Earthquakes, UFO’s and Updates-
Hazelnut coffee is flowing this morning. It is brisk outside but much warmer and the snow has all but disappeared. Sad to see the aftermath of the earthquakes and so much excitement over these “objects” shot down. The described shape and the seemingly lack of any conventional propulsion, is what has my curiosity peaked.
Let’s look at a few updates- The TOP TEN from last week.
- SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA (SNIA) – As the film continues its march across the USA we’re also prepping for the Fall home video deal. We’ll continue talks this coming week. We’re also working on a few cool marketing angles for the home video release. It is testing well to older and younger audiences and from many circles, military, farmers, Germans, Jewish and history buffs. Several perspectives are explored and all brought together by a true event that unfolded. We’ll be picking a few festivals to showcase ourselves at. I would have loved to do our hometown festival but they want to be the 1st MI premiere and we’ve been in and will be returning to more Michigan theaters. But CDI will go support by attending the opening night mixer. Look above at all the places you can watch the film. Call your local theaters and request the film. If you’ve seen it and enjoyed it, leave us a review on www. IMDB.com on our page.
- Harsens Island Revenge (HIR) – This project has moved into official pre-production. The paperwork all filed and signed and next week we’ll open the account. Last week we had our first official production meeting with our newly announced director Carl Weyant. READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE – https://www.prlog.org/12950648-cdi-announces-director-and-director-of-photography-on-harsens-island-revenge.html
- HIR – CREW – We’ve been starting to just look at schedule and interest in some of the crew returning so we can discuss in our weekly production meeting. We’ve got several projects lining up and so we really are trying to build a solid crew especially with keys. Some keys change with directors, usually the directors of photography. Travis Hayward (Best Years Gone) will be the DP on the film. We’ll be discussing camera and G&E team more in the coming weeks. A few changes in a couple departments mostly due to schedule. But when someone cannot journey with us that provides a great opportunity for someone else. I’ve had people in the wings without a job to assign them, so when some cannot return, opportunity for others. We have several weeks to get this team in line. We have our production dates and soon another location scout with happen. I will be reaching out to some of you from past crews to discuss involvement. If you are a production crew and want to be considered feel free to send me any info.
- HIR – CAST – As I get our director and teams feeling on certain roles within the cast, we’re reaching out. We’ve got some exciting interest already in the story from some amazing talents. We’ll start announcing some of the known cast soon and we’ll be doing more casting moving forward. Again feel free to shoot me a reel or so to the Harsens Island Revenge Facebook site and leave your reel. Last week we watched several acting reels and the work of a few crew members under consideration.
- FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH I and II – This amazing doc film is now available on several platforms including TUBI (free with ads) and we’re going to be doing our second doc this spring/summer. The foundation paperwork will be constructed this week. We are in talks with potential donors to support this endeavor. We had a great end-of-week meeting over this project franchise and the future. If you have not watched the first one, please do.
- SHJ SUPERNATURAL THRILLER – CDI started in this genre with KNIGHT CHILLS, which is its own update. But we’re getting closer to putting pen to paper on a slate of genre films. This is a full circle sort of arrangement since I started my own career within the genre. I do sincerely have more to announce in the coming weeks. If things fall into place we’ll be doing some crewing and casting on this film also.
- KNIGHT CHILLS – I got a report that the new high def version of the film is looking great. They are working to enhance audio with all the new tools they have. We’re looking to do several EXTRAS for the Blu Ray release. We have until June to get all these elements completed. It will be fun to capture and gather a few interviews. Video game. Sequel. All still moving down the tracks.
- GHOST TOWN 2024 – This film’s domestic rights become free first of 2024 so we’re getting everything in line. We’ll be releasing it into the foreign market for the first time also. We’ve been working on new promo materials and getting everything around. This is one of 4 films from the CDI library being prepped for a new release with BMG.
- SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE – I’m still getting this script out to a few folks for notes. But the first version of the script is done. Once we get the nod we’ll start the next phase of development work. The script becomes a blueprint to start our development work from. I’m exciting to keep this moving down the development tracks. It is one of the most powerful and gut wrenching stories I’ve written. History can be brutal and beautiful all at the same time.
