So this morning started with the news of an elder family member passing at the ripe age of 89. I had the pleasure of meeting him a dozen years ago and connected with him over several games of horseshoes. Yesterday marked the 3 years passing of our furry daughter Joplin who was with us for 15.5 years. Finn our new boy just celebrated his first year with our family. The wheel keeps turning. I’ve said before one of my daily goals is to just laugh. I focus and work extra hard on certain days so I can do in-person meetings vs just a string of calls. I push a business call or two and call to touch base and reconnect with old friends and associates. Actor/artist Terry Jernigan and I recently touched base after too much time. I have a list of people who I need to catch up with. This is all in-between planned calls with associates in other countries and time zones. I don’t love phones but until those Star Trek transporters are ready for commercial use, phone works. I asked Santa this year for one of those old school hold phones that plugs into your iPhone. I’ve been pretty good so maybe Santa will look after me.
Speaking of iPhones – I met this past week with filmmaker Nathan Quinn. We were celebrating his finishing of his first 90 min feature installment of NECROLAND. With the amply amount of extras, effects, props and such the film has succeeded strongly in one place, it surely paints a chaotic world. The film unfolds in broad strokes that tries to reveal a world-wide crisis somewhere between magic and science. Think steampunk without the turn of the century feel. The show does have interesting characters but the film plays like more of a tv pilot. I say that because several groups of characters are introduced but few are fully developed. It reminded me a bit of the old GI-JOE tv show. This guy has a cool hat and a whip. This lady has some sort of cyber implants. But we don’t know too much of anyones backstory. I could occasionally see where improv performances struggled but I also felt a few real moments. I also have known Mr. Quinn for many years and he’s not a compromising type. NECROLAND has moments of feeling child friendly but the profanity and gun massacres with head shots, will hinder that. I’m speaking of distribution because I love Danny McBride, George Carlin, Redd Fox type humor. I’m fine with violence when it isn’t just going for shock value. But I understand there’s an audience out there for everything. But those that love the violence and the R-Rated aspects will want more of it and less “Goonies gone wrong” I think. I was also impressed with some of the editing work during the montage sequences. It was trippy and dare I say enjoyable, which begs Nathan who has a background in music – to maybe add a rocking soundtrack. If you played something like Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules” during some of those Necrit attacks! NOTE: I was quiet during lots of the production because I just wanted to see the story. A HUGE amount of man hours in that film not forgetting the stuff that pre-dated it and did not make the cut. I know he’s doing some polishing (I suggested color correction) for the DVD. I think a group of friends gathered together on a Saturday night could really enjoy this film. I think this film marks an important place in the Ironcore development. I’m more excited to see where it all goes from here. In a feature film direction – I would say a more targeted audience, fewer characters allowing more character development. But in a series format like LOST and countless others you can have 20+ main characters. I think Ironcore is going to start direct sales with the DVD so take a look when it becomes available. Congrats to my friend for leading a team of artists in using your imaginations and creating some cool art. Countless artists have been given a chance to participate in their own love of storytelling and being in front of the camera thanks to Ironcore.
It all starts with a script. I’m just about done with my read on the book I’m turning into a screenplay. I loved the character development and the gist of the story. I’m also honored the author wanted me to present the story in script. This film has the intent to distribute behind it and we’ll be shooting this later next year.
I had good meetings over our projects in development with our distributor. We discussed what has been moving strong at the markets. I’m enjoying this growing relationship as we keep telling our stories and they push them out into the world markets. One of the main topics and updates was on LOST HEART. Next week they will start concept artwork for the DVD cover. Our team has been getting elements over to the distributor. We will also be doing a watch on the rough cut before director Jesse Low fine tunes it.
MBF: Man’s Best Friend – the response is strong and growing. After the non-profit premiere success we’re pivoting a bit on the event theatrical. The film will play next month in Kentucky for the Equus Art & Film Festival. We have non-profit showings being set up for the first of the year in Lansing, MI and Naples, FL. But in the meantime keep passing the word and over the holidays make sure your family watches this powerful story.
