compliment to all our stories, unique and hand crafted by artists who truly care.

Shifting gears away from the grind of funding to focus on distribution, promotion and advanced pre-production on the two active projects, was hard. Your actor’s soul starts to explore a character’s depth. Your business ego wants to be able to control the outcome, but alas, often you cannot. Every project has it’s own time to be made- I’ve spent time in years past trying to push something uphill that wasn’t ready to go. I’m glad that I’ve gotten better at reading the signs. Just like reading red flags in people’s pitch. That is all experience as a filter. I read unreasonable claims all the time but also it’s not my job to go kicking sandcastles. Experience will teach them OR they might succeed via a path you did not see.

One project is in our State and one will be filmed out of the State. But this is still a good time to get your reels together. We’re not to that stage as of yet but in good time. We’ll always be looking at crew we’ve had positive experiences with. That is a major factor with cast also. Attitude means so much over here at CDI. We can give and develop experience but we can’t fix hard-wired negativity. The experience of making the film is also important to us, not just the final product. We circle up as producers and discuss this sort of thing. For the short period of time we share to shoot a script, we should all have fun. And the final product will be something everyone is proud to put their name on.

WRAP UP

I’m grateful to everyone of our supporters. We’ll work hard to keep bringing you the quality stories you’ve grown to expect from the #TribeCDI. The next two projects should be pretty damn cool. Thank you for all the kind communications on the films. I try to keep up and respond, but sometimes fall behind.

We won our first round of playoffs in ‘Old Man’ soccer. It was a great match ending 1-1 and went to penalty kicks. We WON. Now we as the #2 team will play the #1 team. They’ve beat us twice in good matches and we’ll see if we can pull the upset.

I’ve been into starting to get wood around. I was working out with the Viking log splitter. It’s like a giant fixed axe blade that is fitted inside an iron circle. You put the log down upon the blade and hammer the log down. I put the smackdown on several logs. Using an axe and hammer will help keep you fit like a Viking.

The Lions pulled out a preseason win yesterday. We did a nice walk around the flea market but no big finds. I think because I was hungry I was not as attentive. I had eggs on the brain. The chickens are doing fine. The garden has squash and pumpkins popping all over. My hops are growing out of control and the berries have finally gone. I’m going to go do a few things about the property likely ending in some grilling of venison unless we get the rain.

Have a great week and we’ll chat again.

Coffee Cheers!

DJ

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