Happy Mother’s Day and some EXCITING Film Updates
Hazelnut Coffee Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day! I’m up bright and early because we have a full day ahead of us. Plus I have several good updates to give. Today is a special day because we get to spend it with the mothers. In my seeking of something different we are doing a Victorian style tea today with the moms. It is at a historic mansion house and gardens and it should be fun. I have my tuxedo tee-shirt ready to go. I wanted to also speak into something that people occasionally have where their day is just slightly off. Related to, getting out of the wrong side of the bed. Spilling or tripping over stuff or just a general string of mishaps. Comedy of errors is enough term I’ve heard. I had a few days that felt like that but a 20 min shut down and reboot via nap, meditation or just a chill can sometimes reset things. Many will say that they don’t have time for a 20 min reboot but when productivity is poor sometimes you can’t afford not to take it. Sometimes it is related to eating at the proper times. Lack of coffee can have a day slightly off on occasion also, damn caffeine. Sometimes it is just a string of odd occurrences.
Yesterday I spent the morning feeding the chickens clover tops before mowing the lawn which I did on a high setting to still allow many of the wild food plants to thrive. Our yard is full of color and the smell is wonderful with apple blossoms and lilac scent. I also worked on a new fence to contain our row of raspberries growing. I had a breakfast of a few eggs from our aforementioned chickens and some bacon but the work outside had burnt those quite quickly. My legs are also repairing and recovering from our second soccer match which we won by one goal. A quick shower before off to the zoo with my brother and family. I was needing some energy and went to get into the glove box where ’emergency snacks’ are kept. I realized we were in a dealership loaner vehicle while one of the rides was being fixed. We get to the zoo and the first animal is one of my favorite, the otters. I watched as they were doing back flips and gliding back and forth across the little pool. While trying to get a better look my sunglasses fell off my neck strap and splashed into the pool. The otter was playing with them and we swear trying to wear them. Not wanting the otter to harm himself or choke on them I had to seek out zoo staff. So I waited until the kind lady arrived and the glasses were found discarded in the enclosure. Had to bleach those. Everything worked out as they sold bbq pork sandwiches and so the hunger was squashed. Later that day once home we had planned to grill. I had thawed out some venison burger and pork ribs. We went to get them out of the fridge and found BLOOD all over the fridge. They were sealed and in a glass dish but blood was all over and into the veggie tray and what a mess. A few things had to be thrown out and we were wiping down everything that had this sticky blood…wait. Wait a minute. We discovered a jar of gifted pickled beets had spilled in the fridge, not blood but beet juice. The cookout went better from that moment. But sometimes your days just get off slightly. When it does try the time out and sometimes you just gotta roll right through it. Sometimes that is with work and sometimes that is with personal everyday things. It was not fun while we thought we had blood all through the fridge but looking back it is funny when it turned out to be beet juice.
Onto the film and project updates from this week-
- SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA mastering of the movie for home video delivery was completed. A few adjustments had to be made to the opening credits but otherwise the new enhanced video and audio blended into an amazing film. New end credits were added on with a better layout and smoother scroll. The film is being uploaded tomorrow to the distributor and already they are prepping it for presentation in the marketplace. New DVD and streaming artwork will begin and the sales team will start pitching to platforms and foreign territories. It is gonna be a great upcoming holiday season where folks can sit home with their families and enjoy this wonderful story.
- WILD FAITH is our western era film that has been doing very well for us on most all the platforms. On the distributor’s home video platform ENCOURAGE TV the film has passed the 7 million watches benchmark. This is a wonderful thing because we are working to try and set the TV series up with HASTINGS already having a first season already written. This helps our endeavors to see the TV show launch.
- KNIGHT CHILLS is the second film from the CDI library that we are updating and putting back out to market. The new transfer of the film looks really good. I’ve tried for a few months to wrangle new retro interviews and we’ve gotten a few. I did an interview myself last week and I might try to do a new commentary this week with our composer Dennis Therrian. It will be exciting to see the film in the new enhanced form. After the Blu Ray is finished I will look at getting it prepped to stream. Many interesting extras and fun additions to this early CDI film. Join the Facebook page and follow along.
