Welcome new readers from Lebanon and Ukraine, so happy to have you with us. Fall is in full swing here in Michigan. It has been a full week of getting fall prep completed and working to move all our films forward. First on the prep – we’ve had a week of chilly weather outside that had us burning logs in the office wood stove. Also this week a batch of “Grape Ape” wine was started. It uses the wild grapes from around the garden with a touch of mulberry and rhubarb to add some complexity. It is bubbling away beside my chair and soon we’ll have 5 gallons of the new wine. Pumpkins, squash and other fall harvests have made their way to our home.
I worked on updating my literary resume. Also I spoke of two of my stories pertaining to horses appearing in a new book featuring a collection of stories. I worked with the editor and they’ve asked me to participate in a few other “collection” books this coming year. I LOVE writing and to be able to earn a check using my writing is just awesome. I also did a script for an upcoming PSA which the client loved. I’m going to work on a few feature scripts using my writing time. I’m enjoying writing on a Sci-Fi piece which is a true love of mine.
The 1st draft of the Lost Heart script is complete. It will slowly make its way out to key development people. I’ve gotten my first few reactions to the script and they loved it. I also have been looking at what keys would work best with a story like this. I had a few good meetings this past week with some very talented individuals.
This coming week I will be getting together with Carl Weyant and we’ll be going in studio to do some work on The Christ Slayer. The distribution set up is underway that will likely include a theatrical set up. Our distributor will return from Mipcom this week and we’ll chat as they prep for AFM. I’m waiting to hear on this theatrical before doing full PR on the film. In the next two weeks we should have distributor DVD poster art and updates. I’m being told 2/4/18 will start broadcast and digital and 3/4/18 will be DVD release. I’m very excited and if you enjoyed the other biblical adventures FORTY NIGHTS and CHASING THE STAR you should enjoy THE CHRIST SLAYER.
THE CHRIST SLAYER is not the only film that looks like it’s getting a theatrical with our distributor. WILD FAITH is also looking at getting a wider limited theatrical and we’ll also be setting the home video dates. I mentioned that we were adding a narrator for the opening and close of the film. This plays into the TV series and I’m excited about this spin off. We have a verbal agreement on the talent and paperwork has been sent over. Once the paperwork is signed we’ll be doing a PR announcement on all these updates. WILD FAITH might also have a few product sponsorships and that’s exciting.
MBF: Man’s Best Friend editing continues. I did also hear that the theatrical program our distributor is working with likes this film also. I’m excited about the acceptance of these films into that arena. That is a nod to all the artists involved. A teaser is also being worked on and I know many are excited to see that. We’re going to keep rolling out official stills each week. Please join our social media Facebook site for this and all our films.
Melissa Anschutz and DJ Perry in BESTSELLER
Lastly, tis the season for scary boos and things that go bump in the night. I’ve done my fair share of horror films and actually got my start in them. I was asked if I was going to act in any new ones. IF the right script came about I would return and help tell a scary story. There’s two films RESURRECTION which I co-starred in Las Vegas that has yet to release. Also DEAD QUIET that I had a supporting role in was trying to target this Halloween but I haven’t heard anything. But I have several out there you can check out. The 8th Plague, Bestseller, GPS, Darkest Night, Deadly Renovations – just to name a few. Caution as they are Rated R. We’ve been enjoying that TV series The Haunting of Hill House.
I’m going to finish up watching the Lions. Hats off to U of M who beat our MSU Spartans but they get no points for sportsmanship. Today at the last flea market of the season I bought a copper bin to hold some fire logs. I’ll be heading out to get the wood stove burning. I think I might have a touch of hot cider first. We’ve been adjusting here and working to enjoy the fall. I plan to do some pumpkin carving with the nephew and niece this week, which will be fun. I hope everyone has an productive week ahead.
Be good to one another.
