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

Posts tagged “unions

Week’s Top Eight Updates

IMG_3164Good morning to all of you out there. I’m happy to see all the readers from our Canadian neighbors, Germany, China, Australia and more… if you think someone might benefit from a read please do share our blog site. I’ve been sipping the coffee this morning as I ponder what I should discuss. The holidays are now truly behind us. The beautiful Christmas tree is now seasoning by the woodpile to give fire starting material as the last years tree does now. We had a touch of warm yesterday that melted some of the snow and had all the animals out enjoying the day and gathering food. I’ve been sharing some old peanut butter holiday cookies with the squirrels each day. Now they look in my windows as if to say – hey now.

So this week has been full of steady work and so I think I will random a few of these updates out there.

  1. End-of-the-year tax work on the movies. It’s not the most fun you’ll have in film but it comes with the territory. If you aren’t doing that work you’re likely a hobbyist and aren’t accountable for anyone’s money. Hobbyist is fine but when you do start working in film professionally do your required work. I see people who want to just play and I understand that but paying people (which requires tax work), union, insurance, state filings… the biz of showbiz. I want to thank my hardworking team. I’ve said it before, it is not easy to do things right and even with best efforts we make mistakes. But when people don’t even try…
  2. We’re banking more capital on CDI’s next movie MBF (Man’s Best Friend) and still in talks to assign the final units. We’ve got several projected plans pending what happens in the next few weeks. People think raising money is easy and it is not. Even when you stay on budget, schedule, assured distribution to the marketplace, talented artists – it can still be difficult. I think with the tax change it had many pausing until the new year. But we’ll lock it up soon.
  3. So “Chasing the Star” has been submitted to ICFF and the Crown Awards by our distributor. It was a strong Christmas season and we’ll start to feel that in the next few months. The biblical adventure is a worthy watch at any time of the year. As Easter approaches BMG will keep pushing both “Forty Nights” and “Chasing the Star” we also are expanding into more foreign territories. I think Germany was most recent. Also what a great fan responses over the holidays. Thank you for all the communications.

BREAKING – So a good case point/example. I was sipping coffee and typing to all of you when I got a communication from one of my producers asking for additional info for our tax reporting. Forty minutes later – I’m back. But it’s why I don’t run the streets hard like I did as a younger man. Business pops up and you have to try to be prepared to keep the train a rolling. More coffee vs whiskey and more tea versus wine but I do still enjoy the sip with company. Being well rested is another key. Many people openly brag about how run ragged they are and how little sleep and such. It’s worn proudly like a badge of honor. But I don’t see a badge nor honor. I see a person admit that their time management is not good and likely most of their endeavors are wrought with mistakes and oversights due to being “tired”… put a spin on tired if you want but it still just plays as tired. Look how hard I work! Maybe look how smart I work is better. It’s the angst of the living artist. Look at me I’m suffering. Yes, when dreams are just outside your reach there is suffering. Usually self-induced suffering because we look at what we want and don’t have versus what we have and use that as steps to a new place. So in 2018 if you’re one of those who takes on too much – do less and do it well versus more and tired. I think you will like the changes it makes around you.

4. The Christ Slayer is locking up VFX and will move into studio for sound and music. The trailer will get a mix before releasing in a couple of weeks. The first poster is also looking to release next month. I’m excited to bring the last chapter of the trilogy to audiences and let them enjoy them individually or together.

5) Wild Faith. Yes. Quite the buzz building over this powerful 1800’s story. That time period is a favorite of many of us at CDI. We watched the most recent pass of the color correction with the theatrical 5.1 surround mix. WOW! Meetings this week about the premiere opportunities and theatrical roll out. I’ve had a few more talks on the TV series and I’m feeling good. Good about the fact that once people are brought into the town of Hastings, Michigan in 1875. Once they meet and grow close to the lovable characters in Wild Faith, that a TV series will happen. I am going to talk to broadcast sponsors also. I would love a MI based series as it would allow us to work with many artists in our state. If this is the first time hearing about this film look up the trailers, Facebook page or website.

6. WEBSITE – Collective Development Inc. is revamping its website to take us into the new years ahead. http://www.cdiproductions.com is still under construction but it will be a place for a) better casting info for people b) A streaming community with interviews, film advice, BTS and a movie watching club. c) Merchandise. I’ve been asked over the years about merchandise. I LOVED it as a kid, okay and as an adult. We will be seeking to enhance this area. Lunch box? Action figure? Posters?

7. The animated division is going to get more attention. Why? As a kid I loved cartoons and so why not. “The Patchwork Girl of Oz” is on Vimeo On Demand and will be releasing to Amazon. We’re also in talks on another collaboration that will be animated. More soon.

8. I’m reading a few scripts and I have several to get back to that I started before Christmas. Most are from past collaborators bringing new projects forth to see if I/CDI would be interested in involvement. Yes. I do enjoy going to work on other’s projects – it really is about the role and compensation is also a factor. I’m also trying to do my daily script writing but actually it’s been only a few times a week. Organize that time. I try to take my own advice.