- HARSENS ISLAND REVENGE – Catering, lodging and location talks continue on the next CDI film to shoot. We’ve been doing more casting and we’ve found our young actress to play the leading ladies daughter and her name is Blu Owens. Also another one of our gangsters was found and his name is Nick Schroeder. I enjoyed talking with him about his early days starting out in this business. Funny how many of our stories have a similar start. I’ll be making intros this week and soon wardrobe can start getting our talent sizes. A cool teaser poster is almost ready to release. It is amazing to see how everything starts to come together. We are awaiting the AD team’s new white script and schedule. From there we can start locking down dates for talent. More sponsorship talks this week as we have many interested in aligning their brands.
- SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE is getting a polish by yours truly and after I’ll have my amigo Tony Hornus do a second pass. We have some momentum building and will be entering talks with the Spirit Lake museum and we hope we can bring attention and help to their organization also. I was optimistic that the film would shoot in 2024 but it is looking like 2025 since the scope of the project is larger. Funding has to be locked and after locations and casting will take a good part of a year. But we have enough things lining up for 2024 to keep us busy.
- FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH 2 will be the follow up to the documentary we did that showcases the amazing history of the grappling style known as the Catch-Can style. Our next one in the series will go more in depth is about the military history and use in hand-to-hand combat. We will be meeting over this next documentary this week and try to get this one rolling. Thank you to everyone who has watched the first one.
- We have a few CDI “in association” projects being considered for production in 2024 and we’ll see which of those becomes solid as we move forward.
- I need to check in and see where we are with IN THE WOODS which is getting a new edit from a new transfer and from what I hear is pretty amazing. Again this was my first starring role back in the 90’s and it will be exciting to see this new version. I hear a theatrical special play might be in the works before the Blu-Ray and other extras.
We are going to do a stop at the flea market this morning before coming home and getting ready for Mother’s Day tea. I’m excited to spend some time with my momma who was recently on vacation in Las Vegas. As we talked about in the opening of this chat- everyone has off days so sometimes you can hit that reset and sometimes you have to power through it. Sometimes things look ready bad and it turns out to be beet juice. Sometimes things aren’t perfect and you might need to do a little extra work to achieve that near perfection. I say ‘NEAR” because is there any true perfection or is that just a subjective view point?
I’m ready to attack the new week ahead with some great pre-production meetings. Most casting and crewing work along with more lodging and catering talks. Get in the habit of consistently building towards your goals and watch how you suddenly find yourself there. I’m going to get around this morning and do a few things before heading out prop looking. I’m going to refill the old coffee cup and get at it. If your momma is no longer with you light a candle and have some good memories. If your momma is still with you enjoy the day and express your gratitude. My mother brought me into this world and I’m so glad she did. I think life is pretty special. She is credited for everything I’ve done and I love her more than she could ever know.
Happy Mother’s Day and coffee cheers to a productive week ahead!
Moving Forward on Many Fronts – CDI Updates!
I want to once again welcome our new readers from S. Africa, Canada and the world over. For new readers this is a place to update our fans but also discuss the ups and downs of the artistic journey. I’ve got my hazelnut coffee beside me and I’m reflecting back on our week. First off lots of yard work including a new privacy screen that runs alongside one of the property lines. Today I need to harvest some more rhubarb and we’re about to have a burst of strawberries and black raspberries.
As I stated I’ve been working hard on the yard. We were looking at a new patio but instead decided to wait. I power washed, painted and sealed the deck. I love to work out there and take calls. Each week I pick some new tasks to tackle in the yard. Also I’ve got everything I need to start a batch of dark beer and a wine batch. Since I’ve had my first few in-person meetings I’ve got to have a few toasts. Let’s jump into a few updates.
