We had a nice day of sunshine yesterday and that allowed us to get outside and do a little bit of yard clean up. Today the weather is back to wet and overcast but tis the way in Michigan. In a few short weeks we’ll be back in Yuma, AZ to film our third installment in THE QUEST TRILOGY. Let’s examine those films and the journey that these projects take.
The Christ Slayer
The bank account is open and the finalizing of people’s paperwork and getting their investment into the bank is always a task. People are busy but we work on tight timelines. We only have a few units to assign before we’re a fully functional battle station. Paperwork between crew started this week and next week some paperwork on talent will begin. Right now rooms, flights for the pre-prod team are the priority of the production office.
On cast we’re waiting for our schedule this week so we’ll know how many days talent will be required. Casting has been mostly a joy but you always get to those few hard choices. This past week we came to a few casting decisions after some healthy back and forth. We finalized casting on one of our last co-stars, a supporting role and a few featured roles from the AZ area. Each artist brings their unique talents to the screen. I’m so excited about the casting choices that were made.
I’m also happy that because of distribution being in place we don’t need to drop any ‘lure castings’ as I call them. That’s less than ideal casting but it’s done with the possibility that it may help grab the attention of a distributor. I understand why this is done but it can have a backlash. Distributors we’ve spoken with will tell you that certain names are known but they’ve become known for less than inspired product. They spoke of the flood of films that basically takes (Insert animal) and (Insert Holiday) add (Insert lure casting) and repeat. Now, I respect the fact that it’s a business model but I need more to invest myself in. I need a story that means something to me deeply.
“On schedule, on budget and our projects bring high artistic value.” That’s how we’re described by distributors and why we’ve been developing our ongoing business. I’ve said it before, you need to streamline your operation so that you can work with marketing teams whose job is to put the film into the marketplace. No excuses.
As I’ve done before I’ll give you a hint to the upcoming casting along with a story. First one of the roles WAS hard to find because it possesses a quality you can’t easily manufacture. In this case it was the “innocent role” which in “Forty Nights” was our T-Rex/Moses and in the upcoming “Chasing the Star” was filled by the amazing actor Logan Kishi. Thinking outside the box led me to looking at a certain spectrum of talent. From there I saw an actor who shared by last name. I looked at his materials along with dozens of others actors but kept coming back to the one with the famous last name:) His humor was right on point with the writing and he had that IT factor people talk about. In moving down the road in the casting process we discovered this talent had a sibling who also is an established actor. Another read for another role and BAM it has become a family affair. I’m excited that these two siblings will get to share in this journey together. People may assume I’m casting from family but I’ve never met these two brothers with the cool last name:) If we are related it’s buried up in the in the limbs of the ole family tree.
Two local actors who’ve participated with us before in Yuma, AZ have landed featured extra parts that while small are very important. (As all roles are) I’m sure they’re excited to be participating and we’re excited to have them.
In summary – We’re moving forward strong. I’ve been spending time with the story and it’s a joy to be able to imagine the talent in the roles on the page I’m reading. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. I am also looking forward to a little sunshine and Mexican food!
Chasing the Star
I’ve been assembling information for our end credits. This week we’ll also start moving over photo elements to the distributor. We should get our street date set in the coming weeks. I’m excited for audiences to get their first peek at the film. I’m trying to make it possible for our friends at Champion Church to see the film before we roll cameras on “The Christ Slayer”. They’ve helped us in so many ways as part of our Yuma team and I like to give them a special treat as a thank you.
The Easter stuff is slowly making its way out and that brings us closer to the 4/4/17 release date. The nice part about this release is that we’ll create a nice flow between the releases of the three films.
Once “The Christ Slayer” releases around Easter 2018 my hope is to see the three films play together or over three nights on television. I’m anxiously awaiting the new artwork which I hope to see this week. Fingers crossed.
Lisa Lauren Smith drives the drama as Haddie in #WildFaith
We’ve had many people reaching out about this film. I sincerely think we’ve got some gold with this film. The energy while making it was just powerful and cast and crew alike brought their A game. This week we’ll be seeing the first full cut of the story. I would say I’m excited but that would be an understatement. Keep following us and I’ll keep you updated after the first watch.