At the soccer match – Manchester United vs Liverpool
Good morning! I’m sipping the coffee and I see last week we had new readers from China, India and South Africa, welcome. Michigan has had some nice temps while the west side of the country has had HEAT. I’m not a big fan of that 85+ humid heat but as of late things have been wonderful. Yesterday I had a first which was attending a soccer match of Manchester United vs Liverpool. It was hosted at our MSU rivals stadium but we had a good time. The tailgate was fun and the game was enjoyable. The crowds were a test and we spent a lot of time in the car trying to get out of the lot and to the actual highway. I don’t do well with large crowds but a few beers helped with all that. Today we have a soccer match of our own and the cool weather will be a welcome change.
I just did some billing for a few sales videos selling books. We do some commercial work at our company CDI. It just depends on the details so do feel free to reach out. That said, feature film will remain our main focus. Let’s look at a few of the projects.
THE QUEST TRILOGY
Forty Nights is gearing up for its second seasonal run through the holidays. It will be joined by Chasing the Star which just recently won a silver Crown Award. These films were named ‘Most Inspirational’ 2017 and 2018 respectfully. Will The Christ Slayer complete the trifecta? You never know. The 3rd film is undergoing dialog clean up, sound design and music. We’re targeting a Christmas release and will roll into our Easter home video release.
We’ll be having our West Coast premiere Sept 8th at the AMC in Burbank, CA. A small group of us will be attending to support the film. I’ve been inviting several friends living in the area so they can come out and enjoy the film. We’re still working on a few things for our home video release. Step by step as things move along. Also some good steps towards bringing a TV show to audiences.
The footage is all on the computers and plans are being made as to how the film opens and our first teaser. We’re releasing screen stills one per week and a BTS video is also being worked on. Also our young lead David Reardon did a vlog of his experience and we’re releasing that is segments. Part 2 was just released today. So hop over to the MBF Facebook site to take a watch. https://www.facebook.com/MBFthemovie/
This past week had more meetings with filmmakers in the area. Always nice to put a face with a name. I spent some good time screenwriting on the new script LOST HEART (working title). I’m very happy with the direction that’s going in. This week will have more of that plus I’m dispersing some $ to investors which always makes me feel good. I have to bottle up some of the ‘Frankenberry’ wine because my wild grapes are turning and in a few weeks it might be harvest time. I’m making some wild grape wine. I’m also planning on more grilling and a little chilling this week. I hope you all enjoy the beautiful day and have a productive week.
I want to welcome our new readers from Malta and Trinidad – I love as we add more artistic folks to this little circle. I’m sipping the hazelnut coffee and reflecting back upon my week. This week has been full of updates as we move forward. Let’s do a TOP TEN updates.
- First I was pleased to see the final product on a Voice Over job I did for a commercial video directed by Tomaki Boaz. He also directed the music video I participated in not to long ago. https://youtu.be/Y6gqlE8BKJ8
- The PR announcing the official theatrical trailer to part 3 of The Quest Trilogy has been well received. Here is the trailer for THE CHRIST SLAYER. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqmOL80agh0
- Sound design and music on THE CHRIST SLAYER is in full swing with Dennis Therrian at our sound studio.
- This week I’m also proud to announce that the home video deal for THE CHRIST SLAYER with BMG was signed. Just waiting on the countersigned paperwork and we’ll have official release dates soon after. We do know that the Christmas season will be our theatrical roll out and Easter season will be our home video.
5. Ongoing work on the WILD FAITH home video deal and beyond deal. But I’m also hearing that we got invited to play at a cool Hollywood-based film festival in the fall. More info soon.
6. MBF is officially in post-production and file organization is underway. Also discussions for a first teaser trailer. I’m going to be talking with a few people about BTS promo videos this week. First look stills – soon:)
7. I took a story concept from an old script – adding a few great elements and I’m writing a new script. Mainly changing the shooting location while tailoring some of the roles. I’m excited about this story that will likely be our fall film for CDI. Follow http://www.cdiproductions.com for casting updates.
