We have our first readers from Iraq and Spain and so welcome to ‘Clawing our way to the Middle‘ blog. I’ve got the hot coffee in hand and seeking the right words here. Last night I was having a few old friends over to the office to sit by the fire and talk old times. Just before people showed up I heard news that my dear friend Rance Howard had passed away. We met in Benson, AZ while shooting on ‘Miracle at Sage Creek‘ and bonded over breakfast at Denny’s with his wife Judy. Rance later went on to join us on “Dean Teaster’s Ghost Town” whereas he played the father-like figure to my character. Rance loved our church scene in that film. Here is a few clips.
He could not join us on “The Book of Ruth, Journey of Faith” because he was working with his ole friend Andy Griffith. But when The Quest Trilogy came along he grew a beard for the first time in many years. He was excited to play “The Devil” after a lifetime of good guys. Play it he did in all three “Forty Nights” and “Chasing the Star” out on Amazon Prime now. His devil turn in “Forty Nights” won him best lead actor at the International Christian Film Festival. I’m proud that we still have “The Christ Slayer” coming in 2018 but I’m a touch sad that he will not get to see it. I remember on “The Christ Slayer” the two of us in that boat in the middle of the night – holding hands. We shared so many deep talks both about the role and about life. To pass at 89 years of age – working right up until the end is an inspiration. He was truly a mentor to me. One man who had truly been there and done that and he actually cared about my career. Very few people take that kind of time and nurture but you can see that manifested in his own family. He was supposed to play a funny role in “MBF” and we had always wanted to do this “Algona” WW2 POW/Xmas script but that was not meant to be. He was my source expert when I was writing. He was a dairy farmer and had first hand experience of WW2 so his input was vital. I know that Rance touched many people’s life and made us all feel important. He would walk between working with Russell Crowe followed by DJ Perry and never made you feel any less. Actually the opposite, as he made you feel great about being a storyteller. He was deep with his characters and he always came with lots of notes, ideas and intuitions. He will be greatly missed.
Where do I go from there…?
Forty Nights and Chasing the Star has been getting a great holiday push here in the US/Canada. Chasing the Star has been licensed to Netherlands to a network called Family 7. Forty Nights might be right behind it. Also the films are looking to invade the UK and I will have more details on that soon.
The Christ Slayer is just finishing all the VFX and final edits preparing to move into post music and sound.
Wild Faith is preparing to come out of post sound/music. The VFX are all in and end credits are being tweaked. The last step is color correction along with the audio mix. I’m excited to roll this film out and I feel good about our chances of rolling a series out behind it.
MBF – now has the bank account open. We need to start collecting paperwork and checks and also drum up the final investment units. We’ll be announcing more castings in the run up to Christmas. A lot of wonderful support for this film.
If yesterday put anything front and center for me it’s to keep following your path. I don’t know how many films I have still in me but I’ll keep creating and moving forward. Cherish those mentors in your life while you can and remember to turn around and mentor those around you. The holidays have been filled with joy and today we will decorate the beautiful tree.
Be good to one another.
All week I’ve been drinking a variation on my coffee – eggnog and coffee:) Some like it and others do not but I just find it great! This week we also added a mass amount of venison steaks and burger to join the 4H pork and beef in the freezer. I’ve almost got my Christmas duties complete although tonight will be tree decorating. We’ve had the beautiful fir-tree up and enjoying it even in the bare state. The animals really love it and I’ve often come downstairs to find all the animals circled around it sleeping. I know that for many our industry shuts down from about the 15th of Dec. to the 15th of Jan. but in my experience many deals are also done in this time when things are slower and more relaxed.
We’ve recently made an announcement that the CDI associated film “Renovation” has been officially renamed “Deadly Renovations” for the release. The post team is working hard to get the deliverables all around and I for one am really looking forward to the release. I’m going to talk to one of our actor/producers Tommy Lynch about setting up a red carpet Vegas premiere before we hit select theaters. A new website address of http://www.deadlyrenovations.com will be in addition to the old http://www.renovationthemovie.com once the new one is active.
This week also had great talks on several films that could move into PRE-PROD from development. “The 8th Plague” prequel “Soul Eater” is looking good. “Secondary Heroes” is moving forward. Dean Teaster’s “Long Road Home” and Anthony Hornus’s “A State of Hate” both had meetings this week. We even have an untitled Jeff Kennedy film moving ahead slightly on the development trek. Several others are still building their packages and so 2012 is looking strong.
I might sign onto an outside film next week if negotiations go well. I read a script I really liked, connected with a character and I’m working my schedule. If all works out I might have a solid announcement on a new project.
I know that “Darkest Night” is in the post trimming process and will go dark over the holidays to get ready for 2012. “7 Stones,” “Benjamin,” and “Locked in a Room” will also be making their 1st showings in the near future. I’m very excited to see these projects on the big screen.
“Outside the Wire” has a 2012 screening schedule as we continue to have talks on this project. The USO and other organizations will be the focus of some future meetings. I also heard rumor of another doc in the works so I expect some new announcements on that front first of the year.
I hope everyone has a great holiday season!