I’m not going to wax on about development at this time. Truth is I have much to turn my attention to and so I will cut this short. All of us artists appreciate your time and attention and in a few short weeks and months ahead we hope to entertain, educate and inspire you with your stories. That is an artist’s hope.
Be good to one another.
What a week it has been and how nice to be sipping coffee and spending a few moments with all of you. The snow has just about all melted save a little pile here or there. The birds are out and I notice green starting to work its way back in. I think if I was going to touch on a small lesson today it is about the SHOW and the BIZ again. The artist may want to do the SHOW but the BIZ must make sense. I recently had a film that was interested in me as their lead. They were light on funds and so I reduced my rates to work with them because I really liked the script. Their efforts were made and a TV Network even offered to give an advanced contract that would cover my wage. The issue was adjustments to the script. This would have gotten them the lead they wanted plus advanced distribution deal. That means others would follow. At the end of the day they decided they wanted to keep the script so they could do festivals. Why do people do festivals? Exposure and the hope of a distribution deal. The avenues previously created with distribution have grossed over a million dollars. So instead of money for a bankable lead with assured distribution they want to go to festivals. I think these are wonderful people I do but I really don’t have time for people who are just doing this for a hobby. That is unless they want to pay really well. I mean famous bands play personal birthday parties if the price is right. Okay Bob Barker I will send you a dollar. So each of you have a balance to achieve between artist and taking care of business. If people started saying “Hey come into the office and work today. We aren’t going to pay you but it will be fun.” I’ve got time for fun which usually includes grill and chill with family and friends, archery, guitar, soccer… I’m lucky enough that I love my WORK but it is MY WORK. Are you a professional or a hobby actor/filmmaker? There is nothing wrong with being on that end of the stick if that is what you decide you want for yourself. If you don’t like your current employment and want to do this art as WORK you must make smart choices. Sometimes that means knowing when to say NO.
As a recent release suggested “SOUL EATER” the prequel of “The 8th Plague” is in active development. We are looking at locations that right now point at a Michigan shoot. We have also been in talks with a director and several distributor partners.
We also have been locking up development work on a western era film that we do plan to shoot this year. Many of the cast are in place but there is still a handful of roles. We are also looking at expanding this into a TV series. I’m excited to share this info but not quite yet. The film is out to a few other star actors and so we will keep a lid on all this for now.
Poster art went out to Parables Network and I think they are close to releasing “Figure in the Forest” and “Wicked Spring” to their subscribers. I think these and other films are going to get a lot more exposure.
The digitizing and editing on our TV series shot in Costa Rica is underway. The PR work is underway that will announce CDI Television and its show line ups. It has been fun to re-live that journey and I can say we have some great footage surrounding some great talent.
I also got to oversee some of the new music score for http://www.donorsthemovie.com and I was very happy with it all. It really is coming to life with the music and it is one of my favorite aspects of the post process. Niki Saletta who stars in the film does an amazing job.
Aside from all this work we have “Ashes of Eden” getting closer and closer to an edit. I’m extremely proud and happy about this film. We just released “Road to Eden” about the making of. Check it out at http://www.ashesofedenmovie.com
April is upon us and that will bring an Owosso screening of “Outside the Wire” with music acts and such on April 6th which I plan to attend barring any unforeseen events. Also coming up is the theatrical release and DVD launch party for “Realizism” which I think is the 16th in Grand Rapids. I will comment with more info as we get closer. And with that I say to you all get out and enjoy the SPRING!
Coffee, coffee, coffee…I really do love the taste first thing in the morning. It has been a good and busy week. I wish we were onto some Springtime but it will be here soon enough. My mind is on the garden and what to plant this year. I’m also close to a second go on some beer making. The previous was like FOSTERS and this is a Killian’s Red variety. I will also be doing another wine. If the lilac flowers bloom hard maybe I will do another batch of that. I think its easy to tell I have grilling and chilling on the brain. It is also a time of planting new seeds that we will be talking about this time next year. Let’s look at some of the up’s and down’s that make up the weekly issues.
Special announce here – The reality show I did in Costa Rica has its legs under it. It has a famous producer waiting to view the final product. The show is being digitized to hard drives and editing is soon to begin. Look for an announcement here soon including the new CDI Television division.