8. This week we’ll be finishing up the first wave of “visual synopsis” videos for the selling of books for a large publisher. This is one of the CDI accounts we have and so again we will do select commercial endeavors but feature film and TV content is our priority.
9. I had a nice meeting this week with Michigan’s own Taylor Nichols. He’s a quality talent originally from our area but has been calling L.A. home. We finally had a chance to sit down informally and talk movies and possibilities.
10. This weekend I was taken as a belated birthday present to the Detroit Art Museum to see an exhibit that is all on the wardrobe and costumes of STAR WARS. It was a great peek inside the process that surprisingly is very close to what we’ve had to do with all our period films. It is cool to hear the inspiration and stories behind the iconic outfits.
It was a great week that also included putting some zen to the yard. Some berry collecting for wine – we have wine to bottle now. Some office organization and just putting order to things. Today is July 1st and we’ve had a heat wave but most of that was spent at the art museum in Detroit. No soccer for the day because of the 4th of July holiday. I’m looking forward to a week of business and some enjoyment. I hope you all are spending sometime with your loved ones. Those following our furry son Luke’s radiation journey – he’s healing from the burns but it does look like the tumor and swelling is growing smaller. He’s attitude and health has stayed strong so we are grateful for that.
Enjoy your day and have a great weekend.
As promised, I’m here with my trusty coffee beside me. The hurricane is now hitting the tip of Florida. I think every one of us have family, friends or associates in the state. As I stated before, as dangerous as the crisis is at least I see Americans helping one another versus throwing their anger. You know how you defeat hate? By doing acts of love, compassion and caring. I know it’s just starting so I hope that the people who remained can safely ride out the storm.
Today my mind is on the first of our soccer playoff games. May the force be with us:) My alumni school Michigan State University had a good showing yesterday. My brown furry buddy Luke is doing much better and on the mend after a good check up. Another week and they might start to reduce his meds if all stays strong. The office siding is now all up and only the rafters to cover. This week ‘Ida’s Wine’ will likely go to bottle and will be a nice holiday treat. I will also be harvesting the hops either today or tomorrow. So my day-to-day has been productive but let’s look at film.
I’m happy to report we finally have agreed upon our first “Wild Faith” poster. Once they polish that up we’ll roll it out to all of you. I’ll be getting an update on the music this week and that really leaves only the VFX to finish.
“Chasing the Star” is making its way out to audiences. I’ve started to get some really nice communications about the film. The best way you can express your gratitude is to VOTE and REVIEW on IMDB.com and whatever retail site you used. EXAMPLE: Amazon, Christian Cinema…
NICE REVIEWS (FEEL FREE TO SHARE)
DOVE FAMILY SEAL OF APPROVAL
My Favorite Review to Date from Bible Blog
As THE QUEST TRILOGY gains awareness people are also looking back to FORTY NIGHTS and ahead to THE CHRIST SLAYER. Watching the trailer with all three films is really quite humbling. It represents story ideas that formed in my head and was brought to life by a small army of artists. Please take a look –
This trilogy of films has increased my confidence to tackle another trilogy that is in development. Also the TV series behind “Wild Faith” which I’m in talks on.
MBF (Man’s Best Friend)
Our foundation business is in place and our targeting of cast and locations is almost done. This next film by CDI is one of my scripts and really touches upon some very important themes. We have many military folks involved and with military vet treatment highlighted we’re proud to have them involved. Additionally shelter dogs and the plight of many of them is our other major theme. I’m going to be pushing hard to get our investor commits these next couple weeks so we can hit our window this fall to shoot. I’m most excited because I think I have found the core of my character in the film. He’s a wounded warrior and I have been studying brain/nerve injury. You also know you represent the actual soldiers but unlike “Wicked Spring” (Our Civil War film re-releasing in 2018) those soldiers are still with us. But I put down three sketch reads and I was actually moved emotionally. It is a very vulnerable character and I like it when I’m a touch afraid to tackle a role. Trust me – I was afraid at the beginning stages of “Forty Nights” playing Jesus. So I think I’ve found the heart of the character and I also think audiences will feel for him. I’m excited that Jesse Aragon looks as if he will once again join us as our talented Director of Photography. We’ll be announcing our director this week and from there collecting LOI’s from talent and announcing them. The decisions have been hard as we’ve seen some wonderful performances. Stay tuned for many more exciting developments.