LOST HEART – This week we start the mixing of the film. It is where we balance the mix between dialog, sound design and music. Speaking of music aside from the wonderful score by Dennis Therrian we’ll have contributions by a few country bands. We’ll be doing a PR spot light on those artists very soon. We are starting to look at theatrical options and a premiere. I think the main home release to DVD and streaming will be in October. I will know more on that soon. This film was so fun to make and I think audiences will find it so fun to watch.
MBF: MAN’S BEST FRIEND – we were up for a handful of nominations at a recent festival and we did not bring home any gold. It was a virtual festival and quite a different experience. I’m proud of our team and we submitted to a few new festivals and we’ll see if we will play. The film is already out there and showcasing some important themes. This is an unusual run for this film because of the virus running amuck but audiences at home are finding it. I think it will continue to widen in the distribution market. And the fan mail from it has just been touching. As to those who have asked if I will be showcasing my martial arts skills in future films, maybe:)
FORTY NIGHTS, CHASING THE STAR, THE CHRIST SLAYER – I had some great fan mail over Forty Nights wanting to know if I was the actor playing Jesus and expressing how much they loved the film. They were happy and surprised that it was part 1 of 3 in the trilogy. Again a great motivator to prep a kicking trilogy trailer. People should be aware that Forty Nights is the first of three. The story of the Devil and Angels extends through all three films. As the next holiday window approaches (Thanksgiving – Easter) we plan to be ready. I’ve had many ask if CDI will do more biblical adventures and I do plan to but right now the field is pretty full. Look for these three films to start playing S. Korea as they keep marching around the world.
As WILD FAITH keeps introducing people to the Murphy family and people fall in love with the simpler time the ground because fertile for the ‘Hastings’ TV series. I had several discussions over the series and it makes a lot of sense. We know the world, the characters and we are set to tell more stories. We plan to have famous TV stars guest star weekly. If you license for a territory or TV network please do reach out. It is all coming together. Giddy up if you have not seen this film yet.
BEST YEARS GONE – This next project on the CDI slate just underwent 2 weeks of scene and dialog work with myself and director Shane Hagedorn. We will get these changes added to the master script. We’re starting to add some great sponsors to the film. We’ve also been working on the safety and health procedures to put in play when we shoot. Filtering through all these changing guidelines can be exhausting. A set is never a 100% safe place but we want to protect our folks best we can while filming.
We’re still working on one of our star castings but have many great announcements lining up. One of these announcements will be my leading lady. I’m excited to say it will be my first time working/playing with this actress. I’m also proud to say that she lives in Michigan. We’ll also be spotlighting some more crew members that will be joining us. We’ve been monitoring the situation in the world while steadily putting things together. We are 100% fully funded but want to move forward with 100% confidence. Therefore this week we’ll announce that we’re going to our September dates. This film can be shot in Sept, Oct or Nov and the added time just helps us prepare. We might start shooting B-Roll and a VFX sequence ahead of time. I can say as talent I’m ‘JONESING’ to film. The producer is working to do what is best for the project not my immediate itch.
Once we get our new target dates set Mr. Hagedorn will communicate this to our cast and crew. I don’t have the luxury of just being willy nilly over shooting. We need to win the day and that requires planning. I’m aware that we have several needed paychecks waiting – I’m excited about this project but decisions are not made by excitement. When this movie goes full ahead I promise a fun shoot. One that every person will be proud to be associated with. I appreciate you all and we have your well-being at heart.
Three of the CDI Associated films will be starting a new distribution phase with a new distributor. We’ll be doing a PR announce on that in the coming weeks. The films currently in this deal consist of DEADLY RENOVATIONS, DONORS and DARKEST NIGHT.
CDI is about to enter another association on a documentary film that we’ll also announce via a PR release.
Our WW2 film shooting 2021 is having some of the investment and sponsorship docs completed this week. Over half of it has been financed prior to even doing an official offer. This is a beautiful script that I wrote with Rance Howard (Ron’s father) as my script consultant. Once we get “Best Years Gone” into post this film will get a lot more attention.
