Welcome one and all to “Clawing My Way to the Middle” first blog of 2014. It was a wild Christmas holiday with the ice storm and even now we prepare for another Arctic storm to come. I had a good friend come and help me cut up the fallen elm tree which I stacked up. I will say that once it has dried I will have a good amount of firewood. I had to do a little make shift fix to the fence until we can really address it. There was a lot of business that finished at the end of 2013 and some that was just on hold. Let us look at the year ahead so top off that coffee cup and let’s take a look.
In December I was filming later than usual in the year with my acting on “Dead Quiet”. It was a cool okay COLD chance to film with some dedicated folks. I’m curious to see what we created although the first look at dailies brought good feedback. I’m also curious to see the Christmas film I did locally renamed “Small Town Santa” which ties into my next announcement. I had almost sold/produced a Christmas script of my own several years ago. It banged around with some majors and would have easily been the largest script sale I’ve made. I had Hollywood try to do a commercial tween rewrite. I was willing to sell but truly hated that version. When that deal did not go through I put that version in a dark vault never to see light of day again. I kept my version inspired by THE WALTON’S versus the AfterSchool special mess. I held onto it in hopes that either I could do it right or that someone else could. I finally had a studio read MY version and loved it. The option/purchase agreement was made and it is very likely that it will launch this year. A press release is being put together so I will hold on details. I’m starting to look at a few scripts that are not acting vehicles for myself and I might consider a sell. Many like the visual style of the writing and so 2014 will see me put some effort in this area. My agent wants me to look at scripts to sell via them also so I guess I will consider. So if you are in need of a script in a certain genre reach out. You better bring your checkbook though.
I’m starting to continue distribution and studio talks that started at the year’s end. I’ve got some legal meetings this coming week over properties. I’ve got a few scripts to read – one being the proposed follow-up to “Ashes of Eden” with director friend Shane Hagedorn. Post work on ‘Ashes of Eden” is almost complete and “Bestseller” is about to dive into editing. This year will see “Donors,” “The Terrorist” making 1st distribution pushes along with the two films above. CDI will look at more associations and continue the tradition of storytelling. The chances are good that I will be doing a follow-up project “The Beast” with Russ Williams (Darkest Night) and the western “Rifle” with Carl Barbee (Resurrection).
As for acting – the hair got a sizable trim and I’m ready to tackle some new roles. I love the family of folks in front of and behind the camera. In 2014 we will create more stories.
Good morning to all of you EST readers and for all others hello! I’m excited that this blog has really got to be international reflecting the great brotherhood and sisterhood of artists world-wide. Many years ago I stared this blog on a DJ Perry fan page created by well, a fan Pepper and it has grown into this blog over the years. It is a place where you can tune in and read about my journey and maybe gather some unique insight into your own situations. I’ve been a bit tough over the last few weeks because if you really want my comments on issues unfolding around me I’m going to state the facts. I’ve never been a real sugar-coated type person. I’ve had issues with people in power who think they demand respect vs earn it. I’m many things outside this business of ours and so a title means little if I don’t respect you. I look to actions vs words and truly look at the person and their potential. I would rather have someone with less experience and the right skill set to nurture and develop. Know that your actions are always being evaluated and in our business evaluation and accountability are king.
We’ve made some great structure changes to the upcoming BESTSELLER film. It has been a time of evaluation and accessing and I have to say that I’ve not seen such potential squandered in some time. That has almost all been corrected. As legal and accounting clean up the past um… camera tests? Acting rehearsals? We’re preparing an entirely new ship to launch – BESTSELLER 2.0. New management, new director, script clean up, new locations, new battle plan and accessing cast and crew. For those who saw the PR last week, I did accept the offer to play a lead in the film. I’ve been enjoying “finding” that character within and I look forward to working with my “7 Stones” co-star again. Stay tuned for a new website that will also be launching with our new campaign. This movie is going to be an exciting ride.
If you want to see what film our team previous managed I invite you to watch the official theatrical premiere of ASHES OF EDEN. It premieres tomorrow Sunday at 8:00 pm EST at
ASHES OF EDEN dialogue edit is now about complete and sound design and music work is about to start. Color correction work underway. They had an event last night and played the trailer sneak peek for a few hundred people to a great reaction. More promotions are going to be heating up as we make our way towards a late fall premiere. We also did a Lansing area radio show that broadcasts to 30 countries and that can be found on the http://www.ashesofedenmovie.com site.