“Donors” is having some amazing music composed for it. This film is about organ stealing and after the watch I can say it will make some people think twice about their actions.
“Ashes of Eden” is full steam ahead in editing and we actually just released “Road to Eden” the behind the scenes of “Ashes of Eden”. See http://www.ashesofedenmovie.com
Also we saw a release about the talks we are having with director Sergio Myers about ‘The 8th Plague” prequel “Soul Eater”. I can say that we are looking at locations and trying to find the second part of the funding.
“Deadly Renovations” is out there and seems to be doing good. I will say that our partners there are late with their 1st report. This is never a good thing and something that all distributors need to get serious about. Our sales company made a few TV sales and I was doing accounting. It is not fun work but it is what is required. I had done business with this company many years ago. They sold and paid out but the numbers were low. Now many years later they have a larger division handling bigger budget films. This is a test run back with them and so far I’m not happy with this reporting. In this age people talk. I had at least one call this week that resulted in two parties not doing business.
“7 Stones,” “Darkest Night” and other films are run by foreign sales companies and TV networks. More and more CDI Sales is dealing with direct selling because of lackluster effort by some companies. Not all of them I will have you know. We’ve had a few people who are doing their job and doing it well.
We have a big event coming up in April for “Outside the Wire” our non-profit doc film that follows kind donations in the US to orphans in Afghanistan. CDI Sales is now an official ambassador so if you have a company or wish to donate to this great non-profit be sure to contact me.
I’ve been in talks on a few acting projects. One film pushed as they try to get all their loose ends tied up. I’ve got two others that I’m in talks on. I think they are both great roles and only time will tell. Other than that I got my tax info in to my accountant. I continue to organize the new office and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.
If you’ve had a chance to watch “Locked in a Room” or “Deadly Renovations” leave a review on IMDB or elsewhere. I had a few autograph requests from “Locked in a Room” when DVD’s come out. Right now I think it is all digital release on Google Play, Amazon Instant, I-tunes and such. Well I’m going to have another cup of coffee and do some reading. I hope you all have a great Saturday!
It was a crazy, busy week again but as the snow melts and the sun shines – I’m ready to get some projects done. I’ve been deep in my head creating and being the character Oliver in the upcoming “Somnium”. A mental patient with an Obi Wan sort of vibe to him. He befriends and guides the young antagonist who is thrust into the chaos. I’m in hopes that I can get my ticket booked this weekend so I can make my plans to cover the home front. It is a week jammed full of my scenes so I will be working it hard but that is not a problem. Let’s look at a few updates.
I’ve had a few submissions for the children actors we put a call out for on the http://www.cdiproductions.com website. I wanted to really see what Michigan has and if we cannot find who we require we will start to widen the search. So if you fit the breakdown let us see those reels. Project announcement in the weeks ahead.
– ‘Donors” is in the process of being brought over to Dennis Therrian for composing of music.
– “Locked in a Room” released nationally on the 7th and is flying up the charts. In Top 100 in 48 hours. It is a dark fun film and I think audiences will dig. On Google Play and You Tube VOD. Check it out!
– Parables deal delivered and now in talks with more potential licensor over our library of films.
– This week a big announcement but the advance hint before PR is that it has to deal with our new CDI Television and it also deals with the only project I ever DIRECTED.
– ASHES OF EDEN will also be releasing a great behind the scenes featurette “Road to Eden” with up to now unseen footage. This will release within the next two weeks. Stay tuned! The film itself is looking great!
I’ve been given sides recently on an interesting project. Western and undead – hmm…I almost did a film like that a handful of years ago. I will look it over and they require a kick ass Sheriff – okay:) Can do.
Thanks to a purchase I now have a great new additional to the new FORT PERRY. My office has a Midway stand up video game with a bunch of classics. I nice mind relax when mulling over decisions. DEFENDER:) SINISTAR and many others – go childhood:) Lastly I’m nixing through a contract that would be a test run representation deal on film work. I will likely complete that this week and announce more on that when completed.
OK. Onto a day of getting stuff done. I hope you all Spring Ahead and follow those dreams.