Tomorrow we welcome Spring, and it cannot come quick enough. The sun is shining here and that helps but it’s still bitter in Michigan. We had a few blowing snow storms pass through yesterday. I want to welcome all the new readers from the Philippines, Kenya and Poland. I’m very proud that our circle of readers is from around the world. So many things happening both in the CDI film world and in life. St. Patty’s Day came and went without the fanfare of past years. I had meetings and such which superseded any drunken ballyhoo. I did get to enjoy some corn beef and cabbage but no cheap food dyed beer for me.
Soccer season is right around the corner so I hope the weather gets warmer soon. I’ve limited most of my outdoor work to just keeping the wood going for the stove in the office. There is nothing like sitting my those flaming logs and glowing coals. We’ve had some great Harsens Island Revenge, pre-production meetings around the table. It is around that table and on those calls that amazing plans all start to come together. We’ll discuss some of those here first let’s look at how some of the other films are doing.
The Easter season is upon us and because of that I’ve had several pieces of fan mail expressing their enjoyment watching the trilogy. These films can be enjoyed no matter what your path is in life. FORTY NIGHTS is part 1, CHASING THE STAR part 2 and THE CHRIST SLAYER is part 3. Have you watched them all? Have you watched them in the proper order? Amazon, Tubi, Dove and more all carry these titles. Thank you to those who have made the films a yearly watch with their families. But if you need something thought provoking and uplifting these three films might be for you.
On the writing front, I’m proud to announce that I had one of my stories on “birds” was accepted for an upcoming national release of a collection of stories. I’ve contributed to books on cats, dogs and horses and now birds. It will be released via Baker Books. Thank you Lonnie:)
SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA has more home video meetings this week. The film roll out is still opening in more theatres now expanding into Minnesota and Nebraska. Again, it is because people are calling and requesting the film be booked. We are still exploring a 3rd party expanding the film into many more states. If you’ve seen the film and it moved you, please do go to our page on http://www.imdb.com and put a review. The home video will reach millions but right now the theatrical is still going with some theatres asking about Dec 2023 bookings. We have been playing theatres since our premiere Dec 9th.
SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE– I’ve been getting some great feedback on this script and I’m doing advanced development breakdowns. If this proceed correctly this could be our next project we film in Iowa. This is an extremely powerful piece of history and we plan to bring it to the big screen.
SHJ – I’m likely to have a call today or tomorrow to discuss progress on this upcoming supernatural thriller. Until ink and paper meet I will be a bit vague on this project but it is creeping closer to a possible green light.
Our own Curran Jacob was in Iowa promoting our documentary film FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH. He was selling and signing DVD’s with our historian Mike Chapman. All this is the foundation for our second film in the series ‘Battlefields‘ that will explore our branches of the military using Catch techniques. It will be housed again by The Red White & Blue project, a non profit that focuses its efforts on military needs and awareness. CDI will once again be the production company. If you have an interest in donating to the non-profit to make the second film go, please reach out.
Harsens Island Revenge – pre production is full steam ahead. This past week we announced several cast and crew (IMDB) including the additional of Terence Knox and Jim Greulich to our cast. We have requested reads start coming in and even more folks are starting to send their reels and pics for consideration. I can say we’ve seen some good prospects. Our crew is starting to fill up as we have talks with certain departments. The art/transportation departments are already hard at work doing breakdowns of props, guns, boats, cars, planes- I’m doing a new polish on the script to bring the opening scene more in line with our meetings. We start the film in WW1 and advance a handful of years with our story. We like some folks and are awaiting updates to their schedule. NUGGET OF WISDOM– Lower budget films MUST schedule around locations NOT actors. If you cannot commit, we have to consider casting someone else. We do have some castings we will be putting out to our Michigan agencies – EXAMPLE: A young girl (Italian look best) 7-10 who plays younger. So a casting call to agencies will be happening but right now we are awaiting several reads to examine this week. We will be working to fill the few remaining crew members. EXAMPLE:We are looking for an experienced wardrobe person to work under our supervisor. Next month we will have a second location scout trip to have hotel discussions and showcase the locations for schedule building. We have brought our AD team back (Nate, Michael and Ian) on board, and now we’re working on the office. These two departments work closely with our producer team.
