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

Posts tagged “success

NEW Nominations- Updates, Advice and Observations

Hazelnut coffee cheers! I want to once again welcome all our readers worldwide to our short visit. I’ve had numerous business endeavors underway. What I’m facing is one of the most busy release seasons CDI has had in a while. So far this year we’ve seen the home video release of BESTSELLER (NEW review here – https://www.joblo.com/bestseller-review/), BEST YEARS GONE, about to play another event in Cleveland Ohio next weekend. The event is the 27th Indie Gathering International Film Festival and our film is an award winner. We’ve also been nominated for BEST ACTOR (your’s truly) and BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (Travis Hayward).

Last weekend our concept short SMOKE & MIRRORS played the Motor City Nightmares in Novi, Michigan. The feature-length doc FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH will premiere October 1st in Owosso, MI likely at the NCG theatre before the wide Oct 4th home video release to DVD and streaming. Our WW2 Christmas drama, SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA just moved into music and sound design. We’re working towards a December 10th premiere in Algona, Iowa followed by a midwest theatrical run. Several of these will have members of our team in attendance and we still might be announcing a few more events. All these positive things pose issues with shooting a fall film.

With five films rolling out and there is a lot of work between all these releases. The question is pertaining to our upcoming slate of films. I’m mostly talking the development of HOT ROD LOVE. We’re still in talks about major locations and we still have investors to bring on-board. We’ve got set time-lines to meet with all these tasks in order to film this year. The issue is that next year might be already full of projects, but HOT ROD LOVE could possibly move to the other side of winter. I’m ready and wanting to film but we’ve got so much business around these film roll outs. It might be better to focus on the releases first and start clean in the near year. Our producers will have some important decisions to make in the coming weeks but it’s all good. But these are the things I deal with. My personal goals usually take a back seat to the TribeCDI needs, and I don’t mind. We’re seeing the success of the other CDI films, as our audience circles grow. I’m excited about the future of all these projects and proud of the artists and supporters who made them happen.

THOUGHTS/ADVICE – At least twice in my film news watching, I saw posts that I almost commented on but I don’t engage on walls. Sometimes, I’ll direct message but I don’t ever post to get attention save purposeful PR posts. I’ve seen people take film jobs only to complain about them on social media. Often broadcasting blunders like being late or just complaining in general with some weak justification. This doesn’t encourage hiring or rehiring. I get it. Movies are hard to make. Our journey is not for everyone. On the indie level where many of us live and create, it can be even harder. If you find yourself overly unhappy in filmmaking, consider something else.

Paying your dues is real. I’ve seen discouraged actors unhappy with paying their dues, threaten to quit. People often will rush to try and support them, but the truth is many who get ahead do so on persistence where others fall. Success is often built upon other people failing and quitting. The “Oregon Trail” of actors and filmmakers. Climbing atop the bodies of the fallen to get higher. Every major acting hub has the “actors ghettos” where failed birds of a feather flock together to complain about their stagnation and set backs. Usually they have many other people and things to blame. While I have talent, I also earned, often via sacrifice, the ability to develop my talents. I’ve outworked many people and continue to do so today. I tip my hat to the others also fighting for their art but the harsh truth is, if you don’t have persistence, you will likely fail. Success in this business needs a severe dedication and that is not for everyone.

Lot’s of interviews, reviews and PR releases ahead on the slew of projects coming to or now in the marketplace. If you have any of these podcasts, fanzines and whatnot and wish to interview any of our folks reach out. If you’ve streamed and seen any of the films please do review on the film’s IMDB.com page or the platform page like Amazon Prime. We’ve got a few cool ones lined up and I’m sure we’ll do more. Maybe even a few more fun video PR releases like we did with BEST YEARS GONE. Next up will be several of the CDI team going to Ohio next weekend. I will note that I’m looking forward to seeing ASH & BONE written by Bret Miller (Chasing the Star) and produced by a product outfit outta Detroit led by Harley Wallen. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with him on a few occasions and I look forward to celebrating with him and his team. Erika Hoveland, co-stars in both the films and so that has to be exciting for her. ASH & BONE, plays shortly after our own film and it’s great to have two Michigan film companies represented. Their projects keep getting stronger, much like our own, because they keep earning the opportunity to grow. Did I mention persistence? It is key. We’ll be celebrating soon. My team is on me about savoring and enjoying the wins. To stop always jumping right back into the TO DO and take a few moments to appreciate the HAVE DONE’S. They are right and I will work to get better at it. I also don’t always like the spotlight only on me. I know that the direction, my co-stars, the camera work, the music and the value of having flowing coffee on cold nights- all played into me being able to BECOME the role. But I am appreciative and I’ll take the time to soak in it for a few moments. We all have things to work on.

MORE MISC UPDATES & BIZ

I’m about to start work on book 8 of an audio book series this week. That is always fun because it’s just me and my coffee. After last weeks soccer match win our team has one more game before playoffs. We earned our solid 2nd place and we hope to make it to the finals and beat the one team who has beat us twice. Our chickens are doing great. The garden plants have taken off. The hops are massive this year. I might try to finally bottle the FRANKENBERRY wine just in time for fall. I also have everything for a new beer run- yes I make beer and wine.