WILD FAITH/THE QUEST TRILOGY – All the CDI films are enjoying time with families around the world. We just got some breakdowns of all the countries and platforms that are playing our films. Just like this blog it is a great international family of those who enjoy listening and telling stories.
I’m excited that the holidays are here. I have a dinner with old friends on Monday and Thanksgiving on Thursday. I hope you all enjoy some time with your family and friends.
Have a great week!
Today we are doing final prep on “Chasing the Star” the second film in our QUEST TRILOGY. I’m happy to announce that these three gentlemen are the actors we landed on after looking at reads from around the United States. These three are representing the Texas, South Carolina and NYC (By way of Michigan) markets. If you work hard you can make it happen from anywhere. It’s been fun to see all the artist come together – every day new props, new wardrobe tests, new gear arriving and new family. Yes. The film family is a unique experience and as a producer I’ve always strived to create an experience that people will remember. I think we’ve been doing that at Collective Development Inc. for some time. Even those early films like “From Venus” and “Heaven’s Neighbors” were filmed with great care creating lasting memories for all.
While this new film is launching we’ve been heavily promoting and pushing our other films to market. We’ll be doing our Yuma, AZ “thank you” premiere of “40 Nights” on March 13th, hosted by Champion Church. They helped us with everything from background talent to use of locations. The Lansing/Grand Rapids theatrical run of “40 Nights” has just expired. We’ve been approached by many interested people who wanted to see the film on the big screen, so, we may move the film to the Sun Theater in Grand Ledge or other such venue to keep that momentum. Many are asking us to bring it into Detroit via one of the chains there. We will try. Here in AZ we’re looking at a meeting with Harkins Theaters to do a run, so we’ll see if that comes together. April 5th is the “40 Nights” DVD release at most major retailers. The streaming release looks like it will happen in June – more on that soon! You can pre-order the film DVD at several retailers but here is just one.
We also just released distributor poster art for “BESTSELLER,” which releases in May. This film is a great curl up and watch thriller. Be afraid! “Ashes of Eden” is another film of ours that releases on April 5th – great story, music and performances.
PRE-BUY “Ashes of Eden” here
I will write more later but right now our team is doing a dozen different things to final prep for tomorrow. Because tomorrow we start “Chasing the Star” …
Keep clawing your way towards your dreams!
I’m enjoying my second coffee indulgences of the day. I’m almost packed for my trek into the world of “40 Nights”. The pre-production crew is heading in to finalize locations and get the ship ready to set sail. I’m excited to go tell this story and return home in time to see spring enter. We are all anxious in Michigan for warmth to return. We all love the yard, gardening and landscape fun tooling about on weekends. The animals also miss being outside for long, lazy days. I plan to bring the warmth back to Michigan with me.
This week I’ve been so happy as the team prepared what was needed to be done in advance of our arrival. We’ve got 99% of the cast and crew in place. Michigan will be represented heavily. While I love shooting in our state you have to be loyal to your story. We’re going to once again go do what we do as artists- tell stories in moving pictures. I can’t recall if I shared this last blog or not but I found myself pondering this next role. While many of my characters were created in the minds of a writer(s), this next role is based upon an known person. His doings are as disputed and varied in descriptions as many known figures. Think George Washington, Gangis Khan or Buddha. But whenever people have a set idea in their mind’s eye you always run the risk of going against that grain. I just sat that all aside and I’ve given into the script, the story, the role and the words. I think as an actor, that is all you can ever do.
I’m the first to point out that EVERY film I’ve done has had some negative critics. A sizable portion of that feedback can be jealous actors, writers, producers, filmmakers, old associates, people who don’t like your face or someone you failed to hire. Or just maybe they sincerely didn’t connect with a film or character. I’m still always amazed at what lengths some people will go to bash a performance or a film. I think EVERY film has audience members who just didn’t like it. But someone who writes extensively about it often has other issues at play.