Thank you for your time and I hope everyone has a productive week.
The hazelnut coffee is flowing and I’m ready to sit down with all of you for a few fine moments. On our way back last night from visiting our furry brown buddy at the MSU Animal Hospital, a LUGNUT baseball game was happening. The downtown was filled with people of all colors and nationalities. I remember noting how proud of the diversity of Lansing, Michigan. We’ve got our issues like everyone else with crime stemming from poverty and bad choices. But those differences are again what makes our lives so interesting. Just like various foods, clothes and customs – all add to the spectrum of our daily lives. From Northwestern Elementary school to Otto Middle to Sexton High to LCC and MSU – diversity. Embrace it.
One of the weekly highlights was the release of the 1st teaser trailer for “The Christ Slayer,” the third film in THE QUEST TRILOGY. Read about it here and included within is the new trailer.
Chasing the Star just played Lanett City Film Festival and I hope the people there enjoyed the showing. We’ve got a few more big screen showings in the works. More on that once we get the deals done. The film releases to DVD on September 5th with Bridgestone Multimedia Group.
PRE-ORDER DVD – https://www.christianbook.com/chasing-the-star/9781945788239/pd/889043
Forty Nights continues to give audiences a look at the first film in the trilogy. I cannot wait until all three of the films can be watched together.
On the development note I have been working on the next three films in THE CONQUEST TRILOGY.
WILD FAITH – Our post Civil War western has lots of themes that I think need to be examined. The film is having VFX work done and music. We’ll likely finish the film at the end of the year and perhaps play for cast and crew before a 2018 theatrical followed by home video. I hope to release a behind the scenes sizzle and a poster soon. Here is the trailer in case you have missed it.
If you’ve an old school fan of CDI you really need to get the book written by David Hayes on CDI’s first film “Knight Chills” which is a cautionary tale on bullying.
BUY IT HERE – and feel free to leave a review.
Our meetings on M.B.F. are very productive. We have been reviewing actors for certain roles while working other logistics. We’re working to gather our business partners to travel with us on this powerful story that centers on our military vets and shelter dogs. I’ve been enjoying the layers of exploration as I discover the new role to be played. After taking on the roles of Jesus and bearded Mountain Man Ben Lily, this clean-shaven look is taking a moment to get use to.
I’m going to top off the coffee cup and do a few things around here. I did a major mow and trim on the yard which needed it. The garden is kicking out major tomatoes and beans but with Luke sick again the yard animals chewed into my one pumpkin. The HOPS are starting to come on and today I will cut the last of the rhubarb that will become wine with the mulberries. I also have another soccer battle today and we have everything crossed that our furry boy can come home from the hospital. We were on vacation the week before and to not have him home this week has been hard. We want the pack to be whole again.
Be good to one another. Until next week.
I want to welcome the 1st time readers from S. Korea and Jordan. The lead singer of a band (Shinedown) was talking about the unifying power of music. I think that is true for most art as a whole. I’m proud that this little coffee-powered blog is read by so many around the world. It has been an exciting Summer so far and I’m finally feeling ready for the next journey. By journey I mean a group of films. I’ve been doing this a while now and sometimes I need that break. More from the business versus the art creation but that too can be exhausting. I’m excited because beyond the small pockets of audiences – the nation and beyond will get to see “Chasing the Star” in September (5th) with our distributor releasing to Amazon, iTunes and a few Faith sites focusing first on DVD sales. They are allowing a premium window before moving to streaming services in 2018 after Christmas. This will be a cool Christmas because you will be able to watch Part 1 “Forty Nights” and Part 2 “Chasing the Star” of The Quest Trilogy. There are many small crossover moments in all three films which will be fun to connect for people. Part 3 “The Christ Slayer” is moving along. We were putting paperwork under our VFX team and a PR release will be forthcoming this week. I also have a meeting with the director Nathaniel Nose to discuss the 1st teaser trailer and poster. I’m really proud of all three of these films and I will look forward to the day all three are in a box set or playing TV together. You have to dream it first.
