I’m sitting by the fire and sipping the hazelnut coffee. We had to get a new grinder as the last one started failing in its duty. We had a few days of snow falling and the temps have been bitter. I’ve been so happy reading about all the smiles we’ve put on faces with the showing of SILENT NIGHT IN ALGONA, that is reaching towards a hundred cities. Now most of our fans of this film are slightly older with an appreciation of history. As the rave reviews, festival invites, booking agents and more reaching out to align with this film, I knew the attention seeking haters were looming. Often it is someone who was passed up on a role, position or what-not. A company, filmmaker, screenwriter who has not earned their opportunity and so they are angry. Sometimes it is one person having a grievance with a person on the cast or crew, but they lash out at an entire groups work. This film when at the prime of its run will be seen by tens of millions. So far we’ve presented to thousands of people in theaters. We’re opening into many new cities/screens this week and more in the weeks to come. I’m excited that next Sat Feb 4th we’ll be premiering at the NCG theatre in Owosso, Michigan the hometown of our director, DP (Camera) and young lead Curran Jacobs. It will be the first showing for many of my own family. They will have a 4:00 show and a 7:00 with an afterglow after the late show.
To get back at the negative feedback, from negative folks. They are trapped in a cloud, a filter, that effects everything they do, watch, see. I normally care very little about the stones thrown but do wish all the beautiful comments we’ve received through various social media, communication platforms, could be seen by all. The stories forgotten and recalled of grandparents struggling at an earlier time. So if you want your review known – please go tohttp://www.imdb.com and search ‘Silent Night in Algona’ – on that page you can VOTE with 10 being the best and lastly + ADD A REVIEW- where you’ll be able to express all the wonderful feelings this film invoked. This will help in some avenues of distribution – we are also seeking any of you professional reviewers also. Please do reach out if you’ve done or wish to do an official review for your site, blog or vlog.
Enough with all that- I’m extremely proud of all the amazing feedback and that is causing the film to grow, grow, grow- in the marketplace. IF YOU WANT THE FILM IN YOUR AREA– a handful of calls to the local theatre manager asking them to have their booker reach out. They can reach out to our FB page and that is how it has expanded so well, because of you all! We are starting to look at a few select festivals in America, UK, Germany. The home video deal will likely finalize next month and we have some great plans in motion for that. So if you get a chance to see it on the big screen – do it. It will roll out to DVD and streaming on the run up to the holidays this year.
Harsens Island Revenge – On Friday, I was working on casting breakdowns. We’ve landed on our production dates which are after Labor Day. We are about to do some PR on our director announcing the project and possible with a teaser poster. The paperwork for the project is being drafted and in about two weeks we’ll move into official pre-production. This film will be shot in Michigan and we’ve got some great things lining up. WW1 vets versus the Purple Gang mafia – it’s gonna be exciting. Already a few departments are prepping. We will start sitting down with others from our past crews to see if they want to go on this adventure. I’m excited to do another scout trip soon.
SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE – The script for this powerful story is under review for historical adjustments. There are always conflicting recollection of events. We are making historic fiction not doing a biopic, but guidance is always helpful. I have a meeting this coming week to take this to the next phase of development. If this all goes well, I’ll have a lot more to discuss. We are targeting a 2024 shoot if we stay on our timeline.
FOR THE LOVE OF CATCH 2: Battlefields – This next step in our martial arts series that focuses on grappling and the art of Catch-Can. The project will again be produced by the Red, White & Blue Project Inc. non-profit and Collective Development Inc. Once again Curran Jacobs will direct and host the second installment. Adam Towner is onboard to again do post edit work. They will soon start talking to previous donors to see if they want to travel deeper into the study and history of this art used in life and death combat situations. Many new and exciting guests are planned for this new installment looking to roll camera in the Summer.
PROJECT-SHJ – My meeting over the supernatural thriller went extremely well. The biggest issue to discuss was schedule. Now that we have the Harsens Island Revenge dates solid we can look to lock something here. We talked budgets and production duties in our associated collaboration. I was happy with these discussions and we even discussed a slate of films. One is a script we collaborated on many years ago. Another would be a sequel to our maiden endeavor, which would be written by me. I’ve had a good idea for a sequel for many years and so I pitched it. Another story to eventually be put to paper. Yes, I use Movie Magic but once done. I like paper to read and memorize.