I’m looking to seal up some paperwork on another script writing/producing project very soon. Maybe even this week but these things often happen in their own time not our desired time. But I’ve been gathering research material in prep of this next writing endeavor. I’m very excited about the subject matter but will wait until the ink is dry to talk about it.

I’ve also been prepping some of the past CDI films for streaming and home video release next year with our friends at BMG/Deskpop Entertainment. That is always a task when added onto all the other things we’ve got in motion. But it will all get done. We chip away. We take a few more steps. Success is a process. And with that final nugget of wisdom, I’m going to say goodbye until next week. I will be getting back to Michigan late on Sunday next week so I’ll be posting next week on MONDAY. I’ll be reporting fresh from the Ohio Indie Gathering, which will be fun. I have a memorial today for a friend who passed and after I will be spending time with some family and friends. Appreciate your family and friends and live each day as full as you can. Until next week, coffee cheers!

DJ


REFLECTIONS on a Unique Season – New CDI Updates!

Master copy

New readers from Denmark, Thailand and other countries around the world – welcome. I’ve got my hazelnut coffee here by my side and I’m sitting down to give you a few updates on this Memorial Weekend. In my home state of Michigan it has been a bit of a challenge most recently with the rain causing multiple dams to break and at least one town needing to evacuate. Also our virus restrictions have eased some and my hope is that we don’t have spikes leading to a tightening down.

The American way of freedom and rights has been put to the test on many fronts. As a capitalistic society we have long put profit ahead of health and safety. Now because of an increase in communication and perhaps compassion? -the health of individuals is carrying weight because those that put wealth above health are being exposed and being held accountable. But for many their immediate livelihood also effects their health so we have a challenge is seeking that balance.

I don’t look down on people with less formal education because while some can recall all kinds of knowledge others have a knack with mechanics, electronics, skilled labor that also is important. What I see is that many just don’t understand virus transmission. Also those seeking proper information are being confused by opposing information made worse when a political agenda is attached. So people get frustrated and just get to a point of F#@%@%#@ IT!

Others need to fill their lives with conspiracy and such and those things have happened down through the ages. But friendly speculation can turn deadly when people take this as truth. I enter every conversation knowing I could be wrong. I try to ’empty my cup’ and learn from every interaction I have. I fear that in America during this election year that we’ll not get any relief until after the new elections. I read of people complaining because stores are trying to accommodate everyone’s concerns. Someone who refuses store rules should be out, my opinion. Just like NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE. People not following directional arrows because they are proving a point should be asked to leave. That business came up with rules that was best for them based on recommendations.

IMG_8399

Now we’re working on our policy and rules for working with CDI on our next film BEST YEARS GONE. We’re financed and ready to roll once we feel we can safely handle production and work within guidelines. Now if someone on the crew did not want to work under these set conditions they would not be hired. I don’t care if you think 5G towers did this and so-and-so says masks do nothing. If the policy is a mask on a hot set – you wear or we don’t hire you. A sickness of any kind can really stumble up a business or project. Those accountable for finishing the project need to make the best decisions and safe is better than sorry, as mom use to say.

We are currently targeting August to film but stand ready to push a month or two if needed. Things are looking better but if people start going total disregard – we could see our situation go backwards. Either way we will move forward with caution. We are soon to announce another cast member who recently worked with the tribe on LOST HEART. We’re happy to have them in the TribeCDI family. Stay tuned for more cast and crew updates and we’ll start announcing some of our sponsorship partners as well.

IMG_8421

LOST HEART – The music and sound design is almost done and mixing will be next. The color correction and VFX are also close to being done. We have a few surprise announcements also but we’ll wait for the ‘ink to dry’ as I like to say. We’ll be exploring how we want to premiere the film in the coming days. I’m really excited for people to enjoy this wonderful story and you will – soon!

90014352_10157767726050306_8951653001047572480_n

I’ve had wonderful fan mail from folks watching MAN’S BEST FRIEND, WILD FAITH and The Quest Trilogy (Forty Nights, Chasing the Star, The Christ Slayer) and so while spending time with your family please enjoy the hard work of our artists.

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

We’ve been hard at work here at CDI and soon we’ll be launching ‘COLLECTIVE COLLECTABLES‘ our merchandise division. The CDI Music Division and we continue to explore the animation opportunities. If you have skills and a reel from me a line – I want to see what artists are doing.

I’m happy to say we’ve made great strides on the ‘HASTINGS‘ TV series and our WW2 film for 2021 is over half financed. I believe we’ll have all our commitments by the end of summer if not sooner.

img_2531

WRAP UP

Be kind to one another as we navigate through these times. Channel your energy into what you can control. Adversity can create great new opportunities. You are forced out of your comfort zone and from that new place great ideas can spring. But the key to success is to be a doer. It is not enough to have a good idea you must vet the idea and if deemed worthy – do it.

