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

Posts tagged “cabins

Father’s Day – Sunday Chat

GasperArzu

The coffee is fresh and hot and I’m sitting here in the lazy boy with all of you on this fine Sunday morning. I want to welcome new readers from the Czech Republic to the blog. I love that as the movies expand our circle of artists expands. The garden got some much-needed rain and is growing fast. We’re already enjoying lettuce for salads and on sandwiches. Also the large dead elm tree we had dropped is finally cleaned up. I spent a few meetings going outside  and slowly feeding the outside chiminea and organizing the logs. Wood does not get wasted with the wood stove in the office and in the winter you need it. Also the siding is purchased and has been picked up to do the upper part of the office. I have a small bday/CDI gathering coming up so I did not want to try to do that this week. It will be a nice bday present to myself. I got to watch two good films this week that we’re not my own. One was “Wonder Woman” and I really enjoyed the film. It featured great action, locations and the production design for WW1. I also finally watched “In the Heart of the Sea” directed by my good friend’s son Mister Ron Howard. A great peek at life during that time period and how some thrived and fought to survive by the sea. It was said to be the inspiration behind MOBY DICK. I might have to try and tackle that book again. I fell asleep many times with that film on my chest trying to read it. Two very different films but both had great glimpses into other periods of time.

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Let’s talk development first. I’ve been working hard to put everything in order here at CDI as all these great films roll out. Even other older titles are finding new life as people discover our films and potential $ still locked into some of them. The new slate of films I’m working on with the studio is coming nicely but I require another 12 month slate of smaller films until that deal can get going fully. So I might use this time to produce a few films that distributors have been asking for.

KNIGHT CHILLS

The symbol of the KNIGHT CHILLS franchise.

Knight Chills the film that kicked off CDI in the late 90’s has grown into a bit of a cult classic. It has been turned into a book that will release on paper and digital this Summer. It will be sold at Comic Cons as well with Source Point Press. I’ve written three sequel scripts now but the first two were too high of budget for what that small little film did. I did discover that it sold with Spectrum Films much better than we thought. The company liquidated and went under and we never recouped all our profits. The film sold again with another minor horror distributor and released to several countries. The bottom line is that a friend of mine in the Comic Con circuit via films, comics, books and graphic novels was a big fan of the film. He asked to write a book off the screenplay and we set up distribution with his Source Point Press. I’ve always thought the entire ‘idea’ could be a great franchise. I think this winter we’ll shoot the sequel. It’s a fun romp in the vein of TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL. They want to do a book on the sequel and expand into graphic novels. Not bad for a little film thought up by the Kennedy’s and I all those years ago.

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I’ve also finished a first draft of a new script we’ll produce either this Fall or next in Michigan. The working title is “Man’s Best Friend” and I feel it’s a powerful piece that will find a broad audience. We’ll soon start doing some advance casting trying to find a few of the required roles. I’ve been identifying the 3 new films in THE CONQUEST TRILOGY the BMG follow-up to THE QUEST TRILOGY (Forty Nights, Chasing the Star, The Christ Slayer) that will film once again in AZ. I’m also setting up talks with a few entities about the Wild Faith TV series. A few discussions also over literary representation after writing/producing the last 4 films. I’ve done several work-for-hire writing jobs in the past including adapting books to script. Soon I’ll be throwing my hat into the ring with some large production companies. I love to write and so I might get the right team behind me.

Let’s look at a few new updates on the CDI film front.

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Forty Nights – I’ve had several buyers, promoters and PR companies contact me over this film and our trilogy and I’ve directed them over to our distributor. I think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg with these films.

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The Christ Slayer – This past week we got to see the 1st cut of the film. It was moving to see the 3rd film in this trilogy there on the screen. The film with no color correction, minus VFX and with minimal sound clean up was still beautiful. I also got to see the difference between Jesus in “Forty Nights” and now “The Christ Slayer” to fully see the evolution of the character. That can be said about several of the characters. They have started building some of the VFX modeling since we brought on our VFX folks. We had to get a special piece of equipment from New Zealand and that finally got worked out. Two scenes are still being worked but it will be a worthy add to the trilogy.