A few of the team – (L top R) Hagedorn, Perry, Bradley, Mason, Therrian, Hornus)
“Wild Faith” – I LOVE this film. I think many of you – fans of “Wicked Spring,” “Ghost Town” and such will really be taken with this movie. A great cast united in telling a very timely story despite the 1800’s setting. Follow this film on FB or the website and get ready for a ride.
Wild Faith FB
Wild Faith website
We’ve been going back and forth over movie posters the last few weeks. We’ve had something really good first drafts but not that one great poster that brings all the elements together. Now this is only the theatrical poster not the distributors poster but it is the one we will run with for a while. A new trailer is also in the works that will be our theatrical trailer. We saw a first cut of the Behind the Scenes video and that will be refined before release. You can just see how much fun everyone had making this film.
Okay, I think some of you are good with updates on films in post and want to discuss new endeavors. Well, I’ve had a story in my head for a few years now that involves a few very important themes. Those themes are military vets and dogs. It took some time to ponder what role to tackle after my last go playing Jesus. My conclusion was what fires up your passion? Does it have a strong business backing? The conclusion was to focus and finish this script lingering in me. The script is the most important thing I have found over the years. It is the blue print that all the departments work off of. It is what encapsulates the world and unites all these performances into a story. That first official draft was completed and I had my two CDI co-producers take a read and give feedback. I also sent the first draft to a few outside people to get another viewpoint. The response was strong and so we’re taking the next steps. This week will include a polish thus creating version 2. I’ve reached out to distribution on the subject matter and I’m doing some breakdowns. It will be filmed in Michigan and at the year’s end late Oct and early Nov is the goal. Early informal casting talks have begun – I’ve said this before, if you’ve worked with us before and fit a breakdown and you weren’t an issue, you’re being looked at. We might request a few reads at some point from some of you out there. We do have a handful of teen roles which we don’t have as many options. Those damn kids keep growing up:) So if you’re 12-19 years old male and female we will want to see your game footage. By that we mean you demo reel. We may go to cold reads if we haven’t found what we want but we like to use reels. So get those ready to go because in a week or two official calls will go out. I look forward to storytelling with you.
I’m going to leave all this right here as I’ve got a string of things to get done today ending in a soccer match. We got the upper siding done on the office/fort and the shake front and back (very top) are next on the list. The garden is giving us our first harvests. The berries have been in full boom and my brother, an artist himself – created this as a birthday present for me. It is a wrought-iron arch with our former elm tree adding the beauty.
Have a great Sunday!
A beautiful and slightly chilly Sunday here in Michigan but I have the hot java to warm things up. Grandpa Jones playing the Bluegrass tune Mountain Dew on STING RAY music. It reminds me of some of the wonderful mornings at Robert’s Roost with my dear friends Robert and Ralphene in N. Carolina. Today I’m going to give the yard its first mow and rototiller the garden. Grilling is on-deck along with a little chilling later today.