- I’m feeling the ‘writing urge’ and I have several scripts in partial form. I plan to finish anywhere from 1-3 this year including my SciFi script, a new comedy and maybe a sequel script. Any guesses? I’m also looking forward to working in the yard this season and making some updates. Life is always a work in progress so don’t stress. Just keep building brick by brick. While others fret, regret, complain or waste time with things they can’t control, be the one who gets things done. I was invited to once again contribute to a national book on animals. I have a few great stories I’m going to contribute to the collection.
WRAP UP THOUGHTS-
CDI is on the path to greater heights and to do that we’ll need a strong team. With every growth there is pruning of dead, dying or diseased – allowing new healthy growth. I want to say that when we make adjustments, it is not always a negative thing. Not all cast and crew are built or prepared for long voyages. Some folks are great for 2-3 days or even a week. But as the weeks go by on set, more focus and endurance are required. Day 11 or 14, 16 can show strain. We’ve worked hard to try and give good opportunity for our cast and crew to achieve success. I recently heard about a successful project that had many of the crew sleeping all in one room on air mattresses and cots. My first starring role I slept on the director’s couch. We’ve worked very hard to develop partnerships with hotels to try and give the best accommodations we can afford. But, there always seems to be someone not happy, despite the hard work. That is a core filter that colors everything that person does, few great things spring from those suffering under such filters.
A small example-
We’ve played with a second meal on sets that many do not provide. We’ve had extra and left over food in Yuma, AZ that we ended up sharing with hotel staff and strangers so not to waste it. Crews sometimes want to go out versus another 30 min on set with a second meal. A per diem has been provided before but the time that establishments closed made it an issue to some. We bought groceries and made food together (Producers) while trouble shooting the days ahead. I got some feedback from different folks which is always welcome. Much of it is subjective or the perspective is because the individuals don’t know the whole story. I’m going to get into this again as we are entering into new talks on this new story adventure-
I encourage my producers/key admin to WORK QUIETLY always. On the inner set, they’re trying to create a bubble of collective imagination and capture it. A distraught looking staff member can distract and/or delay- passing a bad energy along. And 98% of the time it all works out easy-peasy because we have lots of warrior trouble shooters.
I’ve noted over the years how some people enter a set with nervous, frantic- must do ENERGY. Tense faces, biting their lip, cursing to themselves. People in the area notice- are distracted- become concerned. Everything okay? Reassurances- Nothing is wrong, and the performance of stress plays out – the issue suddenly resolved in a call and the issue was really a two NOT a ten on the production issue scale. Often issues are like locating lost keys to a location for tomorrow- misplaced. This is just an example of something logistic alarming for a moment but did it need to filter through a group of people trying to focus on a story?
The chemistry between a director and a director of photography is a beautiful and sacred bond. I’ve enjoyed watching and even participating as a full size stand in to the brainstorming session full of wild and exiting ideas. This obsessing over our story- talking and living a story for a month, THAT is what it’s all about. The storyboarding and building shot list from ideas thrown about- combined is a wonderful thing to watch. It is my job at the end of the day to either create a team with the right chemistry or put a stamp on a presented creative union. From this union, much of the film is nurtured. Love each other as creative brothers and sisters, appreciate when you get a real chance to say something. These creative bonds exist all over a few crew. Respect one another and their place and passion, also to tell the story at hand. The cast of films- like a rock band, on tour, but you have it easier not having frequent moves. But you are on a creative tour of duty. (T-Knox!) I think of it like creative camp and at the end we all told a story. One month a year I see artistic friends for an extended period of time. We all collectively sacrifice our comforts to be ‘at camp’ telling this story.
Communication- Every mistake or error made in our production flow stems from communication. Sometimes I am the one who gave incomplete marching orders. Other times missed communication, understandable in this time of many ways of communicating. But, one thing in our control always, we can all communicate respectfully to one another. I had to recently ponder and realize that people can only speak from their perspective, and speak to their experiences allowing them to speak with truth and sincerity. When people start to speak outside their experience, they will start to talk loudly or more emotionally. It’s important to them that you believe them because they’re eager to believe their own words. They’re filled with doubt because they lack crucial experience – basic life principals. Like Respect.
Blood of Heroes- Jumping from communication- I had some wonderful conversations with some folks full of energy and ready to journey. I’m looking a few movies ahead, and trying to get a team ready for bigger responsibilities and greater rewards. Leadership is a MUST, as departments could expend some in the near future. Organization is a MUST, as we have many operations underway and you have to be up to speed. What people should understand is that I’m not looking forward to achieving new levels so I can replace people with more credited artists. I’m looking to increase resources to our artists in the future so they can make their mark and take their place amongst those artist recognized in a given field. Know what your fighting for-
Until next week my friends!
