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

Posts tagged “screenplays

SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, Updates and More-

Hazelnut coffee cheers. Welcome new readers from Spain, Portugal, Philippines and more. We are into November and we had a run of warm above average days. But now, the cold winds have started to blow. We are due to see snow today so I’ll be getting the wood stove in the fort going. I spent some time chopping some wood this past week getting ready for these cold days ahead. We’re also entering the Christmas season, so I’ve been looking at a few love gifts here and there. Thanksgiving is not far away, but with our family stretched, it can be a task aligning schedules. Also with the Algona, Silent Night in Algona, premiere, lots of time being taken the planning. I want to again say, thank you, to all our veterans. CDI has a good reputation for tackling stories with soldiers at the heart of it. Take a watch on them, and let us know your thoughts.

TOP SEVEN UPDATES:

  1. This week started off with a ZOOM meeting with our partners in Iowa, helping to set up the premiere and theatrical showing in Algona and beyond for SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA. We are working hard on credits but some of those will be spelled wrong if your handwriting is poor. There is no changes once it is all locked up. But between us all, we should get our premiere night list pretty close. If we do miss anyone or you don’t qualify, they will have public showings starting that night Dec 9th at Fridley. I thought we were running two weeks and I also heard someone was told one week. The truth is that as long as a demand is there the supply will keep flowing. So don’t wait, really hit that first week playing at the theatre. I heard companies planning to buy blocks of tickets for employees. We had schools do that for WILD FAITH, taking middle school history classes. That would be a good idea here also. The film is not yet rated but would be PG. 2 hour and 20 min runtime. While not one of these Marvel four hour marathons, it is a full story that moves right along with the pacing. The new trailer was released and my home video meetings for next year went very well. The release plan is to play in several cities on the big screen after Algona, Iowa. If you want it to play in your neck of the woods, contact your theatre and request it. After that we’re working to set up the Michigan and midwest showings that will run into 2023. Discussions for a German showing is also underway. The final run will be the home video build towards Christmas 2023 for DVD and streaming. This week we’ll be watching a mostly complete film with several VFX scenes dropped in. EXCITING!
  2. Harsens Island Revenge, is in pre-production with our first step being the polishing of the script by the writer (me) and the director. Our director has asked to not PR anything yet as he is working to finish up a previous pair of features and we’re trying to stay focused on locking the script. We are 1/4 of the way through and should be close to finishing this week after another fun day of working the script. A few super sleuths have been digging, but we will not do things out of order, so early inquiry’s become just a distraction. Every move, is discussed in our development meetings. Once we have a locked script, and announce our director, many more people will get to see the script. Casting will be over the winter and crew talks will begin first of the year. We will film in Oct/Nov 2023, but this is another period piece that requires much advance planning. Our scouting trip was extremely helpful and this will be another great story featuring a piece of Michigan history.
  3. Speaking on development, I was engaged to research and write another epic historical that takes place in the 1800’s, SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE. At the end of the week, I finished my first draft. I now need to get in there and smooth and expand certain scenes. I plan to have a few meetings at the end of the year on this powerful story again taken from true events.
  4. The previous releases this year BESTSELLER, BEST YEARS GONE, SMOKE & MIRRORS and FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH, have been finding their audiences. We have a few more reviews coming on these films. I love all the good folks who have reached out about enjoying the films. If you’ve watched any of them, please go to their IMDB or Amazon pages and leave your thoughts.
  5. I’ve been slowly, pulling elements together for some of the films in the CDI library, being prepped to release back into the marketplace. GHOST TOWN, KNIGHT CHILLS, AN ORDINARY KILLER and FIGURE IN THE FOREST, we’ll see how many we can get out next year. Also, THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ, CDI’s first feature length animated effort, is being rendered to HD for an upcoming release. I would love to do more animated projects and we have several things in development.
  6. We’re prepping to do an end-of-the-year dispersement on the films before I start 2022 business taxes with our team. Associate Producer, John Mashni, who helps oversee this process, also will play a large part in areas of CDI moving forward. One area is soundtracks. I would love to have a few LP’s manufactured and of course streaming. What soundtracks would you want? I’m thinking an LP with the best of The Quest Trilogy. Have you seen the trilogy of biblical adventures? FORTY NIGHTS, CHASING THE STAR, THE CHRIST SLAYER, are all available to watch on various platforms but Encourage TV is free with ads. The 1st film just passed 2 million views on Encourage TV, so thank you!
  7. LOST HEART, also released as BIGFOOT, UFOS and JESUS, is gaining strength. The film is approaching its first million views on Encourage TV. I think after the holiday season, we’ll exceed that milestone. On a personal level, I will look to cut an actors reel from my ‘Niles Cass’ footage. I loved working with everyone on that film, but especially loved Ponceman, Josh Perry. He is pure magic in the film.

The end of the year will be full as you can see. I sill look forward to some celebratory family time. The next couple years is being planned. Discussions on a few projects to add to the slate are underway. We will only consider funded projects at this time, but the tribe gets it done. If my polish on the scripts goes well, I’ll focus on a few other screenplays I’ve been working in my down time.