Chasing the Star
So as a young actor I use to dread the trek into Detroit traffic and bustle for any meetings or auditions but I always found the “town” of Grand Rapids to be a much easier destination. Well, that has changed as Grand Rapids proper is a CITY no doubt. Our director of “Chasing the Star” Bret Miller, calls GR home and so last night we had a premiere kick off of the film at the UICA last night. It was a beautiful showing that showed the incredible camera work and art on-screen and I’ve never seen Dennis Therrian, our post sound and music supervisor so happy. The 5.1 surround sound mix was amazing and put you front and center of the action. We did a little Q&A after the film before heading to a local haunt which was a small joint with several pinball machines. I am not a fan of crowds and small places and so it was a celebratory king can of PBR and headed back home. I was up later than I usually stay up save being on night shoots on set. We had all three directors of the trilogy at the showing which was a special thing.
Jesse Low, Nathaniel Nose, producer Anthony “Tony” Hornus, Bret Miller
A lot of creative talent between these individuals. (Tony included:) CDI seeks out the wildly original and imaginative artists who also work within a no-nonsense business structure. I also got to share some advice with other upcoming filmmakers, which is always rewarding.
My advice when asked –
First, don’t say YES to that which you cannot do. Unfortunately, many say yes figuring we’ll just figure it out as we go. NOT WISE. Also, make the best of every opportunity. The question was narrowed to “how to finance your film?”
It’s hard, REALLY HARD to initially get business people behind you. You earn it by strong preparation, solid execution and staying on a timeline that other business entities (distributors) can rely on. Also don’t BS just be honest in these pitch meetings. Many of these people have been there, done that and gotten that Tee Shirt so don’t be a used car salesman. Also my advice was work out all agreements amongst production in advance of seeking or spending any investment money.
Once money does come in people change. People all have other ideas on how to spend budgets. They recall deal discussions differently. Deals cannot exist by hand shakes alone. Maybe at first but paperwork spells it out clearly. How much pay, when you pay and what you expect for that pay. Like bands many good creative teams break up because of misunderstandings. Eliminate that possibility by TCB (Elvis “Taking Care of Business”) before seeking out money. Also be reasonable about what amount you’re seeking and ask yourself if you can you really manage a project of that size. If no seek experienced help. By help I mean – Not “find me money” but “I now have this money can you help me manage my project” help.
Also don’t make heroes out of incompetent business folk in your circle. I was asked – Why is it so hard for us to raise $? I said, because you all have peers walking about that have poisoned the wells with their screw ups. Yet they are hailed as heroes of their own PR spin. That is not tolerated in many industries but they are allowed to survive and sometimes thrive in our industry. They leave a ruined path of projects and poisoned wells for those that come after. When the area is too poisoned they move on seeking new areas to exploit where their screw ups are not as widely known if at all. The issue is that it’s a small industry overall.
What I enjoyed about last night is once again, the important word is AGAIN, we showed that Collective Development Inc. pulls from a clear well where business artists can invest knowing their investment is getting an A+ effort.
Back to Chasing the Star…
The film is now heading for Lansing, MI followed by Royal Oak, MI and it was announced last night that the film will return for a run in Grand Rapids, MI at Celebration Cinema.
We’ll announce the GR dates soon! The national release is Sept 5th but if you get a chance to experience this on the big screen treat yourself.
Released by BMG April 4th to home video and will keep expanding its distribution to other countries. Take a watch if you have not and get ready for the third film releasing next Spring.
THE CHRIST SLAYER
It has officially moved into editing with our director Nathaniel Nose and we should have theatrical poster and teaser trailer coming soon.
BTS photo (Hagedorn, Perry, Anschutz)
This amazing film was a main topic at a recent meeting with one of our distributors and the interest in the TV series is there. We just have to pull all the right elements together. The feature film now has a picture lock and has moved to music and sound design. Stay tuned for many great updates including the first official teaser poster now in the works.
We’re in discussion on several CDI past films re-releasing out into the market. I’ve been prepping development work on new projects and doing some script writing. But right now I have to get to some yard work. Time to refill the coffee cup.
Have a great Sunday and rest of your week. Perhaps I will see some of you at Celebration Cinema on Monday and/or Tuesday for the 7:30 shows in Lansing, MI.
Be good to one another.