Welcome to all our new readers from Germany, Uganda, China and several others from around the globe – coffee cheers! Watching the storm approach New Orleans and hoping for the best for whomever stayed behind. We all know of the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan and Covid is continuing to be an issue in some areas of the country. This humidity has been brutal yet I got the lawn mowed up one day and even had our last soccer match for the season in this heat. I’m ready for wood stove, chili, Lions/MSU football and everything that comes with that. It has been a very active time here at CDI and with me personally but that means good things are happening. Lets look at a few of the top updates-
- BEST YEARS GONE – the film is being polished up with some color correction tweaks and a few music beds to be worked in. The tickets are open for anyone to buy for Sept 18th at the NCG Owosso theatre with shows at 6:00 pm and 8:15pm with an afterglow at ROMAS patio starting after the first show and will continue after the second showing. Get your tickets now as they are going fast! No charge for the afterglow/cash bar and we’ll be doing pictures and such so come on down and meet many of the cast and crew.
- Also a just finished shooting the music video for ‘Off to the Races‘ the song by Vertical Bridge that will appear in the film as winners of the ‘Battle of the Band’ – we plan to show the music video either before or after the film. It depends on what film footage is used/shown in the video but we’re excited to see this premiere also.
- SMOKE & MIRRORS our short concept film is almost done. We had a slight delay in the VFX but I hope to get the finished film so we can look at maybe a small premiere as a fund raiser for the Dodge Turner House we shot at. I’m excited to finish the retooled feature script that we plan to shoot in the near future with Nathaniel Nose directing.
- FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH our documentary film about the history of wrestling has a first full cut which we’ll review this week. Once BEST YEARS GONE has moved out of post we’ll move this film in once picture is locked to have an audio mix done on the project.
- WILD FAITH/HASTINGS – as the feature film keeps climbing in views via the numerous streaming sites that means good things for the TV spin off series. This coming week I have more meetings over this project. I’m excited about what this could mean for so many cast and crew in the Michigan area. CDI has been building a strong team for a while now and this project could mean some consistent work. Giddy up!
- New release campaigns will be underway for a newly up-rez’d THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ, which was CDI’s first animated feature collaboration but I will say it won’t be our last. Also Christopher Knight’s BEST SELLER based on the book of the same name has been delivered and will be rolling out in the near future. This R-rated (language and intense situations) feature is the closest to a Hitchcock like thriller that we’ve produced. I’ll be in talks this week on a few other projects from the CDI library.
- SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA has most of the cast and crew in place minus a few still being discussed. We will be getting ready to go to paperwork this Sept for cast, crew and vendors. Most of our crew is driving in so we can take more equipment and gear. Some flights for west coast folks will be needed so those will be arranged. Wardrobe is starting to gather sizes (don’t lie actors:) * A famous story with my dear departed actor costar Dan “Grizzly Adams” Haggerty who might have fibbed on his waist size. This led to a frantic last minute adjustment on set. We’ll be having some round table discussions with art including guns with our armorer Mr. Robert Bradley. The town of Algona is so appreciative they don’t want CDI to be just coming to work in Algona they want the crew to be their guests. Once you meet the kind people of Iowa you realize why a story like ours actually happened. I’m excited and ready to tell what we hope will become a holiday staple along with your other favorite classics.
- We are having some great success with our product partners on our upcoming WW2 Christmas film mentioned above. We have another great brand joining us in our endeavor and their history/story plays into the script in a few places. Stay tune for some announcements and if you have a brand and want to align it with our story please do reach out. Smithfield Foods is our newest joining Lerma Transportation and The Candleberry Co. We are appreciative of all our product partners.
- I had a call last week about a film I was approached about a few years back and it seems they have momentum and wanted to resend the script and see if I was still interested in the role. I LOVE that they offered to send a paper script to me. Things always get read faster by me when they come to me in paper form.
- KNIGHT CHILLS – I’m just going to set this right here. This was CDI’s first film. It was both a test of ‘could we’ tell a story. We were too ambitious, under experienced, under funded but had a boatload of passion and enthusiasm. This story has stayed with audiences for many of the nostalgic reasons we love it. There is a world at play here and with the surge in fantasy role playing including new D&D movies, it might be the time for SIR KALLIO to arise. If you go and watch Part 3 of THE QUEST TRILOGY, The Christ Slayer…well watch all 3, imagine that world building applied to Knight Chills. The story exists in two places – the fictional here and now and the fictional inside fictional world of the imagination. This 2nd film is a transitional piece to get us into the world we always wanted to do but were unable to. This second film will be an EVIL DEAD 2 to Evil Dead 1 with the 3rd being the Knight Chills (Army of Darkness) – No. I’m not saying Knight Chills is on par with Evil Dead, I’m just pointing out the story arc. The second brings back some nods to the past and sets up for its future. We’ve had so many people interested in the story and this RESTART not REBOOT will draw some artists into our story on subject matter alone. Just something developing in the dark of the night as the cold wind starts to blow…
I’ve given a good run down of some of the happenings over here at CDI. I’ve been watching my hops which are close to harvest. The rhubarb needs another cut. The chickens are kicking the eggs out. Veggies are ripening weekly and we’ve been storing some tomatoes. The plants are doing well with water but the humid just has it feeling like Jurassic Park around here. And the mosquitos are the true beasts around here. Although the bats are trying to keep them in check there are just so many. I think the mosquito should become the new Michigan bird:) Okay. I hope everyone has a great week ahead. Keep focused on what you can control and don’t let static and noise steal your attention and time. In many endeavors you must believe first. Click on Owosso links BELOW to go to BEST YEARS GONE premiere ticket site or just google it up. See you there.