This week has also been filled with other notable news
A drama that may or may not launch in Detroit next week – I’ve been consulting on since about December and we have a production contract sitting out there. The company needed some LOI from us and wanted us to work out the legalese later. STOP RIGHT THERE! You want to know why so many projects become a cluster ##$% is that you need to define and work out legalese ahead of time. Too many people have carts pulling horses. It seems to be a reoccurring issue with some people and it always spells trouble. Good business starts with a good foundation and that means have a solid groundwork of agreements. This venture has had some major issues in communication whereas advise given is just flatly refused. I’m trying to give advice to protect an investment and give the chance for the best film possible to be made. But at the day’s end they want to push forward despite warnings and so what do you do? Script changes, creative suggestions that help budgetary issues – all given and ignored. Now I’m not use to going at something as just a JOB. I run on passion and art with business being woven throughout. Some of what I warned about is coming into play because at the end of the day – hard work in the wrong places and good intentions will not solve pre-production issues. I’ve had to look at the idea of checking my own ego and pride and just making the best possible film with the resources available. So the contracts are out there and the requirements known so if it happens – I will go at this like I do everything – with BEST EFFORTS. If they don’t agree to our most basic requirements – pass. I’ve passed on several projects this year including another acting offer yesterday. It just has to make sense. My issue here is saying NO can mean a financial loss to many people BUT there will always be another. Until the ashes are spread I will always have the need to create and engage in storytelling but I refuse to be ruled by SHELLS & BEADS. Now time will decide – I had to kill all effort and communication – time for talk is done and now only action remains. TO DO or to DO NOT!
There is interest that came from left field on helping to produce and co-star in a TV series for a major network that I watch often. A pitch last week, which by the way was thought to be a bust – resulted in a call that evening sharing their interest. Never overlook the poker face. I hear it from many actors who think they tanked an audition and that is the one they landed. Now this project here is of course under non-disclosure but it is one of the few projects that I have said yes to as a regular. (Should it go) So as soon as I get off this I have a story meeting as now they need their written pitch to move up the line to get green lit. It may or may not work out but it is another growing experience. Also in sharp contrast to the previously discussed project – good communication is what has this project moving.
Word is that a couple of films recently licensed may be dubbed into Spanish for distribution. I’m still working the final pieces of the Germany license deals.
Great Skype meeting over “Darkest Night” and the 2014 follow-up shoot of “The Beast”. They have hired a director and the UPM and so movement is beginning on that front.
“Supermodel Showdown” TV series is moving right along. Some teasers for this will soon be heading to distributors and audiences.
Outside of all this movie stuff – a great soccer tie last week against former league champions. Tomatoes are now ripe in the garden. I did some good work on the office this week. We did some good grilling and chilling a few evenings and today will also have us grilling some pork steaks. I’m off for a story meeting before enjoying the day. I hope each and every one of you have a great weekend and productive week ahead.
What a beautiful Michigan spring day – Yes, I said spring. It is funny because we had some snow just a few days ago. Today was spent pulling stuff out that was packed away for winter. We got the patio back in order, new garden lights, raking, burning and just getting things started. The yard is a tad rough after all the building of the office that started in the fall. There was a lot of dirt moved and so the “yard” needs to have new grass seed put down. It was a long hard winter on “Red” our redwood tree but I think he is gonna make it. The dogs have just loved these days outside and are now fast asleep. I know I usually write this blog in the morning but today I had to adjust. Tomorrow is our first soccer match with the men’s league I play in. I know some people like soccer and others do not but if staying in shape is your goal soccer will do just that. I will be a tad sore next week for sure. We play until Oct and what I love is that my team just wants me there to play defense. And if I’m not off shooting I am. So cheers to my mates tomorrow we battle. Okay to the topic of films.
“Realizism” premiere was great and I think that footage and the comedic character I play will help widen the roles I get. I’m told that I’m humorous but most of my film roles are extremely serious. I enjoy all kinds of roles so I’m excited to use this footage.
