Tomorrow we welcome Spring, and it cannot come quick enough. The sun is shining here and that helps but it’s still bitter in Michigan. We had a few blowing snow storms pass through yesterday. I want to welcome all the new readers from the Philippines, Kenya and Poland. I’m very proud that our circle of readers is from around the world. So many things happening both in the CDI film world and in life. St. Patty’s Day came and went without the fanfare of past years. I had meetings and such which superseded any drunken ballyhoo. I did get to enjoy some corn beef and cabbage but no cheap food dyed beer for me.
Soccer season is right around the corner so I hope the weather gets warmer soon. I’ve limited most of my outdoor work to just keeping the wood going for the stove in the office. There is nothing like sitting my those flaming logs and glowing coals. We’ve had some great Harsens Island Revenge, pre-production meetings around the table. It is around that table and on those calls that amazing plans all start to come together. We’ll discuss some of those here first let’s look at how some of the other films are doing.
The Easter season is upon us and because of that I’ve had several pieces of fan mail expressing their enjoyment watching the trilogy. These films can be enjoyed no matter what your path is in life. FORTY NIGHTS is part 1, CHASING THE STAR part 2 and THE CHRIST SLAYER is part 3. Have you watched them all? Have you watched them in the proper order? Amazon, Tubi, Dove and more all carry these titles. Thank you to those who have made the films a yearly watch with their families. But if you need something thought provoking and uplifting these three films might be for you.
On the writing front, I’m proud to announce that I had one of my stories on “birds” was accepted for an upcoming national release of a collection of stories. I’ve contributed to books on cats, dogs and horses and now birds. It will be released via Baker Books. Thank you Lonnie:)
SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA has more home video meetings this week. The film roll out is still opening in more theatres now expanding into Minnesota and Nebraska. Again, it is because people are calling and requesting the film be booked. We are still exploring a 3rd party expanding the film into many more states. If you’ve seen the film and it moved you, please do go to our page on http://www.imdb.com and put a review. The home video will reach millions but right now the theatrical is still going with some theatres asking about Dec 2023 bookings. We have been playing theatres since our premiere Dec 9th.
SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE– I’ve been getting some great feedback on this script and I’m doing advanced development breakdowns. If this proceed correctly this could be our next project we film in Iowa. This is an extremely powerful piece of history and we plan to bring it to the big screen.
SHJ – I’m likely to have a call today or tomorrow to discuss progress on this upcoming supernatural thriller. Until ink and paper meet I will be a bit vague on this project but it is creeping closer to a possible green light.
Our own Curran Jacob was in Iowa promoting our documentary film FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH. He was selling and signing DVD’s with our historian Mike Chapman. All this is the foundation for our second film in the series ‘Battlefields‘ that will explore our branches of the military using Catch techniques. It will be housed again by The Red White & Blue project, a non profit that focuses its efforts on military needs and awareness. CDI will once again be the production company. If you have an interest in donating to the non-profit to make the second film go, please reach out.
Harsens Island Revenge – pre production is full steam ahead. This past week we announced several cast and crew (IMDB) including the additional of Terence Knox and Jim Greulich to our cast. We have requested reads start coming in and even more folks are starting to send their reels and pics for consideration. I can say we’ve seen some good prospects. Our crew is starting to fill up as we have talks with certain departments. The art/transportation departments are already hard at work doing breakdowns of props, guns, boats, cars, planes- I’m doing a new polish on the script to bring the opening scene more in line with our meetings. We start the film in WW1 and advance a handful of years with our story. We like some folks and are awaiting updates to their schedule. NUGGET OF WISDOM– Lower budget films MUST schedule around locations NOT actors. If you cannot commit, we have to consider casting someone else. We do have some castings we will be putting out to our Michigan agencies – EXAMPLE: A young girl (Italian look best) 7-10 who plays younger. So a casting call to agencies will be happening but right now we are awaiting several reads to examine this week. We will be working to fill the few remaining crew members. EXAMPLE:We are looking for an experienced wardrobe person to work under our supervisor. Next month we will have a second location scout trip to have hotel discussions and showcase the locations for schedule building. We have brought our AD team back (Nate, Michael and Ian) on board, and now we’re working on the office. These two departments work closely with our producer team.
Is that Cocaine Bear in BEST YEARS GONE after ole Gil?
I could go on about more minor updates such as our sponsor hunt. We are looking at companies and brands that fit the 1920’s film we are making. I’ve reached out to a few brands close to production to give them the first chance to get involved. First right of refusal we call it. Being that it is a prohibition film we are exploring beer and liquor brands. Merchandise is being explored for several of the projects, which is always fun.