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This is me returning a handful of hours later. That business work can take over that fast. I’m sure I might have missed a few updates but some of the deals are highlighted here.  I hope you all have a productive week.

Be good to one another.

DJ

 

 

 

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So the Dream Continues…

The coffee pot was here to greet me on this fine Sunday morning. We’ve had a few steady days of slow snow falling and the green grass is again long gone. Crazy busy week on so many fronts. We won’t go all into the Middle East stuff as this is not really for all that but change is coming there and it really shows people power.

On the home front I acquired a few new things such as a gunsafe (Hey I’m from Michigan), picnic table for around the fire pit and also framed a few pieces of art I’ve had for years. (Since the 1970’s)  I’ve also been sorting, cleaning and organizing my business affairs. The new year wheel is turning so onto a few film updates…

I’ve had a few great scripts/offers that came my way for acting as of late. One came as an SOS as a replacement to again be shot overseas. I LOVED the script. WW2 Historic drama with a Zorro flair including ninja, samurai, Nazi’s…long short is I had to seek permission from another production on dates and I also inquired about an additional pay bump as it was a touch under my usual. Being that they start shooting this Monday (Tomorrow) with the American character starting on the 5th they had to move forward fast. They hired someone else who said, YES, YES, YES. I guess I wanted to let you all know that I too STILL face rejection on a weekly basis. I felt a deep artistic pain because I truly connected with a character and film and could see it all in my mind’s eye. They wanted me, I paused and questioned and the biz part of the show-biz stung me. DOH! Next!

I’m still looking at a few acting projects. We’ve got a few new associated projects in development that we’ll announce soon. CDI’s projects moving and grooving towards that all mighty green light!  These two projects have been a big focus last week.

“Outside the Wire, Forgotten Children of Afghanistan”

It plays the 35th Cleveland Film Festival – the dates and times  are Tuesday, March 29 (7 p.m.), Wed. the 30th (11:40 a.m.) and Thursday (1:50 p.m.). The other festival info including the new GI Festival will be passed along here shortly.  Many network and distribution outlets being looked at.

“Renovation” the 1st theatrical screenings are being booked and the 1st wave of screeners went out to distributors last week. Already positive response on the film and so I think we’ll be getting some good offers soon!

REFILL TIME – OK back:)

I’m looking forward to “Darkest Night” shoot in April. It is CDI’s 1st international collaboration and one of my goals is to keep opening up these bridges between filmmakers here and abroad. I think much like “Karma, Crime, Passion, Reincarnation” which I sincerely hope makes it to the US this year, it brings a wonderful new vibe. The music score on “Karma” reminds me of “Temple of Doom” which for those of you who follow me know that is one of my favs.

I watched a producers link of the NYC film “Benjamin” last night that has the new score laid into it. It is a really good film and I think my fellow actors did a wonderful job. I can’t wait for that to come out.

“Locked in a Room” has to be getting closer now and that is a whole different twisted vibe:) I hope they do a premiere in Michigan for that film. Ah…Michigan. A raging debate over the tax incentives which seem just fine perhaps until fall but could see a altering in the program. That would be better than elimination for poor Michigan which has been struggling.  This is a new industry whose merit must be placed above any and all political agenda. That said, I think that many of these governors are taking very unpopular actions because many before them refused to do so.

I also have mixed feelings on all this union stuff going on. Again I recall in the auto industry folks bragging about being able to sit and play cards while getting paid all because of certain union negotiations. I do know that in at least one situation where we asked our own union (SAG) for assistance. They said, anything we can do. When it came time for action they said they could not get involved. And to add injury to insult before the dust was cleared they had their hand out asking for a payment. They have also treated several actor/producers I know like outsiders when these people are heroes trying to create work for their fellow union members. I for one see the union as pretty non-effective when truly needed. Furthermore they have just enough organization to get in your business and seem surprised when you tell them things worked out a certain way especially when they did nothing to assist. So I’m not political on this matter and I’ll wait to see how it all works out but I’m still waiting to see where one of my dollars collected for dues has done anything for me. I do have a cool looking card that probably cost 5 cents to make so I do get that.

Onward to better topics –  “GPS the Movie” a great thriller I helped produce and co-starred in will go to the CHILLER TV this Spring so see if you get that TV channel. I hope the extended audiences enjoy it. We’re actually in talks with several TV networks on several projects so I’m excited that we’re exploring that realm.

Enjoy the Oscars tonight. I really enjoyed both “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” where the line about the twin brothers in skeleton suits chasing the karate kid around the gym, is probably my 2nd choice favorite. So enjoy and maybe one day it will be myself and more of my associates getting recognized. The Oscars have become a lot like Sundance for me. I don’t want to go watch I want to participate and that means creating the right products. So the dream continues.

Have a great day!

DJ