Is that Cocaine Bear in BEST YEARS GONE after ole Gil?
I could go on about more minor updates such as our sponsor hunt. We are looking at companies and brands that fit the 1920’s film we are making. I’ve reached out to a few brands close to production to give them the first chance to get involved. First right of refusal we call it. Being that it is a prohibition film we are exploring beer and liquor brands. Merchandise is being explored for several of the projects, which is always fun.
I just took a break to devour some of our eggs and 4H bacon. When I finish up here I’m going to do some work organizing and getting ready for a productive week ahead. I am looking forward to seeing my brother and few friends later today. Many have been watching the March Madness basketball but I have not. But I hear my alumni MSU had a good game and they play again today. I enjoy football over basketball but it can be fun to watch. Watching soccer is getting me excited for our season.
I hope you all have a great week ahead of you. Remember, if you are in a place you don’t like, you need to change. Change your words you speak to others and yourself. Change your mindset and your efforts. We talked about that this past week. Hard work that isn’t smart work will just drain you and not get you closer to that goal. You have to work smart. And work…that word, work. If you are having issues are you working as hard and as smart as you can? Some focus on the fun parts of a task but often that is placing a cart before the horse.
In film, I’m glad to see that fewer people are leaning into social media funding endeavors, and putting actual business plans together and presenting. Funding is hard, always. Casting is fun. Crewing up can be fun. But, I occasionally see casting and crew calls and at the end you see they’re launching some crowd funding endeavor of which 97% fail. People like to jump to starts 8, 9 and 10 before doing 1-7. Brick by brick. Layer by layer. Film projects are built by order of business. The hard part is usually the steps 1-7 while 8-10 are more fun. But if the foundation steps are not done, it’s just doing the fun stuff first and hoping the other will fall in place. Don’t waste your time or others and follow the proper order of business. Your results will be much better.
Okay, I’m back at it for a few. Be good to one another and work smart.
After a few mild days where Spring was pushing with little sprouts of green and birds returning. I’m sipping the hazelnut coffee and I want to welcome all our readers including our new readers from France, Ireland, UK, Russia and Saudi Arabia. WELCOME! Also thank you for the wonderful comments. It is the season to watch THE QUEST TRILOGY and I’m humbled by the comment that I was someone’s favorite performance of Jesus. That is a compliment as many great performances of the man has been done. If you have not watched them all together, you should. They trilogy is shown below in order and also a few other good watches for a cold snowy day (In Michigan) like today.
Author Nancy Gideon, ordered up the MAKING OF ‘In the Woods’ that we talked about last week. A great recalling of the massive effort that went into making a movie on film with limited experience and funds. This was my first starring role and Co-producing effort almost 25 years ago. The film is getting a new campaign and the book was just a start. A new transfer is underway going all the way back to the original film stock. So a blu-ray and new streaming in HD release could be coming later in the year. Add in some badass merchandise and you got a fun new push. So you wanna see baby DJ fighting monsters, this might be your movie. Buy the book and enter the crazy world of IN THE WOODS. Will the world see Alex Kerwood, monster hunter again? Never say never:)
This film has continued its trek across the midwest theatre to theatre traveling to where the people have called their theatre and requested it. Thank you so much to all those who actually reached out and brought the film to their town. We are booked into April and we’re exploring either expanding with a 3rd party theatrical distributor based off our current efforts. We also might look at a big final event showing just before the home video kick off this Fall. We have a few possible paths to consider. We are already getting theatrical booking requests for December 2023. Crazy. But not really. I think this film will become a Christmas classic. It is a truly unique story based on actual events which is different from most Christmas fluff.