The CDI merchandise site is under construction but one of the really great additions which we have not officially announced is the roll out of the CDI “Classic Collection’ which is the early CDI work. The first 4 movies are like our do-it-yourself film school. Michigan did not have the film infrastructure then that is does now. The first four films were KNIGHT CHILLS, directed by Katie Hicks followed by FROM VENUS directed by Jeff Kennedy. We will be doing a Double Feature of these two films in the near future. But CDI films three and four- HEAVEN’S NEIGHBORS and FIGURE IN THE FOREST are available together for the first time. You can order it here-
I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and week ahead. I know for many things are tough. Just keep moving forward and before you know it the problems and issues will be in the rearview mirror.
Stay healthy and be kind to one another!
Release Updates & Helpful Tips
Hello and good morning from a balmy, yes I said balmy, Michigan. Yesterday was a good day getting the yard in order for a small gathering today. It was nice to do some straightening and decorating with our patio lights and such. The garden now has hops growing in it thanks to my brother and our veggies are sprouting nicely. We also gathered a couple of pounds of mulberries which will be for the next wine mixture. Maybe a raspberry/mulberry or just straight mulberry. The yard took a beating with the building of my home office/fort but is now looking very good. We have a wonderful yard full of wildlife. The addition of the pond creates yet another thing to comfort while pondering the next moves in our business. We added a few more fish and I think they like their new home. So let’s see, only two snaffoo’s (SP?)
1) After I grilled up some BBQ chicken yesterday, I was cooking up some steak bites left from a fondue a few days earlier. I forgot about them on the grill.
2) I also was going to set out some ham steaks for our ham/pineapple kabobs today. Forgot that too.
Let’s just say after working in the yard all day and food shopping until 1:00 am my mind wasn’t working at 100% – it’s showing its age:) I needed my legal pads:)
BREAKING NEWS – the theatrical showings are starting for “Ashes of Eden” and you can join others here in showing your support.
We are still waiting for corrected billing, trailer and poster on the theater site but ticket sales will be here.
I will likely be going to the Saturday 2nd day showing but I know that many of the film principals will be going for the Friday night kick off. I will be at a dear friend’s wedding dinner that night but may catch up for the afterglow. I know that plans are underway to also sell posters, DVD’s and I’ve even heard T-Shirts. It should be DONNIE on the shirt saying “I always have a plan” – that would be cool.
Also you will get the PR drop here 1st. Our “Supermodel Showdown, Costa Rican Adventures” TV series is getting a featured run on Indieflix’s AFTER DARK channel. We will be testing the first three shows and if the response is good we will release the final five. It is a fun, informative show with a nice dash of sexy. It is the lone project that I’ve actually directed and I think it is unique in that I had no idea that most reality shows were not reality based. This show really showcases what went into making the show as well as the show itself. It came out feeling like something maybe the SPINAL TAP folks would make. That is good with me:)
You can join here in anticipation and prepare to laugh and enjoy yourself.
Our “Bestseller” pick up date is being locked for our shoot. We’re starting to get what we need around to do this. The one nighttime water scene should be much warmer to shoot as I’m told the ice melted last week. I’m joking…am I?
I also had meetings with our partners on the “Donors” film and our CDI sales team will be pitching/selling that on the foreign market. “The Terrorist” also has a composer on board and will be moving towards that final picture.
Let’s see – aside from that if I was going to share any advice points from the week –
1) IF you contact a business contact of mine and try to sell our business relationship as something more than what it really is know that you will likely be made to look foolish when that contact calls me direct to get the real scoop.
2) If you are asked to give solid feedback on a proposal/script and the day you provide that feedback you’re also endorsing a project of obvious sub par quality – NOTE: That can directly affect how people view the quality of your opinions/viewpoints.
3) Hard work will get my attention while asking for handouts will not.
Okay, I may have missed a few things but I have some stuff still to do today so I’m going to leave you with these words. A few good updates and a few informative pointers. I also have another soccer match tomorrow which will be HOT but fun. I also hope our USA team keeps moving forward in their cup quest.
Have a great Saturday!