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Chasing the Star – the film is delivered to our distributor and it is already creating positive dialog. See – http://lenovotips.net/news/The-Star-of-Bethlehem/

I’m excited to see this film pushed during the Christmas holiday season. It’s truly a biblical adventure that I think will help make that story seem more based in reality. I’ve said in many interviews that I wanted to take people behind the figurines of 3 wood or plastic nativity scene wise men and make them breath. I think we’ve done just that and while the film is darker in tone it paints the picture of why a celestial Messiah was sought after. Pre-Order this title when you can and prepare for an adventure.

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Wild Faith – VFX work and sound design has been underway. Once music is applied this film is truly going to be something special. I love the film also because of all the special people involved in the making. We stayed in little lake side cabins and created this beautiful story. I do sincerely think that this film is a beginning of something more.

Well, I have a full day. A short flea market stop followed by a visit with my dad. Later if the fields hold we have a soccer match to play. I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father-like figures out there who mentor and guide.

Have a great day and be good to one another.

DJ

 

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October Updates- Movies

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I’m sitting here watching the rain slowly fall from Hastings, Michigan the current location of our midWestern “Wild Faith”motion picture. Yes, I am sipping the hazelnut coffee and I just got done reviewing pics from the shoot. We have only days left this week and it will be a WRAP save one pick up Civil War flashback day. Of our 11 days we finished barely late twice, early once and on time all the remaining days. That is a tip of the hat to our fine crew and prepared cast. We shot in the Historic Charlton Park last week and this week a beautiful cabin at a Nature Center and a period train in Coldwater. I’m a tad tired because when not on camera our producer team is making sure catering, rentals and payroll are all completed. In a few short days I’m looking forward to trimming my nails, hair and beard which I’ve been living with quite a while. It has been worth it as I’ve enjoyed the character on-screen. I play trapper/tracker Ben Lily. I’ve enjoyed all the old friends I’ve had a chance to catch up with and the new friends I’ve made.

OTHER FILM NEWS

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THE ACTOR is a great film I did in NYC with Jon Osman and my good friend Carl Weyant. It has a great message at the heart of it. Adler & Associates are taking it to the film market and soon we should know where it will land. Here is a preview trailer.

 

Additionally I’ve seen the locked picture of “Chasing the Star” with the music composed by the talented Dennis Therrian. That poster and trailer should release very soon to an awaiting audience.

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“40 Nights” the film before “Chasing the Star” is gearing up to expand over the Christmas season. If you have not experienced the film I encourage you to do so. Once “Wild Faith” moves into post we will start focusing on the final installment in THE QUEST TRILOGY – “The Christ Slayer” …

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“Bestseller” is in prime season and they had it here in Hastings at the Family Video. I think a news story came out yesterday that talks about “Wild Faith” filming but also drops “Bestseller” as something audiences here can easily see in store.

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So much positive momentum on “Wild Faith” and once again this film will showcase the beautiful of the state and of the artists. When naysayers come at you the best course of action is to prove them wrong by doing. Over the past 20 years plus I’ve heard lots of lip service but it is the people who create that I respect. Producing movies is hard work and it takes a tribe of artists to do so. I don’t compare or contrast our company with others we just do our thing. If you’ve worked with us you know how we roll. If you haven’t worked with us – you don’t know. Just work hard to keep the drama on the screen and always give your best effort. This team has been wonderful and I know some will be relationships that continue for years to come.

Enjoy your Sunday, I’m going to get another cup of coffee and prep for the week ahead. A few more days and this film will be “IN THE CAN” haha…or maybe “ON THE DRIVES”…Oh, how life and technology changes.

Be good to one another.

