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

Posts tagged “arts

Attacking the New Year – Read if You’re Ready for 2020!

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Fellow coffee lover Victoria Jackson (Lost Heart – Coming 2020)

BATTLE OF THE BEVERAGES

The hazelnut coffee is flowing and so am I on this fine 2020 morning. It was a wonderful holiday season from Thanksgiving to Christmas and now I’m ready to roll. We had a nice and chill New Year’s Eve with another couple, old friends – making fondue and playing cards. I had one fuzzy navel that took me back to high school football games with schnapps. I did not miss waking up dehydrated with a pounding headache. I do social drink with friends after soccer games or during some informal film meetings, but not going for broke these days. Between my soccer, martial arts and film friends, I’ve had my day for sure. I’ve had a few friends over the many years who loved drinking maybe a little too much. I’m not to one to judge because I have drank like a Viking on several occasions, I just cannot pay the piper with hangovers. I have so much opportunity and even working as hard as I do I still miss opportunity here and there. I guess as I round the corner this year to 50, I can say that if it was between coffee and alcohol, coffee would win. My buddy TJ would say pour whiskey in it – Win Win:) So I hope everyone had a great holiday ending with our entering the new year. Now you get to make decisions about how you spend your time. What you do to your body/vehicle. How you go after your goals. Goal #31 – Get coffee sponsor for 2020!

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I have had much better luck getting booze sponsors vs coffee

GOALS

Dreams are the first step. Once you break down the dream into steps you can start to go after your dream(s). You have to have faith in yourself and having a solid plan gives you a plan. Just like a great script is the first step to give yourself a chance at a great story. Trust me those out there winging it and having success is few and even if they have blip of success, trying to repeat or replicate that is difficult. I’ve been doing this now a long time and I love what I do. I don’t look at anyone’s life and say, I wish I had that. I don’t pine for a fancy car, house, clothes or what-not. If you have health, family, friends and are able and allowed to create your art and grow your passion into a career, what more? Enjoy the journey even the hardships because they are forging you. I don’t enjoy seeing whining about setbacks while pursuing the arts. These situations/hardships often posted on social media walls telegraph a person is weak. Now admitting weakness in the right situation can be strength but often what I see is wasted time to get sympathy, or too get the other failed feathers to flock together in agreement or support.

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Pick which road you want to travel – excuses, blaming or solutions

In LA on my early trips I would see bars in the actor ghettos filled with people drowning their rejection (I’ve done it a few times) and enjoying the company of other with failure excuses. Now the coffee shops with the person who has a stack of notebooks, lap top and chatting up battle plans- might be the healthier person to collaborate with.

REDIRECT that ENERGY 

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Christine Marie has one of those desired attitudes – positive and talented – Wild Faith, The Christ Slayer, MBF, Lost Heart…

Those minutes writing all those texts could equal that fantasy sword and sorcery novel you always wanted to write. It could be that screenplay to show the world what you can really do ala ROCKY. Now that the newspaper has been mostly replaced by internet news – I scroll a bit first thing in the AM while coffee is brewing and the dogs out doing their business. Read your postings as someone with money or opportunity to provide in the arts. What would you look for? Talent is only one part. Attitude and this is my #1! Good attitude and seeds of talent and we can nurture. When shooting a film, a quick FB scroll during off time can almost predict who is going to report fresh to set and who is going to be dragging in less than 100%. If I see complain, complain, complain – do you think this is someone you want on your set, everyday for weeks? Would you invest money behind someone who is always pointing out flaws versus offering solutions to help, fix, increase.

BE THAT GUY/GAL ON SET, CREW OR CAST, THAT YOU MUST RE-HIRE

PRODUCTION COMPANIES – BE THAT ORGANIZATION THAT PEOPLE ENJOY AND TRUST WORKING FOR.