I signed LOI’s (Letters of interest/intent) on two films to shoot this year. I mentioned one recently in a press release and that is working with “Locked in a Room” director Larry Simmons again. The other should announce this week and once they do I will promote more. It is a biopic type film about a famous person that I really admire. I’m excited to be part of this film. A tease I know – but patience:)
“Darkest Night” the Philippine horror film is pre-selling on Amazon now and I’m very excited to have audiences see this film. I do play a clean-cut fellow in it which is nice. I think this will be a unique film and horror fans will truly enjoy it. I worked/sweated my ass of to make this film. I had great co-stars and a crew that kept me smiling.
The follow-up film “The Beast”, that I’m doing with Russ Williams has attached a director. I think they are going to announce that this week so I will let them announce first. I’m looking forward to working with my co-stars which so far include Jessica Cameron and Gabrielle Stone. Gabrielle is in Novi tonight at Motorcity Nightmares a horror con. I also heard my “Benjamin” co-star James Russo is there. I thought of heading to a VIP party tonight but here I sit. After a hot shower and some food I got into my pajamas and…
I will have my day of visiting more of these conventions and meet more with the fans – which I so appreciate. I guess I’m a touch low-key these days but my fans know that on-screen I give everything I have for them to help tell the story. I wasn’t scheduled to appear so I’m going to finish chatting with you fine folks and relax before our first soccer game. I hope my friends enjoy their stay in the Michigan.
Next week it is back to work on post work for “Donors,” “Ashes of Eden” (Some great footage coming from edit) and the “Supermodel Showdown” TV series. I also spent some time last week putting together my master resume as Actor, Producer and Writer for a management company. I was contacted and this opportunity was presented so I’m going to take a look at it. I like what I’ve seen so far and I would be joining a great group of talented folks. I will see where this journey takes me.
I wish you all the best as you conclude your weekend.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
What a busy week. I’m sipping some coffee and reflecting upon the week and I’m smiling. Scenes are being knocked down on “Ashes of Eden” and it is rewarding to see those pieces of the puzzle coming together. We are on schedule and soon we will start to release more promotional materials as we move along the post-production line. As we work on the edit and the distribution flow another film “Donors” is even closer to the finish line. Locked picture is about done and sound design has been underway. Now it will come to Michigan for music scoring.
I’m excited about the March releases of “Locked in a Room” and “Darkest Night”. Echo Bridge Entertainment did an early “Locked in a Room” release to Google Play and we debuted in the top 20 with #12 being our highest. We were shoulder to shoulder with several studio films so we were very happy. “Darkest Night” will release on March 22nd in the USA and than we are going to release in Asia with South Korea likely being the first Asian territory.
“The Beast” will be the follow up from the GPI/CDI collaboration and GPI has been doing some casting as they adjust their filming plan. I think “Soul Eater” may shoot 4th quarter this year as well. That deal may be close to closing.
“7 Stones” is starting to shop international and domestic TV. That brings me to another announcement that CDI will soon be announcing a TV line up. These properties will be developed with TV play in mind. We have relationships with various networks and these will create some new business on those fronts.
I’ve been having meetings over “Rifle” a western I’m involved in but that may not be the only film in that genre launching. Yes. That is a tease and so stay tuned for more information on this.
We will be doing a call for ACTOR REELS here very soon. It will be for certain characters in a breakdown. So if you don’t have your reel together this is a hint and a half for you to GET R DONE. Damn. I think I owe Larry the Cable Guy a dollar.
Talks with several foreign distributors are also underway. We are licensing our films directly on some international fronts. It is an exciting time here at CDI and with so many new doors opening it truly is hard to keep up.
I’m in talks about a possible film role in April. I’m contracted to be in the film “Somnium” in March. May looks like it will be camera time also I just have to make an important decision on casting. Which role do I want to play. There are two different characters in this film. Both are powerful and have different vibe and character arc. So I plan to refill the coffee cup and take another read this morning. I have to get that settled within myself so I can move forward. It is a WILD time:)
Have a great weekend!
My mornings are still coffee but my days have been water and cold green tea. We’ve been going through gallons and gallons. I just went out to water the garden and even at 10:00 am it is HOT! I use to think as a young man I did well with the heat but I think it was because heat always brought the sexy girls out and about in their sundresses and bikini’s. Now I have to say I enjoy the cool temps more. I can always throw a sweatshirt or coat on and boy do I have a collection of coats. I guess I have a sickness like women and their shoes.