Advance Sneak Peeks and Film News
Sunday morning with the family, sipping coffee and reflecting back on a busy but productive work week. We’ve had some pretty snow as of late and not quite the arctic chill. Don’t get me wrong thin blood residents of warm places – Michigan has been cold. It has just been warmer but I hear a few more storms coming through. In Michigan the Great Lakes give some protection and many storms pass beneath us. Before the film updates let’s talk about another passion – soccer. Futbol to my non-USA friends, speaking of that, it was so great to see so many of you joining us.
I play in a Men’s League as many of you know. I’ve played in the 30+ league for many years since I was 29 likely. I LOVE the battle. I play to win but if I’m not badly injured and I get a good work out, it’s a win in my book. Us older warriors know just like in battles of old. You don’t need to be better every moment of every day of the week, just those moments. I have to be better for two hours, an often I am. I had my first sideline injury second half of last year with a wrist crack. Heavy tackle with another determined badass that sent the ball rocketing into my wrist. Just a freak mishap. Two season back I had my first nagging knee issue but that got better. Martial arts and soccer have put my body through the paces. I’m hardened by it for sure but I’m just being more conservative. My little bro has played with us since he aged in at 29 and that has been an ongoing joy. He has dealt with his own few injuries but he has also been playing both 30+ and 40+ league. He started thinking of downshifting as 2X week = 2X the joint wear and tear and 2X the chance of serious injury. Now the 40+ team started with a good buddy of mine and I from Sexton days and playing over in Denmark. We created a team whereas our old teammates could battle with us again. Now many of those people have retired their cleats. I’ve decided to join my brother in the 40+ league only. I exercise every day but you have to vary the routine. You don’t do arms day, arms day, arms day…okay maybe some do. It was hard because I love the team we formed and played with for so many years. It also felt like a demotion or admitting of our age. But again, if I can play hard and get the work out, uninjured and spend time with my brother, good deal. So a new chapter. That said I will likely miss games in May with film work. Let’s talk film shall we.
It has been a time of harvest even as we begin to prep the planting of new seeds.
THE CHRIST SLAYER – The 3rd film in The Quest Trilogy. It has been released on digital and I’ve had just some beautiful ‘fan-mail’ sent to me expressing their appreciation and love of the story. This includes someone who had pirated the film in India. This had happened on another film ‘Darkest Night’ which brought out fans who had not paid to watch. Now, I’ve seen some of the living conditions elsewhere whereas an entire extended (way extended) family live in a one room dwelling. Entertainment is often storytelling (beautiful), music or the family gathered around the one TV and DVD player. If the film stolen or not is playing and bringing some joy via our story, let good karma be our payment. But, if you can afford. Please do rent or buy it. It hurts the little guy filmmakers and makes it harder to make films. It is hard enough already. Go back to my first blog entries and start reading. It was a good conversation and now he just may promote our cause.
Also last week I said that all these films have seen a point whereas they were attacked. Many people are mad at actions and words uttered or done by people claiming to be faith authorities. The films are for entertainment and to provoke thought. I claim to be an expert of zero. I have no time to argue any points as I’m working on the next story. But I’ve seen at least one guy vocally slam the film without watching because I’m white. Whatever that means in our generation of DNA. Test yourself and hate will diminish as many find out we are all brothers and sisters. But is Brad Pitt Greek? The Rock? We were not making any statement on race, watch WILD FAITH for that:) It is a story of LOVE, microcosmos and macrocosmos. If the guy watched it and hated it, likely he would because people get out what they bring in. At least he was speaking about something he saw. Just like people can BUY bundles of IMDB star meter hits, amazon ratings, etc…always a bunch of 1’s and 2’s appear overnight from unknown sources. I think again because Jesus is a figure in the story. A version of him is on the cover. So people wronged by an organized religion or so-called expert in faith they carry a deep hate. That usually comes out on the mysterious J-Man. I’ve been right on par with people disgusted by what I’ve seen. The Jim Baker 80’s was…well you know. I just like the idea of looking at 3 times – BIRTH, BEFORE any of the organized stories. (See Chasing the Star) – BEFORE any ministry. (See Forty Nights) and – AFTER any ministry – death to rebirth to…watch The Christ Slayer. These stories dance around the dirt that has soiled the image of any organized ministry for many people. For people within organized bodies who want to exalt themselves and proclaim faith expertness, have at it. But I value every persons ability to evaluate. So even if you see Christianity as legit as the Jedi Academy in Star Wars, take a watch. The core tenets, the seeds, are interesting. And yes, all three films were produced to present the stories in a very Star Wars-like way. I think the translation is actually quite cool. We kept the same amazing DP, Mr. Jesse Aragon. The most awesome music composer I know, Dennis Therrian. And the best keys and directors we could convince to go on a journey. Those that possess desert stripes know. Our cast and crew got one for each film. I will remember those films and the making of them forever.