I think I actually felt spring in the air if you can imagine that. Once the snow goes we have some tree cleaning to finish, fence fix and our gazebo took a hit under the snow and ice. I’m excited to do a few cosmetic things to the new office this year, which is looking great. It is truly the dream office and a great place to oversee the creation and on-going enterprises here at http://www.cdiproductions.com which has been kicking it strong since 1996. If you haven’t poked around the website do so as we’ve put several new updates on there. I also want to thank all our new blog fan adds from Australia. We are even now in talks to get more of our films released there and elsewhere. I’ve been asked to keep adding little tidbits of advice for aspiring filmmakers, actors and writers etc… I think people like the advice because it is brutally honest. No agendas here I just call it like I see it.
Let me see, filmmaker advice – best told by a story.
FILMMAKER CONFIDENCE – I had a good talk this week with a very talented artists on both sides of the camera. He was/is frustrated because of lack of progress and lack of control on moving a project forward. I like something he said – “I have confidence in the project but I lack confidence in myself.” That is a truthful statement but comes from a lack of experience. Imagine yourself a youngin’ standing on the edge of a swimming pool looking at the other side. Now we are talking width of the pool but you’ve never swam from one side to the other. Maybe you have your water wings on or maybe you don’t but you stare at that other side and you muster all the confidence you can. If you stand your ground and never dive in you will not reach your short-term goals. So finally with the right amount of encouragement – you DIVE in!
You swim, swim, swim and behold you make it to the other side. You turn around and you do it again. And again. Pretty soon you are looking at the length of the pool believing that you just might be able to swim the length.
You have to BUILD that confidence with small realistic goals. You build it by DOING. I will find out this coming week if this person jumped into the pool or is still standing on the edge. The point is that even in failure with an earnest attempt – that is success. So you took on some water and maybe you had to swim to the side before you reached the end goal- maybe next time. And next time you will have more confidence.
ACTORS – IF you are at that point where you want to be accepted as a professional – DON’T WORK FOR FREE! Let’s say that all together now. DON’T WORK FOR FREE! Work at a discount if you believe in developing these people but just say no. I see in our own state all these actors working the student films and free projects. That is where new upcoming actors get their experience and build their resume. So if you have experience and a resume that can compete professionally – GET OUT! Now if you are a hobbyist – sure do your community filmmaking deal, but don’t be surprised when professionals don’t take you serious. If you are in demand and you hold out – you force filmmakers to grow. It’s the whole, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Every time a professional actor does a free project – GO TO JAIL (Loss of name value) DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. An experienced actor beating out a bunch of newbie’s trying to get their first projects under their belt impresses absolutely nobody. Dive into that larger pool.
Now onto some updates! You know I like to give Blog readers advanced updates. So here we go!
DONORS, the thriller I did with Niki Saletta (7th Heaven) is complete. They will screen the film for investors this Sunday and plans will be made to get this ready for presentation to distributors. It is a cool little film that has some serious tension to it.
BESTSELLER released a new teaser poster this week and the rough cut is under review. Our director is making notes for a second round of editing as we speak. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some great performances caught by a hard-working crew. We’ve got early interest on the film by distributors and I’m relatively happy with our work flow. The overall film will likely be done in August and premiere in Sept or Oct.
ASHES OF EDEN will also be releasing some new poster art. I’ve been bouncing some ideas with our director on a new opening of the film. We should be done with everything this month save maybe the final mix. It’s exciting because even as strong and enthusiastic as the test audiences were – the final product is so much better. We’re planning a premiere for cast/crew followed by a theatrical test run and that may lead to a wider release via one of our several distributors bidding for a first look. This will be one of the films to watch and it will help put Michigan once again on the map with international releasing.
And speaking of international releases – following last month’s release of the Michigan-Made “Locked in a Room” to Germany, Austria and Switzerland those same territories will be getting the Philippine darkness unleashed upon them. Yes. On March 28th, “Darkest Night” will release there. That makes three new films released in those territories in the last six months. So congrats to the CDI Sales Team for that. More territories are in the works and we will announce as it happens.
The CDI Associated doc film “Outside the Wire, Forgotten Children of Afghanistan” is also getting a VOD release soon thanks again to CDI Distribution. This is a powerful film by Anthony Hornus. It was filmed while embedded with the US military in Afghanistan. I encourage everyone to check out this powerful film when it releases.