Acting has been part of conversations as of late. I had such a busy year, business-wise, I turned down two roles this year. I do enjoy the no stress of going and acting on someone else’s story. I don’t take a role just to take it, it must ring true. I will say the one role I have lined up for 2023, in Harsens Island Revenge is a good role. It is not the starring role but it is solid, a good role for me to play while producing. I’ve thought of looking at representation again, but getting someone up to speed is always a task. We’ll see, things are moving forward and I’m just gonna roll with it.

I guess I’ll wrap it up here. The LIONS play again soon and let’s hope they have a good game. My alumni MSU has been playing better so maybe a bowl game awaits. I’m looking forward to the World Cup starting this month. I’ve been healing up well from my soccer season and soon might start some indoor training. I hope all of you have a great Sunday! I’ll talk at you next week and we’ll share some new updates.

Coffee Cheers!

DJ


An 1800’s Lesson, Film Updates, Development

France, Ireland, India and more- coffee cheers. I will note as much as I LOVE my hazelnut coffee I so enjoyed my daily pot of South Indian Coffee in Otty, India. Also, I thought I had some basic tea skills but in India they take that task very serious. I recall on the set of KARMA, they had a TEA DEPARTMENT. Best coffee and tea service on a film set – hands down.

Speaking of places that still live very rural in places, last night during high winds we lost power. All around our state they had trouble but in Lansing, Michigan- it was in pockets. We could see lights on in other places but our street was dark. Worse was that it was not a total lack of power just a trickle that can cause issue when the power surges back. So all things that use consistent power like the fridge and freezer were pulled. Thankfully, we did not lose any of the frozen food. I might be a bit more motivated to look at generators. In winter you can move food in coolers outside to chill. Heat can be replaced with fire. Last night we had almost every candle in the house lit and it was still light a horror film. We even played the game ‘scrabble’ by candlelight which was a first. It really makes you think how good we have it. I’ve been writing a true event story SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE, from the 1850’s and it gave me even more insight. Insight to the hardships that came with keeping light and heat in the house. I’m 2/3 through the first draft and I will finish the first draft this month. It has been a powerful experience researching and writing into these story. Did I say, I love scriptwriting. This story will be very powerful.

FILM UPDATES

SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, has a target date of Nov 14th to start pulling all the elements of the film together. We’re still working the German subtitles, music and final VFX. It will be exciting to see them all come together. The new trailer released and folks are really enjoying the peek. NOTE: The IMDB page is not fully complete. I do the data entry along with my hundreds of other tasks. But you can see many of the great artists behind this project and the two trailer previews.

IMDB Link: (Trailers included)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13608086/reference/

It is beyond hard work to pull all this together. We’re not perfect, we’re still looking for a few items misplaced post shoot, including a uniform dropped off at Wild Haven and a camp banner. If anyone reading this from our team knows anything please do let me know. Otherwise, we’ll have to spend some time searching about once we arrive for the premiere. Our director/producers team will be represented along with a few of the cast and crew making the journey in December. Many from Michigan will wait until we do a premiere here after Algona.

THE QUEST TRILOGY – Welcome to the holidays! We just announced last week how WILD FAITH, surpassed six million views on our distributors ENCOURAGE TV. We’re proud to say the first film in the trilogy just passed 2 million views on ENCOURAGE TV, so we thank you. We hope that you take the time to continue a growing tradition and watch or rewatch the trilogy with your family.

With Veterans Day approaching, we’re putting some promotion together. Several #TribeCDI films have our fine military at the heart of the story.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH, MANS BEST FRIEND, WILD FAITH as well as WICKED SPRING, recently released on HD streaming at Encourage TV. AN ORDINARY KILLER, like Wicked Spring needs to be re-conformed and also put to HD for a 2023 release. This process is much needed to allow films to stay out there in the marketplace. Take a watch on these films when time allows. Technology moves on-

This process on prepping for re-release is time consuming and difficult when you have some many present properties to deal with. But you just keep chipping away and get the work done. I’ve been chipping away, getting GHOST TOWN, ready for a new release.

HOUSE KEEPING

We’re also trying to organize all the past masters. Again technology moves on and you can easily fall behind. This new gathering of easy access masters will allow new trailers and promos to be cut. I’ll be prepping for an end of year dispersement on films and getting ready for end-of-year taxes. We have some new promo for CDI also underway. We’ll also be updating the CDI website http://www.cdiproductions.com

DEVELOPMENT

I’m looking forward to doing a script meeting this week to comb through and make some final corrections and adjustments. Once this is complete, we will more into more active casting. We will also start sitting down with proposed keys in the first of the new year. I’m excited to start more pre-production work in the coming year. We’ll have a new PR release coming soon on this project.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH brand might have a new documentary coming together for 2023. We’ve also got several spin off ideas beyond the new documentary. I hope to have a sit down this week over some of that. DVD’s are now available and so coaches get your copy. The response to the doc was awesome but not unexpected. It was missing – history, the ties that bind. And it was presented in a very moving and entertaining way. I had several people tell me that teared up and/or cries while watching. Why? Watch and you will see. Passion. Everyone speaking on the doc offers passion and knowledge. This rises above the differences and relishes in the uniting love of Catch or history, as it is. I’m proud of it. Proud of our small team. Proud of the sponsors who stepped up and made it happen.

