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

Posts tagged “eggplant

CDI Prepares For the Next Story-Voyage

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Hello everyone,

I hope the weekend has been good to all of you. I’ve had a busy and productive week both in business and just in getting things done. Where to start? I started the week a touch low because like many families out there I have a sick uncle. He has been more of an inspiration and influence than he knows. His fun wear what he finds comfortable is practically a mantra. His storytelling is simple and engaging and I’ve been thinking of my uncle and cousins at this time. That said, it also reminds us that age not withstanding, that tomorrow is not promised. So boldly we move forward, creating and living.

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Soccer has been fun and getting me into strong running shape. Running 70-80 minutes of stop and go in all directions will do it. I’ve been doing lots of yard work and prepping for the garden that is now planted. Beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, pumpkins and more are in the ground. I’ve also installed a retaining wall around the office porch. I need to put some grass seed down. All the stuff I enjoy doing while making business calls.

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I’ve been organizing acting ands literary materials for future work with this new agency. I had a possible opportunity to write for a TV series but we’re in preproduction on LOST HEART and I don’t want to do any less than my best at either endeavor. Lesson here for people not to try and do too much and do poorly at both things. So first on deck is LOST HEART which I was the screenwriter on. It is a funny and emotional character study with the bizarre and wonderful Northern Michigan as the backdrop.

Low Res Wrap

We announced Lauren LaStrada joining our cast last week and we will announce Cassie Dean this week. She will play a younger version of our lead in some key scenes. Also we’ll be announcing the addition of Don Most from Happy Days fame. He played a strong supporting role in MBF: Man’s Best Friend and will step to a co-starring role in LOST HEART. I’m exciting to have him joining us again.

A Father's Prayer

MBF – The music pass is complete and now mixing is underway. I went into the studio last week and did my final narration. We will be working end credits this week and prepare for a final watch through. I’m excited for audiences to watch this film. If you have a soft spot for our military and/or animals, dogs in particular, MBF might be for you.

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The Quest Trilogy – I’m going to be exploring merchandise in the coming year. I would like to see a few products available as we move into the next holiday season. If you take a watch on FORTY NIGHTS, CHASING THE STAR and THE CHRIST SLAYER please leave us your thoughts on IMDB.com or amazon.com

Outlaws

WILD FAITH – This month digital rental becomes available on June 24th the day after my Bday! So do me a birthday solid and watch WILD FAITH with your family. I think all ages will really enjoy the film. Oct 17-19 WILD FAITH will play the Happy Trails VA Style festival. I think the film is playing on a Saturday. I will provide more info soon but I know Darby Hinton will be there to talk about the film and the genre. In July the DVD will release at various retailers. My goal is to see it at Cracker Barrel🙂

We have lots of development work on a handful of projects. I was also approached about a few possible acting roles. I will need to read the scripts and see if the characters speak to me. Exciting days ahead but right now I’m most excited about bringing the story of LOST HEART to life. Again we have more companies aligning with our film. Feel free to reach out on how your product or service can participate.

With that I’m going to go do some mulching around the office.

Have a great week.

DJ

 

 

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Going Space Cowboy & Other Fine Fall Updates

get-attachment-1.aspxA beautiful fall day to be sure. After a stretch of perfect days that included a day trip to Hartwick Pines – we got to see the logging museum.  Interesting to see how people lived and worked in the 1800’s as lumberjacks in Michigan. Talk about some hard-working individuals. Since that trip we’ve had some rain causing the dogs to want to den inside. I’ve been bouncing between winterizing duties and film work. Sometimes both happening at the same time – thank you bluetooth zen:) Our last harvest of beans and tomatoes was gathered this past week. The eggplant and sweet potatoes are all that remain in the garden – WAIT! I take that back. And hops. I will use them in some winter beer that I plan to make. Speaking of – I bottled up the Tropic Thunder (Banana & Coconut wine) and now have plans to make a batch of Berry/Hard Cider this week.