Tomorrow is DVD March 4th and April 19th is the event theatrical showings for Easter. My ‘faith film’ watching consisted of Chuck Heston biblical epics at Christmas and Easter. That is my influence so even if you have never stepped a foot in church please take a watch. If you kneel on a rug facing East to pray – please take a watch. No-Jesus Jewish, take a watch. Atheists take a watch. Just watch a cool trilogy unfold that is not just about mankind but the angels – fallen and not. I will continue to occasionally enjoy your comments but don’t hate to just hate. At least watch it. Oh, and pay for it:) Stealing is stealing, rhyming and stealing’ …
SIDE NOTE: I’ve been reading the Beastie Boys Book, a bio on the bank. It is very cool to read their journey. They have had the up’s and down’s of all artists.
WILD FAITH – This machine is about to kick off with the March 23rd national theater release. This came about because of the limited run we do last year. The film looks and sounds even better and we’ve added something special. Also we’ll be releasing the new poster work. I will leave you with this DOVE review and it just may contain a few surprises teases.
DOVE FAMILY FILM review of WILD FAITH
We’ve been dealing with final paperwork, approved releases/photos and such. I’m really excited to go back into the theater and see this film. You will also be able to pre-order the DVD later this month.
MBF: Man’s Best Friend
I got to spend the week watching and re-watching scenes and taking notes. The film this week is being prepped to travel to Dennis Therrian. Dialog clean up will be first and sound design and music will follow. The film is really powerful and I’m so happy for everyone involved. For me filming was heavy, representing the actual wounded. I also was told by furry best friend had cancer and it was a battle for time. It was a shoot that was hard to squeeze ‘fun’ from. But I think it worked for the film and it will be a good tribute. Once the picture moved to post audio we’ll color correct and cut a new trailer from the final cut of the film. Good stuff ahead.
Last week we released a casting call for an 8-12 year old-young actress. We’ve been getting some great looks at performance. On the ‘Lost Heart’ Facebook site people have been dropping their dramatic reels. Thank you. We’ll keep reviewing. We have a least one role that is a younger version of a casted role still coming. So we’re waiting to cast the larger older role before casting the younger version. This week director Jesse Low and I spend two days and many hours reviewing the script. We’re getting close to a locked production script. We’ve also been scouting Northern Michigan locations and starting talks with lodging options. We’re still presenting to investors but we’ve had progress there. It is always a timing issue but things are coming together.
My advance casting announcement is for Mr. Austin Two-feathers and Greg Mason, both have participated in a handful of CDI pictures. Unique talent is always what we’re looking for and these two gents have just that. So you heard it here first:)
IN OTHER NEWS
I have two commercial VO’s that have been pushed a week. You never know who those voices on those commercials belong too:) I enjoyed a fun meet-N-greet with a filmmaker from the Detroit area who has been making moves. I’ve seen them come and I’ve seen them go. Some move away but many more fade away. I think this individual has his heart in the right place and his previous accomplishments had prepared him to lead. You need good leaders to make a market work. I stated and I’ll state again, this is where I plant my flag. I’m a Michigander 4 LIFE. I travel but this is home and I will keep this as a base for making film. People chase all over seeking that short cut but many come to realize “it’s not the location but the motivation” – Trademark DJ Perry:) This meeting was a chance to swap war stories and get to know one another. Every collaboration I’ve ever had usually started with a few drinks and talking about dreams. We’ll see where it all goes but I see a second meeting in the near future.
Alright my friend. I’m on the last cup of coffee and today we’re taking our baby boy Finn to a puppy play. He just hit 45 lbs at six months and still looks like he has a lot of growth still in him. He has truly been a joy. Have a great week. Add a DVD (The Christ Slayer) to your collection.
Buy the DVD here:
I hope you all have a great week.