WRAP UP – I did bottle up the Frankenberry R and Frankenberry B for raspberry or blueberry wine, used in the final conditioning in the bottles. The harvest has been good to many this year and our chickens are keeping pace with eggs even with diminished daylight. I’m going to go gather up a few branches, right the windmill which blew over, and clean up the yard. I’m looking forward to seeing some family and friends later. I’ll get the wood stove roaring. I might chop some more wood. Everything, even writing here with you, helps me to summarize and visualize what I have to do this forthcoming week. I’ll be curious to see how AFM treated a few of our properties. We will have more massive strides in our SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, post work. Developmental script work! It is a time of celebration and hard work. This week illustrated that when busy and challenged, the present is the best focus of your energy. Past and Future have their time in reflection but can slow down ‘in the moment’ reaction time. Often resulting in a missed opportunity.

My last note- this is from DJ the actor. He has been at rest while DJ the businessman, producer and writer, drive the ship. I, like many of my ‘acting inflicted’ friends have that call to- ‘become’ and embody a character, weaving a lesson and story from the performance. I do miss this on camera sharing, but I can say that the energy continues to manifest, filmed or not. I’ve been back and forth over a proposed talk show, BY THE FIRE. IF, and that is a big IF because I like to keep my private aspects and not have them add nor take away from characters. But, I was inspired by podcasts? like Mike Tyson Hotboxing. Between Two Ferns, is pretty damn funny too. But good conversations. At the fort, many great talks happen, but that is sacred space, freedom, creative ideas. I would never put that under a microscope. Technology can be friend or foe. It is while they have artists retreats because people get away from nature. Connecting. I’ve helped many break an addiction of sorts with technology. You do not obey the phone the phone obeys you. It is a tool. Gather what you need to do and do it in a condensed time. After that put it down. Disconnect. It is powerful and freeing and it has helped many to be more productive and interactive people. That effects all your relationships business and personal. We will see, said the wise man. I’m going to check out of this technology. Refill the hazelnut coffee and go outside. Have a great day and week ahead.

Coffee Cheers!

DJ


My 2014 Year in Recap

Ah, the hot sips of Hazelnut coffee greets my morning once again. Old Saint Nick must know my love of the smooth java as I got several bags of the fine stimulating stuff. Insulated jeans and cargo pants, a few sweatshirts and such greeted me as this is Michigan. When “out and about” I tend to love my boots but more likely these days you will find me comfortably wearing my slippers about. I got several pair this year. One pair for the house, the office and one to “roll in” when I don’t feel like changing up to take a drive to the studio. I also enjoyed the gift giving and watching others open and enjoy such finds. The food has been wonderful. From ham to lamb, shrimp to scallop potatoes. I stayed away from all sweets but enjoyed more than enough of everything else. Tonight is a yearly outing with some of my oldest friends (Hard to beat 1st grade) with a delicious steak in my future. To note the other 2 best 2014 steaks. A tie between the one from Eric Nelson’s wedding (Lansing Country Club) and Dean Teaster’s wedding! (Dusty’s Cellar) so we will see how the Knight Cap fits in there.  I’m usually a venison eater but once in a while that steak is just heavenly.

The BIZ

I’ve done a pretty good job of not engaging in too much business over the last few days. It’s exciting to move into 2015 and like a present you unwrap, see what lies there. I’m exciting for so many new films finishing up – releasing  and re-releasing!

New poster work has been underway for “Wicked Spring” and “In the Woods,” with plans to do a new commentary for the latter celebrating 15 years.  2015 will see a book release for “Knight Chills” with a sequel film in development. “Ashes of Eden,” “Donors,” “The Terrorist,” “Division 19,” “Dead Quiet,” and “Bestseller” will all roll out in 2015. The new Sci Fi/Western “Wasteland” will have the 1st part assembled by Spring and will return to shooting the others parts this year.

In the works is a new powerful drama with Anthony Hornus directing.  A new biblical-era dramatic feature will be finalizing its business in January and gearing up for a spring shoot. Development is underway with a new film collaboration with Shane Hagedorn. (Exciting) My management is working on several options for studio/network projects. My writing projects are building with two screenplays underway now. One optioned script may move into production this winter still and I’ve been asked to consider another Work-For-Hire writing just days ago. BUSY but fun work:)

In recap, I can see the forthcoming year will be filled with great storytelling adventure. I wonder what words I’ll be typing here a year from now? Perhaps thinking back on the releases of these forthcoming films in 2015 and hinting at what projects will be on deck for 2016. I will enjoy a few more days of family and friends – organizing and preparing myself for the busy year ahead. I already have meetings and such lining up which is all good. That is progress in motion and moving ahead in creation. So enjoy these few days of continued holiday before once again rolling up the sleeves and attacking the work ahead.

Happy Holidays and wishing you all a great start to your new year!

DJ