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Wild Faith was full of hard work and FUN

Now both could have moments where they fall short but that is where ATTITUDE again plays in. Admit when you are wrong and that is strength. Apologize if someone saw your worst side versus your best side for a moment. I had a friend and collaborator once try to justify an artistic breakdown. There is no justification that is a failure. Admit that and move on with wisdom. Great artists who cannot communicate need to stick with a solo medium like painting or basket weaving. In high-school I had a saying, “that no girl was hot enough to compensate for a shitty attitude.” That same lesson can be applied to the arts. There is no artist talented enough to compensate for a shitty attitude.  I’ve heard stories of James Cameron (who I don’t know) first hand from cast members about James C’s early day rants. Maybe he has matured in his communication. I mean he is talented beyond belief, maybe one of the best storytellers in our time, but why a shitty attitude? He is living the dream the young artist in him only could imagine many years ago. Now I’ve never had a film run 100 million dollars over, so I don’t know certain levels of pressure. But especially those working on tighter budgets – attitude, gratitude and two way appreciation is the key. Remember who is providing paid work and an opportunity to showcase artistic services. And producers remember who the loyal, hardworking, positive artistic-providing cast and crew are.

Spirit of Excellence

HA! I get producer recognition at one event and I’m trying to tell people how to do things:) No. I’m just giving some insight to what works for us. SPIRIT of Excellence awards founder Skeeter Murray, who also does comedy amongst many things needs an apology. I could not attend last Sunday the awards deal and decided to do 2 videos. Well, previous to my filming the video I had watched Eddie Murphy host on SNL.  So Murray might have become Murphy:) So I’m sorry if I did butcher your name. Speaking of Eddie Murphy, filmmakers would enjoy DOLEMITE, IS MY NAME. It paints a great picture of an artist with lots of passion, who with his loyal just went after it despite lots of rejection. Good film!

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Okay, THE HORSE OF MY DREAMS book event that I will be attending will be at Baker Books on July 11th, 2768 E Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI from 1-3 pm. Like I said last week, come out and get a book. Hear me read one of the two stories that has to do with movies:) Bring anything you want me to sign. I will bring a silver sharpie!

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I will find that perfect TITLE:) 

My screenplay that I’m working on now is coming along great. The hardest part is the title. The book author wants my help in titling so the book and film could have the same name. It doesn’t have to happen like that but has several pros. ‘HOPE From HEAVEN‘ is the current title but I think we can do better. I want to wait until the screenplay is done this month because as you peel away layers you get to the heart of the story that is often the right title. The script itself is coming along great and will translate to film nicely.

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I’ve been updating promo items personally and for projects. One of the decisions right now is should we do a WILD FAITH 2 sequel or push the TV series HASTINGS. We are also developing and evaluating a few projects for the CDI slate.

Asking Forgiveness

I’m looking at this young man again for a couple possible film roles

MBF: Man’s Best Friend will have more theatrical showings, events, festivals, TV play and foreign expansion in 2020. Again thank you so much for all the fan mail on this and all the CDI films.

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LOST HEART is close to a locked picture. I will get a new update on that tomorrow but we are close. The film is so good and I’m excited to bring this to audiences Late Summer/Fall 2020.

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THE QUEST TRILOGY – Many people are taking the opportunity to watch these three adventure films set in the biblical times. FORTY NIGHTS, CHASING THE STAR, THE CHRIST SLAYER. Discover these hidden gems being shown around the world.

MISC.  

Too many to mention right now – lesson here. Don’t rush news out just to have something to talk about. Develop without distractions and trickle out the info until it is the proper time. Just my two cents – others may love the onslaught of communications when folks see possible work that lies ahead. For me, it can be distracting to respectfully answer back to all these people when trying to actually get to the place of moving forward. Again just use of time. Work smarter vs harder in 2020! I wish each and everyone of you a great start to your New Year!

Be good to one another.

DJ


Opera House, Updates and Burning Leaves

NOTE: I made it back to the blog. I had most of this written this morning at 8:30 am but the distraction of errands got me. We had bathroom tile work and major leaf clean up….but the upside…Beer smoked chicken, corn on the cob, salad…and you get my point. So I’ve returned even if it is now 12 hours later.