DJ

 

 


BRANDING Oneself and BESTSELLER Updates

It is a slightly humid Saturday in Michigan. We had a good amount of rain which meant morel mushroom harvest but also lawn growth. Slightly behind on our garden but we do plants vs seeds most of the time. I’ve had a very busy week finishing up BESTSELLER and happy to have this film releasing. It’s a major thing to say, I’ll oversee a film. You are accepting someone else’s money. Now you can’t always predict market appeal but you must make a product worthy of market. We have a taunt thriller and I think it will catch on especially with vacation goers and fans of the genre. Watching this film in a dark cabin in isolated Michigan/Anywhere will make a few hearts beat fast. Once the film kicks into high gear it will have people on the edge of their seats. We learned this reaction to the film from our media showing. So I’m excited to now let others have this experience. The 23rd will be fun showing in the old historic theater which will also host the afterglow. So as DVD’s are being made and the event showing draws near – I’m starting to slowly relax. After the premiere I will be talking to interested distributors on BESTSELLER, THE TERRORIST and a few other projects.

In other Film News-

I’m awaiting offers on a few films for additional TV play. Business is going good on many fronts. I’m as busy as I want to be. That said, I have had a few film projects circling and they are acting projects. If the right deal comes together I might step into a new role. I’ve been working business on “40 Nights” as post editing continues. We are going to start putting some “40 Nights” marketing materials (trailers and such) together following our BESTSELLER premiere. “40 Nights” is a powerful story and I can’t wait to show this later in the year. As the 1st of 3 biblical films it is a great start off film. I’ve been putting together my outline for my follow up biblical-era script. I love that writing process.

Scripts-

With writing I’ve been working on two other new scripts pending my mood. I’ve also started to update an older script that almost got made. I had positive updates on a script of mine under option. It is moving along that studio slow process:) So in between all this crazy business I find my moments to just write.

I often get asked to give advice to filmmakers so I will try to drop some here…

BRANDING –

In days of old where resumes were the 1st step followed by interviews people were careful about what appeared ON their resume. In interviews people often wanted to be on their best behavior and say the right things – Why? To get employed.

Now social media has invaded every aspect of our lives. As someone who hires cast, crew, vendors and such…I do occasionally pop over to someones social media. It is the most revealing of people in my opinion. But if/when you pop over – you see people who wear their every insecurity, displeasure, angst and so on    for the world to see it often plays against a person.  EXAMPLES

If they whine over every decision not in their favor in a public fashion to try to lobby opinion – WE HEAR – DON’T HIRE

If they complain how on the edge with stress they are and how they’re not sure how much more they can take – WE HEAR – CAN’T HANDLE PRESSURE – POOR HIRE

If they complain about their fellow employees constantly – WE HEAR POOR SOCIAL SKILLS – PLAYS POORLY WITH OTHERS

Can’t catch up, frustrated, behind, blah, blah… WE HEAR POOR TIME MANAGEMENT

I can’t every catch a break. NEGATIVITY, INSECURITY…

Even if some of these things are true to you – why would you shine a light on your weak points in hopes of someone hiring you? I find the honesty refreshing but many of you are saying to people who hire – DON’T STOP HERE – DRAMA BOMB IN FULL ACTION

It isn’t even talking coming from behind people’s back this is FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH as they use to say.

RUDE, VULGAR, HATEFUL – it just gets laid out there. Often in the same sentence with their disbelief that they can’t get hired or constantly get overlooked. Back in the day some people took competitive nature too far and bad mouthed others. But now people bad mouth themselves by how they represent themselves.

Hey! If you are independently wealthy and don’t need to be hired – Richard Branson can say whatever he wants. Cool. But if you are looking to get hired – consider presenting yourself professional. One buddy of mine occasionally works with kids but his posts are often off-color and with adult language. I like to swear at times without a doubt but not in a social media post.  I don’t do it for shock value and feel public professional is better. I have films and fans of films – some that have adult language/violence and others that do not. I try to be respectful to audiences in general. My two cents. Just something for those of you trying to make a go at business endeavors to consider next time you want to let your fingers fly.

#$@@$#^$#& – OK. I’m going to get on with some other Saturday activities. We have another soccer match after having Mother’s Day off. I’m looking forward to that. I hope you all enjoy your weekend as well.

DJ