HOW DO YOU DO THIS STUFF? A common question
A lot of dreamers have the idea and passion but it must be tempered and focused. Many are great dreamers and talkers and poor at execution. Outside the sight of others they get lazy or disorganized doing what they want to do versus what needs to be done. Truth nuggets here. If you can KNOW THYSELF enough, if you have WILLPOWER – you can dictate. Before you go (Random fun place) you are going to get that proposal written. For many who struggle with willpower I always say, do what you need to do but don’t want to do first, when you have the most energy. Do not wait until you are nearly depleted to tackle the task you dread most. Often it is not as bad as your mind has built up. Once completed and feeling productive the lesser items seem even easier to tackle.
Everything is steps. Order of business. But brainstorming and dreaming is the start. I have many of those sessions weekly with the CDI Tribe. Ideas are tossed about until one shines brighter. No egos. The mutual conversations birthed options and ideas. Ideas are put to order. Execution of each step of order, like a battle mission. Knights around the table reporting, recapping, refining their plans. Have fun. I cannot stress this enough. Have FUN when you work on and through these things. As a camp counselor we use to have team challenges. In martial arts – fighting with a partner at your back. The beer that flows after a soccer match in victory or loss, because you’re living and playing the game. Life is a game of time. Many spend huge amounts of time chasing symbols of currancy and recognition of doings by way of fame. I want my work done to be appreciated but be known for what I’m doing in the present.
I’m an artist in the present. I work with wonderfully, talented people. I laugh and enjoy the mutual victories, obtained by artists who care. We humbly present our work, to which many have and will continue to praise the story. But there will be those who are enraged by others doing what they dreamt of but did not apply themselves in the right way. In the right direction. With the right people. It is hard people. Most famous bands make their best music in 10 years and break up. We are moving towards three decades as a company of storytellers and now we have multiple generations of CDI artists. To me that is success. EVERY FILM is handcrafted like my beers, wine or- you get the point. No formula Hollywood here. I go to the Detroit art museum and I don’t LOVE everything I see. I actually see a few things taking up space but that is subjective. I don’t get it but someone else is weeping because of the brilliance of it all. I don’t get all music these days. Beastie Boys were and still are often my jam. To someone else- Lame. I get it. I think if people spent as much time acting off their positive good filters versus time spent acting off their negative filters, they would find an improvement in their own lives. Negativity is a poison. When said, written or even thought- you ingest it. Start replacement that with KINDNESS, LOVE, COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING – and please do not draw lines. No exceptions. You want a sweeter life, feed, give, share the honey of life and not the bitter arsenic of negativity.
I’m out to refill the coffee cup and eat some bacon and eggs. People laughed at chicken land at first but whose laughing now? Just kidding. Actually, it has been a good experience. Until next week my friends.
Coffee Cheers! Again if you own a coffee roaster and want to get your brand name out reach out and we’ll use your coffee in our upcoming production of BEST YEARS GONE. I’ve been having the same issue with brewery and distillery options. We’ve always made product sponsorship deals with various companies and showcased them in our films. But they are slow to commit on this go-around and I have to guess that its the Covid effect on their businesses. If I don’t make a deal it will become just a created label. So whatever your business is if you want to discuss our sponsorship program reach out to me on here and we can talk.
I got my Covid test back that was super easy at Walgreens from my car. I’m clear. So I will report to the hotel this weekend under our new corporate deal with Tru Hotel/Hilton. Speaking of sponsors I want to thank The Candleberry Company for their sponsorship. Lerma Transportation is onboard to assist with the craft service. And it looks like BIOCLEAN will also be a sponsor again and in these times it’s good to have them on board. We are going to run a very safe set because Covid is not the only enemy. The flu and common cold is also a hinderance so we hope to keep everyone healthy. We have more cast to reveal including my old amigo Terence Knox (St. Elsewhere, Tour of Duty) and another CDI alumni from “Chasing the Star” will be joining us! I’m excited about the team of artists and we’re going to have a great time telling this story.