I just took a break to devour some of our eggs and 4H bacon. When I finish up here I’m going to do some work organizing and getting ready for a productive week ahead. I am looking forward to seeing my brother and few friends later today. Many have been watching the March Madness basketball but I have not. But I hear my alumni MSU had a good game and they play again today. I enjoy football over basketball but it can be fun to watch. Watching soccer is getting me excited for our season.
I hope you all have a great week ahead of you. Remember, if you are in a place you don’t like, you need to change. Change your words you speak to others and yourself. Change your mindset and your efforts. We talked about that this past week. Hard work that isn’t smart work will just drain you and not get you closer to that goal. You have to work smart. And work…that word, work. If you are having issues are you working as hard and as smart as you can? Some focus on the fun parts of a task but often that is placing a cart before the horse.
In film, I’m glad to see that fewer people are leaning into social media funding endeavors, and putting actual business plans together and presenting. Funding is hard, always. Casting is fun. Crewing up can be fun. But, I occasionally see casting and crew calls and at the end you see they’re launching some crowd funding endeavor of which 97% fail. People like to jump to starts 8, 9 and 10 before doing 1-7. Brick by brick. Layer by layer. Film projects are built by order of business. The hard part is usually the steps 1-7 while 8-10 are more fun. But if the foundation steps are not done, it’s just doing the fun stuff first and hoping the other will fall in place. Don’t waste your time or others and follow the proper order of business. Your results will be much better.
Okay, I’m back at it for a few. Be good to one another and work smart.
Top of the morning to you all on this frosty, spring-like Michigan day. It is also St. Patrick’s Day and being that I’m largely Scot/Irish I’ll be toasting to your health today.
“May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold— And at the end of all your rainbows may you find a pot of gold.”
My college alumni team Michigan State University advances in their Big 10 Championship and will play U of M today. Go Green!
I also subbed in for the last indoor soccer game last week with my new team. Nice guys and I look forward to a fun season. It was good to run the engine hard and get those running legs working again.
(He WAS so small — about 50lbs and growing)
My little boy Finn is growing like a weed and giving us joy every day. Now the ice tundra is leaving us we can enjoy a lot more yard time. I especially enjoy the outdoor meetings at the fort that includes dart playing.
Today we will have the mother’s over for corn beef and cabbage and I’ll be drinking a few PB&J Porters from my friends at Elk Brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
To the film updates…how about a TOP TEN for the BIG TEN tournament today.
The first of the theatrical screenings announced in Grand Rapids, MI – Get your tickets here. This is remastered and should be a great viewing experience. https://celebrationcinema.com/film-info/woodland-mall/wild-faith
May 6th is the WILD FAITH DVD release and I’m hearing in Walmart in June or July. Did I tell you how much I love the cover art? I do.
We have just gotten word on The Christ Slayer that will be showing at the International Christian Film Festival. We’ve been nominated for 4 awards that we’ll PR this week. 1) Most Inspirational 2) Best Film 3) Best Director (Nathaniel Nose) and 4) Best Supporting Actress Melissa Anschutz – I’m super proud of our cast and crew. DVD and Streaming available now – in theaters starting April 19th.
Upcoming director of LOST HEART Jesse Low and I are so close to a final script. I have a review once I finish this blog. It is really fun script – emotional and funny.
LOST HEART Location scouting and vendor talks continue while our producers work to lock in the final investments. Northern Michigan is such a beautiful place. It will be great to have it in front of our cameras.
Also with LOST HEART we’ll be announcing the addition of two knuckleheads to the cast, Mr. Shane Hagedorn and some guy, DJ Perry:) We’ll both be playing supporting players in this fine story.
MBF: Man’s Best Friend has a locked picture edit and is moving into sound and music with Dennis Therrian. The story is really moving and I’m thrilled by the final story.
Once MBF is moved over to sound the final VFX and Color Correction work will begin. Once that is complete we will cut a new trailer from the edited and color corrected footage.
Last week I recorded two commercial voice over pieces. It went great and I hope the client is happy. I know the director was so we’ll see. Again, feel free to approach me with a project just come with an offer. This is not a hobby for me it is how we put bread on the table and wine in the glass. (Actually I make wine)
(Looking ahead to the new roles)
I’m going to wrap this up so I can refill the coffee cup and get to my LOST HEART review. Have a great end to your weekend. Be safe and have a productive week ahead.