The entire week save a few meetings have been watching Daphne recover from her surgery (Going great) and getting organizational work done. Many deals that have been being worked are looking to be close at hand. Let’s explore some of that but first I want to talk about MICHIGAN. The Woes of Michigan…
I am without a doubt a huge fan of Michigan. Born and educated here and full of pride. I like to think we are known as industrialist folk with a direct friendliness. Our film industry was forever at the near bottom of any lists for productivity in film. Than we had the incentives and that was a rush as the larger entities took an interest in our State. Many rushed to suck upon the teat of the new industry. A big complaint is that local talent on both sides of the camera was not respected. I think that lack of respect is even heavier when it comes to MICHIGAN talent. Now I want to be very clear that as talent I’m national, I’m international BUT because I choose to live here among my lifelong friends and family some use that to try to reduce my value. I work more out-of-state or country unless it is usually a CDI project. As someone who communicates daily with entertainment folks from other states/countries, I often try to raise up our image. I know I can speak for our teams of people in saying that we are a unified team and we work towards a unified goal. I see that many casting people here in-state don’t fully recognize and respect the talent. This leads to insecurity in talent that manifests in bad egotistical ways. Agents also are so afraid of rocking some boat that they don’t push or sell their talent. They are playing a numbers game to try to steal crumbs from the floor. It seems the term working smarter vs harder is not in the vocabulary around these parts. I work in production and I know the in’s and the out’s of this business. The worst deals I ever make are in our own state because again some people don’t realize that one bad talent can tank a scene. Sometimes it can be worked around in post and often it cannot. It has even happen in our films before and you learn. I respect the people who are artists seeking longevity versus 15 minutes of fame. I have to say the last few years the Michigan scene has been very disappointing. I can say that! I am Michigan through and through. I’ve spent countless hours self teaching/studying the business. I’ve taken on mentors and picked their brains for insight to their success and failure on endeavors. It is horrible when I encounter people who are working in positions that are clueless to the process they are expected to execute. Michigan has a long way to come and I’m not surprised many people from other hubs were brought in. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have talent it is the fact that the talent (both sides of the camera) are not being packaged and sold properly. DP’s reduced to 2nd AC’s, AD’s working as production assistants and talent grouped together and sold as a one size fits all. Until these internal workings are corrected the industry will still stumble. In this pool of understated talent I see many struggle for pecking order in this small pond. These are all just observations and opinions but I think I’m about to use a pair of terms in talking about Michigan that I’ve NEVER used. Lazy and Uneducated, it hurts to even say them. I damn well know that is NOT everyone and if it doesn’t apply to you – you know. And you have the work to prove it. I did say WORK not No# of LIKES or BS popularity STARMETERS. Work! Show me the movies! We at CDI cast off reels and most producers do. So next time you hear “They don’t want to see reels”…OK. Red flags! I cast and get casted and it is almost always off REELS.
Speaking of reels, CDI is entering into its 2nd associated project with GPI in the Philippines entitled “The Beast”. GPI is doing a National casting for one of the American female leads. I was the male star of the previous film “Darkest Night” and I count it as one of the best experiences of my career. Here is an article and the rules to submit. HINT! Get your reel ready!
Some BIZ BULLET POINTS
– The “Benjamin” premiere in NYC was a big hit and if audience reaction is an indicator we may have a hit. A MI showing may also be upon us.
– “Deadly Renovation” can now be pre-ordered on amazon.com for an August release so GET IT NOW!
– We are looking at distribution offers on “Locked in a Room” and “Darkest Night”
– “7 Stones” is back in for audio re-mix
– We have several projects in development that might be moving into PRE-PROD.
– I’ve gotten a verbal deal on a film shooting at month’s end playing a rogue with a good heart. Paperwork should be all signed up this weekend. I will discuss more at that point.
– I’ve had a few scripts I’m reading that come with offers. The possibility of filming in France in August is getting more likely. Not sure how the end of the year will roll out but stuff is starting to really roll now.
I hope that everyone out there is taking the steps to beat the heat. Whoever said Global Warming is all myth should maybe take another look at that stance. I understand corporations wanting to squeeze more dollars by dodging EPA but come on! I loved a story I saw today whereas 90% of landfill garbage can be used in a plasma process to create energy. There is not an issue with profit just align it with something that benefits mankind. OK. I’m off my soapbox:)
Be safe and enjoy the weekend!