The last few days have been beautiful outside here in Michigan. I ended my week with a marketing meeting over the upcoming BESTSELLER thriller that will release next month. It was discussions centered on projectors, DVD release parties and the theatrical runs. We are near the end of post production and I’m very happy with the product we have. I’m sure audiences will feel the tension throughout this film.

I think one of the great strength’s we’ve had as a company is a strong composer. Many young filmmakers put a focus on camera and visuals but often acting and sound/music becomes almost secondary. A film score has thematic threads that run through it and pulls it all together. It’s like the final breath into the clay that brings it all to life. We’ll have our final listen through next week with Chris Knight, our EP/author. From there we master up the DVD and get the film ready for projection. We’re having a media showing May 9th so if you’re in the Michigan area and want an invite email me perrydj@aol.com and following that is the premiere on May 23rd in beautiful Northern Michigan. Both showings are at Historic Opera House.

History of the Opera House
The Opera House, originally constructed in 1877, played an important role in the history of the colorful lumbering era in Northern Michigan. Twice ravaged by fires and rebuilt in 1888 and 1903, the facility now harmoniously houses its original combination of City Hall, Police Department, Fire Department and the 582 seat Opera House. In 1984, after having been closed for some twenty years, the elegantly restored Opera House re-opened its doors to the public once more. Managed by the Cheboygan Area Arts Council, with the support of The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, this acoustically superb, Victorian theatre has become the focal point for entertainment and the performing arts in the Straits of Mackinaw area and beyond.

Ordering for the Premiere-
I think you can order tickets even now from their website but the ads for this will start next week. It will be a fun showing for sure. I’m proud that we took a book written by this very talented author and with some talented film artists created this motion picture. Stay tuned for some exciting updates including new poster art, trailers and more. Chris Knight wrote a strong thriller on BESTSELLER and I think we did a good job of adapting that to a film. We will see what others say next month.

“40 Nights” is solidly in post-production now. Editing has begun and we are weeks away from 1st looks teaser on the film. Also we’re slightly adjusting our title font so we have had a short halt on picture release while we adjust that. As stated earlier we will also have product licensing going on- so in the near future some great products associated with this film will roll out.

“Wasteland, Tales of the Desert Part 1” and “The Terrorist” have also been completed. So I will know more on when and where showings on those two films. I heard “Dead Quiet” is still moving down the post trail. It still ranks #1 on coldest day shoot for me in Pontiac and the drive to set that one day was epic in itself. MADMAX IN WINTER.

This week also had me putting in some work on a new script. I’m working on this script to collaborate with director Anthony (Tony) Hornus on. I like the role I would play and I think it would be fun to work with Tony again. This role would be strong but it also will allow several other talents to really shine in powerful dramatic roles.

KNIGHT CHILLS 2 had some good progress made just before I went to Yuma, AZ. This project is moving forward as the script develops. I think it would be a nice tip-of-the-hat, nod – coming full circle to see this 1st CDI film get a follow up. We’ve grown so much as a company and as artist it would be fun to revisit that world with all we know now.

Still no word on TANGY GUACAMOLE 2 – Still Tangy – Stan Reed says, call me!

I’m just smiling because I’ve got many things going on – crazy busy. But we are working focused and action lists are being checked off. I like the direction of these projects. Many are finishing. The cool part for me is that we are once again entering the “what’s next ??”- phase. We’ve got several projects with various degree of development on them. We also have a new deal to deliver two more biblical era films. We’ll get back to the sandals soon enough – it may be time to tell a few other stories first.

I’m getting the garden ready and prepping the yard for the year ahead. Soccer season is upon us and that is wonderful. I’m going to enjoy finishing out these films and getting them released. So prepare to be thrilled, chilled and entertained. I’ve heard from a few fans of ASHES OF EDEN this week. We’re working hard to set up a few AZ theatrical screenings before the wide home video release.

Final Words…
Keep pushing towards your goals. Enjoy your down time with family and friends. Shut down and recharge your batteries when required. Relax and visualize, it is a powerful tool. Every film starts as a thought and it always amazes me when we finish one.