The cold chill outside makes me want to write…

I’ve also been putting some attention on a few script properties of mine. Some folks are likely not aware that I’ve done quite well with my scriptwriting. I’ve got a good stock of scripts that I’ve written over the years. I’ve written in many genres and really enjoy the overall process of creating. I’ve been paid to turn several books into screenplays and other scripts are originals. Some I’ve seen produced and others have been sold off to third parties.

Which ones do you sell DJ?

Good question. If I don’t see them as an acting vehicle they are often open game to sell. Some require a larger budget and will provide me with a good vehicle later so I’ve kept those on the down low. I’ve recently been letting a few be read here and there and that has led to a few option/buy offers – which at this time, I denied. A couple of my scripts I really know how I want to see them executed on-screen. Those I’ve held back to be worked with later. Anyway, more business is developing from the script side of things and so I’ve decided to finish up a half-dozen or so scripts that I’ve still got in process.

ASHES OF EDEN will play at 2014 East Lansing Film Festival. I was involved in the early days of the ELFF. Earlier this year we were approached at the Capital City Film Festival after we had sold out and asked if we were submitting to ELFF. I’m not a huge festival person but I surely do owe Susan Woods, their festival founder, for such great past networking. A good example is Taylor Nichols (Boiler Room) who we just had act in BESTSELLER. I met him back in 1999 and just last year was my first time working with Taylor. So long short is we accepted and we’re proud to be bringing one of the most exciting local projects back home and to my alumni campus. GO MSU!  We will be making an announcement at the festival concerning the film’s national release. Also we might have a few foreign release announcements. I’m very proud because this film used many artists from our local Lansing area. Your work will be seen internationally.

Other Collective Development Inc. associated projects underway include the thriller BESTSELLER. The film is now having music composed by the talented Dennis Therrian. I’m appreciative of the fan support this film has had already. I can promise a tense nail-biting story.  We’ve already had some great professional comments about the film trailer thus far. Once again, this film will also find a great distribution sprawl thanks to all the artists involved on both sides of the camera.

What’s NEW?

Other big news includes a new CDI Associated project called “Wasteland, Tales From the Desert” that will shoot Part 1 this December. The film is a series of woven stories all set on a harsh alien world. I’ve signed on to co-star/co-produce in the film. With the spotlight on me I’ve been able to showcase several great actors to the director that I’ve worked with on past projects. (Good reason to keep your reels up to date) Pre-production work is well underway. I’m excited to be shooting in the Valley of Fire State Park in AZ. CDI has already been involved in a few films shot in AZ.  I also co-starred in a Las Vegas film a few years back and so that is helping. Bottom line.  I’m excited to go play space cowboy for a few in December.

Lastly, I want to thank my management for the hard work I’ve already seen underway. I’ve got some great business underway for the last quarter of the year. I think the most exciting thing is that despite all the good things that unfolded in 2014…2015 is going to be even better:)

Have a great Saturday and go MSU!

DJ


CREWING, CUTTING and CONGO BONGO

The beautiful full moon has passed us and the days have been a mix of warm and chill as the fall fights to take over from summer. We were stopped in our semi final soccer match but had a great season and what fun and weekly exercise. The garden has allowed us to make some eggplant dishes and wonderful accents to each meal with beans, peppers and tomatoes. The beer making is done and now it ages a touch but I think I may have to have a couple of those this weekend. Next week I will also start my slow packing for my upcoming filming.  I’m co-starring with Melissa Anschutz who was great to work across on “7 Stones” and I look forward to working with some new cast mates as well.

As mentioned above the crewing of “Bestseller” will continue and I look forward to working with these talented artists. It is my favorite time of year to film. The cold and haunting night will bring such a vibe to the film. For fans of this genre you can whet your thirst with the TRIPLE THREAT of films “Deadly Renovations,” “Darkest Night,” and “Locked in a Room”. Two of these films are delivering masters to Germany for play there, in Austria and Switzerland. “Deadly Renovations” is also starting its Scandinavia run so please do check it out. I’m very happy to have a new distribution partner for these territories.