BUT…we have another movie rolling out as we’re starting to film. LOST HEART had a successful cast and crew screening in New Era at The Double JJ Resort. Music, interviews, food and fun followed by a wonderful film. Weeping, laughter and everything in-between. I was happily surprised by how engaged the audience was. We had a good number of local randoms mixed into our crowd. Bottom line is I think we have another hit. The local, regional and national media is kicking. From smaller reviewers like Noah Kaser below to Mike Huckabee who will be hosting Melissa Anschutz, Don Most and Victoria Jackson in Nashville. The film is truly funny and has heart warming messages about dreams and family without being heavy handed. Please do tune in Nov. 7th and 21st on ENCOURAGE TV (A Free app) to watch the premiere event and the film. It will start 7pm EST on those two dates (Nov 7, 21). Won’t you please join us? Noah below said he’s reviewed 200 films this year and LOST HEART is in his Top 5! We hope it makes your list also:)
Once we get past the premiere showings on the 7th and 21st of November we should know where the film is headed. Likely an exclusive run on a network before it goes wide. It will also start making its way around the world.
I’ve had a few good meetings over our Mid-Western WILD FAITH turning into a TV series entitled “Hastings”. We have interest on a few fronts and if everything works out we’ll film 8 shows this spring. It will be a wonderful thing to see the beloved characters back in action. Several sites are streaming it but Encourage TV alone is closing on 3 million. Add in broadcast TV and foreign and we have a large and growing audience. I’m excited to put this in motion and to bring BEN LILY back into action.
SMOKE & MIRRORS is just looking awesome and sounds just as amazing. We are having some VFX work done and after credits – Shazam! Done:) Finishing up the feature script is on my things to do this winter.
MBF: MAN’S BEST FRIEND – We have Veteran’s Day approaching and I’m so proud that this film is making the rounds. Much of the festival and event play got squashed by the lock down but the film itself is growing via word of mouth. You can watch it free via Encourage TV yourself and leave your thoughts. I see that Brazil now has MBF.
I’m also excited as we enter the holiday season to start pushing THE QUEST TRILOGY. This adventure trilogy is shot using the “style” of the original Star Wars films. You can see it in FORTY NIGHTS, CHASING THE STAR and THE CHRIST SLAYER. It was filmed in the Yuma desert where RETURN OF THE JEDI filmed. It is a unique series of films and again is not preachy but thought provoking. Watch them all together to get a greater story and enjoy them with your family.
FEW QUESTIONS FOR MY READERS–
Has anyone read my story in the cat book released this fall? Thoughts?
Who has seen “The Quest Trilogy” all together and what were your thoughts?
I’ve got several past thrillers and horror films perfect for the Halloween season, favorites? Scariest?
Would you be excited for a WILD FAITH tv series? Favorite characters?
MBF – Who do you agree with? Again a real thought provoker.
Have you ever used a Candleberry Co candle?
This past week has been getting warmer wardrobe around and a few rehearsals on BYG film. We picked the last of the beans from the garden. The crockpot with beans and additional veggies and a pork roast will be filling the house with good smells. The Autumn Ale has been enjoyed at a few meetings. The chickens are doing good with the coming of the colder weather. We took a nice nature walk with Finn yesterday and I just love this season. I’m just feeling great about the coming week and I will be seeing some close artist friends that I usually only see when filming. Get yourself artists with a positive attitude and that vibe will transfer to the story.
Thank you again to everyone at The Double JJ Resort. It is a wonderful place to visit for golf, horseriding, waterpark and more! I’m going to get back to a few pre-production things today and I’m thinking of doing these next batch of blogs on a Monday since our filming for the next few weeks will include Sunday. So I might be doing a delayed blog OR I might do a video blog recap which might be easier. We will see said the wise man. Be good to one another!
Good morning to everyone this fine day from balmy Michigan. I’m sipping my coffee and looking at my past blog. I’m not sure if something went wonky last week or not with my post. Either way it has been an eventful week and I’ll give you a few updates.
