It has been a week of just beautiful days in Michigan. I was able to enclose my wood shed in with logs from the recently fallen tree. I also took the axe to the older logs and so the stockpile for the office wood stove is growing. I want to welcome our new readers from Ireland and Japan. That is what I love about this blog. Artists, perhaps filmmakers but united here by passion. Invite someone you know to share with us.
Now last week was an unexpected loss of a mentor (Rance Howard) and to all those who reached out – thank you. I’m at a loss of exact words but we met over storytelling on Miracle at Sage Creek and that relationship took us through many stories. I will miss sitting on the patio in Yuma, AZ having a nice Mexican food lunch and just talking.
On set “Forty Nights” with Judy & Rance Howard and T (Tony Hornus)
With my experience I find myself being a mentor more often and losing my own mentors. What a man Rance was working right up until his passing. Bill McKinney (Deliverance) was the same way having filmed 2 weeks before he passed away. I don’t think you retire from being an artist. I am sad that I won’t be able to get Rance’s feedback on The Christ Slayer film. He was so excited about the final chapter of our trilogy. It was a major accomplishment and he loved playing the Devil. He also loved that we took an honest look at the ‘being’ and relationship he shared with others, Jesus in particular. But he will be looking down and I hope he is proud.
The Howard boys several years ago –
I do look forward to working with Clint one day and perhaps Ron and sharing some of the great conversations I had over the years with Rance about his family. I will be sending a nice note to both of them with the trilogy once Part 3 is done and released.
The Christ Slayer is locking up the VFX and edit and preparing to move into post music and sound design with the amazing Dennis Therrian who will once again compose the heart and soul into the story. The first official director’s poster is about to be completed. Also once we hit the new year the PR on TCS will pick up. Right now it’s all Forty Nights and Chasing the Star. They have been doing great over at Amazon and our other fine rental/retailers. Family 7 TV network in the Netherlands will be showing Chasing the Star and soon after I expect Forty Nights. Also I saw some promotional give aways for Chasing the Star to celebrate the release into the United Kingdom. Forty Nights should also be joining our friends in the UK. This time next year all three will be released! Also Chasing the Star will be playing on the big screen in Bedias, Texas at Miller’s Theatre I believe on Dec 7th. I’m very happy about all the developments on these films.
These two knuckleheads from ‘Wild Faith’
Wild Faith – the end credits are almost done. The VFX work is all in and the audio is being tweaked around it while color correction takes place. We did paperwork on all this at week’s end and so if a short time we’ll have all that complete. We will have a finished film VERY SOON. Before the end of the year – Merry Christmas to all of us.
This month we also did some work on other properties to boost them back into the marketplace. ASHES OF EDEN has a few options/offers to rejoin the market. We’ll be making a decision on that this week. A child’s animated feature THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ will be releasing back into the marketplace and FIGURE IN THE FOREST is making a few moves. Our bridge into India is also underway and soon I should have news to report there. In 2018 we will have that bridge open. Many more deals will be put into play.
Where ideas are born…
This week will be several meetings as we bring 2017 to an end. I’m going to cut this short as we’re taking the mom’s to a beautiful turn of the century house for a Christmas event this afternoon. I hope you all get to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Our development work on MBF continues and we plan to move into full preproduction at the end of January 2018.
Be good to one another!
It took me a while to sign in to my blog here. There are so many media communication sites. I get communications coming from all sides. Email is still the best way to contact me but even that is getting more complex. This morning we had a great breakfast in what use to be a train station in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. The chill today is perfect for all the football on deck. MSU, my alumni school plays in a few short hours. Lions on Sunday plus last regular season soccer match before play offs. It was another grinding week but extremely productive. Let’s look at a few of the wins this week.
I’m working the last few pages on “Chasing the Star” our follow-up biblical drama. I was so happy about how the “40 Nights” script evolved and how it translated to the screen. This follow-up has distribution and it appears all our funding commits are in place. So we are looking to return to AZ and film our second film for Lightworx Entertainment.
“40 Nights” has been exciting because we are now seeing dialogue cleaned up/balanced and environmental sound design. I got the signed paperwork on our licensing deal for management of merchandising. This movie should be complete end of November.
Now we have a partially funded western also being distributed worldwide by Lightworx. Not only will it be a feature film but used as a pilot for a TV series that we hope to shoot in Michigan. We have been in talks with several actresses over a lead role. Also some great Hollywood celebs may come out to participate. Funding talks continue and we have a real strong shot at doing this film before the holidays hit.
Development talks for films beyond April 2016 are underway but I also have a few projects to act in that I’m watching to see when their schedule lands. The C.U.J.O. movie has been talked about prior and also my management is targeting a strongly anticipated TV series. Not sure if we’re looking at a guest starring or being a regular but I would be happy with either one.
WASTELAND poster is being sent and the director has been trying to target festivals that focus on Science Fiction. I also want to get updates on THE TERRORIST (Release dates) and DEAD QUIET (Premiere dates).