Childhood Inspiration
I have to say that as a young child who was enchanted by Star Wars in 1977 – who was lured into the art of pretend by playing Han Solo with friends. It feels good to be excited about the whole Star Wars experience again. This new trailer really brought me back to where it all started. It is timely because with our upcoming “40 Nights” that was the goal. I wanted to tell a “heroes journey” like what I saw on the screen with that 1st 1977 Star Wars film. I decided to make Jesus and his quest of forty nights into my heroes journey. I have to give it to my my director Jesse Low and my DP amigo Jesse Smooth. (Also known as Jesse Aragon) These two fine artists truly captured that heroic vibe. I really feel that everyone involved with that project will be proud to have their name on it. Okay. I’m going to sink into BLACK SAILS. A most excellent TV show. Have a great weekend.

DJ


Summer Saturday Random Ramblings

Okay here we are and it’s later in the day versus when I normally publish. I was lost in the day and I got to see many of the people I hold most dear. It was a simple day with no thought to the cost of a rain out on the day of pick ups. Yes. Since November when we had to bypass a series of scene shots due to conditions. What conditions? COLD. And we have action involving water. Long short was that from Nov until last week we worked away but knew we had left a man behind. That’s right – one of the story telling pieces was still needed/wanted? Either way we wanted to go that extra little mile for maybe an extra “Ohhh” or “Ahhh” to the viewers. I have to say that it ran smooth like clockwork. We had a skeleton crew about 1/3 the size. We all missed the other crew being there but this was the shuttle crew being sent down with a mission. Well mission accomplished. AND we might have gotten some great footage for our opening title sequence. So in a nutshell it feels good to have gathered that missing piece. Now with task completed and my onscreen character officially purged (Save any ADR if required) I felt and still feel great because when a project succeeds it directly benefits a slew of the artists involved. I think when you associate with quality and demand quality from yourself this opens you up to more quality opportunity. I see many people devoting high amount of energy to things that are improbable at best and more often impossible. I’m for all this growth. I’m happy when I get to work with young people who embrace both the arts and business. Many of the friends I had early on in the business fell to the road side or now reside in places of standing. Be kind to one another.  Business… they can never take the art from you. But to survive as artists your work or the collective work must set you apart and create a demand. This leads me to again how proud I am of the “Ashes of Eden” crew. After an extended theatrical run in Lansing and ongoing in Grand Rapids we will soon be announcing Detroit area locations and perhaps a few other cities. We have started to have some contact from theater owners asking about our film.

“Supermodel Showdown, Costa Rican Adventure” shows 1-3 launched on Indieflix.com’s Afterdark Channel. Because the hot tropics might be too much for a few of you. I’m told we have an 85% approval rate and so the bikini angle worked:) Thank you all again!

A few other films we have moving through post production. The previously mentioned “Bestseller” should be assembled at month’s end and ready for final music and sound design. We did watch a rough cut and I think – well I think, it will scare people. Frightening movie my mom with probably not like it:)

“Dead Quiet” is sure to scare some folks. I’ve been trying to wait patiently for a trailer and my only guess might be they are targeting Halloween.

Also my man Jon Osman should be getting “The Terrorist” about complete. It is a slick film and I also think audiences will truly enjoy this NYC thriller.

“Donors” might be playing a festival or two this fall while we talk to distributors on that film. If you get a chance to come see Doctor Savior – please do:)

I will also leave you with this news – FACT – Some of the CDI library may be heading towards new releases. FACT – Jeff Kennedy, DJ Perry and Michael Walton have all had recent talks about KNIGHT CHILLS. Remake? Sequel? A TV Series? What is HAPPENING?

I’m actually excited as an actor that I don’t have any set obligation at this moment. I had talks on a few things but just not the right fit. I have to truly be inspired by the story and the character. So I’m enjoying the weekend. Don’t forget to give yourself a break once in a while. Enjoy those around us.

DJ