This weekend the film opened in a few new cities. We had a beautiful note last weekend sent to our director, it noted that at one of these showings that audience gave a standing ovation. That’s at a normal showing not a premiere or event. It was very touching and we love that people are connecting with the story. We were nominated for several awards at our first festival/award submission.
We are still looking to showcase overseas and our distribution will license to foreign territories as we get further down the road. Congrats to all the nominated artists and films. This theatrical is just the tip of the spear and wait until we get to the home video making the film available to millions of viewers.
HARSENS ISLAND REVENGE
This film is next up for #tribeCDI and things are really falling into place. Thank you to those who sent their reels DM on the CDI Facebook page. Also thank you to those who got right on their reads. We are closing down roles quickly now This week we welcomed Michael Walton, Martez Moore, Adam Towner and today we’ll be announcing David Gries. We also have been crewing up and this week we welcomed several folks onto the next project. We are moving from department to department and having deep discussions about each. We only have so many crew slots and so I know some will not be able to travel with us. Some folks have other scheduled endeavors and so they will not be joining. We are very excited about this new story. Many departments are getting up and running and we’ll be doing another scouting trip the end of next month.
I actually chopped down the Winter beard and I’ll be looking to get my hair trimmed closer to the period. Plus I have soccer season and getting my hair out of my eyes might be helpful. Our director will start doing reads with some online and we’ll likely do a read through in Michigan, which will be fun. The cars, the clothes and the overall vibe of the era is quite amazing. Also the impact of the war on the soldiers is something to note. Look below at this picture of the soldier before and after the war.
The effects of war on these vets is striking and shows you the damage. Those that did survive WW1 wanted to live peacefully. These were not the men the Purple’s wanted to push. We’ll be reviewing more incoming reels and locking in more roles this week. Thank you to all of you have have put yourself forth for consideration.
SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE, will be undergoing budgeting work. The response to the script has been strong. We will see how fast it all comes together. This endeavor is larger and requires more production elements with horses and possible builds.
SHJ – This developing project is looking to be moving in a positive direction. Once we get the intent to fund we’ll put the in-association deal in play. CDI will be producing and we have many exciting things lining up for this supernatural thriller.
FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH 2 – The operational agreement will be in place end of this week. Talks have already started to put the funds in place for this follow up doc film. We hope to have this funded and cameras rolling this Summer.
KNIGHT CHILLS– I’ll be reaching out to co-writers Jeff & Juanita Kennedy about doing an updated interview maybe from the Kennedy ‘Dungeon’ showcased in the film. I also sent out emails and texts to our cast about recording a video interview. It will be cool to have them recall a few memories and let people know what they are doing now. The extras have to be turned in by June. I’m told the new transfer and up Rez is looking great. I want to do a Making of book like what Lynn Drzick did with IN THE WOODS. Maybe a script and a bunch of extras. Thoughts?
WRITING– I’m working on two stories for an upcoming book. I want to finish up a few of the scripts I have in progress. One a comedy ands one a SciFi film. Currently I’m doing a clean up on the Harsens script.
(Dennis Therrian aka Tricky T, will be again doing music and sound design on Harsens Island Revenge)
I’m happy to report the chickens are back to full production on eggs. That might be what is next on my list. Today I think I’ll get at some desk work today to get a jump on the week. Next week is St. Patricks Day and so who knows, green beer could be in order. I’m also starting to reach out to sponsors on the new projects. We have some cool, fun tie in’s that will work really well for our next 1920’s story. If you have a service, product or just want to align yourself with these films and reach millions, reach out.
I hope you all have had a relaxing and recharging weekend. Here is a big coffee cheers to us all having a good week ahead. Make your TO DO lists for the week and get after it. Everything is built brick by brick. I’m sure I missed a few updates but I hit upon many of the major ones. Be good to one another. Have a wonderful Sunday.