“BESTSELLER” is having an event showing at the Wrought Iron Grill in Owosso, Michigan on November 1st. An EVENT PAGE coming soon! “BESTSELLER” is also being delivered to our distributor as is “Donors” so when I have release dates I will let everyone know.
In Lansing, MI we are kicking off a monthly CDI film screening starting in Oct. 15th at Sanctuary Spirits in Grand Ledge. I think it is $5.00 cover at door and the opening film is “Dean Teaster’s Ghost Town” – a smoky mountain western. It pits the two mountain men from DELIVERANCE – Bill McKinney & Herbert Cowboy Coward against one another.
I think Sanctuary Spirits will have some great whiskey specials. They have an apple and maple whiskey that is really good. I love their gin also. Not only can you have drinks there but you can buy bottles to take home. EVENT PAGE COMING SOON!
“Ashes of Eden” is gearing up for a release in less than a month. Here is a pre-sale link for BEST BUY
We will provide more ways for you to see this fine film in the weeks ahead.
In summary…working hard to finish up and deliver our current slate. We have some of the next slate funded and working on the ones after that. We are at a good place – working with distributors and making films to release directly into the marketplace. I’m really enjoying this new work flow. We will finish up this slate of films and look at moving to a few larger films. Patience is a virtue.
Have a great weekend and spend some time with friends and family.
GO MSU! Go LIONS!
So I want to start my post this morning honoring a great actor whom I had the pleasure of working with on our Lionsgate western “Dean Teaster’s Ghost Town” (Comcast On Demand, Netflix, Amazon). This actor is Mr. Bill McKinney famous for many roles in great films such as “Deliverance,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and of course my favorite playing my father in GHOST TOWN. I recall doing producing paperwork at Robert Bradley’s home and on TV I’m watching Clint Eastwood and Bill verbal spar on-screen. I remember thinking “tomorrow is my turn” to play with this great actor. Our 1st day together was shooting the father/son stable scene and it is currently one of the 1st scenes on my reel as I believe it reflects some of my best work. Bill felt the scene because of not always seeing eye-to-eye with his own son and God knows my father and I have also had our disagreements. So the scene really worked and we had great respect for each other from that first day. I have been looking forward to the next time we would work together but yesterday I got word that told me I would just have to appreciate the time we had. Bill McKinney passed away from throat cancer. His family said two weeks earlier he was shooting a commercial for DORITOS which doesn’t surprise me as the man was a battle axe. I hope the commercial is for the Superbowl because that would be a fitting send off. To work with Bill was to work with true greatness. It is why I will continue to be a fan of working with the aging vets of our industry despite what some casting folks say about BUZZ, HEAT and FLAVOR OF THE MONTH type B.S.. When the goal is to make a good film go to the old pros! They will add so much depth to your roles, your film and they are doing it for the love of the craft! So I want to give my on-screen dad a heartfelt send off. I only hope that I can be part of a string of hit films like he was. When it comes to intensity he could stand toe to toe with ANYONE. Cheers to Bill!
This week had me working film sales, development on no less than 4 different films and discussing acting roles in a few other movies for 2012. I did read a cool script the other night and I’m in discussions on that film. I’m told another director wants me to look at a role in a Michigan film so I expect to take another read soon. I’ve been doing a bit of writing on a script I’ve had upstairs in the nugget for quite a while so that has been enjoyable. I’ve also been sending paperwork around on the upcoming studio films I’ve got moving down the line. So overall it has been a very busy week. Thankfully I’m almost back to feeling myself again. I had a hard time with jet lag and came home just slightly sick.
We do have some casting calls slowly rolling out. You can seek out the COLLECTIVE DEVELOPMENT INC. Facebook site as they are posting there first. The first call was for a very experienced actor of Indian (India) background/look. Those who know me can attest how much stock I put into reels of previous work. Cold auditions suck and never yield the same results as seeing the actor in the real deal. So if you’ve been slacking on putting a reel together or getting your footage of past work – do so.
We’re also going to be posting at the CDI Facebook site to see if any female TRIPLETS that have that country girl “Daisy Mae” sort of vibe exist in Michigan or the surrounding states. I also heard that some of the Michigan film incentives were going to be back in action for 2012 so that is good news!
On the personal level I asked for some beautiful snow and boy we sure did get some. Almost eight inches of the white covered everything in the Lansing area. I’m going to have to do a little clean up as the heavy snow brought down a heavy tree branch on a portion of the garden fence. Not a problem as fences can be mended and now we have some more kindling to burn in the fire pit.
I will leave you all with the plea that next time you work on a project with a group of artists truly appreciate that opportunity because as the wheel of life turns we will lose friends and peers. On the CDI Facebook site there is also an album that honors many of the fellow artists that have passed on. Remember and respect those artists who made their mark and passed on. Appreciate the artists and the moments spent with them. They are your history and part of your mythology.