Until next week. Zen your space. Be mindful of others. Create don’t hate!

DJ

 


Weighing In on Feature Film versus Commercial Production. Release Dates!!!

NYC Time Square

New York Time Square – I’ve had success and setbacks. But taking a group of sailors/artists out to sea is always an adventure. Every great thing ever done started as an idea. I’ll tell you something that I see around me that I really like. And this kudos centers on my state of Michigan but extends beyond that. I see DOERS. I see people finishing. I see people reaching. I’m not a better artist. We’re all artists who either create or derive some pleasure from the art of others. Active is always more conditioned than observer. The football player will always be in more condition versus the watcher of football. The artists who stretches his imagination, cooperation and does will always be more conditioned than he/she that watches.

dp-dark

It is hard to make any movie. A bad movie requires lots of work. Try organizing four of your family or friends to go bowling. Scheduling. This happens because of passion and compensation. Being compensated for something you would do for free is golden as a goal. When someone is required for a lengthy stretch of time/days/weeks compensation with agreement is better than free even when you can get it. Bad cold. Flu. Fever. I’ve had it on sets before. But everyone of those artists is working towards the common goal. You take a vitamin C packet. Rest, best you can and wait to be called to set. People not fully committed can and do flake. But I carry a zero tolerance for that. Too much benefitting too many artists at stake. I’ve missed a grandma’s funeral being on set. She encouraged me all through my career, she can and did understand. It is a total commitment to process. I hear horror stories of crew attitudes and walk off’s. I’ve only dealt with those issues in the easiest of days where the rigor of “war/filming” can test everyone’s limits. We at CDI try to be a fertile creative ground to grow within. Not perfect but we strive individually and collectively. Negative folks can allow the positive flow to align them or they are removed from the circuit of energy.

officemc

I’ve recently seen a few debates between film producers I know and commercial crew members who dog his hiring practices. Both tried to argue their points while the negative slings and arrows flew. Producing commercials (production service) is very different than film production (investment). Again with said producers, I disagree with his model of business creatively and otherwise BUT he might also disagree with mine. I’m okay with that. I think that producers who produce for profit – narrative story in a VERY competitive field, are entitled to set an offer however they wish. I think compensating will draw more experience to the project. That in turn effects the timeliness, quality or both. But getting that experience is the catch 22 for crew and talent. Who is going to trust a 500k film on the back on a first time actor? How hard is it to land in the director or DP chair of a financier feature film? Sometimes these smaller projects help develop people for the path ahead. You can star in a story without the stress. You get to shoot a film versus being the clap board 2nd AC.

Water to Wine

BTS of “40 Nights” – the camp of John the Baptist

Some productions are in that middle ground because of budget. Yes. I’ve done 4 min automotive commercials with larger budgets than a feature film. Meetings, notes, tweaks…not as exciting as a narrative story. When you mix experience level the goal is to raise people up and not have it brought down. This requires the right leadership in the right place. All this? Maybe bowling would have been easier:)  So if you’re making good money in commercial production don’t try to apply that to narrative filmmaking. LOYALTY is what brings crew into the bigger game. It is a two way street. They work to help tell a beautiful story with audience changing power. Those few filmmakers that grow are smart to take their team with them. Some producers do sell out and take this composer who did this or that…this designer is more…they worked on…TRUST ME on this one. Stay with the team that got you there. Now they might need to keep growing with the collective. Soldiers all gotta march. But if someone likes what you’ve built they should respect the builders.

IMG_1703 2

I’ve had a strong week of film business mixed with good times with the new puppy Finn and family. I made beef jerky for the studio and worked on dehydrated apples now. This week I’m going to rack the GRAPE APE wine to the secondary. I put a deer worth of venison into the freezer. Wood cutting for the office stove will continue this week. Let’s do some bullet point film updates.

  • The Christ Slayer artwork is just truly beautiful. We’ll be announcing Feb streaming purchase, March DVD, April EVENT SHOWINGS on the big screen across the country. Post work is full steam ahead for the next couple weeks.
  • Wild Faith artwork for the theatrical and DVD has begun. Wild Faith will be hitting theaters across the US in 3/1/19, TV cable 4/1/19, digital purchase 5/6/19, DVD 5/27/19
  • MBF is now re-focused on the film edit and we’re working to have a first cut by end of the year. The trailer has been getting a great response. Please follow our Facebook site and watch the trailer. https://www.facebook.com/pg/MBFthemovie/videos/
  • Tis the season and feel free to take a watch on our other films. FORTY NIGHTS and CHASING THE STAR are the two previous films in The Quest Trilogy.
  • LOST HEART is slowly moving down the tracks and will start to pick up steam 1st of the year. Stay tune for more opportunities. Also follow http://www.cdiproductions.com

IMG_6725

Okay. It’s time to cap off the hot hazelnut coffee. Make some breakfast and get ready for a good day. Yesterday we went up North for a belated Thanksgiving fest and today is a family bday party. Go Lions!

Happy Sunday.

DJ