The Quest Trilogy – Forty Nights, Chasing the Star, The Christ Slayer
This collection of biblical adventures is making its way into the marketplace – I did some updating to our investors including sending a few checks about. Our Amazon rentals were North of 75k last quarter so thank you to all the fans watching out there. The third film is being worked on with music and sound design. I’m going out to the studio on Monday to look at a few scenes shot at the Historic Prison in Yuma, AZ. They were shot in a room near the highway and so at rush hour we collected more noise than we desired. We might have to ADR a few lines and so we’re exploring that. For those not in the knowing ADR is a re-recording of a line clean. I’m hearing amazing things about the music – our composer Dennis Therrian was working on some powerful scenes with Mother Mary (Melissa Anschutz). If you have not watched the first two films please do. They are on Amazon Prime but also many other platforms from Pureflix, Christian Cinema, Google Play and more.
We’ve got a group, including myself, that will be attending the screening at the Burbank AMC on Sept 8th at 1:30 with the Burbank International Film Festival. I invite all my west coast friends to come with us back to 1875 and say hello. We’ve also been working on a final piece for our home video release. We’re going to be adding narration to the beginning and end – the front helps frame the story and educate those not up to speed on the Civil War. The ending primes audiences for what will likely be a follow-up feature film or TV series. The narration will be our young lead all grown up and will likely be portrayed by a Country Music Superstar. I’m excited to be bringing this film to audiences worldwide.
MBF: Man’s Best Friend
The film is on the computers and ready for editing. Some initial work is being done on the intro and once our director returns from his European adventure editing will be full-speed ahead. In the meantime we’ve been releasing our young lead David Reardon’s VLOG and official still photos. We also will start releasing official BTS in the coming weeks. Also a BTS video is being worked on and we’ll have that ready to release in the fall with a first official teaser trailer.
I’ve been also putting in the hours working on the new script which right now is working title LOST HEART. I’m really happy with the first 40 pages and this week I’ll keep working it. The script is the blue print and I’m taking my time – that isn’t 100% true. Some know we’ve been dealing with our furry boy Luke who is recovering from cancer treatment. Additionally our eldest cat Jameson has been getting more weak and frail. He passed away this week after days with his cat brother standing/laying with him. We buried him and it was sad to see the animals distraught at his loss. He was the kindest of our cats and use to be so shy that people thought he would never leave the house. In the years that followed he made his way to the patio. After that the garden beds and short excursions with his brother. They were sometimes gone for two days before dragging back in for food and days of rest. A good life was had and I’m so happy to have known him all these years. Doing all my business work was one foot in front of the other but creative suffered a few times. Having sick loved ones can be very distracting to the mind and heart.
This week we also bottled up theFRANKENWINE. In October of last year we had venison coming to the freezer. I had filled the freezer with collected black berries and mulberries from the yard along with the green tomatoes used in “The Green Goblin” wines from our garden. I used all the fruit in a mix calling it…Frankenwine after the classic monster creator. It is strong but also has a tart that quickly gives way to smooth. It was bottled with a few blueberries in each bottle. It already has been in use and will make a nice sipping wine leading into fall. I had to move the process along because I have a garden full of grapes that are soon to ripen. They are already changing to a beautiful purple color. They should be harvested in Sept and I’ll be making my first wine in a while that is made from actual grapes.
I’m ready for the humid heat to break. It will be over 90 today and we have yet another soccer match. We played the number one team last week having only one sub and missing our keeper but played to a 7-2 loss. It felt great doing battle against such a good team. It should have been more like a 4-3 but we missed a few opportunities and their team can shoot. Our sub-keeper was not able to stop those well-targeted shots. But again, a great battle. That kind of work out is what keeps the hands of time moving slow.
I’m going to close things up. Yesterday my significant other found the oak table and buffet she had been looking for. But that meant moving my grandma’s table and buffet to the office/fort in prep of todays move. It was a lot of cleaning, moving and rearranging that I was not quite prepared for. But it was done and today we’ll have a beautiful dining set. I look forward to a many nice meals around the new table.
Cheers! Have a great week and 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.