I’ve been working on the final touches for the first (3) TV shows of “Supermodel Showdown, Costa Rican Adventure”.  It really is entertaining and informative for anyone with interest in modeling, photography and/or the making of a reality show. This TV show gives a look on both sides of the camera. These three shows will be used to set up the deal for the entire series. I hope everyone enjoys this unique endeavor and if the right deal is made audiences will get to go immerse themselves in the jungle of Costa Rica at Congo Bongo. (Look it up:)

“ASHES OF EDEN” is really coming to life with some sound design and music. Talks on outside music are moving a tad slower than I would like but welcome to the entertainment business. The trailer has been making its way to the eyes of a few possible distribution partners. The response has been very good but the best part is that our film is very strong. It is not like some where the trailer has the only good couple parts. We didn’t even scratch the surface.

I had some great new distribution talks this week and also some development meetings.  This is all step-by-step work but by working hard you will realize in time how much you have actually put in place. I am supposed to take part in a test shoot in New Mexico on a western. They’ve approached me about playing the lead. I’m excited because it would/could reunite me with an actor from my past that I LOVED working with. Also development on that TV series I agreed to participate in also had meetings this week.

So today will be time spent with the family and pack up North.  We will likely be watching MSU take on the Fighting Irish. I’m enjoying the days in between all this film work and feel blessed in many ways. I hope each of you continue to use your creativity and be good to one another. Have a great weekend and a productive week ahead.

DJ


Cast & Crew and MSU:)

What a great start to the fall with some leaves starting to slowly litter the ground. Tomorrow is the first of our soccer play offs and today we will be talking the dogs swimming again. Last week we did that and it was fun to see Luke (Our youngest furry son) swim for the first time. He did have to learn that you can’t smile and swim at the same time because you drink up water. He learned quickly and it was fun to see him try something new. The garden is continuing to give and it is so nice to have fresh veggies on a daily basis. The eggplants are growing and that will make for a future tasty treat. Let’s get onto some business updates shall we…

It has been an ever-growing stream of resume’s flowing into us for the production of “Bestseller”. This film is really shaping up to be what I believe to be a crown gem of a project. Casting and Crewing is underway and many are people who I’ve worked with our my keys have worked with. Again accountability is the name of the game when it comes to hiring. On a CDI project it is about keeping your drama for your momma unless it is on the screen.

Support departments are about filled and this week will focus on camera, G&E departments. We have our two camera operators filled between our DP and 2nd Camera. Also we are closing in on our final locations and I can say they are all beautiful. Michigan has so much to offer in the way of beauty. So I have been working character development also and I have a creative discussion with our director later in the day. A new website will keep you informed of updates and that is http://www.bestsellerthemovie.com

“Ashes of Eden” released its theatrical trailer and this week I’m excited to show a few of the distributors I work with. I think they will be very pleased and so as we move towards the finish line with this film I’m curious as to the future impact of this story.  I’m very proud of all the artists involved and again I think it will be a real feather in the cap for Michigan.

“Supermodel Showdown” gave a sneak peek to 3 different interested parties and all three were extremely positive. We may have a deal looming behind the completion of the 1st three shows. Seek out SUPERMODEL SHOWDOWN THE COSTA RICAN ADVENTURE on Facebook for some advance news on this project.

There are of course many other pieces moving on the chessboard but these are the major movers of the week. I’m still engaged in some studio story development on a project but the CON to all that is the time in development. Studio or Network projects can carry a nice payoff but also take 3-5 years of development whereas it can get shelved at anytime especially if your executives get replaced. But I’m learning quite a bit on their development process and just taking it as a learning process and not letting myself get too far ahead in my thinking.

Well I’m off to watch MSU for a few followed by that walk/swim with the dogs. I need to recharge the batteries for the countless hours this week on the phone, emails, editing suite.

Have a great weekend!

DJ