EXAMPLE: Sorry Will:)
I watched (I use that term loosely) ANCHORMAN 2 recently and my point – I didn’t take a half hour plus of my life to write a thesis on how bad a film it was. To be fair – I like some of Will’s movies (Step Brothers, Talladega Nights) but that sequel seemed to be a “cash in” on the original. Well…they got my money:) The long-short is that I’ve never really concerned myself with what people think. I’ve always just done my thing the best I can and let it go. This role made me pause because of others excitement and expectations. But I say that at the end of the day – same method. “Be the Ball Danny! Be the Ball!”
So I’m a person that loves to be ultra prepared. I always feel I owe that to be fellow cast and crew. We have about 80% of the business done. We’ll have almost all the other business prep done in the first couple of days of on-location pre-production. From there much of my duties are to study lines (Several of them) and get tan. What?
I’m not much of a “get a tan” type anymore but it does fits the role. So perhaps I will soak up the Vitamin D and work on more line prep. As talent I work every day on this one. It’s been a short while since I’ve been 1st billed and had to do the bulk of the scenes. I’m been a happy co-star to let other actors do the heavy lifting for a change in terms of scenes, lines and days. Well, rest time is over. I’m back to the front line but I’m good. I love this stuff. It’s just like when as kids we would recreate our favorites TV and movie scenes. The difference now is that my scene comes from our script. We’re shooting in supremely beautiful locations and I’m have fun with friends old and new. Bottom line – I’m ready.
Other great developments.
WASTELAND is about done with the edit. Music is being considered although we may score it in Michigan. I saw a peek at some FX work. Overall – very good stuff. David Gries as a bad ass – he’s that good. I have always seen him friendly and smiling. Little did I know what was just under the surface. The small teaser released a week or so back doesn’t do the film full justice. I think the finished film will be playing festivals this fall.
BESTSELLER – Color correction is happening as we speak. The FX are all laid in. Dennis Therrian just did a complete system upgrade for this film and the ones ahead. Yes. He will be doing sound design and score on “40 Nights” so excited to have the upgrades. Stay tune for details about the May media and public premieres.
I’m waiting to hear how test screenings of THE TERRORIST went. That film has been polished up and I’m happy that it’s finally going to roll out to audiences.
DEAD QUIET is supposed to reveal a trailer at some point. I only worked it a few days but enjoyed working with those folks. I’m curious to see how that all turns out.
We’re also going to have a film marketing summit over WICKED SPRING, ASHES OF EDEN and DONORS with our distributor while out west. They release May, June and July with rapid fire release dates. The last time I had a trifecta release like this was AN ORDINARY KILLER, JUDGES and The 8th PLAGUE I do believe. I’m ready to get these films out to the fans. Thank you out there for all the emails, messages and notes of encouragement and anticipation. I encourage fans of one film to cross over and see the art of the other artists I’ve worked with. I’ve got a large film family.
TV and foreign sales continue and we’ll be seeing some new announcements soon. I can also say the same about theatrical. We’ll have updates on that front likely starting with a May showing of WICKED SPRING (Civil War film) in Grand Rapids and perhaps Lansing. We’ll also be working on dates for BESTSELLER theatrically in June/July.
When I return from out west we’ll get “40 Nights” into post. I do have a CDI commercial job we’re overseeing. Yes. We do take on larger commercial projects. Additionally, I have an offer on a script writing project coming. I’m also finishing up two personal scripts one of which IS “Knight Chills 2” the follow-up to our 1st role-playing film (Dungeons & Dragons like) we shot back in the late 90’s.
The back half of the year I would enjoy acting in one studio film and maybe do a guest spot or two on TV shows I like. My management has been working down that path and things are moving into alignment. I’m going to close this down as I still have packing and want to spend some family time. By next week we should have even more new exciting announcements from on-location. Maybe a distributor announcement on “40 Nights” ??? Maybe 🙂
Have a great weekend everyone and keep clawing at those dreams.
One of the locations for the upcoming CDI feature “40 Nights”