Other random news of events still developing include – a new casting for a CDI film on IMDB which you can search out under “40 Nights”. We will be doing a full PR release on this film in the weeks ahead. It’s a very exciting pet project and I’m happy to see this developing so fast. Actually we have development work underway on a handful of projects including an “Anthony Hornus” feature “Race to Judgment,” the “Soul Eater” film, and a possible new association with Detroit’s AT RISK ENTERTAINMENT. There also might be a theatrical showcase of CDI films coming to the Detroit area so stay tuned for big updates in the weeks ahead. Additional studio talks, new rep from India joining CDI and the list goes on. Enough of all this – get out there and enjoy your weekend!
We finally had a few days that were Spring-like in nature. I worked at the biz in the morning and spent a couple of afternoons working in the yard and new office. The dogs loved spending the 5 to 6 hours playing, sleeping in the yard. I build a compost bin after doing some on-line research as well as some yard grooming. The construction of the office really tore up the lawn. We also fired up the grill last night with the 4H pork chops and it was wonderful. I’m ready for another season of grill and chill. Also soccer season will be starting. I’ve done a good amount of strength training but I need to keep working the flexibility. I can see a few sore post game weeks ahead.
On the film front I have some good announcements and a few big meetings ahead. First is TONIGHT! I will be attending the event surrounding a fallen soldier from Owosso with our Afghanistan doc and country music acts. So I will be attending and I look forward to visiting Owosso once again.
We’ve been digitizing and editing on “Supermodel Showdown – Beauty Within” the TV series that is leading the new CDI TV division. I’ve also been reviewing work on “Donors” music score and “Ashes of Eden” editing.
Also we have the national release of “Darkest Night” this July and I’ve been reviewing some key art for DVD release. I’m excited to get that out to audiences. “Deadly Renovation,” “Locked in a Room” and upcoming “Darkest Night” – safe to say I’ve been working to bring you horror fans some new work.
Development work continues with some financial contributions on certain films. We don’t have a full go yet but I think very soon. We are in talks with many new companies/studios over licensing current films and participating in new films.
I’m excited to be in front of the camera again but it has to be the right project – by right I mean both business and artistically. I’m waiting to hear on one film that I really like so we will see what happens with that.
I might be missing a few topics but I have to go to an event with MSU Vet school this morning and then Owosso event tonight. Family birthday gathering tomorrow… BUSY WEEKEND.
I hope everyone had a great week and I wish continued success to all of you in the weeks to come. Be good and don’t look for short cuts. Hard work in gets results.
Coffee, coffee, coffee…I really do love the taste first thing in the morning. It has been a good and busy week. I wish we were onto some Springtime but it will be here soon enough. My mind is on the garden and what to plant this year. I’m also close to a second go on some beer making. The previous was like FOSTERS and this is a Killian’s Red variety. I will also be doing another wine. If the lilac flowers bloom hard maybe I will do another batch of that. I think its easy to tell I have grilling and chilling on the brain. It is also a time of planting new seeds that we will be talking about this time next year. Let’s look at some of the up’s and down’s that make up the weekly issues.
Special announce here – The reality show I did in Costa Rica has its legs under it. It has a famous producer waiting to view the final product. The show is being digitized to hard drives and editing is soon to begin. Look for an announcement here soon including the new CDI Television division.
“Donors” is having some amazing music composed for it. This film is about organ stealing and after the watch I can say it will make some people think twice about their actions.
“Ashes of Eden” is full steam ahead in editing and we actually just released “Road to Eden” the behind the scenes of “Ashes of Eden”. See http://www.ashesofedenmovie.com
Also we saw a release about the talks we are having with director Sergio Myers about ‘The 8th Plague” prequel “Soul Eater”. I can say that we are looking at locations and trying to find the second part of the funding.
“Deadly Renovations” is out there and seems to be doing good. I will say that our partners there are late with their 1st report. This is never a good thing and something that all distributors need to get serious about. Our sales company made a few TV sales and I was doing accounting. It is not fun work but it is what is required. I had done business with this company many years ago. They sold and paid out but the numbers were low. Now many years later they have a larger division handling bigger budget films. This is a test run back with them and so far I’m not happy with this reporting. In this age people talk. I had at least one call this week that resulted in two parties not doing business.
“7 Stones,” “Darkest Night” and other films are run by foreign sales companies and TV networks. More and more CDI Sales is dealing with direct selling because of lackluster effort by some companies. Not all of them I will have you know. We’ve had a few people who are doing their job and doing it well.
We have a big event coming up in April for “Outside the Wire” our non-profit doc film that follows kind donations in the US to orphans in Afghanistan. CDI Sales is now an official ambassador so if you have a company or wish to donate to this great non-profit be sure to contact me.
I’ve been in talks on a few acting projects. One film pushed as they try to get all their loose ends tied up. I’ve got two others that I’m in talks on. I think they are both great roles and only time will tell. Other than that I got my tax info in to my accountant. I continue to organize the new office and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.
If you’ve had a chance to watch “Locked in a Room” or “Deadly Renovations” leave a review on IMDB or elsewhere. I had a few autograph requests from “Locked in a Room” when DVD’s come out. Right now I think it is all digital release on Google Play, Amazon Instant, I-tunes and such. Well I’m going to have another cup of coffee and do some reading. I hope you all have a great Saturday!